A Lazy Sunday at St. Katherine’s Docks

They say a Sunday well-spent brings a week of content. The last three weeks, Ciaran and I have been to one wedding after another after another and our Sundays have consisted of napping and watching movies on the couch all day. Yesterday was beautiful. The sun was shining and it was warm out. Summer has finally graced us with its presence and we decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and headed out for lunch at St. Katherine’s Docks near Tower Bridge.

st katherine's docksWe hopped on the train and headed over to Tower Bridge and took a lovely walk along the Thames. It felt good to get out and get some fresh air and revisit an area of London that we both used to go to quite often.

_R015103We walked over the bridge, which has some fantastic views of London, including the Tower of London, the Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie building. I find it fascinating that the Tower of London dates back to 1078, yet it’s surrounded by a plethora of modern buildings. An aspect that I love about London is that although it is ever-evolving and new buildings are cropping up all the time, they have done a marvellous job at preserving the historical sites for everyone to continue to enjoy.

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_R015137We made it over to St. Katherine’s Docks, which is a quiet oasis of restaurants, cafes, gorgeous boats and residences, all tucked behind Tower Bridge. Not many tourists know about this hidden gem, which makes it an ideal destination to escape to for a quiet dinner or lunch. There are a range of restaurants around the Docks including the the usual chain restaurants such as Strada, Slug & Lettuce, Ping Pong and Cafe Rouge. However, we love going to the Dickens Inn, a super cute pub that we first went to a couple years ago.

_R015106The Dickens Inn was an original warehouse building in the 18th Century that is believed to have been used for tea or to have been owned by a local brewery. They say that during its early years as a pub, it used to have a sawdust floor and diners used to have candlelight meals on the balcony. Charles Dickens’s grandson formally re-opened the Inn in 1976 and said that his Great Grandfather would have loved it. Pretty cool, right?

Today, the Dickens Inn is home to the Tavern Bar, a Grill and a Pizzeria and I must say that it’s prime location right by the water, coupled with its awesome al-fresco dining balconies and beer garden, make this charming pub the ideal spot for a lazy Sunday with drinks and bar food.

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_R015126We chose to eat on the first floor in the pizzeria, which features some of the largest pizzas we’ve both ever seen. The decor upstairs is warm and rustic, with exposed brick and wood beams. It feels very relaxed throughout the entire restaurant and they have ample outdoor seating up there.

_R015113We ordered a couple of beers, a charcuterie board and a meat-lovers pizza to share.

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_R015119We slowly tucked into our food (which was much needed after a super fun wedding the night before), sipped our beers and enjoyed the sunshine. It was a lazy Sunday, but at least we got out of the flat and got to relax outside.

_R015128And the view from up top is lovely! The Dickens Inn is an ideal spot to go for drinks and a bite to eat. The Tavern Bar downstairs is also awesome to watch football matches and to catch up with a big group of friends. It’s such a lovely spot in Central London that is both beautiful and serene. We definitely recommend walking over when the sun is out and grab lunch at any of the restaurants where you can sit outside. It was certainly a Sunday well-spent for us!

The Dickens Inn | Marble Quay | St Katharine Docks | St Katharine’s Way | London | E1W 1UH | Book Now 

The Côtes du Rhône Touch Exhibition

Last night, Ciaran and I headed over to the Côtes du Rhône Wines summer festival of art, food and drink in the heart of King’s Cross. It was a beautiful summer evening and the King’s Cross area was alive with music and people eating and drinking outside, making for a really fun vibe. When we got to the festival, we were certainly in for a lovely wine surprise.

cote du rhonesThe Rhône Touch is an immersive wine-inspired art exhibition, where we had the chance to sample more than 60 red, white and rosés from the Rhône region in France as well as gaze at some incredibly impressive works of art created by the students from UAL.

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_R015005Everybody mingled and compared tasting notes of the wines that we had been sampling. I tried this exceptional red wine called SM,NM, based on wine expert, Douglas Bylde’s, advice. It is made with grapes from the North and South of the Meridian. It’s 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache. Grenache is an unlikely hero of grape and until recently it had been ignored by much of the world. It’s the grape that is responsible for many celebrated reds and is grown in the South of France. The combination of Syrah and Grenache make the SM & NM wine one of the best and unique in the in the Côtes Du Rhône arsenal. If you come across it, I highly recommend buying a bottle as it has medium body and it very delicious to drink. I love coming to events like this as you can discover some brand new wines you would have never thought to try! Anyways, on to the very interesting wine art.

