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7 Al fresco activities to get you outside this Summer

It is Summer. We’ve all been around long enough to know that there’s never any guarantee that the nice weather is going to last, but at time of writing we decided we were going to take a chance. After all, if you can’t be optimistic about the weather in August, then when can you be optimistic about it? So with our natural optimism in mind, we decided to round up some of the best activities on the Wonderush website which’ll allow you to get your Summer on and spend time outside. You might be the running around type, or you might prefer to take things more gently. Trust us when we say there’s something for everyone.

Good Gym

Good gym

If you like fitness, this is the activity for you. If you like volunteering, this is the activity for you. If you like multitasking- Look, just believe when we say that you’ll want to be all over this. It’s outside, it’s a workout, and it’s an opportunity to do a good deed.

Pop-up Screens

Pop up screens

Everyone loves a movie, right? With pop-up screens you get the chance to watch al fresco films in a huge variety of locations across the city. From action to comedy, and everything in between, this is the ideal outside entertainment for movie buffs everywhere.

Jack The Ripper Tour

jack_the_ripper_tour

Jack the Ripper was a bad man. This much most people know. But how much else do you really know about him, aside from the whispered half-truths people discuss when they’re in East London pubs? This is the chance to really learn more about London’s macabre past.

GB Active Boot Camp

green park bootcamp

If you’re into exercise, this is the session for you. It’s suitable for all levels, and you’ll have the chance to capitalise on your probably-recently-contracted Olympic Fever by training with a real life professional athlete. Plus the fresh air is at least a thousand times better than a sweaty gym.

Love London Bicycle Tour

Bicycle tour

We all love London. That’s why we’re here. But sometimes we’d love to be able to see it in a different way, and that’s where London Bicycle Tours come into it. Cycling in London is often seen as scary, but you’re in safe hands (pedals?) with the pros, and it’s a great way to make the most of a Summer’s day.

Laughter Playshop

Laughter Yoga

Picture the scene: You’re hanging out on the Southbank. Someone near you laughs at nothing. You join in. And suddenly everything is hilarious. Laughter yoga is growing in popularity and is a great activity to do outside. We guarantee that  people will look at you like a weirdo, and we guarantee even more that after a while you won’t care.

Tai Chi

Taiji Chi Kung Wednesday

If you’re in need of a little bit of relaxation, there’s nowhere better to look than nature. Tai Chi is a great way to slow down, and to really connect with your surroundings, and there’s no nicer time to do it than when it’s nice and warm outside and there are, like, birds and stuff.

So have we whet your appetite? If you’re still on the lookout for stuff you can do outside (or indeed stuff you can do inside if the weather takes a turn for the worst) don’t forget to check out the Wonderush website for more inspiration!

Fitness, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: ShakeUp Fit

ShakeUp Fit are all about livening up the average workout and making people smile, which we love. With their classes shaking up the scene in East London, we decided it was high time we sat them down and found out a bit more. And that’s where ShakeUp Fit’s lovely leader Mel came in:

How did you get into what you do?

I started by going along to a friend’s class who had just started teaching Zumba. She needed some moral support and I fell in love with it. A couple months later we had cover teachers while she was away that the class just hated. So many teachers have so many different styles that it’s hard to introduce a class to a new style if they are used to yours. She then asked me to start covering, which I did, and then after a few years I started my own classes! Now I teach dance fitness and am training to be a yoga teacher.

How would you describe your teaching style?

My style is very mixed. We have some Zumba, and a bit of street dance in there too. I like to teach to music I enjoy so you’ll often come along and just hear songs in the charts. Everybody loves a good workout to Beyoncé and Bieber.

Why would you recommend your activity?

It’s fun. The girls who come along are so lovely and welcoming. They work so hard but the best part is they never stop smiling or laughing. I always make a joke of some kind when I see they are struggling and they just smile and keep going. We sweat but we also smile.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

By day I work in the financial industry! I’m a business analyst these days but did 10 years working for different investment banks.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Fitness. If I’m not doing yoga, I’m dancing or I’m swimming. I love trying out new types as well. I went to a trampoline park recently and loved it and am trying to get into a class to try out the new aqua board exercise where you do HIIT workouts on an inflatable board on a pool!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

I was born and raised in Hackney, so I’m a full-on East London boy. I now live further out East but I still love East London. It’s so diverse, it’s so creative and there are such cool trends that come in and out. The food courts and music festivals have to be the best in East!

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I’d love to learn how to fly. I actually don’t like flying much myself, but I reckon I would love to be at the front steering the plane. To be able to soar, to be able to have that feeling of weightlessness would just be incredible.

What does the future have in store for you?

Hopefully more of the same. I’d like to build my classes up to really good numbers, keep exploring new forms of fitness, and build some yoga classes. Long term, I’d love to have my own studio but I know that’s a long way off yet. I love meeting new people and getting them along to my class to smile. If you like smiling and want to work out at the same time, then come and meet me!

So, how about shaking up your next workout? You can book ShakeUp Fit’s sessions here. Have an awesome time!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Roundup: August

August could – very correctly – be described as the height of Summer. Of course, it’s all very well for us to sit here at the very start and be all overly-optimistic about the weather, and therefore that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We can say with absolute certainty that we think August is going to be gorgeous, and sunny, and all-around lovely. And with our not-really-met-office-approved weather forecast out of the way, it’s time to take a look at some of the best things happening all over London this month.

Notting Hill Carnival

Carnival

We would not be doing our job correctly if we didn’t mention the Notting Hill Carnival here. Our love of it has been well-documented and we can’t wait to get out on the streets this year, dancing and judging people watching the world go by.

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

bucking palace

Speaking of judging people, Buckingham Palace opens it’s doors every Summer to allow the public a chance to get a glimpse of the royal family’s State Rooms. In other words, they’re giving the public a chance to have a nose around a judge their interior design taste, and we fully support that.

Camden Fringe

comedian

August is the month when everybody (including certain members of Team Wonderush) makes a big fuss about the Edinburgh Fringe. But the fact of the matter is there’s also an awesome Fringe Festival happening right here in London, which you should check out, whatever your tastes.

Great British Beer Festival

beer

Would you like to be in a room containing over 900 different kinds of ale, cider, perry, and beer? Yeah, we thought that might be a stupid question. Get involved in the ultimate in tasting fun this August at Olympia, London. There’ll even be great music to help you really make a day of it.

BeachEast

beach#

Over the past few years, everybody in London seems to have grown to love a temporary, urban beach. They seem to be springing up everywhere. And now there’s one at the Olympic park, which means that you can lay back relax on the sand in almost the exact spot where someone did lots of movement just a few years before, which definitely heightens the experience.

Holi Festival of Colours

holi

If you liked Holi in the Spring, any kind of colour run, or just really playing up in art classes when you were at school, you’ll probably be well up for this. Taking place in Wembley, in combines music acts and throwing coloured powders at people. Perfect combo.

Proms on The Roof

Classy

Look. We were never seriously going to make it all the way through an August newsletter without suggesting some kind of rooftop situation, were we? What better way to enjoy the weather than by sipping a complimentary Aperol Spritz and listening to a bit of classical music?

And there you have it. August. We’ll be looking back on it fondly with a Pumpkin Spice Latte in our hands in just a matter of weeks, so we need to make the most of it. What will you be doing this month? If you’re still looking for inspiration, don’t forget that we’re bringing loads more of it on the Wonderush website!

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The Wonderush Spotlight: Shorts on Tap

Shorts on Tap is a great company. Through their themed screening nights which show a selection of short films, they’re giving Londoners the opportunity to find out more about an art form we might otherwise never really hear much about. After all, they’re not exactly regularly screening shorts at the local multiplex. At least, not where we live. In the spirit of discovering new things, we sat down with Filippo, who started Shorts on Tap, and asked him loads of questions because we have no chill:

How did you get into what you do?

Shorts On Tap started in late 2013 in a small basement venue called Juno, in Shoreditch, East London. I needed a place to screen a sci-fi short of mine called Time&Space and ended up screening 10 works from other filmmakers instead. The demand for more nights was so high I simply kept organising more screenings.

How would you describe your nights?

Our events are quite eclectic: the films take the central stage, of course, but we’ve also got live performances, crowdfunding campaigns, panel discussions, special guests. It all rotates around a central theme which changes from night to night. The vibe is incredibly friendly and relaxed, it definitely facilitates dialogue and great Q&As and discussions after the screenings. We usually keep in touch with most filmmakers we meet at the events: a great platform for networking, too.

How do you choose the films that you show? Why would you recommend your activity?

We constantly accept film submissions and we watch all the films we receive. We then sort the them into different categories and pick the best ones for the screenings. There’s a lot of filtering involved as each night needs a certain balance, a certain ‘colour palette’ to be conveyed. We curate our nights in collaboration with other filmmakers and people from the film industry. Our selection is usually made up of 5 to 7 films per night and the quality of the work presented is breathtaking. The talent out there is incredible and we’d like to give exposure to as many filmmakers as possible. The end result is a top quality event, this is how we’ve built our following and reputation.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

Despite the name of the event ‘Shorts ON TAP’, I hardly ever drink during a screening night.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Meeting creative people, spending time with friends or simply walking and getting lost in the vastness of London. Did I mention watching shorts? 😉

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

I have recently moved to Streatham Hill, this area’s got a great vibe about it: not too pretentious or arty, not too busy or overcrowded, yet full of great cafes, parks and juice bars! A few minutes and you’re in Brixton or Balham or Clapham. It can’t get any better than this. South of the river is THE place to be.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I’d go on a road trip across South America.. months travelling, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina.. the places, the faces, the people.. that’d be my #1 experience.

If you can’t wait to get down to a Shorts on Tap event (and, frankly, who could blame you?), their next event is now available to book here. We’ll see you there!

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10 Wonderush activities which are also Pokestops

Pokemon Go has been taking the world by storm, and it’s- Sorry, hold on. Just catching a Jigglypuff. OK. Carry on. Like we were saying, Pokemon Go has been taking the world by storm, and it’s become a bit of a craze at Wonderush HQ. We’re constantly in need of our nearby Pokestops so we can replace all the Pokeballs we waste on the huge number of Drowzees that seem to be resident in our office. But when we’re out and about of an evening it’s also useful to know if we’re going to be able to stock up on the necessaries. So, we put together a list of the Pokestops we can find at Wonderush activities. It’s always good to know where your next poke-goodies are coming from, after all.

Wonderush Pokestops #1: Urban Coterie

Yoga with a view

There doesn’t seem to be a pokestop directly in Urban Coterie, but there are definitely some great ones just outside. And what better way to make an awesome morning than picking up some essentials before and after a great early-morning yoga session with included breakfast?

Wonderush Pokestops #2: The Good Ship

Comedy Club

Everybody likes a laugh, and TheGood Ship has some of the best comedians in the country. It’s an awesome venue with a great atmosphere, and now comes with added pokeballs. What could be better?

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The Wonderush Spotlight: Swing Patrol

There’s something happening all over London that you might not be aware of. Every week, all over London, 1000 people head to basements, and bars, and spaces across the city and learn an awesome new skill. Except it’s actually a pretty classic vintage skill. We’re talking about Swing Dancing. Swing Patrol have made it their mission to get Londoners dancing. And the fact that they’ve broken records and won awards along the way? Just icing on the cake. We sat down with them to find out more.

How did you get into what you do?

Swing Patrol all began when our director Scott landed from Australia 7 years ago. He first fell in love with swing dancing when he saw it at Disneyland and it all bloomed from there. In the early days, Scott and the two teachers he brought with him would dance outside tube stations in the snow to try to advertise the classes. 10 people in a class was a huge success! These days we have lots of different venues that teach over 1000 people each week but it still has that same community feel it always had.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Relaxed, friendly and passionate. We just want to share our love of what we think is one of the most joyful dances in the world so we welcome anyone that wants to give it a go.

Why would you recommend your activity?

There are so many brilliant things about swing dancing, it’s difficult to list them all – the friendly teachers, the great music, the chance to meet lots of new people, the exercise, the fact that it’s so easy to start… it goes on!

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

Swing Patrol holds the World Record for the World’s Largest Charleston. In October 2015 we had 975 dancers Charleston-ing at Spitalfields market. It was EPIC. In July, the previous record holders will be trying to take it back so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them! Check out our video!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

Our teachers will regularly be found out social dancing which is the whole point of learning to dance. There are loads of dance events across London and beyond every weekend where there are DJs playing vintage tunes for people to swing out to. It’s a great night out where you can try out all the moves you pick up in class!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

Spitalfields Market – we run free swing sessions under the sails there throughout summer, followed by a bit of shopping in the market or dinner in one of the local restaurants. There’s an amazing cheese shop called Androuet where you can get fondue. Yum!

We can’t wait to get down to another one of Swing Patrol’s sessions. Details of their upcoming classes can be found here. We’ll see you there!

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The Wonderush Review of Reviews: Part 1

We love our partners. We really do. And, as it turns out, you guys do too. We’ve been struck recently by the number of positive reviews you’ve been giving out, so we decided it was high time to showcase some of your favourites and an example of some of the love they’re getting. You can find all of these guys running a whole range of awesome sessions, from tea tasting and art classes, to pole dancing and pottery.

