A Luxury Suite Stay at the Marriott Victoria & Albert Manchester Hotel Review

A Luxury suite Stay at the Marriott Victoria & Albert Manchester Hotel Review: September 2018

The Magnificent Marriott Victoria & Albert Hotel, in Manchester city centre, is located in an enviable postcode, on the banks of the beautiful River Irwell.

The spacious reception area provides a perfect place to warmly welcome guests for a stunning stay.

Décor both inviting and impeccable, with communal areas offering the ideal hub to relax, people watch or catch up with business contacts over a coffee.

For that extra slice of prestige and premium luxury opt for one of their sensational signature suites.  The divine Duplex suite, split over two levels, was super spacious and immediately felt like a home away from home.

The lovely lounge, with flat screen television, sofa, hospitality tray, along with both still and sparkling water, was a nice space to kick back and relax.

The suite boasts a beautiful balcony which provides the opportunity to soak in the River Irwell views.

Along with the enhanced tea & coffee making facilities and high-speed Wi-Fi, the suite was equipped with an ergonomic work space, ideal to take that conference call or perhaps to update the journal with all your fun Manchester moments.

The downstairs bathroom includes a full bathtub, overhead shower unit, heated towel rail, spacious sink and vanity area with some lovely luxury bathroom toiletries.

Take the stairs to level two of the Duplex, that leads to the well appointed ensuite bedroom.

Look back and see the lovely lounge area in all its opulence and glory, a beautiful well-designed living space.

At the top of the stairs, the door to the right conceals the ensuite bathroom unit.

A contemporary design, fully tiled, stand-up shower unit with gorgeous green mandarin soap.

Vanity area, with shaver sockets, more lux toiletries, heated towel rail and a massive mirror to beautify.

The bedroom offered an amazing floor to ceiling window, with accessible balcony and a wonderful wardrobe with fabulous fluffy Luxurious Bathrobes and Slippers, to make your stay extra snug.

Along with a huge King-sized Bed topped with Marriott luxury linens, a flat screen television and a vanity area with mirror.

The Riverside Restaurant, with its mix of leather, fabrics, open wall feature interiors, has that homely countryside feel and offers charming river views, as you relax and unwind.

Frankie and Alana, the staff on duty, warmly welcomed us and did an amazing job of looking after us throughout the evening.

Signature starters included the wonderful Winter Salad, a mix up of Fresh green beans, broccoli, oven roasted butternut squash and mixed leaves dressed with the yummiest unique pumpkin seed and coconut oil.  Also, a sharer selection of Cheese and Biscuits with grapes and house chutney.  All washed down with a fab Franklin and sons drink.

Mouth-watering mains included the Vegan Stack, a tremendous tower of fresh vegetables, plum tomato, chargrilled aubergine and courgette, sat on a red lentil and onion puree, giant pearl couscous and topped with crispy fried vegetables.  Also, the Two King Scallops dish pan fired with butter and sea salt alongside Romanesco broccoli, crispy pancetta a dauphinoise gratin and a homemade Salsa Verdi.

Delve into delightful desserts such as the cracking Chocolate Mousse Tear Drop, with a mix of white and milk chocolate on a sponge base surrounded by strawberry puree.  Then the Rice Pudding Sphere Served with a lush hot chocolate sauce to melt the sphere and reveal the rice pudding and mixed berries within, for the ultimate in indulgence.

Head back to your luxury Duplex Suite, dive into the complimentary hospitality tray of treats and enjoy some chill out time, in this contemporary and comfortable space.

Rise and shine, with a ‘suite’ start to the day and have a lovely lazy lounge breakfast, delivered directly to your door.

Pop on a fluffy robe and slippers and tuck into a brilliant British breakfast or opt for their veggie option along with a full range of continental offerings such as fresh fruit, pastries and cheese selection.  All washed down with a nice brew or two.

Another perk of staying at the Marriott Victoria & Albert Manchester is that currently they have a collaborative partnership with Bannatyne health club & spa, located a few minutes away off site, on Quay Street, where you can use their full facilities including gym, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.

Make your stay suite and opt for opulence and luxury with the Marriott Victoria & Albert Manchester.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx




The Crystal Maze Live Experience Manchester Review

The Crystal Maze Live Experience Manchester review: September 2018

Whether you go in solo or already have your squad worked out, The Crystal Maze Live Experience Manchester, located smack bang in Manchester city centre, right next to the Museum of Science and Industry, is where eight individuals become one team to conquer the crystal dome.

