London Daily Photo: Toby

LDP 2015.07.31 - Toby

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Potbelly Brings Chicago-Style Made-to-Order Sandwiches to Westfield Stratford City

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“Legendary” Chicago sandwich shop, Potbelly, has opened at Westfield Stratford City brings a toasted load of massive flavour to a very lucky London.

I swung by last night’s launch of Potbelly. En route to where I was ultimately heading, I reckoned I’d get a good sandwich out of it but had no idea I’d have such a majorly satisfying one. I had “A Wreck.” Priced around five quid, this toasted mega-sandwich was jam-packed with salami, Angus roast beef, turkey and melted Swiss cheese … and then made to order with mayo, mustard, hot peppers, lettuce, onion tomato and pickle (from a longer list of free toppings available). For me, quality always wins out over quantity. But when I get the two together, oh boy! Grinding through A Wreck was indeed an “oh boy” gourmand moment.  

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Not only did I enjoy my best sandwich in recent memory at Potbelly while at Potbelly, but (while queuing up for my order) I had what I’m pretty sure was the best milkshake I ever have slurped in London. It was just a plain Jane vanilla shake – but super thick and very vanilla-y. More yum? I loved grabbing a bag of Snyder’s pretzels with my sandwich. Potbelly does breakfast, soups, salads, freshly baked cookies, old timey sodas and more, but I reckon the sandwiches (I’m keen to return for a go at Potbelly’s meatball sub) are the main act.

Truly impressed and way more excited than I expected to be, I’m dying to go back – on an empty stomach – to devour more.

Potbelly is located at The Street, Westfield Stratford City, E20 1EJ. Find out more at potbellyuk.com.

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Richard Long: Time and Space at Arnolfini, Bristol

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Time and Space, a major new exhibition of work by Richard Long, opens today at the Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts in Bristol. As part of city’s celebration as 2015 European Green Capital, the show features new works and recreations of previous ones by the Bristol-born artist who still calls Bristol his home, as well as a new offsite work located on The Downs near the house where he lived as a child.

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I had a mosey through the show during yesterday’s press preview at Arnolfini and along The Downs. What I liked most about viewing Long’s work was the chance to contemplate his one-foot-front-of-the-other approach to art. I think that’s largely how I live, just following my chin, and to see how one person has made such a lasting career of it and has managed so eloquently and consistently to share his deliberate and linear art with such poignant results was inspiring and calming – just like a good, long walk.

Walking is a central theme to Long’s art and the chief way he engages with the landscapes that become the subject of his work.

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Time and Space afforded me an opportunity to enjoy just that: time and space. In the artist’s own words, much of what Long aims to do through art is find a “balance between home and away.” So much of the effect of this comes across conciliatory but unyielding: observe what’s around you and make note of it. Despite having never met the artist until yesterday (and then only briefly while he was being tossed questions by a gaggle of journos), what I took away from Time and Space was a message to SLOW DOWN as if advised from a close friend who’s known me since I was a kid.  

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Such was especially the case while having a look at Long’s offsite piece, Boyhood Line. Located at The Downs, the 170m long work comprised of white limestone rocks traces a footpath along a grassy patch of parkland. It was a pleasure to have a moment to sit under a tree, admire a group of small children playing under the supervision of an equally playful adult near one end of the path, and to walk along it myself while considering the area and this lonely isolated hallmark’s place in it.

Time and Space runs from 31 July to 15 November at Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA. Admission is free. Boyhood Line can be viewed for free at The Downs (near Ladies Mile), Bristol, BS9 1FG until 15 November.

Find out more at arnolfini.org.uk.

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London Daily Photo: Paddington

LDP 2015.07.30 - Paddington

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Experience ‘the Wrath of Gods’ This Fall in Philadelphia (OneTravel)

Prometheus Bound

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian. The focus of exhibition will be one of the finest works by Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), Prometheus Bound, which the artist himself described as “the flower of my stock.”

Prometheus Bound is renowned for the aesthetic of horror in the gripping scene depicting the tortured Prometheus being attacked by a giant eagle as punishment from Zeus for stealing fire from heaven. The large-scale painting will be exhibited alongside …

Read my complete article at OneTravel.

