Take A Luxury Winter Trip

The crisp winter season is almost upon us; when we can wrap ourselves up in knitted scarves and dream about the copious amount of wine and food we can ingest over this period. However, traveling through the winter is the perfect way to embrace the cold weather and immerse yourself in the festivities of the season. Keep it luxurious and look at some top places and travel ideas to put on your travel bucket list this upcoming season.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Christmas Markets

Pick your favourite European city that you’ve always wanted to experience during winter, perhaps a new city you want to explore, or a city that’s famous for its luscious Christmas markets. Going to a Christmas market is a great way to impress, for finding little hidden gems and gifts that nobody else will have picked up. Take in the culture and all the food that comes with it, particularly popular choices are Copenhagen and Berlin for the traditional taste of the European markets. Whilst Christmas markets can be a popular choice, there’s a substantial chance that you have missed the peak of the tourist season; and are more likely to encounter the locals of the town, getting a more genuine and welcoming feel.

Skiing and Log Cabins

Winter sports have become increasingly more popular over the past few years. If you’re a skiing enthusiast then Europe has to loads to offer. If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway with some time to relax and unwind, then a fully catered ski chalet is the answer. Val d’isere in the French alps is an idyllic resort for all your friends and family to enjoy both on and off the slopes. What could be better than enjoying the crisp cold air with stunning mountain views and a crackling log fire in a luxury ski chalet like these from Le Chardon Mountain Lodges. Indulge in some French cuisine, bask in the sloping snowy mountains and allow yourself time to unwind. Sit and bake in the sauna, and forget the icy outdoor weather, it’s a little taste of summer in the midst of winter!

Image Courtesy of: Le Chardon Val d'lesere
UK Spa Trips

Spas are always a good choice any time of year, but during the festive season, the stresses and strains of Christmas shopping, catering for friends and family, can take its toll. Take a look at a luxury weekend spa break. Enjoy a full body massage, a Jacuzzi, and a hot stone treatment, whilst being able to stay closer to family, if you prefer. You could even research Ireland if it would be easier to stay within the British isles but still feel as if you’re having a break away. Explore places nearby to take long winter strolls; heavenly and magical.

Northern Lights At New Year

If you want to wait until the rush of Christmas is long gone, and your not quite feeling the effects of the Christmas slog, then booking a trip to see the Northern Lights could be a wonderful way to kick start your new year. Take a look at Iceland; with its rugged volcanic terrain, and icy waters, you can appreciate its beauty, whilst taking in one of the world’s greatest spectacles. Iceland offers a small handful of luxury hotels that can serve as your base whilst planning your post-Christmas trip. The Blue Lagoon spa is a popular choice with it’s outdoor mud baths, although flights can be difficult to find, research, and plan thoroughly if the Northern Lights is on your wish list.

So this season, take a look at some luxury travel ideas that could leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for the year ahead. Share your travel plans below and let me know which of the ideas above take your fancy!






Luxury Experience With York Designer Outlet & Competition


As we leave the final remnants of summer behind, it's most definitely time to focus on the autumnal vibes and drift into the festive period. As we move into autumn, and summer sales, shopping becomes very exciting, especially as Christmas moves closer. The York Designer Outlet on the outskirts of the beautiful city of York is the perfect place for a day out with friends or family, and offers unique items from the luxury sector, at reduced prices. They are part of the McArthurGlen chain. They have chains all over the world, including one in Canada. *Scroll down for super exciting competition also!*



Parking & Getting Around


There is a north and south entrance to the outlet with two large car parks and good access for disabled too. You can also get there by bus which runs a regular service to and from York city centre which makes it an easy place to get to, with buses running every twenty minutes or less. York itself also has plenty of Park & Ride stops if you want to leave your car there and take a scenic bus ride or if you're staying in the city and want to see what the designer outlet has to offer. Inside the outlet are little maps and screens to help you find your way around. All the cafes and places to stop off for a hot latte are upstairs, aside from a couple on the ground floor. Plenty to choose from! The outlet itself is large but can be all taken in within a few hours and is a fun day out, even for the whole family! Plenty of things for the kids to do also, little play areas and a couple of kids’ shops, including a few sweet shops, which of course you don’t need to be a kid to enjoy!

The Shops

The brilliance of the outlet is the fact you can find so many high-end brands here from Michael Kors to Armani and plenty in between!! Each shop sells incredible items at excellent prices. A Michael Kors bag can be picked up at £90 when it's retail price may be £140. The reductions are well worth it and there should be no misconception about the outlet just being last years stock as they sell the real stuff for the best prices!! From clothing, to sunglasses, even chocolate shops, there will always be something to find. It varies nicely from female to male clothes, and from younger to the more mature customer and best of all plenty of bag shops, for the bag lovers (I know I am!).


York Designer Outlet is gearing up for an exciting autumn/winter collection, and it’s clear that this AW17 we should embrace the past to create the future. As classic shades and fabrics unite with modern style, bringing a fresh approach to this season’s trends. I found some gorgeous knitted jumpers in French Connection, autumn boots in Kurt Geiger and so many cute accessories to take you effortlessly from summer to winter, and we all know shopping for the cooler weather is the most fun with layering and styling at its best! For a complete breakdown of all the stores at the outlet, click here and to see their latest offers view here.







Dining


After all that shopping, finish off in the food area upstairs and grab a coffee and a sandwich, or perhaps a delicious cake, which I opted for at Patisserie Valerie. Make sure you box one up for the trip home or to save for later. Some of the cafes include Starbucks, Thorntons, Ed's Easy Diner, Subway, Wagamama and Yogi Bar which is an absolute treat for me, because frozen yogurt with fruity toppings is such a good way to finish the day, even if it’s chilly outside, who can resist frozen yogurt? York Designer Outlet is the perfect place to catch up with friends and enjoy those cooler autumn days, keeping warm indoors whilst grabbing all of the hot bargains! As we move into autumn, it’s definitely time to grab all those fantastic deals and enjoy what they have to offer!






What I love the most about the outlet is the variation from the younger shopper to the mature shopper, and there are definitely many happy hours to be spent in Michael Kors, because they seem to have every bag ever made in there! I've also been eyeing up and lusting for For a list of all the retail shops in the outlet click here and plan your trip now!




Check out how you can WIN a £100 shopping voucher to spend at York Designer outlet by clicking HERE!

*This post is written in collaboration with York Designer Outlet but all views and thoughts are my own.

Ultimate World Road Trips

The world is full of beautiful destinations, either sun soaked, or cold dreamy winter destinations, there is always some place to try out next, and another place to tick off the travel bucket list. More often than not, we pop on a flight, get a transfer to your city or resort and travel around being touristy.  We may decide to hire a car, and go for a little drive to explore and this is such a wonderful way to get around! Although why don't you take things one step further and look at some fantastic destinations to rent a car and go exploring in some of the world's most incredible places.



You can take things at your own leisure in your car, stop off at places that look interesting, perhaps spend longer in one place than another. Pick your destination. Drop off your car at the airport, look at purple parking for convenience and a hassle free experience. Get ready for your flight and check out some of these interesting destinations to get on the road! #WheelsOfTheWorld

Canada

Canada has some naturally beautiful landscapes, with snowy mountains, gorgeous icy lakes and green trees, it is lush and beautiful. Start off perhaps in Alberta and drive all the way through the mountains down to Calgary in the south and head west towards Vancouver. Vancouver in itself is a beautiful location with lots of mountainous areas to explore, little towns and although it is quite far from Europe, it is well worth it, if you want to create a holiday to remember!

Austria

As we know, Austria is a beautiful country. Again, full of mountains and the Alps on its doorstep, it has so much to offer, particularly now the winter months are fast approaching. Start off in Vienna and drive down to Graz, with plenty of log cabins to stop off at and get warm and enjoy one of your favourite tipples! Slovakia and Croatia are Austria's neighbours, so why not even cross the border and take in three countries at once, and taste three separate cultures! The possibilities are endless in Europe.

