Having spent my primary school years in North West London, I never appreciated it. When we relocated to Cyprus I fell in love with my new home! Location, weather, friends, family, the combo. My heart belonged to Cyprus. I was sent back to London to do my ‘A’ levels but that had a negative effect on me and as a result, London was not a place I wanted to spend quality time, until recently. The last five to six years have found me returning yearly, seeing London in a completely different light. A vast difference from the gloomy, monotonous routine I had previously experienced.
I don’t label myself as a London tourist as I feel quite at home. London offers me a five-day escape from my well- loved but close-knit island home. The buzz of bright lights and big city life is the kind of energy you get from a place such as London. The hustle and bustle of this city screams diversity, attractions, activities and culinary experiences. Staying in the city centre I have come to appreciate London more than ever.
Hubby is always there on business lately and 1 in 10 I tag along but this time I tagged along with my best friends! Herself and hubby. What more could I ask for? Wednesday to Sunday proved to be a jam packed, mind exhilarating few days. Because my trips to London are usually in the lead up to Christmas, I forgot what spring time is like. From the parks, gardens and streets to the pubs, bars and general out-door events, there is an over spillage of people- a general boom of life, literally and metaphorically. April’s sweet weather heralds the start of warmer weather when people start to put away their thick jumpers and woolly coats and enjoy the longer days- London comes alive!
Sharing our time between cousins and best friends proved to be great fun! And as for the over consumption of fine dining, brunches, lunches and afternoon teas, it’s a wonder where and how we withstood this constant barrage to our stomachs – but we did and now I am paying for it! Even as I am writing this article, I am detoxing and on a mission to deflate. My saving grace was the long walks we took through the parks and streets between meals.
Never having been to the Ritz for their legendary teas, I made sure my friend Lydia placed it on the agenda this time round. Interestingly enough I was not overly impressed to be honest. Even though the surroundings were beautiful it didn’t meet my expectations.
Next time we will definitely experience it at the hotel my hubby and I always stay at. Sometimes you don’t appreciate what’s on your door step. The Rosewood hotel certainly has it all.
Desperate to see ‘Aladdin’ the musical, in the end I couldn’t bring myself to see it without my children. Instead, Lydia booked ‘Beautiful’ the story of singer, song writer Carole King. What a show! By far one of the best I have ever seen. Knowing all the songs made me realise what an impact my mother had on me as I was growing up and that made it even more special for me. I would have loved to have been there with you mum.
Brunching in London, the choice is endless. Balthazar in Convent Garden, Bill’s in Soho and Asia de Cuba on Saint Martin’s Lane did a splendid job of filling us up with tantalizing delights but then leaving us in need of lengthy strolls afterwards. Savouring out door London is always a pre requisite but after these brunches it becomes a necessity! I don’t know what it is about the bread, we couldn’t get enough of anything bread related!
Each night we relished a different gastronomic experience. Coya in Mayfair, gave us a Latin American welcome with its mouth- watering Peruvian cuisine. The sea bass is to die for.
Thymari in Hadley Wood, a newly opened Greek restaurant, owned and run by my dearest cousin, is a jewel. The homely interior and the exquisite Greek fusion is a great experience not to be missed by neither Londoners nor tourists.
I had the best steak ever. Friday night had us eating at Yauatcha, a dim sum tea house, vibrant in trendy Soho. Asian food is my favourite and I thoroughly enjoyed both place and food.
Last but not least, our last night saw us eating out at Mayfair’s Black Roe. Its ‘crowning glory is Poke Bar at the front of the restaurant, where an expert chef serves up raw fish with a Pacific slant alongside other fresh seafood and oysters. Centre stage takes Poke, a Hawaiian marinated raw fish dish with fresh, exotic flavours.’ And although I don’t eat raw food, the tastes were amazing. The lobster, seabass and chicken dishes served for our main course were superb too. The desert was a masterpiece of everything delicious!
However, the cherry on the top was Scarves bar at the Rosewood where we rounded up our day.
This time saw me enjoy London with my closest friends and cousins void of shopping. It was great! Shall we go back Cat?