Social Commentary

Write Your Own Eulogy…


Photo courtesy of the internet. NHYM 2015. 

As always, it has been a hectic and busy time of year with Christmas do’s and end of year events, which is why it has been radio silence from my end! London, as much as it is a beautiful and vibrant city, becomes a mad rush of adrenaline, lists and things-to-do-before-you-go-away-to: Mauritius/Gstaad/Lech/Maldives/Thailand/Courchevel/Cotswolds etc… www. www.

But the end of the year is also a time to reflect on the past year, and to reflect on your future. I was catching up with a very dear friend the other day, and he told me about a Leadership course he had been on, which gave him the task of writing his own eulogy. It sounds very psychobabbly and slightly morose and scary, but it turned out to be a very cathartic and useful exercise, which is why I wanted to share this with you.

The point of writing your own eulogy is to take stock of your life, where it is today and where you would like it to be. It is a very simple way of looking at your life and seeing what things are working and what things aren’t. It also forces you to make sure that you are heading it in the right direction. For example, Christmas and New Year’s is always a time to look at that bad relationship you are in (partners or friendships), and forcing it to end, because somewhere deep down you know it’s not working and to open up to new ones. (Look out for D-day coming up in 2016 ). It also forces you to take a different perspective and try to see how people perceive you and what you can do to change that perspective, if it isn’t one you like very much.

So, as we near 2016 and say goodbye to -in my mind- a difficult year, try to sit down and write your eulogy and see what comes out of it. There is always room for improvement. Already, it makes me want to be a better person to myself and to others.

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year 2016!!





In the Press, Social Commentary

Spectator Life Magazine Interview With NHYM


I was recently interviewed by the Spectator Life Magazine about private gardens in West London. My words were slightly twisted and re-arranged to fit in the article’s theme, but that’s how journalism works. Journalists find an angle and they write according to it, and top it off with some sensationalism. I really didn’t paint the Americans or the financiers in such a negative light and the ‘jealousies’ and ‘shagging’ described in the article were embellished and exaggerated. But who wants to believe that harmony lives behind closed gates? And journalists don’t want boring, they want extremes.

For those who don’t know, the Spectator is a conservative political newspaper, slanted in a conservative way. In any case, this shows that elitism envy and private gardens are still relevant and that we all still seek that patch of green in the middle of London chaos:

Spectator LIfe MagazineInterviewNHYM

So, please note that my original title from my post ‘The Garden Wars’ has ended up in the article:

Perhaps I should just feel flattered that others like to re-write my articles and print them.






Restaurant Review: Gymkhana


Gymkhana Restaurant

42 Albemarle Street W1S 4JH

0203 011 5900

Food: 3.75

Design: 4 stars

Service: 4 stars

Atmosphere: 4 stars

Overall: 3.9 stars

When you talk about Indian restaurants, there are 3 types of people who relate to Indian restaurants: those that like Indian vs. those that don’t, and within those that like Indian, those that like the corner curry shop vs. those that like fine dining Indian restaurants. I tend to fall into the LILCCS: ‘Likes Indian/Likes Corner Curry Shops’. So, it is never my inclination to go to a fine dining Indian restaurant, but when a friend ‘lent’ me her reservation, which are quite difficult to get, I was eager to try this much applauded Indian restaurant.

Gymkhana was voted Best Restaurant in 2014 at the National Restaurant Awards, sponsored by the Restaurant Magazine, which appears to be one of the top Restaurant accolades you could ask for. This sets a high bar to this new-ish Indian restaurant that was opened in 2013 by the team behind Trishna. Both have Michelin stars. All the critics ‘LOVED’ it, with capital letters. I am not a curry/Indian food expert so can’t really put myself in a critic category and can’t give you an expert opinion whatsoever, but can give you a Indian-fine-dining-novice’s opinion.


The restaurant

The restaurant itself is very cool and dark; there are dark wood walls and marble tables around, with swirling colonial fans above and sepia photographs hanging on the walls. The effect works and reminds me of trips to Asia visiting old antique shops and colonial relics. It takes you out of London to another world, which gets very high points for me. I love everything colonial and this succeeds at putting you in the mood of a gentleman’s club in the day.

