Tag Archives: london

Word of the Year

I recently read an article by Melinda Gates, where she talked about picking a word of the year, rather than set new year’s resolutions. This isn’t a new idea. In fact, I personally, have picked a word of the year before. But have always also had a list of resolutions or goals. This year, I have decided to just focus on picking a word and infusing that into my everyday life.

So, What word did I pick?

This year, I knew I wanted to be a little bit more adventurous. But did not want to take the leap outside of my comfort zone. A few things in my life have been static lately, and I am looking to change this. Whilst I am ready to make these changes I am not sure what moves to make, and so it involves doing research and examining my options. So taking all of this into account. I choose ‘Explore‘ as my word of the year.

Word of The Year

On the one hand, it is linked to travelling. I would love to travel more in 2019, the dream would be to explore the whole world! However, I am realistic and have to think about whether we can afford a lot of travelling this year. One thing I would like to do is explore London more! Find cool cafes, check out more of the exciting museums in the city and just discover different neighbourhoods. Saying that I would also love to explore some new cities and have a few ideas for some fun city breaks!

For me personally, my work life has been stagnant for some time. Whilst I am not ready to have a complete career overhaul I am looking to make some changes. So I am going to take this year to explore my options. I am planning on doing the 100 days of code challenge. To improve my coding skills and possible look to learn another programming language.

Similarly, I have had some personal issue over the last few years, something I am not ready to talk about on my blog. However, 2019 is the year where I need to move forward. I am emotionally ready to do this, so I have to explore alternatives and take positive steps forward.

Blogging

In relation to my blog. I want to utilize this space more and I am exploring how I can do that. I started this blog to showcase my knitting projects many years ago. It has grown over the years to include all my interests not just knitting. Of course, the blog is the ideal place to document my expeditions. I would like to take blogging to the next level. I am working on writing a few guest posts for fellow bloggers and I would like to explore collaborating with bloggers on a future project.

One of my aims for last year was to take more photos! Whilst I did take a lot more photos. I wasn’t as adventurous as I should have been. I love the idea of exploring areas through my camera lens. In 2018, I created a little photo project in a nieghbourhood park. Where I took the same photos at regular intervals over the course of 12 months. I would love to do a similar project this year in another area. I also want to explore the idea of working with more bloggers or cosplayers to improve my photography skills.

2018 Photo Project
February | May      
September | December

Do you have a ‘Word of the Year’?
What are your goals for 2019
Where would you like to Explore?
Let me know in the comments below.

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Christmas Shop Windows 2018

When we were children every Christmas we would go shopping into the “West End.” My parents would do the majority of their Christmas shopping on these trips. But for my sister and I, it would be an adventure to enjoying the sights. I have so many memories from these trips, spotting all the amazing windows displays in the shops. And the smell of the vendors selling chestnuts. But best of all, these adventures always ended with us sitting on the top deck of the bus looking at all the Christmas Lights along Regent Street and Oxford Street!

Harrods

Hamley’s window was always my favourite as a child

I have noticed a lot of bloggers have been sharing their experiences of the Christmas Lights and shop windows this Christmas season. So I thought I would join in the fun and share some of the window displays from my favourite shops in London.

My Favourite Shop Windows from Christmas 2018 in London!
House of Minalima

Miraphora Mina & Eduardo Lima are the graphic designers who designed all the artwork featured in the Harry Potter series, and the Fantastic Beast movies. Their art shop and gallery, House of Minalima have my favourite window display! Based on their graph of the iconic Hogwarts acceptance letter. The window features, letters, wax seals and a parliament of owls!

Still waiting for my acceptance letter

Inside the gallery, they have added a few cute Christmas touches. Stockings hanging over the fireplaces and Christmas trees decorated with hints of from the Harry Potter franchise. The gallery also includes artwork from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald. So even if you have been to House of Minalima it’s a great time to re-visit.

