HOTEL GOTHAM, MANCHESTER

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The past couple of weeks have been weird. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the change in weather (again) or what, but I have felt SO drained and run down. No matter how much I try and pull myself out of this ‘slump’ nothing has really worked, I just haven’t had any motivation.

So, with a couple of days off and no plans I thought I would take advantage and book a night somewhere because sometimes you just need to get away!

I have wanted to check into Hotel Gotham for sometime now but it’s often very pricey so have always just left it on my ‘bucket list’ of places to go. With so many deals around at the moment, we got a great price and finally decided to book our stay.

For those who are not familiar with Hotel Gotham; Hotel Gotham is located at 100 King Street in Manchester City Centre in the old banking quarter. The hotel is home to 60 rooms from a standard Club room to the Bank Managers suite – complete with its own roll top bath.

The carefully themed interior of the hotel and rooms is reminiscent to the golden era of 1920s New York featuring leather, furs and velvet, with brass details.

Checked in: 1/08/17

We stayed in the Executive Club room which is  a larger version of the Club room. On arrival we were greeted by the friendly ‘bell boy’ who took our luggage and directed us to the elevators (the reception is located on the 6th floor). We were welcomed by the friendly staff and given a vodka infused drink on arrival. Our room was located on the first floor where we were met with our bags.

The room itself was huge. the first thing you notice is the black and grey statement carpet which is a nod to the art deco designs of the era. The king size bed was adorned with a luxurious faux fur throw and peacock print cushions and the crisp white linen contrasted with the dark interiors and black furniture.

The bathroom boasts a rainfall shower and just like the room is a decent size. It features luxury toiletries from The White Company, on top of a gold bullion which embraces the buildings history.

On the top floor of the hotel you will find Club Brass, Hotel Gotham’s very own private members’ bar, which is also open to hotel residents. Unfortunately there was a private function being held in the main area of the bar so we were directed to a smaller area.

Regardless, we enjoyed our drinks and nibbles before heading out for the evening.

Overall, Hotel Gotham was the pick me up I needed. If you get the chance to visit or are looking for somewhere to stay for a special occasion,  I would definitely recommend it.

Check out the rest of my photos below and let me know what you think!

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Have you ever stayed at Hotel Gotham?

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Turning 30 & Barcelona Photo Diary

The end of May saw my 30th Birthday. I decided rather than staying at home and crying into my Macbook, that I would go away instead to take the edge off! I had heard many good things about Barcelona before but had never been, so when it came to booking a sunny city break, Barcelona was at the top of my list. What better way to celebrate than with some sun and a few drinks? The big 3-0 didn’t seem so bad after all.

When I think back to my twenties I always thought I would have everything figured out by now. I thought I would be further along in my career, be a home owner and have this adult thing down to a T.

Things might not have happened as I thought, but that’s okay.

I don’t know why I had high expectations and needed to accomplish so much by 30. It really is just a number. So many unexpected, great things have happened over the last ten years that might not have happened if I had been completely focused on ‘life goals’ so this is a reminder to hold my plans much more loosely because there’s a whole lot of life still to come and who knows what twists and turns are up ahead.

I hope you enjoy my photos of my Birthday trip, I loved Barcelona! Have you ever been?

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Chök | Brunch & Cake | Margarita Blues | Vioko | Bar Lobo

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Hand Luggage Only

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When going away on a city break, travelling with just hand luggage can save time and money. Not only does having no hold luggage help keep your costs to a minimum, there’s no need to check in baggage or wait for it on the other side either, taking out some of the stress which is associated with travelling.

I’m heading to Paris this week for a couple of days and have hand luggage only so thought I would share with you the essentials that are coming along for the ride.

With carry on luggage its important to be organised. Before you start to pack you should know your restrictions, have a list of what you will need during your stay and be prepared to be ruthless. As I’m only there for a couple of days Im planning on taking the minimum.

When it comes to clothes it’s hard to decide what to take and what to leave behind. With the risk of over packing I’m going to try and pack a capsule wardrobe – things that can be co-ordinated to produce numerous outfits. I’ve being waiting for the right time to break out both my new A.P.C ‘Oh L’amour’ shirt and Common Projects so Paris seems like the perfect opportunity to wear them. The Common Projects are great for that smart-casual look. With the heavier items such as coats and jackets, I will be travelling in them to save space. The pockets can also be used to store items such as your documents and devices in so that they are on hand and don’t take up any extra space or weight in your case either.

With toiletries it’s important to stick to the 100ml rule whilst travelling or risk these being disposed of at security. All toilettires should fit in one plastic pouch so its important to take only what you need. There a number of good quality travel kits out there, the ones from Aēsop are always my go to’s, but you can also pick a few bits up in the airport should you not want to pack anything.

Other things I don’t travel without are my Mulberry passport holder wallet. This has multiple pockets and a zipped back to keep all my documents and tickets safe and finally a good guide book.  Flying can provide a good time to plan your trip and what you want to get out of it and these Cereal Guides are a great source of inspiration.

I don’t have massive plans for my short trip yet but I’m quite excited to just take to as it comes.

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Do you have any recommendations for Paris?

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Getting Tattooed in Thailand

If you follow me on instagram you may have noticed I have spent the last couple of weeks travelling around Thailand with Contiki. Whilst I was away I had a bamboo tattoo on Koh Phangan which resulted in loads of questions about the experience so I thought I would put it into writing for anyone else who is interested in having a bamboo tattoo.

Ever since I had my first bit of ink over 12 years ago, I have slowly been adding to my collection of tattoos over the years. Although a lot of thought has gone into some of my tattoo designs and placements, I am also quite partial to the odd spontaneous tattoo. You’re only young once, hey!

Most of my tattoos don’t have particular meanings, certain pieces remind me of  points in my life, experiences with friends or certain times and places. Tattoos mean different things to different people but for me, if I like the design then that’s a good enough reason to get it tattooed on my body.

Having a tattoo whilst travelling is a permanent reminder of that trip. I have tattoos from my year out in the USA which constantly bring back great memories. So when I booked my most recent trip to Thailand, getting a bamboo tattoo was one of the key things I wanted to experience whilst I was there having always been intrigued by the process. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted or where, just that I wanted one.

So, what is a bamboo tattoo and how does it differ to a regular tattoo?

Bamboo tattoos initially originated among tribes some 2,000 years. Tattoos believed to offer protection and other benefits for the bearer and closely became tied to the Hindu-Buddhist concept of Yantra. Yantra refers to mystical diagrams which are used as an aid during meditation. Buddhist monks would traditionally tattoo these designs to offer power, protection, fortune, charisma and other fortunes for the bearer. Although not carried out by monks today, the practise of bamboo or Yantra tattooing is still widely available throughout Thailand.

The process involves attaching a fine needle to the end of a thin piece of bamboo and tightly wrapping a length of cotton around the two to hold it in place. The needle is then dipped into the ink and gently tapped into the skin.

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Unlike machine tattoos, with bamboo tattooing, the skin is punctured and not torn. This means there is a lot less blood. As the tattoo doesn’t scab, the healing process is a lot faster – usually 3 to 4 days.  Also, as there is little bleeding the ink settles quite deeply and very little colour is lost. resulting in a bright, strong tattoo.

One of the first questions I get asked is ‘what does it mean?’

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The Hah Taew (5 sacred lines) is one of the most popular Sak Yant Thai tattoos with each line having a different sacred blessings for success and good luck. Although the Yants have taken on different meanings over the years, typically the five lines represent:

  1. The first row prevents unjust punishment and leans in your favour when the area is grey, cleans out unwanted spirits and protects the place you live in.
  2. The second row reverses and protects against bad horoscope constellations and bad fortune.
  3. The third row protects you from the use of black magic and anyone who tries to put a curse on you.
  4. The fourth row energizes your good luck, success and fortune in your future ambitions and life style.
  5. The fifth row is to gain charisma and attraction to the opposite sex. It also is a boost to the fourth row.

The next question I get asked is ‘did it hurt?’ or ‘how does it compare to a normal tattoo?’

Having a fair bit of ink work I can honestly say I found the experience to be quite enjoyable. The tattoo itself was just as painful as having a normal tattoo – but tattoos hurt, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Bamboo tattoos take longer than machine tattoos and tend to be quite expensive because of this, but you are left with an intricate design which has been created by hand with a needle and some ink, and that’s quite impressive.

You also don’t have to worry about the aftercare as much either as explained above, which is perfect if you’re travelling around.

If you are thinking of getting some work done during your travels in Asia I wouldn’t blame you. As with all tattoos there are various things to consider beforehand to make sure you get exactly what you want. You don’t want to regret a poor decision so take the time to

  • Decide on a design
  • Decide on the placement of the tattoo
  • Shop around for price, don’t be scared to barter. I got mine 1000THB cheaper than originally quoted.
  • Pay attention to portfolios and previous designs.
  • Make sure everything is sanitary.

and…

Be prepared to want more. Tattoos are addictive.

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In-Flight Grooming tips

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Traveling can be long and stressful. Not just physically, flying can be a huge stress on our skin. Whilst many people shy away from grooming on long haul flights, there are a number of ways in which we can prepare ourselves in order to step off the plane feeling like an international jetsetter.

There are a variety of travel-sized toiletries on the market out there, from budget buys to premium skincare. Packing a carefully picked selection will ensure you have everything to hand that you might need to keep you looking good and feeling refreshed.

Skin

Keeping your skin hydrated mid-flight can be a challenge. With all that filtered air being pumped around the cabin, your skin can quickly become dry and lifeless.

By packing a flannel or some face wipes in your carry on, when you do start to feel sluggish, you will be able to freshen up immediately, whether it be in your seat or in toilet cubicles. By applying a good moisturiser afterwards, it will not only give you that added boost, but it will also help to lock in any moisture and re-hydrate your skin.

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Aesop Jet Set Kit 

Eyes

Keeping yourself bright eyed and fresh is something that many men don’t think of whilst flying. Packing a travel mask in your carry on can be a godsend if you are travelling long haul or catching the red-eye home. It not only blocks out light helping you to sleep but also gives your eyes time to rest.

If you don’t get that time to sleep (for various reasons!)  having eyes drops on hand can also be a godsend.  For one, your eyes will be thankful for their new lease of life and secondly they will feel rehydrated from whatever moisture the dry plane air may have taken out. 

Mouth

If you have a particularly long flight the next item is an essential. After your in-flight meals and prior to departure, good dental hygiene is essential, not only for you but for the people around you.

Packing a travel toothbrush, a travel-sized toothpaste and some dental floss in your carry on will take up next to no room but can be a real life-saver in the confines of an airplane. After several cups of coffee and that tasty airplane food which is still stuck in your teeth, your mouth will not be feeling great. Using floss to remove any debris of food will prevent it from causing any unnecessary odour and will leave your teeth feeling fresh. Follow this with a full clean of your mouth with your toothbrush and toothpaste and your mouth will feel refreshed and clean again.

If that all sounds like too much effort, packing a travel mouthwash will get you through your flight.

Hair

If you are one of the lucky ones that can sleep when flying, packing a foldaway comb and your favourite pomade will help tame that bed head post nap.

Housekeeping

Theres no escape from germs when you’re in the air. Being confined in such a small space with loads of strangers can be a bit daunting. Packing some anti-bacterial wipes will allow you to sanitise the area around you. Giving a quick wipe of your arm rests, drop-down tray and touch screen TV will not only help keep germs at bay, but it can make you feel a lot more comfortable in your new surroundings, despite how many weird looks you may get!

For that extra protection using a sanitising hand gel before and after meals, and when ever you go to the toilet will help give that extra bit of peace.

Stress

Arriving at your destination feeling upset and anxious is the last thing you want. Not only is it a bad start to any holiday, but by the time you finally start to relax, it’s time to come home.

If you hate flying or are a nervous flyer, there are a number of products available that can help get you through the stress associated with flying. Herbal medication such as Kalms can help aid with stress and anxiety ahead of flying. You can also purchase herbal calming sprays and roll-ons, which when applied to pressure points across the body, can help alleviate stress.

If you do hate flying that much there is medical treatment available. Not only will your GP recommend ways to cope with the journey, in severe cases they can prescribe you  with the medication needed.


These in-flight grooming tips are designed to make long journeys more bearable. With just a little bit of preparation and some well elected travel toiletries, theres no exception to not arrive at your destination looking good and feeling refreshed.

What are your travel grooming tips?

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