Belmond Charleston Place

Everything about staying at the Belmond Charleston Place is easy and relaxing. Southern charm greeted us at the door as we checked in… we were 5 hours early but our room was all ready for us. It was such a treat to be able to dump our bags and refresh before going out and exploring the city.

Belmond Charleston Place

This grand dame hotel has been a home for Charleston visitors for the last three decades, an indulgent and reliable hotel with every amenity you could need. The building is situated in the heart of the historic old town of Charleston surrounded by luxury boutiques, smart restaurants and cafes. All the main sites and attractions are within walking distant, making it a great base for short or longer stays in town.

Belmond Charleston Place

The bedrooms are classic and sophisticated with lavish soft furnishings and decorated in tasteful muted shades of grey and pale blue. We were in a lovely spacious room on the 7th floor, with easy access to the club lounge offerings (complimentary drinks and food throughout the day). The king-sized bed was extremely comfortable, topped with silky soft bed sheets and plump pillows and our bathroom was kitted out in white marble with a large walk in shower and generously stocked with Fresh toiletries.

Belmond Charleston Place

Suffering from jetlag and tired from the travelling we took full advantage of the spa and fitness facilities at the Belmond during our stay. The impressive salt & mineral pool is stunning and has an amazing glass roof which ensures there is plenty of natural light when you are swimming your lengths. It was such a rare treat to have such a beautiful pool within the hotel, and is the only one of its kind in Charleston. There is also a hot tub, sauna and treatment rooms, with a range of blissful massages and facials to choose from.

Belmond Charleston Place

Sadly we didn’t have time to try any of the celebrated restaurants at the hotel, but we did relish the opportunity to feast on American style breakfasts each morning. Strong coffee, fresh juice and a huge stack of fluffy pancakes became our new daily routine!

Belmond Charleston Place

The Belmond Charleston Place will look after you so well that you don’t have to worry about a thing, leaving you to concentrate on just making the most from this brilliant city.

More information and book a stay at the Belmond Charleston Place here.

The Nutcracker, English National Ballet

A growing Christmas tree, a floating hot air balloon, hurrying ice-skaters, mean rats, dancing snowflakes, a heroic nutcracker… Tchaikovsky’s magical ballet is the ultimate Christmas show, always elegant and wonderfully imaginative. Slump into a comfortable velvet Coliseum seat and let the immaculate dancing and mesmerising set entertain you.

Nutcracker

The orchestra brings a new energy to this familiar score, conducted by a confident Gerry Cornelius. The narrative is slightly overcomplicated by the part-sharing and splitting: James Forbat dances as the masked Nutcracker, whilst Francesco Gabriele Frola dances him unmasked as well as taking on the role of the Drosselmeyer’s nephew; meanwhile grown-up Clara (Alina Cojocaru) also dances as the ethereal Sugar Plum Fairy. At least the dancers seem to know what they are doing and seamlessly float from scene to scene, excelling in Wayne Eagling’s virtuosic choreography.

The lead couple complement each other, and move effortlessly in the main sequences. While Daniel Kraus is fantastically gruesome as the shudderingly menacing King Rat. It is Eagling’s ensemble dances which really shine in this production, the pretty snowflake chorus and the second act Waltz of the Flowers highlights the English National Ballet talent.

The Tring Park School kids are a joy on stage. Assured and adorable, they animate the production, and dance and sing with an excited spring in their step.

Another magical production of the Nutcracker at the Coliseum… this show always completes my Christmas festivities.

Continues until 30 December 2018. More information and book tickets to the Nutcracker here.

The Hoxton Williamsburg

When my best friend moved to New York last year I saw it as an opportunity to visit this iconic American city much more often. As a result I’ve been keeping up to date with the top hotel openings, including the newest Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg.

Hoxton Williamsburg

This Brooklyn hotel is the first American property for the hipster brand, though they will soon be opening in Portland, Chicago and LA too. Located on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, the Hoxton hotel is in a neighbourhood of great eateries, buzzy coffee shops and independent fashion boutiques.

Hoxton Williamsburg

The 175 rooms are split into two categories, Cosy or Roomie… some with views of Brooklyn while others overlook the famous Manhattan skyline. All bedrooms have super comfortable King-sized beds kitted out in monochrome bedsheets by Brooklyn artist Dusen Dusen. Bathrooms are small but nicely decorated with white tiles, brass fittings and lovely toiletries by Blank.

Hoxton perks in the room include a carefully curated bookshelf, complimentary breakfast bag each morning and free worldwide calls.

Hoxton Williamsburg

As with all Hoxton hotels, it is the common spaces that are given centre stage, encouraging guests to enjoy these rooms as they please. The impressive entrance lobby is expansive with a huge lounge kitted out with welcoming pastel coloured velvet furniture, a fire place and a coffee shop for essential caffeine needs.

Hoxton WilliamsburgHoxton Williamsburg

For food there are several restaurants to choose from, all curated by New York restauranteurs Jud Mongell and Zeb Stewart. In summer, a glorious rooftop terrace opens up with New England style seafood and cocktails.

I love the Hoxton brand, their hotels in London and Paris offer stylish affordable accommodation in the heart of the cities, and this new Williamsburg hotel is no different. The brand feels refreshingly generous and wonderfully relaxed in a city where you pay for everything + tip!

More information and book a room at the Hoxton Williamsburg here.