The Six Senses Uluwatu Hotel Review – The Most romantic Hotel in Bali?

The Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali is the sort of cliff face resort that you'd expect to see in an Iron Man film. Tony Stark would probably have this as a holiday home.

This review of the Six Senses Uluwata will possibly be the easiest one yet. As many of you might already find on Trip Advisor, it's hard to find a fault with this luxury hotel.

It's located in Pecatu, in the southernmost tip of Bali. It's a popular hotel for wedding and honeymoon destinations as it's incredibly romantic and quiet.

My Brother and I checked in at the top of the hill. The rest of the resort is peppered throughout the cliff face, populated further with villas, private and communal swimming pools the further you venture down.

The room was designed with luxury and convenience in mind. UK plug sockets and USB sockets dotted everywhere. There was an outdoor shower and the pressure was sensational.

Inside you have a lot of advanced luxury technology. For example the toilet seat lifts up before you even get a chance to think on whether it's a number 1 or number 2.

But the main USP of the room is the infinity pool that's on the terrace. It overlooks the resort and ocean and the vistas of the ocean are staggering. The colours of the sky changes every other minute.

I did notice there was no milk in the room for coffee. But that's me being quite pedantic. Plus, Six Senses Uluwatu is heavily themed around wellness and planet protectionism.

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The breakfast bread had no gluten, they bottle their own water and we had the option of hand picking our vegetables from the resorts organic garden for our morning juice.

There are two restaurants in the property. We gorged on Japanese food one night, grilled prawn lobster and squid. The second night we had the BBQ. The prices are often something that gets flagged for luxury stays like this.

However, I thought for the money (£50 per BBQ) we got great value. We had some amazing food from the restaurant that was sourced locally and tasted phenomenal.

You're also paying for the views. You're paying for the exceptional service. You need to think of this as more than just food. It's a package deal that quite frankly, I won't find anywhere back home.

TIP for the Six Senses Uluwatu

Don't forget to experience their Kundalini massage at Six Senses spa. I had an hour massage and took full advantage of the gym whilst there. Again, some of the equipment and technology they have in this gym I've not even seen back home.

Treat yourself to an amazing experience, you'll not regret it. If you're planning an Asia trip that involves Singapore, be sure to check out my review on the Six Senses Maxwell on my blog.

The Legian Seminyak Bali Hotel Review – Paradise, I’m Home!

Today I'm going to rhapsodise about the incredible Legian Seminyak Bali Hotel. I read some rave reviews about this place before heading out there and I'm here to tell you, they're all true. 

The Legian Bali is a beachfront property facing the Indian Ocean, if you're booking ahead I can recommend asking for my room 132 for some of the most amazing views from the balcony. 

The luxurious accommodation set in landscaped tropical gardens can be found along Seminyak Beach. 

The hotel is heavily centred around wellness which is a growing trend in exotic resorts. My brother has joined me on this tour and we both enjoyed some morning Yoga sessions on the green outside, followed a spin in the cycling studio. 

Top TIP for The Legian Bali

I signed up for the Hommage Package which entitles you to a free facial. The facial was incredibly soothing and my skin was treated to a treatment that used a combination of plant extracts and essential oils. My face was cleansed, exfoliated and massaged leaving it looking bright and feeling rejuvenated. 

After a workout we enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours in the spa, sauna, steam room and the plunge pool which got us down to minus 20. That was followed by a quick swim in the  three-tiered outdoor pool. I know it sounds like I've stole some poor kids ticket from the Make a Wish Foundation. 

The dinner was michelin star-esq! Tuna tartar slices, scallops, marinated chicken finished with wasabi ice cream. 

Location 

As I mentioned you couldn't be any closer to the beach. The Legian Bali is under ten miles away from Ngurah Rai International Airport and airport transfer is available at an additional charge.

You're within walking distance to the local clubs Ku De Ta and Potatohead which keep their lights on until 2am. It's close to Seminyak village and lots of cafes and shopping.

The Seminyak Square Shopping Mall is 450 yards from the accommodation, while Petitenget Temple is 450 yards from the property.

The rooms 

I got my own desk to write this blog, currently listening to the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. I could listen to that all day. The rooms are spaces, the suites are beautifully decorated with natural fibre furniture and flooring against white walls minimally accented by original artwork. 

The open air lobby is gorgeously decorated in rich dark wood and an array of local art. Check-in was efficient and comfortable. You will never encounter a face that isn't smiling.

Conclusion 

I can't fault any part of this hotel. Every member of staff had a smile on their face. Every pillow was fluffed, every single facet in this hotel was a joy to experience. Many thanks to all the staff at The Legian Seminyak Bali Hotel for making this a stay to remember. 

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Two Nights in Singapore: What You Can Do

I've had an amazing time in Singapore. Weather was perfect and the city is just so clean. OK so it's expensive, there's no getting around that. However, if you've got the budget for it then I've put together a two day itinerary of things to do in Singapore. 

YOGA

As you may have seen in a previous post I stayed in the Maxwell Six Senses Hotel. There you can treat yourself to some one-on-one Yoga sessions in the morning in the shade under the trees. And talking of trees..

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GARDENS BY THE BAY

A beautiful and quite other-worldly place to visit. The Gardens by the Bay is 101 acres of reclaimed land. Comprised of distinctive waterfront gardens – Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central. It's tranquil, serene and offers a 3km waterfront promenade boasting stunning views of the city.

SENTOSA ISLAND

This was transformed from a cultural heritage site to a key tourist destination in Singapore that now receives 20 million visitors a year. It's also entrenched in history, once a British military base and a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. 

Nowadays you can find Universal Studios here, casinos, golf courses and the infamous Tanjong Beach Club.

EAT CHILLI CRAB

If you don't eat Chilli Crab when in Singapore it's like going to Florida Keys and not trying Conch Fritters. The good news is that you won't have to go to far to look for it. Plenty of restaurants and bars will serve Chilli Crab.

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SINGAPORE SLING AT RAFFLES

Was temporarily closed for refurbishment. They had a pop-up Raffles Bar around the corner to ensure the Singapore dollar was not getting left on the table. This building is historic, but expect to pay up to $30 for the privilege. Even a Virgin Singapore Sling (non-alcoholic) will cost you the same. 

CLARKE & BOAT QUAYS

Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay. During the colonial era, Boat Quay was the commercial centre where barge lighters would transport goods upstream to warehouses at Clarke Quay.

