Dinner at Kahani, London, United Kingdom

My husband loves Indian cuisine, so this week we decided to experience Kahani – an exclusive, Michelin star, fine-dining Indian restaurant in central London.

Location:
Kahani is located opposite of the iconic Cadogan Hall, besides being on the doorsteps of luxurious boutiques and department stores such as Harvey Nichols and Harrods in Chelsea, London. It is easily reachable by public transport and is within very close proximity to Slone Square tube station whilst Knightsbridge station is only a short walk away.

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Atmosphere:
Kahani’s décor is simply stunning – the restaurant is both modern and chic with the earth tones of green, red and brown as well as a reoccurring theme of the Hamsa hand (symbolizing the Hand of God) visible throughout the venue.
The restaurant is perfect for an intimate dinner date where you can start with a drink or two at the bar followed by sharing some amazing Indian cuisine. Large groups can also be accommodated as the restaurant sits up to 90 and has a separate, private dining area above the kitchen. The service was faultless so I would also consider it as a venue for business lunches or dinner as I am sure it would leave your colleagues or clients impressed.

The menu:
Indian cuisine has been established in the UK for over 200 years with the first British curry house being opened in 1809. The restaurant’s Head Chef – Peter Joseph was raised in Chennai in India and his objective was to bring a fresh approach to Indian cuisine, starting with naming his restaurant ‘Kahani’ as it means ‘story’ in Hindi to combining the traditional take on Indian cooking with his experience in British kitchens and adding his signature modern twist. He achieved that by creating an artistic menu combining the best seasonal and traditional British ingredients with Indian spices and culinary techniques.
We decided to be adventurous and asked the chef to prepare some of his signature dishes to share. We started with a selection of starters. They were all full of flavour, but we absolutely loved these 3:
• Soft shell crunchy crab with Mangalorean spices, kachumber and smoked tomato chutney;
• Octopus and calamari chaat served with some kasoondi mustard, sweet potato and grapefruit;
• Smoked Malabar prawns marinated with fresh turmeric, coconut, curry leaves.

Our starters were not only presented beautifully but they were tasty and original. My personal favourite was octopus and camari chaat – the combination of seafood with some sweet potatoes and grapefruit was simply perfect as it was both refreshing and flavoursome.

Next, it was time for our mains, we were again positively surprised by a chef with his modern take on a butter chicken and Kerala Fish Curry based on Halibut simmered with shallots, turmeric, tamarind and coconut. Our mains were served with some rice and nan bread which were all scrumptious.
Lastly, we decided to order a dessert platter to share. My sweet tooth was definitely satisfied as all of the desserts featured were mouth-watering.

Overall experience:
Kahani is a hidden gem in a busy Chelsea. It is the best Indian restaurant I’ve visited so far in London and it offers great traditional Indian cuisine with a modern, British twist. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to experience Peter Joseph’s signature blend of spices and flavour pairings. He will take you on a journey and paint a story of an incredible Indian cuisine. Menu has a lot to offer so if you would like to experience the best Indian cuisine has to offer then you should definitely visit.

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Website:
For more information and to book visit:
https://www.kahanidining.com/

Address:
1 Wilbraham Pl
Belgravia
London SW1X 9AE

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Dinner at Caxton Grill, London, United Kingdom

Last week, I was going away to visit my parents, so we decided to go for a nice, romantic meal with my husband. We love eating out and both are massive foodies, so I was excited to try an award-winning Caxton Grill.

Location:
Caxton Grill is located inside of Westminster’s exclusive St. Ermin’s Hotel which was voted a ‘Top London Hotel’ in Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice Awards. It is around the corner from St. James’s Park tube station, minutes from Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament and only a short 10min walk from Victoria station. It can be easily reachable by tube, bus or walking if you are exploring the central London.

Atmosphere:
The Caxton Grill has re-launched this summer with new interiors which are elegant and sophisticated. Wooden tables are decorated with candles and some simple flower arrangements.
Since the moment we walked through the hotel’s lobby until the end of our experience, all staff that were attending our table were professional and attentive.

The menu:
The Caxton Grill’s head chef – Alexander Boyd has launched a new menu inspired by plenty of organic herbs, vegetables, salad and fruit many of which are harvested from the hotel’s rooftop kitchen garden. All dishes are prepared from the top quality, locally sourced ingredients including the best 35-day dry aged British beef and sustainably caught fish. Many of the dishes are prepared at very high temperatures using a Josper oven.

To start with I had some pan-fried hand dived scallops with courgettes and their flowers. They were simply divine.
My husband had some cured sea bass with lemon purée, cucumber, kohlrabi and parsley. The dish was stimulating and refreshing.

Secondly, as I love seafood, I decided to have a mixed fish grill prepared from the freshest fish available that day. There was a nice selection of tuna, salmon, calamari and a prawn to try which was all cooked faultlessly.


