Secret London hangouts that Londoners don’t know about

Secret London hangouts that Londoners don’t know about


Weekend, where you at?

Words by James Wong

Think you know London? Think again. The capital is full of hidden gems that even those born ‘n’ bred have yet to discover. With new watering holes, events and pop-ups continuously coming through, we bet there’s something on this list that even the most-in-the-know city-dwellers  haven’t heard of.

Talk your unimaginative colleagues out of the busy after work go to’s in Soho and Mayfair, pretend you’ve done some research and delight them with some of these lesser known or hidden London gems. You’re welcome.

Candlelight Club

The Candlelight Club is a 1920s speakeasy-themed cocktail party and a brilliant chance to get dressed up and celebrate the glamorous old days. Events have live jazz bands and DJs playing music from the era, plus a bit of cabaret. The cocktail menu is short but innovative, with a combination of authentic recipes from the Prohibition period and new spins created by mixologists, and there is an opt-in three-course dining menu for those arriving on empty stomachs. This secret London hidden gem is only revealed a few days before and word is that June is Havana-themed.

london hidden gems

Jidori

Bringing Tokyo to London, Jidori is the new kid on the Covent Garden block that the uber cool are flocking to. The bar and restaurant bring together popular Japanese small plates and skewers over three floors of a Georgian terrace on Catherine Street, designed in the style of a typical Japanese izikaya . During the day, Jidori serves donburi rice bowls and yakitori skewers, and in the evening the joint comes alive with groups enjoying Omakase sharing platters and hitting the secret basement karaoke room to blow off some steam. Jidori work with karaoke kings Lucky Voice to offer over 8,000 songs so there’s definitely something for everyone whether you’re an Ariana or Aretha kinda girl. Food wise we recommend the unique Katsu curry Scotch egg and funky desserts like ginger ice cream with miso caramel and sweet potato crisps.

london hidden gems

Amelia’s Mews House Musings

You either don’t own a TV or have been tee-total for many years if you’re in London and haven’t heard of the fabulous Amelia Singer. The presenter and wine expert is Jamie Oliver’s right hand woman when it comes to wine and starred on ITV’s The Wine Show. She has dedicated her adult life to making wine fun, sharing her in-depth knowledge in her own, approachable, girl next door style. Amelia will host a series of exclusive and intimate supper clubs in her Notting Hill Mews House this year. Guests will get a chance to taste off the beaten track wines followed by a feast of fine food prepared by supper club favourite Chef Danny Jack. The evening promises educate as well as entertain, but hurry, space is limited and the secret is out.

london hidden gems

Out of the Blue at The Blue Bar

Out Of The Blue is a secret favourite with Britain’s A-List and you’ll find it hidden in the walls of The Berkeley’s Blue Bar – with space for up to just four VIPs a time. A tough one to describe in words, we would say it’s an immersive drinking experience, where you sample specially crafted cocktails while amazing visuals, smells and sounds related to them are pumped into the room to invigorate your senses. The cocktails are revealed at the end (they’re all served in identical cups), so the sessions are a bit of a guessing game which you’ll play with your fellow tasters. Book this with a date, or even your in-laws, and you’ll be raving about it for months. Slots must be booked in advance (5:30pm to 11pm, daily) here. 

london hidden gems

Mandrake

Our absolute favourite is the ideal hidden spot for any busy London lady who needs a sanctuary to escape with a good cocktail. The Mandrake is a gorgeous art-covered boutique hotel and within it, out on the first floor courtyard is Jurema. This garden terrace bar was designed by world-renowned landscape architects Bureau Bas Smets.  It’s a laid-back cabana type of setting with lush, evergreens and hanging passion flowers creeping down the walls, and soft live music transporting you out of London and into a Moroccan oasis. The wooden shack-style bar shakes up amazing feel-good summer-time cocktails including a healthy-tasting green one called ‘Hem’, using hemp oil, sorrel ice cream, yellow chartreuse and basil soda, and tee-totalers will love ‘Hops’, a refreshing mix of hops, rhubarb and kombucha.

 

london hidden gems

The Chelsea Prayer Room at GOAT

Hidden within Italian restaurant GOAT is the luxurious Chelsea Prayer Room, a secret cocktail bar for the West London set. Guests check in at GOAT upon arrival, are escorted to a little door and are given a pass code to it for the evening. Food options include incredible wood-fired pizzas and big fresh salads. You’ll kick back on comfy leather sofas and choose from an A to Z cocktail menu, starting at the ‘Avatrix’ – gin with sky blue violet, and finishing with ‘Zazerac’ – an Absinthe Barcadi creation. Feeling fruity? Your 10th cocktail is on the house. We’ll be in late for work tomorrow.

london hidden gems

Sunborn London

Sun and sea go hand in hand, so the clever clogs at the Sunborn London yacht hotel have launched a champagne deck pop-up this summer in partnership with Laurent-Perrier. Located in the glistening Royal Victoria Docks, the bar will serve champagne cocktails and nibbles every day from now until 3rd September, noon-10pm. Knock these back with views of the Emirates Air Line, Canary Wharf and The O2, and feel a little bit glam like Kate Winslet in Titanic, minus the pesky iceberg.

london hidden gems

Ballie Ballerson

Stressful week in the office? Relieve some tension with retro sweet cocktails and one million balls across three pits at London’s very unique Baillie Ballerson bar, which is basically an adult playground. There is a pit of clear balls which make you feel like you’re in some kind of waterless bubble bath, and next to it is the VIP booth area, which we highly recommend booking if you want to avoid queues. Cocktails are themed after classic pop culture moments including ‘You’re a Wizard Harry’ and ‘Hit Me Baby’, while DJ’s pump out a variety of funk, disco and R&B.

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This airline’s new luggage policy changes might make your holiday

This airline’s new luggage policy changes might make your holiday


We’re not sure what to think…

luggage

Ryanair prides itself on its budget flights to Europe, with its tagline being ‘Low fares. Made simple’.

When it was announced that the budget airline would be allowing passengers to take two carry-on items onboard, a bag for the overhead lockers as well as a handbag or rucksack, the love around Ryanair grew. And with the expensive luggage issue out of the way, we were all able to achieve low-cost travel – especially if we bypassed the extortionate onboard sandwiches.

It was devastating therefore when news broke earlier this year that our time was up, with the airline changing its hand luggage rules – and unsurprisingly not for the better.

The new Ryanair baggage policy is two-fold, with an obvious emphasis on getting people to pay to check in their luggage instead of packing light and just using the complimentary carry-on.

It seems however that Ryanair might be about to go back on its policy, set to review its luggage rules.

The January policy for check-in bags seemed positive at first, with the focus being cheaper and bigger. The size of check-in luggage has increased from 15kg to 20kg and the price has actually gone down from €35 to €25.

When it came to cabin bags however, it all went downhill, with new rules implemented at the beginning of the year.

‘Only customers who have purchased priority boarding, flexi plus, family plus or plus can bring both their bags on board,’ the airline announced. ‘Non priority customers can bring one small bag on board and put their normal bag in the hold at the boarding gate free of charge.’

They were quick to point out however that priority boarding only costs €5 at the time of boarding – or can be added for €6 up to one hour before the flight if you have the Ryanair app.

Now however, Ryanair might have to go back on its policy, after too many customers have been checking in bags at the gate.

After originally making the changes to prevent delays, the airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary has admitted that it is instead ‘creating a handling issue, particularly at peak periods.’

‘There are many flights where we’re now having to put 100, 120 gate bags free of charge into the hold,’ he explained. ‘If that continues to build it’s something we may have to look at again.’

It’s just as well, with the new policy unsurprisingly not going down well with the public, with passengers even taking to Twitter to voice their outrage.

‘There was a time when baggage was free so we all checked it in,’ tweeted Derek Jones (@Degsycom). ‘Then they charged to check it in so we took it on board. But there’s not enough room so they charged for that too. So we go back to checking in our bags… but now we pay for it. See what they did? #Ryanair #Genius.’

‘Just had my bag taken off me for not coughing up more money to @ryanair under their new bag regime,’ live-tweeted @SanMiguelMalaga from the airport. ‘The Mr. Nice guy act was never gonna last. It didn’t suit them anyway.’

We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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Just announced: Alesha Dixon as keynote speaker at our bespoke career conference, Future Shapers Live

Just announced: Alesha Dixon as keynote speaker at our bespoke career conference, Future Shapers Live


Book now for your for a career makeover…

Alesha Dixon

If you’re ready to take your work or business idea to the next level, it’s time to invest in yourself, because you are your best asset. Let Marie Claire help you achieve your goals with an empowering day of networking and career advice from some of the UK’s most high-profile bosses, influencers and motivational coaches.

Join the Marie Claire team at our Future Shapers Live 2018 event, in partnership with Neutrogena, plus a powerhouse line-up of CEOs, entrepreneurs, career coaches and inspiring women who are changing the future of work. Plus, hear from keynote speaker Alesha Dixon at the end of the day discussing the challenges, defeats and big wins of her journey to the top. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to enjoy a day of game-changing talks, workshops and insider advice – all packed into a bespoke programme designed to arm you with the skills, tools and motivation to achieve your potential and reinvent your career.

To read more about Future Shapers Live visit www.marieclaire.co.uk/futureshaperslive or to book CLICK HERE.

WHEN Saturday 9 June 2018

TIME 9.30am-6.30pm

WHERE Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AN

TICKETS £99 and includes lunch, cocktail reception and a goody bag worth over £100 (booking fee applies).

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Things to do in Nassau for the adventure-hungry traveller

Things to do in Nassau for the adventure-hungry traveller


If you want a side of excitement with your suntan…

There’s no denying that the Bahamas’ famed white beaches are absolutely worth flying over for, but there’s a lot to do in Nassau that goes beyond a sun lounger. As the capital of the sun-drenched region, it’s teeming with things to do if you’re in the mood for a more active holiday. (Not that we don’t love lying about with a Piña Colada in hand.)

We’ve done the digging and rounded up three thrill-seeking highlights in the region below. And if you’re feeling the travel bug, you can always head on over to BA.com to book a flight to ocean paradise. We’re just saying, a flight goes out five times a week to Nassau from Heathrow Airport…how much annual leave do we have left again?

Brave the Shark Wall

Shark Dive, Nassau

(Photo) ©Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism

(Photo) ©Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism

If you’re looking to get some use out of your old PADI certificate and you don’t scare easily, Nassau is the ultimate shark diving destination. With several dedicated scuba centres, most guided diving tours will take you to Shark Wall or one of three other shark hotspots. You’ll be accompanied by a professional shark feeder who’ll coax the predators out of their hiding places with bait – don’t panic when they get too close for comfort…

Ride the waves

This isn’t your standard boat trip. Head out to Ship Channel Cay to join Powerboat Adventures, where you’ll hop on board a speed boat and live out your aquatic The Fast and the Furious fantasies. The thrilling tour will zip you around a stunning private island at speeds as high as forty miles per hour (so hang onto your hat) and eventually drop you off on Ship Channel Cay’s crystal shores. Once you’ve recovered from your windswept journey, you’ll take things slow with a Nassau-style barbecue lunch and thrill seekers will also have the opportunity to snorkel with nearby reef sharks.

Join the Junkanoo celebrations

These bold national carnivals give the likes of Rio de Janeiro a run for their money. The popular consensus is that it dates back to times when slavery was still rife in the region and enslaved people were given three days to party as hard as they could. The main Junkanoo Carnival takes place on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, but throughout the year you can definitely expect dance troupes dressed in bright costumes, sick rhythms beaten on traditional Goombay drums and elements of the world-famous Junkanoo Parade sweeping a path around your hotel or through the streets. Not there at the right time? You can always head over to the Junkanoo Museum to get a taste of the festivities – bring your dancing shoes, you’ll want to join in.

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Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson on her debut album and adventures in Rome

Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson on her debut album and adventures in Rome


Marie Claire caught up with Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson to talk Gone With The Wind, folk music and hunting for antiques

Eleanor Tomlinson is a woman of many talents. Not content with stealing our hearts as heroine Demelza in BBC drama Poldark, she has now recorded an album of folk classics. Marie Claire’s Victoria Fell spoke with Eleanor to get the lowdown on her life, from her favourite filming locations to the importance of always wearing sunscreen.

‘I live in south-west London, and it’s great to be slightly further out of the city. I’m really into decorating and my flat is filled with antique pieces, like my gramophone. There’s an incredible antiques fair at Kempton Park twice a month, where you can find a real steal – I recently picked up a beautiful 40s bust there.’

‘I’ve got to film in some amazing places, like Rome a couple of years ago, which was a fabulous city to explore. On the same job, I went to Lithuania and one of the other cast members and I borrowed scooters, so we took off into the mountains. We were lucky with Poldark, too. There aren’t many other places like Bodmin Moor with wild horses roaming around.’

‘The film Gone With The Wind has been a firm favourite of mine since I first saw it as a child. I like that it’s a love story that has a strong and powerful woman at the forefront. I think Scarlett O’Hara is one of the best literary characters ever created, and I’m such a fan of Vivien Leigh.’

‘Music has always been a big part of my life. My mum and brother are both professional singers. When we were kids, they’d get up and entertain at family parties. I don’t consider myself a singer, but I got the opportunity to record an album of folk covers with [Poldark soundtrack composer and Oscar winner] Anne Dudley, which was great fun.’

‘Making sure I use hair and make-up products that are cruelty-free is important to me. Pai does some great skincare, The Body Shop is lovely and I like the lip glosses and colours by Hourglass Cosmetics. My go-to product is Actinica, which is a really powerful sun cream. It’s lovely to wear underneath make-up and gives your skin a glow. I apply it every day – anything to stop the premature ageing.’

‘I enjoy mixing up my style. Karen Millen recently gave me an amazing fringed leather jacket. If I’m going to a red-carpet event, I work with Nisha Grewal, a fabulous stylist who helps me create the whole look, like the one I wore to the BAFTA TV Awards. It was a silver metallic dress with beading by Naeem Khan.’

‘My signature scent is Chanel No5 L’Eau. I grew up with my mum wearing the original and she bought me this newer version for my birthday last year. It’s a beautiful perfume.’

‘I try not to be on my phone too much unless it’s for work, but I’m into an app at the moment called 1SE (1 Second Everyday). It uses your calendar to access photos and videos, so for each day of the week you can add a clip, which eventually plays back in a long video.’

Eleanor Tomlinson’s album Tales From Home is out on 8 June.

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Meet Dolly Pawton our fabulous correspondent

Meet Dolly Pawton our fabulous correspondent


And get ready to ask yourself, ‘What Would Dolly Pawton Do?’

Dolly Pawton Marie Claire Columnist

Dolly Pawton 1.27pm Oxford St.

Let me just adjust my crown. Okay, I’m ready.

Now let’s get the uncomfortable intros out of the way so I can tell you what happened to me this morning.

I am Dolly Pawton, a.k.a Kween. A hundred+ thousand of you will already know that via my Instagram but for those of you that have been under a rock or too busy buying a hat for the royal wedding, I am going to be your new BFF. I know, how presumptuous of me, but trust me you need me!

Kween’s need to stick together.

It’s the year of the woman and I want to start a girl gang of women aggressively supporting other women. So hands up if you want in, because if we get enough people were totally getting jackets made like a biker gang!

