As I sit here en route to the capital I thought it’s the perfect time to pop my headphones in, block out that screaming child at the end of the carriage and tell you all about my trip to the Scottish capital. Last weekend my other half and I travelled with my parents to Edinburgh to help them celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They used to take my brother and I frequently as children so it seemed the perfect location. So here is my round up of the places we visited and the exquisite interiors of our hotel, The George.We travelled by train from York on Saturday morning which is a lovely route along the east coast with sights of Lindisfarne and sandy beaches while sipping a celebratory glass of prosecco. This now seems a distant memory compared to my current journey trapped in a corner table seat, clutching my disposable Yorkshire Tea paper cup and fighting for leg room with the man opposite! I can practically hear my Dad saying ‘You should of booked first class’ – I must admit there were no screamers in first! We arrived at just before 11am and went straight to drop our bags at the hotel before heading out for a wander around the city. With Anthropologie just a hundred yards from the hotel it would seem rude (and silly) not to take advantage of their 20% off offer, so with my two Lou Rota plates in the bag we headed for lunch. We found a little tea room on Frederick Street called eteaket Tea Room which was a little underground (well street level) haven from the hustle and bustle of busy George Street. With a beautiful selection of sandwiches, salads and cake not to mention an endless list of teas, (the Royal Earl Grey was amazing.) we were soon refuelled for our walk up to the castle.
As we walked the Royal Mile to the castle we joined the masses looking down on the cityscape of Edinburgh below, we decided to head for Holyroodhouse at the opposite end of the Royal mile. This is the official, and principal residence of the Queen when in Scotland for the summer. Photography was not allowed unfortunately, but I managed to get a couple of snaps before I was told! The Palace is adorned with panelled walls and heavily carved ceilings, which with many of the old houses has not had any redecoration for decades showing no insight into the modern Royals. From Holyrood we headed back to check in to the hotel and freshen up for dinner.
The George Hotel has recently undergone a massive renovation under the management of the Principal group. Each of their hotels have a distinct style with both the York and Manchester hotels boasting the same imposing soft grey panelled walls, however this hotel still had a highland fling theme to it. With heavily draped arched windows, tiled floor and soft lighting, the lobby and reception were stunning. The light flooded in from George Street and lit the room bouncing off the tiles and onto the dark wood furniture, highlighting the carefully placed towering palms.
We headed to our Junior Suite on the first floor which overlooked the imposing Dome restaurant opposite the hotel. Our room was gorgeous with panelled grey fabric walls and complimentary dramatic curtains, the muted tones were carried throughout the room with its grey furniture and cream upholstery in the form of two comfy armchairs and a buttoned backed loveseat.
The king-size bed, like the love seat, was festooned with heavy feather filled tartan cushions carefully selected to continue the soft grey interior theme. The only colour to this room was the post-box red telephone on the bedside table which popped against the stark white bed linen and grey walls. The bathroom was equally striking with a roll top bath, walk in shower and marble topped sink which was laden with complimentary Elemis products.
Little has been done with the top floor of the house in the three years since it was built and so with the recent departure of a lodger, it was the perfect time to decorate a bedroom. My other half set the brief of modern, clean, light and gave me a budget of £150.00 – which I managed to achieve for only £105.50. As many of you will know, modern is not my usual interior style as I favour more of a classic look or, as my Dad would say, “Downton Abbey” inspired.
My initial thoughts were to go down the route of calm and modern and adopt my default colour of GREY, incorporating a bright colour to create a pop and add some warmth and personality. Grey and yellow work really well together and have gone hand in hand when it comes to interiors for years but I wanted something a little bit different. After running through colours in my head I quickly started to dismiss most choices; blue – too cold, red – done to death, pink – shot down and then I came to orange. Now I love orange as I think it’s one of those colours that has numerous shades and tones, like burnt orange and peach,that can create so many different vibes. However for this project I knew what I wanted and that was a bright citrus, yet classy, orange. I now just needed to find it!
Armed with my iPad I snuggled down into bed with a decaf Yorkshire Gold and began trawling though my regular internet haunts. I finally tracked the cushions down in Dunelm for £8.00 each and a matching throw from Wayfair for £17.99 (Reduced from £52.99). I’ve never made a purchase from Wayfair before and so I was a little apprehensive, but I have to say, the quality is great. With the orange in the bag I was on a roll and turned my attention to the accessories. Now, as I strict rule, I don’t like to mass buy accessories as I think it’s best to collect items that you really love – that way you will always find that special place to put them, else you can end up with a mass of clutter around your home. However with this room being a totally blank canvas I felt it needed a couple of items to add a homely feel without it being too much engineered personality in a guest room. To complete the room I got some simple white lamp shades from B&Q for £5 each to replace to blue shades of the table lamps and decided to stick with the existing grey ceiling shade to maintain a soft lighting to the room.
Well what a busy couple of weeks it’s been – what with numerous birthdays (mine being the most important, obviously), social events and feeling a bit under the weather. However, I’ve finally found some time to pick up my laptop and tell you about the amazing interiors and delicious food that we discovered on the surprise birthday weekend away to Amsterdam which my other half organised for me.
We flew out on the Saturday morning after my birthday (25th Feb) in the middle of storm Doris and arrived at lunchtime which gave us a full two and a half days to explore the stunning city of Amsterdam. As our taxi took us on a scenic route from the airport and approached the hotel, I’m not sure which I fell in love with more, the quaint and picturesque city or the super cool hotel, which oozed Shoreditch vibes and retro Dutch style.
We stayed at Hotel V Fizeaustraat, marketed as a 4 and a half star hotel situated just a stones through from Amstel station and the newest addition to the Hotel V group. As I took in the surroundings it certainly conjured up memories of the Ace Hotel Shoreditch.
We were welcomed by a sea of candles on each table which lit the otherwise dark lobby area. This soft lighting set a very calm and relaxing environment as we walked towards an imposing desk adorned with a dramatic vase filled with giant pampas grasses
(an idea I couldn’t wait to try in my dining room at home). The reception area was dressed with a relaxed olive leather sofa and wicker chairs, whilst a heavy gold coffee table sat effortlessly on a natural Aztec rug, complimenting the polished concrete floor perfectly. The reception area was lit by an opposing floor to ceiling heavily beaded chandelier which injected glamour into the vintage interiors.
After checking in we made our way back into the subdued green walled lobby and through to a long hallway which led us to our room. The walls were wallpapered with a polished concrete effect paper with embossed groves in a geometric formation to give the effect of tiles. The striking hallway was lit purely by wicker wall lights, evenly spaced to give the effect of a never ending hall. It looked like something from the Hotel Cortez in American Horror Story – dark and dramatic glamour.