Sunday, 25 October 2015

Poppy's Carribean Adventure Part 13

It's been a while since I posted more in the story of Poppy and Gage's business trip to the Carribean, so without further ado, here's the next instalment. (Wishing I had a little of that heat and sunshine right now!)

The thirteenth installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure:
(The previous installments can be read here)

Half way across the lobby, raised voices finally pierced Poppy’s bubble. She glanced back towards the reception desk where a flustered hotel employee was trying to placate an irate couple, both of whom were shouting at her at the same time.
Poppy cast a longing glance at the lift doors, and the rest and refuge they represented, then turned around and headed towards the reception desk.

“Is there something wrong?” she asked.

The hotel receptionist started to explain, but was drowned out by the couple.
“We booked separate rooms. How hard is that to understand?”
“There is no way I’m sharing with him!”

Poppy held up both her hands until the couple finally quieted, then she looked at the receptionist. “What’s the problem?”

The receptionist swallowed. “Their original booking was for one room. When the call came through asking for separate rooms, we explained that we were fully booked. The conference…”

Poppy nodded. The conference had taken every available room, and even that had required some manoeuvring to accomplish. She should know. She’d spent half the day hunched over the rooming lists with the reservations manager. She scanned her memory and came up with a name. “Mr and Mrs Smith, from New Mexico,” she guessed.

“Mr and the soon-to-be-ex Mrs Smith,” the man said bitterly, while his wife looked at him as if she’d like to punch him.

Since murder didn’t go well with a successful conference, she turned back to the receptionist. “Is there nothing we can do?”

“I’ve offered one of them a suite at the Palm Resort, on us. It’s not that far, and we could arrange a car…”

Both Mr and Mrs Smith broke out in voluble protest. Clearly neither wanted to be sent off to another hotel and miss half the fun of the conference.

Out of the corner of her eye, Poppy spotted Gage, emerging from the cocktail party with a group that had to be the New York contingent. Oh great. Just great. She really didn’t need Gage to witness this. She could handle this. She had to handle this.

“I can take the room at the Palm Resort, and Mrs Smith can have my room,” she suggested.

“Impossible.” It was Gage’s voice, behind her shoulder, deep, decisive, and allowing no dissent. How the hell had he moved so quickly?

“You’re the organiser of this conference and you need to be on site.” He turned to the receptionist. “Please move Ms Monroe’s belongings to my suite.”

“Thank you, sir.” The receptionist looked as if she’d cry, she was so relieved at having a solution. “If you’ll just sign for your rooms here.”

As she began the check-in process for the late arrivals, Poppy drew Gage aside. “I can’t stay in your suite!”

“Why not? It’s a large suite.”

Poppy knew. She’d booked him the largest suite in the hotel. It was also the honeymoon suite. “It only has one bedroom,” she hissed.

Gage’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “Then ask the staff to send up some extra pillows and blankets. I haven’t slept on a sofa since my uni days, but how hard can it be?”

With a wink, he turned on his heel and headed back to the waiting New York party. Poppy stared after him. She couldn’t let the company CEO sleep on a sofa. What the hell was he thinking?

And what the hell was she thinking? Because suddenly she didn’t feel tired any more. She was picturing an enormous honeymoon bed… and them both in it.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Date week

The blind date I was set up with during London Cocktail Week took me out for a splendid meal at City Social, scoring big points in choice of venue. He'd also planned everything ahead, including a driver so we could enjoy the cocktail bar. Followers of this blog might have realised my tastes in men lean towards the continental, Latin type, but for an Englishman, this one's not half bad.

City Social at Tower 42

Aside from a few sloppy kisses, and a bit of a grope in the back of the car, he was flirty and interested without being pushy, so he scored high in that department too. We've agreed to meet again next weekend.

In other news, I took a new client for lunch at The Fable Bar, and it was more than just business on the menu. He had my attention from the moment he walked into our office on Monday morning, and it was clear during lunch that the attraction is mutual. We talked until long after I should have been back at the office, and not just about work.

As long as we're working together, we'll keep it professional, but I already have the date of November 26th circled in red on my desk planner. That's the day after the event we're organising for him, the day he becomes an ex-client. And fair game.

The Fable Bar at Holborn Viaduct

Monday, 12 October 2015

Cocktail Week is back!

Or rather, was back. The week for discovering new creations at the price of just £5 a cocktail passes by so quickly!

LCW Master Class from

This last week featured visits to the House of Angostura's opening night party, Sackville's and Nola and pop-up Oriole, a gin tasting at The Trading House, a mixology masterclass, lunch out in Seven Dials with a blind date, and the crowning event: Olivia's birthday lunch yesterday at The Botanist.

The date turned out to be pretty fun, considering I insisted we meet for lunch, in a public place, with a set time limit. So fun, we've agreed to meet for dinner next week.

The Botanist at Sloane Square

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Poppy's Carribean Adventure Part 12

Thank you to everyone who sent wishes for my Grandmaman. By the time I arrived she had already perked up thankfully, and we had a wonderful time catching up.

Ditto with cousin Marie-Madeleine. Thank you for a glorious Saturday night out on the town, Mimi!

I also had lunch this week with Aurélie. For those not yet in the know, this is the wife of my ex-boyfriend Sébastien. Interesting.
But you don't really want to know about that, do you?

So on to the twelfth installment of Poppy's Carribean Adventure:
(The previous installments can be read here)

God, it was too hot for a suit. Gage longed to loosen his tie and the top button of his shirt. But instead he smiled and shook hands with the man in front of him, saying a few words of welcome before the man moved on.

A woman in tight cocktail dress, her breasts straining against the low-cut neckline, headed straight for them through the crowd, like a missile zeroing in on its target.

“The marketing manager for our Minnesota distributor,” Poppy whispered, unfailingly spotting the new arrival. “You met her at the last North American conference.”

Gage smiled and held out his hand, but instead the woman leaned in to brush her cheek against his, wafting her floral perfume over him.

“It’s good to see you again,” Gage said. “You must be pleased to be away from Minneapolis at this time of year.”

The woman preened, pleased to be remembered. Over her shoulder, Poppy tried – and failed - to stifle a laugh. Gage smiled back at her. The woman, thinking the smile was meant for her, laid her hand on his arm. “Could I buy you a drink?”

“All the drinks are on me tonight,” Gage said, suppressing his smile and focussing back on the distributor.

“Later then?” She arched an eyebrow suggestively.

Poppy cleared her throat. “You have a dinner meeting with your team from New York later.”

Gage gave a rueful shrug, and the woman moved off. He turned to Poppy. “Thanks.”

“Don’t thank me. You really do have dinner booked. You’re scheduled to meet the new VP from the New York office.”

“Will you be joining us?”

“Hell no. I’m getting an early night tonight. We have a big day tomorrow.”

Disappointment pooled in his stomach. Oh well, there was always tomorrow. And after that just another three days before they had to return to London and normal life. Three days had never seemed so short.