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Bars, London, Reviews, UK

AN EVENING OF MAGIC: ARTESIAN, LONDON

September 6, 2016

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If you’re looking for an unforgettable evening of pure indulgence where you can enjoy the finest cocktails in the world (literally), then Artesian is the place come to. Located within The Langham off of Regent Street, Artesian is a cocktail bar that oozes class and sophistication attracting a casual, yet up-market crowd that enjoy the exclusivity that it offers. Winner of “The World’s Best Bar” for four years running it didn’t take long for me to realise why this particular bar, out of all of the bars in the world, really was “the best.”

Me and guest ordered a cocktail each upon arrival – our choices guided by the head barman who also bought us over two lovely little samples of their “You’re So Gangsta” cocktails for us to try. Whilst we waited for our drinks to be expertly created the waiter bought over bar snacks for us to enjoy – one pot of cashew nuts and another pot of lightly salted potato chips.

We were more than impressed with our first drinks! I had a gin based cocktail called “Chameleon Crystals” and my guest ordered a classic Espresso Martini. My cocktail was served in a wooden box, I was told to make a wish and then the wonderful barman opened up the box to reveal my drink. Thick white smoke came billowing out and it smelt amazing. Highly recommend you try this one!

Next up we ordered the “Anti-Hero” and “Suspended In Time”. One came served in a giant lego elephant (yes, I know how that may sound), and the other came served with an eye-catching blue ring attached to a white net which wrapped itself around the rounded glass. Placing on the ring on my guest’s finger the glass was dropped and the whole idea behind the name of the cocktail became clear!

The creativity of the cocktails at Artesian are simply genius – its like a magic trick every time they bring your cocktails over. The bar’s cocktail list and concept changes every so often to offer it’s guests new and even more exciting drinks – they already have a fantastic collection of cocktails, so I’m sure the bar men have their hands (and minds) full trying to come up with new ideas.

Overall, despite the bar’s impressive awards and prestigious location Artesian is actually a very fun and relaxed place to drink. The bar men are extremely humorous and the waiters & waitresses make you feel more than welcome – offering their recommendations with precise knowledge and politeness. If you want to impress someone or have an evening filled with surprises Artesian wins hands down. I will come here every time I am in London now just to see what’s new!

For more information or for reservations please visit their website below.

www.Artesian-Bar.co.uk

Bars, Reviews, Singapore, Travel

MY TOP PICKS: BEST BARS IN SINGAPORE

April 23, 2016

Enjoying a cocktail or two and getting all dressed up is one of my favorite things to do and I made it my mission to find out where in Singapore were the most amazing places to go. With just one night to fully enjoy the bar scene I managed to experience three of the best bars in the city. Each one had their own unique style and atmosphere with something different to offer.

Manhattan

This New-York style bar located within the Four Season’s Regent Singapore truly left me speechless. The bar currently holds position number 5 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2016 list and position 35 on the World’s 50 Best Bars 2015 list, and I can now see why.

The bar boasts a glamorous interior that is dimly lit making for a rather romantic and seductive atmosphere which is perfect for sipping on their world-class cocktails. The bar also has two very interesting features – an ingredients room and a rickhouse, the first ever in-hotel rickhouse might I add, and without getting too technical a rickhouse is a storage room of wooden barrels that are filled with spirits that are left over time to age and blend.

Me and my boyfriend were treated to several cocktails and bar snacks which were just incredible – go for a Spectrum Punch or a Mad Dog cocktail, you won’t be disappointed! The chef, Nicholas, personally delivered the food and just listening to him describe it was an experience in itself. The presentation and attention to detail of this bar is spectacular – they stamp their ice with their logo… I mean, I never even knew that was possible? I loved this bar and you have to go. It is a must!

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Southbridge

Another favourite venue of mine for evening drinks during my trip to Singapore was Southbridge. This intimate rooftop bar is located in the lively Boat Quay area overlooking the Singapore River and offers 360 views of the city’s unforgettable skyline. The bar prides itself on its oysters, which if you have never tried them then here is the perfect place to do so. They make for a good picture opportunity, served on a long platter resting on top of little stones and pebbles.

The cocktails are delicious, crafted by experienced bar staff and the best part is the drinks don’t cost the earth like most of the bars you may go to in this bustling metropolis. Another thing I loved it here at Southbridge was the atmosphere – laid-back and lively all at the same time which is the best combination. When we arrived at around 9pm the bar was thriving with a great crowd of people, mostly young professionals getting ready for a night out, and the buzz of the place was electric.

I would highly recommend that you plan a visit to Southbridge when you are in Singapore, it will not disappoint you that is for sure. It closes at midnight however, so get there early and watch the sunset!

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Flight at Sky On 57

This super sleek rooftop bar has the best view in Singapore hands down. Located right on top of the Marina Bay Sands hotel, on level 57, you will feel on top of the world taking in the glittering city below. The staff are really on top of their game here and feel like no matter what you order it will be delivered beyond your expectations.

Flight is a watering hole for those who want to feel like a VIP offering bottle service with a twist! So instead of your standard mixers like lemonade, coca cola, or orange they have a variety of exotic concoctions to compliment your choice of spirit and suggestions can be found on the menu to make sure you pick the best one.

What’s more, if you don’t finish your bottle that night they will save it for you for the next time you come or if you want to let your friends or family come and use it then that’s also an option too. The bar’s cocktail menu was extensive but will undergo a revamp pretty soon making it even better, the manager explained that the bar will focus more on executing traditional cocktail recipes in a way that enhances each element of the drink, stripping them back and adding in a modern flair.

Overall this was another venue you have to visit. The service is great and the cocktails are just beautiful (I recommend Flight’s version of the Singapore Sling) and finally you will never want to leave because of that view.

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Bars, Hotels, Nha Trang, Vietnam

A DAY OF LUXURY: SHERATON NHA TRANG HOTEL & SPA

April 13, 2016

The Start Of The Day

I was invited to experience the outstanding hospitality of the Sheraton whilst I was in Nha Trang, Vietnam and it did not disappoint. As soon as me and my boyfriend arrived at around 8am the staff were ready to escort us to the lift and whiz us straight up to their 28th floor restaurant and bar called Altitude. As soon as you walk out of the lift we were greeted by incredible views of the city and the ocean, and of course the staff, who were making us feel so welcome.

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Rise & Shine Breakfast

We enjoyed the launch of their breakfast menu, Rise & Shine at their super-cool rooftop venue. The theme was white and blue and huge cushy sofas were spread out along the entire room facing out towards the floor to ceiling windows where you could enjoy a coffee whilst watching the city come alive for the day. The venue then opened out onto an outdoor terrace fitted with high, comfortable table and chairs shaded by big blue umbrellas. However, we chose to sit slightly inside as it was far too hot to brave the sunshine so early in the day.

Breakfast offered free-flow coffee and tea and the food menu offered several options including Vietnamese noodle soup, Banh Mi (which is a Vietnamese style baguette), fruit platter or pastry basket. They also extend their menu to wide selection of fresh fruit juices, smoothies and a number of different types of coffees. I recommend trying the Vietnamese coffee, it’s kind of like an espresso but tastes almost like chocolate!

The price for one person is set at 150,000VND (£4.70) or for two people it is 200,000VND (£6.30). The staff members were so attentive throughout our breakfast and the food was wonderful. All in all it was a phenomenal way to begin the day.

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The Pool

With access to the hotel pool, I then spent the rest of the morning at their luxurious fresh water infinity pool which was, again, set against the backdrop of the stunning views of the ocean. It was such a relaxing place to be and we didn’t want to leave at all. Here in this part of the hotel you will find a complete wellness complex that includes facilities such as a luxury spa, huge gym, steam room and sauna rooms, and also Jacuzzis. They even have a beauty salon and cooking school, so it’s safe to say that there is enough going on at the Sheraton to keep you busy should you stay there!

