At House of Coco we love a good adventure and it doesn’t take much persuading to get us out and about doing something spontaneous. We know that you lovely millennials crave a good adventure too and sometimes that doesn’t have to mean booking a flight and hopping overseas, you can have a lot of fun in the UK too.
This week our Editor-in-Chief Laura Bartlett has teamed up with Vauxhall to go on a 5 day UK tour where she plans to showcase all of the fun you can have in Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, London and Leeds. She is going to be enjoying the ride in the brand new Vauxhall Adam, sightseeing in each city for 24 hours, showcasing where to eat, sleep and basically proving that there is a lot of fun to be had on your doorstep. Here, she tells us more…
Day 1 : Edinburgh
When I first passed my driving test (eleven whole years ago – wow, I’m old!) I LOVED driving. I would take any opportunity to take anybody, anywhere, anytime! Then after a while you realise that your car doesn’t run on friendship and rallying all of your mates around becomes a drag. So when I decided to embark on a 5 day road trip, one of my main objectives was to put the fun back in to driving and, as Vauxhall would suggest, #LoveTheRide.
When the Vauxhall Adam arrived at my house I was instantly impressed, not only because the colour is pretty lush but fortunately the car looks way more cooler than his name suggests. I literally couldn’t wait to get started on the road. I hooked up my music and then it was time to head off – First stop : Edinburgh.
The whole journey took about four hours and seemed to go by pretty quickly. Mainly because I was singing my heart out for the majority of the way to about 10 different albums (Beyonce eat your heart out). I arrived in Edinburgh and literally think it was the windiest day in history! Fortunately my little Adam was sturdy enough to make me feel safe and I arrived in one piece.
I checked in to Motel One, a cool city centre hotel, who position themselves as a low budget design hotel and it’s the perfect choice for you whether you want to go shopping on the famous Princes Street, visit the National Gallery of Scotland or take a walk to Edinburgh Castle. Everything is literally on the doorstep!
After checking in, I headed straight to my room to unpack. When I entered I could hear a crackling sound and soon realised it was the ‘fire’ on the TV, cool way to create ambience and weirdly it seemed to make the room feel warmer (although that was probably just in my head).
The hotel has a few luxury touches, from the vintage German chandeliers that they have imported to the stunning decor but they help you save money by cutting back on the little things that you don’t always need, like a safe in your bedroom. My favourite thing about this hotel was by far….the eggs! They had been given cute little faces and hats and it turns out that Motel One have over 50 hotels and between them all they have a long running competition to showcase who can have the most fun with their eggs. How cute!
The hotel don’t offer dinner in the evenings and so I arranged to meet up with #TeamCoco writer Caoilfhionn who is based in the city and we dined at North Bridge Brasserie , the restaurant inside The Scotsman Hotel.
As soon as you arrive in the restaurant, it screams luxury. The decor is opulent, the lighting is romantic and the staff are dressed impeccably.There weren’t too many people dining whilst we were there but there was still enough to create a nice atmosphere. The staff were so attentive without becoming over bearing and, my favourite part, they made sure our glasses were never empty.
I ordered haggis for the first time (when in Rome and all that) and it was so tasty, way more subtle in taste than I thought it would be.
For the main course I had Braised Highland Beef,Heritage Carrot, Baby Onion and Horseradish and it was melt in the mouth deliciousness. The presentation was everything I imagined it would be in such a plush restaurant and the flavours were to die for. The jus/gravy or whatever you want to call the juices on this dish were so rich, I literally didn’t want it to end.
After chatting our way through a few glasses of fizz and a bottle of wine (I highly recommend the Sauvignon Blanc, Palena, Central Valley, Chile 2014) we realised that we were a little bit too full for dessert but had enough manpower to sink a cocktail. We chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cocktail, basically a dessert in liquid form. To. Die. For.
It was time to head back to Motel One to enjoy a cosy night in their uber comfy bed, with literally NO sound that seems to come in from the busy main street outside. I slept like a log which is so good because now it’s time to head off for the adventures of day 2.
Top 3 Instagrammers to follow
During this road trip I am on a tight schedule so sadly it means I don’t have the time to explore each city to the max BUT here are some Instagrammers in Scotland that can help you get your Edinburgh fix.
@lovenotwarhol – She showcases hidden corners of the city and makes everything look sooooo pretty.
@wilde_oates – He showcases the city through how she sees it everyday, he clearly has a creative eye.
@hellolovcrumbs – Warning : You will want to lick your phone
Top 5 Things To Do In Edinburgh This Spring
Meet The Edible Garden Team : Ok, I know it sounds a bit lame but growing your own veggies or doing a bit of foraging is actually quite fun. These guys will answer all of your edible garden questions
How You Gonna Live Your Dash – A solo performance presented by Jenna Watt, exploring the life-altering decisions we make in order to get the most out of our time on earth; giving up a high-flying career, confronting an addiction, dropping it all and moving to a new continent. Sounds intriguing…
North Hop – It’s a craft beer festival. Need I say more?!
Gardeners Kitchen – A cooking demo showcasing how to use seasonal produce to create tasty dishes. This fits perfectly with my inner foodie.
Edinburgh Fringe – OBVS! I accidentally went to the Fringe Festival a few years back. My friend and I had planned some time in the city and when we hopped off the train it was rammed. We soon realised it was because of the festival and then spent the rest of the weekend in and out of bars/clubs and random locations listening to some totes hilarious comedians. Loved. It.
Check back tomorrow and catch up with the next part of the adventure in Manchester
Total miles : 216