Given my choice of career, I have been lucky enough to travel around the world for the last ten years building my corporate career. One of the added benefits is business class travel and over the years it becomes the normal way to travel (I appreciate that this sounds very snobby)! You find yourself saving every mile from your business trips to try and stretch to business class on personal travel. For those that are given this luxury, they will know that it is very hard to return to traveling in coach!
On a recent trip to Abu Dhabi, I decided to take it one step further and take a first class ticket. Knowing Etihad offers a private suite in the sky I was eager to experience this next level of travel. I have always been a great fan of flying and this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.
I generally travel with Delta and Virgin Atlantic. Both offering good business class service, however no first class!
I took the fight from London – Abu Dhabi. Ushered down a separate tube (even from business class) to the aircraft I was greeted by my private chef, in flight manager and my suite (as shown below).
The service was outstanding, excellent champagne, restaurant style three course dinner, fine wine and liquor all with a personal touch.
There are also onboard showers, and excellent bathroom facilities allowing you to arrive fresh and ready for the day ahead.
Whilst this is exceptional you are looking at such a limited time in the air for such a fabulous amount of money! I find it a wonderful treat, but not something to do on a regular basis unless you are simply made of money!
To go one step beyond, Etihad have recently introduced a three room apartment on their A380, called ‘Residence class’. I will report if I manage to charm myself in their on a flight.
I recently joined a new GYM in New York and having been used to Boutique class driven fitness, historically I rarely used the locker room. I would attend the class and head home. Now I tend to workout, go to the steam room and then get ready before heading to the office each morning
Having joined Equinox I am amazed at the lack of Etiquette in the locker room and steam room.
It seems that the people that are willing to swing around the locker room freely are not the ones that look like the below, more the men who should be keeping as much as possible hidden!
Why do Men feel free to walk around without a care for anybody else or how hideous they look!
As a man with a reasonable body (not the above) I am naked for the minimal amount of time possible. When pulling my underwear up under my towel, the towel occasional slides and reveals some element of my personal side for no more than a second.
What drives men to walk around with everything hanging and swinging around? I recently was asked by a naked guy for the time! Being English I obliged and answered his questions, however screaming inside me what not the time, simply to say ‘TIME TO PUT YOUR FUCKING PANTS ON’. Hair drying your personal areas, creaming your naked body with your leg on the bench, I could go on.
If that is not enough we then move to the steam room. I understand this is an opportunity to allow all your body to breath. That said, there is no reason to be completely naked. Whilst others are relaxing we don’t want to see your steamed crown jewels on the stone bench!
In summary, the towels are there for a reason and you are not missing anything by keeping it on.
[ via ]
I have been traveling to Amsterdam for the last ten years and the city never fails to impress me. The city is small enough to be manageable on foot for the weekend and large enough to be interesting. If you are looking for culture, impressive art, getting drunk, prostitution or smoking pot you can find it all. As a conservative good English boy there are only some of the above that I enjoy. That said, the wonderful spirit of Amsterdam is it’s liberal culture. Being raised in a mainly Irish Catholic family where nothing is discussed and everything is brushed under the carpet it is refreshing to see such an open society.
So what to do, where to stay and of course where to eat!
The DE L’Europe hotel, owned by the Heineken family is always my go to hotel. Set on the can all in the centre of town you have everything you need. The rooms are individually designed and so delightfully Dutch. The service is perfect and the cigar bar is a delightful retreat for the end of your day. The spa is quite excellent, so don’t forget to take some time to rest your feet after a day of getting lost in the canals in the city.
The city is full of interesting places to visit, the house of Anne Frank, the red and blue light district (red being ladies on offer and the blue being men dressed as ladies, whatever tickles your fancy), and the Van Gogh museum are some interesting choices. This trip I chose the recently opened Rijks museum. After years of renovation and whoever knows what expense I have to say it is magnificent. Not only one of the best collections of art but also a treasure trove of interesting objects, furniture and artifacts. The building inside and out is breath taking. A must visit in Amsterdam.
[ via ] [ via ][ via ]
As I have said in previous articles, British Fathers and Sons find it almost impossible to express affection. In recent years I have realized that spending time with your parents is terribly important.
The relationship with your parents is one you never fully understand until you are in its third evolution. When we are children (between birth and eight/nine we completely depend on our parents in every way and respect them). Most of us then enter the difficult stage as teenagers and treat our parents with different levels of respect! The majority of people enter a stage of rebellion against their parents as they enter their teenage years. We then enter our own periods of adulthood and we reestablish our relationship with our parents and more importantly realize the importance of it.
With the above in mind, I decided on my Father’s birthday to arrange day in London without our normal distraction of work and enjoy a personal day together.
Here the day in London:
Breakfast at St Pancras – Renaissance Hotel – The Booking Office
The restoration of this building is fabulous. A true gem in London and starting the day for breakfast here was the perfect hit.
Late breakfast meant we would skip lunch and wait for our early dinner reservation.
After breakfast then time for some culture and I would recommend the Churchill War Rooms.
Fantastic display of the original bunker occupied by Churchill and his government during the Second World War. It is a perfect father and son exhibition to visit.
A couple of historic spots to take a beer in London and enjoy watching the world go by!
The Coal Hole
Narrow bar on the heart of the Strand and a must stop for a pint!
Traditional restaurant in London with a tiny bar with great people watching to enjoy.
London dinner with Father
Wiltons Restaurant opened in the seventeen hundreds and many of the originals features and customs that still stand. Very old English and the perfect place to find a final dinner.
In conclusion, spending time with your parents is both important and for me, a rare treat these days. Don’t underestimate the importance of appreciating your parents.
[ via ]
I wanted to write a little about some key restaurants that I took refuge in over the holidays. New York has so many options, however there are some that continue to blow my mind when it comes to food atmosphere and quality.
This is simply a west village Gem. Situated on the delightful Commerce Street you step back into the Art Deco period. Caution: it gets very crowded and the service is not perfect, however you simply can’t go wrong with the food. Any occasion, with you mother, boyfriend or girlfriend, or just hanging out, Commerce is the perfect spot! Try the Devil Eggs, Avocado Toast and the Truffle Chicken!
Formal, inviting and one step away from a Michelin star, this is a high-end restaurant and must be tried. Piora is a tiny spot in a town house on Hudson Street.
The food, presentation and staff are excellent. The menu is limited, however the dishes are always in top form. Try the monkey bread whilst you are looking at the menu and finish with a banana rum at the end of the night. I will leave the rest to you and you will not be disappointed.
Alert for all cheese lovers loving in New York: this is a hidden spot with great drinks and as much cheese as you can consume, hidden in the basement of the cheese shop on the corner of 20th street and Broadway.
A dark and vibrant atmosphere with the occasional hum of a passing subway, this is the perfect date spot. Beware there menu is limited and not a good option for non cheese lovers.
With the New Year upon us, I felt compelled to give something back to the community following the holiday season.
A small group decided that a good place to start would be with the homeless and Hungry on New York City’s streets. We all (myself included) rush around New York taking care of our own lives we fail to see the number of people sitting in doorways and parks going Hungry on a day to basis, so we packed twenty lunches and went around NYC passing them out to the hungry.
Packing twenty lunches and hitting the streets was a true eye opener.
A few interesting points:
- Firstly, I had no idea how many people were hungry and needing support
- The individuals were both men and women aged from twenties to their sixties
- Everybody inquired to the contents of the lunch and wanted to understand what superficially was available
- People, although they were sitting in a doorway offered what little money they had to make a donation!
- One guy actually informed me he could not eat my turkey sandwich as although homeless tries to live a vegetarian life. Shocked, he concluded by taking the lunch and informing me he would eat everything else and pass the sandwich to somebody else who was hungry that would eat it.
At the end of the twenty lunch experience we felt like we had done a small piece to help the twenty individuals. Small acts like this were well-received and by taking a minute to stop and look who is present in the streets we race through it really opened my eyes as to how fortunate we are.
We will be continuing to do this on a monthly basis and I will report on our experiences.
[ img via ]
Scalpers opened its flagship store in Madrid in 2010. The brand started in Seville a number of year earlier making bespoke shirts and ties and has expanded to several locations across Spain. As I always find with Spanish Fashion, they create a good quality product at a good price. The style is typically Spanish and provides a unique look in both the U.K. and the U.S.
We have seen several Spanish brands expand to other areas of Europe and the U.S. however Scalpers remains exclusively in Spain. Since returning with several purchases I have been stopped in the streets of New York several times. They offer a great collection for the casual look. There formal range is limited and I do believe you have other Spanish brands that can offer a better product for the cost on the formal side. Casual fall is currently on offer and you really can’t go wrong for the costs. Added bonus you will possibly be uniquely dressed outside Spain.
[ via ] [ via ]