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Travel: Darwin's Townhouse - Boutique Bed & Breakfast in Shrewsbury


A Festive Break At Darwin's Townhouse

For this blog post, I collaborated with Original Shrewsbury on an arranged press trip to Shrewsbury. I was tasked with exploring and experiencing the accommodation, food, drink, and sightseeing Shrewsbury has to offer its visitors and afterward, share an honest account of my weekend experience with my readers - I hope you enjoy this post and find my recommendations useful for any future trips you have planned to Shrewsbury. 

If you're not already familiar with Shrewsbury, it's a quirky town packed full of genuine one-offs, independent shops and cool cocktail bars – great for those in need of a short break in an eccentric and buzzing medieval town, nestled in the heart of the Shropshire countryside. The town center itself is packed with timber-framed black and white buildings, steep narrow streets and alleyways - there's tons to explore! 

For the duration of our stay, we were conveniently located in Darwin's Townhouse; one of Shrewsbury's newest boutique hotels in the heart of the town center. With 20 perfectly sized rooms, we were excited about our bed and breakfast experience within this charming Grade 2 listed, Georgian townhouse.

Our room was located in the main house, a beautifully appointed deluxe room with a king size bed overlooking the immaculate communal gardens behind the house. All rooms feature creature comforts and bold tributes to Charles Darwin himself (he was born in the town!), ours, in particular, featured a rustic wooden map, detailing Darwin's travels and framed pictures of parrots above our bed.

Upon arrival we were in awe, this beautiful three-story townhouse felt like a home from home. With a huge circling staircase and a homely living room full of plush sofas and a huge Christmas tree stocked with presents, I wanted to move in and stay for Christmas!

With a fireplace beautifully decorated with festive holly sprigs, warming lights and bold red stockings we immediately felt like giddy little children at Christmas time. We checked in our bags, oohed and ahhed at the room then quickly wrapped up in our warmest attire for a quick evening walk around the town to see the Christmas lights.

We spent the whole weekend pottering about the town discovering Shrewsbury tourist sights; eating fusion tapas food and drinking quirky cocktails at House of the Rising Sun & finally, curing a Sunday hangover with comfort food at The Loopy Shrew, we definitely weren't short of places to indulge!

I urge anyone visiting Shrewsbury to consider Darwin's Townhouse as your bed and breakfast of choice. Deluxe rooms range from £75-£110 per night - very reasonable for such a central location in my opinion. 

Have you visited Shrewsbury before? If so, where would you recommend to eat, drink and stay?


(*) For this post I collaborated with Original Shrewsbury on an organised press trip where all food, drink, and accommodation was provided on a complimentary basis in exchange for an honest view of my experience on my blog. All opinions expressed here are my own. (*) 
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Travel: Places To Stay Near The Cotswolds - Tewkesbury Park

tewksbury park from the outside and alfresco dining
tewksbury park golf course and hotel
rolling countryside views tewksbury park
cotswolds sunset
plush blue and cream interiors at tewksbury park
lobby bar at tewksbury park
cocktails in the cotswolds
historic suite at Tewksbury Park
modern bedroom interiors at tewksbury park
staying in a large suite at tewksbury park
refurbishment at tewksbury park
large comfortable hypnos bed at tewksbury park
tewksbury park suite bathroom
wining and dining
starter a la carte dining tewksbury park
a la carte dinner cotswolds hotel
fresh and seasonal produce
rightupmystreet uk food blogger
desserts tewksbury park restaurant

Places To Stay Near The Cotswolds - Tewkesbury Park

Tewkesbury Park Hotel is located on the southern edge of Tewkesbury, nestled in the heart of the Gloucestershire countryside, however, still boasts easy access from the M5. As you arrive, the slow drive into the grounds and up the grand hill sets a luxurious scene for the hotel. 

The hotel sits on top of its own 18-hole golf course and boasts unrivaled panoramic views across of the Cotswolds, the Severn Valley, the Welsh Mountains and the Malverns. 

I'll be honest when you arrive and park up in the carpark, the outside of the main hotel lobby and the adjoining hotel rooms block, plus the golf club appears to be quite outdated by design and look rather "unimpressive", however, my initial thoughts were soon pushed to one side upon entering the glamorous hotel lobby with its "Conde Nast Johansens Luxury Hotels Award Finalist 2018" plaque taking pride of place on the wall. 

The interiors of the lobby, bar, and sitting area are smart with plush blue and cream tones adorning the walls and there are a variety of sunken armchairs scattered around the central log burner in blue velvet and some backed with patterns and finished with an outline of circular gold studs. 

In terms of guest rooms, there are nine suites located in the main 18th-century building and 85 bedrooms in the adjoining wing. Our room was one of the historic suites in the main building, accessed via an impressive staircase behind the lobby. 

For me, staying at a hotel will always be a luxury in itself, but the little luxury I enjoy most is being able to walk downstairs from your room and have immediate access to a cocktail bar, ample cosy seating space and a restaurant on your doorstep. Even better - once you've finished dinner or a drink at the bar & are ready to retire away from the world and other people, well you can just waltz straight back up those stairs. Call me lazy but, with no cab to call or wait for & no pinch of the bitter cold on your face or bare legs - that's luxury for me! 

The suite itself was huge and lovely. When reviewing hotels for this blog, I always find myself doing a little dance of excitement once the member of staff leaves and the door has closed behind them - I try to act professional and composed when they show me around but in reality its always so overwhelming (and never will stop being overwhelming) to think about the opportunities my little corner of the internet enables me to experience. 

Even more so, it makes me appreciate the effort and lengths the hotel has gone to create and ensure such a luxurious space for their guests to enjoy - now that's hospitality - surely it can't just be me who gets so excited about the prospect of staying in a posh hotel room? 

Anyway, back to the suite! The suite we were staying in was situated in one of the buildings circular curves (which you can see from the outside) and featured an area with three long, almost floor to ceiling windows with window seats. The panoramic views were impressive;  overlooking the hotel's golf course and out onto the disappearing Gloucestershire countryside for miles. 

Our suite had its own sitting area with a sofa and two armchairs - we had to make use of our posh surroundings so we suitably spent our evening, pre-dinner sat here chatting, with our feet up, drinking wine (as you do - rolls eyes). The adjoining bathroom was separated from the bedroom via a spacious closet area. 

Wining and dining at Tewkesbury Park was equally pleasing. On every dish, all ingredients were impeccably decorated across the plate, making us even more eager to tuck in and start eating. It is evident that the hard-working team is clearly passionate about using top quality local, fresh ingredients. 

The main dining room you initially walk through and are seated for breakfast is still yet to be updated - however, adjacent, there is an elegant orangery featuring the same plush, cosy interiors mirrored from the lobby and bar area. 

Tewkesbury Park Hotel is a lovely place to retreat if you wish to spend a weekend pottering about The Cotswolds. It's worth noting, if your visiting The Cotswolds, are short on time and are looking to find a typical Cotswolds scenic driving route that's scattered with honey-coloured stone villages and views of the beautiful rolling countryside then check out my blog post on the Cotswolds Romantic Road driving route - a great way to get a glimpse of all the villages in a day, or even just a couple of hours. 

Do you visit The Cotswolds often? Whats your favourite Cotswolds village to visit and where do you like to stay? 


(*) Our overnight stay and dinner at Tewkesbury Park Hotel was provided on a complimentary basis in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions expressed here are my own (*)
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Lifestyle: Pre-Wedding Spa Day At Brooklands Hotel, Weybridge

brooklands hotel weybridge exterior
outdoor hot tub with hydrotherapy jets
welcome and reception area at brooklands hotel in weybridge
sandwiches at afternoon tea at brooklands hotel and spaafternoon tea scones plain and raisinafternoon tea cake selection at brooklands hotel and spa
hot-tub overlooking Mercedez Benz World
outdoor hot tub seating 12 people brooklands hotel spa

outdoor seating area brooklands spa

Pre-Wedding Spa Bliss at Brooklands Hotel

Firstly, can I start off by saying wow! The last two months have absolutely flown by - it's been manic at the best and worst of times. 

