Luxury Rail Trip to Edinburgh

Luxury Rail Trip to Edinburgh

Lovely luxury indulgence, from time to time, can be good for the mind, body and soul.  However, the focus for me is about affordable luxury to enjoy a luxury rail trip up to Edinburgh.

Travel in Style

Trainline – First Class TransPennine Express

Get things off to a super start and let Trainlines dedicated 500+ team take care of all your travel needs.  By booking your tickets with Trainline, a one stop shop whereby can search for all the best fares with a variety of train operators, to bag yourself a bargain.  You can book online or via their app, making searching for affordable fares easy and a simple experience.  Sit back and enjoy the view.

Opt for physical tickets to collect or e-tickets, the smart ticketing choice for travel on the go.  App tickets especially ideal for the wet and wintery weather, as no need to worry about wet or loss of tickets too! Plan ahead and first-class fares may not be out of reach, with many operators such as TransPennine Express covering the Edinburgh route.

Where to Stay

Novotel Edinburgh Centre – The Sensational Suite

Book into the Novotel Edinburgh Centre hotel, for a few nights, located on Lauriston Place, is a contemporary cosy hub, ideal for business, couples or family trips.  The Royal Mile, Princess street and Edinburgh Castle, literally on your doorstep, and are just a short walk away by foot.  The hotel offers a range of onsite facilities including the Tap bar and restaurant, fitness centre and a sensational indoor heated pool with colour changing mood jacuzzi, hammam and sauna.

Make your stay super-duper and opt for the sensational suite, the perfect accommodations with a relaxed and homely atmosphere, that offers a well-designed large space, for up to two adults and two children.  An incredible balcony with breath-taking and incredible views across one side of Edinburgh with a living room, two flat screen televisions and Wi-Fi.

The bedroom, with the stunning Scottish artwork mural, bathroom with power shower, complimentary toiletries, slipper and bathrobes to use throughout the duration of your stay.

How to get around

City Cabs Edinburgh 

Edinburgh is a big city and even though parts of the city can be explored on foot, but when that Scottish weather hits or if simply time is at a premium make Edinburgh city cabs your care service of choice.

During out visit, the service received from City Cabs Edinburgh was outstanding.  Such an easy process, call, book and ta-dah as easy as that.  Also, the company communications are on point, as I received both a text and call once the car had reached the pick-up location, so no waiting around.  Perfect, if you are on a hectic time schedule like me.

They are a friendly fab bunch, who provide city transfers, transfer’s further  and are ideal for sightseeing too.

The Royal Connection

Arthur’s Seat

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history and Edinburgh Castle are two iconic Edinburgh activities which I have visited on previous visits to Edinburgh.  My schedule did not allow a visit this time, as I wanted to climb Arthurs seat, located in Holyrood Park at the end of the Royal Mile, where both the palace and castle can be viewed from.

Arthur’s Seat a large, grass covered hill is the remains of an extinct volcano that erupted 350 million years ago, and Arthur’s Seat is in fact the highest point of this extinct volcano providing amazing 360-degree views of Edinburgh.

Go for Gold

JK Rowling & Harry Potter

Yes, I said it, Harry Potter! A trip to Edinburgh would not be complete without doing something Potter related, as JK Rowling is a prominent Edinburgh resident who while in Edinburgh wrote the amazing Harry Potter collection.

Forget the golden snitch, take your head out of the clouds, and instead head to City Hall, the location where JK Rowling’s Golden Handprints can be found, a truly one-off experience.

Where to eat and Shop

Harvey Nichols – Lovely Lunchies

Fancy a bit of retail therapy, head to the Multrees walk area, where you will find luxury brands and Scotland’s only Harvey Nichols right in the heart of Edinburgh city centre.  Rest those weary shopper legs and head to the top floor four, of Harvey Nichols, for lunch with some fabulous fizz and sensational views including the iconic Edinburgh Castle.

On the menu included super service along with a showcase of sensational and innovative dishes using the finest Scottish produce.  Offerings included Artisan bread, delicious soup and fresh butter beautifully displayed on a pretty pebble. Delighful dishes such as Pumpkin hummus, the show stopping Hand-dived Orkney scallop, Super-food salad, brilliant Boarders beef fillet, Carrot Textures and the beautiful Blackberry parfait.

