london bloggers

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.

 

 

Friday Favorites – Natural Deodorants

Late summer is probably the best season of the year here in the UK, still light evenings and gently balmy nights… However, not always is so nice in rush hour on the tube when packed with hot sweaty bodies and it’s 25+ degrees. You leave home smelling fresh but when you reach the office, you look and feel like you’ve run a marathon. Today at The Amazing Blog we thought it an opportune moment to share with you our four favourite natural deodorants that will help to keep you smelling sweet all day long.

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First up is Scence’s natural deodorant balm. With three different scents, Scence has you covered. The Cornish-based artisan skincare brand cares about what you put on your skin in the same way as cares about the planet. If it harms the planet, it harms us. Formulated with natural and organic ingredients, get ready to enjoy fully nourished skin. Scence was founded by Krista Taylor who clarified the brand’s message: “I have always been interested in natural oils and the efficacy of herbs and felt frustrated that so much of the natural skincare on offer was packaged in single use plastic containers and applicators. I was making balms for family and friends that needed help with eczema and sensitive skin as well as developing a really effective deodorant that didn’t use questionable ingredients like aluminium.” 

Their Cool Rose, Juniper Berry and Cedar Fresh deodorant balms are made for everyday use and are designed to last up to 3 months. Mainly composed with organic coconut oil, mango butter, essential oils, baking soda and arrowroot; they absorb moisture and are made into a stick for easy application. Because it is a natural product with fresh ingredients, it is recommended to use within 12 months of purchase to maintain the optimal qualities of each of the elements.

Our favourite was the Cool Rose stick which melts as soon as it touches your skin, making it very easy to glide and releasing the scent of rose geranium. Each stick is packaged in a fully recyclable tube and all deodorants are paraben and cruelty-free. Get your Scent Deodorant Balm here for £12.00.

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Next is Elsa’s Organic Skin Foods’s Deodorant. Founded by Henrietta, The brand’s name Elsa is inspired by her mum, who is an environmentalist and advocate that has been producing artisan skincare for decades. Henrietta has a teen daughter who like all of us when she comes back from school, she is a little less fragrant than when she left… Henrietta refused to use any roll-on or sprayed deodorants that are chemical based and found it quite hard to find natural deodorants. This is why she decided to specialise in deodorant creams with ingredients that you would only find in a kitchen. Thus, Elsa’s Organic Skin Food’s was born.

With a range of four signature deodorant stick fragrances: Dew, Ocean, Sensitive and Love. All key ingredients are coconut oil, arrowroot powder, shea butter, magnesium oxide, candelilla wax, vitamin E, bergamot oil, geranium oil, patchouli oil, and a few other essential oils. They each certified organic and some are even winners of The Beauty Shortlist Awards and Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards.

Elsa’s deodorants are very simple to use. Apply it onto clean and dry areas for a few seconds, swiping up and down 1 or 2 times. Your body heat will soften the stick allowing it to slide smoothly on your skin. Because its composition is very rich in minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids, it automatically becomes a 4-in-1 deodorant. It is disinfectant and antimicrobial, blocks odour, absorbs wetness, and soothes your skin, keeping it nourished.  We gave Love a go and of course it smells amazing. It releases scents from roses and patchouli and keeps your skin odour-free all day. All products are It is vegan and suitable for all skin types. Purchasing your 45 ml deodorant stick here for £12.00 each.

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Onto Logona, an established German beauty brand which has been trading for over 40 years, with huge expertise in the natural products sector all products come with the NaTrue or BDIH seal.  From makeup, nail polish to natural shampoos, and many more products, Logona has been a pioneer brand winner of several awards including having received distinctions from Öko-Test particularly for their Daily Care Organic Aloe & Verbena Deo Spray.

This Daily Care Organic Aloe and Verbena Deo Spray, is a deodorant that ensures long-lasting freshness to combat body odour successfully. With verbena and aloe as main active ingredients, this deodorant has a lemony verbena fragrance and soothes irritated skin by nourishing it and moisturising it.  We quickly want to mention that although it’s a very gentle deodorant, it also fights against bacteria with all the antioxidants it contains.

We love this alternative spray deodorant because it gives ultimate freshness, protects the planet and our skin. Get your Logona award-winning deodorant here £8.95.

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Last but not least, is We Love The Planet. This Dutch brand has developed a series of deodorants that consist of 100% natural ingredients. They are NC and EcoControl certified, meaning they only make products with natural ingredients. Their key organic ingredient is coconut oil and We Love The Planet stick deodorants have no synthetic fabrics or aluminium added, meaning it is harmless to you and the planet. Sometimes, when using a high street brand of roll-on deodorant, we find that it takes time to absorb and clogs under-arm pores, but this does not happen with We Love The Planet. Like our other natural deodorants, it acts as a moisturiser and soothes your skin in a matter of seconds. Also, like some of the other natural deodorants mentioned in this feature, one single stick can last up to 3 months. Amazing.

We Love The Planet have created six different scents for their deodorants; Forever Fresh, lovely citrusy and pure spice odour; Lovely Lavender, wonderful smell of wild and tame lavender; Mighty Mint, a blend of mint and rosemary scents; So Sensitive, ideal for extra-sensitive skins since it is hypoallergenic and had a delicate and mild smell; Original Orange, another citrusy hinted deodorant with a touch of mandarin; and Sweet Serenity, a subtle scent of rose, honey and spices. No matter which one you chose they will be equally effective. Each stick is made out of 100% recyclable materials and the deodorant is made with coconut oil, baking powder, corn starch powder, caprylic acid, and beeswax. These ingredients deodorise, moisturise, calms irritated skin, reduce the excess of oils and perspiration and help skin restoration. Beeswax used to keep the consistency of the stick and allows it to slightly melt when it touches your skin.  Our favourite fragrances from this range were the Forever Fresh and Lovely Lavender sticks, they are so easy to carry around in a handbag to apply and top-up during the day. Just push the bottom a little bit for the stick to go up and swipe it on each armpit a couple of times. Purchase your stick now for € 11,50 here.

We hope we have given you a perfect solution to help ‘keep fragrant’. We are so thrilled to discover so many great natural deodorant brands and hope that we have persuaded you to try something new too. Which was our favourite? That’s a hard one, we’d have to say that we loved them all!

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!

U Glow - Anti-Ageing Tanning Water

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I think you’ll agree, that one feels happier and healthier when you’ve got a little bit of a tan. As we’ve mentioned before at The Amazing Blog we’re not sun worshippers. Therefore we’re always on the look-out for new self-tanning products, particularly if they are fragrance-free and offer no mess and. This is when we came across U Glow at the showcase for the CEW awards earlier this year. This self-tanning water is a mist poised to give an even glow from just a light misting application.

U Glow has just launched this year with their clear anti-ageing tanning water. First of all say goodbye to tanning products staining your clothes, and secondly, we like that it’s anti-ageing. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, this tanning water will give you not only a natural summer glow but also a deeply moisturised and nourished skin. Thirdly, it’s tanning water, so forget about creams, foams and oils, tanning water is even easier to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin. Finally, it’s a fragrance-free self-tanning product which as they claim leaves no marks, no mess, or sticky feeling.

What we love the most, is that it is hassle-free. To apply the tanning water, simply place the spray at arms length and lightly mist the water over the desired area you want to tan. With the mitt, buff the area gently covering all areas to ensure a streak-free tan. The tan will fully develop within 6-8 hours, being dry to the touch in 60 seconds. It is specifically formulated so you can shower just three hours after applying the tanning water and will continue to develop after showering. The mitt is very durable, giving for months of wear (pop into the washing machine). We recommend waxing or shaving at least 24 hours before using the product to achieve a long-lasting effect, as well as ensuring your skin is exfoliated and free from any other products. When applying the mist to your face and hands,  they say it’s suitable for contouring (we suggest blending the mist with a makeup brush). An easy, clean, practical way to achieve a flawless natural all over body tan, which adapts to your individual skin tone.

Purchase your U Glow mitt and Tanning Water here , for the mitt £4.95 and U Glow £19.50 for the 100ml.  It’s so good that it’s also now available as a professional range for salons.  Say hello to a reduced odour, fast acting solution with clear application. U Glow, U Go!