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.

PUBLIC HOUSE BY NICO

The Nico restaurants are so popular in Glasgow (and now Edinburgh too) – and for good reason. Six by Nico‘s curated concepts menu is always a hit, whilst 111 by Nico‘s ‘trust’ 5-course tasting menu has created a totally unique dining experience in the city.

There has been so much excitement for the latest Nico instalment, Public House by Nico.

Located on Glasgow’s iconic Great Western Road (and just across from the Subway, meaning it’s super easy to get to), Public House by Nico is described as having ‘the charm of the Great British pub meets delicious gastropub grub’.

With its cosy yet stylish interiors (think Chesterfield seats and geometric tiles contrasting the traditional wood), it serves up small plates Monday to Saturday, with breakfast served on weekend mornings. On a Sunday, this switches to their Sunday roast menu after 12pm and Phil for SKAPA invited us along to try it out. My kind of press lunch!

SUNDAY ROAST MENU IN GLASGOW

I’m always on the look out for a good Sunday lunch. A nice glass of wine, a roast with all the trimmings and a nice little stroll around is how all Sundays should be spent.

One thing I have to mention is the prices are great for the quality of food, with two courses for £17 or three for £20. For starter, Yasmin and I both had the Arbroath Smokie Croquettes which were amazing.

For the main, it had to be the Roast Speyside Sirloin, which was cooked perfectly pink. I think I must have overindulged on the gravy and Yorkshire puddings because I didn’t have room for dessert, but it just means I’ll need to pop back again to try it out!

My new favourite spot for a Sunday roast in Glasgow!

This post contains a gifted meal/experience from Public House by Nico. All views are my own.

There’s a kind of joke between Brian and I when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

You see, we’ve never really been a couple that goes all-out, #boydidgood, delivery of a billion roses, etc.

The last few years, we’ve not managed a stereotypical romantic Valentine’s Day, in fact one year Brian was even on a stag do on the day, which we found quite funny. How romantic!

Anyway, this year has been a big one for us as a couple. We got engaged, we moved in together and booked our wedding date so this Valentine’s Day feels a bit different.

St Enoch Centre must have read my mind as they got in touch with a Valentine’s challenge – to find the perfect gift for Brian*.

THE MAIN PRESENT

Nothing says ‘romance’ like trainers, eh? Seriously, though – I knew I wanted to get Brian a nice surprise that he’d actually use and you can’t go wrong with a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths.

I spotted this pair in the window of Xile and liked that they were a little different to other Stan Smith trainers.

At £89, they took up most of my £100 gift card budget, but I always think it’s better to invest in a really good present that someone will love. Quality over quantity!

PERSONAL TOUCH

Sometimes, it’s the little gifts that mean so much – and they don’t need to by expensive, either.

I decided to get a few of my favourite pictures of Brian and I printed in Boots and bought a frame from there too. I couldn’t decide what photo I liked best, so I’ll let Brian decide.

The frame was only £6 and the instant prints were 42p each – such a bargain!

SWEET TREATS

I always love going into Kimble’s. The staff are so friendly and the sweet treats are always amazing.

They’ve got so many Valentine’s sweets to choose from, but I opted for this cute marshmallow stick which was £2.99.

I love finding a good pressie combo and think Brian will like it too.

**This post contains gifted product from St Enoch Centre Glasgow.**

Looking for dog-friendly lodges for a Loch Lomond stay, complete with hot tub? Luxury doggo, Kassie, took us on a little trip…

I’m a crazy dog person, if you don’t already know, so one of my fave things to do is head off on an adventure with Brian and his family doggo, Kassie.

Luckily for us, Kass has built up quite the reputation for loving a luxury lodge, so when the team at Argyll Holidays* invited Kassie, Brian and I to stay in one of the brand new Lomond Retreat Hot Tub Lodges at their Loch Lomond Holiday Park*, Kassie was already packing up the car with her tennis balls and a supply of Schmackos.

Loch Lomond Holiday Park

We arrived late on the Friday night, but the team were quickly on hand to show us to our one-bedroom luxury lodge. Although it was dark when we arrived, I could already see our beautiful view of the loch, with the moonlight reflections.

The living and dining area is so spacious, with the kitchen decked out with all the appliances you need to make your self-catering stay as chilled as possible. You even get a complimentary bottle of prosecco ready and waiting in the fridge, which was opened as soon as we (well, Brian) got all the bags in from the car whilst Kass and I explored the lodge.

Kassie had been a good girl in the car, so we let her open her welcome pack from Argyll Holidays and eat one of the biscuits they gave her, which she greatly appreciated!

Interior goals

I think one of my fave features of the whole lodge has to be the bathroom. Seriously, it’s bathroom goals, with a massive bath, all the getting ready room and – what I now must have in all my future bathrooms – underfloor heating. Seriously, what an absolute treat underfloor heating is in the middle of winter in Scotland.

Anyway, after a chilled evening, complete with Kassie keeping cosy beside the fire, we headed to bed before Kass woke us up pretty early the next morning, clearly excited to see more of the holiday park.

With loads of windows around the lodge letting in all the natural light, it also let Kassie see pretty much every other dog go past, which made her want to go outside even more!

Dog walks at Loch Lomond

There’s plenty of places to walk your four-legged friend, with Kassie’s favourite being a walk along the beach before we found some woodland to throw her tennis ball for her – her most favourite activity.

On arrival, you also get a folder with loads of walking routes too, if you want some more inspiration.

It was so nice to just take some time to do nothing all day, opting to make Bailey’s hot chocolates with plenty of marshmallows, watch some very cheesy films, then head out on another walk. Bliss!

Moonlight strolls

Following dinner and drinks, we couldn’t grudge Kass one last walk of the night and headed a walk along the beach under the moonlight – I couldn’t get over how pretty it looked.

Until next time, Loch Lomond!

 

BOOK TO STAY AT ARGYLL HOLIDAYS LOCH LOMOND RETREAT LODGE

Prices start from £475 for a minimum 3 night stay. All the details on how to book here.

 

***This was a gifted two-night stay from Argyll Holidays.***

All words and opinions my own.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for a festive sleepover.

And, as Christmas sleepover settings go, The Bonham Hotel Edinburgh is pretty much the perfect location. 

Christmas tree lights twinkling, decorated fireplaces and winter warmer night caps all made it a dreamy night, so here’s what we got up to.

 

THE BONHAM HOTEL EDINBURGH

First things first: the location. Just minutes from Haymarket station, The Bonham Hotel is located in one of Edinburgh West End’s prettiest streets. It’s got a gorgeous boutique feel and has undergone a rather glamorous refurb recently so I was really impressed by the interior.

It’s a perfect place for a weekend away in the Capital, far enough away to have a calm and relaxing stay, but also within reach of the buzz of the city centre.

The staff were also really helpful  and friendly too, which always makes a difference!

CHRISTMAS TREATS

When I arrived, Victoria, Yasmin and Suzy were already there with a glass of prosecco waiting. When Rebecca joined us, it was time for the first festive activity of the night: cookie decorating!

I mean, I don’t want to brag, but I think I could 100% start a career as a profesh cookie decorator.

Continuing our evening of creating Christmas treats, it was into the cosy bar for a cocktail masterclass. The espresso martinis went down well beside the fire – so cute!

DINING AT THE BONHAM

With the suite all set up for dinner, we had a seriously delicious Christmas feast (I chose duck, beef and sticky toffee pudding, which I like so much that I forgot to take a pic).

With Christmas films playing and the tree providing the most festive of backdrops, it definitely got us in the festive spirit!

Of course, what’s a hotel stay without an amazing breakfast and the next morning we had just that. Eggs royale and a good latte were needed after a bit of a late night drinking prosecco, playing Christmas games and chatting about our plans for the festive season.

THINGS TO DO NEAR THE BONHAM

As I said before, The Bonham Hotel is in a really good location so we took a walk along to Princes Street for some shopping and – of course – a visit to Edinburgh’s Christmas markets.

The perfect way to end a festive stay in Edinburgh!

Thanks to The Bonham Hotel for a fabulous stay. All words my own.

Is there anything better than embracing the festive season with a glass of bubbly?

You might remember our day out with Glasgow Loves Christmas last year so I was so excited for this years evening of Christmas fun.

We started off with a Mac masterclass at House of Fraser before taking a look around the department store’s festive treats, from the Dior Christmas tree to their Santa experience, which is SO cute for kids, seriously magical! Santa will be in his HOF grotto every Saturday on the run up to Christmas and you can call the store to book.

Next up was a trip to the Christmas markets at George Square. If I’m really honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by the George Square one last year so I’m delighted to say this year is the best I can remember in a long time.

The food is amazing, there’s live music each day performing Christmas faves, the perfect setting to enjoy a Baileys hot chocolate from the bar and we even had a go on the big wheel and carousel.

Our night of festivities continued as we headed to John Lewis in Buchanan Galleries for a styling session with the store’s lovely personal shopper, Rachel. The personal styling appointments are completely free and is such a relaxed space to find your perfect wardrobe. We also got a glimpse into how to create the most amazing Christmas dinner table – check out those jewel tones! Serious goals for whenever I actually manage to do a Christmas dinner at my own house (sorry mum, looks like you’ll be cooking Christmas for us for at least another year!)

Last, but by no means least was my first venture to the brand new Everyman cinema in Princes Square. One thing I have to point out is this stylish little spot is so much more than just a cinema! We tried out their cocktails (the frozen pina colada is a DREAM), the food (also amazing and really fairly priced) and chilled out in the plush bar area. When you do go for a film, you can get all your food and drinks to your seat – hello Prosecco cinema dates! I was really impressed by everything about Everyman, from the friendly staff to the boutique feel of the theatre. Plus, they’re showing Christmas films in the festive run-up, which you can see more about on their website.

It’s official: Christmas is here, Glasgow!