It’s amazing what you can fit into 24 hours. That’s exactly how long we had to experience Paris in celebration of Renaissance Hotel’s Global Day of Discovery. Just wait til you see everything we managed to squeeze in!

The day was jam packed full of sightseeing, fantastic food, fashion, dancing, limousines and experiencing a uniquely different side of Paris (no tourist traps on this itinerary). I don’t want to give away all the surprises just yet though.

Waking up bright and early, I reluctantly crawled out from under the covers and left the cosiness of my ridiculously comfy bed. Not having peeked the night before, I drew back the curtains to see what views were waiting behind my bedroom windows.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Restaurant

One side overlooked the Booking Office Bar & Restaurant where we had eaten the night before. I watched for a couple of minutes as a few early breakfast go-ers went about their leisurely morning routine.

St. Pancras Station London Paul Days The Meeting Place Statue

The other window looked out over St. Pancras station towards Paul Day’s well known sculpture, The Meeting Place. I enjoyed observing the peacefulness of the station – I’ve never seen it so quiet.

If you are catching a train into, or out of St. Pancras station, you certainly can’t get a more convenient hotel! The trains literally pull up to the door.

With our takeaway breakfasts in hand, the hotel’s VIP transfer service took our luggage through to customs for us where we boarded our early morning Eurostar bound for Paris.

Before we knew it, we arrived at Gare du Nord station to a hot summer’s morning, ready for our Day of Discovery in Paris to officially begin.

 

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV tour Lucy and Charly

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV tour

There were a few giggles and squeals as we laid eyes on our transport parked across the street. A row of brightly coloured convertible Citroën 2CV’s awaited to take us on a tour of the city.

Surprisingly, these little gems fit three passengers, plus a driver, so we divided ourselves among the cars and buckled up. Lucy and Charly opted for the bright orange number, while AngieDanielle and I went for the racing red model.

Our driver zipped around and weaved in and out of the midday traffic, which is no easy feat in Paris. The beauty of being in a 2CV was being able to dart around and sneak into small spaces (the traffic in Paris is CRAZY). There were a lot of laughs and the driver only gave us one rule: to smile.

These cars attract a lot of attention, so there is always someone taking a photo.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Montmartre

We made our way towards the cobbled streets of one of Paris’ most historic neighbourhoods, Montmartre. I would highly recommend adding it to your itinerary. It’s a beautiful area to explore with gorgeous buildings and cafes lining the narrow streets.

Many famous artists used to once live and work here; Picasso, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Vlamenck, Derain and Soutine to name a few.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV Tour Basilique Sacré-Coeur

As our convoy climbed to the highest point of the city in Montmare, we were dwarfed by the dominant landmark of Basilique Sacré-Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) perched above us.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV Tour Views of Paris

This large Roman Catholic church certainly has the best views sweeping across the almost flat cityscape of Paris. Fantastic photo spot!

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Moulin Rouge

Moving on and winding our way down, our tour guide pointed out a few buildings of note before letting us get a quick snap outside the well-known cabaret, Moulin Rouge.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV Tour Roof Selfie

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV Tour Roof Selfie Portrait

At the end of the Champs-Elysées we had another pit stop in one of the major squares, Place de la Concorde for a few snaps (and selfies).

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV Tour Line Up

One of the perks about a city tour in a 2CV with Paris Authentic – the cars are extremely photogenic!

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Paris Authentic 2CV Tour Eiffel Tower

Even though we were experiencing a lesser-known side of Paris, I still got rather excited catching sight of the infamous Eiffel Tower as we whizzed past.

Parked at the lights, I very nearly missed seeing it altogether as I was looking down distracted by my phone. Just goes to show how important it is to look up and take in your surroundings as you might just miss something spectacular!

Lesson learnt.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero

For lunch, it was time to escape to a tranquil garden setting in the heart of the city at the Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero.

Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero Garden Lunch Setting

It was a welcome oasis nestled in-between buildings of the hotel, you wouldn’t have a clue of the outside bustle beyond the grounds, or that tourist hotspots Champs-Elysees and the Eiffel Tower were so near. Even the local French bloggers didn’t know this spot existed.

