Eating · Food · Going out · Lifestyle · Things to do

Venerdi- Italian delights

As an all round (literally) food lover, Italian food rakes highly as some of my favourite food.

I mean who could say no to a thinly based pizza (apologies Chicago) with lots of fresh mozzarella and basil on a rich tomato base? Or a freshly cooked Al dente pasta??

Well I have always loved Italian food and have traveled to Italy to sample many of their delights so when Jo from Love Pop Ups London invited me and Katie from Isthatlondon to join her to sample the menu from Venerdi we couldn’t say no..

As all excited hungry person would do, I reviewed their menu looks to plan all the yummy food I was going to try.

As there was three of us, we all decided to chose three starters, mains and desserts to share.. better for me as I love trying out new dishes..

So here’s what we went for..(disclaimer, pictures may make you hungry!)

Tricolore

Arancini
Misto Fritto

All three dishes all had their special features, the Tricolore was was fresh the mozzarella smooth and the colours a visual pleasure. The Arancini was crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and the Misto Fritto was a lightly batter seafood platter with a garlic mayo dip … We finished all of our starters with no problems at all, greedy us? no, just delicious food.

Next up with so many dishes to choose from, we decided on picking something from the pizza, pasta and mains so we could sample a mixture of what Venerdi had to offer.

The Chatsworth

Linguine Pescatore
Tagliata Di Filetto Alla Griglia

The pasta was cooked Al dente, the pizza was deeply filled but thinly based and the beef fillet cooked to perfection.

Next up desserts, and I hope y’all ready for this!

Bailey Panna Cotta

Banoffee Pie
Tiramisu

If you weren’t full after the mains you definitely was after desserts. All their desserts were extremely well presented, and very generous size, we admitted defeat as we couldn’t finish all of it..please don’t judge me, I was already going to have to roll out of the restaurant.

The only suggestion I would say is that the Panna cotta flavour was slightly over taken by the super sweet sauce over it while aesthetically pleasing to look at, it kinda overtook the delicate flavours of the Panna Cotta.

Other than that we all enjoyed spending our evening with Venerdi, tucked away from the main Streets of London Fields.

On the evening we visited, London decided to snow for the first time in 2019, and with the weather bitterly cold, Venerdi was welcoming with their delicious food, no wonder it’s a local gem.

Thanks again to Venerdi and Love Pop Ups London for the invite, while this was a gifted experience all comments are my own.

Fun · Going out · immersive · scavenger hunt · Things to do

The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar-BuckBuck Games

So it’s the new year and your team at work has lost their drive and you need something to spark that drive within…now as you scratch your head and think how am I going to do this? Let me help you!

Introducing BuckBuck Games an interactive scavenger hunt. The aim of the game is to find as many gold as you can to exchange it for the caterpillar hunting stick, so you can find the missing smoking caterpillar…well or so we thought?

When you arrive you are escorted to the Hunt room by the white rabbit don’t worry if you don’t know where you are going she will come and find you.

Next you’ll meet the Baron who will guide you through the hunt and give you some of basic rules..which basically is engaged and find…

the Alchemist who will provide you with the first drink…

The drink is an orange flavor alcohol concoction…not one for me…

The hunt involves solving puzzles left out by the various characters, the aim of the game is that they will have clues for you to solve and task for you to so in exchange for gold nuggets..

The game itself is very interactive, however as there were lots of smaller groups of players..I am not sure that it’s the right combination? For example, I felt that there were some groups who were really engaged with the activities and there was some groups who were like on their own hunt?

I would say, we did find Russ the smoking caterpillar so we all won!

I think this would be a great game where you have a big group of people who know each other to make it a competitive as well as a team build exercise.

All in all, I had fun engaging with the actors. Also I felt that the constant refuelling of the task once completed does allow other players to try the same game once you have completed it.

Not sure it’s something I would do again as while it was fun, I did find some of the task confusing and wasn’t too sure what I was doing at all times? Personal choice but great for a team build activity.

Thanks to Love Pop Ups London for the invite.

Family · Fun · Going out · Things to do · Travels

Enter the enchanted lights display at ZSL London Zoo

At this time of year when all the Christmas lights around London tries to out do each other with the biggest and brightest lights display.

However if you are looking for something different, then how about Christmas At London Zoo, where you can walk around the intricately designed festive lights display while the zoos residents snoozes in the night.

