London Favourites

Blacktie event example

Best Black Tie Events London 2023

In 2023, London will host a number of prestigious black tie events that are not to be missed. From glamorous charity galas to exclusive awards ceremonies.

The city of London will offer an array of opportunities for attendees to dress to the nines and enjoy an evening of elegance and sophistication. We have listed our favourite and most exclusive black tie events in 2023.

 

black tie suit

What Makes a Good Black Tie Event?

 

The great thing about a black tie event is there is a formal dress code so you dont have to put much thought into your outfit. These events are exclusive and fun and you know exactly what you are getting. The format of black tie events is basic but classy and organized.

 

black tie female

What Is The Dress Code For A Black Tie Event?

 

In tradition a black-tie dress code is a formal evening occasion, where men are meant to wear tuxedos and women, floor-length gowns.

 

The Best Black Tie Events  2023

 

London Symphony Orchestra’s annual black tie concert, featuring world-renowned musicians and a repertoire that is sure to captivate classical music enthusiasts. Additionally,

the British Fashion Council will host its annual black tie event, showcasing the best of British fashion talent and attracting industry insiders from around the globe.

Royal Opera House will host a black tie ballet performance, showcasing the grace and beauty of this timeless art form. This will be an exclusive black tie event with invites only.

London Film Festival’s black tie gala will bring together the biggest names in the film industry for a night of celebration and recognition. With such a diverse range of black tie events on offer,

British Fashion Awards, an annual celebration of the fashion industry’s finest talents.

The BAFTA Film Awards will also take place, honoring outstanding achievements in British and international cinema.

The Serpentine Summer Party will be a glamorous affair, held in one of London’s most iconic art venues.

The V&A Summer Party will offer a sophisticated evening of art, fashion, and entertainment.

 

couple at black tie event

 

London in 2023 will undoubtedly be a hub of sophistication and glamour. London is one of the most sophisticated locations in the world. London hosts every year thousands of black tie events. We have included the most popular and exclusive black tie events. Dress your best and the most important thing have fun!…

London Zoo animals

London Zoo Trip and Information

 

One might not expect to find such a wonderful zoo in London. After all, London has so many wonderful attractions. But luckily, the London Zoo is another terrific attraction to add to the very long list  (and it also happens to be the oldest scientific zoo in the world). It has such a vast array of different animals, from tigers to gorillas, hippos to lemurs, butterflies to monkeys.

My favourite part of the London Zoo is the giraffes. They are normally easily seen, eating leaves and looking very sweet. Husband loved the fruit bat forest. We got to see them fly around and eat fruit. Dubz really enjoyed the B.U.G.S. (Biodiversity Underpinning Global Survival). In fact, we all really liked seeing the large variety of invertebrates, even Moozles who is normally really scared of spiders. Moozles’ favourite area of the zoo was the aquarium. She really liked looking at all the fish and finding out about coral.

 

London Favourites: The London Zoo

 

The zoo also has a lovely old-fashioned merry-go-round and a playground. Unfortunately a few minutes after we arrived at the playground, I noticed that I could not see Dubz. Husband went to look for him and realised that Dubz was gone. We went to look for him, then went back to the playground. He had gone to look at the giant inflatable slide. When he saw that we were gone, he went up to a family and told them he was lost. He waited sweetly until Husband found him. Then Dubz had a cry. Poor little dear. He definitely learnt a lesson.

 

Since we are trying to save money, we brought most of our snacks and drinks from home. But we did go to the cafe. Husband and I had a yummy lunch while Moozles and Dubz ate chips ( and drank the Imune Nurture drinks we had brought with us. They had eaten their homemade sandwiches at about 11.30am because they have trouble waiting to eat lunch at a normal time.

When we visit the London Zoo, we normally go on a Sunday. That way we can drive (there are nearby roads with single yellow lines, where you can park for free on Sundays). There is a car park and ‘pay and display’ street parking as well. It takes about 35-55 minutes to drive from South London, depending on traffic. If you take public transport, Camden Town station (on the Northern line) is a 10-15 minute walk to the zoo.

