A Night at The Lane Hotel, Edinburgh*

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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.

A night at the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool*

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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.

Gretna Hall Hotel gets a whole new look!

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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.

Luxury winter breaks – with the Epicurean Collection

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With ‘the Beast from the East’ firmly behind us (fingers crossed) I’ve never felt more in need of a luxury break! I’m not sure if it’s the fact I couldn’t leave the house for five days, or just the unending rain and snow, but I’ve become a little obsessed with the Epicurean Collection – a group of stunning, independent boutique inns sprinkled around the south of England.

Until the end of the month, the Epicurean Collection are offering an incredible offer – a one night stay, inclusive of breakfast, will set you back only £69. Considering how beautiful all the inns are, and the stunning locations you’ll find them in, this feels like beyond a bargain.

You can upgrade your experience with the Epicurean Collection’s range of specially curated experiences designed to help you get the most out of your countryside stay. All the experiences include a stay for two people at one of the boutique inns on a bed, dinner and breakfast basis. The experiences range from watercolour workshops, William Blake exhibitions, champagne teas, cocktails masterclasses, spa getaways, wakeboarding, warbird flights and much more.

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The inns are below (complete with links) so you can plan your breaks away! Don’t forget to visit this month, so you can make the most of this incredible offer!

Hampshire

The Yew Tree from £79

A relaxed Hampshire setting is the ultimate Highclere hideaway.

The Mayflower from £89

This harbour-side inn is the perfect spot for a relaxing coastal treat.

The Anchor Inn from £99

A classic country pub with a quirky-cosy design and delicious menu of British fare.

The King’s Head from £89

Experience classic English sophistication in the heart of rural Hampshire, near Winchester.

The Woolpack from £89

Escape to the smallest hamlet in England to this cosy countryside inn.

Berkshire

The Dundas Arms from £79

Just an hour from London, offering a cosy retreat from city life.

The Crab and Boar from £99

Seasonal food, stylish décor and boutique mod cons makes this a romantic get-away favourite.

Gloucestershire

The Lion Inn from £69

Combining modern elegance with rustic warmth and homely comforts.

The Horse and Groom from £79

A tradition inn exuding warmth, comfort and character.

The Seagrave Arms from £99

Country house turn cosy Cotswolds inn brimming with English charm, fine dining and a relaxed atmosphere.

The King’s Arms from £69

A quintessentially English country escape within the beautiful Cotswolds countryside.

Oxfordshire

The Trout at Tadpole Bridge from £89

A fabulous riverside inn located in the heart of Oxfordshire countryside.

West Sussex

The White Horse from £79

Nestled in the foothills of the South Downs this award-winning boutique inn defines countryside elegance.

The Old House Inn from £79

West Sussex’s best kept secret, just moments from Gatwick airport yet offering a peaceful countryside stay.

The Welldiggers Arms from £79

The perfect place to savour exquisite cuisine or a drink in the traditional cosy bar.

The Royal Oak from £99

Just a stone’s throw away from Goodwood Estate, this inn never fails to delight.

Wiltshire

The King John Inn from £79

Beautifully refurbished interiors make this Victorian inn and ideal country hideaway.

Dorset

The Museum Inn from £89

The thatched roof inn features cosy fires and tempting seasonal fare.

Somerset

The Archangel from £69

Things are given a contemporary twist at this luxury country bolthole.

A Night at Kinnettles Hotel St. Andrews*

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I went to school and university in St. Andrews, so it’s fair to say the town has a bit of a hold on my heart. It’s probably where I’ve spent the most time in one place, and I love heading back every so often to explore my old haunts.

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One of the spots which has undergone a complete transformation since my time as an undergraduate, is the new Kinnettles Hotel, which opened in the summer of last year. Previously a casual restaurant with St. Andrews’ only nightclub in the basement, the hotel is now a true sanctuary in the centre of town, complete with spa, bar and incredible restaurant.

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With only nine rooms, Kinnettles is a wonderfully intimate hotel, and it’s perfect if you’re looking for a plush retreat in the town. We stayed in Room 3, a gorgeous haven of plush greys, which looks out onto North Street through a curved window.

The attention to detail in the furnishing of the hotel is evident – every corner has been furnished, and it’s provided some serious interiors inspiration for me!

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We popped in on Sunday, to enjoy a leisurely end to the weekend, and we couldn’t have had a better time! The room itself is glorious – a huge cloud of a bed, with beautifully crisp linens, as well as a small sitting area to sit and enjoy the buzz of town.

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The room’s ensuite bathroom is the stuff of dreams! The only room in the hotel with a bath, I couldn’t have loved it more!

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The shower was equally glorious – encased in marble, and benefitting from fabulous water pressure – it made an early Monday morning (almost) bearable!fullsizeoutput_18e6

As if the marble-clad bathroom wasn’t glorious enough, they come stocked with luxe ESPA toiletries. The bathroom was even scented with an ESPA diffuser, which made it feel even more enjoyable to relax in a hot bubble bath!fullsizeoutput_18e7

The rooms in Kinnettles, really are nothing like anything else in St. Andrews! We were lucky enough to head downstairs for dinner at the hotel restaurant (review to come!) but I should have spent hours sitting in the bay window watching the comings and goings!

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The bed was absolute perfection too! Crisp linens and puffy pillows meant that drifting off to sleep was, pardon the pun, an absolute dream. I just wish I hadn’t needed to buzz through to Edinburgh first thing Monday morning, as I could have easily enjoyed a lazy afternoon in bed!

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The whole stay was so glorious, we’re already planning a return visit!

Rooms at Kinnettles Hotel start at £169 per night, and you can find out more about the hotel here

A Day Out in Glasgow*

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As someone who spends most days in Scotland’s capital, I always enjoy a great day out! So, when I was invited to pop through and see some of the best spots in the city, I absolutely jumped at the chance! Travelling through from Edinburgh to Glasgow couldn’t be easier – you can do what we did and jump in the car (it’s about a 40 minute drive), or if you’d rather kick back, there is a regular train service which deposits you right in the city centre.

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After parking at Buchanan Galleries, we wandered down Buchanan Street to pop into the new T2 store. If you’re a tea lover like I am, this is a must-visit destination! With loose leaf teas piled from floor to ceiling, there are blends for everyone, and the staff couldn’t be more helpful.

With a chance to taste a variety of blends, including a delicious matcha ritual and turmeric latte, I felt like a kid in a candy store! It took a while, but eventually I managed to select a tea blend, as well as a super handy infuser (I picked the purple one here) which I’ve been using pretty much daily ever since!

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From T2, our next stop was Laings in the Argyll Arcade. The jewellery is one which I’ve explored in Edinburgh (you can read about my visit here), so getting to see three of their Glasgow outlets was great fun! Depending in whether you’re in the market for a new watch, a specially commissioned piece or a luxury treat, Laings has something for you!

I spent a good hour looking at the best of what Laings has to offer – an I have to say, my wish list has grown considerably! From examining ‘Hearts on Fire’ diamonds with specialist equipment to oohing over necklaces and rings, it was such a special start to the day!

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After all that glamour, we were absolutely famished, so headed over to Merchant City for brunch at Hutcheson’s City Grill. It’s a real mainstay for Glasgow, with a space to eat both upstairs and downstairs depending on your preference. We headed upstairs, to enjoy a leisurely brunch.

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As we perused the menu we were treated to a couple of glasses of champagne. The dining room is absolutely stunning! We oohed and ahh’d over the architecture and all of the velvet seats, whilst deciding on our choices.

We couldn’t resist The Hutchesons Fry (£12) which was perhaps the heartiest breakfast option on the menu! A wonderfully herby sausage was served alongside crisp bacon, cooked mushrooms, scrambled eggs, beans and Stornaway Black Pudding.

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I went for the Smoked Scottish Salmon & Scrambled Eggs (£10) which came with a toasted English muffin. It was a gorgeous dish, and I love how nicely presented it was.

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After enjoying our brunch, we headed downstairs to explore the rest of Hutcheson’s City Grill. The bar is absolutely glorious – all marble and glass, and I’ll be heading here for drinks the next time I’m through!

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After fuelling up, it was time to get down to the serious business of shopping! Buchanan Galleries is one of the city’s best shopping malls, with stores ranging from Accessorize to Hollister, as well as a large John Lewis. We window shopped for a while, and although I was going to stock up on a few pieces of makeup in Boots (they have a great selection of premium brands) I ended up being sensible and picking up a couple of home bits from John Lewis.

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Once we dropped the bags off in the car (after all, who wants to lug sheets around town with them?!?) we headed down Buchanan Street for a bit of a peruse. As well as having all the regular high street stores, Glasgow also has a huge Apple store, an Urban Outfitters and Frasers – the king of the city’s department stores. If you love beauty as much as I do – Frasers is a real must visit on a trip to Glasgow. As well as stocking all your regular premium brands, they have Scotland’s only Charlotte Tilbury counter, as well as the Chanel counter of your dreams. They even stock the brand’s Les Exclusifs perfume collection, so it’s where I head whenever I’m running low on their Gardenia.

