Win a Lava BrightSounds 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Lava BrightSounds 2 Bluetooth Speaker

COMPETITION IS NOW OVER AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING TIKICHRIS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR LOTS MORE FUN AND FREEBIES TO COME!

Lava Sound & Vision has launched its new BrightSounds 2 Bluetooth Speaker, an ideal accessory for music fans on the go.

I’ve been enjoying my BrightSounds speaker for a month or so. Quality and clarity of sound is high. It’s really come in handy around the house, in my back garden and on the road.

Keep reading for your chance to win one for free. Continue reading

Posted in Competition, Freebies, Music, Shopping, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Night of Fashion at The Westbury Mayfair Hotel

The Westbury Mayfair

Zay Ahmed unwinds in style at The Westbury Mayfair Hotel.

It’s not every day you walk into a hotel lobby to be greeted by a pair of models sashaying towards you in opulent evening wear. But when the hotel you’re visiting is The Westbury Mayfair, a luxury five star hotel near Bond Street, nothing less should be expected. Continue reading

Posted in Bars, Drink, Fashion, Food, Hotels, London, Luxury, Restaurants, Shopping, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fiz Sparkling Wine Bar

P6290313

Fiz is a 10-week pop-up and London’s first sparkling wine bar, Alexandra Kalinowski reports.

Unpopular opinion but prosecco is not life. Neither is Champagne unless it’s Veuve Clicquot. I guess it’s because I’m not a massive white wine drinker. That is until you plop a bit of Riesling from the Mosel in front of my gob. So you can imagine my scepticism when visiting London’s first sparkling wine bar landed in my diary. Continue reading

Posted in Drink, Food, London, Restaurants, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mazi Mas: Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women in the Kitchen

P6270249

Alexandra Kalinowski attends a Mazi Mas dinner and reflects on her own relationship with her Oma.

For those of you who know me, you’re familiar with the turbulent relationship I had with my Oma, my German grandmother. Growing up she meant the world to me; a world she handcrafted through play, cooking and a deep sense of love from an ocean away. It was her cooking that drew all of us time and again to the kitchen and table, and I’ve yet to be able to find a replication of her craft. It’s her meals, hospitality, and my now ingrained passion for food that have helped me overcome that time when her spitefulness towards our loved ones turned them weak. Those memories around the table have given me peace. Continue reading

Posted in Food, Good Cause, London, Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

#TasteBaltimore: Modern Cook Shop

P1050800

Breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day. And my first full day of my Baltimore tour started with a great one at Modern Cook Shop.

Market, bar, and restaurant all-in-one, Modern Cook Shop in the historic yet still really very happening neighbourhood of Fell’s Point was an ideal spot for breakfast. Continue reading

Posted in Baltimore, Drink, Food, Restaurants, Shopping, Taste Baltimore, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Death’s Door #Gindependence Pop-Up Dive Bar

IMG_3232

Alexandra Kalinowski discovers some American spirit with #Gindendence in Dalston.

Missing Fourth of July for us Americans is like missing Thanksgiving (sorry I’ve wracked my brain for some sort of British holiday anyone could empathise with to no avail). It’s soul destroying to know that the rest of your family and friends are on the beach, barbecuing and watching the fireworks, while you watch the rain dribble down your work window. Sometimes I even go out and buy red cups just to pretend I’m having a grand ole time … Continue reading

Posted in Bars, Drink, London, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh Say Can You #TasteBaltimore?

P1060007

Big on flavour but convention not so much, Baltimore served up just the sort of yummy fun I love to write about.

Edgar Allen Poe, John Waters, David Simon: Baltimore has spawned and inspired some of America’s greatest storytellers. I mean even The Star Spangled Banner – penned by Baltimorean Francis Scott Key – was written as a poem about an especially wild night out on Baltimore’s harbor as much as it was an anthem of national pride. Continue reading

Posted in Baltimore, Drink, Food, Hotels, Maryland, Restaurants, Taste Baltimore, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something’s Brewing: Pour Over Coffee Maker (espressoCrazy)

Something's Brewing: Pour Over Coffee Maker

Good morning! I’m back for a second round of coffee brewed at home.

Following up from my last (and I’d say largely successful) attempt at brewing coffee with a drip coffee maker, I’m sticking with the same basic filter method but using a different, more basic device: a pour over coffee maker.

Read my complete post at espressoCrazy.

Posted in Coffee, Drink, espressoCrazy, Food, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hej! Here’s How to do Stockholm for $100 a Day (Going Places)

Stockholm

Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and a favorite destination for travelers seeking a friendly, clean, and virtually crime-free city where they can enjoy traditional Scandinavian charm mixed with contemporary cosmopolitan culture.

The Swedish capital also has a reputation for being a pricey place. As with its Nordic neighbors, lots of things that Americans take for granted as cheap cost considerably more in Sweden. But anyone who’s been to Stockholm will tell you it’s definitely worth visiting and there are plenty of ways to experience it on a shoestring without feeling like you’re missing out on what makes the city such a special place.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

Posted in Going Places, Money, OneTravel, Sweden, Travel | Leave a comment

Good Stuff #67

Isle of Harris Gin

Good stuff and lots of it!

Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip, savour and more (though with respect to this particular post just to sip) – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy. Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Coffee, Drink, Good Stuff, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Win a Pair of Tickets to Brockmans Gin’s #PressForGin Pop-Up Bar

WinGinTix

COMPETITION IS NOW OVER AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING TIKICHRIS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR LOTS MORE FUN AND FREEBIES TO COME!

Love gin? Love a party? Love a unique venue? The next Brockmans Gin #PressForGin pop-up at the ArcelorMittal Orbit on the 27th of July is for you.

Time Out tickets for it go on sell 27 June for £35 each, and if things turn out like last time, the event is bound to sell out quick. But guess who’s stashed away two tix for one lucky tikichris reader? Yep, that’s me looking out for your and your social agenda. Continue reading

Posted in Bars, Competition, Drink, Entertainment, Freebies, Live Performance, London, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mermaid Toast at East Village Market

Food stylist, Miss Trixie, will be bringing her version of Mermaid Toast – the latest Instagram sensation – to East Village Market on Sunday 25th June, offering 500 free slices to those quick off the mark

Zay Ahmed has a crisp and colourful breakfast at East Village Market.

This weekend I popped down to the East Village Market, curated by Alistair Maddox (of Broadway Market fame) and treated myself to Instagram’s latest food trend, magical Mermaid Toast. Continue reading

Posted in Food, London | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rubies in the Rubble Surplus Food Pop Up in Selfridges

Rubies In the Rubble (c) when i've got time7 2

Alexandra Kalinowski heads to Selfridges to check out Rubies in the Rubble Surplus Food Pop Up.

This whole clean/guilt-free eating that’s been popularised in recent years with the rise in health-food bloggers turned cookbook churners is dying a slow death. Now, instead of spending a fortune at the grocery store on alternative sugars, proteins and organic fruit & veg, we’re starting to see a more realistic approach to wellness. One we never should have lost sight of in the first place: sustainability. Continue reading

Posted in Food, London, Restaurants, Shopping, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in 24hourlondon, Apps, interview | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Graze Across Galicia: Mercado de Abastos

P1050328

Santiago de Compostela may be best known as a city of architectural excess in the name of Catholic grandeur. But just as key to what makes it such a fine destination for any sort of pilgrimage is the humble foodie action happening on the ground of this historic town.

My Galician Graze continues with a browse along the hundreds of stall of Santiago’s Mercado de Abastos. Continue reading

Posted in Bars, Drink, Food, Graze Across Galicia, Shopping, Spain, Street Markets, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in CheapOair, Miles Away, Photography, Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Graze Across Galicia: Benboa

P1050289

Next stop on my Graze Across Galicia is Benboa at the pretty little port of Corrubedo.

Benboa is a large venue split into four spaces: restaurant, tavern, bar and fish shop with deli. It’s got a nautical (but not too kitsch) theme throughout with plenty of outdoor seating with views across Corrubedo’s port stretching toward the area’s famed giant dunes across a small bay. Menues are seasonal and created with a focus and commitment to sustainably sourced local products. Continue reading

Posted in Bars, Drink, Food, Graze Across Galicia, Restaurants, Shopping, Spain, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something’s Brewing: Drip Coffee Maker (espressoCrazy)

Something's Brewing: Drip Coffee Maker

For my first look at different ways to brew coffee at home, I’m going to start with one of the simplest: using a drip coffee maker.

Brewing drip or filter coffee involves pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and having the run off strained through a filter (most usually paper). The quickest and most fuss-free way to prepare coffee this way is with a drip coffee maker, which heats the water up and channels it through to the ground beans in a filtered receptacle to a pot on a base to catch the freshly brewed coffee.

Read my complete post at espressoCrazy.

Posted in Coffee, Drink, espressoCrazy, Food, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Graze Across Galicia: La Bodeguilla de San Roque

P1050157

I’m back with the first report from my Graze Across Galicia to share the highlights of a casual dinner at La Bodeguilla de San Roque in Santiago de Compostela.

For classic Galego fare in homey digs, San Roque is a safe and savoury bet. Continue reading

Posted in Bars, Drink, Food, Graze Across Galicia, Restaurants, Spain, Travel, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in CheapOair, Miles Away, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Food, Graze Across Galicia, Hotels, Spain, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Entertainment, Live Performance, London, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Going Places, OneTravel, Travel, USA | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

DSC_3782

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

Posted in Drink, Shopping, Wine | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Preview: Children are Stinky at Underbelly Festival

stinky

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

Posted in Entertainment, London | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in CheapOair, London, Miles Away | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Win the Complete Range of Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauces

Win the Complete Range of Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauces

COMPETITION IS NOW OVER AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED. THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING TIKICHRIS. PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR LOTS MORE FUN AND FREEBIES TO COME!

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

Posted in Competition, Drink, Food, Freebies, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Food, Recipes, Shopping, Sweet Life with Splenda? | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Design, Food, London | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our/Summer at Our/London Vodka Distillery

P6100691

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

Posted in Bars, Drink, Food, London, Restaurants, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Drink, London, Restaurants, Shopping, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Bars, Drink, London | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Apps, Discounts and Special Offers, Drink, Food, London, Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Pack for Your First Hiking Adventure

P1040897

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

Posted in Shopping, Travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Table Café, Southwark Street

P1050748

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

Posted in Drink, Food, London, Restaurants, Wine | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment