Exhibitions, Lifestyle

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

June 25, 2015

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is one of my favourite events of the summer in London. Admittedly I don’t know that much about art as a whole, but I was introduced to the exhibition by my dad, who took me along one time. I remember at the time thinking it would be another snooze fest of an exhibition, but I instantly fell in love with it and now I like to go every year!

This year I was lucky enough to be invited to the blogger evening, now what’s so special about that? Well the best thing possible, we were allowed to take pictures. For the first time, we were allowed to go wild in the aisles with our cameras and mobiles and share the exhibition on our blogs and social platforms.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

This years exhibition takes place as always at the Royal Academy just opposite Fortnum & Mason. For 247 years the exhibition has provided a platform for emerging and established artists to share their work with the visitors of the Royal Academy. There is an open-submission to everyone all over the world, so if you have a burning desire to let out your creative side, then maybe next year your work could be here. Works are submitted firstly online and whittled down to the best selection. Pretty much everything you see is for sale and prices range from £85 to somewhere in the regions of £80,000. So there is really something for everyone.

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

This years exhibition was co-ordinated by Michael Craig Martin CBE RA, who has focused on a new layout of the Main Galleries, each room is characterised by vibrant colours. I couldn’t help but be drawn to the bright pink room and the art in it including the neon circle signs. Craig-Martin also invited Turner Prize nominated artist Jim Lambie to create a signature, multi coloured installation for the main staircase leading up to the exhibition. This is really a centrepiece and if you can, grab a photo. It’s a challenge to get noone walking on it!

RA Summer Exhbition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

Music Tom Philips RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015RA Summer Exhibition 2015

Thorns Purple & Yellow Tess Jaray RA Summer Exhibition 2015

Jim Lambie Zobop coloured staircase RA Summer Exhbition

There are over 1000 pieces of artwork on display, that you could go round numerous times and see something different each time. I was drawn to lots of pieces and Danny others, it’s really interesting to see what people like and why. Something I think is hideous someone could fall in love with and then there are the ones you probably will never understand. The exhibition hosts home to paintings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, architecture and film.

Buddha RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

Triangle Painting Alan Charlton

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

One To One Lisa Milroy RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

One thing at the RA Summer Exhibition, always look up….

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

Uist Jock McFadyen

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

Two Dancing Maenads With Bird Tim Shaw

RA Summer Exhibition Boobs

The Fall Kevin McKeon

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2105

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

RA Summer Exhibition 2015

When you enter the exhibition through the courtyard, the amazing installation by Conrad Shawcross RA is also part of the exhibition. Entitled ‘The Dappled Light Of The Sun’ this steel installation is a group of five ‘clouds’ and it stands at six metres high and weighs five tonnes each, it was very impressive and perfect for a photo opportunity.

The Dappled Light of the Sun 2015 Conrad Shawcross

The LDN Diaries at RA Summer Exhibition 2015 Yello Zara dress

The perfect evening.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition runs until the 16th August, 10am-6pm Monday to Sunday and Fridays until 10pm, with tickets priced at £13.50 for adults.

Mens Lifestyle

Nip & Man

June 24, 2015

Recently I have been trying out the Nip & Man range. Nip & Man is the men’s selection of products from well-known skincare brand Nip & Fab. I had already been using the facial wash scrub, so was keen to try out the others. Here are my thoughts after using these for a few weeks now.

Power Workout Fix

You know that feeling when you come back from the gym or maybe playing football and you feel shattered and  your muscles are hurting? The power workout fix is a great product to help you with this. The serum soothes your muscles and quickly de-stresses your aching limbs. As you would imagine from Nip and Man it also smells great so you won’t need to worry about the strong smell, like of other post workout lotions and is ideal for after you shower or bath.

NIp & Man Review

Scrubbing Facial Wash

As the name suggests the scrubbing facial wash is an exfoliate that hydrates and cleans your face alongside fighting dryness. There is also caffeine included in the face wash which really helps to give your face some energy and also helps to moisturise and soothe your face from the daily grind. I really like this product and use it regularly, unlike other face washes I have tried it is easily washed off with lukewarm water and a face cloth.

Turbo Face Wash

Ever feel like your face is not clean enough and needs a deep clean? The turbo face wash is a daily deep cleaning face wash that refreshes and revitalises your face. It is as simple as massaging the cream into your face in circular motions and rinse off. With the face wash I have found a little goes a long way and you won’t need to use loads or buy it constantly.

Nip & Man mens grooming range review

Aftershave Power Lotion

It’s my new favourite aftershave lotion. The power lotion has a great smell, it’s very fresh and is perfect for the metrosexual man. The lotion is a cooling and soothing, with jojoba oil to help nourish and is perfect for when you want to cool down your face after a close shave. It’s a slightly thicker lotion than others so it does require slightly more rubbing in. If you struggle with dry skin or need a good moisturiser the power lotion can also help you.

Nip & Man is available nationwide in Boots, ASOS and Superdrug.

Food, Lunch

Picnic With A View

June 23, 2015

If you fancy lunch with a view, you can’t get much better than right in front of Tower Bridge in London. Butler’s Wharf Chop House has a prime spot for this and the food is just as perfect as the view. Danny and I were invited down to try out their ‘Ultimate Chop House Picnic’, which is a picnic hamper full of absolute delights, all presented in a wicker basket with gingham tablecloth.

The picnic hamper follows on from The Chop House’s fresh look and the appointment of new chef Danny Burns. On Saturday it wasn’t quite the sunny day I was hoping for, but we still sat outside as it wasn’t cold at all and they also have outdoor heaters if you are feeling a little chilly. I’m really glad we still chose to sit outside as just looking at Tower Bridge makes you feel so lucky to be a Londoner.

Tower Bridge London

Inside our picnic hamper we had the ‘Jensen’s Gin Cup’ which has been created exclusively for the Chop House and includes Bermondsey dry gin, Vermouth and Cherry bitters served with lemon, cucumber, orange and rosemary and mixed with ginger ale or lemonade. We started off with our glasses of this and it was so lovely, it was very similar to Pimm’s and was delicious.

Jensens Gin Cup

The selection in the hamper is a perfect picnic, you have a savoury selection including prawn cocktail, scotch eggs, quiche, chicken and egg mayo sandwiches with homemade crisps and the sweets include of course mini scones with homemade jam and cream, strawberries, homemade jaffa cakes and jelly with English strawberries, blueberries, raspberry, mint and gold leaf.

Ultimate Chop House Picnic

Picnic Hamper Butlers Wharf Chop House

Picnic Chop House London

Homemade Jaffa Cakes

Strawberries Picnic Hamper

Homemade scones

Pot of jelly berries

I love the idea of a picnic lunch as you can take your time and also pick and choose how and what you eat and just makes it a fun experience. The staff are Butlers Wharf Chop House were so lovely and the food was extremely good, that I will definitely have to go back to try a meal.  The hampers are priced at £30 for a large to share and are perfect for two, they come as a meat or vegetarian option.

Silver Teapot

Hurry though as they only run until June 30th! Book your Ultimate Chop House Picnic online.

What's On

What’s On

June 22, 2015

Nike launches NikeCourt Club

Next week sees the beginning of Wimbledon and tennis fever will be kicking in all across the City. From June 25th why not check out Nike’s Nikecourt Club in Bermondsey. These refurbished courts in Tanner Park include a bold fuchsia ‘hot shot’ tennis court, colour contrasting tennis balls and a bespoke ‘build your own court’ featuring a black painted court and fluorescent chalk, allowing players to create their own, unique games. Free tennis coaching and other fitness programmes are offered across the ten-day period to players of all levels and runs from 25th June until 4th July from 8.30am to 8.30pm. 20 times Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams will also make a special visit to share her tips and hold a Q&A session. To book visit http://go.nike.com/nikecourtclub.

Find it at Tanner Street Park, Bermondsey, London SE1 3GS. 

Nike Courts

Experience the beat of Africa in the heart of London

On the 26th June The School of Oriental and African Studies is hosting a special one-off concert by Kasai Masai, London’s best African band to celebrate the magic of African music mixing the traditional sound of the equatorial African village with a distinctive urban edge. The concert will run from 6-9pm and celebrates the tenth anniversary of charity, African Vision Malawi. For enthusiasts, there will also be a Djembe drumming workshop and a Kizomba dance workshop between 3.00-6.00pm. Tickets can be purchased here, with all proceeds go to the charity African Vision Malawi.

