Monday, June 29, 2015

LONDON CALLING: 17 EYE POPPING PHOTOS FROM THE CAPITAL


city style and living magazine london eye
 A look at the iconic Coca Cola London Eye- offers views for miles in every direction.
The 4D experience is a delight and an additional snippet of the London Eye ride.

 city style and living magazine hyatt regency churchill mad hatters tea

When in London - afternoon tea is a must- CSL's team enjoyed a fun Alice in Wonderland themed 'Mad Hatters' tea at The Hyatt Regency Churchill that included “Mad Hatter’s” vanilla and strawberry hats, “Queen of Hearts” jam tarts, “I’m Late” golden macaroons, “Cheeky Cheshire Cat” strawberry chocolate cream, “Magical Mushroom” marshmallows and “Tea Party” Earl Grey-chocolate teacup (runs through September 8 2015).  The “Eat Me” and “Drink Me” tags that were placed on the trays, and cocktails were cute touches that added to the theme with a sense of enchantment. Cheers to Alice in Wonderland's anniversary on July 4. We also enjoyed the traditional tea available year round.

city style and living magazine landmark london

Duo of Foie Gras at two AA rosette Winter Garden restaurant at The Landmark London (left) and a look at Winter Garden - we loved the palm trees, and airy open concept with glass roof.  We tucked into our oh so comfy bed, in our spacious Marylebone suite with a cup of Nespresso and Walker shortbread cookies.

Marylebone Suites
City style and living magazine galvin at windows

For amazing 360 degree views of London (and a fun game of spotting the iconic landmarks - 'look there's Buckingham Palace', 'look there's the Shard', 'look there's the Walkie-Talkie') and a dedicated and informative staff (from left, Andrew Sicklin, restaurant manager, Max Merkulovs, sommelier and server Murad), Galvin at Windows, the Michelin star restaurant and bar atop the London Hilton Park Lane does not disappoint.

city style and living galvin at windows

A beautiful dish of foie gras at Galvin at Windows restaurant at London Hilton Park Lane 



 Not only is the dining at London Hilton Park Lane  wonderful (for breakfast at the hotel, do not miss the custard filled almond croissant!) but our Park Lane suite featured great touches like an arrangement of fresh hydrangea and calla lilies and an impressive view of Hyde Park and the London skyline.  Spa To You, is cosy and offers wonderful treatments, we had one of our best facials ever (really!) courtesy of Oceane, our therapist. For afternoon bites and cocktails we visited the ground floor executive lounge.

CSL conrad st. james afternoon tea

A look from above at St. James's Glorious Garden afternoon tea served at Conrad St. James.  Miniscule raspberry and orange macaroons were suspended above a wheat grass layer beneath while terracotta pots holding carrot cake, topped with candied carrots perched on the lawn below. Savoury crudité include mini vegetables were served with a delicious green pesto mayonnaise.  Accompanied by chilled champagne and delicate earl grey tea, this was a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

city style and living magazine the lancaster london

Views of Hyde Park and a delicious Tennessee Honey tea cocktail (the hotel boasts several bee hives on the premises!) at The Lancaster London.  Minutes from Paddington station (easy access to the tube), the hotel is wonderfully located, just a short walk to the Marble Arch and shops on Oxford Street. 


A royal palette of indigo, purple and violet at Rumpus Room, the rooftop bar and lounge at Mondrian LondonSituated on the banks of the Thames, the hotel has a sleek, modernist appeal that is not afraid of panache (think punchy cerulean sculpture in the lobby, holograms in the elevators and rooms with patios that overlook the Thames). The hotel even boasts a cinema. One night we were even privy to a fireworks display over yonder on the Thames, enjoyed with a glass of wine right from our bedside.

agua bathouse and spa mondrian london

 Agua Bathhouse &  Spa at the Mondrian London at Sea Containers.  On the same level as the Thames, this uber-sleek spa is a white washed oasis.

 
When visiting Knightsbridge neighbourhood, we stopped into Patara fine Thai Cuisine.  We munched on traditional Thai fish and prawn cakes, with a touch of lemongrass, served with a cucumber salsa, hoyshell Pad Ped (seafood curry), and a singha beer or two.  For dessert, a deliciously silky mango cheesecake and Kaoneow mamuang-coconut sweet rice with fragrant sweet Thai mango.

rosewood london

Holborn Dining Room at Rosewood London features a 1920s style bar and dining.   


Nothing better than a little Parisian brekkie at Paul bakery. Our mouths watered at the window of delightful pastries, macarons, bread and tarts which made for difficult choices.  PAUL Covent Garden Le Restaurant de PAUL has a nice tucked away seating area - order the ouefs florentine, served with champagne bread!


Installation view of 'Platos Atlantis' gallery, Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the V&A,  2015. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This mesmerizing Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum has broken attendance records and received widespread acclaim. A collection of the late designer's works are arranged in immersive displays - in catacombs that recall the Czech ossuary of Kutna Hora, in a cabinet of curiosities so that specifically chosen pieces with feathers, encrustations and other natural elements are highlighted, and in a psychedelic light box. Although this special exhibition is ticketed, the permanent collection is free of charge.


