​​Starmus Festival III with Stephen Hawking in Tenerife

Starmus,  a highlight on the calendar of the brightest minds in science and space, will take place from June 27th – 2nd July 2016 in Tenerife under the theme Beyond the Horizon – Tribute to Stephen Hawking.

At a launch event in the  Royal Astronomical Society in Piccadilly there was an expectant hush as Prof. Stephen Hawking came into the room. This guy is a superstar. It’s rather like meeting a member of the Royal family, one doesn’t touch, tries not to stare but this is one of the most iconic figures of our world and it was privilege for a maninlondon to be there.

Stephen Hawking London Tenerife Starmus

Beyond The Horizon
Tribute to Stephen Hawking June 27 – July 2 – 2016

Prof. Stephen Hawking was there with Starmus Festival Founder and leading astrophysicist Dr. Garik Israelian​ and rock royalty and astronomer Dr. Brian May to announce Starmus III.

Brian May Queen Starmus Tenerife

Dr. Brian May – musician, singer, songwriter, and astrophysicist!

Starmus III has a fantastic line up of the world’s leading scientists, astronauts and Nobel Prize winners, including:

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson – Astrophysicist and Science Communicator
  • Eric Betzig – Physicist and Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 2014 for “the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”
  • Colonel Chris Hadfield – Astronaut and First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station (2015)
  • Harry Kroto – English Chemist and Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 1996
  • Lord Martin Rees – Astronomer Royal. Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at The University of Cambridge
  • Adam Riess – Astronomer, Physicist and Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 2011, who led a study for the High-z Team which provided the first published evidence that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating and filled with Dark Energy
  • Russell Schweickart  –  Astronaut and Scientist – ex-NASA Apollo Series astronaut and logged over 4,000 hours of flight time for the US Air Force
  • Neil Turok – Scientist and Professor of Physics and co-author of the popular science book Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang
  • Kip Thorne – Astrophysicist who has forged a career in writing and movies – his latest project was Interstellar (2014), directed by Christopher Nolan


London  April 2015 Stephen Hawking

Dr Brian May, Dr. Garik Israelian, Mr. Carlos Alonso and Prof Stephen Hawking

The festival also inspires and captures the imagination of the wider general public who have an interest in space, stargazing, science, art, music and sci-fi.  One of the highlights is the “Teide Starmus Party”, an evening of stargazing in the company of professional astronomers and live music performances, set within the lunar-like landscape of Teide National Park and under the canopy of the Milky Way.

 Here’s me looking all intellectual

Man in London

Alan Greenhalgh at the Royal Astronomical Society

Sounds like a great event.


Read more about Tenerife here.

Aloe-mentary my dear, JASON

Jason products are great. We tested C-Effects Ultra-C Eye Lift at £17.49, which as you can see is light, glides on easily and instantly absorbed. And most of all,  it’s effective.  The multi antioxidant complex of Ester-C, Vitamin C, Thioctic Acid, Vitamin E and Green Tea nourishes the delicate skin around the eyes softening fine lines and wrinkles. With use, eyes appear more awake, while skin feels soft and smooth. What’s not to love about bright eyes?  We were fans of Keihl’s Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate at £35 a pop  but it’s a little too powerful and astringent for our delicate skins🙂

Anti-Aging Treatment Helps smooth and firm around the eyes

Anti-Aging Treatment Helps smooth and firm around the eyes

Jason also have these soothing aloe vera cremes and gels – what with the sun blasting out in London there might be some prickly skins after this weekend.

Aloe Vera was known as the ‘plant of immortality’ by ancient Egyptians and is still known for its healing properties. The phyto chemicals and nutrients in Aloe Vera are beneficial to hair, health and skin, and Aloe Vera is 4 times more rapidly absorbed by skin than water. A cocktail of  vitamins A, B, C and E, folic acid, niacin, copper, iron, sodium, calcium, zinc, potassium, chromium, magnesium and manganese.

Pure Natural Moisturizing Gel – Soothing 98% Aloe Vera

Pure Natural Moisturizing Gel - Soothing 98% Aloe Vera

Pure Natural Moisturizing Gel – Soothing 98% Aloe Vera

This 98% Aloe Vera relieves discomforts of dry, irritated, sun damaged or newly shaven skin while nourishing Allantoin and Vitamin B5 replenish moisture. Available in 113g (4oz) £3.99, 227g (8oz) £5.99, and 454g (16oz) £8.99


Pure Natural Moisturizing Crème – Soothing 84% Aloe Vera

Pure Natural Moisturizing Crème

Pure Natural Moisturizing Crème

Pure Natural Moisturizing Crème – a soothing 84% Aloe Vera daily crème naturally delivering deep, long-lasting moisturization and calms that irritated skin. Highly concentrated Aloe Vera Gel plus natural Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E instantly soothe dry, irritated, sun damaged or newly shaven skin. 113 g (4oz) £7.49

All products are available from jasonnaturalcare.co.uk and highly recommended.

Enhance your Experience at Adrián Hoteles Tenerife with their Online Shop

Adrián Hoteles has just launched a new online shop where you can pre-book lots of extras like spa treatments, bikesbirthday cakes and flowers. It’d make a great gift for  yourself or someone you know is staying at one of their three luxury hotels on Tenerife’s Costa Adeje.

Jardines de Nivaria, an oasis for all those seeking quality, service and relaxation

Jardines de Nivaria, an oasis for all those seeking quality, service and relaxation

The 5* Hotel Jardines de Nivaria is a mixture of Art-deco and Spanish traditional style with a dome that shows the stars and constellations visible from the hotel during the spring equinox. The 5* Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel has 289 rooms – all of them with a terrace – one infinity edge pools with ocean views and a ‘mini club’ for children between 10 months and 12 years old.  Hotel Colón Guanahaní is an adults-only 4-star hotel located in Playa de Fañabé. Opened in 1990 and completely refurbished in 2014, the rooms are decorated in a colourful colonial style.

From the Your Welfare menu you can pre book  a Canarian aloe vera massage (70 Euros) and a top-to-toe Beauty Pack (130 Euros), plus the option to privately hire a pool-side Balinese bed for the day with drinks and snacks (45 Euros).

A massage with intense moisturizing Canarian Aloe Vera, known for its many healing and skin moisturizing properties.

A massage Canarian Aloe Vera, known for its many healing and skin moisturising properties.


Smaller extras such as birthday cakes (12 Euros) and bouquets of flowers (31 Euros) are also available.


Absolut, Punchdrunk and Somethin’ Else invite you to play Silverpoint

At the heart of the game Silverpoint is a mystery: the disappearance of Chloe. The only way to unlock her story is to play the app game.  The more you play, the more you discover, edging ever closer to the truth.

Silverpoint Palm


Silverpoint celebrates the nationwide launch of the Absolut Andy Warhol limited edition bottle, with a unique digital experiment.

The game will launch on iOS on 14th April, in the iTunes App store unfolding over a two week period.

The game features some of Andy Warhol’s rarely seen blotted-line ‘Silverpoint’ drawings, a style he used early in his career to replicate a design. As players proceed through the casual ‘match three’ style game, they earn stars which opens up the mystery story about a woman named Chloe. As they delve deeper into her story, and into the game, they will discover all is not quite as it seems.

For more information about the Silverpoint experience, visit www.absolutsilverpoint.com

Andy Warhol Absolut Sketch

Andy Warhol Absolut Sketch

Absolut’s Andy Warhol Edition is available at supermarkets nationwide, RRP £18.79. A percentage of the proceeds will contribute to The Andy Warhol Foundation’s endowment from which it distributes grants supporting contemporary art. The Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization recognized as among the leading funders of contemporary art.

Check it out here  timeout.com


Read more about Absolut’s contribution to art here



Chocolate Class with Bake With Maria

The challenge – to make those delicious tasting and good-looking soft-centred chocolates you buy for £18 for 10 pieces in places like Melt and Paul A Young. And we did it. It takes time and vigorous stirring but it can be done.

Here’s how – decorate a polycarbonate mould with some coloured white chocolate, pour in some tempered dark chocolate to coat the mould, pipe in some creamy milk chocolate ganache, seal it with more chocolate and let it cool. Give the tray a good bang and out pops these amazing chocolates.

Okay, not quite the finesse of a master chocolatier but we made these ourselves at a class with our fabulous teacher Annamarie Jones at a class in the Bake With Maria lab in London.

If we can do it, any one can. Alan Greenhalgh reports..

Bake With Maria Chocolate Making Class

ta-da! learn how to make chocolates at Bake With Maria


 Decorating the moulds with coloured white chocolate

Moulds and Colours for Chocolate

Moulds and Colours for Chocolate

Coating, filling and sealing the chocolates

Bake With  Maria

Annamarie Jones shows us how to make chocolate at Bake With Maria.

For the decoration you will need some liquid white cocoa butter colour mixed with powdered colours which you can then flick or finger swirl into the mould.

Bake With Maria

Flick or finger paint before coating the mould with tempered dark chocolate

After the decoration has dried, pour in “tempered” chocolate to coat the mould before draining away the excess for use later in sealing the base.

Bake with Maria

Coating the mould with tempered dark chocolate

Tempering is the process of stabilising the chocolate so you don’t get bloom – those whitish streaks, but you do get an incredible shine and a loud snap when you break it! Home tempering is done by taking two bowls of chopped chocolate pieces, one you will use to melt the chocolate over water in a saucepan on the hob, the other bowl you will add gradually to the hot melted chocolate to bring the temperature down – and thereby stabilising it.

To begin, always start off with at least 250g of melting chips or chopped chocolate. Once chocolate is melted and heated to the appropriate temperature, “seed” the chocolate by adding roughly 1/3 more unmelted chocolate. Allow the seeded chocolate to blend in and stabilise at its appropriate seeding temperature. Finally, reheat the chocolate ever so slightly until its appropriate temperature is reached.

Melt dark chocolate at 53-58C before “seeding” at 28-29C and reheating for use at 31-32C. Milk chocolate melt at 45-50C, seed at 26-27C and reheat to 28C. Use a thermometer – we tried out a state-of-art infra-red one.

Once you’ve coated the mould, pipe in this filling of

Milk Chocolate Vanilla Ganache


150 ml whipping cream

25g glucose

Vanilla bean, seeds scraped from the pod or 7g vanilla powder – we hear Ugandan is best!

300 g milk chocolate (chopped)

20 g Butter


Combine the cream and glucose in a saucepan, along with the scraped vanilla seeds and even the pod. Bring to a boil. Remove the vanilla pod from the cream. Pour the hot cream mixture over the bowl of chopped milk chocolate and allow to stand for 60 seconds. Using a spatula or whisk, stir the mixture in small vigorous circles from the centre of the bowl gradually working outwards until the mixture emulsifies, blends, into a smooth glossy liquid. The less air in the mix the better.

If necessary place the ganache over a warm water bath, not exceeding 34C, to melt any pieces of chocolate.

Stir the butter in taking care there are no lumps left.

Pour the ganache into a shallow metal baking tray. Spread a thin layer and cover the surface directly with clingfilm. Refrigerate until cool and is of thick but spreadable consistency – for about half an hour. Alternatively the ganache can be left, covered, and cooled at room temperature, and ready to be used at a maximum temperature of 25C.

When the moulds have been painted and coated with tempered chocolate, then pipe in the ganache before sealing with more tempered chocolate and scraping off the excess.

There you have the finished chocolates. Delicious!

Chocolate Class at Bake With Maria

home made ganache-filled dark chocolates


We used Belcolade Belgian chocolate and colours from HB Ingredients and moulds from the Home Chocolate Factory.

To book classes at Bake With Maria click here:

Chocolate Desserts 

Introduction to Chocolate Making

or check out all kinds of wonderful baking and cookery classes on the calendar 

Highly recommended.

Bake WIth Maria Chocolate Class 2015

My lovely class and teacher!


 Read more about Bake With Maria here.

Chocolate Classes at Bake with Maria London

Chocolatier and pastry chef Annamarie Jones is to join the Bake with Maria team bringing her experience from Dallmann Fine Chocolates in the United States, Melt and Rococco.

First up on Sunday March 29th is an Easter Chocolate Masterclass  learning how to make honey vanilla caramels, milk chocolate vanilla moulded chocolates, Easter bunny figures and mini-eggs.

Easter Chocolate Class with  /www.bakewithmaria.com

Easter Chocolate Class with /www.bakewithmaria.com


A full schedule of classes, to include

Introduction to Chocolate MakingTruffles / Chocolate Lollipops / Orangettes

This is a 2.5 hour long class, coffee tea and a homemade treat is served upon arrival. You will take home all the chocolates you make in the class – beautifully wrapped! £65

Chocolate Desserts Class

In this class you we will be making: Pot de Creme / Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Pecan Brittle Tart / Chocolate Fondants. This is a 4 hour long class, coffee tea and a homemade treat is served upon arrival. You will take home all desserts you make in the class. £105

Bake with Maria, founded by Maria Mayerhofer in 2010, run baking classes taught by experts in their specially designed baking lab in London’s St John’s Wood opposite South Hampstead Overground station.

Classes are kept small to ensure maximum attention, and the equipment is domestic so that pupils can make use of their knowledge and achieve excellent results in their own homes.

For details of upcoming classes and to make a booking see www.bakewithmaria.com

 Bake With Maria Logo London