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?


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!

How quickly did March whizz by? Not to mention the Easter break. If you’re looking for some April ‘don’t miss’ tips. Here are my suggestions:

1. Just because Easter is over, it doesn’t mean you have to stop your chocolate eggs indulgence. Gallery Mess, the restaurant at Saatchi’s Art Gallery on Duke of York Square, have their Easter afternoon tea on the menu until 7th April. I tried it last month and can definitely recommend it. Read about my experience here.

2. Donna Ida’s Chelsea store is currently being refurbished and so Donna Ida’s denim boutique has temporarily moved across the road to the ex-Jean Paul Gaultier space: 171 Draycott Avenue SW3 3AE.

To celebrate the new-look Donna Ida store (106 Draycott Avenue SW3 3AE)  which is reopening on Monday 15th April, this glorious denim boutique will be serving all-day breakfast treats and launching the brand new Spring Summer 2013 season with a ‘Surf’s Up’ theme.

To celebrate the store’s reopening, Donna Ida will be giving away a pair of designer jeans every 30 minutes (on 15th April), which is the time it takes for a Denim Clinic in any of the Donna Ida boutiques. A Simeon Farrar tee will also be given away with the first 50 purchases on the re-opening day. So maybe see you there?

Donna Ida's Pop Up Chelsea Store

3. The atmospheric speakeasy bar, Evans & Peel, have their next Burlesque show on 7th April. If you want to find out more about it or if you’d like to discover what lies within this Earls Court basement, have a read of my post here.

4. Theo Fennell is launching an exclusive jewellery-inspired afternoon tea with the delectable Langham Hotel on 8th April.

Created by the hotel’s award winning Head Pastry Chef Cherish Finden, the Theo Fennell Bijoux Afternoon Tea comprises of a selection of decadent savoury and sweet  delicacies – the latter of which pay homage to some of the brand’s most iconic pieces. Priced at £49 per person, the afternoon tea will be available until November 2013.

Theo Fennell and Langham Hotel

5. Chelsea Theatre’s SACRED season continues into April and will be running into June. If you’d like to find out what’s on over the spring/summer, here is my latest post on Chelsea Theatre.

What are you up to this month? Have you got any Don’t Miss tips?

I have ten weeks to train for my London to Brighton charity cycle ride, which means it’s time to really get myself into gear.

Admittedly, the weather has only recently improved to make outdoor cycling a less arduous task. But I have decided to stop making excuses for myself because come rain or shine, I’ll be on that bicycle to Brighton on the 25th August anyway.

So, I’ve come up with a training schedule which I just wanted to share with anyone who is thinking of doing this ride. I’ve been scouring the net for training schedules and the most comprehensive one I have found is by the British Heart Foundation, which you can download here.

Inspired by the intermediate schedule and thankfully relieved to see that it is ten weeks long, I have come up with my own version which I can incorporate into my busy week. If I think about it realistically then gym sessions would be easier for me to keep up over the ten weeks, with a weekly outdoor cycle ride to train my stamina. So, this is what I’ve come up with:

Week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Rest 45 min. Spin Class 5k Run 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
2 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
3 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
4 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
5 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
6 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
7 3.5 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
8 4 hour ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
9 3.5 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
10 3 hour ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class Rest EVENT!

I started this schedule yesterday and cannot wait to get back on the bike next weekend. It’s been over a year since I have taken my road bike off its wall mount so it’s about time!

*To find out more about my London to Brighton cycle ride, please click here and if you would like to sponsor me, please click through to Donna Ida’s Just Giving page, here. Thank you in advance!*

The big day is Saturday 25th August 2012 and the event is a London to Brighton cycle ride in aid of Jeans For Genes. I will be part of Team Donna Ida and to put it bluntly, I am completely petrified at the thought of doing this!

I had signed up about a month ago, after having returned from holiday and having decided to eat out instead of go to the gym. It was over dessert when I realised that I needed some kind of challenge to keep me fit. Last year, I had sponsored Donna Ida for her charity run and so I thought this year I’d give it a go myself. Except for this time round, there was more to choose from in terms of events: a 5k run, a trekathon and/or a bike ride.

My choice of event was a no-brainer. Why? Because the bf is a cycle geek and I love watching his eyes light up. Also, cycling’s more fun than running and I get to go to the beach afterwards! So I promptly signed up when I returned home that night and in the sober hour of the following morning, I realised the seriousness of what I had committed myself to. I had to train for a 57 plus cycle ride; there was a very large hill at the end of the journey and given the summer we’ve been having, there was also a likelihood that I’d be doing all of this in the rain – probably with a bit of gusty winds thrown in.

But to be frank, I wasn’t going to let reality biting dampen my spirit because the truth of the matter is that I love doing stuff for charity: no matter how big or small. Every day situations always make me smile.

Jeans For Genes focuses on helping children with genetic disorders, which affects 1 in every 25 children born in the UK: 30,000 babies each year. I don’t have any children but if I imagine myself in the situation of the parents of the children which Jeans For Genes help, I can only think of the wonderful work that this charity does.

Whilst writing this post, there is just over 2 months to go before I have to be cycle fit. And in that time, I will be letting you know how I go with my training: from my training schedule to my weekly training updates. For the cycle geeks amongst you, I will be uploading my weekly training routes which you can apparently download onto your GPS. (Yes, the bf is getting very excited about this part).

For sponsorship, there is also a JustGiving page for Donna Ida’s team which you can find here. If you would like to sponsor me, all you need to do is include my name in your sponsor message: King’s Road Rocks!, Chelsea Girl or my real name … Mina! Any of them will do.

So here goes, I’m psyching myself up, let the summer of sport now become personal!

1. Love Brunch returns to Kensington Roof Gardens on 3rd September for an all-dayer, 12pm – 6pm. You can get tickets on the door but don’t arrive too late. It’ll be packed! Deets!

2. Sunday Sessions SW3 kicks off at 86 on 4th September. From 5pm – 10pm, this could be a great way to end the weekend. What do you think? More details here.

3. The Botanist’s Oyster and Chapel Down pop up bar in the middle of Sloane Square. For one weekend only, from 16-18 September! Find out more here.

4. Proud Chelsea’s summer show ends on 11th September. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this exhibition of 20th Century icons. It’s worth it!

5. On 11th September, Donna Ida’s team will be running for Jeans for Genes charity event. Team Donna Idea have a goal to reach. To find out how you can help them, click here.