JOJO takes you all the way to an Amazon Rainforest to share some Soundbytes for your SOUL SAS…… Self Awareness System. We have been so long in lockdown so come with us on a journey to a cleansing rainforest. Please note this was filmed prior to lockdown but I just felt you needed this today to embrace a brave new world. Please excuse my rather dishevelled appearance but I HAD been living out of a rucksack for 3 weeks, and after all this video is ALL about what is going on inside and not the outside my friends. x
JOJOS STYLIST TIP: THIS IS ALL ABOUT BEING A COMPLETE PERSON ON YOUR OWN NEVER RELY ON SOMEONE ELSE FOR YOUR OWN HAPPINESS PUT YOURSELF IN THE DRIVING SEAT !
AS THE COVID CRISIS FINALE IS HOPEFULLY IN SIGHT IT IS TIME TO AT LEAST START PLANNING TRAVEL . I AM SURE WE HAVE COME THROUGH THIS AND REALISED THAT SHARED EXPERIENCES WITH OUR LOVED ONES HAVE BECOME A PRIORITY. SO I HAVE REPUBLISHED THIS ARTICLE FROM MY VERY SPECIAL TRIP THIS TIME LAST YEAR, ONE THAT I WISH I HAD DONE SOONER. TRULY SPECIAL THE TIEPOLO BALL IN VENICE…….PERFECT VALENTINES GIFT….. BOOK IT NOW FOR 2023 AND START PLANNING THOSE BALLGOWNS !
Many people think these sort of events are not open to them . That they are exclusive and you have to be invited by someone ‘on the list’, but these days nearly all events are accessible. I was lucky enough to be invited to this ball but I discovered that these tickets can be bought through many travel and event Companies either as packages or just the ticket alone. Not too expensive either for a truly magical experience. Unfortunately the carnival was halted for the final two days due to the spread of Coronavirus in Italy.
THE VENICE CARNEVALE
An annual carnival held for two weeks in February ending on shrove Tuesday. It initially began in 1162 but really became official and firmly established as a part of Venetian life in the 17th and 18th centuries but was outlawed in 1797 and really did not return in full force until 1979 ! Elaborate masks and full venetian dress are the order of the day not just for the ball but to parade around St Marks Square. But be prepared to have thousands of photographs taken and your lunch continually interrupted. Now I know how Lady Gaga feels.
THE TIEPOLO BALL
Held at the world famous Palazzo Pisani Moretta this is considered one of the most anticipated events of the carnival. In one of the most beautiful palaces with ceiling frescos and masterpieces adorning the walls. Chandeliers lit by candlelight, grand staircases and situated right on the Grand Canal. Arriving by water taxi to be greeted by handsome footmen adorned in their finery is a memory to be cherished.
Following prosecco and canapes we sit down to a four course meal prepared by a Michelin chef whilst a renaissance quintet play, magicians and opera singers follow. A full entertainment programme throughout dinner. After dinner a Master of Ceramonies leads us through some traditional dances, a word of warning you are seperated from your partner most of the evening as you are required to dance with several partners.
The evening culminates with a chocolate fountain and very naughty pastries, coffee, hot chocolate and copious amounts of prosecco !
Tickets for the Tiepolo ball vary from £500-£750 depending on if you want to be seated in the main hall or side hall. Venetoinside.com or Veniceoperatickets.com. Or you many operators include special packages to the Venice balls . Take a look at the following Companies to tailor yours weekendalacarte.co.uk or Italien-short-breaks.co.uk. Many of the package Companies pre book water taxis and Ateliers for your costumes.
I would totally recommend La Venexiana Atelier, Frezzaria, San Marco 1135. (tel 041/5286888) . We sent our measurements ahead for them to tailor our outfits. I have to say I do think our costumes were the best that we saw. Beware though wigs are £100 extra. They are just for hire but at least you don’t have to pay excess baggage to get them home. Although I have just checked on Amazon and they do have stunning Venetian Ballgowns for £30! So this works too. Although this was part of the special experience visiting the Atelier by the Rialto Bridge with lots of Italien seamstresses fussing over you.
Definately buy your ornate masks whilst in Venice. Usually handmade in Venice and beautiful masks from 20 euros are a lovely keepsake. Although I went all out with a Swarovski crystal mask for 180 euros…….I got carried away ! The ‘bodyguard’ went for a large beaked mask which seemed to have a rather exciting effect on all the ladeeeez !
FLIGHTS AND HOTELS
Easyjet and BA flights start at a very reasonable £45 round trip for a 2 hour flight. Prices are excellent at this time of year and do not seem to get hiked up like other festivals. But bear in mind if you are not on a package a private water taxi transfer can be about 150 euros. Although the vaporetti is cheaper at 15 euros but instead of 20 mins will take twice as long.
Travelling around venice on the vaporetti is cheap 7.50 euros for a single trip one direction (valid for 75 minutes) .
There are hotels to suit ANY budget in Venice and hundred to choose from. There are the big grand ones like The Cipriani and The Gritti Palace. Medium level The Danieli and The Monaco. But even the smaller ones on the canal can give you more of a traditional Italien flavour with Gondoliers passing by the window singing. This one is over to you and your own personal taste and budget. Stay close to St Marks Square/Rialto Bridge, if it is your first visit . Easy to get lost in the winding back streets of venice.
THINGS TO DO
If you are staying longer some places I love in Venice:
Morning coffee and croissants at The Florian in St Marks Square
Guggenheim Museum (vaporetti stop ‘Salute”) view the Jackson Pollock collection.
La Terrazza Restaurant by the Rialto
A gondolier ride (approx 80 euros for 30 mins). More expensive at night.
A Bellini at Harrys Bar
A Rossini at The Gritti Palace made with fresh strawberries.
Lunch at Hotel Monaco
People watching at The Londres on the terrace.
St Marks Basilica for culture but pre book skip the line tickets.
Get away from the crowds for a romantic meal and great pasta cross to the other side of the canal (Salute stop) . Ristorante Cantinone Storico is my secret place sssssshhhhh dont tell anyone ……please.
