Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Celebrating its soft anniversary...

The Rafayel "family"

Hotel Rafayel celebrates its first soft anniversary on 21st December 2010. The event was a "family affair" with its team of dedicated staff who are devoted in upholding the principles and values of Rafayel wrapped in the blanket of warmth and hospitality - hallmarks of Rafayel's fast-gained reputation.


This is just the beginning!


Special cake created in the spirit of the occasion and the festive season















Sunday, 19 December 2010

"Sure to lead the way in Eco Hotels, Rafayel on the Left Bank certainly is very impressive!"

Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank – London’s Eco Luxury Hotel
by Anna Rodgers on December 17th, 2010 
 http://travel.missecoglam.com/hotel-rafayel-on-the-left-bank-londons-eco-luxury-hotel

Twilight view from the Front of Hotel

I had a lovely overnight stay at Hotel Rafayel on Wednesday of this week. I went on my own and surprisingly had a great time. I have never stayed in a hotel on my own and didn’t know how it would be but I actually realised its something I want to do now and again as it’s great to spoil yourself!

The hotel has been open for a year now and is London’s first Luxury Eco Hotel, which boasts a list of impressive energy saving credentials.

Situated near the South Bank of the River Thames, Hotel Rafayel is a modern 3 floor boutique Eco Hotel with 65 5* rooms.

The story of Rafayel is interesting – from scratch to finish.  Originally designed to be a Tesco outlet or alternatively commercial office space, the space was angular and awkward but inspired the imagination of the developer three years ago.  Armed with innovative ideas and concepts and signing on a young team of architects, Latis Group, Rafayel set its course to embrace cutting-edge green technologies that would reduce its carbon footprint by 20% as opposed to hotel rooms in London that average a whopping 70kg.  The remarkable part of the challenge taken on and followed through to the end was the ability to offer ultimate luxury without compromising on the hotel’s environmental-friendliness.

Sure to lead the way in Eco Hotels, Rafayel on the Left Bank certainly is very impressive!

My first impressions as I entered the front of the hotel was how cool the foyer was.  Usually Foyers of hotels are quite sleek and minimal which can also be a bit boring. Not Hotel Rafayel!  The furniture and artwork is very cool, doesn’t really ‘match’ but thats what makes it cool. Bright coloured cushions on the sofas, cool  large vases, unusual mirrors, interesting artwork and also a very cute cupcake bakery, all on the lower floor near the reception desk.


You can choose between quite a few different styles of rooms. My pick is to request a room with a full view of the Thames such as the room below. Yes it is the most expensive room but for a great view, you tend to have to pay for it.

My room, was lovely but I didn’t have a view of the Thames, instead was a view looking over the road at the front of the hotel. Not exactly gorgeous view but the large glass walls made the room pretty amazing still.
My room was an L shape and certainly felt really big. There was a long hallway entrance where you kept your clothes in the wardrobe with a nice Mini Bar and Tea and Coffee area. The fridge was stocked with drinks some healthy (lovely spring waters) and some unhealthy (red bull and soft drinks but hey a hotel has to cater for all!) I saw there was Green & Black Organic chocolate bars so that was nice to see.
I loved the little welcoming gift of two cute cupcakes with a note to wish me a great stay.  I did eat both, I must say and they were delicious. It was a lovely touch.

Nile Room with Thames View – my pick for staying next time.

The bathrooms are huge, really lovely and had great features. A bidet and toilet with soft closing lid.  Large sink and mirror area with another huge mirror behind and ledge to put clothes on. State of the art shower with rainwater feature and another shower attachment with jets coming from the wall. It was at first, a little confusing to use the shower and I did manage to spray myself with cold water by accident as I wasn’t sure which way to turn the taps but when I got out, I saw there were instructions in the corner of how to use the shower – wish I had of seen them first! :) 

In my room there was no bath and as I do love my baths,  if I was to stay again, I would request a room with a bath. The rooms with baths have huge ones, room for two so for a romantic stay, this is a must!

In the rooms they use NEOM organic Luxury products so there is no need to bring any soap, shampoos or conditioners, all is supplied in your room. You will find these products in the spa area and also in the Restaurants.

My room had such a long walk way that I thought you could easily have a few people in there and have a bit of a party!

There was a massive LCD TV on the wall.  You could have the curtains and blinds up and it makes the room very airy and bright.  At night its easy to shut the blinds for more privacy.

The bed was amazing! So large, soft and comfortable and I loved that they had a warm duvet.  So many hotels have just a sheet and blanket which is ok if you are in a warm country and used to that but in cold countries we all want to snuggle when we sleep.

Very comfortable pillows and sheets soft and spotlessly clean. It was like sleeping in a new bed!

Similar to my room
Eco Credentials
Hotel Rafayel is Environmentally Conscious because of the energy they save from using energy efficient companies such as Philips, Hypnos, Vivreau, Neom, Daikin, and VDA.

Philips provide the lighting which is state of the art LED lighting. This means that it uses far less electricity and helps to reduce carbon footprint by quite a lot.

The LED lighting within the Hotel will bring up to 80% of energy saving compared to the conventional low- wattage halogen based lighting according to the energy audit report issued by Philips.

Philips has pioneered a total solution of LED’s suitable for Hotel use through a combination of their Master LED bulbs and iColour powercore LED’s. These Master LED range of bulbs offer all the dimmable features and a quality of light that is ideal for bedrooms/lobbies and circulation areas within the Hotel.

The latest Philips iColour powercore LED technology drives all the featured colour changing lighting to enhance the spaces and bring a dynamic ambience to the restaurant and lobbies. Rafayel is also the first hotel to showcase the latest Philips Jetlag recovery technology within its prime river suite rooms.

Hypnos Beds
The beds at Hotel Rafayel are certainly something to rave about and for good reason. Hypnos is a brand that has been making beds since Edwardian days, made with such skill and quality which makes these beds known to be some of the best there is.  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2 gave a Royal Warrant for these beds, reinforcing the incredible quality.



These beds are made from recycled raw materials, nothing is wasted or ends up in landfill. This includes metal hinges, springs which are both recycled back into other steel products. Timber is turned into MDF or wood shavings foam is reused in Carpet underlay and textiles are recycled into insulation product or ‘briquettes’ for industrial heating. Even the packaging materials from new beds are also recycled.

Sleeping on these beds will make you want to have one in your own home! I woke up so refreshed which is unlike me as usually I have trouble sleeping in hotels.

Vivreau Bottling System

Hotel Rafayel has saved both cost and energy savings accumulated from installing the Vivreau bottling system. It worked out how much it would be eliminating in terms of weight of glass for both delivery and disposal, and the results were quite shocking.

Based on an average weight of a glass bottle and the average consumption by installing the Vivreau system, Rafayel will be eliminating 500,000 kg of delivered bottled water over 5 years, which is a huge amount. It will also be eliminating 205,000 kg of glass bottled waste for disposal.



DAIKIN AIRCONDITIONING SYSTEM WITH HEAT RECOVERY
The Services strategy by Engdesign required a high-quality building with good ventilation, heating and cooling, and the lowest possible energy use. Being a Hotel, the project had strict specifications with respect to flexibility in the case of building rearrangement, low energy consumption via heat recovery as well as quiet operation. The Daikin system installed at Hotel Rafayel achieves all of these features.

To obtain the desired optimum energy use, heat recovery was chosen. VRVIII H/R systems allow excess heat generated in one part of the building to be transferred to other parts of the building where heat is needed. VRVIII H/R has the best energy efficiency ratings in the industry, while maintaining the highest levels of comfort due to the possibility of continuous heating during defrost cycles, quick changeover between heating and cooling modes, and the ability to provide optimum climate control per chosen building zone.

COLEMAN MODUCEL VENTIALTION SYSTEM
The ventilation system in Rafayel is driven by Colman Moducel Airhandling units. These incorporate heat exchangers (recuperators) which run with up to 70% heat recovery efficiencies. Heat recovery will occur in both heating and cooling modes, dependent upon the temperatures of fresh and return air being supplied and extracted from the spaces within the Hotel. This combined with intelligent controls ensure that energy recovery is optimised under all ambient conditions.


VDA MICROMASTER ROOM AUTOMATION AND BUILDING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Micromaster, a cost saving Room Management System, is a state of the art system. VDA’s Micromaster solution becomes part of the fabric of the building, and allows the operator to ‘micro-manage’ the energy usage in each and every guestroom, public area, or back office with technology and software that can enable the owner/operator to reduce energy running costs by up to 30%.

In any hotel, the air conditioning and heating may account for 70% of the energy usage in a guest bedroom, but by using the Micromaster solution it allows total management and control of maximum and minimum room temperatures. This not only massively reduces energy costs, it also helps extend the life of the plant systems in the hotel, and can help reduce their maintenance costs with them being utilised in a more controlled way. It also substantially reduces the property’s carbon footprint.

The Micromaster solution allows the hotel to control areas such as energy, housekeeping, security etc. but not only that, the guest interface has now become an attractive design feature, with touch sensitive glass control units that work just like an IPOD, becoming activated when a guest moves close to them.

RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEM
Landscaping forms a very important part of the Hotel design to ensure that the luxury and ambience within is extended to the external spaces. 8,000 sq ft of ground floor/terraces have been luxuriously planted. All the fountains and landscaping zones are irrigated through a system served by harvested rain water. The rain water is collected through the large open terraces across the 17 storey building, and stored in large capacity tanks in the basement.

NO-PLASTIC POLICY & ORGANIC PRODUCTS
Rafayel’s diligence in achieving its eco-friendly mission did not remain restricted to structure and machinery.  Consumables are as much a part of it as any.  The hotel strictly adheres to a no-plastic policy that includes organic bath, body and beauty products from NEOM provided in refillable bottles and wall dispensers. All NEOM products contain a minimum of 70% soil association certified organic ingredients.

The hotel’s beauty spa, River Wellbeing Spa, offers holistic treatments by using 100% natural and organic products manufactured by AMALA.  AMALA formulas are 100% natural and free of synthetic ingredients, petrochemicals, parabens and genetically modified ingredients.  AMALA plants are grown in their ideal habitats, which allow them to thrive and their essences to reach peak potential.

Eco Conscious Messages left in Room

Michelle’s Bakery in Hotel Foyer


Cupcakes left in room as a welcoming gift, there was two here originally but I kinda couldn’t not eat one!

Crystal Bar with fantastic view over the Thames

At night the dining area and bar area both come alive because the lighting is amazing and also of course, the view out over the Thames. A very cool place to come and have a drink and or dinner. A Continental breakfast is served in the restaurant are between 6.30 – 11am every day. Fabulous views during the day too! You will see and hear Helicopters landing right next to the hotel as there is London’s Helipad.  It’s very James Bond!

 
Vegetarian Onion Baji and Best Fries

We chose some vegetarian snacks before our dinner. Very yummy! The menu is very extensive with so much to choose from. The food has an indian influence through out the menu. We (my hubby who visited me for dinner) both had a cocktail. They were presented well but didn’t really taste that great, super strong and just not that pleasant.

 
Vegetarian Biryani

I heard a guest in spa talking about this dish so I chose it. It was very nice, and served beautifully.
At dinner, the service was good, not overly great, we did have to wait a bit  for our plates to be cleared but that doesn’t really ever bother me. The place was busy so understandable why they weren’t doing things straight away.

Rice pudding with Toasted Almonds – amazing!

 
So was this one! Strawberry Mousse

 
Jacuzzi in the Spa area

The spa and gym at Hotel Rafayel is really good! Whilst the spa are is not huge it still offers some great things. There is a Jacuzzi (pictured above) which can fit 3-4 and up to the right of the image there is a hydrotherapy pool that can be booked for private use.  There is also a steam room and sauna which are both brand spanking new and super modern. The sauna was one of the nicest I have ever used, smelt amazing from the wood its made from (not stinky like most are!) and was so pleasant to use.  I would definitely say its my favorite all time sauna!

The change rooms are lovely, again, they have the Balinese theme. There are plenty of towels to use and bathrobes and slippers are provided.

I just love spas and nowadays no hotel seems to be without one! I had a one hour massage during my stay and it was fabulous! The spa is lovely, the reception area of spa is very colourful with comfortable sofas to sit on whilst you fill in your form.  They use Elemis natural products, Neom and some other brand that I had never heard of.  The treatment area only has three rooms so its not a massive spa but very pretty none the less. The walls are covered with stones so gives it the Balinese theme.

The beds that are used for massage are just amazing. So big, very wide and had electric blankets on them so lovely and toasty.  I felt relaxed immediately! The girl that did my massage was fab, had obviously had good training as she knew what she was doing and wasn’t afraid to use pressure when she needed to.
I felt amazing afterwards and wished I had of booked in for a longer massage!

There is also a relaxation area and the lighting is not just pretty it provides colour therapy as well!
As they do day packages I would definitely visit again for a day treatment with a friend. The room below is just gorgeous and used when you book in for a bathing ritual + massage treatment.

 
River Well Being Spa

Hotel Rafayel has many cool features. The gym is fab, has quite a few treadmills (with personal Tv’s), a power plate machine,  a weights area and they also offer yoga classes.  Upstairs, there is a library area which is fabulous for business travelers who need to do some work and don’t want to stay in their room cooped up. There is also a sitting area near the Library on the first floor.

So much to do here, that it really is a great place to visit. Business travelers will love staying here but so will couples and anyone that loves to travel. I don’t see it being a place that has loads of families staying here but they do offer rooms for them so it is catered for.

Would I stay there again? YES! definitely but I would make sure I had a river view room with a bath! I would also choose a longer massage, it was that good I want more!

We were thinking of staying there for this New Years Eve but they are all booked out, maybe next year?
Hotel Rafayel  has some incredible deals at the moment with rooms pretty much half price. Also the restaurant and spa are offering packages for half price as well.

Such a great place to stay and of course, because its Green its even better!

Prices per night start at for a short while only @  £120!

For more info, please go to : http://www.hotelrafayel.com/


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Banyan on the Thames

It has always struck me as strange that we have so few restaurants by the banks of the Thames in London, when almost every other major city that either has a major river running through it or a position by the sea capitalises on that, however, now the Hotel Rafayel in Battersea has opened its doors to guests and created its ?Banyan on the Thames? to make use of its fabulous situation with views up, down and across the water.




Almost every table benefits, as a result of the clever two level design, which is also modern but chic with the clever use of lighting panels that change colour and offering a menu that is aimed to appeal with its tempting fusion mix of Asian and Modern European dishes in a thoroughly modern fashion, like tilapia fishcakes with lemongrass chilli jam or Cromer crab, mango and king prawn with coriander and chilli raita.



Even their version of fish and chips is rather unusual as it is made with pieces of monkfish fried in lime and coriander tempura batter while the fillet of tuna is seared in a teriyaki marinade and served with pot roasted baby vegetables; the carnivores should be more than delighted with the chilli beef Banyan style or the rack of lamb with a pistachio crust, gratin potatoes and a red pepper coulis.



The desserts are not exactly run of the mill either with kheer brûlée, caramelised rice pudding served with toasted almond, or cheese mousse with cinnamon crumble and a whisky toffee sauce. The wine list is short but sensibly compiled providing a decent choice at reasonable prices.

Reindeer Pie at Battersea Pie Station, Covent Garden

http://londonist.com/2010/12/reindeer-pie-at-battersea-pie-station-covent-garden.php#respond
- Chris Osburn

Poor Rudolph. Ostracised for his abnormalities until Santa figured out how to exploit him. Then, when no longer of use, the red nosed flying hoofer got sent off to a North Pole abattoir to be made into pie for Londoners.
Battersea Pie Station inside Covent Garden Market (not sure what’s with the “Battersea” title), launched their “Rudolph” reindeer pie this afternoon. We whisked round for a sample (word is Londonist was the first to try it in shop) at lunch and found it a heartily warming treat for such a winter’s day.

Made from organic free-range (not farmed) Swedish reindeer meat in a red wine and mushroom sauce and garnished with a dusting of herbs, it’s good value at £6.00 eat in or £5.00 takeaway . Low in fat, high in protein and rich in minerals, it’s also pretty tasty. We had ours doused in gravy and served alongside some decent mash and flavourful red cabbage (sides start at £1) and reckon we won’t need to worry about dinner tonight.

“The Rudolph” is available from today (no word on when they’ll pull it from the menu) at Battersea Pie Station (Lower Ground Floor, 28 The Market, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RA). Visit www.batterseapiestation.co.uk for more info.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Enjoy the festive season in London!

As the festive season dawns, London comes alive with a host of activities for all to enjoy. Rafayel recommends some must-sees this December and January 2011!


Hanukkah

Dates: 1 December 2010 to 8 December 2010

Celebrate the Jewish festival of Hanukkah in London this year.

Hanukkah in London
Hanukkah, the festival of lights, is an eight-day Jewish celebration that dates back almost 2,500 years.
Held from the 25th night of the Jewish month of Kislev (sundown on 1 December in 2010), Hanukkah is marked by lighting a candle in the menorah (a special candelabra) for each night of the festival.
Hanukkah in Trafalgar Square

Last year, London's Deputy Mayor lit a giant menorah in Trafalgar Square.
The lighting ceremony was accompanied by traditional donuts and potato latkes, gelt (chocolate coins) and a live performance by Yiddish singer Shlomo Gertner.
This year's celebrations on Trafalgar Square will take place in the early evening on 6 December.




Christmas in London

London is a great city to celebrate the festive season; there's so much going on! 
You can go ice-skating, enjoy a traditional pantomime, take part in a carol concert, check out London's fantastic shops... and don't forget to eat, drink and be merry too!


Christmas Shopping

Christmas shopping and gift ideas in London


Christmas Entertainment

London's pantos, dance, family and alternative events

Christmas afternoon tea
Seasonal menus, Christmas Day dining and drinks

For more Christmas events, go to: http://www.visitlondon.com/events/christmas/


JLS Live at The O2


Dates:
9 December 2010 to 16 January 2011
Venue:

Get ready girls, JLS are bringing their sexy selves to The O2 in December!

Book JLS Tickets

Buying music tickets with Visit London is easy, just click on the green Book Now button, to ensure you get JLS tickets.

JLS in London

Enjoy an early Christmas present as boyband JLS visit The O2 for their first arena tour in December and January.
Last year was an incredible year for the X Factor runners-up, whose debut singles, Beat Again and Everybody in Love, went straight to No 1.
Their self-titled album is the fastest selling debut album since the Arctic Monkeys in 2006. JLS have also received two MOBO awards.

JLS Live

JLS (or Jack the Lad Swing, in full) are no strangers to The O2: they played both nights of the Jingle Bell Ball in 2009.

Don't miss your chance to see Marvin, Ashton, JB and Oritsé live in London.



The British Military Tournament 2010 in London


Dates:
4 December 2010 to 5 December 2010
Venue:
See guns flaring, horses charging and soldiers marching in the British Military Tournament at London's Earls Court this December.

The British Military Tournament in London

Earls Court will play host to the first-ever British Military Tournament in December.
During two two-hour performances each day, 500 soldiers and 150 horses take part in cavalry charges, field-gun runs and team challenges.
The tattoo recounts the history of the British Army from the English Civil War to the present-day, with performances by soldiers in the original military uniform of each period.

Celebrity Contributions at London's British Military Tournament

Celebrities Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry and Judi Dench each make valuable contributions to the family show.
Run by the ABF The Soldier's Charity, The British Military Tournament incorporates the best acts of the much-loved Royal Tournament that ended in 1999. A great occasion for all the family!
  
Lady Gaga at The O2


Dates:
16 December 2010 to 17 December 2010
Venue:
Crazy outfits, heaps of make-up and perfect pop – Lady Gaga is coming back to The O2!

 

Lady Gaga Live in London

Don't miss Lady Gaga at the The O2. She played several triumphant dates at the venue in February and May this year and is bringing her amazing Monster Ball tour back for more.
Hear all your favourite Lady Gaga hits, including Just Dance, Paparazzi, and Poker Face.
Plus, see her trademark skimpy outfits and outrageous performance style live.

The Monster Ball Tour at The O2

The Monster Ball Tour celebrates the release of her revamped album, The Fame Monster.
The Fame Monster features her four million-selling album The Fame in its entirety plus eight brand new songs, including the singles Bad Romance and Telephone

Lady Gaga Tickets

Lady Gaga has sold out The O2 several times before so make sure you buy your Lady Gaga tickets now. Book tickets with Visit London using the green book button.

New Year's Eve in London

Dates:
31 December 2010 to 1 January 2011
Venue:


Celebrate New Year's Eve in London. It's one of London's biggest party nights, with a host of festivities, fireworks and fun!  On New Year's Eve, London comes alive with celebrations, fireworks and parties in every corner of the capital. 

Be here at midnight to help see in the New Year with a bang!

Fireworks and Festivities on New Year's Eve

Prepare to be dazzled by spectacular fireworks along the river Thames, or one of the other London fireworks displays on New Year's Eve.
And for those who like to party, New Year's Eve in London offers you some of the best clubs, pubs, dining, private celebrations and sophisticated functions in the world.
And the fun doesn't stop with New Year's Eve, there's a host of exciting events in London on New Year's Day too. 

Planning your New Year's Eve in London

The Mayor's office advises New Year's Eve revellers to plan ahead. Many venues, such as pubs, bars and clubs, are likely to be ticketed with advance booking.
Space in viewing areas along the Thames to watch the fireworks will be limited, but the display will be broadcast live on television.

Check the Mayor's website www.london.gov.uk/newyearseve closer to the time for more information about attending the fireworks, including viewing maps.
Public transport will be the best way to get about, with all-night and free travel on offer. Check www.tfl.gov.uk for details.
For more New Year events, go to: http://www.visitlondon.com/events/detail/7239205


New Year's Day Parade 2011 - 25th Anniversary Year

Dates:
1 January 2011 
Venue:

London's annual New Year's Day Parade crowns the capital's festive season – make sure you're there to see it!
This year marks the New Year's Day Parade's 25th anniversary and there will be a silver theme throughout.

25 Years of The New Year's Day Parade in London

The New Year's Day Parade in London features more than 10,000 performers representing 20 London boroughs and countries from across the globe.
Dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, musicians and performers assemble in the heart of the city for a "celebration of nations".
Young people from the US, Japan and Europe come together with those from London for three hours of pomp and frivolity.

London's New Year's Day Parade Route

This year's parade route starts at The Ritz hotel and ends in Parliament Square.
The parade starts at 12 noon and proceeds along Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus, then takes in Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and ends at Parliament Square in front of Big Ben.
More than half a million people are expected to cram into London's most famous streets to see the parade weave its way along the 2.2-mile (3.5km) route.

Watching the Parade in London

The theme of the 2011 New Year's Day Parade is silver to mark the parade's 25th anniversary year. 
London New Year's Day Parade founder and executive director Bob Bone believes that the event has truly come of age.

Canary Wharf Ice Rink

Dates:
13 November 2010 to 21 February 2011
Venue:

Canary Wharf ice rink brings a magical sparkle to London's Canada Square Park for winter.
There's festive music and refreshments, plus a fantastic free skating programme for local school children.

Ice Skating at Canary Wharf

This winter, you can skate alongside Canary Wharf's world-famous towers at Canada Square Park's annual ice rink.
Canada Square Park has been transformed for the occasion with sparkling lights and music and drinks to get you in the festive spirit.
If you need a helping hand on the ice, simply book yourself in a group skating lesson. There's also a special viewing gallery attached to the Rinkside Bar so non-skaters can watch their friends and family glide (or stumble!) around the ice rink.

La Soirée

Dates:
12 October 2010 to 27 February 2011
Times:
12 Oct 2010 - 27 Feb 2011 Tue - Thu 8:00 PM; Fri, Sat 7:00 PM, 9:45 PM; Sun 5:00 PM
Venue:

Don't miss the fabulous La Soiree in London this Christmas season - held at exciting pop-up venue, the Magic Mirrors Big Top tent on Southbank.
La Soiree is a brand new show starring loads of your favourite cabaret, burlesque, circus and sideshow artists from the award-winning La Clique! 

La Soirée in the Southbank Magic Mirrors Big Top Tent

The awe-inspiring artists of La Clique are back with a brand new show, La Soiree, which will run for a limited Christmas season in the specially erected Southbank Magic Mirrors Big Top tent.
La Soiree artists include
  • Scandinavian contortionist Captain Frodo
  • "Bath Boy" David O'Mer
  • Tumbling duo The English Gents
  • Cabaret chanteuse Miss Behave
For more details, go to: http://www.visitlondon.com/events/detail/9198787

Netball: England v New Zealand

Dates:
19 January 2011
Venue:

Watch England take on New Zealand as international netball returns to The O2 in London.
International Netball at The O2

Following last year's sell-out game against Australia, England take on world No 2 New Zealand at The O2 this January.
The game is part of a three-game series and vital to both teams in the run-up to the World Netball Championships in Singapore in 2011.
This is a chance to see international netball at its fastest and most skilful.
For more details, go to: http://www.visitlondon.com/events/detail/9386539


Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900
 

Dates:
30 October 2010 to 23 January 2011
Times:
30 Oct 2010 - 23 Jan 2011 Mon - Thu, Sat, Sun 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM; Fri 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM Closed Boxing Day, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve
Venue:

See more than 80 paintings by the Glasgow Boys at London's Royal Academy of Arts.

Pioneering Painters at the Royal Academy

The Glasgow Boys were a loose-knit group of painters who caused a stir in the late 19th-century art world with their experimental and ambitious work.
Pioneering Painters is the first Glasgow Boys exhibition in London for more than 40 years.

The Glasgow Boys Exhibition

The Royal Academy show features more than 80 oil paintings, watercolours and pastels, mainly of Scottish rural life.
Among the artists included in the exhibition are:
  • James Guthrie
  • John Lavery
  • Arthur Melville
  • Joseph Crawhall
  • Edward Arthur Walton
  • George Henry
  • Edward Atkinson Hornel

Monday, 29 November 2010

Rocking the night away at Rafayel's Nirvana Lounge


Nirvana Lounge’s popularity continues to accelerate, drawing hip crowds – age no bar! With live music, dancing, sumptuous food and drinks, Nirvana is your perfect event setting!

Some recent party visuals!

Forward and frolic glee was there, The will to do, the soul to dare. - Sir Walter Scott

The average person is gregarious; there is something in the spirit of the crowd that adds to the enjoyment of entertainment.
- Ivor Novello   


'Tis very certain the desire of life prolongs it. - Lord Byron

As Tammie glow'red, amazed and curious,
  The mirth and fun grew fast and furious. -
Robert Burns, Tam o' Shanter


Saturday, 13 November 2010

A peep into the magnificent world of Rafayel cocktails

The earliest known printed use of the word cocktail was in The Farmer's Cabinet on April 28, 1803. Drank a glass of cocktail—excellent for the head...Call'd at the Doct's. found Burnham—he looked very wise—drank another glass of cocktail.

The first "cocktail party" ever thrown was allegedly by Mrs. Julius S. Walsh Jr. of St. Louis, Missouri, in May 1917. Mrs. Walsh invited 50 guests to her home at noon on a Sunday. The party lasted an hour, until lunch was served at 1 pm. The site of this first cocktail party still stands. In 1924, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis bought the Walsh mansion at 4510 Lindell Boulevard, and it has served as the local archbishop's residence ever since.

''When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. Sooooo, let’s all get drunk and go to heaven!''

A cocktail is an alcoholic mixed drink that contains two or more ingredients — at least one of the ingredients must be a spirit, a cocktail is never two or more Alcopops mixed together. 

The earliest definition of cocktail was in the May 13, 1806, edition of the Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, "What is a cocktail?". It replied:  Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.


 

"He was white and shaken, like a dry martini"
- PG Wodehouse




"The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?”
- Gerald R. Ford 


"Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water."
- WC Fields


I like to drink martinis. Two at the most. Three I'm under the table, four I'm under the host.
- Dorothy Parker



Our mixologist, Albert
A mixologist is a bartender or someone who specializes in the creation of cocktail recipes. The term usually implies special expertise and professionalism.