Whisky 101 & A Summer Whisky Cocktail

My trip to Scotland has definitely inspired me to learn a bit more about whisky, although, to be honest, this is all the information I absorbed! You definitely do not need to be an expert to visit a whisky distillery and enjoy it, I am most certainly not and I think it is a great experience. Besides, if you are not sold, their shop are generally a great place for souvenirs and Christmas presents!

It also reminded me of the most amazing summer whisky cocktail I ever had at the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. For Danny’s 30th birthday I hunted down the recipe and it is now our go to celebratory drink when the occasion calls. For those who fancy a bit of Vegas in their own home or want a more unusual whisky cocktail, the recipe is below.

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A Whisky Distillery Tour of Scotland: A Day Trip

Scotland is known for many things, but one of the most obvious is it’s whisky. For me, whisky was very much an acquired taste and one that definitely took me some time to appreciate, although I had lots of encouragement from my predominantly whisky loving family! Not entirely surprising then that they ended up taking an annual trip to Scotland, especially considering they are also rather partial to a round of golf (massive understatement) and Scotland is also fairly well known for some pretty awesome golf courses (so I’m told). Danny is a keen golfer and has also developed a taste for whisky, so we passed the testing criteria for an invite to the trip!

With the renowned Gleneagles hotel as our base (a 45 minute drive from Edinburgh airport), we wanted to stay in the area so planned to visit distilleries around Perthshire. This was absolutely not a problem, in fact we had the opposite one in that it was hard to choose which ones to go to!

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Luxury Hotel Review: Gleneagles in Scotland

Shockingly, on descending through the clouds into Edinburgh airport, it’s raining. Danny looks close to furious at having taken annual leave with no sunshine in site and as this is a route I regularly fly with work, my brain is not convinced we are here on holiday.

Morale does not improve as our hire car collection takes longer than our flight and our “VW Golf or equivalent” is a Citroën C3 Aircross with all of the engine power of a motorised scooter. Luckily, the wind is behind us which helps push us up the motorway at a just reasonable 64mph.

Half an hour later we blow off the M9 into the tiny town of Auchterarder nestled at the foot of the Ochil Hills in South Perthshire. Auchterarder is a lovely little town, but is most famous as the location of our destination for the next few days; the renowned hotel, Gleneagles in Scotland.

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How to Travel Luxe for Less in Iceland

Planning a luxury trip to Iceland without breaking the bank for 13 women all with varying budgets, travel styles and expectations was the biggest travel planning win I have ever pulled off.

The final cost ended up being less than £850 per person for a three night break at the end of March, flying on Good Friday and arriving home on Easter Monday. We stayed in one of Iceland’s most luxurious hotels, booked private airport transfers, ate out every night, indulged in cocktails, had a private tour of the Golden Circle and indulged in the Premium Package at the Blue Lagoon. And that cost I just mentioned included all of that AND our flights (which were economy class, not business). Can you see why I’m pretty proud of that?!

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Blue Lagoon Tips: Everything You Need to Know

Visiting the Blue Lagoon is regarded as an iconic experience for many travellers, but it is something that does require a little bit more planning than usual. I organised a trip here for 13 people as part of a girls trip to Iceland which I learnt a fair bit from, so here I share my top Blue Lagoon tips to help you plan your visit and get the most out of the experience.

I actually spent 3 days in Iceland for my hen do of all things, so it was a no brainer to add this onto our trip; a fun, girly activity and suitable for all the different age ranges, interests and activity levels in our party. My hen do was not traditional in the slightest and there were no plans to do anything wild, however after a quiet dinner in Reykjavik the night before, we had accidentally ended up in a bar. None of us were feeling high energy I have to say, but I was feeling particularly… delicate that morning!

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