Thursday, 6 August 2020

5 hotels to book in Liverpool

Maybe it's the dawn of the 'staycation' - something that I find eye-wateringly expensive, but hey we are in a global pandemic and foreign travel is kind of out the window right now for a lot of people. I definitely don't want to travel on a plane until 2021 (no judgement if you are planning to go away, or have done so already, by the way - you do you and I applaud you for that!) so it seems like it'll be British breaks for me this year. With that in mind, I was thinking about people travelling to Liverpool; it's such an amazing city, and one I'd recommend everyone should visit. So here are 5 hotels to book in Liverpool right now!

Urbanista, Bold Street


If you're planning a girls trip or a romantic weekend, Urbanista on Bold Street is perfect - it offers rooms with multiple beds for group trips, and the decor is just stunning. The white and grey, pops of neon and so much more. The beds are some of the comfiest I've ever stayed in, and if you can bag the Secret Garden suite you'll have your own terrace area too! Bold Street is one of the best areas of the city, too, full of bars & restaurants and with easy access to train stations, shops and more. Definitely one of the most stylish hotels to book in Liverpool right now...


easyHotel, Castle Street


If you want to travel on a budget and don't mind a smaller room, the easyHotel in Liverpool is the one for you. I'm actually booked to stay here next week and I'll be writing a blog post about my experience staying in a hotel post-lockdown, so keep your eyes peeled for that. easyHotels are cheap and cheerful (I've paid £19 for a Tuesday night with free WiFi) and the hotel is really central in terms of places to eat and things to do. They're really basic rooms but if you're just there for a night or two and just plan on sleeping there, you can't go wrong!


Caro Short Stay, Parker Street


If you want or need something with a bit more space, the Caro Short Stay apartments on Parker Street are ideal. They have a kitchen-diner with a little living room, spacious bedroom and big bathroom. Bright, clean decor and really comfortable furniture paired with the central location make this a great option. There's WiFi, kitchen equipment and a lift between floors. If you're planning a few days in the city and want the option to cook for yourself, this is one of the best hotels to book in Liverpool right now.


Ibis Styles, Dale Street


I love an Ibis, and the Ibis Styles hotels are really funky. When I stayed there, the room was themed around 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' which is fun if you like the Beatles - plus the hotel itself is warm, comfortable, not too small and in a good location. They pride themselves on being family-friendly with a kids' area in the lobby, bottle-warming facilities and more so it's great if you're travelling with a little one.

Photo via Booking.com


Titanic Hotel, James Street


If you're visiting Liverpool and want something that ties into the history of the city, then the Titanic Hotel is a great choice. There's a spa if you want some luxury (I can vouch for the back massages) and the rooms are huge and bare brick and lovely. The hotel has a gorgeous restaurant, is well located and overall just one of the best hotels to book in Liverpool right now if you want something special!

Photo via Visit Liverpool

So there's 5 hotels to book in Liverpool right now - let me know if you're planning a trip to the city and want any recommendations. There are plenty of restaurant reviews on my blog, and here's where you can "eat out to help out" in Liverpool too!



Tuesday, 4 August 2020

July 2020: the round up

My July round up is coming a few days later than I'd usually post it, and I wasn't sure whether to do it at all - but these round up posts are primarily for me anyway so I can look back on this crazy year and see what's happened, what I've achieved, what was going on at any point. So let's go!


July saw me turn 25 - drinks in the garden and a very quiet meal out with my family and my best friend. It also saw the pub re-open and me head back to work, albeit with track & trace, limited capacity and other weird changes. I had plenty of freelance work going on too, as clients started to re-open and needed updates for their website.


I also published a record four sponsored blog posts here on The Lilac Scrapbook in July, which was mad. Sponsored blog work is a bit like buses - you wait for ages without any, then all of a sudden loads comes along at once. I'm so proud of myself for securing this work though, and it's all "extra money" which is going straight to paying off my 2021 cruise.

I barely read any books in July, but I watched a lot of book content on YouTube as well as true crime stuff. The Chicks' new album came out so that's been on repeat alongside a country singer I recently discovered called Morgan Wallen - with a good dose of New Found Glory and The King Blues thrown in for good measure. We had a glorious month of football - not me personally, being a Newcastle fan, but it was nice to have the game back on TV despite the 'no crowd' thing! Time to look ahead to next season...


With the hairdressers being open, I also had a complete hair transformation. I'm naturally blonde and have been dyeing my hair a dark brown/red for years, but now I want to be blonde again... oops. So I went to Red Door Hair Studio (press trip, I have to disclose!) on Rodney Street (Liverpool) and asked Maria to work her magic. With the amount of red dye that had built up in my hair there was no chance of me walking out blonde the very same day, but we managed to lift it a lot and it's currently rose gold. How very boujee.

