Staff Review: Aerial Yoga with London Dance Academy

gift-voucherPerhaps like me, you have heard of Aerial Yoga before, but it never really crossed your mind that you’d actually have the chance to try the experience out? Well, on the 8th Feb 2017, Leoni and I were lucky enough to be invited to London to get our zen on and take part in a private Aerial Yoga class. Here’s how we got on…

Our lesson took place at the London Dance Academy Studio in Old Street which was only a few minutes walk from the tube stop.  Dressed in our yoga gear (gym leggings and a top that covers your armpits – think about the chaffing!), we arrived at the venue and were raring to get stated…we’d been looking forward to trying this experience out for weeks! We left our shoes and bags in the changing room and then met our instructor, Toni and headed to the studio.

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We started off nice and easy – first of all just sitting in the swing and getting used to the sensation of hovering above ground with our legs dangling free. It was then time to kick things up a notch and learn how to somersault out of the sling. It will never quite seem natural to be swinging your legs over your head to flip upside down…but it definitely is fun!

Next we tried out the ‘One-Legged King Pigeon Pose’ which really stretched out our hips and backs. As we learnt from Toni, using the aerial silk allows gravity to help your back leg relax and therefore let your spine curve naturally to allow for a deeper stretch. Following this, we tried out some Superman-inspired poses involving stretching out your arms and legs to ‘fly’ in the air. What a great core workout this class is!

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This one hour private aerial yoga class was one of my favourite experiences I have been on, since starting work here at Experience Days, 7 months ago. It was a great workout and I found myself addicted, anxiously awaiting the next move to learn (plus it’s way more fun than going to the gym). The class has the perfect balance of testing your fitness whilst also focusing on challenging stillness in your mind and body. One tip however…definitely don’t have a cup of tea before you start, there is a LOT of moving around!

Thank you so much to Toni, and to London Dance Academy for having us!  If you’d like to have a go at Aerial Yoga yourself, you can either take a private class or join a group to try out this wonderful active experience.

Wath this space for the start of my professional acrobat career!

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Staff Review: Cupcake and Cookie Baking with Greenwich Pantry

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Cupcakes and cookies are by far some of the most loved baked goods, and here at Experience Days we just can’t get enough of them! At the start of February, Maddie and I embarked on a new baking adventure, lead by expert baker Teresa and sous chef Merian, of Grenwich Pantry  – this was a fantastic way to spend our Friday evening.

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Upon arriving at Prendergast Vale College (where the experience was held), we were greeted and shown through to the Food Tech department by the friendly staff. Once in the kitchen, we put our coats and bags away and waited for the other participants. When everyone had arrived and we’d all had tea and a friendly chat to get acquainted, it was time to begin. Teresa and Merian showed us to our workstations and briefed us on the goods we’d be baking during our two hour lesson – lemon and poppyseed cupcakes with a buttercream icing, and cinnamon swirls!

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Starting with the cupcakes, we were taught the correct techniques for folding, whipping and beating our mixture to make it as airy as possible. Making light and fluffy cupcakes has always been something that I have personally struggled with, so as a keen baker these tips were great!

To use our limited time effectively, we made the cinnamon swirls (or in my case, accidental blobs) whilst the cupcakes were in the oven, and iced our cupcakes whilst the cinnamon swirls were baking. The swirls were made from a basic cookie dough, with brown sugar and cinnamon rolled into it. Even though they turned out rather unattractive, they were very tasty – so a win win situation!

I think it’s safe to say that the swirls were not my strong point.. as you can probably tell from the pictures comparing mine and Maddie’s creations!

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Everything was timed well and we had some delicious results at the end, which we are still eating four days later! It’s safe to say, although a keen baker, I still have a lot of skills to brush up on. We would like to say a massive thanks to Greenwich Pantry for having us and give a special mention to the friendly staff that helped us create our baked masterpieces!

