A Little Slice Of Heaven

Last weekend, I got a little glimpse of how the other half live at the utterly incomparable Gleneagles Hotel. And when I say incomparable, I mean I have literally never seen anything like it in my entire life. The father booked us a little overnighter as part of Sophie’s 18th, and we’ve spent the past month frantically counting down days and scouring our wardrobes for something suitably sophisticated to wear to dinner.

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I think the word you’re looking for is “Unffff”.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The weekend didn’t get off to the greatest start, with every train between Edinburgh and Glasgow cancelled for the entire day. This meant that while the rest of the family chilled out up there, I got to spend an hour on a stupid bus, and then another hour taking in the beautiful scenery of Falkirk.

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Not quite the same. BUT. Gleneagles Hotel then picked me right back up again by having me collected at the station by this baby:

Ermehgerd.

Ermehgerd.

Check that out. And the driver didn’t even openly judge me for taking a photo of his car. The next day was so incredible that even including the horrendous bus ride and 2 hours spent in a Tesco cafe in Falkirk, it would still average out as one of the greatest days I’ve had.

For one thing, mine and Sophie’s room looked like this:

IMG_0226It had a balcony and a fire with a remote control. I just can’t even…

Once we’d stopped jumping around, we immediately settled into the lifestyle.

IMG_2757 IMG_2760And then immediately settled back out of it again when we discovered there were robes.

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Seconds before this picture was taken, I remarked that I looked like Roger Federer.

Seconds before this picture was taken, I remarked that I looked like Roger Federer.

IMG_2771After a couple of glasses of bubbly and a lot of silliness, we changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the spa.

I obviously couldn’t take my camera into the spa with me, so I’ll try and paint you a little picture, although I’m not sure I have the words. We were greeted at every turn by relentlessly lovely staff who gave us the grand tour of the spa and its facilities. After the first room, I abandoned all attempts at pretending I wasn’t impressed and openly gawked at the wonders they had in store for us. First, we sampled each of their glorious showers, luxuriating in warm mango and papaya oil, braving the cold peppermint shower and then warming up again in an enormous jet shower. We jumped into a darkened steam room, and watched the twinkling constellations of lights change for a while. Then, we headed for the vitality pool, where warm jets of water pummelled and bubbled away any tiny tensions we had managed to hang onto.

As a treat (as if the whole weekend wasn’t a treat), the three ladies had been booked in for facials as part of our spa experience, so after a brief lounge in the stunning indoor courtyard, we were whisked away to be pampered. I’ve never felt so relaxed in my entire life. I’m pretty sure I dozed off during my facial. In the hands of the very capable Nina, I emerged glowing, softened and utterly chilled out. We were sent to recover in the relaxation room, which was an absolute dreamland of soft beds, fluffy blankets, fruit teas and dimmed lights. However great I’m making this sound, triple it. I could have spent the entire weekend in the spa and emerged a new woman.

Eventually, we dragged our sleepy selves from the spa on the promise of dinner and cocktails. We put on our party dresses and our most sophisticated smiles and high tailed it to the restaurant.

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Oh, just Sophie being THE MOST BEAUTIFUL.

Oh, just Sophie being THE MOST BEAUTIFUL.

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The food was incredible, the cocktails were even better, and once again, we were treated like royalty all the way. Seriously, why are you even still reading this and not looking up when the next train to Gleneagles is? They’ll send you a car. Because they’re awesome.

Exhausted after a very difficult day of living out our princess fantasies, Sophs and I retired to our room to relax by the fire.

IMG_2811We did intend to go back down to the bar and sample some more of the cocktail menu, but as soon as we sat on that big, cushiony bed, it was game over. Before we knew it, it was time for breakfast.

Breakfast.

Oh breakfast. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…Seriously, I could have devoted an entire blog post to how good the breakfast was. My dad ate five courses. Only my puny stomach stopped me from doing the same. On a side note, you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve watched an 18 year old girl demolish an enormous cut of roast ham at 9 o’clock in the morning. A sight to behold.

What's that noise? Oh, just some angels singing.

What’s that noise? Oh, just some angels singing.

After breakfast, we were all in serious need of some fresh air and some exercise to work off the monumental food babies we had accrued. So while Karla went in search of a candle to make her house smell like the spa, Sophs, Kiera and I went to play in the beautiful, sprawling grounds of the hotel.

IMG_2832 IMG_2835 IMG_2839 IMG_2860 IMG_5396As 12 o’clock drew nearer, Sophie and I gave everyone the slip under the guise of packing, to enjoy one final glass of fizz on our balcony.

IMG_2853The day was perfect, and the hotel went above and beyond my expectations in every single way. If you’re looking for some serious luxury in your life, get on the website and book a night here, you won’t regret it.

A Dance With The Devil

I realised last week that it had been ages since I got dressed up real fancy and pretended to be a grown up. So this week, me and my friend Gwen did just that. I put on my party dress and my lipstick and treated myself to a bottle of bubbles in one of the coolest bars in Edinburgh.

IMG_2725 IMG_2723The Devil’s Advocate is the kind of bar that could only exist in Edinburgh. Tucked away down one of the Royal Mile’s terrifying, undoubtedly haunted closes, there’s a definite feel of the macabre about the place. It’s the kind of place you can imagine dark, clandestine plots being hatched by candlelight.

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Kitted out entirely in exposed stone and brick walls, dark iron furnishings and enormous dripping candles, the inside of the bar chimes beautifully and ever so cooly with the gloomy, ghoulish close it resides in. It’s impossible not to feel sophisticated sitting in a place like this, even if you are yelling about gardening, throwing Prosecco all over yourself and snorting when you laugh.

Lol, just kidding, I would never waste Prosecco like that.

Lol, just kidding, I would never waste Prosecco like that.

I had fully intended to take some photographs of me and Gwen for this blog post, but honestly, once that bottle arrived, that was pretty much it. There are very few photographs of me and Gwen together, and I genuinely think it might be because we’re always too busy drinking and having an awesome time to take photos. The staff in the Devil’s Advocate are unspeakably awesome and lovely, and made me feel right at home, despite the aforementioned yelling about gardening and failure to hold my alcohol (puns! puns!). We decided to be semi sensible and stick with our bottle of Prosecco and a glass of wine each, but I am definitely heading back as soon as I have the funds to sample every cocktail on their menu. You know, for science. Gwen has assured me that they are to die for. They also have a whisky shelf boasting 200 different tipples, if you’re looking for the real Edinburgh experience.

This would be an amazing place to take family and friends if you want to pretend that you’re cool and in the know (I fully intend on doing this next week with my mum and Sophie), or if you have a secret and terrible plot that needs a suitably dramatic place to be revealed. Big, big thumbs up from me.