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Short breaks in the UK: Things to do and see in Devon

September 24, 2015

Devon much like its neighbour Cornwall has a lot to offer those looking to take a short break in the UK. Its diversity of landscapes and activities on offer draws people from far and wide. If you haven’t been thinking of visiting Devon then hopefully this guide of things to do and see in Devon will inspire you to go and visit.

Part of the English Rivera, Devon is made up of picturesque south-coast harbour villages. It encompasses sandy beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns and moorland national parks.

Devon has something to offer every interest and it really was hard to narrow down all the things on offer but in this guide you will find some great ideas to build into you trip.

Devon for beach bunnies

Things to do in Devon - salcombe beach

Salcombe, Devon

Did you know that Devon has some of the best beaches in the country? If you love golden sandy beaches and great restaurants then you must include Salcombe in South Devon as part of your list of things to see and do in Devon. When you’re not sunning yourself to a tan on East Portlemouth beach (accessible by ferry) you can take a walk along the South West Coast Path and discover hidden coves which are revealed at low tide.

Bigbury-on-sea Devon

Bigbury-on-sea

Bigbury-on-sea also in South Devon, is popular with families due to its shallow waters and rock pools (perfect for finding crabs). Its sandy beaches also draw those who love water sports with windsurfing and kite-surfing the most popular activities to get involved with.

Devon for foodies

Cream Teas in Topsham, Devon

Cream Teas in Topsham, Devon

As a bit of a foodie myself, this is what excites me the most about visiting Devon, the plethora of good food! If you visit the county then you have to make sure to enjoy a Devonshire cream tea. One of the best cream teas in Devon is served at the award wining Georgian Tea Room in Topsham.

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Darts Farm Shop, Topsham

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Ilfracombe ice cream 

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Alpacas at Darts Farm, Topsham

Darts Farm in Topsham is a haven for foodies and equally children will love it too. The farmshop offers all manner of delights produced on the farm. Fill up your shopping basket with the freshest organic vegetables and cut meats. Devonshire lamb and beef is highly recommended. Enjoy the creamiest ice cream from Ilfracombe dairy and take the children to have a look at the lovely fields of sunflowers and to pick their own fruit and vegetables. Children will also enjoy a visit to the animal corner which has resident pigs and during the summer months Alpacas come to the farm.

Devon for walkers and hikers

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Dartmoor National Park, Devon

If getting out and exercising those legs and lungs are high on your reasons for visiting Devon then a visit to Dartmoor National Park should be high on your list. It’s made up of 954 square kilometres of granite tors, deep wooded valleys with fast flowing rivers, and rugged, wide open spaces much of is available to the public to access. There are plenty of places to stay nearby if you wish to spend your time discovering this area.

Topsham

Topsham, Devon

Topsham is also worth a visit if you enjoy the outdoors. Rent a bicycle and go for a gentle cycle down the country lanes surrounded by beautiful fields.

Devon for shoppers

Tavistock Farmers Market

Tavistock Farmers Market

Tavistock Farmers Market is held in Bedford Square, at the heart of the bustling historic market town. The markets take place on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Saturdays of each month, from 9.00am to 2.00pm. The market has been voted the best farmers market in the South West and stalls sell a wide variety of bread, cakes, pies and pasties as well as dairy products, homemade preserves, traditional handmade pates, organic and home grown meat and poultry, flowers and tasty takeaway meals.

The shops in Tavistock also offer many opportunities for those who love boutique shops. Buy gifts to take home from the gifts shops selling Devonshire souvenirs and browse the art on offer at the Mayflower Art Gallery.

Ashburton, Devon

Ashburton, Devon

Those of you who love antiques should head to Ashburton in South Devon, a hot spot for antique dealers for a great number of years. It is now well known for its high number, and high standard of antiques and fine collectables outlets.

So there you have it a snapshot of things to do and see in Devon. Hopefully I’ve inspired you to make Devon your next short break in the UK.

 

 

Hotels, luxury

Pampering in the city – The ultimate staycation at The Rosewood Hotel, London

September 21, 2015

Rosewood Hotel

This post is all about hedonistic abandonment, the ultimate stay-cation in London in collaboration with Rosewood Hotels.

Living in London it can often feel like all you do is wake up, squeeze on to the tube, work, eat, see friends, sleep on repeat but without the cool soundtrack. Weeks fly by and suddenly you realise that you haven’t had a break in months and summer is nearly over.

Send the dog to stay with a friend and indulge yourself in the ultimate staycation. Enjoy the city you live in.

Start your weekend by checking into the Rosewood hotel in Holborn for a quintessential luxury English stay in the capital. Opt for one of their premier suites and enjoy unparalleled views of the city whilst sipping a smooth cup of nesspresso.

Breakfast at Tiffanys

Order up your favourite meal and snuggle into a lovely soft bed made up of Rivolta Carmignani Italian Linens and enjoy watching Breakfast at Tiffanys on your 42 inch screen TV.

Breakfast at The Rosewood Hotel

After a lovely nights sleep you will wake up feeling  refreshed and now it’s time for more me time, after enjoying a sumptuous English breakfast in bed it’s time for your first treatment.

Opt for the Rosewood Face Place Signature Treatment with the relaxing massage elements of a Sense Spa. Kick back and distress with a hand, arm and shoulder pressure point massage, leg reflex-activity pressure point massage and cranial pressure point massage. You will leave the spa with a new glow and all your worries would have melted away.

Rosewood Sense Spa

Leave the hotel and head along Holborn high street towards the Aveda Institute hair salon and enjoy a lovely express blowout to give your hair that va va voom its been missing. You’ll be sure to garner to a phew admiring glances as you head towards Tottenham Court Road.

After a quick bite, it’s time for a bit of retail therapy. Jump on a Boris bike or walk if the weather is nice and bypass the craziness that is Oxford Street. Walk along Tottenham Court Road to Marylebone, a haven of boutique treats.

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Root out some vintage treasure at William Vintage. Choose some pretty homeware in Anthropologie and have fun browsing for heels in Author Shoes on South Moulton Street.

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Head back to your hotel room for a quick nap and to enjoy a luxurious soak in your large bath.

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Channel your inner Audrey and put on your little black dress and heels and head down to the Scarfes Bar to meet your girlfriends for some Martinis, Sex and city style.

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Finish the night with dinner and a little celeb spotting at New York restaurant Balthazar.

It’s a 10 minute cab ride back to the Rosewood hotel. Climb into bed and settle in for a lovely, long lie in.

 

Hotels, London, luxury, Travel

A home away from home in Mayfair: Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah living

March 10, 2015

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I had to take a break from blogging for a while. It’s been a bit of a crazy start to 2015, a lot has happened – some sad, some happy. Life as I know it has changed. One event that I am willing to share with my readers is that I happened to get engaged on Valentines day 🙂 Maybe I will share details of this in another post, I’m feeling a little shy now. The other was a bit of a house move. My dream of living in Central London has been realised! For a short period of time, while we are waiting to move into our new home in South West London – we are staying across the road from Hyde Park and 10 mins from some of London’s famous streets.

As a fan of Gossip Girl I’ve always liked the idea of doing a Chuck Bass and living in a hotel. Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living is a special type of hotel. You get the all amenities of living in your own self contained apartment with the added benefit of having your every whim catered to by the hotel. Staying here is not cheap but the rooms are state of the art and finely furnished. Residents have their own dedicated concierge, fitness room and 24 hour room service.

On our first night here we were welcomed with a plate of sweet treats and a lovely fruit basket which was a nice touch.

The service level that staff give you here is very high. Two things I was impressed by; after asking where the nearest supermarket was we were told personal shopping was a service they offered. Supply and list and have your food bought and delivered to your apartment. Also, my partner is a keen swimmer so it was nice to know that residents staying at GHA by Jumeirah Living have complementary access to the Jumeirah Carlton Tower swimming pool and gym.

image2Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living sitting room with state of art kitchen and designer furnishings.

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Our spacious bedroom and large and comfy bed. There’s no need to make your bed each morning here. Unlike most serviced apartments there is a daily maid service to change the bedding and give the apartment a good clean.

