December 2018 - The Stay Club
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Top Things To Do in London This January

Top Things To Do in London This January
by Nina Christopoulou

The festive season may be over, but that does not mean we’ve got to stop being merry! As extravagant and beautiful as November and December were, January is ready to continue spreading the joy, with an incredible selection of activities on the schedule for us. So, let’s see what will be going on in the coming weeks…

Friday, the 25th of January marks a very special occasion, which is greatly celebrated across Britain! Burns Night is the celebration of Robert Burns’ birthday, the Scottish poet that penned over 550 poems. It’s also a reason to put on your best attire and go out (as if we actually needed a reason to do that!). The Skylight Winter Closing Party will be one of the most awesome events to check out that night, but if you are looking for the traditional celebration, you can expect live backpipes, haggis and more at Boisdale of Mayfair.

Alcotraz

This exhilarating experience is going to transport you into a booze-infused prison setting. This immersive theatrical cocktail bar is the first to hit London, and we couldn’t be more hyped! Great cocktails, a little bit of play-along and lots of fun are on the menu with Alcotraz. We definitely recommend it!

Brunch it out!

Brunch is always a good idea, but January seems to be packed with so many thrilling brunch events that it’s impossible to say no! Hip Hop Brunch LDN is one of the most anticipated events, with bottomless cocktails, 3 course meals, karaoke, a magician and so many more… But if you are looking for a little something different, there’s also a Shoreditch Ball Pit extravaganza in the form of a bottomless brunch event. The Ballie Ballerson has a fitting name, boasting a ball pit cocktail bar with one million balls!

London Art Fair

The Business Design Centre will host the London Art Fair for yet another year, and it’s a must-see regardless of your relationship with all things artsy. The venue will fill up with contemporary works of art, at an event curated by an astounding number of participating galleries – 100 in total to be precise. London Art Fair is a trip through the evolution of contemporary art, with displayed works ranging from the beginning of the 20th century to today’s leading artists. You will have the opportunity to expand your grasp of contemporary art from the 16th to the 20th of January!

The post-Christmas Sales Extravaganza

In case you have not been immersed in the full-blown shopping experience of the year for Londoners, 2019 is your chance! Boxing Day marks the beginning of the most budget-friendly shopping spree you have ever been on, with a sales extravaganza that lasts until mid-January. So gear up with the most comfortable shoes you own, and get ready for a wardrobe change!

Skylight Roof Top Ice Rink

Ice rinks are always a good idea, and we’ve posted numerous of those over the past months. But when the ice rink offers unparalleled views of London’s stunning skyline, then you know you’re in for a treat. The stunning igloos, cheese bar in the form of Raclette brothers and potential for endless mulled wine simply makes everything all the more magical! You only have until January 18th to get the full blown winter experience!

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf

The light installations that fill up the otherwise quiet Canary Wharf during January are returning for yet another year, and their fifth show is expected to be the best one yet. The event gathers the most dazzling selection of light art, with the contribution of artists that specialise in the field and who are free to create artwork alongside interactive and responsive experiences! Are you ready to have your senses tickled and your imagination boosted? January 15th to the 26th, you know what you need to put on your schedule…

Best Christmas Markets Around Britain

Best Christmas Markets Around Britain
by Nina Christopoulou

The merry and festive spirit may have a stronger presence in London, however, it is the entire UK that is prepping tirelessly to offer beautiful Christmas venues for the enjoyment of its residents. Our new post will walk you through the most intriguing Christmas Markets in the UK, and perhaps give you a little inspo for one-day trips here and there during December!

5. Bath Christmas Market

The beloved Bath Christmas Market has been voted the best one for 2017, and we can’t wait to see what the 2018 edition will have in store for the festive season! It seems that this year, Bath has some exciting things in the works – other than the 180 glistening chalets spread out around the picturesque streets, the main focus of the market is the central square, which is perfectly located among the 16th century abbey and the majestic Roman Baths. This year the market will take a turn for the better, introducing a green section with eco-friendly decorations to purchase among other goodies!

4. Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market

As the largest outdoor Christmas Market in the UK, and the biggest German one outside of Germany, it stands to reason that Birmingham’s market is renowned for its uniqueness and strong Christmas vibes. The combination of delicious bratwurst, German beer and indulgent Glühwein screams Christmas and rightly so!

3. Leeds Christmas Market

This market is a stunner primarily because of its location! Christmas shopping and festive walks have never been in a more idyllic setting than that of the Leeds Christmas Market. Spanning all through Cedar Lawn, the market has the 12th Century Leeds castle as a backdrop! The reindeer, birds of prey display and traditional funfair attractions just add to its unquestionable panache!

2. Belfast Christmas Market

The Belfast City Hall makes for the perfect setting of Belfast’s Christmas Market. If trying new things is your preference, then this one is for you. You have the chance to sample exotic meats, such as alligator, kangaroo and wild boar. Enjoy the beautifully decorated grottos with live music accompanying you as you immerse yourself in the Christmas vibes of the market.

1. Southbank Centre Winter Festival

London’s extraordinary Christmas market will be back yet again to offer Londoners and tourists alike a merry experience by the Thames. Gaze at the lit up London Eye and enjoy the traditional choir performances while picking up Christmas crafts from the quirky wooden stalls for an immensely festive experience!

Most Instagrammable Christmas Locations in London

Most Instagrammable Christmas Locations in London
by Nina Christopoulou

As the merry period draws nearer, London dresses up in Christmas lights, winter chalet vibes and beautiful festive displays of all sorts. Like any other celebratory event that takes place in the city, London’s many corners will become an oasis for Instagrammers, photographers and amateurs alike. For those of you that are on the lookout for the most beautiful spots of London this festive season, we’ve gathered them all in one place for your convenience.

1. Dalloway Terrace

Winter feels and a mesmerising décor are the first things that come upon you when you enter this famed brunch spot. The white ornaments are everywhere, and the cosy fur blankets neatly placed on the chairs offer the impression that you can enjoy the ambiance for many hours to come. But before you take your seat, get comfy and relax, a photo is mandatory!

2. Carnaby Christmas Lights

Carnaby is situated to the left of Liberty… If you want an extra tip on how to locate it, look for the myriads of people who have pointed their phones upwards to take a snap of the extraordinary Christmas lights! You can find various types of merry twinkling décor around London, including Oxford Street, Regent Street and many, many more. So why would we pick Carnaby Street for this section? The interestingly varied choice of lights and patterns is quite unusual, and thus somehow enthralling.

3. Churchill Arms

Whatever time of the year you decide to arrive in London, Churchill Arms is one of the locations that you will find in any suggestions website you scroll through. It’s beautifully decorated 365 days a year, but when the Christmas lights come on, it’s otherworldly! But don’t take our word for it, head over there and have a look for yourselves!

4. Old Bond Street

This one is a London classic, on the one hand because of its immensely central location, on the other hand because of its typical London allure. The steeply priced haute couture and

jewellery brands prepare for Christmas in the most exhillerating way possible, with Cartier and Tiffany and Co. stealing the show each and every festive season. Therefore, a stroll up and down Old Bond Street will fill up your camera roll in no time!

5. Somerset House

The imposing grey building on Strand is always hosting a little something captivating in its courtyard, whether it’s the Design Biennale, or the Christmas ice ring! Sponsored by Fortnum and Mason, the ice ring makes for the perfect addition to the spacious courtyard, and the beautifully playfull Christmas tree located right in front of it completes your frame in a perfect manner!

6. Fortnum and Mason

One of the most avant garde delicatessens you have ever set foot in, this Piccadilly Road classic redecorates its window displays, bakes festive treats, and places the merriest of drinks front and center. The spectacular 18th century department store will make you drool over both the gourmet treats as well as the sensational Christmas decor. Insider’s tip: snap the staircase for a dazzling Christmas post!

7. Holidays Made by Tiffany

The newest addition to the classics, St. Pancras International has welcomed for the first time this year a thrilling Christmas addition by Tiffany and Co., in the form of a wonderfully original Christmas tree. The glistening tree is borderline overshadowed by a huge moving robot made up in its entirety of Tiffany and Co. boxes, and placed on a bright orange ladder. The ideal backdrop to your Christmas shots, and especially convenient if you are commuting from St. Pancras on a frequent basis…

The Cosiest Winter Reads

The Cosiest Winter Reads
by Nina Christopoulou

Is there anything better for those cold winter nights, then sitting in front of a perfectly lit up fireplace with a warm cup of tea, a blanket wrapped around you and a book in hand? Perhaps the setting we are describing is a tiny bit more toward fiction than real-life, as fireplaces are not that commonplace and everyday life does not have as many relaxing moments as one would hope. However, the part about reading is quite true, and rightly associated with wintertime! In order to deter you from buying a book that you end up quitting after the first chapter, we’ve put together a list of thrilling literary suggestions:

1. Elena Ferrante – My Brilliant Friend

The pseudonymous author is the creator of the Neapolitan Novels, a captivating tetralogy which follows the lives of Elena-Lenu and Lila, from the former’s viewpoint. “My Brilliant Friend” is the first publication of the series, and by far the most enticing. Ferrante’s accurate replication of the observations of young children and their innocent view of the world results in a story filled with flashbacks to one’s own childhood years, as different as they may be from the storyline of the book. The story unravels in Naples and takes us through the friendship of the two girls, from a very young age with the rest of the books following their coming-of-age story in later years. An exquisite writing technique coupled with the most intriguing analysis of the girls and their transformation through the years, “My Brilliant Friend” is definitely worth the read! For the fans that have already scoured through the books, it’s worth mentioning that the miniseries has been released on HBO since mid-November…

2. Irvin D. Yalom – When Nietzsche Wept

Yalom’s work is extraordinary to the end that his long psychiatric career has infused his fictional writing with an unparalleled insight as to the characters that star in his novels. “When Nietzsche Wept” is the product of fiction, albeit extremely well-researched fiction, allowing for real events and people to interweave with fictional elements and walk the reader through the history of both philosophy and psychoanalysis through an interplay among some of the most influential figures of the 19th century.

3. Virginia Woolf – Mrs. Dalloway

Time has dubbed “Mrs. Dalloway” as one of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and rightly so. Woolf focuses on a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for her evening party. The magnificent way that she leaps from one character’s conscience to the other’s, unravelling the emotional bonds between them in due course is thrilling. At the same time, the insight offered as to the inter-war social structure leads to fundamental existential questions, even for the contemporary reader… However, the most alluring aspect of the book is undoubtedly the logical leaps that appear throughout, tying all elements of the story together in a magical – and exhilarating way.

4. Charles Bukowski – Ham on Rye

Another coming-of-age story, this time from an entirely male perspective. Bukowski focuses on Henry Chinaski’s (the writer’s very own alter-ego) Los Angeles upbringing. Through humanely raw descriptions of circumstances and hinting (rather than analysing) emotions, Bukowski tackles the concept of the American Dream, the empowerment through literature and questions of finance, as the Great Depression follows him through his childhood, decidedly affecting his family’s relationships. All that in the most enjoyable way possible!

5. Fyodor Dostoevski – The Gambler

One of Dostoevski’s less acclaimed works, The Gambler resonates because of the sincerity with which it was written. The author speaks from experience as he talks about Alexei Ivanovich’s gambling addiction and its consequent roots in all aspects of life, affecting his relationships and future. The novel is quite short compared to other works by the same author, and yet immensely enjoyable and eye opening!