The Art of High Tea

Most of my artful afternoons in London alternate between the Tate Modern with Rothko and Picasso and the Tate Britain with my all-time favorite Paul Klee. A few weeks ago I jumped aboard Eurostar, this time headed to the Rosewood London hotel to indulge in another form of art, the edible kind.

Was I entering the home of a nobleman, I wondered as I strode through the regal wrought iron gates into the lobby of this eclectic hotel where behind every detail was a story waiting to be told.

With my tea date in tow, we were led to the Mirror Room, elegantly clad in neutral tones with welcoming pops of orange and yellow. The ceiling and select walls boasted a patchwork of mirrors. The room itself, much like the rest of the hotel, exuded art.

Rosewood London’s ‘Art Afternoon Tea’ began just over a year ago and we eagerly awaited the second batch of creations by Executive Chef Mark Perkins. I scanned the menu for a look at the latest inspirations and was pleased to be familiar with most of the artists. The curated selection included Banksy, Jeff Koons, Jackson Pollock, Wassily Kandinsky and Hubert Le Gall.

Following a glass of one the finest French bubbles, I was pleased to discover that gourmet tea brand Mariage Frères (again, French) was their tea of choice. I settled for a chai with hints of vanilla and began the feast, finger sandwiches first. British High Tea had to of course include freshly baked scones, and these were paired with clotted cream and lemon curd. Heavenly!

And now for the petit fours. Each delicate creation was a masterpiece in itself, revealing a depth of flavors almost as intricate as the artworks they inspired. As we cut into these hand-crafted confections, I felt a little guilt at the destruction, but it passed with each sweet inhale. Anyway, isn’t art meant to be devoured? I’ll be back in April for the next curation featuring an artist yet to be revealed.

As for Paris, favorite high teas include The Four Seasons and Le Meurice, both an experience in indulgence!

art in the park

Traveling from Paris to London via Eurostar takes just as much time as traveling from New York City to my home in Westhampton Beach via LIRR. With a commute of just over 2 hours, whenever London calls, I answer. My latest chunnel journey was in search of fabrics. While in Londontown there was much going on in the art world (good timing!). In addition to a Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern, followed by a chance Paul McCartney concert in Covent Garden (have I mentioned that timing is everything?), one of my highlights was an afternoon spent at the Frieze Masters.

IMG_2509Many great works to be found within the tents of Regent’s Park.


Some of the most interesting artworks I discovered in the park itself. Looks like fabric!


This piece reminded me of Richard Serra, whom I adore.



Was most impressed by this larger than life face, changing as you moved around it.


Reflecting on the artful day.

IMG_2559To accompany the art tour, the sun shone brightly. A perfect day in the park.


lost in translation

London is a city close to my heart. The first European city I fell in love with, which became my home as a student, and the stage where my parents so serendipitously met. When I discovered a company providing bus service from Paris to London, (and giving away tickets) I had to investigate further, and share with my readers living in Paris. Who wouldn’t love to spend a little time with the Brits?

Cleverly, iDBUS came up with a list of English sayings that become lost in translation when converted to French. (I know this all too well living in Paris with an Italian and being a fan of British humour.) To enter the contest and win 2 round trip tickets from Paris to London (or vice versa), leave your funniest ‘lost in translation’ story on the iDBUS Facebook Page and feel free to share them with me too! Here, some examples to inspire you…

Winner will be chosen end of day October 1st. Good luck!

Lost in Translation by iDBUS

London calling

Last week London called. I answered. A quick two hour jaunt via the Eurostar, and there I was.

This city that has always felt like home. Perhaps it’s the dynamic energy felt amidst the international air, much like NYC and certainly something I miss living within the calm and frenchness of Paris. The trip was one of business, as I’m currently working on a new hand-printed London Collection of handbags (where better to conduct market research?), had several shops and showrooms to meet, and equally one of pleasure. Many friends to catch up, exchanging a bottle of red for a pint of cider.

Home became close to Baker Street with a dear friend, Regents Park just minutes away.

I could not avoid central London…

What clever advertising! (Love the classic London cabs, preferably black.)

A walk around Sloane Square and into the world of eggs & Saatchi…

On my last morning I was given a tour of the colorfully posh Primrose Hill.

