Saturday, 5 October 2013

Having a break but we are still planning!

It has been a crazy time, new jobs, weddings to attend, friends having babies, engagements, eye laser surgery! So we haven’t made it to a Principal Hayley hotel in a while. But we are back to planning. Next year is a big one – we both turn 30! Where do you think we should go to celebrate? Let us know which Principal Hayley hotel you love… The Hayleys xxx

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Stop 13.  Wotton House

Stop 13 brings us to the delightful Wotton House which is set in 13 acres of beautiful listed gardens in the Surrey Countryside, just outside Dorking.

The stunning driveway leads to the 17th century property with its Italian gardens, the first to be built in England.

We were lucky enough to be staying in a double superior room where we had the luxury of White company toiletries, slipper and robes. The room was spacious with 2 armchairs, an en suite and a huge flat screen TV. We also had a lovely view over the gardens to one of the temples in the Italian gardens.
The room had just finished a makeover and was clean and fresh.

The rest of the hotel has also had a recent refurbishment and looks amazing. The public areas are warm and inviting and the rooms are comfortable and well equipped. We spent our first evening in the Tempus restaurant and were pleased to try some new additions to the menu. The mini toad in the hole was delicious!

After our meal we decided to explore the hotel. We came across the breathtaking Old Library which is used for events and weddings. The vaulted ceiling and huge fireplace makes this room a truly grand place for any celebration. The Orangery bar is also a great place to relax with its airy feel and views over the garden.

We were very impressed with the breakfast served at Wotton house with the addition of smoothies and porridge to the regular breakfast buffet menu.

After breakfast we headed to the nearby Denbies Wine Estate where we had a very informative tour and were able to try 3 of the sparkling wines produced on the estate. We would definitely recommend visiting here whilst staying at Wotton. There is also a brewery next door and during the summer months you are able to take a land train to see where the vines are grown.
For our evening meal we decided to head into Dorking, 5 minutes from the hotel. We ate in a little Italian called Viva which was warm and friendly. The food was delicious and reasonably priced.

The Gardens
Although we didn't use the facilities, the hotel also has a leisure club with a swimming pool with spa, sauna and a steam room. There is also a hard surface tennis court

On our way home we  took advantage of the last day of ice skating at Hampton Court Palace which is about 30 mins from the hotel. Overall we had a great stay at the hotel and would reccomend it as a good base for exploring Surrey and the west of London.

Stop 12: Christmas time at the Russell...

As our Christmas treat we decide to indulge on a London city break using the Hotel Russell as our base. Built in 1898, The Russell is an iconic Victorian hotel which looks over the famous Russell square.

The hotel was in full Christmas spirit with a beautiful Christmas tree in the hallway and decorations trailing the stairs. The reception staff, as always were happy and helpful and as we arrived early were more than happy to store our luggage for us while we headed into town. The hotel is an ideal base for the West End and we decided to spend our afternoon at the theatre. After a matinee of the musical "Loserville", we enjoyed some retail therapy in Oxford street, snapping up some new Christmas jumpers!

Returning to the hotel we checked into our room. We chose a standard double and had plenty of room with a flat screen television and an en suite bathroom. The room was finished to a high standard and the bed was very comfortable!

We spent the evening at Winter wonderland which was just a short tube ride away. It was a cold night and we were glad to get back to the warmth of our room! Our stay ended with a delicious Principal Hayley breakfast.

The Hotel Russell is a delightful hotel full of charm and character and a great London base for shopping and going to the theatre.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Birthday afternoon tea with Russell!

This week we visited the Hotel Russell, London for afternoon tea to celebrate Daddy Avery’s birthday. We were very impressed by the grandeur of the hotel and were seated in the Tempus restaurant  with its marble pillars and high ceilings.  Abhinav and his team were very attentive and offered us plenty of steaming tea throughout.  We were presented with freshly made sandwiches and were very impressed with the effort made to meet our dietary requirements.  We also enjoyed a delicious selection of pastries and scones. We enjoyed our visit so much we are hoping to make stop number 13 a Christmas stay at the Russell!


Stop 11, The Derbyshire

Stop 11 brings us to stay at The Derbyshire.   After a long journey from London we were glad to fall into the huge bed in our room.  Our room was large and spacious with a mini fridge, TV and en suite bathroom.  With plenty of pillows we slept soundly and woke refreshed and ready to fill up at the breakfast buffet.  There was plenty of choice at breakfast and the chef was more than happy to cook  some poached eggs to accompany my breakfast muffins.
After breakfast we took a stroll to the nearby East Midlands outlet village where there are many shops to browse and bargains to be found . The Peak District is close by but ideally a car is needed to explore the area as public transport is limited.
We spent our afternoon using the leisure facilities back at the hotel.  The hotel has a heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room and also offers beauty treatments. After a relaxing massage and facial we spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool with a good book.
You have the choice of eating in the Tempus restaurant or in the bar, both offering a varied menu to suit all tastes.  We sampled some dishes including the Tempus pate with onion marmalade and the lemon tart, both of which were delicious.
Sunday took us into Derby city centre . We visited its stunning cathedral which was hosting an animal thanksgiving service.  It was very strange to see alpacas and tortoises’ walking down the aisle!
November brings our next stay and we look forward to stop number 12 at Northampton’s Sedgebrook hall.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Stop 10: Beaumont Estate

Anniversary and Birthday Trip!

A year had passed and it was time to take the Principal Hayley challenge back to where it all started and celebrate Hayley A’s birthday.

BeaumontEstate was the destination for stop 10 and we were excited to celebrate a year of the Principal Hayley challenge back in Windsor. On arrival the reception was bustling with guests for a wedding. Although there were lots of people checking in the reception staff checked people in quickly and efficiently and we did not have to wait long.

 After receiving our room key from Brian we headed to find our room. Beaumont estate is the largest Principal Hayley property with 414 rooms set within 40 acres of landscaped grounds.


Our room, a standard room, was spacious,modern and spotlessly clean. We were over the moon with the treats left for us by the marketing team to celebrate our anniversary and Hayley A’s birthday. Thanks guys!

After exploring our room, we donned our principal Hayley coats and headed off to explore the grounds. The estate, which dates back to the 17th century was previously a school and has beautiful outside spaces to walk in close to the River Thames.

We were blown away by the Beaumont Chapel which is an ideal place to celebrate a wedding. The chapel has been beautifully restored by Principal Hayley and would give a feeling of grandeur to any occasion.

We took a look round the White House, a magnificent executive wing of Beaumont Estate, the home of conference rooms and suites as well as guest bedrooms. Just the name itself makes it feel special and the decor inside did not disappoint!

White House

There is plenty to do and the hotel boasts a leisure Club with indoor swimming pool, tennis courts as well as plenty of things for children including a play room, giant Connect Four and giant Jenga. The hotel and conference centre also plays host to businesses for team building days, they certainly have the space and tranquility to be perfect for this.

Beaumont is in a great location and is the perfect base for visiting Windsor Castle, Legoland and Thorpe Park. We were due to have a flutter at the Windsor race course but due to the delightful English weather we were rained off.

Our evening was spent in Tempus, where we had our first PH buffet experience. There was a good range of delicious dishes for both meat eaters and vegetarians and as always the deserts were AMAZING!

The staff  were very attentive and made sure we were topped up with drinks and finished plates were taken away. We then headed to the bar for a celebratory drink.

We always love a Principal Hayley breakfast and although the breakfast room was very busy with people from the wedding and other events from the previous night, the staff were on the ball and food was replenished quickly, maintaining a hot and hearty breakfast which set us up for the day. 

We had a great stay at Beaumont Estate and were glad we chose it as our anniversary stop. Now to look forawrd to another year of Principal Hayley fun....

Anniversary message!


A year ago, afternoon tea at Oakley Court and a random idea turned into
The Principal Hayley Challenge. We never dreamt that we would have such an amazing year. We have stayed in beautiful locations, met wonderful people and have never laughed so much.

We love to share the 'Principal Hayley way' and hope that they too will experience and love the hotels the way we do (not just beacuse of the brilliant name!).  Principal Hayley have provided so many happy memories for us and we look forward to another 12 stops and many more memories.

We would like to thank everyone that we have met on our challenge so far, who have looked after us so well and made us feel so welcome. 

We look forward to more adventures, meeting new Principal Hayley faces and even more laughter in the coming year. Keep following us!

Hayley A and Hayley C

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