A travel and style blog

What Really Happens On A Romantic Night Away

What I posted on social media: Feeling loved up after a city break with the man in my life!
What really happened: Hello Hello! Another weekend has rolled around quickly hasn't it. Hallelujah! This time last week I was packing for a little City Break with my significant other.
When I say City Break, I mean one night in Leeds. Does that count as a getaway? I'm not talking travellers cheques and customs, but more slinging a few things into an overnight bag and driving an hour up the road.

Sod it, for dramatic effect I was definitely prepping for a City Break this time last week.
(I'll chuck a hashtag 'travel' in the mix somewhere when I'm shamelessly self promoting this post. Probably have to leave the plane emoji alone though. Such problems).

Well myself and my other half checked into the Crowne Plaza, Leeds, for a romantic night away.

They say you shouldn't wish your time away, but when you sit at a desk five days a week, the weekend is your salvation isn't it. Maybe it was over excitement that the weekend had landed, or maybe I'd tempted fate by shouting from the rooftops that I was celebrating two delightful years with a wonderful man.
Whatever it was, I  managed to fall out with my fella before we'd even got in the car.

It was during that initial sulk, in the stony silence of the car journey, that inspiration for this post struck.

The five stages of a romantic night away!...(that don't usually get much coverage). A brilliant idea I thought, while the silence continued.

STAGE 1 You Fall Out: The inevitable row. Not resigned for romantic trips only, but can be found at all other holidays, Christmas, Birthdays, you name it. We never fall out usually, but irony saw an opportunity and thought PERFECT!

Try to imagine that you've packed your bag and spruced yourself up. You're waiting for your Prince Charming whose due to pick you up at 11am. Imagine next that the pick up time comes and goes. You sit by your case. A text message arrives saying that your beloved is running late. Now feel the red mist descend when you read that he's picked up his new bike, gone to show his Dad, and is waiting for him to come back from road testing it.

Nothing says romance like being kept waiting.

STAGE 2 The Silent Treatment: Typically a direct result of stage 1. The upset caused by a fall out when you should be all jokes and laughter can lead to the mother of all moods.
After a little of the silent journey had passed, I decided that I would break my silence, if and only if he spoke first. The silence continued.
Now you might find this far fetched, but it was actually Bette Midler who saved our relationship in the end. When Wind Beneath My Wings came on the radio I caved and forgave everything. Who could stay mad listening to that song?

STAGE 3 The Lesser Found Room Upgrade: We had stayed at the Crowne Plaza, Manchester, a couple of times before and received a room upgrade!!! Twice!!! The upgrade gave us access to the Club Lounge, which included complimentary drinks between the hours of 6pm and 9pm and nibbles. I'm talking complimentary alcoholic drinks people!
On the off chance we'd get another upgrade we booked our evening meal at 9:30pm. You know, just in case. We smiled sweetly as we checked in. You probably know where I'm going with this one don't you? Our standard room was delightful.

STAGE 4 A Waitress Shows You Up: Is there anything in the world nicer than fresh, warm, home made bread? Dolled up to the nines, in the gorgeous Crafthouse restaurant in Leeds City Centre, I nibbled delicately on the fresh bread served, while I perused the menu.
Our earlier row was a thing of the past and the night was back on track...until a well meaning waitress, I'm sure, could've phrased her words differently.
"Every time I come over you have your mouth full!" Her exact words. They've been engrained in me. Thanks for that,  I'm trying to exude elegance here pal.  How to kill the romance, and yes it was the waitress who killed the romance. Not me devouring bread. Yes definitely not me. No way Jose.

...but seriously warm bread mmmmmm!

STAGE 5 Someone Drinks Too Much: Several cocktails and a bottle of red later, it was time to slip into something more comfortable. Until one of us was out like a light. I won't name names. but let's just say it wasn't me. After helping my chap work out how to take his shoes off (fyi loosen the laces first) and convince him that he shouldn't sleep on top of the duvet, he fell into a red wine induced coma. Shortly followed by me. To be honest I was pretty full from the bread.

Five stages aside, we had a good night! Honest! We came home well fed and watered, with the obligatory bag of hotel tea and coffee sachets. You never know when they might come in.

Can you relate to any of these stages? Please tell me it's not just us!

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Thanks so much for reading. Have a great weekend x x

Agent Provocateur & Why I Once Spent £55 On A Thong

What I posted on social media: Feeling indecisive! Which luxury lingerie set should I pack for a night away? Decisions decisions...
Chanel Lipstick, Perfume
What really happened: Hello there. The weekend has landed! Brace yourself for my sauciest ever post.

Now have I mentioned that it's my two year anniversary coming up? Oh, I have? Just about twenty times! Well my inspiration for this post struck while I was routing out my posh undies ready for tomorrow. I'm off to spend a night in Leeds, with my significant other to celebrate.
You know what a night in a nice hotel means don't you. In a nutshell, your bloomers better match your bra.

I've already faced the ordeal of a wax this week and am ready to ditch my 'weekday pants' for something a little more 'weekend.'

As I write this, Fifty Shades Of Grey puns keep coming to me. I toyed with adding one but it's perhaps been a bit over used by now hasn't it. I don't want to be alienating any classy readers after all do I!

Let's get back to the point. Amongst the 'fancy' underwear that I was rummaging through lies one set that stands out from all the others. My treasured Agent Provocateur set. Don't start judging, its not all nipple tassels and whips. They sell the most beautiful underwear. Elegant and classy pieces that make you feel great, even on your most frumpiest of days. Their pieces pull you in in all the right places, and push you out at all the right places. I firmly believe that every girl should own one set.

When I made my first ever trip into an Agent Provocateur store, I'm afraid I was luxury knicker naive. I trotted into Manchester's King Street store thrilled at the prospect of some fancy new undies. I was completely unprepared.  Allow me to share the frilly brief faux pas that still haunts me now.

The Do's and Dont's of shopping for coveted smalls (learnt the hard way). Nope! That wasn't a pun. Have a little respect, please.

DO expect to want everything in the store.

DO enjoy the loveliest, friendly service from the staff.

DO expect a member of staff to help you choose your items and find you the perfect fit.

DON'T be shocked by the sumptuous bed that's revealed as you move to the changing rooms towards the back of the store.

DON'T be alarmed when she peeks behind the curtain to see how things are fitting. Including the thongs.

DON'T be afraid to ask the price of things before you decide you'll take them.

DON'T wait until you're at the till and are being asked for payment.

DO try to hide your horror when the two lingerie sets that you have settled on come to £600.

DO steady yourself against the counter to avoid falling over with shock.

DO try to then casually cover up your horror, "Yes yes dahhhling, it's just I was thinking more like £500"

DO put on a convincing show of pretending that you've suddenly just remembered that you already have something similar and won't be needing both sets after all.

DO thank the Lord that nobody is behind you in the queue to act as witness.

DON'T admit to your partner that the champagne truffles you have, were put in your bag as a sympathy gift by the sweetest girl who served you.

DO claim that you bought them for him as a treat.

DO ignore any prying eyes on the train journey home, who may be clocking your rather large, pink Agent Provocateur branded bag.

See the underwear set that I left with here
See the slip that I had to painfully leave behind (along with my dignity) here

It's funny but the resemblance to me in those pictures is uncanny, ahem, yes really. You can take my word for it.

My first shopping soiree on King Street was one of those moments that will stay with me. Standing at the till, while a girl who'd just spent the best part of an hour putting me into various frilly pieces saw the colour drain from my face when she told me the price. I went 50 Shades of White! Thank you and good night. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Oh admit it, you wanted me to didn't you.

Now I could've put both sets back, but it was too late. I was already in love with the 'panels of French leavers lace and sheer tulle, adorned with silky self tie waist band and sweet satin bows.'
Let's be honest, true love conquers all in the end. I never regretted my purchase, once the shock and humiliation had faded. It was worth every penny.

There are two morals to this story!

