Friday, 19 September 2014

HintHunt - London

Hint Hunt
Who loved watching the Crystal Maze?

For those of you who are too young to remember what I am talking about, I will tell you a little about the concept.

The game was set in a big giant crystal, with different dungeon rooms, each room had a task and against the clock (normally a bit of burning rope or a sand-glass) you had to solve a puzzle. 

The problem solving was done by one or a few team members whilst everyone else waited outside giving direction, shouting encouragement, annoying the person inside.

The aim was to get out of the maze as a whole team and beat the maze. 

It was a modern and exciting TV programme for its time. I absolutely loved it. The puzzles were brilliant.

So when Joe Blogs sent me an email message entitled join us for HintHunt, I was already there. Having recently visited Paris this was on my want list for activities, but the family poopooed the idea. So now that London have their very own in Euston I thought I would test it out for you all.

My team mates for the evening were three other bloggers Lisa from NotQuiteEnough, Melinda Missgeeky and Catherine Skylish. If you haven't already, check out their blogs. 


I really don't want to give too much away, as the concept of the game is brilliant. The game is a mix between Da Vinici Code and crystal maze, where you have to solve puzzles and clues to yield answers to complete and master the overall game.  

Our game was set in a Japanese living room, in which as a team we were locked inside, our mission to solve clues and puzzles to get out. The tip given for survival by the staff was 'be curious about everything you find' and you have sixty minutes to find a means of escape. 

The game is brilliant and I cannot recommend it enough. My team were brilliant and I am pleased to report that because of this brilliance we escaped with only seconds to spare. Forty nine to be exact. 

The fastest that the game has ever been completed is Fifty Three Minutes so we didn't feel to ashamed or disheartened. 

If you want a fun hour with friends, family or work colleagues in London this has to be on the top of the visit list.

My visit to HintHunt was complimentary but the views expressed in this post are my very own. HintHunt was a great game and I highly recommend giving it a go. Thanks Joe Blogs Bloggers Network. 

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Aspinal of London

Aspinal of London

When Aspinal of London announced they were hosting an exciting event for London Fashion Week in partnership with House of Fraser & Grazia. I was delighted to be invited to go along. 

As you already know I have a real love for the quintessential British Brand Aspinal. If you missed my earlier post you can have a read here.

Aspinal of London
Aspinal of London
Aspinal of London

So on Saturday morning I got up early and headed to House of Fraser Oxford Street.

As a foodie and fashionista I was looking forward to hearing from Laura Jackson TV presenter and supper club host and Ella Gregory from Coco’s Tea Party.
Aspinal of London
I could have happily listened to Laura and Ella sharing food, fashion, street style and autumn/winter trends with us for hours.  
Aspinal London
Based on their chats keep an eye out for capes, florals and the trunk clutch (my personal favourite is Pheasant Brown). 

Pixielott at London Fashion week is already showing the Aspinal trunk clutch love at the Temperley show
Aspinal of London

Guests were also treated to a lovely goody bag. Look at this beauty. 
Aspinal of London
Aspinal of London
Aspinal of London

Hard at work engraving. 
Aspinal of London
Aspinal of London
Thank you Aspinal of London for having me and for my lovely keyring. A great second day to London Fashion Week. 
Aspinal of London

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Friday, 12 September 2014

London Walking Tours

London History
I think by now you know that I love London. I love the hustle and bustle of the people, the fact that London is steeped in history and of course it's hidden gems, that even after living here all my life I still haven't found them all.

So when Charlotte from best LDN Walks advertised a blogging event that mixed two of my other favourite loves, old London pubs and walking around London, I was there with bells and whistles on.

Charlotte has created a new breed of walking tours for the obsessively curious. I opted for the Secrets of London Pub Tour which priced at £10 is excellent value for money

Our meeting point was Blackfriars station, where I instantly saw some familiar blogging faces Little Miss KatyLulabelloves and Josies-Journal and some lovely new people that I hadn't met before. 

Have you ever sat in a pub and thought if only the walls could talk, what secrets would they share. Well London has some of the best and most historic pubs that I often wish could do just this.
London Pub

My hope was that Charlotte could share some of this history. 

All board and let's go!

Our first stop was The Black Friar pub. The pub itself is named after the friars who unsurprisingly and as the name would suggest used to wear Black. 

The Black Friar pub

The pub is situated in a grade ii listed building which means that the outside and inside will remain untouched. The inside is beautiful with gold ceiling,
wooden carvings and inscriptions.
Black Friar Pub

The pub is opposite Bridewell Palace which at one time was the residency of King Henry VIII. The Palace was built in 1523, at a cost of £30,000 which is the equivalent of £10 million pounds in today's money. 
Historic London

Our second pub was Punch Tavern serving over twenty varieties of gin.
Punch Tavern
Now I love my gin but even I found twenty varieties a little over whelming to pick from. 
Punch tavern

In the end I settled for Gordon's Gin with Elderflower. It arrived in a huge glass/punch bowl (Get it Punch and Judy).  

Gin with elderflower

As we ventured on Charlotte continued to share her wonderful knowledge of London. We passed what is fondly known as St Bride's Church which was built by Sir Christopher Wren. 
Sir Christopher Wren

The top of the church is shaped like a tiered wedding cake. 

Our next stop was a 17th Century pub Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub (what a wonderful name).
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Hidden down a wee little alley just off Fleet Street, the aptly named Cheshire Court. 

Cheshire Court
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

The pub was restored in 1667 shortly after the great fire of London. Many famous literary figures have frequented this pub including Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson and Dr Samuel Johnson. 
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

One very famous resident was Polly, who lived in the pub for over forty years entertaining guests with her chatter. When she died her death made national and international news. 

Down some steep and spiral stairs the pub has wonderful vaults and cellars where you can relax with a nice glass of wine or a pint. 

London pubs

A stone's throw away from the pub on Gough Square is Dr Johnson's house and his very famous cat Hodge.
Hodge the cat

The statue was created by John Bickley which depicts Hodge sitting on a dictionary with oysters for his supper. In those days oyster was regarded as the food of the poor, so feeding them to a cat would have been a perfectly reasonable thing to do. 

I wonder whilst standing there what secrets and stories Hodge the cat would have shared if he could. Just when Little Miss Katy shows me, all is not lost, Hodge the cat can talk through Talking Statues
Talking Statues

My last and final stop on the tour, was Ely Place. 

Ely Place

This is one of London's best kept secrets, passing through the iron gates one side is classed as London and the other Cambridgeshire. Ironically the area is known for its strong hold in Law, but beyond these gates the Metropolitan police have no jurisdiction to enter unless granted permission. 

The street itself is like stepping back in history and houses one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in England - St Etheldreda Chapel. 

Ely Place
Historic London

Down a little alley it also holds the last and final pub De Olde Mitre

The pub has featured in a few 'well known?' movies 'Snatch' and 'The Deep Blue Sea'. It has a wealth of real ales and was a wonderful way to finish of a great night. 

Charlotte is good fun, very lively and full of beans. What she doesn't know about London's history probably isn't worth knowing. 

I was a guest of Best LDN Walks but I cannot recommend Charlotte's tours enough. 

If your a visitor to London or a Londoner who wants to learn more about your City you should definitely check out her tours.

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Monday, 8 September 2014

Skin Signature Melting Rich Cream - SK-II

Skin Signature Melting Rich Cream - SK-ll

I will be honest I haven't always looked after my skin. I didn't really heed my mums words of wisdom in which she used to always say take good care of your skin, you only get one. Her pearls of wisdom were simple, make sure you take your make-up off at night, never sleep in it, cleanse, tone and moisturise. Try to drink plenty of water and always wear sun cream.

Water and sun

In my early twenties on nights out I would get home and couldn't be bothered to take make-up off (don't judge). I owned cleanser and toner but they hardly ever came out of the cupboard, let alone near my face. The only thing I did do occasionally was moisturise as I have dry skin and of course drink water occasionally. Nowhere near enough though.

As I've gotten older I have realised the errors of my ways. So heed the advice now, it isn't too late. If you don't want to walk around resembling a crocodile handbag, take action. I now regularly use toner and a good quality moisturiser (Clarins HydraQuench cream being a favourite) but recently I stumbled across SK-II skin signature melting rich cream.


A luxury skin care beauty must have from Japan, the SK stands for Secret Key ingredient. I at this point yawned, I always think if a product is good, well it doesn't need any hyperbole.

But the more I read people raving about it, I thought there has to be something in it. When I found out Cate Blanchett was their ambassador, I thought well Cate looks bloody good with her clear and radiant skin.

The product itself is a luxuriously rich creamy balm. It is extremely thick in consistency. 


It comes with its own scoop, which taking a bit I heat in my hands, the balm melts into a luxurious non greasy cream. It is fragrance free. There is the temptation to not use the scooper but resist the urge. No matter how clean you think your hands are, they are not and you will put dirt and bacteria into your moisturiser.

Now the moisturiser is on the costly side over £100, but it lasts absolutely ages, a little bit goes a long way. My current jar has lasted about seven months.

I use mine at night and wake up with lovely moisturised skin. Now if you purchase this moisturiser and are expecting miracles overnight don't bother this works on perseverance. After two months I could really feel and see a difference. My rosacea is less, the texture of my skin is smoother and dark circles around my eyes are less.

There is lots of science behind the brand which some of you might be interested in. 

Japan sake

In a Japanese Sake factory staff began to notice that workers hands were youthful in comparison to the skin on their faces. Scientists worked hard to work out what was causing the youthfulness and isolated Piteria which has loads of vitamins, amino acids and minerals.

If you haven't guessed by now SK-II skin signature melting rich cream secret key ingredient is Piteria.

SK-II do lots of other wonderful products that I am excited to try. What is your beauty must have? Any recommendations?

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