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London Daily Photo: N-verted

LDP 2015.07.29 - N-verted

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The Bonneville: Absinthe Minded Pursuit of Cocktails in Clapton

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One of my favourite London bars just keeps getting better as I boozily discovered during a recent absinthe-minded elbow bending session at The Bonneville in Clapton.

There’s a spooky, Frenchy vibe to this hardly a year old Hackney haunt that’s perfectly complemented by Bonneville’s owner/head barman Ruairi Giles’ absinthe-based cocktails. His sazerac – a classic New Orleans absinthe and whiskey concoction – is among the best I’ve had in London while his milky, almond-rich Absinthe Suissesse ranks among the more intriguing mixes I’ve had lately.

However you like your absinthe served (or if you even known whether or not you actually like absinthe at all), Giles’ bar is the place to give it a go. I especially enjoyed sipping Nouvelle Orleans’ Absinthe Superieure and marvelled at all the other bottles of absinthe behind the bar (no, I wasn’t seeing double).

Beyond the exceptional range of absinthe, there’s an impressively backed bar of top quality spirits (I was ogling the whiskies all night) – and beyond all the drinks, the place cooks up some great food (you could do a lot worse than its selection of charcuterie and cheeses).

The Bonneville is located at 43 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NS. Find out more at thebonneville.co.uk.

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How to Experience the Best of NOLA’s Legendary Live Music Scene (Miles Away)

Andriy Solovyov / Shutterstock

New Orleans is home to a famously rich musical tradition. Blues, funk, jazz, zydeco, rock ‘n’ roll, and country – the city can claim at least some responsibility for just about every genre of American music.

Are you planning to hit the Crescent City for a taste of live music, but aren’t sure where to go for the best gigs? Don’t worry about it! A visit to NOLA without encountering live music is practically impossible. You cannot avoid great music here even if you try! But before you get down to boogie, keep these tips in mind:

New Orleans is an all night kind of town. Expect many live performances to start late and go very late.

While many of the city’s best attractions and activities are within walking distance of each other, be prepared to take cabs and public transport anyway. You’ll save time, and you can never be too safe when gallivanting around a city late at night.

Lots of locals work in the service industry and rely very much on your gratuity to earn a living wage. Be kind and aware when you tip. You may be helping fund the pursuits of an up-and-coming great jazz musician.

Now then, with all that advice in mind, let’s get to the actual music, shall we? Here’s a list of some of the best places to see live music in NOLA, many of which are also considered to be some of the best music venues in the world. You picked the right city to visit, music lovers!

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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London Daily Photo: Leg Man

LDP 2015.07.28 - Leg Man

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The Best of the Budget Hotels Victoria London Offers

Best Budget Hotels in Victoria London

Everyone today tries to be as conscious as they can about the money they spend all of the time. This is especially true when you are planning any type of trip, whether it is for business or pleasure.

For business trips, many people must pay their own expenses to travel, making it even more important that you try to find the best deals possible when you can. When you are traveling to a place like London this can seem something of a challenge for, when you are looking for a hotel in the city. You want to try to spend some time looking for the quality budget hotels Victoria London has available so you can stay at a nice, clean place that will save you money as well.

Staying Within Your Budget

It is very easy to go over your budget for your hotel when you are looking at places in different areas of London. Even if you are just staying for a few nights some hotels could cost you several hundred or thousands for your stay, depending on where you choose. That is why it is so important that you pay attention to the prices offered for the rooms available. You also want to pay attention to the location of the hotel so you can make sure that it is in the part of London where you plan to spend the most time. This will make it much easier for you to get around and you will have no trouble commuting by train, bus or car. When you really want the best of the budget hotels Victoria London offers in the right location, you want to make sure that you stay at the Victoria Inn London.

Just What You Want in a Hotel

Staying at one of the top budget hotels in Belgravia London does not mean you need to compromise comfort, cleanliness or quality of the staff. When you stay at this hotel, you not only get an experienced and helpful staff to assist you with all of your needs, but you are going to get a quality room that has all you need to make sure you have a very comfortable stay. All of the rooms are modern in design and feature amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The hotel has the ideal location and is within an easy walk of Pimlico Station so you can catch the train to wherever you want to go in the city.

