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When an invitation to Edinburgh’s Principal George Street popped into my inbox a few weeks back, to say I was excited is an understatement. The hotel is my favourite in the city, and is the perfect mix of casual elegance. I love it so much in fact, it’s where we headed to celebrate Christmas last year, and I’m an all-too-regular at Burr & Co. Did I mention that they also have an in-house Daschund?

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As if all that wasn’t glorious enough, the hotel has just undergone renovations to their fabulous Forth View Suite, as well as installing a new Taittinger Bar downstairs. The additions are perfect if you’re in town to celebrate during the festival, and there isn’t a better spot in Edinburgh to view the Tattoo Fireworks!

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A few weeks back I popped over for a glamorous evening filled with champagne (Taittinger of course) and Scotland’s best bloggers, as we were introduced to new menu items, the stunning new library, where we ended the evening watching the sun set over Edinburgh. It was glorious.

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After learning about the beautiful new Library (if you’re looking for Edinburgh’s swishes private dining venue – this is it). We headed into the Printing Press restaurant, where a banquet of starters were waiting for us.

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No.25 Gin Cured Trout with pickled mussels, avocado and beetroot was a perfect seasonal dish to start the evening. It’s a new dish which features on the summer menu, and the mix of rich trout, fresh dill and creamy avocado was just divine.

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For the main dish, we were able to select from some of the new summer dishes, and I couldn’t resist the Wellington Pork Belly served with asparagus on haricot beans. Feeling not unlike a dish to be enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon, the rich pork paired beautifully with the asparagus, beans and savoury gravy.

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The Printing Press is such a beautiful spot to enjoy everything from breakfast to cocktails, and even if you’re not staying in the hotel, it’s a fabulous place to visit.

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After savouring our meals, we headed up en-masse to fully appreciate the Forth View Suite views. And what a view they have! From one end of a wraparound terrace you can gaze over the rooftops to see Edinburgh Castle, whilst the other side has views right across the Forth.

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Serenaded by a saxophonist, watching the sunset with champagne cocktails in hand felt like an incredibly glamorous way to end an evening. The good news? This summer, the Principal Edinburgh George Street are launching a brand new Members Club, which will let you enjoy summer evenings upstairs, enjoying the view.

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With a new menu at The Printing Press, the fabulous new Taittinger Bar, and of course, the Forth View Suite – there is nowhere better to enjoy summer in Edinburgh!

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Thank you so much to the Principal George Street for having me – you can find out more about the hotel here.

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Do you ever sometimes feel like just throwing the bare essentials in a bag and switching off for a few nights? Well, that’s exactly what I did back in April, when I headed done south for a bit of an English road trip. We packed up the car and went, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun it was. We saw a surprising number of attractions and got to explore some of England’s most beautiful countryside.

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One of the perks of all that exploring was finding fabulous hotels and inns, which we’re already planning return visits to. We had very kindly been taken care of by The Epicurean Club – a collection of inns and pubs which are chosen for their impeccably high standards.

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In Berkshire, we stayed at the Crab and Boar – a historic coaching inn which has been welcoming travellers for hundreds of years. It’s even said that Oliver Cromwell stayed here prior to the Battle of Newbury.

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Happily though, the Crab and Boar is more luxurious now than perhaps it once was in Cromwellian times – there are 14 rooms in total, and we were lucky enough to have a Luxury Room complete with hot tub! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite on our side, but getting to enjoy the hot bubbles when outside was so cold and miserable was heavenly!

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On such a grey evening, we were lucky enough to have reserved a table at the restaurant, and there was nowhere else we’d have rather been. The Crab and Boar is renowned for fabulous, local food, and the dining room itself couldn’t have been lovelier.

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We grabbed a table by the window and perused the menu and discussed our plans for the next day.

As we debated our options (the menu is that good), we started on some freshly baked bread – a wholewheat roll and freshly baked ciabattas were truly sublime. Rather incredibly, the Crab & Boar’s head chef previously headed up the kitchens in the Four Seasons Hampshire. The bread was feather-light and absolutely delicious!

The first of the starters we went for were the Pan Fried Scallops (£11). Brought in still dripping with seawater that morning, they were perfectly cooked, and served on the most beautiful clamshell. I loved the rich hollandaise sauce, and it was a real star dish.

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I couldn’t resist trying the Crab and Boar (£11), the inn’s signature dish. Hand-picked soft-shell crab cooked in a light tempura batter was placed on top of a slice of pork, garnished with handpicked crab and radishes. It was a fabulous mix of texture and flavours – and who couldn’t love the tie in with the name!?

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Mains were a similarly hard choice, but we first settled on theHimalayan Salt Aged Pork Cutlet (£22). This felt like the very best Sunday roast you can imagine – real comfort food with a gourmet edge. The pork was perfectly cooked, and the contrast between the rich meat and tart cabbage was absolutely divine! The smoked apple puree gave the dish a sweetness which was nicely offset with the rich gravy – and that crisp? Insanely good!

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There was no way I could resist the Lobster pasta, and honestly, this is one of the best dishes I may ever have tasted. Again, the lobster had been brought into the kitchens live that morning, so the freshness of the meat couldn’t have been better. And just take a look at that claw – it was monstrous!

The claw was placed on mounds on the most delicate freshly made pasta alongside a light tomato sauce. The pasta was absolutely divine – light and flavourful, it paired perfectly with the delicate lobster meat, and honestly, if I had to choose a last meal – this would most definitely be it!

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Even though were were completely stuffed – a look at the dessert menu soon had our mouths watering! As a disclaimer, I’m not usually a fan of a deconstructed dish – they’re usually odd and perhaps a bit lazy. But at the Boar and Crown? Genius.

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The Bread and Butter Pudding (£7) was incredible. Chunks of pudding – soft with vanilla custard were gloriously rich. The orange segments and marmalade really cut through the heaviness of the pudding, and the cinnamon ice cream was truly heavenly.

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The sound of Tiramisu’ C&B Style (£7) was also too good to resist. Tiramisu is such a guilty pleasure, so to see such a chic take on a classic was great fun. An indulgent mascarpone mousse sat atop a coffee sponge, whilst coffee ice cream crowns a pile of chocolate crumbs.

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The classic mix of flavours brought together in such innovative ways was just a joy. We savoured mouthful last into the night. It was a glorious end to an absolutely incredible meal!

You can find out more about the Crab and Boar here.

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Last month feels like a bit of a blur. Between work and a road-trip down south, there didn’t seem to be a moment to catch my breath (let alone catch up with emails). So, when the chance to enjoy a bit of a stay-cation popped up, I absolutely jumped at the chance!

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The Lane Hotel is one of Edinburgh’s newest  boutique hotels, having been open for only a year.

Tucked up a cherry blossom lined Canaan Lane, it is the brainchild of the same family who run Edinburgh’s oldest family-run pub, The Canneyman’s. But as much as the pub is quirky, The Lane is luxurious.

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There are currently five stunning bedrooms all found in a Victorian property, with a newly opened serviced apartment, which is perfect if you’re looking to enjoy Edinburgh as a family.

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Rather excitingly, this summer will see The Lane open a further four bedrooms in the upstairs portion of the Canney Man’s. Not only this, but guests will also be able to enjoy breakfasts in the pub – a truly unique way to start your morning in the capital!

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When we visited, we stayed in the stunning Prosecco Room, which was an absolute joy of pastel shades and Parisian styling.

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Looking out over the Canney Man’s gardens. With the window thrown open, it was so lovely to hear the good tempered buzz from the gardens filter through the window, and at night, it was incredibly peaceful. Located in the heart of Morningside, there are so many boutiques and shops to visit, but honestly? We stayed in and enjoyed the comforts of the hotel!

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Once you’ve checked in, there really isn’t any need to leave the comfort of the Lane Hotel. On the top floor, there is a fabulous little spot for all guests to enjoy.

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A snacks room! Kitted out with everything you need to beat a midnight craving, it’s an absolutely genius idea!

Kitted out with crisps, biscuits, chocolates and breakfast goodies, there is everything you could possibly need during your stay!

Back in the room, we made copious use of the in-room tea tray – enjoying cups of tea and finally getting round to some reading an general ‘unplugging’. Then, later on in the evening, thanks to the in-room wifi, we loaded up a movie and enjoyed the evening.

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Although the morning arrived far too quickly, it was made all the more bearable thanks to a rather swish bathroom! With heated floors, and a rainfall shower – the early start was invigorating, and we got to enjoy the Baylis & Harding amenities.

If you’re looking for a luxury break in the heart of Edinburgh, do take a look at The Lane Hotel. With stunning bedrooms, an unbeatable location and the friendliest of staff – we’re already planning a return visit!

Rooms at The Lane Hotel start from £90 per night, and you can find out more here.

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When it comes to places I feel like I should have visited a long time ago, Liverpool comes pretty close to the top. I visit nearby Cheshire on a semi-regular basis, so the fact that the city is just over an hour away, and I’ve never headed over just seems a bit ridiculous.

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So when the chance to stay at the stunning Titanic Hotel popped up it felt like fate. I’ve heard only good things about the hotel since it opened a couple of years ago, perched in the old Liverpool docks. It’s part of a multi-billion regeneration of the city’s waterfront, and undoubtedly, it’s the city’s most stylish spot.

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After driving up from Gloucestershire, the promise of a luxe hotel was exactly what we both needed. We were staying in one of the Superior Dockside rooms – with sweeping views across the water and of the vacant warehouse opposite, I just loved the mix of contemporary and industrial finishes.

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The hotel is named, obviously, for the Titanic, which although never docked in the city, the White Star Line was registered nearby. Throughout the property there are nods to the heritage – blueprints adorn the walls, and ads for the company pepper corridors. Since we had been driving for a few hours prior to arriving in Liverpool, we were both famished, and headed down to Stanley’s Bar and Grill for a little supper. As we perused the menu we tucked into a ‘Tear and Share’ focaccia £3.95 which was studded with oven dried tomatoes and rosemary.

A portion of steak sounded too good to miss, so we opted for 10oz sirloin steak £23. Served with onion rings, salad and chips, we also opted for a portion of garlic butter too (£2).

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Served simply it was the perfect choice for an indulgent supper.

The onion rings had the flavour of Indian bajis, which was a delicious surprise, whilst the triple cooked chips were piping hot, with a crisp exterior and fluffy insides.

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I opted for the Breaded Veal Escalope £26.95 which came served alongside truffle parmesan chips and a small rocket salad.

Veal is one of those dishes you don’t tend to see on a lot of menus, so whenever I see it, I usually end up ordering it/ This was was covered in a light, crisp breadcrumb, and is definitely something I’d like to try and recreate at home!

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The chips which accompanied the dish were equally delicious – hot, crisp and scented with truffle oil, they were an indulgent treat.

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After such a rich meal, it was such a luxury just to be able to creep back upstairs to our room.

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Absolutely huge, with a separate sitting area, and room to get some work done, the room made us feel like we were more Soho than Merseyside!

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The only way to end such a fabulous day was with a bubble bath. Thankfully, the bathrooms at the Titanic Hotel are just as luxe as the rest of the interiors. With a huge bath, and oversized rainfall shower, it was an absolute heaven to relax in!

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All too soon it was morning though, and we had to head back up to Edinburgh. Breakfast is served back downstairs at Stanley’s Bar & Grill, and was a busy affair, with a choice of hot and cold options.

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Thank you so much to the Titanic Hotel Liverpool for having us – we had an absolute blast!

Rooms at the Titanic Hotel Liverpool start at £89 per night and you can find out more information Hotels in Liverpool | Luxury Hotels Liverpool | Titanic Hotel.

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Gretna Hall has stood in the heart of Gretna Green village for over 300 years, made famous for hosting a series of high profile aristocratic marriages in the 1800s. On 12th August 2016, the building was acquired by Gretna Green Ltd, a family run business since 1885, and a full rebrand and renovation of the historic building carried out.

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Originally built in 1710 as a private manor house, Gretna Hall is set in 10 acres of beautiful gardens; the property boasts a total of 97 bedrooms and now offers all the character of a substantial historical building, with the comfort you would expect from a contemporary hotel.

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Alasdair Houston, Chairman of Gretna Green Ltd, worked with award-winning, Carlisle based firm, Unwin Jones Partnership to create a contemporary environment, with modern amenities and public areas while remaining sensitive to the original building.

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Alasdair Houston, Chairman of Gretna Green Ltd, said of the renovation works:

“This ‘grand old lady’ had been showing her age after being rather unloved by previous owners before we were able to bring her back into the heart of our business at Gretna Green. The historic building has a wonderful heritage which we wanted to celebrate, alongside creating the sort of timeless, stylish environment that our colleagues and guests deserve. Gretna Hall now complements our sister hotels and is another major step forward in the elevation of Gretna Green as a world-class, international destination for business, leisure and weddings.”

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The interior design is a modern interpretation of a Scottish manor house. Using eclectic design shapes, plaid and plain fabric of various textures and a colour palette inspired by the Scottish countryside, the result is a comfortable and luxurious setting.

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Highlights of the renovation include:

  • Individually designed bedroom suites featuring luxury amenities.
  • Interior design elements including new furniture, wallpaper, carpeting, and lighting in all suites and public areas.
  • Bespoke artwork featuring photographs, messages and historical images of the building, its visitors and romantic past.
  • Bespoke wallpaper inspired by the countless handwritten love notes and marriage proposals sent to the property through the ages.
  • Completely updated dining room and bar, offering flexible space throughout.

The original house now offers five individually designed bedroom suites, all named after famous aristocratic couples who wed at Gretna Hall during the 1800s.

More information about Gretna Hall Hotel can be found here.