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savoy hotel

    Savoy Hotel Afternoon Tea | The Limited Edition The Tiger Came To Tea

    Over the years I been lucky enough to have breakfasted, brunched, lunched, dined and sipped cocktails in this beautiful 5-star hotel, but I was missing one important meal to finish my clutch – the Savoy Hotel afternoon tea.* It was on my afternoon tea bucket list, but I hadn’t quite figured out the best excuse to book in for an afternoon of indulgence.

    The-Savoy-Afternoon-Tea-London

    Luckily, we were genuinely influenced** to book an afternoon tea here, after seeing a friend of ours (a dumpling obsessed, exquisite photographer – you know who you are) visit as a guest of the hotel, and planned the date over a series of increasingly excited messages.

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    An Iconic Luxury Hotel Review: Raffles, Singapore

    A raffia fan slowly spun as motes fell through the heavy sunshine. Seated in the gorgeous foyer, I was welcomed to the Raffles Hotel first by the immaculately liveried Sikh doorman and then checked in smoothly with a Singapore Sling in hand.

    Raffles Luxury Hotel Review Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Raffles Luxury Hotel Review Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Disclaimer: As a guest of Raffles Hotel I paid a press rate for my suite, but my swooning prose is very much original and unaffected.

    After sitting for less than 5 minutes, I was welcomed by Li – my personal butler for the duration of my stay – who ushered me through the marble corridors to my very own suite. She smiled from ear to ear,  welcoming me effusively to her home of Singapore.

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    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill – A birthday lunch

    Dining at The Savoy has always been on my all time bucket list. The atmosphere, quirky history and the sheer opulence of the famed hotel meant that I’ll take any possible excuse to nip into the American Bar for a cocktail or just use the 5-star luxury hotel as a cut through – sorry, I mean coffee stop – but I wanted a thoroughly special reason as a celebration meal to remember our visit with.

     Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Deciding that my milestone birthday was a worthy enough occasion (after that sentence I feel like selling T-Shirts that say “if something isn’t worth waiting a few years for, is it worth it?”) after opening some of the lovely cards on the doormat, we ignored the unpacking from my surprise trip to Gothenburg completely (one of the joys of living in Europe is definitely the ability to use carry-on) and made our way up the Strand for a leisurely lunch.

    Divested of coats and seated swiftly in a snug corner booth of the Grill, a glass of champagne was the order of the day.

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    The dining room presided over by Gordon Ramsay is an art deco inspired cocoon of scarlet and gold, and our tables was set traditionally with damask white table cloths and heavy silver. As it was just the husband and I this time, sadly we didn’t need the services of Kaspar – a marble cat mascot used to ward off the superstitious ramifications of having only 13 guests at a table.

    Kaspar’s story begins with the legend of an 1898 dinner at the Savoy given for 14 guests by a South African diamond tycoon. One of the diners was unable to attend, leaving the number of guests an unlucky 13, and another diner predicted that whoever first left the table would soon die. The first to leave was Joel, who was shot dead a few weeks later in Johannesburg. After this, the hotel offered to seat a member of its staff at tables of 13 to ward off bad luck.

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Finally, in 1926, the designer Basil Ionides sculpted a 3-foot high art-deco black cat called Kaspar, which is used as the 14th guest. Kaspar is given a full place setting, a napkin is tied around his neck, and he is served each course. I also rather adore that Winston Churchill liked Ionides’s Kaspar so much that he insisted that the sculpture join his parties of any size when dining at the Savoy.

    We began with fresh bread and generous blocks of beautifully salted butter as all the best meals do. 

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Even skipping over starters We over-ordered a little. Ok, a heck of a lot.

    I went for suckling roast pork handcarved from a trolley wheeled to our tableside, whilst my meat-eater couldn’t resist the slab of Sirloin steak. What we hadn’t realised when ordering was how generous the portions sizes were going to be. Assuming they would be the typical delicate servings of high-end restaurants, alongside my honeyed cabbage and roasted potatoes (I assumed I’d get a single roastie and a couple of leaf scraps) we ordered a serving of Cauliflower Cheese Gratin to share, plus new potatoes and creamed spinach to accompany his steak. All of it was hearty and utterly delectable, especially the Cauliflower, causing silence bar for the clink of cutlery.

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Reliving our meal is literally making my mouth water all over again. #bloggerproblems

    For dessert, I couldn’t resist the siren call of the plum frangipane tart served with a carefully molded sphere of clotted cream, but Mr Kiwi chose the chocolate Marquise with blackberries and star anise ice cream. Both were exquisite (especially the spoon tips I managed to sneak from his plate.) Unfortunately once desert was served and after a meal of faultless serivce, the waiting staff appeared to forget about us and we waited nearly half an hour to even pay for the bill, before making our way to the American Bar for a post-feast prandial.

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    My only disappointment of the day – and this is piffling in the scheme of world problems – was that despite telling the Savoy it was my birthday when he booked our table, it wasn’t acknowledged in any way. In comparison, at the Ritz, in the Winter Garden at the Landmark Hotel, Marcus Treadwell’s restaurant at the Berkeley Hotel, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (two reviews that I still need to draft – hey, it’s my birthday and I’ll write when I want to) even if you hadn’t specified whilst booking the table the waiting staff always seem to check in if you’re celebrating a special occasion. It just seemed a shame as The Savoy is such a iconic London restaurant.

    Luckily birthday cake awaited us at home so all was not lost, but if you excuse the pun, some acknowledgement would have been the cherry on the proverbial cake.

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    After the obligatory birthday bathroom selfie, we said goodbye to Kaspar and threw off the rest of our plans for my birthday day, deciding to nap on the couch watch my favourite movie with my own feline snooze-purring in our satiated laps.

    Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill - A birthday lunch

    We enjoyed a royal breakfast at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand a few years ago (which I suspect provided the catalyst for my London brunch addition) which our lunch reminded me that we must revisit (for thorough blog testing purposes you understand.)

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    Hunter 486, The Arch Hotel Restaurant Review

    I’ve long been an advocate for making time to spend with the people who put a smile on your face. My dinner at Hunter 486, within The Arch Hotel with the lovely Mina, overlord of Kings Road Rocks was just such an occasion. Realising I hadn’t seen her in an age, I just needed a couple of hours nattering with her. It was one of those lightbulb moments and cancelling my dinner date with Mr Kiwi, within an hour or so we had thrown off the shackles of married life and arranged a girlie evening the next day.

    Hunter 486, The Arch Hotel Restaurant Review Adventures of a London Kiwi
    Hunter 486, The Arch Hotel Restaurant Review Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Disclaimer: We were invited guests to try the Best of British menu at Hunter 486 of but all of my very, very many thoughts are only ever my own… 

    Some friends are for clubbing with in Soho on a Friday night. Some friends are for sipping champagne with, in rooftop bars. Some friends are for sunny brunching whilst working though distinctly expat problems. And some friends are for chatting over dinner about esoteric literature in the beautiful suburbs of London. (This feels like it might just turn into a Rolling Stones song.)

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    Luxury Date Night Suggestions | London

    There are over 2,000 restaurants in London. The sheer choice available in terms of interesting things to do, world-class restaurants to enjoy and then quirky bars for a luxurious nightcap is astonishing. 
     
    6 Luxurious London Date Ideas Adventures of a London Kiwi
     
    Mr Kiwi and I try to make sure that we book in regular dates (ones where we have to talk, rather than staring at our respective phone screens.)

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