Halloween
special

Whether you like it not, the end of the month always brings about excitement for children and adults alike, and not just because it is full of treats! This year Halloween has descended on us like the plague and before we jump straight in on the festivities… here is a quick update; of inspiration and ideas for 2016.

Fancy dress up

As well as your typical furry animals and zombie bride that remain a classic Halloween dress up, popular costumes this year may include…

Stranger things

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Pokemon GO

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There is no doubt you may see the odd Pokemon crawling about this Halloween; take your pick from the original 151! Apparently Pokemon mouths a.k.a Pokemouths are also a true thing… where you paint an entire Pokemon around your mouth!

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And even pokeballs get their moment of fame:

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Snapchat filters

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The rise of snapchat filters in 2016 has been enormous and now they happen to be universally popular for all ages…

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Drink up

Pumpkin flavours and red and orange coloured liquids are always a go-to when treating your guests to spooky drink. Here we have:

 

Blood orange margaritas 

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This flavorful citrus fruit adds a dramatic ruby red color to recipes both sweet and savoury.

INGREDIENTS

  • kosher salt
  • Crushed ice
  • ½ c. fresh blood orange juice
  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. triple sec or Cointreau
  • Blood orange wedges (optional)
  1. Moisten rim of 2 margarita glasses and dip in kosher salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Add orange juice, tequila, and triple sec. Shake well and strain into glasses. Garnish with orange wedges, if desired.

Bloody Black Currant Punch 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1¼ c. brandy
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 4 c. black currant nectar
  • 1½ c. cold seltzer
  1. Stir brandy and sugar in a large bowl. Add nectar; stir to combine. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. Punch can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days. Add seltzer just before serving.

Dark and Stormies 

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INGREDIENTS

ICE CUBES:
  • 8 c. ginger beer
DRINK:
  • 8 c. ginger beer
  • 4 c. dark rum
  • ½ c. fresh lime juice
  • Thinly sliced lime
  1. To make ginger beer ice cubes: Pour 8 cups ginger beer into 4 ice cube trays and freeze.
  2. Stir ginger beer, rum and lime juice in a pitcher. Serve in tall cocktail glasses with 3 or 4 ice cubes each; garnish with lime. Try Barritt’s Ginger Beer, available at sodapopstop.com, and Gosling’s rum.

Trick or Treat?

Who knew how much you could do to a plain old apple!

“Poison” Candy Apples

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Ingredients

  • 12 baby Granny Smith apples
  • 12 wooden candy apple sticks or dowels
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • ½ c. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. black gel paste food coloring
  1. Wash and dry apples thoroughly. Place on a baking sheet and poke firmly with dowels. Line a second baking sheet with buttered parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Place a candy thermometer in a medium saucepan and add sugar, 3/4 cups water, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Let the temperature rise without stirring until it reaches the hard-crack mark at 310 degrees F. Remove pan from heat. Carefully remove thermometer, and add food coloring.
  3. Swirl pan to mix in the color completely. Swipe and twirl the apple through the candy, shake off excess, and place on buttered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples.

Caramel Apples 

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Ingredients

  • 12 crisp apples
  • 1⅓ c. dark corn syrup
  • 1⅓ c. granulated sugar
  • 1⅓ c. light brown sugar
  • 1⅓ c. heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Line a baking pan with a generously oiled sheet of parchment paper. Push a candy apple stick into the core of each apple.
  2. Combine the syrup, sugars, heavy cream, and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer until the mixture reaches 270 degrees F – about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and vanilla. Let cool for 6 to 8 minutes, until caramel thickens to a toffeelike consistency.
  3. Dip and gently swirl the apples into the caramel and place on the prepared baking sheet. Let cool completely.

Ghostly Coconut Covered Apples 

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Ingredients

  • 6 Fuji Apples
  • 10 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 4 c. shredded coconut
  1. Remove stems and skewer apples (see “Tricks for Sticks,” below).
  2. In a double boiler over low heat, melt white chocolate chips, stirring continuously.
  3. Dip an apple into the chocolate. Immediately dip the apple into a bowl of shredded coconut, rotating to coat evenly.
  4. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for all apples and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

London Pop up screenings

You will not be stuck with what to do in London on Halloween weekend!

Farmopolis 

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Watch the Little Shop of Horrors – a horror musical about a flesh eating plant than amid the flora and fauna of Farmopolis ~ October 28th, £15, North Greenwich

‘Nosferatu’ at the Royal Albert Hall

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The birthplace of horror cinema. This screening includes haunting live piano . ~ October 31st £16.50

 

 

Teen Horror Pyjama Party 

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Six great movies, 11 hours. A room full of strangers in their jim jams.

~ October 29th, £20 The Prince Charles

More information here

The Cult of John Carpenter at the BFI

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From ‘Halloween’ to ‘The Thing’, the king of indie horror gets his own season at the BFI Southbank. For more information please see here

London’s Hottest
Exercise Classes

Exercise becomes more central to most people’s weekly routines as summer approaches and the thought of wearing a floaty dress or a bikini becomes a reality! Having said this, the May to September period is quite a long stretch meaning that even the biggest fitness fanatics can become demotivated. In order to avoid this problem, we’ve researched the hottest exercise classes around the city that will guarantee that you break a sweat while holding your interest so that you can stay on track to achieving an awesome summer body.

Psycle

hottest exercise classes

Everyone across London has been raving about Psycle since it first opened in 2014. The team claims they offer a high intensity, low impact, head-to-toe workout on a bike and having tried it numerous times, we totally agree. Although a normal spinning class would tend to focus more on the muscles in one’s legs, this class also incorporates movements on the bike which engage the core in addition to weighted arm exercises. The name ‘Psycle’ comes from combining the words ‘cycle’ and ‘psychology’ to lay emphasis on the brand’s focus on the mental side to powering through intense exercise. This class definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted, but the great pumping music definitely helps you to keep going towards the last 10 minutes! View their website.

Barry’s Bootcamp

best exercise classes

Barry’s Bootcamp has a cult following not only at its London branches but also across in the pond in New York, Miami and Hollywood. Their signature hour-long workouts include 30 minutes of interval training on the treadmill and 25-30 minutes of strength training using free weights and resistance bands among other equipment. Barry’s is well known for being extreme, but its great reputation would suggest that the results are worth it. This workout is great for people hoping to slim down and build muscles simultaneously, as the treadmill work is great for shifting a few pounds while the strength training will help to tone the abs, glutes and arms. Check it out here.

Kobox

best exercise classes london

Kobox, London’s first boutique boxing studio, only opened in December 2015 but it hasn’t been off the fitness radar since. Classes combine punching work on a weighted bag with strength training that focuses on the lower body meaning that no part of the body is left untouched. The instructors promise to torch calories, improve your coordination and strengthen the whole body. We love the fun factor to this class which makes it great for those feeling unmotivated; its definitely a change up from a normal gym-based cardio routine. Website here.

GymClass

best exercise classes london

Founded by celebrity trainer Helle Hammond, GymClass promises to help you achieve a sculpted body through a focus on circuits-based exercise which ensures that both the upper and lower body are being toned. These circuits keep the class interesting by breaking it up into smaller sections, meaning that (most of the time) you’re not left wandering when you’ll be allowed to stop! The circuits are made up of weights work, cycling and even some TRX training. The class is split up into teams to work on each circuit together so if you’re a newbie to more intense exercise this might be a good class to try. See their website here.

TriYoga

exercise class london

For those of you who fancy something slightly less extreme but that will still have results, try yoga, pilates or barre classes at TriYoga. These classes offer gentle toning but also focus more on mental strength and wellbeing more than the others. If you fancy this approach but want to try something that is still going to push you, why not have a go at their hot yoga which is slightly more difficult than the standard options. TriYoga has many locations in London such as Camden, Chelsea, Covent Garden and Soho meaning that it is convenient for most people across the city.Visit their website here.