Young Ladies About Town

The girls living and laughing their way around London, meeting lots of fascinating folk along the way...

Christmas at Kew

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 28 November 2014
If - like me - you live in central London but crave a country walk to escape the Christmas crowds, then head Kew Gardens.  They’ve developed a fabulous night time light installation in the grounds to create a totally new perspective on the gardens. Like a sculpture trail with lights, the effect is quite magical: music comes out of trees and the  fountain springs up with multi-coloured water. The world-famous Palm House lights up from inside, flashing and pulsating in quite a surreal and captivating way. Turn a corner and a plume of flames gives a dramatic flash of light, turn another corner and a wisteria covered in fairy lights creates a secret den to hide in.

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I have in on good authority that small children love it. Father Christmas and his band of magical helpers whisper your Christmas wishes to a listening tree.  The carousel, marshmallows to toast on a fire pit and room to run wild makes this a really great children’s experience that all the family will love. On the last bit of the mile long trail we hung a lantern on a tree and made a wish ( I would tell you, but it won’t come true if I do). We drank mulled wine and crunched along the frosty park and the crowded shops and frantic rushing of the city fell away.

If you miss the light show head to the park on a cold frosty day, walk off those mince pies, hug a tree and escape to the country in London.

For more information click here

Marvelling at meditation

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Meditation is in. It's official. There are countless books on the topic, 'workshops' popping up all over London, and just last month this Young Lady About Town interviewed a very famous male singer who was raving about the benefits of his practice.

And yet for many - myself included - the idea of actively not thinking still seems a bit alien.  Why sit doing nothing for 20 minutes when you can read a book? Watch television? Mix a cocktail?

meditation-1-590.jpgYou can meditate anywhere (dappled sunlight not required)

According to Graham Doke, a meditation expert and director of the Anamaya centre in Kensington, this doing nothing actually does a lot for your wellbeing. The way he explains it is quite simple: all babies are born with a blank slate - they are not angry, frustrated or sad. We learn these emotions and behaviours, and over time they literally affect our neural pathways. This means that is you frequently get angry, you will continue to do so, because that pathway is well-worn and easy for the brain to use.

The good news is that we can reset these pathways and utilise more positive ones. Instead of anger, for example, you can learn to feel compassion. Instead of frustration, you can learn patience. Instead of sadness, you can feel hope. You get the picture. This relearning (or resetting if you like) is where meditation comes in.

Attending a one-on-one session with Graham is both illuminating and relaxing. Sitting cross-legged in a dim room, his soft voice encourages me first to concentrate on my breathing, then takes me on a mental journey designed to encourage a sense of calm. Every time a rogue thought threatens to interrupt, he tells me to simply acknowledge it's presence but not 'jump into' it.  

meditation-2-590Expert Graham Doke

'Meditation is not complicated, but it's not easy,' he explains. Switching off is a challenge, but Graham certainly enables me to quieten (if not entirely dispel) my mental chatter. The ultimate goal of meditation, he says, is to occupy the 'mind-like sky'. This is the space below your thoughts - your even, unruffled consciousness. Thoughts are like clouds in this sky: you can observe them, but you don't have to engage with them.

It can take weeks, months or years or meditation practice to achieve this state. When you do, Graham explains, the sense of peace is almost euphoric. Not everyone can have access to a meditation teacher, however, which is why he has created the Anamaya app.  This not only includes guided meditations (with Graham's own deeply soothing voice) but also insights into the theory behind practicing, and a way of monitoring your progress. The idea is that anyone can do it anytime, anywhere.

Even after one session, this Young Lady came away a little bit lighter and a lot more zen. Fired up by this revitalised energy, when I got home I managed to read a book and watch television and mix a cocktail. Perhaps doing nothing enables you to achieve more in the end...Armed with the app, I plan to find out.

For more information on the Anamaya app click here. To download the app click here.

Winter Wonderland opening night

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Friday, 21 November 2014
Last night’s opening night of Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland heralded the start of Christmas. This huge extravaganza is now truly a part of London’s Christmas calendar and we Young Ladies About Town were invited to the VIP night. We shared a mulled cider (or two, maybe three) with The Lady favourites including Princess Beatrice, Helena Bonham-Carter and husband Tim Burton. Kirstie Allsopp was also in attendace, along with half the cast of Strictly Come Dancing, including Brendan Cole and his lovely wife Zoe, and Anton Du Berke (who hugged Father Christmas). If you love a celeb in mittens as much as we do, then this was the grotto to be seen in!

Winter-Wonderland-2

Winter Wonderland caters for all ages and is great for families and children, and  has everything you need from bars and food stalls, giant ice rinks, a Ferris Wheel and countless fairground rides for all ages. If you are going with anyone who loves a bit of magic and ice, you must visit The Magical Ice Kingdom. Themed with ice sculptures of giant knights on horseback, dragons with glowing eyes and  swords cast in blocks of ice, this is King Arthur’s kingdom in frozen form. If you love magical fairy tales, Arthurian legends and a bit of Narnia style you will love this.

