www.paydaybur.co.uk

Out of Kensington: Beautiful, historic St. Moritz

St. Moritz, high up in the Swiss Alps, feels like entering Narnia.  Travel via the UNESCO Rhaetian Railway, the most scenic route imaginable and a few hours later reach St. Moritz.  Be greeted by liveried staff from Badrutt’s Palace Hotel and enter a different time, a different experience.  The hotel, built in 1896 epitomises luxury – an historic building filled with antiques, discrete staff, beautiful views and various restaurants to suit all types of requirements.

Most people visit in the winter months, but the summer months also have a lot to offer – plenty for all to see and do.  Try a trip on a horse drawn carriage complete with picnic hamper, to the mountain lake and swim in what must be one of the world’s most beautiful pools…. learn to make cheese in an Alpine lodge, try your hand at sailing in the ‘Badrutt’s Palace’ their own 6-person sailing boat, with the wind flying in your hair.  Shopping is provided in the hotel’s own Palace Galerie – a Bond St. in the mountains.  In addition to the hotel restaurants you can also try Chasa Veglia, a rustic style restaurant housed in one of the oldest farmhouses in St. Moritz.

For foodies, a Chefs Dinner in the kitchen, complete with silver service, followed by a ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ pudding experience in the Dessert Kitchen, is a must and will delight adults and children alike.   As for the bedrooms they are large and it is well worth trying for one overlooking the lake, which with the morning mist, looks spectacular.  Breakfast can be taken inside or on the verandah, the latter being very picturesque with flowers and again, over looking the lake.  Of course many famous people visit Badrutt’s Palace Hotel but even the less famous are treated as special. A real gem of a place and a diamond experience.

Lucy Elliott was a guest of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel

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Images: Copyright; Lucy M Elliott www.lucyelliottphotography.com
www.badruttspalace.ch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic but contemporary: The Oyster Box Hotel, Durban, South Africa

The Oyster Box Hotel on the ocean coast of Umhlanga (exotically pronounced Umshlanga) is a colonial but modern, beautiful hotel just outside Durban. Conveniently located for the airport, it is clearly making a name for itself, both as a hotel for visitors, and a destination for locals. The famed ‘Lighthouse Bar’ was packed the evening we visited – overlooking the Lighthouse, with the waves crashing on a summers balmy evening it seemed a far cry from our very cold and chilly London.

Equally busy was lunchtime on the Terrace, overlooking the pool and the ocean. Staff wearing colonial type uniform, beaming away, carrying plates of huge salads, skewers of fish or curries (for which the hotel is famous). Afternoon tea is provided inside and comprises a huge table filled high with cakes, biscuits, scones and sandwiches. So much so this was providing the backdrop for many couples having a romantic and traditional English Tea.

We visited The Oyster Box some 15 years ago – it was a rather sad hotel clearly lacking love or attention. Taken over by Red Carnation Hotel in 2009 it now has both and doesn’t need the beacon of the lighthouse to make it stand out from the crowd. With only 86 rooms and some 600 staff, customer service is top notch, professional and well executed.

There is a separate building for the Spa, individual ‘villa or loft type’ rooms and a Presidential Suite – secluded and offering all the privacy the celebrities or VIPs who stay, need. Weddings are very popular here and the hotel has a special outside area to host these prior to sitting down in splendour in one of the huge dining rooms.

Children are well catered for and made very welcome, with children’s clubs and films, held in the hotel’s very own Cinema Room, complete with popcorn.

If you ever only go to one hotel in Durban, make it the Oyster Box – classic, classy, contemporary and convivial.

www.oysterboxhotel.com

Images and copyright:  www.lucyelliottphotography.com

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The Milestone Hotel and Alexeeva & Jones Chocolate Pairing Event

Rather like George Owell’s famous statement ‘some are more equal than others’ this can be applied to chocolate. Alexeeva & Jones are among the world’s leading chocolatiers, so how appropriate to team up with The Milestone Hotel, a member of Small Leading Hotels of the World.

We were treated to the pairing of four wines, all of which are produced at Red Carnation (the hotel group to which The Milestone Hotel belongs), winery in South Africa: Bouchard Finalyson. So we saw ‘Mission Vale’ being paired with ‘Franck Daubos – Pamplemoussette’; a full bodied Chardonnay with a candied grapefruit peel coated in (the ever popular) dark chocolate; a full bodied Galpin Peak with ‘Centho – Sakura’ a delightful cherry blossom ganache layered with cherry jam and Hannibal with ‘Paul Wayne Gregory – Dark Raspberry.  A dark shell filled with raspberry ganache.  It was difficult to chose a winner but in the end our favourite pairing was ‘Walker Bay’ – a Semillon paired with ‘Paul Wayne Gregory – passion fruit’ – an amazing ganache which tasted wonderful.

If this event is held again next year I would highly recommend it. Sumputious surroundings of the Milestone, together with high quality wines and chocolates will surely delight any fans with an appreciation of both.

www.milestonehotel.com
www.alexeevajones.com

The Kensington Magazine celebrates 5 years with a Party at The Roof Gardens

A sure sign of a good party is when your mother wakes up the next morning and demands Neurofen! The Roof Gardens hosted a wonderful party to celebrate our Fifth Anniversary. The champagne flowed, the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea spoke and the even the flamingos flaunced their stuff. Residents, clients, friends and family all helped to make this an occasion to remember. Roll on the 10th Anniversary!  (written by Lucy Elliott)

Lucy’s party on 11th April celebrating The Kensington Magazine’s fifth anniversary was a glorious and glamorous affair, given in the Roof Gardens. A truly British celebration with mini portions of fish and chips, baby beef-burgers and sticky-toffee puddings and the champagne flowed freely.  It always has up there.  In the early 1930s,when the Roof Gardens were first planted, my husband’s grandmother, Lady Perry-Robinson loved to open them with the Mayor of Kensington, as a major event of the London Season. It was no surprise that at Lucy’s party the current Mayor,Councillor Julie Mills, enthused publicly about how the magazine has bound us all as a community. Pink as the flamingoes on the pond, Lucy seemed overwhelmed by the praise. Most of us simply agreed with the Mayor!  (written by Maria Perry.  A fuller version of her account will appear  in the May edition)

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Images:  with thanks to Tom Elliott