Having met Executive Head Chef Paul Walsh at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, and adored Jason Atherton's Aberdeen Social in Hong Kong, I decided I must return to Temple & Sons with the Executive Search lady who has helped me.
It was the perfect British venue for two expats who have lived in Bermuda, Cayman, Qatar & Cyprus. I always get such a warm welcome from General Manager Nick Connolly, Bar Manager Callum Silvester looks after me so well and the quality of food at this Jason Atherton grill restaurant is excellent.
Refined Elegance from Anne-Sophie Pic During Lunch at La Dame de Pic in Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square - March 2017
I admire Antoine Corneille, the F&B Director at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, who was formerly at Four Seasons George V in Paris. I have also heard so much about third generation French Michelin star chef Anne-Sophie Pic. In 2011 Anne-Sophie Pic was named World's Best Female Chef by the World's 50 Best Restaurants and her family were first awarded three Michelin stars in 1934. La Dame de Pic London, at Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square, was, therefore, the obvious choice of venue for lunch with my BBC friend.
I was so glad I made this choice with all the impressive cooking, exquisite flavours, excellent staff & a Four Seasons Board meeting taking place in London.
I did not enjoy my stay at the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas but love going to breakfast in the Holborn Dining Room at Caroline Hunt's Rosewood, London, which is walking distance from my Barbican home. I am also a fan of their ex-Four Seasons Hotel Manager Michael Bonsor and so decided we must try their 'Art' afternoon tea.
I was so glad we did. This is a delicious & fun afternoon tea with informed & attentive staff, who do not rush you, in beautiful surroundings.
I am thrilled that Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square has opened in the City of London.
It is based in the impressive 1922 former Port of London Authority building designed by Sir Edwin Cooper and has been redeveloped by Chinese Reignwood Group. This is the building the inaugural meeting of the United Nations was held in in 1946 and it also appeared in the James Bond movie Skyfall.
Its location by the Tower of London means that, just as when I lived in Qatar for almost 10 years, I can walk from my Barbican home to a Four Seasons.
2016 New Year Stay At The New Four Seasons Downtown 'The Friendliest Hotel in New York' - New York, USA - December 2016 to January 2017
A fall on the ice in the The Barbican in London after Christmas left me with badly bruised ribs, & my best friend in New York recovering from cancer related surgery, meant I was considering abandoning my usual New York for New Year plans. However, I ended up booking my British Airways flight the afternoon before I was due to travel.
I was so pleased I went to New York in the end. The new Four Seasons Downtown is an exceptional property with some of the friendliest & most engaged Four Seasons staff I have encountered; seeing my New York friend was incredible and I also got to spend an evening with my brilliant Uruguay friend who let me stay at his Punta del Este place for two months after I ended by 9 1/2 years in Qatar.
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.
I always find it fascinating to think I first walked into the Sanderson hotel's 1958 building on Berners Street in the 1990s, when it was the showroom for Arthur Sanderson & Sons and we picked William Morris wallpaper.
It is now part of Morgans Hotel Group and has been, since 2001, a chic & fun Philippe Starck designed 'boutique' hotel with a young trendsetting clientele. This is where we had our 'Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea' and I have also drunk in their 'Purple Bar' before.
This time we were honoured to be invited to try their Smith & Sinclair Christmas pop up bar with the hotel's General Manager Grant Campbell.
I have stayed at Royalton NYC, Morgans NYC, and the Hudson in New York, St Martins Lane and Mondrian London, had afternoon tea at Sanderson London and dinner in Madonna's 'The Blue Door' at Delano South Beach in Miami and so have quite a history with Morgans Hotel Group. In fact I used to exchange letters with Ian Schrager when I was living in Bermuda and staying in his Philippe Starck designed Royalton hotel.
I am constantly thrilled by the worldwide readership of #travelblog www.sifrew.com. It amazes me how long readers in Russia spend reading it and is fascinating to think of people in Iran & Iraq reading about Shropshire.
I love that people I worked with in the UK, Bermuda, Qatar and Cyprus support the blog and friends I have made on my travels in the US, Asia, S America, Middle East & Australia still follow my travels, as well as Four Seasons staff at their Head Office in Toronto; Mandarin Oriental staff in Hong Kong & Bangkok; Raffles staff in Singapore; and Dorchester Collection & Belmond staff in London.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads my blog and stress how much I value the comments you post.
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.
Sorry for the silence on this blog but I had a diabetic scare while working in Cyprus and have been resting, & undertaking medical tests, in London for the last week. However, today learning that a very special person in my life had died meant I decided to go to The Goring for lunch to remember this incredible lady in a sublime way.
I have stayed at this hotel and Jeremy Goring got Lucinda Buxton at Mango PR to help me with my blog when I was in Bangkok last year. This is another London hotel I feel a special affinity to and I have had perfect meals there on my birthdays for the last two years.
I decided to make my first weekend in London, after moving to Hilton, Cyprus, perfect and achieved this goal thanks to 45 Park Lane, The Dorchester, The Ivy Chelsea Gardens, Four Seasons Park Lane and Threadneedles Hotel and, most important, seeing my godson again.
On 21 August 2016 I moved into the Hilton, Cyprus, as part of my new job working in Cyprus as a Bank Consultant, and I have quickly come to love this hotel & its brilliant staff.
First Class Train Travel, The Balmoral Hotel, Lunch at Harvey Nichols & The Edinburgh Fringe - Edinburgh, Scotland - August 2016
I decided to visit some of my best friends from my Bermuda days, before I move abroad again, and it was during the Edinburgh Festival.
I did the same thing last year and had not intended to post anything about this trip but Lauren (who works in PR at The Balmoral) was so sweet, my friends such fun to see and Edinburgh so vibrant that I have decided I must write something.
The Prêt-à-Portea (Fashion Themed) Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge - London, UK - August 2016
I stayed in The Berkeley hotel some years ago, when it was part of The Savoy Group and badly in need of refurbishment, and have since eaten in their Pierre Koffman & Marcus Wareing restaurants.
Having been taken to its Blue Bar recently, by friends from my Qatar days, and seen the hotel's radical stylish makeover, I decided the mother of my godson and I must try their famous Prêt-à-Portea (fashion themed) afternoon tea.
I first visited The Connaught for drinks before a 1980s backpacking trip to India, with friends from Shrewsbury School. We picked this venue because a friend's brother worked there, despite our lack of funds, and I will always remember the way we were treated like kings, despite our shabby appearance. This beautiful hotel will always have a very special place in my heart.
I have since stayed in a Carlos Suite at The Connaught and Nathalie Seiler-Hayez (the former General Manager) sent me champagne, after a problem with my brother's family in their Coburg Bar. I have quite a history with this legendary London hotel.
When I think about Sunday lunch in London, Roast is the first place that comes to my mind. It is by London Bridge, in Borough Market - this market is closed on Sundays.
The walk there, from my Barbican place, that Sunday was incredible in the sunshine and I was amazed, & pleased, to see a Pride flag flying over the Bank of England on the way.
Having loved Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong, I had to try Jason Atherton's Michelin-starred London flagship Pollen Street Social.
I also ate at Gordon Ramsay's Verre in Dubai when Mr Atherton was their Executive Chef, the London EDITION and Mr Atherton was the first British person to complete a stage at El Bulli, & so is regarded as an industry star. At Pollen Street Social he promises "fine dining with a twist".
At www.sfrew.com we love the UK Queen. HM the Queen Mother was Veuve Clicquot's largest private client & the UK Queen loves Dubonnet & gin and her Official June Birthday was on World Gin Day this year.
God Save the Queen & Long May She Reign . An incredible lady.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻 (7 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - a '7 teddies' Monarch, without any doubt.
45 Park Lane is The Dorchester hotel's 45 room/suite, more expensive, chic contemporary sister hotel housed in a exceptional Art Deco building with a striking façade, with eco-friendly cooling fins, minutes walk from its stately 'older sister'. All rooms & suites in 45 Park Lane have large windows with views of Hyde Park.
45 Park Lane is famous for being the site of Hugh Hefner's first Playboy Club in Europe, which had the world's most profitable casino in the 1980s.
With all my stays at The Dorchester, and knowing John (the General Manager of 45 Park Lane) from his time at The Dorchester, I had to stay at this hotel and John made this possible.
When I said I was travelling through London after my GCC Tour, John (GM of Four Seasons Park Lane) generously offered use of their 'Early Morning Arrivals Suites', so I could have a shower.
In the end I had a shower; got a delicious light breakfast; rested for a few hours while admiring the views of London from the spa at the top of the Park Lane Four Seasons; got my iPhone6 recharged; and gained a new member of the 'gang'.
I cannot thank John, & his brilliant staff, enough for all they did for me that morning.
🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻🐻 (7 out of 5 ‘teddies’) - John Stauss is definitely another 7 'teddy' Four Seasons GM and his opulent London hotel, with its friendly & helpful staff, fully deserve this top rating too.
Four Seasons Bahrain Bay's 'First Customer' returns for a Third Stay in a State Suite - Manama, Bahrain - May 2016
I first stayed in Four Seasons Bahrain Bay before it was open to the public & officially became their 'first customer'. I have stayed there again since and decided a third stay had to end my GCC Tour.
Greg (the General Manager) & Bob (the Manager) feel like old friends now and the hotel has gone from strength to strength over the 15 months since it opened.
Four Seasons Bahrain Bay now exemplifies the best of Four Seasons in terms of service, F&B & facilities and I am so proud to be known as its 'first customer'.
Having known GM Sam from my stays at Four Seasons New York and Baku, I had to stay at Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, despite it only opening around the time when my GCC Tour started.
I arrived for a one night stay only 10 days after the hotel had opened, with less than 1/2 the rooms/suites ready for occupancy. I have, therefore, decided it is unfair to 'teddy rate' this hotel at this time, despite my memorably brilliant stay.
Sam is a 7 'teddy' GM, with an excellent management team in Abu Dhabi & I know this hotel will reach the 7 'teddy' score in time.
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.