Eat | Afternoon tea at the Rosewood Hotel, London

SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCWith a fondness for comfort, routine and the familiar, my poor little blog often gets neglected as writing about the same places, the same meals and, naturally, the same coffee seems rather trite. As 3 years of studying French at an academic level drew to a close, it was time to break the mould and try something new to celebrate our triumph over what is arguably one of the most complicated yet utterly exquisite languages.  Off to the Rosewood we went…

I learnt about the Rosewood when a friend introduced me to their Slow Food & Living Market; the courtyard market filled with high-end tea, smoked salmon, honey, bread and cheese. The dream! However, it wasn’t until my fellow French class survivor and I stepped through the doors that the modern elegance of the hotel became apparent. With mirrored ceilings, luxuriant furnishings and impeccably-attired hostesses, we settled in for a little champagne and some rather delicious sweets.  The details from the central floral display to the fireplace and dessert counter reflect a homely, unpretentious yet detail-focus nature of the design. Sadly, we did not have the place to ourselves so I didn’t take any shoots of the interior (basically, I don’t like strangers in my photographs). Next time!

Our sandwiches were presented beautifully but, comme d’habitude, it was the scones and clotted cream which captivated my attention.  Lemon curd is my favourite scone topping; it is quite simple to make but very rare to find the right balance where a hint of sweetness cuts through the acidity. Here, at the Mirror Room, it was absolute perfection in a serving dish. We may have had an extra serving… With natural light beaming through the windows, we sipped tea and even took a walk around the expansive restaurant where, despite being in the middle of afternoon tea, one of the staff members offered us more cakes from the dessert table. Well, saying no to a slice of blueberry and pistachio cake would be blasphemous and, as upstanding members of society, we do not engage in such behaviour. Yes, please!

With the Rosewood’s close proximity to school and the British Museum, its bar will undoubtedly be exploited during my why-am-I-doing-this moments. Oh, and they have a dog. No, they have the cutest dog!

The Rosewood Hotel
252 High Holborn
London
WC1V 7EN

 

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Eat | Afternoon tea at the Rosewood Hotel, London

SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCWith a fondness for comfort, routine and the familiar, my poor little blog often gets neglected as writing about the same places, the same meals and, naturally, the same coffee seems rather trite. As 3 years of studying French at an academic level drew to a close, it was time to break the mould and try something new to celebrate our triumph over what is arguably one of the most complicated yet utterly exquisite languages.  Off to the Rosewood we went…

I learnt about the Rosewood when a friend introduced me to their Slow Food & Living Market; the courtyard market filled with high-end tea, smoked salmon, honey, bread and cheese. The dream! However, it wasn’t until my fellow French class survivor and I stepped through the doors that the modern elegance of the hotel became apparent. With mirrored ceilings, luxuriant furnishings and impeccably-attired hostesses, we settled in for a little champagne and some rather delicious sweets.  The details from the central floral display to the fireplace and dessert counter reflect a homely, unpretentious yet detail-focus nature of the design. Sadly, we did not have the place to ourselves so I didn’t take any shoots of the interior (basically, I don’t like strangers in my photographs). Next time!

Our sandwiches were presented beautifully but, comme d’habitude, it was the scones and clotted cream which captivated my attention.  Lemon curd is my favourite scone topping; it is quite simple to make but very rare to find the right balance where a hint of sweetness cuts through the acidity. Here, at the Mirror Room, it was absolute perfection in a serving dish. We may have had an extra serving… With natural light beaming through the windows, we sipped tea and even took a walk around the expansive restaurant where, despite being in the middle of afternoon tea, one of the staff members offered us more cakes from the dessert table. Well, saying no to a slice of blueberry and pistachio cake would be blasphemous and, as upstanding members of society, we do not engage in such behaviour. Yes, please!

With the Rosewood’s close proximity to school and the British Museum, its bar will undoubtedly be exploited during my why-am-I-doing-this moments. Oh, and they have a dog. No, they have the cutest dog!

The Rosewood Hotel
252 High Holborn
London
WC1V 7EN

 

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Eat | Scents of Summer Afternoon Tea, Wellington Lounge, London

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image image image image image image image image image image image image imageAs we sat down for an afternoon of culinary indulgence courtesy of the Intercontinental Park Lane, our waiter set the scene as he spritzed our surroundings with Floris scents, created by Perfumer Nicola Pozzani, to commence our afternoon tea of the senses. With plush surroundings, chic white floral arrangements, a Park Lane view and good company, what more could a lady desire?

Bright summer sandwiches of rose pickled cucumber with mascarpone, (my favourite) salmon and bergamot in lemon bread followed by peppercorn and thyme chicken and honey roast pumpkin with feta on spinach bread all helped along with a touch of rosé champagne, as suggested by our French waiter. As a purist, I tend to scare easily at non-traditional combinations but they worked. The bread was particularly light and the flavour delicate.

Another spritz of a different scent and it was scone time: warm, buttermilk scones served clotted cream but that was where the tradition ended. Instead, infusing a quintessential British flavour – Earl Grey –  with butter was served in addition to heavenly pink peppercorn lemon curd (we asked for an extra serving) and wild strawberry jam.  All devoured with a pot of Assam tea in elegant porcelain.

Dessert was rather peculiar; this is always my favourite part of a meal but in this case, it felt like sacrilege every time I took a bite! The colours, shapes and sheer array of sweet treats available wowed me. The selection included bergamot and blackcurrant flower macarons (sorry, French people, they really are flowers!), beautiful Jasmine tea cakes garnished with edible flowers and those pebble-like objects were solid milk chocolate with raspberries dotted around to refresh the taste buds.  The only disappointing aspect was that the macarons were a tad too sweet.

With all senses perfectly fulfilled, it was time for a photo or two with the hotel’s seasonal flowers, which perfectly matched my pearls. Sadly, the Scents of Summer afternoon is only available until 27th September so book quickly! I wouldn’t mind if the Wellington Lounge kept the dessert platter for a little longer though. And the peppercorn and lemon curd. Maybe the salmon and bergamot sandwiches too. Okay, the entire afternoon tea package.

Wellington Lounge at InterContinental London Park Lane
One Hamilton Place
Park Lane
W1J 7QY

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Eat | Thomas’s, London

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image image image image image image image image image image image imagebe but delighted by the promise of a tête-à-tête with As someone who is less than thrilled at the prospect of shopping and easily overwhelmed by crowds, I cautiously agreed to meet a friend on Regent Street. Unsure of where lunch would my friend, I found myself outside Burberry one Friday afternoon. With the crowds of tourists and eager shoppers galore, I felt such relief at seeing my friend’s face through the masses and stepping into Thomas’s, Burberry’s new restaurant.

Greeted by a welcoming young waiter, we were taken up a beautiful winding staircase where this season’s accessories sought to entice your inner shopper to get the credit card out. But, as always, I was drawn to something far more interesting: the tea. With three of Lalani & Co‘s organic, loose leaf teas on the menu (and Monmouth coffee also available), I felt perfectly at home.  In keeping with the decidedly British menu, we opted for wild sea trout with asparagus and a pea, mint and goats cheese tart accompanied by individual pots of sencha. There may also have been in a glass of champagne involved… The Grand Reserve 2nd flush Darjeeling served as light companion to our dessert: balancing the sweetness of individual Bakewell tarts to perfectly keep the British menu alive through until the end.  I returned a few days later for a calm post-yoga breakfast of crumpets smothered in salted butter and a touch of jam. Rather naughty but I did have a pot of Okumidori sencha; my idea of a balanced meal!

Thomas’s acts as a haven away from the chaos of congested roads, endless crowds, pretentious cafés and bad tea. The service is seamless, the décor elegant, natural light beams in and nobody sits around talking at the top of their voice on their mobile telephone. It’s all rather civilised. More, please.

Thomas’s at Burberry
5 Vigo Street
London
W1B 4TB

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Instagram | June 2015

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image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image imageJune has been a delight: my stressful days, sleepless nights and irritated why-are-people-talking-in-the-library mindset seem like a lifetime away – my exams ended earlier this month with a Japanese paper of horrors. On the upside, my studies have almost come to a close (2 days to go…), my holiday departure date is almost upon me and that restless feeling is starting to creep in. What to do, what to do… Come early August I will be desperate to get back to the library and those insane ideas of learning another language will start popping into my head again. But, at least for now, time to relax and enjoy a much-less pressured few months.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my life: consumed by seemingly endless reading lists, intense exam preparation, trying to focus on where I want to be in 7 years time rather than here and now and, rather embarrassingly, what manicure colour I’ll be choosing next week. I’m not so proud of the last one… I recently decided that I want to get involved (on a community level) and help others;  I volunteered with Amnesty International at London Pride over the weekend. It was an amazing experience – I met so many inspiring, brave people full of joy and kindness.  London is an amazing city and, having been fortunate to have lived in a few other cities across the world, I have to say it doesn’t get more wonderfully diverse than here. My city did me proud with music, rainbows, glitter and mutual respect for everybody. I loved it! I am still searching for an on-going volunteer position (particularly in relation to human rights/women studies) so if you know of anything available, please let me know.

I ate some good food this month (to be blogged…): the vegetarian heaven also known as Ethos (we may have high-fixed at the sight of fried plantain…), my Capriccios (olive, ham and artichoke) pizza at Princi was a thing of dreams, the Darjeeling Lalani & Co tea at Thomas’s, my mushroom toast at Le Pain Quotidien and that dessert platter at the Wellington Lounge. Delicious and pretty. May each month be like this!

Yet another month of great food, giggles and gratitude for all that is my life. Roll on next month! In the meantime, join me on Instagram!

 

Instagram | May 2015

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Finally, the end of the academic year is approaching, my relationship with my library card is going through a cooling off period and I actually have time to log into my little ole blog. So neglected… With only one more exam to prepare for, I can finally set about blogging my adventures (back from 2011…) and getting back on track with was once a huge part of my life. Over the last year so much has changed; I have changed. I have been struggling to balance the  (mainly self-induced) academic pressure, staying mentally and physically aligned with the help of yoga and planning the coming academic year. One of my yoga teachers always starts the class by saying “let go of anything which does not serve you”, which I have recently embraced. Over the last few weeks, I have ceased contact with people who depleted my energy and added nothing to my life. Sometimes we do things out of habit rather than intention and desire. I decided to take a stand against my bad habits. In having so little time for non-university related interests, I discovered what is truly interesting (to me) and the importance of my time. Living with intention and purpose.image image image image image image image image image image image

I somehow survived my French finals and am now feeling unstoppable and excited to get back to my blogging hobby. May has been a month of cats, travel planning (39 days until I’m in an airplane), female empowerment and some amazing books. I realised how many wonderfully kind, intelligent and fascinating women (and the odd gentleman) social media has allowed me to interact with, ogled more Chinese ceramics, I became somewhat obsessed with the bread at Le Pain Quotidien and, most of all, fell madly in love with my city once again. I am happy, blessed and back to blogging!

More soon… In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.