GHA by Jumeirah Living is just a few steps away from Mount Street home to designer boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Balmain, Ralph Lauren, Christian Louboutin…If you love luxury shopping and have the pockets to match then you will be in shopping heaven staying here. We opted to savour the neighbourhood by taking a late evening stroll.

MOunt Street MAyfair

Mount Street Mayfair

Last week, I hosted a bridal shower for friend who will be getting married this May. One special feature of the hotel is the Atrium. It’s a bit of a glass roofed oasis, filled with with flowers, beautiful sofas and a stylish fireplace. It’s a lovely place to dine or relax with a paper. I decided to treat the bridal party to a spot of afternoon tea. The cakes and tea were served in fine china and tasted absolutely scrumptious.

grosvenor house apartments by jumeirah livingThe Atrium is the beating heart of the hotel.

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Grosvenor house apartments

 

I’m going to be very sad when we have to leave  here in a month….

In my next post, I’ll be taking you on a little jaunt to Hyde Park.

Hotels, Travel, Weekends away in UK

A stay at The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall

October 18, 2014

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I’ve discovered a secret oasis, a place that makes you feel instantly at home and provides you with first class luxury and it’ s right here in the UK. I had heard about the beauty of the Northern Cornish coast before but this summer was the first time I got the chance to experience it.

My partner and I stayed a week at the ultimate couple’s retreat – The Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall. The hotel is owned by three Cornish sisters and they have managed to create a hotel that is not only completely eco-friendly but also first class in service and food.

Situated on a cliff top the hotel had beautiful views of the coast. We opted for one of the larger suites and our room at the Scarlet was the epitome of luxury. Our large and plush bed faced the sea view so each morning we were awoken to a glorious stream of daylight and lovely breeze from the sea.

We also had a lovely deep bath (perfect for two) and a monsoon shower filled with spa goodies. I especially enjoyed the large terrace which afforded us the privacy to relax in the sun without fear of being overlooked.

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We knew that we had discovered somewhere very special when we arrived at the hotel and found that the Scarlet doesn’t have a reception desk – they want all guests to receive a personal experience and so check in happens while you enjoy view from the terrace. Followed by a guided tour of the hotel and its facilities.

Each day we went down to enjoy a varied breakfast menu filled with locally sourced food, which tasted fresh and delicious. I am quite fond of mint tea and one of the waiters remembered and every morning brought fresh mint in from his garden. That is true service!

Dinner was also amazing – every evening we had a different menu and each course was beautifully prepared and tasted exquisite. Dessert offerings at the hotel were to die for – we enjoyed the most delicious white chocolate mousse served in a honeycomb ball. Which I have been craving since we returned home.

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If you do visit The Scarlet you must also indulge in their spa experiences. My partner and I went on holistic “journey” together this consisted of us having full body massages, a couple’s rhassoul treatment where clay is applied to your body before steam and heat is administered to purify the skin. After that came a salt scrub to exfoliate away all the dead skin. We finished the experience lying in a hammock to relax and unwind.

We also enjoyed some of the other wonderful facilities that the hotel had on offer such as sipping champagne in one of their lovely hot tubs overlooking the ocean and taking a dip in their top-rated chemical-free, self cleaning outdoor pool.

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matchlessWe also enjoyed walking around the hotel and looking at all the original artwork by local Cornish artists, also available to buy.  Experiencing The Scarlet is not only about the hotel, Mawgan Porth itself is wild and beautiful and we enjoyed many walks along the cliff tops taking in the stunning scenery. The beach was quiet and clean and perfect for those who love to surf. The blue waters of Mawgan Porth and warm climate of the bay made us forget we were still in the UK.

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footprints in the sand

If you’re looking for somewhere to escape the pressures of city life then – The Scarlet hotel is the place to visit, we ended the week feeling rejuvenated and relaxed making arrangements to visit very soon!

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Hotels, Travel, UK mini breaks, Weekends away in UK

A weekend in the city of Bath at The Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

April 23, 2014

This is the second post in a sequence of posts about escaping London for the weekend. In my last post I told you about how I was whisked away for the weekend to Marlow in Bucks.  I’ve always loved the city of Bath after reading Jane Austen’s book Persuasion and recently I had the chance to visit Bath for the second time. After finishing work on a Friday evening the boyfriend and I hopped on the fast train from Paddington up to Bath. After reading many reviews about the best hotels to stay in Bath we decided on the Bath Priory Hotel. We chose the hotel mainly because because of its beautiful gardens and spa. I have to apologise as this post maybe a tad on the long side, I had some many pretty pictures I couldn’t decide what to pick!

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Pulling into the driveway of the hotel I was already pretty impressed. Bath is famous for this Georgian architecture and the hotel a beautiful example of this. I especially loved the beautiful arched windows and landscaped facade. After we arrived, a porter came and collected our bags and we were given a quick tour of the hotel. After this we were taken to our suite in order to be checked in. For the next 2 days we had booked ourselves into the Cavendish Master Suite. The pictures below don’t quite do it justice as it had beautiful views overlooking the landscaped garden and the bathroom was huge! The suite included a separate seating area for sitting with a coffee machine, TV, DVD player, iPod dock and telephone. Touches that we were particularly impressed with was a hand written note from the hotel welcoming us and a bottle of madeira wine. I have to also add that although the suite was not cheap we managed to get 400 quid off because it wasn’t high season. 

Cavendish Suite at The Bath Priory

Cavendish Suite at The Bath Priory

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Cavendish Bathroom at The Bath Priory

We arrived too late to dine in the restaurant so instead we decided to order from the room service menu. I went for the steak and salad while my boyfriend chose the club sandwich.

steak and club sandwich

steak and club sandwich

The next day it was time to discover the city of Bath! We got up early in the morning and went down for a bit of breakfast in the Bath Priory Restaurant. photo 2

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After breakfast we headed into Bath town centre, both of us are budding photographers and I had read about a photography tour of Bath that runs on Saturdays outside the tourist office. I was quite disappointed to discover that the tour would not be running that day. However, we were told by the kind lady in the tour office that we would be able to go on one of the free walking tours of bath. If you visit Bath I recommend that you take one of the tours, we found it very informative and we learned lots of about the history of Bath.

Here are some highlights of the tour:

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River Avon

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Pulteney Bridge which crosses the River Avon in Bath

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Morris dancers in Bath town centre

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The iconic Royal Crescent in Bath

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Baths oldest house – where Sally Lunn lived

If you get the chance make sure you try a Sally Lunn bun!

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A bit of history about Bath’s Georgian architecture

A trip to Bath would not be complete without a trip to the Thermae Bath to relax, I strongly recommend that you buy spa passes in advance as the queue for this was ridiculously long!

I also discovered that Bath is fantastic for shopping, they have a lot of very pretty boutiques and home furnishing shops. I came home with a quite few nice goodies from Joe Malone and new pair of leather boots from Ecco.

In the evening we dined at the Michelin starred Bath Priory Restaurant, both my boyfriend and I are big foodies so we were excited to learn that the chef here was Sam Moody  who has quite the reputation for coming up with interesting combinations, exciting flavours and who has a passion for fresh, local ingredients. We both were feeling quite brave so were opted for the 7 course chef tasting menu, which meant we had no idea what we would be eating until it arrived at our table.

I have to say that were blown away by both the knowledge and service provided by the staff, which was faultless and the food really did live up to its reputation. I didn’t get a chance to write the names of each of the dishes down but you can see what we had below.

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By the time we finished eating it was nearly midnight and we were the last ones in the restaurant, so if you are feeling inspired to do the same – maybe try eating earlier around 6. Then it was time to sleep off our food coma ready to head home the next morning.

The next day before we left we took the time to look around the gardens, luckily for us we had lovely sunny weather which highlighted the beauty of the place even more. photo-6 photo-7

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Bath priory Gardens

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A stunning mini waterfall

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A sleepy bee came to rest

We loved our weekend getaway in Bath, we just wish we had spent more time in the Spa! However, I am sure we will be back sometime soon. We really enjoyed staying at The Bath Priory Hotel, the staff couldn’t do enough to make sure our every wish was granted, the views from our suite were spectacular and the food in the restaurant was to die for.

 

Hotels, Travel, Weekends away in UK

A weekend in Marlow, Bucks at Danesfield House And Hotel

April 10, 2014
Danesfield House

Danesfield House

As much as I love living in London, sometimes it is nice to explore what else the UK has to offer. Getting away for the weekend can be a lovely way to escape the rat race and recharge your batteries. This post is the first in a series of posts about weekend mini breaks in the UK that I have recently taken. Back in February, I found myself whisked away for a romantic Valentines Day weekend getaway. Marlow in Buckinghamshire is a picturesque little town situated on the River Thames about 33 miles from London.

For our weekend we chose to stay at Danesfield House and Spa a luxury country house hotel which is situated within 65 acres of land, high in the Chiltern Hills and overlooking the River Thames. The hotel has a total of 87 rooms and suites. For the weekend we chose to stay in one the hotel’s Junior suites, unfortunately I didn’t remember to take a picture of our room but the pictures you will find on the website are pretty accurate.

The drive up to Danesfield House was pretty spectacular as you can see below, and we were pretty lucky that the weather was pretty mild. Danesfield House used to be a RAF base back in 1940’s and has retained much of its previous character, it’s a turreted white country house framed by crisp landscaped gardens, which give it a fairytale quality.

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Daanesfield House and Spa Courtyard

Danesfield House and Spa Courtyard

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Danesfield House

After arriving on the Friday evening we took a light dinner in the drawing room which was decorated in a traditional style and had military artefacts. Our room was located in one of the turrets of the hotel and was spacious with a large four poster bed and a little seated area by the window for relaxing. Unfortunately the room was also very cold! I’m not sure if this is common with old country house hotels but for some reason the heating only came on sporadically for a couple of hours each day. Fortunately we had thick covers under which to snuggle to keep ourselves warm.

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In the morning we woke up and took breakfast in the Orangery restaurant which is overlooks Danesfield’s beautiful landscaped gardens, some of which you can see below.

The Orangery at Danesfield House

The Orangery at Danesfield House

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Beautiful landscaped gardens

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A lot of people visit Danesfield House for the Spa, unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try it out whilst we were there. After breakfast we decided to go for a long walk in the lovely grounds that surround the hotel.

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Beautiful snowdrops

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Lanky Girl hanging out in the field

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, we took a short bus ride into Marlow. The weekend we were there was also the weekend parts of the UK were heavily flooded and Marlow being on the Thames didn’t escape unscathed. Luckily for us Danesfield House is on a hill which meant we weren’t affected.

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The River Thames

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Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Marlow itself is a small town, with pretty little boutiques and cafes. We had a walk around and visited the suspension bridge which overlooks All Saints Church which you must see if you visit. After all that exploring we stopped for a spot of afternoon tea.
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First time I spotted a red telephone box outside London

In the evening we returned back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. As it was Valentines Day the hotel had put on a special Valentines Day menu. All the ladies each received a lovely rose.

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We both opted for a lovely fillet of beef with fondant potato, it was delicious. A lovely end to the day. In the morning we took one last stroll around the grounds before setting off for home.

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If you like weekends away that involve walking and relaxation a visit to Marlow is recommended.

Food, Hotels, restaurants, review, Things to do in london

A Review of Afternoon Tea At The Wellesley Hotel, knightsbridge

January 3, 2014
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The Wellesley Hotel, Knighstbridge

First blog post of the New Year!

So in my last post I talked about how I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging in January….

However, I did manage to squeeze in a trip to the Wellesley Hotel for some afternoon tea. Trying to find a place for afternoon tea close to Christmas is a bit of a mission. So we took a bit of a gamble with The Wellesley but it definitely paid off! The hotel is a fairly new addition to Knightsbridge and is situated next door to the Lanesborough Hotel. Decorated in an art deco style this place is all about detail, elegance and luxury.

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The Wellesley’s impressive marble floored entrance

We arrived on a windy and wet Sunday evening to be greeted by staff  at The Wellesley and were shown to the beautiful  Jazz lounge. Not having had the chance to check the rooms out before we had booked I was blown away by the opulent and luxurious interior, especially the larger than life chandelier ( bling bling)!

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The Jazz Lounge at The Wellesley Hotel

After we had settled into our seats the waiter explained to us the various types of tea and we were given the chance to  test their aromas. I opted for a black tea which had vanilla notes. This proved to be a good choice to counter the sweetness of the pastries.

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Vanilla Black tea

Courtesy of the chef we received a surprising and very tasty extra, a strawberry pannacotta.

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strawberry pannacotta

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Lanky Girl getting ready for some delicious pastries,

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Afternoon Tea and pastries at the Wellesley

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The afternoon tea was pretty extensive – we enjoyed a selection of homemade finger sandwiches,  assorted pastries, warm raisin & plain scones  homemade preserves & clotted cream. While we took tea we were quietly serenaded by a pianist.

For 35 pounds we thought the afternoon tea at The Wellesley was definitely worth every penny. Staff were very attentive and we had as many refills of our teapot as we needed. We couldn’t even finish the array of pastries that we were given, luckily we got to take the rest home in a goody bag!

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Hotels, London

A Night in with NowTV at the W Hotel Penthouse – Leicester Square

November 26, 2013

The W Hotel Leicester Square

Last week the lovely people at NOWTV invited me and some other bloggers for a girls night of pampering in the penthouse at the W Hotel in Leicester Square. During the night we were given the chance to check out the NOWTV service as well as enjoy a massage and get our nails done by WAH nails. A bit of background on NOWTV for those who are unfamiliar, it is a internet service owned by BSkyB and allows you to access movies, entertainment shows like The Face and sports packages without signing up to Sky itself. All you need is an internet connection. The service is delivered through a small NOWTV box which turns your TV into a smart TV. At the end of the evening we were given a a goody bag with a NOWTV box to try out and some lovely Cowshed goodies. Being a movie buff I couldn’t wait to set it up and I have to say I have been impressed as the range of movies on the Sky Movies package is really good. So far I have watched Lola Versus and Think Like A Man. Check out the pictures below for more details of the night. 

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Now Tv can be watched on your ipad too!

Skyfall on NowTV

Skyfall on NowTV

The W Hotel Penhtouse

The W Hotel Penthouse 

The NowTv Salon where I got my nails done and a nice massage.

Bloggers enjoying champs

Bloggers enjoying champs

Nails by the girls of Wah Nails

Nails by the girls of Wah Nails

The W Hotel Penthouse Bedroom

The W Hotel Penthouse Bedroom

Setting up NOWTv at home:

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Unpacking the NOWTV Box.

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Setting up NOWTV was pretty simple

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Time to watch some movies!

 

 

Food, Hotels, Things to do in london

Afternoon Tea at The Sheraton Park Towers Hotel – Knightsbridge

April 16, 2013
Sheraton Park Towers Bar

Sheraton Park Towers Bar

My younger sister recently celebrated her 21st birthday and to celebrate I spontaneously decided to take her for a spot of afternoon tea last Sunday. Since I left it to the last minute to book all the usual options for afternoon tea like Claridges or The Dorchester were out of the question. However I was able to find that the Sheraton Park Towers Hotel in Knightsbridge was available for afternoon tea. Upon arriving at the hotel, unable to gain access through the front entrance we realised that the hotel was undergoing quite a bit of refurbishment. Going through the car park and into the building, I could see why, the interior of the hotel is definitely stuck in a bit of 70’s time warp so it will be interesting to see the changes when it is finished.

Afternoon Tea guests at The Sheraton Park Tower can choose from three very different tea rituals: British Afternoon, the quintessential British afternoon tea; Oriental, a delightful fusion of Chinese and Japanese traditional tea ceremonies; and Tisane, offering an array of herbal and fruit infusions.

As the lounge was closed for refurbishment we were led to a table in the Piano Bar which overlooked a pretty terrace.  We opted for the British afternoon tea which was made up of smoked salmon, cucumber and cheese sandwiches, scones and clotted cream and an assorted array of pastries. For tea I decided to play it safe by going for earl grey and my sister went for the oolong tea.