While you get a quality room at the ideal location you are also going to get one of the best prices in all of Central London for your stay. That, along with everything else, makes staying at the Victoria Inn London a great decision for you. Make sure you look to see what rooms are available before you take your next trip to the city so you can be sure to get a space at a cost you will be very pleased with.

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Cold-Press Rapeseed Oil: Oil for One and One for Oil

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Oil is an every day foodstuff used in many different kinds of dishes – yet the sheer range of available oils can be baffling. The paradox of choice is obvious in every supermarket – how to choose between olive, sunflower, coconut, rapeseed and numerous other cooking oils and fats? Leila Dukes pours on the possibilities in this exploration of unctuous options.

One type of oil which is increasingly likely to be found in kitchens across the country is rapeseed, with sales rocketing in the last year. The golden elixir attracting discerning shoppers is not the refined, processed stuff often labeled as “vegetable” oil you may associate with rapeseed. British farmers are now producing premium cold-pressed, extra virgin oils from rapeseed crops which are comparable in quality to the best olive oils.

Hillfarm Oil is the first UK producer of cold-pressed rapeseed oil. Founders, married couple Clare and Sam Fairs, made their family farm in Heveningham, Suffolk the first farm in the UK to cold-press and bottle their own rapeseed over ten years ago. Hillfarm is now one of the UK’s leading producers, bottling over 500,000 litres of their oil for shops, restaurants and supermarkets across the land. Clare and Sam Fairs speak passionately about the health benefits of rapeseed oil and are quick to compare the numbers to olive oil: it has half the saturated fat, eleven times more natural omega 3 and more vitamin E.

While the Hillfarm branded tshirts may proclaim they are “challenging the olive,” in fact all sorts of oils should be welcome in the kitchen, for different uses. There is nothing quite like the peppery, grassy kick of extra-virgin olive oil drizzled over dishes just before serving. But olive oils are not suitable for cooking: not only does the quality deteriorate, applying very high heat can release toxic chemicals according to scientists. Coconut oil is often described as excellent for cooking due to its high burn point, but the strong flavour and greasy mouthfeel can be overpowering.

Rapeseed oil also has a high smoking point, so can be used for roasting and frying. It’s also relatively thin in texture as oils go, meaning vegetables crisp up more quickly than with other oils. Taste wise, rapeseed certainly doesn’t pack the same punch as really good olive oil, but the faintly nutty, mustardy qualities are undeniably delicious and does not interfere with other flavours. Instead of trying to “convert” shoppers from one type of oil to another, we should be encouraged to expand our repertoire of oils, in the same way we build an arsenal of herbs and spices in our store cupboards.

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Rapeseed oil has a lot going for it: the British providence, the high burn point and the distinct, mellow flavour. Cake Shop Bakery, a renowned bakery not far from Hillfarm, uses the rapeseed oil in many of its recipes including a stunning “British foccacia.”

It’s not just rapeseed oil that is liquid gold, earning praise from big names like Tom Kerridge, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. Hillfarm is now growing and selling rapeseed greens and seeds for culinary uses, which are popular with chefs like Mark Hix. Hillfarm also make seriously amazing mayonnaise – the yellow colour, thick wobbly texture and mellow nutty, mustardy flavour are glorious. The most recent launch is a new range of rapeseed hand soap and creams which feel lovely to use.

Time to make room in your kitchen cabinets: there is a new healthy, homegrown crop around.

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Win a Havana Club Mojito Kit

Win a Havana Club Mojito Kit

Making your own refreshing mojito is easy – especially when you win all the ingredients for free and have them delivered straight to your door! I’ve teamed up with Havana Club to share with you just how simple it is to make this classic cocktail and to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a bottle of Havana Club 3 Anos along with everything else required to make the perfect mojito.

One of my favourite summer libations is the classic Cuban cocktail – the Mojito – mainly because is tastes so good and cools you down so fast. But, I also love it because it is super simple to make and only requires a few ingredients (rum, sparkling water, half a lime, sugar, and some mint) and three basic steps (mix, muddle, mix).  

