I adore visiting favourite old haunts, especially when the sun is out and some of my favourite people are gathered about me. So, when the chance to have all three of these things lined up, you know that I lept at it – and once our diaries aligned, lo and behold, we gathered around a marble table top at 108 Brasserie in the Marylebone Hotel for a leisurely repast in the sunshine. Disclaimer: We were guests of 108 Brasserie for lunch, but all the years of enjoyment are very much my own.
I used to work in Marylebone, and the 108 Brasserie was a regular haunt – meetings, lunches, dinners and post-event drinks, as the classic and delicious dishes were perfect for every kind of palette.
Sometimes I’ll just pause in the airport or a train station, and simply watch the world go by. Usually armed with headphones and sunglasses that obviously render me invisible, I won’t stare, but I love people watching in London through bite-size glimpses and making up all kinds of tales that are completely improbable.
As I type this, it’s almost rush hour at a busy London station, and a very sweet middle-aged man stands waiting just outside the ticket barriers. Dressed in denim and a timeworn leather jacket, his salt and pepper hair is combed just so and his shoes are shined perfectly.
We’ve all done it. Booked a crazy early flight, or a flight that lands so late that you’ll struggle to get the last train from Stansted Airport and across London to get home. It’s taken me years not to trust the ‘oh, it’ll be ok’ thought when booking and settle on one hotel where to stay near Stansted Airport.
I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to step off a plane late at night and walk through the foyer of the Hampton by Hilton hotel. Or, wake up early in the morning between the crisp, fresh sheets and meander over to the Airport check-in desks.
My shortlist of nine amazing European City breaks was both incredibly hard to write and a lovely walk down memory lane – distilling all the sights and sounds over the years into just one list was tough.
Honestly, I could have made this a 42 destination long post, but ain’t nobody gots time for that, amiright? So, on with the (potentially controversial) shortlist of amazing European city breaks.
One of the best things about living in London is the ability to travel around the world by simply hopping on the Underground and crossing beautiful restaurant thresholds. Take for instance Bombay Bustle in the heart of Mayfair – on paper their Samosas Dosas and Mimosas brunch menu is intriguing, but once you pick up your fork, it’s a whole new world of brunch flavour. Disclaimer: We were guests of Bombay Bustle, but all enthusing is entirely my own.
My toes haven’t yet made it to the exotic subcontinent of India, but I do so adore exploring the flavours as often as possible by way of utensil – it’s become by far one of my favourite fares.