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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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