First there was the wedding build up, mainly consisting of last-minute preparations and the stress around forgetting to create and print our order of service booklets, family arriving from Australia, mine and my dad's birthday, the actual wedding day, our mini-moon in the Cotswolds, our honeymoon in the Maldives, Christmas, New Year and then back to work (phew!), which leads me to today and onto a pre-wedding blog post, which I am only just writing now, two months later... 

As you may or may not have noticed, blogging on Rightupmystreet has very much taken a back-seat (much to my dismay) - there just hasn't been a spare five minutes in the day, and when there has been a spare five minutes, frankly I've just wanted to sit down and not think about anything at all for at least a minute or two. 

With the stress and hectic period every wedding can bring, its essential to factor in some downtime for you and your husband to be - even if there appears to be no time, make the time, I urge you to - you'll thank me later! 

We welcomed a pre-wedding invitation for a spa day at Brooklands Hotel and Spa with open arms - including a luxurious couples massage, followed by afternoon tea and use of the spa facilities; most importantly, a chance to soak up some much-required relaxation time in the outdoor jacuzzi. 

We were booked in for their signature couples massage - “The Wine Makers Massage” which involved a sculpting deep-tissue massage where they used special rolling pins to help sculpt your muscles and body tissue. It was definitely different to the usual back, neck and shoulder massage I would opt for, but overall, I really enjoyed the experience and went away with my various aches and pains dismissed. 

It felt like the "sculpting" with the rolling pin had done a great job of working through any knotted muscles I had been suffering from, in particular, it worked wonders on my upper thighs - they instantly felt firmer and de-knotted. 

The wine maker's massage was 50 minutes long and is definitely something I would try again myself and openly recommend to others if they are looking for a good muscle workout and refresh - I'd suggest advising the massage therapist on the level of pressure you'd like them to apply too.

Feeling suitably sleepy and refreshed after our massage, we thought it would be the ideal time to move onto the outdoor jacuzzi complete with hydrotherapy jets which overlook the Mercedes Benz world racetrack opposite the hotel. 

Initially, the hot-tub was rather full, so we decided to take a perch on one of the outdoor sun-loungers, wrapped up in our cosy spa gowns, overlooking the Mercedes-Benz World track. We had quite an enjoyable half an hour sitting there and watching people take on the driving circuit in the less than ideal weather conditions. It was a very grey day, super drizzly and wet on the roads! Despite the weather, we were kept amused as there were plenty of thrill seekers on the track who kept us entertained and on our toes! 

After soaking our muscles in the jacuzzi for a little while, we were soon seated in the spa restaurant for our afternoon tea. Swimming sure does make you hungry and appreciate the food in front of you!

All the usual goodies quickly followed - a choice of tea, a selection of finger sandwiches, a variety of plain and fruit scones and an enviable array of sweet treats sat before us. Like any afternoon tea experience, we gobbled up the sandwiches and scones, quickly regretting the lack of space we had saved for dessert... nonetheless, we tried to give every cake an equal chance. 

We left our spa day experience at Brooklands hotel feeling suitably refreshed and revitalised and ready to take on the world as Mr. and Mrs. Stocker! 

We recently ate dinner and drank cocktails at Brookland's Restaurant, Bar and Grill also. If you're a foodie by nature, I recommend you take a read. 

