Sometimes as a Londoner you get to experience really special moments that you actually can’t imagine would happen and dining under the incredible sweeping staircase of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel was one of those. Disclosure: we were guests of the hotel, but all thoughts are my own.
The beautiful St. Pancras station is one of my favourite places in London – those majestic gothic arches captured my heart many years ago, and the interiors are just as breathtaking.
The words that come to mind when I think of Birmingham are chocolate, industrial architecture, cats, Ozzy Osbourne and alchemy. Potentially the most random combination that I can conjure, but that can the joy of exploring less touristy destinations. Disclosure: this alternative city guide to Birmingham was commissioned by Hotels.com to showcase booking in at the Birmingham airport hotel, but all random adventures are very much my own (you’ll see).
Something people say to me all the time is ‘I bet you’ve been everywhere in England… I’ve never really explored that much of the UK and it’s such a shame’, and honestly, I agree. England is such a diverse patchwork of villages, towns and cities – and the history is second to none.
On this trip to Rheims, instead of simply visiting as a day trip from Paris, we stayed overnight in the Continental Hotel, a very short walk through beautiful gardens from the train station. I was a guest of the Régionale du Tourisme Grand-Est and I would 100% stay in this beautiful hotel again on my own. Where to stay in Rheims
We wheeled our suitcases straight from the train station – so fresh from Paris you could practically smell our breakfast baguettes – and through the gardens to our home for the evening – the Continental Hotel.
I have a confession to make. I’m slightly obsessed with castles, and I knew that we had to visit Wawel Castle in Krakow. (Long term readers won’t be very surprised – I have form in this area – exploring them, staying in them, insisiting my family stop at them on car trips etc.)
Wawel Castle is a sprawling patchwork of history – personal and political stories that you can explore on foot. I learned that the Wawel Royal Castle and the Wawel Hill constitute the most historically and culturally significant site in the country.
Europe to me is history pages that have come alive – ancient stone bearing scars and flowering gardens full of stories to come. But the simple question on most city trippers lips when they visit the Czech capital is ‘what are the best things to do in Prague?’
How do you encapsulate an entire city spanning more than a thousand years – during which time the city grew from the Vyšehrad Castle to the capital of a modern European state, the Czech Republic – in as little as a couple of days and just a few things to see? Honestly, I’m not sure you can really.