A weekend in the city of Bath at The Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

23 Apr

This is the second post in a sequence of posts about escaping London for the weekend. In my last post I told you about how I was whisked away for the weekend to Marlow in Bucks.  I’ve always loved the city of Bath after reading Jane Austen’s book Persuasion and recently I had the chance to visit Bath for the second time. After finishing work on a Friday evening the boyfriend and I hopped on the fast train from Paddington up to Bath. After reading many reviews about the best hotels to stay in Bath we decided on the Bath Priory Hotel. We chose the hotel mainly because because of its beautiful gardens and spa. I have to apologise as this post maybe a tad on the long side, I had some many pretty pictures I couldn’t decide what to pick!

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Bath Priory Hotel and Spa

Pulling into the driveway of the hotel I was already pretty impressed. Bath is famous for this Georgian architecture and the hotel a beautiful example of this. I especially loved the beautiful arched windows and landscaped facade. After we arrived, a porter came and collected our bags and we were given a quick tour of the hotel. After this we were taken to our suite in order to be checked in. For the next 2 days we had booked ourselves into the Cavendish Master Suite. The pictures below don’t quite do it justice as it had beautiful views overlooking the landscaped garden and the bathroom was huge! The suite included a separate seating area for sitting with a coffee machine, TV, DVD player, iPod dock and telephone. Touches that we were particularly impressed with was a hand written note from the hotel welcoming us and a bottle of madeira wine. I have to also add that although the suite was not cheap we managed to get 400 quid off because it wasn’t high season. 

Cavendish Suite at The Bath Priory

Cavendish Suite at The Bath Priory

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Cavendish Bathroom at The Bath Priory

We arrived too late to dine in the restaurant so instead we decided to order from the room service menu. I went for the steak and salad while my boyfriend chose the club sandwich.

steak and club sandwich

steak and club sandwich

The next day it was time to discover the city of Bath! We got up early in the morning and went down for a bit of breakfast in the Bath Priory Restaurant. photo 2

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After breakfast we headed into Bath town centre, both of us are budding photographers and I had read about a photography tour of Bath that runs on Saturdays outside the tourist office. I was quite disappointed to discover that the tour would not be running that day. However, we were told by the kind lady in the tour office that we would be able to go on one of the free walking tours of bath. If you visit Bath I recommend that you take one of the tours, we found it very informative and we learned lots of about the history of Bath.

Here are some highlights of the tour:

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River Avon

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Pulteney Bridge which crosses the River Avon in Bath

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Morris dancers in Bath town centre

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The iconic Royal Crescent in Bath

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Baths oldest house – where Sally Lunn lived

If you get the chance make sure you try a Sally Lunn bun!

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A bit of history about Bath’s Georgian architecture

A trip to Bath would not be complete without a trip to the Thermae Bath to relax, I strongly recommend that you buy spa passes in advance as the queue for this was ridiculously long!

I also discovered that Bath is fantastic for shopping, they have a lot of very pretty boutiques and home furnishing shops. I came home with a quite few nice goodies from Joe Malone and new pair of leather boots from Ecco.

In the evening we dined at the Michelin starred Bath Priory Restaurant, both my boyfriend and I are big foodies so we were excited to learn that the chef here was Sam Moody  who has quite the reputation for coming up with interesting combinations, exciting flavours and who has a passion for fresh, local ingredients. We both were feeling quite brave so were opted for the 7 course chef tasting menu, which meant we had no idea what we would be eating until it arrived at our table.

I have to say that were blown away by both the knowledge and service provided by the staff, which was faultless and the food really did live up to its reputation. I didn’t get a chance to write the names of each of the dishes down but you can see what we had below.

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By the time we finished eating it was nearly midnight and we were the last ones in the restaurant, so if you are feeling inspired to do the same – maybe try eating earlier around 6. Then it was time to sleep off our food coma ready to head home the next morning.

The next day before we left we took the time to look around the gardens, luckily for us we had lovely sunny weather which highlighted the beauty of the place even more. photo-6 photo-7

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Bath priory Gardens

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A stunning mini waterfall

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A sleepy bee came to rest

We loved our weekend getaway in Bath, we just wish we had spent more time in the Spa! However, I am sure we will be back sometime soon. We really enjoyed staying at The Bath Priory Hotel, the staff couldn’t do enough to make sure our every wish was granted, the views from our suite were spectacular and the food in the restaurant was to die for.

 

Free breakfast and lunch in Victoria today and tomorrow

15 Apr

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Today & Wednesday this week, Mark Hix’s Fishdogs food truck will be popping up in London’s Victoria and serving breakfast and lunch, for free! A breakfast of cinnamon doughnuts will be served from 8.30am and a Fishdog lunch is available from 12pm.

This lovely treat comes courtesy of Nova, Victoria – set to be London’s most exciting new restaurant quarter. The free breakfast and lunch will be first come, first served while stocks last. To claim a free meal, people simply need to tweet with the hashtag #FishdogNova or show one of the promotional flyers being given out at Victoria and St James’s Park stations.

Hix’s Fishdog van can be found just off Victoria Street, between Westminster City Hall and 62 Buckingham Gate.

Easter bank holiday ideas – Getting out of London for some sun

13 Apr

The first major Bank holiday of the year is only five days away And I can’t wait. I’ve also decided to take a couple of days off before in order to get the most out of the Easter break. My boyfriend and I did think about having a staycation in which to make more discoveries in the capital, but as nice as the weather has been it still isn’t warm enough for a bikini. So it’s time to leave the UK for sunnier climes. After a quick search on Google I found that the Mediterranean is rather warm at the moment and the flying time isn’t bad either. I spent the day scouring sites like First choice for holiday deals, which gave me the idea for this post. If you are also thinking of escaping the capital Easter Bank Holiday here are my top three places you have to go:

Sorrento in Italy

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If you follow my blog closely you will remember my trip to Florence last year. It was during this trip that I fell in love with Italy, its culture, food and beautiful architecture. Sorrento is based in Campania in Italy and is home to just 16500 residents. It is also very close to Naples and Pompeii which could make very good day trips if you have the time. Sorrento like other parts of Italy is filled with beautiful churches, the Chiesa di San Francesco is particularly worth seeing if you choose to visit. Sorrento’s cobbled streets make it perfect for those of you who fancy a little wander. There are lots of little cafés to stop and sample some good Italian coffee as we’ll as lots of antique and craft shops to buy something to remind you of your visit. If you’re looking for sandy beaches this may not be the place to visit but the plethora of bathing platforms beneath the cliffs mean you won’t have a problem finding places to swim.

Heat factor? The weather forecast for bank holiday looks to be around 18 degrees.

Marmaris in Turkey

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For beach lovers I would recommend Marmaris in Turkey, it has a beautiful coastline with a gorgeous backdrop of pine clad mountains. Going at Easter means it will be sure to be slightly quieter than the summer season. If you are willing to splash out a little then this is perfect place to hire a yacht to explore the coastline. Those of you looking for a bit of relaxation and pampering should make sure to book in for a Turkish bath. After an hour and half of exfoliation and steaming you will feel like a new person. If you’re intending to bring your family then head down to the Aquadream watermark for the day. It is located on the outskirts of Marmaris and has wave pools, rapids and massive water slides to keep the whole family entertained.

Heat factor? Around 21 degrees if the weather forecast stays the same.

Playa de las Americas in Tenerife
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Tenerife is an old favourite with British holidaymakers mainly for its consistency on the weather front. Tenerife enjoys year around sun due to its proximity to the equator. Playa de las Americas is situated on Tenerife’s southwest coast, and is the place to head to If you’re looking to party this Easter bank holiday. Most holidaymakers looking to party head for the one kilometre stretch known as Verónicas that is packed with nightclubs, cabaret bars, live music venues, shops and restaurants. The crowd here is of the younger variety and the partying can go on all night. So if you are looking for a quiet break this possibly wouldn’t be the place to go. However, families can head to the resort during the day to be entertained.

Heat factor? Looks like it will top 24 degrees throughout next week.

Intending to enjoy the holiday in London. Make sure you check back later in the week for a list of things to do in London.

Portman Village hosts its first spring beauty event 28th-30th April

10 Apr

Calling all of you beauty junkies, here is an event you won’t want to miss. April is beauty season in Portman Village, with a three-day celebration of special events and offers for visitors to Marylebone’s hidden gem. From discounts to free one-to-ones with make-up artist to the stars, Francesca Neill, the PV Beauty Bash is running from 28th – 30th April and has everything you need to get set for summer.

Events to look forward to are:

Bespoke perfumery, Les Senteurs, is offering free thirty-minute consultations with resident perfumist James Craven with a further 20% off fragrance purchases.

Homemade London, is hosting special beauty events for the occasion and offering guests 20% off their beauty workshop on the April 28th and perfume making on April 30th.

Celebrity make-up artist to Alesha Dixon and Cheryl Cole  Francesca Neill, will also be on-hand on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th April to give free consultations and make-overs to visitors who book any one of these treatments.

All guests will receive a glass of champagne on arrival at their treatment; all you have to do is mention PV Beauty Bash when booking.

