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 Afternoon Tea Room


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 Kevin Lee playing from the main entrance – the hotel’s pianist and star of the lounge – soon 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.

The Crystal Moon Lounge at The Corinthia London
Afternoon Tea served at The Corinthia London
The Crystal Moon Lounge Corinthia Hotel Afternoon Tea
Kevin Lee playing the piano at The Corinthia Hotel

The Tea


With a selection of more than 26 different teas, the choice is tough. From mango tea via rooibos, green tea to British Earl Grey or even Matcha – each tea is carefully curated and prepared by a tea sommelier. There’s also the option to choose Hot Chocolate which is unconventional but well received by guests. This is a nice twist to the usual Hot Chocolate as this one is made with milk and a dissolved piece of fine Chocolate which applies a tender subtle hint of chocolatey flavour and a more dairy taste to the drink.

Hot Chocolate served at The Corinthia London

First Course: Finger Sandwiches


The selection consists of five delicately placed sandwiches with fillings such as egg & truffle mayonnaise; cucumber, radish & cream cheese; turkey, caramelised apple & chestnut stuffing; horseradish cream with watercress and salt beef or the classic salmon sandwich. My personal favourites were the egg & truffle mayo and the beef with horseradish cream. Both choices were flavoursome with a delicious creamy texture that would leave you wanting more. I had seconds on both of them and I don’t regret it at all. The truffle in the egg & mayo sandwich was full of flavour and very exquisite. The horseradish & beef version was an excellent blend of the two flavours venturing into new culinary territory. Though I find horseradish to be sharp and unpleasant at times, this one was more creamy with a very subtle hint - at first, I actually thought it was cream cheese. Highly recommended.

finger sandwiches served at The Corinthia London

Second Course: Scones


The presentation is everything with the next course: scones, either plain or with raisins are served in a wooden tea box together with strawberry or rhubarb jam and Cornish clotted cream. The amazing display was an Instagrammer's dream! The scones themselves are light and fluffy with a wonderful shiny sweet glaze on top. In combination with the rhubarb jam and clotted cream, this divine treat takes the Afternoon Tea experience to the next level.

Scones served at The Corinthia London
a box filled with delicious scones

Third Course: Cakes & Patisserie


After tasty sandwiches and sweet scones, the final course is an epic highlight. The hotel breaks with the tradition of having a delicate cake stand to present the cakes and patisserie, but a Victorian silver trolley displays all the festive delights instead. Each piece is designed of the highest quality with absolute impeccable precision that these could have easily come straight out of a French patisserie – in fact, there’s a French man involved. Chef Loic Charbonnet has created beautiful compositions such as chestnut, mandarin & hazelnut tartlets, mini black forest cherry eclairs, white chocolate & cranberry snow baubles, traditional Christmas loaf (aka Stollen), rum vanilla chocolate truffles and a ruby grapefruit with mascarpone Chantilly & coconut meringue.

The stars of the trolley, however, are the snow baubles with their meticulous shiny glaze. These little baubles are a pure joy to look at and the inside doesn’t disappoint either: made out of vanilla and white chocolate mousse there’s a delicious fruity cranberry core embedded on a crunchy crisped rice base. The glaze has a hint of cranberry flavour but is never too sweet, too sticky or overpowering. Unlike the Black Forest cherry éclair which has a rich cherry filling and a very boozy cherry on top. The combination of the dark chocolate paired with the taste of cherry will never get boring plus it’s a nice reminder of my German culture.

silver trolley serving afternoon tea cakes
festive Patisserie served at The Corinthia London
enjoying afternoon tea at the corinthia london
black forest and cherry tonka eclair afternoon tea
vanilla and white chocolate cranberry christmas bauble cake afternoon tea
a plate of cake delights british afternoon tea

Though visually stunning the hazelnut tartlets and the grapefruit Chantilly were a bit mediocre for my likening. The tartlets have an interesting texture, somewhere between nutty and gritty with a rather dull taste. The mandarin livens up the combination but is too weak to make the tartlet a culinary standout. Unlike the grapefruit in the mascarpone, Chantilly with its sharp and bitter flavours make a disturbing contrast to the sweet and otherwise creamy mascarpone and coconut meringue. Overall though, the Chantilly is a cute dessert and a safe crowd-pleaser.

It’s been an extraordinary afternoon at The Corinthia and with their Afternoon Tea costing around £65 (incl. champagne), the experience was simply flawless. The service has been impeccable and very attentive, seconds were served with a warm smile and even vegetarian/vegan options were no inconvenience at all. This is a wonderful addition to the Afternoon Tea scene in London which I can highly recommend.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
Carolin

*The experience was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
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Friday, 23 November 2018

The Best Deals For The Sales Season

the best sales and promotions during sales season

With the end of the year comes sales season: Black Friday, Cyber Monday or even the Boxing Day post-Christmas sales. These are all great opportunities to shop for Christmas and birthday presents at a bargain and discounted price so there's literally no need to get anything at full price.

Some of the deals are recurring annual deals, such as Hotel Chocolat. You can literally set your clock for their sales which are usually one day after Christmas, one day after Easter and one day after Halloween with lowered prices of up to 60%. With other retailers, I've seen usual discounts between 20-30% and to be honest with you, these percentages have been too low for me to get in the spending mode. However, last year was phenomenal and I actually got all of my gifts at discounted rates between 60-70%. Now that's when we're talking! So this year I've compiled a small list with items that I got during the last sales season and which shops are worth checking out this year as well. Let's go! 

Flights


Like all millennials, I love going on trips and explore new places. For 2019, I’ve got a few cities on my mind for a getaway and even a summer destination is on my radar – oh and then there’s my friend’s wedding in Rome for July. With Lufthansa offering £99 for flights including accommodation, or Easyjet and Ryanair banging out Black Friday deals, it won’t be hard to snap up a good deal on a flight for your next trip.

Glasses


This has been three seasons ago now, but I got a really good deal at John Lewis opticians in Westfield post-Christmas in 2015. A new pair of Ted Baker frames, including lenses, free consultation and eye inspection as well as a cleaning kit worth £25 got me to a final price of £125. I still have my glasses and they look like brand new. 

Handbags


Every year, I save some pennies in my piggy bank and spend it during the sales season. Think 1p, 2p or 5p coins that I regularly declutter from my wallet, money I find on the street (it does happen), extra photography jobs or even the odd survey through Qmee. Last year, I had a whopping £180 to spend and I invested it into a Poppy handbag from the Cambridge Satchel Company. Their Black Friday sale had up to 70% off so I got my Poppy bag for £100 including having my initials embossed. Ever since I've used the handbag on a daily basis and unfortunately, after a few months, there was some wear and tear on the leather, the embossing and the clasp. The clasp got changed twice this year but when I went in again for the embossing, they exchanged my bag for a brand new one. So with the bargain price comes also excellent customer service. 

Oliver Bonas


As well as the Cambridge Satchel Company, Oliver Bonas had massive reductions during their Black Friday sale in 2017. The sales prices had a drop between 50-70% and I’ve bought a pastel-coloured cardholder which was reduced from £25 to £12. In store, I got an additional 20% so in the end I only paid £8 for the cardholder. In general, I feel Oliver Bonas does really good deals in the sales season, so it's worth going into the shop a week beforehand, checking out all the items you have set your eye on, and then go hunting when the deals are on. 

Anthropology


This is a no-brainer if you’re a sucker for beautiful candles, plant pots, mugs or any other nice little golden gift ideas. Anthropology had a generous discount of up to 70% so I made a huge candle haul, in particular, the travel set from Voluspa is worth mentioning here if you have many people to buy for. Bulk buy it is. The Voluspa travel set contains three little candles which came at a price of £12. So instead of spending £10 on each, I ended up with three packs and gifted all of my friends with a  lovely quality gift. 

Christmas Decorations


Christmas decorations are an investment for a lifetime and the good thing about them is, you only buy them once, as you get them out every year after that. I spend most of my money last year on Christmas ornaments from some of the most luxurious shops: India Jane, Fortnum & Masons or John Lewis had massive reductions on their Christmas range literally the moment it hit midnight on the 26th December, e.g. India Jane’s Victorian Santa Claus retailed at £10, after Christmas, I got them for £3.50. The Fortnum & Masons Christmas shop at Somerset House reduced their star ornaments from £15 down to £3 so I took three of them home with me. This year, John Lewis is not really my shop to keep an eye on, but in the past, they tend to have some evergreen ornaments in their range e.g. a Victorian clock ornament. Also, I found Petersham Nurseries as well as Sass & Bell worth having a look after Christmas as they do lovely traditional decorations with lots of gold and wood.  

Uniqlo

An evergreen has been the Uniqlo Black Friday range of slouchy winter jumpers. They are not included in the normal range and come annually out during the sales season. Uniqlo has released these cosy woolly jumpers for like £12 which are perfect for snuggling up at home or ice skating. 


