A New Venture for Cricketer’s Inn

The start of 2017 saw successful inn group, Cricketer’s Inn add to their collection of boutique properties with the acquisition of Giggleswick’s Harts Head Inn. In the months since the Inn has benefitted from over £200k in refurbishments, with improvements made to the kitchen, bar and restaurant.

Hart’s Head Inn – Post Refurbishment

The inn has seen more than physical transformations, with a new head chef – Matt Adamson, who previously headed the kitchen at the groups’ lauded Plough at Lupton. Taking over from Matt at his previous post is the new head chef at the Plough, Robert Stacey, ex-Le Caprice, Galvin at Windows and latterly responsible for the superb reputation of the Castle Dairy in Kendal.

Hart’s Head Inn

In addition to The Plough at Lupton, The Cricketer’s Inn has acquired the popular and CAMARA award winning craft beer hostelry, The Crown and Kettle in Manchester, which is also undergoing significant renovations at present.

Hart’s Head Inn 

2017 looks like it is set to be prosperous year for the group and they are looking forward to welcoming guests to all three of their stunning venues this summer.

The Brunette and Two Blondes Recommend Valentine’s Stays

Are you looking for somewhere to take your Valentine/Pal-entine this February? We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 UK hotels we’re dying to be taken.

  1. The Witchery, Edinburgh

Hidden in a collection of historic buildings at the gates to Edinburgh Castle, James Thomson’s Witchery is the most spectacularly atmospheric dining destination in the city.46.jpg

2. Beech Hill Hotel & Spa, Lake District  

From the eastern bank of Windermere, the dramatic views across the lake to the Western Fells are nothing short of breathtaking. This constantly changing scene serves as a living picture postcard of this most beautiful countryside, an eloquent backdrop to the captivating charm that is the Beech Hill Hotel & Spa.


3. The Wizard Chamber, London

Concealed behind a bookcase door, curious guests can enjoy venturing to the Wizard Chamber on the lower ground floor of our 19th century hotel. Pass through a portrait-lined passageway that is bathed in candle light that casts dancing shadows across the walls.


4. The Four Seasons Hotel, St. Fillans 

The Four Seasons Hotel in Perthshire Scotland is situated in a picturesque setting on the banks of Loch Earn. The natural beauty of this location is the first delight for every visitor to St. Fillans, and the position of the Four Seasons, looking south-west down Loch Earn, is one of the most enviable settings in Scotland


5. The Crazy Bear, Stadhampton

The original Crazy Bear has been entertaining guests since its creation in 1993.
Abundant gardens, eclectic design, award winning dining and inventive facilities, within eighty acres of working farmland all contribute to its distinctive personality.


6. Newton Hall, Northumberland

Unique among boutique hotels Newcastle and Northumberland, Newton Hall is blessed with Italian style, retro cool, Oriental mystery, colonial splendour, loft-style living, French chic and more… and all of it marvellously, wonderfully and beautifully relaxing.


7. Trigony House Hotel, Dumfries And Galloway

Trigony House Hotel and Garden Spa is definitely not a budget “chain” hotel and offers a truly relaxing, bespoke and unique ‘5 star’ country house hotel experience.


8. Borthwick Castle, North Middleton 

The rooms are scattered throughout the Castle, mostly accessed by spiral staircases and secret doorways. Some are named after the historic figures who would have slept there in days gone by.


9. Balbirnie House, Fife

Balbirnie House is an award-winning luxury country house hotel nestled within 400 acres of beautiful parkland in the heart of Fife.


10. Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth

Nestling in Bournemouth’s fashionable Soho quarter, the Chocolate Boutique Hotel is the perfect place to unwind. Here you’ll find a warm, friendly welcome, cosy chocolate-themed rooms and chocolate galore.


Where are you desperate to go this Valentine’s Day?



The Brunette and Blonde attend Malmaison + Caorunn Gin’s Cocktail Event

A couple of weeks ago, The Brunette and I were invited along to The Malmaison Hotel in Edinburgh for their Cocktail evening with Caorunn Gin. We were invited to share a glass of bubbly, meet the staff and lovely people at Caorunn Gin, enjoy some Christmas canapes and of course, try The Pink Lady of Leith; the Malmaison’s award winning original cocktail.


The cocktail was to die for! The Pink Lady of Leith mixes Caorunn Gin with Lemon Juice, Raspberry & Vanilla Syrup, Egg White and garnished with Fresh Raspberries. A strong, yet not overwhelming, fruity mix created by one of the bar staff at Malmaison Edinburgh.

While we didn’t manage to stay long -it being a work night- we had a wonderful time, the staff were so kind and helpful (special thanks to Emma!) and the food was delicious. We will definitely be back to try another one -or two- of their festive cocktails!

One of the Blondes visits Malmaison Edinburgh

Spoiler alert:  if it was possible to live in the Malmaison hotel in Edinburgh, I would be there tomorrow.

It was mine and my boyfriend’s anniversary coming up, and we wanted to go somewhere local but nice without entirely breaking the bank (who has an anniversary this close to having to buy Christmas presents anyway?!) There’s no getting around it – hotels in Edinburgh are definitely on the expensive side. Most of the ones we were looking at for a Friday night were coming in at over £180 a night just for the room, and that wasn’t even one of the good rooms. Frankly, we were beginning to lose all hope and then…

We discovered The Malmaison hotel and their amazing ‘Date night’ deal.  The deal includes a beautiful room, a 3 course dinner, a bottle of champagne in the room and a continental breakfast the next day for two people – all for £165.  You can see the offer here because I wouldn’t blame you for thinking, that’s just too good to be true!

Now, I myself did suspect that on such a great offer our room might not be the best.  You know the fear, that it’s not going to look like the lovely one in the photos?  But rest assured, our room was stunning – see the photo below.  The classic rooms as you can see are beautifully decorated and spacious.

Double room malmaison.jpg
Photo from the Malmaison website – as my boyfriend can’t wait to unpack his case before I take a picture!

Our bottle of champagne was chilling in the room when we arrived, along with a very cute Happy Anniversary card from the hotel and a chocolate treat.  Little touches like this make all the difference and the Malmaison staff clearly work very hard to make sure people feel at home in their hotel.

After getting settled and unpacked (with a little glass of champagne), we went out for a beautiful afternoon walk around The Shore.  The Malmaison looks over the water at the bottom of The Shore in Leith, so you’re in easy reach of the city centre but also in my (slightly bias) opinion right in the middle of the best part of Edinburgh. There are lots of good bars and restaurants within a couple of minute’s walk from the Malmaison, but once I go through the dinner we had at the hotel, this information may not seem as important…

The 3 course dinner at the Malmaison included in the deal comes from a set menu which changes with the seasons.  Even if you’re not staying at the Malmaison, they offer the 3 course set menu for £24.95 per person, which I think is fantastic value for the quality of the food you receive. We were there right in time for the Autumn menu, which is packed full of very tasty sounding, hearty dishes perfect for the cold Edinburgh weather. You can have a nosy at the menu here.

Confession time: we did the bad thing and both ordered the same starter and main course.  In our defense, who can resist a Scotch Egg of Venison & Ramsay Black Pudding followed by a Venison Burger and Sweet Potato Chips?! Evidently, not us.  I wish I could say we were sorry but, they were both DELICIOUS.

The Scotch Egg was perfectly runny served with Autumn remoulade and homemade apple puree which complimented the dish perfectly.  I never thought I’d see the day a Scotch Egg would be overshadowed, but then we tried the burger.  This was the real star of the show!  The sourdough bun was a really nice change from the brioche roll which everywhere seems to be serving at the moment, while the venison was cooked on the more rare side of medium which is exactly how we like it.

Now as you can see that is a seriously large burger, so I was feeling ridiculously full after dinner and not ready for pudding whatsoever.  When asked about dessert by our server I had to sadly decline on account of having eyes much bigger than my stomach.  Buuut then, our server asked if we would like to have the dessert to take up to our room for later instead.  Malmaison – you get serious brownie points from me for this!

So, tucked up in our extremely comfy bed we got to enjoy the Poached Pear Crumble and  Steamed Treacle Sponge. I can testify that both were absolutely delightful!  What more could a person want from a Friday night?  I have to say a special thank you to the staff on both the reception and restaurant at the hotel – they go the extra mile and make the stay spectacular.

If you fancy a relaxed break in Edinburgh – I would happily recommend the Malmaison.  Between the room, the food and the staff it gets a 10/10 from me.

P.s. About me moving in…?