Tag 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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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

One of the people who have inspired me a lot in the past years is Jamie Oliver. I have started to follow his work mainly because to me, he is one of the top chefs; not just in Europe but worldwide. He offers tons of recipes online, and sells various books with his cuisines, targeted towards healthy food as well as not too “expensive” so that us, the plain Jane and regular Joe can afford to try it out.

Along the years, Jamie has become more than just a chef. He owns his own Franchise Restaurants “Jamie’s Italian” which are magnificent by the way! As a non UK resident, I still had the same privilege; I subscribed to the gold club, and am taking advantage of several offers and features while dining in one of his restaurants.

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Furthermore, Jamie has been campaigning to instil a healthier Britain; to educate people to eat healthier, by inspiring them to cook at home rather than buying cheap eats on a regular basis; to help the nation fight obesity, by mastering a healthier lifestyle – food-wise and exercise-wise.

Last November, Jamie Oliver introduced his own recommendations to tackle childhood obesity. He suggested a new tax on sugary drinks, fairer marketing as well as a school food plan among others.

Today, 16th March 2016, in London, the parliament has decided that within the next two years the sugary drinks tax will be implemented. This is not just a win for Jamie, but Britain as a whole. It is one of the steps to fight obesity, not just in children but adults alike.

I personally think, that such tax should be present in all the world. MALTA are you listening? If fast food and soft drinks weren’t so cheap, one would think twice buying these products.

Lets fight the ticking time bomb that is obesity, together!

 

Read about Jamie’s campaigns here
Join the Revolution here

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

Remember, Remember

…The 5th of November!!

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For those who are not in the know, the 5th of November is the night we celebrate Guy Fawkes.

But… Who was Guy Fawkes?
Imagine England in the 1600s.. Still under shock and divided between Catholics and Protestants; of course this goes way back since the reign of King Henry VIII. Four kings later, religion did not change and the pressure was still undergoing. The story of Guy Fawkes happened two years after James I was crowned as king. In fact, Fawkes was one of the main members of The Gunpowder Plot of 1605. A group of Catholics have attempted to bomb, or rather blow up the House of Parliament and kill the king. The idea was to protest against the rule of a Protestant King. Guy was the chosen one, the one to light the fuse on D DAY. Because of this reason, he got a lot of attention regarding the conspiracy story; and also a day named after him.

If the story sounds familiar to you… It is probably because you have watched the film V for Vendetta.
Join me tonight and make it a yearly habit; Join me by watching this. Lets remember this night of treason, together.

So, what are we celebrating on this day?
I would dare say, that for the Brits, this day is Thanksgiving Day. The tradition itself started on the same day and year that the Gunpowder Plot had the failed coup. It started as a joyful celebration of Londoners, relieved that their King was saved. This was done by the means of a bonfire.
As time went by, the celebration became more elaborate. Preparations for the Bonfire Night did not include just the bonfire, but also fireworks. Before this day, some would also dare making a dummy of Guy Fawkes, the Pope and some even of politicians. Guy’s dummy is placed on top of the bonfire, and once it is alight, people would throw into the fire the other dummies. Fireworks display fills the sky all over Britain, and some would also light their own fireworks from their home garden.

Bonfire Night is not just celebrated in Britain, as the tradition itself crossed oceans all over and has become popular in a lot of the British colonies along the years. Canada and New Zealand for instance still celebrate it.

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When I lived in England, I was very keen about this Day. I even got my own mask. X

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…

Lauren Aquilina BillBoard Sheperd Bush London

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!

Jonathan Rhys Meyers: Know his Story!

It bothers me to the extend of vomiting, or in the worst case scenario, to the extend that I want to kick someone in the face, when people write about Jonathan Rhys Meyers. It seems, no news is good news for them, unless they catch him with a bottle of vodka in his hands.

Turns out the actor has been seen in London two days ago buying alcohol, while wearing what would appear as ‘normal clothes’. If they saw another person in broad daylight drinking in the street, it would have been al-right. But if it’s Jonathan, then it’s wrong. First and foremost, famous actors, are normal people like us; they can make mistakes and fall off the wagon. Secondly, the media is not helping him get any better by pointing fingers at him.

Jonathan happens to be my all-time favourite actor. He’s talented, he can sing, and he can act. His accent is to die for. But what also really amused me is what has led him into becoming who he is. I would think, most of you wouldn’t even know what he went through growing up.

BrieflyThe Story of Jonathan Rhys Meyers

I’d start by telling you, that his surname was O’Keeffe but when his parents separated, he took his mother’s maiden name. They moved from Dublin to Cork were they lived in poverty at one of the council flats. His mother Mary, drank most of her money away, and Jonathan used to steal from her dole money to make sure that he and his brother had something to eat at the end of the day. He later lived with another family, until he was spotted by a modelling agency. This is what led him to the career he’s most known for now. When he made enough money, he bought a bungalow in Cork for his mother. This is what stole my heart. No matter what he went through in his childhood, he went back to his roots; to his mother, and tried to give her a better life; to save her.

Almost 10 years ago, his adoptive father; his saviour; was convicted of abusing a homeless boy and sent to prison. Soon after his mother passed away.

I think all that has happened to him in his life, has made him what he is; his personality is extreme and compulsive. He works a lot, he trains a lot, he drinks a lot. There’s no in between, no normal for him. Just like he went from poverty to riches.

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My point is, don’t judge a person without knowing their story. Help out while you can. If I had a way to reach out to him I would, but I am just one of his many fans. A nobody.

Gossip Girl’s Chuck Bass

Ed Westwick, famously know as Chuck Bass; sexiest guy on Gossip Girl, will be the main actor, even better… a serial killer for  a new filler series on ABC. Not only was I stunned to see him as the main actor, but he’s going to have a totally different role than what is known for… Surely still a womaniser, but lets just say… there will be a twist to it. No pun intended… Ha!

I am also hoping that this English actor will for one stop americanising his accent… and let me admire his talent… ;p

Here’s Ed Westwick being Chuck Bass:

Here’s an interview with Ed – listen to his accent… what made him not take advantage of it during Gossip Girl?

Here’s a trailer of his new series… Wicked City