Conti di San Bonifacio

Moving on from Florence Mr Smith hired a car and headed out to the Tuscan Hills for what he hoped would be 3 blissful days of peace, quiet, food and wine.  What did he find at Conti di San Bonifacio…

Riva Lofts

After a lot procrastination about going to Florence, Mr Smith finally pulled his finger out and organised a trip.  It was part of a slightly longer trip to Italy, but the 3 nights in Florence were spent at Riva Lofts, find out how it went…

1888 Hotel

Mr Smith checks in to 1888 hotel in Sydney
After a very long, but good 24 hour plus flight, I arrived in Sydney.  It was just after 6am and I whizzed through the airport without any trouble at all and had the luxury of being picked up and taken in to town…


As I have got older I tend to celebrate birthdays less and less, but this time I planned myself a great weekend.  It started with staying at the Town Hall Hotel for a couple of nights.  See the Room 101 post for details of the stunning room.

The Friday night started with the Mrs Smith.  This time I had left her to make the arrangements for the evening, after all it was my Birthday 🙂
After chilling out in the room I made my way through Bethnal Green and walked up to Hackney and to Oslo, a new bar, restaurant and club.  It amused me a few weeks back when Mrs Smith mentioned to me that she had heard of this great new place and wanted to go, she said that it was Oslo, but I had to confess I had already heard about it and it was on my list of places to go.  Needless to say I was pleased when she organised it for the birthday.
After meeting up and a glass of wine we ordered some lovely little sliders and fries and demolished the lot.  It was never going to be a late night as we were both knackered, but a few hours of chilling out, drinking good wine and taking in the atmosphere at Oslo made for a really great start to the birthday weekend.  The presents were lovely and thought out for me (a pet hate when I get something that obviously shows that someone does not know me), although I think the Psycle session may be a punishment but could be good fun.
An amazing nights sleep followed and a good long walk in the morning, starting with a stroll around my favourite park near to the hotel, Victoria Park, then heading off for a well deserved breakfast at Hackney Bureau and then on to various markets. Thanks to Mrs Smith for the London Market Guide which inspired the walk.
That set me up for another night out.  This time it was with the Younger Mrs Smith.  We met at the hotel mid afternoon, mainly so I could show off the room, then headed off on the adventure for the evening.  The Younger Mrs Smith was in her 4 plus inch pink heels so we grabbed a cab and headed to Sager & Wilde, my favourite wine bar.  The advantage of going to such a good wine bar you can ask for recommendations on what to drink, which is what I always do.  The Younger Mrs Smith was also in that mood and tried different things.  I know one was not to her taste, but you have to try these things.  The bar though did offer to change it if it was not something she liked but she is trying to learn different flavours and tastes so no chance it was going to be changed.
Next it was off to the last night of Hawker House.  I think that a few people had got fed up with me telling them how good StreetFeast is, but Mrs Smith loved it a few weeks back and The Younger Mrs Smith was very happy going.  I made sure we got there early so we could explore and taste as much as possible.
We parked ourselves at the StreetVin Wine bar, as normal, and got stuck in.  As normal everything was amazing and the only problem was that the Younger Mrs Smith knocked her and mince wine over, so wet trousers for a bit, but it did not out a dampener on the night.
It was sad ti be leaving Hawker House for the last time and the memories of some of the most amazing food will linger with me for a long time, but we had to leave.  The initial plan was to head back to the room for a glass or 2 of wine (just that and nothing else!), but on the way back I remembered a new bar that had opened near to the hotel.
I had spotted Satan’s Whiskers a few weeks earlier and was not really sure what to make of it, the outside is definitely not glamorous, but it has an appeal that draws you in.  I knew it was a cocktail bar but really did not know what to expect.  We arrived there after a few minutes walking and went in.  We were greeted as soon as we walked in and were shown to a couple of bar stools.  We found out that they have a policy that everyone has to have a seat and no standing.  We were very lucky as when we arrived they were the only free seats and others were turned away after that.  I personally think it is a great policy as it means that although busy it will not be crammed and you can enjoy a bit of space.
So we got stuck in to 3 amazingly good cocktails each.  They change the cocktail menu daily and I know that I will be going back next time I am at the hotel and I will make a reservation just in case.
That was the end of the night and I saw the Younger Mrs Smith off on the tube.  7 hours of wine, food and cocktails meant I crashed out really well, but before I did I made the decision to give myself the last birthday treat for the morning, which was room service breakfast.  I left the card out and went to bed.
I got up in the morning, feeling remarkably good, had a couple of cuppa’s and waited for breakfast to arrive.  When it did I was thinking that would do me for the day. The most amazing room service continental breakfast you can have, plus the pork belly and scrambled eggs.  I think the pictures will show how good it all was, a great birthday present!
After the horrid part of checking out I made my way home.  As soon as I got home I dropped off the bag and headed back in town to meet up with Mrs Smith No 2 in the pub.  We spent a few hours drinking wine, catching up and chilling out before the birthday weekend sadly came to an end.
It had been a weekend full of food, wine, a nice hotel and the Mrs Smith’s.  Not a bad birthday at all.
The first few pictures are from the London strolling and then a few snaps from the phone from StreetFeast and Satan’s Whiskers followed by an amazing breakfast, which are much better pictures
I won on the Whisky Roulette 🙂

Room 101

From the title you might think this relates to the TV programme, but first thoughts on that are very wrong.  For my birthday weekend I was staying at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.  For those that have read previous posts you will know that the hotel is stunning and not what you envisage when you say it is in Bethnal Green.

When I made the booking I got in touch with the hotel and I knew which room I was going to be having.  I had been lucky enough to be given room 101!  This is one of their gorgeous feature suites and I was looking forward to going and checking it out as I knew that this was going to be a once in a lifetime (subject to winning the lottery) opportunity to stay in one of them.

I was not working on the day of arrival so made sure that I got there as soon as possible so I could enjoy it.  I was not disappointed.  When I first walked in the door I went wow and then I spotted the lovely little gift and card from the hotel.  I knew it was going to be a great stay.

I know that the room will not necessarily to be everyone’s taste, but for me it was absolutely spot on.  A stunning old building with a modern twist.  I will not waffle on to much as the pictures show the room off.

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments – Part 2

As part of my Christmas I had another couple of nights at The Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.  I know I am lucky but it is part of the reward for some long hours recently.  Plus I needed to be there for my Xmas Party, see the post about Viajante

This time was more about having somewhere to put my head down and relax and sleep well, whilst going out for amazing food.
On the subject of food, I treated myself to a room service breakfast, which is a very rare thing for me.  I knew that I wanted something fairly substantial, but was not sure how much I would get.  So I ordered the Granola and continental breakfast that came with cold cuts and cheese, but as I wanted to ensure that it saw me the through the day, I knew I would not have time for any lunch, I order the Asparagus, Mushroom and Egg as well.
As you will see, there was rather a lot!  I did manage to finish it all.  The problem being it tasted so good I could not stop!  It did the trick though, no more food was required until 7 pm that evening and that was just a snack.
Roll on the next visit!