I haven’t yet graced the shores of Thailand, but in my dreams it’s a fragrant tropical paradise. One with coral seas and sparkling white beaches where the air is redolent with… massaman curry. Disclosure: We were guests of Nipa Thai, a delicious restaurant in the Royal Lancaster Hotel – it’s always, always a pleasure to dine there. All random musings are mine and mine only as ever.
Forget the scents of orchids, jasmine, lemongrass, ratchaphruek and lime – I would love the spiced aromas of silkenly tangled tamarind, cinnamon, coconut and kaffir lime to float my way whilst exploring those tropical shorelines. Especially around lunch and dinner times.
Our 100-foot tall hot air balloon floated above the ancient Turkish valleys filled with prehistoric stone edifices – and we just gazed in sheer wonder, 1,000 or so feet up in the sky. What I felt as we silently drifted above the pastel horizon while the sun slowly broke, is actually rather hard to express. Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia.
Part of me thought that those images of hundreds of balloons drifting in the pre-dawn light were photoshop creations but here it was, actually unfolding before us like a magical tableau. (Well, some of those images are definitely photoshopped, but that’s a discussion for another time.)
I’ve always dreamed of exploring Turkey. My fascination began in High School when I learned about the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (now called Istanbul) through the ancient empire building of Alexander the Great. (I was struggling to find the words to share our trip to Turkey, so I thought I’d begin with my impressions of Cappadocia and Istanbul.)
We began our trip in Goreme (after landing in Istanbul for the night and then catching an internal flight – I’ll write a full itinerary in a subsequent post) the tourist capital of Cappadocia.
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 hotels, Google searching for a cat cafe is one of the first things I do – and I’ve been accused of carrying out those 3 tasks in a slightly different order. It’s something I can neither confirm nor deny, but we do have a rather high hit rate of booking accommodation close to cat cafes. I’ll just leave that there, shall I?
Like the brunch queen I am, I couldn’t help myself and put together a list of the best hotel breakfasts we have enjoyed so far around the world – they say “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” and I can’t help but agree. These are all favourites for a myriad of reasons – and every single hotel that we stayed in and listed, has excellent coffee and was part of an adventure.
The locations vary from Texas to Cornwall, from Budapest to Gibraltar but all have beautiful food, something special about them, and I would love to revisit every single one of them for retesting purposes.