Travel

Feast On London – OXO Tower Brasserie Review

During April some of the top restaurants in London take part in ‘Feast On London’, a month long city wide celebration of London’s culinary heritage.

As we were heading to London for the weekend we thought it would be a nice treat to eat in a fine dinning restaurant.

There were so many to choose from on Bookatable that it was very difficult to pick somewhere. We were however only booking a few days before our trip, so a lot of the restaurants had already been booked up. We were on a tight time frame because I had an event to attend in the evening. So, we decided on booking a 15.30 table, plus I wanted great views across London. I love the London skyline, it’s a fabulous view to gaze at. Each time we visit something new has appeared.

The OXO Tower Brasserie

The OXO Tower Brasserie seemed like the perfect choice, it was located fairly near to the London Duck Tour, which we were booked on to at 13.30. The menu looked great and at £33 per head for 3 courses plus a cocktail, it would be silly not to book. A great price for dinning in London. Plus not forgetting those beautiful views across the city.

We arrived to a warm welcome up on the the 8th floor of the OXO Tower, by a friendly receptionist who stored our coats and arranged for us to be seated.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

Our table was just one row away from the window, which still gave us great viewing opportunity. After we had made our orders for drinks, a white wine for me and a beer for my Hubby, the table next to the window became available. Our kind waiter asked if we would like to move across, perfect! Right next to those beautiful views. During the summer months I can imagine the roof terrace to be full of people having cocktails and delicious foods. On our visit however it wasn’t overly warm and quite cloudy, so no-one was outside.

Feast On London Menu

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

Our attention soon turned to the menu. I opted for the Cod cheeks, followed by the Roast Chicken and then the Chocolate hazelnut cake. My Hubby went for the Rabbit Ragu, Roast Chicken and the Treacle Tart. We also ordered the roasted new potatoes and sprouting broccoli sides.

The Cocktail

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The cocktail that came with the menu was Bombay Sapphire and Hibiscus. It came served in a tall glass with ice, lemon and Hibiscus petals floating in it. We both thought it was a tasty cocktail, not too sweet, with floral flavours that finished with a warmth of gin. We both would happily have had 2 or 3 of these.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The Starters

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

We didn’t seem to be waiting for too long when our starters arrived. What with us chatting away about our day so far and plans for the rest of the trip along with looking at that stunning view of London.

OXO Tower Brasserie ReviewMy starter of, beer-battered cod cheeks, bitter leaf salad, lemon and seaweed aioli. It looked amazing and smelt amazing on arrival I couldn’t wait to try it. The cod cheeks fell apart and melted in the mouth, all the little flavours together was just fabulous. The little lemon oil along side the seaweed aioli worked perfectly on the dish.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The Hubby had slow-braised rabbit ragu, pearl barley and truffle pecorino. I’m not keen on game, so it is my Hubby’s choice of food whenever we dine out. He loved it, saying it was full of rich tomato, gamey flavour. The rabbit just fell apart. It seemed to be a winner for him.

The Main Courses

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

We both opted for the roasted chicken, slow-cooked bacon collar,truffle onion purée and spring greens. Adding sides of roasted new potatoes and sprouting broccoli. It was truly delicious. That salty bacon flavour against the truffle and onion purée just cut through the flavours. The roasted chicken was soft and tender still full of moisture, the knife just glided through. Even though we added a couple of extra sides to the meal, we really wouldn’t have needed to as there was more than enough.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

The Dessert

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

I went for the chocolate hazelnut cake with condensed milk ice cream. I was honestly disappointed with my dessert. It wasn’t what I was expecting, I was expecting a chocolate cake however it was not. I felt the cake was a little dry and the hazelnut crumb was burnt. It had that bitter burnt taste across the dish, which honestly wasn’t brilliant. The ice-cream was creamy and smooth, however I couldn’t tell it was condensed milk. So, I was disappointed with my dessert and I wish I had opted for something else.

OXO Tower Brasserie Review

My Hubby opted for the treacle tart, rhubarb and clotted cream, he loved it. The rhubarb was well cooked, with just the right amount of acidity to cut through the sweetness of the treacle tart. Amazing along side the clotted cream.

Overall Review

We both really enjoyed our meal at the OXO Tower Brasserie, there was a relaxed atmosphere with friendly staff that were happy to help you out. There is an open kitchen so you can see the food being prepared, over seen by head chef Keir Barry. Who designed the British style menu. Even though I was not overly impressed with my dessert it would not put me off visiting again on our next tip to London.

 

 

Dreaming of a Honeymoon in the Maldives……

 

honeymoon in the maldives

Honeymoon in the Maldives

When someone says honeymoon, I instantly think the Maldives. I think that’s because, since being young I have always dreamt of a honeymoon in the Maldives. Unlike reality, which was a week in Devon (which was wonderful by the way).

honeymoon in the maldives

The Maldives

The Maldives are a collection of more than a thousand coral islands. The main island of Malé is home to a busy fishing market, lots of restaurants, shops and the airport for the islands. The Maldives are famous for their beautiful beaches, blue lagoons and stunning coral reefs.

Many private islands are covered in beautiful white sand and surrounded by the clear blue ocean. Lots of the islands have their own coral reef. So there are plenty of amazing diving and snorkelling opportunities to be had. With their own personal reef, you don’t have to swim out far to find yourself submerged with marine life. Some of the best in the world.

honeymoon in the maldives

Stunning Accommodation

There are so many styles of accommodation to choose from. All-inclusive hotel resorts, with every kind of facility you could ever want. Exclusive pool villas, set within resorts so you have access to hotel facilities. Tiny boutique hideaways. Garden Villas set in the stunning gardens of the resorts. Beach side bungalows, where you can step out of your bungalow straight onto the beautiful sand, and of course the amazing over-the-water bungalows, set out in the lagoons.

accommodation types in the maldives

accommodation types in the maldvies

Top things to do in Maldives

I’m sure that when people think of the Maldives, they think about drinking cocktails on the beach, and jumping into the sea for a swim whenever the mood takes them. However there are so many other things to do while in the Maldives. I have put together a list of ‘musts’ while you’re there.

  • The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant – off the Island of Rangalifinolhu.
  • Underwater Spa.
  • Private candlelit beach dinner.
  • Diving – the Maldives offer some of the best diving in the world.
  • Learn to dive.
  • The Dolphin excursion.
  • Island Hopping.
  • Surfing – people travel to the Maldives to enjoy some of the best surfing around.
  • Paddle Boarding.
  • Beach side Balinese couples massage.
  • A scenic flight over the islands.

top things to do in the maldives

underwater restaurant maldives

With so many different islands to choose from, which one will you choose for your honeymoon destination?

 

TravelShades for travel sickness relief

travel sickness relief

As a child I, along with my younger sister, experienced travel sickness. Unfortunately she still suffers now. Like most childhood motion sickness cases I grew out of it. For adults it can cause concern when travelling in everyday circumstances but also when wanting to travel on holiday. Cars, boats, planes and trains can all be a struggle for suffers.

TravelShades travel sickness relief

We all know someone that can read whilst travelling as a passenger in a car, with no ill effect. Yet others suffer terribly. It is thought that motion sickness occurs when there is a conflict between what your eyes see and your inner ear balance. Both sending different confused messages to the brain, leaving that feeling of motion sickness.

It can be caused when:-

  • Motion is felt but not seen
  • Motion is seen and not felt
  • Both seen and felt but detected by the brain in different ways.

Motion sickness can give the sufferer many different symptoms: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, cold sweating, headaches, extreme tiredness, increased saliva and rapid, shallow breathing. So dealing with this is not a pleasant thought when planning a holiday, especially your honeymoon.

Imagine planning your honeymoon around your motion sickness or never being able to go on a plane to your dream destination. Well, TravelShades are a new product that are designed to help relieve or in some cases cure your travel sickness. It means no more travel sickness drugs to take.

TravelShades

travelshades

TravelShades are a sunglasses style product that has one translucent lens. It allows light illumination but you are unable to see movement. The TravelShades are also designed so they can be flipped upside down to allow for the other eye to be covered. By doing this it can help to prevent symptoms of motion sickness. Sounds very simple when you think about it.

TravelShades advise you to try them out for 2-3 days at home, before going on your journey. Putting them on for 3-5 minutes at a time, several times a day. This will allow you to get used to having the reduced sight but giving you the best chance of getting results.

There are 3 different TravelShades available to buy:-

  • Horizon and Horizon Junior models can be worn over your own glasses.
  • LoLight are designed for low light travel conditions, like night time.

TravelShades also provide protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, but as with most eyewear they should not be used to view the sun directly.

TravelShades

While wearing these glasses your vision will be restricted so no driving is allowed. It is recommended that you do not walk or run, consume hot drinks or hot food, be careful when handling fragile or breakable items and make sure you take care when judging distances.

TravelShades have an rrp of £39.99 for the adult models and rrp of £29.99 for the junior. With a 30 day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose.

My sister is looking forward to trying these out on her next trip away, to see how they help with her travel sickness.

travelshades

So, with these new travel sickness glasses launching February 28th it will allow people to make more exciting travel plans. Planning your honeymoon now may not be quite so restricting. The world is your oyster. Full of fabulous destinations, with a travel sickness free journey!

Where will you travel to?

*Thank you for sending me out some TravelShades in exchange for this post*

My Top 5 UK City Breaks

top 5 uk city breaks

The Hubby and I love a UK city break. More often than not, its a family trip. However on the odd occasion, when we have a couple of child free nights, its great to get away. When we look for a couple of nights away we like to choose different cities. The UK has many stunning places to visit. The UK has some of the most culture rich cities in the world, each steeped in history.

We have chosen our top 5 UK cities to visit, York, Edinburgh, Bath, Cardiff and of course, our capital city, London.

