How To Have A Pamper Weekend In Norwich

A few places to visit in one of my most favourite UK cities

Whether you’re feeling particularly stressed or not, treating yourself to a spa weekend is a must. In our crazy routines of work, socialising, family time, more work and even more work, it can be difficult to take the time to truly unwind. We need that time to destress, recharge and heal, so why not make an entire weekend of it? Norwich has an incredible selection of luxury B&Bs, spas, salons and guest houses, as well as a host of tasty restaurants and bars so you can nourish yourself inside and out.

The next time you’ve got a free weekend, consider a spa break in Norwich. Here’s a great list of fantastic places to eat, drink and relax.

Imagine Spa at Park Farm

Just six miles outside of Norwich lies the picturesque village of Hethersett, home to the Park Farm Hotel. This country house features 53 individually-designed rooms for a comfy stay, a Leisure Club complete with swimming pool and gym and, most notably, the Imagine Spa where you can get every pore and follicle polished to perfection. They have everything from manicures to full body wraps – check out their website for more details on treatment packages and pricing.

St Giles House Spa

Owned by the St Giles House Hotel, this state-of-the-art spa boasts a ‘comprehensive holistic approach to relaxation’, with massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, spray tans, even makeup lessons. You can even book private use of the spa and lounge area with their Spa Exclusivity package – perfect if you need a little getaway with the girls!

38 St Giles

Just across the street from St Giles House Hotel is 38 St Giles, a beautiful boutique bed and breakfast in a gorgeous Georgian townhouse. It’s cosy and personal, with five bespoke en suite bedrooms over three floors as well as a lovely breakfast room. If you’re looking to stay somewhere in the heart of the city, 38 St Giles should be a top contender. Check out their website for more information on the rooms, booking information and sample menus.

The Beauty Room

This soothing salon is located in the Maid’s Head Hotel in the historic area of Tombland, and provides an extensive selection of services and care packages. I recommend you take a look at their body treatments: there’s a tailored solution using a blend of massage, aromatherapy and natural products for any kind of stress or ache! And they even offer men’s spa packages as well, just in case you’re considering a couple’s retreat…

Jamie’s Italian Norwich

You’re going to need fuel up in between appointments, and there’s no better place to do so than Jamie’s Italian. Tucked away in the stylish, art nouveau-inspired Royal Arcade, Jamie’s features fresh Italian cuisine, delectable desserts (go on, order the tiramisù, you deserve it) and tasty wines and cocktails. The atmosphere is relaxed, casual and friendly so no need to worry about packing something fancy and uncomfortable. For more information on the menu, location and booking, click here.

Number 15 Bed and Breakfast

Calling all vegetarians, vegans and eco-enthusiasts: this B&B is perfect for you! Number 15 is situated on a quiet, leafy road and features 3 cosy rooms, a delicious range of options for breakfast and easy access to the city centre. The best part about this place is the owner Ian Rycroft’s commitment to sustainability: even his website is solar-powered! Read more about his green credentials here, and explore the rooms here.

The Tea House

If you fancy a cuppa, pop on over to the postcard-perfect cobbled streets of Elm Hill and pay a lengthy visit to the Tea House. They’ve got an impressive selection of black, green and herbal teas, or go all out and book an afternoon tea! This little haven’s slogan is ‘Pease & Quiet in the City’, making it the ideal place to sip, nibble and relax.

The Last Wine Bar

Last but definitely not least is the rather ironically named Last Wine Bar and Restaurant. What was once a 19th century Victorian shoe factory is now the perfect place to unwind with a glass of wine (or three). They have an absolutely incredible selection – including champagne and dessert wines – from all over the world, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Read the full list here.

Everyone deserves to be pampered, and Norwich has some great places for you to chill out. Here’s to blissing out for the weekend!

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My Quest For New Clothes

Losing weight is generally a good thing for me but I have recently noticed something that isn’t quite so good – the rate at which I am running out of clothes! I have only lost 10lb so far but since I often wear baggy stuff anyway, items are starting to look exceptionally baggy or in the case of leggings and trousers, threatening to fall down. I am definitely in need of some new clothes – but can I afford to keep updating my wardrobe so often if I plan on continuing to lose weight at a steady pace?

The items I really seem to be struggling with now are my coats and knitwear. The coat I wear right now was bought on Boxing Day 2011 and has lasted me a very long time but is now pretty massive on me – remember I had not long given birth to Jack when I had bought it so still had all my pregnancy weight. As my weight has fluctuated over the years, my coat has served me well but I definitely need something new whilst the weather is still bitterly cold.

 

Knitwear is my other main issue right now. My cardigans and jumpers are all pretty big on me now and whilst I do definitely need to get the next size down, what if I quickly achieve the next size down after that? If I am going to be updating my wardrobe as often as that, I will definitely have to purchase from somewhere affordable, perhaps somewhere like MandM Direct – I’ve even put together a few of my favourites from their website!

I’m hoping that by the summer, I am a size 10 which means I still have a couple of dress sizes to go down – and if I am buying new clothes, I am definitely going to be looking for the most affordable option for my budget whilst not compromising on quality. I will probably be buying clothes quite often whilst also getting rid of my old clothes in some way, probably donation.

I may have been on a quest for new clothes but I think I have found my answer for right now. As I continue to lose weight, I am sure I will soon be buying new clothes once again and I have an idea who to come to.

If you’ve been losing weight, have you found the need to buy new clothes yet? How have you dealt with this?