Tea Studio

tea brewing

Tea Studio run activities from tea tasting to Alice in Wonderland-themed afternoon teas, and everything in between. Basically, if you like tea, you need to pay them a visit.

“Amazing little place, lovely atmosphere and the owner is very passionate about tea. I really enjoyed the experience and I’ll be going there for more!” – Natalia

“Lovely guy and very knowledgeable. If you like your tea, don’t miss his events!” – Penelope

To and TO

Drink and Draw

ToandTO run the ever-popular Drink and Draw, which is fairly self-explanatory. During the course of a really relaxed and creative evening you’ll meet loads of new people as you show off your artistic ability (or lack thereof – there’s no pressure here.)

“What a brilliant concept! Dragged a friend thinking it would be less awkward to meet absolut strangers that way, but what a fantastic casual way to mingle and meet cool people, and best of all, forget about the stresses of daily life by getting creative and sketching! Will definitely recommend to friends and go back, with or without them! P.S. You get to keep the sketchbooks and I’m gonna be framing one of the portraits!” -Sahar

“Very fun experience even if you can’t draw at all! :)” -Kate

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The Wonderush Spotlight: Gabriela Szulman

Gabriela Szulman teaches brilliant decoupage workshops. We know they’re brilliant because the reviews for her sessions on Wonderush are overwhelmingly positive, and our members are a discerning bunch. So, given the fact that she’s so popular, we decided it was high time to catch up with Gabriela to find out more about her:

How did you get into decoupage?

My work is all about the reassembling and layering of images through a combination of media including collage, but I got into decoupage in a big way a couple of years ago when one of my sisters showed me how to upcycle an old pair of boots with just paper and glue. Soon I was hooked and started decoupaging trays, picture frames, chairs and even old suitcases which I use for display at craft fairs and other selling events. I recently finished decoupaging a wall with an old French dictionary, my biggest project so far.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I know what works and feel it’s important that people get the basics of decoupage right, so quite directive, at least initially. At the same time, I’m passionate about bringing out creativity in everyone that comes to one of my workshops which means I also encourage experimentation and play once participants get to grips with the technique.

Why would you recommend your activity?

Decoupage is a very affordable and easy way to upcycle and personalise anything from a pair of shoes to a wall: anybody can do this at home with just paper, brushes and glue. No special set-up or tools are required, which gives it a great advantage over other crafts: the two main things you need in order to succeed at decoupage are time and patience. There is a meditative quality to this kind of work, and the end result is often very satisfying.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

Aged 11, I was almost expelled from primary school for writing an essay criticising the teachers. Not many people know that…

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I’m a film addict so I go to the cinema as often as I can – a couple of times a week and even a couple of times a day during the London Film Festival.

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

I love South London where I have lived for a long time. Brixi, Circus, and Diverse are fabulous independent shops in Brixton. My favourite local food haunts include The Camberwell Arms, Shrub & Shutter and Peckham Bazaar, and I can’t resist bread from The Hill Bakery.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I’d love to visit Nek Chand’s Chandigarh Rock Garden in Northern India: Chand was a road inspector with no formal education who spent two decades creating a sculpture garden in secret, using rubble collected from the city’s building sites. A real pioneer who saw art and beauty where others saw junk, something which is very current now but not in in the 1950s when he started his amazing project!

We can’t wait to get down to another on of Gabriela’s sessions. Tickets can be found here. We’ll see you there!

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7 Activities to try on your next staycation

Holidays are great. There’s nothing like the feeling of flying away somewhere hot and sunny for a couple of weeks, and just forgetting about all of your stresses. There’ll be beaches, and cocktails, and blue skies. Or there’ll be exploring, and sports, and things to do. Basically, your cup runneth over either way. Of course, we don’t all get the chance to take a holiday, but does that mean we should be stuck in the office for the whole of the Summer, as our colleagues show us their holiday snaps and bang on about men named Miguel who they picked up at the hotel tiki bar? No. And that’s where the Staycation comes in.

For the uninitiated (which sadly is more and more of us these days because life is expensive) a staycation is defined as “a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions”. You may have already noticed, but at Wonderush, we’re all about local attractions.

So, without further ado, we’ve put together a list of some awesome things you can do in London if you’re staring down the barrel of a staycation this Summer. The weather’s going to be amazing, so staycationing doesn’t need to be a fallback choice. It can (and it will) be awesome:

Secrets of Southwark Tour

One option for livening up a staycation is to get out and see a new part of town. Taking a tour can be a great way of doing that, and especially with a guide as lovely as Katy from Look Up London. We’re willing to bet that you learn something.

Babble Language Exchange

Language Exchange

You know what they tend to do in places where you might go on a foreign holiday? They speak other languages. Even if you’re not learning some new words in situ you can still pick up a few choice phrases that are reminiscent of being away. You never know when they might come in handy, after all.

London by Night Bicycle Tour

London Bicycles on tour

Aren’t nights spent outside a great part of Summer? There’s nothing like the feeling of suddenly realising that it’s 10pm and you haven’t needed to put on a jacket. That’s still something you can capture in London, and how about doing it from the saddle as you check out new parts of the city?

Flamenco Live

Flamenco Live

You can add some spice to a British Summer day by hanging out on a boat (OK, fine, on a barge) and learning some Flamenco moves that you can then throw around with abandon. There’ll also be Spanish conversation and food, so it’s a bit of a holiday package, really. Without being a package holiday, of course.

Movie Hot Spots Tour

movie hot spots tour

You know what holidays often involve? Glamour. And what could be more glamorous than having a nose around London at all of the places where Holywood A-Listers have made great (or bad, we’re not here to judge) movies? You can practically feel the LA sun on your face.

Bogan Bingo

Bogan Bingo

Every good holiday resort has bingo, so this is a great way to convince yourself you’re somewhere far away from home. Add to that some 80s anthems and lots of bright lights and you’ll feel like you’re on an 18-30s trip before you know it.

Camden Street Art Tour

camden street art

Culture is a key part of many a holiday, and a staycation doesn’t have to be any different. After all, London has tons of it. Rather than going for the obvious museums and galleries, though, how about taking a walk through Camden to learn about all of the street art you might never have noticed otherwise

So. If you’re in the Staycation club this Summer, what will you be doing? If we haven’t whet your appetite just yet, don’t forget to check out Wonderush for more ideas of awesome things to try.

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Roundup: July

Another month is upon us, which is scary. What’s even more scary is the fact that we’re now in the second half of 2016. Man. Remember the beginning? We were so young, and naive, and so full of hope. And now we’ll be in December before we know it, and the whirlwind of life will carry on ad infinitum. But putting our minor existential crisis aside for a moment, July is a great month. It’s sunny, people are going on holiday, and we’re all so determined to ignore the political chaos we’re currently in that we’re working extra hard to have a good time. So, here are a few of the best events across London this month, to help you do just that:

Festival of love

love

What the world needs now is love, sweet love. Never has that been truer, and luckily the Southbank Centre are bringing back the Festival of Love starting this July. There’ll be shows, outdoor attractions, and family events galore, all on the subject of love. All together now: Awwwwwww.

Lambeth Country Show

countryside

This is the perfect event for anyone who fantasises about living in the countryside and then gets put off at the last minute by things like lack of public transport or fields. Taking place in Brockwell Park, there’ll be animals, performances, and even homegrown vegetable competitions.

Thames Lates

boat

You know how sometimes you’re on a boat on the Thames and you find yourself thinking ‘this is great, but it could stand to be a little bit later…”? Well, you’re in luck. Thames Rockets are offering the chance to get out on the river closer to sundown for the whole of July.

London Wonderground

cabaret

London Wonderground is a place to see all of the best Fringe acts in the city, from circus performers, to comedians, to cabaret. On top of that, you have the opportunity to sit in old bumper cars with your friends and drink Negronis in the sunshine, and opportunities like that can never be underestimated.

Camden Beach

beach

Bringing a whole new element of fun to spending the night hanging out in a car park, Camden Beach is a sandy oasis (if such a thing exists) in the middle of London. If you’re not going away this Summer it’s your chance to chill and feel some sand between your toes and,if you are, it’s your opportunity to practice.

Great British Pram Race

pram

Show off a full range of skills, from keeping calm under pressure, to racing ability, to pram decoration chops in this charity event. It’s open to everyone so whether you want to bring your kids or your work colleagues, you’ll be able to show off your very specific, buggy-based skillset.

Ride London

bike

Cycling is a great way to get around, but cycling in London can be scary AF sometimes. Luckily, Ride London are closing off an 8-mile loop of roads past some of the city’s biggest attractions so you can have a go without the pressure from angry lorry drivers.

So, what do you think? Will you be getting out and doing anything cool this month? If you’re after more to do than just these few events, don’t forget to check out everything we have to offer on Wonderush – we’re your passport to pastimes this Summer. And, indeed, any other time of year!

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