I doubt a crystal ball could have predicted the tumultuity I witnessed in the corner booth of Lucky Voice Islington.
For a fraction of a moment (maybe even A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson…), I genuinely believed I had left a private karaoke room and entered a parallel universe.
At the start of a uncharacteristically large ‘night out’, I was befuddled to witness 10 out of my 11 companions inoculate the evening with more liquid courage than an impending 2-hour sing-song deemed sensibly necessary.
With a number of less-than-impressive musical theatre years under my belt, I found it hard to believe there was only one other – obviously wonderful – human in our hesitant tribe who liked the idea of singing/shouting all their favourite songs with friends as much as I did.
Alas, the onset of bottomless Prosecco emboldened a change in tune. Or a tune whatsoever.
Once we passed the inevitably awkward hump of initial song selections (8,000+ spanning current hits and oldies mean you’re spoilt for choice), the X Factor versions of every single one of my formerly tentative podmates erupted across the microphones.
What was lost in Instagram Stories’ 24 hour cycle is forever imprinted in cerebral pools of 90s DIY megamixes, surprisingly perfect Tinie Tempah renditions, and countless espresso martinis (thanks, in large part, to the booth’s ‘Thirsty’ call button).
Next time you’re finding it difficult to convince your friends to a little private karaoke merriment, steer them towards Lucky Voice and let the rest take care of itself.
There are few places in this world as intoxicatingly vibrant, inclusive and diverse as New York City and nowhere else could compare as the crescendo of Lela Takes The Crescent.
Ironically, the cross-country sleeper train adventure also marked the five year anniversary of my first trip to the Big Apple as a Sex and The City repeat-obsessed twentysomething. A trip that had such a profound effect on me I have designed countless excuses to return to the city every time I cross the Atlantic.
I know Manhattan well. Very well. I know where the local foodies eat (don’t worry – a food guide is coming shortly!), which streets to avoid when tourist-dodging, what residential buildings have better views than the Empire State, and then some.
But I didn’t know it like I now do after Accomplice The Show.
Accomplice New York – an immersive theatre adventure through downtown Manhattan – was the irrefutable highlight of my time in the city and one of the best ‘tours’ I have ever experienced.
Without giving too much away, Accomplice blends all the best parts of theatre and scavenger hunts so seamlessly you feel as though the journey is a fundamental part of the city’s unique and ever-altering complexities. Like Mission: Impossible. Albeit with less risk and more alcohol.
Over the course of three hours, the city’s iconic streets become part playground, part playhouse. With some of the most hilariously quick-witted actors to guide you along the way.
Whether you’ve never hit US soil or you’re a New York native, I can almost guarantee you a fabulous time. I will cherish the adrenaline-pumping afternoon spent with Accomplice for my entire life.
(Note: All photos featured are a selection from Accomplice and my general time in the City to keep spoilers at a minimum. The starting location will be revealed a day or two before your event via phone call and varies dependent on the show of your choice.)
As a petite woman with non-petite extremities (we’re talking boobs and bums here, babes), I have always found fitness wear rather aggravating. Sports bras tend to do one of two things; 1) suffocate me or 2) look amazing but offer absolutely. Until last week, I had resigned myself to believe my typical HIIT-intense routine would keep me in baggy shirts and tiny shorts while my yoga-loving friends could parade around in Instagram-worthy bra and legging sets.
Then I found Simply Be’s uber curve-friendly offerings and had an epiphany; buying a sports bra in my actual bra size and a higher neck could almost make a sports bra modest as outerwear on a curvy woman.
I have ran, jumped, danced, and burpee-d in this new wardrobe addition and could not be happier. No mothers covering their children’s eyes in parks, no discomfort, and no more crazy sweat-filled cover ups.
What I Wore:
Puma Clash leggings
Naturally Close High Impact Non Wired Print Sports Bra
Smith & Canova Mint blue leather handbag
White Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra Trainers
If I’m raving about fried food after four months in America, you know someone’s doing something right.
In this case, it’s Wing Wing – London’s answer to the ever-growing Korean trend of ‘Chimaek’ (translation: chicken and beer) restaurants.
While it crispy Korean-style wings and drumsticks are their calling card (and available in a soy garlic, hot, or liquorice glaze), I rate their Katsu bao as one of the city’s best. With a lightly fried bao bun, they are a unique take on an Asian favourite and delightfully dirty.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Chimaek experience without the beer and Wing Wing’s spectacular ‘bottoms up’ beer system (which pours an ice-cold pint in four second from an upwards-pouring spout) doesn’t disappoint.
Alco-free? Their ginger beer slush is a sweet and principled substitute.
Impressed with Wing Wing’s eponymous offering, my dinner date and I decided to delve deeper into the menu; seaweed fries, onion bricks, yuzu meringue bao nuts (their creme filled bao-utilizing ‘donuts’), and a strawberry granola ice cream which felt bizarrely healthy after all the aforementioned.
While the counter-serve restaurant may lack its Holborn-based neighbours’ sophistication, it is – after all – a fried chicken restaurant. Go with a group, try a little bit of everything, and try your darnedest not to order some hot drumsticks for the road.
“They live in Athens?” I questioned, momentarily wondering whether my sporadic decision to spend a long weekend in a city I couldn’t point to on a map was all that bright.
“Let’s do it!”
Recalling my whirlwind adventure in Athens Athens less than a year ago, I could hardly refuse getting to know its denominative twin (albeit, as a consolidated city–county in Georgia, an inevitable contrary to twindom in every other way).
True to ‘all good decisions find their way to the blogiverse’ form, you can rest assured Athens USA – differences abounding – had plenty to offer of its own…