Sunday, 2 December 2018

Afternoon Tea at The Corinthia London

festive cakes afternoon tea the corinthia london

Afternoon Tea is an integral part of British culture and as such widely appreciated as an activity to spend your Sunday afternoon. The classic experience is usually offered by cafés and 4-star hotels. Think Ascot, Sketch or Peggy Porschen as London's top addresses - but even in Central, high-end hotels in Westminster have been very popular for the extravagant tradition. 

In particular, The Corinthia Hotel is worth mentioning here as it serves Afternoon Tea* in the most traditional British fashion set in the most luxurious surroundings you'll ever see.

The Corinthia Hotel in London

Located in a leafy side street leading up to Trafalgar Square, right next to the Embankment underground station and overlooking the Thames is the 5-star hotel The Corinthia. It’s been known for its exquisite penthouses and lavish suites regularly visited by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Will.I.Am, Bill Clinton or Beyonce – but The Corinthia will soon also be known as THE place for Afternoon Tea.

In fact, the hotel has invested in reinventing their previous Afternoon Tea all year and launched their new tasty experience with a contemporary twist in the summer. It’s not as much as the hotel is venturing into new territory as the classic elements of Afternoon Tea are very much incorporated. It is more the combination of taking a new turn on some of the classical elements which shows bravery to bring British longstanding tradition into 2018.

The Crystal Moon Lounge at Corinthia London


The service is discreet and highly professional, yet greets you with a warm welcome upon arrival and further scores with excellent hosting skills throughout your entire stay. The Corinthia serves Afternoon Tea in their Crystal Moon Lounge which is dominated by a magnificent chandelier as its centrepiece. 

Under this opulent globe of shiny lights is the marbled lounge with white sofas that are so soft that you sink into the fluffy cushions once sat down. To set the scene further, you’ll hear soft piano tunes filling the air with the most beautiful Christmas songs. 

The lounge is open which allows you to be directly in the middle of The Corinthia’s heart and become a part of its high-end luxurious world. And you’ll never know who may walk past as you’ll see some interesting people dressed in suits or extravagant fur coats walking in and out of the hotel.

The real head-turner, however, is the tasteful cutlery and bespoke tea sets which The Corinthia has ordered specifically for the new Afternoon Tea experience. The 25 sets consist of black or red striped teapots and plates plus either silver or golden shimmering cup which reflects the striped pattern and creates a marvellous effect. The delicate porcelain is so elegant and further complemented by crystal Champagne flutes, each set costing around £200. With such a set up there’s only one thing missing: the food.
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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Adidas City Run. My Clapham 10k Playlist

the ultimate running playlist with songs you need to listen to when you run a 10km race

When I finished my first 10km London run at Richmond Riverside last month, I was determined that I would not participate in another race for a while. I had completed a 10k, ticked off the box, what’s next? But then I picked up the 25th-anniversary edition of Runners World and besides an inspiring interview with Mo Farah (who runs 130 miles per week!), a full-page advertising had caught my eye: the Adidas City Run series.

I was intrigued and checked them out online to learn that Adidas was organising four runs across London throughout summer and autumn. The entry fee would cover a stylish race T-shirt, the closure of London’s roads for the route, a cool medal, professional photography and discounts for local eateries after the finish. I was sold and signed up for their up-coming 10k run in Clapham.

Preparing For The Adidas City Run In Clapham


My preparation was (again) terrible. I had two weeks for training and managed three runs. My Nike Run Club app measured around 3.5km in 30 mins with an average pace of 8.49 which didn’t look too great if I'm honest. Nevertheless, I was determined to run – or worse came to worse – walk it if I had to. The Saturday before the race, I spend my afternoon preparing. I went on another 30mins training session, rested for a bit and downloaded some new music to my iPhone which would keep me motivated on my mission.
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Sunday, 19 August 2018

From Couch To 10km. My First Run In London

from couch to 10km my first london run

One day in April, I started "running". Well.....I started very slowly to avoid muscle damage and since I have a thyroid condition have to make sure I don't overheat too quickly. I set myself a time target of around 20minutes lightly jogging two rounds in my local park with one lap afterwards walking and then do it all over again for another three turns. 

From Couch To 10km Or Straight To Signing Up To My First 10km Run


I had downloaded an 8-week training schedule from Runners World but only used it for the first week or so. I went running every second evening and found it more of a relaxing activity for me to clear my mind and to get some sort of exercise rather than doing it for building stamina or weight loss.

I managed to stay persistent for exactly one month - which is a major achievement as a Gemini! - then life came in between and it was June when I restarted my running regime.

One day in June, I logged into my Facebook after God-knows-how-many-years-of-absence and I saw an ad by The Fix Events promoting their Richmond Riverside 10km run. I was intrigued because I love the Richmond area and running along the idyllic river sounded good to me. 

A nice change from the usual monotonous laps I do in the small greenery of my local area. Within the next minute, my enthusiasm and naive optimism signed up for the run. With less than three weeks to go for the event, I exercised precisely twice. T-W-I-C-E.
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Sunday, 29 July 2018

Olé España. My Spain Round Trip.

