Lifestyle Blogger.

The George Hotel Keswick: customer service at its finest











So from Instagram you may have seen that we have just got a new puppy, Monty. As much as we love him dearly, we’ve found it is quite difficult to find somewhere here in Keswick to eat out due to his playful behaviour. We wouldn’t want to upset anyone due to the fact that he likes to chew on fingers, ears and hair. So after searching trip advisor for take away restaurants and seeing only average reviews, I decided it would be an idea to ring our favourite restaurant and see if there was any chance they could make us some takeaway food. I rang The George Hotel, Keswick and they said they would make us up some meals to takeaway. We’ve visited that many times that we all have the same favourite, the Lamb George. Lamb George is our favourite meal on the menu, lamb cooked in a mint gravy served with the creamiest mash and seasonal veg. To you it may sound like a simple meal but the meat is cooked so perfectly that I wouldn’t order it anywhere else because I’m sure I would be dissapointed. We’ve always loved the George Hotel and every time we visit Keswick we go in for a sit down meal but with Monty at the moment being so playful it’s become quite difficult. I can’t describe the excitement from my mum and step dad when they found out they didn’t have to have pizza for tea.

We headed to the pub and ordered our meals to take away, Pete the staff member that organised this for us was absolutely fantastic! I hadn’t even got 2/3 down my pint by the time the food was plated up and ready for us to takeaway. And the presentation was equal to that we would have got if we had sat in the restaurant! I honestly can’t thank the George Hotel enough for their amazing customer service alongside their fantastic food. I can’t wait to visit again next time I get chance to pop up.

Hope you enjoyed reading, RB 


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Say No To Socks: All The Things On My Xmas Wishlist

If I could choose all the gifts I received at Christmas time, there wouldn't be a sock among them, no not one single one. There would, on the other hand, be some stylish items for adding subtle flair to my outfits, some exciting items with a sense of mystery, and some techy items, because well why the hell, not? With that in mind read on for the low down on my festive wish list. Something that you are welcome to use as inspiration for your own Christmas requests, as well as ammo in the fight against festive socks! 
Big shot cufflinks 
Talking of ammo if you like things that conjure images of steampunk and the Old West then why not request the nifty pair of shotgun cufflinks from the Deakin & Francis store? Featured in Country Life magazine and perfect for the English gentleman these 12 bore shotgun cufflinks have movable parts and are finished in rose gold plate, with black rhodium barrels. Not meant to be taken too seriously, these are a fun little detail to add to your otherwise boring penguin suit over the festive season that will remind you just who the biggest shot in the room really is.  
Enigma box 
If you are after a little adventure and excitement in your life, you need to go no further than your own front room. That is if you put the Enigma Box on your Christmas list. A Kickstarter project that has already met its funding goals, this little beauty is a reverse escape room mystery in a box with over 6000 hours of play time, loads of puzzles and even a board game to boot!  The deluxe edition even has wearables and some extra content that looks quite intriguing. 
The Enigma Box is Suitable for solo players, or you can invite the whole family round to help when you get stuck, but however, you play you will need to use your wits and access the latest technologies to virtually travel all over the world and find the ‘secret of secrets.’ 
A word of warning though you have to purchase the box soon, although it's not going to be shipped until early 2018. Something that means you will have to wait a little longer for your adventure to begin. 
Bose Wave SoundTouch music system IV
Last, what Christmas list would be complete without a little tech? Music tech in this case in the form of the Bose Wave Music system. 
Available in platinum, silver and white this remotely controlled gizmo can stream music from many different platforms, as well as access DAB radio. There is even space for a CD if you still have any of those lying around? 
It's the waveguide speaker tech that really packs a punch though, delivering crystal clear sound, perfect for listening to all your playlists on. Do watch out, however, as your Christmas visitors may insist on listening to carols on it, or even insist on organising a festive sing-along if they spot it. Although, that is still perhaps preferable than receiving 15 pairs of novelty Rudolph socks. 

Cote Brasserie Newcastle: The perfect place to dine this Christmas








I’m not a fussy eater but I am quite fussy on standards in restaurants. I don’t mean to sound pompous by saying that but if I’m paying for food I want it to be worth it, I also think customer service is rated 50:50 to the food. Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to Cote Brasserie for their opening press night. Normally these nights are pretty near to average, but with Cote it was a completely different evening. We were spoilt!! From the moment we entered the restaurant the waitresses were straight with us and get our drinks topped up, it was also nice to hear their recommendations. 






We started the evening with a couple of glasses of fizz learning about the launch of the restaurant and what they wanted to offer the city. Cote is going to be the perfect place for formal dinners, pre theatre meal or just catch up friends, I can honestly picture it being the perfect for every occasion. We were then presented with an array of starters, normally I’m not a fan of nibbles because I don’t think you get much of an opinion of the food, however there were so many of these you could try a couple of each. And there were lots of different options to choose from including the charcuterie board, crab mayonnaise, chicken liver pate and a goats cheese and onion flatbread. I thoroughly enjoyed the charcuterie board and the crab mayonnaise. 







For our mains we were able to choose whatever we would like from the menu, when I get this kind of offer I always go for a steak. Not because I’m greedy! But because it’s one of those dishes that I think really help you judge a restaurant because you can compare it to other places. It’s also a dish that can be so good or can end up so wrong. 
I went for the 30 day aged sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce, and it was cooked to perfection. Served with frites. Definitely one of the nicer steaks I’ve had. My sister went for the belly pork which was served alongside gratin potatoes, it didn’t last long so I’m guessing it went down well. No she did say it was very nice. 



I was quite happy with my main and felt very satisfied, and then I was tempted by the dessert menu. I normally have more of a savoury tooth than a sweet one but that evening I was really tempted by the warm chocolate fondant with ice cream. So glad I ordered this because it was beautiful, not at all stodgy but super chocolatey!! My fav kind of pudding.

The whole evening was amazing! I really did enjoy myself. And we have already booked another table for next week. I would definitely recommend you give it a try next time your in Newcastle.

Here’s some other reviews I’ve collected for you of Cote Brasserie...


Hope you enjoyed reading, RB 


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Open Your Eyes: What Poor Sight Is Doing To Your Appearance

No matter how much we deny it, our eyes deteriorate over time. You may have had perfect eyesight during your teen years. But, by your early twenties, things could’ve changed. Even worse, most of us notice the decline. It may be that you have to sit up so that you can see the television guide. Or, perhaps you can’t see the behind-counter menu in your local coffee shop. These are some of the warning signs that your eyes need help.

But, the vast majority avoid making that appointment with their optician. Most people just don’t want to concede defeat to glasses. There are contact lenses, of course. But, the idea of putting anything to close to their eyes is even worse for some. 

So, why this constant fight against glasses? Now, you can get designer choices by everyone from Kylie Minogue to Cath Kidston. Glasses are nothing worse than an extension of an outfit. Some people even buy fake options to use as accessories! And, while you avoid eye tests because of beauty worries, not being able to see can do damage of its own. If you fail to get your eyes checked before you're 30, don’t be surprised if you encounter these issues.


The constant squint
In case you hadn’t realised, continually squinting isn’t exactly attractive. And, though you may not be aware of it, there’s a distinct possibility that you fall into this habit. It’s a natural go-to when your eyes struggle to focus. This is especially the case if you’re short-sighted. When looking at anything from a distance, you probably resort to a good old squinting face. As well as looking unattractive, squinting when wearing makeup can lead to smears and smudges you don’t even notice. Plus, doing this often could lead to…

Wrinkles

That’s right; your squinting habit could have serious repercussions as you age. The wrinkles around your eyes and mouth are liable to be much deeper if you’re flexing those muscles all the time. If that happens, you do have the choice to turning to an anti ageing treatment like Perk Eyes to rectify the issue. But, surely it’s better to avoid the problem altogether? Given a choice between increased ageing or glasses, the majority would pick the glasses. While the time hasn’t come yet, you should choose before it’s too late. Because trust us; this is a choice you will face at some stage. 


Major makeup mishaps

And, let’s not forget that not being able to see can cause havoc for your makeup routine. While most mirrors have magnifying sides, even this won’t help if you’re long sighted. Without even realising it, you could have orange streaks on your neck or mascara down your cheek. Remember that old woman you saw in the market who clearly had no idea what she’d done to herself? Well, that could be you. And, the issue will only get worse over time. Remember, your eyes may not be able to pick up mistakes, but other people will.


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Can You Lose Weight Without Giving Up The Food You Love?


