Our stay at Regnum Aparthotel & Spa in Bansko, Bulgaria

A few weeks ago, I was in Bulgaria with my husband to resolve some issues with my parent’s holiday home. We spent a few days in Bansko and a couple of days in Sofia. I love travelling to Bulgaria and today I would like to tell you about our stay at the Regnum Apart hotel & Spa in Bansko.

Location:

Regnum Apart hotel & Spa is based in the popular town of Bansko at the foot of the Pirin Mountains, in southwest Bulgaria. It is only a few minutes’ walk from town’s high street on which you can find many nice restaurants, clubs and a gondola. The hotels location is perfect – no matter whether you are in Bansko for skiing, hiking or just passing by.

Atmosphere:

Regnum Apart hotel & Spa has a classic and sophisticated décor. Its guests can enjoy many common areas such as an outdoor swimming pool, spa, bar, reading room and a large lounging area. All staff members we spoke with were helpful and accommodating.

Room:

We stayed in an Executive deluxe suite which consisted of two rooms, bathroom and a balcony with stunning mountain views. We enjoyed relaxing in our spacious living room with kitchenette which was fully equipped with a kettle all plates, cutlery, mini-fridge, safe box, and oven. We didn’t cook whilst we were there, but it would be handy for anyone who fancy preparing their meals whilst away from home. Our bedroom had a stylish décor and a comfortable with king size bed and a flat-screen TV.
Our bathroom had both shower cabin and bathtub and again was finished to a high standard. A selection of complimentary toiletries was also provided.


My favourite space in the apartment was our balcony – the view was simply stunning and as we were in Bansko in June it was perfect to lounging on with a drink after hiking all day.

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Overall experience:
We enjoyed our stay in Regnum Apart hotel & Spa and I would recommend it to anyone travelling to Bansko. In addition, the hotel has recently opened its own thermal SPA in a picturesque village of Banya. Regnum Banya Thermal features an outdoor swimming pool with mineral water which is complimentary to use for all hotel guests and can be easily reachable in 10min by a free hotel’s shuttle bus. The SPA has great facilities including a steam room, sauna and if you fancy you can have one of beauty treatments or a massage whilst in there.


The only let down was hotel’s buffet which we decided to try on one of the nights. All food was bland and overpriced for Bulgaria as it was around 20euros per person. It was a canteen quality food which I would not expect in a 5-star hotel.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:
https://www.regnum.bg/en/

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Hillwood, Washington D.C., USA

As some of you might know, I traveled to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. During my stay, I decided to visit some historic homes and gardens. Today, I would like to tell you about my visit to Hillwood Estate, Museum and Garden.

Museum

Marjorie Merriweather Post bought Hillwood in 1955. She was a daughter of Ella Merriweather Post and Charles William (C.W.) Post, who founded the Post cereal empire. She decided that she would like her home to become a museum:

“I want young Americans to see how someone lived in the twentieth century and how this person could collect works of art the way I have… I want to share this with the rest of the world.”
—Marjorie Merriweather Post

Her estate holds the most comprehensive collection of Russian imperial art outside of Russia, a distinguished eighteenth-century French decorative art collection, and twenty-five acres of serene landscaped gardens and natural woodlands for all to enjoy. It was firstly opened as a public institution in 1977 to inspire and educate the public.

Gardens:

Marjorie designed the gardens to flower in the spring and fall however nowadays they are open to public all year round.

Visitors can walk through some beautiful paths that lead them to:

  • Rose Garden
  • Four Season Garden
  • Japanese Style Garden
  • French Parterre
  • Lunar Lawn

Location:
4155 Linnean Avenue,
NW Washington, DC 20008

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Heurich House, Washington D.C., USA

As some of you might know, I traveled to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. During my stay, I decided to visit some historic homes and gardens. Today, I would like to tell you about the Heurich House Museum known also as the Brewmaster’s House.

