Monday, 30 June 2008

Eat at a Celebrity Chef Restaurant - Tick

I was always planning on going to either Jamie Oliver's or Gordon Ramsay's restaurants in London as felt it was one of my "Things to do in London". As I was browsing TNT online I came across this Taste of Italy.

Sit back and indulge in an evening of Italian delights at Fifteen London, the charity registered restaurant founded by Jamie Oliver. For the first time, 12 lucky readers can be a part of TNT's exclusive Taste Of Italy event on Sunday, June 29. Not only will you be able to experience the food and wine culture of different regions of Italy without even stepping out of London, we'll also give you the chance to learn how to make pasta, the Italian way. Tickets cost £40 and include:

*Pasta making demonstration
*An extravagant three-course meal with wines picked by Fifteen's own sommelier.
*Each guest will also receive a wine matching menu, a TNT goodie bag and a Fifteen apron.
Jamie Oliver founded Fifteen with the ambition to open a top class restaurant that would give disadvantaged youngsters the chance to create great careers in the catering industry. Five years on, Fifteen has earned the reputation as one of London's finest eateries and this is an evening not to be missed.
So with my fingers crossed I put my name in the draw for one of the lucky 12 to get picked, because at £40 it was a lot cheaper than going to the restaurant normally and with everyone on such tight budgets saving for holidays I didn't really fancy going alone. Fortunately I got an email back to say that I was randomly selected. Yah!
So on Sunday night I headed up North a bit and went in search of the restaurant, Fifteen. As you will see above, Fifteen is Jamie Oliver's restaurant founded to give young disadvantaged chefs a go. Its in a bit of a random spot near Old Street tube but is quite popular with people having to wait up to three months for a booking.

Upon arriving I met all the other drawees, mostly Kiwis and Aussies and we settled in for our pasta making demonstration, including chocolate pasta. The guy that was showing us the pasta was from Australia. He was explaining to us how he got his job in Fifteen. He had just arrived this side of customs in London and was telling customs (i think) about his plan to come to London and find work as a chef when the manger of Fifteen overhead him and asked him to come to Fifteen the next day for an interview, how about that for luck! So he has been working at Fifteen ever since and with Jamie Oliver.

Anyway back to meal, after the demonstration we headed to our seats and was served our entree of sauteed vegetables and cured meats, followed by pork belly, this was delicious and so tender, then the best part dessert, yum! Three choices to choose from including the chocolate pasta.

I had a really good night and the food was fab, unfortunately didn't see Jamie Oliver but went home with a Fifteen apron and a tick on my list of things to do in London.


Saturday, 28 June 2008

Wimbledon 2008

Since Hayley knew how much we all loved tennis :) she had organised us to come to this once in a lifetime event - Wimbeldon

After much debate and decision making we decided to head to Wimbeldon around 8am to queue for general admission tickets. The website said that you have to queue hours in advance and there were only 6000 general admission tickets. So I awoke at 5.30am and made the 1.5 hour trip there, bumped into Sheree on the way and we even made it there early. Some people who shall not be named were a tad late !! :) !!. So at around 8.15am we headed to the line to start our, what was it guys, around 3.5 hour queue line wait. Fortunately, we had all brought a picnic, drinks and cards so the wait didn't even seem that long. We got our queue tickets 7435 for me and our heart sank, we weren't in the 6000 people, fortunately the helpful stewardess said that usually the first 9000 get in before 1pm. Yah!!

So at around 11am with our queue cards safely put away (if you lost them you would not be able to get it) we walked the mammoth board walk, with various advertising materials being confiscated (I am sure Hayley will expand on that), x-rays, body searches, misplaced wallets and finally got our tickets and were inside the gates of Wimbledon.

We were separated for a while so Sheree and I headed up to the hill to watch some of the tennis on the big screen. Because we only had general admission tickets we were not privileged to the Centre Court or Court 1 (where all the big names play) so we watched Jankovic on the big screen and then headed down to the practice courts to see if we could see any big players practicing. Whilst heading down there we found an HSBC tent which did photos for free. Bonus, so me and Sheree had photos of us holding the plates and then hung around to get the autograph of super sexy Mario Ancic who was honoured to have his picture with me (honest, he told me so, we so had a conversation).

We then met up with Hayley who was purchasing some used tennis balls for souvenirs. We then thought we should actually watch some live tennis, that's what we were there for right!! So we watched some men's doubles, then headed to court 2 (us plebs were allowed to stand here to watch this court) to watch some men and then ended up in court 3 watching some female doubles.

Lucky for us the weather was fab and may have even got a tan. Had a great day and thanks heaps for organising Hayley.
And of course as usual, more pictures in the photo gallery.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Horseriding in Wales

I saw an advert for horse riding in Wales in the TNT magazine. At the time I thought it was a bit expensive and thought if I could afford it, would do it later in the year.

During the week my flatmates were being grizzly so I thought I would just have another look at the site, bonus, they were offering it for 90 pounds off, score! so I booked it and packed all my gear to take to work on Friday.

On Friday night I tubed it to Eailing Common and was was picked up by Tony the owner/operator of the business. I was joined by Cath & Craig and Clayton & Heidi where we piled into the van and headed off to Wales.

After 4.5 hours we were in Wales at a small village near Brecon Beacons National Park. Usually there are 16 people but this weekend was a bit quiet and they were only the five of us and two other ladies from somewhere in England.

