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9 Activities to help you hang on to that holiday feeling

It’s Summer. As a result, we’re going to go ahead and guess that you might have been on holiday recently, or be about to go (or have had a staycation, which we’ve covered previously). There’s nothing better than the feeling of being on holiday, but on the flip side there’s nothing worse than the feeling of having just come back. The whole of London suddenly just seems greyer, grimier, and grumpier. Sigh. Luckily, we’ve got a few activities up our sleeve to help you hang on to that holiday feeling for at least a little while longer.

Guided Meditation

Guided meditation

You know that chilled-out feeling you have when you’re sitting by the sea and nobody’s able to contact you so you can’t get annoyed? That’s, like, the first thing to go when you get home. Some guided meditation might help you to bring back your zen.

Pub Tour

historic london pub tour

You know how there’s often a lot of drinking while you’re on holiday? This tour combines sightseeing (also a staple on many peoples’ holidays) and the chance to grab a cheeky drink, so it’s a great way to keep your spirits up when you’re back.

Pop Up Screens

Pop up screens

It feels like in every other country they seem to place a great deal of emphasis on doing things outdoors (This is the part of the blog where we assume you didn’t go away to the Antarctic this Summer). Keep that attitude going with an al fresco film or seven.

Clubbercise

Clubbercise

If you’re a party animal while you’re away, there’s no reason to stop when you get back to London. Not only can you go out and party of an evening, but now there’s even an exercise class so that you can keep raving, even at times that might make stuffy old society might otherwise raise an eyebrow.

Salsa

Salsa with a Cuban Twist

Add a little bit of a sizzle to British Summertime with a Salsa class. It’s a great way to meet new people (something we never seem to have any problem doing while we’re away but often avoid when we’re home) and it’sa great way to top up the new moves you learned.

Hot Yoga

Photographer Credit : Ed Reeve

You know how it was really hot when you were on holiday (again, assuming you were not adventuring across Antarctica)? Well, it’s really hot when you do hot yoga. If you’re body starts craving warmth, this might be the best place to find some that does not involve sitting in an airing cupboard.

Mojito Masterclass

Mojito

Cocktails! Enough said. If you’re anything like us, you will have made full use of the bar facilities at your destination because it would be thoroughly rude not to. And now, you’ll be able to learn to whip up a cocktail like the pros did, so that you can taste the memories any time you like.

Mediterranean Cooking

mediterranean cooking

Ooh, people in other countries can cook, can’t they? If you’re not ready to go back to spending a fortune on takeaway or chowing down on whatever ready meal Tesco has on special offer (please don’t judge us. We’re not so great at the cooking.), why not learn some new holiday-esque dishes?

Photo Walk

heritage photowalk

We’re willing to bet that you took a lot of photos while you were on holiday. It’s only natural. After all, it’s something to capture and remember in the future. But now that you’re home you don’t need to stop. A photowalk could show you that there’s more to London than you expect to see.

So what do you think? How do you plan on keeping that holiday feeling going just that little bit longer. If you’re looking for any more inspiration, don’t forget to check out the Wonderush workshop for some great ideas.

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The Wonderush Spotlight: South London Wine School

South London Wine school lead tasting sessions all about our absolute favourite subject. The thing is, though. They don’t always go for the obvious, and we love that. Recent sessions have featured produce from Britain, Eastern Europe, and Asia, which – as regular fans of cheap, Happy Hour rose – we didn’t realise even had a wine-producing scene. What we’re basically saying is we’ve already learned a lot from Julia, the School’s leader – so we decided to learn a bit about her for a change:

How did you get into what you do?

I previously worked in a wine a shop. A job I largely fell into by chance. But I quickly realized just how much I enjoyed wine and how interesting it is! I took the opportunity to study, and now have a WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirit knowledge, which is what led me to create tasting events.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Casual, yet informative. There is a lot you can learn about wine, so I try to make sure everyone has some information they can take away, without too much jargon! Plus, wine is a social thing and a fun thing, I want people to get involved and enjoy themselves.

Why would you recommend your activity?

Well first off, there will be wine! All the tastings are slightly different so the wines themselves vary, but they are all good. And there is always something you can learn. Wine is a fun thing, but it can also be quite confusing. The more you taste and understand, the easier it becomes to pick wine in restaurants or supermarkets. And you might even enjoy it more!

