After Liams army pass out parade a few weeks ago in Yorkshire, and after we spent an amazing night at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, we spent his week off bumbling about and visiting nice bits of the UK. We first drove from the hotel in Scarborough to York to spend the day in the beautiful city and stroll around the shops. The gothic cathedral is stunning, and it was a glorious sunny day. We stopped to have food at All Bar One, which I’d never been to before and I was really impressed! We had some bits from their tapas menu and it was all so so good. We had a proper feast!
After our day in York we drove to Birmingham as I had booked an apartment for 3 nights at the Staybridge Suites. We met at university in Birmingham exactly 6 years ago on our first day of freshers, and we’ve always loved the city and it is kind of special to us, so I decided to book the apartment in one of our favourite places. The apartment was amazing, it’s a self service one so it has it’s own fully fitted kitchen with everything you need, as well as a big living/bedroom area and sparkling bathroom. It’s a pretty new hotel (only opened last year), so everything was very modern, and we got a great deal at only £75 a night which included breakfast (and wi-fi!). It’s right in the city centre, so parking was a bit of an issue, and we had to park in a multi-storey down the road for a reduced rate of £8 a day.
The apartment was the perfect base for us and a great place to relax. We got a high floor overlooking the city, and there was absolutely no noise from the bustling street below. There was even a fitness centre available, and the breakfast in the mornings was a yummy buffet where you could chose between cooked or continental (or both!). We made ourselves right at home, and we spent a few days exploring the city, visiting our old favourites, and discovering new places. We ate like right fatties, we had Prezzo, Eds Diner, All Bar One (again!), and I made spaghetti bolognese one night in the apartment too!
Stratford Upon Avon
On one of our days we had planned to drive to Stratford Upon Avon as it’s not too far from Birmingham, but I didn’t fancy driving and we then realised the train was only £5 return! So we walked 5 minutes up the road to Snow Hill train station and got the train direct into Stratford for the day.. it was so simple I wish all trains were so quick and cheap. I had booked afternoon tea at The Grosvenor again, which I’ve reviewed a couple of times before (here and here) and used a Vouchercloud voucher to get the deluxe afternoon tea for only £10 each.
Such great value, as the tea includes scones with cream and jam, sandwiches, cakes, chocolate fondue, and of course tea. We sat in the conservatory to enjoy our lunch, and the only issue is that because we don’t like to drink tea, we were charged £4 each for a glass of Coke! Bit ridiculous, and the service was really slow this time, but we still had a lovely time. Their afternoon is such good value compared to the ones in London, especially as it includes the chocolate fondue with fruit, marshmallows and donuts!
After lunch we walked around the town, and visited all the cute little shops (Vinegar Hill and Aspire Style are my favourites!). We were really lucky with the weather, and as it was so sunny I wore my new Chi Chi Freya floral dress with sandals. The dress is nice and thick which is perfect for this autumn weather we’re having. I love the sweetheart neckline on the dress and the ditsy rose print. Overall we had an amazing week off, and it was very well deserved by Liam after spending over 6 months in training with next to no time off! He’s off to Kenya for 3 months in a couple of weeks so hopefully we can go on more adventures on his return…