Tag Archives: london

Poppy’s Place, Parsons Green, London



Located at the Lillie Road end of Munster Road, Parsons Green, this new little cafe-diner is as kooky as it is tasty. Nestled on the corner of Bronsart Road, the glass facades provide a light, airy space which won’t induce Sunday morning hangover claustrophobia.

Poppy's Place, 255 Munster Road, Fulham, London SW6 6BW, United Kingdom

The Decor?

Poppy’s is beautifully decorated with white wooden walls and flooring giving it a beach-like, summery feel perfect for a summer’s day treat. A rustic, duck-egg blue cabinet houses a delicious spread of jams and breads (even crayons for your tots), while the vintage server at the front is bedecked with tea cups that little girls dream of. Cute wooden tables are adorned with beautiful fresh flowers in coloured glass vases and lab-like stools complement the uncluttered vibe.


The Grub?

The menu is varied and affordable and the quality of food, top-notch. Nothing on the breakfast/lunch menu exceeds £10 which is a pleasant surprise versus some local joints so if you’re after a bargainous, slap-up brekkie, take your pick. There’s something for everyone here, from smashed avocado on toast with poached eggs and a choice of sides such as grilled bacon or chorizo to bacon baps, porridge with winter fruit compote or greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit.


The Lunch?

Lunch options are equally diverse from house burger and macaroni cheese to a range of toasties, salads and baguettes. Steak, horseradish and rocket is a personal favourite. There’s even a Little Munsters Kids’ Menu including fish finger sandwiches, chicken wedges, baked beans on toast and boiled egg and soldiers.


Dinner too?

Open until 11pm, the dinner menu also includes a range of mouth-watering dishes, from fresh catch of the day to ribeye steak (sourced from premium Lake District Farmers, this is the priciest dish on the menu at £25). The only health-warning of note is that you’re likely to become a regular if you visit this place. After a mouthful of these goodies, you’ll be chomping at the bit for more.



Address: 255 Munster Road, Parsons Green, SW6 6BW

Telephone: 0207 920 6420

Nearest Tube: Parsons Green


5 Of The Tallest Buildings In The World You Need To Visit!

1. The Canton Tower, China

Also known as Guangzhou Tower (Chinese: 广州塔), The Canton Tower is a 600 metre tall multi-purpose observation tower in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou, Guandong, China. The tower became operational for the 2010 Asian Games and briefly held the title of tallest tower in the world, before being surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree in 2011. It’s now the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world and is lit by seven thousand LED light fixtures which change colour across the entire height of the tower. A beautiful kaleidoscope of colour against the night sky.


2. The Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The world’s tallest man-made structure, the 829.8 metre high Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds the official title of ‘Tallest Building in the World’. It was also the location for the current Guinness World Record for the highest base jump in history! Designed as the centerpiece of a large-scale, mixed-use development including 30,000 homes, 9 hotels, 7.4 acres of parkland, 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall and the 30-acre man-made Burj Khalifa Lake, the decision to build Burj Khalifa is reportedly based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil based economy to one that is service and tourism based. Great attention-grabbing strategy!


3. The Empire State Building, New York

An 103 storey skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, The Empire State Building is an impressive 443 metre high. The world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years until being overtaken by the original World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970, The Empire State Building is currently the fourth tallest skyscraper in the US (after the One World Trade Center, the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower) and the 25th tallest skyscraper in the world. The views over New York are breathtaking, its distinctive art deco style belying its timeless appeal.


4. The Eiffel Tower, Paris

The iconic iron latticed Eiffel Tower, named after its engineer, Gustave Eiffel and located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world. Standing some 324 metres tall, it held the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second and an observatory on the third. With views over one of the most romantic cities on Earth, it’s pretty clear why it’s such a popular proposal spot…


5. The Shard, London

Also referred to as The Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, The Shard is an 87 storey skyscraper in London that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. Its privately operated observation deck, The View From The Shard, is a popular spot for tourists and Londoners alike. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, the Shard is currently the tallest building in the European Union, standing at an impressive 309 metres. As London’s highest viewing platform, The Shard is a wonderful place to take in over 1,000 years of the capital’s history. What’s not to like?


Mews of Mayfair, London

Where is Mews hidden?

Tucked away down the dimly-lit alley of Lancashire Court, this classy brasserie come bar is cosy-chic combined.  A stone’s throw from Berkeley and Hanover Square, the cobbled courtyard comes alive with business folk winding down with a cocktail or two after a hard day’s slog. Whether sinking into the deep leather sofas in the cocktail lounge illuminated by 18th century chandeliers, or sitting nestled in the narrow outdoor alley under the stars, there’s something for everyone.  

What’s on offer?

The extensive cocktail menu offers many a zingy delight from the classic Cosmopolitan to the exotic Chilli Cuddle for the more adventurous-spirited. The food menu is equally pleasing, with a range of delicious bar snacks such as Smoked Salmon Scotch Eggs and Cheese Boards to heartier meals proper such as Fish and Chips, Guinea Fowl Leg and Scottish Ox Cheeks.  Prices range from £5-18 for bar snacks to £9-18 for mains with a South Devon 1 Kilo Double Rib Steak for a hungry twosome at £65. 

Special Features?

The basement lounge is the ideal spot for after-dinner drinks, with DJ decks built into a grand piano and glass beaded nooks that are easy to sink into. Open until 1am Wednesday to Saturday, whiling away the wee hours here is the perfect way to round off the evening.

If it’s a private room you’re after, the upstairs space is perfect for a canapé party of up to 40, a seated dinner for up to 28 guests or a snazzy meeting spot for presentations.  With antique maps adorning the walls, surround sound, wifi and a hidden 50” screen, this an an imperial experience no client will forget!

For a more decadent affair, La Cave Private Room is situated opposite Mews Art Gallery and can accommodate up to 15 guests for lunch and dinner, or 25 for a standing reception. Doubling up as a wine boutique, La Cave mixes cosiness and sophistication to perfection, the dark wood and brown leather seating set off by the wine and champagne which lines the walls. 

And finally…

I’ve always thought that Mayfair embodies the ideal man – powerful, understated and elegant. Mews is an example of all three.


Website: Here

Address: 10 Lancashire Court, New Bond Street, London, W1S 1EY 

Tel: 0207 518 9388

Email: nfo@mewsofmayfair.com

3 Minute Meditation for Commuters

Monday Not So Funday?

How do you feel on the way to work on Monday mornings? Irritable, anxious, contemplating why a three day weekend has never been introduced or all of the above?

How Can You Damn The Blues?

What can you do to feel less stressed and how can you achieve this on a packed tube jammed with equally irritable commuters?

Below is a 5-step guide to a short meditation exercise fit for all. If you’re a busy city-dweller with only five minutes to spare daily, this is for you. Whether on the bus, taking five minutes out from your office on a park bench or even in a toilet cubicle, this is as user friendly as it gets.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation focuses on calming the mind through observing all thoughts and feelings but letting them go so that you can focus on the present moment.

Why Should You Try It?

Long-gone are the days of meditation being something only hippies do. You may not be surprised to hear that London commuters are reportedly the ‘most anxious people in UK’. You may be more surprised to learn that stress costs employers a staggering £460m a day.

Stress is the dark side of our ‘have-it-all’ lives, which, if left unchecked, can cost you, your relationships and your sense of self more than you may care to contemplate. If you are a city-worker who tenses up the moment you leave the house for work, this simple stress-reducing technique is something you really should try.

What Do The Experts Say?

The good news is that just five minutes’ meditation a day can have a huge impact on your sense of balance, reducing stress, anxiety and depression. A leading neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin studied eight of the Dalai Lama’s most accomplished practitioners and found that meditation not only alters the brain in the short term, but also produces long-term, permanent change. In other words, the brain is capable of being trained and physically modified in ways few people can imagine.

It’s therefore a no-brainer that taking time-out from the commotion of the mind is essential. Even if this is meditating on the bus to work.

How Does It Work?

