Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Amari Galle, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka. That little tear drop shaped country at the bottom of India. Often over shadowed by its humongous neigbough, it has however been growing quietly in popularity over the last few years. I first visited the country last year and spent time around Kandy and Ella, but this year I headed back to exploring the southern coastal town of Galle.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sri Lanka Travel Vlog: Galle

The last couple of weeks have been just a little bit mad. 5 flights in 11 days kind of mad. As I work full tine, doing any sort of "traveling" is impossible. No 4 weeks trekking around Asia style trip. Instead I'm limited by annual leave and also a maximum of 2 weeks in one go. But that was never going to stop me was it?

I decided to do three counties in 11 days and yes whilst I only saw a tiny peice of each, least I still did. No excuses now. 

So the first part of my 11 day trip was to Sri Lanka, or more specifically the coastal town of Galle. 

I've got some lengthy blog posts coming up about my time there, and recommendations etc, but I wanted to show you my travel video of the trip as it gives you a great roundup of the place and what I got up to.... Oh and you can see what rain in a tropical country looks like! Wow it rains! 

So enjoy and stay tuned for my adventures soon!


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Pennyhill Park, a Luxury Spa and Dinning Country Retreat

It feels like I haven’t sat down and wrote for a long long time. In reality it’s only been a week or so, but I’m writing this whilst flying somewhere Ukraine as I come back from a couple of weeks in Asia. I love traveling, but I’m going to love slowing down for a little while and getting back to writing. I’ll be posting my Asian adventures very soon, but in the mean time I want to tell you about a special place a little closer to home. Pennyhill Park

Pennyhill Park seems to be the “It” place to go right now for an escape out of London. Favoured amongst those looking for a countryside destination to zone out from the rush of everyday life, and try and bring some calm back into their lives. Pennyhill Park is a hotel but it’s known for it’s spa. Rated one of the best spa retreats in the country, I can tell you after visiting, it’s certainly gained that accolade for a reason.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Topshop Voucher Giveaway

I love blogging and the digital age we live in. I love how things are ever changing and moving forward. The blogging and social landscape is evolving all the time, and its all rather exciting. 2017 has been the year that I've been pushing Youtube and working on making video content for you my love readers (and now viewers!) This week I just hit 1000 subscribers which is really exciting. My first milestone!

And so to say thank you, I'm holding a little giveaway. 


Monday, 4 September 2017

Mei Ume at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square

I swear to you it must seem like I live with the Four Seasons brand at the moment, as I’m at their properties so much lately. Wouldn’t that be the dream eh? No, simply it’s just, as I’ve said many times before, I love the brand so much. They just have nailed luxury on a friendly and welcoming scale so well. 

So when earlier this year their new London hotel opened, I was really excited. I kept meaning to book in a visit but time just escaped me. Anyways, finally I found the time to head down to try their Chinese-Japanese restaurant, Mei Ume, as it’s been making waves in the restaurant scene at the moment and I’m not one to get left behind. 


Friday, 1 September 2017

Afternoon Tea At Four Seasons Park Lane

I'd had my birthday with my boyfriend over at the St James Hotel and Club, where I'd been pampered, and drank and ate till I collapsed in a heap. Well for my birthday with friends I was pretty much doing the same thing all over again. But this time with a little more classical Englishness- Afternoon Tea.

If you are a seasoned reader of Heroine In Heels, you'll know I adore the Four Seasons as a brand. I've been countless times to the one at Park Lane, as well as Hampshire and as of last night, the new for 2017 one at Trinity Square here in London. It's a brand I think that has perfected refined luxury with impeccable service, yet still maintains a relaxed and accessible nature to it. Many people criticise bloggers for hopping from one place to another and saying something is amazing only never to speak of it again. Well I'd like think I'd shown you that the Four Seasons is a brand I genuinely (not that other things on this log aren't genuine) love. Which is why I decided to head back and have their Afternoon Tea for my birthday.

I was due to meet Angie and Lauren, but sadly Lauren who works as a lawyer just couldn't escape the office in time (She works so damn hard) so it was just me and Angie. Well more champagne for us I guess.

The afternoon is currently called A Journey Through British Summertime although this is due to change very soon. It's created by Executive Pastry Chef, David Oliver and each component is based on a classic British event or idea.

