31 March 2017

Cornwall Roadtripping: St Michael's Mount #travellinkup



Middle English (in the sense ‘divine guidance’):
via Old French from late Latin inspiratio(n-), from the verb inspirare
1.The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
2. A sudden brilliant or timely idea.
3. The drawing in of breath; inhalation.

St Michael's Mount Cornwall RoadTrip Adventures of a London Kiwi

Our recent long weekend in Cornwall provided all three of these definitions of inspiration - quite literally. A small but mighty peninsula to the southwest of England, Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon over the River Tamar, Cornwall has human history dating back to the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods.

28 March 2017

Egerton Hotel: A pawfectly luxurious doggie afternoon tea.

My cutest afternoon tea date (ever) arrived at our Egerton Hotel rendezvous wearing a blue bow tie and his salt & pepper hair suavely combed - just right for a Kensington afternoon tea. 

Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

Paws down, this is the cutest afternoon tea I've ever done. Ever. And I shan't be apologising for the litany of puns about to litter this post. #Sorrynotsorry

25 March 2017

Staying at the Old Vicarage, a luxury guesthouse in Cornwall

When an intriguing proposition to review the Old Vicarage near Truro landed in my email inbox, I knew that it was all the excuse I needed to book in a long weekend and breathe in the fresh air of Cornwall, somewhere I've been meaning to explore forever.

Where to stay Cornwall The Old Vicarage St Clements Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were excited guests of Jon and Marilyn at the Old Vicarage and eviivo
but all of our enthusiasms are very much our own...

From London we plotted a 4-day weekend beginning with two nights at the Old Vicarage, around 2 miles from the Cathedral City of Truro in the small but lovely hamlet of St Clements. The six bedroom luxury guesthouse dates back to the 1500s and is a literal stone’s throw from the banks of the beautiful Tresillian River.

20 March 2017

Pocahontas and her connection with Gravesend, Kent

Sometimes I feel that this country isn't real, that Britain is actually a storybook tome, disguised with trees and chimneys to fool the reader into thinking that we are living on a rock. In actuality perhaps if we prodded it a little bit harder and peered a little bit closer that we would see the seams between worlds. (That got a little bit Matrix in style, sorry!)

Pocahontas Gravesend Kent Unique England Adventures of a London Kiwi

But seriously, it sometimes seems as if each corner has a knight on pure white steed about to charge (Temple Church), damsels defending their land (Queen Boudicea in Epping Forest), incredible feats of daring (Bletchley Park) or wizards ready to enspell the world (Stonehenge) and the tales are such a rich tapestry of fascination - especially for an expat like myself.

18 March 2017

Finding the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Playing with loaded weather dice, also known as booking a UK mini-break in early March, my favourite Australian and I left London behind for a long Cornwall weekend roadtripping through the old haunts of Pirates and smugglers.

 The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi
The Lost Gardens of Heligan Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

We had both eyed up the beautiful scenery, cozy thatched cottages and wild beaches of the Cornish coast often enough to each have a wishlist - and at the top of mine was visiting amazing sculpture of a sleeping goddess entitled ‘Mud Maid’, nestled amongst the boughs of The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

15 March 2017

11 Cadogan Gardens Restaurant - an elegant St Patrick's Day celebration

Leprechauns, or so the Irish faerie stories go, are solitary creatures who spend their time making and mending shoes and have a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If captured by a human, they often grant three wishes in exchange for their freedom.

Taking a meander through the vibrant (some might stretch the metaphor to say, a rainbow) mews of Chelsea, I definitely know what I would spend my wishes on should I ever find the end of the rainbow, especially this week in the lead up to St Patrick's Day.

 11 Cadogan Gardens Restaurant - an elegant St Patrick's Day celebration
 Disclaimer: We were invited but my (very many) opines are only ever my own.

One would be another evening spent in the company of Madam Kings Road Rocks. One would be for World Peace. And one would be a repeat of the iontach (Irish for wonderful) meal that we enjoyed recently as dining guests of the stunning 11 Cadogan Hotel.

13 March 2017

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races

When I'm an old* lady**, I want to look back on a life that looks like a patchwork quilt, embroidered with tales of adventure, contrasted with silver stitches of quiet reflective moment and panels of laughter. I want to explore stories, live in escapades and make my own kind of history. And, when I'm an old lady, I want to be able to say that I lived life to the utmost in my own unique way*** free from competing with the Jones' and full of contentment.

