November Treasures – Playlist

 

Well, its almost the end of the year…can you actually believe it?! Winter is coming and its  pretty much Christmas already here which means things are moving way too quickly for my liking, but anyway, this month playlist is purely about all my fav’s back in the early noughties. I was right into my electro back then, where artists such as Junior Jack,  Axwell, Armand Van Helden and Deadmau5 dominated the dance floors and music festivals all over the world. 

I used to remember dancing outrageously to Flaunt it by the TV Rock guys, with the awesome Seany B singing on lead vocals – it was a huge hit in the Australian charts for weeks and everyone went crazy over it. (those were the days!)

I also went nuts over Tiga’s you gonna want me which is a rather sexy, electo house track, that came out in 2005 and was a massive hit all over the globe. This tune was played at least 1000 times on the car stereo! 

 

Happy listening!!! 

The Blondoner’s Autumnal Playlist

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m having a really hard time believing its actually the beginning of October…. I mean, in a way its kind of a good thing (personally) as I’ve managed to settle right down after a non-stop, exhausting (but fun) few months over the Euro summer. I feel that I’m definitely ready for some serious downtime from now, right up until the first week of December….so with these thoughts in mind, I was thinking about what kind of tracks I would like to choose for my October playlist and only one word came to mind – classical. 

This an area of music that I am particular fond of. Why? Well one of the reasons I can give you all is that I used to belong in an orchestra when I was a teenager, playing the flute for many years. Of course I gave that all up when I got too cool for it (as your supposed to do right?!) but that didn’t mean I packed it all in, I still continued to listen after work on my tape decks (oh those were the days!). I didn’t mind a bit of Vilvaldi or Mozart and the likes of violinist, Vanessa Mae from time to time – I’ll admit to this 🙂

To this day, I still find classical music so therapeutic to listen too, but sadly, I just haven’t had the time to go along to any recitals which is purely my own fault, but never mind, there is always Spotify or You tube as a back up! 

The artists I have picked for this month are ones with exceptional talent and can either play an instrument of some sort or the use of ‘classical’ elements, that really stand out in their music. My favourite being the Saxophone (not because its trendy!), followed by the violin, piano and the trumpet.

I just had to add two Above and Beyond tracks because when I saw their acoustics performance for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall, I literally had goosebumps from start to finish. Pretty powerful when you think about it, which is probably why I love this kind of genre so much. 

 

Open in Spotify

The Blondoner’s July ‘Summer’ playlist

 

MINIMAL / TECHO. 

YOU EITHER LOATH IT OR YOU LOVE IT. 

For me, its joy to my ears, and religiously been a genre I’m more than happy to listen to (especially if its pounding from the speakers in a very underground club in Berlin). 

This month I have included some of the techno queens of the moment (I believe) Swedish babe Ida Engberg and the legendary Polish DJ Magda (Magdalena Chojnacka). The King of techno, Adam Beyer, Italian/Canadian due Tale of Us and an old school favourite who made it big in the Noughties – German DJ/producer Timo Maas. 

Some serious tunage going on, so blast those speakers wherever you are and enjoy some of the best months of the year! Cheers to summer and decent music 🙂

 

The Blondoner’s ‘June Jams’

 

 

Kicking off June with some well known jammy jams! The theme this month is bands and of course a lot of old school tunes that I have listened to through-out the 90’s and early 00’s which have been thrown in.

A few noted tracks would definitely be Criminal by Fiona Apple – the biggest of her career was apparently written in only 45 minutes! Sunday morning by my absolute idol and queen of the rock chicks, Gwen Stefani and her band, No Doubt, was undoubtably from their best album to date, Tragic Kingdom. I reckon this CD may have been played close to 1000 times. 🙂 

Speaking of other phenomenal rock chicks and goddess’s, Shirley Manson who was the lead singer of the band Garbage, was someone I constantly listened to throughout my high school years. Their track Stupid Girl is one of the most memorable. Well as you can imagine..!!

