Secret Cinema: Tell No One

Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema is back to London this February and I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the preview that was on held on the 16th.

As in tradition with their events both the location and the movie title were being kept secret until the very last second, the only information I was able to gather was that another event was being held at the same time in Moscow. Hmmm

As soon as we arrived nearby the proximity of the venue we already started to feel a little immersed in the role as we approached a guy for directions. He was wearing a military uniform and was acting as if he was keeping the area under surveillance, so when we asked for directions he replied with a concerned look on his face that the “Military base” was on the first to the right (somewhere around the Canada Water tube station) in, what it looked like to be, a MASSIVE warehouse. Scary already.

Indications on how to dress were being given prior the event. The dress code was: US Government Officer, Military and Press Officer.

However meticulously detailed people were dressed up for the occasion, I ended up wearing my most un-military denim jeans and my modern stiletto shoes which made me feel a bit of an outcast the whole time. For each dress code, a role and tasks were associated so you could feel submerged in the whole experience fully.

What was inside the hangar? I won’t be giving too much information in here as I might end up spoiling someone’s experience and surprise, however, I can definitely say that they did their best to recreate fully all the scenes of the movie and also added a bit of their own into the mix.

What was the movie? Set in the 1960s, a classic cult, a political comedy that satirizes the fears of the Cold War.

 

The organisers of the event have been giving clues on their social media accounts as this one:

 

 

A Bob Dylan protest song “The Times They Are A Changing” and this is the lyric of the song:

 

“The Times They Are A-Changin'”

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

Bob Dylan

 

Or this one perhaps:

 

 

secret cinema

 

Have you guessed already?

 

 

Tickets are still available for purchase here

 

Winter Wonderland returns to London

Winter wonderland

Winter is finally (and slowly} approaching to London and is almost getting to that time of the year when the City starts to look a lot like Christmas. Yes, I am a big fun of this season, also because this is one of the best times of year in London. I love when all the winter markets start to pop up:  warm mulled wine and bratwursts, chalets, ice skating and santas grottos. Guide to Winter Wonderland:

 

 

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Where?

Winter wonderland, like every year, is held in Hyde Park.  The closest tube station is Hyde Park corner, Marble Arch, Victoria and Paddington.

When?

From the 20th of November 2015 until the 3rd of January. Winter Wonderland is open every day from 10 am till 10 pm (Except Christmas Day).

 

How much does it cost?

There’s no entry fee, you’ll have to pay for the attractions  you choose. Click here to book your tickets in advance.

 

 

London off the beaten track: Dojo App

When I moved to London 4 years ago, everything was pretty new for me and unexplored: museums, restaurants, attractions, bars etc. Well, I have walked a long way since then, however, more often than not, I’m still impressed by the fact that there is still something that I haven’t seen or heard of, therefore something new to uncover. This is one of the many beauties of London.

But, sometimes I do need that extra kick , that input from outside (whatever be a magazine, app or a website) which takes away some of the heavy-lifting to get inspired for a day/night out.

I recently came across to this app and thought I’d stop by and say few words about it. If you haven’t heard of Dojo, you definitely need to hear more about it. Dojo is an app that will help you to find exclusive, hidden gems in London that are usually off the beaten path. This includes: restaurants, bars, popups, exhibitions and much more.

 

 

Dojo

 

What differentiates it from the traditional players? Highly curated visually with a better interface, Dojo adapts to your personal preferences and uses a mobile first approach. It aggregates editorialised content from top publications to bring events and venues of the highest quality into a single platform.

 

 

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Once you’ve started using it you will also receive an email with the weekly picks based on your preferences.

Highly recommended!

 

Day trip to the village of Calcata, near Rome

Recently, my friend Laura and I, decided to head to Calcata for a short end-of-the-summer day trip.

The village of Calcata, is situated near Rome, in the outskirts of the Valle del Treja Natural Park (which is an easy 40 km drive from Rome – storms and hailing we`ve experienced apart).

The village is a large castle that is perched on top of  a volcanic plug. The fortifications, especially the gate passage, are extremely well-preserved and the entire village is worth exploring. Described by the New York Times as the “grooviest village in Italy”.

