clueQuest Live Escape Game London | Giveaway

cluequest-3clueQuest Live Escape Game London – Revenge of the Sheep 169 – 171 Caledonian Road, N1 0SL | Nearest Tube: Kings Cross

Team 12 Minutes. That’s what they called us. Legends who will go down in clueQuest history… Ok I may be exaggerating slightly, but we certainly did leave our mark when we recently took on clueQuest’s new Revenge of the Sheep (RoS) live escape game.

What is clueQuest?

Simply put,clueQuest is a real-life escape game where teams of three to five players have to race against time and escape from a locked room”. Since it’s opening clueQuest has been rated as Tripadvisor’s number one London attraction, been featured in Time Out, and has further expanded rooms. Currently there are 9 rooms, and 3 games available to play: PLAN52, Operation BlackSheep, and the new Revenge of the Sheep (open from March 2016).

How good is Revenge of the Sheep?

It’s pretty damn awesome! My team consisted of myself, Jasiminne, Natasha, Erin, Katie and Amanda. Most of us had experienced live escape room games before, however we were in for a pretty big adventure with RoS. After we arrived we were de-briefed and told about our top secret mission. Professor BlackSheep is back, and he is determined to mutate all of humankind into sheep! We had to enter the room, solve all his puzzles and de-activate his sheep mutator – in only 60 minutes! Did we do it? Well, what do you think Team 12 Minutes stands for? Yes, we made it, and we did it in style too. Unfortunately I can’t share too much with you, as I don’t want to spoil anything. But I can tell you that the room is the most detailed and immersive yet! You’ll need logic, common sense, and a lot of teamwork to beat this game. I would highly recommend visiting, whether it’s with friends, colleagues or family. We had such a great time, and I would head back in an instant. After all, it is down to you now to stop Professor BlackSheep, and his plan to rule the world!

Win clueQuest tickets!

Yes, me and Team 12 Minutes are giving one lucky winner the chance to take on Revenge of the Sheep themselves. All you have to do is enter the giveaway below to be in with your chance!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prize: 1 x game for 3-5 players
Rules: Follow the Rafflecopter Instructions. UK entrants only!
Closing Date: May 11th

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This post is in collaboration with clueQuest however all views, photos and words are my own.
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The Canary Hair Salon and Vegan Cafe | Beauty

The Canary hairThe Canary Hair Salon & Cafe* | Bethnal Green, E2 6QA | Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green | Website

You know I love lifestyle stores. So imagine my joy when I was invited down to The Canary hair salon in Bethnal Green. Now I wasn’t giddy purely because I was getting a hair cut – although I do often feel like that – but because The Canary is a little different to most hair salons in London. Attached to their salon is a cafe. A vegetarian and vegan cafe at that! Good coffee. Good food. Good hair. You can’t ask for more!

The food

I popped by on a Saturday around 12. We grabbed a chair in the well lit space, and ordered a couple of coffees, which I handily paid for with my Drip App. I was introduced to my stylist Emma as I sipped on mine (flat white, no sugar), and I automatically felt relaxed. After my haircut we had a bite to eat. I had a blueberry muffin, and Ben tried a mushroom and tarragon croissant. We both agreed that the food was fresh and delicious. Even better, it tasted homemade.

The haircut

When I did eventually hop in the seat, we chatted about what I wanted done. I asked whether I should get some layers put in; something I hated years ago but somehow felt might finally suit me. Emma told me that she thought my sharp bob suited me style perfectly, and that layers might ruin what I was going for. She was so right, and I’m glad she said it, because it stopped me getting a hair cut I would have undoubtedly hated afterwards. No one was rushing me, and Emma seemed very professional and easy going. Conversation flowed smoothly throughout, so there were no awkward silences, and I was done in about an hour.

Final thoughts on The Canary hair salon…

As I suspected, Emma was very professional and did a wonderful job on my haircut. My fringe wasn’t exactly how I like it, but I’m pretty fussy about my hair. That said, overall I was happy with my hair cut. The Canary is still a little quiet, but with such friendly staff it comes to life. I have my favourite hair salon (because it’s directly under my apartment), but I would still go back for a coffee and to chill out. Whether you’re after a cut, or some sustenance, The Canary is worth stopping by for sure. Prices for womens cuts start at £56 and mens at £45.

You can visit The Canary at 61 Old Bethnal Green Road, London or online here.
Make sure to check out Drip App for some of London’s best independent coffee shops!

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Where to Eat in London: Nosteagia

nosteagiaNosteagia | Bubble Waffles & Bubble Tea | Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High Street

Every now and again I will complain about the lack of Taiwanese food in London. For some reason it’s a real rarity. So when I do find it, I hold onto it. Previously I’d found the delicious lunchbox offerings of Bian Dang, but a part of me was craving for something sweeter. Luckily, I happened upon Nosteagia whilst browsing Instagram one day. I noticed that they were located close to my office, at Pump on Shoreditch High Street, so I rushed down for one of their bubble waffles. Yes you heard me correctly, Taiwanese bubble waffles!

