Archive | February, 2018

Our Top Valentines Picks

Our Top Valentines Picks

Posted on 07 February 2018 by Chris Ford

With less than a week to go you might be scrambling around for ideas for this Valentine’s day, well if you are fear not we have you covered with our top picks of how to show your love this Feburary 14th.

Flowers

The classic option but classic for a reason, what girl doesn’t love a bunch of flowers delivered to her on the big day?  I recently used Prestige Flowers and my girlfriend loved the beautiful bunch of roses she received.  I went for a package that included a stuffed bear and chocolates with a special Valentines section Prestige have made it easy to customise the package you want to send by adding things like balloons.  Ive used Prestige a few times and they never disappoint.

www.PrestigeFlowers.co.uk

 

Italian Delights

If your other half is a foodie Italian produce specialist Bellavita have put together this fantastic Valentines hamper with everything from truffle oil to fine Italian red wine and even truffle cheese!

For The Love of Truffles hamper  £74.99

Dinner

The luxurious five-star Athenaeum Hotel & Residences are celebrating love this Valentine’s Day with a romantic dinner experience at Galvin at The Athenaeum with a gourmet menu designed by Michelin-star chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin.

The four-course menu includes canapés on arrival followed by an array of indulgent choices per course. Dishes include marinated Loch Duart salmon, Goosnargh Duck breast and salted caramel Valrhona chocolate tart with pistachio ice cream.

The Valentine’s Day menu is priced at £50 per person and includes a glass of Ayala Brut Majeur, NV Champagne.

Gin Cocktails at home

If you don’t fancy going out this valentines why not stay in but greet your loved one as she walks in the door with this amazing gin cocktail from Bulldog gin?

The serve, complementing the distinctive floral botanicals (including Dragon Eye, Lotus Leaf, White Poppy and Lavender) in the smooth BULLDOG Gin, has a pink tint and a floral finish; making it the perfect treat for you to share with your loved one

SUPERSONIC GIN & TONIC


Recipe:

50ml BULLDOG Gin

100ml Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic Water

10ml Cassis

Method:

Build in a glass over ice and garnish with pomegranate seeds, blackberries and a mint spring.

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London’s Soho Through The Ages

London’s Soho Through The Ages

Posted on 07 February 2018 by Chris Ford

HBO’s The Deuce, released on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download 12th February 2018, stars James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and explores 1970s New York and the rise of the pornographic industry within the area.

During this era the streets of New York were wild and dangerous and became a centre for mobsters, pimps, prostitutes, sex shops, drugs and gangs before the area was swept clean with major department stores, McDonalds and Starbucks cafes – the New York we know of today. The Deuce faithfully recreates some of the notorious Time Square destinations and gives viewers an up-close look at this gritty world of sex and crime.

 

London of course has  it’s very own version of a red light district named Soho. Once known as the biggest sex district in the U.K. we’ve taken a look at how the infamous area has transformed itself from London’s sleazy heartland, to fashionable up market restaurants and retail outlets over the last decades.

 

In the 1970s and 80s Soho was a den for sex shops and clubs, which the area became renowned for. There were over 160 sex shops and around 40 flats were used for prostitution in the neighborhood. At the time, Soho was the only place in England where sex was visibly on sale – in adult cinemas, sex shops, strip clubs, peep shows and stag clubs.

By the mid 80s things began to change. Westminster council, under pressure from high-end residents in the area, began clamping down on the sex trade, refusing to renew licenses for sex shops and closed many illegal video shops that sprung up in the central London pocket.

Within 5 years the gay community moved in taking over shops and bars and by the 1990s Soho became a vibrant hub of clubs, cafes and shops fuelled by the “pink pound”.  Clubs such as G.A.Y, Village and Heaven started popping up everywhere and Old Compton Street became the capital’s gay epicenter.

