31 July 2017

Travel Fears - the August #TravelLinkup

It makes sense, right, that instead of running through queuing passengers, I would rather be sitting in lounge or near the the airport gate, coffee/cocktail in hand (delete as socially acceptable to the time period).

Travel Fears - the August #TravelLinkup Adventures of a London Kiwi

Being late. That's one of the fears I have whilst I tiptoe around the cities of this world. Obviously with any choices we make in life there are serious fears and scares, but this is one that I can usually control when it comes to travel. This is especially true with long haul flying.

29 July 2017

Genie's Cave Afternoon Tea at Cutter and Squidge

We can show you a world, shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?

Genie's Cave Afternoon Tea at Cutter and Squidge Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the Genie's Cave Afternoon Tea at Cutter and Squidge
but my lyric wrangling is all very much my own.

We can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder
Down some stairs and underground on a magic carpet ride

28 July 2017

Immersive Theatre & Escape Rooms

On weekends, we keep finding ourselves in a locked room with no windows, a scattering of strange objects, dimly lit furniture and random artwork scattered along the walls. Fortunately, it isn’t the result of too many drinks the night before and accidentally breaking into other peoples homes, but a fascination for the recent proliferation of immersive theatre and escape rooms.

Immersive Theatre & Escape Rooms Adventures of a London Kiwi

I swear.

25 July 2017

'We Love Saturday Brunch' at the InterContinental Hotel, Doha

I can't tell you how many times I've opened Polly's instastories and looked on in envy as she and her friends settle down to beautiful Middle Eastern brunch feasts on the weekends. Seemingly endless selections of international cuisines, icy glasses of bubbly and the chatter of much loved friends.

Friday brunch (the first day of the weekend there) has become an art form in the Middle East, and sadly we missed out on our trip to Dubai due to our night sleeping in the desert running over, so I was more than excited when the Intercontinental Doha invited us to try their 'We Love Saturday Brunch' whilst I holidayed in Qatar.

'We Love Saturday Brunch' at the InterContinental Hotel, Doha Adventures of a London Kiwi
'We Love Saturday Brunch' at the InterContinental Hotel, Doha Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the Intercontinental Doha
but my (very many) opines on champagne and sushi are only ever my own.

It was all kinds of deliciousness.

23 July 2017

48 hours in Sydney, Australia

I'd only been to Australia once for more than 4 hours - back in the days when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Aside from picking up a sole faded photograph - sat on the plane next to my little sister, both of us dressed in scarlet velvet dresses trimmed with crisp white ruffles, I can't remember a second of it.

What to do with 48 hours in Sydney Australia Adventures of a London Kiwi

It's kind of crazy - even though Australia is the closest geographical neighbours to New Zealand, as it was so close, I'd never visited. Fresh from the desert city of Doha, Qatar, where the lovely Polly had shown me around her home in 40°C+ temperatures, I was ready to walk into an antipodean Autumn - a far more reasonable range of 15-20°C temperatures.

20 July 2017

Hutong at the Shard: Luxurious dining with a London vista

Breathtaking London views, incredible flavours from Northern China, elegantly arrayed surrounds and a beautiful Wishing Tree, every branch perpetually hung with lucky red wishing cards. Hutong at the Shard is both everything that you think it will be, and yet nothing quite like your imagination.

Luxury dining with a London View Hutong at the Shard Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Hutong at the Shard,
but my palette and misuse of ancient Chinese proverbs are all very much my own.

Invited to try out the newly launching menu courtesy of Head Chef Fei Wang's home province of Sichuan (the home of giant pandas and Asia’s longest river, the Yangtze), Shandong (known for its Taoist and Confucian heritage) and Beijing (known as much for its modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex) we toasted our good fortune with crisply poured glasses of Veuve Cliquot and much laughter.

17 July 2017

Eating at the luxurious Bovey Castle Hotel - Codename: OperationDon'tTellAftab

They say an army marches on its stomach, attesting to the importance of forces being well-provisioned, but when this phrase was invented they hadn't quite encountered the voracious appetites of 4 particularly travel obsessed food bloggers.

Eating at Luxurious Hotel Bovey Castle Dorset Dartmoor Adventures of a London Kiwi

Having organised a night at Bovey Castle escaping the confines of London for a few belated birthday celebrations, we made sure to enthusiastically test their onsite restaurant offerings, not least as we were a 40 minute drive from Exeter St Davids.

15 July 2017

Our stay at the luxurious Bovey Castle Hotel - Codename: OperationDon'tTellAftab

Many moons ago, in the distant realm of Devon, a shire far far away from the steel and glass towers of Londinium (about 2.5 hours by iron horse) a gallant Fresh Prince was fearlessly escorted by 3 Princesses (take THAT mansplaining!) to a beautiful stone castle snug in the wild valleys of Dartmoor.

We think he may have liked it? But, let's rewind a month or three.

13 July 2017

Brunching in style at The Wolseley

"Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life," wrote A. A. Gill in his introduction to his book 'Breakfast at The Wolseley'.
He was a wise, wise man.

Luxury brunching in style at The Wolseley Adventures of a London Kiwi

We always seem to visit for birthday breakfasts, gathered around a table with my nearest and dearest friends, all smiling and sipping coffees.

10 July 2017

10 London cocktail spots this summer

My little blog profile image came about almost by accident. I was chatting to a Kiwi cartoonist one day on Instagram who offered to use me as a practise subject (his name is James Espie, check him out) and he, given a few of the few photos of me on the blog, drafted up my cool little avatar. Cocktail in hand.

So, in essence, I blame him for this habit.

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi
Nb: Post contains a couple of blogger invites, marked with*
but I've been back to all of these on my own dime.

The habit of meeting good friends in delicious bars around the London. Ok, ok, who am I kidding. It's a labour of love that I greet with glass in hand. It's quite a London thing - with commuters living in all corners, a well planned or last minute (there aren't many in between) catch-up somewhere lovely is one of the pleasures of living in London.

8 July 2017

An afternoon at the polo and exploring the Cowdray Estate.

Boarding the train at Waterloo Station armed with morning cups of tea in hand, we chatted the whole way through our 50 minute journey to Haslemere, watching the skyline change from forests of steel to boughs of ancient leaves.

We were bound for an afternoon at the Polo, to watch the pinpoint trained ponies and riders duke it out for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, a match played to honour one of the riders.

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Cowdray Estate
but my swooning prose is very much original and unaffected.

After a quick 20 minute cab ride through the country lanes lined with stone built cottages, many with yellow framed windows* - we dismounted for a tour and lunch at Cowdray Manor House. What used to be the family home of Lord and Lady Cowdray, is now an exclusive residence that can be hired out for special occasions, wellness retreats or for private use.

6 July 2017

A dreamy Shangri-La Hotel stay in Sydney, Australia

To sit in my hotel room window, and gaze over the Sydney Harbour - the waters enfolded by the Sydney Harbour Bridge on one side, and the iconic Sydney Opera House on the other  - is a memory I won't forget for a long time.

I mean, this was the view from my bed.

Where to stay - luxury hotel in Sydney, Australia Adventures of a London Kiwi

When planning my epic holiday, it just so happened that one of my favourite London buddies, Madam Globetrotter Postcards (a regular guest on this little corner of the internet), was going to be visiting family in in Sydney - we're so close now, we have a joint railway card, talk about commitment - so we teed-up 48 hours of fun meandering, culminating in sunset cocktails from our hotel bar in the Shangri-la. (The evening before I stayed in the neighbouring Four Seasons, but more on that another time.)

3 July 2017

So, as a social media consultant, what do you do for work now?

I have had a fair few questions from friends and family about what my business is actually doing, so I thought I'd clarify a little. (Ignore the slightly shameless plug, unless of course you are running a small business that needs a helping hand making your social media accounts the best they can be - in which case, have a look at my website, and contact me for a free consultation.)

Effectively there are two strands to the business; social media management and content/article writing. (I occasionally do a little PR problem solving and outreach, but on a very ad hoc basis.)

What is social media? It is a group of websites and applications that were originally invented as a bit of fun online networking, but now have developed into a global form of pretty well instant marketing and communication that has taken the world by storm. Businesses are now using these platforms as a tool to share with the world.

1 July 2017

My travel journey - beginning in Singapore #travellinkup

My first ever taste of travel was probably the craziest if I'm honest. I had decided - despite only ever taking 2 internal NZ flights in my life - to pack up my life and move to the UK. On my own. Only knowing one person on the other side of the world. At twenty years old. So, so many things could have gone wrong.

My travel journey - beginning in Singapore #travellinkup Adventures of a London Kiwi

To temper things slightly, I booked a week layover in Singapore between the long haul flights crossing the planet.