Places I Want to Visit in 2015

20 December 2014

Photo Credit @lucydelane
I'm already getting excited about new bars and restaurants to visit in 2015, discovering cool places is my favourite thing (apart from makeup obviously).  Here's my 'to do' list for next year.

Smack Lobster
@smacklobster
26-28 Binney Street
London
W1K 5BN

Smack Lobster opened in the Autumn of 2014, there are three in the chain and no, no smack is offered on the menu and each main is just £9.00.

The menu is a simple list of signature lobster rolls, each with a different twist and you can choose from Happy Ending (Japanese mayo, fish sauce and coriander), California (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado and mayo with lime), Seven Samurai (tempura lobster, Japanese mayo, cabbage, cucumber, pickled ginger and spring onion), as well as there sometimes being specials.  You can also feast on amazing courgette fries and, being obsessed with courgette, this sounds amazing.



Hotbox
http://www.hotboxlondon.com/
46 Commerical Street
London
E1 6LT

I munched my way through some amazing deep south style meat at Hotbox's pop up in Dalston earlier in 2014 and now they have their own restaurant (finally) in East London.  There's something for every meat lover, from BBQ to more delicate cuts and slow cooked deliciousness. It's a meat fiesta and focuses on meat, beers and cocktails.  How can you go wrong with that?  Think of the protein...is almost health food!  I can't wait to chomp my way through the USDA cuts and BBQ treats.  No reservations needed, just rock up when your tummy is rumbling.



Roka Aldwych
www.rokarestaurant.com/aldwych#sthash.Xgd7bFPh.dpuf
71 Aldwych
London
WC2

I've always wanted to go to Roka iin Charlotte Street and Aldwych is over the road from my office.  I take this as a sign from the food gods that I have to go there as soon as possible!  Roka' serves up Japanese food including Sushi and Sashimi and traditional Japanese fireside cooking.  The pictures of the food I have seen look fantastic and reviews have been great.  So another one for the list.



Silent Disco at The Shard
The Shard
London Bridge

My office runs a 'sports and social' committee whereby you get to put your name into a draw each month for a number of discount tickets to events. They tend to pick 4/5 shows, events, tickets etc. and you can put yourself down for as many as possible, and the company subsidise the price so you often get 20-50% off the price that you would normally pay.  To my excitement I have heard on the grapevine that they have tickets to the silent disco at the Shard for February, and, since it's so near my Birthday (and it's the big dirty 30 this year) I think I deserve to get some in the draw, so I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

Shaking my tush at 800ft seems a good idea as it's something different to do, I've never been to a silent disco even though they have been really popular these last few years, and I want to see what it's like.  You also get the benefit of an amazing view of the London skyline from the Shard and I have wanted to go there for ages. The silent disco is held on the viewing platform right at the top of the shard on the 69th and 72nd floor and you should be able to get tickets for the ones going ahead in February still online.  You have access to all flours over the four hours the disco is on for, the wireless headphones you listen to the music on are included in the ticket price so all in all works out cheaper than buying tickets to just go and see the view at the Shard.



Paris

I have always wanted to go to Paris, I have no idea why it's been easier for me to find someone to travel with to Vegas, Hong Kong, Greece or even Tenerife, but nobody has ever wanted to go to Paris! I am not sure if for Londoners, the city of light doesn't seem so exciting as a far flung sunny destination, nobody has felt like taking me to somewhere which is well known for being romantic or just people I know are a bit crap! But either way I really really want to go next year for my Birthday.

I want to wander along the Seine, visit the Eiffel tower and see the light show at 11pm, sit in the Parc du Champs de Mars, enjoy some cheese and wine near Place de Vosges, have some amazing croissants and coffee, munch macaroons at Laduree, visit the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, walk down the Champs Elysee and see the love lock bridge. Maybe even window shop at Chanel and Dior.  I just have to hope that I can get the Eurostar tickets at the end of March through work so we can go. Fingers, toes, arms legs and frankly everything else crossed too, this would really make my entire year and is one of my 'bucket list' places to visit.



Brazil

At the end of September I think I will be travelling with work to Brazil, I really hope I can afford to tag a holiday to the end of this and hopefully see some sights and indulge my love of animals, maybe even meet a sloth.. although perhaps not an anaconda.

I would love to see a football match in Brazil, visit the Iguazu Falls and Fernando de Noronha as you can apparently dive with dolphins and turtles. I think I would be very scared to scuba dive but I think I  should try it, I hated driving to start with and now I love it, and with the prospect of seeing a turtle or a dolphin I would be ridiculously excited, much more so than scary sharks! I don't know if I would be able to afford to do all of this, but I am going to try and save save save so that I can do as much as I can.

I always think deciding what you want to do and planning how is half the battle of actually doing more fun things in your life, if you just agree to do things or go places that other people want to do, you might well have a good time, but you might miss out on other things and opportunities, so I think it is good to have a balance.  I love planning as it means I have something to look forward to in life, which can only be a good thing.

Where do you plan to go or what places will you visit next year? I would love to know!

Christmas Hampers

3 December 2014



Christmas present buying is easy when you know the person, and their likes and dislikes.  What becomes a challenge is when you have to buy for someone, but you just have no idea what they are into, or already have, or for a couple - who knows what both of them enjoy together?   For example a new boyfriend's parents that you've never met before,  a boss you don't know that well, a friend's parents who have invited you round for some sort of Christmas party or granddads who just seem to have everything already!  I think the best thing to do is to get something that most average people would consider a generally nice present, something festive and/or something food or drink related.

My two fail safe "I have no idea what to get" presents are a lovely potted Christmas Poinsettia plant, or someone who would really not appreciate a plant, a Christmas Hamper.  


Pre-packaged Hampers aren't always to everyone's taste and some shops sell hampers with ridiculously bizarre contents, however Harvey Nichols have a huge range to choose from, with varying price tags and the cache of getting someone a present from Harvey Nichols also conveys that you have spent some money on the item and I think would convey that despite you not getting them something personal, per se, you are trying to get them something lovely. They can also deliver this to your choice of address, not just your own, so it would be a nice thing to send an elderly relative, if they can't get out much and you aren't able to visit them.


The hamper I have to take to Christmas at my granddads house is the Christmas Countdown hamper and costs £100 from Harvey Nichols.

In my opinion the contents of this hamper are great, actual useful things that most people need at Christmas but just a luxury version. Most people are going to need tea, coffee, Christmas pudding, wine and chocolates! One year a boss of mine was sent a hamper by a client, some of the contents were champagne lemon curd and Christmas pudding flavour jam, and they were totally unusable for him, but at least we did have a good laugh! 

Hamper Contents

  • Marc de Champagne Christmas Pudding
  • Brandy Butter
  • Cranberry Sauce with Burgundy
  • Mint Jelly
  • Dark Chocolate Bar Collection Box
  • English Breakfast Tea x 50 Tea Bags
  • Breakfast Blend Ground Coffee
  • Plain Chocolate Covered Toffee
  • Dark Chocolate Crunch Biscuits
  • Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc
  • Vin de Pays de L'Aude Rouge


Overall this is a beautiful hamper and very well presented with thoughtful items included, the hamper has two tiers of products so they are all carefully cushioned so nothing dents in transit.  Their hampers range from £60-£2,000 so there are plenty of different ones to choose from, whatever your budget.  


Item was provided to me free to review

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