After swinging past Scotland in our last post, for the next stop in the TwoMenAboutTown EU tour Mrs P and I roared into Dublin for the weekend and although it wasn’t as long as we had originally planned for, we still managed a good 36 hours in the beating heart of Irish city culture. Just because there was so much that we didn’t manage to get to in Ireland, once the credit card has recovered from the beating that is currently underway, Mrs P and I both agree that our collective sights are now set on returning and seeing the rest of the country at a more leisurely pace.
I’ve been on a bit of a roll with hotel reviews of late; my latest London stay, snazzy-boutique CitizenM Tower Bridge is perhaps the most exciting out of all of them. With it’s supposed free-flowing interiors, cool and contemporary style, lively art, efficiency, kitsch style and ultra-practicality, it sounded like it was right up my street – y’know, as the modern suburban man that I am…
And here we go! We’re kicking off on our two year European adventure with the easiest way Mrs P and I could think of to start this exciting/terrifying two year exploration into the mountainous highs and cavernous lows of Europe. We just jumped into the car and drove North to see what happened.
Good Lord, what a year it’s been! A year later, a year older and we have learned a huge amount about blogging, eating and having amazing friends. We’ve written about so many different things that looking back on the 90 odd posts we’ve shared with you it’s too hard to mention them all so we thought we would give you another chance to check out a couple of our favourites that you might have missed the first time.
Only a couple of posts back we reviewed The Grand Hotel in Brighton, a highly acclaimed property of times gone by with a luxurious and romantic reputation spanning decades – over a century, in fact; sadly, what we found didn’t quite hit the mark.
It was with much anticipation therefore that I booked a night at The Grosvenor Hotel in central London, another much romanticised Victorian-era property, oozing French Renaissance flair. Would The Grosvenor live up to it’s reputation, or would it fall disappointingly short?
The Grand is a highly luxurious property that I was hugely excited about staying in, up against personal 5* experiences at the Fairmont Dubai, Kempinski Budapest, Ritz-Carlton in Singapore, not to mention most-excellent stays at The Beach at Bude boutique hotel and the Excellence Playa Mujeres resort in Mexico. However, The Grand is perhaps the most iconic and well known amongst it’s more modern aforementioned contemporaries, romanticised as a hallmark for service and Victorian-era suave sophistication and charm.
I was keen to see whether The Grand would live up to it’s reputation, looking to enjoy the sights and sounds of Brighton from a plush and comfortable stay along the seafront.
2Whether we like it or not, Brexit is coming. Soon no-one will be able to tell us how curly our bananas need to be or what protection we need to give to the most vulnerable in our society, we can make those mistakes all on our own: Lucky us. Here at TwoMenAboutTown we’ve always liked Country Clubs so the thought of leaving one makes us a little bit sad, even if the membership was getting a touch too expensive. Therefore, before the possible glory or potential horror that awaits us arrives once the principle of freedom of movement is removed, we thought we would say goodbye to our European Cousins in our own special way; as it is already well known, the boys have criss-crossed the globe from Canada to Dubai and are not afraid of a bit of long haul travel, so RobsRibs has only gone and decided to visit all 28 EU member states* to give them a damn good cheerio before the fateful day itself as only he knows how.
Readers of our travel spots such as our review of the Excellence Playa Mujeres, boutique Cornwall hotel The Beach at Bude or even the Fairmont Dubai will know that we love a bit of luxury here at Two Men About Town. Stained mattress in a seedy motel we are not.
We’re big fans of business or first class when travelling – who isn’t – but the travel budget doesn’t always stretch to warrant lavish excess. And by always stretch, I’m not sure about you, but I don’t have a spare few thousand readily sat in my bank account for an upgrade. Sadly.
Never you mind though you fellow fancy-pants traveller because it’s still entirely possible to enjoy some luxury when travelling at the fraction of a cost of a business-class ticket. “How you crazy madman?” I hear you ask. Well, here are a couple of top tips…
Regular visitors to Two Men About Town will be familiar with my penchant for opulence and luxury, where my wallet allows; whether it’s the demanding inner-diva in me (probably) or just a desire to be spoilt, I love beautifully designed items, attentive service and experiencing something that’s just a little bit special. Call me Mariah.
This desire for luxury is no different when it comes to travel, where I’ve been fortunate through leisure and corporate pursuits to have stayed in some beautiful hotels around the world such as the Ritz-Carlton in Singapore, The Grand in Brighton, Kempinski in Budapest and Excellence Playa Mujeres in Mexico, all hallmarks of memorable service and pure luxury.
It’s against a tough backdrop of comparison then that the Fairmont Dubai finds itself, up against some of the finest properties in the world; but how does it stack up?
Monday 23rd January 2017 saw Milton Keynes celebrate it’s 50th birthday!
As a town, Milton Keynes receives a lot of unfair stick; often the target of ridicule by comedians and critics who think it’s just about concrete cows and roundabouts, it’s fair to say the
city town has had an unfair reputation for a number of years.
But why is it the case? Milton Keynes is hailed as an architectural marvel, an economic power-house that has seen the town creating jobs faster than anywhere in the UK for six consecutive years, boasting vast swatches of open public space, great entertainment facilities and recognised as a fantastic place for families. I’ve lived in MK all my life and love it, the first to jump to it’s defence when it unfairly gets a bit of stick.
To celebrate Milton Keynes’ birthday – and, well, just to show some love for MK, as resident Milton Keynes bloggers – here are (just a few) of our thoughts on what makes Milton Keynes a great place to live and work.
Whether you’re a young professional attending a corporate event or client visit in Milton Keynes, a cool and hip (yes, hip) socialite going out to soak up the sights and sounds of our town or perhaps something in between, at some point you are likely to want overnight accommodation. Life on the road with business isn’t much fun and crashing somewhere unfamiliar without home comforts and space isn’t much better either. Let’s be frank… that Travelodge can be a bit grim.
Sure, the hotel market in Milton Keynes covers everything from budget hotels to the dizzying heights of luxury (that’s the Holiday Inn to you and I… *eye roll*) – and yes, such a thing as Airbnb does exist – but you’re likely to end up either be very disappointed, struggle to feel at ease in somebody else’s home, contract some form of mattress-based disease or spend a small fortune on a pretty mediocre overnight stay. And you are better and more demanding than that.
You can imagine then our interest when the people at City Stay Apartments got in touch, offering us the opportunity to come and try out one of their two-bedroom executive managed apartments located in central Milton Keynes. We’d been looking for a location for our #UltimateNightIn (more on that in a future post), so we jumped at the chance to see what an executive apartment could offer us.
I’m a big fan of the city break. Whilst I’m partial to a bit of sun, glorious white sandy beaches and cocktails in a tropical paradise, European cities make for a lovely (and affordable!) short stay. I’m not sure whether it’s experiencing the differences in culture, language, entertainment or food separated by just a couple of hundred miles across the continent, but I’ve had fabulous stays in cities such as Budapest, Berlin and Barcelona. All of them have been pleasantly memorable and beautifully eccentric in their own ways after peeling back the touristy-veneer.