With over 120 million hashtags this year and counting London is the most Instagrammed city in the world . This is not news as I have written about that before. But it is not just Big Ben or Tower Bridge that makes you want to take out your phone and get that selfie. It is far more than that. Around every corner there is something spectacular to look at. So I thought I would show you some of my favourite Instagram hotspots that are not your typical hot tourist attractions but rather the reason why London is the most photogenic city in the world.Read More
He (or in this case she) who is outside their door has the hardiest part of the journey behind them. Dutch Proverb
According to a recent study women travelling alone are currently making the biggest changes to the global tourism industry. With a 131% increase over the last two years of women spreading their travel wings and flying solo.
And I can tell you why…
Travelling alone gives you a perfect time to reflect and really learn something about yourself.
You do what you want, when you want and what interests you. You gain a much needed appreciation and perspective on life, something no on else can give you. By climbing out of your comfort zone, by travelling alone it is truly where I have experienced the most amazing personal growth.Read More
I have the extreme privilege of being able to take a month every summer and head to one of my favourite places on earth, Muskoka, Canada. For those who do not know Muskoka it is a spectacular lake region just a few hours north of Toronto.
Muskoka consists of two contrasting lifestyles ~ The First, Old Muskoka
Old Muskoka families who have rustic cottages whose grandparents or great-grandparents had purchased. Years ago they would come by train to summer in the Canadian wilderness of crystal clean lakes, miles of untouched shoreline, countless islands and the gentle peaceful sound of the “dip dip and swing” as their paddle propels them across the lake in their red Hudson Bay canoes. But these old Muskoka families and their cottages are quickly disappearing.Read More
London for sure is an exciting, busy, social city and one might look around and think that this somewhat intimidating city is better suited for couples, groups or families. But I have to say some of my favourite things to do in London I love doing by myself. In fact some things are even easier or more accessible when you are flying solo.Read More
If you are out in some of London’s hippest restaurants, trendiest hotels or funky bars you might have noticed a trend that has exploded…not quite like a weekend in Mexico explosion but rather the incredible detailed lavish bathrooms that in of themselves have been attracting major attention. The bathrooms have become more than a quick essential place to do one’s business they have become an Instagram hotspot, as people have posted millions of photos of London’s fabulous loos. The intense competition for the most incredible place to relieve yourself has even given way to Britain’s Loo Of The Year Award, honest it’s a thing. So you could be actually “Number One” in the number two business… so to speak.. A really good restaurant cannot sit back just on their food reputation anymore. Nope. Every bit important now in the world of social media is buzzy interiors and that must include a fabulous trip to the loo.Read More
Don’t you love a good mystery? London is literally overflowing with them. Filled with outrageous tales of venomous vampires, Coco Chanel’s personalized lampposts, rampant rodents and 60,000 parakeets that supposedly belong to legendary rocker Jimi Hendrix. So what is true and what is nothing more than weird and wonderful London folklore? I just had to go digging into London’s most infamous secrets, tales and myths.and find out for myself.Read More
Brits tend to be far more discrete when it comes to their celebrity worshipping, that is say compared to our Americans friends where there are people literally sitting in folded lawn-chairs outside the stars homes selling maps to their homes. There was no obvious map to the stars in London, and as I am not a tween interested in following some snapchat story about where the latest boyband de-jour might be hanging out I decided to create my own little self guided tour of London celebs and see if I could find the homes of some of London’s elite and infamous. Here is who I found.
