Social Media Manager, James R.C. Smith infographic CV.

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Just a quick note to say that if you’re one of the thousands (or millions) of revellers heading to central London this Saturday night to ring in the new year, head in early!

New Years Eve Fireworks in London, London Eye, Thames

New Year's Eve Fireworks at the London Eye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been twice to watch the brief but very impressive fireworks at the London Eye, from all around the Thames. The first time we set off early, found a good spot and stayed there. Although we were there, wrapped up warm and with food, drinks and umbrellas, we enjoyed an amazing view and got chatting with some lovely tourists.

The second time was very different. We arrived at 11.30pm, could only get to the very back of a crowd, around 200 metres deep and could only see between a sea of heads. After that, we were rushed by a group of pickpockets and thieves. A girl who was in our group had her bag snatched and was helpless as they disappeared through the crowd.

So there you have it. My advice is only bring what you need; food, drinks, umbrella, warm clothes (though it’ll be a mild night) and a small camera. It’s a great night if you get there early and don’t mind the wait. Also, don’t try and get out of the city for a while as some stations will be closed. Check here for more details.

On New Year’s Eve you can travel free between 23:45 and 04:30 on bus, Tube, tram and DLR services. Free travel will also apply on London Overground trains running after 23:45.

Have fun!

Great news! The group of friends that I’ve been walking with, have raised £1,000 for the MacMillan Cancer Support charity.

Thanks for all the sponsors who supported us and the great cause. Have a look at our group’s page and there’s still time to add some more sponsors to the list if you’re feeling extra special!

sponsored walking team raise £1000 for macmillan cancer support.

Walk For All Seasons group raise £1,000 for charity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo via WalesOnline.co.uk newspaper.

I  was lucky enough to get a ticket to the advanced screening of the latest BBC Christmas drama. Made partly with Children’s BBC, this is not only for kids. ‘Lost Christmas’ is a family offering, with some tough subject matter, including losing close family members and homelessness.

In a similar vain to ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, it’s not all bad. There’s some great lines, involving acting and lovely scenes of a Wintery Manchester.

Eddie Izzard is, as always, impressive, funny and mysterious. The story is transformed from something potentially cheesy and glib, into a touching Christmas tale, with a debut from Larry Mills as ‘Goose’. He’s certainly one to watch.

‘Lost Christmas’ will be broadcast on BBC One at 5:30pm on December 18th and again on Christmas Eve.

Eddie Izzard, Larry Mills, Jason Flemyng

The stars of Lost Christmas.

It’s very hard to write about an event which is on-going and highly secretive. I’ll only say the hints that we were all given in the run up to the event on the Secret Cinema Facebook pages.

The guests buy tickets a long time in advance with no knowledge of the film, required costume or location. This is more of an experience than a normal movie-going experience. We were given clues and small tasks via the social media forums Facebook and Twitter. The tasks included writing secret notes, placing secret things around London and event meeting secret people and receiving secret items. Fun!

View from a rainy window 1930s

View from a rainy window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night we went in our 1930s outfits and met near the Barbican. We were then met by a number of characters who took us to a secret location and introduced us to an amazing labyrinth of set-designs and areas with people we could interact with in an engaging and provoking ambience.

1930s people around a table

Guests and characters interact - Secret Cinema

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The place where we saw the film was chilly, so bring gloves and scarves, if they go along with the costume plan.

I’m not sure when the next event will be but keep updated on the Secret Cinema website and Twitter. It’s a must for any film lover or those in search of an adventure.

I had never heard of Konditor and Cook until a specific cake was requested for a birthday party. I visited the Waterloo shop and was greeted by two very friendly staff.

Waterloo Cake Shop

Konditor and Cook, Waterloo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got the ‘Curly Wurly cake and was even given a free Cinnamon Bite in celebration of the shop’s 18th birthday. It has a rich vanilla bean icing and a moist, chocolatey sponge filling.

Chocolate sponge with vanilla frosting

Konditor and Cook - Curly Wurly cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was an impressive unveiling at the group’s table and we were all excited to have a slice (or two).

Have a look at their website here, for shop locations, news and some recipes, though I doubt anyone can make them as lovely as they do.

Wrap up warmly for another Christmas event in London, running from November 22nd to December 22nd, the Somerset House ice rink has been set up. It’s already very popular, though carefully monitored and only a set number of people can use the rink at a time, which avoids the overcrowding found at other venues like Winter Wonderland.

Christmas Event - Ice skating rink at Somerset House, London

Ice Skating at Somerset House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a coat/bag check so you can drop off anything you don’t want weighing you down when you skate/slip/fall.

Don’t worry about being a beginner skater, there were plenty of people clinging onto the sides and even a little side area with wooden Penguins that under 8s can hold onto while learning the basics.

Giant Christmas tree at Somerset House, London

Christmas Tree by the ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can book your tickets in advance here or at the on-site box office.

Although this was a few weeks ago, I found the photo on my phone and just remembered to make it public. I’ve eaten here twice and both times were below par. Perhaps it was foolish of me to think that the first time was a one-off, but the second time was just a joke.

We both ordered the BBQ Chicken and Curly fries. What arrived was a tiny piece of chicken with a splodge of BBQ sauce, some heated up peas and some burnt fries, all sprinkled on a huge cold plate.

I would have complained, but the staff were either busy behind the bar or running into the back offices.

Awful food from London Yates Restaurant

BBQ Chicken from Yates Restaurant, Leicester Square

It’s that time of year again. The Autumn is retreating and the air has a festive bite in the evenings.

In Hyde Park, London, the Winter Wonderland has officially opened and is home to rides, funfair games, ice skating, plenty of food and mulled wine.

Hyde Park Christmas Fair, Winter Wonderland Gate

Winter Wonderland Gate

 

The ice skating rink was already packed, so if you can come a little earlier in the day you will have more space (apart from school holidays).

As you walk around, the music plays and the varieties of food cooking fills the air. The main choices are German hotdogs, Belgian fries and sweets & candies of all designs. Also, don’t forget the mulled wine which is sure to warm you up as the nights get colder!

London Restaurant, Food and Events reviews 'Smith in London' tastes Bratwurst

Bratwurst stand at Winter Wonderland

 

For me, the main attraction is the lights. Everything has a Christmassy feel. I might have to pop back and do some long-exposure photos. For now, check out my Flickr page  for all of the photos I take around London.

Christmas Fairy Lights Decorating London's Hyde Park. Taken by Smith In London.

Christmas Lights at Winter Wonderland

As soon as received an update from Eddie Izzard, saying he’ll be at the BFI in London to watch his Christmas film, ‘Lost Christmas’, I knew I had to be there.

It looks magical, funny, touching, shot in England and above all, Christmassy.

For tickets, go here: BFI Online Booking

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