Brunch at the Wolseley

The magnificent Wolseley

The magnificent Wolseley

I’m starting to wind down my London list – brunch at the Wolseley is one of three that I had left to go. I have afternoon tea at Claridges ready as a draft post for you (saving the best for last!) and am determined that I’ll make it for afternoon tea at the Modern Pantry at some point as my sister said it was one of the best food experiences she’s ever had, and she’s fussy at the best of times. Also, if brunch at Providores by chance happens then it’ll appear on here. Anything else really is just a charming discovery that wasn’t on my hit list.

I wanted the Wolseley to be special. So instead of the girls throwing a baby shower, I asked if we could go there for brunch instead and not discuss anything child related. Mr Man took BLC away for the weekend so I managed to turn up there early (hoorah!), hair brushed (double hoorah!) and bouncy having done an hour long treatment on it the day before (a free hour? That’s something that never happens anymore~), my nails freshly painted and me not in a flustered state of affairs. I can’t imagine these occurrences all happening at once ever again, unless the grandparents willingly take the kids for the weekend once we’re settled into our new life (Hi Mum! Hi Dad! I know you read this!).

Tea and decor brilliance

Tea and decor brilliance

The Wolseley was everything I imagined it would be. It is grand, the service fantastic (to the point where a waiter ran after the waddling pregnant woman begging her not to go down the stairs to use the ladies, but ushered one through a secret door on ground level), atmosphere buzzy and diverse, the cutlery strong and silver, the food impeccable.

Need I say more?

The eggy girls loved their poached delights, two of the crew went for spectacular looking French toast, and I indulged not only with my usual pancakes and bacon, but with a starter of caramelised grapefruit, quite frankly one of the best single pieces of fruit I have ever had in my life.

The Grand Crème Coffee with toasted baguette

The Grand Crème Coffee with toasted baguette

Good proper pancakes

Good proper pancakes

R's amazing French toast

R’s amazing French toast

DIVINE GRAPEFRUIT (I also want one of those spoons)

DIVINE GRAPEFRUIT (I also want one of those spoons)

Teapot

Teapot

The girls' fresh peppermint tea (someone had to be virtuous!)

The girls’ fresh peppermint tea (someone had to be virtuous!)

My teapot was kept full, looseleaf and green, and zero drips. Even the tea strainer was perfection (none of this dripping from cup to back to table as it came with its own stand that caught any extra drops of tea~).

The Wolseley is grand and wonderful. A true London experience. I won’t go back as A, I don’t have much time left, but B, some occasions are meant to be savoured and remembered purely for what they were.

Up there with the best brunches in London? Absolutely.

The Wolseley can be found at 160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB. Nearest tube is Green Park. We paid £20 each – I have paid more for brunch in much less impressive places. 

 

 

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Filed under Brunch, Brunch in London, Eating, London, Tea, The West End

Celebrating Christmas as an expat – I’ve had a few of these…

Oh Christmas...

Oh Christmas…

Hello monthly travel link-up! I didn’t think I’d make it this month due to several factors but as I was/probably still am by the time you read this (BLC was 10 days late) waiting around for BLC Jr to turn up and had a six hour window for our boiler man to turn up last week, I somehow found a bit of inspiration. This is probably because it was freezing cold and I was housebound, leading to my usual feelings about Christmas. Hello to the future from last week!

I’m going to be honest here. Christmas has never been my favourite time of year. I’m not a cold weather person (understatement). I’m always broke by the time it comes around. I stress out way too much about getting people gifts then getting it wrong every single time, and I have a habit I can’t shake of needing to leave the house for at least a few hours every day – something that’s not overly polite to do on Christmas. However, that’s not to put a dampener on things here – I have had some spectacular Christmas days over the years in all sorts of random places, a lot of it thanks to my parents’ wanderlust, and I am about to give you the run-down of my most memorable…

Christmas in the cold...

Christmas in the cold…

When I was 10, Dad got lucky enough on the job front to get us based in Washington DC for 3.5 years. A freckly young Kiwi kid who was used to running around sunburned and barefoot on Christmas day found herself freezing to bits when we landed in DC a few weeks before that special holiday. We didn’t get snow that first year, but we sure did two years later when the olds treated us to Christmas at West Virginia’s Snowshoe ski resort. I don’t remember masses about this but I do recall how happy I was to be up at 7am forgetting about presents and wanting to get on those blue slopes to race Dad down the hills (I had no fear of anything other than jellyfish until I went to uni). My parents had to drag me off the slopes to have Christmas dinner but I didn’t care. Due to a massive fall the night before, there was SNOW everywhere. I was on my skis ALL DAY and we were in a hotel perched on top of the mountain so it meant Mum wasn’t grumpy about having to prepare anything… There were likely pancakes for breakfast too but all I remember is just feet upon feet of the white powder and never wanting to leave. My parents may recall it differently as it’s a bit of a blur to me these days but it set my standards for Christmas very high.

The following year we spent Christmas in New Orleans strolling around the French Quarter, eating gumbo and going on a crocodile safari. There was another year when we spent the holiday season in up-state New York and Ontario so we could experience Niagra Falls in a frozen state (one word, INCREDIBLE). My parents liked to shake things up a bit on the holidays front.

Not America, but I did once spend Christmas in China and got some noodles as a pre-dinner snack...

Not America, but I did once spend Christmas in China and got some noodles as a pre-dinner snack…

For the record here – Americans ROCK at doing Christmas. Everything about it there is amazing from the lights, to the shops to the enthusiasm from everyone about it, even the Army base where we went Christmas shopping outshone itself at Christmas time. We had to do the round of expat parties and in my 10 year old mind, everything was so grand, they had amazing Christmas trees and there were always other military/diplomat brats to play with.

Washington DC looks absolutely magical at Christmas. I hope to take the family there one year to experience it in all its glory.

Fiji

Fiji

My other most memorable Christmas was spent in Fiji in 2007. Mum has always been a bit highly-strung at this time of year and this was the most chilled out I have ever seen her. My parents were living in the Solomon Islands, I was living in Wellington and my sister in Dunedin. Rather than half of us go to a destination we weren’t overly keen on (I loved the Solomons, sister not such a fan~), someone came up with the genius idea of spending the holidays at Musket Cove resort in Fiji and just forgetting about any traditional family Christmas. It was the best Christmas I have had as an adult.

Dad and I would spend our days diving, admiring the world under the sea, trying to avoid getting bitten by nesting triggerfish (though I did end up with a back injury after coming out of an area of rough water aptly named Shark Supermarket). My sister would nap most afternoons and you could find Mum with a cold jug of Pimms and a book on the balcony overlooking the lagoon at almost any hour of the day. We did hardly anything that didn’t involve relaxing and after 10 days there headed back to our various destinations completely and utterly unwound.

Sunset on Christmas Day 2007

Sunset on Christmas Day 2007

This year, I’m unlikely to be in the best state to go anywhere having just had a baby, so the four of us are spending Christmas in our East End abode. It is going to be lovely and chilled out, with our little unit getting to spend some proper time as a family before the kids get old enough to turn Christmas into being about the presents. Who knows, maybe it will become my best Christmas yet – there’s still time to turn this old blonde Grinch around!

Wouldn't it be nice if London looked like this in a few weeks?

Wouldn’t it be nice if London looked like this in a few weeks?

Now New Year’s Eve… that’s something I can relate to and somehow manage to pull-off awesomely, generally because I’ve learned not to over-think it. I have managed to spend it in many an amazing place from the tipsy/happy and kilted streets of Edinburgh to a dive shop in Borneo, narrowly avoiding concussion on a Canadian ski field, London’s Natural History Museum’s ice-skating rink and a fabulous slap-up of an Indian meal at Dishoom in Shoreditch. In my view, it is a celebration well-worth getting into.