If you were going to pour us a glass of wine, what would it be?

As it’s summer, and warm(ish) I would go for a cool white wine, probably a Torrontes. Something fresh, yet full of flavour. Plus, this is a wine that continues to impress people at tastings!

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I actually drink more beer when I’m not running tastings.

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

I love to travel and explore new places. And if I don’t have time to get away anywhere, just being outside is great.

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

I really like the area around London Bridge and Borough Market. So many great places to eat and drink. Jose’s Tapas Bar is one of my favourites.

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

I would love to go into Space!

If that’s whet your appetite, we wouldn’t blame you one bit. Check out the South London Wine School’s Wonderush profile here to get involved with their upcoming sessions. Cheers!

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The Wonderush Spotlight: Speed Dater

Dating in London is tough. Luckily, there are companies like Speed Dater events to help us all to navigate the choppy waters of the dating scene. After all, who wants to spend their evenings looking at a screen when you could be sitting in front of some real people and actually getting to know someone? Since we’re always looking for new ways to get social we thought we’d find out more from Dani, the Speed Dater Date Whisperer:

Speed Dater sounds like a great company. How did you get into what you do?

More than a decade ago (gosh I’m old!), I helped out a big Valentines singles party in London. I fell in love with the concept immediately and found the dating industry fascinating. I had only recently moved to London and knew no one, so being surrounded by hundreds of new people chatting/flirting was very appealing! Soon after, I joined the SpeedDater head office and have now personally introduced more than 42,000 singles at a variety of events – from wine tasting to vegan speed dating. Every event is different and I am never bored!

How would you describe and recommend your activity?

Speed dating is a fun and fast way to meet new people. You meet around 15 people in a series of 4 minute dates and the following day you can see who you match with. Nothing beats face to face chemistry – if you have ‘swipe fatigue’ and just want to meet real people, you should most definitely give it a go!

If you were on a speed date, what interesting anecdote would you tell about yourself?

I would talk about my travels tales – I am forever in a state of either ‘just back from a holiday’ or ‘about to go on one’. Dating someone who also shares the desire to travel and experience new cultures is a deal breaker for me, so I’d make sure I weave some travel chat into each 4 min speed date.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I am the only Australian in the world who isn’t interested in watching sport, playing sport or talking about sport.

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

Dining out / bikram yoga. One cancels out the other! I have a very long list of restaurants to try that I probably couldn’t get through even if I dined out for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. I’m giving it a good try though.

What’s your favourite part of London to go on a date? Any places you’d recommend there?

I am a big fan of first dates which are cheap and quick (1 hour maximum). I often met my dates in Soho as it’s a central meeting point and has loads of options for drinks/coffee. A personal favourite of mine is to stop in at the Hanover Square Dirty Martini for a happy hour mango and chilli martini.

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

I’m really keen to do the Inca Trail.. or snowboard in Japan. Both are right up there on my bucket list.

If a Speed Dater event is right up your street you can find the next one here – we hope to see you soon!

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8 Childhood rules we can totally help you break

Once upon a time, we were all children. For most of us – unless you were Harriet The Spy, one of the kids from Goosebumps, or a character from the Beano – there were at least a few childhood rules to stick to. These obviously varied by family, but there were at least a few old favourites that cropped up time and time again. The great thing is that now we are adults and we can do what we like. With that in mind, and because we are super mature grown-ups, we came up with a few ways that you can stick it to the adults in your life who were always telling you what not to do:

Childhood rule #1: No fighting

Boxfit

Actually, childhood authority figure, I can fight as much as I like. It’s called Boxfit, and I do it to stay active. Remember when you used to tell me off for sitting around all day and not going outside? You can’t have it both ways.

Childhood rule #2: No staying up late

1 big night out

I see your point, rulemaker, but I bet you’d prefer to see me on a pub crawl at 10pm rather than 10am. Am I right? I mean, of course you’d rather not see me on one at all, but you don’t own me!

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The Wonderush Spotlight: Disco Yoga

We’ll come clean right now- it can sometimes be difficult to get Team Wonderush to exercise. Put us in an aerobic workout context and the shocking extent of our unfitness becomes depressingly clear. Get us into something low-impact like yoga, and we turn into giggling children. But then we met Disco Yoga. It is so much fun. We had to catch up with Sarah Hunt and find out more about how this awesome class came into being:

How did you get into what you do?

I went to my first yoga class by mistake. I had just moved to a new area in Vancouver and there was a gym across the road. I had never been drawn to gyms but I decided to sign up for a pass. I used to walk around the weight room, not knowing what to do. One day, I decided to leave shortly after I had arrived and the receptionist caught me. He laughed and suggested a yoga class that was just about to start. I was reluctant but went anyway. I fell in love with yoga instantly!  Within a short time, I signed up for a yoga teacher training course.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Energising sequences to stretch and strengthen our bodies mixed with calming and restorative poses to relax and nourish our minds. My teaching style is light hearted, upbeat and playful, but also relaxing and balancing.

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Reasons to attend the Wonderush Social

London can be a very antisocial place. Whether we’re elbowing people out of the way to get to the tube, looking down at our phones as we walk down the street, or just totally ignoring the strangers who come up to us in restaurants and start talking, we’re not always that friendly. And to be fair, that last one is a bit weird. We don’t encourage approaches from strangers when we’re mid-meal. Anyone coming between us and our Byron Burger is about to lose a hand. But the point is, it’s cold on the streets of London – even in the Summer – and we want to change that.

That’s why we’re holding the Wonderush Social. We’re bringing the drinks and the entertainment, and all you have to bring is yourself. Maybe even some friends. But basically, not a lot. If you need even more inspiration to join us, we have that too:

Free Drinks

wonderush social 1

The drinks are on Wonderush. At least to start off with. How often do you get an offer like that with nobody trying to corner you later in the day and sell you a timeshare? We wish we had a timeshare. We’d take you all on holiday. In a totally not-weird kind of way. But anyway, we’re getting distracted. What we do have is a whole bunch of wine and beer and a dream of sharing it with people.

A chance to meet likeminded people

wonderush social 2

You joined Wonderush (or at least found yourself on the Wonderush website) because you’re the kind of person who likes getting out and about and making the most of your free time. We are so all about that. And so is everybody you’ll find at the Wonderush Social! We happen to know that some genuine friendships have been forged through Wonderush membership, so if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t accept just sitting at home of an evening and feeling bored, you’re about to find your tribe.

An opportunity to show off

wonderush social 3

Everyone knows someone who tends to take pub quizzes too seriously. Now is your time to be that person! Unless you already are, in which case you just keep being you. Compared with certain members of Team Wonderush, we promise you won’t be the worst person in the room when it comes to competitiveness. But either way, this is your chance to win some awesome prizes.,

If you haven’t yet booked your tickets to the Wonderush Social, you can do so here. It’s a free event, so there’s no excuse not to, but we do need to make sure you’re on the guestlist so we know to let you in. We’ll see you on Thursday!

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The Wonderush Summer Social

The weather got a bit good a few weeks ago. We sat in our office getting very excited about that fact, and decided that the fast-approaching Summer was something we should be celebrating. Shortly after this we sat in our office watching a blizzard over Kensington, but by then it was too late. The seed was sown.

In those early weeks of excitement we came up with the idea of the Wonderush Summer Social. It would be a chance for Team Wonderush to meet their members and partners, and for those members and partners to meet each other (obviously it would, as that is the very definition of the concept of a ‘social’).

We picked a fantastic venue called Loading Bar in Dalston. Nary a Friday afternoon passes at Wonderush HQ without some kind of game being played, and Loading had them all. Like, literally all of them – board games, video games, you name it. It felt like home.

Social 2

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Cocktail making classes with Goat

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all good things involve alcohol. That’s certainly the case for our good friends at Goat, who run cocktail making classes in Chelsea. We try to get along to as many of our activities as we can, and a casual bit of cocktail making seemed like the perfect idea to spice up a team whose drink preferences only normally include an after-work Becks on a Friday evening.

Based in a private bar away from the rest of the clientele, the cocktail making class began with – you guessed it – a cocktail. After all, it seemed only natural. Plus it was delicious. We went before Easter, which meant that during our class we learned to make more traditional cocktails (Negronis, Daquiris, and so on), as well as more seasonal ones (Creme Egg cocktail, anyone?).