July had some good parts and it also had some really really horrible parts - we lost our beautiful dog, Macy, towards the end of the month. It was out of the blue and hit us all like a ton of bricks; I knew it would hurt to lose her but I didn't think it would hurt quite this much. Everyone has been so kind and lovely, and from the bottom of my heart thank you. I don't really have anything profound to say about grief and everything because that isn't the kind of person I am but it has really meant to the world to me and my family to know how much everyone is there for us.


So that's July! Now we're in August and it's still raining and things still aren't back to normal, even though we can go the pub and out for tea (eat out to help out, you know!) and go to Primark. Hopefully by the end 2020 we'll be celebrating in style and saying goodbye to this complete disaster of a year...

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Eat out to help out: Wirral

I published a post earlier this week about the restaurants in Liverpool city centre taking part in the government's new "eat out to help out" scheme - and I thought I'd do the same for my side of the water, Wirral. The scheme starts on August 1st and allows you to get 50% off food up to £10 per person Monday through Wednesday. Support your local and indie businesses as much as possible! Without any more rambling, here are the Wirral restaurants taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme...


Rise & Grind


Located in Wallasey, Rise & Grind does a bit of everything - and does it well. With an all day kitchen, a neon sign on the wall and a really varied menu, you won't struggle to enjoy a meal here no matter what time of day it is or what you fancy!

Low Slough & Dough


Based at Woodside Ferry Terminal, this is one of the best places for small plates and plenty of carbs. Expect Mexican food with veggie and vegan options, friendly staff and a fantastic view - what more could you ask for?

Photo by Becky: instagram.com/eatlvpl

The Jug & Bottle


Located in Heswall, my mum says this is "classy" and perfect for a nice lunch with a view - homemade pub dinners with local produce, it's a great one for a special occasion and the food is delicious!

New Chinese Kitchen


If you just want a solid, good Chinese meal - look no further than Wallasey. Nothing fancy but absolutely delicious, me and my family have been going here for years. Their crispy duck is spot on and the chicken & sweetcorn soup is also to die for.

Habibi


Down in New Brighton at the funky new Victorian Quarter you'll find Habibi - "Brooklyn beats and Eastern eats". Everyone raves about Habibi, and it's not hard to see why. Small plates, kebabs and more in a gorgeous setting? Yes please.

https://www.instagram.com/habibi_new_brighton/


The Ship


Parkgate is the perfect place for a day trip (that famous ice cream!) and the Ship does delicious, traditional pub grub that will leave you feeling stuffed in a good way. In terms of Wirral restaurants taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, this will be a firm favourite.

Noya


Located in Upton, if you feel like you're missing out on Mediterranean cuisine this summer then you should make your way here! Fine dining so best reserved for special occasions, the seafood comes highly recommended!

Hickory's


A small-ish chain, I couldn't not put Hickory's on the list - it's BBQ food at its best, and the varied menu has so much to offer. Everyone loves a bit of Hickory's, so get yourself to West Kirby - this is definitely one of the most popular Wirral restaurants taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Caffe Cream


There's one in New Brighton and one in Birkenhead, and they do the best BEST home made ice cream as well as breakfast and lunch dishes. They're both well located and just a lovely business to support in these trying times!

https://www.instagram.com/caffecreamuk/

Stollies Cafe & Deli


In Wallasey Village, this is one of the smallest Wirral restaurants taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme - but it's fantastic. I love this as a place to sit with my laptop and get some work done, and it's a great place for a business meeting too. Would recommend! They're do typical cafe food, but it's done well.

Gusto


Another Heswall offering, Gusto is one of the nicest Italians around - their pizza and pasta are to die for. There's not much else to say other than this is mid-range in terms of price so with the discount it'll work out quite nicely.

Leasowe Castle


You'll find Leasowe Castle on the list, and their Brasserie 1593 is amazing. Me and mum had a gorgeous meal there a while back, and it's a gorgeous setting. Highly recommend! You can use the discount is Wreckers or the Star Chambers.


Hannah's


A cafe in West Kirby, Hannah's has some great stuff on the menu including amazing options for those with specific dietary requirements - there's gluten free bread where it's needed, and plenty of vegan options. Wraps, burgers and more in a lovely location... winner!

So there's some of the best Wirral restaurants taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to help you when you're planning your meals out over the next month. If you have any more recommendations that are taking part please let me know - you can use the government's postcode checker to find restaurants in your local area.


Friday, 31 July 2020

(ad) Oral health on a budget with Colgate

This post is in collaboration with Colgate.

If there's one thing that is so important, it's looking after your teeth. Admittedly this isn't something I've always been great at doing - I always hated the feeling of brushing my teeth, and I'm a bedtime snacker too so when I was younger I sometimes didn't bother at night time because I'd have some sweets or crisps in bed with me and not want to get up. BUT it's something I'm actively trying to improve on, and thanks to Colgate I'm doing so on a budget.


Electric toothbrushes can be so expensive, but luckily the Colgate 360 Floss - Tip Battery Powered Toothbrush + 2 Heads does the job of an electric toothbrush for a fraction of the price. Obviously it is still electric in a way, but powered by batteries meaning it doesn't have to cost the earth to have good teeth. The floss tip bristles mean it gets in between your teeth (the fancy term for this is interdental cleaning) and it has a tongue/cheek cleaner as well as oscillating and angle bristles. You get such a deep clean and your mouth feels so fresh when you've brush your teeth - which is, you know, the point. I definitely prefer this to a regular toothbrush!



As we head into summer everybody wants to look their best, so it's important to take care of your teeth. We also tend to have plenty of BBQs and cocktails in the summer, so you're consuming a lot of sugar and the like - so there isn't a better time than now to treat yourself to a new toothbrush, especially one that's such a bargain. What's better is you can get the Colgate 360 Floss in Morrisons - so when you're next there picking up your burgers and buns or your tequila sunrise ingredients, pop into the personal hygiene aisle and grab one of these toothbrushes.

Follow up with a mouthwash to keep your mouth feeling and smelling freshhhh, and be sure to pay attention to your gums, tongue and inner cheeks; it doesn't cost a lot to keep your smile looking bright and your mouth feeling healthier than ever!



Have you tried a battery-powered toothbrush? I love this one and genuinely can't recommend it enough, especially as it's so affordable. There is a huge wealth gap in this country and we constantly see the cast of TOWIE and Love Island flashing their pearly whites, and it's so easy to compare ourselves. But remember that they have a team of beauticians at their disposal, editing apps, and enough money to fly to Turkey on a whim and get veneers. You're gorgeous, and your mouth deserves to be healthy too. You've got this.


Thursday, 30 July 2020

(ad) Dreamy hotels around the world

This post is in collaboration with Tuffx.

Oh how I long to travel right now... I'm physically aching to hear "can I see your passport please?" or feel the excitement of walking down the snack aisle in a European supermarket - for the feeling of sunshine on bare shoulders and homemade raspberry vodka and knowing you've paid too much to get into an art gallery but loving it anyway. 2020 was supposed to be a year of last minute budget trips for me, and I was so excited to see where my adventures took me. But alas, most of aren't travelling this year - so here's some dreamy hotels around the world just to sate my wanderlust a bit...

Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa, Maldives


If there's one thing the Maldives is famous for it's accommodation that overlooks the water, leading straight into water and so on. Bright blue, sparkling, clean water. The water villas at Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa are so pretty and each have a stunning glass floor which allow you to see the beautiful ocean without having to leave your room. With gorgeous balcony terraces that have their own sunbeds and sofas as well as plenty of space in the villas themselves, this is just such a gorgeous place to stay.


Pinkcoco, Gili Air


Bali has never really been on my bucket list but the Gili Islands are right there, and that means the Pinkcoco hotel - oh my god. It's just a pink aesthetic dream; pink sunbeds and umbrellas, pink walls and cushions and bikes, pink flowers and cocktails and lighting. They have their own swing on the beach, and the decor here is just SO stunning I can't get over it. It's a pipe dream, but a holiday here would be the best post-lockdown treat wouldn't it?


Los Enamorados, Ibiza


Honestly, Ibiza isn't high on my list either - don't get me wrong, if you offered me an all expenses paid trip to the White Isle I'd probably say yes but it's just not very me. Los Enamorados is a really quirky, fun, arty hotel: lots of green and blue, plants and neon signs, sprawling beanbag sofas. I just think the vibes here would be amazing, and some hotels really are just so Instagram-friendly...


Eden Locke, Edinburgh


If you want calm and sophisticated hotel decor, this is the place for you. Think earthy tones and pastel colours, plants and soft edges and just a really lovely, grown up atmosphere. Plus Edinburgh is meant to be a really cool city. There are 72 apartments here, and each one looks so pretty - that's the word that sums this place up: pretty. If you're feeling stressed, I bet you wouldn't after sitting in one of these rooms for half an hour!


So there's some of my favourite looking hotels around the world, all of which I'm dying to stay in because I'm sick of my own bloody bedroom right now. There really are some gorgeous hotels around the world, and I think it does make a difference when you stay somewhere that's just genuinely SO pretty - even if you're only sleeping there, it's just so nice isn't it?