A stay at the Crown Court: my week away from life.

A few weeks ago we decided to go stay in Inverness for a couple of nights for my boyfriends birthday (and really it was just a good excuse to get away) and after many, many hours of internet trawling I found a good deal on Trivago; the Crown Court Hotel.  It was a really good deal just for a couple of nights, including breakfasts and it was close to Inverness center.  It was so exciting; our first time away together and not only that I think it was needed.  A break from normal life is always good, even if it is just a few miles away from home.

So then when we got there on Monday we were not disappointed.  I mean it was nothing fancy, it was a plain room with an en-suite bathroom but it was just what we needed... a place just to crash after all our adventures!

The Crown Court Hotel

Day 1
Someone was happy 
with their double burger!

After checking in we decided to go explore Inverness.  It was my boyfriend's birthday on the Monday so we went out for a meal and we decided on the Filling Station.  Okay, okay.  So I work there, so it really wasn't anything new and exciting but we still managed to stuff our faces with a couple of double burgers and cocktails... oops.  And then the exploring began.  We went for a walk around the River Ness and a look around the bars and everything and it was so lovely (and fine to walk off all that food).  We ended up in Bar One drinking some delicious cocktails - even if my boyfriend wasn't too keen on his long island iced tea 'surprise', I, on the other hand, highly recommend the Lemon Meringue Pie cocktail... mmm.  We went back to the hotel after a couple of drinks and totally crashed, an early night to get us ready for our busy day... but only after another surprise for my boyfriend; a birthday cake!  One that traveled all the way from Elgin in my suitcase in secret, not that we could eat any of it anyway.

Day 2
The only cute picture we took -
while on a boat cruise in the
So... we missed our first breakfast.  Apparently my boyfriend tried to wake me up to ask me if I wanted to go but in my sleepy groggy state I got confused by the time and thought we had missed it anyway so fell straight back to sleep.  After a late start we had a quick breakfast/brunch/lunch whatever you want to call it at Cafe Nero (again, exciting huh?) and then went to look at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and it was fantastic!  I honestly think I filled my pockets with all their handouts and pieces of information.  It was so interesting that my boyfriend and me got completely lost there learning about the history of the highlands from its geological formation, to the Picts, to the Jacobites to modern history.  The museum really had everything!  The only problem with it was that we had to rush our visit as we had booked a cruise around the Loch at two.  

The boat that took us on our
cruise of the loch.
We booked a cruise through Jacobite, which entailed a bus from the city center that takes you down to Loch Ness and then a 30 minute boat cruise on the loch.  The boat cruise was ultimately the part of the trip I was most excited about and it honestly was amazing!  The scenes were stunning and the hot chocolate laced with whisky kept us warm up on deck.  The boat took us around to Urqhuart Castle where we got off the boat and done a bit more exploring around the ruins and the visitor center before the bus took us back to the city center.
The view from the boat...
Exploring Urqhuart Castle

The most amazing
curry ever!
For some reason on the way back to our hotel we thought it would be a good idea to pick up a bottle and have a few drinks in our room before we went for a tea and another wee wander around the city.  So after about half a bottle of Southern Comfort we called a taxi to take us to an Indian, but when the taxi came and told us they weren't so sure about the place we were going but could recommend somewhere else we couldn't argue with that!  So we ended up at the Rajah and oh my god it was amazing!  If you plan a visit to Inverness I 100% recommend this place - particularly the chicken tikka bhuna.  It was an absolutely beautiful meal, and afterwards we found an fantastic pub called the Hootananny. As soon as we walked through the door we were greeted by live Scottish music!  The musicians were all sat around a table just having a few beers, it created such a unique and fantastic atmosphere and honestly we loved it, I don't think we stopped smiling there once.  And then once the band finished we dragged our little drunken butts back to the hotel for a nightcap and completely crashed again. 

Day 3
Aaand we missed breakfast again.  I think my boyfriend felt a bit worse for wear than I did and after lying around hungover and feeling sorry for ourselves we had to make a mad dash around the room packing up so we could check-out at 11.  Our last wander around Inverness probably would have been more enjoyable if our heads weren't pounding and our bellies weren't churning every two minutes.  Well, so anyways, on our wanderings we found a small shop down a close called 'Far-Fetched' and it was so cool!  I mean it had literally everything; from wall hangings to incense sticks to crystals... all things spiritual and after talking to the shop assistant we found out that the owner orders everything from Nepal and it's all handmade.  It was completely unique and I wish there was somewhere like that in Elgin or Aberdeen.  Then the train home was not fun at all, nor the quick trip into ASDA.  

And that was the end of our break away and we had a lovely time away together.  It was so great just to get away for a few days, escape normal life.  It was what both of us needed, and I feel amazing for it.  After another couple of quiet days and a trip through to Aberdeen for a night to see the girls, and seeing Deadpool at the cinema with my boyfriend and our friends for Valentines day I started this week feeling refreshed and recharged and ready to take on anything (even a driving lesson in the snow and ice...).  Sometimes, I think just escaping, even just for a day, does you the world of good.

Hopefully, after my break I'll be more motivated and focused and there should be some more blog posts coming very soon... fingers crossed.  AND a Facebook page - so watch this space.

Until next time,

Love, Lauren x

https://www.jacobite.co.uk/ - the boat cruise around the Loch

http://www.crowncourthotelinverness.co.uk/ - our hotel

http://www.hootanannyinverness.co.uk/ - the Hootananny, it has a list of all their live music events on their page