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The Fastest City Zip Wire in the World at Zip World London

The Fastest City Zip Wire in the World at Zip World London

When I was told there was a birthday surprise in store for me, but that before going, I'd have to sign a waiver, my brain went into meltdown. Waivers mean 'dangerous', right? What could I be doing?! I'd been on the world's biggest swing in New Zealand, so began to think that my boyfriend had planned something similar and convinced myself I'd be heading up the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide in Stratford.

Six Awesome Photography Tricks I Learnt on a Photo Walk With Jessops

Two people taking photographs

I've owned my precious little Olympus Pen E-L7 for almost two years now. I did the ultimate blogger cliche of purchasing a 45mm lens last year, and as an early birthday treat for 2017, I've nabbed myself a 25mm lens too. I read up on photography tips online, quiz professionals (two of my best mates happen to be married to photographers), and just test and learn as I go, and I feel like my pictures really are improving.

The Beginner's Guide of Where to Shop in London's West End

How to Spend a Day in London's West End

I know the streets of the West End pretty well after almost seven years of living in London; so it is super rare that I actually spend a day in the area, rather than powering through it with my earphones in whilst I snarl at tourists. But as I've said so many times before, you don't have to go off the beaten track to have a great travel experience, so I set out to explore my own city, embracing the West End's 'London is Open' message, and had a full day of hitting actual shops rather than just adding to my never-ending ASOS order. 

If it's your first time to this area, here's where you should head to:

A Magical Evening at the Launch of Wizarding Wardobes at Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Horace Slughorn armchair pyjama suit

OK, so maaaaaaaaybe I have a slight obsession with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Leavesden. The thing is, they keep reeling me in with shiny new exhibitions, giving me even more insight into the Harry Potter movies that I love so much. This time, there's a focus on the costumes and make-up that bring the best-loved (and hated) characters from the films to life, with Wizarding Wardrobes*.

Rotisserie Chicken and Deep Fried Courgetti at Chicken Society, Finchley Central

Spit roast rotisserie chicken

Not a week goes by that I don't hear about a new place to eat in South London. I'm not talking about London Bridge or even Brixton - I mean places that I never go to: Dulwich, Peckham, Tooting. But I live in North London and I'm lazy, so it's rare I'll go that far from home for dinner, which is why I was genuinely excited to hear about Chicken Society*. Yes, it's alllllllllll the way up in Zone 4, but actually not that far from home, which is the perfect excuse to try the entire menu.

Ping Coombes' Breakfast Club at Chi Kitchen, London

Hainanese chicken rice

Food has this amazing way of triggering memories, don't you think? Apple pie reminds me of my mum (because her homemade one is the best ever), goulash make me think of my losing bet on Hungary for Eurovision 2014. So often I'm reminded of places in the world when I happen to stumble I've eaten abroad here in the UK, and Ping Coombes' Breakfast Club at Chi Kitchen took me right back to my favourite foodie destination: Singapore.

Asian Fusion Sharing Plates at Yuu Kitchen, Spitalfields

Pork belly bao at Yuu Kitchen

'Sharing' plates is a concept that worries and excites me all at once. I don't really like sharing food; what if I'm left hungry or another person takes liberties with the most delicious dish on the table? But also, at least I don't actually have to decide between all the awesome things on a menu and risk serious food envy. If Yuu Kitchen* had been a big plates only deal, I would probably still be there agonising over what to order.

Staying at Yotel: Gatwick's First Capsule Hotel

Travel blogger reading travel guide on hotel bed

My quest for cheap travel is often at odds with my North London address. I don't live anywhere near an airport and a bargain flight normally means a pre-9am departure and/or a post-10pm return, often resulting in me being utterly shattered on any city break I go on. For my recent 6am flight to Sofia, this horror was averted by a stay the night before at Yotel, Gatwick*.

A Tour of the Meantime Beer Brewery, Greenwich

Two pints of meantime beer

There's very little pressure like getting into a new relationship and having to celebrate your new bloke's birthday a few weeks in. You can plump for a generic meal out to celebrate or take a wild stab in the dark at planning something a bit more interesting. And that's how I ended up booking a tour around Meantime's brewery in Greenwich. Referencing early Bumble conversations about craft beer and a first date that saw us supping pints of, well, everything, I was pretty sure I was on to a winner.

Codebreaking and Cocktails at The Bletchley, London

Secret entrance to The Bletchley

Throughout my childhood, I went on approximately 18 million school trips to Bletchley Park. It's the only place of real historic importance within my hometown of Milton Keynes, a city that celebrated its 50th birthday this year, and as it so happens I used to go to school 10 minutes down the road from the famous WWII site. So obviously I was intrigued and slightly baffled when I heard about The Bletchley, a pop-up centred around codebreaking, devised by the team who ran the recent Breaking Bad 'meth lab' bar.

Dinner at The Diner, Islington

Meatloaf hoagie

My favourite sorts of people to go out to eat with are those who also want to try everything on the menu, and think it's a good idea to dump everything in the middle of the table so nobody gets food envy. Me and my friends have this down to a tee, and I think our monumental order during our most recent visit to the newly relaunched outpost of The Diner* in Islington may have taken our waitress slightly aback.

Exploring the Forbidden Forest at Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Acramantula in the Forbidden Forest

Being a Harry Potter fan is the gift that keeps on giving. The magic of the books kept going through film, and even though it's been six years since the final movie there has been so much to keep us Potterheads obsessed. It doesn't have to be a brand new West End play (although I could talk about Cursed Child alllllllllll day every day), because the Warner Brothers Studio Tour evolves throughout the year. I've now visited four times and there is always something new to explore, and this time? It's the out-of-bounds Forbidden Forest.

Brunch at Jar Kitchen, Covent Garden

Toast, mushroom, baked beans, bacon, fried egg

A stone's throw away from unbearably busy Covent Garden piazza is Drury Lane. Saint-like calm in comparison to its neighbour, it's home to the beautiful greenhouse style facade of the Royal Opera House, around the corner from the cool coffee shops of Holborn, and the location for my most recent brunch: Jar Kitchen.

Shakshuka Brunch at Cafe Loren, Camden

Traditional shakshuka and white shakshuka

I do all I can to avoid Camden Town on a Saturday. Being one of London's most accessibly eclectic areas, it draws in huge crowds with its outrageous 3D store facades, bizarre street performers and cheap 'alternative' tat available the whole way along the main strip. As a teenager, I went to Camden for all of the above, but as a twenty-something living in North London I now go for three specific reasons: haircuts, gigs and food.

Proper Pizza at The Marquis of Wellington, Bermondsey

Pizza at Marquis of Wellington, Bermondsey

Whenever I'm away on a big holiday, I always plan something to look forward to when I'm back. You know, to soften the blow a bit. It doesn't have to be anything spectacular, but something like a pizza date with my favourite American gal pal seemed perfect.

Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London

Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Brothers Studio Tour, London

This year has been an incredible treasure trove of opportunities for me as a Harry Potter fan. I've seen Cursed Child TWICE, met stars of the films, and been invited to become an ambassador for JK Rowling's charity, Lumos. To top it all off, I was then invited to the launch of this year's Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. I've visited the tour twice before but never over Christmas and I was unbelievably excited to see the sets looking festive.

Six Reasons to Visit Bankside, London

The Shard, London

Lying on the south side of the river is many a tourist trap. The Southbank draws in the crowds for the London Eye, but it's the hidden second-hand book stalls and graffiti covered skate parks that keep locals coming back. Similarly, London Bridge has the Shard and Borough Market, but walk 10 minutes down towards Southwark and there's a new area undergoing renovation. Here's the things you should check out down at Bankside now, before the crowds sniff it out!

How to Spend a Day in Victoria, London

Townhouse in Victoria, London

There's a whole heap of guides out there on the hidden gems of London, and I love to explore my city to find the weird and wonderful. Recently though, rather than one shop or cafe that I happened to stumble upon, I found the quirky charms of an entire area and one which I've visited numerous times in the years I've lived here.

Pub Grub at The Happenstance, London

Chorizo scotch egg with paprika mayonnaise and rocket

When it comes to pub food there's a gap in the market between reheated frozen lasagne and Michelin starred cuisine. You take a risk eating somewhere who, up front, deals predominantly in pints, but it paid off at The Happenstance.

Lumos Charity Gala at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Lumos Charity Ambassadors with Evanna Lynch

Sometimes, something amazing will drop into my inbox. Over and above the 15% ASOS discount for my birthday (although let's not lie, I totally used that) and the general newsletter nonsense that I forget I've subscribed to, there is an email to stop me in my tracks, throw down my phone and do a happy dance in my chair. And that's how I began my journey with Lumos.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review