Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Tipsy Afternoon Tea with Amara



One of the things I love about blogging is the community I get to be a part of. Like any group, there can be infighting, catty moments and jealousy, but in the main I find myself small enough and old enough (eleven years and counting writing my thoughts here!) to be able to trundle along quite happily in a little Claire-bubble. Like everyone I have good days and bad days, lists I make and lists I fail to make, but in the main I cannot complain about my lot. There have been a lot of good things, but I'm most grateful for the kickass women and men I've got to meet along the way, and the cool brands I get to work with and the fun events I get to attend.

One such event happened last week, when I was one of the lovely Erica's plus ones (she's so fly she got two plus ones - bow down :)) to an event hosted by the lovely folks at Amara. Amara is already a site I spending far too much time browsing (homewares are my homeboys) so I was delighted to be able to make the event and meet the team! 

Amara have a site just full to the gunnels with beautiful, stylish homewares, so it was no suprise that they chose one of the city's chicest hotels, the Sanderson, for their event. Once there we had a little time to recover from the rainstorm outside before taking our seats for the Alice in Wonderland themed tea; The Mad Hatter's Tipsy Evening Tea, to be precise. 


Trays were brought, beladen with miniature cocktails. The cherry liqueur, orange marmalade mini espresso martini and the dark chocolate and raspberry liqueur mini martini were flavoursome, creamy delights, but I especially adored the teacup cocktails comprising spicy mango syrup and Falernum rum infused with hot Mad Hatter tea and pear and rhubarb liqueur infused with hot Mad Hatter tea. The delicate fruit and floral flavours were exquisite! As well as these we sipped Perrier-Jouet bubbles aplenty as we chatted and giggled the night away.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Santa Maria Novella, Florence


While in Florence, one of the places we were determined to visit was Santa Maria Novella, the beautiful basilica in the heart of the city, a stone's throw from the train station and our hotel, the lovely Hotel Diplomat.



Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, constructed before the magnificent Duomo (more on which soon!).



Saturday, May 06, 2017

Feeling inspired by Trek America 360


At the end of April I was invited along by the team at Trek America to attend a US-themed event to celebrate the launch of their 360 experiences - amazing VR films where you can view some of the USA's most beautiful national parks in glorious VR. As someone who loves to travel and is a fully paid up America fan when it comes to holidays, I was so happy to be able to attend!


The event was awesome, with so much to do, see and enjoy. There was a band (the phenomenal Loose Change) playing American rock and country classics, food from the four corners of the US, a casino where you could gamble your Trek dollars, and a superb guestlist - I spent the whole evening bumping into dear blog-friends. I'd popped along with the lovely Emma, and I finally got to meet the fabled Aftab, too!


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Wine tasting with Divino in Vino


Last week I was very kindly invited along to a wine tasting with the team at Divino in Vino. The older I get, the more inquisitive I get about wine, its history and provenance, the flavours you can explore and the many types of wine you can enjoy. So the chance to attend a wine tasting (along with a bevvy of lovely bloggers who I always enjoy catching up with) was a golden one.


We met in Pidgin, the most delightful little restaurant in Hackney (and owner of its very own Michelin star). We were to take over the premises to be guided through a six wine tasting by the lovely Silvia, a wine expert who has been working in the field for several years and whose passion and expertise inspired her to start Divino in Vino, to arrange wine tastings that help people to explore the many wines available.


Monday, May 01, 2017

My Travel Menu

Another month, another travel link up! I've been loving all the pictures from Traverse (and kicking myself for not getting tickets - 2018 here I come!) and have been doing a tonne of holiday planning for our summer trip over the Bank Holiday weekend so am very much in a travel mood :). The theme of this month's #TravelLinkup is a travel menu.

The question posed to us all was "If travel was a menu, what place is your starter (short haul), main (long haul) & dessert (lasting impression)?" A food style setting out and a travel theme? You know I'm on board!


Starter

Scotland-beach-sunshine

Scotland-beach-sunshine

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A little Anthropologie wishlist


There are a few stores which I visit which simply make me happy. Beautiful clothes, pretty homewares, lovely gifts, fabulous scents and pampering items, interesting books - all of these are the things I love to see, and purchase. And Anthropologie is always a place I like to visit to pick up some or all of the above. I popped into the beautiful Regents Street store the other day and just had to do a little wishlist post on a few things that caught my eye!


I couldn't find this exact set on the website, but I love the range of blues Anthro always stock.  Matthew's very good about the sheer range of plates I have in our house.

Speaking of, don't you just love these gorgeous melamine plates for picnicking or outdoor dining?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The CN Tower


Every city has its iconic monument, building or structure.

The Eiffel Tower.

The London Eye.

The Empire State Building.

In Toronto there are many beautiful buildings, but none are more iconic and recognisable than the CN Tower. So when we visited a few months ago, of course  we had to visit. After buying our tickets and a wait of about thirty minutes we were soon speeding up the tower, whizzing upwards as we looked out of the glass elevator at the city skyline.

Once there we were treated to gorgeous views of the city, the islands, Lake Ontario and beyond. At a height of 346/351 metres (or even higher if you venture up to the Skypod) you can see a long, long way!

Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is: countrymouseclaire@gmail.com

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.

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