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The Heurich House Museum is a well-preserved Victorian mansion previously owned by Christian Heurich, a German immigrant that left his country to start a new life in Washington, DC. It is located near the trendy Dupont Circle.

 

The Heurich House Museum.as built from 1892-94 by German immigrant, local brewer Christian Heurich (1842-1945). He lived with his family in Dupont Circle from its 1894 until 1956. He was terrified of fires and the mansion is notable for its fireproof construction. It has original interiors that still look amazing due to the shade and lower temperature of the house.

The Heurich House Museum offers guided tours that last approximately 1 hour on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve joined a tour on Saturday and it was great to learn about the history of the house, its owner and what currently happens there. We walked through the rooms with a knowledgeable guide and admired lots of beautiful antics inspired by French style.

What I found interesting was that the Heurich House Museum, runs a monthly History & Hops event every third Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30pm. During that events the museum partners with a local beer insider for house tours and beer tastings so if you enjoy trying some local beers then you should definitely book yourself in on one of these evenings.

I loved the quotes that were displayed in a drinking room of the owner where he would meet up with a group of friends to try his locally-brewed beer.

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Address:

Heurich House Museum

1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20036

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

 

Dinner at Oliver’s restaurant in The Woburn Hotel

A couple of weeks ago, I travelled to Woburn with my husband. We stayed at The Woburn Hotel and as we are both massive foodies, we decided to visit ‘Olivier’s’ – 2 AA Rosette restaurant.
Olivier’s Restaurant is recognised to be one of the finest restaurants in Bedfordshire in addition to maintaining its 2 AA Rosettes for 11 years it has won multiple awards most recently “Best Restaurant in Bedfordshire” at the Bedfordshire Business SME Awards held in May.

Location:
Olivier’s Restaurant is based at The Woburn Hotel, which is perfectly located in the heart of Georgian village of Woburn, at the gateway to the historic Woburn Abbey Estate. It is easily reachable from London, Milton Keynes and the surrounding Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas.

Atmosphere:
Olivier’s Restaurant has a modern, stylish décor following its recent refurbishment. Guests can enjoy a relaxed setting whilst having some of the best of English and continental dining prepared by talented chefs under the supervision of Olivier Bertho.
Our table was attended by two waiters – Sergio and Mateusz. They both made us feel welcomed and relaxed whilst being attentive and polite.

The menu:
Olivier’s Restaurant offers its dinners a few menus to choose from – A La Carte, Sunday, Lunch, Children and Afternoon Tea. Each of the menus offers dishes that were created by its talented chefs who all have a real passion for good quality food. Due to Oliver Bertho’s french heritage and his experience in quality restaurants the dishes combine classic French and English influences to create signature dishes. Most of the ingredients are sourced locally to make the most of seasonal ingredients.
We had an afternoon tea on Friday in The Repton Room when we arrived at The Woburn Hotel, which we really enjoyed. Having said that, today I would like to tell you about our dining experience when we decided to dine from the A La Carte menu.

Starters:
For my starter, I had some pan-fried scallops with a crispy chicken skin, sweetcorn purée and black pudding crumb. I love scallops and they were simply delectable.

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My husband had a lovely home smoked duck breast with pickled berries served over some green asparagus salad. He really enjoyed it and finished it in no time.

Duck Salad

Mains:
For my main, I decided to order a ginger glazed salmon fillet with sesame and bean salad accompanied by some wasabi mayonnaise. The dish was luscious.

Salmon SC
My husband had a beef fillet with honey roasted baby shallots, pea purée, crispy bacon and buttered baby vegetables. The dish was cooked to perfection.

Beef fillet

Desserts:
I have a very bad sweet tooth and always look forward to having the last course. Whilst dinning at Oliver’s Restaurant, I decided to have a strawberry bavarois with a crème brûlée glaze, lemon curd, shortbread and meringue drops, which was fabulous. My dessert not only looked amazing, but it was also mouth-watering.
My husband ordered a cheese board served with homemade green tomato chutney and traditional sides, which he enjoyed with our leftover wine.

Overall experience:
If you love great food and faultless service, then I would definitely recommend booking a meal at Olivier’s Restaurant. It is perfect for special occasions or if you just want to treat yourself to a remarkable dining experience.

Website:
For more information and to book visit:
https://www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk/oliviers-restaurant-bedfordshire/

Address:
1 George Street,
Woburn,
Bedfordshire,
MK17 9PX

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Washington D.C., USA

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Washington D.C., the capital of the United States. Washington, D.C. is formally known as the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as “Washington”, “the District”, or simply “D.C.”.

Statistics from last year show that Washington had an estimated population of 681,170 however commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city’s population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington, D.C., is located in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. East Coast.

There are many places worth visiting in Washington. Please find a quick summary listed below:

  • Learn more by visiting free Smithsonian museums so you can absorb culture the way it was meant to be experienced — in short encounters in the midst of everyday life.
  • Take flight at the National Air & Space Museum.
  • Learn about the freedom of the press and take some cool photos at the Newseum.

IMG_2019You should also visit the Pulitzer Prize photographs gallery which features all the winning photographs.

  • Go and take some photos of the White House. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get the access to the building but there are quite a few good places where you can view it from.
  • Visit United States Capitol. You can still access it and the tickets are available from a kiosk just outside the building.
  • Stroll down The National Mall. It is definitely the best way to see most of Washington’s monuments starting from the Capitol all the way to the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Visit Washington National Cathedral. This beautiful Gothic cathedral has been used for state funerals for three presidents and many other important burials and memorials.
  • Go shopping at Tanger Outlet. It is located 20 min drive from central Washington and if you like a bargain then you should definitely go there and check it out.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

X

Pauline

Birthday celebrations at The Woburn hotel

Someone wise once said that as you grow older, you learn to understand life a little better… I turned 34 a couple of weeks ago and as I love relaxing, being surrounded by nature and animals, we’ve decided to travel to the picturesque Georgian village of Woburn in Bedfordshire to celebrate it. We’ve stayed in ‘The Woburn Hotel’ – an award winning, 4 AA star hotel.

Location:

‘The Woburn Hotel’ is perfectly located in the heart of Woburn village, in the historic Woburn Abbey Estate that is home of the 15th Duke of Bedford. It can be easily reached from London (~1 hour), Milton Keynes (~20minutes) and in about 30 minutes from Luton Airport.
If being surrounded by nature and animals appeals to you then the hotel’s location should exceed your expectations as it a stone throw away from Woburn Safari Park and Woburn Abbey and Gardens. We visited all of these attractions on Saturday and I really enjoyed our drive through Woburn Safari Park which has over 1,000 wild animals roaming in 300 acres of beautiful parkland. Following from that we discovered an amazing deer park and visited Woburn Abbey which has been home to the Dukes of Bedford for nearly 400 years. In addition, if romantic walks around the gardens are of interest to you then you will be able to explore the 28 acres of award-winning, Humphry Repton inspired, Woburn Abbey Gardens.

Service:

As soon as we entered the hotel, we were welcomed by a very helpful and professional receptionist. He was really approachable and handed us our tickets to Woburn Safari park, which we were going to visit the day-after. He also provided us with some leaflets about the village. Once we checked in, we dropped our bags at our cottage, and we went straight to our afternoon tea. We found all hotel staff at reception and restaurant extremely attentive and friendly.

Rooms:

The Woburn Hotel offers its guests a selection of rooms to choose from in the main hotel ranging from double standard rooms to Abbey rooms to suites in addition to one of seven lovely cottages adjacent to the hotel to suit all budgets. All rooms have stylish décor providing you with everything you need for a relaxing stay. We stayed in a lovely, two storey cottage with a mezzanine floor called – ‘Wispers’ which was overlooking the hotel and its front garden. Each of the cottages have been designed to reflect their connection to the Russell family. The cottage we stayed in was named after an Estate in Sussex, which was purchased by the 11th Duke of Bedford for his wife, Mary back in 1927.

Our cottage featured a comfortable bed, luxury linen, safe, a TV and a telephone.

In addition, there were tea and coffee making facilities a selection of delicious complimentary chocolates, which were freshly prepared for us and waiting for us on our arrival.

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The cottage was perfect to celebrate my birthday and relaxing in after our adventures with its separate, large lounging area.

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Our en-suite bathroom had a classic décor. A selection of The White Company bath toiletries was also provided. In addition, some soft towels, slippers and soft bath gowns were available – perfect for lounging in before and after our sightseeing.

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Facilities:

In addition to some charming rooms, hotel features the drawing room, The Tavistock bar, The Repton Room and 2 AA Rosette restaurant – Olivier’s.

The restaurant offers its dinners some of the best Bedfordshire cuisine. A Polish waiter, which assisted us – Mateusz made our stay extremely memorable by always being chatty and professional.

The hotel also has a lovely patio where its visitors can enjoy a drink or a snack.
Breakfast is offered in the main restaurant and provides a selection of made to order dishes.

Overall experience:

The Woburn hotel is perfectly located just steps away from Woburn Safari Park, Woburn Golf Club and estates. If you have a special occasion coming up, then the hotel offers a range of escapes to choose from. We loved the hotel’s charming accommodation, which being part of the Woburn Estate helped us to create lots of unforgettable moments in the English countryside. In addition, the service was faultless so I would recommend this hotel to anyone who plans to travel to travel to Woburn or surrounding areas.
I would love to stay in this hotel again one day!

Website:

For more information and to book visit:
https://www.thewoburnhotel.co.uk/

Address:
1 George Street,
Woburn,
Bedfordshire,
MK17 9PX

Hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Holiday destinations: Tudor Place, Washington D.C., USA

As some of you might know, I traveled to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. During my stay, I decided to visit some historic homes and gardens. Today, I would like to tell you about the Tudor Place. The name of this place is a bit deceiving as it doesn’t have anything in common with a Tudor era but even though it is definitely worth visiting.

Tudor Place House and Garden is an elegant neoclassical house dating back to 1816. To start with it was a home of Martha Custis (a granddaughter of Martha Washington) who built her estate with her husband Thomas Peter.

Tudor Place Owners

The house was extended and through six generations (until 1983), the Peter family celebrated their heritage here while also embracing contemporary art and fashion.

Today, visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the estate, giving them an opportunity to admire displays of family artifacts. I enjoyed walking through the drawing room, dinning room and kitchen while admiring the antics and listening to the stories of each of these rooms.

After the tour, as I love the gardens, I really enjoyed relaxing at the expansive, quiet historic gardens that are located in front of the property. Perfect to unwind when you are busy and fancy a bit of peace and relaxation.

Location:

Tudor Place is located in Georgetown Heights at 1644 31st Street, Northwest.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Zagreb, Croatia

Two weeks ago, I travelled with my husband to Zagreb in Croatia. Zagreb is not the first city that comes on anyone’s mind when thinking of Croatia but it should definitely change. For me, it was the third Croatian city we’ve seen so far as we previously visited Split and Dubrovnik known from Game of Thrones.

Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb’s metropolitan area is the biggest in Croatia with a population of over one million.

Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The city smells of roses and there are many flower shops as well as a flower market located in center of the town.

I love how colorful and vibrant it it. It is a perfect destination for a weekend / city break. There are hundreds of great restaurants and bars located in there and even the most demanding foodies like me can choose from a range of local and international cuisines.

If you like sightseeing then there is a lot to see. Here is a short list of my suggestions of places worth visiting:

  • The Upper Town
  • Zagreb Cathedral
  • Zagreb Eye
  • King Tomislav Square
  • Maksimir Park and Zagreb Zoo
  • Ilica Street (for a bit of retail therapy)
  • Museum of Broken Relationships (if you would like to read some heartbreaking stories told by hundreds of personal belongings of past lovers from all over the world).
  • And many more hidden gems like these:

How to get there?

Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights and holidays to Zagreb from London Gatwick and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, from £42 one way (£79 return). It is a great cheap airline with the friendliest flight attendants I have ever met.

For further information or to book Monarch flights, Monarch Holidays or Monarch Hotels, please visit www.monarch.co.uk

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Cologne, Germany

Last week, we traveled with my husband to Cologne for 3-days weekend break.

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Cologne is the fourth-largest city in German located within the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, one of the major European metropolitan areas, and with more than ten million inhabitants, the largest in Germany.

The city is less than 80 km from Belgium and it is located on both sides of the Rhine River.
IMG_3109When we arrived to Cologne, before we started our sightseeing we decided to visit Cologne Tourist Information Center which is located just opposite of cathedral.

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We bought two KölnCards, that provided us with free public transport as well as reductions at various restaurants, museums, bars and so on around the city. As Cologne is a major cultural center it hosts more than thirty museums and hundreds of galleries so the discounts we received using KölnCards were significant.

  1. Cologne Cathedral – beautiful Roman Gothic cathedral that is the main tourist attraction of Cologne and attracts over 6 million visitors per year.
  2. Museum Ludwig – great place to visit for art lovers. It holds extensive collection of Picasso works.
  3. Romano-Germanic Museum – holds a lot of Roman artifacts and antiques.
  4. Cologne Cable Car – a gondola lift that runs across the River Rhine.
  5. Fragrance Museum – perfume museum that holds artworks from 1685.

In addition, I would also recommend one of the city sightseeing bus tours. They take around 1.5 hour and you will be able to see all of the main attractions. There was a couple of companies running them and the tickets were 11 EUR.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

The Adagio London Brentford, UK

Two weeks ago, I was invited the opening of the first ever Adagio Aparthotel in London Brentford. I’ve previously stayed in Adagio Aparthotel with my mum in Nice in France and I really enjoyed it so I was really looking forward to discovering what Adagio has to offer in London.

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Location:

The Adagio Aparthotel Brentford provides good links with Central London so it’s great for both business and leisure travellers. It is also located close to London Heathrow airport and within a mile of Kew Gardens. The closest tube station is 10minutes walk from the aparthotel.

Facilities:

Adagio Aparthotel Brentford offers all the comforts of home whilst you are away. The hotel features 100 apartments (a mixture of studios and one-bedroom apartments), virtual concierge, fitness centre, laundry facilities, open hot-desk work area next to reception and a restaurant where you can grab a breakfast or a drink from.

Aparthotels Adagio London Brentford’s design takes inspiration from its urban surroundings with a modern feel. All Adagio aparthotels aim to provide open areas where guests can work and meet, perhaps even take part in one of their spontaneous cooking sessions all within Adagios comfortable setting.

As soon as you enter, you are welcomed by friendly receptionists and beautiful, contemporary surroundings.

Room:

We stayed in a beautiful apartment located on the seventh floor. Our apartment had a fully-equipped kitchen, air conditioning, living area with flat screen smart TV, free WIFI and telephone. We also had a spacious bathroom with complimentary Malin + Goez toiletries.

The living area of the apartment consisted also had a large and comfortable bed so we slept very well.

We also had a large terrace featuring the panoramic views of London where the guests could enjoy a drink or sit down and relax with a good book.

Overall experience:

The hotel staff believe that ‘home is not a place, it is a feeling’ and they try to create a friendly, open surroundings for its guests. Although, we stayed at the Adagio Aparthotel Brentford only for 1 night, we had a great time. The hotel has everything that’s needed whilst away from home and I will definitely stay in Adagio Aparthotels in the future.

Address:

Key Eye Tower

Ealing Rd

Brentford TW8 0FL

Website:

https://www.adagio-city.com

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline