In Review: Supercity Apartments (The Rosebery), London

supercity apartments review
This is going to be one of those posts where press Publish and subsequently kick myself for sharing a hidden gem that I wish could stay hidden forever.

You know I love you guys, right? I love you so much I want to introduce you to The Rosebery (one of Supercity Apartments’ properties).

Every Fashion Week I toy with the idea of getting a hotel room to act as my charging station/temporary wardrobe/nap centre, but often talk myself out of it, knowing most London hotel rooms lack the creature comforts and space that I’ve come to love.

Not any sane soul could talk themselves out of The Rosebery.

Battling all of East London’s hotels, this Clerkenwell-based ‘aparthotel’ comes with fully furnished supersized suites, every amenity one could could possibly need (including a plethora of ccutlery, crockery, glassware and Nespresso pods), air con, iPod docks, fast (!!) wi-fi, a luxury bathroom, and more closet space than even a Fashion Week wardrobe could fill.

All in all, my stay was flawless. I worked, played, ate and drank as comfortably as I would have at home, yet found myself a mere five minute cab away from every show, meeting, and meal planned throughout Covent Garden and Soho.

The second they start to look for a live-in blogger, I plan on tying up the lines…

supercity apartments review
supercity apartments review
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In Review: Chess-Inspired G & T Afternoon Tea, Le Meridien Piccadilly – London

le meridien piccadilly afternoon tea
As far as concepts go, the chess-inspired G & T afternoon tea from Le Meridien Piccadilly ranks second to none. Combining my two favourite British traditions (tea and gin), the afternoon tea – which is held in the hotel’s Terrace Grill & Bar – has something for everyone.

The special part? As the restaurant’s art exhibitions change, the afternoon tea themes follow suit, meaning Francesco Ridolfi’s chess-themed portraits will be hanging above restaurant patron’s chess-themed afternoon teas until April 1st.

You can have the sandwiches, pastries, and scones served with hot tea or opt for your choice of ‘G & T’ herbal or fruit-infused gins and tonic syrup. I think it’s all too clear which one The Manfriend and I went for.

A pot of vanilla and chilli-infused Sloane’s (a gin-lovers treat) and rose buds and fresh raspberries-infused Martin Miller (suited to a sweeter palate) for two, please.

As we poured our gin like alcoholic debutantes, we nibbled our way through the scones and sandwiches; Scottish Smoked salmon with dill and citrus crème fraiche on wholemeal, roast beef & rocket with horseradish on caraway seeded bread, free range duck egg mayo and cress on wholemeal, and cucumber cream cheese & chive on white.

Naturally, the chess theme went full-force on the pastries; mini crown-topped Queen’s opera cakes, Pawns’ coconut & pistachio frangipanes, chequered bitter chocolate tarts, and Knights’ sable biscuits.

To my own taste, I preferred the savouries to sweets but can’t wait to see what the hotel’s following art exhibition inspires!

le meridien piccadilly afternoon tea
le meridien piccadilly afternoon tea
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Throwback Thursday – The Eiffel Tower Penthouse

eiffel tower penthouse
There is a penthouse in the Eiffel Tower. I mean, if any vintage discovery was ever worth a Throwback Thursday…

At the Eiffel Tower’s inception, there were very few photographs taken behind the scaffolding. These rare photos are an incredible find and quite a testament to the magic that Alexandre Gustave Eiffel began designing in 1887.

After two years of work by only 200 men, the now-famous structure was completed with 18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million rivets, weighing 10,000 tonnes and reaching a height of 984.25 feet. Complete with 1,710 steps to the top, of course.

For years, rumours have flown around concerning the tower’s initial uses. We know that, in its opening year, French newspaper Le Figaro opened a print office on the second floor alongside a post office which delivered postcards by balloon.

Allegedly, there was even a penthouse and theatre.

Allegedly no more, thanks to the archives of the Neurdein brothers (the official photographers of the Paris World’s Fair in 1889). Say hello to Mr. Eiffel’s 285-meter high penthouse and theatre.

eiffel tower penthouse
eiffel tower penthouse
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Skiing with Olympians (A casual evening at Snozone)

snozone ski lesson
On Friday evening, Snozone Castleford (you’ll know it for being the UK’s most renowned indoor ski centre) held a Sochi-inspired freestyle competition and invited a few Olympians along to judge the contestants.

