Friday, 7 December 2018

Homeware and interiors inspired by The Circle

What is The Circle you ask? The Circle was first broadcast in the UK this year. The concept? A social experiment of sorts. Kind of like how Big Brother started out back in the day. Except instead of living and interacting with a group of strangers, you are isolated to your own apartment in a tower block (which FYI is where all the other contestants are also living in isolation). Instead of interacting in person, everyone interacts via The Circle, a custom build social network slash chatroom. The goal? To make it through to the end in order to be in the running for the £50,000 cash prize. Some contestants were honest about themselves, whereas others created a fake persona and went down the Catfish route, hiding some or all aspects of the real them. Because the scary thing is, when talking to someone online, you just don't know who you are talking to. And this series highlighted just how easy this is to do.

Image credit: C4 // as found here

It was an interesting concept and the ads pre-launch drew me in. I gave it a try and was HOOKED. Given its success (there are rumors of an international version of the show in the works and a possible Netflix acquisition), I can only imagine it will be back.

When you see it on TV, the task at hand looks easy. Staying rent free in a nice looking apartment (rumored to be located in Hayes, West London), time off from work, with food and everything you need provided. However as amazing as it looked (I would love to appear on a future series!), I can't begin to understand how it must feel to be cut off from your friends and family, the world itself (well the news) and generally from any in-person social interaction. The first few days are probably a novelty (and peaceful!), but if you're stuck in that same apartment from the start of the series right through to the end.... I imagine it must get quite lonely. However that's something you'd only really know if you did the experience yourself.

If I'm being entirely honest, one of the reasons why I got hooked on the show in the first place was through ogling the interior design, which was the genius of film production designer Sally Lock. Each apartment had its own unique design scheme. I'm talking graphic print wallpaper, soft pinks, florals, statement neon bright furniture and exposed brick walls.

Image credit: C4 // as found here

Image credit: C4 // as found here

Image credit: C4 // as found here

Image credit: C4 // as found here

Image credit: C4 // as found here

Image credit: C4 // as found here

What was your favourite apartment? As much as I loved all the brick effect walls, I loved the apartment Jennifer stayed in with the marble walls and bright yellow accent sofa.

Image source: both images found here

And if you watched The Circle and loved the interiors as much as I did, here's a Circle inspired homeware and interiors wish list (I literally want all the wallpaper!)


Statement chair here // Who else loves this blue vase? // Cushions: greige pattern & silver geometric 
Moon wall art here // Every Circle contestant needs a light box ! // Dreamy gold vase here
And last but by no means least, beautiful range of wallpapers can be found here 

I won't spoil the series one outcome in case there's anyone who is still working their way through it (do pursue it right through to the end as the final was insane!). Is it comparable to anything else airing at the moment, you ask? I would say that The Circle is best described as Big Brother meets Catfish, with a touch of Black Mirror. It's good easy viewing with plenty of hilarious and awkward moments. You can catch series one of The Circle here. Here's hoping there's a second series!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Things to do in London // Jack the Ripper London walking tour

I never cease to be amazed by London and all that it can offer. With a wealth of things to see and do, the possibilities are endless. The other evening I was invited along to a special media-only walking tour based on Jack the Ripper and stood outside Whitechapel Art Gallery - next to exit three of Aldgate East Tube Station - ready for 7.30pm. We were due to visit each of the crime scenes with an expert Ripperologist (try saying that after a few drinks!) as our guide. Other than giving my legs a much needed stretch (much needed when you work 9-5 in an office all week long!), we were to learn all about the potential suspects and clues missed by the police,

We started off just around the corner from our meeting point, heading through an alleyway. This first stop really set off how it felt in Victorian London at the time, where a substantial proportion of the population were homeless and sleeping on the streets. Looking around at the current street lighting, it's hard to imagine how dark it used to be on the streets with the street lamps barely emitting any light (think like the glow from your refrigerator when coming downstairs in dark for a midnight snack with the lights off). The first stop was conveniently located as it means that if you are running late for the tour, you have an additional 10 minutes to get there and join the tour. Once the tour leaves the first stop, you are unable to catch up with it later. If you are ever running late or cannot make your slot, do get in touch with the Jack the Ripper walking tour team ASAP as they are really flexible with getting you re-booked in for another time so you don't miss out (see here for full FAQs).

We visited each crime scene of where the victims were found and our tour guide used Rippervision (essentially a projector) which allowed us to see how the buildings and streets we were standing in front of looked like in 1888 (some of the changes are mind blowing!). We even got to see pictures of the state the victims were in, both as they were found and in the morgue (those with a queasy disposition feel free to look away!)

Fun fact: did you know that Jack the Ripper wasn't always known as such? This very letter in red ink was the first time "Jack the Ripper" came about. Previous to this, the East London killings were referred to as the work of a "Leather Apron".

I don't want to give too much away as this was a really fascinating tour and the surprise elements are what make it. But let me tell you this now: the conspiracy theories about who the killer could have been are insanely interesting (did you know that Jack the Ripper was never identified?)

The tour takes approximately 1hr 45 mins and runs every day at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm. It's especially effective since the clocks have gone back and now that it's getting darker earlier!

To find out more and for ticket availability, visit