I have been kindly invited by ‘The Heart of London Business Alliance’  for the very amusing Piccadilly Mother’s day tour!

Picadilly is a historic boulevard containing many iconic stores, elegant hotels and specialist shops which makes it an ideal place to celebrate mother’s day and treat your mother with the best on offer. The lovely selection of food activities that the Mother’s day tour offers are not only tasty but also extremely photogenic too!

Although, coming from Canada we celebrate Mother’s day in the month of May, I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for me to show my readers in the UK some beautiful options for Mother’s day, which is approaching.

1- Fortnum & Mason

The luxury hampers selection

The history of Fortnum & Mason’s goes way back to 1707 where it was first founded by Duke street – throughout the years, it was built as a grocery store and had been an active supplier of quality food, and saw rapid growth throughout the Victorian era.

To kick off our tour, we were invited first to see the various selections of luxury hampers on offer which makes a perfect mother’s day present. You can find many great options to impress your mother, from a personalised champagne bottle to several beauty products – too many great options to choose from- click here to see more

Obviously, my own favourite – the vegan wine hampers

  
The chocolate and sweets department

Based on the first floor, you can stumble across a delicious selection of chocolate and pastries sweets. I am surprise by the abundance of dairy and egg free chocolate selections – don’t be afraid to ask the staff if you have specific dietary preferences as they will be happy to guide you in creating your own personalised box.

 

Up to the Parlour for some ice cream and loose tea leafs  

Up next to the Parlour, which is an award-winning home of the decadent ice cream creations, with a good selection of artisan coffee and tea. They treated us with delicious loose tea and ice-cream

Now, If you know me well enough, you should know that I love a good ice cream. How happy was I when they made me taste their outstanding vegan sunday which is called ‘Choonut’. They have actually two delicious vegan choices, click here to view them.  What does it contains you may ask? Brace yourself, it comprised of the following:  Chocolate and Coconut Ice Cream, Chocolate and Cashew Nut Ice Cream, Coconut Shavings, Millionaire Shortbread, Coconut Cream, Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate and Caramel Sauce

It was so tasty that my girl Ruby ditched her strawberry sunday to come help me finish mine!

I had such a lovely time with my friends, Steph, Ruby and Camilla!

At the Parlour

With my girls, from the left Steph, Ruby and Camilla

 

2- The Hatchards

We continued the tour with a behind the scenes tour of the Hatchards bookstore, a quirky centuries-old bookshop with a beautiful interior design made for browsing with an extensive selection of books which is another good candidate for a mother’s day gift.

My favourite part was learning more about this unique and history-rich book-store. Hatchards is London’s oldest bookshop which was established in 1797 by John Hatchard. The store has been a landmark on one of the finest and most famous streets in the world, Piccadilly, since Georgian times, occupying the current building, number 187, for over two centuries.

Our guide was informed us that Oscar Wild was a regular customer and visited the shop with Lord Alfred Douglas the day before the first production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. Many of his books were signed sitting at the main table on the ground floor, known to this day as ‘Oscar’s table’.

  

 

3- The Terrace on Picadilly

To end this beautiful tour, we finished it with some bubbles and canapés in the stylish Meridien Piccadilly hotel ‘The Terrace’. Since we visited during the evening, after sunset, it was difficult to take high quality photos; therefore, I decided to use the restaurants media photos to give you guys an idea of what it looks like during daylight. I highly recommend going to this place during the day to fully enjoy the natural light and the bird’s eye view of Piccadilly’s landmarks, which is possible with their glass atrium design. They have created a special afternoon tea selection for mother’s day – you can book online via their website 

 

They kindly created a vegan selection for me to enjoy, which was very very tasty I must say. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you will all enjoy your time with your mother during this special day, as in my opinion, it is the most precious gift we can have. Please let me know if you do visit any of these places. Don’t hesitate to tag me on my instagram or leave a comment below.

See you next time

Xxx

Charlotte

 

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When it comes to Dublin, I won’t lie – I have been quite often because for those who don’t know, my partner is Irish and from Dublin. His family lives in the most gorgeous part of the county, in my humble opinion, which is Dalkey. Since I live in the big busy city London I really enjoy staying in the coastal village of Dalkey. I decided to created this mini blog post for those interested in spending a weekend in Dublin and unsure of what’s on offer outside of the city. A little disclosure, unless you pay for an organised tour – you will need a car to visit some of these places. Otherwise, there’s a couple of options of bus tour that you can find online. But trust me, it’s so worth it.

1. Dalkey Village

Let me start with the closest one from Dublin city center; Dalkey. Dalkey is only a short 30 minute trip from the city centre and easily accessible by the Dart (coastal train). It’s a very cute village from where you can find traditional shops, pubs and restaurants.  Needless to say it is very instagramable. Oh and why not stop off in one of the villages beautiful pubs on route for a real Irish pint of Guinness!

    

  2. Dalkey (Vico road)

This is the coast of Dublin and it will blow your mind, the water is so blue and on a sunny day – you won’t believe that you are in Ireland. Local people love to swim all year around- if you are not a fan of regular ice baths then don’t say I didn’t warn you! I love going there for an adventurous coastal walk, breathing the fresh breeze sweeping over the Irish sea and feeling that positive Irish energy. This beautiful coastal walk of the coast is only a couple of minutes from Dalkey village. You can also booked a cruise around Dalkey island and check out the dauphins, yes it is a thing – see more info here or  you can simply pay a fisherman to a quick transport to Dalkey island – check out more info here

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3. Powerscourt Estate & Gardens (Wicklow)

From this point onwards, you will need to have a car as it is slightly outside of county Dublin; however, it is only a moderately short drive from Dalkey village (approximately 25-30 minutes). Occasional if the ‘luck of the Irish’ is on your side you may witness some beautiful wild horses galloping around the exterior gardens. Can use the morning to take a tour of their spacious gardens and estate and grab lunch in their on site restaurant cafe.

But initially this place is a hotel and a golf course and there is a very cute chain restaurant that I love; Avoca.This adorable restaurant is so also very ascetically pleasing  and sells very cute Irish souvenir.

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4. Glendalough

Glendalough is also located in county Wicklow, south of Dublin, along the east coast of the Country. It is well known to be a very popular place among tourist and often coined the ‘garden of Ireland’ yet it is so big that you rarely feel too overwhelmed by the many tourists that visit. When you first arrive on the site, you will find the Glendalough Monastric site. Without going in to too much detail, it is one of the most important early Christian sights and it is of course very aesthetically pleasing. Glendalough, which means Valley of the Two Lakes, is located in a wooded valley beside two tranquil lakes.

Glendalough

Glendalough

Glendalough

5. Hiking the Wicklow valley

For those that like nature walk or to simply hike, the Wicklow Way is of the most scenic places, you could easily pass a whole day hiking the many routes on offer. Due to the higher altitude of the mountains, the weather can be a bit more unpredictable  – I can recall the time we took a hike here, the weather went from sunny and warm to very cold and rainy – so don’t forget to pack a good Jacket!

 

Other great things to visit:

6. Hiking from Bray to Greystones

We did this last year and the view was absolutely exceptional.

On the other side, on the other county; you will find a lot of good restaurant options and can always take the dart to go back to the city or to Dalkey

 

 

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