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_R014973This piece of art was very special in that when you hovered your hand over the bottles, each produced the sound of a popping cork that came through the speaker. Everybody was having fun trying to create a tune out of hovering over the bottles.

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_R014933This piece of art was by far my favourite. You placed your wine glass on a sensor, which swirled your glass around (as you would after pouring a glass of wine) and as the glass spun, the lanterns changed colour to reflect the colours of your wine. It was incredible and super innovative. What’s even more interesting is that the artist said he had created it all in less than two months! He laser cut the box out of plywood and had to wire the lanterns together for it to all work. There is some serious talent there. I think something as innovative as this could be seen in a major art gallery one day – it was definitely a sight to see!

_R014958One student had recreated stomping on grapes in a vineyard with silicone balls that lit up as you stepped on them, which was quite interesting. I’d love to do traditional grape stomping at a vineyard one day!

All of the wine-inspired art was really spectacular and the students had to submit their ideas to Côtes du Rhône, who then chose a handful of the best submissions to exhibit. They were challenged to bring to life the unique aspects of the Rhône region’s high quality and enjoyable wine in an immersive way. I am no expert in the world of art, however, I did think there was some genuine talent there and I really enjoyed experiencing all of it. If you love wine, then you’ll love this exhibition.

Some delicious tasting dishes were floating around the room as we came out of the exhibition, made by award-winning British chef, Adam Rawson, who previously worked at Pachamama, White Rabbit and burger bar Lucky Chip.

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_R015011The stars that stole the show were these delicious 60 day aged beef txulton burger sliders. They were so juicy, tender and full of flavour, everybody was running outside to grab one. Topped with crunchy onions and cheese, nobody could get enough of how amazing they tasted. We grabbed three and enjoyed them outside in the sun before finishing our wine and heading on home.

_R014999It’s not often that fantastic wine, great food and immersive art all come together in one space, and if you are a fan of all three, then I highly recommend checking out the Rhône Touch Event, which is taking place in the Platform Theatre Foyer and Bar until the 31st of July. It’s the ideal event to enjoy a glass of wine, sample some new ones and immerse yourself in some incredible works of art. It’s definitely one of the more unique events in the capital at the moment, so head on down and check it out for yourself over the next couple weeks!

Platform Theatre Foyer and Bar, UAL | Central Saint Martins| Handyside Street | King’s Cross | London | N1C 4AA | Tickets 

 

The Wimbledon Time Portal with Stella Artois

Stella Artois Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and it’s no surprise that it is one of the most anticipated events in England each summer. Having lived over here now for nearly two years, I’ve become more and more into the tournament and although we didn’t get to go this year we are definitely going to get tickets to experience it next year. I have a lot of friends who absolutely LOVE Wimbledon and are lucky enough to attend every year and for those of you with an affinity for the event – Stella Artois has teamed up with Wimbledon to send you back in time to the first-ever Wimbledon match in 1877!

The event takes place this week from the 7th – 10th July at MC Motors in Dalston, where a time portal will be awaiting you. You’ll be able to step into the time portal and travel back in time to Victorian London, where your mission is to find your way to the famed tennis tournament with the help of Her Majesty the Queen and a host of quirky Victorian friends, of course. A barman will be on hand to top you up with a Stella Artois, which was also brought to London in 1877, whilst on your sojourn adventure through time. Once you’re ready to head back to the future, the main bar will be screening Wimbledon 2016 so you can see how far the world’s biggest tennis tourney has come since the beginning!

Olivier nominated theatre troupe Les Enfantes Terribles will be performing and it will definitely be an immersive event not to be missed by Wimbledon’s most discerning admirers!

So go on then, give this immersive experience a go – what could be better than traveling back in time and seeing Wimbledon and Stella Artois when they were still little knowns in the world? Tickets are just £13.50 and includes two complimentary libations. Book now by clicking this link here.

Are you ready to step back in time to 1877? 

Aladdin The Musical

Aladdin was my favourite Disney film growing up. When I was four years old, I had an Aladdin-themed room, blue Jasmine pyjamas, gold Jasmine shoes, and I even had an Aladdin-themed birthday, cake and all. It’s safe to say that I was obsessed with the movie and was absolutely thrilled when I found out the cartoon was going to come alive on stage in London’s West End! We snapped up tickets to the pre-opening week at the beginning of June and I was so excited to see it I could hardly wait. What we saw, exceeded any previously conceived notions and it was such a special experience that brought me back to my Jasmine-pyjama wearing days.

