Thursday, 28 November 2019

Akira Back at W Dubai The Palm.

Each time I visit Dubai my trip focuses on the Dubai foodie scene. You'll all know by now how much I adore incredible food, and this trip to Dubai was no different. We ate in so many amazing places that I'll likely do a round-up post of my favourite Dubai foodie spots soon, but until then I really want to tell you all about Akira Back, the new Japanese restaurant in the recently opened W Dubai The Palm!


Thursday, 14 November 2019

Saadiyat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi.

Back in October I went to Dubai for a few days to visit Nigel and Kristina and get some sunshine and warmth before the British winter. We went to various bars and restaurants, but one of my favourite days was when we drove down to Abu Dhabi in Nigel's fancy new Porsche (they are living the LIFE out there) to Abu Dhabi to spend the day at Saadiyat Beach Club. I've been to Dubai a few times now to visit Nige and Kristina, and written about my favourite bars and clubs, and my perfect 48 hour guide to Dubai before, so I didn't want to go overboard on the Dubai content. But I did want to tell you all about Saadiyat, and I also have an exciting restaurant review coming up for you all!


Thursday, 7 November 2019

Aqua Shard's Festive Afternoon Tea.

This week I spent a lovely afternoon with some of my favourite bloggers, testing out the new Festive Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard! I've been to the bar at Shangri-La at The Shard a few times, and even stayed at the hotel itself, but I had never been to any of the restaurants in The Shard outside of the Shangri-La group. Based on my experience at Aqua Shard's sister restaurant in Hong Kong though, I knew I was in for a treat! 

Aqua Shard London Festive Afternoon Tea


Thursday, 31 October 2019

Getting a Good Night Sleep With Mammoth.

If you've seen my Instagram lately you'll know that my parents recently moved from our family home in Guildford, down to the wild countryside of Devon. Unlike most people retiring, instead of downsizing from our four-bedroom family house, they've up-sized to a four-bedroom, 20 acres of land type of thing, with a three-bedroom barn conversion that will be rented out as a holiday cottage. So when Mammoth got in touch it was literally perfect timing as I needed a new mattress for my bedroom!


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Luxury in 24 Hours: Helsinki, Finland.

It's been a long time since I did a quick weekend trip somewhere, and with a few months of no travel over the summer months, it was time to jump back on a plane and go for a quick weekend break! I really wanted a relaxed city that wasn't too far from London, and one that was safe for a solo female traveller.

I found return flights to Helsinki with Finnair for just £100, so booked it and tweeted asking for tips. That's when Aftab replied and said "I want to come to Helsinki!". We've been friends for years and have been wanting to go somewhere together for ages but haven't found a time where we were both free, so my solo trip became a joint endeavour and turned out to be the most fun weekend I've had in aaaaages!


Thursday, 3 October 2019

A True Finnish Sauna Experience at Löyly Helsinki.

Before Aftab and I left London we did plenty of research into saunas in Helsinki, and decided that the Löyly Sauna (pronounced sow-na) would be the best one for us to visit during our weekend in Finland's capital. This was mainly due it being one of the only unisex saunas in Helsinki, but also because it was the only one that specified you had to wear bathers, and being the true Brits that we are, Aftab and I both agreed we were too modest to go fully nude in-front of a load of Finnish people! Haha.

Löyly Helsinki Sauna in Finland


Thursday, 26 September 2019

Mamma Mia! The Party at the O2, London.

Monday night I had one of THE BEST Monday nights I have ever had! A few weeks back I was invited to experience the new Mamma Mia! The Party, at the O2, and being a pretty big ABBA and Mamma Mia! fan, I replied pretty much instantly and said yes! I also knew instantly who I wanted to come with me, so messaged CMK and told her to keep the date free. We weren't really sure what to expect, but it surpassed all expectations so I wanted to tell you all about it!


Sunday, 15 September 2019

An Australian Brunch at Liv, Belgravia.