Elizabeth Street

I went to Belgravia hoping to snap a few photos of the Insta-famous cafes in the area. I did not expect to find a whole street filled with beautifully decorated shop windows. Obviously, Peggy Porschen and Dominque Ansel upgraded their floral displays to a wintery theme. However, all the boutique were decorated. Even the local estate agents had an amazing display!

Carnaby Street

All the major shopping thoroughfares in London have impressive Christmas Lights! However, the award for best lights this year has to go to Carnaby Street. To coincide with the release of Bohemian Rhapsody. The lyrics to the classic Queen song illuminate the famous shopping street.

At Night
Not really Christmassy

Whilst shopping this year, I saw several cute windows that weren’t decorated for Christmas but I think they still deserve a mention because they were amazing.


Forbidden Planet’s Doctor Who Display

Baby Nifflers at The Noble Collection!

Mary Poppins themed window in Harvey Nicholas

Do you like going to see the Christmas Lights?
Do you have a favourite Christmas window?
Let me know in the comments below.

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Halloween 2018 in London

Last year, I wrote about some of the geekier events that were happening in London to celebrate Halloween. Whilst some of the events, like Hogwarts after Dark at the WB Studio Tour and The Walking Dead ride at Thrope Park, are happening again this year. There are also several new and scary events happening in the city that are based on movies or TV shows.

Geek Girls Guide to Halloween 2018 in London
  1. Teen Horror Pyjama Party

    Prince Charles Cinema has always had epic movie marathons and this Halloween is no different. As they are arranging a Teen Horror Movie all-nighter. Over 11 hours they will be showing 90’s teen horror movies like Scream and The Craft. So grab your plaid skirt and duvet and settle in for a night of scary-ish movies!

  2. Hocus Pocus Boozical
    Love going to the movies, love brunch. Why not combine both. Exhibit B is offering a brunch over the weekend, followed by a screening of the classic Halloween movie Hocus Pocus. You can also upgrade your ticket to include bottomless bubbles with your brunch.
  3. The Crystal Maze Halloween Edition
    The Crystal Maze
    The Dark Maze

    The classic 90’s game show is back with live experiences game. Where you and your friends can enter The Crystal Maze. Over the Halloween weekend, they are changing the original maze into a Dark Maze, where you can meet the Bloody Baron.
  4. Even Stranger Things
    Looking for a geeky club night to celebrate Halloween? Then Even Stranger Things is for you. An epic club night themed around the hit Netflix show. Party in two rooms, one based on the Snow Ball from season two or venture into the second room,  Upside Down!
  5. Welcome to The Bronze

    For another geeky club night head over to The Book Club. For the one night, the venue will be transformed into The Bronze, the club from Sunnydale. This Buffy the Vampire Slayer night will feature themed cocktails, an art class. And screenings of classic episodes including Once More With Feelings.
My Hacks

If you are looking for a magical night out not over the Halloween weekend. Check out The Cauldron for a night out loosely based on Harry Potter. This immersive cocktail experience allows you to make your own cocktails using a magic wand!
Geek Girls Guide to Halloween in London
Copyright: Images © The Crystal Maze

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Pokemon GO! Revisited

Thinking about it the summer of 2016 was all about Pokemon Go!  I remember becoming obsessed with the game, going on a poke-walk every day. Exploring new parks because they were “nests.” Getting annoyed when the game froze or finding only pidgeys! However, by the winter we stopped playing. That is until now!

Back then Pokemon Go seemed to be everywhere, the mainstream media told scare stories of people getting themselves into danger due to playing the game. On social media, sightings of rare Pokemon in your areas. Even bloggers become obsessed with the game, I remember joining in on the Pokemon Go Book Tag and even doing a Q&A on Epicfied’s blog.

How I became obsessed with Pokemon GO again!

I am unsure why I stopped playing if it was because it wasn’t as much fun playing in the colder weather. If it was the server issues. Or I just got bored with the game. I didn’t delete the app from my phone, just move it from the first page on iPhone. I remember a friend telling me last year, they had released the second generation of Pokemon. And did consider playing again, however, never did.

Then earlier this summer, I read that a major Pokemon Go update had occurred and finally, you could add friends and start trading. So I opened the app and had a quick look. That weekend, Jason and I went once again went for poke-walk in our local park.

Having not played in over 18 months, we caught loads of new Pokemon from the Johto and Hoenn regions, which had all been added to the game. As a result, we levelled up with a few days of starting to re-playing.

In the time whilst we stop playing numerous additions had been added. The game now included research tasks, raids and community days. So there seemed to be a lot more ways to “catch them all”. I spend a lot of the first week, reading up online about all the new additions to the game. What was the difference between field research and special research? How to raid? What is a ‘shiny’ Pokemon and why do I need them?

Pokemon Go Gifts
Pokemon Go Gifts

Although we haven’t been exploring London parks this summer. We have been playing every day. I tend to go for a walk to our local park at lunchtime and then for a long walk with Jason in the evening. One of the first weekends we played was the ‘Squirtle Community Day.’ We spend several hours walking along the river, trying to catch a shiny Squirtle or one with sunglasses. I love getting out and walking every day, guaranteeing to hit my 10,000 steps. Rather than just spend the evening at home watching TV.

Raids!

One of the biggest changes to the game has been the introduction of raids. Randomly, a Raid Boss will take over a local gym and trainer have to work together to take down the Raid Boss. The Raids are tiered, with level one raids being able to complete by one person. However, Level 5 tiers need seven or more players to compete. With this in mind, you need to have a large group of players locally to take advantage of this features.

Jason managed to find a west London group via Discord and we joined them for a few raids. A member of the group also invited us to a group based in our actual area. So instead of just going for Poke-walks after work, we are now joining the raiding parties to get the more powerful Pokemon.

Pokemon Go - Moltres Day
Moltres Day

This past weekend, was a special raiding event, “Moltres Day.” Our group would be meeting in the morning at a nearby underground station. And whilst we were expecting a larger group, than what was had been playing with. We were amazed to discover nearly 50 players. We divided up into teams (based on our Team within the game) and set of touring all the local gyms!

The plan was to hit 18 gyms in the area in the three hour period. However, Jason and I only had raid passes for eight raids. There seemed to be a lot of server issues on the day and so we called it quits after 90 minutes. However, I did manage to get a 100% IV Shiny Moltres so I was very happy.

Did you use to play Pokemon Go?
Do you still play?
Are you part of a Raiding group?
I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Pokemon Go - Moltres Day
💯

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Dawn of the Superheroes

I have been awful this year at writing about my geeky adventures in London. As a result, I have a hard drive filled with photos from my trips and have never added them to the blog. A classic example of this is the DC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes at the O2. I took over 350 photos on the day and am only now getting around to editing them. The exhibition is about to close, but if you didn’t get a chance to attend here are some of my highlights.

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes
DC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

Even though the description of the exhibition is at DC-based. It seems mainly to be about the DC comics and movies. There is no mention of the recent Arrowverse television programmes or Gotham. The majority of the exhibit focuses on the main trinity from the DC comics, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the SuperheroesDC Exhibition: Dawn of the SuperheroesDC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

The first section is devoted to Superman with the Richard Donner movies from the 1980’s. Up to the Zack Synder movies from the World of DC. As well as the original artwork from the comics and outfits from the movies. There is also some interesting concept artwork from the movies and the Superman Lives movie that never was.DC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the SuperheroesDC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

The next section Batman, from the 1960’s television programme and the movies from the last three decades. This area also has an interesting collection of memorabilia from the Rogue Gallery of Gotham. The Catwoman & Penguin costumes from Batman Returns, most impressively in this area is the section devoted to The Joker.

