York Cocoa Works Chocolate Lollipop Making and Afternoon Chocolatada Review

York Cocoa Works Chocolate Lollipop Making and Afternoon Chocolatada Review: October 2019

Sophie, founder of York Cocoa Works is a skilled and dedicated chocolate enthusiast.  Creating a bespoke, luxurious and quality brand, York Cocoa works offers a range of chocolatey experiences to suit all tastes.

When visiting York Cocoa Works it feels like family, as Michelle and her team are just as lovely as their chocolate treats.

The Chocolate Lollipop making was a simple, but fun experience which took me back to my childhood evoking memories of baking in the kitchen with my mum.

You are free to release your inner artistic and creative spirit and use the toppings to create your Lollipop Piece de resistance aka your marvellous masterpiece.

After the lollipop making session, we enjoyed an Afternoon Chocolatada experience.

A live chocolate Afternoon tea experience that is freshly prepared right in front on your eyes.  Sarah, Piping our delicious cream cakes, was a lovely lass who clearly has a passion for the chocolate making and all things bakery.

This was a unique interesting and immersive experience, a whole new take on the Afternoon tea which I loved.

Beginnings included a Tomato & Basil soup with a Chocolate Olive Tapenade Palmier.  Along with some lovely Yorkshire tea.

York Cocoa Works cater for various dietary requirements and made tweaks accordingly.  Sandwich wraps included Roast Chicken and Chocolate Pesto Mayonnaise Wraps and Sweet Red Pepper, spinach chocolate Pesto Wraps.

Also, the super scrummy Chorizo and Leek Tart, also the cheese and Leek tart along with a Red Chocolate Pesto Crostini.

The Chocolate & Cherry Scones are fabulous and served with Jam and Cream.  Along with miniature Chocolate Beetroot Cakes and a Chocolate Chunky Cookie.

Their classic hot chocolate was divine and the ideal end to our chocolate tea party.

Their Afternoon Chocolatada provides chocolate in abundance, but they have achieved a delicate balance, so they have cleverly infused savouries and not overpowered them.

Chocolate, Chocolate and more Chocolate…let York Cocoa Works give you the chocolate tea party of your dreams.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx




Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Grand Opera House York – Review

Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Grand Opera House York – Review: October 2019

With its opulent and ornate Edwardian décor the Grand Opera House York, located in the centre of York, is a real gem.  The perfect place to take a loved one, friends or family.

The Grand Opera House York recently hosted the spectacular and amazing Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Produced by Bill Kenwright this al singing, glitter filled production of  the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fabulous family musical is a beautiful colourful rainbow explosion of vibrancy and happiness.

The audience was also treated to additional new choreography from Gary Lloyd who has previously worked on Heathers and Thriller Live.

Union J’s Jaymi Hensley, had a big coat to fill, taking on his first major musical role, he robed up into the Technicolor Dreamcoat and wowed the audience with his stage presence and pizazz.

Ahah Elvis is in the building, with smoothness and sway he makes his audience feel alive. The fabulous female narrator told the story with her angelic voice keeping the audience engaged and in the loop.

It is easy to sing the praises of all the cast and crew involved, they are all wonderful and have made Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat musical even more magical, marvellous and MEGA than ever before…a must see!

Missed out worry not Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is on tour and the Grand Opera House York have a whole range of exciting and entertaining performances in their upcoming calendar…well worth checking out.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Hotel Indigo York Review

Hotel Indigo York Review: October 2019

Located on one of the oldest streets in York, the Hotel Indigo York, in the Walmgate neighbourhood is a cosy, cute and quaint hub.

Décor takes inspiration from York’s historic rich chocolatey past and heritage.  Leanne and the reception team warmly welcomed us and whisked us straight up to our room.

The most superior rooms are finished to a high specification with quality fixtures and fittings creating a lovely place to stay while you enjoy your York adventures.

Immediately to the right, a deep sunken standalone bath, situated in a clean and contemporary open plan living space with vanity area, complimentary toiletries and a wonderful walk in double person shower with side spray jets and rainfall showers.

The Bed area is stunning with decor centralising around York’s history, the attention to detail and finishing touches made all the difference.

The desk area has duel use for work or vanity and once we arrived back in the room our mirror had been splashed with this colourful and warm welcome which was nice to see.