On Saturday morning we woke up to not so good weather unfortunately, but had a fab cooked breakfast before heading to the horseriding. I got a horse called Reece who loved being up front and was relatively good. Unfortunately, this was another follow the leader, can't talk to anyone, sit on the back of a horse for five horses horse trek, but I was luckily enough to be able to go for a canter, although my stirrup came out as Reece was so excited so was holding on for dear life more than enjoyment.

After the horse ride we headed back to the house for a nice soak in the hot tub. We were all very sore and that really was the best medicine. On Saturday night we had some drinks and some drinking Jenga but we were all exhausted from battling the elements and the horses so headed to bed around 1am.

On Sunday morning we had a nice sleep in and another cooked breakfast this time with pancakes, we had a quick look around the village (which took all of about 10 minutes) and then headed back to London, somewhat uncomfortably as we were all sore from yesterday.

It was a nice relaxing weekend away and the pain went away... eventually.
Check out more picures in the gallery.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Quick Update

Hey All

Just letting you know my latest news.

1. I have my job until 18 July 2008, possibly longer, woo hoo!! (I soo need the money)

2. I am going away to Wales for the weekend on a horse riding trek . Will let you know how it goes.


Monday, 16 June 2008

Kensington Palace

On Sunday morning I headed to Kensington Palace (with my camera memory stick) to have a look around the palace. The palace's state apartments are open to the public to look around at the exhibitions. The exhibitions on at the moment are the "The Last Debutantes" a world totally different from ours and various dresses worn by the the debutantes and Princess Diana.

Kensington Palace is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, England. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. Today it is the official residence of The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; the Duke and Duchess of Kent; and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Kensington Palace is also used on an unofficial basis by Prince Harry, as well as his cousin Zara Phillips.

In 1981 apartments 8 and 9 were combined to create the London residence of the newly-married Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, and it remained the official residence of Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce until her death. Her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, went to local nursery and pre-preparatory schools in Notting Hill.

Until 1997, it was the official residence of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

It was amazing to see how huge the area was that was covered in flowers after Princess Diana died. Unfortunately, no royals were spotted.

And in the afternoon headed to Battersea Park to hang out with the others and lap up some of the afternoon sun.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

This week

This week I started my new job at a patent attorney firm near Blackfriars tube station. I have this job for the next couple of weeks maybe more (fingers crossed). This job is paying a higher hourly rate than my other jobs and has flexitime which means as long as I am at work before 10am and don't go home before 4.30 and work 7 hours I can choose my hours. Its great to have some sort of "regular income" especially with expensive holidays coming up.

Hayley had been scanning and came across some 10 pound tickets (can anyone point me in the right direction on how to change my keyboard to have a pound symbol (I have Windows Vista?)) to see Into the Hoods at the West End. So on Wednesday we headed down to Novello Theatre. Into the Hoods is the first ever hip hop show to make it to the West End and I can see why it was fantastic. I am not generally a fan of hip hop fan but this was quality dancing, it even had some contemporary and jive and ...Fairy Gee a, I would say about 5 year old girl, who came on stage with some funky moves in a gold jump suit!

On Saturday I packed my bag, made sure I had a fresh battery for my camera and made the journey into town to visit Kensington Palace. I was walking through Hyde Park and was looking on the lawn that had some pigeons on it and in between the pigeons was a squirrel. I pulled out my camera in excitement to take some shots. Suddenly my memory was full. Damm, what an idiot, I had left my memory stick in my laptop at home (over an hours journey one way) what an idiot and incredibly frustrating because the only person you can blame is yourself. So I skulked away from the entrance and headed down to Kensington High Street to see if I could pick up a cheap memory stick for my camera. As my camera is Olympus it takes an XD memory stick and of course these are really expensive. Grrrrrrrr. So instead I went to the movies and saw the Sex and the City movie and its was really good and had some laugh out loud moments. Its made me want to start watching the series!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Saturday's Shinigans


On Saturday Hayley had scored four free tickets to the Redbull Flugtag in Hyde Park, so myself, Hayley and Louisa headed down on Saturday morning. After finding a semi-good posie we settled down and waited for the dancing and contraptions to fly. As we had an extremely annoying tree in the way (damm that park for having so many trees) we only had a limited view of the dancing but fortunately were in a good spot to see the contraptions fly (fall) off the edge. It was good for free and fortunately London turned on a fantastic day and made us all at little less pasty.

How we spent most of the night, talking and laughing!

On Saturday night Hayley had organised a "girls night" of glamour, gossiping, drinking and boogging. Debra was also in town and us girls hadn't caught up all together in ages. After a few too many Flirtini's and Pam had been watching Sex in the City marathons so no subject was untouched the night was spent gossiping, reminiscing and catching up and didn't end up going out as before we knew it, it was 4am!! So many pictures were taken so don't forget to check out the photo gallery for HEAPS more pictures.



Monday, 2 June 2008

Delia was in town ... and so were the stars

Delia was in town for a few days and since I wasn't working on Monday we decided to catch up. I haven't seen Delia in AGES so was really great to see her again. We decided to do something touristy and as we could get 2 for 1 Madame Tussauds was it. For all those that don't know, Madame Tussauds is the wax museum in London. These wax figures take over 800 hours of sculpting, measuring, moulding and painting to get them as life like as possible. Some of them looked quite real and others no so much. I can't believe how short/skinny some of them really are. These pictures are probably the closest I will ever get to movie stars, sports stars, royalty, they even had world leaders Tony Blair, John Howard even Hilter and Saddam Hussein, unfortunately god darn it not Helen Clark though!

I took loads more pictures and you can see them in my photo gallery and also don't forget to leave a message in my guestbook.