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Romance is in the air at the Crazy Bear Hotel, Beaconsfield

February is creeping upon us and my thoughts are turning to valentines day!

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A hotel which has always been a feature on my wish list is the Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield.  I recently had the pleasure of visiting the hotel for drinks and dinner with my partner and parents. The Crazy Bear opened in 2008 and quickly made it on to Conde Nast’s Red Hot List for Best New Hotels in the World! I had viewed pictures of the hotel in the past but nothing could prepare me for experiencing it in person…

The hotel is on a main road and has a very inconspicuous entrance (we actually drove past the building a few times before finding it!) The building is a fifteenth century coaching inn and the oldest building in Beaconsfield. Once you walk through the doors you are taken into another world:  a world full of gold, velvet, mirrors, diamonds and deep colours.

I have included a lot of pictures on this post because I think the images speak for themselves.

The images below show the main bar area, where we enjoyed drinks before going through to dinner.

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We ate in the Thai Restaurant and I had the black pepper tiger prawn stir-fry. The menu can be found on the following link- http://www.crazybeargroup.co.uk/beaconsfield/menus/thai-alacarte/

900x600-b-thai-restaurant-1The Thai restaurant has a calmer vibe than that of the English Restaurant  but the theme of decadence can still be found in the huge crystal chandeliers, velvet walls and dim lighting.

It is not often that I discuss the toilets within a venue- however the toilets at Crazy27464 Bear definitely deserve a mention..  They are hidden behind a secret panel in the wall, the walls are then covered in mirrored diamonds and you wash your hands in a constant flowing waterfall-Wash rooms do not get much better than that!

During my visit I had the pleasure of meeting with Massimo- the Sales Manager. Massimo gave me a show round of the property and I couldn’t contain my ‘ohhhs’ and ‘awwws’ as I entered each room- from the private dining hunting space to Suite Ten (a suite with black velvet walls, mirrored ceilings, bronze bathtub and leather floors)

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This hotel is well worth a visit and you are extremely lucky  if you have managed to book one of the 22 bedrooms for valentine’s day!

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Makeover at the Malmaison, Manchester

The Malmaison Manchester has always been a personal favourite of mine so I was delighted to get an invite last week to view the hotels refurbished meeting spaces & bedrooms.

The invite allowed me to pick from their 3 different ‘drop in’ sessions:

  • Breakfast with a smoothie
  • Lunch with finger food and fizz
  • Evening canapés and cocktails after-work.

My busy work diary (and love for ‘Thank Mal it’s Friday’ cocktails) meant I picked the evening session.

I was met by the wonderful Sales Manager Jay Abbott who showcased the hotel and ,as always, I was extremely impressed! The hotel brand will always be known for its dark interiors, moody lighting and red and black colourings but Mal has managed to step away from this for their refurbished meeting spaces. The rooms now have natural day light and the dated red and black carpet has been replaced with a light grey option. This would suit such a wider array of delegates whilst managing to keep the Malmaison identity

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One thing that was reinforced on Friday was Malmaison’s excellent customer service and their desire to ensure that everyone has a smile on their face. We ended up staying for hours, enjoying the live DJ, champagne cocktails and the mind-blowing Magician – Andrew Green. (www.modernmysteries.co.uk) Malmaison remains at the top of my list for bringing in the weekend.

Thank you Malmaison for a wonderful evening!

The Town Hall, Bethnal Green, East End of London

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I first visited this hotel five years ago  for an events educational trip. It is a hidden gem in the East End and I knew it was going to be a personal favourite when I ordered a ‘Ron Burgundy’ cocktail and the whisky based drink was served to me on a leather bound book with burning chips of mahogany (based on Anchorman.)

The Town Hall Hotel and Apartments is based in the heart of the vibrant East End and is renowned for its award- winning architecture. Every room has an individual style and design and manages to mix its grand Edwardian features with minimalistic vintage chic!  I love every quirky feature this hotel offers; unique, vintage pieces of furniture, designer lighting and sheepskin rugs (they even give you the option of taking a goldfish to your room to keep you company!!) The hotel has been featured in a personal favourite film; The Notebook and the DVD is available to take to your room for the evening.

This hotel is the hotel that just keeps giving. The rooms are set out as spacious apartments, each with a fully fitted kitchen (oven, dishwasher, fridge freezer), luxurious bathrooms and defined living, dining and sleeping areas.

 

One feature that I have repeatedly pitched in client proposals is the breathtaking De-Montfort Suite. I have seen many suites but NONE compare to this..(seeing is believing) The De Montfort Suite has a soaring triple- height ceiling, arched stain-glass windows and glass partitions between the bedroom area and the living room. This partition allows extra privacy so guests can entertain up to 20 people in the dining area with your own personalised menu, private chef and staff for the evening.
If you are celebrating a special occasion then The Typing Room ,with award winning chef Lee Westcott,  is perfect for intimate events. They offer a five course tasting menu for £60.

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This is a great hotel which understands the true meaning of offering a ‘home from home’ atmosphere.

(A place very close to my heart) The Old Post Office- Thalpe, Sr Lanka

 

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For any visitors who don’t know, my sister got married in Sri Lanka in February. I was fortunate enough to stay in Sri Lanka for the entire month and the accommodation is like nothing I have ever experienced and I have experienced a few! I am going to do some future posts on accommodation in Sri Lanka (Sunhouse, Dutch House, Wijeya and the Wallawa) but I wanted my first Sri Lankan post to be on The Old Post Office in Thalpe.

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The reason I have picked the Post Office is because this is where I spent my first memorable nights in Sri Lanka and I will never forget the feeling I had when I saw that the front room leads you on to unspoilt white sand and had the best sea view you could ever imagine!

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The Old Post Office is a 2 bedroom villa with ensuite bathrooms, open kitchen/dinning area and itsimage own private beach.  There is a wonderful housekeeper for shopping and cooking (he cooks the most amazing Sri Lanken breakfast and curry lunches) and the villa also has 24 hour security (since the villa is lacking walls!) so you feel like a film star with your own bodyguard watching all through the night making sure nobody wonders up from the beach into your little bit of heaven.

This villa is the epitome of relaxation as you hear the constant crashing of waves and view the private beach from the hammocks.

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If you do want to leave this rehab in search of civilisation, the villa is located 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Galle. Be sure to visit Wijaya Beach Restaurant for a wood-fire pizza and a passion fruit daiquiri!

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You will all need to get this on your to do list before Sri Lanka becomes the next popular destination. I hope it never loses its charm as this villa is the closest you are going to get to heaven on earth.

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The Tree House next to Lake Cleveleymere

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It was like all my childhood dreams had come true when I found out I was being treated to a luxury tree-house weekend!

This accommodation has everything you could ever imagine: a waters-edge tree house with rope bridge, sunset deck, it’s own pier with private harbour with it’s own boat and completely secluded by beautiful woodlands.

The holiday started as soon as we pulled into the resort, we were met by dozens of ducks and the owner who armed us with slices of bread to feed them with. We were talked through the resort and it felt like we had stepped into another world. They told us about fairies, pirates, private bonfires and secret play areas. (I was so excited, I cant even begin to imagine how children feel when arriving at Cleveleymere!)

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The fun continued when we were escorted to The Tree House and it soon became clear that Cleveleymere is catering for adults as well as the children.  This spectacular accommodation has been featured on Grand Designs and My Flat Pack Home. The lodge has been built to a very high specification including an amazing £40,000 Miele kitchen, solid oak flooring and furniture with hand made Hypnos mattresses (claimed to be the most comfortable beds in the world). Top of the range 3G Aurea surround light TV with Nintendo Wii games console, DVD collection , luxurious roll top free standing bath, amazing hand built large robe bridge and sunset deck with Weber BBQ, two superb en-suite bedrooms and floor to ceiling windows with spectacular views.

This spectacular accommodation has been marketed towards families but the small space seems ideal for a romantic getaway.  The English weather only allowed us on the lake for half an hour and we did not manage to make full use of all that is included:

  • Use of 20+ boats, 25+ mountain bikes, 3 x 4 man pedalos, 10 canoes & 10569032_10154365248865136_1721644459836808847_nCanadian canoe
  • 9 hole crazy golf course
  • Riverside fire pit kit with marsh mellows, fire lighters & kindling.
  • 16 foot trampoline
  • Lawn games, croquet, cricket & French bowls
  • Children’s play area, with fab zip line, wigwam & swings
  • Wi-fi Zone, iPod stations & Wii Consoles with games, guitars
  • Use of giant outdoor Jenga & Giant chess set
  • 50 +runner & tuffty pet ducks, rare black swans & white peacocks
  • Kids den with pool, football tables, full drum sets and piano
  • Wine and Chocolates (I did manage to enjoy these!)

This is a venue after my own heart and manages to balance high end luxury with  childhood innocence.

Website: http://www.cleveleymere.com/tree-house.php

Prices start at £219 per night