With A Little Help From my Friends

To help celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the NHS on the 5th July, the choir and a variety of celebrities have recorded a Band-aid style charity single at the Famous Abbey Road Studios. The single was produced by Brit Award-winning producer Jon Cohen and the amazing Hit Maker Timbaland. A host of celebrities took part in the recording from Nile Rodgers and Beverley Knight to UB40 and Guy Garvey.

It’s been such an amazing experience to do something special to show our NHS colleagues across the UK how appreciated they are. The project has already attracted a wide range of high profile supporters, including Sir Paul McCartney.

All proceeds from the single will go to NHS Charities Together, a group of more than 100 NHS charities that have come together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS and raise awareness of the work that NHS charities do to support the NHS.

Please see link to the music video for the single.

Please show your support and download the single.

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/wit…

Amazon – http://amzn.eu/4JlOEKW

Available through all major download platforms.

I hope you enjoyed. Until next time.

Petrina x

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The NHS Heroes Awards 2018

The choir was approached by ITV to perform at the NHS Heroes Awards and we couldn’t say no as it’s such a great event to show appreciation to the amazing people nominated.

We arrived at the Hilton Park Lane and had the opportunity to walk down the red carpet with the celebrities. I saw a few familiar faces; Binky from Made in Chelsea, Chloe and Joey Essex from TOWIE and Myleene Klass.

 

After the red carpet we got directed to our tables where we were served a three course meal which was delicious. The starter was Smoked Salmon with vegetables, Main was Lamb Rump with Confit Potatoes and Dessert was A Strawberry, White Chocolate and Pistachio Dome.

 

Paul O’Grady was the host for the evening. He definitely got the crowd laughing before the awards started. There were an array of celebrities from the Duchess of Cornwall and Shirley Bassey to Denise Lewis and Michael Sheen. The awards honoured NHS Staff members and volunteered who have gone the extra mile to help the NHS. The awards included:

  • Hero Doctor
  • Special Recognition
  • Emergency Lifesaver
  • Young Fundraising Hero
  • Hero Nurse
  • Pioneering Hero
  • NHS Fundraising Hero
  • Mental Health Champion
  • Special Recognition
  • Hero Volunteer
  • Aneurin Bevan Lifetime Achievement Award

The winners included an inspiring surgeon from Lewisham who saved victims of the London Bridge terror attack, 2 doctors who developed a non-beating heart transplant and a teenager that survived the Manchester Arena Attack and continues to raise money for the Hospital that saved her life.

 

The choir was unable to watch all of the awards as we had to change into uniforms and warm up before our performance. When the time came to perform I wasn’t nervous surprisingly. As ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ began the choir started to walk on stage one by one. Andre and Brenda the soloists on the song and members of Unity ABEP (read post about Unity A.B.E.P here) were amazing. The choir performance got a standing ovation as the winners joined us on stage at the end of the song. To end the show gold confetti fell from the ceiling.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir

 

Overall it was an amazing night listening to inspirational stories from true heroes.

I hope you enjoyed. Until next time.

Petrina x

Mum’s Birthday Treat at The Shard

It was my Mum’s 60th Birthday in September so I wanted to treat her to something special and decided to take her for Brunch at Hutong in The Shard. I’ve wanted to visit The Shard for so long and would always walk past but never got to visit until now. Mum and I were the first customers to arrive in the restaurant as it was lunch time. The waiter greeted us with a smile and directed us to our table. The view was incredible from our table.

Hutong at the Shard

We decided to choose the Lunch Experience Menu with Bubbles which was a 4 course meal with a glass of Prosecco.  For the first course we ate the most mouth-watering Dumplings which were filled with a variety of prawns and vegetables. The second course was Poached Monkfish in Lamb Broth which had a delicate but pleasant taste. The third course was a variety of dishes; Cuttlefish, Beef Tenderloin, Pak Choi and Pickled Vegetable Fried Rice. The cuttlefish had an unusual texture but the beef tenderloin and vegetable fried rice were full of flavour. The final course was a luscious mango pudding. They brought Mum’s dessert out with a candle and a Happy Birthday message on a piece of chocolate which was lovely. The receipt was presented in a beautiful vintage box.

The receipt was placed in this box

Before we left, I took a trip to the toilets. As soon as you walk in you see a wonderful view of London. The toilets had usual doors with a stain glass effect. The view when washing my hands was spectacular.

The meal and experience were amazing. Mum had a lovely time and when she’s happy I’m happy. It will be a great memory to look back on.

Mum and I

I hope you enjoyed. Until next time.

Petrina x

New York, New York

New York, the city that never sleeps or is that Las Vegas? New York reminds me of London, with all the hustle and bustle. I have visited New York 4 times; the last time being August 2017. America is one of my favourite countries to visit with so many great cities to discover.

Me in front of the Hope Landmark

Hazel and I stayed at The Manhattan Hotel at Times Square which was situated in the heart of Times Square. It’s situated in a great location with most of the main attractions within walking distance. Central Park was a 6-minute walk and Times Square was a 2-minute walk away. It was amazing to see all the lights and billboards. No matter how many times I visit, this city always takes my breath away.

A must on our to do list was to watch a Broadway show. We would’ve liked to see Aladdin but the prices were expensive so we ended up watching The School of Rock which was great. I enjoyed the film and the show was just as entertaining. The singing and acting was excellent. I would definitely recommend it if you want to watch a fun show.

School of Rock The Musical

We decided to walk to Central Park as we wanted to check out a shop in Harlem. The park was massive but beautiful with stunning lakes and pretty flower gardens. 2 hours and what felt like a million steps later we arrived in Harlem. Once we bought what we needed, we jumped in a taxi back to the hotel to relax.

The next day we went for breakfast at a place called Juniors; the food was delicious. Before we left we asked the waiter to recommend any good clubs or bars and he suggested a couple. We looked online and decided with Bob Bar. When we pulled up outside the club it looked a bit dodgy as the windows were blacked out and you couldn’t see inside. Did we really want to go inside lol? As we got out of the taxi we prayed for god to protect us because who knows what we would find inside? We paid the $10 fee and the security opened the door to let us in. The music sounded good as we walked in. The place was quite small and the lighting was low. There was a mixture of people; men, women, black, latino, white and asian. We had to fight through the crowd to get to the bar and then shout out our drinks order to the bar man. We enjoyed our drinks and danced to the music for a couple of hours but then a fight broke out and that was our cue to leave as I wanted to make it back home to England.

Another great place we visited was Ellen’s Stardust Diner where the waiters/waitresses sing. Hazel heard great reviews so we decided to visit. The diner was across the road from the hotel so we could look out of our room window and see the long queue of people trying to get in. It’s a very popular place as there was always a queue no matter what time it was. The wait wasn’t too long; we queued for about 15 minutes. When we got inside it was freezing as they had the air conditioning blasting out. I think they have it so cold so people don’t stay too long. The waiters and waitresses sang a variety of songs from Whitney Houston to Bon Jovi. One of the waitresses was singing Whitney Houston and came over to me and said I was her cousin lol. I ordered Chicken Alfredo with a Hot Chocolate to warm me up and Hazel ordered Chicken with Waffles. We both enjoyed our meals but I was happy to leave to get outside into the warmth.

Next on the to-do list was the Downtown Bus Tour. During the bus tour one of the stops was Chinatown where we to visit the famous Taiyaki Ice Cream Shop to try out the unicorn ice cream. I went for the vanilla and strawberry ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and unicorn ears and horns. The cone had a red bean filling which was an unusual taste. Next time I visit I will try the custard filling. I also found a Bubble Tea Shop which made me very happy. If you haven’t checked out my Bubble Tea blog post please have a read (please see link here).

To end the holiday, we walked to the Rockefeller Centre to check out the views from the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. We paid $30 each and took the lift to the 67th floor and then walked up the stairs to the 69th and 70th floor. The views were breath taking with a panoramic view of New York City. You can view Central Park, Empire State Building and many more attractions. We also visited Grand Central Station which was great to see. It took me back to all the movies and music videos I’ve seen. To end the day, we found a Chinese restaurant not far from Times Square. We ordered 2 mains but the portion size was massive, we could’ve shared one main meal between the two of us.

I would definitely recommend The Manhattan Hotel at Times Square as it was close to all the tourist attractions but not too close to Times Square so you have peace and quiet. New York is a great city to visit. You can go for a short break to take in the attractions or for a week to shop until you drop. You will not be short of things to do.

I hope you enjoyed. Until next time.

Petrina x

Love Landmark

The Hoxton Grill

Hazel recommended that we try out The Hoxton Grill as she had been before and said the food was delicious. The Hoxton Grill is a restaurant in The Hoxton which is a hotel based in Shoreditch. The hotel is a short walk from Old Street Tube Station and there are several other branches worldwide.

Inside was trendy and a DJ was playing music. I felt like I was in Made in Chelsea. When we arrived it was quiet but as the evening progressed the crowds began to grow.

To start we ordered Pink Lips Sodas which included fresh pear juice, cranberry, passionfruit, lime and ginger beer. It was refreshing and didn’t lasted long. The only down fall was there was too much ice but I would definitely order it again.

Pink Lip Sodas

For the main course I ordered Skirt Steak with Crispy Shallots, Rocket, Chips and a Green Peppercorn Sauce. I ordered it medium and it was cooked to perfection. The Green Peppercorn sauce gave it a nice kick.

Skirt Steak with Crispy Shallots, Rocket and Green Peppercorn Sauce

The best was left to last; yummy dessert. I ordered Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It was very filling and not too sweet. I just about finished it which says a lot for me.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Overall, the food was very tasty and there was a great atmosphere. If you want to try out a new place then check out The Hoxton Grill.

I hope you enjoyed. Until next time.

Petrina x

Cuba

Cuba was a place that I’ve always wanted to visit so my bestie Dionne and I decided to book. We found a bargain deal with Thomas Cook staying in Holguin which is Eastern Cuba.

We got off the plane and the heat smacked us in the face. The Hotel Playa Costa Verde was amazing. There were several pools and the beach was a 2 minute walk from the room. The beach was like a postcard but beware of the rocks in the sea.

We decided to book some trips; Swimming with Dolphins which also included visiting a zoo and horse riding. The horse riding was fun took me back to horse riding in Mexico where my horse had a mind of its own. Swimming with dolphins was an experience. I was freaking out because my feet couldn’t touch the ground and I was wondering if the life jacket would hold me up lol. When it came to taken photos my dolphin was sticking its tongue out and I was thinking don’t come to close. From the photo below you can see I looked “happy” but Dionne looked like she was having fun.

We booked all inclusive so food was available 24/7. There was a variety of food to choose from stir-fries to fresh fish. Cuban’s love their pork. Poor d as she doesn’t eat pork. The locals were so friendly and welcoming. They were humble as it’s not a rich country. I would definitely visit again as I would like to visit Havana and Varadero.

Overall we had a good time. What more can you ask for. Sun, Sea and good memories.

I hope you enjoyed. Until next time.

Petrina x

Thomas the Tank Engine

My nephew Anton turned 3 and he loves trains so the family travelled down to Tunbridge Wells to visit Thomas the Tank Engine. The day was beautiful and sunny. It was a nice drive and took about 45 minutes to get to Spa Valley Station.

We boarded the 2 o clock train which took us to Ffarquhar station. Once we arrived, everyone departed the train and there was a shop on the platform with Thomas the Tank Engine memorabilia to buy as well as a little BBQ stand and a Sweet Shop. After 10 minutes Thomas the Tank Engine came to the platform. We then got the chance to board the train and take a 5 minute trip. Anton loved it.

To end the day my brother cooked a delicious dinner and we ate birthday cake for dessert.

Thomas the Tank Engine Birthday Cake

I hope you enjoyed. Until next time.

Petrina x