I can’t cook. I don’t cook. Which I think is pretty obvious since I eat out ALL THE TIME. So when I was invited by Joe Blogs and Currys PC World for a cookery masterclass with Hotpoint and Lisa Faulkner I was a little hesitant. But I bit the bullet and went along. I mean what could go wrong?

So, on a cold Thursday evening, I made my way to the Hotpoint Design Centre in Fitzrovia. It’s a beautiful, inspirational space, a showroom (although way plusher and well though out than anything the word ‘showroom’ will bring to mind) for the Luce range of appliances. In the basement is a working kitchen with plenty of counter space and seating, ideal for foodie events.

The Lady

Whether it’s for her acting (I personally remember her most vividly from a rather gruesome ending in Spooks, but she’s also been in Brookside and Holby City amongst others), or her cooking (she won Celebrity Masterchef in 2010), if you’re British and watch TV you’ll at least recognise Lisa Faulkner.

lisapineapple

Since turning to a career in cooking, Lisa has written three recipe books – most recently ‘Tea and Cake’ which came out in February and is available from bookshops or Amazon.

lisabook

So with all this under her belt, I think Lisa was a pretty good choice to host a masterclass to show us all how to make a couple of her favourite spring recipes.

lisasyrup

I liked Lisa a lot. She oozes that kind of effortlessly casual beauty that I could never achieve and was a joy to spend time with. And when faced with a non cook like myself (which I don’t think she was expecting!) she was patient and kind. She was happy to show me the basics like how to use the blender (rookie error – always check it’s actually plugged in…) and to explain ingredients that I was unfamiliar with (noteably fennel).

The Cooking

We were shown by Lisa how to make two very different recipes – lemon sole fillets en papillote and pineapple upside down cake – before being split into pairs (my partner was the lovely Giselle from Who’s For Dinner?) to make them ourselves so we could all sit down for dinner.

Giselle and I lucked out with the task of making the pineapple upside down cake. If you’re going to cook, it’s always better to cook the cake, right? Plus I didn’t trust myself with the knives…

tray

Following the steps we’d watched Lisa take (and the recipe book, but I’m more of a wing it person when it comes to cooking – and life, but that’s a whole different topic…) we made a very sticky, syrupy version of the old fashioned classic.

I started by covering the tin in maybe a little too much Golden Syrup but, to be fair, Lisa did say, and I quote, “It might be bad for you, but we’ll just balance it with a healthy main.” 

syrup

Next, pineapple rings and glace cherries were pressed into the syrup, before we moved on to the cake mixture.

Caster sugar, flour, chunks of butter and baking powder were put into the blender along with a mixture of eggs, milk and vanilla essence. Pretty sure I got some eggshell in there somewhere. I don’t think anyone noticed.

Once all mixed together (a little lumpy, oops!) it was poured into the tray over the fruit and syrup, and placed into a 180 degree oven.

If you’d like a more accurate how to, you can download the recipe, and that for the lemon sole here.

lisacutting

I didn’t try making the lemon sole, but from memory it was reasonably simple. Definitely something I’d try in the future.lisafish

The Eating

After we’d all earned it, we were sat at the lovely seasonally decorated table for dinner.

spring

I had been a little apprehensive about the lemon sole. I’m quite uncertain with fish, and I hadn’t tried lemon sole (or fennel!) before. But it was delicious. It wasn’t a very fishy tasting fish, and the chunks of fennel were lovely. And I was overjoyed that it was served with broccoli on the side because I am OBSESSED with broccoli. There you go, a random fact about me!

fish

And of course the pineapple upside down cake was to die for, haha! And there was even enough to take some home.

dessert

The Tech

Of course we were using Hotpoint appliances – we were at the Hotpoint Design Centre after all! The star of the show was undoubtedly the Hotpoint OSD89EDE Openspace Oven.

Now I’m no chef (have I reinforced that point strongly enough yet?) but even I was impressed by this piece of kit – in this single oven you can cook at two different temperatures thanks to an insulating divider between its two compartments. Pretty handy, right?

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the two recipes of the evening made the dual temperature feature necessary – they were perfect to show it off!