You can hire a boat that will take you around the Quay, very relaxing and educational. Just north from the collection point you'll find some nice places to grab a beer and overlook the river. 

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MARINA BAY SANDS 

You can miss these. 3 gigantic structures that overlook the harbour, visible from almost every hotel balcony. You have to pay around $20 to get to the top. The views are mind blowing and just seeing the fleet of ships and cruise liners that encircle the coastline is mind blowing. 

Inside you have casinos, shopping, cafes, bars etc. 

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FOOD STREET IN CHINA TOWN 

As part of the process to clean up Singapore and make it an exotic travel destination a certain number of things had to happen. All the street market vendors (hawkers) were brought inside. The street food markets can be quite eye opening. Generations of families have ran these stalls and some will be the last generation. 

You can also find the world’s only Michelin Starred street market food stall inside here. 

CLUB STREET

Pretty much does what it says on the tin. Plenty of clubs, some of them close to 100 years old. The street is lined with conserved shophouses that are occupied by restaurants, bars and several galleries. 

ART & SCIENCE MUSEUM

Housed in a building shaped like a Lotus Flower, warmly referred to as the "The Welcoming Hand of Singapore". It's one of the most distinguishable buildings you'll find in the Marina Bay Sands. 

The exhibitions include robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and other new technological developments. You'll want to take a 1000 pictures inside this place. It demonstrates clearly how both artists and scientists are helping us see how technologies are transforming the world around us.  

ORCHARD ROAD

Spanning almost 2.2 km, Orchard Road is a swanky, tree-lined one-way boulevard flanked by distinctive shopping malls and hotels.

A lot of shopping, at prices that are not very special, not so cheap anymore for Europeans at least. But it's a great way to kill a couple of hours. You can stroll along and watch people, go inside a department store or galleria to cool off for a while. 

 

 

Six Senses Maxwell: Singapore's Latest Gem

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If you're thinking of traveling to Singapore this year I can certainly recommend the Six Senses Maxwell where I stayed. 

From Singapore Changi Airport, Six Senses Maxwell is a 20-minute taxi ride in the heart of the city and provides the perfect base from which to become acquainted with Singapore’s inspiring sites.

Each of the hotel’s 138 guestrooms and suites are carefully decorated with custom furnishings and original artwork. 

Together with Six Senses Duxton, (just around the corner) the two hotels become Six Senses Singapore and showcase the brand’s ongoing commitment to responsible restoration and conservation. 

The Duxton has more of an Oriental flavour, whilst the Maxwell is steeped in more colonial decor and tradition. 

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The Six Senses Maxwell is exactly the retreat I've been looking for. You can't escape it's underlying themes of wellness; the slim lap pool on the rooftop, the one on one yoga sessions. What better way to start the day?

They run the yoga sessions twice a week and after it left me feeling invigorated and centred for the rest of the day. The pool is also perfect just to jump in and cool down when it gets too hot, which is all the time out here. 

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I've been trying to keep on top of my fitness so having a gym here is paramount to me. So many times people use holiday's as an excuse not to work out. Then when they return from a week of sunning and drinking, they find it that much harder to get back into the routine. 

It's an eco-conscious hotel, they promote sustainability and do not use anything plastic in their hotel. Their turn down service has a very personable feel. Little vessels of Tiger Balm were left and messages of peace encouragement on my pillow. Very Zen, I like it. (I'm assuming they do that for all the guests). 

The Six Senses Maxwell only opened in December 2018 yet it feels like they've hit the ground running. Friendly staff, very well organised as you'd expect. The barman can also knock out a very tasty Sloe Gin Fizz and tonic. 

The bar area is quite resplendent, presented as a cosmopolitan library with thousands of books curated across every genre. I would have loved to have spent a couple of hours reading some, but I didn't. Singapore was on my doorstep, it was time to venture out. 

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Top London Architecture Accounts to Follow on Instagram

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I don't care what you say, this is the best City in the world. We have the bars, the cuisine, the architecture, the history, Savile Row, Carnaby, Soho, need I go on?

If you're not living in London you might follow these generic 'Top London Accounts' and get some beautiful airbrushed pictures that turn London into Disneyland.

Today we're going to zero in on the Top London Architecture accounts to follow on Instagram. It will be a very real authentic look at London, I recommend you follow these Instagram accounts from the people that truly love this city as much as I.

Hazem Aljarallah

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Top of the tree. (See photos above). Every picture looks like it could be its own movie. There's not much to go in Hazem's bio, but his pictures tell many stories. 

Adam Sheath

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Adam has a distilled beauty to his work. Taking little less known pictures that others would miss. (See above). Such as the puddle reflections in the Soho lights as opposed to the lights themselves.

Adam is a London based graphic designer & photographer. Hit me up Adam, be great to do a shoot with you someday.

Brutal Architecture

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Okay so not exclusive to London, but there are many London posts on this account. For those that have to take pictures of London landmarks like Centre Point and the Welbeck carpark, this is the account for you.

New London Architects

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No one paints a better picture of London than these guys. They're bio reads 'Bringing people together to shape a better city'. Which is bunch of empty calories to be honest, but you can't argue that the pictures show you many sides of beautiful London.

David Bleeker

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Oooh check out this fella. I once heard the art to taking a great picture is all in the framing. Well David certainly knows how to frame London in a stunning way. Geometrically my favourite of the bunch so far.

Derelict London

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I don't know about you but there is something dirty/beautiful about forgotten parts of London. It has a serene sadness to it. Many parts of London have suffered due to several boom-bust social economic vicissitudes over the years.

Paul Tallin, author of Derelict London & London's Lost Rivers also does walking tours.

Why I'm Traveling: Mental Postcards From Beside the Pool

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In case you hadn't been following my Instagram page of late, I thought I'd let you know I'm just popping off to Asia for the next 3 months. 

It's something of an open ticket. However, I've landed in Singapore, the place where chewing gum is illegal. That's right, wise up London. Apparently when they installed the new metro system out here, a member of state sat on some chewing gum and that was it. Not even a day old and some numpty had already left their taint. 

So that's that. No more chewing gum in Singapore. 

I'm doing some sunning by the pool here and wanted to get some thoughts down on why I've gone traveling. So strap yourselves in I'm going to spill my heart and guts a little. 

I've lost my MOJO

As Austin Powers would say. I've been enmeshed in something of a mental funk for a while now. Partly down to a break-up, unrequited love and all that. 

