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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.nick­elodeon­

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


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.mor­de­nan­

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