Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - A Weekend of Desert Luxury

Burj Al Arab

Burj al Arab and Dubai coastline
Guest Blog: Leigh Brody

Alexandra asked me to write a guest blog for my recent jet set weekend to Dubai, which I’m happy to report fits perfectly among the calibre of places she usually spotlights. This was my first time to Dubai and I would happily return tomorrow. The city is divided into multiple parts, of which the highlights are the marina, the Jumeirah with the Burj Al Arab, and the downtown. All parts of town have a different feel but encompass the same high quality restaurants, bars, and most of all, top notch pampering! The city is incredibly safe and its hallmark is the extraordinary level of service it provides to its visitors. Here is my list of to-dos on your next visit to the sandbox. Follow me on twitter @l3ighbrody for all of my adventures.

1) Have lunch inside the Burj Al Arab. Pictures are completely banned, but I couldn’t resist taking one of the inside:

2) Visit the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and get a bird's eye view (well, I'm not even sure birds can fly this high) of Dubai from the observation deck on the 124th floor.
Burj Khalifa- tallest building in the world
Burj Khalifa
View from the observation deck at 124 stories up
3) Go for a wild ride through the desert as you fly over sand dunes in a 4W drive vehicle. We organized a half day safari with Orient Tours. Ask for Bobby, he is the best driver and guide! The tour includes a stop at a camel farm and the chance to watch the sunset in the desert.

4) Go for broke shopping for gold in the souk

5) Lunch or dinner at Pierchic overlooking the Burj al Arab (inside the Jumeirah Hotel) is a must!

We stayed at the Grosvenor House Hotel and had a fabulous room overlooking the marina.

On our first night we dined at Toro Toro inside our hotel at the Grosvenor House. Fantastic tapas style restaurant with a sexy vibe and killer scene. After dinner, head upstairs to the pool bar overlooking the marina to enjoy a nightcap.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

London, England - RHS Chelsea Flower Show

This weekend I visited the famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the first time. Tickets sold out in minutes and demand exceeded that of Coldplay, so much so that black market tickets were selling for upwards of £300 each! Normal entry price is £45. Held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars, it used to be Britain’s largest flower show (it has now been overtaken by Hampton Court), but is still the most prestigious. It is the flower show most associated with the royal family, who attend the opening day every year, and it takes 25 days to put the entire show up. Here are some photographic highlights: 

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

London, England - The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason

Here is a copy of my guest post that appeared on the House of Turquoise blog yesterday: 

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years of her reign, will be celebrated in England over a four-day weekend from June 2-5. For Brits (and Londoners, like myself), this is one of the biggest events of the year. London city streets are already lined with British flags, store windows are showing their patriotic red, white and blue union jack colors, and neighborhoods are busy planning block-long street parties.

So what is the most famous British tradition you can think of? Afternoon tea! I recently toured the newly refurbished Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at the famous department store Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly. The room is filled with beautiful sea foam green and tiffany blue colors (just what we love at House of Turquoise) and was created by the world famous interior designer David Collins. Designed to imitate a Georgian drawing room with subtle architectural reminders of Fortnum’s early days in the 1700s, the tea salon was opened by HM the Queen accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Parker Bowles) and the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton).

Here at my own blog, Destinations Perfected, I am eating, sleeping and shopping my way through the most fabulous travel destinations in the world and reporting it all back to you. Come join me! 

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