1898 The Post, Ghent

For our first trip abroad as a family of four I wanted something charming but accessible… 1898 The Post is a boutique hotel that has been on my radar for a while, a beautiful 38 room accommodation located in the centre of Ghent in Belgium. Just a few hours away from London (via Eurostar and a local train connection) this destination is perfect for a short 2-3 day trip and is small enough to explore entirely by foot.

1898 The Post

We arrived late morning on a Thursday and though the entrance was a little tricky to navigate, once inside the staff were swift with our check-in and took us immediately to our room, despite us being several hours earlier than planned.

1898 The Post inhabits a small part of an impressive neo-Gothic building which was once Ghent’s head post office. The exterior has fairytale turrets and a decorative facade, while the interiors is blessed with tall windows and historic details. The hotel emphasises the charm further with its postal themed rooms and furnishings.

1898 The Post

Choose from various room types – the smallest is ‘A Stamp’ the largest 8 rooms are each uniquely arranged suites. We were very comfortable in a split level ‘Letter’ room with magnificent tall windows and a very high ceiling. The room is dark in decor which gives the perfect cosy feel in winter, and we were very grateful to have this warm hideaway when the weather turned torrential outside!

1898 The Post

The King size bed was blissfully comfortable, and other facilities included an antique writing desk, marble-clad bathroom with walk in shower upstairs and a small toilet. Free WiFi, flatscreen TV, stocked minibar, free bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine and Guerlain toiletries ensured all our needs were met.

1898 The Post1898 The Post

Though the common spaces are small at 1898 they are certainly well looked after and well loved (both with staying guests and visitors). A small honesty bar area is ideal for a quiet evening nightcap with a book… Or you can head to the main bar area which becomes The Cobbler at night. This cocktail bar is known to be one of the best in the city, with a succinct but award-winning menu. We had a lovely evening here listening to vintage jazz and sipping on strong, tasty drinks.

1898 The Post

Breakfast is also served in this room, which overlooks the city square. A high quality buffet offers fruit, pastries, meats and cheese, yoghurt and cereal and much more. On our second morning we ordered omelettes from the hot kitchen, they were absolutely delicious and set us up for a day of exploring in the cold winter weather! There was also plenty to feed our 2 year old son, who delighted in the mini cereal boxes and fresh orange juice.

Just a few train journey from London I found Ghent to be the perfect weekend destination. And if you do decide to visit Belgium for a longer trip, Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges are all under an hour by train from Ghent, so you can devise a full Belgian itinerary!

More information and book a room at 1898 The Post here.

I was a guest of the hotel.

A Stay at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

The iconic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel could not be any more ideal for a pre-Eurostar trip. With its comfortable rooms, great food, and side entrance within St Pancras International station, it takes all the stress and effort out of the night before or after a European train trip.

Renaissance St Pancras

This January, ahead an early-morning trip to Ghent in Belgium, I spent an evening enjoying cocktails and food in the Booking Office, before spending the night in a cosy room on the 7th floor of the hotel.

Booking Office

To kick-off our stay, we enjoyed inventive twists on classic cocktails with two of the Booking Office’s signatures; a balanced, sweet and smooth Beekeeper (featuring Glenmorangie whisky, almond & rose honey, and apricot liqueur), and an Ol’ Signalman (a nutty take on an Old Fashioned, made with pecan nut infused bourbon).

Renaissance St Pancras

We followed this with a fight-worthy sharing portion of fried chicken, the Booking Office burger and a portion of Rum & Raisin profiteroles. Whether you are staying at the hotel or not this centrally located eatery is brilliant for a drink or meal. The atmosphere is buzzy and the dining room itself is very impressive, thanks to the redesign by Parisian architect and designer Hugo Toro.

Renaissance St Pancras

Our room, 717, was perfectly pleasant but not as luxurious as the room I stayed in last time I visited. With no view of the kissing statue on the Eurostar platform, and a smaller bedroom space, it was still a nice place to spend the night (and had enough room for a camp bed on the floor for my eldest son), but lacked the excitement and indulgence of other 5* rooms. The bathroom was petite but well appointed with a bath-shower and plenty of soft towels. We slept well and woke up feeling refreshed and ready for adventure!

Renaissance St Pancras

Bright and early, we popped down for breakfast ahead of a relaxed 2-minute stroll (out of the side entrance) to the Eurostar terminal. A great start to our trip to Belgium, I’d recommend a stay here ahead of any early Eurostar journey!

More information and book a stay here.

I was a guest of the hotel.

Last Minute Beauty Stocking Fillers

We are halfway through December and my Christmas shopping is far from being done. If you are making stockings this year for family or friends, here’s a few beauty little luxuries to help you tick off the final shopping bits and bobs. I’ve created a list including indulgent haircare, nourishing skincare, make-up favourites and even the ultimate party-hair gadget…

Officine Universelle Buly, body creams – This historic brand has the most beautiful packaging which lends itself to gifting, especially as it is all beautifully wrapped and ready to give. The fine body lotions are particularly wonderful in the colder months, despite the lightness, they are very effective and hydrating for weather worn skin. The scents are sophisticated and indulgent.