Freshly picked lemons in mallorca

To me, no other country has summer holidays written all over it than Spain. Having grown up in Germany, summer trips to Spain were annually kind of mandatory. Spain and summer belong together such as the refreshing ice in ice tea and sand on the beach – but there’s so much more to the country than just beaches, Ballerman and the certainty that every day will be filled with sun and heat.

Last year, I planned a different summer holiday than the usual one – a round trip to explore more of Spain’s culture, learn about its versatile nature and of course there was time for a little break on the beach with ice cream. 

Travel Round 1: Mallorca - Island of Diversity


Away from the partying and retiring Germans in Palma, Mallorca positively surprised me with its diversity. Wherever you go, you can tell the island is wealthy and invests a lot in tourism. The streets are neat and modern, the villages still sleepy and untouched though very well connected with the infrastructure, there are hiking paths for you to get lost along the coast or simply the fact, that wherever you go in Mallorca may it be to the lush vegetation in the mountains or the crystal clear coves at the coast, you’ll always find an excellent restaurant serving local cuisine and fine dining experience.

I can highly recommend the beautiful Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Cas Xorc which is located right at the top of a mountain in between overgrown greenery and gardens. Built in typical historic Mallorcan style, the hotel is a popular wedding venue and I can totally see why. It was completely hidden away and there wasn't even a sign on the road. 

At some point, there was a dusty little sideway, very narrow and hard to navigate around and difficult to manoeuvre by car. After a 20minute fine-tuning and inch by inch work up the winding path with the car, I made it. Olive trees and lush greenery awaited, lemon trees and rose gardens filled the air with a heavenly scent. In the shadows of olive trees, I enjoyed lovely views over the area and a light summer lunch. This is definitely an insider tip and was the highlight of my trip.
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Monday, 2 July 2018

A Day Trip To The Mayfield Lavender Farm

My_day_trip_to_Mayfield_Lavender_Farm

I'm tired of London.

There, I said it.

The hectic and changing lifestyle, the never-ending hustle & bustle as well as the masses of people were all a tiny bit too much for me lately.  All I've been craving for is a bit of space to myself for some much needed “Me time” but places for seeking solitude and getting an inch to breath is hard to find in a mega city such as London – not quite! They do exist if you’re willing to invest a bit of time and are up for an adventure to visit these places.

Having read a couple of blog posts about the amazing day trips to the surrounding countryside to escape the city, I felt inspired and ventured out by myself. So one sunny afternoon it was that I decided to take my camera and a good book on an adventure trip to the outskirts of London, namely the Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead/Surrey.

How to get to the Lavender Fields From London?


From my home in City Airport, I took first the DLR to Canning Town, then changed into the Jubilee Line to Canada Water and then took the Overground to Croydon. Once I’ve arrived at the station, I walked 10 minutes to the bus stop, waited nearly 20 minutes for the 166 bus and was then on a 50-minute ride to the Fields….told you this is a bit of a long journey so definitely bring your book! 

Especially the change in Croydon was time-consuming because the bus stops aren’t very well signposted and the one I needed was in a side street approximately 500 metres away from the Overground station….and well…Croydon is not necessarily my preferred area in London.

Anyway, the bus journey itself was actually pretty nice as the route goes straight out of Croydon via Purley Hills into the countryside. The further you got away from the urban space leaving the London bubble behind,  the prettier the houses and tranquil the neighbourhoods became – and then you’ve found yourself driving down this wonderful leafy alley – a typical English country lane with wild vegetation on both sides and the beauty of purple lavender peeking through its lush greenery every so often.
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Exploring London By Megabus

megasightseeing with megabus

My love story with London began in 1999 at the tender age of 14 when I visited the city for the first time on a school exchange. Coming from a very rural countryside of Germany into the “big smoke” was going from one extreme to the other – I was simply blown away by London’s charm and vibrancy. 

It was everything I’ve ever dreamt of and more: there were theatres, restaurants, museums, libraries, cinemas, shopping at your doorstep, the people and the constant impulsive energies never seemed to stop. It was on that school trip that I realised I needed life around me in order to feel alive – it felt inspiring and as if I had woken up from a dream. From that moment on I knew that I wanted nothing more than to get out of my small-minded town in Germany and demand more from life.

My Life Changed When I First Visited London In 1999


Fast forward a few years to my A-Level graduation and it was all set in stone that I would go to London to attend a private language school. Over the years the desire manifested and stayed persistently with me so, in 2005, I finally moved. Though it was only temporarily, I felt that I had made the right step into a great future. London was still exciting and I’m grateful for the friendships I made, mainly with internationals and the experience bonded for a lifetime. Sadly, after my course had finished I had to return to Germany to start uni and finish an English language degree.

The years to follow were marked by working hard to shape my academic career but I never lost touch with London. I regularly returned to roam its streets and explore new areas to add to my personal London map so soon I knew the city and its secrets inside out. No matter how often I kept coming back discovering new sides of the city, I died inside when I sat on the plane back home. The romanticised version I kept of London ever since my first visit was stronger than ever and I knew I wanted to be here – ideally forever.

coca cola london eye VIP treatment
sightseeing bus in london

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Monday, 9 April 2018

A Trip To Miniature Japan

isle of dogs film exhibition london

Is this a film or travel post? To be honest with you, I wasn't so sure either when I planned it. However, as soon as I stepped into "The Making of Isle of Dogs" exhibition I felt immediately transported to a wondrous dream world - but let me start from the top. So *takes a deep breath* after one of these aimless scrolls on Instagram, I noticed a picture posted by my former colleague. 

