Category Archives: London

Things To Do – May

May

With work being super busy with travelling, I won’t be in the City that much for the next month but I’ve managed to find a few things that I want to try cram into my free time.

Shaun in the City: I’ve been trying to walk home some nights after work, either all the way or at least some of the way and I’ve come across several differently designed ‘Shaun the Sheep’s’ which looks really cool. There are 50 sculptures across London to find. You can even download an app (costing £1.49) to help you find all the sculptures which makes it really interactive. This makes this a perfect day to spend in London following the trails and seeing some sights at the same time. And it’s all for a good cause as the Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity is a national charity raising funds to improve the lives of sick children in hospitals across the UK. All of the sculptures will be auctioned off later in the year to raise even more money.

London Transport Museum Friday Lates: I’m not the most cultured person in the world and whilst I like going to the odd museum, I’m not in one every other week. But when you add entertainment, drinks and most importantly food, my interest rises through the roof for it. Lots of museums in London tend to have later opening times mostly on Friday’s and put something extra on. I really want to go to the London Transport Museum where they have film screenings, quizzes and music. Tickets are £12 each. More info here.

Outdoor Sport: I’ve spoken about this before but I am really getting into more exercise over the past couple of weeks. Something that I’m really keen to get into even though I am shocking is to play more tennis. There are a couple of parks near me that have tennis courts and it’s really simple to book a court, just choose the hour you want, no need to be part of a club so it’s super easy. Tennis rackets will be going on my birthday list! I found a useful website here that will help you find local tennis courts:

Outdoor Bars: As we look forward to the summer months, I think London changes and its nice to sit out and look over some spectacular views with a pimms of course. Timeout have done a great top list of the best places to go found here. The addition I would make is the Searcys One New Change which is near to Bank Underground where you can get a view of the Shard and St Pauls Cathedral.

Have a good May!

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Hotel Etiquette with Work

Hotel Etiquette

Within my placement, I’ve been spending a lot of time travelling around the UK. One course meant that I spent a week in Manchester with two other grads. Whilst I was there, there were certain things I learnt about hotel etiquette!

Balanced Breakfasts: The buffet breakfast was pretty overwhelming in our hotel, fruit salad, cereal, danish pastries, cooke breakfast and the opportunity to order poached eggs on toast! I had breakfast in the hotel for 4 days, I started off with the full english with a sausage sandwich. Amazing food! But let me tell you, by the end of the week, I was feeling pretty unhealthy and all stodgy so remember to keep it balanced!

Inventive lunches: Now I know I’m talking about food again here but it is so important… Given that we had to eat out everyday for lunch, I wanted to go a bit further than the £3 meal deal at Sainsbury’s. I got quite inventive with Moroccan cous cous with added chicken, freshly baked bread with mini hummus pots and a mini quiche with a prepared salad pot. Not a stale sandwich in sight!

Take Advantage of all the Facilities! There was a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and a gym but I didn’t spend much time in the gym. I managed to go for a swim everyday after the training course before we all met for dinner which meant I at least attempted to balance out all those sausage sandwiches…

Mingle: There was a large group of 16 people on the course and I was already friends with three of them. We all went out for dinner together each evening so make sure you make an effort to sit next to different people each night so that by the end of the week you are one big group and not lots of little groups that don’t talk to each other!

Lines that don’t cross: During the week, we spent a lot of the time all together which means you become very close. But under no circumstance does this ever mean it’s a good idea to hall creep into your colleagues bedroom! Just never!

All of this seems pretty simple but thought I would just line them out anyway. Enjoy your time away if you go away with work. Make the most of it!

Just Alice – Film Review

Just Alice

This week I went and watched Just Alice at my work’s film club. It’s amazing, it’s only £2 and you get free snacks and wine, a much better deal than any London cinema. *Don’t worry – no spoilers*

Just Alice tells the story of a intelligent professor and Mum who finds that she has early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Undoubtedly, its a subtle film following Alice as she deteriorates over her life time and how her relationship between her and her family changes. Alice is played by Julianne Moore who I thought was excellent, the irony of Alice being a linguistics professor juxtaposed with her now discovering forgetting words is really gripping. And whilst there are some points that really open your heart and sad, I feel that it could have delved into the emotion and heartache of the relationships between Alice and her family. Also, it ended when I was totally unexpecting it, in a bad way. It didn’t feel finished, you didn’t see the despair with the family, it just sort of ended.

I would call this film average, despite some strong moments within the film that nearly bring you to tears, it doesn’t grab you as much as it could have. I felt like it had a lot of potential but wasn’t used. It really was ‘just’ average.

Things to Do – January

January

It seems the new year came around so quickly that I completely forgot to scour the world wide web to find the best things to do in London in this sometimes dismal month! Appropriately, this month, I’ve tried to find the best things to do that can help us all keep up those cliche new years resolutions.

