The Slide at Arcelor Mittal Orbit and Afternoon Tea at The Holiday Inn

the-slide-at-arcelor-mittal-orbit-afternoon-tea

Having seen videos and pictures online, we couldn’t wait to have a go on The Slide at the Arcelor Mittal Orbit! Located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the slide opened to the public in 2016. Given it’s the world’s LONGEST slide, we couldn’t wait to get started! A voucher includes entry to the viewing platforms to check out the panoramic views of London on offer. Here’s how our day went…

The Orbit is only a short walk from Stratford tube station, by the Westfield Shopping Mall. On our way, we narrowly avoided the new Missguided store – or rather dragged ourselves away from the windows! As soon as we saw the Orbit, we spotted the ‘Bettfeder’ – a tight corkscrew before the 50m home straight. Now our hearts really started pumping.

arcelor-mittal-orbit-slide-experience

We grabbed a delicious coffee at the on-site cafe and sat on the roof terrace, before heading to the entrance and making our way to viewing platform 1 for our slide. You can reach speeds of up to 15mph and will complete the slide is a hair-raising 35 seconds. Yeeeep! Before your slide, the attentive staff get you kitted out in what can only be described as a full ninja suit; helmets, knee pads and elbow pads. You then grab one of the specially designed mats and get yourself in position. Once the green light pings, you’re off! You’ll whizz through dark patches, the ‘Bettfender’, and clear patches which disorientate you before hitting the home straight. Once you’ve reached the bottom, you can collect your things from the lockers and head back up to the viewing platforms to take in the sights – including iconic landmarks like the Shard, Walkie Talkie and St Paul’s Cathedral.

the-slide-experience-queen-elizabeth-olympic-park

Following our experience at the orbit, we headed to the Holiday Inn, in Stratford, for the second part of our experience – a delicious Afternoon Tea. The Restaurant Twenty Twelve is located on the 3rd floor with a modern and light decor. Our waiter showed us to a table by the window with the sun shining in. Our afternoon tea arrived swiftly, and included cream cheese and cucumber , smoked salmon and egg mayo finger sandwiches. For sweets, there were plain scones with all the trimmings and a bite sized brownie, macaron, lemon drizzle cake and fresh strawberries. The restaurant can also cater for any dietary requirements and has a selection of different teas on offer. We ate every last crumb and were welcoming the thought of an afternoon snooze on the train back to Brighton.

afternoon-tea-with-arcelor-mittal-orbit

Thank you so much to the Arcelor Mittal Orbit for letting us whizz down the slide and to the Holiday Inn, Stratford for the delicious afternoon tea. We’ll be back!

Posted in Staff Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Expert Interview with The Slide at The Arcelor Mittal Orbit

expert-interview-with-arcelor-mittal-orbit-slide

If you were lucky enough to go the London Olympics in 2012, you may have seen the unveiling of The ArcelorMittal Orbit, located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Standing at a whopping 114.5m, the Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture, and now a familiar feature of the city skyline. However, you may not have heard there’s now a slide running through it! Opened to the public in 2016, The Slide has gone one step further in bolstering the Orbit’s claim to fame – it’s the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide! We caught up with Andrea, Trade Sales Manager, and asked him a few questions about the exhilarating experience…

Q: Please can you tell us how it all began for The Slide at The ArcelorMittal Orbit?

A: With many viewing towers in London, visitors are spoiled for choice on where to get the best view of the city. At the ArcelorMittal Orbit we wanted to provide something completely unique to go alongside a viewing experience and so, in June 2016, we opened The Slide.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit’s original sculptor, Anish Kapoor, invited Carsten Holler, famous for his slide installations, to create a piece of art that would complement the existing structure. The result was the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide which allows thrill seekers to descend from the viewing platforms to ground level in under 40 seconds.

Q: How fast can you go on The Slide?
A: In the exhilarating 40-second trip, riders slide on a specially designed mat and hit speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.

Q: What is your favourite London landmark that you can see from the ArcelorMittal Orbit?
A: There’s loads to see from our viewing platforms and external observation walkway suspended 80m above the ground. From Big Ben, Gherkin and the O2 to a bird’s eye view of the iconic London 2012 venues. My favourite one is definitely St Paul’s Cathedral.

the-slide-at-the-arcelor-mittal-orbit

Q: What else is there to do at the venue?
A: You can get up close to London’s landmarks with innovative and interactive touchscreens that allow you to zoom into the view and learn more about the city. You can also flip the horizon in Anish Kapoor’s two huge concave mirrors and enjoy the gentle descent of the 455 steps that wind their way around the sculpture and immerse you in a collection of distinctive London sounds.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add that we haven’t covered?
A:  At 114.5m tall, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is UK’s tallest sculpture, 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty and six times taller than the Angel of the North.

The Slide is the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide at 178m long and 76m high. With the breathtaking views, you’ll experience Londons Skylive from a truly unique sightseeing experience.

Thank you to Andrea for answering our questions. Keep your eyes peeled for our Staff Visit to The Slide in the next few weeks – we can’t wait!

Posted in Expert Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

History Of Flying

flying

Aeroplanes are one of the most popular and safe methods of transportation to date. It is becoming increasingly popular and is now being enjoyed as a hobby more and more – as well as a trusted form of travel. But where did it all begin? And how did people first decide to become airborne? Keep reading to find out more!

1591_2  1591_1

The first Aeroplanes with fixed wings were designed by Sir George Cayley in 1799. He was the first to discover and define the forces generated by dragging and lifting with air thrust. This aircraft was not powered by an engine, and was more of a glider plane. The design was worked on and tested until the start of the 1900s.

1869_1  2551_4

1903 was the year that the Wright Brothers attempted the first engine fuelled flight, succeeding in 1905 (without crashing). From then on the Wright Brothers were almost unstoppable. They started flying faster and therefore further and higher. By the outbreak of the war in 1914, the Wright Brothers’ contribution showed its true significance as the planes were soon being used for pilots in the First World War. The first female pilot, Harriet Quimby, gained her pilot’s licence in 1911 in the US.

48_3  2933_1

The beginning of air travel sparked many great inventions including helicopters, hot air balloons and rockets. Letting humans save lives, see the world from great heights and explore space. So next time you travel, think about how far we have come from 1905!

 

Posted in Flying | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts

last-minute

If you’re looking for the perfect Father’s Day Gift Experience (and may have left it a little late!) then continue reading. We’ve put together some great ways to show your Pops some appreciation this Sunday June 18th, and – what’s more – you can receive a gift in minutes with our email delivery option. So here’s what we at Experience Days think your Dad will love…


Supercar Driving 

129_5Hold on to your seats! We have hundreds of driving experiences on offer, including 4×4 Driving, Drifting and Passenger Hot Laps. Most popular of all, however, is Supercar Driving.

Whether you go for a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Porsche, Supercar Driving is your chance to experience the immense horsepower of the world’s most exhilarating vehicles, on some of the UK’s best tracks.


Tandem Paragliding 

3071_2Paragliding is definitely one for the adventurous Daddies out there! Enjoy a bird’s-eye view, and witness some of the most stunning sights in the British countryside.

He may be quaking in his boots, but together you can share the experience of a lifetime in one of several locations throughout the UK.


Stadium Tours 

4488_4

It’s safe to say everyone’s Papa has a favourite sports team, so why not take him to see their Stadium? From the Emirates to Wimbledon, you can tour some of the worlds most iconic home grounds.

Go behind the scenes – in team changing rooms, VIP boxes, and news conference rooms – and enjoy exclusive access to club history and member’s stories.


 Beer Brewing & Tasting 

4075_1Whose Dad doesn’t like Beer!? Gift him the ultimate beer lover’s dream – the chance to make his own beer from scratch, and taste it of course!

From North to South, we have a huge variety of Brewing and Tasting locations, so you’re sure to find one nearby. Most of our beer experiences are available for two – so be sure he takes you with him!


Choice Voucher

3631_1Not sure what to go for? No problem! There’s also a range of Choice Vouchers to choose from.

These give your Dad free roam of our site, allowing him to choose anything he pleases. From overnight breaks to bungee jumps to abseiling and much, much more, you can gift your Dad the choice of any Experience Day!

Posted in Gift Guides | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expert Interview with Hebe – London Bar Consultants.

london-bar-consultants

This week, we caught up with Hebe from London Bar Consultants. From Gin to Whiskey – LBC have years of experience in what makes quality drinks. Hebe kindly told us a little more about how the company is run, and revealed her favourite things about hosting drinking classes! Keep reading to find out more…


Q. What inspired the creation of LBC?

A. We felt that the industry standards could be higher, and that we could bring a new approach to industry, with more care taken towards staff development, a fresh approach to hospitality and cocktails.

Q. What makes the perfect cocktail?
A. The perfect cocktail is achieved through balance. Be that between dilution or sweet and sour, or any other variable. For me, I’m big into my whiskey cocktails at the moment, anything fresh.

eqefqefqfqw

Q. Do you have any funny customer stories to share?
A. We believe in offering a variety of drinks to our guests, encouraging them to try new things. Once a table ordered 6x of the same, so I sent over the team member to encourage them to reconsider and try something new. When that failed, I left the bar to demand they expand their horizons. What group orders six of the same gin? I started by downplaying the significance of the gin they ordered, but was cut short by the most well-dressed of guests, whom, wearing a monocle, introduced himself as the president of one of the world’s largest drink companies, and that he, and his guests would indeed be having 6x of the same gins.

Q. Before taking any of your classes, is there anything the customer should do in preparation?
A. Just relax. We are interpreting history, and so accuracy is not important. What is important is no bull-shit, and enjoying ourselves and the spirits.

Q. Do you have any unique, drink inventions?
A. Everything on our menus.

Q. Which is your favourite masterclass?
A. Whiskey. At the moment whiskey is undergoing an identity change and so it’s so rewarding to watch guests’ attitudes change drastically from rigid preconceived ideas to understanding over the course of the hour and a bit.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add that has not been mentioned?
A. Drink more Irish Whiskey.


We would like to say a massive thank you to Hebe for answering our questions!

adfw

Posted in Expert Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wright Start: Expert Interview

expert-interview-with-1

The WrightStart gives any child the opportunity to learn how to drive, however young they are. With a minimum age of 2 – this really is an excellent way to learn the basics of driving! Continue reading to find out more about this crazy idea and how it all began…

Q1. Could you tell us a little more about the Junior driving experiences?

The project started when my fiancé’s cousin, Holly, who was aged two at the time, decided to jump into my car on private land. We assembled a video of her driving for fun and posted it on social media. Within four days, we had nearly 15,000 hits.

Our current, more mature learner pupils wanted to know where their brothers and sisters could drive off-road, to which our response was ‘they can’t’. This is when we found a niche in the market and set upon finding suitable off-road facilities that could accommodate our requirements.

We use only fully qualified and insured instructors at our events and, where possible, tailor the driving experience to the individual. We have a gigantic area in Derby at our disposal so that anyone under 17 can get a head start in their driving careers with a fun and safe first driving experience. The idea is to teach them car basics, meaning people will save time and money when they start driving lessons at 17.

The experiences, run on weekends from March through to October, are divided into three age groups – as well as the minis, there is a junior group for seven- to twelve-year-olds and one for teens aged 13 to 17.

Q2. What is your favourite thing about running these driving experiences?

There are many things we all love about delivering Pre-17 Driving Experiences. If we had to pick just one it would probably be the fact that we can be part of introducing and providing a fun and safe first driving experience that will change the young driver’s life forever. Driving is such a key part of growing up and the working world and to be able to deliver that from such an early age is quite special, especially when you see the look on the parents and grandparents faces when they realise their little ones are actually driving and doing all the work.

Q3. Do you have any funny stories to share about your young drivers?

Surprisingly we don’t have any funny stories that we can recollect however most young drivers do try to persuade their parents if they can drive home, unfortunately they usually need to wait a few years.