Oh and at Carnevale time PARADE PARADE PARADE ! Such fun to be immersed in the whole experience.
So get planning Stylistas for 2022 for one of the most stylish events of the year. YOU SHALL GO TO THE BALL CINDERS. Have fun !
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: I HAVE VISITED VENICE SEVERAL TIMES BUT I HAVE TO SAY I ENJOY IT FAR MORE IN THE WINTER MONTHS THAN THE SUMMER WHEN IT IS AT ITS MIST HAUNTING AND ROMANTIC……AND LESS CROWDED. BEAUTIFUL SUNNY CRISP WINTER DAYS.
AS THE TIME IS DRAWING NEAR WHEN WE MAY BE ABLE TO RESUME OUR LOVE OF TRAVEL I AM GOING TO REPUBLISH SOME TRAVEL BLOGS IN THE COMING WEEKS TO ENABLE YOU TO START PLANNING MINI BREAKS IN SOME OF MY FAVOURITE PLACES. SO LETS START SMALL WITH A MINI WEEKEND BREAK TO ONE OF MY FAVOURITE CITIES. DO IT MY WAY !!!
Normally when I write the travel articles I have visited the places I write about several times. But I must confess I have never visited Berlin before until recently as it didn’t excite me. How wrong could I be !! I have totally fallen in love with the place and cannot wait to return . What an exciting, efficient intriguing city. Do not wait any longer like I did …..
So I am going to share with you my 48 hours of fun and culture
Whisked to our Hotel The Ritz Carlton at Potsdamer Platz. Now on of my firm favourite hotels and perfectly situated between East and West Berlin. Undeniably chic with an Art deco design with three great bars and an award winning restaurant. Unpack and explore the local area.
Dinner at COA almost opposite the hotel. Asian fusion fresh healthy food. Woks and bowls lightly cooked. Dim Sum 5E for three so we ordered a whole selection. Prawn Massaman curry swiftly followed 11.90E . great value amazing food and cool surroundings.
Back to the hotel and head to the Curtain Club. Live music and one of the most innovative cocktail menus that confuses the senses. We order a Prophecy which arrives smoking with wood chips to “let the reincarnation of your soul flow through your throat”. My ‘Mori San’ a sake based drink promoting positivity, security and balance. Mysterious venue I felt like Marlene Dietrich !
We embark on a day of sightseeing but not before heading to the Berlin Mall 15 minutes walk. The mall was so empty with some fabulous shopping and we were presented with maps on entering .Worth a visit and lots of coffee bars. We then grab a taxi which was fairly easy but the buses run every 10 minutes 24 hours a day, to what remains of the Berlin wall. 10 minute journey. The wall is steeped in history and the graffiti makes very interesting reading. ensure you visit the EAST SIDE GALLERY part of the wall. It is the 30th Anniversary of the wall coming down this November and there is a festival and concert planned. Checkpoint Charlie is another stop point but more central 10 minutes away.
We decide to lunch at Pirates Berlin with a view of the wall and the river on the other side. A club with a small beach we sit on the deck outside as it was a lovely sunny day. What a fun place great service and good food. This is the only restaurant on the east bank of the East side gallery. Would reccomend. Very much burgers, pizza and pasta. But had a sweet potato and avocado salad for 9 E and a German staple a half kilo of grilled tiger prawns.
After lunch ( we spent longer here than anticipated soaking up the atmosphere), grab another taxi to THE BRANDENBURG GATE. One of Berlins most important and historical monuments. It really is a lovely part of Berlin around this part the long Boulevards remind me of Paris in a bygone era. In fact its address is Pariser Platz.
We visit the ‘ Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’ 2711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid. Haunting and very quiet.
The Reichstag Building and German Parliament is a short walk away but we discover you have to prebook to tour inside. Strolling through the park on our return we decide to sample Bratwurst hot dogs at one of the many kiosks. Wnen in Germany.
After my reflexology appointment in the wellness area this must be arranged in advance but a welcome relief from my day of walking. Still full from Bratwurst we decide to head out for cocktails. So we head for a legendary Kaiser Cup cocktail at the equally legendary HOTEL ADLON KEMPINSKI. This is a Hotel from the golden age. The hotel where Michael Jackson famously , for the wrong reasons, dangled his child from the window. Dietrich, Chaplin, Garland have all stayed here. A hotel from a bygone era. A pianist gently tinkling the ivories this was a very sophisticated setting. There is a reasonable light bar menu too if you should need sustenance with the very potent Kaiser Cup.
On our return to the Hotel we cant resist the call of The Fragrance Bar where Cocktails are made based on your favourite perfume . “A sensorial experience”. Guests are invited to discover their signature drink by finding their favourite elements of a fragrance. This is like a mad scientists laboratory with a long line of test tubes. One problem I love smoky woody perfumes but I didn’t love my smoky woody cocktail. Neither of which I remember the name, sorry, blame it on the Kaiser Cups. But this bar is one of a kind. Even if you stay at another Hotel, come here for this aromatic experience. After one cocktail (well at this bar !) we head to bed.
As we love our art we decide a visit to the Dali museum a short walk away is a must. We spend a morning here and buy some beautiful arty books. This was an impressive museum with some great works. Very quiet and nicely laid out. A real treat.
We head back to the hotel to checkout and leave the luggage with concierge. A table at POTS the widely acclaimed restaurant at the Ritz Carlton perfect for a special lunch to end a perfect trip in a perfect city.
My word the food here was special 26 euros for three course set menu !!
Beetroot,mozarella and pistachio to start , followed by red perch with saffron and fennel and banana souffle. The sommelier paired the wines perfectly and allowed us some tastings at the table. I have been saving myself for this lunch . Magnifique ! ( I know its French but my German is not good )
After lunch our driver is waiting in the foyer to whisk us on the short drive to the airport. Everything about this City is efficient, clean , spacious and surprisingly relaxing. I cant believe i waited so long I certainly wont wait too long to return. 10/10
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: BERLIN REALLY IS AN EXCITING CITY AND A GREAT PLACE TO START AS WE DIP OUR TOE BACK INTO TRAVEL AGAIN AND ONLY LESS THAN 2 HOURS FLYING TIME.
****NOTE***** As many of us are dreaming of a quick getaway it may actually happen in the not so distant future so I have decided to republish some of my travel articles for you to stop dreaming and start planning(although I would not book yet). I thought I would start with my Jersey experience especially with the recent REAL HOUSEWIVES OF JERSEY making a recent splash on our screens.
I am a regular visitor to Jersey in the Channel Islands mainly because my parents live there. Perfect for a long weekend away and frequently overlooked as a travel destination. A 40 minute flight away and you can be on some of the best beaches in the world, temperatures typically 5 degrees hotter than the mainland and a whole host of Michelin star restaurants. All this in 9 x 5 miles of island. With all the fresh local produce that Jersey has to offer from the freshest seafood, the creamiest dairy and not forgetting the new potatoes this surely is a foodies dream. So as I have tried and tested most of the restaurants not the island over the years I decided to take my Knightsbridge based foodie friend for a culinary tour of Jersey for 48 hours of the finest food so come along with us !!!
Leave from Gatwick. Unfortunately at the time of publishing Jersey still do not fly from Heathrow however this is due to change. But we make it in time for dinner! After settling in at my parents we head out to Mark Jordan On The Beach just a short walk away. We sat outside on the terrace on a warm evening with unparalleled views of the sea and the sun setting across the bay. This restaurant has a Bib Gourmand and was featured in the Tatler Best Restaurant Guide. I always feel if you are close to the sea then you really have to order seafood the saltiness in the air bring out the flavours. All the fish is local and the freshest I have tasted anywhere. I order the Brill with a crab tortellini on a lobster bisque while my guest ordered the whole grilled Plaice with a caper,prawn and cockle butter. Both dishes were outstanding and amazing value at £23 and £27 respectively. I left it up to my dinner guest to order a dessert to share a simply perfect raspberry souffle . Could not fault the food and service here and certainly could not find fault with the view. 10/10
After our morning yoga , green juice and copious black coffee . We decide not to ruin our culinary lunch today by having breakfast so we head to nearby Noirmont Point for a brisk bracing walk along the cliffs. It always seems to be windy here so take a sweater. On the south coast of Jersey withfabulous views across the bay and along the coastline. Steeped in history still has several German bunkers and a Martello tower. It is possible to have a local guide give you a tour of the area which is preserved in perpetuity to the men and women of jersey who died in World War 2.
We head to St Brelades bay one of the most beautiful wide beaches on the Island. I could be forgiven for thinking I was in the Caribbean but with its huge empty beach with white sands …..it is better. But before we change into our beachwear we head to our next planned restaurant the infamous OYSTER BOX overlooking the Ocean. Always a “must do” in every Jersey/good food article. Super chic and minimalist interior.The menu could be written for me with lots of tartare, carpaccio, oysters and seafood and a good wine list too. I opted for one of the specials Hake with artichokes and cauliflower gremolata , my guest chose the scallops and pancetta with a pea and mint puree. All paired with a bottle of my favourite rose Chateau Minuty £38 very reasonable. We passed on dessert although the dessert menu was very tempting. But I AM planning on donning the bikini right after lunch. Once again , outstanding. Family owned since 1954 they also own the Crab Shack next door if you want more casual dining. 10/10
Hire a couple of sunbeds for £5 each (£35 each in Cannes !!) and sleep off lunch in the warm September sunshine .
Before organising our transport home we head to L’Horizon to the terrace bar for gin and tonics. A lovely spot overlooking the beach with glass panels to protect you from the wind whilst not spoiling the incredible views. Very cordial here and they ALSO have a great menu for lunch.
We opt for a very healthy clean light supper at my friends fabulous restaurant NUDE FOOD . One based in St Helier but we headed close by to the newly opened NUDE BEACH to check it out. right on the beach at St Aubins the restaurant is as light and clean as the menu. The menus is “light clean and uncomplicated” just how I like it !! We found it kind of refreshing to move away from the Michelin style foods and just have a simple healthy supper. No alcohol is served here. I opted for an Immune Boost (apple,carrot,ginger,turmeric and lemon) to drink £4.20. The Asian Poke bowl full off wonderful asian vegetables and brown rice £9.50, I topped with some grilled halloumi unconventional, I know, but there are no rules. As a clean eater I have always loved their food in St Helier but this new setting by the beach was off the scale ! The closest thing to heaven . Don’t be put off by the Nude Beach sign though you do get to keep your clothes on!!!!
Strolling back along the beach to home without feeling too heavy was great.
Our last day and I decided I wanted my foodie guest to sample another Beach Cafe . So we decide to power walk to the beach at St Peter ( well we have to keep working these calories off). Lovely and quiet and no one on the beach. This is basically a beach shack with a very extensive menu and the best full English Breakfast on the island. As we had another gastronomic lunch to look forward to we had two giant cups of coffee and a Portuguese bacon roll to share.
We board Le Petit Train Jerseys very own little train that accommodate up to 60 people to travel along the coast from Liberation Square St Helier to St Aubins. A 35 minute journey and for £8.50 a great way to see this part of Jersey.
I have two Michelin options for lunch today we opted for Oceans restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel, St Brelade . But a quick mention for Samphire in St Helier formerly known as Ormers. The chef Sean Rankin has since parted ways but already Samphire have earned their Michelin status back. Remains one of my favourites with stunning decor, exceptional food and service and a great Saturday brunch menu until 2 pm. If you are here for longer I would not hesitate to recommend.
Oceans restaurant is located within The Atlantic, listed status as a small luxury Hotel of the world.The sole one in Jersey. Overlooking a beautiful unoccupied swimming pool with further views extending across St Ouens bay. The hotel is up high so makes the views even more impressive. This elegant calm dining room is quiet. We opt for the set menu 2 course for £22.50 and 3 courses for £27.50. Starters of scorched and tartare Mackerel followed by pan fried salmon on a bed of smoked haddock and vegetables was divine. Only the desserts let the meal down with a take on ‘arctic roll’ which did not compete with the £1 one from all good and (otherwise ) supermarkets. Surprising from such an esteemed award winning restaurant.
We continued our exceptional bottle of Gavi down by the pool and as we had brought along our swimwear we lazed the afternoon away in the exceptional surroundings and absorbed the view. A few champagnes later we headed back home to get ready for our flight back to the mainland………. and a week of fasting !
There are a number of great “Luxury” Hotels to stay in Jersey. As I am not sure my parents can accommodate you all …….but you can ask !!
Here are a few good ones
THE ROYAL YACHT ST HELIER
HOTEL DE FRANCE ST HELIER
ST BRELADES BAY HOTEL
THE ATLANTIC HOTEL ST BRELADE
L’HORIZON ST BRELADE
LONGUEVILLE MANOR ST SAVIOUR
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: EVEN BETTER IF YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR 48 HOURS MIDWEEK TO MAKE THE MOST OF CHEAP FLIGHTS AND EMPTY BEACHES. EASYJET FLIGHTS FROM £40 PP.
Having just returned from a long weekend in Como I thought it would be great to share some of the secrets of Como with you guys. It is surprisingly difficult to find great restaurants as it is fairly quiet as it is mostly about villa living here. There is not a sophisticated social scene and it really is a place to go to rest and recuperate. However Como is still one of the most magical places I have been to and just a couple of hours from the hustle and bustle of London you can restore the senses with peace and tranquility whats not to like ?
As you only have a few days to unwind let me save you some time and share the most amazing weekend I have just had and some gorgeous discoveries I stumbled upon. It is surprising how many people who have visited Como cannot give you a recommendation for a good restaurant as they just stumble on them by accident and can “never remember the name”. So let me give you my secret guide to getting the best from Como but sssshhhhhh…….. dont tell anyone else.
We arrive late afternoon after taking the 3.30pm BA flight to Milan from Heathrow. Hire a car but keep it small for the winding Como mountainous roads. You wont regret this. Staying at a firm favourite Il Duca Hotel close to La Scala and La Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II the wonderful designer shopping mall. Yes before heading up to Como we have one night in Milan for shopping (Como not great for shopping) and dinner at Savinis. We choose the lobster linguini and the sea bass with a bean and leek puree. Savinis has a wonderful history of famous visitors since 1867 and is one of the most prestigious restaurants in Milan. You can also choose to visit Il Duomo the beautiful cathedral in the same vicinity. Beautifully lit up at night. Back to the beautiful Il Duca for drinks on the rooftop terrace.
A relaxing coffee and croissants in one of the many street cafes before heading off to Lake Como for the 1 hour drive (one toll e 1.70). The Mandarin Hotel is just beyond the town of Como in stunning Blevio one of the early points on Lake Como . The Mandarin newly opened 2019 is a welcome luxury Hotel. I cannot praise this Hotel enough but be warned once you have stayed here nowhere else will do. From the beautiful restaurant along the lake, the floating swimming pool, sumptuous spa and outstanding service , expensive but worth every penny and 2/3 nights are plenty. From the main entrance on the winding road down to the front door of the hotel we were mesmerised by the view across the lake. We were welcomed with glasses of Prosecco and ushered to the best seats in the house to lap up the views and the prosecco.
A chauffeur driven buggy escorted us to the Villa Quercia to our penthouse suite with a large terrace and a bath tub the size of swimming pool. Champagne on ice and a cornucopia of macarons , pastries ,apperitivos.
A reservation was made for a late lunch although the Hotel was mostly empty (a CV19 blessing). I can thoroughly recommend the Tuna Tataki salad and the Rose Laria , produced locally.
As we have hot stone massages booked for the evening we decide to wind down in the Spa, although the sauna and tepidariums were shut due to CV the private suite was made available to us with its own sauna and steam room.
The massages were deeply relaxing . We felt we had been away for a week already. We retired to our terrace (and the champagne and pastries) just to stop and take in the views.
Decide to try out the floating pool. Dressed head to toe in Melissa Odabash head down to a very quiet pool area .The hotel has a full range of detox and revitilising fresh juices so I opt for a’ Bosco ‘to detox Even though the Hotel was not busy there is still an emphasis on peace and calm with SSSHHH notices everywhere. As we are still in full relaxation mode we have lunch at the Hotel again with King Prawns on a cacio pepe pasta. More Rose Laria.
Now one MUST DO when in Como is to hire a boat to take on the Lake. The Rivas are very expensive but the Mandarin has another option a speedboat (100€ per hour) with a sunbathing deck. Faster than a Riva so allows you to explore further and steps at the back of the boat enable a refreshing swim in the lake very chic. You can even take a picnic on board if you wish. This was the best fun and enabled us to bypass George Clooneys villa and more importantly discover a couple of stand out lakeside restaurants ( these are few and far between ). One such restaurant was Vapore in the village of Torno which once back on dry land we headed to this pretty village right next door to Blevio. Now a TIP if you stay on the main roads none of these places look amazing but dip down into the villages and they are breathtakingly beautiful. We meet Ali who owns Vapore we then find an equally stunning restaurant Belvedere …..there was Ali again yes he owns this one too. We end up there for a couple of hours when the locals invited us to join them for Franciacorta Rose . I love Italiens ! We make reservations that evening for Vapore. Head to a cafe bar on the lake for Gelato …….yes you guessed it Ali is there too. This village is picture perfect.
That evening we head to Vapore the restaurant is full to the brim we pass a celebrity wall of its past visitors including Robert de Niro, Harry Styles and Silvio Berlusconi . The setting, the food and the service was exquisite. I had fish fresh from the lake and the Tiramisu was unmissable ! As we watched the sun set over the lake I defy anyone to find a more perfect setting. This will be a permanent fixture on our future visits.
