A spring clean with Fantastic Services - car

One-off deep clean with fantastic services

You know the drill, you’re busy at work, the cold weather has well and truly set in and you are well overdue a spring clean.

However, when do you find the time? Fantastic Services offer a variety of cleaning services for the home across the UK, as well as gardening, landscaping, tradesmen, removals and storage, waste removal, inventory services, pest control and appliance repair.

A spring clean with Fantastic Services - hallway interior

What cleaning services do they offer?

Their domestic cleaning services in the UK include:

  • Regular cleaning
  • One-off cleaning
  • Carpet cleaning
  • End of tenancy cleaning
  • Holiday rental cleaning
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Window cleaning
  • Conservatory cleaning
  • Oven and BBQ cleaning
  • Curtains and blinds cleaning
  • After builders cleaning
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Home organising

A spring clean with Fantastic Services - bathroom interiorA spring clean with Fantastic Services - sink cleaningA spring clean with Fantastic Services - bath tap cleaning

One-off deep clean review

We opted for a one-off deep clean as we are in the process of putting our flat up for sale. The service included three cleaners coming into our one bedroom flat for two hours at an arranged time to suit us.

Before they began, they asked me which areas they should focus on, focusing on a customised cleaning check list. Taking a room each in turn they blitzed our place.

They made the bathroom gleam, polishing up all ceramic and metal surfaces. Honestly, it looked like a show bathroom once it was done, I don’t think it was this clean when we bought the place.

In the combined kitchen and living room, our kitchen area garnered the most attention. Surfaces were cleaned and polished, the oven was bombed and blitzed, as well as the microwave. Our upholstery was also given the once over, with the sofa cleaned

Throughout the property, interiors of windows were made to shine alongside their sills and skirting boards were cleaned. They finished by hoovering the place, adding a perfumed spray across all carpets.

A spring clean with Fantastic Services - room interior

So, what did I think of Fantastic Services? 

Afterwards, the cleaners asked me to inspect the property. It’s safe to say, I walked back in and found myself in awe. Everything sparkled and smelt sensational.

I found the Fantastic Services cleaners to be thorough, professional and oh so polite. I will definitely be using them again in the future.

If you would like to take advantage of Fantastic Services and their incredible cleaners, you can use the code LDNGAL to receive ÂŁ10 off your first service.

Are you overdue a spring clean? Have you used Fantastic Services before?

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This Fantastic Services one-off deep clean was exchanged for an honest review

Why I'm over the blogger follow/unfollow game | The LDN Gal

The follow to unfollow saga: the ugly side of blogging

If you blog often, you will know exactly what I am talking about here. The follow to unfollow game is a tedious affair to say the least. So, here is why I’m over the blogger follow to unfollow game.

So many bloggers work so hard to organically increase their following and engagement, interacting with others in their niche and producing killer content time and time again.

The follow to unfollow saga is simple. Select bloggers will follow on mass, await for you to follow them back and then remove you by unfollowing within 24 hours. Most go unnoticed and almost cheat others out of a follow.

Follow to unfollow on social media? You are part of the problem…

If you have experienced this, it leaves you feeling a bit rubbish. Blogging is as much about content as it is community. If you love someone’s content, you follow them to read, embrace and even share it from time to time. However, the follow to unfollow saga diminishes the blogging community and this mutual respect, tarnishing organic growth.

Of course, you don’t have to follow others back that don’t speak or relate to your interests, that is absolutely fine. But for those who follow just to unfollow again – it’s really not cool.

Instagram tends to be the social media platform that falls victim to the follow to unfollow game the most. Leaving many a blogger keeping an eye on their social following each week through third party tools that track unfollowers. It isn’t a numbers game but it’s never nice to see your counts dip up and down relentlessly.

If you love your community and fellow bloggers, share your fabulous content, engage with others and follow with intention. It’s really not all about the numbers and quality should always trump quantity.

#rantover

What do you think of the follow to unfollow saga? Have you fallen victim to it?

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

John Lewis Oxford - White Rabbit Alice in Wonderland - The LDN Gal

John Lewis Oxford review

If you are an Oxford local, the news of a new John Lewis store opening has probably had you excited for many years now. Well, now it is here, along with the shiny new Westgate and it is time to spend galore. I was lucky enough to be invited to the new store to get a feel for what they were offering and to tour the services it provides.

The most incredible thing about the John Lewis store in Oxford is its rather subtle Alice in Wonderland theme, a nod to Oxford’s beloved literary history. All around the beautiful interior of the store are hidden secrets of Alice and her time in Wonderland. The main seating area on the ground floor presents an open book, adorned with towering roses telling the story of Alice within printed petals. Each week, this area acts as a storybook museum for children and as an event space when needed.

As you continue around the store you will find teeny tiny secret doors (great for keeping young minds busy), the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole and even an Alice mannequin with a very Rapunzel-esque blonde wig – encouraging you to leave no corner untouched.

John Lewis Oxford - House by John Lewis - The LDN Gal

So, what do I think of John Lewis Oxford?

Once you get over the sheer genius of the theme you discover a store that satisfies every whim and sense. Within the store, you will discover a gargantuan beauty, homeware, clothing, famed haberdashery, technology, and leisure department.

A unique feature is the Experience Desk, which enables guests to visit and see the daily events on offer within the store and ask any questions that they may have. The John Lewis Oxford store also offers appointments on home decor, beauty, nursery advice, travel, personal style and lingerie fittings – they even have an onsite optician! 

Surprisingly, John Lewis Oxford has more services available than any other John Lewis store in the country and are paving the way when it comes to the success of the stores.

It is music to my ears to discover that the beauty and skincare events are very popular in my hometown, with near-daily events and a first-of-its-kind nail and brow bar, ensuring quick and flawless fixes. Dining is also covered with The CafĂŠ Bar by Benugo, The Place to Eat restaurant and the highly-recommended KuPP.

It is no surprise that people are so excited to come and shop. If you do visit, be sure to pop up to the Experience Desk on the first floor for the latest and greatest from John Lewis Oxford!

Have you been to John Lewis in Oxford yet? Do you like the Alice in Wonderland theme? 

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This review was produced after an exclusive blogger tour

Thorpe Park Fright Nights

Fright Nights at Thorpe Park review

I love theme parks. Actually, that is an understatement. I ADORE theme parks. There is nothing quite like being hurtled around loops and sheer drops that doesn’t make a great start to the day.

In the South of England, there is really only one place you want to spend Halloween being thrown about from rollercoaster to rollercoaster, and that is Thorpe Park.

Although lacking elaborate make up or a costume, I knew I was in for a spooky and fun day spending my Halloween at Fright Nights at Thorpe Park.

Thorpe Park Fright Nights EntranceThorpe Park Fright Nights VideoThorpe Park Fright Nights Fog

So, what did I think of the Fright Nights at Thorpe Park experience?

Walking in, the park had evidently had a Halloween theme revamp, with ghoulish decor, low-lit lighting, smoke machines and live actors creeping in as dusk settled for the night.

In collaboartion with AMC The Walking Dead, Thorpe Park also featured two new scary mazes. Say hello to THE WALKING DEAD: Living Nightmare and THE WALKING DEAD: Sanctum.

Sanctum was a real treat, a creepy live action outdoor maze with a deep South twist. With accents haunting each twist and turn, the live actors certainly knew how to put a shiver down your spine.

Thorpe Park Fright Nights Sanctum MazeThorpe Park Fright Nights Saw Alive MazeThorpe Park Fright Nights The Big Top

In addition to the usual thrill ride and attractions, Fright Nights at Thorpe Park also welcomed four additional mazes and attractions to explore, including Saw Alive, The Big Top, Platform No. 15 and Containment.

It was certainly a worthwhile venture, with later closing times, the addition of new mazes and attractions and the haunted vibe taken into consideration. I would recommend a ticket for 2018 and I will probably return again myself. Do remember though, “the island changes after dark.”

Have you been to Fright Nights at Thorpe Park? How did you spend your Halloween this year? 

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This Fright Nights at Thorpe Park experience was exchanged for an honest review

A Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon TEA REVIEW

I have to admit, I was rather excited for my visit to the Wellcome Kitchen. Not only because it looked exquisite, but also because I was very eager to take a peek around the many exhibits and galleries at the Wellcome Collection in London, known as being the “free destination for the incurably curious.”

The Wellcome Collection is a truly spectacular and unique museum near Euston Station, brimming with intriguing exhibits and collections on science, health and life – blurring the lines between all of this and art.

As curious as I was, I soon dashed to take our summer-inspired afternoon tea in the Wellcome Kitchen, on the museum’s second floor. This boutique venue is divine, with fabulous bright and simplistically elegant decor, including a focal display of the celebrated Pill Dress by artist, Susie Freeman.

What is included in the Welcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea?

So, what did we get in our Wellcome Kitchen afternoon tea for two at the Wellcome Collection? Check out the menu below:

  • A selection of finger sandwiches including cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and coronation chicken
  • A selection of mini cakes including 2 raspberry and cream tarts, 2 nutty brownies, 2 lemon mouse macarons and 2 red berry cakes
  • Two fruit scones, Cornish clotted cream and Tiptree strawberry jam
  • A pot of loose leaf tea (a variety of flavours) or a hot drink each

So, what did I think of the Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea?

In all honesty, I loved this afternoon tea experience. The venue was bright, quiet and the food divine, with a fabulous mix of sandwiches and selection of cakes (these were all sampled but not all finished – cake overdose comensed).

Everything was so well presented, with lovely floral china and welcoming staff who graced you with big smiles. All the food is freshly prepared on site and they even made our sandwiches to order (I cannot have butter, it makes me feel very unwell – odd I know, but, alas) which was a wonderfully helpful touch. 

The food is locally-sourced and tends to be seasonal produce, you can even indulge in a glass of sparkling pink Moscato if you feel inclined!

It is the perfect venue to unwind and get lost in great company or even solo. The Wellcome Kitchen is so quiet and calm, away from the vibrancy and bustle of the intrigued visitors of the Wellcome Collection downstairs.

Once you have finished your delicious afternoon tea, you will discover the spectacular Reading Room adjacent, which allows you to unwind with a copy or two and take a peek at an eccentric collection of sculptures, paintings and artefacts.

Overall, a perfect mini-day out wrapped up with lots of culture and food – what’s not to love? 

Have you tried the Wellcome Kitchen Afternoon Tea? Where is your favourite place to have afternoon tea in London?

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A view of Prague Castle from the Vltava River, Prague

Guide to Prague: A long weekend of pastel coloured views and terracotta roofs

Prague has always fascinated me – pretty buildings, cultural attractions, and an affordable price tag, what more could a girl want from a city break? With all that in mind, a weekend in this scenic city was definitely on the cards, and Prague was the next destination myself and my boyfriend had planned to visit in Europe. Here is a 20 something’s guide to Prague:

Prepped for a long weekend, our mini adventure would begin after a nights sleep in our okay-ish hotel. The Hotel Colosseum was well located to attractions and to be honest, pretty cheap – I am not overly snobby when it comes to hotels, I literally sleep there. 

Old Town, Prague:

Our hotel was less than five minutes from the celebrated Dancing House or ‘Fred and Ginger’ and this was to be our first stop. This deconstructivist style building features quirky architectural design and fascinates many in its place amongst a myriad of Baroque, Rococo and Renaissance buildings, to name a few architectural styles found within Prague. We gave the Dancing House a quick glance and raced towards the UNESCO-listed Old Town – naturally.

Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town, Prague

Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town, Prague

Stepping into the Old Town in Prague is very charming, lined with ornate buildings, street food vendors and the grand Church of Our Lady before TĂ˝n and of course, the wonderful Astronomical Clock. Embellished with cobbled streets, Gothic churches and its array of architectural styles, the whole city is very romantic – our favourite start to the day being coffee together in the square each morning.

Astronomical Clock, Prague:

What did we love most about the quaint Old Town and its buzzing square? It would have to be the famed Astronomical Clock. Be sure to await the hourly procession for a truly lovely show, with rhythmic chimes and animated figures – we managed to miss it about eight times during our stay before finally seeing it.

Astronomical Clock and Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town, Prague

Astronomical Clock and Church of Our Lady before Týn, Old Town, Prague

Another cultural delight that mesmerised was the exquisite Gothic Church of our Lady on Tyn, a grand building, which dominated the Old Town skyline, its interior almost as astounding as its exterior. This divine and ornate church dates back to the 14th century.