Win a Havana Club Mojito Kit

Key to mixing up a perfect mojito is getting its most important ingredient right. Made in the heart of Cuba, Havana Club 3 Anos is an ideal accompaniment for summer cocktails. The only white rum aged for three years, it develops deep aromas and tastes to suit any assortment of tropical serves, whether an authentic Cuban mojito or refreshing daiquiri.

How would like to have a go at making mojitos with a free mojito kit including one bottle of Havana Club 3 Anos, a bottle of sparkling water, limes, sugar, mint and a handy dandy recipe card?

To be in with a chance to win one, simply tweet the following:

RT to win a free #HavanaMojito cocktail kit from @HavanaClub_UK compliments of @tikichris: ow.ly/Q6Wx1 #MixMuddleMix

Please take a moment to read the terms and conditions before tweeting!

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I’ll pick one winner at random on Friday 7 August at 11.30am BST. The winner will receive one bottle of Havana Club 3 Anos, a bottle of sparkling water, limes, sugar, mint and a recipe card. To be eligible to win, you need to have an address in the UK where the prize can be delivered. Obviously you also need to be of legal drinking age to receive this alcoholic product and must be able to show ID that proves your age.

Good luck and please drink responsibly.

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London Daily Photo: For the Trees

LDP 2015.07.27 - For the Trees

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Bloggers Picks: 19 Free Things to Do in London (Time Out London)

Bloggers picks: 19 free things to do in London

Last week’s issue of Time Out featured a list of 19 free things to do in London as recommended by a gaggle of London-based bloggers. Often broke and just scraping by while marvelling the high price for life in London, I appreciated the article’s theme as well as the opportunity to be to among the not-quite-20 folks who got to weight with a top freebie tip.

We know: you’re broke. Tell us about it. So isn’t it a good job there are so many brilliant things to do in the city that don’t cost a penny? We asked 19 in-the-know Londoners for their top cash-free things to do.

See my tip and read the complete article online at Time Out.

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The Ultimate Guide to Pensacola – Beyond the Beach! (Miles Away)

The Ultimate Guide to Pensacola – Beyond the Beach!

Maisna/Shutterstock

Okay, let’s face it! Your aim in heading down to Pensacola is to have a heaping helping of toes-in-the-sand, fun-in-the-sun action. And nobody’s blaming ya! With its awarding-winning white sand beaches, this Gulf Coast destination is an excellent choice for an amazing beach break. But while you’re in this Northwest Florida town, you would be wise to dust the sand off your flip-flops now and again to venture inland for some of the area’s best attractions, food and drink, entertainment, and shopping.

Have a look at this list of Pensacola’s best non-beachy reasons to visit! You might be surprised how much there actually is to see and do.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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London Daily Photo: Brookscroft Road

LDP 2015.07.26 - Brookscroft Road

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Pensacola, FL Is the Foodie Paradise You Never Knew About (Miles Away)

Pensacola, FL Is the Foodie Paradise You Never Knew About

Sunny days, sandy beaches and sensational food – Pensacola is one of America’s tastiest seaside destinations. From farmers’ markets and “flip-flop fine dining” to innovative regional and international haute cuisine, if you’re hankering for something good to eat, this friendly Gulf Coast town has plenty to go round.

Long time locals and in-the-know foodies have been aware of the delectable goings going on around Pensacola for years. But while the rest of the world is just now starting to catch on to what’s on the menu, here’s your chance to keep ahead of the gourmet game! Find out why the catch of the day is served up with so much style and full-on Florida flavor in Pensacola. Yum!

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Brighton Bound? Bincho Yakitori for Japanese Grilled Greatness Near the Beach

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I personally know of a few Brighton folks who might occasionally read this blog, and of course many of my London acquaintances make a point of getting down to everybody’s favourite slice of quirky seaside Sussex at least once or twice a year. For you – and anybody else who might be heading that way – I offer an especially tasty to-do for your consideration: Bincho Yakitori.

Yep, the same Bincho that used to grace London’s foodie havens of Soho and Clerkenwell with its simple menu of mostly grilled meats made all the more moreish by a Japanese approach to flavour, style and service is now pleasing palates in cozy little Brighton nook only a few blocks up from the beach. Too bad so sad London, Brighton’s got ya beat this time around. I paid an early evening weekday visit a week or so ago, and had a delightful time sampling my way through the menu – at a fraction of the cost such a exploratory dabble of a meal would have set me back here in London. A flight of sake to start things off (the list of Japanese drinks was impressive), followed by a pint of Super Dry Asahi and I was ready for a parade of izakaya hits.  

