Our Enniskillen Get-a-way

Happy Sunday!

I hope you have had the loveliest, chilled weekend with loved ones! After walking the length of ourselves around Glenariff Forest Park today, Carl and I are tucked up on the sofa relaxing – boy we are unfit! We are a little down in the dumps though, thinking about this time last week, when we were curled up on the sofa in our beautiful lakeside cabin adjoining Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen.

If you follow my social media, you will know that we were really looking forward to the trip. Carl and I have wanted to go for a VERY long time and after a stressful few weeks it was well needed. The pictures looked incredible and reviews from friends and family were just as great so we couldn’t wait.

When we arrived we couldn’t believe how incredible the cabins were. The glass fronted building looks out over the lake with breathtaking views from ear to ear. Each morning we stepped out over the threshold onto our own private decking area and took in the views of the lake and passing boats – it couldn’t have been any more relaxing. I love cooking, and being able to cook whilst looking out over the water suited me perfectly.

The lodges are equipped with everything you would need whilst self-catering. From a dishing water to cooking utensils, pots and pans to tea bags, we were well catered for. This was the first time we had been self-catering on a Northern Ireland break and we found it so much easier with having Annie. Taking a one-year-old away comes with its own challenges but she loved waking up every morning and pulling out the hoover. I did become a little obsessed with the in-house G Tech Cordless hoover the lodges have (as did Annie!) which led to us fighting over it most of the time. I have definitely asked Santa for one and I’ll be adding a toy hoover to Annie’s Santa list so she will leave my new one alone!

You can check out the one I am talking about here & thank me later: https://amzn.to/2P1BXPI

Before going away, we decided we wanted to go somewhere new in Enniskillen each day. After getting married there 4 years ago, we realised that we knew very little about the quaint town as we had always just stayed in our hotels. We soaked up as many events, walking trips and National Trusts sights as we could during our short stay ad even had time for a little boat trip along Lough Erne! Enniskillen is filled with National Trust buildings and sightseeing potential – Annie especially loved Castle Coole where she thought she should move in.

The lodges are fantastic and if you love water or just want someone to stay with family with spectacular views then I would highly recommend the lodges! We already can’t wait to revisit them again in the new year!

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What is a cruise really like?

Our honeymoon really does seem like a lifetime ago now but we still look back on it with the best memories. We decided to try a cruise for our honeymoon, and at that point the best ship was Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. One week sailing around the Caribbean, what else could be better?

We booked the whole thing through Thomas Cook in Connswater who were incredibly helpful. With never having been on a cruise before, we didn’t really know where to begin but they had brilliant advice and made the process very simple.

We flew from Dublin to New York and from New York to Florida as our cruise departed from Fort Lauderdale in Florida. We decided to fly the day before our cruise departed and stay over in Florida for the evening to make sure we were on time for the cruise. When booking on their website, Royal Caribbean give you the option to add flights and a hotel stay before and after your cruise so it is much simpler than it seems.

On the morning of our cruise, our private transfer collected us from the hotel after breakfast and dropped us to the port. I will never forget the size of the ship. I mean, it was insane!

(When we woke up in Miami this amazing boat was docked outside our balcony!)

The joy of a cruise is that you have so many options for stops along the way. We decided for the Eastern Caribbean cruise as our stop offs were: 1. Labadee, Haiti 2. Falmouth, Jamaica 3. Cozumel, Mexico. If you have a bucket list filled with travelling a cruise is perfect for you as you can pretty much tick 3 or 4 cities off in one 6 night, 7 day cruise.

(Central park on the ship)

People often ask me how we spent our day on the cruise and honestly, every day is different. Our week went as follows:

Day One – we jumped on the ship (literally, we were so excited) and it really took 24 hours to get our bearings – it is that big!

Day Two – we spent the day at sea aka we had no stops. This let us sunbathe, relax, check out the restaurants and shops etc.

