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How to Beat Tiredness This Winter

How to Beat Tiredness This Winter

Winter is officially here and I am always on the look out how to raise my energy levels during dark mornings and feel less tired in the evenings.  I wanted to share with you a couple of suggestions on how to reduce tiredness and lift […]

What to see in Tashkent in a Day

What to see in Tashkent in a Day

It is likely that you will start your exploration of Uzbekistand from Tashkent, like we did, as majority of international flights come to Tashkent. Some people do not give the city even a day, moving on to more famous cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, but […]

CUVVA:  Insurance the Way It Should Be

CUVVA: Insurance the Way It Should Be

Have you ever gone on holiday and on the way to the airport discovered that actually you forgot to organize your travel insurance?

This happened to me once and I learned my lesson the hard way, as I decided not to participate in any activities like white water rafting, fearing that if anything happens to me, my bank balance would not be able to bear the consequences! Luckily for me, all went well in the end that summer holiday, but since then I am checking my travel insurance the same way I check all my documents/money and confirmations for hotels before I leave for the airport.

I do not have to tell you about the importance of having travel insurance when you go away, especially if you are travelling with kids. You do not just have yourself to look after, but one or two or three active human beings, who do not make any risk assessment before launching into any activities that can end up in an accident.

I was contacted by Cuvva , who asked whether I was interested to try their travel insurance offering, by using the app. I was keen to try, as I organize travel insurance every year and sometimes it is not as easy as it sounds. At times it is boring, at times frustrating when you spend at least 30 minutes on the phone trying to finalise all the details for a family. I had high hopes for Cuvva, who promised me a new kind of insurance! As a first step, I downloaded the app on my phone ,which was very quick and simple, just by searching for the app online.

The next step was to create a profile, which again took only a few minutes and I was able to upload my ID, by using driving license and my phone, no scanning or sending things through the post! Then I selected travel insurance and entered all the data relevant for our family and answered 4 questions about the medical conditions.  This again was smooth and no lengthy forms to complete, which I appreciate. Being a busy mum, I sometimes forget whether I am coming or going and my attention span sometimes suffers, so if I do not do something straight away, I might forget about it. There was no such danger with Cuvva, as I was able to complete all the steps in less than 10 minutes and received the following quote.

For illustration, I have quoted for 2 adults and 1 child for a worldwide coverage, excluding USA, single trip policy for a week at the end of October.  I did not include any additional cover for sport activities or ski cover as we did not intend to do anything active. I also set my own limits for cancellation (£1,000) and lost baggage (£750) to ensure we have sufficient coverage, even though the default option of £500 might be sufficient for some.

I always look out for cancellations, as it is not something I can control, and with kids it becomes an important feature to consider. I also like to cover baggage to the full extent, as the last two flights we were not too lucky and our buggy was damaged twice.

My quote came to £28.56, all within 10 minutes since downloading the app. I did not have to call anywhere, did not have to wait and did not have to go through a list of questions and statements with another person. Also once the payment is processed, you get a confirmation email with the details of your policy and also a contact number in case you need to make a claim.

Simplicity and accessibility are two main things that I noticed about Cuvva app. I was also happy to learn, while using the app, that they put customer experience first and if you are experiencing difficulties or not sure how to answer a certain question, you can message them in the app, and you will be answered within 1 minute 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. For me personally, this feature is one of the most valuable ones, as I normally organize all our travel plans in the evening, when majority of call centers for traditional insurance companies have finished work. 

All in all, enjoyable, quick experience and another thing off my list, all thanks to Cuvva.

If you want Cuvva to organize travel insurance for your next trip, download the app, use my code KATYA10 for £10 off your first policy with Cuvva. Then you are ready to go! And because application process is so simple and quick, you can even do it on your way to the airport!

*Cuvva have sponsored this post, however all opinions are my own.

Mavie : Cosy Family Hotel in Tashkent

Mavie : Cosy Family Hotel in Tashkent

Uzbekistan have been named as one of the top 20 regions to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet. I wanted to visit it for such a long time, and finally stars smiled and we arrived to Tashkent on a sunny October afternoon.  Our flight from […]

ACE Winter Refresh Challenge

ACE Winter Refresh Challenge

Are you ready for winter? The day I start swapping my wardrobe around means change of season is upon us. Sandals and summer dresses are getting packed away, while boots and jumpers are finding their way back into my wardrobe.  Now with 2 kids in […]

JW Marriott Grosvenor House London: Afternoon Tea Review

JW Marriott Grosvenor House London: Afternoon Tea Review

We are back to London and to celebrate the start of  new school year we went to JW Marriott Grosvenor House London to try their afternoon tea. The weather on that day was not very pleasant and we practically run through the doors, just avoiding being completely soaked under a particular strong autumn shower!

And how delighted we were to discover the elegant dining room with mellow music played live by a resident pianist. The room has tall windows, allowing as much light as possible even on the grey day. On a good day  you would be able to  see a beautiful view of Hyde Park across the road. 

JW Marriott Grosvenor House looks after their little guests.  They offer the Grover’s Children’s Tea, tailored for sweet taste with jam sandwiches and ice cream shaped desserts.

Before sandwiches and cake arrive, you are offered a tea menu and I spend a good 10 minutes trying to decide which kind to have.  Apart from classic selections, you can go for rare and exclusive teas or herbal tisanes. To help with indecisiveness, you can  start with one tea and then switch to a different one. I though this was a great idea,  as you can try different teas in a collection and there is so much to choose from!

I went for Wild Cherry to start with and then changed to Persian Rose, which was a real find for me! The tea was just dried rose flowers steeped in hot water.  The taste was so delicate, I loved this tea from the first sip. I urge you to try it, it is very unusual!

The afternoon tea arrived and what a delight it was!

Classic sandwiches were also supplemented by open sandwiches, which were brought over to the table for you to choose. I tried both varieties : smoked salmon and egg and cress.  In the smoked salmon sandwich  I loved the combination of cold water prawn and slightly smoked fish.

My favourite, scones, were served with a selection of jams, that again you can choose.

What I loved about this afternoon tea, is that you can tailor it to your taste and there are plenty of options to choose from. It is little details, but sometimes it is the little things that matter!

The couple, who sat next to us, requested gluten free selection and staff was happy to oblige. Before we ordered our afternoon tea, we were also asked whether we had any allergies or intolerances, which means that nothing is too difficult and cannot be altered to your requirements.

My cakes were amazing, just look at all those delights: Kaffir life and ginger éclair, , milk chocolate and honeycomb mousse and lavender cake If you love patisserie, you will love the selection here – it was dainty, fresh and very elegantly decorated with real flowers!

Lidia and Barbara were serving us on the day and they were lovely, paying attention to my daughter and checking whether she wanted hot chocolate or was happy with her selections. We definitely felt welcomed and for me it is a big plus, when people around you are friendly and happy to share their passion for the place they are working in.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that soft toy bulldog complete with monocle and tail jacket  is  gifted to each child at the end of the tea to keep the memory of the their Grover’s Children’s Tea.

I definitely recommend JW Marriott Grosvenor House London Afternoon Tea as it is great for any occasion and they are only happy to cater for kids with their own special menu.

Next time you are in London do not hesitate to make a booking, they do get very busy so the more time you allow before your desired date the better. 

Our Afternoon Tea was hosted by JW Marriott Grosvenor House London but all opinions are my own.

Best Rooftop Bar in Bangkok: Spectrum Lounge and Bar

Best Rooftop Bar in Bangkok: Spectrum Lounge and Bar

Parents rejoice! At last, I found a country where kids are allowed to visit rooftop bars! I love, love, love a good roof top bar.  As the night covers the city, you can watch the spectacle of  twinkling lights, roads with moving cars  and gleaming […]

With Locals in Bangkok

With Locals in Bangkok

What is the best way to explore a new city? With locals! They know the city like the back of their hand and can show you all the hidden places, which you might not necessarily see if you are only in the city for a […]

Dinner with kids in Bangkok: Felicita Rooftop Bar and Grill

Dinner with kids in Bangkok: Felicita Rooftop Bar and Grill

Bangkok has a miriad of places to eat, ranging from Asian cuisine to the most sophisticated Western offerings.

During two weeks in Thailand, we mostly went with Thai cuisine, but one evening, when we were exploring vibrant Sukhumvit Road, we stopped at Felicita Rooftop Bar and Grill , serving Mediterranean cuisine with a fantastic view over Bangkok. 

 

As outside space is dedicated mostly to bar guests and it was duly filled by couples on a date, we chose to sit inside the air conditioned room with mesmerising blue design.

The staff was immediately on the case with our kids, asking them questions on how they like Bangkok and offering pencils and paper to distract them, while we get on with the menu choice.

And there is a big choice to make: there are starters, soups, pastas, main courses and salads.

We were honored as Head Chef Julien came out and talked us through all the options we wanted to try.

Julien is trying to cultivate no-miles policy with his ingredients and started working with local suppliers, who were ready for the challenge of growing  western vegetables and producing Italian cheeses.

I actually did not realise that one should not expect to go to a supermarket and easily pick up all the ingredients for a Western meal in Bangkok.  As there are so many products available in UK shops, it is something that we take for granted , however some of the specific ingredients have to be flown in.

Kids had their own special menu and they had fun choosing their own meal. The dishes were plentiful and beautifully presented , even for the kids. 

For starters, we decided to try burrata with mediterranian vegetables and gravadlax with apples,  walnuts and ricotta.  Burrata was amazing – soft inside, while slightly pickled onions with cherry tomatoes and pesto complimented the cheese perfectly.

It was difficult to make the choice when it came to main courses, but finally we settled on pork belly cooked for 7 hours, pumpkin risotto and lamb stewed with vegetables on a bed of mashed potatoes.

Claudio voted for risotto, but I am usually not a big fan of this dish as I have tried it many times and it is just not something that I would like to order in a restaurant.

Pumpkin risotto at Felicita blew me away: it was like eating a cloud, so light and slightly sweet from pumpkin and cream flavours.  

The pork was outstanding as well, as it was served with a sweet glaze and the meat was so tender it just melted in your mouth. 

Claudio complimented the lamb too, but risotto and pork were a real show dishes for us. It was as much taste as it was the lightness and flavours of the dishes, which I did not expect. 

We did not have any space left for the dessert, but Letitia had, so she ordered a warm cookie and ice cream. My respect goes to Chef  Julien, who  did not  use a ready made goods, the cookie was baked to order and it was still warm and gooey when it arrived at the table. 

After dinner we managed to sit outside for awhile and enjoy the view and a cocktail. I loved how much care went into each drink, whether it was a simple fruit juice or an apple martini. 

The service was impeccable and it is been a while since I have been to a restaurant, where staff proactively anticipated what we wanted, rather than just reacting to our requests. 

Both Claudio and I and the kids loved Felicita Rooftop Bar and Grill.  Letittia kept asking me whether we were coming back there the next day. 

The restaurant is easily accessible from Sukhumvit Road and it is only a short walk from Nana station.  

Our visit was hosted by Felicita Rooftop Bar and Grill, but all opinions are my own.

Where to stay in Chiang Rai: The Riverie by Katathani

Where to stay in Chiang Rai: The Riverie by Katathani

Chiang Rai is usually overlooked in favour of its bigger neighbour Chiang Mai, as majority of people base themselves in Chiang Mai and visit surrounding area on day tours. We also stayed in Chiang Mai for one night, but one of the nights we actually […]