Posts Tagged ‘England’

Apple Apartments Greenwich O2, 1 Providence Place (27 Blackwall Lane) London, England

One of the great joys in my life is my family. I have two beautiful daughters of whom I am unfailingly proud. It is, therefore, a great delight that they agree the three of us should have a ‘girls’ weekend’ once a year.Apple apts livingroom diningroom

This year we spent our special weekend in London, at Apple Apartments Greenwich O2, 1 Providence Place (27 Blackwall Lane) London, England . It was a lovely weekend and the apartment was very spacious.Apple apts livingroom kitchen

We had three double bedrooms an en-suite shower room and a family bathroom upstairs with a large living/dining/kitchen and small wc downstairs. The concierge was helpful, the accommodation was spotlessly clean and the beds were comfortable, so the most important boxes were ticked. Apple apts main bedroom

Little things brought the apartment from excellent to good. The third bedroom had no bedside light, so I moved one from the main bedroom, only to find it had no bulb, so I needed to move a bulb from the sidelight in the living area. There was a dishwasher, but no tablets to allow us to use it. There was washing up liquid but no cloth or brush to give it effect. There were no dish towels to allow us to dry dishes, so we ended up using a hand towel.Apple apts bed 2

Having said all this there were sufficient mugs, glasses, plates and cutlery for the three of us to enjoy meals in the apartment. There was a tea bag and three sachets of sugar. Happily, we came prepared and the predilection of the British to drink tea continued unabated!Apple Apts bed 3

The bathroom facilities were exceptional. I was pleasantly surprised to have a  downstairs wc as well as the two bathrooms upstairs. It was a very useful and welcome addition to the accommodation. There were plenty of hand towels and bath towels.Apple Apts family bathroom

The beds were all comfortable with crisp white sheets, however, the stairs leading upstairs were quite steep and I was surprised that there was only a bannister on one side of them. Nevertheless this did not detract from our comfort during our stay. Apple Apts ensuite

My daughters treated me to a visit to the Duchess Theatre in Catherine Street where we saw the hilarious show, The Play that went Wrong. Public transport to and from the Apple Apartments Greenwich O2 to the theatre district was good. There is only one underground line from the nearest station at North Greenwich, but trains run regularly.Apple Duchess Theatre

All in all, we had a lovely weekend and I can recommend Apple Apartments Greenwich O2. It offered excellent value for money. We enjoyed our stay and with very small tweaks, this would be truly exceptional accommodation.

Valerie Penny

 

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Corner Farm, Sherburn, Yorkshire, England

My mother had a notable birthday this year and asked that the family gather together for a weekend together in Yorkshire. She likes Yorkshire. We had to find accomodation for 14Corner Farm Room adults that included an en-suite bedroom on the ground floor and living accomodation on the ground floor as my mother has mobility problems. (Although in the end only 12 of us were able to attend.) There were few suitable properties available. We chose Corner Farm, Sherburn, Yorkshire, England, although it was necessary to rent the property for a minimum of three nights rather than the two we really needed on a self-catering basis. The cost was almost £1,000 per night plus the catering costs, providing food and drink for our party. We could all have gone to Portugal for a week at Corner Farm outthese costs, but mother wanted to go to Yorkshire.

Corner Farm in Sherburn is a Grade II listed former farmhouse that has been renovated to provide holiday accommodation. Sherburn village lies between the market town of Malton and the seaside resort of Scarborough in the Vale of Pickering.We hoped it would be perfect for our big family celebration.

There are certainly some nice features. The living room and dining room have a double–sided wood burner. The kitchen is a good size with a useful centre island. There is free wi-fi and our dogs were permitted. There is a hot-tub.

Unfortunately, the kettle leaked and the dishwasher did not work properly. There were Corner Farm innow scouring pads and the local shop did not sell them). The freezer did not freeze things properly. There was not enough toilet paper. The dining table was tight for twelve people. The seating in the living room was comfortable, but insufficient for our number. These issues were a disappointment. Some of the items that decorate the house are really pretty. These give the house a nice feel and fill the house with fine style. I liked the touch of a filled book-case.

Corner Farm has seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and an en-suite shower room on the ground floor. For the cost of this property, I would have liked more en-suite facilities. I Corner Farm Hot-tubwas also surprised to see two double beds in one room! But the cot in one of the double rooms was good quality. It would also have been a kindness to provide bath sheets to guests, instead of the much smaller bath towels.

The walled garden is a lovely feature. It houses a large hot-tub. We really enjoyed that. The BBQ facilities were good too. However, there was no way of cleaning the grills after use. It was very disappointing. The games room and outdoor play area were a nice touch, but the table football advertised was not there.

Corner Farm purports to be a luxurious property: it is very nice, but luxurious, it is not. We enjoyed our weekend celebrations but we washed a lot of dishes! Bearing in mind the cost we paid, I felt none of issues we encountered should have been endured. With regret, I can not recommend Corner Farm and I would not use it again.

Valerie Penny

Jamie’s Italian, 5 More London Place, London, England

We went to London, England to visit family and managed to arrange that everybody was free to join us for a meal on the same evening. We played safe and booked an Italian Jamie OliverRestaurant, Jamie’s Italian, 5 More London Place, London, England  that we could enter from our hotel, Hilton London Tower Bridge Hotel, 5 More London Place, Tooley Street London SE1 2BY, England. The hotel is reviewed at https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.com/2015/03/02/hilton-london-tower-bridge-hotel-5-more-london-place-tooley-street-london-se1-2by-england/.

Jamie’s Italian bears the name of celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver. We had been to another branch of Jamie’s Italian a few months previously. It is reviewed at https://hotelandrestaurantreviews.com/2016/01/04/jamies-italian-ground-floor-38-threadneedle-st-london-ec2r-8ay/. I was not overly impressed with the food, but other members of the family had enjoyed it so I was willing to give Jamie’s Italian, 5 More London Place, London, England a try. I am very glad I did.

The ambience of this Jamie’s Italian is relaxed and friendly. The service from the moment we arrived to the moment we left was very good, but not quite as good as the service par excellence that I experienced at Jamie’s Italian Threadneedle Street, London. This is not a criticism, just a comparison.

Jamie's Italian insideWe were seated in a large booth and started our meal with olives and a delicious variety of breads. My husband and son-in-law sampled the beers while my daughters and I indulged by following a gin and tonic with a bottle of Prosecco. We chose a variety of main courses. My husband had a turkey milanese. This was a turkey steak stuffed with prosciutto and fontal cheese, breadcrumbed and topped with a fried egg and black truffle with a side of fries. He enjoyed it very much.

My son-in-law chose the Gennaro’s chargrilled & butterflied chicken breast which was served with peas, beans and courgette with a hazelnut and lovage pesto. He also had a side portion of fries. My elder daughter chose a JI superfoods salad with chicken. The salad comprised fresh avocado, roasted beets, pulses & grains, sprouting broccoli, pomegranate & spicy seeds with harissa dressing & cottage cheese. She really enjoyed it. My younger daughter and I both chose veggie tagliatellie bolognese. It was a lovely recipe with an agù of porcini mushrooms, tomatoes, pulses, herbs & garlic with Bella Lodi & herby breadcrumbs: very tasty indeed.Jamie's Italian 5.jpg

Only my husband made it to desert. He had the Tiramisu which he said was the best he had tasted. We rounded off the meal with a variety of teas and coffees. We had a delicious meal in relaxing surroundings. I recommend Jamie’s Italian, 5 More London Place, London, England and would use this restaurant again.

Valerie Penny

 

Ainsty Farm Shop, Green Hammerton

On a recent visit to Yorkshire, my husband and I stopped for lunch at the tea-room attached to the Ainsty Farm Shop, York Road, Green Hammerton, Yorkshire, England. We debated between the Chinese Restaurant across the car park, but chose the more traditional Yorkshire Fayre and we were very glad we did.Map of Ainsty Farm Shop

Of course the farm shop sells fresh fruit and vegetables, but also delicious home baking, and fresh meat, milk, butter and cheese. We took time to study all of these as we made our way to the tiny restaurant. It was a shame that we had already bought our provisions for the holiday because much of the food in the shop would have been perfect and the prices were very reasonable. We will not make that mistake again!Ainsty Farm Shop

The tea-room is on the far side of the shop, so we got a good look at all the products for sale as we made our way round. Everything is spotlessly clean and access is good for those who have mobility issues. The menu offers simple, tasty dishes for vegetarians and omnivores alike.

We were just there for a quick lunch on our journey. My husband chose a hot sausage sandwich while I had a cheese salad roll. Both were fresh and delicious. The sausages were fat and juicy and just what my husband had hoped for. The cheese salad sandwich was served in a freshly baked roll, with lots of salad: not the usual one piece of lettuce, tomato and cucmber you might usually expect. Both meals were also served with a generous side salad. They were very filling.coffee cake

However, we could not resist a piece of the home-made coffee cake to go with the rest of our drinks. The protions were enormous. I could not possibly finish mine after the large roll I had had. However, my husband could not see such lovely cake go to waste so managed his own slice, as well as my left overs! It was very good cake.

We enjoyed our meals at Ainsty Farm Shop, the service was good and friendly too. I highly recommend the Ainsty Farm Shop and will visit again.

