Category Archives: Travel

Spotlight on East Shopping Centre

image

Saturday 14th March 2015 sees the grand opening of not only London’s latest shopping centre but it is Europe’s first purpose-built boutique Asian shopping centre, East Shopping Centre, based in Green Street, London E7 – not far from West Ham’s football ground and Newham’s other recently built shopping centre, Westfield Stratford. Following its successful soft launch on January 24th 2015, East Shopping Centre has generated around 200 jobs for the local area as well as injecting much needed enthusiasm for shopping locally. Built on the one acre site of the former bus depot, the centre has retained its original facade but has incorporated the latest eco friendly touches such as solar panels, water flow restrictors, and carefully resourced building materials – protecting resources and saving money too. Green Street has always had an important trade and cultural heritage – my own mother bought her wedding dress from a Green Street dressmaker back in 1962 – and East Shopping Centre hope to build upon and become part of that heritage too.

image

 

So, what’s inside the shopping centre? Major Asian fashion outlets are represented including Zarkan of London, Andaaz Fashion, Memsaab, Imaani London…plus other non fashion companies including Urban Chocolatier and Coffee Republic too. There is a “souk” comprising of smaller, local stores selling everything from costume jewellery to mobile phones – menswear, shoes, bags…

image

Overlooking the shopping centre is a spectacular food court where you’ll find food delights such as Piri Piri Chicken from the Roosters chain, desserts and mocktails galore from Lost Asia, American-style burgers from Brioche Burgers… getting hungry?

image

Being indoors, the centre is ideal as an all year round shopping venue and with its late night closing time, your shopping pleasure is not hurried.

image

 

So, as I was saying, Saturday 14th March is the official opening day and from 12pm West Ham MP Lyn Brown will be cutting the ribbon. There will be lots going on – the centre will be creating a mela atmosphere with music, dhol players, face painting and much more. East Shopping Centre is also offering raffle tickets giving one lucky winner the chance to win a luxury weekend holiday for two in Dubai, £1000 gift voucher to spend at East Shopping Centre and two iPad Mini 3’s. The first 100 people to arrive on Saturday will receive vouchers to the food court worth £10. All proceeds raised from the raffle will be donated to Masoom, a locally based charity that supports vulnerable women and children around the world.

image

East Shopping Centre can be found at 232-236 Green Street, London E7 8LE.

For more information, you can follow East Shopping Centre via their website – www.eastshoppingcentre.com – or via Twitter @EastShopping; Facebook: East Shopping Centre; Instagram: EastShopping

Hope to see you all there! Happy Shopping!

Linda x

All photos have been published with kind permission from Puja Vedi

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Must Love Festivals

We are currently in the middle of festival season – music, the arts, lazy hazy summer days – although I don’t go a-bundle on the camping aspect! Europe is buzzing with festivals and so I’m delighted to get an interview this week with  Abi who is one of the people involved in the fantastic digital storytelling project, Must Love Festivals, that is covering Europe’s 40 most unique festivals spanning 11 countries…. a big, warm welcome Abi…image

Hi, I’m Abi. I’m a travel writer and photographer with a love for all things digital and in my past life I used to work as a hospital doctor.

The “Must Love Festivals” project is the brainchild of Kash Bhattacharya, the award winning creator of the Budget Traveller Website. So what is the project exactly?

“Must Love Festivals” takes 16 bloggers (or digital storytellers as the phrase is now) and spreads them out across Europe this summer to cover some of the continent’s quirkiest festivals. We’ll be taking on 40 festivals in 11 countries, reporting back in real time and then spending some time huddled behind a screen to write up articles, photo essays and videos.

How did you first become involved in this project yourself? What Festival will you be covering?

Ah, well my secret confession is that I first said no since I did think that most festivals were all about mud, crowds and music. And while I like the third of those, I’ve never been such a fan of the first two. Kash convinced me to open my eyes and give it a go since Europe has such a range of festivals – from folk to fashion to food…and even to things that don’t begin with F 😉

I’m lucky to be covering a few. I’ll kick off with Bardentreffen in Nuremberg. It’s awash with music but as this year’s festival coincides with the 100 year declaration of war by Germany in WWI, they’ve chosen the theme of War and Peace to mark the occasion. Performers from around the world will use their music to explore the theme of reconciliation and dealing with conflict. Next up will be a colourful folk festival in Italy’s sunny Puglia. I head to Barcelona for the Festival de Gracia, a free street festival of decorations, food and art. Then it’s to Dublin to catch up with some books and fashion and finally I’ll travel to the islands of Malta to soak up their Birgu candle festival.

imageFestivals are not all about music, mud and fashion – as the project hopes to show – so what is the most unusual festival you’ve been to?

In my youth, I went to the Tomatina in Spain where the world descends on a picturesque hamlet one day to pelt rotten tomatoes at one another. It sounded harmless at first but those flying pips and pelted pulp really can sting after a while…Plus, they get everywhere.

What has been your favourite Festival to date?

Ah, that’s tricky. I think one of the best is one that’s actually close to home: the Bristol balloon festival. There’s something so hauntingly beautiful about seeing so many hot air balloons hovering in the air at once.

If you were given the chance, what Festival would you love to attend that you haven’t been to?

I’d love to visit the Midnight Sun Festival In Finland. It’s just gone and one of our team made a beautiful video about it.

imagePersonal now – what outfits would you be packing for your Festival expedition?

Ah, now. Well, Spain and Italy don’t have quite the casual dress code we have here so I’m looking for long cotton trousers and skirts with some smart but lightweight tops. The aim is to look polished but not overheat or burn! And there’s not much place for a big floppy hat in a crowd unfortunately!

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

I love the bright colours and designs of Desigual. And for accessories, I always check out Etsy to see if there’s anything handmade and original that suits.

What footwear do you favour when attending festivals?

You need something casual but resilient as you could be on your feet all day long…I have a pair of black Fit Flops that I love as the sole is so thick that those atmospheric cobblestones don’t bother me. Yet,
they have a hint of sparkle too which is perfect for when the sun goes down.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc

You can find all the Must Love Festival goings on at http://mustlovefestivals.com/ and across Twitter and Facebook through the hashtag #MustLoveFestivals. As for me, I blog over at Inside the Travel Lab (www.insidethetravellab.com) and will be covering my summer of festivals across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Hope to see you there!

Links for the social media networks mentioned above:

http://www.facebook.com/InsidetheTravelLab
http://twitter.com/Insidetravellab

http://instagram.com/insidetravellab

Wow! Thanks Abi for taking the time to chat to us about what seems to me, at any rate, an exciting project.  I wish you safe journeys and I look forward to readings your blogs!

Linda x

Photo Credits:  All photographs have been published with kind permission of Abigail King.

Share This!
Pin It

An Interview With Hotel Pelirocco

Rock & Roll seems to be definitely alive and kicking in the county of Sussex. Travelling to Hastings this Summer, I encountered 50s style diners/music venues en route, and Brighton attracts a nightlife that makes it the destination of choice for music fans of every genre, appealing to all ages and orientations! Add to that the vintage shops, trendy hair salons etc … the place is really buzzing! It seems appropriate therefore to welcome onto the blog this week, Mick Habeshaw Robinson, co founder/owner of the unique and exciting Hotel Pelirocco, England’s most Rock ‘n’Roll hotel situated in the pulsating heart of Brighton. Welcome Mick!mickpick

Hi! I’m Mick Habeshaw Robinson, co founder/owner of Hotel Pelirocco and a fan of Rock’n’Roll. As a hotel, we are truly independent and proud. In a more and more bland and corporate world we like to stand out and be unique. Customer service, I think is also important – we genuinely love this place and our guests! 

Hotel Pelirocco has been dubbed England’s most Rock ‘n’ Roll hotel,  so where did the inspiration come from?

The idea came about 14 years ago now, back then there was no other hotels, that I was aware of, that catered for a younger contemporary crowd, who wanted to stay up late, listen to music, in a relaxed hotel environment and get up late for breakfast possibly in their pyjamas and no one would mind!

Have you always been in the hotel business?

No, it was in at the deep end! I think when you go into a new business with no pre-conceived ideas, you have a fresh outlook which brings new ideas.

Do you enjoy running a hotel, especially one as flamboyant as Hotel Pelirocco?

Absolutely,it’s fun! It’s changed my life , and I’ve met most of my record collection!!

PlayRoom2All the rooms are decorated & furnished in different themes – I love the look of the “Play Room”, definitely the ultimate “dirty weekend room” !!! What room tends to be the most requested?

Hands down the Playroom then Betty’s Boudoir, people want to have fun!

A lot of thought has gone into decorating & furnishing the rooms just so!   Was it difficult getting hold of the knick knacks?

Initially the drive of getting the place off the ground kinda sourced everything, it was fun finding relevant stuff.

If you had another room to create into a “Hotel Pelirocco” what theme would you turn that into?

There are tons bubbling under – all secret…..

Sounds intriguing…

You have a range of Hotel Pelirocco merchandise.  What item sells the most?

T Shirts and Coasters.

Your hotel offers a variety of “Extras” for your guests to enjoy -boudoir photoshoots PoleDancein the rooms, cocktail classes, a karaoke room,naughty erotic hampers, massages & reflexology, classic afternoon cream teas, private DJs, burlesque performances…. so, what “extras”are most requested?

A razor ha ha!!

Obviously your hotel & the rooms are a great backdrop for photoshoots  – what’s the most popular room used for photoshoots?

BettysBoudoirThe Playroom and Betty’s Boudoir.

Name drop time!! Have you had any celebrities stay at your hotel?

Lots, only like to mention bands rather than individuals, Beastie Boys, Primal Scream, Scissor Sisters, Rizzle Kicks….

Which famous person would you love to stay in your hotel – who would leave you totally starstruck!!?

Bowie, Weller , Lydon,  Ice T…

Your legendary bar hosts gigs, book readings as well as being renowned for its cocktails – I just love a pina colada (not very adventurous, am I?!) – what cocktail is THE most requested? What’s your favourite?Bar

Named after the Sex Pistols – The Dirty Fuckin Rotter!

As well as running this fabulous hotel, “Pelirocco Platters” broadcasts twice a week on Brighton’s community RadioReverb.  What’s your musical taste and what sort of music do you get to broadcast?

I love everything, well apart from X Factor rubbish, Old Punk, Soul, Acid House but new music still excites me.

How did you get involved in broadcasting/DJing?

I was asked onto a show as a guest and thought I could do that.. I have also dj’d at parties for years

 SoulSupremeOn a musical note, my first album bought with my first ever wage packet after leaving school was Human League’s “Dare” … so what was yours?

I started young whilst at junior school, my brother got me into Bowie so I bought the Ziggy album.. all thanks to him.. Thank you Geoff ( R.I.P)

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Into clothes big time.. sometimes im a bit modernist, sometimes a bit of a rocker, I tend to like bits and pieces of all different styles.. on a non smart day – converse, straight jeans with turn ups, hoops; smart day- Westwood shirt, white jeans, bass weejuns..

 

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? 

Present in London or vintage/ Ebay

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?Cardi1

Always Westwood, if I can afford it, they do some great loafers at the mo…

Boots or Shoes?

ONLY  Converse boots! I LOVE SHOES!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about your hotel.

www.hotelpelirocco.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pelirocco-Platters
Blog: http://hotelpelirocco.tumblr.com/
Podcast: http://www.mixcloud.com/PeliroccoPlatters/

Thanks Mick – brill place, brill music taste too! Next time, readers, if you’re heading for a weekend away in Brighton pay Mick and the Hotel Pelirocco a visit – you’re sure to have a WOW of a time!

Linda x

Photos published with kind permission from Mick Habeshaw Robinson

Share This!
Pin It