Culture

Williams Handmade - Leatherwork Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course

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We like to shake it up a bit on our activity weekends. After all, we can’t let those precious free days go to waste. This is when The Amazing Blog discovered Williams Handmade, a company who specialises in craft leather goods.  They offer several leather-working workshops, like the Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course.

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Designer Sarah Williams founded Williams Handmade in 2010. As award winners of the Accessories Collection of the Year Award at ITS#NINE, The Accessory Award from Absolut Vodka, and taking part of the “Power of Craft” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Williams Handmade truly deserves the description of high-quality craftsmanship. The company has also been shortlisted for the Ketel One Modern Craftsman Award and was nominated by Selfridges as one of their Bright Young Things.


From glasses cases to bags, Sarah Williams creates each of these items herself in the Williams Handmade Workshop in Bircher, Leominster which is located on the Hereford/Shropshire borders. If you love to support local artisans as we do, you should also know that the products are made from English Bridle leather coming from Northamptonshire.

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We’re particularly excited about their Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course. By the end of the day, you’ll have your own clutch bag or iPad case to bring home and put to use.  Our team members have never worked with leather before, but luckily there’s no need for prior experience to take this course. The day entails learning the basics of leatherwork (i.e. how to cut and prepare leather), the traditional saddle stitch, and learning how to finish the edges. You also get to choose your preferred colour and pattern combination, so your lovely bag or case is just to your liking!


The Williams Handmade Half Day Clutch Bag/iPad Case Course runs from 9am-1pm on the 20th of October for £65. Tea, coffee, and cake are included. If you’d like to spice up your Saturday with this fabulous course, click here. If you’re interested in finding out about their other classes, click here.

The Return of Brick Lane’s Oldest Market, Cheshire Street, London

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Sundays are for strolling. After an exciting Friday and jam-packed Saturday, we at The Amazing Blog like to have a bit of a change of pace... The Cheshire Street Market is new to the market scene and strives to support local traders, crafters, and artists who work with recyclable materials, fair trade products, homemade and locally sourced crafts and fashions. Located on Brick Lane, the Cheshire Street Market has an enjoyable, family-friendly environment that we have the pleasure of checking out!

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Revived by the East End Traders Guild, the Cheshire Street Market has a showcase for independent designers to present their polished work to the public. As you may know, The Amazing Blog team are huge fans of art and artisan products, like homewares, art, crafts, jewellery, vintage fashions, and clothing. No worries, Cheshire Street Market has it all! It’s powerful to see in person the hands that made the items we take home. If you’re more of a foodie than you are artsy, not a problem! There are plenty of products tailored uniquely to you such as sauces, spices, and chilli plants.

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We love how the products are handmade, sustainable, and locally produced—far more meaningful than being mass-produced. We are definitely going to get creative in at least one of their offered workshops to hone new skills! Pop by from any Sunday in September 10.00-16.00 to enjoy the lingering summer heat and discover new artisan products! Also to quickly add, many thanks to Cutlass Comms for sending us information and images which were kindly donated by Phil Maxwell and assorted photographs by Jeremy Freedman and Rossana Leal.

Sea Creatures: Life Beneath the Ocean

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We are always searching for new and exciting events happening in London, especially those where the whole family can partake. If you’re interested in marine life and the creatures that inhabit our oceans, then dive into Sea Creatures: Life Beneath the Ocean’s immersive experience. The exhibition is making its first European debut this summer, and The Amazing Blog is eager to grab tickets.

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With 200 exhibits of 50 full body and 150 body parts of ethically-sourced specimens, visitors learn about marine life and conservation through various tactile approaches. While exploring the anatomy of the sea creatures, the exhibit offers a digital interactive experience for children, virtual reality installations and a mini cinema. The exhibition creates a narrative around sea life that engages its visitors in environmental awareness, through its interesting visuals. This will also be the first time that Hai Hai, the world record-breaking Minke whale will make its way to London.

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Before the exhibition’s tour to four UK cities, the London exhibition will open on 27th July until the end of August, at Royal Horticulture Halls, Lawrence Halls. The exhibit is open from 10:00-18:00, with extended hours on Thursdays. Tickets are £18 for adults, £12 for children, or £52 for families (which include tickets for two adults and two children, or one adult and three children). It’s recommended to take public transportation as there isn’t available parking at or near the venue.

Open House - British Summer Time

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In a city like London, one can get lost in the endless options of things to do. It’s almost unavoidable to become overwhelmed when deciding on plans. So, The Amazing Blog is here to help and put your mind at ease. Join us at the OPEN HOUSE in Hyde Park from Monday 9 July until Thursday 12 July. This four-day event is free to enter, and includes a free outdoor cinema, live music and activities!

With a wide variety of food, OPEN HOUSE’s street food market will satisfy all of your cravings, and importantly, will keep your spirits high with pop up bars, serving from 12 pm onwards. Each day, attendees can to partake in Birra Moretti’s “taste tour of Italy.” Additionally, Upswing, the aerial circus company, will have performances and workshops from 4pm-9pm. Every night has a themed movie with showings at 5:30 and 8:30 pm. You can expect free Wimbledon Championship screenings, from 12 pm onwards, without the hassle of a crowded bar. On Tuesday through Thursday, stop by the Royal Parks Showcase and hear daily talks, go to the plant sale or ask for advice.

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Here’s a breakdown of each day.

Monday:

Starting on Monday, the event will kick off with family favourites: The Lego Movie (U) playing at 5:30 pm and Matilda (PG) at 8:30 pm. Live music will include Mister Kanish and Daytoner. Mister Kanish, a new artist on Open House’s line-up, began in 2008 and has since been mixing 90s style hip-hop, with folk and rock riffage. Afterwards, Daytoner will perform. Enjoy the sounds of baritone, sax, flute, keys, bass, drums and DJ.

Tuesday:

There is no reason that you cannot enjoy everything that OPEN HOUSE has to offer over the course of the four days. On Tuesday, welcome Freddie & the Freeloaders and London Gay Big Band. Freddie & the Freeloaders received national recognition for the live shows and inspired interpretations of golden era Soul and Motown. London Gay Big Band is a jazz orchestra of predominately LGBT musicians and vocalists. Chickenshed’s Tales is collaborating with Brit School’s Community Arts Practice and will have performances at 10:30 am, 11:45 pm and 12:45 pm. All shows last about an hour. At night, watch our personal favourites – Grease (PG) at 5:30 pm and The Greatest Showman (PG) at 8:30 pm.

Wednesday:

Can’t make it to Chickenshed’s performance on Tuesday? That’s OK! There will be three more performances at 10:30 am, 11:45 pm and 12:45 pm. Wednesday’s musical line-up invites back The London Gay Men’s Chorus, for the fourth year, and a new band to British Summer Time Hyde Park, Temple Funk Collective. Evening movie showings are Lion (PG) at 5:30 pm and The Grand Budapest Hotel (15) at 8:30 pm.

Thursday:

To wrap up the event, OPEN HOUSE is bringing back the 80s. If you’re a fan of classics, then Thursday night’s outdoor cinema is for you. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (PG) will show at 5:30 pm and Flash Gordon (PG) at 8:30. Dance the night away with House Gospel Choir and Old Dirty Brasstards.

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We hope to see you there! Comment below what part of the event you’re looking forward to most.  

An Inmate Themed Night Out:

If like us at The Amazing Blog you're always looking for a unique way to spend a night out on the town with friends or a loved one. Well, look no further than Alcotraz - London’s own prison-themed cocktail bar. Alcotraz provides guests with an adventurous twist on an average night out in London.

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Alcotraz is definitely not your typical bar experience. When you arrive at Alcotraz you
become an inmate
. Inmates change into orange jumpsuits and pose for their mugshots, just like actual prisoners. Individuals must find a way to smuggle their liquor of choice past the
intimidating warden and into the prison. Inside the prison, there are actors stationed as guards, who can assist you in sneaking your alcohol past the warden.

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If you successfully make it past the warden with your alcohol, you will arrive at the
prison’s secret bar where other inmates can serve you drinks. To make the prison scene more
realistic, there is no set drink menu at the bar. Rather, guests have to customize their own drinks and work with the ingredients provided at the bar. With prison cells as the perfect backdrop,Alcotraz is sure to be a memorable night out for all guests in attendance.

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Alcotraz is open on Wednesday nights from 6:15pm - 10:15pm. On Thursday, Friday and
Saturday nights Alcotraz is open from 5:00pm - 11:15pm. A limited amount of tickets are
available here for £33.99. With the purchase of a ticket to Alcotraz guests are given an hour
and 45 minutes inside the prison and four drinks. We would suggest booking in advance because tickets are selling out fast!