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Parties, Fetes & Festivals – Mini Adventures in July

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Cookies & Milk

In the spirit of making the most of our time on earth, Jade and I like to spend our weekends going on adventures together. Sometimes those adventures don’t warrant their own article, so we wait until the month is through and then bundle our mini adventures into a monthly highlights package. Here’s what happened in the very busy month of July 2015.

Murder Mystery in Covent Garden, London

We start our round-up with a few photos from a forthcoming article about a self-guided murder mystery tour we embarked upon around Covent Garden in London. If you’re looking to explore one of the trendiest and most popular areas of London whilst trying to solve a heinous crime, this is definately for you. We’ll be publishing a seperate article about this soon, so keep your deer stalker and magnifying glass to hand.

Matt & Jade look for clues
Matt & Jade look for clues
The suspects
The suspects
Super-sleuths in action
Super-sleuths in action

#July4thWithThree

Since we were born and bred in the UK, the 4th July Independence Day celebrations held each year in the USA has passed us by and has been largely ignored. Never one to pass up an opportunity to emerse ourselves in the culture of another nation though, this year was a little different.

Mobile phone network Three invited us both, along with a number of other bloggers, to their own July 4th party. Three are currently running a campaign to ‘#makeitright‘, based on the network’s unique offering of being able to use your mobile plan in 22 countries worldwide at no extra cost. At the party, they intended to make things right by bringing the sort of festivities normally seen on American soil to London. We were truly spoiled, with copious amounts of tasty food and an open bar at our disposal. There were also games such as ‘flip cup’ (in which our team stormed to victory) and a saltine challenge competition (which we did less well in). At the end of the evening, milk & cookies were served and sparklers lit (since fireworks weren’t possible). We had a lovely time!

To capture the fun, we were loaned a shiny Samsung S6 Edge phone which I had already been quite curious about. It’s the only phone on the market right now where the screen wraps around the edges. While it doesn’t really offer any practical benefits, it is rather pretty and feels great in the hand.

Below are some of the photos we took at the event using our Samsung mobile.

What's that!?!?
What’s that!?!?
Matt & Jade lark about
Matt & Jade lark about
Fried Pickle (or gherkins)
Fried Pickle (or gherkins)
Corn & Chicken. Mmmm!
Corn & Chicken. Mmmm!
Weird lettuce things
Weird lettuce things
Jade chilling at the party
Jade chilling at the party
Cookies & Milk
Cookies & Milk

Cambridge Big Weekend

The Cambridge Big Weekend beckoned us on the 2nd weekend of the month. We’re only a 30 minute drive away and we hadn’t been to Cambridge in a while, so we were keen to check it out. It was quite a hot day so we sat on the grass and enjoyed the music and dance on the main stage with a couple of drinks in hand and a plate of barbecued Jerk chicken, rice & peas and coleslaw. Afterwards, whilst Jade got herself a beautifully intricate henna tattoo, I had a look around at the BBC’s media village, set up to encourage young people to get involved in a variety of interactive and creative projects.

Music Stage at Cambridge Big Weekend
Music Stage at Cambridge Big Weekend
Chilling at Cambridge Big Weekend
Chilling at Cambridge Big Weekend
Tasty Jerk Chicken & Coleslaw
Tasty Jerk Chicken & Coleslaw
Jade gets a Henna Tattoo
Jade gets a Henna Tattoo

Melchbourne Feast Day Fete

Britain is awash with summer fetes during July and August, when village committees and parish councils across the land proudly display the best of their communities. More often than not, the weather doesn’t play ball and quite literally rains upon their parades, but does that deter them? Not one bit!

We headed to one such summer fete in the tiny village of Melchbourne one particularly wet afternoon. You can read all about it in our separate article: A Jolly Good Time at an English Village Fete.

 

Ahhh, British Summetime
Ahhh, British Summetime
Tea & Cake to to rescue
Tea & Cake to to rescue

Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda

Having been formally designated a ‘new town’ in 1967, Milton Keynes is an anomaly in England. It was built using an American-inspired grid system linked by 130 roundabouts that is quite unlike anything else in the country. As well as the road layout, no where else in Britain can boast a similar sea of uninspiring and nondescript concrete buildings. That’s not to say it’s all dull in the architecture department. We visited possibly MK’s most interesting building, its Buddhist Peace Pagoda. Had I not had lead this paragraph with a damning description of a perfectly fine and liveable town, you would be forgiven for thinking the following photos were taken in China, such is the authenticity of this impressive monument. The Peace Pagoda is free and well worth wandering around if you get the chance.

Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda
Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda
Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda
Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda
Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda
Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda

A Flavoursome Indochinese Feast

Long gone are the days of poor cuisine in Britain. Food has never been tastier or more varied than it is right now. The Internet is obviously where people go now for recommendations which means if a place is poor, it doesn’t take long for everyone to know about it.

Banana Tree is a small chain of Indochinese restaurants mostly in London with a couple of branches elsewhere. They needn’t worry about poor reviews, not that they’d get any. We visited the branch in Milton Keynes and enjoyed a flavoursome, feast of Asian goodies. After our meal, we really enjoyed being able to relax in hammock chairs suspended from the ceiling whilst sipping on hot cups of Thai tea. Lovely.

A meal at Banana Tree
A meal at Banana Tree
Thai Prawn Crackers
Thai Prawn Crackers
Thai tea in hammocks
Thai tea in hammocks

Brunch in Hitchin

Finally, back to the lovely market town of Hitchin we went for a Sunday brunch at one of our favourite eateries. The Groundworks is the sort of super-cool cafe that attracts hipsters and young professionals. Such places are popping up all over the country, but not all of them have a Sunday Brunch Club serving a variety of inventive, breakfasty dishes. We totally recommend the American-style pancakes with Greek yoghurt, mixed berries and honey, though if you can’t decide between this and the other two pancake variants, you could get ‘The Mega Stack’ of 8 pancakes with a full-on ‘deluge’ of different toppings.

Hitchin, England
Hitchin, England
Pancakes
Pancakes

Hunting for Glow Worms

We recently discovered glow worms are alive and well in England and set out one dark evening with a ranger and a group of eager glow worm hunters to look for them. We tramped around on the side of a hill in Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire for a good hour and successfully found 10 glow worms between us. Success! Need more convincing? Check out this photo.

It's a glow worm. Trust me.
It’s a glow worm. Trust me.

See? It’s right there!

And that was July

That concludes this round-up of our mini adventures in July 2015. As you can see, we kept ourselves very busy. August is already looking like it’ll be similarly busy, so keep you eyes peeled for more on our mini adventures next month.

Disclaimer: Three invited us to their July 4th party and spoiled us rotten, but they didn’t pay us to write anything in this article.

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