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

I Wrote A Book!

I started a blog about five years ago.

I was inspired by a job I had at the time, working to create content on behalf of clients. The appeal of having my own place where I could share the images that I wanted, and write the copy that I wanted, was what lead me to start it in the first place.

I didn’t actually think anyone would read it.

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Starting Island Bell easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve been able to pursue and combine so many of my passions; I’ve met some incredible people; and I’ve even been lucky enough to get some amazing opportunities and experiences out of it.

In September of last year, I was contacted by HarperCollins about a possible commission. The last few months have definitely been some of the busiest (and most surreal) of my life – and now I’m really excited and proud to share that my book is coming out on the 19th of April.

Japonisme is a lifestyle book inspired by my upbringing, and aspects of Japanese culture that I love so much – ikebana, calligraphy, tea ceremony, and (of course) lots of food. I’ll be sharing more from it over the coming months, but in the meantime you can pre-order it on Amazon here!

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I’m incredibly proud of it, and can’t wait to share it. The illustrations by Ryo Takemasa are incredibly beautiful, and it was an honour to work with Nassima Rothacker, who has worked with some of my favourite chefs on their books – her photos are amazing. The team at HarperCollins have been absolutely incredible, and I feel so incredibly lucky.

I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to stop pinching myself over this!

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Give me a follow on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram!

Photo Credit: Nassima Rothacker

Winterville

I’m incredibly lucky to have family living in some amazing places. In fact, I’m writing this up at an airport in Vietnam en route to another Cambodian Christmas, and it’s always so much fun.

As much as I love a hot Christmas, though, I have been suffering from FOMO (the ‘fear of missing out’) for the usual chilly winter treats – mulled wine, snow, ice skating – all of that jazz.

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So when the folks behind Winterville, Clapham Common’s first winter festival, asked me to pop by for their press day I was really excited! Ice skating, mulled wine, but with other fun activities like roller disco, rides and excellent food stands courtesy of Street Feast. What more could you ask for?

A particular highlight of my evening was the ferris wheel, which has great views of London but also of the common.

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I also really liked the churros and the bao on offer – definitely one to have after the spinning rides, which kept us a little dizzy for a while afterwards. We took the opportunity though to play a game that involved getting balls into a hole to make some horses race – and I ended up winning this little guy (who I named Victor, because I am not a chilled or graceful winner at all).

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It was a pretty chilly day when we went, so we didn’t get to sample all the festival had to offer, like Backyard Cinema, or the Plonk Golf course – but there’s always next time! It’s all on until January 1st.

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Have you been to Winterville yet? What were your thoughts?

Gone Fishing

I’m taking a little break for the next couple of weeks, and I can’t really talk about it here yet – but suffice to say, it’s really exciting. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I just didn’t want anyone to think I was neglecting my little patch of the internet…

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It’s been a really busy couple of weeks, as I’ve moved house, work has picked up a lot. I’m incredibly happy and grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way through this little blog!

Come and distract me on Twitter (@ErinNiimi), watch my Instagram stories (also @ErinNiimi) or drop me an email if you need me.

Wilderness

Earlier this month I went to Wilderness Festival – my first proper English festival (camping and all).

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It was definitely one of the highlights of the summer. Whether it’s the incredible food, the amazing atmosphere and activities (Ottolenghi’s talk, the cricket and the hilarious barn-dancing were particular highlights), every detail was meticulously done and I loved every minute of it.

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Like with any UK festival you have to resign yourself to getting a little wet – and there is so much on offer that you’ll most definitely go over your budget, but you’ll meet some incredible people and have an absolute blast.

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Some of my favourite food stands were festival favourites Anna Mae’s and Stakehaus – I went to those in particular multiple times over the course of the festival.

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I also really liked that they sent through a list of each night’s costume themes in advance – seeing the amount of effort people went into was absolutely glorious.

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Until next year, Wilderness!

Have you ever been to Wilderness Festival? What were your thoughts? Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram

Summer Lates at St. Paul’s Cathedral

I’ve been incredibly lucky the past couple of years to work for an amazing company that I absolutely love.

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A massive part of why I love it so much is that I get to work with an amazing range of charities, nonprofits and foundations. Over the past couple of years we’ve been lucky enough to work with one of the most iconic landmarks of the London skyline – St. Paul’s Cathedral.

A couple of weeks ago I went along to help out with one of their Summer Lates. There’s nothing quite like the dome, but before I started working with them I hadn’t actually ever made it inside. As a Londoner, you don’t really ever do tours of your own town, and it’s such a missed opportunity.

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The lates are a great way of exploring this iconic cathedral – it’s a bit quieter, and they actively encourage photography during this time – something which isn’t usually allowed.

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You can grab a touchscreen guide, and there are lots of things for kids to do as well. The highlight for me is the Crypt Cafe, which stays open for the duration of the lates, which is great if you fancy a cappuccino (but they also have beer, too!)

There are only a few lates left until the summer ends, so hop to it! They’re on from 6.30 – 9pm (last entry at 8.15) and adult tickets are a tenner. The dome galleries aren’t open, but the crypt and the cathedral floor are there to be explored.

Thursday 17th August

Thursday 24th August

Friday 25th August 

Monday 28th August

Thursday 31st August

To find out more, and grab yourself a ticket, make sure you check out their website here.

Have you been inside St. Paul’s Cathedral?  Be sure to comment below, or let me know on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram