I cannot tell you how many hours I spent the past few weeks trying to find the perfect couples’ spa break in the UK for Brian and I.

THE SPA HOTEL AT RIBBY HALL VILLAGE

The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village popped up on my Instagram and I kept coming back to it.

Located in the North West of England near Lancashire, The Spa Hotel is an adults-only hotel so knew it would be relaxing.

OVERNIGHT SPA BREAK FOR COUPLES

There’s lots of different packages available, but we decided to go for the Spa and Dinner overnight break.

This included an overnight stay in one of the Classic Bedrooms, £35 each towards dinner in The Orangery restaurant and breakfast, it also gave you access to the Aqua Thermal Journey.

I found the price really affordable compared to a lot of spa breaks I researched, costing us £238 for both of us.

 

CLASSIC ROOM AT THE SPA HOTEL

After a fairly long drive (almost 3 hours from Glasgow), we were so excited to arrive at The Spa Hotel.

As soon as we got to reception, I knew we’d made the right choice as the staff were immediately so friendly and informative – it makes such a difference!

Our ground floor room was spacious and had all the amenities you’d need – plus we were literally less than a minutes’ walk to the spa!

As the entire hotel is focused around the spa, you can change into your robes and slippers in your room and head along to the spa.

 

AQUA THERMAL JOURNEY

The spa reception is lovely and calm with plenty of amazing product ranges to treat yourself too, including ishga.

The Aqua Thermal Journey includes a number of different treatments, varying in temperature to detoxify, relax and revitalise.

These facilities were great, but my favourite part has to be the outdoor Zen Garden with a Himalayan salt sauna, hot tubs and relaxation areas with loungers – plus an outdoor bar too.

Sitting sipping prosecco in a robe is my idea of heaven!

After feeling suitably relaxed, I was also super impressed that the changing rooms even have ghd hairdryers and straighteners.

 

COCKTAIL O’CLOCK IN THE LOUNGE BAR

Before making our way back to the room, we stopped by The Lounge Bar for a cocktail, where they were serving up 2 for £12 between 4-6pm every day.

Again, everything is so relaxed and it doesn’t feel weird being around in your robe!

 

DINNER AT THE ORANGERY

Whilst getting ready, we opened a bottle of champagne we had saved from our engagement – I forgot to mention, this trip coincided with a whole year since we got engaged!

Dinner was amazing. I can honestly recommend the food, service and atmosphere and, if you know me, you’ll know these are all super important to me.

We both had steak, which was perfectly cooked, shared a bottle of prosecco and enjoyed the chilled evening.

 

IN THE MORNING

The Spa Hotel leaves a little itinerary type welcome when you arrive at the room, which I think is great as it outlines every detail that you might want to know.

After a delicious breakfast, we knew we could use the spa facilities again and it is so lovely and quiet as only hotel guests can use the spa between 9am and 10.45am (after that, there’s spa day guests too).

I really cannot fault any aspect of The Spa Hotel. We’re already planning a return visit!

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

Let’s be honest: who doesn’t need a little January pick-me-up?

The weather is dull, your bank account looks sad and festive fun is a distant memory.

During a time of January blues, my Scottish staycation couldn’t have come at a better time.

OLD LOANS INN, TROON

A 40 minute drive from Glasgow and we arrive at our home for the night. The Old Loans Inn, part of the SimpsInns group, is a cute little hotel just a few minutes drive from the Troon beachside.

It’s a freezing cold day, but we’re soon warmed up inside with a lovely welcome from Kerry, the duty manager who was super helpful.

After a friendly check in and putting our bags in our room, we head back to the restaurant and bar area for some lunch and a glass of prosecco. Well, it would be rude not to!

Our table overlooks the pretty terrace, which I imagine is a go-to in the summer months for drinks outdoors, especially as there’s so many delicious cocktails to choose from.

Another glass (or two) of bubbly later, it’s time to get ready and I’m happy to say that there’s plenty of getting ready room!

 

LIDO, TROON

The hotel arrange for our taxi to take us to our dinner destination, Lido Troon, which you may remember I visited last year and loved. The restaurant kindly gifted us with a gift card on the night so I’ve been looking forward to returning ever since.

The food at Lido is as good as I remember it and I adore the contemporary and stylish interiors. The bar and restaurant were really busy (it was a Saturday night), so I’d recommend booking in advance.

Along with the gift card, Lido had also gave us one of the free Buzzworks Benefit cards which gives you points everytime you use it. Just for registering the card, they give you 1,000 points (which is equal to £10) so well worthwhile!

We decided to go for main courses with lots of sides. Steak, mac and cheese and prosecco is a winning combination for dining.

Staying on at Lido for one last cocktail (their Bramble is delicious), we head back to the hotel and can’t resist sitting in the cosy bar – the perfect place for a relaxed chat.

BREAKFAST + BEACH TIME

After a good sleep in the seriously comfy bed, it’s time for my favourite – a hotel breakfast! Again, the staff were super helpful and breakfast did not disappoint with plenty of coffee included.

I spend the rest of the morning doing some blog work in the room, which has a perfect little table and comfy chair under the window which makes for a cute work space.

After express check out (you can request this and it saves lots of time in the morning), we drive to Troon beach. It may be raining, but nothing beats the salt air and the sound of the waves on a Sunday morning stroll.

Heading back to the car, we’re already making plans to come back for another seaside stay in the spring. Never underestimate the power of a Scottish staycation for some much-needed R&R.

To book your own Scottish staycation at Old Loans Inn, click here for more information.

To book a table at Lido Troon, click here.

My stay at Old Loans Inn was gifted, but all views are my own. Some of the value of the Lido Troon meal was gifted, but all words and views my own.