Raw Wine Week 2017

rawwineweek

Raw Wine Week will make a splash this month across London with tastings, dinners, wine list takeovers, meet the producer events, parties and of course the Raw Wine Fair.

A week of low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wine doings around London, which will culminate with the Raw Wine Fair at The Store Studios on The Strand. Continue reading

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Win a Gluten Free Flavour Hamper from Schwartz

Win a Gluten Free Flavour Hamper from Schwartz

The herb and spice maestros at Schwartz believe that going gluten free doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavour. So to celebrate the launch of their new range of gluten free sauces, gravies and mixes, I’ve teamed up with the brand to give my readers the chance to win a Gluten Free Flavour Hamper.

Valued at £85, the Schwartz Gluten Free Flavour Hamper contains the following items: Continue reading

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Lucy Watson Raises Money for PETA with Leetchi.com | #LWfundraiser

Remember my recent series of posts highlighting all the ways Leetchi can help you raise money online? Well, I’m back at it with another quickie team up, this time to spread the word about a campaign started by TV personality and model, Lucy Watson, who’s crowdfunding for PETA.

Lucy’s passion for animal rights is well known. She’s been closely involved in PETA for quite some time. But this is the first time she has proactively fundraised for the charity. In a campaign video filmed in her home, she explains why she wants to get more “hands-on” in the fight against animal cruelty. Continue reading

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New Chef at Bird of Smithfield

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Bird of Smithfield is the same great restaurant set in a five-storey townhouse with rooftop bar across from Smithfield Market as it has been since launching in 2013 – just now with a new Head Chef, Tommy Boland.

If my recent dining experience to see what’s cooking in Boland’s kitchen is any indication, Bird of Smithfield should continue to soar high and become an even smarter choice for sophisticated, full flavoured contemporary cuisine. Continue reading

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Barcelona Uncovered with Avis

Barcelona Uncovered

Avis has teamed up British travel writer Ben Holbrook to tour of his chosen home and uncover the best of Barcelona to help you experience the city like a local.

Far from an expert – but definitely an big fan of the Catalan capital, I’m impressed with Ben’s knowledge and reckon his savvy suggestions are well worth passing along. Continue reading

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Win an Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit from American-Whiskey.com

Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit

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!

American-Whiskey.com is your all-in-one resource for discovering the delicious wonders of one of the State’s most awesome exports. I’ve teamed up with this handy site to offer one lucky reader the chance to win an Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit.

Made by Tipplesworth, this classic cocktail kit is presented in a stylish keepsake tin with the recipe for an Old Fashioned printed on the side. Continue reading

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Cornish Bounty and a Scenic View of the Thames at Northbank

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Head Chef John Harrison finds delicious inspiration in the bounty of the Cornish coast and brings fresh flavour to the modern British menu at Northbank Restaurant and Bar near St Paul’s.

Kemey and I were mightily impressed with the chef’s largely seaward leaning approach on ingredient and focus on Cornwall during our recent weekday dinner at Northbank. Continue reading

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London Meet MealPal and Get a Week’s Worth of Lunches for Free

MealPal

THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED. CHECK BACK FIRST WEEK OF APRIL 2017 FOR NEW FREEBIE JOINING OFFER. 

Super popular American lunch app – MealPal – has launched in London. Through the app, you can reserve quick pickup lunches for less than £5 per meal at a time and place convenient for you. But before you get all excited about that, check out this opportunity to give the app a spin with a week’s worth of free lunches and no obligation to continue after that.

I’ve teamed up with the folks at MealPal to spread the word about their app by offering all my readers the chance to use it for free for a week (that’s Monday through Friday). Continue reading

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Film Review: We Are X

We Are X

We Are X is a new documentary about ultra mega superstar metal band, X Japan. Never heard of them? Well, to say they’re big in Japan would be an understatement. Having sold 30 million singles and albums combined since starting in the early 80s, these guys are the biggest band in Japan ever.

The film explores the origins of the group, its tumultuous and often tragic history and centres round X Japan founder/drummer/pianist, Yoshiki, and his own personal struggles, goals and sacrifices as the band prepares for a 2014 reunion concert at Madison Square Garden. Continue reading

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You Want to Do What Where? Start with Venuefinder

venuefinder

The UK’s leading venue directory, Venuefinder is a free online database with more than 15,000 venues in the UK and beyond. Event organisers – and just about anyone else needing to book somewhere to something with a group of any size – would do wise to give this reliable resource a thorough look during the early stages of your event planning.

I’ve been having a browse around the site and reckon its listings are comprehensive and easy to navigate. Continue reading

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HELP! I’m Lost! 3 Tips to Help You Find Your Way When You’re Astray While Traveling (Going Places)

Prepare Before You Go

Consider this scenario: You’re visiting a destination where you’ve never been before; you have no idea where you are or how you got there.

Exhilarating or scary? For travelers with a keen sense of adventure, “getting lost” can be the most fun part of a trip. For most folks though, not knowing where you are can be a major bummer, particularly when trying to get somewhere by a certain time or when you have concerns about your personal safety.

These days with our cell phones and mobile devices keeping us in almost constant contact with friends and family and continually updated about our whereabouts, not knowing where you are at any given moment is an increasingly rare occurrence. Still, getting lost can happen — even to the savviest of travelers. If it happens to you, here’s what to do.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Tio Pepe Challenge 2017

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The Tío Pepe Challenge is an international cocktail competition offering bartenders and mixologists around the world a chance to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity preparing a signature drink with sherry.

Big time sherry fan that I am (particularly when we’re talking a dry fino such as Tio Pepe), I was chuffed to sit in on the launch of this year’s competition during this year’s Gonzalez Byass UK Portfolio Tasting (Tio Pepe is part of the Gonzalez Byass portfolio). Here are some details for anyone keen to compete or folks simply interested in following the tasty goings-on with this delicious wine from Jerez. Continue reading

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How to Get Around London for Cheap (Going Places)

London Transport - Tube map - Victor Maschek : ShutterstockPhoto by Victor Maschek?Shutterstock

London is one of the world’s most popular destinations. A vast and varied metropolitan area with a wealth of attractions and centuries of history, the capital of the United Kingdom is Western Europe’s biggest city (to the east, both Moscow and Istanbul are significantly larger) and arguably the world’s best hub for getting anywhere else on the planet. But, it also can be a challenging place to navigate if you’re on your own and unfamiliar with London’s impressive array of transportation options.

Before we dive into any details on how best to get around, we should point out that public transportation in London is extremely safe. In most cases it is the cheapest and often quickest way to travel around town. Virtually every Londoner is well acquainted with the system and takes some sort of public transport on a regular basis. Although Londoners can come across as markedly reserved, they’re usually happy to field any basic questions you might have as a visitor.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Lie Lie Land Stencil by Bambi

Bambi Lie Lie Land Feb 17

Remember when President Chump and Prime Minister Theresa Maybe were caught holding hands as they took a walk together at the White House? Maybe they’d just come from dancing cheek to cheek around the Oval Office? Or at least that’s how street artist Bambi imagined the pair in her new Lie Lie Land stencil on view in Islington.

Lie Lie Land features a dancing Theresa May and Donald Trump in the pose made famous by the movie La La Land. Continue reading

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Aegean Eats with a Hip Hop Beat at Firedog

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Aegean eats with a hip hop beat are on the menu at Firedog, a Fitzrovia breakfast and lunch restaurant just off Oxford Street.

I swung by Firedog for a late breakfast earlier this week prompted by an invitation from the grill-centred restaurant to try the menu. Yum! I’m glad I did.  Continue reading

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Gousto Recipe Boxes? Me Gusta!

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Two of the tastier meals I had last week came compliments of flexible recipe box subscription service, Gousto, You known how these things work, right? You order online the meals you want and then have them delivered to you in a box with just enough of each raw ingredient – along with instructions – so you can cook the meals.

The folks at Gousto had been in touch with me to see if I would like to have a go at their recipes and – assuming I’d give them a thumbs up – if I would want to share a rather deeply discounted promo code with any readers who also might be keen to try Gousto. Keep reading for my thoughts (and for that promo code). Continue reading

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The Founder Burger at BRGR.CO

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To celebrate the release of The Founder, the Michael Keaton film about Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame, BRGR.CO has launched a limited edition burger consisting of two blade steak patties with melted cheese, shredded iceburg lettuce, pickled gherkins and secret recipe BRGR.CO sauce on a triple layer sesame bun.

Nope, I haven’t seen the movie yet (it hits the big screen on the 17th), but I did try the burger last night at the BRGR.CO in Soho. Continue reading

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Dinner and a Show at Circus, Endell Street

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Dinner and a show! That’s what’s on offer at Circus on Endell Street.

Kemey and I dropped by last week and had a delicious time. Continue reading

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Go All-In: A Guide to Europe’s Top Casinos

Casino Barcelona

Jorge Franganillo/Flickr

Through appearances on film and TV, the major casinos in the US, Vegas especially, are world famous. Who hasn’t heard of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas? But seeing as the concept of casinos seems to have originated with the Caesars, it’s quite apt that we take a look at some of the top casinos in Europe.

Here are six of Europe’s  top casinos that you can hit in 2017. Continue reading

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Win the Complete Range of Vini & Bal’s Rustic Indian Curry Sauces

Vini & Bal's

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!

Feeling saucy? Yeah, me too. How about lucky? Then stick around for your chance to win the full range of rustic Indian curry sauces from Vini & Bal’s.

I’ve been a fan of Vini & Bal’s wholesome and authentic sauces since the brand burst on the scene a few year ago with a tasty alternative to bland cook-in sauces. It’s a pleasure to collaborate again. Continue reading

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Good Stuff #63

Lanique

Good stuff and lots of it! Here’s the low down on some fine things to see, sip, savour and more – all of which I’ve recently come across and thought were worth sharing with you. Enjoy.

Continue reading

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Best Dressed Irish Oyster

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Last week, Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) hosted a Best Dressed Irish Oyster competition at Hix Oyster and Chop House in Farringdon. I tagged along for the chance to slurp down some especially delicious oysters and while having a look at how participating chefs went about dressing them up.

Chef, restaurateur and food writer (not to mention host venue owner) Mark Hix, food critic/restaurant writer Joe Warwick and chef, television personality and food writer Clodagh McKenna judged oysters presented by an impressive roster of competitors including chefs from Club Gascon, Wright Brothers, Bob Bob Ricard, Hix restaurants and more. And the winner was … Continue reading

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The Art of the Romantic Getaway (Miles Away)

Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock

Love is in the air! And we’re here to help make sure your Valentine’s Day is the best yet. Traveling as a couple offers the chance to discover what makes each of you tick while adding to a reservoir of lifelong happy memories as you experience new and exciting things together.

To get you and your special someone heading in the right direction for a most amazing Valentine’s, here are three simple tips to keep in mind for next your romantic break.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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CookeryBox: Online Low-Cost Recipe Cookbook from Voucherbox

Voucherbox Recipe Book

Voucherbox has published a free online cookbook featuring “22 scrumptious low-cost recipes from your favourite bloggers,” including one from me.

When the folks behind this e-book idea got in touch, I was happy to oblige. Continue reading

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Basque Brunch at Eneko at One Aldwych

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Basque Chef Eneko Atxa’s eponymous One Aldwych restaurant launched a new brunch menu over the weekend. I was glad to have a first taste on Saturday.

It wasn’t all that long ago when I raved about my early January dinner at Eneko, but I nevertheless made haste when invited to return to try of its new weekend brunch menu. Everything about the new menu was as super yummy and elegant as I had remembered, just more brunch-y. Continue reading

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6 Weird Monuments Around the World You Have to See in Person (Miles Away)

Manneken Pis

Image via Flickr CC – Jose Antonio Navas

If you’re an experienced traveler, then you know that no matter where you go in the world there’s going to be a monument to something or someone. It’s just an accepted fact that any place worth visiting has a statue, plaque, or whatever commemorating a historical relevant event, person, or thing. Sometimes they don’t even have to recognize anything and are just public works of art that have been so embraced by the locals that they become cultural symbols.

Monuments can range from the iconic (Think the Washington Monument in Washington D.C.) to the obscure (Ever heard of the De Vries Monument in Lewes, Delaware?), and EVERYTHING in between (File the Samuel Whittemore monument in Arlington, Massachusetts under “surprisingly awesome!”). That means, of course, there are weird monuments. And we mean weird.

So if your favorite memories from trips involve all the WTF sights you happen upon, here’s a list of off-kilter and truly odd monuments that you have to see in person.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Bar + Block Steakhouse, King’s Cross

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A good steak in a smart place, that’s the gist of what’s on offer at new King’s Cross steakhouse, Bar + Block.

During my recent invited visit, I had a satisfying lunch and found the York Way restaurant (at the base of the Premier Inn hotel just up the street from King’s Cross Station) to be an ideal place for a broad range of reasons to get off your feet. Continue reading

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Win a £150 Gift Card from Pocket High Street for Valentine’s Day

Win a £150 Gift Card from Pocket High Street

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!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Why not Shop Local this February 14th?

I’ve teamed up with the folks at PocketHighStreet.com again to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a £150 gift card to spend at the best independent shops in London. Continue reading

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Leetchi.com | What’s in Your Money Pot? Thanks!

Leetchi.com | What's in Your Money Pot?

Thanks for reading my series about Leetchi.com and how the platform offers a safe and easy way to raise money online for a wide range of events and activities.

I hope you found the information useful. To help you browse all the posts in my Money Pot series, here’s a list with links to them all: Continue reading

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Crescent City Cullinary Classics: The 6 Most Historic Restaurants in New Orleans (Going Places)

NOLASteven Guzzardi / Flickr

Here’s a deliciously historical look at six of the finest and oldest restaurants in one of the world’s greatest cities for eating out: New Orleans. With Mardi Gras just around the corner, it’s best you make your reservations ASAP or get ready to line up if you want a bite of the action.

Please note this list is only about the city’s oldest sit-down restaurants. To be sure there are loads more bars, cafes, bakeries and shops with just as many decades behind them and, of course, all sorts of other amazing places to eat and drink around town.

Read my complete post at Going Places.

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Dabba Mania Lunch Menu at Talli Joe

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Modern Indian restaurant, Talli Joe, has been near the top of my list of hot spots to visit since it opened about a year ago. My tight schedule and the restaurant’s popularity (book ahead for weekend evenings!) made that tougher than usually for slipping in for a meal. But an invitation to preview its new Dabba Mania lunch menu presented an ideal opportunity finally for me to have a taste. And it was definitely worth the wait.

Launched yesterday (1 February), the Dabba Mania menu finds inspiration in Bombay’s dabbawallas (lunchtime deliverymen) and their affordable and fresh dabba lunchbox offerings. Continue reading

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Timmy Green at Nova Victoria

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Say hello to the newest member of the Daisy Green Collection of Aussie style restaurants, cafes and kiosks in London: Timmy Green at Nova Victoria.

One of the first eateries to open at the still under construction Nova Victoria development near Victoria Station, Timmy Green boasts a fun menu that’s big on a Down Under approach to eating out. Continue reading

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Surf & Turf Wars at The Blues Kitchen Shoreditch

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For three days only, The Blues Kitchen’s Shoreditch outpost is hosting Brooklyn restaurant Extra Fancy for a one-off collaboration and friendly “surf vs turf” competition.

Last night (Monday 30 January) was the first of three nights of Surf & Turf Wars pitting Texas-style BBQ dishes from Blues Kitchen against New England inspired seafood dishes from Extra Fancy. Continue reading

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Significant Civil Rights Sites & Destinations You Need to Add to Your Bucket List (Miles Away)

Civil-Rights-Lincoln-MemorialNorbert Rehm / Shutterstock

It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” In the fight for racial equality in America, there were many places around the country that served as significant meeting places for the movement, backdrops for stirring speeches and sermons, and battlegrounds for non-violent protest — many of which now memorialize and recount the struggle. These are quintessential spots that every Amercian should try to visit at least once in their lifetime.

Listed below are 15 historic sites in Washington D.C. and across the South, representing a few of the many important markers the Civil Rights Movement met along the way to justice.

Read my complete post at Miles Away.

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Infographic: What the Chinese Zodiac Says about How You Travel

Discover what type of traveller you are according to your sign

Gong xi fa cai! Homeaway has shared an insightful infographic with a breakdown of the Chinese Zodiac how your horoscope may affect the way you travel.

Whether you think horoscopes are just a bunch of hooey or you sincerely believe that being astrologically astute is an essential part of a balanced life, you’ve got to admit this infographic offers a fun look at how our personalities shape our travel plans. Continue reading

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