Tag Archives: travel

The London Helicopter

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If you’re looking to experience London like never before then why not take to the air for a truly unique experience.

The London Helicopter offers beautiful tours over central London, an opportunity to view the capital’s iconic landmarks like never before and are the only company offering such experiences in the city.

Flights include views of the  River Thames, looking down on Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, The London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, the financial district, Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, The Shard and many more.

Three different tour options are available, all conveniently located at Battersea Heliport for easy access and you have the option of booking a seat on the 6 seater helicopter or book the whole thing for a private ride.

The London Buzz – £150 per person
The 12 minute flights glides over the Thames overlooking several sights including The London Eye and Westminster Abbey.

London Sights – £220 per person
This option gives you 18 minutes of flight times taking you and down the Thames.

London Max- £1700 for six people
If you want to go all out then this option gives you 30 minutes and 30 sights.
On our visit we got to experience the London Sights option for ourselves. After a swift registration you are given a run through of safety protocol and then you’re all set and escorted to the helicopter. There are six seats available, I recommend nabbing a spot by the window for the best views. The 18 minutes gives you ample time for magnificent views of the capital, the perfect selfie opportunity. The friendly pilot points out any landmarks as you go so you don’t miss any.

So for a truly different view (literally) of London then a ride is a must, either for yourself or as a fun gift to friends and loved ones visiting the capital, check them out!

For full list of sights and to book visit  www.thelondonhelicopter.com

Parister Hotel – Paris

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An office block may not sound like the ideal setting for a 5 star luxury hotel but that’s exactly how The Parister began life.Nestled in the centre of Paris the hotel is the creation of hotelier Nicolas Nonon, the entrepreneur created a luxurious 45 room hotel from a 1990s  office block and garden for Parisians and visitors alike.

Located in a narrow street the elegant façade houses a spaces lobby with elegant and stylish decor.  The 45 rooms feature feature suites and duplexes all Wirth large windows and some feature outdoor terraces. The higher priced suites feature  hammam, a sauna and a private terrace, a perfect escape from the busy city street.

On our visit we stayed in a Junior Suite, located at the rear of the building behind a large garden and dining space.  The room was elegantly decorated with a view over the courtyard and large windows, a highlight was the huge bathroom which features separate shower and bath tub and luxury bathroom toiletries by the brand ZENOLOGY.  Ceilings are high  with bespoke walnut headboard and brass wall sconces and bold wallpaper adorn the room.

If you want a workout during your stay then in the lower ground floor is the health and wellbeing space with a on site gym and a 20-metre pool bathed in natural light, a rarity in such a central location. Talking of location it is situated between  Folies Bergères and the Garnier Opera with loads of places to shop and eat, one of the most desirable locations in Paris.

If you face staying closer to home for a drink or bite to eat then on the ground floor you will find Les Passerelles, with extensive menu for both.  Offering plenty of sitting options either outdoors in the garden or indoors in the different library and lounge spaces.  The menu offers plenty of delicious food choices and the cocktail menu is extensive with spirits from around the globe, yuzu powder & Icelandic gin, goji berries & Jamaican rum, or timut pepper & South American pisco.
Our stay was bliss, with a truly boutique and bespoke experience.  Everything from the bedding and decor to the helpful staff made sure our stay was an enjoyable one, so it’s a must for your visit.

Prices for rooms start at €250, for full details and bookings visit hotelparister.com

19 rue Saulnier

The Arch London – Hotel

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Nestled a few blocks away from London’s famed Oxford Street /Marble Arch is The Arch,  a beautiful  Georgian townhouse hotel.

The five star hotel houses 82 bedrooms (11 of which are suites) and is spread out over seven Grade II listed Georgian townhouses and two mews homes, a perfectly English location for those taking a break in the capital.

Ideally located at 50 Great Cumberland Place it has the appeal of a residential setting but a mere walk to the city’s best shopping and fine dining locations, with Bond Street, Hyde Park and the West End all walking distance.

We recently visited the property for ourselves to check it out. Upon entering  guests are welcomed with  open-fireplace, perfect to nestle around in the freezing temperatures.  Interiors fuse together marble and glass with a specially selected selection of art and installation adorning the communal spaces. The Arch manages to seamlessly merge grand listed Georgian exterior but inside proves modern and stylish decor and facilities.

