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The Sea Life London Aquarium – A Fun Day Out

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London boasts some great attractions with lots of people descending on the capital for a great day out whenever they can. Apart from all the museums, art galleries, shops and historical sites there’s one place that kids of all ages adore visiting. The Sea Life London Aquarium – a fun day out with a difference because a visit to this marine themed attraction is a fascinating experience that’s educational too!

tropical fish

Gorgeous tanks full of colourful tropical fish

Marine Life & More

There’s a lot going on at the Sea Life London Aquarium with special events being organised all of the time. This means one visit is never really enough to this brilliant marine life attraction if you want to take it all in. There are hundreds of varieties of fish and other marine life which includes sharks and even sea scorpions. In fact, the attraction is home to sea life that is found in many oceans of the world.

The Shark Walk has to be experienced to feel the real effect of the sharks, stingrays and other marine life as they swim just inches away under foot. The walkway is made out of glass giving you a bird’s eye view of the amazing sea creatures below. Watching the fish and especially a newish addition called the Californian Cownose rays, as they swim around in synchronised formations in the immaculate sea water tanks is pretty impressive to say the least.

rays swimming

Rays swimming just below your feet on the glass walkway

The Amazing Whale Skeleton Tunnel

You need the whole day to really appreciate all there is to see and do at the Sea Life London Aquarium. The 25 metre long tunnel through a whale skeleton that takes you through an ocean of tropical fish and green turtles sees many a visitor coming back again and again. It’s fun to watch these colourful marine animals in their beautiful and quite exquisite aquarium habitat from such a great perspective.

The Rainforests of the World

This extraordinary area of the attraction is full of exotic vegetation and even boasts a tropical waterfall. This is where you’ll find a pair of dwarf crocodiles that measure a mere six foot long. Not very long ago another attraction was added to this already fascinating underwater venue in the form of the Ocean of Stars exhibit. Six different types of starfish are showcased with an unusual and themed tentacle tunnel offering great close ups of all the Asteroidea found in there.

The Perfect Venue for All Ages

Spending a day at the Sea Life London Aquarium is the perfect choice for a family day out – younger children can really enjoy the experience of squashing their faces against many of the display window so they can spy lots of incredible marine creatures. This includes the scary sharks and the much rarer sea turtles of the world, all the while learning about the marine life they see.

Learning About All the Research & Conservation Projects

There’s so much to learn on a visit to the attraction and this includes finding out about all the fantastic research work that’s carried out as well as the breeding and conservation programmes. This has been set in place to ensure many sea creatures survive for future generations to enjoy.

Celebrating Turtle Week

There’s something interesting happening at the attraction no matter what time of the year and currently this includes celebrating “Turtle Week”. This is a great event where both children and adults can get involved in learning just how to keep the rare and endangered Green Sea Turtles safe in their natural wild habitats. Visitors to the event get to meet the resident Green Sea Turtles and learn all there is to know about these gentle, lovely marine creatures. People even get the chance to hand feed the turtles kept at the attraction.

Conclusion

Organising a day out in London can be great especially with all the brilliant things found in the capital to keep you busy. The Sea Life London Aquarium is one of the attractions the whole family can really enjoy, and being so well situated close to the South Bank and right next to the London Eye, it makes for a great place to start a fun day out in London.

 

Image credits: falling_angel and failing_angel

West Side Story Returns to London (7th Aug to 22nd Sept, 2013)

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West Side Story is one of the most popular and greatest musicals of modern times and it’s heading back to London in celebration of its 50th anniversary year. The original book was written by Arthur Laurents paired to the fabulous score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the Broadway stage version is thought to have changed the concept of musicals forever and it’s about to happen yet again.

west side story musical book

The original book

The story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the film version set in the fifties having been a massive success back in its day when it hit the silver screen. The show had enjoyed huge success as a Broadway musical and the film version introduced the story to a global audience like never before. With the amazing songs that include Maria, Somewhere, I Feel Pretty and many others, today’s theatre version of the musical has been tagged “a masterpiece and musical landmark” of modern times.

Fans will be able to enjoy the musical when it returns to the stage at Sadler’s Wells this autumn for a renewed and revived production of the original show. The dance sequences along with the amazing stage scenery with Joel McKneely’s vibrant stage production, is bound to get a few toes tapping to the well-known and now famous melodies that made the Broadway show and film such a hit with people all over the world.

