Lanky Girl Visits the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, and Myswitzerland Pop Up

Christmas Market Southbank
Christmas Market Southbank

If you haven’t been down to the Winter festival taking place on the Southbank, you need to march yourself down there pronto! On Thursday I decided to wonder down to have a browse at the German Christmas market which is taking place. I have to admit to sometimes to being a bit of a grinch when it comes to Christmas but even the most hardened person wouldn’t have been able to stop being infected by the Christmas Spirit. The market is made up of 80 individually decorated wooden chalets selling lots of unique hand-crafted gifts, wooden and soft toys, unique jewellery, hand made soaps and lots of  chocolately and sweet treats. I enjoyed a nice steaming cup of mulled wine which was yummy. The Christmas cheer doesn’t stop with market, the exterior of the Southbank Centre  has been decorated beautifully, with lights, tinsel and a lovely Christmas tree, surrounded by dutch bicycles  which I thought was a bit random but worth a picture. Further up the market there is a fairground which children will just love.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market

Winter Festival Christmas Tree

Also Myswitzerland have also been running a competition where they had placed 5 huge blocks of ice around London. Inside  each contained 75 cards with codes for winning prizes, the grand prize being a holiday to Switzerland. (It is also running online).  I came across one in the Southbank Centre but unfortunately I didn’t win anything. Boo!  However, it was entertaining to see the lengths people would go to try to melt the ice.

Myswitzerland Ice blocks

The Christmas Market outside the Southbank Centre is running until 24th December and you can find out about the myswitzerland competition by visiting

Date For Your Diary – Christmas Fair at Battersea Arts Centre Sat 1st December 11am – 5pm

With Christmas around the corner there are plenty of events happening to keep you busy! One not to miss event is the Christmas fair at Battersea Art Centre this Saturday. Over 60 designers will be showcasing their handmade delights  and entry is FREE!

Visitors will also be able to take part in many fun activities taking place, from Face painting, carol singing, Christmas craft workshops for both adults and kids. Screen Print a Tote Bag with Mr Wingate and make a festive fascinator with Miss Millinery plus many more.

Christmas Fair at Battersea Arts Centre Sat 1st December 11am - 5pm


For more information please visit:

Fashion in Motion: Fyodor Golan at the V&A

When this dropped into my inbox I just had to share it with my followers. On Friday 7 December 2012 , fashion design duo Fyodor Golan are coming to the Victoria & Albert Museum for a series of fashion shows as part of Fashion In Motion.  In 2010, Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman debuted with their A/W 12 collection Pagan Poetry and in 2011 they won the Fashion Fringe award with their collection Flowers of Evil.

Fyodor Golan –

If you’ve always wanted to experience the excitement of fashion show then you must attend one of these FREE Events.

Tickets will be  available from Monday 26 November at 09.00. To book, call 020 7942 2820

For more information visit:

Date For Your Diary – The Secret Emporium Pop-up Christmas Market, 15th -16th December 2012

The Secret Emporium returns this December to present its very special Christmas Market, showcasing the best of British independent designers.

Lovingly hand selected and carefully curated, Secret Emporium will be showcasing 44 of these independent British designers in a 2-day market, taking place from 10.30am – 8pm, on 15th & 16th December at Factory 7, Hearn Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3LS.

Secret Emporium was born from a love of costume culture and independent, original fashion. SE aims to seek out designers who do something left-of-field, to catch them when ideas and ambitions are fresh, creative and exciting, when designs have not been commercialised or sold out.

Dinner at Mash Steakhouse, Brewer Street, Soho, London

Mashsteak London

Mashsteaka Modern American Steakhouse run by Danes? Yes I was a little surprised to learn so myself but then again having tasted some bloody good steaks at the Danish Imagination Festival Pop Up during the Olympics I had high expectations. Taking advantage of the 50% off deal during their soft opening Lanky Girl headed down to Soho one evening to see what it was all about.

Arriving at the restaurant we were greeted by a doorman and friendly reservation staff who called down to the reception to see if there were any free tables. After a bit of a wait when it seemed like we may have to find somewhere else to eat we were told to go on down. Yay! Descending  a very long flight of stairs we were welcomed into what I can only describe as the largest restaurant I have ever dined in!

Apparently this place is aiming to do 300 covers for lunch and dinner which is no mean feat! I was pretty impressed with the decor which was definitely American, bold, stylish and large! I really liked the choice of red interior and booth seating areas.  I did wonder though that the sheer size of the place may have meant that the quality of service would suffer but my fears were put to rest as our waiter for the evening was both friendly and attentive.

The menu at Mashsteak is pretty varied and even if you’re not a steak lover like my dining partner there are a couple of fish options for you to choose from, although this place isn’t really for pescatarians.

American Steak at Mashsteak London
American Steak at Mashsteak London

Creamed Spinach and Fries at Mashsteak London

Grilled sea bream and Mash potato – Mashsteak London

Okay, so what about the food? Well I decided to opt for the American style steak (from Greater Omaha, Nebraska and corn-fed) and fries with creamed spinach accompanied by a glass of Charles Smith Riesling and my partner went for the grilled sea bream with mash potato. The American steak was probably the safe option and I think I return I shall try the Uruguayan and Wagyu varieties. Overall I was happy with the quality of the steak, it was cooked nicely, tender and had a lovely smokey flavour. London has a lot of quality steak floating around at the moment and for me Mashsteak will have to do more to stand out.

I do think though due to its size and ambience it will be popular with large groups of friends looking to dine out and businessmen who are looking to impress their clients.

A meal for two at 50% off came to 70 pounds.

A lanky Girl rating of  three stars.

Date for Your diary, Saturday, November 24th Knoll International Sample Sale

Redecorating? Or looking for a new item of furniture for Christmas? Then you must check out  Knoll International’s annual one day sample sale!

 Design lovers will have the opportunity to take advantage of exclusive offers and purchase iconic pieces of design history at very low prices. (Ex-display and photo shoot samples will be available at up to 70% off!)

See the invite below!

knoll sample sale invite

A Guide To Christmas Markets: London Style


If you are looking for somewhere different to do your Christmas shopping or just for a day out, then why not have a wander round some of the interesting Christmas markets in London. These can act as mini Christmas breaks to get you in the festive spirit nice and early. London’s diversity is reflected in the varied Christmas markets available in the UK capital.

The Southbank Centre will be hosting a German style Christmas market from 16th November to Christmas Eve. The wooden chalets offer German charm and there will be a wide selection of gifts on sale, as well as traditional German refreshments such as Gluhwein to warm the cockles. Other German culinary treats on offer include gingerbread hearts, Bratwurst sausages and roasted almonds. The market stretches from the Southbank centre and the London Eye right down to Waterloo bridge.

There is also a Real Food Christmas Market in the Southbank Centre Square on December 14th-16th, where you can treat yourself to any number of tasty morsels to augment your Christmas menus.

Hyde Park offers a beautiful setting for a winter’s stroll. From November 23rd to January 6th, there will also be an opportunity to visit a Winter Wonderland here. Alongside the Christmas Market, there is entertainment for all the family: an ice rink, magical Ice Kingdom, circus, Cirque Berzerk and Giant Observation Wheel mean that you could spend your entire holiday here without running out of fun things to do. The popular Angels Market is joined this year by a second market selling all the Christmas decorations that your heart could desire. If your Christmas tree is looking a little bare, then make a beeline for this area to smother it with all manner of tinsel and baubles.

For a traditional British start to the festive season, why not take a trip to Greenwich market, where they will switch on the lights on November 28th. School children will join in a lantern procession and everyone can join in singing Christmas carols before visiting the wide selection of stalls in the covered market. There will be Christmas themed stalls alongside the many local arts and crafts sellers. Visit Santa’s grotto and maybe let him know what you would love to find in your stocking, only if you’ve been a good boy or girl though.

Cabbages and Frocks’ Christmas market

If you are looking for a more alternative shopping experience, then Cabbages and Frocks’ Christmas market could be for you. The market was originally created by organisers of the popular London Fashion Designer Sales. Fashion is therefore well represented, alongside other designer ware for your home. The market takes place in the grounds of St Marylebone Parish Church and will offer festive food alongside the top quality Christmas designer gifts on sale.

Need Wheels? London Yields: A Breakdown of Transport In London

Look at a map of public transport routes in London and you’ll see a dense web of lines, with a few pockets of ground which can easily be filled on foot or on bike. When it comes to getting around, London is one of the best-served cities on earth.


Once the Victorians had achieved the impressive feat of completing the world’s first network of national rail lines, they boldly began work on a subterranean version which was to span the length and breadth of the capital, and beyond, into the commuter towns of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. The first route – now then Hammersmith & City line – was built in 1863, the network now comprises 250 miles of track, serving 270 stations.

The London Underground spreads out from the centre, with the greatest degree of connectivity concentrated on the centre, so for anyone staying in zones 1-3, they can pretty much get around all the tourist hotspots by tube alone. A one-time payment of five pounds is required for an Oyster card, which needs regular top-ups, usually working out to less than two pounds per journey, depending on which zones you travel to.

Boris Bikes

 It’s one of the many PR masterstrokes pulled off by London’s incumbent mayor that the notion of his titular modes of civic transport was, in fact, conceived on the watch of his predecessor, Ken Livingstone. Nevertheless, the scheme, sponsored by Barclays, has been deemed a huge success, with 570 stations renting out more than 8,000 bikes. Users registering with TFL pay just three pounds for a key, which unlocks a bike from the docking station for varying levels of access. Casual users, including tourists, can simply swipe their credit card at the nearest station. During the 2012 Olympics, one record-breaking 24 hour period saw more than 47,000 rentals. They’re not for everyone, but it’s worth noting that people on Boris Bikes are three times less likely to be involved in an accident than other cyclists (often considered the bane of motorists and pedestrians alike); this fact is indicative of the level of regard in which the scheme is held.

Car Hire

Ironically enough, the high uptake of public transport in London helps car drivers fare better in the traffic jam stakes when compared to other major cities like Paris or New York. Provided you avoid rush hour, driving around London can be a perfectly smooth, pleasant experience, though affordable parking can be hard to come by. Try here for free parking and visit Enterprise for car hire in the capital.


The red bus has been in operation for more than a century and remains a London icon, recognized throughout the world. Between the buses and the Tube, there isn’t a major tourist attraction you can’t get to on public transport. Fares are cheap and can be deducted from Oyster cards, although many airport buses require a premium fare owing to their outlying locations in Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and Gatwick. Check the TFL bus site for more details including a cool map route tool.


Tramlink runs a three-route system in Croydon, South London, with a possible extension to Crystal Palace announced last year. There is also a proposed Cross River Tram to run from King’s Cross to Brixton, although this project remains on ice until public funding is freed from the current austerity measures. Clearly, taking the tram is not going to be a viable method of travelling around the city, but for tourists in South London looking for something a little different, it’s ideal.

Cable Car

Undoubtedly part of London’s showing-off session during the Olympics, the new Emirates Air Line if a cable car link running across the Thames from the Royal Docks to the Greenwich Peninsula. Built at a cost of £60 million, the cable car opened on 28 June 2012.

Black Cab

Just as iconic as the red double-decker, the motorised Hackney Carriage has been serving Londoners since 1901, with some form of horse-drawn equivalent dating back to the 17th Century. They’re not cheap if you’re travelling long distances, but no trip to London would be complete without a ride in one, and a bit of banter – whether you asked for it or not – from the driver.

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National Sausage Week: Where To Enjoy The Best Hot Dogs In London

So apparently this week is National Sausage Week in the UK. This year there has been an explosion of gourmet hot dog restaurants opening up in London. With so many varieties on offer, this week is a good excuse to munch on a bit of piggy.

These are the best places to enjoy a good Hot Dog in London:

Bubbledogs – Charlotte Street, London


If you are looking for an upmarket hot dog experience without breaking the bank then check out Bubbledogs in Charlotte Street. Try one of their delicious hot dogs with a glass of champagne. For a hotdog with a bit of kick opt for one of their spicy varieties, their Jose hotdog with salsa, avocado, sour cream and pickled jalepenos is to die for!


For more info visit:

Big Apple Hot Dogs – Old Street, London

If you like New York style hot dogs that are big, juicy, all meat no fuss then check out Big Apple Hot Dogs in Shoreditch. Their hot dogs are 94-98% meat and gluten-free. I went for one of their pimped up frankfurters which are 100% pork, oak smoked, seasoned with paprika, nutmeg and black pepper, and only £4.00!



For more info visit:

Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar – Commercial Street, London

If you’ve read my review on Hawksmoor’s steak restaurant then you will know how much I rate their food. It was a nice surprise to discover recently that they have started selling hot dogs on their bar menu at Hawksmoor Spitalfields. At £10.00 they are not the cheapest on this list, but made with Longhorn beef and Tamworth pork, they are bound to be of decent quality.

For more info visit:

To find out more about National Sausage Week and to see some tasty pork recipes please visit:

Date For your Diary – Vintage On Ice At Somerset House 28-29 November 2012

It’s that time of year again when London’s skating season begins. The award winning Vintage Festival will be bringing three of their uniquely themed nightclubs to Somerset House ice rink for a series of glamorous one off parties. If you’re a vintage vixen this the perfect excuse to dress up in your vintage finery as there will be prizes for the best dressed. Tickets cost £17.

For  more information please visit:

Vintage on Ice Somerset House