I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s stories! Happy holidays to you all.

Where I spent New Year's Eve 2006 - Mabul Island, Sipidan, Borneo...

Where I spent New Year’s Eve 2006 – Mabul Island, Sipidan, Borneo…

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve in the East End

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The Rosebery Rooms and a slight obsession with Paddington Bear of late…

Paddington the movie comes out this Friday. Are you planning to see it? I am gagging to go. In preparation for the movie which is bound to have me bawling my eyes out at the thought of leaving London next year, I have dragged BLC on the Paddington Trail and have watched the trailer many times. I’ve had Stephen Fry’s narration of the audio books on my phone for ages (seriously worth a listen to) and am basically just in love with this little creature. Needless to say, one wasn’t going to turn down an invitation to review the Mandarin Oriental’s Paddington Bear themed Christmas afternoon tea. Thankfully my sister in law was more than happy to join me last week.

BLC meets Paddington

BLC meets Paddington

Below is a short version of what I’ve written for the High Tea Society.

“…Set in a stylish and contemporary backdrop, we were in for a wonderful afternoon with fantastic service, no detail spared.

The afternoon tea began with a selection of sandwiches, including goats cheese with pumpkin and onion confit (our favourite), smoked salmon, and a very moreish turkey and cranberry, all served on freshly made bread.

These were followed by Christmas cake, cranberry and plain scones. We were impressed by the scones which came with strawberry jam, rose petal jelly and lemon curd. The Christmas cake was remarkably light.

Cake stand - what you can't see is that it is hanging on a tree - great detail.

Cake stand – what you can’t see is that it is hanging on a tree – great detail.

And to the final event, always the course to win us over, our favourite pastries, among a fine selection were the Find my Teddy crunchy brownies with banana compote and Jivara milk chocolate chantilly and Paddington’s marmalade sandwiches – a rolled sponge with orange marmalade and ginger candy. However, the shining star among the sweet treats was the Paddington pot made with saffron honey brule, pear and quince compote which had a (pleasantly) surprising tang to it, giving the dessert a wow factor.

Delicious cakes

Delicious cakes

The tea comes from the Mandarin Oriental’s selection curated by the East India Company, one of London’s finest tea suppliers. We chose a variety of teas throughout the setting, both being pleasantly surprised when we asked them to serve us their favourite teas – one a gyorku Japanese tea, the other a tropical white tea which smelled absolutely heavenly.

In summary, this is a gorgeous afternoon tea, set in beautiful surroundings looking out to Brompton Road below. The service was excellent; the food flawless and for what is dubbed as a Christmas afternoon tea, it only has a slight hint of Christmas to it, making the occasion memorable but not in your face. We would highly recommend the Rosebery – the Mandarin Oriental Group has very much kept this London afternoon tea in line with their exceptionally high standards around the world.”

Paddington and his delightful tea (plus AMAZING China)

Paddington and his delightful tea (plus AMAZING China)

Needless to say, we adored this and I am so glad we went. I really don’t wish to offend anyone here, but Christmas tends to grate on me, so it was good to attend a Christmas afternoon tea that wasn’t overly Christmassy. The Rosebery is such a beautiful setting and the service was really fantastic. One to recommend to kids of all ages, and also the afternoon tea connoisseurs of the world.

We were guests of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. The Paddington Afternoon Tea costs £48 per adult, £28 per child.

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park can be found at 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA, United Kingdom. Nearest tube station is Knightsbridge. 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Afternoon tea, Afternoon tea London, Eating, Experiences, Food, London, The West End

GLC thoroughly enjoys the Conrad St James’ Christmas afternoon tea

The Conrad does CUTE.

