A little bit of Mexico came to London, I was invited by the Mexican Tourist Office to Selfridges for an evening of fine modern Mexican gastronomy. One of the top chefs from Mexico, Javier Plascencia prepared a delicious & innovative five-course tasting menu. Javier is regarded as one of the most prominent names is the industry & his style of cuisine is a combination of Mexican & Mediterranean, known as Baja Mediterranean cuisine. He uses local ingredients from the Baja California region. It was also an opportunity to meet the new Director of the UK & Ireland, Vicente Salas, who hosted the dinner.
I was invited to a glorious reception to be one of only 60 travel companies given by Mélia Hotels at the beautiful Mélia Me. There is no other hotel terrace like this in Europe, it is just spectacular! (http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/london/me-london/index.html)
I was able to meet with my good friends Eva Varela and Ana Ramirez, I rely tremendously on Ana, she is a pillar of strength for me at Mélia Paradisus in Playa del Carmen. (http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/mexico/playa-del-carmen/paradisus-playa-del-carmen-la-esmeralda/index.html)
Talking of Playa, I have had various conversations with reference to future business with Escencia (http://hotelesencia.com/) and Le Reve (http://www.hotellereve.com/) two of my very favourite boutique hotels.
I have recently had the pleasure of enjoying a fantastic photoshoot with my gorgeous Grandson (Nieto) Charlie, executed by the brilliant Vanessa Champion, I am looking forward to doing more work with this very talented woman in the future. (http://print.vanessachampion.co.uk/)
The Tower of London…
I have grown up with this Historic Palace, passing it almost every day on my way through London, visiting as a child with my parents, the odd school trip, taking guests visiting from abroad and also taking probably the entire total of Mexicana Airlines employee’s over the years. So, when Joanne suggested we take out little Charlie to the Tower, I did not think I was in for many surprises, well, how wrong could I have been! It is a sensational place to visit, so interesting & with so many new things to do & see. The animal exhibition is incredible, how many people I wonder know that there is an elephant, lions, tigers, monkeys and a polar bear all within the walls of the castle! So, if you get the opportunity then please re visit, you will thank me for my suggestion! (http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/)
Is there anywhere more beautiful on earth to be in the month of May than on Dartmoor, Devon. I am lucky enough to be able to visit this exquisite area on a regular basis as this is where I keep my horse Ricardo. He lives at a stunning livery stable called Babeny Farm (http://www.babenystables.co.uk/) Babeny not only offers some of the most wonderful riding available in the heart of Dartmoor, but the proprietor Dee Dee is now able to offer horsey holidays wherein you can bring your own horse to stay & discover the undiscovered. Travelling between London and Devon is easy by train, I consider myself to be 100% a Great Westerner! I am not always lucky enough to travel first class but on my latest trip I did and it was superb, actually it is in fact the best way to travel! (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/)
Two for the Road…
We decided to drive my tiny smart sports car to Barcelona then to take the ferry to Mallorca. I was dreading this drive which was a total of 1200 miles but it ended up to be most enjoyable.
We set off from London on a beautiful sunny morning and headed for Dover and DFDS (http://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/) We had priority boarding and also access to the sea view lounge. The services were excellent and the journey exceptionally pleasant.
We disembarked at Dunkirk so, there we were with no satellite navigation system and just four pieces of paper on which Peter had written some instructions. I being the navigator had to match this up with the huge map of France we had purchased, as you can imagine this proved to be a disaster! Three hours later, after a terrifying, continuous circle around Lille where there were massive trucks bearing down on my tiny vehicle, we ended up in the middle of nowhere! It was now 7.30pm, unlike Spain or even Paris, dinner in France is not served late! So after some discussions and my hopeless map reading we arrived at a little town called Laon. We discovered the most delightful six room Inn called La Besace (http://www.la-besace.fr/html/welcome.html) There was a sumptuous dinner being prepared for the guests, but with only six rooms they were full. The proprietor offered us a little room in the garden but with no shower or toilet, I thought this might be a little tricky, Peter by this time did not care as he was so hungry but I suggested (wrongly) that we continued onto Reims. After some more of my non-existent map reading skills we eventually arrived in darkness to this city and proceeded to look for a room. There were none! They had a huge medical conference taking place so everywhere was fully booked.
We proceeded to return to the motorway where upon Peter informed me we were running out of fuel! It was at this point I gave up the will to live! We limped along at 5km an hour and eventually came across a service station where I brought some cheese and bread to make sandwiches in the car. I do have to say however, that motorway service stations in France bear no resemblance what so ever to ours in the UK. The incredible pastries, fresh produce and excellent selection of wine available where second to none! Not a limp sausage roll or dried up corned beef sandwich in sight!
We drove on towards Lyon to a place that I will not mention because I never want to see it again where we stayed in an Ibis. Arriving at 2am and leaving at 7am! The morale of this little story is that I can’t wait to return to the wonderful little La Besace Inn where we should have stayed in the first place!
So after a few hours’ sleep we started on the road again heading for Narbonne, Peter on his miserable four pieces of paper had omitted to make the important map reference of Marseilles hence hours and hours of driving round in circles, what we had overlooked was the heat, this part of the journey was only cheered up by the welcome sight of a Riverford Farm Truck which thundered passed us. After lots of waving & light flashing I felt a bit more cheerful.
Our arrival into Barcelona was spectacular on account of the fact that Peter had forgotten to write down on the infamous four pages the junction number of the road to the port.
Anyway, all’s well that ends well, we arrived safely and in plenty of time to catch the Balear ferry to Mallorca. Another fabulous ferry crossing and joy of joy Spanish food!
Back on Dry Land…
Meanwhile back in the office I continue to work on my new project “My Private Mexico” with the help of my wonderful assistant Lisa. Please watch this space for developments.
Once again we were off to Ladies day at Ascot, there is nothing like this anywhere in the world, it’s the quintessential English scene! Anyone who knows me knows that I am very fond of horses so what better way to spend a gorgeous sunny day than at the races enjoying a picnic with loads of Champagne & Pimm’s! A chance to wear a terrific hat & all in the great company of my daughter.
Well I guess that’s enough from me for now so I’d like to wish everybody a great summer!