30 August 2017

How to brighten up a rubbish day (with thanks to Vanilla Ice)

All right stop, Collaborate and listen / Ice is back with a brand new invention

 How to brighten up a rubbish day (with thanks to Vanilla Ice)

I was dreamily listening to one of my random playlists the other day, and it segued into an 90s mix that not only made me smile (hello Backstreet Boys) and made my heart a little bit sad (Spice Girls Viva Forever). After a few songs Vanilla Ice somehow crept in, and my over analytical mind picked up a possible subtext to his hip hop lyrics.

28 August 2017

Unique London: The Old Royal Naval College Painted Ceiling Hall Tour, Greenwich

Do you ever have those moments where you realise that you are a square peg in a round hole, and you are absolutely ok with that?

Things to do in London Old Royal Naval College Greenwich Adventures of a London Kiwi
Things to do in London Old Royal Naval College Greenwich Adventures of a London Kiwi

Most modern ladies, they buy handbags and dresses off Instagram, but having spotted the Painted Hall ceiling tours on a good friend's instastories, I knew we had to make our way down to Greenwich to take in this unique tour.

24 August 2017

Celebrating my blog anniversary: A luxury travel accessory giveaway - NOW CLOSED

A couple of months ago my little blog passed quite an astonishing milestone - it's 5 year birthday. I never thought that I would reach two months, let alone half a decade of writing things in this online diary.

It was never intended to be anything but my little happy space that was done in-between life, and somehow this blog has taken on an identity all of its own.

Luxury Travel Acessory Giveaway Adventures of a London Kiwi

The skills I've learned along the way have been invaluable, the people I have met have changed my life, I have done things I never though achievable and this strange little habit has also given me a confidence I never thought possible - I am so proud to call myself a blogger.

22 August 2017

Orbit 360° Dining - Restaurant Review - SKYCITY Auckland, New Zealand

"You spin me right round, baby right round" Ahem, sorry.

In my experience over the years, restaurants with amazing views have more often than not have low quality food. There have been a few exceptions; Hutong at the Shard, Duck and Waffle brunches and Peninsula Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel. It seems as though the restauranteurs know they can get away with this because the view is so beautiful and restaurant goers are usually tourists who have money to burn and won’t go back any time anyway.

Orbit 360° Dining - Restaurant Review - SKYCITY Auckland, New Zealand

Sorry, grouch over. The Auckland Sky Tower is totally different (and that’s not just national pride kicking in). I’d been there a long while ago for their sumptuous buffet, but my sister visited a couple of years ago and pronounced that it hadn’t lost any of the quality.

19 August 2017

My 10 favourite London afternoon teas - 2017 edition

Someone, somewhere in the universe has designated this week national afternoon tea week (only the best week ever to reminisce about afternoons of luxury and who needs more excuse to book a few more?)

My 10 favourite London afternoon teas - 2017 edition Adventures of a London Kiwi

It has almost become a blogger cliche, inviting the girls to a few hours of decorous luxury, but one that I rather adore. As I'm getting on in years (feel free to feel sorry for me...) I've swiftly come to the conclusion that I'd rather don a pretty dress to spend a little more on sandwiches and scones, than prop up a pub bar and feel very sorry for myself the next day.

16 August 2017

That time we went out for brunch and accidentally hiked the Rangitoto volcano crater

Nothing seems to surprise my husband anymore. I must come out with ridiculous scenarios so regularly now, he doesn't even lift an eyebrow. Case in point, when I video called him from New Zealand. (He knew I was in NZ by the way, my whereabouts haven't become that surprising. Yet.)

Rangitoto Island Auckland Day Trip New Zealand Adventures of a London Kiwi

"How was your day?" 'Good thanks, we went out for brunch with Ginni and Alice, and then hiked up a volcano crater.' "That's nice dear. It rained in London today" (sic)

14 August 2017

An Ode To Afternoon Tea for #AfternoonTeaWeek (in collaboration with Buyagift)

As a meal, afternoon tea doesn't make a great deal of sense. Delicate slivers of sandwiches, scones slathered with cream (not to mention jam depending on partiality) and a top tier of jewel-like cakes twinkling from a slender stand.