The musical boasts Jerome Robbins’s original and brilliant choreography which went down a storm the first time around in 2008. The cast of the show are more than adept at proving their technical brilliance with the world renowned composer Donald Chan leading the way as a live orchestra plays the now iconic Bernstein score.

amazing musical

An amazing musical

An Amazing Musical Gloriously Restored

It’s amazing to think that fifty years after the musicals’ first showing in the West End, this now classic theatre musical still draws in the crowds like never before. The story of Romeo and Juliet is known the world over and having been brought into a fifties setting of gritty urban living, has proved that even today, a classic musical still hits the right spot with discerning London audiences.

A Superb Cast To carry it off

The cast is to say the least, a young and exuberant ensemble with names like Lana Gordon adding to the vibrancy of the show in a superb way. There’s a lot going on in this musical, with pulsating songs and dance themes that really do prove that West Side Story is indeed one of the greatest “theatre musicals of all time”.

As you would expect of a venue such as Sadler’s Wells, the production is out of this world with the theme of West Side Story’s gang violence as well as the racial prejudice really hitting much of what is happening in today’s modern world. This is just one of the reasons the storyline is still as relevant today as it was fifty years ago or even in Shakespeare’s day.

Conclusion

In 2008, the musical received rave reviews not only from the many theatre critics but all the people who bought tickets to see the cleverly put together production of the Broadway show. For years audiences have relished the modern day version of Romeo and Juliet. Starting out as a Broadway show and then hitting the silver screen earning it brilliant critical acclaim, the musical promises to keep London audiences entertained when it arrives at Sadler’s Wells this autumn. However, it might be worthwhile booking tickets early if you don’t want to miss out on what promises to be another brilliant production of West Side Story – the show tends to sell out rather quickly even today.

 

Image credits: Bueno Book Shop and regionalfoodbank

London’s finest afternoon teas

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One quintessentially English thing to enjoy on a visit to London is the full-service afternoon tea. This is less of meal and more of an experience, where diners are served delicate sandwiches and fancy cakes with pots of tea. Although at first glance the cost of an afternoon tea might seem steep, an afternoon tea is time unlimited and if there’s a particular sandwich or cake that takes your fancy, you’re welcome to request as many more as you can manage.

There are some exceptionally fine places in London to enjoy an afternoon tea, ranging from the expensive and prestigious through to the homely and welcoming.

 

Tea at the Ritz

One of the most famous afternoon teas in the world is that served at the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly. Known the world over, the Ritz’s teas are served in the hotel’s spectacular Palm Court and include a selection of 17 different types of loose leaf tea and a selection of freshly cut traditional finger sandwiches.

ritz hotel london

The Ritz Hotel in London

Tea at the Ritz is a formal affair. Reservations are always needed and gentlemen are required to wear a shirt and tie at all times. At £45 per person, or £57 with a glass of fine champagne, it’s not a cheap way to have tea by any stretch of the imagination. However, with superb service, enormous prestige and a wonderfully fresh and delicious selection of sandwiches, cakes and teas you won’t be disappointed. For a celebration or event, it really can’t be beaten.

 

Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon

Also in Piccadilly, fans of the afternoon tea will find another fine menu at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. On the fourth floor of Royal Charter epicureans Fortnum and Mason, the Salon was renovated to co-incide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and re-opened by the Queen and her daughter- and granddaughter-in-law the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2012.

 

tea fortnum mason

Fine tea at Fortnum and Mason

The Royal seal of approval is entirely warranted by the quality of the tea served. The afternoon tea menu is complemented by a full a la carte tea menu stretching to 12 pages and offering a variety of sweet and savoury goodies along with teas, wines and homemade lemonade. At £40 for tea it’s a little less expensive than the Ritz and comes with the cachet of having dined where Her Majesty the Queen has recently taken tea with her family.

 

The Modern Pantry

An altogether more modest price but no less fine fare is offered at The Modern Pantry on St John’s Square near Farringdon Tube Station offers a delicious selection of home-made sweet and savoury bites to tempt you. Although the setting isn’t as salubrious as the Ritz or as prestigious as Fortnum and Mason, the price tag of £15 for afternoon tea is much more reasonable and allows almost anyone visiting the city to get a feel for this traditional genteel way to spend an afternoon.

With a modern twist on the traditional favourites, green tea scones and triple-decker sandwiches with mouth-watering fillings, you won’t feel short-changed. You’ll also find a range of carefully selected teas from a local supplier to go with your nibbles, which are also made from locally sourced produce wherever possible.

 

Conclusion

While there are some extremely extravagant and opulent ways to experience afternoon tea in London in fancy surroundings, enjoying the experience doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. If you have a special occasion to celebrate on your trip to the city, choosing one of London’s finest establishments to enjoy your afternoon tea is a great way to mark the day. However, there are plenty of alternatives that allow you to have your cake and eat it.

 

 

Image Credits: azeemaazeez and Rosie Tulips

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