Cappuccinos and Cookies at Dukes Hotel

Tucked away in St James Dukes is another hidden hotel gem of London! I first came across the hotel in 2011 when we held an event for Ormonde Jayne and Miss Jones PA in one of their event spaces! The hotel is stunning, with every quality that you look for in a boutique hotel – cozy lounges and a gorgeous bar that is known for its James Bond Martinis!

I was at Dukes the other day for a meeting and happened to order a cappuccino in their drawing room (which also has a terrace lounge attached to it!) The Cappuccino was surprisingly good and served with a delicious set of biscuits! Above all the ambience replicates that of an upper class lounge or drawing room!
It is cosy yet elegant, modern yet traditional and is perfect to sit down unwind and read a magazine!

This is highly recommended and you must visit!

Poilane Just Off Cadogan Gardens, Sloane Square!

This place was my refuge last year when I was job hunting. I would sit here for ages applying to various places and cold calling. No doubt I have developed an association with it. Not to mention, the positioning is ideal, in the heart of Sloane Square, you’ll come across the best dressed ladies here!

I have never been to France but if I do go I will expect cafes to be like this – chic interiors, great coffees and amazing croissants i.e fresh and crisp!

The lattes and capuccinos are delish. They serve Squaremile coffee but the amount of milk they use is just about right. The ambience is delectable, you enter and never feel like leaving. Above all I have to give credit to their Manager, Mathilde who has managed to maintain the standards of the cafe for the past year and a half since it opened here!

                                                               

The breakfast has been amazing – if you are looking to treat yourself you must try the toasted Poilane bread or brioche (a bit too naughty) with salted caramal or lemon curd!! Never would have thought of this being a snack but its absolutely delicious! Since it is a bakery you can take away freshly baked breads and croissants!

I am the biggest fan – I hope to run a place like this one day in some corner of the world!

                                       http://www.poilane.com/pages/en/company_boutiques.php

An unusual experience at The Corinthia!

It was back then at The LSE when The Corinthia Hotel was getting prepared for the launch and we never realised what was happening! Little did we know it would open as one of the most beautiful hotels in London!

I popped in to Corinthia for a coffee last evening after work! It’s an absolutely gorgeous hotel and above all the interiors are mesmerising. The fancy sofas in the lounge are equally comfortable and positioned beautifully for you to get a a good view of the gorgeous Baccarat Chandelier!

Most importantly, the cappuccinos are delicious with the right amount of espresso and milk accompanied by a delicious coconut shortbread cookie! The presentation was amazing, and on a cold evening like yesterdays, I didn’t want to leave!

http://www.corinthia.com/en/London/restaurants-and-bars/restaurants/The-Lobby-Lounge/

Fratelli is taking over London!

My affair with Fratelli started in university when I was in 2nd year and we discovered the new Cafe Fratelli that had opened right next to The Waldorf Hilton close to The LSE. 
3 years down the line, there seems to be one in every corner of London. Sloane Square, Bond Street, Berkeley Square and it surely does amazing coffees. Above all they do not charge you extra for syrups or soya milk unlike other chains. 
Each branch has its own personality!
My favourite one so far is the one in Duke of York Square especially on a crispy Winter’s Morning when you are craving a Pain Au Chocolat and an extra hot cappuccino!
The little luxuries of life!

The Mandarin Oriental Bar!

Mainly known in London for its most fashionable cocktails, I have happened to be there a lot of days mainly for meetings and of course, to keep myself going, their coffees! If you are looking for a semi relaxed yet formal environment, The Bar is the perfect place to go especially with the central location it has in Knightsbridge, it makes it extremely easy to pop in and out!

They do amazing cappuccinos – the velvety kind you look for with a sprinkle of chocolate!

Coffee Planet next to home!

I spent the last couple of my days home in Islamabad trying out absolutely every possible restaurant/coffee place. F-11 Markaz (literally 2 mins away from my house)  is possibly going to be the next hub of coffee places and hangouts in Islamabad with Zafferano’s, Tutti Frutti, Gloria Jeans and now, Dubai’s Coffee Planet opening up just next door to Gloria!

I happened to be there on the day of its opening and decided to opt for the safer option – a latte. Though I have to mention the staff was a bit over friendly and kept on conversing with me in English despite me speaking in Urdu. 
The coffee was absolutely amazing and the space is perfect for winters! With a shisha lounge outside, this is definitely going to appeal to the Isloo – ites. 

Beating the snow in London!

If you are dreading the snow and looking for a place round the corner to beat the cold, Barossa in Parsons Green is ideal! The perfect Aussie coffee house that serves delicious velvety lattes and cappuccinos. Their desserts, especially the lamingtons are to die for!

Above all they do another one of my favourite things, BURGERS! The mighty stacked up authentic Aussie burgers!

Taylor St Baristas of Mayfair!

Today was my first 2013 visit to Taylor Street Baristas, known for their amazing coffee, is also a great place for meetings especially if you are looking for a cosy setting.

Right behind Claridges the coffee shop has friendly staff and needless to say the coffee is amazing – you dont need to add sugar as the espresso already has a sweet taste to it. If you enjoy velvety textured coffees, this is the place to go!

P.S Surprisingly you will see a lot of suited men ‘hanging out’ here!

http://www.taylor-st.com/

My history with Coffee

I began drinking coffee when I was 15 or so and the only ‘good’ coffee I had tried thus far was from McDonolads or Pappasalis and a few other cafes in Islamabad. My first encounter with Starbucks was at the age of ten when I had watched You’ve Got Mail and the characters’ obsession with their morning coffee. I knew I wanted to live that life. Waking up to a busy city, walking to work and picking up a coffee on the way and being all cool, something that is not part of Pakistani culture – back home it’s more about your morning chai! 
As I grew older things started to change. I came to university in London and realised that coffee and the concept of cafes had much more to it. With various independent coffee shops like Local Hero on Fulham Road and Hot Gossip near university – having coffee was also about the social aspect to it. Sitting with friends, catching up on life or just the excuse to be around people! Then the working life came into play. Getting a coffee and discussing a business plan is another way of making the proposition more interesting than that of sitting in a blank meeting room. This blog is about my coffee experiences over the past four years. The transition from being a student to being a marketing professional in the luxury industry. There is just so much happening in London, it was absolutely necessary for me to share with those who love coffee and everything to do with it.