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Virgin Hotels to debut in Glasgow (GB)

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Virgin Hotels, the hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, announces reservations are live for Virgin Hotels Glasgow for bookings starting the 1st of December. Situated on the banks of River Clyde, the hotel will feature 240 Chambers spanning across 15 floors and hosts four dining and drinking options including, playful and sophisticated Commons Club, Virgin Hotels’ flagship restaurant and bar that acts as a modern-day social club; Highyard, for entertaining, co-working and dining; Funny Library Coffee Shop; and the elegant late-night bar, Rocks. With a prime city centre position, the hotel has panoramic views overlooking the River Clyde to the south, and across to the heart of Glasgow in the north, making it an ideal base to explore the city.

 

Bright and airy with warm textiles and locally sourced furnishings, the Chambers are a welcoming space to relax after a day exploring the city, featuring Virgin Hotels’ signature layout with two distinct spaces. The Dressing Room includes a full vanity, closet space big enough for two, makeup desk with a well-lit mirror, an extra-large shower with a built-in bench and toiletries by Arran of Scotland. A sliding door or drapery separates it from The Lounge, which features Virgin Hotels patented ergonomically designed bed with a tufted headboard, a red SMEG mini-fridge generously stocked with a curated selection of local products, television and ample outlets for smartphones, laptops, or other devices.

 

Virgin Hotels Glasgow will offer a selection of beautifully curated suites. The signature suite, Sir Richard’s Flat, features a retro-luxury design with a personal bar and games table and sumptuous velvet sofa, creating a sociable space within the suite. In a nod to Virgin’s heritage, guests of Sir Richard’s Flat will find musical references throughout, including unique pieces of record-inspired artwork.

 

Inspired and named after Richard Branson’s wife, Joan – a proud Glaswegian – Lady B’s Flat will feature floor and wall tiling inspired by alabaster, spreads over 69 square metres and provides guests with a light, airy and soft space with exquisite furniture and a large, curved bath. For guests looking for something a little different, there is also the Moroccan-inspired Kasbah Tamadot Suite. The calming suite features hand-carved heritage wood panels, along with a sumptuous bathroom decorated with Moroccan-style tiles – inspired by Virgin Limited Edition’s property in Morocco of the same name.

 

Virgin Hotels Glasgow will open in the centre of Glasgow, joining many noteworthy local restaurants, music venues and boutique hotels. The hotel was developed by Silk Property Group, which selected Twenty First Architects to work on the hotel. UK based design firm Four-By-Two was tapped to curate the hotel interiors in accordance with Virgin Hotels’ localised approach to design. The firm’s experience in residential and boutique commercial projects made them the perfect choice to create welcoming, comfortable environments, with local touches and historical details.

 

“We’re thrilled to share our second hotel in the UK in a completely different city, Glasgow,” said James Bermingham, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Hotels. “Virgin Hotels Glasgow will feature neighborhood-driven design and various restaurant and bar offerings. We truly believe the hotel will be the ideal hub for visitors wanting to soak up this vibrant city while enjoying authentic experiences. Glasgow showcases fantastic museums and galleries, a thriving music scene, and innovative food and drinks outlets, and we cannot wait to open.”

 

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Bluewater grows its entertainment offer (GB)

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Landsec has announced the opening of a third ‘UK first’ attraction at Bluewater, Kent as the destination expands its partnership with Hangloose Adventures. Skydive, a free-fall experience not found anywhere else in Europe, and the UK’s only outdoor skydive machine has opened at the centre. It follows on from Europe’s biggest purpose-built giant swing, standing at 46-metre tall, which opened at Bluewater earlier this month.  

 

The announcement builds on a successful first year for Hangloose’s initial attraction Skywire, the longest zip wire in England, which has welcomed 30,000 guests since launching at Bluewater last June. Landsec will continue to work with Hangloose to expand its offering, with up to five more experiences set to open at the centre by 2024: a bungee tower, giant slide, clip and climb, waterdrop boulding wall, and Via Ferrata, a route-marked climb using metal rails and rungs embedded in Bluewater’s cliff walls.

 

Mark Warne, Brand Account Director F&B and Leisure at Landsec commented: “Delivering new experiences which are unique to Bluewater is central to our overall offer for guests. Hangloose’s innovative concept raises the bar when it comes to leisure attractions and draws guests from across the UK to Kent. By partnering with Hangloose to grow their business and create shared value, we’ll be able to give guests even more exciting experiences every time they visit.”

 

Brian Phelps, MD of Hangloose Adventure, said: “Since the beginning, we’ve worked closely with Landsec to grow our leisure concept and drive performance, putting us in a unique position where we’re able to expand our offer after only a year. We’ve enjoyed great success at Bluewater so far and are already thinking about how we can provide even bigger and better experiences in the future.”

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Author with immaculate house offers ten tips for a clean home

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Is this the secret to NEVER having to clean? Houseproud author claims she saves hours by sticking to a ten-step mantra – including banning chairs in bedrooms, wiping as you cook and only ironing shirts and dresses

  • UK writer Natali Juste Simmonds says she’s cracked keeping a home clean, by sticking to a few simple ground rules – and making sure family members comply
  • She shared top ten tips for keeping a home spotless with her 20,000 followers
  • Among them are ditching a toilet brush in the bathroom, not having a chair in the bedroom and cleaning  the kitchen while you cook

A houseproud author has revealed her ten essential tips for keeping a house spotless – saying simple ground rules for family members and cleaning as you go means never wasting time on dull chores. 

Writer Natali Juste Simmonds, who was born in the UK but now lives in the Netherlands, penned her top ways to keep on top of cleaning on Twitter, saying she has time to focus on her writing because she follows her own advice about dodging ‘thankless’ cleaning tasks. 

The author of a series of paranormal romance novels told her 20,000 followers on Twitter: ‘I know so many people who spend hours cleaning up after their family every day, but I refuse to. 

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UK writer Natali Juste Simmonds says she's cracked keeping a home clean, by sticking to a few simple ground rules - and making sure family members comply

UK writer Natali Juste Simmonds says she’s cracked keeping a home clean, by sticking to a few simple ground rules – and making sure family members comply

‘It’s boring and thankless. I prefer to write. Yet my house is spotless. Here are 10 ways to keep on top of s*** so you don’t have to clean for hours.’ 

Sharing her ‘tough love’ mantra, she said that the key to keeping a home clean is making sure every family member is engaged, saying learning how to tidy is a lifeskill that everyone needs – and no-one should get away with not doing it. 

Natali wrote: ‘Train everyone in the house to do the following (cats are the exception). After a while these habits will become routine, but you MUST stick to them and make sure no one is let off the hook.’ 

Among the tips are filling a bag with things that are in the wrong place at the end of every day and placing them back where they belong. 

Tidy home, tidy mind: The Netherlands-based writer shared her top ten tips for keeping a home spotless with her 20,000 followers on Twitter - saying that making sure everyone in the house pulls their weight is key (Pictured: An office area in Simmonds' home)

Tidy home, tidy mind: The Netherlands-based writer shared her top ten tips for keeping a home spotless with her 20,000 followers on Twitter – saying that making sure everyone in the house pulls their weight is key (Pictured: An office area in Simmonds’ home)

The writer also claims having a toilet brush doesn’t help keep a loo clean and dousing it with bleach instead is a more reliable way to ensure it’s sparkling. 

And getting used to wiping down mirrors after using a sink also helps, she claims, writing: ‘Keep a dry cloth next to the bathroom sink. Every time someone uses the taps or brushes their teeth, wipe down the counter and mirror. Takes literally 2 seconds. No cleaning toothpaste stains off counters.’

Teaching kids to pull their weight around the house is key to success, and equality reigns supreme in the Simmonds house. 

Among her top tips are ditching a toilet brush in the bathroom - using just bleach instead; not having a chair in the bedroom - to prevent people leaving clothes on them - and cleaning the kitchen while you cook (Pictured: Simmonds' very tidy office)

Among her top tips are ditching a toilet brush in the bathroom – using just bleach instead; not having a chair in the bedroom – to prevent people leaving clothes on them – and cleaning the kitchen while you cook (Pictured: Simmonds’ very tidy office)

‘If one kid lays the table, the other clears. If one hangs out the washing, the other collects. I don’t say “I need help with dinner” I say “who will chop the veg and who will wash up?” Its called a presumed close. I have no option, why should others in my house?’

The author, who has written books including the Indigo Chronicles trilogy and the Blood Web series, admits that having a cleaner is still useful…because they can help keep on top of areas where grime quickly builds, including fridges and ovens – but she suggests ditching a takeaway a week to cover the cost. 

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DIA Group closes 25 Minipreco stores in Portugal

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DIA Group has closed 25 Minipreco stores in Portugal, resulting in the loss of approximately 159 jobs. The retailer said the closures are the result of ‘the effort to adapt, modernise and balance the operations of DIA Portugal, with the aim of better preparing the company for current and future challenges arising from the current economic situation in the country,’ according to media reports. In the last two years, the multinational company operating in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, and Argentina, accumulated losses of over €620m.

 

In Portugal, net sales reached €283.1m in the first half, 4.5% below the €296.3m generated in the same period last year, due to the reduction of stores and mobility restrictions. DIA Group confirmed its intention to continue to invest in Portugal. The company hopes to adjust its operation to the current reality in order to ensure the future success of the company.

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