Thursday, 10 August 2017

REVIEW // Brush & Bubbles, London

Creativity is something that comes so naturally to some, ideas and inspiration bounce off the walls of the brain, an artistic streak quite literally, runs through the body. It can relax and destress a person, excite and fulfill them - creativity, for many, is what keeps them going, keeps them hustling.

Now, I like to think of myself as creative, I mean hey, I’m like totally creating content over here, however when it comes to an artistic streak, when it comes to holding an actual paintbrush in my actual human hand, I have about as much talent as a wounded deer.

And that’s actually an insult to the poor deer.


Holding a paintbrush is quite the unnatural activity for me however holding a glass brimming with prosecco is pretty much what my hands were made for so when my BFF told me about a ‘Brush and Bubbles’ class in London, I simply had to give it go.

I envisaged myself sat there, blank canvas in front of me with brush in my left hand, fizz in my right and with one sip, I would paint something so wondrous, so magical, that people around me would marvel, oh how they’d marvel at my talents.

And then I woke up and remembered that I can’t bloody paint so what the flipping flip was I thinking signing up to an art class?

Brush and Bubbles is described as an art class which ‘brings people together and encourages creativity’. It is about meeting up with friends, having a good old chat whilst painting and, well, drinking and honestly, it was just a really lovely day.

The class begins with the two lovely ladies, Lara and Tiffany, meeting everyone with huge, friendly smiles and a glass of prosecco. Run by a resident artist and over a period of 2 and a half hours, you are given step by step instructions on how to create your very own gorgeous canvas painting and it’s so much fun!

When you are first shown what the finished piece will look like, you hear the nervous giggles and the exhaling of air which can basically be translated as ‘how the bloody hell am I, a person with no artistic talent, meant to create THAT’. Fear not though, and seriously don’t be put off, because the steps are simple, the teaching is super relaxed and it actually doesn’t matter whether you’re set to be the next Van Gogh or if the only use you can conjure up of a brush is to sweep the floor - the ladies really do mean it when they say ‘no experience necessary’.

Source - Rosie Willan
No pictures please, no meet and greets...

Source - Brush and Bubbles

The hustle and bustle of London can be intense sometimes - great but intense - and this was just the perfect way to relax and wind down after a long week. Whether it be your own #treatyourself present, a birthday gift or simply a new and different thing to try out with friends, I couldn’t recommend spending a few hours at a Brush and Bubbles class more. With a glass of fizz in hand and a paintbrush in the other, with the freedom to chat to those around you or take some time for yourself to just chill and create, it really is a fun, relaxing and unique experience - and hey, it’s a whole lot cheaper than therapy!
Where are the classes held?
I attended the class at View94 in Putney however they also hold classes in Covent Garden & Chelsea.

When are the classes held?
They are currently held on a Saturday, with one session 11am-1:30pm and the other 2:30pm-5pm.

How much is it?
The price of the class is £29.99 which includes a glass of prosecco, unlimited paint (!) and your very own canvas art to take home with you.

To book tickets or get more information, click here.

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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Eating in London #7 | MNKY House, Mayfair

Moving to London was exciting for so many reasons - the fast paced lifestyle (we don’t talk about the tube at rush hour), being immersed in such a diverse and lively city (let’s move past the 3am Mcdonald’s trips) and, the people because as bad a reputation as London gets, the UK’s capital is for the most part a rather friendly bunch. Of course, if you’ve followed this blog for awhile you’re probably yawning at this point, maybe you’re about to be a sassy so and so being all like ‘er yeah Charlotte, get to the actual point you’re excited’ because we both know that perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of city life in London for me

And a whole lot of it.

From sushi, ramen and noodles to tapas and tortillas, restaurants dedicated to chicken to cafes serving solely avocado, there really is something for absolutely every tastebud in London. With this in mind however, and with my bank balance going into a pre-meditated ‘crouching with head in hands position’, there has had to be a strict (ish, okay not at all) limit to eating out habits, so my BFF and I have made it a once a week treat.

Ugh, okay we try and do once a week but if we’re walking along the street and we mistakenly slip into an establishment that just happens to sell and serve food right to us, then we really can’t be at fault.

We just can’t.

Apparently, travelling the world together for a year and living together in London just wasn’t enough for the universe, as we both actually managed to secure jobs on...the exact same day so to celebrate (another rule in the ‘eating out limit’, celebrations don’t count), we headed to Soho with some of Rosie’s family.

Soho is notorious for being pretty difficult to a) find the place you need and b) to find a seat in those places without booking or waiting a while so we decided to roll the dice and pick somewhere on Open Table - a website which shows you restaurants nearby which have free tables - and luckily, we managed to get a table at the infamous MNKY House.

Situated in Mayfair, MNKY House is a luxury Latin American bar and restaurant with a musical twist - a live DJ playing until the early hours of the morning. As one of the area’s most vibrant eateries, MNKY House provides guests with a real taste of Latin American food, using high quality and local ingredients to produce authentic yet modern dishes in a fine dining setting.

So, have they got it right?

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a handful of lovely and attentive staff members who led us through the cosy bar area downstairs into the main restaurant where we were joined by, yep you guessed it, a monkey or three.

The menu is extensive without being too much, it is quirky without being pretentious and everything sounded so delicious that it was a true team effort to decide on our dishes of choice. After a hard task of decision making (I know, but someone’s got to do it), we chose a selection of dishes to share...and they were all utterly stunning.

Each dish, from the glazed soy chicken marinated in tasty spices to the prawn ceviche tortillas, was utterly delicious and made every taste bud in your mouth stand up and take note. The beef sirloin was brimming with juices, cooked to absolute perfection whilst the yellowtail was delicate and fruity in a stunning orange, passionfruit, ginger and jacama sauce.

Our waiter was nothing short of amazing - not only was his knowledge of the menu absolutely superb but when a certain someone decided it would be a good idea to put an entire chili in her mouth...and the rest of the table followed suit, he practically ran to the kitchen and brought us a glass of milk. If that isn’t service for some particularly strange guests, I don’t know what is…!

Unfortunately, we were a little too early to really get the feel for the place once the DJ had started as we moved upstairs to the bar (shocker, I know) however the atmosphere was great throughout and the ambience was really relaxed, chilled and comfortable. Despite the area, it wasn’t particularly posey or pretentious, but a restaurant with high energy and vibrancy, with a definite ‘New York’ feeling to it.

From the divine dishes to the quirky decor to the attentive staff, MNKY House was a fantastic place to spend a Friday evening. Whilst it’s a special occasion kinda place, it’s definitely somewhere that provides you with an authentic dining experience and is certainly not just a ‘bums on seat, food on plate and leave’ restaurant. If you’re thinking about heading to MNKY House soon, I really couldn’t recommend it more - plus, the Pornstar Martinis go down a real treat too!

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