My husband had some Prime Black Angus Sirloin steak which was prepared on the Josper over that retained moisture and added a hint of smokiness to it. We eat out at least twice a week and have been to many specialist steakhouses this year including Gauchos and Hawksmoor, but James described it as the best steak he’s had so far this year. Certainly worth trying and next time I will definitely want to try it myself.

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After our mains, it was time for a dessert. You can judge me, but I never say no to this final course of my dinner. I decided to have some toasted almond panna cotta accompanied by an apple sorbet, blackberry and rocket. James had a ‘mojito’- a dessert based on lime chiboust, brown sugar, rum and mint. Both of them were mouth-watering.

Overall experience:
The Caxton Grill is a perfect destination for a memorable meal in the central London. Whether you live here, travel on business or visit only for a few days to visit the key sites of London, you should definitely experience it yourself as all food we tried was outstanding. In addition, our table was attended to by friendly waiters that were happy to provide us with some suggestions and made us feel welcomed throughout the evening. To sum-up, it was a great meal and I will visit again. Truly recommended!

Website:
For more information and to book visit:
https://www.caxtongrill.co.uk

Address:
St. Ermin’s Hotel, Autograph Collection
2 Caxton Street
Westminster
London SW1H 0QW

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Our stay in VISIONAPARTMENTS in Zurich

We travelled to Zurich recently for a short, weekend break. We stayed in one of the luxurious apartments managed by VISIONAPARTMENTS. They offer over 1,800 tailored temporary living solutions in Berlin, Frankfurt, Lausanne, Warsaw, Vevey, Vienna, Zug and Zurich. The main clientele of VISIONAPARTMENTS are businessmen and young leisure travellers who collectively help to create a great atmosphere there.

Location:
VISIONAPARTMENTS Wolframplatz building is situated just a few metres away from the Giesshübel Train Station which can get you to the Zürich Main Train Station in a few minutes. It makes it a perfect location for whether you are there on business or – like us – travelling for a short city-break. The airport is only 40min away can be easily reached by public transport too.
You can also grab a bite to eat nearby, with the nearest restaurants located only a short walk away or go shopping at the Sihlcity Shopping Centre which is a 5min walk away from the apartments.

Apartment:
The concept of an aparthotel is one that offers most of the services of a hotel: rooms are regularly cleaned but rather than living in a room, you are spend your time in a fully-equipped apartment. VISIONAPARTMENTS units are available in a variety of layouts, styles and sizes and are competitively priced whether you are looking for a long- or short-term accommodation.


We stayed in a lovely, fully furnished Junior Duplex Apartment (No# WO010), split over 2 levels. On the ground floor, it featured a bathroom, living room area and a kitchen (with a small mini-fridge, microwave and dishwasher). A staircase lead us up to our spacious bedroom with its own en-suite bathroom.

The bedroom had a large, comfortable king size bed, flat screen TV and handy night stands. There was a selection of toiletries available in our master bathroom in addition to comfy robes and slippers.


After long days of sightseeing, I really enjoyed coming back to our apartment and relaxing on the large sofa watching some news before going to bed. As our apartment had a fully furnished kitchen – we prepared our breakfasts there, trying some locally produced goods.

Overall experience:
We stayed at the VISIONAPARTMENTS in Zurich for 2 nights and we really enjoyed it. The complex is super modern – you do not need to even check in/check out as you get an access code to your apartment on the day of your arrival. I was impressed with how spacious and stylish our apartment was. There is no restaurant onsite but if you do not mind preparing your own breakfast or having it at one of the nearby cafes then that shouldn’t be an issue. I would definitely recommend it to all travellers who like to stay in beautiful modern surroundings that offer an excellent price to quality ratio.

Address:
Wolframplatz. 1,
8045 Zürich, Switzerland

Website:
https://visionapartments.com/en/

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

2019 Travel Must Haves

Happy Tuesday my lovelies! The weather has been so good recently so I was spending some time in my garden. I have even planted some colourful plants, can you believe it? Living in the countryside is definitely having a positive effect on me. Nevertheless, today I put together a short ‘2019 Travel Must-haves’ list. My aim was to give you some inspiration on the products worth getting this season. Most of them are a great investment and you will be able to benefit from them throughout a year – not only during the summer.

  1. Gate8 cabin bags and accessories

As a frequent traveller, I wanted to get a new, innovative travel bag that would be suitable for most of the airlines whether I was flying business or economy. Prepare to take off onto a new journey with Gate8. The brand has recently won the Best Travel Product from British Travel Goods & Accessories Association and it has been invited by Etihad, easyJet, Oman Air and Titan Airways to design their crew and pilot luggage so I wanted to check it out. The company vision is to make every journey as hassle-free as possible – be it air, rail or road, business or leisure. I decided to order the Spin MATE Plus. I travel a lot and spend a lot of time in airports and hotels so has this bag passed my test? Oh yes! I absolutely love it!

Spin MATE Plus comes in an upright, hard-wearing ballistic nylon shell and has 5 years guarantee. Its design was planned to make every journey as hassle-free as possible. As you are most likely aware the hand-luggage restrictions vary from airline to airline and Gate8 luggage can help anyone to avoid baggage check-in fees due to its smart design and detachable backpack. This zip-off removable backpack is perfectly sized to store under your seat for take-off and landing or to keep your tech and valuables secure and close to you.

I travelled with RyanAir to Hamburg last week and took Spin MATE Plus with me. I simply removed my backpack before I boarded the plane, put my wallet and laptop inside and took it onto the plane with me avoiding being asked to pay extra for my hand luggage. I was very impressed by it.

What’s more, Spin MATE Plus is super easy to navigate due to its 4, 360° spinner wheels. The inside of the bag, again has been beautifully designed with a netted panel on the left site of the bag and tie-down compression straps to reduce creasing on the right.

You can personalise the bag for no extra cost whilst ordering. Isn’t this great?

Lastly, Gate8 offers a range of handy accessories – I’ve tried their PACKER mate – a handy luggage organiser set that helped my packing to be organised and protected without adding extra weight. In addition, I got Shirt MATE – a perfect shirt carrier & folding board. It’s perfect for when I am travelling on business and need to wear a shirt as it enables me to store up to 5 shirts or trousers almost crease-free. There are some more, very handy accessories and you should definitely check them out yourself.

To discover the whole range and order visit:

https://www.gate8-luggage.co.uk/

Prices range from £15 for accessories to £159 for cabin bags.

     2. Jet candy 

Jet Candy is a new, homeopathic remedy developed to help combat jet lag. It spent over 10 years in development and was launched in Cannes in 2017. For all of you taking any intercontinental flights this summer, you should definitely consider getting it as jet lag catches us all regardless where we are going and in what direction. ‘Don’t take the time zone hit: take Jet Candy.’ Wouldn’t it be great to reset your body clock and enjoy the destinations you are travelling to? Jet Candy helps with fatigue, dehydration, disorientation, mental sharpness and other symptoms associated with the disruption of the circadian rhythms. What’s more, Jet Candy allows the internal body clock to function during long-haul flights. It comes in a practical pill distributor cap and has enough pills for 8 long-haul flights in it.

Available from http://www.jet-candy.com

Price: only £19.99 for 100 pillules.

I love all products featured in this review and if you decide to get anything from my list then I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do 🙂

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Pauline

Our stay at Regnum Aparthotel & Spa in Bansko, Bulgaria

A few weeks ago, I was in Bulgaria with my husband to resolve some issues with my parent’s holiday home. We spent a few days in Bansko and a couple of days in Sofia. I love travelling to Bulgaria and today I would like to tell you about our stay at the Regnum Apart hotel & Spa in Bansko.

Location:

Regnum Apart hotel & Spa is based in the popular town of Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, in southwest Bulgaria. It is only a few minutes’ walk from town’s high street on which you can find many nice restaurants, clubs and a gondola. The hotels location is perfect – no matter whether you are in Bansko for skiing, hiking or just passing by.

Atmosphere:

Regnum Apart hotel & Spa has a classic and sophisticated décor. Its guests can enjoy many common areas such as an outdoor swimming pool, spa, bar, reading room and a large lounging area. All staff members we spoke with were helpful and accommodating.

Room:

We stayed in an Executive deluxe suite which consisted of two rooms, bathroom and a balcony with stunning mountain views. We enjoyed relaxing in our spacious living room with kitchenette which was fully equipped with a kettle all plates, cutlery, mini-fridge, safe box, and oven. We didn’t cook whilst we were there, but it would be handy for anyone who fancy preparing their meals whilst away from home. Our bedroom had a stylish décor and a comfortable with king size bed and a flat-screen TV.
Our bathroom had both shower cabin and bathtub and again was finished to a high standard. A selection of complimentary toiletries was also provided.


My favourite space in the apartment was our balcony – the view was simply stunning and as we were in Bansko in June it was perfect to lounging on with a drink after hiking all day.

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Overall experience:
We enjoyed our stay in Regnum Apart hotel & Spa and I would recommend it to anyone travelling to Bansko. In addition, the hotel has recently opened its own thermal SPA in a picturesque village of Banya. Regnum Banya Thermal features an outdoor swimming pool with mineral water which is complimentary to use for all hotel guests and can be easily reachable in 10min by a free hotel’s shuttle bus. The SPA has great facilities including a steam room, sauna and if you fancy you can have one of beauty treatments or a massage whilst in there.


The only let down was hotel’s buffet which we decided to try on one of the nights. All food was bland and overpriced for Bulgaria as it was around 20euros per person. It was a canteen quality food which I would not expect in a 5-star hotel.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:
https://www.regnum.bg/en/

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

The Adagio London Brentford, UK

Two weeks ago, I was invited the opening of the first ever Adagio Aparthotel in London Brentford. I’ve previously stayed in Adagio Aparthotel with my mum in Nice in France and I really enjoyed it so I was really looking forward to discovering what Adagio has to offer in London.

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Location:

The Adagio Aparthotel Brentford provides good links with Central London so it’s great for both business and leisure travellers. It is also located close to London Heathrow airport and within a mile of Kew Gardens. The closest tube station is 10minutes walk from the aparthotel.

Facilities:

Adagio Aparthotel Brentford offers all the comforts of home whilst you are away. The hotel features 100 apartments (a mixture of studios and one-bedroom apartments), virtual concierge, fitness centre, laundry facilities, open hot-desk work area next to reception and a restaurant where you can grab a breakfast or a drink from.

Aparthotels Adagio London Brentford’s design takes inspiration from its urban surroundings with a modern feel. All Adagio aparthotels aim to provide open areas where guests can work and meet, perhaps even take part in one of their spontaneous cooking sessions all within Adagios comfortable setting.

As soon as you enter, you are welcomed by friendly receptionists and beautiful, contemporary surroundings.

Room:

We stayed in a beautiful apartment located on the seventh floor. Our apartment had a fully-equipped kitchen, air conditioning, living area with flat screen smart TV, free WIFI and telephone. We also had a spacious bathroom with complimentary Malin + Goez toiletries.

The living area of the apartment consisted also had a large and comfortable bed so we slept very well.

We also had a large terrace featuring the panoramic views of London where the guests could enjoy a drink or sit down and relax with a good book.

Overall experience:

The hotel staff believe that ‘home is not a place, it is a feeling’ and they try to create a friendly, open surroundings for its guests. Although, we stayed at the Adagio Aparthotel Brentford only for 1 night, we had a great time. The hotel has everything that’s needed whilst away from home and I will definitely stay in Adagio Aparthotels in the future.

Address:

Key Eye Tower

Ealing Rd

Brentford TW8 0FL

Website:

https://www.adagio-city.com

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Mother’s Day Gift Edit 2019

Mother’s Day is one of the few opportunities when I can spoil my mum a bit and make her feel loved and appreciated. We are very close but as she lives in another country, I always consider what to send her across for this special celebrations.

I created a shortlist of products that I’ve sent her this year. I hope that you will like my ideas and perhaps even consider them as gifts for your mum.

Firstly, I bough my mum a bottle of her favourite perfumes – J’Adore from Dior.

Secondly, as my mum loves skincare so I got her some natural products from Made for Life Organics:

  • Head and Hair Treatment Oil – a deeply nourishing and conditioning treatment for head and scalp. Based on ingredients like: rosemary, burdock nettle, almond and apricot kernel oil which are rich in vitamins D and E. The product is known to boost circulation, clear the mind and condition hair so I though that it would be a perfect gift for my mum as she loves to have a healthy and shiny hair. It comes in 100ml bottle at the cost of £30.
  • Tone and Firm Body Oil – offers detoxifying combination of organic herbs and essential oils including green tea, rosemary, mint and lemon stimulates circulation. Active nutrients penetrate the skin, encouraging the elimination of toxins from the fatty tissue. It comes in 100ml bottle at the cost of £30.

Both of these products are 100% organic and full of natural botanicals, created to nurture anyone with the purest organics packed with active ingredients from the wild world. They come in a pretty packaging so would be a great gift for anyone. For more information and to purchase visit:

https://www.madeforlifeorganics.com/

Thirdly, as my mum has likes unusual and trendy accessories I got her a couple of products from BasketBasket range:

  • African inspired Raffia Fruit basket – a beautiful, colourful fruit bowl to add up some vibrancy to her bedroom. Made from straw and raffia.

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  • Raffia Beach Basket – a lovely beach / shopping basket with wooden button and cord fastener, inner pocket, plus leather handles, along enough to go over the shoulder.

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Both of these products are handmade with natural, sustainable products, mainly from Morocco and Madagascar. Website offers a lot of other handmade products and there’s something for everyone with the prices ranging from £19-£50.

https://www.basketbasket.co.uk/

Lastly, I decided to get my mum a Gioteck TX-40 headset as she is a music lover. It took one year in research & development and now all TX headsets deliver an impeccable blend of features, quality and design. I loved how stylish it looks as it combines sleek black with cooper finishes. Gioteck’s range not only looks good but also is durable, reliable and stylish so I am sure my mum will enjoy using it.

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Product can be purchased from Argos for £24.99:

https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8361851

I hope that I gave you some ideas which might help you to come up with a perfect gift for your mum.

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Pauline