Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Benefits Of Staying In A Villa

For many travellers, staying in a hotel is a default travel choice. Book the hotel, book the plane tickets and go, but sometimes a hotel isn't the best option for your needs. If you have a large family or you are going on holiday with a group, staying in a villa can be a better choice especially. It can give you more privacy, more space, and potentially save you money. Even if you are a couple staying in a villa can be a luxury choice and give you some benefits staying in a hotel cannot.

Here are some of the reasons you should stay in a villa on your next holiday.

Privacy



The top reason to stay in a villa is for the privacy. Tucked serenely and safely within your own four walls, you’ll enjoy the privacy that only a villa can offer. You won’t have to worry about disturbing anyone or having anyone disturb you, so say goodbye to slamming doors, drunk guests, screaming babies and midnight disruptions, you just have your own friends and family to contend with!

Cost Effectiveness


The price of many villas can be comparable or even cheaper than a hotel when you consider the number of separate rooms you may have to book for your family or group of friends. If you have rented a villa, you won’t have to pay for expenses like laundry and eating out. You’ll have your own kitchen, so you can grocery shop and cook your own food. Even if you just eat breakfast in every day, this can add up to considerable savings especially if you are a large family or group of friends. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save just by not paying for expensive restaurant meals.

Space


A villa offers much more space than a hotel does. Not only are villas much bigger, but you’ll also have the outdoor area. Most villas come with their own pool, barbeque, and outdoor space. This extra space gives you room to breathe, relax, and enjoy your break. You can even bring your dog to some villas and you can also be close to your family and friends whilst still having your own room and space to chill out in.

Luxury


In a villa, you get many luxuries that you don't get staying in a hotel. The obvious one is your own private pool but some have pool tables, iPod speakers, game consoles, electric barbeques and media rooms. Other facilities can include hot tubs, jacuzzis, flat screen TVS, and of course free Wi-Fi. Often villas are well positioned and have amazing views as well - you can really get the WOW factor with a luxury villa.

Personalisation


If you choose to stay in a villa, you can select one with the amenities to suit your needs and reflect your lifestyle. Maybe you prefer a simple villa, a more rustic villa or more luxurious villa, there are many different styles of villas to suit your needs. You also don't have to worry about breakfast hours, room service, and intrusive cleaning schedules. It can really feel like your home away from home, and those with children can keep familiar routines. If you have a family with special dietary needs then cooking for them is often easier than going out for a meal in a place you may not know.




With a reputable villa company, you know the standard of accommodation will be excellent too, and some of the best like James Villa holidays will organise car hire or transfers for you as well as provide a welcome pack of basic groceries. This means the first thing you can do is sit and relax with a cup of tea or glass of wine and enjoy the pool with the kids or your partner.

There’s no doubt about it, whether you are looking to book a villa in Costa Dorada Spain or Orlando Florida, Sorrento Italy or Albufeira Portugal, a villa is the perfect way to relax on holiday your way, so make your next vacation exactly what you’re dreaming of by booking a beautiful villa in your destination of choice.

*PR collaboration
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Monday, 27 February 2017

7 Items To Help You Slay Slope Style

Street style has definitely made its way to the slopes. This year neon coloured skiwear reigns supreme but pastel colour schemes will also have their place on the mountain. When it comes to skiing, comfort is still king – so here are a few suggestions that will ensure easy movement, as well as style. 


Helmets

In every colour of the rainbow, POC’s ski and snowboard helmets offer a range of technologies according to levels of skiing. Check out a guide if you’re not sure what you need when it comes to size. The matte black Auric Pro is a safe option that looks sleek with any ski gear and won’t clash if you decide to change your jacket style in a few year’s time.

Sunglasses

When the weather is acting up on the mountain, goggles can become too hot and steamy to ski in and you’ll need a good pair of sporty sunglasses. Likewise, when you stop for lunch out in the sun it’s key to keep your eyes protected with a cool pair of shades.

2017 sees the return of vibrant sunglasses. and Viveur, a brand inspired by vintage sunglasses are creating sunglasses through a reinterpretation of the traditional styles reinvented for a modern perspective. Bag yourself a pair of these and you’ll be rocking the slopes from dusk till dawn. 


