Recently myself and my partner decided we needed a winter micro-break. As a seasoned staycationer, I’m fully aware of the power of short breaks. They’re enough to help you recharge, especially if you can find a location that is quite different from where you live. We live in the countryside so we were after some city action.
Many moons ago I lived in Leeds, I was a student there. When I say many moons ago, I mean approximately 88 moons ago (or 17 years ago for those of you who use calendar years to measure time).
So we decided to return to the Northern metropolis for the first time in nearly two decades. The brief was simple – we wanted a change of scenery and somewhere a little quirky, while we revisited some of our favourite haunts.
How to approach a Micro Break
I think Micro Breaks, which are anything between 24 hours and 36 hours, work well if you’re heading to a place you’re familiar with, or a large town or small city, somewhere that will only take you a day to explore.
Manage your expectations before you go. You won’t be able to see lots of the place so either pick somewhere remote and idyllic where there isn’t much to do apart from relax or a place you are familiar with and know you will like. That way, like us, you can instantly select the places or restaurants you love the most and focus on those – you know what you’re gonna get so you can rest assured the short time you do spend, will be well spent.
Make sure you pick a good hotel for a micro break. Hopefully you can afford to splash out on something special if it’s for one night and it will be more memorable if you do.
Health Benefits of a Micro Break
According to experts, people who don’t take holidays can suffer from stress, anxiety, higher blood pressure and sleepless nights. Plus it can also put a strain on your relationships.
Micro breaks are a great solution – they are easier to arrange, they usually fit in with our busy scheduels and/or childcare, can be less stressful than ‘main holidays’, resulting in a better mental state, and, I reckon half the happiness comes from planning and anticipating a ‘short break’, away from the day to day grind.
Dr. Rachel Andrew of the British Psychological Society states that the benefits of ‘breaks’, which are shorter time periods compared to a main holiday, can last up to two weeks post-break and be felt for many months there-after. It’s a no brainer, right?
The Queens Hotel, Leeds
Just a three-hour drive from Norwich, we stayed at The Queens Leeds. It was the perfect place for a ‘micro break’. We were both familiar with the city so our stay was all about where we are staying.
It’s especially important to pick somewhere a bit special for a micro break because you’re only going to be there one or two nights, so you’ve got to make it count.
As soon as you step through the revolving doors of The Queens Hotel, you know you’ve landed somewhere a little different. The hotel offers a striking first impression with its expansive art deco lobby and vaulted ceiling. I loved this art-deco lift!
You know me, I love a quirky getaway! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted about a quirky trip. In terms of large city hotels, The Queens Leeds is certainly high on the quirky factor.
It first opened in 1863 and was later rebuilt in 1935. You instantly get a real sense of the incredible history bound up with this hotel. Embellished with art deco style touches throughout including its lift exterior, which is highly Instagramable – just don’t forget your cigarette holder. Along with other touches, such as 1930s lamps, chaise longues, sofas, bath tiles and carpets.
Our room was extremely spacious and included a large wardrobe with iron, ironing board and hair dryer. The bathroom with bath and overhead shower included bathrobes and complimentary ESPA toiletries. The queen-sized bed had a comfortable mattress and the bedroom also boasted a flat-screen TV, a drinks tray and free mini bar with wine, beer, water and fresh milk.
As we were only in Leeds for 24 hours so we decided to eat out at my old Japanese haunt, but for those who would like to dine at the hotel, there is a restaurant and bar. It serves a full menu for either nibbles or a 3-course feast and has a stunning chandeliered ceiling and art deco imagery on the walls – it’s easy to enjoy a cocktail and unwind at your own pace here!
Come morning, we opted to pay the reasonable £5 tray charge to have breakfast brought to our bedroom. You just need to complete your menu door hanging with your choices before 2.30am the night before.
Our tray arrived promptly at 8.15am. My partner opted for the full English breakfast, which included all the usual suspects including double cream scrambled eggs, baked beans and hash browns.
We had a lovely stay at The Queens. It’s the perfect spot for a micro-break or for a longer stay to explore the city and surrounds. That’s the thing for any micro or weekend break, you’ve got to get the right hotel, do that and you’ve set up the foundation for a great break.
This costs £18.95 for 24 hours, which may feel pricy, but is in fact worth it for the convenience. Remember, the hotel is in the heart of Leeds city centre, next door to the main train station, and where free parking is almost non-existent.
A big thank you to The Leeds Queens for having Roots and Toots stay with you! Leah x
The Queens Hotel
0113 243 1323