30 December 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

2015 has been incredible and sad. 3 trips to the other side of the world, more hugs than I can count, dinner table laughter, a burgeoning coffee addiction, ticking off a new continent, many adventures in the UK and overseas to countries I will never be able to spell, a few heartbreaking incidents, discovering new nooks and generally trying to live life to the full.

And, as you read this, New Zealand has counted down & embraced the new year of 2016. We'll have watched the sun set on an incredible 2015 and we'll be (probably, ok maybe) watching the sunrise over the horizon of 2016.

New Years resolutions and a look backwards Adventures of a London Kiwi

Traditionally each year I like to finish with a little roundup of the year that was. I think we'll play with the top 15 this time (I did the top 14 last year, 13 in 2013, and 12 in 2012... see where I'm going with this?)

28 December 2015

10 Things You Must Do in Hawaii (Guest post: Carolann)

There are some bloggers who you think would be your friends if only they didn't live an ocean away (or manage to miss when they come to London for a quick trip as you're disappearing overseas yourself - we will get that coffee in one day!)

Carolann from The Two Year Honeymoon is one such lady, and has kindly taken over Adventures of a London Kiwi, with her top 10 things you must do in Hawaii. All I know is that my credit card is itching with wanderlust...

10 Things You Must Do in Hawaii 

 10 Things You Must Do in Hawaii The Two Year Honeymoon

Hi there, readers of Adventures of a London Kiwi!

I’m Carolann, and for the past two years, my husband and I lived in Hawaii on what I’ve been calling our “Two Year Honeymoon.” We just left Hawaii and are in the process of moving to a little place in the United States called Connecticut. But first, we are traveling to Europe and then New York to spend the holidays with our family! My husband is in the military, so we are always moving around. We will be stationed in Connecticut for just a few months before moving on to somewhere new. Having my husband in the military is such an amazing adventure, and I love that we get to travel and live so many different places.

26 December 2015

10 Signs You're Getting Old(er)

It is sadly inevitable that we all get older. I'm somewhat hoping that I also get a little wiser - fingers crossed (miracles CAN happen!) and lately I've been looking often into a mirror that often reflects my Mother's visage.

With every passing year time seems to speed up and a few habits are becoming more, well, noticeable.

24 December 2015

Merry, happy Christmas!

In many ways I hope you aren't reading this, I want you to be doing something you love with people you at least like. My Christmas gift to you today? A sleigh-full of Christmas Carol suggestions. Just remember, you won't get to play them for a whole 'nother year...

21 December 2015

10 signs you're spending too much time with Kiwis (or reading their blogs)

There are a few telltale signs that you have been adopted by a tribe of expat Kiwis, intent of converting you to the religion of the Long White Cloud.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Adventures of a London Kiwi

1. You have at least half a dozen brunches under your belt, and recognise eggs benedict as a food group.

2. Coffee gets grouped into good Flat Whites, bad Flat Whites and those puddles that have no pretty foam. Sauvignon Blanc becomes a life choice.

19 December 2015

8 inspirational UNESCO sites around the world

UNESCO is a club that all of the famous world heritages sites want to get into. Think of the listing as the glittery lip gloss worn by the popular schoolyard kids, only it applies to gloriously dusty buildings instead. I came to England intent on exploring the architecture of Europe, and haven't done too badly over the years with my collection of UNESCO favourites.

Kew Gardens London UNESCO

It's one of my 101 in 1001 days goals to visit at least another five - in the meantime here are a few that should definitely be on your UNESCO bucket list. That's a thing, right? (I'm so cool.)

16 December 2015

10 things I've learnt as a travel blogger

In four years or so of running this here little blog, I've learnt more than I could ever imagine. Tricks of the travel trade, my soul is afflicted with wanderlust and how caring the blogging community can be.

Travel Quotes inspiration Adventures of a London Kiwi

1.  I use far too many exclamation marks!
2.  My sense of geography is utterly shocking, though I have developed a pigeon-esque sense of local landmarks even in new cities.
3.  A good dose of common sense often prevails and every penny saved for travel will enrich your life.

14 December 2015

Why do we eat Turkey at Christmas?

Some days I feel like I could burst with questions. How does this work? Why does that happen? What on earth is that meant to be? My poor husband not only has to put up with the moniker Mr Kiwi, but attempt to explain centuries of British traditions. On top of that he's often used as a consultation resource for several of my expat friends - the questions posed over the years has often bamboozled both of us and we turn to the Google to hopefully explain.

