Author Archives: Darren Winter

Springtime marketing tips for your Business

Springtime is here. 

Finally we are bridging the gap between those dark winter days and long summer afternoons, we often refer to this time of year as ‘The Season of New Beginnings’.

For retailers, springtime is an important time. Weather changes moods and – by extension – shopping habits. In fact, according to the British Retail Consortium, weather has the biggest influence on consumer behaviour after the economy. So, as well as flexing your products and services away from the themes of winter, it can be a great time to refresh your marketing too. To help you do just that, we’ve compiled some tips that have worked particularly well for businesses in the past.

springtime colours

Colour is Back!

Spring is filled with an engaging colour palette, and these lively colours are welcomed much more by consumers after a dreary winter. Changing the colours of your marketing assets and brand are a great way to bridge the gap between your winter and summer offering. Colour inspiration company, Pantone, use spring as a chance to start sprinkling more vivid colours into their marketing; often using their ‘colour of the year’ to do so, which last year was a vibrant ‘Living Coral’.

Giveaways and contests

Easter and the Queens Jubilee both provide good opportunities to offer giveaways and contests.

Contests have a conversion rate of almost 34%, which is higher than other content types. They could be a strong addition to your springtime marketing; getting your audience involved and engaged with your brand pre-summer and helping you boost sales.

Pepsi once ran a particularly fun and creative contest in collaboration with sweet company Peeps. Named using the hashtag #PepsiSweepstakes, the contest urged shoppers to submit a photo of them enjoying their favourite springtime activity – whilst holding a can of Pepsi, of course.

Make it new

Spring is a season of ‘new beginnings’. So why not use the association of newness to your advantage and try something different this season?

One idea could be to consider a rebrand or refresh. Research shows that a brand accounts for, on average, 19% of the market value of an organisation. If your business has evolved over the past for years, a rebrand could be the perfect way to communicate this to new and existing customers. We, for example, are rebranding and overhauling our website to make it new and fresh to represent our current company which has evolved throughout the years.

Alternatively, you could try new content ideas. 81% of marketers view content as a core business strategy, so some A/B testing or experimenting could set up your summer sales.

earth day falls in the centre of springtime 2022

Go Green

Earth Day occurs on 22 April and is becoming more and more popular as sustainability awareness increases. Why not use Earth Day to illustrate a commitment to the environment? You could sponsor a cause, launch a greener product range, or start a new staff initiative.

For last year’s Earth Day, Apple went above and beyond. The company released a short film called Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth. This followed a 7 year old boy hearing details of planet earth from his parents and an art exhibit. It was available exclusively on Apple TV and included the voices of many renowned actors, including Meryl Streep and Chris O’Dowd.

When thinking about your springtime marketing, focus on newness. Engaging customers, revamping your brand and expanding your offering can all help you hit the ground running to warm up those summer sales

Make sure you contact us with any queries over this bank holiday weekend on support@aircourieruk.com // 020 3790 8786 #itsbetterbyair

Mother’s Day in London 2022

Treat your mum or mother figure to something special this Sunday. The sun is set to be out with warmer temperatures than we’ve had for months. After all, this will be the first Mother’s Day out of any restrictions since 2019! If you need some help deciding, check out our list below. Remember, if you need to get your gifts to your loved ones (we won’t judge if you left it until the last minute), we can get your gifts to arrive the same day – amazing.

