Most people spend their lives avoiding situations that would put them behind bars. But true to past form, I actively researched the best way to get Mr Kiwi and I locked into prison – but it was at the luxurious Malmaison hotel in Oxford, rather than at her Majesty’s pleasure.
When I first saw Lauren’s gorgeous stay here last year, it stayed on my mind and at the top of my UK hotel bucket list – until I spotted that they had a Friday evening spot available in the A-wing – one of the original prison’s wings of this unique hotel.
Every time that I’ve written about Hutong at the Shard, I’ve always started off with the amazing views of the London skyline, and actually, that isn’t fair. There are so many restaurants that bank so much on their views that they let their menu quality slip, but Hutong (part of the Aqua group) isn’t like that.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Hutong at the Shard,
but my palette and misuse of ancient Chinese proverbs are all very much my own.
I feel like I’ve said it before: breathtaking London views, incredible flavours from Northern China, elegantly arrayed surrounds and a beautiful Wishing Tree – every branch perpetually hung with lucky red wishing cards.
To me, afternoon tea is all about spending quality time with someone special – taking time out of a normal day to enjoy a little indulgent luxury. Relaxing at Rubens Hotel in their Palace Lounge was just perfect after a busy, stressful couple weeks for both my lovely friend and I.
Disclaimer: We were guests of Buyagift but my (very many) thoughts and pinky raising are very much all my own posing.
There’s an old adage that the best gift you can give is time, which Buyagift has taken to the next level, offering all kinds of amazing experiences (and cool enough ones that you’ll hope the gift receiver will take the hint to invite you to.) We’ve sent and been given lovely experiences via Buyagift for years, so when they invited me to try one of the hotel afternoon teas they offer in honour of afternoon tea week, it was an immediate yes.
I’ve never yet made it to the Chelsea Flower Show. Somehow we always seem to be away, or busy, or some other reason which always seems important at the time. Luckily though, the team at the Polo Bar in the Westbury Mayfair Hotel have kept floral notes of the flower show in their Season of Flowers cocktail trio, available until the end of August.
Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Westbury Mayfair Hotel but my (very many) thoughts and flowery prose are very much all mine.
We tiptoed (with a very slight squelch) through the beautiful Mayfair doors – outside the summer skies were rumbling with a heat storm – lightning, thunder and silver raindrops – breaking the humid London heat.
For the second night of our Stratford-upon-Avon staycation, we went deep into the countryside. (Well, as deep as 20 minutes in a cab could get away from the train station.) We booked at night at the Billesley Manor Hotel for some much-needed relaxation time.
Set in 11 acres of parkland, Billesley Manor is a stunning 16th-century Elizabethan manor house. Located just 3 miles from Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, this historic property is steeped in history and charm. Once referenced in the Domesday Book, the grounds feature an 11th-century church and an ornate topiary garden, which was planted 100 years ago to replicate a chess board.