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Our favourite things: August 2017

We’ve been here and we’ve been there, and our team have found a few things we thought we’d share

Our favourite things: August 2017

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X-rated architecture

Our capital’s off-limits landmarks throw doors wide for Open House weekend (16-17 September). A racy addition includes the Barge House, a former adult magazine print house, where events include discussions with sex workers and a Dirty Fan Male performance. Sarah Barrell

To the theatre: London shows we recommend

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Apollo Theatre // Stephanie Cavagnaro
Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre // Josephine Price
The Tempest, Barbican // Pat Riddell
Ink, Almeida Theatre // Tamsin Wressell

A man’s home is his castle

What? Claim your own free castle, villa or inn
The catch? You have to restore them and turn them into hotels, restaurants, spas or heritage sites
When? 200 will be up for grabs in the next two years
Who? The State Property Agency of Italy
Why? To promote Slow Tourism
Maria Pieri

Top 3: Music-themed drinking dens

Ringo Bar, Kyoto, Japan
An underground music cafe near Kyoto’s university, Ringo Bar is filled with Beatles posters and some painted Union Flags. Singing to favourite hits is a must.
Depeche Mode Baar, Tallinn, Estonia
This one is a little nook in the wall, containing red vinyl booths surrounded by DM-related memorabilia — all because one fan couldn’t get enough.
Dylan’s Cafe, Shillong, India
Locals adore Bob Dylan. So much so that a tribute cafe to the singer-songwriter opened last year where cushions bare his face, and themed evenings include poetry readings.
Tamsin Wressell

Tibet by train

The Shangri-La Express, whose luxury sleeper cars roll through the epic Silk Road, will have a new route to the Tibetan Plateau from October. Amelia Duggan

Packing pesto

Genoa is relaxing the 100ml flight rule so travellers can take home their world-famous pesto in exchange for a small charity donation. Josephine Price