Junkyard Golf Club - Brick Lane

This isn't my first crazy golf rodeo. I visited Moby Dick golf and Birdies golf last year, and definitely enjoy the thrill of the ball. This week it turned out that I got invited to two separate events at Junkyard Golf and saw no reason not to go twice!

Again, as ever when I accept freebies, I always write what I fancy. If you're not new here, you know that already, but it doesn't hurt to repeat myself!

Tucked away in Brick Lane, East London, Junkyard Golf is a fun, loud and boozey crazy gold experience. They have 4 courses, and a couple of bars. The drink choices are fab, the food choices less so. I'd eat before/after you play. 

Over my two visits I was able to play the creepy clown course (twice due to International Clown Week!) and Gary, the course themed on garages and cars (cooler than I'm making it sound). Which means I still have two more courses to play!

I'm such a fan of an 'activity' like crazy golf. It gives you all something to get childish about, and I of course enjoy winning...he he, who doesn't! I loved their music choices too, we were definitely dancing as we played!

Junkyard Golf Course is a 15 minute walk from Rockalily Cuts, so they're basically our neighbours, and we definitely intend on returning for a rematch soon!

The Cocktail Trading Company - First Impressions

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Sometimes novelty bars seem a bit forced, or a bit trendy (meaning they soon won't be) but I have to say, for me these cocktails hit the sweet spot. 

london cocktail company

Well thought out and actually delicious. And cool in the good way.  The cocktail menu was expansive and fun, and the staff were attentive.

Based in the heart of Shoreditch, and right on my doorstep I had to visit in its opening week. 

I tasted 4 different cocktails and would have happily drank them all. I'll be back for more!

Volunteering on Christmas Day

christmas hat

Christmas morning, the drizzly rain was pretty miserable, but off I went with my Christmas hat for protection. Last year I'd sworn I'd do Christmas differently, so here I was, a little nervous but ready to do Christmas differently.

The unknown is always a little scary, but really what was the worst that could happen? Nothing. So off I went.

volunteer at christmas

Volunteering isn't always about saving the world, sometimes its just about turning up and taking part. I was helping out at a lunch (and sitting and eating!)  for those in recovery from alcohol and/or drugs. Christmas can understandably be a very triggering time of year, there's pressure to have an amazing time with family, spend a lot of money, and a lot of support services are closed or on minimal hours. Even the fact that there is no public transport can make getting to meetings (AA, NA etc) hard or impossible.

I'm not sharing this to brag, I didn't save lives, nor did I make anything happen; this lunch would have happened in exactly the same way had I been there or not. It's perhaps just a reminder that Christmas can be whatever you decide. It can be a chance to see loved ones, a chance to help those with bigger struggles than ourselves, a chance to rest, a chance to reflect. We don't need to feel trapped by expectations.

I saw my family last week and I'm seeing my boyfriend in a few days time, so I'll have had quite a few Christmases, so giving my 25th to others (rather than just sitting at home alone??) felt right.

Thai Koasi - My first Thai Massage

This is a sponsored post but all views are my own.

This is a sponsored post but all views are my own.

My back has given me a lot of grief since I was 15. I have had physio, chiropractic manipulation, and massage, and when I worked for other people I had to have a special chair bought for me (you'll have seen it at Rockalily Cuts if you've visited). I'm a big advocate for massage; I did a short qualification in two types of massage a few years ago, and I exchange massages with my boyfriend regularly. When I was at school my mother would give me a massage a few times a week to help.

So, I'm a massage fan. This meant it was a no brainer when Thai Kosai, a new Thai massage boutique down near Spitalfields Market (down the road from me and my salon) offered me a massage to review, I accepted with no hesitation!

massage in spitalfields

If you haven't had a massage before, they'll walk you to your room, and leave you for a few minutes to take your clothes off. Strip to your pants, and lay down with the towel covering you (facing down, not up). I know a fear of not knowing the etiquette can put some people off!

massage in east london

I have to say, right from the start, it was different to any massage I've had before. It started with what felt like acupressure, rather than the more regular/expected stroking. She pressed all parts of my body, keeping her hands over the towel. It was pretty fascinating when there were certain parts she would apologise in advance of pressing them; she knew they'd hurt. It felt almost diagnostic. I love that sort of stuff! It was if she was listening to pressure points in my body. 

After the dry pressure point pressing, it moved onto the more predictable oil and stroking type massage, which was still perfectly pressured (hard!). I always find people can't apply enough pressure, but blimey I've never met anyone with stronger hands than this masseuse.

It was time to flip over to my front, and after some arm and leg acupressure type stuff, oh my gosh she moved onto my belly. This is pretty unusual for massage in the UK, and it feels oddly uncomfortable. She pressed down, for quite a substantial amount of time, right in the middle. It was really painful! Just a weird feeling. I didn't ask her to stop, as I wanted to embrace whatever it was she was doing. She tried to explain to me, but told me she lacked the English words to describe it adequately. She mentioned that many women lift it up themselves every morning, before going to the toilet. That you're lifting something up? 

thai kosai

My hair was rather epic afterwards!

It was the firmest massage I've ever had, which was a relief, as I'm always wanting it to be harder. She obviously would have let it be softer should I have wanted, but I love feeling those moments of pain too. You know it's working then!

It was such a shame having to put my handbag back over my shoulder to walk home, its what creates a lot of the tension and pain in the first place!

Board Game Cafe

board game cafe

I've always been a board game fan, perhaps from using them to share time with my weekend Dad as a child. He really valued board games as a way to spend time with someone, although I was only allowed "intellectual" style games, no Bucking Buckeroo for me! My childhood was full of chess, cards, Yahtzee, Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit.

Last night was date night, and we'd booked a table at a local board game cafe. You pay £5 to play as many games as you want, and it has a small menu of meals and a full bar to order from. I was excited about having some gaming giggles!

I have been celebrating that the side of my undercut that I'm growing out (I'm keeping one side) finally tucks behind my ear- woohoo. I wore my Collectif dress (use REE10 for discount), and my H&M earrings.

qwordie game

We started with a game that was new to both of us. Qwordie. I won this game. Just. We didn't really rate it though and were keen to try another! 

trivial pursuit party version

We moved onto Trivial Pursuit Party, which is a shorter version of the infamous quiz game. B won this one. One all.

super mario chess

How could we resist this amazingly cute Super Mario chess set? We played a game, I won. Two-one to me.

mousetrap boardgame

I remember a school friend having mousetrap, so it must be possible for children to play it alone, but blimey it was challenging to set up last night! We finally managed to get the elastic bands in place, when we realised we only had one ball, not the required three. Here is my disappointed face that after all of the construction we wouldn't be able to play.

hungry hippos

The final game was Hungry Hippos, which I lost, so overall we drew 2-2. Probably the safest outcome hey?

We had a great time, but sadly we were very disappointed in the customer service, so much so, we refused to pay the service charge which had been added to the bill. When we arrived there were no staff to be seen, and we had to wait to be seated for quite a few minutes. The server didn't actually take us to our table, just told us which one it was. Which meant no one actually explained how we use the games. When I've been to other novelty cafes, the server has always been very good at explaining the set up/rules. Once seated we waited about 25 minutes without being asked to place an order. Which felt really odd. In the end I had to call a server over, and ask them if we could order our drinks and food. 25 minutes...it was a weird experience to be ignored/forgotten in a restaurant!

I hate to be a moaning minnie, but it had a noticable impact on our evening. However, overall we had a great time, spent over £60 and we would return to give it another shot. Perhaps they were just short staffed, and service is usually much better? But definitely board games for the win.

#BrutusChristmas - My First Christmas Party of the Season

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Last night I attended my first official Christmas party- The Brutus TrimFit Party! If you follow any pictures of me online, I'm sure you may well recognise the tartan shirts that make a regular appearance in my outfits. Just last week my official ambassador video was released too.

brutu christmas party

The party was at The Moth Club, a traditional working men's type club, so it had provided the perfect backdrop for a bunch of mods in tartan, braces and DMs.

brutus party

Both my boyfriend B and I donned a new Brutus shirt for the occasion, and were excited to get out of the house and have a boogie. 

reeree brutus party

The music was a blend of ska, motown and general 60s retro-ness which isn't usually what I'd go out to, but I have to say we enjoyed hitting the dance floor and cutting some shapes!

Me and B have been learning some BSL (British Sign Language) together so we used the evening as a chance to try some out, and chat to each other using sign. It may have been the drunken confidence but we both got really excited about being able to share some basic level of communication with each other. Felt like we'd made some small level of progress, which you always need to celebrate when tackling something as daunting as learning a new language. It's the small victories that count!

brutus trimfit christmas

I haven't been to a vintage night out for a long time, and its great when a work event gives you a reason to step outside of your comfort zone. What I found most refreshing was how unsexualised the atmosphere was. The women were dressed in shirts, or 60s dresses. I was surprised that I really noticed how little flesh was out on display. It just set such a different vibe to the evening to the standard night out in Shoreditch. A change is as a good as a holiday!

I believe the discount code ROCKALILY is still valid on the shirts, I wear a S in mens, or a M in womens as size reference should you want to buy your first!

Winterville in Victoria Park

winterville 2015

After a failed attempt at creating some festive cheer at the Christmas Market at Southbank yesterday, today I geared myself up for a second go at Winterville in Victoria Park.

We arrived just after it opened at 3pm, but actually this meant a lot of things weren't actually open, which was a shame. We went straight for some hot cider. I'd hoped to get some christmas gifts, but the markets were either clothing based or closed completely.

winterville food stalls

There are a lot of food options, but as a vegetarian who tends to stay away from starchy carbs I obviously have less choice, but was happy to find this halloumi salad box. Rather challenging to eat with just a chip fork, but I just had to get my fingers involved. And a second hot cider of course.

winterville east london

I also braved trying roast chestnuts for the first time, after asking the guy manning the stall what they tasted of. He advised me he doesn't like them, and people tend to say they were like potato. He allowed me to try one, and as I didn't hate it, I bought a bag! This led to a debate about whether they were conkers (google tells me a big no; conkers are poisonous apparently). I struggled to work out how best to eat them, but I liked them!

I may well return to either ice skate or mini golf, so watch this space as I'm sure I'll be terrible at both of these activities!