Chelsea

Kayaking on the Thames

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Feel like a bit of adventure?  Then read on…We at The Amazing Blog are always open to new thrills. I wonder, have you ever thought of viewing London by night on the water? However, all from a very different perspective. Enter Kayaking London who give you the opportunity to bob along the Thames, tripping the lights fantastic, in a way that only London can offer. Kayaking London have bases in Chelsea and Ladbroke Groove with excellent facilities and equipment. In both centres they have hot showers, changing rooms and lockers to keep for your valuables (you’ll need a small padlock).  Kayaking London is an activity that allows you to kayak along the river Thames while sight- seeing in London.

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The tour we’re going to talk about is their Big Ben by Night. These run from now in September to April. London is equally beautiful at night as it is by day and is more beautiful as the sunset reflects on The River Thames. The trip is 2 1/2 hours long, where you glide along on the river, you’ll be able to see the Houses of Parliament and central London in all their lit-up splendour before heading back to base in Chelsea on a new tide. As the trip is run on highly stable boats, no experience in kayaking is required.

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The coaches are highly trained and qualified by British Canoe Union, fully CRB checked and have years of experience. They will prep, equip and help you master the basics of boat controlling before you begin your tour. They have a range of kayaks, spacious and stable doubles, or fast sleek singles – something to suit everyone. Quickly added you have to be over 18 years old to partake in this activity. Big Ben by Night tickets are £42. purchase your ticket here Fall in love with London all over again, as you experience night-time kayaking on the longest river in England.

 

 

Nairian - Micellar Rose Water and Cleanser

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As fellow skincare fans will know, we’re always on the hunt for new cleansers and micellar waters to help maintain a clear skin. This is something we’ve all struggled with for a long time, because most products either provoke dryness or produce oils in excess, leaving our skin sticky or worse, clogging our pores. Finding products that are powerful and effective but also soft and kind to our skin is a challenge. At The Amazing Blog, we have discovered a new brand Nairian who we’ve heard lots of good things about. What’s more they produce an effective Micellar Rose Water and Cleanser which we couldn’t be more excited about.

Nairian is an Armenian family-based business that always has two priorities: Your skin and the planet. Armenia is a small country in Eastern Europe where the soil mainly comes from volcanoes, therefore it is incredibly rich in nutrients. Nairian sustainably harvest their ingredients in these local lands, on the slope of Mount Ara. They use principles of aromatherapy to make all their products which are cruelty, paraben, sulphates, synthetic fragrances and chemical-free. Nairian puts quality and sustainability at the core of the business and by growing all their products organically, where they are handcrafted and plant-based. They also monitor the production process from seed to bottle, in order to deliver the very best in top-quality products.

Let’s start with the Nairian Cleanser which is a delicately fragranced, gentle soap-free formula made with calendula flower and essential oils. It cleanses, calms and brightens both the skin and mind, as you inhale its flowery and zesty fragrance. Containing sunflower seed oil, citrus peel and rose geranium all of which have antibacterial properties among others, it soothes our redness and inflammation whilst maintaining our skin’s natural moisture.  The Nairian Cleanser is suitable for all skin types and is highly recommended to use on acne-prone, dry or mature skin. To make the most of it, use only two pumps and gently massage your face. To remove it, use a damp cloth and repeat the process morning and night. Ideally, follow it with your toner (i.e. Nairian Micella Water for optimal results) and a moisturiser of your own preference.

For us finding micellar waters and cleansers that do not irritate the skin has been a bit of a mission. Nairian Micellar Rose Water is gentle but also capable of deeply removing pollution and grime. Mainly composed with rose water, this micellar will not only cleanses but it also soothes and calms any inflammation. It also contains a hint of rose essential oil which spreads antioxidants throughout the skin, protecting it from day-to-day pollutants as well as preventing ageing. The Nairian Micellar Rose Water is suitable for all skins and its dash of glycerine, finds the perfect balance between oily and dry, giving you a soft and hydrated face. Wet a cotton pad and apply it onto your skin in an upward motion to fully activate all the ingredients.

We’ve added these two Nairian cleansers to our must-have list, we think once tried, you will too. With countless benefits, the Micellar Rose Water and their Cleanser leave your skin like never before. If this sounds like something you need, you can get your 200ml Micellar Rose Water for £28 here and the 100ml Cleanser for £28 here .

