I was all set to let my 30th birthday pass with minimal fuss - with our wedding happening later this year I feel like that's enough attention for one year so was perfectly happy with a quiet birthday. B had other ideas though, and so on Friday I was whisked away for a surprise weekend at a mystery destination. In the car we went, Taylor Swift album on blast, and an hour later we arrived at a stunning castle in a small village near Stirling.
We were staying at Broomhall Castle which is a traditional, family run hotel which sits at the foot of the Ochil Hills. Our room was absolutely HUGE and featured a four poster bed which excited me greatly, there's just something so grand about sleeping in a bed like that, especially in our castle surroundings. I also loved the stone walls, and the traditional claw foot bath in the bathroom (where I enjoyed a lovely relaxing bath on the first night after popping into Lush for a bath bomb in town). If pushed, I'd say the negatives about the room were that the old stone walls meant there was no wifi signal, and the creaky floors in the room above drove us a bit mad (especially when your upstairs neighbours decide to stay up chatting loudly and walking about the room until 4am) - neither of which can be helped by the hotel though, so really just nit picking.
We spent Friday doing a bit of shopping in Stirling followed by dinner at Monteray Jacks - so unhealthy but so damn good. Sticking with the castle theme we spent Saturday exploring all the nooks and crannies at Stirling Castle. Despite the fact that I was F-ing freezing (I was giving my new leather jacket a test drive and needless to say I regretted it) I had a brilliant time. I always feel a bit of an affinity with castles - I feel weirdly at home in among the ruins. Perhaps I'm a distant relative of Mary Queen of Scots, ha!
We also visited the Stirling Smith Museum & Art Gallery in the afternoon, after a quick lunch at Pizza Express. The history of Stirling section was really interesting (can't say the same for the textiles section), and there was a cat snoozing in the entrance, so all in all a worthwhile visit. At night we went out for a fancy dinner at The Grill Room (thanks to my pal Iona for the recommendation). This was loooovely, and the perfect end to our weekend.
So thanks very much to B for taking me away for the weekend, it was the ideal way to spend my birthday. Next up is the second part of my birthday celebrations (which is also a mini hen do) with me flying to Paris on Thursday with my mum, sister, cousin & aunt. We're doing some Paris sightseeing and also a day at Disneyland and I can't wait! I'll no doubt be taking tons of photos so expect a post next week when I'm back :)
P.S. I also vlogged my castle break which will be up on my Youtube channel in the next few days