I absolutely love a luxury hotel and after a rather busy 2017, setting up my boutique coaching agency, working and travel blogging I was excited to end the year with a weekend trip of spa time and self-love. With that in mind I booked my last holiday of 2017 to stay at Royal Savoy Lausanne.

I do love a 5 star hotel and Royal Savoy Lausanne  is the epitome of 5 star luxury, amazing spa, great service and everything you need for a Swiss getaway. The hotel is suited in Lausanne on gorgeous Lake Geneva, the setting of which couldn’t be better to set the tone of my weekend.

THE ROOM

I had heard a lot about Royal Savoy Lausanne from one of my closest friends Aftab who had stayed at the hotel in summer and had raved about it.  If you read his review here you can see why I was beyond excited to check into my room.  I do love a hotel recommendation, however I am always a little cautious to get too excited just in case I get disappointed. To be honest the only disappointment at Royal Savoy Lausanne came when I had to check out.

If I had to give a best room award of 2017 it would have to go to Royal Savoy Lausanne with my room at Trump Turnberry coming in at a very close second. I loved how spacious and light and airy the room was as I often find in Europe rooms are high in price and small in space. This was a mini palace away from the hustle and bustle of life and what’s more I could see the wonderful mountains from our room. 

The attention to detail was exceptional, I mean look at the ipad above which displayed the weather forecast and other useful information.

BREAKFAST

We all know I am the queen of breakfasts. Truth be told when I am not on holiday I eat porridge 99% of the time Monday – Sunday so when I go away I use it as an opportunity to indulge. I am sure one star of hotel star ratings is accounted for by how good a hotel breakfast is.  At Royal Savoy Lausanne the breakfast was undoubtedly 6 star.

The fussiest of food eaters would not be disappointed as there is so much choice.

You can take breakfast in either of the three spacious and airy dining spaces. I chose to have mine in front of the chef’s cooking area as I lovely immersing myself into the preparation of my food. There was plenty of fresh options and after a (few) plates of continental breakfast I also indulged in a freshly cooked poached egg.

THE ULTIMATE SPA

I absolutely love me time and indulging in quality time of doing nothing. The Spa at Royal Savoy Lausanne is the perfect place to completely switch off and unwind. Everything about the spa is deluxe. I have to confess I didn’t see much of Lausanne as I spent a day and a half in the spa, as it truly was the ultimate sanctum of heaven. Whether you are a hard working girl in the city or a yummy mummy looking for an escape this spa is the perfect place to make the world stop and simply enjoy being you.

I cannot even tell you what my favourite part of the spa was as everything was so heavenly. One of the most impressive things was the indoor and outdoor heated pool. This pool was everything, the semi circles that you can see in the outdoor pool are individual hydro pods. How divine is that!

 BRASSERIE DU ROYAL AND LOUNGE BAR

Dear reader  by now you know I didn’t really leave the sanctum of heaven so it was pretty handy that the hotel had an amazing restaurant on site.  As a result I didn’t really eat out in Lausanne and chose to have dinner in the hotel restaurant. Before dinner we enjoyed pre- dinner drinks in the hotel lobby which was just pure bliss.

I am a people watcher and the lobby bar was fabulous for watching the world go by while I basked in my gorgeous white wine. Spending all day in the spa can be rather exhausting and can certainly build up a decent appetite so having a hotel restaurant on site is handy.

I have to confess I am not usually a huge fan of hotel dining however Brasserie Du Royal was a great hotel restaurant. The menu has been created by Michelin starred chef Marc Haeberlin so you can expect fabulous food. The menu choice was extremely extensive which was great as eating in the same restaurant over the course of the weekend requires there to be plenty of choice.The food at was exceptional which was to be expected, however what really impressed me was the service, attentive without being overbearing.

Undoubtedly my stay at Royal Savoy Lausanne was one of the best of 2017, it was an absolute sanctum of luxury which I would happily recommend to anyone wanting to enjoy some true R&R in the gorgeous surroundings of the Swiss mountain air of Lausanne. The bar for 2018 travel has been set, I have undoubtedly ended my 2017 travel experiences on a high note.

 Did you end your 2017 travel experiences on a high note?

Dear Zoe,

Life hasn’t always been easy for you but somehow with me by your side you have weathered many storms. Your love for travelling started from the womb and by aged 5 you were a seasoned traveller with your first flight being a KLM flight to your hometown. At 5 I can still see you with your handbag and your teddy bear Albert heading on holiday. Albert still lives on in perfect condition as more often than not he had his own seat and the handbags have evolved.

