Tag Archives: Thames

Sea Containers

Mondrian has arrived in London!  A familiar name we all know and love. For me, the brand conjures memories of an epic stay in Miami celebrating Art Basel many, many moons ago. This one is decidedly more Southbank than South Beach, but sits proudly on the water, the mighty River Thames. Housed in part of the old Sea Containers building, the new hotel has an understated nautical theme, and vibrant river views from its new ground floor restaurant.

We went to check it out on a blazingly bright afternoon for lunch.

Sea Containers From Blackfriars Bridge

Blackfriars Bridge Treacy Black Felt Hat

Sea Containers Dining Room

Sea Containers Dining Room Crest We Serve

Never take pils on an empty stomach.

Never take pils on an empty stomach.

There’s quite a bit of seafood on the menu, which is no problem for me! We ordered a selection of starters, then shared a chicken and a sea bass.

Raw scallops with cilantro, espelette pepper and drizzled with Arbequina olive oil

Raw scallops with cilantro, espelette pepper and drizzled with Arbequina olive oil

Crab salad on toast, with pickled peppers & citrus aioli

Crab salad on toast, with pickled peppers & citrus aioli

Oven-roasted Lamb Meatballs with soft sheep's milk cheese, cucumber and a Moroccan spiced vinaigrette

Oven-roasted Lamb Meatballs with soft sheep’s milk cheese, cucumber and a Moroccan spiced vinaigrette

Smoked and Roasted Corn-fed Chicken with  charred lemon vinaigrette

Smoked and Roasted Corn-fed Chicken with
charred lemon vinaigrette

Shredded Kale Salad with apple, pecans, avocado, yoghurt, chilies and a dill vinaigrette

Shredded Kale Salad with apple, pecans, avocado, yoghurt, chilies and a dill vinaigrette

Roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass  with citrus, salsa verde

Roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass with
citrus, salsa verde

Sea Containers Lunch Apple Pie

The desserts were great, and they even let us order a crème brulee off menu.

Sea Containers Lunch Creme Brulee

Sea Containers Faces

Sea Containers Faces Smiles

The sun was setting as we finished lunch (damn you, winter days!), so we headed upstairs to the rooftop bar, Rumpus Room, for the view – and ended up staying a little bit longer than planned.

Rumpus Room Signage

Rumpus Room Area

Rumpus Room Bar

With unobstructed views across the pulsing heart of London’s business and financial district, the rooftop terrace is no doubt going to be a popular al fresco destination this spring and summer. Have fun, people!

Rumpus Room Outside Rooftop Bar

Rumpus Room View

Rumpus Room View Rooftop Thames

Rumpus Room Drinks Table

The drinks were impressive (aka exceptionally strong) and before we knew it, we were all a bit sozzled.

Rumpus Room Drinks

Rumpus Room Rooftop Silly face

The only thing I would say if you visit Rumpus Room (and you aren’t expensing it to the bank you work for) – check your itemized bill before paying. The service is attentive and pleasant, but they definitely added extra items to our check that we didn’t order. Other than that, go forth and enjoy!

Thames River Cruise

The London Thames is definitely not the place you expect to find a Mississippi paddle steamer, but that was exactly what I found myself climbing aboard the other night for dinner.

The glossy wood-panelled Elizabethan is a lovingly recreated replica of the iconic American stern-wheeled riverboats that Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher would have felt right at home on.

It picked us up at Cadogan Pier in Chelsea beneath the twinkling lights of Albert Bridge.

London Thames Albert Bridge at Night Lights

Albert Bridge

Boat Elizabethan

Boat Champagne

Glasses of bubbles in hand, everyone swept up the carpeted stairs to the spacious upper deck to mingle with old friends.

Boat Smiles Glasses

And watch the brightly lit sights of London pass by along the riverbank.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

London Eye

London Eye

Thames Eye

The Shard

The Shard

Boat Bruvs

Boat Smiles

Boat Smile Lights

After catching up with the latest news of marriages, babies, jobs, and – most importantly – football scores, we migrated below deck into the dining room for the dinner service.

Boat Talking

Boat Dinner

Boat Dinner Smiles

Boat Dinner Smile

After coffee, it was time to buckle up my dancing Choos and head upstairs where the band was kicking things off.

Boat Shoes

Boat Band 4

Boat Band

Everyone was alternating between having a boogie on the dancefloor and popping outside on the balcony to take in the views and the cool air.

A little bit of silliness may also have taken place.

Boat Smiles Buoy

Boat Smiles Us

London Thames Walk Chelsea Streetlamp

Just an incredibly relaxed evening aboard a beautiful boat surrounded by good people – let the holiday party season begin! 

 

 

London Spring & Wedding Rings

This Saturday in London started off with some essential wedmin – picking out wedding bands!

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The visit to the jeweler, and actually trying on the ring, was a rather heady experience.

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My favorite bit was picking out the engraving for the inside of the band!

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I was not expecting wedding band shopping to be so exciting but I was breathless and floating above the sidewalk afterwards. We had a long walk to lunch, so I gulped down a coconut water to hydrate for the journey.

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We strolled along the Thames, all the way down to Westminster, where we passed beneath all the spring blossoms outside of Parliament.

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Everything seemed to be coming up daisies!

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We had lunch at a wonderful French restaurant, Casse-Croûte on Bermondsey Street. The name means “snacks”, which is exactly what we were looking for after our grueling cross-city hike.

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Utterly charming inside and out, we shared a tiny checkered tabletop by the cafe-curtained window.

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As London is now France’s sixth largest city (due to the sheer amount of Frenchies living here), I think this place is as authentic a tiny local French cafe as any other on the continent!

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Dandelion salad with lardons and soft egg

Dandelion salad with lardons and soft egg

Quail with tabouleh and frisee

Quail with tabouleh and frisee

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We listened to French radio playing softly as we dined. It was such an authentic and timeless experience!

Côte de boeuf

Côte de boeuf

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Gratin

Gratin

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A nice bottle of wine, and an incredible plate of steak made the perfect late Saturday lunch. We had to walk off our meal afterwards, so we ambled up to Tower Bridge (stopping for some cliché local photo opps along the way)!

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Cutting through the Tower of London on our walk back along the river, we marvelled at the medieval history underfoot.

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a

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After a full day of zealous exploration, we prowled back home to West London, feeling like cats who got the cream.

 

Henley Royal Regatta

Henley

A heat wave hit England this weekend so it was perfect weather to enjoy the boat races at the Henley Royal Regatta. Every year since 1839, society descends upon the picturesque town of Henley-On-Thames to picnic along the river and watch the historic event. It’s also somewhat of an Anglo-American contest with many American universities competing – I proudly cheered on crews from Harvard, Columbia and University of Virginia.

Henley12

Henley13

The Regatta Enclosure is a formal tented area along the riverfront where spectators can enjoy lunch or tea, traditionally accompanied by champagne or a glass of England’s favorite summertime drink Pimm’s. The atmosphere is very social and we settled back along the water chatting with new friends at our table.

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Outside of the enclosure, racegoers gather along the Thames to share in the spirit of the competition. Corporate hospitality tents, private rowing clubs, and pop-up outposts of London nightclubs Juju and Mahiki line the riverbank. I browsed in a few of the shops and stalls to escape the blazing sun – and managed to resist a few impulse buys, including this fun feathered topper.

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After a cloudless day by the water, I returned to London sun-kissed and happy. With Henley and Wimbledon finals taking place on the same weekend, there’s no beating England for summer sport at the moment.

London Wonderground

London is my playground. And there’s no better place to amuse my inner hyperactive wildchild than along the festive strip of Southbank. On the south bank of the Thames, you’ll find the London Eye, the National Theatre, and the über-trendy Southbank Centre – plus their pop-up sideshow fair London Wonderground. All summer, you can frolic inside the fairground supping a bracingly cool cup of Pimm’s with friends – and take in one of many ticketed side shows.

parI headed over this week – across Westminster Bridge and past the stately houses of Parliament – to sample the amusements. Limbo is part-circus, part-jam-session and part-cover-your-eyes-in-apprehension as an edgy series of spectacles play out onstage and above the audience. There were Cirque du Soleil acrobatics, pulse-thumping dance numbers, and one seriously bendy contortionist who was basically a human rubberband. Swept up in the excitement, I fell head over heels for a beatboxing French pole-dancer wearing heavy makeup  – never have I been a sucker for a carny in guyliner until tonight. Just one of many ways Limbo enthralled me!

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Southbank

Southbank

Pimm's - a British summer tradition

Falling off the Pimm’s wagon

won

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Inside the big-top

Inside the big-top

Ringside seats for all the action

Ringside seats for all the action

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The London Eye

The London Eye