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Life Lately – Exploring London – Food, Drink & Events

February 11, 2018

Here’s a round up of what I got up to in January featuring restaurants and blogger events:

Rucoletta 

Sam and I visited this cosy Italian restaurant near St Paul’s Cathedral because we bought a Groupon voucher for a three course set meal for 2 people for £20 – such a bargain!

I’d definitely recommend this restaurant, the waiters are welcoming and friendly. The Strozzapreti pasta dish was incredible, it comes with pancetta, tomatoes and chilli so it has a bit of a kick to it, but it’s not too spicy. I also really liked the Bruschetta and the Tiramisu.

Location: 6 Foster Ln, London EC2V 6HH

Cocktails at the First Dates Restaurant – Paternoster Chop House

After our dinner at Rucoletta we walked over to the Paternoster Chop House which is where First Dates is filmed. It was pretty busy when we arrived around 9pm so we didn’t manage to get a seat, but we ordered some cocktails at the bar. I went for a Sloe Gin cocktail and Sam had a Pornstar Martini which was delicious. The restaurant didn’t look the same as it does in the show, it looked a lot smaller and darker but was still a nice place to go for drinks.

Location: 1, Warwick Court, Paternoster Row, London EC4M 7DX

Pago Strawberry Juice

Pago provide premium fruit juice, Pago was created in Austria and now provide juice all over Europe. I’ve been trying out their Strawberry Juice,  it’s a flavour I don’t see that often in the UK but would love to see more of.

I like the glass bottle it comes in and think its the perfect size to fit in a lunchbox. The fruit juice tasted fresher than other fruit juices I’ve tried, it was also sweet but not overly so. It did taste of berries but not that strongly of Strawberries. The only other Strawberry Juice I’ve tried was at a restaurant in Budapest and this tasted more of Strawberries but it probably had lots of added sugar in it. Overall I like the juice and I’m keen to try out their other flavours.

Some of the others flavours they have are Rhubarb & Pear, Cloudy Cherry, Multivitamin Tropical and Pink Grapefruit.

I haven’t tried it in any cocktails yet but think this would be great in a Bellini!

Very Valentines Event

At the end of January I attended Very Valentines Day Event, it was a fun evening showcasing lots of new lingerie launches. The event had a DJ, canapés and drinks. They also had a Pic ‘N’ Mix for beauty products which was amazing, I got to pick up a new foundation by Max Factor and a Bourjois blush and lipstick. They had brands there such as Boux Avenue, Ann Summers and Wonderbra, I also got a fab goody bag from Freya with a black babydoll camisole.

London Blogging Event

This was London Blogging Events first ever event and it was founded by bloggers Ana De Jesus and Giulia Smith.

I love attending blogging events, its such a good way to meet new bloggers and brands. Brands such as Urban Veda, Debaere, The Turmeric Co and Flame-Lily. Throughout the day they had masterclasses such as “How to approach brands” and “How to become a full time blogger” I always find going to talks very inspiring, its such a good way to learn some new tips and tricks.

Everyone who attended got a goody bag with their name on and a personalised cupcake which was a really nice touch.

Keep up to date with London Blogging Events on Twitter

Here is what else I got up to in January:

Alcotraz Prison Themed Cocktail Bar

Brunch at the Piano Works London

Breakin Escape Rooms

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London UK

Faulty Towers Dining Experience

February 10, 2018

Fawlty Towers is an iconic British comedy, it was broadcast on BBC Two in 1975 and 1979 and only ran for two series but it still managed to leave a lasting impression on viewers. The plot centres on an angry Hotel owner Basil Fawlty, his bossy wife Sybil and a useless Spanish waiter with little knowledge of English.

The show

The show started at 7.30 but we arrived around 7 and went to the bar first. We then entered the reception area at 7.30 where Manuel, Basil and his wife joined us.

Immediately Basil started giving Manuel orders which he didn’t understand, which happened throughout most the evening. He was told to pass the nuts around and started throwing them around the room.

Then main show takes place in the dining room and you are given a table number, you will be seated with around 9 or 10 other people.

The show was really funny, there was so many comic moments. They use a mix of classic routines similar to the show and improvisations, getting members of the audience involved in the show. Manuel was my favourite, at one point he stood on a table and started singing.

There were some parts of the evening were there wasn’t much going on, so people were just chatting amongst their tables. However most of the evening was full of chaotic slapstick comedy and if your a Fawlty Towers fan then you should definitely book tickets!

The food

The main part of the experience is the show but the food wasn’t bad. To start we had soup, for main chicken and potato and then cheesecake to finish. The vegetarians were served risotto.

Location

9-13, Radisson Blu Hotel, Bloomsbury St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3QD

Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road

Purchase your London tickets here

The show is run in other locations around the UK and Australia

*Thanks to Love Pop Ups London & Faulty Towers Dining Experience for inviting me*

London

Hassle free renting in London with Fizzy Living

February 7, 2018

Ask anyone at Fizzy Living what they aim to do and their answer is simple – they want to reinvent renting. Fizzy offers rental accommodation in London to what are now called ‘rentysomethings’ – young professionals not ready to buy a house but looking to rent somewhere quality for the longer-term.

I was shown around some Fizzy flats at Walthamstow and what struck me was the balance Fizzy had achieved between homeliness and modernity. The rooms I viewed were pleasantly spacious, with good-sized lounge, kitchen, bathroom and balcony areas.

What also makes Fizzy great for me is that the majority of their flats are also pet-friendly (unlike most landlords I’ve encountered, sadly!); dogs, cats and goldfish happily cohabit with humans and there are well-stocked pet stations in the reception offering treats and grooming equipment.

Renting here is fundamentally about being part of a community. All Fizzy’s buildings have communal areas to hang out in, ranging from gardens to 15-storey roof terraces. I’ve found that moving to London can be quite lonely for some people, so having a landlord like Fizzy actively encouraging you to get to know your neighbours by hosting parties, yoga classes and football tournaments (rather than just doing as little as possible) is really refreshing.

What’s provided?

  • Free broadband with upgrade options
  • Annual spring clean and maintenance check on all fixtures and fittings
  • Parking spaces available for rent in some Fizzy buildings
  • 24/7 emergency repairs hotline
  • In-house Repairs Team
  • Online portal to manage payments and report repairs
  • Pet-friendly Landlord
  • On site dry cleaning and laundry service
  • Reception area where you can hang out and meet other residents
  • 3 year tenancy with 6 month break clause
  • Welcome pack with a bottle of fizz and other goodies
  • All buildings have a ‘Bob’ which is your on site manager to deal with any issues
  • Bob will also be there to sign for and deliver parcels to you
  • Most flats come with a Private Balcony, Lounge, Kitchen, Bedroom and Storage area
  • Resident Events so you can get to know your neighbours, including parties, communal sports and pet-friendly socials

The rooms

Fizzy are a pretty flexible bunch. You can either choose an unfurnished room or a fully furnished version which comes with everything you need; I was impressed with the quality of furniture and interiors in these flats. They had made a lot of effort with all the details and used a range of local suppliers. All the photos below were taken at the Walthamstow flats.

Unlike many landlords, Fizzy offer six month leases for those who might want to remain mobile. Interesting, though, the average tenant stays with Fizzy for well over a year – above the London average.

Bedroom

Kitchen & Lounge 

Unfurnished room 
Reception area

Locations

All flats are located within a 5 minute walk from a station and are close to supermarkets and other local amenities.

Canning Town

Public transport: 5 minute walk from Canning Town station, making it an ideal location for professionals working in the City, Canary Wharf and West London.

The 15 storey building has a huge selection of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats, all with private balconies offering amazing views of London’s skyline.

Epsom

Public transport: Directly next to Epsom train station

Offering a selection of 1 and 2 bed flats in Epsom, this area is home to lots of beautiful countryside and has easy transport links across the South East and London.

Hayes – coming soon

Public transport: 3 minutes from Hayes & Harlington train station for Crossrail and direct trains to London Paddington

A selection of brand new 1 or 2 bedroom flats, and 3 bedroom townhouses. With great communal spaces including the resident’s party room, a podium garden deck and a private rooftop terrace.

Lewisham

Public transport: DLR, National rail and bus routes on your doorstep, easily connected to London Bridge, Waterloo, Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

136 flats for rent across two Fizzy buildings, both with a private roof-top terrace with fantastic views of London. The area is only going to get better thanks to Lewisham Gateway, a large regeneration scheme bringing new shops, restaurants and leisure facilities to the area.

Poplar

Public transport: Less than a 10 minute walk from All Saints and Poplar DLR stations and 15 minutes from Canary Wharf. Making it easily accessible to the City of London and surrounding areas.

1, 2 or 3 bedroom flats with access to your own private terrace or balcony. They even have a complimentary onsite gym.

Stepney Green

Public transport: 5 minute walk from Stepney Green tube station

With a selection of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats which include under floor heating and private balconies with views over the City and Canary wharf.

Walthamstow

Public transport: 3 minute walk from Blackhorse road station

A selection of brand new 1, 2 and 3 bed flats for rent, with 4 penthouses on the top two floors and a communal garden.

How to arrange a viewing

If you’re looking for a professional, friendly and reliable landlord with a great range of services available then arrange a viewing today!

If you don’t have time for viewings or live abroad then you can arrange to view the flat “virtually” via Skype or Facetime. Click here to arrange a viewing.

Visit https://www.fizzyliving.com to find out more

Fizzy Living London 2 weeks free rent voucher

Food London

Bottomless Brunch at Piano Works London

February 3, 2018

Piano Works Brunch

On Sunday Sam and I headed to Piano Works in Farringdon for a fun afternoon of brunch, unlimited Prosecco and live music.


Drinks

You can choose bottomless Prosecco or Bloody Mary’s which you’ll get for 2 hours with your brunch. For Saturday’s this costs £20 and on Sundays it’s only £15. They also have a range of cocktails to choose from and some soft drinks and mocktails.


Piano Works Brunch

The menu has some unique dishes such as the Bombay omelette with onion, spinach, cumin and curry powder served with a mini naan. Another dish being the love me or hate me eggs Benedict with poached eggs, bacon and Marmite on an English muffin.

I played it safe and went for the eggs Florentine and ordered some bacon on the side, this was nice and the eggs were cooked well. It isn’t the best egg dish I’ve had but it was still nice and was reasonably priced at £8.50. Bacon and other extras such as toast, smashed avocado and sausage cost £1.50 extra.

Sam went for the full English it came with pork sausages which were delicious! It also had a mixture of onion, potato and bacon which was pretty tasty too.

Just to let you know they will try and take out anything that you don’t want in your meal but don’t offer swaps for different foods.

Pudding

Normally I don’t have puddings for brunch but who can say no to pancakes, they are a brunch staple. The pancakes were nice, they were topped with some berries and ice cream. But our favourite pudding was the chocolate roulade topped with cream, it was delicious!

Live music

Not only do you get brunch and bottomless Prosecco but you also get live music! The singers were incredible, at 12pm two singers with pianos performed. At around 1-1.30pm the whole band came out to perform.

On your table are napkins where you can request songs that you’d like the band to play. Just fill these in and place them on the lamp on your table. Your waiter will collect them and give them to the band.

Top tips: If you don’t like loud music go to the 12pm brunch session as it starts out quieter (it’s still fairly loud) for the first hour. Also if you want a song played add a tip as it’s more likely to get played first.

Overall thoughts

We had a really fun afternoon and I’d love to go back especially in the evening for drinks with a big group of friends. The brunch wasn’t the best that I’ve had but the live music and bottomless Prosecco definitely makes up for this. The food and bottomless drinks are very reasonably priced too.

Nearest tube 

113-117 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3BX
Farringdon

Brunch is available at weekends from 12-4pm – make sure you book in advance as it get’s busy!

*Thanks to Love London Pop Ups & Piano Works for inviting me*

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Days Out London

Breakin Escape Rooms London – Butcher’s Lair

January 23, 2018

Breakin Escape Rooms London

I’d wanted to try an escape room for ages so when the opportunity came up to visit one I immediately said yes. Last Tuesday after work I went to the Breakin Escape Rooms with 5 other bloggers.
 Breakin Escape Rooms London - Enjoy the Adventure
We arrived 15 minutes before it started as advised on the website, upon arrival we were taken to the waiting area where they had lockers to store your belongings in. There were also a few other groups waiting as they have different rooms available. Our group was in the Butcher’s Lair room which is perfect for any Horror movie fans. The room is based on a fictional serial killer Dr Vladimir Knifesblade. The other rooms include Blackwing’s Cave, Sherlock’s Despair, The Flying Dutchman, War on Horizon Alpha, and Heist Plan. I’m really keen to try out the Sherlock room at some point. All of the rooms are ideal for groups of 3-6 people. Find out more about them here, you can also see what difficulty level they are.
The guy working there then explained a bit more about what we were about to do. Each group was given one walkie talkie. He let us know that we had an hour to escape and can ask for clues and on average groups ask for 5 clues. We were also told to be careful with the props in the room and not to break stuff.
Entering Butcher’s Lair reminded me a bit of the movie Saw, there was blood splattered across the room and lots of severed limbs. I won’t tell you too much more about the room as I don’t want to give any clues away about how to escape.

Did we get out in time?

We didn’t make it out within the hour, but we were given a clue at the end and managed to get out. So we did make it out, just 5 minutes too late. The other girls that I was with had done a few other escape rooms before and said this one was a lot harder than others they’d done.

Overall thoughts 

I really enjoyed this experience, it very cleverly done. Some of the clues were easier than others. Near the end it got a lot harder, I’d be surprised if people managed to do it without asking for clues. One thing I would have liked was to find out a bit more about the story behind the room either in the waiting room or when we entered.
Overall I had a brilliant evening and I’m now really keen to try out some other escape rooms!
Escape rooms are great places to go with friends, groups or for team building activities with work.

Breakin Escape Rooms London - Enjoy the Adventure
Address:

Breakin escape rooms

Holloway road

London
 
Nearest tube: Highbury & Islington 
Looking for more things to do in London check out my other posts here
*Thanks to Love London Pop Ups & Breakin Escape rooms for this experience*
London

Alcotraz Prison Theme Cocktail Bar London

January 19, 2018

Alcotraz London 

Last Friday a group of bloggers and I spent the evening at the Alcotraz bar in Brick Lane. It’s an immersive experience based on the famous prison Alcatraz in San Francisco. It originally started out as a pop up in September 2017 but has now become a permanent venue.

The bar

Upon arrival you are ordered to put on an orange jumpsuit with individual prison numbers on them. You meet the guards and a priest then you are put into a cell, each cell holds up to 6 cell mates. The entire venue holds up to 40 people and some people didn’t get put in a cell they were seated at the bar area.

Alcotraz Prison Theme Cocktail Bar London The prisoners (mixologists) then come over to get your alcohol, they then go to the bar to make your group a cocktail with this. You get four rounds of drinks throughout the evening, our group managed to smuggle in vodka, gin and whisky. Each cocktail tasted really good my favourite one was the passion fruit daiquiri.

Alcotraz Prison Theme Cocktail Bar London

During the evening the guards will check your cells for contraband. We were summoned over to the wall and were told that we had to improve our behaviour. If we didn’t improve Mr Freeman the priest said he’d get the Lord involved. The guards and Mr Freeman were really funny throughout the evening and made this experience enjoyable. Each sentence at Alcotraz lasts 1hr 45 minutes and the time went really fast as we were having so much fun.

Alcotraz Prison Theme Cocktail Bar LondonI’d recommend going, although it costs £33 each and you have to bring your own alcohol so it is fairly pricey but it’s such a fun and unique thing to do. It’s best to bring a base spirit with you such as vodka, gin, rum or whisky. They recommend bringing a 70cl bottle to share between 2 people.

Alcotraz Prison Theme Cocktail Bar London

Find out more about Alcotraz here

Alcotraz Prison Theme Cocktail Bar London

Address

Alcotraz Penitentiary

212 Brick Ln, London E1 6SA

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*Thanks to Alcotraz and Love London Pop Ups for organising this*