My London Bucket List – Lulu in London!

This entire post makes me sad because even though bopping back to London was really amazing, staying in my old workplace and seeing all of my old work colleagues was fab but saying farewell to Lulu was not.

BUT I was excited to tour around London with my faves!

So we checked into the Hilton London Wembley, said hello hello to all my old work colleagues (who I miss dearly if you’re reading this) and got ourselves settled up in the room before myself, Brad & Lulu hit London town!

Naturally the tube into central London takes about 20-40 minutes depending on Metropolitan or Jubilee line from Wembley.

But before heading to central we had to check out the new Boxpark in Wembley and show Lu the good stuff!!!

They have one in Shoreditch, the OG Boxpark, but decided that Wembley needed one as well and I fully back their decision. It is as cool as the one in Shoreditch and for sure will be incredibly popular and busy when the football season is on and the season games are at the stadium!

After this we headed straight for Central London, Southwark & London Bridge to be precise. I HAD to show Lu the Hays Galleria which will forever be my favourite. We walked along Bankside of the Thames and enjoyed the galleria, the views of the buildings along the Thames and of course obligatory pictures of London bridge and castle.

It was a really beautiful day just spent with a few of my favourites in my favourite place. I was just enjoying the time left with Lu more than anything. After our London adventures we headed back to Wembley and up to the executive lounge at the hotel for their two hour happy hour.

IMG_20190106_184637Free food and booze? rude not too to be honest. And it mean that Myself, Brad, Lu and Milda (Lu’s cousin) could enjoy some food and chills before hugging the shit out of Lulu and nearly suffocating her so she couldn’t get home to the US.

It was pretty sad moment, and I’m still sad about it, come back soon B (Don’t worry, I will definitely come to you otherwise one day).

The following day Brad and I decided to finally do something we had been meaning to do for a while in London, The Natural History Museum!

It was such a beautiful setting with the ice rink outside the museum! The best thing about museums are the free entry but don’t forget to donate if you can when you come in or before you leave to support the museums!

God I love London. The museum was a really great experience especially with the interactive section as well. Typically we have a habit of going with only 2 hours to spare before the museum shuts, we did the same at the Imperial War Museum so we are going to have to go back the place is so huge and we missed out quite a bit of the museum as well!

The new dinosaur section was awesome but my favourite part, OBVIOUSLY, Was the BLUE WHALE. The skeleton of a blue whale, full size, in all its glory and hanging from the ceiling of the museum. Its pretty damn awesome and Brad and I were in awe at the size of it. 

It was a fun day out followed by a long drive back from Wembley to Lincoln, to end this post enjoy this adorable picture of Lu on the tube which makes me smile to no end,

I’ll see you real soon g

J x

@whenlifegivesululu // @jessiexmills

(ISNT SHE ADORABLE)

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My London Bucket List – Part 17, The End (For Now).

I have been doing My London Bucket List for about a year now.

It was the most wonderful experience being able to spend the year on my Placement in London. After having an entire list of things to do I ended up doing so much more than I could’ve ever anticipated I would do. I feel all nostalgic just thinking about it.

My London Bucket List was a great achievement in my eyes. For me it was a real motivation to go out and explore the parts of London I really wanted to see. I got a lot done, most of it I eventually stopped writing items on the official list because I just couldn’t keep up with it! Sightseeing TOO much, Who would’ve thought?

But alas, I have finished my placement year. We moved away from Watford & London in June and I miss it and everyone I met there as well.

For me My London Bucket List was almost a challenge! I wanted to push myself to keep writing whilst I was away. My main worry was that I would start my placement year and work life would take over. Meaning my blog would’ve probably disappeared into the background which is not what I wanted at all, HENCE My London Bucket List.
It made me explore London and places I never even knew existed.

My favorite day out in London?

COOR, I couldn’t choose. So I am going to give you all my Top 5 favorite things to do In London!

  1. Notting Hill Carnival!
  2. The Savoy Grill For Brads 21st Birthday
  3. Oblix Restaurant in The Shard for Tasmin’s Birthday!
  4. Hayes Galleria
  5. The Science Museum!

WHY?

Out of all of the places I have visited and the things I have seen these ones above were definitely my favorite, Notting Hill Carnival especially! I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Notting Hill so to have that opportunity and especially with some great friends made it a really great day.

The whole day for Brad’s 21st was amazing, but eating at the Savoy Grill was a real pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed my food as I have never eaten anything quite like it or so damn good before! I guess that’s what you get for eating somewhere that is considered a luxury, we just wont talk about the bill.

I also highly recommend The Oblix restaurant in The Shard! Beautiful views and food as well, the cocktails are phenomenal as well, they taste so good!

Hayes Galleria is one of my favorite locations in London due to the architecture of the building. The beautiful glass canvas across the top of the small boutique shopping area and and statue in the middle gives it all the character possible. Every time I visit there I take a picture as its such a beautiful area!

We visited the science museum together Brad and I and it was really good fun. I have done the science museum before but I do not remember it for the life of me. I was about 10 years young when I went last, so I am sure a refresher after 11 years is always necessary. Its all just so interesting, ESPECIALLY the Air section at the top of the museum and the SPACE Section at the bottom.

