Brazilians in Brixton: an evening at Carioca

It’s sweltering. I’m dripping, not in a good way. And thanks to the well-meaning directions of a Brixtonian or two, I end up at the wrong end of Coldharbour Lane. This is not good. Anyone who knows the length of Coldharbour Lane will attest to that. It’s so long that I’ve almost ended up in…

Celebrating Sakura at Sake no Hana

The cherry blossom or sakura is much revered in Japan. Each spring, as the pretty pink flowers engulf cherry trees throughout the Japanese islands, the evening news includes a blossom report, tagging the towns and cities where the blossoms have appeared, until the entire map of Japan, from Okinawa in the south to Hokkaido in the far…

Clubbing in the Daytime with Tonino Lamborghini

Lamborghini. One distinctive, Italian surname, loaded with imagery of style and speed and fast, rich playboys and girls. When I think Lamborghini I see a sunshine-yellow sports car sweeping up to park outside Monte Carlo’s Hermitage Hotel, the driver dripping in Brioni threads. It’s the sort of car with a dynasty behind it, founded in…

Chez Bruce

On a recent Sunday, as the sun cast a gentle glow over the lazy autumn day, a group of us walked to Chez Bruce, the Michelin-starred restaurant on Bellevue Road by London’s lush Wandsworth Common. Now that we’re domiciled in the Sarf London ‘hood, it was time to check out this south-western stalwart of the cuisine scene, established in 1995 by the restaurant’s namesake, Bruce Poole,…

Art and Hospitality at Le Meridien, Piccadilly

On a UK Monopoly Board, Piccadilly is the sixth most expensive property at a whopping £280.00 and bears the colour yellow. To build a Monopoly hotel on the site will set you back £1,200.00. In reality, Piccadilly is a busy, multi-lane thoroughfare in London’s West End, running from Hyde Park Corner past Green Park to Piccadilly Circus….

High Tea with G&T at Le Meridien Piccadilly

High Tea is a quintessentially English tradition, introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, to maintain one’s aristocratic blood sugar levels between an early luncheon and dinner served late into the evening. The tradition caught on rapidly, developed with the Earl of Sandwich’s then-revolutionary idea to place fillings between slices of bread, and is now…

A London Art-U-Cation with Le Meridien at Frieze

A luxury hotel, lashings of fine dining and a whirlwind of contemporary art? Chez Epicurienne, that’s what I call a killer combination that I’d be happy to dive into on any day of the week. Courtesy of the Le Méridien hotel group, I was recently invited to partake of just such a tantalising synthesis of…

Moving Stories

I’ve been quiet of late, but with good reason: Monsieur and I have been moving house and I am officially exhausted. Thanks to this draining yet worthwhile exercise my arms are about 5 inches longer, I sport myriad moving injuries (who knew that cardboard boxes could scratch and bite?), could snore through earthquakes plural and…

Newtons, Abbeville Road

Monsieur and I have been househunting in earnest of late. That means Very Busy Saturdays. We set off straight after breakfast and spend most of the day with real estate agents, checking out kitchen appliances, the direction of  the sun versus garden aspect, whether windows are sash or double-glazed, finding out if there’s a chain to…

Burger and Lobster, London

I swear I must have been a mermaid (or merman) in a former life, because I absolutely love eating the spoils of the sea. In fact, perhaps I was Neptune himself, that’s how much I enjoy fish, seafood, crustaceans, urchins, even sea weed. Picture this: the day job is dull, filled with politics and I’ve…

London to Honfleur in Ten Sleepy Hours

Boring is definitely not a word in my vocabulary and, for better or worse, it certainly doesn’t apply to my travels with Monsieur. Invariably, be it on the first day of our time away or the last, something will go wrong. For instance, on honeymoon I got food poisoning, on our way to Venice we…

When London Canals Freeze Over…

Last Sunday I decided that something had to be done about my current addiction to (a) duvets, (b) blankets and (c) our gas fire. Donning as many layers as possible I took my camera to photograph the canals of Little Venice, which had frozen over. Looking down Regent’s Canal from the blue Warwick Avenue bridge the…