A chic guide for American women who have relocated to London, England. Find fun things like where to eat and shop, but also practical information, like author's personal recommendations for GP's, how to navigate the Home Office, and who to call if you need an immigration lawyer. Also find a recently added My Style section.
Last Friday night a girlfriend and I went to The London Cabaret Club for a little girls night out. We began the evening in the lounge and after ordering a few cocktails, members of the cast began to perform giving us a tiny taste of what was to come.
We then entered the beautiful ballroom and sat down for our dinner. Our server was incredible and was quick to bring our drinks, dinner and extra treats (mid-show cocktail in a teacup anyone?) throughout the show.
The ballroom was packed and then it all began. The Queen of Roses, a fun, exciting mix of singing, dancing, and incredible circus-like performances that had us both bopping and singing along pretty much the entire time.
The cast of The London Cabaret Club are some of the best performers I’ve ever seen. These singers and dancers are the real deal and are so much fun to watch. The show was a mix of old tunes and new, making it enjoyable for pretty much any age.
My favorite was a rendition of Sia’s “I’m going to swing from the chandelier” where an incredible acrobat (who made me feel bad about my lack of going to the gym lately) did just that while being serenaded.
The London Cabaret Club’s “Queen of Roses” is ending this week but they have an incredible line up for the holiday season including The Great Gatsby for Christmas and New Years. Quite possibly the perfect thing to book for a festive night out!
There are different types of tickets available including dinner and the show, VIP dinner and show, and tickets just to watch the performances and have drinks, so you can plan your night any which way you want.
Switzerland combines alpine landscapes with quaint mountainside villages and lakes. Metropolitan cities contrast with medieval towns and some of Europe’s most beautiful examples of architecture. Tourists can book some of the luxury homes in Switzerland to enjoy the ultimate level of relaxation on their vacation. Others will hop from one village to the next admiring the lush views. If you’re looking to get the most out of a trip to this gorgeous European nation, check out these top places to visit.
Zermatt nestled high in the Swiss Alps features one of the world’s most photographed mountains: Matterhorn. Resembling a pyramid from a distance, the peak soars to a total height of 4,478 metres (14,692 feet). Tourists take the cable car to the summit during the summer to marvel at this spectacular example of nature. When the snow starts to fall, the region transforms into a vibrant skiing resort. If you want to experience a flavour of the Swiss Alps, this is the place to visit. Just be aware that oxygen levels will be lower at the higher altitude and you can expect to feel some symptoms of sickness.
Montreux is a relatively small town located a short drive from Geneva. The spectacular Chateau de Chillion dominates the centre housing a 1000-year-old castle. Stand near the lake and marvel at the glistening water framed by the mountains. Head to the island and visit the castle. Compared to the larger cities, Montreux provides a more relaxed few days while surrounded by stunning scenery. Explore the Lake Promenade and snap photographs of some of Switzerland’s best views. If you’re in the town in July, check out their annual Jazz Festival. This attracts thousands of fans each year who turn the otherwise sleepy alpine town into a buzzing centre.
Located in the northeastern corner of Switzerland, Appenzell exudes the postcard-perfect image of a Swiss town. Colourful houses decorated with various motifs line both sides of the narrow streets. Some feature images of flowers while others display giant flowers on their façades. A short walk from the town centre leads to the countryside. Towering mountains dominate the horizon and endless stretches of undulating green fields form the foreground. If you’re looking for a quiet escape and to soak up rural Switzerland, Appenzell is for you. The town is also known for its embroidery, cheese and handicraft.
Bad Ragaz near the Swiss border with Lichtenstein sits in the St Gallen Rhine Valley. The small town has allured people from around Europe for centuries to bath in its thermal waters. Water at a constant temerature of 37°C bubbles from underground sources to the surface. Bathing in the mineral-rich thermals is both revitalising and rejuvenating. Several spas dominate the centre with visitors come from all over Europe to relax. Head further from Bad Ragaz and you’re surrounded by the Swiss Alps and the nearby Tamina Gorge. Or if you’re looking for an adventure, why not take a day trip across the border into Lichtenstein, one of the world’s least visited countries.
Switzerland’s capital Bern exhibits a fine collection of European medieval architecture in its city centre. The UNESCO-listed city almost resembles a scene from a fairy tale with elegant buildings, graceful streets and more than 100 fountains. Bern itself sits on the Aare River, which once acted as the main arterial through the ancient city. Check out the iconic city clock tower which features dancing figurines when the clock strikes the hour. You can also visit a bear park near the capital too. Or just stroll through the magical streets and soak up the Swiss atmosphere.
Swiss National Park
The Swiss National Park in the Engadine Valley covers a whopping 67,000 acres. Split into alpine meadows, forests and mountains, the national park is an ecological wonderland. When it gained its protected status in 1914, the region became one of the first national parks in Europe. Only a single road leads into the region which limits visitor numbers. Most tourists come during the summer months where they’ll witness colourful alpine flowers, dozens of birds and the occasional deer. Travelling in the winter isn’t advisable as temperatures often fall to double digits below zero.
