A brief history and guide to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is considered one of the largest festive celebrations in London. Here is a brief history and guide to the Christmas extravaganza.

History of Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland began modestly in 2005 as a funfair open-air market taking place during the Christmas period. It has since grown to be one of the largest extravaganzas in London now featuring ice skating, festive bars, live music, street food stalls, and roller coaster rides.

A handy guide to Winter Wonderland

The festival usually runs from November 19 to January 3, except on Christmas Day when it is closed. It usually opens between 10 am – 10 pm. It is located at the southeast corner of Hyde Park, one of the Royal Parks in London. The park has some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions, such as the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, Speakers’ Corner and the Serpentine Lake. Users can access Winter Wonderland via the Brook Gate, or Hyde Park’s corner, which contains a sign directing visitors. There are tube stops nearby such as Marble Arch, Victoria, Bond Street, Knightsbridge and Green Park. Visitors can usually access Winter Wonderland for free during off-peak hours, but they will need to purchase tickets at peak hours.

What you need

Since Winter Wonderland is an outdoors event, it is best to layer up so you can stay warm. Winter Wonderland is child-friendly, presenting plenty of sites and activities for children such as fairground rides, an ice rink and a meet up with Santa. They also have a dedicated family entrance and a place facility to change babies’ diapers, facilities to warm bottles and food for babies and a dedicated space where the young one can relax away from the excitement of the extravaganza.

If you happen to be in London during the Christmas period, a visit to Winter Wonderland will be more than worthwhile.

Garry Knight, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Food Focus on Thailand: The different Chilies of Thai cuisine

Thai cuisine is among the world’s most delicious and diverse, with masterful combinations of ingredients and spices mixed to create tasty, aromatic food. Almost all Thai food features some type of chilli (prik). In this article, we will look at the different chillies that give Thai cuisines their unique characteristics and flavour.

Prik Kaleang – The spiciest chilli in Thailand

This is the spiciest chilli used by restaurants in Thailand. Prik Kaleang comes in a range of colours, including fluorescent red-orange, red, pale yellow-green and pale yellow. The pods are approximately 1 inch long, and they have a bumpy surface.

Prik Yuak – Eaten raw with salads or dips dips

Commonly used as a salad or vegetable, Prik Yuak is a mild chilli that comes in red, orange, yellow and green. The colour depends on how ripe the chilli is when picked. With minimal levels of capsaicin, this sweet chilli has a wax-like texture.

Prik Chi Fah – Chilli that’s pointing to the sky

Also know as spur chilli, prik chi fah is a mild chilli that’s spicier than prik yuak. They are about 5 inches long and as thick as a thumb. additionally, their skin has a waxy finish.

Prik Ban Chang – Delicious in pastes and curries

Prik Ban Chang is found in Ban Chang in Southeast Thailand. It’s long with smooth skin and comes in red and green varieties. Prik Ban Chang is appreciated for its minimal seeds and flesh. It’s often sun-dried and used for curries and pastes.

Prik Noom – Taste the spiciness of banana peppers

Prik noom is a large, light green chilli that looks like a cross-breed between a stretched out prik yuak and an enlarged prik chi fah. The whole pepper can be used, and it’s best represented in the northern Thai chilli dip known as nam prik noom. When preparing this Thai food, the pepper is blackened over flames, leaving it with a smoky flavour. It’s then crushed into a stringy paste. Here is a website with more information about Thai chillies.

Many people love Thai dishes because of the spices and chillies. Most restaurants in Thailand use Thai chillies in sauces, dips, pastes, soups, curries and salads.

5 Reasons to Get Married in London

London is one of the world’s best-rated destinations. The city has a lot to offer visitors and has become a hot spot for couples who are in love. That said, here are five reasons to get married in the British capital.

1. Stunning venues – a plethora of venue options

London has impressive wedding venues; for instance, Royal Lancaster London weddings can be hosted in one of their spectacular ballrooms that features separate and private entrances for the wedding guests. Guests get to experience twinkling star lights and glimmering chandeliers along with their world-class cuisine, which is designed to create a memorable evening.

2. Diverse suppliers – The bride and the groom get to customise their wedding

Approximately 230 languages are spoken in this city, with cosmopolitan boroughs filled with communities that make for a range of bridal services, goods and products. With easy access to wedding planners, venues, florists, photographers, entertainment and catering, couples can customise every aspect of their wedding.

3. Shopping – a hub for shoppers

Getting married in London eliminates an entire list of wardrobe emergencies that could occur on the wedding day. No matter what happens, the city has a shop selling something that will fix the problem. There are shops designed for every situation in London. This means even in crisis-mode couples will have a bewildering array of options to choose from.

4. Sightseeing and loads of things to do – there’s something for everyone

The city has a lot of different things for couples and their guests to see and do. If their guests want to travel far, London is the ideal place as it has numerous world-famous attractions. These include icons of London’s skyline such as the London Eye, the Tower of London and Big Ben as well as amazing attractions such as the National Portrait Gallery, the London Dungeon and world-renowned Madame Tussauds. Here is a site with a map of London attractions

5. Parks and gardens – get back to nature on the big day

More than 30 per cent of the British capital is made up of beautiful parks and open spaces, meaning that botanical settings and romantic gardens are all within reach. London has lush, tranquil venues for any type of wedding.

Couples who are planning their wedding and hoping for a memorable and romantic big day should take it their wedding celebration to the bright lights of the British capital.

Three Ways You Can Relax in Shepherds Bush

Shepherds Bush is a vibrant part of London. It’s busy day and night thanks to its underground and overground stations, spaghetti-like road network, huge Westfield shopping centre, and old-school style street market. There is also plenty of entertainment so it’s easy to find things to do in your leisure time. Here are some ways you can relax in Shepherds Bush.

Take in a show

You should never be lost for a show or performance in Shepherds Bush thanks to its two top venues, The Empire, Bush Hall, and The Bush. The Bush theatre has been putting on shows for more than thirty years and its playlist includes transfers from the West End as well as lesser-known pieces. If you prefer live music, the Empire – a former BBC studio – has a gig roll as impressive as major venues in London, while at Bush Hall you can enjoy a more intimate performance in a lovely Edwardian dance hall.

Relax in a spa

You might have to travel a short distance into the neighbouring borough of Hammersmith to take advantage of K West London Spa offers, but it is worth it. The spa is a terrific place to relax and unwind. Choose a beauty treatment from a full menu of facials or one of the alternative therapies such as acupuncture or hypnotherapy. If you have a whole day, there’s nowhere quite like the K’s Wet Spa with its sauna, sanarium, Snow Paradise, hypnotherapy pool and foot baths.

Enjoy a Culinary Treat

Like most London boroughs there is a huge ethnic diversity in Shepherds Bush. It was home to London’s Caribbean and Irish communities, but these have now been joined by Afghani, Polish, Somali, and Indonesian. Just a walk along Uxbridge Road will give you an idea of how many countries are represented here. This is reflected in the culinary scene with restaurants and eateries featuring cooking from all over the world. Whether you want something casual like a Turkish kebab or an exotic Middle Eastern meal from Syria, a sharing experience of a Greek meze or Chinese dim sum, or a simple pizza or burger, you’ll find it in Shepherds Bush.

Shepherds Bush is truly representative of the cultural melting pot is London and whether you want to enjoy the daytime hustle and bustle or the exciting nightlife, you’ll find it easily enough here.