As a non home owner I’m not going to be in a position to buy an oven any time soon (and you know even if I did take out would win!) but if it were on the cards this would be a strong contender!

Regardless of my cooking ability, I’m very glad I went as this was one of the most enjoyable blogger events I’ve attended! We were very kindly given a copy of ‘Tea and Cake’ so, inspired by Lisa, I may even try my hand at some baking – watch this space!

You can have a read of the official blog post here.

L xx

All photos my own.

Yep, I skipped a week again! I think we can safely say I now do these little life updates as and when rather than every Sunday, because life just gets in the way! But at least I have plenty to report back on…

Valentines Gift from Kraken

Who needs a man to buy you flowers when one of your favourite alcohol brands sends you a beautiful black rose which would outdo anything else you received anyway? Following on from their black Christmas trees (which you can read about here), for Valentines Kraken were sending black roses with Kraken miniatures to select people. And I was one of the lucky recipients.

kraken black roses

This year I was single on Valentines Day for the first time in nine years. And I was cool with it. I’m actually loving single life right now. But that’s not really something to talk about on this post.

blackrose

So thank you Kraken, it was much appreciated!

Valentines Extreme Garnishing with The Robin Collective at The Hoxton

You may remember Extreme Garnishing from my pick of alternative Valentines events? I love playing with my food so I was super excited to be invited by The Robin Collective along to the Valentines edition of their workshop, held at The Hoxton in Shoreditch, which I seem to be visiting quite a bit at the moment!

extreme garnishing

We learnt some cute garnishing tricks, played with liquid nitrogen, made a love potion and ate cider sorbet. It was awesome. There will be a post dedicated to the event coming soon.

XMen Screening at BFI with BGo and Joe Blogs

I love a good superhero movie, so a private screening of XMen at BFI in Soho with some of my favourite bloggers, including Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat, Kariss of Shy, Strange, Manic and Haydy of Squibbvicious was a great way to spend a Wednesday night.

bgo

Thanks for a lovely evening Joe Blogs and BGo!

Bring Me The Horizon at Electric Brixton

One thing I love about my favourite band is the frequency with which they play small venues (although it’s a pain getting tickets!). This time they played a Brits Week show at Electric Brixton, a venue I’ve not been to before. Through choice I went up to the balcony, and had a perfect view – so rare for me at a gig!

bmthheart

As always, their performance was spot on.

AntiChrist at Electrowerkz

I had a couple of great nights out this fortnight with my favourite girls, Luisa and Georgia. Here are some drunk selfies of the three of us at AntiChrist at Electrowerkz in Angel. I loved my blue wig!

ac

Gin Festival at Tobacco Dock

If you’re a reader of this blog, or are on any of my social media, there’s no way you’ll have escaped the fact that I was the guest blogger for Gin Festival!

gin festival

You can read my full post here, or the official post on the Gin Festival website here.

London Beer Week

Another day, another alcohol event… Drink Up London kindly gave me a couple of wristbands and a few drinks tokens for London Beer Week so on the opening night I visited the London Beer Week Hub.

london beer week

Held at Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the hub was a really nice little set up! More about London Beer Week soon.

Pasta Night with House of Godo and Yelp

You should know by now that I’m pretty involved in the Yelp community, and attend a fair few of their events. This one was a Newbie night, to welcome new Yelpers, and sample some delicious pasta dishes at a new Italian takeaway on Park Lane, House of Godo.

house of godo

The company was excellent as always (and the lovely Kariss was there, which is always a plus!) and the food really exceeded my expectations. I’m not a person who ever really orders pasta when out, so it was nice to give it a go! The lamb ragu and tiramisu were especially good.

Thanks again Yelp!

Love Food Hate Waste Meaty Issues Launch at Smiths of Smithfield

I was really spoilt when it came to food and drink this fortnight! One of my most anticipated events for a while was this lunchtime launch at Smiths of Smithfield for the Love Food Hate Waste Meaty Issues campaign.

lfhw

As well as finding out about the campaign, we were treated to a delicious lunch and a butchery demonstration. You can read all about the event here.

