Tuesday, 29 September 2020


Here in Leicester, we're home to two Esquires Coffee shops. Artisan coffee shops, specialising in fairtrade and organic coffee, yummy brunch and a great community spirit. Both are fairly new additions to the City, with the most recent opening at The Wullcomb on Vaughan Way, tucked between the John Lewis car park and the Novotel hotel.

I absolutely love working from home and I'm super grateful every day. But it can sometimes get a little tedious sat at my desk. I mean, I sometimes treat myself and set up on the sofa with some reality TV on in the background, y'know, on special occasions ;), but it's nice to have a change of scenery now and then, so once a fortnight I try to head out for something fondly recognised by my team as #CoffeeShopWednesdays. 

Esquires Leicester Wullcomb opened just a month ago (August 2020) as part of new apartment complex The Wullcomb. 

Bright, contemporary decor with huge windows create a lovely atmosphere for a quick coffee break or a morning of work. 

They offer an extensive Breakfast, Brunch & Deli menu from eggs royale or waffles for breakfast, to warming soup or ham and cheese toasties for lunch. They bake most of their produce on-site in each store and promise to always aim to serve only the finest quality natural ingredients. 

I went for one of their Breakfast Waffles with smoked turkey bacon and poached eggs, which I enjoyed so much I've been back and ordered again since!

Their drinks menu includes everything from espresso shots and flat whites to chai lattes and a range of specialty teas! They also have delicious freshly squeezed juices on offer too, my favourite so far is Kale, Spinach, Cucumber, Lemon and Apple. Packed full of vitamins to keep my mind focussed on my work.

The staff were really welcoming and friendly, whilst ensuring that social distancing measures were always in place, reminding customers to keep 2 metres apart, stand behind the screens and consistently keeping everywhere clean. We felt safe and comfortable the whole morning. 

This, and it's other branch in New Walk, Leicester have quickly become firm favourites for my #CoffeeShopWednesdays. Everything from the food, drink, staff and atmopshere make them the perfect location for my working breakfasts.

And it has to be mentioned that they're also totally instagrammable too! ;) With its floor to ceiling windows looking out to the pretty John Lewis building, trendy light fittings and greenery hanging from the ceiling, it's just beautiful. And, the New Walk branch has... A FLOWER WALL!! I'm planning a full-on photoshoot in my head right now! :) 

If you're local to Leicester, definitely go check out Esquires Coffee at The Wullcomb, it's just opposite John Lewis and is open 8.30am-7pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-5pm on weekends.

AD - GIFTED -  This was a gifted visit in return for my honest review


Monday, 7 September 2020

HOTEL REVIEW - Crowne Plaza Birmingham City Centre

I love nothing more than heading to a hotel for the evening. Whether it's a base for a girls' night, a trip away making memories with the boys, or even just a night away on my own... yes really! I love my kids more than life, but give me a solo night away with a relaxing bubble bath, using some hotel freebie toiletries, setting up my laptop in the hotel bar and working my businesses.

Crowne Plaza, Birmingham City Centre, Hotel stay, Travel Agent Stay, Travel Agent Discount

I love visiting new hotels, and one that I hadn't checked out before was the Crowne Plaza in Birmingham City Centre

I wanted to plan something for Taylor's 6th Birthday, After 6 months on lockdown, no party with his friends this year, I thought a couple of days in Birmingham; a fun day at the Lego Centre and Sea Life centre, dinner in the Mailbox by the canal, followed by a day of shopping would be a nice idea, and would double up as a celebration for Bradley completing secondary school and receiving his GCSE results. 

So I booked a couple of rooms so the boys could have their own double bed each, at a fantastic price. A two-double bed room has an average nightly rate of £78. 

Crowne Plaza, Birmingham City Centre, Hotel stay, Travel Agent Stay, Travel Agent Discount

This 4-star stylish hotel is in a perfect location within Birmingham City Centre, right next door to the Mailbox and just a 5-minute walk to New Street Station, the Conference Centre and Birmingham Arena, which is where the Lego Centre and Sea Life are based. 

We purchased combi-tickets, which allowed us to visit both attractions at a slightly cheaper price.

Lego Discovery Centre, Sea Life Centre, Birmingham, Birmingham attractions, things to do Birmingham

The hotel was spotless, with hand sanitisers on entrance and around the hotel, sneeze screens at reception and floor reminders to stay socially distanced from others. 

We were given the warmest welcome. The lovely gentleman in reception was chatting to my little boy, wishing him a Happy Birthday and gave him a colouring pack, which was a nice little gesture. The lady on reception, who I believe was the assistant reception manager was absolutely lovely and couldn't do enough for us. We were very well looked after, with an early check-in and city view rooms as promised. 

Crowne Plaza, Birmingham City Centre, Hotel stay, Travel Agent Stay, Travel Agent Discount

The rooms were lovely and spacious, with fast, complimentary wifi (tick! tick! tick!) and comfortable beds. Everywhere was completely clean and we felt extremely safe the entire stay. 

The bathroom was spotless, sheets were clean and well made, perfect desk space and mirror space (tick! tick! tick! tick!) and the TV was a great size and had a great variety of channels for both me and the kids.

Crowne Plaza, Birmingham City Centre, Hotel stay, Travel Agent Stay, Travel Agent Discount

After a fun-packed day and a lovely meal by the canal we came back to the hotel to relax, watch some TV and settle down for the night. We all slept really well, aside from a noisy family a few doors down who liked the sound of their door slamming, accompanied by their kids running up and down the corridor. Business guests will be pleased to know that there are designated quiet zones Sunday - Friday to ensure maximum silence, with unwanted wakeup calls from housekeeping or screaming children! ;)

The hotel includes a fitness suite / gym and a bar and restaurant with city views, which we didn't use but we did have a little nosey around and they looked lovely. It's definitely worth noting that kids under 12 eat free in the restaurant too.

I'll definitely be visiting again soon, with my girlfriends and maybe even on my own! It's a lovely hotel and in a fantastic location for all my favourite places in Birmingham.

My Overall Review for the Crowne Plaza Birmingham City Centre:

Hotel / Facilities / Staff - 4/5
Location / Attractions - 5/5
Good Nights Sleep - 4/5
Value for Money - 4/5

Have you visited Birmingham recently?
Where did you stay?

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