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This summer has been a busy one, between work and a hundred other things, I’ve never had a minute to look at trips abroad, let alone book one. So, in an effort to feel like I’d had some sort of vacation, I headed down to Manchester to spend a night in what is possibly the city’s newest, and most fabulous hotel – The Principal.

Located in the heart of the city – The Principal Manchester is a stunning red brick Victorian delight. There are a tonne of parking options nearby, which meant it was super easy to stash the car for the night. Walking up to the hotel was an absolute joy. At the rather formidable gates you’re met by the friendliest of doormen, who whisk your bags off you, allowing you to fully explore the Manchester Florist who has set up shop in the entryway.

It’s composed of three buildings – one a very grand former insurance building, and The Principal have really made the most of it. From the warm welcome outside, you’re led into the most incredible lobby. A former turning circle for horse and carriages, the stunning glass dome ceiling was salvaged from a Scottish train station, whilst the huge statue of a horse harks back to it’s original use.

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After oohing and aahhing over the decor we were led upstairs – our room, on the second floor overlooking the side of the hotel. The rooms at The Principal Manchester have to be the most stylish in the city.

All muted grey tones and soaring ceilings, it was the most glorious base for a night in the city.

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With a bed as perfect looking as this one, it was all we could do not to jump in it right away, but we had dinner plans at the on-site restaurant Refuge at Volta.

So instead, we lounged around for a bit. The hotel had very kindly left all the necessary bits a pieces for a Manchester-distilled G&T. Since we had a little time to kill, we got to enjoy our drinks on the comfy tweed sofa.

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We headed downstairs to enjoy a fabulous meal at Refuge by Volta (review to come tomorrow), and we couldn’t resist heading back upstairs to enjoy a comfy night in.

I made good use of the ensuite – enjoying a bubble bath and a book.

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Much to my surprise, the hotel toiletries come care of Azzi Glasser. I actually got the chance to meet Azzie (you can read about it here) so getting to enjoy goodies in her fabulous Mr Vetivert scent was an absolute dream!

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Getting to lounge around in the kingsized bed was beyond perfect. I don’t know what Principal Hotels do to their beds, but they are just perfection. A puffy duvet and tonnes of pillows meant I got the perfect night’s sleep – exactly what I needed to prepare for a busy day in Manchester.

After enjoying a leisurely morning, we sauntered down to enjoy breakfast. Served in the Refuge by Volta, it was lovely and buzzy with families and couples all enjoying everything on offer. The meal is a hearty affair at the Manchester Principal – we feasted on sausages and bacon, although the baked goods looked incredibly tasty!

Between the stunning hotel rooms and the incredible friendly and helpful staff, I’m already planning a return trip!

Thank you so much to the Principal Hotel Manchester for having us! A 1 night stay with breakfast starts at £120 and is available here

 

 

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The last time I was in York, I was twelve years old and was on a school trip. We spent four nights in the city; our days spent trailing around various attractions and our nights squeezed four to a room in bunkbeds. It was as far from luxurious as you can imagine. So, when I had the chance to revisit the city, this time staying at the brand new Principal York, I absolutely jumped at the chance!

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Situated right by York Railway Station, the Principal occupies one of the city’s most beautiful buildings. A golden-brick Victorian hotel, it’s a pretty breathtaking building to drive up to, and the neatly manicured gardens to the front of the hotel add to the sense of old-school luxury.

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We had driven down from Edinburgh (and had managed to detour quite heavily through the Yorkshire Dales) so by the time we reached the hotel, we were ready to kick back and enjoy a little r&r. Our room, a Superior Double, was wonderfully spacious. With views out to the front gardens, it was the perfect spot to unwind from the rather long car journey.

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As in all Principal hotel rooms, there was a generous tuck box of goodies for us to nibble at, as well as the cutest little York-themed picnic basket! With chocolates, relish, wine and even a tea towel covered in Yorkshire sayings!

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The room was an absolute dream, with a huge puffy bed and separate little desk and seating area where I could set up my laptop and get a little work done. We had planned to head downstairs and grab dinner in the stunning Refectory, but since the room was so glorious, we opted to go for the naughtier option and order room service.

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We both went for the Principal Burger (£16.95) which was insanely good. It was exactly what we were after – it was the perfect comfort food supper.

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After dinner, there was only one thing I was ready for – a bubble bath in the room’s claw footed tub. With Elemis toiletries, it was absolutely heavenly to kick back in a bubble bath and enjoy a good book.

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The bathroom itself was absolute perfection. All marble tiles and grey panelling – I’m fully intending to copy it in my own house!

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After such a heavenly bath, there was no chance of us going out to explore. Instead, we made good use of the cosy room. We spent the evening in bed, reading and watching movies.

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The room was so comfy we managed to sleep through breakfast (but Principal breakfasts are among my absolute favourites, so you really should go). But the morning meant we got to give this shower a go. With the best water pressure you can imagine, it was the perfect way to prepare for a day of sightseeing!

Thank you so much to the Principal York for having us! Rooms start from £150 per night.

 

 

 

 

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Living in a place means that you can get kind of blinded to what’s around you. I know that I’m guilty of always heading to the same coffee shops, restaurants and bars.