I want to eat healthier“: Whenever I focus on being healthy, I’ll go out to the supermarket and stuff my fridge shelves with a multi colour set of vegetables. However, when I go out for dinner and I try to go out for dinner A LOT (my excuse is that there are too many restaurants to get round in London) the whole healthy meals goes straight out the window. It’s just too difficult in restaurants. So that’s when I tried to find some healthy-ier restaurants in London. And I’ve found this, first of all it’s got natural in the title which sounds goo and the dishes look pretty too. Now I know natural doesn’t necessarily mean healthy but at least they sound healthy. That counts right?

I want to get fit“: One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given and I could give to others with exercise is to battle it together! It makes it less of a bore and actually a fun activity! Then you can go celebrate together once you’ve achieved your goal! One of the other things that bugs me about exercise is the number of expensive exercise classes. Mainly due to the fact that it’s just another reason to put it off! I think it’s a well known thing but there are several free 5km park runs organised all over London. I believe the majority of them are on Saturdays at 9am which makes a perfect start to your weekend! Click here to find you’re nearest run! It’s also a great way to meet new people near where you live. Who knows… it may not just be something to do in January.

I want to save more money“: Out of all of my friends, I definitely feel the pinch in London all year around, not just after the big Christmas spending session. I’ve even missed the post Christmas sales this year. But in London, when you want to do stuff, it’s hard to do much without emptying your purse every 5 damn minutes. So I’ve had a look through the free events throughout the month of January and my top pick is this, it’s free entry to an evenings of Blue’s music at the Silver Bullet (near Finsbury Park underground station). People are welcome to come jam or alternatively to sit and soak up the music. I’ll most definitely be doing the latter.

I want to do Dry January“: Now I’m not the biggest drinker in the world so this applies less to me but several of my friends commit to not drinking any alcohol in January. With the option of pubbing it up one evening out the window, instead of going for a drink in the evening, why not go out for pudding instead? Secretly, its something that I’ve been doing for years. Pudding is so much better than main meals and sometimes better than a glass of wine in my opinion. Pudding not pubbing if you will? And I reckon this place is a winner being appropriately named, ‘The Pudding Bar’. I will definitely be checking this out this month. The only thing being, perhaps this isn’t the best idea if your other resolution is to eat healthier. Pickers can’t be choosers!

I want to learn something new“: Well then, its back to school and get studying those books. I joke, but visiting the British Library wouldn’t go a miss. It’s one of those places that you have to visit at least once while you live in London. So this gives you the perfect excuse, now go get lost in exhibits, books, and poetry readings.

Enjoy January

Lights at Christmas – Picture Overload

This week, I thought I would keep the word count short and focus on all of the pretty pictures I’ve taken over the past week which also included visiting the Enchanted Woodland in Syon Park. photo 1 photo 2 photo 4

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3   photo 3 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

November LondonEach month, I scour the web to find the best and most unique things to spend your free weekends doing in the big smoke! This month – bonfire night is the highlight along with some foodie related places as always.

1. Bonfire Night: I love the 5th November, the idea of getting dressed up warm in the crisp Autumn air! Think hats, scarves, gloves, holding the biggest cup of hot chocolate in one hand and a sparkler in another! I always have fond memories of bonfire night, it always seems to be a good night with friends. To find a fireworks display near you, visit here.

2. Seas of Red: If you haven’t seen this already then it’s a must. The major art installation ‘Seas of Red‘ is showing at the Tower of London to mark one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. It is so stunning that I plan on visiting it for a second time round. But hurry – it ends on the 11th November. For more information, click here.

3.  BBC Good Food Show: I don’t think a month will ever go by without some sort of food related thing to do in London. The BBC Good Food Show is being held at Olympia London (High Street Kensington is the closest tube) from the 14th to 16th November. Expect ‘eyes bigger than your stomach’ amounts of food and drink, demonstrations from Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as well as a ‘Bakes and Cakes Village’. What isn’t to love! To buy tickets, click here.

4. The Crown Tavern in Clerkenwell, London: I visited this pub restaurant last week with work and I was wowed by the decor and the interior features. It was just such a cool place to sit and have a drink and gave such a relaxed atmosphere. I didn’t even get a chance to try the food but I would definitely go there again! Find out more here.

5. Vauxhall Christmas Tree Maze: I really wanted to leave anything Christmas related until December but when I found this, I could not wait. Imagine a gigantic maze made out of Christmas trees crammed with fairy lights on an autumn evening! There’s even an outdoor ice rink, food stalls and a craft market! Who knows how many hours of entertainment this could provide, for me and my maze cracking skills, probably all weekend! For more information, click here.