I am a firm believer in escaping the world for a while when you're stressed or sad or run down, or actually, even if there's nothing wrong at all... we all need a little break at times. Whether it's a spa day, a long walk or a phone call to your favourite person... sometimes you just gotta flick that off switch and take some time for you.

Says the girl currently living in NYC and who hasn't had a day off yet and is currently writing this at 2am.

I did however take my own advice a few weeks back and had a little staycation at the gorgeous Mercure Hyde Park and it was 100% everything I needed and so much more. I had an amazing shower, I watched X-Factor with a glass of wine and then I demolished a 29438434 course buffet the next morning. And that all makes for a prettttttty happy Elle.

So if you don't know about the Mercure hotel brand, they are a beautiful chain of hotels found all over the world, from all over the UK to America, Amsterdam to South Africa... each and every one providing total comfort and practicality making them the perfect place to work, chill or escape for a while. And that's exactly what I did when I booked in at the Hyde Park hotel. Let's have a little look around shall we? Sound like a plan? Ok fab, let's do it!
The bed. Oh my god the bed was one of the most comfortable beds I've ever stayed in, and if it wasn't for the fact that I had something important to do (book flights to New York with Miss Cocoa Chelsea) the next morning, I 100% would have had a lie in followed by a Sex and the city (it's a new addiction and I!) marathon, followed by breakfast in bed. My room in the Mercure Hyde Park was a standard king room and whilst it wasn't huge by any means - which was perfect as I was on my own and I wanted cute and cosy - it was absolutely big enough. The bathroom is a beaut and the shower was one of those you just never want to leave. The coffee machine fills me with joy. I'm aware how sad that is but I! But mostly I loved how calm and serene the whole place felt considering that the location is a very handy and quite frankly amazing spot in Hyde Park, i.e the centre of London.
Now, I travel a lot, and I spend a lot of my time in hotel rooms, but it's really rare for me that I feel comfortable enough to make a room my home and completely sloth out. My night in the Mercure consisted of a pizza coma (went out for pizza with Mum Next Door and had absolutely no regrets), episode after episode of Suits - HELLO HARVEY I'M IN NYC CURRENTLY, COME MARRY ME PLEASE AND THANKS?! - and a good pamper. Current pamper faves? The Aveda exfoliating cream cleanser which is a beauty of a face wash. It's creamy and super hydrating but does an amazing job of making your face feel clean without drying it out like a prune. The Filorga Hydra filler face mask is good, sexy moisturised skin in a sheet. Yes you look like something from a halloween movie - making it the perfect thing to use on a girly night in/getaway for one - but omg your skin will feel like it's been kissed by the skin gods after using it. I finished off with the Fresh Vitamin Nectar face cream which not only boasts the highest concentration of Vitamin C, it not only smells like a citrusy, fruity dream... but it leaves your skin feeling silky soft and nourished and I cannot get enough!
After the sleep of dreams I woke up, made a coffee, whacked on some makeup and headed down to my second home, otherwise known as the buffet. I was beyond impressed at the separate gluten free section and the offer of Gluten free bread too and the staff went out of their way to find out what was gluten free and what wasn't (which, you know, is always helpful when you have coeliac disease and you don't fancy spending the rest of the day in the bathroom out of action.) 

In general the staff were just a dream, super attentive and happy and helpful (there is nothing worse than grumpy staff that put a dampener on your experience), the room was a little beaut and my perfect little haven from life, and the location is an absolute dreamboat. Based in Hyde Park, it's smack bang in the centre of London but it's honestly so calm and chilled that you would never guess. It's the perfect place to stay if you need to be in the centre and it's the perfect place to stay if you need a little staycation escape. I for one will definitely be back!

It's funny isn't it, I always feel like the happier and more successful you appear on social media, the more people assume life is 100% amazing and stress free and totally perfect and the the thing is, it just really isn't. A lot of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears go into making everything look colourful and happy and carefree... so just remember that we all need a break at times, and it is absolutely not a weakness or a failure to take one. It's good in fact. We need to refresh and recharge to be our best selves.