Jo Loves, Fig Trees Hand Wash and Hand Lotion – These aromatic hand care products are perfect sink companions. The fig tree scent is fresh and summery and will make the house and your hands smell lovely. At this time of year I need hand cream constantly to remedy my dry skin and this set is unbeatable.

Decleor Neroli set – This Neroli Bigarade Hyrating Skincare set is worth £127, but is priced at £79, so you get three gifts in one. Decleor is a great brand for all skin types, and this set is a great set for daily use. The essential oils are great for dry skin in winter, and will leave your skin looking radiant. The trio includes a day cream, cleansing mousse and a serum – the essentials for every morning and evening.

S’able Labs, Discovery Essentials Kit – This is the new brand from Sabrina and Idris Elba, simple and effective skincare for everyone. This travel-friendly set is a great introduction to the brand with a Qasil Cleanser, Black Seed Toner and Baobab Moisturiser. This three step skincare will give your skin a lovely winter radiance and calm the skin’s tone. I can think of so many people who would love this set, it’s a great last minute gift to add to a stocking.

Necessaire, Neck Serum – I’ve never heard of a neck serum before but this Necessaire product is a must buy. It’s a fast absorbing emulsion, a multi-peptide solution which will repair your skin and ensure your neck skin is firm and soft. It’s an unusual product which makes it a great present as it’s a great gift for the person that has everything!

Molton Brown, Hand Care Gift Set – Molton Brown is a classic British beauty brand and is universally loved. For chapped winter hands this trio of hand creams is the perfect remedy, showcasing three of the iconic Molton Brown fragrances – pink pepper, orange & bergamot and rhubarb & rose. I also love the fun gold crackers, filled with four miniature shower gels, it is the perfect stocking filler.

Ultra Violette Limited Edition Duos – I adore Ultra Violette and take them everywhere with me when I travel. These little miniatures are perfect for trips away and now we know it’s important to wear sunscreen everyday these Ultra Violette products are my staples. Ultra Violette are conditioning for the skin while also giving complete protection, I love them and can’t recommend them enough.

Philip Kingsley, Moisture Balancing set – Get salon-worthy hair with this comprehensive set from Philip Kingsley. I love the shampoo and conditioner which is great for everyday use, but makes your hair look glossy and hydrated. There is a reason why the PK collection is award-winning – I noticed a change in quality after just 3 washes. This set is a great way to introduce someone to this luxurious haircare brand at a reduced price.

Hair by Sam Knight, Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner – I love all the Sam McKnight products so it’s hard to highlight just a few. In winter I love the Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner which gives life to dull, colour-damaged tresses. But if you only want to buy one product go for the Happy Endings Nourishing Balm – a styling and conditioning styling cream. Just one pump of this magic cream will seal 50% of split ends and tame frizzy hair, I know everyone in my curly-haired family would love this product.

Olaplex, Bonding Oil – This highly concentrated bonding oil will give your hair an extra shine for celebrating this Christmas. Olaplex are the masters of nourishing haircare – this product is weightless and light despite its rich ingredients which will repair the structure of your hair and protect it in the harsh weather. It’s the perfect compact size to pop in a stocking!

Babyliss, Wave Secret Air – I am a seriously lazy with my hair, but on Christmas Day I try to make an effort adding a bit of a tousled wave. I’ve tried all kinds of wave methods and this Babyliss product is one of the best. Easy and quick to use creating loose, natural waves this new gadget will ensure your hair looks effortlessly chic on the big day. A little Christmas present to myself!

Jones Road, Miracle Balm & Sparkle Wash – These are two of the bestsellers from the Jones Road collection. The Miracle Balm offers an all over glow and comes in a range of shades. I love the ‘Flushed’ shade which will give your cheeks a natural rosy colour for winter. The Sparkle Wash is a subtle liquid glitter that I use as a highlighter for cheekbones and eyebrows but it’s also a great eyeshadow. The wand is easy to use or you can apply with your fingers. A lovely product to pop on before your Christmas party!

Hourglass, Ambient Palette – I discovered Hourglass a few years ago and it remains one of my favourite make-up brands. The quality is unbeatable and the products last forever. This palette will give you a bit of glisten and sparkle over the festive season, a beautiful set of six hues which will flatter and glow on the skin. Layer the colours or wear solo.

Aman, Fragrance Discovery Set – Aman is one of the most luxurious of beauty brands and this elegant fragrance set is a highlight of the range. A collection of seven fine perfumes, each inspired by an Aman destination. The perfect gift for a travel and beauty lover.

Post includes some press samples.