Crieff Hydro is spread over 900 acres of countryside just outside of Perth. You can stay in the hotel itself or in one of the self catering lodges in the grounds. A couple of months ago, my mum and stepdad drove up from Cardiff and we met them at Crieff Hydro for a relaxing weekend. Our lodge was stunning with fantastic views of the hills from the big windows. I really liked the colourful blue boards on the outside of the lodge and also the cosy heated floors in the bathrooms! There are lots of things to do at Crieff but we opted for a weekend of doing very little. On the Friday night, we were picked up from our lodge by the site mini van (which anyone can use by calling reception) and were driven the few minutes over to the main hotel where we had a cocktail in the piano bar followed by dinner in the Meikle Restaurant. The food was fantastic and the staff were really attentive and friendly. After a lazy Saturday morning, we dug out our rain coats and took a walk through the countryside to the nearby Famous Grouse Experience in the Glenturret Distillery. The Glenturret single malt is the main whisky used in Famous Grouse. Despite living in Scotland for almost two years now, this is the first distillery tour I have been on and I found it really interesting – especially the story about Towser, the distillery cat, who apparently caught 28,899 mice throughout her life!
Apart from this outing, the rest of the weekend was spent catching up, cooking together, playing boardgames and watching Eurovision! We had a lovely weekend at Crieff and felt so relaxed that we didn’t want to leave. I would love to stay for longer next time so that there is more time to explore and also try out the spa…..
The Country Candle Company are based in Wiltshire, England where they create beautifully scented and packaged candles. I have two of their candles from the Celebrations collection. The Tonka Bean and Vanilla one is my favourite – it also has hints of cinnamon and clove so is a gorgeous Christmas candle without being overly Christmassy, if you know what I mean! The Black Pomegrannate scent is also lovely – it is fruity and reminds me of summer. I think the packaging is really cute and am suprised at how good these candles are as they are so reasonably priced – just £5.99 for a candle that burns for around 20 hours. The Country Candle Company have lots of collections on their website, all well priced and with pretty packaging – I have a long list of ones I want to try next!
I’ve just finished reading The Foster Husband by Pippa Wright. I’ve read a book by her before called Unsuitable Men which I quite enjoyed. This one was in the same sort of style – easy to read, fast moving with a bit of humor thrown in. I kind of wish I had saved reading this until I went on holiday as it would make the perfect book to read on the beach!
Last weekend I had the chance to visit the Intercontinental London Westminster to indulge in their Chelsea Flower Show Afternoon Tea with Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne. The menu has been inspired by the flower show and the room was decorated with gorgeous flower displays. When we arrived we were shown to our table where our waiter introduced himself and then left us with a glass of bubbly to choose our tea. There were so many to choose from including black teas, white teas, green teas, flowering teas and herbal teas. In the end we went for the White Peony described as “Delightfully refreshing, rounded and full-flavoured with sweet and fragrant notes of melon” and the Taiwan Li Shan – “Highly floral complex and refreshing with a glycerous and wonderfully creamy texture”. I wasn’t too keen on the Taiwan Li Shan but the White Peony was lovely.Once we were settled with our teas the first plates of foods arrived. The bottom layer was a selection of finger sandwiches – the beef and horseradish ones were so delicious we asked for seconds – and the middle layer was a blackberry Eccles cake and slice of fruit loaf each. The top layer was by far the most exciting and looked so pretty! Every perfectly formed cake/pastry tasted divine and looked so beautiful I just had to take photos of all of them….
1. Lavender and strawberry tart
2. Jasmine and jivara mille feuille
3. White chocolate and orange blossom shot with pistachio crumble (this was exquisite!)
4. White chocolate marshmallow teacake infused with White Peony tea
5. Raspberry macaroon
6. Violet éclair
After we had finished the cakes and pastries, a plate of freshly baked scones arrived with Devonshire clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam and lemon curd. Again, these tasted amazing! Even though we were feeling full from all the food and champagne we both managed to squeeze in two scones topped with masses of cream and jam.After another glass of champagne, we were brought the finishing touch – a glass teapot containing one mango and one raspberry mousse lollipop and a white chocolate butterfly. It was the perfect way to end a wonderful afternoon! The service was faultless and our waiter couldn’t have done more for us, explaining what was on each plate and topping up our champagne whenever it looked as though we might finish a glass! The atmosphere was relaxed, with a live harpist in the background, and even though there were lots of staff ready to help, they weren’t hovering near the tables making us feel as though we were being watched all the time. I would love to go back to the Intercontinental and would definitely recommend the afternoon tea if you are looking for something special to do.
Today I thought I would tell you about my new perfume, Victorinox Victoria Eau de Toilette. It smells much more flowery than the sort of scent I usually go for but also smells quite sweet – it’s a lovely combination. It is described as having freesia, plum and blackcurrant top notes, Bulgarian rose, lily of the valley and viola heart notes and cedar leaf, sandal wood, white mush and myrth base notes. It is quite a strong scent so you don’t need to apply more than a squirt or two and it lasts well throughout the day. Victorinox Victoria is from the makers of Swiss Army Knife and costs £51 for 100ml. It’s not a brand I had really heard of before but I am glad I found it!
A few weeks ago I was sent a couple of packs of Kallo rice cakes to try. One pack was caramel and the other blueberry and vanilla. I wasn’t really sure when I would eat these as they aren’t really all that easy to take into work for lunch without them falling apart but I’ve found the perfect time to munch on them! I recently signed up to run 10k with work (which I am seriously regretting – I hate running!) and these are a great snack between getting home from work and going for a practice run. They are really tasty and the blueberry ones are a pretty purple colour! The rice cakes cost £1.79 per pack and you can find them in Tesco.
In the run up to Christmas I saw loads of adverts for a website called Semichem which I had never heard of before. I had a look at the website and ended up ordering the Lanvin L’Homme Sport aftershave as a gift. Semichem sell beauty products, perfume/aftershave and makeup. They also have a slightly random “House” section which has things like air fresheners, bin bags and batteries! Semichem has a big range of brands from Rimmel and Dove to DKNY and fcuk. There are some really great offers and you get free delivery if you spend over £25. The aftershave I ordered was dispatched really quickly and was packaged well so there was no chance that it would have smashed in the post. I hate it when things aren’t packaged properly – I ordered my work Secret Santa gift from Play and it arrived with the cardboard box all broken so looked like I was giving my Secret Santa a gift I had left over from last year! Anyway, back to Semichem… I will definitely be using Semichem again, there are some brilliant deals and I had really good service.