Outings

Ocean Liner Exhibit, V & A Museum

 

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A few weekends ago I visited the Ocean Liners: Speed and Style exhibit at the V & A Museum, London. The museum website described it as “Experience a unique journey through the design stories of the world’s greatest ocean liners, including the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra, and find out how these impressive vessels helped shape the modern world.” It is running presently until June 17th 2018.

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I wanted to visit the exhibit after going on two cruises, and thought it would be an interesting subject, with lots of history. The exhibit was much quieter and more adult friendly. There was more space, and didn’t feel like you had to rush.

It started off with lots of posters advertising cruises and the ships back in the day, there was also an old black and white video, and models of ships.

The next few rooms were all actual items from past cruises and ships. Doors, furniture, carpets, vases etc. All with the signage next to it, saying the ship and year, with a little information.

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On a cruise, you realise how tasteful everything is, and it was back in the day – maybe even more so. Some of them were so glamorous – and they sold it that way!

On ships, they had the classes broken up into different sections of the ship. The first class lounge had prime location – mid ship, on a higher deck, as if it was bad weather – this is the best place to be.

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There was a room dedicated to the engine and mechanics. This room was dark and painted black so it gave you the feeling of being lower down on a ship.

The best part was the ‘Life on board’ section, there was a big screen showing the sea with a railing to give you the impression you was on the ship! There were mannequins showcasing staff uniforms, and the swimming wear from old times. There was even a deck chair from the titanic!

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They had videos showing, with the room broken into smaller sections – so the cabin rooms, dining, fashion etc. Lots of pieces to look at.

The last room had an actual piece of The Titanic in – and even more surprisingly it was the first time it had been back in Europe since it had set sail! There was also a short video clip with movies/films with ships featured, one was Titanic by James Cameron. It just makes me feel instantly sad!

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Overall, I enjoyed the exhibit and would recommend if you was interested in the good old days of luxury cruise ships and liners, and like learning about the history of them. We went on a Saturday, and I booked the tickets about an hour before going, so it’s not too busy.

 

Outings

Winnie the Pooh Exhibit, V & A Museum

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A few weekends ago I visited the Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic exhibit at the V & A Museum, London. The museum website described it as “This multi-sensory and playful exhibition explores the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh – one of the most adored fictional characters of all time”. It ran from 9 December 2017 to 8 April 2018, so sadly if reading this you have now missed it!

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I had seen the exhibit advertised last year on the website, and knew straightaway I wanted to visit.  I had my Winnie the pooh phase when I was at High School and my favourite was Tigger.

I went on a weekend, so unfortunately it was too busy and full of kids for my liking! But it was a charming exhibit, and I learnt quite a bit.

The exhibit started off with a glass case full of old and unique memorabilia. The next part was all about the history of the authors past and family. This part was set up within a bedroom, and then a house. All white walls with decorations and the exhibits framed with lights on them so you could see the drawings clearly. There was even a bed set up with books to read to the kids.

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And the original drawing/sketch of 100 Acre Wood!

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There was a small door for kids to walk through which then led to the setting being outside. More original sketches and drawings nicely displayed, with just the right amount of information next to it. There was a also a short film type with a reading, so you watched the words overhead.

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Everyone loved the photo opportunity on the bridge playing pooh sticks. There was a coat rack with rain macs and umbrellas to borrow and wear, but as they were kids sizes – I couldn’t do it! This was the main noisy section, with a table full of paper and pencils for the kids.

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Around the corner, was more drawings broken into different sections along the wall, movement, character expressions etc.

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At the end was another glass case with first edition books of Winnie the Pooh.

I did enjoy the exhibit, and it really was such a good price for a cute little hour out! Any fans of Winnie the Pooh, young and old must have enjoyed it too.

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Outings

Festive Afternoon Tea, London

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Last week I went out with my parents to a festive/Christmas Afternoon Tea. We chose the one at Covent Garden Hotel. It wasn’t too ridiculously priced and they had availability.

The tea takes place in the bar area called Brasserie Max, which is to the right of the lobby. It’s quite a small hotel, but it’s decorated lovely. (As are all Firmdale Hotels – its a husband and wife partnership, and the wife is an interior designer and the décor in ALL the hotels is amazing!)

