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Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Popular

11 Things we learned this Summer

It’s been one hell of a Summer. Now that it’s nearly over, though, we’ve come over all nostalgic, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the highlights.

OK, fine.”highlights” might be the wrong word. Maybe “Learning opportunities” is slightly more appropriate. There have been an awful lot of educational moments in the past couple of months:

  1. Just when it looks like the weather can’t get any grimmer, the weatherman will invent a thing called a ‘Spanish Plume’ and we’ll all bask in glorious sunshine for, like, 36 hours.
  2. Just when it looks like the mood of the entire world can’t get any grimmer, an app gets released that instantly becomes a craze and makes everybody forget all of the terrible events of a bleak year in a blaze of anime glory.
  3. High Street Kensington has a crazy number of Pokestops. That one might just be benefitting us, but it’s good for you all to know.
  4. The political climate of your entire country can be turned upside down, but you might just manage to muddle through.
  5. You can create an insane mess, and then quit your job if you want to avoid any consequences (this only works if you are a politician).
  6. English footballers are not great. Some people still seemed to think they were.
  7. A surprising number of people can find a tenuous link to some Welsh ancestry if they try hard enough.
  8. The olympics are brilliant, and we are all world experts on everything from BMX to high-diving, none of which we’ve ever tried. But that doesn’t stop us from calling someone’s slightly-splashy dive ‘shit’ even though we’d die if we had to show them how it’s done.
  9. Sometimes the internet trolls are wrong and new, all-female versions of old films are actually incredibly funny and just all-around great.
  10. Just when we thought Kanye West and Taylor Swift had no more feud left in them, they restored our faith in their ability to create gossip column inches and make us click on articles we didn’t realise we cared about.
  11. Face swapping is never not funny. Was that even just a Summer thing? Whatever, it also happened in the Summer.

What were your Summer highlights? Or lowlights, for that matter? Let us know by tweeting us at @Wonderush, and if you’re suddenly feeling the need to make a few more memories before Autumn takes hold don’t forget to check out Wonderush for awesome things to do.

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

The Wonderush Review of Reviews: Part Two

We love our partners. We really do. And you guys do too, which is fantastic. We’ve been struck 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 that they’re getting. You can find all of these guys running a whole range of awesome sessions, from acroyoga and cocktail-making classes, to super-fun workouts and crafty classes.

Uplifting Stunts

Acroyoga

Uplifting Stunts are an awesome husband and wife team who are on a mission to run inclusive and super-supportive classes that show people how to work together to form amazing shapes with their bodies. Check out their reviews:

“This was my first acroyoga class and I absolutely loved it! Really amazing experience, thank you Jayme and Rick – you wonderful teachers and humans!” -Boryana

“Amazing class can’t believe how much I learnt in 2 hours with great teachers! Would definitely recommend!” -Sarah

GOAT Chelsea

Cocktail Making

The guys at GOAT Chelsea run brilliant cocktail making classes, which combine practical skills with a heavy and very enjoyable element of tasting. Good times all round! Check out their reviews:

“Absolutely amazing night. Such a casual vibe with everyone just mucking in and enjoying themselves. You get to try all of the cocktails and the welcome cocktail was the bomb! We ate there afterwards too and the food was so good! Definitely recommend” -Pippa

“Such a fun evening!! Great location and teacher! Definitely recommend :)” -Christie

The London Bicycle Tour Company

Bicycle tour

The London Bicycle Tour Company run a range of bike rides around London, which are great for visitors and old-hands alike. You’ll get to see the city from a totally different perspective, and maybe even learn a little something. Check out their reviews:

“Great opportunity to try cycling in London! I was a little nervous at first – but it was super fun and felt safe cycling in a group! Our guide Tarik had loads of really interesting stories and it was a great way to experience the city. Highly recommend.” -Mel

“The tour guide Olly was witty, knowledgeable and passionate about his work. A very enjoyable morning ride around central London to rediscover the city I’ve been living in the past decade. :)” -David

Shake That Zumba

Zumba

Zumba is an amazing workout (hello, 500-1000 calories in an hour!) and Shake That Zumba are determined to make sure that it stays fun throughout. They guarantee to keep you smiling while you sweat. Check out their reviews:

“It was so much fun with the Steven, he’s absolutely crazy. Great exercise as well, can’t remember last time when I was sweating so much. Thanks!;)” -Angelika

“Fantastic! Absolute fantastic!. Steven is a fantastic instructor. This class is great fun for everyone. All shape, all age. It is a party and a really hard work. Left me buzzing with energy, happy and really really sore on muscles I didn’t know I even had.” -Agnes

Gabriela Szulman

Decoupage Taster

Once you’ve learned the art of decoupage, the world is basically your oyster whenever you decide you want to decorate something. From shoes to walls, Gabriela Szulman knows how to do it all. Check out her reviews:

“Really fun class and a good introduction to decoupage. Gabriela was a great instructor and had an excellent range of papers and inspiring projects to show what can be done with decoupage.” -Kirsten

“A great taster for trying decoupage. Artist Gabriela and her studio were both very nice. Highly recommended, especially for paper lovers.” -Pf

Have any of these whet your appetite? You can find all of these activities and thousands more on Wonderush. Why not pay a visit to one of our featured partners and add to their reviews. Don’t forget to let us know what you get up to!

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

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.

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!

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

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!

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

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

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!

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

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!

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

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!

Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Popular, Try Something New

Anatomy of a #HappyYouYear: Winter

We went off on one at the beginning of the month about how we kind of resent New Years resolutions and are choosing instead to make 2016 a Happy You Year. Of course, it’s very easy to spout inspirational pep talks like that, but it’s hard to imagine what a Happy You Year might really look like. Well, not any more, folks. Community Manager Nicola is here. In the last few weeks she’s given us examples of what a Happy You Spring, a Happy You Summer, and a Happy You Autumn might involve, and today she is imagining how a Happy You Winter might look:

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