LA Tripping…

Last week, after a very busy couple of months working in London, I decided to pack my bags and head off to La La Land for a little holiday. Can you believe I left the Johnsonator at home? Well, he threatened to wear a mankini the whole trip so I had no choice. Cringe. 

 
For the first few days I was based in West Hollywood with my good mate Chris Parker – he’s just as big an exercise freak as I am so we spent our days doing Barry’s Bootcamp, which originated in LA, and hot yoga at this amazing studio called Modo… This is better than Bikram in my opinion because you get to chant, meditate and some of the classes actually have a live guitarist strumming away as you hold your sweaty poses in 40 degree heat. Only in LA.
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We ate like Kings, and got to be honest, I’m a bit like a kid in a candy shop in this city… the food just blows my mind. Everything is organic, vegan, wheat free, dairy free, sugar free…
Don’t get me wrong you can still have the best dirty burger you’ve ever tasted in LA – I can hear Matt breathing a sigh of relief – but it just caters for being healthy. One of my favourite spots for a gorgeous healthy lunch is M Cafe on Melrose and for the best coffee in town, it’s Alfred Coffee and Kitchen all day, every day. 
 
I also got to play a bit of golf whilst I was in town with my pals Michael Greco and the other Welsh Man in my life, Gethin Jones. Sorry Matt, don’t worry, you’re still my favourite. The rain came down (yeah I know, what are the chances) but we had such a brilliant day, Grecs and I only losing on last hole. 
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After four days of cloudy, moody skies, Kirsty and I had, quite frankly, had enough and so hired a car and headed south to Palm Springs. The land of Marilyn Monroe, golf buggies and desert facial cocktails… What could be better than a weekend tanning ourselves on pink flamingo inflatables?
Our hotel of choice, The Ace, famous for housing rockstars and Hollywood actors, and now a couple of very pasty English chicks. After checking into our gorgeous room we hurried down to the pool to nab a space.
It was Saturday, the hotel was buzzing, hipsters and out of town LA-ites were everywhere to be seen, and totally randomly I bumped into some good mates from London who have a holiday house in Palm Springs. We ate that night at a really cool restaurant called the Workshop and ended up getting very merry with our new best mate, Lev, who’s basically the real life Ari Gold… I blame him for my banging head the next morning! 
 
Once I was back in LA my last stop before my flight was Downtown and my lovely friend Louise Roe, who’s a TV presenter in the States, showed me round.
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It’s a bit like New York, gritty, edgy and has some really cool fashion companies setting up shop…the area is on the up big time. At the Grand Central Market there was only one place to go for breakie…Egg Slut, yup you heard! Not the healthiest but definitely the most yummy. We then dashed around the corner to the Flower Market. This is a must –  everything is massively discounted and it’s just a really beautiful space to be in. I loved it. 
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On my way to airport, as the sun was setting, I made a couple of promises to myself. One; I must go exploring more. This world is a gift and I want to see all of it. And two; never go away without the Jazzy Johnson, I missed his hairy face too much. 
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And while DJ Hardman was off gallivanting in LA LA land, getting even browner. ,I was off gallivanting in Rome and wait for it… NORTH WALES! 
There is a very good reason for my geographical juxtaposition though. Sit tight. First up, I was whisked away to beautiful Rome (Italy) to host the Global Festival of Media Awards, at the magnificent Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
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Jesus, this hotel was like a palace! However, much like any awards evening, as soon as I land I’m pretty much whisked onto the stage before you can mutter the words “where’s the spa please?”
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Saying that, I did get 45 mins to order the most expensive spaghetti bolognese there ever will be. 40 euros! Ah, to hell with it. It was delicious. Plus you know what they say: “when in Rome”, which was pretty much my ad lib for the entire evening.
They were rolling in the aisles (ish). All-in-all, my whistle stop trip to Rome was a huge success. Wonderful yet brief. (That’s what she said.) Moving on. 
 
My next trip has a little more gravitas and emotional magnitude attached to it. 
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As many of you know, I suffered from quite a rubbish period of depression about 6 years ago. And ever since then, I have tried my very best to help raise awareness, to end the stigma attached to this horrible and vicious disease, along with raising much cash as I can for the charity Min, of which I’m an ambassador for.
 So what I wanted to do was a make a bold fundraising statement for the charity by raising as much coin as possible for them to do their thing. We came up with the plan that we were going to take 48 people on a gruelling 50k, 3000ft trek up some humungous mountains in North Wales and in the Lake District. And this weekend we did it.
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I have to say that it was the most physically and mentally challenging project that I have (voluntarily) done. It was brutal! It was a true test of character of human spirit and my team gave everything, which is all you can ask.
It gives me great pride to say that as team captain of Wales, I was part of something incredibly special. The spirit and sense of togetherness of people that have been directly and indirectly effected with a mental illness was beyond heartwarming. I was humbled more than I could’ve ever imagined. 
We did it!! We walked for 24 hours and we smashed our £50,000 target which is now £60,000 and rising.
 I‘d like to thank everyone at Mind as this wouldn’t have been possible with out them. My team mates, our celebs Arg, Nicolas, team captain of England Anna Williamson, Gail, and Emma. Charity Challenge for being complete professionals and everyone that has donated so far. 
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This is the beginning of something very special.
Here’s to next year!! 
 
Lots of love 
Matt and Zoe x 

Make sure you use your voice!

What a week! Saturday night saw me do my first ever live show at Heart.

IMG_2110 I can’t tell you what an adrenalin rush it was…I’ve spent the last three months learning all the technical stuff so I was completely ready to produce myself when I went on air at 1am on Easter Sunday morning. I loved every second of it but I can tell you by 6am when I finished, I was ready to sleep for a month! I’ve also been covering Emma Bunton’s Celebrate Saturday show which has been such fun…all the guys at Heart are amazing and I feel like I’ve got a whole new family looking after me.

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In TV land I’ve been filming a new Golf pilot for Sky. Alongside my fellow co-hosts Jimmy Bullard, who by the way is one of the nicest but craziest men you’ll ever meet, and DJ Spoony who is like my brother from another mother, sorry Matt, we filmed a new entertainment show all about the game of golf. Think Soccer AM meets Top Gear but instead of football boots and cars, think clubs and bunkers.

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You can see what we got up to here…

Both Matt and I have also been part of this incredible new independent campaign called @UseYourVoice. The whole idea is to inspire 18-30 year olds to go out and vote in the next general election and really push home how important it is to be engaged with who is running our country.

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If the younger generation are not voting then in my opinion change cannot happen. Part of the campaign was to come off ALL social media, twitter, facebook and Instagram for three days, only posting blank pieces of white paper… The message being, if you don’t vote, you lose your voice. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was for me not being able to have my say, put my point across or vocalise my opinions for that length of time. It was a really powerful experiment, and I can only hope it has raised awareness in some small way. Registering to vote closes on the 20th April…so if you haven’t done it yet…there’s still time!

Check out our silly YouTube videos for the campaign. I downed fishy water and The Johnsonator got egged. Definitely worth a watch.

Alongside all of that, Sunday night saw me take to the red carpet for Viber at the Empire Movie Awards.

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I got to chat to everyone from Ralph Fiennes to Simon Pegg and I also had a career highlight when Andy Serkis AKA Gollum went into character and told my mascot cat that he loved him. Note the extreme squeals and jumping at the end!

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Ah such a fun few weeks it has been working as an Ambassador for @useyourvoice!!

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If anything, it was great to hang out with Zoe and Lydia again. That Lydia always has plenty of gossip!! (If you know what I mean ;)
I’m buying a hat. Just saying.

Alongside getting all political with my mates. I’ve been busy making a music video!!
Don’t get too excited. I haven’t quite given up telly to pursue a career as a hip-hop artist yet. Although it’s almost time (MC Jumanji Johnson FYI)
I’ve been given the great honour to help promote the URDD Eisteddfod (Now you try pronouncing it!)

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It’s a yearly festival of the Welsh language and culture for young people. Which coincidently this year is held in my hometown of Caerphilly. So, I have recorded a song, made a blooming video and I’ll be performing it live at the opening concert. All in WELSH! Gulp!
On the plus side, I got to perform the song in a tuxedo, on the back of a milk float, with a megaphone, around my home town, ALL DAY. Ha! I felt like a right knob.

While I was in Wales for a bit I was invited to eat at the new Burger and Lobster restaurant in Cardiff. I managed to take a bunch of friends and family that will hopefully keep them happy for a while. It was bloody gorgeous! I’ve eaten at the London restaurants before but the Cardiff site is an absolute treat!
I like burgers and I like Lobster. WIN WIN!

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If you’re around Cardiff this spring of highly recommend getting your B+L on. Delicious.

That’s it from me. I’ve been terribly boring and not been out to anywhere flash like Zoe. I’ve lived like a hermit to be honest (which I love) but I will be heading out as soon as I finish some very exciting projects that I can’t wait to tell you all about!

Nudge nudge. Wink wink n all that!

Matt Johnson: ‘2015 started in such a special way for me…’

Well! This is my first blog of 2015. Sorry for my absence, Zoe even had to do one on her own didn’t she? Oops! The honest truth is, I couldn’t be bothered what with Christmas and all that…

So, Happy New Year! I hope your resolutions are still going strong. Here’s mine: “I Matt Johnson, resolve to make more of an effort with my HELLO! blog”

2015 started in such a special way for me. From full moon parties and Hangover-style room raves in Thailand, to life changing charity bike rides and Prince concerts, I’ve been a “jammy sod” (I believe that’s the technical term)

Let’s start with Thailand!

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I managed to sneak off for New Years with my lil TOWIE pal Lydia Rose Bright, and the man that could start a party in a morgue Mr Azim Majid. I always know when the three of us get together mayhem shortly follows; I wasn’t disappointed. We saw 2014 off in style on Koh Phangan beach, with 40,000 people covered in neon paint, drinking buckets of alcohol. Naturally, all my pictures are blurred, and to be honest, should never EVER be put on the internet. However, I did manage to squeeze out a few.

Next up, it was time to catch a flight, boat, taxi etc. to a wonderful place called Koh Tao where we stayed at one of the best hotels I’ve ever been to; The Jamahkiri Resort & Spa. Bloody hell, our room was something else! It was like Prince, Liberace, and Cilla Black had decorated it on acid.

It also had a full bar which meant that myself and Azim had to throw the biggest party Koh Tao has ever seen – which we did of course. I loved it because I got to play barman all night, and my job was to keep everyone “well oiled”. I just wish I hadn’t drank all the profits though…

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The next day we awoke to what can only be described as post-party apocalypse. I was very surprised not to see a real life tiger strolling around the debris in true The Hangover movie style. Instead there was just a dizzy, bewildered Welshman with his head in his hands, sheepishly whispering to himself: “why do I do this to myself?”

Had a great laugh though! What’s the point of having a bar in your room if you’re not going to use it right? (Just please don’t mention the mini bar bill)

The next part of my adventure has been well documented by the lovely and generous people at HELLO! Magazine. By cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia, myself, Denise Van Outen, Lydia Bright and Dj Zo Hard Hat have raised over £15,000, and, importantly, helped raise awareness for both our charities: Mind and The Vipingo Village Fund. So I must say a huge thank you to HELLO!, Viber, Charity Challenge, Evans Cycles, and everyone that has donated – It’s very much appreciated.

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FYI, ass still hurts!!

When I got back from Asia, I desperately needed a lil ‘pick me up’. The cold weather was a massive shock to the system, and my body was slowly falling apart after a 600k cycle. So (as if by magic) I received an invite from my mate Caroline Monk to go and see a secret Prince gig at the KoKo Camden in aid of the great charity Autism Rocks. Well, if Carlsberg made gigs!! Prince was absolutely phenomenal!!

The tiny, ageless guitar ninja jammed out hit after hit of pure genius. I won’t bother trying to explain because it was too good to quantify. However, all I will say is that when you’re standing next to Noel Gallagher, Naomi Campbell, and Alan Carr at a gig and you’re all speechless, you know the main act is pretty impressive.

There was a strict no pics rule though…

I obviously took loads. Here’s a few for you.mattjohnson-prince2-a

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So that brings me pretty much up to date. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot, Zoe sends her love from Kenya. Her sister Kathryn has just got married out there so congrats to all! Sending you a big kiss sis!

Catch ya later ya beauts

Xx

Happy New Year and Matt’s gone walkies…

Happy New Year everyone! Firstly has anyone seen Matt? Last I heard he was drinking cocktails and practising Muay Thai boxing on a beach in Thailand. Matt if you’re reading this…you’d better not be too brown after your Asian adventure, you know I hate being challenged on that front. Right back to things this end…I hate to say it but I’m actually quite pleased the festive period is over. All that eating and drinking was slowly turning me into mush and consuming Quality Street for breakfast was fast becoming the norm.

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On the 28th December I jumped on a plane and headed back home to Kenya to see my mum. She lives on the coast, in a beautiful beach house not far from Mombasa. It’s a little piece of paradise amongst the chaos, where mobiles don’t work and the only thing you need to worry about is turning your sun lounger. We got to spend some really special time together, putting the world to rights, whilst dangling our feet in the pool…bliss.

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Back in 2006, after relocating to Kenya and seeing the extreme poverty surrounding them, my parents decided to start a school for children affected from HIV/AIDS in the local village. What began life from a mud hut, helping 25 of the most in need kids, has grown and grown and now houses 125 of them. They get the best education around and a safe haven to escape to. They have a science lab, running water, two meals a day, a playground, a loo block and a school cat called Monte Shadow! Tragically my father died in August 2012, but mum continues to work tirelessly, raising funds to make sure those kids don’t go hungry or come to any harm. To say she is an inspiring woman doesn’t come close…
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Attempting to do our bit to help and raise as much money as possible for both The Vipingo Village Fund (my parents charity) and MIND (The Mental Health charity), on the 14th January me and my compadres, The Johnsonator, Denise Van Outen and Lydia Bright, will embark on one of the biggest adventures of our lives. Donning our lycra we will be cycling 500km in 8 days across Vietnam and Cambodia …eeeek, just saying it makes me feel sick with nerves!

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With the majority of our training done, our padded shorts packed and enough re-hydration sachets on us to sink a small country, we’re nearly ready for the off. Keep up to date on all things TEAM NAMCAM by following our Viber chat www.viber.com/bikeride and if you would like to donate (we would love you forever), just go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/namcam. You can read our exclusive diary in Hello on the 2nd Feb!

Thank you so much!

Lots of love, Matt and Zoe x

Eva Longoria and Ricky Martins Global Gift Foundation Gala and…IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!!!

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Last week I had probably one of the most showbiz nights of my life. I got the call to attend the dinner and DJ the after party for Eva Longoria and Ricky Martins Global Gift Foundation Gala. Talk about A-list royalty. Oh did I mention that VB was going to be there too! Eeek! After the initial excitement passed I suddenly went into a cold sweat…what the hell was I going to wear in a room full of fashion legends?! And no Matt, I couldn’t don the usual leather jacket and jeans. You know you’re not ACTUALLY Elvis right? Frantic emails went out and after a few hours I had some amazing dresses to try…Luckily this black Finders Keepers number fit like a glove and after my good friend, hair and makeup artist, Lyndsey Harrison worked her magic, Cinders was off to the Ball.

The evening was held at the Four Seasons Hotel just off Park Lane. AKA the fanciest of fancy hotels in London. The aim, to raise as much money as possible so that Global Gift can continue making a positive impact on the lives of the most in need children, women and families across the globe. After the most beautiful of champagne receptions and a good old gossip with my pal Thom Evans and the girl with the coolest hair on the planet, Tallia Storm, we sat down to our three-course feast!

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Steve Jones hosted the dinner doing a brilliant job and not looking too shabby either. Alexandra Burke performed, Lord Jeffery Archer took over the microphone for the auction and told me I was the best looking woman in the room (don’t ask!), and Vicky B received the Philanthropreneur award. She gave a wonderfully humble speech and you could tell just how much it meant to her. After we’d finished stuffing our faces, I slipped off to get behind the decks, it was time to party! And party we did…I finally got home at 1.30am, six Tia Longoria cocktails later and a new watch on my arm. Monday nights will never be the same again!

 

I’ve also been really busy working on my Duo Boots Campaign that came out this week. Matt tried to get involved and even waited outside the shoot wearing his best weekend heels but sadly they weren’t that keen. Shame.

Make sure you check out all my winter must have and my tips for keeping warm this Christmas.

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http://www.duoboots.com/blog/2014/11/12/zoe-hardmans-aw-edit/

I’m becoming a little bit obsessed with Oasis. They’ve massively come up trumps this AW with everything in the window making me swoon. Make sure you check out their coats too, I’ve already got three hanging in my wardrobe! I also rocked this double print dream on a night out recently. Really enjoying all the floral vibes that you can find on the high street right now.

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My favourite new piece of jewellery has got to be this Cecily London SKYE necklace. It works with everything, is really good quality but won’t break the bank either.

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http://www.cecilylondon.com/

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IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!!!

The title of my section of my blog has nothing to do with the content. I just wanted to take to the time to point out that, in fact, IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!! whoohoo!

Saying that. It may be the party season for most but for myself Zoe and our pals Denise Van Outen, Kirsty Williams and Lydia Bright we are getting ready for a trip of a life time. We are heading to Asia to raise money for two of our favourite charities by cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia. It’s well exciting!

It’s exciting for many reasons. Firstly we are raising much needed awareness and cash for our charities Mind and Vipingo Village Fund. Secondly, to have an opportunity to travel through such amazing, eclectic cultures, and scenery with your mates is going to be an experience never to forget. However, it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be bloody hard! 350+ miles on a bike, in Asia’s heat won’t be easy. So we have to get training, and the training starts this week!!

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I’ve been once and I already hate it. I prefer to throw weights around and to punch things than to sit down and get THE sorest ass I have ever experienced! Hey, it’s for a good cause right? (Ouch)

So when you’re all out in your party dresses, scoffing tiny festive treats, and sipping bubbly. Please spare a thought for the 5 Amateur cyclists

Pounding the pavements this Christmas and donate with gusto!!

Wish us luck!!

Matt and Zoe

Ps I’d like to thank HELLO! Magazine, VIBER, Charity Challenge, Evans Cycles and Kirsty Williams for making the vision possible. X

Halloween!

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Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year and myself and the spookiest cat in town, Welsh boy Matt, decided to don our wigs, paint our faces and properly put the willies up people. Matt more than me.

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The only party worth going to on Friday night was being thrown by our great friend, event mogul, Azim Majid at Gilgamesh in Camden. A 1600 strong guest list and a DJ line up worthy of an Ibiza super club was promised, we knew we were in for a real treat.

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Oh is that so DJ Zoe Hardhat! Of course you’d say that because you were one of those ‘disc spinners’. To be fair though, our Zoe went down like a house on fire, in fact the roof was metaphorically of fire for her entire set. She still didn’t take my constant requests for Louis Bega’s ‘Mambo Number 5′ seriously though. Brat. Anyway, this party was brilliant, it’s one of those parties where you’ll end up bumping into people on the telly left right and centre. One of my favourite outfits was a guy dressed as Niall from One Direction in a Real Madrid Football kit. On my second look it ACTUALLY was Niall From One Direction in a Real Madrid football kit. Freaky.

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A whole host of other famous faces made an appearance, the lovely Laura Whitmore came dressed as a slutty Baby Spice, Gemma Chan and funny man Jack Whitehall swooned into each others eyes all night and Vanassa White from the Saturdays, well she’s just a total beat.

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Ummm forget about what they wore Matt…you haven’t told them what we went as. Drum roll please. Dead Sandy from Greece and Zombie Elvis or Zelvis as I called Matt all night. Yes this was the year to ditch the sexy elements of dress up and just be scary. See below.

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Oh dear. The only problem with dressing up like this is people have NO IDEA WHO YOU ARE. Friends I’ve known for years walked past me as I frantically smiled through the now crusty white face paint and burnt synthetic wig (don’t ask). Looks of total confusion appeared across their faces as I shouted, “Its me ZOE”. After a few hours I snuck off to the loo to remove my odd blond wig and suddenly I was back in the room. That’s the last time I go looking like a character from the Little Shop of Horror’s. Matt however had great success with his costume and spent the entire evening chatting to a very beautiful brunette, throwing in the odd “uh huh huh honey” for effect.

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Didn’t bloody work though did it Hardman, as we ended up leaving together (again) and took our now routine 3am Uber taxi ride back to our separate houses. With wicked witches, naughty nurses, and at least three little Red Riding hoods all looking for protection, I finally realised why Halloween is getting more and more popular every year, especially in the Johnson household.

I also had chance to visit a bunch of brilliant teens in Oxfordshire this week. It was all part of the excellent National Citizen Society’s latest scheme to get teens between the age of 16-17 to learn skills outside of the classroom. I know! EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES!! How awful was that when you were that age?? I absolutely hated it! Well, unless ‘Extra curricular activities’ was hanging around after school for a sneaky cigarette to look cool in front of a girl called Sian Morgan then I would’ve excelled. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t.

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It was different in Oxford though. The ‘young adults’ were lucky to be a part of a scheme so well organised and I could see that they knew it. In two different teams, with two separate ideas/proposals in a BBC ‘Dragons Den’ set up. They had to present to myself and 5 other panelists to get money for their chosen charitable causes. They were given just a few hours to do this but that didn’t matter because they ABSOLUTELY SMASHED it. Offering great ideas and presenting them with a direct confidence that was absolutely necessary. The results don’t really matter. I was very proud to be a part of it indeed. I would’ve probably given the teams all the money if it was up to me because they really made me feel good about our future generations (Which makes a change). They were well informed, enthusiastic, but most of all they cared. Whatever happens with this lovely scheme, charity, and this lovely group of teens. If someone out there is encouraging the youth of today to be smart and to care, I’m totally cool with that.
Well Done to the Infinity Squad and to the Enablers!

For more info on the initiative go to www.ncsyes.co.uk
for more info on the great charity Oxfordshire Youth go to www.oxfordshireyouth.org
and a big thanks to LoopVIP for giving me the opportunitywww.loopVIP.co.uk

Have a great week!

Love Matt and Zoe xx

Free speech and Sherlock Holmes…

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What a week I’ve had! I was asked to sit on the panel of BBC3’s live debate show, Free Speech, alongside Alistair Campbell (Former Director of Communications for Tony Blair), Dr Sarah Wollaston (Chair of the Health Select Committee) and Jon Ronson (the Author of Psychopath Test). The show is a wonderfully inspiring platform for young people to share their stories and challenge the opinions of those on the panel and in the audience.

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Our topics of discussion were Mental Health, the Ched Evans rape case and Tuition Fees in the UK…as you can imagine we had one of the most interesting, thought provoking and passionate debates of the series. I suffered quite badly from anorexia in my early 20’s but have since recovered and I’m now an ambassador from BEAT, the biggest UK based eating disorders charity. One of the things that struck me so strongly was how many young people in this country are suffering from mental illness and how they feel they are being failed by our health care system. One young guy in the audience told how he’s been waiting for six months to see someone after he attempted suicide. It’s shocking and quite frankly disgraceful that anyone should have such a lack of support. I’m determined to try and get mental health taught in schools alongside physical education. One in four people will suffer from some sort of mental health problem as an adult and maybe that astonishing number would come down if we started teaching our young people to talk openly about their illness. It really was a career highlight for me and I was totally inspired by the bravery of the teenagers in the audience. And who says young people aren’t engaged?!

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I’ve also been covering for Essex dancing queen, Mark Wright, on his Club Classics show on Heart for the last month. He’s currently in Strictly Come Dancing so I’m keeping his seat warm on Saturday nights from 7-9pm, playing all the biggest dance floor fillers to get you up and dancing on that kitchen table! I really love being part of the Heart family and it’s a joy to record every week. Plus it means I get to bump into two of the nicest women in showbiz, Emma Bunton and Jenni Falconer, they give the best hugs.

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On Thursday I took to the decks to play some tunes at my beautiful and clever friend, Ashley James’s, luxury bracelet launch, Whistle & Bango.
They’re basically bangles that you can personalise with your favourite London postcode.

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My SW6 one has even got ‘Superstar DJ’ engraved on the inside. Love it!

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Jumpsuit – Oasis

Bag – Marks and Spencer

Shoes – Miss Selfridge

Necklace – Katie Mullally

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For more information on BEAT go to – www.b-eat.co.uk

Matt
Another week another Blog from DJ Zoe and Jazzy Johnson. For me, this week has been a tale of Extremes. From high-brow museum exhibitions, Ninja turtles, to Beckham’s Booze. Yes! I couldn’t have planned it better.

I’ll start with my trip to the Museum of London for a private viewing of their Sherlock Holmes exhibition, which was opened by non other than the absolute legend that is Sir Ian McKellen. Or as I like to call him: Magneto from X-Men. (He’ll probably hate that, but hey ho.) Anyway, the event was honestly great. As a big Sherlock Holmes fan, and with Mr Holmes’ popularity on the rise because of Mr Cumberbatch, Mr Downey Jr and now with Sir McKellen’s eagerly anticipated adaptation of the famous role in the works, I wasn’t alone. The room was full of Sherlock fans, all well excited to take a look around. The exhibition, brought together Sherlock Holmes material from across the globe, some of which has never been on public display in the UK, and it was ace. We were also thoroughly entertained by a brilliant and witty speech from Magneto himself. What a crowd pleaser! So If you get a chance, try to pop in and have a look, I’d highly recommend it.

The Exhibition runs from Oct 17-April 12 2015 at the Museum of London.

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Next up (on the same night) was an evening that I’d been waiting for, for ages! A night drinking free beer, eating pizza watching the new Ninja turtles movie with my mate Scott. I know what you’re thinking, but c’mon, give a lad a break! After all the geeky Sherlock Holmes stuff I really needed to watch some overgrown, mutated, pizza loving turtles fighting monsters, alongside the screen goddess that is Megan Fox (who still hasn’t realised that I am actually her soul mate.) I really needed it. It wasn’t just a screening of the movie though, it was an ‘experience’ to remember. The Event was held at the awesome new House of Vans skate park near Waterloo station, which fitted with the films underground, cool, ninja, skateboarding, cowabunga, etc style brilliantly. There was also a Ninja turtles art exhibition (I kid you not) that was actually great. Mainly because I managed to steal one.

Im not going to bother reviewing the film for you, you don’t want me banging on about it, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Even if I did have a lil pizza coma for a few hours afterwards.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is in cinemas now dudes.

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Finally! We get down to Beckham’s Booze. Is there anything that this man cant promote?? Probably not! Mr Golden balls is a marketing dream. Rightly so too. From his new range of leathers for Belstaff, to his H&M panties, It’s money in the bank for all involved. However, Becks has tried something new, he’s spread his angel wings into my area of small expertise. Yup, It’s alcohol. More specifically Whisky! Whoaahh! Steady on Becks. I’ll wear your pants, but WILL I drink your Whisky??

Lets find out.

So, the good people at Haig Club (that’s what his whisky is called) sent me a bottle to try and review. Now, believe it or not I have been a big fan of whisky (both scotch and bourbon) for quite some time. From when little 15 yr old Matt used to steal “swigs” from his Grandad Ron’s Vat 69 collection, to now, where I have been known to attend the odd whisky tasting course, both for a laugh, and to also find my perfect blend. Basically, I like the stuff. I’m an “always neat and NEVER on the rocks” kinda guy.

Let’s get to it then. Firstly you cannot say that the liquor isn’t packed well. In fact its packaged so beautifully, I didn’t want to open it at first (that lasted about 10 seconds). I thought to myself: forget the packaging that’s what they’ll try to do, they’ll try to bedazzle you with so much style and Beckham gold dust, that you’ll fall immediately into the marketing teams plan, where you’ll be reviewing with Becks tinted glasses (I’m an over thinker). So without haste, I dodged the clever marketing wizardry, and quickly poured a ‘decent’ sized glass and began my session. Sorry, tasting.

So, not to over complicate things, I’ll try not to make things complicated, as there’s many different ways and steps to taste a single grain Scotch, so I will use just three steps for you.

1. The ‘nose’ (the smell): For me, it has a buttery sweet, Orange zest nose to it.

2. The Taste (when you swill it around your mouth): It had a really creamy palette, for me. With a sweet Toffee Popcorn taste.

3. The taste (after I swallowed): Had a very smooth, sweet, slightly vanilla mix to it. Very Warm an Christmasy.

Blah Blah Blah! Did it taste good? Will it make a good Christmas present??

Lets not “beat around the bush” as my dad would say. It’s a good whisky. As a Single Grains go, this is a drink that I really enjoyed. It’s easy to drink and it would be very hard for anyone to not to happily sit back and enjoy it either. There may be a few Booze snobs that don’t like this Whisky’s affiliation with Beckham, but I say sod them. Becks stardust aside, this whisky is a good un. Nice Blue bottle too.

Haig Club is available now, and please drink responsibly.

www.haigclub.com

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Have a great week!
Love Matt and Zoe xx

From Wembley to the Mondrian…

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Welsh Lothario Matthew Johnson (that’s his new name by the way) really missed out this week and I’ve got no sympathy for him as I told him over and over again this was one hotel launch he didn’t want to pass on…but pass he did and whilst he was drinking warm beer and shouting “come on!!!” at the football I was hob knobbing with virtually every celeb in town, 90% of them being women I know he’d want to date. Laura Whitmore, Millie Mackintosh, Blogger Golden Diamonds and Vanessa White all under one roof…poor Matty. The event I’m talking about was the grand opening of the Mondrian Hotel at Sea Containers House on the river, oh yeah this was swanky of the highest order. The hotel is just stunning, with panoramic views of London and a sky bar to die for which we were quickly ushered up to. We drank uber cool cocktails, munched on mini burgers and danced around to Henry Holland on the decks.

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One of my particular favourite moments of the night was witnessing Harvey Weinstein getting turned away at the door by a French security guard. Weinstein’s PA who at this point was turning redder and redder, was quick to assure him that the man they wouldn’t let in was in fact one of the most famous movie producers on the planet. Entrance granted. Phew.

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This week I was also lucky enough to be invited to watch my favourite red haired songbird, Ed Sheeran at the O2. My other favourite red haired pal Sarah-Jane Mee or Busty as I like to call her, asked me to be her plus one and I couldn’t have said yes quicker. Off we trundled, skinny jeans donned, to Sky’s Box -suite 341…an actual box at the O2 for Ed Sheeran.

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Life complete. It was a Monday so I’d decided I wasn’t going to drink…whoops, and also definitely NOT eat any desert…

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Our seats were insane and Mr Sheeran didn’t fail to disappoint. The man is a total genius and managed to have 20,000 people in the palm of his hand for two hours. SJ talked herself into fancying him more and more as the minutes passed and I swear we’re about to have a new hot couple alert…watch this space! The night ended with three marriage proposals, none to us sadly and a pair of giggling wannabee teenagers singing his tracks, badly, as we made our way home to West London. I can’t think of a more perfect way to spend a rainy autumn evening.

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Ok, Ok, so MY element of this weeks blog isn’t exactly in the normal HELLO! style, but give me a second. Yes I went to the football…. BUT it was a night at Wembley Stadium with a difference. It was Fancy as hell! Believe it or not, going to the football can be decadent, glamourous, and (get this) interesting EVEN if you don’t even like the beautiful game, and it’s all down to the brand spanking new FA Lounge at Wembley Stadium. Yup whilst DJ Zoe was at the swanky launch at the Mondrian Hotel, along with pretty much every one that id like to have write their phone numbers on my forearm, I was invited to watch England Vs San Marino in impeccable style. On the Plus side I got to spend some quality time with my opera singing mate Dave or ‘El Davo’ as I like to call him, (he’ll hate that) and catch up over some beers. It wasn’t just beers though. This place was like a space ship perfectly designed to make you think that you were actually at a ‘Swanky New hotel’ but seconds away from your ‘Padded’ seats aside the hollowed Wembley turf. Seriously, it was so surreal you couldn’t help but laugh. As R Kelly once said  “there was food everywhere like the party was catered” (the song’s Ignition FYI) We had a choice of fresh steak sandwiches, Thai noodles, Mini hotdogs, REALLY Posh Pie and Mash, macaroons, gourmet prawn cocktail, and the most delightful cheese selection you could ever wish for.

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Of course me and El Davo had everything! Not just the food put a smile on my face though there was also great live music, and a very interesting Q&A session with some English football legends. I know I sound like I’m gushing, but I’m going to be honest with you. It was that special. Maybe thats because of the free food, maybe it’s down to the fact that I won a whole 35 quid because Engleerland won 5-0, or maybe (probably) it’s because I get to say this, along side this picture: “If Carlsberg did football matches”

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What a laugh, but I certainly hope that DJ Jazzy Zoe got some phone numbers for me. I need all the help I can get, despite what this weeks papers have to say.

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My point is, (and there is a point) going to the football has now changed from queuing for hours for a soggy pie and a warm beer, it’s actually like being at a 5 star hotel, but with odd chant of “ROONEY, ROONEY”. That’s if you’re into that type of thing of course.

For info on the FA lounge at Club Wembley go to: https://clubwembley.wembleystadium.com/

Thanks to Suzannah Pattle at the TBA PLC

 

Have a great week!

Love Matt and Zoe x

Night out and spa day…

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Another night out in London town.

I think this is becoming my new favourite hobbie/pastime. I’ve always had “Enjoys socialising” on my Curricular Vitae but recently I believe I have taken it to the next level: Level 5 “expert”. The evening in question was after a loooong but exciting day of meetings at ITV, at the famous STK London Steak house, at the Me Hotel. If you haven’t been, I’ll give a brief description for you. Y’know, the very swish, modern hotels you see in Los Angeles and Vegas? Yeah? Well, it’s like someone has dropped one of those in the middle of the Strand, and filled it with the rich n famous. Bradley Cooper Stays there, and It’s where Tamara Eccleston had her 30th birthday. Ie “Well swanky”

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As Per usual I was late, but it didn’t matter because I had my comrade already there, yup Lady Zoe Hardman was “banging out some tunes” (her words, not mine) for the well quaffed troops, as they sipped on their smooth Strawberry Cobbler cocktails. Four Cobblers down and many hand jesters towards DJ Zoe Hard-hat, I eventually around to finding out what the party was all in aid of.
The entire evening was constructed by The Global Party. The Global Party is the worlds largest invite-only VIP charity event. They directly collaborate with fancy pants art galleries, restaurants, 5*star hotels as well as premium bars, luxury boutiques and nightclubs, throughout September and March each year. Their involvement enables The Global Charity Trust raise funds and awareness for charitable causes. Across its two previous events they have raised a total of £1,500,000!! Not bad huh? Each of its locations across the globe, including London, kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise funds that will benefit breast cancer research organisations. Tonights chosen charity was the very worthy ‘Future Dreams’. Another wonderful charity doing it’s very best to prevent, treat and to get rid of breast cancer. It was truly lovely to find out more about both organisations incredible work.
Guests were encouraged to donate upon arrival and were treated to complimentary pink drinks for two hours – the signature Strawberry Cobbler (delicious) and still rosé. Plus 100% of the proceeds of the aforementioned Strawberry Cobblers were going towards Future Dreams for the entire month of October.
Everybody wins!

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As I thought the evening had ended, DJ Zoe and I were invited up onto the ‘Radio’ Roof top bar for a drink with our new Aussie best mate Belinda Haberley. Now, this always happens to us. We always have work early the next morning, when someone asks us for “just one more”, and we can never say no. Middle Class/Champagne problems I know, but 4 hours later a few bottles of pink Moët, a bunch of cooked nibbles and probably the best Duck Liver Parfait (I’m sure they put crack in there) I’ve ever had later, it was time to have our obligatory (Slightly wobbly) debrief in our Uber ride home…

Handsome Welsh man: “Good Night Zo? Great bar to take someone on a date that, ain’t it?”
DJ Hardman: “Shut up Johnson, you’re drunk”

Damn those Cobblers were deceptively strong, but I’ll take that as a yes.

The Global party and Future Dreams raised ***** at STK restaurants across the UK that night.
For more information here’s the links:
www.futuredreams.org.uk
www.theglobalparty.com
www.melia.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/london/me-london/index.html

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It was time for treat day. Treat day in my language basically translates into “Go to a swanky Spa and prance around in posh dressing gowns all day, eating free apples” i.e. the best day ever. The Spa in question was at the uber fabulous St Pancras Renaissance hotel in London, a five star jewel slapped right in the middle of Kings Cross. I grabbed my two girlfriends, manager and bessie pal Kirsty and super agent and all round beauty, Kim and off we went to indulge, relax and pamper till the cows came home.

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As soon as the lift doors opened the staff greeted us with smiling faces and were instantly there to aid our feeling of calm and tranquillity…including handing us some of the best cucumber water I’ve ever tasted, I do love that stuff. We were given the grand tour and I can honestly say its one of the most beautiful spas I’ve ever been in. Dim lighting, orchids and a scent of fancy massage oils filled the air, this really was heaven. After a quick change we hit the pool. It felt like we’d been whisked away on a Far Eastern getaway, with endless mosaique tiles lining the walls, a stunning jacuzzi bubbling away with excitement and a Turkish steam room fit for an Arabian Knight. It didn’t take me too long to jump into one of the showers and pretend I was in an Herbal Essences advert, sorry Matt, cringe I know.

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I’d chosen their 60 minutes Sublime Massage that derives from ‘indigenous Polynesian healers’. It mainly concentrates on areas of tension and spending so much of my time with Sir Matt Johnson you can imagine I have a lot of those. Also I love to exercise and can get very sore muscles after training. The whole experience was wonderful; she really focused on my tight spots and identified all of the parts of my body that needed the most work. I’m normally really picky about massages but this was up there with one of the best and that night, well I slept like a baby.

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After a quick spin in the Sauna, some delicious tasting nuts, a mint tea and a final gossip with the girls it was time to say goodbye to our inner city paradise, and as I packed away my soggy bathers and stole one more apple on my way out, sorry, I knew I’d be back…this gem of a day spa right in the middle of central London…a girl needs at least one treat day a week right?

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Last Saturday I also got up bright and early and hit the cobbles of Somerset House for the M&S Autumn/Winter fashion show. It was lovely to catch up with my gorgeous mates, Radio One DJ Alice Levine, Made In Chelsea’s Rosie Fortesque and my Irish sister Amanda Byram. We munched on mini croissants and guzzled fresh Orange juice before taking our front row seats for the show.

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M&S have really outdone themselves this season and the whole collection was jam packed with stunning pieces. My particular favourites being this faux fur coat and the polka dot red dress that I got to wear. I know where I’m heading for my winter wardrobe this year! Bravo M&S!

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Bag and Dress – M&S
Shoes – Dune

Have a lovely week!

Love Matt and Zoe xx

Our first blog post!

golfcharity ZOE- Three weeks ago Matt and I were excitingly invited on the Ronald Macdonald House Charities golf trip to Barcelona by the brilliant couple that own Lynx golf clubs, Steven Elford and Stephanie Zinser. Being keen fans of the game and even keener fans of sunshine and cocktails, Matt and I quickly accepted. Alongside us in the line up were ex rugby player and man mountain, Ben Kay, Sky News presenter and flame haired beauty, Sarah-Jane Mee and former CEO and all round good guy of the LTA, Roger Draper. I soon realised that this wasn’t going to be any old ordinary golf trip, “So we’ll be flying out by private jet,” Steve said. Whaaaaaat?! BY PRIVATE JET…”Hmmm yeah that should work” I said casually. I called Johnson and yelped furiously down the phone. Finally we would be the PJ kings I knew we always were. plane after MATT- We arrived at Biggin Hill Airport. I’m not very good at languages but I’m pretty sure that ‘Biggin Hill’ is French, Latin or something, for ‘Fancy Airport That People Like P Diddy Fly From In Their Private Jets’. Like I said, I’m no expert. We could see our plane through the gleaming airport windows. It was glorious. We felt like the cast of Entourage. First on our fancy airport agenda was to get to know our fellow golf buddies. As my dad says: “Its ALWAYS important to set a good 1st impression in these situations”. Well, it didn’t quite go to plan for me in this instance. It was Zoe’s fault of course. When I had asked Lady Hardman, if I should bring my golf clubs, she assured me (wrongly) that I only had to bring my clubs, and NO bag. So that’s what I did. I arrived at the airport with my clubs in a lovely shopping bag for ‘safe keeping’. Without realising what an idiot I looked. Picture the scene: ‘The Welshman’ has arrived at the fancy airport, ready to meet/impress some people for the first time, trying to act like he goes on private jets aaaall the time, and he’s the only one with his clubs in a bloody Tesco shopping bag. Thanks Zoe. Well at least it broke the ice. matt-zoe-plane air champ ZOE- Sorry Matt you must have read my text wrong…oops! As we boarded there was a real sense of excitement in the air, Matt and I could not stop smiling at each other, we were leaving on a jet plane and it was blumming gorgeous! It smelt like rich mahogany and leather bound books…a bit like Ron Burgundy’s apartment but much more fabulous. As I guzzled down a glass of champagne I had to pinch myself, was this actually happening? I felt like the luckiest person on the planet. After a beautiful three-course meal we touched down in Barcelona and headed off to our hotel for an early night…or as Matt likes to call it, more drinks at the bar. Ouch my head. board plane2 matt-zoe golf-zoe trainerscart2cartmatt-golfball MATT – We awoke to a beautiful crisp, sunny, Spanish morning after the incredible thunderstorms of the night before. It was time to get down to some golf, ready and eager, yet slightly hungover, for a tantalising 18 holes at the World famous El Pratt Golf Resort. Wow, It really was something. A course seemingly sculpted by the gods of game. If Britain’s St Andrews is the queen of all golf courses, El Pratt is it’s sexy Spanish Mistress. Now here’s the cloud to my silver lining. I am terrible at golf! Luckily for the team, Zoe is a secret golf demon! It pains me to say this but, thank god for Zoe. She was hitting the ball like a little English Rory McIlroy (but with smaller shorts of course) she even beat the pro, saving the entire day. So after that personal saga, and with a bright red face from the delectable Spanish sunshine, we headed back to the hotel to get ready and celebrate Señorita Zoe ‘Woods’ Hardman at the Gala Ball. matt zoe-selfie   ZOE – After donning our best outfits, him in his lucky Ben Sherman suit and me in my cobalt blue Camero dress we hit the Gala dinner in style. It was a really glamorous night and amazingly together we raised over £200,000 for the Ronald MacDonald House Charities. They are a wonderful charity that helps the families of very sick children by housing them whilst their kids go through treatment. We were all very honoured and humbled by the incredible work they do. bar The evening ended with Matt and I giggling our way to our rooms, what a few days it had been. New friendships were forged, new drinking games experimented on and a lot of money raised for an amazing cause. All in all, a magical once in a lifetime trip that we were both thrilled to be apart of. GALA OUTFIT – Camero Dress @spottedonceleb, Jewellery by Caroline Creba, Shoes Boohoo.com. zoe rings2rings For information on: The charity – www.rmhc.org.uk sky The golf resort – www.realgolfelprat.com clubs2 Lynx Golf Clubs – www.lynxgolf.co.uk clubs Fearnes Fashion Show – This week we also took to the front row to support Fearne Cotton as she showed her 16th collection for Very. We bumped into our mates Amanda Byram and Gok Wang and sat gossiping with them for a while before the show started. It was totally gorgeous, really fun and I’ve already ear marked about ten of the outfits! Well-done Fearne! Love Matt and Zoe. X

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