I'm writing this one a little ahead of time, as to be honest with you, myself and Rachel have decided to take some much needed R&R before the craziness kicks back in next week with not only a wedding on Saturday but with a wedding fair at Wroxal Abbey on Sunday.

And as luck would have it, I'm sat here now, writing this in my 5* Hotel Room at the Conservatorium Hotel, in let's say, the more refined area of Amsterdam. Tucked nicely away from all the stag do's, coffee shops and the ermmm... Red lights, The Conservatorium is proudly placed in the museum district just outside the city centre.

It's not any old trip though, as myself and Rach are celebrating our 2nd Anniversary as boyfriend and girlfriend.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that, yours truly (Casanova) was behind the 5* star break when it was actually Rach's hard work and determination that's brought us here, as this is a stay that was kindly laid on by her superiors, which I was only too grateful to attend.

As you may or may not know, Monday to Friday Rachel commutes each day from our home in Rugby all the way down to London, where she is the Reservations Quality and Training Supervisor for a very prestigious 5* hotel that sits smack bang in the centre of London. Each day, she rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, then at right about 7:45 pm, she's is brought crashing back down to reality when I meet her at the train station again to take her home, have dinner, then go to bed, ready to do it all again the next day.

She works relentlessly hard at what she does, and I'm beyond proud of how much passion and drive she puts into her profession, and how exhausting it must be not only commuting but then having to provide a service that truly is second to none. A service, that I've been lucky enough to experience this week.

And the best thing is, I'm not the only one who is proud of her, because I know all her managers and superiors share just the same view of Rachel that I do, which has resulted in our stay at one of the sister hotels with the company Rachel works for.

Not only that though, as some of you will know, but I've also had a rough couple of years recently, and every single time I've needed her, she's been there for me, propping me up and driving me to succeed. She even comes along with me as a second shooter at weddings and easily has the talent in her own right to be a fantastic photographer, even without me.

Seriously Rachel, I know you'll be sitting here reading my blog this Sunday just the same way you do week in, week out. I'm so so lucky to have you and I can't wait to share even more memories together. I love you trouble.

As much as I could quite happily sit and gush about my better half, I do want to touch a little more on our trip, and discuss what we've been up to during our stay. Regardless of what comes to mind when you first think about Amsterdam, as a city, it has so so so much to offer, as honestly it truly is a city that's packed with culture.

So, let's start off with when we set off yesterday, from Birmingham airport, which was a little bit different from the norm in itself, as we'd somehow managed to pick the first-ever flight from Birmingham to Amsterdam hosted by the company Flybe!

We were sat at the front, of what was the smallest plane I've ever been on, just behind the CEO of Flybe itself (an American chap, seemed very nice!), and when we landed, we were greeted by 2 very friendly dutch ladies, handing out a variety of wooden tulips to each customer!

After collecting our bags, it was then off to the taxi rank, where we picked up our taxi to the hotel, which was another exciting experience, as I got my first ever ride in a Tesla, a brand new Model Y! You all know how much I'm into my cars, and it was incredible to travel in style, and ride in a car that was on my bucket list... Even if it did cost me 50 euros!

When we pulled up to the hotel, we were both met by the staff who kindly opened our doors, took care of our luggage, greeted us like long lost friends and then whisked us straight up to our room, where we'd be met with Champagne on Ice, sweets, pastries and a selection of fruits from the staff. They'd even taken the time to sign a card welcoming us to Amsterdam, which was another incredible gesture.

Let me just tell you about our room though, because it's AMAZING! We have a HUGE bed, large TV, an equally big bathroom, that has its own walk-in rainfall shower, separate bath, 2 sinks, and oh, a second tv built into the bathroom's mirror.

It's an insanely decadent room, and I can't even begin to thank Rachel's superiors enough, for allowing me to attend alongside Rachel, on what has already been an incredible few days away. We've been truly spoilt.

Onto today, we started the day with an amazing breakfast in the hotel's brasserie, then it was off into the centre of the city where we hopped onto a guided canal cruise to see Amsterdam from the various canals that criss-cross the city. There's so much history surrounding the city, right from the buildings, to the bridges and bicycles that the area is known for!

Then it was lunchtime, which naturally had to be accompanied by a Heiniken and a cocktail, followed by a brief tram ride back to the hotel, so we could relax and unwind in the spa before we head out for dinner this evening!

Sadly we're only here for 2 nights, and tonight will be our last, but it's been a much-needed opportunity to have a rest before we launch back into the wedding season next week. We've got a list of things we've wanted to do, but to be honest, we've really just taken the opportunity to take it easy... we both need it!

Maybe we can check those things off next time we visit. 🤞🏼

But finally, I do want to say a massive thank you to the staff at The Set. We've both had an amazing time, and it's been a pleasure to meet some of Rachel's colleagues, indulge in luxury and be treated like a celebrity.

Lots of pictures this week!

Now, if you don't mind, I'm heading down to the sauna!

Peace, Love and Photos!

Jono x

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