Cally King London- Fragrances

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For some young girls trying to navigate their way around the world of fragrance, can be really quite daunting. We at The Amazing Blog have heard this from various younger sisters, nieces and friends. So, where do they begin?  Step forward Cally King a welcome newcomer to the beauty world, who has created an original concept with a range of fragrances mainly aimed at the teen market.

Cally King London was created by Kate Wright, whose inspiration came from wanting to give her teenage daughters a bearing in the over-populated and confusing world of perfume. Kate herself, recalls falling in love with different fragrances as a young girl. For her, it all started when seated in her grandmother’s bedroom watching her daily ritual of spritzing her favourite scent. She said “bottle after tantalising bottle was unstoppered for me to try, Guerlain, Chanel, Dior and I was quickly hooked. But confused!” Years later, curious to see how her own daughter would navigate her way in this world, Kate took her to a perfumery. They started trying all the different fragrances until they both became dizzy with choice and couldn’t tell one from the other. Kate added, “I realised we needed to get back to basics – to try some scents out at home, to find out what we really like. Which is how Cally King was born.”

Cally King is not only perfect for teenage girls, but for anyone who wants to experiment with fragrance. They have a handy selection on four scents which can used by mixing and matching at home. A perfect way to discover what kind of scents suit you, by smelling them individually or layering in any combination you choose. It also gives young perfume aficionado the chance to experiment on their own, without feeling pressurised by pushy sales assistants. The choice of these four eau de toilette fragrances helps to demystify perfume by offering four distinct aspects of the fragrance wheel - fresh, floral, exotic and woody. Their Gift Set presentation box containing all four is stylish, girly and elegantly designed and comes with an explanatory notebook and sample strips.

The first scent in the Gift Set that we tried was Aspen, which is a woody scent reminiscent of a forest after a heavy down pour. It smells of a combination of sandalwood/cedarwood and has a delicious chocolate and earthy finish to complete it. The second is Honor (named after Kate’s daughter), which has a fresh smell identifying to us as mainly citrus. Awakening the senses, it also has a hint of mint and fresh green leaves which adds another dimension to this zesty scent. On the other hand, Maya is a stronger more exotic and sophisticated fragrance with a moreish fruitiness of ripe apricots and spice. The final quartet in the Gift Set is Grace which is floral, feminine and light. Grace reminds us of English flower garden in full bloom, it’s the perfect fragrance to brighten up even the dullest days. Our favourite? Layering Aspen and Grace, to strengthen the floral top notes and tone down the woody base notes, it’s a great combination do try it.

To purchase Aspen, Honor, Maya and Grace see here. All fragrances are eau de toilette, 10ml and individually priced at £9.95. These scents are also available in roller balls at the same price. Cally King also offers a Gift Set here with the full quartet of scents at £30.

Friday Favourites: South West Wine School

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Wine fascinates us with all the varieties, colours and flavours which are infinite; and being able to identify a specific wine is pretty much in everyone’s wish list. At The Amazing Blog we always enjoy learning more about the origin of the wines, how it affects the characteristics with the difference in taste or texture and so on. This is why we were intrigued to find out more about the South West Wine School with their Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses.

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The South West Wine School, was co-founded by Jonathan and Hayley Reynolds with the aim of providing first class wine education across the country. Both with numerous years of expertise, Hayley holds the DipWSET diploma, while Jonathan is WSET Level 3 certified and said “I have recently taken and passed my WSET Level 3. It provides such a comprehensive education on everything related to wine, from growing vines, winemaking and the different grape varieties to serving recommendations and food and wine pairings.” This year, they are holding WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) courses to give you the chance to get your diploma, just like Jonathan and Hayley. Sponsored by the likes of Salcombe Gin, Eversfield Organic, Enotria & Coe, Vineyard Productions, The Eco Laundry, Kingston Estate and Deer Park Country House, this event couldn’t look more promising. They offer comprehensive education from growing wines, learning about the different grape varieties, to winemaking and serving recommendations. They are also members of associations like Food & Drink Devon and Taste of the West.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) was established in 1969 for the UK wine trade. It provides optimal education courses and certifications recognised globally as the international standard in wine and spirit knowledge for both wine enthusiasts and professionals. The courses will take place at the South West Wine School’s headquarters in Wakeham Farm, in South Devon and will be primarily taught by Hayley Reynolds and Rebecca Mitchell (also DipWSET certified). The next available courses begin in September and go along until the end of November.

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Please see the following dates:

WSET Level 1 is on Thursday 5th September, Wednesday 9th October and Wednesday 6th November. Sign up to obtain the WSET Level 1 diploma. This course is ideal for those who are new to the wine industry. You will learn about the world of wine, explore the types and style through sight, smell and taste and gain skills to describe wines accurately to know what the best food is for pairing. Sign up for a 7 hour day course beginning at 10am for £155.

To achieve the WSET 2, they are doing 3 day courses, a total of 21 hours, for £395. This qualification is suitable for those seeking a deeper understanding of wines. From wine regions, grape varieties and styles, to classifications and labelling terminology, this course is excellent to be taken to the core of the wine industry for those aiming to achieve an intermediate level of knowledge. Moreover, you will also receive an overview of the key categories of liqueurs and spirits. WSET Level 2 – 3 day courses: Wednesday 11th, 18th, and 25th of September. Or Tuesday 12th, 19th, and 26th of November.

WSET Level 3 – 6 day course: Tuesday 10th, 17th, 24th September continuing Tuesday 1st, 8th and 15th October. In order to take the WSET Level 3 course, you will need to have passed the Level 2. This level is for those wanting to become professionals and work in the wine industry. This is a much more in-depth course, touching up on grape growing and the mastering of wine making. Once completed, you will be able to confidently assess wines accurately, delving deeper onto style and quality. The course is 6 days long and has a price of £695.

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They welcome the professional, enthusiast or beginner to these courses. You can sign up here and embark on this journey to become wine expert obtaining an international qualification. Perfect for ticking off on your wish list!

Nonsuch Shrubs

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Drinking vinegars are now a top trending topic at The Amazing Blog, I hear you say ‘drinking vinegar, seriously?’ It was not until we received Nonsuch Shrubs that we understood how delicious they could be. Nonsuch Shrubs was founded by Henry Chevallier Guild, the cider entrepreneur (Aspall Cyder), all with the aim to challenge the alcoholic beverage industry. It all started when he noticed that there were very few alcohol-free alternatives on a dry night out.

Nonsuch Shrubs have take their inspiration from ancient Babylonian techniques, creating their sweet and sharp cordial drinks with cyder vinegar and sparkling water. Much as drinking cider vinegar is a hot topic now, adding water to vinegar actually started in ancient times in order to make water to safer to drink. The founder Henry was quoted in an interview “I wanted something that behaved like alcohol, without getting me drunk.” Interestingly, the word ‘shrubs’ is derived from the Arabic work ‘Sharbah’ which means ‘a drink’. Nonsuch shrubs, a.k.a. Nonsuch drinks, are a drinking alternative that behave like alcoholic drinks due to the precise balance of the ingredients. Mainly composed by raw fruits, herbs and apple cider vinegar. Thus out of an ancient formula, a modern elixir was born.

We tasted two out of their four different varieties. They both paired extremely well with food, and we were very impressed with the zesty flavours with their infusions of fruit, herbs and apple cider vinegar. Their Peach & Basil Shrub is an ideal drink to partner with fresh snacks like hummus, almonds, and summery salads such as tomato and mozzarella; pear, walnut and gorgonzola; and more. With a golden straw colour, the vinegar boosts the flavour of the basil and the peach. The Sour Cherry & Garden Mint has a dark red cherry colour and the combination of flavours will transport you to the Middle East. Its blend of cherry, mint and apple, give you a tang of acidity and sourness that is enhanced with the hint of vinegar and contrasted with the minty aroma. We think it works perfectly with lamb or vegetable tagine as well as cucumber salads, fish and artichokes.

Nonsuch shrubs are not only good to the taste buds with their unique harmony of savoury, sweet and sour experience. Quickly added, the beautiful designed packaging make it even more appealing too. Try one of these sparkling, rich in vitamin C, with no added sugars getting your 250ml bottle here for £3.29 and let your mouth experience a burst of flavours. These are a MUST-try!