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Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside cuttlefish and squid … a variety of skewered chicken parts (wings, neck, hearts, skin) all grilled to perfection … pork belly with a hint of char … sweet potatoes doused with miso butter (which may have been the most scrumptious thing I’ve had in a long, long while) … I loved the laidback delivery and umami-licious umph of each and every just-off-the-grill morsel of yum I sampled while sitting at the bar admiring the action in front of me on the grill.

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In addition to the yakitori, highlights during my dine included fried chicken wings prepared in a sort of masterful mash up of styles – spicy Korean x Thai fish sauce – resulting in a fiery flavour bomb I’ve been craving something awful since my last bite. A couple of scoops of green tea ice cream (no room for the white chocolate, yuzu and green tea “finger”) rounded out my meal nicely. Service was personable, agreeable and prompt. Most of the menu items I tried were priced around £4 each (with a good many were well under that).

Bincho Yakitori is located at 63 Preston Street, Brighton BN1 2HE, just a short stroll from the rail station and an especially close walk from the beach. Find out more at binchoyakitori.com.

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6 Great Reasons to Visit Italy This Summer (OneTravel)

Palio of Siena

As if you needed yet another reason to visit one of Europe’s most beautiful, history and delicious countries, here’s a roundup of six exciting things happening or just opening this summer to make that trip of a lifetime even more mandatory.

Andiamo!

Read my complete post at OneTravel.

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London Daily Photo: Brewery Square

LDP 2015.07.25 - Brewery Square

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Twelfth Night | Pell Mell Theatre Company | The Space Theatre, Canary Wharf

Twelfth Night Poster

Set in Victorian music hall, The Space, and staged with a dark edge and an ‘under the big top’ look and feel, the Pell Mell Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s tale of love, subterfuge and mistaken identity is mesmerizing to watch and cast with a strong ensemble of actors.

I had an enjoyable time attending a performance of Pell Mell’s Twelfth Night last night at The Space. Ella Garland’s portrayal of a sympathetic Viola/Cesario was a highlight of the show as was Andrew Seddon’s job playing the humiliated Malvolio. Makeup, music (much of it performed live by an agile and multitalented Lawrence Boothman in his role as Feste), and direction were all commendably executed and led to a compelling staging. I didn’t quite get the eerie ever-writhing movements of the characters Valentine, Balthazar, Lorenzo, and Stephano though. Their constant and off-kilter gyrations seemed at times to get in the way of the main action and were even a little exhausting to witness (I can’t imagine what it was like for the performers involved – and I hope they have a better idea than me why they had been assigned such a jerky task).

The Pell Mell Theatre Company’s production of Twelfth Night is on now and runs until 8 August (excluding Mondays, 31 July and 1 August). The Space Theatre is located at 269 Westferry Road, E14 3RS. Find out more at space.org.uk and theatrepellmell.wix.com/pellmelltheatre.

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Experience Comfort at Hotels in St Albans

St Albans

If you are looking for a truly unique place to stay on your next holiday to Great Britain you may want to consider visiting the city of St Albans.

St Albans is located in the southern part of Hertfordshire in England and is only about twenty miles from central London, allowing you to be outside of the larger city but still have easy access to it. The city of St Albans is rich in history and has a great many things for you to see and do and you could spend several days exploring the region and its top attractions. When you are looking to travel here you will want to take a look at places to stay in St Albans Hertfordshire that can provide you with comfort, quality and affordability.

Find the Best Place

There are many hotels that you can select from in this region so you are going to want to spend some time finding a place that suits just what you are looking for and that is in the proper location. You likely will want to be near the city centre so that you can have quick and easy access to all of the great shops, restaurants and attractions in the area. You may also want to choose a place that has easy access to St Albans Station so that you can easily make use of public transportation in the area to get to and from all of the places you want to see. Keeping all of this in mind, when you look at hotels in St Albans that fit this criterion you will find that the Quality Hotel St Albans has everything that you are looking for.

