Food and travel.
Two of my favourite things in all the land.
And today I’m combining both!
A couple of weeks ago, the lovely team from Accor Hotels invited several food and travel bloggers down for a whistle-stop trip of some of their best London hotels.
We visited three, including budget and luxury options, as well as spending the night at one very special MYSTERY hotel that was (spoiler alert) not in London.
Here’s what we got up to!
We started the evening with drinks and canapes at the Ibis Euston.
I’m a big fan of the budget-friendly Ibis hotels. I’ve stayed at the ones in Reading, Leeds and Brighton (post coming soon!) and have never been disappointed.
Central locations, comfy beds and really, really good breakfasts make them a favourite with me!
We only spent an hour or so here, enough to meet the other bloggers, find out the itinerary for the evening, and try out all the lovely mediterranean-style finger foods.
I’m really not much of a beer drinker usually, but the friendly barman convinced me to try the Portobello Pale Ale and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! It’s super light and easy to drink.
It’s a thumbs up from me!
I’d heard Claire talking about this hotel a couple of weeks before, so was really excited to see it for myself. It’s right by St Pancras station so a really handy location too!
The Pullman hotels are known for creating a complete experience for the senses. From the moment you walk in the door, you’re hit with the sight of stunning light installations, the smell of patchouli that wafts over the entrance, and the relaxing background music.
And then there’s the food… OH THE FOOD.
I’m going to be honest here and admit that I did ask permission to stand on a chair to try and flatlay it all. But I couldn’t fit it all in. There was a lot of food.
Delicious grilled goat’s cheese, scallops served in the shell, perfect jamon served with sweet nutty bread… it was all delicious.
And if you’re a whisky drinker? Then this is definitely the hotel for you. They’ve got a huge cabinet with over TWO HUNDRED varieties!
As soon as we’d finished our cocktails, we were whisked away to a coach and on to our next destination: the Novotel hotel in Brentford.
(I had to google where Brentford is: West London – not far from Kew Gardens!)
The area is a bit odd (well hello there industrial estate!) but the hotel itself is loooovely. This was probably my fave of the three so far.
The entrance is tall and bright and airy. There’s free strawberry water and apples that guests can help themselves to, games consoles for the kids to play on, and a fantastic little tablet set up so that guests can pick the playlist for the lobby area.
Our meal at the Novotel was a chicken dish, served with vegetables and a creamy sauce. Really, really good! Apparently the hotel’s restaurant is really popular with the locals as well, which is nice to hear.
We were running behind schedule this point, so the staff at the Novotel hotel came up with the brilliant idea of putting our frozen mojito cocktails in PLASTIC BAGS!
How’s that for (delicious) time efficiency?!
We hopped back on our coach for a forty minute drive that would lead us to our last (mystery) hotel…
Saved the bestest for lastest.
Our final hotel had been a complete mystery to all of us, so it was VERY exciting to find out we were headed to Windsor, for a night at The Castle Hotel!
It’s a beautiful classic building, and the interiors are GORGEOUS. (Unfortunately my camera and phone BOTH decided that now would be a grrrrreat time for them to conk out and run out of battery… So yeah. Sorry!)
The hotel houses a Marco Pierre White restaurant so we knew dessert was going to be pretty impressive – and they didn’t disappoint! We tried fruit skewers, mini creme brulees, tiny eton messes… all perfect, all beautiful.
By the time we’d finished chatting and eating (and drinking!) it was 1am and time for a snooze in our lovely comfy Castle Hotel beds…
We all had fruit and macarons left in our rooms (which made an ace flatlay opportunity for me!) and breakfast the next morning was perfect as well, with a hot menu and cold buffet both available to choose from.
I’d never been to Windsor before, and it hadn’t even been on my radar, but after a couple of hours wandering around on Saturday morning, I know I really want to go back with Gary and explore properly!
We had such a fantastic evening… and the Accor Hotel fun isn’t over yet!
Accor Hotels kindly gifted all the bloggers there that night with a two-night stay at a mystery hotel somewhere across the UK. We all opened our envelopes together and I’m excited to tell you that I’m heading to Aberdeen in the Spring!
The campaign will be running for a year, and there’s a real mix of cities and hotels on the agenda.
At the end of the year, we’re all going to meet up again for dinner and a chat of how our trips went, but for now: you can keep up with everyone’s adventures by following their blogs!
*I was a guest of Accor Hotels Group for this event.