Kurious Kittens Hot Sake Party at Geisha

And finally, myself, Luisa and Georgia attended the Kurious Kittens Hot Sake Party at Geisha, the late night element of members only dining destination Ramusake in South Kensington. We wore masks, Japanese inspired outfits and watched latex clad dancers. I’ve had worse nights.

geisha

And yep, I’m wearing a wig again!

So that was my rather busy fortnight, I’m hoping this one coming will be a little quieter…

L xx

All photos my own.

A few people have asked where the wigs are from – I always get mine from Mad World at Charing Cross station.

Obviously, I like my music, but it hasn’t really been until recently that I’ve become a bit of a snob about what I listen to it on (I blame Sennheiser and my ace Momentum headphones). No matter what you’re playing, if it’s through a poor quality pair of speakers, it sounds a bit crappy right? But I was yet to invest on a decent pair for my home.

So, last month (yes, last month, I told you I’d been a little slack with my blogging lately!) I was excited to be invited by Joe Blogs and Currys PC World up to the recently opened Sonos Studio in Shoreditch to preview the new Sonos Play:5 speaker and participate in a speaker ‘building’ workshop.

sonosbuilding

Photo by Joe Blogs

You may not be familiar with Sonos? They’re an American company who produce products and software to tranform the home sound system for the digital age. Using their wireless speaker systems they aim to make listening a valuable experience and optimise the quality of music within the home.

sonos

There are a variety of products (and even streaming services!) within the Sonos range (which starts at £169 for the Play:1 speaker), but I’m going to talk to you about the Play:5 and the new Trueplay software.

Play:5

The new Play:5 wireless multi-room speaker is an upgrade to the original Play:5, their first wireless speaker released in 2009. My understanding is that this is the first time that Sonos have retired a product and reinvented it – and from reviews I’d read of the original version in the past it was a tough one to follow.

play5

But they seem to have managed it. The new Play:5 is, aesthetically, simpler and more modern. It’s an attractive piece of kit, available in either black or white and can be orientated three ways (horizontally, or both ways vertically) – which I believe explains the clean design, required to support this function. This versatility in orientation allows greater flexibility in placement and makes it look a bit more natural when paired with another speaker (since the release of the Play:5 Sonos have announced stereo pairing so perhaps this was deliberate?).

One thing I find interesting about the new design is that it’s actually larger than it’s predecessor – looking at other consumer electronics (classic example being the Playstation) the general trend is for upgrades to be smaller and thinner. Now this may be a little above my tech understanding but I believe it’s something to do with the quality of the bass – by getting rid of the bass port the bass sound is cleaner and deeper, which is worth losing some sleekness for in my opinion.

play5apart

There are other changes in appearance too, such as the front grille, which is now plastic rather than metal so as not to interfere with the wireless performance. But we’re not talking cheap looking plastic, this is classy stuff! The top mounted touch controls (play/pause, volume and track change) are sleek and alter dependent on orientation which is a nice touch.

The Play:5 features six speaker drivers (an increase to the five featured on the original model) with six matching Class D amplifiers, three custom designed 10cm mid-woofers and three tweeters. Now that’s all a bit techy for me, but I can tell you 100% that the sound that comes from this single speaker is HUGE. In case you can’t tell, the Play:5 is most definitely on my wishlist! It’s a shame it’s out of my current budget at £429 – but if it’s affordable to you I’d definitely recommend it!

Trueplay

With the release of the Play:5 comes some impressive new software called Trueplay. Before I tell you about Trueplay, I should perhaps mention that the Sonos speakers can be controlled via a phone app. And it’s a surprisingly easy set up.

Anyway, Trueplay – we had a nice demo of this at the workshop using a speaker placed under a sofa and turned against the walls. Trueplay tailors the output of speakers to optimise the sound dependent on where they are placed within a room. Using the app you can kind of scan the room – I believe it uses the microphone to measure speaker response and adjust the sound accordingly.

Now to my mind Trueplay has one negative – it’s currently only compatible with iPhones/iPads/iPods, Android isn’t yet supported. But as you only need to analyse a room once, you could maybe find a friend with an iPhone if you don’t have one?

On the plus side, although Trueplay was released with the Play:5, you can upgrade the software on existing Sonos speakers to work with Trueplay. Actually, the ease with which you can upgrade the software to Sonos products was something I found really impressive. Sonos design their speakers to last around ten years, so the ability to update the software regularly will keep them performing at their best. Almost makes that £429 price tag seem affordable, right?

The Challenge

After learning about the Sonos range and Trueplay we were split into two teams and challenged to build our own speakers Blue Peter style, as well as to come up with a marketing plan and sales pitch.

speakerbuilding

Photo by Joe Blogs

Despite me being a shy and retiring wallflower I had to do the talking for my team. Needless to say we lost, haha!

The Studio

I found the Sonos Studio to be a very interesting place, and a little gem in a convenient location in Shoreditch. The studio itself is on the first floor, and features listening rooms where consumers can test out the different types of speakers before buying. It’s a great space, with the main area designed to just seem like a living room. There’s also a little workshop – I’m not sure exactly how much development is actually done there, but it gave a good effect!

sonoslounge

Something I was excited about was the ground floor cafe. It’s a lovely, quiet, creative space with plenty of power outlets – absolutely perfect for some quiet time to get some work done if need be, or even just for a coffee and chat with your friends.

The drinks and food were reasonably priced and looked delicious. I tried the toasted banana bread with a hot chocolate and it was lovely. I even liked the look of the salads, and I’m really not a salad person!

sonossalad

I would definitely recommend popping in to Sonos Studio, if not for the speakers, than for the food!

sonoscafe

Thank you for having me Sonos, and for giving me the opportunity to have a sneak peak of your awesome new product!

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.

You can take a look at the official Currys PC World blog post on the event here.

It’s pretty obvious I like a drink by now, right? And since alcohol and coffee tend to go hand in hand (have to help that hangover somehow, haha!) it’d be an easy guess that I’m quite fond of a brew. So when Joe Blogs invited me along to a coffee afternoon with Currys and Nespresso, I jumped at the chance!

The Cocktails

Okay, so the whole event wasn’t entirely about cocktails but that was predictably my favourite bit of the afternoon, so it’s obviously my focus here!

We were taught to make two different cocktails, both using Nespresso pods. And luckily for me, featuring two of my favourite drinks – Johnnie Walker whisky and Kraken rum.

nespressopour

First we made the whisky cocktail – Vanilla Sky – which ended up tasting a bit like Baileys. It was good, and predictably mine had an extra whisky kick, haha! To make this one you simply mix 50ml whisky (we used Black Label Johnnie Walker), 50ml vanilla gomme, 1 shot of espresso (we used Nespresso Dulsão do Brasil) and 100ml cream and pour into a cognac glass. Nice and easy to make at home.

nespressokraken

Next up was the rum cocktail – Kraken Coffee – a bit like a grown up peanut butter milkshake. You need a shaker and strainer for this one otherwise it’ll be a bit lumpy. Just fill the shaker with 50 ml rum (we used Kraken), 1 shot of espresso (we used Nespresso Dharkan), 20ml gomme syrup, 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and chocolate powder. Shake well and strain into a martini glass, and serve with chocolate powder on top. Don’t do what I did and put in extra peanut butter…

nespressoboth

Of course I wanted to stay at the bar for another round or two, but I resisted temptation!

The Company

Okay, so since this was an event with Nespresso, I should probably tell you a bit about them. As well as the cocktail station, there were three other stations for us to participate in. One of which was a chat and demonstration with one of their reps, and it was really nice to speak to someone who was so passionate about their product.

The Nespresso machines themselves are admittedly a bit of an investment (starting at £89 RRP for the Inissia model) and pricier than their competitors, but the coffee pods are well priced and long term they work out pretty reasonable. I’m not going to do the maths – too many variables, but if you drink a lot of coffee this is a good buy.

nespressomachine

One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was the company’s commitment to recycling, which you can read more about here. The coffee pods are made of aluminium (and have you seen how nice they look?) – not only is aluminium the best choice of material to protect the coffee from oxygen and sunlight, but it is also infinitely recyclable. By collecting and recycling the pods, Nespresso have been able to reduce their environmental impact – recycled aluminium produces only 5% of the carbon emissions compared with primary aluminium. The material is also lightweight, resulting in transport and associated environmental savings.

nespressopods

Some of the Nespresso machine parts for certain models are even made from recycled pods! So if you want your coffee with a conscious, this is the one for you! Seriously though, if it is something you care about or are even a little bit interested in, take a look into their sustainability project ‘The Positive Cup’.

I’m going to be honest – before the event I had no desire for a coffee machine in my life. I just buy my coffee made for me at Starbucks usually. But now I kind of want one. It was a lot simpler, easier to clean up, and cheaper (long term at least) than I’d anticipated.

The Coffee

Obviously we sampled A LOT of coffee. Strong coffee isn’t really for me, I’m more of a mild, flavoured coffee or mocha drinker. But there is something for all tastes (unless you don’t like coffee at all, in which case you can make a killer shake or hot chocolate in the frother! Although really, if you don’t like coffee you probably aren’t reading this post…).nespresso

We had a tasting session, where we learnt about different flavours and aromas, and a little about tastebuds. I found this particularly interesting when we tried the five basic tastes as it seems my tongue doesn’t recognise umami (another word for savoury). This may explain my sweet tooth!

We also tried coffee alongside different chocolate buttons to see how the flavours complimented each other – and they actually did!

nespressoart

Oh and we had a play around learning latte art. Which, quite predictably, I sucked at.

The Venue

I really liked the location for this event – The Fable in Holborn. I love the quirky interior, with shelves of books and bric-a-brac, fairytale quotes all over the place and arguably the best toilets I’ve come across in a London bar.

thefable

Having sampled the food (we were provided with a little buffet of nibbles), I’ll definitely be going back to The Fable for dinner at some point! A notable mention goes to the chorizo Scotch egg which was AMAZING. I’m not much of a Scotch egg fan if I’m honest but the chorizo was a nice flavoursome addition and dunking chips in the gooey yolk was fab.

fablefood

I had a lovely afternoon and had the chance to meet some new bloggers (the highlight being finally meeting Haydy of Squibb Vicious!) so thanks for having me guys! If you’d like to have a read of the official blog post for the event take a look here.

L xx

All photos my own.

Last week I started a little round up of my life post series, it seemed to go down pretty well so I’m going to keep it going, at least for a bit!

This week was a pretty good week, I had a couple of cool blogger events, met some awesome new people and caught up with good friends I hadn’t seen for a while.

An evening with Frank & Jack Daniels

You know by now that I like a bit of JD, right? So obviously I had a fantastic time at an event celebrating 100 years of Sinatra, featuring a showing of the original Oceans 11 movie, some Blackjack and free flowing Whisky Sours and Sinatra Century whisky. More about this on the blog soon.

frankjack

SuperDry party with Idris Elba

Well, this one was a bit of a let down – but at least I had some good company, including my blogger friend Lauren of Saharasplash.

If you aren’t aware, Idris launched a range of mens clothing with Superdry this week, and we went along to the launch party. Idris made a brief appearance with a bunch of male models on arrival, but afterward was nowhere to be seen. There were complimentary Asahi beers and terrible cocktails but the venue (the Superdry store on Regent Street) was overcrowded and it just wasn’t fun.

idriselba

Thanksgiving Dinner

We went straight from Superdry to Thanksgiving Dinner at The Breakfast Club, so Thursday evening got a lot better! Good food, great company, and worth of its own post so watch this space.

thanksgiving

The Independent Label Market

I was up way too early for a Saturday morning to be first in line at the Exit Records stand at the Independent Label Market at Old Spitalfields Market. My Californian friend Davis is a vinyl collector, so I was sent to haggle for rare test presses – I think I did pretty well, leaving with £173 worth of vinyl!

exit

Expressing my inner Barista with Nespresso & Currys PC World

Now I’m not the biggest coffee drinker, so I wasn’t sure how this one would turn out, but I had such a good time at this Joe Blogs organised event at The Fable in Farringdon. The Johnny Walker and Kraken cocktails were obviously the highlight! But I did also learn a little about coffee…

kraken

Bring Me The Horizon

Every time BMTH are playing in or around London I think it’s pretty safe to say I’ll be there, and this time I trekked all the way to Alexandra Palace in Muswell Hill to see my favourite band. As usual, they didn’t disappoint.

bmth3

So that’s my week in a few paragraphs! Anyone get up to anything good?

L xx

All photos my own.

I’ve been thinking about doing a little round up of my week type post for a while – it’s a chance to mention things that may not warrant their own post, and give my readers a little look into my (not overly exciting) life.

No better time to start than the present, so here goes!

A couple more tattoos…

Remember me mentioning a little ice cream I was going to get on Friday 13th but didn’t? Well I went back to Laura Gascoyne at Never Say Die in Croydon on Tuesday and had it as a little gap filler to the side of my right breast. It’s super cute. Sorry for the blurry pic!

ice cream

I adore Laura – she’s an apprentice but she does a fantastic job and she’s so creative. We came up with some cool ideas for a new piece for me in the New Year, I’m excited!

And on Wednesday I went back to Haunted in Holloway for my first tattoo on my lower legs – a bleeding rose done by Math on the back of my right calf. I love it, but it hurt like a bitch at first (although I managed to nap half way through so it can’t have been that bad!). I’m going back again soon to have a matching one done on my left calf.

My calf is taking its sweet time to heal, so isn’t exactly photogenic just yet – so instead have a pic of the sketch of the idea, courtesy of Math.

rose

Picture by Math/EvenMoreBlack

The Owls Are Not What They Seem

As a Twin Peaks fan, I couldn’t pass up the chance to go to this immersive dinner performance and pop up bar in Farringdon. You can read all about it here.

the owls are not what they seem

Sonos event

On Saturday I attended a preview event for the new Sonos PLAY:5 speakers at the Sonos Studios in Shoreditch, in conjunction with Joe Blogs. I’ll write more about the event soon – it was very hands on, involving a fun, silly speaker building workshop. And I also discovered their cafe which I loved!

sonos studios

Dinerama

You know I love my food, right? Well street food is my favourite and there’s no better way for me to spend an evening than eating, drinking and catching up with friends at one of Londons many street food arenas. As a prequel to Luisa from Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat‘s birthday celebrations, a few of us went to Dinerama in Shoreditch.

dinerama

This was my first visit to Dinerama since they added the roof for Winter – I was surprised how warm and cosy it is inside! More about Dinerama soon – not just yet though, I still have a few things I need to try first!

So those were the highlights of my week! I’d love to hear if anyone got up to anything good?

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated.

You know what it’s like, you never do anything touristy in the city you live in, do you? Well, given that I live in London, one of the most incredible cities in the world, I realised not long ago that I really was missing out. So, when Joe Blogs invited me along to a Haunted Theatre walking tour in conjunction with Every Hotel Piccadilly I jumped at the chance!

Did you know that ghosts are, apparently, common in theatres as they’re drawn to places of creativity? Anyway…

The Tour

I’d never been on a walking tour before, not in London, not anywhere. So I didn’t really know what to expect. I was a little dubious, on a dull October day, that we may get caught in the rain. But Every Hotel had thought of everything, and provided us with umbrellas, just in case! It turned out we didn’t need them (thankfully!) – although our tour guide, Diane, had her bright green one up anyway so we couldn’t lose her!

everyumbrellaAfter meeting up at Every Hotel Piccadilly, our first stop was the Royal Haymarket Theatre (currently showing ‘Mr Footes Other Leg‘). It’s actually quite fitting that this play was on at the theatre at the time, as it related to Diane’s story as to where ‘break a leg’ originated from. Samuel Foote was the actor-manager at the Haymarket Theatre, and was desperate for ‘Royal’ status for the theatre. He managed to get his wish from the Duke of York after losing a wager, in which he lost a leg!

trh

I was particularly taken with the rear of the theatre, by the stage door, where a Blue Plaque is displayed – as this was the location where Oscar Wildes first performances (of ‘A Woman of No Importance’ and ‘An Ideal Husband’) were presented.

oscarwilde

Royal Haymarket Theatre also apparently has its own ghost – as witnessed by Dame Judi Dench and Patrick Stewart! Believed to be the actor John Buckstone, the Victorian ghost is said to walk through walls.