Today we decide to venture a little further afield to the town of Bellagio. A tourists favourite. It has many boutiques and restaurants. Although is very busy and parking initially is very difficult. But as you come into the centre of the village carry on out the other side where we discovered a huge hillside car park and the walk back to the village was really very nice although a lot of steps and hills just to give you some warning. Wear walking shoes if you are planning a visit. The restaurants here were catering for the tourist and it took us a while as foodies to locate a really fabulous restaurant. But we found it. SUISSE, although it was authentic Italien. The best Caprese Salad , salt baked sea bass with olives,tomatoes,capers and olive oil. I am salivating just thinking about this scrummy lunch in a little square by the ƒerry stop with white clothed tables. Try it !!
Bellagio is known as “The Pearl of Lake Como” but not sure we would revisit as it was a very busy town and not the r&r we were looking for. A 45 minute hair raising cliff top drive from the Mandarin , honestly we were glad to be back in the tranquility of Blevio.
After a long day we retire to the elegant Mandarin bar spouting tunes of a bygone era. Of course while you are here it would be rude not to try George Clooneys Casamigas tequila on the rocks, it really is very smooth.
Unfortunately time to head home (about 30 mins direct to Malpensa Airport, Milan). The wonderful staff are there to say goodbye. Honestly it was the hardest goodbye of any trip both to the staff and the beautiful Lago Di Como. We spend some time before we leave just soaking up the view and doing nothing that is the real secret of The Lake.
We vow to return before the Summer is out…………just like everyone else !
I know we have been cooped up for far too long. Many of you are probably dreaming of far flung places or just going to eat out at your favourite restaurants. So I thought I would share with you 6 of my favourite restaurants around the world ., my perennial favourites that I have visited on numerous occasions and they are consistently outstanding. Ready for you to make the reservation at the earliest opportunity. Or just inspire you for a few more weeks. Carry on dreaming style bunnies.
LONDON: COYA PICCADILLY
Located in the basement, of a grand building close to The Athaneum Hotel, a restaurant in disguise from the outside you could be forgiven for not noticing. But once inside , this is party central , a whole South American Fiesta as London goes about its business in the streets above. Part of the Arjun Waney stable that includes The Arts Club, Zuma, Roka and La Petit Maison. Fresh Peruvian cuisine several small dishes tapas style. Express Lunch Menu £28. Or try the legendary Saturday Brunch with bottomless cocktails, performers and DJs. Try a Pisco Sour in the Pisco bar. Great vibe here still one of the best in London
USA: NOBU MALIBU
I have tears of joy when I eat here as it is simply utopia. Several of my birthdays have been spent languishing over very long lunches by the ocean (always request an outside table) …..well you cannot possibly leave until the sun sets. The standard Nobu menu (although there is NOTHING standard about this food) but this high end Japanese food always tastes better by the sea. The Black Cod and the Popcorn shrimp are unbelievable. There is a great bar here too overlooking the ocean try a pre lunch salty Margherita .
ITALY: ZUMA ROME
Having attended the opening of Zuma Roma I just kept on returning! Identical menu to Zuma London a firm favourite of mine (well I cant put ALL the Zumas on the list although I would if I could). But the setting is one of the nicest of all the Zuma restaurants and I have been to ALL around the world. Located In Fendi square close to the Spanish Steps Have pre dinner drinks on the roof terrace with a fabulous view of Rome. Order the spicy beef tenderloin and the sea bass with burnt tomato and ginger relish oh and the spicy tuna tataki and…. I literally could carry on. If you cant get to Rome try ANY Zuma close to you they are all amazing.
DUBAI: BAR 101 THE PALM
A firm favourite since it opened 10 years ago, I last visited in January , a couple of months ago. It is still amazing. The setting is outstanding, the food unbelievable , go for the crab risotto or the salt baked sea bass, and the live band from 4pm rounded the visit off beautifully. Quite hard to reach as it is on the tip of one of the palms or can be reached by speed boat. As it appears to be floating on a jetty in the middle of the ocean. It is part of the One and Only Hotel on the Palm. Seek it out !
FRANCE: FEU FOLLETT MOUGINS
Mougins is situated just outside Cannes in the Provence region of South of France. I lived here for 10 years so I know the region and the restaurants very well. A cornucopia of gastronomic places to eat Feu Follett remains one of my favourites located in Old Mougins in a square that look like a film set ! There are set menus for lunch and dinner of truly superb food in a memorable setting. Tres romantique!
JERSEY: MARK JORDAN ON THE BEACH
Gorgeous setting overlooking the beach at St Peters. The menu is amazing value at £27.50 for three courses at lunchtime of Michelin star quality food. Even the a la carte Dinner menu is exceptional value and they serve my very favourite of skate wing with capers and prawns (£19.50) but unmissable is the widely talked about Strawberry Souffle . If you are visiting Jersey be sure to stop by and try some of the best food in Jersey possibly the world !
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: HEY FELLOW STYLISTAS INSTEAD OF ME DOING ALL THE HARD WORK EATING AT THESE FABULOUS PLACES I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE EATERIES THAT WE COULD SHARE WITH THE GROUP AND ADD TO OUR LIST !
Bad behaviour always becomes more pronounced when you are crammed into a confined area when there is no escape ! Having just returned from another long haul trip it never fails to surprise me how inconsiderate some people can be of others. This can occur in First , business or economy class it is not limited. So to prevent situations escalating higher than the 36 000 feet you are flying at and your blood pressure reaching a higher temperature than your destination let me highlight some situations where your own behaviour may need to be checked in with your baggage !
Following my recent article on the downfall of manners many of you contacted me about manners on aeroplanes so I have consolidated your gripes into the following list. So lets work together to bring back the joy to travel !!
I have never quite understood passengers that travel with quite so much hand luggage to save them 20 minutes at the other end. Lugging it all around the lounge when it could be easily checked in to ensure you have a far more relaxing and enjoyable time. BUT there is nothing more infuriating than all this hand luggage clogging up the queues at security while all these cases are unpacked and repacked. Make everyones jobs easier and waiting times quicker and CHECK IT IN !!!!
When boarding an aircraft WITH ALL YOUR HAND LUGGAGE move out of the gangway as soon as possible so boarding can take place as quick as possible. I have seen passengers leisurely unpacking in the aisle totally oblivious to the 400 people waiting to pass by.
Recently travelling in Business class on a £7000 air fare to enable me to sleep before a meeting that I was heading to I was mortified to find I was seated next to a baby that literally cried ALL night. Message to parents its all in the title BUSINESS class for business people who need to work on the run. Even if you all travelled Business and First all your life you have to adjust when you have a baby please consider other passengers. I would never have booked my baby into a business cabin I promise you we went everywhere by coach class. Message to airlines PLEASE make Business and First cabins child free until at least the age of 12 when they can actually appreciate it and WE can appreciate them. Remember people are paying thousands of pounds (and other currencies) JUST to avoid babies and badly behaved children.
On the subject of children . Parents please stay in control. DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD KICK THE BACK OF THE SEAT IN FRONT FOR 11 CONSECUTIVE HOURS ! It is entirely up to you to keep them occupied.
Reclining seats are a feature on all airlines in all classes let the person behind know that you are reclining the seat beforehand ensuring they don’t have any drinks/food on the tray behind. ALWAYS put your seat upright at meal times out of courtesy for the person seated behind to give them room to enjoy their meal. We know how cramped it can be to dine on a plane.
What ever personal habits you have developed in your own personal space leave them there. A plane is NOT your own personal space. Do not subject your fellow travellers to nose picking, throat clearing, feet picking , wind breaking, sniffing, cutting nails (yes it really happens). Remember other people have THEIR own personal space too. Respect it.
Please I beg you, NO BARE FEET. Of course you want to remove outdoor footwear on a long haul flight I get it, replace these with flight socks or flight slippers. Don’t put your feet on the arms of the seats in front or on the top of the seat or ON THE FOOD TRAY. A flurry of you tube videos have been posted recently showing just this.
Check the volume of your headphones. Sitting next to someone with constant tinny noise of music that you don’t like and even if you do like it is so annoying after the first 3 hours.
Toilet time. OMG how long does it take ? What are you people doing in there ????? When there is approx one restroom between 100 passengers please be aware that there will probably be 10 people waiting with crossed legs outside. Do what you have to do quickly and efficiently then leave. Oh after you have tidied up your mess on the seat , on the floor and in the sink and sanitised the entire area . I avoid these dreadful cubicles if I possibly can so when I need to go I need to go so GET OUT OF THERE !
Finally please treat cabin crew with respect and courtesy. do not demand and say please and thank you. They have a difficult job and a limited time to do it in. Stay in your seat while they are serving from the trolley , although I have it on good authority the Captain always creates some turbulence during these times and the seatbelt sign just must go on…..
There will be points here that we all recognise and there may be some we are guilty of ourselves if this is you. STOP. THINK. Let us make air travel a more beautiful experience like it used to be.
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: WE LIVE IN A SELFISH WORLD. TO CREATE STYLE AND BEAUTY AROUND US RELIES ON OTHER PEOPLE HAVING THE SAME VALUES. LET US START THINKING ABOUT OUR BEHAVIOUR AND THE AFFECT IT HAS ON OTHER PEOPLE. I HAVE FAITH WE ALL ULTIMATELY WANT. THE SAME OUTCOME.
If you are looking for a weekend in London away from the crowds, queues and over subscribed West End. I bring to you an interesting alternative from the usual weekend haunts of Knightsbridge. Mayfair and Trafalgar Square. I recently stayed at The Soho House owned The Ned at Poultry in the City of London. The wealthiest square mile in the world. A perfect weekend escape as the bankers and IT guys have all deserted the area for some much needed down time. leaving YOU to discover the peaceful haven that they never see. Great for this time of year as this area offers up some stunning restaurants and bars, culture and art galleries and all your christmas shopping in The Royal Exchange. Here you can find Aspinalls, Fortnum and Masons, Boodles, Tiffanys, Jo Malone, Penhaligons, Links to name but a few. All perfectly gift wrapped. Be warned though do your shopping here on your arrival day of Friday as most of these stores close for the weekend. But good to get this out of the way to ensure maximum enjoyment and relaxation in the most chilled place and best kept secret for a genuine London weekend escape.
So, now we have the shopping out of the way lets concentrate on what I love about this area.
WHERE TO STAY
THE NED has 250 1930s inspired bedrooms , 10 restaurants , spa and gym. With prices starting at £250 per night it represents real value for money. This imposing building and stunning facade was once Midland bank. The rooms are sumptuous and cosy perfect for a winters night and the bathrooms are stocked full of cowshed products (10 different shampoos and conditioners ) . There is also a “Mr Porter” (Net A Porter) menu you could turn up just with a handbag and order anything you may have forgot and it arrives in minutes delivered direct to your room from Spanx to swimwear to clothing to cosmetics.
The price also includes access to The Spa with its amazing 20 metre indoor pool, Moroccan Hammam, and several cowshed treatment rooms and nail bar and blow bar. Even vita drips are offered here in the Elixir clinic.
Truly you could just stay holed up in the Ned for the whole weekend but if you do want to venture out then lets look at some of the amazing eateries and places to visit.
Some of my favourites……..
Well The Ned itself has a number of diverse eateries downstairs in the “faded glamour of a 1930s ocean liner” feel. Its lively with live music in the centre of the restaurants. You can choose from healthy californian to Jewish to Sushi to italien every taste catered for. My particular favourites are Malibu Kitchen for healthy by the ocean fare. Cecconis , I love in Mayfair and here at The Ned it never diappoints and the setting feels grander. Great for cocktails with a big sit around square bar.
Coq D’Argent directly across the road. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner. the restaurant is set up high with a garden and the best views across the city. Popular with City peoples during the week but easier to get a table on the weekends although booking advised. The food and service here is exceptional with a set menu starting from £29.50 for two courses. Elegant and white table clothed glamorous restaurant. Perfect for a romantic dinner.
COYA as my followers are aware i am a massive fan of Coya in Picadilly. So was very excited to find the newly opened Coya in Angel Court Throgmorton St. Party atmosphere and fresh clean Peruvian cuisine and not so clean Pisco Sours ! Bottomless brunches with live music on Saturdays from 12.30pm onwards and only a short stagger back to The Ned !!
HAWKSMOOR SPITALFIELDS is the place if you like a steak. The best steaks in London. All day dining so this one can work around your own schedule.
LE PONT DE LA TOUR just over a mile away from The Ned is an old perennial that never gets tired situated on the river right by Tower Bridge this could fit neatly into your sightseeing schedule if you are choosing to visit Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Saturday and Sunday have a Brunch or Dinner menu with old school french cuisine and an excellent wine menu. Absolutely beautiful setting and a lovely romantic evening stroll back to your Hotel, weather permitting.
I must mention here my little secret a great champagne bar with incredible views and outside seating , perfect for the summer months. JIM BO LAW located within the DORSETT HOTEL Aldgate just jump in the elevator press the pineapple to head straight to the top floor. Although no food served here.
There are so many great eateries in this part of town so experiment.
THINGS TO DO
A few suggestions
St Pauls Cathedral – pre book a guided tour
Tower of London – a firm favourite
Spitalfields Market – one of Londons oldest Markets. Open 7 days a week. Original clothing and arts from over 80 independent designers.
Guildhall Art Gallery- Guildhall Yard. Over 250 paintings, drawings and sculpture. Also houses in the basement Londons only Roman Amphitheatre unearthed in 1988. Both free admission.
St Swithins Wine Shipper , St Switihins Lane opens until 10pm Friday but alas closed on a weekend. a destination for wine enthusiasts 48 wines to try from state of the art enomatic machines. also very rare wines can be tried. There is a lovely tasting terrace and platters and nibbles are served to enhance your wine tasting experience. No booking required.
Sky Gardens , Fenchurch St (the walkie talkie building) for a 360 degree view of London amongst a lot of greenery, plants and trees.
Typically British Tour a 2 hour tour starting at St Pauls available only on a weekend 13.00 -18.00. For tourists to see how British people typically live but how interesting to go as a Brit to see how we are portrayed. great fun and always a good crowd. Be aware they are walking tours.
If you are missing the call of the West End theatres head down to the banks of the Thames, New Globe Walk close to Tower bridge for some Shakespeare matinees or evening performances of HenryVI or Richard III. Check schedule for listings. But to see Shakespeare within The reconstructed Globe Theatre as it is supposed to be is a real treat.
Hopefully there are some activities of interest on this list. But as you can see there are many experiences to indulge in the City. It may not have crossed your mind to plan a WEEKEND visit to the City’s square mile but there is something refreshing, new and exciting without the mass crowds. It feels classy like London used to.
JOJOS STYLELIST TIP: Ssssssssssh stylistas lets keep it a secret !
This article is obviously my own point of view of whats hot (44 degrees !) in Vegas. Having just returned a couple of days ago and visited this sumptuous city 20 + times I do however, consider myself a bit of an expert on the place.
WHERE TO STAY
For me it has to be THE VENETIAN every time. I made a point this week of visiting the hot contenders of this Hotel and there were none. THE WYNN too tacky CAESARS too big, BELLAGIO in need of a refurbishment in fact had not changes since I last visited 15 years ago. THE COSMOPOLITAN very sleazy but great if you are in your twenties. These hotels have some great restaurants and shops ( more later) but to stay in….. no it has to be The Venetian. Still holding its glamour and all the rooms are indulgent suites with living room area and fabulous spacious bathrooms with walk in showers and grand bath tubs. The Venezia Tower offers quieter accommodation away from the main hotel and has a quieter lagoon pool with the fabulous BOUCHON on hand for brunch and lunch.
The main pool and bar areas had a complete refurbishment as you can see above seated at the ‘Tiffany blue’ bar awaiting Margaritas. This hotel provides some of the best restaurants in Vegas and the standard is incredible now in Vegas. You really do not need to leave this resort but in the best interests of this article we ventured out into the searing 44 degree heat !!
WHERE TO EAT
Well first of all lets start at THE VENETIAN with two of my favourites. CANONITA right next to the Gondolas and singing gondoliers its very romantic and you could believe you are in Venice ! With happy hours 3-6 and 6-9pm and all well drinks, wine and cocktails $5 whats not to like ?? The food is VERY good I had grilled salmon and quinoa but let myself down on the cocktails ! ( its Vegaaas )
ONCE (on-say) is a restaurant that opened just a year ago . Peruvian cuisine and great Pisco Sours. This is a quiet and moody restaurant located over in the PALAZZO side of the Venetian. Great for getting away from the hustle and bustle of Vegas. This is a particularly good recommendation as there are not very many quiet locations in Vegas. The Palazzo is perfect when you had enough of crowds and the ringing of slot machines.
TAO in the Venetian is an old favourite for Asian Cuisine although this may have now been surpassed by ZUMA located in The Cosmopolitan. Regular readers will know how much I love the Japanese fayre served up by Zuma all over the world well Vegas is no exception. The food is always consistent and the menu is standard throughout the brand. The restaurant is chic located on the third floor my advice would be to rush through the lower floors as rapidly as possible !
One of my other London favourites is now located in the Cosmopolitan and right next door to Zuma…….MILOS. Again the standard menu , gorgeous Greek food and a beautiful setting. So you have a wonderful choice here depending on your foodie feeling that evening. The cosmopolitan is a short taxi ride up the strip ($10).
However my next two discoveries are right next door to our hotel. THE WYNN. ANDREAS, super sleek all white pan Asian restaurant with a fabulous cocktail bar.
SINATRAS quite close to Andreas on the ground floor was quite the opposite. Old school , Hollywood charm was transported back to the rat pack era.
Just a quick mention of two restaurants that looked interesting that we did not have time to visit. HELLS KITCHEN on the centre of the strip just outside CAESARS PALACE based on the tv show with a red and blue side of the kitchen competing. A Gorden Ramsay restaurant , looked like fun. Also located inside CAESARS PALACE ……..VANDERPUMPS COCKTAIL GARDEN. Newly launched but the queues to get in were just too long……I don’t queue ! Wanted to pay homage to Lisa though whom I have met on a number of occasions and adore her.
Wow enough eating places, we need to be in bikinis by day. Which is a neat segway into……..