Goggles

Eye protection has advanced rapidly over the past few years. If you’re into technology then you’ll love Oakley’s new skiing goggles lenses that feature Prizm™ torch iridium. Prizm™ is a revolution in lens optics built on decades of colour science research. It means that even in the dodgiest of lights like in a white out, the colours will be tuned to maximise contrast so that you can still see the moguls and enhance your visibility.

Hat


A good hat is a ski essential. For après ski, lunchtime and breaks for hot- chocolate you’ll probably want to swap your helmet for a bobble hat. The bobble hat has been the hit of 2016 and is likely to stay for 2017. There are also some excellent faux fur options out there to keep you warm and looking great at the resort.

Gloves

Spend what you can afford on a good pair of gloves so cold hands don’t ruin a good day’s skiing. Choose a waterproof option and make sure the fit is tight but still allows you to wiggle your fingers. Mittens are also a good option for those that prefer this look. You may also want to splurge on a thinner, more insulating pair when it’s a bit warmer, so you don’t get sweaty palms.

Thermals

Thermals with natural materials are better for your skin and will last longer. Choose a layered thermal made using merino wool to keep you warm in the coolest environments without making your skin go scaly.

Snow boots

At the end of the day, when you want to hit the bar and are sick of hobbling around in your heavy ski boots, look to Moonboots to give your feet some much -needed comfort. They have a lightweight foam lining that will feel like a cloud after a day in ski boots and their insulation can protect feet in temperatures as low as -31°F, so your toes will be safe from chilblains and frostbite.


* PR collaboration
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Sunday, 26 February 2017

Mothers Day Wishlist With The Works

With Mother's Day around the corner, it's that time of year again when we think about what to get our mums on their special day. Those of us with kiddies too, may be asked ourselves what we would like for a present. If you prefer the traditional way of leaving it to luck, you are probably keeping your fingers crossed that the kids get you what you want. 

Now I'm not knocking Mother's Day mugs, as I love them myself but sometimes you just want to buy something different for your mum and receive something more inspired for a change. So here is my Mother's Day wishlist from The Works, with a range of present ideas for all mums everywhere.

Lightbox




Lightbox £10

This light-up cinema style sign is a great gift for the home-loving mum. With interchangeable letters it's easy to fully customise and create your own message too. Use it for your business, to add something different to your special event or for your home. You can even use it to send messages to the rest of the family and everyone will feel special with their name up in lights.

Cookery Book
The Hummingbird Bakery Book £2

The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook brings the world of American home baking to your home. From indulgent fudge cake, to peanut-butter ice-cream, to toasted marshmallow cupcakes and red velvet brownies, all your sweet tooth needs are catered for here.

With 100 brand new recipes that are perfect for beginners or more experienced cooks there’s something for every baking occasion and you will surely reap the yummy rewards if your mum likes it!

Keepsake Journal
Grandma remembers journal £8.99

Take gran down memory lane with this beautiful journal. Filled with questions for her to complete about her childhood, her marriage, her love and hates, and her achievements, this is a fabulous way to create her own unique autobiography.

A great way of sharing memories and reminiscences, this journal is a wonderful keepsake for generations to come. 

Yoga Book
Yoga For Dummies £13.99

Taking up yoga has many health benefits including improving your flexibility, your strength and overall fitness. This Yoga For Dummies book is a simple guide for beginners of all ages, and will also help improvers too. Including do–it–yourself yoga programs for you to practice as well as photos on key poses and descriptions of breathing techniques, this is one book that is essential if you are going to take up yoga.

Paint Set
Artist choice paint set £9

For mums that like to paint, this set of acrylic paints, watercolour paints and oil paints are ideal for a wide variety of art and craft projects. Suitable for those starting out or for more advanced artists, this paint set is a great price too.

Photo frame

I Love Mum photo frame £2

This super cute I Love Mum mini photo frame will be cherished by mums everywhere. In a neutral white, it will fit into most colour schemes too. For that extra special gift include a photo of mummies little darling.

As you can see with my Mother's Day wishlist from The Works you also don't have to spend a fortune to give a gift that is very special this Mother's Day. 

Let me know would you like to receive any of these gifts? What do you like to buy your mum?

*PR collaboration
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Friday, 24 February 2017

Highlights Of Japan For A First Time Visitor

I must admit, of all the places that I have been in the world and of all the places I want to go Japan intrigues me the most. The mix of ancient traditions and cutting-edge modern living means it's a place that constantly surprises, and is therefore totally unique. 

