In celebration of last month’s National Tea Day, I set off on my first visit to a restaurant that has been on my Asian-obsessed hitlist for quite some time. Situated at the top of the Royal Garden Hotel, Min Jiang is a stylish space renowned for haute Chinese dishes as breathtaking as its birds-eye view of Kensington Palace.
To put Min Jiang to the test, our discerning table set off on a food and tea pairing of belt-breaking proportions.
Kicking things off with an Ooling Tea-Tail (Havana Club 7 Year Old Rum, Malibu & Spring King Oolong Tea with a slice of orange – the cocktail of my rum-loving British dreams), we quickly segued into a small steamed dim sum platter paired with Dragon Well Lung Ching Organic.
Slightly underwhelmed by the dim sum (I am a prudent judge of all things dim sum), I was very pleased to find the next dish – their ‘legendary’ wood-fired Beijing duck – the best I have had of its kind. As our paired cup of Formoda Oolong was poured, we were bestowed with a number of their most popular dishes (pan-fried Dover Sole fillets in XO sauce, diced rib-eye of beef with black pepper sauce
& seasonal vegetables stir-fried with oyster sauce) before wrapping our shareable savouries up with leftover duck-dusted fried noodles and a cup of Yunnan imperial FOP.
Weighed down with the most caffeinated bellies of Chinese food you could imagine, our bravest table companions picked at a beautiful seasonal fruit platter while the rest of us settled in with a farewell cupful of China Lychee Lizi Hongcha.
A meal at Min Jiang may not come cheap, but with unbeatable views, intimate luxury, and a perfect Beijing duck on the cards, it comes at great value.
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For the 90s kid…
…round up your peers and get yourself to Goosebumps Alive. The new immersive theatre experience has taken our favourite childhood horror series from R. L. Stine and turned them into a 90-minute spectacle. Under the ground in Waterloo’s Vaults, you explore seventeen rooms filled with demonic masks, haunted electronics, killer scarecrows, and much more; storytelling has never been so eerie or enveloping.
For the beauty guru…
…nothing makes more sense than the Good Ship Benefit. The beauty brand have recently taken over the R.S. Hispaniola (the docked ship across from the London Eye) and turned it into a San Francisco-themed attraction coated in all things pink and fabulous. There is a bar, brow lounge, boutique, restaurant, secret underwater lounge, and even yoga classes on certain days!
My initial visit was made to get a private introduction to Benefit’s Cheekathon palette (exclusive to House of Fraser) – an incredible palette of five full-sized Benefit cheek products including cult favourites like the CORALista blush and Hoola bronzer. Initial…but not my last.
For the London escapee…
Of course, if you’re still feeling restless after all of the above it might be time to get away. In preparation for an upcoming trip to Birmingham (before jetting off to Lanzarote!) on Wednesday, I came across 50% off Virgin Rail breaks on VoucherBin.co.uk as well at 40% off deals with Etihad, business class vouchers and more. If you’re needing a little break from the city, you might as well save yourself some spending money for your destination, eh?
I have spent a number of my London Years hot-footing it through Victoria with little time spent getting to know the area itself.
I mean, I know the station better than I know members of my own family: I know the platforms which take you to South London the fastest, the right time to strike for the freshest bagels, and my favourite seat in every coffee shop within a mile, but I could never claim to know Victoria. Not until I spent the weekend there.
You all know I love a staycation (or, if you’re new here, hello and you do now!). Playing tourist in your own city is not only a schedule-conscious way to “get away” but a real opportunity to practice gratitude…
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Long-time blog followers will be pretty familiar with my love for Camden Market. A visit is a weekly – if not more frequent – eventually and one I never tire of. Having recently started looking for a coworking space, nay, the right coworking space, Camden Interchange was my logical first stop.
The new ‘Triangle’ space is part of the rapidly expanding Interchange portfolio and contains small offices for start-ups as well as a stunning coworking space with panoramic views of London Town. My proximity to Camden also means the space is just a morning run away (Interchange fit fam-friendly lockers and shower facilities).
My first day in the space featured a decadent lunch meeting at Gilgamesh (dangerously connected to the coworking space), a solid nine hours of productivity, and an end of day visit to Wines of Argentina’s pop-up event celebrating Malbec World Day.
If you’re a fellow foodie, Interchange might be the best and worst thing to ever happen to you.
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On most travellers’ bucket lists, you will find a destination that seems displaced from the rest. Mine was Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. It was Puerto Vallarta for over ten years. While my bucket list has been built on emphatic reasoning, Puerto Vallarta found its way to the top on little more than The Night of the Iguana and a few temperamental years studying Spanish (or, more realistically, watching the soap opera Destinos in Spanish class).
Last month, I finally made it to the Bahía de Banderas.
The Puerto Vallarta food tour may have been my personal highlight, but it was running against some fierce competition…
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