Soho has also been home to some of the best clubs and bars including the world’s most famous Jazz club Ronnie Scott’s which was opened by Ronnie himself in 1959. It’s attracted some of the world’s biggest musicians in the industry such as Chick Corea, Miles Davis and Dave Holland all having performed in the legendary club.

Madame Jojos was around for about 50 years before it was closed in 2014 after having its license revoked on 29 March 2014. Long established as the West End’s finest club for burlesque and cabaret shows, comedy nights, music gigs and legendary club nights. It was White Heat from 2007, a weekly club night that hosted gigs for some of the world’s biggest names including Adele, The XX, Lorde and The Klaxons.

In the 1990’s the area was also a mecca for record shops. There were over 20 independent stores on Berwick Street alone, but fast forward to today and there are only a mere 3 record stores still in existent in the area.

Legendary vinyl shops such as Vinyl Junkie, Black Market and Sister Ray – once essential hubs for world class DJs such as Groove Amarda, Giles Peterson, Norman Jay, Carl Cox, Goldie, Shy FX and the cult vinyl collector all closed shop since the dying of vinyl and the considerable amount of gentrification to Soho.

Although fashionable private members clubs have been around since the famous Groucho emerged in the 80s private members clubs are still as hot as ever. Attracting celebrities, royalty and the creative industry, clubs such as Soho House, The Ivy, Century Club and Library gives folks somewhere cool to go for date spots, an alternative office or for somewhere to escape for a late night drink or to snort cocaine.

This is the Soho as we know of today; customers queuing outside the latest super-trendy cafes and restaurants. In this picture you can see customers queuing to get into The Breakfast Club, for some hipster breakfast! The restaurant scene in Soho has never been hotter and has a killer range of restaurants to satisfy any culinary craving.  Some of the best cafes & restaurants include Soho Grind, The Milk Bar, Flat Iron, Zelman Meats, Bone Daddies, Chotto Matte and Cay Tire.

The Deuce out on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Download 12th February 2018.

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Sustainable Living swaps – what can we do?

Sustainable Living swaps – what can we do?

Posted on 02 February 2018 by Chris Ford

There’s been a lot of talk about living a more sustainable life recently – including a massive debate on plastic straws in our office recently. Not only can we help the environment but we can also improve our health in the process, seems like a no brainer?  – So I thought I’d have a look about some small changes we can all make that will help make a big difference.

 

  1. Swap driving for walking

In 2018 I’ve vowed to start walking more. Although not practical for everyone, if you can take a stroll to work, or down to the shops, it’s a great way to not only improve your health but also have a positive step on the environment. Fewer gas-guzzling cars on the roads has to be a good thing. Also a massive bonus in your wallet!

  1. Switch from petrol to electric

If you don’t live in a city like me, or walking just isn’t an option then you might need to use your car. But how about switching to a hybrid car or even go fully electric?  With charging points continuing to pop up everywhere it’s becoming increasingly viable to make that switch and sites like NewMotion charge point make things event easier.

  1. Switch from disposable to reusable cups

The amount of disposable cups we use for coffee or even water is crazy. With moves being made by the government to tax cups we now have a financial as well as a environmental motivation to make a move away from single use plastic. Plus you can get some really cool reusable coffee cups – like my Keep Cup here which I love!

  1. Swap your bath for a shower

The average bath uses around 80 litres of water, while a short shower uses around a third of that amount while getting you just as clean. Watch out if you have a power shower though, as they can use even more water than a bath, according to Water Wise. Try timing your showers to keep them short to limit the amount of water used. And if you do have a long soak, consider reusing the bathwater to water plants.

  1. Swap your cleaning products

Bleach and other disinfectants you buy in the supermarket do the job but can contain some pretty nasty stuff, and come in plastic bottles which can’t always be recycled. Why not do what Granny used to, and make your own? A bit of baking soda, vinegar and old newspaper won’t cost you much either. Look for ideas online.

 

Do you have any other tips for living a more environmentally friendly life?  Feel free to hit me up I’m keen to learn more.

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