You can buy a family ticket for the London Zoo online for £68.04. Not the cheapest day out, but well worth it. You could also try collecting reward points with Avios. You collect points on your essential and non-essential spending (groceries, petrol, lipstick, etc), and you can then use the points to buy rewards such as flights, hotels and afternoon tea. And their current campaign, which is Do More With Avios, gives you the chance to spend your points on family and friends (or they could spend their points on you).

If you do decide to visit the London Zoo, give yourself a full day. We spent five hours on our last visit and didn’t manage to do everything. Luckily, we can visit again soon.

London Zoo Adress: Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY, UK

London Zoo opening times:

Wednesday 10 AM–5 PM
Thursday 10 AM–5 PM
Friday 10 AM–5 PM
Saturday 10 AM–5 PM
Sunday 10 AM–5 PM
Monday 10 AM–5 PM
Tuesday 10 AM–5 PM
Pizza express

Ain’t No Party Like A Pizza Express Party

 

Last year, my daughter had a Pizza Express party for her 8th birthday. She had a great time. But when I heard that Pizza Express offered pizza-making parties for adults, I didn’t think it would actually be that fun. Fast forward to last week when I was invited to a pizza party for bloggers at the new Pizza Express at Gloucester Road. And as you can see from my face above, I was having a pretty good time.

The evening started off with Prosecco and olives, which of course set the tone for a lovely evening. I was a little nervous as I didn’t really know anyone, though had met a few of the bloggers once or twice. But all the shyness went away with the Prosecco and we soon got stuck into some dough. Talk about an ice-breaker. After shaping an tossing some dough, we were all feeling relaxed. And giggly. This was mostly due to Alex (the branch manager) and Gianmaria, who made sure we were learning in an entertaining way.

Pizza

Then it was time to decorate the pizza of our dreams, we could choose as many or as few ingredients as we wanted. I chose to organise my cheese, pepperoni, olives and mushrooms into a heart shape. But there were some really beautifully designed pizzas that left me feeling very aware of my lack of creativity. The pizzas then went into the oven. And as we waited, we sat down to more Prosecco and lots of dough balls.

Despite my lack of pizza-making experience, I was quite pleased with my pizza (which I deemed ‘California Dreamin’). It was delicious, and I barely managed to have room for my favourite Pizza Express dessert (honeycomb cream slice). But somehow managed to squeeze it all in. Thank you so much Pizza Express for such a wonderful evening. Who knew that pizza-making parties could be so much fun for adults?!

 

pronounce from a joke cat picture

How Do You Pronounce Chipotle?

If you’ve never heard of Chipotle, they’re a chain of fast-food, but gourmet, Mexican restaurants. They’re huge in the USA, and lucky for us they have now made it to Europe. There are now seven in London, and last week I was invited to the one in Wimbledon, along with some other bloggers. We were shown how to make guacamole and then given margaritas and burritos until we were ready to roll home with full and happy tummies.

Husband and I went last night for tacos. It’s a great place if you need a quick, but fresh, meal. Even though we love Mexican food, we’ve never taken our kids out for a Mexican meal before. But I noticed that the Chipotle in Wimbledon offer a kids meal. For £4 or £5, the kids can have a cheese quesadilla or tacos with fruit and a drink. And since the service is so quick, we wouldn’t have to worry about the kids getting bored/antsy/crazy while waiting for their food.

Chipotle is technically fast food. They will prepare your food for you, right in front of your eyes, in less than a minute. What you might not realise is that Chipotle do not have any microwaves or freezers. They offer a variety of fresh meat and toppings (there’s plenty for you vegetarians out there). They only use free-range pork and they make their guacamole fresh 2-4 times a day.

