Hello 2016! Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. Along with all my usual new year resolutions on keeping healthy and being a better person, I'm also determined to kickstart this blog after a long while off grid. Hope you might enjoy my random little postings on photography, travel and musings of life abroad. Perhaps even find something on here remotely interesting or worth commenting on. I certainly love sharing stuff and I must say I've missed this space. So here goes... new year, new post, read on.... : )
This time we travelled across the channel to England to spend Christmas with our family there. On our way home, we stopped off in London for a whirlwind 3 day visit. I'll tell you a bit about the hip hot spot we stayed, The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, and the lighting bolt manner in which we traversed that great metropolis with three kids in tow, including two teenage type creatures.
The Ace Hotel is boutique and a refreshing change on usual accommodations. Having stayed at the LA location last time we were there, we were keen to check out the London version. Despite its sophisticated uber-cool status, this hotel is surprisingly kid-friendly and suits millennials especially while keeping nostalgic parents in the now. We listened to vinyl records in our modish room, piled into the retro photo booth in the lobby and took a dozen old school selfies, had smoothies for breakfast and dinner at their excellent in house restaurant, Hoi Polloi. The Ace Hotel is a happening place but also quite easy going. Good music is always playing in the stylish lobby/lounge complete with roaring fire place and cozy sofas. There is a great cocktail bar attached with the latest mixology savours as well as a sweet little cafe bar serving artisan coffees and pastries. Chunky wooden tables line the lobby wall of loft style windows where people chat and alight their laptops with all manner of wifi. It's a creative space and a relaxed place to innovate, get inspired or just kick back and enjoy the modernity. Shoreditch itself is a fascinating borough. Full of upstarts and new tech savvy industry. The area used to be the home of bygone London manufacturing. Walking around you can visibly see the old mills and warehouse buildings now being artistically re-fashioned into new business space. There are so many cute shops, art galleries and restaurants at every corner turned. We had a wonderful lunch in a charming little pub called The Princess Of Shoreditch. The menu was divine and the atmosphere was so lovely, especially with the mulled wine and all the Christmassy fairy lights and evergreen wreaths in the windows. If you happen upon Rivington Street, you will pass by the famed restaurant, Tramshed, which has a pretty impressive Damien Hurst piece suspended from the ceiling of the dining room. The street art in Shoreditch is definitely something to see. Even if graffiti isn't your thing, there are some celebrity pieces that are truly amazing. Banksy is a regular muralist in these parts.
With the purchase of the Oyster card we were able to zig zag across the city on the tube and hopped on and off busses at whim. One day was purely shopping with my daughter down Oxford Street while my husband treated the boys to an epic Star Wars screening at the Odeon Theatre in Leicester Square. Day 2 we took a turn around high above the scene on the London Eye, crazy crowds but the views were awesome. After that we headed out to a holiday party at the home of our dear friends who live in London. It was such a nice feeling to be back in the city where we once lived for 3 years, such good memories and warm feelings. We didn't really want to come home after day 3, we would have liked to stay a bit longer as we missed a few of our friends. Meeting up with everyone we had hoped to see proved to be a challenge in such a short time but can't wait to come back!
(Photography by Tanya Moss)