Guilty Pleasures at Glasgow’s Blythswood Hotel*

Happy Friday! A couple of weeks back, we were kindly invited to the stunning Blysthwood Square Hotel in Glasgow.  It’s a beautiful spot located on a scenic square in the centre of town. I’d only ever popped in for a few press events previously, but I’d heard marvellous things. So, on a rather rainy afternoon, we popped in for a little luxury in the form of the Guilty Pleasures package.

Available from Sunday to Friday, from 12pm until 10pm, it’s the perfect treat if you’re looking for a little naughty indulgence. Served upstairs in the swish Salon, we had driven through from Edinburgh, so were very much in the mood for a little refreshment! As we were seated, it was impossible not to take notice of our surroundings. The architecture of the hotel is something that’s really celebrated – previously the RAC Headquarters, the building is littered with classical columns, pilasters and all range of original features. It gives the Blysthwood a real sense of being somewhere special, and the contrast with the modern decor is really beautiful.

Within a few minutes, our waiter had popped the cork on a bottle of chilled Baron de Villeboerg champagne, and we were able to sit and enjoy a view of the rainy Blythswood Square outside and really have a good catch up. Our fellow diners were a mix of pre-night-outers, a birthday party for a much loved grandmother (the restaurant broke out into a rousing rendition of happy birthday at one point) as well as tourists and business men. This meant the Salon had a great buzz, which continued to grow throughout the evening.

The staff at the Blysthwood Square Hotel couldn’t have been nicer. We were talked through the menu, and throughout the evening, our glasses were never left empty. The champagne was an absolute delight – crisp and dry, it was very drinkable. It also paired well with our rather indulgent treats, as it cut through the richness perfectly.

We were soon presented with the most mouthwatering tray of goodies. A selection of seriously luxe nibbles – we were absolutely in heaven! Since it’s a sharing platter, you’re spoiled for choice – and I just loved the dinky frying baskets that the fritters and sausages were served in.

The first morsels we dug into were the Panko-crusted confit pork fritters. These were a mix of crispy and porky, and were absolutely delicious. We dunked them in the mustardy mayonnaise and wondered aloud how we could recreate them at home.

Next up was the bacon-wrapped sausages which came smothered in sticky sesame glaze. These moreish bites were a step up from your usual banger, and were the perfect mix of savoury and slightly-sweet.

Last, but certainly not least, were the largest chips I’ve had in a long time. Piping hot, and perfectly crisp, we savoured these with the fabulous truffled mayonnaise. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love a good truffle, and these were really great. The whole tray of goodies was the perfect late afternoon treat, and saw us well into the evening, as we sat and enjoyed our bubbles.

The Blythswood Square Hotel’s Guilty Pleasures package is £40 for two people. You can read more about it here.

Where to watch the 6 Nations this weekend

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Image c/o Scottish Rugby

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this weekend’s match – England versus Scotland might be a little cliche, but it’s seriously exciting! Although we usually head to a friend’s house to enjoy the rugby matches, a few of us were thinking about heading out to soak up the atmosphere, so I thought I would round up a few of the best options!

Beer & Skittles

Arguably the only sports bar in the list, Beer & Skittles is located on Picardy Place, right in the centre of Edinburgh. With a cocktail list which dreams are made of, and more screens than you could shake a stick at, the bar is undoubtedly going to be mobbed on Sunday, and it would so much fun to be there if (fingers crossed) Scotland can win!

Badger & Co

Tucked up on North Castle Street, Badger & Co might seem like an unlikely spot for rugby-watching, but the surprisingly roomy ‘eatery’ boasts a roomy bar, a screening room and a regular restaurant. I’ve not actually eaten there, but the menu looks very boy friendly. Think lots of pies and comfort food!

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Recently voted as one of Edinburgh’s best pubs to watch sport in, I couldn’t not include The Queens Arms. Tucked under Frederick Street, the pub has book-lined walls, another comfort food-focused menu and cocktails-a-plenty!

Where will you be watching the match?

 

Darphin Full Body Massage at Stobo Castle*

As much as I absolutely adored the bedroom at Stobo Castle, there’s no denying the fact that if you’re at the hotel, you are probably there to enjoy the spa. It’s the definition of heavenly – throughout your stay you can float through the place in a fluffy housecoat, and soak up the atmosphere.

From the spa store, which is stocked to the brim with Decleor, Caudelie and every other glitzy skincare brand you could imagine, to an adorable little cafe, where you can order everything from cocktails to coffee, it’s an absolute haven to relax in, and I haven’t even mentioned the facilities!

There are a whole menu of steam rooms and saunas to choose from, as well as a fully equipped gym, instructor-led classes, and the most fabulous of swimming pools and hot tubs. Since everyone was busy enjoying themselves and relaxing, I didn’t want to swing my camera around in there (I know I wouldn’t want my photo taken whilst chilling out!) but believe me, the facilities are just incredible!

So, after spending a rather heavenly evening tucked in the Lennox Room, I padded down the next morning to the spa, decked out in my housecoat and slippers, completely ready for my Darphin Deep Rebalancing Full Body Massage.

Darphin are one of those brands I just adore – so when I saw them on the extensive treatment menu, I just couldn’t resist! Coupled with the fact that I’ve been working my tail off, and I felt in need of a little r&r, the massage sounded like exactly what I was after!

So, after having a bit of time to enjoy the spa, I got led upstairs by my therapist, Claire, who couldn’t have been nicer, to my room, which was located upstairs in the spa. Somewhat dimly lit, with a huge, comfy massage table and a selection of Darphin oils, I got myself comfy, and Claire talked through the oils’ benefit, as well as how ‘deep’ the massage was going to be.

Considering how tense my back and shoulders were, I told her to just do her thing, and what followed was the most heavenly hour you can imagine. Using a citrus based oil, Claire got to grips with every knot and kink in my back, neck, shoulders and anywhere else, with absolute expert precision. After I’d been massaged with the oil, I was then coated in moisturiser which meant that not only was I completely blissed out, but my skin felt silky soft too. I can’t describe how much I floated out of the room, and the difference in my back was incredible – not only was I seriously limbered up, but for days afterwards I felt like I’d had an incredible work out.

It was ab absolutely perfect way to wrap up at stay at Stobo Castle, and honestly, I’m already planning a rerun visit!

Darphin’s Deep Rebalancing Full Body Massage is priced at £82 and can be booked here.

An Easter Break at Lyth Valley

The Lyth valley in Kendall sounds like the place of Fairy Tales, with blossoming Damson trees and rolling hills, the scenery could be something taken straight from a story… especially if that story is one penned by the wonderful Beatrix Potter.

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Ms Potter is best known for her beautifully illustrated children’s books, like Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and friends and her childhood holidays in the Lake District heavily influenced these works.

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This Easter holiday, why not visit the lakes and explore the muse behind the landscape of Squirrel Nutkin’s sail along Derwentwater or Jonny Townmouse’s Hawkshead home? If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then The Lyth Valley Hotel is the perfect place for your exploring base.

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Snuggled beautifully between the majestic limestone outcrops of Scout Scar and Whitbarrow Scar, lying in the rolling, pastoral, damson tree-strewn landscape of the Lyth valley, is the luxuriously refurbished 9 bedroom hotel and restaurant. The stunning oak-panelled dining room and woodland creature themed rooms are enough to get you more than a little in the mood for discovering more about Ms Potter’s magical animal friends.

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The World of Beatrix Potter attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere is a mere 20 minute drive from the hotel.

An Overnight Stay at Stobo Castle*

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Just over a week ago I took a couple of days off work, bundled into the car and journeyed down to the Scottish Borders to visit the lauded Stobo Castle. It’s a place which is special to a lot of people – most have visited for a birthday or as part of a bridal party. And honestly, I can see why.

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An hour or so outside of Edinburgh, following winding roads, Stobo couldn’t feel further away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The hotel, which is a legit castle, can be enjoyed in two ways – as a resident guest, where you get to stay over, or as a day visitor, which is perfect if you just need a couple of hours to yourself.

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We were staying over, so after checking in, and oohing at the stunning architecture, we were shown to the Lennox Room. On the first floor of the main castle, it benefitted from sweeping views over Loch Stobo, and was absolutely stunning.

A riot of chinoiserie-inspired prints and Classical prints, it was the cosiest base for a getaway you can imagine.

When we checked in we were told our treatments had been booked for the following morning, so we really got to enjoy the room for as long as possible.

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With antiques dotted around the room, it felt more like staying at a rather chic friend’s house than a hotel. After unpacking a little, we settled into the room. The beds were puffs of comfort – decked in piles of pillows and swathed in puffy duvets, they were absolute perfection.

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The ensuite was stocked with bottles of Molton Brown, which is one of my favourite brands, so I ran a hot bath, grabbed my book, and hung out in there for a bit.

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Then, after a good soak, it was time to explore the place! I knew that I would be spa-ing up in the morning, so I made full use of the stunning gym, and had a bit of a stroll about the grounds. Since other guests were also enjoying a relaxing break, I didn’t want to annoy them by swinging a camera around, but trust me, it’s beautiful!

Then it was time for dinner, which is served in the most stunning of dining rooms. Thankfully, we just had to float back upstairs afterwards, and enjoy the room some more!

A night at Stobo in a Deluxe room costs from £175pppn not including treatments (dinner, breakfast and lunch is included)