A Fine Place for Comfort

This hotel has everything you could want, with over eighty rooms available for you to choose from. The hotel itself is located just minutes away from the City Centre and St. Albans Station is right nearby so you can easily take public transit to all of the great historical attractions and fun sites in the city. Rooms feature all of the modern amenities you are looking for, including flat screen televisions, Wi-Fi Internet access, tea and coffee making facilities in the room, en-suite bathrooms, ample work space and more. The hotel itself also provides a 10 meter swimming pool, sauna, a fully equipped gym so you can work out and a lounge bar and restaurant with everything from drinks and snacks to full meals available to you.

When you are planning your trip to St Albans you want to take the time to be sure you look at the rooms available to you at the Quality Hotel St. Albans. You will find everything you need here at some of the best budget prices in the city to go along with the friendly and helpful staff and amenities. A stay here will convince you that it is the only place you need to consider when you are visiting St Albans.

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Food Yard Friday at The Artworks Elephant, Elephant & Castle

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I had a blast and a lot of amazing street food (and drink!) during last week’s inaugural Food Yard Friday at The Artworks Elephant (a studio and retail hub comprised of shipping containers situated near Elephant & Castle Station). And now that it’s Friday again, here’s your chance to partake in this delicious new series “of food, drink, art and music shebangs.” Whether you’re passing through or making Elephant & Castle your base for the evening, I highly recommend paying a visit. Just make sure to bring a hearty appetite!

I ate so well (and please note I was with a great and sampling a variety of dishes not having a full-on solo gorge fest – although some of what I tried was so scrumptious that I could have). I think the best way to approach this post is as a roundup with a blurb each about the South London entrepreneurs whose offerings impressed me most.  

Black Acorn

Bringing a taste of rustic Portuguese with a dash of London street smarts to the Food Yard is Black Acorn with a short and savoury menu built round acorn-fed Iberian Black Pig from the Alentjo region of southern Portugal. I loved their Iberico Burger. More at blackacorn.co.uk.

Elephant Shack

If the folks behind this “flatbread bakery and brew bar” ever decided to open another outlet north of the river (and as near my house as possible) I wouldn’t complain. Hard pressed on what to order when you go? The lamb wrap is gorgeous – and even more so washed down with a glass of Douro red. Details: elephantshack.com.

The Frenchie Bistro

Duck confit and blue cheese burger and a side of duck-skin scratchings? Oh yeah. These friendly Frenchmen were still setting up shop during my visit last week. But with the promise of “frog wings” and duck fat chips to come, I suspect I’ll be craving another rendezvous soon! More on Facebook: facebook.com/TheFrenchie.

Longwave Bar

The Artworks Elephant’s bar is a good one with laidback vibe and a great drinks list (whatever your preferred libation or espresso-based persuasion). I was very much impressed – and pleased to kick off the weekend – with my pint of Orbit Beers’ Duke hefeweizen. More at longwavebar.co.uk.

Love Fresh Vietnamese

Back to basics traditional Vietnamese with simple, natural “eco friendly” ingredients served by friendly appreciative folks? Yes please. Find ‘em on Facebook: facebook.com/LoveFreshVietnamese.

Marcel & Sons

Who wants Mauritian comfort food? I do (all the time) now that I’ve had a taste of what Randy, Marcel’s Le Cordon Bleu trained chef does with it. I loved the bao and the extra eggy bol renverse and the nouik nian (steamed chayote dumplings). Visit online at marcelandsons.com.

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Spark

Head here for refreshing “freshly-squeezed juices, smoothies, real fruit milkshakes” and more healthful and invigorating treats. I thought Spark’s Zinger (carrot, orange, ginger) and Popeye (spinach, avocado, apple, lime) were especially yummy. Spark is online at findmyspark.co.uk.

Tasty Jerk

I had some of the best jerk chicken I’ve had in London here and the most amazing rice and peas tasted outside the Caribbean. Go to The Tasty Jerk’s Facebook page to find out more:
facebook.com/TastyJerkElephantandCastle.

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Keep in mind all these folks (and more) are at the Food Yard cooking up great food to eat throughout the week. There’s no reason why you can’t have your own Food Yard Monday Lunch, or Wednesday After Work Drinks or …

The Artworks Elephant 
 is located at Elephant Road, SE17 1AY. Find out more at theartworks-uk.com.

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London Daily Photo: The Artworks Elephant

LDP 2015.07.24 - The Artworks Elephant

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The Coolest Day Trips You Can Take from Birmingham, Alabama (Miles Away)

Birmingham Alabama

Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

There are tons of cool things to do right in Birmingham proper, but if you’re in the Magic City with ample time – or if you’re just passing through – consider stopping by one of these great Alabama attractions.

All the places listed here are within roughly four hours (most a lot closer) to Birmingham. They’re all in Alabama too. However, there’s so much to see and do in and around Birmingham that this list is hardly exhaustive. Get excited about Alabama, and keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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London Daily Photo: Hot – Good – Refreshing

LDP 2015.07.23 - Hot - Good - Refreshing

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Trampolines, African Villages, & Vulcan: Your Guide to Birmingham’s Quirkiest Attractions (Miles Away)

Electra

Photo/Max Wolfe

Going down to Birmingham and hoping to get off the beaten track to discover some of the quirkier sights in Alabama’s biggest town? You’re in luck! In addition to an impressive range of popular museums, parks, restaurants, and attractions, there’s something for everybody in Birmingham – no matter how obscure or off-kilter your sightseeing proclivities might be.

In some ways, the whole “Magic City” itself is something of a hidden gem with loads of unsung local favorites, plenty of not-quite-famous yet places to visit, and more than its fair share of outright oddities. If you’re keen to have your good times coupled with an ample dose of weird or to be tinged with surprise, you’ll find Birmingham to be an especially dynamic Southern destination.

Have a look at this list of Birmingham’s quirkiest attractions …

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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London Daily Photo: Keep Clear

LDP 2015.07.25 - Keep Clear

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Boutique Hotels in Yorkshire

Boutique Hotels in Yorkshire

More and more today as people travel they are asking for a better hotel experience that allows them to enjoy luxury but at a smaller hotel. This has caused many cities both large and small to begin to offer unique boutique hotels as places to stay.

Such hotels are generally much smaller than the large hotels with hundreds of rooms in the city. They also tend to be in unique locations and have unique settings and designs while still offering luxurious amenities along the way. The city of York is no exception to what is going on and a number of hotels like this have begun to open up around the city. If you are traveling to York you may want to take a look at the boutique hotels York UK has to offer to see what suits you best.

Looking for Luxury

If you want to take the time to indulge yourself and have a trip that you will always remember when you come to York then you will want to see the type of luxury hotels York has available and see which one you like best. If you are planning to come to the city to see some of the top attractions like the Shambles, the Castle Museum, York Chocolate Story, The York Dungeons and other places then you are going to want to find a hotel that puts you in the heart of the City Centre so that you can get to every place easily. You may also want to stay in the historical area so you get more of a chance to explore the look, feel and history of the city itself. You can find the ideal place for your stay when you look at the boutique hotels in Yorkshire and settle on the Hotel Indigo York for your stay.

A Great Place to Stay 

The Hotel Indigo York has everything you could want in a luxury boutique hotel. Located in the center of York you will have easy access to all of the best and top attractions in the city, including York Minster, the Barbican Centre, Barley Hall, the Yorkshire Museum and many others. The hotel itself is idyllic, with specially designed rooms that make each one unique in its style in décor, and each room has all of the best amenities you can find. You have comfortable bedding with 100% Egyptian linen, LCD HD television, spa-inspired bathrooms with luxury toiletries, rainfall showers, bathrobes and slippers, free Wi-Fi access, in-room coffee and tea facilities and a mini fridge filled with complimentary snacks, soft drinks and fresh milk. The hotel also has its own fitness suite and restaurant and bar for your lunches and dinners.

When you are planning a trip to York and want to stay at a quality boutique hotel, make your reservations at the Hotel Indigo York. You can even take advantage of their special offers and promotions that they run to help make your stay even more special. Once you have stayed here you will know just what a luxury hotel experience should be for you.