There are very few Australian restaurants in London, so for someone who was obsessed with the Aussie brunch when I spent four years living in Perth and Sydney, my biggest struggle with moving back to London has been the lack of decent brunch options. It's difficult to find a great antipodean breakfast/brunch, and so when I heard that Sydney chef Damien Moley was opening Liv in Belgravia - just a 10-minute drive from where I live - I was SO excited I could hardly contain myself!

Liv Belgravia Australian Restaurant in London


Thursday, 12 September 2019

Indian High Tea at Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden.

One of the very first bloggers I ever met was Melanie from Sunny in London. Back in the early days of blogging we had a little group of fabulous ladies, and we would all meet up every so often for glamorous cocktails and dinners. I hadn't seen Melanie since before I moved to Australia three years ago, so when she invited me along to test out the Indian High Tea at Cinnamon Bazaar in Covent Garden, I spent the week excited to catch up with one of my oldest blogging friends! And not only was the company brilliant, but the afternoon tea was pretty delicious too...


Thursday, 25 July 2019

Bob Bob Cité, London.

I've been a big fan of Bob Bob Ricard for many years, so when I had the opportunity to check out new sister restaurant, Bob Bob Cité, I jumped at the chance! One of my friends from Sydney, Nicole, was in town recently so I booked it in for when she was visiting and we had the best time! The new restaurant is so beautiful, and although it feels super different to Bob Bob Ricard, it's still swanky and glamorous and all the things you think of when you think of Bob Bob Ricard, but in more of a contemporary French style rather than Russian.

Bob Bob Cité, London, Restaurant Interior


Thursday, 18 July 2019

Sunset Postcards from Dalaman, Turkey.

I got so many photos in Turkey that I couldn't fit them all into my mega post about my stay at Hillside Beach Club, so I wanted to do a little photo diary style post with a bunch of my favourite sunset photos from all of the beautiful sunsets I saw at Hillside! This is basically just a 'look at the pretty pictures' post, haha. But I hope it gives you a little inspiration and makes you consider the Dalaman coast for your next holiday destination, as it really is such an incredible place, super relaxing, and I'm already desperate to go back!


Thursday, 11 July 2019

Experiencing Centre Court at Wimbledon 2019.

I first went to Wimbledon 12 years ago when I was 16. It was just a few weeks before we moved to Australia, so my mum took me and we queued up to try our luck for tickets. Unfortunately there weren't any No.1 or Centre Court tickets left so we had to settle for No.2 tickets, but thankfully because of the rain that year a lot of the matches had been cancelled, which meant Rafael Nadal was playing against Mikhail Youzhny on Court No.2! After an epic five set match Nadal won, and I was hooked. 

Since then I've often tried to get Centre Court tickets and failed, and after seeing both Nadal vs Federer and Venus Williams vs Serena Williams in the Australian Open finals in 2017, and Djokovic vs Berdych in the ATP Tennis World Tour in 2015, I FINALLY got to Centre Court yesterday! So I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about the day...


Thursday, 4 July 2019

Brunch and Sundae Sessions at Smith & Wollensky.

Although my brother and I share our London apartment, due to our schedules it isn't often we get actual quality time together to catch-up. My brother is 4.5 years younger than me and we've always been close, so when an invite to test out Smith & Wollensky's brunch menu and new weekend Sundae Sessions came through, it was perfect timing!


Thursday, 27 June 2019

A Luxury Girl's Weekend in Rome, Italy.

Rome is such a magical city, and with it being five years since we had last been there in 2014, Jasiminne and I figured it was time to return! It had also been over a year since Jasiminne and I last had a girl's trip, so we were determined to explore Rome's bars, trendy neighbourhoods, shops, and of course a good dose of the history and sights! We stayed at the most beautiful apartment right opposite the Spanish Steps which is part of The Hideaways Club, and spent a long weekend exploring everything the city had to offer.

[All photos of me in this post were kindly taken by Jasiminne]


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Experiencing The Hideaways Club Luxury Spanish Steps Apartment.

As part of my partnership with The Hideaways Club, I recently had the opportunity to check out one of their dreamy holiday properties for myself, and oh my gosh it was so incredible I've been so excited to tell you all about it! Whether you're already a member of The Hideaways Club or thinking of joining, this is a comprehensive review of their Spanish Steps apartment in Rome, Italy, and how we found staying in a serviced apartment that was essentially a home-from-home, compared to staying in a hotel. TL;DR: It was amazing.


Thursday, 13 June 2019

Hotel Review: 5 Days at Hillside Beach Club, Turkey.

Recently I spent five days at the luxury five-star Hillside Beach Club in Fethiye, Turkey, as part of their Global Influencer Meet-up. Every year they hold the meet-up with influencers from key markets all over the world, and this year I was incredibly lucky to be one of them. I had THE BEST time ever over my five days there, and have so much to tell you all about and so many photos to share of the beautiful resort! So, grab a cuppa (or cocktail!) and settle down, this is a big one...


Sunday, 9 June 2019

A Wild Three-Days in New Orleans, Louisiana.

I actually can't believe this is my last USA Roadtrip post! I got back from my trip nearly two months ago now, but what with it being a 2.5 week trip I had SO MUCH to share with you all and it's taken me forever to go through my thousands of photos. We finished our huge Chicago to New Orleans roadtrip (we drove from Chicago, to St Louis, Nashville, Memphis, Mississippi) guessed it...New Orleans! NOLA was a total dream. It was exactly how I remembered it, and it was exactly how I had imagined it in my head. You know when you've been somewhere as a child and you think "was it really like that?!" well it was, and this time going as an adult was so much better!

In case you didn't already know, we actually built our entire trip around going to the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. My friend Clare and I are both literature buffs, and being fans of Tennessee Williams' plays, we had been planning to sign up for the festival and use it as a great excuse to create an epic trip! The trip took over a year to plan and although we spent a fair amount of our time in NOLA at various talks and workshops with the festival, we still saw and did loads outside of the festival as well! Now, in case you haven't realised...this post is going to be HUGE. It's going to be long. With a lot of photos. So grab a cuppa and settle down...

Three Days in New Orleans Louisiana

Sunday, 2 June 2019

10 Tips for Packing Hand-Luggage Only for a Weekend Trip.

I'm a notorious over-packer when I have a large luggage allowance...but when I'm restricted to carry on only, I'm pretty great at planning outfits to make the most of the small weight and space. Recently American Tourister got in touch and asked me to test out their very stylish new Wavebreaker cabin case (gifted), which has the most gorgeous velvet detailing, so I thought it was time to put it to the test with my recent trip to Turkey, and tell you all how I travel with just hand-luggage!

American Tourister Wavebreaker Spinner


Sunday, 26 May 2019

Hotel Review: Sloane Place, Chelsea.

It had been a while since I took a staycation in my own city, and so when the invitation came through to review the new Sloane Place hotel just down the road from me in Chelsea, I jumped at the chance! I had seen Mina's glowing review shortly before my visit, which made me even more excited to check out Chelsea's newest boutique hotel offering. 

Right on the corner of Lower Sloane Street and Turk's Tow just a short walk from Sloane Square, it's the perfect location for shopping on King's Road, drinking at The Botanist, and dining at the likes of Colbert, as well as nearby Polpo and Gallery Mess on Duke of York Square! Not to mention the Royal Court Theatre, Cadogan Hall, and the Saatchi Gallery are just a stones throw away for any culture vultures...


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

The 10 Dreamiest Properties in The Hideaways Club.

 A little while ago I told you all about the luxury property investment firm, The Hideaways Club. They have so many dreamy properties in their collection all over the world, and so as part of my collaboration with them I wanted to tell you all about the ten dreamiest properties in The Hideaways Club City & Classic Collections!


Sunday, 12 May 2019

Driving Through Mississipi: Jackson, Vicksburg, & Natchez.

I feel as though everywhere we went on our big Chicago to New Orleans roadtrip, was my favourite place. I totally fell in love with so many places we visited. But Mississippi really captured my heart. After driving from Chicago to Nashville to Memphis and seeing not a whole lot on the entire drive, it was magical to suddenly enter Mississippi and be surrounded by lush grass and tall trees! Being around nature again was just the best.


Thursday, 9 May 2019

A Two-Day Guide to Memphis, Tennessee.

As part of our roadtrip from Chicago to New Orleans, we stopped off in Memphis for three nights and two full days. Like Nashville, I'd previously visited Memphis 14 years ago, when I was 14-years-old! I was intrigued to see what it was like, and although I LOVED the food, I didn't love the city as much as I did Nashville and New Orleans. But, although I didn't feel as at-home in Memphis as I did in Nashville and NOLA, I still had THE BEST time and really want to share our epic Memphis itinerary with you!


Sunday, 5 May 2019

Hotel Review: The Hermitage, Nashville.

We spent three nights at the luxury 5-star The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville and loved our stay so much I just had to tell you all about it! The hotel's 1908 Beaux-Arts lobby is just breathtaking and we completely adored the painted glass ceiling and plush, ornate surroundings.  It was Nashville’s first ‘Million Dollar hotel’, opening in 1910 and named after seventh President Andrew Jackson’s nearby estate, The Hermitage.


Thursday, 2 May 2019

Three nights in Nashville, Tennessee.

I completely fell in love with Nashville. I already had amazing memories from the city from when I visited 14 years ago, when I was 14-years-old (yep, exactly half my lifetime ago), but this time just cemented my love for the home of Country Music. The city feels safe, relaxed, and there is live music absolutely everywhere you go! I've been so so so excited to share this city guide with you, and I really hope it helps and gives you an idea of what we did and what we loved most!

As our trip was so intense and hectic (we drove from Chicago down to New Orleans, covering around 1,400 miles, in just two weeks), we really didn't want to rush around each city we visited and wanted to see a few key things and actually enjoy them and really spend our time taking it all in. This worked really well for us, and ensured we pretty much did everything on our list and also weren't rushing to see it all!

Robert's Western World Nashville Tennessee


Sunday, 28 April 2019

Driving Old Route 66 from Chicago to St Louis.

Driving Route 66 has always been a dream of mine, but it's an incredibly long drive and would take weeks to complete, which isn't really feasible with work. Therefore I came up with a plan to do part of it, which fitted into out roadtrip from Chicago to New Orleans! A few years ago I went to Los Angeles and actually stood at the very end of Route 66, so it was crazy now standing at the very start of it (and also super cool)! The Old Route 66 road from Chicago to St Louis is easily do-able in one day and is well worth it for all the Americana you'll experience.

Driving Old Route 66 from Chicago to St Louis


Thursday, 25 April 2019

Hotel Review: The Langham, Chicago.

I've been a huge fan of Langham Hotels for a few years now, having stayed at Langham London, Langham New York, and Langham Sydney. So when I noticed there was a Langham in Chicago, I knew I had to stay there and see how it compared to the others. With two nights there, it certainly didn't disappoint, and we really loved our entire stay. The spa was especially welcome after a rather long indirect flight! So let me tell you more...

Langham Chicago Hotel Review

We arrived late Saturday afternoon to a glorious sunny day, and a very green Chicago River! It was St Patrick's Day weekend in Chicago, and the city had dyed the river green with eco-friendly dye to celebrate. We were staying in a club level room so took the elevator up to the club level to check-in. As always check-in was very quick, and before we knew it we were opening the door to our room (after dragging out suitcases across the carpeted hallway - WHY do hotels insist on carpet in hallways, it really doesn't make it easy for suitcases).

Apologies but half of these photos are from the hotel - most of my photos didn't come out so good, and originally I wasn't going to review it on here but we loved it so much I really wanted to share it!

Langham Chicago Hotel Review
Langham Chicago Hotel Review

We were staying in an Executive Club Room, with twin beds, a huge amount of space, and the most INCREDIBLE view over the bright green river! We also had a separate wardrobe and dressing table area off to the side of the huge entry hallway, and a beautiful marble and white granite bathroom. The bathroom I think is one of my favourites, and I loved how they maximised the smaller space to ensure guests can still enjoy a separate shower and a big soaking bath tub, by creating a sort of wet room with the shower and bath behind a glass panel.

