The City That Never Sleeps!

I can say hand on heart, I had the best 21st birthday EVER! I was showered with the most amazing and thoughtful presents. It’s so lovely when people get you something that sums you up, shows you they really care and know you. Whether it’s a present that costs £2 or £2,000. The thought really does count.

Saying that, I was lucky enough to go to New York the weekend after my birthday with my mummy. My family arranged it as a surprise and I had a wonderful time. It was everything I imagined and more, there is something magical about New York. So, I’m relocating… I wish.

We went and did some of the touristy things like; went on a pony and trap ride around Central Park, visiting 5th Avenue and all the big department stores, Marcy’s, Barneys and Bloomingdale’s, rooftop drinks, and going to Times Square. But I think my favourite part of the trip was going to the 9/11 memorial and museum. It was breathtaking and really inspirational, sometimes I think we lose faith in humanity as the news seems to surround us with such negatives events happening all around the world. Even though the memorial was filled with so much sadness, it was also great example of how many good people there are in the world.

Our hotel, The Viceroy, was in such a good location, between 6th and 7th Avenue so near the fancy shops on 5th, but also only three streets in from Central Park. The Viceroy also won best rooftop bar in the city, so you can imagine the views. The food was delicious, Kingside is the place to be, 1920s diner feel to it. Not to mentioned we saw James Nesbitt!! The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the portion sizes, but that’s America for you. Long story short, what I’m basically saying is, stay at The Viceroy if you venture to New York and you WON’T regret it, I promise. Not to mention the dishy Concierge!

These are my top five things to do in New York…

1. Visit Time Square, even though I do think Piccadilly is better, it’s worth a look just to see the lights and feel the hustle and bustle of the city. I was like a moth to a flame.

2. Central Park, you’re able to see where so many movies were filmed and enjoy a walk around the man made park.

3. Go to a rooftop bar, the views are picture perfect.

4. Magnolia Bakery, need I say more? (I am the BIGGEST Sex and the City fan)

5. Go do something cultural that only New York has to offer, whether it’s visiting the Met, 9/11 memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge etc.

I really can’t wait to go back! I miss it already. Oh and their bars stay open until 4am, what’s not to love?

Take care,

B x

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Springtime!

How lovely has this sunny weather been? Generic and terribly British, I know! I’m not really one for sun, unless I’m on holiday and don’t have to do something strenuous. But, wow! I had such a great weekend in it.

I went to meet some friends I haven’t seen since the summer, so the weather made it feel like we hadn’t really been apart. We went to this quaint little restaurant just off of the King’s Road in Chelsea, called Bumpkin. Don’t you just LOVE the name?! I had never been before, but we fancied sitting in the sun and that seemed like the perfect answer. They have a gorgeous outdoor area, which has flowers in teapots, different colour chairs and tables, fake grass and even a little canopy to cover all bases due to our unpredictable weather.

We devoured two bottles of rosé, as it felt very summery. Then some delicious food, I had the soup of the day, which was great. I recommend going there for dinner, as for lunch it seemed quite heavy. Although the menu changes seasonally, so when summer finally comes around I’m sure it’ll be lighter. As they have a special grill with – BBQ ribs, burgers, fish and chips etc. So well worth a visit on an empty stomach. The decor just finishing it off, creating a buzzing atmosphere. It was such a nice catchup with friends, I was really quite sad to leave them. Life seems to get in the way sometimes, when one is free, the others aren’t, visa versa. When leaving we always seem to say, ‘we need to do this more often!!‘ so I’m going to make a conscious effort to do so.

Here are some photographs from Bumpkin, there is a sister restaurant in Nottinghill too!

The Potting Shed BAR

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After a brilliant luncheon, I then jumped on the tube to meet the rest of my family in Kentish Town. It is my sister’s birthday on Monday, so we all decided to go out for dinner. As I’ve mentioned before about House Seven, they have recently opened a new restaurant called The Chicken Shop. Now, I know what you’re thinking – NO it is not the Chicken Shop that appeared on Channel Four. Think Nandos meets Soho House. This was the best chicken I’ve ever had, and that is a bold statement, I know. But, honestly! The menu is very limited, it’s written on the wall, which adds to the relaxing atmosphere in the restaurant. Now, in my experience, you probably will over order, but that’s good means there’s some to take home. Oh and the apple pie is to DIE for. Even the wine is served to you in a jug like water, old skool. The only downside is that you have a limited amount of time on your table. Even when we left at 9pm, the queue was ridiculous, so get in early.

The decor is 1950s American diner, whoever does the interior for House Seven seems to get it spot on every time. The little touches from the cutlery to the brown paper bags you take your leftovers in, they always seem to get it just right. They also have a sister restaurant in Tooting. Oh, and PizzaEast is next door to The Chicken Shop, which is also owned by House Seven. So you can guess how good those pizzas are!! I feel like an ambassador of House Seven, don’t take my word for it, go! You won’t regret it.

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So, after all that eating yesterday exercise was needed today. I did a workout from Windsor Castle, up to the Copper Horse and home. I felt a lot better! Made me appreciate where I live, I mean there aren’t many places you can sit at the top of the Queen’s land and see Heathrow, the City in the distance, the Mars Factory and where Queen Victoria was buried. I love Windsor.

Hope you guys had a great weekend, and have been enjoying the nice weather as much as I have. Let’s face it, it won’t last!

Take care,

B x

Babington House

Have you ever been somewhere where you feel so at home? I mean, really at home. Where you could walk around in your pyjamas all day, pop the kettle on, lay on the sofa reading trashy magazines, that sort of place. The place where my family and I feel like that is, Babington House.

Babington House is within the House Seven group, which consists of eleven houses all over the world. From London to Berlin to Toronto.  The best known being Soho House. They provide a place where people working within the media or arts industry can go and unwind. It is a very exclusive group to be a member of and extremely difficult to have your application accepted, creating an exceptional atmosphere inside all the houses. They also have various restaurants and cinemas under the group too.

To my family and I, Babington holds a very special place in our heart, which is just another reason why we love it so much. The house is set in a big, beautiful, Georgian estate, in Somerset. It has its own church, lake, outdoor pool and tennis courts. The drive up to the house is nothing spectacular, but this is part of the charm of House Seven, understated is their middle-name.

What’s not to love? The Cowshed spa, you haven’t experience relaxation until you’ve had a facial and massage there. The food, which is all locally sourced, the vegetables are from the gardens on the estate, so they’re fresh everyday. My GOD it is like food you will have never tasted before. Honestly. Afternoon tea is everyday from three onwards, unlimited tea, scones and cakes, all handmade in the kitchen just minutes before service. The amazing heated outdoor pool, but when it did get a bit too nippy you can pop inside to the indoor pool and sauna or steam room. The art-deco bar, which has an electric atmosphere no matter what time of the day you drop in, you’ll feel like you’re on the set of The Great Gatsby. The fact that we could take our little puppies. The decor is very shabby, chic and effortless, I guarantee you’ll want your own interior at home to look exactly the same, you’ll be taking endless photos of your bedroom and bathroom. And many more reasons, but you need to go and see why.

Babington makes you feel like you’re staying at a rich friend’s house. The staff are like old friends, willing to do anything they can to accommodate you and to ensure your stay is as stress free as possible. Nothing is too much to ask, nothing is a problem. We all came home feeling refreshed and ready to carry on reality.

So, with Valentine’s Day coming up, why not surprised your other half and take them to Babington? I promise you will receive SO many brownie points it will be ridiculous. Or if you fancy a little break away, there is no other place in the world that can compare. I miss it! I wish I had taken more photographs, but phones aren’t meant to be used within the main house.

Sadly, for us singletons Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Why is it when you’re single everywhere you seem to look at this time of the year is about love and having found ‘the one’ ? God. But when you’re in a relationship you never seem to notice all the lovey dovey stuff? Are any of you doing something romantic for it? Or are you the one being surprised? Or are you a singleton too doing something a bit different?

Take care,

B x

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Southbank

I love Southbank. I think it’s one of the most exciting parts of London. There is so much to do there, the array of galleries, graffiti, bars, architecture and exhibitions are my idea of heaven. Not to mention it all being sat on the river thames. For my birthday I was a lucky bunny and was taken to the Strength & Vulnerability Bunker at the Royal Festival Hall. It was not like anything I had ever seen before, the exhibition was created by a young prisoner, consisting of art created by offenders, secure patients and detainees.

Some of the inmates have such an extraordinary talent. A lot of the art could have been displayed in The Tate or National Gallery it was that amazing. It really highlighted that one seriously wrong choice can turn your life upside down. There is an extremely fine line between sanity and insanity. I can only relate to this in the way that- whenever I go on holiday and stand on the hotel balcony that’s on say, the 8th floor. I sometimes get the urge to jump off, not in a suicidal way at all. Just what would happen? But it’s then your rational thought that brings you back to reality and tells you that it’s not a good idea.

We were given a form to fill in at the end of our favourite piece and why. The card was then given back to the prisoners so they could receive feedback about their artwork. Part of me felt really sad walking around and seeing how skilled some of these people are, and how they have wasted so much of their lives due to their wrong action.

But then, as my mother always says, “we may not have the ability to control our emotions, but we have the ability to control our actions.” – yes, she’s a wise lady.

After the exhibition we walked along the river and had a drink (a gin and tonic was calling). It was so lovely! Then I took a long look at the book market. Six, 10 foot tables covered in books! Ahhh. Then to top the day off we went for a yummy dinner and a few cocktails at Burger and Lobster, in Mayfair. Another must-go in London, similar concept to Bubbledogs. I was uncomfortably full afterwards though, but again, it was so worth it.

My best friend has just arrived down from Nottingham, as a surprise!! So we’re off for a Sunday lunch together at The Windmill, which I’m really looking forward to. I’ll let you know how the food is. God, I’m having the best birthday and it’s not even my birthday!

Hope you have a great weekend and don’t get blown away by this storm.

Take care,

B x

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October Excitement!

How are we in October already? 

I think from August – December time just flies by and the seasons seem to run into each other at a rapid rate. It genuinely feels like yesterday I was sunbathing outside. But oh my God this weather has brought me back to reality with a significant BANG, it is SO cold! I do love the cold weather, but I can’t remember it being this cold in October. 

So good news, I’ve got a new jobs at Whistles which I am so delighted with. I’ve always loved their clothes and classic, yet vintage looks! Eeeek. I can’t wait to properly begin, I’ll keep you updated with some must-haves for Winter. 

In contrast to my delight, I am struggling with university assignments. Four in before the end of the month, how am I going to do it? I’ve been sleeping with Karl Marx, Judith Bulter and Emile Durkheim nearly every night, hoping that somehow my body will absorb the textbook. I can safely say, it is not working. On to plan B I think.

But to cheer me up, today I have afternoon tea at Coworth Park to look forward to. October in my family is birthdays galore. My mother is the 1st, brother in-law 12th, my nana 13th and then my brother and I are the 28th. My poor sister’s bank balance does not look pretty come November. So, my family and I are off to celebrate. We love Coworth Park and go almost monthly to have afternoon tea together. They now know us quite well, I don’t know whether it’s embarrassing or something to be proud of?! Haha. Their afternoon tea is to die for, and I’ll upload some photos to show you why! 

Hope you have a good week and wrap up warm. 

Take care,

B x