After a rather busy week at work, this weekend is for relaxing and not getting changed out of my pj’s – well that was the intention.

G decided we should go for a drive, after the dilemma of decided what shoes to wear as he wouldn’t tell me where we were going I decided on taking two pairs of shoes just in case; it was initially going to be three pairs but I threw one pair back!

Apparently during the week G had stopped off into some little tea rooms at Southill in Bedfordshire where he treated himself to tea and scone – this was after eating the healthy salad I had made him for lunch.  He then enquired if they do gluten free food which they did.  Hence the reason for our little Saturday visit.

I don’t like being gluten free – its just a right hassle and not easy when eating out or visiting people.  At the moment I am on the FODMAP diet which is even harder as you are meant to be gluten, wheat and lactose free along with a number of fruit and vegetables excluded from your diet which includes onion and garlic – difficult to say the least!   Needless to say I do stumble on the odd occasion as I love to eat!

Southill Village Tea Rooms in Bedfordshire is really cute and quirky which I love – it was the old village store and it has basically diversified by the looks of it but it still sells chocolates, biscuits, milk and newspapers along with serving really good old fashioned teas.

Each table had a different tea set and there was bunting hanging around the tea room which put a smile on face.

I ordered a really great gluten free egg and mayo sandwich which came with a salad and crisps – the bread was really light and honestly it tasted like normal bread. 

The gluten free sultana scone was slightly chewy at first however it wasn’t too heavy and after a few bites was actually really nice.  G told me that the normal scones are amazing.

We ordered two slices of the gluten free Lemon Drizzle cake to take home for later and this was incredible!  If you are gluten free or not – order the Lemon Drizzle cake.  Its seriously tasty!

It looks like during the summer months you would be able to sit out the front of the tea rooms under the trees.

The Tea Rooms were extremely busy – the tables were always full which can only mean one thing – it’s a really great place to visit!

G and I will be returning, no doubt about this!

xx

Okay I have decided to put my resolutions for 2013 in writing –

  • Eat more Afternoon tea (it makes me happy and I love scones!)
  • Smile more
  • Wear every pair of shoes that I own at least once during 2013 (will put a daily photo on my instagram account to show off my shoes)

I suppose there should be the following resolutions as well but I am not too fussed about them

  • Lose ten kilos
  • Exercise more
  • Shop less

I much prefer the top three; and they seem so much more realistic than the bottom three!

Happy New Year!

xx

For the past two years G has being wishing to stay at The Connaught in Mayfair over the festive period. 

Like many hotels in London, The Connaught offers a Christmas holiday package which includes Afternoon Tea on the day of arrival, Breakfast on Christmas Day, a horse drawn carriage ride through Mayfair, Christmas Lunch and Breakfast on Boxing Day to build up your energy levels so that you could hit the Boxing Day sales.
 

About six weeks ago, G’s folks decided to book themselves onto a Christmas Cruise of the Mediterranean.  G’s first thought was – who was going to cook him Christmas dinner and his second thought was cool – I am going to book The Connaught.  I did offer to cook us Christmas Lunch but this was met with a look of “over my dead body!”

G was working on Christmas Eve morning, so I took the opportunity to have my hair cut (my new hair dresser has managed to cut my fringe crooked, grr – can’t wait for my old hair dresser to return from maternity leave) and popped onto the train into London for some Christmas shopping that ended up turning into selfish flavoured Christmas shopping which is the best kind!

G finally arrived in London in the afternoon with our bag and as I waited for G to check us into the Junior suite which he had booked, he informed me that we had being upgraded.  My goodness and had we been upgraded!  Yes to the stunningly beautiful Connaught Suite on the 1st floor.  It was a breath taking room and all the staff commented on how this was their favourite room in the hotel. 

We had a booking for 5.30pm sitting for Afternoon Tea in the Espelette which if you have read my previous post was a disaster.  Not the best way to start off the festive period in a hotel that you are going to be stuck inside for the next 36 hours alas it did get a lot better. 
 
+Lisa H – photo of my Afternoon tea footwear just for you

Christmas Morning was spent in the steam room then in the pool (recommend pool then steam room, otherwise you freeze!) and then headed back to the Espelette for breakfast where I was very happy to get Gluten Free Pancakes and fruit – yum!  This was my breakfast choice for the next two mornings.

G had then booked us in for an 11am ride through Mayfair on a horse drawn carriage.  Unfortunately the weather was slightly disappointing so it meant that the top was up however it was nice and snugly inside the carriage with hot chocolate and marshmallows.  Mayfair was beautiful on Christmas morning with just a few people wandering around enjoying the sights – G managed to spot a scarf that he liked in a shop window on the ride.  And he thinks I have a shopping addiction!

As G had booked lunch for 4pm we popped back up to our very luxurious suite where we had a conversation with the Butler who was refilling our ice bucket etc who was extremely lovely and you do come to realise that there was a large number of staff who are working on Christmas Day and not spending it with their loved ones.  This gentleman was from Albania and his wife was videoing his daughters opening their presents while he was working.  It makes you appreciate the staff so much more.

+Lisa H – my Christmas Day footwear, had to go for comfortable as was suffering from a cold and didn’t feel very well.

We ended up watching Ted (Isn’t this the funniest movie!) and a few other movies before lunch along with reading the numerous magazines available in the suite.



Our late lunch was lovely and apparently my gluten free dessert was better than G’s.

I did get food envy looking at G’s bread though and his pastry in the second course!

G’s Lunch

My Gluten Free Lunch

G had another surprise which was an hour body massage in the Aman spa on Boxing Day which was amazing however extremely painful!  One word – knots! (ouch was an understatement) and yes I am a horrible big baby that squeals in pain.
 
We left The Connaught on Boxing Day evening and headed to St. Pancras station to catch the train home only to realise once we go to the train station that our train company wasn’t working on Boxing Day (Oops) so we had to find a hotel which had a room available close to the station; lucky for us the Holiday Inn was available.  How the mighty had fallen!  From the Connaught Suite at The Connaught to an Executive Suite at the Holiday Inn in Kings Cross.  G and I had numerous giggles and the moral of the story was – to always check that your train company operates on Boxing Day!

Thank you to all the staff working at The Connaught over Christmas and once again it’s a truly incredible place to rest your head.

xx

Since we were staying in London on Christmas night I decided that it meant I could hit the sales on Boxing Day however I had to take hand brake along with me aka G.
After visiting Liberty and purchasing a few tiny items, we walked back to The Connaught however we made a pit stop at Claridge’s as you do.
Looking at how busy the Claridge’s foyer was I would say they were fully booked at Christmas like The Connaught.  We decided to visit the stunningly beautiful Fumoir Bar which is an art deco gem with a 1930’s Lalique panel.  What I loved the most was that the Fumoir bar only has capacity for 12 people and this has created a really an intimate space.
80 pairs of shoes fumoir bar claridges london
We arrived just after 3pm and even though it was the perfect time for a cocktail what I really craved was a scone or two.
80 pairs of shoes fumoir bar claridges london gluten free scones
The staff were only too happy to provide a cup of tea and gluten free scones in the bar and can I just say the Gluten free scones are the best I have ever tasted.
My birthday is in February and I thought I would try out their Gluten Free Afternoon Tea however after the success of the Inside Claridge’s documentary that was aired on BBC2 this month, getting a weekend slot in the early part of next year is slightly difficult. Instead I have booked Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley with their cute fashionista designed tea which I am super excited to try!
xxx