London at Christmas

One of the most beautiful cities at Christmastime is London.  The streets are lit and the shops are fully decorated.  There is no requirement that commercial buildings have fake trees so the fresh trees give off a scent of fir and pine everywhere.  Even Westminster Abbey is full of real trees with their root balls intact so they can be planted after the holidays.  Some of the favorite haunts of mine were sporting upside down trees this year.  The best was at Claridge’s that was amazing to see.

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London is now a great culinary city.  From a restaurant such as Rules with very traditional menus – meat pies, game, Scottish salmon – to the best Indian food in the world at The Tamarind (which also has a great French wine list) to Cicchetti which is listed as one of the finest Italian restaurants with “small bites”  in the region and it was some of the very best Italian food we’ve eaten anywhere.  Jean Georges at The Connaught, along with the bar there, is worth the price for an elegant meal.  The Christmas tree made of chocolate fruit was a great decorator’s touch.

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Rules Restaurant 

It has also become a tourist favorite place which can be a bit of a challenge with the crowds but shopping was still possible!  Jermyn Street for men’s clothing.  Fortnum and Mason for exquisite foods and teas. A series of arcades off Piccadilly where antique jewelry and beautiful leather goods can be found.  Harrod’s with its amazing holiday sales.

If one wanted to do the traditional tourist “musts” were available – The Tower with the Crown Jewels and Beefeaters all around; The Churchill Rooms; Westminster Abbey; and a little further out, Kew Gardens where nature is at its best.

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For New Year’s Eve, we ate dinner and watched the cabaret at Cafe de Paris in the West End.  A fantastic, although very risqué, show with an acceptable dinner started the night off properly.  When the show ended, we retired to our favorite bar off St James called The American Bar at the Hotel Stafford.  With a live band and dancing plus the wonderful atmosphere and staff at the bar, we rang in the New Year properly.

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Cafe de Paris

If you are looking for an escape around the holidays, do consider London.  Although it is a wonderful city at all times, it truly shines at the holidays.

Happy New Year to all!

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Happy New Year!

When we roll into 2018, I will try to regale all of you with various topics – both fun and serious – but for this week, just relax, raise a glass at midnight, and enjoy yourselves!  Figure out all the great things that happened to you in 2017 and look forward to what wonderful experiences you might have in the next year.

New-Years-PackageI don’t make New Year’s resolutions since I learned a long time ago that I never really accomplished them, and I was setting myself up for failure. Since the world is such a volatile place, I know I will also get plenty of ideas for my future trashy spy novels and there will be no shortage of events that will fuel some of the tirades I might launch into in the coming year.

Have a great end of 2017, and I’ll talk to you next year!

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Happy Holidays!

Thank you to all who have written worried that they haven’t gotten all my posts recently.  I hope that you will all get this and I am not writing as many because every time I do a political or foreign policy one it seems that it is overtaken by events as I close.  Let’s hope 2018 moves a touch more slowly and I can keep up.  In the meantime a Very Merry to all – and I’ll write you again in 2018.

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Army-Navy thriller

What a game! I’ll be back writing next week after I thaw out from going to the Army-Navy game in Philly!

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Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Sexual harassment: Maybe standards will be brought back to us

Unfortunately I haven’t been traveling to fun or exotic places recently so I apologize to those readers who have been asking nicely when will I do another travel post. Today I am writing about a much more serious topic – sexual abuse.

I have never had it happen to me, but one of my co-workers had it happen to her and she came to me for help.  She had been harassed by a senior member of our office and since I was the most senior woman in the office, she asked for my help.  I willingly did so and I am glad to say that the individual involved was rapidly removed from his job.  There was no legal pursuit.  We didn’t go to the police by the request of the employee and this was thirty years ago when other than outright rape, it was very hard to file charges.

Our world is improving in this aspect of awareness now and the ability to talk about sexual harassment, but what is so sad is that we have so many who have had to endure years of the pain that being the target of unwanted sexual contact causes.  It is especially nauseating to me that we elect men who have bragged about their behavior or who have involved minors in these heinous acts.

Where has this country gone in its moral underpinnings if someone like Moore in Alabama is still being supported?  I found it hard to believe that any woman would vote for Trump after the Access Hollywood tape but to hear women in Alabama say that they will still vote for someone who exposed himself with teenagers (yes, 16 is the legal age in Alabama, but that doesn’t excuse a 30 something from picking on a 16 and 18 year old). And to hear people interviewed saying they would rather vote for a pedophile than a Democrat is just as bad as the excuses given Clinton for his behavior with Monica Lewinsky.

Perhaps it is time for us to outlaw all party affiliation and vote for the best candidate? George Washington hated the idea of political parties, and I am now beginning to agree with him. In DC, though, if one is an Independent, one can’t vote in the primary process which is by far the more important election in DC than the general.

Maybe standards will be brought back to us.  I hope so since I will hate trying to explain to my grand-daughter someday that all of America has become inured to bad behavior if it is connected to anyone politically active.

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Happy Halloween!

I found this video and couldn’t help myself.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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