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Yes, it was my birthday just recently and my husband (being the gem that he is) surprised me with a weekend getaway at the incredible Breadsall Priory Estate in Derbyshire, UK. Pronounced “Darbee”, Derby is a suburb located two hours north of London in an area known as the “Midlands” region of England. Derby is a beautiful countryside town that is also closely located next to Sherwood Forest and the city of Nottingham.. (aka where the legend of Robin Hood was based). All of these ingredients together made for a perfect and rather memorable birthday weekend spent enjoying lovely old England.

Derby 10-1The main attraction that brought us to Derby in the first place was the allure of staying at the elegant Breadsall Priory Estate. From looks alone the property and mansion-turned-hotel reminded me of a classic English manor or even the gorgeous “Downtown Abbey Estate” (couldn’t help it!). In fact, the historic structure itself dates back to the middle of the 13th century, making it one of the oldest estates in the region. Today the priory is made up of a charming hotel, golf course, indoor swimming pool, and expansive garden area. With all of the busy travel that we have done lately, all we wanted to do was relax at this peaceful place and spend time celebrating my birthday and the beautiful autumn season. And relax we did.

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Derby 11-1 I still cannot get over the vibrant green color of the countryside!

Derby 6-1At some point we did manage to finally pull ourselves away from the hotel and over to check out downtown Derbyshire. While grabbing breakfast in town, we met some extremely nice locals who explained to us that Derby is known to be one of the most haunted cities in England… Whaaat?! What are the chances that we found this out and happened to be there the weekend before Halloween, AND the fact that I absolutely love haunted places??! It was like music to my ears! We spent the rest of the day shopping at the city center and chatting to locals about all of the spooky spots that we needed to visit including the underground tunnels, and the ghostly Ye Olde Dolphin Inne.

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They tell you all the spooky stories inside the pub here.

Derby 16-1An opening to the underground tunnels where they be-headed traitors.. Eeek!

All of that ghost hunting made us hungry for dinner, and luckily we had made a reservation in advance to eat at one of the best eateries in Derby called Restaurant Zest. Now normally a pricey place like this would not even come up on our radar, but by researching online, we found that by dining early between 6-7pm, we would get a 25% discount off of the total bill. We love a good deal, and we were so happy about this because the food at this place was nothing short of excellent. I think that I may have had the best pasta I have ever had in my life here.. no joke. Always be sure to take advantage of any kind of food deal in Europe since they can be pretty rare sometimes!

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We really could not have asked for a better low-key weekend to spend in a beautiful place like Derby. I’m pretty sure we were both elated to have a break from our usual go-go-go attitude when traveling. It just felt so good to get away from the city and enjoy a quiet estate in the english countryside with each other. I’d say that my husband did a pretty amazing job spoiling me with a getaway here right?? This surely was a birthday weekend to remember! 🙂

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Here were our recommendations from Derbyshire…

                                  The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:

             1. Breadsall Priory Estate. You’ll feel like a Duke or Duchess!

             2. Restaurant Zest. Fancy food for a deal.

             3. Haunted Derby. Spooky tours are offered all year.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!


*Our November is going to be jam packed with lots of surprises, stay tuned 🙂