I've also become very dispassionate of late with my work. Compounded by this recent slew of negativity and backlash within the Instagram community. When I first started posting on Instagram promoting my own Hawkins & Shepherd shirts I used to walk down the street with my head held high. 

Now I'm looking down the street, looking over my shoulder, on edge man. Not secure. I want to get the shot and get the hell out of there before anyone sees me and sniggers, 'there goes the instagrammers'. 

I've never been 100% comfortable doing the street style stuff if I'm honest. But I certainly had more hutzpah back in those early days. 

Line Drawn

So this is a line in the sand people. I'm hoping this trip will heal some wounds, give me time to reflect on the future rather than ruminate on the past.

Already I've done my first one-on-one yoga session, seen some beautiful architecture, I've had a dip in the pool and the good people here at the Six Senses Maxwell have pointed the toilet paper for me. 

Why you should go traveling also

As James Bond would say, 'you really should get out more, it lends perspective'. I'm hoping to meet new people out here, experience new things and shake up the mental etch a sketch. 

Whilst saying goodbye to my friends and family a strange thought came over me. Why am I saying goodbye to the people that I love. They'll still be there when I get back.

I should be saying goodbye to the trolls. Goodbye to the demons in my life. Goodbye to the heartbreak, the insecurities, all the things that have cloaked me in piss-pungent robes of dourness. 

You know it's true, you never know you're on top of a mountain until you're sliding down, and never know you're in a troth until you're climbing out. 

This will be the first of many of mental splurges. I want everyone to start thinking carefully about the ones they love. Make sure you be extra nice to at least one person a day. Have patience with those that grind your gears. Only love can conquer hate. 

Right, enough for now. Happy hour calls. 

 

 

Oman | The Places to Stay and Things to See

I spent ten days in Oman and I'll probably chalk this up as one of the bets experiences I've had in my life. I'm dating a classic heliotrope, meaning each year on Boxing Day we migrate somewhere where's sun, leave blighty and it's endearing yet terminally awful weather behind. 

We've had 2 fruitless excursions in the past couple of years. Last year was Cuba, modest sun and a beach rife with semi-dead man of war jelly fish. The year before that was Cyprus, equally mediocre.

This year there was no messing. We went to Oman where the temperatures never dropped below 22 degrees. We had a fully guided tour with Explore Muscat (not affiliated, just wanted to give them a shout) and in this article I want to share some tips and places worth visiting.

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GET A VISA

Yep, we didn't bother. They introduced Visa requirements early last year and now you have to pay a small sum of £30-ish to get in. Only because we only got these last minute we had to pay double to fast track them. Very annoying.

DECENT SUNGLASSES A MUST

The streets are so shiny and reflective out there, that your eyes get no respite from the sun. I brought my Lacoste glasses but they weren't designed for this level of intensity. Of course plenty of tanning lotion and aftercare lotion will be required.

FLIP FLOPS & HIKING SHOES

You'll need to take your flip flops when traversing through the Wadi's. But be sure to pack both because you'll be doing a lot of walking, hiking and trudging through desert dunes. 

MUST SEE's 

THE LOST FOOTBALL PITCH

The Football pitch in the mountains. Firstly the 4x4 ride through the mountains is white knuckle enough. Then out of nowhere a football pitch appears over the crest of a hill. It looks entirely misplaced and abandoned, but the design is quite deliberate. The villages come and play of a late afternoon/evening when the air is cooler and it's beautifully maintained. Again, no tourists! 

THE BIMAR SINKHOLE 

This is where it's good to have a tour guide. We saw a dozen or so drivers making wrong turns, U-Turns; you'd think they were looking for the Holy Grail. The Sat Nav is not exact science out here and it's sometimes best to rely on local knowledge. 

When the Bimah Sinkhole comes into view it's quite jaw dropping. Especially as it's so close from the coast. There will be a few people there but not too many to enjoy your swim should you choose. 

WAHIBA SANDS

You can sleep out in the desert. We stayed in a campsite called the Desert Wonders Camp for just under £90. It was very basic (I don't think we even had access to charge points) but it was perfect for our needs. 

Again the thrill of running down those dunes in that 4X4 was just something else. Imagine your best Alton Towers ride, this experience squashes that like broken biscuits. Be warned the temperature drops massively at night and you'll need a few layers to sleep in. I actually got no sleep that night due to the cold. 

SNAKE GORGE / WADI BANI 

For this you'll need to have some dexterity, some balls, and a guide that can traverse all the slopes and hazards. Our guide Muhammed I coined Wadiman. He even gave me his flip flops halfway through as I had abandoned my gripless Kurt Geigers. 

You can have accidents down in the gorge. In fact, if you Google Snake Gorge you'll come up with 'Snake Gorge Oman' followed by 'Snake Gorge Oman Deaths'. Luckily I only learnt about the horror stories after we had successfully negotiated this beautiful canyon. 

My advice is leave your belongings, get a Go-Pro or a waterproof case for your mobile. It's not Mission Impossible, but not for snowflakes neither. 

FAZAYAH BEACH

As part of our trip to Oman we caught a flight down to Salalah. This is where you'll find the better beaches. We were warned that there is not much else to do in Salalah.

However, I encourage you to make the trip. Either a 12 hour car ride or a short flight. It's the best way to decompress after what could be a vigorous few days in and around Oman. 

But there are many things to see in Salalah. The Frankincense trees are UNESCO protected and only grow in this part of the world. There is a waterfall and some beautiful coastal views. 

Lastly, you can drive down to the Fazayah Beach where you'll find the Raysut II wreck grounded during a cyclone in May 2018. 

I have posted a full guide on my own YouTube site for people wanting to know more. If you have any questions on your upcoming tour of Oman then please get in touch by leaving a comment in one of the videos. 

Blog Post Written by Peter Brooker from Human Research.

Is This the Most Instagrammable Hotel in Bali? The Udaya Resort & Spa

If ever there was a hotel designed purely for that perfect Instagram photo, the Udaya Resort and Spa in Ubud is it. This was my final destination on my trip through Indonesia. Without your realising you may have already seen photos of this hotel in your feed or in a distant utopian dream. 

Women will love this place because it looks like something from a Disney film. Guys you'll love it too because your woman will be telling all her mates about this place and it was all your idea! The only downside is she'll be asking you to take her picture every five seconds. Either in a bathtub full of rose petals or of her eating breakfast in the pool on a tray made from floating bamboo. 

Do I get my own pool? 

Only if you book your own private villa and that is naturally, more expensive. Outside of that you will get a perfectly awesome pool that is communal but relaxing enough. 

What's in the Cultural Package? 

Admittedly I booked this package by mistake. However, a lucky accident as it came with a double bed suite, an elongated balcony, more plug sockets than a Bond Villains lair, the shower pressure reminds me that London sucks in general, 2 x spa treatments, a free lunch and dinner and a full one day tour of Bali. Anywhere you want to go! 

How much did it cost? 

£225 all in. A day! But you do get breakfast included (banana pancakes!) and afternoon tea around 2-5pm. There is evening entertainment with dancers and BBQ's. I also splashed out on 2 x 60 minute Balinese massages, but you need to book ahead for those. 

Summary

This is more of a lovers retreat than a backpackers destination. Sadly I was alone at this point of my travels, point so I had to indulge in a candlelight rooftop dinner for one. Naturally the service is something you'd expect from a luxury resort; impeccable. The complimentary yoga sessions were the perfect way to start your day.

 

GiliFit Hostel Review: where Rocky would stay on Gili Trawangan

I heard a lot of mixed reviews about GiliFit in the lead up to my stay. GiliFit is not your 5 star Shangri-La so anyone heading to the only gym on the island of Trawangan, should first manage their expectations. That said, if your expectations on an exotic island of idyllic retreat is to find a place with helpful staff, the basic amenities and a place of character then this is certainly a decent fit. 

Gili Trawangan is the biggest of the Gili islands which can be found nested quaintly off the off the north-western shore of Bali’s neighbour, Lombok. Tourists flock to the Gili islands mainly for the diving of which there are centres on all three islands Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. 

Gili Trawangan is modest, you can walk the 7km shoreline in a matter of hours. One side of the island is more rambunctious, club-heavy, the other more tranquil and less trodden. 

GiliFit is the only gym on the island, or so I thought. There is a new gym that's opened within the busy-quarter. However, as with most modern shiny new things, it lacks the character of its counterparts. 

This gym very much feels like where Rocky would chop some wood and grow a beard, the other is more Drago-driven. 

There’s a cardio studio then the weights studio and also some free-weights outside to use. Sure there may be a little rust on the bars, but it’s part of the charm. I recommend hiring a push bike and doing a lap around the island. 

For just under £20 a night you'll be given all the basic amenities; hot water, a pool, air-conditioning, a bed, and even a tele with English speaking channels. You'll also have access to a personal trainer. Myself and my travel buddy This is Timothy enjoyed a brutal MMA workout with personal trainer Ri. 

Ri was is of Ugandan/South African descent and contorted me into shapes like he was playing a cootie catcher. (That's a deep pull for you kids). On hand are all the necessary supplements to keep you on the healthy train; protein shakes, juices, nutrition bars etc. 

Summary

Yes you'll find plenty of excoriating reviews online of GiliFit, some comparing it to a builders site etc. Some of these are old reviews. I have not received sponsorship nor any special treatment in exchange for this editorial. I was just taken in by the staff, to quote Russell Brand 'the heat of their sweetness could melt ice cones'. 

My advice is embrace the true 'Castway' vibe of this island. Forget about your hair-curlers or having the butler on call to point your toilet paper.

GiliFit is only like 5 minute walk from the main strip on the Eastern side of the island and a 15 minute walk from all the bars and nightclubs. 

The Ultimate Way to Travel Light | Moment Lenses

Do you really need a Camera these days when travelling? 

What would be the best alternatives? 

I recently posted an article on my site listing most of the gear bloggers need for traveling. I've had some people message me on my instagram page about a new piece of technology that could help me streamline my gadgets. 

Now I'm implacable when it comes to getting product imagery with my Sony A7S2, but it can be a bit cumbersome when traveling. Whilst out in Bali recently it simply wasn't practical to take it everywhere. 

Moment is a lens company for smart phones started on Kickstarter. They make a couple of lenses, cases, for most of the smart phones that are out today. Currently available are Wide lens, Fish lens, Macro lens. 

They can all be stored in a neat case no bigger than your toilet bag and that can house all the lenses. 

The 170 degree fish eye lens is very wide. It does come out a little shaky without a Gimbal because of the depth of its periphery. But the images I've seen have a neat effect. I think it's more for landscape pictures and balcony panoramas than for day to day video. 

TIP 

Moment will tell you that if you're looking to use this with a Gimbal then you can DIY a counter-balance to the phone. Tape a roll of 20p's to the other end and that should fix it. 

Conclusion 

Moment do look like a very travel orientated brand. They even do travel gift accessories on their website so it's perfect if you want to give your wanderlust friend a unique gift. It's going to be hard for me to part with my Sony but maybe it could also do with a holiday, away from me. 

Other tips to Travel Light

It's not a competition to try and fill the suitcase. 

2 x pair of socks, 2 x pair of pants. Clean them in the sink, dry them on the balcony. Keep rotating them and go one day commando. Boom, you're good for the week. 

Don't take books. You don't read those books at home, you'll never read those books on holiday. I'm determined to read a bit more this year but I won't be doing that on my back by the pool. 

If you're traveling as a couple share the chargers and devices. You can probably half the load if you share.

One pair of smart trainers. I find that shoes take up the most space. In the past I would always take a pair of smart shoes for evening dinner. But I'm not Elton John, I have no entourage schlepping mass amounts of luggage behind me as I throw my keys to the concierge.

Check out the Cole Haan style edit I did, these trainers are incredibly versatile for all climates and events. 

 

 

The Marriott Courtyard Resort in Seminyak, Bali | Hotel Review

It's time for me to tell you all about Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Seminyak Resort. One of the most amazing places I stayed in whilst traveling around Bali. Normally when I go backpacking I like to source the best deals by spending an hour two door having a walk around the neighbourhood. 

However, on the first night there is nothing like having the added security of getting your head down after a long haul flight and feeling settled. 

Although my stay in the Marriott Courtyard was fleeting, it was nonetheless memorable. To paint the picture for those that have never experienced a trip to Bali, imagine 1000 temples in a middle of a jungle, mixed with boutique hotels, arts and craft stores and some of the best cuisine you're likely to taste. 

Seminyak is probably one of the more touristy areas in Bali, not as hip or upcoming as Canggu. Yet finding a retreat such as the Marriott Courtyard for only £90 a night was just the tonic. 

Where is it exactly?