On our visit we stayed at the Sullivan Studio Suite, which is located on the base of the hotel.  The suite was truly beautiful offering with full height glass doors which open up to the private courtyard, a real rarity in central London hotels! The suite has a comfortable seating area which looks onto the courtyard, with photography from leading London photographer, Amy Murrell.  The king sized bed is handmade with duvets made from duck down for the perfect night’s sleep.  A stocked mini bar is supplied with a generous selection of soft drinks which come complimentary from the hotel.  A handpicked selection of classic novels can be found in the suites, while all rooms have a full Sky HD TV package, DVD Player and internet radio with over 19,000 channels for international guests.

The real highlight of the suite though is the vast en suite which comes with a walk in rain shower and a large bath, with a built in TV, a great touch.

The suite’s location means it’s sheltered from any outside noises and you are on the same floor as the hotel’s gym so perfect if you want to catch a workout during your stay.  The

The Arch also has its own restaurant, Hunter 486, the unusual name derived from the 1950s dialing code for Marylebone. The spacious restaurant is located on the ground floor and
offers a ‘Best of British’ inspired menu carefully curated by Head Chef Gary Durrant.  Light flows into the restaurants thanks to its large windows with table and booth seating available as well as an open plan kitchen so guests can see the skilled staff at work.  On our visit for lunch we opted for the Heritage beetroot and orange salad (£8), light and tasty, followed by their famous Hunter burger (£18), the generously sized burger comes served in a brioche bun with cheddar cheese, onion marmalade, homemade ketchup and hand cut chips.

If you space for dessert then I recommend the hazelnut and apple tart with cinnamon custard (£6.50) , a perfect comforting dish for these chilly months.  If you just fancy a drink then the bar offers a comprehensive selection of drinks and cocktails while sat in original designer chairs by designer Tom Dixon. Cocktails are priced at £12.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and highly recommend you pay a visit. The Arch manages to combine a stylish boutique hotel feel but offering all the latest mod cons and facilities offered by much larger chains. Staff are helpful and friendly and rooms are beautifully decorated making them a tranquil escape from the bustle of the city centre.

Prices start from £350 for a Deluxe Room and from £420 for a Suite.

The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FDFor reservations, please call: 020 7724 4700 or www.thearchlondon.com

Rilke – Barcelona

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Barcelona is fast becoming one of Europe’s fine dining capitals and the opening of Rilke is sure to carry on with that reputation.  The new restaurant and cocktail is the mastermind of two restaurant group heavyweights, with Grupo Kafka, directed by Karel Schröder and owner of Café Kafka, Bananas, and The Corner; and on the other is Grupo Confitería, owner of Paradiso, Confitería, and Dr.Stravinsky, among others.

Named after the early 20th century poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, the restaurant is located a few steps away from Paseo de Garcia. The Mezzazine space is understated with its Calle Malloraca location almost hidden, with a only a door to greet you but once on restaurant level you can fully take in the stunning space.

First up is the striking cocktail bar, akin to something out of the great Gatsby it oozes glamour with seating on the main floor and also private booths on the side all with plush velvet seating and an ornate stained glass ceiling.

What follows is the main restaurant space, spacious yet intimate with the best seating located by the large windows which overlook the beautiful open garden. Attention to detail is at the upmost at Rilke with the team working with Barcelona based decorator Yolanda Vilalta on the interiors, out favorites were the oversized copper lighting fixtures.

Now for the food, chefs Rafa Peña and Jaime Tejedor have created a menu that looks to fuse simplicity with good taste, literally. With a foundation on traditional Catalan cuisine the two chefs have built on this seasonal dishes that offer a fresh take on the region’s dishes with signature dishes including potatoes Parmentier with veal sweetbreads, oysters and onion, and mackerel with eggplant and crème fraîche.

Our favorites included the Quail and roasted leek salad, the perfectly balanced flavours were delicious. The lam confit was another highlight, served with spinach and garnished with raisins and pine nuts.

If you fancy a drink then the cocktail bar is a must with a menu devised by mixologist Juan Serrano, from the avant garde bar 41 Degrees. Serrano has created an experimental menu full on flavour with the Metrolope being a standout, a fresh and citrus mixture, perfect for these summer months.

After your meal a wonder around the garden is a must, equally as beautiful as the interiors it is a secluded haven from the bustling city streets.  With beautiful interiors, friendly service and top quality food a visit to Rilke is a must.

Meal prices start at €35 with cocktails from €10, for further information and bookings visit rilkebcn.com.