BRB whilst I try to stop myself from transforming into Oprah entirely.

But I just think it's important to look after yourself. Be kind to yourself, you're doing the best you can.

I'd love to know what you do/where you go when you need to take a moment out and de-stress? What's your go-to "cheer yo'self up gal pal" routine? I always love hearing your thoughts!

As always, thanks so much for reading!


Post in collaboration with Mercure hotels but all thoughts, photos and extreme love of amazing hotels in the centre of london that allow me to fully relax, my own.


So I haven't posted a blog post in nearly 2 weeks. Maybe it is 2 weeks. I don't know, I'm jet lagged (BUT IN NYC OMG I'M SO HAPPY) and exhausted and in a slight pasta coma but then again, that's always quite a nice position to be in isn't it?

The pasta coma, not the exhaustion, just FYI.

I had this whole post written out about how I'm massively struggling right now. How I'm working harder than ever before (for reference my current working hours are 6am - 2am and I wish I was exaggerating but I'm not *insert upside down emoji here*), how things in my career are going better than ever but things in my personal life are just.... difficult. But I'm sat here in NYC and I've just had my favourite Vodka sauce gluten free pasta at a place called Angelo's and I just really didn't want to be all Moaning Myrtle because right now I am not about that life!!!

So instead I'm going to talk to you about something completely mind numbing and just joyous and happy (clothes make me happy, 100% not sorry) and then the Moaning myrtle post can come a bit later. Because whilst I am all about the positive vibes, I also have always prioritised being completely transparent and honest with you guys and to be all OMG LIFE IS CAREFREE AND AMAZING AND BRILLIANT RIGHT NOW would just be a lie.

But you know, as I'm writing this I am in NYC and life in NYC is pretty bloody brilliant so there's also that...
The Blazer
Ugh, I bloody love a blazer. Completely timeless, completely classic, chic af and they just make everything look smarter and more sophisticated. They're just effortless aren't they, bung on and any outfit looks fab, and I for one (i.e the laziest dresser in existence) am all about that life. The one I'm wearing today is from Dorothy Perkins and I love it more than almost as much as Derek Shepherd. I feel like I don't even need to explain that any further do I?

The Striped Tee
Yes that was necessary. Well, I mean, it wasn't but I clearly really needed you to know that. I just love simple pieces that make an effortless, cool and chic impact and that's exactly what the striped tee does. If it's good enough for Alexa Chung then not only is it good enough for me... but I'll be wearing it every day!!

The Pointed Boot
Oh I bloody love a pointed boot. There's nothing quite like a pointed lace up black number to make you feel instantly more sassy and chic and dare I even say it.... sexy.


But yes I love them. I've had these boots for nearly two years now and I still wear them constantly. They're super comfy and they just go with everything. So can I buy them in every colour? Yes I can? Perfect, brb while I piss off my bank account.

The Baker Boy hat
If you'd have told me 2 weeks ago that I'd be proudly wearing a baker boy hat nearly every day, I'd have lol'd in your face. (I mean, probs wouldn't have done because that would be rude but I definitely wouldn't have believed you). Fast forward a couple of weeks and you got yourself one baker boy hat obsessed girl that very regularly looks like a bus conductor on Instagram. I don't care if the half of the population thinks I look like a bit of a tit, because I just love it. It instantly makes me feel 10x cooler than I am. It's the parisian, effortless vibes that I can never usually pull off but I think this might just help me to.

And that brings me to the end of this post. I really hope you liked it. I really hope you're all well and life is treating you like the queens/kings that you are. I'm sorry I've been totally shite at updating this little blog that was once my most precious little baby and is now something that I can barely find a spare second for. That will change, and soon, I just need to live my best life in NYC, get home and start attempting to prioritise my time a little better. I think an assistant or management could be my next step as this gal is so busy her head feels a bit like it's about to explode. But for now, I'm off to get takeout sushi, eat it in our apartment with a glass of wine and watch Sex in the city and I couldn't be more excited!

As always, thanks so much for reading!


© the Elle next door

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