Bourgee London Southend Airport

Bourgee London Southend Airport

 

Way back in 2014, Bourgee opened the doors to its very first restaurant, situated on Southend seafront, and I went along to see what they had to offer.

 

At the time I was majorly impressed, with the service being faultless, the décor being beautiful and the food being oh-so-good. Since then they’ve opened another branch in Chelmsford and there was talks of them opening one in Billericay, but this never came to fruition. However, little did I know until I was visiting Amsterdam a few weeks ago, they have a little Bourgee in London Southend Airport!

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A Weekend At Langar Hall, Nottinghamshire

A Weekend At Langar Hall, Nottinghamshire

As part of my 33 Before 33 I said that I wanted to visit 12 new places in the UK, however, that started on my birthday, so my visit to the beautiful Langar Hall a few days before doesn’t count unfortunately! However, it was a brilliant weekend and regardless of it being absolutely no help to my target, we had a lot of fun!

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Adventure & Accessible Days Out In The UK

Adventure & Accessible Days Out In The UK

 

As we’re now marching our way firmly – and speedily – through December, my thoughts have started turning to 2017 and all the things I want to achieve. 2016 has been a funny old year and seems to have flown by so quickly, I almost feel like our ratio of adventure to sofa-sitting has been a little on the low side, but I want 2017 to be a year of fun and frolics.

 

Quite a lot of the things I would like to do are off-limits due to my dodgy knees – things such as wanting to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall, or doing the Three Peaks; both things that were on my wishlist for 2016 but have had to be scrapped as my wonky legs hurt even just commuting to work, so there’s no way I’d be able to do any steep climbs or cross-country rambling!

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Video: Our Weekend at Bishops Castle Barn

Video: Our Weekend at Bishops Castle Barn

Back in October, Ben and I had a short 2-night break at Bishops Castle Barn in Shropshire. We stayed there earlier in the year and I posted a little review of that at the time, but as I want to start using this blog and my YouTube channel regularly to keep a document of our life, I thought a little video memory would be a nice thing.

 

If you want to take a look, you can see it by clicking here or on the image below.

 

Bishops Castle Barn

 

If after watching the video you think you might like to book a stay yourself, nip over to the Bishops Castle Barn Facebook page where you can find more info, photographs and details on how to book.

 

Happy watching!

 

Penny xx

 

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Last London Date Night In My 20s ft Thistle Hotel Barbican

Last London Date Night In My 20s ft Thistle Hotel Barbican

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it another few thousand times in my lifetime, but I LOVE LONDON.

 

Despite living most of my life in Essex, my heart has always belonged to the great City I was born in and to the streets my ancestors walked along in centuries long passed by. (Weirdly, back in the 1800s, relatives of mine actually lived on the same small London road I now work on, although the building they called home was long since lost to the war).

 

Thankfully, Ben feels the exact same way about The Big Smoke and despite us both working there, of a weekend we can often be found walking its streets, retracing steps on routes we know so well and rediscovering new nooks, crannies and alleyways we’ve never seen before.

 

So, when I was offered the opportunity to stay in London for the night and review the Thistle Hotel Barbican just prior to my 30th birthday, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to have a final London date night whilst I was in my 20s…

 

It was a lovely warm and sunny August Friday evening and I more or less skipped out of the office as I was so excited about the night that lay ahead.

 

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After checking in with the front desk (who were really friendly and made me feel so welcome!) I headed up to the room. Me being typical me, I managed to get confused and ended up having to ask a staff member to help me find my room – I’m honestly the worst at finding my way around places. I’ve been known to get lost in department stores! However, once being pointed in the right direction, I swiped my keycard and let myself in.

 

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Immediately upon entering you walk into the bedroom area which has a huge bed (Ben and I were miles apart while we slept!) as well as a desk with mirror above – perfect for doing my make-up as it had plenty of plug sockets directly underneath it so I could charge my phone and straighten my hair all without moving an inch.

 

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From the bedroom you walked along a wall of wardrobes to this little study and seating area which had another desk area, a second TV, a sofa and a little tub chair with side table.

 

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The bottle of champagne waiting for us upon arrival was a nice surprise too – I sent a photo of it to Ben as I was so touched and he replied immediately telling me not to drink it before he got there. As if I would…

 

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Then we have the bathroom – and what a beauty of a bathroom it was! Good size bath with shower over, his-n-hers sinks with mirrors above, high quality tiled flooring and walls, and an assortment of complementary items (which I didn’t actually try and I’m kicking myself for now!)

 

Having explored the room and taken the obligatory photos, I switched on my Spotify and started getting ready for the night ahead while I waited for Ben to arrive.

 

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I opted for my ripped faux-leather trousers and ox-blood vest top from Lily Lulu Fashion, my Matalan leopard print earrings (which I’ve had for nearly 10 years now!) and a slick of Rockalily lipstick, my absolute favourite.

 

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Once boyo had arrived, we poured ourselves a glass of bubbly and set about celebrating our final London date night before I turned the big 3-0.

 

Something I have to point out here, because I think it’s a pretty important point, is that the location of this hotel is surprisingly good. When I looked at it on the map I thought it may be a little out of the way, but we walked from here to The Oxo Tower on the Southbank for dinner and it didn’t take too long at all, and I was wearing heels! It’s also only a short stroll from nearly tube access, so you can easily find your way around the City whilst using this hotel as your base.

 

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After an evening of good food, fine wine and great company, we had a wander around the streets of London after dark before heading back to the room and collapsing into the giant bed. We were exhausted! I had planned to make use of their bath as I never find time to chill out and relax in a sea of bubbles at home but I was too tired to even do that!

 

The following morning we were up bright and early as we had an engagement party to get to for 1pm, so we ventured down to the restaurant for a cooked breakfast.

 

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I’ll be honest, I’m always a little wary of food when it’s served buffet style rather than being cooked in the kitchen, as it can often be a little ‘lifeless’ after having sat under heat lamps waiting for someone to claim it, but this was actually really nice! The staff were also really helpful and the dining room was spotless too, which is always nice to see.

 

All in all, I can’t fault our stay here. The room was comfortable and clean, the staff were friendly and helpful, and after a peek into the spa area it seems there were plenty of excellent facilities on offer for those staying there.

 

Thank you for having us Thistle Hotels, we loved it!

 

 

Penny xx

 

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* Our stay here was provided free of charge for review purposes but, as always, all comments and opinions are my completely honest and my own (and Ben’s!) *

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