And last but not least, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bullet with Butterfly Wings. Who could not forget those lyrics about being a rat in a cage. Billy Corgan – big big fan of your music during my teen years! 

 

As always you can listen directly below through the Spotify platform or to the right of the side bar on the front page of my blog. x

 

 

 

The Blondoner’s May Playlist

A little late on this one this month (apologies!) but I promise the wait will be totally worth it 🙂 

Starting off with a little tech house including one of my favourite Hot Since 82’s tracks to date – the remix of Music is the Answer. Absolutely loving the vocals in this track including the originals!

Included is the latest from Alt J which is a typical track from them – a very catchy tune with Joe Newman’s reverberating voice, plenty of guitars present and a hint of electronica. Can’t seem to stop playing this one!

I also threw in a few tracks that were huge in Australia and personal favourites of mine including the Presets this boys in love, Pictures by the ever cool Sneaky Sounds System and who couldn’t forget D.A.N.C.E by Justice. I will always remember seeing them at Parklife in Brisbane on the hill and remembering just how insane they were live. Some of the best festival moments right there!

And last but not least, one of the tracks close to my heart by Tube & Berger called Surfin’. A very chilled number which is great to listen to while sitting on a beach watching the waves roll against the soft sand. 

Track list below otherwise you can find in the right hand side bar of the main page. xx

 

The Blondoner’s April (Birthday) Playlist

I love April.

Just because its generally the month when the weather begins to warm up, the flowers begin to blossom, Easter time is just around the corner and of course the all important – my birthday 🙂

Sooooo for this month I thought about doing a playlist which is upbeat, a little risqué, gets you up on your feet and generally makes you feel happy! (well it does for me anyway) Some of the tracks I have picked are those that I either heard at an after party, raved to at a club or a day festival back in the early 00’s and every time I hear them, the good memories always come flooding back in. Awwww

One of my all time favourites is Loneliness from a very cool German producer called Tomcraft. I used to make the DJ play this track almost every Saturday night at a club called Quest on the Gold Coast – of course, he wouldn’t play it until right at the end which I didn’t mind as it was the best way to end the night! 

And how could you forget Max Linen’s mega summer anthem – Flashback. The lyrics in this track are top notch – ‘I went to the DJ, some guy named knuckles. Something like that, I don’t know; And I said to him “Hey! Wheres my wife? Where is my wife?” 

You can find a list of the tracks below or in the right hand side bar which are found on Spotify. 

Enjoy!

 

The Blondes boogie beats **March playlist**

Since I’m slightly crazy about music, I’ve decided to start a new segment on the blog each month with a playlist of new tracks I find, which I think are worthy of sharing to my fellow music lovers. Would love to have your feed back on this over the coming months and will try to keep it varied to as many genres as possible (and since I enjoy listening to a number of different styles!)

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I’m finding it hard to comprehend that it is MARCH already and after recently visiting Adelaide last week it seems like the term Mad March is the norm after witnessing just how much is going on in the city at present! While I was there, I recently went to a gig of my boyfriends which was a house & techno night so this month’s playlist will feature a few tracks inspired from that as well as some groovy electronic sounds. 

My favourite tune would have to be from Tiga –  I think he’s a musical genius and this cheeky new sound, is his latest offering after the ‘Blondes have more fun’ record (absolutely digging the name!)

 
                                                            1.0 Habischman - Moan

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           2.0 Dansson – Shake that 

                   3.0 Jamiroquai – Automaton

4.0 D Ramirez – La discotek (shakedown remix)

                    5.0 Mark Knight – Into my life

          6.0 Croatia Squad – Make your move 

7.0 Eelke Kleijn – Home 

8.0 Dub fire – Fuego (Julian Jeweil remix) 

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9.0 UMEK – Double the lust 

10.0 Adam Beyer & Ida Engberg – Unanswered question

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      11.0 Kaskade & Deadmau5 – Beneath with me 

12.0 HP Source – Leap of Faith (Carlos Beltran remix) 

 

13.0 Tiga – Eye luv U 

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14.0 Hot Since 82 – Damage 

 

*All tunes located on Spotify*

B2B – Budapest/Balaton Part 2

Travelling by train seemed to be one of the quickest means of transport to Balaton Station however to put it lightly, this was no luxurious train journey by any means. There was no air-conditioning, no pull out tray tables or electricity plugs in sight. However, on the contrary to this I believe that you need to be put into these types of situations, to appreciate what you have and how much worse off you really could be. Thats what travelling is all about, so smile, suck it up and embrace it.

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On another note, Charlotte and I decided to splash out and book into a plush hotel just 5 minutes walk from the festival entrance. This hotel was called the Wellamarin and I really couldn’t have wished for anything better. Call me a diva, whatever but I’m at that age where camping in the heat doesn’t really tickle my fancy. I like to come home to a shower, fresh sheets and a comfy bed so if that meant spending a little extra, so be it. The hotel itself had some luxurious facilities, including a state out the art spa, outdoor pool with bar servicing fresh lemonades and included in our rate was half board. Thus meaning we were treated to breakfast and dinner every single day of our stay. Not bad I say, not bad.

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After settling in to a modern surroundings, we got ourselves festival ready, bellies filled with a couple of glasses of vino (or more like a bottle..) and made our way towards the beating sounds of Balaton…

For those of you who aren’t too familiar with this festival, its actually been running for 10 years and is one of eastern Europe’s largest. In fact over 180, 000 people graced through the gates over the five days which is mind blowing for something that is in a pretty remote spot in my opinion. Its situated on a glistening lake which means by day, you can relax, take a dip and lap up those gorgeous water views. By evening, you have the most perfect sunset back drops, the humid warmth against your skin and a nonstop rave marathon of wicked beats from an array of different dance genres.

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As I was lucky enough to bag myself a press pass for the event (plus I had VIP) it was a nice touch having an area you could go to with fresh clean toilets, chill out areas, a view of the main stage and even a wine bar. Now were talking 🙂 I also have to point out how super organised everything was. I’ve never been to a festival that was being cleaned up the minute the first stage was closed, it was nice to see that the organisers were on it and something that UK festival should seriously take note of!

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Another thing I really loved about this festival (and there are many!) was the paying system. As the event was sponsored by Mastercard, naturally the best thing to do was set up a debit card type system which was topped up with cash or card and tapped on each vendors machine as if it were contact-less. It also gave you a balance to check on the disgusting amount of  money spent and consumed on alcohol.

Kidding. But all jokes aside, this payment system is very much the way forward – no mucking about with silly tickets or cash which is easily lost under boozy influences (as we all know).

 

Now back to the music itself. The line up for me wasn’t too bad. There was quite a mixture of genres including EDM, hiphop, trance, house and techno. Artists this year ranged from Duke Dumont, Booka shade, Matador, Chocolate Puma, Sven Vath, Chris Brown and Steve Aoki. There were dozens of stages, including the main stage which was quite spectacular at night and very bright during the hours of the day. Plenty of beach bars which had tons of sand bought in plus a Heineken/local radio stage and not forgetting the massive Telekom arena, which was a definite favourite but will get into that a bit later on.

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There was a wide range of food stalls with a mixture of cuisines – mostly Hungarian but I didn’t mind because the quality was there. Something that festivals are definitely improving on and compared to years ago when it was all about the greasy pizza, hot dog and chips… yes we’ve all been there! I even managed to find somewhere that sold fresh watermelon and of course there were what seemed like a gillazion cocktail bars to keep the hydration at bay.

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On the Wednesday evening, being the first day and all, the excitement was amplified times a thousand and the anticipation of what to expect for the week was quite overwhelming,  I just couldn’t wait to shake my booty until the break of dawn and lap up load of sunshine.

