Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Media networks @ Tate modern

We recently went to visit the media networks exhibition at Tate modern to look at the different ways the artwork is displayed. We will be putting on our own exhibition at university soon and wanted to see if the way in which something is displayed can make an impact on how it is viewed.

The exhibition is looking at the way artists have responded to the ever-changing technologies and how this has impacted the mass media. Divided into lots of different rooms are a diverse range of techniques and materials from drawings to posters and analogue technology. It touches on subjects such as feminism, the cult of celebrity and consumerism.

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I like the placement of this work directly facing the doorway, inviting you in to explore the next room.

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I love that there was such a variety of work from so many different artists, including Barbara Kruger, Andy Warhol and the Guerrilla Girls. It is a large exhibition and viewers are probably not going to like everything but if you are feeling worn out by the end you can always take the weight off on the swings or even a lie down in the Turbine hall.

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The media Networks exhibition is on in the 4th floor Boiler room and is free entry. There are loads of other things showing as well but I always find when I visit Tate modern that I can only see one exhibition at a time because it is just so big!

Have you been to the Tate recently?

Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Wagamama and beauty treatments

Last month myself and Jasmin had a long overdue visit to a beauty clinic to use some vouchers that she had bought for my birthday in May. We decided to make an afternoon of it and eat some Japanese food for lunch after our treatments.

Nestled away on a little back street around the corner from St Pauls cathedral is Primas Beauty clinic. The entrance of the clinic takes you straight into the reception/seating area which is very inviting with a relaxed atmosphere. We had booked in advance for a facial and pedicure and were told that we would each have a treatment and then swap over for the opposite treatment which made sense but then meant we wouldn’t have the experience together which was a shame.

I started with the pedicure, unfortunately it was a dry treatment so I didn’t get to soak my tired feet but the beautician was really lovely and very conscientious. The treatment was supposed to be for 30 minutes but she took nearly an hour, maybe I just needed a lot of work done!

I was really looking forward to the facial but it wasn’t quite the experience I was hoping for! It started off very relaxing, I had my face cleansed and then the lady put a face mask on which was fine, she then covered my eyes and explained that she would leave it for 15 minutes to dry, she covered me with a blanket and went off. That’s when I started to feel really uncomfortable. I was laying flat on my back which I’m not used to as I always lay on my side and because my eyes were covered I started feeling paranoid that someone was watching me, all of a sudden my heart started racing and I felt like I couldn’t breathe and realised I was having some sort of panic attack. I sat up and took the pads off my eyes and took a few minutes to calm myself. I’m glad the lady had left the room otherwise I would have looked a bit weird and probably felt worse. When she returned and took the mask off I felt fine but a bit stupid, I mean probably one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had and I start having a panic attack over it? Even though it was a horrible experience it in no way reflected the service at the beauty clinic and I wasn’t going to let it ruin my birthday treat so we continued our plans for lunch.

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Just a short walk past the cathedral and we came across a Wagamama restaurant. I have eaten takeaway from Wagamama before but this was the first time I had eaten inside. It was mostly made up of long tables but we had a booth. I love how minimalistic and spacious their restaurants our compared to others that try to fill every available space with tables.

My go to dish whenever I eat Japanese is Chicken Katsu curry, I love it! But I thought I would be a bit adventurous and choose something I had never tried before so I went for the Yaki Udon.

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The dish is made with udon noodles cooked in curry oil with chicken, prawns, chikuwa, egg, beansprouts, leeks, mushrooms and peppers. garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger and sesame seeds. Now it looked really tasty and had some great flavours which I enjoyed but the actual noodles freaked me out a bit. I felt like I was eating worms because they were so thick but this also made them really filling which meant I didn’t have to eat too much before I was full. It wasn’t entirely bad but I did spend the whole time wondering why I didn’t order Katsu curry!

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I also thought I would have a change of drink and chose a peach iced tea instead of the usual coke and this was a great decision, I would actually go back to Wagamama just for this drink as it was so nice.

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Jasmin chose the Pad Thai which was similar flavours to my dish but a lot lighter to eat and she polished it all off! We decided not to order dessert but I have since heard that they have really nice sweet treats on offer including Banana Katsu so I think another trip is in order.

So the day wasn’t entirely flawless but it was still lovely to spend some quality time with my big girl and visit some new places. We ended our day with a walk across the millennium footbridge and down the Southbank before heading home.

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Getty images gallery

You may have heard of Getty images which is one of the biggest photo agencies around. Many of their photos are featured in the news, sport and editorial sector. Situated a short walk from Oxford Circus station is the Getty images gallery which offers unique access to one of the greatest photographic collections in the world

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The gallery showcases different exhibitions on a regular basis and we visited during the Renaissance photography prize 2017.

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The exhibition was filled with loads of interesting images that fit into the categories Identity, Border and Life. Surprisingly I noticed that the image above of the boy in the red top was actually taken by my daughters best friend’s dad… what a small world!

One of the images I really liked was this portrait of an older lady, it wasn’t until I looked at it twice that I realised she had an animal on her head.

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Even though the gallery was fairly small it still had this cute little seating area because when you are spending the day looking around photography galleries it is nice to take the weight off when you can.

A lot of people in my group were not a fan of the images all being shown in the same generic way; same size with plain white frame, but I really like the simplicity and that each image can be judged equally without giving the opportunity to wow by way of presentation but by the photograph itself.

From now until 23rd December the Getty images gallery are showing and selling a range of stock for up to 50% off in their seasonal sale.

 

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Photography project – The Red Edition

Looking back at some of the photos I have taken around London and red seems to be the colour that stands out. Along with the telephone box and the post box, the red bus has become an iconic recognised symbol of the city.

I thought I would share some of my favourite photos featuring red that I have taken in the past couple of years.

