There’s nothing quite like a wedding, even better… a family wedding… even better… a destination wedding! Which was why we were super excited to head to Latvia for Mr S’s brothers wedding! Starved of a social life and of travel for two years, this was going to be something very special and not only that, it was Oscar’s first trip abroad in 2 years!
I was of course apprehensive about taking him on a plane again but Oscar absolutely smashed it and was as good as a nearly three year old can be! The three of us, along with Mr S’s parents arrived in Latvia on the Wednesday night and were smoothly transported to our home for the next couple of days, Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga.
After being greeted by a cold glass of bubbles, I was quickly reminded of what it was like to stay in grand luxury hotel like this, and excitingly we’d been upgraded to a junior suite. Now when I think of a junior suite I imagine a sizeable room with a sitting area. But our room had a large bedroom with separate sitting area and a big bathroom, more like a deluxe suite. We even had a view of the iconic Grand Opera House opposite.
I loved the colour palette in the bedroom and they’d set up a comfortable bed for Oscar too with lots of little touches for example a cinema voucher on arrival which allowed him to watch a film in the hotel for free with popcorn.
Our living room was really spacious and when we woke up the next day the hotel delivered a gorgeous fruit and sweet platter. We also had a real fish in in our room (every morning Oscar said ‘Hi Fish!’) and we were given fish food to feed him with which Oscar loved.
Our bathroom was really huge with some gorgeous amenities for both us and for Oscar.
We also had a huge wardrobe for all our stuff including large items like Oscar’s buggy.
The hotel was originally built in the 19th century and is perfectly located right in the centre of the city. This beautiful marble foyer is the centrepiece of the hotel and is the perfect place for meeting friends and grabbing a drink.
Adjacent to the foyer is the Amber restaurant which is the ideal place for casual dining. We also had breakfast here during our stay which was comprised of a buffet or a selection from a hot a la carte menu.
On the 8th floor is Stage 22, the hotels rooftop bar and restaurant, there’s an outdoor terrace with a panoramic view of Riga.
Another jewel in the hotel’s crown is the spa which offers a variety of treatments themed around the seasons. There is also a pool and fitness centre as well as a relaxation area.
I would note that spa has a very strict children’s policy and kids are only allowed in Monday to Friday 10:00 – 17:00 and Saturday to Sunday and public holidays 10:00 – 15:00.
As we arrived late on Wednesday it was straight to bed. But Thursday we met the in laws after breakfast to explore a bit.
As I mentioned The Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga is right by the opera house, it’s also by a beautiful park. In the park we found a lovely restaurant called Kolonade where we stopped for lunch.
The food was really excellent and the park location was beautiful however it did take a long time to arrive and by the time we’d finished we’d missed the chance to take Oscar swimming and decided to have a quick walk around Riga before heading back to get ready for evening drinks.
The Bride and Groom had booked Stage 22 where we had a beautiful dinner and drinks with all their friends prior to the wedding the next day. The hotel had been really helpful in organising babysitting so Oscar was well looked after too! We had a relatively early night as it was a nearly two hour transfer the next day to the wedding venue – Rumene Manor in the Latvian Countryside.
We checked into our gorgeous room in the manor to get ready for the reception which would be starting at four.
I was really pleased with my dress, and Oscar looked so sweet in his blazer! After champagne at the reception, the service was on the lawn in front the lake – it was truly beautiful, the bride was gorgeous and we were really lucky with the weather. Afterwards we enjoyed dinner, drinks and dancing in the annexe of the manor. One particular highlight for me was Mr S’s best man speech!
The next day it was back to Riga and we stopped for lunch at Stage 22, I had a delicious lobster pasta and Oscar really enjoyed the burger from the kids menu and then finally had the chance to go swimming. I have to admit after that I took the chance for good nap as the night before had been a late one but we were able to get one last family dinner in together and headed to COD, Riga’s top Asian Fusion restaurant.
The next day it was time to bid Riga farewell and head back to London. But we’d had a great time (briefly) exploring a new city, a beautiful hotel and of course a wonderful wedding.