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.
Have you ever fancied 48 hours in Bristol? Over a decade ago when I explored the streets of Bristol on a weekend, the streets were slick with rain and it was long before we had Google maps guided our footsteps. A rain-drenched Kiwi wandered through the twirling lanes, with an England Lonely Planet guide in one hand and the other hand tucked in her pocket.
Whilst I wandered all those years ago I still managed to fit in a few of the city highlights before I left on my train back to London, but I knew that I hadn’t quite captured the zeitgeist of this city.
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.
Modern art tends to divide people. There are those that hate it, those that see deep meanings behind the canvases and those that aren’t bothered either way. The beauty of taking anyone to the Tate Modern, is that all camps are totally looked after. Confused? Follow me.
The building face only an architect could love…
The Tate Modern is quite some edifice, rising up from the Thames riverbank. A former power station designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, it consisted of a stunning turbine hall, 35 metres high and 152 metres long, with the boiler house alongside it and a single central chimney. It was an imposing building along the London Southbank but apart from a remaining operational London Electricity sub-station, the site had been redundant since 1981. Herzog & De Meuron (Basel architects) were commissioned in 1994 to convert the building into the gallery that we know and love today.
If you google ‘romantic weekends for couples in England’ you’ll get a thousand recommendations. Misty country breaks, city exploring, beach bach staycations full of sand, four-poster beds in castle hotels, forest-dwelling glamping – the lot.
England is a land full of history, romance and a train network that linking up all of these fabulous places to explore.