Find it at School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, WC1H 0XG

Kasai Masai

GEISHA at Ramusake

Piers Adam, nightclub impresario has teamed up with fellow nightlife pioneer Marc Burton to create GEISHA at Ramusake. GEISHA is an evening of Japanese dining and party held at Ramusake on Friday and Saturday’s in South Kensington, serving fine dining izayake Japanese food and cocktails made with rum and saki, alongside amazing DJs and performers that include classic Japanese entertainment. Normal sitting at 19:00, festive dining sitting commences from 21:00 and by, midnight everyone will be up and dancing with the performers.

Find it at Ramusake, 92B Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3LQ. More details visit @ramusake.

GEISHA Ramusake

 TRY IT Festival

With the Rugby World Cup fast approaching, the London Borough of Richmond council will be running the TRY IT Festival. The festival has over 100 events ranging from gigs, world record attempts to art performances and a Fanzone. On the 22nd June it kicks off with a TRY IT Trail, for those amongst you who like to search for treasure, why not join in the Geocache trail. There will be numerous clues across the borough and prizes for all who participate including an official Rugby World Cup ball.

For more details visit the TRY IT Festival website.

TRY IT Festival

Dine At The BT Tower

The BT Tower celebrates 50 years this year and to mark the occasion they are opening the tower up to the public for lunch and dinner. Diners can either choose lunch at £49.95 per person or dinner at £67.95 per person taking in some of the best views of London. To get tickets there are two ballots running on the following dates.

  • Ballot one is open from 22nd June until 29th June
  • Ballot two is open from 30th June until 7th July

To enter the ballot you can sign up here. BT will also be holding a ballot in September to win free 30 min flights to see London from the BT Tower’s 34th floor.

BT Tower

Beauty, Make-Up, Videos

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Make-Up Tutorial

June 21, 2015

When thinking of a beauty icon, it’s really hard to choose. There are so many celebrities out there doing it right. But I think when it came to choosing one, I ultimately went for someone not only do I think has amazing style and flawless make-up but that I can really relate to when doing my own make-up. Kim Kardashian I think springs to mind to most people, she has become such a public figure and her make-up has become a big part of that, when you think of contouring you probably do think of the Kardashians, as much as I think her beauty look is stunning, for me it is isn’t a look I’d go for everyday and I don’t think would suit me either. So who could I look to for my beauty inspiration? Well one celebrity and let me just drop this in there, a Victoria’s Secret model, that I admire is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Make Up Tutorial

Her beauty looks for me, really appeal and for that I have made her my beauty icon. I love the way she has such natural make-up, mainly a nude lip and beautiful bronzed glow. She also mixes it up a little with red lipstick and black eyeliner for the evening and also for the look I have created in this tutorial being one of my favourites, she has a pink eye with a red lip. Definitely not a look I would have thought would have went well together, but it really does.

MAC Cosmetics

To recreate this look, I have used quite a few pieces of MAC Cosmetics. MAC is a brand I used to love and then I sort of parted ways with until I discovered their amazing Mineralize collection. Their Mineralize foundation is the only one I wear on a regular basis, it’s great for my drier skin and also gives such an amazing glow and did I mention it stays on too? I have now also invested in the skinfinish powder and concealer from the range, which again is great if you suffer from dry eyes. I have been needing this concealer for a long time. Check out the MAC Mineralize range at House of Frasers make-up department.

I hope you enjoy watching the video of how to recreate my beauty icon, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s make-up look and do remember to subscribe to my channel for lots more tutorials. I am also a finalist for Best Beauty Vlog at the Beauty Blogger Awards and would love it if you could spare a minute to vote.

This post is an entry for House of Fraser’s competition, where one beauty blogger will have the chance to become an ambassador for House of Fraser and win £1,000 worth of make-up (urm, yes please!). For more details visit the House of Fraser blog.

