On Friday I was very kindly invited along to the Laura Ashley hotel based in Elstree, London, for a blogger's afternoon tea and tour of the hotel. We all congregated together at Kings Cross where we were picked up by a wonderful vintage bus to transport us to Elstree. It was a very rattly, bumpy old journey, filled with lots of chatter and laughter of us bloggers getting to know one another. After 45 minutes we arrived at our destination: The Manor. Having undergone the beautiful Laura Ashley refurbishment in 2013, the hotel stands on the site of an old Tudor house, which dates back to 1540 and is set in 10 acres of garden and natural woodland, with view overlooking cental London, such as the Shard.
We were firstly shown into the entrance hall which featured a magnificent fireplace with Italian carved columns, and then into the Cavendish restaurant where we were seated on plush chairs to await our tea. This was a great opportunity to chat to other bloggers, as well as devouring the delicious cakes and sandwiches (not to mention constantly snapping away - after all, it wouldn't be a blogger event without everyone's DSLR's lined up on the tables!)
Once we had all filled our tummies to a satisfactory degree, the tour of the hotel began. We were shown into all the rooms by Design Service interior designers Kerry and Jacqui, each suite more beautiful than the last, with signature Laura Ashley decor throughout. I've always been a fan of the pretty, and vintage esque designs, ever since I was young and would flick through my Mum's catalogues and accompany her to their stores (she is a huge fan!). So this was a lovely experience to see so much prettiness in a real environment, not just as a showroom display. From the pictures on the walls, to the sumptuous furniture and the smallest details such as the door handles - this hotel completely epitomizes the Laura Ashley vibe, and has taken everything into consideration.
There's always something about hotel bathrooms that I just can't get enough of; I don't know what it is, but I always feel compelled to photograph them, even though they generally have a similar aesthetic with chrome details, bright white ceramic tiles and flooring and an abundance of fresh, bouncy towels piled high. These bathrooms however, did posses just a little more glamour than your average hotel, with the (highly impractical) but stunning chenille shower curtain and tie, in luxurious oyster and champagne tones - another item I want to add to my dream house!
I adored the colour scheme in this room, with the buttercup yellow accents, deluxe dove grey velvet throw and and sofa and grand bay window with an impressive view overlooking the stunning hotel grounds. I also loved the contrast of the vintage-esque but decadent silver mirrors and immaculate mirrored coffee table, with the country style dark chestnut four posted bed frame and dressing table - an unlikely combination but both styles completely compliment each other
Beautiful canvases of art like this were aplenty around the hotel, adding character and charm. I especially love this print, as I'm a sucker for bird motifs - even better mixed with painterly florals.
Even the hallways and stairways were not forgotten when designing this hotel. It appears many of the characterisitcs such as the stained glass windows and intricately carved wooden staircase, are original features of the hotel before it was bought by Laura Ashley, which gives the whole look and feel of the venue even more charm and adds an extra little something.
A beautiful setting in the Cavendish restaurant, perfect for afternoon tea, with it's authentic Tudor high beam ceiling, contrasted with glamorous chandeliers and opulent yet relaxed upholstery.
This framed print is a very poignant feature within the hotel's bar area, as it was the first every print Laura Ashley ever designed. It's amazing to think how long ago this would have been created, yet to look at it in the modern day, it comes across as such a contemporary piece of work.
Janine, Lizzie, Kat, Debs and Moi.
This room was gorgeous, often used as a bridal suite for bridesmaids to get ready in. It has the lovely feature of the french doors opening onto the terrace and the hotel grounds, which would be so perfect in the Summer to sit out with an ice cold flute of prosecco and soak up the sunshine.
I just loved this life size chess-board situated on the lower part of the grounds - fun for all the family, and of course, a fabulous photo opportunity. The view of the seemingly never ending countryside just makes it even more idyllic.
Our little bus was so sweet, with floral arrangements entwined around the bars, and little spotlights lining the sides. I imagine this is hired for weddings a lot of the time.
An enormous thank you is in order to the team at Joe Blogs for inviting me, and arranging such a unique and special event, as well as to the Laura Ashley hotel for having us and providing such a delicious afternoon tea. I very much look forward to the next event!
If you're interested in visiting Laura Ashley Elstree, either for a wedding venue which they're very familiar with providing, a honeymoon, or just for a whimsical getaway, click here to go to the official website. Laura Ashley also wrote a post on the day over on their blog, check it out here.
I hope you enjoyed the post! Were there any rooms or features you particularly liked? I will be doing a separate post on what I wore to the hotel soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that one!