The evening was interactive, but not in a ‘you are forced to respond very publicly to everything anyone says and you have to stand up in front of a crowd and look like a fool’ kind of way. Those who wanted to could put their hands up and make cocktails behind the bar with guidance from the awesome Goat staff, while those who were more into watching from the sidelines and having tasters of everything could do that too. Judging by the number of couples, it seems like it’s a popular thing to do on a date as well. Of course, we’re all too focussed on finding cool things to do all over London for anyone to ever love us, but that’s our own issue, and we’re working on it. And in the meantime we’re recommending date night spots to internet strangers.

As for cocktail making itself? It turns out that it’s not to be underestimated. All of the adding of ingredients is easy enough, but sealing and then opening a cocktail shaker is no joke. By the end of the night we all had the sore palms to prove it (steady now). We got a pretty good workout from all of the shaking, too. But it’s definitely worth it when you can impress your friends with your brilliant cocktail making skills later on. Bragging rights are everything.

If you’d like to have a go at cocktail making for yourself you can book your place on the next class here. If a monthly subscription for unlimited super-cool activities across London is more your speed, don’t forget to check out Wonderush Unlimited as well.

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Five of the Best Supper Clubs in London

Eat delicious food, make new friends and bring your own booze. It’s no surprise that supper clubs have been gaining popularity with adventurous diners over the last few years.

Over here at Grub Club HQ, we’ve been to a lot of them! So whether you’re a newbie supper clubber wanting to test out the water or a seasoned supper club aficionado looking for more to tick off your checklist, here’s our picks of the very best supper clubs in London:

The London Foodie

One of the very best (and hardest to get into!) supper clubs in London, The London Foodie’s events take place in Luiz Hara’s lovely home in Islington.

After leaving a job in investment banking, Luiz travelled to Japan to learn more about the cuisine before starting the Grand Diplome at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Now he puts his skills into practice serving up amazing Japanese feasts to hungry supper clubbers.

Seats always sell out far in advance so be sure to email Luiz as soon as you can when you know when you’d like to attend.

That Hungry Chef

thathungrychef

Thought being seated at the chef’s table was the pinnacle of dining experiences? Go one step further by eating around the dinner table of a Michelin trained chef’s own home!

That Hungry Chef, Pratap Chahal, has worked in the kitchen of Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, Chez Bruce, Cinnamon Club and Galvin Bistrot. Now he invites lucky diners in his Islington home for indulgent fusion dinners inspired by his Indian heritage and travels around the world.

His menus frequently change around the seasons. Join him in December to feast like an Indian king, in summer for a secret garden BBQ or in autumn for a tantalising menu themed around perfume.

A Little Lusciousness

ALittleLusciousness (1)

Rosie (a.k.a. A Little Lusciousness) is our hostess with the mostess. With a string of 5* reviews to her name, she’s been wowing diners across London with her fun, food filled evenings which celebrate the best of British seasonal produce.

Whether you’re dancing around the juke box in her home or feasting on an Indian inspired feast on the rooftop of the old BBC Centre car park, you’re guaranteed to be greeted with a warm welcome and friendly company wherever she pops up next.

And as a West Londoner herself, she keeps her pop-ups local so East Londoners don’t get to have all the fun after all!

Uyen Luu

Share a table with some perfect strangers, make new friends and enjoy a traditional Vietnamese feast at Uyen Luu’s lovely home in Hackney. Jamie Oliver and Ellie Goulding have already given the supper club their stamp of approval!

The menus are always a surprise on the evening but Saigon fresh rolls with pork belly, prawns, perilla, cockscombe, mint & coriander, prawn lollies in sugar cane and beef in betel leaves are just a few of the dishes you could be presented with.

Having arrived in Hackney from Saigon as refugees from the Communist regime, cooking plays an important part in connecting her to her family and the country she’s from so you can guarantee every meal is cooked with a lot of love.

The Water House Project

waterhouseproject

By day, Gabriel Waterhouse chefs in Michelin starred Galvin La Chapelle. By night he invites diners into his modest home in Bethnal Green for a more informal dining experience.

The Water House Project focuses on the “less is more” approach – British food, cooked well with good quality ingredients. The menu includes five courses and an aperitif with a generous cheeseboard to finish leaving you rolling out the door happy and full.

Previous dishes have included roast quail with cranberries and pine nuts, and baked apple soufflé with cinnamon & mincemeat ice cream. Seats sell out far in advance so you’ll need to beat the regulars to get a taste!

 

Grub Club is a platform for supper clubs and pop-ups in London. Chefs are connected to underused spaces to unlock hundreds of nights of unique dining experiences for adventurous foodies.

Polar bear with a hangover
Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

8 Hangover-free activities you could try this weekend

You know what? Sometimes it’s really nice to wake up on a Sunday morning and have a clear head. You might use that extra clear-headedness for something useful like chores or Instagramming a fancy brunch somewhere because the bacon is aesthetically-pleasing rather than medically necessary, or you might just use it to check through Facebook before you make the conscious decision to have an extra few hours in bed. We’re not here to judge. What we are here to do is to let you know that there are weekend activities out there that don’t require one to get turnt up in order to enjoy oneself.

Activity Number 1: A good old-fashioned jam session

Nohangover singalong

Now. This takes place in a pub, so it’s not necessarily an alcohol-free activity, but we trust you. It’s a casual event where you turn up – with or without guitar – and so do other people. And then you all just sit around and play music and sing together. It’s really that simple, and it’s very obviously going to be the start of some beautiful, musical friendships that go on to change history. Or you’ll just have a great singsong. One of the two.

Activity Number 2: Pottery

Hangover free pottery

People make pottery look easy. We’re here to tell you that it isn’t. But it’s not easy in a funny way. The results can often be hilarious, and (as recently evidenced by The Great Pottery Throwdown) there’s also a healthy amount of innuendo involved. All of these things combine to make a properly fun activity, whether you’re with your friends or by yourself.

Activity Number 3: Insanity

Hangover free insanity

The endorphin high is a thing. It’s the nice feeling you get after you’ve done some exercise. And it’s something you really feel like you’ve earned because of the amount of sweating and sobbing and aching muscles for days afterwards. Insanity of a weekend morning is definitely a healthy alternative to lying in bed eating pizza.

Activity Number 4: Theatre Scratch Night

Hangover free audience

If you feel the need to know that you’re still getting out of the house in the evening an event like The Pleasance’s Scratch night might be just the thing for you. An array of new theatre and comedy talents will take to the stage to try out their new material and you might even be asked to give an opinion or two, which is always lovely. It’s exciting, it’s risky, and there’s a very good chance that nobody will spill their drinks on you.

Activity Number 5:  Cabaret 

No hangover cabaret

It’s not just The Pleasance, of course. There are all kind of events all over London. One of those is Cabaret Cultural, which is literally described as ‘a party with friends’. It’s a bilingual event celebrating art, literature, music, and gastronomy of Spain and Latin America. And let’s all be very honest with ourselves: That, right there, is a super-fun alcohol-free list.

Activity Number 6: Undercover London

Hangover free adventure

Make the best possible use of your non-fuzzy head, and protect London from spies and bad guys. Fire Hazard Games have put together a brand new immersive adventure where you’re in charge of solving clues and passing on messages to keep the city’s citizens safe. And that’s really hard to do when your brain is full of half a bottle of tequila and a full vineyard.

Activity Number 7: Language Exchange

Hangover free conversation

Nobody said a hangover-free weekend means you have to avoid socialising. With Babble’s language exchange you can meet new people, exchange language skills (Clue: Even if all you speak is English, that’s still a language skill that could be exchanged) and have a nice time. There’s a friendly and open atmosphere and you’ll have more success talking to people than you ever would in a nightclub with the music thumping.

Activity Number 8: Zumba

Zumba

Just because we’re avoiding hangovers doesn’t mean we can’t dance like nobody’s watching. The tunes are brilliant, everybody’s having a great time, and there’s an additional calorie burn that’s just a nice little bonus. There’s no embarrassment about going all out, because everybody in the room is. Plus there’s probably no cameras in use, so no humiliating pictures will start turning up on Facebook the next day. Everyone’s a winner.

We might just have summed up your perfect weekend. Or, these might not be to your taste at all. Fortunately there are tons of things to do all over London that don’t involve a thumping head the next morning, so there’s definitely something out there that’s totally perfect, and it can probably be found on Wonderush.