London will always always have my heart. I was only in the city for a year but the energy from the place was something that you can’t replace. I already can’t wait to go back, hence why The London Bucket List is over,

FOR NOW.

We will be back.

My London Bucket List – Part 14, ‘You’re Not Hardcore, Unless you Live Hardcore’

So this impromptu day out was really nice because we were in London AAAAALL day.

We had stayed overnight at Hilton Kensington which was actually really lovely. The view from out room was overlooking Shepherds Bush Westfields, which is just as impressive if not more than the one in Stratford. We did but the looks of things used to have a balcony for the room, but the door was bolted shut which made me incredibly sad. But none the less it was a great stay with of course a cracking breakfast in the morning as well, all you can eat, absolutely amazing when you’re tired and hungover.

Once we had laid in bed an extra 3 hours after breakfast after our late check out at 2 we decided to go and join my friends Sami & Boris just around the corner from our hotel in a place called Holland Park.

IMG_20180702_132720_639.jpgIts a really large park in Kensington, right near Notting Hill, with cafes and restaurants. Whilst we were there, there was even a small music concert happening at the venue in the middle of Holland Park. Even though we didn’t go around the entire park I am pretty sure it had a Botanical Garden section as well.

We chilled for a bit in the summer sun with the world cup on Sami’s speaker in the background. Typically I sat on chewing gum so I had to fucking change as well, but theres a whole other blog post about that here!

Once we had had enough of the football we decided we wanted to go for a wander an myself, I knew we were near Portobello Road! Naturally my inner Disney came out and Bed-knobs and Broomsticks ‘Portobello Road’ Swirled around my head even when we arrived at the road itself.

‘Portobello Road, Portobello Road
Street where the riches of ages are stowed
Anything and everything a chap can unload
Is sold off the barrow in Portabello Road
You’ll find what you want in the Portabello Road’

It took us about 15 minutes to walk and we weren’t disappointed. We arrived to a busker singing in the street with his guitar and market stalls all the way up the road. First we headed upwards to find myself so damn clothes to change into after sitting in chewing gum. We found a dress stall and I purchased a really lovely summer dress! 

As we headed down the road the houses were all pastel colours and it was exactly how I had seen it in all the pictures. The stalls held things like old jewellery and vintage items to fruit and veg! It was just an array of everything and anything you could’ve needed. The street art or graffiti was also really cool. I did wonder if Banksy had been around the area and I did search for something even on google, but alas nothing. But the street art was still really funky. 

IMG_20180630_170205_221.jpgThere was a pub also running along side the market and Brad and I could hear this voice. We were Instantly drawn to where this music and the singing was coming from. A woman was singing with a jazz band in this pub! We went inside just to listen to her sing, and it appeared so did the rest of the pub as when she finished performing everyone just fizzled out of the pub! She had Talent for sure.

Once we had called it a day at Portobello Road we headed back to Westfields at Shepherds Bush so we could head to the theatre!! We stopped via to have a browse at all the shops but we were just passing by really. 

We arrived at an area nearby Covent Garden so we could attend ‘School of Rock‘ at Drury Lane Theatre. At first we had to get some grub as our hangovers were catching up with us. We had been at my Hilton Leaving do the night before at The Loop Bar in London, it was a great night out but the club really wasn’t my cup of tea. And FAR to expensive as well. I know it was central London but it really wasn’t worth all the hype.

So we headed to the Prince of Wales pub just around the corner from the theatre. It was a really lovely pub and we just had some typical pub grub to share. I waked highly recommend it if you’re in that area.

We entered Drury Lane Theatre with a full stomach and it was wonderful, we were seated in the bottom circle right in the middle where we had a clear view of the stage! Literally we could not have had any better seats if we had tried, and only at £70 each a seat!

IMG_20180630_230638_816.jpgNOW I LOVE MUSICALS. Also spoiler alert so If you plan on seeing ‘School Of Rock‘ do not read ahead!! I was nervous for Brad because I wasn’t too sure how he would enjoy it. Luckily it is a comedy also so I know he would like it, so my fingers were crossed.

I was in luck, once we got to the interval both myself and Brad were thoroughly impressed. Not only was the musical amazing, but the TALENT. ALL of the younger children in the show played their own instruments and sang beautifully. Even the gent who played Dewy was SO talented. I was just impressed from the get go to be honest.

I was a little bit sad because I was totally ready for the song ‘STEP OFF, but instead we got something even better, a song called ‘Stick it to the man’ which was Just as catchy and sang absolutely brilliantly.

I was just overall impressed with the entire experience and musical as a whole. Big thank you to my mum as it was a late 21st birthday present and Brad enjoyed himself too which was a bonus!

I would Highly recommend a viewing!

 

My London Bucket List – Part 11, Gals Trip!

This trip to London was really good fun because instead of doing some exploring of new areas I was being the tour guide!


 

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My Cousin and her girlfriend, Charlotte and Zara, came to London! 

Naturally for me having fam come up is the best thing in the world so I loved being able to see the girls and show them London!

We did the Thames walk which Brad and I did on my birthday!

