Get Lost…

Holiday in Plymouth

Getting Lost In Plymouth…

Can you imagine! Long ago, people actually found their way around a new area or the great outdoors without Google Maps! Here at Strathmore House Apartments, we challenged friends to explore Plymouth WITHOUT the aid of a mobile device!

It was so much fun hearing all about their day. They went out and about, exploring Plymouth’s beauty by chance!

Using only natural directional signs and the tourist information signage around Plymouth we asked them to set aside their mobile maps and just ‘get lost’ in the beauty of Plymouth!

Meet John & Margaret…

John and Margaret boldly took on the challenge, and we sat down with them the next day to see how they found their adventures in Britain’s Ocean City…

“We decided to leave our phones at home! Although in our 60’s we do tend to lean on them more often than not. We ask hundreds of questions a day using Google; normally to appease a disagreement! John mostly wins – he was a History teacher for 40 years so has the winning hand most of the time!

We LOVED this challenge! So much so, we decided that we would do this more often as it felt so freeing! Don’t get me wrong, technology is advantageous and we wouldn’t be without it, but to escape it and truly explore is a remarkable experience. Armed with just Johns watch (to keep an eye on the dinner reservation) we were off!

We left at 10.15, just after breakfast and headed out of the apartments up to the Hoe. I must say, the signage and information boards are a real asset to Plymouth; we loved learning about the area and just looking. The vista is breathtaking.

The Liner Lookout…

As we were walking towards the sea we stumbled across a beautiful little cafe. It’s called the Liner Lookout. They were just opening and Ann (I believe she was called) really made us feel welcome. The coffee was spectacular, and the view breathtaking. They do food too, but we had just had breakfast, so will go back as the prices were VERY reasonable. We learnt that it was a watch tower in the 1870’s, looking out for the big ships coming in to Plymouth. We will be doing more research; this was just what we picked up in our conversation over coffee!

We then left and walked down to the sea, it was a clear day and the view really was incredible. We decided to turn right and walk down through the park. I love gardening and so we wondered around looking at the amazing splashes of colour – and of course watched the children eating ice-cream and having goes on the little bright train!

We went on looking at the amazing architecture and the odd shapes of the buildings that had obviously been bombed in the war.

The Beauty Of Plymouth…

We came to Millbay Park, you had to really hunt for any plaques and signage here, but it’s worth it when you find them! It was a little bit of a letdown and one of the only times we wished we had Google! Luckily we met a gentleman walking his dog who told us where we had to look, and that the area was home to an old prison site and the Soap Factory and that Chris Robinson does some great books on the history of Plymouth – so John is very excited about that!

Then we took a gentle stroll down to the Royal William Yard. We have been before and love the atmosphere. There is a lovely clothes shop called Identity Fashion, we had a coffee in Ocean Studios and then a glass of wine in the Seco Lounge. Walking around the buildings was captivating; we decided that if we were ever to move to Plymouth then this would definitely be a place to consider!

Our stroll took us up some steps and on to Devils Point Park. The view was spectacular and the signage was brilliant. We were able to look out and know what we were seeing! Again, we got chatting to the lady in the cafe, she told us that the area by families to say goodbye or welcome to loved ones on naval ships as they made their way to and from the dockyards. You could really feel that in the air. There were public toilets here too, so it made a great pit-stop after the copious beverages that fueled our footsteps!

The Walk Home…

We left and walked down back to the roundabout outside the Royal William Yard and down by the Cremyll Ferry. They are really regular, every thirty minutes, but we had to make our dinner reservation so decided not to explore this time.

We took a mosey on down to Union Street, and then stopped off at a lovely little shop which did the most amazing coffee. Then back to Strathmore House Apartments, it was just after 4pm.

What an amazing day we had! John got straight on Goggle to look for Chris Robinson books and I called our daughter to tell her of our adventures! We then got ready leisurely for dinner on the Barbican in the Pasta Bar, it was divine and the service amazing.

 

Family Fun In Plymouth…

Happy is said to be the family that can eat onions together.
–Charles Dudley Warner, author

 

August always feels like a significant month within the year. For many of us because this really highlights a time of perfect family fun … and the fondest of family memories. This was the month when the weather was better, school was out and the days felt long and sunny.

Family get togethers were held. The picnic blankets and ball games came out of the garage and the car boot was loaded with the excitement of summer!

The day was planned and every family unit brought Tupperware full of boiled eggs, pickled onions and corned beef sandwiches! Whilst competition was rhyf because everyone wanted to win at the rounders!

Today, it can be a little more challenging to get the entire family together. Much more planning is needed – but boy is it worth it when we do!

Strathmore House Apartments …

Strathmore House Apartments are the perfect space to get everyone together for a few days of family fun. We have apartments that can accommodate 2 – 8 guests, in our 1-4 bedroomed apartments. Every month has amazing things happening in Britain’s Ocean City and August is no different!

This is the the month that is always full to the brim with events, activities, festivals and more in Plymouth – with lots of wonderful free fun things too.  What’s more, with our fabulous kitchens it’s so easy to prepare an alfresco heaven of more than just a pickled onion or two!

August In Plymouth …

August brings an array of fabulous activities in a city that really blossoms in the longer days.

There is the Love Summer Festival;  Fireworks Championships; Outdoor Theatre; Plymouth Pride; Ocean City Blues N Jazz Festival and so much more.

It’s not just the events themselves that bring colour to Plymouth, the entire city shines with energy and passion.

Drakes Circus brings colour to our amazing indoor shopping centre with ‘Drakes Circus Pride’ this week, whilst St Luke’s have their heard of elephants brighten our streets with Elmers Big Parade.

Plus you have the stunning Tinside on your doorstep; offering a perfect slice of the quintessential British seaside, where laughter ripples as much as the waves.

Plan your family fun today; stay with us and explore Plymouth whilst making memories that will last a lifetime.

A Darling Time By The Seaside…

Staff Have Their Say On Their City.

Plymouth is etched in the heart of everyone that has visited, who lives here and who works in our beautiful city by the sea.

Like a stick of rock, they say if a ‘Plymouthian’ was to be cut open, there would be Plymouth Pride running through their veins!

So this summer, we will be asking our amazing team here at Strathmore House Apartments to give a chapter, in less than 500 words, on what Plymouth means to them.

First up…

Elinor Eaton, Development Manager at Strathmore House Apartments, Plymouth.

The power of a Plymouth holiday isn’t just what it gives you; it’s what it takes from you too!

The Perfect holiday destination…Plymouth. And perhaps the greatest natural anti-depressant the world has to offer.

In a life that is far more hectic than ever before there is, in my humble opinion, nothing quite as relaxing, refreshing, revitalising or releasing as escaping to the sight of the sea and to Plymouth.

Picture this if you will…

The sun shining on your skin and warming it gentle as the breeze clips your curls. The sound of the waves crashing against the shore, gently brushing the pebbles. Seagulls chanting overhead. The smell of perfectly brewed Devon Coffee beans and freshly baked pastries from the pier side cafes. The clinking of ice in a tall glass of Plymouth Gin & Tonic … and the thought of a few blissful days of nothing but this … on repeat!

Tell me. Could there be anything better?

United, your senses become alive and your hectic everyday a thing of the past. All you  have threaded through your next few every days is the release of your tense shoulders, your clenched teeth and your worry frowns. Nothing will be more real than having a darling time by our seaside. Nothing will be more freeing that what our seaside gives but what it takes away too!

Imagine life as a deep sea dive. Coming to the surface for a deep intake of air, filling your lungs to then duck your head back under again.

We take the air to survive, but we forget how to thrive.

A common occurrence in the 21st century. Our previous generations before us working only to live, now it feels as if we live only to work.

How do we get the balance right?

We get the balance by not just visiting Plymouth, but learning from it too.  It may feel like a break, an escape from the frantic city pace, into a less rapid way of life. But thanks to our amazing city, we can all learn how to bring the sea spirit – back to the city streets.

How we can take a moments breath not just for survival but to appreciate the view, the moment and the time. All precious and all too often forgotten.

A holiday in Plymouth isn’t just a holiday.

Our rich past is in every footstep we take. Our amazing vista on every corner we turn. The sea air in every rich breath that we take.

We can all learn something from Britain’s Ocean City, but don’t just come here to find something. Come to Plymouth to lose something too. Lose the tight chest. The panicked soul and the stress in your veins and let Plymouth wash it all away.

There really is a little magic in the Plymouth air! 

Visit us and see for yourself!

 

#HolidayMatters – Packing Edition…

holiday packing

Packing The Nikki Way…

As the sun begins to beat down on Plymouth, we are all thinking about our summer holidays!

Spending time away from home; simply chilling out and relaxing; escaping from the normal everyday and exploring new scenery. That is the perfect holiday and is exactly what we all need every so often.

Plymouth is the perfect city for any holiday break. With so much to see and do, and of course our lovely central apartments, you can have the best summer holiday.

No matter where you are travelling from or to, or what you are doing; we all wish we could bypass the packing! It’s stressful, it can be expensive and you always forget something!

So, to help you find your packing mojo, we ask our Finance Manager, Nikki Field to share her Holiday Packing Top Tips in our latest edition of #HolidayMatters.

From Shower Caps for Shoes and sneaky tips on taking your favourite perfumes – Nikki has all the #HolidayMatters know how when it comes to your packing!

To read or print simply click here!

An Elizabethan House & A Modern City…

It’s like you can already see the life running back through its beams…

We talk so much about Plymouth’s rich history, especially  here at Strathmore House Apartments; in part because our history plays such a major role in Plymouth’s make-up; but also because we are so very proud of our city and where we have come from.

Our heritage and historic buildings are beautiful assets that make our city by the sea so unique.

They tell the story of our past and we strongly feel that we should all do what we can to protect and cherish them. Not least because it feels so sad seeing them empty and looking unloved, but also because when you start reviving these buildings, it brings communities together to appreciate local heritage. Whats more, for our visitors, it gives the opportunity to have history brought to life.

The historic environment in any city offers people a sense of place, a sense of pride and a sense of belonging; so when we heard that the restoration and reinterpretation of Plymouth’s historic Elizabethan House was moving into a new phase – we were more than just a little excited!

 

Making it happen…

Led by Plymouth City Council, with additional funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England, the Coastal Revival Fund and The Pilgrim’s Trust, it’s one of the key legacy projects for the city’s Mayflower 400 commemorations. These commemorations will create an opening, a portal, that we can all look back into to see what was; helping us both appreciate the here and now but also understand what we can strive for in the future.

Recent experience in Plymouth has demonstrated that integrating historic buildings and areas within and around our city can create popular, successful urban quarters with character. Places that people can enjoy working in, living in and of course visiting.

Taking the Royal William Yard as an example. Just a short stroll from the apartments, or perhaps a boat ride, you have the largest collection of Grade I Listed naval building in the UK. Now a thriving pocket of wonderful riches and home to restaurants, boutiques,  artists workshops, bakery’s and so much more. Here you are offered an experience that is second to none. Where the shadow of the past is very much in the present.

Such regeneration represents an opportunity for conservation and development to work together, hand in hand. To transform the built environment – the greyer of spaces and the public realm – so that the communities that live and work there, can fall back in love with the space once again.

A ‘Modern City’ doesn’t have to be a new one!

It simply has to fit with present realities, the rhythm of the city, whilst bringing charm and charisma alongside a well narrated sense of belonging.

Plymouth is a city so easy to fall in love with. A city everyone we know is proud to call home. This is partly because all sides and all sectors of Plymouth work together. They are prepared to seek pragmatic and creative solutions and make opportunities that balance new uses with the need for conservation. Plymouth so cleverly turns heritage into a positive advantage for everyone. So surely when we talk of a ‘Modern City’ – this is what we talk of?

Our collective past can ably support our futures.

Plymouth’s contribution as a city to all of our history can only be a positive thing.  So, we will make sure that we keep you updated with the exciting new developments as they happen, both with the Elizabethan House and all the other Heritage Works in Plymouth.

These treasured buildings don’t belong to Plymouth;  they form  part of all of our histories and so belong to us all. Therefore, for successful heritage-based regeneration to be achievable, we all need to support it. Be that through interest, enquiries, expertise or knowledge – then of course, when it’s open – lots of visitors!

To all the companies, individuals and collectives that are working so hard on making our history a moment of out today; we at Strathmore House Apartments, and on behalf of our guests, thank you. 

 

Happy Hampers #HolidayMatters | Having Fun With Your Holiday Food

mix of food on stall

Holidays Matter – Edition ONE!

On the one hand; when you think about holidays the last thing that springs to mind is being a slave to the stove!

Eating out when you are on holiday is the best way to avoid cooking. Yet this can end up being pretty expensive if it’s done every night. It can sometimes feel rushed and less personal. Plus for many,  after consecutive nights out, it can leave you craving a simple home-cooked meal.

So, the question is:

How Do We Add FUN Into Holiday Food?

In order to get some top tips and great advice we seek the help of the Executive Chef who works for the Family portfolio in which Strathmore House Apartments is part of.

Paul Doidge has been cooking up a storm in Plymouth for many years and so knows only too well what a great addition sensational food can play in any experience; especially holidays.

“One of the greatest attributes of a serviced apartment is the kitchen facilities. I’m obviously an advocate for eating out, especially in one of our three restaurants: Steve’s Brasserie, The Dock, Kuku Sushi Bar and Robata and The Mission, but I also know the sensational feeling of feeding friends and family and creating those amazing dining room table moments. These moments then lead on into an evening of laughter and fun. Then they become memories that last a lifetime, creating stories that come out year after year!”

Paul Doidge 

A Full Kitchen Doesn’t Automatically Mean A Fun One!

Our serviced apartments boast a full kitchen; from pots, pans; utensils, fridge, freezer, microwave, oven and everything else you might possibly need to become a holiday chef. Yet although you have everything you need to hand; the real question is: how do you stop getting caught between wanting to create an archive of memories through your food and not wearily churning out meal after meal, day after day like we do at home?

“For me, I enjoy every aspect of cooking. But that doesn’t mean I don’t understand  being a ‘slave to the stove’ isn’t on the top of everyone’s holiday itinerary! The thing is; you don’t have to be a Michelin star chef to enjoy making tasty meals that everyone will enjoy, with a delectable array of quick and healthy dishes. If you want to have a truly triumphant summer holiday cooking experience, take my 5 Top Tips to gain haste over effort; to have fun and to perhaps even change the way you feel about cooking as a whole.”

Paul Doidge 

Get The Top Tips Now!

So – it would seem if we can nail holiday cooking, we can perhaps have a new relationship with cooking in our kitchens at home! Who knew we could get so much from our serviced apartment experience!

Click HERE for Paul’s 5 Top Tips in our printable, screenshotable help sheet.

The experiences that you have whilst staying with us really matter. So does your time in our beautiful Ocean City.  If we can give you any further news, views or reviews that you think will help; we would love to hear from you.

 

A Colourful City By The Sea…

Local Art

Beauty Comes In All Colours…

Strathmore House Apartments are in a city that is often talked about for its contrasting beauty. The wild colours of nature in and around The Hoe. With the rich greens and primary colour from the infamous children’s play area.

Then, when you look out you see the turquoise sea and the branded ferries crossing the shores. Not forgetting the famous red and white of Smeaton’s Tower of course!

Travel inland and you will see the glittering grey of the city centre and sensational stone work in and around The Royal Citadel. Royal William Yard and The Millfield’s. Parts of which date back 1665 and earlier!

Yet, if on this grey day in the middle of summer you still feel a little gloomy; Plymouth has got a solution.

Let your imagination stray to the vibrant colours gifted by amazing artists adding an array of beauty and vivid richness to the corners of Britain’s Ocean City:

 

Local Art

An art revolution is happening in Plymouth…

Here you will find a recent post outlining the beautiful creations and murals that have been created all over the city – with artists having one common purpose: making our city more colourful…

Source: Plymouth Live. 