In the shot, he had been up close to the puppets of the newly released Wes Anderson film Isle of Dogs. Feel free to judge me, but I'm not the biggest Wes Anderson fan. I do appreciate his artistic work but feel his ideas/visions are a bit too eccentric and absurd for my taste. 

Anyway, some stalking research later I knew that my colleague had been to a pop-up exhibition showcasing various sets and puppets from the film. And where else would be a better place for something so genius as this? Right, the X Store on 165 The Strand (we remember the legendary LV Series 3 fashion exhibition). The best bit was yet to come - the exhibition was completely for FREE.  

Store X Hosted A Free Behind The Scenes Exhibition On Wes Andersons Isle Of Dogs Film


This was certainly a  unique collaboration between the X Store and the distributor Fox Searchlights since pop-up exhibitions revealing insights into the world of film making are rare. I love a good artsy exhibition - may it be film, paintings or fashion collections, I was so up for this. One fine Saturday afternoon after brunch with friends, I went over to the X Store and joined the queue. The wait wasn't too long and after 20 minutes I entered the building.

The entrance was plastered with film posters and additional information about the stop motion film. Isle of Dogs was mainly filmed at 3 Mills Studio in East London. Here, more than 17 sets have been created alongside over 1000 puppets and more than 144,000 still frame shots to make the movie. In total, 670 people were involved in the production. Once you've been taken through the hard facts of the movie making it was time to delve into the alternative Japanese dream world of Isle of Dogs.
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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

What Makes A Great Blogger Event?

Very Valentines Event

One of the many perks of blogging is to receive invites to branded blogging events. Personally, I absolutely love these events having been invited to a few myself and the opportunity to create and execute branded events professionally in my previous job.

Branded Blogger Events Are Still Very Popular And Important For The Industry


Blogger events provide you with unique opportunities and according to a recently conducted Twitter poll, bloggers mostly enjoy networking (43%) and meeting the brand (23%). Events can make you feel “special” as they are highly exclusive and London events, in particular, are usually great nights out and a lot of fun!

Speaking from a brands perspective, events are a key to working with wider influencer networks and let the brand connect with their audience on a very personal and interactive level through an immersive experience. 

An event can also position the brand as an expert in their field by telling stories and creating engaging experiences to bring their message, products and services across. After all, what counts most to bloggers is a great event atmosphere (75%), followed by structure (12%), venue (8%) and an influential guest speaker (5%).

Having been invited to the Very.co.uk Valentines Press event last week, I would like to share in today’s post my 10 ingredients for a successful blogger event to create a memorable experience for a lasting long-term momentum.

1. Have A Guest List & A Warm Welcome For Your Blogger Event


Inviting the right people is crucial to ensure the maximum outcome for potential coverage. A food blogger is most likely not as engaged at a fashion event as a fashion blogger. Therefore it is vital that the right bloggers are targeted and invited to come along to the evening. 

A community specialist or professional outreacher for influencer marketing is the right person to do the job as often they are bloggers themselves and know a lot of people – so when they call their blogging friends to come along, you can be sure they will! However, the downside is that community specialists tend to invite the same 10 people for every event, which is not optimal for SEO purposes and also upsets a lot of bloggers in the community. Therefore source afresh every time to ensure a good mix up and diversity.

Once you have your guest list ready, be positive and engaged when welcoming your guests at the entrance door. Provide all your staff with name badges as first impressions count. They set the right tone for a great atmosphere for your event which is the most important element for bloggers (75%).
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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Dancing On Ice

ice skating wifa skates blog review

Happy New Year, how is 2018 treating you so far? Please accept my apologies for not posting in so long but last year ended with a few unexpected life changes and I had to take off some time from London and blogging.

Whilst I spend some time at home in Germany, I’ve rediscovered one of my oldest hobbies - figure ice skating. It’s one of my hobbies, which actually stayed with me for many years. As a child and later teenager, I was very fickle with sports and I changed my mind so many times. I did bowling, swimming, taekwondo and even attempted ballet but nothing fascinated and engaged me as much and for as long as figure ice skating has.

The winters from my childhood were usually pretty cold and the nearby lakes and the town moat would freeze so all children would go skating sooner or later – I miss the afternoons on the ice playing with friends until it got dark at 4pm. We would play chase or hockey. 

However, I didn’t always have ice skates as they were very hard to get in Germany in the early 2000s. At first, I used to have strap blades to tie to my shoes, but those weren’t a great deal. My first pair of ice skates were then bought at a local sports shop but the shoes weren’t of great quality. 

The faux leather was very baggy and didn’t provide much support for my ankle. The shoes weren’t insulated enough so my feet would regularly freeze and get numb which shouldn’t be the case with good ice skates. It took me 13 years to find my perfect pair and here is my story:
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