(*) Our spa day at Brooklands Hotel was provided on a complimentary basis in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions expressed here are my own (*)

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Food & Drink: Brooklands Hotel, Restaurant 1907 Review

Cocktails with a tailor-made twist
Brooklands hotel restaurant 1907 review
Bar at Brooklands Hotel and Spa
Tailor made cocktails at Brooklands Hotel Restaurant 1907
Made to order cocktail with vanilla and passionfruit
Eye-catching cocktails before dinner
Quirky cocktails at Restaurant 1907
dinner at brooklands hotel early evening meal
crispy shell soft blue crab starter at restaurant 1907
Goose liver parfait brooklands hotel restaurant
duck breast with cherry ketchup and duck fat caramel and sugar poached potatoes
Peach and basil parfait with prosecco jelly and honeycombe
S'more brulee indulgent dessert
Restaurant 1907 overlooking Mercedes Bens World

Dinner and Cocktails at Restaurant 1907

Recently I was invited to visit and review the 1907 Restaurant, bar and grill, located at the luxurious 4-star Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge. 

Alex works locally in Weybridge, so I had already heard lots of positive things about Brooklands hotel from him as he had been previously for work parties, which enhanced my curiosity! 

Before dining, we found an enviable perch at the 1907 resident cocktail bar for a quick cocktail stop before dinner. The decor of the cocktail bar offers a modern and contemporary setting with 1920's and 30's inspired decor and embodies a luxury atmosphere throughout. 

The trendy bar has its quirky design touches referencing Brooklands historic aerodrome past with giant chrome propellers that line the back of the cosy black and red booths. 

Once seated, we were presented with the cocktail menu & treated to exceptional service immediately. 

As we were indecisive on what to choose, umm-ing and ahh-ing at the many choices, the bartender was very keen to help us explore the cocktail menu options, so first he quizzed us on our alcoholic likes and dislikes and then quickly disappeared behind the bar and said that he would make us each something bespoke, tailored to our preferences, for us both to enjoy. 

I eagerly awaiting in anticipation as I carefully watched the bartender crafting my unique cocktail concoction behind the bar. My cocktail was delicious and exactly my type of tipple - filled with vanilla, passionfruit, orange zest and prosecco - a trendy, upmarket take on one of my favourite cocktails, a porn-star martini, but even better! 

If you're a cocktail lover like me, you'll be pleased to know that I regularly feature and review the best restaurants and cocktail bars in town, be sure to check out my recommendations for other cocktail bar hotspots

Once we'd polished off our cocktails, our tummies started to rumble so we moved on through to the restaurant seating area. We were seated in front of one of the large windows with a view out onto the car-park and Mercedes Benz World racing circuit. 

We were invited to nibble on bread, olive oil and balsamic before our starters arrived - my goose liver parfait with wafer baked stirata & a ginger and apricot chutney (£9.50) followed swiftly soon after, while Alex enjoyed the crispy soft shell crab papaya and peanut salad with nam jim dressing (£9.50). 

Both starters are quite expensive compared to what you'd normally pay for your local, trendy, upmarket restaurant, however, the quality and flavours reflect the price. 

I went for the main of duck breast with a cherry sauce and honey glazed fondant potatoes - a very rich and sickly sweet meal, but I thoroughly enjoyed. I finished with a light and airy passionfruit parfait, one of my favourite desserts this year - the perfect finish to my otherwise, sweet and rich appetiser and main.  

Alex finished with the S’more Brulee with marshmallow, bourbon vanilla and chocolate chip cookie - how could you not be curious about a Brulee with marshmallow?!

If you're lucky enough to be checking into the hotel for the night itself, Restaurant 1907 is the perfect dining option just downstairs, there really is no need to even leave the hotel! 

With two AA Rosettes up its sleeve, the menu is carefully designed with simple and honest food incorporating local and seasonal produce in order to cleverly create classic flavours paired with modern cooking techniques. 

There are several local attractions nearby including Mercedes Benz World racing circuit, opposite, and the Brooklands Museum round the corner. I actually bought tickets for dad for the Brooklands Museum to see the classic cars and Concorde, so will most likely end up returning to the 1907 restaurant for a weekend brunch once we have found a suitable weekend to book. 

Otherwise, I visited the Brooklands Hotel Spa and will be reporting back soon, watch this space... 

(*) Our food and drink at Restaurant 1907 at Brooklands Hotel was provided on a complimentary basis in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions expressed here are my own (*)
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