Day Three – we decided not to book an excursion in Ladadee, Haiti and just headed to the beach. After chilling on the beach we did some shopping around the market and were treated to a beach BBQ. That evening when we were back onboard, we went to the theatre (yes, like the West End) and watched Hairspray The Musical (much to Carl’s delight!)

(Haiti)

Day Four – we departed in Falmouth, Jamaica and joined our coach trip to head to the beach. This excursion included the coach to and from the beach, a BBQ on the beach and drinks all day. I can honestly say I have never seen a more beautiful location. That evening back on board the ship there was a market, kind of like duty free, so we shopped till we dropped!

(Jamaica)

Day Five – we spent the day at sea. Sipping cocktails by the pool, sunbathing, catching up on my books and that even watched a water show in the pool. The show was insane! These olympic divers are crazy, or as we say “they really needed their heads looked at!”

Day Six – saw us attempt snorkelling and speedboating in Cozumel, Mexico. This was the excursion we were most looking forward to and it really lived up to its expectation. Snorkelling in the sea together was the perfect activity us honeymooners although it is a miracle we didn’t get divorced after Carl nearly threw me overboard with the speed he was hitting in the speedboat! That night we were literally exhausted and we even slept through dinner! Thankfully room service is free so we had two steaks and cocktails delivered to the room. Thank you!

Day Seven – we spent the day at sea and enjoyed the craic with the other honeymooning couples at a honeymoon rendezvous on board the ships bar. With champagne and cake it was a lovely afternoon meeting other couples from all over the world!

Day Eight – we arrived back at Fort Lauderdale in Florida and departed the ship. As we were heading on the second part of our honeymoon we got a taxi from the port terminal to our hotel and waived goodbye to the best week abroad! EVER!

We loved our cruise with Royal Caribbean onboard Oasis of the Seas so much so we have another cruise booked for 2019! You would never know you were on board a ship (obviously apart from the fact that you walked on!) and we never even made it around all of the restaurants or activities during the week we were onboard. This is the perfect holiday for couples, families, young and old as there is so much to do onboard and when you depart at your stop off’s. We were spoilt for choice with food, drinks and excursions during our trip and can’t wait to our next cruise next year!

A baby free night away… our trip to Carlingford

So a few weeks before Christmas I was lucky enough to win an overnight stay in the Four Seasons in Carlingford. It was around the time the snow hit when we were snowed in for four days so you can imagine how happy I was at the prospect of a trip away.. even if it was for one night!

The competition win included an overnight stay for two with complimentary afternoon tea and a Voya warm oil back massage – bliss! Unfortunately though it meant we couldn’t bring Annie. So on Thursday afternoon we packed up our stuff, dropped Annie to her nanny’s and Annie had her own little vacay with Nanny & Granda.

I am definitely a little bit of a hotel snob especially spa hotels. Carl and I have stayed in so many and being honest it really does take a lot to please us. From the food to the spa treatments, cocktails to luxury baths we know what we like but the Four Seasons really didn’t disappoint.

We stayed in one of the superior rooms equipped with a four poster bed & recently renovated bathroom. The rooms were beautifully decorated and it is clear the entire hotel is being renovated with the bar opening being this Saturday night!

We decided to head into Riina’s in Carlingford town, which was only 5 minutes walk from the hotel, for an Italian dinner on Thursday evening and it was devine! After our afternoon tea we weren’t starving so we went for the pollo pizza with chicken, rocket and red pesto as well as the tortellini pasta special which was a creamy pasta stuffed with parma ham and mozarella – yum!

After dinner we headed to the newly renovated bar which had the perfect ambience for a chilled drink with one another. The bar staff were great craic and we had a few sneaky cocktails while we were there – try the Raspberry Kiss and the Berry Mojito.

On Friday morning we were treated to a scrumptious breakfast and our back massage which I had been dyyyiinnggg for all week. The spa was beautiful and my warm oil back massage was the perfect ending to a fab trip.

