Our First Christmas Without Dad at Home - November & December 2021 and January 2022 - Shrewsbury & London
November & December 2021 were a whirlwind. The fact I signed the contract for my new banking job at The Rosewood Hotel, London, and started my new role in Canary Wharf in December, means 2022 should start well for me.
November 2021 included a meeting at The Guildhall to represent Barbican residents; a visit to The English National Opera to see HMS Pinafore; a Chinese breakfast at Four Seasons Hotel Ten Trinity Square before The Lord Mayor's Show etc
December included seeing The Dior Christmas Tree at Claridge's; being given the 2021 Harrods Christmas teddy bear by the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park; trying the new scones at Four Seasons on Park Lane before their public launch; Christmas shopping for Maria at Hamleys etc
Christmas itself was our first without dad at home. However, mum & I were able to visit him on Christmas Eve & again before I returned to work in London. His granddaughter Maria flew in from Moscow again and we had a very special family Christmas with her.
Hope the photos below convince you it has been a '7 teddy' few months, despite COVID-19. I am double vaccinated and have had my booster shot & flu jab.
Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog. I really value all your support.
Despite London moving to Tier 4, we managed to have another very special family Shropshire Christmas.
With fine wines chosen by dad; mum's legendary cooking and my niece there, it could not have gone any better.
I gave a Chanel gift to mum; Tanners Wines & Fortnums gifts to my brother & father; a Steiff gift to my charming niece and my godson loves his Swiss Army Knife, with his name engraved on the blade. I gave some of my best gifts this year.
I received Veuve Clicquot champagne; The Glenlivet whisky; Silent Pool gin; Paul Smith socks; The White Company sleep products; Elton John's new book; a personalised mug from a friend in Qatar that I treasure; an umbrella that is a piece of art from Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park etc. So happy with all my beautiful/ thoughtful gifts too.
Hope the photos below illustrate how lucky I feel to have such outstanding friends & a one-off family.
The sheer joy on my sweet niece's face, when she opened my LO.L. Surprise gift from Hamleys, summed up Christmas in Shropshire for me. A relaxed, happy & perfect family gathering.
We were so luck my niece travelled from Moscow to spend Christmas with us, before heading to Finland for the Russian Orthodox Christmas with her Russian family.
Mum loved my Chanel and Fortnum & Mason gifts and cooked her usual legendary fish pie on Christmas Eve and sublime roast goose Christmas lunch. My brother prepared a feast for lunch on Boxing Day, I treasured my thoughtful gifts and things could not have gone any better.
Hope the photos below evidence why Christmas was such an outstanding '7 teddies' (🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻) family event.
Chic Paris at Christmas. The Four Seasons George V with Legendary Jackie; Veuve Clicquot at the Mandarin Oriental, Paris with Charismatic GM Philippe & Delightful Emilie; & Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris with Charming Louise - Paris, France - December 2019
The French strikes did not prevent www.sifrew.com having a spectacular time experiencing Paris at Christmas.
At the Four Seasons George V Jeff Leatham's Christmas decorations were even more dazzling/ opulent than I expected. I was sad to hear Jackie will be retiring next year but this will present another good excuse to visit Paris.
At the Mandarin Oriental, Paris I drank Veuve Clicquot champagne with charismatic GM Philippe and then delightful Emilie showed me the spectacular four bedroom The Parisian Apartment. It was interesting to see a piece of Zhuang Hong Yi art in the lobby of this hotel. His work is currently featured at 45 Park Lane.
At the Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris Dorchester Collection's charming Louise treated me like a VVVIP. It was interesting that my very dry Grey Goose martini there was better than at the Four Seasons George V. I also drank Perrier Fine Bulles for the first time and was fascinated to see a Lego model of the hotel in their exquisite lobby, Lego is the Christmas theme for The Savoy in London.
Hope the photos below give you a taste of how stylish Christmas in Paris is & why it was a '7 teddies' (🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻) experience.
Once again, despite Russian visa issues, my whole family was together for Christmas. I met friends from my Prestfelde and Shrewsbury School days; my mum cooked divine roast goose; my brother a roast turkey feast on Boxing Day; and I adored my cards & present from friends and family around the world.
It was truly a '7 teddy Christmas' and I was so lucky to spend it was my brilliant mum & dad and friends. It just went by too quickly.
Hope the few photos below give some flavour of the fun we had.
For me being with family is the most important element of Christmas and my Russian sister-in-law getting a visa, which enabled her, and my 6 year old niece, to be in Shrewsbury helped to make it another unforgettable Christmas.
I have only missed one family Christmas, when I had to stay in Bermuda because of work. I was lucky then to have special friends there to spend the day with.
London must be one of the most Christmassy places in the world. Having flown in from Bali, I decided to see the best of Christmas in London. Here are some of today's photos.
Si Frew has lived in the UK, Bermuda, Qatar, Cyprus & the Cayman Islands. During this time he met Whoopi Goldberg (in Claridge's), Mike Tyson (in the Concorde Lounge at JFK) , Gordon Ramsay (in the Doha Four Seasons), Chris Eubanks (in The Dorchester), Cherie Blair (in Bermuda & again in the Doha Four Seasons) etc. There are funny stories attached to all these interactions, feel free to ask Si about them when you meet him.