Visit www.PortmanVillage.com for more information

A weekend in Marlow, Bucks at Danesfield House And Hotel

10 Apr
Danesfield House

Danesfield House

As much as I love living in London, sometimes it is nice to explore what else the UK has to offer. Getting away for the weekend can be a lovely way to escape the rat race and recharge your batteries. This post is the first in a series of posts about weekend mini breaks in the UK that I have recently taken. Back in February, I found myself whisked away for a romantic Valentines Day weekend getaway. Marlow in Buckinghamshire is a picturesque little town situated on the River Thames about 33 miles from London.

For our weekend we chose to stay at Danesfield House and Spa a luxury country house hotel which is situated within 65 acres of land, high in the Chiltern Hills and overlooking the River Thames. The hotel has a total of 87 rooms and suites. For the weekend we chose to stay in one the hotel’s Junior suites, unfortunately I didn’t remember to take a picture of our room but the pictures you will find on the website are pretty accurate.

The drive up to Danesfield House was pretty spectacular as you can see below, and we were pretty lucky that the weather was pretty mild. Danesfield House used to be a RAF base back in 1940′s and has retained much of its previous character, it’s a turreted white country house framed by crisp landscaped gardens, which give it a fairytale quality.

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Daanesfield House and Spa Courtyard

Danesfield House and Spa Courtyard

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Danesfield House

After arriving on the Friday evening we took a light dinner in the drawing room which was decorated in a traditional style and had military artefacts. Our room was located in one of the turrets of the hotel and was spacious with a large four poster bed and a little seated area by the window for relaxing. Unfortunately the room was also very cold! I’m not sure if this is common with old country house hotels but for some reason the heating only came on sporadically for a couple of hours each day. Fortunately we had thick covers under which to snuggle to keep ourselves warm.

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In the morning we woke up and took breakfast in the Orangery restaurant which is overlooks Danesfield’s beautiful landscaped gardens, some of which you can see below.

The Orangery at Danesfield House

The Orangery at Danesfield House

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Beautiful landscaped gardens

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A lot of people visit Danesfield House for the Spa, unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try it out whilst we were there. After breakfast we decided to go for a long walk in the lovely grounds that surround the hotel.

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Beautiful snowdrops

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Lanky Girl hanging out in the field

After waiting what seemed like an eternity, we took a short bus ride into Marlow. The weekend we were there was also the weekend parts of the UK were heavily flooded and Marlow being on the Thames didn’t escape unscathed. Luckily for us Danesfield House is on a hill which meant we weren’t affected.

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The River Thames

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Marlow, Buckinghamshire

Marlow itself is a small town, with pretty little boutiques and cafes. We had a walk around and visited the suspension bridge which overlooks All Saints Church which you must see if you visit. After all that exploring we stopped for a spot of afternoon tea.
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First time I spotted a red telephone box outside London

In the evening we returned back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. As it was Valentines Day the hotel had put on a special Valentines Day menu. All the ladies each received a lovely rose.

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We both opted for a lovely fillet of beef with fondant potato, it was delicious. A lovely end to the day. In the morning we took one last stroll around the grounds before setting off for home.

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If you like weekends away that involve walking and relaxation a visit to Marlow is recommended.

Date for diary – A Wild Meats Safari Lunch Pop Up – 6th April 2014

30 Mar

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Are you an adventurous eater? Then don’t miss this pop up! After his sell-out debut Safari Lunch in March, London-based Congolese chef Mick Élysée, will be sharing his love of exotic African meats at his next pop-up on Sunday April 6th at 1.00 pm.

Mick will be hosting his Safari Lunch at Marsden’s Bistro at 483 Hackney Road, E2 9ED for diners who are prepared to take a walk on the wild side.

Originally from Congo, Central Africa, but trained in France and London under leading chefs including Michel Roux and Michel Toulousi, Chef Mick Élysée has developed a unique style of cooking which sees his Congolese heritage and classical French training blended together.

Tickets are £35 per head and if you want to come along, you’ll need to book your spot fast by contacting Marsden’s Bistro on 020 7739 1505 or through Mick Élysée’s Facebook page.

 

Lanky Girl’s 5 best events to check out this Spring and Summer

28 Mar

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Are you planning to visit London in the next few months? Well if you are anything like me when I am planning on visiting somewhere new, you have probably already been checking out which hotels to stay in and what to do when you arrive. London events season is just starting to take off and with so many events happening this spring and summer it may be hard to choose what do. However don’t panic, Lanky Girl is here to help! In this post I will be giving you the low down on what events you should be checking out should you find yourself in London this season.

Places to stay

Start your search for a place to stay by narrowing down which part of London you want to stay in. Try to pick somewhere that isn’t more than 45 mins from Central London. My favourite sites for looking for accommodation are lastminute and Hotel Direct.

Vikings life and legend at The British Museum

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Friends who have already been to this exhibition have raved about how good it is. Vikings life and legend is the first major exhibition on Vikings at the British Museum for over 30 years. Visitors are in for a treat as the exhibition features many new archaeological discoveries and objects never seen before in the UK and focuses on the core period of the Viking Age from the late 8th century to the early 11th century. For history buffs it is an exhibition not to be missed as it will probably not take place again for a long time.

Vikings, Life legend is on at the British Museum until the 22nd of June and due to the amount of interest it has already generated booking is advised!

Regents Park Open Air Theatre

Regent’s Park Open theatre is a firm fixture of the summer season in London and is your chance to experience English theatre performed in an open auditorium. Pack yourself a picnic and watch everything from Shakespeare to musicals in one of London’s prettiest green spaces, Regent Park.

Theatre season begins in May and continues onto September.

Film 4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Imagine yourself itting out in the open air and enjoying a film under the sky. Film 4 at Somerset house is a real treat and tickets always sell out quickly so if you’re looking for something unique and fun to do in London start booking your tickets asap! The films are brought to you as vividly as if you were in a state of the art cinema, and the line up is always pretty impressive.

Open Garden Squares Weekend

Coming to London in June? Well if you find yourself in London on the 14/15th of June then make sure book yourself a ticket to open garden squares Weekend. It’s your ticket to some of London’s best and beautiful gardens and some of which are not available to the general public.

World Street Food Festival 2014, 18th – 21st April

In April take a trip along London’s Southbank and visit The World Street Festival. The festival will showcase the very best and most creative street food in London. On offer there will also be a craft Beer, Wine and Cocktail Bar as well as Live Music. It’s the best way to taste the variety of food from around the world that’s available in London and its all in one place.

 

So there you have it my pick of events in London this spring and summer.

 

Hidden gems in London – Spitalfields City Farm

17 Mar

spitalfields city farm
The Boyfriend is relocating to East London and with the nice sunny spell we are having at the moment I took the opportunity to introduce him to one of my favourite hidden gems in East London, Spitalfield’s City Farm.

After stopping for Brunch at Patisserie Valerie in Spitalfield’s Market I took him along the back streets of Brick Lave to show him the farm.

I first came across the farm by accident when I was cycling towards Columbia Road Market and I took a wrong turn.

Spitalfield’s City Farm was originally set up by volunteers in 1978, and relies mostly on volunteers to keep it going. For me part of its charm is that fact that it’s not every day that you see a farm in the middle of the city,  it’s like a quiet oasis.

The farm shop is open Tuesdays – Thursdays to buy fresh eggs, bread and vegetables and there are lots of beautiful flower beds to stop and look at. Children and adults will also enjoy the experience of getting up and close to the farm animals, you can see some of them below.

If you find yourself in the area you must pay the farm a visit. its a lovely way to spend a sunny day.

Beautiful daffodils

Beautiful daffodils

Pigs at Spitalfield city farm

Pigs at Spitalfield city farm

guinea pigs

guinea pigs

sheep having a rest

sleeping pigs

sleeping pigs

rabbits

rabbits

Mr L decided to take a phonecall at the bug hotel

Mr L decided to take a phone call at the bug hotel

Date for your diary – Wall to Wall, Street Art Exhibition – 22 March – 26 April 2014

6 Mar

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When I  received the press release about this I was so excited. All my favourite street artists in one exhibition! Wall to Wall’ is Hang-Up Gallery’s upcoming exhibition and it will feature work from some of the world’s leading street artists, including: Banksy, KAWS, Faile, Swoon, Futura, Matt Small, Shepard Fairey, David Choe and Ben Eine.  It will also feature an exciting installation by italian artist RUN.

ben-eine-excitingThe main gallery space will recreate the organised chaos of a street artist’s studio to intensify the viewing experience. Expect to see paint splattered walls, empty spray paint cans, collage material cuttings and tools of the craft transporting the viewer deep into the creative process of how and where art is made.

For more information please visit: http://hanguppictures.com/exhibition/banksy-faile-wall-to-wall-exhibition

Date for your diary – Flock Jewellery Exhibition – 6th March 2014

6 Mar

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If you like unique and beautiful jewellery then you must mark this event in your diary. On the 6th of March Flock Jewellery is holding a free exhibition from 7pm onwards in Dreambags JaguarShoes to launch the collections of four jewellers.

Flock are a collective of four jewellers, who met during the final year of their jewellery and silversmithing degree. They make each piece of jewllery by hand  and the exhibition will consist of five collections of jewellery; the first a collaborative project based on experience and images collected on a recent trip to Belgium. Each member of Flock has  created a contemporary jewellery piece inspired primarily by Belgian architecture.

For more information please vivit:  https://www.facebook.com/flockjewellerylondon and check out some of their handmade jewellery on etsy.

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