A walk along the canal beneath London skies, to Camden…

And back again from one world into another.

My trip happily ended in London’s evolving East, Shoreditch.

London has also called Andi of Misadventures with Andi, who just took a gastronomic tour with Context Travel… who knew what a foodie city this was!

tribute to the girls

Recently I read an article that confirmed my belief in the importance of girlfriends. It proved something along the lines of how women find comfort in other women much in the  same way that a man finds comfort in his wife or partner. This I believe, having formed several lasting female friendships throughout my life. Most of whom I am still deeply connected to.

A few weeks ago, two such dear friends and I met for a quick jaunt in London. Unabashed girl time. Karen was flying in from Istanbul (where she is living her own adventure), parting with her little girls in order to spend time with the big ones. I hopped on the train from Paris, and we both met at the home of Brandy, whose wedding we attended last Spring in a castle in Scotland.

Karen and I have been friends since the high school days (we won’t mention exactly how long ago that was…) Brandy we met during the university years when she and Karen shared a room. On my way via train I thought about our many journeys together. A spring break when Karen won a luxury trip to Jamaica and rather than inviting her then boyfriend, she brought me. (That is friendship!) There too we met Brandy for the less luxurious yet equally exciting chapter of our Jamaican holiday. (Ah the stories we can tell!) I also recalled our travels in Italy in which we drove (or can I say sped) all the way to Croatia. And never will I forget our millenium spent in Amsterdam where another friend Anna joined us, as did many a random adventure. The list of girl bonding goes on…

Rarely did we all ever live in the same city, yet both Karen & Brandy called my first NY apartment their home. So many chapters of our lives we have shared together, and continue to. Next stop Italy!

London in the rain proved the ideal background for colorful conversations and carousing…

It is friends like this that become the family we are not born with. For them, I am grateful.

London part three

With each visit to London my love affair with this enchanting city continues. I am now staying on the Thames with my dear friend Brandy and her boyfriend Keith. I was fortuitously treated by Brandy to a decadent dinner at Ubon, one of Nobu’s several eateries. This evening I took a walk along the river…Tower Bridge is a grand sight, majestically illuminated against a deep blue sky. My night was spent at the Tate Modern, viewing work by artists from around the globe, a brilliant collection! It feels good to be back on English soil.

Bartosz’ new flat in East London, designed and decorated by this talented young lad, well done!!

A cheeky night of revelry with Aga and Ian.

return to London

My return to London was eagerly spent in one of my most loved vicinities near Bond Street. It was there that Sarah welcomed me to her mews on Wigmore Place, perhaps one of the quaintest of streets in all of London, or so it became for me. Several days wrapped warmly against the chill in the air, Saturday spent at Portobello Market (more vintage shopping!) followed by an afternoon of pints with Bartosz, Sooji, Azfar and Sarah…lunch with Aga and Peter in their lovely flat in North Acton..and several afternoon teas on Marylebone Lane.

a celebration of life

On July 29th the London skies shone bright and blue, providing the setting for a most happily spent birthday. In the morning Bartosz and I feasted on a gluttunous breakfast at a cozy farmhouse followed by a stroll through the Columbia Street flower market, many quaint antique shops and cafes and a bit of vintage shopping on Brick Lane. I have discovered the countryside in East London! As evening drew near, I caroused the Bond Street vicinity, shared a tea at a lovely Morrocan cafe with my darling cousin Aga and met with friends for a grand dinner at ‘The Garrison House’, a charming pub near London Bridge. To share in this celebration of a life I value deeply, were Bartosz, his brother Rafal and girlfriend Joanna, Micheal, Aga and Peter, Ben who I befriended during the Bali chapter, Brandy and Sarah my dear friends of many years…on all accounts it was a beautiful day!

London calling!

London feels like home, ever since it first entered my heart many years ago. My reunion with this charming city began in East London, the home of one of my dearest friends Bartosz, and continued on Bond Street with a private tour by an Aussie Londoner, Ian. These London days were illuminated by the elusive sun, many hours spent wandering these once familiar streets…my nights were quite short due to weary jet-lag. Thankfully the pub culture begins at an early hour!