How does social media impact your holiday planning, booking and taking..?
Five Ways To Ensure Your Out-Of-Town Wedding Guests Feel At Home In Your City…
Over the years we have loved welcoming out-of-town wedding guests to Plymouth. There is something so exciting about sharing a new city and a new life in one weekend! The smell of perfume and aftershave linger in the lift and the outfits are always on-point, stylish and super chic.
But what happens when your wedding guests don’t just live down the road? How do you welcome them and ensure they have a great time while you’re busy getting wedding ready?
We share 5 of our top tips on how to enable your guests to feel at home…
1) It’s all in the detail…
Your out-of-town guests will go through a lot of effort, and probably expense to share in your momentous occasion. And they wouldn’t have it any other way. Part of your job though is to welcome them, but that’s easier said than done when you have so much to do before your special day.
To help them get around and ensure they stay entertained during their time in your home town a great tip is to create a wedding itinerary. After sending out your invitations, mail guests an additional clever, elegant or interesting ‘communiquè’ with a complete rundown of the events leading up to and following your walk down the aisle, with tips on what to do in spare time. We love hearing that couples have created a Facebook Wedding Group, or even websites! These are easily referenced one-stop-platforms for guests to check up on everything you have planned. In both cases, include key times, locations, who is hosting, what to wear and how to get there – then get them to tag in any pictures so you don’t miss out on all the fun that the guests have!
2) Welcome Hampers…
We adored the ‘welcome hampers’ left in the apartments for the arrival of a couples out-of-town friends. It was all things Plymouth and really aided their recovery from the long drive down South!
The purpose isn’t to show off or spend loads of money; home made cake or brownies would be perfect. It’s just nice to let guests know you appreciate their effort to join you for your special day.
The hampers that were left with us apparently had phone numbers of the families of the bride and groom, the names of the other guests staying in the apartments with a ‘they said call them when you arrive’ message, nearby hot spots to check out and local maps and transport details. The tear-jerker for this family travelling down was a penned personal note from the bride; thanking her sister and family for making the journey.
Mid-week weddings at the New Continental Hotel, from just £1500 per package.
3) Help Them With Their Home-From-Home…
Overnight accommodations, fuel and transport in general isn’t cheap, so doing some of the leg work for your guests, using your local knowledge, will really help them.
Hunt out important details, like train and coach times and prices, hotels and apartments. Share websites, street addresses, phone numbers, directions and cost information with your guests and even go as far as to take a look around them so you can make personal recommendations.
Look for places to stay near your ceremony and reception sites, if you start calling around six months beforehand to check on availability for the days surrounding your wedding. Always ask about group rates too. Some settings will allow you to block rooms and apartments to ensure they are available and close to one another. Always ask.
Keeping an idea of your guests budget too; and always plan for those guests that may want to make a min-vacation out of your special day.
4) Show Off Your City…
Leading up to your big day, you will have lots to do and time will whizz by! But your out-of-town guests may feel a little stranded. To ensure they have plenty of literature and information visit your Tourist Information Centre and ask for a local pack of things to do, places to go and wheres good to eat. When we live in a city we tend not to ‘tourist’ very well. This way you too may find out some handy information, things for you to do once you’re married!
Make your wedding day extra special at the New Continental Hotel, Plymouth.
5) Enjoy Them…
It may sound daft, but enjoy their company. What better reason to see loved ones than them coming to celebrate with you. Soak in their love, their time and their presence. This is your day and they are beaming that they could make the journey to share it with you.
Everyone loves a family holiday.
There is no question, if we could all be guaranteed a couple of weeks a year when we can all diarise the time to take off together we would. Ok, so we would also all diarise non-moody teenagers, tantrum free toddlers and partners with patience – but time at least is something most of us can manage!
Easter is the perfect time to get away; it’s a reward for getting through the first part of the year, and the springboard that connects us to summer being just around the corner!
Staying at the Strathmore House Apartments makes so much sense; it is the perfect home away from home for all the family!
PLUS…Strathmore House Apartment guests get to use Club Continental for FREE!
Meaning parents can have some chill time in the sauna and steam room; and children can have some fun time playing in the heated indoor pool.
Steve’s Brasserie is also just a moment away from the apartments and based in our sister hotel; the New Continental. Great for families, as they not only have an amazing pizza oven (see here for offers) they also have a great children’s menu.
Outside Strathmore House Apartments…
Plymouth as a city offers so much to see, do and be part of. There are lots of free activities as well as theatre fun, the National Marine Aquarium and MUCH, MUCH MORE!
The Theatre Royal Plymouth has these amazing shows coming up this Easter, and it’s just a two minute walk from the apartments:
Saltrum House is an amazing National Trust House & Garden. It was once a home to the Parker family and is now a home to lots of wild animals.
You could easily spend one or two of your days in Plymouth exploring the park, dressing up in the house or finding out all about natures ‘Grand designs’. There is an infamous Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt too.
Easter Egg Hunt | 24 March – 8 April | 10am to 4pm.£2 per hunt. Normal admission prices into the house and garden apply. There is no admission charge for Under 5s and National Trust members.
Plymouth by Foot & Bike is an amazing FREE activity. Given our cities history; there have been many famous people walking the Plymouth cobbles. Follow in their footsteps of these infamous explorers, pioneers and artists and walk the Southwest coast path from Royal William Yard to the Barbican.
You will encounter iconic naval buildings, breath-taking views over the natural harbour of Plymouth Sound and the intriguing characteristics of the former towns and villages that make up this original marine city.
Also on route are lots of Cafés, restaurants and bars such as The Mission as well as Smeaton’s iconic tower, the Mayflower steps and The Hoe Promenade.
Getting Here By Road…
A city that is easily accessible, the road trip here is good too! And if you want some tips on how to survive ‘The Family Road Trip’, staff at the New Continental Hotel have shared some of their own survival tips! They have added some great printable resources too!!
With so much to see and do; check our availability or contact us for more details?
We would love to hear from you.
Family Holiday In Plymouth…
Sometimes, all you need is a family holiday. It can work wonders for your family dynamic to just take a few days out and have some down time. Some time to relax and unwind and reconnect with each other again.
Not only as parents do we need to step off the treadmill, but our children need to see us a little more care free from time to time too, at our best and at peace some might say.
Being free from the demands of a hectic schedule, housework and ferrying from club to club; quality time together, it’s a real tonic.
If you are thinking that it’s time in 2019 to reduce stress levels and connect as one again, we have just the solution.
With our one, two, three and four bedroom apartments, we are the perfect home from home; just without the everyday stresses and strains!
Cost doesn’t have to be high to have a relaxing getaway, and to safe the stress in the planning; we have done the hard work for you!
Below you will find links to some great family sites and family fun activities in and around Plymouth. With our low prices and so much to do; Britain’s Ocean City makes for the perfect family holiday destination.
Happy New Year to you all!
It’s the dawn of a New Year!
Perhaps your Christmas Tree and it’s needles are now slumped in your garden ready for the next dry weekend to be removed to the tip..?
Maybe you are down to the last crumbs of Christmas Cheese and the chocolates that nobody liked..?
Whatever the post Christmas blues look like; the days are dark and dreary and somehow the air just feels deflated.
FEAR NOT! We have the perfect solution. No. REALLY WE DO!
Thanks to social media, we have memory reminders flashing through our fingers (or thumbs!) throughout the year. But how about you set yourself a new memory making challenge, ready for the most amazing Family Newsletter ever sent!
Creating a family newsletter can be a fun way to stay in touch with your friends and far-flung family, but also to record moments that could so easily be forgotten. It’s something you can do as a family, and a way that the magic in the moments that you make throughout the year, can stay for a lifetime, and beyond.
At Strathmore House Apartments, we LOVE being part of peoples memories and so we wanted to help inspire, and perhaps be part of something, that the entire family can roll up their sleeves and be a part of.
Keeping a family scrapbook may sound old school; but we figure if Champion and Fila can make a come-back, so too can the good old scrap book surely!
By keeping an active scrapbook that documents memories both big and small, you will have a record of your year that you can keep on a shelf – not just in the clouds!
Photos, maps, receipts, bottle tops, pictures; you name it. It can all go in the scrapbook to cherish. In isolation pretty insignificant, in your family scrapbook a fantastic time capsule of what your clan’s been up to. Keeping moments alive; but also a great reminder when it comes to writing your family newsletter in the New Year of 2020!
2020 is one heck of a milestone year. The mark of a significant new chapter. How wonderful would it be to have something that boasts about your families whereabouts, adventures and triumphs the year before 2020, the year of 2020 and the year after 2020?
It could be first days at School, College, Uni even. First Car; First bike (maybe first girlfriend…eek!!).
This amazing book of family wonder will help you keep your memories alive, but also there to share with future generations. Noting what may at the time seem like not much, but in the future will be your family history gems.
An activity for the whole family to help out with; and have fun with; even your pets perhaps!
Make it pretty. Make it fun. Make it all about you!
If the Kardashion’s can – so too can you! Let’s not let January make us grey – let’s put some colour back in our days and start a new, fun, family project!
Make the memories. Share the memories. Keep the memories. AND if at all possible – let us be part of them too!
Happy 2019 everyone. Here’s to a fabulous year.
Happy scrapbook making. Happy memory making. Happy Holidays!
Whether you are here on holiday or a living Plymouthian; wandering really does unveil the true wonder of Plymouth…
Living In Plymouth |
Sometimes, when you live in a city your only experience of crossing it is a hectic commute, some frantic shopping in the city centre or drinks on an evening out. We all have a scalextric that we all seem to stick too, and so the scenery around us becomes a little like wallpaper. If this is the case, then we are all missing out!
Visiting Plymouth |
Our Ocean city is divine. The twists and turns; the cobbled streets; the history and culture. What we have as a city is truly breathtaking. A patchwork quilt of marvellous pieces; pieces that together make our city so great.
When you wander around our city, it becomes evident of its richness. Walking through the centre you will experience a platform that to the naked eye looks rather grey; but this city centre represents a deep passion and determination of a community intent on rebuilding their ‘Plymouth’ as quickly as possible after the destruction of WW2.
Around the Hoe and Barbican you have the hidden alley ways, the cobbled streets and a vista like no other. The highest concentration of cobbled streets in England stitch together stories that include Sir Francis Drake, Scott Of The Antarctic and surrounded by beautiful and iconic buildings that date back to the 15th century onwards.
Wandering The City |
Wandering around Plymouth really is the best way to see its wonder. What’s more, getting lost is sometimes the best way to find what you never knew you were looking for!
Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts |
Some of us may like a more structured approach than simply getting lost on the cobbles. We may like some insider knowledge, interesting stories or just the company of other like-minded people.
That is where Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts makes for the perfect choice. There are other walking groups and tours in Plymouth, but what we love about Whimsical Wanderings & Moveable Feasts is that it is a bespoke walking, talking, feasting experience.
An experience that combines our cities culture and creativity; but also gives you a taste of our rich history and the amazing plethora of restaurants we have. This is all beautifully blended with the fabulous company of others. It incorporates not only the city but laughter and frivolity, interspersed with delicious food and drink!
Whether you are a seasoned walker – or simply looking for something new from your holiday; you will share with others (or alone if you’d rather) the perfect urban stroll.
Walking through the city, you will experience more than just a beautiful landscape. You will experience enchantment, tasty treats and memories that will last a lifetime.
Here at Strathmore House Apartments we are lucky to be part of a family portfolio of businesses. As well as our apartments, we also have restaurants and a city centre hotel.
This connection opens the door to so much knowledge, as we can tap in to the expertise across all settings. So, we asked the groups Executive Chef for some insider knowledge, and he was only too happy to help.
We have seen an increase of guests staying with us making good use of our fully equipped kitchens. Looking for a place that they can cater for all their family and friends differing diets and requirements. One guest told us that when staying away for a week:
As a family they only eat out twice; and the other times they enjoy cooking and eating together. Hence why the apartments are the perfect choice.
In the past decade or so, Vegansim has been transformed from a niche diet, to a lifestyle choice. Endorsed not only by many celebrities but also health and well-being practitioners too.
But our question is:
Have Chefs made peace with Veganism and how do they really feel about putting to one side their fine cuts of meat and decadent dishes fussed and flavoured with eggs, butter and cheese?
We find out!
In a world where freedom and choice is abundant; and with January almost upon us; we talk Veganism and Veganuary with Paul Doidge.
Why do you think there is so much talk of Veganism this time of year – isn’t meat normally the main talking point at Christmas?
“I think it’s because January is fast approaching; for many it is the month of new beginnings, blank diaries and New Year resolutions. But also, for many…diets!
Last year as a group, we saw a substantial increase in Veganuary, not just on plates but in their wine glasses too. It’s a time to reevaluate our choices and in some cases, make better ones.”
Did you notice an increase in Vegan orders last January?
“Yes, we did but I think the overall numbers speak for themselves. The BBC reported that between 2006 and 2016 the number of Vegans jumped from 150,000 to 542,000. This is a substantial increase and one that no doubt Veganuary has factored in.
In 2018, 78,000 people in Britain took part in Veganuary; with a high proportion making that a continued lifestyle choice thereafter.”
How do Chefs REALLY feel about this shift?
“I think that if you were to ask chefs this question even five years ago, you would get a very different response. Today, I would say that most chefs are more than open to Veganism. In fact, I would go as far as to predict that the majority are not only open, but thrive on creating meals that people can enjoy. Meals that hit all of their guests requirement as well as leave them fully sated. What’s more; we also understand that it can sometimes be healthier than other lifestyle choices AND at times better for the environment.”
Is it harder for Chefs to have various individual requirements?
“Like anything you have to adapt to, and adopt new ways of working. Through time and experimental development, it’s not about being willing, it’s about enjoying the process of writing new menus, menus that cut out animal products. As Chefs, it’s always about the guests’ experiences. Making sure everyone is happy is why we do what we do. Many of us are now working closely with our food and beverage managers too, ensuring that vegan wines are right for pairing with our menu options.”
Is it just Vegans that choose the (V) option?
No. Not in the least. We see more and more people choosing vegan. Our Vegan and Vegetarian menu options are interestingly now choices made by people who do eat meat and who are simply tempted by the menu.
The full flavours and delights that our menus has to offer as a whole gives everyone great options.”
Would you be tempted to become a Vegan?
“Personally, I have a huge amount of love for all food groups, so it wouldn’t be my choice to cut any one thing out of my diet completely. Fish, meat and diary do play a big role in my diet, although there are days when I will choose Vegan or Vegetarian options because that’s what stands out to me on the menu. I love sampling what other chefs do and that includes all menu options.”
Do you think being Vegan is easy?
“I think like anything, when choices are fuelled by passion you will make it work. Looking back, I don’t think it’s ever been easier to be Vegan than it is today, but that is not to say it’s easy. What has changed is towns and cities becoming more accommodating, I think now almost all restaurants no matter how big or small, chain or independent offer options – not all of them stuffed peppers either!
Although like anything, certain places could do better it’s true. But I truly believe it is no longer seen as a ‘fussy’ choice or a ‘hippy’ urge; it is respected and in many cases admired.”
Is it having an impact on ‘bums on seats’?
“That’s a tough one because you can never truly know. Although when it’s busy, there are times we can put it down to some great PR, strong social media activity or a good marketing campaign; but when it’s quiet, other than the obvious, it’s really hard to say exactly why.
What I do understand is that our choices go beyond just one simple decision, they can impact a whole heap of things. Like holidaying being a prime example. Where they stay, what they do, where they eat will all be factors in that one choice. I can totally understand why people choose Strathmore House Apartments, not only for their location and quality but also amazing facilities too.”
Last questions! Inside the Kitchen, how tolerant are Chefs really when it comes to Veganism?
“I think ‘tolerant’ is the wrong word. It isn’t our place to judge or have opinions, it is simply our job to delight!”
From mindful meditation to keeping a journal; through to healthy eating and fitness tips. Two of our staff share their habits on how they best deal with ‘life’ stresses during Christmas time…
Here at Strathmore House Apartments, we care about people. Not just their experiences whilst in our beautiful and charming city; but how they actually feel and how they look after themselves, even when they aren’t staying here with us.
We talk to our Development Manager, Elinor Eaton and Club Continental Manager, Adam Domyslawski about the magic of Christmas, but also the strain and stresses we can feel too.
Although a magical time, the energy that is needed can sometimes leave us feel a little out of sorts. Elinor tells us how she stays positive at Christmas Time.
“Trying to clear your inbox and finish projects ready for the New Year; planning the perfect Christmas and buying the right gifts; worrying you won’t fit into your Christmas jumper after all the office mince pies..! The list can feel endless! But you’re not alone! These are stresses felt by many of us in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
It can sometimes feel like a bit of a taboo subject! People expect a positive response to ‘how are you?’; the majority don’t really want to know if you are having a little wobble, let alone real life issues. We live in a social climate whereby we are used to seeing happy filters on photos and positive quotes on Facebook; and we have almost conditioned ourselves to feel envious of that ‘pretend’ life – yet unable to deal with the real one of others and our own!
The festive period is meant to be a time for getting together, enjoying each other’s company, exchanging presents and having a good time. But sadly it can be a time where life becomes really overwhelming. End of year targets have only weeks to be reached. You haven’t got that gift which is ‘ALL’ they wanted. You can’t remember the name of Bryan’s wife next door for the Christmas Card; and you have over committed to festive events and family gatherings!
It may sound like I am trivialising things slightly, but this time of year can honestly be the most stressful – for all manner of reasons – both big and small.
The first thing to say is, it really isn’t just you that might be feeling this way. Be it work, money, home or simply life, we all have our wobbles … and it really is OK.
I make sure I do certain things to keep my mental well-being in check and keep on top of the nagging voices and moments of sadness or worry. I know Adam is an advocate for exercise, being outdoors and a good diet, but I have always been a huge fan of meditation, keeping a journal and trying to keep a good work/life balance.
Strathmore House Apartments is perfect for this. It’s quiet and private for amazing meditation, and so light and airy. It also encourages you to put your life first, when you step out of the doors and almost straight onto the sea-front, you realise what is – and what isn’t important!
My biggest lesson, and one I will always keep pushing to learn, is to love myself. Even with the scars, the ones that people can see, but also the ones that people can’t see too. Because eventually those scars will heal and things will get better.
Secondly, I always make more time for being me during the festive period. Choosing getaways like Strathmore House Apartments gives you the perfect platform to reconnect with what matters.
If you haven’t planned a New Year break yet, then grab some amazing deals now and make time for you.
It really is so important that you grab happiness and realise that these wobbles are just part of the journey and Christmas, well Christmas is the perfect time to give yourself the most important gift; happiness above all else.”
It’s clearly important to feed your soul and although our favourite time of year Christmas, in addition to all the usual everyday related stresses, Christmas can bring with it a whole heap of additional challenges and obstacles that we have to smile through and make time for.
Adam Domyslawski from Club Continental shares his tips on how to stay ‘strong’, both physically and mentally this Christmas.
“An unhealthy diet and a lack of regular exercise and sleep can have really adverse consequences on your well-being; both physically and mentally at any time of the year; but at Christmas we indulge that little bit more, sleep that little bit less and find it hard to find the time for our usual routines. The ingredients to a disaster! ”
Stress isn’t just a state of mind; it really impacts your physical being too. It can exacerbate nearly every pre-existing condition and can lead to the development or worsening of anxiety, depression and much more, stress really isn’t something to joke about.
It’s a real chicken and egg situation though I know! The more you are stressed and the busier you are, the less likely you are to look after yourself. But it’s essential to find the time to think about you and your body this time of year.
When you get on an aeroplane and they do their safety procedure in case of an emergency; they tell you to put your mask on before assisting anyone else. Hard to do; as your instinct is to help others first – but what help will you be if you haven’t helped yourself first? It’s the same principle with health and fitness – if you aren’t healthy and fit both physically and mentally – no one will have a good Christmas and your work load for next year will simply increase.
The key is to remember that it is essential that you find enough time in the day for you. Plan your meals so that you don’t panic and hunger buy; but instead you have it with you and ready when you are. Also, take the time to think through a little fitness throughout your week. It can be parking a little further from the office or shops; taking the stairs or simply making the time for you to work-out. It’s really essential that you find a way. Even if during this crazy we weeks it’s less than normal – a little can go a long way!”
Club Continental is free for Strathmore House Apartments guests. It’s an amazing resource just a short stroll from the apartments.
The Lights and Nights of Christmas…
With our city awash with beautiful sparkling Christmas lights, both in the city centre and on the beautiful Plymouth Barbican; there really is something magical about Christmas; no matter how old you are!
With only weeks away to the big day itself; the magic never seems to fade; even with the stress of finding the right gifts; making enough time for family and friends and emptying the inbox before the out of office goes on!
We all know that the stress, well it’s always worth it in the end!
We know that finding the right base at Christmas is no mean feat; being away at this time of year you require a little different touch to any other time. Space and privacy are top – but also location to maximise the time you have for visiting friends and family (or shopping!)
There are so many amazing, unique and quirky places to call home in Plymouth and that makes us even more honoured that so many people have chosen us.
We are overjoyed that we have the opportunity to welcome everyone to Plymouth this Christmas. All with differing reasons for their visit. We have one couple coming down to welcome their first grandchild, due on the 25th December! Another family coming for their first time away from home at Christmas. Then a mother and daughter coming to spend the Christmas and New Year in their home-town after 17 years of living away.
Christmas brings many wonders and so much excitement, and so to be part of the Christmas celebrations, festive fun and magical memories is totally heartening.
We love this time year. And Christmas at Starthmore House Apartments really does make perfect sense and the most amazing place to make your home from home at Christmas time.
What’s more, with our location, there’s nothing quite like a winter walk on the waterfront, or a wander around the Christmas market to get you in the festive mood…or perhaps just to walk off some of those pre-Christmas calories!
Plymouth is by far one of the best cities to enjoy Christmas and we are truly thrilled to be having the opportunity to be part of so many wonderful Christmas memories.
From All Of Us; We Wish You The Merriest Of Christmases And A Super 2019.
A MERRY Christmas In Plymouth; locations, times and everything you need to know…
When does Christmas start in Plymouth? When are the Christmas Markets? Where are the Christmas Markets? How do we get there?
All of your questions answered…
Christmas In Plymouth…
Plymouth has officially started the countdown to the festive season; and here at Strathmore House Apartments we can’t bloomin’ wait!!
Filling the city with over 50 traditional wooden huts, the scent of mulled wine and swarms of shoppers, the attraction is back from 29 November to December 16.
We don’t only have one set of lights turned on in Plymouth. Oh No! We have two!
The Christmas Lights Switch On…
The city centre Christmas lights will be twinkling above it all after the official switch-on, which takes place on Thursday November 15.
The lights also mark the start of Plymouth’s notorious late-night shopping! The fun starts in the city centre Piazza from 4pm with a host of entertainment for the whole family. Then the streets are lit up at 6.30pm by Father Christmas himself!
The Barbican’s Christmas Lights Switch On…
Just a short stroll past Smeatons Tower, along the sea-front and over the cobbles you will find all of the festive celebrations on the Waterfront.
The Barbican’s Christmas Lights Switch On will be taking place on Sunday 25 November between 3pm and 6pm. Join the festive cheer on Southside Street to meet the Grinch from 4pm, then greet Santa arriving aboard the RNLI at Capn’ Jaspers at 4.45pm followed by the official lights switch on at 5pm.
So. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or coming back for more, Visit Plymouth have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your trip.