It's very central. In fact in the very heart of Seminyak. You are an 8 minute walk to the beach and there are even regular shuttle runs if you're really lazy. 

Standard of the hotel? 

Very similar to my experience of Marriott hotels in London. The decor was modern and authentic. The service was all smiles and the breakfast was wild with a wide variety catering for all tastes. I treated myself to eggs benedict and felt like a king. 

Family friendly? 

I get asked this quite a bit by friends when I speak about hotels, and although I'm an empty nester it would be remiss of me not to mention how family friendly this hotel is. 

There's a special kids club and speaking to some of the guests at the time they all remarked at how trustworthy and attentive all the staff were around children. 



Amenities near the hotel

It's worth noting there is a 24hr shop nearby should you require a top-up; food, water, alcohol etc. Ask one of the staff and they'll direct you. You'll also find an ATM within in a short walk from the hotel. 

Fitness Classes

Possibly one of the best array of fitness and wellness classes I've ever experienced at a hotel. Within the resort you'll find regular Yoga sessions, aqua aerobics and I even managed some basic MMA lessons with one of the personal trainers. 

Conclusion

A faultless experience, with everything on a plate. The cleanliness and amenities were outstanding. The location is ideal and you'll never run out of things to do. Ask at the front desk about helicopter rides, elephant safari's, kayaking and mountain biking tours. 

 

COMING TO LONDON? How expensive is London?

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You might be thinking of moving to London this year. I've got some news for you, it comes at a premium. I wanted to share with you some of the outgoings I have and ways you guys can save some money. 

Cost of Fish and Chips 

Yes this is the most pressing thing. Now I'm a man of the people, I know a pint of Soya milk is £1.60 from the local co-op. However, dependent on where you go in London the cost of a bag of fish and chips will fluctuate. 

Here in London you should expect to pay double for the price of fish and chips than you would anywhere else in the UK. Undoubtedly the best place to get Fish and Chips is in any of the Ivy restaurants in London, priced at £14.75. 

According to the latest article on the average price for Fish and Chips in London the average cost of a regular cod in London is £7.60. 

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Gym 

As you know I go to KOBOX, and would absolutely recommend that if you're looking to join a gym in London you subscribe to KOBOX to improve your network, your fitness and also your self defense skills. A single class is £20 but you can buy them in bulk for a bargain discount. 

A regular subscription at Virgin Active will cost you north of £85 a month. But with that you can go to regular spin classes, yoga classes and Pilates. 

Cinema 

The infamous ODEON of Leicester Square where most of the London premieres are held will cost you from £10 a ticket. If you want to catch an afternoon showing of Bohemian Rhapsody for example that will cost you £13.25. 

It's been ridiculed in the press recently as some prices can go up to £40. But then again, the IMAX over the road will charge similar amounts. 

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How much for a pint of ale in London? 

It will vary of course, but let me tell you something. We make some of the best ale in the world. Our craft beer in this country is second to none and if you really want to treat yourself and safe some money then invest in a Craft beer subscription box like DiscoverBrew

Surrey is now the most expensive part of the world to buy a pint and the average pint in London costs £4.08, according to the Good Pub Guide

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How much for a Savile Row Suit? 

Well check you out! Flying into London for the weekend, may as well pick up a Savile Row suit whilst you're here eh? Like your style, pun intended. 

According to Beam Fashion, Prices for a bespoke suit start at nearly £5,000 and can go up £10,000 for very exclusive materials. (Silk, Mohair, or a 150 Merino wool). 

The ready-to-wear suits are available starting from £2,200, (although Chester Barrie will have discounted 2-piece ready to wear for half that). 

Don't forget you'll need some shirts, and whilst a trip to Jermyn Street where you'll find Turnbull & Asser, Emma Willis and New & Lingwood will be a box-ticked, you might need something more accessible (price wise at least). 

You can get a Hawkins & Shepherd shirt for as little as £54 if you sign up to a shirt subscription service today. 

 

TRAVEL BAG: The tech gear I take on holiday

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Whilst  I'm out here in Bali (currently in Ubud) and have a bit of downtime, I'm wanting to give you a quick update on some of the tools I've brought with me.

I don't claim to be the most proficient travel bloggers, there are people out there that do it for a living. However, I'm looking to escape London more this year, and already I've got some tools and tips to share with you.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL ANYWHERE! 

Get a Visa. I know it sounds obvious but some countries have only just introduced this. An example would be my friend Pete Brooker from Human Research who went to Oman and only checked the night before the flight that he needed a visa. He had to pay double to fast track it, so double check ahead of time! Even Visa on arrival can have prerequisites, such as for Indonesia you have to show a pre-booked return flight out of the country with the 30 day Visa on arrival limit - you’ll also need to show this at check-in otherwise you’ll not be allowed to fly.

THE CAMERA 

I’m obsessed with my SONY A7S2 camera, which I take with me everywhere. The video is full-frame 100 frames per second in 4k and the stills are amazing using ZEISS lenses. If you want a tutorial in setting up your SONY a7sii, I have written one here. I also use a Canon G7X (mainly for vlogging) and you can pick these up now for under £500 on Amazon. They record in 4k and are light and compact, perfect for traveling.  It has a flip round screen so you can document yourself if that's your style.

THE GIMBAL

I'm now getting into using a Gimbal, the Zhiyun Smooth 4 is an awesome bit of kit that can be snapped up for just under £120. It's nimble light, easy to use and just takes those vlogs to the next level. The only pain is that it's Chinese and there are no English instructions, but I picked up everything as I went and there are plenty of online tutorials.

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THE ZOOM H1 

I always pack the little handy Zoom H1 recorder when I travel, it's a great way to keep notes on where you're going, how much things cost, etc. All these details will become priceless when you get home and you want to type up your blog.

I also like to just chat into the Dictaphone and describe the scenery, externalise and basically ramble my thoughts. This is also a useful tool if you want to conduct interviews. Other accessories you'll need for a decent close up sound will be a RØDE Lapel Mic and the RØDE SC3 iPhone Accessory. 

UNIVERSAL CHARGER & HARD DRIVE

It's nutty that these things make the essential lists but you don't want to be found out. Needing to charge your farm whilst on the go is key so be prepared. I use a Dynamode external hard drive that I've had for years. (Dropped and bandaged up plenty of times but still going).

More current ones can be found cheaply. Toshiba do External hard drives up  to 500GB now for £50. Remember video files are much larger than jpg's and you don't want to run out of space.

Of course a universal charger you can find at the airport. 

 

EAST LONDON v WEST LONDON | The pros and cons of living in both

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If you're thinking of visiting or moving to London anytime soon no doubt you'll be checking house prices in the different boroughs of London, which places in London has the lowest crime rates, what parts of London have the best schools etc. 

In this article I'm going to pit East London v West London and add to it over time with recommendations for restaurants, theatres, places to watch the footie etc. I'll invite you all to do the same in the comment bar below. 


WEST LONDON 

Pros of living in West London 

West London is generally conceived as the safest part of London, with Richmond on Thames topping the list with the lowest crime rates. In particular Chiswick is a little slice of heaven, to both work and live. 

The Chiswick Business park in particular is adorned with mini lakes, waterfalls, brimming with outdoor activities, very modern and 'Singaporian' in design. 

Cons of living in West London 

You are slightly removed from the rest of London. The District line is the main service and if that capitulates then your daily commute into the centre of London can be a case of trains, planes and automobiles.

Hopefully with the advent of the HS2 or Crossrail there will be greater social mobility in 2020. 

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EAST LONDON

Pros of living in East London

Really does live up to its traits and stereotypes of being the place where the cool kids hang out. The artists have long since migrated further east to places like Hackney since the gentrification of places like Shoreditch. Ironically the artists made the place what is, then could no longer afford to live there due to inflated house prices. 

That said there is still great places to shop for clothes, Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market have great vintage and pre-loved collections. Beyond Retro is tucked away on the outskirts of Bethnal Green, All Saints sits at the top of Brick Lane and there are an abundance of leather ateliers to choose from. 

You have the Olympic Park also which is an awesome location for a first date, or a trip to the O2 for when the big acts come to town. 

Cons of living in East London 

It has its unsavoury areas. Without wanting to sound elitist you only have to stretch out beyond Brick Lane, past Boxpark, and 10 minutes towards Bethnal Green tube you've reached the arm pit of East London. 

You do have great locations like Columbia Flower Market, but even that is a zoo nowadays. The disparate elements that gave East London its uniqueness, have sadly compounded its downfall by becoming too touristy, over populated and not an overly enjoyable place to visit. 

 

Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa | Hotel Review

Today I'm going to regale some thoughts on a recent trip to Cardiff and my stay at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa. I visited Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel as part of the Local Stories campaign, to explore how the hotel is inspired by all things Cardiff.

It's situated in the heart of Cardiff, a breezy 15 minute walk from Cardiff Central railway. The city itself is renowned for its love affair with sport. Us Englanders should be indebted for allowing Cardiff to host our beloved FA Cup at the Principality Stadium, formerly The Millennium Stadium whilst Wembley was getting redeveloped. 

It's a city that embraces sports fans from all around the world. I was at the game on Saturday and saw first-hand their unbridled enthusiasm for the nation’s number one sport; Rugby, with a 20-11 trouncing over South Africa. A ninth consecutive win for the Welsh who look like serious contenders for the upcoming 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel. By now my readers will know what I appreciate more than anything else in hired accommodation, decent WiFi. I'm pleased to announce the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa has Fibre Optic WiFi internet access. 

I hope you enjoyed this review, feel free to leave some comments in the section below. 

Only kidding. 

I was deeply enraptured by the kind hospitality and the facilities of the hotel. At every stage and every moment of my visit I felt like the staff were willing to go that extra mile to ensure my stay here was a pleasant one.

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Although it was the weekend, I wasn't taking any days off from training. (That Bali bikini body won't sculpt itself). I struck up a great rapport with Scott the personal trainer who gave me some great tips on deadlifting, whilst Cerys gave me the best back massage. I'm not sure why I was so bewildered by the superior quality of the spa facilities, I joked with Cerys the masseuse that I'd seen worse facilities in a dedicated spa. 

Breakfast was 'buffet style' with continental cheeses and Starbucks coffee served at the bar. The bar was a very plush, dual concave semi-circular structure with green and grey fleck marble brick. Finished with a black trim counter top and scrutinised by multiple metallic hanging lampshade shaped like huge chess pawns.

The meetings areas surrounding the bar can accommodate you and your friends should you wish to watch any of the sports games. There are loads of TV's you won't struggle for a spot.

The bartender Luke displayed great flair and had an encyclopaedic knowledge for cocktails. My only gripe would be the lack of Craft Ale which I've had a renewed love affair thanks to my introduction to DiscoverBrew subscription service

It's difficult to characterise this hotel as strictly one of anything. It ticks so many boxes. Perfect for the quiet professional flying in from out of town. (30 minute bus ride from Cardiff airport) also caters for the social element thanks to its vastness, ergonomic seating areas. 

My biggest takeaways from the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa was the quality of service throughout, I had a great night’s sleep (super quiet) and the city in general is just a wonderful orbit to be in for sports fans from all backgrounds. 

Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa Location

The Best Laurent-Perrier Champagne & Food Pairings

For those asking if my recent jaunt to Reims was as good as it looking in my Instagram pictures, it was. 

You probably guessed that I was there on behalf of Laurent-Perrier to celebrate 50 years of the esteemed Cuvée Rosé. A champagne with an illustrious history. Perfected in each stage of its making, remarked for its consistency and its high quality. 

The city Reims can be found in north-eastern France's Grand Est region. If you're heading there by train from Paris take the train from Gare de l'Est. 

This vast campestral Champagne wine-growing region is truly the most heralded. Laurent-Perrier holds its Headquarters and Vineyards there. For the most discernible of wanderlust Vloggers the vineyards and wine cellars of Laurent-Perrier are incontestable. We (motley crew of well-heeled bloggers) sauntered up and down the vineyards doing impromptu boy v girl catwalks, before being escorted off down a long cobbled tunnel on a tour of the cellars. 

Allow me to give you some of the findings of my tastings. 

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé

It's what we all came to see. The headline act. You don't have to take my word for it that the Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé is truly a Champagne made with elegant design. It's been lauded by many wine connoisseurs and sommeliers across the globe as the apex of Rose Champagne. 

Made from 100% grape, the Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé delivers a cocktail of red ripe fruit aromas, high intensity with an astounding aromatic depth. It's an extremely supple and well-rounded wine. Your palette will be awash with black cherries and red currants. 

Best paired with? 

The food on the tour was sublime. The Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé is best teamed with marinated raw fish, grilled prawns, or Parma ham. 


Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut

Sounds like a planet eating Transformer. Seriously, it's known collectively in the upper echelons of champagne aficionados as 'the great wine without sugar'. It too has an esteemed history, launched in 1981. 

The Ultra Brut is a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend which is delicate, with a surprising length. You'll get an instant plume of citrus and white fruit notes, which quickly diffused before the honeysuckle arrives and steals the show. 

Best paired with? 

If you're serving this at home, why not prepare a seafood dish. The citrus notes are enlivened white fish ceviche and feel free to flirt with other sushi dishes, you can't really go wrong. 


Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle 

Sounds like something Elsa shouldn’t have crossed in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Grand Siecle is created from 3 exceptional years, blended for a following 8 years before it can be enjoyed. An esoteric, almost other-worldly unique expression borne from a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend.

This champagne is ameliorated by the clever injection of grilled almonds, a subtle layer of honey, a dalliance of fresh pastry which combined, provide a perfect balance between strength and delicacy.  

Best paired with? 

You really can't put this with your bangers and mash. A Champagne that boasts this level of personality, has to be served with refined dishes such as surf and turf. Of the posh kind. 

That's it from me on this one. Happy birthday Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, hope to see you around for my 50th.

SHOP THESE INCREDIBLE CHAMPAGNES

THE PERFECT GIFT

Live Like a Rock Star at the Hard Rock Hotel in London

Ahead of its 2019 launch, Hard Rock Hotel London revealed a first look at its Rock Royalty level; offering exclusive rooms and suites, alongside luxurious perks that allow guests to live like a true VIP. Situated on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane, Hard Rock Hotel London tip the hat of recognition to former residents such as Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, Bobby Davro*, Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly.

Every bedroom is carefully appointed with an awe-inspiring memorabilia collection and original artwork. 

Hard Rock Hotel London promises to be the city’s next iconic live music hot spot, the Rock Royalty programme offers an elevated experience so guests can live out their rock star dreams.

That's right, you think you're hot stuff snowflake? You flew in first class, you had your tailor meet you at the airport, you can get your PA to buy your kids souvenirs, but you still have to queue ten man-deep at the bar in KOKO like every other Joe Schmoe.

Well now you can get escorted around London like Rod Stewart back when he was relevant. The package is truly pioneering; from door to door luxury airport transfers and exclusive access to local music events to bespoke amenities tailored to each guests’ Ultimate Room Rider. 

Tell us more about the Ultimate Room Rider Carl? 

You can take advantage of Hard Rock Hotel London’s Ultimate Room Rider, request that the concierge has pointed the toilet paper and rid the entire condiments tray of De-caff coffee. (Please hotels, we don't need de-caff, ever. Certainly not an even split of de-caff sachets to regular coffee).

On a serious note, the Ultimate Rider package adds personalised touches to each Rock Royalty room including a choice of pillows, in-room scents and bath bombs. 

Oliver Kahf, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel London, said: “While we will treat every guest at Hard Rock Hotel London like a VIP, our Rock Royalty programme offers an extra special experience. We want every guest to know how it feels to be treated like a Rock Star."

The 103 Rock Royalty rooms and 14 suites are all located on the third floor of the hotel and have been custom designed for luxury and comfort.

Decorated in post box red (much sexier than London Bus red or Sephora laptop case-kiss red)  and royal blue, each room oozes luxury with a hand-crafted Hypnos® bed, flat screen digital TV, minibar and a nightly turndown service.

Guests can also expect to find their personal choice of spirits, soft drinks and sweet treats waiting in the mini bar and their favourite music track playing in their room on entry. (What's yours? Mine - Freddie’s Dead by Curtis Mayfield, every time).

Rock Royalty Suites come with complimentary shoeshine and pressing services to ensure every guest is stage ready. Rooms will also have a coffee table book showcasing the history and stories of the hotel’s most famous - and infamous - guests.

*Joking about Bobby Davro, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. 

La Mamounia in Marrakech, Morocco | Hotel Review

La Mamounia embodies the Moroccan refinement; an oriental atmosphere made of noble materials worked with ancestral know-how, games of perspectives and lights, harmony between the plant and the mineral. I was tempted to take a complete hiatus from social media the other week whilst out in Morocco. But with an oasis like this, it's hard to holster the smart phone. You feel naturally compelled to document the splendour of La Mamounia in its entirety. 

Although founded as late back as 12th century,  it wasn't until the 18th century that Prince Al Mamoun gave his name to the hotel after receiving the gardens as a wedding present from his father.

Fast track to 1923 and the hotel La Mamounia opens its doors, a subtle blend of Arab-Andalusian architecture and the Art Deco atmosphere. 

A retinue of my well-heeled heroes have graced these ornate marble with fleck floors. (All of the rooms are marble floors and have local artwork and mosaic tiles).

What the hotel likes to call "An anthology of Great Men" (yet fail to realise that two of the ones cited are women, tut-tut). 

Nevertheless knowing that some of the style greats, such as Yves Saint Laurent and Marlene Dietrich have found solace here makes me feel like I'm part of a rich eclectic history. Of course they have a Churchill bar named after the nodding dog from the insurance adverts. (Only joking, just wanted to make sure you were paying attention). 

La Mamounia is in the heart of the city. It is walking distance from the souks, the medina and Jemaa El Fina square, not to mention countless bars and restaurants.

When you enter the hotel you'll do well not to appreciate the surrealism of the 12th century wall and dazzled by the play of light - between inside and outside - by the colour contrasts - zelliges between Majorelle blue, green and orange. 

Side note - I keep telling people it's the little things in life that make a difference. For example given an authentic leather key card for your room and for unimpeded access to the luxury mosaic tiled spa and swimming pools. 

 

My takeaways of La Mamounia

The astonishing attention to detail and rich proud history reverberates around this cavernous palace. It embodies it's heritage, it doesn't disappoint with its reputation for supreme levels of service. 

You can lose yourself here. There are 8 hectares brimming with over 1200 plant species! The idyllic snow-capped mountains of the Atlas provide an indefatigable backdrop whilst the medieval ramparts for protection and lush gardens for cocoon, the "Moroccan House" is steeped in culture, traditions, scents.

You are invited to share a dinner in the hotel with the choices of Moroccan, French or Italian cuisine. Each can be served on the terrace should you wish. 

And in the mornings you can have breakfast at the pool pavilion, no black pudding or HP sauce but instead a superb buffet to savour at the water's edge. 

The Spa is an inevitable indulgence with which one must lose themselves. If you're taking your girlfriend or 'willing accomplice' then this is where you earn your brownie points. 

This is a space dedicated to the well-being, between massages, body care, hairdresser not to mention the legendary indoor pool, to totally decompress in water at 28 ° C. I recommend the Hammam treatment followed by a massage.

That’s it from me. This hotel provided me with what Lance Richardson might class as “A rare starburst of unadulterated joy”.  This being my second review of hotels and resorts in Marrakech, be sure to email me if you need any help or advice on visiting the area.

 

WHERE IS LA MAMOUNIA?

 

INSTAGRAMMABLE?

A Quick History of Menabrea | Italy’s Iconic Brewery

What an incredible place Milan is. It has a unique energy, steeped in history, the architecture is beguiling and importantly, the beer is sensational. Last week I was introduced to the wonderment that is Menabrea beer, with a guided tour of Italy’s iconic Menabrea Brewery with Menabrea’s master brewer and 5th generation of the Thedy brewing family, Franco Thedy, as my personal guide.

In 1846, Giuseppe Menabrea travelled to the town of Biella in the foothills of the Italian Alps. There he discovered an underground cave system, ideal for the traditional process of 'lagering'.

The combined elements of pure water and cold fresh air of the region made conditions conducive to build a brewery.

Fresh off the plane, a lunchtime arrival in Milan and I was quickly chaperoned through the provenance of authentic Italy, stepping off the beaten track to explore the historic town of Biella. There, residing in the foothills of the Alps – the birthplace of Italy’s premium Birra, the Menabrea brewery. 

When you visit Biella, you'll still find Menabrea brewing their award-winning beer on the same site, made in the same way, by the same family, with the same ingredients, passion and care.

Biella is a northern Italian town situated midway between the two historic cities of Milan and Turin; it’s nestled in the Bo mountain range in the foothills of the Alps – an area rich in springs and lakes.

The brewery has that inimitable Italian beauty, an eclectic blend of historic brickwork, vaulted ceilings, now modernised with sophisticated production lines carefully manicured by the dedicated staff that oversee operations. 

Both varieties of Menabrea (Blonde and amber) are matured gently in the perfect temperature of the brewery’s cave cellars for a taste of superior clarity, made with alpine water, and distributed around the world.

The blonde (Bionda) is my go-to beer, a sumptuous blend of citrus, bitter tones and floral, fruity undertones giving a consistent and refined flavour. It has a complex malty, hoppy taste with exceptional head retention due to the quality of the ingredients and maturation process.

The Amber beer (Ambratta) is served at a  A 5.0% ABV amber beer, full bodied and well rounded, with a moderately bitter flavour. Amber in colour with bronze undertones, this lager is another example of the brewery's exceptional capabilities.

Whilst in the UK we serve scampi fries and pepperoni's to caveat the blandness of our beers, in Italy there is no need for such apology.

In classic establishments, serving a Menebrea is usually accompanied with an aperitivo - traditionally a bowl of olives or nuts as something to whet the appetite so you can sit back and savour la birra perfetta. We also had a chance to attach some ‘Sbirro’ to the tasting, a Menabrea-infused cheese fresh from the cheese factory situated next door. 

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Milan is the metropolis of northern Italy, the global capital of fashion and design, and a hub for first class arts, culture and hospitality in Europe.

Biella is a nippy one hour drive from Milan and well worth the detour should you be looking to escape the city for a day or so. You can enjoy lunch al fresco at Menabrea Brewery Restaurant before taking a tour of the brewery and cheese factory.

Milan of course is dripping with fantastic bars and restaurants that I was lucky enough to frequent during my brief stay. The famous Duomo di Milano, Galleria et Emmanuelle (don't forget to twist your heel in the mosaic Bulls' testes 3 times for good luck) not to mention the Italian nightlife culture along the famous Ripa di Porta canal.

 

Lastly, I know I get a lot of comments from people saying how they're super jealous of me travelling here there and everywhere. Well soon you'll also be able to enjoy a pint in northern Italy’s beautiful town of Biella, exploring Menabrea’s historic brewery. 

That's right I'm talking about my new teleport machine that I've toiling away with for the past couple of months. You've all seen The Fly? Imagine that, without the wires. And the carnage. 

Of course I jest, but a visit to the Menabrea brewery is made possible through virtual reality technology. Menabrea will be touring restaurants and premium bars across the UK with the VR experience - offering a 360degree tour of Italy’s oldest brewery. 

The VR tour can be experienced later this year in selected bars in London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. More details will be available at Menabrea UK on Facebook.

Es Saadi Marrakech Resort | Hotel Review

The other week I took a mini trip over to Es Saadi, a luxury 5 star hotel and resort that boasts eight hectares of gardens in the heart of Marrakech. The resort sits in a lavish private park where you'll be invited to unburden your city woes to the singing birds that thrive amongst the palm trees, banana trees, olive trees, bougainvillea and small roses of Marrakesh.

The resort reflects a rich cultural heritage, and since 1952 has housed some of icons of mine and bygone eras; the couturier Balmain, Josephine Baker, the Rolling Stones and Leonardo DiCaprio have all frequented. 

Footnote - I did enjoy the caption on the companies website;

As you enter the hotel grounds, you have to imagine Mick Jagger, who is young, posing by the pool, .. (let's not think of a 75 year old wrinkly Mick Jagger clutching onto an 18 year old cocktail waitress shall we?). 

Here, the walls and furniture have kept the legendary Es Saadi intact, with 50's lines that delight connoisseurs. Examples of Moroccan art can be seen on every wall and corridor. It's emblematic of the young artists in the country that provide a great source of optimism and energy to the decor. 

On the quest for 'best son 2018' I took my Mum who conveniently seconded as my camera-woman for the trip. Mum is a dab hand in the kitchen so luckily the boys in the kitchen at the Moroccan restaurant Coeur des Lions and at the Gastronomic French restaurant did not disappoint. A great breadth of wines and cocktails are on hand at the Palace. 

The Spa with the indoor pool is a bloggers dream and I certainly dipped my bread, getting enough 'throwback' pictures to last me through a nuclear winter. 

The Es Saadi is conveniently located, a short ten minute ride by taxi and the old town is about 25 minutes on foot. I can recommend. It's a little slice of heaven if one wants an option to stay out of Medina and very reasonably priced too.

 

HOTEL ES SAADI MARRAKECH LOCATION