WHAT TO DO IN VEGAS
There is nothing you CAN’T do in Vegas. ASK CONCIERGE. They can arrange bungee jumpimg, Grand canyon visits by helicopter/light plane/horseback. Cowboy ranches,war games, parachute jumps or for the lazy girls guide…..
SUNBATHING but go in April or October or you will need a cabana in the summer months that can cost £1000+ per day but if there is a lot of you in your party can be a perfect day . I would definitely recommend as you are very well looked after.
SPA these are very good in Vegas and gets you out of the sun for an hour or so. Every hotel has a good one the VENETIAN has the CANYON RANCH SPA close to the main pool.
CASINO of course thats why you came ? don’t be shy if you have not had a flutter before. Book a private gaming lesson all the casinos do them usually for free ! I would definitely recommend CRAPS as your money goes further and the odds of beating the house are greater than roulette or blackjack so much so UK casinos usually don’t have CRAPS tables. The excitement builds and you meet many new people as you are all playing the table together.
SHOWS we saw two shows while we were there. DIANA ROSS who was simply outstanding. It was very emotional. MATT GOSS at 1OAK at THE MIRAGE (directly opposite The Venetian) with a rat pack show which was intimate and great fun. In fact he bought the audience several tequilas. Brilliant. Both in for long runs so catch these shows if you can. Another good show at THE MIRAGE is the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL “LOVE” show (there are many CDS shows in Vegas) but this is the best one. I have seen them all over the years. There are so many shows to book it is up to your personal preference but the big names get booked up so buy before you fly !
As well as the best Theatre Vegas has the BEST SHOPPING. There are fabulous malls in the hotels but take it from me you only have to head to THE FORUM at CAESARS PALACE for all the designer things that you want but don’t need. This Mall is an experience in itself a Rome re-creation that is better than Rome itself !
Wow my 5 days here as left me exhausted at least i get a full 10 hours sleep on the way home as LAS VEGAS you are too busy too sleep ! VIVA LAS VEGAS !! Night Night everyone …until next time zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
JOJOS STYLE LIST TIP: PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE BEFORE YOU GO THERE REALLY IS SOOOO MUCH TO DO IN THIS CITY. DONT FORGET TO BUILD IN REST TIME.
HAPPY Birthday to me ! I was lucky enough to be taken to Rome for dinner on my birthday to one of my favourite restaurants. Sometimes as you get older we need to throw caution to the wind and embrace adventure. At this age we are able to be more spontaneous. Now most people would not do a travel guide in less than 48 hours but 24 hours allows you to shoot off without too much planning or even booking time off work ! So lets do it !!
Firstly im assuming by your fifties most of you reading this would have visited the tourist sites of this eternal city. So there will be no queueing for the coliseum (although they now do a moonlight tour..) or visits to the Trevi Fountain or Pantheon. If you haven’t seen these then AUGUST is NOT the time to do it !!! So this is my 24 hours……………..
ARRIVE 2.30pm ( I never do early morning flights !!)
Our Chauffeur (BLACKLANE) takes us to the Hotel de La Ville located at the top of the Spanish Steps. I love to stay around this area personally there are many choices to suit all budgets here and along the VIA VENETO. a beautiful spa and rooftop bar overlooking the city. No need to spend time unpacking the beauty of a one day stay ! so head to the spa for a massage to prepare me for the evening.
A lovely evening stroll down the Spanish Steps (low heels only girls) and into PIAZZA DE SPAGNA. Great buzz on a warm balmy evening. Continue along the VIA CONDOTTI one of the most fashionable and stylish streets in Rome. Window shopping or otherwise ! Gucci, Hermes, Dolce and Gabbana, Harry Winston you name it they are all here .
Arrive at ZUMA , one of my favourite restaurants located in FENDI SQUARE. Head straight in the elevator to the rooftop terrace for a RHUBABU a rhubarb infused sake and vodka martini cocktail. Views across Rome.
Head down to the restaurant. Booking is absolutely advised. Whether in London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Miami or Rome the menu and format is never strays to far. We order my favourite dishes Tuna Tartare, Shrimp tempura , jumbo shrimp (the size of a lobster in its shell !!) spicy beef tenderloin and a selection of sushi. The food has to be tried to be believed please everyone just go at least once it never disappoints. Phenomenal !!
THE FOLLOWING MORNING
Don my trainers and shorts for a brisk morning power walk along the VIA VENETO and down through PIAZZA DE SPAGNA a useful way of avoiding the thousands of steps. End up at CAFE VITTI in PIAZZA di SAN LORENZO a quiet , picturesque square with the best breakfast menu. Italian for 8E or an American breakfast for 20E if you want to go all out.
After changing into our lunch attire and checking out of the hotel we leave our small amount of hand luggage with the concierge and head to an art gallery before lunch.
Now there are obviously many art galleries in Rome but not many people have heard of the VILLA AURORA on VIA LOMBARDIA. A spectacular 16th century villa full of art. Once one of the most spectacular gardens in Rome. This Villa has the only painting that Caravaggio executed on a ceiling ! A private visit can be organised by your concierge but needs to be booked in advance.
If we are going to make our flight we opt for an early lunch. We discover a fabulous restaurant away from the busy crowds close to the art gallery IL PICCOLO MONDO on VIA AURORA I do not hesitate in sharing this little gem with you. Freshly made pasta and market fish of the day. Reasonable prices and great service very relaxing. We dined on lobster pasta and beautifully fresh sea bass grilled.
After a few more glasses of wine and complimentary limoncellos we enjoy a sleepy one hour journey back to the airport where prior to boarding we find time for a “dry flotation tank” why have I never seen one of these in UK?? Fabulously relaxing and a perfect way to end our whirlwind 24 hours in ROME.
JOJOS STYLE LIST TIP : TRAVEL LIGHT TAKING HAND LUGGAGE IS THE ONLY WAY THIS CAN BE DONE. DONT OVERTHINK IT JUST DO IT 24 HOURS IS ALL IT NEEDS TO GET YOU OUT OF A RUT !!!!!!!