Thursday, 28 July 2016

The Polish Bakery

Bread is one of those staple foods that's full of carbs but hey, I love it. I've tried to cut down on the amount of bread I eat but when I'm sent a goodie bag full of delicious treats, I can't really say no.

The Polish Bakery is a company that's been running since 2003 in London's well known area that is Wembley. They are the oldest Polish bakery in the UK to date and they supply a range of loaves and confectionery. I was sent half a pack of Royal Bread and two packs of Rye Bread, one of which was stuffed with cranberries (yum). I also got send two full sized cakes one of which was an Apple flavour and the other a mousse filled one with a jam lined base.

My favourite by far was the Rye Bread with cranberries. As you can see below, I popped a little bit of blue cheese on top to cut through the sweetness of the cranberries (look at me sounding like I know my food!)
As I had gotten up quite late in the day, I decided to treat this as breakfast and then I made this monster breakfast down below including the Royal Bread which I toasted. I added some cream cheese with herbs, avocado and cherry tomatoes on top.

The Royal Bread was delicious and provided a healthier alternative to other heavier carb breads.
'The heart of every culture is a good loaf of bread, and we use only the best natural ingredients to produce ours. Our award winning Master Baker jealously guards his sourdough recipe, and the proportions of the other ingredients are closely monitored to produce our finest loaves.

Thanks to the best quality products and the highest standard of production we are able to deliver, every day, the best tasting traditional Polish sourdough bread into British hands. Our sourdough bread gains an increasing number of British supporters, who once having tried our bread, discover the amazing taste, smell and texture and return to it on a daily basis.' - The Polish Bakery's Mission

The cakes were massive which meant we only really had a couple of slices each but if you have a family then this is perfect for after tea treats. The bread was delicious and I would certainly recommend the Rye Bread with cranberries!

Make sure you check out their website here.

Disclaimer - I was gifted this product for my own honest opinion.
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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Moretti Gran Tour - Birra Moretti

'Haven't managed to book a holiday this year? Don't panic. Birra Moretti is bringing a taste of Italy to London with the return of The Moretti Gran Tour - and it's got nothing to do with OAPs (gran means 'great' in Italian, dontcha know?). From July 19 to 24, they'll be transforming the Old Truman Brewery into an Italian street food festival, where you can sample food from Sicily, Naples and Tuscany without having to leave the M25.'

It was a last minute decision to head on down to Brick Lane for Birra Moretti's annual Moretti Gran Tour. I definitely thought this would be an event Sam would like, especially as it included unlimited beer! As VIPs, we got into the event very quickly, which had started earlier before opening to the public at 8.00pm. I had just come from a temp job wearing a white shirt, trousers and trainers (always glamorous). I'd also just found out that I'd secured a full-time job so it was certainly an occasion for me to celebrate!

The event ran from the 19th-24th July and was already teeming with people by the time we left at around 9.30pm. There were opportunities to make pasta, take a masterclass with Tuscan Butchery and sample some of the wonderful street vendors picked for this event.
I've had Birra Moretti on a few occasions when I've been out in London, mostly at restaurants, so I was more than happy for that to be the main alcoholic beverage of the night. The staff were incredibly helpful and upon our arrival, we were told the hotspots of what to try (masterclasses etc) and to spread the word over social media. We sent out a few tweets before my phone went kaput and we were kindly given some food tokens to sample some of the delicious treats on offer.

Just Fab was the first vendor we tried, selling Veg-Italian dishes including Raw Courgetti and the tastiest Panelle Burgers you will ever taste. I then grabbed a Margarita Pizza from Pizza Pilgrims which was again another tasty tea time treat. Finally, we finished off our food binge with a few helpings of Artisan Gelato from La Gelatiera. The pistachio flavour is to die for and I'm certainly going to pop to their shop in Covent Garden this summer to grab a tub! 
Unfortunately we didn't get time to take part in the masterclass (as the one we'd booked for 9pm, we missed because we were a little sozzled from the beer!). However, the waiting lists were full from the start so obviously this was a popular element to the event. 

Myself and Sam had a lovely evening and we will be certainly attending next year's for more tastes of Italy!

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Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Other Alice - Michelle Harrison

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the characters from a book came alive?
Well that's exactly what happens when Alice doesn't finish her stories. I remember back when I was around 11-12 years old, I would write so many short stories about my life and about those I'd made up. If I were ever given the opportunity to write a novel, then it's something I wouldn't need to be asked twice for. I've always loved crime/mystery novels so I think I'd fit the bill to write in that genre.

The Other Alice is by an awarding-winning author called Michelle Harrison, who has before released a series of books all with the number 13 in the title. The book came packaged in the coolest envelope I've ever seen. Just look at how vibrant it is!
I also got a little cut out of a black cat which makes sense once you've read the book. So to start off with I just want to give a big thumbs up to the PR team for their creativity. Normally I just get a book in a plain white envelope!

Set in the modern day, we encounter Alice, a young adult who lives with her mum, stepdad and half brother Midge. Obsessed with writing and a passion for telling stories, Alice finds herself stuck completing her latest project, a full blown novel. Unbeknown to Midge, Alice's characters are soon appearing in reality and their lives that were once dictated by Alice, have now become their own to lead.

Suddenly, Midge finds Alice missing and he must use his wits and the help of Alice's stories to figure out where she is. However the journey isn't an easy one and he soon encounters characters that aren't as nice as they appear.

I loved this book so much that I read it within 3 days. It's a book you won't be able to put down and it's such an easy read. If you'd like to purchase a copy for yourself, you can do so here for just £6.99.
It's certainly a worthy read and I hope that if you do read it, let me know in the comments what you thought!

Disclaimer - I was gifted this product for my own honest opinion.

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Monday, 25 July 2016

Tips When Shopping For Designer Wedding Dresses

After the announcement of the engagement, a bride-to-be must begin their search for wedding dresses so they look their very best on their big day.
For many, the prospect of looking means great fun checking out designer wedding dresses. London offers a great range of boutiques for the bride and her party to enjoy and take time to select the right wedding dress for them.

However, a bride may struggle to find her perfect dress but there are ways to make the process easier and our tips will highlight the mistakes many brides make when looking for wedding dresses. The first issue is that the bride should really restrict the number of people they take along to a bridal shop in London which offers spacious viewing areas with space for large parties but everyone will have an opinion, so the more people that are there, the more opinions there will be. There's also a problem that the consensus of the group will push the bride away from buying the dress they really do love and want.

Many bridal shop owners will say that the bride should attend with their mother and perhaps their sister or a good friend since they will have the bride's best interests at heart rather than pressing on their opinion for what she should wear.
It's also important that the bride does not go shopping for their wedding dress too soon, or even for their designer evening wear, and they should only attend bridal shops when they are ready to purchase their gown.

Another important issue that many brides tend to overlook is that it's important that they have their venue either organised or under consideration since this may influence the wedding dress style; while a traditional ornate gown with a long train will look great in a ballroom, for instance, it would look unusual for a beachfront ceremony. The flip side to the advice for not rushing to buy a wedding dress is that the bride should not really procrastinate since a dress might take five or six months to be completed and the designer and wedding dressmaker need to rush the order, they will charge more.
Finally, when it comes to deciding on the fashion of the wedding dress the bride-to-be should restrict how many dresses she tries on - more than 10 may lead to them being confused about which dress is going to be most suitable.
Most brides will try on between four and seven wedding dresses and this has a lot to offer them in delivering the dress of their dreams so when they do find a dress they the bride should stop looking and buy it since not doing so will lead to doubt and more confusion that they made the wrong decision.

Written by Peter Webber

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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Geometric Tattoo Artist: Choosing The Right One

Introducing a new guest blogger to the scene! Justin Jersey is a journalist, stylist and blogger. He is an aesthetician by heart who often writes about Art, Fashion, Decorating and DIY Ideas. He loves sparking creativity and giving those reading, ideas for their own spaces. Justin's talking about making choices when getting a tattoo!

Tattoos have been around for a while now in the modern world. But tattooing is an ancient art that goes back centuries. Design trends come and go. It’s becoming increasingly popular and youngsters from college to retired senior citizens get inked. The geometric designs are on the rise and thus the hunt for a good geometric tattoo artist is important.
Selecting the design for the tattoo is a style statement for a few while for others it’s an emotional one. Tattoos are about creative expression, about expressing your individuality, belonging, about ritual or immortalizing memories.

Use of geometry focuses on patterns and shapes found in the natural world, with ties to a history of religious iconography. While sacred geometry covers a range of interpretations by tattoo artists around the world. Both tattoo and piercing are considered a sign of spirituality. Read the below points on geometric tattoos.

They have held a very high worship-able status for their heeling qualities. 
They have been used as a part of holistic healing therapies in a few regions earlier and this tradition has been carried on even today, making such tattoos a blend of beauty and spirituality. 
The belief is that placing the spiritual tattoos on a particular part of the body will have a positive impact on health and spirituality.

Now, are you planning to get inked?  First timers looking for new inspiration may be in need of an expert on the subject not just for a great tattoo but also for your safety.  
The artists spend a great amount of time learning the techniques. An experienced artist uses geometric forms and sacred geometry for creating gorgeous designs on our bodies.   

Get Options

The first things that you need to do when looking out for the tattoo artist is to get options. You need to ask all those around you who have a tattoo. Also, looking out on the web will be helpful. Recommendations from your family and friends will also help. They will after all, give you genuine advice. Also, check out the reviews on the website for the options that you have. 

Check Out Their Work

While shortlisting your tattoo artist, it is important for you to check the quality of the designs and to know if you have any allergies prior to getting inked. Is the artist using sterilized equipments? All work undertaken should be undertaken in a clean and discrete sterile environment. Geometric tattoos vary from huge complex, heavy, symmetric designs to minimalist designs of geometric with just 3 tiny circles forming bubbles. You need to be sure of your requirement and plan your tattoo accordingly. Its costs money to get under the needle to get inked and so does removing of it from your skin, using surgical methods. So, save money, save time and also avoid all the trouble. Get the right one done!

Take your Time
Getting a tattoo done is a big deal, thus take your time in making a decision. Tattooing is a permanent decision to make and thus should not be taken lightly or in haste. 

Compare prices of a couple of artists who have been rated well.  

Experience is an important thing that you need to consider when looking out for the geometric tattoo artists

It is very important for you to make certain that the tattoo artist that you choose follows all the safety standards. Since a tattoo is a permanent thing on skin, you should not compromise safety for cost. Ensure that a new or sterilized needle is used for every person. Also, let the artist know in case you have any skin issues. 
Thanks Justin for such a fun blog. It's great to explore a new part of the Beauty industry and tattoos should be celebrated rather than seen as anything negative. Be sure to check out his social media below!

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Saturday, 23 July 2016

How The Other Half Loves - Theatre Talk

I got the pleasure of seeing the cast of How The Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn the other night. Accompanied by my partner Sam and his friend Ollie, we made our way over to the Duke of York theatre where the production is currently taking place.
Alan Ayckbourn's career spans right back to 1969 when Relatively Speaking made a break-through on the very same stage as the one we saw the other night. How The Other Half Loves is a typical British farce, creating confusion and hysterics for the characters involved, whilst sending us, the audience, into fits of laughter. The set is two households that have been jigsawed together into one stage. Even though those who inhabit them are poles apart in wealth, they are linked to each other through a sordid, secret love affair. It has elements similar to that of Noises Off by Michael Frayn, with conversations being misunderstood and punches being thrown left, right and center!

The timing of the performers are spot on and most of them produced some comedy gold. There was one performer (who I won't name) that really let the cast down. They seemed to be speaking the lines rather than actually acting them out. A poor performance that I think should be recast. The set was fabulous and the quick change of scenery was done very efficiently. Ayckbourn's writing is something I'm familiar with after co-directing Life of Riley back at university in Aberystwyth. He's a social writer which I think is what grips his audience so well because he'll take topics that appear to be heavy and makes them light and humorous. Even though the overall theme of HTOHL is an affair between two household members, he covers it up with hilarity and confusion. He's the perfect writer to help the reader escape from their lives to watch Ayckbourn's characters live out their own.
If you'd like to go see the production, it's on in London till the 1st October so make sure you check out the tickets here. Prices range from £17.25-£67.25.

The cast includes Nicholas Le Prevost, Jenny Seagrove, Jason Merrells, Gillian Wright, Matthew Cottle and Andrea Lowe.

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Friday, 22 July 2016

ZAFUL - Holiday Wear


If you didn't already know, I'm just a month away from heading on my holidays with my partner, his sister and their cousins/other halves.

Zaful is an online store offering the latest in fashion trends for low and affordable prices. Stocking over 200 lines, it would be hard not to find what you're looking for. The guys at Zaful gave me a $100 gift card to splurge out on some awesome new pieces for my holidays, so let me show you what I chose.

First off is this off the shoulder crop top, with an elasticated waist band. The sleeves are short and the white embroidery along the top of the neckline adds a little extra to the top. It's a maroon red with intricate flowers printed all over and it fits really nicely. A little bit confusing though at first because there was no label, so without looking at the website, I tried it on back to front! Not recommended. It's £11.96 and you can find it here.
This is probably one of my favourite buys and it looks very sexy and floral! For just £14.28, this exotic long skirt falls a few centimetres down past the knee. It has a sultry slit up the right hand side so it's perfect for adding a bit of sexiness to an outfit. The material is light which means I can wear it around in the day, no problem!
Probably one of my least favourites is this backless lace dress because the material is quite heavier than I expected. However because it's thicker, it would probably be best used around the beach or in the evening. For some reason, the material reminds me of an old table cloth, so I think this put me off the dress. However, I'm pretty sure it's one of those that looks better on than off. It's one of the more expensive items at £25.47, however it's still reasonable compared to other online stores.
This 3/4 sleeve dress is so colourful and the photo definitely shows it off. This was part of the clearance sale at £8.65 so it is unfortunately sold out. I can see myself wearing this on holiday with a beach bag and some brown gladiator sandals. The light material again is perfect for the hot climate and will be great to wear when I'm out exploring!

You can't begin to imagine how much I've wanted this style of bag! I love this black leather style backpack. With gold detailing, it's the perfect bag for being out and about in the daytime. It's big enough to fit in all my essentials but not too big to become an annoyance. At just £16.21, the bag comes in five different colours including baby pink, blue and cream.
So what do you think of this little collection for my holidays?! If you've seen anything you like then make sure you head on over to the website here.

Zaful is also running an activity called 'Call Your Name'. The activity ended on the 31st July 2016 so you still have plenty of time to win.

Every two days, Zaful are giving 10 lucky girls the chance to get $100 gift cards! If your name matches the name on the link below, you could win!

- Just leave a comment with your name in double quotes (i.e. "Sophia"), same goes for referring a friend or voting for a name
- If it is not your day and you don't know anyone by that name, vote for tomorrow's name by writing the name you want
- Winners will be chosen at random from the comments
- Winners will be annouced once we change the name
- You will need some proof of ID showing the right name if you are chosen

Good luck! Make sure you look out for more collaborations with Zaful in the future on my blog!

Disclaimer - I was gifted this product for my own honest opinion.

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Pulse Light Clinic - Final Thoughts

Facial hair has always been something I've been conscious of and this has probably been since my high school years. Unfortunately having such naturally dark hair and pale skin, means any sort of facial hair is going to be visible. No one every really mentioned it to me that it was noticeable (except my wonderful siblings) however I felt it was something that was pretty visible.
Before and after photos
With over 15 years of expertise in the industry, Pulse Light Clinic was founded in 2000 and has the latest innovation in the laser industry. These include treatments such as laser hair removal, tattoo removal, rosacea treatments, anti-aging, stretch mark removal, acne scar removal plus many more. I've now had four treatments on my upper lip and it's great to see the fantastic results. I noticed that the hair has been coming back so fine, that it's not even noticeable anymore.

I could probably get away with no longer getting more treatments. However, I think I'll get the final 4-6 treatments to finish off the process and remove the facial hair completely. The only way it could come back is through pregnancy or unbalanced hormones. 

The staff at the Pulse Light Clinic on Goodge Street have been super helpful both during and after the treatments. The cost of the treatments vary depending on which area of hair you're removing and how many treatments you require. Depending on how pigmented the hair is, depends on how many treatments you have in the package.

If you're conscious of facial hair and are seriously exploring the options, then please check this company out here. They are just based in London, however for such an incredible treatment, it's worth the travel!

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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Forza - Hydratrim Weight Loss

Another blog, another weight loss product! I'm on a mission to find the best products out their to help my readers lose weight. Obviously only if they're looking for it. If you're happy with the way you feel then that's the main thing. I hate people who judge others for the way they look and especially if it's about their weight. It's their choice on how they look and it's certainly none of our business to start making rules on what is seen as 'the ideal figure'. Just look at the stupid advertising mistake Protein World made here, when they placed a super slim woman in an advertisement that asked 'Are You Beach Body ready?' Errrrr...bad move guys, bad move.

I am happy in my own skin, however do I want to change parts of my body for me and only me? YES. Never change for someone else, it should only be for you! Anyway enough of the preaching. I'm starting on a 30 day supply of Forza's Hydratrim Weight Loss Capsules. Forza is a well-known brand that you'd have probably come across in your local supermarkets. I've seen them stocked in Sainsburys for sure. I've tried out the Forza brand before so be sure to check out the diet shakes review here.

I have 180 capsules in the pack, which I was like 'HOW MANY?!'. However upon closer inspection, I'm going to be taking 6 capsules a day as it's required to take 2 before each meal. Please always do your research before you start taking diet supplements. It's important to know that you wouldn't be allergic to any of the ingredients in the capsules and that your doctor hasn't advised against taking them. Most of the time, these supplements don't normally cause any side effects but make sure you double check, triple check and read reviews. Also it's handy to spot if the product has been certified to comply with the industry's standards. It will hopefully make them more trustworthy and reliable.
The two main ingredients within the capsules are Glucomannan and Zinc. The Glucomannan is a natural dietary fibre that forms into a gel-like mass in the stomach when hydrated. So it's important to take these with 1-2 glasses of water to firstly digest the capsule properly but to also make sure it works to it's full capacity. By gently expanding in the stomach, glucomannan can delay gastric emptying and induce satiety leading to a decrease in subsequent food intake. Basically it makes you feel fuller meaning your portion sizes are smaller. The Zinc contributes to normal metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids!
I'll be sticking to this 30 day plan, just like I did with Gravitate Nutrition, to see how I get on and whether it makes a difference. I'll be keeping you guys updated with the results so keep your eyes peeled! If you'd like to buy them yourself then click here.

Disclaimer - I was gifted this product for my own honest opinion.

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Eat Sh*t & Diet

It's been a very health and fitness type of week!

Now this isn't your typical fitness/motivational book. Instead it's a fitness and motivational book that's made up of 50% swear words and I LOVE IT.
The author clearly has read way too many celebrity fitness and health books that have conned us into thinking that we can look like them. Bottom line is, they have a crap ton of money, personal trainers and a tolerance for foods that taste like poop.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love my food and the premise of this 'diet' is to fast. Intermittent fasting as it's called comes in three types of plans (which renamed by Max) are,

  • The F***-S*** Up Plan.
  • The Make-Your-F****ing-Mind-Up Plan
  • The Pussy Plan
Now for someone who enjoys humour, this guy has it in buckets. There's probably not a paragraph in there that doesn't have any swearing in it. However, by keeping us entertained with his extensive knowledge of profanity, the knowledge given to us is actually being digested. As someone who loves food though, the idea of skipping a meal, feels like a cruel thing to do to yourself. However, once you understand the logic behind it, it actually makes sense.

Max explains that by eating three meals a day, your body is in a constant fed-up state. This means that most of the time we're eating out of boredom, when sometimes we aren't actually hungry. By having a period of fasting where you drink just water or black tea/coffee, the body will be focusing on it's fat stores. The positives of this are that I'll feel less hungry, I won't snack as much and I'll be able to build/retain muscle whilst burning fat.
The Eat Sh*t and Diet book explains the three plans in detail which are suited to different lifestyles and the person taking this health plan. It also covers exercise and types of food to eat and avoid.

If this sounds like your type of book then be sure to buy it from Amazon here for £7.99. The Kindle version is available for just £3.99!

Disclaimer - I was gifted this product for my own honest opinion.

Check out my YouTube Channel! Click here.

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Final Results - Gravitate

It's been 30 days now and I've managed to stick this one out to the best of my ability and I've gotta say the results are good!
As I sit here, snacking on Pistachios(oops)...I'm actually shocked at how different the before and after results look!

The immediate difference has to be the full stomach on the left vs the flattened stomach on the right. It's great to see that my tummy no longer looks bloated. I've also got more curvature in my waist which is definitely noticeable when looking at the previous picture. It's a shame I didn't catch the after photo in the best light because it doesn't really give my ab definition justice. 

Having abs has always been a big goal for me so to actually see some definition appearing on both sides is incredible. With the use of the Dietvits and Sculpting supplements from Gravitate, I've noticed a difference in my eating habits. I tried the first couple of days on and off the supplements, finding that I snacked more when I was off them than when I was on. So does it curb cravings? Definitely. Does it give you wash board abs and a flat stomach? Yes. But of course, you need to exercise aswell! With the combined use of taking the supplements, eating healthily and doing more exercise, I've managed to really make some progress. Just taking the supplements isn't going to fix the problem.
Gravitate are definitely a product I would recommend to friends and family, having already recommended it to a Facebook friend! 

The kit comes in three different price plans. The 14-day plan is £19.99, the 30-day is £34.99 and the 90-day Ultimate kit it £69.99. Get yours today here and let me know if you end up trying it out and seeing results!

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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Dirty Dancing - Secret Cinema

SecretCinema presents...DIRTY DANCING in LONDON!
OMFG. What an awesome event.

This event was so secretive that we had to seal our phones in bags for the duration of the event. Yes of course there was going to be a few people who sneakily got out our cameras to take a quick snap (cough), however what keeps these event buzzing, is that most people keep the experience a secret.

Recreating the iconic Kellerman's Mountain House resort, an ordinary field was turned into a 360 degree experience, thrusting you back into the 80s and into the arms of Patrick Swayze...well someone who was playing him.

Dressed up in our 80s gear...ish, myself and my partner, Sean and Will united at Leyton station to be ushered by semi-American characters towards the unknown. The journey there took longer than the journey back because we were just so excited to get there. We walked a fair bit until making our way through the 'bear land' until we reached the entrance of the Kellerman's resort. Upon arrival, we checked in our bags, sealed up our phones and headed into the resort. The boys immediately caught the attention of the volleyball court and we had a good 10 minutes of playing with new friends until myself and Will went for a much needed drink at the Mountain House. We spotted Kellerman's son, Neil along the way who was trying to grab anyone who had a special talent, to perform on the bandstand. After grabbing the somewhat pricey drinks, we headed back to the dedicated volleyballers (Sam and Sean) to replenish their waters...with beer.

After finding out the password to the 'staff quarters' we headed inside to an array of characters dancing away, including Baby and Jonny breaking the mood to reenact the iconic scene where Jonny first teaches Baby to dance. Once it was finished, they dispersed and the lights changed to signify normality. 

Whilst I sorted my hot self out in the ladies, the boys played an intense team vs team game of get the hoops on the sticks and get the bean bags in the hole. I have no idea what this game was called, hence why I'm literally describing what they needed to do to win.

As it neared 9pm, the 800 or so 'guests' sat down in front of the big projection screen to watch Dirty Dancing. Interspersed with reenactments by performers as the scenes went on behind them, added excitement and audience interaction to the mix. Even the cold weather and damp ground wouldn't crush our spirits as we sang along to '(I've Had) The Time Of My Life' at the top of our lungs, as film Baby and performer Baby were lifted into the air in this final scene.
The event is ticketed and is already sold out but here's the price list, just to give you an idea for the next one that comes along.

Standard Ticket (16+) - £65 + booking fees
VIP Ticket (16+) - £129 + booking fees
Student Ticket (16+) £38.50 + booking fees (with valid Student/NUS card only - proof is required on entry)

We and the boys had lots of fun and it was certainly a once in a life time experience. You could say we had the time of our lives....#bemybaby

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