The event is currently on until 1st January 2019.

There are various displays which are great for the both adults and children to enjoy. Do make sure you have charged all your camera devices as you don’t want to miss any picture perfect moments.

Due to the location, they have kept the the lights and music at a minimum hence there maybe some dark areas but keep walking and you’ll find the footprints leading you to the centre of the of where Father Christmas might be waiting for you?

Around the park there are different stalls to fend of any hungry monsters or hot chocolate or mulled wine for the those craving a warm fuzzy feeling.

For the child at heart, there is a carousel and various amusement games for those looking to test out their ball throwing skills.

There are loads of different lights display.

There is also a Father Christmas post office where you can check if your letter has been posted and arrived??

I think my favourite part has to be the live show..kids will love it!

Here you will also find the marshmallow stand and wood burning fire where you toast your marshmallow..best have parents supervision if you have young children around.

Its definitely a great trip more aimed at the younger audience, myself and a group of friends from Love Pop Ups London thoroughly enjoyed our walk around and the venue really made the experience more enjoyable.

Thank you ZSL London Zoo for the invite.

cocktails · Fun · Going out · immersive · Lifestyle · Things to do

All aboard skippers- The Hidden Spirit

📷 credit The Hidden Spirit

Are you bored of your usual drinking hole and are looking for something a little more interactive for your next night out?

How about a little treasure hunt inside the Golden Hinde at London Bridge?

From Inventive Productions, the creators who brought us Alcatraz, welcome aboard The Hidden Spirit, The world first pirate cocktail bar.

Legend has it, decades ago, over $2 million in riches were dumped in an unknown location and hidden at sea! Following the discovery of a cipher stating “The Secret Lies With Elizabeth”, the U.S \nGovernment commissioned The Hidden Spirit, which has undergone an epic journey to London to recover the hidden treasure.

The Governor on board commissioned Captain Jack to form a new crew to bring home the treasure.. however with this much at stake are you prepared to break the laws and join the life of piracy?

As you board the boat you are offered a new uniform to blend in with the rest of the new crew..a quick briefing later with the Governor..you meet Captain Jack…who do you trust? What do you believe?

📷 credit The Hidden Spirit

An immersive experience with pirates on board to entertain and to help you gamble away your riches.

Your entry fee of £34.99 includes three cocktails…the first being the Golden Shimmer which is rum based and with specks of gold shimmer within…drink with caution as if the Governor see you with it you might get lose your head!

Golden shimmer

As you sails off the story unfolds, who do you trust and what does your future holds? You are then invited to select your second and third cocktail of the night..

Mile End Mule

Cocktails menu

Be on alert though as the Governor is always prouncing around checking if anyone has found their way into his treasure…

Captain are lucky Captain Jack might be willing to share with you the secrets of where the treasure is kept..but shhhh can you keep a secret? Or will the captain and his crew fall at the hands of the Governor?

A truly enjoyable experience with an amazing location, definitely a place to take someone you want to impress or go with a brunch of friends and get truly involved.

Thank you to Jo at Love Pop Ups London for inviting me along to experience this new London pop up.

NB* a gifted experience however all reviews are my own.

Fun · Going out · Lifestyle · Things to do

Now Gallery – WALALA X play

An art exhibition that explores the usage of both, vivid patterns, colours and reflections to excite the individual needs to explore. 

This is a concept maze designed by Camille Walala. The maze uses different bold patterns and colours to lead you through the exhibition, every corner you turn insights a different experience and feeling. 

A key part of this installation is the imaginative puzzle that invites the solver to differentiate the difference between what may be two identical images. 
You can definitely feel like getting lost in it. 

The exhibition is free to enter however due  to the size and popularity of it.. Now gallery offers a ticketed event. So please make sure you book to avoid any disappointment! The gallery is usually less busy on a weekday so if you are passing by then pop in and have a look. 

Also, the exhibition can be viewed on the upstairs platform, do pop up as they have a model of the new development for those interested in architecture or design infrastructure it a delight to explore. This exhibition is on until 24th September so to don’t wait.. 

Fun · Going out · Lifestyle · Things to do

Canal boat cruise picnic? Yes please!  