I took a picture of the menu, so you can see what was offered. A few changes to a standard tea with a few Christmassy twists. I also chose a different black tea – bourbon and vanilla, it was nice but very sweet! Almost too sweet, you couldn’t have too many cups of it.

It was nice, and just the right amount of filling. I wish I could have done a tour of lots of Christmas tea’s and then given them all a rating!

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Like I mentioned, I wish I had more spare time before Christmas to try out more festive afternoon teas, as most of the Firmdale Hotels had an offering, let alone the rest of London!

After the tea, we decided to soak up the London Christmassy atmosphere. It was super cold, so we bundled up and walked around. We was by Seven Dials, where they was giving out free tasters of  Baileys hot chocolate – it was so good! Definitely need to try this one at home.

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We walked all round Covent Garden, whilst I took pictures on my phone and just wondered around. There was some really good shop displays, and amazing decoration’s this year. We was also lucky with the weather, it was cold, but the sky was amazingly clear and blue.

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I also wanted to see one of the new Christmas tree trends this year – the upside down tree (Stranger Things anyone?!), so we walked to Claridge’s Hotel so I could see it and take more photos!

We grabbed a Starbucks on the way around London just to warm up. It was a nice day, and definitely perked up my Christmas enjoyment. (I’m normally a Grinch/scrooge).

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How about you, what have you done this year to get in the Christmas spirit? Any London recommendations for next year?

If I don’t post before, have a Happy cosy Christmas and a great New Year!

Outings

Prosecco Festival, London

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A few weekends ago, I attended the first UK prosecco festival. I got tickets to the London one (it had travelled all over the UK for weeks). The London event was held at the Kia Oval – the cricket ground at Oval.

There was two different time sessions you could attend. One was 12.00-4.30pm, the other was 5.30 -11.00pm. I chose the afternoon session as just with getting home late on the tube and staying safe.

The ticket purchased before, got you entrance fee, your keepsake glass and booklet.

The keepsake glass was a branded prosecco festival glass, you keep this the whole time and get it filled. I like this idea, as seems less wastage and you have a souvenir.

The little book of fizz is the booklet, which had a small description of each prosecco available to try.

We had a quick bag search before entry. Then we was given our wristband, glass, which had our ‘Little book of fizz’ in and a complimentary token for a glass of prosecco.

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See now, this is where it got expensive! You had to buy tokens (the bars had a no cash policy). Each glass of prosecco would cost £5 a glass. We chose to do the deal, for 6 tokens, the glass of prosecco would be £4.50. There was also the option to buy bottles (not sure how many tokens they was!)

I did think the room was going to be a bit bigger! There was four bars, each with different proseccos and a specialty drink. There was a stage with a band. Chairs and tables. Room for dancing. We consulted our little book of fizz, and chose by the description that we liked the most.

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There was rose, Italian, Spanish, bellinis etc. They also had a table with a speciality syrup to add your prosecco. I can say, I learnt the hard way – do not put coconut syrup in your prosecco!! My friend tried bubblegum and that kind of worked!

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The band and music was good, and towards the end, the music was great. Dirty dancing, and old classics. Everyone was dancing. (It was about 90% female).

We was also led to belive there was an Italian street food festival. They lied! It was one stall serving food, we waited an hour for some chips! When people are drinking for four and half hours, they need food! One stall was absolutely ridiculous. A lot of people was complaining. We know it was the first festival, but they know how many tickets was sold!

I did like the festival, and glad I went. But it did turn out an expensive day! The food situation needs to be changed for definite next year. We had dinner on the way home, as some chips is not enough to soak up alcohol. It was very popular, and I heard all the tickets sold out, so it is back next year. But a few kinks need to be ironed out first.

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Outings

Another Day Out in London!

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A few weeks ago, I had a Friday off so my friend and I decided to have a day in London (again!). I had been looking around and found a place called Coppa Club, it’s in Tower Bridge. In the summer, they have these pretty cabanas outside, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for availability. We got one!

So I also looked around to see what else we could do.

The HMS Belfast (the big navy ship moored on the River Thames) was nearby and we both hadn’t visited before, so we also booked tickets for that.

We met at London Bridge station and had a nice walk to the Belfast where we stopped for some pretty Instagram photo opportunities (see above).

