Have you ever longed to be followed around by your own personal David Attenborough, narrating your wild adventures in dulcet hushed tones as you tend to your houseplants or pet dogs in the park? Well, that dream is a step closer to becoming reality thanks to a new high-tech pop-up coming to Regent Street next month.
The Green Planet AR Experience is an extension of the world of Attenborough’s current BBC series ‘The Green Planet’, which focuses on Earth’s spectacular plant life. This free immersive exhibit begins with a living rainforest, full of hundreds of tropical trees, shrubs and indoor plants that would put even Hackney’s most ardent indoor gardeners to shame. Then, you enter a series of screen-filled ‘biomes’, each themed around a different kind of plant habitat, where a holographic David Attenborough will offer insights into the digital plant life on display.
This installation is just the start of Attenborough’s journey into the holographic realm. There are plans afoot for a ‘Green Planet’ app that’ll encourage you to explore the natural world in your local neighbourhood. The perfect excuse to take your plant obsession to the next level, with the help of everyone’s favourite nature-loving nonagenarian.
The Green Planet AR Experience is at 55 Regent St, W1B 4DY from Feb 11-Mar 9. Book your free ticket here from tomorrow (Jan 26).
‘One of my friends read this article about these supposedly Ancient Roman baths in one of the side streets off the Strand, where you can go and press a light switch to see them. I looked it up and found out where it was. It’s just on Strand Lane and you wouldn’t notice it unless you know about it. It’s not the most amazing thing but it feels really secret!’
‘Cellar Door is a really tiny bar-venue on the corner of The Strand and Waterloo Bridge. It used to be an old public toilet. It has drag shows and singers, and it always feels very private. The cocktails are really good, and you get free popcorn with your drink. It’s really atmospheric.’
‘Mister Fogg’s invited us to a night for people who work in other bars. There were free canapes, and we got to try a few of the cocktails. It was great, because otherwise it’s really impossible to get in!’
‘Everyone at Gordon’s really likes this Italian place. It mainly does sandwiches with this special bread called rosetta. They’re different from other sandwiches because here they cut all the cheese and ham on the spot, so you can really taste the quality. They also do a tiramisu that’s to die for. It gets polished off quite quickly. In fact, we all fight for it if we don’t buy enough.’
‘It hosts really interesting exhibitions. One of my favourites was during Fashion Week where you could also buy what they had on show. It’s also a really cool place to go and relax, browse the shop or sit in the café. I’ve always really liked the building itself and the architecture. There’s also a bar overlooking the river.’
‘We discovered this Chinese place quite recently. It’s very quiet, which is generally what we like after the hustle and bustle of Gordon’s. It does amazing dumplings. We buy loads and bring them back to Gordon’s and share them, it’s a nice way to enjoy food.’
One of the well documented and most written-about social phenomena of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns has been a subconscious shift in perspectives, both individually and collectively, and altering of behaviour as a result. Many people have become more self-aware of their environmental impact as a result of the lockdowns and made a commitment to try even harder. Travelling sustainably is one behavioural change that there is a growing consensus building around.
Travel & Environment
We, at Eating Europe, are no different. Operating in the travel / tourism sector, we have always been conscious of the huge carbon footprint that tourism and related activities leave. In fact, 8% of the world’s carbon emissions are generated by tourism activities; growing on an average of 4% every year.*
Food Tours & Sustainability
Our guided food tour business rests on two main pillars. Walking, and local food vendors / small restaurants. Almost all of our 300+ food partners are small, family-owned businesses that produce and / or source locally, only use high quality raw material suppliers, or own their own farm like Trattoria Da Enzo al 29 in Trastevere, Rome.
Another great example is Roberto and his daughters Rosella and Patrizia in Florence. Roberto (second generation owner) runs Pasticceria Buonamici, a family-run pastry-cafe, active since 1949 in the Bellosguardo neighborhood of Florence.
Roberto and his daughters have made a true commitment to reducing their own business’ environmental impact (they own an organic-only grocery store next to their cafe, where no plastics are allowed) while also growing the reach of their impact by partnering with the ‘No Cap’ association that guarantees that agricultural workers in food production are not exploited.
Meet Saltee Suncare
At the end of last year, taking the inspiration from the Buonamici Family, we have started thinking about how we can further our positive impact. While looking for like-minded travel business partners that we can introduce to our own community, which focus on excellence in customer delight and have an active focus on sustainability.
We were lucky to find the co-founders Patrick, Sam and their team at Saltee, who produce and sell suncare products that are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, using responsibly-sourced ingredients and packaging.
Saltee is a business based on sustainable principles – they don’t shout about it because they see good sustainable practice as a given in any modern consumer goods business. Sam and Patrick actually met back in 2008 on their way to establishing a joint venture (Continuum Recycling) that became the largest plastic water bottle recycling factory in the world and won numerous green business awards.
“Ingredient sourcing and formulation is really important for SPF sustainability” mentions Patrick McGuirk and “Oxybenzone has been identified as an ingredient in some suncreams that can harm coral reefs.” It has been shown to exacerbate and accelerate coral bleaching. This ingredient was the primary focus of a recent ban on certain suncreams by the authorities in Hawaii. Saltee products do not contain Oxybenzone and none of their products ever will, according to the co-founders.
In creating the Saltee collection they have worked to these ethical and sustainability principles in their whole supply chain. Indeed, they have registered on the industry leading SEDEX programme that reviews and audits the standards of consumer businesses.
We are proud and excited to partner with Saltee and introduce their products and sustainability initiatives to our Eating Europe community.
To celebrate and increase the awareness that we can generate together with your help, we are giving away an exclusive travel prize set, consisting of both companies’ products. (see here for details)
Exclusive to friends of Eating Europe;
All Saltee products are 20% off when you use the coupon code EAT20 at the checkout. (excluding ‘Saltee collections’)