The Room Exhaled as The Body Image Myth Smashed at their Feet

Originally posted on Mumtoteens:

body image myth - the lies we're told that make us feel bad about ourselves

I think the above list startlingly sums up not just what our daughters have to contend with on a daily basis but everything that’s wrong with how women are portrayed in the movies, on TV, in magazines and newspapers and on social media – a Body Image Myth that is impossible to live up to. 

Ask any man, who has any level of maturity, if he wants a woman who looks like the above list and he’ll tell you that all he wants is a woman who will actually go out with him and accept him for what he is.  He doesn’t care about her eyebrows or the size of her feet or whether her boobs are big or not – all he wants is boobs of any shape or size.

But our young women have this image of perfection, this lie rammed down their throats at every turn.  They’re…

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Opportunities at Impact Hub Brixton

Originally posted on Impact Hub Brixton:

Hub Brixton cutWe have two great opportunities to join the core team getting the Impact Hub Brixton off the ground. We are looking for talented, energetic people with passion for enterprise and community who are based in Brixton or broader Lambeth.

Please click on the links below to see the job descriptions and skills we’re looking for. The deadline is 10 am on Monday 24 March and interviews will be held on Wednesday 26 March.

Please help us spread the word!

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Spacious and Stylish – Lech Zurs, a Skier’s Paradise

Lech Zurs the glamourous and glitzy ski resort high up in the Austrian alps, certainly lives up to all the hype and then some… As I got to know the ski runs, après ski haunts and hotels of these two lovely Alpine villages, it struck me just how lovely Austria is and how there is such a sense of space on these fabulous slopes.

Lech Ski Area

Lech Ski Area

The sophisticated Arlberg resort of Lech has a brand new gondola (with heated seats) linking the smaller relatively unknown area of Warth (pron Waart) over the mountains in Austria’s Voralberg region.

The twins are also linked by lift to Zurs, which sits above St Anton, to which it is linked by ski pass and reachable off-piste from the Valluga peak in Anton (not easy skiing).

The White Ring

The White Ring

Group Shot with Lech Ski Schule Instructor, Martin Schneider

Group Shot with Lech Ski Schule Instructor, Martin Schneider

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The link to Warth – by a new-type Dopplemeyer lift of half gondola and half chairlift – adds about a quarter more pistes for skiers and riders and makes a great day out, and one not quite as extensive or as difficult as the present Lech’s hero run, the famous White Ring from Lech to Zurs and then round the high mountains back to Lech, a circuit to rival Sud Tirol’s Sella Ronda.

Warth has around 20 mainly intermediate runs with a few black thrown in to keep you on your toes, and half a dozen good-value eating lodges on the mountain.

We stayed at The Gotthard hotel, about a 5-8 minute walk from the Ski School and main lift area, the spa facilities and sauna area were excellent and much appreciated after a day’s hard skiing. The food was also very good and we stayed at the hotel on a half board basis. Crystal Ski are the tour operators and you can book via Crystal or book directly with the hotel. http://www.gotthard.at/en/

Charming bedroom suite

Charming bedroom suite

More good news for Arlberg and Swiss fans – you can now get to Western Austrian and Eastern Swiss resorts faster and cheaper via Monarch’s new service from London Gatwick and Manchester to the southernmost German airport of Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance, which knocks up to half an hour off the Zurich route and slashes the price too and it cuts out the winding route and traffic from Zurich to the Alps.

Monarch’s service costs from £37 each way – and you can get its Premier service with extra leg-room and a cooked breakfast, for only £9.99 more. And because it is an early-morning flight you can get to resort in daylight and maybe even sneak in a warm-up run or two on Day One.

Monarch airlines at Friedrichshafen airport

Monarch airlines at Friedrichshafen airport

Friedrichshafen airport, has the largest and widest runway in Europe, often taking lots of winter diversions, unable to land at Innsbruck airport. It is a great gateway to the alps, with 4 countries close to its proximity it is a much easier, less hassle airport to navigate around on arrival which will ultimately mean swifter transfer routes into resorts. It is located next to Lake Constance, which in the summer is a stunning location to take a few leisurely days before heading off on tour – with good bike routes around the lake and water sport activities on the lake it is a great destination in itself.

A weekend in Historic Bath, England

I recently went to Historic Bath for a long weekend and stayed at Dorian House, a stunning Georgian stone
property. On arrival we received a warm welcome from the owner who took us through lots of options and helpful suggestions on what to see and do in the City of Bath. The standard of the rooms were very good, clean and good quality linen and fresh towels made us feel comfortable and relaxed immediately.

Luxury B & B  Dorian House, in Bath

Luxury B & B Dorian House, in Bath

The breakfast each morning offered a good choice of hot and cold options, plus vegetarian options and was of a good standard and ample servings. We also visited several local pubs and a couple of the local restaurants which offered hearty British Cuisine at a good price point, we chose the Green tree pub for some local chat and experience and were not disappointed by the cosyness and history of the bar. The restaurant we went to was also extremely good I chose a classic steak served rare, with fries and salad and would certainly go back again.

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey - Posing

Bath Abbey – Posing

We also visited several historic sites and took a free walking tour on Saturday morning, which is given by the City of Bath Council, as Bath is an historic and UNESCO site they provide this service for free. The walking tour started at 10.30am from outside the Roman Baths and took us along the River Avon, to Pulteney Bridge pointing out interesting facts and historical points of reference.

Typical Bath Bridge

Typical Bath Bridge

As a final treat we also visited the Jane Austen centre and toured the museum, which held special editions of Jane Austen novels, period dress and furniture as it had been preserved from the period. On our final day we also visited the Thermae Baths for the Spa waters and ended the trip on a high at Sally Lunn’s, tea shop for an afternoon tea. Sally Lunn, originally came from France and brought with her a sweet bun which then became the famous ‘Bath Bun’ of today, she saw an opportunity to market her wares and developed a little tea shop which still stands today on the same site and it believed to be the oldest building in Bath.

Afternoon Tea at The Mad Hatter's Tearoom

Afternoon Tea at The Mad Hatter’s Tearoom

Cup of Tea

Cup of Tea

Bath, is visually very beautiful and worth seeing if you are visiting for a day trip or weekend, there is so much to take in historically. Beautiful Palladium and Georgian architecture, the Roman Baths and new Thermae Baths, as well as a huge choice of local restaurants, pubs and bars and lots of great shopping. Spring and Summer are the most popular times to visit when the weather is not so dreary or rainy. VisitEngland or VisitBritain are both excellent sources of information and will advise on the best time to visit and what to see when you arrive in Bath and the surrounding areas.

Canada’s Capital City – Ottawa an undiscovered Culinary and Cultural Haven…

Stepping off the viarail train from Kingston to Ottawa, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Capital of Canada. I had done a little research on each area I was visiting in Ontario, but nothing indepth. Taking a taxi (Blueline taxi service) from the station to The Fairmont Chateau Laurier, I was struck by the beauty of the city, the stunning architecture of the buildings and characteristic French style limestone and cooper roofed buildings was aesthetically pleasing.

The Fairmont -Chateau Laurier

The Fairmont -Chateau Laurier

View from My bedroom Suite

I was lucky enough to be staying at Chateau Laurier in one of their suite’s with a view over the main shopping street area. The hotel is the ‘Grand Dame’ of Canada’s capital city, it is a beautifully elegant and charming hotel with a long and distinguished history of past Presidents and Royalty as its guests. Located in downtown Ottawa next door to the Parliament Buildings, Byward market shopping area and the Rideau Canal which offers miles of bicycle and inline skating paths in the summer and the world’s longest skating rink in the winter. It’s the perfect luxurious treat for a romantic weekend getaway or indulgent girls’ weekend.

Chateau Laurier

Chateau Laurier


Parliament on the hill

Parliament on the hill

Ottawa is easy to navigate around and I took a walking tour courtesy of the Ottawa tourism board to get the ‘local insider’ track on the best things to see and do. We started at Byward market, which is not just a local produce market, it is also home to boutique designer shops, restaurants and bars and is where the local nightlife happens. I was introduced to my first delicious ‘Beavertail’ and devoured it in seconds – it’s a local delicacy of fried pastry with any topping. I went for a classic with lots of cinnamon atop and had to stop by the following day for another one before I left, it was that good.

Beavertails Pastry at Byward Market

Beavertails Pastry at Byward Market

Obama Cookie at Byward Market

Obama Cookie at Byward Market

There are also several noteworthy museums and art galleries; I visited the National Gallery of Canada which is housed in a stunning contemporary building. A light-filled structure of glass and granite, in which visitors can find a cloistered garden courtyard, a glass-bottomed pool, and a reconstructed 19th-century chapel, is well worth the time to visit. My other museum of choice was the National Canadian Museum of Civilization, it currently has an interesting and unique ‘Voodoo exhibition’ ,. Take a 5 minute ferry taxi across the river from Ottawa, or cycle the scenic Voyageurs route if preferred.

Ottawa River and Rideau Canal

Ottawa River and Rideau Canal

Culture done and ticked box, it was naturally time to eat and discover the new and emerging culinary delights of Ottawa. I checked out a local restaurant close to Byward market – Play, Food and Wine on 1 York Street <a href="http://www.playfood.ca/”>, a contemporary modern, open and friendly ambience in the restaurant, an interior of dark wooden floors and light wood coloured tables worked well. Play,food & wine offers with a good wine list and contemporary fresh modern menu. To start I choose a dish of scallops with snowless cauliflower puree, scallions and a parsley vinagarette, the scallops were cooked to perfection although the scallions slightly overpowered the dish for me. I also choose a Moroccan radish salad with raisins, carrots, white cabbage and harissa spice accompanied with a fruilli white wine.

