Saturday, 15 April 2017

Campo Colour Lab Wine Tasting x Norte

A note from Joelle... 
The Colour Lab by Campo Viejo is an interactive wine tasting experience that launched in March at Spanish restaurant Norte (Regent St, Piccadilly). 
I was lucky enough to be invited down last month to try the unique wine tasting experience and some tapas. 
Allow me to *spill*... (sorry - I really couldn't come up with a better pun!)
We assembled into a small room and were seated with three black wine glasses in front of us. The opaque glasses masked the colour of the wine, making it a bit harder for us to know what we were drinking.
After a little test, we were divided into two types of taste bud characteristics. This would fine distinguish the way we taste wine and what we get from them.
We did the traditional swirling of the wine and then smelling before taking a sip and discussing what we could taste. We were all certain that we knew the colour of all the wines (red, white, rose, etc.), but things were about to get interesting...
To be honest, I didn't think a change in the mood lighting would make a difference to the taste of the wine, but it did!
We started off in a bright but tame white lighting and the wines tasted relatively normal. No one noticed anything strange and we were all sure that we knew the types and colors of the wines in front of us - easy stuff.
The lighting changed to a soothing blue, and the flavour was less intense and more fruity instead of fresh.
We were all in agreement that the green lighting made us feel uncomfortable and this resulted in the wines tasting very intense - almost like vinegar. 
The whole idea sounds bizarre, but they have found the perfect mood lighting to match the relaxing dining experience without compromising on the wines and food. My best lighting was the red - everything tasted better in my opinion.
The tapas is pretty nifty too - all the meats, peppers and other ingredients are of excellent quality and the owners go to Spain almost weekly to source out the most authentic Spanish foods.
This wine tasting experience is not to be missed, especially if you're looking for a fun thing to do before a meal at Norte. 
Many thanks to Farrah and the team for having me!

2 Regent St, St. James's, London SW1Y 4LR

Monday, 3 April 2017

My Favourite Theatre Experiences

A note from Joelle... 

Hello and happy April! This year is whizzing by and I'm quite happy about that because London has a really nice and more relaxed vibe in the sunshine.
With bank holidays and Easter breaks approaching, it's a busy time for theatres, as they usually get quite busy around these times.
The theatre can open your eyes to incredible stories, productions, and actors, as well as immersing yourself in their world of music and dance - a few hours of blissful escapism!

You know I love going to the theatre and try out different genres, so in collaboration with, here are my top 3 favourite theatre moments from the last few years:

3) On my birthday weekend, I tried to get tickets for Uncle Vanya at the Almeida, but after failing miserably, I stumbled upon another show. This was a smaller fringe show at the Pleasance Theatre and performed by two best friends. Scary Shit was really, really powerful and intense - not what I was expecting at all.
The show was an emotional journey for not only the performers but for the audience too. I laughed a lot and shed genuine tears over their true stories. They were vulnerable and strong at the same time and it rubbed off on me. I left the theatre feeling refreshed and a few feet taller and it' a show I'll never forget.
It led me to seek out more non-West End shows and for that, I'm most grateful.
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2) Sticking with the "weird" theme, I saw a show in 2015 that left me with so many questions. On a whim, I booked tickets for a new Simon Steven's play, Carmen Disruption at the Almeida and managed to get a pretty good box seat for the first preview show. I had no idea what it was about and went alone. 
It certainly divided opinion, but I loved it - but I honestly pinpoint why. If you read my review, you'll see that I was left almost disturbed by the whole storyline the first time. A week later, I took a friend to see the show and it was like seeing it in a new light. I finally 'got it'.

1) It's a bigg'un! 
All the way back in 2010, my sister and I hopped on a tube and landed at the Gielgud Theatre to see the revival of HAIR. When it opened in the 60s on Broadway and the West End, people were outraged by the drug/sex/religious references as well as the onstage full nudity of the entire cast right at the end of Act I.
All of this was kept in the show when we watched it, but the best bit about it was the audience participation during the finale.
My sister and I were in the peasant seats in the Grand Circle, but cast members climbed on top of the balcony, inviting us down onto the stage! We were not going to miss this opportunity and jumped out of our seats, heading for the stage to join in singing The Flesh Failures/Let The Sun Shine In.
It's one of those moments I'll never forget because it was inclusive and vibrant. There were real flowers being tossed into the crowd, strangers joining hands and peace signs being thrust into the air unapologetically. 
It was the kind of feel-good escapism that draws so many people to the theatres every day and in these dark times, we need more of it.

Next up, I'm looking for some good shows to see over the Easter period. I've currently got my eye on An American in Paris, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and School of Rock.
Got any shows you're keen to see? Let me know!

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