29 November 2016

Writing, the drug that no-one warns you about

What never happens in all of the '10 tips to start a blog' posts is a warning about how expressing yourself via the medium of word-arranging is dangerous. Your bank account, personal safety (think photographing at the edge of cliffs) and emotional well-being are all affected in ways that no-one really talks about.

It's that saying "ignorance is bliss". Well, I used to be content with my ignorance. I blissed out over lots of TV, traipsed to and from the concrete jungle without much thought and fitted in a holiday or two when I could. Now, now every action has a tale somewhere narrated in my head, every moment can be framed in the golden section and rule of thirds (with bonus points for a square setting) and enough sometimes simply isn’t enough.

26 November 2016

Duke of York Square Christmas Fun in Chelsea

Coming back from unusually warm and sunny weather on holiday in the US (lovely enough to swim in outdoor pools) to the cold streets of London was rather disheartening except that we planned it so we would arrive just in time for the Christmas lights to go up over England.

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Duke of York Square and my (very many) opinions are only ever my own.

Almost everywhere you go (spot those carol lyrics) the trees and lanes of London are twinkling gently as each area of the city lofts their take on the festive season. Some of our favourite areas are the titans of seasonal decoration – Oxford Street, Marylebone, Regent Street and along the more exclusive Mayfair Streets – but it is the smaller, more intimate squares that often surprise and delight merrymakers the most.

24 November 2016

10 Things I’m Grateful For

The fabulous Little Miss Katy has started a happy revolution – firstly it was her “Happy Monday – 10 Good Things posts” that I adore reading to start my week, then the fantastic post “150 Good Things That Happened This Week” and now her championing of the #TodayImGrateful hashtag. Go ahead, read it through, it’ll seriously make your day.

So, as you can see, you can blame her for this post, my own little corner of minor cheerfulness (mostly because I was in the wrong time zone to remember to add something to her epic post).

22 November 2016

A visit to the Roald Dahl Museum, Great Missenden

Even though I'm always chafing at the bit to get overseas (recently being accused of going away "too much" which is impossible in my estimation) I've consciously tried to explore my adoptive home island as much as possible.

Roald Dahl Museum Literature Authors England Adventures of a London Kiwi

A friend coined the term 'permatourism' which is bang on the money - being a permanent tourist, even when in our home countries. Seaside trips, highland vacations, day trips to quirky museums, even London staycations where we explore a different neighborhood of this sprawling city.

19 November 2016

A surprise weekend in Gothenburg, Sweden

As a special birthday treat my lovely husband organised a secret city break that was only revealed to me at the airport as we walked up to the check-in desk. I knew we were going away somewhere and the weather was likely to be cool (allowing me to excitedly pack and dream) but every aspect of the trip was planned and researched in cryptic silence.

Gothenburg Sweden City Break Europe Adventures of a London Kiwi
Gothenburg Sweden City Break Europe Adventures of a London Kiwi

For a planner like me, it was exquisite torture.

17 November 2016

10 destinations that Instagram has made me dream about


We've literally just got back from an incredible 2 weeks under azure skies that were alive with the sound of music, but already as the plane wheels are hitting tarmac (far before we've worked out the jetlag kinks) my mind is already wandering to our next destination.

I partially blame instagram.

It not only provides another addiction to the shoal of social media habits I've found myself with, but it also provides my wanderlust with fuel. Will our next crazy adventure be in the UK (if my husband has anything to do with it) or will it be shores farther afield (if I get my own way...) for more exotic mischief?

I also blame the travel team at traveloka who commissioned this bevy of travel jewels post as they wanted to share some of their good hotel deals in a few of the beautiful South East Asian nations they feature - somewhere we haven't really travelled extensively. Yet.

14 November 2016

PizzaBuzz & the 3rd meeting of #PizzaClubLDN

I've always been a firm believer of indulge in what you love (within reason) so when Pizza Club was invented I knew I wanted in. Unfortunately I've been keeping this delicious secret to myself, not wishing to spill the beans or share a slice of the pie as it were. Except on instagram.

Pizza Club itself is simple. A gathering of some of London's biggest pizza fans - initially VickyConnie, myself and Claire - we get together to catch up over a few slices of the good stuff whilst we natter and solve a few of the world's problems. (Don't believe me? We sorted global warming over a slab sized tabletop of pizza in Shoreditch a couple of months ago - it's just a shame that the latest developments in American politics may going to undo all of our hard work...we'll just need to organise our next session sooner than planned)

PizzaBuzz Moorgate Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of PizzaBuzz but all of my discerning levels of Pizza addiction are entirely all of my own making (and volition)

Calling themselves "the Subway" of gourmet pizza purveyors, PizzaBuzz is a brilliant concept. You take-a-de-pizza-base-and-add-a-delicious-toppings-dat-you-a-love.

12 November 2016

5 of the best things to do in Los Angeles (Guest post)

Having written off LA as a noisy, polluted, boring city, Mr Kiwi and I were won over by my lovely (IRL) friend Emily who convinced us that LA is a brilliant city that needed to be explored. Giving us loads of tips, a shed load of recommendations and a starry eyed appreciation for this tinseltown I also convinced her to make her blog debut with a few of her recommendations...

5 of the best things to do in Los Angeles (Guest post)

5 of the best things to do in Los Angeles

My love affair with California began on a 7 day trip back in 2011, after the Mr & I had grown tired of siting by pools in all inclusive resorts, sipping odd-tasting cocktails and wondering how early was too early for the next nap. So, seemingly out of nowhere Los Angeles was plucked from a short list consisting of random US cities we’d seen that one time in that one TV show and half dreamed of visiting one day, only to forget all about it the following week. In an uncharacteristically decisive action from my usually cautious Mr, the flights and hotel where quickly booked and the rest, as they say, is history.

9 November 2016

Kazan, a Turkish Restaurant near Victoria Station

It began with a simple Tweet, and ended in prosecco studded with pomegranate seeds and a platter of Baklava. Life doesn't really get much better sometimes.

Kazan Turkish Restaurant Victoria London Adventures of a London Kiwi

  Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Kazan but all of my wandering musings and admiration for beautifully slow-cooked lamb are only ever my own...

A couple of months ago searching out a few personal Turkish restaurant recommendations from the coterie of food bloggers that gather around London's tables, there was one restaurant that came up again and again - Kazan in Victoria.

7 November 2016

I just called to say I love you (ok, messaged)

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and a bit of Stevie Wonder came on the radio. Desperately trying to procrastinate about the life admin I had to get done (as much as I possibly could) his well-worn refrain really struck a chord.

I just called to say I love you.
I just called to say how much I care.

So, inspired by his words of wisdom that's what I did.

5 November 2016

The 10 best castles in the world (IMHO)

My inner princess never thought this was possible. My own country has a history of around 150 settled human years, so the magic of walking through thousands of years of history never quite loses the unique frisson of delight.

Suits of armour that tell tales of bravery and hardship, kitchen hearths that fed hundreds of (in)famous dignatories and hard working servants, windows that saw enemy arches living up their longbows and sighing maidens dreaming of their loves, moats that were filled with all sorts of exotic contents and drafty castles walls that witnessed history that changed the lives of nations.

The 10 best castles in the world Adventures of a London Kiwi

Yeah, I've got the castle wandering bug bad. If there is a castle or palace near where we are (and by near I mean within 2 hours train ride) you can guarantee that I'll be making my way there, scheming how to get closer or researching ways to sleep there (Prince Harry, watch out).

2 November 2016

Chai Wu, Luxury Chinese Restaurant Review in Harrods

Quite rightly, Harrods is often described as pure melodrama. 4.5 acres of retail space, seven floors and 330 departments, each offering up its own kind of lavish loopiness. Rising above the bejewelled occupants of Knightsbridge, as luxury sports cars (try to) zoom along the Brompton Road,I found myself making my way through those infamous green awnings once again to enjoy the fine Chinese cuisine at Chai Wu.

Chai Wu, Luxury Chinese Restaurant Review in Harrods Harrods Adventures of a London Kiwi
Chai Wu, Luxury Chinese Restaurant Review in Harrods Harrods Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Chai Wu but all thoughts (and #firstworldproblems) are definitely my own...

As you ascend the floors of Harrods, the shopping gets more and more decadent. On the fifth floor in amongst the designer squash rackets and sneakers, a haven of sushi, Wagyu beef and champagne sits just waiting to ensnare flagging shoppers.