HOTELS THAT RAISE THE BAR

Not excited about staying in the Marriott Hotel again, where the only option for an after work drink is in the lobby bar that hasn’t had a facelift since the 1970’s.

While we know everyone is limited by corporate hotel selection, you can still venture to these hotel bars, if only for a drink and to impress!

Here are some of the hotel bars that have been named as the best (based in cities).

Connaught Bar at the Connaught, London
What recession? Opulence at its finest. Signature drink – juleps laced with herbal Fernet-Branca

Hemingway Bar, Ritz Carlton, Paris
Decadent and full of history. Signature drink – Bloody Mary. Where it was invented for Hemingway, to disguise the smell of alcohol on his breath.

Long Bar, Raffles Hotel, Singapore
Armchairs, big ceiling fans and throwing peanut shells on the ground. Old school colonial at its finest. Signature drink – The Singapore Sling. Invented in 1915 and still going strong – the bar sells 2,000 Singapore Slings daily.

Martini Bar at the Raleigh, Miami
Keeps things art deco and classy in Miami . Signature drink – martini

Redwood Room at Clift, San Francisco
Where the in-crowd of Silicon Valley can be seen. The room is filled with digital art to keep you entertained. Signature drink – Lavender martini

New York Bar at the Park Hyatt, Tokyo
Yes made famous in Lost in Translation, this cool bar is 52 floors up with stunning views. Signature drink – Yamazaki whiskey

Bar 1200 at Sunset Marquis Hotel, West Hollywood
Celebrity spotting of the music variety is rife – so look sharp or arrive early to get in. A recording studio is on-hand near by. Signature drink – Marquis-tini

Sky Lounge at Upper House, Hong Kong
49 floors up and you will find huge windows, an amazing view and an oasis above the bustling street of Central. Signature drink – Soul Happiness

The Drawing Room at the Greenwich Hotel, New York City
Cosy and warm in Tribeca you will feel like you are in your fantasy living room. Signature drink – Manhattan

What is your favourite hotel bar for an after work drink?

HOST WITH THE MOST

I am the first to admit I am much better at attending dinner parties than giving them – my strength is eating and drinking rather than cooking and hosting!

Dinner parties aren’t a recent fad from the 70’s, the earliest one has been traced back to a 12,000-year-old site in Israel where the remains of two cows and 71 tortoises, plus fire pits and shaman bones were found – definitely more than two courses worth. Romans were also great at dinner parties, lots of sitting around in togas and eating peeled grapes – a dinner party anyone would like to get invited to.

Attending or hosting one this weekend? Here are some golden rules to guide you through the next dinner party –

As a host you must provide alcohol, and as a guest you must bring it. And the host should always serve guests’ wine immediately.

People know how much Yellow Tail wine costs – always buy a good bottle of wine to take. It costs a small fortune to put on a dinner party so bringing cheap wine is just rude.

Smoking cigarettes without asking permission is unacceptable.

Brush up on your table manners – slurping/eating noises, eating with your mouth open, picking your teeth and blowing your nose on napkins should just not happen.

What ever happened to the cheese course at dinner parties? Hosts, don’t be scared to bring back the cheese!!!

Get some white wine on ice – it is the most popular alcoholic drink for that special meal, being served at 82% of dinner parties.

Guests lists are just as important and here are the popular must have’s and no thank you’s!

NO’s – Hitler, Charles Manson, OJ Simpson, Sarah Palin and Kim Jong II.
YES’s – Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley.

And remember lunch can sometimes be better than dinner as you have a whole afternoon and evening ahead!

SUPER-SIZED FOOD

Been eating too much on your last business trip? I definitely did!

Globally, there are now more than 1 billion overweight adults, and at least 300 million of these obese.

Current obesity levels range from below 5% in China, Japan and certain African nations, to over 75% in urban Samoa. But even in relatively low prevalence countries like China, obesity rates are almost 20% in some cities.

In the USA, one-third of all children born in the current decade will be diabetic.

Why…

The typical hamburger is now four times the size it was in the early 1980s. You can get an order of french fries/chips that is nearly three times as large as an order from 20 years ago. At the movies, you used to get five cups of popcorn, now you can get a tub that holds a whopping 11 cups.

Even our plates are bigger! The typical plate from the 1970s was nine inches across, now they’re on average 13 inches across.

But being on a diet is not always cheap… the average person spends USD$55 a week on food, but these diets cost a lot more than that:

Jenny Craig $138 per week; Nutrisystem – $113 pw; Atkins $100 pw; Weight Watchers $96 pw; Zone $92 per week

The answer… burn more calories than you consume!

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Cheap Beer!

Ever wondered where the best place to have a beer at the end of a long day of work meetings is? Well if you are on a business trip hopefully you are in a “cost effective” country, otherwise you are stuck at home paying the usual prices. Here is a guide on where is the cheapest and most expensive place to order a cold one!

The Top 3 countries in the world with the highest tax rates on beer are Norway, Finland, and Canada

In Turkey between 2002 and 2009, taxes on beer increased a whopping 737%, with an additional 45% increase between 2009 and 2010

In Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the UK, Czech Republic, Finland, Slovakia and Ireland alcohol has become over 50% more affordable in 2011 than it was in 1996.

Cheapest beer prices
10. Democratic Republic of Congo – $ 0.68
9. Philippines – $ 0.67
8. Rwanda – $ 0.59
7. Myanmar – $ 0.59
6. Madagascar – $ 0.59
5. Democratic Republic of Korea – $ 0.59
4. Burundi – $ 0.57
3. Bhutan – $ 0.56
2. Panama – $ 0.48
1. Tadjikistan – $ 0.41

An remember even if you do eat beforehand, the presence of food in the stomach slows the rate of alcohol absorption, BUT the amount of alcohol absorbed remains unchanged.

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Tea Time

More and more tea houses are popping up around the world so if you are meeting a colleague for coffee, why not make it tea for a change.

Here are some of the best tea houses in the world, which will be sure to impress for a business meeting.

Bangkok: The Author’s Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Singapore: Raffles Hotel, TWG Marina Bay Sands
Tokyo: The Peninsula Hotel
Paris: Maison des Trois Thés
Las Vegas: Petrossian Lounge at the Bellagio
Boston: The Bristol at the Four Seasons Hotel
New York: Astor Court at The St. Regis Hotel, Alice’s Tea Cup
London: Orangery at Kensington Palace, The Modern Pantry, The Connaught
Melbourne: Hopetoun Tea Rooms

The most hard to get to tea house in the world may be this one in Anhui Province, China, which is only accessible after rappelling up a mountain (photo in post)

And while you are drinking your tea, here are some talking points to impress your guest.
After water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world. While pure tea may have more caffeine than coffee, once water is added tea contains far less than a cup of coffee.
The UK consumes about 130,000 tonnes of tea a year of which at least 95% is in teabags
On a daily basis, about half of the American population drinks tea, and Americans drink 85 percent of their tea on ice.

THIRST THURSDAY – Hangover


A few too many drinks on a “school night” seems like fun at the time, until the next morning when the hangover kicks in. If you need something to get you through your working day, here are some great non-alcoholic beverages that may just do the trick, and make you feel almost human again for that 8am meeting with your boss.

Coconut water is my number 1 pick
It is more Nutritious than whole milk – Less fat and NO cholesterol!
Healthier than Orange Juice, and much lower calories
Naturally sterile — Water permeates though the filtering husk!
A Natural Isotonic Beverage – The same level we have in our blood (they used it to replace plasma in the Pacific War)
Contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks
Has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg
Has 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars

Plain water
Your body is dehydrated so plain water is the next best thing if you don’t have any coconut water

Sports drinks
Even though your body has lost some electrolytes, you don’t need to replace them right away. Save your money on Gatorade as it’s no better for a hangover than water from your tap.

THIRSTY THURSDAY – Drinking on the Job!

Stuck on a conference call and no time to get down to Starbucks to grab a coffee. Do not fear, there are some super cool drink accessories on the market – so you won’t ever have to leave your desk (and all for under $20!)

COFFEE DRINKERS – Hamilton Beach Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer – $19.99
A one cup personal coffee brewer using coffee pods

TEA DRINKERS – IngenuiTEA 16oz Teapot – $18.99
After the specified amount of brewing time, just rest the pot over your mug, and the spring-loaded valve empties the tea into your mug, leaving the spent leaves behind.

SODA/SOFT DRINKS – USB LED Fridge Cooler – $19.99
Simply plug in this small single-can beverage cooler into a USB port and chill a can on your desk