Loved the cosy snug to chill out and enjoy the complimentary tea tray, prior to our evening out.

The onsite Walmgate Bar, named after one of the many gates in the heart of York, provides guests with a social hub.

Ideal for a date night, drinks with work colleagues or friends and family, this boutique contemporary hotel and bar has something for everyone.

Enjoy a mocktail or one of their many craft IPAs as you peruse their food menu, let lovely supervisor Mandy and the team take good care of you.

Starters included this amazing cheeseboard, also available for dessert, olives and these fabulous fresh nachos with sour cream, homemade salsa and avocado guacamole.

Mains included this lovely vegan curry and you can’t go wrong with the classic fish and chips.

Desserts such as the chocolate brownie and the lush frangipane are an ideal way to end your dinner.

Make sure that you set your alarm clock, as the breakfast is well worth missing the lie in.

The beautiful bountiful buffet has a whole range of fresh continental choices on offer.

Such as meats, cheese, fresh fruit, yogurt, pastries, breads, muffins and preserves.

There are a good gluten free range, juices, smoothies and you can even squeeze your own fresh orange juice too.

You can even order pancakes with hot banana and lashings of chocolate sauce.

Also, why not enjoy some hot porridge, a good Yorkshire breakfast and their vegetarian offerings, so you are raring and ready for another day sightseeing and exploring in York.

Boutique accommodations with friendly staff, yes please!

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel Windermere Review

Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel Windermere Review: October 2019

The Holbeck Ghyll, situated between Bowness on Windermere and Ambleside, is the perfect snug hideaway with a home away from home feel.

The Holbeck Ghyll has been graced with the presence of many celebs such as Rennie Zellweger during her filming of Miss Potter. Also, this was the onset location for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, who filmed their series the Trip in 2010.  Also, more recently, ITV filmed a segment for their Deep Water drama.

The beautiful building and exquisite entrance sets the whole tone for a super sensational stay away.

The inviting oak panelled, arts and crafts styled reception and lounge area with an inglenook roaring log fire makes the entrance inviting and welcoming which is mirrored by the staff with a friendly and fabulous approach to delivering a customer focused stay.

The stairway up to our room, situated in the main building of the house, has an impressive stained-glass window and sensational scenery canvas prints of the surrounding area.

The traditional main building room has an amazing arch window feature with a breath-taking view.

The wardrobe had plenty of space and the bed was cosy and snug providing us with the most comfortable night sleep which was most welcomed after mountaineering for the full day.

The window to the world was the ideal viewing point to enjoy the outdoor scenes in the privacy of your room.

Peaceful and quiet, the perfect place to enjoy the complimentary homemade shortbread biscuits, tea tray facilities and a whole abundance of reading materials.

Renovations have been sympathetic to the original historical features retaining both the character and charm emphasising their beauty without an ounce of vulgarity.

The bathroom, traditional, but functional with bath, overhead shower and a range of complimentary toiletries.

Their onsite Spa is the perfect place to enjoy some much needed you time with peace and tranquillity.

Complimentary robes, slippers and teas are provided, so you have all you need to enjoy and unwind.

Enjoy the sauna, steam room and the pre-bookable jacuzzi, so you can kick back, relax, enjoy the wonderful Windermere views, as you enjoy the bubbles with your loved one, friends or family.

Dining at Holbeck Ghyll is an out of this world experience, take a seat in their cosy restaurant and even say hello to the onsite animal residents.

Recognised as one of the best restaurants in the North, Holbeck Ghyll’s modern British fine dining experience is a place for friendly dining without the fuss or stuffiness.

Their marvellous menu, designed by the Head Chef, was sensational and a real culinary journey, beginning with three cleverly chic canapés.

Breads delivered with style along with quinnells of butter infused with a beer – a sheer delight.

Sensational starters included the Beetroot dish with Goats Cheese, Caperberries, Malt and Walnut.  Also, the Risotto with Cep, Truffle, King Oyster Mushroom, Berkswell.

Mouth-watering mains included the perfect Beef with Leek, Maderia, Potato and Truffle.  Along with the innovative and unique Cauliflower with Kale, Berkswell and Golden Rasin.

At this stage, we thought things could not get better…until the arrival of the dessert courses. The pre-dessert of a deconstructed apple crumble was punchy, vibrant and a pleasurable experience.

