Clubbing

London-Clubs

It’s not really the weather that has made me realise winter is encroaching but the darker mornings and the longer nights. And I have to admit, the next few months are amongst my favourite times of the year. Why? Because I love lights. I love long nights in a bar (though that’s not going to happen so often right now) and I love pubs with an open fire.

So as the countdown to winter begins, would you like to know what’s happening this month that you shouldn’t be missing?

1. It’s all kicking off at Boujis with BACK2BOUJIS launching on 1st October and Viva Las Vegas on 4th October. You can expect laser shows, intergalactic dancers and percussion that will blow your mind with an acclaimed array of intergalactic DJs at Back2Boujis and as for Viva Las Vegas …

Boujis - Viva Las Vegas2. It’s that time of the year again! The Natural History Museum’s Ice Rink opens on 31st October. I’m so excited even though I’m so shaky on skates. I just don’t care because when The Natural History Museum lights up, it is one of the prettiest sights in London. You can book your tickets here.

Ice Rink3. Designer Sales UK is returning to the Chelsea Old Town Hall on 24th October. This sale will be full to the brim of pieces for Autumn/ Winter, so think cosy knits and fluffy scarves as well as party dresses with big discounts on designer labels. You can find out more here.

4. The BFI London Film Festival kicks off on 9th October and runs until 20th October. There are film screenings but also events such as talks and masterclasses. If you want to see what’s on or to book your tickets, have a look at BFI’s website.

5. And of course, it’s London Cocktail Week from 7th until 13th October. If you want to join in the cocktail fun, don’t forget to get your wristband which you will need to be wearing to be part of the cocktail tours. Here’s the website to register for one. Enjoy!

Who else can’t believe it’s May already? Where has the time flown? Well, it goes without saying that this is one of my favourite months of the year. With two bank holiday weekends, how can it not be? So here are my suggestions of what to do locally this month …

1. Why not kick off May with a Cinco De Mayo party at Barts this weekend?

CINCODEMAYO

2. And later this month, there’s of course Chelsea’s event of the year, The Chelsea Flower Show which will be running from 21st until 25th May. Here are some photos from two years ago and last year. Also, don’t forget that there is also Chelsea in Bloom (more photos) and Chelsea Fringe also happening this month.

3. And whilst The Chelsea Flower show is on, from Wednesday 22nd until Saturday 25th May (12pm – 8pm every day), The Botanist will be running an Oyster and Joseph Perrier Champagne Bar in Sloane Square, complete with daily performances from a string quartet. You can enjoy champagne by the glass, by the bottle, or as a cocktail.

4. The Great Gatsby will open at Curzon Chelsea on 16th May but you can buy tickets from 3rd May. I cannot wait for this film to be released and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it represents Baz Lurhmann’s return to form. Check out my post with a video interview of the director himself.

5. If you’re an aspiring designer, fashionista or budding entrepreneur, Jean Queen Donna Ida Thornton is set to hold a Careers Day on 3rd May. Donna will be available all day from 10am – 4pm to answer questions at Donna Ida Head Office near Notting Hill. Donna will be joined by a host of Donna Ida girls who will also be happy to answer any questions (including Online Content Editor Amelia Kanaris and Graphic Designer Kate Gorbunova). To join Donna and the Donna Ida girls you can visit their Head Office on Friday 3rd May from 10am – 4pm at Phoenix Brewery, 13 Bramley Road, London W10 6SP. Nearest tube is Latimer Road.

Finally, just to warn you, my posts this month will be a little thin on the ground. This month is going to be craaazzzzy. Well, maybe not that mad but enough to occupy a large chunk of my blogging time. But whilst posts trickle through in May, they will return to normal by mid-June. So keep your eyes peeled for updates on new posts on my Twitter feed or Facebook page. Enjoy May and have two awesome Bank Holidays!

Happy New Year everyone and apologies for the delay in uploading this post. I’ve been on holiday and upon returning I discovered that my blog was down. All seems back to normal so here are my top five don’t miss suggestions for January 2013. Let’s start as we mean to go on on!

1. The Hollywood Costume exhibition at the V&A ends on 27th January 2013. For any movie fan, this is a must-see. Not only do you get to admire iconic costumes which defined your favourite screen characters but you are also presented with an insight into the creative process through which these costumes were conceived. From excerpts of screenplays to multimedia presentations of actors and directors talking between themselves, I would recommend giving yourself time to move between the displays. There is a lot to take in!

Hollywood Exhibition

2. More vintage Hollywood. Bob Willoughby: The Silver Age of Hollywood exhibition at Proud Chelsea ends on 13th January 2013. To find out why I think this exhibition is unmissable, have a read of my review post here.

3. You don’t believe in Dry January? Then don’t miss out on Embargo’s Season 1 – Episode 2: What exams night on 8th January 2013! Click here to find out more details.

4. There’s nothing better to help a girl get through the January blues than by feeling pampered. This month (and next), The Hand and Foot Spa are offering 25% savings on their Spa and Luxury Manicure and Pedicure treatments. The offer applies from Monday to Wednesday only.

5. If you cycle and live in Kensington & Chelsea, don’t miss your chance to have your say about cycling events and campaigns you’d like to see in the area. Bikeminded, who were responsible for the fabulous cupcake cycle tour and the styling Pinterest competition in conjunction with Harrods, will be running a focus group on 23rd January 2013 and they are looking for locals to take part. If you do, you will receive a cash thank you for your time. See Bikeminded’s blog for more info!

*scroll down for the latest updates*

The last couple of weeks have been huge for various reasons and I hope to share them in time. But this has also meant that a Don’t Miss in December 2012 post is missing from my blog, which I guess isn’t such a bad thing. With so much going on this month, I’ll be able to write more focused posts with plenty more tips than my usual top five.

So first up, New Year’s Eve. Being one of the biggest parties of the year, New Year’s Eve needs serious consideration of course. So here is a list of what’s going on in the Royal Borough, which I’ll be adding to over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you have any party tips for the area, feel free to leave them in the comment box below.

Have fun picking your NYE venue!

86 are going to be turning their venue into a circus! *scroll down for latest update*

See website for further details

See website for further details

 See website for further details

UPDATE:

Sand's End New Year's Eve

The Sands End are cooking a pig and with feasting tables. Three-courses at £45 per head, the pub will be open until 2am, and they only have one more table available for 9 people. Call up now if you don’t want to miss out! (020 7731 7823)

The Hollywood Arms New Year's Eve

Dukebox New Year's Eve

“Food is music to the body, music is food to the heart.”

– Gregory David Roberts

Barbarella’s relaunch party was such a blast that I was keen to return, to try the restaurant as soon as I could. So I headed back down there a few days later.

I had all sorts of imaginings on how the night would play out. With tables and banquets around the dance floor, Carlito’s Way did cross my mind. But a gangster’s den, Barbarella certainly is not.

Sitting at our table, there were a couple of large birthday parties as well as smaller tables of more intimate groups around us. One set seemed to have turned up for just the food whilst everyone else was there for the whole night.

When you arrive at the start of the evening, the tables are laid out and presented very tastefully: the glamorous dining experience is underpinned by an understated chicness.

Official Press Photo

And when you first look at the food menu, it is so easy to wonder about the quality of the dishes. After all, first and foremost, Barbarella’s first impression is clearly a nightclub. And from experience, late-night dining isn’t always the best – with a few rare gems scattered around London

But as soon as I tasted my first bite of the starter, any such musings had quickly dissipated. The prawn and lobster cocktail was too good to allow any further doubt to seep in. The wonderful 70s-esque presentation aside (and you know how I love most things served in a martini glass) – the ingredients were fresh and tasty. The prawn and lobster were juicy and the sauce was spot on.

For my main, I had the seared tuna loin with caramelised onions. Admittedly, I had relished most of it by the time I remembered to take a photo. So unfortunately, there is no photographic evidence of another well-presented dish. As for the tuna, it was cooked exactly how I like it. It’s so easy to overcook tuna. That’s why I hardly choose it when eating out. But in this circumstance, my request was translated eloquently onto my plate and my tuna was perfectly pink – and not a dull grey – in the middle.

For my dessert, I ordered the tiramisu which was heavenly! You know when you’re in a public place and the last thing you try to do is scrape every last bit of your pudding, off your plate? Well, that.

There was a custardy topping that increased its moreish appeal. I know, I know, tiramisu doesn’t have custard. But trust me when I say, this really works!

After dessert, the bf and I didn’t want to leave. The place was getting busier as more people were turning up for the club. So we decided to order another bottle of wine and stay longer. And after some time later and another empty bottle, it was time to stretch our legs and head to the bar.

Official Press Photo

As we paid the food bill and stood up, we headed around the corner to find that the bar was already quite packed out. Leaving the restaurant vibe and stepping into a bar, without having to leave the building was pretty awesome – especially as you felt like you’d walked into somewhere new.

In the meantime, the table cloths and cutlery were being taken away as diners finished their meals. And as we continued our circular tour of the venue, past the booths and onto the dance floor, it was time to burn off the yummy pudding until the early hours of the morning.

Am so going back! x

Barbarella’s website.

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