This evening I travel to Shrewsbury, Shropshire again. Family matters call.
I met Anthony Bourdain at the Ritz-Carlton in Cayman Islands; Marco Pierre White at the Threadneedles Hotel in the City of London; Gordon Ramsay at the Four Seasons in Doha; Tim Raue in Berlin; Antonio Guida from Mandarin Oriental, Milan at the Mandarin Oriental in Taipei; Eric Ripert at the Ritz-Carlton in Cayman Islands again; and was introduced to Wolfgang Puck at 45 Park Lane last week. I wonder which chef I will meet next?!
This evening I travel to Shrewsbury, Shropshire again. Family matters call.
New Year's Eve With Mum & Dad Again & England's Lockdown3 - Shrewsbury/ London - December 2020/ January 2021
For a second year I skipped New York in favour of New Year's Eve in Shrewsbury with mum & dad. Mum's sublime cooking, wines from dad and even getting to spend New Year's Day with my gorgeous niece, before she flew to spend the Orthodox Christmas in Moscow with her mother, made it such a special time.
On New Year's Day my friend who lives in the Burj Khalifa sent me photos of watching the Dubai fireworks from inside his apartment. Mind-blowing!
I returned to London on the direct Avanti West Coast train in First Class but Lockdown3 in England was announced shortly after this. I now combine exercise with shopping by walking to Fortnums to undertake my food shopping. This is a treat a younger me would not have believed I would ever have been able to do. I also returned to London to find elegant gifts from the Four Seasons George V in Paris.
I am doing my best not to let standards slip, despite everything, & hope the photos below help to demonstrate this. Keep safe everyone. We will get through this together.
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.
Light at the End of the Tunnel or Another Train Coming? - COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Shropshire & London, UK - July 2020
July 2020 was the month I restarted swimming, buying new Cayman Islands style Vilebrequin swim shorts to celebrate, and exercising with personal trainer Bart again. We did this outside with breathtaking views of Tower Bridge. I was even part of a photo shoot at Virgin Active in Mayfair, as I will feature on the new Virgin Active website.
It was also the month where I was part of the reopening of 45 Park Lane & Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park; obtained my Turnbull & Asser face mask, with VIROFORMULA virus killing filters; had my first pint for 121 days with dad in The Admiral Benbow in Shrewsbury, the landlady Claire there was ahead of London with her anti-COVID-19 bar screen; drank Shrewsbury wine with mum & dad at Hencote in Shropshire; had a haircut at Truefitt & Hill, following in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill & Frank Sinatra; Philip Hammond at The Dorchester created a spectacular new headdress for my Christian Lacroix wearing teddy bear from Bangkok; I attended a sublime lunch at Scott's in Mayfair with my Qatar friends; & ate caviar and drank gin from Kyoto, Japan, for breakfast, outside at 45 Jermyn Street, behind Fortnum & Mason. The Head of UK Retail at Fortnum & Mason now wants to meet www.sifrew.com.
It has been another unbelievable month in my life & I just hope the move to the 'new normal' in the UK continues. Feel free to ask me about the photos below, when we next meet.
After a day working from home ("WFH") in my Barbican place in London on Middle Eastern banking issues, taking a 'break' for a webcast from Toronto, I am wondering what life will be like when the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is 'over'.
I spent the last month in Shropshire helping my parents with their self-isolation & I thought some photos of all that might cheer us up. 'Teddy Scores' do not seem appropriate at present but I have been so impressed by Shrewsbury & The Barbican's response to everything. I try to ring mum every day at present and will return to Shropshire, when that is needed.
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.
Completing my 18 months in Cayman Islands gave me a chance to spend some quality time with my incredible parents, before another big adventure in. the Far East.
During my time in Shropshire my brother hosted an impressive family birthday Sunday lunch; I got to have lunch with my awe-inspiring godmother; went on a Tanners Cellar Tour with dad; visited Chester with mum & day, including lunch at The Chester Grosvenor; had lunch with a special family friend who got me thinking about Bank of Bermuda (now part of HSBC) etc; squeezed in a day in London to see the Bank of England & Annabel Shaw (Four Seasons Director of Residences Twenty Grosvenor Square - the former US Navy building) and I had drinks with friends from my Prestfelde & Shrewsbury School days. Hope the photos below help you understand what an unforgettable time I had.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻(7 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - spending time with my unbelievable parents is always a '7 teddy experience' but so much else during my time in Shrewsbury & London could not have been better (eg lunch with my indomitable godmother). What UK memories to take to the Far East with me.
I am so proud to be a 'Shropshire lad'. Shrewsbury is such a beautiful historic town and I am so lucky to have been sent to Prestfelde Prep School & Shrewsbury School, with all the friends I still have from those places. It is amazing to think Charles Darwin also went to the latter.
During my time in Shrewsbury I got to spend more time with my incredible parents; ate in Darwin's Kitchen; Number Four; and The Golden Cross; helped my brother celebrate his birthday; went for drinks in The Three Fishes pub with friends; had lunch with a knowledgeable and sensible friend; had coffee with my marvelous artistic godmother and heard Charlie Adlard, Comics Laureate and artist for 'The Walking Dead', who I was at Shrewsbury School with, speak about this career.
A memorably perfect week and I hope the photos below do it some justice. Well worth the 12 hour flight from Cayman Islands.
Another 🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻(7 out of 5 ‘teddies’) stay in Shrewsbury.
Lunch at C Sons: 'Locally Sourced & Globally Inspired' Food - Shrewsbury, Shropshire - November 2016
I have eaten in C Sons on a number of occasions and have never been disappointed by their flavoursome food and being able to try unusual products.
On this occasions I had a very emotional funeral to attend the next day and one of my best friends in Shrewsbury agreed to have lunch with me to try to take my mind off this.
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.