The Conrad makes Christmas rather cute without being twee…

I’ve always had a problem with ‘all-you-can-eat’. While for many it would represent a good-value option, my innate greediness means I’ve always seen it as a challenge, and a chance to get as much as I possibly can, like a squirrel storing his nuts ahead of winter.

So, when I discovered the Christmas afternoon tea at the London Conrad St James has bottomless Laurent Perrier Champagne as part of its offer, I pretty much ripped the invitation straight from Lady’s grasp.

This afternoon tea really is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair – on offer for just one month from 24 November – 24 December. So I advise you read this in haste and get booking.

A short stroll from Parliament Square, in that corner of St James’s which remains wonderfully untrodden by tourist feet, the London Conrad St James (formerly the Intercontinental Westminster) is a small, luxury-leaning hotel in a superbly smart but unremarkable 1930s brick building.

Lobby view to lounge

Elegantly decked-out throughout the various ground-floor reception areas, myself and my friend Claire were led to the comfortable lounge, and towards a low-set table – cake stand and Champagne glasses ready for action – and its two accompanying wingback chairs.

Over the next two hours we were given quite a treat, as the hotel’s Christmas afternoon tea was presented to us.

Festive setting

Festive setting

A wide selection of teas were made available – we ordered the 2nd filter Darjeeling and vanilla black – both served in tall, elegant pots. Owing to a mix-up we also received an Earl Gray and, as is always the case, the tea we hadn’t intended to order was the standout.

The error with tea was handled with good humour and grace by the waiter.

To begin, the small-bite savouries. A shot of Brussel sprout mousse, turkey ballotine and venison bites. All were well-prepared and presented.

Savouries

Savouries

Sandwiches were traditional in their form – thin fingers without crust with a selection of salmon, gammon and beetroot fillings. Whilst not pushing the boat out in terms of creativity, they could not be faulted in their quality and they certainly delivered on taste.

Orange, cranberry and spiced scones were delivered and dispatched in no time – the lightness of the bake matched and even exceeded by the thick, artery-clogging clotted cream and the interesting and particularly successful blackberry curd.

Perhaps I skip over all these elements quite quickly, but our attentions should be focused on what makes this afternoon tea really shine – the ‘bottomless’ Laurent Perrier and rather sweet (literally and figuratively) Christmas slate of cake and other treats.

Throughout the afternoon our glasses were never empty, the Champagne being brought around regularly and offered with no hesitation. This really did feel like a marked step-up from the standard single-glass of fizz, offered by many afternoon teas.

Snowman & popping snow

Snowman & popping snow

And then the sweets – they looked too good to eat…but that didn’t stop us. A chocolate orange Battenburg, boozy Yule log and meringue snowman set the scene but the real star was the winter berry Christmas tree, with a mousse perfectly sweet and yet still tart enough to make your face screw up ever so slightly on the first bite. Sweet/tart is a difficult feat to achieve – this took on that challenge and triumphed.

I must put in a special, final word for the popping candy in the edible snow. What 30-something doesn’t like popping candy, eh?

And at £45 for the bottomless Champagne option, it represents remarkably good value. And on weekends there’s even the promise of a carol-singing choir. This is a special someone’s Christmas treat, waiting for you to book.

The Conrad London St James can be found at 22-28 Broadway, London SW1H 0BH. Nearest Tube is St James which is just across the road. Ed was a guest of Conrad Hotels.

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Filed under Afternoon tea, Afternoon tea London, Eating, Experiences, Food, Gentleman loves cake, London, The West End

Zomato takes GLC West to experience Hotel Xenia’s Evoluzione

I couldn't find a picture of West London so I've put one of Italy here, hope that's ok!

I couldn’t find a picture of West London so I’ve put one of Italy here, hope that’s ok!

The first thing I have to say about Hotel Xenia is that it’s all a bit random. Mismatching wallpapers, tables, chairs, lighting, a massive wall clock and even the gaudy transparent piano, just don’t really hit my spot.