Aladdin_Prince Edward Theatre. Photographer Deen van Meer. © Disney (2)Aladdin the Musical took place at the Prince Edward Theatre in Soho. We took our seats in the beautiful Victorian theatre and I was grinning from ear to ear as soon as the show started. The opening scenes were outstanding and re-created the chase scene from the original cartoon so well in the market place in Agrabar so well. I loved how they used the same soundtrack as the film, with some original songs thrown in as well.

Aladdin Prince Edward Theatre Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin) Photographer Deen van Meer © DisneyOne of my favourite scenes was when Aladdin is in the Cave of Wonders to find the lamp. The set design was astonishing, with intricate gold structures and beading. I had never seen such a grand scene before in a musical. It was a spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed! The best part was yet to come though…

Aladdin Prince Edward Theatre Trevor Dion Nicholas (Genie) Photographer Deen van Meer © DisneyTrevor Dion Nicholas, who they brought over from the Broadway show in NYC, was absolutely fantastic as Genie. He brought the show to life and added a lot of humour to every scene he was in. The “Friend Like Me” scene was extravagant, magnificent and he was show-stoppingly fabulous. Multiple outfit changes, incredible singing and dancing made for a jaw-dropping sequence that ended in an well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd. There was so much personality, passion and enthusiasm that he brought to the show and I hope he wins an award for his outstanding performance.

Aladdin_Prince Edward Theatre_Jade Ewen (Jasmine) and company_Photographer Deen van Meer. © Disney

Aladdin Prince Edward Theatre Jade Ewen (Jasmine) Photographer Deen van Meer © DisneyJasmine, played by Jade Ewen, was beautiful and I personally thought sh was such a great fit to play the princess. She looked just like Jasmine and sounded exactly as she did in the film. She and Aladdin had great chemistry and worked so well as a couple throughout the film.

Aladdin Prince Edward Theatre Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin) and Jade Ewen (Jasmine) Photographer Deen van Meer © Disney

Now, I am going to be very corny and say that hearing “A Whole New World” brought to life on stage, was a dream come true for me. I have nothing more to say, other than I loved every single second of the scene and sang along with the cast. The production team did such a great job at bringing the magic carpet to life as Aladdin and Jasmine soared through the stage.

Aladdin Prince Edward Theatre Photographer Deen van Meer © Disney 3All of the costumes were vibrant and sparkly and I loved that bright colours were used throughout the entire show. The flowing material looked stunning whilst the cast were dancing on stage. I must also note that Jafar and Lago were an incredible duo, both sinister and hilarious. The two characters rounded out what was an all around fantastic show. The only two characters that I missed were Abu and Raja the Tiger, but the producers did a great job and incorporating other characters to make up for them.

Aladdin Prince Edward Theatre Jade Ewen (Jasmine) and Dean John-Wilson (Aladdin) Photographer Deen van Meer © Disney 2Between the costumes, the singing, dancing, magnificent set design, Genie’s outstanding performance and having the chance to see my childhood favourite movie come to live on screen, it was such a special experience and one I won’t soon forget! If you get the chance to see Aladdin, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s perfect for all ages and would be a really fun date night as well. Jump on the bandwagon and buy your tickets before they all go! The show is on until February 2017, so book your tickets before it’s too late! It’s a show worth seeing in the West End.

Here’s a little teaser of what you can expect!

Aladdin the Musical | Prince Edward Theatre | 28 Old Compton St | London | W1D 4HS | Tickets 

PS – you can listen to the soundtrack from the musical on Spotify! (It’s been on repeat for me).

A Royal Day Out at Ascot

Royal Ascot is Britain’s most revered annual horse race that attracts some of the world’s best race horses to compete for more than £6.58 million in prize money. It dates back to 1711, when Queen Anne saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot and a few months later, the first-ever horse race was held in August. Over the past 300 years since it’s inception, Royal Ascot has become a national institution and one of the most esteemed summer events to attend. I was absolutely thrilled when I was invited to go and couldn’t wait to experience one of the most anticipated events of the season.

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I must note, that a part of Royal Ascot that I loved the most, was the preparation before hand. There is a strict dress code and all ladies must wear hats, dresses wth 1 inch thick straps and must fall at the knee or below. As an American, the hats are by far, the most exciting part! Occasion hats aren’t typically a huge part of our culture, but over here in the UK, they are worn to several events and weddings and I love how unique each one is. The only event Americans typically wear occasion hats to is the Kentucky Derby, which in my mind, is the US’s version of Ascot.

I had the pleasure of attending Royal Ascot with my lovely dear friend Lauren and we had a blast sorting out our hats – hers is from House of Fraser and mine is from Debenhams, both of which have great options at affordable prices. There is however, some incredible milliners in London that make the most beautiful occasion hats that would be perfect for the races or weddings.

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Lauren and I jumped on the train from Waterloo and on our way to Ascot! The train ride down was a  most glamourous affair, as all the ladies were in their hats and the men were dressed up in suits and ties. Once we arrived in Ascot, we followed the crowd to the pub nearby and popped a bottle of bubbly on the terrace, toasting to our first day at the races!

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Luckily, at this point, the sun was shining and the weather was glorious, making it the ideal day for a day at the races. After finishing our champagne, we headed over to the racecourse to have a few more tipples before the races began!

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Pardon my many pictures of British flags, but from the moment we step foot into Ascot, I could feel the British patriotism and I loved it. As an American, we wave our flags 24/7, but over here in England, I have noticed that patriotism is a bit more reserved and kept to oneself. It was really special to be part of such a wonderful long-standing British tradition and to experience it first hand.

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We grabbed a jug of crisp Pimms and some fish & chips to indulge in and enjoyed the summer sun as much as we could. Everybody around us looked fabulous in their ornate hats and good times were definitely being had by all! Once it started to rain, we moved inside to the Queen Anne Enclosure. There are three tiers of enclosures at Ascot, The Windsor Enclosure, the Queen Anne Enclosure, and the Royal Enclosure, which is for members only.

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We were fortunate enough to grab a few seats and watch the Queen’s Royal Procession, which is a tradition that dates back to 1825 and continues to this day on every day of Royal Ascot. I must say, it was incredible to see the Queen and Prince Phillip as well as William and Kate.

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After the Queen’s Royal Procession, the races began! The horses were all stunning and we had a great time cheering them on! We didn’t bet at this year’s Ascot, but I definitely recommend placing a few bets and seeing where it takes you! It’s all in good fun.

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The day went by so quickly and before we knew it, the races were over and it was time to head back to London. Royal Ascot is definitely one events that you anticipate so much and by the time it rolls around it’s over in the blink of an eye. I guess it’s true what they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Lauren and I had an absolute blast and are going to make it an annual tradition. It was one of the most memorable outings I’ve had all year!

What’s your favourite part about Royal Asccot? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Taste of London 2016 Recommendations

Taste of London is my all-time favourite food and drink festival in London. Every June, Regent’s Park transforms itself into food and drink wonderland for five days, featuring several of London’s top notch restaurants and bars. There is also masterclasses, cooking classes, craft beer tastings, wine pairings, tons of food sampling and it’s an ideal place to shop for your most discerning foodie friends or for yourself! More than 200 food and drink purveyors, artisan producers and manufacturers set up shop to sell their exclusive and unique products. It’s a food and drink haven and a must-do attraction if you’re in London in June!

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With the plethora of exhibitors at the festival, it can be difficult to pin-point which ones to try out, so I have come up with a list of my recommendations from this year’s Taste! My best advice is to try as much as you possibly can, but these were some of my favourite spots from this year’s Taste of London.

_R014392Mr Fogg’s Safari Camp is hands down, the best bar exhibiting at Taste of London! I may be a bit biased, but the colonial-style pop-up is truly spectacular. The spacious Safari tent is filled with eclectic and colourful decor lining every inch of the walls and features comfy colonial-inspired deck chairs that provide refuge from the drizzly rain outside. Mr Fogg has brought his love of crisp G+Ts to Taste of London and they have set up a separate G+T bar, where you’ll be given a lesson in the fine art of concocting the perfect Gin and Tonic, with your choice of Tanqueray or London Dry Gin, several botanicals and your choice of flavoured tonic water. Aside from the interactive G+T bar element, they have several other incredible cocktails on tap. Tip: Try the Spirit of Savannah, made with Zacapa rum, apple liqueur, blackberry puree, Tessiere Oregeat syrup, fresh lime juice, and passion fruit juice. Perfectly refreshing._R014417

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The Cinnamon Club – My method for deciding where to eat at Taste of London is to simply visit  all of the exhibitors and pick out what strikes me to be quite unique. We walked over to The Cinnamon Club and I was quite intrigued by their offering. One of the dishes was seared pigeon breast, pumpkin chutney and masala peanut sauce, which was delectable. I had never tried pigeon before and thought Taste of London is the ideal place to give it a-go. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was and the pumpkin chutney was one for the books.
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Chai Wu – The moment I saw duck and truffle in the same sentence, I made a B-line for Chai Wu, a contemporary Chinese restaurant that is normally located on the 5th floor of Harrods. The Roast Duck Mantou bun with garlic truffle oil was incredible. Both duck and truffle are very rich and I thought it would be overwhelming when combined, but truth be told, it was sublime.

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Basque Country – Hailing from Spain, the Basque Country exhibit showcased the best tapas from the region and they didn’t disappoint. They were handing out samples of their delectable white fish (apologies, I didn’t get a chance to ask what kind), on top of grilled french bread alongside red peppers and a deliciously salty aioli. I had wished that they had a restaurant in London, as I would definitely be visiting after trying their food. A must go at Taste of London.

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The Lindt Experience – A chocolate lovers paradise. If you love good chocolate, then head over to the Lindt World exhibition to taste test their famous silky chocolates. This year, they walked you through the “Lindt Experience,” where we got a chance to try the strawberry and orange chocolates, followed by the dark chocolate, key lime chocolate and orange dark chocolate varieties (all for free).

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The Meringue Girls – I was drawn to this stand by the colour alone! The meringues are some of the most vibrant and gorgeous sweets I’ve ever seen (and delicious too).

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Hook – Our last stop of the evening was Hook Seafood and Grille, where we ordered the Lemon and basil tempura, sea bream with basil and chili sauce, seaweed salted chips and cucumber and samphire salad. It was delicious and the fish was perfectly crispy.

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Shana – Simply Authentic Food – I wanted to throw this one in too as they exhibit every year at Taste and they are awesome! They hand out free samples of their DELICIOUS Paratha bread with cinnamon sugar as well as samples of their chilli and coriander naan bread. I am a huge fan of Indian food and we’re going to order some of these to make at home. Normally, I am not a fan of anything frozen, but these are an exception! Shana uses only the finest ingredients that give the food an authentic Indian taste.

Other notable exhibits to visit: 

Champor Champor – known for its delicious Thai Cuisine, Ciaran made a b-line for this stand and ordered the salt and pepper soft shell crab taco with 5 spice, spring onions and chilli. Before I could snap a photo, he took a bite and the rest was history. I will say that it was incredible and would have even tasted great without the taco. Try one out – worth the wait!

Duck & Waffle – If you can’t get a booking at this famous restaurant with a view, then Taste of London is the perfect opportunity to try their iconic Duck & Waffle. Brave the queues, again, it’s worth it.

Shotgun BBQ – Brave the queues for their salted custard donuts and the oak smoked brisket and pickle. Shotgun is my all-time favourite BBQ restaurant in London and if you haven’t been before, Taste of London is an awesome opportunity to see what these guys are all about!

All-in-all, Taste of London is a fantastic day out with friends and family and gives you the opportunity to try some great food from some wonderful restaurants that you may not get a chance to try otherwise. It’s become a bit of a tradition for us, and one that I enjoy year after year.

What’s your favourite part of Taste of London? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Taste of London | Regent’s Park | 15-19th June | Tickets

Wine Tasting at Bedales of Borough

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going to a wine tasting at Bedales in Borough Market in partnership with Loire Valley Wines. My friend Sarah and I were in need of a catch up and what better way to catch up than over a few glasses of quality French wine?
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_R013915The wine tasting took place in the gorgeous upstairs area of Bedales and was hosted by Helen McGinn of the award-winning “The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club,” book and blog. Helen’s motto is life’s too short to drink bad wine, which is a sentiment I am definitely on board with! I’m excited to read her book – which is all about finding the right type of wine for every occasion.

_R013912We started off the tasting with some bubbles – the Domaine Cahmpalou from the Vouvray region of the Loire Valley in France. This sparkling wine was mouth-wateringly good. Helen had us take a sip and breathe some air in, which really enhanced the flavours of the wine. It was a great sparkling wine to enjoy before dinner.

_R013926Out came some lovely cheeses, meats and spreads locally sourced from artisan traders at Borough Market. We began to pair the next few wines with the different cheeses, paying extra attention to how the flavours of the cheeses enhanced and altered the taste of the wine. Some tasted so much better with different cheeses and others were better without.

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_R013935The Domaine Hureau Tuffle above was one of my favourite wines we tasted. It is a Cabaret Franc and is made with the skin of grapes. It was crisp, delicious and juicy and paired really well with the blue cheese.

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_R013971We moved on to tasting a few red wines and the Domaine Olga Raffault Cabernet Franc 2003, which was incredible. It’s aged really y well in oak and had a lovely smokey flavour to it. We got to try the 2nd to last bottle of this lovely wine and we savoured every last drop.

_R013954We also sampled a couple dessert wines, which were a bit too sweet for my taste, but would pair really well with pecan pie or a dark chocolate. The Domaine des Petits Quarts Chenin Blanc was my favourite of the two. We learned that the colour of these wines tells us a lot about the age. This one in particular is from 1994!

_R013980Helen was super knowledgable about all of the wines we sampled and a really fun host! I love learning more about wines and the tasting notes of each one. Wines from the Loire Valley are some of the best in my opinion and many of them do go unnoticed, so if you do have a chance to try one – I highly recommend it! They were all very great quality. A wine tasting trip in the Loire Valley is definitely on my bucket list!

Bedales holds regular wine workshops fortnightly for just £30, so I am definitely going to try and go to the next one as well as bring my mom when she comes to visit. What are some of your favourite wine workshops in London?

Bedales | 5 Bedale Street | London | SE1 9AL 

Campo Viejo’s Lake of Colour Pops Up at Clapham Common

One of the things I love the most about London, is that there is never a dull moment. There is always a fun pop-up happening or a unique event to go to. I was super excited when I got the invitation to attend the Campo Viejo Lake of Colour in Clapham Common. I had seen the beautiful and vibrant floating wine bar splashed across the internet and newsletters, and couldn’t wait to go and check it out!

_R014043The famous Spanish wine maker, Campo Viejo, has created London’s first-ever floating wine bar with the aim to bring Londoners and visitors together to create good memories. And that it did! I brought my friend Lizz along with me as she was really intrigued to check it out too. _R014045The colourful pop-up features wine blending masterclasses, upbeat live music and delicious tapas for guests to kick back and relax.

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After being greeted with crisp glasses of refreshing champagne, we took our seats to try out a blending class, in which we had the opportunity to taste a range of red Rioja wines and eventually create our own! Campo Viejo has become synonymous with Rioja wines. Just a bit of background for you – Rioja is Spain’s premier wine-growing region and Campo Viejo harvests the Tempernillo grape under three different climates. The warm conditions in Rioja Alta create light flavours of wine, fruit from the harsher environment found in Rioja Alavesa produces a more full-bodied flavour and the warm, dry atmosphere creates rich, deep flavours. When all three are combined, they create the impeccable taste of Rioja!

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We had the opportunity to try a range of red Rioja wines that reflected the different climates that the tempernillo grapes are harvested in including the Tempernillo, Graciano and the Mazeulo. All three had distinct tasting notes – some being lighter and others being a bit more bold. My favourite was the Tempernillo! It was crisp, light and on the fruitier side.

_R014073After sampling the three contrasting red wines, we had the chance to create three of our own wines by blending different amounts of each together to create our perfect custom wine creation!

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_R014078I think it’s safe to say this is the only science class Lizz and I have passed with flying colours! We experimented a bit and taste tested all three before deciding on a Tempernillo-based bottle of wine that we had bottled and corked!

_R014083Our Best Friend wine creations, which now has a permanent home on my bar cart!

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_R014096Lizz and I enjoyed a few more glasses of Rijoa and listened to the awesome Spanish-inspired tunes from The Fontanas as the sunset and the event came to a close.

Campo Viejo’s Lake of Colour is one of the best pop-ups I’ve been to this year and I highly recommend visiting with a few friends – It’ll definitely brighten your day!

Entry is free and the wine blending class is £15 or you can buy a few glasses of wine from the vibrant bar area.

The Lake of Colour will be at Mount Pond in Clapham Common from 9-12 June 2016.

Pergola on the Roof

There is no shortage roof top bars in London, but none as beautiful as the newly launched Pergola on the Roof, a stunning oasis on top of Television Centre in White City. I was super excited to check out the space, but wasn’t expecting it to be as dazzling as it actually was. We headed there for the press evening to support one our clients at work and I’m so glad that we got to have a sneak peek before the official launch.

When we headed 170 feet up in the air and stepped out onto the rooftop, my expression was ‘WOW.’ The incredible, alfresco space is covered with a whimsical canopy of wisteria, bougainvillea, ivy, flowers and twinkling fairy lights intertwined, creating a magical atmosphere with stunning views of London. It’s interesting to note that Pergola comes from the Latin word pegula, which means projecting roof (a very pretty one at that).

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There is plenty of comfy seating, featuring white washed tables and chairs and colourful cushions, taking inspiration from the Mediterranean. There are also daybeds that you can book out to bask in the sunshine on the weekends with friends.

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The brick walls feature pastel-coloured murals with the likes of flamingos, colourful houses, pelicans and a myriad of beautiful designs that provide an air of escapism from the hustle and bustle of London down below. One of the best parts about Pergola on the Roof, however, is the food offering.

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Featuring four of London’s highly reputable restaurants including Rabbit, Patty & Bun, Salt Yard and Le Coq, Pergola on the Roof is not only haven to relax and catch up with friends, but an ideal destination for London’s most discerning foodies. The menus at each pop-up feature some of the most popular dishes that are served in the restaurant…

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Such as these incredible Beef Cigars from Rabbit Restaurant in Chelsea with tarragon mustard dip. They were truly outstanding.

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As were these Rye Bay Scallops in Garlic Butter. They were, hands down, some of the best scallops I’ve ever had.

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We took a little wander around and checked out some of the other pop-ups and I marvelled at how well done and gorgeous the decor was. I already can’t wait to go back.

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Patty & Bun, a crowd favourite, had its iconic Ari Gold Burger on the menu, which is definitely a must try. The P&B Mayo is a real winner, you won’t regret ordering it!

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Over on the side of the roof, there is a gorgeous seating area with 2 boules pitches to play on a sunny day. We’ll definitely be dusting off our set to play here in the summer.

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In need of a few libations to go with our food, we headed over to the gorgeous bar area in the upper area of Pergola. There are two bars, one downstairs when you first walk in and another one in the middle of the four pop-up restaurants. We each decided on glasses of Rosé and toasted to the fact that it was finally summer (despite the chillier weather on this particular evening).

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Our last stop was Salt Yard, which had created a bespoke menu filled with classic tapas including charcoal grilled dry aged beef bocadillo with aged manchego, charred gem, aioli and onion marmalade, grilled spicy chorizo, and grilled aubergine, smoked burrata, phoenix farm leaves and an orange vinaigrette. I decided on the latter as burrata is a favourite of mine and wanted to try something a bit on the lighter side.

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It was a delicious and refreshing salad, but with that said, I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the options on the menu.

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As the sun set, the music cranked up and the fairy lights switched on, which made Pergola on the Roof even prettier than in daylight. Lively, upbeat music bounced throughout the rooftop and everybody was in great spirits as we chatted and sipped crisp glasses of wine late into the evening. As cheesy as it sounds, Pergola on the Roof had me at hello. It was definitely love at first sight and I can’t wait to come back with Ciaran and friends this summer. What can I say, I’m a sucker for pretty patios and rooftops.

Perfect For: Pergola on the Roof is the ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of Central London. It’s the perfect destination and something different to do with a big group of friends. There is an excellent array of food from some of London’s top notch restaurants and has an awesome cocktail, beer and wine list to try out. There’s also a retractable roof in case of bad weather, so nothing will rain o your parade. Entry is free and you can book a table or a daybed area for big groups. They’re even offering a cocktail on the house when you sign up to their Visitor Book. You can’t beat it. Take my word for it and head to Pergola on the Roof this weekend, you’ll fall in love, I guarantee it. Pergola on the Roof is open until 29th August.

Pergola on the Roof | Television Centre | Wood Lane | White City | London | W12 7JR 

Wed – Fri: 6pm – 11pm
Saturday: 12pm – 11pm
Sunday: 12pm – 9.30pm