I am here to break down barriers and that’s a big statement for a smaller than average in size Marie Claire columnist, but what you need to know is there is nothing average about me.

I have a zero f*cks attitude, always looking as hot as hell and living an existence of cocktails and daily caffeine.

Still searching for that one to grind my bean. Yes that’s right I’m single because I’m so over having to guide f*ckboys to the spot. I’m not a compass ffs. I’m a busy working woman. I’m about self love and I’m giving it a whole new meaning.

I am going to lead you to caring more about yourself, less about bullsh*t and you may even surprise yourself on how well positioned that crown sits.

So welcome to your new fashion, lifestyle, lgbt+ and sex go-to. And, a message for the haters, those who thought I couldn’t get my paw in the door – well, here I am bitches!

I’ve done all the talking and now it’s your turn. With every column I will be doing a Dear Dolly. Which is your chance to ask me anything.

PSA: BIG NEWS!!! I can finally break my silence after months of feeling like Kylie Jenner hiding stormi from the world. 😜This news is GOALS and a dream come true!! I can now reveal that you’re looking at the new MARIE CLAIRE columnist!!! #YasKween 🙌 @marieclaireuk As far as zero f*cks go, looking hot as hell and drinking cocktails on a regs this column will be bringing more of that – more sass, sex talk, everything LGBT+ and more fashion and London lifestyle than ever. I will also be doing a regular WWDPD! What Would Dolly Pawton Do? in a “Dear Dolly” write in! 😜 So if you need relationship advice, help with life dramas or any burning questions, I’m here to give you the realest talk. You know I don’t sugar coat shit 💁‍♀️ I am really excited to get started and my first column will be launched in a fortnight. 🙌 Dolly fam, thank you for being patient cause nobody likes a tease, but you know I do it so well. 😉 This next part of my journey wouldn’t be possible without you. Your continuous love and support is truly incredible. ❤ Not one to follow in anyone’s footsteps, but throw the Manolo’s over Carrie 👠 as London’s very own fashion Icon is taking over! 💁‍♀️ #DamnStraight #BossBitch #DollyAndAnotherCity #DollyPawtonForMarieClaire #Fashion #Columnist

A post shared by ᗪOᒪᒪY ᑭᗩᗯTOᑎ™ (@dolly_pawton) on Apr 27, 2018 at 5:58am PDT

WWDPD! ‘What would Dolly Pawton Do?!’

Nothing is off limits so consider me your Dollylama (spiritual guru) here for all the real talk. Write in at dollypawton@gmail.com

Don’t worry you can be anonymous!

Oh and about this morning…. I can’t be the only one that has been eagerly awaiting all bloody week for that one delivery to forget to put clothes on to answer the door! Let’s put it this way, unlike my ex, I think my next package will come on time!

But for now I’m left a with a cocktail and contemplation….

London love

Dolly Pawton xx

PS: Is forgiveness ever possible?

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Three in four Brits are ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ with stress

Three in four Brits are ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ with stress


Happy Monday.

british stress levels
Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

It’s mental health awareness week and, well, it’s off to a bleak start. A study called Stress: Are we coping? looked into whether or not people in the UK were handling stress well and the answering was a resounding no.

The study, commissioned by Mental Health Foundation, looked into how stress affected over 4600 adults in the UK and found that 74% of people at one point felt that they were ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’. On top of that, 82% also revealed they faced high levels of stress at some point in a regular week and eight percent ‘that felt stressed all the time’.

Apparently, women are generally more stressed than men (89% versus 76%) and there was also a worrying trend of African-Caribbean women in particular facing high levels of stress, which the charity claimed was ‘linked to reported incidents of racism’.

The charity’s survey also revealed that more than a third of people (32%) had experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings as a result of their stress, with 16% self-harming as a result of it.

The foundation’s study was accompanied by recommendations on managing stress levels nationwide, with a set of seven guidelines for the government and health/social care professionals. They included changing the way health and social care professionals react to stressors in patients, which included a ‘compassionate and trauma-informed response’ and introducing ‘mental health literacy’ as a compulsory part of teacher training.

