Happy Year of the Rooster to you all! For our second Chinese New Year in London we had the pleasure of visiting a great spot in Chinatown and sharing a dinner with our friends (our UK family!).
Today I’ll tell you about the bar we visited for an expensive treat. We also have a couple of big trips planned I’m excited to tell you about, and big plans for later this year.
On recommendation by Richard’s colleague, we went to Opium in the heart of Chinatown on the eve of Chinese New Year. There is no signage outside so there is an air of secrecy about it – only those in the know will know *wink wink*. The bouncer at the door had comms in his ear to the team upstairs to advise them how many people are coming up and he let us in with a brief nod making me feel like I was being admitted to an underground organisation. Except it was upstairs. And not actually a secret judging by how busy it became! We were led into a dimly lit bar littered with small tables and lanterns hanging around, casting a murky light about the room. The cocktails were skillfully and confidently made with good cheer by a young bartending team. Ours were such a pleasure to drink (Chinatown Spring Punch and Royal Bermuda Yachtclub). To tide us over until dinner, we shared a dim sum platter of two char siu pork buns, four siu mai, two har gao and two vegetable dumplings. Part of me was distraught at parting with £16 for the platter, but another part of me so was relieved it tasted good.
We’ve never had cocktails and dim sum together – it’s odd because I associate dim sum with breakfast/morning eating but the experience wasn’t entirely unpleasant. While it is a little expensive, this bar is a true gem in what is quite a glitzy tourist-magnet type of area. It was the perfect indulgent treat for new year’s eve.
To look forward to
After a flurry of short trips, Richard and I are taking a more measured and planned approach to our trips now. It began with Iceland and the end of 2016 and Lapland, both which required more advance planning than usual. We have two trips coming up that we’re both very excited about, and that were already booked last year!
At the end of April we will be visiting France to spend a week on the ski slopes, kicking up powder and doing all kinds of cool tricks. (But not really, probably more like a lot of celebrating for every hour we don’t fall over!) I’m hoping to get some great photos to share with you all, and it’s going to be great to escape the cities to have fun in the snow.
In July we have probably our biggest, most expensive trip yet – an African safari! Over the course of 10 days we will visit South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia. Fingers crossed we spot an array of cool animals that currently only live in my head as Disney animations from the Lion King, and get to experience a whole new way of travelling.
The Big Move
Richard and I arrived in London at the beginning of July 2015 and soon, we will be on the move again. After two years of London life, we’re going to be heading off to make a new nest in Melbourne, Australia. Unconfirmed plans at this stage indicate we will arrive in Melbourne in the beginning of August this year. Before we moved to London, neither of us had ever been to Europe, so having spent 4 days in Melbourne before, I feel much more prepared for this move! We have friends already living in Melbourne who we are looking forward to connecting with again, and of course, we cannot deny that being closer to home is a plus. It’s already the end of January so no doubt we’ll be in Melbourne before we know it, and it’ll be another chapter to share as we settle into Australian life.
A lot is going on this year for us, and a great deal of it is very exciting. It’s going to be a great one!