Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Authentic Chinese at Hakkasan, Dubai.

I've dined at Hakkasan many times in London, both at the Michelin-starred Hanway Place and Mayfair, and not just Hakkasan but the sister restaurants of the Hakkasan group too. So when I went to the UAE I was so keen to try out the Hakkasan in Dubai and see how it compared. It was one of the best meals I had while I was in Dubai (it was firmly up there with Zuma), so I thought I'd tell you all about it...

Hakkasan Dubai Luxury Chinese Restaurant

Monday, 24 October 2016

Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach, Dubai.

On my way to Australia I spent 10 days in the Middle East, visiting Dubai, Qatar, and Muscat. They were all places I'd been wanting to visit for years, and with Nigel now in Dubai and Polly in Doha, it was a great excuse for an extended stopover! I was in Dubai for 7 nights, and stayed with Nigel while I was there in his epic apartment in Dubai Marina. But I really wanted to experience a night in a Dubai hotel, they're so famous for their luxury hotels that I just had to try one out, so I booked myself into the five-star Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach for a night.

Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach Dubai Swimming Pool


Saturday, 22 October 2016

A Farewell #LuxBloggers Dinner at Coya, London.

So this is my final London restaurant review until next year. I can't quite believe it to be honest, it still feels as though I'm in a dream world. I just can't quite believe I'm actually in Australia and don't have to leave in a few weeks! Before I left London three weeks ago I ticked the biggie off my 'London bucket list', and finally dined at the luxury Peruvian restaurant Coya in Mayfair, with three of my fave blogging ladies. It was honestly one of the best meals I've had in London, and I loved it so much I even visited the Coya bar in Dubai a week later!


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Brunch at Bubby's in Tribeca, NYC.

Brunch is my favourite meal of the day. I love it. And when in New York you kinda have to go big as breakfast and brunch is such a huge deal there. While we were in NYC in August, Jasiminne and I had two stand-out brunches that were just incredible, first we went to The Standard Grill, which you can read about on Jasiminne's blog and my Day 3 NYC Post, and then we went to Bubby's, aka, home of the epic pancakes...


Monday, 17 October 2016

Michelin-Starred Indian at Gymkhana, London.

I'm not a massive spicy food lover, and yet Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Gymkhana had sat on my 'to visit' list ever since it opened back in 2013. So with my move back to Australia edging it's way closer and closer, I called Kiran and Oli and we finally got it booked into the diary. So did it live up to my high expectations? Yes and no. Food-wise it definitely did, service-wise, not so much. Read on to find out about our meal...

Gymkhana Michelin Starred Indian Restaurant London Biryani


Saturday, 15 October 2016

My Top 5 Nightclubs in NYC.

It's no secret that I really love clubbing and a night out. Every city I go to I have to check out the clubbing scene, and having been to NYC twice this year, I managed to check out a fair few clubs while I was there. It was actually pretty hard to whittle it down to my five favourites, as there are so many good ones, and I actually only went to one or two bad ones, but these ones are so good that I now recommend them to every friend who goes to New York...


Thursday, 13 October 2016

A Luxury Doggy Lunch Date at Daphne's London.

Caprice Holdings is one of my favourite restaurant groups, Le Caprice and The Ivy are favourites of mine. So when I heard that one of the sister restaurants in South Kensington, Daphne's, was allowing dogs into the restaurant for lunch, I called Sarah and Hilary and we arranged to meet there with the dogs one Thursday lunchtime.


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Lux Life in Australia - What's Happening?

Just a little update from me to keep you updated with what's happening blog-wise while I'm living in Australia, and where I am currently. I landed in Dubai Thursday evening, and I'm staying here until Monday when I head to Doha in Qatar for two nights, and then Muscat in Oman for two nights. Then I'm back in Dubai for three nights before heading to Perth...


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Thank You, and See You Later.

Dear Friends,

Originally I was going to call this post 'Goodbyes', but then I remembered what Peter said to me when I was sobbing on his shoulder the last time I saw him..."don't think of it as goodbye, just see you later". It's kinda stuck with me since then, and I'm trying to think of it like that instead of a final farewell sorta thing. I mean depending on the job situation I may only be gone for six months...or it may be a year. Or it may be longer. However short or long my time back in Australia may be, I really just want to take this opportunity to thank every single person who has been a part of my life over the past five years...

The thing is we don't really make the most of telling the people that we love and respect, just how much we love and respect them. Sometimes there'll be a drunken hug and a 'I love you so much babe' while re-applying makeup in the toilets or on the dance-floor, but for the most part I know so many people who just don't know how appreciated and loved they are.

If you have been in my life at all, in a small way or a big way over the past five years, you are so, SO appreciated, and I'm so grateful. 

Whether you were a good thing or a bad thing in my life, whether we got on or not, whatever you were and at whatever point you appeared in my timeline, you in some way influenced me and shaped who I am today. I've learnt so many life lessons the past few years and grown so much as a person, and I have each and every one of you to thank for that. Cheesy as hell right, but I feel like people need to say this stuff more to each other.

Anyone who knows me and knows me well, knows that I'm the most over-emotional, over-sensitive, and over-dramatic person ever. I know this, my friends know this, my family know this, and I'm totally OK with being like this. I'll laugh at myself for it and joke about it, and I know when I'm being completely ridiculous.

The past month or two has been a long sea of 'leaving' events, and at each of them my friends love to remind me how dramatic I'm being and that I'm only going for 6-12 months, but the thing is, they're not so much 'leaving' events, more an excuse to celebrate how far I've come personally over the past five years, and what may be in-store for me in the future.

Five years ago I'd just come out of a long-term and very intense relationship. I moved back to London from Australia for University in 2009, and from 2009-2011 I was completely miserable. I would cry myself to sleep on a regular basis, I pushed everyone I loved away, I would scream and shout and flip out at the smallest of things, my anger was uncontrollable, I would cry my eyes out at stupid little things, and I just didn't know how to live my life in England after everything that happened in Australia. I couldn't move on, and I couldn't let go.

I look back at those years and feel so sad, I literally don't recognize the person I was back then, it's like it was a totally different person in my body. Some poor weak soul consumed with grief and sadness. And I feel so sad that I put my friends and family through being around that awful, awful person. 

At university I didn't make any effort with anyone, in my first two years of uni I went out clubbing once. Once. I had a few lovely friends there, but for the most part I stayed in my room and skyped my boyfriend or watched TV or slept. I was the most boring person ever, and life sucked. Sure there were rays of sunshine every so often, but my happiest times were my trips back to Australia in the holidays. 

Then at the start of my third year of Uni my ex did the best thing he could have ever done for me. He let me go, and for the first time in so long I felt completely free and like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. I no longer had to be home at certain times to talk to him, I no longer had to stay in in case he thought I was having too much fun without him. I was no longer tied to anyone or anything. The fact is I was just too young and not ready for a relationship that intense.

And then you guys appeared. You weird incredible bunch. I'd been a member of ROSL for a coupla years, and I'd gone to a couple of the inter-club younger members events in that time where I'd met Chris H and Rhidian. Chris H and I struck up a pretty great friendship, and for a year or so he was pretty much the older brother that I desperately needed to help pull me out of my rut. We went to a couple of events where I met Amy and Mel, and then it all snowballed, and my strength and passion for life reappeared. 

I came out of my shell and rediscovered the Me that I had been before and during Australia. The Me that walks up to random people and starts a conversation. The Me who connects other people together. The Me who plans events and nights out, and is slightly reckless and who breaks the rules and has fun. The Me who people know and recognize, the Me who doesn't care what people think of her, and the Me who rebels, and the Me who gets a reputation for being a wild-child in a sea of conservative conformists. And the Me who remains loyal to my friends at all times and wears her heart proudly on her sleeve.

For the first time I was able to move on and accept Australia as somewhere to go for a holiday. I was loving my life and having the most incredible time, and making new friends everywhere I went. The experiences and opportunities and friendships I've had over the past five years, from my life in London's clubland and this blog, is unlike anything I could have ever dreamed of. So thank you.

If I could tell my 19-year-old self anything, it would be to be brave and don't give up hope that things will get better, because they will. Be brave, be fearless, stand up for what you believe in, and be yourself. Always, always, be yourself. 

So to every single person who has contributed to the countless good times, laughs, dance-offs, booty-shaking, empty champagne bottles, and sunsets that turned into sunrises, thank you. Thank you for saving me. And to those who I'm close to, I love you all so much.

So, I'm going back to Australia to finish what I started nine years ago and get it out of my system. If all goes OK and I'm not rejected at the border (lolz, now that would make a good story), I'll see you all in 2017 for further dancing on tables whilst wearing black tie, and swigging from champagne bottles until the early hours of the morning singing Mr Brightside at the tops of our voices.

I love you all.

C x

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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

HAC Polo at Ham Polo Club 2016.

A couple of weeks ago a few friends and I headed to Ham Polo Club for the HAC Polo match. We'd all been a couple of years ago (see that post here), but last year it wasn't we were hoping this year would be good enough to make up for it! Sadly the weather had other ideas...but it didn't dampen our spirits, and we ended up having such an awesome day and so much fun! I wasn't planning on blogging this so didn't take my camera, but it was such a good day I just had you'll have to put up with mobile photos... 

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