A Night at Hotel Indigo Dundee*


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!


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!


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

A Night at The Principal Charlotte Square*


The past few months feel like they’ve been a bit of a whirlwind. Work has been super busy, and it’s meant I’ve not been able to find the time to pack up and head off somewhere sunny. Instead, I’ve taken a few weekends here and there to sit back, switch off and enjoy a little down time.


We enjoyed one of these weekends a few weeks back, when we headed to Edinburgh’s Principal Charlotte Square – a stunning hotel situated right in the heart of capital – with rooms looking out onto Charlotte Square and George Square.

The hotel has a beautiful old-world traveller theme. The entrance-way has been decorated with hats and suitcases, and rooms have an eclectic, collectors feel. The result is wonderful base for a trip to Edinburgh. Our room looked out onto George Street, and I can have sat people watching all afternoon!


Like all Principal hotels, Edinburgh Charlotte Square includes more amenities than the average hotel room. Instead of a pricey mini bar, there is a handy Tuck Box filled with coffee, tea and a few naughty snacks.


We were also treated to a fabulous G&T thanks to Edinburgh Gin, and downstairs in the lobby, you can purchase any essentials you might have forgotten, including decently priced prosecco, wines and beer.


Thanks to being in the original Georgian part of the hotel, our room benefitted from huge windows, high ceilings and serious soundproofing. Despite it being a Saturday night, there wasn’t a peep from inside the hotel, with just a buzz from the revellers from George Street (we did have the windows open) it was such a cosy spot to spend the evening.


I’ve been lucky enough to stay at a few Principal hotels now, and Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square had to be one of the most stylish. With slick charcoal tiling, and a rainfall shower, it was an absolute joy.


The bathroom was also well stocked with goodies from British perfumer Azzi Glasser. A few of years back, I was lucky enough to meet Azzi (here) and hear all about how she creates such gorgeous perfumes, so it’s so lovely to see an artisan British brand be promoted throughout a whole line of hotels.


Thanks to the room being so comfy, we abandoned our plans for a night out in favour of room service and a couple of movies. It was exactly what was needed – I turned off my emails for the night and just enjoyed the moment.


After a heavenly night’s sleep, we headed downstairs to enjoy breakfast. Normally this is served in the very insta-friendly Garden – a beautifully airy set up right in the centre of the lobby. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to explore, as since we were visiting during the weekend, and it was packed, so we were shown through to in-house restaurant Baba to enjoy ours.

Principal breakfasts are varied affairs. There is a tonne of fruit, pastries and a whole host of other niceties which you can pick and choose from, and there’s also a hot menu filled wth breakfast favourites.

Since there was a wait for hot items, we tucked into grapefruit and yoghurt to start.

When then ordered up a cooked Scottish breakfast, it was everything you’d hope for, with a generous serving of bacon, sausage, eggs, beans and mushrooms. It was the perfect note to end the stay on, and I’m sure we’ll be back!

Thanks so much to the Principal Charlotte Square for having us!


Stobo Castle Celebration Spa Day*


This year has absolutely flown past, between work and trips, it feels like I’ve been pretty much non-stop. So, when Stobo Castle got in touch, asking if I’d like to try their new Celebration Spa Day, the timing couldn’t have been better. On a rather rainy Monday morning, we headed through to Peebleshire to have a day chock-full of r&r!


Just over an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, Stobo Castle feels like it’s a million miles away from everything – perfect for leaving any stresses behind! This year marks Stobo’s 40th anniversary as Scotland’s only destination spa, and to mark the occasion, they have launched their Celebration Spa Day. Available until 31st December 2018, the days are perfect if you’re in the need for a little break away.

The Celebration Spa Day is the perfect choice if you’re looking to really relax and unwind. We arrived at the Spa around 10am, where we were given a tour of the facilities, and allowed to change into fluffy housecoats and slippers. At Stobo, everywhere apart from dinner is housecoat-friendly, so you can float around to your heart’s content!

The interiors of Stobo are absolutely glorious – Chinese ginger jars and beautiful artworks bedeck hallways, and the whole building it devoted to relaxing. The Celebration Spa Day includes a fabulous Top to Toe Face & Body Glow. The treatment includes a complete body exfoliation and mini facial, using Stobo’s own products.

fullsizeoutput_2584Lasting 40 minutes, the treatment was absolutely blissful, and left me feeling absolutely brand new. There was then time to laze around the pool for an hour or so, before it was time for lunch.


Lunch is served in a duo of stunning dining rooms. With views stretching over the gardens and on to nearby hills, it was an absolutely gorgeous spot (where phones aren’t encouraged – hence the lack of photos). You can opt for a buffet lunch, or choose from a la carte options. We picked the latter, kicking things off with a glass of fruit juice, then moving on to chicken curry, served with rice, raita and mini popadoms.


Dessert was a couple of scoops of the award-winning Taylor of Biggar ice cream – after all, this was a treat day!


After an hour or so catching up with some reading, it was time to head to the brand new cocktail lounge. This is a completely new addition to Stobo, and to say I’m obsessed with it is an understatement. Scotland’s chicest Tiki bar, there is a fabulous choice of cocktails on offer, and whether you’re after something gin-based, or perhaps some fizz, there will be something for you!


We opted for virgin Moscows – a delicious blend of ginger beer, mint and lime. It was a perfect spot to relax in – windows overlook the pool, so we sat and chatted whilst getting to people watch.

The whole day was exactly what was needed, and we’ve already discussed return visits!

If you’re in the mood for a spot of total relaxation – a Celebration Spa Day is just what you need! The packaged is priced from £99 per person, and can be booked here

Summer at Edinburgh’s Principal George Street Hotel*


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?


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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

A night at The Crab and Boar*


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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!?


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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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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