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Five Favourite Spots In London For Tea And Treats

by | Five Places..., Honeymoons, Location Europe


Nicola Goring


Image via The Royal Parks

When you’re travelling through a new city, or even returning to one you’ve visited previously, it’s always helpful to know where you can find a good cup of tea and some treats. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I will not attempt to guide you to the perfect flat white in London! However, I know a few lovely places that will be a welcome spot to rest your feet and tuck into some well deserved morning or afternoon refreshment.

 1. Serpentine Bar & Kitchen

Based in the centre of Hyde Park, you are likely to stumble across this cafe on a walk through the pretty park itself. It is always busy, and if you’ve arrived on a fine day you may need nerves of steel to find a table outside overlooking the water. But once settled, you will find an oasis of calm in the middle of the bustling city. You’ll find a large menu filled with tasty beverages and snacks, including the option to grab a picnic and sit on the grass. The perfect spot on a warm day to rest your feet and enjoy the beautiful view.



2. Cafe Liberty

Being one of the most photogenic places in London, if you’re a flower or fabric lover you’ll know this spot well. Once you’ve had a browse through the gorgeous goods and interior (extra lovely if you’ve come at Christmas time), pop up to the Cafe on level two. You can treat yourself to a cream tea as you sit above the busyness of the London streets, and enjoy the bonus of some decadent shopping. Definitely one for the ladies!



3. The V&A Cafe

If you’re doing the circuit of galleries and museums whilst in London, you don’t have to go far to find a beautiful spot for some scones and a pot of tea. The National Portrait Gallery does a superb High Tea, and the Wallace Restaurant in the Wallace Collection gallery does a beautiful afternoon tea and boasts a truly beautiful interior. The V&A Cafe is cafeteria style in some aspects, but the interior is so lovely it’s definitely worth it. As you wait on your delicious goodies you’ll be distracted by the grand sweeping ceilings and giant chandeliers, and be intrigued by the incredible collections the gallery has on offer. A superb place to while away a few hours, all in the name of art.



4. Harrods Food Hall

Some avoid Harrods like the plague in London. It is likely one of the busiest places you will ever find yourself in! However, picture a chocolate hazelnut filled cronut sitting prettily in a patisserie cabinet, and you may be lured in. Once you find yourself safely ensconced in the Food Hall, the options are limitless! You can sit at the bar and have a mug of Belgium hot chocolate, you can pick and choose some finer treats for a picnic in the park, or you can graze at the cakes and sweets section. There you will find every sort of cake, fudge, Turkish delight and baked good you can imagine. Enjoy!


5. Sacred Cafe Carnaby Street

A small cafe squeezed in the rambling streets of Carnaby Street, Sacred Cafe offers what I am told is some of the best coffee in London. Created by New Zealanders, they know their stuff. The food is simple and delicious, and if you’re a tea drinker like myself you will be charmed by the whimsical teapot. You may need to wait for a seat, but it’s worth it for the yummy treats and some excellent people watching.


There will clearly be hundreds if not thousands more incredible places for a spot of afternoon tea in London-town, but these places are all tried, tested and true. If you’re needing a comfy seat, some delicious refreshments and maybe even an extra special treat, this is a good place to start.

Let me know if you have any more good places for a treat in London, I’d love to know where your favourites are!

All images unless otherwise credited by Nicola Goring

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: I’m in absolute heaven – a cup of tea whilst sitting amongst the most beautiful flowers at Cafe Liberty sounds too good to be true!

About Nicola Goring – I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric loving, mint tea drinking, brownie baking, book obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).

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Honeymoon A – Z: Pangkor Island

by | Honeymoons, Honeymoons A-Z, Location Asia


Samantha Chua


Image via Pangkor Laut Resort

The idyllic Pangkor Island in Malaysia consists of a main island, surrounded by a group of smaller islands, dotted with luxury retreats. Pangkor’s low-key village feel and beach activities makes it a beautiful place to escape for weekend warriors and honeymooners alike. From a swaying hammock on the island’s many beaches, it’s hard to imagine Pangkor Island’s turbulent past: the Beautiful Island is a former pirate hideout and bit-player in the battle to control the Straits of Malacca. These days, the only ruckus is from chattering monkeys and hornbills.

5 Places to Stay

1. Pangkor Laut Resort
Nestled amidst an ancient rainforest on the private island of Pangkor Laut, the resort is fringed by white sandy beaches and emerald water. Pangkor Laut Resort, with its wooden buildings that blend seamlessly into the forest, is the perfect escape for honeymooners. The resort’s Spa Villa sits on stilts over the ocean with stunning views over the Straits of Malacca. The resort has won many accolades, including one the late Pavarotti, who has declared the resort a paradise.


Image via Pangkor Laut Resort

2. Swiss Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut
The 290 room Swiss-Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut offers superb resort facilities and personalised service that will delight honeymooners. All rooms either face the garden or the ocean and are outfitted with modern amenities and intricately designed furnishings with a strong Malaysian heritage and a hint of Mediterranean vibe.


Image via Swiss Garden Beach Resort Damai Laut

3. Tiger Rock Private Retreat
For a complete experience in eco-tourism, Tiger Rock is the perfect retreat to reconnect with nature. Situated amongst the lush rainforest in the mountainous part of Pangkor Island, the family-run retreat’s personalised touches can be seen in the chalet’s décor that blends the traditional Malaysian straw-weaving technique with rustic charm.


Image via Tiger Rock Private Retreat

4. Puteri Bayu Beach Resort
A relative newcomer to the Pangkor scene, Puteri Bayu Beach Resort is situated along the famous Pasir Bogak Beach and has grown to be the perfect hideaway for holiday makers. The spacious, well-appointed chalets feature private balconies with ocean or garden views. Feel the sea breeze and the gentle sway of coconut trees as you indulge in a sumptuous grilled BBQ seafood dinner prepared in-house at the resort’s restaurant.


Image via Puteri Bayu Beach Resort

5. Joe’s Fisherman Inn
The boutique hotel offers 32 rooms that are combination of luxury and comfort with untreated wood panelling that provides the unique experience of living in a cabin. The relaxing ambience is great for newlyweds to unwind after their big day.

5 Places to Visit

1. Dutch Fort
A trip to Pangkor Island would not be complete without a happy snap in front of the Dutch Fort. The fort was first built by the Dutch in 1670’s as a base for tin storage and a protection ground for themselves. The locals were dissatisfied with the Dutch holding the monopoly in tin trade and launched an attack in 1690 but find that the fort was rebuilt with re-enforced guarding. Today, the Dutch Fort remains quietly just by the sea, with a small landscaped garden and weathered bricks that bore witness to the events that happened three centuries ago.


Image via Pangkor Coral Bay

2. Coral Beach
The picturesque Coral Beach is a great spot for snorkelling and exploring the marine life that fills the crystal clear waters. Spot the elusive hornbill nestling in the forest a little back from the shore and spend the rest of the afternoon kayaking.

3. Turtle Bay (Teluk Ketapang)
Visitors between the month of May and July can observe the sea turtles make an annual pilgrimage to Turtle Bay to lay their eggs. Take a boat cruise and explore the surrounding islands before snorkelling in the emerald waters.

4. Pangkor Fishing Villages
While the west coast of the island concentrates on tourism, the east coast of Pangkor island remains the same with their customary fishing lifestyle. The fishermen’s village is a long strip of communities stretching to Pangkor town. Although the places are small they are worth a visit. The village lifestyle is simple and laid-back. Watch the locals dry the seafood under the scorching heat and later dipped in a thick sweet and spicy sauce.


Image via David FSLoh

5. Pangkor Forest Reserve
Indulge in the lush flora and exotic fauna abound in the Pangkor Forest Reserve. Rare orchids can be seen along the jungle trek while colourful birds perch on the trees at the hill slopes. You may possibly catch a glimpse of monkeys swinging from the branches. Complete your day by trekking to Pangkor Hill to spot the giant hornbills.

5 Things To Do

1. Go Snorkelling
Although lazing around under the sun sounds like the perfect paradise, you will not want to miss snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of Pangkor Island. Explore beautiful corals and sea cucumbers as you hold hands with your partner and swim across the underwater world.

2. Indulge in Watersport Activities
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just want a taste of watersport, Pangkor Islands has a wide range of activities that lets everyone participate. From jet-skiing to banana boat rides to parasailing, this place is loaded with excitement! Complete the exhilarating day with a wonderful night out barbequing on the warm sandy shores, with a campfire and the soft strumming of a guitar.

3. Hornbill Feeding
Be amazed as you get up close and personal with the exquisite hornbill. These birds are particularly loud and noisy, but feeding them is truly an experience worth cherishing. You can spot these intelligent hornbills at other locations as well and snap some lovely photos to make it even more memorable.


Image via Coral Sand Oceanic Services

4. Shopping in Pangkor Town
The main town of Pangkor is where the daily trades happen and decades’ old traditional coffee houses nestle amongst government administrative buildings. Indulge in the tropical food that many stalls have to offer and savour a local delicacy or two. On some days you can even catch fishermen hauling in their daily catch.

5. Visit the Pangkor Gallery
The single-hall gallery overlooking the jetty is a pleasant break from the sun. The gallery has a small collection of handicrafts and furnishings, including elaborately woven baskets and traditional music instruments. Immerse yourself in the local culture and bring home a souvenir or two to remember the wonderful time.


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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Honeymoon bliss starts here – the idea of swaying in a hammock with the waves lapping at the shore sounds just like paradise!

Hawaii – The Ultimate Honeymoon Destination!

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Location USA


Ms Filigree


Hilton Hawaii

When one mentions the name Hilton, luxury and elegance immediately comes to mind. Combine that with the thoughts of sunshine, excitement and relaxation that “Hawaii” brings and you’ve got one amazing day dream happening. But why stop at a daydream? If you’re lucky enough to be planning your honeymoon, Hawaii is fantastic destination and the Hilton group can make your stay a dream come true.



Hilton Hawaii

To experience a taste of Hawaii and especially Hawaii Hilton, I was lucky enough to join celebration of that great nation hosted by the Hilton Sydney. In the Marble Bar at the Sydney Hilton, guests were treated to a display of Hawaiian culture, lifestyle and of course cuisine. Prepared by the Waikiki Hilton head chef, there was an exquisite banquet of twelve courses including goat cheese bruschetta, crispy panko crusted lobster cake, pan seared Pacific King Fish and triple cooked pork belly. With fresh, bold, exciting and modern flavour combinations all artfully prepared by the talented Hilton Hawaii chefs, this is Hawaii “grown up” and it’s delicious! Perfect for romantic dinners with your spouse!

When it comes to choosing exactly where to stay in Hawaii, there are ten Hilton hotels across four islands – there really is something for everyone! The Waikiki Hilton is the biggest hotel on Waikiki beach by number of guests rooms (also the biggest Hilton in the world!) but if it’s something more intimate you’re after, there are plenty of choices for you. With multiple hotels across multiple islands, your time in Hawaii can be completely tailored to suit your every need and budget.



Grand Wailea

If Hawaii has caught your eye, be sure to take a look at Hawaiian Airlines who will give you the complete “Aloha” experience long before you reach your island paradise. With all the convenience of daily flights from Sydney, the comfort of 180 degree lie flat seats and a whopping 64kg of baggage allowance per guest (plenty of space for all your shopping), Hawaiian Airlines should be your number one choice!



Grand Wailea

Have a wonderful time in Hawaii with your loved one and enjoy all that this brilliant place has to offer!


Grand Wailea

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: A Hawaiian honeymoon with the Hilton group is a dream come true – full of sunshine, excitement and relaxation! The food sounds amazing!!!

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