Posts tagged hotel
When we went to Ruka in Finland a couple of weeks ago we knew there was a chance that we might see the Northern Lights.
The Aurora Borealis is a natural light display in the sky particularly in Arctic and Antarctic regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the thermosphere. Named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi, Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. (Thanks Wikipedia for the help with the definition!)
They are considered quite a sight, and are featured on many bucket lists (including my own!) – they are a sight to behold.
Ruka sits just below the Arctic Circle and the Northern Lights are visible from there on occasion. The photo above is borrowed from Ruka.fi website and looks across Ruka village from the top of the surrounding hills. Sadly, the conditions weren’t quite right for us and they were not visible from where we were. Not even on Wednesday evening when we took some snowmobiles out on a bit of a safari into the Finnish wilderness.
We didn’t go to Ruka to see the Northern Lights, we went for a winter holiday, but it would have been a nice bonus. We knew there was only a chance but we also knew that it would probably be our best chance. Now, of course, we want to create a new chance. I think we’ve pretty much decided to go back to Ruka for more winter skiing fun sometime, including venturing a bit further away on snow mobiles into the forests.
But what about this? A friend sent me the link to Hotel Kakslauttanen and it just looks amazing. And now I want to sleep in a glass igloo!
The site says:
Glass igloo provides an one of a kind opportunity to admire the northern lights and millions of stars of the crystal clear Lapp sky in a comfortable room temperature. Based on a groundbreaking idea and years of research and development, glass igloos are a marvel of modern technology. Built from a special thermal glass the temperature inside the igloo always stays at a normal level. It also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, hence keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C. Every igloo is equipped with a toilet and luxury beds. On every evening a hot sauna and a refreshing ice hole are waiting for you.
Wow. What an experience that would be. I love the idea of relaxing in a warm bed, looking up at the sky through the glass igloo like ceiling, taking in the wonder of nature. All those stars, and that beautiful green tint. Can you imagine?
They have snow igloos and log cabins too, and run excursions and activities of course, but I think the glass igloo would be the most spectacular place to sleep. Maybe on the planet. I am definitely adding this to my list!
What do you do to spoil your other half on St Valentine’s Day? Flowers? Just a card? Nothing? Well that’s ok… we each have our own ways of doing things on what is supposed to be the most loved up day of the year don’t we?
Whatever you think of the day itself, the tradition seems to be that a man should buy their lady at least a box of chocolates. As you might expect, Hotel Chocolat have brought out a range of chocolate gifts to help you spoil your loved one on 14th February. And they very kindly sent me a box of The Sleekster Love Collection to try on your behalf.
This box of chocolates is full of individual bite sized filled chocolate cases in the shape of hearts, lips and spheres – very pretty mix of decorated dark, milk and white chocolate. Inside the cases you find champagne and cherry, blackcurrant and strawberry, caramel, chilli, and many others. You won’t find any bitter coffee in this box, just gorgeous soft centres that melt in the mouth, something for everyone.
I love the look of this box of chocolates – what a lovely use of colour, it really does invite you in. There are two of each of the chocolates so you and your other half can share properly (I know how difficult it is to share a box of chocolates!). I really enjoyed taking photos of the chocolates because they looked quite beautiful.
My husband did comment that he found the chocolate cases a little brittle so if you chose to bite into one (rather than shoving the whole thing in your mouth at once) it might split up and make a mess. Oh well!! But the taste, well we couldn’t fault them. Some were nicer than others, obviously, because different people like different centres. I liked the really fruity ones the best, where Hotel Chocolat had used blackcurrent or cherry or something like that, those ones were really fresh and had a real zing. We had friends over and they “helped us out” with them and they agreed that these tasted good.
I’m not sure these chocolates have persuaded my husband and I to actually mark St Valentine’s Day this year, but they are some of the nicest chocolates of this type I’ve eaten for a very long time and I will be looking to Hotel Chocolat whenever the need for a box of chocolate loveliness arises.
My aunt and uncle got me these for Christmas. I have to say I was expecting something really quite tiny but actually they’re big. Very yummy Hotel Chocolat caramel chocolate.
28/12/11: Not as tiddly as the box suggests, but still yummy!
I went on a quick trip to Helsinki for work… as you do… here are my Year in Photos entries:
29/11/11: Table for one at the airport hotel
30/11/11: Beautiful sunset above the clouds as we were descending into Finland
01/12/11: They know how to do Christmas decorations in Finland… these massive baubles were awesome, and there were trees everywhere
02/12/11: Steps leading up to the Cathedral in Helsinki (Tuomiokirkko)
My Hotel Chocolate Christmas Wreath Competition has now closed, and anyone who commented on the post by 8pm yesterday has been put into the proverbial hat and the winner has been chosen…
It seems the most coveted Hotel Chocolat item this Christmas are the Alternative Mince Pies… oh and of course the Ultimate Christmas Hamper (which does look awesome!). I hope some of you are spoilt enough and find them in your stocking on Christmas morning.
The winner of my competition gets the Christmas Wreath, which is a dark and milk chocolate slap with cranberries, cookie pieces and nuts.
And the winner, who chose Dasher the Reindeer, is…
~ ANDREW BERRY ~
Congratulations Andrew!! I really hope you enjoy the Christmas Wreath as much as I did.
Oh, and why not subscribe to Splodz Blogz by email (use the box over on the right) to keep an eye on what’s going on in my little world – there will be more reviews and maybe even competitions soon…!
This competition has now closed. Any comments received before 8pm on 14th November have been included in the draw – the winner will be announced soon.
That’s right – I’m giving away The Christmas Wreath by Hotel Chocolat – the subject of my latest review.
“The crunch of caramelised hazelnuts and cookie pieces, with colourful flashes of succulent cranberries, all stirred into our mellow 40% milk chocolate and a little 70% dark chocolate to add even deeper chocolaty notes.”
To win this gorgeous slab of festive chocolate, you simply need to comment on this post (using the comment box below) with the answer to this question:
Which item from the Hotel Chocolat Christmas range you would most like to receive this year and why?
You can see the full Hotel Chocolat Christmas range on their website - go and have a look and pick your favourite.
Make sure you enter by 8pm on Monday 14th November for your comment to count, and take a note of the rules below.
- This competition is open to the UK only.
- The competition closes at 8pm on Monday 14th November.
- Entry is by commenting on this post.
- Entrants must include a valid email address in the box provided (will not be published).
- You can only enter once. If you post more than one comment only your first will count as entry into the competition.
- Members of my immediate family cannot enter (sorry!)
- The winner will be picked at random from all eligible entries and be announced on Splodz Blogz soon after the closing date.
- The winner will be contacted by email and their details will be given to Hotel Chocolat’s PR to allow delivery of the prize. Details will not be used for any other purpose.
- The prize is The Christmas Wreath as described on the website. If this is not available then the winner will receive something of equal value.
- The winner must respond to their email from Splodz Blogz and Hotel Chocolat within two days or I reserve the right to re-draw.
- You don’t get any extra entries for tweeting or posting about this competition anywhere, but I don’t mind if you do (go on… you know you want to!)!
- Oh… and my decision is final (I like saying that!).