emma

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Christmas Gifts for Coffee Lovers | Written By A …

Christmas Gifts for Coffee Lovers | Written By A Coffee Addict

Do you need this guide filled with Christmas gifts for coffee lovers? If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then you definitely do. Does your loved one own a coffee mug that says ‘don’t talk to me until my coffee gets to *this* level’? Do they sneer at a particular cafe chain with a green mermaid logo? Is their kitchen bench covered in a litany of scales, filters, glass canisters and grinders?… View Post

The Best Christmas Light Displays in London | 2021

The Best Christmas Light Displays in London | 2021

I wanted to gather together the best Christmas light displays in London this year as a helpful blog post/walking guide. Gather a few friends, wrap up warmly and make your way to central London for some of the most beautiful Christmas lights in the world.  Just be warned that especially on weekend evenings it gets BUSY so bring a mask.  Oh, don’t forget a mulled wine/cider/apple juice or two enroute to keep those cheeks rosy… (if… View Post

Festive Spirits for Christmas | Cocktails at Home

Festive Spirits for Christmas | Cocktails at Home

We’ve been extensively testing a delicious array of festive spirits for Christmas – yes I know it’s early yet, but these things like cocktails need to be checked out thoroughly! [Disclosure: these were gifted, but I’ll definitely be getting all of these again on my own dime!]    Please drink responsibly and enjoy these in moderation.

The (Very Careful) Art of Foraging in the …

The (Very Careful) Art of Foraging in the UK

There are some experiences that literally change the way you view the world. For the longest time I’ve wanted to do a foraging course through English woodlands with an experienced guide leading the way. to forage /ˈfɒrɪdʒ fawr-i-jing/ noun – the acquisition of food by hunting, fishing, or the gathering of plant matter.

Luxury Hotels in Manchester | Kimpton Clocktower Review

Luxury Hotels in Manchester | Kimpton Clocktower Review

There are a few luxury hotels in Manchester city centre, but the two that captured our imagination were the Kimpton Clocktower and of course the beautiful King Street Townhouse during our city-break. (We also explored Liverpool for a few days, what a city!) Housed in a magnificent terracotta Grade II–listed building, the Kimpton Clocktower has a history that dates back to 1890, when the building first opened as The Refuge Assurance Company headquarters (a life insurance… View Post

The Best Aussie Cafes in London | Fair Dinkum …

The Best Aussie Cafes in London | Fair Dinkum Flat Whites & Lamingtons

Having recently rounded up the best Kiwi cafes in London, I thought it only fair to share the best Aussie cafes in London as well. For trans-Tasman balance you understand, and nothing at all to do with the banana bread research required…  no…  For when you’re desperate for brunch & all the Kiwi cafes are booked *wink*. I only kid – our Aussie cousins do a pretty damn good brunch, and I’m so glad that… View Post

The Shangri-La London Hotel | Pink October Afternoon Tea

The Shangri-La London Hotel | Pink October Afternoon Tea

The Shangri-La London has again turned pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, with vibrant pink décor, pink-inspired artworks and a rather special Pink Afternoon Tea at @tinglondon Restaurant. [Disclosure: we were guests of the Shangri-La London hotel but all enthusings are very much my own.] This wonderful afternoon tea is as delicious and luxurious as befits a Shangri-La creation and the fact that the Shangri-La team continuously supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month with rose-hued dining, means so… View Post

The Best Kiwi Cafes in London | Sweet As …

The Best Kiwi Cafes in London | Sweet As Kiwi Brunches

Researching this post of the best Kiwi cafes in London has been the result of 15+ years of extensive footwork. Flat whites are available all over (though I have deep misgivings about McDonalds doing them) and you can get sweetcorn fritters on many brunch menus – but you can’t beat the laidback hospitality and inventiveness of brunch in a Kiwi run cafe/restaurant. I’ve arranged these by classic & inventive, then tried to (very) roughly run… View Post

5 of my Favourite Sky-high Hotel Spas and Pools

5 of my Favourite Sky-high Hotel Spas and Pools

I just had to share 5 of my favourite sky-high hotel spas and pools as I’ve been dreaming about past travels recently. They’re all favourites for a variety of reasons – lovely hotels with great memories attached both here in England and across the globe.

Luxury Hotels in Manchester | King Street Townhouse

Luxury Hotels in Manchester | King Street Townhouse

No word of a lie, of all the luxury hotels in Manchester, I’ve been looking for an excuse to book a stay in the King Street Townhouse for years. Finally, our Liverpool and Manchester joint staycation gave me that very excuse to book a stay there. There’s lots to do in Manchester, but we just relaxed.

72 Hours in Liverpool | All You Need Is Love (…

72 Hours in Liverpool | All You Need Is Love (and this Staycation Guide)

We’ve always meant to explore Liverpool, but with the sunny climes of Europe beckoning we kept pushing it unfairly down the list. Our 72 hours in Liverpool were a whirlwind of mischief, music, cocktails and naps. Yep. Naps.  Oh, Darling! It was a proper awesome city staycation – there’s Something in the water. It’s a city where we had a very vague idea of what we wanted to do, but nothing set in concrete. The… View Post

9 Day Trips from London worth pulling a Sickie …

9 Day Trips from London worth pulling a Sickie for

We’ve been promised a week or two of unseasonably delicious weather so have been thinking back to a few of my favourite day trips from London worth pulling a sickie for. We’re talking lovely beaches, ancient history and lovely rambles in nature, soaking up all of that sunshine. Sure, the classics are pretty amazing; Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford-Upon-Avon, The Cotswolds & Stonehenge/Salisbury, Brighton, York… I could blather on. The key to any good day trip… View Post

Where to stay in Istanbul | The Pera Palace …

Where to stay in Istanbul | The Pera Palace Hotel | Historical Luxury

When I was researching where to stay in Istanbul, the Pera Palace Hotel kept coming up, time and time again. It was simply fate – even before I discovered the writers legacy living between the perfectly manicured walls. I have to apologise in advance for the photo dump, but it was such a breathtaking hotel that I couldn’t resist. This was a break we took awhile ago, so apologies for the grainy photos – but… View Post

Where to stay in Istanbul | The Ritz Carlton

Where to stay in Istanbul | The Ritz Carlton

I never dreamed that we would get to visit Istanbul, a city steeped with exotic mysticism. When deciding where to stay in Istanbul the Ritz Carlton was recommended to me by several of my friends who had explored the city straddling both Asia and Europe. Flicking though my photos the other day reminded me of how beautiful our stay was – and how I hadn’t shared our time there. [Well, that, and my only regret of… View Post

LE GARRICK, A CORNER OF FRENCH ROMANCE IN …

LE GARRICK, A CORNER OF FRENCH ROMANCE IN LONDON’S COVENT GARDEN – RESTAURANT REVIEW

Returning to an old favourite restaurant like Le Garrick is like putting on a long-forgotten, beloved jumper. It’s cosy, delicious, fits a little differently but above all, has an underlying love of satisfaction so different to a newer garment. Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Le Garrick, but my (very many) opinions are only ever my own, and I would never recommend anywhere that I don’t happily visit. And revisit. Restaurants from all corners of the globe line… View Post

The Best Bottomless Brunch in London | AD

The Best Bottomless Brunch in London | AD

A lovely friend of mine recently moved to London, and asked me to recommend the best bottomless brunch in London to her for her birthday. But, there’s a twist. DISCLAIMER – This post was commissioned by BottomlessBrunch.com but all bottomless brunch in London enthusiasm is very, very much my own.   I’ve got to be honest here and confess that as a self-crowned brunch queen, I only knew of a couple of places to recommend and had… View Post

Things To Do In Felixstowe [spoiler: walk, relax & …

Things To Do In Felixstowe [spoiler: walk, relax & eat ice cream]

We played holiday roulette this summer – with travel still limited to the UK, booking somewhere to stay has been competitive to say the least. In the title of this blog post I promised to share all the things to do in Felixstowe, but honestly the most important for my friend and I was switching off our busy brains and revel in the sound of the ocean. (All those negative ions; I’ll explain shortly.) When… View Post

How to Stay Cool During a British Heatwave

How to Stay Cool During a British Heatwave

Let’s get two things straight: a British heatwave is horrible. the buildings here are built to keep people warm rather than breathing, and yes, yes, you are always very cool. But. Knowing how to stay cool during a British heatwave is an expat survival level that you hit once you’ve been here for a few years.    It’s a secret expat level masked by all those jokes about incessant rain.

Afternoon Tea at the Beautiful Lanesborough Hotel | Food …

Afternoon Tea at the Beautiful Lanesborough Hotel | Food Memories

There’s a pure joy in taking afternoon tea with a good friend, no, it’s not joy. That’s too rambunctious a word. Bliss. (Thank you for adding embedding this phrase into my psyche, Katherine Mansfield.) Disclosure: we were guests of The Lanesborough Hotel for their homage to Cruelle De Vil, but all literary metaphor excitement is purely my own.   Bliss is the best word, as afternoon is a little touch of magic to the ordinary… View Post