The drinks were excellent, and the ‘mixologist’ or bartender for us common folk, did a great job but the menu is very confusing, there are too many different parts to it with too many descriptions that I don’t quite get. There’s kid goat that we had to have, the duck-in-a-teepee, the venison biryani and so on. The waiter had to repeat and explain the menu way too many times and it took too long to order. Yes, I know I’m a novice, but it really shouldn’t be this hard.


The Food

The food was very tasty. There are so many spices involved and it is, I assume, very well balanced, but like I said, what do I know about Indian restaurants? I liked it, but I can’t say that I fell in love or that the meal was one of those very memorable meals, which is why I didn’t mark it higher on the food.

I remember going to a Sri Lankan Restaurant in Tooting about 12 years ago shortly after moving to London that I am 100% sure no one who is reading this blog would have ever been to, and having the best Biryani I have ever had. This is a meal I remember, and where my taste buds were so alive that my memory still remembers the taste to this day. Now, that was a stunning dish. Nothing too elaborate, just a corner Sri Lankan with amazing food in a very dodgy neighborhood.


As much as I did enjoy Gymkhana’s colonial atmosphere more than the food, it did remind me of one of the greatest Biryanis I’ve ever had. As I said, I am a ‘Likes Indian, Likes Corner Curry Shops.’ And I will remain that way, even after trying out what is considered the ‘Best Indian’ in London, but I would go back for the good drinks, the cool atmosphere and the decent food.





Gymkhana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Top 10, Uncategorized

‘It’s Starting to Feel a Lot Like Christmas’: Top 10 Christmas Activities in London 2015

Although we love to complain about London; ‘the weather is terrible,’ the real estate is sooo expensive,’ ‘it’s a rat race’ etc… we also have to remember all the great events that happen in and around the city that makes it one of the top cities in the world. I was emailed and asked to name my Top 10 Christmas Activities in London this year and, no, they are not original, but they are truly unique to London.


Here are my Top 10 Christmas Activities this Christmas.

  1. Ice Skating at Somerset House: In a truly unique setting, Somerset House ice-skating is a special experience. For more ice-skating, the Natural History Museum is another top choice.
  2. Harrod’s Christmas Grotto: There are so many Santa’s Grottos around that it is hard to choose from all the choices, but Harrod’s tops the list as the most spectacular. I have been invited to visit it this year and will write up a post on it. If you didn’t manage tickets this year, Westfield is a good alternative.
  3. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: The Kids just adore it. That’s all there is to say. ‘One of my favourite things in the world’ quoted one child the other day. You may hate it, but they certainly don’t. Skip the circus, it’s not quite Cirque du Soleil.
  4. Royal Albert Hall: Christmas Carol Singalong and more. If you grew up with Christmas Carols, this is back-to-the-past-nostalgia. A lovely family affair from 0-100 y.o. The Royal Albert Hall has a whole Christmas Festival with all kinds of shows to choose from.
  5. The Snowman Theatre: For the kids, it’s a classic. A lovely show put on at the Peacock Theatre, most love it year after year.
  6. London Zoo: There are live reindeers and if you booked in advance, a chance to see Santa.
  7. GOSH Christmas Carols: Doing a little giving during Christmas is the biggest reason to celebrate Christmas and Great Ormond Street Hospital always puts on a great show this time of year.
  8. The Nutcracker Ballet: Another family tradition, the Nutcracker ballet will enchant and whisk you away to a dream-land full of ballerinas and wooden nutcrackers. For older children.
  9. Father Christmas at the Hall: A visit through Royal Albert Hall, you can get insight in this great building with the help of Santa, his elves and his reindeers.
  10. Christmas Markets: There are so many to choose from, but the posh will enjoy Belgravia’s Christmas Market on Elizabeth Street, the cool will like the Monocle Christmas Market at its offices, and the tourists will enjoy wandering the Southbank Winter Festival.