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Sunset At Altitude

Later that evening we then returned to enjoy the sunset at happy hour at the same venue that we enjoyed our breakfast, Altitude. We ordered Pina Coladas and Strawberry Daiquiris which were superb! Sometimes in Vietnam you order a cocktail and it can be completely undrinkable, however the cocktails at the Sheraton were delicious and really generous in size which is always a great sign. At happy hour, between 4pm-7pm you can order a cocktail, beer or cider and you’ll get one for free. They also provide you with a little snack of homemade potato chips on the side which is a really lovely touch, again it is these little things that really reflect the quality of the venue.

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Conclusion

Overall, my experience of the Sheraton Nha Trang was simply wonderful. The staff are a credit to the hotel and the facilities are excellent. The combination of the views, the quality of the food and drink, and the luxurious environment set out by the Sheraton made for an unforgettable day.

Bars, Dubai, Travel, UAE

MY TOP PICKS: COCKTAIL BARS IN DUBAI

October 26, 2015

Whether you want a romantic date night or a sophisticated girls night Dubai is the city that can most definitely accommodate your needs.

“Shall we go out for a drink?” was a phrase that always lit up my face and deciding where to go was never an easy task as the variety of bars to choose from was extensive. However, after a year of living there I slowly gathered my list of favourites which I will share with you.

Siddharta Lounge:

This terrace bar oozes elegance and when my long-time gal pal brought me here for the first time I knew it would become a regular. All white everything is the theme and you arrive via a lift from the outside which it opens up onto a luxurious pool bar but tucked away round the back I would say is where the party really is. Their list of cocktails are exotic and I have to say I think this is the best place to go for Shisha, like ever.

TIP: When ordering Shisha ask for it to be brought with a “cooler” it’s a game changer.

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Buddha Bar:

Across the way from my beloved Siddharta is the famous and ever popular Buddha Bar. This low-lit, seductive venue is always heaving with expats on the weekend and the bar men really know how to make your cocktail look far too good to drink. Interestingly though, you will be drinking your fruity cocktail in the presence of a super large Buddhist monk statue which makes for a good photo but other than that it’s quite off putting, but I love this bar nonetheless.

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Bar 360 by Jumeirah Beach Hotel:

Heading out of the Marina and on towards the Burj Al Arab is Bar 360. As the name suggests this bar offers a 360 view of the Dubai skyline (it is sitting on its own little private island) and has front row seats of the 7 star hotel. It is luxurious indeed and draws in a lively crowd on the weekend. Also I have to mention that you will arrive in style via the ever circulating golf buggies which were always appreciated when wearing heels, bonus!

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Karma Cafe at the Souk Al Bahar:

Another of my favourites was located in downtown Dubai within the Souk Al Bahar which hosts this little gem of a lounge-bar. Karma Kafe has the perfect combination of modern decor (furniture is bright red), dim-lights and prime position overlooking the Dubai Fountains making it one the most romantic venues in the city.

TIP: Book in advance and grab a table on the out-door terrace where the fountains will keep you entertained all night and of course provide you with that enviable insta-pic or video.

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Q43:

I remember this being one of the first bars I went to when I first arrived in the desert and it became the “go-to” place if we all couldn’t decide where to go. Located on the 43rd floor of the Media One Hotel it boasts floor to ceiling windows from which you get killer views of the Marina and The Palm. I would describe this venue as more of an upscale pub as it has the right balance between party vibes and bar-drinking vibes.

TIP: Ladies Night on a Tuesday is the most popular night especially for “pre-drinks” perhaps this has something to do with there being three free drinks maybe. They also do a Gentlemen’s Night on a Wednesday.

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Barasti Beach Bar:

This beach front venue is the ultimate, if not only choice if you want to have cool, casual drinks on a late afternoon for sunset, a session which will generally escalate well on into the evening, and then into the rest of the night, and then the early morning hours… Ooops. It is for sure one of the busiest venues with its large wooden-decked bar that takes on a more laid back mood which is what the expat crowd like about it. So go in your flip-flops or go in your heels it doesn’t matter at Barasti at all.

TIP: Between 4pm and 7pm they do discounted selected drinks.

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