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Although Central London feels packed and sometimes a little soulless, there are still pockets that have more of a village feel, and a clear charm.  Seven Dials is one of them. Punctuated by a memorial at the centre of seven streets, each fanning out towards Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road it's a right little gem.

We spent an afternoon popping into little shops, having a late lunch, WAYY too much chocolate and a few drinks.

First stop was On the Dak the recently opened brother (or sister - who knows?) of On the Bab . They serve some seriously amazing fried chicken. As a massive fried chicken fan, I feel qualified to tell you that this is some of the best you'll find London.

Dak' means chicken in Korean, hence the name and On the Dak makes speciality Korean fried chicken with a number of sauce choices and sides. Garlic and sweet miso were our favourites. I went for a medium (as you have a choice of small, medium or large) and I really should have gone for small as portions are generous! Though if we hadn't of been walking around for the afternoon I would have totally taken out the remainder in a doggy bag.

After that, and a little stroll we popped into Chockywoccydoodah for some sugar sustenance. In this boutique chocolate shop you'll find every chocoholic's dream. Custom cakes, chocolate covered popcorn, giant gold coins, huge chunky bars of the stuff, the list goes on...

There's a separate surprise if you manage to get a table downstairs. Pass the gold VIP rope and journey downstairs into a sumptuous, chilled out cafe that deals in all things chocolate. We had two seriously loaded hot chocolates, complete with whipped cream, chocolate buttons and marshmallows and an even more chocolaty slab of chocolate cake. To say we were chocolate-ed out after that would be an understatement - but obviously, it was all good, we had Seven Dials and seven streets to walk it off!

After a short break at Udderlcious, an udderly delicious (see what I did there) ice cream pit stop, we ended our afternoon in Brewdog with two pale ales.

Brewdog is the Scottish craft beer company that you can not only drink in but buy shares in too. Always coming up with good ideas, they have enough beer and ale on the menu to please any pint lover. There are regular guest brews so there's always something new to discover for the connoisseur as well as decent bar food to line the sides.

They also have paper straws, no plastic here 🙌 !

We didn't cover the shops as much as we could have done other than a little nosey in two of my favourites, Paperchase and Brandy Melville. It'd be rude not to. You really can spend a whole day in Seven Dials easily there's plenty so much to check out.

Next time you're in Central and feel like a little rest bite or want a cool place to lunch, snack or drink head on over.

I was a massive festival goer in my younger years, sadly as you grow up and take on more responsibility, less money and become attached often your festival going days tend to dwindle. You also find a sudden distinct dislike of discomfort and certainly don't want to be reminded of your advancing years by being pushed and shoved around by a load of 'youth' during the headliner acts.

Having said all that there are festivals and there are festivals and it would make me way to sad to not go to any at all. So the Isle of Wight is my chosen keeper. It's a festival that's not going to leave you with cold feet and an achy back or feeling like you're a parent before you even have your own kids worrying about the state of youngsters around you. You also don't need to feel as though you need a holiday afterwards because you can combine it with a bit of sightseeing turning this into a festi-mini-break which is far more adult and civilised.

The Isle of Wight Festival really welcomes all ages, no one is going to get 'I feel old' pangs here, you can even introduce the next generation of festival goers as it's massively kid friendly. It always has a great line up, extra entertainment, a variety of bars, luxury camping options and you get to go there on a ferry for God's sake!

It's hard to top. The perfect festi-mini break (I think I'll coin that phrase), plus - and it's a bit plus - it always seems to land on the great weather.

If you go this year, please combine it with a little Isle of Wight sightseeing and definitely book yourself into The Hut for a seafood platter. I have been missing that place all year and can't wait to go back.

This year is the festival's Golden Jubilee 50th Anniversary and acts I'll be jostling to the front for include Hurts, The Wombats, Depeche Mode, The Killers and Kasabian.

Thursday 21st June - stick it in your diary and start planning your weekend, tickets can be found here.

 

I'm a massive fan of The Hoxton (Hotel). I've been a full-on convert since I used to do all my meetings there about 7 years ago- it had cocktails and comfy sofas and my office didn't. They have supported me with WJ London events and more and I am always impressed by their roster of events not to mention the hotel and brand as a whole.

That's why, even though I've already done a marathon runner round up this marathon-relevant event needs it's own post.

The Hoxton are teaming up with lululemon to put on the Marathon Shakeout Event, taking place this Saturday (21st April).

As with almost all of The Hox's events, it's completely free to attend. Guests and those setting out on the ambitious 26-mile slog can drop by to get their hair braided by Blue Tit (free), have a sports massage from Recovery Massage Therapy (free), and join us at one of the 3 sessions, covering pre-race nerves and more.

Find out more here 

I have so many clothes.. Clothes that don't fit me anymore but one day THEY WILL fit me again, clothes that I have never worn, clothes that I wore once, clothes that I have convinced myself I will wear (crop tops) but in reality they're never going to see the light of day...

I know I don't need them, I know I should get rid of them, but my heart bleeds when I think about how much money I've spent on all these useless garments over the years. That's why I'm always on the look out for something like this Swap and Style Event put on my Love Not Landfil. It is PERFECT for my needs.

So whether you're doing it for the environment and the greater good or to save a few pennies, or just for a fashion-focused day out pop on down and take a look at the bargains and wonderful one-off pieces on offer. You'll be hard pushed not to find something as the event is held at London’s largest fashion recycling warehouse, LM Barry in Canning Town on 24th April, 10am-midday.

This Swap and Style event is a rare opportunity to rummage through thousands and thousands of unwanted clothes to uncover and select new outfits with the help of Emma Slade-Edmondson, the stylist behind Back of the Wardrobe and Charity Fashion Live.

For those that love to document theres even the opportunity to be photographed by a fashion photographer in your fabulous finds!

The event comes under the banner of Fashion Revolution which launches on the 22nd April to encourage a more mindful and socially responsible way of thinking about clothes. Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil* and the rise in fast fashion has meant that the amount of clothes produced each year globally has doubled in 15 years from 2000 to 2015.

#Lovenotlandfill is a campaign aimed at young fast fashion fans in London. The goal is to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry via a core message: love your clothes then pass them on when you’ve finished with them so someone else can love them too. The campaign will remind young people to:

  • Never dump unwanted clothes in a household bin as they clog up landfill and release harmful climate change gases
  • Recycle, share, swap or repair unwanted clothes
  • Share the message with your friends

Event attendees are encouraged to swap their unwanted clothes with new items that they find in the giant treasure trove at L M Barry Textile Recyclers on the 24th April.

Tickets are FREE but you will be required to pay £15 to reserve your space. This will be refunded on your arrival at LM Barry for the event.

All proceeds from non-attendance will go to Fashion Revolution, a social enterprise which works towards a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.

You can reserve your tickets here.

L M Barry Textile Recyclers, North Crescent, Canning Town, London E16 4TG

Learning an instrument is a great hobby. I was recently reminded of my piano learning days when I found a lonesome piano on a recent trip to Bordeaux. The hotel guests were treated to me trying to remember the only thing I successfully learnt to play... the opening to the snowman. Poor people.

I came home with all the intention to start learning again. But then I'm thinking a piano's a pretty big item to introduce into the flat so maybe, Monday Ukulele lessons are a better option.

Adding to the plus points of learning a portable instrument, it turns out there are free lessons on offer! Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen's new Ukulele Hootenanny is led by professional teachers, so you will really learn at this quirky event.

Every Monday regular Ukers, beginners or anyone who is just Uke curious can gather together to play and learn. Hire one of the house Ukes for the night or bring your own.

Ukulele-ing can be thirsty work so there's also 241 cocktails between 5-7pm and food from the award winning Orange Buffalo to fuel the music making.

Music policy: Uke renditions of singalong classics and modern pop

I'm sold!

Find out more here.