So Easter happened, and well, we will get to that but forget for a moment that I left the country. Before Easter there was still a day left in Ascot. We started the day as always, with breakfast, which is of course my favourite. After breakfast we got our walking shoes on and headed to the park, you know, when the weather is good.
Back from the walk we walked in on a bottle of champagne chilling on ice. It would be rude not to, don't you think?
After the long walk and glasses of bubbly, it was only fitting to fuel up with afternoon tea in the hotel.
And afternoon tea is possibly my second favourite meal of the day. I love the sandwiches, I love the scones (so so much) and I love the cakes and warming cups of tea. So yes, I love it all. The one thing I don't love is how incredibly full you get if you try to eat it all. And I don't think you can really not go all out when having afternoon tea.
We had to roll out of the hotel and down to the Stables where we were staying and collapse on the bed, jeans unbuttoned. A lovely sight, I'm sure. Way too much food, but I can't blame anyone but myself, and it was the loveliest day in a long time, with the weather staying bright and all the food. Holidays are the best!
Also, this table. What dreams are made of.
So last Tuesday we woke up at home and spent the morning getting ready, doing laundry, organizing life, you know, boring stuff, before we quickly packed our suitcases and headed towards Ascot. We were going to Coworth Park for a mini break, to spend some time together, finally. There has been a lot of work lately, for both of us, and it's easy to forget to take care of your partner when you are taking care of work related things. So yeah, it was nice getting out of London and spend some time together.
We started the visit with a walk around the estate, highly recommended for a light walk and plenty of time to chat and catch up. The view is pretty good too. After being checked in, we were shown our room (bigger than our living room back in London, just saying) and I went straight to the bathroom to draw a bath. We were staying in the Stables and the most important thing in the Stable rooms are the copper baths. They are huge and beautiful, the best bathtub I have had the pleasure of knowing.
After the bath, some light reading and chilling in the room, we made our way down to The Barn, one of the restaurants, for dinner. I really love The Barn, it has a great setting, very homely and cosy, and quite small. We had 3 courses and basically ordered the same, and the food was good, but not as amazing as I remembered. We started off with Thai fishcakes, had a creamy pasta and finished off with Sticky Toffee pudding (spoiler: we were not hungry again after this meal, for 3 days. Yes, that happens). Such a relaxing start to our stay and the perfect day, we even had lovely weather!
We all know that hotel breakfasts is the best thing in the world, mostly because it usually means you woke up in said hotel, but also because someone else is making your breakfast and it is delicious. Win, win, win all over. As I am super, super lucky to have a husband to be who works for one of the best hotels in London, and they have amazing perks, I sometimes find myself ordering hotel breakfast and going to work straight from the hotel. There is nothing like a little everyday luxury to cheer me up.
Don't worry, we had 2 breakfasts and all these photos aren't from just one morning, we weren't that hungry. But was it good? If only every day could start like this, I think I would be a lot happier then.
Right before Christmas I had a text from the fiance on my phone suggesting I get my toothbrush and show up at The Dorchester, as we had a suite for the night. And a surprise nights stay at a hotel is never wrong, neither is a suite, or room service.
Although I am more of a planner and get a bit stressed by the idea of last minute changes to my evening, even if those changes mean that I will spend the night in a hotel, I just had to stop thinking so much and just do. So I did. Not sure what I packed, and it wasn't that important either, the only important thing was getting to the hotel, put on PJ's and sit in that sofa on the photo below, watching something on the gigantic TV. Had I been at home that evening I know I would have spent the majority of the evening on my computer, sneakily working the evening away, but in a hotel life is different and the computer was left alone.
We ended up going to bed so late, worried that we would miss out on experiencing the room, but at the end of the day, how much can you really enjoy your surroundings? Especially when you know there will be breakfast when you wake up! I always over-eat in hotels, and specifically room service, and I was forcing myself to eat as much as possible. Very grown up, I know. Bu the food was good! And today's breakfast is green tea and some yogurt. Not so fun.
It's a little bitter-sweet, that last hotel breakfast, but all good things come to an end. The most important thing is to savour it while it lasts, so you can remember when those boring, everyday mornings come around.
I had to go for the full english, just because they do it so well. And as the previous night was a bit tough (that wine during dinner at Roka got me in the end) and my head was feeling worse for wear, I opted for coffee to help repair what the wine broke down.
As always it's important to try out what is on offer, and when there is pork belly for breakfast on the menu, you know it needs to be ordered. Probably the most filling thing I have ever had that early in the morning, but it was absolutely worth it.
And that's me, looking a little. Well. Tired? Uncomfortable? Hard to say really.
Yesterday I left you hanging after a hole-in-the-wall noodle lunch, but the day didn't end there. So let's get down to business: First we had an ice coffee (the weather was hot, baby) by Covent Garden and had to sit in the shade before I fainted. I also spent a good 20 minutes in the toilet queue in Starbucks. Just saying.
