We stayed at Travelodge Glasgow Central for two nights in June 2012. The room cost Â£10 a night booked in the Travelodge Christmas Sale 2011. The hotel is located in Hill Street, parallel to Sauchiehall Street, around 15 minutes walk from Queen Street Station. We checked in on a Sunday, so I hoped I’d be able to park the car nearby to unload the luggage. However, Hill St has a voucher parking scheme seven days a week. Fortunately I spotted an empty space at the front of the hotel that I nipped into and dashed up to the room with the bags.
Travelodge Glasgow Central exterior
The first thing that struck was the smell of plug-in air fresheners in the corridors and our room. Despite these, there was a faint unpleasant smell in the room which I think emanated from the bathroom. Our room was on the first floor at the back of the hotel. This was a good thing so we wouldn’t hear any traffic noise.
Family room at Travelodge Glasgow Central
I had lunch with Lola Akinmade Akerstrom and her family at the Mezbaan South Indian Restaurant in Edinburgh in June 2012 using a Groupon voucher. I had previously received credit from Groupon, to choose and try some of their deals. This restaurant deal, priced at Â£29, included a starter and a main course for four people (although only three of us ate there). The voucher was only valid at lunchtime, so I wondered if I’d be able to get a booking on a Saturday. However, when I phoned to make the reservation, I was offered any time that suited me.
Interior of Mezbaan Edinburgh
The only things not included in the deal were the seafood options which carried a Â£3.95 supplement on starters and Â£5.95 on main courses. But that wasn’t an issue, as there were plenty of chicken, lamb and vegetarian options. In fact I was quite bewildered by the choice and asked for recommendations. I started with a Masala Dosa (pancake).
We had a family lunch at The Italian Job restaurant in Glasgow in June 2012. It’s located close to Trongate. We used a Groupon voucher which cost Â£27 for four people to have a starter, main course (excluding specials) and either a glass of wine or a beer each. I was given credit by Groupon to select and roadtest a variety of their offers.
Now I always read the fine print carefully before buying a Groupon voucher, that’s why I was so annoyed when we weren’t able to order two of the main courses on the standard menu. Prawns with Pasta was unavailable, as the restaurant said that they had run out of prawns and Florentine Pizza, no explanation given for this. We tried to say to the owner that it was only the Specials that were supposed to be excluded from the Groupon offer, to which she replied that she thought we were getting a good choice of items. Now I just don’t think this is acceptable. But you are left feeling rather impotent if restaurants refuse to honour the terms of the Groupon voucher. It really is a pity that the meal got off to a bad start, as the food was very good.
We all tasted each other’s food and our favourite starter was the Red Pepper with Feta & Pinenuts. The salad dressing was excellent.
Red Pepper with Feta & Pinenuts starter
We took a day trip driving north from Inverness during our budget break in Scotland in early May 2012.Â The Scottish Highlands has to be one of the best places to visit in Europe, especially in Spring. We headed north on the A9. Our first stop was in the coastal town of Dornoch, around 30 miles miles north of Inverness. We had a walk along the beach; although it was sunny, there was a fierce northerly wind but we managed to find some shelter in the sand dunes to have a coffee from our flask.
Walking back to the car, I had a look into the garden at Dornoch Castle Hotel, which seemed to be sheltered and warm.
The garden at Dornoch Castle Hotel
When planning our budget break to Scotland, I spotted a Groupon deal for Afternoon Tea for two for Â£9 (standard price Â£11.75 per person) at Hettie’s Tearoom, in either Pitlochry or Perth. The downside was that you had to phone to book a table, rather than turn up when it suited you. As I wasn’t sure of our exact intinerary, I couldn’t book in advance. As we hit Dalwhinnie on our drive back from Inverness, I phoned Hettie’s Tearoom in Pitlochry to book a table for 4pm, but I was told they were too busy and had used up the Groupon allocation for that day. It was quite annoying, but we were able to book a table at Hettie’s Tearoom in Perth the following day. So if you have a Group voucher for any restaurant or hotel deals, book as early as possible to try to secure the day and time of your choice.
Hettie’s Tearoom Perth
As we approached Hettie’s Tearoom Perth the cakes on display in the window looked very yummy.
Window of Hettie’s Tearoom Perth using Singe photo effects in Flickr’s Aviary editor
We stayed at the Travelodge Perth Broxden Junction in early May 2012, on the final stop of our budget break in Scotland. The room only cost Â£10 a night in the Travelodge December 2011 Sale.
Entrance to Travelodge Perth Broxden Junction
The hotel is located just off the A9/M90 junction, a couple of miles from the centre of Perth. There’s a Harvester pub and a McDonalds adjacent to the hotel. We were allocated a room on the 2nd floor which meant we had some views over the surrounding countryside.
View from room 212 at the Travelodge Perth Broxden Junction
We visited Branklyn Garden in Perth during our budget break in Scotland in early May 2012. We didn’t have to pay an admission fee as we’re member of the National Trust for Scotland. Branklyn Garden was looking great but our pleasure was somewhat marred by traffic noise from the adjacent road.
After our first night’s stay in Dufermline on our budget break in Scotland in early May 2012, we decided to take the long road to Inverness, instead of the direct route up the A9. In Perth we headed north on the A93 to Blairgowrie, where we had a walk along the River Ericht admiring the various sculptures enroute.
Salmon sculpture on River Ericht walk in Blairgowrie
We stopped in Glen Shee for a picnic lunch. Although there were a few snow flurries, we wrapped up and were able to sit outside on our trusty tartan rug.
View from our picnic spot in Glen Shee, Perthshire
Our favourite thing to do in Inverness is to walk along the banks of the River Ness and through the Ness Islands, which are linked by pedestrian bridges. We took this walk during our budget break in Scotland in early May 2012
Pedestrian bridge over the River Ness
Bench in Ness Islands
We stayed for 2 nights at the Travelodge Inverness during our budget break in Scotland in early May 2012. The room cost Â£10 a night booked in the Travelodge December 2011 Sale. The hotel is located just east of the A9 off the Nairn road. If you’re coming off the A9, you need to drive right around the first roundabout (you’ll see a large Tesco supermarket) and then take the first left signposted for the Holiday Inn Express. The Travelodge is on your right. There’s a bar/restaurant just across the access road from the hotel.