“Unexpected adventures make for a better story.”
As I write this post, I should be sat poolside in Portugal, instead I’m sat in a hotel in Scotland!
In planning our holiday to the Algarve we bought new suitcases, pulled out our holiday clothes, booked airport transfers and hire cars, checked the weather forecast daily and even bought suncream. The one thing we forgot to do was check was our ruddy passports. Cue a frantic 500 mile round trip from Wirral to Glasgow for the only appointment available at any passport office in the country.
And so we find ourselves in a hotel room in bonnie Scotland waiting for our paperwork to be processed. Our only criteria in selecting the hotel was that it had to be close to the passport office so that we can return first thing to collect our new passport. As luck would have it one of Scotland’s best hotels is within walking distance.
Blythswood Square is a 5-star spa hotel in a quiet Glaswegian square. It is one of the most elegant and chic hotels in the city and is rumoured to have had several famous guests, including Beyoncé and Brad Pitt.
We were met at the door by Sarah who welcomed us to the hotel. After a long journey she is exactly the type of character you would like to meet; extremely helpful with an obvious enthusiasm for her job.
The interior of the hotel is equally as beautiful as the exterior with stunning marble floors and a couple of eye-catching red velvet sitting booths.
The rooms are surprisingly spacious for a city centre hotel. Light and airy, they’re the perfect place to relax.
All 100 rooms are similarly decorated, with tweed featuring heavily. Harris Tweed, used by Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Céline, was commissioned to design the textiles for the interiors.
It took 100 weavers six months to complete the job and over 9000 square metres of fabric is used in every room, even in the hotel's private cinema.
Car art is dotted around the hotel, paying respect to the building's previous use.
The Square used to house the Royal Scottish Automobile Club headquarters and was subsequently chosen as one of the official starting points of the Monte Carlo Rally between 1949 and 1973. In homage, the hotel has named one of its bars The Rally Bar.
We booked into The Restaurant for our evening meal, but first took a trip to the private cinema. Popcorn in hand we settled in to the tweed-covered seats and sat back to watch the original Star Wars movie.
The Restaurant is housed in what used to be the Automobile Club's ballroom. We opted to dine from the À la carte menu.
The Rally Bar has an impressive array of drinks to choose from. I picked an old favourite, a Mai Tai.
The second bar, The Salon, is located on the first floor of the hotel and has been rated as one of the best bars in the world. No wonder we found ourselves drawn to this place in our hour of need!
The staircase that leads to the bar has at its centre one of the tallest chandeliers I’ve ever seen. I don’t envy the person tasked with keeping it spotlessly clean!
After a fantastic nights sleep we headed to breakfast. With a few hundred miles of driving ahead of us a hearty Full Scottish Breakfast was in order.
Photography by mahon.photo