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In the middle of the hustle and bustle of day 1 at the London Ski and Snowboard Show, we met up with cheeky chappie and Team GB snowboarder Jamie Nicholls. After a stunning performance at Sochi and achieving sixth place in the first ever snowboard slopestyle final in a Winter Games, the Olympics has thrown Jamie into the spotlight and he is now recognised as one of the country’s best snowboarders. Nicholls scored a huge 85.5 from the judges on his first run, but the standard of the male snowboarders was so high and Jamie was knocked out the running for a medal. We caught up with Jamie about his Sochi experience, what he’s been up to over the summer and his plans for the this winter, including a pretty big exciting secret project that’s happening in London (watch the video below for more info)
The Yorkshire lad is well known for lapping Halifax dryslope since a tender age, so he is an ideal example to inspire a generation to have a go and try skiing or snowboarding at their local ski centre. Since Sochi, Snowsport England have recorded a 12% increase in participation at domestic slopes and centres year on year, which is fantastic news for the British ski and snowboard industry. As the latest ambassador for Snowsport England’s national participation campaign, Go Ski Go Board, Jamie tells us that he is ‘trying to help build good camps for kids’ with the governing body and help fly the flag for winter sports. He is a regular to The Snow Centre Hemel Hempstead which always creates a buzz at the dome and inspires more people to give it a go themselves.
Read more about Team GB's involvement with Go Ski Go Board He has a very light hearted approach to getting in to the sport, and when asked for advice for anyone wanting to learn: Drop in to your closest snowdome, snow centre or dry slope and give it a good go. If you like it, stick at it, if you don’t like it, try it again and again till you do (laughs)… we agree too!
Hayley and I meeting Jamie at the Ski & Snowboard Show
The British snowboarder has a busy winter ahead of him. Last week he narrowly missed out on a podium spot on his first competition of the season and came in 4th at the Burton Rail Days in Tokyo. Some people will see fourth as a good result in Japan but I was going out there to try and win it. Next up will be the Dew Tour Mountain Championships in Breckenridge from 11 -14 December. After some training and down time in Austria he has high hopes for the competition in Colorado. Snowboarding has taken Jamie all over the globe and the 21 year old is now recognised as one of the World’s best snowboarders. But when he’s not in the park he does enjoy the backcountry; Last winter Jamie went on his first splitboard adventure in Austria, and that must have given him the bug as when we asked him if could snowboard somewhere in the world he’s not been before, Jamie told us that he desires a trekking trip to Nepal, Argentina or some weird places that I’ve never been and never get a chance to go. We are very interested to see what Jamie gets up to this season.
Jamie in Stubai, Austria.
Join in the celebrations for the 10th year of winter fun at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Warm up to winter in style at one of the most beautiful and iconic settings in the Capital, the Natural History Museum Ice Rink is now open throughout the festive season. If there is one place in the city to kick start your festive spirit and to start counting down to winter, here it is. The ice rink is set in the foreground of the stunning Museum and will be open to skaters through till Sunday 4th January.
Want to win the chance to go to ice skating at the Natural History Museum for free? See the bottom of the blog for more info.
Many ski area’s aren't open till mid-December, so if you are as ski crazy as us and cannot wait another few weeks to satisfy that snow urge this is one activity that will delight your winter lust. Set in a winter wonderland, surrounded by nearly 80,000 twinkling fairy lights and a huge glittering 40 ft Christmas tree, beginners and advanced skaters alike can enjoy the 1,000 square meter rink. As we can’t enjoy the slopes just yet, we have spent the build up to ski season trying and testing all the exciting winter and ski themed activities you can do in London. We were lucky enough to visit this festive haven in its first week of opening, and what a wonderful evening out we had! From exiting the underground, you are dazzled by the exquisite fairy lights and then stunned by the extraordinary architecture of the Natural History Museum before you stop and take it the atmosphere of this beautiful setting. There is something very special about being able to ice skate outside in the middle of London on a winter’s evening.
It is the perfect activity for friends and family alike, all ages were out on the ice and if there is someone in your group that isn't ice-ready, they can stand around the outside and take photos or enjoy a mulled wine from the café bar.
The marketing girls looking festive at ice skating
Here’s what we had to say on our adventure on the ice:
Chloe: "Ice skating at the Natural History museum was a magical evening out that helped throw me in to the Christmas spirit. I was mesmerised by all the lights, the decadent Christmas tree, and music. I was also impressed that the ice wasn’t too overcrowded. Followed by a mulled wine and festive nibbles at the bar, this is certainly an experience I would recommend anyone to share with your friends and family."
Laura C: "A fantastic location just outside of the Natural History Museum, the setting couldn’t have been better. The ice rink was the perfect size, and the big Christmas tree in the middle added the perfect wintery touch. I had great fun skating around (and trying not to fall over), and it’s safe to say that I’m definitely feeling festive and in the Christmas spirit now."
Iglu Ski on ice & the view of the ice rink from the balcony at the cafe bar
Where? Natural History Museum. Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube – South Kensington
When? Thursday 30 October 2014 – Sunday 4 January 2014. Check the website for daily session times. How? Online: http://www.nhmskating.com. In Person: at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink Box Office. Phone: 0844 847 1576 Extra sessions The Ice Rink will also be offering ‘SK8’ sessions where all can take to the ice for extended skating periods. On weekdays in November, the Ice Rink will hold special sessions for parents and toddlers, and for students who present their NUS card at the box office. Parents with pre-school children can enjoy special rate skating sessions with complimentary drinks for both adult and child in the cafe afterwards. Students will also benefit from an exclusive special rate and complimentary drink. Visit the website for more details on sessions and offers www.nhmskating.com
Celebrate the festive season at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London’s most spectacular winter attraction. Whether you’re a novice or an expert skater, it’s a wonderful day out with family, friends or someone special. This Christmas one lucky reader will win two tickets to London’s most enchanting ice rink for an unforgettable Christmas experience in the capital. To win – Head to Facebook to like and comment on the image telling us who you would take with you, or go to Twitter and retweet this tweet. Terms and Conditions: Promotion closes at 23:59 on 30 November 2014. Winners will be notified on 01 December 2014. The prize must be redeemed by 12 December 2014 and is non-transferable and has no cash alternative. There is one prize of two ice skating tickets at The Natural History Museum Ice Rink. Advance booking is essential, and prize is subject to availability. Blackout dates may apply. The winner will be the first entrant selected at random after the closing date. Over-18’s only. Promoter: IMG (UK) Ltd. By Krystelle
With winter just around the corner, Aldi have launched their new collection of ski and snowboard gear. We went along to the first preview to take an exclusive glimpse of the full line. Set in the beautiful Austrian ski lodge themed restaurant, Bodo’s Schloss, we were treated to an evening of alpine entertainment.
At Iglu Ski, we feel we can cater for all needs when searching for a ski holiday, from budget hotels and self-catering apartments through to uber luxury chalets. Even though we can provide a selection of bargain ski holidays, it’s all the extras you need for your winter getaway that add up and can put people off going skiing and snowboarding.
After the success of last year’s collection, Aldi has come to the rescue once again with its Ski Specialbuys range, offering ski and snowboard wear at an affordable price. These products will be available in stores from 4th December while stocks last. Whether you’re a complete beginner, regular holiday maker, or even a pro, Aldi has everything you need to fight off the freeze. For entry level skiers, there are adult salopettes and jackets from £16.99 each. Salopettes include 3M Thinsulate wadding, 2 zipped hip pockets and an inner snow cuff with anti-slip tape. Jackets include 3M Thinsulate wadding, side ventilation, snowbelt and a built in ski pass pocket sleeve. For kids there are bundles from £14.99 that also includes socks, gloves and accessories.
For the seasoned skier, there is the Aldi Pro range that features an enhanced specification to rival big-brand names, just without the large price tag. The Pro Jackets and Salopettes range from £29.99 - £34.99 and the Pro Lite Shell Jacket and Trousers come in between £34.99 – £39.99. New for this season and hitting stores nationwide in January 2015 will be Aldi’s first ever kids snowboard range, featuring children’s clothing as well as a Snowboard Suit (£19.99), Gloves (£4.99) and Goggles (£7.99).
Other items include: Children’s ski socks - £1.99 Adult ski socks - £3.99 Hats, gloves & scarfs - £2.49-2.99 Children’s thermal set - £4.99 Ski & Snowboard Goggles - £7.99 Adult Base Layers - £8.99 each Adult Merino Wool Thermals - £15.99 each Adult Helmet - £19.99
At first glance we were really impressed with the choices and colours for each of the genders; it was more than just black for men and pink for ladies, which is often the case for budget clothing. Then we had the opportunity to try on all the range: I loved the amount of pockets and detail in the jackets and soft shells; there were lift pass pockets and even iPhone/iPod compartments in some of the coats.
Direct Marketing Executive and seasoned snowboarder, Millie, also came along for viewing and here's her thoughts on the new Aldi ski Specialbuys: “Aldi’s new range of ski wear has seriously impressed me. In previous years I’d heard good things about their thermals, but had been dubious as someone who buys things to last from season to season. Having now tried out a pair of Aldi’s Merino Wool base layers as well as their compression thermals, I can safely say I’m sold. As I’m yet to hit the slopes in them, the jury’s still out on performance. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the snug fit and quality feel of the fabric. For someone on a budget, these certainly deliver functionality without compromising on looks.
Combining great fit, quality, comfort and an affordable price tag, these could give the well-known brands a serious run for their money this season.”
This collection is perfect for families on a budget or anyone looking to give skiing or snowboarding a go for the first time this winter but is anxious about spending a heap of money on a full ski outfit.
As well as the ski clothing, we were very impressed with the winter cocktails that were being served through the night and we thought we would share with you the recipe for our new favourite drink - perfect for something different this Christmas, plus all ingredients can be purchased at Aldi!
Cranbellini: Serves 1
Ingredients 75ml Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene NV 25ml Cranberry juice 25ml sugar syrup (or boil together 25ml of water & 25g of caster sugar to make) Fresh cranberries 1 tsp Mixed spice 1 tsp Icing Sugar Method: Dip the rim of a champagne glass into cranberry juice, then into the icing sugar and then into the mixed spice Pour in the cranberry juice & sugar syrup to fill ¼ of the glass and then top up with Prosessco. Garnish with a cranberry to finish.
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