Our second stop was the London Coliseum, home to the English National Opera. I love the location of the Coliseum, right opposite the National Portrait Gallery. The theatre has a large spinning globe on its roof, which attracted visitors, particularly soldiers during World War One. It’s said that the theatre is haunted by these soldiers – in particularly one is said to be often spotted in row G.

coliseum

From the side entrance of the Coliseum, we could see the Duke of York’s Theatre. Now, the interesting thing about the Duke of York’s actually relates to a piece of clothing – a jacket (once worn by Thora Hird) is said to tighten around the neck all by itself! There’s also allegedly the ghost of a former actor-manager, Violet Melnotte, who messes around with the door locks!

doy

En route to our next stop, we took a little walk through Goodwin Court which, as a Harry Potter fan, I was quite taken with, as it reminded me of Diagon Alley! Diane explained to us that it was in fact an alleyway used by prostitutes back in the day, and part of Soho’s infamous Red Light District.

goodwin

This led us to the Adelphi Theatre, which had one of the more interesting ghost stories. Actor ‘Mad Archie’ (full name Richard Archer Prince) blamed colleague William Terriss for losing his job, and stabbed him in the back – the ghost of Terriss apparently haunted both the theatre and nearby Covent Garden station (which stands on the spot of a former bakery Terriss would frequent), until his exorcism in the 1950s!

The Lyceum Theatre (currently showing one of my favourites, ‘The Lion King‘) has a very famous ghost – Madame Tussaud herself! She is said to be seen watching a show, with a death mask in her lap!

lyceum

On to the theatre with the highest number of ghosts in London – the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, with a whopping three ghosts! As well as a creepy clown who appears in mirrors and a man in grey, the Drury Lane is haunted by comedian Dan Leo – allegedly you can tell when he is near by the scent of lavender!

drury

Finally, and possibly my favourite – the Fortune Theatre, where ‘Woman In Black‘ is currently being shown. I loved the movie, so I really want to see the stage version! Anyway, not only is the Fortune showing the Woman In Black, it has its very own woman in black ghost! About ten years ago, the Victorian female began to appear in the wings. Perhaps coincidentally, the theatre is adjacent to a children’s playground, which is built on an old cemetery.

wib

The Hotel

Every Hotel Piccadilly were fantastic hosts, and put on a lovely buffet and open bar for us on our return to the hotel after all that walking! In particular I enjoyed the chicken burger.

everyfood

Perfectly located just off Leicester Square, the hotel itself is lovely – and the rooms are sound proofed so you don’t have to worry about all that central London noise when you’re trying to nod off. And I love a good rainfall shower.

Newly opened, Every Hotel pride themselves on their amenities – all rooms have a free (non-alcoholic) mini bar, Smart TVs and Nespresso machines. They also claim to have the world’s fastest hotel WiFi – now I can’t tell you how accurate this is, but I can confirm it was pretty damn speedy! They really have paid attention to the details – as well as the usual three prong plug sockets, there are also direct USB plugs in the wall to charge phones (or whatever else).

everybed

They also have a ‘Techno Gym’ (which unsurprisedly I didn’t check out, although I wish I had because what exactly is a ‘Techno Gym’? Can I take my bulk stack and workout there. might be worth checking. click here now).

Now, I’m not a believer in ghosts, I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a non-believer either, but I very much enjoyed Diane’s tour, and I would recommend it, or one of her other tours, if anyone has an afternoon spare.

Thank you very much Joe Blogs, Diane and Every Hotel!

L xx

All photos my own.

You can check out Every Hotels own blog post about the event here.

Last night I was really excited to have had the chance to attend an evening with Sennheiser and Currys PC World, where Sennheiser were showcasing their latest Momentum 2.0 headphone range.

The evening started with a generous free bar, some delicious canapes, and the chance to socialise with other bloggers. I had the pleasure of meeting some lovely ladies; Milly of Mini Adventures, Leanne of Broke In The Big Smoke, Claire of Country Mouse Claire, Olivia of Beauty From The Fjord and Danielle of Keep It Simp Elle amongst others. The venue, Noir W1 in Marylebone, was lovely, although the lighting made taking photos a tough task!

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Representatives from Sennheiser were on hand to tell us all about the range and answer any questions we may have. I have to admit that, although obviously I’m a big music fan, I’m not somebody who usually splurges on headphones – I’ve always meant to, and a lot of my friends, who are heavily into their music always rave about Sennheiser. So I was really keen to give the range a try!

The products we were shown were the second generation in the Momentum range, having built on the already popular product by enhancing comfort and portability.

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The Over-Ear style (RRP £269.99) were the real star of the show, which is no surprise as they were recently named EISA’s European Headphones 2015-2016. Available in three colourways; black, ivory and brown, they’re timelessly stylish, a really good looking pair of headphones that won’t date and the materials used (stainless steel and leather headbands/ear pads) are top quality – these look expensive. You can really tell that Sennheiser have put a lot of thought into the design; the leather ear pads make them ridiculously comfortable (perfect for those long haul flights!) and the headband is surprisingly flexible, you’d be surprised how far it bends! This really helps when folding these otherwise bulky headphones up into a more travel friendly size and shape.

As for the sound, I spent a little while trying out the Over-Ears, having a little silent disco for one listening to the new Bring Me The Horizon while the venue were playing house music. The sound was perfect, and even before I hit play on my iPhone, the ear pads manage to cancel out all the surrounding noise. Faultless.

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I was really excited to hear that Sennheiser will soon be launching a Bluetooth wireless pair with Active Noise Cancellation, so I’ll be saving my pennies for those! They apparantly have a 22 hour battery life too (with Bluetooth and NoiseGard activated), which I think is pretty impressive!

The smaller On-Ear headphones (RRP £169.99 – but Currys PC World currently have a fab deal on!) have the same features as the Over-Ear, they’re just smaller and use Alcantara where the Over-Ear use leather. I don’t see this as a bad thing though, it’s still a high quality material (I personally didn’t notice the difference!) and makes the range more accessible to those who don’t like to purchase leather. As with the Over-Ears, they’re available in black, ivory and brown.

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Also in the Momentum range are an In-Ear model (RRP £89.99). Currently available in a gorgeous black and red colourway, they’ll soon be released in a classic black chrome finish. I wasn’t expecting to be impressed by in-ear headphones – I’ve always found them a little uncomfortable and just use them as needs must for the gym really. But the Momentum In-Ears feature a personalised fit (they come with ear adapters in different sizes) promising optimum comfort as well as the expected top notch listening experience. As with the rest of the range, the materials used are luxurious; the In-Ears acoustic pipes are made of custom machined stainless steel (which apparantly produces more accurate sound). And, being someone who can destroy or jumble up a cable within minutes, I was really impressed with the strength of the tangle-free cable!

As well as finding out about the new products, we were treated to a couple of music related workshops.

Juno Records were on hand to teach us a little about vinyl. Being of the CD and digital music generation, vinyl isn’t something I’ve ever purchased, so I was really interested to hear that vinyl sales have been growing each year since 2011. It seems that new labels are keen to differentiate themselves from the download-only labels, and provide an attractive and collectible product for a more hands on, personalised listening experience. Makes sense to me!

One of the highlights of the evening for me was the mini DJ masterclass I received from John The Baptist. Having never DJ’d before, and having no natural rhythm, I think I was a hard one to teach!

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The lovely Milly went straight after me and I think she did a much better job! To everyone who thinks DJs have a much easier job than live bands – trust me, there’s more to it than you’d think!

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I had such an amazing evening, and I’m sure you’ll be seeing more Sennheiser posts from me in the not too distant future. Thank you for having me Sennheiser and Currys PC World! And thank you Joe Blogs for hooking a girl up!

To see more pics of the night, check out the #SoundsOfSennheiser tag on Instagram. You can read the official blog post here.

L xx

Pssst… I hear Broke In The Big Smoke may be doing a little giveaway sometime soon – keep an eye out!

All photos my own.

Please note that where applicable my links direct to the iPhone compatible models, the IEi. For Android you’ll need the IEG version.