LetenskĂŠ Sady Park, Prague:

However,  there is another church that dominates the Prague cityscape, and that is St. Vitus Cathedral, a beautiful church within the mighty walls of the Prague castle compound. Uphill, we made our way through the lush LetenskĂŠ sady park to the castle – there is so much green space in Prague, it is truly fabulous. 

A view on the descent towards Prague Castle, Prague

A view on the descent towards Prague Castle, Prague

Once you have made your way to the top of LetenskĂŠ sady , ensure to stop a moment and appreciate the wonderful view of the city beneath you, it is so picturesque, a sea of pastel houses, terracotta roofs, and trams, separated by the delicate and winding Vltava river – it is a little bit magical, to say the least. 

Prague castle, Prague:

As you enter, be sure to purchase a ticket for Prague Castle that includes all the attractions you desire to see. The handy thing about these tickets is they seemingly last two days, so no rushing around to catch everything in one visit before 4pm.

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, Prague

St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague:

For me, St. Vitus Cathedral was the focal point of the area, its dark exterior boldly contrasting against the smooth and light pastel walls surrounding it. Similar to all the other churches in Prague, the interior was sublime, truly beautiful for any fan of churches like myself.

Golden Lane, Prague:

After a rather disappointing venture into the castle’s interior, we had a bite to eat and wandered down towards Golden Lane, a collection of former and rather cosmopolitan looking homes of seamstresses, moviemakers, and herbalists that used to live within the castle grounds.

Golden Lane, Prague Castle, Prague

Golden Lane, Prague Castle, Prague

Charles Bridge, Prague:

While in Prague, be sure to sample some Czech delicacies by indulging in some delicious street food. Local treats include trdelnĂ­k (essentially a spiralised pastry with delicious fillings), as well as famed sausages and hams. Saying this, we were tempted more so by the Hard Rock Cafe in Prague and had a wonderful Americanised meal. Whatever food you choose to carb overload on, be sure to make your way towards the exquisite Charles Bridge afterwards.

A view of Charles Bridge from the Vltava River, Prague

A view of Charles Bridge from the Vltava River, Prague

MalĂĄ Strana, Prague:

Strolling along the winding Vltava River it is almost impossible to miss the entrance to the grand Charles Bridge. It becomes an even more impressive affair as you cross it, adorned with religious statues along its ancient stone walls. The bridge connects the Old Town with the pastel coloured streets of the historic district of Malå Strana. It is like crossing into a fairytale, with many a wow moment.

The historic district of MalĂĄ Strana, Prague

The historic district of MalĂĄ Strana, Prague

John Lennon Wall, Prague:

The backstreets of MalĂĄ Strana are amazing to wander, as you step off Charles Bridge you will discover an array of food vendors, cosy riverside views and sweet lock bridges in abundance. An interesting stop in the area, is the John Lennon Wall, a graffiti shine to the late Beatles singer and songwriter, adorned with some peculiar quotes and imagery  – It makes for an interesting picture, to say the least. 

The vibrant John Lennon Wall, Prague

The vibrant John Lennon Wall, Prague

Petřín Hill, Prague:

Having already seen Prague Castle, we took the steep climb from MalĂĄ Strana, past the exquisite Baroque St. Nicholas Church, up to Petřín Hill to explore some more. There we discovered incredible views, old castle ruins and so many cute dogs we didn’t really want to leave. It really is nice to just step away from the city for a moment to stop and see it all. We decided against Petřín Tower, already having gained some incredible views from walking through the parks alone.

The view from Petřín Hill, Prague

The view from Petřín Hill, Prague

After all the walking and with a recommendation from a friend, we decided to celebrate one evening with a few quirky cocktails at AnonymouS Bar, a very tucked away establishment near the Old Town Square. This quirky bar sells some strong cocktails, doing so in a rather animated and exciting fashion – trust me on this one, try it out and try to get a glimpse of the secret menu.

After a whirlwind weekend, we had managed to walk about 30 miles (public transport really isn’t too necessary), see all the attractions we desired to and had a truly amazing time. I would recommend Prague to anyone and would be more than happy to give some advice if needed!

Have you been to Prague? Where is the next European destination on your travel list?

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin