Friday, 4 April 2014

Dining in the Dark - Dans le Noir London

Dans le Noir? 

The City of London offers pretty much everything and anything. But dining in the dark? I want to discover more.

Without argument it sounds like a fun social and sensory experience, it is something in between a show and a restaurant dinner. People come in to be entertained. Through this entertainment, people will meet much deeper experience as a surprise. As you walk in, you are welcomed into a bar and lounge area with a warm atmosphere. 
There are 4 different surprise menus :

White :  Chef Surprise - exotic and unusual

Blue : Fish and seafood menu

Red : Meat menu

Green : Vegetarian option

As you don’t know what you will eat, it’s difficult to choose the wine. I knew there is a catch! Whenever you are ready to enter the Dark Room, you will be introduced to your guide/waiter who will take care of your group during your dinner. You will be taken to your table in the dark. All guests must follow strict security instructions and never move in the Dark Dining Room without being led by a guide.

You can ask anything to your guide/waiter that you can call at any time by his/her first name. He/She will come to you ASAP. If you feel uncomfortable or distressed you can ask the guide to take you back to the light. Do not forget to re-open your eyes slowly as it might hurt.

If you feel this is your cup of tea click on the link below and enjoy this rather unique experience!

Find out more 

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Paddington Movie

The Paddington Movie

In November 2014, David Heyman, the UK's most successful film producer, will be bringing Paddington to the big screen in a major live action blockbuster movie featuring the best of British talent, both in front of and behind the camera.

This movie will tell the origin story of the little marmalade eating bear who dreams of visiting Britain and is sent from the deepest jungles of Peru to London. When he arrives at Paddington Station wearing a luggage label asking for someone to look after him, Paddington is taken in by the Brown family who join him on an adventure across London that helps him discover that there is a home for everyone in the greatest city in the world.

Paddington is shot on location across London (Paddington Station, Portobello Road, etc.) - with a CGI bear currently being added in Paddington will be released on Nov 28th by Studio Canal and will be the Christmas Family movie for 2014.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Olympic Park is the perfect destination at any time of the year; whether it's a January visit to work off too much Christmas turkey at the Copper Box Arena gym, a picnic in the Park with friends on a hot summer’s day or trips up the ArcelorMittal Orbit to watch the London landscape change with the seasons.
There's also a packed programme of events all year round featuring concerts, art trails, London Lions basketball matches and much more. The Park is open 365 days of the year, is free to enter and there's a never-ending list of things to do. I have picked some of the best seasonal highlights to help you plan your perfect visit to the Park: 

  • Keep the children entertained over the summer holidays with holiday clubs at the Copper Box Arena and Timber Lodge Café. Run by highly qualified leaders they are the perfect place for your child to try new sports and meet new friends.  
  • Pack a picnic rug and some sunscreen and head down to the Park for some family fun – the Tumbling Bay playground. 
  • As Wimbledon fever grips the nation book a court and head down to the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

  • Don't let the weather get you down! Choose from the Copper Box Arena or London Aquatics Centre gyms and get the endorphins pumping. Drop-in classes are available. 
  • Tuck into some winter warming food and drink on the Park; not to be missed Christmas treats are on offer at the Timber Lodge Café and south of the Park food kiosks. 
  • Take in the breath-taking views of the Park with a bird's eye view from the View Tube. 
  • Burn off the turkey with a winter stroll. Explore the sights at your leisure, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, why not book onto one of the tours of the Park, and choose between walking, running or by boat!

Click on the link below to find out what's on during next few months.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Sherlock at 24-25 Leinster Gardens, Bayswater

Sherlock at 24-25 Leinster Gardens, Bayswater

One of London’s extraordinary buildings has been revealed in the season finale of Sherlock.The genius detective shows Mary Watson a row of houses in Bayswater. Number 23 and 24 at Leinster Gardens could be any other 19th century west London terrace, but Holmes shows his assistant’s wife that the houses have false facade.
As the camera moves from the front of house and over the top of the roof, Holmes explains: “No doorknobs or letterbox and painted windows. 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens - the empty houses.In the programme an image of Mary’s face is projected on to the front as Holmes walks by with the character.
The false front was built in 1868, after the extension to the Metropolitan Line was cut through the middle of the street.  The frontage helped to cover the clouds of steam from the passing trains and also facade restored the continuation of the white terrace houses, so anybody walking past would not notice what is behind this facade.

Next time you will be passing by, have a closer look!

One of London's 'false facades' at Leinster Gardens

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Are you looking for your perfect New Year's Eve party?

NYE parties in London

Are you still looking for your perfect New Year's Eve party? Do not look further! We have covered it all in this post. Celebrate last night of 2013 in style at one of the best parties in capital. 

Fancy dress parties
Gatsby New Year's Eve party
One of several Gatsby-themed dos on NYE, this one takes place at the swish and swanky Mansion Bar. An evening of sophistication and smooth jazz are promised by the organisers, along with plenty of Champagne, canapés, Charleston dancers and enough debonair goings-on and '20s                          costumes to fill Gatsby's bloody massive mansion.   
                                                    Mansion Bar, 34-44 Barkston Gardens, London, SW5 0EW

NYE 2013: Studio 54
If you're one of the many who missed out on Studio 54, the fabulous, debauched disco-haven that helped define late the '70s NYC scene, then fear not, as you can live out your disco dreams this NYE, sort of. It's a tongue-in-cheek tribute, so expect fake sideburns and OTT cocktails drowning in plastic umbrellas rather than Larry Levan tunes, but it looks fun all the same.

Drink Shop & Do
9 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX

NYE Black and Gold Phantom of the Opera
This night at the plush Covent Garden Cocktail Club offers a choice of fancy dress. Either black and gold it up, or don your best thespy Phantom gear. But don't be fooled into thinking this'll be a civilised, restrained one – far from it.Confetti canons at midnight. Boom, literally.
  •                                      Covent Garden Cocktail Club 
  • 6-7 Great Newport Street
         WC2H 7JA

New Year at The White Mansion
The Mansion London specialise in high-end concept nights with a firm focus on debonair design and extravagant clubbing. This classy NYE party is themed around the character of Ludmilla, a 19th century Danish actress in a fetching white dress who disappeared during an NYE party in London. Maybe she just grabbed a disco nap behind the DJ booth, who knows? A very lavish New Year indeed.

Secret location in west London

Are you watching your budget this NYE or are you into quirky parties? This link below contains all kind of ideas to keep you satisfied. Happy New Year everyone, have fun partying in London!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
For a display of British pomp and ceremony, watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.Changing the Guard or Guard Mounting is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard.The Guard that looks after Buckingham Palace is called The Queen's Guard and is divided into two Detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment (responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace) and the St James's Palace Detachment (responsible for guarding St James's Palace).
All the guards taking part in the ceremony are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats, and the ceremony is set to music. Changing the Guard also takes place at Windsor Castle and at Horse Guards Arch on Horse Guards Parade.
For Changing the Guard dates 
  • At Buckingham Palace, Guard Mounting takes place at 11.30 am
  • At Horse Guards Arch, Changing the Guard takes place daily at 11.00am (10.00 am on Sundays)
  • At Windsor Castle, the ceremony takes place at 11.00 am

Thursday, 21 November 2013

How NOT to overspend on Xmas shopping this year

How NOT to overspend on Xmas 

Christmas, the wonderful time of the year: the time for giving and sharing of gifts with relatives and friends. As much as we want to celebrate and be very merry during this festive season, we want to make sure that we do not put pressure on our wallets. Retailers are really good at forcing us to pay attention to latest promotions and coming up with the amazing gift ideas to tease shoppers to spend more money than we really want to. Once at the shopping mall, we are constantly bombarded with opportunities to spend & spend… Without realising it, multiple small purchases accumulate into big amounts which will give us a big shock when the credit card bill arrives later on.
This year, we need to step up our game and prepare for Christmas shopping by creating a shopping list and budget before we hit the stores.
Here are some tips to prevent overspending this Christmas:
  1. Have a list – List the people who you are going to buy a Christmas gift for. This is a good place to start as the exercise will help you see the ‘magnitude’ of the shopping you need to do. Here are some of the people who you will probably include in this list:
    • Family
    • Close friends
    • Colleagues
    • Gift exchanges for Christmas parties
  2. Think of a gift – For each person in the list, think of a suitable gift that you will like to buy for him/her. If you are not very sure at this point, have a few potential items listed so that you at least have something in mind when you are in the mall.
  3. Start a budget – For each gift, estimate how much you would spend on that gift. Total the prices for all the gifts you have listed and that’ll be your budget. If you have a few possible items listed for one person, use the price of the most expensive item to calculating the budget. You want to make sure you are prepared for the worst case scenario. Take a look at the total. Is this budget affordable? If not, you may have to review step 2 and 3 until you have a final budget that you are comfortable with.
  4. Do online research – A good way to check if your budget is realistic is to do some online research before you actually head down to the mall. Not only is this a good way to gather gift ideas and market rates, it also saves you time and energy you would waste going to the crowded mall simply for research purpose. Here are some great sites to start you off:
  5. Do your shopping – Here’s where the real action starts. Get down to the shopping mall or go to online stores to do your shopping. Retailers like to run promotions during the Christmas season to encourage us to spend more. At the malls, be prepared to be tempted by irresistible offers and promotions. Having the shopping list and budget in hand will certainly help you stay focused. You are less likely to get distracted into opportunistic shopping which will leave you skint.
  6. Review actual spending against budget – For each actual purchase that you make, update your budget with the actual money spent. If you have burst your budget on some items, then you’ll have to lower the spending on other items to make up for the differences. Likewise, if you make some savings on certain items, then you’ll have more slack to play with on other items. Keep doing this for the entire shopping list and you will be able to constantly track your actual spending against your budget. This is vitally important to help you keep within your shopping budget.
It does take some time and effort to plan your Christmas shopping. However, the effort will allow you to shop with focus and saves you time and money later on. There will not be any nasty surprises when the January bill comes in as you know exactly how much you have spent. I hope our guests and other readers will find this blog post useful. 
Happy saving!