Henley Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames

I have recently experienced Henley Royal Regatta with my colleagues.

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If you are keen on watching some exciting rowing events then Henley Royal Regatta is definitely an event you should attend. It is held annually on the River Thames in the picturesque town of Henley-on-Thames.

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It has a long tradition dating back to 1839 and the event lasts for five days (Wednesday to Sunday) ending normally on the first weekend in July.

The races are over a course of 1 mile and many home and international teams compete in it every year. The regatta pre-dates both national or international rowing organisation and it has its own rules.

We were lucky to be invited to join the Royal Stewards Enclosure.

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It is situated on the Berkshire bank, opposite the Finish Line and reserved for Members and their Guests. Stuarts are responsible for organising the event and in many cases are former rowers themselves. The Stewards Enclosure has a very strict dress code. A lounge suit or jacket with flannels and a tie or cravat is required for men and dresses and skirts (hemlines beneath the knee) are required for women.

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The regatta is known to be one of the most prestigious events of the English social season and lots of celebrities visit the Royal Stewards Enclosure yearly. Some of my colleagues saw George Clooney who lives not far from Henley enjoying the event.

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We had a lovely day out as a team. As the weather was amazing it was really relaxing and whilst I was sipping my Champagne I almost forgot that I was at the work event!

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I would definitely recommend attending but be carful what you wear as if you do not meet the strict dress code, you’ll be turned away.

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

 

 

Tried and Tested: Maui Moisture Bamboo Fibers Collection

As some of you probably know, I really enjoy trying new hair products.  A couple of weeks ago, I came across the Maui Moisture range. The range consists of shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments. What really intrigued me was that all Maui moisture products are made with 100% pure aloe juice and are infused with pure Coconut Water instead of regular water. The range doesn’t include any:

  • mineral oils
  • silicones
  • sulfate surfactants
  • synthetic dyes

There are five ranges available however as I have fine hair, I decided to try the Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore Bamboo Fibers Collection.

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The range helps to enhance and strengthen your hair and gives a fuller-looking hair that smells amazing and looks healthy. It consists of:

  • Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore Bamboo Fibers Shampoo (385 ml)
  • Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore Bamboo Fibers Conditioner (385 ml)
  • Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore Bamboo Fibers Blow-out mist (236 ml)

The unique blend of aloe vera juice, infused with coconut water, bamboo fibers, castor oil and neem oil helps to strengthen hair and encourage healthy-looking glow.

Result:

If you are looking for a natural, vegan friendly range of hair care then you should definitely give ‘maui moisture’ a go. The range not only smells sensational but it also helps you to gently cleanse, restore and rejuvenate your hair. My hair looks fuller and feels thicker and stronger and I’ve only been using it for slightly over 2 week now.

Give it a go!

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Ross & Ross – Wedding Anniversary Foodie Gift Idea

It is our first wedding anniversary next week. My husband is a git of a computer geek so he requested some vouchers so he can buy a new gaming equipment. I wanted to also get him something he can enjoy straight away and as both myself and my husband are massive foodies I decided to get him The XL Man Box from Ross and Ross.

Company:

Ross & Ross is a small, multi award winning fine food company based in the Cotswolds. It specializes in Wedding & Event Catering and Handmade British food gifts. The company has just won 2 stars in The Great Taste Awards for their BBQ Salt and The Cotswold Pig-the beer that goes into a lot of the hampers. In addition, Ross and Ross won some other awards including:

  • Winner of ‘Gift of the Year’ Food & Drink Award 2017 (Homemade Curing Kit, Salmon)
  • Finalists of Best Independent Retailer Award at the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2017

The owners Ross Bearman and Ross Whitmill share a passion for great British food. They have worked in the fine food industry for over 15 years. Their website offers a range of fine-food gift boxes and last year they expanded the popular Man Box collection to include a cider variety in addition to launching The Homemade Curing Kit.

Who are the boxes for?

The boxes are suitable for any male that enjoy a quality food and beverage. Ross & Ross range ranges from themed Father’s Day and Wedding boxes (for Ushers, Best Man, Father of the Bride) to generic boxes suitable for any occasion.

I decided to get my husband The XL Man Box described on the website as:

‘It’s BIG, it’s spicy and totally separates the men from the boys.’

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The XL Man Box contains:

  • Premium Cotswold Lager, 5.0% 330ml Made by The Cotswold Brewing Co, Bourton on the Water. A smooth, subtle lager with a soft, fruity flavour. Additive free, preservative free and unpasteurised for the freshest, truest possible taste.
  • Cotswold Pig Ale, 4.4%, 500ml Made by Stratford-upon-Avon Brewery
  • British Charcuterie 100g – Original Salami Made by the Cotswold Curer, Cirencester. Artisan producer of salami and chorizo made from locally sourced free range pork in the Cotswolds.
  • British Charcuterie 100g – Spicy Chorizo Made by the Cotswold Curer, Cirencester. Artisan producer of salami and chorizo made from locally sourced free range pork in the Cotswolds.
  • Mr Trotter’s Great British Crackling – Original 60g Pork Scratchings made from 100% prime British pork skin from the finest British pigs.
  • Mr Trotter’s Great British Crackling – Jalapeno Chilli 60g Pork Scratchings made from 100% prime British pork skin from the finest British pigs.
  • Plum Chutney 115g jar Slow cooked Cotswold plums with spices and apples. A great all-rounder for cheeses and terrines.

Prices:

All Ross & Ross boxes are reasonably priced and offer a great selection of gifts ranging from £20-40.

Please refer to the website for more details.

X

Pauline

Another summer ball with my family

A few weeks ago, we was invited by my father-in-law to attend a summer ball at Porters Park Golf Club which is located in Hertfordshire.

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As I was attending a different event during the day we arrived just in time for a champagne reception. It was nice catching up to my in-laws and shortly after we were invited to take our seats in the beautifully decorated marquee.

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There were around 180 golf club members and their guests present during the evening.

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The event begun with some speeches. Soon after, whilst sipping some white wine, we were listening to the awards granted to the best players. Subsequently, we were served a 3-courses dinner. There was a live entertainment provided by performers from the Déjà vu band. We all had the opportunity to show our best moves on the dance floor while enjoying the iconic songs from 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Even my husband who doesn’t like dancing, joined me on a dance-floor.

Summer Ball Menu included:

Starter – Sea Trout & Asparagus

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The starter was delicious and the sea trout was roasted until crisp with lemon thyme. It was served with some steamed buttered asparagus, warmed new potatoes and grilled baby tomatoes.

Main – Rosemary Roast Lamp Rump

I really enjoyed the main -a prime rump of lamb cooked with fresh rosemary till just pink. It was served alongside a rich cream & garlic dauphinouse, baby summer vegetables, a mint and some red wine sauce.

Dessert – Trio of Desserts

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Desserts are always my favorite part of any meal. During the summer ball we received 3 mini desserts – blackcurrant & vanilla cheesecake, mini chocolate pot and summer berries with a sweet coulis.

Dress Code:

Dress Code for the event was black tie so I decided to wear one of my ball-gowns from COAST paired with some Jenny Peckham’s hills.

To sum up, we both had a great evening of fine dining and dancing. Where shall we go next?

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

De Vere Wokefield Estate, UK

I travel on business a lot and a couple of weeks ago, I stayed at De Vere Wokefield Estate.

Location:

De Vere Wokefield Estate is located 25 minutes drive from the Reading train station or 40 minutes drive from Heathrow Airport. It is set inside of a golf course in 250 acres of Berkshire parkland.

DE VERE WOKEFIELD ESTATE entrance

Facilities:

De Vere Wokefield Estate has a 24-hours reception and a Business Centre.

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Wi-Fi is available at no extra charge. The hotel caters for both business and personal events from weddings to meetings and team-building exercises. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and a room service.

The restaurant serves a nice selection of buffet items for breakfast and dinner. The bar offers a nice selection of gourmet food but I wouldn’t advise to eat in there. Firstly, the service was extremely slow-I was waiting for my steak for 2 hours… Secondly, I was disappointed with the bar staff as they should have at least warned me and my colleague about the waiting time before we ordered. Food was reasonably priced but my steak was really solid and I ended up only having half of it.

In addition, if you like playing golf then De Vere Wokefield Estate is surrounded by an 18-hole championship golf course with 9 lakes. You can also buy some professional golf merchandise on-site.

Room:

De Vere Wokefield Estate offers rooms in either the sleek Executive Centre or in the elegant Mansion House. I stayed at the Executive Centre. My room had a  modern, stylish decor. My king-size bed was comfortable and room also had a study desk and a large TV.

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The bathroom had a simple décor – bath, shower, hairdryer and toiletries were available.

Overall:

De Vere Wokefield Estate is a great place to unwind after a day of work or during the weekend. If you travel to Reading on business then I would definitely recommend it as it is much nicer then most hotels based in the city centre. 

Address:

Goodboys Lane, Reading
RG7 3AE

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Birmingham, UK

A few weeks ago, my younger brother was in UK for a couple of days and we decided to go to Birmingham for a day break.

Birmingham is located in the West Midlands area and is the second largest city outside in UK with a population of over 1 million. We took a fast train (Virgin Train) from Euston and in just 90 min, we arrived in Birmingham’s New Street station.

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Due to its close proximity to London, Birmingham is perfect if you wish to escape from London and visit another English city. It is an important transport, retail, events and conference hub and city’s economy is dominated by the service sector which accounted for 88% of the city’s employment.

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Apart from world-class galleries and stimulating museums there are many places worth visiting:

  1. National Sea Life Centre – an aquarium with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life in Brindleyplace. Located 15 minutes walk from the train station.
  2. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery – great museum with a vast collection of international importance covering fine art, ceramics, metalwork and natural history.
  3. Birmingham Botanical Gardens – if you like relaxing in gardens then you should go to this 15 acres botanical gardens that are around 10 min walk from the city centre.
  4. Gas Street Basin – a canal basin in the centre of Birmingham with some trendy bars and cafes to grab a drink or some lunch from.
  5. Hall of Memory – a war memorial located in the city centre to commemorate the 12,320 Birmingham citizens who died in World War I.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post!

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Pauline

 

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Bristol, UK

Last month, my mum came to stay with me for a few days and we decided to go to Bristol for a couple of days. We stayed at Hilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre.

Location:

Hilton Garden Inn Bristol hotel is located 15 minutes walk from the Bristol train station in a quiet business area. In addition, it is only 5 minutes from Temple Meads Station and 10-minutes train ride from Bath Spa. The shopping centre is located barely 5 min away so if you are planning a bit of retail therapy then look no further. 

Facilities:

Hilton Garden Inn Hotel has a 24-hours reception, baggage storage room, restaurant and a room service. Wi-Fi is available at no extra charge. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day. The Races reception serves a nice breakfast to start your day with. During the evening you can choose from a range of International and British dishes but I wasn’t impressed with their quality.

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The hotel has 2 meeting rooms that can host a conference or private event for up to 60 guests and if you wish to make your stay extra special then you can request to stay in one of the rooms with a picturesque view of Temple Gardens.

Room:

We stayed in a Queen Guest Room had a nice, contemporary décor.

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Our room had a mini-fridge, work desk and a chair. I addition, there was a large 32-inch LCD TV. The bed which was comfortable and easy to fell asleep in.

The bathroom was small and had some basic toiletries were provided.

Overall:

Hilton Garden Inn Bristol hotel has simple yet comfortable facilities in addition to great location. I would recommend it to anyone who travels to Bristol on business or for pleasure.

Address:

Temple Way, Bristol, BS1 6BF, United Kingdom

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline