Browsing Tag

boutique

Blog, Date Spot, Drink, Eat, London, Stay

Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden

June 20, 2017
The Henrietta, Covent Garden

I’ve been to the Henrietta Hotel twice in 24 hours.  In my defence, it’s a stone’s throw from my office, so easy to get excited about.  Yesterday for drinks, today for a nosey around the rooms.  Because yes, I am a hotel geek and I do like to do things like that on my lunch break.

Founded by the Experimental Group guys (think the Experimental Cocktail Chinatown, but they also own lots of hip venues in Paris, New York & Ibiza), the Henrietta is many things.  Firstly it is a small, luxury hotel, with 18 rather beautiful rooms.  With heavy Art Deco influences and pastel colours, each room is unique, from the pretty headboards to brass lamps and mirrors in all different shapes and sizes.   Many of the bathrooms have large baths and all have fluffy branded robes and towels.

The Henrietta, Covent GardenThe Henrietta, Covent Garden

The Henrietta has also got a great bar.  Last night, post excellent dinner at Frenchie (which I would recommend to all who would fork out a casual £38 on lamb), I dragged my friend there for cocktails.  We were there long enough for the bill to be fairly substantial (be warned).  The cocktail menu is a little unusual, as I suppose you would expect from these guys.  I wasn’t sure about my Palomar cocktail (tequila based but perhaps with a touch too much salt) but the vibe was good, and I love the design of the place.  There is also a mezzanine level with another bar and more tables.

The Henrietta, Covent GardenThe Henrietta, Covent Garden

Perhaps the most talked about aspect of the Henrietta is its restaurant, with the food being by the one & only Ollie Dabbous (of Dabbous fame).  I sent my colleague there for lunch yesterday (come to think of it I really have been giving this place a lot of love) and he said the food was excellent.

The Henrietta, Covent GardenThe Henrietta, Covent Garden

And so today, having not seen any of the rooms, I popped by and was shown around.  Sadly their two suites were booked, as I would have loved to have seen the views from their terrace.  But I saw two rooms: their smallest Covent Garden room (super cosy, under the eaves of the house, not for giants) and the Henrietta room (much more spacious, fabulous bed).

The Henrietta, Covent GardenThe Henrietta, Covent Garden

All in all it’s good to see Covent Garden has a new, hip hotel, and I’m sure I’ll be stopping by regularly for food and booze, and maybe even a snooze..!

The Henrietta

14-15 Henrietta St,

London WC2E 8QH

Blog, UK - Outside London

No 38 the Park, Cheltenham

April 2, 2017
No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

I find myself in Cheltenham a number of times a year but usually for work, and so never really tend to see this pretty Cotswold town as a weekend break destination.  But it really is, ideal for accessing the rolling Cotswolds hills or for those (locals or tourists) looking for a weekend break in an elegant Regency spa town.

Last week I was in Cheltenham again for work, and this time we had a full day meeting at No 38 the Park, a boutique hotel close to the centre of town.  I absolutely loved it.  The sure way to winning my affection is by having a dog greet you upon arrival.  She was the best host possible, and even wanted to come into the meeting with me.

No 38 the Park, Cheltenham

No. 38 the Park is one of the Lucky Onion’s Cotswold ventures (who are known for the equally wonderful Wheatsheaf and No 131).  While No 38 is in a stunning Regency Townhouse, it feels more like a home than a hotel (you can in fact take over the whole place privately).  There is no reception desk, or staff wandering around constantly.  It’s peaceful and homely and very stylish, with a unique art collection.

No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

They don’t have a restaurant as such, but they do have a beautiful ‘dining room’ where you can have a lazy breakfast or a relaxed pre-ordered lunch (the sandwiches were incredible).  They also have a wonderful courtyard terrace which will be great in the summer.  If you’re thirsty they have a huge honestly bar, where you can help yourself to a selection of their local beers, or make a Fever Tree G&T.

No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

They have 13 bedrooms, all very individual, in different sizes.  But all stunning.  I loved the different wall papers, and the use of colour.  Even the smaller bedrooms have their own charm, often with incredible roll top baths.  Each bedroom comes with a Nespresso machine, 100 Acres bath products and HD TV with Sky.  Their honeymoon suite is a real show stopped, with the most incredible ‘his ‘n her’ showers.

No. 38 The Park, CheltenhamNo. 38 The Park, CheltenhamNo. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

If you’re looking for a romantic bolthole with affordable prices, No. 38 is ideal.  Next time I come here I just hope to stay the night and sample those very comfortable looking beds.

No. 38 the Park

38 Evesham Road,

Cheltenham

The Cotswolds

Blog, UK - Outside London

Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds

September 19, 2016

There are beautiful countryside hotels, retreats, pubs with rooms. And then there is Foxhill Manor. It sets itself apart because it’s more like a home than anything else. In fact, the Manor can be rented out in its entirety, should you wish.  There is no reception desk.  There is no breakfast time. There seem to be very few ‘must dos’ at all.  Apart from perhaps helping yourself to as many glasses of champagne and warm scones as you want upon arrival.

Foxhill Manor, CotswoldsFoxhill Manor, Cotswolds

We arrived too early for check in, but instead went for a long walk in the beautiful Cotswold countryside, where we ended up in the very picturesque village of Broadway for a delicious pub lunch at the Swan.  Having walked back (50 mins) we were greeted by a very friendly member of staff, who showed us around.

Broadway, Cotswolds

There are a few fun things about Foxhill which again sets this place apart from the rest.  There’s the spirit selection in the warm and welcoming sitting room, where you can drink all day and all night, should you wish (free of charge).  There’s a wine cellar you can lose yourself in (now this is sadly not for free).  There’s a cinema with huge beanbags and an infinite number of DVDs (and fresh popcorn, of course).  And there’s the Pantry (possibly my favourite thing), where, should you be as greedy as me, you can help yourself to a never-ending selection of sweets and treats, juices and beers.

Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds

Then there are the rooms. Only eight in total, three of which suites. We were lucky enough to be upgraded the the Beech Suite, which was so ginormous we didn’t even use our sitting room.  We spent a great deal of time in the bathroom (always my favourite room), wallowing in their oversized roll top bath, admiring their mega power shower, giggling at the gnomes through the window.  The bed was difficult to get out of after an obligatory nap. And ideal to watch Sky TV from after we crawled up the stairs (via the Pantry), after our four course dinner.

Foxhill Manor, CotswoldsFoxhill Manor, Cotswolds

Dinner can be eaten wherever: on the beautiful terrace with stunning views of the valley, in your room or in their lovely dining room.  Another quirk: there is no menu. You meet the chef, discuss your likes and dislikes, he suggests a menu of the day. But you can have whatever you like really (to some extent).  And it was all rather delicious.

Foxhill Manor, CotswoldsFoxhill Manor, Cotswolds

Breakfast we enjoyed outside on the terrace, reading the papers (there is a huge selection), and slowly working our way through bread, pastries, eggs and smoked salmon.

Foxhill Manor, Cotswolds

If eating isn’t all you want to spend your time doing (a mystery to me), then there is plenty else to do.  Foxhill is part of the Farncombe Estate, and the better known Dormy House is its sister hotel, a walk (or short drive) away. Here you can use its extensive spa facilities or dine at one of its restaurants. Apart from that you can go riding, walking, clay pigeon shooting…the list is endless.

Staying at Foxhill Manor is the best way to totally relax after a hectic working week. To spoil yourself. And to put on half a stone.  I can’t think of a better way to do that.

Foxhill Manor

Farncombe Estate

Broadway WR12 7LJ

Blog, Italy, Rome

Relais Rione Ponte, Rome – STAY

August 22, 2016
Relais Rione Ponte, Rome

Rome isn’t known for it’s hotels.  It doesn’t have a George V equivalent.  There are no Mandarin Orientals or Amans  But what Rome is good at, is its boutique hotels.   I love JK Place, Palazzo Manfredi and the newest (and most modern) G Rough.  Relais Rione Ponte is one I came across most recently, and had the absolute pleasure at staying at.

It’s not really a hotel, it’s a guest house.  It doesn’t boast many facilities or a restaurant, but Relais Rione Ponte is perfect as a base to explore Rome.  So here is what it does have:

Location

Couldn’t be better, a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona and all the other historical centre sights.  We in fact woke up at 6am and walked through Rome as it was waking up, a magical experience and highly recommended.  While Relais Rione Ponte is so central, it was very quiet in the rooms and we were not disturbed by late party animals.

Piazza NavonaRome

Stylish Rooms

As there isn’t much of a ‘central’ area it’s important that the rooms are good, and spacious.  Which they really are.  The beds are super comfortable and massive, the sheets crisp and we had a very good sleep here.  The attention to detail was fantastic: the art on the walls, the Bose sound system, a Nespresso machine in the public area, very good wifi.  The bathroom was beautifully designed, with a huge walk in shower and lovely Nuxe bath products.

Relais Rione Ponte, RomeRelais Rione Ponte, Rome

Service

Our initial experience was not great.  We arrived very late so understandably the host had gone home, and the man on night duty for the whole building was a little odd to say the least.  However, once we got to our room we were greeted by a bottle of bubbles which was more than welcome.  The lady at reception the following morning was nothing but friendly, as was the lady who served us breakfast.  We had a nice but not spectacular breakfast (but excellent coffee, of course) but you could tell that they really cared about their guests, and have city maps at the ready should you want some tips on what to do and see in Rome.

Relais Rione Ponte, Rome

Value for money

Rome is no Venice, but it’s not cheap either.  Finding accommodation this central, where the standard is this high, is difficult.  With small touches like a complimentary glass of prosecco every evening, Nespresso when you want it, good wifi and excellent bath products, it’s really good value for money.

Double rooms from £120 per night

Relais Rione Ponte

Via Giuseppe Zanardelli, 20,

00186 Roma

Photo Credit: Relais Rione Ponte

Argentina, Blog

Eolo – Patagonia’s best boutique hotel

October 31, 2015
Eolo, Argentina

There are few places which evoke an emotion upon arrival. But when I walked into Eolo’s main sitting room, with the evening light turning the countryside a warm yellow and the lake shimmering a translucent, milky blue in the distance, you can’t help but feel pretty emotional. Located in a valley with sweeping views of the mountains, the steppes and Lake Argentina, this is truly a magical place.

Eolo, Argentina

Built as a square, it was designed to fit in with, rather than stand out from its surroundings.  Its huge windows take advantage of its spectacular 360° views, with common areas on every side of the house to give you a different view.  The property is small (just 17 rooms) and feels more like a home than a hotel.  Valentin, the manager, instantly makes you feel welcome, with his warm and calm manner.  All the staff are unbelievably friendly and professional and ensure you are very well looked after.

Eolo, Argentina

The rooms are all spacious, and all, of course, with large windows.  I loved the design, all the furniture are genuine antiques sourced from antique markets all around Argentina.  Some of the antiques have been restored to incorporate more of a Patagonian feel; Patagonian wool is used throughout the property, for the chair upholstering, the rugs on your bed, the carpets.  The result is beautiful.  I was lucky enough to stay in one of the two Corner Suites, Eolo’s top rooms which offer windows on two sides.  Waking up and seeing the lake on one side and the mountains on the other was incredible.

Eolo, ArgentinaEolo, Argentina

Food is another big reason to stay here.  Relais & Chateaux hotels are known for their food, and Eolo’s standards are very high.  Their dining room is one of the most beautiful restaurants I have eaten in, and the dinner I had here was sensational.  It’s Full Board when you stay here, so if you’re out for the day exploring Patagonia they will prepare a fantastic lunch box for you (think smoked salmon sandwiches and fresh salads, with delicious homemade brownies and cakes).

Eolo, Argentina

You’re in Patagonia mainly to see the glaciers and enjoy the stunning landscapes.  Eolo is the perfect base.  They also have horses, so you can experience the area like a Gaucho.  If you just want to relax then Eolo offers comfortable sitting rooms and a library, as well as a lovely small pool and tiny spa area.

Eolo, Argentina

This was by far my most favourite hotel in Argentina.  It’s hard to pinpoint why exactly, as it’s a combination of the breath-taking views, beautiful interiors, fantastic food and wonderful people.  Eolo calls itself ‘the Patagonian spirit’, and it’s worth travelling to Patagonia just stay here, which is a big statement considering Patagonia is a stunning destination in itself.

Eolo

Ruta Provincial 11,

9405 El Calafate,

Patagonia

Argentina

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