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It’s fair to say that Dundee is having a bit of a moment just now. The V&A opened in September of last year, and pretty much every major travel magazine has named the city as a ‘can’t miss’ destination, thanks everything that’s going on. There are a surprising amount of galleries, both traditional and modern, and the city is small enough to walk around in a day or two, so it’s great for a weekend break into the bargain.

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If you’re heading through to Dundee, which, incidentally, is Scotland’s sunniest city, the place to stay has to be the brand new Hotel Indigo Dundee. Opened in the city over the summer, and the result of a three-year, multimillion pound renovation, Hotel Indigo Dundee is a former linen mill, and it feels like no other hotel I’ve stayed in in Scotland.

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Taking cues from the hotel’s industrial past, the lobby is filled with relics from Dundee’s past. Think video games, mills and marmalade – it’s been laid out so it’s a great place to take a laptop and set up shop for a few hours, and you can even order food and drink there if you get peckish!

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Thanks to the building’s linen mill past, the rooms are chock-full of character. Some rooms have original brick ceilings, whilst others have iron beams and stunning views overlooking the Tay River.

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Our room was up on the top-floor, and came flooded with light thanks to the velar windows. It was the perfect spot to get some work done too, thanks to the huge desks, and I am obsessed with the Dundee-themed decorations. The artwork on the walls payed homage to local drinks legend Bon Accord, whilst the blankets come courtesy of locally-trained artist Hillary Grant.

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The cushions are also specially-made, and are all about marmalade. They’re also adorable!

The bathrooms are also absolutely stunning – the showers all come with a fun marmalade decal, and the bathrooms come stocked with Arran Sense of Scotland goodies. They smelled absolutely divine, and when paired with the rainfall showers – it was a heavenly experience!

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After a heavenly night’s sleep in their Hypnos beds (which were unbelievably comfy!) we were more than ready for breakfast in the stunning Daisy Tasker restaurant.

Named after a former mill-worker, who organised socials for the mill, the restaurant is an absolutely stunning spot, which has the most perfect industrial-chic vibes. It’s also been awarded 2 AA Rosettes – so you know it’s great!

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You can choose from a seriously generous buffet, and/or a hot menu. Since I’m not the biggest breakfast fan, I stuck to yoghurt and seeds, but I saw quite a few hot dishes which looked and smelled absolutely sublime!

You can book a night at Hotel Indigo Dundee directly here

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Friday night is Burns Night, which is pretty much Scotland’s second holiday. It’s a celebration of all things Scottish, with Robert Burns at the heart and centre of the festivities. If you’re heading to an official do, you’ll get to be piped in, enjoy the Selkirk Grace, and then of course the famous Address to a Haggis. It’s a wholly dramatic event, and it gets fun when the Address to Lads, and the Address to the Lassies get going. There’s also a whole lot of Burns’ poetry, and of course there’s the meal. It’s very seasonal, and it’s very Scottish, and if you’re wanting to host your own Burns Night event – M&S is your one stop shop.

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As you would hope, all of M&S Burns Night goodies are wholly Scottish. There is the Limited Edition Haggis, made especially from uber haggis makers Macsween, potatoes, swede and rainbow carrots all grown in Scotland, and there is, of course a whole selection of Scottish whiskies. Even better news? M&S have 20% off their core whisky range!

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If you’re looking to host your own Burns Night, it really couldn’t be easier. Mashed potatoes and mashed swede are the easiest sides in the world – just boil and mash with butter, and you can even prepare ahead, and simply reheat when your guests arrive. The haggis is incredibly easy too. You can cook it in the oven (make sure it’s wrapped in foil, in a water-filled ovenproof dish and simmer for an hour and a half or so) or you can even pop it in the microwave if you’re pushed for time.

New for this year, M&S even have a brad new whisky sauce to serve alongside your meal (it’s delicious btw) and I love the addition of roasted rainbow carrots for a little added crunch and colour. No night would be complete without a dram of whisky, and M&S some fabulous Speyside examples to enjoy (I opted for the Tamdu 12). Even if you don’t drink it neat (full disclosure, as much as I’d like to, I can’t) M&S even have a fun spiked hot chocolate recipe, which you can find here.