The population consists largely of a community of artists, bohemians, hippies and New Age types, with their associated galleries and cafes.

 

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It is a great day out (especially if you combine it with a local sagra), and often hosts various events such as piano recitals, poetry and art classes.

We absolutely loved its quirkiness!

My little guide to Mykonos: beaches, bars and restaurants

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Little Venice

 

My first gem belonging to my “travel collection abroad”, is Mykonos: here you go!

I have been to Greece a few times already, and every time I was experiencing a different moment of my life: after finishing high school, college and now in my early thirties. All I must say, those were totally different moments and therefore there were different ways to approach the vacation.

Personally, I am a chilled woman, who sometimes likes a bit of fun, and what could be better than an island, having your best friends there and the glorious summer sun?

You must have heard that Mykonos is a party island and, as much as I love having fun, that doesn`t  necessarily mean I enjoy all night parties any more, so at first I wasn`t too sure. However, as soon as I arrived I almost instantly fell in love with the little harbour nearby our hotel, the beautiful white alleyways of the Old Town and the amazing sunset. The architecture of the buildings are all in cubist styles: small and white squared with bright painted windows and doors. Apparently the owners of the buildings are only allowed to choose amongst 5 different tones. My favourite so far is the blue variant.

 

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The Paraportiani

 

I must admit that this Greek Island is truly charming; in terms of dimensions is a pretty small island. You can drive across the whole island in an hour or so via scooter. The Old Town is close to the main Ports and is where you`d go after the beach to have dinner or stroll around the various little bars and clubs. We stayed in Mykonos Town which made it easy at night as we avoided any kind of driving.

 

Daylife and beaches

White sand and crystal water,  choosing the beach is not a difficult task! We used to choose a nice quiet beach for the day and a livelier one for the afternoon.

Elia beach, a very long and a favourite celebrity spot,  the bohemian Ftelia Beach with its pricey restaurant on top, the Paradise and Super Paradise with their peculiar sunset aperitfs with music. All worth a try!

 

Ftelia Beach
Ftelia Beach

 

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Restaurants and dining

While you can find cheap gyros and fast food pizza, the rest of eating out is quite expensive. I`d recommend to try local fish taverns at least once. Kounelas fish tavern is my absolute favourite!

 

Bars and Nightlife

Sipping a cocktail while overlooking the sea at sunset is a must in Mykonos/ Places I`d recommend to go: Skorpios beach, Little Venice and the Old Town nearby the Port. There`s a great view on the windmills too.

 

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Sunset in the Old Town

 

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Sunset at the Port
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Windmills

 

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Windy days!

 

A picture of Rome

Every now and then it happens that I feel a little bit nostalgic about the city where I come from, especially when back after a trip abroad (Just came back from Greece).

Today is one of these days.. reason why I’m sharing this video with you which I’ve found on facebook (by Oliver Astrologo) that represents some of the aspects that I like most about the city where I come from:

 

 

 

R O M A from Oliver Astrologo on Vimeo.

Home made roast Chicken Salad

Being sunday I thought that this would be an appropriate recipe to share, because who doesn’t love a roast on a sunday?

Whilst looking for some inspiration online I set a challenge to myself: to find a quick and easy recipe that it’ll use (possibly) as many ingredients as I already have in my fridge. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, but thanks to Jamie Oliver I found what I needed.

This salad is also healthy (which is a major bonus) and really really tasty. Please note: my version is slightly different from the original one.

Here is a list of what you are going to need:

 

For the Roast Chicken

Olive oil

1 Free Range chicken

salt

Pepper

fresh thyme

juice of a lemon

500 gr of cherry tomatoes

1 bulb of garlic

For the salad

200 gr of green beans

Extra virgin olive oil

parsley

6 spring onions

bread (I’ve used 2 slices of toasted bread)

So, first up pre-heat your oven and marinate your chicken with oil, salt and pepper. I’ve used leftover chicken strips instead, but the original recipe says that “it’s fully worth cooking the whole chicken to perfection”, so why not trying?