Langham Chicago Hotel Review
Chicago St Patricks Day Weekend Green River
Langham Chicago Hotel Review
Langham Chicago Hotel Review
Langham Chicago Hotel Review

The Club Level itself was brilliant, and one of the best club evels I've experienced. The food was AMAZING and I loved the huge donuts at breakfast, and the snack/chocolate/sweet station in the afternoons! I find it quite unusual to be served decent food in club levels, but this one was really standout. 

Langham Chicago Hotel Review

On the afternoon we arrived in Chicago we were absolutely exhausted from waking up at 3am to get to the airport, and were in desperate need of some relaxation! Thankfully Langham Chicago have a really incredible spa, so we spent an hour or two chilling out there. There are two different types of steam room, a sauna, a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and a relaxation room with heated loungers.

Langham Chicago Hotel Review

The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that at check-in they didn't explain what was included with the Club Level. For example we weren't notified that we could use a complimentary town car service, which would have come in handy a couple of times when we went out for dinner and cocktails. We also didn't get a personal escort to show us around the room and instead had to figure it all out (there were some complicated buttons!). 

Apart from that minor disappointment, our entire stay was wonderful and we loved every minute! 

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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Why You Need To Know About The Hideaways Club.

I don't often do brand collaborations as I'm incredibly fussy about who I work with, and only work with brands I really truly believe in. So I'm super excited to introduce you to a brand that ticks that box, and - in my view - is a really exciting company that I think some of you may be interested in!

The Hideaways Club is an established and award-winning property investment brand, which means you pay a certain amount, and you essentially own dozens of holiday homes around the world without worrying about the management of the properties. You can pick and choose to holiday whenever and wherever you like within the portfolio depending on your membership level, and when you come to sell your investment, you may even end up earning money from your investment. Sounds incredible, right? Let me tell you more about why it needs to be on your radar…

The Hideaways Club Property Investment


Saturday, 20 April 2019

36 Hours in Chicago, Illinois.

We began our big American roadtrip in Chicago over the St Patrick's Day Weekend, and with just one full day to explore the city, it was a race-against-time to see as much as possible and more importantly, EAT as much as possible!

Thankfully we found Chicago was a really chilled out and laid-back city, with everything very close-by, so we pretty much conquered the main tourist sights of the city that we were interested in seeing (and its food) in our one-day allocated. I absolutely fell in love with the city though, and am now desperate to go back for a long weekend to really experience it properly! If you're short on time like we were though, or just keen to see a glimpse of what the city has to offer, keep on readin'...


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

A Spring Ladies Lunch at Dalloway Terrace.

Despite it being just round the corner from my office, I haven't been to Dalloway Terrace for a while, so it was high time I returned. I was keen to check out their new Spring floral display, and Arleen and I were well overdue a catch-up so we popped along for lunch last week and enjoyed a feast of cocktails, seafood, and dessert! 


Thursday, 7 March 2019

Hotel Review: Clayton Hotel, City of London.

To me, it's important that I look into my ancestor's lives because without them, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be who I am. So much of who we are is down to our genes and the lives our ancestors lived, so I've been documenting my family history with my Dad since I was a child. You're probably wondering what on earth this has to do with a hotel review. Well, when I was invited to review the brand-new Clayton Hotel right in the heart of Whitechapel, my heart skipped a beat and I knew it was meant to be. See, my great-grandfather, his parents and siblings, all grew up on a street just a four-minute walk away from the hotel...

Clayton Hotel City of London Bedroom


Sunday, 24 February 2019

London Landmarks Afternoon Tea at Kensington Hotel.

Last weekend myself and my Catherine #2 (aka, CMK) visited The Kensington Hotel to experience there brand-new and *very* instagrammable, London Landmarks afternoon tea. We visited a few years back to test out the Alexander McQueen afternoon tea, and it was an absolute pleasure to return! 

London Landmarks Afternoon Tea at Kensington Hotel


Sunday, 17 February 2019

My Chicago to New Orleans Roadtrip Itinerary.

So just one month today I will be celebrating St Patrick's day in Chicago! My friend and old work bestie Clare (who you may remember from my Cambodia trip, and a different Clare to the 'Claire' who is mentioned in loads of my posts - so many Clare/Claire's in my life haha), and I are flying in to Chicago for the weekend before picking up the hire car and driving to New Orleans via some pretty epic cities! Seeing as it's pretty close now, I figured I'd tell you all about what we'll be doing any our itinerary for the roadtrip...

Photo by Sawyer- Bengtson for Unsplash


Sunday, 10 February 2019

Brasserie of Light, Selfridges.

My friend Claire and I recently enjoyed a delicious dinner at the newly opened Brasserie of Light in Selfridges, beneath the huge crystal Pegasus, which is London’s largest-scale artwork by Damien Hirst. We’ve both dined at most of the other restaurants in the Caprice Holdings group (the group is well-known for The Ivy, The Ivy Market Grill, The Ivy CafeLe Caprice, Harry's Dolce Vita, and Daphne’s), so already knew the interiors would be flawless, but we were really intrigued about the menu and whether they would keep some of the more famous and typical ‘Ivy’ dishes, or ditch them in favour of a completely new style.

Brasserie of Light Selfridges


Sunday, 3 February 2019

The Order of Malta White Knights Ball 2019.

A few weeks back I went to a different kinda ball to the ones I usually go to. Usually the balls my friends and I go to are at London's old-school private members clubs, but this time we went to one at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, which was organised by the Order of Malta. It was certainly different - and MUCH bigger - than our usual balls, so I thought I'd tell you all about it!

Order of Malta White Knights Ball 2019


Sunday, 20 January 2019

Lunch at Gordon Ramsey's Savoy Grill.

It's become a tradition that each year I treat my Dad to an experience for his birthday. In 2017 it was the Belmond Le Manoir Lunch and British Pullman train journey, and in 2018 I decided to take him for a champagne lunch at Gordon Ramsey's Savoy Grill. His birthday is just a few days before Christmas, so the restaurant were serving their Christmas set-menu which, despite offering a great variety of dishes, meant we pretty much had to go for the full Christmas roast...ya know, just to prep ourselves for the main event ;)


Sunday, 13 January 2019

SUSHISAMBA, Covent Garden.

A few weeks ago my travel and food buddy, Jasiminne, returned to me! After months of moping around London longing for the sweet sound of her randomly bursting into song while she sashayed around Malaysia, we decided to celebrate her return with over-priced sushi at the new Sushisamba in Covent Garden. 

The restaurant itself is located in the upper section of the Piazza, where Raymond Blanc's restaurant used to be. Sushisamba have turned it into a magical haven of calm, with an entry-bar full of hanging plants and flowers, and then three clear sections of the restaurant all flowing into one another. There's also an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare the sushi and sashimi!

SUSHISAMBA Covent Garden Restaurant Interior


Thursday, 10 January 2019

Luxury in 48 Hours: Bologna, Italy.

If you've seen my Instagram lately you'll know it's no secret that I completely fell in love with Bologna when I visited in December for a weekend trip. It's a beautiful Italian city filled with terracotta roofs, incredible food and wine, and a wealth of activities and things to do. It's also fairly cheap with regular direct flights and a lot of mid-range and budget hotels. Unfortunately there are only two 'luxury' hotels, the four-star AC Marriott where I stayed (which was modern and clean and staying there meant I earned my Marriott nights and points, but it was quite basic and far from the main area), and the Grand Hotel Majestic which is absolutely beautiful and I really wish I'd forgone the points and just stayed there instead!


Thursday, 3 January 2019

Dining at Osteria Francescana: The Best Restaurant in the World 2018.

Recently I flew to Italy to dine at the Best Restaurant in the World; Osteria Francescana. Massimo Bottura's restaurant holds three Michelin stars and has been named Best Restaurant in the World by the World's 50 Best Restaurants committee not once, but twice; in 2016 and 2018. It was also the second best in 2015, and third best in 2013 and 2014.

Needless to say our expectations were high, and we were intrigued as to how our twelve-course meal would pan-out. As with everything on Lux Life London, I always tell the complete truth and am 100% honest, so let me explain why we weren't overly impressed with our experience at Osteria Francescana...

Osteria Francescana Review

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