If you fancy trying to make some fresh guacamole, you will need:

  • Avocados, preferably of the hass variety
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped Coriander
  • Jalapeno chillies
  • Lemon, lime and salt

Or if you live in London, you can just go to Chipotle and enjoy their delicious guacamole. By the way, you pronounce it CHI-POAT-LAY.…

Mr Tumble

There is Something Special about Mr Tumble

 

My youngest is two years old. And his greatest love, besides me, is Mr Tumble. Dubz watches 3-4 episodes of Something Special every day (please don’t judge, but if you do then you can F*** right off). I don’t think there is just one thing Dubz likes, but he seems especially enamored with Mr Tumble’s red nose and the use of sign language.

But let me be clear, this is not a post bashing Mr Tumble. In fact, it is quite the opposite. I love Mr Tumble. He is kind and silly and funny. He makes my son laugh. And in the past few months, while Dubz has struggled to speak, Mr Tumble’s sign language has engaged him. Dubz has begun to use some sign language and the words have finally come. But when you’ve watched as many episodes of Something Special as I have, you inevitably have questions.

 

There's Something Special about Mr Tumble

 

1. Home – Mr Tumble used to live in a big country man or with his extended family. But he has recently moved to a terrace house. Why has he moved? Did Lord Tumble gamble away the family fortune on a high stakes game of croquet? I know that many people have had to downsize and watch their pennies in this economy, but I wish I knew what exactly had happened.

2. Family – Mr Tumble has such a strange array of relatives. Granddad Tumble is a working class cockney. Lord Tumble is a posh aristocrat. Is Aunt Polly a relation by marriage? Why don’t we know her surname? Fisherman Tumble and Cliff Tumble (the pop star) are also quite random. And what about Mr Tumble’s parents? Did they die in a horrific clowning accident? Or are they travelling the world as international clown spies. Why are they never mentioned? I need to know.

3. Narrator – Who is the child speaking to Mr Tumble and Justin? Is he/she trapped in the telly? Or is he/she a figment of Mr Tumble’s imagination? Instead of laughing along to Mr Tumble, should we consider calling a mental health professional?

4. Justin & Mr Tumble – Why can’t there be an episode where Justin and Mr Tumble hang out? Why are they never in the same place? They seem to know each other, but never spend time together. It makes me wonder if Justin and Mr Tumble are perhaps the same person. Hmmmm.

5. First Names – What is Mr Tumble’s first name? Gary? Rupert? Toby? He is awfully formal for a clown. Why don’t we know everyone’s full name (except for Cliff Tumble)? Is the Tumble name an alias? Are they all on the run from an international drug cartel?

If you, or anyone close to you, knows the answer to any of the above questions please contact me as soon as you can. I can’t handle another night lying awake in bed and wondering.

 

*Photo credit: BBC website

ivy restaurant

Dinner at The Ivy Cafe Richmond Review

A 13-year wedding anniversary isn’t that exciting. But then again, shouldn’t every year of marital happiness be celebrated excitedly?! Our anniversary is actually tomorrow, but as it’s a Sunday on a bank holiday weekend, we thought we’d celebrate it mid-week (for babysitting purposes). So on Wednesday we went to Richmond-upon-Thames to have dinner at the newly-opened Ivy Cafe.

Many people will have heard of The Ivy. They are known for their great food, but also as a hotspot for celebrities. They have recently started opening some smaller cafes in greater London so that us suburbanites can have a taste of the high life. But don’t let the term ‘cafe’ fool you, this is a properly cool and elegant restaurant.

The Ivy Cafe Richmond is beautiful, inside and out. But especially inside, where the Art Deco-style artwork, fixings and furniture exude glamour. This is not just a neighbourhood restaurant. This place makes you feel special. Whether you’re meeting girlfriends for lunch or having brunch with your family. Husband and I were thrilled to be having dinner there to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

It can be tough going out to dinner with Husband. We’re fine when we go into central London as we’re spoilt for choice. But if we try and remain in Kingston, Wimbledon and Richmond, we are left with only about five restaurants that make for a special night out. One thing we both liked about the Ivy Cafe Richmond is that while the restaurants itself feels luxurious, the food is quite accessible. We’re talking modern British and international food that won’t leave you feeling confused or let down.