Valerie Penny

 

Marriott Hotel Metrocentre, Gateshead, England

marriott outOn a recent shopping trip with my husband and mother, we were heading from my mother’s home to the Metrocentre in Gateshead, England. We had decided to stay over for the few days in the Marriott Hotel that is closest too the shopping mall. It is a modern marriott angelhotel with a glass facade is 0.7 miles from the Metrocentre train station. The iconic Angel of the North sculpture is 6 miles away. The Marriott Hotel, Metrocentre is A1 road and next to the intu Metrocentre shopping and leisure complex, but my goodness, it is difficult to find the way in from the motorway! However, after calling the hotel (although we could see it!) we did find our way.

marriott receptionIt was important that the hotel we chose catered for those with mobility disabilities and had a restaurant on site. We also required adjoining rooms in case my mother needed any help.The Marriott Hotel Metrocentre ticked all the boxes. Our warm, colourful rooms were on the third floor, near to the lifts so access for Mum was relatively easy. The rooms had flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi (for which there is a fee) and work desks, as well as sofabeds, and tea and coffee making equipment. We were delighted with the rooms and the amount of space available in them.marriott room

Parking at Marriott Hotel, Metrocentre is free. There is a grill restaurant that offers meals including Sunday lunch. However, the bar serving Starbucks coffee as well as drinks, is very small for the size of the hotel. It was not always possible to get a seat. My mother’s mobility makes it impossible for her to stand for any length of time, so, unfortunately, no seats meant no pre-dinner drinks. However, that is a small criticism. Over all the hotel met our needs well.marriott pool

Indeed, the amenities at the Marriott Hotel, Metrocentre are very good. Although we did not use many of them, the facilities include: an indoor pool, a whirlpool tub, a fitness centre and a sauna, as well as a spa and a hair salon. The staff are also polite and pleasant.We all really enjoyed our stay at this hotel and will use it again.

Valerie Penny

citizenM Hotel, 20 Lavington St, London, SE1 0NZ, UK

It may sound ridiculous, but last week my husband and I travelled to London, England for dinner. It gave us an citizenm-london-outsideopportunity to catch up with our daughters and son-in-law before Christmas and also to catch up with a friend I was at high school with and his husband. We needed to stay somewhere convenient and central. We chose the citizenM Hotel.

It is a hip, trendy hotel with a modern, glass facade. The citizenM Hotel is on a commercial street in central London’s South Bank. It is near London Bridge, the Shard, the Borough Market, the Tate Modern museum, Shakespeare’s Globe and Menier Chocolate Factory theatres. 

citizenmcompsWe did not really know what to expect: certainly the citizenM Hotel was not like anywhere we had stayed before. Check-in was speedy, courteous and highly computerised. The hotel has minimalist, mood-lit rooms where my husband had a lot of fun changing the colour if the lighting. Free WiFi is provided throughout the hotel, including in the rooms and a tablet was provided in the room too. Our room also had a flat-screen TVs with complimentary movies, and the room controls were operated by the touch-screen tablet. Integrated bathrooms feature rainfall showerheads. It is the best shower I have ever had in a hotel room. It is fabulous. citizenm-hotel-room2

As might be expected from a city centre hotel, the rooms are relatively small and are dominated by the enormous, comfortable, king-sized bed. There room had storage space and bottled water is supplied. There was a small desk, a stool, a chair and a safe in the room. Our room faced into the internal court yard, making it very peaceful and quiet. The only thing that would prevent me from using this hotel for a longer stay is that no tea or coffee making facilities are supplied.

citizenmloungeThe citizenM Hotel has a trendy lounge bar and lobby work space on the ground floor. There is also a 24/7 canteen for light meals where the varied buffet breakfast is between 6.30am-11am.   The staff were all extremely helpful and courteous and this hotel is eminently suitable for disabled guests. We would use the citizenM Hotel again, but not for a lengthy visit to London.citizenmshard

Valerie Penny

The Southwark Tavern, 22 Southwark Street, Borough Market, London, England

On a recent visit to London, England during the Rugby World Cup, my husband and I met relatives for dinner at The Southwark outsideSouthwark Tavern. We had a lot of catching up to do, so perhaps we should have thought this through and gone somewhere that was not showing matches. It was very busy and extremely noisy. The Southwark Tavern is a traditional pub with an oak-floored bar and exposed-brick basement dining room with vaulted alcoves. It is situated on Southwark Street near the Borough Market in London and is very easy to find.

We were impressed with the menu which played on the rugby by alluding to the game in the names given to the dishes offered. Every taste was catered for at The Southwark Tavern and there was a wide variety of beers southwark inside 2that the guys in our group enjoyed sampling.  Our table was downstairs, right under the stairs! Not the best table, but we could not be fussy: it was a Saturday night in the middle of the Rugby World Cup. The city was exceptionally busy. The Southwark Tavern has a multitude of nooks and crannies to discover, it’s easy to get lost in the inimitable charm of this 150-year-old pub. We really enjoyed he atmosphere.

We whiled away the evening over good meals from the seasonal pub food menu in our cosy candle-lit corner southwark downstairsdownstairs. The only thing that caused us grief was that we had to order each of our meals and drinks from the bar and then we had to bring the drinks, even water for the table, downstairs ourselves. The stairs are steep and curved, so this was not easy. I would not recommend The Southwark Tavern to those who are disabled or have mobility issues.

However, this is a true South London institution and I will certainly use The Southwark Tavern again.