Bank Holiday stay at the Talland Bay Hotel in Cornwall

Last weekend, I was with my husband in Cornwall for an extended Bank Holiday weekend. We decided to stay at the Talland Bay Hotel based on the corner of South East Cornwall.

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Atmosphere:

The Talland Bay Hotel has a very informal atmosphere. All members of staff were extremely friendly and made us feel welcomed as soon as we checked-in. The hotel is also dog-friendly and hotel’s décor features paintings and sculptures of cats and dogs which made me believe that the owners of this retreat must love animals. What’s more, we discovered that you can even dine with your dog in the conservatory brasserie.

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The hotel offers bed and board for pets which includes a cosy blanket, feeding mat and bowl and even a complimentary doggie treat. Simply amazing for anyone travelling with their four-leg companion 🙂

Location:

The Talland Bay Hotel has a perfect cliff-top setting at Porthallow between Looe and Polperro and is just yards from the South West Coast Path and Talland Bay beach. Great to go to for a picnic or a bit of sunbathing.

Facilities:

The Talland Bay Hotel has received a bundle of awards including taking Silver in the ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ category at the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2016/17 and Gold in the Taste of the West Awards. In addition, it also has a great restaurant onsite which is headed by chef Nick Hawke. It was recently awarded four Stars and two Rosettes from The AA. I am a massive foodie and I decided to have a couple of dinners in there and I wasn’t disappointed -everything we chose from the menu was delicious.

All visitors can relax at the guest lounge with an extensive mix of furnishings and beautiful art or have a drink at the bar. It offers a wide choice of drinks including Cornish Pilsner that my husband loved, a range of gins and a selection of cocktails.

I am a massive fan of any outdoor green spaces and the hotel grounds have a lot of beautiful features. There are lots of interesting sculptures decorating the grounds, in addition to footpaths and sunny terraces overlooking the coast path and the sea.

Room:

This small, privately-owned luxurious, boutique hotel has only 20-rooms. We stayed in a sea view suite (no. 1) which was simply stunning.

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I loved its white, modern décor combined with some timeless seaside theme inspired accessories.

The interior of each of the bedrooms and reception is diverse and individually designed.

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Our bedroom had a flat screen TV, massive and very comfortable king-size bed, coffee table and a couple of couches to relax on after a day of sightseeing. We also had a small make-up desk and a massive mirror to help anyone to get ready.

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What I liked the most was the view… It was simply breath-taking! After we arrived at the hotel I sat at the window frame and just admired how stunning it was.

Our bathroom was spacious and it had a simple white décor. Some soft towels, bath robes and White Company toiletries were also provided.

Overall experience:

We had a wonderful time during our stay at the Talland Bay Hotel. I travel a lot and it was one of the coziest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. The room was beautiful, the views were breathtaking and the service was faultless so I would recommended it to anyone who travels to Cornwall.

Website:

For more information visit:

www.tallandbayhotel.co.uk

Address:

Polperro Heritage Coast, Porthallow, Looe PL13 2JB

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

 

 

Holiday destinations: Helsinki, Finland

At the beginning of March I was on a business trip in Helsinki in Finland. It was my third trip to that city and honestly speaking it is not one of my favorite destinations.

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  1. Esplanade Park;
  2. Helsinki Cathedral;
  3. Helsinki Zoo;
  4. Market Square;
  5. Old Market Hall.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Cambridge, UK

A few weeks ago, I was on a business trip in Cambridge.

Cambridge is a city in the county town of Cambridgeshire in England.  It is located around 80 km north of London and in 2011 its population was slightly over 123,000 including almost 25 thousands of students.

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Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology industries including software and bio-science and many start-up companies spun out of the university.

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More than 40% of the workforce has a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average. 

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  1. King’s College Chapel;
  2. Fitzwilliam Museum;
  3. Mathematical Bridge;
  4. Cambridge University Botanic Garden;
  5. University of Cambridge.