York

top 5 uk city breaks

York is my most favourite place to visit. Having stayed on many occasion both with and without children. Each visit we find a new corner of this amazing city we haven’t yet explored or a new favourite thing to do. This city is packed with history, visiting the Jorvik centre is a great way to learn about Yorks Viking history. It’s not just somewhere for children but great for adults as well. We have visited alone and with the children.

Walking though the shambles, seeing all the old shop fronts, popping in and out of the little shops. Just watch out for the cobbles. There are also lots of lovely antiques shops to wonder around. York Minister is a beautiful thing just to look at, even if you don’t go inside. However if you do, make sure you ‘climb the central tower’ it takes you up on to the roof walk, so gives you the best views of the city.

York is packed full of places to visit, restaurants, bars, unique shops. Not forgetting the famous afternoon teas at Bettys.

York is well worth a visit.

Edinburgh

top 5 uk city breaks

Edinburgh is a beautiful old city, full of cobbled streets and little alleys full of stylish boutiques. One thing I just love about Edinburgh is it’s city centre. It’s quite small so you can easily walk everywhere. Not having to jump on a tube or bus to see something new. Edinburgh has recently been named the UK’s Greenest City. You’re never far from rolling hills and lush inner city parks.

If you want to make the most of your trip to Edinburgh why not book a personal city guide, they will help you explore the city and fill you in on its rich history. Just make sure you visit Edinburgh castle, it dominates the city sky line and gives you some of the best views of the city.

No trip to Scotland is complete without Whisky (not Whiskey!), luckily there are lots of Whisky bars to choose from while you are there. Plus there are lots of different hotels and accommodation options to pick.

Bath

top 5 uk city breaks

Bath is another of the UK’s most beautiful cities. In fact it is the only entire city to have been awarded the accolade of World Heritage Site. Bath is the only place in the UK you can bathe in naturally hot spa water and home to the Roman Baths. People have been visiting Bath for over a thousand years just to experience the naturally warm, mineral rich waters.

The City of Bath is famous for its Cresent’s, housing the most in the UK. The Royal Cresent is beautiful to visit, showing off the largest collection of Georgian architecture in the UK.

If you are wanting a relaxing trip to Bath, you should visit the Thermae Bath Spa in the city centre. Relax in the thermal waters and enjoy the roof top swimming pool, that gives you great views of the city. Something that I would love to do, but haven’t been able to just yet… one day.

There are many other fabulous places to visit, including Bath Abbey, or take a walk around the city on the National Trust Sky Walk Trail.

Of course, shopping is brilliant in Bath, with local boutiques and high street stores set within Georgian buildings. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and hotels so Bath has something for everyone. Having written this post I cant wait to start planning our next trip to Bath.

Cardiff

top 5 uk city breaks

 

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales. Home to many historic houses, Dr Who, the Millennium Stadium and the newly developed Bay area. The National Opera house is meant to be an amazing place to visit, so it is on the list for our next trip to Cardiff.  Cardiff Bay is the largest water front development in Europe, which has transformed the dockland into an attraction all on its own.

Full of great restaurants and little bars, there is something for everyone in Cardiff. There are also plenty of hotels and B & B’s to cover all price ranges. The National Museum and Art Gallery is free to enter and has a stunning room of rocks and minerals, just amazing. There is also the Royal Mint experience, great for families too.

Cardiff is full of history. There are lots of Ghost walks all around the city, allowing you to have some fun but also learn about the history along the way. If you are planning a city break, Cardiff should be at the top of your list.

London

top 5 uk city breaks

London is our capital city, the hub of British history, fashion, business and tourism. Not forgetting our Royal Family. London is busy, but amazing. I have loved every trip we have made to London. Being a day trip on the train or a couple of nights staying in a cute boutique hotel in Covent Garden.

One thing we haven’t done is a open bus tour, which is the plan for our next visit. They take you around to all of the major sights: Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Big Ben, West Minster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, London Bridge… the list is endless. It’s a great way of taking in the sights. But that isn’t all London has to offer, with the London Eye, Madame Tussauds and The London Dungeons there is so much to do in London with or without children.

Shopping is just brilliant in London. If you can’t find something in London, it’s unlikely you will find it on any other high street. Designer shops, boutiques, vintage shops and high street stores can all be found on the streets of London. Not forgetting the vibrant, multicultural markets.

Food is at the heart of life in London, with some of the most renowned restaurants in the country. So finding a great place to eat isn’t a problem, just make sure you book a table. There are clubs and bars are all over the city so night life in London is always exciting. Don’t forget to book in for afternoon tea in one of the many hotels in London, I love afternoon tea anyway but afternoon tea in London just seems more special.

London is a wonderful place to visit, it’s something that people either love to do or hate. I love it and would highly recommend that everyone goes at least once to see our capital city.

So there are my top picks for UK city breaks, York, Bath, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London.

What’s your favourite city in the UK to visit?