Our Stay at the 4-Star Hotel Litteraire Arthur Rimbaud in Paris

Ellie & I recently spent five nights at the 4-star Hôtel Littéraire Arthur Rimbaud in Paris’s Gare de l’Est neighbourhood in the 10th arrondissement. North of the city centre. Half-way between Notre Dame and Sacre-Coeur. BEST WESTERN SIGNATURE COLLECTION The hotel is part of the Best Western Signature Collection. I hadn’t realised that there are 16 different brands under the BWH umbrella, including the regular Best Western, of course, but also seemingly unrelated ones such as WorldHotels, Aiden, or Sure Hotel. BW Signature Collection are marketed as affordable, 3- and 4-star ‘homes away from home,’ that have been “thoughtfully designed to reflect the unique atmosphere of their destination” and “where no request is too big.”   All pics (c) BerkeleySqB, except where otherwise mentioned. THE LITERARY HOTELS The Hôtels Littéraires were created independently from Best Western by the collector and bibliophile Jacques Letertre. His vision was to share his passion […]

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Best Running Events in London, from 5K Fun Runs to Marathons & Ultras

During the last few years, everyone and their dog started running. There are now so many events out there, especially in a big city like London. It can be hard to choose an event that’s right for you. This blog post is designed to assist you in doing so. WHAT DOES “BEST RUNNING EVENTS” MEAN? While I haven’t done more than a tiny fraction of all available runs, I have done many dozen of them over the years. I also speak with a lot of other running enthusiasts. The events listed here are ones that either I have completed and enjoyed, or that people I trust have completed and enjoyed. WHAT DOES “IN LONDON” MEAN? For the distances up to marathon, “in London” means in almost all cases, that you can run the event without staying overnight, even if relying on public transport (and possibly a short taxi ride). Considering […]

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A dinner at the excellent Kibako restaurant in Fitzrovia

Last Saturday, Ellie & I were invited by the owners of Kibako, a Japanese restaurant in London’s bustling Fitzrovia neighbourhood, to check out their new 3-course ‘Personalise your sushi’ menu. The venue currently offers a huge 65% off discount, reducing the price to a mere £30. We ended up with several additional courses and snacks, including the famous 9-piece omakase-style box. WHAT IS A KIBAKO? These serving boxes are called ‘kibako’ in Japanese and usually have between 6 and 12 compartments, each containing some sushi, sashimi, carpaccio, other snacks, sides or condiments.     ‘NAMASTE’ Upon entering the premises from Great Portland Street, the super-friendly and attentive staff greeted us with warm ‘namastes’. Chef Padam Raj Rai hails from Nepal, where he used to head the kitchen of the back-then premier Japanese restaurant in Kathmandu. He has also trained in Osaka, Japan, and worked at many well-known, upmarket Japanese restaurants […]

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We are humbled & very happy to have been chosen as Brand Ambassadors by Optilabs

A little while ago, Ellie & I were chosen by our favourite sports glasses brand, Optilabs, to become their brand ambassadors, alongside several other sporty folk. We are humbled and very pleased to have been given this great opportunity to promote products that we have used and loved for years. Optilabs very kindly published the following article on their website, which we will herewith re-post:   OPTILABS’ ARTICLE, RE-POSTED IN FULL Ellie and Stefan started their well-known London travel, food, and adventure blog Berkeley Square Barbarian in March 2016. Less than a year into blogging, the married couple began to get invited by tour operators on short trips. Sailing, off-roading, rock-climbing in Portugal, and hiking and camel-riding in Morocco were some of their early experiences. Over the years, the adventures became more ambitious, including a one-week trip to Bhutan, promoting a local travel agency. “The short hike up to Tiger’s […]

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My experience eating French fart sausage (5A Andouillette)

I’ve always been interested in French food, and in particular in the more exotic dishes. Frog legs, snails, sweetbread (lamb’s or calf’s pancreas), calf’s head, head cheese, sheep’s testicles, lamprey, pig’s trotters, sea urchin, whelks, beef tongue, tripe, calf’s brain, that kind of stuff (not all of which I’ve eaten yet). So on my journeys of exploration I had come across French fart sausage. Some call it smelly sausage. Apparently their official name is andouillette. JUST A SMALL ANDOUILLE? ‘Andouillette?’, I hear you say, ‘but that’s just a small version of an andouille, the standard French smoked pork sausage, no?’ And until the mid-19th Century you would’ve been spot on, that’s what it was. All pics (c) BerkeleySqB, except where otherwise mentioned. 1st pic (c) Food & Wine Magazine. 2nd pic Very Gourmand. NON NON… MUCH MORE DELIGHTFUL AND/OR ABOMINABLE However, gradually it developed into something much more delightful and […]

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