24hourlondon Meets Social Media Influencer tikichris (24hourlondon)

24hourlondon interview

I sat down for a cold pint and a cool chat with Emma Hartley of 24HourLondon recently. Emma was interested in interviewing me about being a “social media influencer” and such.

Emma’s free to download 24hourlondon app for iPhone and Android helps you locate venues near you that are open late or never close.

“I’m not a twenty-something blonde girl,” Chris Osburn tells me in his soft American accent.

Read the complete interview at 24hourlondon.

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Where and When Your Selfie is a No-No (Miles Away)

Where and When Your Selfie is a No-No

We all love taking a selfie now and then. It’s a fun way to share special moments and to create personal keepsakes from our travels. But it’s not always such a smart idea to take a selfie of everything that catches our eye – no matter how amazing or photogenic the scene.

Here’s a look at some situations and locations when you’ll have to allow your own imagination or a postcard to provide the memories because a selfie would just be too rude or dangerous.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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The 7 Best Family Friendly Cities You Should Visit This Summer (Miles Away)

Family Friendly Cities

Summertime means family time. But you’re probably wondering about which city can make for the best summer family vacation.

Don’t worry — here’s our roundup of seven of the most family friendly cities in the US. Happy holidays!

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Graze Across Galicia with Vaca y Marela

Graze Across Galicia

I spent the end of April grazing across one of my favourite foodie regions of Europe – Galicia – helping an amigo get a little closer to making his dreams a reality and discovering why this picturesque and verdant corner of northwestern Spain is an ideal setting for what he’s cooking up.

The visit was my third to Galicia. To my knowledge, it’s one of the best places in the world for fresh seafood and downhome cooking and is increasing becoming a smart choice for upscale and fine dining. So yeah, I love it there. Continue reading

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Preview: The Greatest Spectacle of Lucha Libre, York Hall, Bethnal Green

Lucha Libre

Zay Ahmed is looking forward to catching this weekend’s lucha libre action in Bethnal Green.

Amigos! It’s time again for Mexico’s masked superheroes to fight it out in an epic battle of Good vs Evil at Bethnal Green’s York Hall. Continue reading

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Summer Cities That are Great for Seniors (Going Places)

Summer Cities That are Great for Seniors

Reaching retirement age doesn’t mean resigning yourself to the rocking chair for the rest of your life! For many, the golden years are their most active and offer a chance to embark upon all those adventures they put on hold while building a career and raising a family when they were younger.

We took a look around the US and found these seven cities to be among the very best for chasing your dreams and enjoying your travels as a senior this summer.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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You Don’t Have to Pay a High Price for Great Wine


How’s your summer going?

Mine’s been pretty awesome. From teaming up with Wines of Bordeaux to host a Twitter Q&A about summer food and wine pairings to touring vineyards in Friuli Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy (more on that to come) to simply enjoying a chilled glass of white in my East London back garden at the end of a surprisingly sultry day – this season has been one filled with great wine. Continue reading

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Preview: Children are Stinky at Underbelly Festival


Acrobatics coupled with highbrow toilet humour? I’m in and very much looking forward to checking out Children are Stinky at Underbelly Festival.

Following a sell-out run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016, which earned them the Children’s Choice Award 2016, Circus Trick Tease are delighted to announce that they are bringing their critically acclaimed family friendly show Children are Stinky to Underbelly Festival Southbank this July. Continue reading

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A Local’s Guide to London: What to Do, See, and Experience (Miles Away)

A Locals' Guide to London

American born, I’ve lived in London for over a decade. Although I’m fairly well settled in, this city never ceases to surprise and delight me. Even as a longtime resident with no plans to leave, it’s still one of my favorite destinations.

With this post, I aim to share some of my top tips for experiencing the dynamic British capital at its authentic best. With so much to see and do and such a rich history to tap into for your itinerary, it should be easy peasy lemon squeezy (as they say here) to get a proper feel of the real London and return home with a strong sense of what living life in London is all about. Or, if you’re like me, you might just find yourself making plans to extend your visit and calling London home.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Win the Complete Range of Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauces

Win the Complete Range of Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauces

For a sweet taste of Tennessee, check out this opportunity to win the complete range of BBQ Sauces from the one and only Jack Daniel!

There are six flavours in the Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce range including Smooth Original, Sweet Smokey, Hot Pepper, Tennessee Honey, Full Flavour Smokey and Extra Hot Habanero. Continue reading

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Sweet Life with Splenda?

Sweet Life with Splenda?

Have you ever tried baking with Splenda as a no-calorie alternative to sugar? Me neither, but now I’m going to give it a shot.

Have you been watching GBBO? If so, then I’m sure you caught Bake Off’s new judge Prue say that she would like to see healthier recipes on the show. The folks at Splenda® Brand Sweetener couldn’t agree more with Prue’s comments.

They got in touch with me recently to see I’d like to help them spread the word that replacing sugar with Splenda can lead to healthier eating. Assuring me that a compromise-free sweet life is possible, they wondered if I’d like to have a go at cooking with Splenda and sharing my thoughts about the experience here on my blog. Continue reading

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The Great Architectural Bake Off

The Great Architectural Bake Off

Alexandra Kalinowski attends The Great Architectural Bake Off with designs on admiring (and devouring) the edible architectural marvels on display.

If I had to pinpoint two things I’ve got from my dad, it’s how to stuff massive amounts of sugar in my gob, and a love of architecture mixed with urban planning. So when I caught wind of The Great Architectural Bake Off, I nearly galloped to Fitzroy Square. Continue reading

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Our/Summer at Our/London Vodka Distillery


Enjoy a special Saturday with Alexandra Kalinowski at the Our/London vodka distillery.

Saturdays in East London are special. Maybe that’s just because when I first moved here Broadway Market was just a short 20-minute walk from my new home. And a good Saturday is now synonymous with a walk along the canal and trip to the market. Continue reading

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Michael Thompson’s Fodder at Borough Wines & Beer

Fodder at Borough Wines

Alexandra Kalinowski checks out the latest pop-up at Borough Wines & Beer’s Brewery Below: Chef Michael Thompson’s Fodder.

If you’re like me and find yourself channelling your inner child in a candy store upon entering a wine shop, Borough Wines & Beers won’t disappoint. After shaking off the rain droplets and calming my breath post my mad dash into their Islington shop, I warmed in the rather intimate store. Perusing the shelves lined with British red and whites, I indulged my current natural wine obsession whose flavour ever evolves once the cork has been unscrewed. I’d describe it as a luxurious walk-in closet, which simply adds to the charm and intrigue of what lies below … Continue reading

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New Cocktail Menu at The Cocktail Trading Co

The Cocktail Trading Co

Filling in for Chris while he bounds around the US and Europe is Alexandra Kalinowski, who recently enjoyed previewing  cocktail menu at The Cocktail Trading Co.

Full disclosure, I’ve got a soft spot for The Cocktail Trading Co. You see, my day job is pretty glamorous. I’m often out and about drinking with bartenders as I interview them for a gin bar blog series. It’s safe to assume I’ve jotted down plenty of stories and have a feel for how each bar operates. But there are two in bars in particular that have stood out. CTC is one of them. Continue reading

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50% Off Your Meal at The Localist with CityMunch

Get 50% off your meal at The Localist

Here’s a review of a delicious meal I had recently at new(ish)ly opened The Localist in Clerkenwell along with an offer for you to get 50% off your visit if you book through CityMunch.

The Localist’s focus is on seasonal, European dishes bolstered with inventive cocktails and food friendly wines served in a comfortable chic setting. Continue reading

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How to Pack for Your First Hiking Adventure


So you’ve finally made the decision to pack a bag and head out into the great wilderness to fend for yourself. This is a big step for you: taking everything you need to be self-sufficient for a few days and going out to explore the big wide world. But first! You need to pack that bag and you need to know what you need to pack in that bag.

When preparing for any hiking adventure, whether it’s your first or your tenth, it is important to hike lean. Hiking lean simply means learning to live with the bare minimum – because remember, you have to carry this stuff on your back! Here’s how to pack for your first hiking adventure. Continue reading

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The Table Café, Southwark Street


A casual air and a commitment to seasonal and sustainable food made my meal at The Table Café a pleasant night out.

Word is weekend brunch is the preferred time to visit Table, but I was pleased with my Friday evening dinner. Continue reading

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Recipe: Pork Bone Broth with Miso and Seaweed


Making your own bone broth from scratch is super easy to do. The results are nourishing and hearty and a great base for all sorts of dishes.

