A Bit of Paradise – The Culloden Estate & Spa

Every time I mentioned where I was staying in Belfast, the response was always the same: “Aye, that would be the best hotel in Northern Ireland.” Those utterances made for pretty high expectations.

Approaching The Culloden Estate & Spa from Belfast City Airport, our GPS lead us down a small service road and then into the driveway from below. Driving up the windy road toward the entrance, we snuck up on the Culloden and could not help but be awed by its Victorian architecture.

Built in 1876, the Culloden has been home, not only to it original owners, Mr. William Auchinleck Robinson, former MP, but also the official residence of the Bishop of the Church of Ireland, as well as, Tony Blair, Bono, Kylie, One Direction, and now the Cypriot and me.

Passing […]

April 4th, 2016|Destinations, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom|1 Comment

Best Bits London – Benares & Jing Tea

When an invitation arrives from Jing Tea, I attend. I had recently discovered Jing Tea at Brown’s Hotel last November and have been a devotee ever since – truly living on their Verveine!

The aforementioned invite was not only beckoning me to sip my Jing tea, but also dine at Benares Restaurant. Michelin-starred Chef Atul Kochhar was collaborating with Jing to create a menu focusing on the healthy benefits of Indian cuisine. Each course would be paired with a Jing tea that would ride in tandem with the flavors and spices of each course.

As I entered the fabulous restaurant, I was passed a teacup of Jasmine Silver Needle Cold Infusion  – a White Tea that has hints of Jasmine. Immediately I felt our course was set and, waiting […]

March 21st, 2016|Destinations, London, United Kingdom|0 Comments

Christmas Cocktails in London

How much fun for me to launch Best Sips Worldwide, my new series of posts dedicated to all things alcoholic, as the Christmas season descends! At this time of year, mixologists turn into alchemists, by waving their magic wands over the usual,voilà, a Christmas Cocktail is born. Their brief is “make it festive” and that’s what they do. It’s not just mulled, Glüh-ed or Glögg-ed anymore!

As the 12 days of Christmas have already started, the festivities are in full force. I’ve rounded up my favorite 12 tipples in the city I call home and, hopefully these select few, will brighten up your yuletide celebrations!

Start the music, feel free to sing along, and sip festively! Let the countdown to Christmas commence!
See if you can spot my use of festive […]

December 4th, 2015|Destinations, London, United Kingdom|1 Comment

Best Bits London – The Temptation Wheel at the Savoy

I never need to be tempted into the Savoy Hotel. Simply walking into its hallowed halls transports you back to the time when Cesar Ritz was General Manager, Auguste Escoffier the chef and Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt and many others clinked glasses in the foyer.

Yes, we lead busy lives and sometimes we do forget to make time for those things that make us feel special, like simply walking into the Savoy. Now every night between 7:30 – 12pm, I dare you to resist the Savoy’s new dessert and cocktail combination, The Temptation Wheel.
Served in the Thames Foyer, the Savoy’s new menu of tasty treats and tipples is for those who have already eaten but want to indulge themselves in a post-dinner extravaganza of decadence.

The menu has been […]

December 1st, 2015|Destinations, London, United Kingdom|0 Comments

Best Bits London – Jing Tea at Brown’s Hotel

How apropos that I should be learning about one of the oldest beverages in the world at the oldest hotel in London? Opened in 1837, Brown’s Hotel has been welcoming guests since that time with a warm cup of tea and a scone. I was one of them. Upon touch down from Heathrow, Brown’s was always my first stop for afternoon tea  – chintz covered walls, comfy old sofas and something that no one else in town served – toasted scones!

Brown’s has moved on and modernized since the 1980s when I sampled my first Lapsang Souchong, but their afternoon tea still draws them in year after year. One of the reasons might be is that they serve Jing Tea.

I was invited to sip this ultra luxury […]

November 18th, 2015|Destinations, London, United Kingdom|2 Comments

Best Bits London – A Slice of America

Click your heels three times and you’re home, at least that’s how the saying goes. This month all I had to do was hop on the tube and I was there. […]

September 16th, 2015|Destinations, London, United Kingdom|0 Comments