Today I learnt my brother had sorted out his flight home. This, combined with the fact my sweet young niece will be in Shropshire for Christmas, means my COVID-19 Shrewsbury Christmas is shaping up well.
Last week John (GM of 45 Park Lane) showed me their stunning new swimming pool. I was one of the first non-staff members to see it, and have agreed not to post my photos, but can assure people it is one of the most beautiful indoor pools have ever seen.
This made me think about the fact I was shown the Private Members Club at Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square, before its members, and stayed at Four Seasons Resort: Dubai at Jumeirah Beach & Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay before they were open to the public. My meeting with Four Seasons Founder & Chairman Mr Sharp, as his private home in Toronto, really did change my life.
On the #travelblog front, it was also interesting that Grant Campbell has been appointed as the first GM of Nobu Hotel London Portman Square & Anne Golden at the first GM of Pan Pacific London. Despite the damage the COVID-19 restrictions have wreaked on the hospitality industry, it does not seem to have reduced my extensive network of General Manager contacts.
England's lockdown2 was made better for me by more Daniel Humm breakfast granola from Claridge's. I am still using the Davies & Brook jar it came in this time and was honoured to be one of the only people to see the Claridge's lobby during lockdown2. I also managed another Shrewsbury trip, ladened down with Fortnum & Mason gifts again.
People who see me over Christmas & New Year should feel free to ask me about the November 2020 photos below. Hope everyone has a special Christmas & better 2021!
Featured in The Sunday Times Wine Club Blog & My Yayoi Kusama La Grande Dame 2012 Veuve Clicquot Arrived - Shrewsbury/ London - October 2020
October 2020 was the month when my friend Will Lyons, The Sunday Times wine critic, featured my photo in The Sunday Times Wine Club blog and my Yayoi Kusama designed La Grande Dame 2012 Veuve Clicquot arrived & it looked even more spectacular than I had hoped for.
However, it was also the month of my niece's 10th birthday & I am even more proud of the job we did making that so special and to ensure her half-term was full of fun, despite her mum having to be in Moscow & her dad in Dublin. A special mention has to go to Kerry Jones at Bloom for Budding Artists in Shrewsbury for her Yayoi Kusama inspired Halloween pumpkin prints workshop. I took it as a fortuitous omen that this was being run!
Despite two trips to Shropshire to support family, ladened down with Hamleys and Fortnum & Mason gifts, I did manage to try the London 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' experience in Harrods. The room is exquisitely decorated and the staff better than in New York but the food disappointing, compared with my scrambled eggs with truffles in Manhattan. It did not help that, as the first booking of the day (10am), I had to wait outside in the cold rain for the doors of The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe at Harrods to open at 10am.
I also bought Lebanese wine again in October and would encourage people do what they can support that beleaguered country. At the same, I did all I could to promote The Market Hall Shrewsbury, with its high quality fresh local produce.
Before 'Lockdown 2' was announced I also managed to squeeze in a delightful afternoon tea at The Wolseley, with one of my most legendary hotel contacts; a sublime Gordon Ramsay Sunday lunch at The Savoy Grill; & collect more superb Dorchester hotel flowers from designer florist Philip Hammond. While collecting the latter, I was able to have long chats with Robert (GM of The Dorchester) and John (GM of 45 Park Lane). All this means I am now 'ready' for the next 4 weeks without visiting a hotel.
With England now in COVID-19 'Lockdown 2', & the results of the US Election still uncertain, hope my photos from last month below help to raise everyone's spirits a little. Good luck to us all!
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.