Further Deals & Promotions for 2018
Gant - 20% off, Friday 23rd to 26th Nov
ASOS - code Hello20 will give you an additional 20% off even on sales items. Ends Tuesday, 27th Nov

There you go, these have been my go-to destinations in the past to snap up some bargains.
Happy Shopping and till next time,
Carolin
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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 were 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.

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.

Adidas City Run clapham common 2018

Ever since I came back from my summer round trip to Spain, I’ve been obsessed with Vanilla Radio Deep Flavour Channel which plays the finest house, nu-disco, 2step and refreshing beach sounds ever…..it literally takes you back to that beach bar in Mallorca, where you’ve watched the sunset and felt the warm sand under your feet - and I love electronic music, so some chilled out evergreens have made it onto the running playlist:

My Track List for the 10km Clapham Adidas City Run


Warm-Up
Looptone - Strategy (Original Mix)

1km-3.5km

Looptone – Strategy (Original Mix)
Alex Herrera – House Muzik (Original Mix)
KAASI – Maybe Monday
Break: Britney - Sometimes

3.5km – 6km

Jabberwocky – Photomaton (Kartell Remix)
Rout Funk – Lovedisco
MBNN – Alone

6km – 8km

Black Coffee & David Guetta – Drive
Ferreck Dawn & Robosonic – In Arms (Extended Mix)
Break: Kyle Watson & Popartlive – Sink Deep (Nora En Pure Remix)

8km – 10km

Bodyrockers – I like the Way You Move (SNEBASTAR Remix)
Nightcrawlers & Big Nastie – Push That Feeling
Andrey Exx, Elis M Feeling feat Mary Irene – Rapture (Andrey Exx Mix)
Scooter – Weekend
*

I started with Looptone’s Strategy, a song which is at first a bit annoying, but I love their 1999’ house vibes which remind me so much of Back to Basics from Shapeshifters. It’s a catchy and very happy warm-up tune with its funky beats and easy lyrics. It has the right bassline to slowly get your heartbeat up and help you get into a routine. Followed by a timeless Alex Herrera’s House Muszik, which is another great warm-up song for the first 3km to get into your own pace. I actually managed to run 3.5km straight before taking my first break and was surprised when I checked my running app that I made those 3.5km in 15mins at a pace of 7.10! Time for Britney to help me take off my mind during a small break and powerwalking up that steep hill!

Bristol-based artist KAASI and Jabberwocky have been on my playlist since April. Their chill-out tunes invite you to relax and focus on your breathing. It is very easy to let the music run in the background whilst you run past that park, that lamppost, those traffic lights, that bend.....it's just so easy to let your mind wander, your feet run by themselves and you set yourself little mini-goals on your route. Then follows Lovedisco by Rout Funk which is a remix of my all-time favourite song Lady by Mojo. I love how artists over the years have picked up that simple melody and have reinvented it over and over again. It’s a sweet piece of house music that pushes you forward and is again very easy to listen to.

10km running race clapham london
running in london with adidas

Ok, 6km-8km and I’ve nearly done this and the party in my ears continued. Drive is another of those songs that you can play easily on repeat. It is so lightweight and melodic that you just want to adjust your running pace to the tropical rhythmic bassline. But since these are the final kms, this is the time for some upbeat and more energetic sounds. Ferreck Dawn & Robosonic In Arms will provide you with exactly this. Their song is a great bridge from getting you out of your steady pace to really push it through the final kms. It’s a motivator and pusher song with some nice vocals and a sick bassline. 

Speaking of sick basslines next on the list was Kyle Watson & Popartlive – Sink Deep (Nora En Pure Remix). This is a wonderful piece of music if you like a touch of trance teamed up with piano sounds...think Any Other Name by T. Newman from the American Beauty soundtrack but just...uhm...faster and more dancy. Once the 8km mark was reached it was time for the grand finale and just when I started to struggle and really needed a kick-ass song, the Bodyrockers with I like the Way You Move (SNEBASTAR Remix) came on. What a song! The original version is already a total headbanger but in the SNEBASTAR remix, there's an underlying bass that goes hand in hand with the bassline making this song a proper motivation cocktail. Music on, volume up and give speed!