Celebrities & Their London HousesRead More
Since Downtown Abbey I have become obsessed with British period dramas, a genre I am now addicted to mostly thanks to Mathew Crawley (sigh) and Colin Firth (double sigh) as Mr Darcy. So in my binge watching I discovered you would be hard pressed to find in any aristocratic storyline some outing that didn’t have at least one scene around a shoot or hunt. The British elite, royalty, or even peasants (not pheasants) like myself dress in their scratchy wooly tweed and their rubber wellies as they step out on the English countryside, guns and dogs by their side as they prepare for one of England’s longest standing traditions, the shoot.Read More
London is known for its drinking culture. Raising a pint or two with your mates as you unwind from your day, a shaken not stirred martini or just cuz it’s Tuesday. Nothing in my opinion is more British than a friendly “tying one on”. So it is not surprising that London took 3 of the top 5 spots at The World’s 50 Best Bars competition this year. The judges comprised of more than 500 drink experts around the world. I convinced a girlfriend (I think all I had to say was “cocktail”) and we were off to explore this list and see for ourselves what makes them the World’s Best Bars.Read More
Ever since I read Eat, Pray, Love (confession, I never got passed the “Eat” part) I was obsessed with Italy and the idea of exploring that incredible country. The food, the wine and the glourious picturesque landscape. As I was needing to make a hasty retreat out of London (a blog for another time) and looking for a journey that was not only great for the soul but a treat for the rest of my senses I decided to do a three day solo trip to Cinque Terre, my own mini version of Eat Pray Love. I am calling it “Eat, Drink, Repeat and I think I decided I want Chelsea Handler to play me in my movie adaption unless of course if Charlize Theron is dying to play me.Read More
When you talk about a bucket list adventure for me riding the Orient Express was right on top of that list. I mean what other trip has been at the centre of a murder mystery best selling novel and several movies. The Orient Express is everything that you would think it would be. Glamorous, romantic and a very special adventure. Come onboard as I take you inside the world's most famous luxury train ride, The Orient Express. I even found a mysterious man with a moustache to rival Poirot.Read More
LONDON'S MOST FAMOUS ALBUM COVER LOCATIONS ~ RE-VISITED
It was Mick Jagger who said anything worth doing is worth over-doing. I would like to add that it is also worth redoing and revisiting. So with my strong love of music and exploring London I went out to re-visit the locations of some of the most famous album covers in music history and see just how they look today. Some were not that easy to find... but others you could not miss.Read More
I have enough clothes and shoes...said no woman EVER!
They call it "retail therapy" for a reason and that's because shopping releases endorphins, reduces stress and is cheaper than a psychiatrist. Shopping may even help you live longer (like you need another reason). So in the name public health I have incorporated shopping into my daily healthy lifestyle and started exploring London's markets.
I love the feel of the markets, they have textures, grit, smells, and personalities that you are not going to find strolling down Oxford or Regents Street. Don’t get me wrong, I love that shopping experience too but it you really want to get to know London you cannot do that without experiencing her fabulous markets. You noticed I referred to London in the feminine…that’s because anyone who has so many shoes has to be a girl.Read More
As a North American living in London you have a certain vantage point, you're able to see what is uniquely British AND what is not. While the Americans or Canadian's tend to look for the newest, biggest and shiniest next thing the British celebrate the oldest, dustiest and longest standing. It is proudly written in gold glided letters outside store fronts "established in" or on a historical plaque telling you who was "nearly done in" at this place hundreds of years before you were even born.Read More
LONDON'S OLDEST DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS
I have heard it said that London's history can be measured by two things, churches and pubs. Since I am pretty much an atheist (unless of course if I am flying through turbulence) I thought why not visit the oldest places in London where one can throw one back, get sozzled and wet your whistle...
LONDON'S OLDEST PUBS
So here is where things get a little cloudy like a pint of Hoegaarden. London's oldest pub? It depends on how you define "oldest"? Is it the oldest name...building...location... license...? Trying to find the definitive answer could lead oneself to drink so I have decided on a collection of the oldest noteworthy pubs of "ye olde" distinction. Just so you know the term "ye olde" is just marketing.Read More
SEVEN SISTERS CLIFFS, EAST SUSSEX ROAD TRIP
If you are anything like me the lack of sunlight as you approach the dead of winter is so unbelievably depressing. Living in London it actually starts getting dark at 3:30 in November AND we haven't even got through the worst of it. So what is that saying, make hay when the sun shines? So in order to survive the long, dark winters you have to make the most of the short sunny days and a road trip is exactly the way to do it.Read More
A-BROAD OBSERVATION - TOILETS OF ASIA
I have always consider myself a student of the world, you know... open to celebrate the vast colourful differences between one world, culture and traditions and my own. I have been fortunate enough to travel different parts of the globe and I willingly drink in those cultural differences between countries, ....until now.Read More
Ever bored with London? Ok, that is a trick question. But sometimes you need a get away. Turn down the volume, unplug, breathe fresh air and exhale. New Forest is just the wonderful escape to do just that. Just a two hour drive south of the hustle and bustle of London where the only traffic you are likely to hit are a herd of wild horses taking their own sweet time crossing the street.Read More