Today a Labor Day call from my best friend in New York reminded me that August 2023 is well & truly over.
August 2023 started in Miami and Mandarin Oriental, Miami could not have made the end of my Houston - Nashville - Memphis - Miami trip any more special. Hope the photos below evidence that.
I flew back to London in British Airways First Class on an A380 (the double decker plane). At Miami International Airport I could use the American Airlines Flagship First Dining again. The irony that flying First Class with United & American Airlines, domestically, on the same trip I was refused access to their lounges and now someone was melting the garlic butter on my steak with a blow torch, was not lost on me.
Back at my Barbican place I opened gifts & cards from Four Seasons, Nashville, The Guest House at Gracelands, The Peabody Hotel, Memphis & the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. I felt like crying again, such thoughtful & special mementos.
Despite very bad jet lag, I then hosted my niece from Moscow to the Pret a Portea (fashion) afternoon tea at The Berkeley & dinner at The Wolseley. Four Seasons at Park Lane also created a special mocktail for her. She is such a chatty and cheerful young lady and a joy to spend time with. I am just sorry her UK grandmother could not see her on this trip.
The rest of the month was taken up with two weeks in Shrewsbury, doing my best to raise mum's spirits, with meals out and taking her to St Chad's church.
There were also some sensational breakfasts. The chunks of fresh ginger on my chicken congee at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park; the insanely good bacon & Bloody Marys at Michel Roux Jr's The Wigmore at The Langham Hotel and the mouthwatering pastries at The Grill by Tom Booton at The Dorchester deserve special mentions.
Meeting my niece Maria from Russia again, after so long, would make it a '7 teddies' (🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻) month on its own but the fact mum loves the watch I found for; the Issy card from my godson Miles and finding my postcards India in the 1980s and the one I wrote in Russia when Andropov was their President, have blown my mind. Enjoy the photos below.