London’s taxi maker has turned a van into an electric camper RV for $85,000

rendering of the e-Camper with its pop-top roof next to surfboarders.
Renderings of the e-Camper.

  • An electric taxi, van, and shuttle maker has unveiled its latest project: an electric camper van.
  • London Electric Vehicle Company predicts the e-Camper has “huge potential across the UK and Europe.”
  • The company will begin delivering its roughly $85,350 van in Q4 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Camper van enthusiasts and environmentalists have found their match: the “world’s first electric campervan,” according to its maker London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC).

LEVC specializes in electric vans, shuttles, and taxis, including the ones you can spot around London. Now, the company is expanding its electric automotive capabilities by venturing into the electric RV space.

Meet the roughly $85,350 e-Camper, an electric camper van for those who “want to both protect and enjoy the outdoor environment,” according to a press release.

“The campervan market is growing rapidly and, despite these vehicles being used for coastal and countryside adventures which often include national parks and protected areas, they are still powered by petrol or diesel engines,” Joerg Hofmann, CEO of LEVC, said in the press release. “This is a major conflict; we can see a shift in consumer attitudes, with demand for greener mobility solutions to help to protect and improve air quality.”

The tiny home on wheels will be built on LEVC’s VN5 electric van, which has an electric range of 60 miles, and a hybrid range of 304 miles with help from a 1.3-liter gasoline engine, Rachel Cormack reported for Robb Report. But if you’re only interested in zero-emissions camping trips, you’ll have to rely on the van’s 31-kilowatt-hour battery.

rendering of the interior of the e-Camper with seating and a kitchen
Renderings of the e-Camper.

The tiny home on wheels can sleep four people with the help of its pop-top roof, which creates additional sleeping and standing room inside the van. Besides the pop-top, like other camper vans, the second row of seats can transform into an additional double bed.

The first row of seats can’t turn into a slumber space, but it can swivel 180-degrees. This – when used in conjunction with the dining table and another row of seats – creates a small living and dining room within the camper van.

There’s also an electric kitchen for meals on the road and storage racks to hold onto outdoor toys, such as surfboards and bicycles.

rendering of the e-Camper with its pop-top roof next to bicyclists
Renderings of the e-Camper.

So far, the company predicts “huge potential across the UK and Europe,” and will begin delivering its electric campers in Q4 2021.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A banker quit to become a chef and saw his bank balance drop to $230. Despite burnout and a pandemic, he would never go back.

Juma (second right) at work.
It took Philip Juma seven years to open his first restaurant.

  • Philip Juma left a career in wealth management to follow his passion to showcase Iraqi food.
  • He had no formal training but spent 7 years running pop-up kitchens and working in restaurants.
  • Juma told us about his tough journey and why, despite the pandemic, a 9-5 holds no appeal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Food has always been part of Philip Juma’s life.

Growing up in London to an Iraqi father and an Irish-English mother, he remembers bringing Iraqi-inspired dishes into school for his friends to try. Food was Juma’s calling, yet he entered the cold, logical world of finance.

He achieved a 2:1 in economics for business from Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, before taking a job in the City, first for a series of wealth management startups, then for UBS.

He was comfortable – earning a salary of around £2,500 (around $3,500) a month aged 24 – but he knew he wasn’t happy.

Working through the 2008 financial crisis took its toll, and food still held a certain fascination.

“I was in a world that just wasn’t aligned with my morals, wasn’t aligned with who I was as a person,” Juma, now 37, told Insider.

He would spend vacations and weekends working shifts in top restaurants, but didn’t feel like he was able to make the jump. He also didn’t want to disappoint his parents.

You convince yourself that this is what people want from you,said Juma of his high-flying finance career.

It took six years to finally make a change.

Juma worked restaurant shifts alongside a consulting gig

He left finance, becoming an account manager at an energy consultancy. It involved fewer hours and meant that he could earn a wage while honing his experience running occasional supper club pop-ups, working freelance as a chef for hire company and covering shifts in restaurants.

To the dismay of his Dad, in 2014 he quit his job in consulting and decided to start cheffing full time – despite being unable to afford cookery school.

“My Dad said: ‘You’re going to quit a well paid job in finance to become a dishwasher?’,” recalls Juma. “It was hard, I hadn’t worked out anything, but knew that I just wanted to put Iraqi food on the map.”

He spent the next seven years in various cookery roles: running pop-up restaurants, cheffing at events, working as a freelance chef, and a stint managing a Lebanese restaurant in London.

A post shared by JUMA (@jumakitchen)

Pursuing his passion meant a serious dent to his finances.

His income dropped from a take-home of roughly £2,500 a month after tax – to taking home around £300 ($500) after he’d cover the staffing, venue, and food costs of his once-monthly pop-up – which would be three days full work.

His income wasn’t always so low, but was inconsistent, based on wedding seasons or on a job-by-job basis.

“It’s very alienating because it makes you ask whether you’ve made the right decision. ‘Of course I should be out for dinner with my friends tonight – but I can’t afford it’,” said Juma.

By the time January 2019 came around he said that he experienced burnout. He had £167 ($230) in his bank account, no savings, and “nothing to show for it.”

Opening at a famous London food market was a breakthrough

But when the doubts crept in, something would generally happen to give him motivation.

Out of the blue, he received a call to train chefs on a Saudi royal yacht. Earlier in his career he’d been offered a column in the Evening Standard newspaper.

Then in mid-2019, he was given the chance to finally make a consistent income. Borough Market, the famed London food market,was looking for new blood. Juma applied, and was accepted.

Borough Market
London’s Borough Market.

Juma Kitchen, his first permanent site, opened in December 2019. It gained momentum, and Juma estimates that he worked between 14- and 16-hour days.

Then COVID-19 emerged, and restaurants had to close their doors.

“Borough was my first opportunity to make a consistent income, and it’s been taken away from me,” said Juma.

He said that he has suffered burnout during the pandemic. Being open on social media about his need to slow down – and the support he received in return helped him find a better balance and learn that it’s okay to step away at times.

Juma Kitchen is open again, but takings are roughly 60% on what they should be. He’s optimistic that when the tourists and office workers return it will “shine”.

In the meantime he’s been able to build his reputation, appearing on the BBC to cook his food, which has received rave reviews, being invited to cook at festivals.

Make the change slowly – don’t jump all in

Despite the challenges, Juma says he would never go back to the stable comfort of a city career, and no longer suffers doubt about his career choice. He says that his parents are very proud.

Nonetheless, he has advice for anyone considering leaving the stability of a full time career: Don’t jump all in straight away.

“Have a mini earner on the side or cut down your hours so you get some income,” he said. “Structure your life so that you’ve still got the safety net that pays all your overheads, but gives you time to pursue what you love.”

“You need to be ready for a level of discomfort that is interrupting what we always think is the norm.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Read the memo Goldman Sachs sent telling employees masks would be mandatory at its Europe HQ

Masks will be mandatory within Goldman Sachs Plumtree Court
Richard Gnodde, Goldman Sachs’ International CEO shows His Royal Highness Prince Charles around the bank’s London HQ.

  • Face masks will be mandatory in Goldman Sachs’ London office, despite UK mask restrictions lifting.
  • Staff were notified in an internal memo sent by the bank’s International CEO.
  • Read the memo in full.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In the UK, July 19 is being hailed as “freedom day.”

The country has maintained pandemic restrictions over the last few months such as social distancing, wearing face masks on transport, eateries, and shops, and working from home.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to lift these measures on Monday, meaning pubs and clubs will reopen, and the wearing of face masks will no longer be compulsory.

But with coronavirus infections high and rising in the UK, companies are issuing their own mandates on coronavirus safety as white-collar workers return to the office.

Goldman Sachs told London staff on Thursday that the wearing of masks will be mandatory “at all times” at its European headquarters, except for when staff are sitting at their desks.

Social distancing measures will also remain, as will the bank’s on-site testing program.

The bank has not specified for how long.

Insider obtained a copy of the internal memo sent to all staff by Richard Gnodde, the CEO of Goldman Sachs international on July 15.

The memo was sent the day after an official visit by Prince Charles to the bank’s London office. The royal met summer interns, banking analysts, and executives.

Gnodde later told the BBC that the bank expects 70% of staff to have returned to the physical office over the next few months. But the bank will not insist on staff being fully vaccinated, or force them back if they feel uncomfortable.

Goldman Sachs invested £1 billion ($1.4 billion) when it opened its European headquarters on Plumtree Court in 2019. The 10-story offices come equipped with a creche and lactation pumps for breastfeeding mothers. At its peak capacity, it housed 6,000 staff.

Read the memo in full:

15 July 2021

UK Reopening: What This Means For Return to Office

As you will be aware, from Monday, 19 July, the UK government will be lifting all restrictions on social contact, including removing the guidance to work from home. This follows the positive progression of the vaccination rollout amongst the broader population.

However, the government has advised caution and a gradual return over the coming weeks. Therefore, in light of this guidance and the current levels of external community infection, the existing in-office health and safety measures will remain unchanged for now.

These include the wearing of masks at all times, apart from when seated at your desk, social distancing, and participation in the on-site testing programme, which has proved a critical safety measure in identifying non-presenting cases of COVID-19. Encouragingly, through our contact tracing process, we have not seen any cases of COVID-19 spreading within our office so far.

On a related note, thank you to all who participated in our second London vaccination survey; nearly three-quarters of you responded which has been helpful for us in understanding the vaccination uptake of our UK population. Of those that responded, the vast majority have received one dose and nearly half are fully vaccinated, showing a significant upward trajectory since our first survey in June and positive outlook for overall vaccination levels in the weeks ahead.

This has been a long and tough journey, but the resilience you have shown throughout has been outstanding. We will continue to monitor local case rates and public health safety guidance, and will update our in-office protocols as and when appropriate.

In the meantime, I hope you all manage to take some time this summer for some much-deserved rest.