We lounged in the speckled sun on bean bags and outdoor chairs, dining al fresco sampling a selection of local flavours.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero Lunch Salmon Pots

There were delicious pots of creamy avocado mousse mixed with herbs and topped with salmon and bean sprouts.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero Lunch Gazpacho

Refreshing cold gazpacho (used to the cold-pressed juice craze here in the UK, I naively thought it was ginger and carrot juice and sucked up a large mouthful).

Still tasty nonetheless!

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero Lunch

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero Lunch Sandwich

Open sandwiches on toasted bread were topped with cured meat and fresh seasoned vegetables.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero Champagne

Olivia and I soaked up the warmth in the garden and toasted to the day with a glass of chilled champagne.

Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero Garden Lunch Dessert

Everyone’s eyes lit up as shortbread biscuit bases topped with fresh berries and an outdoor frozen yoghurt machine were brought out for dessert. Very welcomed in the summer heat.

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero Mirror Selfie

Renaissance Hotel Day Of Discovery Paris_Le Parc Trocadero Staircase

Finished eating, Charlie, Angie and I escaped the heat and had a quick nosy inside before being whisked off for the next of the day’s activities.

There’s still an afternoon and evening of action to come. Told you we managed to squeeze a lot in!

I was a guest of Renaissance Hotels, experiencing Paris for their annual Global Day of Discovery. All excursions were planned by the hotels’ Navigators who are experts in suggesting different local activities and booking exclusive events for guests.

Explore and discover,

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London exterior

For those who have been reading awhile, you’ll know I love trying new things. If you’re new here – I love trying new things *smile*. It’s what I enjoy most about London and what makes the city so special. There is always something to discover, whether it be a new food market, latest pop-up, show, or event.

Needless to say, when I was invited to experience London and Paris with Renaissance Hotels to celebrate their fourth annual Global Day of Discovery, I was pretty excited. Combine my love of travel and new experiences – I’m there.

The Global Day of Discovery is an initiative set up by Renaissance Hotels, to help inspire travellers to explore the local culture and quirks in different ways. They’re passionate about giving guests a truly authentic experience when visiting a destination.

Arriving at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, I stood outside and marvelled at the scale of the hotel and it’s beautiful, Victorian Gothic architecture. No doubt about it, this is one spectacular hotel that deserves every bit of awe and admiration.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London exterior clock tower

Originally opened as Midland Grand Hotel by Queen Victoria in 1873, it closed in 1935 before being used as railway offices for many years. In the 1960’s it was set for demolition, luckily it was petitioned and given a Grade 1 heritage status.

What a shame it would have been to lose such a striking landmark! The building has gone through years of restoration and refurbishment to become the luxury, 5-star hotel that stands today.

You’re right in thinking it looks like something out of Harry Potter – it was used in two of the films, as well as quite a few other well known movies and television series.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Foyer

Walking through the entrance, a sense of calm instantly came over me after the hustle and bustle of rush hour commuters at Kings Cross. Natural light streamed in along the length of the atrium through a high glass ceiling making me feel like I was still outdoors rather than in a hotel reception area.

I later learned that this was actually where the drivers of horse-drawn carriages used to pull up, dropping passengers off at the station. An interesting history fact that made sense of the indoor/outdoor feel.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Foyer Meetings

A beautiful sweet, floral and wooden scent filled the air, while guests scattered around tables in the foyer were busy typing away on their laptops and finishing up meetings for the day. No doubt hurrying to get to the adjourning hotel bar!

After checking in and being led to my room, the view on the other side of the door took me by pleasant surprise.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Chambers Suite

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Chambers Suite Bed

Awaiting was a spacious, open-plan suite with its own lounge area, fireplace, separate office space tucked around the corner and my favourite, a gigantic marshmallow bed. It was so big, it was nearly possible to get lost amongst the plush, squishy pillows.

There’s nothing I love more than melting into a comfortable, oversized bed with luxurious bedding at a hotel and the St. Pancras Renaissance certainly delivered and exceeded all expectations.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Bar Entrance

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Bar

After a quick freshen up, it was time to meet for canapés in the Booking Office Bar & Restaurant. Another impressive space in the hotel, it is actually what used to be the ticket hall of the original station. Behind the 29m-long bar, glass panes protect the detailed woodwork of the old ticket booth windows.

A very grand spot to perch for an evening cocktail, or two.

After all the introductions were made, we toasted to the evening while plate after plate of mouth watering food kept being brought out and placed in front of us.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Flat Bread

Flat bread topped with melted cheese, vine ripened tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, rocket and shaved parmesan.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Burger Sliders

Mini burger sliders with wagyu beef, crisp lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomato and smoked bacon relish.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Grilled Chicken Salad

Grilled chicken and garden leaf salad with mixed lettuce, shaved cucumber, carrot and pomegranate, but…

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Pulled Pork Croquettes

…The star of the show for me were the delicious confit pork croquettes served accompanied with an apple mayonnaise. Perfectly golden and crispy on the outside, the tender pulled pork inside was soft and flavourful.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Punch

While we were nibbling away, one of the barmen came over to make us our own sharing bowl of punch in the centre of the table.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Punch Making

While he went about mixing, he enthusiastically explained the history behind the opening of the original railway hotel, Midland Grand and the popular punch culture at the time during London’s Victorian era. Honouring the building’s past and flavours of that period, it’s a tradition that the St. Pancras Renaissance is reviving, right down to details like the hand-made copper bowls.

Old school becoming new school?

He certainly wasn’t shy with quantities as bottle after bottle of cherry liqueur, orange liqueur, brandy and champagne were poured in.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Punch Mixing

He mixed,

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Punch Pouring

And poured,

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Punch Last Drop

And made sure every last drop was added.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Booking Office Punch Cup

Ladled into our cups, it tasted delicious, but certainly did pack a punch!

With our bellies full and thirsts quenched, the evening still wasn’t quite over and there was one more event lined up for our group.

 

Waiting to be picked up to be taken to our next location for the evening, I couldn’t help myself and had to get a photo in the hotel’s brightly painted tuk-tuk. Fond memories of past holidays in Thailand came rushing back sitting at the entrance.

Ah, nostalgia.

Carousel London Sofar Sounds Music Gig

As we pulled up outside Carousel in Marylebone, the last surprise we discovered was a secret Sofar sounds music gig. Holding intimate gigs in over 100 cities worldwide, they’re hard to get tickets to due to limited ticket capacity because of venue size and popularity.

When you apply, you don’t find out if you have been lucky enough to secure a ticket until a week before the gig and you have no idea of venue, or who you will be seeing until a couple of days prior.

Performed in all sorts of spaces from bars to people’s living rooms, the aim is to bring the best new music to intimate and unusual venues to a dedicated audience.

Carousel London Sofar Sounds Music Gig Set Up

Following the staircase underground, we came to an open concrete room where film and light crews were setting up for the first act of the evening. The vibe was laid back and the crowd was varied, but everyone was there for the sole purpose of enjoying good music by talented musicians.

Carousel London Sofar Sounds Music Gig Ella Martini

 

We saw four acts, Ella Martini, Orlando Seale & the Swell, the energetic Andreya Triana, and Halfpenny Pass who each played a short set of several songs. If you’re passionate about music, sign up and get yourself along to one of these gigs.

St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London Night Exterior

As we pulled back into the hotel’s entrance after our outing, the facade lit against the dark night sky welcomed us back and I happily retired to my suite, flopped into my marshmellow bed and spread like a starfish and drifted into a peaceful sleep ready for the following day’s trip to Paris.

I was a guest of Renaissance Hotels, the hotel brand helping people all over the world Live Life to Discover. All excursions were planned by the hotels’ Navigators, who are dedicated experts in suggesting different activities and booking exclusive events for guests.

Staycation discoveries,

Waiting at the bus stop for our surprise date

My only instructions were ‘wear something warm and shoes comfortable to walk in.’ I do love a bit of mystery! Intrigued, I obliged, ready for the surprise date Mike had booked me in for a few weeks earlier. I’m a huge fan of surprises. I enjoy the unknown and unexpected (even though I used to hunt out Christmas presents and take a sneaky peak when I found them – sorry Mum).

Joking with Mike in the days leading up to our surprise date, I kept telling him I was excited for our day trip to Paris. A girl can only try. At least now it’s in his mind for future weekend trips.

Wrapped up on a sunny, but crisp Autumn Saturday, we set off on foot ready for our day’s adventure. A bus and two trains later, we arrived at Stratford, or better known for it’s massive Westfield. Knowing Mike too well, I knew he wasn’t about to take me shopping and sure enough, my instincts were right.

I was hastily lead over the footbridge with Westfield disappearing from sight for yet another short bus ride (what would we do without the Citymapper app).

Trevelyan Road London

A surprise saturday date_family history

My curiosity was certainly getting the better of me and I wondered where Mike was taking me as we walked around a foreign East side neighbourhood.

Luckily, I was soon to find out. Outside number 14 we came to a stop.

A walk down memory lane

Looking up at the house in front of us, Mike asked, “Do you know what this is?”

Unsure, I shook my head. His answer was unexpected and emotional.

“This is the house where your Pop was born.”

That was enough for me to well up with tears. I was stunned at the gesture and overwhelmed with emotion. Happiness mixed with an emptiness from missing my Nana and Pop. Having been extremely close with them growing up, losing them both so close to each other some years earlier, still leaves a heart aching gap.

A few moments later the owner walked out to her car, so we mentioned what we were doing there – she was probably wondering why we were loitering about – and the significance of her home.

Venturing into family history

Number 14 doorway

She was so friendly and invited us in for a tour of the house. I think I was a bit stunned at seeing the house where my Pop was actually born way back in 1926.

We were filled in on some of the history, including seeing where a bomb shelter still resides at the back of the garden from use in World War II.

As it turns out, my great grandparents were living in this house with my great grandmother’s parents (my great-great grandparents), when they had my Pop. My great-grandfather was a policeman here in London and they were waiting to be allocated new police housing.

How is that for a little piece of family history. While I’m home at Christmas I’m going to do a little more snooping to find out more about our family tree.

Football match police horses West Ham

Still feeling a little emotional, Mike quickly advised that the date wasn’t over yet. A short walk and another bus ride, I thought we must be visiting another childhood home when we arrived at West Ham.

There were police and people everywhere and I didn’t have a clue to what was going on…

Then the penny dropped!

West Ham United supporters scarves

West Ham United ground with supporters scarves

West Ham United Stadium front

We were off to my first football game in London to support West Ham, my Pop’s team! I was a little excited and of course had to buy a compulsory supporters scarf.

West Ham United vs Newcastle Football match

West Ham United vs Newcastle Football

The atmosphere was buzzing as West Ham took on Newcastle. The Newcastle supporters were a rowdy bunch in the far corner – we could hear them chanting all the way from the other end.

There were sing-alongs, bubbles and loads of yelling. All the elements for a true football supporter.

Luckily in the second half, West Ham scored the only goal of the match down our end, so we all leapt from our seats cheering in victory.

West Ham United vs Newcastle Football teams

West Ham United vs Newcastle final score

The final score remained 1-0 to West Ham as the whistle blew full time, so nearly a whole stadium left happy.

West Ham United Stadium inside

West Ham United Stadium

I left with a smile on my face for a whole other reason getting to experience a piece of family history.

Well played Mike,

Bright Young Things - The Dog Documentary - The May Fair Hotel

There’s something I need to share with all you Londoners. In the heart of Mayfair – The May Fair Hotel to be exact – a unique film club has been taking place, showcasing up-and-coming talent in the film industry.

Bridget and Fatima, the leading ladies behind The Bright Young Things Film Club (or BYT, pronounced ‘bite’) have been running monthly premieres in The May Fair Hotel’s own glamorous private cinema.

Bright Young Things Cinema at the May Fair Hotel London

On arrival, guests are welcomed with a drinks reception where you can nab yourself a sweet Ciroc cocktail (or three) in The Salon.

Bright Young Things - Sweet Dreams Screening - Mayfair Hotel

Afternoon Delight - Bridget & Fatima - Film Night

The Bright Young Things Film Club_Luciana Bellini Quince Saloon Pre Theatre_The May Fair Hotel

Everyone mingles, engaged in conversation and swapping stories while enjoying the cocktails on offer. I’m sure these four walls have heard plenty of stories…

Afternoon Delight - Bridget & Fatima - Film Night

For those who are a tad peckish, other delicious nibbles and sweet treats are served. My favourites have been these gorgeous miniature cakes from Tea America. Looking like art, they almost looked too good to eat (almost).

Bright Young Things - Sweet Dreams Screening - Mayfair Hotel

For any movie to be thoroughly enjoyed, the girls know you need ice-cream, so luckily the team at Green & Black’s are on hand to make sure everyone’s ice-cream needs are met as they make their way into the screening room.

You feel like you are part of a secret club as you go below ground and settle into the spacious, Italian-leather seats. It’s more like being in the privacy of a friend’s home than being at the movies (a rather large home).

Christian Moore and Adam Sumner at The Bright Young Things Film Club

Bright Young Things - The Dog Documentary - The May Fair HOtel

Nicole Bass_Mike Tyson and Andrea Kamanga_The Bright Young Things Film Club

Seated and ready, everyone chatters excitedly comparing Propercorn flavours in their goodie bags waiting for the lights to dim.

You want to make sure you get to try all the flavours of course. Mike was clearly getting the best of both worlds. I’m rather fond of the Sweet Coconut & Vanilla myself.

Afternoon Delight - Bridget & Fatima - Film Night

It’s all very well organised and on cue. With lights out, Bridget and Fatima welcome the audience and introduce the evening’s movie, then it’s show time!

Since the film club started, I have been inspired, wowed and entertained. I’ve laughed and cried with the room at the mixture of touching documentaries and debut films presented by BYT.

Bridget and Fatima who are both passionate about film, decided to start BYT to share emerging talent with red-carpet type events for other fellow film enthusiasts. If you ask me, these ladies have done a fantastic job at selecting a wonderful variety for their audiences.

I’m still in awe and amazement at the 90-year-old triathlete and 83-year-old high jumper from the UK premiere of Andrew Napier’s, Mary and Bill. If you ever think you are too old to try, or start something new, you need to see this documentary. Mary, the 90-year-old triathlete only started racing in triathlons at the age of 76!

Other previous films have included The Dog, uwantme2killhim? Sweet Dreams and Afternoon Delight.

Jill Soloway and Bridget Arsenault_The Bright Young Things Film Club Director Q&A_The May Fair Hotel London

Following the premiere, what is extra special about this film club is the live Skype Q&A with the director/s afterwards.

What better way to experience a film, than to personally hear from the person who created it afterwards. Hearing their thought process, vision, behind the scenes stories and sharing their pure passion for their art is fascinating.

The mic is opened to the audience, so if you have any burning questions, you can ask the director, right there yourself. Now you don’t get that in your standard cinema ticket!

The Bright Young Things Film Club_Q&A_The May Fair Hotel London

At the screening of Uwantmetokillhim? some of the actors even made a surprise appearance with the directors during the Q&A.

Bright Young Things Film Club_ The May Fair Hotel Cinema London Audience

So, what are you waiting for? The last screening for 2014 is happening next Wednesday, finishing the season with A Birder’s Guide To Everything. This film won second place in the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival and is bound to be another fantastic evening.

Get your tickets here (I hear they’re selling fast).

For £17.50 (+ service charge) you get a pre-movie reception with bespoke CIROC cocktails, a goodie bag with a bag of Propercorn, a bottle of UNOCO raw coconut water, ice cream from Green & Black’s, as well as access to the live Skype Q&A and exclusive post-event entertainment in The May Fair Hotel’s Quince Salon.

Here’s a sneak preview of what to expect at a Bright Young Things Film Club premiere:

Keep an eye out on Monday when both of these ladies behind The Bright Young Things Film Club will be interviewed as part of the ‘A Life More’ series.

Hollywood glamour,

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Hanging Out

Last weekend I learnt how to fly. Not in a grew wings and flew like a bird sense (though that would have been cool), but in a swung from a trapeze meters in the air form.

Things have been feeling a little ‘beige’ lately, so I decided to push my comfort zone and do something new that I’ve wanted to try for ages. Something that has been patiently waiting to be crossed off on my ‘Less Beige List‘. A trapeze lesson.

