JOIN IN THE FUN!
T he first Nickelodeon flagship store in Europe is open in London. TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles, SpongeBobSquarePants and Dora theExplorer are just some of the familiar faces you’ll find in the new Nickelodeon store. Located in the world-famous Leicester Square, the shop gives you the opportunity to experience and interact with your favourite characters in an exciting, tangible way.
Spanning two floors and more than 4,500 square feet, the store is a fun-filled destination for families. There are more than 600 products, from clothes to footballs.
Paying homage to its London location, there is a traditional London bus, which is filled with soft toys of the iconic characters. There are unique British-themed products, too, such as the playful SpongeBob SquarePants toys and T-shirts, where he is dressed as one of the Queen’s guards, and Union Jack stationery, which make great souvenirs. And you know you are going to get something truly unique, as 80 per cent of the products are exclusive to the London Nickelodeon store.
Climb the green, slimy staircase, where you may see the life-size SpongeBob character and have your photo taken with him. Bursting with interactive elements, there is a pre-school zone where young ones can colour in their favourite characters under the DoratheExplorer Tree or the Pineapple iPad Bar, where kids of all ages can play games on digital devices.
The décor is dazzling, with more than 40 media screens and the New York graffiti zone welcoming you to the TeenageMutantNinja Turtles World. And with friendly staff, who speak at least 12 different languages between them, you’ll be sure to have an experience to remember. Monday-Friday 10am-10pm; Saturday 10am-11pm and Sunday 12noon-6pm. 1 Leicester Sq, WC2H 7NA. T: 020-7353 3511. www.nickelodeonstore.co.uk
Visit the newly opened Nickelodeon flagship store in Leicester Square, with products inspired by its iconic characters such as SpongeBobSquarePants as well as Union Jack-branded souvenirs
THANK GOODNESS FOR MAPS. WE’D BE
lost without them, particularly in Soho – London’s historic entertainment district – a maze of narrow streets where nightlife, culture and dining collide. In the 17th century, cartographers Robert Morden and Philip Lea became the first to map out the area. Now, 300 years on, their names adorn a restaurant, one worth navigating central London for.
Situated on the edge of Chinatown, in a former dim sum palace, Morden & Lea is a modern brasserie-style restaurant split over two floors. Visible ventilation ducts, minimalist artworks and soft filament light bulbs bring a contemporary edge to an otherwise traditional interior. Seating options range from padded booths to banquettes and tall tables with comfortable stools – ideal for solo diners, couples and families alike.
Upstairs the restaurant focuses on a set menu of two or three courses, while downstairs small plates and sharing boards are the order of the day. Shunning Wardour Street’s penchant for Chinese cuisine, distinguished chef Mark Sargeant’s first central London restaurant is all about seasonal British ingredients. Drawing on 20 years of experience, including stints at Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and luxury hotel Claridge’s, award-winning Sargeant and head chef Dan Mertl have created a menu that is simple yet sophisticated, and very reasonably priced.
Downstairs and topping the tartine selection is the smoked trout and cream cheese, featuring fish from RR. Spink & Sons, holder of a Royal Warrant as Fishmonger to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Over at the small plates, the soused herring, potato and cream scores highly, as does the juicy ox tongue with salsa verde. Be sure to try the meaty crab sausage roll (left) – well worth the social media hype – and save room for the dark chocolate dessert, served with a mocha sherbet.
Partner your meal with a bottle of the Sancerre rosé, peachy but crisp enough to complement both sweet and salty fish. Or channel your inner 007 and order a Fleming’s Chase cocktail – whether shaken or stirred, this mix of dry gin, English oaksmoked vodka, wine and blended bitters is everything a modern James Bond would enjoy.
It’s impossible to know what Soho’s original cartographers would make of their eponymous restaurant, but with flavours like these we imagine they’d tell you to have your map ready – and to set your course for Morden & Lea. 17 Wardour St, W1D 6PJ. T: 020-3764 2277. www.mordenandlea.com