A Luxury Hotel in Hexham, UK: Langley Castle

One of the things I love about my family is that we always make the effort to come together to celebrate special occasions. It’s usually big birthdays, however my aunt and uncle organised a spectacular weekend in London 5 years ago for their 25th wedding anniversary. It inadvertently had a bit of a British royal theme; we stayed at The Goring Hotel, had afternoon tea at The Ritz and spent a day exploring Buckingham Palace. The unexpected highlight for all of us though, somewhat unexpectedly, was watching their wedding video during a private dinner at the hotel on our last night. It was strange to see everyone so young and see how wedding trends have changed, as well as have a bit of a giggle at all the 80s hair!

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Burgh Island Hotel in Devon: An Art Deco Gem

The drive from Leicester to Burgh Island in Devon was epically long and not at all fuel efficient; with an outside temperature above 30°C, the air conditioning was working hard. I spent the entire 5 hours in the back seat working on my laptop, so thankfully missed getting frustrated at the ridiculous amount of traffic winding its way south on the M5. I didn’t actually look up until Danny told me to call the hotel and request they dispatch our collection vehicle, we needed a special form of transportation for the final mile!

The view out the front windscreen looked like a postcard from the Mediterranean, all I could see were white sand beaches and azure blue seas. A sign assures me we are close to Burgh Island and definitely in Devon, but I can’t say I have ever been to a British beach in this kind of weather. We park and a wall of heat hits me as soon as we get out the car, who says the UK weather is rubbish?!

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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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