The Whats, Whys and Where for art thous (or if you are Welsh it's 'where for to you goin'?, nope I don't understand how that translates to 'Where are you off to?' either) are often just shrugged off as a lovely mystery that we enjoy just 'because'. And why not, it's Christmas.

Why do we eat Turkey at Christmas? Adventures of a London Kiwi

Why are brussels sprouts so reviled but always make the festive dinner table?
I love brussels sprouts. Yes, I know I'm foreign which puts me slightly in the bizarre camp anyway, but I genuinely like those little green cabbage spheres - especially cooked just the side of crisp and served with a drizzle of honey, chestnuts or cranberries and bacon. Yum. All the more brassicas for me then...

12 December 2015

What do you buy someone who has everything? A charity gift guide

Carrying on the tradition from last year, I want to pay forward some of the amazing karma I have received and give something back to those less fortunate. Blogger gift guides are pretty well established now but as ever it needed a slightly Adventures of a London Kiwi twist (I even spotted a couple of little sheep fellows - hey, you can take the blogger out of New Zealand...)
Usually sent to the recipient in a glossy card, these quirky donations can make lovely stocking fillers or perhaps even as something for those people who have everything they could want. Forget sickly smelling bath sets where half the products are thrown away, and ugly tie that is only trotted out on special occasions, how about you buy a chicken for a suffering family and share the feel-good donation afterglow?

9 December 2015

The Expat Holidays: Christmas baubles and an accidentally neon green tree...

As an expat, you find yourself a little adrift sometimes at the holidays - somewhat akin to the little Matchgirl standing in the cold. No, I take that back, they are #firstworldproblems - we aren't freezing in the snow, and if we are it's because celebrations were a little too fiesty.

You do however end up starting your own hilarious Christmas traditions. Some are untraditional like the gorgeous Montgomerys who have a tradition of not traditioning, I have ached to be a) prepared and b) in the country for the fabulously British tradition of 'stir-up Sunday', the date where households gather their baking aprons to and failed several years in the row - but I did finally manage to watch the Trafalgar Square switch on this year. However, when the lovely Annie of Montgomery Fest first mentioned the inagural Expat holiday round-up, I knew there was only one topic I needed to confess.

The Expat Holidays Christmas Baubles
**Disclaimer: Not our 2015 tree**

This year is the second in a row that we aren't decorating for Christmas. *Cue the Awwws*. Normally I allow myself to go a little crazy - we're talking fairy light overload, a beautifully smelling real Christmas tree carried on the train to the bemusement of our fellow travellers, bedecking every possible surface with baubles, wassailing from the very first moment possible (some unkind people might infer it's wailing - to-mar-to, toh-may-to), cupboards groaning with spiced mince pies and stockings all hung by the chimney with care.

7 December 2015

Oh [Trafalgar Square] Christimas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

This post took nearly a decade, getting through a royal procession of cars in rush hour traffic and facing the bitter wind of London in December to be drafted. Is that commitment or what!?

For years I've promised to get myself to the annual lighting of the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, but each year we were either away somewhere lovely or managed to forget about the ceremony until definitely too late. Every time.

Trafalgar Square London Christmas Tree

I was determined that this year was going to be different. I spent a good hour or two in late October attempting to establish when the switching on ceremony would happen, failed, tried again thanks to a helpful calendar note in November, failed, tried again on the morning of the 1st of December to successfully learn that each year the lighting ceremony is conducted on the first Thursday in December. Huzzah!

4 December 2015

Friday figments and photos: Silly season v2.0

Christmas has definitely descended into London party season - the glad rags are sparkling lavishly, tables are laden with a cornucopia of delights and eggnog is pouring freely.

Coffee Adventures of a London Kiwi

In true expat style, we've already notched up 2 (and a half) Christmas dinners full of laughter and hugs (and a dash of Tina Turner) and are excited for a couple more. Dinners I mean, there will be many, many hugs - I've scheduled them in!

30 November 2015

10 things I have to do in Winter - Festive travel linkup

London is simply built for winter sunshine, incipient precipitation and afternoons lazing by a pub fire and when it come to festivities, London celebrates Christmas wonderfully. December is encrusted with beautiful street light displays, pine bough covered store fronts, carollers echoing on train station platforms and the smell of mulled wine seductively wafting from open pub doors full of chatter.

These are a few of my favourite winter things.. (2014 here) WARNING: Contains many jolly, festive and delicious cliches.

10 things I have to do in Winter

1. Snuggle. Cat, book, blanket, terrible weather outside, cosy socks, festive scarf, lurid Christmas jumper. Perfection. 

2. MULL ALL THE THINGS. Cider, wine, cranberry, cocktails, the cat – no wait, that’s going too far. She just needs her Santa hat. Bonus item: Eat (sweet) mince pies for breakfast at least once. Ok, maybe twice.

28 November 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

Nominated by the lovely, lovely Anna at Travel with Penelope and Parker (aka she of the sailing and luxury soap addiction) I dutifully accept the mantle of Sisterhood of the World Bloggers, before passing the torch onto a new set of blogging addicts...

Where is your all-time favourite destination?
I can’t pick one, I just can’t. It’s like being asked to pick your favourite flavour, I mean varietal of wine *gets posh vocab back on*. There are so many moments that I’ve loved that I’m not sure about picking just one. Is that a cop out? Probably yes. Ok, so maybe Japan, it blew our tiny Western mindsets. Everything was simply so different - sunset glinting from the summit of Mt Fuji, sushi in Tokyo, New Year in Kyoto, modern vs. tradition in Nara, and hauntingly sad Hiroshima. All beautiful and fascinating.

Which post are you most proud of?
It’s a tie between flying across Wembley Stadium Pitch on a zipwire because I was terrified – so scared I couldn’t speak and had to be pushed off; and driving in America – aside from asking my friend to ease the parked car out from between two cherry red mustangs, I somehow managed to cope as an inexperienced driver with left-hand roads, turning right on a red light and a session of monsoon rain. The one I tell people about the most is herding sheep across London Bridge or attending a Buckingham Palace Garden Party. (See what I mean about being indecisive?)

27 November 2015

Friday figments and photos: Silly season v.1

The silly season is here. It's the last full weekend of November, the Christmas lights are twinkling, everyone is in a party mood, the bubbly is flowing a little too well, we're all getting merry and thank goodness coffee is in our cups.

Adventures of a London Kiwi Friday figments and photos

25 November 2015

Lisbon, via the medium of fork

Is it possible to summarise a city by the local dishes alone? Is it possible to go on a historical journey by fork?

Where to eat in Lisbon Mercado de Ribeira

23 November 2015

10 things to do on a Lisbon city break

I'm sitting here on my couch, tea in hand, watching the weather warily as snow has been forecast in London. Snow. In late November. Luckily, I have around 15 billion scarves, a coat as cozy as a duvet and the accumulated commuter knowledge of dashing from pillar to post as quickly as humanly possible in 3°C temperatures.

But, only a week ago I was standing in the sun-dappled Rossio square of Lisbon, wearing sandals, t-skirt and beach skirt, marvelling at 22°C clear blue skies and planning a long-weekend of mischief. Well, I say planning, but it's a lie really. Normally I'm a research addicted nano-planner, but this trip was different - I booked the break last minute, asked around a few travel addicted friends and scanned Pinterest idly on the way to the airport.

The question in a new location as ever is what to do...

Things to do in Lisbon - Alfama neighbourhood

1. Jump in the 28 tram with every other tourist in the city. The views over the Alfama neighbourhood are worth it (and the sheer joy of cheeky locals hitching a ride on the outside of the tram hilarious). Just watch your pockets...

20 November 2015

A festive beauty hamper giveaway: NOW CLOSED

So, the one and only Miss Rhyme and Ribbons and I have been a-scheming and a-planning, and with the dawn of the party season, decided to pool (her) knowledge of beauteous party products to say thank you for reading our little corners of the t'internet.

As it's getting into full swing party season, we thought a slightly more fashionable bent (I've assembled a few foodie hampers in the past) could be fun and maybe this tomboy will learn something in the process. We've compiled a hamper of skin goodies, eyeshadows, Moroccan argan soap, lip tints, lotions, glitter falsies, luminizers, lipsticks, mini-scents, lash treatments, topping it off with a beautiful scarf and a few bath cure-alls for the morning after the night before.

Fashion and makeup giveaway
*There's more than this FYI*

Friday figments and photos: Tiles, sunsets, cocktails and festivities.

Escaping the dreary London November for a last scrap of sunshine, a long weekend in Lisbon was just what the doctor ordered...

 Things to do in Lisbon Adventures of a London Kiwi

Things to do in Lisbon Adventures of a London Kiwi

...before returning to a spritz of London winter.

18 November 2015

A Cranberry and Clementine Margarita Recipe

I began writing this post as an ode to childhood. The joy in family cookbooks - dimpled, slightly messy and full of annotations, collections of delicious recipes ripped lovingly out of glossy magazines and family recipes passed down by taste and then word of mouth. I still have mine - a rulered school book crowded with delicious images, the offline Pinterest board of a schoolgirl 15 years ago.

Along with my Mum's favourite dishes, this little book was a playground of inspiration that was pulled out on rainy days and holidays, especially during the festive season where rich, naughty dishes were especially welcomed. Then, as I was drafting my story this weekend happened. The world has been reminded that we live in an often scary place and we should treasure laughing over old anecdotes with our loved ones, make more memories and let go of the inconsequential times. Squabbling over cracker winners, debating dishwashing duties and cleaning our pans crusted with flavour - those inconsequential dramas that can loom large during the holidays.

Instead, string up those fairy lights, relish favourite flavour combinations, mull all the things and nibble another naughty taste of orange chocolate. They are my favourite tastes of Christmas and I plan to share a new one this year with my family, a glass or two of Cranberry and Clementine Margaritas, kindly taught to us by the Waitrose cookery school.

Disclaimer: We were invited for a night of festivities, Michelin starred canapes, wine stories from our host Philip Schofield(!), beautifully carved Turkey and a touch of dessert creation but all opinions are my own as ever.

16 November 2015


Why is it always the innocent that suffer?

Why do families have to mourn the untimely losses of their loved ones?

Why can't we live in a world free of hate, injustice, prejudice and extreme poverty supplying extreme wealth?

Why do we still live in a world where floating over the ocean in a plastic dinghy or scrambling through hundreds of miles of unforgiving countryside is a better alternative than staying in an ancestral home?

Why were locals kindly opening their homes to terrified strangers?

Why are there families having to deal with earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis wreaking havoc?

Why did facebook have to deploy the 'xxx is safe' widget to assure families?

Why don't words always work?

Why do we have to learn in aghast horror about depravities caused so often they no longer make the news?

Why in these years of technological advances and education are diseases still ravaging communities?

Why do we feel the need to clutch our loved ones even closer at certain times than others?

Why are images of injured & distressed victims used to sell tabloid columns?

Why aren't there more, simple answers?


It just doesn't make sense.

But, we won't let circumstances win.

*I've disabled comments as they don't seem appropriate*

13 November 2015

Friday figments and photos: Settling into winter

The glorious heydays of autumn glory now seem now behind us. Fleeting, fantastic and a swift flurry of leaves caught in ice sharp winter winds.

Darn clocks going back, I mean honestly! I was just beginning to really enjoy the beautiful light of autumn sunrises and sunsets. What ever can you do?

Philip Schofield Waitrose #makeschristmas

Well, make cocktails with Philip Schofield & the Waitrose crew (more to come on this don't worry)...

Philip Schofield Waitrose #makeschristmas

Admire the beautiful Fortnum & Mason decorations to get in the festive mood...

Fortnum & Mason Christmas

Spot a kiwi link or two in Mahiki...

Mahiki Celebrity spotting

Mahiki Celebrity spotting

Stop your friend in the middle of the road to take photos...

Aiweiwei Royal Academy exhibit

...of course! How about you?

11 November 2015

101 in 1001 goals v2.0 - Update

A fair few days have passed already since I began another crazy set of goal challenges. Since then I've unexpectedly been to the other side of the world, sung folksongs on the shores of Skye, discovered a new London nook or two, visited (Northern) Africa, read too many books, procrastinated about almost everything and make a load of promises to myself to achieve all of my goals this time.

101 in 1001 goal list v2.0 Adventures of a London Kiwi

This list seems to have started off with a hiss and a roar, managing to hammer out 15 completed goals and start around 10 more - but there is still much, much work to be getting on with before my self-imposed end date of the 02/12/2017.

 45: Find Nessie
47: Sip Scotch in it's birthplace. 
50: Promenade at Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle)

66: Wear a different outfit everyday for a month without doubling up.
70: Post a 'thinking of you' parcel. 
73: Sing in public, sober.
77: Throw another fundraising afternoon tea.
The most surprising on all that list has to have been swimming 50 lengths. We were a bit worried about the political situation in Marrakesh when we visited (shortly after the incident in Tunisia) and opted to chill out in our hotel for one of the days instead. Cue us popping down to the spa for a couple of cheeky beauty treatments, and then a few laps of the pool to ward off those fidgets. Much to the amusement of the rest of the poolside inhabitants, a few laps turned into 10, then 25 then with a short rest, 50.

Of the goals in progress so far there are a few long term ones I'm pleased to have begun...

1: Cross the globe 3 times in a single year. - in progress
6: Visit Africa & South America to complete our continents clutch. - in progress
14: Visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (Westminster Abbey, Maritime Greenwich /5) - in progress
15: Ride a Camel. - in progress
 49: Eat another 3 food items in their namesake home (Sandwich 1/3) - in progress
83: Walk 10,000 steps a day for 3 months. - in progress 
87: Leave 25 more Operation Beautiful notes. (1/25) - in progress
90: Keep blogging & writing creatively. - in progress
101: Complete my 101 in 1001 page/countdown. - in progress

There are a few that have sadly had to go by the wayside or be updated because they are unattainable due to the ebb and flow of life - but you gotta walk the journey! (To see the full 101 list click here)

But there is still much, much work to be done and many adventures to plan... 

Tally ho!!

101 in 1001 goal list v2.0 Adventures of a London Kiwi

Do you prefer short or long term goals?

9 November 2015

Puccini's La Boheme - A Night At The London Opera

We entered the red swathed theatre with unsure steps. Glass of emergency wine clutched in one hand, a copy of the programme in the other, we made our way along the dress circle to our seats, settling nicely in time for the lights to slowly dim and the curtain to raise. The orchestra struck up the first haunting motifs that would continue through the evening, and the stage lit up to reveal a rather square, boxy, multi-leveled apartment.

Before we know it the first Act - where Mimi, a hardworking seamstress, introduces herself to the rambunctious group of artists living above her flat and begins to fall in love with the charismatic Rodolpho - is over and my friend and I turn to each other in surprise. I find myself wiping away tears, clearly lost in the spell woven by the orchestra and soaring, emotive arias telling the story of one of Puccini's most popular works, and my friend is similarly lost for words (which is incredibly rare!). As the tale continues, we're both a little puzzled at times with the incredibly modern setting and not knowing the story-line a little lost in sections despite the use of English throughout, but we persevere.

The ornate Coliseum (credit)

7 November 2015

Chateau Pape Clement - a dream experience in Bordeaux, France

We wove our way through the streets of Bordeaux, beginning in the Medieval Quarter all carved in butter stone, glimpsed occasional hard modern buildings which turned to suburban homes before giving way to rolling fields of blooming crops. As we turned the corner onto our destination, I excitedly clutched the boy as fields of vineyards heavy with grapes came into view, cart horses grazed contentedly and the crenelated Chateau Pape Clement appeared - our home for the night.

A wonderfully surreal chain of events - a Shoreditch evening where I asked a wine-loving francophile friend of mine for Bordeaux recommendations - turned into a invite to explore and stay in a genuine French Chateau complete with acres of vineyards.

 Chateau Pape Clement - a dream experience in Bordeaux

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Chateau Pape Clement for the evening, but my (very many) opinions are only ever my own, and I would never recommend anywhere that I wouldn't happily revisit - in fact I would quite love to move in there...

Chateau Pape Clement - a dream experience in Bordeaux

6 November 2015

Friday figments and photos: The autumn leaves edition

*Warning: Post may contain gin, inkle-weavers, crystal-clear streams, a stag on a roof, loadsa leaves, 15 minutes of fame, Hampshire countryside and silk*

Hampshire rambles Adventures of a London Kiwi

Hampshire rambles Adventures of a London Kiwi

4 November 2015

Fera, Claridges and a wedding anniversary celebration

Psychologists call it the seven year itch - the point in marriage when you've been together for (unsurprisingly) seven years and everything is meant to go downhill. Somehow we've made it to this awkwardly named milestone - how we've managed to rub along for so long with all the indignities a blog/expat/cat-hosting husband has to endure I don't know, but luckily he puts up with me.