All washed down with lushest non-alcoholic drinks including an ice tea, the Pret a Porter mocktail and the Harvey Nichols, Sparkling Chardonnay, Australia, NV, a nice non-alcoholic adult alternative to wine.

The Dome – Afternoon Tea

The Georgian Suite, location for an amazing Afternoon tea, providing a plush, opulent and magnificent setting to indulge in this quintessential tradition.

Absorb and admire the sumptuous and splendid interiors, with the black and gold wall panelling, upholstered cushioning on the elegant ebony chairs, crystal chandeliers and crisp white linen with all the bells and whistles.  Beautiful and Bespoke Gainsborough Sheffield silver tea service and Chardonnay Pattern Dudson Fine Bone China are use throughout service enhancing the elegance of the experience.

Afternoon Tea proceedings overseen by Head Chef Sue Snider, providing a range of fabulous finger sandwiches, super Scones in both fruit and plain varieties served with clotted cream and jam, along with a selection of scrummy sweet treats.  The Dome have also devised the menu to pair with their nine varieties of loose tea which include a range of herbal infusions and of course Traditional Scottish brew.

Red Bus Bistro – Afternoon Tea on wheels

 Get on board with the Red Bus Bistro, a brand who offer a unique dining experience, an Afternoon tea tour on a fabulous iconic and innovative vintage 1966 Routemaster bus right in the heart of Edinburgh.

This lightweight aluminium angels of the road used techniques developed in aircraft production during world War II.  The 70 – 90 minute whistle stop tour of Edinburgh, takes in all Edinburgh’s key attractions including the old town, Palace of Holyroodhouse and of course Edinburgh Castle, all while you sit back, relax and indulge in Afternoon Tea delights.

Tempted to sing the wheels on the bus go round and round, but this is nothing but a classy affair, using Scotland’s best and finest local ingredients and where possible local produce to produce your Afternoon Tea loveliness.  Fresh and fabulous fancy finger sandwiches, cakes, warm home baked scones with traditional preserves and no need to whip yourselves up in a frenzy as there is plenty of fresh whipped cream to boot.

Take in a show

Edinburgh Playhouse – Some Guys have all the luck – The Rod Stewart Story

Situated on Greenside Place, 12th of August 1929, The Edinburgh Playhouse, originally opened and operated as a cinema for over 40 years, closing on 24th of November 1973.  Former Playhouse employees, Gordon Lucas and Larry McGuire, set up the Playhouse Preservation Action Group, and collected 15,000 signatures on their campaign to save the Playhouse resulting in a class B protection order being placed on the building.

In 1975 the Edinburgh Playhouse Society was born, collecting over 13,500 signatures to campaign for ballet and opera performances to be showcased.  After 4 more years of campaigning, Lothian Regional Council agreed to buy, refurbished and opened the Playhouse Theatre on 1st June 1980 which is why we now have this marvellous theatre to enjoy performances such as the super sensational Some Guys have all the luck – The Rod Stewart Story.

The production is a celebration of rod’s career, an iconic rock star who worked his way from a street busker to the superstar legend we see today.  A clever set up whereby both fans and non-fans could enjoy and follow the story about an absolute legend.

Paul Metcalfe delivered an enthusiastic, electrifying and engaging performance, clearly a passionate Rod Stewart fan, which comes through in his on-stage performance. Delivered with pizazz, presence and a personality, Paul does justice to Sir Rod and with his swaggering showmanship and command of the stage, setting the place alight with his fun and fabulous take on the ballads Maggie May, Baby Jane ,Da Ya Think I’m Sexy, Sailing, You’re In My Heart, and Tonight’s The Night.  Along with Faces hits such as Stay With Me, Twistin The Night Away and timeless Motown tunes from the album Soulbook.

Edinburgh Activities

The Real Mary Kings Close Edinburgh

Prepare to follow in the footsteps of past residents, with costumed characters aka your tour guides, and go deep underground under the famous Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s only uniquely preserved 17th century street, to the Real Mary King’s Close to delve into the mysteries and myths, but be prepared to hear the authentic truths about Edinburgh’s murky dark past.

