Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Review: 30 James Street Hotel, Liverpool

When we booked 30 James Street, we'd been looking for somewhere special for an early 10th anniversary getaway. We're not usually ones for booking nice hotels, often opting for a Travelodge or Premier Inn as they're clean and comfortable and really that's all we usually want. When I came across 30 James Street though, I know that was the hotel we needed to book. It had heaps of history, being the old White Star Line offices (the company who owned the Titanic), had a real elegant look to it and an out of this world spa. I was sold.

Approaching 30 James Street there's no real indication that you're looking at a hotel, in fact we've both walked past the building many times before when we've been to Liverpool and never realised. It's a beautiful grade 2 listed building just opposite the docks and the only indication you've arrived at the right place is a small sign on the entrance wall that says '30 James Street'. As we visited at Halloween the entrance was beautifully decorated with lots of pumpkins, lanterns and candles.
Once you step inside you're greeted with large chandeliers, a winding staircase and opulant theming. It doesn't have the tag line 'home of the Titanic' for nothing and the whole hotel is themed like the luxurious liner. An informative board at the start of the staircase tells you all about the buildings history from the White Star Lines offices to the hotel it is today.
The hotel has many different styles of rooms, we opted for one of the cabins on the lower ground floor with it's stone tile corridors and huge black mirrors. We took a trip to every floor of the hotel and each level is decorated in a slightly different way but each corridor is just as grand as the last. We were put in the Celtic Cabin which can sleep up to 4 people. In our room, were 2 large, comfortable beds, a huge window and a smart TV. The bathroom was a large wet room with a monsoon shower and toiletries provided. The room was huge and very comfortable and although we were just below ground level and our room looked straight out onto a main road, the traffic did not disturb me at all, and I'm a very light sleeper! However because of the positioning we had to keep the curtains closed almost the entire time we were in the room for privacy. The mattresses in the room were very comfortable but in all honesty the pillows were the worst pillows I've ever slept on. We had a total of 8 pillows in our room and of those we ended up with just one each that was kind of acceptable to lay on, the rest were extremely hard and lumpy.

The monsoon shower in the bathroom was amazing, I'm a bath girl through and through and usually jump in and out of a shower as soon as I can but I honestly could have stayed in that shower all day. We were provided with plenty of towels all of which were huge and very fluffy which made peeling myself out of the lovely monsoon shower slightly easier! 
30 James Street has a bar and restaurant which we didn't bother visiting so I can't really comment on these. It's also home to Morgan's Spa, there's a £10pp fee for hotel guests to use the hydrotherapy pool and sauna and you can book other spa treatments as well. The spa also welcomes day guests. When I saw the online images of Morgan's Spa, I knew we had to book in and I'm beyond glad that we did. We only booked to use the pool and sauna, which hotel guests get the use of for 2 hours and it was honestly one of the most relaxing experiences ever. The spa itself looks exactly like it does online and I was just blown away by it. I cannot recommend booking this enough, either as a day guest or as a hotel guest. I'd book this again in a heartbeat. 
As a summary of our stay I thought I would highlight the good and the not so good points as a quick guide to the hotel:

The good:
  • The history - there's photo's dotted around the hotel of some of the important White Star Line/Titanic employees
  • The location - right on the docks so easy access to all parts of the city
  • The showers are amazing and the towels are super snuggly
  • The spa - hands down the best thing about this hotel
The not so good:
  • The pillows are terrible
  • Lack of privacy in cabin rooms
I would definitely recommend booking a stay at 30 James Street and if you haven't gathered I more than recommend visiting Morgan's Spa. I'd love to return to the hotel but try one of the different rooms, the other suites higher up have jacuzzi baths so if I was to book again I'd opt for one of those suites for a better view, more privacy and the bath.

In all our stay was lovely and I'm glad we chose this hotel to celebrate such a big milestone!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Happy List: October 2017

I didn't blog a lot last month, I didn't even write a September Happy List which I beat myself up about because up until that point I hadn't missed a month, then I convinced myself it didn't matter because no one reads my blog anyway and then I just stopped blogging. The truth is I desperately wanted to create a routine that would allow me to blog more but then my timetable changed at work and I have a big work exam coming up so I'm tired when I come home and if I'm going to be straight I'm a little dry on ideas at the moment as well. So I'm easing myself back with a Happy List for October, given the it's one of my favourite months I figured it would be the best place to start.

1. We went to see the Impractical Joker live show at the start of the month, we love the TV show and the live show did not disappoint.
2. We attended a local Comic Con at the beginning of the month, which was actually really good. Of course Josh nerded out at all the Star Wars stuff!
2. We've seen more of our niece this month and those chubby little cheeks never fail to make me smile!
3. The cosy evenings have definitely begun. I just love autumn and winter evenings and I really love dark nights so the fact it's getting darker earlier now is great! We bought some new fairy lights for our lantern and I love how cosy that corner of the living room looks.
4. Of course we carved pumpkins again this year. Josh is usually pretty creative but we had to do them one evening after work so neither of us had the energy so this year we've just got a traditional Jack O' Lantern and a cat.
5. We went away at the end of the month for a much needed break. We headed to one of our favourite cities, Liverpool. We used this trip away as a early 10th anniversary treat as we won't get away for our actual anniversary in December because of work. You can expect a post about Liverpool and a review of the hotel coming very soon.
6. My Dad went to Disney World this month and returned with a Magic Band each for Josh and I next year and a new pin for my collection.

October was such a great month, being the start of the best three months of the year though, I knew it wouldn't disappoint. I can't wait to see what November and December bring.

Monday, 30 October 2017

The Disney Tag

As I've decided to introduce more Disney content on the blog, I thought it'd be a great idea to do the Disney tag. I'll be honest this was harder than I thought it'd be, I struggled to just pick one answer for a lot of the questions! Anyway here we go with the 30 questions Disney tag.
  1. Favourite Character - I can't pick! It's between Marie, Tinkerbell and Stitch though I do love Figment as a Disney park exclusive character.
  2. Favourite Princess - Rapunzel
  3. Favourite Heroine - Moana
  4. Favourite Prince - Flynn Rider
  5. Favourite Hero - Bing Bong
  6. Favourite Animal - Marie
  7. Favourite Sidekick - Pascal or Stitch
  8. Favourite Villain - Mother Gothel
  9. Favourite Original Character - It has to be Mickey Mouse
  10. Favourite Love Song - Tale as Old as Time from Beauty and the Beast
  11. Favourite Song - Where You Are from Moana
  12. Favourite Villain Song - Mother Knows Best from Tangled
  13. Least Favourite Song - Let It Go from Frozen
  14. Favourite Kiss - Flynn Rider and Rapunzel
  15. First Disney Movie I saw - I have no idea! The first Disney movie I remember seeing in the cinema was the Emperor's New Groove
  16. Favourite Classic - Beauty and Beast or The Aristocats
  17. Songs that always get stuck in your head - Any song from Moana
  18. Favourite Pixar movie - Up or Wall-E
  19. Least favourite Pixar movie - Cars
  20. Favourite Sequel - Finding Dory and Monsters University (though technically that's a prequel!)
  21. Overrated Movie - Frozen or Toy Story
  22. Underrated Movie - The Good Dinosaur
  23. Movie that makes me laugh - Monsters Inc
  24. Movie that makes me cry - Most of them. Up, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur are the worst ones though!
  25. Saddest Scene - Either the montage in Up or Bing Bong disappearing in Inside Out
  26. Saddest Death - Bing Bong or Ellie
  27. Favourite Quote - "Adventure is out there" from Up // "You are my greatest adventure" from The Incredible's // "All our dreams can come true if we just have the courage to pursue them" Walt Disney
  28. Favourite theme park - Epcot at Walt Disney World
  29. Favourite theme park attraction - I have several... The Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios and Gran Fiesta Tour and Journey into Imagination at Epcot
  30. Favourite Show - All of them! Wishes was brilliant so I'm sad that's gone and I won't be seeing its replacement, Happily Ever After until next year so I can't comment on that, but Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios and IllumiNations are both brilliant.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Avenue Q at Leeds Carriageworks Theatre

At the end of September we headed to the Carriageworks Theatre, a small venue nestled away in the heart of Millennium Square, Leeds to see Avenue Q. A musical show with a twist in that all but two of the cast are puppets but the actors voicing and controlling the puppets can all be clearly seen on stage.

Be warned the use of puppets in no way means that this is a child friendly show, oh no. Think filthy Sesame Street and you'll pretty much have what Avenue Q is, a fun filled ride of puppet nudity, profanities and musical numbers such as 'The Internet is for Porn', 'Everyone's a Little Bit Racist' and 'You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love). In short we loved it!

On more than one occasion I was crying with laughter, the dark, crass humour was right up my street and Josh's too so we were bound to in stitches at line's such as "grab your dick and double click". The story follows Princeton, a recent college graduate who rents an apartment on Avenue Q. Whilst searching for his purpose in life he becomes well acquainted with the other residents, Brian and Christmas Eve (the only non puppet characters) who are ready to move on with their lives together, Nicky who suspects his friends and flatmate Rod is gay and just can't admit it, Kate Monster who dreams of opening her own school for little monsters, Trekkie Monster who has an addiction to porn and finally Gary Coleman the building superintendent. On his journey to discover his purpose, Princeton also meets the Bad Idea Bears and Lucy the Slut (and with names like that you just know they're going to spell disaster for Princeton!).  

Avenue Q far surpassed the high expectations I had of it. Diva Productions, a local theatre production company, did a fantastic job of creating their version of the extremely popular Broadway show. I'd definitely watch another show by them and I'd absolutely book tickets to Avenue Q again at the drop of a hat.

If you love your humour on the dark, filthy side I cannot recommend Avenue Q enough, seriously if you see a production of it, book tickets I just know you'll love it!