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Reunited with United: Home for the holidays

December 1, 2015

New-York

It’s the first day of Christmas, here is a sweet little video to get you in the spirit. For me Christmas is all about family and loved ones  and I look forward to reunited with mine very soon. Are you going home for the holidays?

Comment on this Facebook post http://hyperurl.co/Reunited by 6 December telling United who you want to reunite with and why, and you could win one of 10 trips for two to the U.S.! Must be 18+ and a resident of the U.K. Find out more here: http://uafly.co/3MBnBG

 

Travel

Your next trip away has to be a cruise…

November 13, 2015

P&o cruises

In line with my recent posts which have focused on getting away from the city ( I still love London, but hate winter) I am encouraging you all to think about booking yourself a cruise for your next holiday away.

My eyes have recently been opened to the joys of cruising, and I’m currently planning my next getaway which will involve taking a cruise.

My younger sister recently spent a year working on a large cruise ship sailing around South America and came back with lots of amazing pictures of all the wonderful places she had visited.

Need convincing? Well I am going to show you why cruising is an amazing holiday idea for singles, families and honeymooners.

Cruising for singles

Cruising isn’t just for couples,  P&O’s Azura, which launched in 2010, offers 18 dedicated single cabins for solo cruisers. Britannia has 27 single cabins of its own. Take yourself for a relaxing holiday to the Canary Islands & Madeira. The Canary Islands as a destination offers year around sunshine which is good for those looking to take a last-minute trip. It’s beautiful landscape offers the chance to explore verdant pine forests and sprawling national parks. The islands offer many opportunities to try traditional Spanish cuisine, seafood in particular. And if you get bored on your own there is plenty of opportunities to meet new people who are also sailing solo.

Caribbean-sea

Cruising for honeymooners

Take a two week cruise to the Caribbean and enjoy the best of many islands. More than the clichés of sun, sand and sea; the Caribbean is made up of dozens of islands, each with their own uniquely different character and identity. A tour around the Eastern Caribbean will suit  honeymooners who want to relax and top up their tans as well as see many sights. The route will take you through Barbados, Puerto Rico, St Vincent, Dominica, St Lucia, Antigua, St Kitts, Grand Turk, Tortola, and St Maarten. These privileged islands offer private beaches, barbeques, water sports, restaurants and beach bars as a home from home. Cruise ship facilities also provide you the opportunity to work on your fitness together, plays sports and imagine sailing under the stars, very romantic!

Cruising for families

Its no secret that cruising is becoming more and more popular with families. The half-term holiday is the ideal time to take the kids away for a short cruise. Why not take the family on a sail around the Mediteeranean for 10 days. An typical cruise will take you Lisbon, Gibraltar , Barcelona, Marseille, Cannes, Florence and Genoa. Phew! It’s a fantastic way to see more for less. Benefits of cruising with your family is that it affords you the time to relax! Many ships have child friendly activities like kids clubs which involve an array of activities from puppet shows for the little ones to full on discos for the teenagers.

 

Travel

Take an adventure: The top five places to visit in Vietnam

November 9, 2015

 

Places to visit in Vietnam

Beat the Winter chill and plan your next trip out of the city with an adventurous holiday to Vietnam. Vietnam is a country of variety, it’s natural beauty brings a new adventure every day. Visitors can enjoy Vietnam’s great food, friendly people, sights and amazing history.

Here are my top five places to visit in Vietnam:

My Son Sanctuary

My son - vietnam

The My Son Hindu Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great example of the rich history that you will discover on your visit to Vietnam. Located in the southern part of Vietnam it is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu temples constructed between the 4th and the 14th century AD by the kings of Champa.  These monumental structures were constructed, in dedication to the patron god, “Shiva” or “Bhadresvara”, as well as gods and goddesses according to Hindu mythology. According to locale belief, Shiva was believed to serve as the Champa Kings’ protectorate during each king’s reign. The best part of the day to visit is the early morning, temperatures are sure to be cooler, and there will be less visitors during this part of the day.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho chi minh city - Vietnam