Hearing accounts from the previous residents and what life was really like on the Close, was engaging and entertaining, your guide wanders through alleyways, passages, talking of conspiracy, the plague and murder, bringing the chilling Close to life.

Escape Reality Edinburgh – Tortuga Pirates & Jungala

Escape Reality Edinburgh, located within the Fountainbridge area, offers an entertaining, exciting and engaging real-life escape game experience.  Family and friends unite your strong genius team of between 2-6 people, take on the challenge and prepare to play the game.

Fancy yourself as a Swashbuckling pirate well Ahoy matey, and prepare all hands on deck at Port Royal 1718, as there was munity aboard the Mariposa ship.  Get over to Tortuga island to find Derdrake’s buried treasure, before you are transformed into a spectre for all eternity.

Perhaps you are a Jungle Explorer, well grab your survival backpack, camouflage and torch to take on Jungala, but beware once you find that  dusty cobwebbed game box in the attic, “The dice have been rolled”, so be prepared to play the game  and seal your fate, fail and you are locked inside the game’s realm forever.

Escape Team Building Edinburgh – The Magical Emporium

Morrison Street, an exciting site location, for some spellbinding spectaculars, as we grabbed our gown and wand to swish, flick and cast our way into The Magical Emporium, an immersive, interactive, and spellbinding escape room experience whereby we had 60 minutes to chant, cast spells and incantations to find Ms Garbo.

These are dark times, as Wizards worldwide had been notified that, the dazzling and delightful renowned supplies shop, Garbo’s was suspiciously closed down.  Suspecting Evil forces, it was up to us to use our magical mystical marvellous powers to investigate Ms Garbo’s disappearance.

Can You Escape Edinburgh – Operation Odyssey

Can you Escape Edinburgh has brought space to the forefront, with their escape game mission: Operation Odyssey, an out of this world, galactical space adventure for all you budding astronauts out there.  Lucky to become Space cadets, we embarked on our solar system star gazing mission on the International space station, but things soon took a drastic turn. “Houston, we have a problem, the escape pod needs to be fixed”.

All the main power systems are down, we need to restore, reboot and make our escape in the pod, before we are flung out into a black hole, never to be seen again.  Not just gravity to contend with, but time is of short supply too, as the next meteor shower strike is predicted in 60 minutes!!

Fancy an out of this world adventure, well Visit Scotland and take in all Edinburgh has to offer, an exciting city hub, with plenty of lovely luxurious activities, all within an affordable reach.

Enjoy Edinburgh!

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx



Novotel Edinburgh Centre Hotel – Review

Novotel Edinburgh Centre Hotel Review: November 2018

The Novotel Edinburgh Centre hotel, located on Lauriston Place, is a contemporary cosy hub, ideal for business, couples or family trips.  The Royal Mile, Princess street and Edinburgh Castle, literally on your doorstep, and are just a short walk away by foot.

Want to make you stay super-duper, well opt for the sensational suite, that offers a well-designed large space, for up to two adults and two children.

The suite has an incredible balcony with breath-taking and incredible views across one side of Edinburgh.

We were warmly welcomed, with a lovely light up display and lots of Scottish sweet treats, a nice personalised touch.

The suite provides the perfect accommodations, with a relaxed and homely atmosphere, including living room, two flat screen televisions and Wi-Fi.

Also, a bathroom which has an abundance of mirrors, power shower, complimentary toiletries, slipper and bathrobes to use throughout the duration of your stay.

The bedroom, with the stunning Scottish artwork mural, is the ideal space to rest your head after a bust bustling day or evening out in Edinburgh.

Now it’s time for some you time, head down to the Novotel Edinburgh Centre leisure facilities, perhaps you fancy working up a sweat in their fab fitness centre or why not enjoy the heated indoor pool, cool colour changing mood jacuzzi, hammam and sauna.

Built up an appetite, well recommended is their onsite restaurant, a warm, friendly and relaxed place to fill up, catch up, all while being looked after by the attentive Novotel team.

