REVIEW: Mark Warner Hotel L’Ecrin du Val Claret

Hotel L'Ecrin Du Val Claret

Considering booking L’Ecrin Du Val Claret in Tignes for your ski holiday? From more about the rooms, food quality and the spa in this detailed review. 

As outlined in my Wanderlust Bambi post I wasn’t a natural skier… but after a few days in ski school, I started to get the hang of it! Thankfully, when I wasn’t on the slopes I had a cosy mountain hideaway to warm up in – the Mark Warner Hotel L’Ecrin in the village of Tignes Val Claret in the French Alps.

Mark Warner Ski Trip Tignes - 39

Covered in a snowy cotton-wool blanket, the chalet style hotel had a spacious reception area, a comfortable lounge with a fireplace, bar, restaurant, a luxurious spa, and 52 bedrooms.

Lounge area at Hotel L'Ecrin Du Val Claret
Lounge area at Hotel L’Ecrin Du Val Claret
Hotel L'Ecrin Du Val Claret
Hotel L’Ecrin Du Val Claret
Spa area at Hotel L'Ecrin Du Val Claret
Spa area at Hotel L’Ecrin Du Val Claret
Lounge area at Hotel L'Ecrin Du Val Claret
Lounge area at Hotel L’Ecrin Du Val Claret

The Mark Warner experience is all about warm service, comfort and convenience. Over the course of a few days I got to know the hotel staff – from the front desk team to the spa girls and the barmen. Everyone was friendly, full of info and brought a really lovely social vibe to the hotel. For families, they offer childcare – a great option when the grown ups fancy a day on the slopes.

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REVIEW: Soho Kitchen and Bar

Soho Kitchen and Bar - Little Bao

Time for dinner at Soho Kitchen and Bar.

Recently I wrote about London’s love of single-ingredient restaurants, after my visit to Balls & Company. But, just when I thought it was all about balls, I discovered a contender for the crown – the bao!

The traditional Chinese steamed buns, filled with a variety of ingredients, have popped up for a special week at Soho Kitchen and Bar. Chef and creator of Little Bao, May Chow, has brought her burger-style steamed buns all the way from Hong Kong where they’ve earned quite a following

For a Monday night in Soho, the restaurant was buzzing, and it seemed I wasn’t the only foodie who was curious to try them. It had the feel of an American diner, but with an Asian twist. Chopsticks lay where a knife and fork usually would, and the ‘Little Bao’ logo was emblazoned on the waiters’ t-shirts, menus, and even the squeezy chilli sauce bottles on the tables.Soho Kitchen and Bar - Little Bao MenuSoho Kitchen and Bao10 For a balanced meal, we were encouraged to choose a bao each, along with a few items to share.

While deciding what to eat we sipped on Chinese inspired cocktails and gazed out at bustling Old Compton Street (it’s a great people watching spot). The Yuzana cocktail (sake, yuzu and prosecco) was a radioactive shade of yellow, with a citrus perfume flavour. Gin & Juice (gin, cucumber, ginger and lime) was refreshing, with a fiery kick of ginger.Soho Kitchen and Bar - Little Bao Cocktail

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REVIEW: Flat Three Restaurant, Holland Park, London

Flat Three Restaurant

Time for dinner at Flat Three Restaurant in Holland Park.

With a Scandi-Japanese-Korean fusion menu, an open kitchen, and a love of foraging, Flat Three is one of London’s intriguing hidden gems.

As I ventured through an understated doorway on Holland Park Avenue, and downstairs to the restaurant, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The room I entered was a sophisticated basement – simple décor, elegant table settings and glassware all working with the original structure of the room. Within the archways were intimate alcoves, perfect for seating small groups. I took my place, and prepared for the main entertainment.

Flat Three Restaurant

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REVIEW: The Pucic Palace, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Pucic Palace Dubrovnik Bedroom

Checking out The Pucic Palace in the ancient city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Awkward guest – that’s just not my style!

Oh… that was until I checked into The Pucic Palace in Dubrovnik in June 2015. I arrived just as an incredible electric storm struck the city. My arrival in Dubrovnik was already tinged with drama as my shuttle bus from the airport had broken down on a cliff edge and another bus had to come and rescue us. Once at The Pucic Palace, the hotel staff agreed to help me set up my Croatian SIM card, which was a small drama in itself as they searched the entire building for an unlocked phone!

It’s fair to say, they took all my mini dramas in their stride, and went above and beyond to make my stay a pleasant one.

The hotel has two sections: the 17th Century Baroque hotel building, and the annex apartments a minute away. I was staying in Defne Apartment in the annex – a stunning building right in the heart of the old town.

Wanderlust Chloe Pucic Palace Dubrovnik 09

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REVIEW: Osmanli Manor Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

Time to check out Osmanli Manor Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Cappadocia is a land of boutique hotels. Tourism is booming in the towns of Göreme, Ürgüp and Uçhisar, but the region hasn’t been spoiled by giant chain hotels… yet. Instead, small hotels designed, built and run by locals, complement the landscape of caves and rocks.

After two nights enjoying the seclusion of Kale Konak Cave Hotel in Uçhisar, I moved to Osmanli Manor Hotel located in Cappadocia’s main town of Göreme. I chose the manor not only because Göreme offers more in the way of dining and shopping, but it is also one of a handful of new build boutique hotels that had opened in recent years.

Wanderlust Chloe Osmanli Manor Hotel Cappadocia 15

The hotel is run by Australian/Turkish couple Fiona and Mustafa. She recounted the tale: “15 years ago I was backpacking through the area, fell in love, and the rest is history.” They lived in Australia for a few years, and then decided to return to Cappadocia to open the hotel.

There was a feeling of grandeur as I entered, but any stiffness quickly disappeared once I spotted two young children by reception. Their ‘help’ with check-in provided much entertainment! Also adding to the family-run hotel vibe was an affectionate dog called Penny.

Wanderlust Chloe Osmanli Manor Hotel Cappadocia 16

During my visit in April, the area was suffering from some unusually

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