Once you’ve mixed these flavors you can put the chicken into the roasting tray and leave it cooking for an hour (if you have used chicken strips instead, as I did, half of the time will be enough).

Whilst the chicken is cooking you can start with the preparation of the salad. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and mix them with the garlic cloves. After 30 minutes throw them into the roasting tray with the chicken.

Once the the chicken is thoroughly cooked, remove it from the tray and leave it to cool down. Put the bread into the tray and leave it into the oven for 20 mins until crispy and slightly brown.

Remove the skin from the chicken and mix the meat with the resting juices. Cook your green beans for up to 6 minutes and add them to the meat, then add extra virgin olive oil, parsley and spring onions. Finally put the chicken back into the oven until crispy. Serve everything together in a tray (as I did) or a nice platter.

And .. Bon Appetit! Hope you ‘ll enjoy it as much as I did 🙂

Weekend trip to Norwich

Country side , Norwich

 

 

For a short getaway weekend my boyfriend and I decided to venture eastwards in Uk to the charming city of Norwich. Norwich It is the regional administrative centre and county town of Norfolk and back to the 11th Century was second only to London of importance.

As soon as I arrived it didn’t take me long to notice how different the pace to London was. People seemed to prefer long walks over public transport and cars and also seemed to be more relaxed overall.

 

Sightseeing

 

The top tourist attraction is the Norwich Cathedral . This 900-year old Norman cathedral, originally Catholic, is definitely worth a visit. The church is now a Church of England, and is one of 12 Norwich heritage sites.

The cathedral had also once been voted Norfolk’s favourite building, this is probably due to the unique feeling that the mix of Gothic and Roman architecture give to the viewer. Not everyone knows  that the most eye-catching feature of the cathedral is the shiny copper vat in the nave. This is the Rowntree Font, once used in the company’s chocolate factory.

Another must see landmark, also one of the 12 heritage sites, is the Norwich Castle. The Castle was founded by William the Conqueror between 1066 and 1075, and then rebuilt over the time. Nowadays, you’ll find a museum and a gallery inside of it.

And I could go ahead with a long list of cathedrals as Norwich has more than 32  medieval churches. During the middle ages, though, there were actually 57 churches within the city wall.

Interesting facts about Norwich

 

Apparently the City is launching a bid to be recognised as a Unesco City of literature, which means that if successful it will become the world’s fourth City of Literature (joining Edinburgh, Melbourne and Iowa). Also, Sixteen Revelations Of Divine Love by Dame Julian of Norwich, written around the 1393, is thought to have been the first book in English written by a woman.

Things to eat in Norwich

 

Being in Norfolk, Norwich is the home of the Cromer Crab: a fresh brown crab which you can find in salads, sandwiches, dressed or in their shells. These crabs are known to slowly grow on the chalk reef just off the coast, this is why they’re very sweet and tender.

 

cromer crab

 

Very tempting. However, we decided to go for a steak instead (can’t lose) and we ended up finding a hidden gem in the middle of the boho side of town: The Bycicle Shop Café.

As odd as it may sounds  I didn’t go in there to buy a bike (which I just have and am super excited about! Just FYI.), but they offered a delicious selection of food and wine instead.

 

 

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The decor is quirky and vintage and the food is really good and at a decent price. Another win for the Norwich experience!

At the end I must admit that Norwich has definitely passed my getaway weekend test!

 

 

 

When in Rome…

… Do as Romans do!

It’s that time of the year when I finally manage to book myself into one of these cheap flights and travel to my beloved hometown: Rome.

But before doing so, I thought I should give you a heads up of what Romans, usually do (or go) when visiting their hometown. Even if only for a few days…

First things first: let me eat! And my taste buds will be eternally grateful.

Eating out in Rome is not a secondary activity, something that you leave in between other things. eating out is the Core activity! It is one of the main thing we’ll end up doing most of our time during the vacation.

Whether it’d be with my family, friends or by myself you’ll see me spending most of my time seating on a table and happily tasting all variety of delicious food. And I promise that I will be enjoying it every time as much as Julia Roberts did on her Italian vacation in the movie “Eat, Pray and Love”!