Based on the 90s Iconic series, with the original legendary Maze Master Richard O’Brien and his ever loving marvellous mumsie, The Crystal Maze Live Experience Manchester, offers participants a unique opportunity to grab their very own slice of this nostalgic era.

Warmly welcomed with energy and enthusiasm, by the Crystal Maze team, we were geared up and all ready to go, go, go!  We have been lucky enough to attend on several invites, with the first visit being thrown in with a group of strangers and our most recent experience a private session for two.

After the health and safety stuff has had the big thumbs up, you will be all pumped up and ready for a crazy crystal collection mission, you and your star team, get to pop on the brilliant bomber jackets, to take those ‘must have’ insta pics.

Then, prepare to hit the team booths to talk team captains, names, tactics and strategy.  Don’t under estimate booth team time, if you want your crystal count to soar, listen to all your team members.  The four game types include Mental, Mystery, physical and Skill, so play to your team strengths, so you can scoop as many crystals as you can.

Being team captain in a private session was easy, as I knew our strengths and played to our advantage, but our first mixed session made up of several guys and gals, they key is to listen, learn and become one.

Feel those motivation moments and get the cheesy slogans at the ready “one team one dream”, “there’s no I in the word team” and prepare to meet your marvellous maze master, who on all my visits have been top notch, as they fabulously and flawlessly present with natural flare and finesse, resulting in non-robotic maze masters, and not losing their personality within the process.

You and your squad need to be prepared for a journey through four zones, Medieval, Industrial, Aztec and Futuristic, and yes for the mega super fans you do get to slide your way down the iconic slide in Aztec – one of my personal fav zones…apart from the Dome!

Maze Master pictured was a lovely cheery chap, and there is also a lovely mystical lady who was fabulous and Hanzza not pictured, was our gorgeous genuine Geordie, who during our private session, had us screaming out “Why Aye” at the top of our lungs, that kept us on our toes for sure, and motivated us to go crackers for crystals.  Rightfully so, as each crystal collected gives you 5 lovely seconds in the crystal dome.

The Crystal Dome, a moment of 90s nostalgia, take a breath and get the team in the iconic bomber jackets, smile for a quick piccy, before you take on the Dome – “Will you start the fans please”.  A slight twist with tickets, no gold or silver, just shiny foiled metallic tickets of loveliness, grab as many as you can, get them in the box and make each shiny token count.

Crystal Maze scores

Don’t play as an individual, and do like one group did, collect tokens, but never actually putting them in the collection box doh – listen to your Maze Master, think team, because team is how you will all conqueror the dome.

Mixed Team of eight: “4 Guys and 4 Gals” 10 crystals, 50 seconds in the Dome, 146 tokens: Playing in the mixed team of strangers, you get around 2 games per person, and the guys and girls we met on the first game were brilliant, a top bunch of team players who worked as one and when it came to the Dome it was all hands-on deck.  For a team of eight our crystal count was good, tokens slightly low, but the daft group fun we had was priceless.

Team of two: “There’s no place like Dome” 9 crystals, 45 seconds in the Dome, 98 tokens: Private sessions offer a unique personalised experience, playing more games each, but be prepared to work up a sweat throughout the four zones and when it comes to the Dome get grabbing those shiny tokens of joy, like your life depends on it.  For a team of two we did a cracking job and with a score of 98 tokens, left with big grins galore.

High octane, adrenaline pumping, immersive, entertaining and energetic experience, with plenty of Oooos, Ahhhs and lots of laugh out loud moments, but the question is can you crack the crystal dome and feel the foil fabulous rustle from the tokens of shiny success?  The formula is simple: More Crystals = More Dome Time = Shiny Tokens, now all that’s missing is you!

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Escape Reality Manchester: Legend of the Mummy Review

Escape Reality Manchester: Legend of the Mummy Review: September 2018

Positioned within the Printworks, just opposite the Manchester Arndale and the Corn Exchange in Manchester city centre, this interactive live exciting, engaging and entertaining escape room experience, is in the heart of all the action.

On arrival, Nichol our games master, an all-round lovely lass prepped our team of two for play.  The core objective, 60 minutes to escape, by cracking a range of challenging puzzles using our mega brains, with the help of our games master and a nifty iPad which enables your team to unlock clues every 10 minutes throughout your challenge, but be warned you can only use this 5 times so use wisely.

Far back in time, scripted scrolls documented the alleged Legend of The Mummy, that deep within the Ancient Pyramids lies a treasure which if unlocked provides the founder with access to unworldly secrets.

Renowned Archaeological The Professor, began his dangerous journey, into a mysterious land, where the all great and powerful Pharaohs ruled with an iron fist, to retrieve the coveted treasure, but there have been no updates from the Professor and since setting out silence.  Presuming the worst, my squad was selected to complete this crazy cursed mission.

As the sands of time started to tick away, my crack team of amazing academic Archaeologists, grabbed their shovel, trowel and mattock tools, and prepared for an exciting Egyptian expedition.  Beginning, in the Archaeologists office and artefacts catalogue room, unearthing clues to lead us to steal the treasure from the ancient Legends.

Want to hear more about our adventure…shush I have told you way too much already, as the game is as top secret as the hidden treasure, but I can tell you our Egyptian escape expedition offered a realistic, high quality and immersive game play.

The professor payed with his life, so make sure you steal the treasure from the Ancient Legends or prepare to be imprisoned and trapped within the Pyramids for all eternity.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



East Lancashire Railway: Lancastrian Lunch Review

East Lancashire Railway: Lancastrian Lunch Review: September 2018

East Lancashire Railway has a rich historic industrial past, with story’s telling of the heart-warming heroic struggles, both past and present, to keep a dying part of Britain’s railway heritage alive.

Due to innovations and advancements in technology, this has resulted in a drastic decline of the traditional railways, and why the East Lancashire Railway along with their budding team of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, strive to keep Britain’s Railway legacy living on for future generations to experience.

Step on the platform and enter a bygone era of transportation and travel, feel like you have stepped back in time, to experience Britain’s booming rail era empire.

Dine with distinction and sophistication, by opting for one of their on board dining services such as the Red Rose Dinner or as we did the lovely Lancastrian Lunch.

Roll out the red carpet, step on board their traditional Orient Express Pullman style carriages, as the team prepare for your arrival, with the dining manager and your personal waiter making their introductions, to provide you with the ultimate first-class elegant experience.

Feel the 1920s glamour and grandeur, within vintage dining trains, with opulent upholstery, fully complete with the bells and whistles, including clean and crisp fresh white table linen along with the best in bespoke dinnerware’s.

Prepare for departure, waive bye to the people on the platform, as the staff salute, and the steam engine begins motions to get you away on your exciting and exquisite journey back to the Golden Age of Steam.

Beginnings start with a classy champagne toast or for the non-drinkers amongst us, a fabulous flute of fresh orange juice.  Steam engines all go, soak up the sounds, atmosphere and enjoy the picturesque and lovely Lancashire countryside and beautiful Irwell Valley.

Silver service, four course gorgeous gastronomic dining with their sensational signature service, style and flare, the lovely Lancastrian lunch was a lovely way to spend a few hours of our day.

Food is seasonal, quality and where possible locally sourced.  Sensational starters included the Smoked Salmon Beetroot Gradvadlax Terrine with a crisp summer salad and the vegetarian offering of the tasty Three Bean Salad with Seeds and a Balsamic Glaze.

Sit back and enjoy the fantastic food, as you look on at what railway life has to offer, see signals and many a happy worker waiving, as you head off on your journey.

Mouth-watering marvellous mains included the Honey Roasted Duck Breast with sauce l’orange and the Vegetarian choice a brilliant Beetroot, Butternut Squash and Brie Pativier on a Bed of Rocket with Spiced Beetroot Puree all served with fresh vegetables and potatoes.

Steam through stations, and you will witness many rail enthusiasts, taking their moment to snap a pic or two of the sensational steam giants.

The beautiful Baked Wild Blueberry Cheesecake desert with fresh cream was just stunning and how the team manage to produce this first-class high-quality nosh on board a moving train is beyond me.  It’s no wonder why they have received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for outstanding customer reviews and the prestigious Taste Lancashire award.

All washed down with complimentary tea, coffee and a delicious dining with distinction chocolate.

Rawtenstall was the end of the line, so the super steam train makes that all important pitstop and provides passengers on board the chance to stretch their legs and also watch the exciting and entertaining action, as the train prepares to be pulled onward back to Bury.

The noise and sounds of the railway are all part of the trains movements and safety, but for me are an immersive, unique moment to saviour and a special part of being aboard such a magnificent train.

Arrival back at Bury, the train slowing down to a stop, allows a moment to reflect on an outstanding, opulent, elegant and sophisticated dining experience.

Prior to departure, the train showcases one last all mighty puff of super steam and one thing that you can guarantee is that taking part in this experience your money has not gone up in smoke, as the experience provides memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



A Luxury Losehill House Spa and Stay in the Peak District

A Luxury Losehill House Spa and Stay in the Peak District: September 2018

The lovely Luxury Losehill House Hotel & spa is perched in rural idyllic bliss, right in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District.  A hidden gem, off the beaten track, tucked away in a cosy countryside hotspot, offering guests a secluded paradise away from all the hustle and bustle.

During our visit, the weekend weather was perfect, with sensational sunshine which added to the overall magnificence of the place.

Summer season was in full swing and Losehill House was in full bloom. The entrance was adorned with fabulous floral beautiful hanging baskets, quaint clock, super stone archway and wonderful wooden door which gave the place a relaxed romantic time standing still feel.

Our guest room, cosy, warm and had a homely feel, mixing countryside twee with contemporary fixtures and fittings, sympathetically done to retain the buildings original charm and character.

The spacious room, had an archway leading to a cosy snug area, including a wardrobe stocked with fluffy robes and slippers, vanity area with dresser, mirror and a terrific tea tray with biscuits, the perfect hideaway offering a private place to pamper and dress.

The bathroom offered, an amazing view overlooking onto the lovely Losehill House entrance, with that country style feel with the green tiling, but had modern amenities with a heated towel rail, sunken bath tub, super sink area, huge mirror with lighting and a selection of Cole & Lewis toiletries for you to use throughout your stay.

Not only is Losehill House a beautiful building, but their breath-taking unspoilt views are enviable.  Why not take a seat in their gazebo or patio area and have a glass of fizz while you take in the spectacular scenery.

Talking of bubbles, pop onto the terrace and take a dip in the hot tub, sit back, relax and savour those perfect Peak District views.

The fabulous fully decked terrace area has lazy loungers or why not head to the blooming lovely patio doors which reveals the onsite pool, sauna and steam room. The ideal place to getaway from the crowds and wind down.

Thought the you time was over, well think again, continue your personal pamper session by spoiling yourself, with a range of spa treatments, at the onsite spa. My Thalgo mini facial delivered by my lovely therapist was a perfect unwind, as that day, time got the better of us, as traffic caused a delay on route, but the team were flexible and did everything possible to ensure that I made my treatment which was muchly appreciated.

Dinners are divine at Losehill House, and always begin in their inviting lounge area, with a selection of pretty pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres, for our evening we had these cute goats cheese macaroons paired perfectly with some olives. The berry mocktail mixed well and perfectly balanced.

Moving onto the Orangery restaurant, that has a romantic, calming vibe, offering more scenic views and a sensational skylight window. The Menus are created using fresh seasonal products and where possible local produce, so vary and change daily.

After indulging in homemade breads, starters included the bold and brilliant beans on toast, definitely not from a tin, delivered with finesse and flare.  Also, the gorgeous goats’ cheese and chive parfait with candied walnuts, pickled apple and toast crisp.

Mains included the beautiful Roasted heritage carrot with pomme Anna, courgettes and young leeks and the yummy Barbecued baby gem with butternut squash gnocchi, tenderstem broccoli and hazelnut pesto.

One word – desserts, a moment in the meal where my ears prick up even more and again my eyes were also wowed by the Losehill offerings.  Sweet or savoury, they have you covered, with their amazing artisan cheeseboard offering a variety of quality cheeses such as Godminster, Blacksticks blue and much more, along with a healthy serving of fruit, celery, biscuits and a good dollop of chutney.

Tickle your sweet taste buds with the wonderful White chocolate and lime mousse with Hope valley honey jelly and puffed wild rice.  Opt for the pretty petit fours and peppermint tea to finish off proceedings with a pow!

Laura and Ruth’s service throughout the meal was exceptional, attentive but not intrusive, friendly but not too formal.

Morning has broken, so take time to engage with the surroundings, breath in the fresh country air, hear the sheep baa, meet the resident sheep and perhaps take a walk and tackle Derbyshire’s famous Mam Tor peak.

After working up an appetite, head on into the Orangery for breakfast or opt for the leisurely lazy option and have the team pop the breakfast up to your room.

Morning paper already delivered to the door, so could be perused while enjoying a divine Derbyshire breakfast with a pot of breakfast tea or if you have work to do, take continental desk side, which offers a range of fresh segmented grapefruit, melon balls, pastries and freshly squeezed orange juice.

The Orange juice won’t be the only thing fresh, as once you leave Losehill, I am sure that you will feel as fresh, fabulous and relaxed as I did.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Losehill House Hotel & Spa, Losehill Lane, Edale Road, S33 6AF.

01433 621219


Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre Review

Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre Review: August 2018

The Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre is right in the heart of the vibrant Northern quarter, making this an ideal hotel for business, leisure or a combo of both.  Head for the revolving door to check in – in style!

