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    3 Challenges I’ve Overcome Travelling | Travel Linkup

    Despite my blog name, I’m not actually all that adventurous. Think more suburban adventure rather than skydiving or wild camping. But, over the years I have ended up overcoming a few challenges that I hadn’t precisely expected to be faced with.

    Paris Solo Travel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    This blog has always been, and will forever more be a record of my personal adventures. It is a journal of the chaos, delight, opportunities and travails that we encounter all rolled in with an obsession for photography (as far as my skillz extend) and a dash of humour (well, I try anyway).

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    KEYWORD SEARCHES TO DISCOVER ADVENTURES OF A LONDON KIWI

    It’s been a fair while since I did one of these whimsical posts, delving into the place where blog statistics and words explode. Every so often (usually whilst fixing an errant image) my eye is drawn to the statistics portion of my blog, and I remember that there are keywords drawing people to my little corner of the internets. I then scan down the page in disbelief, as an array of hilarious snippets begin to list.

    What to do in Seattle Chihuly Garden and Glass Washington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Cue a brief moment of SEO guilt (as every blogger talk I’ve ever been to flashes before my memory) before I’m distracted by yet another cat video on YouTube…

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    Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

    I always spend the last post of the year looking back over the previous 365 days. I think it’s important to remember where we’ve come from, as much as we look forward to where we are going.

    This is the year that I quit my job and launched a business, it’s the year that I did a cross-globe four-country trip on my own (but hung out with and stayed with good friends and wonderful family along the way) and it’s the year that I realised a few different dreams both on- and off-line.

    It was a pretty crazy year.

    It’s also the year that my supportive family and friends proved exactly how amazing they are, it’s the year that I learnt a lot about myself – the good and the bad – and the year that my little hobby corner of the internet reached it’s 5-year birthday. 2017 is also the year that politics seem to have imploded, volcanoes have gone mad and the year that I stopped watching the news because my heart struggled with the onslaught of sadness.

    My #bestnine for 2017 on Instagram nicely encapsulates the highlights of the year – a few London restaurants and landmarks, the patchwork of New Zealand from an internal flight, one of the delicious dishes enjoyed and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

    Traditionally each year I like to finish with a little roundup of the year that was. I think we’ll play with the top 17 this time (I did the best 16 last year, the top 15 in 201514 in 201413 in 2013, and 12 in 2012… see where I’m going with this?) the spirit and phrasing doesn’t change but the chaos definitely does.

    The first five are chosen by you, my lovely readers, and always include a few surprises…

    23 of the best places to go in New Orleans

    Gods Own Junkyard, Walthamstow

    10 of the best unique UK daytrips (when you’ve done all the usual ones)

    An Iconic Luxury Hotel Review: Raffles, Singapore

    How to drive in America (a Kiwi perspective from the wrong side of the road)

    …a bevy of posts that meant a lot to me…

    Why my heart has shattered in 2017

    Our stay at the luxurious Bovey Castle Hotel – Codename: OperationDon’tTellAftab

    Portugal: A Peaceful Long Weekend In Porto

    A Luxurious Staycation At The Elegant Langham Hotel

    … a few extra surprises that the year held…


    The Bulford Kiwi – a 130m tall piece of Graffiti near Salisbury, Wiltshire

    Bottomless brunching at Aqua Kyoto

    The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall: A sumptuous seaside spa stay

    A Birthday Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

    A luxurious stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore

    ...and a touch of expat thoughts & inspiration.


    5 of my most hilarious travel bloopers

    A letter to my 18-year-old self.

    5 lessons learnt as a travel addict

    When Friends Become Family: Expat Life


    Thank you. Thank you for sticking around and have a wonderful New Year! May it be full of joy and beautiful coffee.

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    Roux at the Landau, Langham Hotel – a luxury brunch.

    Recently I’ve been dreaming of our honeymoon in the South of France. I think I can firmly blame my
    friends who have been planning
    their post-wedding dream holidays, jetting off on their own honeymoons and starting their families (join the thought dots
    for that one.)

    We spent 10 days sampling the markets that French gourmets take for granted and inside the 150+ year old Victorian bastion of British luxury that is the Langham hotel, the opulent flavours of the Farmhouse Brunch served in the Roux at the Landau evoked our honeymoon all over again.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Roux at the Landau, Langham Hotel but my (very many) opines on eggs benedict and champagne are only ever my own.

    Instead, a hashtag of bloggers settled in for a balmy Sunday in the shadow of the iconic BBC building, to enjoy an elegant weekend meal in the magnificent Langham Hotel. (Well, I actually spent 24 blissful hours there, but more on that another day.)

    We were welcomed with mimosa glasses, canapes and a beautiful display of Asprey handbags in the private dining Portillion Room that made even my fashion adverse heart beat a little louder. This was essentially my entire 2017 London Fashion Week experience in a nutshell, before being ushered into the beautiful Roux at the Landau – overseen by culinary icons Michel Roux Jr and Albert Roux OBE – for a 3+ course luxury brunch. After our festive afternoon tea last year, I knew we were in for a treat.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Seated with flutes of champagne that never seemed to empty and the al a carte menu for our main dish, we settled in for a leisurely Sunday.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The aperitif course is served family style in the French farmhouse tradition. Firstly Cornish Oysters served with DIY levels of mignonette (a sauce of minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar) to be enjoyed straight from the shell – and whether you consider them food of the gods or the devil’s own delicacy – it’s impossible to deny how beautifully they are presented.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Then a table laden with ‘Jambon persillé’, smoked Scottish salmon whisky cured especially for ‘Chez Roux’, Crab, apple and celeriac remoulade, salt-baked beetroot and watercress salad, Monk’s beard with anchovy salad and Black quinoa, caper & hazelnut salad drew us like moths to a flame (or you could just leave the metaphor as food bloggers to a feast, both work).

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    And our view wasn’t too bad either. #understatement

    One of the sweetest touches of the brunch was an acoustic guitarist who softly serenaded us whilst we chatted and employed our business tools – forks and cameras always at the ready.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    For our a la carte ‘main’, as an antipodean brunch bohemian at heart, the Lobster and Avocado egg benedict simply called my name – though the silver dome crowned trolley with hand carved spit roast Pork rack, crispy pig’s ears, potato ‘flower’ and apple almost swayed me to the European tradionalist side. Almost. It was Sunday after all.

    Beautifully presented, the avocado was cleverly slivered into a rosette cradling the perfectly poached egg and hiding a heart of lobster transforming a rather simple weekend dish into something sophisticated and of refined indulgence.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    To the left of me, Fiona’s dish of the new season’s Skrei cod, cockles ‘dieppoise’ and Paris mushrooms smelt tantalizing…

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    …but to my right, I managed to sneak a tineful of Aftab’s slowcooked Beef cheek served ‘parmentier’ style with bitter leaves salad and potato puree which was smoother than New Orleans jazz.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    And then, to dessert. Or cheese depending on your upbringing.

    For the French, sucré must follow salé, and honestly why would you want to argue? There was a selection of French and Italian cheeses and charcuterie to satisfy any savoury lovers palate, but I was saving myself for the sucré course.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Heaven on a plate.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Rhubarb (fresh from the Yorkshire triangle) trifle, blood orange meringue pie, my favourite – tarte tatin with Normandy crème fraiche, choux pastry delicately pipedwith Ecuadorian chocolate cream

    individual portions of crème caramel, orange flavoured financiers, a flan with Armagnac prunes and even a platter of exotic fresh fruit with slices of dragon fruit, mango, pineapple, melon, strawberries and kiwifruit for a lighter corner.

    Oh, not to mention tray of fresh croissants, muffins and m&m stuffed cookies sure to please the most ardent of brunch critics.

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    We savoured away a good portion of the afternoon, I mean can you really blame us?

    As such a beautiful, flavoursome corner of provencal France conveniently located a few minutes walk from the hubbub of Oxford Street, it really is unbeatable. For more details of the Roux at the Landau Farmhouse brunch see their website.

    {{Pin For Later}}

    Luxury Brunch Roux at the Landau Langham Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

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    The best US road trip EVER – Texas and Louisiana

    Where do you even start with a road trip through Texas and Louisiana like ours? 

     15 days, 2 US states, 3 cities, 800 miles of driving + 1 internal flight, a serious amount of Texan Bar-B-Que, a swamp tour on a Louisiana bayou with gators and raccoons, music pouring from doorways, a small red car christened Bonnie (just because we could), 7 hotels (definitely a record for us, we usually like to make a single central base), a goat called Max, lasso lessons, 80s TV shows and as much Iced Tea as we could get away with.

    Texas and Louisiana Best Roadtrip Ever Adventures of a London Kiwi

    People keep asking why we chose Texas and Louisiana for a road trip, and it’s mostly down to fascination and the amazing live music scene in both Austin and New Orleans. There are big festivals in Austin, but not knowing the bands we decided that a trip outside the chaos of tourists flocking there would be the most fun – intentionally out of hurricane season – so we booked our direct return flights to Austin and began planning.

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