Friday, 7 August 2015

Hotel Review: Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur

Over the last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to Asia fairly frequently and I’ve learnt that the journey is as important as the destination. Of course, my trips to Cambodia, India and Vietnam have all been incredible but spending 20 hours on a plane to arrive super jetlagged is no fun. This is why I prefer booking flights with overnight layovers – I break up the journey, arrive more refreshed AND I get to check out a whole new city. This is exactly what I decided to do on my way back home from Cambodia, as I was flying with Malaysian Airlines I decided to stop off in Kuala Lumpur for a couple of days rather than wile away a few hours at the airport.

As I only had a couple of days to take in as much as possible, location was the most important factor when looking at hotels. The beautiful Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur is located in the Golden Triangle, enjoying the enviable position of being at the centre of modern Kuala Lumpur. The Golden Triangle is the heart of KL’s shopping and nightlife area and the ideal location if you’re only in the city for a short stay, the Triangle is home to Bukit Bintang is the main shopping area as well as Jalan P. Ramlee which has some of the best places to go out at night too. During my stay, I spent time in Starhill Gallery – a luxury mall which is interlinked to the hotel – as well as Bukit Bintang and Pavillion Mall which are just a short walk away.

The hotel, as you would expect from a Ritz Carlton hotel, is luxurious and opulent. The lobby oozes old world charm, with marble floors, Venetian paintings in ornate guilt frames and a glittering chandelier. My check-in was super speedy and the concierge was so helpful, pointing out the various places within walking distance as well as giving me some great restaurant and bar recommendations.

Before I knew it, I was being whisked up to my suite. The exquisite Premier Suite was decorated in neutral, cream shades with luxurious detailing, from the lush beige carpets to the sumptuous golden blackout curtains. The living and dining area was well appointed, with an inviting sofa as well as a desk and dining table, which came with some delicious fruit and macaroons. The huge windows had amazing views of the stunning Kuala Lumpur skyline. I barely had time to take in the view when there was a knock at the door and I met both of my personal butlers who were on hand for the duration of my stay. As an executive hotel, each of the 365 rooms enjoys butler service on their respective floor; however the suites have the added luxury of personal butler service.

The master bedroom was equally elegant, super spacious and tastefully decorated with a lavish, inviting kingsize bed as the centerpiece. The bed was such a cocoon of coziness that I was loathed to leave it in the morning! The bedroom was accompanied by a walk-in wardrobe, which made me regret only spending a couple of days in Malaysia. The piece de resistance was the chic marble bathroom, which featured a large shower enclosure with a rainfall showerhead, separate marble bath and matching sink.

If you could tear yourself away from the magnificent room, the Ritz Carlton’s wonderful Spa Village occupies the 4th floor, which has a family-friendly pool and a separate pool for adults - the latter being the perfect spot to relax. The spa itself offers a plethora of treatments to help you unwind, though I have to admit I didn't have the opportunity to indulge in any treatments.

I could sum the Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur in two words: class act. The hotel is absolutely beautiful without being ostentatious, the décor and atmosphere was that of understated elegance which automatically makes guests feel at ease. The service was absolutely impeccable from my airport pickup to the swift check in and ever helpful concierge. My entire stay felt so easy and seamless, nothing was too much trouble and my suite was perfection. It's rare for me to feel at home in a hotel but that's exactly how I felt for the duration of my stay at the Ritz Carlton. It was wonderful to stay at the Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur for my layover - next time I'm making it my destination rather than a pleasant stop in my journey.


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

AW15 Campaign Trail

Here's my round up of the best Autumn/Winter 2015 campaigns:

Chloe – Anja Rubik and Julia Stegner shot by Inez & Vinoodh.

Oscar de la Renta – Carolyn Murphy by David Sims.

Fendi – Kendal Jenner by Karl Lagerfeld.

 Max Mara – Gigi Hadid by Anthony Maule.

Versace – Karlie Kloss by Mert & Marcus.

 Louis Vuitton – Alicia Vikander by Bruce Weber and Juergen Teller.

Dior – Julia Nobis, Natalie Westling and Mica Arganaraz by Willy Vanderperre.

Vionnet – Anna Cleveland shot by Dylan Don.

Topshop – Gigi Hadid by Tyrone Lebon.

Mulberry – Georgia May Jagger by Alasdair McLellan.

 Marc Jacobs – Willow Smith by David Sims.

 Escada - Lily Donaldson by Daniel Jackson.

Alberta Ferretti – Sasha Pivorovara by Peter Lindbergh.
Balenciaga – Lara Stone and Kate Moss by Steve Klein.

Givenchy – Candice Swanepoel, Isis Bataglia and Stella Lucia by Mert & Marcus.

Stella McCartney – Natalia Vodianova by Harley Weir.
Gucci – Tessa Charlotte Bruninsma by Glen Luchford.

 Chanel  - Lily-Rose Depp by Karl Lagerfeld.


