For our last day in Iceland we drove from Ion Hotel across to the famous and quirky Hotel Ranga, where each suite has a different theme, inspired by different parts of the world. 

On the way we stopped at the amazing Skogafoss waterfall, which was truly breathtaking. Again the wind was super strong, it was lucky our jeep had chains on the doors as otherwise I’m pretty sure they would have blown off! We ran to take a few pictures before jumping back into the warmth of the car – my kindle and I became very good pals on this trip as I stayed snuggled in the warmth while P headed off intrepidly to take very windy pictures!

We also stopped at a beautiful black beach – tricky to get to over sand dunes – the high winds meant visibilty was very limited and at times it felt as if we were in an apocalyptic movie! 

If you’ve not visited Iceland before, it really is somewhere to add to your bucket list. There is nowhere else like it, the scenery really is breathtakingly beautiful.As the day was drawing to a close (it’s hard to know the time as it didn’t get dark until past 11pm, but when we felt exhausted and ready for a glass of wine!) we headed to our final hotel stop, Hotel Ranga.

As I mentioned, it’s a well known and quirky place – very homely with whacky room designs and amazing food! We checked in and were showed to our suite which was huge and African themed. So many well thought out details and a huge, dark bathroom with one of the largest baths I had seen in a while.I jumped straight in for a good soak to thaw out from the cold before heading down to the bar for a drink. On the way I met a very large polar bear in reception!

Throughout our trip in Iceland we ate very well. I was a little surprised about quite how delicious and gourmet the food was as the local ingredients are somewhat limited, but the local specialities, mainly lamb and arctic char were always cooked to perfection, creatively combining local herbs and berries.

The food at Ranga was exceptional – they take it very seriously and the hotel owner was keen for us to try as much of the menu as we could possibly manage! It was all fantastic, but there is one thing that was so out of this world that I still find myself day dreaming about it from time to time…

It was a wild mushroom soup made from a secret recipe that the chef had passed down by his grandmother. In the short season that mushrooms can grow in Iceland, she would pick and collect as many as she could and keep them until Christmas, when she would make a soup for all the family to share. I have no idea how the soup was made and what else was in it, but it was amazing – I had to use a lot of willpower to stop myself from licking the bowl!

It was the perfect end to a lovely few days in this special and magnificant country. 

Today we are off to somewhere rather warmer, lovely Pollensa in the north of Mallorca. One of my favourite places in the world, I can’t wait to spend 10 days relaxing there with friends and family.

I will be in touch soon!

LBM
x

ps – I am thrilled to have been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2016! Please take a minute to vote for me here. I would be so grateful! x

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{Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden}























P and I recently escaped for a gorgeous few days in romantic Rome – we were over there to celebrate a friends birthday and it was the perfect place for some serious pottering in the sunshine as well as celebrating in style in a country that has some the best food and wine in the world. The weather was beautiful and we stayed in one of Rome’s best kept secrets…a gorgeous little boutique hotel called Crossing Condotti. Hidden away on a side street literally seconds walk from the bottom of the Spanish Steps, it was the perfect place to base ourselves and we received such a warm welcome.


Our room was beautifully designed for both style and comfort; the bed perfect to collapse into after a long day walking and Marco, hosting us at the hotel, gave us some fantastic recommendations for food and drink spots – places that locals would frequent rather than sticking to the main tourist spots and we were so grateful to him for this. We had an amazing weekend and I would highly recommend staying there next time you’re in beautiful Roma!


I hope you’re enjoying this lovely Indian Summer as much as I am.


Have a gorgeous weekend!


LBM

x


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{Images via Butler-Madden Photography & Crossing Condotti}
























Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited – I have been a number of times and the scenery, food and gorgeous people that live there, never fail to impress me. The first time I visited was just after the Tsunami and I have been about five or six times over the years since and am so pleased to see that now the country is at peace again, tourism is really taking off and after years of unrest things are slowly returning to normal on this magical island. 

The first hotel I want to share with you is a must visit in the capital of Colombo. It’s a haven away from the bustling streets – the monochrome elegance hits you as you drive up to the entrance and this theme is continued throughout the public areas of the hotel. Our room (we were upgraded to a beautiful suite) was a palette of soft pastels; a stunning serene space to unwind after a day exploring the sites. I’m not sure I need to say any more – these beautiful pictures by my talented husband really do speak for themselves!


We booked through Mr & Mrs Smith, which as always was a pleasure, and there was a lovely welcome gift waiting for us in the room.


I’ve got lots more gorgeous Sri Lankan properties to share with you in coming weeks, it really is such a special place, if you haven’t been I would definitely move it to the top of your bucket list!


LBM

x

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{Images by Patrick Butler-Madden}

It’s hard to think that just a month ago we were snoozing by this pool in the late afternoon sunshine – it feels like a million miles from the brisk winter days and long dark evenings that we are now experiencing in the UK. The beautiful Alavya Hotel in the small town of Alaçati in Turkey was the perfect haven to get some rest and respite before starting on our latest project. We spend five nights hiding behind the walls in the perfectly manicured gardens – it was utter bliss. The hotel is so well designed and thought out – set in a collection of former village houses, there is a range of styles to the bedrooms. From the rustic to the super luxurious, all with a great feeling of privacy. 

The town of Alaçati was equally as lovely – a real haven and a place where you have to look very hard for a fellow British holiday maker. Popular mainly with Istanbul weekenders, we had an authentic Turkish experience; the variety and quality of food on offer didn’t disappoint. We pottered, pootled and generally took it very easy – it was almost the end of their summer season so the sun was low in the sky and the temperature a perfect 23 degrees. It was heaven and I would definitely recommend to all wanting an mini break as in easy flying distance to Izmir from London with just under an hour transfer to the hotel.

For more information please visit the Alavya website.

LBM
x


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{Images via Alavya & Patrick Butler-Madden}