This hotel, coupled with the fact it was deep into Made in Chelsea territory right on the A4 Cromwell Road, is somewhere that I wouldn’t normally entertain.

But by the end of my first Zomato meetup my gloom had lifted significantly, as stuck to the side of the hotel, inside a rather elegant conservatory, is quite a fine restaurant indeed.

With just a few tables and a dining bar hugging a small serving area (which as we discovered worked well as a  demonstration kitchen), Evoluzione is a really rather pleasant place to spend an evening.

Run by Italian chef Andrea Angeletti, a man well-known to the Michelin guide, Evoluzione is a new endeavour which you get the feeling that with a little time and some fine tuning, has the potential to be a real London fixture.

The first thing to say about the menu we were offered is ‘cheese’ – or more accurately, ‘CHEESE!’

In a six-course tasting offering, half were packed full of the stuff – and what a joy! Ricotta, Parmesan, Pecorino were all there – as stuffing, sauce and even fondue! Angeletti comes from the Marche region of central Italy, which I now dearly want to visit as I imagine it would be endless cow-full-fields and artisan cheese houses.

Chiboust

Chiboust

But I feel the true star of our menu was one with no cheese at all, and right up front as the first thing brought to us – the Ying Yang salmon with ginger and a sphere-enclosed sauce you mixed yourself. Half-cooked, half-cured, it was something I’d not experienced before and really quite joyous.

Ying Yang Salmon with marinated ginger and self shaken zest

Ying Yang Salmon with marinated ginger and self shaken zest

Simply because you’d get bored of me detailing every dish, here is a list:

  • Ying Yang Salmon with marinated ginger and self shaken zest
  • Cheese bread with King Prawn and Pecorino sauce
  • Dry cannelloni stuffed with ricotta cheese, porcini mushroom, veal & truffle dipping sauce
  • Passatelli with parmesan fondue
  • Sea bass cooked in olive oil with cream of potato and taggiasca olives
  • Chiboust

Very good (and seemingly bottomless) wine matching throughout was a bonus!

Passatelli with parmesan fondue

Passatelli with parmesan fondue

Sea bass cooked in olive oil with cream of potato and taggiasca olives

Sea bass cooked in olive oil with cream of potato and taggiasca olives

What I liked most about this evening, which I can’t deny is a perk of being (pretending to be) a food blogger, is that the chef himself was on hand to demonstrate the techniques behind some of the dishes. In his quite charming broken English, this was a definite highlight.

Ok, so here’s what you need to know from this evening:

  • This is a very good restaurant – the food is matched by attentive and well-trained waiters
  • It’s probably even worth going to west London for (and believe me, something has to be really good to get me to go to west London)
  • The people at Zomato are extremely lovely – I urge you to get to know them
  • Meetups like this are a chance to meet fun people who make you feel less guilty about being a greedy foodie – especially on this occasion Olivia, Rajani, Susan, Zori and Alessandra. (Everyone else seemed very lovely, but I didn’t get the chance to speak with them all).
  • Finally…please don’t take my word for the look and feel of the hotel – it does seem very nice; it’s just not for me.

GLC was a guest of Zomato and Hotel Xenia

Some useful links:

Hotel Xenia

Evoluzione

Zomato

TheJoyousLiving review of the evening

LuxuryColumnist review of the evening

Hotel Xenia can be found at 160 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0TL. Nearest tubes are Gloucester Road and Earl’s Court. 

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Filed under Experiences, Food, Gentleman loves cake, London, Restaurants, The West End

GLC’s Indian afternoon tea at the Strand Palace Hotel

Daawat's Indian afternoon tea

Daawat’s Indian afternoon tea

“I’m having tea at the Strand Palace Hotel”, I declared in a faux-grandiose manner to my landlord.