Wondering what to do with some leftover bones from a gammon joint and the chance to sample a new I Sea Bacon seaweed product turned out to be an excellent opportunity to create my own broth.

There’s not much to do with this recipe, except wait several hours and enjoy the rich aroma wafting from your kitchen. Continue reading

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Dinner at Benares with Les Vignobles Foncalieu

Dinner at Benares with Les Vignobles Foncalieu - P1050736

An invitation to indulge in an intriguing assortment of Les Vignobles Foncalieu wines at one of London’s haut-est Indian restaurants turned out to be a memorably delicious dining (and drinking) experience.

Founded in 1901 near Carcassonne, Les Vignobles Foncalieu was the first wine cooperative in France. Building on a tradition of equitable winemaking, Foncalieu, under the guidance of agronomist Gabriel Ruetsch and oenologist Isabelle Pangault, continues to capture the essence of the varied terroirs of its vineyards to produce a diverse range of wines. Continue reading

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Summer Food and Wine Q&A | #AskBordeauxWines


Save the date! From 1 to 3pm on Monday 12 June, I’ll be on Twitter engaging in an afternoon Q&A about summer food and wine pairings with the folks from Bordeaux Wines UK.

That’s me (@tikichris) with Bordeaux Wines (@BordeauxWinesUK) tweeting up a friendly and informative storm of wine-related (and potentially wine-fueled) fun minus any hint of snobbery but full of tips on making your summer as tasty as possible.

We’ll be chatting with the hashtag #AskBordeauxWines and would love for you to join us in our discussion and chime in with any questions you might have. Continue reading

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The 5 Minute Routines That Will Save Your Sanity

5 minute routines

You know the drill: it’s 5:30 p.m. and the kids are yelling that they are starving and you are frazzled from the hella day you had at work, and your husband is…where is he? Huff. You look around and realize your house is in disarray and you forgot to defrost dinner, again. You have got to get it together. But when will you ever have the time to do that!?

Here is a little trick that can help save your kids from the brink of starvation, bring your husband back from wherever the heck he is, and can have you relaxing and enjoying your evenings to yourself. Continue reading

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Hamburger USA: The Best Burger in Every State (Miles Away)

Get ready America. It’s burger time.

No matter where you are or where you’re headed in the U.S.A., great burgers are a standard. But the greatest of the great? Well, we reckon this list of every state’s best burger is a good starting point for your beef-bound quests.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Win a Bottle of Greenall’s London Dry Gin

Win a Bottle of Greenall's London Dry Gin


Earlier this week I joined a small group of media folk for a tour of the Greenall distillery in Warrington. Coinciding with the launch of the new bottle and label of Greenall’s London Dry Gin, the visit was the first time non-employee and non-trade guests had been allowed inside.

While there I made sure to stash a bottle in my bag to share with one lucky reader. Fancy a taste of what Britain’s oldest distillers have been during since the 1761? Keep reading. Continue reading

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Black Cat Cabaret at Underbelly Festival

Black Cat Cabaret

Feats of physical prowess cheekily delivered and presented in a sultry and slightly sinister fashion – London’s celebrated Black Cat Cabaret slinks to the summer stage of Underbelly Festival on the South Bank.

Kemey and I enjoyed last weekend’s inaugural performance of the Black Cat at Underbelly (former Udderbelly and Wonderland Festivals combined). Not our first glimpse of the Cat or our first go at the festival, we were nonetheless impressed and awed by much of what we took in. Continue reading

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Salt Beef Bagels, Iced Coffee and More at Mercer & Co, Chapel Market


At £3.90, a recent late breakfast/early lunch of hand carved salt beef with mustard (I went with American) and a pickled gherkin on a bagel was minimal money went spent for a mightily meaty and thoroughly filling meal.

Short on time and low on funds? Keep Mercer & Co in mind. I certainly will. Continue reading

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What to Consider When Starting Up a Small Food Business

Starting up a small food business

The food industry is one that is continuously growing – and you don’t need to run a large food business to be successful. Whether it’s a kiosk, a café, restaurant or even a street food van vendor, when you’re running a small food business for the first time, it’s important that you understand how to handle, store and serve the food that you sell.

The quality of your products should be your priority; you need to keep your customers safe from any allergens that could be in your food. You should follow EU law and legislation surrounding food standards. Erudus, a company which stores and shares food labelling information within a data pool for customers’ benefit, has helped to put together this start-up guide for those aiming to run their own small food business: Continue reading

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Movie Review: The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle

Oscar nominated and winner of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard Special Prize, The Red Turtle by Director Michael Dudok de Wit is coming to UK cinemas 26 May.

The animated fantasy film is a co-production between Wild Bunch (The Artist, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Wrestler) and Studio Ghibli (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) and is the first non-Japanese film Studio Ghibli has ever produced. Continue reading

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Mac & Wild Devonshire Square


A taste of wild Scotland supplemented with an ample dash of Scottish hospitality made my meal at Mac & Wild’s City outpost a deliciously memorable one.

Indulging in a hint of the Highlands hardly a minute’s stroll from Liverpool Street Station, an early midweek dinner at Mac & Wild was one of the tastier ideas Kemey and I have enjoyed recently. Continue reading

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Five Years in London for Gelateria 3Bis

Gelateria 3BIS Chocoshot Nutty Chocolate Sauce

I scream. You scream. Everybody gets the point. And the point is not so long ago decent ice cream was in short supply on the London street. These days? No need to raise your voice – there’s plenty of top quality frozen treats to go round. Among the best is Gelataria 3Bis – a Borough Market shop celebrating its five-year anniversary.

Half a decade strong here in London, 3Bis has a 30 year history in Rimini. I dropped by the artisanal gelato maker’s London outpost recently for its birthday party (both London and Rimini openings share the same 10th of May date). Continue reading

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Honky Tonking in Downtown Nashville (Miles Away)

Honky Tonking

A honky tonk (noun) is a bar where live music, usually of the country and western variety, is regularly featured. To honky tonk (verb) is the act of going out in the evening to one or more of these establishments for the enjoyment of live music and maybe a bit of dancing as well.

Having a few beers or other alcoholic beverages while honky tonking is the perfect way to make the most of such bars and activity.
Honky tonks and honky tonking ain’t what they used to be, but the last bastion of hope for this 20th-century pastime still exists in downtown Nashville at the lower end of Broadway (just look for the neon glow). Known as Honky Tonk Row, the area is renowned for offering live music every night of the week. There’s plenty of great shopping and eating to be had on and near Broadway too.

Here’s a tried and true list of some of the best joints with the best bars to sidle up to where there’s never a cover charge (but you’re certainly welcome to tip the musicians!) and the beer’s always cold.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Tootoomoo Crouch End


Pan Asian eatery Tootoomoo in Crouch End does a bang up job offering a range of crowd pleaser dishes focused on Chinese, Southeast Asian and Japanese flavours.

Kemey and I enjoyed sampling a few small plates from the menu before heading out for a show at the nearby Hornsey Town Hall Art Centre. Continue reading

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Fifth Dimension Chocolates’ Journey Box


Fine flavour in full 5D! If you haven’t tried Fifth Dimension Chocolates you’re missing out on some inventive creations crafted with finesse.

I finally got a taste of Fifth Dimension’s delicious doings while taking a palate pleasing tour of the world with this multi award-winning London-based independent chocolate maker’s Journey Box. Inspired by travels and culinary experiences, Head Chocolatier Russell Pullan sees the beautiful 18-piece box (including 11 award-winning handmade truffles) as an opportunity to enjoy a “personal journey into flavour.” What a trip! And a very flavoursome one indeed! Continue reading

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New Summer Cocktails at St James Bar, The Balcon, Sofitel London St James


St James Bar at The Balcon (inside the Sofitel London St James) has recently launched a new Spring/Summer Collection of cocktails.

I enjoyed sampling some of the playful and sophisticated drinks on offer in the plush surround of this elegant bar inspired by Coco Chanel’s 1920s Paris apartment. Continue reading

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Yuu Kitchen


Head Chef Jon de Villa (ex-Nobu, ex-Flesh & Buns) blends fine dining flair with casual dining fun at Yuu Kitchen on Commercial Street – a (new-ish) Pacific Rim restaurant emphasising Southeast Asian flavours cooked mostly on two Big Green Egg BBQ grills.

De Villa’s menu of sharing dishes and bao is one of the most irresistible I’ve yet to come across in London. Highlights from it include everything I tried – no duds. But if I had to single out one dish to rave about, Continue reading

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