 

 

Recently, I have been to La Zanzara, Ristorante il Fico and Porto Fish and Chips.  Nice places in the centre of Rome where you can eat fresh seafood and drink good wines.

Sightseeing is not difficult when  free art and architecture is everywhere around you  in historic and ancient Rome. In fact, you’ ll easily find yourself stumbling upon few “hidden” gems such as beautiful Churches (Santa Maria del Popolo, Santa Maria della Vittoria), and ancient ruins (I Fori Imperiali or the Palatine Hill). You can pass by ruins, gardens, and fountains. Rome is a “compact” city and easily walk able

 

Colosseum_at_night

 

Taking a day trip with my friends or alone to the nearest beach. Ostia, Fregene or Maccarese are the ones I usually end up going when visiting for a short period of time.

They may be not as glamorous but are the closest to Rome. All of them are equipped with some nice private sandy beaches as well as free to the public ones

 

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Shopping. As weird as it may sounds I am talking grocery shopping. My luggage on the way back to London will be full of things I crave to eat and rarely find troughout London (spices, vegetables such as artichokes, sometimes meat and wines).

 

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That’s all for now, but I’ll be updating you soon on what’s on the Roman Agenda.

 

 

My guide to London’s Coolest Car-Boot Sales

Whether you are on the hunt for a car boot sale bargain, or just looking to sell your unwanted items, I know the feeling: there is nothing more satisfying than coming away with things you’ve always wanted to buy but never found elsewhere – or, perhaps, never at the right price. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

If you are into vintage furniture, music, clothing or anything second hand really, here are few recommendation for you…

1) Chiswick’s Southfield Primary School Car Boot

 

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There are lots of bargains in this small, but a friendly sale in West London.

Entry fee: 50p (or £1 before 8.30am). If you want to pitch, it’s £10 for small vans, £8 for cars, and £5 for walk-in sellers. It’s run on the last Sunday of every month from February to November from 8.30am until 12.30 pm.

 2)  Battersea Car boot Sale

 

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This is one of my favourite car boot sales in London and is located in Battersea.

You may spot some branded high-quality items such as Gucci bags, Prada shoes… You name it.

It promises ‘quality goods and a Portobello-like atmosphere’. It runs every Sunday 1.30pm – 5pm. If you want to pitch dealers entry from 11.30am or 12 pm. Pitches starts from £20 up t £35

 

3) Princess May Car Boot Sale

 

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This car boot sale is situated in North London and is open every Saturdays and Sundays of every month, including bank holidays. Very hip: Stoke Newington and Dalston crowd style. Same applies for its vintage clothing and valuables or furniture.

Entry fee 50p (£3 before 9am) Open 9am-3pm Sat; 9am-2pm Sun. If you want to pitch, price start from £10

4) Wimbledon Car Boot Sale

Open three days a week this stadium is filled with stalls selling a wide range of items from clothing to silverware and jewellery at a bargain price.

Entry fee £2  (first hour of the sale), 50p thereafter. Open 10.30am-2pm Weds; 6.30am-1.30pm Sat; 7am-1.30pm Sun (except Easter, Christmas and New Year – please check availability during these times)

Wimbledon Stadium, Plough Lane, London, SW17 0BL

5) Capital Carboot Sale

One of the best London’s bargain, this Pimlico boot sale is open every Sunday inside and out at Pimlico Academy, selling furniture, kitchenware, bikes, books, clothes and all the other random, but awesome, things you usually find at a car boot. Ranging from classic furniture, clothing and collectables to odds and ends brought along by people clearing out their cupboards, the mix is enjoyable to sift through.

Entry fee is £1, unless you want to get first dibs, then you can get early bird entry for £5. (http://www.capitalcarboot.com)

6) Holloway Car Boot Sale

Open 8am-4pm Sat; 10am-2.30pm Sun (except Christmas and New Year). Holloway Road, opposite Odeon Cinema, London, N7 6LJ

Entry fee: free

7) Hounslow West Car Boot Sale

Open 7am-5pm Sat; 7am-3pm Sun (except Christmas and New Year). http://braymarkets.com/

Entry fee: Hounslow West Station Car Park, Bath Road, London, TW3 3DH