— Ellie Broughton

Long before I ever moved to London, working at Time Out was pretty #careergoals, and this year I’ve been really happy to have had nine months of shifts with the magazine. I joined under Ashleigh Arnott, who’s now working for Waitrose, met Louise Schwartzkoff as she developed the new Culture & Events section, and now work with Sonya Barber who’s managing the launch of that section.

First day back from holiday and I get to see my street guide in print. Nice 🌞

A photo posted by Ellie (@elliebroughton_) on

Recently I’ve written street guides for Essex Road and Hanbury Street – both packed with great independent venues and cool new arts projects – as well as trying out a chiaroscuro class at the Royal Academy, learning about London’s black heritage in Tudor times, compiling this year’s online feature on New Year’s Eve parties for Olly Keen’s Nightlife section, writing and editing the listings for the mag, and writing about London Christmas rituals for a big collaborative feature in the front of the magazine. Lots of it is featured on my Muckrack page, as well as other features I’ve done this year, and I’m looking forward to filling 2017 with more brilliant London walks, talks, dinners, coffees, exhibitions and parties.

Walls of nudes at the chiaroscuro class at the RA. My dodgy rendition not pictured

A photo posted by Ellie (@elliebroughton_) on

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For many casual cinemagoers, the Picturehouse venues look like they have all the kudos of an independent cinema with all the perks of being part of a network. The programming is great, food and drinks are good quality and the staff are super helpful.

But look behind the scenes and the story’s quite different. Staff at Picturehouses in both Hackney and Brixton have committed to strike over the network’s failure to pay London Living Wage.

Independent cinemas are not without their wage disputes either – for example, staff at the Dalston Rio went on strike last May over wages and job cuts. But if you were a Picturehouse fan until the strikes, you might want to show solidarity by taking your ticket money elsewhere.

The map above covers the following cinemas in London, so you can find the nearest indie to your home and work, or just explore cinemas you’ve never visited before:
Regent St Cinema
BFI
Peckhamplex
Close Up
Prince Charles Cinema
Rich Mix
Genesis Mile End
Dalston Rio
Institute Of Light
The Barbican
Finchley Phoenix
The Horse Hospital
Arthouse Crouch End
Ciné Lumière
The Lexi

A note on the ‘independence’ of cinemas featured on this list: the Arthouse, Prince Charles, Phoenix, Lexi, Genesis, Peckhamplex, Rich Mix, Horse Hospital and the Rio are independent, the BFI is independent registered charity, Close Up is part of a company that reinvests is profits into film resources, and Ciné Lumière is part of the Institut français, which is funded by French public funds.

The Electric Cinemas in Notting Hill and Shoreditch, although lovely, aren’t featured – they are owned by the Soho House Group – and Picturehouse cinemas (owned by Cineworld) aren’t  featured either.

Curzon cinemas, since they are not part of a giant like SHG or Cineworld, are also featured: unlike Picturehouse, the brand pays staff London Living Wage.

Cinema clubs and temporary venues for screening are not featured – everywhere on the list is a dedicated bricks-and-mortar cinema.

To add something to the list, make suggestions or syndicate this information, email elliebroughton@gmail.com.

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I was lucky enough to be given some excellent copywriting opportunities this year with the Telegraph.

First of all, I interviewed Insta-famous photographers from around the world to get their advice on getting a really brilliant photo of sunset. You know how when you’re on holiday, the sunsets are better? Here’s how to translate beautiful moments into Instagram gold.

There were loads of great pointers from the pros – for example, it turns out the ‘cloudy’ phone camera setting usually yields better results than auto. Who knew? Photographers also recommended you shoot from a high point, get started early, and to look for nice ways to frame a shot. All their tips and more in the feature.

Then The Telegraph introduced me to a clued-up Roman hotel manager who gave me half a dozen insider tips about making the most of Rome in a weekend. He told me when to avoid the Vatican, the city’s best foodie tour and the best deli for gifts, which film to watch before travelling, and a delicious arancini-like snack that’s not actually arancini to look out for at the market.

Both of those features were sponsored content for American Express.

Interested in this work? I’ve also worked on:

  • Working with Guardian Labs on a VisitBritain mini-site, ‘UK Home of Amazing’
  • Highlighting some cool London events for a Time Out/Martini feature
  • Writing about unusual global festivals for the Clydesdale Bank

Contact me to read clips and find out more.

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Hot shot: a bartender pours a drink to go with one of the bar's snacks, served on a slab of pink salt. Photograph: Alex Zalewska

Hot shot: a bartender pours a drink to go with one of the bar’s snacks, served on a slab of pink salt. Photograph: Alex Zalewska

No, it’s not behind any wall. It’s down some stairs and if it’s behind anything, it’s velvet curtains. Other than its name, though, guests are unlikely to quibble with there being a new bar on the Narrow Way.

Alex Harris opened Behind This Wall (previously used as storage for a local Turkish social club) back in February after many years working in food and drink for the Soho House group.

He is a London lad who grew up in Baltimore and returned to the capital to settle in Bethnal Green. The East Coast connection pops up on the menu in a few places (Vermont whiskey and cheddar, oysters, Providence Martinis) but the atmosphere in his bar is otherwise pure Hackney.

I reviewed the bar for the Hackney Citizen’s November 2016 issue. To read more from my brief spell as the features editor at the paper when I first went freelance or read some of the features I wrote afterwards for the sister paper, the East End Review, head over to the site, or go straight:

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Dunno about you guys but sometimes I do my day job, and then do some other work in a café afterwards. Also, sometimes I like to have a cake with a person after work instead of pints. Here’s a Google map I’ve made of places in London that stay open to 8pm on weeknights (or later) that do coffee.

Cafés that qualified for this map are places that, generally:

  • would be convenient for someone to take a laptop to work on
  • would be OK for someone work for about an hour without feeling like he or she was annoying anyone or being a character from Nathan Barley
  • have laptop-friendly surfaces (tables or benches, for example, rather than sofas and shin-height coffee furniture)
  • aren’t noisy (beyond the regular swearing of the scalded barista) and don’t run gigs
  • are good

I haven’t considered whether these places have wifi or plug sockets – most have wifi, some are cool with you using their electrical power supply. Some of the cafés on the map sell booze but none of them are pubs or bars and none of them have drunk people. If you need more certainty on the wifi, power or event situation, then call ahead – most places are happy to help and it only takes a minute.

To read an article about these cafes, with pictures to give you an idea of what each spot looks like inside, have a look at this feature I did for Londonist based on the map suggestions.

And lastly, if you know a good café or coffee shop that fits the bill that you want me to add to this map, please say hi! elliebroughon@gmail.com

Barbican cafe

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