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Grab your swimming costume! It's a full moon

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Monday, 25 January 2016
Do you know what you'll be doing on the next full moon?

Well the team from Secret Adventures do, they'll be swimming in lidos, rivers and lakes across London every full moon in 2016.

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To celebrate the full moon swims for this year, the team at Secret Adventures invited a group to an evening of swimming, followed by food (supplied by Foods Unearthed) and singing around the campfire.

Just under an hour of swimming was the perfect thing to build an appetite for our campfire feast and despite the rain, the cold, and my forgetting of waterproof trousers and a blanket (was saved there as the Secret Adventures team had enough picnic blankets for all), I had a great time.

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And after a swim what could be better than live music and great food? FYI campfire cooked camembert is the best thing ever and my new campfire food favourite.

I went on my own, knowing a few people from the group but I'd say that if you wanted to go alone but were worried about sitting in the corner with no one to chat to then don't worry; everyone was very friendly and chatty.

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Overall, I would definitely be up for donning my bikini and partaking in a bit of night time swimming again!

The night time, full moon swims will be accompanied by a delightful camp fire and marshmallows. All you need to bring is a picnic, your swim suit and wear something warm! www.secretadventures.org

Winter Wonderland opening night

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 21 November 2014
Last night’s opening night of Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland heralded the start of Christmas. This huge extravaganza is now truly a part of London’s Christmas calendar and we Young Ladies About Town were invited to the VIP night. We shared a mulled cider (or two, maybe three) with The Lady favourites including Princess Beatrice, Helena Bonham-Carter and husband Tim Burton. Kirstie Allsopp was also in attendace, along with half the cast of Strictly Come Dancing, including Brendan Cole and his lovely wife Zoe, and Anton Du Berke (who hugged Father Christmas). If you love a celeb in mittens as much as we do, then this was the grotto to be seen in!

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Winter Wonderland caters for all ages and is great for families and children, and  has everything you need from bars and food stalls, giant ice rinks, a Ferris Wheel and countless fairground rides for all ages. If you are going with anyone who loves a bit of magic and ice, you must visit The Magical Ice Kingdom. Themed with ice sculptures of giant knights on horseback, dragons with glowing eyes and  swords cast in blocks of ice, this is King Arthur’s kingdom in frozen form. If you love magical fairy tales, Arthurian legends and a bit of Narnia style you will love this.

We were in heaven as soon as we were greeted by a pair of ice wolves howling at a blue ice moon and set in a woodland forests. Suddenly Hyde Park was far, far away and we had been whisked to the Artic world, where hats are needed as the room is set at -12 degrees to keep the statues in pristine condition. We squealed with delight at the ice squirrels, growling bears and sound of galloping horses as a frozen joust scene appeared around a corner.

Winter-Wonderland

The pièce de résistance? You can sit on two giant ice thrones and have an official photograph taken (as we did in a Beckam wedding vs White Witch mash-up). We didn’t want to leave and was slightly disappointed to discover that Hyde Park wasn’t covered in snow and icicles, but since Winter Wonderland is open till early January, maybe there’s still time for the real magic to happen.

Dates: Friday 21st November 2014 – Sunday 4th January 2015 (closed Christmas day)
Times: 10am – 10pm daily (except 21st November – opens from 5pm)
Entry: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is FREE to enter, there is no admission fee however charges do apply for some attractions including the Magical Ice Kingdom, Ferris Wheel and Ice Skating
Online booking: www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Words by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory

Champagne and the City

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 22 October 2014
As someone who considers herself to be pretty au fait with Champagne, I was curious when the invite came from Champagne house Jacquart for its 50th anniversary and launch of their new ‘Mosaic collection’. I will admit I didn’t know them as well other brands but, partial to an odd glass or two, I wanted to find out more.

Trendy City venue SushiSamba - known known for its spectacular views - didn't let us down and twinkling lights of London were providing a perfect background to the sparkling Champagne. They always say you should make a dramatic entrance and the glass external elevator that whizzes you up the 39 floors was party fascinating, partly terrifying, but boy – what a way to start a party!

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Inside we were treated to waiters swirling around with Magnums of Champagne Jacquart Rosé. I have to say that I found it absolutely delicious – rosé can be overly sweet but this has a perfect balance and very easy to drink. Handy considering I had around six glasses in total!

Laurent Reinteau, Managing Director of Champagne Jacquart, explained how it was founded in 1964 and their vineyards represents 2400 hectares, which accounts for 7% of the total Champagne region. Not bad for a brand unheard of by many.

It’s easy to be snobby about Champagne and wine, and personally I like to keep things simple and go with what I like. Now admittedly, drinking Champagne while overlooking The Gherkin is a fine introdcution to a new brand, but I look forward to seeing Champagne Jacquart become a more recognised name and drinking more of it in the future. Currently stocked in Mayfair, I would recommend it...After all, it’s nice to be in-the-know and introduce others to a new label.

