We’re a mini obsessed family, so when I found out it’s possible to book a tour of the plant in Oxford, UK, I jumped at the chance. The plant produces up to 1,000 cars per day, and the tour allows you to get up and personal with the factory to see just how that iconic British icon is manufactured.
Tours are booked in advance and cost an attractive £19 per person, they run twice a day and they keep the groups small to allow the best interaction, our group consisted of only 8 people.
Upon arrival at the plant you are free to browse the shop and information centre, here you can learn all about the history of Mini, the evolution of the brand, and see different models through the ages. Once you’ve finished you can head over to your tour group, plug in some headphones, put on an attractive overall and head off to the first factory ‘Body and White’.
Body and White is where the journey of a Mini begins. Parts are assembled by hundreds of robots and you are able to identify the three different Mini’s that are manufactured at the plant. We spent a full hour walking around the factory floor and watching both machine and technician assemble a collection of cars.
The second part of the tour took us to the Mini assembly room, here Mini’s have been through the paint shop and are being personalised to suit the order (no mini is produced without an customer from the dealership), again you spend at least an hour perusing the processes, from installation of engines to fittings of interiors, you really do see it all! Here the plant is busy with people, still heavily focused on robot’s, but you’ll see so many more technicians operating the machinery. Each car is fitted with a tracker so at each stage of the manufacturing process the machines can read the customer requirements to ensure cars are built to specification.
If your planning to visit the plant tour I’d recommend setting aside a 3 hour slot, tour guides don’t rush the process and it really is fantastic value for money. Please remember this is a working factory so wear appropriate clothing.
As part of our larger honeymoon trip we decided to stop in Los Angeles for 3 nights before heading onwards to San Francisco. If you follow my blog then you probably know I took a similar route in 2013 when we drove up the west coast, this time was different, Sam and I had a long list of must see spots in LA and to his surprise we got through them in about a day.
The last time I visited LA I really enjoyed it, maybe it was because it was all new and shiny to me, maybe it was because I was with my best friend so we enjoyed stalking the celebrities, who knows! But this time it felt different, after a day in Hollywood, Beverley Hills and surrounding neighbourhoods we decided to get out in the Mustang and discover some places further afield.
Without a doubt one of our favourite stops on the trip, an authentic seaside town packed with rides and chrisma, we were fortunate enough to visit during the insane hype of Pokemon Go and the place was like nowhere I’d ever seen before. Buzzing with Pokemon enthusiasts and alive with spirit! We took a few rides whilst out on the pier and experienced some fantastic views from the top of the ferris wheel.
Tip: a great place to pick up some unique souvenirs, we came away with some great artwork painted on wood for under $10.
We visited during the day, a more upmarket town buzzing with great bars, eateries and boutique shops. The place is in fact a breath of fresh air from the hype and buzz of the city of LA and was for us a refreshing change of scenery. Why not order a cocktail or two and take in that beautiful Californian sunshine!
I love Anaheim, home of the Mouse himself and packed with cliche bars and shops! We enjoyed a walk around Downtown Disney and collecting some related souvenirs. My favourite restaurant The Cheesecake Factory is right outside too! If that’s not for you then try Bubba Gump! The Target is Anaheim is my favourite of all that I’ve visited and sells the most amazing rainbow gum!
Top tip: if your visiting, it’s well worth your time hiring a car and seeing California in your own time!
Thanks, Rebekah xx
Las Vegas is still one of my favourite cities in the world, love it or hate it you just can’t help but admire all it has to offer. Most people have the impression that if you’re not in to overpriced vodka or Avicii pool parties then it’s not for you, but how wrong they are. In fact, if you choose to avoid the pool vicinities then you aren’t likely to come across the drink culture at all! We recently spent 4 days in Vegas, but I’ve condensed our trip into a 24hour itinerary of what you really need to see on your visit to Sin City.
Travelling to Las Vegas on our Honeymoon I figured now was as good a time as any to ask for an upgrade. I didn’t realise how easy this trick was, and being typically British, didn’t think I qualified! How wrong I was. We were upgraded to the Aria Sky Suites by a front desk representative and appointed a high level room with an impressive strip view.
Our room was on the 40th floor with an exceptional view of the strip! Rooms were inclusive of 2 queen size beds, a shower and an oversized bath. Impressively, the electronics of the room are controlled by iPads, from the comfort of our bed we were able to open and close blinds, dim lights and alter the air conditioning. We would also be able to order room service, browse the hotel and casino information and control the television.
From the moment you step into Rosebery Hotel you enter a world of excitement and imagination, this hotel is purely unlike no other. Decor incorporates both vintage and up-cycled design with unique, local creations! The outcome is simply breath taking, and the passion of the hotel owner (Janet) is etched into every element of the hotel. Located in Jesmond, just off the high street, it’s in a prime location. Navigation is easy and effortless with the high street displaying an abundance of busy bars and niche restaurants to suit your every taste.
Visiting the hotel for an overnight stay we were fortunate enough to stay in one of the larger rooms the hotel has to offer. Furnished in the most beautiful colours, the vibrancy and charisma of the room is heavily reflective of the hotels charm. All the beds in Rosebery have been up-cycled and were either collected for free from sites such as FreeCycle or purchased for a small fee from Gumtree. Janet has given old unwanted furniture a new lease of life, and in such a beautiful way!
Of my love for my room, my favourite element was the bath. Up-cycled roll top baths have been installed along with mirrored tiled walls, which enhance the luxurious and romantic feel of the room. With me, it really is about the attention to detail, and Rosebery did not disappoint. An abundance of soaps, gels and lotions are at your disposal along with complimentary face masks for your evening of total tranquility.
Contained within our room was a table for dining, situated by the oversized bay window and set for a breakfast of kings! Janet provides guests with an array of breakfast options, from local patisseries and muffins from the Newcastle Farmers Market, to cereal and fresh fruit.
Rosebery Hotel is a delightful change from norm, it itself is a work of art and admiring all the trinkets and memorabilia is inspiring! Staying with Rosebery was like staying in an art gallery. Decor is fun and creative with a hint of marvellous madness! A show stopper of a venue and unlike anywhere I’ve stayed before, this boutique hotel comes with the highest of recommendations and we hope that you enjoy your stay as much as I did.
A night at Rosebery Hotel, Jesmond costs between £90-200per night/ breakfast included/ complimentary WIFI/ street parking offsite.
You can view our video here.
Rebekah Esme was invited to Rosebery Hotel as a guest, however as always my review is my own.
When you think of Norway, you think of breathtaking landscapes, Fjords & Trolls, you rarely even hear travelers talking about the countries capital Oslo. Why?! Before we flew out I did my standard search for fellow blogger recommendations and top tips for my stay, and yet I was able to find very few blog posts. The lack in my ability to research and plan left me thinking Oslo must be quiet dull and unappealing, how wrong was I!
Oslo was so much more than I expected. This beautiful, eco city was a world away from the cliche capitals of Europe. The city is bursting with history and culture, and Oslo is most definitely the quietest and most underrated gem I have had the pleasure of coming across. Here new architecture and design meets classical Norway, and after just over 48 hours in the city, I share with you my top tips for Oslo.
Almost a year to the day since we stayed with St Mary’s Inn, Morpeth, we have visited sister company Jesmond Dene House, Jesmond. This spectacular establishment oozes class and sophistication, swimming in history and elegance, it really was the most perfect way to begin our Easter break. Step away from the hustle of Newcastle City and you’ll find the quaint village of Jesmond, home to Jesmond Dene House Hotel. Perfectly situated a little over 10 minutes from the centre means visitors really do experience the best of both worlds, calm and tranquil surroundings, yet a stones throw from the inner city vibe. There’s no surprise we loved this hotel, and with their long, ever growing list of awards you’re sure to engage in an exceptional stay with Jesmond Dene House.
Rooms at Jesmond Dene House are elegant, spacious and favorably contemporary. None of the 40 bedrooms and suites are the same. Rooms are reflective of the hotel’s original character and preserve architectural features such as fire places and bay windows as they would of been displayed historically. Our room was equipped with a spectacular king size bed, perfect for a sound nights sleep! You really do have everything you need supplied at Jesmond Dene House, from the mass of complimentary lotions to the hot water bottle for those cooler winter nights.