All posts tagged: luxury

Staying at Hotel Del Teatre, Regencós, Spain

Over the summer some of our friends got married in Barcelona. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Central which was fabulous, centrally located just a few streets away from Las Ramblas. Despite being in the centre of the city, the rooms were a very generous size and there was a rooftop bar and swimming pool. We didn’t make use of the latter because it wasn’t actually very hot during our stay (it was September) but we certainly made good use of the former! The gin cocktail in a bag was a particular highlight (or Megan’s ‘tramp bag’ as my friends ‘affectionately’ called it!) After the wedding we planned to spend a couple of nights further up the coast towards the French border. This was quite a big deal because we would be DRIVING! Why was it a big deal? Well, I still don’t have a driving license and Tim only passed a couple of years ago. And most importantly, he’d never driven on the other side of the road before in a hire car! We …

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 …

We’re going to St Lucia!

A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. But a very exciting weight! About 8 months ago I booked a holiday for Tim’s Christmas present/30th birthday for us to go to St Lucia, and kept it as a surprise until Christmas day! I have no idea how I did it, the temptation to tell him on so many occasions was massive! We’re staying first at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat and then moving to the other side of the island staying at The Body Holiday. I literally can’t wait! 2016 is going to be a very exciting year of travel, with a whopping four weddings abroad – two in France (near Bergerac and the Loire Valley), one in Spain (Marbella) and one in Italy (Sorrento). They’re all very close friends and family, it’s going to be an amazing year! But we’re kick starting it with this trip to St Lucia and it’s our first time visiting, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments! CAN.NOT.WAIT!

My Birthday Dinner at Fera at Claridge’s, Mayfair

As I’m sure you know, Tim and I love to go to nice restaurants together, but the past few months have mostly been taken up with house admin and my new job. Luckily we had a special occasion in October which was the perfect excuse for a gourmet night out – my birthday! Tim had booked a table at a restaurant as a surprise, and I was over the moon to discover on the morning of the big day that we were going to Fera at Claridge’s – we’d both been wanting to go for some time. It was a Wednesday night and we headed into Mayfair after work, a short walk from my office on Oxford Street. Claridge’s really is such a glorious hotel, with opulent decor and impeccable service as you would expect. We started with cocktails in the Fumoir – a dimly lit and cosy bar, we pondered over how many cigarettes had been lit in there over the years, and who it had been host to? We then moved over to Fera …