We’ve all done it. Booked a crazy early flight, or a flight that lands so late that you’ll struggle to get the last train from Stansted Airport and across London to get home. It’s taken me years not to trust the ‘oh, it’ll be ok’ thought when booking and settle on one hotel where to stay near Stansted Airport.
I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to step off a plane late at night and walk through the foyer of the Hampton by Hilton hotel. Or, wake up early in the morning between the crisp, fresh sheets and meander over to the Airport check-in desks.
One of the best things about living in London is the ability to travel around the world by simply hopping on the Underground and crossing beautiful restaurant thresholds. Take for instance Bombay Bustle in the heart of Mayfair – on paper their Samosas Dosas and Mimosas brunch menu is intriguing, but once you pick up your fork, it’s a whole new world of brunch flavour. Disclaimer: We were guests of Bombay Bustle, but all enthusing is entirely my own.
My toes haven’t yet made it to the exotic subcontinent of India, but I do so adore exploring the flavours as often as possible by way of utensil – it’s become by far one of my favourite fares.
There’s a special kind of magic when a group of people gather around a table – all the way from a humble cup of tea, through to intricate tasting menus that titillate the palates. Soutine is elegantly in the middle, a Parisien corner of Salon de thé, a St John’s Wood restaurant in a glorious period building. Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the newly opened Soutine but as ever, all dreamy pastel metaphors are very much my own.
We gathered, a group of four expats – talking of life, love and kettles (long hilarious story) over a table filled with delectable dishes.
Choosing where to stay in Cappadocia was a tough decision. I’m not being hyper dramatic when I say that I probably spent more time choosing this hotel than I did when I was choosing a wedding dress – and in the end, I made a decision via the less than scientific method of asking Mr Kiwi for two favourites, and flipping a coin. (The hotel, not the dress.)
I love staying in quirky hotels – but they have to carefully tiptoe the line between bland and kitsch, and suit our travelling style. I adore the hotels that have a keen sense of place (it’s also a bonus when they come with animal custodians like our stay with Jasper at the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall or the Pygmy goat neighbours in Austin, Texas) and are lovely to come back to at the end of the day.
The lushly appointed Grosvenor House Hotel has a lounge in which you’ll want to linger a little longer, overlooking the leafy boughs of Hyde Park. Especially when the table in front of you is set with a glass of champagne and afternoon tea winks at your from it’s silver stand. Disclaimer: We were invited guests of the Grosvenor House Hotel, but all dreamy metaphors are very much my own.
Every element of the decor and delectable tea stand are a poetic ode to the tree boughs across Park Lane – they seem so close that they’re almost touchable.