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Hot Off The Site: This Week’s Latest Products

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Quick – get them whilst they’re hot! Here at Experience Days we are constantly on the hunt to add new and exciting experiences to the site, so you can try out the very best available on the market. Only problem is that now you might be stuck for your favourite choice! Here’s a few ideas…

Up at The O2 Climbing Experience

We are VERY excited to add this experience to our site – as it’s none other than the Up at the 02 Climbing Experience! On this adventure, you’ll scale your way across the 380m walkway over the top of The O2 Arena. You can either take the Original, Sunset or Twilight Climb and walk your way up to the viewing platform at the top to see the stunning skyline of London. You’ll be able to see iconic landmarks including The Shard, The Gherkin, Walkie Talkie and many more.

Full Day Airsoft War Game for 2 in Wigan

This experience for you and a friend will channel your inner warrior as you compete in the ultimate indoor Airsoft experience. If you’re not quite sure what Airsoft is – think paintballing but minus the stinging! The bullets hit at a lot lower speed and hurt a lot less, without losing the excitement of the thrilling military simulation experience. You could add a bit of healthy competition to see who will be crowned the best shot!

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Archery Experience – Nottinghamshire

If you’re not looking to be a warrior for the day – become Robin Hood instead! This one hour experience is the perfect way to learn the skills and practice hitting that bullseye, whether you’re an Archery ‘newbie’ or an experienced shooter this experience will be fun for all. Your expert instructor for the day will show you the best tricks and tips for nailing it each time. Enjoy!

Bath 30 Clay Shooting Experience

We’ve recently just added this 30 clay shooting experience to our collection of other clay shooting packages in Bath (40 clay here and 60 clay here) which is the just the right amount to get you started in the classic sport of shooting. This experience is an ideal taster for everyone in the family, young or old! Or it’s also great for stag and hen parties for a fun, outdoorsy day to celebrate.

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Portsmouth Helicopter Sightseeing Tour

This new helicopter sightseeing tour offers a unique way to see the famous Spinnaker Tower from above and check out some of luxury yachts in the harbour, you may catch yourself daydreaming that you own one! You may also spot some of the naval ships which are based in the Hampshire port. You’re assured to capture some wonderful photos on this experience, let’s hope the sun can make an appearance to make them even better!

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We are constantly adding new products each week, so keep your eyes peeled for the best deals!

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WIN! Valentine’s Day Giveaway

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Calling all love birds! Here’s your chance to win either a £50 or $50 Dinner AND Cinema Gift Card to treat your lucky loved one to be wined and dined this Valentine’s Day.

Yep, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! Experience Days has decided to play cupid this year by offering you the chance to treat a loved one (or potentially a new one!) to a hot date at the cinema and dinner afterwards.

Single? No problem! Why not take a friend instead and celebrate your single selves.

We are sharing the love to both our UK and US customers, with one winner being chosen at random in the UK and one in the US. You can win either a £50 OR $50 cinema and dinner gift card which can be used across various locations throughout either country.

How To Enter:

  1. Head over to Facebook and like our page & competition post
  2. Comment on the post with your answer to the following question:

“The most romantic movie ever made is _______.”

That’s it! Be imaginative, be creative, but most of all be romantic! We want to hear what your favourite love story ever made is. We’ll choose one winner at random from the UK and one in the US. The winner will be announced on Monday 13th February at 3.00pm GMT and 10.00am EST.

The UK winner will receive a £25 Odeon Gift Card and a £25 Restaurant Choice voucher and the US winner will receive a $50 Fandango Dinner & Movie Gift Card.

Follow the link to the competition post here: http://bit.ly/2jQKmFT

Good luck & Happy Valentine’s Day!

