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    Our Pics From AJ Bell London Triathlon

    Nothing compares to the feeling of accomplishment you get when you do something that’s frightening! It wasn’t the swimming outside that bothered me in the AJ Bell London triathlon, as weird as that sounds, and it wasn’t the 10km run despite a nagging calf injury. I hadn’t been on a bike since I was 11 years old after a nasty childhood crash and until 3 months ago I was petrified of riding a bike.

    Therefore when I crossed the finish line at the AJ Bell London triathlon, it made me appreciate the power of human will and determination. I must have been one of the slowest cyclists ever, taking 1 hr 50 mins for a 40km course (an avearage of 12mph) but I finished without accidents to myself or others. And for me, that was an accomplishment.

    If you’re considering a triathlon, let me talk you through why you should do London before any others:


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    (1) 13,000 people will take part in this event over the course of a weekend. You get to bond with strangers – the atmosphere is incredible. In the photo above, I’m smiling as I spot my mum and dad in the crowd of spectators. They made friends too.

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    (2) How often can you swim in The Thames? Never! It’s pretty cool to see Canary Wharf as the backdrop of the swim. Also, City airport is so close, I was swimming with a plane taking off above my head at one point. I felt like a Bond Girl in an action movie.blogZG 6

     

    (3) After the swim, which took me a reasonable 37 minutes, you can see your supporters up close. My mum held out a bag for me to put my wetsuit in. You have to have your wetsuit fully in the bag before you are allowed up the stairs to the Excel centre.

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    (4) The bike course is two laps of a 20km course and it is super flat (apart from a few speed bump measures). For most part, it is also wide so nervous cyclists like me could keep to the left.

    As for the route itself, Canary Wharf was interesting scenery on the bike course but it did get narrow at times in Canary Wharf! I liked when we were riding near traffic as the people in the cars most shouted support.

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    (5) The 10km run was probably my favourite part. It was 3 laps of a course around the ExCel centre with plenty of water stations and packed with supporters the whole way. There was loud music, there were hose pipes to run through to stay cool and did I mention the supporters? How could you give up when people are cheering for you non-stop?

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    (6) You get beer at the finish line. Shortly after this photo was taken, I received a medal and a pint of Erdinger. Here’s me with my medal in a bar in Docklands later on in the evening:

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    London has plenty of places to celebrate after the race and then I didn’t have far to travel home after the event. I could attempt sleep in my own bed (although my mind was racing) and I could get some cuddles from my Chihuahua.

    Celebrities including Lydia Rose Bright, Charlie Webster, Toby Anstis and Jason Bradbury did it, so it really is the triathlon for VIPs. If my photos weren’t enough insight, then you can watch it / record it on Channel 4 on Saturday 15 August at 7am.

    See the AJ Bell London triathlon website for details about how to register for next year’s race.

     

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    Inside The Pimms Summer Garden Launch Party

    Stars including Jonathan Ross, Donna Air, Pixie Lott and Dame Kelly Holmes turned out for the sun-studded opening of The Pimm’s Summer Garden in London – one of the most fun parties this summer, we reckon. Created to beat the traditionally tricksy British summer – usually more soggy than sunny – the makers of Pimm’s launched a waterproof summer wonderland, where the sun always shines.

     

    At the end of this blog post I will tell you how you can experience this palace dedicated to fun in the sun, but first I’m going to write about why you want to be there. After reading this post, you’ll probably be booking your picnic blanket straight away – be warned! It’s rare that launch parties can be enjoyable and star-studded but from the moment we arrived we spotted VIPs. First up was Pixie Geldof. Has she lost weight? We thought she looked rather slender…
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    And then it got slightly crazy. Cleo Higgins from The Voice took on Jonathan Ross at Swingball in a Pimm-bledon type contest. (Pimms and tennis go soooo well together that even the names mix well).
     
    Cleo was the official winner but they called it a sporting draw and were both presented with limited edition ‘CHAMP’ Pimm’s bottles. 
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    A friendly warm-up match saw Donna Air and Dame Kelly Holmes take to the grassy climes of ‘Centre Lawn’.  With an acclaimed athletics background, Dame Kelly had a competitive twinkle in her eye, while Donna showed off a handsome back-hand.
     
    Donna Air, Dame Kelly Holmes
     
    Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more quaint, there was  cucumber whittling – the noble art of cucumber carving – and Pixie Lott got her hands round a cucumber! She  took inspiration from the upcoming festival season, with a summer flower inspired carving.
     
    Tracks spun by DJ BBQ filled the Lawn as celebs, including TOWIE’s Lydia Bright, stunning model Upen Patel, presenter Rick Edwards and columnist and author Danny Wallace. Lydia looked lovely with her sister Georgia – they certainly live up to their surname Bright, don’t they?
     
    Lydia Rose Bright
     
    Talking of bright, Stacey Solomon rocked a coral pink number. The Pimm’s garden is inside so it’s always hot and that means us girls  can wear what we’ve wanted to wear all season and not been able to.
     
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    The evening was also a chance to try new Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower cocktails , as well new twists on traditional Pimm’s, including the Pimmlet, a martini-inspired mix of Pimm’s No. 1 and Gordon’s gin.  These drinks taste like summer. Refreshing, fruity and just generally delicious, they go down very easily, trust us!
     
    So how can you try all this? If you want to sit back and enjoy a glass of cheeky Pimm’s at the bar, snap up your summer goodies in the Potting Shed, become part of The Pimm’s Picnic Club you need to book an exclusive Blanket Reservation.
     
    Pimm’s Picnic Club ‘Blanket Reservations’:<

    ·         Blanket Reservations will comprise of one sittings per evening, at 7pm
    ·         10 blankets, each sitting up to four guests, will be available for each evening
    ·         The cost of a Pimm’s Blanket Reservation includes a pre-mix can of Pimm’s, a sumptuous picnic feast and a new Pimm’s branded blanket for each group that customers can take away with them
    ·         To book a Pimm’s Blanket Reservation, please call / email: 07466 827 923 / pimmsblanket@grayling.com
    ·         In the event of cancellations, some Pimm’s Picnic Club Blanket spaces may become available on a walk-in basis, but this cannot be guaranteed in advance
     
    In the words of the famous advert, I think this calls for Pimm’s O’Clock!

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  • Eat Like A VIP At Retro Feasts

    When it comes to food you’re either a molecular bubbles / eat scented air person or you enjoy getting your lips around something tasty and satisfying. I’m the second, I love a good feast. So I am quite happy there’s a new pop-up restaurant (for six months) at Mark Fuller’s London club Embassy called Retro Feasts.


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    As the name suggests, the food is all about classics from the 70s and 80s that taste delicious but for some reason went out of fashion. Prawn cocktails! Cheese and pineapple! Coronation Chicken! Rice Pudding and Black Forest Gateau! Sorry about all the exclamation marks but I’m quite excited to see these classics again. I think the last time I ate cheese and pineapple was my 9th birthday party.For the full menu, click here

    Will you be eating like a VIP if you go here? As it’s only open for six months, we expect it to be very popular so there is a good chance you’ll spot a VIP indulging in the comfort food. Embassy still packs in the celebs in the nightclub downstairs and what better than this type of food to line the stomach first? Plus the head chef Luke Thomas is a bit of a celeb in his own right. There was a BBC Three documentary on him earlier this year – at 19 he is Britain’s Youngest Ever Head Chef. I had to grab  him for a congratulatory pat on the back…

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    The launch party was also packed with celebs. Lydia Rose Bright from TOWIE looked gorgeous in one of her own dresses.

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    I miss Lydia on TOWIE – she was so straight talking – so I have some happy news. She is doing what she did best on TOWIE, which is being open and honest as well as super stylish, and doing it on her own brand with her own YouTube channel. As someone who did the same when I left the Sunday Mirror to start Live Like a VIP,  I totally get this and hope it takes off. It looks to be doing well already – check out Lydia’s channel here And here is one of her videos where she talks about what she is up to this summer:

    At the party, I also caught up with the super fit boxer David Haye. He couldn’t indulge in terms of drinks or food too much as he’s on a strict training regime before his big comeback fight  later this year. I don’t know how he does it as he’s training twice a day as well. If I was doing all that I’d be in bed, not at a party, and yet he looks in better shape than ever. Not many men could pull of pink trousers, could they?

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    And meeting David again gives me an excuse to show off one of my fave photos of him..in his pants :)

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    Other VIPs at the party included Rizzle Kicks, Spencer, Lucy, Fran, Olivia and Ashley from Made in Chelsea and TV presenter Nick Knowles. Not bad for a Weds night. And on Friday night, Cheska Hull from Made in Chelsea, who is currently in Ibiza, will be celebrating her birthday at the venue. Looks like it’s the place to be!

    For all booking details and info, visit the Retro Feasts website.

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