When it comes to trying to lose weight, one of the things that almost immediately saps a lot of people's motivation is the idea that they have to give up all of the food that they really love. After all, why would you want to spend your time feeling hungry and miserable, even if the long-term effects are positive? That's the thing about people; we often have trouble thinking long-term, especially when we're hungry! That being said, do you really have to give up all of the foods that you love? Well, the truth is that no, you don't! Here are a few simple things that you can do in order to make sure that you're able to stay in shape without giving up all of your favourite foods.
Try healthier alternatives
One of the most important things to remember is that there are almost always alternatives out there to some of the most unhealthy foods that you might be tempted to eat. Instead of eating recipes that are full of sugar, why not use pure maple syrup as an alternative? It's just as delicious, all natural, and way better for you. Similarly, cutting back on salt doesn't need to drain your food of all flavour. Take the opportunity to start playing around with seasoning and spices to bring more flavour to your dishes.   
Reduce portion sizes
Of course, one of the main things to remember is that it might not be what you're eating, but how much of it you're eating. If you're tempted by one of your favourite foods, why not just reduce your portion size? That way you get to enjoy it guilt free without worrying about the impact that it's going to have on your diet and lifestyle overall. After a while, you'll probably find that you can't believe how you were even able to eat the kinds of portion sizes you had before.
Save it for cheat days
Then again, sometimes you just need to indulge yourself for a while to get it out of your system. That's where cheat days come in. By setting aside a day every once in awhile to throw your diet out of the window, you're able to indulge in all of the delicious food that you've been abstaining from, just for a little while. As long as you can be disciplined all the time outside of it, having a single day where you go all out isn't going to do you much harm at all. A lot of the time, the work you put in at other times is the price you pay for being able to have the one day where you eat whatever you like without worrying about it.
No matter what kind of diet you're on, you're always going to need to exercise a decent amount of self-control. However, that doesn't mean that you should force yourself to be miserable in order to see results. The key is to find something that works for you and allows you to see the results you want while also letting to live a happy and well-rounded life.

South Africa: An Exotic Adventure


South Africa is a country full of warm beaches, dazzling forests and lots of fun things to do. It is a country with a lot of cultural hotspots, diversity and most importantly, great food. If you are ever planning on visiting this glorious country, here are some places you should definitely take the time to visit.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

If you are looking for Things to do in Cape Town, then this beautiful botanical garden is a place you should definitely not miss out on. It is nestles in the southern suburbs of the country and is 52,800 sq-km large.

Cape of Good Hope

Table Mountain National Park is perhaps one of the most famous tourist destination in the whole of south Africa, and within the park you will be able to visit cape point, which is a stunning spot of a romantic walk on a secluded beach or to take photographs of wild birds.

Apartheid Museum

If you are interested in the history of segregation in this country, then this museum could be a great place to visit and learn about the people who live here and their history.

Table Mountain

This breath-taking place may be one of the oldest natural landmarks in the world- aging at approximately 600 million years old. It is fill to the brim with wild flowers and plants, and is definitely one of the things you’d need to put on your bucket list for the trip.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park is an UNESCO world heritage site, and stretches a staggering 200km. The park is home to a rich ecosystem with leopards, hippos, flamingos, elephants and giraffes. If you love wildlife this is a must-see.

Boulders Penguin Colony
You may think that penguins would be much more at home in the chilly climate of the south pole, but in fact there is one species who thrives in the African heat. The African penguin lives in this area of Simon’s Town, and live and breed on the sandy coves through the area. There are currently around 2100 penguins in this area.

Madikwe Game Reserve

If you want to see elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and wild dogs in their natural habitats, then the Madikwe Game Reserve is the perfect place to spend your time. You can rent a lodge in the reserve and enjoy a tour of the animals and safaris throughout the reserve during your stay.


La Motte

If you love wine, then visiting the place where shiraz grapes are cultivated will be the perfect place for you. You’ll be able to go wine tasting, enjoy specially made lunches and dinners, and explore the grounds of the estate.

Clifton Beaches

There are four beaches in the area of Clifton, each one of them is separated by a giant boulder. These are amazing spots for a calming day at the beach, sunbathing and basking in the summer air.

Constitution Hill

If you are interested in the legal and historical parts of this great country, then a visit to constitution hill will provide you with the perfect place to learn about the history of South Africa.

Keep In Shape Throughout The Day, No Matter Your Routine


Whatever it is you do throughout the day, it is always perfectly possible to stay in shape. You might have specific fitness goals, or maybe you are just hoping to generally lose some weight and feel better in yourself. Either way, you should find that it is relatively easy to do so, as long as you find a way to make exercise a part of your daily routine. In order to do that, you just need to know how you can fit in exercise in the different places in your day. Fortunately, there are always ways to do just that, and as long as you use your imagination you should be able to make it happen.
At Work
No matter what your job is, you are sure to be able to find a way to fit in exercise at work in some manner. Even if you have a stationary desk job, you can find plenty of ways to keep fit during the working day. All you need to do is learn some so-called ‘deskercises.’ There are plenty of these that you can do, and they are all effective in helping you to remain trim no matter what your work day is ike. Alternatively, you could use your lunch break to actually go the gym, or even just go for a run around the block. There is always a way to fit in fitness if you are serious about it, so you don’t have any excuses not to exercises at work.
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At Home
You don’t even need to be a member of a gym in order to be sure that exercise is a big part of your day. Even while at home, you can make use of your space to exercise in as many ways as you like. There are a number of workouts which lend themselves particularly well to the home, and if you like you can even start to build something of a home gym by simply reading through some recumbent exercise bike reviews and getting hold of one that seems perfect for your living space. With the right approach, you can easily turn your home into another great chance for working out and exercising. That means that even while watching television you can keep on with keeping in shape.
With Friends
Again, regardless of what your social life looks like, you can easily use most occasions as a means to ensuring your exercise does not go amiss. If you want to go on a mission to get in shape, then why not ask your friends if they would like to join you? You might be surprised at the number of people who are also currently wanting to get in shape, and this will mean that you can all exercise together. Exercising together has its own distinct benefits too, given the way in which you will encourage each other along with competition. Do this, and you will be sure to see some strong results.

Ramside Hall Twighlight Spa Session









I don’t know if it’s just me but I always find as the year is coming to an end I become a lot more stressed. I over analyse how quickly the year has gone and how little I feel I’ve achieved and with the stress of Christmas beginning all I want to do is find a way to escape and relax. And I think I’ve found the perfect answer. Ramside Spa twilight spa session is perfect for anyone like me who finds very little time to fit anything into their schedule. I find myself constantly juggling work, blogging, training and trying to fit in time for my family and friends. The reason the twilight spa is the perfect option is because it’s something you can enjoy after a long day at work, I can fit in a training session while I’m there in their state of the art gym and then I can relax in the outside heated pool, de-stress in the sauna or stream room and finish off being pampered with a back and shoulder massage. And to finish off the evening you get the chance to dine in their Thai restaurant Fusion, perfect light food which is just what you need after a spa session.








For me Ramside is in the perfect location, being just off the A1 it’s only a 20 minute drive for me from work so I don’t have to worry about travelling too far. Also the staff are brilliant, they are all very polite and helpful, and very quick to serve you a chilled glass of prosecco while you relax. What more do you need after a hard day at work? If you don’t want an alcoholic drink, Ramside offer a range of fruit flavoured waters freshly made on site available as and when you want. When we visited one of the staff were even handing out sliced fresh fruit, which was such a lovely extra.










Another thing I enjoy about Ramside is that when I’ve visited it’s never been overly busy, there are always other people there but you never feel like your sardines in the pools or steam rooms. I think this makes a massive difference and makes it a lot easier to relax when you have your own personal space. It’s definitely a reason I revisit.











I also loved visiting Fusion restaurant, I’ve always been a fan of Thai and oriental food with a huge love for sushi, so seeing sushi on the menu was a win for me. The food was very neatly presented and packed full of flavour, I went for the sushi starter and then the Singapore vermicelli both of which I would definitely order again. My sister ordered the vegetable spring rolls and sweet and sour chicken and they catered brilliantly for her seafood and nut allergies. You get a two course meal included in your twilight spa session and you do get quite a decent range of meals to choose from, it’s not the usual 2 or 3 options. The restaurant interior is very modern with an oriental theme, with nice chilled music playing that keeps your on that relaxed mood.







I think the twilight spa session is the perfect treat for yourself as well as being a perfect Christmas gift. If your buying it as a gift just make sure the recipient takes you with them. Currently Ramside offer two different twilight spa packages:

Twilight Spa Package
Arrival between 5:30-6:30pm
Two course evening meal served in Fusion
45 minute personalised facial or massage
Use of spa facilities until 9:30pm
Friday-Saturday £125

Or 

Twilight Catch Up
Arrival between 5:30-6:30pm
Two course evening meal served in Fusion
Use of spa facilities until 9:30pm
Sunday-Thursday £65

Is there any other North East spas you would recommend I visit?

Thank you for reading.

Ruth 


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A Guide To The Best Cities In The World

When it comes to experiencing the world, there’s no better way to do so than to visit some of its most magnificent cities. Traveling is an opportunity to experience other cultures, nationalities, and destinations. When you visit some of the major cities a country has to offer, you see a dense collection of cultural elements from that and many other nationalities. Visiting bustling cities is a chance to really have your eyes opened and experience as much as you can from your travels in a short space of time; you can’t explore every quaint little town in every country, as much as you might wish you could. Here’s a guide to the best cities in the world.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Let’s start off by talking about one of the most intriguing cities in the world. It might face some competition in the future but there’s no denying that Dubai is the most mind-blowing megacity on the face of the earth. With architecture that is both lavish and overwhelming, the city’s skyline rises far higher than the human field of vision. It’s hard enough to get your head around in pictures but it’s even more glorious in person. There’s something for everyone, whether you want a real-life camel ride or you’d rather ride in the cable car over the city because you’re more interested in the contemporary beauty of all those modern manmade structures. It’s truly a city like no other and that’s enough to make it one of the best cities to visit in the world.
London, England.
Where to even begin with this fantastic capital? London has far more to offer than rain and a slightly chequered history. The latter is fascinating, of course, but it’s the way in which this city’s past merges with its modern culture that makes the capital such an exciting place to explore. With the ever-growing skyline of pretty architectural masterpieces on one side of the Thames and historic buildings such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament on the other, there’s a lot to take in on a visual level.
Of course, it’s the culture of the city which gives it some heart. If you head to bars such as Bunga Bunga in Covent Garden, which has burlesque, variety shows, and other forms of entertainment on offer, then you’ll get a real idea of the vibrant nightlife to be found throughout this great city. London also has beautiful art on display in the National Gallery if you’re looking for a daytime cultural experience. The list of things to do in the capital really does go on but we’d be here for days discussing it.
Prague, Czech Republic.

This huge capital of the Czech Republic offers beautiful contemporary and historic architecture. The beautiful city of Prague lies by the equally-beautiful Vltava river and is one of the most intriguing cities to visit in Europe. The food will impress you, above all else, because the local cuisine on offer in the capital is absolutely delicious. Head to quaint little places such as Café Savoy for breakfast and you could treat yourself to meals such as gruyere omelettes and French toast. One of the traditional Czech foods that you certainly need to try whilst you’re visiting this city is Goulash. It might be tasty anywhere else but it’ll blow your tastebuds away when you try it in Prague.

Places to eat in Prague...

Recently I visited Prague for my birthday. When arriving we had absolutely no idea where to go for food, and because of that I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the places I would recommend for you to visit from our experince. Don't get me wrong not knowing where to go adds a small element of surprise, but there is also that small amount of fear that your going to end up dining somewhere that isn't very good. So in this guide of places to eat in Prague I have found you somewhere to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.







So my breakfast recommendation is my number one recommendation, this is somewhere you have to visit if you ever travel to Prague This place is Café Savoy, and if I had to compare it to anywhere I would say its Prague's version of Betty's Tea Room.We visited Café Savoy on the morning of my birthday, with it being my birthday myself and Sean were in the mindset that there was no budget. Funnily this was probably one of the only times myself and Sean ordered exactly the same. We went for a gruyere omelette each and a portion of French toast soaked in maple syrup with fresh fruit. Not only was this an extremely instagrammable meal but quoted from myself and Sean , one of the best meals we've ever had. There were no faults, each part of our meal was amazing and we even debated trying to fit another visit in while we are away. This was actually a recommendation from 
‘thenopantslife’








Our second restaurant is somewhere we called in for lunch. And this was Restaurace Malostranska Beseda, just off the route from Charles' Bridge, the reason I would say this is the best place to visit for lunch is that it serves very traditional Czech food, and probably the best Goulash I had on our visit. As ive already said I had Goulash served with traditional dumpling, which was lovely and Sean had potato gnocci topped with bacon lardons and onion. Normally Sean lets me try his meal, as its nice to try what the other orders, however with this dish he had polished it off before I got the chance to have a try.
Also its the perfect place to stop off on your way to Prague Castle.





Finally we have our dinner recommendation, whether we are home or away mine and Sean's favourite cuisine is Italian. Okay that may be a lie, my favourite cuisine is Italian and Sean just comes along because he knows it'll make me happy. So when we spotted ad Italian restaurant when walking through the Old Town it was clear as day that this was somewhere we needed to visit, The restaurant was called Restaurante Taverna Toscano, the serve we received was fantastic. This was the only Italian restaurant I have been to that serves a cheese board as a starter, a range of different cheeses served with fresh bread and a pot of locally made honey. The perfect start to our meal, I went for the carbonara pizza and it was one of the best Italian baked pizzas I've ever tasted, topped with bacon, mushrooms, parmesan and a cooked egg. This was another restaurant we left content and happy.



Don't get me wrong there are probably a handful of different restaurants that serve up high quality foods but these are the ones that we got to visit. Myself and Sean also visited Prague's Hooters restaurant which we both enjoyed, however it was the typical American menu that you would expect.




One last recommendation from us would be to try the Czech tradition, Trdelnik, a sweet cinnamon bread baked filled with a range of toppings. You can find these on every street in Prague, and I think it is a must if you visit the city.

Thank you for reading.

Ruth 


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