Much of the stress in the report circled back to the workplace, as they reported that half a million people were suffering as a result of it. Unsurprisingly, London has previously been cited the most stressed city in the UK with rigorous overtime and horrific commutes while on the other hand Doncaster was as stress-free as a British city comes.

Accordingly, another big recommendation was that two mental health days should be introduced for public sector workers and pressure on employers to identify and address ‘psychological hazards’ in the workplace.

For those struggling with mental health issues, the Samaritans provide 24/7 support on their hotline 116 123 and can also be emailed at jo@samaritans.org.

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The best natural and organic beauty brands to buy now

The best natural and organic beauty brands to buy now


Organic skincare that’s good for you (and the environment)

natural beauty

The UK’s organic beauty sector, including organic make up, is booming, and considering that your skin is your largest organ, it’s no surprise people are thinking more about what they’re actually putting on it.

Soil Association‘s latest market report reveals the UK organic market is now worth a whopping £2.2 billion, the most its ever been. Organic now accounts for 1.5% of the total UK food and drink market.

Non-toxic ingredients and brands are on the rise, thanks to people’s awareness of the ingredients they’re consuming, and what they can do to your body and to the earth. For example, this cult organic beauty product was out of stock for the longest time and we’re sure a few are going to work their way into our Black Friday beauty deals page.

So if natural beauty is your thing, this is how to differentiate between ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ and everything in-between. Remember, if you’re after strictly organic products, make sure to keep a look out for the Soil Association logo which will tell you the exact percentage of organic ingredients in that specific product

Organic beauty

Health and Beauty Business Development Manager Lauren Bartley from the Soil Association Certification tells us exactly what ‘organic’ means:

No GM

No toxic chemicals

No parabens

No synthetic fragrances

No nano particles

No animal testing

And when you buy organic products, you’re supporting organic or natural ingredients, sustainably sourced ingredients, sustainable manufacturing processes (no harsh processes used to create products), biodegradable packaging and protection of wildlife and the environment.

Natural beauty

Although ‘natural’ has sadly become an unregulated term in the market, it should technically mean that the product is not made of synthetic ingredients – so basically that none of the ingredients were born in a lab. But, this term isn’t as regulated as organic so it’s important to use brands you can trust actually are natural.

And, genuine natural and organic beauty (namely skincare) doesn’t need to be boring or expensive, so we’ve rounded up the best natural and organic products to add to your beauty bag from the multi-purpose balm that can be a moisturiser and a highlighter to the night mask that’s perfect to put on before a flight.

Scroll on for your essential guide.

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Waxing at home for beginners – Everything you need to know

Waxing at home for beginners – Everything you need to know


Proof that you can get salon results in the comfort of your own home

Waxing Strips

Summer is (almost) here and for a lot of us, that means turning to hair removal methods like waxing for smooth pins and a hairless bikini line.

Waxing may not be the least painful option, but it is quick and yields longer-lasting results than your razor will.

Read on to master the art of at-home waxing, from lower leg to full-on Brazilian.

Using wax strips at home

‘Making sure you have time, tools and the correct preparation are essential,’ says Nair‘s Beauty Expert Nichola Joss.

‘Nair Japanese Cherry Blossom Wax Strips require no external heating so you can simply place the strip on your legs and achieve smooth skin effortlessly.

Nichola adds that the number one thing you should remember while waxing yourself is not to rush it. ‘Take the time, make sure you have all the tools you need and prep the skin.

‘Cleansing and exfoliating can help to ensure the skin is prepared for waxing, giving you better results. If you need to exfoliate the skin do this 24 hours before.

So, what do you need to do to ensure a fuss-free DIY waxing session at home?

‘On the day, cleanse the skin with a fragrance free non oily product and ensure your skin is dry,’ Nichola advises. ‘Take your time and do one strip at a time, ensuring you gently apply to the skin. Remember to remove as instructed.’