#1 You will fall in love with the underwear when you enter the store. but don't get your knickers in a twist. I mean, how much do we really need food everyday anyway?

#2 If you have to ask the price, you probably can't afford it.

This is not a sponsored post, but I bloody wish it was!! What's been your most lavish expense? Can you top my tale of a thong?

Hope you've got a great weekend lined up. May your bloomers match your bra! As always, thanks so much for reading x x Remember you can tweet me here !

Snag A Man For The Long Haul: The Moustache Theory

What I posted on social media: Two weeks until me and the boy hit two years together! Hope we're still holding hands when we're old and grey!

What really happened: I took a sneaky snap of this couple when I nipped to Marks and Spencer for my lunch the other day. It was just after pay day, I was feeling flush.
Assuming that the love birds hadn't just hooked up via Tinder, I couldn't resist taking their photo. They looked so sweet. How nice it must be to have someone to hold your hand in your older years. 
Especially for my generation when a lifetime of supping Prosecco will well and truly have taken it's toll.

My romantic musings were interrupted momentarily when I noted he wasn't pulling her shopper for her. But hey, why spoil a beautiful moment? I chose to assume she'd turned down his gentlemanly offer of assistance. The sassy, confident woman wanted to pull her own god damn shopper! It could well be the case. Let's face it, she's certainly made sure she's snagged her man. The minx.

Seeing the pair glide down the escalator and off into the sunset, well off through Marks and Sparks level one exit, raised a question. How do we keep a man keen through our pull along shopper years?

In the quest for the answer, I delved deep into the male psyche. (I asked my boyfriend a question and wrote down what he said).

Without further ado here are the findings from my complex study.

The question I asked, "What would put you off a woman?"

His answers:

#1 A Moustache: You might laugh but this was his first answer, which, I might add, came to him immediately. Naturally I chose to ignore my concerns that his subconscious had caused him to spurt this out while sitting across from me in a badly lit room, with an unfortunate 6 o'oclock shadow cast across my chops.

#2 Muscles: Don't overdo it in the gym with the weights. A natural feminine shape is more appealing. How marvellous. I will pop that pizza in the oven after all.  Nice to know I'm at no risk of loosing him to point number two.

#3 A Nasty Girl: A mean girl who is cruel to others wouldn't stand a chance.
Roald Dahl sums this up in this quote worth remembering, "A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."
No mention of facial hair. He could be on to something with the 'moustache theory.'

#4 A Bunny Boiler: Are you familiar with the term? If not, pop the film Fatal Attraction on and bob back to this blog, after checking on your household pets.
I think all females have the possibility to have teensy tiny elements of the bunny boiler in us. No? Just me?? From my experience if a man is bringing out these tendencies in you, then you should head for the hills anyway petal, or Holland & Barrett for some Evening Primrose Oil.

#5 A Gobshite: Please do pardon my beloved's French. I considered toning down his foul language, but then that wouldn't be an honest account of the inner workings of the male mind would it. I asked him to elaborate. A loud mouthed 'lady' who doesn't put much thought into what she's saying before she broadcasts her every thought to the entire room.

The summary of my extensive findings, which you're free to print out and keep a copy in your purse:

Keep your facial hair at bay, bleach or wax as necessary.

Take care of your body but don't overdo it. Why strive to change what mother nature gave you?

Don't make nasty comments, unless your man is out of earshot. If you have stick-out teeth SMILE anyway!

Keep your inner gobshite at bay, avoid that one Sambuca shot too many.

Finally, don't take your frustrations out on his pet rabbit. Or if you find yourself crouched in the bushes 'keeping an eye on him', you're on a loosing streak. Creep out of his gooseberry bush and never breath a word about the night vision goggles you're flogging on Ebay.

Thanks so much for reading. Feel free to take heed of the 'moustache theory' towards securing a man for the long haul. Alternatively take no notice whatsoever! Remember, we can always pull our own shopper anyway!!

Hope you're having a great weekend. Now where the hell did I put my Jolen Creme Bleach? xx

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Dating: How To Know When You're Flogging A Dead Horse

What I posted: How did it get to July already? Mega excited to celebrate two years with my bae this month!
That's The Way It Should Have Begun But It's Hopeless

What really happened: We're celebrating reaching the two year mark with a night in Leeds later this month. We've booked a nice hotel and a table in a swanky restaurant. All we need is a bottle of fizz, and the gazing into each others eyes can begin. Or my wine fuelled questioning, "where do you see yourself in ten years?" Which I only ever asked once after getting the response "I'd like to have a speed boat." Oh right.

As most people can vouch, the hunt for 'Mr Right' is a long one. I was 29 and beyond all hope. I was resigned to a life living alone, except for the 15 cats I would inevitably end up with. I'd most likely reek of gin and be featured in the pages of Take A Break magazine after loosing my life savings to Juan, a Spanish waiter who promised me the world.

Now I don't believe that having a partner is the be all and end all, and being single can be a hell of a lot better than being with the wrong one. You should never put your own happiness entirely down to another person right?

Having said that, it's natural that most people would like to meet that significant other at some point in their life. Let's face it, when are your gal pals ever going to buy you a Tiffany ring?

When you're running the 'dating game' gauntlet be prepared for a mine field, the mother of all frustrations and basically a bloody nightmare.

These are the signs that say you're flogging a dead horse, (which have all been ignored at some point or other by yours truly):

1. He cancels your date at the last minute...more than once.
If he likes you enough to make a go of things he won't cancel on you. If he shows you that he's unreliable before you've even begun cross him off your list.

2. He only texts you after midnight.
He should be contacting you in advance to make solid plans together, not once he's drunk after spending the night with his friends. What's in that for you?

3. He doesn't tell his friends about you.
You probably can't expect a lad to sing from the hilltops that he's taking you out straight away, but after a few dates if you get the feeling your being kept on the down low maybe it's time to start asking why.

4. He already has a girlfriend.
No s*it Sherlock! If he's contacting you and he's not single, it's not a sign that his relationship must be in trouble and maybe he'll leave her shortly and make a go of things with you. He probably has no intention of leaving her. Would you even want to make a go of things with a guy that shows so little respect to women? At no point does Cinderella catch Prince Charming with another woman. Remember this, always aim for a prince.

5. He disappears and goes quiet for periods of time then suddenly pops back up.
It doesn't mean he's keen because he keeps rearing his head every time you've stopped wondering if he'll text. The part to focus on is the fact that he keeps disappearing. Whatever he might be doing while he's AWOL it's not thinking about you.

6. He doesn't put you first.
When you meet that special someone you put each other first naturally. If your not registering as a priority it's going to be an uphill struggle. You can moan at him as much as you like but you can't change what he naturally feels and besides would you want to?

7. He doesn't buy you anything when it's your birthday...not even a card.
A birthday is a perfect opportunity to show how much you mean to him. If he's Mr Right he'll enjoy making your day better by having him in it.

8. He puts you first...well first straight after narcotics.
Watch Trainspotting, do I need to say anymore? When did unhealthy and illegal ever make you swoon?

9. He doesn't come home all night.
You don't really need me to explain this one do you?

10. He borrows money from you and you have to pester and pester before he pays you back.
'So he's bad with managing his money, great that'll be good for our future together' said no-one ever. A man with good character would never see you out of pocket.

You'd think that I would've headed for the hills after any of these glaringly obvious signs wouldn't you? Sometimes it's hard to see what's staring you in the face. It's all a journey isn't it, lessons that we only seem to learn from experiencing them ourselves. Or that's what I tell myself anyway.

Shortly after I met my current chap I moved into a new flat. On the day I got the keys he came round with a bottle of champers and flowers. I was 29 and it was the first time that a man had bought me flowers! Take note of the signs. Think of all the flowers you might be missing out on.

Have you put up with anything that makes you wonder WHAT WAS I THINKING? Or better still do you have any dating horror stories? I'd love to hear them.

Thanks so much for reading it really does mean a lot. Don't forget you can tweet me here xx

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