Pixabay

Italian Coast

The Italian coast is about as dreamy as it gets for Pinterest perfect photos and Instagram worthy shots. There are crystal blue waters, rocky mountains, windy roads, and plenty of pizza and ice-cream to go around. What could be better than parking up your car down the Amalfi coast and watching the sea with a piece of pizza in one hand and a glass of vino in the other. A popular choice recently has been Naples, and take a drive south all the way to Palermo, to catch the last of the summer sun!

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Ireland

Ireland is just 45 minutes away on a plane from England and it is full of so many treasures! From ancient castles, to pretty fields and lots of rivers, it has so much to offer. Start off in Dublin with a big pint of Guinness, and take a big drive down through to Cork at the southern tip. Drive in a full circle going north-west towards Galway if you want those beautiful beaches and see Ireland in its entirety. There's so much to see and it's so worth it!

The Big One - Route 66

For the ultimate in road tripping, why not do the famous Route 66? To this day it remains popular with tourists and there is such a large chunk of the USA that you can explore by taking this route. Starting off in Illinois, and work your way across to California. The route is also known as Will Rogers Highway, the main road to drive on and covers the following states, Illinois, Misouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. It takes you throuh the depths of North America, through mountains, rivers, towns and cities and is the true way of seeing the country in all its glory, at your own pace through the most famous route in the world. Have a think about your trip there!

Pixabay





7 Things I Learned In The Lake District

The Lake District is ultimate in beauty. It has something to offer everyone and is inspirational as well as enjoyable; afterall, Wordsworth wrote some of his best works in the area. In every little village and town, there is something new to find, with beauty around every corner. Here are some of the things I love the most about the Lake District including fun facts, tips and what I truly learned from my visits to the Lake District.




1. Boats Are The New Cars

Exploring the untouched areas of each lake is best done by boat. Windermere is a good place to take a trip because there is lots to explore on the boat, Wray Castle and beautiful parkland. It's always a good idea to plan your route but Windermere Lake Cruises are a fabulous option, friendly and punctual with a little bar inside you can get to so many different places on the lake and enjoy the rural beauty of Cumbria. No trip here is complete without a boat trip.





2. It's Not Just For The Older Generation

People are under a misconception sometimes that The Lakes only attract walkers or middle aged people but there are plenty of young people enjoying what it has to offer and also lots of hostels too which are nicely situated. A lot of the hotels are afforadable for students also, it depends what you want, the B&B market is thriving up there, but of course there are more luxury hotels. Just recently, was the hotel I stayed in at Windermere. Read my review here. The Lake District offers pubs and true vibrancy, and can be enjoyed by all ages!!

3. Plan Thoroughly & Keep A Map On Hand

If you're not there for a long time, you could easily miss spots you truly want to see. Everywhere is beautiful but you may want to walk a specific walk or stop at a specific town. Make sure you plan it beforehand and have a map in hand too. A hard copy of a map is very important because some roads may not pick up on a sat nav and if you're walking you may not always get strong phone signal. It's the best way to get the most out of your trip.





4. The Popular Lakes May Not Always Be The Best

Many people have heard of the Lake District, and when they're asked to name names of lakes, they'll probably be able to tell you about Windermere, Grasmere, and perhaps Coniston. However, having explored a little more, I was utterly wowed by Lake Thirlmere and Derwent Water. Lake Thirlmere feels completely nordic, with almost a swiss vibe from the road, and you really feel completely emmersed in nature. Take time to visit the lesser touristy lakes also, as well as the popular ones, you'll be surprised!

5. Only ONE Body Of Water Is Actually A Lake

This is a fun fact for those of you who love to find out more about geography! The only true 'lake' in the Lake District is actually Bassenthwaite Lake, the others are made up of different types of bodies of water. Either way, they are beautiful! For more facts and figures of the lakes, click here!

