GETTING NAKED WITH INTERVIEWS TIME OUT LONDON TASTEMAKERS

GETTING NAKED WITH TIME OUT LONDON TASTEMAKERS

In 2015 Time Out London launched their Tastemaker community which aimed to add 200 London reviewers to their books and luckily I was one of them - you can read my original blog post from when I joined here. It has been such a success that it is now rolling out globally (erm hello New York and Miami) headed up by Time Out’s Rosie Akenhead. The Tastemaker community is full of super connected, cool people, who have interesting day jobs and attack their London-loving-hobby with panache!

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I’ve met many friends along the way and in fact it was Michael Radcliffe aka @rattyboom who helped me secure a venue for my interview with Jim Kwik. I wanted to introduce you to the Time Out London Tastemaker community so here are short interviews starting with head Tastemaker Rosie Akenhead who also has a start up business called Kvall Candles AND has a blog devoted to healthy eating called Rosie & The Recipes which has over 200k followers on Instagram! Full disclosure, we are not paid in any way by Time Out so our views are all independent, we do this for love of the city in exchange for the occasional perk like a free drink or tickets to the theatre. You'll also find interviews below from Katherine Glaubius aka IsThatLondon and also my running inspo Paula Kanesanathan. So here we go!

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Time Out Tastemaker Chief - Rosie Akenhead

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Rosie Akenhead: Originally from Kent, now living in Surrey Quays, London.

Rosie Akenhead

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Rosie Akenhead: By day I lead Global Community at Time Out.

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to start Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Rosie Akenhead: Time Out hired me in 2015 because they wanted to build a community of super engaged, amazing people from across our cities to help us ensure we're always relevant. Time Out's passion is to help people go out better, the Tastemakers are a really integral part of that now.

Time Out’s Tastemaker community

NakedPRGirl: When and why did you start your Rosie & the Recipes blog?
Rosie Akenhead: I actually started it in January of this year. It was reactive to requests I'd had via my Instagram page. I was very reluctant to do it at first but it's actually pretty quick and easy to maintain.

NakedPRGirl: You’ve got a huge 200k following on your Instagram account (@slimmingworldrecipes) - how did you grow this amazing community and what can followers expect?
Rosie Akenhead: I lost a lot of weight doing Slimming World some five years ago now. I've always loved to cook so I started recording my low fat recipes on Instagram and the follower count just went up and up! To be absolutely honest, I never expected it to be 'a success', it really just grew fairly organically. It's actually now that I have to work hard on it with the new Instagram algorithm changes.

NakedPRGirl: Kvall Candles is your new project - how did you get into that? How did you come up with the name? What can we expect from your new business?
Rosie Akenhead: Kväll means 'evening' in Swedish and I named it that because I love the idea of a cosy night in at home with a candle burning. I got into candle making a few years ago when visiting a friend in Bristol. She was making candles and I was like whoa... I have to try this! My new business is very much a sideline to my day job but I love it, especially making the big orders for shops, wedding favours and corporate clients.

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NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Rosie Akenhead: It depends on your interests but I always take newbies out to Greenwich to explore the market and then the park. I also take them to some of my locals in the Deptford area, there's a great new craft beer place called Taproom that's becoming a new favourite of mine. Thirdly, I like to show people a bit of adventure so Wake Up Docklands for wakeboarding or paddleboarding is a must.

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Rosie Akenhead: Firstly, you'll be joining a pack of people who know London like no other. So when you need solid recommendations, you'll never have to blindly ask strangers on Google again. Secondly, Tastemakers tend to have lots in common. I've seen so many people all start hanging out together due to mutual interests in food, drink, culture, theatre... and that's what makes it a really special place to be.

Time Out’s Tastemaker community - Rosie Akenhead

Follow: Rosie on Instagram @rosieakenhead @slimmingworldrecipes @kvallcandles
Follow Rosie on Twitter
Timeout profile page
Read her blog

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Time Out Tastemaker - Michael Ratcliffe

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Michael Ratcliffe: Originally I hail from Warrington, a town in the North West of England not far from Manchester. That said, whilst I still consider that to be my family home, I moved down south to Oxford at the age of only 8 months old, then to Greece at 9, and only returned to the UK at the age of 18 to study Pharmacology at UCL in London. I never left and London has been my home now for the past 12 years.

michael_ratcliffe

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Michael Ratcliffe: By day I am a Corporate Event Producer focused today in the fashion/apparel industry. When I tell people what I do, they either think I’m somehow involved with video/music production and/or am an events planner, but neither are accurate. I work alongside the fashion industry to understand and learn about the evolving and emerging technologies that are enabling global brands and manufacturers to enhance their internal supply chains and innovate their next product lines. I then translate this ongoing research into content-led conferences that the industry then attends, and am then charged with all elements of speaker acquisition, and some of marketing, sales and operations. To date, we hold annual events in LA, Hong Kong, NYC and Europe, with active plans to launch two new events next year, one of which will be in South America.

I kind of fell into this field after university and have since worked on events across a range of sectors including pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, manufacturing, cosmetics, and more...

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to join Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Michael Ratcliffe: Once I started to slow down and party less at 25ish, I started actively looking for more things to do out and about in London besides eating and drinking. Then when I met my boyfriend (who can't sit still for 2 seconds), this only become more prevalent and we began cramming our free time with touristing in our own city, exploring all it has to offer culturally. If you make time for it, it's really very difficult to get bored in a city like ours and no, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg! Anyways, I digress...because of this unrelenting gumption to see everything, it was actually a very good friend of mine called James, who had joined the Tastemaker community first, that convinced me to sign up!

shard

NakedPRGirl: When and why did you start your blog? How did you come up with the name?
Michael Ratcliffe: I actually only started my blog in January of this year (2018) as a New year's resolution. As I said above, I am always up to something and am very lucky to travel extensively with my job so friends of mine have been saying for ages that a blog is something I should really do. Why did I wait? Well to be honest I was nervous, and still am now, that it would come across more as bragging or arrogance, than anything more meaningful or useful. Whilst this is still an insecurity of mine, I have been surprised and encouraged by the positive feedback of my supportive readership and the growing number of people that have started coming to me for advice and recommendations off the back of it. That said, I have also been surprised at the amount of time and effort it actually takes to put something worthy onto paper! I am not one to write a blog about each and every event, show, restaurant etc that I visit, but tend to like to do more in-depth meaty pieces that cover a range of tips and tricks...these things aren't easy and sadly my aim to get something live every other week has just not been doable with my schedule! Monthly is my revised aim but even that can be challenging!

When it comes to the name, there's no great story there...I am as anti-formal as they come so wanted something that seemed relaxed and accessible. 'My Out and About' seemed to appropriately represent me and what I had to say!

Time Out Tastemaker London

NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Michael Ratcliffe: Three?! That's a hard one...but here goes!

(1) My very favourite thing to do in London is to ride the Thames Clipper, preferably on a nice day or evening, down the river from around Parliament to Greenwich, or vice versa. I would go as far as saying that the Thames Clipper is the most underrated 'attraction' for both tourists and residents across the city; drink in hand and a seat on the back, you pass a good chunk of London's most awe-inspiring buildings and architecture and for just that £6, 30-minute ride, you forget about the chaos of this hive of a city and totally relax.

(2) I'm going to cheat a little now for number two but I'm going to say get yourself to a food market, and I realise that's broad! Yes we've had our market staples for years but in the last 2-3 years there has been a boom in the volume, variety and quality of street food across the capital; food markets, in my opinion, have become one of the reasons London should be on your must-visit list. I can't even begin to choose just one but am a huge fan of the Street Feast venues that, since Dinerama in Shoreditch, continue to bring top-notch food, drink, events and general appeal to areas that have perhaps struggled to attract non-local people in the past like Woolwich, Canada Water and Wood Green. I love that leveraging of food to bring people together!

(3) And finally, and I know I'm cheating again, anywhere with a skyline view of London. Sky Garden is for sure the best deal, but getting those free tickets is tough, so you may want to bite the bullet in the name of convenience and get yourself up the Shard or even up to the top of St Paul's Cathedral. No matter where I travel to in the world, I ensure I find myself a cityscape view; down on the ground and in the warren of urban streets, you can of course better absorb what a city is really like, but get yourself a view and you suddenly also begin to better understand and appreciate it's layout, design and magnitude!

 

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NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP or niche?
Michael Ratcliffe: Travel and/or food. I appreciate the first is perhaps less relevant to my Tastemaker role, but just like in London, I love to immerse myself in the culture of any place I visit, and find all the greatest attractions, eateries and those things perhaps a little more off the beaten track! I find my travel pieces to be the easiest to write about in my blog because of the variety of things I make myself try and see and really do think that things like blogs and Instagram accounts have replaced in some ways the traditional travel guide as they are more up to date and diverse.

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Michael Ratcliffe: No matter if you are a self-made doer or a layabout, rich or poor, new to London or an old-timer, the Tastemaker community will not only inspire you as to what to do/see/eat next, but will, if you let it and perhaps put a little more effort in, help you form new friendships with like-minded people that perhaps you would have otherwise never met. Let's be honest, once you get comfortable and a certain age, most of us stop trying to meet new people and experience new things...you can fight it but it's in our nature to become creatures of habit. This community disrupts that entirely and gives you a whole new look on London living that'll have you up, out and feeling like a tourist in your own city!

rttyboom

Instagram handle: @rattyboom
Timeout profile page
Blog link

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Time Out Tastemaker - Katherine Glaubius

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Katherine Glaubius: I’m originally from Nebraska in the States, but now I live in Southeast London.

Katherine Glaubius is that london

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Katherine Glaubius: I’m a Digital Data and Technology civil service fast streamer. That means my job title and department change a lot, but right now I’m doing user research.

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to join Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Katherine Glaubius: My mom was a Tastemaker first actually, and after bringing me along a few times, I got jealous!

 

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NakedPRGirl: When and why did you start your blog? How did you come up with the name?
Katherine Glaubius: I started my blog about 2 months into really taking my Instagram seriously. I just wanted to talk about the cool stuff I was up to in a bit extra detail to my Instagram posts really. The name - no idea! I wanted it to mention London. I’ve always eaten and done fun stuff like theatre and museums, so I didn’t want to make it too specific. Isthatlondon is just kind of what popped into my mind.

Katherine Glaubius is that london

NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Katherine Glaubius: Whenever someone from America comes to visit, I have a sort of London in a day tour. My first choice is always walking through Spittlefields Market and having a good nose around. Then down the street to Brick Lanebto look at street art and eat a bagel! My other choice would be the Sky Garden. You can go up for free (which I’m a big fan of) and get the most beautiful view. Plus it’s a little less mainstream than the Shard or the London eye.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP or niche?
Katherine Glaubius: I definitely specialise in food! I just love eating my way through London too much to not focus on food! I also do theatre and London views.

Time Out Tastemaker - Katherine Glaubius, #IsThatLondon

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Katherine Glaubius:
The Tastemakers are a community of people who love to try out pretty much everything London has to offer. They’ve tried the place you’ve been wanting to eat at or seen the show you were contemplating seeing. They’re a fount of knowledge and so happy and willing to share. Basically, they’re fab, so why wouldn’t you want to experience London alongside them!?

Instagram handle: @isthatlondon
Blog

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Time Out Tastemaker - Paula Kanesanathan

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Paula Kanesanathan: London and London, but spent some time in Birmingham and Chicago.

 

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NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Paula Kanesanathan: Indirect Tax Adviser for a large multinational media company.

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to join Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Paula Kanesanathan: I didn't really know what it was when I joined, but it looked interesting and I seemed to tick the boxes of what they were looking for.

 

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NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Paula Kanesanathan: Sky Garden, a sports event and a theatre show.

NakedPRGirl: What’s your USP or niche?
Paula Kanesanathan: Sports events, theatre, booze and food.

 

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NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Paula Kanesanathan: It's a fun group of people with similar interest so you'll never find yourself at a loose end again! You also make some good friends, There's also obviously the perks, but the best thing is that you discover new things too.

Instagram handle: @Paula_ToT_
Twitter handle: @Paula_ToT_
Timeout profile page

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Time Out Tastemaker - Shona ODonnell - SOFoodie Blog

NakedPRGirl: Where are you from and where do you live now?
Shona: I’m originally from Glasgow, but have been a Londoner for the last 12 years. I live on Brick Lane and absolutely love East London and all it has to offer.

Time Out Tastemaker - Shona

NakedPRGirl: What’s your day job?
Shona: I’m a portfolio director in a large events company. Which means I’m ultimately responsible for the delivery of about 16 events a year ranging from small conferences to large scale exhibitions that take over all of ExCeL for a week. Nowadays there’s a lot of spreadsheets but I love the creativity of events and helping people to achieve their business goals. It’s an incredible industry and I’m lucky that I get to work with some amazing people that make all the hard work worthwhile.

Time Out Tastemaker - Shona

NakedPRGirl: What prompted you to join Time Out’s Tastemaker community?
Shona: I was doing some work with a market research company on the launch of a new snack product and met Georgie a fellow food blogger and Tastemaker. We got on really well and found out we had loads in common. She suggested I join and I completely the application the next day.

Time Out Tastemaker - Shona

NakedPRGirl: When and why did you start your blog?
Shona:  I had talked about starting a food blog for a long time before I actually did it. In the end an ex boyfriend persuaded me to stop talking about it and start writing, that was just over two years ago. I started it to share my love of food. I am completely obsessed with eating and drinking. I love trying new restaurants and pop-ups, cooking, watching food shows and I usually have a stack of cookbooks by my bed.
My blog SOFoodie focuses mostly on restaurant reviews in London and from my travels. The biggest challenge is keeping up with the amount of amazing restaurants that open every week.
The name came about after naturally, at a friends suggestion, it’s my initials and it perfectly captures who I am. It just felt right.

Time Out Tastemaker - Shona

NakedPRGirl: What are the three things in London that everyone should go and see?
Shona: I love East London so I’d have to say take a walk down Brick Lane early on a Sunday morning check out star yard for the Street art and remember there’s art everywhere so look up and down. Grab a bagel from the 24 hour Biegel bake for breakfast and then wander through Columbia Road Flower market. Head back to brick lane and eat lunch at the food market and then chill out at the Nomadic Gardens or Spitalfields City Farm.

Time Out Tastemaker - Shona

Eat something, London has some of the best restaurants and most exciting chefs in the world so there really is something for everyone. My personal favourite for a blow out is Clove Club but I’m also obsessed with Smokestak. And then there’s the markets, Borough, Maltby Street and Broadway to name just a few. I told you, I love food.

Finally I never tire of walking down the Southbank and seeing some of London’s most iconic buildings. I love the Southbank lions. Start at Westminster and walk all the way to the Tate Modern. Head in and view some of the incredible world of art that are all free from Monet to Matisse and Rothko to Degas. The head over the Millenium bridge to St Paul’s. Check out the whispering gallery and finish with views of the city from the top of One New Change.

Time Out Tastemaker - Shona

NakedPRGirl: Why should someone join the Time Out Tastemaker community?
Shona: It’s a brilliant way to explore your city. You get to go and do so many things you might not normally do all in exchange for sharing them so others can get an honest review and share it too.

Time Out Tastemaker - Shona

Instagram handle: @ShonaO
Twitter handle: @ShonaO
Blog link: www.sofoodie.co.uk

To become a Time Out London Tastemaker - click here.

To find out how Time Out London is celebrating their 50th Birthday click here.

To read how I became a Time Out Tastemaker click here.

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