Sunday, 31 July 2016

How To Throw A Summer BBQ Party

BBQ Food

If there's one thing I know how to do well, its how to throw a great summer BBQ party.  Whether its a party for two with me and my hubby or if we've got our family and friends over, its always sure to be a great night.

Today I'm going to share with you my top 5 tips for throwing the best bbq party this summer.

The most important thing to take care of first is the food.  This ultimately depends on how many people you're having over.

1.  Think ahead when buying meat!

If you know you're going to be having a BBQ tomorrow, buy your meat today.  Don't leave it to chance.  I like to recommend shopping local and supporting local butchers but most aren't open on a Sunday and if you end up needing to go to a supermarket, if its a hot day, the chances are the rest of your town will also be there stocking up on their sausages for a BBQ of their own.

Think ahead!

If its a small get together or you don't have a lot of time, then I'd suggest heading to Marks and Spencer, purely for ease.    Their BBQ meat is absolutely fantastic and we buy it so often during the summer months.  They're usually on 3 for £10 and you can get everything from steak and venison burgers to shish kebabs, salmon and beef brisket.  They have cheese toppers for the burgers, dedicated bread to suit the meat you're cooking and lots of sauces and accompaniments.  If you're cooking for a small number of people, opting for this range can save you so much time because its already marinated, you just need to cook it however for a more cost effective option, I'd suggest visiting your local butcher which is what we like to do where possible.

Stirks Butchers Sunderland BBQ Meat Pack
Image belongs to Stirks Butchers. You can find it here.
If you're cooking for a lot of people, the above option wont be very cost effective, unless you're someone with an endless supply of money in which case, do what you like!  If you're on a budget, have a bit more time or are cooking for a lot of people then I'd suggest heading to your local butcher.

So many butchers these days are doing meat packs, especially for BBQs.  If you're from the North East, then I'd really recommend Stirks Butchers in Sunderland as they do a fantastic BBQ meat pack where you get 46 items for only £20.  This great value pack includes beef burgers, chicken steaks (marinated and plain), sausages (speciality- get the Irn Bru if you can and plain), pork steaks and beef steaks.  You can cook the meat as it is or marinate first but either way, you're guaranteed incredible quality and a great taste, especially if you buy from Stirks.

We've been shopping there for well over a year now, including for our Christmas Turkey, and have always been impressed with the quality of the meat, especially for such a reasonable cost.  Even if you're not doing a BBQ for a lot of people, you could always opt for a meat pack, cook what you need and freeze what you don't.  The sausages are lovely in a casserole and I love making a curry with the plump chicken breasts!

You can keep up to date with Stirks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out about their latest offers and great value meat packs.

2. Prep in advance

When you're having a BBQ, the best thing to do is to get everything prepared before your guests arrive.  That includes the bits that you think will be quick and easy to do like slicing burger buns, chopping veg etc.  Get it all prepped and in serving dishes with cling film or tin foil over the top so that its ready to go once the coals are hot and the meat is on the barbie.  You've invited your guests over to spend time with them, not to spend all of your time stick in the kitchen!

Pre prepared cocktails

3. Make sharing drinks for your guests

Summer BBQs are the perfect opportunity to put your cocktail making skills to the test.  For those who drink alcohol, make a big bowl of punch or a cocktail (I find that Sex On The Beach tends to go down a treat) and fill with ice and chopped up fruit (or tinned if you're pushed for time!) or even just mix Passoa with Lemonade in a huge jug for a sweet drink that doesn't taste like you're drinking alcohol.  Again, you can buy these pre mixed if you prefer; I reviewed the cocktail mix above in this post.  Either way, sharing drinks are great as your guests can simply serve themselves.

For those who don't drink alcohol for whatever reason, infused waters are a great way to go.  You can google lots of different combinations but essentially you're combining chopped fruit with water in a jug.  I make a citrus water with orange and lemon sliced with still water and ice and I also love making a one with sparkling water with chopped up strawberries, mint leaves and plenty of ice in it too.  These also look so pretty and Instagramable!

Another great idea is to fill a huge bucket (or childrens toy bin, etc) with ice and slot bottles of beer and cans of pop in it to chill and then your guests can help themselves.  This is a good idea for if those who you're inviting are likely to bring a bottle to contribute.

4. Have plenty of distractions on hand

While the meat is cooking, distract your guests with your witty banter by having plenty of conversation topics up your sleeve.  People tend to love talking about themselves so asking them plenty of questions and engaging in conversation should help them to feel at ease and take their mind off waiting for the main event; the food!

Garden games are so handy too whether they're for the kids or adults.  These can be bought cheaply from supermarkets and shops like Argos.  Working up an appetite with a swing ball or garden croquet can provide lots of laughs while the food is cooking.

Another way to distract your guests while the meat is on the barbecue is to provide lots of snacks and nibbles.  My favourite are crudités and dips.

5. Save on the washing up

My last tip for throwing a summer BBQ party is to save on washing up by using disposable catering supplies.  Lets face it, there are very few people in this world who enjoy washing up.  There are even less who enjoy washing up after having lots of people over for a BBQ.  Its all well having a dishwasher but even that requires plates to be rinsed before hand and it'll only hold so much.

Save all of that by purchasing cutlery, plates, cups and serving dishes, etc that you can simply chuck out when you're finished with them.  This way, you're not having to worry about your glasses getting broken, plates getting smashed, someone stepping on a shard or having to clean it up.  Disposable catering supplies are quick, easy and hassle free.

Now that you know my top tips on how to throw a summer BBQ party, I'd love to know yours!  Let me know in the comments!

Friday, 29 July 2016

Chanel Wallet On Chain (WOC) Camellia Style Review

Chanel Wallet On Chain Bag Review

The weekend is within sniffing distance and I've got a new video thats just gone live; sounds like a great start to Friday to me!
This video is a review of my Chanel Wallet On Chain (WOC) in the camellia style with lambskin leather and silver hardware.  Total beauty isn't it?

I've had it for about 18 months now and I've used it SO often so I think I'll be able to give you a good round up on the pros and cons associated with this bag.

For a full review, ways to wear, what fits in, the price and anything else that I can think of, please check it out.

You can watch my new video HERE.  Don't forget to hit the subscribe button and give the video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it!

How to Host a Truly Scottish Barbecue for the Olympics

"Olympic logo iron rings" by Ian Burt is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hi WhatLauraLoves readers!

My names Carol and I'm here to guest post on Laura's blog all about the Olympics and what Scotland has to offer to celebrate!

It's no secret that the Scottish have a history of combining dairy products, meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit to create unique dishes and side items like haggis, tatties, and neeps. But aside from traditional Scottish cuisine, we also know how to make some really great barbecue when the time comes for it to be done. And what better time is there than the 2016 Summer Olympics, soon to be hosted in sunny Rio de Janeiro starting on the the 5th of August and lasting until the 21st? That's 16 days of prime barbecue and celebration time. If you're looking to have an authentic Scottish barbecue for the holiday, check out these tips:

Play Games and Festivities

Where there are strong Scottish men there are bound to be heavy athletics. Traditional Highland games include events like the stone put, caber toss, weight throw, hammer throw, and the sheaf toss. All of these and other more modern (family friendly) games like tug-o-war, horseshoes, tag, and hide and seek can all be played alongside each other at a well-rounded Scottish barbecue party. You could also play some food slot games like BBQ slots to add some fun to the serving aspect – you spin the slots and take the combination of food items you land on. Similar slot games can be played for dessert or in drinking game variations.

Bring in the Scottish Cuisine

How can you have a Scottish barbecue without at least having a few traditional Scottish dishes? How about some Ayrshire bacon or roast Aberdeen Angus beef for the grill? Maybe a side of scotch pie and some roast hough, grouse, haunch of venison, or collops smothered in a homemade barbecue sauce with traditional Scottish sauces available for dipping as well. You can go lots of places with this, especially when you start getting into the desserts, breads, and confections like drop-scones, scones, butteries, bannock, Abernathy biscuits, Dundee cake, Scottish shortbread, and too many more to mention. To put it plainly, a meal can turn into a feast fast at a Scottish barbecue, so don't forget to bring an Olympic appetite.

Scots Can Barbecue with the Best

If you don't feel like staying home and making a barbecue meal yourself, Edinburgh has no shortage of barbecue restaurants that will hit the spot just fine. We've got places like Reekie's Smokehouse, Ada Restaurant, Meat Bar, Los Argentinos, and Zico's Brazilian Grill Bar serving up great barbecue on a daily basis.

Scotland's Role in the 2016 Olympics

Although Scotland doesn't yet have its own Olympic team, this year there are record numbers of Scots playing on the Great Britain team, with 8 of the 26 women on the Great Britain swim team being from Scotland. Scotland has also had its fair share of great Olympians throughout the years, so it is definitely worth tuning in to see what takes places this year, being that it'll be another 4 years before the next Olympics.

How will you be enjoying the Olympics this year?

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

I have been so excited to share with you my review of the Panasonic Slow Juicer, its not even funny.  For a family who likes to make our own juices, it has been an absolute godsend and so much more.  Let me tell you why.

I've loved creating drinks at home for years.  I remember getting a smoothie maker when I was in my mid teens and every weekend, my dad and I would create the most delicious fruity drinks.  The machine wasn't that powerful and it was a nightmare to clean but it was the best we could get in 2003!

Fast forward to a good few years ago and me, my dad and my husband started making our own juices and have continued ever since.  They're different to smoothies in that a juicer extracts the liquid from the pulp and separates the two but essentially, they're both drinks packed with natural goodness that you can make from home.  I just tend to prefer a juice on a more regular basis because they're not as thick as a smoothie, which feels more like a dessert or treat, and I like that I can pack plenty of veg into a juice.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

People juice for so many reasons from gaining extra vitamins and minerals to weightloss and for the health benefits.  The benefits of juicing have been linked to helping to curb psoriasis which my dad suffers from really badly and I do too but just a little bit.  That was why we initially got into juicing over making smoothies, to help my dad and while his skin condition has never gone away completely, he does notice a difference in his skin when he's juicing and that combined with all of the other benefits that we've felt as family through making our own juices is why we've continued making them, not to mention the fact that they taste delicious.

Lots of people will try out a juice cleanse or a detox for 3, 5 or 7 days, sometimes longer where you solely stick to fresh juices and we've all tried that in our house.  We usually have a mini cleanse at the start of a new year or after a period of over indulgence if we're feeling very sluggish as its great at kick starting your digestive system back into gear.  However more often than not, we tend to just enjoy juices on an ad hoc basis, whenever we fancy one.

For me, that used to be about once a week unless I was feeling run down or poorly (which happens A LOT as I like to burn the candle at both ends, or so my dad insists on telling me on repeat) in which case I would make an extra juice packed full of Vitamin C, antioxidants and the like.  The reason why I didn't juice more regularly in the past was down to the juicer I was using.

I had two juicers before I got the Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500.  The first was a budget option, the cheapest that I could find in Argos at the time.  It was neither use nor ornament and went straight in the wheelie bin after the first use.  The second was a more middle of the range option that had a few more bells and whistles on it and while it certainly worked better than the first one, it took an age to put together and an absolute nightmare to clean.  I'm a busy woman and while I always felt the benefits of juices when I made one, I didn't have the time nor the inclination to juice more than once or twice a week because it was SO much effort.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

Fast forward to summer 2016 and with my new Panasonic Slow Juicer in tow, I'm juicing like its going out of fashion.  I couldn't even say that this is an upgrade to the previous juicers I've had as it is a total cut above the rest in every aspect.

Aesthetically, the Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 is compact and sleek in design.  It isn't bulky and cumbersome like other juicers out there and it doesn't look an eyesore when out on the countertop.  It fits into a kitchen cupboard with ease and fits equally as neatly into the corner of a kitchen bench.

It feels strong, sturdy and substantial with anti slip feet which ensure that it isn't going anywhere!  I can already tell that this is the kind of appliance that will run and run and be with me for years as nothing about this juicer is flimsy or cheap.  But then again, it is made by Panasonic and with a brand so well known for creating fantastic electrical products, I wouldn't expect anything less.

The great thing about this juicer is that you don't need a construction degree to put it together.  The juicer comes with a detailed instruction booklet inside the box which is very straight forward to follow, helped by the fact that the juicer is incredibly easy to put together anyway.  It fits together in seconds and when you've put it together once, you needn't look at the instructions again; its that easy.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

Once together, the Panasonic Slow Juicer is so easy to use; simply chop up the fruit and veg that you're using, remembering to remove any thick rind, from oranges for example, and stones.  Then you flip the switch on the juicer, remove the plunger, pop your fruit in bit by bit and slowly guide it along with the plunger.  I say slowly but the whole process is really quick.  I can make a juice on a morning in about as much time as it would take me to boil the kettle and make a cup of tea; quick, easy and straightforward without any fuss.

It is called a slow juicer because the strong motor speed has been reduced to 45 spins per minute which is a lot less than a traditional juicer.This doesn't mean that its will take longer to create a juice, more that it will create the juice more efficiently.

Panasonic have connected the powerful low speed motor to a special juicing screw that is strengthened with a stainless steel tip which makes the juicing process slower and more refined.  The process of cold pressing or masticating the fruit and veg into the juice, mimics the way the way it would be done by hand but with the convenience and power of a modern kitchen appliance; quite clever really, don't you think?

The slow screw ensures that nutrients from the fruit and veg are retained and protects them from heat damage and oxidation which means that the end product is far richer in nutrients.  Plus, slow juicing in this way is very thorough and squeezes extra just out of the fruit and vegetables which ultimately means that theres more nutritional goodness in your glass and less waste which will save you more money in the long run because you'll need to use less ingredients than a traditional juicer.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

The juicer comes with a little guide that explains a bit more about the benefits of this juicer and it gives you some great recipes to try out to get you started.  I already have several juicing books at home but in all honesty, you can put most fruit and veg into the juicer and once you've made a few, you'll start to notice what combinations you like and dislike.

I prefer my juices a little sweeter so even if I'm making a green juice packed full of broccoli, spinach and celery, I'll always add a couple of apples or pears for sweetness.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

I usually prefer either a green juice or a berry based juice first thing on a morning.  That's when I tend to have my juice usually and if I ever have one later in the day, it tends to be a sweeter, thicker one as more of a sweet treat.

Sometimes I'll make myself an apple and ginger shot if I really want something zingy to wake me up on a morning.  I've been having these for years and while it was a little intense to begin with, I found that I was soon knocking it back and reaping the benefits.  I'm very sensitive to coffee and would never drink it first thing on a morning so having the ginger shot is a more nutritious replacement.

I do like to try new combinations though and the 'Wake Up Call' juice from the Panasonic Slow Juicer booklet was a fresh one for me.  I combined 1 cucumber, 2 apples and 20 mint leaves to create it and the juicer powered through the ingredients with ease.

The result was fresh, awakening and it had a hint of sweetness to it; perfect for the morning time.  Cucumbers are a great veg because they're mostly water, very low in calories and are packed full of nutrients such as Vitamins B, C and K, potassium and iron.

When making the juice, the finished product looks far more appetising than some of the juices I've made in the past.  Since the Panasonic Slow Juicer mixes less air into the juice, it separates less in the glass and has a more even colour with a well mixed formula; I think this makes the juice taste better too.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

One of the big differences that I noticed with using this juicer compared to the others that I've used in the past is just how much less waste there is.  With a juicer theres usually a jug that the juice goes into and a jug that collects the waste from the fruit and veg once the juice has been extracted and with this one, I have found there to be far less pulp left over.  This says to me that this juicer has extracted far more from the ingredients than other juicers I've used have, which can only be a great thing.

After use, the juicer is very quick and easy to clean because it doesn't have lots of nooks and crannies or millions of fiddly parts.  It all dismantles quickly and easily and they even give you a giant toothbrush looking item in the box to aid cleaning.  The vast majority of the parts can even be washed in the dishwasher!  I tend to do my over the sink and then I usually leave them on the draining board and then finish off drying the bits with a tea towel before popping it back together.  The whole cleaning process takes minutes rather than the long, fiddly process that I found with my previous juicer, which never felt quite clean enough no matter how much I cleaned it.

The compact size, suitable for on my kitchen bench, together with the ease of use and speedy cleaning mean that I'm now making juices far more regularly; at least 4 times per week now for myself and I feel loads better for it.

I take medication at night before I go to bed and it can leave me feeling really sick, especially when I wake up in the morning.  I've never been particularly fond of breakfast but when I'm feeling sick, I really struggle to have anything  early on, which isn't great for me if I'm going out for a work meeting or to an aquafit class.  However what I do find that works well is having a fresh juice first thing when I wake up as it really agrees with my tummy with it being light and it makes me feel better rather than worse.

Then after an hour and a half to two hours of being up, I'll then make myself some brekkie, which is usually a Warburtons Brown Thin with some Cashew Butter and strawberries or bananas on top.  You'll have probably seen it so many times on my Twitter!

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

The Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 sounds great, doesn't it?  We'll theres more...

Not only does this fabulous juicer make great drinks but you can also make frozen desserts with it too!  This was what drew me to this particular juicer as I'm always making banana "ice cream" in our food processor, which probably doesn't have a powerful enough motor for blending frozen banana and every time I use it I hold my breath in anticipation of it blowing up.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

The Panasonic Slow Juicer comes with an attachment for frozen desserts that you simply swap with the juicing attachment.  Then you freeze the fruit of your choice, pop it in the juicer the same way you would when juicing, add some yoghurt and out comes a delicious frozen dessert that tastes just like ice cream in texture but it has a far more natural, authentic fruity taste and is far better for you.

The combination that I'm enjoying here is the 'Blueberry Banana Dream' from the Panasonic Booklet which combines yogurt with blueberries and bananas.  It tastes absolutely delicious.  So creamy and cooling.  On the day that I was making this, it was SO hot outside and my dog even enjoyed some of it!

I love that making a dessert in this way feels like an indulgent treat but its actually far better for you than ice cream thats packed full of sugar and other additives.

I think thats the great thing about this juicer and juicing in general.  Juicing has become quite popular and now in a lot of shops you can buy a juice but a lot of the time they have extra things added to them and/or they cost a lot of money if you drink them on a regular basis.  So you might think that they're really good for you when in actual fact, they're not and they're not so kind on your purse too, or the environment for that matter with all of the plastic bottles floating around.

Not only can you make healthy desserts and juices with this kitchen appliance but you can also make a chilled soup, sorbet or even a cocktail.  Either way, you're putting 100% fruit and veg into the juicer, safe in the knowledge that theres no preservatives, additives, concentrates, added sugar or sweeteners in there.

Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 Review Juicing Healthy Frozen Dessert Amazon

I think theres been a massive shift in the perception of juicing over the last year or so and a lot of people are realising the health benefits of getting all of those extra nutrients (targeted nutrients as well if you research the benefits of the ingredients you're juicing) into their body by adding a juice into their daily meal plan.

From my experience though, with juicers you very much get what you pay for.  Don't waste your money on the cheapest of the cheap because it could end up being completely useless and a total waste of money.

If you think you'll use it often, or make the frozen desserts often, then investing in the Panasonic Slow Juicer is the way to go.  It is worth it for the time you'll save putting it together, creating the juice and cleaning it.  You're also gaining the added benefit of extracting more juice from the ingredients you're using, wasting less as a result and saving you money in the long run as you'll need to buy less ingredients in your weekly shop.

I love the fact that I can create a range of different items with this appliance rather than juices alone which will ultimately save space as I'll now not have to buy that ice cream maker I was eyeing up (saving me space in my kitchen, money in my purse and extra calories!).

The Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 is available to buy from, Costco and Amazon in three different colours; silver, gold and red.

You can find out more about the appliance, how it works and the benefits of it over on the Panasonic website.

Have you tried making your own juice or healthy ice cream?  What are your favourite flavour combinations?

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Aphrodites Lodge | The Lake District Boutique Hotel Review

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

This spring, I escaped to the Lake District to mark a special occasion.  Having read lots of great reports about Aphrodite's Lodge, a boutique spa hotel, I thought it would be a really special place to stay.

I arranged the stay through and it was only when I was looking at the different room options that I realised that this is the hotel that I've heard lots of friends talk about over the years.

If I'm correct in saying, it used to have themed bedrooms from around the world however now it has had a makeover to create beautiful suites complete with spa bathrooms and the vast majority have hot tubs too, some even have saunas and cinema rooms as well!

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge is located in Bowness-on-Windermere and in all honesty, we couldn't have picked a more beautiful location.

Finding the hotel was easy as the hotel provide detailed instructions on their website here and once I got there, I found there to be ample parking outside in their carpark for me to leave my car.  This was ideal for me as theres nothing worse than having to walk for ages to get to the hotel when you're carrying all of your bags!

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

The hotel itself is beautiful; it is a big white converted house with gorgeous grounds, an outdoor pond with dancing water fountains and plenty of outdoor seating for if the weather is warmer.

I visited in May; it was really sunny and quite warm but as I was wanting to enjoy the features of the room, I didn't have time to relax in the communal areas outside.  If I was spending more than one night at the hotel then I certainly would have.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Inside the hotel, there is a seated area as you walk through the door with a small reception area just off to the right.  The decor is plush and sumptuous but homely and inviting.  Here you'll also find the dining area within a large orangery style room looking out to the beautiful gardens and a small bar.

The menu appeared to be more suited to lunch time, with an assortment of sandwiches, toasties, cheese platters and alike available which prompted me to book a meal out for dinner.

You can view the dining menu at Aphrodites Lodge here.  I think its a shame that they don't have a more extensive menu available for the evening time as I feel as though this is a hotel that could really benefit from that.  I wouldn't have eaten out if there were a better range of choices for our evening meal and would have stayed in to get more of the spa hotel experience.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Check in was swift and soon I was headed upstairs to my room.

I booked the Acacia Suite and Hot Tub Room on the first floor and were certainly not disappointed with our choice!

Light, airy and exceptionally spacious, this room had everything that I could have wanted.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

The main door to the room leads into the bedroom and seating area which is huge!  There's a fabulous view from the bedroom and the whole room feels really light and airy, perfect on a sunny spring day.

The facilities within the room were everything that I could have needed, starting with a closet with complimentary robes and slippers, plenty of hanging space for my clothes and a full length mirror on the back of the door- a small but important detail that is often overlooked in other hotels.

WIFI was free in the room and connecting to it was really straight forward thanks to the instructions in the room guide.  The Sky TV with plenty of channels, virtual surround sound and blue ray high-definition DVD player was great too; I'd have definitely rented a film from the hotel should I have been staying longer.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

The bed was a huge ornate carved king size with a pocket sprung mattress and duck down quilt and pillows which ensured I had a comfortable nights sleep like a king and queen!  The hotel had left swans made out of towels and little heart chocolates on my bed as decoration which was a lovely touch and made me feel very welcome.

Bedside tables with big lamps on them ensured that I had plenty of space to keep my night time essentials and I could read without having to faff on with turning the main light on and off.  A phone was also in the room here which was great for when I needed to call down to reception to check on something.

Tea and coffee making facilities were provided with a great selection to choose from, including hot chocolate which was delicious before going to sleep!  The room had a sofa and small coffee table too which I was so tempted to turn around so that I could enjoy a cuppa looking out onto the Lake District countryside!

As a girlie girl, I do appreciate a dressing table and the one at Aphrodites Lodge was lovely with plenty of space, a mirror and a hair dryer which meant that I didn't have to carry my bulky one with me.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

My favourite part of our Lake District hideaway however was the luxury spa bathroom and hot tub.  With luxury Villeroy and Boch fittings, I was truly spoilt; everything about the bathroom from the Molton Brown toiletries on the twin sinks to the huge shower and gorgeous tiles felt luxe and special.

Everything in the spa bathroom is geared towards a romantic couples break away, especially the whirlpool bath for two with the TV in the wall and chromotherapy and mood lighting.  There's even a champagne bucket and stand all ready for if you'd like to order a bottle of bubbly.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

However the pièce de résistance had to be what lay through the patio doors on my own private outdoor area...

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel


Although it was a little temperamental at times, I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in the warm bubbles.  There was more than enough room for one or two people to lie down and the neck supports made it really comfortable to lie back and soak up the sun.  This outdoor area is a great little sun trap and the lovely weather made my stay even more fabulous.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

I ate out for dinner and came back to the hotel later to enjoy a bath and watch a film.  It was such a relaxing, chilled out experience and a lovely way to celebrate a special occasion.

Before heading to sleep, I placed an order for a room service breakfast as I wanted to go in the hot tub before checking out and make the most of the time that I had left in the suite.  The choice was plentiful and my guest and I both opted for a full english breakfast with toast for two, an orange juice, strawberry smoothie and a pot of coffee.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

I had an exceptionally comfortable nights sleep; I couldn't hear any noise in the hallway or coming from any of the other rooms and it very much felt as though we were in our own private hideaway!

Breakfast arrived a little cold in the morning but on time and still enjoyable.  It was a real treat enjoying breakfast in bed and a welcome change from the usual rushed mornings.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

After checking out of the hotel, I loaded up the car with my things and then hit the hotel spa which was in a large conservatory type building attached to the main hotel.

For a small boutique hotel, this spa really is a gem.  The waiting area has plenty of comfortable seats that you could relax in to read a book or simply to enjoy the views of the hotel garden.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

The hotel has its own pool with a water feature waterfall and relaxation corner with bubbles.  It also has a sauna and steam room.  Since I was pushed for time, I didn't get to use these facilities but they're free for all guests to use and on my next visit, I will certainly make time for these!

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

I pre-booked treatments with the beauty therapists before I got there to ensure that I would definitely be able to have them and I'm so pleased that I did as they were fabulous.  The treatment rooms in the spa are on an individual basis, with relaxing music, calming lighting and super comfortable beds.

I enjoyed a warming candle back massage which was a real treat as I hadn't tried a candle massage before.  The warm oils literally melted into my skin and I thought that my therapists gave a great massage.  I then had the luxury leg and foot treatment which is great for tired legs.

After just over an hour, I left the spa feeling very zen!  For someone who is always on the go and so busy, the spa at Aphrodite's Lodge was a great way to escape, relax and chill out.

Aphrodites Lodge The Lake District Boutique Hotel Spa Hotel

After an amazing 24 hours at Aphrodites Lodge, I would highly recommend booking to spend a night or two there.  If you're looking for a romantic mini break in the picturesque Lake District then it is definitely a great place to stay, especially with the spa facilities and treatments available.

I booked my stay thorough and you can check availability at this hotel here.  This boutique Lake District hotel is also available to book direct on the Aphrodites Lodge website.

I can't wait to go back!

Have you stayed at Aphrodites Lodge?  Which room would you choose?
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