Read the original article on Business Insider

Freed of London sells pointe shoes to the world’s most famous ballet companies. Thousands of pairs are handmade each year by only 24 artisans – here’s what their jobs are like.

man making a ballet pointe shoe
A shoemaker at Freed.

  • Pointe-shoe maker Freed of London employs 24 full-time artisans, who make about 30 pairs a day.
  • They create stock and custom shoes for dancers at top companies, like ABT and the Royal Ballet.
  • Many of the makers stay at Freed for their entire careers – sometimes upwards of 30 or 40 years.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Like a painter’s brush, a ballerina’s pointe shoe is her most important piece of equipment.

Pointe shoes extend a dancer’s range of movement and allow them to stay suspended in the air and move more quickly across the stage. Since their invention in Italy in the 1800s, they’ve come to define ballet as we know it.

At popular pointe-shoe maker Freed of London – which works with ballerinas at some of the most renowned ballet companies in the world, including the Royal Ballet in London and American Ballet Theater in New York City – there are 24 artisans dedicated to crafting handmade shoes for ballerinas at every level. While there are many different companies that produce shoes, Freed is renowned for its dedication to customization, a tradition that can be traced back to the company’s founding in 1929 by cobbler Frederick Freed and his wife, Dora.

Custom shoes are typically worn by professional dancers and paid for by the companies with whom they dance. Costing about $100 a pair, companies make substantial investments in these essential instruments.

ballerina pointe shoes
Pointe shoes.

At the Royal Ballet, the annual shoe budget exceeds $350,000, and some dancers can go through up to three pairs a day, the company told Insider. American Ballet Theater reported that each female dancer is allotted 10 pairs of pointe shoes a week, equaling about 3,600 pairs each year.

Central to the Freed’s practices are the 24 shoemakers themselves, specially trained to build a pointe shoe from scratch. Here’s a look at what their jobs are like on a day-to-day basis.

The career of a shoemaker

The makers create both stock and custom shoes, averaging about 30 pairs a day, and are paid per piece.

pink pointe shoes laying on a table
Pointe shoes.

Many of them are known to the dancers by just a single letter or symbol (a bell or fish, for example) that indicates their handiwork. While a dancer will usually try out several makers at first, they grow attached to one specific maker over time who fulfills their custom orders.

The training for the role is mostly done on the job. Prospective makers apprentice with Freed and are taught the basics of shoemaking.

At first, very little of what they produce is usable, but some take to the job with ease. “It came naturally to me,” Taksim Eratli, who’s known as the “anchor maker” and been with Freed for 18 years, told Insider. “I would say it took me about six to eight months to master the making.”

Still, it’s a while until the new hires are entrusted to fill custom orders. “As they learn, we put them next to other very experienced makers so they can mentor them and are on hand to say what’s good or what’s bad,” Sophie Simpson, a senior manager of sales and pointe-shoe fitter who’s been with Freed since 1998, told Insider.

There are innumerable customizations that a dancer can specify for their shoe. Freed can change the strength of the insole, the sides, the strength of the block – the stiff cup that encases the toes and allows dancers to rise en pointe – the length of the back, and more. As the shoe is meant to support a dancer’s foot, customization isn’t just for fit but also for injury prevention.

Many of the makers, once trained, stay at Freed for the rest of their careers – sometimes upwards of 30 or 40 years. Because the shoes themselves and the way they’re made are so specific to each dancer, makers become critical to a dancer’s career as well.

“Having a comfortable shoe can make or break a performance,” Brittany Pollack, a soloist with New York City Ballet, told Insider. “When I’m onstage, the last thing I want to worry about is how my shoes are feeling.”

The assembly process

The first essential step in the shoemaking process is a fitting. The fitters work out the length and width of a dancer’s foot and then select a maker that can naturally produce the type of shoe that fits their needs.

“All the makers follow the same system,” Simpson said, “but there is a slight difference because the shoes are made by hand.” Simpson compares this to variations in handwriting – the words can be the same, but the way writing looks on the page will differ from person to person.

If one maker retires, it can be disappointing news for a dancer. Pollack, who had used the same maker since first joining New York City Ballet in 2006, was recently told that Bell, her maker, had retired.

“I probably tried about 10 different makers over a period of a few months to find what pair would work best for me,” she said. Finally, Pollack found a replacement – the “diamond maker.” “When I first put those shoes on, I knew right away that they felt right,” she said.

The day starts early at the company’s London factory. “I get up at 4:30 a.m., and I’m at work by 6:30 a.m.,” Eratli said. “My finishing may vary, but I’m usually done by 2:45 or 3 p.m.”

All of the work is planned often months in advance. The factory is high energy throughout the workday, which Eratli finds enjoyable. “It’s where all the magic happens,” Eratli said.

The makers build the shoes inside-out in layers, beginning with the outer sole. The sole is staple-gunned or tacked together and then covered in the satin fabric and canvas lining. An extra pocket is left at the top where the maker will build the block. The block, according to Eratli, is the most difficult element of the shoemaking process. It can be made in a variety of ways using fabric pieces, papers, sacking, or other materials that determine its strength.

hands holding a pointe shoe
The pointe-shoe assembly process.

