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18 Jan 2017

Thank you 2016!

...and just like that 2016 was over.

Ok, so it wasn't just like that. It was over in 12 months. The usual amount of time in a year.
From a personal point of view, 2016 was not too shabby. I was lucky enough to travel to a few places, as well as sneak in a few extra trips to the Philippines to visit family.

I would say I clocked up more air miles this year than any other year of my adult life.

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12 Aug 2015

Anniversary Adventures

Anniversary Adventures by Hello Jesso
Seven years ago at the Haymarket Hotel
This past weekend was my seven year wedding anniversary. I can't believe how fast time has flown on this incredible journey.

I  wanted to share with you what we did to celebrate - don't worry it's nothing soppy and there's no PDA - so without further ado, here are my four-anniversary essentials...

ONE - The husband.
This is pretty self-explanatory.

TWO - Room with a view.
In the words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle from Parks and Recreation "treat yo self". Sometimes we treat ourselves to a trip away, but this year we had a little staycation at The Upper House.

THREE - Adventure
Go somewhere you've never been. Do something you want to do. Make a brand new memory.
We ventured out to the end of the West Rail line into the New Territories to Tin Shui Wai. We didn't know what was there, but we figured as we had never been why not go and find out.

FOUR - Sunset
Once we got to Tin Shui Wai, we got in a distinct green New Territories taxi and headed to Lau Fau Shan - a small fishing village. On the other side of the water was China. You could see Shenzhen from where we were standing! The beach was covered in what looked like oyster shells and that's where we watched sunset. Sunset and oysters, that's romantic, right?

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5 Aug 2015

A weekend in Bali

Nusa Dua Beach. Photo by: Hello Jesso
Nusa Dua
Bali has long been on my list of places 'to go'. A far-flung paradise I'd heard so much about and seen so many beautiful pictures of. Well, I finally got to go for the weekend as some friends of ours had picked Bali as their wedding destination.

To make a long story short, we did very little on this weekend away. About 0% of our time was spent exploring and 95% of our time was spent relaxing. The other 5% was wedding stuff. Sometimes you need holidays like this. Time to switch off and just enjoy the moments. Also, I figured that the lack of exploring this time round means there is a definite reason to go back.

Anyway, I took very few photos but here are some to give you an idea of what we did and what we saw.

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2 Aug 2014

Where I Stayed in Seoul

Hotel ShinShin Robes and Towels
A couple of weeks ago I got take my first trip to Seoul. Edward (The Husband) had to go for a conference and I got to tag along. So whilst he was busy going to meetings, I got to explore.

However, let's start at the beginning and the basics of the trip - Where we stayed and How we got there.

Who I flew with: Korean Air
I used Skycanner to find a matching flight so that I could fly with Edward. I think I've mentioned my feelings on Korean Air before when we flew to New York. What's not to love about an airline that has seats that actually fit normal sized human beings so you don't have to tuck your knees into your nostrils. Again, Korean Air got 2 thumbs up from me.

Now for the hotels...
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17 May 2014

One Year On...

With all the excitement of moving country and exploring my new city, I kind of forgot to blog. Oops, my bad.

There was a lot to take in and a lot of things happened. So, in order to get to you up to speed, here's a recap. Are you sitting comfortably? Ok, then let's go back in time...

FEB 2013:
Where I went: I moved to Hong Kong. You know that bit already.
Who I flew with: Cathay Pacific
I flew Premium Economy and it was great! A good amount of leg room for my short legs, noise cancelling headphones, and a super clean toilet! What more could I ask for?  
Where I stayed: Our new home. 
Other info: I started a Project 365 on Instagram, taking snaps of the things I saw in my first year of living here. See the pictures at #jess_a_day

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20 Jun 2012

It's My Birthday and I'll Have Beef if I Want To!

Birthday me at Mark's Bar
Yesterday was my birthday and being the lucky lady that I am, the Mr took me to HIX Belgravia for a birthday dinner. Oh, it was so delicious!

Located inside the luxurious boutique Thompson Hotel Belgraves in Belgravia, we first went upstairs to Mark's Bar to taste some of the amazing cocktails designed by Nick Strangeway before dinner.  I'd love to recommend the cocktail that I had, but I can't remember the name, not because I had one too many, I think my memory is failing me now that I've reached a ripe old age. Anyway, it was delicious and take it as an excuse to just try them all!

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18 May 2012

Where I Stayed: Hotel Icon, Hong Kong

I'm working on a weird timeline at the moment, writing about things that have happened, are happening and will happen, so bear with me on this crazy journey backwards and forwards through time.

Right now I'm taking you back to January (I know, I know) and am going to tell you about our stay at Hotel Icon, Hong Kong.

After experiencing the relaxation and beaches of Philippines, we decided to stop off for a few days in Hong Kong. It was a great way to ease ourselves back into city living and cooler temperatures, before we hit the literally freezing reality of home.

I'd like to say I chose this hotel because it was designed by prolific local architect Rocco Yim, with interiors by Terence and William Lim. Instead my choice was based on something a lot less glamourous. I went on Trip Advisor, searched for hotels in Hong Kong, filtered by those who offered free wi-fi and voila! Hotel Icon was chosen. Obviously, free wi-fi was not the only plus point. The reviews were excellent and the hotel looked, for want of a better word - amazing!

Hotel Icon Pool & Gym (image via Hotel Icon)
Located in Tsim Sha Tui East, Kowloon, the hotel is on the other side of the harbour. However, getting across to Hong Kong Island is easy peasy; taxi via tunnel, MTR, ferry or even helicopter if you like - we were given that option at the hotel concierge!