Restaurant - Play, Food and Wine

Restaurant – Play, Food and Wine

Moroccan Salad

Moroccan Salad

My other restaurant of noteworthy comment was the surprisingly awesome Vegan restaurant – Zen Kitchen – 634 Somerset West Street http://www.zenkitchen.ca/ which is a definite ‘local insider’ knowledge tip. From downtown Ottawa you will need to take a taxi and the Blueline service was the taxi company I used. The restaurant concept is healthy, environmentally sustainable food and produce. I absolutely fell in love with all of the dishes I was served by Executive Chef Kyle Mortimer -Proux, even down to the vegan organic wine, which worked to compliment the different courses. The staff and owner were adorably attentive and I tasted several dishes including: Vegan cheeses, and pickles with hummus and homemade bread, a fine herb gnocchi, with locally farmed ‘Le Coprin mushrooms from Ottawa with a white Chardonnay from Prince Edward county ‘Rosehall Run’. For dessert a trio of vegan desserts of raw chocolate, vanilla swirl cheesecake, a warm chocolate mexican cake with cumin and mexican spices and a peanut butter and chocolate pie (100% vegan and raw).

Ottawa is also well known for its festivals in particular Winterlude, the Tulip Festival and countless other special events, Ottawa is a flurry of activity. Your stay is guaranteed to be a memorable one and its worthwhile using the Ontario Tourism board’s website to research and book your trip, if you plan to also go beyond Ottawa.

Summer or winter, Ottawa is certainly worth a visit from its plethora of good quality restaurants and first class shopping it’s a good alternative to a weekend in NYC and only 7 hours from London Heathrow. It’s a capital city with a relaxed Parisian Cafe culture and laid backed leisurely friendliness, the locals are only to willing to have a chat or help with recommendations on what to see and do.

Zen Kitchen, Deep Fried Locally grown mushrooms

Zen Kitchen, Deep Fried Locally grown mushrooms

Zen Kitchen - Vegan Gnocchi

Zen Kitchen – Vegan Gnocchi

Byward Market - Locally loved, French Patisserie Shop

Byward Market – Locally loved, French Patisserie Shop

Byward Market - Mello's Restaurant

Byward Market – Mello’s Restaurant

Travel details:
Train travel Ottawa from Kingston on Viarail – http://www.viarail.ca/
Return flights with Air Canada – Ottawa to London – http://www.aircanada.com/
Ontario Tourism – http://www.ontariotravel.net

Ski and Snowboard Show London, celebrated its 40th year

The Ski and Snowboard Show London took place at Earls Court 2, London and celebrated its 40th year from 30th Oct – 3rd November. Check out the video to see what the event was all about!

Hundreds of people made the annual pilgrimage to London to enjoy beginner and advanced ski and snowboard lessons inside Earls Court on a custom built slope, as well as stocking up on their ski essentials for this winter. Headline Sponsor Monarch Airlines now the ski airline of choice, hosted an Ice Rink and Curling Lanes, and Tubing for visitors to try. With top ski resorts from Aspen to Alpe d’huez set to open this weekend, three weeks early thanks to all the snowfall; it’s already shaping up to be a great looking ski season

With top destinations, tour ops and retailers too, the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show London was a great place to plan a ski or snowboard trip and pick up everything for your ski holiday.

The Iconic Lanesborough hotel set to hold glamourous auction

The Lanesborough is following in the footsteps of ‘Grand Dame’ The Savoy, with an auction from its beautiful and opulent collection of interiors. The auction will be held between 9 – 13 December next month.

It will be an unprecedented opportunity for any avid collector or aficionado of the ‘Lanesborough’ to own a little piece of luxurious history.

There will be 3,000 lots existing of furnishings, artefacts and decorations, with over 3,000 lots at auction. The contents will be exclusively available prior to the extensive renovation project which will see The Lanesborough closing its doors on 20th December.

View PDF Version: http://goo.gl/ecxWPM

Led by auctioneers Pro Auction, original and reproduction period furnishings, authentic artwork reflecting the grand era of the Regency period will go under the hammer at the hotel’s premises and webcast live over the internet.

Viewing is available to the public by appointment on Saturday, 7th, and Sunday, 8th December, and prior to the sale commencing each day at 10:30 a.m.   The Lanesborough’s signature style combines the elegance and sophistication of an eighteenth century private residence with the contemporary luxuries expected of a leading hotel. In addition to the contents of the 93 guest rooms, including 43 suites, the auction will extend to areas of the hotel including private dining rooms, The Library Bar and Apsleys Restaurant.  

The new designs by world-renowned interior designer, Alberto Pinto, will enhance all guest rooms and public areas and integrate the latest innovations whilst honouring the building’s architectural heritage as one of London’s most revered Regency landmarks.  

The auction takes place at The Lanesborough (Hyde Park Corner London, SW1X 7TA, United Kingdom) commencing at 10.30am. Online bidding will also be available via a live webcast. The viewing takes place from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on 7th and 8th December 2013 by appointment only, and virtual tours of the bedrooms are available online. Catalogues are available by calling (+44) 0207 206 2690 or via download from http://www.thelanesboroughsale.com.