Hair salon small talk can be a pleasant way to pass the time whilst the stylist makes you look dreamy! Yet there is always one question, no matter what time of year, that is asked…
“Going on holiday this year?”
Why THIS question..?
Well, like in any service led organisation, it’s essential that managers and staff are friendly, polite and engaging with their customers. Showing an interest, making eye contact and ensuring that the person they are talking to feels welcome. Not only is it good manners, it’s the make or break for the business.
But still, why ‘this’ question..?
Whether you are adding an extra day to a weekend, taking a short mid-week break or going on a full-blown two-week vacation; breaks away matter. People are interested in where you choose to spend your ‘down-time’. Many people will ‘holiday’ vicariously through others!
Hearing about holidays lifts your spirits. It sparks common interests and draws out shared experiences – making the conversation and relationship flow and grow.
For many of us however, we’re restricted, not only by a tight purse string, but also a limited amount of leave that we can take to experience holidays. So, there are two things we do as humans, either dream about them, or try and find the time and the budget to make the holiday happen.
Why do we need a break-away..?
Just like we all look forward to our days off work, there are very few of us who don’t love a break away. No matter if it’s a weekend or a week; getting away from the everyday is rejuvenating , it pops a spring back in your step. What’s more, there’s something unparalleled about a rest.
(Image: Penny Cross)
But what sort of break is best?
Should we be thinking that we need one long two-week holiday a year? What about two separate weeks? Or perhaps a handful of long weekends? Or is it enough to keep evenings and weekends free to plan some excursions?
The truth is, getting away, resting and making memories tends not to depend on how much you spend, how far you travel or how long your holiday is. It’s the intensity of the experiences and the change of activity that matters the most.
It may be adding an extra day or two to your weekend or gambling all your leave on one single holiday. It could involve shopping well or jet-skiing badly; taking time out and having a break is essential for your mind, body and soul.
City Break By the Sea…
A city break is the perfect solution. Not only can they be really affordable and accessible, you can often experience the beating heart of a new city in just a few days. Add that to a city with views, history and fabulous things to see and do, you have a real winner! Plymouth and Strathmore House Apartments.
Perhaps Strathmore House Apartments has the answer…
Whichever way you plan your holiday, the days off you can afford to take, or the money you can afford to pay. Strathmore House Apartments has 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom apartments, various prices with different offers and all with an easy way to check availability!
Make plans to visit Plymouth and stay with us. Then, next time the stylist asks about your holiday – you can leave looking both dreamy and super excited!
The Christmas lights have been switched. Black Friday is behind us and so, now, it’s officially time for Plymouth to get in the festive spirit!
What’s more; there’s no need to stick to daytime shop opening hours either! You can now catch up on essential retail therapy in Plymouth with late night shopping every Thursday.
A wide range of large and small retailers in the city centre and Drake Circus are changing their opening hours. Shoppers can now make sure they’re fully stocked and ready for Christmas Day outside of the typical 9am-5pm.
Shopping is just a stones throw away from Strathmore House Apartments, taking just 10 minutes to stroll to either the City Centre or Barbican.
Late night Shopping…
Many of Plymouths stores will be open later on Thursdays; and with so many amazing retail hubs, you can be sure to get inspired whilst feeling festive! There are plenty of shops keeping their doors open after 5.30pm, with Drakes Circus and many others open until 9pm on a Thursday.
With more than 70 stores all under cover at Drakes Circus, there are shops and eateries open until 9pm and the car park (if you have too much to carry back to the apartments!) open until midnight for a flat fee.
As well as all the amazing shops, there are log cabins too! The Christmas Market is now well underway and not to be missed! There are themed stalls decorated with fairy lights and Christmas decorations and home to both local and national traders selling a wide variety of items. There is handmade jewellery and clothing, artwork, homewares, gifts and so much more.
Visit Plymouth this season for some fabulous shopping in our city by the sea.
This time of year is traditionally characterised by tinsel-decorated trees; mince pies; present-giving; a turkey dinner (or two) and of course carols.
This year you can once again delight in the sounds of a fabulous selection of sing along classics at the Dementia Friendly Carol Service; it’s being held on Wednesday 11th December.
You can listen to your favourite carols and hear some lovely readings from some very special guests.
St Pauls Church in Stonehouse will be the host of this very special concert. Although everyone is welcome, it’s also perfect for people living with, or caring for those with Dementia.
The event starts at 3pm, and just as the songs used to bring people together many hundreds of years ago, the magic will be clear to see when you attend this amazing service.