Q4. What is the youngest age driver you’ve taught?

3 years old is the youngest we’ve had in the car. Alfie was one of the first customers we had and he absolutely loved it. We see him regularly throughout the year and he can’t get enough of steering around our coned course. There is an article in our local paper!

Q5. Do you have any plans for expansion in the future?

We are always looking to grow and keep the business moving forwards. We’ve brought some new features to the course and venue we operate in this year and have also introduced our new rewards and referral scheme. In regards to expansion, well, we are constantly looking to add new venues to our list and hope to spread into larger cities soon making us more accessible to everyone.

Q6. How would you say you differ from other driving experience companies?

WrightStart and WrightStart Experiences has always been different right from the start. As you’d expect we offer exceptional customer service to all of our customers and that is because we are a small family run business. Our two main instructors; Andy & Lewis are a father and son duo and this dynamic works really well. Not only this but what driving experience company do you know that can offer young driving experiences from such a young age and in real cars!

Q7. Lastly, is there anything you would like to add or share with your Experience Day customers?

We would love for all Experience Days customers to come down and visit us and see what is going on for yourselves.


We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at the WrightStart for taking the time to answer our questions. What an excellent way to start learning how to drive!

Posted in Expert Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Painting Experience London With Minna George Studio – Customer Review

15326303_1178378108906580_6388224837982714596_o

We’ve received a fantastic review of our Drawing Experience London, run by Minna George Studios

I wanted to provide some feedback for the above day which I attended last year, a retirement gift from work. I’d been drawing and ‘colouring in’ for a while. What I did I did for my own amusement but people reflected kindly on it so I was thrilled with the opportunity to have someone else critique my work but more importantly to help me develop a broader sense of it and how I could develop it further. After a few e-mail exchanges with the delightful Minna, we arranged our day at her studio in Clapham. We’d agreed to explore technique, use of colour, paper and materials and I took along some of my things like watercolours, brushes and pens. Can’t say I wasn’t anxious. I was terrified but immediately welcomed and made at ease through easy discussion about my expectations and a review of some of my work.

untitled-design-1

Minna had prepared a very detailed agenda for us which we walked through but Minna’s approach here was one hat was very flexible and although well prepared for a structured day was happy to flex this as we moved through. I was quickly at work and under ‘pressure’ for some output. We worked through the morning up to lunch which was very informal and a perfect accompaniment to the day. We explored other artists work online that Minna had picked out for me to illustrate further how I can develop composition and approach. The afternoon was spent on a final piece, bringing together the learning for the morning. Minna worked tirelessly to make me feel at ease, to encourage and shape my output so that I really felt that I had accomplished something very positive and fulfilling from the day.

untitled-design-2

I really had a super experience from this day. I enjoyed it enormously. Minna was a terrific host and had thought hard about what she could do with me and I felt had pitched the activity and learning to my level, bringing out my skills by developing a more structured approach to my drawing and more confident execution from it. I can’t recommend it highly enough.


We would like to thank Jamie for submitting this wonderful review – we always love hearing about our customers’ experiences, and it’s great to get positive feedback!

Posted in In the Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expert Interview with North London Skydiving Centre

expert-interview-4

If you’ve always wanted to know about the people that are crazy enough to throw themselves out of a plane every day, then keep reading! The North London Skydive Centre has a trusted team that ensure everyone has a safe and amazing skydive. Martin has taken the time to answer a couple of our questions for us…

Q. How was UK Skydiving started?
A. I personally started parachuting back in the late 1970’s. I’ve since made many thousands of jumps. For a while during the mid 1980’s I was employed as a design engineer and test jumper for Irvin GB Ltd working on military man carrying parachute systems – my claim to fame being the low-level paratroop parachute that I believe is still in service. In 1997 I was given the opportunity to purchase Chatteris Airfield and set up North London Skydiving Centre, the rest is – as they say – history.

Q. What would you say makes you stand out from other skydiving centres in England?
A. Everyone who works at North London Skydiving Centre is completely passionate about what we do and driven by the desire to provide our customers with a top quality service. Customer satisfaction is therefore at the top of our agenda and what drives our business. This is what sets us apart from other centres in the UK.

Q. What is the best thing about skydiving?
A. The exhilaration and feeling of freedom you get when you leave the aircraft and float effortlessly back to the ground safely suspended under a large open parachute. Unless you’ve done it, it’s almost impossible to describe in any meaningful way, you just need to give it a go.

tandem-2   tandem-41

Q. Do the staff skydive often?
A. Yes, each make between 800 to 1000 jumps per year.

Q. If you could say one thing to every customer – what would it be?
A. Enjoy the experience. There’s nothing to compare with it!

Q. Do you have anything you would like to add that has not been covered?
A. Yes. Jumping out of an aircraft might on the face of it seem a bit of stupid thing to do – but in reality, it’s a fantastic experience that can change lives and can be done very safely. I would urge everyone to give it a go at least once in their life time. You’ll have a smile on your face for months afterwards!

tandem-3

We would like to thank Martin for taking the time to answer our questions, we have really enjoyed finding out more about the North London Skydiving Centre and the people behind the magic!

Posted in Expert Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father’s Day Competition – Things you need to know

fathers-day

It’s that time of year again! Finally, a day dedicated to Dads – young and old. For all of you who’d like to show your Pops how much you appreciate him, this is the perfect way to do it. We’re picking TWO lucky winners (one in the US and one in the UK) to WIN a Brewery Experience for 2.

So whether you’re entering to win for your Father, Pops, Papa, Dad, Grandad, Opa or whatever you might call him – treat him this Father’s Day with a fantastic beer orientated experience.

How to enter:

  1. Like the Experience Days Facebook Page and the Father’s Day Competition Post
  2. Comment with your best DAD JOKE!

And that’s it! Everyone has their favourite dad joke knocking around, so tell us yours and you may just be the lucky winner!

 

**The two winners will be announced on 16th of June 2017 at 16:00 UK time and 11:00 EST**

Please note we close at 17:00 UK time (16:30 EST). We will be shut throughout the weekend, reopening at 9:00 UK (9:30 EST) on Monday morning.

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

 

Cheers – and Happy Father’s Day!

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

Posted in Competition | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Staff Review: SUP with Active360

active360

This week, Maddie and I ventured back into the heart of London to try something a little unusual – Stand Up Paddleboarding! We were lucky enough to experience how beautiful The City can be on a warm summers day – with the weather on our side and perfect for paddleboarding (26 degrees!) .

A short tube hop away from Victoria, we arrived at Paddington Tube Station, ready to see what the day had in store for us. The Active360 boat was easy to find, and our instructor Anu was waiting for us by the barge on Paddington Basin. We got changed into our special paddleboarding shoes (provided), and Anu demonstrated how to paddle, get up onto the board and what to do if we fell in (which luckily, we didn’t!).

20170525_132211 20170525_144320

After our safety instruction, we headed into the water. We both found the sensation quite daunting at first, as neither Maddie, nor I, had ever SUP’ed before. Within 15 minutes on the paddleboards, however, we were up and standing. Although wobbly at first, we quickly relaxed into it and could enjoy the beautiful sights around us.

We paddled through Paddington Basin, past old Dutch and French Barges, under various cute little bridges – including the half-penny bridge – all the way to the fork between Regents Canal and Little Venice. As ours was a private experience, we chose to make our way through Little Venice, which worked out wonderfully. There were dainty, little restaurants on the river bank, low branching trees and spots where geese and their chicks were all hanging out.

20170525_144610 20170525_144255

We were surprised by how peaceful and green this part of London is, as this was not something we had experienced before. Our instructor Anu was a wonderful tour guide, explaining various sights along the way and disclosing interesting facts about various parts of the city.

All in all, it’s safe to say our SUP session was by far one of the best experiences we’ve done so far, and we’d both love to go again in future. It definitely showed London in a different light, far from what either of us had experienced before. We would like to say a massive thank you to Active360 for having us and – of course – to Anu for being an excellent tour guide!

20170525_144251

Posted in Staff Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment