Craig shares his experience of his stay at the Port Lympne animal reserve and safari experience
Every now then I am surprised by an experience. I had absolutely no idea that just two train stops from Stratford and I could be hand feeding a Giraffe, monkeys and a Rhino. The Port Lympne animal reserve and safari experience is home to 760 animals across 90 species, including giraffes, monkeys, bears, lions and tigers. Not only that but you can stay in lodges with the animals!
Port Lympne animal reserve and safari experience is just a short trip from London
Where to Stay at Port Lympne
For our two day experience we stayed at Port Lympne Mansion. This stunning grade II listed building was built in 1913 for Sir Phillip Sassoon. Like many large country homes it became abandoned after the second world war, before being bought in 1973 by John Aspinall who spent 10 years restoring the mansion. Aspinall was an interesting character known also for his gambling and links to the ‘disappearance’ of Lord Lucan, whom it is said he met with many years after he went missing. View Post
Craig attends the 50 anniversary of Preferred Hotels at the stunning Sopwell House Hotel
Beautiful Sopwell House dating back to the 17th century
Situated just a short train ride out of London in St Albans, the stunning Sopwell House, once owned by Prince Philip’s Grandfather, played host to the Preferred Hotels and Resorts 50th anniversary. Starting life in the 17th century the house has since been extended and now boasts 128 rooms, 12 acres of land to explore and a luxurious spa. So, what better place to sip a glass of Prosecco and wish them a very happy birthday.
One of the stunning bedrooms at Sopwell House Hotel
The spa at Sopwell House which is currently being extended with some top secret new editions
With the sun high in the sky, it was the perfect afternoon for a traditional British garden party. With cocktails by The Ginistry, served in pineapples, a pineapple cake and pineapple decorations it was a very ‘pineapple’ afternoon! But once you learn that the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and also features in the Preferred Hotels & Resorts logo, it’s obvious why it featured so heavily. Hospitality knew no bounds as plate after plate of incredible food was brought out to the garden for guests to enjoy. View Post
Craig shares his experience of his stay at the Mercure Grange Park Hotel in Hull in this Hotel review blog post
The beautiful Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel
Okay, let’s get your first thought out of the way. Yes Hull! We all know it’s had some bad press in the past, but that’s just where it is; in the past. After being voted the city of culture in 2017 Hull has seen significant regeneration and is all the better for it. The city isn’t the only thing that had a huge amount of money spent on it as the Mercure Grange Park Hotel also had a pretty penny lavished on it, with some major refurbishment. That said, let me tell you about my experience.
The original manor that still forms part of the Hotel
The photograph above of the original 19th century manor house was taken in 1944 before the building was turned from a tired home in to a 100 room hotel with gym, pool, restaurant, bar and local spa on the doorstep. Skip forward a few years to March 2018, and the Hotel was the proud winner of a REYTA award in The Remarkable Business Tourism category. And thanks to a million pound plus refurbishment of the main event space and all 100 bedrooms, this Hotel now holds a four star rating.
The reception area of the Hotel