Subscribe to isango! RSS feed
World’s leading site for travel experiences - Tours, Activities, Shows, Excursions and more
Find amazing experiences Book before you go. Local rates. Handpicked suppliers Find out more >>
Home Blog Support Why isango!
call us +44 (0) 870 049 2331
We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Things to do in Europe’

Last Minute Halloween Costume Shops in London

18

For those of you on a mad dash to construct a fabulous last minute Halloween costume for that raging, fun fancy dress party you are attending on Friday, with one objective in mind—to win the (presumably alcoholic) prize for having the BEST COSTUME—I am here to help you…and help you fast! (Whew! Relief!)

If you haven’t seen it already, I wrote a blog last week about Halloween costume shops in London (or Fancy Dress shops in London—whichever term you prefer. You see, there is this British girl in my office (a British girl…in my London office… imagine that…) that refuses to celebrate Halloween on the grounds that it is a “poor excuse for American kids to rob our homes of candy.” What a drag! She’s not invited to my party—that’s for sure. British kids, get your fancy dress on and celebrate with your Yankee brethren. I just know how much you love fancy dress!)

Right, so back to helping you score that perfect last minute costume. My blog last week covered a few costume shops in West London, and though I vowed to visit fancy dress shops in East London, I must admit that I never made it past the vaguely Eastern part of Central London… because I got lost on my way to Bethnal Green, like a tourist. But I did manage to visit these shops:

1. Angels, near Tottenham Court Road tube.

Angels, to be quite frank, was my worst nightmare. Their Argos-style catalog/stock room approach is, in my opinion inefficient and irritating. The catalogues are full of misleading images…i.e. heavily-endowed blonde women, sporting next-to-nothing variations of service-industry uniforms and fairytale gowns…and the costumes are cheap, most of them slutty. However, if you are planning to score a costume on your lunch break today, this is one of the few costume shops in central London. You can probably find something in here—as long as you don’t mind not trying on your costume before you buy it.

“No, you cannot try it on, but we give full refunds if it doesn’t fit and you decide to return it,” said the brainwashed saleslady, as I indicated that their last flapper costume (by the way, they are sold out of a lot of costumes, so go in with an open mind!) was not in my size but could possibly fit—I needed to try it on to see. “It’s the same as buying on the internet,” she reassured me.

“This is not the internet, this is a shop.” I reminded her—in case she had, by chance, forgotten. She didn’t like that very much.

Idea: Base your costume around a wig.

Angels had some great fancy dress wigs—I’ll give ‘em that. Everyone loves a crazy wig. In fact, I would say that a wig could quite possibly be the most hilarious, transforming element of a costume. Forget being a specific character…go wig shopping! Grab some bright purple tresses, some face paint to match, an eyeball decal, a horn, and some wings, and voila, you are a ‘one eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater’. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_People_Eater)

Or better yet—grab that amazing mullet, and become an 80’s rocker. Trim the mullet down into a homemade ‘Euro mullet’, and…well I’m going to stop here. After all, I don’t want to offend anyone. ;-)

2. Madword, near Old Street tube.

This costume hire facility—if you can manage to find it (it is hidden down a flight of stairs)—is pretty good. The staff were friendly, and (gasp!) they allowed me to try on several costumes. Who would have thought?

Their range of costumes is extensive—you must go in with a specific idea of what you want…and, importantly, a willingness to fork over a nice-sized chunk of cash. You could score a real gem in Madworld, especially if you are after a costume from a certain time period—they offer both the stereotypical (think: ‘Marilyn Monroe’ dress) and more mundane (think: simple sweater and skirt outfit) fancy dress options for almost every era imaginable.

Idea: Pick your favourite era, and try on all of the costumes in the shop section dedicated to that era.

I am guessing that you probably didn’t live in the 1920’s, and I am also pretty sure that not every single female from this era dressed like a flapper when she went out on the town (I speak from personal experience—I tried on several flapper costumes but found some of the other getups in the 1920’s section to be much more interesting).

See what the fancy dress hire shops have in stock for your favourite era, and be creative!

Happy Searching!

Need more Halloween costume ideas? Just ask me – I’m full of them. Seriously, I’ll respond quickly. Carrie Daniel is officially ‘on call’ for all of your Halloween costume inspirational needs until Friday October 31st at 5pm.

Best of luck to you all. May your costumes win you large quantities of cheap booze and/or some hot dates…

London fancy dress/costume shops:

Angels, 119 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8AE

Madworld, 69-85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4BA

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Great Contemporary Art Exhibition in London.

1

Last week, I stumbled across the most amazing London art exhibition, which I cannot shut up about. Seriously, I’ve already told ½ of my office and all of my friends about it. So, whilst you are out looking for Halloween costumes this week, you must stop by JR’s London art exhibition, entitled ‘28 Millimetres: Women’, near Tottenham Court Road tube station.

Lazarides contemporary art gallery london

The installation is divided into three parts, all of which are worth seeing. I started out in the Charing Cross Road wing of the Lazarides London contemporary art gallery, which is plastered, floor to ceiling, with portraits of the people that JR encountered during his journey through Morro da Providencia, a small, hillside community in Rio De Janeiro.

continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

St Nicks of the world battle it out for the title

0

Father Christmases from around the world will battle it out once again this year at Clau Wau – the annual Santa Claus World Championships in Switzerland on November 29th.

The town of Samnaun will see 100 Father Christmas impersonators (the attendance of the man himself is, as yet, unconfirmed) compete in a range of specific challenges, such as chimney climbing and gingerbread decoration, they vie for the title of top Santa.

Teams of four compete for the thousands of Euros worth of prizes, but surely the biggest reward on offer will the bragging rights afforded to those who see off all-comers and emerge victorious at this most prestigious event.

The competition has been running since 2001 and this year”s challenge promises to be the biggest, best and most hotly-contested edition yet.

While the event is taking place in Switzerland, Santa Claus” real home is widely known as Lapland in the Arctic Circle, which covers areas of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18845548-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Munich rolls up to one of the world”s largest tented festivals

0

Circus and cabaret are celebrated in fine style once again this year at the annual Winter Tollwood Festival in Munich.

Now in its twentieth year, the festival sees a variety of acts from all over the world descend on the huge tented village which springs up at the city”s Theresienwiese between November 26th and December 31st.

The event sees more than a million visitors drawn in every year, as it unravels is energetic and dynamic programme of performances, culinary delights and even a seasonal Christmas market.

Many local celebrities and old favourites are a key part of the appeal, as visitors from far and wide try to catch a glimpse of some famous faces.

On New Year”s Eve, the final crescendo of the festival celebrates the ringing out of the old year and the coming of the new with live bands, DJs and huge parties revelling long into the night.

Munich is also home to another of the biggest and best festivals in the world, Oktoberfest, which sees millions of people come to the city to drink copious amounts of beer, the export for which the area is probably most famous.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18842750-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

New Year”s resolutions tested to the limit in Berlin

0

For most people New Year”s Day consists of nothing more energetic than rolling out of bed at around lunchtime to watch the Sound of Music on television.

But for many residents of the German capital Berlin, the first day of the year is an opportunity to go for a run around some freezing streets, starting by the famous Brandenburg Gate in the heart of the city.

Each January 1st, the Berlin New Year Run sees plucky locals brave the winter air and their rotten hangovers to run around the four kilometre course, getting themselves in the spirit for the forthcoming year.

The race is seen as the second part of an event which straddles the passing of one year into the next, as even more runners gather elsewhere in the city at the Mommsenstadion to compete in the New Year”s Eve run, with competitors donning all manner of colourful costumes.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18840847-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

New Year”s resolutions tested to the limit in Berlin

0

For most people New Year”s Day consists of nothing more energetic than rolling out of bed at around lunchtime to watch the Sound of Music on television.

But for many residents of the German capital Berlin, the first day of the year is an opportunity to go for a run around some freezing streets, starting by the famous Brandenburg Gate in the heart of the city.

Each January 1st, the Berlin New Year Run sees plucky locals brave the winter air and their rotten hangovers to run around the four kilometre course, getting themselves in the spirit for the forthcoming year.

The race is seen as the second part of an event which straddles the passing of one year into the next, as even more runners gather elsewhere in the city at the Mommsenstadion to compete in the New Year”s Eve run, with competitors donning all manner of colourful costumes.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18840847-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

New Year kicks off in style in Vienna

0

After the celebrations of the night before have rung out the old year in style, Vienna begins the new year with one of the most famous and prestigious classical concerts in the world.

Vienna”s New Year”s Day Concert at the Musikverein”s jaw-droppingly beautiful Golden Hall features some of the best-loved music from the Strauss family of composers.

As might be expected of an event with such a huge amount of prestige, tickets are like gold dust and the application process sees them allocated by ballot.

To give music fans a chance to experience the majesty of the surroundings, additional concerts are also held on the two nights before the main event.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will be in residence for the performances, which should feature some of the most famous and admired work from the history of classical music in Austria.

The event is to be televised in over 50 countries and it is seen as the mission of the concerts to fulfil an ambassadorial role in promoting Austrian music and culture the world over.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18840689-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Cult film honoured in European car rally

0

One of the most-loved films in British cinematic history is to be honoured once again this year with an ingenious charity event.

Channelling the appeal of the cult classic, The Italian Job is a Mini Cooper rally starting at Imola in Italy on October 24th with its final destination in Brighton on November 1st.

On the way, participants are to pick up loads of great local wine, which will then be auctioned off in the UK with the proceeds going to a number of children”s charities.

Conceived by car fanatic and film buff Freddie St George in 1990, what was initially intended as a one-off event has been going the best part of two decades and has so far raised in excess of £2 million for good causes.

The event attracts teams from all over the world, with the only criteria for entry being that they have to compete in a Mini Cooper or another classic car from the film.

So far it”s unclear whether anyone rich enough to own an example of the vintage Lamborghini from the opening credit sequence in the Alps has yet taken part.

The Italian Job starred Michael Caine and Noel Coward and was released in 1969. It was later remade in 2003 and featured the acting talent of Mark Wahlberg.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18839217-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Chicago musical tickets: Get ‘em while they’re (red) hot!

0

I was thrilled last weekend when my friend snagged some discount Chicago tickets—I have wanted to experience ‘London’s sexiest musical’ for ages.

chicago cambridge theatre

Contrary to the widely held sentiment among theatregoers that long-running West End musicals can become overpriced tourists traps, I was highly impressed: I definitely got my money’s worth. I know that musical backwards and forwards—the songs, the scenes, and even the first two minutes of the opening dance number (sad, I know)—and I was on the edge of my seat for the entire show. continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Festival-goers celebrate the power of the natural world

0

The beauty of the natural world is explored and interpreted at the annual Festival du Vent on the French island of Corsica.

From October 29th – November 2nd, more than 600 artists, athletes and leading scientists will gather at the beautiful resort of Calvi to celebrate the Festival of the Wind, to give it its English name.

With the Hotel Balagne as their base, visitors to the festival are invited to participate in a huge number of activities tied together by the theme of the wind. Conservation and recycling, sports such as kite surfing and ballooning, musical concerts and dramatic performance are all on the agenda, in a carnival of free expression and discovery.

Since 1993, the festival has taken place at this spectacular location, with its environment resonating with the wonder of the natural world.

The island of Corsica has become a popular tourist destination in recent years, with visitors attracted to its spectacular scenery, beautiful beaches and world-renowned watersport facilities.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18836562-ADNFCR

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS