29 September 2016

4 ways to keep your skin protected - travel bloggers listen up!

Walk into a New Zealand school, and the first thing you'll notice (bar the frenzied kids screaming around the place) will be posters advocating "Slip, slop, slap." Surprisingly it's not an 80's disco tune, but an Australasian health campaign to protect kids from the ravages of sun damage.

4 ways to keep your skin sun protected Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: I was an invited guest of the Cadogan Clinic but all of 
my very, very many thoughts and laboured metaphors are only ever my own...

It is for good reason - the ozone layer protecting delicate Australasian skin from damaging the ever present sun rays has had a hole in it since before I was a child (many, many moons ago) and though changes of behaviour has resulted in this planetary problem reducing, it still means that we face a higher chance of our skin going, well, bad. But, it isn't just us antipodeans who need to think about what we're doing to our skin.

27 September 2016

Where to find the best street art in London

Let's be frank, street art is a little divisive. The point of view from a building owner is often going to be much, much different to that of an everyday wanderer, unless of course it's a commissioned bit of Banksy they can protect under a sheet of plexiglass.

Where to find the best Street Art in East London Adventures of a London KiwiWhere to find the best Street Art in East London Adventures of a London Kiwi

After meaning to go for an age, we joined one of the East London street art tours and our tour guide opened up a whole new universe. The most amazing thing is that every time our guide does the tours, there is something completely new.

25 September 2016

NOPI by Ottolenghi Restaurant Review

I first discovered Yotem Ottolenghi's gourmet empire via the medium of antipodean biscuits. Wandering through Islington one late summer afternoon a few years ago, feeling a little peckish we peeked through the window of a restaurant we were passing and much to our surprise our gazes lit upon a mountain of golden ANZAC biscuits.

ANZAC biscuits were invented by Kiwi and Australian families during war times - the dispelled myth has us thinking the long lasting biscuits (cookies, whatever) were sent to troops fighting overseas, but in reality the buttery, golden syrup infused oaty biscuits, scattered with coconut were sold by families to raise funds for their overseas soldiers.

NOPI by Ottolenghi Restaurant Review Adventures of a London Kiwi

In my heart I knew that any chef who loved our favorite biscuits would be good people.

23 September 2016

Friday figments and photos: Cozy September days

I've been thinking a lot lately. Now I know this isn't good for your health, but sometimes errant thoughts just stroll through your mind like birds swooping. Sometimes they look beautful, gliding through the invisible currents and at other times they aren't quite so ethereal if you know what I mean.

Life lately and a travel linkup Adventures of a London Kiwi

Often it's about this little space here. Adventures of a London Kiwi. Is it good enough? Am I too obsessed (probably, yes). Should I stop putting random rambles that don't really mean anything but looks like I'm trying to be deep and meaningful? Is there character? (Lord know's there isn't a niche.) Is there too much character? Are there too many posts that look needy and should really be about something momentous or glamourous?

21 September 2016

How to disguise yourself as an English person

Grasshopper, listen up. I've spent nearly a decade on these shores watching, learning, overhearing and studying the habits of enough Brits to pretty well successfully masquerade as an English person. I can now hold a vague conversation about the offside rule in football (usually illustrated with salt and pepper shakers), make a damn good cup of builders tea - so strong you can stand a teaspoon up in it, take my fish and chips with mushy peas and vinegar, and have a cupboard full of pint glasses nicked from the pub that both we and the cat use for water (despite perfectly nice tumblers the next row over - just FYI the beast has her own dedicated glass). Classy, I know.

How to disguise yourself as an English person Adventures of a London Kiwi
 Pinkie raising at Claridges dahling

It is getting to a point where I am mistaken for a tourist in my home of New Zealand (I suppose the camera hung around my neck and frequenting Hobbiton doesn't help), have been asked to present my passport in a social event as proof of nationality (in lieu I offered by rugby loyalties which seemed to appease them) and even my family tease me mercilessly about my English accent.

19 September 2016

Nuremberg daytripping from Munich

Another popular day trip from Munich is to Nuremberg. Infamous for the dark history that the Nazis brought to an otherwise pretty (and unhappy to be selected apparently) city that was subsequently almost levelled in the World Wars that followed, we were curious to explore the history of this Bavarian city.

Nuremburg day trip from Munich Adventures of a London Kiwi
Nuremburg day trip from Munich Adventures of a London Kiwi

I must confess Nuremburg wasn't our jam (unlike our trip to Wendelstein Mountain and the clear alpine waters around Neuschwenstein Castle with a touch of tourist dodging, both definitely were!)

16 September 2016

Figments and photos: September slumber

First of all, celebrate with me that I've actually managed to draft two of these in a row. TWO! In a Row!

Once you've finished your dancing - jazz fingers encouraged - is the anti-climax of a delicious quiet week. An article came out a couple of years ago with the confession of office workers who feel like they have to make up exciting weekend happenings to cloud the truth that they actually spent a weekend in their pyjamas.

Well, I spent Friday night in, had my Saturday plans postponed before losing said day to the lure of the TV (seriously Once Upon A Time, how have I lost so many hours to you - I always put one episode on and lose an entire day) but it was one of those occasions where you inwardly fist pump at the thought of not getting dressed, and then caught up on news from home Saturday night. Sunday evening the delicious Becky and I had a London double date with our instagram long-suffering husbands, where we had a traditionally British night of pints and curry, and a lot of laughter.

14 September 2016

Cottons Restaurant: a taste of St Lucia without the 8+ hour flight

Our evening at the Notting Hill branch of Cottons began with rum cocktails and ended with singing along Holland Park Avenue, which I feel sums this little gem up. Mr Kiwi took a stroll along memory lane, recalling his holiday to Barbados (sadly before I was around) and the hotel balcony he & friends watched sunsets from as they knocked back refreshing rum cocktails. It's an adventurous menu with tropical flavours that you can almost feel as you walk in from the Georgian terraced street.

Our evening felt particularly timely with the Notting Hill Carnival having recently rampaged in the amazingly colourful processions of bright costumes, danceable beats and beaming smiles of the policemen being danced on, but meant that we could get our fill of jerk chicken without having to contend with overzealous partiers. (Sidenote: does this mean we are getting old?)

Cottons Caribbean Restaurant Review Notting Hill Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Cottons Caribbean Restaurant and Rhum Shack of but all of my very, very many thoughts and laboured metaphors are only ever my own...

It was one of those face meltingly hot London days we get occasionally where it's just too much to cope with, and passing through their bar and front room we parked ourselves in the air conditioned back room and broke out the cocktail menu. The boy not realising quite how extensive the r(h)um menu is - 375 varieties! - is went with a bottle of Banks a classic Bahamas lager, whilst I chose the 'Smokin Hot', a dark rum cocktail served with Bourbon, demerara & blackberry syrup, tarragon infusion, orange & angostura bitters. Served smoking, it was a strong sultry start to our evening.

12 September 2016

Crisp Sarnie Cafe Popup, London Bridge "Review"

Everyone has a guilty secret. Reality TV,  a glass of wine or two whilst cooking dinner, 90s pop music, eating a particular hazelnut spread from the jar, loving the jingling of multiple bracelets etc. but a learned behavior I have taken on in my expat years has been the sandwiching of potato chips, sorry British translation: making crisp sarnies. Yes. It's carb on butter on fried carb on butter on carb.

Crisp Sarnie Cafe Popup, London Bridge "Review" Adventures of a London Kiwi
Warning: Crazy, delicious time-limited popup.

Considered very much an occasional treat in our kitchen, there are admittedly (though rare) nights where we forsake the food pyramid and buy a white loaf and a small packet of crisps and crunch our way to an indulgent dinner between a couple of slices. We tend to prefer salt & vinegar or bacon flavoured crisps and just enjoy.

10 September 2016

Our seaside summer day trip to Whitstable: in search of oysters and sunshine

We watched the weather report with the fanaticism of the British and the stiff upper lips of antipodeans in need of summer Vitamin D. When it dawned clear and bright, we hauled ourselves onto the train armed with coffee, chatter and a swift touch of Google research past Canterbury towards the Kent coast.

Whitstable beach day trip from London Adventures of a London Kiwi
Whitstable beach day trip from London Adventures of a London Kiwi

Our mission was simple, to try the world--famous oysters whilst the ocean lapped nearby. This is what late summer days are made of.

9 September 2016

Friday figments and photos: the LONG overdue edition

So August was a little wonderfully crazy. With a week long trip to Germany, a friend over from Japan, little day trips here and there, dinners, drinks, a bout of being poorly, sunshine, rain, cosmetic blog tweaks, eating oysters at the British seaside, luxuriating in the occasional sunbeams and just all the things.

It was a good 'un.

7 September 2016

Hunter 486, The Arch Hotel Restaurant Review

Some friends are for clubbing with in Soho on a Friday night. Some friends are for sipping champagne with in rooftop bars. Some friends are for sunny brunching whilst working though distinctly expat problems. And some friends are for chatting over dinner about esoteric literature in beautiful suburbs of London. (This feels like it might just turn into a Rolling Stones song.)

I've long been an advocate for making time to spend with the people who put a smile on your face. London can be a rather difficult beast to arrange such rendezvous(es?) unless you get a date in the diary 6 weeks in advance, or send out a bat signal the day before.

Hunter 486, The Arch Hotel Restaurant Review Adventures of a London Kiwi
Hunter 486, The Arch Hotel Restaurant Review Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests to try the Best of British menu at Hunter 486 of but all of my very, very many thoughts are only ever my own... 

My dinner at Hunter 486 with the lovely Mina, overlord of Kings Road Rocks was just such an occasion. Realising I hadn't seen her in an age, I just needed a couple of hours nattering with her. It was one of those lightbulb moments and cancelling my dinner date with Mr Kiwi, within an hour or so we had thrown off the shackles of married life and arranged a girlie evening the next day.

5 September 2016

10 things a secret hen/bachelorette party needs

A few months ago now (lord, how time flies) having stalked the lovely Amanda via the medium of blog and gleefully following her wedding plans hatching (it's fascinating when the stresses aren't yours) I became a little suspicious when no mention was made of a hen/bacherlorette party.

Knowing this lovely lady in real life (again through the medium of blog) I correctly assumed it was a case of expat-i-tis, the latin name for a case of gleefully avoiding embarrassing parties thrown in your honour due to lack of locally based family and bridesmaids able to organise a shindig. See why it was shortened?

10 essentials every hen party/bachelorette dinner needs Adventures of a London Kiwi

Once secretly ascertaining that this was indeed the case with her English Knight and groom-to-be Sam, we set to work.

Step 1: Organise a date
Fun ideas in hand, we secretly co-ordinated diaries with Sam (the flurry of messages was quite a tome indeed, including a made up operation name which finally allowed me to utter the glorious phrase "the Albequerque Squirrel is in the Telephone Box" despite a distinct lack of squirrels in New Mexico - contrary to the 5 seconds of mammalian research I carried out.) Ah, the joys of London life.

3 September 2016

Where to stay in Munich: Grand Westin Munich Hotel Review

When we visited Munich, we very much scheduled where to stay around what we were doing. Our first hotel (we wouldn't usually move hotels, preferring to spend the time in a cafe or pub) was selected specifically for how close it was to the main train station (It was a nice enough hotel despite the Faulty Towers-esque lift that only stopped mid-storey so luggage was lugged up or down half a flight of stairs).

Being close to the München Hauptbahnhof meant we could delay getting out of bed as late as possible before boarding trains armed with plum pastries and coffee from one of the local bakeries. What we didn't count on would be discovering a street FULL of Turkish kebab shops (apparently the German version of burger joints) that we would end up in for at least two nights, hungry from the alpine air.

Grand Westin Munich Hotel Review Adventures of a London Kiwi
Grand Westin Munich Hotel Review Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the Westin Grand Munich but all of my very many thoughts and excitement over storage spaces are very much my own...

But, our favourite stay of the holiday our 4-star superior hotel we left for the end. We intentionally planned the last few days for shorter trips, pottering around Munich to places we discovered (like the incredibly cool BMW museum), coffee with the lovely Linda and simply relaxing.