This is even before the champagne menu is presented, and a bouquet of tea flavours is spread before the beautifully manicured guests. Meanwhile, a harpist gently strums in the background and fellow enthusiasts murmur over the gentle tinkle of tea-cups. Oh, and then you get bloke-orientated teas with sliders, hot scotch eggs and a tumbler of ale.

10 August 2017

The Luxury Brunch Afternoon Tea at Le Meridien Hotel (warning: this is not a typo)

Brunch is somewhat of a religion in New Zealand, and Afternoon Tea is rather a genteel worship of tinkling tea cups in England. They are both altars that I spend an inordinate amount of time at, both in London and away, and more than once I've declaimed them to be my favourite meals.

Luxury Afternoon Tea Brunch Le Meridian Picadilly Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Le Meridien but all thoughts, 
flavour sentiments and brunch chants are entirely original.

Somehow, the stars aligned to not only find an afternoon that both Becca (of Runaway Kiwi infamy) and I had free, and coincide with an invite to try out the Brunch Afternoon Tea at Le Meridien Hotel in Piccadilly. Living our best lives indeed.

7 August 2017

Visiting the Bhaktivedanta Manor Hare Krishna Temple, Watford.

Back in February 1973, a property known was Piggott's Manor was donated to the Hare Krishna movement in by former Beatle George Harrison, after the Radha Krishna Temple in central London had become inadequate to house the growing number of devotees.
Hare Krishna Temple Bhaktivedanta Manor Watford Adventures of a London Kiwi
Hare Krishna Temple Bhaktivedanta Manor Watford Adventures of a London Kiwi

A mock Tudor Hare Krishna temple was the last thing I'd expect to see in the Hertfordshire countryside - but then there is the stunning Neasden Temple, a Wimbledon Buddhist temple and several mosques across London, so why am I surprised?

5 August 2017

Eneko at One Aldwych Restaurant Review - Adventures of a London Kiwi

I mentioned in a previous post about Barcelona, that Spain seems to be cropping up in my psyche a lot at the moment. All that sunshine and sangria just seems to be beckoning. So, when an invite to Eneko landed in my inbox, I knew it would be a great chance to slake that wanderlust, and also manage it without any airport security queues.

I've seen a lot of reviews around and about, so I was most intrigued to try out their modern take on traditional Basque cuisine.

Eneko at One Aldwych Restaurant Review - Adventures of a London Kiwi
Eneko at One Aldwych Restaurant Review - Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Eneko at the One Aldwych Hotel, but all thoughts, flavour opines and misuse of Spanish are entirely our own.

Eponymous chef Eneko Atxa is the man behind Azurmendi in Bilbao, the three Michelin-starred restaurant voted no. 16 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Luckily for us, he has opened this Aldwych branch and trained all of the handpicked chefs who run the kitchen in his absence. Luckily he was in the evening we visited, so we had fare prepared by the very man himself (after popping out of the kitchen to say hello.)

2 August 2017

A few musings on Barcelona (in conjunction with Thomson Cruises)

5 years ago we visited Barcelona.

We spent a long weekend exploring the undulating architecture of Gaudi, nibbling pintxos and soaking in the sunshine. Hours were spent admiring the incredible Sagrada Familia arches, we meandered along the city beaches and rode the furnicular up into the misty peaks of Montserrat.

Thomson Cruises contacted me recently about sharing a new video series that Larry Lamb has filmed, where he meets a host of 'cruise mates' sharing their home cities of Barcelona, Ibiza and Palma. They have genuinely inspired in me one of the most wonderful problems of travel blogging; to return, or not to return.