Even though everyone thinks you are confident you have simply learned to just do it. With me by your side you have learned the only thing that can go wrong is death, everything else is minor blip in the road

When I first met you, you had no sense of adventure but as our relationship blossomed you discovered adventure and you have found the inner dare devil inside you. You have climbed mountains, made it to the top of fushimi inari and jumped into oceans from heights you never imagined.

All this from the girl who simply loved her lipsticks and handbags.I have taught you humility, compassion and kindness. I can see you in Mumbai when you went back to that man dying on the street, they called him an untouchable and walked by, but not you, you bent down, opened your water bottle and gave it to him to drink.

One of the greatest journeys you and I take is healing your broken heart. I always know when we are healing a broken heart because you always go somewhere and do nothing apart from eat, swim, sleep and repeat in a 5 star hotel. There have been some god awful boyfriends, the last one in particular was a special kind of special but somehow with me by your side not only have you healed broken hearts but you have set to conquer the world filled with love and purpose.

One of the greatest lessons I think I have taught you is that a staycation is travelling. Do you remember telling that guy you worked with that he was crazy because he didn’t have a passport and hadn’t ever being abroad. As you have grown you have come to appreciate the privilege that you were graced with and can now appreciate that a staycation is a holiday.

I hope my dear Zoe that you and I shall go on many more journeys and you shall grow even more. You have learned to dance in the rain, love hard despite the earlier bumps and be a true woman’s champion.

With love

Your dear friend travel (always by your side) xx

Make sure you read the other travellink up posts from Angie, Emma, Polly and guest blogger Eppie.

Always be grateful and not a great fool.

Dear reader I confess I tried to do sober October and I failed miserably. There was nothing sober about October, it was filled with cocktails, champagne and wine. The dry life is not for me, this October has made me realise that I love my bubbles. When I was younger it used to be bubble baths now it’s that good old champagne bubble.    Here’s what I got up to

GIN TIME WITH THE CURIOUS PIXIE (SIMA)

Well my not so sober October kick started with making gin cocktails at Brasserie Blanc with Sima.  It was really good fun to get #gininspired and Sima and I both discovered we were excellent cocktail makers. If all else fails I know what my second calling in life is.

GININSPIRED // This week I got #gininspired with @thecuriouspixie 🍸

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COCKTAILS IN THE CITY AT BAR20

Surprise surprise another highlight of October involved fabulous cocktails at Bar20 with Aftab, Binny and Emma. I absolutely love catching up with these guys.  The cocktails in Bar20 were exceptional and the food also hit the mark.

BENEATH THE COLOUR at THE MONTAGU

One of the true highlights of October was dinner at The Montagu, Hyatt Regency, The Churchill with Aftab, Binny, Emma and Gary.  For a limited time only the restaurant has combined food and art together to bring the #Beneaththecolour menu in collaboration with the Saatchi gallery. I mainly drank French water for the whole evening, french water aka champagne is the perfect dinner drink.

ART // When food meets art 😍#beneaththecolour

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EMMA’s 5th BIRTHDAY AT CELESTE THE LANESBOROUGH

Emma organised her birthday celebration at Celeste in The Lanesborough. Though the dinner didn’t quite hit the stars I had fun guzzling champagne with Aftab, Angie, Binny and Emma.

BIRTHDAY // @londonkiwiemma birthday celebrations @the_lanesborough 🥂🎂💖

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BRUNCH WITH MY GIRLFRIEND

One of my favourite meals of the day is brunch. I could brunch all day everyday so catching up with my friend and having girl chat at the weekend at one of my favourite brunch spots Timmy Green was an October highlight on the gram. The question you ask is did I drink? The answer is yes I had a cheeky  mimosa, just one mind you as it would have been rude not to.

October was not sober October but there is always next year to try and have a sober October.  I discovered that while I may love Evian, badoit and perrier, I much prefer Tattinger, Bollinger and Perrier.

How was your October, did you try to do sober October?  Zoe xx

When Emma chose to celebrate her birthday have dinner at Celeste, a one Michelin star restaurant at The Lanesborough Hotel I was super excited to dine at the restaurant as I haven’t been to The Lanesborough since it’s renovations.

When I arrived at the hotel Emma, Binny, Aftab and Angie were already one round of drinks down. I have come to realise with my blogger friends if you are 5 minutes late then you miss one round of drinks and have to play champagne catch up. Champagne catch up is a game I am always happy to play, pop that cork I say.

We did have a reservation for 7pm however  we didn’t make our way to the table until 8.00pm (I blame the champagne). Despite it being a Thursday evening the restaurant was less than buzzy and we were THE PARTY in the restaurant.  I felt quite sorry for few other diners who wanted a quiet meal, 5 blogger friends, 5 camera lens and champagne. There are no words really.

Emma booked an offer of  £42 for a glass of champagne and a three course meal, which is an absolute steal for a Michelin star restaurant.  Dinner started with these delightful canapes which I really enjoyed. 

For my starter I opted for the Coco Bean in lemongrass, shitake mushroom infused broth. Before I started writing this blog post I was on the phone to my best friend and explained to her this was the most uninspiring dish I have had all year.  I love a simple dish but I felt this was simply bland.

Both Binny and Angie opted for this also, whereas Aftab and Emma chose the Egg ,soft Burford brown egg, crispy kadaif, button mushroom duxelle.  I had diners remorse and wished I chose the Egg as it certainly was the better of the two starters.

After my starter I was a little hesitant to receive my main dish of Pig, slow cooked pig cheeks, carrot ginger puree and roasting jus as I couldn’t possible face another bland dish. I need not have worried as the dish was excellent and was exactly the foodie journey to the stars I was expecting Celeste to take me on.  The pig cheeks were sdelicate and melted in your mouth, pork is a dish that can go so wrong but this was a perfect dish.

Aftab and Binny had sweet potato as their main courses and obviously for the sake of the blog I had to have a mouthful to make sure it was edible. I really loved the Sweet Potato and thought that it was the type of vegetarian dishes more restaurant should serve.  Unfortunately I think I was a little tipsy and totally forget to take a photo, however I did manage to get a photo of Angie’s Sea Bream, roast cauliflower, lemon curry vinaigrette.

Desert was ‘coffee’ or ‘cheese’.  It was a tough choice between cheese and coffee however I opted for the Coffee which was coffee ice cream, caramelized pecan meringues and fudge.  When I eat dessert I like every mouthful to be worth the calories and I wasn’t sure this was a dessert that was worth the calories, nice but not amazing.

We finished our meals with these petit four which were served in a chocolate blown ball which the waiter had to smash to reveal them.

BIRTHDAY // @londonkiwiemma birthday celebrations @the_lanesborough 🥂🎂💖

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I had a brilliant time celebrating Emma’s birthday but on the whole I felt that Celeste was reaching for the stars.

What was the last meal you had that took you to the moon and back? Zoe x

 

We are one month into the last quarter of the year and the close of 2017  is nearly upon us.  I absolutely love nothing more than a little get away to wave goodbye to the end of the year, it’s an opportune time to have a think about the year ahead and say salute to the year gone by.  The hardest part is thinking where to go.  Unless it’s a special occasion I tend not to do a long haul flight to close the year off and general tend to step across to Europe. I am closing 2017 with a trip to Lausanne in Switzerland (in a couple of weeks) so make sure you follow me on Instagram where I will be sharing my adventures.

 

PRAGUE

Prague is a great place to get a festive fix to close 2017 off with a bang.  Though the city is likely to be extremely cold December marks the beginning of the Christmas festive season.  Think wonderful food, Christmas markets and fabulous food.

Where to stay: Boho Hotel Prague 

 

BRUGES

Having only just visited Bruges for the first time this year I would say Bruges is a perfect destination to end 2017.  Think wonderful cobbled streets, fabulous canals, amazing gothic architecture, a fairy tale city and come winter great Christmas markets.  Bruges is an amazing city that you should put on your winter 2017 wish list. What’s more it’s a gastronomic delight.

Where to stay: The Pand Hotel.

 

SALZBURG

I absolutely love Salzburg and went to the city many years ago pre blogging days in winter. The city is wonderfully romantic in winter, with plenty to do and see.

Where to stay: Schloss Fuschl Resort & Spa, Fuschlsee-Salzburg  (ps this is one of the most amazing hotels I have been very fortunate to stay in).

Are you planning on closing the year off with a weekend break? Tell me where you are headed below.

Zoe x