Out came the cake stand in all it's shining glory. My first reaction though was "where's the scones?!" I nearly had a heart attack thinking there wasn't any! But fear not, they bring them out when the waiters notice you are done with the sandwiches so they are warm and fresh. They think if everything... even if I don't.

So the first order of the day is of course the sandwiches. I immediately dived into the smoked salmon with caper, tarragon and asparagus butter as I am a smoked salmon fiend. I think I said in my last post about me eating it everyday day for breakfast. Then of course in true Four Seasons style, simple sliced beef is no good, instead its the one and only Wagyu salt beef. Personally I love the classic Cheddar and pickle. There is just something so satisfying about a cheese and pickle sandwich.

The sandwiches were lovely and fresh, even at post 6pm, the were freshly made to order. Something that sounds pretty simple, but I've had my fair share of crispy, dry bread at some big name hotels. 

But then it was onto my favourite section of afternoon tea. Scones. Oh Lordy, scones are just the best thing ever. Layer up that cream and jam- and yes in that order- nice and thick and oh it's just so satisfying.

Then finally it was the cakes. Beautiful, intricate cakes made to reflect the very best of British summertime.

Funnily enough I guessed the green semi-sphere one right away- Goodwood. It was a peach and ginger mousse with red current coulis and crunchy pistachio which was my favourite. I love ginger in desserts and pistachios are my second favourite nut after pecans.

The most obvious one had to be the tennis ball of Wimbledon. A mixture of vanilla mousse and strawberry. Sweet and light, it was nice to see the vanilla actually coming through as you'll know, so many vanilla flavourings are... Lacking to say the least.

But the cutest award goes to the gorgeous picnic basket made from cherry and liquorice and choux pastry. I was just amazed at the detail! Angie was a little hesitant about liquorish but I knew it would be good. Liquorish the sugary candy isn't great. But really fresh liquorish is delicious. I have it with mint in my tea at night and it's the most calming, relaxing flavour. 

Then we had an apricot and lavender tart with orange blossom and yogurt cream which represented the Chelsea flower show. This was gorgeous and sweet. The tang of the strawberries against the soft lavender was such an elegant flavour. 

Afternoon tea is a long drawn out affair, and we certainly kept to that. I think I lost count of how many glasses of champagne we had (and not much tea to be honest) but as the sun set we decided to head out onto the terrace for a few more drinks. 

And unexpectedly they brought out a little happy birthday platter of macarons and Chocolate. Just one of the many reasons I love the brand, they do little personal touches that for me make it. 

So that's my 26th birthday wrapped up. Another year older, definitely not wiser. But next up is Angie's birthday in November. Where shall we go for hers?

Make sure you check out the afternoon tea at Four Seasons, I promise you, you won't regret it. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

My 26th Birthday At St James's Hotel And Club

I remember when I was a kid, I used to run through the Argos catalogue and write down the catalogue numbers of all the items I wanted for my birthday. I think any 90s kid can relate to that. I had a list of 100s- of course I’d only receive a few- but I loved getting presents. Physical presents. As I’ve gotten older, there isn’t much I want in terms of gifts, which causes my parents hassle now. Instead I want to experience things, spend time with loved ones and just have fun. Which is why for my 26th birthday I decided to forgo the pile of presents and instead checked myself into The St James Hotel and Club for a wellness weekend of food and pampering.

The St James's Hotel and Club has been on my radar for a good year now, having ate there several times, but I hadn’t actually stayed before, so I thought it was the perfect time to go for a special treat.

The St James’s hotel opened its doors in 1859 and was a club for diplomats, until it became a hotel in the 70s where it attracted celebrity guests including Rodger Moore. It still homes the rich and famous whilst they are in London due to its unique hide-away location, down a cul-de-sac off in Mayfair. Recent guests have included Halle Berry and Dita Von Tees.

Inside it is a mixture of traditional, old gentleman's club mixed with modern luxury touches. Dark solid woods, impeccable fabrics and high quality details make the design of the hotel extremely elegant and faultless in terms of looks.

Now I’m all about birthdays being about fun and happiness and letting loose, which for me usually means cake, champagne and many boxes of chocolates. However I really loved the sound of St James's Hotel’s Wellness On The Move package. The package is a nights stay, with a wellness breakfast for two and a 60 minute massage for 1. The wellness breakfast is powerhouse of goodness and nutrients which sounded like something I could really get into, as I’ve been hitting the gym hard recently.

But before breakfast it was time to see the room, and like I said, you can not fault the design here. I was staying in the Deluxe Suite, and what a treat it really was. The lounge had a beautiful fire place, and plush sofas and a huge solid oak desk.

The bathroom is huge! Plus I'm always a big fan of double sinks- I'm sure many marriages have been saved by them.

The room had everything you could need, including a mobile phone which gave local guides to the area and hotel, except there was one very crucial thing missing which I must raise. There was no tea or coffee facilities in the room. Now yes it is minor but to me it's such a staple item and for a 5* hotel I expect a coffee machine or at least a kettle.

After a quick freshen up (with his and hers sinks) it was time for my pre-birthday dinner. Now the hotels huge draw is the restaurants. The famous one is Seven Park Place by Michelin Starred chef William Drabble, which I ate in at Christmas with Lucy Choi, however tonight we decided to keep it slightly more casual and headed to the Bar and Bistro.

The menu consists of classic dishes that will suit everyone.

However you must order cocktails from the bar first, as I remembered from my last visit here, that the bar is very good. I of course had a gin cocktail with elder folder and cucumber in it, which Dan went for an Old Fashioned- his go to drink.

For starters, Dan went for a Caesar salad, which he actually raved about saying it was delicious. Trust me now, this is high praise. Most things are "It's fine".

I went for the charcuterie board as I love cold cuts of meat. Top this on some bread, and it's one of the simplest but delicious meals.

Dan said he really like his burger as it was a "Long eat". On clarity apparently that meant it was a big heft burger that you wouldn't finish in two mouthfuls, which he said was a good thing for him (He's 6ft 5) and so can polish off things pretty quickly. The burger also came with medira sauce which made it feel like it was a steak between those buns.

Which leads me onto my actual steak. It might not look much, but damn it was a good steak! Fatty, rich and really well seasoned, the sirloin steak was one of the better ones I've had this last year, and thoroughly enjoyable.

And of course, no Laura meal would be complete without an espresso martini, my absolute favourite drink in the world.

Seeing as this was my (pre) birthday meal, we decided to get dessert. Without a doubt it wad going to be the brownies, especially as I sae the word pistachio on them.

Although a second dessert came my way with a surprise birthday treat!

The St James's Hotel was such a cutie!

The next day I woke up after a really comfy sleep - the bed was huge by the way, so plenty of room to starfish sleep- to breakfast in my room. My birthday breakfast! It was my 26th Birthday!

So let's talk about the wellness breakfast. The wellness breaks consists of 4 parts based on healthy, nutritious elements that will kick start your day.

There is soaked oats with raspberries and macadamia nuts.

Then there was smoked salmon and avocado on whole wheat pancakes, which was delicious. I actually have smoke salmon everyday for breakfast- usually with poached eggs- so its one of my favourite things to eat.

Then there was grain made crumpets with honey bananas and finally there was the green smoothie. Now the crumpets and pancakes were really delicious and felt really healthy yet still a treat (I didn't eat the oats as I don't drink milk) however the green smoothie wasn't for me. I like green juices and smoothies but this one I didn't have any fruit in it, so was way to healthy for me. Apparently it was made especially for Dita Von Tees when she came here, so I can see it being super healthy as she's tiny, but for the average gal who is used to things on the sweeter it was just *too* healthy.

After breakfast it was time for my birthday massage. St James's Hotel have teamed up with Perfect 10 Black Label which is a on call beauty treatment company who will come out to hotels and homes for massages and beauty treatments.

I asked for a strong massage as like I said I'd been hotting the gym hard and I was getting some tension built up in my shoulders and legs. Boy did my therapist work out those knots! She was good. I could feel her really working them out again and again, which whilst not relaxing, felt really satisfying.

Sadly it was then time to check out of the hotel and carry on with the rest of my birthday.

The St James's Hotel and Club is such a wonderful hotel which impeccable service and style. The wellness package is a great addition to a night stay and if you have some free time to relax, you should definitely take up as that massage will set you up for anything.

Like I said, I much prefer experiences than physical presents now and my birthday stay at St James's Hotel really topped the list.

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