Halfway through the assembly process, the shoe is tied down and sent to the stitching area. Up until this point, the shoe remains inside out. Once the sole is stitched on, the shoe returns to the maker, where it’s turned the right way out. The process is completed by shaping the block with a rounded hammer. Once the shoe is shaped, it’s baked overnight in the factory’s industrial oven.

Changing with the times

While the shoemaking process is steeped in tradition, as the times change, so does Freed. The company often speaks with dance medics, rehabilitation and physical-therapy teams, and other experts to improve upon the safety of the shoe. “We’re renowned for being as healthy for a dancer as a pointe shoe can be,” Simpson said.

The company has begun to make pointe shoes for men, which are typically much bigger and stronger at the toe, as more male dancers gravitate to pointe work.

They also create shoes in a variety of colors for special occasions or for different skin tones. This is a divergence from Freed’s signature peachy pink that famous choreographer George Balanchine first fell in love with (and which no other shoe company can use).

fabric for pointe shoes in multiple neutral colors
New pointe-shoe colors.

Now, as ballet reckons with its history of exclusion and more dancers of color are represented in the professional world, there’s a need for shoes that reflect the diversity onstage. Freed coordinates colors to replicate what was meant to be achieved with the ballet pink – not necessarily to match skin tone, but to give a unified, blended look to the legs and feet. In short, to disappear.

The shoes, these craftsmen know, play a supporting role. “My ultimate aim – if I do my job correctly,” Simpson said, “is that when you watch a dancer on stage, you don’t see the pointe shoe.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Anti-vaccine groups used Telegram to send ‘apparent death threats’ to BBC journalists, report says

coronavirus mask protest london
Anti-lockdown protests in London.

  • Telegram users reportedly shared BBC journalists’ addresses and info in an anti-vaccination group.
  • BBC News asked staff to undergo training for handling “in-person” attacks, The Observer reported.
  • Attacks on reporters hit unprecedented levels in 2020, The Committee to Protect Journalists said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

BBC News is said to have tightened its newsroom security after receiving threats against journalists from anti-lockdown or anti-vaccine groups.

The Observer reported that conspiracy groups on the messaging app Telegram had “swapped details of journalists, including their addresses, and have attempted to organise abuse.”

The report also quoted from a BBC staff memo sent out on Friday, which detailed the formation of an internal BBC group to study the safety of the news broadcaster’s employees.

BBC director of news and current affairs Francesca Unsworth said in a memo that staff should go through training for “in-person” attacks, according to the report.

“We know these attacks are more often aimed at women and journalists of colour, so we want to make sure we have particular support for those groups and are looking at what this could be,” Unsworth wrote.

Violence against journalists has been on the rise around the world, spurred in part by restrictions designed to slow the pandemic, according to Unesco.

That group published a report last September showing “a significant and growing threat to media freedom and freedom of access to information in all regions of the world.”

Attacks on US journalists have also hit “unprecedented” levels last year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York nonprofit.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I had the poshest afternoon tea at London’s oldest hotel. Here’s what it was like, and how the very English tradition has changed post-COVID

The table we sat at was where Agatha Christie used to sit
Agatha Christie’s favourite seat at Brown’s

  • I went to Brown’s Hotel, the oldest and one of the fanciest hotels in London, for afternoon tea.
  • Queen Victoria, Theodore Roosevelt, and Agatha Christie were among the big names who dined here.
  • Afternoon tea has gone through some changes post-COVID. Here’s how it’s served differently.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Brown’s Hotel is the first and oldest hotel in London which has welcomed many royals, politicians, and celebrities over the years

Outside of Brown's hotel
Outside of Brown’s hotel

Brown’s Hotel, which was first built in 1837, is London’s oldest hotel, surviving two world wars and now COVID-19. 

The hotel has 33 luxury suites, 82 hotel rooms, a restaurant, bar, spa, gymnasium, and drawing room where afternoon tea is served.

Compared to other London hotels which offer afternoon tea, including The Ritz and The Savoy, Brown’s is more casual, hotel tea manager Karol Kurowski told Insider.



The room designs at Brown’s have barely changed since nearly 200 years ago

The Drawing Room at Brown's Hotel
The Drawing Room at Brown’s Hotel

The rooms have hardly changed since the hotel was built in 1837, Kurowski said.

The Drawing Room for afternoon tea had wood panelling on the walls, cosy armchairs and sofas, and antiques and artwork dotted around the fireplace and window ledge.

A pianist played a majestic, black, grand piano in the Drawing Room, performing a range of songs from “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers to “River Flows In You” by Yiruma.

I sat in Agatha Christie’s seat where she used to enjoy afternoon tea at Brown’s

Reporter Kate Duffy tastes Brown's tea
Reporter Kate Duffy tastes Brown’s tea

Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Princess Diana are among the royals who visited Brown’s.

Leaders such as Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Napoleon III also enjoyed what delights the hotel had to offer. 