Mother's Day at the Corinthia
  1. Spa day & lunch, Piccadilly
    For an extra special gift for both you and your mum, Hotel Cafe Royal’s Akasha spa has a Mother’s Day spa package, to relax you both. The package includes a 60-minute treatment for two, a healthy two-course lunch, a glass of champagne each, a full day access to the space facilities and homemade chocolate truffles to take home.
    Cost: £375
    Address: 10 Air Street W1B 4DY
    Contact: akasha@hotelcaferoyal.com
  2. Mothers Day Brunch
    At Sette in the Bulgari Hotel, they have produced a stunning set menu with some sharing dishes and three main courses and a signature cocktail included. An elegant affair with live music, this is the perfect spot to get some elevated Italian cuisine accompanied by a speciality Bloody Mary or glass of champagne. There are also activities for children and a special menu for them so mum can enjoy her special day.
    Cost: shared items + 3-courses: £55 // shared items + 4-courses: £65 
    Address: 4 Knightsbridge Green,London, UK SW1X 7QA 
    Contact: +44 (0) 207 151 1025  info@settelondon.com
  3. Manetta Bar G & Tea experience
    Raise a glass to the leading lady in your life this Mother’s Day and spoil her with the new G & Tea experience at Manetta’s Bar.
    Located within the opulent surroundings of Flemings Mayfair, guests can step inside for a sophisticated and decadent cream tea, which includes an assortment of freshly baked patisseries and fragrant tea blends from East India Tea Company alongside your choice of one of three refreshing and botanical gin tipples.
    Cost: £90 for two
    Address: 7-12 Half Moon Street, Mayfair London W1J 7BH
    Contact: MANETTASBAR@FLEMINGS.CO.UK, 0207 016 5601
  4. Afternoon Tea
    At The Corinthia, they take Afternoon Tea to another level with grace, charm and tradition. With the option of the traditional tea or the luxurious caviar selection, this is sure to make your mum feel like the queen she is. You’ll be seated in the lounge, illuminated by 1001 Baccarat Crystals.
    Cost: Traditional afternoon tea: £80, Champagne afternoon tea: £90
    Rosé afternoon tea: £100, Grand Siècle Champagne afternoon tea: £110 Caviar afternoon tea: £120, Children (4-12 years): £50
    PP
    Address: Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD, United Kingdom
    Contact: +44 20 7321 3150 restaurants.london@corinthia.com
  5. Interlude Wellness Retreat
    Held at The London Edition Hotel, enjoy a day of ultimate self-care. Whether you’re a professional at “self care” a novice or intermediate just getting into the practice… this retreat is for you. The Roses Gabor’ IWC team and special guests have a magnificent day planned where you have the opportuinity to really check in with the centre. Prepare to turn inward on an overall heart opening journey of self love.
    Cost: £100 PP
    Address: 10 Berners Street London W1T 3NP

    Contact: @interludewellnesscentre
  6. The Ritz on Mothers Day
    The Ritz once again living up to it’s reputation and laying some fantastic options for Sunday the 27th. With a delectable three-course Sunday lunch cooked to perfection and served in the stunning Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant at The Ritz London, you cannot go wrong. Executive Chef, John Williams MBE and his brigade have created a delicious menu, using the finest of British ingredients for you to enjoy with the whole family. Celebrate this special day with live entertainment in the restaurant. As a special thank you to all Mothers, they will receive an exclusive Ritz gift to take home and enjoy.
    Cost: £175 PP
    Contact: dining@theritzlondon.com, +44 (0)20 7300 2370

    The Ritz has also created a very special Afternoon Tea designed to pamper, indulge and spoil. Relax and enjoy a blissful afternoon together over a glass of Ritz Rosé Champagne and an assortment of delicate finger sandwiches, mouth-watering French pastries and warm scones with rich strawberry preserve and lashings of Cornish clotted cream, and of course your choice of 18 varieties of loose-leaf tea from their tea menu.
    The Ritz London is the only hotel in the UK to have a certified Tea Sommelier, Giandomenico Scanu, who travels around the world to various tea plantations. You’ll also be accompanied by live music and have a gift to take home with you.
    Cost: From £90 PP
    Address: 150 PICCADILLY, LONDON W1J 9BR
    Contact: +44 (0)20 7300 2345 dining@theritzlondon.com
  7. Helene Darroze at The Connaught
    Arriving at The Connaught in 2008, culinary sensation Hélène Darroze was unashamed of adding a feminine touch to the restaurant with a soft pink colour scheme. Her three Michelin-starred menus which comprise lightened-up versions of classic haute cuisine are sure to appeal to mothers unanimously.  
    Cost: Five-course tasting menu £160; seven courses £185
    Address: Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL
    Contact:  helenedarroze@the-connaught.co.uk +44 (0) 20 3147 7200
  8. Sam’s Riverside
    What’s better than alfresco dining? A beautiful sun drenched terrace, overlooking the River Thames is what! Sam’s Riverside from restaurateur Sam Harrison is a gorgeous modern restaurant on the river, right next to Hammersmith Bridge and is the perfect spot for a long Mother’s Day lunch. If the sun is shining, it’s also a gorgeous river walk from whatever direction you’re coming from and if it’s drizzling, then the inside of Sam’s is just as enjoyable (although it looks as if that won’t be a problem this weekend) – with a delectable bar to enjoy a few pre-meal cocktails. The food is fresh and delicious without being overly complicated and the service is some of the finest in town – you’ll find yourself returning over and over. Tip: Order the Parmesan Churros.
    Cost: Dependent on what you order!
    Address:1 Crisp Rd, London W6 9DN
    Contact:
    020 8237 1020 hello@samsriverside.co.uk

Sam's Riverside Mother's Day

Ukraine Crisis: How to help from the UK?

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday 24th February, and the images and stories emerging from the attack are harrowing. By the end of the first day, the Ukrainian government said 137 civilians and military personnel had been killed.

In the face of such senseless violence, it can be easy to feel hopeless and powerless – but if you’re wondering how you could help people in Ukraine, look no further. These are a few ways you can help from home.

Ukraine Flag

Monetary Donations

The Red Cross in Ukraine is looking for donations to help distribute aid and resources to the people of Ukraine who urgently need it. “If the situation in Ukraine gets worse, volunteers and staff of the Ukrainian Red Cross would provide first aid in areas where access to medical services will be limited,” they wrote on Instagram. “Communication will be established and awareness of health risks will be raised. And, of course, we will provide humanitarian aid to all people in need.” You can donate here.

Sunflower for Peace offers medical assistance to Ukrainian people displaced by war. In February 2022, the group started asking for donations to prepare first aid medical backpacks for paramedics and doctors on the frontlines. These kind of backpacks are filled with life-saving first aid supplies – bandages, medicine, medical instruments, and a means for survival in extreme conditions – and can save up to ten lives. You can donate via Facebook, here.

As conflict intensifies in Ukraine, Project Hope is mobilising to address urgent healthcare needs for people most impacted by the crisis. “With some three million people in Ukraine already in need of urgent humanitarian assistance – even before the Russian military incursion – immediate medical support is needed to prevent the country from spiralling even deeper into a humanitarian crisis that could impact millions of people,” reads a statement on their website. You can donate here.

Razom is a non-profit supporting people of Ukraine in their continued quest for democracy and progress. Razom – which means “together” in Ukrainian – is on the ground providing relief for soldiers and doctors on the frontlines.  You can donate to their emergency response fund, here.

Hospitals in Ukraine are in dire need of medical supplies. Non-profit, Support Hospitals in Ukraine, is raising funds to get that medical equipment delivered to them ASAP. “Hospitals in Ukraine are under immense strain that will likely continue for a long time regardless of how quickly the war can be ended.” “Doctors and numerous volunteers have been doing a consistently heroic job, but are in dire need of more trauma-related equipment and surgical tools.” You can donate here.

UNICEF is working across eastern Ukraine to deliver life-saving programmes for children. They are also delivering safe drinking water in areas heavily impacted by the conflict. UNICEF executive director Catherine M. Russell said in a statement: “UNICEF is working across eastern Ukraine to scale up life-saving programmes for children. “This includes trucking safe water to conflict-affected areas; prepositioning health, hygiene and emergency education supplies as close as possible to communities near the line of contact; and working with municipalities to ensure there is immediate help for children and families in need. Donate here.

Non-Monetary Donations for Ukraine

Use Your Voice

Donations are vital, but not everyone has enough money to spare. You can still help in other ways.

Support local journalists and read news and information from reliable resources – this list has been curated by Ukrainian journalists. Share it far and wide with followers, friends and your family. English-language news outlets based in Ukraine, such as Kyiv Independent and the New Voice of Ukraine, are covering developments on the ground as the conflict unfolds, using local journalists. The Kyiv Independent says it was created by journalists in order to defend editorial independence. This site on Twitter covers many local journalists in Ukraine.

If you feel like you want to protest, there’s a list of protests happening all over the world, here. Follow Ukraine Solidarity Campaign and London Euromaidan to keep up to date with London protests. 