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After all that shopping, it was time for supper – so we headed back over to the Corinthian Club for supper. The building itself is absolutely stunning – it looks like a wedding cake with swirls of rococo plasterwork and possibly Glasgow’s most picturesque dining room. It was a lovely mix of couples, families and friends, all enjoying suppers or stacks of late afternoon tea. In a bit of a blogger fail, we both opted for the Fillet Steak (£29.95).

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And really, who could blame us? Served on a slate with a copper pan of Cafe de Paris, crispy thick cut chips, cooked cherry tomatoes and a peppery watercress salad. It was a deliciously indulgent way to finish the day – the juicy meat with the mustardy Cafe de Paris butter was fabulous, whilst the peppery watercress said give the dish some zing!

We had a fabulous day out! Thank you so much for T2, Laings, Hutcheson’s City Grill, Buchanan Galleries, House of Fraser at the Corinthian Club for having us!

A Night at Eleven Didsbury Park*

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Whenever I’ve got a weekend free, and not too many plans, I typically tend to head down south, and end up in Cheshire. It’s a gorgeous part of the country, with beautiful countryside, postcard-perfect little villages, and surprisingly good shopping (one of my favourites is Selfridges at the Trafford Centre). A few weeks back, when were were heading up north from our stay in the Cotswolds, we figured we’d add a pitstop, and sped a night at the glorious Eleven Didsbury Park.

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For all the times I’ve visited Cheshire, I don’t think I’ve ever been to Didsbury, but it’s a charming spot – very residential with beautiful Victorian houses. It’s also close to Manchester airport, as well as the Trafford Centre, so if you want a little mini-break prior to jetting off, or if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, this is a perfect spot to visit.

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We were staying in a gorgeous Eclectic Villa Room, which included a sumptuous super king sized bed, separate sitting area, bathtub and even a dressing room! We had been driving up from Oxfordshire on the day we arrived, so having such a gorgeous room to arrive to was an absolute dream.

We had enjoyed supper in Alderley Edge, so the first thing to do was draw a hot bubble bath and relax a bit. The bath is tucked into the corner of the room, and is the perfect spot to read a book and unwind.

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The ensuite bathroom was equally luxurious, with a roomy rainfall shower, and it came fully stocked with lush Temple Spa toiletries and plenty of fluffy towels.

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After an absolutely heavenly night’s sleep (seriously, the bed was insanely comfortable) we headed downstairs to enjoy breakfast. We kicked things off with a freshly squeezed orange juice and some fresh berry smoothies.

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We couldn’t resist ordering a full English breakfast. With sausages, scrambled eggs, bacon, mushroom, tomato and black pudding, it was a perfect way to set ourselves up for the long drive up north.

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I opted for the Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on an English Muffin. Light and fluffy eggs went perfectly with the salmon, and it was a delicious end to our little stay-cation!

Thank you so much to Eleven Didsbury Park for having us! You can find out more about the hotel here.

Lunch at Franco Manco Oxford*

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When I was down in the Cotswolds last month, we took a day to drive through to Oxford and spend the day at the Ashmolean Museum. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for years, and I am happy to say, it did not disappoint! We spent the whole day weaving from exhibit to exhibit – the museum has everything from Egyptian mummies to modern art, so as you can imagine, there was a lot to see!

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So to fuel up, we headed around the corner to new Oxford spot Franco Manca. The restaurant only opened up a couple of months back. Located in the centre of town, it’s a roomy spot, which was filled with a mix of students, locals and tourists, all munching on Oxford’s best pizza.

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If you are a student, Franco Manca has an incredible offer currently going on – every Monday & Tuesday, students can receive a No Logo beer or Aperol Spritz on the house when you buy any pizza! Just use the buzz word ‘Brixton 2008’ & show your student card. This is running until 31st December, so there’s still tonnes of time to enjoy!

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As we perused the menu, we munched on Green Olives (£2.35). I love how simple the menu at Franco Manca is – mains consist of 7 main pizzas, as well as a few daily specials, and some salads.

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We were absolutely famished after day spent at the museum, we couldn’t resist starting off with a Garlic Bread with Mozzarella (£4.95).

Served piping hot, it was the definition of melty, cheese and garlic-y goodness! We shared one between two of us, and it was a seriously generous portion! Made with the same slough rising sour dough as the pizzas, it was a perfect start to the meal.

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In what can only be classed as something of a review fail, neither of us could resist Pizza 6 (£7.55)- which comes with tomato, cured chorizo [dry + semi-dry] & mozzarella. For some reason I developed something of a chorizo habit on the trip, and the promise of it on a pizza was too much to resist.

Franco Manca cook their pizzas in wood burning ovens which reach temperatures of up to 900 degrees, so when they get to the table, they’re piping hot, and covered in the most glorious of toppings.

Ours, topped with copious slices of chorizo was equal parts cheesy and spicy. I just loved how the meat was quite thickly sliced, so you could really appreciate all that great flavour. The wood stove gives the crust a delicious flavour – and Franco Manca want to make sure you eat them all up! If you’re not usually a crust lover (which, admittedly, I am) you can order a selection of homemade dips to enjoy!

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Even though we were absolutely stuffed from the main course, we could resit in indulging in a little Italian dessert. As with the menu for the main course, the choice of dessert is wonderfully simple – for us though, there was only one choice – a classic tiramisu (£3.95) to share!

Presented simply, the slab of pudding was an airy cloud of whipped cream and boozy sponge. Topped with a dusting of cocoa powder, we savoured spoonfuls of it with coffee, as we planned our days ahead. It was an absolutely wonderful way to refuel after a day spent in Oxford’s best museum!

You can find out more about Franco Manca, and see their menu here.

Dinner at The Garden Restaurant, Tewkesbury Park*

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After driving down from Edinburgh to Gloucester in a single day, it’s fair to say we were ready for a lazy evening on our first night at Tewkesbury Park. Rather than going out and exploring, we’d booked in for dinner at the hotel’s Garden Restaurant.

Occupying most of the bottom floor is the newly renovated Garden Restaurant. A stunning mix of colours and filled with the most glorious velvet seats and sofas – it looked like something straight out of Pinterest! Seated by the plate glass windows, we were able to enjoy the most stunning sunset over the golf course as we perused the menu.

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The first of the starters to catch our eye was the stunning Beetroot and gin home cured salmon gravlax (£6.95). A colourful medley of salmon, fennel, mouli, and appleslaw, it was a wonderful mix of earthy savoury with bright, zesty notes.

The accompanying pumpernickel toast was a delicious accompaniment to the freshness of the dish, and it was such a delicious way to start the meal.

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For my starter, I opted for the World Cheese Award Winning Cerney Ash Goat’s Cheese (£6.95). It was an absolutely beautifully presented plate, and I just adored the creaminess of the cheese with the balsamic glaze.

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The balsamic pearls burst in the mouth, giving little explosions of flavour, and the ripened figs were the perfect accompaniment. I could have eaten this all evening – and I’ve gone hunting for the Cerney Ash Goat’s Cheese in Edinburgh!

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Since we were sharing a bottle of red, we opted for red meat main courses.

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Since it’s in season, I couldn’t resist the Loin of fallow deer venison (£24.95), and I’m so glad I did! The venison was perfection – rich and tender, it was paired with a venison bolognaise, confit potatoes, kale, and a blackberry jus.

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It was such a warm, wintery dish, and was perfect for fueling up after the long trek down south. The mix of rich meat and berries is a real favourite of mine, and the addition of kale and the confit potato was inspired!

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To lighten up our rather indulgent choices, we opted to share some Seasonal Vegetables (£4.95). A mix of broccollini, carrots and runner beans, they were such a yummy accompaniment!

I managed to sneak a mouthful of 8oz Sirloin of Hereford beef steak (£24.95), and I have to say, it was incredible! The steak was perfectly cooked – charred on the outside and rare on the inside, and it was wonderful with the hot and crispy hand cut chips. The fresh watercress gave a peppery hit to the dish, and the cooked mushrooms and tomatoes were delicious!

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Even though we were absolutely stuffed, the meal had been so heavenly, we couldn’t resist sharing Sticky Toffee Pudding (£6.95). Presented to the table warm, with a brandy snap and honeycomb ice cream, it was a heavenly way to finish the meal!

The whole meal was an absolute delight – and one of the highlights of our whole trip! From the stunning dining room, to the fabulous waitstaff, who couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful throughout the night! You can find out more about the restaurant here.

 

A Stay at Tewkesbury Park*

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When we headed down south last month, I was in serious need for a little luxury. Happily, we had very kindly been booked in to the stunning Tewkesbury Park Hotel for a rather fabulous break.

Situated in the historic town of Tewksbury, right on the edge of the Cotswolds, the hotel has been recently renovated, and it’s an absolute gem.

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To reach the hotel, you weave through the rolling golf courses which surround it. It’s such a stunning entrance, and I swear, every time we drove up, we had to pull in and take a minute or so just to enjoy the countryside. It’s just that pretty. Downstairs, in the on-site restaurant (which I’ve got a whole post lined up about), there are floor to ceiling windows, which let us enjoy the perfect sunsets. The hotel has over 160 acres of land around it, so it’s a real haven to enjoy!

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We were lucky enough to enjoy one of the hotel’s six historic suites. Ours, King Richard III, was located on the top floor, and was absolute perfection. A beautiful room, which looked onto the rear of the property, there was a cosy sitting area, where we could see miles of the most perfect English countryside, as well as a perfect, huge super king bed.

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It was one of those hotel rooms which I had a hard time leaving! Between the comfy bed, and the stunning views, it was all too easy to curl up with a good book and spend an indulgent afternoon inside!

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We also had the most wonderful bathroom to enjoy! A huge, standalone bath was perched in the middle of the room, this combined with a rather snazzy wall-mounted television meant that my already-long soaks were even longer!

As if the bath wasn’t glorious enough, there was double everything. A wonderfully roomy double shower was the perfect way to wake up every morning.

The bathroom as a whole was glorious. I loved the attention to detail – with double sinks and tonnes of light – it was such a joy to get ready in!

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As if the room wasn’t fabulous enough, the hotel as a whole was just spectacular. There is a spa, gym and swimming pool as well as a golf course to explore.

We found the staff to be unfailingly polite and friendly. From phoning to check our room was ok, to pointing out the historical battlefields which surround the hotel, everyone was unbelievably nice. We also enjoyed a delicious dinner and afternoon tea (but I’ll go into both of those in later posts!).

A night in the King Richard III Suite starts at £350 per night. You can book your break here.

 

Lunch at Daylesford Kingham*

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A couple of weeks back I decided it was time for a little r&r, and headed down to Oxfordshire. It’s a trip we’ve started to do annually, usually in the autumn, where we throw a couple of bags into the back of the car, book into a couple of gorgeous hotels, and just relax in the countryside for a bit.

This year was no different, and we were lucky enough to catch the whole of the countryside in the most vivid throes of autumn. As well as getting to enjoy copious amounts of countryside, a visit to the Cotswolds also means I get to stop off at possibly England’s finest farm shop – Daylesford.

Nestled in the hamlet of Kingham, Daylesford is everything you could wish for from a countryside retreat, and a whole lot more. With cottages to stay in on-site, a spa stocked with the finest Bamford products, and the best homeware, fashion and food, I always find myself spending afternoons pottering around, treating myself to a few little luxuries.

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There are also a couple of restaurants on-site. Like the rest of Daylesford, the products are organic, locally grown, and the dishes change seasonally. We snuck in on a Friday afternoon for lunch, and it was an absolute delight.

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We couldn’t resist the sound of Roast Baby Beets, Beetroot cured salmon, honey & wholegrain mustard (£9). A dainty, beautiful coloured plate of tender, flavourful salmon and sweet vegetables. The honey and wholegrain mustard mayonnaise gave a little heat, and is a combo I’ve already tried to replicate at home!

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I ordered the hand-sliced Venison Tataki, white radish and ginger – the butcher had the most incredible looking haunches of venison in the store, so I couldn’t resist! The Tataki was incredible delicately flavoured, and just melted in the mouth. Paired with the accompanying soy and cabbage and ginger salad, it was incredibly moreish.

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In something of a blogger-review fail, we both ordered the special – and honestly, who could resist? A homemade fish pie with seasonal greens (£16) was exactly what was needed to feast on, and it was absolute perfection.

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Huge hunks of salmon and egg were encased in a silky sauce, and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes you can imagine. After a morning spent outside, exploring Oxfordshire, this was exactly what we were after!

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We also had to try the Triple Macaroni and Cheese (£4.50). All creamy, cheesy goodness, with an added hit of truffle and wholegrain mustard, this was a deliciously grownup take on my go-to comfort food. I loved the gratin topping, and the mix of three cheeses was absolutely divine!

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Filled up with the best of Gloucestershire produce, we ended the meal with a cappuccino (£3.50) and a Cinnamon Latte (£4). When I say I’m obsessed with the coffees from Daylesford – I don’t think you quite understand how good they are! Piping hot, and just a hint of cinnamon, I started every morning off with one when we were down, and I may have finished every evening with a hot chocolate from the to-go counter!

Thank you so much to Daylesford for our lunch – you can find the menu here.