emma

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Afternoon Tea Fit for a New Prince at …

Afternoon Tea Fit for a New Prince at the Shangri-La London (or in this case, two Princesses)

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of the London skyline. It’s been a dozen years already, and my heart still thumps every time I get to admire the beautiful views of London town – even more when it’s accompanied by champagne and afternoon tea at the Shangri-La London. Disclaimer: We were guests of Shangri-La London, but all flute tinkling, fork twirling and London skyline admiration is pure, unadulterated me. Celebrating motherhood and the eagerly anticipated… View Post

If we were having coffee… a UK sunshine …

If we were having coffee… a UK sunshine edition.

If we were sitting down over a cup of joe, I would definitely be starting with something reviving – a cup of warm chai or a strong flat white, complete with perfectly executed foam heart. Cause that’s how I roll. I would tell you that’s been a relatively quiet month travel-wise, after a few very busy ones. And it’s been delightful. A gloriously sunny Easter weekend, a few long hours staring at my laptop (and… View Post

Vintry and Mercer Hotel – Restaurant Review [Travel Linkup]

Vintry and Mercer Hotel – Restaurant Review [Travel Linkup]

The beautiful Vintry and Mercer hotel has a beautiful sense of place that is obvious from the moment you step over the threshold. With foundations laid on (the fantastically named) Garlick Hill, this newly opened Small Luxury Hotel is full of moments where the local London history permeates. Disclaimer: We were guests of Vintry and Mercer, but all wistful story scraps, allusions to local history and words are very much mine and mine alone. Located… View Post

9 reasons why you should road trip around Corfu | …

9 reasons why you should road trip around Corfu | Sponsored By EasyTerra

The flexibility of hiring a car in a new travel destination is utterly freeing, especially on an island that’s as wild and beautiful as Corfu. The azure skies, golden beaches, ancient architecture, jaw-dropping corners and friendly locals are all excellent reasons as to why you should roadtrip around Corfu. Disclaimer: This post was commissioned by EasyTerra who make it super straightforward to compare and hire a car in Greece, not to mention other countries around the world. Over… View Post

The best things to do in Corfu

The best things to do in Corfu

3 things inspired our ladies long weekend on the Greek island of Corfu; a keening for off-season sunshine, a childhood full of ancient myths, and, well, Instagram – let’s keep things properly millennial and real here. Whilst we were there, we visited some really interesting corners and coves of the island – inspiring this list of the best things to do in Corfu (a much-requested travel blog post!) When you slip around hairpin corners to jaw-dropping… View Post

Island Grill Restaurant, Royal Lancaster Hotel | Review

Island Grill Restaurant, Royal Lancaster Hotel | Review

It’s always intriguing to revisit places that you haven’t been for a while – memories are rather ephemeral (*cough* when not blogged *cough*) and in the case of the Royal Lancaster Hotel, a multi-million pound refurbishment has transformed the hotel to my remembrances. This time we gathered in the Island Grill Restaurant on a grey old London day for a taste of their fresh lunchtime menu, overlooking Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park. Disclaimer: We were… View Post

The best London Parks and Gardens

The best London Parks and Gardens

Did you know that London is the greenest major city in Europe and the third greenest city of its size in the world (officially)? Well, it is, and it has so many beautiful spaces where the city gives way from cold architectural structures to thriving green lungs that give us city-dwellers respite. Selecting the best London parks and gardens for this post was a job I adored taking on. Oh, and they are wonderful places… View Post

House of Minalima – Harry Potter in London

House of Minalima – Harry Potter in London

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” —Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The wizarding world of JK Rowling has inspired millions, if not billions of imaginations around the world – and it all came from an idea she had on a train journey. The House of Minalima here in London showcases some of the incredible graphics of the franchise, and it’s well worth taking… View Post

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee… I would be sipping something according to the fey winds of the April weather; a flat white if it’s cold and grey outside, or a Vietnamese iced coffee if the sun is shining. We’ve had several of my favourite days in the world recently –  crisp, cool days where the sun is shining and the skies are a beautiful blue as far as the eye can see. If we were… View Post

Overnight in Oxford: A Whirlwind Trip as sweet …

Overnight in Oxford: A Whirlwind Trip as sweet as Honey

The honey-stone walls of Oxford city centre conjure all kinds of wishes and whimsy – and each time that I’ve stayed overnight in Oxford, it’s like slipping into an architectural Narnia. Disclaimer: On this visit I was an invited guest of Mercure Hotels and Experience Oxfordshire, but all thoughts and laboured literary metaphors are very much my own. Oxford is one of those cities that seems unaffected by the passing of time. 

9 of the best secret picnic spots in London

9 of the best secret picnic spots in London

I’m slightly obsessed with picnics. The tiny sausage rolls, dappled sunshine, bubbled beverages, a blatant disregard for tables, communal pots of hummus, relaxed laughter and did I mention miniature scotch eggs? As the seasons turn, I’m already planning a little dining en plein air – so thought it was only fair to share 9 of the best secret picnic spots in London that I’ve found so far!  I’m someone who used to keep a picnic… View Post

[Travel Edition] Would You Rather…

[Travel Edition] Would You Rather…

I like to consider myself the queen of small talk. I can chat the hind leg off a donkey (example: I once spent 9 hours brunching with the same two ladies, in the same restaurant on the same day) and don’t often find myself with absolutely nothing to say (*launches into random story only tangentially related to original topic*) but when I saw these travel edition ‘would you rather’ questions, I was actually quite stumped.… View Post

5 Essential Packing Habits That Have Saved Us Holiday …

5 Essential Packing Habits That Have Saved Us Holiday Stress

She stands in a flowing ball gown at the tip of a mountain. The wind teases her hair in perfect waves, the sun has broken over the horizon and she… brandishes her suitcase with the zeal of an airport customs official. Between the manicured Instagram shots, travel can often be quite stressful. Luckily, over the years we’ve developed 5 essential packing habits that have saved us a fair amount of holiday stress and unnecessary hassle.… View Post

10 of the best cat cafes in the world

10 of the best cat cafes in the world

I have a confession to make. I have a full blown cat addiction, and, I’m not even sorry. Those soft little ears, twitching tails and indifferent faces cast a spell that have us dashing around the globe and visiting enough cat cafes to have a shortlist of 10 of the best cat cafes in the world. All the while a sleepy little tabby cat snoozes at home in London… Once we’ve booked flights and perused… View Post

Mint Restaurant Review Tewkesbury Park

Mint Restaurant Review Tewkesbury Park

One of the main reasons for going up to stay at the lovely Tewkesbury Park (a full review of our hotel stay here) was to try the delicious dishes served in the newly refurbished Mint Restaurant. Disclaimer: We were invited to spend a weekend at Tewkesbury Park but all thoughts, images and fork twirlings are very much my own. Hotel restaurants can be hit and miss – we stayed in a hotel a fortnight later… View Post

A weekend staycation at Tewkesbury Park Hotel

A weekend staycation at Tewkesbury Park Hotel

Sunrise slowly shimmered through the dawn fog and the soft twitter of birdsong spread across the valley. We were snugly nestled under our duvet, enjoying our weekend staycation at Tewkesbury Park Hotel, with a glorious view unfolding right at the foot of our bed. Disclaimer: We were invited to spend a weekend at Tewkesbury Park but all thoughts, images and curtain twitchings are very much my own. I always love staycationing (or taking a ‘minigap’ which… View Post

15.03.2019

15.03.2019

This date will be scarred into the New Zealand psyche forever. My heart shattered to hear how many families have been forever affected by the horrific actions in Christchurch. My home is grieving for its countrymen, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite have the words to express how I feel. I am also so proud of how my country has reacted in terms of compassion, changing laws and gathering together. Sadly, it has happened… View Post

A long weekend in Valencia [Travel Linkup]

A long weekend in Valencia [Travel Linkup]

Some of the moments that spark joy when travelling are hard earned and some are just ripe for the taking. Our long weekend in Valencia was as easy as twisting a ripe orange from a laden bough. It began on a cold winter evening, perusing a list of winter sun destinations and within 15 minutes of finding a date both Binny and I could do, we booked the flights and started flicking through the lists… View Post

Burgers and cocktails at Bar Boulud

Burgers and cocktails at Bar Boulud

“For me, the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It’s not too calculated or technical.” Daniel Boulud. But, what this quote doesn’t mention is the clever skill – and at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental hotel demonstrates just that. Disclaimer: We were invited for lunch at Bar Boulud – not long after enjoying lunch there as paying guests (read that review here.) We met for… View Post

The Cereal Killer Cafe: Camden

The Cereal Killer Cafe: Camden

Next to catching up with friends and family, the best thing about having visitors to London is using their visit as a gold plated excuse to delight in doing a few touristy things. Over the years we’ve ticked 99.9% of London’s attractions off the list, but we hadn’t quite managed to make it to one of the Cereal Killer Cafes. Yet. Well, that was until our lovely friend from Texas came, giving me the perfect… View Post