Tag Archives: london

A luxury cream tea at Beaufort Hotel, London

On a rainy Saturday afternoon in London, I was invited to try the cream tea at the Beaufort Hotel.

The privately owed boutique hotel offers a home away from home for all guests of the residence in Knightsbridge. The hotel is well located in a tree lined cul-de-sac just a  stones throw from premium retailers including Harrods.

Continue reading A luxury cream tea at Beaufort Hotel, London

Colourful Action at Notting Hill Carnival

The largest street party in Europe erupted in west London recently with a blaze of colour to bring hundreds of thousands of people together for the annual Notting Hill Carnival.

With performers, dancing, carnival floats, music and food on offer, each year the carnival is a welcomed opportunity to celebrate Caribbean culture in multi-cultural London. Continue reading Colourful Action at Notting Hill Carnival

Bank holiday weekend = staycation in London

This weekend marks the final bank holiday of 2013, a long weekend and the chance to have a guilt-free lie-in on Monday morning.

I’m usually the first person to book a trip away for a bank holiday, typically planned months in advance to get the best price and travel options to suit me. This long weekend is a little different as I’ve decided to spend it in my home city, London. Continue reading Bank holiday weekend = staycation in London

A night with friends at Nazaks, London

Nazaks, LondonFor a weekday evening in London my friend and I decided to stay local in Camden and try a restaurant that was new to both of us – Nazaks. This local Indian restaurant met our girly catch-up requirements:

  • Mid-range pricing (the restaurant is available on the Tastecard promotion)
  • Good reviews for food reviews (it scores very well on Tripadvisor)
  • Decent cocktail menu; Nazaks allows you to bring your own alcohol (we took 2 bottles of wine) into the restaurant which was a good alternative for us.

Our booking was fairly early in the evening for 6.30pm, so when we arrived it was quiet but we were seated quickly and offered the menu. Although quiet, the restaurant looked respectable and clean with everything very well presented. The menu choice was wide and varied as well as being reasonably priced.

We opted for a selection of dishes that we shared between us to maximise our sampling of the restaurant menu. Overall the food was great with very good portion sizes. It all tasted of good quality, authentic and freshly made.

We found no faults at all and really enjoyed the gradual busy atmosphere of the restaurant. It never felt busy or distracting from our experience of the restaurant. The staff were consistently polite, knowledgeable about the dishes and didn’t rush us at all. The pace of the restaurant was pleasant and other patrons were evidently enjoying their evening as well.

Would we return again – yes, definitely. For a weekday evening or a decent Indian meal in a city that is overrun with choice, Nazaks is a high contender for those lazy evenings when you want a chance to sit back and be treated.

Photo essay of Portobello Road Market, London

I love a good market, whether it’s just for a browse or (usually) to enjoy food and other treats of the marketplace, hence making an effort to visit those of home – like Borough Market – and abroad.

On Saturdays, the Notting Hill area of London becomes home to Portobello Road Market, a popular street market renown for its second-hand clothes and antiques and a popular choice for visitors to London. Continue reading Photo essay of Portobello Road Market, London

Celebrating ‘Viva Oliva’ at Vapiano, London

I was recently invited to try out a local Italian restaurant, Vapiano in London. Whilst they usually supply a range of exquisite pizza and pasta dishes, I would be visiting on the first day of ‘Viva Oliva’ (meaning ‘long live the olive’), a 15-day olive festival to focus on a range of meals and dishes featuring olives.

On first appearances, the restaurant has a vibrant, busy atmosphere with a constant flow of visitors. Whilst waiting for my friends, I counted at least twenty groups of customers in the space of five minutes. I couldn’t believe the footfall and was even more amazed that I had never heard of the restaurant despite this location being open for over four years. Don’t let the active environment put you off, there always seems to be space for customers with a relatively short turnaround and a shared seating layout. If you spot a space on an occupied table, feel free to help yourself to the space. Continue reading Celebrating ‘Viva Oliva’ at Vapiano, London

Bento and cocktails at Spice Market, London

I recently won a competition courtesy of Leicester Square Films which entitled myself and one other to a meal at Spice Market in London.This has always been a place that I’ve admired on my regular jaunts to the far less pricey Wong Kei’s in London’s Chinatown.

On a cold evening after a full day at work, I decided that this would be the perfect time to go, especially as I had just returned from Berlin. Continue reading Bento and cocktails at Spice Market, London

Jam-packed adventure in Friedrichshafen, Germany #TreasureFDH

Route taken for 'The Great Monarch Treasure Hunt to the Alps'
Route taken for ‘The Great Monarch Treasure Hunt to the Alps’

Following my previous post about the trip to Friedrichshafen in Germany with Monarch Airlines and Bodensee-Airport Friedrichshafen, I wanted to fill you in on the full details of my intense yet fun-filled 24-hour return trip to Friedrichshafen.

Located on the northern side of Lake Constance in South Germany near Litchenstein, Switzerland and Austria, Friedrichshafen was established in 1811 within the state of Baden-Württemberg. With a population of around 58,000 people, the city is well located to serve tourists to the Alps as well as the surrounding areas, making it an ideal year-round destination.

Travelling from London to the Austrian Alps is possible in just 2.5 hours, a surprisingly quick turnaround enabling you to maximise your time on the slopes. From Bodensee-Airport there are excellent transfer times to the major ski resorts of Austria and Switzerland amongst others. The new airport terminal building has 14 check-in desks, as well as a new non-aviation area with bars, shops and a duty-free-shop.
Continue reading Jam-packed adventure in Friedrichshafen, Germany #TreasureFDH

“Shabby Chic” at Chooks Chickens, Muswell Hill

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‘Take Me, I’m Yours’ at Chooks

Chooks Chicken in Muswell Hill is a fantastic little place that my boyfriend recently stumbled upon. As we love to try new places in and around our home in London, we decided to opt for Chooks as it was close to home and their website offered a great looking menu of what I can only describe as ‘gourmet chicken’ – a tasty and flavoursome variation of a top favourite dish – fried chicken.

If you didn’t think that it was possible to have a delicious, casual-dining experience of fried chicken in a retro-American atmosphere, well, it is. Continue reading “Shabby Chic” at Chooks Chickens, Muswell Hill

Qigong with Shifu Yan Lei at Shaolin Temple UK

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Colleen with Shifu Yan Lei at Shaolin Temple UK

Earlier this year I suffered a knee and calf injury that put me out of action for several months. No exercise but plenty of pre-booked travel resulting in weight gain.

Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve mentioned Qigong on my blog. Whilst travelling I like to ensure that I take care of my health. Not only do I tend to eat healthier when I’m away from home, I also like to practice exercises that are location independent. It’s not always possible to get accommodation with a gym and jogging outdoors isn’t so much fun if the weather is poor.

I’ve spent recent weeks trying to get back into an exercise routine, starting with low intensity and gradually developing this as my strength improves. The lack of exercise has also impacted my travels, I couldn’t jump on a push-bike and pedal my way around a city anymore and walking was incredibly painful after more than a couple of miles. It’s best described as a nuisance that I am glad to be recovering from.

As part of my ongoing development, I joined a workshop at the Shaolin Temple UK, run by Shifu Yan Lei, a 34th generation fighting disciple. It was one of the first few classes that I have attended in London for several months but I was prepared to have a go, knowing that it was the first step to get back in-tune with my body. Continue reading Qigong with Shifu Yan Lei at Shaolin Temple UK