Events, treatments, activities all get featured here, in the lifestyle section.

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy

I admit that the initial appeal of America After the Fall, the Royal Academy’s exhibition on American Paintings from the 1930s came from American Gothic.

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy of ArtsAmerica After the Fall at the Royal Academy of Arts

It’s the first time its left the States, and one that I’ve always wanted to see in person, so it didn’t disappoint.

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy of ArtsAmerica After the Fall at the Royal Academy of Arts

But America After the Fall is so much more than American Gothic – with pieces by Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe, and Jackson Pollock, it’s a fascinating look at an era in which America was so in flux. The most haunting for me was a painting called American Justice by Joe Jones – a powerful commentary about race and racism in America, and all the more heartbreaking given the current political climate.

America After the Fall at the Royal Academy of ArtsAmerica After the Fall at the Royal Academy of Arts

Heartbreaking, moving, and very current and relevant, despite the decades between then and now – I also found it somewhat inspirational, because we can at least hope that despite everything going on politically, we might be able to get some great art out of it.

America After the Fall is on until the 4th of June.

Did you get to the exhibition? What were your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Hens with Pens

A few weeks ago the lovely ladies behind Hens with Pens, Penny and Mona, invited me down to one of their life drawing events.

Hens with Pens

I absolutely love the concept behind Hens with Pens, who offer life drawing classes for hen parties throughout the UK. I dragged along my friend, who was acting as hen for the evening. Life drawing is something that I’ve always been intrigued about, but never managed to get myself to, so I really enjoyed my night – and being guided by a tutor was so much fun, too.

Hens with PensHens with Pens


My friend was a total trooper, and we had a great time – although I won’t be pursuing a career in art anytime soon, as my skills were abysmal!

Hens with PensHens with PensHens with Pens

For £300, ten hens get the model and the tutor for 1.5 hours, along with drawing materials, berets, and moustaches. While we were there we also had some delicious vegan canapes as well, and I haven’t had that much fun in ages – I thoroughly recommend it! The team are incredibly passionate about what they do, and it was infectious – they were absolutely lovely as well.

Have you ever done life drawing? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

MexiFest

A month ago I was invited down to MexiFest – a celebration of Mexican food, drink, and culture, hosted in partnership with Yelp, The Mexican Chamber of Commerce and Kankun. If you haven’t heard of Yelp, you really need to get out more – it’s a platform where users can review restaurants, experiences, bars, events, and more. It’s a great tool for gauging whether a place is worth popping into or not, and saved me from many a bad meal, I’m sure.

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My favourite thing about Yelp in London, though, has to be the people behind the platform. Alex, Beth, and the rest of the Yelp team work really hard to build an engaged community, and have hosted some epic events – the Ice Cream Festival this summer being a massive highlight. Full disclosure – I’m a Yelp Elite – but I’ve met some wonderful people at their events, and they have a really varied selection so there’s something for everyone. A lot of their events are free, too, with the opportunity to sample – you’ll just need to check in on the app once you get there.

Unfortunately we were rained on for most of MexiFest, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself. A massive taco fan, I sampled most of the food on offer, and was surprised that I hadn’t come across any of the suppliers before.

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My personal highlights were the tacos from Lupita and Cafe Pacifico, neither of which I’d had before – they were really epic, as was the Kankun sauce.

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I also really enjoyed my black cherry and chilli mojito from Cafe Pacifico, and feel like I have a good use for all the Tajin my mom keeps sending me from the States!

Yelp MexiFestYelp MexiFestYelp MexiFest

Most of all, I loved the focus on smaller, independent stalls and producers. We met a lady who makes her own queso in Peckham, and there wasn’t a Wahaca or an Old El Paso stand in sight, which for a free event is really great to bring so many independent stands together.

Yelp MexiFestYelp MexiFestYelp MexiFestYelp MexiFest

We had a great time at MexiFest, and I look forward to the next big Yelp festival (here’s hoping they bring back the mulled wine festival again this year!)

Have you been to any Yelp events? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

The Slide – ArcelorMittal Orbit

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been terrified of heights. My hands will shake, and I will break out in a cold sweat at the thought of being high up. I remember having nightmares for months as a child before I moved to New York, absolutely terrified at the thought of all those skyscrapers.

vArcelorMittal Orbit #AtixSlidesTheOrbit

Up until two weeks ago, though, I was convinced that it was my biggest fear in life, and for the first time in a long time, I learned something new about myself.

The best thing about blogging has been the opportunity to try things I never would have imagined myself doing – and absolutely loving it (like my zipwire experience in Wales, or foraging). So when the team at AttractionTix asked if I’d like to try the longest, fastest slide in the world, I said yes in a heartbeat.

ArcelorMittal Orbit #AtixSlidesTheOrbitArcelorMittal Orbit #AtixSlidesTheOrbitArcelorMittal Orbit #AtixSlidesTheOrbit

I hadn’t really realised how tall the ArcelorMittal Orbit structure was, until I got there. And it was really only when I got to the top, and donned my helmet and knee pads, that I realised how fast I would be going – and my blood ran cold. I was absolutely terrified, but when asked if I was absolutely sure I wanted to go through with it, I knew that there was only one fear greater than what I was going through. The fear of being held back, or not doing something that I might regret, was at that moment far, far greater than my fear of 114 metre drop.

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So I got into a little black sack, and screamed my head off – and loved every second of it. Every twist and turn and drop was unexpected, scary, and exciting – and by the time I got off (in full view of a very amused group – I was the loudest screamer by far) the adrenaline was pumping through me.

We then went back up for some prosecco, and to enjoy the incredible view, and I felt amazing.

ArcelorMittal Orbit #AtixSlidesTheOrbitArcelorMittal Orbit #AtixSlidesTheOrbitArcelorMittal Orbit #AtixSlidesTheOrbit

To ride the slide, you have to book in advance (I think it’s booked up for the next couple of months) – and it costs £15, so it’s probably not something you’ll be doing every time you pop to Westfield. The views are fantastic, though, so I’d definitely recommend doing it at least once!

Have you ever been on the slide? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Will to Win, Hyde Park

As we slide into September, I’m still trying to cling onto those summer days – I’m not quite ready for Autumn just yet!

Will to Win, Hyde ParkWill to Win, Hyde ParkWill to Win, Hyde Park

Earlier this year I was invited to spend the afternoon at Will to Win in Hyde Park. I feel like it’s always so easy to stay in your own little bubble in London, so it was lovely to spend some time in Hyde Park, where I haven’t really been since I moved back to the UK.

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The Will to Win centre in Hyde Park has so many facilities, most of which are open year-round – on our trip, we did some lawn bowling, as well as have a go on the 9-hole putting course (which I’m terrible at). Most people head down for the tennis, as they have two mini tennis courts and six hard courts, set in an absolutely stunning location, with a view of The Shard, too!

Will to Win, Hyde ParkWill to Win, Hyde ParkWill to Win, Hyde ParkWill to Win, Hyde Park

Even if golf or tennis isn’t really your thing, the cafe has a great selection of cheeses and some Sipsmith cocktails, too – I was particularly taken with the London Cup (which tastes just like Pimm’s). I also really liked the G&T ice cream, too, which was really unusual.

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It was such a wonderful way to spend the afternoon – get yourself down there before the summer finally ends!

Have you ever played tennis in Hyde Park? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!