Sunday, 29 November 2015

Fountain Court Stewart Apartments Edinburgh


Fountain Court, Stewart Apartments 

Over the weekend I took a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland and was invited to stay at Fountain Court, award winning luxury serviced apartments, right in the city centre.

A serviced apartment is fully furnished apartment available for both short-term as well as long-term stays, providing all the hotel-like amenities.   Fountain Court’s Stewart apartments are located on a cobbled street of Edinburgh, a stone’s throw from the city centre so conveniently located to all the shops, bars and restaurants of George Street.  

A short walk from Waverly Station, we were within close distance of all the local attractions too like Edinburgh Christmas Market which runs until 4th January, Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, Arthur’s Seat and if you wanted a tour of the city (or even a ghost tour!), then you could hop on a green or red bus tour from Waverley Bridge a few minutes walk away from the apartments.

Serviced apartments are increasingly becoming more popular as an alternative to hotels and I can see why. They offer many advantages in comparison to hotel rooms.  Far more living space and a home away from home experience are just a few of them.

I stayed in a one bed modern apartment which had the perfect combination of all the luxury of a hotel and all the comforts of home including a fully equipped kitchen, lounge and free Wi-Fi. There was also a 24 hour reception team on hand which was incredibly helpful too.
 
Open plan lounge plus kitchen/dining area

The apartment was spacious with a good sized bathroom, bedroom and living room area all furnished with modern decor. My favourite feature of the room was the open plan lounge and kitchen/dining area, it was well laid out and had everything you needed included a dishwasher, washing machine and refrigerator. We had breakfast packs for our first morning (see below) which was great and can be arranged through booking.
 

 Kitchen equipped with fridge, dishwasher plus utensils and cutlery


Our bedroom with wardrobes and a dressing area too


 


Bathroom and shower

Edinburgh is a beautiful city and great for exploring. Staying in a luxury serviced apartment like Fountain Court gives you the flexibility to explore Edinburgh on your own terms while enjoying all the luxury of a hotel. 

Staying at Fountain court was great as it allows you to shape your city break the way you wish to explore the city, so whether you want to visit tourist attractions and sight see in the historic Old Town or explore the cocktail bars and shopping in the New Town, Fountain Court apartments are perfectly located to do so.  I loved having the option to dine in using my apartment’s fully equipped kitchen facilities too. Having this choice really gives a feeling of being home away from home, that you won’t get by staying in a hotel. 

Here are some of the benefits staying in a serviced apartment:

Save on expensive restaurants 
Fountain Court apartments gives guests the options to dine in and the stylish, fully equipped kitchens allow you to cook your own meals, thus saving money for other things like visiting tourist attractions (or in my case shopping!). 

Parking 
Parking is often not available or an expensive additional cost. At Fountain Court apartments, there is ample parking and at a good rate of £15 per day at Stewart apartments.

More Space, Privacy and Flexibility 
Separate living areas are great and gives you the space to work, sleep and entertain at your own leisure in comfortable, home away from home surroundings.  Staying in a serviced apartment means you can enjoy lounging in your pyjamas all morning and don't have to stick to rigid breakfast times as the breakfast can be served in the kitchen or you can explore the city and have breakfast in town.

If you are looking for a home away from home with the added benefit of the amenities provided on a hotel stay, a serviced apartment could be the perfect option for you.  It really is the best of both worlds!

To book a stay at Fountain Court apartments visit www.fountaincourtapartments.com
Email: enq@fountaincourt.com 
Call: +44 (0) 131 622 6677




*Disclaimer: My stay at Fountain Court - Stewart Apartments was complimentary but all words and opinions are my own*

Sunday, 25 October 2015

French Louis Chair Reupholster

  Before and after

A few years ago I bought this beautiful French Louis chair from my local charity shop, Emmanus. The moment I laid my eyes on the chair, it was love at first sight, despite the tired looking olive coloured fabric and unvarnished wood. I know good quality furniture when I see it and I wasn't letting this one go!

I knew in time I could reupholster it, so wasn't too bothered about the style of the chair until one day I had finally had enough of looking at the poor thing. This chair deserved better and I knew it had the potential to look amazing, so project "renovate louis chair" began!

My French Louis armchair before the reupholster

Over the years I have worked on numerous upcycling projects – painting chairs, coffee tables, tv stands and bookshelves, the list is endless.  However reupholstery is a different type of project.

Having visited the reupholstery shop and seen the upholsterer in action, I am much more aware of the different phases it takes to reupholster a chair. This is a real skill left to the professionals! The techniques the
upholsterer uses are truly amazing. The entire chair was stripped right to the frame and rebuilt to its former glory.

But before the chair was stripped down, firstly I had to choose the new fabric. Choosing the fabric for your chair might seem like an easy decision but with so much choice of fabric on offer, it can be difficult choosing the right one. I had seen lots of ideas and designs on Pinterest and kept a board of my favourite images, however, I wanted to make sure that the fabric would go with the colour scheme of my bedroom: white and silver with warm grey tones.

Example of the many fabrics available to choose from

The shop had lots of fabrics to choose from, it was like being in a sweet shop! In the end I chose this striped fabric with blue, green, yellow and brown colours, which goes perfectly with my bedroom decor. 


The chosen fabric

The chair looks fantastic and the varnishing and priming work done on the wood looks great, just like brand new.  I'm equally really pleased with my choice of fabric, it's amazing how a different fabric can give a chair a new lease of life and it's the perfect addition to my bedroom. 




 So pleased with the finished chair reupholstery

Although I physically did very little, picking the fabric was definitely the hardest decision I had to make in this project so I thought I would share my top three tips for choosing the right fabric:

Pick the right style

There are so many different styles of chairs, louis chair, wing chair, recliners etc and each chair has its unique style so make sure the style compliments your home décor too. The perfect fabric can add a lot of character to your chair and can either compliment or clash with your décor – so choose wisely!

Pick the right pattern

Patterned chairs can look great and are a good way to add character to a room. 
A patterned chair can be a focal point for a room or it can simply add a bit of depth and is a great way to showcase your brilliant eye for design!  On a practical note, most patterns can hide stains and wear better than plain fabric. However, you may be able to get away with having certain patterns on smaller chairs but it may not work as well on a large armchair so this is worth considering too.

Pick the right fabric

The fabric you pick for your chair, is really important and can often be overlooked. Yes the pattern and colour might be "perfect" but remember is the fabric ideal for how you plan to use your chair?

Upholstery fabric determines the longevity of your chair so by using combination fabrics or engineered fabrics these tend to be more durable than natural ones.  Also fabrics that are woven patterns tend to hold up longer than patterns that are printed onto fabrics.

Another factor to consider is choosing strong colours in a very sunny room in case of fading. If you do choose a bold colour then try rotating cushions which will help to slow the process of fading.  However what is most important is choosing a fabric that works for you on a daily basis and also achieves the style you wanted.

The finished product - my reupholstered French Louis chair




Sunday, 11 October 2015

Montagu Place – a hidden gem in the heart of Marylebone

Montagu Place located in Marylebone

Last weekend, I was invited to stay at the recently renovated Montagu Place, a boutique hotel located in the heart of Marylebone.

This beautiful getaway destination is situated in a quiet location near Baker Street, and a short stroll from Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Selfridges and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.  It’s also close to many restaurants including Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, Chiltern Fire House or for something a bit cheaper there's Meat Liquor. We had dinner in the Grazing Goat, a gastropub nearby serving delicious food and tasty craft beers.

 Hall way

 Lounge

Montagu Place is a beautiful grade II listed Georgian townhouse, with 16 guest bedrooms divided into three categories: Comfy, Fancy and Swanky. Each bedroom is as charming and lovely as they sound.  The Comfy quarters are decorated with a rich aubergine theme with heather and dusky pink, whereas the Fancy bedrooms have simple classic neutral theme.

 Swanky bedroom

 
I stayed in the Swanky bedroom, a charming room also decorated throughout with neutral tones and classically inspired furniture like sleek black coffee table, leather armchairs and lampshades in soft neutral colours. The décor is simple but chic and unlike some boutique hotels that can make a room feel cold, Montagu Place manages to get the right mix of both comfortable and stylish.





All the 16 individually decorated rooms have free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, free bottled water are among the other amenities available to guests. Guests can enjoy continental breakfast, room service, 24 hour reception and even a snug lounge with a mini bar that serves drinks into the evening.

Breakfast is served in the dining room




Although Montagu Place has 16 bedrooms, it is small but perfectly formed.  The hotel is so homey you forget you are a paying guest, especially if you’re staying in a Swanky bedroom.  The environment is complimented with the warm and friendly staff who were both helpful and attentive, ensuring we were comfortable throughout our stay here.

These small hotel gems are among London's best assets but you just need to know where to find them! If you’re looking for a boutique hotel that brings both luxury and comfort then you must visit Montagu Place, a true hidden gem in the heart of London.

For more information on Montagu Place Hotel visit the website here.


*Disclaimer: My stay at Montagu Place Hotel was complimentary but all words and opinions are my own*

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

OOTD: how to wear a jumpsuit in the office


Jumpsuit - Mango
Loafers - Primark

If you're a fan of jumpsuits like me then i'm sure you've thought about wearing one to work, but finding a jumpsuit that looks both stylish and appropriate for the office is a struggle.  For some time, jumpsuits were worn just on summer holiday or a night out and just the thought of wearing one to work would be a big style no no.

Recently the struggle has become a lot easier and more and more high street retailers are stocking stylish jumpsuits, smart enough to wear to work. 

I love this chic jumpsuit from Mango. Monochrome is a good choice for work and not too over the top plus the crossed v-neck and long sleeves smarten it up too. It doesn't have a belt but at the back, an elastic waist, and at the front is a concealed button, hook and zip fastening.  It breaks it up, making it super flattering for your figure.

  You can pick up a jumpsuit similar from Mango online

I teamed my jumpsuit with these fringed loafers from Primark and if you want to you could dress it up for the evening with a pair of heels too.

Here are some more stylish jumpsuits I've picked out you can wear to work and won't make you look like an auto mechanic:



Tailored Wrap Jumpsuit with Midi Leg - ASOS


 Light grey D-ring culotte jumpsuit - River Island


Happy shopping!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Outfit of the Day

Duster Coat - New Look
Wrap blouse - ASOS
Necklace - Oasis
Jeans - Dorothy Perkins
Boots - New Look 
Clutch Bag - Primark


The 1st September was officially announced as Autumn in the UK so now it's time to bring out the Autumnal wardrobe! 

I love this camel textured duster coat from New Look, long and loose it provides more than enough warmth and perfect for this time of year when the weather gets cooler. 


 
I teamed my duster coat with ASOS wrap blouse and this beautiful Oasis torq and leaf collar necklace.

What are your favourite trends to wear this Autumn?



Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Lowry Hotel Review

The Lowry Hotel

This week, I stayed at the award winning five star, The Lowry Hotel, in the city of Manchester.

Overlooking Trinity Bridge on the River Irwell, the glass-fronted luxury hotel is luxurious and chic, and perfectly located right within easy reach of Manchester’s city centre.

From the outside, the building is striking and dominates the skyline with its curved, glass-fronted façade. Inside at the Lowry Hotel, the huge rooms have modern furnishings to match the architecture.  

 Views from my riverside room

I stayed on the fifth floor in a spacious superior deluxe king room with stunning views overlooking the river.  I loved the stylish but understated contemporary décor: a combination of neutral tones, dark wood and sleek furnishings like the very comfortable chic orange chaise and contemporary art work. The room was both clean and comfortable and had a large walk-in wardrobe, a satellite TV, and beautiful floor to ceiling window with spectacular city views. There was free wifi, a minibar, safe, tea and coffee making facilities as well as a useful iron and ironing board too.  The bathroom is equally large and features a marble bath, large shower and bathrobes are also provided.








If you’re feeling hungry then I suggest you head to the stunning riverside restaurant, The River Bar and Grill that serves guests a menu devised around the Josper grill. If you are not familiar with this type of grill, the Josper cooks food at 400°C behind a closed door to lock in ingredients’ natural flavours, delicious! They had a good range of food to choose from on the menu and a good choice of drinks too.  Guests can take in the stunning the views across the city from the Manchester’s longest bar, a large terrace that arcs around the side of the building and choose from one of the many cocktails on the menu.

There is also an in room dining option available 24 hours, for those who missed the dining menu that ends at 10pm. I arrived late to the hotel so I opted for in-room dining and had a classic: fish and chips and mushy peas and onion rings which was delicious.

Fabulous room service available


There is a varied breakfast menu too, choose from corn flakes, fruit or yogurt options to waffles or pancakes with coffee, tea or hot chocolate for drinks. I had the pancakes, bacon and syrup with hot chocolate, all very tasty!
 
Guests also have the option for in room dining for breakfast too

If you wish to de-stress during your stay at the Lowry then visit the impressive sauna and spa that offers a range of relaxing Elemis treatments for guests to enjoy. Afternoon tea is also another option offered within the restaurant too.  If you decide to venture out of the hotel and want to explore the city of Manchester but stuck on ideas, then I suggest visiting the nearby cathedral only 5 minutes away. The staff at The Lowry are very knowledgeable and on hand to suggest places to visit in the area if you are stuck on places to visit.

If you are looking for a luxury hotel in a stylish setting with stunning views, chic décor and top quality dining then head to The Lowry. I really enjoyed my stay at the Lowry and would recommend it to others.  The service was outstanding, all the staff were friendly and extremely helpful without being too overbearing, which can happen too often at luxury hotels. What I liked the most was the relaxed atmosphere during my time at The Lowry. This is often hard to create in a 5* hotel but The Lowry manages to do this well and still maintain its high standards, making it an ideal place to stay in Manchester.

To book your stay at The Lowry visit their website www.thelowryhotel.com



*Disclaimer: My stay at The Lowry Hotel was complimentary but all words and opinions are my own*
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