A luxury hotel, in its own right, but why not go all out and upgrade to an Executive King Bed Club Room, for the ultimate upgraded stay.  Both gentleman at the check in desk, kindly accommodated an early check in, which made my life easier, as I had back to back reviews booked throughout the city.

Spacious room with cosy king bed, chaise long, workable desk, flat screen television and all the mod cons you need to make your stay a smooth one.

Located on the 8th floor, the King Club Room, offered a stunning city skyline view, along with complimentary chocolates and embossed notepad and pen.

The entertainment desk area is fully equipped with large mirror, flat screen television, magazines, telephone, plenty of plug sockets, lamp light, as well as a reading light and a nice touch was the on-screen welcome including name and room number.

The bedside reading light was useful along with the extra plug port for all my tech gadgets.  The deep sleep pillow spray was a welcomed touch and we spritzed away into the land of Zzzs.

The bedside unit doubled up as both a vanity area and also an ideal place to pop the tea tray, as you peruse over one of the many in room magazines.

Wardrobe was well equipped with complimentary water, a well-appointed tea tray, with some super scrummy biscuits, iron, board and mini fridge to keep things chilled.

The brilliant bathroom was immaculate, fully tiled and a well-designed functional unit.

With stand-up shower, vanity sink area, deep sunken tub, large mirror and illuminated magnifying mirror.

Fabulous fluffy robes and slippers are provided for you to use throughout your stay along with top quality The White Collection toiletries.

Included with the Executive room was access to the exclusive 8th floor Club Lounge area, that has breath-taking panoramic city centre views, which offered several services throughout the day including continental breakfast & unlimited tea, coffee & soft drinks. Also, between 6-8pm, complimentary canapes & alcoholic beverages are served.  Along, with a well-stocked range of newspapers which was much welcomed.

In the evening head down to the Glasshouse Restaurant and bar for a glass of your favourite tipple or two and a bite to eat.

However, during our stay, my schedule was so hectic, that my diary only allowed for a brief visit, but Laszlo and Manager Nick kindly accommodated us, without trouble, and swiftly organised in room dining.

A perk to the in-room dining, was sipping our pre-dinner drinks, while enjoying the night time city views, in complete peace and tranquillity.  The non-alcoholic mocktail mojito Laszlo shook up for me was a complete triumph!

Fab foodie options included the sharing starters of artisan breads with balsamic and virgin olive oil, cheese salad mixed with cherry tomatoes and olives. Mains Thai red vegetable curry with rice and a serving of prawn crackers and goats cheese tortellini pesto pasta.  Desserts included a chocolate mousse pot and scrummy cheeseboard with crackers chutney and raspberries to garnish – Perfect end to the evening.

Want to work up a sweat, well head down to the onsite fitness suite which has a range of equipment to keep you on the top of your a game. Towels and fresh fruit are also provided.

Breakfast in bed, is the perfect way to de-stress before a busy day in the city or in-room breakfast is an ideal way to work as you dine at the desk entertainment area.

Breakfast options included the hot British breakfast, a lovely vegetarian offering with veggie sausages and the continental choice with fresh orange juice, fruit and stacks of fresh pastries.

Feel like a King or a Queen, while you work or play, at Crown Plaza Manchester City Centre.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Team Sport Go Karting Manchester

Team Sport Go Karting Manchester Review: August 2018

Grab the Girl & Guy squad and head down to the Team Sport Go Karting Multi Level Circuit, in Manchester city centre, for the race of a lifetime.

Meg and Clo welcomed our team, assisted with the pre-driver registration, making the process for you and your mates’ super-duper easy!

Aim for the fitting rooms, get kitted up and then prepare for the safety briefing meet and DVD, prior to track time.  Adrenaline flowing, head down to track and get ready to gear up for a track thrill.

Helmeted up, lower your visor, give your competition the racing stare, and prepare to buckle up, take on 550m of Team Sport track, with karts capable of 40mph speeds, high-octane straights and 15 bends!

Who will your on-track persona be, The Stig or Lewis Hamilton, you decide? Want to stay off the track, no problem, there is a full spectator area and bar for you to chill track-side while watching the action.

Hit the track, rev your engine, feel the speed, use your super skills, maintain pole position, aim for the chequered flag and prepare to clinch victory from your opponent by driving quick smart.

You may have a bump, but safety is number one at Team Sport Manchester, and on the evening Meg, Clo and Hillary had this covered, so we could focus on fun and the drive of our life’s.

Want the top spot on the racing podium, think you have what it takes, well head down to the Team Sport circuit under Manchester Arena Car Park and drive your way to the winning top spot.

Team Sport Manchester – TSM – Track Smart Moments

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx