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.
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
According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving is a federal holiday in the United States, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This dry description leaves out that it’s the tradition of gathering with your family and friends – and Thanksgiving in London at Aqua Shard was something even more special again. Disclosure – this time we were guests of Aqua Shard but all thoughts are as ever my own.
Many years ago when I was a university student in New Zealand, I was adopted by a crew of expat Americans.
The last two months have been busy, crazy, frenetic and thrilling, so I suspect if we were having coffee it’d be a flat white in my hot little hand.
I’ve been working my little freelance tailbone off, booking 2020 adventures, going on 2019 adventures, dreaming about the future, making goals, then summarily ignoring those goals… I’ve spent a lot of time on my laptop and thinking about social media srategy.
Over the years I been lucky enough to have breakfasted, brunched, lunched, dined and sipped cocktails in this beautiful 5-star hotel, but I was missing one important meal to finish my clutch – the Savoy Hotel afternoon tea.* It was on my afternoon tea bucket list, but I hadn’t quite figured out the best excuse to book in for an afternoon of indulgence.
Luckily, we were genuinely influenced** to book an afternoon tea here, after seeing a friend of ours (a dumpling obsessed, exquisite photographer – you know who you are) visit as a guest of the hotel, and planned the date over a series of increasingly excited messages.