Next on the list was Andrey Exx, Elis M Feeling feat Mary Irene with Rapture. Originally by IO, Rapture is another dance classic and a favourite of mine. The song gave me the final push and I actually sprinted for the last 1km listening to Scooter shouting into my ear “It’s WEEEEEEEEEEEEKEEEEEEENNND” when I ran over the finish line.

motivational music to listen to whilst you are running

And guess what?!? I made a new personal best, finishing the Clapham City Run in 77 mins, which is an improvement to my first 10km Richmond run by 17minutes. 17 minutes! Motivated by the new PB time, I've also signed up to Adidas' Shoreditch and Fulham races and I'm sure my dance songs will keep me on my feet.

Thank you so much for reading and till next time, 
Carolin
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Sunday, 19 August 2018

Lifestyle: 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. 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

Lifestyle: Olé España. My Spain Round Trip. Part 1

Spain Round Trip Summer Holidays

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. 

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.
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Monday, 2 July 2018

Lifestyle: 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.
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Events: 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.

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.
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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 Ben. 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.  

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.

Upon leaving the forest of film information and learning about the conditions of its making, I've entered a life-sized version of the film's well-known Noodle Bar. The lively hustle and bustle with the smell of fresh Ramen in the air and chatter resembled a Japanese food street in Tokyo. Unfortunately, I can't share pictures of the scenario as something terrible has happened when I started drafting this post. I must have taken over 100 pictures that day and I cut and paste the images onto my work laptop which I no longer have. This is such a nightmare as I didn't take copies and have been retrieving data all afternoon from my SD card - so far no luck. Luckily I saved a very few pictures from my Olympus Pen onto my iPhone for Instagram purposes but it's still very embarrassing, hence why this post only comes with four images from the day.

puppets in laundrette
dog puppet in cage on trash island

From there, I went straight into a dark section of the main exhibition space which showcased Megasaki City at night. The display was simply spectacular. The amount of detail and work that has gone into creating the set was sheer overwhelming as everything looked so authentic. The model was at least 2x2 meters with skyscrapers, mini houses, trees, cars and many many lights to give a realistic replica of a Japanese megacity.

And it wouldn't stop here: there was even more to see and to explore. Original sets such as Trash Island including a deserted fairground, the Noodle Bar, a TV production studio, an Asian bathhouse, a temple, a Japanese sumo wrestling scene, or a laundrette were all easily accessible for you to inspect and enjoy. Of course with Alexandre Desplat's score subtly playing in the background for that added bonus feeling of actually being in the film.

It was incredible how close you were allowed to get to the sets and view the meticulous constructions. The rich details and very fine eye for accuracy made these sets standalone artworks. Even without having seen Isle of Dogs I felt I've known quite a bit about the plot and learned much of its main characters. This was certainly a wonderful experience and I wish more film studios would follow this example and make a glimpse behind the scene possible to the general public.

dog puppet on set of isle of dogs

The exhibition runs for another week due to the high demand. So far it has been visited by over 3k fans per day which make up for a total of over 40,000. I highly recommend the exhibition as it will take you on an unforgettable journey to miniature Japan and will, even more, excite you to see the movie.

Thank you so much for reading. Till next time,
Carolin
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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Film: Lost In (Movie) Space. Gravity DVD Tip


I haven't done a film post in a while, so what better opportunity than to share a quick DVD review in today's post. Alfonso Cuarón was recently awarded an Oscar for his work Roma, which I've not seen yet, but I have watched some of his other films. Whilst I still think he ruined Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for me, his other children's book adaptation A Little Princess, one of his earlier movies, was full of magic and inspiration. 

After Harry Potter 3, Cuarón has been on the Academy's radar before for Gravity, a Sci-Fi thriller which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. In the film, first-time astronaut Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and veteran Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are thrown into the vast openness of space after an accident which involves a Russian satellite and the Hubble Telescope. Cut off from communication, their space shuttle destroyed and colleagues killed, they must survive the cold and isolated space environment.

Gravity boasts impressive design and stunning visuals and so it requires 3D to be fully appreciated. The acting by Bullock and Clooney is as expected solid and precise. Dense in the atmosphere, the excellent camera work takes the viewer to explore unusual never seen before perspectives in orbit.

The film captures the harsh and lonely nature of space magnificently. However, the visual set pieces distract the audience from having enough of a connection with the characters. Sadly, the characters stay two dimensional but have potential – something I think that Cuarón seems to have substituted for the special effects.

My concerns would be whether without 3D the film would have had such an impact, and could highlight why Sandra Bullock’s character only had six month’s training. A balance of character development and greater complexity of narrative would have provided a more complete film.

Thanks so much for reading, 
Till next time,
Carolin
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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Events: 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.

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.
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Sunday, 21 January 2018

Fashion: 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.

However, 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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