We walked This time we actually walked over the Millennium Bridge and it made me realise that its a pretty impressive piece of architecture. We marvelled at the Tate Modern Building for a bit and then continued our walk down the river! One day soon I will go in there.

We stopped at Shakespeare globe, only to be told after I thought it was the real thing, that it isn’t! Its just a replica of the original building which I guess makes sense as it would be old and rotten if it was the same building.

The walk was wonderful, we caught up and we enjoyed the street art, the girls are both very into their photography and Zara also into her film as well, so it was a grand day out for pictures alike!

The artwork outside of Wagamama’s was enjoyable enough for us to stop!

If you would like to see more of Charlotte and Zara’s Photography and film work I have linked their accounts at the bottom of the post!

We walked over Tower Bridge and looked at HMS Belfast, By HMS Belfast along the Thames was an outside Art Gallery! It was all photography so naturally it was perfect because the girls love all that.

We had another nose at Tower of London and had a little seat outside the building by the water as well, it was a very chilled but also plenty of walking kind of day too, and then we headed for some food!

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CAMDEN MARKET YAAAAAS!!!

NATURALLY I has my usual fodder in Camden which is the Chinese food! The most amazing noodles, sweet and sour chicken amongst other things!

I love it because its all cooked up and made in front of you on the food market, Of course there are plenty of other things to eat but I am always very set on the Chinese, its a lovely treat!

We had a look at the Amy Winehouse Statue as well, it’s a very nice memorial for an absolute ICON.

After that we made out way in the unfortunate miserable weather to Primrose Hill so that we could enjoy the view! Naturally for pictures it was a very successful day, but the weather on the other hand was not at all on our side.

But we could still see the view! I was adamant we had walked all along the canal to Primrose Hill, all for it to be foggy and grey! But we got very very lucky. 

It was MISERABLE, It rained and if it wasn’t raining then it was grey but of course we made the best of the day, it was just glorious to see them and be out in London again!

29683607_10210918221343387_1630433358025549848_nWe went for a tea in Costa by Marylebone Station after all the excitement. We looked back on all of our pictures and it was just lovely to see them.

I’ve had an incredibly tough year mentally, so any family visit is wonderful.

I have a Polaroid now of the 3 of us and it is so nice I’ve popped it up on my memory wall for this year! 

I love those girls, it was definitely a day that I wont forget, especially because for once I was in the Tour Guide shoes!

Don’t forget to check out the girls Instagram pages with their photography below!

 

Charlotte’s Photography

Zara’s Photography

xx

My London Bucket List – Part 10, My 21st Birthday Bucket List Adventure! (The Day Time one).

My Birthday was hands down one of the best days out In London I have had to date, All thanks to the man himself Brad who planned it all!

He went through my bucket list and chose a route that made sense to cover as much as we possibly could in 1 days! It was amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better 21st!

This is going to be one long blog post about the day so I hope you’re ready and enjoy!

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The first place we headed was the Olympic Park! I’d NEVER been to the Olympic Park until then and it goes to show how much money they spent on their Olympic Village, it was immaculate and evident it was made for many people at a time. Its absolutely HUGE and very impressive to look at.

Our main reason for our visit to the Olympic Park was because we were going to do the SLIDE! The ArcelorMittal Slide in the heart of the Olympic Park. You can’t miss it.

Naturally we arrived and dropped our bags in the lockers before getting the lift up to the top floor where we could access the slide.

When we reached the top we were given proper cosy hat as headgear so we wouldn’t hit our heads as you go a lot faster than you think. (Of course its proper safety headgear which they struggled to find big enough for Brads head).

We were also given arm pads to prevent any burns on our arms from the slide and once we jumped on the slide we were given something that looked like a black sack.

You popped your feet into the bottom and then held onto the handle and laid down on your back and they held you till the light turns green.

Its incredible because its one big spiral and you go A LOT faster than you’d think, I got to the bottom in like 42 seconds, although according the guys who were working there that was SLOW, GOD knows how!!

I still felt like I was going so much faster than I was! The top of the slide is glass in certain areas so you can also see the view from the slide as you make your way down!

Once we got to the bottom we got the lift to the level below the slide, here we could see the view of the entire city, anyone would argue that it was better than what you can see from the London Eye as this was the Horizon of the entire city, it was just as gorgeous as the view from Primrose Hill!

The best part was you could stand on a platform which put you above the slide, and when you look through the hole on the floor you’re directly above the spiral of the slide, its really something!

So after all the slide excitement we headed straight into the centre and emerged at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Id always wanted to go because its such a beautiful piece of architecture. Typically The weather wasn’t too great, Nice and Grey, nothing new for the UK. So we wandered around the entirety of the building, its just huge!

It was build in 1675 and Its a listed building so shall not be moved or demolished either, so its a beautiful piece of heritage for London, and Very photographic too which is nice considering it was originally destroyed by the fire of London and then rejuvenated.

Literally directly behind (or in front depending on how you look at it) of St Paul’s Is the Millennium Bridge!

Now I know the Millennium bridge from Harry Potter, that’s where a lot of other people do too, so we walked past it we didn’t walk over it, that was for another day I’ll be writing about with my cousin and her girlfriend very soon!

