Category Archives: Europe

Mini plant tour Oxford, review

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. 

Rebekah xx 

Rosebery Hotel, Jesmond Review


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. 

Rooms

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. 


Breakfast

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.


Overall

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. 


Details

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. 

48 Hours in Oslo, Norway

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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.

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Jesmond Dene House Hotel, Review.

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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.

The Suite:

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.

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Botanist Review, Chester

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Nestled down a little ally off the famous streets of Chester is a wonderfully quirky and contemporary restaurant and bar that hit the UK scene by storm. The Botanist, sister to The Alchemist, was always going to appeal to my heart with it’s reflective connotations of Harry Potter crossed with the Secret Garden. Myself and Sam were fortunate enough to visit the Chester branch during our recent stay in the city and will most definitely be returning very soon.

I’ve previously visited one Botanist within their chain on Boar Lane, Leeds and I confirm they achieve such a simalar ambiance. Both nestled away from the crowds, you’d be lucky to spot it without knowingly seeking, this for me makes them that little bit more special than the average bar.

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Millers Retreat, Gorgeous Cottages Review

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Call be bias, but I love me a stay in the Yorkshire countryside! So when Gorgeous Cottages invited me along to spend two nights with the fabulous Millers Retreat I eagerly accepted. Millers Retreat is a quaint 3 bed-roomed cottage located on the edge of Bedale, North Yorkshire. This luxury cottage really is fully loaded, each double bedroom is extremely generous in size making it difficult to choose a ‘master’ bedroom as all rooms harbor equal beauty! Bedrooms are fully equip with their own en-suite inclusive of shower units and come with all the potions and products that a girl, or guy, could ask for.

Millers Retreat is designed as an upside down house. Bedrooms are the first rooms you reach upon entrance into the property. Located at the rear of the cottage are a set of stairs which decent into the open plan living/ dining area and cottage kitchen, access to the patio is achieved from here.

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Glamping, Hillcrest Park, Richmond

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Last weekend was my birthday (pops a party popper), so as always, I made Sam pack up his bags and whisk me off for a weekend away. So this year it wasn’t quite New York, but our weekend with Hillcrest Park Camping Park came a close second! When we were looking for some alternative accommodation ‘Podding’ (a word I’m taking credit for the creation of) looked right up our street. Podding is essentially glamping, you hire what can be best described as a wooden hut placed in the countryside and spend the night. Pods are inclusive of plug points, heaters, lights and blinds and although you essentially only get the outer shell, I was totally impressed with the internal facilities.

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