When I was asked if I would be interested in cruising down the canal from Paddington basin, to Camden, I couldn’t help but jumped a little in excitement.. I have never done a canal cruise, I mean I have seen the canal boats all long the London canals.. But driving a boat down.. Now that’s something you don’t do everyday.

Now, Go Boat is the only self drive electric power boating experience in London, this is a follow up on the success Go Boat had in Scandinavia.
The journey take place by Merchant Square nearest station I would say is Edgware road station.

You can book various hours, however we think that a minimum of two hours are required.. We had two hours on our trip and you really don’t know where they go.. I mean when they said time flies when you are having fun.. They didn’t exaggerate!

Just in case you think that they let all these Londoners loose on the canals of London.. Don’t worry.. We have all been briefed of all the tight squeeze and  things to avoid as well as a map to merrily bobbing along the canals towards Camden Town. Apparently this journey should take no more than 60 mins.. Well, let’s just say we wanted to get to Camden but may not have made it in the two hours we had.

It’s such a difference experience to see London from a different side.. Passing little Venice, along Regents Park, where you can spot a few zoo animals.. It just makes anyone so happy.

Our trip was also filled with lovely drinks provided by Fentimans I have always loved their delicious Ginger Beer, I didn’t even know that they do alcoholic drinks.. The pre mixed Gin and tonic.. Was delicious.. The drinks are all organically brewed and most are gluten free too!

Together with vegetable crips from Emily’s Crisp a healthy and yummy treat for the cruise. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon picnic experience.

I loved the experience and would love definitely be recommending it to friends and family, looking to enjoy a different side of London. Thanks again to Jo from @lovepopupslondon for the invite.

Lifestyle · Things to do · Travels

Zadar- Croatia- Part I

 

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So recently, I mean during Easter, I decided to continue with my travel exploration, so on my hit list was Zadar in Croatia..

Lots of people ask me why Zadar considering this is my first visit to Croatia.. I mean most people will visit Dubrovnik or even Split. Well I didn’t want to be one of the crowds and Zadar being relatively unknown is a great place for a first experience. The city itself is small, I mean from the old town I was able to walk from one end to the other in under 15 minute so don’t worry about getting lost.

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From the airport, there is one bus that is usually timed to leave depending on the flights arrival into Zadar airport.. 25 Kuna for a bus ride, please note that the driver doesn’t carry change, so make sure you have some.. i.e… buy some water at the airport? The ride takes around 20 mins into the old town.. so if thats where you are staying.. its the last stop so don’t worry about missing it.

I stayed at the Boutique Forum Hostel, the location of this hostel is AMAZING.. and the room, clean with free linen and towels.. and at £13.90 per night? I’m not complaining.. they have lockers in the room which is opened with your room key.. each room has 4 bunk beds that has a mirror and two electric ports by your bed so no waiting for the ports to be free to charge up your camera or phone..

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Oh, one thing I need to mention is that as a solo traveller I felt really safe walking around, though I always recommend being street wise to being aware of your surroundings.

So one of the main attraction in Zadar is the Sea Organ created by Nikola Bašić, though man made its an amazing invention.. I know you can hear the sea when you sit close by but to be be able to hear the music it plays from as far away as the town is unbelievable. It has totally changed the city’s waterfront. So how did he do this? well this is due to the holes drilled into the marble of the steps which are linked to the 35 organ pipes beneath the water. Please take a moment to sit down and enjoy the free concert.

Right by the Sea Organ is the Greetings to the Sun, this is a great visual display another Nikola Bašić creation, this is a circular display where there are tiny photovoltaic cells underneath… during the day, these little cells store the sun rays as solar energy and when night falls.. these colourful lights display are a image I have confirmed to memory.

There are many reminiscence of Byzantine rule so definitely take some time and enjoy the scenery..such as the Zadar Cathedral, The Church of St.Donatus all within walking distance in the old town.

So as a foodie, what do I enjoyed the most? definitely the Dalamation Beef Stew, which is beef stew that has been slow cooked for at least 12 hours so the restaurant will make it the night before, these are usually served on a bed of gnocchi. Next is the Black ink Risotto… Places I tried are: Restaurant Bruschetta and Konoba Stomorica and I recommend for trying these traditional cuisine.

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I am going to just leave it here and my next Zadar post will be about the Plitvice Lakes National Park so do come back for more! P. S there are more pictures.. So watch this space.