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26 Apr 2012

I Dream of Boracay!

I've been back from Philippines for a whole two months now and I am only just getting around to posting about it. Some of the details may have faded, but I will try and tell you as much as I can remember. So sit back and get comfy, as this post is going to be about as long as the journey itself.

The main reason I was going to the Philippines was to celebrate my Grandmother's 90th birthday, which was of course fun, filled with family, and all the tasty food I could eat. Eating was a big part of this holiday.

Anyway, whenever I visit the Philippines, we usually just hang out with family and don't do many touristy things. However, this time was different. Mr B was coming to the Philippines for the first time ever and so we were going to fully embrace being tourists. After all, (to quote their current tourism slogan)  "It's more fun in the Philippines!" 

One of the things we were most excited about was going to Boracay. Frequently featured on the World's Best Beaches list, could this small island live up to its hype?

Errrm, yes.
Station 1: White Beach

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10 Sep 2010

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

I'll say it loud, I'll say it proud - I ♥ Las Vegas!

Some people may think it's tacky, but not me. I plan to be a polyester clad, Hawaiian print, sun visor wearing, slot machine playing granny enjoying my free cocktails.  Mr.B may have other ideas though.

I've been a few times already and have stayed at the Monte Carlo, Planet Hollywood formerly the Aladdin, and MGM Grand.

My last visit though was back in 2006 for Mr.B's birthday, and since then there has been a whole crop of new hotels that have popped up along the strip just waiting for me to come and stay  - or so I would like to think.

In fact, opening later on this year on December 15 is The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas and based on these pictures, I wouldn't say no to staying here.

So, anyone up for a trip to Vegas then?

Photo Credit: All images taken from The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
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6 Sep 2010

Hotel Les Pasteliers - Albi, France

Ok so it's time to back-track back to July when Mr. B and I went to Albi in  France for a friend's wedding.

It's better late than never I suppose to let you know about the hotel that we stayed at and our French adventure. 

So where to start?...  I had never even heard of Albi until the invitation for this wedding came through and really didn't know what to expect as my experience of France has pretty much been limited to Paris.

As part of the adventure for this trip - we decided to travel to Albi by train. It was fun but tiring, but I would still recommend doing a train trip across Europe - even if you only do it once. It's worth it just for the scenery.

After a long day travelling we finally arrived at our hotel - Hotel Les Pasteliers
We arrived late at night and this late check-in was accommodated by the hotel. It seemed to be at the end of a dimly lit street, but don't let that put you off as the hotel is in fact lovely and charming and the owners very friendly.
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28 May 2010

Room With A View

There is nothing better than opening the curtains of your hotel room and having your breath taken away by the view. It's one of the moments that reminds you that you are on holiday.

Like everyone else, I've had my fair share of crappy views, including a brick wall, someone else's room, the car park, a porn shop, and the street corner where ladies of the night ply their trade... the list goes on.

This is why Conde Nast Traveller's - Room With A View (published by Assouline) is a book to own. It showcases 160 of the world's most stunning views - from crystal clear water white sand beaches to bright light cities -  all without you having to leave your chair!

Here are a few examples from the book to make your eyes water a little...

The best bit (apart from all the stunning pictures) is the very handy part where they tell you which room / suite you get the view from. So, if you are looking for somewhere special to stay, this would make a great resource.

Hmmm, which view to look at next?
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23 Apr 2010

Dream Destination: Amanpulo - Palawan, Philippines

I'm lucky enough that my parents are from the Philippines, an archipelago that consists of over 7000 islands, which means there is a wealth of beaches to choose from.

The thing is when we go back to the Philippines,  I only ever visit the region that my parents are from - which is Pampanga if you are interested.

So out of the 7000 islands, I have only visited one. Shame on me. As I have grown up I've realised how much of the Philippines I am missing out on.

Boracay is probably the most well known island in Philippines. Its blue skies, crystal waters, and white sands are popular both with Filipinos and tourists.

There are however other hidden gems...

Last year I learnt of Amanpulo (Aman Resorts) situated on the secluded island of Pamalican in Palawan. Let me be clear, I have NOT been here, but OMG I WANT TO! It looks like the screen savers and desktops aptly named 'paradise'  that come pre-installed on computers.

I'd already heard some amazing things about the beaches and islands in Palawan; how beautiful they are yadda yadda, so I didn't expect anything less from Amanpulo.

When I saw the brochure my heart did a little flip and I could almost feel the sun on my face. Almost.  Just look at the pictures...

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12 Apr 2010

Haymarket Hotel: The place to get married in London

With all the wedding talk currently going on amongst my friends, it has made me think of my own wedding day nearly two years ago. As a result and because I loved my wedding day so much, I am going to share it with you - so sit back relax and take in all the photos.

I was lucky enough to get married at the Haymarket Hotel in August 2008. It had literally just been given its licence to perform civil wedding ceremonies, that when we went to the Town Hall it was not even listed as a venue!

After looking at a few venues, including: the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street, One Whitehall Place, and the Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue, we finally went for Haymarket Hotel.

All our family and friends live in London, so it made sense to hold the wedding here - less time travelling, more time celebrating! The venues we looked at varied from contemporary spaces to very traditional, neither of which Mr B and I felt suited us and our style. That's where the Haymarket Hotel  came in.

Tim and Kit Kemp the brains and interior decorators behind the Haymarket and the other Firmdale Hotels had managed to mix both a sense of the traditional with a contemporary feel, and thus creating a modern classic.

The Haymarket hotel was like no other hotel I had ever been in or had stayed at. The colours, the clashing prints, the welcoming staff all just worked in harmony.  If you don't believe me, here are some pics...

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