Carlingford is a quaint little town and definitely worth a trip along the loughs edge or into the town itself. With the boutiques and bars you are sure to find something for him and her as well as feeling a little piece of history while you are at it. We are already looking forward to heading back with friends!

A huge thanks to the Four Seasons Carlingford for their hospitality (my stay was not in conjunction with my blog but I loved it so much I had to tell you all about it!)

Dublin

Who doesn’t love a weekend away? After Christmas, Carl and I thought we deserved a relaxing trip but didn’t want to travel too far, travelling plus a pregnant woman who throws up ten times a day doesn’t mixe well. We’d stayed in the beautiful Galgorm Resort and Spa over New Year’s so we thought we would try something new and headed to Dublin.

I have to admit, I really wasn’t looking forward to it beforehand. The fear of the journey mixed with my sickness was very off putting but we got on with it and hit the road. We stayed in the Fitzwilliam Hotel in St Stephen’s Green which was the perfect location for touring the city over two days. Although I’ve been in Dublin a million times before, we wanted to try something new (aka Carl didn’t want to shop the whole time) so here’s what we did….

  1. Brown Thomas

Ok, I know I said we weren’t going to go shopping but does Brown Thomas really count? Even a man can keep himself occupied in Brown Thomas! I love getting a couple of hours nosing around and I think he actually enjoyed himself. I picked out a couple of beautiful handbags and have been hinting ever since for one of them as my “push present.”BrownThomas

2. Restaurant Forty One

If you are a foodie then Restaurant Forty One is for you. I cannot explain how incredible the food is in this restaurant. From the outside it looks like a gentleman’s city home and from the inside you are treated to a candlelit meal with some of the most incredible combinations and ingredients from their garden. This is definitely a must do.Dress

3. Laudree

Carl had never heard of Laudree. I know. Where has he been all his life? It’s safe to say he was like a child in a candy shop when we got in although I was really annoyed when he scoffed his too quickly and I didn’t even get to try his salted caramel macaroon. My rose and vanilla on the other hand were scrumptious!Laudree

4. St Stephen’s Green

This is a little haven of peace, quiet and calm in the middle of a bustling city. Although I had heard of St Stephen’s Green I had never taken a walk around it and I was amazed at how beautiful it is. It was lovely to take a break from the craziness of the city and just enjoy a little quiet time together.

Looking back, I can’t believe I wasn’t going to go away. Staying in the city centre was the perfect solution so I could sneak up for a quick power nap whenever I was tired or sick but meant that we were still able to make the most of our short time away together.

Sensatori Tenerife

As most of you probably already know, this time last week I was in sunny Tenerife having the most amazing holiday ever. Carl and I booked the Gran Melia Palacio de Isora better known as Thomson’s Sensatori Tenerife.

Sensatori by Thomson are handpicked 5* hotels across the world. From spas to cocktails, infinity pools to fine dining restaurants they really have it all.

  
 We chose Tenerife as it had an infinity pool  which I have always wanted to and it was guaranteed beautiful weather. The town of Guia de Isora is absolutely tiny and there really isn’t much around which made the holiday even more relaxing – just what we wanted.

With seven restaurants, four pools, a spa, gym and theatre you are never left bored and that’s before we even discuss the massive amount of daily activitie. The Sensatori resort has water aerobics, wine tasting, cocktail making, trips to the local market just to name a few.

 


I could go through the range of things we did everyday but to be honest I can sum it up in three words. Slept. Ate. Drank, and it was heavenly! We did make it a bit more pleasurably by renting out the Bali beds 3/7 days and they are definitely worth it!

If you are thinking of Tenerife for your next holiday then definitely look at Sensatori. It is perfect for families and couples alike with dedicated pools and activities. You can also really spoil yourself and move to the Red Level wh oh incorporates a butler service into your stay as well as a higher grade of room and additional pool and restaurant usage!

 
 If you do try it out, let me know your thoughts!

Lough Erne Resort

Happy New Year! I have loved having everyone tag me in or sharing pictures with me of their New Years plans – safe to say I think 2016 could be the best yet!