We were in heaven as soon as we were greeted by a pair of ice wolves howling at a blue ice moon and set in a woodland forests. Suddenly Hyde Park was far, far away and we had been whisked to the Artic world, where hats are needed as the room is set at -12 degrees to keep the statues in pristine condition. We squealed with delight at the ice squirrels, growling bears and sound of galloping horses as a frozen joust scene appeared around a corner.

Winter-Wonderland

The pièce de résistance? You can sit on two giant ice thrones and have an official photograph taken (as we did in a Beckam wedding vs White Witch mash-up). We didn’t want to leave and was slightly disappointed to discover that Hyde Park wasn’t covered in snow and icicles, but since Winter Wonderland is open till early January, maybe there’s still time for the real magic to happen.

Dates: Friday 21st November 2014 – Sunday 4th January 2015 (closed Christmas day)
Times: 10am – 10pm daily (except 21st November – opens from 5pm)
Entry: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is FREE to enter, there is no admission fee however charges do apply for some attractions including the Magical Ice Kingdom, Ferris Wheel and Ice Skating
Online booking: www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com

Words by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory

Comedy, charity and CoppaFeel!

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
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on Thursday, 06 November 2014
We Young Ladies About Town never tire of going to the theatre, and what could be better than our enjoyment aiding a worthy cause?

In February, every ticket sold to Di and Viv and Rose will lead to a £3 donation to the charity CoppaFeel! All customers need to do is quote 'COPPAFEEL' when booking.

It is an inspired double act. Di an Viv and Rose (transferring to the Vaudeville Theatre after a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre) stars Tamzin Outhwaite, and is a funny and honest exploration of life and female friendship. CoppaFeel! was founded in 2009 by twin sisters Kris and Maren Hellenga after Kris was diagnosed with breast cancer. Both the charity and the play speak volumes about the strength and power of female ties.

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As if we needed any encouragement, this is a play we'll be seeing more than once...

£3.00 from every £49.50 & £39.50 ticket and £15 student ticket purchased for performances in February will be donated to CoppaFeel! when quoting the promotional code 'COPPAFEEL' either online at here or by calling 0844 482 9675.

Rex on the red carpet

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
Fiona Hicks has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 05 November 2014
The Lady’s roving four-pawed puppy reporter, “Rex on the Red Carpet” , brings you news from last week’s the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home ‘Collars and Coats Gala ball’ . As an ex-Battersea Dog, Rex was re-homed earlier this year by Young Ladies About Town blogger Kitty Buchanan-Gregory and now is quite the Dog About Town interviewing A list celebrities on the red carpet. Here are his views on who those who stopped and talked to him:

Paul O’Grady MBE, Presenter of ‘For the Love of Dogs’

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Paul and I go way back to earlier this year when I was a homeless puppy at Battersea after being run over badly and then given to the dogs home. Paul filmed my recovery and I’m now on the montage at the beginning of the TV show. Happily for me I was re-homed by my new mum, and Paul and I had a reunion on the red carpet with much ear fussing and talking about the old days. We love Paul. 10/10

Amanda Holden

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Bouncy hair, shiny nose and bright eyes - Amanda came down the red carpet looking amazing and ignored all the other press to give me some ear fuss and chin rubs. Always the popular one on the red carpet, we loved the way she cooed at me (if only Jack Russell’s could blush then I would). See how pleased she is to be photographed with me ! If only I could have spent the rest of the evening on her lap. No tit-bit but full marks for genuine canine enthusiasm. 9/10

David Gandy

B-590

Wolf whistling from my owner brought David to heel – and what a guy, he’s nearly as handsome as I am. We talked guy chat about sausages, best parks to walk in and collar accessories for Autumn /Winter . I think we bonded. He gave me a greasy sausage treat and spent so much time fussing me that the PR people had to move him on. I would gladly go for park walks with David – he’s a proper dog man. My owner now even has the photo of us together as her screen saver (he’s that good).  10/10

Words by Kitty Buchanan-Gregory


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"BEAUTY may fade and riches be lost, but a sense of humour ripens with the years, and cannot be stolen. It remains a very real solace, and a talisman against the ills of life."

The Lady. The Invaluable Possession 2nd May, 1912
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Q: A recent survey has revealed the Top 10 things British women would love to do but are too scared. Have you done any of the following?

Sing in public / karaoke - 10.6%
Ask for a pay rise - 6.2%
Travel or holiday alone - 27.7%
Do a naked photo-shoot - 6.2%
Get a tattoo - 3.8%
Have a bikini wax - 4.9%
Get your hair cut very short - 10.6%
Ask someone out on a date - 3.8%
Quit your job - 19%
Have cosmetic surgery - 7.3%
The voting for this poll has ended on: 13 Jun 2014 - 09:12
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