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.
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.
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.