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One of the first big act that I wanted to see were Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – an American hip hop duo, who were scheduled to come on fairly early into the night and had certainly pulled a rather large crowd of people towards the colourful main stage. I can’t say I was overly amazed by their performance, particularly after watching them have a tea party and throwing cakes into the crowd but whatever works to stoke the party atmosphere into gear! Not really my cup of tea 😉

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The actual layout of the festival was very on point. Widely spread so big crowds of people could depart and arrive through the gates without a fuss, plenty of grassed areas for relaxing by the side of the water & stages placed accurately apart so the tunes weren’t overlapping. The beach bars in particular were awesome, built a few good metres above the waters edge and bought a real Ibiza type feel to the lake. After the disappointment of Macklemore it was a win stumbling across a rocking bar with a bucket load of sand, decked out with wicked house tunes… it was already looking like a winning start to the evening.

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The biggest and best find was the humongous Telekom arena, which was pure white and seemed to spread for miles. It was probably the only area we spent the most time in for the duration of the week, so you’re probably wondering if that was the stage that had the best artists and you might be dead right about that one.

Also to note was the outside chilling areas with beanbags which were a huge drawcard for our group, although it was some-what a struggle to pull myself  out of them a few times – comfort level was about a 10!

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We managed to catch most of Oliver Helden’s set in the arena and having not seen him play live before was not only incredible  but a very impressive way to stipulate my high expectations for the week ahead. He played so many classics, I just couldn’t stop dancing with a huge big grin on my face.

Its rare to find any top DJ pumping out so many old school tunes in one set. Loved every minute of it!! Hungarian duo, Muzzaik came on after and even though I had never heard of them before, they were equally as admirable and good enough to keep me going until about 4am. Early night of course 🙂

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As to be expected, I was feeling a little rusty around the edges the following Thursday morning. All I can say is, praise the lord for booking a hotel. Meanwhile, our poor friends were cooking back at the campsite and had barely slept a wink with the heat of their tent… but one things for sure, at least with this type of festival you have the luxury of sleeping beside a gorgeous clean lake, even if that means walking 20 metres to the more peaceful areas to keep away from the music.

We made use of the pool for most of the day, catching some rays and licking our way through ice creams! Definitely a perfect way to get rid of a nasty hangover, so once that was been and gone it was back to the festival for round 2.

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We thought it would probably be good idea to spend some time in the VIP area, since we did pay the extra to have the privilege, it made total sense to take advantage of it wherever possbile. Charlotte and I started on the vino and just in time for US DJ KSHMR’s set. I started to see a number of people flowing by the droves into the gates and running over to the main stage in a scurry, so I had a feeling it was not going to be a disappointing set especially when he belted out his top 1o track Secrets! The atmosphere literally changed within seconds and it even had me up off my chair bopping away (or maybe that was the wine starting to kick in). Later on into the night, Don Diablo and Nervo played their sets and sadly, I weakened and had to go back to the hotel for some shut eye… I’m afraid this is a sign of getting old kiddlies!

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Friday I woke up with a spring in my step. It really is quite astonishing how good you feel after after a well rested sleep, almost like a new person but whats even more funnier, is that I’ll no doubt go and do this all over again and basically never learn my lesson.

Which is exactly what happened….

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After another day of tanning by the pool (someone has to do it) I was revitalised, pumped and ready for another raving session. Also uber excited as the Trance lads were headlining aka Ferry Corsten,Paul Van Dyk and Aly & Fila. Again, all the legends were playing in the Telekom arena and I was so ready.

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To start the Friday evening off, Charlotte and I met with the rest of our friends for drinks just outside the festival area at a wicked shack looking bar and purely for a change of scenery. I loaded up on energy drinks which is a complete no no for someone with caffeine sensitivities and definitely not recommend but I needed the extra energy to last the night away and this was my only opinion. We headed straight for the long white cloud.. I mean tent and just in time for Mr Corsten’s set, which kicked off the balmy night with a mixture of uplifting & hard trance tunes.

Everyone was undoubtably looking forward to PVD’s set, only recently returning to the stage after his horrific fall, it was hard to know just what to expect but of course, it was completely flawless (as I had imagined). I don’t think I’ve danced that hard in quite sometime but with the laser lights beaming in all directions and the tunes banging,  the energy in the arena was really indescribable, I just knew I was going to be an early morning finish with atmosphere being so intense.

