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!

X

Pauline

Our lunch at BeAbout Burger, Bratislava, Slovakia

I normally focus on fine-dining and top-end meals we’ve had. Having said that, today I would like to tell you about BeAbout Burger which we visited for a quick lunch whilst in Bratislava as it is definitely worth a visit. The restaurant was recommended to me by one of my Slovakian friends as: ‘the best place to have a gourmet burgers in.’ 

Atmosphere:

When we entered the restaurant, it was already buzzing with many dinners. We sat in the middle of restaurant and were welcomed by a waiter who kindly brought us English menus.

When you enter BeAbout Burger it feels a bit like being in an American dinner and the place has a vibrant atmosphere. The dining room has a contemporary, simple décor.

Food:

The restaurant serves a selection of starters in addition to their signature burgers. All dishes are made from high quality, fresh, local ingredients. There is also an extensive cocktails menu on offer in addition to a wide selection of local and imported alcohol being served.

We were quite hungry when we arrived so we decided to order 3 sides to share:

  • Buffalo wings & rings – barbeque glazed chicken wings, onion rings, BBQ a Blue cheese sauce.
  • Papa T’s chicken pieces – crispy chicken breast in homemade coating and Ranch sauce.
  • Crispy chicken strips – crispy chicken coated in panko mixture and Honey-mustard sauce.

All starters were tasty and tender. I really enjoyed our crispy chicken strips which were delectable.

For my main I decided to have a ‘Maple Syrup Burger’ with guacamole, bacon
beef meat, cheddar and mayonnaise. My husband decided to have ‘Tex Mex Burger’
with beef meat, cheddar, nachos, chilli beans, jalapeño peppers and Mojo sauce.

Both burgers were served with fries, onion rings, tomato, red onion and pickles. The portion sizes were very generous and unfortunately after finishing our starters and mains we were unable to have any desserts so I hope that I will be able to try some next time we are around.

If you like burgers then you should definitely visit BeAbout Burger for a lunch / dinner.  Our food was served quickly, was tasty and the service was good so I would definitely recommend it. What’s more, all dishes were reasonably priced and we could customise our burgers which is always a plus.

Address:

You can experience BeAbout Burger at one of these two locations:

Prešernova 4, Bratislava / Dulovo Námestie 5/A, Bratislava

For more information and to book visit:

https://www.beabout.sk/

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Holiday destinations: Hamburg, Germany

As it was a Bank Holiday weekend last week, we travelled to Hamburg in Germany. I’ve never there before so I was looking forward to discovering this second largest German city with the largest port. Hamburg has became one of the major centres for international trade due to its location and it continues to be one of the wealthiest cities build on maritime stories. Locals have mastered how to live well and if (like me) you like to indulge in diverse cuisine then you would enjoy your stay here as there are a plenty of great restaurants, bars and breweries to visit.

If you like sightseeing then you can take one of the sightseeing walking tours showing you the city’s highlights or grab a map and discover the major sites by yourself.

Here is a short list of my suggestions of places worth visiting:

  • Speicherstadt – the largest warehouse district in the world located in the port of Hamburg with some signature red-brick warehouses, canals & museums.

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  • Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – a newly constructed concert hall in the HafenCity on the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River. It is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world which cost 8 times more to build than the Sydney Opera House.
  • Townhall and Alster – the seat of local government which is one of Germany’s 16 state parliaments. Located next to Hamburg’s most popular river – Alster leading to many shopping malls and boutiques.
  • Planten un Blomen – a large city park with a size of 47 hectares featuring themed gardens, a lake & Japanese tea house

How to get there?

If you live in the UK then you can easily get to Hamburg from most of major cities. We’ve flown from London Stanstead and it took us slightly over 1 hour to get there. Perfect for a short weekend break.

Other tips:

Hamburg has a very good transport network and you should definitely get a Hamburg Card when you visit – it will cover all your travel in addition to some discounts i.e. to some of the top attractions, restaurants, river cruises etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

X

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