Finding Your Perfect Flowers

Flowers are a beautiful way to incorporate the outdoors to your indoors. They are uplifting, they look pretty and can be beneficial to your mental health. It's lovely to pick a bunch of flowers from the store or flower shop and display them beautifully in your home. I also have no issue with buying reduced flowers, in fact I always opt for those, as usually they will still last a reasonable amount of time, especially if you find out the best way to care for them. Ensure they have the right amount of water, use the food that is provided inside the packaging and ensure they have the right amount of sunlight also, if this is necessary.

Photo Courtesy Pixabay

I know that I love to also give flowers as a gift. Just as a little mid week gift perhaps for my mum or for a friend, it's a lovely way to show someone that you care, and is always going to be a lovely addition to your home. There are so many flowers to choose, and many different types that need different environments etc, and we often just choose them on the fact that they look pretty, or will survive a long time without needing to be watered too often. However there are so many types of flowers to choose. If you're buying someone a gift, why not look at Flying Flowers, where you can choose flower gifts based on their birth month.

For example, the flowers of April are: Daisy and Sweetpea. It also adds a little extra something when giving a gift, especially a birthday gift. Of course you can always look at seasonal flowers, as now it's coming to autumn, it's lovely to pick the more wild flowers, perhaps some reds and oranges in to make it feel more autumnal and have that fluid transition from summer. I love having flowers any time of the year, but they can really enhance your mood, and if you want to make your home super Pinterest worthy, then you're going to need a huge vase of beautiful flowers! Take a little browse and buy yourself or someone you love some special flowers and light up their day!

Photo Courtesy of 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?


Stay Luxurious And Stay Thrifty




Living a life you envisage is not always easy but it's something we must always strive to achieve. Travelling is one of life's biggest pleasures, it broadens your mind and horizons, gives you inspiration, and creates scores of memories that you can treasure throughout your entire life. Whenever I am travelling, either for work or pleasure, I like to find luxury places to stay that either feel like home, or better. We should not ever settle for substandard, in any shape or form, although it's
also a fact that luxury comes with a large pricetag. I have complied a little list of how you can achieve a luxury lifestyle even when you're living on a budget. It may take a little more preparation, and a little bit of sacrifice, but in the longrun, you should be able to enjoy the more finer things in life. I have to be honest, sometimes planning a trip, no matter how short, or how long can be a full time job. I'm constantly scouring the airlines and set up so many notifications and rechecking comparison sites, to see if the price has altered. It takes a little bit of dedication but if you're as passionate about travel and living a more luxe lifestyle, then a little bit of dedication goes a long way.

Flights & Luxury Travel 

When you're looking for flights, you can come up against problem after problem. If you're flexible with dates, then you're definitely onto a winner. Here are some of my top tips to get good prices on your fayres.

  • Switch and change up your flight companies - sometimes flight companies will have really good deals on one way flights, but the flight home can be extortianate. Expel this by looking at one way flights home on another airline. If this isn't a big issue for you then you can even fly out from one airport on one airline and fly home on another airline, to another airport. It is often a good way to find cheaper flights. 
  • Don't spend too much time looking for flights - as we know flight prices zoom up if you're on the page for a long time, and browsing the same page frequently. Delete cookies, and spend less time browsing. 
  • Book in advance if you can - budget airlines are always going to be your best friend; but try and book in advance as often flights nearer the time can sky rocket, sometimes they go down in price, but more often than not, the further in advance, the better deals you get, and of course off season, August is the most expensive month of the year for flights. 
  • If you have booked a long haul ticket; it's always worth asking at check in desk if there would be any chance of an upgrade. Sometimes it can be automatic, but a little hustling never hurt anyone. 


Trains

Trains can be a great way of getting around, although they are usually heavily overpriced; and flights can often be cheaper. 
  • Play around on National Rail - If you take a little sneak peak on National Rail, there are usually a choice few tickets from your city to another that you can grab for as little as £3 but they are non-flexible. For example, there are routes from Leeds to York and Leeds to Manchester for £3 one way. Play around and opt for the bigger cities as they are usually the ones with the good deals. More remote destinations tend not to have many hot deals. 
  • Return tickets are not always cheaper - If you're not too fussy with the method of transport, then sometimes taking a one way train ticket and coming back by coach is the cheapest option. A lot of coach fayres start from as little as £5 to and from major towns. Mix and match your travel and keep within budget.