As good a time as any to get my first ski lesson in ten years in, right?

After booting up, buckling my helmet and remembering how cumbersome skis feel once clicked in, I embarked on a three hour crash course that took me from ‘baby slope’ to the same slope Olympians Ben Kilner and Katie Summerhayes were judging.

If that’s not the sign of a stellar ski lesson, I don’t know what is.

Zipping through snow plows and stop-and-jumps, I eventually graduated the lesson with a promotion from Level One to Five and a desperate desire to return to the mountains.

For now, though, Snozone and a plethora of blurred and swishtastic shots will do. Even without the Olympians.

snozone ski lesson
snozone ski lesson
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In Review: Ox Pasture Hall (A mini Scarborough holiday)

scarborough holiday ox pasture hall afternoon tea
As you may have already heard, I have a newfound appreciation for romantic minibreaks with platonic lady loves.

It all started with last weekend’s unplanned excursion to Ox Pasture Hall in Scarborough. Though I had never visited Scarborough before the trip, the promise of a fun and food-filled adventure was enough to throw caution to the chilly winter wind.

I mean, one rarely goes to a popular beach destination in the height on Winter.

Thankfully, the weather had no effect on our trip. After winding through a number of tree-covered roads (Google maps: essential), we pulled into the hotel’s parking lot and set straight off for our room. Unlike the city hotels I tend to frequent, Ox Pasture had an insanely cosy feel; modern bathrooms paired with quirky clock fittings, wooden furniture en masse, and a lot of Northern charm.

After shaking off the road trip claustrophobia, we strolled through the expansive grounds and ended up nestling around the hotel lounge’s fireplace to refuel on afternoon tea. Now, I have had a countless number of afternoon teas in my day but – in its simplicity – this ranks right up there with the best of them. For only £15, we filled up on tea, bouncy & warm scones, classic crustless sandwiches (you can’t underestimate the power of a good cucumber and cream cheese slice), and ‘something for everyone’ sweet treats (the fudge and brownie were personal favourites).

Eager to experience a bit more than Scarborough’s (so far delightful) cuisine, we then jumped back in the Batmobile and took a five-minute drive to the coast. The next few hours comprised of winning diamonds and two pence coins in the beach’s esteemed arcades, watching an excited man perform karaoke to an audience of three, and getting rumbled by ghost stories as the sun set and everything took a turn for the eerie.

Before we could get ourselves into more of a tizzy (The Grand Hotel – pictured below – is the most haunted looking structure I have ever seen), it was time to head back to Ox Pasture and develop an appetite for our dinner reservation at the Courtyard Restaurant.

After a glass of Prosecco by the fireplace, natch.

We perused the menu (and a few of the hotel’s wedding albums) before grabbing our glasses and moving through to the main dining area.

The next few hours were a surprisingly quiet celebration of brilliant British food; though the restaurant had only one other reservation for the evening, dish after dish came out to impeccable standards. Alongside a trio of fresh bread slices, we enjoyed starting courses of chicken roulade (wrapped in parma ham with red onion marmalade) and a generously traditional prawn cocktail, served with brown bread and butter.

Both dishes were a perfect set-up to the main event – confit duck leg for me and Braised brisket of beef for the lady love. While I spliced forkfuls of duck between bites of braised red cabbage, fondant potato and glazed carrots, my dining companion enjoyed her gargantuan plate of melt-in-the-mouth beef with creamed mash potato and silver skin onions.

Both were absolutely perfect.

When the time came to trade willpower for dessert, I couldn’t quite muster the courage to order something sweet (afternoon tea recovery) so opted for the Yorkshire cheese board, simultaneously enjoying the visual food porn of Jen’s Chocolate Trio (hot chocolate fondant, white chocolate parfait, milk chocolate tart).

If you have no reason to take a minibreak in Scarborough, I recommend you go for the food alone.

Note: The only downfall to the trip was the hotel’s wifi, which was so dire I was alerted to over 70 emails when returning to normal mobile service. A dream for escapists, but no so great for entrepreneurs. Leave your laptop at home.

scarborough holiday sea port
scarborough holiday ox pasture hall
scarborough holiday ox pasture hallscarborough holiday ox pasture hall
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