Mini-moon at The Mere

Topher and I spent our wedding night and remaining weekend at The Mere Resort

Topher’s mum very generously gifted us a two night stay at The Mere; a gorgeous hotel in the Cheshire countryside. We arrived about 2 in the morning and in our room we were surrounded by just married decorations! I’ll say now that my photos in this post are pretty terrible so sorry in advance!

The Mere - hotel room

The next morning we got up early to partake in the breakfast buffet. Have I mentioned how much I love hotel breakfast buffets? They are the best and this one was no exception! Afterwards we headed back to the room to open up all our cards, presents and read the guest book. I definitely recommend bringing all this stuff to the hotel with you as it is such a great way to start your marriage – knowing how loved you are by your friends and family.

The Mere - rings

Btw how cool is this key holder Topher’s auntie and uncle gave us?!

The Mere - presents

I had grand plans of using The Mere’s spa facilities but I’ll be honest and say we slept a good chunk of the day! The combo of dancing all night and adrenaline rush from the day equaled a hangover like feeling even though I barely drank anything all day. In fact, after the wedding breakfast I was downing water all night. So the sleep was much appreciated.

The Mere - outside

How gorgeous is this hotel? I love the combo of the old building with the newer extensions. Lots of exposed brick is something I’m a fan of. The Mere is a golf and spa resort which has two restaurants and beautiful grounds.

The Mere - lobby

The Mere - glass roof

I booked an afternoon tea at Browns on groupon which was delicious. It was the perfect amount of cakes and I liked that they did mini scones as the regular sized ones tend to finish me off.

The Mere - prosecco

The orange cake on the right tasted just like a solero!

The Mere - afternoon tea

So serious!

The Mere - topher

Cue awkward holding of my glass so I could show off my rings!

The Mere - diane

Then it was back to the room for another sleep and we also watched a film on the TV. Zoolander 2 if you must know.

The Mere - corridor

The Mere - hallway

Then we had dinner at The Club Lounge so we could take advantage of the lake view. We had baked camembert to start and then Topher had fish and chips and I had a smoked haddock pasta dish. It was nice but very filling!

The Mere - dinner

Afterwards we headed outside to take some photos.

The Mere - lake

The Mere - golf course

The Mere - outside back

Selfie!

The Mere - topher & diane

Then back to the room for MOAR sleep. All our families were meeting up on the Sunday but we decided to spend our first day of marriage together just the two of us. I’m so glad we did. Especially since we had to get up early on the Monday to get Topher back to work.

Here’s hoping we get to revisit The Mere one day and spend the majority of our time actually being conscious. I want to try out the spa!

If you haven’t seen it, here’s my post on our wedding day and the video.

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Jordan 2017 – Cousin’s Wedding

So without a doubt, this was by far the shortest trip to Jordan I’ve ever taken!

I wasn’t even planning on coming to Jordan this year what with everyone coming over for the wedding but in February my older cousin announced that he was getting married the week before us. So there was no way I was missing this wedding. I have always said I will attend every single one of my cousin’s weddings and I will not stumble at number 2!

So that’s how Topher and I ended up spending 3 full days in Jordan. And that’s pretty much why there’s only a few photos that aren’t the wedding.

Day 1 saw us heading to my auntie’s for a huge family lunch to celebrate both weddings. That cake was good!

Jordan 2017 - cutting the cake

Jordan 2017 - cake

And of course with everyone in attendance we had to get the first family photo in close to a decade.

Jordan 2017 - family

Then day 2 was the wedding. Arab weddings are pretty much evening affairs. Your hands get sore from all the clapping and there’s lots of dancing which I love. The wedding was at Amman Waves which is a water park and it was all very pretty.

Jordan 2017 - pool

I love outdoor night time weddings – sparkly lights!

Jordan 2017 - dance floor

Each table was named after a city and unsurprisingly we were on London.

Jordan 2017 - London table

Had to get a posed shot. I loved my dress. I bought it from ASOS* and it was so comfy. It was pretty long though so we got it shortened at a tailor’s in Amman. I got my hair done at the same salon I usually go to in Amman too.

Jordan 2017 - Diane and Topher

Cheeky selfie! Me, Topher, my cousin and my brother.

Jordan 2017 - selfie

The happy couple. My cousin is the groom.

Jordan 2017 - Kamal & Bhara'ah

These giant sparklers were everywhere!

Jordan 2017 - fire

Day 3 was spent at brunch with everyone and then a trip to the cinema before going to bed and getting up at 4am for the airport.

And breathe! Next year I’m planning a 2 week holiday there to make up some lost time from this year.

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A Day in London – V&A, Columbia Road and Liberty

So due to a booking fuck up of mine, I ended up solo in London for the day after Blogtacular. I say fuck up, it’s not much of a fuck up when you get a day to yourself in our nation’s capital is it?

A few years ago I managed to pack in Portobello Road, Old Spitalfields Market & Brick Lane, as well as Neal’s Yard and Covent Garden all in a day so I decided to do it again!

Here’s a little video of my day:

I started off the day with breakfast at The Breakfast Club in Hoxton where I had the most delicious waffles. Though I’m usually a pancake aficionado, the Elvis Waffle was calling my name. Atop a waffle sits caramelised banana, peanut butter, greek yoghurt and maple syrup. Nom.

London - The Breakdast Club waffles

Then it was off to the Columbia Road Flower Market where I may have spotted a celebrity. Check out the video to see who it was. It was my only celeb spotting of the day but a pretty good one, especially for a Potterhead such as myself.

I also finally got to go to the V&A museum which is something I’ve been wanting to do for about a decade. The building itself was gorgeous as was all the exhibits inside. The fashion section in particular reminded me how much I used to love fashion when I was a teen and in my early twenties. How times have changed.

London - V&A

Does my bum look big in this?

London - V&A dress

My final stop was Liberty – another place I’ve never been inside even though I’ve lived in London. What a gorgeous building! And it was fun to window shop too.

London - Liberty

I also paid a visit to Japan Centre to buy some treats. I don’t think we’ll be going to the real Japan until 2019 now so I thought it would be nice to get some snacks. And I finally tried something matcha flavoured. Topher wasn’t a fan but I loved it.

Where would you go if you had only one day in London?

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A Quick Trip to Nottingham – Bills and Street Art

This weekend I took a quick trip to Nottingham to stay with my brother who bought a flat there last year. Considering I spent my teen years in Nottinghamshire and would frequent the city quite regularly, it’s been years since I spent more than a few hours there.

Nottingham 1

As well as seeing my brothers new flat (makes my old London one look like a shoebox!) we took a wander around the city. Being a big fan of cool street art, I was happy to see some as we walked.

Nottingham 2

These sock puppets in particular are awesome!

Nottingham 3

Nottingham 4

There was a guy on this side street randomly with a piano. Locals, is he there all the time?

Nottingham 5

This one was on the side of an antique shop which I probably should have gone in but hunger won!

Nottingham 6

For dinner we headed to Bills which I can’t believe I was only visiting for the first time. To be fair, we don’t have one in Manchester so there is that. But I never got the chance to go when we lived in London and when Topher and I tried to in Birmingham, the wait was too long. So I was pleased to finally give it a go.

Nottingham 7

The decor is pretty quirky and shabby chic. This wall got instagramed right away!

Nottingham 8

I had the mac and cheese with mushrooms, leek and truffle. Yum! It was so filling that I didn’t have room for dessert. Shame, maybe next time?

Nottingham 9

The next day we went to Salt Box for lunch which is right next to the Motorpoint arena. Ideal if you’re going to a concert after! We both had the hoisin duck pizza which was really nice. Most people I know prefer their pizza thin but this one was really doughy which I’m personally a fan of. Another filler, leaving me with no room for dessert.

Nottingham 10

Short but sweet. Until next time Nottingham!

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Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

It’s been awhile since I had breakfast at a hotel. When I was a kid and used to travel all the time with my family I used to LOVE them and I mean love. So when I was invited to a complimentary breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club I eagerly accepted. It is the most important meal of the day after all!

The location of Worsley Park Marriott is great if you’re driving. Situated just off the M60 it’s so easy to find and within minutes you’re surrounded by greenery. Perfect if you want to travel to Manchester but don’t want all the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - Grill in the park

Breakfast at the Marriott is served at their Grill in the Park restaurant between 6.30am and 11am on weekdays and 7am – 11am on the weekends. If you’re staying at the hotel, it’s only £10 for breakfast and if you’re not it’s £16 for the buffet and £12 for continental.

Walking through the hotel to get to the restaurant, I could definitely tell I was in a Marriott. I’ve been to Marriott’s before but never this particular one so I definitely felt that it fit in with the chain’s ‘vibe’.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park worsley

Part of the restaurant looks out onto this courtyard. Though it was freezing being January and all, I can tell it would be amazing sitting out there during the summer. Is it summer yet?

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park courtyard

I showed up early so I got to have a wander around the buffet first without there being too many people around.  Buffet strategy is a must with me. I like to case the joint. With my courses decided, I began my feast.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel grill in the park restaurant

Apologies for the dark photos below, in hindsight I should have sat next to the window with natural light being a bloggers best friend and all but I wanted to be close to the food. Priorities right? But even though the lighting was terrible for photos, most normal people aren’t looking to take photos so it was ideal for that first thing in the morning, I haven’t had my coffee yet crowd.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel juice

So first up is juice of course. Big thumbs up to the Marriott for having more than just orange juice. I’m not a fan of OJ so I tried some cranberry. A lot of hotels have been catching on to offering multiple juices but every once in awhile I stumble across one where I have to get tap water.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel cereal

As well as the cereal that was on offer, I also noticed that they have toppings like hazelnuts, seeds and dried fruit. I’ve never seen that before though I’m not usually a cereal person but it was a nice touch. Instead, I headed to the toast.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel toppings

I can’t speak for the strawberry or blackcurrent jam but the apricot was delicious! As for the mandarin, I wasn’t a fan but it’s nice to see so much choice.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel jam

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - toast

As standard with any hotel breakfast, you can order coffee or tea right to your table. Sweet sweet caffeine!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel coffee

Speaking of choice earlier, I had a difficult one to make when it came to the fruit. In the end I decided on the berries and greek yoghurt which was really good.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel fruit

I’ve seen cold meat at a breakfast buffet before but never smoked salmon. And I am obsessed with smoked salmon so it was a welcome surprise. I decided to save that for part of my main course. Also it was definitely a first for me to see a cheese board which I think is awesome. Maybe other places do offer them but I’ve never spotted any.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel smoked salmon and cheese

Course one and two demolished.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - breakfast at grill in the park worsley

As for hot food, you can get the full english here which is a must for a UK breakfast buffet. I should also mention that there is also a menu where you can order items like pancakes a la carte.

Now when it comes to me personally, I usually stumble at the hot section at most breakfast buffets due to not eating pork. That and I’m not really a fan of beans or cooked tomatoes either… so I’m usually left with eggs on toast and a hash brown.

That wasn’t a problem at all here. Worsley Park Marriott are well known for their omelette station where you can get just about anything you want thrown in and cooked right in front of you.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel omelettes

However, as tempting as the omelettes looked, I had already spotted the smoked salmon earlier. So I popped some on toast and helped myself to a couple of poached eggs from the buffet. Perfect!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel poached eggs

Finally for dessert, I had perused the pastry and muffin section and found my winners. Though there was no pain au chocolat which is usually a must for me, this chocolate pastry I picked up instead was amazing! and the muffin was also very tasty. The perfect end to the meal with my coffee.

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - pastries

Well and truly stuffed I headed home a happy lady. I definitely recommend paying a visit to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel next time you’re in Manchester or just fancy a staycation. They’re well known for their golf course and you can even get married there.

Thanks Worsley Park for breakfast!

Breakfast at Worsley Park Marriott Hotel - Worsley Park Marriott

*Breakfast was complimentary but as always, all opinions are my own. 

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