Walked past the House of Holland ice cream truck in Covent Garden. Disappointingly enough they don't sell ice cream but rather House Of Holland accessories, so I left it with this photo.
And it was getting late-ish and I was feeling the need for a snack and maybe a little rest in the hotel tub with a magazine. Back in the hotel this curry popcorn and mini muffins awaited, and as all the rooms have a Nespresso machine, guess what I did? Afternoon coffee at it's best!
We got dressed, waisted some time watching TV, realised we were late and rushed out of the room. As I was in high heels "rushing" is more like "walking normally" much to the fiancé/boyfriends dismay. But we did make it to Roka in Canary Wharf and look what awaited us there? A really serious cocktail. I can't remember what it was called but it had eldeflower, prosecco, vodka (oh no...) and some lemon in there. All I know is that it tasted delicious/dangerous.
Roka is one of those places where you can order the whole menu among you as they do smaller dishes rather than traditional style main courses. So we went for a crazy selection of goodies, which I can't remember the name of either. But, if you find yourself with the Roka menu at hand, just order the ribs and the baby chicken. Everything is good but the ribs and baby chicken is just above and beyond.
And that is the dessert right there, a long plate/bowl/something filled with chocolate, ice cream, fruit, and mini pancakes with "Roka" stamped on them. It was a dream dessert, not too heavy but still amazing and the perfect end to our meal.
Which brings us to the end of the evening, when we stood at the Canary Wharf tube station and realised we had missed the last tube home. A bit annoying, but we jumped in a taxi and finally laid eyes on this lit up building that we could call home for 3 nights. Crawling into the hotel bed which had been perfectly turned down and was happily waiting for us can only be described in one word: Heaven.
On Saturday morning we woke up to this view. Not bad, eh? Then we dragged ourselves out of bed and got ready for the highlight of the morning: Breakfast!
The view wasn't bad at breakfast either, that's Park Lane and a London bus you can see out of the window. And a cup of tea and a glass of grapefruit juice to get us going.
I decided to try something new and went for the salted beef hash cakes with poached eggs and béarnaise sauce. It tasted like heaven on a plate and kept me full until about 5pm. Hotel breakfast beats anything.
Chris had this monster omelett, and pondered if he wanted pancakes after, wondering if I would share? Regrettably we had to pass it up, I could hardly finish my cup of tea, but we could maybe manage some fruit...
While we fought through our fruit and the rest of our drinks I read "How to spend it", it seemed fitting in a 5 star hotel...
After breakfast, a trip back to the room and brushing our teeth on the terrace (have to use it as much as we can) we had to go for a walk to let the food settle. We walked aimlessly around towards Picadilly and finally Trafalgar Square where we found the National Gallery which seemed like a good idea.
The museum was full of people and lacking a bit in the air condition department, so we had to make it a quick visit and then enjoyed the street art (that's a picture of Amy Winehouse) outside instead.
We finally started to feel hungry again and went to a hole in the wall noodle place by Covent Garden and sat on a bench in the sun while eating. Turns out this is one of those days when I am a little too snap happy and take photos of EVERYTHING. Which means that we can have a chat about what we did after lunch tomorrow. Deal?
Last week we awarded ourselves with a tiny spa break on a casual Thursday. Why not? We spent a day in the spa, relaxing, and eat our body weight in scones and clotted cream afterwards. The only downside was having to go to work after, but at least I was really, really relaxed.
A tower of goodness! I have a very serious weakness for afternoon tea, the ceremony, the sandwiches, the scones, oh the scones. I think they are my favourite part. When you get them fluffy and drowned in clotted cream there is just no turning back.
And that is a red sandwich. I know, red. Smoked salmon, cream cheese and bread with beetroot which was delicious.
Again, have a look. Red bread! And then we had mini smoothies and fruit to balance the abundance of scones and cakes and add to the healthy food intake.
There is something so incredibly decadent and spoiled about Room Service. Although you can't actually make your own food in most hotels, having it delivered to your door and eating it in a bathrobe. Then just leaving it outside your door when you are done, not even a second thinking about the dishes. Bliss. Mini sliders and the most amazing fries from 45 Park Lane, just so incredibly yummy, and exactly what we needed as a midnight snack on Friday...
What do you do when London gets really humid and hot and your apartment resembles a sauna? Check in to a hotel of course! Only joking... Althought it is exactly what we did yesterday. A fiancé that works in the hotel industry is great when you want a mini break and a room with serious aircondition at a very unserious price. So we are currently in our room at 45 Park Lane, sipping champagne and watching stand up comedy. Jealous much? Cheers to the weekend!
I'm Christine and I currently live in London with my husband where I do my best to go to as many restaurants as possible, bake, DIY and occasionally let my hair down and go to a museum. x