During the week I booked in for a two hour class with Gorilla Circus who were holding some of their summer sessions outdoors at Battersea Park.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Warm Up

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Warm Up Stretches

I arrived at Battersea Park to a beautiful, sunny blue sky morning – perfect weather for ‘flying’. At 9am our group of ten were ready and eager to get underway. After being given a few safety instructions, the class started with some stretches to get our bodies warmed up and limber.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Upside Down Swing

Nimble and prepped, we were given a demo on the low bar of the knee hang trick we would be attempting once in the air.

Swinging from the bar, knees were brought through our arms to hook onto the bar. Toes pointed and pulling our legs into our body, we could then let go to hang upside down. This took me back a few years to childhood days spent in the school playground.

We then needed to reach forward as far as we could, backs arched in training for our last swing when we would be caught by a catcher.

Easy tra-peasy.

More technique was covered including how to reach for the bar, where arms should be placed, body positioning and the all important how and when to jump to take the leap of faith.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Looking Up

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Swing One_Unsized

As we looked up watching one of the pros demonstrate the knee hang trick in the air, it was only then that it was mentioned how we would actually be getting off the trapeze into the safety net. “By the way, at the end you will do a somersault to finish. Kick your legs forward, back and then the momentum will help you flip”.

“You want me to do what?!”

While I was still processing all of this information and wondering how on earth I was going to remember what to do (and how), it was time for our class to to climb up and have a go.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Ready To Swing

Climbing the ladder up to the platform was definitely nerve-wrecking the first time.

There is a lot to remember, but the best advice I got was from a girl in our group on her seventh lesson. “Listen to everything the instructors tell you. If you do as they say, you’ll pick it up quickly and progress faster”.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Ready To Fly

I was all smiles on the ground beforehand…

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Ready To Climb

Then it was into concentration mode as I got ready to clip the carabiner to my harness and make the climb up. Butterflies were starting to set into my stomach. Could I really do this?

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson On The Platform

I would be lying if I said there weren’t nerves when I got to the top of the platform and looked down, though I think my face says it all! How does it always look so much higher when you are looking down?

At this stage I was almost certain my heart was about to jump out of my chest, it was beating that fast. Breathe.

Leaning forward, both hands were on the trapeze and I waited instruction to go.

“Ready (bend knees). Hup! (jump)”.

All of a sudden, the platform from under my feet was gone and I was swinging through the air on the trapeze. The nerves subsided as I listened to the instructior giving me directions from the ground.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Battersea Park

“Legs up, hook your knees, hands off, reach out, hands back up, legs off, legs forward, legs back and release”.

Landing in the net, the adrenaline after a successful first go was the biggest rush. I mentioned to the instructor that I could see how trapeze gets addictive. She smiled while replying “Wait until you get caught”.

My legs were shaking like jelly as I made my way down the ladder back onto solid ground. It was a relief, but I couldn’t wait to get back up for my next turn.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Platform Ready

Standing on the platform before my second swing, the nerves came rushing back like the first.

The third go was much easier and we were all watched carefully by one of the instructors to make sure our timing and technique was correct so we could be caught on our last swing. This was the bit I had been looking forward to!

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Set Up

Nine out of ten of our group got the thumbs up for the catch, so we each had a turn where timing with our catcher was key. If our timing was out, then we wouldn’t be able to be caught. I was especially nervous as I really wanted to do it.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Catch

Standing back on the platform, I waited for the prompt and jumped into action. Everything went smoothly and before I knew it, the catchers hands were around my wrist. On his prompt “Gotcha”, I released my legs from the trapeze and was swinging through the air!

It was such an amazing feeling. If you have ever wanted to try your luck at trapeze (or do now), plenty of places offer lessons, so have a search for somewhere local.

Gorilla Circus Trapeze Lesson Achieved Learnt To Fly

Not quite off to join the circus (yet), but I definitely want to do another class. I’ve got a lot more to learn, but happy I managed to get the ‘hang’ of it.

After class we discovered the Foodies Festival nearby in the park, so celebrated with a glass of bubbles (any excuse).

Kiwis can fly,