Over a year ago a blogpost went up entreating a group of blog
junkies friends to share their travel wishlists for the year ahead in a one-time linkup. Kelly and Rebecca and I had the crazy idea to continue the tradition on with variation of themes, and 13 months later we’ve been treated to 340 wonderful blogposts on subjects as diverse as Travel ‘pinch me’ moments, The most fantastic, weird or memorable ‘fish out of water’ experiences and A Room with a View.
We’re lucky enough to be joined each month by bloggers who live all over the globe: Canada, the UAE, Sunsvall Sweden, Oxford, America, Hawaii, New Zealand, the Arctic Circle, Yorkshire… I could go on! Many of the months have also been co-hosted by terrific travelistas from all corners of the world, bringing their own cheery smiles to the metaphorical table.
To celebrate our anniversary, we were thrilled when 25 of our lovely linkers were able to meet face-to-face in a private room in Brown’s Hotel, in the heart of Mayfair. Travelling from all over the UK and London, we gathered with glasses of bubbly to toast the many absent friends who we weren’t able to catch up with, before turning to the serious work of cake enjoyment literally at hand.
Disclaimer: We received a slight discount, but my (many) opinions are only ever my own, and I would without hesitation return and pay the full price. In fact another birthday afternoon tea with a good friend has already been booked…
The hotel has hosted some notable people. Alexander Graham Bell went to stay in 1876 to demonstrate his new invention – the telephone – and the first successful telephone call in Great Britain was made from Brown’s in 1876. Other notable people who have stayed at Brown’s include Cecil Rhodes, founder of Rhodesia, Rudyard Kipling (who completed The Jungle Book there) and Agatha Christie, who is popularly believed to have based her 1965 mystery At Bertram’s Hotel on Brown’s. Celebrated Victorian writers Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, JM Barrie and Bram Stoker were also all regular visitors.
And now a giggling table of travel addicted bloggers (we even managed to be graced with the cooing presence representing the next generation of blogging babes – though who know what blogging will be like then?)
It was delicious. We had the Roosevelt room all to ourselves (which was ideal for all of our squealing, hugging and blog-speak chatting as we celebrated the New Year). Our waiters were impeccable, taking us through the menu and order of the day, filling glasses and whisking away empty plates of goodies, only to be replaced bursting with treats.
They catered for all of our dietary requirements – the gluten gang, dairy free darlings and vegetarian valentines (sorry, it must be all of the sugar). I can happily confirm that the newly revamped gluten free menu is delicious – soft sandwiches with traditional fillings (including my favourite from Buckingham Palace – Cucumber and fresh mint *swoon*), perfectly biteable scones and a bevvy of delicious looking desserts.
I do have a confession to make, I was too busy chatting and catching up to really dive into the top tier, but it looked delicious.
To top up our sugar buzz, we loved the slices that came out later (the gluten free offering was bars of ginger cake – my favourite – and chocolate cake) to accompany our cups of Brown’s Afternoon Blend Tea. It was rather lush.
Brown’s Hotel is simply beautiful. A cozy array of nooks, mahogany wall panelling, drawing rooms, library rooms and suites of occasion rooms (we popped quickly into their Kipling suite and for a cheeky aperitif in their bar).
With hand painted wall paper and quotes dancing the walls from The Way Through the Woods by Rudyard Kipling, we rather fell in love.