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About a year ago, the Principal Hotel popped up on George Street, occupying 5 of the street’s historic townhouses, it brought with it a rather fabulous restaurant in the form of the Printing Press, and a great little coffee shop – Burr & Co.

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Since then, I’ve visited both Burr & Co and the Printing Press numerous times, all whilst dreaming of the rooms within. I got a sneak peak at the bedrooms late last year (post here), and I’ve been pretty obsessed with the hotel since!

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So, a couple of weeks ago, I booked a Monday off work, packed my bags, and headed through for a night of luxury.

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As you can see from the photos – the room was absolute perfection. We were in a deluxe double in the newer portion of the hotel. With views of Stockbridge, heading down to the Forth, it was the cosiest way to spend a Sunday evening you can imagine.

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We had been well looked after by the Principal Edinburgh – when we got into the room, there was the cutest little picnic basket all packed up for us! With goodies from Burr & Co (including possibly the world’s largest, most delicious brownie you can imagine) as well as drink vouchers for downstairs – it was just what we needed!

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Not to mention the tuck box – a tin of goodies found in every Principal Hotel room. It’s the cutest idea – rather than the usual overpriced mini bars, Principal Hotels offer tuck boxes which are filled with little treats you can enjoy at no extra cost.

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So, we unpacked, ran downstairs for two cups of Edinburgh’s finest hot chocolates and headed back up to enjoy a night of comfy luxury!

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I can’t even tell you how comfortable the bed was – the perfect mattress was topped with the softest, snuffliest bedding, and I had the best night’s sleep!

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All too soon it was morning, and we padded down the the Printing Press for breakfast. I’d only ever been for supper in the restaurant, but I’m already planning a return am trip!

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The buffet on offer was positively groaning under all the delicious offerings.

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Whether you’re a pastry-lover, a toast-cruncher or a cereal kind of gal, there are options for everyone. Even though I’m not normally a regular breakfast-eater, I couldn’t resist The Principal’s offering!

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In addition to what has to be the best breakfast spread in Edinburgh, there is also a menu full of delicious hot options. As we chatted over freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee, it occurred to me that somehow I’ve never ordered a traditional cooked breakfast.

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So, there was only one option for it – we both ordered a Cooked Breakfast. Promising slices of Gildener sweet-cured smoked back bacon, a Gloucester Old Spot sausage, Stornoway black pudding, grilled plum tomatoes, buttered mushrooms, Heinz baked beans, as well as free-range scrambled eggs, it was a rather impressive plate to receive!

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What arrived was an absolute delight! Enough to feed a small army, it was an absolute feast! The bacon and sausages were real stand outs – rich in flavour and subtly sweet – it was absolutely delicious!

Thank you so much to the Principal Hotel Edinburgh for having us! Rooms at the hotel start at £212 per night, you can visit for breakfast too at £15.95 per person.

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When I first heard about the Restoration Yard late last year, I fell in love. Hard. It’s a place which feels unique in Scotland. A haven to escape to just outside Edinburgh, it’s one of those places I end up in whenever I need a little pick-me-up, or if I’m looking for a little treat.

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Nestled in the heart of Dalkeith Country Park, The Restoration Yard has been developed over the past few years to be an absolute haven. A children’s paradise in the form of Fort Douglas (perhaps the world’s most incredible tree house and fort) sits beside the most fabulously curated store in the country.

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Not only this, but there is also the most fabulous restaurant which serves an ever-changing seasonal menu. I popped in just before Christmas (you can read my review here) and I still dream about the venison ragu I enjoyed!

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Whether you’re looking for a gift, or just a treat though, I guarantee you won’t be leaving empty-handed. There is a mind boggling selection of goodies in there, and they have all been specifically chosen for Restoration Yard. There is a real spirit of positivity behind each and every piece of stock.

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I’ve found pieces by covetable like Ban.do, Rifle Paper Co and Bruket, and honestly, every time I pop in, my wish list just grows and grows!

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It’s not just beauty and accessories which are stocked. There is a fabulous selection of both men and women’s clothing, and the children’s pieces are absolutely dreamy!

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There is a whole food hall in there too – complete with another cafe perfect for a casual snack. There is also a whole range of classes to choose from if you’re into yoga and pilates – you can even book in for massage treatments soon!

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The Restoration Yard is located in Dalkeith Country Park, which is only a 15 minute drive from Edinburgh. You can find out more here.

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Visiting Archerfield House last month was definitely one of my highlights of 2017. The Pavillion Suites were beautifully comfy to relax in, and the Fletcher’s Cottage Spa is just a dream. So, when I found out that there’s rather a fabulous deal on at the moment, I just had to share it with you!

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Right in time for summer, you can re-engergise with a night away from it all for two this summer at Archerfield.

 

Enjoy a bespoke facial or massage treatment at the renowned Fletcher’s Cottage before relaxing in one of our recently refurbished luxury Pavilion Suites.

The following morning sit back and relax over the morning papers and a full Scottish breakfast in our Clubhouse.

The ultimate way to relax this summer at one of the UK’s best spa break locations.

All yours for just £355 – you can find out more here