Follow these five steps every morning on your way to work this week and watch your stressful state gradually shift into one of calm. Ideally, team this with calming music (see examples below):

  1. Close your eyes and slowly inhale in through your nose. Imagine you are pulling the breath inwards from the back of your throat. Listen to the sound of your breath as it passes up through your nose along the top of your windpipe. Visualise the breath moving into your body and feel your body relax as you gently exhale. Do this a few times, concentrating on relaxing your shoulders, arms and feet as you do so.
  2. Once you’ve established a comfortable flow of breathing, turn your attention to your feet. Keeping your eyes closed, imagine a wave of red moving slowly from the tips of your toes up through your feet and legs. As you do so, keep concentrating on your breathing, regulating the motion of the red as it moves up over your knees with your breaths.
  3. When the red reaches the tops of your legs, visualise the colour changing to orange, moving slowly up through your lower abdomen to your tummy button. Then watch it turn yellow, moving gently up to the mid-point of your torso. As the colours change, keep concentrating on your controlled breathing, imagining your breath pushing the colours gently up through your body.
  4. As the yellow reaches your mid-torso, watch it merge into green, moving slowly up to chest height where it shifts into blue. Keep breathing in a deep but controlled manner, using the sound of your breath to concentrate your mind.
  5. As the blue reaches the bottom of your neck, imagine it turning purple, rising up through your head until it reaches the top. Finally, imagine a bright white light pouring northwards high above your head. Watch it shower down the length of your body all the way to your feet cleansing your body, mind and soul as it does so.

Here are some examples of calming musical accompaniments. You can download yoga or meditation music on I-Tunes for free.

Review of ‘London’s Lost Jewels’

The Cheapside Hoard is a must-see for jewellery lovers and historians. The collection comprises the world’s largest cache of Elizabethan and early Stuart jewellery including rings, brooches and earrings in bright coloured gemstones and enamelled gold settings.  Read my review here.

The Winter’s Tale, The Royal Opera House

This is one for Shakespeare and ballet lovers.  Based on the well-known tragicomedy, The Winter’s Tale, the world premiere of the new full-length ballet by The Royal Opera House is a striking exposition of emotion.  Co-produced with the National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Opera House’s Artistic Associate, Christopher Wheeldon, captures the powerful themes of love, loss and reconciliation in dramatic fashion.  Classical tutus and traditional ballet are replaced with minimalist dress and modern choreography as a sterling cast of Royal Ballet Principals including Lauren Cuthbertson, Edward Watson, Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb dance their magic.

The austerity of the opening Act sets the scene of forboding turmoil, with dancers silhouetted in black huddling against a background of sombre grey clouds.  Darkness and light are hinted at by the joviality of the next scene as Leontes and Pelixenes’ friendship from childhood to adulthood is neatly charted through compressed display – the two little boys who dance innocently together in red and green shirts shift seamlessly into grown men in more sophisticated pas de deux, wearing the crowns of their respective Kingdoms, Behomia and Sicilia.  Their closeness is cemented by the introduction of Leontes’ wife, Hermione with whom they both dance happily – lifting her with gaiety, their happiness is captured though carefree pirouettes and beautiful port de bras.

The shift in mood is dramatically evoked through aural and visual deviation, with playful musical tones giving way to the discordant as the lush tree-lined backdrop sheds its leaves in decay.  Leontes’ estrangement from Hermione and Pelixenes is cleverly portrayed through his withdrawal from the triangular symmetry of both men standing astride her, their hands placed tenderly on her pregnant belly.  His mental anguish is dramatically captured by his jerked balletic movements which see him bent-double against dissonant pluckings of the violin.  His fit-like spasms are all the more pointed against the softly lit Pelixenes and Hermione who remain bound in still visual closeness.  In contrast to Shakespeare’s text which evokes the irrationality of Leontes’ suspicion that Hermoine has committed adultery with Pelixenes, Hermione and Pelixenes’ physical proximity evokes sympathy for the fraught Leontes.

The play goes on to nimbly chart key events from the text – Pelixenes’ hushed departure, Hermione’s imprisonment and death, the birth and disposal of Perdita, her love affair with Florizel and their eventual union.  Notwithstanding its general originality, the final scene in which Paulina presents Leontes with the statue of his late wife could be more dramatic.  While the pale blue and white staging provides an ethereal backdrop to Hermione’s animation from statue to life form, the consequent pas de deux between Leontes and Hermione could be more glorious given the remarkable revelation that his wife, some 16 years dead, is in fact, alive.  That aside, Wheeldon’s ballet is a refreshing display of intense emotion, made all the more striking for its simplicity and modernity.

10 April – 8 May 2014
Tickets are still available – £9 to £81