As a gentleman who has known the London arts scene for many a year, he then recounted tales of pre-Perestroika Soviet orchestras staying at the very same hotel during UK tours – making the very most of the buffet breakfast by eating and stashing as much as they possibly could in the hope of saving-up their Pound Sterling per diems as cold hard cash.

A check on the ever-trusty Wiki reveals that it was also popular amongst US troops in the Second World War as a ‘rest and recuperation residence’. With the legends that were created around American troops stationed in Britain at that time, I’m sure the ‘recuperation’ often went long into the night.

I’d say two thirds of the Strand Palace Hotel’s name is correct – it’s on the Strand and it’s definitely a hotel, but gone are the days where it could be considered grand. There’s a good chance that many of the current fixtures and fittings would have been brand new to those Russian musicians.

But though many of the original features and later deco additions are long gone, it is still there, thriving as a hotel in the heart of London and now with a different international feature – the Indian cuisine of Daawat.

I have to admit, I was quite excited at the prospect of an Indian afternoon tea – I fancied I would travel back to the time of the British Raj, fanned by palm leaves and watching exotic wildlife trot past the window.

But as this is a modern hotel restaurant in the heart of London, I had to make do with air con and a couple of pigeons pottering around on the pavement outside.

My friend Claire (with whom I share a wonderfully standoffish relationship) and I took our seats in the initially empty dining room and were soon brought our teas (the fancy Assam / Darjeeling / Chai types) and our stand of savouries and sweets.

Savouries

Savouries

Chicken tikka mini burger and Achari prawn open sandwich stood out, and the Bombay Mix quickly disappeared, before the sultana scones Victoria sponge cake Macaroon and mini fruit tarts were seen to.

Close-up of the savouries

Close-up of the savouries

Nothing brought to us was exceptional, but it was decent, tasty stuff on the whole.

So the food was all perfectly fine, but I couldn’t help feel it could all have been ‘more’ Indian – a braver attempt at doing a themed afternoon tea from a restaurant which, according to Trip Advisor, does seem to do its á la carte offerings pretty well.

It felt a little a little too Anglicised: more Banbury than Bangalore; Chichester than Chennai; Colchester than Kolkata…you get the idea.

Sweets

Sweets

The people at Daawat have definitely got the right idea – afternoon tea is big business and a no-brainer for restaurants hoping to fill that ‘twixt-theatre gap between lunch and dinner. Plus they have a decent shtick.

But instead of offering their current menu at £16.95, they should go the whole hog, or even the whole elephant, ramp up the price to £30 and give their diners a real treat.

I’ll definitely keep this place on my radar but right now it’s not troubling the standout afternoon tea offerings in the capital.

Thank you to Strand Palace Hotel for hosting us.

The Strand Palace Hotel can be found at 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ. Nearest tubes are Covent Garden and Embankment.

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Filed under Afternoon tea, Afternoon tea London, Cake, Experiences, Food, Gentleman loves cake, London, Restaurants, Tea, The West End

Falling in love on the road: a tale of very long distance

Have you fallen in love on the road?

Have you ever fallen in love on the road?

I am so excited. Kelly, Rebecca and Emma invited ME to co-host this month’s travel link-up. Yes, ME! LLC does a little happy dance.

November’s post is all about falling in love on the road. It could be with that delightfully warm and gooey piece of baklava in Istanbul (guilty, several times over), an American maths student with crazy hair called John from Berkeley that you met in a hostel then strolled the cobble stones of Paris with for one freezing February evening aged 21 (ok, that was me, we shared some chicken McNuggets in McDonalds as it was the only place open at 1am and I never saw him again~ who and where are you John??),  or a pair of boots that have lasted a gazillion years and never fail to see you through thick and thin (I am still searching for that one of a kind love). Anything goes.

So here I am to tell you all about the one love I still can’t get out of my head and don’t hesitate to drunkenly tell people our story when I can corner them and pretend they’re listening after a few G&Ts. I am now going to corner you.

