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    Lunch at Cliveden House

    A black and white tail eagerly skidded past me – intent on the pink squishy ball flying over the snow and nothing else in the entire world – 3 nanoseconds later he flashed past again in a delighted blur of Collie fur. We were playing in the snow-dusted lawns before our booking for lunch at Cliveden House, earning ourselves a tasty repast.

    Lunch at Cliveden House Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The skies were blue after a thick snow flurry the day before, and we wandered through the grounds with rosy cheeks and a fair amount of giggling.

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    5* Fine Dining at Coworth Park Ascot | Dorchester Collection

    We tumbled out of our cab like thirsty gazelles, doe-eyed and excited to be leaving London for the day. We were having lunch at Coworth Park with one of our favourite people in the world – that fabulous Sophia, accompanied by her Mum, Polly, the English rose who has transplanted herself to the desert sands of Doha.

    Fine Dining at Coworth Park Ascot Adventures of a London Kiwi

    We get to see them whenever we sneak over to their corner of the Middle East, or more often when they comes home to see their family. They kindly makestime to see us, her internet family, and each time we seem to visit somewhere even more beautiful (our cosy day at Calcot Manor in Gloucestershire, sipping wine overlooking the river bend in Windsor, brunch at the Ivy, or our first lunch at Kettners). 

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    Glenskirlie House and Castle Hotel – Snoozing in a Scottish Castle

    Weddings are magical – and even more so when they are held in a castle that’s nestled in the peaceful Scottish countryside. Glenskirlie House and Castle was the venue for a good friend’s wedding recently – and we celebrated the joining of their two families in an age-old handfasting that went on into the wee hours.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    (In total honesty I didn’t last all the way into the wee hours when the shots were broken out, an early hour flight from Heathrow, our ridiculously comfortable bed and the dangerous ‘I’m just going to rest my eyes’ after the fulsome wedding dinner put paid to that!)

    Jumping into a cab from Glasgow airport (it’s about a 35-minute drive from both Glasgow airport or Edinburgh airport), the 4-star Glenskirlie House and Castle would make for a perfect stop off when road tripping into the stunning scenery of the highlands – or perhaps the last night of a weekend break in either city, especially if you were driving.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Glenskirlie House was established in 1982 as a small, family-run restaurant with an emphasis on quality food and first-class service. In 2007, Scotland’s first newly built castle of the 21st century opened, extending the facilities and offering plush hotel accommodation.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Borrowed from the hotel website – when we had colonised the castle, it was filled with laughter and people.

    We were graciously allowed to check-in early before the wedding ceremony started, giving us enough time to shake off the flight and polish our faces.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Each of the rooms – sweetly named after rose varieties – are individually designed with their own unique charm. Stylish, luxurious and elegant, the rooms combine traditional charm with modern design and contemporary comforts, including flat-screen TVs and DVD players.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The bathroom was comfortably appointed, including a rain shower that was very much appreciated and Molton Brown goodies.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Having gone for a wander before the ceremony, I was pounced on in the corridors and invited up to the honeymoon suite for a cheeky glass of pre-game champagne with the bride and her entourage – we giggled our way through the process, scooting out before we got too much in the way of the flower girl excitedly opening her pressies.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    It was utterly delightful. Fun, relaxed and full of mischief – perfectly attuned to the bride and groom.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The views over the local valley aren’t too shabby either…

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Between posing as the lady of the manor, there’s loads to do in nearby Glasgow. Afternoon tea in the art nouveau Willow tea rooms, parading through time at the Glasgow Transport Museum (highly recommended), visiting the Kelpie Heads and Falkirk Wheel or simply enjoying the epic brunch offerings in this compact city.

    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Or, you could explore Edinburgh which is a half an hour drive away.

    And then there is the beautiful west coast to explore: in this realm of faerie-stories, kilted clansmen and bagpipes, we knew that visiting the Scottish highlands we were going to see beautiful scenery, but we weren’t quite prepared for the variety of stunning vistas that seemed to appear every time we turned a corner. It’s still one of our best road trips ever

    What is your favourite thing about Scotland?

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    Scottish Hotel near Glasgow Glenskirlie House and Castle Adventures of a London Kiwi

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    9 London Houses & Gardens that you have to visit in Autumn

    Autumn. It’s considered ‘basic’ now to adore the season of rust coloured leaves, snuggling into warm scarves and sipping lattes – but I’ve always loved it. Something I love even more (if that’s possible) is exploring London houses and gardens in Autumn – it is beautiful, calm and cool.

    National Trust Osterley House and Park London Adventures of a London Kiwi

    So, I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite houses with gardens where the leaves turn vibrant shades of orange and red (oh, and millennials, they’re all completely instagrammable for your Fall toned outfit shots – just sayin’!)

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    Boxcar Butcher & Grill Review (featuring First Table)

    I adore Marylebone. I spent nearly 5 years working in an office there before launching my freelance business and to say I love the area is an understatement. So, when I was invited to try the First Table services, I had to choose the new Boxcar Butcher & Grill – any excuse to visit my favourite area in London.

    Boxcar Restaurant Review First Table Marylebone Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Disclaimer: We were invited guests of First Table, but my thoughts and terrible puns are all very much my own.

    Boxcar is tucked away just behind Marble Arch Underground station, within a clutch of boutique businesses on New Quebec Street. It’s an area where quality is king, full of discerning local foodies – and we were excited to try out their hearty menu.

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