Carrer de Mallorca, 275,

Alàbriga Hotel & Home Suites – Costa Brava

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If you are after a the ultimate 5 star experience then the Alàbriga Hotel & Home Suites is a must next time you visit Costa Brava. The Spanish resort is a 90 minute drive from Barcelona so if you want to get away from the city for a few days then a visit is a must, with its eye catching facade designed to resemble a yacht.

The resort sits on a headland at the far end of the bay of Sant Pol, with all rooms sea facing, the beach being just a 10 minute walk away.

On a recent visit we checked out this Sea Club, a beautiful lounge and dining space for hotel guests and visitors.   A heated infinity pool and two jacuzzis are the highlight, with beds surrounding the deck for you to relax under the Spanish sun, the beds can be converted into a table that sits six if you want to have lunch or dinner.

The Sea Club offers dining by Catalan chef Paco Pérez, with an array of local dishes all made from the freshest of ingredients, our recommendation is the Lobster paella which serves 2, a delicious version of the Spanish dish. if you want a full range of dishes the the hotel’s in house restaurant Terra is a few steps away, with breathtaking view of the ocean.

If you decide to spend the nigh then you’re in for a treat, every room comes with Breakfast, butler service and parking.  The spa on the ground floor has a steam room, sauna and treatment rooms

So for a for a day or even a few of bliss and relaxation then a visit is a must.


Huîtres Amélie – Barcelona


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For the ultimate champagne and oyster experience then French brand  Huîtres Amélie is a must, the brand is globally recognized by gastronomy experts as one of the leaders in Oyster production at the upmost quality. This culinary delight comes from the region Marennes-Oléron in France and is the only designation of origin that exists among this type of ocean products. From there Huîtres  Amélie cultivates, pampers and brings to everybody this exquisite delicatessen so appreciated by the world.

Barcelona has two branches, one in the world famous Boqueria Market, though if you are after a calmer experience then we suggest heading to the pop up branch located at El Corte Ingles in Plaza Catalunña, the famed Spanish department store were Huîtres Amélie has a chic bar space in the food hall, with expert staff on hand to guide you through the dining experience.

On our visit to the branch at El Corte Ingles we got to experience some of Huîtres Amélie’s signature dishes first hand.  If you are new to oysters then we recommend the dish we had, which was the Amélie Sensations (priced at 25€)   tasting menu which includes three oysters; smoked and vaporised with premium liquors (whisky, gin and vodka) with a glass of champagne. The whole presentation was a marvel to the eye that elevated the whole dining experiences, first the oysters were smoked which consisted of a glass vessel encasing the oyster while wood smoke was pumped into a passage opening, known as the “Amélie Fumée” method, then an atomiser is used to infuse them with the spirit of your choice, we went for the whiskey and lastly an oyster with champagne gelée. The oysters themselves are beautifully presented in branded ice trays upon which 2 oysters are places with mini plastic syringes of condiments and lemon juice to add as you wish.

We didn’t have much experience with oysters before but these tasted beautiful, no over bearing salty aftertaste instead a mild and delicate flavour provided by the smoke and infusion process.

A selection of small dishes are also available to compliment your oyster experience, these include tuna tartar, Iberian ham, salmon and salt foie gras with champagne jelly. From the selection we tried the salmon and Iberian ham and they were both delicious and added to the whole experience, and not to mention the glass of champagne to top it off, after all it is a French brand!

So next time you are in Barcelona and fancy a truly unique gastronomy experience and at a reasonable price point then champagne and oysters at Huîtres Amélie is highly recommended, a beautiful location (perfect for pre or post shopping!) a tasty product and helpful warm staff to guide you, a must.


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To celebrate the opening of the hotly anticipated opening of W Amsterdam the  W London – Leicester Square will ‘go Dutch’ with a themed 2 week  takeover to celebrate the launch in style. Guests will be transported to the heart of the Netherlands with an immersive design, a remixed Dutch menu, Dutch-inspired cocktails, film screenings and a number of bikes up for grabs.

From 9th to 23rd October, the public areas of W London will be restyled into an ‘Ode to Amsterdam’, offering guests a sneak peek into the city that plays host to the brand new state of the art W Hotel. Taking inspiration from Amsterdam’s iconic canals, buildings and cultural emblems such as tulips, Dutch bikes and windmills, the takeover will feature screenings of cult Dutch films in the luxury 39-seater screening room, including Control by Anton Corbijn (showing on 13th October) The Vanishing by George Sluizer (showing on 16th October) and Black Book by Paul Verhoeven (showing on 18th October).

Drinks and food will also be on offer with a cocktail menu, featuring Dutch liqueurs and flavours as well as a Dutch platter, with dishes including Gouda Kaassouffle (deep fried gouda parcels), Short Rib Bitterballen (a popular dutch snack) and Patatje Oorlog (also known as ‘war fries’).

There will be plenty of photo and instagram opps as the the hotel transports you to the vibrant dutch capital.  Including a refashioned ‘IWamsterdam’ sign in the lobby, iconic canal-side scenes and Amsterdam buildings filling the W Lounge walls, a DJ booth on a Dutch bike at the hotel’s night hotspot Wyld, along with dutch sounds from Deep House Amsterdam (October 9th and 10th). Partygoers who present a Dutch passport will also get the first drink gratis.

W AWAY Spa will offer a limited edition AmsterTAN, created by renowned spray tan artist James Harknett,; a subtle tanning treatment that will give guests the perfect glow as the winter nights draw in.


W Amsterdam will take over W London – Leicester Square from Friday 9th October to Friday 23rd October 2015. For up-to-date information on the takeover programme, follow W London on Twitter @WLondonHotel or visit www.wlondon.co.uk . For more information on W Amsterdam visit www.wamsterdam.com.

Wi-Fi on the Go: Goodspeed

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Those frequent travellers among you tired of returning home to be met by astronomical data charges then there’s a new device for you, the Goodspeed.

Goodspeed brings an end to sky high data roaming charges but providing users with their very own Wi-Fi connection on the go. The discreet device is the size of a smart phone and once switched on allows you to tap into its high speed Wi-Fi connection, multiple devices can use the connection depending on the package you decide.

Goodpseed boasts comprehensive service coverage in 60 countries across the globe, including major European countries, the USA, Latin America, Canada, Russia,  Asia, Australia and China and the device can accommodate up to nine SIM cards. Paying a flat rate gives users a generous allowance of between 500MB and 1GB roaming data, with UK mobile operators charging between £3-£8 per MB of data outside of the EU you can start to see how much you can start saving.

It you’re tired of having to search around for a Starbucks’ intermittently for Wi-Fi the Goodspeed offers a connection on the go, charge the device and either put it discreetly in your pocket of backpack/handbag for a reachable Wi-Fi signal instantly.

To get set up you have purchase the device for £198 alongside a £8.20 monthly line rental charge.

When using the device abroad there is a £4.90 charge a day (only on the days that you actually use it).

Full information can be found at  goodspeed.io

Moxy Hotel Milan Opens

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Fashion’s hottest capital Milan has welcomed the arrival of a brand new hotel sure to entice those wishing a weekend away to the city.

Part of Marriott International’s newly launched Moxy Hotels brand the new opening offers shoppers a new take on the economy experience, with no sign of drag furnishings and lacklustre add ons.

Instead the Moxy has tech enabled en suite rooms (162 total) with USB ports, 42-inch LCD TV (which can sync to stream from your laptop or Smartphone), iPod dock station and complimentary high-speed wifi. The en suite features a power shower with large mirrors and spacious vanity areas. Complimentary Rituals toiletries also come with your stay.

The reception is opened 24hrs so should you need assistance multi lingual staff on hand. A large lobby also serves as a great working area with comfortable seating and desk space.

Located literally across the road from Malpensa Terminal 2 the Moxy offers a convenient and affordable stay in the city, with a high-speed train connecting you to the city centre in 30 minutes. Here all the brands you could imagine await your shopping delights… Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Kenzo to name just a few. The hotel also makes a perfect option for those taking an early morning flight as just cross the road and you’re ready to go.

To celebrate its opening the Moxy Milan held a launch party focussed around a graffiti challenge. In the run up to the event, artists from all over Europe were asked to submit artwork with a bold, vibrantly coloured design to display the spirited Moxy attitude. 3 different artist were picked and challenged to complete a blank canvas in 60 minutes.
Nune D’Amico Kerobyan was selected the winner of the #atthemoxy as selected by the evening’s attendees.

The Moxy Milan is the first opening of the Moxy collection of hotels, which will also see locations in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Oslo and Munchen opening also.

Prices for standard rooms start at €59

For further information visit the Moxy Hotels website