Hotels - Staying And Visiting 

When you're looking at hotels, comparison sites can be a good place to start. They are like search engines for hotel rooms, and I have found Trivago pretty reliable in most areas. If you like a taste of the elegant lifestyle, then you don't always have to stay at a hotel
  • Hotels ARE open to the public - I know so many people who often get very intimidated at the thought of walking into a hotel if you're not a resident. It's a fact that many hotels often have incredible bars and restaurants inside and the general public are always welcome. It is a hobby of mine, to find amazing local hotels on Sunday afternoons and sit and have a little coffee whilst enjoying the surroundings. It's a much more elegant way to drink your pot of coffee. 
  • Book last minute - hotels are more renowned for giving away cheaper rooms if it is last minute; but for every blogger out there who has a passion for hotels, just like me, then dropping them an email to let them know that you are all booked in but you're a blogger could mean an upgrade, or perhaps a free meal. 
  • Judge hotels by their travellers ranking not their own - If you look on Trip Advisor, you will notice many of the top hotels of the city may not be a 5 star and some of the so-called 5 star hotels of the city are much lower down the list. It's because a 3 or even 4 star hotel is not necessarily lacking in class or elegance. It may just the fact that it is lacking a posh restaurant or a full spa with pool facilities. These are all things to consider.
  • Look at renting a villa - you can often get good deals if you're wanting to do a full week without any hassle, any people and just pure comfort. Clickstay offer villas all over the world that are incredibly lush. Click below to see what they have to offer.



It's never an easy task to navigate the luxury market on a budget, and being a blogger definitely does help with this as opportunities are much more frequent than of a person who is not a blogger. Little tips to keep luxurious include, saving less money be frittering it away on many nights out; save the money up and instead go for one or two cocktails at a plush bar, preferably on a night where they have cocktail deals, as many do! Scour the sales and pick up a staple blazer and a good pair of classic heels; these are two classic pieces that you can grab on a budget that make you feel elegant and incredible!


Never feel you are not worthy of trying and hustling for a little bit of luxury. Enjoy yourself and always keep your eyes peeled for airline deals!

*This is not a sponsored posts but some links may be affiliate links.

Taste Of Luxury At The Grand York

York is the epitome of elegance; from its stunning architecture, to the historical shambles, quaint windy streets, beautiful shops filled with treasures, and so many spots to sit and soak up traditional English culture. If you're looking for a UK weekend break, with fun, culture, and a good glass of vino (by the river Ouse if the weather is good enough),  York is the place to visit. I was fortunate enough to spend a night at The Grand Hotel & Spa York, which, from start to finish of my stay, I felt like royalty. It is Yorkshire's only 5 star hotel and is leading the way as far as luxury and hospitality goes. Glancing out of your window and catching sight of the incredible York Minster is always such a joy, and one of the highlights of York itself. The hotel is every bit as classy as you could imagine, with customer service at its core.

TV/Chill Out Space

Morning Vibes

With a warm, regal welcome, the hospitable staff at the hotel were incredibly friendly and respectful, helping with luggage, and after stepping out of the car feeling utterly exhausted and deshevelled after a busy day, I still felt incredibly special. First impressions are everything and it isn't difficult to see why this hotel is 5 star, and with a quick and easy check-in, helpful staff, it's already gone onto my favourites list. If you're looking for elegance in a hotel, The Grand is your place.

The Room

Our twin room was both plush and classy. With a touch of class everywhere, from the colour schemes, and the coffee making facilities you wish you had at home, lots of choices in the mini bar, and cleanliness ranked very high. It was spotless. Home away from home is vital when you're travelling; especially if you're travelling often. You need to feel relaxed, safe and with a true element of luxury. The Grand Hotel & Spa is in the heart of York, and everything ready to explore on the doorstep. All the ameneties were provided and anything additional can be requested at the front desk and they will do their best to assist. It's the perfect place to bring your laptop, drink a vanilla latte and be inspired. Books and magazines on hand, there's always something to pass the time and the decor was a beautiful beige neutral with crimsons and wood finishes, feeling super cosy yet modern and stylish. The attention to detail was noticed from start to finish, with the range of toiletries being from the lavish Molton Brown, including a stunning room spray for evenings to relax you; everything is perfectly in its place to ensure a comforting, cosy and warm stay.

TV seating area

Coffee & Tea making facilities (Nespresso & Taylors of Harrogate)

Room 403 - living space

Details

Molton Brown Night Spray
Molton Brown Mouthwash
Coffee In The Morning


The Restaurant

The Rise Restaurant is ultra plush, copper and wooden tones, with modern art, comfy soft chairs and the tasting menu is absolutely incredible. You can choose as many dishes as you wish, but 6 for two people is recommended. Carefully crafted food with delicious delicate tastes, the cuisine is a deluxe special treat, it is fine dining at its best and better yet, the tasting menu offers many smaller dishes, like tapas almost, so you are able to get the best tasting experience. Nothing was over flavoured, or under flavoured, it was also incredibly aesthetically pleasing and the chicken melted like butter in your mouth, incredibly delectable and the smaller dishes still filled you like a large plate. Vegetarian, gluten free options are available; with five star care and treatment, nothing is too much trouble. After opting for a cocktail, I came to realise there are definitely no short measures, and the perfect atmosphere for a cocktail (or two)!

The Rise Restaurant

Tomato & Avocado salad

Chicken Dish

The Spa

The spa check in is simple and easy. The keys to your locker are given at the desk, along with towels; then sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. With a steam room, sauna and jacuzzi, you can really enjoy your me-time and with the sultry mood lighting, the ambience is incredibly zen. Purples and oranges, make for such a relaxing atmosphere, with drink facilities, and chairs around the pool, there is always somewhere to sit. Ideal for couples, lone travellers, or families, the atmosphere is relaxed and the helpful staff will be there to give you any advice you wish; they do offer treatments but booking in advance is best. The spa also has changing facilities, including hair straighteners, which is ideal for the ladies and a big bonus if you're heading straight out from there. The day spa is open to non-residents at £20 a day, which is perfect for a lazy weekend day out, and pop into the Whisky Bar afterwards for a cool beverage after your stay.

Viewing area of pool - mood lighting 

Poolside

York never disappoints, from culture, to museums, to river walks and shopping, it has so much to offer, and with The Grand Hotel & Spa York sat right in the centre, this is a perfect choice whilst staying in the city. For more information on the hotel's gift vouchers, click here, and make someone feel very special with an afternoon tea or spa day luxury! It was almost impossible to find any faults with my stay, and I will definitely be back, that is for sure. So take the plunge, and click here to book that weekend break you've been desperately wanting!


*I was kindly invited as a guest of the hotel, but all opinions and words are my own.

For more information on why York is worth a visit, click HERE

www.leilanijewelry.com

The Newbie's Guide To Corfu

Greece is by far one of my favourite places on Earth. Full of hospitable people, delicious food, olives and feta for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and unforgettable views that become engrained in your mind and soul, Greece is a brilliant destination. After exploring mainland Greece and visiting the beautiful Athens, I had a yearning to come back to see more; and this time my travel plans are to visit the islands. Specifically Corfu. Here is the ultimate guide I’ve put together for my trip to Corfu and some things to plan before you go to make your trip smooth running and enjoyable.


For accommodation, my ultimate goal is to get a real taste of the island and island life, by renting a villa. For the true taste of Greek island life, coming home with your tote bag full of groceries, and eating outside overlooking the still, serene waters, is exactly how to experience it. Have privacy and contentment, take life at your own pace, and be sure to take a dip to cool off in that hot summer air. That is for me, exactly the perfect Greek island trip. Corfu is specifically known for its friendly tourist atmosphere, plenty of things to do and see. Take a peek below to the ultimate guide.

Getting Around

Getting around Corfu is not overly difficult depending on what your goal of travel is. Hiring a car can be beneficial if you would like to see the island in its entirety, but be sure to consult maps for parking arrangements before you go. Cars can be picked up at the airport. If you want to take the bus, be sure to make sure you know the times, by asking, as they can change often, but it is a cheap and cheerful way to get around from old town to the beach. If you are feeling a little more adventurous and want a taste of luxury, especially if you are in a larger group, then hiring a motorboat is the ultimate for those warm afternoons when you need a cool off and relaxing before heading back to your villa.

What To Do

Old Town Corfu is particularly popular with the sightseeing tourists, who would love to capture a bit of the culture as well as soaking up the beautiful coastline. It is unbelievably quirky and beautiful in the Old Town, and you do not need a map, have a little explore on foot, like most parts of Greece, the more you see on foot the better, especially to reach those beautiful high points for Instagrammable views.

There are outdoor activities, from hiking and a scuba centre, where you can hire equipment and go scuba diving in the crystal seas. For the more low key tourist, who isn’t so hyped for energetic water sports, the island boasts many museums, such as the Andivouniotissa Museum, which is €4 entry and open Tues-Sun 8:00am until 2:45pm; and there are plenty of other choices with a multitude of different cultures to learn about; with Corfu’s rich history and ties to Italy and France.

Where To Eat

You will never go hungry in Corfu. Plenty of taverns but some top picks are Avli Restaurant, Taverna Bikolis and if you want to splash out a little on a special holiday meal, then the luxurious “The Venetian Well” is surely a good place to start, with some Mediterranean cuisine and a bottle of chilled fine wine.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

After your long days searching the cities, tasting the culinary delights and enjoying a little ouzo and traditional Greek dancing, take a leisurely stroll back to your villa, and retire for the evening. For more information on the best villas, take a little peek at Clickstay for more information, and make your trip to Corfu a holiday to remember. There are plenty of other Greek island locations to browse through, from classic Santorini or Kefalonia, or even mainland in Athens (well worth a visit). Click on the photo to book a villa!


Have you ever been to Corfu? What are your top recommendations?