the garage spa

we’ve been breathing in the mountain air, enjoying the powder and making the most of the perfect skiing conditions in meribel over the past few days and we will be blogging about our trip very soon.

but while we sort through our photos and attend to spots of mild sunburn (i managed to fry the parting of my hair – who does that), i realised we never got around to posting about our a recent(ish) mini spa break.

a little while ago (ok it was a fair few weeks ago now – where does the time go?) we escaped the hustle and bustle of london to pay a visit to the garage spa in greta bridge, near darlington.

the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

after a two and a half hour train journey from london and a short taxi ride, we arrived at the morritt hotel, a rustic 18th century stone building on friday night, perfectly timed for a feeding.

we dumped our bags in the room, admired that humungous bed, and made our way downstairs for dinner. gillroy’s award-winning restaurant awaited us, and the menu looked extremely promising. IMG_6871IMG_6872IMG_6873

after a glass of wine relaxing in front of the fire while sprawled out on a red leather sofa we were seated at our table. dinner proved to be quite the big event. there was only one other table in the entire restaurant, which given the amazing food seems like a total waste, but andrea and i enjoyed having the full attention of our attentive waiter.

we started off with a little amuse bouche, andrea looks devastated about it doesn’t she?the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

next came succulent tuna steak for me…tuna steak, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

ang ordered scallopsthe garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

my main was quite the show-stopper, cod dressed with squid, flowers and sea foamcod, squid, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant cod, squid, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

andrea kept things simple with steak, onion rings and chips (most of which i couldn’t help but devour)steak, onion rings and chips, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

 we couldn’t pass up a pudding and creme caramel and ice cream proved to be the grand finale of our meal…creme caramel, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant creme caramel and ice cream, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

but the petit fours proved too tempting and this little macaroon caught my eyemacaroon, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

totally stuffed after our five-course meal, which was as delicious as it looks, we retired to bed. i slept like a baby. the next morning we woke feeling thoroughly rested and headed to the spa ready for our m.o.t. and a spot of serenity.article-2292226-18A0E196000005DC-720_634x477the garage spa, greta bridge

we enjoyed a dip in the mud pit and an hour-long scented massage (which was pure bliss) before exploring all the various hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas on offer.

the log-fire shepherd’s hut situated in the secret garden was my favourite, while andrea favoured a soak in the big metal tub with views of the countryside.

all too soon it was time to get dressed and return to london feeling ever so relaxed and raring to get back to the rat race.

the garage spa IMG_6902IMG_6914IMG_6909IMG_6916IMG_6930

 you can read my full review for the mail here and you can find the garage spa here

watermelon mani

i’m still into my ‘let’s pretend it’s spring by wearing bright and perky manicures’ phase. it’s not ideal, but it’s necessary. i’m giving london two more weeks to get its sh*t together before i’m hauling ass back to sydney, where it is currently 29 degrees. in autumn.

in the meantime, i’m channelling summer with this fruity little number. ain’t she cute?watermelon nail art manicure

watermelon nail art manicure

i was having a little play with polka dots (you know about my obsession – and here’s a secret, you guys only see about a third of the polka dot manis that adorn my nails. that’s how common they are) and randomly tried black dots on this punchy watermelon pink.

watermelon nail art manicure

the effect didn’t look too different to watermelon seeds, so i just went ahead and added a white and green stripe to the edge of the nail. ét voila: a cutie patootie take on my favourite fruit.

watermelon nail art manicure

to avoid smearing, keep your two coats of pink as thin as possible and really, truly wait for them to be completely dry before going about your dotting and striping.

i do the whole end of the nail white, then add the green on top as its easier than trying to paint two really thin stripes side by side. but keep in mind that by this point you’re working with four coats of nail varnish – thick and gloopy if you don’t allow them to dry properly.

watermelon nail art manicure

so remember: two coats of pink. dry completely. black dots and white stripe. dry completely. green stripe. dry completely. top coat. time consuming, but worth it – you don’t want to get to the very last step and ruin it all by smudging. be patient.

watermelon nail art manicure

six spoonfuls

 meet boston, the cutest puggle pup in town
puggle puppy, puggle dog, cute dogs, peanutbuttered, peanutbuttered blog

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coconut oil – my new kitchen essential coconut oil

cheese nirvana at whole foods in sohowhole foods london soho cheese bar

for glossy shiny hair – bumble and bumble colour minded shampooIMG_7121

 waking up to blue skies and mountain air in meribelmeribel france