Offering international cuisine there is a wide range of dishes to suit all palates. Starters included nachos and cheesy poppers which were lovely.

Mouth-watering mains included the super-food salad with black rice, asparagus, pomegranate, avocado, feta and almonds.  Also the Angus Tap burger, served with bacon, melted cheese, salad, gherkins and fab fries.  For desserts, we loved the cheesecake and the cheeseboard – both hit the spot for sure.

Make a night of it, absorb the lively atmosphere and buzz, by trying out a drink or two in the Tap music lounge.  Try out the funky, cosy and contemporary numbered spin tub chairs.  Enjoy and unwind at the tap before returning to your suite for the night.

Morning motivation is in abundance with fresh fruit juices, and a full drinks station fully equipped with quality machines to make tea, coffee, herbal teas, along with a range of milk and soya milk.

Breakfast is a beautiful bountiful feast of quality offerings including fresh fruit, cereals, pastries, hot offerings such as, hash browns, beans, veggie sausages, bacon, sausages, egg, mushrooms, tomato along with toast wholemeal, white and gluten free.

Edinburgh Novotel Centre, the perfect place to stay, for work and play, fabulous fitness facilities, a sensational pool, super staff, fabulous food and an amazing atmosphere, what’s not to like!

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx


48 hours in Liverpool with Novotel Liverpool Centre

48 hours in Liverpool with Novotel Liverpool Centre: October 2018

Destination Liverpool, a fabulous friendly city of culture offering visitors so many exciting activities to see and do.

Novotel Liverpool Centre, is perfectly situated for exploring all that Liverpool has to offer, check into your cosy city centre Novotel hotel – a 4 star home away from home.

Novotel’s nice executive rooms are the perfect homely hub, spacious with all the mod cons you need during your stay.

Unpack, relax and prepare to head off for your lovely Liverpool adventures.

Liverpool Cathedral

Morning began in a peaceful place of solace and worship, Liverpool’s majestic, ore inspiring Cathedral whereby ground floor entry is free, but donations are welcomed.

Designed by the amazing architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who interestingly was also commissioned to design a telephone kiosk to commemorate the Jubilee of King George V – hence the red iconic telephone box was born.

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Novotel Liverpool Centre Review

Novotel Liverpool Centre Review: July 2018

Destination Liverpool, on Hanover Street, is the location of 4 star Novotel Liverpool Centre.  A stylish hotel, in a convenient, centralised position for you to take advantage of all that Liverpool City centre has to offer.

Executive accommodations provide a relaxed and focused experience where you already have everything you need to make your stay a smooth one.

The wardrobe had plenty of space for you to store all your wears along with complimentary slippers and a fluffy robe for the duration of your stay.  You will notice the door, behind which is a separate enclosed toilet area.

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Novotel Manchester Centre Review

Novotel Manchester Centre Review: April 2018

Located within an enviable postcode, near to all the main transport hubs such as Manchester Piccadilly & Oxford Road train stations, the Novotel Manchester Centre, is the ideal place to enjoy all of the city action, from a convenient and central 4 star base.

Make your way through the revolving doors, into the bright airy reception area, and prepare to check in for a sensational stay.  Make use of the interactive touch screen system that provides helpful tourist information.

Junior Suites immediately have that wow factor, focusing on your needs to provide a relaxed experience.  An open plan arrangement, with a super cosy comfortable bed, with amazing artwork above the bedhead, a flat screen television, and a cleverly designed modular bathroom.

The adjoining lounge area, with a second flat screen television, comfortable sofa, relaxer chair set within a Manchester city artwork background scene, along with a Nespresso coffee machine, Bose Ipod dock, complimentary broadband, and mini bar stocked with water was an ideal place to kick back, relax and chill out.

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Novotel New York Times Square Review

Novotel New York Times Square Review: December 2016

The Novotel brand are part of the worldwide Accor Hotel group. Employing more than 240,000 employees, across 4,100 hotels in 95 countries worldwide. Therefore, when the opportunity came up to collaborate with the brand, excited was an understatement! New York New York, start spreading the news, we went there to stay….Yes, in the very heart of it…New York New York! The cool, chic, contemporary entrance makes for a sophisticated sassy start.


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