Singing carols at Christmas with those that you love, brings families and friends together over Christmas time. But for some with Dementia, the music makes them feel connected to a time period or a memory that they can associate with that song. This then creates a magic with every note.
To find out more you can email: transformingplymouthtogether.org.uk or call: 07710096210
As a city, Plymouth has proudly played a key role in many historic moments. With the 28th November 1919 one of those moments in history. It was a monumental day for both Plymouth and Women. The day marks Nancy Astor being elected to represent Plymouth Sutton in Parliament. Nancy Astor won her Plymouth seat in 1919. She was still then the only female MP in the Commons for two years after.
The 28th November 2019 will now also go into the history books. It was a truly emotional day, even the weather couldn’t rain on the cities parade. A statue honouring the first female MP, Lady Nancy Astor, was unveiled. Just moments away from Strathmore House Apartments on Elliot Terrace, a century after she was voted in.
In honour of the pioneering MP, former prime minister Theresa May unveiled a bronze statue near Lady Astor’s former family home.
On the same day, Lady Astor was also commemorated with a Great Western Railway. A train was named after her and travelled from London Paddington to Plymouth. Plymouth City Bus also now has a bus which not only celebrates her in it’s fine art work on the outside; but inside celebrates all the great women in and around our city thereafter.
Mrs May told the hundreds-strong crowd that she was “honoured” to be unveiling the statue. She also said she was “especially pleased to do so, as our country’s second female prime minister”.
The statue was sculpted by artist Hayley Gibbs after £125,000 was raised through crowdfunding by the Nancy Astor Statue Appeal. Practically in the ‘back-yard’ of Strathmore House Apartments it is a truly magnificent work of art; but also telling a truly gripping tale. Well worth a see!
Plymouth in January is beautiful. It’s rugged, romantic and occasionally stormy; making it perfectly matched with our homely apartments, where you can snuggle in after a blowy walk along the ocean.
The Barbican and its cobbles are lined with cafes serving warming hot chocolate. There are bars for a glass of red wine and Plymouth Gin offering amazing tours of their distillery. The shopping district is full of high street brands as well as cute boutiques, with exceptional January sales. Restaurants serve seasonal dishes and it’s a relaxed time of year to enjoy every mouthful. Plymouth in January has a sense of calm and new beginnings in the air as an exciting New Year starts.
Contrary to what many people believe about Plymouth in winter, there is so much beauty this time of year not to be missed, fuse this with our lowest rates of the year and you have the perfect break away!
Here are just two of our favourite things about Plymouth in January:
On The Sea
Plymouth is a city which although in Devon, is just a stones throw from Cornwall. January is the perfect month to explore and enjoy both counties, using the sea!
The Torpoint Ferry connects Plymouth with Cornwall, a service that has stood the test of time! Smaller boats used to ferry people and goods across from Cornwall to England and although the ferry shares no resemblance to the old ones; the journey is like going back in time.
The toll aboard the Torpoint Ferry is payable one way, on the trip from Torpoint (Cornwall) to Plymouth (Devon) except for motorcycles which are tolled from Plymouth (Devon) to Torpoint (Cornwall). There is no charge for pedestrians or pedal cyclists. For anyone exploring this part of the county by car, it is well worth a visit to the nearby Kingsand and Cawsand Bay, with many other breathtaking stops along the way.
Take a trip on the historic foot ferry from Stonehouse to The Rame Peninsula, known as, Cornwall’s forgotten corner. Loved for centuries by all who have travelled on her, the Cremyll Ferry is one of Plymouth’s true gems and provides a gateway to discover this beautiful part of the South West.
Our eight minute ferry journey crosses the River Tamar, against the spectacular backdrop of Royal William Yard and Plymouth Sound. (The winter timetable runs from October-March)
Mount Batten Ferry
The Mount Batten Ferry operates between the Barbican and Mount Batten all year round. Operating every 30 mins, departing from the Barbican quarter past and quarter to the hour, Mount Batten on the hour and half hour.
Whilst in Mount Batten you could visit the Mount Batten Watersports & Activity Centre. It is one of the foremost Outdoor Education centres in the South West. The Centre commands stunning views looking out towards Plymouth’s historic Barbican area, the Hoe and across to Mount Edgcumbe. It is perfectly situated on the tidal estuary of The Sound, making it an ideal, and safe, location for the thousands of people, of all ages, that use the Centre each year – whether for recreational or professional use.
(Re-opens after the Christmas Break on the 2nd January)
Coastal walks and sunsets
(Image: Penny Cross)
There’s something about sunsets.They are romantic, inspiring and utterly Instagram-able! So why don’t we make more time to watch them? Make that time this January and witness the calming, beautiful moments here in Plymouth. As a city by the sea, we are so fortunate to be able to watch the changing colours in the sky, all with the sea as its very own personal mirror.
Restaurants with decks, balconies and floor to ceiling windows allow those who are not so up for braving the elements, to view in the warmth but still not moss a thing.
You will be overcome with those moments where you think to yourself ‘the best things in life really are free’. Every city gets them, yet each one is unique in its own way. Plymouth is by far our favourite city by the sea to enjoy walks and sunsets a plenty! So, pack your walking boots and a camera, you don’t want to miss out on these natural beauties!
Ships’ figureheads have a long history embodying religion, symbolism and superstition…
These amazing objects were mounted on the bows of sailing ships for thousands of years. They were believed to embody the spirit of the vessel they were on. Figureheads offered crew protection from harsh seas and safety on their journeys home.
The Egyptians mounted figures of holy birds to provide protection and vision. The Phoenicians featured horse heads symbolising swiftness. The Romans and Greeks carved wolf or boar heads representing ferocity. All often mounted on, or carved directly onto, the most forward part of the ship’s bow.
Naval galleons, whose figureheads were often carved animals or heraldic devices, were the basis of England’s rise as a great maritime power…
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the lion was the standard figurehead for lower-ranking Royal Navy warships. It symbolised power, speed and aggression. There are just two British ones that have survived. One is at the National Maritime Museum in London.
Lion figureheads went out of fashion towards the end of the 18th century. They were replaced by full-length human forms. As many sailors couldn’t read, the ships’ figureheads often represented the name of the ship.
Although ship design eventually made figureheads redundant, there are still around 200 from the Royal Navy that have survived since their sea-service retirement. They are admired by all that see them.
Nip & Tuck…
The superstitions of seamen meant that figureheads held great significance to those on board and they would go to great lengths to protect it. Fourteen figureheads have, over the last two years, had a new ‘crew’ of protectors. Three specialist conservation teams in London, Devon and Cornwall, led by Orbis Conservation, have painstakingly been loving and restoring 14 wooden figureheads to their former glory. These figureheads are now officially out of retirement! They had been rescued from the Royal Navy’s ships before they were scrapped.
Led by Plymouth City Council, the figurehead conservation project is the most significant of its kind in a generation. It not only secures the future of the Devonport figureheads, but identifies The Box as a centre of excellence and innovation for the preservation and display of maritime heritage, with one of the largest collections of figureheads in the UK.
Now rescued and back in Plymouth, we hear that one of the most badly damaged of the figureheads was HMS Topaz. A three-quarter-length female bust carved in 1858. Her ship was responsible for removing two of the Easter Island statues that are now in the British Museum’s collection.
This wasn’t a small restoration for any of the figureheads and the talented conservation teams were dealing with vast objects! The largest of the 14 wooden figureheads to be rescued was HMS Royal William. “King Billy” is a carving of William IV which was completed in 1833. It stands at 13ft tall and in total weighs two–tonne!
After years of water damage, there was an abundance of rot and decay throughout the 14. The figureheads had to undergo some rather complex analysis and restoration; it was no mean feat. Artists and restorers have scraped away layers of paint, dug out rot and make-shift repairs.
The display will see the figureheads being airborne! This obviously required teams of conservators and structural engineers collaborating. They had to develop innovative solutions in pursuit of the fabulous end goal. They have come up with complex but elegant structural mounts, and each figurehead will be secured in place with just three cables. This will create the effect of a fleet of carvings, simply and elegantly floating above visitors.
It’s true to say that they had many challenges to overcome. Yet The Box is a pioneer for conservation and innovation and they soon became a new ‘safe home’. Not only for the figureheads, but for Plymouth’s important national collections and archives.
The ‘heads’ are in safe ‘hands’!
The Box certainly won’t only be home to these maritime gems! It will be a space for new galleries, a striking elevated archive with learning facilities. Hence the excitement within the city.
Although the Plymouth City Museum was probably one of the most loved buildings by generations; it was closed in 2016. However, this was not without good reason. As a result of the closure there was a number of pop up, touring displays around the city. This kept the cities history offer in place in preparation for The Box.
The Box is a £40 million complex. It completely transforms, extends and combines the original City Museum and Library buildings and St. Luke’s Church.
As a result, this new building will form the largest museum and art gallery space in the South West of England. It opens it’s doors in Spring 2020 to form part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.
Incredibly, these figureheads weigh over 20 tonnes collectively! These substantial retired icons form part of Britain’s maritime history, and now have a new home. These amazing figureheads will be on public display from Spring 2020. Suspended within the main atrium; in a huge sweep that appears to sail across the glazed façade.
This will be a brand new museum. It will have innovation and preservation at the core; for these sensational maritime oldies and so much more!
Sometimes, one of the hardest questions you have to answer is that big annual one:
‘… so, what do YOU want for Christmas?’
We of course all answer ‘Oh nothing, just good health and happiness for my family’. Perhaps then followed by: ‘and the children to stop fighting!’ Yet here at Strathmore House Apartments we think we have come up with the perfect gift, that keeps on giving!
Travel Size Gift Sets!
There really is nothing quite like the treat of opening the perfect makeup gift set, face masks or serums to perfect your holiday! It may be a family week in the sun, or a romantic weekend for two at Strathmore House Apartments. Opening up a brand new little cosmetic treat is the perfect addition to any break away.
This time of year is perfect for them too. Beauty brands bring together their best products – and occasionally some limited edition versions, too.
Whether it’s a friend, family member – or you just fancy treating yourself; Travel Size Treats are perfect to pop away and bring out when you’re packing your overnight bag or suitcase.
So, we suggest that you add your favourite brand to your Christmas list this year, pronto! Get some Travel Gift Sets and then get travelling!
We have just been told that the month of November is ‘Togetherness’ month!
A month that’s all about putting aside some quality time to be together. It could be together with a lover, with friends or with family. It’s about making time to spend with your tribe!
No matter who you are or what your relationship status, togetherness is a hugely important aspect in all of our lives. It unites us, gives us security, support and a sense of belonging. Being with people that care about you encourages, empowers and enables you to be happy, happy in the moment.
Life is so busy. You wake up on a Monday and before you know it, it’s Friday! Your habit of saying ‘I’ll just do this first‘ before you text back worsens and, before you know it, you’re living a hermit’s existence with the Saturday night TV guide and a frozen pizza!
Even if you are good at keeping in touch; sending the odd message in a WhatsApp group chat or liking a Facebook post, when you really think about it, when was the last time you truly connected with the people you love the most?
Strathmore House Apartments…
Here at Strathmore House Apartments we know how important time together is. Our Four Bedroom apartments are most popular with friends and family coming together. Hanging out in big open plan spaces, with your own private space for when you want to escape or have a nap!
kitchens that can easily accommodate all the chefs, prepping the feasts whilst being part of the conversations. Whether you want a couples retreat, so you can all regroup, a friends weekend away to bond and gossip or a family break to connect again. Strathmore House Apartments are the biggest advocates for togetherness.
So, don’t ‘just do that first‘, open an App and start a group-chat! Work out what month will be YOUR together month. Have fun planning, make time chatting and then come together at Strathmore and make memories with your tribe. Officially November may be ‘Togetherness Month’ but as long as you come together, it doesn’t matter what month you do it! Just do it!
Did you know that one of the highest abandonment rates for online bookings is for travel, that includes accommodation…
The last figures shared by Statista in September 2019 showed us that over 80% of online shopping orders within the Travel & Hospitality sector were abandoned. That’s a whopping eight out of ten people start the booking process, get distracted and then abandon their experience.
For some of us that could be because the pizza person is at the door, interrupting our purchase! Perhaps that much needed romantic break away is postponed because your partner filled their glass and not yours!
All very plausible! Yet for the majority of us, the booking is abandoned for fear that there could be a better deal elsewhere!
Peace Of Mind…
That’s where we come in! Here at Strathmore House Apartments we are independently owned. We have just one person who sets all of our rates – on all of our platforms. This means they make certain that our website offers the best possible rate at the time of purchase when you book direct.
We all get distracted! By the pop-up notifications, crying babies, over-flowing baths and the empty wine glasses; let’s not get distracted by the fear you could get a better rate. Just head straight to strathmorehouse.co.uk and book now. With all the distractions in our everyday, you deserve a special day to look forward to (even if you leave the baby and partner at home!)!
A one bedroom apartment that sleeps two starts from just £70 a night in the heart of Britain’s Ocean City – a city that will distract you but by its extraordinary beauty!