All posts tagged: luxury

Our Stay at GoldenEye, Jamaica

You may have seen from my social channels that we went to Jamaica in February for our second wedding anniversary, and it was the most incredible holiday. Last year for Tim’s birthday we went to St Lucia and we fell in love with the Caribbean – the food, the weather, the people, everything was perfect. But Jamaica has officially upped the Caribbean’s game even further, it has completely stolen my heart. I can’t believe I’m only just getting round to writing about it on here, I don’t know where the time has gone. We booked through Turquoise Holidays who we worked with for our honeymoon in the Maldives and last year’s trip to St Lucia, and they were excellent as always. We spent ages scrolling through their websites and brochures and couldn’t decide where to go, but then we came across GoldenEye and knew we’d found the one! This was where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond books. He first went to Jamaica during WWII, sent by Naval Intelligence to investigate U-Boat activities in the …

Dinner at The Slaughters Manor House, The Cotswolds

You may have read that in January we stayed at the stunning ‘The Slaughters Manor House’ in the Cotswolds for Tim’s birthday. While we were there, we had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, headed up by Chef Nik Chappel, originally from Yorkshire (woohoo!) and who started out as an artist. Nik’s menus have a focus on fresh local produce epitomising the best seasonal dining, but as you’ll soon see, they’re also beautiful to look at, with some really unusual flavour combinations. We started our evening with a drink in the lounge upstairs, with one of the best barmen we’ve ever encountered – we told him we both love gin and what sort of botanicals and flavours we like, and he created bespoke cocktails for us! The drinks menu opened with “the icy tinkle chimed, ‘gin o’clock’ the room murmured.” This was my kind of place!! We were really torn between the two different tasting menus, the 6 course and 8 course. From our experience these menus don’t usually differ very much – the latter usually just …

Fine Dining at Two Michelin-Starred Don Alfonso 1890, Sorrento

There are some restaurants you visit that you just know you’re going to remember every little detail of forever, as it really blows you away. That happened in September at Don Alfonso 1890 in Sorrento. Tim and I were in Italy for my friend Kelly’s absolutely stunning wedding, and we had a day to ourselves afterwards before heading back to Blighty. We thought we’d treat ourselves to a luxurious date night, at Don Alfonso 1890 which is around a 20 minute drive from the centre of Sorrento. It’s a family-run business for over 40 years, and upon arrival we were introduced to Livia Iaccarino, pictured bottom-right. She was wearing some very cool sparkly multi-coloured trainers under a long skirt, and was one of the most charming and polite people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in a restaurant environment. We would soon learn that those shoes were an analogy for the whole dining experience. Don Alfonso 1890 was modern yet old-school. The decor was clean and fresh with bright tones of pinks and purples, adorned …

Dinner at Le Moulin Brégeon, Loire Valley

Earlier this month, my sister-in-law got married in France, in the middle of the countryside in the Loire Valley. Some of our family members were staying at a hotel called Le Moulin Brégeon nearby, and we spent an evening with them, the night before the big day. You would never guess the hotel was there unless you already knew about it. And that’s no exaggeration – the turning onto a narrow country lane is barely signposted. But that seems to be how the owner, Jonathan likes it. The 19th century water mill is a stunning retreat, and he doesn’t seem to have any problems booking up the five luxury suites, adorned with fine art and antique furniture of the region. As you pull into the driveway of Le Moulin Brégeon, you know that you’ve discovered somewhere special, with a plethora of animals greeting you, from the owner’s gorgeous cat and dog, to the chickens and ducks (many of which regularly sneak into the house, to be chased out by the kitchen staff – it was like something from …

A wonderful evening at The Ledbury

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of dining at The Ledbury. It was four of my friend’s 30th birthdays (one of them including Tim!) and Matt had managed to get us a table at this incredible restaurant, one of very few to have two Michelin stars! Chef Brett Graham has won countless awards since beginning his career in Australia at the age of 15, working in a fish restaurant. At The Ledbury he is joined by Head Chef Greg Austin, also from Australia. For dinner, the restaurant offers a Tasting Menu or a four course meal, and we decided on the latter. The quality of these photos won’t do these exceptional plates of food justice, but it really didn’t feel appropriate to get a big camera out – our phones had to do! I ordered the following: First Course: Hand Dived Scallops, Ceviche, Seaweed and Herb Oil, Frozen English Wasabi Second Course: Warm Bantam’s Egg, Celeriac, Dried Ham, Arbois and Summer Truffle Main Course: Iberico Pork, Purple Carrots Baked in Hay, Mustard and Trompettes Dessert: Warm Chocolate, Tartlet with Malt …

Staying at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, St Lucia 

In the words of Maria Von Trapp, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start”. I was wondering where to begin on writing about our wonderful holiday to St Lucia and then the wise old words of Maria sprang to mind. So this first post is about our arrival in St Lucia, and our stay at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in Soufriere. When I was booking the holiday as a surprise for Tim’s 30th, I wanted it to have two elements – both relaxing and adventurous. Boucan certainly fit the bill for the latter (and even the former, to a degree!) Boucan is a small luxury hotel owned by world renowned chocolatiers Hotel Chocolat, on the South-West of the island in Soufriere. Boucan is set among the rainforest, on St Lucia’s oldest chocolate plantation, the Rabot Estate. When you think of St Lucia, you might think of the two big ‘mountains’ that you see in all of the photos, known as the pitons. Well this hotel overlooked them both – you …

An incredible holiday in St Lucia!

We just got back from a truly amazing holiday in St Lucia. You may have read my previous post about how I’d secretly booked the trip as a surprise for Tim’s 30th birthday. I booked it nearly a year ago and after all of that build up, I can’t believe it has now been and gone. But we have brilliant memories! The photo above was taken from our hotel room balcony which gives you an idea of how wonderful it was! We did so much and ate at so many  lovely places that I decided to break it down into a few different posts. I’ll be writing about our stay at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in Soufriere, the ‘tree to bar’ chocolate experience, dinner at Orlando’s, dinner at Dasheen, hiking the Gros Piton and our stay at The BodyHoliday in Castries. So keep your eyes peeled – I’ve got a lot of piccies to get through 🙂 A big thank you to Turquoise Holidays who I booked the holiday with (we used them for our …