Champagne Jacquart Rose Magnum, available from www.hedonism.co.uk priced at £84.70

Words by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory

I am lonely

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 25 September 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have recently moved away from London to a new area, about two hours' drive from where I have lived my whole life.  I now live in a lovely little home in a small village community, as I wanted to get away from the rat race of life.  I had imagined that once I moved in, the neighbours would be popping round, and I would chat to people in the street, and that I would easily make new friends.

However the opposite has happened.  My nearest neighbour seems a grouchy moaner, who merely stared at me when I tried to introduce myself, the people I meet in the street have no interest in striking up a conversation with me, and not one person has come round to welcome me into the area.  In fact I feel I am most unwelcome and an outsider. I feel very low as I really had expected this move to give me the peace and tranquility I have always desired, but all I now feel is ostracism and unfriendliness.

I do not have the money to move again, but having to consider this may be my only option as I am worried how lonely I am going to become if I stay.

Patricia Marie says...

I am not surprised you are feeling lonely as most people would if they were living on there own with no friends or family nearby. However, I do feel you need to give yourself more time to settle in to your new home and surroundings. Of course it's important for everyone to have a good support network, and this will happen - just not overnight. However, you can make some good contacts straight away.

Get out and about, look for groups, clubs or societies in your area where you can become involved in your passions. You could also volunteer for a local charity or church group. Helping is a great way to meet others, to counteract loneliness and to feel connected. Have you considered getting a dog, which would not only offer great companionship, but dogs provide a neutral topic for conversation and, therefore, act as social ' ice-breakers.'

Just as you feel the outsider in your neighbourhood, established residents can often feel threatened by newcomers, so why not take the initiative. Be hospitable, perhaps organise a coffee morning, or evening drinks party. Send invitations to your neighbours, saying you would love to meet them, be able to get to know them properly and look forward to welcoming them into your new home.

Rather than put any pressure on yourself at this moment, give yourself a year before making any decisions on moving again. I do feel by this time, you would have made friends and settled in well, and most importantly be enjoying your home which you say you love. Try not to lose sight of the fact that you are at the start of a new adventure in your life and need to cherish the experience whatever the outcome.


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

Café crush

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 03 July 2014
There are more cafés in London than you can shake a teacup at, but few have the power to make people literally stop in their tracks.

L'ETO - with branches in Chelsea, Belgravia and Soho amongst others - does just this. Their array of delectable cakes have people practically licking the window in appreciation.

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And it gets even better when you venture inside. As well as the cakes (all homemade), there are a selection of chocolate truffles, and healthy yet hearty salads for a that bit of savoury before you indulge in the sweet.

If you happen to be passing in the morning, it's worth trying their new breakfast menu. From avocado on toast to fluffy pancakes to quinoa porridge, there is something to cater to every fancy. Their freshly squeezed juices are delicious too.

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Part patisserie, part chocolatier, part fresh and vibrant café, it has swifty become a firm favourite for us Young Ladies About Town. See you there for breakfast, a light lunch of afternoon tea (most likely all three)!

www.letocaffe.co.uk 

A Tomb of Tipples and Tidbits

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 12 September 2013
Imagine a Victorian gentleman's club, crossed with Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile, wth a little bit of the Orient Express, and that pretty much sums up Hoxley & Porter, a new bar-cum-restaurant opening in Islington this month.

If you love The Betsy Smith on Kilburn High Road then you're in luck because the man behind this new venture is also Costa Tofan.

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From the moment you enter the establishment, the extreme attention to detail on everything from the menus to the music will truly transport you to another time. Forget gimmicky themed bar, thanks to the detailing, this feels a cut above the rest.

The venue is split into several different areas. As you walk from one end of the bar to the other you will trek through jungles, admire the pyramids and golden scarabs of Egypt (which can also been found in the toilets - I wasn't lying when I said attention to detail!), enjoy a train ride through the continent, and explore the cape.

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This changing dynamic is also mirrored in the bar's drinks menu. Although other spirits are available, gin and rum are the main attractions, gin representing the old world, while rum represents the new.

Of the three cocktails I tried, one gin, one sloe gin, and one rum, the earl grey infused gin with lime juice, sugar and topped up with fizz was my personal favourite.

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For me, Hoxley & Porter, even after spending just one evening there, has become my new favourite watering hole. Great cocktails (at a very good price of around £8.50), great period music and no expense spared when it comes to the detail; what's not to love?

www.hoxleyandporter.co.uk

Words by Melonie Clarke

London’s first alcoholic Popcorn Bar

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Now, when it comes to cocktails and alcoholic tipples we Young Ladies About Town like to think we are quite the connoisseurs. But an alcoholic Popcorn Bar isn’t just new to us – it’s new to London too.

