An Epic Year of Luxury – My 2015 Highlights


It’s that time of year again, when we look back over the last 12 months, reflect on our favourite moments and look ahead to the New Year. Whilst I had an epic year of luxury, my biggest luxuries were spending time with friends and family and being in pretty good health. I’m sharing my 2015 highlights and would love to hear about yours.

FIRSTS
2015 was definitely a year of firsts, including our first time in a hot air balloon and first time dog sledding, in the Scottish Highlands. Who knew that you could do dog sledding there, and with world class guides too. The Colosseum in Rome has recreated the original lift which was used to crank animals into the arena, and we were lucky to see it on the very first day that it was open to the public. London’s Sky Garden was equally impressive, and I highly recommend a visit if you haven’t been.

sky garden luxury columnistTRAVEL TALES
One of my favourite destinations in 2015 was the Amalfi Coast in Italy, where a close friend was getting married in Ravello – what an amazing setting!

Ravello viewpointIt was my first visit to Bali, which has some outstanding places to eat and drink. The island also has some spectacular hotels, including Alila Ubud and Kayumanis Jimbaran.

HIDDEN GEMS
I was fortunate to travel twice to Italy this year, and to discover some amazing hidden gems in Rome, as well as the lesser known archaelogical site of Herculaneum near Naples, which is a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of Pompeii. I also reminisced about the many hidden gems in Paris, which I loved to explore when I lived there.

Place des Vosges - Luxury ColumnistWONDERFUL WEEKENDS
I visited some incredible places on short or extended weekends abroad, including Jersey and Monaco. Closer to home, I had fantastic breaks in Hertfordshire, the New Forest, Sussex, and Woburn. We managed to fit in two trips to Devon, including South Devon and the luxurious Amberstone Manor. Finally, we enjoyed two London staycations, at vibrant One Aldwych hotel and quirky boutique hotel Batty Langley’s in Spitalfields.

Monaco harbour viewUNMISSABLE ATTRACTIONS
Some of my favourite UK visitor attractions were the iconic Bluebell Steam Railway in Sussex, Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Gardens in Warwickshire and Hall Place in South East London. For sheer beauty, the flower show at Hampton Court Palace really takes some beating!

Turkish Garden of Paradise Hampton CourtDELICIOUS DINING
I tried out so many great eateries in 2015 that I can’t list them all here. However, for French classics with a twist, I recommend Angelus, whilst for Japanese cuisine, Koi is a great option. Bombay Brasserie and Zaika are fabulous Indian restaurants. Min Yiang and Yauatcha City specialize in delicious Chinese food. For modern European cuisine, The Georgian at Harrods, William Drabble at 5 Park Place, the revamped Ivy West Street, Northbank on the river Thames and the Town House Kensington were amongst my favourites. For more casual dining, the champagne picnic arranged by Dukes London in Green Park was really special, the Jones Family Project indoor picnic was a godsend on a rainy day and Crocker’s Folly in St John’s Wood laid on an epic chef’s table.

Georgian restaurant starter

The Georgian at Harrods

As for overseas restaurants, Pauline Borghese at the luxurious Parco dei Principi is an oasis of calm in Rome, and lunch at Belmond Hotel Caruso is not to be missed if visiting picturesque Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. In Jersey, Shaun Rankin’s Michelin starred Ormer and Longueville Manor are excellent dining options.

TIME FOR TEA
I sampled some delicious afternoon teas this year, including a Summer in the City themed one at the Conrad London St James, a guilt-free tea at the Intercontinental Park Lane a gentleman’s afternoon tea at the Stafford London and a chocolate indulgence at Flemings Mayfair. The afternoon tea at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the Valentine themed tea at the Rosewood London, the Flights of Fancy at St Ermin’s and the Laurent-Perrier champagne flight at the St James’ Court were equally fabulous.

Le Manoir afternoon tea
STYLE FILE
I had a blast at London Fashion Week, as well as doing photoshoots for London W11 in Notting Hill and IVAN around St Paul’s and Tate Modern.

Suze Luxury Columnist London
GETTING SOCIAL
I’ve become somewhat addicted to Instagram, isn’t it brilliant for sharing photos? How was your 2015 – what were your highlights?

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    A great year for food and travel! Bring on 2016 🙂

  • Ellie Adams

    Wow, you’ve had such an incredible year of travel Suze. These places look absolute luxury lovely, I definitely want to travel more in 2016!

    Elle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

  • I enjoy reading your blog so much Suze and needless to say, have enjoyed reading about (and admiring the photos from) your various unusual and often exotic travels over this past year. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve for 2016! 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

    x

    • That’s so kind Gabrielle, and I always love to read about your adventures too! Have a lovely time tonight

  • Ahhhh everything is colourful and pretty *wide shiny eyes* what a wonderful 2015 you’ve had! Here’s to an even better year…champagne glasses and countdown at the ready! x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • Well there were some less salubrious bits but I chose the most fun ones 😉 Cheers to a fantastic 2016!

  • Wow, what a brilliant year you had! I love all your firsts and wish you many more. Happy new year!

    • That’s very kind, thank you Mandy! Would love to do some more animal related firsts! Have a lovely 2016

  • What a fantastic year! Such adventures you have had.

  • Paola

    Such an incredible year, full of travels!!!
    Happy new year!!!
    ¸☆´.•´
    .•´✶`*.
    *.*★v . ✶•´ ☆´,•*´¨★ Ձ๏16
    ¸✶.•´¸.•*´✶
    ☆´¸.•★´ ¸.✶* ☆★
    ╱◥◣
    │∩ │◥███◣ ╱◥███◣
    ╱◥◣ ◥████◣▓∩▓│∩
    │╱◥█◣║∩∩∩ ║◥█▓ ▓█
    ๑۩๑๑۩๑๑۩๑๑۩๑๑۩๑๑۩๑๑۩
    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself

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  • What a fabulously exciting year! Happy 2016 Suze, wishing you an even more vibrant year fuelled with many new adventures 🙂 xxx

  • 2015 sounds incredible, bring on 2016!

  • What a fantastic year and great shots too, especially the second one! Happy New Year to you!

  • the-worldwide

    You had a great year. I love the photographs. Would like to see more in 2016, Happy New Year!

    • I’ve really got into photography this year, hope you have a fantastic year ahead

      • the-worldwide

        I’m waiting to see. Thank you.

  • Colleen Monaghan

    It looks like you had a fantastic year! I love all of your photographs and can’t wait to see more in 2016. Happy New Year!

    C x

    blondeacrossthepond.com

  • NYC Style Cannoli

    Your photography is amazing! Have enjoyed it all year Look forward to more in 2016!

    • That’s very kind, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it – loving my new camera. Hope you have a wonderful 2016 too!

  • So jealous that you got to go to Fashion Week!

    Check out our Free New Year’s Resolutions Printable| Daily Opulence | http://www.dailyopulence.com

    • I really enjoyed Fashion Week, having said that it’s not all glamour as you queue quite a bit there!

  • Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    I’ve been dying to visit the Sky Garden! My next visit to London will be in late February 🙂 Great post, Suze! Thanks for sharing.

  • What a year!! I’ve really enjoyed following along with all of your travels and adventures. I hope that 2016 is even more fulfilling and exciting for you – can’t wait to see what you get up to!

    Polly xx

  • What a year!Looking forward to reading about your new adventures!

  • It has really been an epic year! I wish you to have even better and more adventurous 2016!! 🙂