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the SuperheroesDC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

Being a fan of the Bat-family, I was a little disappointed with the lack of presences in the exhibition. Robin and Batgirl’s outfits from the awful Batman and Robin movie are on display. There are a few panels from several storylines include Stephine Brown brief stint as Robin. Yet, there is no mention of the different Robins or Nightwing.

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the SuperheroesDC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

Next again, mainly based from the World of DC movies is a section on the Suicide Squad. This is one of few areas that also mentions the DC animation series, with a few cells from the introduction of Harley Quinn. Whilst, there is a small section on the Justice League. It again is mainly focused from the World of DC character, with little mention of Green Arrow or Green Lantern. In fact, they completely ignore the Green Lantern movie altogether.

DC Exhibition: Dawn of the SuperheroesDC Exhibition: Dawn of the SuperheroesThe Wonder Woman section is smaller than her male counterparts, yet features both Linda Carter and Gal Gabot’s costumes. Perhaps most interestingly in this area was seeing the changing design of Wonder Woman’s outfit over the years. Little things like changing her gladiator sandals to more practical boots.
DC Exhibition: Dawn of the Superheroes

All in all, it was an interesting collection of artwork from DC! I would have liked to see some attention to other popular villains like Brainiac or Hush. I understand why they focused on the ones from the movies. However, I still would have liked more attention to the Bat-Family or Teen Titans.

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Quirky Afternoon Tea in London

When researching the post on Fandom Afternoon Teas, I found some other unusual afternoon teas available in London. Something a little different from the traditional teas, versions with an interesting twist. So I thought I would put together another fun list of places that offer a Quirky Afternoon Teas in London.

Quirky Afternoon Tea in London

Quirky Afternoon Teas in London

  1. B Afternoon Tea Bus London Tour
    When visiting London, one of the best ways to see is the city in on an iconic red bus! B Bakery has taken this to a whole new level by re-furnishing classic Routemaster Buses into tea rooms! The 90-minute tour passes Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square. Don’t worry, they serve your tea in a handy travel cup, so you won’t be spilling your drink.
  2. Dominique Ansell Afternoon Tea 
    Dominique Ansell Bakery
    Dominique Ansell is the king of quirky desserts. The inventor of the cronut has just started offering an afternoon tea at his Belgravia bakery. The bakery is already an Instagrammers dream. With it’s blossoming Hot Chocolate, iconic cakes and new watermelon soft serve ice cream. In fact, this afternoon tea sounds just as picturesque.
  3. Science Afternoon Tea at the Ampersand Hotel
    This is a great example of the themed tea, each of the desserts is perfectly designed around a different scientific field. Notably, jelly served in Petri dishes, drinks in test tubes and a chocolate fossil you have to excavate from chocolate “soil.” As the Ampersand Hotel is a short walk from the Science Museum, it would be a great post museum treat!
  4. Glam Rock Afternoon Tea at K West
    K West has renovated the former BBC recording studios in Shepherd’s Bush, into a luxury boutique hotel and spa. To showcase their musical roots, their afternoon tea includes “Rolling Scones.” And their own special tea blend called “Tea Rex.” Instead of plates, they serve the food on classic album covers.
  5. High Coffee at the Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel

    High Coffee
    High Coffee
    Photo Credit Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel

    Not a tea-lover, don’t fret the Park Lane Intercontinental Hotel has you covered with their High Coffee. Like a traditional afternoon tea only served with coffee drinks instead. Start with sandwiches accompanied by an espresso martini, then have a latte with your desserts and finish with a Caffè corretto (coffee with grappa).

 

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London Film and Comic Con 2018

London Film and Comic Con 2018The heatwave in London finally broke this weekend, with a day of epic rain. Jason and I originally, planned on having a quiet Sunday at home. Catching up on some financial work and binge-watching the new season of Orange is the New Black. However, on Sunday, a friend messaged us to say he was going to London Film and Comic Con (LFCC) and did we want to join him.

