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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!

 

Where will you be watching the match?

 

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.

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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)

Whenever I’m feeling like a bit of a change of scenery, I have a tendency to find myself down in Cheshire. They’re usually just a day away, and I always feel like I’d like to spend a little more time in the back of the woods, so, I absolutely jumped at the chance to enjoy an evening at the five star Lowry Hotel.

Perched on the banks of the river Irwell, the hotel is perfectly placed for a city break in either Salford or Manchester (or both!) and is a stylish retreat from the buzz outside. After driving down from Edinburgh, the hotel was an absolute treat to check into, and I can easily see why it’s the pick for Manchester United to spend their evenings in prior to big matches!

The hotel itself is a slick mixture of clean lines and pops of colour. The room we were shown to was a Superior Deluxe River View, which was wonderfully roomy, and had everything you could need for a cosy night away. Since we had been driving down, we ended up just staying in the room – making use of the Lowry’s absolutely stunning spa, and indulging in a bit of room service.

I also spent a good few hours in the bathroom, enjoying a long soak in the tub with a good book (I’m currently loving His Bloody Project), and getting to spend some time just enjoying myself was exactly what I needed.

The Lowry stock their bathrooms with seriously generous tubes of one of my favourites – Aromatherapy Associates! They staff were also incredibly helpful – after I burned through the entire tube of shower gel in a single bath, it was only moments until the turndown service came and restocked me with gallons of the stuff!

I also really appreciated the nod to the hotel’s namesake with the Lowry print in the bathroom. It was a cute little touch, and made the bathroom feel more personalised than some hotels I’ve been in recently.

So, after wallowing in the bath, and then padding back from the spa, still in our fluffy robes, it was time for supper, which came in the form of a room service burger (really, is there any other option?). And honestly, we were absolutely blown away by the quality of the food. I didn’t take a photo (I was super tired and absolutely starving), but only 15-20 minutes after ordering, plates of juicy burgers and crispy fries arrived, and we absolutely inhaled them! Thankfully check-out at The Lowry isn’t until 12pm, so we got to enjoy an absolutely glorious night’s sleep before padding down to check out. Still full from our midnight feast the night before, we didn’t quite make it to breakfast – but it looked delicious with a wide array of both hot and cold options.

Rooms start at £125 per night, and can be booked here

Many thanks to the Lowry Manchester for having me!

For someone who lives in Edinburgh, I’ve found myself spending an increasing amount of time in Cheshire. One of my favourite of the villages is Alderley Edge, a surprisingly chic little town with the best beauty salons you could imagine!

Over the summer, a new spot appeared on the high street – the rather wonderful Margaret Dabbs has opened on of her lauded salon-come clinics, which get poor, over-worked hands and feet looking and feeling their best. With a menu which offers everything from a regular file and polish to waxing, I opted to go for one of the signature Margaret Dabbs Signature Medical Pedicures to get my feet looking perfect for the party season.

The salon itself is a stunning airy space, stocked with every Margaret Dabbs product you can imagine. It’s an absolute haven to visit, and after making the four hour trek from Edinburgh, it’s exactly where I wanted to be.

Rather than most nail salons, which smell of acetone, and can be a little hectic, Margaret Dabbs was pure perfection. Prior to be shown to my treatment room (yep, all Medical Pedicures are conducted in your own little room) I had a good nose around the salon, and fell in love with pretty much every product I played with.

There was a rainbow of nail colours to choose from, all are nail friendly, and the polishes can even be bought, in case you’re after a touch-up at home. Honestly, I could have stared at the colours for hours!

Then it was time for me to head through to one of the private treatment rooms for my Medical Pedicure. Rather than most salons, whose pedicures consist of a fruity smelling scrub and a quick buff, Margaret Dabbs are all about the feet. Your technician is a highly trained podiatrist, who can spot any issues which might be occurring, and knows exactly how to get your toes looking and feeling lovely.

The entire pedicure takes place with dry feet (no soaking at all happens), and as I sipped on a glass of prosecco, my podiatrist wielded a scalpel with surgeon-like precision. Within an hour, my feet, which had been looking less than lacklustre, were soft and smooth. My nails were filed and buffed to perfection, and I felt absolutely heavenly. Honestly, I wish there was a Margaret Dabbs salon closer to me than Alderley Edge, as I would have a standing monthly appointment if I could – it was that delightful! Until then though, I’ll just have to head down to Cheshire more often!

Margaret Dabbs’ Medical Pedicure is priced at £85 and you can see their whole list of treatments here

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