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Come Saturday lunchtime when I decided it would be an appropriate time to arise, I was feeling a little under the weather, drained and no where near on form but the beauty of being at a music festival means that you truly aren’t alone with these hideous feelings of wanting to curl up and die. Fortunately for me, I miraculously managed to bounce back come late evening as there was no way I was missing my very last night, even if it was for just a few hours – it was time to suck it up.

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Armin Van Buuren was the headliner for Saturday and as you would have guessed, it was completely rammed. A contrast to Wednesday and obviously one of the most popular nights out of the week, the vibe was buzzing and although AVB belted out a number of very commercial tracks, I surprisingly got into it and found myself dancing around with the last bit of energy I had – I think this is called second wind HA.

Meanwhile my crazy friend Jon decided that it was a good opportunity to have a go on the bungy jump directly next to the stage. He then later tells me, that it was very relaxing. No thanks.

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I forgot to mention that around 10pm every night, they set off spectacular fireworks to mark the closing of the main stage and these lasted for a good 5mins every time. Nice little touch don’t you think 😉

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Sunday morning, I was feeling 80% with it and after our last hearty breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed back to the festival to soak up the sun for the last few hours before having to catch a train and flight back to London. We could have had the option of staying until It finished on Monday morning but it was time to go home, back to work and face reality. Which I wasn’t ready for AT ALL!

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Balaton is probably one of the best and most promising music festivals I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Anyone that is looking to venture overseas next year and is wanting an experience which incorporates the glorious sounds of music as well as basking in some breathtaking scenery should add this to their list because if I could do it again, I would do so in a heartbeat!

 

Photo credit – Jon Self photography

https://www.facebook.com/jonselfphotography/

A whirlwind week in London with the familia!

Its always an exciting time when you have people to visit from around the world and when its someone very close to you, like your Mama, its really time to pull out all the stops and make it an experience in London worth remembering for them. My mum and her partner Jason were in town for the week so I wanted to make sure they got to see the best the city has to offer without sticking to a tight pressured schedule (cause nobody wants that on their holiday).

Playing host to family and friends its always a lot of fun, as I find it gets me to places I haven’t quite got around to checking out (yes there are still loads!) which tends to happen when you get stuck into the daily routine of ‘life’. 

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Oh and before I start to ramble on too much, I wanted to tell you about a standout Japanese restaurant I visited just a day before with my blogger pals – Angie Silver (Silverspoon London) and Ayushi (The Foodie Diaries)

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Called Sosharu, in other words ‘to socialise’ in Japanese. I thought it should get a special mention since it was a perfect way to kick off the week and being a Jason Atherton restaurant, I knew it was going to be a goodie.

There was a lot of food ordered, (in true blogger style) although mostly small plates to share between us, which I much prefer these days and to stop me from being such a greedy guts.

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Ayushi is vegetarian but me and Angie were happy to taste these dishes  as well (while trying to stick to being healthy!). Personally for me, I really adored the tuna, scallion Tobiko dish. Well presented, with a crunchy seaweed exterior, filled with rice, fresh tuna and small dollops of wasabi mayonnaise to give it that hint of spice. The platter of sashimi is also a treat if you love raw fish. Five different types in fact. Go hard.

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The decor of the restaurant is filled with wooden features, dark and moody with a modern twist. Downstairs, we sprung upon a wicked basement bar with the best neon sign I have seen in a while. (says the sake drinking lover!) I don’t think I expected such a trendy drinking space to be hidden away like that…Bonus!

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Final verdict = food is fantastic, service was superb but don’t come on a tight budget (mark my words though, the food does justify every penny)

 

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Right, back to my London adventures with the folks.

I really wanted to mix things up a little, so they were able to experience from a locals perspective, rather than the normal touristy activities, which don’t get me wrong I have no karms doing, I just believe its nice to explore the city with knowledge from a resident who knows the place like the back of their hand.

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East London, or Shoreditch, is somewhere I never really get the chance to visit very often and its a shame because it has so much uniqueness to it. Filled with street food markets, quirky bars and bursting with creativity , its one place you can let yourself go and know one will give two hoots about it!

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The Spitafield market – old and new, both are such brilliant places to find loads of cool designer clothes, jewellery, accessories, even down to cool threads for the bubbas. If you have a passion for food, then buckle up because this is the place for you.

I couldn’t walk past without ordering a sourdough donut from Crosstown Donuts. Filled with a creamy banana custard and topped with gooey salted caramel, lets just say it didn’t last very long in that paper bag! I also took Mum to the Bricklane food market which is an interesting experience. I find it always super crowded but I can totally see why. Every cuisine you can think of is under one roof and the smells are mind blowing. I kid you not, you will be in here for quite sometime 😉

I had the Vietnamese and being completely un-ladylike I sat on the footpath with the many hundreds of others frantically trying to find a decent spot to perch on. Im not sorry. 

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Unfortunately Dinerama was closed (disappointment like you wouldn’t believe!) which is another rad street market the East has on offer. There’s also the Backyard Market which is pretty similar to that of the Spitafields but still worth the wander. (especially when theres juicy coconut water involved)

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The afternoon was spent preparing a hearty BBQ at mine. Yep more food once again.

Followed by a few bubbles and ending with a night cap of honey cognac.

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Monday was a little less paced and after a well deserved sleep in, I wanted to take them for a stroll along the wealthy streets of the Kings Road, with a visit to the Chelsea farmers market and a pit stop at Gail’s bakery.

My word, there is some fine looking cakes in that shop!

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I also wanted to stop by and show them the cutest pub going in Chelsea – the Jam Tree, which serves some pretty enticing cocktails and features a private beer garden equipped with fairy lights and a BBQ.

That evening I had organised a special dinner at Berners Tavern in the gorgeous Edition hotel. If you don’t already know, there is a stylish bar hidden away called the Punch room serving some of the best whisky cocktails around. This includes a welcome drink which is changed on a daily basis. Im really serious 🙂

And some pretty moorish selections of nuts. A little dangerous before dinner don’t you think?

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The restaurant itself is exquisite, with bold high ceilings, glistening chandeliers and covered wall to wall in many different beautiful pieces of artwork. It really is mesmerizing to look at when you first enter the room.

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For the food side of things, the cuisine being served is full of modern British dishes, so Mum and I agreed that the fillet steak was the best way to go. Team that with some mashed swede & carrot, extra fat sized chips and you’ve pretty much got a match made in heaven.

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Aaaand me being me, couldn’t help myself once I saw the dessert menu. It seemed most appropriate to finish off the evening with some rich chocolate cheesecake. I mean duhh, as if you wouldn’t.

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Suddenly it was Tuesday morning and on high on the agenda of things to do, was to catch a train to Bath for the day. Now you would think after living here for quite sometime that I would know the situation with booking trains in advance. NOPE. Possibly a slight boo boo on my part, meant paying a hefty fare (about £75 return) which was not what I had in mind but I couldn’t let something like this over-shine the day and in the end we had no choice but to pay it. Oopsie

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The journey will take you about 1 and a half hour from Paddington Station and straight into Bath Spa station, which is situated in the centre of town. Everything being reachable by foot and there are loads of retail outlets for shoppers, the roman baths if you’re a history buff. lush gardens and plenty of hidden pathways to mooch about. 

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Wednesday was a very exciting day because that only meant one thing – Champagne afternoon Tea at one of my favourite luxury spots in London, Claridges Hotel. This five star hotel, nestled in the heart of Mayfair, is breathtaking from the moment you step inside the magical art decor foyer. Dating back to 1856, this iconic hotel also boasts a 1930’s swanky bar (which we had to have at least one drink at) and a high end restaurant called Fera.

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Which I have also dined at. And yes its amazing.

The afternoon tea is a quintessential special treat to spoil your Mummy or a bestie or even your beau (and judging by the feedback from mine, I get the hint that it might be alright).

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Keeping with the traditional theme, the menu includes the most delicate handmade desserts, fresh, melt in your mouth scones and array of perfectly prepared sandwiches. Can I just say the corn-feed chicken with truffle mayonnaise is mind blowing. It really is worth the mention here. 

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As well as sipping back a lovely glass of Laurent Perrier bubbles, there was also a mountain of teas to choose from – anything from white, black, green and herbal. I can highly recommend Malawi Antler, which by the way, is one of the most sought after teas in the world and Claridge’s happens to be one of the two places where you will find that it is served. I feel honoured.

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Big tip from me? Always come starving hungry because I warn you, like most afternoon teas, the are mega filling and you’re always left walking away wishing you hadn’t ate that very last decadent looking cake. Damn you!

 

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Since it was such a balmy clear blue sky kinda day, I couldn’t resist a trip up to the Shard with a glass of vino in hand on level 31’s trendy Aqua bar. As you might have read from previous posts, I have visited on several occasions and that view never seems to gets old (even if it means paying a hefty price for a cocktail just to be there – its really worth every penny).

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Thursday was a special day for a certain someone who was celebrating his birthday and a certain amazing girlfriend had a lovely evening in store for him, which included some italian cuisine at Da Mario on Gloucestor Road (loaded with ample amounts of prosecco) and a trip to a concert hall that I utterly adore,The Royal Albert Hall for Above and Beyond, acoustics.

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Their live performance was phenomenal and at times, hard to fight back the tears of emotions! It definitely bought back my love for classical and jazz music in a big way and an impeccable way to finish off a very busy week.

 

 

Sorry for the long winded post and the truckload of pics, went a little overboard but wanted to share as much as I possibly could with you all 🙂

Its hard to believe how quickly the week flew past, but I am ever so grateful to have spent some quality time with the fam, exploring the sights and making the most of our short time together. If there is one thing I could say about about living in this city, it’s that you never run out of things to do! Whether its a freebie or costs a pretty penny, the choices are endless and you never go a day without feeling completely bored out of your brains. Truth.

Fadi meet & birthday treats with Ravers Army

Towards the later part of 2015, I got the chance to be apart of a very special and rare event which took place at the Horse and Stables pub, SE1 on Friday 20th November with Ravers Army as part of their ‘Day with DJ’s’. I of course, going with the Egyptian theme and all, opted for the classic Cleopatra look donning a heavy black wig and barely being recognisable. That day, it definitely wasn’t about ‘Being Blonde‘ for Steph!

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Bringing together a close knit family of passionate and dedicated fans from all across the globe, who were all there to see the trance legend himself, Fadi Naguib from the Egyptian duo, Aly & Fila.

Each were given the opportunity to ask some questions over the course of the afternoon, for which I was asked to blog about and share with you their experiences, getting up close and on occasions.

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Whats next for Aly & Fila?

I dont really think about what is next, I just keep doing what we have been doing since we started. We want to make trance music as big as we can. We need to continue and push for our brand, especially Future Sound of Egypt for all the artists. To benefit from it and to try and make a close knit family.

 

Whats the best rave you have ever been to?

As a DJ. The Pyramids. I live in Cairo and I get to see them all the time. To have our own gig there is truly amazing, just crazy!

As a raver – I did a camping festival in Germany, Nature One. A very special festival. A little more commercial but a fantastic experience!

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What are your biggest musical influences?

PAUL VAN DYK all day long.

I have really been inspired by the German scene. It is one of the main reasons I became a DJ and started producing.

How do you see the trance scene going?

I see it going in a very good direction. I just hope the scene itself and the clubbers are to stay positive about everything. Just try to enjoy it and support the people around you who enjoy it as well. Leave the politics alone!! Its supposed to be artistic but with the music business it always seems to lead back to the politics.

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All over the years, you have produced some amazing albums and tracks, where do you find your inspiration from?

Its more about working in the studio and being positive. Having a positive life, travelling around, a good push to do more music. I spend 3 days maximum in the studio . Ive been making music in the studio for 15 years. I work with Aly and we spend as much time in there as we can. Its not only me. We have each other.

 

Is there another genre of music that you like to listen to apart from trance?

Chill out. I love it so much. It is one type of music that really inspires me as a musician. Its more about the melodies and not just the drops. I would love to go to one of the Above and Beyond acoustic shows. They are amazing artists who create beautiful music.

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What has been your biggest accomplishment and why?

Finishing the first album, it took three year of work to complete. Once we had done this one it was easy to produce more from there. The other would be the Pyramids event. We have been working on this event for 5 years just to get the permission (no joke)

 

Where did you get the name Future Sound of Egypt?

Future Sound of London! I really liked the name so thought why don’t we do something that is related to our country and that is not at all common so Future sound of Egypt came about. We are trying to show people that we have other ways of spreading a different image of our country.

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Are you ready for tonight (Fadi was set to play a 6 hour set at Ministry that evening)

Absolutely ready. For me, its exciting to do a 6 hour set as to a one or one and a half hour set. It gives me the freedom to play whatever I want actually!

Will definitely be playing some of the classics. A little slower than the usual and build it from there. Will go harder and harder as the night goes on.

What is your definition of trance?

The trance I know is mostly about music, nothing else. Beautiful melodies and doesn’t just have to be about the speed of the track. I see a lot of arguing and war about it over social media which is ridiculous. Just enjoy what you like and support it. Whatever trance means to you, doesn’t have to be trance for someone else. The kind of trance I got into from the beginning is the type of music I want to keep alive within our sound.

 

Do you think extended sets are the way forward?

The idea of extended sets, well I really don’t want to make a habit of it. I want to keep it special. If i do it every time its going to get boring and I want to people to really wait for it and get excited about it. I also want to have a future sound of Egypt night while showcasing more DJ’s and more talent. It doesn’t always have to be about us us us.

 

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After the flowing of questions and a lot of laughs in between, one of the young fans Meeny Marbles, presented the most captivating piece of art work to Fadi. Such a thoughtful, unique gift and a wonderful, kind gesture in my opinion. I could see that Fadi was absolutely stoked to receive it!

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But wait there’s more!

Yep, that wasn’t all that was in store for Fadi. Ravers Army had something else planned up their sleeves and surprised him with monstrous cake of vibrant coloured pyramids made by Gemma Sinclair and friends. You see, it wasn’t just about the fans today, it was also Fadi’s 34th birthday and I think these guys from Ravers Army did a stellar job making it an ultra special afternoon for him. One I believe, he will never forget!

After a toast, it was time for everyone to get a few memorable snaps, followed by a light session of jager bombs shots (a favourite of Fadi’s I hear!) and tucking into a piece of that delicious mouthwatering cake – it would be rude not to!

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Fadi was also joined by his management – Stuart Roberts.

Later on in the evening I headed to Gallery @ Ministry of Sound club with photographer, Jon Self who took some pretty amazing shots through the day, while I had the opportunity to rave the night away in the VIP area including a few cheeky podium boogies in the main room. The music was A-Class and even though I snuck off around 3.30am, I hear a very successful set that was enjoyed by thousands of fans until the break of dawn.

I have to say, this is the first event of its kind that I have had the chance to be apart of, so I would like to say a huge thanks to Alex Van Naher for pulling it all together; of course along with the Ravers Army admins. A tremendous effort on both parts and feeling very lucky to be included.

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Fadi is an absolute darling. So down to earth, a really humble guy that has so much time for his fans. His passion for music and life is simply quite amazing and for a family man I really dont know he manages to juggle it all but he does and that I admire him for.

It was also great to meet some of the fans, some that had travelled a fair distance to come along which is extremely loyal and dedicated.

Rave on!

**Images courtesy of John Self Photography**

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