Batmobile @ LFCC
Batmobile @ LFCC

Stranger Things photo op
Stranger Things photo op

London Film and Comic Con

It had been a good few years since I had attended LFCC, last time we went it was still at the old Earl’s Court venue. I think it is probably four times larger than the first time we went over ten years ago. It is great to see LFCC grow in both size and popularity, and thriving at London’s Olympia.

Our friend D, is a huge Doctor Who fan. He booked himself in for several photo-shoots with previous Doctors. He explained to me, that seven of the living Doctors were at LFCC. In fact, as David Bradley played One in “Doctor Falls” episode fans also include him as a Doctor, it was actually eight. It was also the first time Christopher Eccleston had attended a signing convention! And the fans gave him a lot of love!

LFCC
13

D always has does amazing cosplay! I knew he had previously cosplayed Doctors but had never seen them in person. I was so excited when I saw him dressed as Thirteen! But being D, he was unhappy with this coat and pointed out the faults. Even so, I couldn’t see them.

When we meet up with D, near the autograph signing area. We had a quick beer and catch up. Whilst chatting we shocked to see Peter Davidson walk past. Shortly followed by David Tennant, D and I completely geeked out, but none of us had a chance to take a photo!

iZombie Panel @ LFCC
iZombie Panel @ LFCC

As it was a last minute decision for us to attend LFCC, we opted not to do any photoshoot or autographs. However, we made a quick decision to attend the iZombie panel. Mainly, we were there to people watch, shop and soak up the atmosphere. As you would expect at a con, there were so many amazing cosplayers in action!

Favourite Cosplay

LFCC
Deadpool

LFCC
Black Panther

LFCC
Mera & Aquaman

LFCC
Nick Fury

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Fangirl Afternoon Tea’s in London

Having Afternoon Tea in London is on many people’s bucket list. Traditionally, it was always “Tea at the Ritz.” Although, judging by Instagram posts, Sketch seems to currently be the place to go. With its millennial pink decor and space-aged toilets, you can see why it has become so popular. In London, there is no shortage of places to have afternoon tea, and a lot of them have an interesting twist.

Ordinarily, I might be a coffee drinker. However, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good afternoon tea. Whilst traditional afternoon teas are fun, As a fangirl, I love quirky versions. Especially those linked to a fandom, designed around a book or film. With this in mind, here is a list of six afternoon teas I want to try.

Places for Fangirls to have Afternoon Tea in London

Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea at Taj
Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea
Photo Credit Taj 51

  1. Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea at the Taj 
    (Not available in May)
    The Taj offers several interesting tea experiences, but the one that interests me the most is the Sherlock Holmes themed one. Designed around Arthur Conan Doyle’s books the menu features sandwiches named after Holmes stories. Namely, Hound of Baskerville (Roast beef filling) or The Five Orange Pips ( Smoked salmon and orange flavoured horseradish).
  2. Cutter and Squidge’s The Potion Room
    Available from the 3rd May to 30th October
    This summer, Cutter and Squidge have transformed into “The Potion Room” offering a wizard-based afternoon tea. Even though, the experience isn’t linked to the Harry Potter books or movies. It clearly takes inspiration from the wizarding world and famous witch school. One of the highlights from the menu is the Hubble Bubble drink served in a cauldron.
  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tea at One Aldwych
    When Charlie and the Chocolate Factory returned to the West End stage a few years ago. The nearby hotel One Aldwych designed an afternoon tea based on the classic Roald Dahl novel. Food from the book provides the inspiration for the menu. By creating such delights as bubblegum pannacotta to blueberry cake pops and of course a lot of chocolate!
  4. Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at The Sanderson
    Available from the 2nd May to 26th September
    Arguably, one of the most famous tea parties in literature has to be the Mad Hatter’s party in Alice in Wonderland. This summer you too can venture down the rabbit hole at The Sanderson Hotel. Their Alice themed afternoon tea features desserts includes Queen of Hearts cookies or a chessboard gateau.
  5. Theatre Not Afternoon Tea at the OXO Tower
    The iconic Oxo Tower on the banks of the River Thames, offers an afternoon tea, with a definite twist. The emphasis is on pairing cocktails and cakes  (but they do offer a non-alcoholic version for children). The Theatre Not Afternoon Tea takes its inspiration from not one but several West End stage shows. For example, cakes are inspired by iconic shows including Hamlet, Wicked and the Lion King.
  6. Tale as Old as Time at The Townhouse
    Sold Out
    Finally, the Tale as Old as Time afternoon tea at The Townhouse. Originally created to coincide with the release of the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. This tea has been incredibly popular, that they are continuing to still offer the experience. Unfortunately, it is currently sold out, although you can sign up for updates via their website.