Saturday, 1 August 2015

London Life: Top Dog, Soho

I like burgers as much as the next person. Actually, I probably like burgers a lot more than the next person; I’d say I’m a bit of a connoisseur. I turn my nose up at a lot of popular burger places and definitely have my favourite haunts (Honest, Patty & Bun, Chosen Bun and Five Guys, since you asked). But there comes a point where even a certified burger fiend needs something a little different. I mean, it’s been three years since Meat Liquor graduated from burger van to an actual restaurant behind Oxford Street, opening the door for hundreds of new burger joints to spring up across the capital to satiate London’s desire for fancy burgers. Surely we’re at the saturation point for ground beef slapped between two buns?!
Gourmet hotdogs have been bubbling away under the surface for a while, with Bubbledogs being the most buzzed about hotdog place since it opened in 2013. Sure, champagne and hotdogs sounds like a fun idea but to be quite frank (pun intended), I’ve only ever been disappointed in the weeny, shrivelled-looking hotdogs. They just weren’t tasty or satisfying. But they were onto something; hotdogs are due a haute cuisine revival. Enter Top Dog. The brainchild of Matt Hermer (the man behind Boujis), his wife Melissa and uber-foodie Ewan Venters (CEO of Fortnum & Mason, Top Dog is pretty much destined for success.
For me, the beauty of Top Dog is that it’s actually a responsible foodie haven. Both the pork and beef dogs are from UK Freedom Food-awarded farms where the farmers are devoted to animal welfare while the vegan dogs are made from organic tofu. The buns are baked in a 23-year old Artisan bakery in London with flour from Essex and free-range eggs. Naturally, there are gluten-free buns available and even romaine lettuce if you’re on a real health kick.

 So far so saintly, right? Top Dog offer nine different types of hotdog, including the Lettuce Dog (beef dog with tomatoes, onion and cheddar in a romaine lettuce bun) and the Corn ‘N’ Guac Dog (tofu dog with corn salsa guacamole, shallots, radish and spicy mayo dressing). I politely sidestepped the healthy options in favour of the BBQ Dog (pork dog, BBQ sauce, caramelised onions and cheddar) and Chicago Dog (beef dog with tomatoes, pickle, onions, pepper, chilli sauce and celery salt), both of which were divine. The dogs are tasty, the buns are soft and the inventive menu merges different flavours beautifully, from the more classic dogs to the more inventive. Top Dog also do some great sides including sweet potato fries but the hotdogs are where it’s at for me.
Located on Frith Street, Top Dog is a very welcome addition to the bustling restaurant scene in Soho. The subtle 50s-inspired interior is cute without being gimmicky and the window seats are perfect for people watching. This is my favourite hotdog joint in London, in fact all other hotdogs pale into insignificance. Everything from the location, décor, staff and of course the food is spot on. My aim in life is to eat my way through the menu, which is the highest praise for any restaurant.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Top Five: Heeled Gladiator Sandals

There are certain wardrobe staples which make an appearance every summer, without fail. Denim cut offs, pretty lace dresses, maxi dresses are all perennial favourites, especially when paired with a pair of gladiator sandals. From traditional ankle and knee high Romanesque varieties to sassy heeled versions, I’m pretty sure every iteration has been done to death, perhaps with the exception of knee high or OTK heeled varieties. They’re part of a rare breed of shoe which is just a little too sassy for their own good. I have a pair of beautiful black leather OTK boots with a sky high heel which are exactly the same and for this reason, they only come out a handful of times a year. This is perhaps why I’ve always given knee high gladiator sandals a wide berth. Until now.
It was Rihanna who first put them on my radar as a viable, legitimate footwear choice. Of course. If anyone can pull off a daring look it’s her. I’ve since seen Ciara dressing hers up and Kendall dressing hers down, suddenly knee high gladiator sandals walked their way to the top of my wishlist. I spied a pair while browsing eBay and it felt like fate, so I clicked the ‘buy it now’ button faster than Dorothy clicked her heels. I have to admit, I have only worn them once and they are definitely not for the fainthearted – I was turning heads, even in Soho! I’m really looking forward to experimenting with my summer wardrobe to toughen up floaty dresses and to go super street with denim cut offs. Watch this space!
If you feel inspired to try out a pair for yourself, here are my top five picks from designer to high street:

Friday, 24 July 2015

London life: Santander Summer of Cycle

A while ago, I made the decision to stop going to blogger events. On the whole, while they're super fun, I felt like they don't add much to the editorial content of Fashion Daydreams. I would much rather share something super cool rather than write about an event with little substance that dozens of other bloggers would also be writing about.

However, every so often an amazingly cool event comes along and I simply can't pass up the offer to attend. This is how I found myself at the Science Museum after hours for a private tour on a brand new Santander Cycle. You can't blame a girl for not passing up a once in a lifetime opportunity! 

I met up with my blogger pals Danielle and Sherin to collect our bikes and meet our tour guide before departing on our private tour. We started at the waterwheel before taking a trip through space via rocket launchers, Apollo 11 and an actual piece of the moon! We cycled across to the broadcasting section and took in a working digestion system.

Our taster tour of the Science Museum has be itching to go back and explore the rest of the museum at leisure after an incredible cycle around some of the main attractions. I've been to the Science Museum dozens of times but experiencing it on a Santander Cycle made me see it through new eyes. Santander have a whole host of once in a lifetime bike tours planned as part of their Summer of Cycle, including London Zoo and Somerset House. For tickets and more details, head to the Summer of Cycle site
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