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London Daily Photo: Demon Vendor

LDP 2015.07.21 - Demon Vendor

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Moon Day & the Future of Space Tourism (OneTravel)

The Future of Space Travel

July 20th is Moon Day, a date to commemorate the first time a human stepped onto the Moon. It was 46 years ago in 1969 that Apollo 11 landed on the Moon with astronaut Neil Armstrong to be the first person ever to set foot on its surface and uttering what turned out to be one of the most famous quotes of all time: “… One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

These days with commercial space travel and even space tourism a reality, it can seem like …

Read my complete post at OneTravel.

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Sponsored Video: Lipton Ice Tea Asks: Are You a Daybreaker?

BeADayBreaker

Are you a morning person? Over the past month or so Lipton Ice Tea has been sharing some especially tasty ways for even the crankiest of grizzlies to rise and shine with joyful anticipation of the day.

From a zip down a giant waterslide, to a scenic cruise along the Thames or the chance to catch the ultra popular Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A, Lipton gave Londoners good reason to get up and get going.

The above video features some of the best bits from Lipton Ice Tea’s #BeADaybreaker series of free events.

Looks like fun, huh? It certainly looks like the sorts of activities that would put a spring in your step and have you feeling full of energy the whole day through.

Me? I’m finding that more and more I’m an early bird myself. I’m getting up earlier than ever these days – partly to keep up with my workload and ensure I make the most of my time but partly because the morning is the nicest part of the day. I know the morning is when I’m most productive and equally most reflective too.

BeADayBreaker

With the warm weather we’ve been having here in London lately (did I actually just say that?!?) a cold bevvie like an ice cold tea served straight from the fridge is an ideal drink to help with keep cool while you’re waking up. I wonder what sort of sunny fun Lipton Ice Tea is brewing for future post-slumber adventures? A quick look at liptonicetea.com suggests there plenty more refreshment to follow.

Sponsored by Lipton Ice Tea

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London Daily Photo: Escalation

LDP 2015.07.20 - Escalation

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This Voucher Code Makes Jealous Sweets 20% Sweeter!

This Voucher Code Makes Jealous Sweets 20% Sweeter!

Who wants something sweet at 20% off the regular cost? Me! Me! Me! Oh you you you do too? Well, that’s cool because there is plenty to go round, and I’ve got an exclusive limited run voucher code offering tikichris readers (Hey! That’s you!) a substantial discount when placing an online order for any box from Jealous Sweets!

Jealous Sweets makes craft gourmet confectionery for grownups who want a little elegance from their sweet treats. I’m a fan – especially of the intensely fruity Wild Cherries – and reckon the entire range of Wild Cherries, Yummy Bears, Grizzly Bears, Fizzy Friends, Tangy Worms and Sour Beans are packed with way more flavour than any of the typical sweets on the market. Something about the experience seems amplified compared to eating most other candies. Win a Complete Range of Jealous Sweets Jewel Box Treats

To make the indulgent pleasure of Jealous Sweets just a teensy bit sweeter, I’ve teamed up with these crafty confectioners to share some pretty big savings with my readers.

For 20% off your online purchase of any Jealous Sweets boxes use this code:

TIKI20

The code is valid from 20 July to 31 August 2015.

Shop online at thejealouslife.com/shop.

Win a Complete Range of Jealous Sweets Jewel Box Treats

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Car Parts?

Car Parts?

Where do you shop for car parts? Do you go to your local garage? Hit some big brand store? Look online for the parts you need at sites such as www.BuyCarParts.co.uk?

I’m just wondering because – although very much still in contemplation mode – I sometimes think it might be a good idea for me to bite the bullet and get one. I know my girlfriend is aiming to buy a car. It would be largely for her work, but I’m certain I would see some fun and convenience come of it.

I’ve been in London for over a decade now and haven’t had or really needed a car that whole time. I’ve often wished I had one just to get around on the weekends though for shopping trips, mini-breaks out of town. It’s a bit of a weird one for me to be without my own vehicle. Since I was 16 until I moved to London, I’d always driven and owned a car.

Odds are if/when my partner … or I .. or the two of us together actually buy a car, it will be used. I’m fine with that but would like to have a better idea of cost of upkeep here in London.

Who’s got advice on buying, owning and maintaining a car in London? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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