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh is a vibrant and bustling city with many places to visit. For those of you who love to shop this is the place to do it to you drop! A visit to to Ben Thanh Market is a must do, the large market is opens throughout the day and doesn’t close until 11pm at night. During the early morning you will find stalls selling fresh produce and clothing, coffee with street food stalls popping up until the end of the day. Those with a taste for luxury will enjoy a visit to the Vincom Centre which is Ho Chi Minh City’s largest mall. Here you will find lots of European brands from Gucci to Hermes. When you’re tired of shopping you can eat in one the many fantastic restaurants serving a combination of French, Chinese, and, of course, local Vietnamese cuisine.

The Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta - Vietnam

Those wishing to escape the humdrum of the city may wish to journey to the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is a rural region in Vietnam which is home to colourful floating markets, fruit orchards, rice paddies, sugar cane groves, bird sanctuaries and quaint villages. Due to the regions extensive canal system, boats are the main means of transportation, and tours of the region often start in nearby Ho Chi Minh City.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang Beach Vietnam

Nha Trang is a popular seaside city located in south central Vietnam. The biggest draw for the many who visit is the beautiful Nha Trang Beach which stretches along the coast line. Those who get tired of sunning themselves at the beach will be able to take a walk along the palm fringed promenade or have fun at the Vinpearl Amusement Park. Scuba diving is also available for those who enjoy water sports.

Sapa 

Sapa - Vietnam

Sapa is a quiet town that is often used as a base for hikers tackling the Hoang Lien Son Mountains. It is surrounded by picturesque mountains, rice terraces and traditional villages. Visiting Sapa is a chance to interact with Vietnam’s hillside tribes. The two main groups that you may encounter are the Hmong and the Dao peoples. The Hmong usually wear clothes that are very dark, almost black, indigo ornamented with colourful brocade and silver jewellery. The Dao is divided into two groups red and black, with red Dao women wearing red scarf head wraps and black Dao women wearing hair coiled on their heads. The tribes make money selling their handicrafts to visiting tourists. The best time to visit Sapa is in the summer months of August to December, when skies are more likely to be clear.

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to make Vietnam your next place for an adventure.

 

 

Travel

An Autumn gettaway to the Cote d’azur

November 1, 2015
Cannes, Cote d'azur

Cannes

If you could have walked on the planet before humans lived here, maybe the Ivory Coast would have seemed more beautiful than La Cote d’azur. Dejan Stojanovic

Autumn has a terrible habit of making even the most happiest of people glum. It’s not just the fact that it rains so much here in Britain, and that we are getting less sunlight, it’s also the fact that socially apart from Halloween the only thing to look forward to is Christmas. But wait! Why don’t you book yourself an impromptu little mini break across the channel to … the Cote d’azur. Now, I know what you’re thinking the weather in the South of France is best in the summer, but did you know that those visiting in the Autumn you can still look forward to mild and warmish weather. The rates in hotels will be cheaper and you won’t be fighting with others for space. From September onto very early November you can expect on average temperatures ranging from 23 – 17 degrees. It’s not sunbathing weather by any means but you may get away with a light jacket. One tip is to choose places that are more Southerly as these are sure to get more sunlight.

Getting to the Cote d’azur

British Airways (www.ba.com) flies from London to Nice; EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies from London, and from various regional airports – as does FlyBe (www.flybe.com). Car hire is available at Nice airport, see http://en.nice.aeroport.fr. Going by train is possible, but takes a while: by Eurostar from London to Paris Nord, then from Gare du Lyon to Nice, and change for Menton (around 10 hours 25 mins in total).

There are many places to stay in Cote d’azur, but i’d be tempted to go for a luxury boutique hotel to get the full holiday relaxation feel.

Cannes

For those with a bit of money in their pockets, a stay in Cannes will give you a taste of the high life. If you love designer shopping then you will be spoilt for choice by the plethora of designer shops that line the beach side. At night time sip cocktails at the bar of the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic and take in the beautiful landscape. For a whistle stop tour of Cannes, you can take the Le Petit Train (little train) which leaves from close to the croisette. Follow in the footsteps of many celebrities and visit the Palais des Festivals de Cannes to get your picture taken on the red carpet.

Nice, Cote d'azur

Nice

Excuse the pun but Nice is very nice indeed. It is bigger and more bustling than Cannes, and provides more to suit all budgets.  Nice is famous for having 300 sunny days a year and the main street to visit is the Promenade de anglais. Visiting in Autumn means you can check out the array of shops without all the crowds. Nice is a haven for food lovers with many different types of cuisine on offer. Try the famous Niçoise Salad or go for one of their hearty seafood pizza options.

Menton, cote d'azur

Menton

For a bit of history, visit Menton, a Cote d’azur town that is very close to the border with Italy. It is full of magnificent churches and gardens such as the Serre de la Madone, the Le Val Rahmeh, the Fontana Rosa, the Maria Serena garden and Les Colombières. The beauty of Menton should provide many beautiful instagram ready moments. If you love art then you must visit the Jean Cocteau Museum, which houses a good collection of artworks, mosaics and ceramics by the artist.  Menton is also very close to Monaco so if you fancy extending your journey you could hop on the TGV and visit there.

 

Hotels, Travel

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.

Darts-farm-shop-devon

Darts Farm Shop, Topsham

ilfracombe-icecream-devon

Ilfracombe ice cream 

alpacas-darts-farm-devon

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

Dartmoor-national-park-devon

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.

 

 

Travel

Part 2 – A little trip to Padstow, Cornwall With dinner at Rick Stein

March 21, 2015

It’s funny how a little bit of sun makes us all start thinking about holidays. It’s got me thinking… I never finished telling you about my trip to Padstow, Cornwall. During our stay in Polzeath we decided to take the ferry from Rock across to Padstow.

Padstow is a small fishing village, known for being a bit of a magnet for celebrities visiting Cornwall. It is also home to Rick Stein’s Michelin star restaurant, The Seafood Restaurant. We had previously thought we didn’t have much hope to get a table at such short notice, but the lovely concierge at Perfect Stays managed to get us in.

A fishing boat in Padstow, Cornwall

padstow, cornwall - Harbour

I have to say that the weather wasn’t exactly perfect, the Padstow “ferry” is really just  little boat with benches and we had the pleasure of huddling under an umbrella while we were lashed with rain.

Upon arriving in Padstow, our first thoughts were food and shelter. It was whilst looking for this, that we stumbled across artist Caroline Walker’s pop up gallery. Famous for her depictions of cows she talked us through her recent work. Each painting really captures the personality of each of the cows. We hope to have some of her pieces for our new house.

After this we stopped at The Shipwrights Inn for a spot of lunch. We enjoyed some fresh and tasty prawns with chips served in a quaint beer mug.

Holly The Cow – Caroline Walker 

caroline walker cows padstow

Johnny the Cow – Caroline Walker 

caroline walker cows padstow

After a little walk around the harbour we got the ferry back To Rock and went home for a little nap. Eating at the slightly earlier time of 6.30, we returned back to Padstow to dine at Rick Stein’s restaurant:

The Seafood Restaurant 

We had a rather funny waiter from Poland who was able to convince us to try the tasting menu. Each of the courses was a delight to behold, tasty and fresh with interesting flavours. If you ever have the pleasure of going to Cornwall – you must dine here!

Some of the things we ate:

Sautéed Squid Salad with Chilli, Mint, Coriander and Roasted Rice

photo 7

Irish Carlingford Oysters or Frenchman’s Creek Oysters

photo

Sashimi of Scallop, Loch Duart Salmon, Tuna and Sea Bass. With wasabi – Japanese horseradish, pickled ginger and a soy dipping sauce.

photo 12

Dark Chocolate Mousse, Roasted Pear with Ginger and Pear Sorbet

photo 6

A little peak into The kitchen at The Seafood Restaurant

The seafood restaurant - Rick Stein

Some other pictures of Padstow…

photo 9 photo 10

Ah…. such lovely memories, I really need to book a break soon! Hopefully this has inspired you to visit Cornwall yourself.

Hotels, London, luxury, Travel

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

March 10, 2015

grosvenor house apartments

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.

image3

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.

IMG_447636430-1

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.

Travel, Weekends away in UK

A Perfect Stay in Polzeath, Cornwall

December 5, 2014

polzeath, cornwall perfect-stay

Cornwall is fast becoming a favourite of my partner and I. The last time we visited was in the summer staying at The Scarlet Hotel near Newquay. This time for our second trip we decided to pick somewhere a bit more homely and private. After a bit of googling we discovered Perfect Stays luxury holiday rentals.  I don’t have an exhaustive list of essentials for the perfect holiday let, but it does help to have a cracking fireplace and a modern kitchen. The house we chose ticked all these boxes and more.  The house we eventually decided on was called Seagrass in Polzeath,  a large newly built luxury house with all the mod cons you can think of from a fully equipped gym to Sonos surround sound and even a nespresso machine. Everything we would need to make this our home away from home. A nice touch was that when we arrived we were greeted with some essentials like eggs and milk and of course some Cornish scones and cream. Happy days! The house had five bedrooms which would be perfect for a large family looking for somewhere to go away.

Our Perfect stay apartment in Cornwall We instantly fell in love with the house, and at the end of the week it was really hard to say goodbye (especially to the kitchen). As well as the house being catered to our every whim Perfect Stays also provided a book of essentials like numbers for taxis, nearest supermarkets, recommendations for places to visit and a number for their around the clock concierge service. We were very impressed by their concierge service who were able to secure a hard to book last-minute table at Rick Stein’s Seafood restaurant.

seagrass house perfect stays cornwall

If you love surfing then you will love Polzeath, the waves are wild and the water is cold! Personally I’m more of a land lubber so we spent much of our stay going on coastal walks and exercising those muscles that we forgot we had. We took a two-hour hike upon the gently sloping cliffs, saying hi too a few sheep as we passed by. When we reached the peak of the cliff we were rewarded with the most stunning view of the atlantic. The clean air and exercise really helped me really relax and unwind. We had thought that by choosing to visit in Autumn we wouldn’t have good weather but we were lucky as while we were there we only had a couple of days of rain and most mornings we had wonderful sunshine to wake up to. I would recommend visiting Cornwall at this time of year if you’re not too bothered about sunbathing as it’s a lot quieter. Most of the holiday homes around us were empty and when we went to sleep it was in perfect silence.

polzeath-cornwallSome images from the coastline in Polzeath….

photo 4

photo 3

photo 2

photo 17

photo 16

cornish flowerIt was lovely to see flowers like the specimen above still blooming in this cold and windy season.

photo 15As you can see from the pictures Polzeath, has wild unspoilt beaches, it was very romantic watching the sunset everyday. photo 8

A beautiful sunset

sunset-walk-polzeath

After spending a couple of days exploring the beaches of Polzeath, Cornwall we were ready to journey a bit further afield. Ten minutes walk from the house was the St Moritz Hotel. I enjoyed a luxurious massage in the Cowshed Spa whilst my partner enjoyed a glass of spiced rum and ginger ale in the bar upstairs.

For our next trip out of Polzeath we took the ferry across to Padstow, a little fishing village, famous for its fresh fish and famous chefs. Read about that in part two!

Hotels, Travel, Weekends away in UK

A stay at The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall

October 18, 2014

TRANQUILITY2

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.

Thescarletroom2

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.

Food-the-scarlet

fresh-fish-from the sea

white-choc-mousse

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.

hottub-scarlet

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.

flowers-pic

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

photo 3.PNG

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

photo-9

photo 1

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!

photo 2

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.