The sun was shining gloriously, my apple green soft-top Maserati was parked neatly under the shadow of the Shard and I had a generously proportioned gin cocktail in front of my hand for sipping*. We’d popped into the Tanqueray Gin Garden at Bar 31 in the Shangri La (disclosure: we were invited guests of the Shangri La) right next to London Bridge Station, and life was good.
* One of these things isn’t quite accurate – I’ll leave you to guess which. Hint: I haven’t got rid of my taxi app just yet – and make sure you have a chauffeur if you’re going to bring your apple green Maserati with you.
With a couple of nights to explore, every time that I investigated where to stay in Rotterdam the newly opened luxury hotel, The James, kept popping up at the top of all of my searches.
Whether it was fate or clever Google remarketing, I’ll never know, but it was such a lovely stay that I’ll chalk it up to fate. (Ps. that’s what I’ll blame all my future booking choices on I think – fates that have excellent taste in luxurious hotels.)
In London it’s been hot. We’ve been teased mercilessly that it’s not that hot, but trust me, during a London heatwave, being in the city is not the place to be in 35°C+ temperatures. It feels more like the surface of the sun: the concrete edit. So, if we were having coffee right now, it would be an Affogato served with a few generous scoops of rich vanilla ice cream.
July has been filled with some lovely, lovely moments.
Forget snow-white steeds tossing their manes and knights in chain mail, baring swords. All the modern princess of today needs is a train ticket, a great friend with exquisite taste in music and a glass of bubbly in the sunshine. Disclaimer: we were guests of Hever Castle.
Leaving London quickly behind (it’s only a 40-minute train ride, the perfect day trip from London Bridge Station.)
I adore visiting favourite old haunts, especially when the sun is out and some of my favourite people are gathered about me. So, when the chance to have all three of these things lined up, you know that I lept at it – and once our diaries aligned, lo and behold, we gathered around a marble table top at 108 Brasserie in the Marylebone Hotel for a leisurely repast in the sunshine. Disclaimer: We were guests of 108 Brasserie for lunch, but all the years of enjoyment are very much my own.
I used to work in Marylebone, and the 108 Brasserie was a regular haunt – meetings, lunches, dinners and post-event drinks, as the classic and delicious dishes were perfect for every kind of palette.