Why Plymouth Has The Best Christmas Market…

two ladies at Christmas

Festive markets are a fixture in many of our reasons for loving Christmas time!

They have been a calendar event for years. But recently they really do dominated our November and December schedules.

Almost every town and city now hold a Festive Market. Some big, some small. All offering the same atmospheric riches that can only be found during this picturesque time of year.

Here at Strathmore House Apartments, we LOVE Christmas and we LOVE the Plymouth Christmas Market too!

Each year, we are welcoming more and more guests. Returning to soak in the atmosphere and purchase some unique hand-made gifts for loved ones.

So for all those early birds who love to plan ahead, here are our top THREE reasons why:

We LOVE our Christmas Market by the sea...

That Festive Feeling…

With the sparkling lights, the smell of cinnamon filling the air, the festive tunes jingling in the background and the mulled wine flowing…the atmosphere of a Christmas Market, especially our Christmas Market, is the stuff of Little Women and Enid Blyton tales!

Carol singers, Christmas treats and traders sharing their crafts; it’s the perfect way of treating yourself to a less stressful Christmas Shopping excursion! A shopping trip fuelled with niceness and smiles, not elbows and frowns!

For much of the year, when we shop, we mostly choose convenience. Be that online, in Malls and out of town for parking ease or in supermarkets while we buy our bread and milk. Christmas Markets are an amazing time of year to support local crafts and independent traders and retailers, as well as high-streets.  Independent retailers are facing their toughest battles, not only as they are now competing with an army of online providers, but also the ever changing landscape of Britain’s high streets.

If you haven’t been to the Plymouth Christmas Market, make this year the first year you do. Not only will the atmosphere blow you away and feel sensational, the feeling you get when you make a purchase from someone with passion about their product or craft (or both) is the stuff that Christmas is really made of!

If this is to be your first year; we are certain it won’t be your last!

The FOOD…

Words will NEVER do the food scene in Plymouth justice at any time of the year – but especially at Christmas!

Never could you ever describe the taste, the smell and the satisfaction of the hearty, winter warming delights!

It’s not just the street food either that will blow your mind and fill your belly!  It’s not just the tasty German bratwursts, the roasted chestnuts or the homemade pastries from the market itself; oh no! The local restaurants, cafes and bakeries pull out all the stops to ensure you are fully sated for your shopping experience.

What’s more, if you are staying at Strathmore House Apartments you don’t have to worry about the drive home! You are just a short stroll away from the action.  So, you can wash all the amazing food down and warm your cockles with a mug of mulled wine whilst you continue shopping, for a truly sumptuous additional Christmas experience.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than walking around the market sampling the delicious Christmas offerings, whilst buying some extras for your Christmas Day treats.

The Joy Of Giving The Perfect Gift…

Christmas is the time for giving; it’s a time for thinking about the very best item for that very dear someone. It could be £1 or £100 – gifts are not about the price tag but about the thought.

What better way to say ‘ I saw this and thought of you’ than with a local gift, from a talented and passionate person, selling not only their product, but giving you a little piece of themselves while they do.

The great thing about any market is that when you wander around, seeing the amazing creations, you naturally feel inspired to ask questions. Then you get to hear all about the where, the when and the whys. So not only do you then take home the present, you also take home the narrative. When you share this with the gift, you have the perfect pair!

A handmade gift from a Christmas Market; whether that’s traditional crafts, scented soaps, candy and chocolate, unusual Christmas cards, to your favourite person’s favourite tipple, there really is something special for every special someone.

Whilst you are here, why not think about a little gift to yourself? Add a special something to your Christmas list, for your Christmas tree!

A gift or perhaps a new tradition; a little Christmas decoration for decorating your tree, then you will always be reminded of your special trip by the sea.

 

 

A City Wide Celebration…

A cleaner, brighter, better  tomorrow in Plymouth…

There is nothing like a city with pride and a city with purpose. Here at Strathmore House Apartments we take great pride in celebrating our beautiful city and its successes.

