Stracey Hotel – Norwich, UK

I find Norwich a bit of a strange place.  There doesn’t seem to be very much to it; however every major insurance and finance company seems to have a regional office here.

I flew to Norwich from Edinburgh and was pleasantly surprised to land a few minutes early.  I was then a little disappointed to wait almost 45 minutes for a taxi to town!  Once the taxi eventually appeared the journey to the hotel took about 20 minutes.

The Stracey hotel is situated just up the hill from the train station which is a 10 minute walk away at most.  I was slightly dubious about the hotel as I had been informed that it was a B & B and may not have the facilities I would expect.
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BE6813 – EDI – IOM

I was trying to explain to my son where I was going. The conversation went something like this:

“It’s part of the UK”

“So do they use the same money as us?”

“Kind of, they print their own money too though”

“Isn’t there a race there?”

“Yeah a big one. They don’t have a national speed limit you see”

“So you can drive as fast as you like?”



“The island is only 26 miles though, so you’ll run out pretty quick.”

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Regina Margherita Restaurant – London, UK

I was staying at the Hilton London Islington and was due to meet a friend for dinner in one of the restaurants near the hotel.  We hadn’t decided which and I left the hotel a little early with the intention of having a glass of wine while waiting for my dinner companion.

I found this restaurant only 3 doors along Upper Street from the hotel and noticed that they had a Taste sticker in the window (A Taste Card allows 50% off food, 241 deals etc throughout the UK. For more info click here).  Being a sucker for promotions in I went.
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Hilton Islington Hotel – London, UK

A few years ago I lived in this hotel. I mean I stayed here 4 nights a week, every week for 10 months. Thanks to the Hilton Islington, I was a Hilton Hhonors millionaire!

The contract finished and I never found myself being close enough (or having a big enough budget) to stay here again…until now.

The hotel is situated just off Upper Street, about 10 minutes’ walk from the tube station. The hotel is fairly standard Hilton really although they have recently lowered their prices in the bar / restaurant to match the prices of the plentiful local competition.
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Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa – London, UK

I had never heard of the Pestana group before however I understand that they are big in Portugal. The Chelsea Bridge Hotel and spa is their flagship property outside of Portugal.

The hotel is situated right next to the old Battersea power station which is a 15 – 20 minute walk to the nearest tube station (Sloane Square). The walk is nice, taking you over Chelsea Bridge, past the old barracks and past the hospital where the Chelsea Pensioners live. You can catch a bus outside the hotel that will take you to Sloane Square (5 minutes) or Victoria (about 10 minutes).

Once I knew the name of the hotel I was staying in, I had a look at the hotels website; the pictures are fairly accurate too. The picture of the lobby looks enormous in the picture and in reality is barely functional. I suspect the same of the pool but didn’t try it.
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Multiyork Executive Lounge – Norwich International Airport, UK

Norwich city isn’t the most exciting place in the world. The airport is, in that regard at least, very similar.

Small airports do have their benefits and Norwich International is no exception. There was no queue for check – in, no queue for security and I could have parked about 200 metres from the main entrance.

I was slightly perturbed by the Airport development Fee (£5) which is mandatory per passenger. This had to be paid on departure at the airport. It seemed very odd that they hadn’t just included this in the departure fees they charge the airline (who in turn charge me on my ticket).

There wasn’t much in the way of, well, anything at the airport; a small canteen style restaurant with food that didn’t look very appetising and your normal overpriced “duty free” shops. I was hoping for something from the Exec lounge; Priority Pass got me in.
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The Re London Shoreditch Hotel – London, UK

Hotwire had this hotel advertised (hotel name excluded of course) as a four star property in trendy Shoreditch. Shoreditch is a trendy area of London with some really cool bars and clubs. Shoreditch also borders Hackney which is a dodgy area of London. The Re Shoreditch is on Hackney Road which is a very long road linking Shoreditch with Hackney.

The hotel is around a 10 – minute walk from the nearest tube (Bethnal Green) although you can get a bus which drops you off right outside. This isn’t down town Harlem however the East-end of London does have its share of crime; keep your wits about you if you are walking back to the hotel from the tube. Better yet take a cab.
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Sen Nin Restaurant – London, UK

I am a bit of a girl when it comes to food.  Perhaps I should say I used to be a bit of a girl when it comes to food.  I am not saying that girls and bad; it’s more of a saying, like Yorkie bars.

A client booked Sen Nin for dinner and I was given the three – line party whip; you will go and have fun…  I was more than a little scared.  I was told that the restaurant was a Sushi establishment and no matter how many times I try, I just don’t do Sushi.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it is actually a Teppanyaki restaurant.
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Marriott Marble Arch Hotel – London, UK

I booked the Marriott Marble Arch on Priceline.  The rate was £85 per night which for a four star hotel in central London is pretty good.

The hotel in situated just off Edgware Road almost in the middle, equidistant from both Marble Arch and Edgware Road tube stations.  The hotel is back one block from the main road which makes the rooms very quiet indeed.

At check-in I was made to fill out a registration card.  This annoys me.  I had already given the same information to Priceline who in turn has give it to the hotel!  Think joined up people!

Anyway after a short check in (and a £50 swipe taken for a three night stay) I was in the room.  I think I had been given a deluxe room as I had two Queen beds in a pretty spacious room; this is London and space usually costs!

Room was real quiet which is so important to me; I was overlooking a side street. The pretend balcony in the room had doors that actually opened so some real air was able to get into the room.  I had all the normal stuff you would expect from a Marriott and actually as a Hilton devotee, I think the Marriott did a pretty good job.

As this was a Priceline rate there was no breakfast.  As part of my healthy living stage (I know, it was a mistake), I didn’t visit the bar either so can’t really comment any more.

I will say that I was distressed every time I used the elevator and read the Executive Lounge badge; I don’t like being a nobody.  What does that say about me?

Marriott Marble Arch, 134 George Street · London, W1H 5DN.  Website

Imli Restaurant – London, UK

I had booked a combo at which gave tickets to a West End show AND dinner for £20.  Imli was described as Indian Tapas restaurant and included in my deal I got three courses.   The tickets for the show should have cost more than £20 alone so I wasn’t really expecting much but thought I’d give it a go.

Imli is on Wardour Street in Soho which has a number of boutique stores (along with more than a few chain stores) and a large number of gay bars (not gay bar in a cool and trendy way; think tacky)

I arrived at Imli around 6pm on a Tuesday.  I wasn’t expecting the restaurant to be very busy however this is the heart of Theatre land and almost every eatery has a Pre–Theatre deal on.  Imli was of course, no exception and I was surprised to find the restaurant about three quarters full.
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