15/12/2014

The Pig In The Wall Hotel, Southampton - 14.12.2014.

Christmas is only just over a week away (which still doesn’t make any sense… where has this year gone?!) so, as an early Christmas present, Kieran’s parents very kindly treated us to a night at The Pig In The Wall hotel in Southampton to do some shopping. 







The hotel itself is situated a short walk away from West Quay shopping centre, and is absolutely beautiful. We’ve visited before for a cup of tea or lunch on our travels into the city before, but this was our first overnight stay at the hotel. Doubling as a cafe that offers light lunches and suppers from its deli counter, the hotel boasts rustic charm with it’s country vintage decor and, with its roaring fire, it’s the perfect antidote for the increasingly colder days and nights (especially after a busy, yet successful day of buying gifts!)





The hotel offers three categories of rooms, which we were nicely shown around by a lovely member of staff. Ranging from ‘snug’ (the title doesn’t lie - but it looks undeniably cosy!) to ‘spacious,’ each room is unique and looked so inviting - I couldn’t choose my favourite! 




Our room came under the ‘comfy’ category - and that is was. I loved all the little details, like the informative mini books and vintage inspired radio - so cute! The bathroom was amazing too, with a huge shower. The room also contained a fully stocked larder, with wines, teas, coffees and healthy snacks (including a Nakd bar - my favourite!) in addition to a complimentary bottle of champagne to enjoy either in our room our with our supper later that evening. 






Our stay also included breakfast the morning after, which - being my favourite meal of the day - pleased Kieran and I both. The Pig offered a buffet with a vast range of food to appeal to anyones taste - I opted for granola topped with fruit and nut… and a cup of tea of course! Kieran went for a slice of banana and walnut loaf and a croissant. The food was amazing - it’s a shame we can’t add this to our list of local breakfast haunts! 





After being recommended by a member of staff, we stopped off at The Pig in the Forest on our way home for tea and a walk amongst the garden kitchen grounds. Both hotels were stunning - now all I’ve got left to do is visit The Pig in Bath for comparison… as if I need an excuse!

Love,
Lottie x

05/12/2014

Disneyland / Trip To Paris.

There’s no denying that I’m a huge Disney geek. So, the thought of going to Disneyland during their Christmas season was enough to keep me excited for weeks (okay, months!) before our trip last week. Kieran and I went with his family for five days, taking the Eurostar train from Ashford to Paris. We stayed at the Sequoia Lodge hotel, a beautifully (and aptly) Canadian cabin lodge themed resort, which at this time of year was lovely. There was nothing nicer than coming back to a hotel with roaring fires, cosy bars and festive decor after a busy day in the parks! 

Hat: H&M | Coat: Zara | Shirt: TopShop | Jeans: Miss Selfridge | Boots: New Look | Bag: Primark
On the fourth day, we decided to venture into Paris via the RER train, stopping off at Auber to see the sights and amazing architecture. I was also eager to visit the original Chanel store in Rue Cambon nearby, but was easily distracted by a Zara Home store on the way! 




Once we reached Rue Cambon, we went inside the Chanel store and browsed the rails of amazing couture garments and endless shelves and cabinets full of accessories that included some stunning jewellery pieces. I was then (naturally) drawn to the makeup and fragrance counter, where I spotted a bottle of Chanel No. 5; which I’d been coveting for months! For 124E, it’s safe to say the notorious perfume does not come cheap. But, having bought some extra money for spending, I decided to splurge on the most expensive beauty purchase I’ve made yet - with Kieran kindly offering to put half towards it. Spoilt! I’ve worn it a few times since getting home, and it’s such a wearable statement scent which makes me immediately think of elegance and sophistication. Plus, I love how the bottle looks amongst my dressing table!





We then took the Metro from Concorde to Bastille (not before getting lost, typically!) through to Jaques-Bonsergent to find Holybelly, a cafe we’d seen mentioned in Kinfolk. The place had glowing reviews and the menu looked amazing, so we were keen to visit! It’s safe to say we weren’t disappointed. We arrived just after 2pm and, even though the place was packed, we were swiftly seated after a short wait. I fell in love with all the decor straight away; simple greenery, Kinfolk books lining the shelves and industrial lights strung from the ceiling gave the cafe an open yet homey feel.





 I went for an Earl Grey tea (home from home!) with a baked squash, topped with quinoa and goats cheese and side salad whilst Kieran opted for a beef stew. Both were amazing and were by far our favourite meal of the entire week. 



The staff were friendly, and seemed at ease with locals passing through and made us feel immediately welcome, with the waitress even kindly read the menu in English for us. Afterwards, Kieran couldn’t resist a go on the pinball machine, knocking up a pretty decent score. 


We then caught the (multiple) trains back to Marne Le Valle, where Disneyland is situated and joined Kieran’s sister for her birthday evening meal at Planet Hollywood in the village. 





The next day, we were determined to make the most of our final few hours before we set off home at 5pm. We stopped off at a few shops in Main Street to make a few purchases for gifts to take home, whilst encountering ‘snowfall’ - and meeting Jack Skellington in Frontierland. 





We then all met for our final meal at the park in Cafe Mickey - where you literally seem to meet a new character every minute, much to the joy of Kieran’s young niece and nephew! The cafe itself was the perfect way to end an amazing week in Paris in true Disneyland style.


Love,
Lottie x