The success today comes in the form of a very big cause for celebration. Plymouth has once again been on a mission to create positive change for the future. We are always striving to make tomorrow better than today. Yet again through hard work, collaboration, willpower and passion our city by the sea has realised another goal.

It’s not just the amazing campaigners in Plymouth that have been celebrating this week; the entire community was filled with pride when it was announced that Plymouth had been awarded Plastic Free Community.  This is a status that really recognises the hard work of partners across the city who have made it their mission to reduce single use plastics and tackle plastic pollution.

As a city we pride ourselves on our ability to engage with cross-sector collaboration. The Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City Plastics Task Group is a great example of how this form of collaboration brings such richness to a city. The Task Group has been made up of a wide range of partners, from across all sectors including the voluntary, statutory, public and private sector.

Great British Spring Clean…

The news also followed a successful Great British Spring Clean. A clean that included almost 600 volunteers, they all took part in litter picks and beach cleans across Plymouth. Together they collected 1079 bags of litter on the way. The events were coordinated by local community groups Clean Our Patch and Plymouth Beach Clean Volunteers. Interestingly, the oldest item found was a crisp packet dating back to 1973!

The campaign to raise awareness of the misuse of single use plastics has been warmly welcomed by everyone involved to date … and shows no sign of slowing down!

More Information & How To Get Involved:

For more information you can follow the link and read the many highlights and successes.

Travelling Solo In Plymouth…

Girl sat on a ramp looking out to sea

Staff Have Their Say…

We hear from our Development Manager, Elinor Eaton, on why solo travelling in Plymouth is a wonderful thing…

Nomadic Desires…

When you talk to some people about your travel bugs and nomadic desires they look confused by the concept. Especially when you add ‘solo travelling’!

Why would you? Does no one want to go with you? What will you do?

This is definitely not a generational thing, more just about lifestyle choices and personal preferences. When it comes to choosing where, when and how you holiday – well it really doesn’t get more personal than that!

Whether its time or money – we are investing in our holidays. If you’re lucky you get one or two a year and so we REALLY should choose what’s best for us. The choice is limitless today. In hours we can be anywhere, exploring, adventuring and filling our mind with memories that will last a lifetime.

For some it will be a sunny holiday package, lazing by the pool and soaking up the sangria! For others it will be an adventure that is not fully planned but that is, without doubt, an exploration and a step into the unknown.

From discovering more about yourself, testing your being or finding new friends (after all, strangers are just friends you haven’t made yet – right!?) these reasons, along with many more, are why I choose and chose to travel alone.

The Thrill…

From 1999 to today, there is little I enjoy more than travelling and exploring alone. Be that for months with a back pack or a simple day trip – exploring a place, and yourself at the same time, is one of my favourite things to do.

Although I may sound bias, as it’s my home town, Plymouth is probably one of the best destinations for solo adventures: friendly people, amazing food and so much to see and do. Plus there are so many other beautiful towns and cities all within close distances.

Why Plymouth…

Plymouth is also quite possibly one of the easiest cities to explore thanks to its excellent public transport system, be that on the water, on the road or on tracks!

Walking around Plymouth is also one of the best ways to really see how diverse Britain’s Ocean City truly is. There’s ‘The Yard’ which is home to the largest collection of Grade 1 Listed Naval buildings in Europe. The Millfields; which from the Battle of Trafalgar to the Falklands conflict was the site of a Royal Naval hospital for almost 250 years. Then of course Plymouth Sound; the award winning marinas; the Hoe; Barbican and so much more!

It’s impossible to get bored in Plymouth and really easy to refuel with numerous coffee shops, shacks and restaurants.

Our city by the sea really is a great destination for both the seasoned solo traveller and those wanting to embark on their very first adventure. Whether you are lovers of nature or into urban living, there are tons of reasons to fall in love with solo travelling in Plymouth.

Stay With Us…

No matter what your travelling preferences, here at Strathmore House Apartments you can be sure of a warm welcome and a safe place to rest your head after your wonderful adventures in Plymouth.