Contact your local MP and demand a response – ask them what the British government is doing to help. This can be a way to lobby the British government to place further sanctions on the Russian government. To find your local MP and how to contact them, visit the government website here.

Never think that a donation or action is ‘too small’ or won’t make a difference. We can all help in some way!

The Air Courier Team #itsbetterbyair
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COVID-19: What will the pandemic mean for the UK in 2022?

The Government believes the UK has passed the ‘test’ of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

It’s nearly two years since the coronavirus first hit the UK. But three lockdowns and more than 150,000 deaths later, are we finally getting back to normal? And if so, can we stay there?

By March ministers will set out how the UK will stop fighting SARS-Cov-2 without lockdowns and how we can “live with” the virus. That will not mean ignoring it, insist ministers and scientists. But there will be an to limits on our behaviour and movement. Instead, a pharmaceutical arsenal and testing will do all the work. Ministers believe living with Covid-19 should be seen on a par with flu – which can claim up to 30,000 lives a year. In fact, it is hoped that greater awareness of viruses and vaccines can boost jabs on the flu front as well, and reduce this toll too.

Does this mean eradication?

In fact scientists do not expect Covid-19 to be eradicated for years, if at all. But it is hoped that the four-day national holiday, beginning on Thursday 2 June, for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be used by the public as a parallel “natural celebration” for the worst of the pandemic being over – a moment to come together not only for the historic royal milestone but to mark the first “normal” summer in three years. By then the legal requirement to self-isolate for confirmed Covid should have gone – it is not expected to be renewed when it expires on March 24 – although advice to do so may remain.

“One thing that lockdown sceptics have consistently underestimated is that the public prioritise saving lives over the economy or their individual and civil liberties when it comes to the pandemic.”

Chris Hopkins, associate director of Savanta ComRes

There will be a new variant of concern at some point, given how SARS-Cov-2 continues to mutate and the many countries with low vaccination rates. This will, ministers accept, remain a challenge for dealing with the pandemic in the UK. But government scientific advisers and health experts believe that because the UK population now has substantial levels of immunity against Covid-19, from both vaccination and previous infection, the next variant will not pose as much of a challenge as Delta or Omicron, particularly when it comes to serious disease and hospitalisation. They also believe that the experience of Omicron bodes well.

That does not mean there are no concerns. The number of people dying within 28 days of a positive test is still high in absolute terms, even though it is lower in proportion to the number of cases compared with last winter.

“We need to accept the fact that our flu season is also going to be a coronavirus season, and that is going to be a challenge for us. The likely scenario is life won’t look much different to the autumn of 2019, when we all turned up for our flu vaccines.”

Dr Groppelli, virologist at St George’s

So this sounds like good news…right? Let us know what you think.

We have worked tirelessly through the last two years and faced all of the challenges that the virus presented us with. We continue to develop and grow and make sure we give the very best service to all of our customers and we just want to thank all of our customers and friends of Air Courier for sticking with us. #itsbetterbyairBOOK HERE.

New Year’s Resolutions: How to stick to them

New Year’s resolutions can vary greatly, but they are all about achieving something that will have a positive impact in your life.

Whatever your goal is – the important thing is that you are on the right path to achieve it. Read through these tips to help you stick to your New Year resolutions and maximize your chances of not giving up.

1. Start with small goals

You may be feeling motivated and excited about your goal, but don’t let your ambition lead you to unattainable levels. If you want to try a new activity, don’t commit yourself to 5 times a week – start slowly and consistently so that your body gets used to it, and build from there. Giving yourself the ability to meet your goal in small steps can help you avoid discouragement along the way.

2. Make it measurable

For your goal to be attainable, it’s important that you make it specific and measurable. For example, if you want to exercise more, set the amount of time you want this to be: 30 minutes a day, 4 times a week; or if you want to lose weight, make sure you know exactly what healthy weight figure you want to achieve. By assigning a measurement, you are specifying what goal success looks like.

To help you keep track of your progress, you can use an activity tracker where you can log your food intake and exercise.

3. Be realistic

Set your goals according to your lifestyle and with what you will be able to achieve, otherwise you might lose your motivation. Be honest to yourself and be sure to consider the resources and time you have available to help you meet your goals.

4. Make a plan

So you know what you want to accomplish, but make sure you also determine the when, where, and why of your vision – that way you can establish an action plan and set yourself on the right path to achieve your goal.

5. Stay positive

It can be difficult to make changes in your life, but focusing on the negative side will only discourage you. Try not to think about how tired you will feel after a session at the gym, or how much stress it may cause you if you stop smoking – believe in your goal and try to constantly remind yourself of the benefits and the impact it will have on your life. Focusing on the positives will help you stick to your resolution and make it happen.

Head over to our Instagram and Facebook and let us know what your New Year’s Resolutions are…and have you stuck to them?! #itsbetterbyair

AGE UK: Our alternative Christmas gift in 2021

Most years, we at Air Courier International distribute Christmas gifts and cards to you, our customers, as a small appreciation of the highly valued business that you send our way every year.
Once before, we gave a donation to a worthy charity in place of these gifts and this year we have decided to do the same. The pandemic has affected all our lives over the past two years and charities have suffered due to fewer donations and support. The elderly particularly have struggled to navigate the ‘new normal’, so we have therefore decided to donate to ‘AGE UK’; the country’s leading charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life.

Too many older people feel they have no one to turn to for support. This number has increased dramatically through Covid-19 due to lockdowns and social distancing. The over-sixties are the fastest-growing group in society and there are more in this age group than ever before. Age UK stand up and speak for all those who have reached later life and protect the long-term interests of future generations.

“Ageing is not an illness, but it can be challenging. Age UK provides services and support at a national and local level to inspire, enable and support older people.’

AGE UK exists to help older people when they need it the most; tackling loneliness, get older people active and offering support so they can stay independent for longer. They help millions of people to know their rights and make the best choices for later life and put people in control of the care they receive, while sharing best practice to improve services. 

Ageing is not an illness, but it can be challenging. Age UK provides services and support at a national and local level to inspire, enable and support older people.

Please visit their website to see the amazing work this charity undertakes https://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/

We would like to wish you all a warm and wonderful Christmas,

Air Courier International

#itsbetterbyair #always

‘It can be no fun being lonely. The good news is, Age UK really helps the one million older people who are lonely in this country; get them out of the house a bit, support those in poverty, or just give them a friend to talk to. It’s simple really.’

Sir Ian Mckellen

Christmas Day: Brits most popular food

Cranberry and bread sauce are both Christmas staples of the past, according to a poll conducted by British Turkey which asked 1,000 Brits what they eat for Christmas lunch.

Broccoli, cauliflower cheese and mashed potato also missed out on a ‘top 10’ spot, only making an appearance in just under half of all dinners on the 25th of December. 

The classically British prawn cocktail was voted our favourite starter, with 31% of Brits tucking into one on the big day. A quarter of us will instead go for smoked salmon, while a further one in four will tuck into a bowl of soup.

The dessert crown went to the ever-reliable Christmas pudding, with half of all respondents plumping for it. Chocolate log (23%) and trifle (23%) were popular alternatives.

In terms of tipples, white wine topped the table for one in three; red wine was the choice for 30%; and only one in five opted for champagne or a soft drink.

The average table will seat six guests, and most people will eat their Christmas lunch just before 3pm this year.

Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of this weeks blog to find out what our giveaway is. You really don’t want to miss out on this one.

The perfect Christmas lunch

Starter

Prawn cocktail (31%)

Top 10 ‘main’ dishes

Roast potatoes (85%)
Stuffing (82%)
Carrots (81%)
Pigs in Blankets (70%)
Turkey breast (61%)
Sprouts (67%)
Turkey gravy (62%)
Parsnips (60%)
Yorkshire Puddings (59%)
Peas (50%)

Dessert

Christmas pudding (50%)

Drink

White wine (39%)

Talking of food, our big festive giveaway is a beautifully presented wicker hamper worth over £200 in Christmas food and wine. Check our socials next week to find out how you can win…we are as excited as you.

#itsbetterbyair #always #merrychristmas

Remembrance Day, London, 2021

Remembrance Day/week is from 11 November 2021 to 14 November 2021

About

Remember those who gave their lives in the two world wars and all who have died in combat since, with Remembrance events across London. 

Remembrance Day events

Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day or sometimes Poppy Day, is commemorated every year on and around 11 November.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare during the First World War. In many parts of the world, people observe a two-minute silence at 11am every 11 November, to remember those who lost their lives during the First World War as well as in more recent conflicts.  

Remembrance Sunday 2021 in London

Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November. This year it falls on 14 November. Various concerts, church services and commemorative events usually take place across London on this day to remember the men and women who gave their lives in combat.

On Remembrance Sunday, a service and parade usually takes place at 11am at the Cenotaph in Whitehall which is also attended by the Queen, as well as politicians and military representatives. The parade and commemorations in London may result in road closures, for the latest travel news see the Transport for London website

In 2021, you can expect special commemorative events at the Imperial War Museum London, where you can also find out more about the wars and their impact through the museum’s extensive collection and exhibitions year-round. 

Check back closer to the time for confirmation and more Remembrance Day 2021 events in London. For more information on Remembrance, Remembrance events or to make a donation, visit the British Legion website below.

BRITISH LEGION WEBSITE

To book with us, drop us an email.
And remember, #itsbetterbyair #always

The best things to do in London this Winter

1. WARM UP WITH COFFEE & DONUTS AT LONDON’S BOROUGH MARKET

Borough Market is filled with food trucks, coffee shops, and little storefronts and pubs.

If you’re visiting during a London winter, this is the perfect place to buy a warm cup of coffee and take in all the smells of warm food and treats under the covered market.

At Borough Market in winter, vendors are selling fresh produce and Christmas goods like wreaths, decorations, and gifts.

I suggest tasting the seasonal mulled wine, holiday bakes, and other delicious Christmas treats.

Local Tip: Make sure to bring plenty of cash to the markets. Many of the mobile food carts to do in London require cash because they are commonly small and move around the city.

If you're looking for the best things to do in London during winter, this post is for you! We're sharing why this time of year is the ideal time to visit London - hardly any tourists, cheaper prices, and of course, Christmas cheer!

2. VISIT THE TOWER BRIDGE (& GO INSIDE, TOO!)

When you think of essential things to do in London, you probably think immediately of this iconic landmark!

Tower Bridge has long been a famous symbol of progress and history, and it has been converted into a beautiful walk-through museum for visitors to enjoy.

This combination of outdoor beauty and indoor activity makes it one of the best things to do in London in winter!

Tower Bridge was built in the late 1800’s and is actually three bridges in one: 2 suspension bridges with a bascule bridge in the middle!

Pedestrians and cars are free to walk across the base of the bridge and admire the structure from up close. You can also take a tour inside the bridge, learn about its history, and walk across the glass floor walkways inside.

Pro Tip: During the wintertime in London (October – March), the museum opens at 9:30 am. We recommend coming as early as possible to avoid crowds!

3.  SOAK IN ALL THE CHRISTMAS CHEER AT OXFORD & PICCADILLY CIRCUS

If you’re looking for fun things to do in London during Christmas, Oxford and Piccadilly Circus is a must-visit.

This area of London is famous for connecting modern and historical London together in one huge and beautiful space.

This is very prominent in Piccadilly Circus, with elegant buildings sharing the same space with Times Square-styled electronic billboards.

If you're looking for the best things to do in London during winter, this post is for you! We're sharing why this time of year is the ideal time to visit London - hardly any tourists, cheaper prices, and of course, Christmas cheer!

4. SEE THE VIEW FROM THE SHARD

The Shard is one of the tallest buildings in Europe, and one of the best things to do in London during winter. (Hellooo indoors!)

The Shards gets its name because the top resembles a “shard of glass”. Up at the top of the tower, you can get a spectacular 360-degree view of the entire city of London from the 72nd floor.

If you’re looking for things to do in London to keep warm during the cold winter months, this is a great place to defrost and see the city from a new perspective.

5. GET LOST IN THE STREETS OF SHOREDITCH + SPITALFIELDS

The neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Spitalfields are known to be the stomping grounds for creatives, trend-setters, and young people.

If you’re looking for festive and fun things to do in London, stay a while and do some christmas shopping for family and friends from local vendors scattered in the neighborhood.

Many of the sellers are sharing homemade bits & bobs (even clothing), which means you can choose a unique and local London gift for your loved ones!

If you’re a vintage or artisan lover, you’re definitely going to want to check out Old Spitalfields Market. 

This market has everything from hand-made fashion to food trucks, art, and jewellery . On a weekend it gets packed, but I believe it’s open daily during the week for fewer crowds.

6. EXPERIENCE THINGS TO DO IN LONDON IN DECEMBER (CHRISTMAS TIME!)

There are many things to do in London in December where you can find the Christmas spirit alive.

Streets and storefronts are decorated with lights and garlands, and Christmas markets sell delicious food and great gifts. You can even find pop-up ice rinks around the city to partake in the quintessential season ice skating! Here are some notable London Christmas markets around the city…

  • Southbank Center Christmas Market
  • Christmas By The River (London Bridge neighborhood)
  • Leicester Square
  • Greenwich Market
  • Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
  • Kingston Christmas Market

7. VISIT LONDON’S FREE MUSEUMS

One reason to visit London in the winter is the sheer amount of attractions you can see indoors.

Many museums around the city are free and open to the public. If you get cold wandering the streets, just pop into one of these!

Listed as free admission museums in London are:

8. EXPLORE THE TOWER OF LONDON

Yes, we know. This is one of the more touristy things to do in London.

But in the wintertime in London, you pretty much have the entire Tower of London to yourself! This time of year, you can roam around and explore one of the most famous English landmarks at your own pace. 

Here at the Tower you can explore the armory, see the Crown Jewels, and hear shocking and gruesome stories from the past.

You will also find that the entire staff is dressed as yeomen, which serve as costumes for the servants or workers of the Tower back in history. It’s like a blast from the past!

9. FIND HIDDEN GEMS IN THE CITY OF LONDON

We love visiting in the winter because you can get places in London all to yourself!
I once found an abandoned church in the centre of the business district and decided to explore around inside. There were only a few others there which seemed to help preserve this place’s quiet nature.

Sometimes just by allowing yourself to wander, you’ll stumble across the most beautiful hidden gems.

10. TAKE A WALKING TOUR OF WESTMINSTER

Sometimes the best way to stay warm while visiting London in winter is to keep moving.

Stop by Westminster Abbey for a quick visit to see a historical place that is still used today. Many royal weddings and coronations happened here, most recently Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.

After warming up inside, continue on your way to Buckingham Palace to catch the changing of the guards.

There are also gorgeous London parks in this area to discover (yes, even during winter in London!). Take a walk through Green Park and St. James Park – they really are beautiful on a crisp winter morning.

11. OTHER INDOOR ACTIVITIES TO DO IN LONDON DURING WINTER

Thankfully, there are plenty of indoor attractions in London when there is bad weather outside! Here are some places to discover:

  • Kew Gardens Glasshouse (Beautiful botanical gardens) or Barbican Conservatory
  • Somerset House
  • Greenwich Market
  • Watch a show or take a tour at The National Theatre.
  • Wander around the London Aquarium

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Staying Healthy and fit at the office

In celebration of National Fitness Day (22nd of September), we thought we would share our tips on how to stay fit and healthy whilst working in an office. It’s hard to stay fit when you sit all day. It’s not just your fitness that’s at stake either. All that sitting is slowly hurting your overall health. Lack of physical activity is linked to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and even breast or colon cancer. Unfortunately, desk jobs are becoming more common in our modern life. And we need those jobs to take care of our basic necessities. So, how can you balance your desk job with your health and fitness? It takes some work, but it’s possible. Try these ideas.

Take mini breaks 

Just because you work at a desk job doesn’t mean you are glued to your desk all day. Get up at least once an hour to walk around. Go to the bathroom. Get a drink. Chat with a coworker about an upcoming project (just make sure you aren’t sitting).

Take advantage of lunch breaks 

It’s tempting to sit and relax on your lunch break. But, by lunch, your body can benefit from a short walk. You don’t even need to go far for it to be effective. Invite others and make it a daily routine.

Stretch or move at your desk 

You need a quick break more often than every hour. Take 30 seconds to stretch. Touch your toes, do some quick jumping jacks, or even sit ups 9no-one is going to judge you). It doesn’t take much to get your blood pumping. Get an under-desk elliptical to help get your blood pumping during an easy project. Whatever you can do to move while in place will help your body stay active and healthy. And on that note…

Posture Points

We’ve probably all heard the term ‘tech neck’ by now; the physical stress caused to the neck and upper shoulders by peering into a device. You’re probably doing that right now, huh? Yep, us too. Having bad posture when sitting at a computer is something nearly all of us are guilty of; it’s a short-term relief provider from the aches and pains accrued throughout a day of sitting and typing. Ultimately though, it can lead to long-lasting damage, causing issues with sleep and exercise which can have a more all encompassing, negative effect on your health. 

When sitting at your desk, imagine there’s a string attached to the top of your head that’s pulling you up, like a puppet, and allow your spine to follow its natural curvature accordingly. Avoid the urge to seek momentary comfort in a slouch, and really sit back in your chair, at the bottom, rather than perching on the edge of it. Don’t be afraid to ask your employers for an ergonomic chair or stand up desk to really encourage both better posture and a little additional activity.

Rethink your commute

The daily commute, particularly in the capital, just seems to eat up so much time which could otherwise be spent keeping fit and healthy. But if you reframe how you think about that commute, it can actually present a great fitness opportunity. 

For commuters who are lucky enough to be within walking, running or cycling distance of the office, for heaven’s sake, abandon the car, bus or train and make the most of it! If you don’t want to take this option every day, even just a return journey a few times a week which raises the heart rate could help boost your fitness levels and keep those threats from a sedentary lifestyle at bay. And if you aren’t close enough for this to be feasible, try getting off a couple of stops earlier than normal and walking the remaining distance to work.

Keep stress levels at a healthy level 

Because a healthy mind equals a healthy body and vice versa…it’s all inextricably linked, right? It’s vital, then, that you keep on top of that workplace stress. With over half a million workers in the UK last year saying they suffered from stress, depression or anxiety, it’s something of a national epidemic. Having the tools to confront that feeling of being under pressure head on and methodically will help you keep holistically, wholly healthy, we think. As such, we’ve written these tips about ways to beat workplace stress; check it out!

Skip the elevator 

It’s easy to let the elevator become part of your daily routine. If you find yourself using it too often, try taking the stairs regularly instead. Also, try parking farther away from the building so you are forced to walk across the parking lot. Little decisions can add up to more physical activity.

HYDRATE!

Coffee anyone? It’s a question which soundtracks the working week in every office across the country. It’s no wonder you can spell coffee from the word office. Well, nearly. And while there are often reports concerning the subtle health benefits of the good stuff, it’s not wise to treat it (or the nation’s other favourite drink, tea) as a substitute for water.

Indeed, experts recommend that you should be aiming to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration, boost energy levels and even keep your skin looking radiant and glowing. Avoid quenching your thirst with sweet stuff, even fruit juice, as these don’t actually hydrate you efficiently and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. 

And on the topic of what you’re putting in your body…FOOD

1. Eat a healthy and filling breakfast 

This is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. A wholesome breakfast can provide you with the energy you need to get through the first half of the day and will keep you fuller longer. This will help curb your desire for convenient and often unhealthy pre-lunch snacking.

2. Cut out sugary snacks  

Yes, they can be tasty, but unhealthy snacks don’t satisfy true hunger and are digested quickly, leading to a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. Instead of visiting the vending machine, bring healthy snacks from home, such as baby carrots, cheese sticks, nuts, hummus, cucumber slices, whole or sliced fresh fruit, small amounts of dried fruit, or savory crackers. If you really can’t survive a sleepy afternoon in the office, a bit of dark chocolate won’t hurt. BUT remember, everything in moderation, so have a slice of Margaret’s bday cake as long as it’s not every day!

3. Bring your own healthy lunch

Restaurant meals often include large portions and high-calorie choices. You can eat healthier and spend much less money if you prepare your own lunch.

We’re trying our best to stay fit and healthy in the run up to Christmas (yes, those mince pies and pigs in blankets are already on our minds).
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