For those with an extended stay in London, Citadines apart'hotel are a great option.  Simple, modern and close to key sites, Citadines High Holborn location was a short walk to Covent Garden and minutes from the British Museum.

city style and living magazine Jose tapas bar

Slicing the inimitable Jamón ibérico (pata negra) at Jose Tapas Bar. Business men in suits, hipsters, musicians and travellers converged in this tiny tapas bar the day we visited. Plied with delicious olives, some of the best sherry we've ever tasted (think deep notes of plum and almond) and croquetas, we left quite happy.
  
Look out for much more England in an upcoming issue of City Style and Living Magazine.

 ***A friendly reminder, all photography on City Style and Living Magazine, Facebook Page, Twitter, website and Blog are copyright 2014 K&S Media. Please do not use elsewhere without the written consent of City Style and Living Magazine. Thank you kindly!

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY COPYRIGHT K&S MEDIA 2015

You may visit the New Summer 2015 issue of City Style and Living magazine (also available in print) at the following address (follow the three simple steps to access the full magazine, online) :

1) go to http://www.citystyleandliving.com 
2) click on the 'front cover' image, on the left hand side of your screen
3) to flip through the e-magazine, click on the bottom right hand corner
of the magazine, just as you would our print magazine!
Follow us on twitter @CityStyleMag
Follow us on Instagram @CityStyleMag

Sunday, June 28, 2015

NOT THE GREAT BRITAIN YOU EXPECT: 27 PHOTOS FROM DEVON AND CORNWALL THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR MIND



My first fish and chips at the The Old Boathouse Café in Plymouth, Devon did not disappoint - crisp, hot and delicious. An award-winning seafood café and restaurant, set in a unique location in the fisherman’s arches on the Mayflower Steps, its specialty are fresh fish and shellfish, sustainably caught by the restaurant’s boat -The Southern Star.



A stunning view of Plymouth’s Marina at Sutton Harbour, the water and sky blend magnificently into an unbelievable aqua blue with some of the best cruising waters in the UK. Situated in the old quarter of Plymouth, there are places to eat and drink, shop and be entertained (like The Barbican, The Hoe, and The Lighthouse ‘Smeaton’s Tower’).


Plymouth Gin Distillery has myriad nooks and crannies, this picture was taken at the bar where patron can enjoy drinks like the Wibble, Plymouth and tonic and many more. While touring the Plymouth Gin Distillery a wedding reception was being held in an adjoining room, while my Plymouth Gin tasting (5 different gins) was on another floor. Plymouth Gin Distillery has been in operation since 1793.



Boringdon Hall Hotel, the majestic 16th century manor house in Devon displays the drama of Elizabethan architecture, imposing stone towers, secret archways and curious hallways which seem endless. Boringdon Hall Hotel is situated on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park and ten minutes from Plymouth (a great town and country experience). The grounds at Boringdon Hall are immaculately kept with flora and fauna. If you're planning a wedding this may just be the ideal setting.


I had a delightful dinner at The Treby Arms a rustic Michelin-starred country pub. I was even more surprised that Head Chef Anton Piotrowski, who was the winner of UK’s Masterchef in 2012 prepared my meal himself and was happy to have his picture taken even with a full and bustling restaurant.


Ed at Riverford Organics one of Britain’s most famous and successful organic farms – and provider of one of the largest vegetable box delivery schemes in Britain – takes me on a tour of the farm (pictured here amidst a crop of tomatoes in a greenhouse). My luncheon at Riverford Organics was one of the best meals in Devon, the dessert table of ‘puds' was to die for - brownies with chuncks of nuts, Eton mess with fresh cream and rhubarb compote, lemon posset, custard tart, sticky toffee pudding, biscotti with custard, blueberry clafouti and the list continues....Ah, a dream day for those with a sweet tooth!



My adventure of Letterboxing on Dartmoor National Park was a mixture of treasure hunting and puzzle solving. Do get a guide if venturing out on the moors, as Dartmoor National Park covers an area of 368 square miles, containing the highest land in southern England (High Willhays at 2037ft), it is both a scene of tranquility and the place to get active, but it is all too easy to get off course. As seen above, the landscape has stunning views, awe-inspiring granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces. A sight to behold.


I travel from Paignton aboard the Dartmouth Steam Railway where I experience an exhilarating trip through the countryside of South Devon and along the coastline of the English Riviera, a journey that Agatha Christie herself may have taken from London. The Dartmouth Steam Railway arrives in Kingswear, opposite Dartmouth, and here I take the short boat trip boarding the Greenway Ferry, departing from Town Quay across the river to Dartmouth.


2015 marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of one of the world’s most famous crime writers – Agatha Christie whose private holiday home is called Greenway. Greenway contains many of the Agatha Christie’s collections including archaeology, silver, botanical china and books, I am amazed at the collection of religious books and idols originating from India. The landscape is absolutely spectacular and the boathouse allows a wonderful view of the river.