Places for Fangirls to have Afternoon Tea in London

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100cupsofcoffee 91-95

100 Cups of Coffee

I guess the subheading for this post could be “Red Cup Season Coffees.” As all the coffees were from the end of last year and are all festive coffees from different coffee shops around West London.

Red Cup Season 2017

Red Cup Season.

Once Pumpkin Spice Latte season is over, it’s time to move on to the Gingerbread Lattes! As always, in the first day of Starbucks Red Cup season, I head to my local store for my gingerbread latte fix! Then I know Christmas is around the corner. Soon after that, I try their new Christmas drink, this year’s Festive Cold Brew was nice. But I tended to stick to the hot drinks in the colder months.

V&A Christmas Cups

Next up it is time to check out the seasonal variations from other coffee shops and their seasonal cups. Hands down the prettiest cups this year were from Caffè Nero. Inspired by artwork from the V&A museum.

Notes

Without a doubt, my favourite Festive coffee drink this year was from Notes Coffee. Oddly, I don’t like traditional Christmas Cake, but their Christmas Cake Latte was amazing! The seasonal spices from the cake without the dried fruit.

Pret Reindeer

After, the success of the Christmas Cake Latte, I thought I would try the Mince Pie Latte from Pret a Manger. Whilst the drink was nice. I was put off by the addition of pieces of mince pie in the drink. Similar to the gingerbread crumbles in the Starbucks drink. These toppings taste like crumbles biscuits in the bottom of the drink and ruin the experience.

Red Cup Season.

Finally, on Social Media, everyone seemed to be ranting about the Honeycomb Latte from Costa Coffee. Normally, I avoid Costa, as I don’t like the taste of their coffee. But I was pleasantly surprised by this seasonal drink. Unfortunately, I didn’t discover it until just before Christmas.

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

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100cupsofcoffee 86-90

100 Cups of Coffee

Essential reading
As my attempt at the 100 Cups of Coffee Challenge is coming to an end. I am looking out for new and interesting coffee shops to visit. The London Coffee Guide has been my go book for hunting out new places to visit. At the end the summer, whilst enjoying a Cold Brew in the sun, I flicked through Chief Coffee’s copy of the guide looking for inspiration.

Latte Art
The first place I wanted to check out was Caravan. Home of the “Well-travelled food and mighty fine coffee in an old grain store.” The coffee here lived up to the hype. At the King’s Cross branch you have the option to visit the roastery for a quick cup of coffee or visiting the restaurant for a meal.

Brunch
It is fair to say, that I am stuck in a brunch rut! I am possibly also a brunch cliché. No matter where I end up I seem to always order the same thing, Avocado Toast with a poached egg accompanied by a latte! Of course being a total cliché I also Instagram my brunch!

Chalk ArtDoes anyone else love chalk art outside coffee shops? I am a sucker for a fun sign. especially, if it has a funny coffee pun or geeky theme. Like this Rick and Morty one outside Taylor Street Baristas.

Nespresso!
At home, I love using my Nespresso machine to make coffee. I have also become a huge fan of the Nespresso Cafe in St Pauls. In the café, they serve an array of creative coffees all of which a beautifully crafted. Like these twist on cortado, with a hint of lemon or honey and basil.

 

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

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