Young Ladies About Town

At The Hutch Club inside Quaglino’s we discovered a selection of alcoholic bites which were, quite frankly, a little bit naughty. From their Caramel Macchiato & Whisky flavoured popcorn (very scrummy) to the Oyster & No3 London Dry Gin Soup (yes really) it was a culinary experience like no other. And when enjoyed alongside delicious cocktails like Elderflower Fizz (complete with a generous measure of Stolichnaya Vodka) and French 75 (Gin and Champagne both make an appearance in this) one shouldn’t expect to finish the evening anything less than delightfully squiffy.

Naughty nibbles

The glamorous cocktail and jazz pop up bar is named after ‘Hutch’, one of the most popular cabaret entertainers of the twentieth century, who took London’s café society by storm. The velvet voice of Hutch was one of the highlights of an evening at Quaglino’s and he was idolised by all the best people—The Prince of Wales even asked him to play at St James’s Palace.

The Hutch Club will located in the depths of the iconic London venue until 31st August 2013. With the decadent Art Deco-inspired surroundings keeping you comfortably cloistered from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, we found leaving to be rather difficult. Don't just pop in. If you’re going to visit here make it your evening’s destination rather than a stop off.

Entry strictly by reservation only: Contact 020 7930 6767 or email thehutchclub@quaglinos.co.uk

Words by Katy Pearson

Summer Term - Week 2

Posted by Lights Out Ladies
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on Monday, 15 April 2013
"Gentleman and Ladies." The Headmaster claps his hand together and we all fall silent. It is break time and I'd been mid-reach for one of the world's smallest tea cups. I have missed the moment. Andy (PE) puts his biscuit whole into his mouth, smiling at me apologetically as I hastily try to look away.

The Headmaster's PA is huffing as she drags a mannequin into the staffroom behind him. Her arm is hooked over the slender neck of the rigid female figure as she drags her across the Common Room floor. She props her into a standing position, rearranges her necktie and neatly smoothes down her skirt before exiting with muttered words and reddened cheeks.

The staffroom, Senior Common Room or "SCR" as it is known, is full to bursting for Morning Notices. Enormous sofas, well worn, are all occupied, teachers are propped against the walls which are lined with severe-looking portraits of past Wardens of the College. One is pictured seated at an ornate desk, one pointing at the artist. Nearly all have dogs. The Headmaster claps his hands. They are walnut brown from an Easter holidays skiing in Verbier. This morning he has combed his hair backwards into a rather neat quiff.

"I hope you've all had a splendid rest and are ready for the challenge of a new term." He claps his hands together again.

Most people are looking at the mannequin.

I am wondering whether to leg it out of the nearest exit and back to London.

He points to the mannequin, "Meet our new pupil," he begins, then he looks around at us all. There is a rumble of polite laughter. I fix a smile on my face, trying desperately to focus on what he is saying. The mannequin looks as vacant as I feel.

Perhaps realising he has lost his audience already he circles her/it. "This is what I want," he announces, "As you know we have accepted a whole cohort of girls (pronounced 'gals') to the school this year and I want them to look like this."

He gestures to the mannequin who is dressed in a simple knee length navy blue skirt, a rather thin, cheap looking white shirt and an alarming orange necktie that would not have looked out of place on an aeroplane. In the 1980s.

"Note the length of the skirt, note the shirt, tucked in and note the neat knot." And so it continues... for 10 minutes. Tea has gone cold, teachers are fidgeting and Andy is looking longingly back at the remaining tray of biscuits.

It is at the end of all this that the Headmaster turns in my direction and gestures towards me. "And as you have no doubt noticed we have taken on a new member of staff too." If I had tea I would have spilt some.

I try to look confident, glance at the faces turned towards me. "Clare here will be taking over in the History department and will run our rounders teams this term (will I!?!), so do introduce yourself and make her welcome."

A whole horde of men, or as it seems to me a sea of tweed, turns towards me nodding and mumbling a welcome. I can feel my face blending in with the burgundy velvet curtains behind me.

It is my first day at Brockfield House, my old life in London seems a million miles away already. I nod back wondering how I am going to fit in. Then I stare at my navy blue kitten heels, so slender, so feminine, and realise it might take more than a new wardrobe. The headmaster's secretary reappears, rolls up her sleeves, seizes the mannequin once more and drags her out, feet first.


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TONIGHT'S TV: The Secret History of Our Streets (BBC2 9pm)

Posted by Michael Moran
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on Wednesday, 13 June 2012

The schedules are calf-deep in football at the moment, with the Euro 2012 tournament expanding to fill every minute of early-evening prime time.

Which is all very well, if you like football.

If not, there are a few isolated gems hidden away which might appeal. The Secret History Of Our Streets takes as a jumping-off point Charles Booth's socially-annotated 'poverty maps' of London, produced in the late 19th Century.

...


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