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events

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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 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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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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Wonderush Spotlight: Mindfoldness Origami

The world is a busy place these days, and we’re all getting increasingly frazzled. Sometimes it’s nice to take some peaceful time out, and mindfulness has become all the rage. But if yoga and colouring books aren’t your thing, how about a bit of Mindful Origami? Yes. That’s a real thing. We caught up with Sam Tsang from Mindfoldness to find out more:

How did you get into origami?

It was probably due to my primary school teacher who folded me a flapping bird. It wasn’t until after university that I got more serious. I placed a bouquet of origami flowers on gumtree.com on a whim, to see if I could sell it. It sold, and the number of sales slowly began to escalate until I got banned from the site for using it as a selling portal. Then I set up my own website. From  there I regularly sold origami bouquets for weddings and first anniversary presents. A customer asked me to teach them how to make a flower as a paper anniversary gift for his wife, and from there I started to teach. At first it was just individuals, and then it was  for groups, and corporate workshops, and hen-dos.
In April 2015 a journalist from The Guardian contacted me for a quote about origami being mindful for an article she was writing. In September a book publisher saw the article and asked me if i would be interested in writing a book about mindful origami! I naturally said yes and that book, The Book of Mindful Origami, was released on the 7th April. My second book – The Magic of Mindful Origami – will be out on 8th September.

How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style depends on the workshop I’m running. I teach several different kinds. There’s a team building one with a modular origami model, a hen-do origami flower bouquet workshop, a mindful origami workshop which focuses on the use of origami as a relaxation and meditation aid, and a general fun and educational origami workshop. In all of these I try to make it as relaxing, fun and as entertaining as I can but at the same time tell you some interesting facts and encourage you to learn a new craft.

Why would you recommend origami?

In recent years there has been an immense uptake of people practising Yoga, Pilates, Tai-chi and meditation. There has also been a massive resurgence of the arts and crafts fields – the immense popularity of Etsy and adult colouring books is testament to this.  I believe that the increase in popularity of both of these fields is due to a reaction to our digital lives. Many of us spend over 8 hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen creating virtual documents that are read once and never seen again. From the moment we are awake to the moment we sleep we are connected to the world, answering queries on multiple devices or glued to social media.

We all need to be able to quieten our minds and to find some inner peace to balance out the constant noise of our modern digital lives.  Many of us also need to have a creative outlet to express ourselves, and to make something tangible, something we can touch. Origami is a relaxing and peaceful hobby, a beautiful art, a craft, a science and a meditation all in one. When you are folding paper, there is stillness, calm and an inner peace. There is something beautiful in turning a plain, flat piece of paper into an amazing three dimensional object with just your own hands.It’s one of the simplest art forms in that it just requires a piece of paper and your hands – there’s no need for tools such as pens, brush, inks and paints.

I call origami ‘yoga for the mind’ as it allows you to stretch and exercise the creative and artistic areas of your brain that most of us don’t utilise on a day to day basis.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

My other passion is cooking and I have actually appeared on three TV cooking programs the first series of Masterchef Goes Large, Chef versus Britain with Gino D’campo and Britain’s Finest Dish. I did want to pursue a career as a celebrity chef but found that Origami was far more interesting.

I was also the main organiser and adjudicator for the Guinness world record for the largest origami elephant display.
We had 34,000 of them and it took six hours to count!

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

I actually have a daytime job working at a Bank! So origami is very much my hobby. I might consider switching careers one day, but at present I enjoy the stability of a day time job alongside my fun and entertaining origami hobby that has led to my own business, being involved in a world record, and publishing two books!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there? (Shops, businesses etc)

Tricky question as I have lived and worked in a lot of London. As a foodie Soho and Hoxton are close to my heart as it has such a diverse restaurant scene. In Soho, I like Patara for the best Thai food, and Joy King Lau and Hakkasan for the best Chinese. Atari-ya has the best sushi. In Hoxton, Taydo cafe does amazing Vietnamese food. Stickywings on Brick lane do the best buffalo wings, and I like Beigel Bake for 24-hour salt beef beigels!

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

I’d probably go to Japan so that I could visit the Tsukiji Tokyo fish Market and eat the freshest sushi on the planet, and also do origami!

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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 Roundup: June

It’s a new month! We’re lucky, because June is a great one. It starts to feel a little bit summery (as long as you don’t look out of the window for the next few days at least), there are suddenly Starbucks Frappaccino happy hours in our lives again, and you’re never more than a few days away from either your own holiday or someone else through whom you can live vicariously. Honestly. What a time to be alive. On top of all of that, there’s a whole new bunch of cool stuff happening across London, and we thought we’d give you a glimpse of some of it.

West End Live

Theatre tickets are expensive these days, so going to a show is an investment. And, just like you wouldn’t get a mortgage on a house without seeing it first, you might not want to book a show without knowing what it’ll be like. West End Live is your chance to get a taste of some of London’s best shows on the 18th and 19th of June, as well as hearing from stars on the theatre scene and generally geeking out with your fellow thesps. And it’s free! We’re already camping in Trafalgar Square to get a good space.

Pop Fields

This Summer is a big one as far as sport is concerned. It’s Euro 2016 and the Olympics, not to mention the perennial favourites like Wimbledon, the Tour de France, and lots of cricket-based fun. At Pop Fields you’ll be able to watch sporting events – starting in June, and then throughout the Summer – live with a crowd (which is always the best way to do it) and visit any number of the food trucks, restaurants, and drinks stands which will be there to keep you fed and watered. A sports fan’s dream.

World Naked Bike Ride

The World Naked Bike ride does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. All over the world, people get naked, and get pedalling to raise awareness of how vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians are in big cities. There’ll be be bicycles, body paint, and a bit of a party atmosphere; as long as you’re not put off by a little bit of flesh, the atmosphere is bound to be great.

Open Garden Squares Weekend

London is a very green city. The trouble is, there are green spaces all over the place that are kept locked, so nobody ever really gets to take advantage of them. Well, not on June 18th and 19th. Over 200 spaces are opening their gates to the public so that we can take a look around and live out all of our Secret Garden dreams. Don’t pretend you didn’t have those too…

ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide

The idea of installing a slide in the twisty red tower in the Olympic Park was announced a while ago, and either illicited a reaction of excitement or dread in everyone who heard about it. Well, the time is now and the day is here. Tickets for the Orbital Slide are now on sale, and it looks terrifying. But this is being written by a person who is no fun and doesn’t like slides. For normal people who won’t publicly cry on thrill rides, it’s going to be awesome.

Pride in London

Kicking off the party atmosphere in London this June is Pride. It’s always a brilliant couple of weeks, with events ranging from the parade and festival, to many and varied parties, networking events, and performances. There’s even an app so that you can keep track of where you have to be and when to make the most of everything happening. All the better for celebrating our awesome, super-diverse, incredibly creative city.

Soho Create

On the subject of creativity, Soho Create will be taking place in – you guessed it – Soho. There’ll be talks and events run by everyone from actors, to writers, to artists, as well as the people behind the scenes of some of the best creative projects in London. If you’ve been feeling stuck in a rut it might just be the perfect place to find that artistic kick-up-the-arse that you so desperately need.

This month is going to be so good. We’ll be out and about making the most of everything, including (we hope) the soon-to-be-beautiful weather. What are you most excited for this month?

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5 Ways that you can have fun with paper

Ah, paper. It’s super-plain, and it’s somehow made of trees (which is a fact you know, but you still don’t really understand exactly how it’s done). It’s possible that someone could find it a little bit boring, but that person would be wrong. There are all sorts of fun things you can do with paper, and we listed just a few of our favourites:

Bookbinding

There’s nothing quite like getting your hands on a brand new notebook. If you’re not a stationery fan, it might not be a high you’ve experienced before. But we’re absolutely sure that it’s one that gets even better when you’re holidng (oK, fine, sniffing) a book that you made yourself from scratch. We imagine this is how parents must feel about babies. Except there’s a lot less poo.

Paper Cut Workshop

Everyone can splash some paint around and call it a picture (Alright, fine. Some can do that more successfully than others). But for people looking to create something a little bit different, paper cutting might be the way to go. Working with negative space, pictures are created using blades. Plus you have a quick and easy way to look super-threatening if anybody interrupts you. (You did not hear this from us. Please do not threaten anyone.)

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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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7 Alcohol pairings you’ll wish you knew about sooner

Alcohol is great. It’s the thing that brings us together when we’re out with our friends, it’s the thing that gives us the false confidence to finally voice our opinions and/or weird crushes, and it’s the thing that comforts us at 2am when we’re having a cry alone in front of Netfl- Um, I mean, it pairs really well with food. But sometimes you want more than just a trip to a bar, and where are you to go when you’re looking for something different to go with your drink? Luckily, we know all the answers:

Wine and Jazz

alcohol 3

If you’re the music-loving type of alcohol fan this is absolutely up  your alley. You’ll be able to sample different varieties of wine, and then follow that up with three hours of amazing jazz performances.

Drinks and a quiz

Alcohol 6

If you’re a know-it-all – and especially a Londoner who likes to boats about knowing everything about the city – you should definitely head to our next social on May 26th. We’ll buy you a drink and then we’ll put you to the test.

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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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