In Review: Afternoon Tea at Hotel Cafe Royal

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I have frequented Hotel Cafe Royal a number of times over the past two years and each visit – inclusive of afternoon teas, dinners, champagne and caviar excursions, et all – has been a pleasure.

Nothing, however, prepared me for this afternoon tea. Swapping the Ten Room for the gold-dipped Oscar Wilde Bar, Chef Andrew Turner’s newly-launched London High Society afternoon tea menu ticked every opulent box you could imagine.

I would endeavour to put the Oscar Wilde into words, but you simply have to experience it for yourself. ‘Royal’ is an understatement.

Settled in among a hidden congregation of fellow afternoon gluttons, The Manfriend and I cheersed our glasses of Veuve Clicquot and perused the tea menu before the amuse bouche was served. The ‘Low Sidecar Muffin’ was a fluffy and savoury delight accented by truffled cream cheese and a miniature pipette of jus.

Shortly thereafter, my pot of Queensbury (a refreshing, herbal infusion of lemongrass, fennel seed
and liquorice root) arrived alongside three tiers of savouries. For each person, there was a wild boar, crackling, pickled apple and mustard bun, a goat’s cheese puff with wine jelly, a Mary Rose prawn cocktail canape, a London Cure smoked salmon and quail’s egg pastry, and an artfully presented “Cucumber and cream cheese” sandwich…

…all preceeding a palate cleanser of chocolate marshmallows and a shot of fruit tea, of course.

Pausing to take a mid-tea teabreak (oh yes, there’s more) while the pianist tinkled the ivories to a few familiar melodies, we finished our pots and welcomed the sweets and scones with open plates.

Though neither of us has a particular sweet tooth, we are veritable SconeHeads so chatted, jammed, and clotted-creamed our way through the small basket of fresh scones between bites of the other fruit-filled treats.

High points: Absinthe green fairy macarons, edible flower pots, and individual tubes of lemon curd.

High society may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Cafe Royal’s edible version is instinctively praise-worthy.

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In Review: St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall

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I am an overthinker of the highest degree. While it is probably one of the so-called ‘qualities’ that makes me a successful entrepreneur, overthinking has a real knack for taking away from the magic of travel.

Case in point: one is invited to the St Moritz Hotel in Cornwall, one overthinks as follows…
Cornwall is at least four hours from London isn’t it?
It is a beach spot…won’t it be dead in Autumn/Winter?
Oh God, the website is incredibly cheery…there are going to be children here.

Thankfully, Crazy Woman Brain was interrupted by the discovery of the food menu (JUST YOU WAIT) and the unexpected flood of hazy, saccharine memories – mostly searching for Merlin around the Cornish coast – as a child.

Cornwall was officially on the cards…

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New Beauty: Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

Though it seems like less than a week before the seasons last changed, I think it is safe to say that we are truly on the cusp of Winter. I am not sure if the same happens for everyone, but every time the weather shifts my skin tends to do the same. From Winter to Summer, there are obvious changes (like adding SPF to your skincare regime) but from Autumn to Winter, it is not quite as straightforward. For me? This is the time when exfoliation becomes a real necessity; not only to stimulate my skin, but to make sure any additional moisturisation is able to penetrate through thicker skin barriers.

When the Clinique Sonic System Cleansing Brush hit the shelves I was intrigued but dubious. Any beauty lover will be well aware of the leading cleansing brush in the market – we shall call it the Shmarasonic – and the similarities between the two had me thinking that a newcomer might simply be a half-assed jump on the bandwagon.

However, an extensive look at the Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush’s reviews had me neuralize those thoughts (five points for anyone who gets the movie reference). Like all Clinique’s products, it is dermatologically tested (imperative for such a tool), it utilizes sonic technology (which means it is gentle on the skin while cleansing deeply), waterproof, and has two bristle types for targeted cleansing in hard-to-reach, contoured areas of the face where dirt hides.

I have yet to make the investment, but I have certainly tickled my own fancy. Have you?

Advertorial.

Vlog: Life in Leeds (How To Speak Yorkshire and more…)

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I have experienced something of a learning curve while adjusting to life in Leeds.

Not to spoil my latest vlog (below) or anything, but now that I am ten months in, I thought it would be a good idea to employ the most Yorkshire-y Yorkshireman I know to help me share the lessons learned.

…you’ll learn how to speak Yorkshire ‘n’ all, petal.

Enjoy!