US: www.experiencedays.com

UK: www.experiencedays.co.uk

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Facebook. The prize gift vouchers comply with Experience Days Terms & Conditions (UK) and Terms & Conditions (US).*

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Expert Interview with Shredder Experiences

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Ever wondered what can only be described as a cross between a Jet Ski and a Military Tank, would look like? Well, let me introduce you to the Shredder. This 4 stroke 196cc engine can reach up to speeds of 45mph…over any terrain! The Shredder will test your stamina and balance as you use your body weight to steer the machine. As the latest craze to take the industry by storm, we thought you’d want to know a bit more about the Shredder – who better to explain this to you than Jon, owner of Shredder Experiences:

Q: Shredders are something new to us here in the UK, how did you discover them?

A: The original product came out in Canada 3 years ago and we travelled to meet the inventor with a view to bringing them to the UK. The prototype was in our view unsafe and needed refinement. Last year the final version was released and we made enquiries to offer the product to the UK market. The product is safe and exiting and now available to the general public at 8 venues throughout the UK.

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Q: How do these compare to other off-road experiences; what can customers expect?
It doesn’t compare to anything to be honest, it is totally unique. After a few minutes of training the machine can be mastered and enjoyed. The ability to ride on multiple terrains should prove the product is popular with the UK market.

A:  Shredders are certainly unique; who are these experiences suitable for?
Any person over 16 with average fitness will be allowed to operate a shredder with training given as standard before operation. All customers can expect full protection gear, helmet and one on one communication throughout the experience. They never disappoint!

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Q: Any future plans for the Shredders? Stunts, events, new experiences?
A: A shredder race series might be on the cards in the future but for now it’s about getting the product offering over to the general public so all can enjoy the experience.

Thanks Jon for taking part! If we’ve tempted you to have a go, you can view our Shredder experiences here.

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Expert Interview With Segway Events

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This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Jon, founder of Big Bang Promotions, who own Segway Events. Big Bang Promotions have been with us since day one, being one of the first companies we set up with back in 2006! Segways have become a growing trend, and are now one of the most popular experiences to try. With this in mind, we decided to find out a little more about how it all began – so, enjoy!

Q. How did you get into the Segway experience industry?

A. We had seen the product appear on some of the experience websites so made some enquiries to see if we could do with Segways what we had done with Bungee jumping. We had 10 Bungee locations which were able to take Segways so we could expand nationally and exclusively with the major agencies very quickly to make Segway Events the no 1 provider in the UK within two years of entering the marketplace.

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Q. What’s unique about your Segway experiences; what sets you apart from any other operators out there?

A. We offer a consistent 1-hour product nationwide at 15 locations. No other operator offers this service. We create events with over 100 like-minded people to enjoy the experience together rather than on your own, with all locations chosen so customers can experience the venue once they have been on a Segway with us. For example two of our locations, Tatton Park and Clumber Park are national trust sites. New venues for 2017 include Richmond Golf course in London and a national park near Southampton.

Q. Do you have any interesting customer stories you can share with us?

A. Our oldest rider was 102 and he loved the experience and was part of over 55000 people who came to Segway with us in 2016!

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We would like to thank Jon for taking the time to answer our questions and for telling us a little more about one of the most unusual driving experiences available. If you’re interested in trying out a Segway for yourself then take a look at our Segway experiences!

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New Years Resolutions!

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If you are looking for a new hobby, sport or skill to acquire in the New Year then look no further! Here are some fantastic and (perhaps) obscure ideas for a new you in 2017.

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Why not become a master in cocktail making and take a class in how to mix and match spirits with flavours. Learn the history behind cocktails as well as what makes a delicious Mojito, Margaritas, Pina Coladas and/or Cosmopolitans. This is an excellent way to spend an evening with friends, and the best part of it is you’ll be able to take your new found cocktails skills home with you and keep practising!

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Another fantastic activity that you can continue practising in your own time is photography. You’ll be learning from the professionals as you find your way around the camera and open your eyes to the beauty of the world around you. Whether you choose a cookery photography class or a night time photography class (and everything in between), your friends and family will be asking you to take their pictures next!

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The best way to keep up your new 2017 routine and maintain a good beauty routine is to make your own products! Make your own perfume, shower gels, body butters, body scrubs and even deodorant! Choose from 100% organic materials and ingredients, and know exactly what you’re putting on your skin with a cosmetics or perfume making course.

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Finally, learn how to make mouthwatering recipes from curries to baking to Mexican street food – 2017 is the year to take up a new culinary class! With loads to choose from, cookery classes are the best way to perfect your skills in the kitchen, learn new recipes and combine new flavour combinations. Whether you have a sweet tooth or more of a savoury preference, you are guaranteed to learn exciting new recipes to entice your taste buds.

We hope you’ve enjoyed a small snippet of the various exciting new classes to try this year. With loads to choose from, Make Every Gift An Experience and meet your 2017 resolutions!

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Experience Days Has Gone Mince Pie Mad!

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Now that we finally don’t feel sick anymore, we can publish our  Mince Pie Madness blog. It’s fair to say, we went a little mince-pie mad in the office over the last week. We set it upon ourselves to try every mince pie, from every shop and every variety – with a few added freshly baked pies thrown in aswell! We may have gone a little overboard with 19 boxes for only 4 mince pie eaters, but hey you can never have to many mince pies. After last year’s mince pie off, will the Waitrose All Butter Mince Pies remain victorious? Or will a new contender steal the crown. New contenders in the race are….

Tesco Iced Mince Pie

The soft iced topping certainly adds a different texture to the classic mince pie. The pies are not to big or small that you’re over welcomed or feel cheated on with the festive treat. Our one criticism is that the icing is a little too thick and takes away from the mince-pie filling goodness.

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M&S Star Mince Pies

These pies get a 10/10 for appearance unanimously across the office critics. The pastry star adds a nice homemade-like element to the pie and they are just about the right size too!

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Morrison’s Bakery

There are two contenders coming up from Morrison’s Bakery. Its the battle of the ‘Mince Pie’ vs ‘The Best Mince Pies’. In our opinion, the ‘bes’t didn’t live up to their name – they were just too much to handle and very deep. We’re more of a fan of the tart shaped style of pie.

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Asda Gingerbread House Kit

Now we know this isn’t a mince pie, but we thought we’d include it anyway. This include-it-all kit is a great shortcut to having to make all the components yourself. At only £4, this makes the perfect Secret Santa present for any age!

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So there you have it, our new contenders for the 2016 Mince Pie Off. There wasn’t a unanimous winner with divided opinion amongst the office. However, my personal favourite was the Waitrose All Butter Mince Pie, so it steals the crown again!

We hope you all had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

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Christmas Gift Guide!

christmasWith Christmas fast approaching, we have lots of exciting experiences that make the perfect Christmas Gifts. Experiences make unique, once in a lifetime gifts that will be remembered forever, buying someone the opportunity to do something they have always dreamed of is an excellent way to start the New Year. Whether you are looking for something to fuel adrenaline or rejuvenate and relax, no matter who the recipient; Parents, In-laws, Children, Colleagues or your Partner – here is a guide to buying the perfect Christmas Experience Day!

Bannatyne Spa Days

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With Bannatyne Spas up and down the country, this is one of our most popular gifts this Christmas. The perfect way to recharge your batteries, sit back, relax and enjoy a selection of tranquil treatments. This is a great gift to buy someone (as they may even take you as their +1!) as everyone needs a bit of relaxation time every now and again. This is especially a great gift for Mothers (in-law), to show appreciation for everything they have done, particularly after the Christmas period. With lots of treatments to choose from including a back massage, neck and shoulder massage, Elemis body polish, facials or manicures (and many more), the options are truly endless. Needless to say, this is one of our best Spa Days and for good reason!

Goodwood Track Days

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Known primarily for hosting the Festival Of Speed, the Goodwood track is one of the most popular driving tracks in the UK. From classic cars to unusual vehicles, there are loads of Goodwood Track packages to choose from. If you’re into Movie Cars, why not choose the ultimate four car track package. From the Barricade police car from the Transformers Movie to the Nissan Skyline from Fast And Furious, this is the ultimate movie car fanatics dream! If you are looking for a more classic and sleek 007 driving experience – why not drive the Aston Martin Vantage V8? The options are truly endless at Goodwood!

 

London Days Out

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London is by far one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the UK. Making a perfect day out for anyone and being easy to get to, London is a great choice when looking for a Christmas Experience Gift. Whether you choose a Romantic Sundowner Dinner Cruise, a High-Speed RIB Ride  or a leisurely stroll through Kensington Palace – London is full of adventures for everyone.

Cookery Workshops

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Last but by no means least we have chosen something that is an excellent way to start off the New Year. Cookery workshops are excellent ways to pick up new skills, learn how to blend ingredients and perfect baking skills. From Sausage making to Knife Skills to Macaron Making Classes, these classes are suitable for both cooking experts and amateurs. If you know someone who has a passion for cooking and always wants to learn more techniques and recipes, or someone who has no cooking skills whatsoever and needs to start learning from the basics; cooking experiences are the way to go!

All our vouchers come perfectly packaged, ready to go straight under the Christmas tree. These are just some of the fantastic Christmas Gifts you can find on our site, with thousands to choose from, why not make Every Gift An Experience!

 

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Secret Santa Gift Ideas

santaIt’s that time of year again; the office Christmas party is looming, you’re hosting a reunion of old school friends, and you can’t afford to buy each of your twelve cousins a present each so you need a way of picking your favourite. Thankfully, there’s Secret Santa! Sometimes it can be difficult to buy on a budget, especially when you’re not overly familiar with the recipient, so we’ve put together this Secret Santa Gift Guide to help you choose something unique that won’t break the bank!

driftDrifting Passenger Ride – £15.00

Suitable for all ages, this adrenaline-pumping drifting experience is ideal for thrill seekers and those who feel the need for speed! Passengers will be treated to three laps with a professional driver at the wheel of the track-prepared drifting car, spinning in fast circles and smoking up the tarmac. With four locations across the country and no need for a licence, this car experience makes a great gift for a whole variety of people.

 

sausage-2Sausage Making Experience in Northumberland – £19.00

Roll up your sleeves and get stuck in with a unique sausage making class! This gourmet experience is great value for money and provides skills that can be used at home in the kitchen, so guests can impress their friends with delicious homemade sausages. Perfect for budding chefs or culinary connoisseurs looking to learn something new, you can’t go wrong!

 

 

archeryArchery Experience for 2 in Essex – £18.00

Archery is one of those activities that not many people would think of trying, but always absolutely love when they do. This experience in Essex takes place in a disused nuclear bunker and is run by professional instructors who will help improve aim, strength and technique whilst ensuring everyone is having a great time. Challenge your friends to see who comes out on top!

 

 

tea-2Traditional Cream Tea for 2 in Devon – £15.00

Afternoon tea experiences are ideal for Secret Santa gifts, because who doesn’t love tea and cake? This gift voucher entitles two lucky people to indulge in delicious fresh scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, all in the lovely surroundings of the Highbullen Hotel in Devon. The only tricky part is deciding what goes first, jam or cream?

 

 

trampolineTrampolining Experience in Warwickshire – £19.00

If you’re buying for someone who regularly embraces their inner child, then this two hour trampolining session is just the ticket. With a whole room of bounce zones, foam pits and rope swings to play with, the lucky recipient is in for hours of non-stop fun that will leave them breathless but grinning from ear to ear. And at this price, you can buy yourself a voucher too!

 

 

This concludes our Secret Santa Gift Guide, but there are loads more activities available online in locations across the UK. Experiences can be sorted by price: low to high (which is our best friend when shopping on a budget), and gift packs are the size of a CD case, meaning they fit perfectly in a stocking. Happy holidays!

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