The Hand and Flowers, Marlow; Review

Now, avid readers will know that we at TMAT have gone through a lot of pubs this summer and we hope to visit a lot more in the coming years. We’ve already seen some good, some really good and some must try harder but if it’s pubs your interested in, then the Mac Daddy of them all, the El Presidente, the Top Dog is the Hand and Flowers.  There are a few pubs who have got themselves a Michelin Star, but only The Hand and Flowers has got 2. So it must having something special, it might take you a year to get a table but a three course lunch will only set you back 20 quid.

No, I’m not joking.

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“Can I ask what you’re wearing? You smell AMAZING!”: Secret Scent Box Review

Secret Scent Box Review

A sharp suit, a good watch, smart stubble or a fresh haircut – just a few things that give me a confidence boost and make me feel my best. However, an absolute staple in my daily (or night-out) routine involves a good quality fragrance; whether it’s a dependable Hugo Boss, Chanel Bleu de Chanel, Davidoff or youthful Carolina Herrera 212 for the daytime, or a heavier Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb or DIOR Homme for the evening, I love picking from a stable of high quality scents to apply depending on what I’m getting up to.

However, it can be an expensive minefield in just buying fragrances based on recommendation, without getting any road-testing in to see how a fragrance develops over the course of a few hours, not to mention the faff hunting down a sample. Finally, somebody has done something about this laborious ‘try something new’ process; enter Secret Scent Box.

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The Beach at Bude Boutique Hotel, Cornwall Review

The Beach at Bude, Cornwall hotel review

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a bit of a travel snob, with a huge taste for the finer things in life; so much so that my idea of ‘roughing it’ during a round-the-world trip was a Hilton on Waikiki Beach(!). For real. Whether I’m travelling abroad to destinations such as Dubai, Mexico or a little closer to home, I’m all about the luxury.. well, as much as my wallet will realistically allow.

So you can therefore imagine my desire to find a comfortable and luxurious boutique hotel in North Cornwall for a recent short visit to Bude – did I find this in The Beach at Bude?

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Excellence Playa Mujeres Resort, Mexico Review: A little bit of paradise?

Excellence Playa Mujeres resort in Mexico

Have you ever been somewhere that looked like a postcard from a faraway tropical paradise? I hadn’t. That is, I hadn’t until I arrived at Excellence Playa Mujeres, Mexico.

In dire need of a break owing to a big promotion at work and having tackled a whole host of stressful life changing events, I booked my fortnight trip to Excellence Paya Mujeres via Thomson – I figured a few weeks away in the sunshine was just what I needed. Having previously treated myself to a week in Dubai, I opted for Mexico and Excellence Playa Mujeres based on the endless photos of golden sandy beaches, all-inclusive luxury and the promise of lots of sunshine. Oh, and the cocktails. Definitely lots and lots of cocktails.

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Michelin Star Dining at Paris House, Woburn Abbey: Review

Paris House Michelin star review

We’re all friends here so I feel that we’ve reached the point in our relationship that we can be brutally, frighteningly honest with each other.  There are really only two types of people who eat at Michelin starred restaurants other than professional chefs: those who have more money than sense and those who want to impress someone else. And with no sense of shame I’ll admit that for my recent visit to Paris House, I fell very firmly into the latter category. It was my fifth Wedding Anniversary and by God I had quite a few Husband points to make up this year.

I should start this review with a caveat that says I’m going to be quite tough on Paris House. I’ll pick up on a couple of things that other places would probably got away with, but these guys have got a Michelin star and for the prices they are charging, you (and they) should expect perfection.

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Wine tasting at the Old Thatched Inn, Adstock: Review

Wine Tasting, Old Thatched Inn

What is it about midweek drinking that seems like such a good idea at the time but which can so easily turn into the morning after sent directly from the crotchpocket of the Devil himself? I used to be able to to do it, I really did. I used to be able to shrug off a couple of three quid bottles of barrel scraped plonk that I picked up from the local petrol station before a nice little night cap of Asda own-brand whiskey*, then get up bright eyed and bushy tailed before breezing into the office without stinking like Father Jack after a particularly heavy session. But no more, and quite honestly I’m pretty glad about that because it means if I do deliberately choose to make myself feel like crap for a day or so, you’ll be damn sure I’ll do it in style.

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10 Awesome Things to do in Dubai

Dubai Marina and yacht

I’ll put it out there, I love Dubai.

I visited for eight nights and was utterly blown away, concluding fairly quickly that there really isn’t anywhere like it that I’ve been to before.

Whether you consider yourself a bit of a thrill-seeker, enjoy getting off the beaten-track to soak up a bit of heritage, or yearn to be pampered to high heaven amongst absolutely stunning surroundings, I’d say Dubai truly has something for everybody.

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