Recieving a great reception!

This may be a case of “judging a book by its cover” but those first few steps I take into a hotel lobby always seem to determine how I feel about that hotel.

Mr PB and I love to travel and have had the privilege of visiting many fabulous destinations around the globe. I intend to do separate reviews of those special hotels that we have stayed in but I thought I would share some first impressions.

The Royalton, Manhattan – I love New York. It was a dream of mine to visit since a young age and therefore, when the opportunity arose, it had to be right. Mr PB and I scoured the Internet many times over, trying to find that quintessential Manhattan hotel – with the feel of a Brownstone but centrally located. I was so overwhelmed by our final choice – I even cried when I saw the gallery on the internet so heaven knew what I would be like when we actually arrived. Walking through the statement fire engine red doors, you will be taken aback by how dark it is in comparison to most hotel lobby’s. However, the designers have thought carefully to bring you into a space that is both reception, wine bar and restaurant. With large dark leather sofas that you sink into, statement double-sided fires and a gorgeous modern take on wood panelling adorning the walls, you can imagine this lobby transitioning from day to night with little changes. The receptionists are concealed so that your eye is drawn to the bar area, again allowing it to welcome both hotel guests and residents of Manhattan. I would be quite happy sipping on a tea reading a book by day and then changing it up to a fabulous cocktail perched at the bar in the evening. P.S. I did both!

The One and Only, Cape Town – I will be honest and share that prior to our South African trip, I had concerns about the standard of the hotels – how would they compare with the more salubrious that we have stayed in. However, pulling into the entrance at The One and Only, Cape Town, I soon came to realise that this amazing country knows how to be the perfect host. Floor to ceiling windows in a light and airy space give you a beautiful view of table mountain. Dark wood mixed with cream rugs and colonial soft furnishings, it was pleasantly unexpected. And with a bar that would rival most in London, both from the quality of the cocktails and the decor, it was a superb welcome

The Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells – although our visit was only for dinner, I fell in love with the Reception area and have been planning my next visit.

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You are greeted by an expansive marbled floor with 3 different areas surrounding a large, gorgeous copper table. Proudly displaying a selection of vases, this table is just out of this world spectacular.  20150704_210808349_iOS20150704_210834998_iOSBanquet seating in a grey and blue floral, pale grey and steel blue sofas and armchairs and an array of table lamps and coffee tables are complimented by the cornflower blue on the walls. Wrought iron occasional tables sit around the edge sectionning the 3 seating areas providing an opportunity for some stylised placements of magazines, candles and books. I would recommend you book for dinner just to enjoy the reception area!

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Where are your favourite hotel receptions?

x PB x

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Adding light to your life….

In an earlier post, I shared that Mr PB had made a plea…..no more cushions. I believe a similar plea may come soon……no more candles!

I seem to have acquired, over the past few years, an eclectic array of candles, tealight holders, lanterns and more.

in all the rooms in our home, there will be a candle of some sort – whether that be decorative, scented or both. I just seem to get a lot of satisfaction purchasing candles. If it is a dull day outside (and there are plenty in the UK), I get so much pleasure lighting all our candles and snuggling down with a good book.

I also love styling a space with a unique collection of lanterns and tealight holders. This has grown since we visited South Africa.

During our stay at Lairds Lodge, Plettenburg Bay, the top of a chest of drawers was filled with a variety of candles – hurricane lamps, lanterns, tealights, candelabras and more. I was keen to try and reflect this look in our home and I am getting there….slowly.

Whilst on safari at Gorah Elephant Camp, Addo, candles were a necessity in the evening due to the permanent lack of electricity. Arriving back from a night time drive around the park, hundreds of hurricane lamps and lanterns would be lit and would emphasise the colonial warmth that the country exudes.

So, here is the collection….(so far!)

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The 2 tall lanterns along with the rectangular lantern sit on a wide windowsill in our garden room. These were purchased from Debenhams and Matalan a few years ago. I am not sure these exact lanterns exist currently but I know that similar types will be available in most home accessory stores.

I love up-cycling, converting a item from its standard use. When preparing for a baby shower, I purchased these Mason Ball jars from the U.S to use as vases around the room. I now use them as tealight holders. Sitting alongside our lanterns and with the garden room having a blue and cream theme, they really add a pop of colour.

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You will recognise the rose gold tealights from a previous post and to compliment these on the fireplace surround, I added the peach candle holders from Dunelm Mill and these delightful copper tealight holders from Culinary Concepts – a superb online shop offering both unique kitchen and home accessories. These were in a recent sale at £4.95 each. Although no longer available, Culinary Concepts do still have similar items on their website.

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Finally, I own a fair amount of scented candles. You will have seen Jo Malone featuring as a regular guest in my photos. The Wild Fig & Cassis is such an intense smell and fills a room within a matter of minutes. That also means that it lasts for ages and given its price compared to other candles, that is a good thing!

I tend to purchase other scented candles from…..TK Maxx (surprise, surprise!). My local store has a great range and my recent favourite is the Thompson Ferrier candle in the scent Crushed Lavender – perfect for this time of year.

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I have put links below of the items (or similar). Happy Shopping!

Do you have a favourite candle accessory or store that you purchase from? As always, I would love to hear your ideas. Please share below.

x PB x

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Lanterns – http://www.debenhams.com/home/home-accessories/candles-holders/lanterns

Mason Ball jars – http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Heritage-Collection-Pint-Bands/dp/B00B80TJX0

Peach candle holders – http://www.dunelm.com/product/blush-pressed-glass-taper-candlestick-1000050003?cmCategoryId=34214

Copper tealight holder (not exact) http://www.culinaryconcepts.co.uk/medium-glasshouse-lantern-copper

Jo Malone candle – http://www.jomalone.co.uk/product/3560/9741/For-the-Home/Home-Candles/Wild-Fig-Cassis-Home-Candle#

Thompson Ferrier candle – http://thompsonferrier.com/default/catalogsearch/result/?q=crushed+lavender