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What colour have you noticed around your city?

 

Posted in London, Uncategorized

Ice skating @ Natural History Museum

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The winter season is finally upon us and there is no better way to celebrate than with a session of outdoor ice-skating which you can find dotted around London at various sites during the festive period.

We made our way to the Natural history museum outdoor skate rink in Kensington which is fairly easy to find from South Kensington station via the underground passage. We were greeted with a magical scene of trees covered in fairy lights and a massive tree in the middle of the ice.

We picked up tickets from the box office which is right opposite the skate entrance from the underground passage but they are also available to purchase online which is more of a guarantee to get the time you want. We were then directed to a section behind the rink to queue up and get our skates on.

This was my first visit to an outdoor rink. I expected it to be freezing cold being outside and on ice so I bought myself a new pair of gloves for the occasion but actually the act of skating is quite hard work and I left the rink feeling really hot, I had to take my coat off!

Considering as a teenager I would be down Lea Valley ice rink every Sunday with my friends I thought I would be OK on the ice, but that was 20 years ago and I was absolutely rubbish. I spent the whole time holding onto the side apart from when I had to manoeuvre around others that were just hanging around, having a break or taking photos. Although there were a lot of people that took to it like a duck to water, I was relieved to see there were a lot of beginners and strugglers, it made me feel less guilty about grabbing on to them when I was about to fall as they were doing the same.

I have to say, I was so impressed with all the kids who just went for it, fell over and got back up again. I wish I was as brave but then I know it would be a lot heavier of a bump if I went down!

Each session lasts for 50 minutes and we left the ice about 5 minutes before everyone was called off, which I actually recommend because as everybody enters the room to remove their boots and pick up their footwear, there doesn’t seem to be any order and people just push in to collect their shoes. Also beware that the floor is very wet from the ice on the boots and so you end up with soggy feet by the time you put your shoes back on!

While skating around we noticed the café overlooking the rink had a balcony so we decided to go up and have a drink while watching the next session.

The café was so pretty and lit up just like the trees outside. There was different seating areas, benches, small tables and more cosy seating and I was surprised it wasn’t busier as there were so many people watching the skating outside.

Although I wasn’t a great skater I still found it lots of fun and definitely want to practice some more so I can get out into the middle of the ice with the pros. It was a really beautiful setting and a great start to the festive season.

If you are planning to visit then check out the latest prices on the NHM website. If you have youngsters that need some help then you can use the penguin supports for £5 and if you have things to leave in the cloakroom then it’s £2 an item, bags are not allowed on the ice so best to travel light.

Have you visited any festive skating rinks yet?

 

Posted in Food, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Chimasu – Asian snack box

Subscription boxes seem to be the thing of the moment, you can get every type from beauty, stationary, food and toys. They are a great way to try a wide selection of things that you may not necessarily purchase individually or even know about and the Chimasu box is no different.

I pass Asian supermarkets all the time but probably wouldn’t know where to start looking if I went inside so I have never bothered. I love eating out at Asian restaurants or ordering a takeaway so when I was asked by Chimasu if I would like to try out there subscription snack box, which contains snacks from Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Singapore… I couldn’t say no!

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When the Chimasu box arrived I was surprised it was so small but it was definitely packed full of stuff and contained both sweet and savoury goodies.

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As my kids love to try new foods we decided we would all do the taste testing together. I am quite fussy with what I eat and some of the flavours did worry me a bit…Cuttlefish, soy sauce, shrimp and seaweed are not the flavours I normally pick when choosing snacks!

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We started with the savoury snacks

The Soy sauce rice crackers reminded me of those round almond bakes which I love, this meant I got a bit of a shock when I bit into it and it was a completely different texture and taste. I actually really liked the crunch of it but wasn’t too keen on the flavour. My eldest son was probably the biggest fan of those and finished them off.

The Yummy flakes just reminded me of fish food but they were like miniature prawn crackers and were really cute, didn’t last long though as they were so small.

I was a bit worried about the cuttlefish snacks as I wasn’t sure what cuttlefish tasted like but was pleasantly surprised. These were actually my favourite snack in the box, not too overpowering and we decided they were a cross between Skips and Pom bears.

The seaweed and the wasabi peas were both something I hadn’t tried before and I found them both really strong, especially the wasabi peas! They taste just like peanuts flavoured with mustard and although I am a fan of mustard I can only take it in small doses. We all kind of felt the same about these except my eldest son who finished them all off!

We always have noodles in the house as the kids love to snack on them, the ones we were sent were spicier than normal but still just as tasty and there were no complaints from the kids.

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Sweet Snacks

The Pepero sticks are one of South Korea’s favourite snacks and are long crispy biscuit filled with smooth chocolate, they went down way too easily and I could have done with another box.

The small panda biscuits were covered on one side with chocolate and a panda face, very cute and we all loved them. We expected the koala bears to be similar but they were filled with a fruity flavour and although they were just as cute I found them a bit too sweet.

Most of the Asian snacks, both sweet and savoury, were very light and flacky in texture so I was surprised by the black thunder chocolate bar that was dense and really chocolaty – my kind of snack!

The Chimasu box is available to purchase online as a one off box or a subscription and you can update your preferences to make sure you will get the snacks that you enjoy. We loved having the opportunity to try out things we have never tasted before and it was fun seeing all the expressions on everyone’s face as they tried something new. I’m not sure I loved all the things enough to make the most of a whole box for myself but I’m definitely considering it as a gift for my son who seemed to finish everything off!

If you would like to purchase a box for yourself or someone else as a gift then you can use the code PRETTYCITY122 which will give you £6 discount off your first box and a bar of Japanese KitKat!

*I was sent a Chamasu box for review purposes, all opinions are my own!