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Getting My Garden Prepared For Spring

I’ve mentioned before that although we live in a very nice area of our village, unfortunately our garden is absolutely tiny. If Jack wants to go out on his bike or scooter, it is best to take him to the park or the common where he can roam free. However I don’t want my garden to go unused, I want to make much better use of it. I did have some friends round in the summer and we sat out there but we had to take my dining room chairs out there, it would be so much better if we had something specifically for the outside. I really like this dining set on the Fishpools website – it looks nice, comfortable, small enough to fit in our garden but large enough to fit friends and family should they come out. It would be much better than using our dining room chairs!

 

We love dining outside at my in laws in the spring and summer time so a garden dining set of any sort would be perfect – utilising the small amount of space we have in our garden to fit the most amount of people. We both have relatively large families and it would be nice to be able to have people round a lot more. I’ve previously written about creating an outdoor winter space and it would be great if I could do the same for spring – with a comfortable dining set and a cool spring evening with family and friends, what’s not to love?

As the months roll on with Jack at school, it would be nice for Jack to have such a space for him and his friends too. They could sit and do colouring in in the sunshine or eat their tea with us and chat about their days. The possibilities are endless. I really want to make a nice space for us all to be able to enjoy. Do you have any tips?

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Packing For Your Kids: FlightHub’s Three Most Critical Things

Maybe its your children’s first trip, or maybe they are experienced world explorers, fact is, they probably aren’t the most skilled packers. That’s where you as a parent come in. While a luggage bag full of toys and pyjamas may make for a fun trip for your kids at first, there is some serious planning required to make sure you have everything you need, especially if you are heading out for a longer trip. I spoke with FlightHub, an online travel agency, about what they recommend for parents taking kids on their first, or any, trip. I asked that FlightHub review their recommendations and give me a top three list of things to remember before heading out to make their kid’s trips as fun as possible.

 

Prescription Drugs (And Your Prescription Paperwork!)

If your children are not required to take any prescriptions than this doesn’t matter so much, but for parents with kids who require daily medicine you obviously need to remember to bring it along. While I imagine few parents would forget such a thing, one thing many parents do not think about is bringing is prescription slips. In the event your child’s prescription runs out, you will be very thankful for bringing along this slip of paper. If you are thinking you planned to bring enough medication with you, don’t forget that flight delays can happen, leaving you stranded potentially for an extra few days. That little piece of paper may be annoying to remember, but it will be more than just annoying if you forget it and your child’s medication runs out. Bear in mind, prescription slips may not be formally recognized in other countries, but they certainly go a long way in helping you get the medicine your child needs.

Childproofing Gear

For those of you with younger children, you are very unlikely to run into a childproofed hotel room. While FlightHub says you don’t need to lay out the entire hotel room in bubble wrap. a few critical things could go a long way towards making your vacation safer for your kids. A few outlet covers and perhaps some toilet locks should do, just don’t assume a hotel will have these available for you.

Their Favourite Toys/Blankets

Travel, especially for the first time, can be a very scary experience for children. I can personally attest to this as a child who lived and died by my x-men toys and my favourite blanket. While to an adult these things may seem like things taking up space, they can make a world of difference when it comes to how your child handles their first big journey. Obviously if you are flying, you need to carry these in your carry-on as the flight can be the most traumatic part for young children. If you are flying with a baby, FlightHub recommends feeding your baby during takeoff and landing, as feeding helps unblock their ears.

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FlightHub’s Top Three Canadian Cities For Touring With Kids

Canada is ripe for visiting. With the major drop in the value of the Canadian dollar it has never been cheaper to cross the pond and visit the Great White North. While Canada is full of great places to see, some people are daunted by the sheer scale of the country. For completionists it could be a full on nightmare. Well, I spoke with FlightHub, an online travel agency based out of Canada, to get some suggestions for how to best see the country. FlightHub reviews travel destinations all the time, but is particularly familiar with the attractions within its home country. I asked them which three cities people should check out when they visit Canada and why.

 

Vancouver

The biggest attraction on Canada’s west coast, Vancouver is one of Canada’s most popular cities. Featuring some Canada’s most temperate weather, Vancouver rarely sees snow, even in the thick of Winter. As the home of the 2010 Olympics, Vancouver’s downtown and surrounding areas still have a relatively fresh coat of paint, making it one of the prettiest cities in Canada as well. In terms of attractions, outdoor activities like skiing and skating are always an option, but if you are looking for a place to go Stanley Park is the answer. Featuring a massive aquarium, playgrounds, and a water park, Stanley Park is one of the most kid friendly areas in the city according to FlightHub. If you want to capture the true thrill of being Canadian, you can also check out Canada’s favourite sport, hockey. Vancouver is home to the Canucks, one of seven Canadian teams in the National Hockey League.

Montreal

Speaking of hockey, Montreal is the birthplace of the sport in Canada. As such, seeing the Montreal Canadiens play is a must see attraction. Their downtown arena is conveniently located along public transit lines and FlightHub recommends you definitely take advantage as parking can be both pricey and hard to find. Montreal is also home base for French culture in Canada. Checking out Old Montreal is a must-do. Other places to see include Montreal’s Olympic Park, the Biodome, and Mont Royal Park.

Toronto

Canada’s largest and most vibrant city. The number of things to see and do in Toronto are pretty much limitless. Start off downtown and check out the CN Tower and Rogers Centre. If it’s Summer definitely do your best to see the Rogers Centre’s main tenant, the Toronto Blue Jays. One of Major League Baseball’s best teams, it’s a good chance to explore America’s pastime North of the border. Don’t worry, Toronto also has a hockey team, but bear in mind, Toronto will be the most expensive city to see a game according to FlightHub. From downtown you can explore Kensington Market or Chinatown or both if you’re feeling ambitious. Exploring out further you can visit the Toronto Zoo and Canada’s Wonderland. If you are renting a car and feel like road tripping, places like Niagara Falls and Algonquin Park are also well within reach of Toronto.

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