On our visit, I started with the scallops (simply gorgeous) before having the braised venison. Husband had the duck salad, followed by the Chicken Milanese. On the side, we had truffle and parmesan chips and broccoli. The meal was filling but still left room for dessert. I can’t stand it when I am too full for pudding. Husband had the coolest dessert- the chocolate bombe. It was one of those puddings that was melted by caramel sauce to reveal the inner centre. While my lemon meringue Alaska was not as exciting, it was delicious.

One thing to be noted about The Ivy Cafe Richmond is that the service was excellent. Not only were we given care and friendliness, I noticed that this was the case for my fellow patrons. It is so easy to get the restaurant right, and then get the staff wrong. It makes a huge difference having a waiter who can offer advice on the food and do so in a kind manner.

It was quite busy on our visit to The Ivy Cafe Richmond. I noticed that the tables for three or four were quite roomy while the tables for two were a bit cramped. I had to squeeze by another table, and it made me feel quite self-conscious. It seems to be more of a place for small groups than couples. That is a shame as I think it makes a wonderful atmosphere for date night. But the restaurant has only been open for a week, so perhaps this may improve.

All in all, we had a lovely evening at The Ivy Cafe Richmond. The food was wonderful, without being pretentious. The service was terrific, and I am still thinking about their gorgeous interiors. An elegant addition to the Richmond restaurant scene.…

Wandsworth

Flip Out Wandsworth (Giveaway)

When I heard that London’s biggest trampoline park was opening in south west London, I was thrilled. No more schlepping all the way to Guildford, Surrey for trampolining fun. Woohoo. My family and I were lucky to be invited for the opening weekend a couple of weeks ago, so we drove to Earlsfield ready for some bouncing fun.

About five minutes from Southside Shopping Centre, tucked up in an industrial estate, you will find Flip Out Wandsworth. When you first check-in (try and arrive 10 minutes before your allotted time, and pre-book at the weekend because it gets busy), you watch a little video that explains the rules of trampolining. Things like don’t jump on people or do triple-quadruple back flips. Then you go in, wearing your special grippy socks (you can buy a pair there for £2.00), and start bouncing. Moozles, who is eight, loves trampolining. She jumped around and around, and even managed a few cartwheels. She also played some bouncy basketball and swung about.

Dubz, who is four, was a bit nervous when we entered Flip Out. It is a bit dark in there, and he was not sure what to expect. But we took him to the junior section and he had a great time bouncing around, exploring a black taxi cab and jumping in the blocks. The junior section is wonderful for younger children as you don’t have to worry about them being knocked over by the big kids.

I am not one to miss out on fun, so I did some bouncing too (check out the vlog below if you want to see me almost falling onto my face/husband). Moozles loved jumping with me. And I was pleasantly surprised that we didn’t have to wait in long queues to get on trampoline or play basketball. Flip Out only let a certain amount of people in each hour so that everyone can have fun rather than just wait around. Before we left, we each got a drink from the cafe (they also offer free glasses of water, which I think is a great idea) and had a little rest. Bouncing is tiring work!

Now for the practicalities. Whenever I go anywhere new in London, I always worry about the parking situation. Luckily Flip Out Wandsworth has a car park. If you’re taking public transport, the nearest tube station is Earlsfield and the nearest train station is Wandsworth Town. Don’t wear jewellery or pointy clothing (there are little lockers where you can keep your bags/shoes safe). Dress comfortably –  though that doesn’t mean you have to wear your gym clothes unless you really want to. And don’t forget to jump – it’s not just for kids.

If you fancy some trampoline fun with your family, why not enter the competition below?! The tickets will get four of you in to Flip Out Wandsworth, during Mondays-Fridays, and will include the grippy socks. The giveaway closes at midnight on the 13th June 2024…

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