My friend and I have explored Christmas markets around the UK, solved innumerable escape rooms together, and have a joint love of festive afternoon teas. So I knew exactly who I wanted to hang out with whilst trying this year’s Christmas afternoon tea with a London view – up on the 31st floor of The Shard. Disclosure: We were guests of Aqua Shard but all festive puns and wayward musings are always my own.
We met over the internet after she moved from Sydney to the land of almost endless drizzle – and we bonded in only the way that two expats, adrift from their home continent can.
If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you are a blogger who doesn’t write a Christmas gift guide, are you even entitled to buy rose gold accessories?
Obviously, I’m joking, but for a second year running I felt that an essential tool in my blogging arsenal was lacking deployment (as well as my annual charity gift guide which I’ll pop up shortly.)
Meal planning. It’s not the sexiest of topics, but with dinner occurring every single day, it’s certainly a oft discussed one in our house. Disclosure: This post about fresh meals at home was commissioned by HelloFresh but all thoughts are very much our own. We’ve been customers of theirs in the past and it was lovely to revisit their service to see just how the company has developed.
*Cat not included in subscriptions
There’s a brilliant meme that made the rounds while ago, that said married life is nothing more than endless texts of ‘what do you fancy for dinner?’ ‘Not sure. What do you fancy?” In our house add “It’s your turn to pick!” “but I picked the… other day…” It’s so, so true.
Cats. According to one of my misquoted sources, they run the internet. What I can confirm is that one definitely runs our home – and I just had to put together a list of the best cats in London – both real and sculptural. They’re historical, mischevious, know exactly how to wrap their humans around their paw, and are really rather cute.
– Kaspar the Cat at The Savoy Hotel, The Strand –
Not only does he have a restaurant named after him, but walk past the entrance to the famous 5-star Savoy hotel on The Strand and you will see a topiary cat. 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 died 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
Épernay, the self-proclaimed capitale du Champagne was pretty magical. No, scratch that, really rather magical. We visited as Epernay, Champagne as guests of the Agence Regionale du Tourisme Grand Est but all enjoyment was very much our own.
A good friend of ours had visited Èpernay on a ladies weekend, and had told us of the beautiful champagne houses, the rolling countryside laden with grapevines and the blush stone Avenue de Champagne, which only served to fuel our excitement.