Writer and journalist Rudyard Kipling spent his final days at the hotel before falling ill and passing away in hospital. Agatha Christie spent her time sat in the chair which I’m pictured in above, writing novels and enjoying her favorite coronation chicken sandwiches.

Brown’s believes that the Drawing Room was the inspiration for Christie’s “At Bertram’s Hotel.”

But it was The Duchess of Bedford, lady in waiting to Queen Victoria, who kicked off the afternoon tea tradition. In the early 19th century, people only had two meals a day; one at breakfast and one at 8pm in the evening.

The Duchess started requesting a light meal and a pot of tea during the afternoon. Soon after, the practice of afternoon tea became fit for a queen.


The majority of Brown’s guests come from the United States

Main reception at Brown's
Main reception at Brown’s

Brown’s Hotel’s largest customer base is from the US. Many Americans who stop in the hotel choose to experience the quintessentially British afternoon tea at least one time in their stay, tea manager Kurowski said.

This means that the hotel lost most of its customers during the pandemic.

It closed in each of England’s three lockdowns and was able to open its doors again on May 17th when hotels in the country were allowed to reopen.

Although Brown’s is seeing an increase in the number of guests, Kurowski said staff are looking forward to when full international travel kicks in and COVID-19 restrictions ease, encouraging more people to fly to the UK.

Brown’s had to change how it operated and introduced new innovations to keep the hotel COVID-safe

QR code on the table at Brown's
QR code to scan for the menu

Like many restaurants and hotels, Brown’s has had to adapt to a more hygienic and COVID-safe way of working.

The sugar cubes in a small bowl on the table are now packaged up individually in plastic, so there’s no chance of someone touching your sugar before you pop it into your teacup. 

A small card with a QR code links you to the menu when you scan it with your smartphone, replacing the ordinary menu as we know it. Queen Victoria must have turned in her grave. 

This was the menu that Brown’s gave to their guests pre-pandemic

The menu at Brown's
Brown’s menu

After walking in the footsteps of famous historical figures in a traditional English drawing room, it’s strange to be met with a modern tech feature like a QR code. 

The menu takes you through the history of the hotel and afternoon tea before listing all the teas, food, and champagne. Brown’s also offers a full vegan menu and a kids’ menu which has a range of herbal teas to choose from.

The waiter gave me a small bottle of hand sanitizer when I sat down at the table

Hand sanitizer on the table
Hand sanitizer handed to every table

Further safety measures at Brown’s include sanitization of the rooms and guests’ hands.

Like every hospitality facility in the UK at the moment, face masks are mandatory for staff and the customers, until they are sat down. I was handed a small bottle of hand sanitizer spray containing rosemary and lavender which, unlike other potent hand sanitizers, smelt divine.

Kurowski said Brown’s staff had to wear gloves when the hotel was open between the three lockdowns but now that’s unecessary. They are also tested twice a week to check they’re negative for COVID-19.

There’s also a 30 minute gap inbetween each restaurant and hotel room booking, giving staff enough time to sanitize the area before the next guests arrive, Kurowski said.


First, I was served Moët champagne, hot tea, and sandwiches on a Victorian tea-stand

Sandwiches on the table
Table setup at Brown’s

After clinking our glasses of Moët & Chandon champagne, Kurowski brought over two plates of sandwiches on a Victorian silver tea-stand.

The tea came in three traditional silver pots — two for the tea itself and one for the milk.

Scones used to sit on the empty plate in the middle of the tea stand, but now Brown’s keep the scones warm and serve them later with the rest of the cakes, Kurowski said.

The atmosphere was cosy, calm, and relaxing with the tinkling of the piano keys in the background.

Here’s a close-up of the five different sandwiches

Five different sandwiches on the top tier of cake stand
Sandwiches on top of the tier

From the left, the selection included smoked coronation chicken, beef with horseradish mayonnaise, cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill, and prawn cocktail.

Each sandwich slither had a different type of bread and was freshly made in Brown’s kitchens.

The coronation chicken sandwich was apparently Agatha Christie’s go-to sandwich, Kurowski said.


Brown’s offer 25 different kinds of tea. The first tea I tried was called Afternoon Blend

Waiter pours tea into teacup
Afternoon Blend tea

Afternoon blend, made with Assam tea, was served alongside the sandwiches. This type of tea, which comes from India, was refreshing and complimented the food.

A similar type of tea to the Afternoon blend is the light and invigorating Darjeeling, Queen Victoria’s favorite. Queen Elizabeth’s first choice was Earl Grey, according to Kurowski, whereas Churchill preferred a Lapsang tea, he said.

After finishing the sandwiches, Kurowski poured me a cup of Oolong tea. Originating from China, this rich, dark brown-coloured tea had a smooth, smoky taste.

After the sandwiches, I was served cakes and scones with jam and clotted cream

Afternoon tea setup at Brown's
Afternoon tea setup at Brown’s

After a top up of champagne, another tea-stand arrived, this time with sweet treats.

Five small patisserie cakes sat on the top plate, four scones were on the second plate, and a pot of jam and another of clotted cream was on the bottom.

Don’t be fooled by the small portions though — by the second scone, I was stuffed.

There were five different cakes to choose from on the top tier of the cake stand

Selection of cakes
Selection of cakes on top of the cake stand

On the top plate, there was a chocolate and hazelnut tart, strawberry cake, lime and coconut cheesecake, chocolate and banana truffle, and a raspberry petit gateau.

Kurowski recommended to eat the chocolate and hazelnut tart last because of its richness.

The real question is: does the jam go on the scone first, or the clotted cream?

Scones with jam then cream and then cream with jam
Brown’s scones

The tradition says that the cream is spread on the scone first, and the jam goes on top, according to Kurowski. Jam first and then cream is the Cornish tradition from southwest England, he said.

Despite the British cream-jam debate, Kurowski said he’s seen guests eat their scones in a strange way.

Some have put butter, as well as cream and jam on the scone, while others have sandwiched the two scone halves together like a burger and chomped away.


The third tea I tried was a Chinese Jasmine tea which changed flavor after five minutes

Waiter pours another type of tea into teacup
Chinese Jasmine tea

While I was munching away on the cakes, Kurowski poured a third tea for me to try. This one was called a Chinese Jasmine tea, which is classed as a green tea. It tasted fresh and floral but after five minutes, the flavor went bitter due to chemical changes in the tea.

I also tasted a Genmaicha green tea from Japan which had a more delicate taste.

The final tea I tried to finish off the whole experience was a black vanilla tea. This was a richer, sweeter tea which was the perfect end to a quintessentially British afternoon tea.

I even got to take home a goodie bag!

Reporter Kate Duffy holding goodie bag from Brown's
Reporter Kate Duffy holding a Brown’s goodie bag

Although the sandwiches, cakes and scones look small, they’re quite filling! Kurowski kindly packaged up the remaining patisserie cakes so I could enjoy them at home.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The NHS offered free vaccines ‘no questions asked’ in London’s Chinatown. Hundreds of people showed up.

London vaccine chinatown
A crowd of people seen waiting for vaccine slots in London on May 27, 2021.

  • Hundreds of people rushed to London’s Chinatown on Thursday to get COVID-19 vaccines.
  • There, NHS staff were inoculating people from a bus organized by Westminster Council.
  • No paperwork or proof of identification was required, according to reports.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hundreds of people descended on London’s Chinatown on Thursday after a city council offered no-questions-asked COVID-19 vaccines.

NHS staff onboard a double-decker bus organized by Westminster Council began dispensing jabs without an appointment on Gerrard Street at 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The pop-up vaccine site was advertised on the website of the Chinese Information and Advice Centre charity, The Evening Standard reported.

“You DO NOT need to have: NHS number, any proof of address, personal identification. Undocumented migrants also welcomed. Stay safe! Get vaccinated!” the advert said.

A group of anti-vaxxers also showed up to the site to protest, including Piers Corbyn, the brother of ex-Labour leader Jeremy, the Evening Standard reported. Some protesters shouted “shame on you” at those on the vaccination bus.

Read the original article on Business Insider

JetBlue’s first flights to London this summer are now on sale and round-trip fares are under $600

big ben london england
JetBlue will soon touch down in London.

  • JetBlue Airways has set August 11 as the start date for flights to London, UK.
  • The New York-London route will start first while the Boston-London route will come in 2022.
  • Both Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport in London will see daily flights from New York.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

JetBlue Airways is finally ready to make its London debut.

August 11 is the official launch date for JetBlue’s flights between New York and London, UK, the airline announced Wednesday.

It’s JetBlue’s first time crossing the Atlantic in its 21-year-history, having announced the service in April 2019. And while the pandemic delayed the inaugural flight until August, the airline is keeping its promise of a 2021 debut.

JetBlue will first stretch its transatlantic legs by flying two routes to London’s two major airports, Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Chief executive Robin Hayes said in a statement that the pandemic actually “opened the door” for JetBlue to access its airports of choice in the London area.

“We’ve always said that JetBlue would serve multiple London airports, and we’re pleased to have secured a path at Heathrow and for long-term growth at Gatwick, which offers speed, low costs, and convenient accessibility into Central London,” Hayes said.

Heathrow will receive the first flights from JFK on August 11. A daily round-trip service will be offered, with the outbound departing New York as an overnight flight at 10:10 p.m. and arriving at 10:10 a.m.

The return flight departs London the next day in the early evening at 6:10 p.m. and arrives back in New York at 9:43 p.m. A likely homage to James Bond, the flight number for JetBlue’s Heathrow-bound flight will be 007.

Flights to Gatwick will then begin on September 29 with similarly daily flights from New York but a slightly different schedule. The outbound flight departs from New York at 7:50 p.m. and arrives in London at 7:55 a.m. while the return flight departs London at 12:00 p.m. the next day and arrives in New York at 3:33 p.m.

Serving the routes will be a never-before-seen aircraft in JetBlue’s fleet, Airbus’ A321LR, or Long Range. JetBlue plans to have three of the next-generation aircraft in its fleet by the end of the year, with all of them flying between New York and London.

Bostonians will have to wait until 2022 to fly non-stop to London on JetBlue when more of the aircraft arrive.

Inside the aircraft will be JetBlue’s newest products in economy and business class. London-bound aircraft will feature 24 business class seats and 117 economy class seats.

New Mint business class seats intended for London flights were debuted by JetBlue earlier this year. Each seat is a private suite with an enclosable door, a fully lie-flat seat, and new amenities like wireless charging pads and laptop drawers.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo
JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neo’s with new Mint business class.

Mint Studio seats, found in the first row of the cabin, are the highlight of the aircraft. The larger spaces offer greater room for passengers and can even accommodate a second passenger with a separate cushioned seat that comes with its own tray table.

Access to premium lounges in New York or London, however, has not yet been announced. The perk is a key benefit of flying transatlantic business class.

Economy class will see JetBlue’s standard mix of standard legroom “core” seats and extra-legroom “even more space” seats. Core seats will offer 32 inches of legroom and 18.4 inches of width.

The airline’s newest in-flight entertainment system will also be featured offering on-demand movies, television shows, games, and more. High-speed satellite WiFi will also be available for free.

Flying JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 New Phase 2 Interior
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 with a new interior.

Complimentary meals crafted by the New York City-based restaurant group Dig will also be served in another first for JetBlue. The JetBlue “pantry,” a self-service snack bar, will also be available to all passengers.

JetBlue’s announcement comes as more countries open their doors to Americans but entry to Europe this summer is far from guaranteed for all tourists.

The European Union also announced on Wednesday a plan for vaccinated travelers to be let into the region, the New York Times reported, just in time for the summer. But the UK, no longer a member of the European Union, has still held off on giving a timeline for vaccinated Americans to visit.

Read More: 7 airlines poised to win big now that Norwegian Air exits the lucrative transatlantic market it once dominated

Fares for London flights start at $599 round-trip in economy while business class fares can be had for as low as $1,979. The low fares are part of JetBlue’s goal of disrupting the market by offering affordable pricing combined with a high-frills offering.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to head a major Western capital, has been re-elected as mayor of London

sadiq khan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan embraces his wife Saadiya after a speech after being re-elected in the London mayoral election, at the City Hall in London, Britain, May 8, 2021.

  • Sadiq Khan was re-elected London Mayor on Saturday.
  • In 2016, Khan became the first Muslim to head a major Western capital.
  • He focused his campaign on creating jobs and boosting London’s tourism economy.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

LONDON (Reuters) – Sadiq Khan was re-elected London Mayor on Saturday as had been widely expected, providing some joy to the opposition Labour Party which has suffered a series of disappointing results in other local elections.

Khan, who became the first Muslim to head a major Western capital after his victory in 2016, saw off his main challenger, Shaun Bailey, the candidate from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.

He won by 55.2% to Bailey’s 44.8% in a result which had been widely predicted, although his winning margin was smaller than his victory five years ago.

“I am deeply humbled by the trust Londoners have placed in me to continue leading the greatest city on earth,” Khan said, who focused his campaign on creating jobs and boosting London’s tourism economy.

“I promise to strain every sinew to help build a better and brighter future for London after the dark days of the pandemic.”

Khan, a former member of parliament who replaced Johnson as leader of the British capital with a population of almost nine million people, has faced criticism over rising violent crime in the capital, particularly stabbings involving teenagers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

100 business leaders back Sadiq Khan for a second term as London mayor

sadiq khan london mayor campaign
London Mayor Sadiq Khan

  • One hundred business leaders today backed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for re-election.
  • They said he had been a strong advocate for their sector during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • “Sadiq has been the most pro-business mayor ever, standing up for our interests on issues like Brexit and business rates,” said Helen McIntosh, president of the South East London Chamber of Commerce.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One hundred business leaders today backed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for re-election as the city’s “most pro-business mayor ever”, saying he had been a strong advocate for their sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

Khan is heavily tipped to win re-election on May 6 against his Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey when Londoners go to the polls on May 6.

He has pitched himself as the most business-friendly candidate, promising he will focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs” if he wins the race.

Helen McIntosh, principal of McIntosh & Associates and president of the South East London Chamber of Commerce, was among those who backed Khan.

“Sadiq has been the most pro-business mayor ever, standing up for our interests on issues like Brexit and business rates, and lobbying the Government to provide greater support for businesses through the challenges of the past year,” she said.

“During the pandemic, programmes like Pay It Forward London, the Back To Business Fund, and the Culture at Risk Fund have helped many small businesses to survive.”

Other business leaders who backed Khan include Alan Buckle, the former deputy chairman of KMPG, and Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited, which represents Camden businesses.

Khan said in a statement to Insider: “I know that this last year has been the hardest in living memory for businesses dealing with the perfect storm of Brexit and the pandemic, and I am determined to continue standing up for them. If re-elected, I will never stop banging the drum for jobs and investment in our capital.

“Working together I know we can deliver my ambitious plan for London’s recovery and build a better, fairer, more prosperous city which offers a brighter future for all Londoners.”

Business leaders backing Sadiq Khan for re-election




Howard Dawber

Managing Director of Strategy

Canary Wharf Group

Simon Pitkeathley

Chief Executive

Camden Collective

Mohammad Ali Khan


Pacific Infotech

Asma Khan


Darjeeling Express Restaurant

Praful Nargund


CREATE Fertility

Paul Hendrick


Harevale Ltd

Philip Craig


Tom Adeyoola,


Daniel Farrell

Managing Director


Dr Hannah Allen,

GP and founder of

Tinto App

Stephen Gibbons

Former Director

IT Consulting

Ibrahim Dogus


Lambeth Life

Raife Aytek


Rimad Ltd

Kamran Mahmood,



Sonny Leong,

Chief Executive

Training Sector

Sajid Qureshi,


Proinstall AV

Mark Glover

Executive Chairman

SEC Newgate

Deva Ponnoosami

Marketing Director

Southern Marketing Services

Eleni Chalmers


Masonbeam Ltd

Hamish Sandison


Whitereport Global Limited

Muhammad Sarmad, CEO, Freshdale Supplies Ltd

Alan Buckle

Formerly Chief Executive

KPMG Consulting

Lord Hollick

Businessman & Labour Peer

Richard Greer


Peter Droussiotis

Chairman/ CEO

PGD Strategy

Alison Downie

Kate O’Rourke

Tom Jones

Lucy Mitchell,

Managing Director,

Food Retail and Wholesale

Bonny Uba,

Managing Director,

IT services

Jennifer Lim,

Creative Director,

Creative Industries

Daniel York,

Artistic Director,

Creative Industries

Phillip Caudell


The Not So Big Company

Jasvir Singh

legal firm

Emily Wallace

Founding Partner

Inflect Partners

David Offenbach

Peter Hills


Hackney Brewing Ltd

Cemal Ezel,

Founder of Change Please CIC

Old Spike Roastery and Coal Rooms Restaurants

Ali Gul Ozbek


Med-Chem Pharmacy

Serkan Karakuzu


Elstree Antiques ltd

Sheikh Aliur Rahman

Chief Executive

London Tea Exchange

Ozlem Ozaydin


Redeye Trading Ltd

Sabri Ozaydin

Production Manager

Redeye Trading Ltd

Ali Kosele


Civil Engineering Sector

Rashal Mohammod Ahmed


Hospitality Sector

Mohammed Daniel Chowdhury


Hospitality Sector

Abdal Ahmed


Hospitality Sector

Rehana Ameer


Prosap Corporation Limited

Hilal Ameer


Food Retail and Wholesale

Saif Masood


Food Retail and Wholesale

Sezgin Aydın


Simon Lydiard


Public Sector and Procurement

Mehmt Yenilmez Kemal


Accountants and Tax Advisers

Onur Simsek


atlacarte App

Fevzi Kemal Torun


Paul Dimoldenberg



Eyyup Saglik


Beso London

Husayn Kassai



Usman Khan



Mehmet Hakan Elbir



Kerem Okumuş



Shokat Ali

Chief Executive

St James Cars

Jas Athwal

Business Owner

Sam Lassman

Business Owner

Hot Milk Café

Roberta Watts

Business Owner

Hot Milk Café

Shane Parkes

Head of Operations

Searjent Security

Kabir Ahmed Khalku

Business Owner

Harrow Road Grocers

Vijay Luthra

Managing Director

Napier and Nightingale

Mukesh Patel

Business Owner

Amy news & off licence

Sadiq Kothia

Business Owner


Irfan Khoda


Perfect Rims LTD

Sirajul Islam


Ajay Maru

Managing Director

Salon Sleek

Gerald Shamash


Legal Firm

Ranil Perera


Regulation and Risk Limited

Peter Phillips OBE

Former Chairman and Co-Founder

Buchler Phillips Group

Ruth Gladwin

Business Owner

Legal Firm

Helen McIntosh


McIntosh Associates

Cassius Colman


Nelly Duff Art Gallery

Shaban Mohammed

Business Owner

Bargain Food Centre

Andrew Clough


The Brew

Appu Dhamodaran

Business Owner


Ricky Sandhu


Citicorp Ltd

Karl Sandhu


Vistastar Leisure Plc

Hanif Khan


Video Shoot Productions Ltd



Universal Fortune Ltd

Sheri-Ann Bhim

CEO and Founder


Vijay Anand Jambulingham


Good Luck Care Ltd

Bhavesh Raja


Creative Cuts Hair and Beauty

Richard Kalmar

Managing Director

Estate Agents

Shazaah Masood


Great Education Ltd

Anthony West



Josephine Vander Gucht



Robert Robinson


Notes Coffee

Claire Pritchard



Philip Normal


Philip Normal Clothing Brand

Arpita Dutt

Founding Partner

Legal firm

Dr Bilal Sheikh

Chief Executive

Mont Rose College

Amjad Syed


Supercare Pharmacy

Aruna Rengiah Pillai


Shan E-Solutions Ltd

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