 



6. It Has That Northern Hospitality Everyone Loves

Being a northerner, you appreciate and understand how northerners work. Friendly, hospitable and salt of the earth, but sometimes when you move out of your area to a tourist area, you can find a lack of Northern Hospitality, but in Cumbria, people seem happy (no surprise), and very friendly. It has a very relaxed vibe, and nobody is in too much of a rush, it has a very European pace of life, which is very welcoming! People will be happy to give you directions or offer you advice on where is good to go. A really friendly warm place and always a good cup of tea ready to be found in a cute tearoom!

7. You Come Home Feeling Like You've Had A Holiday

Away from all the hustle and bustle of the city and the mountainous terrain, it truly feels as if you've escaped England! It is such a treat, with so many hotels and cafes and bars that you feel as if you're indulging in a summer escape! There are a few main areas to shop also, Windermere, Keswick and Penrith being the major ones, and a little down in the south there's Kendal, the home of the famous Kendal Mint Cake, and there's always plenty of that to find in gift shops!






A Night At Storrs Hall

The Lake District has been a particular favourite place of travel for me for so long, Windermere gives the ultimate in British holiday vibes, even as rainy and wet as it's been. Storrs Hall, situated in the more quieter sedate part of Windermere is a haven, with beautiful private views of the lake, with 5 star treatment and an incredibly lovely warm vibe. Even in early September, when we're still in summer mode, the burning logfire was such a cosy touch. Storrs Hall has 5 star treatment across the board, their staff are impeccable and nothing is too much trouble.

Storrs Hall was built in the 1790's by Yorkshire landowner John Legard, and it's not difficult to see why this was a popular place for famous poet William Wordsworth to stay for some writing inspiration. In 1890, it was properly established as a hotel, and through the 20's and 30's, it saw many guests come, including American tourists, and you could truly feel the history inside this building. Perhaps even spirits, who knows! In 1997, Lancashire businessman Les Hindle restored the hall and it's now a beautiful luxury hotel in the heart of The Lake District.







The Hotel & Area

The hotel itself is one of those beautiful locations that would make for a perfect wedding venue. It has such a magical feel, and in summer, it would be incredibly divine. The hotel does of course offer weddings! The decor downstairs is bright and airy, modern but chic, with a hint of traditional and very classy. Plenty of little nooks to sit and read in with an afternoon tea, or perhaps just a coffee. Lots and lots of grounds to explore, including the lake walk which is perfect before you head to dinner. Thankfully the rain held off for us just in time! On its doorstep, you have Storrs Temple, which now belongs to the National Trust. It's a lovely traditional little monument, and lots of little waterside places to sit and stop and enjoy with quaint little benches and tables; it made me feel so summery even now this chilly weather is descending.





The Room

The room had a beautiful traditional vibe, with mahoganny furniture, it felt regal and special. The colour scheme was cream with beautiful orange tones throughout which brings such a bright vibrancy and complete with the most incredible Pinterest themed blue velvet chair. The view is the first thing that hits you, is the magnificent view. I would highly recommend getting a room with a lake view; it has copious amounts of wanderlust just consuming you! There will always be something calming about water, and sitting pondering life with a glass of prosecco (thank you to the staff at Storrs Hall) is a perfect way to end the week. The bathroom was a beautiful marble, so instagrammable! A large bath, wet room, with a shower that felt like tropical rainfall, and such a treat, and underfloor heating which is such a bonus. Each room comes complete with a dressing gown and slippers, which is the best after a large dinner and a hot shower, cuddling up in bed and reading or watching TV. Perfect!













The Restaurant

This is truly a gem and one of my favourite parts of the hotel. It's elegance is visible in its stunning gold decor, it's gorgeous views and an opportunity to indulge in some beautifully crafted dishes, with taste and art at its core, whilst sitting contendedly looking over the serene Lake Windermere. With an option for an a la carte or tasting menu, you can choose from three incredible dishes, starter, main and dessert with small dishes in the interim to delicately cleanse the pallete, including a pre-dessert, which was fruity and delicious. Each course was named simply, after the main ingredient in the dish. For the starter, I opted for the "Artichoke", which came with so many different flavours and colours, it's a true culinary delight. The main meal, the "Chicken" was also particularly delicious, so light and delicate, nothing on the menu was too heavy on the stomach, and the chicken melted in your mouth. Incredibly tender and cut like butter. For dessert, I chose the "Strawberry", full of tangy strawberry pieces and sorbets and a pistachio ice-cream which was the creamiest divine ice-cream I've tasted in a really long time, if not ever. The food was 5 star, highly recommended and very much a luxury feel to it, boasting the kind of service and food that you would expect to see in a top London restaurant.















The Breakfast

The breakfast has a fabulous wide range of hot food which I really was impressed by. I opted for the vegetarian breakfast which was so delicious and cooked to perfection, still with a gourmet feel! There were choices of fruit, cereal, croissants and a moderate choice for a continental breakfast. It's a choice of self-service and serve yourself, which I think is a lovely compromise and the staff are very friendly and hospitable.




Storrs Hall is the perfect weekend hotspot and getaway in one of the Lake District's most vibrant areas, but away from the hustle and bustle of the town. It's a brilliant way to explore the lake and take walks, soaking up what it has to offer. The hotel is lovely, it's a little gem that is renowned for its luxury feel and brilliant service. I will definitely be coming back, thanks for the wonderful memories!

For more information on how to book your next British getaway, click here.

*I was a guest at Storrs Hall but all opinions are my own.


Tidlrs - For The Luxury Lifestyle Lover

This January I started off the year promising myself to travel more; and find and search some of the more luxurious and elegant brands to adequately spend all my money and different places to spend my time, either in the UK or abroad. When you're away from home, your locations should be as good if not better than what you're used to. We all scour the internet, scrolling endlessly at lustworthy photos of exotic locations, in-style fashion pieces and spending far too much money on creating the elegant lifestyle we all crave. There is however, an online place where you can find all this and more, at Tidlrs, an innovative marketplace for luxury brands.



Tidlrs have completely had me lusting over all the hot places and brands at the moment on their Instagram, and I highly suggest have a click on over there for five star photos of the current luxury market. Any blogger would be in luxury heaven! Their newly launched blog and journal offers all the up-to-date

What They Do

Tidlrs is a new online marketplace housing different categories, which you can find on their website, for luxury brands. If you want to know what is luxury and upto date, then Tidlrs is the place to browse, to find the top destinations of the moment and reach for your notebook and pen and start planning those luxury holiday stays, because with professional journalists, their articles keep you posted with recent events, jewellery trends, interiors, exhibitions, all sat neatly in the heart of the luxury market. They pride themselves in being able to give visitors a 360 luxury experience, and with their new blog launching, "The Edit", the new topics of every aspect and category will be easily accessible and their website is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate.



Brands Joining

Any luxury brand or company can join Tidlrs, with incredible exposure to a plethora of people worldwide. They're based in Dubai but their market stretches worldwide, and any company who joins with them, will receive a complimentary package, with a free 6 month subscription, allowing them for half a year to be open to a huge market and be part of the Tidlrs world. Essentially, it allows companies from the luxury market an advertising space on their platform. They create a Brand page and Category pages which allows people searching for specifics to find you right away. In essence, Tidlrs makes it easy for people to find you and spread the word on what you're doing.

Keep an eye out for their newly launched blog, it has oodles of luxury news about where to stay, where to eat and what brands are hot and if you're someone who loves to lust over luxury items, then Tidlrs is going to be the place to put on your subscription list. Afterall, we all want to be upto speed on new gossip, to share with friends and family. What are your favourite luxury brands and top destination picks of the summer?