Another pretty architecturally satisfying bridge in the city!

29695045_10210918175542242_9099137199821672704_nFrom the Millennium bridge there’s a Thames walk from there where you can walk all the way along the Thames river and enjoy the scenery! It was a really nice walk to do but its a shame the weather was so rubbish!

We enjoyed it none the less and walked all the way from Millennium Bridge to London Bridge! It takes about 15 minutes to get to London Bridge from there and I’m sure on a better day its SO much more appealing, but it was fun none the less.

Now I’ve never seen let alone been near the Tower of London, I didn’t even realise that it was right on the Thames. I know that the area is obviously super popular and lovely, I remember when it even had the roses as the artist display across the Tower Walls but I was gutted because I never actually got to see it.

So we walked around the Tower of London and took some photos, We didn’t go inside though as Brad had so many little bits and bobs planned! So straight from the Tower of London we walked over Tower Bridge!!

I almost felt like I was finally EMBRACING London, are you even a Londoner if you haven’t walked over London Bridge? I’ve looked at it from The Shard but never actually walked across it, so it was nice to finally do it.

There is actually a cafe underneath/part of the bridge and I really really wish we had gone in it as it looks like a typical Pub/Cafe inside and I can always do with a beer.

Now we were the OTHER side of the Thames and walking back alongside the river! Once again we were off and were heading towards HMS Belfast.

HMS Belfast is a ship made for the Royal Navy! I really really wish I had spent £17 just to go on the ship, its definitely one to go back and do! Would I ever have the opportunity to go on a royal Navy ship any other time? Probably almost definitely not, So that is another thing I will be definitely coming back for.

29793367_10210918157981803_1864689162316212480_nI have a two week period at the end of my placement where I will have nothing to do! I Finish in Wembley on the 3rd of July and Brad has a handover period for his placement so those are two weeks I can really have a proper In Depth exploration/Adventure!!

Once we had a nose a HMS Belfast expressing how cool it looked, we headed to Hays Galleria. Hays Galleria is the most impressive and gorgeous place I’ve been in London, just small shops like Accessorise and Costa under this beautiful glass canopy roof.

It looks so regal and expensive when really it really isn’t! There’s a very interesting statue in the middle of the Galleria, Its a boat where the bow is a huge Nose and the driver of the boat, his face is majority Nose. Its also another listed building of London but this one is Grade 2, it was refurbished to look as good as it does now in the 1960’s.

You can throw money into the mouth underneath where they are collecting for charity, so do your part if you can!

After that super long walk, we were a little pooped and warn out, so we headed to our next part of the day, Bradders had booked THE LONDON EYE!!!

21 years of age and that was the first time I had EVER been on the London Eye, I was disappointed it had taken us THAT long (March) since we arrived! (July!).

The view from the London Eye is spectacular, we used a taste card to get BOGOF Offer as well so we paid £27 for the two of us. It was really lovely, we had a picture together done by the guys who work there which was nice but that certainly wasn’t worth the money so we didn’t purchase it, we got our own pictures doing exactly the same thing ourselves!

It was just so lovely to overlook a city in which I love so much and see it in all of its glory. We jumped into our pod with 8 other people and it takes about half an hour to 45 minutes to do a full circle, but time really flies.

In the pod you can also go to different points and use the Samsung iPad’s dotted around facing in the direction of what you can see in front of you from the window! So if you’re not sure what a building is then you can enquire on the iPad and it gives you all the correct information on that building, its pretty cool.

Once we clambered off the London Eye, we had some free time before out table booking in Soho! We went to McDonald’s next too the London Eye to use the toilet and ended up discovering an ARCADE

I’ve always lived by the seaside so I am a BOSS at arcade games, so we spent at least an hour there playing games against each other (I won most times don’t let Brad tell you otherwise).

29694957_10210918160461865_8832776330109105796_nAfter we were doing pretending to be children again we hopped on the tube over to Soho where we were about to encounter the meatiest meal I have EVER had. Brad had visited this restaurant before and because he had hyped it up so much I was adamant to go there, it is a place called Bodeans BBQ!

It doesn’t look like much from the outside but once you’re in there, my god. We paid £50 for a BOSS HOG PLATTER for 2! It consisted of SO much meat, two different types of BBQ chicken, pulled pork, burnt ends, brisket, two types of BBQ ribs and even baked beans that have MEAT in them!

It was such a lovely meal and well worth the money, the food came really quick too and our servers were the fiercest guys I have ever met. We even got a complimentary brownie with a candle in it because it was my 21st.

All in all it was a really wonderful day and I absolutely could not have enjoyed myself more, the boy did good, I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to spend it with either.

The drinking part on another hand?

Well, that’s for another blog post!

 

My London Bucket List – Part 9, My FIRST Art Gallery/Exhibition!

This was an incredibly interesting day, my first art gallery!

(The first of many to come)

My friend from work, Anastasia, is incredibly cultured in the arts and knows her stuff!

So naturally when we were talking about art I was a little bewildered, but she knew what was what, so of course the right person to take me to an art gallery was going to be Ana!

