Category Archives: United Kingdom

Belfast City Break

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Category : Europe , Explore , United Kingdom

This was our first visit to Belfast as a couple. I’d flown into Belfast previously on a work trip, before heading to Portadown, but that was many years before. Who knew that Belfast boasted two airports? Amanda had booked the flights and spotted how easy it was to get a train from the airport to the city centre. Unfortunately, this was based on us arriving at the George Best Belfast City Airport, whereas we arrived at the Belfast International Airport, which was 20 miles away with no direct train service. So, we hopped on a shuttle bus and headed into the city centre and our hotel called The Flint on Howard Street. It was an excellent choice, very boutique, and just perfect for our 3-night stay.

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Cornwall is closed for the season

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Category : Europe , Explore , United Kingdom

Rather than taking our UK staycation up in Scotland, we decided to book a Club La Costa lodge in Castledore, near St Austell in Cornwall. On the journey down, we decided to stay overnight in a village called Axbridge, staying at the Oakhouse Hotel & Restaurant. We ventured around the handful of village pubs that evening and had a great laugh people watching. In the Oakhouse bar, one guy bought his puppy a £25 steak to eat whilst he was drinking. In the Crown Inn, a guy was doing some dodgy under the counter deals on raw fish, before consoling one of the bar staff who literally burst into tears for no apparent reason and then the same guy became our best friend as he turned out to work for Sainsbury’s in a similar line of work as Amanda. All-in-all, it was a great night out and a good way to start our week away.

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A Long Walk To The Pub

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Category : Drink , Europe , United Kingdom

Traditionally in January or February each year we try to get away for a mini break and, in recent years, this means a trip up to the Duchally Country Estate on the outskirts of Auchterarder in Perthshire, Scotland. Duchally is part of the CLC World Hotels & Resorts and has hotel rooms as well as luxury lodges. We always stay in the latter, because it allows us to take family with us at no extra cost, is more relaxed and gives us the flexibility of self-catering accommodation. On this occasion, Amanda’s Dad came with us for a week of R&R, walking and whisky sampling. To be honest, Amanda and I had planned on having a very chilled week, but we ended up walking for miles.

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Boozy October – My Liver Hurts!

purecraftWell, after the disappointment of having our Florida trip cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew, there was only one thing to do and that’s drown our sorrows with alcohol! To be fair, both sessions that I’m going to talk about here were already planned and in the diary before the cancellation, but a good excuse is a good excuse right?

 

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Valentines: The Comfy Duck

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Category : Eat , Europe , United Kingdom

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We celebrated Valentine’s Day 24 hours early this year for two good reasons; firstly, Amanda had work to do on the Sunday and secondly, she had secretly booked a romantic lunch for us both on the Saturday. So, we exchanged gifts in bed on Saturday morning. I’d bought Amanda a 1L bottle of Tanqueray Gin and Amanda replenished my aftershave collection with a nice bottle of Jean Paul Gaultier.

Time to leave home and head to the secret lunch venue. From the postcode Amanda entered into the 5-Series satnav I knew we were heading in the general direction of Grimsby…but where exactly? I only figured it out as we pulled off the road and up the drive to the Oaklands Hall Hotel and more specifically the Comfy Duck restaurant.

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