After spending New Years at a family dinner, Carl and I took of to the Lough Erne Resort on New Years Day to enjoy some relaxation time. I always thought living with someone would mean you got to chill with them but at the minute we are both so hectic we never really get to just sit down together. So when the opportunity came along for us to head to Enniskillen I grabbed it! I have been dying to visit the Lough Erne after a lot of you shared your wedding photos there – it really is the perfect setting for a wedding. 

We stayed in a lakeview room which had amazing views over the Lough it is just so picturesque. The first thing we did after settling in was of course, hit the spa! I can admit I am a bit of a spa snob so I was really excited to see the infinity pool! As well as the infinity pool, the spa has a Sauna, Steam Room and Whirlpool. It looks out on the grounds of the lough and it’s so peaceful. 

 After the spa, we got ready and hit The Blaney Bar for a few cocktails. The menu had a good choice of cocktails from my favourite, the French Martini, to Bombay Brambles and Strawberry Daiquiris. The bar was decked with every Christmas decoration imagineable – it really put me in the mood for Christmas 2016! The open fire and homey vibe was perfect for a chilled night.   

      

  
We had dinner booked in the fine dining Catalina restaurant. The food was exquisite from pre-starter to dessert but what else would you expect from Northern Ireland’s only 5 star resort. The Catalina restaurant places huge emphasis on fresh, seasonal and local produce prepared by Chef Noel McMeel and his team and wow! I only wish is gotten better pictures but I scoffed it too quickly 🙈.

We had been told how amazing the breakfast was in Lough Erne and we couldn’t wait to race to breakfast the next morning. I got my favourite, Eggs Benedict and it didn’t disappoint! 

 Overall our whole stay was so relaxing. We finished it off by taking one last trip to the spa and then for a huge walk around the grounds which houses holiday homes as well as the golf course. For a relaxing trip with amazing views you definitely have to look into The Lough Erne Resort! 

 

The Galgorm Resort & Spa

Yay it’s Thursday! That means it’s only one more day until the weekend! Last week I was lucky enough to enjoy a very relaxing week when the lovely staff at The Galgorm Resort and Spa invited my husband and I up to spend an evening with them. For anyone who has been to Galgorm I’m sure you will agree it is amazing!

Three years ago, my husband and I got engaged in The Galgorm so we were very excited to go back and check out their £10 million refurbishment including the addition of their new Thermal Spa Village and 48 guest room expansion. Carl always told me how fantastic the staff were when he was planning our engagement and they executed it perfectly. 

 We stay in one of the Deluxe guestrooms which overlooks the Thermal Spa and the River Maine. The room was beautifully decorated and perfect for a relaxing night away.  

 First things first I headed down to the Thermal Village and wow! I couldn’t believe the difference. The Village, the first of its kind in Ireland includes the original thermal spa but now incorporates an array of new facilities. With a full leisure pool, Riverside Body and Mind studio, a Celtic Sauna overlooking the river, Log Fired Dutch Tubs and additional outdoor hot-tub you can be sure of a relaxing time. 

   

 For dinner we headed to Gillies for a scrumptious four course meal and drinks. As always the food was beautiful and we were full to the brim. My poor husband wouldn’t be the most patient individual and sometimes I worry food takes so long to be made when we are out but it was so prompt – any wonder this is such a popular wedding venue!

Throughout our entire stay at Galgorm the staff were polite, accommodating and unbelievably welcoming. I couldn’t help but think how fantastic it would be for wedding guests to stay in the hotel – you really are treated like royalty.

We were lucky enough to enjoy a firework display on the night of our stay that was a part of a wedding proof that Galgorm really are one of the most accommodating for their guests and couples. 

I was gutted to come home on Tuesday, so much so that we have booked for Halloween Afternoon Tea in The River Room and to stay again in February! I can’t recommend the hotel enough for a relaxing few nights away, a spa weekend or for a wedding!

Their bridal open day is upcoming this Sunday 18th October 2015.