Secret London Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races Adventures of a London Kiwi
Secret London Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races Adventures of a London Kiwi
(For the best resolution of the images, click them to open the slideshow.)

So it is with great pleasure that I finally, finally, finally made it to the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races accompanied by the gorgeous Annie of MontgomeryFest fame - the taco-adoring Southern belle who helped us plan our Louisiana roadtrip escapades making it our best holiday ever. With her and her husband having moved over to London from Louisiana (via Brussels and San Francisco), I wanted to share with her some of my London, that crazy traditional history side that keeps the magic of my adoptive city alive (and if you don't agree you are a muggle, fact.)

11 March 2017

A luxury staycation at the elegant Langham Hotel

To say we were ready for our Langham Hotel staycation was an understatement. As you get older, everyone says that time simply gets faster and faster, and Christmas simply seemed like a blink of an eye ago. Luckily enough we had a magical 24 hours inked into the diary based in this bastion of timeless London elegance.

Luxury Hotel Stay Langham Hotel Marylebone Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the beautiful Langham Hotel but my (very many) opines on feather bolsters and rolltop baths are only ever my own.

On a grey, Sunday day we began with the farmhouse brunch in the Roux at the Landau, as all good everythings do (I was going to say weekends, but who would I be kidding?) before we gave in to the temptation of whisking our bags up to the plush comfort of our junior suite.

9 March 2017

A letter to my 18-year-old self.

I did a straw poll (read: asked a couple of friends over a glass of wine) and asked them what they would tell their 18-year-old self. Most people I asked generally answered ranging from finish your qualifications to moisturize generously.

Honestly, I know that hindsight is 20/20, but I wouldn’t change much at all about my journey so far. Ok, there are a few situations that were completely out of my control and I would change them for all of the money in the world, but I can’t.

6 March 2017

Roux at the Landau, Langham Hotel - a luxury brunch.

Recently I've been dreaming of our honeymoon in the South of France. I think I can firmly blame my friends who have been planning their post-wedding dream holidays, jetting off on their own honeymoons and starting their families (join the thought dots for that one.)

We spent 10 days sampling the markets that French gourmets take for granted and inside the 150+ year old Victorian bastion of British luxury that is the Langham hotel, the opulent flavours of the Farmhouse Brunch served in the Roux at the Landau evoked our honeymoon all over again.

Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi
Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Roux at the Landau, Langham Hotel but my (very many) opines on eggs benedict and champagne are only ever my own.

Instead, a hashtag of bloggers settled in for a balmy Sunday in the shadow of the iconic BBC building, to enjoy an elegant weekend meal in the magnificent Langham Hotel. (Well, I actually spent 24 blissful hours there, but more on that another day.)

4 March 2017

The best US road trip EVER - Texas and Louisiana

Where do you even start with a road trip through Texas and Louisiana like ours? 

15 days, 2 US states, 3 cities, 800 miles of driving + 1 internal flight, a serious amount of Texan Bar-B-Que, a swamp tour on a Louisiana bayou with gators and raccoons, music pouring from doorways, a small red car christened Bonnie (just because we could), 7 hotels (definitely a record for us, we usually like to make a single central base), a goat called Max, lasso lessons, 80s TV shows and as much Iced Tea as we could get away with.

Texas and Louisiana Best Roadtrip Ever Adventures of a London Kiwi

People keep asking why we chose Texas and Louisiana for a roadtrip, and it’s mostly down to fascination and the amazing live music scene in both Austin and New Orleans. There are big festivals in Austin, but not knowing the bands we decided that a trip outside the chaos of tourists flocking there would be the most fun - intentionally out of hurricane season - so we booked our direct return flights to Austin and began planning.

1 March 2017

Harewood House, West Yorkshire - March Travel Linkup

Many moons ago, I tripped Up North to spend a weekend with my favourite purple-hued American and her sweet boy (look, not all my friends are bloggers but the best ones definitely are or were, there's something about scribing on the internet that makes for interesting people) and feeding our dual-obsession for all things English history, we packed the car for a road trip to one of her favorite spots.

Before you roll your eyes and click off yet another post about a gorgeous stately home that features heavily in dream home pinterest boards, let me just say: Humbolt penguins, a man carrying a lion on his shoulder, flamingos and pygmy goats.

Harewood House, West Yorkshire - March Travel Linkup Adventures of a London Kiwi
Harewood House, West Yorkshire - March Travel Linkup Adventures of a London Kiwi
(Psssst scroll to the bottom of the post for the travel linkup widget!)

There we go. That got your attention didn't it?