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... 


Monday, 26 September 2016

A Basque Feast at Eneko at One Aldwych.

I'm rather partial to Basque cuisine, but it had been a while since I'd visited a Basque restaurant, especially as there aren't very many in London. So I was excited to try out the newly opened Eneko, at the One Aldwych hotel, where I stayed over my birthday weekend back in April. I took Edd along with me so we could have a catch up and 'last supper' before my move to Australia next week, and he declared it the best meal he's had! Seeing as he'd just returned from San Sebastian, I'd say this was pretty good going.


Friday, 23 September 2016

My Leaving Party: Hotel Cafe Royal & Toy Room London.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I have been blessed with some really incredible friends. With less than a week until I make the move back to Australia, it's got me reflecting on the past few years of my life and just how much has changed. You see, last weekend was my leaving party, and I had to say 'goodbye for now' to a fair few of these wonderful people. We took over the Library Bar at the club at Hotel Cafe Royal, and then headed up the road to the PA5H London Fashion Week after party at Toy Room...


Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.

Not wanting to waste our precious three days in Orlando, Universal Studios was also high up on our list...mainly for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! We had a Park-to-Park Unlimited Express ticket, which allows you to go between the two Universal theme parks, and you get unlimited queue jumps on most of the rides. It's hard to describe just how incredible this place is, it literally feels as though you're on the film set, and the rides are just so much fun! 


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

My London Fashion Week Experience 2016.

Today's post is a little bit of a different one to break up the USA posts inbetween Disney and Universal. Last weekend was London Fashion Week, and despite attending London Collections: Men a few times before with work, this is actually the first time I've attended anything to do with Women's Fashion Week. I haven't gone completely crazy as I've been so busy seeing friends and family before I move back to Australia next week, but I've managed to squeeze a few things in and thought I'd tell you a bit more about my #LFW experience!


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A Day of Magic and Memories at Walt Disney World.

I hadn't been to Walt Disney World since I was eleven years old. For years my brother and I have been begging our parents to take us back there on an 'adult' family Disney trip, one where we can actually all go on all the rides now, and do the 'drinking around the world' experience at Epcot. Unfortunately we still haven't managed to persuade them, and so when Jasiminne and I were planning our New York trip, I said 'what do you think about going to Florida for a few days after NYC?' Jasiminne is the biggest Disney fan I know, so of course she said yes.

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Orlando Florida


Saturday, 17 September 2016

New York in Summer Day 3: The Highline and Haus.

Our third day in New York was Jasiminne's 30th birthday, and as we were in a different country and she was away from all of her family, friends, and her boyfriend, I made it my mission to give her the best 30th birthday possible. After our night out at STK and Le Bain the night before, we got to sleep around 1am, and then I woke up at 3am to decorate the suite and give her the best NYC day/night possible...


Monday, 12 September 2016

New York in Summer Day 2: Macy's & Downtown.

Our second day in New York was spent all across the city. Jasiminne and I each had a morning to do whatever we wanted, and then we met back up at around 2pm to get a taxi from Row NYC to The Conrad in the Financial District, where we finally saw the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Centre. As it was Jasiminne's last day in her twenties, we finished the day with an epic dinner at STK Rooftop, and dancing at Le Bain at The Standard. So what did I do on my morning to myself? Obvs I went and got a blow dry and went shopping...


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

New York in Summer Day 1: Midtown & Central Park.

For years I'd wanted to visit New York City, like years and years. And whaddya know, 2016 was the year I would finally visit not once but twice in six months. If you'd told me this last year I wouldn't have believed you. But my goodness I feel so lucky and happy right now. I'm so excited to share everything with you partly for my own selfish reasons so I can relive it all, haha. And honestly, NYC in summer is just magical...despite that famous sewer drain smell around Times Square ;)


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Hotel Review: The All-Suite Conrad Hotel, NYC.

Every single room in the five star Conrad Hotel in New York City, is a suite. From the marble and copper stairs in the atrium, to the gorgeous suites, and the famous 'Loopy Doopy' piece of artwork and aptly named rooftop bar with views over the Hudson River, the Conrad is perfect blog and instagram fodder. 

The Conrad Luxury Hotel New York City


Friday, 2 September 2016

Lux Life's August 2016.

This month has been pretty incredible. I'm not gonna lie, it's been the best in a long time. It has been filled with family, friends, travels, food, love, laughter, happiness, and everything in between. I have been the most relaxed that I have felt in a very long time, and it's safe to say that I'm enjoying my little 'Funemployment' stint greatly. So what exactly have I been doing this month? Well, read on to find out...

My August started with my very last Monday at my old agency, and burgers at Dickie Fitz with Claire to celebrate my last Monday and upcoming move to Australia

On the Wednesday I went for a Burger and Prosecco Afternoon Tea after work with one of my oldest besties, Emma, and we ate three and a half burgers. Yep. To be fair three of them were sliders!

The next day was my very last day at work, and for my leaving lunch we all went to Meatliquor...where, you guessed it, I had another burger. My leaving week will forever be known as the week I had five and a half burgers in four days. My last day was a weird one because it was a sad/happy day. I was so sad to be leaving such an incredible agency and all of my incredible and inspiring colleagues, some of which I'd worked with there every day for two and a half years, but at the same time I was ecstatic to be getting closer to moving back to Aus and starting my 'summer holidays'. 

Just before the end of the day was my 'leaving speech' where the one and only Sam Caveen put together an epic powerpoint presentation documenting my time at the company using some of my blog posts, instagram photos, old Facebook photos, and anecdotes from past and present colleagues. It was hilarious. I literally cried with laughter And I'm still cringing at some of the super old photos he used that I really need to delete off Facebook ASAP.

We had my leaving drinks at one of my fave pubs in London, just round the corner from my office, The Marylebone. We drank champagne and laughed and reminisced, and then I left around 9ish to head to my friend James's birthday drinks at Wolfe's in Soho. After getting even more drunk at Wolfe's, we then all traipsed round to The Hoxton, and I eventually got to bed at 2am....and had to be up at 4am for my flight to Geneva. 

After two hours sleep I managed to get to Heathrow airport and catch my flight to Geneva. I had the most amazing time with Peter and Adam celebrating the start of the Fete de Geneve at Les Terrasses and Baroque, and exploring the city with Adam (you can read all about my 24 hours in Geneva here). I was also lucky enough to be upgraded to the Ambassador Suite at The Dorchester Collection's Le Richemond hotel, which was incredible!

I landed in London from Geneva at 10:30pm on Saturday night, and drove straight into Soho for my friend Amy's 30th birthday. It was a really fun night, and then on Sunday afternoon I had a group of friends come down to Surrey for a BBQ at mine. The weather was perfect, and a few of them stayed until the last trains back to London!

I spent Sunday night reflecting on how awesome all of my friends are and how lucky I am to have them all in my life. I'm gonna miss everyone so much when I go back to Australia, but I'm so grateful to them all for helping me make this summer a truly epic one!

The following week was a little quieter as I needed a chill-out week before the busy weeks ahead of me. I went for drinks with my friend Laura at the Ivy Chelsea Garden (and took NO photos at all, which felt so liberating!), and I also spent the day in Portsmouth with my mum and brother. My parents have a property down there and mum needed to meet with some builders there, so my brother and I went shopping at Gunwharf (and spent far too much money - HOW am I going to get it all to Australia later this month?!) then met up with mum for lunch.

My brother was back from Uni for the summer holidays in August, and it was so great to have him back at home for a while and spend some time with him! I also met up with Edd for a catch up, and we had a delish dinner at Polpo (I had ALL the octopus), and then drinks at the Ham Yard Hotel. We walked back to the tube via the mirrored walkway, where was always have to stop for a photo haha!

My lifelong best friend Anna, her hubby Allan, and their daughter (my god-daughter) came down to stay with me for the weekend. It was the last time I'd see them before I head to Australia as they live in Wales, and we had the best weekend planned full of fun activities! We all went up to London on the Friday, had dinner at Bubba Gump (my god-daughter Rosie's choice), and then Anna and I went to see Les Miserables while Allan and Rosie went back to mine.

The next day we all went to Legoland Windsor for the day, and despite the insane cost of the entry tickets, it was SO good! We had so much fun and Rosie loved it! She makes me laugh so much and I love her to pieces, we went on heaps of the rides and despite her only being five years old, she adored the big rollercoaster and was giggling the entire way. Too cute!

Saying goodbye the next day was so hard, but I'm so glad I have the wonderful memories of the weekend to treasure; hanging out with Anna and Allan, the laughs and funny moments, Rosie's smiling face on the rides, the way she would grip onto my hand walking around or waiting in the queues, the weird questions she asks that force you to use your imagination, and my favourite which was when she went up to a random child in a queue in Legoland and goes 'my mummy and anty cafrin went to see les mis last night' hahaha!

After Anna, Allan and Rosie went home, I drove up to London for Lotte's birthday BBQ. Lotte and I have been friends for five years now, and it's been so weird seeing her grow up so dramatically. When we first because friends she lived in a notorious party house in Chelsea, she held regular wild parties there and oh my day they were AMAZING (see her Alice in Wonderland/Peter Pan themed party here, and her James Bond themed party here).

But now she's all grown up with a beautiful flat near Richmond Park with her lovely boyfriend Johnathan. In true Lotte style the BBQ was so much fun, and it was filled with friends new and old. The girls and I ended up staying til the bitter end, which was a much more respectable 9pm rather than the 9am the next day of previous years haha.

On the Monday the family and I went to London to play tourists in our own city. We ticked off one of the things on my list, and went to St Pauls Cathedral to go up the dome. The views were incredible! After a coupla hours exploring St Pauls, Dad and I headed to the Conrad in St James' for our Candy Themed Afternoon Tea. It was so delish and so adorable!

Tuesday was super busy as it was my last day before flying out to the US for a week. I had a manicure in the morning, did some last minute shopping, and then drove up to London to meet Kiran and James for afternoon drinks and Knickerbocker Glory's in the ROSL Garden. We had a great catch up, those guys make me laugh so much! Then in the evening Claire and I went to the cinema to finally see The Legend of Tarzan. One of my closest friends from school, Mimi, is in it and it was SO awesome seeing her casually sitting there chatting away with Margot Robbie in a scene. I felt very proud!

And then it was time...NYC! I'll be telling you all about our trip over the next couple of weeks, but Jasiminne and I jetted off to NYC for 4 nights, then Orlando for 3 nights to do Disney and Universal Studios (hello Harry Potter World!). We had SUCH an epic time, and I'm so excited to tell you more!

We returned to London the following Thursday, and from then onwards it was go-go-go again! I went out on the Friday night with Jemima and the guys at Cuckoo, which is without a doubt one of my favourite clubs in London. They just always play amazing music! On the way up though my car decided to break down...right opposite Jemima's house just as I arrived to pick her up. So we had to ditch it there in Chelsea, get a taxi to Cuckoo, and sort it out later. Luckily it was just the battery and two lovely guys kindly jump started it for me so I got home at 4am (the RAC wouldn't turn up until 5:40am...).

The following day the jetlag struggle was real and I didn't wake up until midday, so had a lazy one and then headed up to Peter's place around 4ish for his annual pool party. Once again it was awesome and so much fun, but it peaked pretty early and then I left at 11pm to go and meet Adam in central. We went to Cirque for our standard Saturday night out. I've been a few times now since it re-opened, and I think this was my favourite night there - the music was just insane. So, so good. And I was on top form because the trans-atlantic jetlag was working in my favour, haha! Once again I got home around 5am, and slept in until midday on the Sunday.

This week has been a fairly quiet one, the bank holiday Monday was spent at home recovering from a crazy few weeks, and Tuesday was spent in London having a lovely lunch at 34 Restaurant with Mina, and then dinner at Gymkhana with the guys (review coming soon).

Yesterday and today have been quiet ones - 'work' days to catch up on blogging and freelance work etc. I've been so busy the past few weeks that blogging has been a bit quiet, but I'll be catching up on it all over the next few weeks.

This month has been so much fun, and so full of love and laughter. Fingers crossed September is the same or even better! I can't believe it's only 27 days until my big move to Australia (via Dubai, Doha, and Muscat - tips please!), I keep getting a bit panicky that I won't see people before I go, and have had a couple of nights with little sleep worrying about it, so I need to try and de-stress and just enjoy my time in London. 

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