And that's inspite of the rugby supporting, eye-rolling, distracted evenings, lack of domestic ability, teasing, occasional calling his homeland rubbish (but only on really bad commuting days - the rest of the year I adore it I swear), getting dragged around the globe, so called "terrible taste in music" and a complete lack of tea making skill.

Fera Claridges restaurant review

Restaurant review Fera Claridge's

The boy is a keeper.

1 November 2015

Travel and a few of my favourite things - November Travel Linkup

What is it about travel that empassions people? The spirit of wandering that powers part of our personalities, craving exploration, curiosity fulfillment and is always searching for something.

It is the people the around us who inspire insatiable wanderlust? Is it a generation X YZ symptom of too much Hollywood? Do action heroes dashing off around the world give us the ideas that anything is possible with a little planning?

Travel and a few of my favourite things - November Travel Linkup

In the oft misquoted words of Mr T, Travel. Huh. What it is a good for? Absolutely everything.

31 October 2015

Bordeaux City Break - Day Two

We didn't expect a lot of our long weekend city break in Bordeaux, France. I know it sounds silly, but we were hoping for a pretty city with a side of good wine, and ended up being rather astonished. Maybe we happened to wander into the lovely areas, maybe we just had the right frame of mind to wander like teenagers gazing at the sunset (sorry, there's a sick bucket just to the left of your knee) or perhaps because we had no real expectations we couldn't be disappointed.

We tram hopped our way through the city *cough* occasionally forgetting to timestamp the tickets like clueless foreigners *cough* and just let the things we found on foot or via Google guide us.

Bordeaux City Break - Day Two

Ridiculous, no? Bordeaux is a 1 hour and 20 minute flight from London.

30 October 2015

Friday figments and photos: Time

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
― Marthe Troly-Curtin
  Life Lately Adventures of a London Kiwi

 “Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.”
― Dave Eggers

28 October 2015

The Meat Co Restaurant Review - South African Steakhouse

Vegetarians avert your eyes. Pescetarians still your forks. Carnivores ready your knives. The Meat Co is simply a no-holds barred temple to plates of perfectly cooked steak. That's not to say that it's only hunks of beef; when we visited there were tables around us happily catching up over good looking burgers, but as our waiter said it succinctly 'Meat is our specialty, why would you come for anything else?' (What he failed to mention was the insanely good dessert selection, but that'll come for afters).

The Meat Co, found curving along the Shepherds Bush shopping mall, reminded me metaphorically of a good bottle of South African wine - cool, classic and almost unassuming on the outside; but once opened packed full of spice, heady wood notes and and explosion of colourful flavour. Alas, both are rather hard to photograph without really good light...

The Meat Co Restaurant Review - South African Steakhouse

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of The Meat Co, but my (very many) opinions are only ever my own, and I would never recommend anywhere that I wouldn't happily revisit - I just wished that I had photographed the blissful face of my husband...

26 October 2015

Apple Day at Borough Market

There have been many moments in my life where I feel like a square peg in a round hole (a cup of tea on a table of flat whites, a box of birds in a den of lions, a chocolate biscuit on a stand of sandwiches etc. etc.) but one of the joys of blogging has been meeting a group of like minded hashtag addicts around the world who love to discover new stories.

One of these keyboard clickers lives across the Atlantic popping over the ocean as often as she can, always excited to discover a new corner of my adopted country. Whilst not pounding cobbled English Streets, she often emails me London inspiration - scraps, stories and shenanigans that inspire me to always keep wandering. One of these slunk into my inbox recently and I knew I simply had to spring out of bed & go...

Apple Day at Borough Market Adventures of a London Kiwi

Apple Day is an annual celebration of apples and orchards, held in October. It is celebrated mainly in the United Kingdom, traditionally falling on October 21, the date of the first such event in 1990, but events are held throughout the month.

25 October 2015

Bordeaux, a surprisingly beautiful city break

Within 24 hours of arrriving in Bordeaux I declared to the world that I wasn’t returning to my beloved London, but staying forever to bask in the southern climes of France. I even announced it via a variety of social media, both personal and blog related – and we all know that’s a seriously serious statement.

It captured my easy heart in a big way. Winding medieval streets, beautiful sunsets, quirky history, #pawned pavements, bouquet filled stems of wine, friendly locals, terracotta rooftops; all the things. Aaaand then I realised that I would have to learn French, and being somewhat language discombobulated (it's a real thing - learning English-English vs. Kiwi-English still confounds me some days) I knew it couldn't ever happen.

Bordeaux City Break France
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. We had 72 hours in which to wander, no plans, a few recommendations, a couple of hotels booked and an appetitite for joie de vivre.

23 October 2015

Friday figments and photos: Milestones and retrospect

As I have a milestone birthday approaching next year, I was asked the other day if I was beginning to stress about coming up to that milestone (and no, I'm not revealing which one). I thought about it for a second, and then replied 'no, I think that life is to be treasured and lived to the full - we can either spend our lives enjoying every moment, or wishing that we were - and I never want to live with regrets'.

Liberty London Adventures of a London Kiwi

I know, I know, I sounded like those cheezball memes that everyone loves to hate (and make into their own secret Pinterest boards for rainy pick me ups) but I truly want to live life to the full. My friends laugh at me for my shenanigans, and say they wish they had my energy, whilst I admire their contentment (and ability to sit still for more than 15 seconds).

21 October 2015

Bourne and Hollingsworth brunch with a hashtag of bloggers

Sometimes a chat gets a little out of hand over Twitter, and you find yourself organising a brunch date with a bevy of beautiful blogging lovelies early(ish) on a Saturday morning. We left our duvets, other halves, pets and alarms snoozing at home whilst we (Angie, Rebecca, Shikha, Jaime and Sam) migrated from all over London to gather over coffee cups and eggs.

Brunch with a hashtag of bloggers at Bourne and Hollingsworth

 Brunch Bourne and Hollingsworth Clerkenwell London

19 October 2015

10 things I have to do in Autumn

Autumn - Fall, Oсень, Herbst, Automne or Jesień - is unconditionally my favourite season of the year. Rust-hued leaves twirling to the ground, blue skies with a crisp feel to the air and the best excuse to lay a crackling fire. Spring is a welcome relief to winter, but festooned with allergy causing pollen; summer is normally disappointing or hot and smelly, and winter is icy. Nah. Autumn all the way.

 10 things I have to do in Autumn Adventures of a London Kiwi

Being a list junkie, there are a few things I have to tick off each time autumn rolls around.

1. Wander through a park and stampede through a pile of autumnal leaves. (Instagram proof is optional, though entirely irresistable)

17 October 2015

Wine + Chocolate + Hugs = #NationalChocolateWeek

We need to spend more time with our loved ones. At times I'm certainly guilty of this particular sin by omission, often getting too caught in the cyber world to often spend proper time with those closest to me. Ahem. I've also been a long time proponent of small gestures that have a ripple act, believing in quality over quantity. A smile, a selfless good deed for a stranger, a phone call, a bunch of flowers just to say I luff ya or sending over a 'hey, how are you' Twitter DM out of the blue. You know, the stuff that makes the world go around.

Well, very much in this spirit I've discovered a new spin on a vice to share with someone I/you/we love. Wine & chocolate matching - the best excuse for an off-the-cuff catch up. Waitrose contacted me to get involved with their National Chocolate Week campaign - how do you say no to an email like that!? - sending me a delicious bottle or two of wine and a few packages of chocolates so, I turned it into an excuse to spend some quality time with a few of my loved ones for no reason other than because we can.

Guide to wine and chocolate matching Adventures of a London Kiwi Disclaimer: We received ingredients for participating, but no positive reviews were requested in exchange. My (many) opinions are only ever my own.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much, it turned it into 3 evenings where I turned up on doorsteps with loaded with wine, chocolate and hugs. (For the record they all knew I was coming and willingly told me where they lived, I'm not a creeper, just FYI.) Best round of blog research I've ever done.

16 October 2015

Friday figments and photos: a bit of this, a bit of that...

Life has been a touch eccentric this week to say the least. Fairytale Bordeaux Chateaus, terracotta rooftops, cake sales, cat walking, London rain, fleecy PJs and a rather epic foodie #fdbloggers chat I was kindly allowed to host, all about the travel...

Bordeaux City Break - Adventures of a London Kiwi

Bordeaux City Break - Adventures of a London Kiwi