Like any modern twenty-something, I felt I had enough cinematic experience to prepare me for my first trip to Las Vegas and while I wouldn’t say my naivety left me at a loss, I certainly didn’t imagine Vegas in its incredible entirety.
Parties? Sure. Gambling? Sure. Wealth? You betcha. The endlessly entertaining, relaxing, and somehow family-friendly city it is? Not at all.
From an impromptu night partying with Calvin Harris to a day hiking the Grand Canyon, Vegas gave me everything I could have hoped for in the middle of the desert. And so much more.
The vlog (above) and blog (below) will give you the low-down on my personal experience as well as a bit of a Vegas for Dummies (or Vegas 101, to be politically correct) at the bottom.
I’m not a huge fan of purchasing DVDs for people but I do love buying presents for fellow film-lovers so was thrilled to find out Cineworld have just released their gift box for the holidays to open the magic of the cinematic experience; two 2D or 3D tickets, two regular drinks, one regular popcorn and two Merryteaser chocolates for just £25!
The idea? Share more magic with Cineworld. Grab your Wizarding World-loving pal and present them with the gift box and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Cursed Child wrapped up in a Hogwarts hoodie (surprisingly easy to do and adorable as the sleeves can easily be fashioned into a bow!). Conveniently, the hoodie is also likely to be the only comfortable thing to wear to Cineworld on your food-comaed Boxing Day trip to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them before it leaves cinemas.
This gift idea can obviously work for any movie your loved one has shown interest in, so don’t hesitate to be creative! So many films are about to be released – – Rogue One, Assassins Creed, T2, Sing, etc – and all have an inspiring theme of their own to tie into your friends and families interests. The gifts are available online from Cineworld.com and in Cineworld cinemas nationwide.
For the big dreamer…
I love group gifting but it can often be very hard to keep track of and often put a lot of pressure on one person (“the money handler”). Leetchi (which also works for crowdfunding) has completely taken the hassle out of it. Money pots (or projects) are set up within minutes, completely secure, and hold all of the money with no stress to the organiser.
The idea: Have a friend who has always dreamed of spending a romantic weekend in Paris? Luxury hotel costs, Eurostar tickets, and a restaurant gift card for two may cost £400 but you can split the cost between ten friends at only £40 a piece! Has your Mum spent the last ten years lusting over a Mulberry Bayswater? You can split the cost with the rest of your family for less than £100 each!
With a few messages exchanged beforehand to find all interested parties, group gifting can literally make dreams come true.
For the impossible to buy for…
Not to worry! I love helping people find and create special gifts so if you’ve trawled through the best gift guides around (hint: House of Fraser has a fabulous one!) and still feel stuck, shoot me a tweet (@lelalondon) and I’ll do my darnedest to help.
I am lucky enough to get invited to more than my fair share of events but rarely find myself wishing they wouldn’t end like I did at last week’s party with Bombay Sapphire.
To launch the Bombay Sapphire New Traditions Christmas Collection (five artist-reimagined Christmas installations and Bombay Sapphire-filled cocktail collection), the brand took over Sushisamba and threw a holiday party to endorse boundary-breaking new traditions.
Under the likes of Richard Clarkson Christmas Baubles and DBLG & Brooke Roberts Christmas Jumpers, we sipped on everything from hot gin mochas to the exquisitely reinvented G&T you see below; the likes of which I’ve managed to nab the recipes for, just a little further down!
Here’s to new traditions…
Hot Gin Mocha Serves three
120ml Bombay Sapphire
3 tsp caster sugar
75 ml Crème de Cacao
3 shots of strong espresso
Long shavings of dark chocolate
1. Combine the espresso with a teaspoon of sugar in a pan and heat
2. Add the measure of Bombay Sapphire
3. Followed by a serving of Crème De Cacao
4. When it reaches a simmer, remove from the heat
5. Serve in suitable vessel, such as a mug or glass with handle
6. Finish with long shavings of dark chocolate.
Winter Pine Twist Serves one
50 ml Bombay Sapphire
125 ml Premium Tonic Water
1. Fill balloon or highball glass with ice.
2. Add the measure of Bombay Sapphire followed by the premium tonic
3. Stir gently.
4. Garnish with lime wheels
5. The finishing touches? A single pine sprig and a scattering of cranberries.