For the bank holiday last week, Jordan and I were very kindly invited to review the newly opened Aparthotel, The Wittenberg, in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a city I’ve been to once before with a few friends when we finished university, but it’s coming up to 5 years since that trip.

When I go away, I’ll usually opt for somewhere I’ve never been before to explore somewhere new, but as it had a been a while since my last trip to the beautiful capital, I was excited to go back and discover everything that Amsterdam had to offer.

We flew early Saturday afternoon and landed to 28-degree heat, which is always a bonus when you go abroad. After a short train ride to the centre, we walked to the apartment through the side streets and over the canals.

As we were walking, the buzz of the city reminded me of what a great place Amsterdam is to visit. Obviously, there are many other reasons that people tend to visit here, but to me, it is full of such glorious architecture, picturesque canals, and friendly locals which make it the perfect place for a weekend trip.

 

Location

The Wittenberg is located in the district of Plantage which is an area north-east of the centre. The building itself is actually quite close to where I stayed last time I was here, so it didn’t feel like an unfamiliar area, but there was also a lot more to explore.

When we arrived at Amsterdam Centraal train station, we opted to walk the 20 minutes to the hotel because the sun was shining and everyone was in brilliant spirits throughout the city. The walk was lovely over the canals and through the side streets and it felt nice to be back in a city that held such fun memories for me.

When we arrived in the Wittenberg area, it was amazing how much quieter it was that the few streets before, and felt a lot more residential. The Wittenberg was sandwiched between a road of flats and a canal, so the perfect peaceful location.

When we arrived, I noticed the windows at the front had green and white-striped awnings on which really stood out compared to the darker brick of the rest of the building: I was really blown away with how beautiful it was.

 

History

The history of The Wittenberg is so interesting and really adds to the overall experience. The building itself dates back to 1772 and was owned by the Lutheran church who built a hospital, 100 years later.

In the apartments, there are black and white photographs on the wall which show some of the history of the building, but also the city. The space has now been converted into 115 apartments, which range from 1-3 bedrooms.

 

Facilities

As I mentioned, The Wittenberg is only a 20-minute walk from the main train station, but once you get there you are greeted by the very calm and tranquil reception area and the lovely staff who are there all day and night: If you were arriving by car, there is also a car park and a bike store if you decide to hire one.

There is a gym on-site which is open 24/7 and air-conditioned if you fancy a workout during your stay (which I certainly did not…) There are also breakfast bits left in your fridge including cereal bars, yoghurt, tea, coffee and milk.

There is everything you need to cook up a full meal, including a hob, toaster and all your cutlery – perfect if you are spending a few days at the apartment. One of the things I thought was really sweet is that they have a garden outside where residents can grow herbs.

 

Rooms

The layout of the Wittenberg is split into three separate buildings with a courtyard and tables and chairs and in the middle. Some of the apartments look onto the courtyard, whereas the rest have a view of the canal or the neighbouring houses.

We were very lucky to be staying in a studio flat, which was in the furthest building, but also the quietest one. It had a double bed (which was extremely comfortable), kitchen, lounge area and a gorgeous bathroom: there was also a small cupboard area with an iron and safe. The best thing about it though was the view: We had the most incredible (almost) floor to ceiling windows which looked out onto the water and it was just dreamy.

The decor was done out so tastefully with a grey wall, orange furniture (for their local football team, Ajax) and quirky extras. All of the kitchen appliances looked new and the whole space felt so relaxing. The bathroom was a really good size with a huge shower, toiletries and white subway tiles.

We were very kindly shown around a couple of other apartments on our last morning by the lovely An. She showed us one of the two-bedroomed ones and the little house, which is actually a little house over three floors with three bedrooms. She mentioned that as they were finishing the building, that was her office for a few weeks, and I couldn’t imagine a better place to work. The space was so light and airy and would be perfect for a family to spend some time together.

I honestly couldn’t recommend The Wittenberg more. We were only there for two nights but I could have stayed for a lot longer because it was so nice. The staff were so incredibly accommodating and even left us a note under the door to make sure everything was going as well as it could – it’s the little things like that that really make a stay feel more special.

If you are in Amsterdam for work or even just a trip, I would highly suggest getting in touch with the lovely team to discuss your accommodation needs: It is the perfect base to explore such a wonderful city but far enough away to get some well-deserved rest.

 

Watch my latest YouTube video here with some footage of The Wittenberg:

xx

Our stay at The Wittenberg was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own.

A few weeks ago, Jordan and I were invited for dinner at Tre Ciccio, which opened in Altrincham in February. It was my second visit to the restaurant, but I was eager to go back as it impressed me last time I was there for the launch.

I’m Altrincham born and bred, so when anything new opens up in my hometown, I’m always excited to go and try it. Altrincham has had a massive influx of restaurants, cafes and bars since the market re-opened back in 2014 and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down – which is great for me as I love going back to my little hometown.

Tre Ciccio was recently voted the Best in Manchester at the recent Lovin Manchester awards, so they must be doing something right! Since the last time I went, they have opened their terrace at the back of the restaurant, which is a great addition and doubled the number of tables they have. We visited on a very sunny Thursday evening so it was the perfect place to be seated and watch the world go by.

We were greeted by a lovely waitress and shown downstairs to our booth by the window on the terrace. We had a little read of the menu and ordered some drinks (San Pelligrino for me as I was driving, and a Moretti for Jordan) and had a peruse of the menu.

Last time I was there, the group I was with all shared a few different bits, so I was intrigued to have a main to myself. We decided to share the schiacciata (warm stretched pizza dough with garlic, rosemary, olive oil and sea salt) and the bocconcini fritti (lightly fried and breaded mozzarella bites with crispy basil and San Marzano tomato sauce) and both were incredible – anything deep fried and cheesy is always up my street!

For the main, I went for the classic Caprese pizza (buffalo mozzarella, Campania, cherry vine tomatoes, tomato sauce and basil) whilst Jordan went for the chicken and potatoes. Although chicken and potatoes might not seem like the obvious choice when dining at an Italian restaurant, the dish is renowned in the town where the owners are from and I was advised that it was delicious (I tried a potato too and they were so well seasoned).

To finish the meal off, we shared the chocolate torte with pistachio ice cream, which was incredibly rich and chocolatey, but also the kind of dessert I always go for. The last time I was there I opted for the tiramisu which is also a firm favourite and was just as delicious.

If you’re in the Altrincham area, or don’t mind getting the tram out of the city centre, I would 100% recommend giving Tre Ciccio a visit. It’s such a lovely space, the staff are great and the food are some of the best Italian dishes I’ve ever tried outside of Italy – you definitely can’t go wrong.

Have you been to Tre Ciccio?

xx

Our meal at Tre Ciccio was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own.

What better way to start the week than with another bank holiday Monday and a 4-day week ahead? And what a wonderful warm-weather filled week we’ve had these past few days – it’s definitely making me want to book more holidays though!

Here is everything I was loving last week.

Wedding Florist

On Tuesday, we had our potential wedding florist round, who is a cousin of one of my best friends. We had a very in-depth conversation about colour schemes and what we were after and it made me really excited to see what she comes back with.

Looking For Bridesmaids Dresses

On the theme of weddings, this week I started to have a look at potential dresses for my maid of honour. You may have heard on a previous post that my maid of honour is currently living in Australia, so trying to find a dress is going to be a bit of a struggle, especially if it needs altering, but having a look this week has been a lot of fun and we both have some ideas in mind already.

Lunch At My Parents

With Jordan starting his new job at the start of the month, it means that we are working quite close to each other now, and it just so happens that my parent’s live about half way between each of our offices. This week, we met for lunch there, and it was a lovely way to break the day up and catch up with my family.

Exciting Blog Projects

I’ve had some interesting and exciting emails coming through this week for various projects on my blog, some which are quite far in the future, and some that I’m working away on in the background. I really am grateful for every opportunity this blog brings me.

Newsletter

I was so busy at the start of May that I completely missed out my monthly newsletter, and didn’t even realise until about a week in. For June, I’m going to make sure I bring it back as I really missed sending one out this month. If you aren’t signed up yet, you can do so here.

Suits

It can’t be just us that had the urge to re-watch all of Suits after the Royal Wedding can it? This week, Jordan and I have binge-watched the first series again and I forgot how much of a great show it was. It’s crazy to think that when it was being filmed, Meghan had no idea what was around the corner!

Amsterdam

If you haven’t heard… I’m currently in Amsterdam! Jordan and I came out on Saturday for a couple of days and it has been the most lovely trip. I’ve been once before so it has a familiarity to it, but I’ve really enjoyed exploring it all over again.

Checking Into The Wittenberg

We were so lucky to be invited to stay at The Wittenberg in Amsterdam this weekend, which made our trip even better. I’ll be doing a full review soon and showing you some of the pictures I took of the gorgeous apartment, but I would highly recommend staying here if you’re heading to Amsterdam.

What were you loving last week?

A few weeks ago, I was invited for an overnight stay at The Globe in Warwick. Warwick has been on my list to go to for quite a while now, so I was excited to take up the offer and explore another place in the UK – side note, I keep wanting to say city, but apparently, it’s not one!

The Globe is part of the Oakman Inns group and is a pub with accommodation. The building first opened in 1788 as ‘The Globe Inn Commercial and Posting House’ becoming a theatre in the early 1800’s, hosting pantomimes and plays for the locals. The history of the place is apparent through the artwork spanning the hotel walls and inside the pub itself which is always a lovely touch when you’re staying somewhere new. The hotel now has 16 boutique style bedrooms and has been undergoing a renovation for the past two years.

Jordan and I travelled down on a very sunny bank holiday Sunday and when we arrived, the beer garden was full of people enjoying the great British summer. We were shown to our room, which was done out in such a tasteful way, with a huge double bed, exposed brick (my fave) and a bathroom suite which has made me want to completely overhaul ours. They also had a Sky box which would be great if you were looking for a cosy night in.

We didn’t spend long in the hotel room because the weather was so lovely and we wanted to get outside as soon as possible. The Globe sits on the edge of the town and is the perfect place to explore the area. We walked into the market square which was at the top of the road and had loads of bars and restaurants where everyone was sat around in the sun.

We wandered through the streets, getting ourselves and ice cream on the way, and walked over to the castle. If Warwick is famous for one thing, it is definitely the castle which sits within the gardens on the bank of the river Avon and spans 690 acres. Because it was a bank holiday Sunday and the queues were pretty insane at this point, we decided to walk around the gardens instead and admire the castle from afar.

After stopping for a cider in a nearby beer garden, we wandered up to the Lord Leycester hospital, which we were very kindly invited to. The hospital dates from the 14th Century and is an incredibly impressive building, which housed ex-servicemen during the Elizabethan war period. Each room was stooped in history, and to this day there are still ex-military living within the grounds who meet daily to pray.

When we got back to the hotel, we had a couple of drinks in the beer garden before heading up to get changed for dinner. We had been invited for our meal by the lovely team at the hotel and I was really looking forward to it after seeing the people outside enjoying their food earlier in the day.

We started off with a couple of drinks (G&T for me, beer for Jordan) and had a read of the menu. The specials sounded incredible, and we ordered a camembert for a starter, which the waitress recommended. It came with two pieces of grilled artisan bread and chutney and was absolute heaven with each mouthful.

For the main, I went for the prawn linguine as I fancied a seafood dish. The portion was a really decent size for pasta (I usually find you get way too much or not enough) and was really enjoyable. Jordan had the portabello mushroom burger with grilled halloumi and told me that it was incredible (I’m not a fan of mushrooms so I’ll take his word for it).

For the dessert, I went a bit off-piste and ordered the apple and berry crumble, which I would never usually go for, but for some reason, I just fancied it. It came with a gorgeous Madagascan vanilla ice cream and was the perfect end to a very scrumptious meal. I also had a bit of Jordan’s too which was the banoffee sundae and was delicious – anything banoffee, I’ll usually love!

After 0ur meal, we finished our drinks outside where it was still lovely and warm and watched the locals enjoying the sunshine before heading up to the room to relax.

If you’re up for a trip to Warwick, I would definitely recommend checking out the Shakespeare’s England website which gives you information about the different places in Warwickshire. It’s a lovely little place for a few chilled-out days away and the architecture is gorgeous.

Have you ever been to Warwick? What did you think?

xx

Our stay at The Globe was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own.

Yesterday evening, I did something I never usually do – I took some time for myself. Work has been absolutely manic at the moment, so it really couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally and it was lovely to not have to worry about anything for an evening.

When you have a side hustle like blogging, you sometimes feel like you want to spend every moment you’re not at work being productive: Whether it’s pitching to brands, writing blogs or taking photos, sometimes it’s hard to switch off when its something you’re so passionate about – that’s how I feel anyway when it comes to this little piece of the internet.

I’m really lucky that I know someone who has just started doing treatments from his canal boat in the beautiful Cheshire countryside. When you first hear canal boat, you might be a bit sceptical about how this works, but I can assure you, the setting is an absolute dream, and as soon as I got out of the car I felt as though a huge weight was lifted.

The very aptly named business, take a breather with Chris, is the only one I know of it’s kind, but really, where better to switch off and relax with the sounds of nature surrounding you. Chris met me at the car park with his gorgeous little dog, Lola, in tow (a half pom, half shih tzu) and we walked up to the narrowboat which had his flag on the top – definitely unmissable. We caught up briefly and he showed me around the boat which is definitely a lot bigger than it looks from the outside!

I’d chosen to go for the Swedish massage as my treatment, as I’ve felt quite a lot of tension in my muscles over the past few months. As with most massages, I had a few questions to answer first about my lifestyle and if I had any medical issues. Chris provided me with a tub of warm water for my feet to start the relaxation process off, and it really did help. When he asked me about my stress levels, it was only when I answered that I’m feeling a 9/10 at the moment that I wondered why I hadn’t done anything like this sooner.

The treatment lasted an hour, and it was pure bliss. The sounds of nature and people sailing by outside helped me to totally relax, so much so that I actually fell asleep for a few minutes which was lovely. Switching off is something I find really difficult, even when I’m at home, so doing something like this felt like a real treat for myself, when in reality, it’s something I need to invest more time in to.

In our day to day lives, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to always be at the top of our game and constantly be achieving the greatest, when in reality, we all need time to relax and take a breather: Chris also specialises in at home visits and also corporate packages, which I could totally get on board with.

If this is something that you would be interested, I would highly recommend paying Chris (and Lola) a visit in their picturesque setting – you deserve it! xx