Waxing strips need to be pulled from the skin in a single, quick move – peeling them off will be uncomfortable and won’t remove the hair effectively.

‘After you have waxed the desired area, gently apply an oil and lightly massage into skin,’ Nichola adds. ‘Wait 24hrs before applying any self-tan.’

Nair Japanese Cherry Blossom 7-in-1 Ultra Body Wax Strips, £3.48, Superdrug

waxing strips

Buy Now

Leg waxing and eyebrow waxing are both pretty self explanatory, but some hair removal procedures using wax have slightly more ambiguous names.

Hollywood waxing

This kind of waxing involves removing ALL the hair; bikini line, vulva, butt crack, the works.

It’s not an easy one to do DIY so, we’re calling it: you’d have to be mad to do your own Hollywood wax at home. The logistics of removing all hair from your nether regions without causing yourself injury just isn’t worth it.

Brazilian waxing

Brazillian waxes are very similar to Hollywood, except usually a small, visible strip of hair is left on the vulva (the external part of your lady garden). Again, unless you’re a pro, we don’t really recommend you try this one at home.

Bikini waxing

Removing hair from your bikini line, on the other hand, is pretty straightforward.

For a successful DIY bikini wax, pull the skin taut, apply the wax strip, press firmly and use the warmth of your hands to soften the wax if necessary.

After that, it’s a case of just gritting your teeth and pulling away quickly.

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It’s going to basically be impossible to book a room in London or Windsor over the Royal Wedding weekend

It’s going to basically be impossible to book a room in London or Windsor over the Royal Wedding weekend


£30 for a parking space? No thank you.

london royal wedding
Moritz Wolf/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

It’s no surprise that next week is going to be the biggest weekend of the year (maybe even the decade) for diehard royalists. Major Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stans are turning out in full force from all over the world and it turns out that if you’re planning to stay in Windsor or London for the festivities, it’s going to get a little crowded.

Airbnb released data recently that revealed Windsor bookings for the weekend were projected to rise by 194%, a welcome tourism boom if not a little inconvenient for the people that live there. Given that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will be taking place in Saint George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the city’s biggest landmark, it makes sense that people want to be as close to the action as possible.

london royal wedding

Geoffrey Swaine/REX/Shutterstock

According to the Windsor Observer, The Royal Borough be raising prices to a steep £30 at a 6,000 bay car park for all those driving in on the day and unfortunate residents. Airbnb hosts are also predicted to make a killing over the weekend, as projected collective earnings for Windsor over the weekend could exceed £126, 000.

It’s not just Windsor getting a major boost, as it’s expected that 40,000 people will be flocking to the capital to join the inevitable London street parties. Generator Hostels have revealed that London has seen a huge spike in bookings and especially from millennial fans. In fact, an eye-watering 72% of all their reservations over the weekend were specifically from the age group and 62% of those were made by women.

meghan markle dad internet cafe

Alexi Lubomirski/REX/Shutterstock

While British royalists made up a quarter of Generator’s bookings, funnily enough the hotel chain saw the biggest surge in bookings from France with numbers up by 170%. (There must be a lot of Suits fans out there.) Germany followed closely behind with an increase of 126%, followed by Canada (120%) and America (100%).

Generator’s Jason Rieff said, ‘Here at Generator we are really looking forward to the Royal wedding. It’s becoming a global event with people from all over the world travelling to London to stay here and be able to say they were a part of it. Sales of beds are up YOY for the wedding weekend and excitement is growing by the day.’

If you’re over the Royal Wedding and just want to get out of England, you’re in luck though. Couples who are called Meghan and Harry can score a free night’s stay at any of Generator’s hostels across Europe if you email getroyal@generatorhostels.com. And if you just can’t tear yourself away from royalty, British and Canadian couples can also score a 30% discount on any food and drink in Generator London over the Royal Wedding weekend.

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