With the Dundee Waterfront and V&A Museum in the city now open, Dundee is a perfect place for a Scottish summer staycation.

STAYBRIDGE SUITES DUNDEE

You might have seen on my Instagram last month that we attended a friend’s wedding near Dundee, so it was the perfect time to experience an overnight stay at the Staybridge Suites Dundee*.

Ideally located and with on-site parking (the train station is only a few minutes’ walk away too), the Staybridge Suites Dundee is a hidden gem, situated within a quiet courtyard with Daisy Tasker restaurant and Hotel Indigo Dundee.

Check in was a friendly and helpful experience and we were soon in our suite for the night.

Spacious, contemporary and with all the amenities you would need for a comfortable stay – including a full kitchen – it was a great space to relax and get ready in before the wedding reception.

With 85 one-bedroom and studio suites, the Staybridge Suites have all the facilities to really feel at home from home, from the fitness centre to the hotel’s Pantry, where you can buy snacks, food and drink (including a prosecco, of course)!

 

DAISY TASKER DUNDEE

After checking in, we opted to dine in the Daisy Tasker restaurant, which embraces the industrial chic style.

We loved the dining set up here and decided to go for the Larder Lunch menu. Available weekdays from 12.30 to 2.30pm  and weekends 1pm to 4.30pm for just £15 per person.

The price includes access to The Counter, with fresh baked goods, salad, cakes and lots more plus your choice of three small plates or one big plate from the set menu.

We each opted for three small plates so we could try a little of everything. My favourite dish had to be the Arbroath Smokie Fish Cakes – seriously, you need to try them!

Following a night of dancing at the wedding, we were so happy to be so close to the centre of Dundee and ready for some shut eye.

 

BREAKFAST TIME

After a peaceful nights’ sleep, I was excited to try the complimentary breakfast back down in the dining area of the hotel itself.

The fridge full of Tropicana orange juice and selection of yummy cooked breakfast choices was certainly needed after perhaps one too many drinks to celebrate the happy couple, but it was the latte at breakfast that really saved me!

Seamless from start to finish, the staff really make the hotel and are so helpful and chatty with guests. It really is the staycation you’ll want to stay on if you’re planning on visiting Dundee this summer.

*This stay was gifted, but all opinions, words and images are my own.

 

POWER OF GOOD

You might have seen on my Insta stories last month that BareMinerals invited me in to the Glasgow store for a makeover by the amazing Gina, using the brand new COMPLEXION RESCUE™ Hydrating Foundation Stick for a flawless base.

I wasn’t totally sure I’d like a foundation stick – I have some bad memories of the infamous pan stick make up circa 2003 – but this is totally different!

 

BAREMINERALS FOUNDATION STICK

First impressions: I couldn’t believe how hydrating the foundation was on the skin, which Gina explained is down to the new wonder product being made with over 30% mineral water.

The vegan-friendly foundation is actually the first clean, water-based liquid foundation in a stick with SPF 25.

To get the perfect base, Gina used the new dual-sided silicone and sponge applicator – it’s really different to any other foundation sponge I’ve used and comes in a little plastic zip bag, keeping it clean in my make-up bag.

 

CLEAN BEAUTY

Of course, what’s a good make-up look without good skincare? I discussed my skin concerns with Gina during my appointment as I just seem to suffer from quite a lot of break outs, especially when I’m stressed.

Among the stand-out products Gina recommended were the Skinlongevity Vital Power Eye Cream, Skinlongevity Moisturizer and the Smart Combination™ Smoothing Lightweight Emulsion.

The BareMinerals team kindly sent the products out to me after the appointment for me to try out and I love how hydrating they feel on my skin. It’s also worth noting that BareMinerals products are clean, including being paraben and cruelty-free.

I’m 100% packing the products for my trip to Italy later this month – the foundation stick will be a saviour for on-the-go touch-ups whilst we run around Florence eating as much pizza as possible!

Have you tried any of the BareMinerals products I’ve shared? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

With thanks to BareMinerals for the gifted products. As always, all opinions, words and imagery are my own.

After a pretty busy few weeks of work, events and making big plans (more on that soon), I was so ready for a girls’ night away with my besties.

Packing up the car with enough outfits to last a two-week holiday, Victoria, Yasmin and I were soon on the road, heading to our overnight of luxury.

Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving StyleRachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style

TRUMP TURNBERRY RESORT

Our location for the evening was one of the brand new Cottage Suites at Trump Turnberry resort, a gorgeous two-storey villa with everything you would need, from an Amazon Alexa to the most Insta-worthy interiors.

We didn’t have long to take in our humble abode as it was straight for afternoon tea. Yes, it’s a tough life.

 

Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review afternoon tea Tender Loving Style

AFTERNOON TEA TIME

I have to say, this is probably the best afternoon tea experience I’ve ever had, right down to the fact they were so accommodating to my nut allergy and created my own tea stand of tasty sweet and savoury treats.

With amazing views out over the golf course and sea, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a glass of bubbly as you indulge.

Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review spa

SPA LIFE

Continuing the luxe vibes, after a quick change, the 24-hour transfer picked us up and took us to the spa. After a welcoming check in, we relaxed at the pool before we each had a full body massage – the dream!

 

Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving StyleRachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style

THE COTTAGE SUITES

As we arrived back at our cottage, the Turnberry team had so kindly surprised us with a bottle of prosecco and even more treats.

The new Cottage Suites are the most ideal stay for a girls’ trip, but they’re also doggo friendly so I think Brian, Kassie and I will 100% make a future trip.

It was so nice to just chill in the v. stylish living room and get a proper catch up with the girls over a glass of prosecco, especially with our new gal pal Alexa making finding the right soundtrack easy. Thanks, Alexa xo.

We were so chilled, we ended up in a little bit of a rush getting ready (seriously, how quick does time pass when you’re having a good chat with the girls?!) so there was plenty of last minute outfit stresses before we headed to dinner.

 

Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style 1906 restaurant Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style

FINE DINING

Dinner was such an amazing experience, with the perfect setting of the hotel’s prestigious 1906 restaurant. The entire team were amazing, from start to finish. We were spoilt for choice when it came to menu options as we knew the food was going to be incredible.

To add to the fine dining, the venue’s sommelier paired each course with spectacular wines. From my starter of scallops to the most divine chateaubriand I have ever tasted, his knowledgeable recommendations were all perfect and I went away with my new favourite rose that I’m now going to have to source…

Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style lighthouse

EARLY RISE

Chauffeured back to our cottage suite (seriously, I could get used to my own driver), we made a plan to set out alarms for 5.30am so we could go watch the sunrise at the lighthouse. Yes, Turnberry even has its own lighthouse that you can stay in!

 

Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style Crystal Ballroom Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style views Rachel Lawler at Trump Turnberry Resort review Tender Loving Style breakfast

BREAKFAST IS SERVED

I’m not quite sure how I managed to leave the world’s comfiest bed, but watching the sunrise was so pretty (and also absolutely freezing). After a nap, we headed to the hotel once more for breakfast in the Crystal Ballroom, which is every inch as glamorous as it sounds.

Looking out across the grounds, latte in hand and being served Eggs Royale by the incredibly charming staff, the three of us agreed the luxe life is 100% for us.

 

A STYLISH EXIT

As we set off (very unwillingly) for the journey back home, we didn’t get very far as we had to stop to let another guest cross our path – in their helicopter! My Clio now has an inferiority complex, but what a way to exit. We’ll be back soon, Turnberry (hopefully in our own helicopter).

 

* This was a gifted stay from Trump Turnberry Resort.

 

 

 

 

“Hi, we’re here to check into the penthouse”.

Now, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say when I first started my blog.

BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE HOTEL PENTHOUSE

It’s safe to say the first time Blythswood Square Hotel’s penthouse was unveiled to us, we were head over heels.