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Thank you so much to M&S for gifting all products featured – we’re having a proper shindig on Friday, where they’ll all be properly enjoyed!

 

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Over the past few weeks, the house has slowly become more and more festive. The tree is up and twinkling, I’ve been playing Christmas music since the first, and I’ve just been feeling generally festive all month long. One of the things I’ve been loving most in the run-up to Christmas, has been my SpaceNK Shimmering Spice Candle.

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It’s a fragrance the store brings out annually, and it is the perfect Christmas scent – not too spicy, not too orangey, it’s a candle I look forward to lighting, and believe me when I say that it’s a real crowdpleaser. (So if you’re looking for a present this is going to go down a treat). A perfect balance of cinnamon, cedar and spice, it burns cleanly and evenly, and it creates the perfect atmosphere.

SpaceNK Shimmering Spice Candle is priced at £26 and is available here

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With just over a week to go until Christmas Day, I’m very much loving the festive build up. From evenings out, to entertaining at home, it feels like there is something on nightly. This year has been an incredibly busy one, so I’m savouring every cosy evening, and as usual, M&S has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to stocking up on seasonal goodies.

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From turkeys to artisanal gins, M&S are a one-stop-shop for getting ready for Christmas, and I love how I can mix and match festive classics, like their incredible Christmas cakes (I chose the traditional fully iced version) with fun new arrivals like Salted Caramel Pine Cones and Shimmering Milk Chocolates.

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M&S vol au vents are a bit of a running tradition in my family – there are stories about how my grandmother was never without them, just incase friend dropped by, and who am I to break tradition? My favourites are the Mini Deep Filled vol au vents (£10) – coming in three flavour combinations (bacon and mushroom, salmon and cream cheese & tomato and mozzarella) you can pop these in the oven a few minutes before guests are expected, and they disappear in front of your eyes!

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If you’re heading to someone’s house around the Christmas period, one of my favourite things to take is a great cheeseboard, and M&S is absolutely killing it with their selection. Whether you opt for one with board included, or my favourite, the Perfect Pairings collection, it’s guaranteed to go down a storm! The Perfect Pairings box includes a selection of four cheeses with accompanying chutneys and jams. I loved the pairing notes tucked inside, and the combination of flavours are absolutely perfect.

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At this point, it feels like M&S is pretty much synonymous with Christmas, and with good reason! From gorgeously scented candles (their Mandarin, Cinnamon and Clove and Mistletoe & Fir scents are divine) to easy gift buying (their beauty sections are an absolute dream) a trip to M&S seriously reduces any festive stress, and once your shopping is finished, you can even reward yourself with a drop of their Christmas Gin – made by Edinburgh’s own Old Curiosity Gin.

This post is sponsored by M&S but all opinions are my own. Thank you so much to M&S for working with me.

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At this time of year, it can feel like everything is a bit non-stop. There are events on most nights, and heading somewhere straight after work means a makeup-touchup in the car on the way there. Because of that, I’ve been on the hunt for products which last all day long, well into the night.

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I got my hands on Charlotte Tilbury’s The Sophisticate palette a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been a daily go-to since it arrived. With acurated selection of three brows and a neutral bone – the palette is an absolute dream for people like me who love a everything from a chic neutral through to a smoky brown eye.

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For day looks, I tend to focus on the top two shadows – I buff the bone shade into my lids and inner corners, and then blend a little of the taupe into my crease and lash line. The whole palette is pretty cool toned, so it’s perfect for my colouring – and it’s really adaptable for amping up day looks into night.

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I’d never tried a Charlotte Tilbury palette before, so getting to grips with The Sophisticate has been an absolute dream. Each of the four shadows is well pigmented, and they all apply smoothly with a great colour payoff. Most days, I buff the top right shade into my lid, with a little of the bone in my brow bone and inner corners. The effect is subtly elegant – it provides the perfect amount of definition without feeling too ‘done’, it’s also easy to ramp up the drama, with a little of the lower two shades buffed into the lash line.

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The Sophisticate Palette has been such a dreamy product to use, and it’s been a wonderful entry into the (very) glamorous world of Charlotte Tilbury beauty. From the stunning palette packaging to the pitch-perfect shadows inside, this is a classic, I’m going to be reaching for all 2019-long!

Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate Palette is priced at £39 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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