Shop The Video

 

 

 

Food

Taste Of London 2015

June 20, 2015

If you are a food lover, then no doubt Taste of London is firmly in your calendar. The festival runs over three days and gives entrants the chance to sample all that London has to offer when it comes to food. The festival takes place in Hyde Park and here you will find pop-up tents from some of London’s biggest restaurants including Sushi Samba, Duck & Waffle and Marcus Wareing’s Tredwells. Alongside things like Shake Shack and Meatmission and lots of exciting food brands to discover. One of my favourites this time was Portlebay popcorn with their bacon and maple syrup popcorn, which had me coming back for more and more!

Taste of London 2015

I attended Taste of London on Thursday evening. There are two sessions over the three days, the day session which runs from 12pm-4pm and the evening 5.30pm-9.30pm, which I think is a great one to go to after work. It also didn’t seem to end as abruptly as the day one and the party was still sort of going as we left about 9.45pm. We however got there nice and early, with me was Heather who you might remember winning the Godiva Chocolate Challenge last year? After numerous tweets shared over the love of every TV programme known to man we have become friends and can now share our other passion for food. All paths lead to food!

Taste of London 2015

We started off at one of the Prosecco bars and went for a couple of glasses of Prosecco and raspberry. It was a lovely evening so we decided to sit in the sun and plan our visit. The currency at Taste of London is ‘crowns’. You can buy booklets of these and 1 crown = £1. You can also pay with cash for some things but do make sure you pick these up as it’s the main currency.

The LDN Diaries at Taste London 2015

Heather at Taste of London

Coconut Water at Taste of London

Ketel One at Taste of London

You would be thinking Taste is all about the food but we seemed to get distracted by a lot of the drinks on offer last night. One in particular I absolutely loved was Pococello, a concept thought up by the guys of Pizza Pilgrims in Soho. After one sip of their limoncello slushie I was in heaven and one shot of limoncello later, I was definitely ready to find some food.

Pococello Limocello

Pococello at Taste London 2015

Poccocello

Poccocello limocello at taste london

We stopped off at Sushi Samba and I opted for the Kobe burger with truffle, I wasn’t quite expecting it to be so small, pretty much the size of a canape for £9, but that aside it was really lovely and left me wanting more food. We decided to wash this down with frozen margaritas from mexican restaurant Mestizo. With burgers now firmly on the brain we went on the hunt.

Sushi Samba at Taste of London

Sushi samba kobe burger

Frozen Margaritas Mestizo

There is so much to see at Taste you really don’t know where to look. There are plenty of freebies on offer too, with restaurants and brands willing for you to try their food and drink. There is also the AEG Taste Theatre where you can learn from top chefs and watch the demonstrations.

Band stand at taste london

Champagne at Taste of London

AEG Taste Theatre

Taste of London Mahiki Van

We got distracted by Mortimer’s Orchard and their amazing Silent Disco and cider, I am not a big cider fan at all and this was absolutely lovely, so do give it a try. These made us even hungrier so Shake Shack it was, the burger was just too good, but just a little smaller than a normal one.

Silent Disco at Mortimers Tent Taste of London

Shake Shack at Taste of London

We finished off our evening at the amazing Laurent Perrier pink tent with two glasses of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. Ready to call it a night we got asked to join the Laurent-Perrier masterclass, the last one of the day. Of course we couldn’t resist!

Laurent Perrier at Taste of London

The masterclass was held by the David Hesketh the Managing Director of Laurent-Perrier. We got to pair three different champagnes;  Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut, Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé and Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle. These were paired with canapes from Bob’s Lobster.  I tried my first ever oyster, given it was a fried one I was probably wimping out but I am glad I tried it. Also a lobster roll and finally the Achi Tuna Taco which when eaten with the Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé really added a whole new flavour to it.

Laurent Perrier Masterclass at Taste London

Fried Oyster Bobs Lobster

Flowers at Laurent Perrier

Lobster Roll Bob's Lobster

We had a great evening and I think my main tip would be to make sure you buy enough crowns and expect the food to be slightly smaller as it’s more a taster of each place than a fully fledged meal.

Taste of London runs until Sunday 21st June, there are still some tickets available. For tickets visit Taste of London.