I had the pleasure of taking a staycation for my birthday celebrations and stayed at this wonderful luxury hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I had planned and worked hard all year to celebrate my birthday on an island somewhere in the Caribbean this year after not having a holiday for years. But due to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, travel was really not an option.
So I went about the great hunt of finding an alternative to the Caribbean that would still offer me the relaxation, mental break and beautiful views I had been longing for all year. Not an easy challenge. I found a list of UK staycations from Cornwall to Carlisle but none of them were quite hitting the spot with the mix of glamour, good food and relaxation I craved, until I came acoss this gem hidden in the fields of North Yorkshire.
The fields are wonderfully secluded in the countryside of Harrogate with a long drive leading up to the reception. Upon entering the main doors, my temperature was taken and sanitiser provided before I was welcomed in. The hotel receptionist was very friendly and immediately asked if I required luggage assistance. When I said yes, one of the staff courteously rolled out the hotel luggage cart to my numerous bags in the car park and delivered them to my room. Service was a solid 9/10, the only thing that would have made it better would have been the staff explaining some of the facilities available for my stay like the spa, golf etc.
I stayed in the Ribston Wing double room for a nightly rate that included dinner, Yorkshire breakfast, morning newspaper, access to the Indoor Swimming Pool, Juniper Log Sauna, Bucket Shower, Wi-Fi and use of residents’ gym.
The room was fresh and crisp upon arrival, it had a terrace with with outdoor seating and I arrived to a lovely complimentary bottle of Agustí Torelló Mata’s2017 Cava and a birthday card from the hotel. Very sweet welcoming touch.
We had the option of having dinner in the Clocktower restaurant or fine dining in the Horto restaurant. I went for the clocktower option and enjoyed a well cooked, well portioned 3 course dinner. See photo of my starter below:
The next day, we took a walk around the grounds and facilities. The fields are vast and picturesque and there is so much space to enjoy a morning walk undisturbed.
We also stopped by the spa which was massive! There is an option to just attend the world-renowned spa for the day, and a cafe that caters to day visitors.
Overall, my stay was definitely brilliant and I would rate it a 9/10. It was one of the best sleeps I had in a long time and the breakfast in bed was sensational. The staff went above and beyond their way to make us feel comfortable from check in to (our late) checkout. The only thing that would have given it 10/10 would have been the explanation of available facilities to us and perhaps getting us booked into some activities and the spa.
Otherwise I felt it was worth the cost and every bit as luxe as I desired. Sure it wasn’t the Caribbean, but it allowed me to take a break from the everyday, celebrate my birthday in style and leave feeling more relaxed.
I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a relaxing, stylish UK staycation. Watch my video of the review on my instagram @metiyachique
Happy August guys! We are in the HEAT of summer (and rain of course). I’m spending mine working in the city (need to review that work/life balance coz…) Anyway it’s been a bit of a quiet one to be honest, and with Love Island over, I find myself asking ‘Am I really living my best summer? Is this a Hot Girl Summer?’ No lie, I was feeling like a ‘dead ting’ as Amber once said during an episode of Love island. And for some reason, I just forget my own sauce. There was no heat or spice to be had, and my confidence dropped some. But today I talk about embodying the true spirit of a Hot Girl Summer and why you need to believe in your OWN sauce.
Our good sis Meg Thee Stallion coined the term ‘Hot Girl Summer’, where she gave this clear definition incase anyone was confused.
“Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident,living YOUR truth , being the life of the party etc
@TheeStallion July 17 2019, Twitter
How empowering is this statement – living unapologetically as your true self and being confident in your skin. All of us should be confident in who we are and live in that confidence all year round. But it does happen that we go through things, life hits us at different angles and sometimes it does wear on our self-belief. So I wanted to share a few ways (five) I was able to regain my confidence, that can help or enhance your Hot Girl Summer!
1. Accept your body
Nobody is perfect, we are surrounded – even bombarded sometimes with images of all these ‘perfect’ looking women with ‘perfect’ bodies, but the truth is no one on this earth has the perfect example body. We are all different and our bodies change as we grow and go through things. The human body is an incredible system, we are more than just aesthetics or visual creatures. So rather than worry about how much cellulite you have or whether or not your tummy is flat enough, how about just being grateful for being able to digest food, taste it, swallow and get all the nutrients you need from it.
2. Don’t Compare
Not sure how many times I’ve written this on the blog but Comparison is the thief of joy! It’s true! Hot Girl Summer is all about being true to YOU. And that starts with the recognition that you are unique and your journey is completely different from anyone else, and that is what makes you special.
3. Flaws and all
Again on perfectionism. It’s so dangerous to think there is only way of being or doing. Everything has flaws, as does everyone (except the good Lord). So in every aspect of your life, aim to be more kind to yourself – for past sins and mistakes, for taking the wrong turn sometimes – it’s okay. The flaws are what give character, and through God’s grace you can be restored to better than you were before.
4. Intrinsic value
Your value is not determined by your current situation. It’s not determined by your handbag or wardrobe or the car you drive. It’s not determined by your job or your salary or the education you have, not even by your boyfriend, husband or single status. You’re worth more than ANYTHING this world could offer. Your were a ‘Hot girl’ from birth because you were created divinely and deliberately and NOBODY ELSE is you.
5. Do more of what you love
Nothing puts us more off-track than ignoring our gifts, forcing ourselves to do what we think we should be doing rather than what we were created to do. A simple remedy to remind yourself EXACTLY of the Hot girl you are, is to spend more time using your gifts. I was feeling down at work a few weeks ago and my work angel (she is an angel in human form) said to me ‘Take some time to do what you love”. I did and I feel so much better, even blogging again and sharing these pics taken in April.
So hope you guys enjoyed my top 5 points on how to reclaim your Hot Girl Summer this season and forever more! Share it with a friend if you enjoyed it and see you soon. Love and light x MC
I believe this is my second post of 2018. How you doing? I’ve made a few changes to the blog as you can see, so let me know how you like it below. I’m so happy to be writing again after so long. You guys know how much of a struggle winter is for me, and it has been. But thankfully I managed to have the opportunity go away in January to celebrate one of my fave’s birthday. If you follow me on social media you will have seen some of the posts I shared while in sunny Spain. (@metiyachique)
How ironic is life. Can you imagine that you can jump on a plane for less than two hours and be somewhere free of these Arctic winds? What a joke. But I am very grateful for it. I had a wonderful time with my girls and it’s amazing what an ocean view and some sunshine can do to clear your mind, because sometimes honestly, it’s like life is so monotonous that I can’t think here, my mind is fully blocked.
Anyway the point of this is to talk about beauty products YAY! Basically what do I use to go from drab to fab in the space of a 2 hour flight? Here are my most trusted holiday goodies which I use to enhance that glow and allow my melanin to pop further.
1. The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Protect Lotion SPF 30
This is my GO-TO facial moisturiser anytime I am heading to the sun. I’ve been using it for over three years and it never fails to deliver. It has a light consistency which absorbs into the skin without feeling greasy. It does make my skin appear brighter too – perhaps to do with the Vitamin C (my new obsession) which is great for diminishing dark spots and promoting an even skin tone.
2. The Body Shop Shimmering Dry Oil – Honey Bronze
I have shared my love for this product before (here). It is no secret that I am a fan of the statuesque bronze look at all times! I love when skin is radiant and shimmery. Sometimes it takes a while to catch that holiday tan, and this is a great way of faking it before you make it. It is a dry oil so it actually goes into your skin and doesn’t rub off on your clothes. But it gives just enough shimmer to create an even, natural glow. A little goes a long way with this, and I normally just pour some out into a travel bottle for my suitcase.
First of all, I keep one of these in rotation at ALL TIMES! This is one of my favourite concealers of ALL time honey! But it deserves a place on this list because it is a holiday beauty saviour. I can literally dab this underneath my eyes, along the bridge of my nose and voila! Natural highlight sorted. The consistency is perfect for the sun, it does not crease and the lighting is perfect. You can wear this on its own too as it contains some SPF and is quite creamy. Have a go and let me know, my shade is 5N.
So this is another one I have raved on about (here). But guys you know when I said sometimes you have to fake it with the bronzer till you make it? Well this is MAKING IT. Using this to moisturise my skin during winter has been a LIFESAVER for me. The dryness of these Arctic winds is not holy. Let me tell you, I needed something strong. What better than this divine gift from the motherland, 100% natural AND fairly traded from Ghana by a Ghanaian queen (Hey Akua!) All her products are amazing, but seriously invest in some shea butter if you care about having healthy, nourished skin all year round. It means less work to do on your hols and soft, glowing skin for you to enjoy all year.
The only thing I regret when it comes to this product – is how LONG it took me to get on it! LISTEN when you see them YouTube girls spraying this thing passionately onto their face like it contains blessings from The Queen of Sheba, it’s because it DOES! What can I say? MAC cosmetics MVP for this one. It is perfect for a natural dewy, everything-set-in-place finish. It helps on holiday when I wear less makeup to just complete and maintain the glow for me.
And there we have it folks! My top five beauty products for those winter escapes to sunshine. I’d love to know what your top holiday products are. Let me know in the comments. I hope you are taking care of yourself and I wish you sunshine from within regardless of the weather outside.
Hi guys, I think this is my first post of 2018 so happy New Year! If you follow me on Instagram (@metiyachique) you will see that I’ve been doing quite a bit of Miami reminiscing, of which this post is a result of. My last post was about the highlight of 2017 for me which was my birthday in Miami. That would not have been so awesome had it not been for the perfect venue we stayed in – The Mondrian South Beach Hotel. We didn’t have a huge list of criteria for our stay, but one thing we did want was to stay on South Beach.
When our uber pulled up outside the Mondrian Hotel, the first thing that hit me was luxury. The building is magnificent and has some exquisite details on the outside including pillars, flowered gardens and lots of instagram-worthy greenery. The hotel is conveniently located opposite a Whole Foods Market which was so ideal to grab a green juice in the morning and some lovely natural hair products when needed. It also had a Walmart close by and several cafe’s and restaurants along its street. It’s located about 15 minutes walk from the beach/ Lincoln street which made for the perfect afternoon stroll.
Moving on to the inside – the first thing that grabbed me was the decor. The interiors are very well designed with a huge lobby that provided some chilling space, an indoor bar/restaurant and an exit to the pool area. It had a grand spiral staircase leading up to the floors which was perfect for evening photos in our night gowns. There were three large lifts leading up to the rooms (although one of them was almost always out of service) but we were only on the 5th floor and the packed lifts made for great friend-meeting.
Our room was massive. It had a large private bathroom, with a strong shower that had a full length mirror inside. It was big enough for two to shower together – so quite ideal for couples, if thats your thing 😉 Then there was a little dining table next to a kitchenette with basic facilities – sink, toaster, microwave. The room was beautifully decorated with stunning wallpaper and wall mirrors opposite the beds.
The room had glass sliding doors that led to an outside balcony with the MOST exquisite view! We could see the Biscayne Bay and the Miami Skyline and also look down onto the pool area. This was the best part of the room for me, we would just chill on the balcony and have our breakfast, or do our nails and just relax on our loungers sunbathing. Watching the sunset from here was the most fulfilling experience.
Finally, the swimming pool area. This is one of the things that the Mondrian Hotel is known for. The pool area is beautiful! There was always a great and lively atmosphere with music playing and a wide choice of seating available. At the weekends there was a pool party which saw several people come by the hotel and a DJ spinning the hottest tracks while we chilled by the pool. IT WAS LIT!
Overall, the customer service was really good and I would definitely return to this hotel again. I recommend it to anyone looking to visit Miami South Beach and would rate it 8/10 of the hotels I’ve stayed in so far. Check it out for yourself on their website and share your thoughts in the comments! x MC
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
African print chitenge suit designed by me| Handmade in Zambia| Preorder here.
Hello happy Sunday – if you are reading this on Sunday. It’s a beautiful morning where I am; the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the birds are singing in the garden – maybe speaking, but it’s a wonderful sound. You know days like this make it easier to be optimistic, but I want to talk about less bright days, tougher times and challenging periods of our lives.
I recall a period of darkness when things where so muddled mentally and emotionally that I couldn’t even describe it. My best friend would be like ‘how are you?’ And all I could do was make this sound like ‘Pfffffffffzzzzzgghhhhtttt’ and the most frustrated face. And she just knew then that I was about to cry, because I felt trapped.
The last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about not thinking. Basically, about doing. Turning your thoughts into actions without excessive thinking. I admit I am a overthinker, it’s what I do, but its crazy to me that I get so frustrated about the same things I was frustrated about in 2010. How do you justify inaction on ideas you’ve had for over 5 years? I mean something has got to give right? Clearly there is an issue with your method that is affecting your results.
The only thing I knew for a fact regarding my desires, was that I over-think and I over-plan. So this month, when November came round, I made a choice – let me say it again for the people skimming through; I MADE A CHOICE to stop thinking and start doing. I threw out planning and focused on doing – literally making a way through making a way. I said what do I want? And decided to have it. Why am I not happy? What would make me happy? Things like:
I need to be fitter physically
I need to value those that value me
I need more sleep so that I feel less tired and get more done in the day
Girlllll I need to get this natural hair in check!
I need to define what success is for me and how to achieve it
So here is what I CHOSE to do:
I signed up to the gym.
I removed anyone anything that did not add VALUE to my life.
I went to bed before midnight.
I started to separate the front area of my crown for moisturising, washing, everything (because I have experienced breakage here)
I became INTENTIONAL about my success.
For every thought I have now, I try to match it with an action. It could be something as simple as saying ‘I want to be a better friend’, so I pick up my phone and call my girl. Or I pick up something in the shop that she would like. You don’t need to wait for 2018 to start working on what you want, from life and mostly from yourself.
You are a star baby girl/baby boy. This is your world and you have the power to make it what you want. So what resolutions do you have for 2018 that you could start working on right now? What choice are you making about your life today? Share with me in the comments, let’s glow up together and step into next year shining like the diamonds we are.
“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Oprah
“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
I’m a woman
– Maya Angelou
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” – Oprah
“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” ― Michelle Obama