I depart Devon for Portloe, Cornwall and spent the night at The Lugger Hotel a quaint hotel sitting right on the water’s edge of the beautiful coastal village of Portloe, one of many old fishing villages that dot the Cornish coastline. This charming17th century inn is surrounded by cliffs and headlands that form part of the Cornish Coastal Footpath. Pictured above, looking down upon the hotel from a promontory.


I eagerly hike to the top of the cliff beside The Lugger Hotel and am transported to another world - slate rock, teal waters, greenery, and stone buildings.


From Portloe, I travel across to Bodmin Moor to see the famous Jamaica Inn, Cornwall’s most famous smuggler’s inn and the setting for Daphne du Maurier’s novel. I meet the owner who escorts me to a haunted room where a ghost visits occasionally.




I stop for luncheon at The Old Inn.


I would never have guessed that wine was being made in Great Britain, so Camel Valley Vineyard came as a surprise. I stopped to have a glass of wine and tour the vineyards bordered by rosebushes. Camel Valley Vineyard has been producing wines in Cornwall since 1989.


I take part in a one-on-one cookery workshop at Padstow Cookery School with head chef lecturer Mark Puckey. I made chile crab with some of the region's famous seafood. I then had dinner at Rick Stein’s famous Seafood Restaurant.




Breathtaking view from an old tin mine in Cornwall a relic from a time when this was a major industry in the area.


The Headland Hotel & Spa is a mesmerizing, terracotta structure and Cornwall's only 'Five Bubble' rated spa hotel, perched on the breathtaking Cornish coastline, overlooking Fistral Beach and Towan Head. The Headland Hotel is housed in an historic building located in the coastal town of Newquay.


One of the many spectacular views on a hike from The Headland Hotel &Spa.There are umpteen trails surrounding the property with guaranteed views.


I had a delicious luncheon at The Sloop Inn, it was a difficult choice between fish pie and this tagliatelle with seafood – you can see which one I chose at one of Cornwall’s most historic inns. The delicious meal was equal to the stunning views overlooking St Ives harbour.


One of the most picturesque hikes on my way to Tate St Ives museum. The view is awe inspiring - this is not the Great Britain many of us imagine with its white sand beaches, gigantic black rocks and azure waters it could easily be mistaken for Hawaii.



A lunch at Carbis Bay Hotel. A short 25 minute hike from St. Ives with spectacular views and forested respite, Carbis Bay is the Miami of Cornwall. My lunch featured the ever-present seafood and wonderful Cornish cider.



The view from the Tate St Ives museum, the architecture of the building is in itself artwork.
 

I overnight at Mount Haven Hotel, in Marazion, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated by the ambiance of this hotel, the welcoming Lord Ganesh statue energizes my spirit. I wake up in the morning with a spectacular view of St Michael’s Mount. Pictured above, the grounds of the hotel which features palms, bananas and many other sub-tropical plants.


A view of St Michael’s Mount while having dinner at the Godolphin Arms.


Tintagel Castle, the famed "King Arthur" castle. The colour of the water here looking down upon Merlin's cave is surreal as is the cloud formation that hangs above the pedestrian bridge that links visitors to the ruined castle.


Lunch at St. Moritz Hotel close to Daymer Bay near Trebetherick village. I passed surfers on the way to the hotel which features vibrantly coloured beach houses.


A team from City Style and Living Magazine (CSL) is just back from the sunny shores of Devon and Cornwall in Great Britain. Warning: This is not the Great Britain you were expecting.  Think azure waters, fresh seafood, wild ponies, grassy moors, mythical castles surrounded by teal waters, wineries, gin distilleries, modern art museums, white sand beaches and sub-tropical gardens. Sure, there's all the things you'd expect too - fish and chips, fisherman's villages, towering clifftops, black faced sheep grazing on verdant hills, churches with ancient Celtic crosses, pubs, and romantic fog.

For a break-the-mould visit to the UK, Devon and Cornwall deliver in spades. Imagine driving through tiny hedges on unnamed roads sometimes reversing for other cars to pass, hiking to flower strewn clifftops and marveling at the great Atlantic. This is home to the southernmost point in the UK and wild adventures await.
 Look out for much more Devon and Cornwall in an upcoming issue of City Style and Living Magazine.


***A friendly reminder, all photography on City Style and Living Magazine, Facebook Page, Twitter, website and Blog are copyright 2015 K&S Media. Please do not use elsewhere without the written consent of City Style and Living Magazine. Thank you kindly!

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY COPYRIGHT K&S MEDIA 2015

You may visit the New Summer 2015 issue of City Style and Living magazine (also available in print) at the following address (follow the three simple steps to access the full magazine, online) :

1) go to http://www.citystyleandliving.com 
2) click on the 'front cover' image, on the left hand side of your screen
3) to flip through the e-magazine, click on the bottom right hand corner
of the magazine, just as you would our print magazine!
Follow us on twitter @CityStyleMag
Follow us on Instagram @CityStyleMag
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