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

Holiday destinations: Vilnius, Lithuania

I have recently visited Vilnius and stayed there for 3 days with my husband.

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Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania. It contains one of the largest surviving medieval quarters in Europe.

It is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, Old Town contains almost two thousand medieval, gothic, renaissance, and baroque buildings.

Top 5 ‘must-see’ places to visit are:

  • Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania – the former political, diplomatic, cultural centre of the State.
  • Gediminas’ Tower of the Upper Castle – An observation deck on the top of the tower is the best place from which to appreciate a magnificent panorama of Vilnius.
  • Cathedral Basilica – The Cathedral of St. Stanislav and St. Vladislav is the most important place of worship for Lithuania’s Catholics, and the venue for the country’s main Christian, for, and national festivities.
  • Gates of Dawn – The Gates of Dawn is one of the most visited shrines in Vilnius that is famous not only in Lithuania but also abroad, worshipped by the representatives of other creeds too. This is the only surviving gate of the first original five gates in the city wall that was built between 1503 and 1522.
  • Church of St Anne – The church of St Anne is a masterpiece of the late Gothic period.

We really enjoyed our stay in Vilnius. It is definitely worth visiting if you decide to travel to Eastern Europe.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, London Heathrow

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A couple of weeks ago, I was on a business trip and came back to London during late evening.  As I was flying for my skiing break in less than 8 hours from arriving back, I decided to stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Heathrow.

Location:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Heathrow is located on a Bath Road in Hounslow. It is only 10 minutes taxi drive from London Heathrow Terminal 3 and around 15 min drive from terminal 5.

Atmosphere and Facilities:

The hotel has an informal atmosphere.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Heathrow has a 24-hours reception, baggage storage room, restaurant and a room service. Wi-Fi is available throughout the property for an extra charge.

The room-service offering is quite limited. There wasn’t much to choose from so I ordered a burger. It was £16 pounds and honestly speaking I would never order it again. If you stay at this hotel then it might be worth checking their restaurant offering. Alternatively, you could walk to one of many restaurants available on the road.

The room had a simple, modern décor. The double bed was comfortable and spacious. My room also had a flat-screen TV, safe, mini-bar and blackout curtains and coffee & tea making facilities.

The bathroom also had a modern décor and some Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries were provided.

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Overall:

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Heathrow for anyone travelling from the Heathrow airport. It is located around 45-minutes drive from the central London so if you wish to do a bit of sightseeing then I would probably recommend you to stay somewhere more central.

Address:

745 Bath Rd,

Hounslow

TW5 9QE, UK

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Holiday destinations: Bansko, Bulgaria

I have just came back from my winter holidays with my family in Bansko in Bulgaria. This mountain resort is an excellent choice for your ski and snowboard holiday in Bulgaria.

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Bansko was voted as the best winter resort in Bulgaria with the longest ski runs and the richest cultural history. The town of Bansko is situated at the foot of the Pirin mountain in the south-western Bulgaria, 160 km from Sofia (around 3.5 hours’ drive from the airport).

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The resort offers excellent ski and snowboard conditions and infrastructure. There are a lot of hotels of various standards and prices based in there. I would personally recommend Premier Mountain Resort or Kempinski Hotel if you like staying in luxury hotels.

What’s worth mentioning here, the prices of hotels, ski rentals etc. are probably 50% cheaper than in Alps so you can stay in a 5 star hotel for the price of 2/3 star hotel in Austria or France.

Après ski

So what to do after a day on slopes? Après ski in the resort is really good and offers hundreds of bars, traditional restaurants and clubs where you can indulge after your skiing or snowboarding adventures. I will be posting some reviews of places that are worth visiting whilst in Bulgaria soon.

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Location

Bansko is a ski and mountain resort located in the south-western part of Bulgaria. The town is situated 6 km from the town of Razlog and 160 km from the capital of Sofia. The town of Bansko is located 925 m above the sea level whereas its ski area – at an altitude of 2000 – 2600 m.

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Resort information

Bansko ski resort is attractive in all seasons but I’ve only been there during the winter as I love skiing.

The ski season in Bansko lasts from 15 December to 14 April. During the recent years a multimillion Euros investment in a brand new skiing area has been made by Yulen, the company that runs the skiing area of Bansko. Numerous new luxury hotels and facilities in the area of the Gondola lift station have been constructed. It provides excellent ski and snowboard facilities, as well as a unique history and architecture of an old and new part of the town.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Brussels during the winter

A few weeks ago, I took my husband to Brussels. It is one of these places where I’ve been to on multiple occasions and I always like returning to this city made famous by its French fries, waffles, seafood and beer.

Brussels is the largest city and a capital of Belgium. It has a population of 1.2 million and it has been increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages.

Historically it was a Dutch-speaking city, it has seen a language shift to French from the late 19th century onwards. Today the majority language is French however all road signs, street names and many services are shown in both languages. If you fancy a short break then Brussels is a great destination as it is only 2 hours away on the Eurostar.

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There’s lots to see in the city from the famous chocolate shops to enjoying its cafe culture in the Grand-Place area.

Here is a short list of my suggestions:

  1. Grote Markt (Dutch) / Grand-Place (French).
  2. City Museum – Maison du Roi (French) – Broodhuis (Flemish).
  3. Hôtel de Ville – Town Hall.
  4. Heysel Park and the Atomium.
  5. Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Koekelberg Basilica).

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Paris during the winter, France

A few weeks ago I travelled to Paris with one of my best friends – Natasha.

Paris is a capital city of France and it has a population of 12 million (2014) which covers 18 percent of the residents of France. In 2015 Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

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Travel:

We decided to go to Paris by Eurostar as it is the easiest way to travel to Paris from London. It takes under 2.5 hours and trains depart from King’s Cross Station in central London every hour. Prices vary from £29 for a standard single ticket booked in advance to £249 for a business premiere ticket including an access to the Executive Lounge and some complementary drinks and a meal on-board.

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Paris is wonderful and it doesn’t matter whether you travel there during the winter or during the summer.

The Central area of Paris along the Seine River is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site, and includes many notable monuments. In addition, Paris is the home of many important museums and cultural institutions. There are many places worth seeing however if you are in Paris for a limited time (we were there for 3 days) then you should definitely visit:

  • The Eiffel Tower – an iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars that was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.
  • The Louvre – the most visited and the largest art museum in the world.
  • Arc de Triomphe – is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral – is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité built in the 12th century.

Furthermore, I would definitely recommend that you either take a walk down the river or alternatively you can take one of many mini-cruises especially if the weather is nice.

In addition, if you love live-shows and cabaret then you should definitely visit Moulin Rouge but be prepared-tickets for a show and dinner are quite expensive and start at 190 Euros per person thus we decided to skip it this time.

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Hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Brussels, Belgium

I’ve visited Brussels on the multiple occasions and I always like returning to this city made famous by its French fries, waffles, seafood and beer.

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Brussels is the largest city and a capital of Belgium. It has a population of 1.2 million and it has been increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages.

Historically it was a Dutch-speaking city, it has seen a language shift to French from the late 19th century onwards.

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Today the majority language is French however all road signs, street names and many services are shown in both languages. If you fancy a short break then Brussels is a great destination as it is only 2 hours away on the Eurostar.

There’s lots to see in the city from the famous chocolate shops to enjoying its cafe culture in the Grand-Place area.

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Here is a short list of my suggestions:

  1. Grote Markt (Dutch) / Grand-Place (French).
  2. City Museum – Maison du Roi (French) – Broodhuis (Flemish).
  3. Hôtel de Ville – Town Hall.
  4. Heysel Park and the Atomium.
  5. Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Koekelberg Basilica).

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

X

Pauline