When planning a trip to Japan for the first time visitor the real challenge is knowing where to start. You will never see everything you want to in that first trip but I like the idea of getting a little taster of many things that Japan has to offer. If you love the country I am sure you will be back to explore deeper!


A temple in Kyoto

As the written language and speech is so different to English, you also have to ask yourself if you don't speak Japanese, will it be simpler and easier to go for an organised itinerary with a guide, or will you take on the challenge of organising and planning it all yourself? However, with a completed organised tour often you don't have the flexibility. 

With the highlights of Japan tour below you can have the best of both worlds. A private guide to provide a personalised service on your first day in Tokyo as well as a private guide on your first day in Kyoto and then detailed documentation to assist you with the rest of your travels, including transfers and transportation and all accommodation. So you have the benefit of knowledgeable guides but the freedom to do what you want the rest of the time, within the constraints of an organised trip.

Tokyo

Tokyo

The tour starts with a couple of days in Tokyo to see it in all its neon glory. Orientate yourself to the most populated inner city area in the world with your personal tour guide. Visit the world's largest freestanding tower, the Skytree broadcasting hub whilst stopping for a bowl of ramen iAkihabara’s neon maze. For dinner eat at one of the many Michelin star restaurants for which Japan is known.

A tasty bowl of ramen

The next day, take a trip on a cable car up Mt. Takao to see Tokyo from above. Another idea is to visit the sleepy coastal town of Kamakura - the once 12th-century capital of Japan, and see the giant buddha for which Kamakura is famous. This prominent resort town is home to dozens of Buddhist Zen temples and Shinto shrines.



The giant buddha in Kamakura

Hakone

Mount Fuji

After Tokyo take a short train ride to Hakone, a mountainous town west of Tokyo to indulge in its hot spring resorts or onsens. Take in views of Mount Fuji, an active volcano and Japan's highest peak.



A Japanese onsen 

In Hakone stay in a traditional ryokan inn featuring tatami mats rooms, communal baths, and other public areas where visitors may wear yukata, a casual Japanese kimono. 

Kyoto


A Japanese bullet train

Next stop Kyoto, on the bullet train! The high-speed bullet train races surprisingly quietly through Japan at speeds of up to 320 KM per hour and is known for its punctuality.


Bamboo groves

In Kyoto, the cultural heartland of Japan, visit one of the 1600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines and no less than 17 UNESCO world heritage listed sites.  Your personal tour guide can show you this beautiful city. Visit a tea house or stroll through the bamboo groves. Immerse yourself in the traditional culture for which Japan is known for and adored.

Nara

 The Todaiji temple

Only a 40-minute train journey from Kyoto is Nara, a compact city which is easy to see in a day. Nara, the capital city of Nara Prefecture, is known for some of Japan's oldest temples and monasteries. Take a rickshaw ride to Todaiji temple - the largest wooden building in the world which houses a giant buddha.


The deer that roam free in Nara park


Finally, visit Nara Park, one of the oldest parks in Japan, at the foot of Mount Wakaku to take in the natural beauty and see the hundreds of deer that roam free. According to local folklore these deers were considered sacred until WW2 and now they are designated 'national treasures' and are protected as such. 

This whistlestop tour of Japan can be done in little over 10 days and is an introduction to Japan, perfect for the first time visitor. I am hoping to go to Japan next year and can't wait to see and explore this beautiful melting pot of culture, tradition and modernity. It's a country that will give me the most amazing memories and one which I think I will never forget.




pin for later

Tell me would you like to go to Japan? Which country in the world intrigues you?

*Collaborative post. Onsen photo courtesy of Japanexperterna Flickr CC
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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Impossible Experience Competition with Into The Blue

What experience would you create if you could do literally ANYTHING in the world? This is the question being asked by Into The Blue, the experience day company with their Impossible Experiences competition



What about going into space? Virgin Galactic has opened up the chance to space tourists, basically, those that have the money to go into space, for a cool $250,000.  Each tourist will take part in three days of pre-flight preparation and training, which includes mental and physical preparation for the rigours of going into space. The chance to eat space food cannot be missed and although I think it would be a stressful experience to some extent to see the earth from above would be life-affirming that's for sure.



Another experience would be to fly over to Iceland, drive to a secluded hotel, and sit in one of the hotel's outside hot tubs with a glass of champagne in my hand watching the northern lights. A waiter would bring me a platter of the most delicious food and I would relax in the warm water looking up to the stars and seeing the amazing phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis.  


I would also love to go on Concorde to New York. Concorde the supersonic jet plane that was twice the speed of sound used to whisk passengers across the Atlantic ocean in three and a half hours, half of the time it takes today. Unfortunately, the jets have now been retired in 2003 after low passenger numbers following a devastating crash, so this is one trip which is actually impossible.

Now how would you like to win a £200 voucher for Into The Blue, and the honour of having your experience turned into reality? To enter the competition is easy, all you have to do is enter via Twitter or Facebook, by using the hashtag #impossibleexperiences and tagging the company Into The Blue. So get your creative juices flowing and think of a (near) impossible experience. 

You need to get your entry in by midnight on the 28th of February 2017 and entry is open to those in the UK only. Four lucky winners will be chosen and have the thrill of seeing their experience made into reality. More information on the competition is here

What would you choose? Good luck!
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Monday, 20 February 2017

FRATELLI GUZZINI Knives and Blender Review

Recently I have had a kitchen detox. Ok, a clear out to put it bluntly. I've had a brand new kitchen. Gone are the gadgets I no longer use, the chipped knives, the mismatched plates and in their place are sleek colour co-ordinated accessories and products I need and want. To this effect Fratelli Guzzini, the Italian homeware company have helped me out.



Now, there are some things that are important to a home cook, and one of these are a set of great knives. 

The Fratelli Guzzini knife block comes with a set of five knives of varying functions. They describe the knives as a knife for cold meats, a bread knife, a kitchen knife, a general purpose knife and a carving knife. 







What struck me at first was how sleek and modern the knife set looked in my kitchen. Shallow I know but this is important to me as it fits in well with my new kitchen that I am lucky to have. This knife set has been designed by award-winning Ora Ito, an Italian designer and it shows.

The set I was sent is in the grey colour scheme, with grey soft touch grips on the handles. The acrylic base is white on one side and dark grey on the other and looks super smart. It's useful having the knife block transparent on one side so you can see and select the appropriate knife for your needs.

I also was wondering how I would clean it, but it can be dismantled for ease of cleaning, which is a great idea. My old knife block was made of wood and was so hard to clean and not terribly hygienic. Everything is dishwasher safe so that is an added bonus.



As you can see above the set of knives covers most things you would need. The knives come with a little plastic guard on the tip for safety in transit which is reassuring to know.




So how sharp would these knives be, would it be style over substance? I needn't have worried. They are sharp and cut well. No problems here. One thing I would say is that they do not come with a knife sharpener so I can't comment on how long the sharpness will last. 

This set of knives with knife block costs £80 (90 Euros) from Fratelli Guzzini which when you consider you get 5 quality knives and a stylish knife block, I think is a decent price.  They also come in funky green and red colour ways if you want to inject some colour into your kitchen.




Fratelli Guzzini also sent me a blender to review. The blender has tempered glass and feels solid. The lid fits well and has a small measuring cup built in so you can remove and add more ingredients to the blender.



The blender has a large 1500 ml capacity, perfect for a family. The settings are a slow setting 1 and faster setting 2. There is also a pulse setting as well as off. 

The design of the blender is smart, whilst still being functional and unfussy. The side of the blender has a chrome finish and looks particularly lovely. The non-slip feet is a great safety feature and ensures the blender will not move when it is in use. The blades are super sharp and are suitable to crush ice, this would make it very good to make smoothies as well as blended soups, milkshakes and sauces. 




The jug is heavy when full so you do need to bear that in mind, but it is also heat resistant so great when you want to blend soups, gravies and sauces that are hot.


I made a banana and peanut butter smoothie in the blender and it coped well with nuts in the peanut butter as well as making a very smooth and thick smoothie. The blender cost £90 (99 Euros) and makes a useful and chic addition to your kitchen and looks smart on your counter.

If you are looking for stylish kitchen accessories I would certainly recommend Fratelli Guzzini. The products I tried combined style with function, quality with class, a bit like me!

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Friday, 17 February 2017

The Benefits Of Buying Vintage

In the olden days, we used to cherish our possessions. I remember the days before Ikea when many young people would buy furniture second hand and upcycle it as buying new to furnish their homes was so expensive. I remember myself buying a dining table and chairs from a charity shop and spending ages sanding it down, staining the wood and re-upholstering the chairs.

Baby clothes would be hand knitted by grannies and mums trying to make ends meet, and clothes and furnishings such as cushions and curtains would be hand-sewn by seamstresses. Craftsmen and women would spend hours making furniture, jewellers would hand select the best stones for their jewellery and watchmakers would spend hours selecting the perfect hands and movements for their watches.  You knew when you were buying something like this you were buying quality. Then came mass production and with that came the throwaway society. 

Buying vintage, however, has come back into fashion and there are many benefits to buying vintage today.

Quality


Many of today's products are mass produced in volume not handmade or produced in small batches like they used to be. That's not to say everything mass produced will be of dubious quality but there is nothing like a dress that is handmade by a seamstress or a watch loving crafted by a watchmaker. 

When you are buying vintage you are generally buying quality as it has lasted over time.

Uniqueness 

In this throwaway society finding an unusual piece of jewellery, a quality timepiece or a remarkable dress that no one has is a huge benefit of buying vintage. It's extremely unlikely you will see this item on anyone else due to the smaller production values of a bygone age. 

Price



Many vintage items such as furniture and clothes can be picked up at a fraction of the price of new in second-hand or charity shops and flea markets. 

Items such as diamond jewellery, designer bags, and luxury second-hand watches hold their value but can still be picked up for a bargain so if you like your designer and luxury items consider buying vintage from a reputable dealer.

Provenance 

There is a history to an item that is vintage and this is called provenance. Provenance, a record of ownership and history can add real value to an item in terms of financial value and authenticity. This is especially important with antiques, jewellery and watches. 

Provenance in terms of an heirloom like a pre-owned Rolex passed down through generations can keep an item adored and treasured throughout time. 

Eco-Friendly



When you buy a vintage item you are recycling it and saving it from the rubbish tip. Don't be a slave to fashion, buy vintage items that are classic and take care of your clothes and you can wear them time and time again. Sand down old furniture, stain it or paint it and varnish it and you will have a unique piece of furniture at a bargain price.

The manufacturing of new products has an impact on the environment in terms of toxins, materials, water use and greenhouse gases, so reduce buying, reuse and recycle and you are helping the environment.

Tell me, would you consider buying a vintage watch or jewellery? What do you think of the vintage trend?

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

Struggling to Reach Payday? Sell Your Jewellery for Instant Cash

If you’re still counting the cost of the festive season in February, you’re not alone. While Christmas has come and gone, many families are still facing the burden of excess spending and struggling to recoup their finances. With the combination of the early payday and a long month in January, it’s no surprise that 80% of Brits struggle with their finances over the festive period. What’s more, the need to take out payday loans is becoming increasingly necessary — a financial decision that can cause a hangover well into the year.

So what can you do?

While many families opt to budget hard or delve into their overdraft, a smarter option might be to sell your unwanted goods to earn an extra bit of cash and ease the pressure.

Sell your unwanted jewellery



Have you considered selling jewellery? Selling your unwanted silver and gold is always a safe bet. It’s something many of us have in a drawer at home and can actually be worth some serious money.

Now is the perfect time for a pre-spring clean, but instead of simply throwing your old jewellery away, why not give your bank balance a welcome boost by selling it to a cash your gold company? Not only are you guaranteed to get a fair price for your items (selling jewellery that can be resold will actually mean you get more!), but it’s also completely hassle-free. Sell your gold online and you won’t have to trudge to the high street and haggle with a pawnbroker. Simply send off your goods in a pre-paid envelope and if you’re happy with the price, the money will be sitting in your account in as 24 hours.

Finding a reputable cash your gold provider


When it comes to selling your old jewellery — even if you don’t have any sentimental attachment to it — you still want to make sure you find someone you trust. Gold and silver prices fluctuate daily, so do your research and make sure you’re getting a fair quote. Getting your jewellery appraised can make all the difference, so be on the lookout for cash your gold companies who are experts in the industry. The last thing you’d want is to be stung by a provider offering you the price of scrap when your jewellery is actually worth a lot more.

Don't want to get rid of your old jewellery? Other money-making tips

You may have plenty of old jewellery around the house that holds sentimental value, meaning you don’t want to sell it on. But selling jewellery isn’t the only way to make some easy cash.

Sell your unused goods online

The majority of us have a habit of not throwing things away. It’s that old adage that things will come in handy again at some point but, realistically, it’s unlikely they ever will. As a result, it’s so easy to accumulate a vast amount of junk in a short space of time. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used it for a year, it might be time to consider passing it on.

Online marketplaces such as eBay are a great way of getting rid of your old stuff easily — and to minimise your costs further, keep an eye out for the chance to host your auction for free. You might just cause a bidding war! You never know who might fall in love with that handbag you bought last year, but haven’t used since.

Future-proof your bank account

How great would it be if every time you bought something, be it your weekly shop, a holiday or a new outfit, you could earn extra cash? With cashback apps and websites, such as Quidco, you can! While you may be cutting back on luxuries in the first few months of the year, with cash back, you might find you don’t have to scrimp on that takeaway treat you’re craving at the end of the month!

The New Year may be a time of promise and beginnings, but as the daily realities of bills, spending from previous months and a long wait for payday set in, you may find yourself struggling. We could always do with a little bit of extra cash, especially during tough times, and selling jewellery and your belongings can, quite literally, pay off.


*PR collaboration 
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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Beauty Tips: Your Lips

Although lips are a commonly forgotten area in beauty routines, they require moisture and nourishment just like the rest of the face. Lips require extra hydration and protection since they lack natural oils. Read on to learn three tips for keeping your lips plump, smooth, and healthy. 




1. Block the Sun

Lips are especially vulnerable to UV damage caused by the sun's rays. Harmful UV rays will not only age lips faster but they also increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

It is crucial to protect lips with a lip balm containing sunscreen - EOS offers an excellent option that is water resistant for 80 minutes and provides SPF 30 - each time you go outside. Also, be mindful that UV rays are capable of penetrating glass and clouds. This means sun protection should also be worn on the lips when riding in a car and even on cloudy, overcast days.

2. Moisturise Lips Frequently
In addition to always using a lip balm with SPF during outdoor activities, it is also essential to use regular lip balm on a frequent basis. Adding moisture to the lips throughout the day helps keep them supple and soft.

Look for a brand, such as EOS or Burt's Bees, that features a formula with natural oils, vitamins, and moisturisers. Adequately moisturised lips will be better protected against dry air, low humidity levels, and harsh weather.

3. Use a Lip Oil

Aside from using a lip balm during the day, consider using a lip oil at night to provide lips with an extra-rich boost of moisture. Brands such as Yes to Coconuts offer lip oils specially designed to drench lips with superior hydration.

Using a rich oil overnight will pamper lips and help keep them from becoming dry as the night passes. If desired, lip oil can also be applied over regular lip balm to lock in moisture.

Final Words

Overall, remember to consider your lips when completing your daily beauty routine. By providing your lips with extra moisture and adequate protection, they will remain softer and more youthful looking as you age.

Do you think about your lips in your beauty regime? 

*PR collaboration
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Winter Getaway At Bluestone Wales

If you were to ask me my favourite place to stay in Wales I would say without a shadow of a doubt Bluestone Wales. I have been lucky enough to visit this luxury resort situated 10 miles from Tenby in West Wales a number of times and I have always had a great time. 

The luxury holiday park and resort is set in over 500 acres of beautiful countryside. With the emphasis on activities as well as relaxation, there are many things to do here for young and old alike.





I am also proud to be a Bluestone Blogger and get invited back to review on a regular basis. I could never be complimentary about a venue though if I didn't like it,  but that has never been the case with Bluestone. I mean look at the standard of accommodation at the Ramsey Lodge below on our recent stay, amazing isn't it!?

Accommodation








The Ramsey Lodge is designed for 'upside down living', with the living space upstairs and the bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs. This is a genius idea as you get a terrific view of the beautiful scenery around the park.



Everything in the lodge was perfect. The two bedroom lodge had a double bedroom and a twin bedroom,  one with ensuite bath and toilet and the other with an ensuite shower and toilet room. Upstairs is the lounge and kitchen/diner. The lounge contained a table and chairs big enough for four, two sofas, a flat screen TV and DVD player. The kitchen had a small fridge/freezer, cooker, microwave, dishwasher, toaster and kettle, and all the dishes, pans and utensils you would need to cook and serve a meal. 



The condition of everything was spot on. The bathrooms were incredibly clean, the sofas and tables were in excellent condition, and there were no scuff marks on the walls. The carpet also looked new and was different to when we visited the park last year. You can see Bluestone Wales refurbish and replace on a regular basis.

Activities

The park has amazing activities for kids and I can confirm that the Blue Lagoon all weather water park, looks amazing and has a fantastic looking slide. 

The family adventure centre will also keep the kids happy with mini golf, a climbing wall and soft play as well as a circus zone, messy play area and a sensory zone for babies, all under cover.

You can hire bikes and buggies to get around the park, a good idea if you have little ones or mobility problems as the park can be steep in places.

There is even the Well Spa where adults can have a massage, pedicure or other treatments as well as using the small pool and the different therapeutic rooms. 




The outdoor play area always looks like great fun too!



If you love nature, check out the bug lodge and the beautiful lake with the little ducklings, whilst history lovers will enjoy the history walk with the local historian Terry John which is free.



Also watch out for the bunnies!


This visit we decided to try one of the activities for adults. Now, should we go for the archery, high rope zip line, laser clay pigeon shooting, or indoor rock climbing? As I am not a fan or heights we decided to try one of the shooting activities so after visiting the booking centre we trotted off to the laser pigeon shooting the next day.

Now I am a bit of a crack shot. This is not due to a misspent youth, more to do with a natural ability. I think I was Annie Oakley in a former life. Actually, I don't know how I do it but I'm pretty nifty with a gun, and found this out at a shooting range in Las Vegas, so the pressure was on.

Mr W is a competitive sort, and in everything we do he always has to be the best, and can slyly put me under pressure if I am winning. It was going to be interesting to see who was the Bluestone clay pigeon champion January 2017!





After a quick explanation of how the guns worked, it was on to the practice round. The guns have a little infra-red light that is fired at the clay targets, this then reflects back to the scoreboard. I did well in the practice round, and Mr W was already complaining that his gun wasn't working properly... Forty-five minutes later, we were all finished, and I won against three other people and I don't think I will ever hear the end of it! So if you want to upset everyone in your family I would highly recommend trying one of the competitive sports when you visit.

Food





Bluestone Wales has a small grocery shop as well as a number of cafes and restaurants on site mostly all in the village area.  The shop has a captive audience so prices are on the high side so we would recommend taking most of the food you will think you will need with you. You can get most things you need in the shop though so don't worry if you forget anything or just want to buy food when you are there.


Camp Smokey looked good fun but was not open when we were there. The Farmhouse Grill is a restaurant tailored to families and Ty Coffi is a super little cafe. 


We had a really good meal at The Knight's Tafarn, the pub in the village area. The chicken madras, poppadoms, and nan bread we ordered were really tasty and the chips that came as a side dish were very good too.  

We were surprised that the more upmarket Oak Tree restaurant had changed the type of food they served since last time we went. Instead of a refined upmarket bistro, the restaurant now serves more hearty pizza and pasta dishes. 



We ate there one night and the food was good, not perfect but still good, and the prices were excellent, with main courses being about £10. I had a pulled beef ragu and Mr W had penne arrabbiata, which we both enjoyed. There were no starters other than garlic bread, and it would have been nice to have more choice here. Dessert options were limited to chocolate brownies and ice cream, and again more choice would have been brilliant but the brownie was outstanding and the ice cream great quality.

Service was very good at the Oak Tree restaurant, and this has much improved since the first time we visited Bluestone Wales. As this is the main restaurant for adults, (although children are welcome too) perhaps the lighting could have been adjusted to give a more ambient atmosphere.  I do think however Bluestone Wales have made the right decision to change the restaurant to pizza and pasta, just a few more starters and desserts would have made it better.



Bluestone Wales is well situated in West Wales, being a short drive from Tenby and Saundersfoot, and if you love history Carew Castle is only 7 miles away.  



Bluestone Wales has something for everyone. We saw a real mix of people during this stay, from families with babies to retired couples. The luxury holiday park suits those looking for a family-friendly activity break to those looking for a quiet stay in a beautiful holiday park close to nature. I haven't touched on all the activities and events available, but these change seasonally. The park is always changing, updating and improving and Bluestone should be commended for this. With a 4 night midweek break from £149 per lodge in low season then I think it can be tremendous value for money too. 



Check out this video for an insight into our Bluestone stay.





Tell me would you visit? Have you been to Bluestone Wales?

Bluestone Resorts Ltd
Canaston Wood
Narberth, 
Pembrokeshire, 
SA67 8DE
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