We “boarded” the HMS Belfast and took the headset they gave us. I had forgot how much of a workout looking round old boats/ships was! Up and down tiny stairs, various decks and the ship was huge.

I did like it, and you can see how cramped and small working conditions could be, but we both could have done without the creepy looking wax figures!

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We also went right to the top, and did some silly photos by the Union Jack flag. Also, by chance I think we chose the nicest day in September! Look how blue the sky was.

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We then walked to Coppa Club, so glad we went!

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We loved the outside cabana straight away. We was even seated early. We ordered a cocktail each, and decided on the same one. Wild Strawberry Spritz – Prosecco & Cartron wild strawberry liqueur, it was yum!

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We also decided on the small plates to share for lunch, so we got 3 dishes with chips. I didn’t get any photos of the food! But it was all really tasty.

The cabana was a 2 hour booking slot, so we made the most of it. We then had a pudding each, and a glass of prosecco. I chose Sticky toffee pudding and it had some really good honeycomb on top.

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It was just so nice there! The vibe was chilled, the sun was out, music was playing, the views – we could see the Shard one way and Tower Bridge the other! Then the cabana emptied – so we had the whole one to ourselves for a while! I think we could have stayed there all afternoon!

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It was a really nice day out, and the weather being so lovely just topped it all off! I really recommend the Coppa Club – I heard last winter they had igloos outside – and they got booked pretty sharpish. I can imagine why!

 

Outings

The Brunch Afternoon Tea – Piccadilly, London

 

2Last week my friend and I visited another afternoon tea! This time the twist was that it was a brunch inspired one. It was called the B n T.

It took place at Le Meridien Hotel, Piccadilly, it was served in the Terrace Grill & Bar. We had a table overlooking the street.

Whilst we was there, there was a special offer on – the afternoon tea, plus a hot tea and a cocktail for £27.50 each (usually £35), there was another option instead of a cocktail was bottomless prosecco for two hours!

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The food was so tasty, I enjoyed every ‘level’ of the tea! It was also one of the most filling afternoon tea’s I’ve ever had. I took a photo of the menu so you can see what we had.

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As you can see every dish was unique and different. Just what we like with afternoon teas – a bit of variety! I chose the Elderflower Fizz – which was yummy but very strong. My friend had the Berries & tea (which reminded us both of Mr Fogg’s).

I’ve included some close ups of each layer of the tea.

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I don’t know about you, but I love Afternoon Tea and I love brunch – so its a winning combination!

I would definitely recommend you check out this afternoon tea, if you are on the hunt for something a little different, and are ticking off all the tea’s – tick this one too!

Before our tea we also visited Oxford Street, where we peeped in T2, a few clothes shops and of course the famous Oxford Street Disney Store. So I did my own version of a ‘Disney wall’ that day!

 

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Outings

Tipsy Tea, London

 

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The other weekend I took my friend out to Tipsy Tea in Mayfair, London. It was a special treat for her 30th birthday, and she had kindly taken me out on mine.

We are both afternoon tea lovers, and she has been to so many – it was hard finding one she hadn’t already been to!

This one was one of the best, as it wasn’t just about the food and the drink – although everything was delicious. This was an experience!

It is based on the traveller/adventurer Phileas Fogg, and this is his residence that you are visiting.

The outside of the building is very unassuming, and had I not looked up on Google maps before going – would have walked straight past! They tick you off a list, take your jacket and welcome you in!
The room is jam packed full of items from his travels, and I don’t want to post too many photos, as don’t want to ruin anyone else’s experience!
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So the Tipsy Tea is just that – all the teas are cocktails served in tea pots! And all the cocktails are tea based – check out the menu! I had the Woburn Abbey and my friend chose the Anna Maria Russell. We had a cup of each to try! Both was really nice and definitely interesting.

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You book for a two hour slot, and halfway through one of the staff sat down at the piano and began playing! Really felt like we had travelled back in time for a short while.

As I mentioned the food was really good, the salted caramel brownie was amazing! I’m all about the deserts!

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This was pricey, but it’s an experience, lovely unique afternoon tea and the room is small – so you do have to pre-book! But come on, who doesn’t like treating their friends and themselves every once in a while?!

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