Friday, 20 January 2012

ICEBAR, London


Tucked down a side street off Oxford Steet, hides ICEBAR, London, a sub-zero bar sculpted out of ice.

ICEBAR is designed and created by the same people who run the Ice Hotel in Sweden (a hotel made of ice, like a big igloo).

After seeing at least three of my friends post pictures of their trip to ICEBAR on Facebook, My boyfriend and I decided to see what the fuss was about.

Socks in a cape

As we joined the queue, the staff opened the doors to the ice room and a blast of -5 degree air made us all shiver. 

We were given faux-furr lined clocks and mittens to wear so we didn’t get frost bite and were herded inside. 

I had purchased the VIP tickets (£16 each) which meant that a free premier vodka cocktail (£8) was included in the price of our tickets. 

We were handed our drink in a glass made of – you guessed it – ice! 

Me in my cape!

Ice glass

After we collected out drinks, there wasn’t actually much to do; after all, we were just now standing in a really cold room. 

Sitting down wasn’t an option as there weren’t many seats, and anyway they were also made of ice, and I like my bum to be frost bite free, thanks.

Inside the bar

So we did what everyone else was doing – took photos of ourselves. 

Photos of us in capes, photos of us with the hoods of our cloaks up & down, photos of our ice glasses... you get the idea.

Basically ICEBAR is just one big photo opportunity.

Scary lady...
As we were only allotted a 40 minute time slot, we were quite surprised to see that we were the only people to stay until the very end, everyone else seemed to have flaked out moaning about the cold. It was -5, not -50!

ICEBAR, London is definitely something I would like to do again, but after you’ve taken your photos there’s not much to do.

ICEBAR London: 31-33 Heddon Steet, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BN

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dining With Alice, Elsing Hall, Diss, Norfolk

18th May 2011

*This was meant to be written about 8 months ago, but I never got around to it.

For the 2011 Norfolk and Norwich Arts Festival events company Artichoke and culinary adventurers Boompas & Parr joined forces to create Dining with Alice, a unique al fresco dining event. 

Hosted in the grounds of Elsing Hall, Diss this week long event combined drama, music, food and the cast of Lewis Carrols much loved book, Alice in Wonderland.

My friend Ruth was really excited about this event, and since my birthday fell during Dining with Alice,  Ruth suggested we go.

Elsing hall

When we arrived we parked my car in a muddy field, and were directed across a makeshift bridge towards the Hall.

Our tables were scattered throughout the gardens

We exchanged our tickets for menus and were given gin and ginger ale cocktails and game flavoured crisps. 

We lingered in a tent for a while, and then a fleet of waiters arrived all wearing different coloured turbans. 

We were separated from our friends and split into small groups and assigned to a waiter who then showed us to a walled garden where we each ate dinner alone on a table of our own.

My table for the first course

My first course - theres a quails egg at the bottom

Our first courses were a teacup full of soup and tiny bottle of ‘drink me’ liquid.

Thats me!

We were then ushered to our second course, where we were mixed into groups again and seated at tables of two. 

We ate a crab or mushroom and a bread roll and a small jam jar full of white wine to accompany the course.

My drink

White wine in a jam jar - classy!

For the main course we were seated in fours and reunited with our friends. On each table there was a steak pie, a dish of vegetables and a bottle of wine to be split between four people.

Ruth and I were seated with a mother and daughter from ‘the outskirts of London – NOT ESSEX.’ They though we were about 18, and from what we could gather, pretty childish.

As we ate we had the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit and the rest of the Alice cast asking us questions in character. 

After dinner we were lead around the side of the lake, to a floating dock which was where we had desert: tiny scones, victoria sponges and a gorgeous Boompas and Parr jelly.

Baby scone

After dinner entertainment

During desert, the cast of Alice sung us some songs, and then we went home.

It was a really fun and different evening, I am really looking forward to the events of next years NNAF and attending some Boompas & Parr events in 2012.

The turbaned waiters

Excited Ruth

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Gibside, Newcastle Upon Tyne

A combination of photographs from 15/2/11 & 19/3/11

Over the past couple of months I have been to Gibside Hall and Pleasure Ground twice, once on a really drizzly day and the other when the sun was shining - this explains why the photos differ weatherwise.

Gibside chapel

Gibside estate is a national trust owned property that is home to the remains of 18th century Gibside Hall, chapel, farm and nature reserve.

The chapel and the monument are at either ends of a walk way that is flanked by ancient oak trees.

Its a nice day out if the weather is good, we took picnics both times and at them by the monument, but in the rain its a bit of dismal trek around the park. There is shelter from the rain, but you have to get to the farm first where there is a cafe, gallery of old photographs of Gibside and discovery centre.

The monument seen through the trees

Gibside also runs activity days throughout the year, when we went it was lambing weekend where you could see the tiny lambs being bottle fed and has a farmers market weekend once a month.

This pond/lake is at the bottom of the monument

If you make it around the estate to the stables, just around the corner is the woodland adventure playscape, which is basically an assault course made of wood. Children have to climb over bridges, through tunnels and all sorts of things.

Woodland adventure playscape

Stephen modelling the assault course

Gibside is a lovely place to go for the day, especially if you are looking for somewhere to walk the dogs or to tire out your kids. There is also a shuttle bus that runs from the entrance to the stables cafe for people who don't want to walk.

Gibside website

  • Address:
    near Rowlands Gill, Burnopfield, Gateshead, NE16 6BG

    Telephone: 01207 541820

This is a video that my co-explorer Stephen made of our day out:

Washington Wetlands Centre


Well, this has been a long time coming it seems! Almost 6 months without a post.. shame on me.

Its not that I no longer care about this blog, its just that I'm far too poor to be able to have fun adventures with which to entertain people with - thanks student loans and the rising price of petrol!

Anywhere, somewhere I have been able to afford to visit recently was the Washington (sadly not D.C) Wetlands Centre in Tyne and Wear.

The main paddock

The centre is on the banks of the river Wear and is a home to all kinds of exotic, but also indigenous birds.


Ducks, geese and swans all roam around the 'close encounters' enclosure waiting to be fed bird seed by non dangerous looking children and more unusual specimens such as cranes and flamingoes can be viewed from a distance.

Stephen feeding a Hawaiian goose

I visited mid afternoon on a one of the sunniest days of the year so far and had a really nice time. There is plenty to see, some really nice walks to go on and a big adventure play ground to entertain children. But its definitely advisable to go in good weather, as almost everything to see is outside with no shelter from the rain.

To find out more information on the wetlands centre website .

WWT Washington Wetland Centre, Washington Tyne and Wear NE38 8LE

T: 0191 416 5454

Friday, 12 November 2010

Firework night 5/11/2010

Its the thats time again ... chuck your guy Fawkes effigy on the bomfire and set off the fireworks because its bonfire night!

For the second year in a row Jacqui and I headed down to Ashburn sports park to watch the fireworks, eat undercooked and over priced hot dogs and freeze our arses of in the cold night air. The fire works were as lovely as fireworks can be (come on admit it - they give you neck ache and get boring after the first five), and then we played some of the games on the stalls. Jane won a fish - I don't know if it is still alive or not. My guess is not.

After all the excitement we went too the pub to warm up.

I wanted to go on this, but no one would go on with me - bastards!

Jane and her fish

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Rosebud Ceramics, Sunderland


In the summer Holly and Socks discovered Rosebud Ceramics, a place where you can go and paint a bowl or a plate or a dinosaur or something else made of clay. When I got back, I made them take me there. On thursday Socks and I went and subsequently made a santa shaped bowl and a dinosaur clown. I finished santa on the day, but Socks needed to finish dinozo, so we went back on saturday with Holly. Bellow are pictures of the lovely things we made.

My Father Christmas bowl

DINOZO - half dinosaur, half clown

Hollys emo, skate board name plate

My sea themed bowl

It costs around £10-£20 depending on what you want to paint, and if you don't finish it in one go you can return and paint it at a later date. Your object is then glazed and fired, we get out things back thursday! *Excited face*

The end result:


Super crab

Socks with Dinozo and Balthazar

Friday, 24 September 2010



On our second day we went to Monet's house and gardens at Giverny, the house has been restored to how it looked (or maybe just preserved) when Claude Monet lived there. The gardens were amazing and packed with hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of flowers.

Lucy, Ellen and I were definitely the youngest people there, as the only other visitors were about 3 bus loads of american, middle aged tourists. The high light - or low light depending on how you view it - was hearing one of them actually say "Bob I feel like a kid in a candy store!"... Lucy nearly puked.

Monets very pink house

View from the bedroom window


Path ways though the flowers

Umbrella things to support the trees

This flower was bigger than my head

We walked around the garden admiring the flowers, we went through the underground tunnel and explored the famous water lily garden.

Lucy and Ellen by the ponds

Ellen with Claude Monets head.