So I ventured to Waterloo station for the first time to meet Ana, FYI, the station itself is absolutely fucking huge and we couldn’t find each other for at least 10 minutes.

Once we met (eventually) we wandered over to Southbank where we went to the Hayward Gallery, there we went into the Andreas Gursky Exhibition!

Now as a person who has never experienced art or an art gallery generally, it was a very wonderful experience. I found it really calm and quiet, with space to think it was really peaceful.

The Gursky exhibition is photographs by Andreas Gursky in which he captures ‘the pure joy of seeing’ and reflect the nature of image-making and ‘the limits of human perception’. It features over 60 pieces of his photography and if I do say so myself some of the are incredibly fascinating and a marvel to look at.

Of course having Ana with me quietly telling me little bits about pieces of art/photography I found it more and more fascinating.

The pieces in the exhibition were really busy and interesting to look at, they’re eye catching and really get you gripped, you want to look closer so you can find out more of what is happening in the pictures.

Of course upon arrival you’re given a small booklet with more information on the gallery and the exhibition itself so its really helpful to have with you when you’re walking around because it informs you on the background of most pieces in the gallery, the reason and the meaning behind it.

I would highly recommend this exhibition although is only at the Hayward Gallery until the 22nd of April 2018! So If you wanna go, GO SOON!!

I personally found it very helpful to have with me, so I’ve kept it and stuck it in my scrapbook to keep! I’ve even got the entry tickets up on my wall.

The exhibition really opened my eyes to the happiness, joy and peacefulness that comes with art, photography, galleries and exhibitions. I even purchased a book called ‘How art can make you happy’ to help me understand it more, its almost like a beginners book for understanding the art and galleries, and its really helpful!

After a nice hour wondering through the gallery we headed to a really nice cafe which was in the Farringdon area called The Catalyst, another recommendation from Ana, and a good one at that.

We meandered along the Thames from the Gallery before we visited the cafe, along Southwark, and it was wonderful. I love seeing the city and going to places I have never IMG_1483seen before, so the day was really exciting and something new for me. The Catalyst Cafe was a really lovely place. With white walls and furniture, its very minimalistic and really cosy! A great place to relax afterwards.

 

Does a really nice cuppa tea and brownie too, its really well priced (plus the boys who were behind the counter that day are something I certainly can’t complain about #ohmy).

My first gallery really was a day I will always remember, and a big thanks to Ana for showing me how wonderful art and photography really is!

 

Here are some more pictures from our day! Enjoy!

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My London Bucket List – Part 8, A West End Show & Hotel Living

IMG_4482The West End is my favourite place and Theatre is one of my favourite things in the world. Brad and I headed to Piccadilly to watch The Book Of Mormon in the theatre! Written by the same people who write South Park, It was hands down one of the funniest and the best shows I have ever seen on the west end. 

It was so funny from start to finish, Brad was even crying with laughter when the interval came around, absolutely one hundred percent worth going to see! The tickets weren’t as expensive as some of the other tickets you can get to see the shows on the west end and It definitely should be higher but of course the price being £40 a ticket who can complain!  

After we had been to show we headed literally around the corner of the theatre to see the famous screens on the corner of the Piccadilly road! Of course it was wonderful, there were people everywhere and souvenir shops, there was even a man dressed in full head to toe I love England gear, it was brilliant.

The area itself is actually very photogenic, the architecture is wonderful colours and the statues in the small square area are a marvel. There was a gentleman who was playing guitar by the statue in the centre of Piccadilly playing some real old school banger, the Real and Raw Talent some of these street performers have absolutely blows my mind sometimes.

Beside him was a lady dressed ad painted as a Victorian woman statue, she was very elegant and deserves a meddle for staying still all day because I could NEVER.

Once we had our pictures we headed to our hotel, Hilton London Wembley! It was weird coming to my place of work for pleasure and not for work.

We had our stay in the hotel and it was wonderful. We were given a Deluxe room with a stadium view (I advise if you’re booking a room to book the Deluxe rooms because we will be losing the view soon! Bloody Construction). It had an en suite and of course the most essential thing in the room was the kettle and tea bags duh, and I really IMG_1322did need them for the following day as well as I was unbelievably hungover.

We had a complimentary dinner where Brad had a steak and I had the fish and chips, the meal was delicious, especially as it was accompanied by a house wine that we also got complimentary! It was a really great experience in my ow place of work, we even had a couple of drinks in the Icons bar as well to finish off!

It was a really good experience and I was super impressed with my own place of work! It was welcoming and the experience itself in the hotel was something I will always remember.

The following day, after enduring my hangover, we had a real sightseeing day around London ticking off bits from the Bucket List!

We started in the best place possible to have a look at some shops on Oxford Street! The Zara on Oxford street is huge and I know my sister would’ve loved it! But my favourite place to visit was the Disney Store!! It was huge inside and even had Cinderella’s Carriage, so of course I had to sit in it.

After having a leisurely stroll we jumped on the tube ad headed across to Covent Garden! My favourite place for street performers! There was also just a huge square of roses so of course I had to get some candid shots in front of it.

Almost immediately we were met with a magician and he was so talented and good, well worth the trip to Covent Garden, we had a little wonder around the shops and my friend from work recommended a really nice cafe called Chez Antoinette!

It is located on the bottom floor of Covent Garden, its a french cafe where the atmosphere is incredibly calm and just a really pleasant place to visit, really good tea and cakes as well of course. I had a Lemon Tart and I am now hungry writing about it.

It wasn’t really Brad’s scene but we wanted to cake so anything was good!

Next was Trafalgar Square and the first thing I HAVE to draw to attention is the HORRENDOUS Thumb statue. It looks like a penis. I’m sorry but its absolutely ridiculous, yeah the concept of it may be relevant but whoever thought It was a good idea and thought that it WOULDN’T get ridiculed was very wrong.

AND I KNOW that its not the point of it (if you’ll pardon the pun), Its just typical.

There were street artists and I didn’t realise that the National Portrait Gallery was also there as well! The place was really gorgeous and we got there as the sun was going down too, the water was uber co’d because yes I got close to the fountains and just had to at least stick my finger in the water.

After a very enjoyable 2 days, home we went!

 

My London Bucket List – Part 6, Cookie Dough and Free Bars

Going to Westfields was somewhere I though I would go to when I had a lot of money to spend. I was wrong and we went anyway and it was still awesome.

The shopping centre is in Stratford, East London, and if you love shopping it is well worth the visit that is for sure! IMG_0680

There is obviously everything from an M&S to a Pull & Bear, a cinema and a CASINO. The place is absolutely huge with all different floors and sections. I’m sure there is more there as well I just didn’t discover it. 

But our main reason for venturing to Westfields in our hungover state on that day was because we wanted to go to the My Cookie Dough stall they have! If you can’t tell it seems to be a running theme of cookie dough, especially after standards were set high when we visited Naked Dough in Old Street!

It was only a small stall literally as you entered Westfields in the middle between all the shops. It was super busy but it was totally worth the wait.

I’m certain the boys, Brad and Mason, just got the usual Cookie Dough flavours with their toppings and ice cream although I can’t really remember, I know that Salted Caramel was somewhere in the mix of it all for the two of them!

IMG_0679I was going more the diabetes route, I got the Birthday Cake Cookie Dough, my god if you ever want a fast track to diabetes or the most extreme sugar high and low of your life then this is the one for you. 

It was a layer of cookie dough, and in the middle is a drizzle of the strawberry sauce and some sprinkles, and then on top of that was another layer of cookie dough and 2 scoops of ice cream, and then MORE Sauce on top!

It was phenomenal and only cost me around £5! I’d definitely recommend a visit to My Cookie Dough if you’re in Stratford or Westfields at all!


 

December was the month of course for Christmas Parties!

Now Brad is also In London on his placement year also, but with a car company instead!

So naturally when Renault/Dacia were having their Christmas party I was invited along which was always nice, and it was nothing shy of impressive.

The Venue was Battersea Park Evolution! And it was absolutely HUGE, it had to be to seat over 500+ people!

The event itself was Apres themed so of course skiing and snow and cold thing. The venue itself as you walked inside you headed up the staircase to he balcony overlooking a larger bar and reception area where there were dancers and cabins as the bars and cocktail shacks, it was all very impressive.

ALL the drinks were free. I mean if you ask me that’s pretty awesome, I had a great time! You got your free prosseco(s) on arrival and of course everything else that was free with it. I was ordering so many cocktails the barman stopped giving me the names and was just calling them ‘The Green One‘ and ‘The Purple One‘, and I was very okay with this!

IMG_0670Suddenly at about 8pm there was a loud bang, a curtain fell and the main seating area was revealed. Over 120 tables to seat us all with wonderful minimalist centre pieces which were like something from the beauty and the beast, the way her rose sat inside a glass cover, the table pieces were the same!

The ceiling was all small lights to make it look like the night sky and the stars above and the general atmosphere was awesome. Later on the area below the stage was turned into a dance floor and there was even dodgems but the queue was memorably long so we didn’t bother with it!

Afterwards we headed back to the hotel in Battersea, We walked. Because SOME SMART ARSE (James if you’re reading this its you) thought it would only take 10 minutes to walk. So an hour later I’ve taken my heels off (after 5 minutes of walking) and the boys are drunkenly wandering in front after picking up people’s Christmas trees they had left outside their houses after crimbo!

They were using them too sweep the paths for any glass because of my little bare feet, they’re alright sometimes aren’t they?

My London Bucket List – Part 4: The X Factor Finals, Two 21st’s & Wishing I was Spanish

Hello and welcome to PART 4 of My London Bucket List!

This post is based on lot on heading out, please don’t judge me on my drinking habits (Jokes I don’t have any because I’m broke). So one day before i stepped into work I noticed the X Factor were at the SSE Arena in Wembley, Well I say I noticed but you couldn’t miss it! Extravagant people all singing and dancing, being interviewed and just generally warming up for Boot Camp auditions! Now the X Factor is sponsored by Just Eat, the magical food takeaway company, and of course Just Eat were outside the SSE Arena with a ‘Spin the Wheel’ and win game, so of course as I was bored before work, why not? Typically I spun the wheel, and managed to win two tickets to the final!

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So December 3rd rolls around and My Younger sister and I are off to enjoy the night! We stayed in the Hilton Canary Wharf. Its a very business orientated hotel but it was incredibly accommodating. We stayed in a comfy twin room, en suite and all other hotel comforts and it was lovely, we ordered room service desserts (of course) after the show and they were gorgeous and did not take long to get delivered either! I’d highly recommend the Hilton Canary Wharf to anyone staying in that area or nearby as my sister and I were heading to the Excel Arena!

So to the Excel Exhibition centre we went, The Excel is an incredibly huge building used for shows, presentations, conventions and of course the obvious, exhibitions of all sorts, so it is a large building indeed. But with perfect transport links arriving on the DLR at the Prince Regent stop, its really not difficult to get too at all, depending on which way you’re coming from you may even get to see the O2 Arena on your way!

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Once we arrived we were ushered to a ‘Pize Winner’ queue which felt pretty fancy. We were given our tickets with our seat number and row and send off into a Just Eat area with food, they took photos of you as you arrived with the X Factor background behind you, almost like a mini red carpet! There were lots of you typical corny X Factor photo booths and cheesy music, it was set up with park benches and a bit of fake grass, it was funky but we didn’t stick around for long before we went off to get a proper burger! FYI, I couldn’t tell you where I got it from, but it was amazing.

24312605_10210104814128715_8857701371266376113_nOnce being told at 16:50pm that the doors had opened and we could start queuing we were like Hell yes as we’d been waiting around for hours now, only to get in the queue and wait until 18:30pm. But it was absolutely worth the wait because the show was amazing and our seats really weren’t all that bad at all! Not only that but we got to see Little Mix, P!nk and Sam Smith perform live and watch Rak Su win the finals! (Sorry if I ruined it for anyone!).

Although I’ve never been a fan of the X Factor it was really enjoyable, and the Excel is an incredible building, so if you ever get the chance to see both either at the same time or separately, don’t hesitate!

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I’m at the age now where myself and a lot of my first are turning the wonderful 21 years old, Now legal and able to drink in America, how exciting. But turning 21 means a large session is at hand. My first 21st was a big one, Maddie’s 21st. I’m almost certain we 24312483_10210104807688554_7886318755466502035_nwere just going to wing it around London and just see where we ended up. We started at a friend (Mason’s, I’ve mentioned him before as a wonderful tour guide, sorry mase), And then headed to Old Street in London.

Now we had absolutely no plan at this rate. It was amazing. We started in The Craft Beer Co. literally nearby Old Street station, the atmosphere was great and it was relatively cheap as well consider how central we were! After consuming a few drinks and listening to some ultimate cheese music we then headed a little further down the road to a Bar/Club called Floripa! MY GOD was it expensive, £10 entry into this Brazilian themed club, but the vibe was amazing, the drinks were flowing and of course there was good music too! I paid £21 for two doubles, boy do I miss uni prices of £2.50 doubles at Superbull every Friday!! But the place was super cool, all summer themed with Floripa up on the wall with bright bulbs and a large dance floor that was absolutely packed out!

It was a good night that did end with being superglue’d out of masons flat due to his neighbours not liking how loud we were BEFORE the noise curfew of 11pm. 11pm may I add is when you should stop being too loud or noisy in a residential area in the UK. 11pm – 7am are the exact time. So we left at around half 10, to come back to a superglue’d door and no way of entry from 3am, to 5am. It was a pa-larva and a half but it was a great night none the less!

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My second 21st was in Watford for my wonderful friend Shannon, she was 21, we hit up Watford town and headed to Pryzm, a massive nightclub in the centre of Watford. With 2 floors with different music and a funky rooftop smoking area, the music is a main factor as it is amazing. Mixed with your typical chart music and house music that you’d hear in Ibiza it was a crazy night being picked up in a LIMO.

The best part of the night wasn’t just celebrating with Shannon but the fact that I also got to see some of my university friends, its nice to see them in/outside London and not in Lincoln for once! It was a really fun night, and Pryzm in Watford, for £7 entry, is where it’s at on a Friday night! Compared to Floripa where I paid that £21 for doubles I paid £6 for a double in Pryzm! I dont understand clubs sometimes but then Watford isn’t as central as Old Street in London!

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Now I saved the best for last! My wonderful friend Miriam turned 21 back in October and as she is from Spain it made perfect sense to go to the Spanish night they have at the club Tiger Tiger in Piccadilly, London! I went out with Miriam, Carlos who is also spanish, Alex, and Joanna who is Portuguese! There were a few more of us as well all to celebrate such a good night!

The club itself was huge with a large bar and dance floor as you walk in, flashing lights and what looked like a VIP Area up some stairs as you came in. The drinks weren’t too expensive, with a Double being £8-10, which isn’t so bad but also incredibly extortionate! Of course the music was your traditional and typical Spanish music, I discovered this night that I LOVE Spanish music and want to learn the Spanish Language. We discovered a second dance floor a little later on in the night and it was the best part of the whole night!