The Sweet…

On my first visit to Nosteagia I tried the King Chocolate Bubble Waffle; a mixture of M&Ms, Nutella, chocolate sauce and cream. It was delicious, and gave me a much needed sugar boost after a long morning. Since then I have tried waffles overflowing with coco pops, ones with matcha ice cream, peanut butter…even one with half a Snickers bar sticking out of it! These sweet treats are as delectable as they are Instagramable.

And The Savoury…

Believe it or not, Nosteagia offer savoury dishes as well. In fact when I popped by on my first visit I brought a friend, who ordered the Gyudon (Japanese dish of rice and seasoned beef). It was so authentic and delicious, that he comes back with me every time, and he always orders the Gyudon. In fact quite a few of my work buddies sing the praises of Nosteagia’s savoury dishes.

Final thoughts on : Nosteagia

Nosteagia may be offering up Instagram worthy foodporn for the people of East London, but there’s more to this street food vendor than meets the eye. It is run by two of the loveliest people I’ve met in the London street food scene – two students who wanted to bring Taiwanese Bubble Tea to London. The ingredients used are fresh, and the food is made on the spot. The introduction of a weekly special has also been a real treat. I always look forward to seeing what they will come up with next. In my opinion, the savoury dishes are just as worthy of your lunch money as the waffles. However if I had to give one tip, it would be to come here for a savoury lunch…and stop by later for dessert!

Read more in my Where to Eat in London series.

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A London Life… at Jackdaw Clapton Jazz Cafe

jackdaw-clapton-7Jackdaw Clapton | Jazz Cafe | Nearest Tube: Hackney Central Overground

I’ve always dreamt of myself as a jazz cafe person; black leggings, turtleneck and beret, a la Funny Face Audrey. Ok silly stereotypes aside, I really do enjoy jazz. And yet I barely have the chance to enjoy an evening of smooth music and a good cocktail. Enter Jackdaw Clapton, a Jazz cafe in the heart of East London. I stopped by with Eva one Saturday morning for brunch, and to check out the live music venue.

The Food

The food here is anything but your average grub. I was surprisingly pleased to find items such as jerk beans and spiced split peas against the usual breakfast favourites. Don’t get me wrong, I love eggs royale and French toast as much as the next person, but it does get a little boring when it’s on every menu. We had the Jerk Beans, Poached Eggs & Crouton (a spicy, filling start to the morning), Coddled Eggs & Spice Split Peas (great mix of textures & flavours) and Sausage & Mustard Sarnie (a classic) – all washed down with a flat white (Nude coffee, which I purchased using DripApp). In a nutshell, Jackdaw are offering up an innovative, interesting menu…and it’s pretty damn affordable. Our meal and drinks came to £23 total (£11.50 per person).

And The Entertainment

After our brunch we took a peak downstairs. We’d been told that this is where all magic happens, and we weren’t surprised. The coolest of the cool come here from Friday to Sunday, offering up jazz, funk, soul…the list goes on. And the intimate venue is as comfortable as it is cool. Eva and I commented on how we could easily see ourselves and some friends chilling out in the space. The line-up changes on a weekly basis, and at around £5 entry, it’s a steal.

Final thoughts on: Jackdaw Clapton

Jackdaw is a triple threat: food, coffee and music. Some places might find it difficult to do all three, but Jackdaw does it effortlessly…and in a very cool venue to boot. Put that together with some lovely owners and you’ve got exactly the kind of place Clapton needs. I can’t wait to pop down for one of the live music nights. And who knows, if you come along you may even catch my friend Eva performing.

Read more in my A London Life series.

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Where to Eat in London: Wa Cafe

wa cafeWa Cafe | Japanese Patisserie | Nearest Tube: Ealing Broadway

Some may say that France has the best patisseries in the world, however I would have to disagree. Japan has learnt from it’s European counterparts and created something altogether unique – fusing traditional ingredients with modern techniques. I’m sure you won’t find it odd when I say I miss Japanese food. However you may be surprised that a lover of savoury items such as myself, misses Japanese pastries. I can’t begin to explain how delicious and light they are. It’s something sweet and savoury fans alike should experience at least once in their life. So when I heard that Wa Cafe (an authentic Japanese patisserie) had opened in Ealing Broadway, I knew I had to try it. Skip ahead almost a year, and I was back again for my birthday weekend.

The Savoury…

 The first time I visited Wa Cafe they had run out of sandwiches, so I knew I had to grab one this visit. Two soft, chunky slices of bread encompass the Chicken Katsu Sandwich. Inside, the breaded chicken is accompanied by lettuce and a delicious salad dressing. This is one gigantic sandwich; perfect for sharing. However a dish this delicious may leave you wanting a whole one for yourself.

And The Sweet…

The savoury dishes here may be wonderful, but I know you’re all wondering how the cakes are! This visit I had the Strawberry Shortcake, and I was not disappointed. Japan’s Strawberry Shortcake is very different to the UK kind. A light sponge is layered with cream and strawberries. It’s very popular as a birthday cake in Japan, so it seemed fitting for this particular visit. Wa Cafe’s is just as light and airy as those I ate in Japan. The cream is sweet, but not sickeningly so. And even as someone who dislikes strawberries (yes, I’m weird), I enjoyed this cake immensely.

Final thoughts on : Wa Cafe

Wa Cafe is well worth the journey (around an hour from my East London dwellings), and well worth the wait. The cakes are as delectable as they are aesthetically pleasing. I spent around £17 on this particular visit, and I don’t regret spending a penny of it. Previously I tried the Matcha Swiss Roll, Curry Pan and the Melon Pan – all of which I would have again…once I’ve worked my way through the rest of the dishes. Of course. I could easily have breakfast, lunch and dinner here. In fact I’m not even upset that visiting means becoming more acquainted with my gym membership.

Read more in my Where to Eat in London series.

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Introducing… Finch Womenswear

finch womenswearFinch Womenswear | Norwich

The date is Mid-2015. Location: my sofa, probably. I have found myself on an endless Instagram loop. You know the kind. You find a new account that you fall in love with; so you click on one of their photos, follow a hashtag, check a location etc etc. This time it just so happened that my loop ended when I came upon a store based in my hometown of Norwich. I hadn’t heard of Finch womenswear before, but the aesthetic and brands they carried matched my personal style down to a tee.

My personal style has changed a lot since I moved to London, that much is evident from my Style Evolution posts. This paired with my fussy taste in clothing makes it difficult for me when purchasing clothes. I have my favourite shops in London, but never found anything matching them in Norwich. Luckily Finch has changed all of that. I now make a habit of visiting whenever I’m back.

Finch womenswear stocks well known brands such as Wood Wood, Norse Project and Rains. Alongside these are also new names like Delores Daywear. Everything has been lovingly hand selected by Sophie, and it shows. Their carefully curated selection of brands and items are easily on-par with their London counterparts. It’s easy to see why the store has become so coveted in such a short period of time. It really is a must visit for those with a penchant for minimalist, quality fashion. And if you don’t believe me, check out my fave Brittany Bathgate‘s love for the brand – she even modelled for their latest campaign.

You can find Finch womenswear at 14 St Benedicts Street, NR2 4AG, and online at Finch.

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A London Life… at Sushinoen with Nuffnang UK

sushinoenSushinoen* | Japanese | Whitechapel | Nearest Tube: Aldgate East

London is a culinary melting pot of cuisines. We have the complete A-Z of food, from Algerian to Zambian – Foodies need not be disappointed. Whereas I do enjoy discovering new cuisines, there’s one I always go back to – Japanese. After living there, I have a handful of recipes that I like to re-create at home. However there’s nothing better than having someone else cook for you, am I right?

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be a guest at Sushinoen, courtesy of Nuffnang UK. A cute Japanese restaurant tucked away in the heart of Whitechapel, Sushinoen serves up a variety of Japanese dishes. We were sat at a sunken table (horigotatsu), which I always find super comfortable. After everyone had arrived we ordered a bottle of plum wine (umeshu) – my favourite Japanese tipple. Conversation flowed as the first round of food was brought to the table: Butakakuni, Agedashi Tofu, Beef Tataki, White Tuna Carpaccio, Mixed Seaweed Salad, Shumai, and Chicken Gyoza. Honestly I would recommend it all, but it was the Butakakuni and the Agedashi Tofu that really had something special. Agedashi Tofu is probably my favourite Japanese side dish, the crispy outer is complimented by the soft inner (and a wondrous tentsuyu broth). However it’s the Butakakuni that surprised me the most, as I’m not the biggest fan of pork belly. This though was so tender it fell apart and melted in the mouth – definitely my dish of the day!

At this point I was already starting to feel full, and then a wild plate of sushi rolls appeared! We had the Bravo Duo (seared tuna & salmon on California roll) and Spider (prawn tempura on California roll) rolls. I could only manage a couple of bites, but I was left wanting for more  – thank you Hidekazu Tojo for this marvellous invention! Unfortunately we were all too full to eat any Sukiyaki (the next dish on the menu), but nothing was wasted as we were given boxes to take home. The dessert of matcha ice cream & mocha was a light & refreshing end to the meal. Of course I always have room for something sweet – my friends say I have betsubara – especially if it’s matcha.

For any bloggers interested in working with brands, I’d highly suggest checking out Nuffnang UK.
And for those with a rumbly tummy, Sushinoen is definitely worth a visit.

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