Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour: Staff Review

makes


Last week, Maddie and I made our way back up to London for the much-anticipated Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour. We arrived at Picadilly Circus, where we were met by our friendly tour guide, Craig. It’s safe to say Craig is a real Sherlock boffin, and he greeted us with huge enthusiasm!

765ree

Our meeting point was the Savini at Criterion, just outside Picadilly Circus Station, where Holmes and Watson first met. Whilst we waited for the rest of the group to arrive, Craig told us about the surrounding buildings and the way period films and TV shows have been filmed in these iconic locations.  We split into two groups and, when everyone was ready, set off on our tour.

untitled-design-3

Now, we won’t give too much away, but stops included a highly prestigious Gentlemen’s Club, The London Library, Waterloo Bridge, Somerset House and Trafalgar Square. Each location had connections to the books, films or Sherlock TV show, and it was very exciting to stand in the exact spot where Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman stood during filming.

567890

Our favourite fact we learnt (one of many) is that the BBC seldom closes roads for filming – choosing instead to film among the general public. We were even shown a few stills from the TV series in which we saw people in the background looking directly at the camera!

666

We finished at the famous Sherlock Holmes pub, in which we learnt that they have a private Sherlock exhibition upstairs (unfortunately it was shut when we got there). The exhibition houses real extracts of Conan Doyle’s scripts and props from his acting days playing Sherlock on stage.


All, in, all, we had a wonderful few hours exploring London – who knew there were so many fun Movie facts! Thank you to Brit Movie Tours for having us and Craig for being our great, enthusiastic tour guide!

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

Staff Review: Brighton Cocktail Making and Mixology Course

Do you find yourself always making the same cocktails over and over again and wanting to learn how to make something more exciting? The Brighton Cocktail Making and Mixology Course has been designed to teach anyone wanting to learn how to make a number of delicious cocktails, how to free pour and a beginners level of general knowledge in a fun and informative experience. The course is run by cocktail professionals to make the experience as useful as possible and provide on hand help throughout.

After a very quick 20 minute walk from Brighton Station to the venue, we arrived at the warehouse. It was excellent to be instantly greeted by three welcoming members of the Mixology team. The venue definitely over-reached our expectations as what we thought was going to be a basic warehouse had been transformed into a modern replica of a real bar.

At the start, we were given a brief introduction to what to expect from the course. It was fantastic that the course covered such a variety of different elements of cocktail making and mixology. The first part of the course covered the different types of glassware used and an interesting explanation of why. Following on to tools of the trade, ice, bar and station set up, then garnish and fresh ingredients prep. I found that Brandon our host was a brilliant mixologist having an impressive knowledge to share with the group.

As the experience ran throughout the day from 11 am to 5 pm it included a half an hour break for everyone to have their lunch. As most of the group didn’t bring food it was appreciated that Brandon recommended a fantastic sandwich shop just around the corner!

After our break, we went on to the second stage of basic bar mechanics which involved free pouring. Personally, whilst waiting at a bar I find it very entertaining to watch the tricks and skills that staff present when free pouring. Although I always find this impressive I never realised that it required such skill to achieve the accuracy. As there was a small group of us on the day it was fantastic as we each got our very own bar space to work in.

It was appreciated that Brandon gave a demonstration of the correct way to successfully complete each activity before we had our turn. Throughout the free pouring, we started off with the easiest level of just doing one single shot. Although I found that initially most of the liquor ended up being outside the glass, we were all given the opportunity to try as many times as we needed to master the skill. Once we felt confident we moved onto the harder levels. The next levels involved doing double shots and then two glasses at the same time!

The next activity was what I was most looking forward to. Not because we got to drink a number of cocktails, but because I really wanted to learn what goes into my favourite cocktails for future knowledge. Included on the list was the making of the most popular cocktails; Mojito, Margarita, Martini, Collins, and an Old Fashioned. At the start, as always Brandon would demonstrate the different stages of what goes into the cocktail and then allowed the group to try. It was great because we all got to pick our own brand of liquor and garnishes to suit our preferences. Once everyone had finished it was time for the really hard work, to try everyone’s drink!

Overall, the Brighton Cocktail Making and Mixology Course was a fantastic experience to really learn at a beginners level a wide range of useful skills. It was nice to see that other people had come to educate themselves for future career paths and also just to learn for making cocktails in the home. I personally am very pleased that I have learnt a few party tricks and am looking forward to hosting a cocktail party with all my friends now I have the right knowledge and skills.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Brandon for being such a lovely host throughout and I think we can all agree that all your tricks were very impressive!

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

Another One Flies The Nest – Farewell to Maddie

Sadly, it’s time for me to say goodbye to Experience Days, as my 12 month internship has come to end. I’ll be leaving all intern duties in the capable hands of Rebecca and Blossom, who have already made a fantastic start to the job. This has been a completely unique placement and one I can definitely brag about back at University. Shout out to my side kick, Leoni (the other placement intern) – it wouldn’t have been the same without your crazy ways. Here’s some of my best bits from the year….

Bungee Guinness World Record

The moment the final dunk of the chocolate hob nob hit the tea, and the crowds jumped for joy, is something I can’t imagine I’ll experience again. The success of the footage going viral on social media and published across all major news channels couldn’t have gained more publicity if we’d tried. It’s something great to add to my CV and hopefully help me to stand out in job interviews. I’m looking forward to hearing about any future records Experience Days takes part in!

Favourite Experiences

Of course, I couldn’t write a farewell blog without speaking about a number of the experiences I have done this year. Completing a colossal 33 experiences (7 of those delicious afternoon teas), I can’t mention all of them but here’s just a couple I loved…

One mention has to go to my Aerial Yoga experience – I really didn’t anticipate I’d enjoy it so much. With the help of our expert instructor, we were trying out all sorts of flips and spins on the yoga silks which is always going to be fun! The different cooking experiences I have taken part in were obviously great as well – particularly when I got to eat the creations after, yum yum. Finally, my very first experience has to be the biggest tick off my bucket list when I tandem bungee jumped with Leoni. Although my legs were shaking and I was positively protesting I couldn’t do it, once we’d done it (with a little encouraging push from the bungee crew at the top) I was beaming with pride. Definitely recommend bungee jumping once in your life!

Robb Thumb Pics

The best bit of looking through footage has to be the ‘Robb thumb pics’ as his face pops up turning the cameras on. These pictures without fail every time would have myself and Leoni in fits of giggles. So thanks for that Robb!

Working in Brighton

Finally, I couldn’t have taken my placement in a more fun and vibrant city than Brighton. There is always so much going on, constantly tempting Leoni and I out for activities after work. I’ll miss the city and will look forward to coming back after my studies.

BUT most of all it’s the people I’m going to miss! Made some friends for life (cringe factor). I’ll miss all our jokes and laughs together as we do have a giggle. I’ll be sure to pop in the next time I’m in town.

So here is my final goodbye – thank you to everyone at Experience Days for such a fun and crazy year!

Posted in Staff Reviews | Leave a comment

Expert Interview with Rutland Water Fly Fishing

expert-interview-with-rutland-fly-fishing

This week’s Expert Interview catches up (excuse the pun!) with Rob at Rutland Fly Fishing Adventures . He knows a thing or two about fishing and has kindly shared his expertise with us. Read on to find out more about the experiences available…

Q: What was it about fishing that got you HOOKED?

A: Actually it was the ‘not catching’ of a large pike as a youngster. The pike got off the line but the experience of fighting a huge fish on the end of the rod left me hooked for ever more.

Q:What sets your experience apart from others?
A: It’s our passion, which we love to share with our guests. The fact that we take you onto the stunningly beautiful Rutland Water, the largest and probably finest trout fly fishing lake in the UK sets us apart. We aim to give you a great day, a fly fishing adventure and a friendly and helpful experience.

facebook-pic-2

Q:What can customers expect when they take part in this experience?
A: After tea/coffee/cakes we go into our fishing cabin to learn all the skills and knowledge required to take up fly fishing; tackle, lines, flies and of course qualified casting tuition outside. Then use your new skills to outwit some pretty large trout. We also offer fishing from boats on the full day experience which adds to the excitement.

12931222_932330780169550_1829820111980529967_n

Q: Any funny anecdotes you can share with us?
A: Many lovely guests come and enjoy fishing with us. Such as the 2 brothers each trying to catch more than the other; The highly experienced doctor who just froze when a mammoth sized brown trout engulfed his fly; the hilarity as a father and son hooked a 20 pound pike, the first fish they’d ever caught; talking about ospreys as one swoops in front of the boat to take a trout from under our noses…..

14192740_10210157638353517_1301657760635479112_n

Q: Any plans for the future?
A: We’re offering more guiding days, trips and event days for groups of friends, business colleagues, stag days etc with guest accommodation on the water’s edge.

Thank you Rob for catching up with us!

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

This Month’s Latest Experiences

It’s time for an update on some of the month’s newest experiences. We’ve chosen four you certainly won’t want to miss!

Firstly, we have the Junior Chocolate Masterclass, in York. This offers kids the opportunity to learn about (and potentially spark a career in) the wonderful chocolate making industry – and where better to learn than in Britain’s home of chocolate? Choose between several different courses, in a city that brought the world iconic chocolates, like the Kit Kat and Terry’s Chocolate Orange. This voucher is for under sixteens, but there’s also one for adults – so parents can join in the fun too!

www.experiencedays.co.uk/junior-chocolate-masterclass-in-york

For those who’d rather sit back and let someone else do the work, we have the Chocolate Supper for Two, in York. This could be the moment you realise your palate’s been mistaken all along – chocolate can be savoury too! Expect a menu that can include beef and chocolate stout pie, and roast chicken with chocolate wine sauce – now how interesting does that sound? This three-course meal would make the perfect romantic (and original) evening out.

www.experiencedays.co.uk/chocolate-supper-for-two-in-york

Next, we must mention the Billingsgate Wine and Seafood Taster Evening. This is your chance to try some beautiful wines and a selection of fresh seafood, in the country’s largest inland fish market. Look forward to cured mackerel sashimi or stir-fried monkfish cheeks with avocado, coriander and palm sugar dressing – all accompanied by fine London Cru wines. This experience really is something special, and a voucher would delight your favourite foodie.

www.experiencedays.co.uk/billingsgate-wine-and-seafood-taster-evening

For those who prefer a good pint, we’ve also added the Billingsgate Beer and Seafood Tasting. Here, quality British beer – brewed by the East London Brewing Company – is perfectly matched with fresh seafood tasters, like tempura prawns and mini fish pies. The market is an ideal setting in which to enjoy great food and drink, and we’d highly recommend paying it a visit!

www.experiencedays.co.uk/billingsgate-beer-and-seafood-tasting

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, be sure to keep an eye out for more new experiences each week!

Posted in Days Out, In the Spotlight | Leave a comment

Expert Interview- The Factory Covent Garden

Looking to create some lasting memories with your family, friends, or even pets? The Factory Covent Garden draws on the creative talents of its expert team, to produce original, eye catching images that will exceed all expectations! We spoke to Philip, and asked him a few questions about this gem of a studio…

Q: Please tell me how you came to start The Factory Covent Garden?

A: I started the factory 7 years ago as a direct result of working at other studios and being disappointed with the way clients and staff were treated and the style and quality of the images. My business partner and I were looking for a studio when we found the fantastic space in Covent Garden that we now call home. I wanted to create an environment where clients felt relaxed and would enjoy the experience, not trying to over pose or rush them. A happy relaxed client means better photographs. We hear time and time again things like “I normally hate having my photo taken but this was easy” or ” I can’t believe how well these have turned out, I never look good in photos”. This makes it all worth while.

Q: 

How have you adapted your experiences compared to other photoshoot experiences available in the market?

A: The main differences between us and other studios is our approach to clients and the quality of the final product. We will never make a client pose in a way that makes them feel awkward or uncomfortable. We listen to their needs and work with them. We believe every client is different and therefore every shoot different. Some families may want a fun mess around style shoot whilst others are looking for more formal images. We try to encourage families to do a bit of both, bring your best evening wear but also bring your PJ’s. We had one family recently come as super hero’s! Another big difference is in the staff we employ. They are all freelancers and work for some really big companies. Our make up artists work in film, T.V and Fashion as do our Photographers. We don’t hire anyone who only works in Studios as we believe the diversity of a staff members portfolio adds so much to their work with us. It also means we have absolute faith in the quality of the work we are producing.

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do for a photoshoot or any funny anecdotes you can share with us?

A: We’ve had some really interesting shoots here at The Factory with some crossing over into the world of weird! I probably shouldn’t mention any names but taking portraits of tortoises was quite odd, that or close ups of a clients feet!

Q: Any future plans for The Factory Covent Garden?

A: We would love to expand into a second venue but are really happy being here in the heart of the West End. We hope to offer Make Up and Hair styling courses here as clients are always blown away with the results and want to re-create it at home!

Q: Can you show us your favourite picture you’ve ever taken?

A: We’ve taken 100000’s of pics so to pick one is tricky, but if I have to it would be of one of our four legged clients! We always encourage people to bring their pets in as we love animals here and you can guarantee some great results.This little one is Goucho. He was a feisty little fellow and his picture is now hung pride of place in our studio.

Thank you Philip for answering our questions – we look forward to seeing where The Factory goes from here!

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

Staff Review Afternoon Tea Bus Tour of London

keep-in-cool-area-%e2%80%a2-best-before-2020-1

On Monday 26th June, we made our way to Victoria Coach Station for a unique Afternoon Tea. Upon arrival, we searched the departure boards for the ‘B. Bakery’, and headed to the departure gate. Here, we were greeted by a smartly-dressed staff member, and led onto a beautiful, vintage red bus.

bus11

We were shown to our table on the top deck, and were immediately impressed by the beautifully laid out food and decorations. Jolly music lent a delightful atmosphere, and everything suited the occasion perfectly. Once everyone had taken their seats, the engine started and the tour began.

19420454_1404523036257185_3978556057179083908_n

Before long, we all tucked in to afternoon tea. The selection included sandwiches, mini quiches, sweet tarts, cupcakes, pastries and – of course – warm scones. Vegetarian, gluten-free and halal options were also available, and the attentive staff were on hand throughout to top up unlimited teas, coffees and soft drinks.

afternoon-bus

Soon, our focus was drawn from the delicious food to the eye-catching sights of London. The route passed familiar landmarks – like The London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace – and an informative pre-recorded commentary provided some fascinating facts. Meanwhile, our guide offered their own comical take!

afternoon-tea-experience

As service came to an end, we felt reluctant to disembark – though a parting gift made for a wonderful last surprise! After a fantastic afternoon, we’d all definitely return to enjoy another B. Bakery Afternoon Tea London Tour.

bus-tour

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

The New Interns Blog at Experience Days

It’s that time again – when Experience Days welcomes two new interns to the team!

Below are some questions we asked our new marketing assistants, Blossom and Rebecca!

Let’s begin…

Q: How did you feel prior to your first day working at Experience Days?

Blossom: Before my first day at Experience Days, I felt apprehensive to begin such an important part of my university degree, as well as it is a big step for me into the real world within the working industry. However, speaking to the previous interns and gathering necessary information about the internship helped calm my nerves.

Rebecca: Since finding out I got the job with Experience Days I have been eager to begin the position of the Marketing Assistant. Initially, I was very excited for my next big adventure as I was ready to apply everything I had learnt at University to a real job role. There was obviously a few first-day nerves as it became closer to my start date. However, I had already spoken a lot to the previous interns and had a clear understanding of what I was to expect and how impressive the training plan was which helped with my initial confidence.

Q: How did you find meeting the whole team on the first day?

Blossom: I had actually been lucky enough to meet most of the team prior to beginning my first day of work, which I felt was a really good opportunity to get to know the team outside of work, although still slightly nervous to turn up to the office on the following Monday morning. I was given a warm welcome and introduction to the marketing role I had been given, along with the other intern Rebecca.

Rebecca: At Experience Days the office has a fairly small number of employees. This made it easy to join into as everyone was extremely friendly and approachable as they welcomed me to the team. I found that within my first week I got the opportunity to work with many of the team which made it easy to settle in.

Q: Have you completed an experience yet? If so which one?

Blossom: Rebecca and I were lucky enough to have a surprise experience booked for us by the previous interns, which again made us feel very welcome to our first day at the office. I was extremely excited as I was unaware of what was ahead of us, we were shortly told that we were visiting the B.Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus. The whole experience was brilliant, defiantly has to be one of my favourite afternoon teas I have tasted!

Rebecca: Before I started my job I was told that we would be getting the opportunity to participate in an experience on my first day. I was very excited as a big part of my job would involve visiting clients and going on experiences. It was not until my first day when I arrived at the office that I found out what I was doing. When I heard that we would be going on a B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus I was very excited as I had never done anything like this before. I thought it was a fantastic idea combining both a relaxing experience of Afternoon Tea while seeing the sights of London.

The day out was one that I will always remember as my first day at Experience Days. This relaxing experience was the perfect environment to get to know the other new intern and the interns we were replacing as we chatted over a scone or two. I got to learn a lot of interesting facts about London while enjoying a beautiful Afternoon Tea in a red vintage bus. I will defiantly be going on this experience again with a group of friends.

 

Q: Are there any experiences that you’ll hope to do by the end of your internship?

Blossom: One of the things that really interested me about the placement was the opportunity of possibly getting to complete some of the brilliant experiences available at Experience Days. Although I am completely open to participating in many of the experiences, I do have a few which I would love to complete by the end of my placement, examples being; cookery classes, flyboarding, hang gliding and spa experiences.

Rebecca: I know I have always told myself that I would never do it but after speaking to everyone in the office about completing a Bungee Jump I have somehow been persuaded. I feel that while I am given a significant amount of opportunities at work that I should embrace everything over the next year.

Q: Are there any goals you can think of that you hope to achieve by the end of the year?

Blossom: There are many things I would hope to achieve by the end of the year, one of the main aims is to ensure I will learn key aspects of a business, such as digital marketing, customer service and to learn more about an office environment. I am extremely excited for what the year holds.

Rebecca: I arrived at Experience Days feeling fairly confident that I knew a lot of Marketing skills and knowledge. However, I wanted to apply this into a business and identify the areas that I needed to learn or improve on. By the end, I am hoping to achieve a strong understanding of digital marketing and social media.

Thanks Blossom and Rebecca – we wish you every success in the coming year!

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

Chelsea FC Stamford Bridge Stadium Tour: Staff Review

staff-review

As we neared the home of the 2017  premier league winners, the notorious ‘Blues’, or Chelsea FC as many of you know them, we knew this stadium tour would not disappoint. Spotting the bright blue colours straight out of Fulham Broadway Tube Station, we rushed towards the stadium – even in the 33c heat!

The tour began at the museum entrance, before heading pitchside, where our tour guide told us about the origins of the team. We then headed to the press room to be grilled on our performance in the recent match! There was also an opportunity to have our picture taken and superimposed next to one of the team’s star players. Next stop was the away changing rooms, which were – understandably – not as nice as the home team’s – after all, every little helps when you’re playing these nail-biting matches!

stamford-bridge-stadium-tour-fc

stamford-bridge-tours-london

Following this, we visited the luxurious home changing rooms, where there was a chance to sit underneath the players’ shirts and strike a pose with your favourites. Next, it was time to get in the match zone and get pumped! We queued up outside the players’ tunnel and walked through to the (imagined) cheers of the Stamford Bridge crowd. With the best view of the pitch, you could capture a great shot and sit in the players seats – the last stop before heading to the museum to check out Blue memorabilia from the team’s illustrious history. There was even a shoot out to test your striker skills!

stamford-bridge-museum-tour

Thank you to Chelsea Stadium tours for having us. We really enjoyed the tour and will look forward to seeing the new stadium next year!

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

Top Summer Activities For Young And Old!

top-summer-activities-for-young-and-old

We’ve taken a moment to help you find some excellent summer time experiences this year! Whether you’re looking to take the whole family out, or it’s just for you – we have some great things lined up at Experience Days. Think summer; being out in the sunshine, with the opportunity to do all sorts of fun outdoor activities (lets hope the British weather holds out!). Keep reading for further inspiration…

yacht-sailing-with-lunchWhen you read ‘summer activity’, you might imagine a sailing boat on smooth waters with a blue sky’d background. Well, we certainly  do – and with this experience you get to make that dream a reality. Sit back and relax in the sun, sip on wine and watch the clouds go by. More of an active person? You can opt for a hands-on experience, and take the helm yourself. Either way, you’re sure to catch a tan!

From Brighton to Perthshire, we have sailing, yachting and boating experiences guaranteed to delight.


bristol-wine-tasting-and-bike-tourCity Tours are by far some of our most popular experiences. In Bristol, not only can you enjoy the beautiful city sights by bike – there’s also a wine tasting! The perfect day out for a sunny spell, and a chance to relax without feeling lazy!

Touring a city – whether it’s your homwtown, or just a weekend getaway – will give you a unique opportunity to discover it’s fascinating past, forgotten secrets, and hidden gems.


2302_2Calling all adrenaline junkies! Why not try something exhilarating, petrifying and totally cool all in one? See the world from a bird’s perspective with an unforgettable Skydiving experience.

This activity might seem scary – but there’s only one way to conquer your fears! Take the plunge this summer, and experience the thrill of flying (or falling – you decide). Granted you may not catch a tan, but you’ll definitely deserve a couple of days’ relaxation afterwards.


bristol-supStand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. Find peace on the water, get a great work out, and enjoy the awesome feeling of perfecting a new skill.

Whether you SUP in Cambridge, Stirling or elsewhere on the Thames, you’re guaranteed to have fun in the sun with this activity. An excellent family day out, and a good laugh for groups of friends, SUP is something we at Experience Days highly recommend!


dolphin-and-whale-watching-pembrokeshireLast, but by no means least – why not spend a beautiful summer’s day on another boat! What sets this trip apart, however, is you get to go dolphin watching!

Across the UK, boat tours are a great way to spend quality time with the family (youngsters welcome) and see some of the most beautiful animals to call our oceans home – from Dolphins to Whales. Boat trips and tours are a chance to see your favorite landscapes from a totally different and unique perspective.


We hope we’ve inspired you ahead of this summer’s antics, and we’re all crossing our fingers the British weather holds out! Enjoy spending time in the sun and discover a new home-grown adventure today.

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