If you want to experience the Swiss Alps, head to the Jungfrau region in south-central Switzerland. Gigantic mountains including the three famous Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau standing on the horizon. In the summer, hikers follow the trails to their summits and get the best views of the town and countryside. Green meadows seem to roll forever along the rugged landscapes. The small resort town called Interlaken is the hub of Switzerland’s Jungfrau region. Dozens of accommodation options cater to the hundreds of tourists. And riding the scenic train to get to the town is a treat in itself too.
Lucerne in central Switzerland is a postcard-perfect city. Sat next to a lake and against the backdrop of mountains, it’s arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the entire country. Explore the remains of medieval towers and centuries-old churches in the town centre. Head out into the wilderness and embrace the stunning views of rural Switzerland. Almost every tourist in Lucerne will ride the cable car to the summit of the surrounding Mount Rigi or Mount Pilatus. Both provide a stunning panoramic of the lakeside town.
A holiday in Switzerland
Switzerland offers a range of experiences from exploring the ornate Appenzell and historical Montreux to relaxing in the thermal spas of Bad Ragaz. Other areas showcase the best of the alpine environment, lakeside towns and a trip into one of Europe’s first national parks. Millions of tourists visit each year, few depart unsatisfied.
I literally can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by. Here I am in the middle of back to school madness, packing backpacks and labeling new uniforms. Why did it all have to end so quickly?
We had an incredible break, which included a trip to Provence with girlfriends and children, some time in California with the family, and then a 10 day Disney Cruise. I received so many direct messages on my instagram asking me all about it, so I will do a full post on that later. (Taking a Disney Cruise seems to be a very polarizing topic- some moms absolutely love the idea, and some of you thought I was completely nuts-ha!).
After cruising from Copenhagen, through the Nordic Fjords and Iceland we ended up in Ivergordon, Scotland, the port for Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. The family and I had been to Scotland before, just not this far North, so we had the opportunity to explore some new places. I always do a TON of research before traveling with the family, and try my best to make sure that everyone is happy, but I wasn’t quite sure how to conquer Inverness. I found Stuart Mackinnon of Skye Luxury Tours and begin chatting with him over email about what to do during our time in port.
I explained to Stuart that I was a massive Outlander fan (if you haven’t watched it, start bingeing now), and that my husband loved his Whiskey and wanted to tour a distillery. My eight year old daughter had also recently learned about Loch Ness monster, and was sure that he had relocated to London in the Thames, so she wanted the chance to make sure he still wasn’t living in the Loch.
I had no idea how we were going to fit it all in in one day, without the children getting antsy in the car, and when/if ever we were going to get a chance to eat lunch and see all the sights. Well Stuart knocked it completely out of the park.
He picked us up in his comfortable Mercedes van and proceeded to give us the history of his family clan. I was transfixed immediately comparing his family history to that of Jamie Fraser’s (are you watching Outlander yet?). We took a beautiful drive around Loch Ness and the children couldn’t stop giggling and asking questions all about Nessie. They were determined to find her. We stopped to take photos by the beautiful Urquhart Castle ruins, and then headed into the adorable little village for lunch. We ate at Fiddler’s Restaurant a lovely restaurant with great food, ice cream served in Nessie dishes and of course, whiskeys from all around Scotland.
After the Loch, it was my turn. We headed to Culloden battlefield and then to the Clava Cairns, the stones that inspired Craigh Na Dun and Claire’s travel back in time. My Husband and Stuart started giggling as I placed my hands on the cold stones, and before I knew it Stuart was pouring him a dram of Whiskey made famous from his village.
Our final stop was at a Whiskey distillery, to be honest, I have no idea which one but it was not in the least bit busy or touristy so my Husband got a great tour and had a quick tasting while I hung out with the children. It was then time to return back to the Disney Magic.
We had such an incredible day with Stuart. He listened to everything that we wanted to see, and gave the tour so much colour and history that the driving didn’t seem too long. If you’re going to be in Skye, Inverness or anywhere in the Scottish Highlands I would definitely give him a call and have him create bespoke day for you in this gorgeous part of the UK.
For more information on Skye Luxury Tours, click here.
I can’t believe I am writing this. 4th of July is JUST around the corner. Prep for your own BBQ by stopping by Balthazar Restaurant in Covent Garden which is going to be paying homage to its New York roots, by transforming the iconic Boulangerie into an authentic ‘American Pie shop’ on Independence Day.
Stop by the instagram-worthy pop-up and pick from a range of tasty homemade pies including the classic Key Lime, Banoffee, of course New York Cheesecake and more.
Join in the #YouGotPied fun from Monday, 2 July, for an American pie feast and a game of real-life Pie Face. Diners and pie lovers will be able to unapologetically pie their friends, loved ones and colleagues in the face with Balthazar’s take on the iconic Pie Face game, (something I know my children will love).
Enjoy in the shop with your choice of cream, ice cream or custard or pre order a large one to go, perfect for 4th July dinner party desserts.
Balthazar will continue the celebrations into the evening, with a 4th of July party hosted by US DJ Alexandra Richards, who will take to the decks and ensure guests are kept dancing all night long.
To book, please call the reservations team on 020 3301 1155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.