With our last Bank Holiday weather being a total let down to Brits, many were left wondering why they didn’t book a trip away to escape the stresses of life, the rain, the weekly shop and treat themselves to some much needed R&R. With more long weekends coming up this year, we took a look at 4 destinations that you can get to pretty fast by land, sea or air – Paris (France), Dublin (Ireland), Manilva (Spain) & Keswick (UK).
Paris is known as the City of Lights, but many would argue it is the City of Love. With its plethora of architectural styles, cobbled streets, romantic bistros and the River Seine, we’re not even scratching the surface. It’s certainly a City of Gastronomy because food and wine are what the French do best.
Paris isn’t cheap when it comes to fine hotels or fine dining, but you already know that before deciding on a visit. So long as you have spare cash in your pocket, you’re guaranteed an experience to remember and there are other options for the budget traveller.
The Boutary Restaurant
The Hoxton Hotel, Paris
Le Gabriel Restaurant
Palais de Tokyo
River Seine Cruise
Set In Paris
Images by Aitor Santome
The Hoxton Hotel, Paris, France
The Hoxton in Paris has 172 rooms over 4 floors and some have terraces overlooking their 18th-century building. Rooms come in 4 sizes depending on your needs and budget – Shoebox, Cosy, Roomy & Biggy. ‘Hox Perks’ are standard in all rooms and include their local guide, a daily light breakfast bag drop and free calls to anywhere in the world (yes FREE). You can sleep in late for an extra €10 per hour and all rooms feature beautiful bespoke chevron timber floors with contemporary bathrooms. They boast that their mini-bars feature high-street prices and include free fresh milk and water.
Hoxton Hotel’s lobby’s are always bustling and their Paris offering is no different, where they encourage you to mingle, kick back in comfy chairs with coffee or cocktails. If you’re looking for a bigger cocktails menu, check out Jacques’ Bar and for food, eat in Restaurant Rivie – featuring a brasserie and cool courtyard space serving all-day French-inspired dishes. They only use local ingredients, along with some Hoxton comfort food classics — they recommend mac and cheese and truffle fries.
Within walking distance, you will find Le Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Le Marais and many local bistros and restaurants to explore.
The Hoxton Hotel, 30-32 Rue du Sentier, 75002 Paris, France
The boutary Restaurant, Paris
The Boutary in Paris is a boutique fine dining establishment and arguably one of the best in Paris. Notably famous for their caviar, it would be criminal not to sample what is on offer under the advisement of their caviar experts. We recommend the tasting menu and take the time to listen to what wine’s should best complement the dishes. You can expect the staff to know what they are talking about, whether that be relating to cuisine or fine wines. This restaurant does not currently hold a Michelin star, but it will be on the radar without a doubt. Truly excellent.
The Boutary, 25 Rue Mazarine, 75006, Paris, France
Le Gabriel Restaurant, Paris
Le Gabriel acquired 2 Michelin stars in a short space of time and it’s no surprise. Located within the impressive La Réserve Hotel, with it’s Napoleon III style interior design created by Jacques Garcia. Executive Chef Jérôme Banctel delights guests with his knowledge and dedication to authenticity. Expect aromas to arouse the senses and presentation to inspire. For special occasions – go for the suitably titled ‘Experience’ where the chef will prepare a selection of courses especially for you. Please note gentlemen are required to wear jackets.
Le Gabriel, 42 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris, France
Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and has a rich medieval history with an abundance of elegant Georgian architecture. St Patrick’s Cathedral was founded in 1191 and Dublin Castle dates back to 1204. With many of its charms within walking distance, you can keep busy exploring and you are sure to find many a fine Irish pub along the way. Enjoy the shopping on Grafton Street, Kildare Village, O’Connell Street, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Dundrum Town Centre and for antique shopping, visit Francis Street. Expect friendly welcomes wherever you go and a few laughs are guaranteed. Dublin is very much an International City with plenty to please art and history lovers or party seekers alike.
The Merrion Hotel
National Museum of Ireland
National Gallery of Ireland
Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud
The Featherblade Steakhouse
The Merrion Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
The Merrion is a luxurious and elegant 5-star hotel in the heart of Dublin, built from a restoration project of four 18th century Georgian townhouses. The Merrion is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World group and fuses famous Irish hospitality with the skills and service of the finest International hotels. The hotel is just a few minutes walk from the shops of the infamous Grafton Street plus museums and galleries and of course, Dublin’s famous pubs!
The 123 guest rooms and 19 suites are furnished in colours selected from a subtle palette inspired by Paul Henry’s Irish landscape paintings, one of which hangs at the foot of The Merrion’s main staircase. Sophistication meets convenience as the rooms and suites are all appointed to the highest standards, with free wifi throughout and beautiful bathrooms.
The hotel is home to Ireland’s only 2-star Michelin fine dining experience – Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, under Executive Chef Guillaume Lebrun. The restaurant overlooks the hotels’ classical gardens.
For gastro-pub food, you can indulge in The Cellar Bar which is set in the original 18th Century wine vaults of the main house, and reportedly a popular after-work hangout. You can also enjoy modern Irish cuisine at The Garden Room plus drinks-a-plenty at the intimate No. 23 Cocktail Bar.
The Merrion Hotel, Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2, Ireland
THE TETHRA SPA
The Tethra Spa at The Merrion features an 18m pool and gym and is open 7 days a week for both residents and non-residents. With wellness high on many people’s agenda these days, treating yourself to spa treatments has become an important part of long weekend breaks. Offering massages and beauty treatments from award-winning staff, a spa break is the ideal choice for those with busy lifestyles and looking to escape the stressful work environment.
The Tethra Spa at The Merrion Hotel, Dublin
Keswick is situated in the northern lakes, part of the UNESCO Lake District National Park, UK. It’s a famous market town, which still gets very busy all year round but especially during Summer months and bank holidays when the tourists flock from all over the world. The town is full of restaurants, bistros, pubs, arts and crafts shops, mountaineering speciality stores and its jewel in the crown has to be glorious Lake Derwentwater.
The lake is less than a 10-min walk from the town and you can walk the full 8 miles around the lake. Although there are some small challenges along the way, you will not be disappointed. Take in views of Cat Bells, Friar’s Crag, the mighty Skiddaw and much more. The sweeping views of the lake open up at times and are the perfect setting for taking photographs.
Boat trips are a huge attraction on Derwentwater with lots of options from river cruises to rowing boats, kayaking and guided tours. Alongside the lake is also the contemporary Theatre by the Lake, which attracts audiences from all over the country. The town also houses one of Britain’s oldest surviving cinemas, the Alhambra.
We have lots of features on the lakes coming up so make sure you follow us on our social channels at the bottom of this post.
Castlerigg Stone Circle
Go Ape Whinlatter
Lake District Wildlife Park
Lodore Falls Hotel
National Trust Borrowdale and Buttermere Valleys
Newlands Adventure Centre
The Lakes Distillery
Theatre by The Lake
Lodore Falls Hotel, Keswick, Lake District National Park
Lodore Falls Hotel is set deep in the heart of stunning Borrowdale Valley near the bustling market town Keswick. The hotel building dates back over 200 years and sits on 40 acres of private land, with that all-important lake view.
A traditional hotel, by all means, but with the modern conveniences of a contemporary hotel. In all fairness, apart from when dining and sleeping, it’s unlikely you want to spend too my time inside the hotel, as some of the most stunning landscapes are right on its doorstep. With plenty to do in the area for families, adventurers or more easy-going fell walkers, it is the ideal base and you will be spoilt for choice. Explore the area by foot, car, bike or boat! Lodore Falls also has a secret, it’s own stunning waterfalls within the private estate and forest for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Lodore Falls has a 2 AA Rosette Lake View Restaurant, with a casual but smart dress code. Dishes include Char-Grilled Asparagus, Celery & Apple Soup, Roast Cumbrian Pork Loin, Seared Sea Bream Fillets and Blackberry Cheesecake. There is also a new Mizu Pan Asian Cuisine Restaurant which just opened this month and you can take coffee, lunch and afternoon tea (highly recommended) in the Lake View Lounge & Terrace.
The hotel is currently building a brand new contemporary Spa adjacent to the main building which will open around August 2018 and feature 18 new luxury spa bedrooms, a 70 seater restaurant and a champagne & deli bar.
This is one of those rare hotels that can cater for those looking for a romantic weekend, a family trip or for those looking to explore the area.
Lodore Falls Hotel, Borrowdale Keswick, CA12 5UX, UK
MANILVA, COSTA DEL SOL
Puerto de la Duquesa, MANILVA, COSTA DEL SOL
An absolutely fabulous alternative to the main Spanish resorts is the beautiful port town of Puerto de la Duquesa. Hardly a global destination like Paris and unheard of by many, but the locals prefer it that way. Rather than a hotel, we’ve selected apartment accommodation for this trip. Puerto de la Duquesa sits in the province of Malaga, part of the Costa del Sol – a fishing village, port and upmarket marina. There are many ways to describe this hidden gem.
Malaga airport is 60 minutes away, Gibraltar 45 minutes and thriving Marbella about 20mins. If you’re looking for a peaceful break that still offers the bars, restaurants and beaches without the mainstream tourists, this is a perfect choice. Apartment accommodation HERE sleeps six in a sizeable apartment, very well priced, with beautiful shared pools and supersized private ‘balcony’ featuring a barbeque, sitting and dining area. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the golf course the and Mediterranean sea. The marina is an intimate hub of bars and cafes and for the more adventurous, you will find jet boat hire, wakeboarding, scuba diving and various boat trips. The area is very popular with golfers too – the La Duquesa Golf and Country Club is a must whilst the local market thrives on Summer evenings each weekend.
The marina is surrounded by stunning beaches including Playa de las Gaviotas, Playa del Castillo, Playa Sabillias and Chiringuito Las Gaviotas, plus there is an ancient Roman bath that will take you over an hour to reach on foot up in the hills, but ideal for lovers of history. For food and drink visit Cubanga Beach Club and Bahia Beach Club. Images by Helen Audley
Book apartment accomodation HERE
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