The bar was quiet and we were able to have a relaxed catch up while stuffing our faces. Our tea was kept constantly topped up and the staff were friendly. The afternoon tea itself was pretty tasty and by the time we arrived at the pastries I felt like a stuffed pig. Even though the hotel seems to be undergoing some refurbishment it didn’t really affect our time there and I look forward to trying tea again there when the hotel has finished its renovations.

Afternoon tea Sheraton park Tower

Afternoon tea Sheraton park Tower

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Hmmm..clotted cream and preserve

The Birthday Girl and her oolong

Lanky Girl and my cup Earl Grey

Lanky Girl and my cup of Earl Grey

Hotels, Things to do in london

Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at The Royal Horseguards Hotel

March 25, 2013

Last Wednesday I found myself at The Royal Horseguards Hotel, which is part of the Guoman Chain for a sneak preview of their Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea.

The evening started off  us being welcomed into The Cellar of the hotel which was filled with Mad Hatter treats. Pastry and sweets lined the tables and we were plied with many glasses of pink prosecco.

A tray of Mad hatter cakes and sweets

A tray of Mad hatter cakes and sweets

It was hard to contain my excitement when confronted with all the lovely cakes and sweets. I felt a little like Augustus Gloop scoffing my face with chocolate pastries and guzzling on prosecco.

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“Drink me” layered bubble shot

Candy floss made by hotel's pastry chef

Candy floss made by hotel’s pastry chef

Lovely Madhatter cakes

Lovely Mad Hatter cakes

madhatter Mini-Cakes

“Eat me” passion fizz cake

Madhatters Afternoon Tea

Madhatters Afternoon Tea ( Pocket watch “thyme” torte, Jam tarts with hearts)

After gorging on Mad hatter treats we were split into groups in order to go on a tour of the hotel. The Royal Horseguards is a 5 star luxury hotel which certainly exceeded my expectations, the hotel has so much character and many beautiful features.

First stop on our tour was a trip to the beautifully furnished Equus Bar, which I definitely think I will be heading back to again.

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Equus bar

The Tower Suite-rhg

The Tower Suite – RHG

Next we were shown two types of rooms that are available in the hotel. The Tower Suite which is at the top end of what is available and a standard room. The Tower Suite  is on two levels and provides 180 degree views of the river. Beautifully furnished and available for 1500 pounds a night!

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The Tower Suite living room

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The Tower Suite Bedroom

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The Tower Suite Bathroom

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Standard Bedroom

Next stop on the tour was the The Gladstone Library room which was once part of One Whitehall Place and was originally built as the home of the National Liberal Club.

The Gladstone Library

The Gladstone Library

liberal club steps

Beautiful One Whitehall Place stairs

Next we got to check out the Terrace which I can imagine gets very busy in the summer season.

Royal Horseguards

Royal Horseguards – Terrace

cocktail-making

Cocktail making demonstration

Also part of the night involved us having a demonstration of some non-alcoholic berry cocktails. I have to try to make these a home!

berry-cocktails

Berry cocktails

One of the chefs also made use some lovely aubergine and tomato canapes which were delicious, I must have  eaten at least 10 of these.

IMG_0752

Aubergine and Tomato

aubergine-canapes

Aubergine and Tomato canapes

My favourite part of the night was when the cream scones came out for us to try, they tasted heavenly!

Freshly baked scones, Cornish clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve

Freshly baked scones, Cornish clotted cream and homemade strawberry preserve

The last part of the evening consisted of an Easter egg hunt in the hotel’s cellar. We each had three minutes to find over 400 mini eggs that were hidden around the cellar.

my-easter-eggs

My hoard of eggs

I didn’t win but I came home with a lovely bag of goodies and quite a few eggs.

The Royal Horseguard’s Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea will be available from the 31st March until 7 April and is sure to be a great Easter Treat!

For more info please visit: http://www.guoman.com/en/hotels/united_kingdom/london/the_royal_horseguards/hotel_offers/mad_hatters_afternoon_tea.html