They say that three is a crowd, but not when it came to the Holbeck Ghyll’s delicious and divine dessert offerings which included the Chocolate with Yoghurt, Pistachio sponge, Cherry and Beetroot.  Honey and Lemon with Tonka Bean and Bergamot. Finally, the amazing lush Tart.

The arrival of the Petit Fours signalled an even sweeter end to our dinner, the golden chocolate fudge being my personal favourite.

Edwardo our server was attentive, personable and a true professional within his field making us feel relaxed and welcomed which only further added to the enjoyment of our evening.

In fact, the restaurant manager and all of her the staff had pizazz going above and beyond to ensure guests had an exquisite and exceptional evening.  Finish tea/coffee in the restaurant or at many of the lounge areas…fancy a game of chest anyone.

Breakfast in bed with a view, a tranquil time to absorb the breath-taking scenery while reflecting on the evening’s endeavours and refuelling.   What a way to start the day.

The finest ingredients are used including locally sourced cured bacon, Cumbrian sausage and fresh hen’s eggs from literally up the road!  The Vegetarian breakfast along with some fresh fruit, pastries, toast, tea and freshly squeezed orange juice was a sheer delight.

Before departure why not pop on your fluffy robe and snug slippers, hit the hot tub one last time and soak in those wonderful Windermere views.

An elegant, exquisite and exclusive Country House Hotel, a real gem, in an idyllic location steeped in history with unspoilt Lake Windermere views. Outstanding signature service with fabulous foodie offerings which makes for a luxurious Lake District stay.  Create memories of a lifetime in this sophisticated and snug hub.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Holbeck Ghyll, Holbeck Lane, Windermere, LA23 1LU.

The Relax and Rejuvenate Spa Day Package at the Midland Hotel Manchester – Review

The Relax and Rejuvenate Spa Day Package at the Midland Hotel Manchester – Review: October 2019

Indulge in a lovely luxurious Spa package at the iconic Midland Hotel in Manchester city centre.  Recently winning Best Luxury Urban Escape for Northern Europe at the prestigious 2019 World Luxury Spa Awards.

The Relax and Rejuvenate Spa Day Package includes a 55 minute Relax and Rejuvenate Treatment and half day use of their award-winning spa facilities (9am – 1pm or 2pm – 6pm).

Also included, subject to availability, was an excellent ESPA gift and a super yummy two course lunch in Mr Coopers.

Make some much needed and well deserved you time, escape the hustle and bustle, kick back and relax, as you let the Spa at the Midland team help you melt into a relaxed bubble.

The prestigious Spa at the Midland has a full thermal suite including pool, Jacuzzi and water jet fountain.

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One Night Spa Break with Dinner and Wine at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa with BuyAGift – Review

One Night Spa Break with Dinner and Wine at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa with BuyAGift Review: September 2019

The Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa package with BuyAGift is the perfect way to have a mid-week Monday – Thursday breakaway.

Once merely unused marshland, they have transformed this into a spa and leisure hub.

Our room was upgraded to a classic room to a delightful deluxe ground floor room which included a separate bedroom with doors straight onto the patio.

With the sun shining, the views from the lounge across the golf course were superb.  The fully furnished patio area was ideal just to sit and chill.

During our time, we had visits from plenty of the non-human kind of guests which was a lovely natural touch for sure.

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Explore Picturesque Pendle with the Pendle Inn at Barley Review

Explore Picturesque Pendle with the Pendle Inn at Barley Review: September 2019

Located in the beautiful Forest of Bowland, Pendle is not only known for once being the home of the Pendle witches, but also has a well-connected and established walking territory with connections on the Bronte way.

The Pendle Inn at Barley is the perfect place for you to enjoy the outdoors and see all what the Forest of Bowland and the surrounding areas has to offer.

Pendle Inn is based in the heart of the village of beautiful Barley with the iconic and distinctive Pendle hill practically on their doorstep.

The Inn is cosy with real wood log fire and ideal for a drink, as they are famous in the local area for their 6 cask ales, as they use local breweries like Moorhouses, Marstons and some Micro brands.

Where to Stay

Get cosy in style and why not stay at the Pendle Inn to make the most of your time, as there is so much to see and do in the area you are spoilt for choice.

The rooms at the Inn are set in a spacious annex just a few meters from the pub itself with onsite parking.

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