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Introducing: Scratch Map® Hello

Adele, Lionel Richie and Luckies all love to say hello. Fact. And though our pop-star sensations may have made the odd dollar bill doing so, can they sing this greeting in over 190 countries? Nope. Well, in that case Luckies may have marginally won this slightly biased competition thanks to Scratch Map® Hello poster.

Scratch Map® Hello world map poster is the newest addition to our Scratch Map® poster family and possibly the friendliest, with so many eager ways waiting to greet you. By removing the foil to reveal the bright neon coloured countries underneath, you can create a personalised record of your travels and pick up the local lingo as you go. From Salut and Salaam to Hej and Hallo (we could have guessed that last one), you’ll impress the natives with your widespread knowledge…even if your pronunciation is slightly off!

Making an epic and unusual gift idea for graduating students taking a gap year, all languages can be learnt and rehearsed ahead of them jumping from country to coast. Or perhaps your parents fancy their very own Michael Palin inspired travel around the world in 80 days? Well with Scratch Map® Hello poster, they can track their travels the modern way by removing the foil from every country. Having scratch map® posters framed and hung in prize position makes a great every day reminder of your adventure, and a somewhat subtle way to show off your travels to any home visitors!

And finally, let’s not forget those all-favourite trips away for blossoming love birds. Making a romantic and thoughtful anniversary gift, the two of you can keep a personalised record of your trips as you take on the world together, removing the foil one country at a time. And with next day delivery available, you’ll have the lingo learnt for all greetings in no time…we’ll just leave it up to you what language you choose when popping the big question. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

Gourmet Scratch Map™ Recipe: Boeuf Bourguignon

Gourmet Scratch Map by Luckies

Originating from Burgundy, boeuf bourguignon is French comfort food at its finest. Beef bourguignon is now commonly regarded as one of many examples of peasant dishes being slowly refined into haute cuisine – the method of slowly simmering the beef in wine originated as a means of tenderizing cuts of meat that would have been too tough to cook any other way. What most people don’t know is that the secret to this super-rich beef casserole is to use all wine and no stock…**hic**

Ingredients

  • 2 lb (900 g) braising steak, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) squares
  • 3 x tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 x medium onion, sliced
  • 1 x heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 15 fl oz (425 ml) red Burgundy (or other red wine or dry cider)
  • Beanie Bottle Stopper
  • 2 x cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 x sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 x bay leaf
  • Chili Herb Infuser
  • 12 oz (350 g) shallots
  • 2 x 130 g packs cubetti pancetta or 225 g smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon, bought in one piece then cut into cubes
  • 4 oz (110 g) dark-gilled mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

Bring 1¼ tablespoons of the olive oil to sizzling point in a casserole pot and sear the beef to a rich, dark brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate as it browns. Next add the sliced onion to the casserole pot and brown that a little too. Return the meat to the casserole pot and sprinkle in the flour, stirring it round to soak up all the juices. Gradually pour in the Burgundy, again stirring all the time. To stop the rest of the bottle going stale, you can either drink it or use Beanie Bottle Stopper. We know which option we’d choose.

Add the chopped garlic, herbs and seasoning, put the lid on and cook very gently on top of the stove for 2 hours. If you have any herb fusspots in the family, stick the thyme and bay leaf in Chili Herb Infuser then you can fish them out with no added hassle once the dish is finished. Make sure the heat is kept very low if using a diffuser. Using a the rest of the olive oil, fry the shallots and bacon in a small frying pan to colour them lightly. Add to the casserole, together with the mushrooms, then put the lid on and cook for a further hour. Serve with a green salad or new potatoes.

How To Frame a Scratch Map ® With Washi Tape

We’ve had so many people asking how to frame a Scratch Map posters, we thought we’d tell you about our alternative to finding the perfect frame – make your own! Now, don’t start thinking you need any tools – that would be TOO much effort… Saws, hammers and spirit levels are most definitely not necessary for this easy peasy, lemon squeezy method of framing a Scratch Map poster. It also has the added bonus of being totally personalised AND won’t damage your walls. Washi tape is all the rage right now (if you’re not aware of it’s cult like status in craft circles, you need to get with the Pinterest programme..) which means you’ll be able to find every colour, pattern and style washi tape you can imagine. Ready? Read on for our step by step guide to framing your Scratch Map® with washi tape.

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1) First off, head to your nearest stationery store and pick your washi tape! Fancy a candy cane stripe framed Scratch Map on your wall? Easy. Minimal Black and White polka dots? We’ve seen just the washi tape. Neon pastels? Fear not, there will be a multitude of shades to choose from. In our demonstration we’ve gone for a wide zebra pattern horizontally, a jazzy jungle print vertically and a skinny turquoise all the way around the outside – all available from Paperchase.

2) You’ll also need a Scratch Map® if you don’t already have one. In this demo we have used Scratch Map Travel – but it will work just as well with any of our Scratch Map Range. Just bear in mind you might need a helping hand if you choose one of the bigger posters like Scratch Map® Deluxe or Scratch Map® Capitals.

3) Next, pick your spot. Luckily for you washi tape is essentially masking tape with a designer outfit on so it won’t mark your walls. It will stick best to a clean, dry painted wall out of direct sunlight so give a bit of thought to the shady spot above your desk – it deserves some love after all…. Give the wall a little clean with a damp cloth and wait for it to dry.

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4) Get some scissors or a scalpel and cut 2 strips of washi tape that you want to go on a vertical part of your washi tape frame. If you’re going for the same tape all the way around, you know what to do… Cut the strips to be a couple of inches longer than the width of the Scratch Map poster. Stick one to the wall in reaching distance and then use the other to tape the right side of the Scratch Map map to the wall. Reach over, grab the other strip and repeat so both sides are firmly stuck, the washi tape is smooth and the Scratch Map poster is flat to the wall and perfectly straight.

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5) Cut 2 strips of your next colour washi tape an inch or so longer than the length of the map. Match the edge of your horizontal washi tape to the edge of your vertical, and stick the washi tape down catching about a centimeter of the Scratch Map poster under the sticky washi tape. If you want to get fancy you can add multiple strips of washi tape, layered slightly off so you get a more 3D frame. We’ve also see a few examples of washi tape frames with perfectly mitred edges too if you want to get the protractor out!

Scratch Map Travel Framed with Washi Tape

6) Take the thinnest washi tape you have and tape around all 4 edges. You can choose to create a gap between the 2 types of tape, or even extend the tape up and add a square loop at each edge for a more graphic rococo style.

So there you have it – we’ve given you our basic style but the possibilities for making washi tape frames for your Scratch Map are endless. If you have a go we’ve love to see your designs so remember to tag @luckiesoflondon or use the hashtag #MyScratchMap so we see all your creativity!

Scratch Map® Poster Inspiration: Sydney

G’day Sheila! If you haven’t uncovered Sydney on your Scratch Map® poster yet then crikey, what are you waiting for?! One of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney boasts one of the most Instagram-able beaches in the world and plenty of culture vulture backdrops for the copious amounts of selfies your friends are ‘dying’ to see all over your social media whilst they’re stuck at work… #SydneyOperaHouse #putanothershrimponthebarbie #whatsundayblues

For the brave, kick off your trip the right way and climb Sydney Harbour Bridge. Arguably the best way to see the city, step by step you’ll climb the arches of the bridge and enjoy the iconic views of Sydney. Throughout the climb, your leader will tell you stories about the history of the city and its residents known as “Sydneysiders.” NB. Only mention Melbourne if you fancy getting thrown into the harbour 134 metres below.

If like some of us at Luckies, heights are not your thang head over to Darling Harbour adjacent to the city centre instead. Whilst you may recognise the surroundings from MTV’s reality TV show, The Real World: Sydney, don’t let that put you off, loads of scenes form Neighbours were filmed here too! Toadie is everything <3. Soap operas aside, Darling Harbour is home to plenty of other attractions including trendy brunch spots frequented by hipster Sydneysiders, Sydney’s aquarium frequented by surfer dudes and a bar hopper’s dream packed round Cockle Bay frequented by, well us…

Now we all know that to feel like we’ve earned the ceremonial removal of foil from a country on our Scratch Map® poster, we have to squeeze some culture in. We know, we know, we’d rather by soaking up the sun with a cold Fosters too but come Monday morning back in the office when Margaret from accounts asks what you thought of the Sydney Opera House, you don’t want to be left red faced mumbling something about sunburn and brunch spots. So put that Fosters down, grab your selfie stick and head to one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings. For extra ‘how was your holiday’ kudos, book tickets to one of the shows – with over 40 a week, you’re bound to find one that tickles your fancy.

After all that culture, you’ve definitely earned some chill time at Bondi Beach. Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi Beach is swarming with youngsters enjoying the laid back lifestyle. Whether you want to surf the waves or pose in a bikini the whole way down the kilometre long beach, there’s a reason this iconic beach attracts two million visitors per year (including Oprah Winfrey and Justin Bieber just saying). So kick back, relax and enjoy the Bondi way of life because once you get home all you’ve got to look forward to is uncovering Sydney from your Scratch Map® map. There’s always a silver lining ay Sheila…

Scratch Map® Poster Inspiration: Mauritius

Scratch Map Inspiration: Mauritius

Picture paradise…and now picture something more perfect than paradise and that’s Mauritius. Located in the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 kilometres southeast off the African continent, this tiny tropical island is a big step for small islands and an even bigger step for your Scratch Map poster. With tropical clear-water beaches and multiple wildlife reserves, you’re sure to come back an awesome zoologist studying beach goer with a great tan – how enviable!

The first and most important thing to do once landing in Mauritius is to unpack your bird-watching binoculars and totally pretend you’re David Attenborough in a real life nature documentary. Having saved more birds from extinction than any other country, wildlife tourism in Mauritius is growing in a big way. At Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve you can spot our feathered friends along with giant tortoises, dolphins, whales and the odd giant fish with teeth…commonly known as sharks. We hate to spoil the fun but this may be the one holiday where it’s not appropriate to play the whole ‘pretending to be a shark underwater game!’ Cue Jaws theme tune.

If you’d prefer to keep your feet dry, or even just keep your feet (because of all the sharks, LOL) then head to d’Eau or Macchabée Forest where you can explore this beautiful country through mountain biking, hiking, horse-riding and even championship-standard golf courses. During this visit it’s a great chance to have a guided tour and learn about this good-doing island’s eco-friendly lifestyle and how it’s home to multiple green hotels and houses. Why not become a true eco-warrior for a week by staying in an awesome eco-safari tent lodge based along the east coast in Deux Freres? Here you can lounge lovingly in lagoons and kayak along Mauritius’ longest river, Grande Riviere. Goodbye social media, hello recycled rainwater!

Next up is the grub where foodies of the world can rejoice! During your epic visit make sure to drive out to The Vale for some delicious Mauritian home cooking where you can try the local specialities like ourite safrané (octopus cooked in garlic and ginger) and chilli lamb. If however you’re sticking near the beaches at Belle Mare Plage, beachside shacks will serve scrummy fresh fish just off the boat. Or, heaven forbid you’re travelling with a slight fusspot, book a table at a luxury resort (they’re certainly not in short supply!) where you will be offered a mix of everything from the community like Chinese, French and Mauritius’ Indian. Decisions, decisions…

Once back on home soil with your Scratch Map poster you can proudly uncover this good influence island with all its eco-friendly, wildlife-saving ways. Mark Twain once wrote ‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius’. And here at Luckies we are glad Mr Twain wrote that because it not only makes us look dead smart by ending on a quote, but we also couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Scratch Map® Poster Inspiration: Ghana

Scratch Map Inspiration - Ghana

Commonly known as ‘Africa for beginners’, Ghana is the perfect country to explore for all Africa- visiting newbies. With its rich culture and reputation for locals forever bopping and jiving to beats in the street, it’s no surprise it’s hailed as West Africa’s golden child. After visiting and uncovering on your well attended Scratch Map poster you’ll be overcome with its vibrant energy forever more. Trust us, you’re Ghana love it!

If there’s one thing we could not recommend more, it would be to have a gander in Ghana’s wonderful wildlife. With miles of saffron coloured savannah to explore, a safari around one of the countries well-loved National Parks is a must-do. Mole National Park is one of the most affordable safaris in Africa offering sights of buffalos, baboons and even lions (all of which we are certain will be named Simba). If however you fancy something more physical but want to stick with the safari then Kakum National Park is an easy day trip from Cape Coast and is famous for its sky high viewing platforms and suspension bridges.

Next up on your African adventure is the Ghanaian grub and nightlife. No cowering in McDonalds in the country’s capital, Accra, it’s time to dive into the delicacies of plantain and yams. These staple foods will be cooked a hundred different ways and taste great a hundred times over. Once full, put on your dancing shoes and simply start dancing. With influences from Jamaican reggae, Ghana has its own hip-life music genre which you will hear in bars, clubs, streets and schools. Just keep dancing and maybe only stop to eat some yams.

For all those good deed doers out there, it’s a great idea to head off the beaten track into small reserves and truly explore the country through volunteering. Like many East African countries, the country’s political hardship has left multiple outback areas in a poorly developed way and areas like Akuapem Hills and Cape Coast depend on good folk like you spending a gap year or career break offering your help. With many organisations you are invited to stay with a host family and take part in whatever floats your boat, be it teaching, nursing or even helping in the local fish market, sushi anyone?

So next time your mates are over for sushi (because you’re a pro now) you can look fondly at your Scratch Map Poster and tell a tale of the time you danced in the street and volunteered at the local orphanage in Kumasi, South Ghana. They’re sure to be impressed and even a bit jel if they’ve spent their summer simply lying on the beach with a piña colada…though we’re all for that too!

Scratch Map® Poster Inspiration: Taiwan Lantern Festival

If you’re currently roaming around rural Asia then put down your chow mein and chopsticks and head straight to the Taiwan Lantern Festival in Taoyuan. This is the largest Chinese New Year Festival in Taiwan and the optimal opportunity you’ve been waiting for to uncover this remote island on your Scratch Map® poster.

The 2016 Taiwan Lantern Festival kicks off on February 22nd and runs all the way to March 6th to celebrate the finale of the Lunar New Year Season. During this time the whole city of Taoyuan is completely capped in thousands of beautifully crafted lanterns and lasers. They come in an array of different sizes and designs from giant pandas to baby Buddha’s and glimmer brightly throughout the entire two week festival. Hate to be the one picking up that electricity bill…

This amazing celebration is really the Glastonbury Festival of Lantern Festivals. It has multiple themed areas like Fairytale Kingdom Lantern Area, Blessing Lantern Forest and Competition Lantern Area, all swamped with lanterns as Glastonbury is swamped with mud. And every year, at the centre of the celebration is a main, giant lantern based on the Zodiac of the year. With last year being the year of the ram the lantern was quite tame with a mere 23.4 meter high sound-activated, fully illuminated, multi-coloured, rotating ram statue which hysterically flashed for hours and blared out very loud Taiwanese music. But don’t worry, with this year being the year of the Monkey we are expecting them to go all out!

At this festival you’re sure to have more fun than a barrel of monkeys. However if you want to truly earn unveiling this island on your Scratch Map poster then make sure to head to the small village of Ping Xi. Their celebration, held in conjunction with the Lantern Festival, simultaneously releases hundreds of thousands of beautiful paper lanterns into the night sky. Watch that little light of yours shine bright as it drifts off into space – just imagine the Instagram snaps you’ll be getting!?

And finally, once you’ve had enough monkeying around with lanterns you can at last proudly unveil the tropical island of Taiwan on your Scratch Map poster. Compared to its monstrous neighbour, China, Taiwan may appear a small fish in a big pond but the Scratch Map poster race is also about quality, not quantity. So ignore your gloating flat mate who has just returned from the entirety of Europe and Russia and stun them to silence with your charming lantern shots. Winning.