Category Archives: London

The Best Geek Locations in England

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A lot of people in England want to realize their nerdy dreams overseas. This is because a lot of what we love comes from other countries. We want to visit Hollywood to see the museums and filming locations of our favourite movies. We want to visit Japan because it gave birth to anime.

It’s easy to forget that there are plenty of perfect geeky or nerdy locations right here in England. And when I use those words, I mean what we usually mean. I’m talking about fans of films, books, comics, theme parks and technology!

Here’s a quick, but by no means exhaustive, guide to some of the best examples!

Comic conventions

There are plenty of comic conventions in London. The most famous example would be the MCM Comic-Con. Contrary to popular opinion, this isn’t officially the British version of the San Diego Comic-Con. But this is closest we’ll get, and it’s amazing in its own right!

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When the MCM Comic-Con is on, you’ll know about it wherever you go in London. Geeks from all over the country flock here in their best cosplay outfits. Celebrities attend the event and meet fans. Comic stands are everywhere. And beware, those of you who think selfies have replaced the autograph! Celebrity autographs are still alive, kicking and very much available at the MCM Comic-Con!

The next MCM Comic-Con takes place in late May. The celebrity guests will include Warwick Davis and Meg Turney, the Internet’s favourite cosplayer. Remember, though, that there’s more than one comic convention in England! There’s also the London Super Comic Convention, which takes place earlier in the year. For less mainstream tastes, there’s also the brilliant East London Comic and Arts Festival. You can find out more at http://www.elcaf.co.uk.

Theme parks

Theme parks are a great way to pretend we’re in a loud, colourful fantasy land. For geeks with courage, there’s not much better than a roller coaster! For many of us, it’s the closest we’ll get to the thrilling action and speed we see in our favourite movies. There are a lot of theme parks in England, but you may as well visit one with the best roller coasters.

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The names Thorpe Park and Alton Towers often come to mind. But if you’re going to experience roller coasters, you may as well do it properly. Blackpool Pleasure Beach is consistently ranked as the best theme park in England and one of the best in Europe. (Remember that it has to compete with Disneyland Paris when the whole of Europe is invited to the competition!) It has more roller coasters than any other theme park in Europe. Its attractions are also world-renowned record breakers. When it launched in the mid-nineties, the Big One was the tallest and the fastest roller coaster in the entire world. It’s still the tallest in the United Kingdom! There’s also Valhalla, the longest indoor roller coaster in the world. (It was also the most expensive to build!) You can find out more at https://www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com.

Not too far away from Blackpool is the Laurel and Hardy Museum. It’s the only such museum in the world. It has a 1920s style theatre that shows classic comedy. It’s a must for movie buffs!

Literature hotspots

England has an amazing history of literature! For any book geek, it’s one of the best countries in the world. The first place you may think of is Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes lived in Conan Doyle’s novels. In these stories, Holmes and Watson lived at 221b Baker Street. Back then, though, there were no property numbers beyond 100 on Baker Street! These days, 221b Baker Street does exist. It’s the Sherlock Holmes Museum! Any fans of the stories or the BBC show must see this museum. You can read more about it at http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk.

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The real homes of many authors can be visited by the public. The Brontë Parsonage Museum preserves the residence of the literary sisters as it was when they wrote their classics. The home of legendary poet John Keats can also be found in Hampstead.

The hangouts of some of the great writers are also easily accessible. A trip to Oxford isn’t complete without a visit to The Eagle and Child. This is the pub where the fantasy writers C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to drink and chat with each other. Cornwall also houses the Jamaica Inn. The name isn’t a reference to the Daphne du Maurier’s classic horror novel. The novel was named after the inn! du Maurier stayed there on a particularly foggy and scary evening. The inspiration for her novel hit her there.

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London Tea Exchange Review

I have always had a strong bond with tea, but always preferred teabags over loose tea leaves just because it is so much easier to make tea.  But when I opened my mind towards loose tea leaves, I realised how many more options I have at hand, and how much I can experiment with various flavours, even making my own flavour.

During my loose tea leaves discovery, I was in London, and this is where I came across London Tea Exchange. Right next to the tea shop door, there were various teas one could sample. And so I did…

Entering the shop was like I was in heaven. Everywhere I look, it was tea and more tea… Over a hundred choices, and I couldn’t be more excited.. and confused.

It was hard to just choose just the one flavour, but since I never had chocolate or coconut flavoured tea, I thought that I should opt for a black tea… with these two flavours. May I say that…. It is magnificent?

The tea was given in a golden packaging which made it safely from London to Malta.

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The tea itself looks something like the below… Although not cheap, it is very tasty and makes me feel all warm and tingly inside….

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When in London, I’d suggest you give this shop a try, if like me, you are a massive tea lover 😉

Black Books!

You are probably reading this, because you know my geeky self, and you have an idea what I’m about to talk about.

Second clue would be… Bill Bailey!

I suppose if you are still reading this, you are either aware of what I am talking about (fingers crossed), or otherwise you must be a curious cat. If you are the latter, Black Books is a British sitcom featuring Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran and Tamsin Greig. It is all filmed within a bookshop and it is hilarious.

During my visit to London in July, I made my way to Black Books of course… I was staying in a hotel within 5 minutes walking distance, so I could not miss out the opportunity.

Needless to say, I was delighted I finally made it:

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Some book that really caught my eye in the book shop display 🙂 steffisays-blackbooks-fandom-caught my eye

That day when my name made it on a billboard in London!

I never thought I’d see the day that my name would be on a billboard in London… I know it is not going to make a difference in my life or yours, but it is still a rather cool moment to treasure.

A few weeks back (or was it months? Gosh, time flies…), Lauren Aquilina who is an England based singer (with Maltese descendants) made a competition and I was actually one of the 2,000 fans which made it on the billboard.

Thankfully the designer was wise enough and wrote the names in alphabetical order, and so it didn’t take me long until I found my name on there.

Here is me making history, right next to Shepard’s Bush underground station, London.. hahaha…

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And here is one of Lauren’s songs, because she deserves the promotion:

Baker Street Lovin’

When I was a teenager, I was fascinated by London.
I was even more overwhelmed when I discovered that in London, there was an alternative town by the name of Camden. Every time I visited England, I had to spend a day there shopping until I run out of money. When I moved to England in 2011, London become the least attractive place for me to visit. Sure there were a lot of shops and activities going on, but it was too busy and hectic for my liking. I would go down to London for a major gig or to meet friends who were visiting; but would not bother with it at all otherwise.

But this year, everything has changed.
I had to go back to London for one specific reason: AC/DC.
Any heavy metal fan would know that AC/DC are touring again, and considering their age, it would most likely be the last time (I hope I am wrong!). But this was the sole reason why I step foot in London again, after 3 odd years.

While I was there, I had to fulfill one huge dream which unbelievably I did not do even though I visited the city countless times.

Baker Street

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I would like to think, that if you are reading this, you know where I’m going with this.

Well, geeky Steffi… geeky TV Series.
Hello Sherlock Holmes:

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Did you know that 221b, Baker Street is the world’s most Googled address?

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Waiting for Sherlock outside the door
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Sherlock’s store

Tomorrow, tomorrow…

It still does not feel real that I will be in mid-air tomorrow.

For some reason, even after packing my luggage and I’m officially ‘ready to go’ it still feels unreal.

It could be, because I will be fulfilling five things from my bucket list, or something is just very, very wrong with me:

  1. I will be watching AC/DC live at Wembley Stadium
  2. I will be visiting Cardiff aka Doctor Who hot spot
  3. Going to 221, Baker Street!! (Not sure why it took me so long!!!)
  4. Hampton Court Palace – If you do not know why, you don’t know me at all!!
  5. CASTLES!

So, if you have read the above, it means that I am on my way to Cardiff and London, baby!

524 years ago, King Henry VIII was born

Wishing, a very happy birthday to King Henry VIII; my favourite king from all British history. My fascination about this king started when I was around 8 years, and I was assigned a project at school about this king. Back in those days, we did not have internet available, so we had to go to the library to look up information. During this I learned so much about the king and how much he achieved, and to this date the Tudor age is my favourite era. On the 28th of June, 1491 Henry was born, and at the age of 18, he was declared the king. If his older brother did not die, he would have never become a king, or at least not at a such young age.

There are three things that you need to know about this king:

  1. tudorsHe broke off from the Roman Catholic Church in order to establish the Church of England – all for one purpose; to get his first divorce.
  2. He remodeled the government, adored art and architecture and encouraged modern politics
  3. He  had six wives, two of which have been executed in the Tower of London:
  • He has married Katherine of Aragon, as Spanish princes and they were married for 18 years. He had to introduce divorce in England in order to be able to divorce her. His reason for this is because Katherine was pregnant six times but never has managed to give him a male heir. Only one of her babies survived, a daughter; Princess Mary. At her death bed, she wrote a letter to Henry VIII telling him that throughout her life she has no eyes for anyone but him. She was the most devoted wife he has ever had.
  • Ann Boleyn was his second wife, and their relationship lasted 3 years. She has given him another Princess by the name Elisabeth. Ann Boleyn was not very well accepted as a queen and had a lot of trouble at court. Right after a miscarriage, she was arrested and executed at the Tower of London for adultery and incest.
  • The only wife who has managed to give him a male heir was Jane Seymour. King Henry VIII was very happy and in love, as he felt that his mission was fulfilled, however when his son Edward was one year old, his wife died on him.
  • Henry has first saw his new wife on a painting by Hans Hoblein. He married Anne of Cleves and soon after he found her to be unattractive. To this, he started pursuing on of her maids of honour Catherine Howard. Anne and Henry annulled their marriage after six months, but they both remained friends. In fact, he commanded that she should be treated as the King’s sister.
  • Three weeks after his annulment, he married Catherine Howard, who was still almost in her teenage years. As such, there were rumours going on about her infidelity, about her past and ongoing love affairs. Henry was enraged about this and had her arrested at Hampton Court Palace and later beheaded at the Tower of London.
  • Kateryn Parr was Henry’s last wife. She evidently loved another (Thomas Seymour) however she could not refuse the king’s proposal. She was known for her devotion and intelligence, and she stayed with Henry until his very last breath. She did marry Thomas in the end, but irony had it that she died 15 months later, after giving birth to their daughter.

Prince Edward VI has become king at the age of 9 when Henry VIII passed away. Edward did die from a terminal illness at the age of 15. Upon which, the reign of his half sister Mary started. If you are interested in watching a TV Series about the life on Henry and his wives, I recommend the series by the name of ‘Tudors’.