With its amazing rooftop terrace, dreamy marble kitchen, Insta-worthy bathroom and spectacular plush bedrooms, Blythswood’s penthouse has been the setting for some of the most exclusive parties in Glasgow and is the luxury the go-to accommodation choice for celebs (not that we can get any details on exactly who has ever stayed; discretion is part of Blythswood’s charm).

 

THE PERFECT PRIZE

At the official launch last year, Victoria, Yasmin and I couldn’t believe it: we won an overnight stay in the penthouse! After months of trying to find a date that suited all of our diaries, 1st March was set as the day we lived the penthouse life.

It was such an exciting moment that we decided to share it with some of our closest family and friends and Victoria and I seized the occasion to mark  the launch of our new social media management and content creation business, Peachy Creative Media (more on that later).

 

OUR DREAMY STAY AT BLYTHSWOOD

Staying at the penthouse was every bit as glam as we could have hoped.

With the prosecco flowing, Ariana Grande performing (okay via Spotify, unforch she couldn’t make the penthouse party as much as she wanted to) and the sun shining for most of the day, it was honestly a stay of dreams.

As part of your stay at the penthouse, you’re treated like a VIP, with everything from twice daily servicing, plus turn down service and Perfumer’s Story bathroom amenities to valet service, including one item of laundry or dry cleaning per day!

With a penthouse this gorgeous, we just had to have breakfast to the room. Hearing our private lift open and our eggs royale, pain au chocolat and  lattes arrive, well – it’s what my breakfast dreams are made of.

BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE SPA

You, of course, also have use of the stunning thermal experience in the award-winning Spa – something we 100% needed the day after to help our slightly sore heads from one glass too many of bubbly…

With our slightly hungover selves, we indulged in sheer relaxation so didn’t take pictures in the glorious spa, but you can see more about the spa from a previous visit here.

A massive thank you to the team who looked after us so well – we never wanted to leave!

If you fancy living your best life in Blythswood Square Hotel’s penthouse, you can find all the details here.

 

When you’re visiting a new city for the first time, it can be hard to decide on where to stay.

You want a nice, stylish setting that is close enough to the shopping, restaurants and bars, but not on a noisy street that keeps you awake at night.

A hotel with a good bar is a plus and – of course – friendly and helpful staff can really make or break a stay.

THE BEST PLACE TO STAY IN NEWCASTLE

We go to Newcastle a few times a year. Brian is a Newcastle football fan so has been going to games since he was little and we decided to take a trip together to to his beloved toon in 2015.

Since then, we’ve tried out a few different hotels (side note: one time Brian decided we should just go down and back up the same day for a game. This ended v. badly with my perhaps overindulging in some pre-game rose wines and I’ve refused to go down just for the day ever again!) and hadn’t found one that was quite right.

Don’t get me wrong, they were all lovely, but it was when we arrived at Hotel Indigo Newcastle for the first time that I knew it was instantly my favourite. Firstly, it’s super close to the train station, which is a big thing for me and my overpacked bags. It’s also just a few minutes’ walk to the very heart of the city and – of course – Newcastle stadium, which Brian is particularly thrilled about!

The staff are always superb, the rooms are Instagram-worthy and they do the best Pornstair Martini in the hotel’s Grainger Lounge Bar.

 

NEWCASTLE ROOM WITH A VIEW

We’ve visited the hotel now countless times so it was a no-brainer to book it for Brian’s birthday stay. The Hotel Indigo team kindly invited us to stay in one of their Superior Double rooms, which even has its own balcony*. It may have been freezing outside, but with amazing views across the city, I just had to put on one of the fluffy white robes and sit outside with a glass of chilled prosecco. Well, it would be rude not to!

The blogger in me was also delighted that the bright and airy balcony turned out to be the dreamiest place for outfit pics too. My long-suffering reluctant photographer Brian was not as thrilled about this, if I’m being honest.

These rooms also have SkyTV and a complimentary mini fridge to make you feel very at home. It’s all these little touches that make the hotel really stand out.

 

MARCO PIERRE WHITE STEAKHOUSE NEWCASTLE

The one thing I love about Hotel Indigo Newcastle is the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill restaurant. Forget your standard hotel dining, the famous chef’s on-site restaurant serves up the most delicious breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner dishes.

With breakfast included in room, I’m delighted to report the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon was cooked to perfection, with plenty of pastries, fruit and cooked breakfasts to choose from.

Come dinner, we’re shown to one of the plush booths and we order a bottle of prosecco, which I have to let you know is only £20 all day Friday and Saturdays at the moment. Seriously, I love this place!

 

DINNER CHOICES AT HOTEL INDIGO NEWCASTLE

We peruse the menu (probably for a little too long – there was just so many options for my foodie loving brain to choose from!) before I finally opt for Seared Sea Scallops with Black Pudding and Brian goes for the Classic 1970’s Prawn Cocktail. Both seafood dishes are presented beautifully and taste amazing. I’ve been telling everyone about the scallops since we came home as they were cooked to perfection!

 

For mains, I could not resist indulging in one of the famous steaks, choosing the Grilled Centre Cut Fillet cut. Served with pommes frites, roasted vine tomatoes and a sauce of my choice (grilled wild mushrooms in garlic butter is my go-to), I could not stop myself ordering a side of baked macaroni cheese. I insisted this was to share with Brian, but I cannot lie to you: I ate the entire thing myself and I regret nothing.

Brian tells me his main meal (The American burger) was equally amazing and believe me when I say, Brian is a burger pro!

We decided to forgo dessert (mainly because if I had ate one more thing, I’d have had to have had a nap at the table) and moved into the chic bar area for one last drink before bed, but not before Brian had to watch the highlights of the game again. Newcastle won 3-2 and I had a balcony where I could go sip prosecco – the most idyllic of Newcastle stays!

 

BOOKING A ROOM AT HOTEL INDIGO NEWCASTLE

If you’re looking for a stylish yet affordable Newcastle city centre hotel, Hotel Indigo Newcastle is the one. With the most amazing team (a special thanks has to go to Laura who looked after us so well in the MPW Restaurant), you can really relax and unwind.

To book a room, visit Hotel Indigo Newcastle’s website here or you can find them on Instagram @hotel_indigo_newcastle.

 

*This stay was gifted by Hotel Indigo Newcastle, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A weekend day spent brunching is a day well spent, especially when said brunch spot  a) Instagram-worthy, b) understanding of the importance of champagne at a good brunch and c) sets the tone with a DJ set.

The Ivy on the Square Edinburgh* must have heard our brunching prayers as they launched their new DJ brunch series and invited Victoria and I along to try it out.

If you’ve not been to The Ivy Edinburgh yet, you’re missing out. With its chic interiors and plenty of natural light, its an Instagram lovers dream! Brian and I first went last Christmas and I’ve been excited to go back ever since.

THE IVY EDINBURGH DJ BRUNCH SERIES

The brasserie has established itself as the place to brunch in the capital, so it seems right to add to this with the introduction of the DJ sets. First up, was Capital FM’s Garry Spence. Garry set the tone with a mix of soul music and new classic as Victoria and I ordered our first champagne of the day.

There’s plenty of brunch dish favourites to choose from, including the Eggs Benedict and chips, served with pulled honey roast ham and rich hollandaise sauce, or for those with a sweet tooth, the hot buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries, Greek yogurt and strawberry sauce is a must.

We decided to stick with our go-to: Eggs Royale with a side of ripe avocado and Vic tired one of their brunch cocktails – a (very spicy, as requested) Bloody Mary.

Good music, good brunch and plenty of champagne – surely what every weekend needs?

The good news is that the DJ brunch series is here to stay. Keep an eye on The Ivy Edinburgh’s website, Facebook and Instagram pages for the details of the next DJ brunch date. Until then, you can still brunch in style every Saturday and Sunday, with the delish brunch menu served from midday until 4pm.

Can we do it all over again next weekend, please?! The brunch life is 100% for me.

*THANK YOU TO THE IVY ON THE SQUARE EDINBURGH FOR GIFTING THIS EXPERIENCE.
ALL OPINIONS MY OWN.