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We hit the club at about half 1 in the morning and stayed until the lights came up, I’ve never danced the way I danced in that club that night! It was phenomenal, it wasn’t just your boring typical trashy dancing you would see in a club, people were dancing traditionally and with partners and moving their feet and their hips like no ones business, it was an amazing place and atmosphere. When the lights came up even then the fun and singing didn’t stop as people were still dancing and singing, everyone was so merry and there were no problems at all, just like a huge family night, and it was a night I know I will never forget.

Shout out to Miriam, Carlos and Joanna for showing me how to REALLY move my hips to the wonders of Spanish music! I will be going there again one Wednesday!

 

My London Bucket List – Part 3, Brads Birthday adventures!

Our next London Adventure was a good one, it was for Brads 21st birthday!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one because I planned the wholeeeee day for Bradders and what he wanted to do in London, so I’m going to enjoy telling you about it! So we were headed to central London! Of course we started with some food as we set off around 12ish. So where else to be for that but Camden?

89We arrived and as per usual it was busy busy! It was a lovely day as well which meant we could walk about in just T-shirts, so we headed down all the different alleyways looking at the clothing stalls and smelling all the food. I went for the old school Chinese chicken and noodles, The stall I got it from was incredible, I chose it because the last time we visited Camden they gave me a sample from the stall and it was AMAZING. So of course I went back for more this time! We had a proper wonder around Camden and there are so many different stalls I want to go back and try, for example the cereal Killer shop looks incredibly cool. More reason to come back hey!

We found the main area of the market, kitted out with deck chairs on different levels and places to sit, theres a statue of Amy Winehouse as well as a memorial to her, it was really lively. But my personal favourite shop that we found was called Cyberdog. Its a ravers shop with two huge metal statues outside the front, its all luminous and loud bass line music pumping out the shop, I didn’t even realise until after we went inside the shop it has 3 FLOORS. It was crazy fun!

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93.jpgOnce we decided it was probably about time to head from Camden the next part of Brads 21st was somewhere he kept talking to me about going, so if course we headed straight over to the Imperial War Museum!

When we arrived we had a couple hours to go around the entire building, it was incredibly impressive and moving, really enjoyable and insightful too! The outside of the building had two massive gun statues placed right out in front of the building. It looked so good. As we headed up the pathway and inside the who place opened up and there was a huge open space in the middle of the museum. With the building rising up 5 floors and being able to see each display roughly from the outside of each floor from the balconies above, it was a pretty cool place. 99There were huge planes hanging from the ceiling and a number of tanks dotted around, with all these different displays of the trenches and how brutal the war was. You could see each story of WW1 & WW2 on different floors. There was a new floor that had opened also dedicated to the holocaust. It was eye opening and moving, dark tourism at its finest, with there being a model of what Auschwitz would’ve looked like from above, behind the model in glass cases were real shoes left over from those who were hoarded into the gas chambers, it was chilling.

We stayed right up until we had to leave because it was closing, it was a wonderful place, we didn’t quite manage to get all the way around, gives us an excuse to go again!

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Once the museum had closed we headed to the hotel! We’d booked in to stay in the Doubletree Hilton Docklands, right on the Thames/Docklands area of the Thames, And just opposite Canary Wharf!

It was a beautiful hotel on the water, we’d booked a king room and it was wonderful and huge, with a view of Canary Wharf and the thames one side and a skyline view the other side of the window! The beds were comfy, of course we got warm cookies upon arrival, and the en suite was so clean and fresh. Of course I wore my robe religiously around the room. Nothing better than hotel robes.

We had a lovely stay, a cracking breakfast as well, like my god did it set me up for the day. But it was nice to stay in London for a change, we were pretty close to everything we wanted to do and it didn’t take us long to get back from dinner at the Savoy to the hotel either!

One thing I wont forget was when we were heading back to the hotel from the bus stop literally 2 minutes away, there was a small park and as we were walking past, there were 3 urban foxes all fighting and playing in the middle of this park. I’d never seen anything like it, and it was so dark and quite they didn’t even see us. it was wonderful to watch and I never thought id get the chance in such a big city to see such a thing.

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109Finally, Brad and I went for a wonderful Dinner together at the Savoy Hotel in London, In Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant to celebrate Brads 21st Birthday!

It was a very fancy place, the Inside of the hotel was beautiful. It was marble floored and the bathrooms were something of royalty, yes the bathrooms were a high point, but if you’ve seen them you know they’re fancy as hell! There was a piano in the middle of their open seating and dining area, and the woman playing the piano was so talented and she had a wonderful voice.

We then headed into the restaurant, two glasses of rose and our food orders later and we were incredibly impressed. With someone to ask us what when we wanted before we ordered the wine, and incredible service and food, it was a lovely experience.

I ordered The Lamb and it melted in my mouth and the flavours were incredible, and brad ordered a Steak with Peppercorn Sauce and chips and it was cooked exactly bow he wanted it, They even put something together for Brad for his birthday which was also lovely!

After we were done we headed down to the Thames and had a little walk down to the London Eye and back before heading back to the hotel. The city lights looked so pretty from there, with St Paul’s also lit up in the background. I’d never even walked along the thames before this, so it was really nice. A wonderful way to spend such a lovely night!

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The next part of the bucket list coming soon guys, thanks for reading!

J x