It sounds obvious but this is about my Mister Man. We met in China 11 years ago. It wasn’t love at first sight; it certainly wasn’t love at first interruptions of me watching box-sets of 24 when he was visiting my flatmate (I hate it when people talk over the tv, drives me insane~). But somehow, after a year in China and two years of him crashing on my couch in London whenever mutual friends were in town, he became the absolute love of my life, someone I hesitate to travel without and someone who was prepared to wait for me while I spent almost two years desperately trying to claw my way back to London from the other side of the world.

Freezing our cheeks off in the Bolivian desert

Freezing our cheeks off in the Bolivian desert

Mr Man stormed into my life one fine March day in a little industrial town called Changzhou. We both attended my neighbour’s birthday party at Changzhou’s infamous Dinosaur Park and that night at dinner he started talking about his trip to Washington DC. Having spent a large chunk of my life there I immediately jumped in and tried to start up a conversation about the city, but got very much dismissed by this charming Brit and vowed never to bother talking to him again (he lived five hours away, I genuinely thought this would be an option).

After a summer where he appeared to always be one step ahead of me on the road and I was constantly hearing tales about his crazy adventures from other expats I’d bump into, he happened to move to Changzhou and was a frequent visitor at my house and the parties we used to throw. He thought of me as annoying (I prefer to think of it as organised and alert~); I just thought he was a 20 something Englishman having the time of his life in a world where the beer was cheap and the girls worshipped him.

Fast-forward two years and we had both been seeing a lot more of eachother on his regular visits to London. We’d both calmed down somewhat and I began to look forward to his visits. About a month before my visa was due to expire and I was due to head to India for several months before settling back in Wellington, I got an invitation to attend a football match in Liverpool with him.

Details can be spared here. But that Everton vs Wigan match sparked something and we had an amazing weekend. The next weekend I found myself back in the North West wondering what on earth was wrong with me. I was LEAVING THE COUNTRY, FOREVER. One week later he was in London for my leaving party.

LOVE

LOVE

I have never cried such ugly tears as when I had to say goodbye to him. We agreed to just see what happens. Six months later, having written to or skyped eachother almost every single day despite being in some random locations during my couch-surfing phase he found himself in New Zealand for a month. As far as I was concerned at that point there was no one else. Despite everyone around us saying there is no way it could work, we kind of knew it would all work out fine in the end.

Six months after that, after an amazing two weeks in Turkey, I discovered that I finally qualified for a Highly Skilled Migrant Visa to allow me to return to the UK (thank goodness all of this happened back in 2007/08 as there’s no way they’d let me in now!). So I applied and got that, resigned from what was my dream job (sometimes these decisions need to be made but I did wonder if it was the right decision for many years), and decided to take the gamble on moving back to London.

Turkey - moments before we crashed the scooter...

Turkey – moments before we crashed the scooter…

We did a 10 week road trip from San Francisco to Buenos Aires. If there’s one way to test a relationship, try not seeing eachother for more than 6 weeks over 20 months then being in eachother’s pockets 24/7.

We didn’t kill eachother, though we may have come close a few times when it involved my map reading or his continued insistence on sharing dinners that were clearly meant for one (he had a point, I ran out of cash three weeks before the end of that trip), and at the end of that moved in together in London.

San Diego

San Diego

London

London

Move along to now, November 2014, eight years after that fateful weekend in Liverpool and here we are. Happy as can be, with a cute little munchkin, another one on the way, and about to pack up everything again to start a new adventure.

Don’t get me wrong, long distance wasn’t without its doubts and heartaches, but I truly believe that if you both really want it to work and believe in it, even if no one else does, then it can work out for the best.

At the end of the aisle on our wedding day in Sri Lanka~

At the end of the aisle on our wedding day in Sri Lanka~

And that was how I fell in love on the road. I can’t wait to read everyone else’s stories! See the widget below to join this month’s travel link-up and don’t forget to add in your own post before the end of this week too!

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