Glorious Goodwood

Does anyone else find buying gifts for men a royal pain the backside?! I am glad its not just me! However, I thought I had found the perfect Christmas gift for Matt last year, tickets for us, his brother & parter for a day out a Glorious Goodwood! A chance for the 4 of us to get dressed up, have a few drinks, a bet and a nice evening out at the end of it and the day did not disappoint! However, I was left a bit dumbfolded when on our way to the racecourse Matt tells me he has been to Goodwood before – I thought he hadn’t been and it would be a new experience we would be sharing together – how wrong was I haha!

Anyway! We all had a fantastic day out, I like all other events didn’t take many photos, luckily my lovely sister-in-law (not legally but it might as well be!) managed to get quite a few. So here you go, here is a selection of photos that I feel represents our day.

Southsea Food Festival

Last year we made the trip to Southsea Food Festival and had a great time, it wasn’t too busy and there was lots of stalls to choose from. So when we saw it advertised again this year on Facebook Matt & I knew we were going to attend and made sure our friends Hayley & Lee were free to come along with us!

Here is our trip for you in some lovely photo’s!

Beautiful Weekend

How B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L has the weather been on the south coast for the past week? We have been truly blessed with gorgeous summer sun and I even have a little tan going on!

Earlier last week I had decided that Matt and I needed a little adventure, we have been spending a lot of time putting our stamp on the house that we have kinda gotten a little lost and forgotten what it was like just being us. One thing that people don’t tell you when you are preparing to move in is that all those little date evenings or random weekends in the forest or down the beach. So in a bid to spruce life up a bit, I told Matt to be ready to leave the house at 8.30am Saturday as I was taking us out for the day.

I had my sights set on Durdle Door – I have seen a lot of nice pictures and posts about it and my brother has been recently so I thought we could both do with some sea air and peaceful surroundings.

So I cooked up some bacon sarnies for the drive down and headed out on the road, we got stuck in a bit of traffic around the Bournemouth area which isn’t unusual when the weather is like this and made it to Durdle Door in around 2 hours. We parked up, paid for 2 hours parking and started to walk down, neither of us could understand why after so many visits to Weymouth we have never made it here before. The weather was beautiful, it was so so sunny and when you looked across the horizon it felt like you were abroad!

 

As we reached the bottom of the hill and caught glimpses of the sea and beach below us, neither of us could believe how crystal clear the water was and I instantly regretted not wearing my swim gear as I just wanted to jump right in. We headed down the steep stairs to the main beach looking on to the rock formation and sat on the stones, it was nice just be present for a while and soak in the surroundings and watch all the kayakers and families enjoying their Saturday. We headed back up and spent some time watching 2 dogs playing around in the cove before making our way back up the hill to the car. One thing no-one warned me was just how steep the hill was, of course you realise as you are going down, but nothing can prepare you for the steepness going back up!

We made the decision to head back home via the New Forest and stop off at Burley, we both really like the little village and have often treated ourselves to an ice cream or a cream tea on many of our visits. However, this time as I am on a bit of a health kick (more on that another time), we avoided the Ice Creams and Cream Tea’s and headed to the pub for a cold refreshing drink and some lunch. Weirdly we sat in “our seats” the same seats we sit in every time and they are always available – its weird – I had a really nice Chicken Cesar Salad and Matt had a Burger. The food was fantastic and made even better as we headed out a group of horses had decide to take over the road – perfect photo opportunity and typical of the New Forest!

As we have been to the New Forest many times I figured we wouldn’t need our sat nav to get home……I was wrong. We didn’t really know where we were going and the sign posts didn’t say anywhere we recognised, so Matt got out the sat nav and we started to head out on the right path home. As we were driving down one of the forest roads directly in my eye sight were Highland Cows! Immediately I pulled into the parking bays and got out to take photo’s. I LOVE Highland Cows, I just think they have so much personality and their faces are adorable! It was soo tempting to try and touch one, but the size of their horns I decided viewing from afar was best!

Our evenings had been planned out separately, Matt was having the boys over and I was meeting up with 2 old school friends for food and cocktails. Marci, Jemma and I haven’t all been together since we left school in 2004 – I had seen both of them separately so I knew we all still got on and would have a blast especially as The Slug & Lettuce serve 2-4-1 cocktails. It was lovely to see them both and to catch up after so long, it was just like no time had passed at all and I cant wait to have another girly evening with them both!

Well there you have it my weekend in a nutshell, unfortunately Sunday didn’t go as planned, but Hayley and I are sorting out another date for Brunch and don’t worry, I will take you with us!

Keep Smiling

Emma xxx

Cocktails In The Sky

I first read about the Sky Garden probably a year ago, for those of you that have read my last blog you will know that I visited the gorgeous garden in the sky with my lovely friends Hayley & Helen!

Us Gorgeous Ladies!

We headed to the Sky Garden after a gorgeous brunch at The Folly and breezed straight through, there was no queue and we went straight up, our tickets (which were FREE!) were booked for 1pm but we were able to get in a little earlier.

As we headed up in the lift, I was getting butterflies hoping that it was as amazing as I have heard about and that the girls would like it too. However as soon as we walked out the lift I was blown away with how open and light and green it was, we ventured straight out to the balcony to admire the views! I was overwhelmed with how lovely London looks from so high up and was reminded of how I felt the first time I went to Top Of The Roc in New York.

Whilst looking around it made us giggle to see that people looked like they were sat amongst the plants BUT we decided we wanted in and took a seat in one of the sections at the side.

Hayley & I headed down to the bar and got a round of drinks in, I wont lie the cocktails are upwards of £10 so a bit on the pricey side, but when you watch how much effort goes into them you can understand why! 

It was just perfect, so relaxed and such a wonderful atmosphere definitely somewhere that I could have just sat and read all day with a cocktail or 2 or 3 or 4! It was just soooo green and luscious, I definately felt like I was sat outside on a beautiful sunny day. It has definately made my decision to ensure when Matt & I purchase our house that we have some sort of garden and greenery as a place to relax.

A Different Side Of London

What springs to mind when you think of London? For me, its the street entertainers at Covent Garden, the hoards of shoppers on Oxford Street, the fountains at Trafalgar Square or maybe Big Ben, Westminster Abbey or the famous London Eye! I don’t think I have ever visited London without hitting one of the typical tourist hot spots, well that was until a lovely Sunday in July. Hayley & I travelled up on the train to Waterloo to meet up with Helen (we were both 2 of Hayley’s bridesmaids in March), for a girls day out.

Lovin’ Hayley’s Beauty Filter!

Waterloo Station had been taken over by the Ghostbusters following the release of the new movie and Hayley was adamant we weren’t going till we had got our shots!

Who You Gonna Call?!

Helen is the queen of planning so I knew we were in safe hands with her guiding us round London and she is bloody good at it too – although she will tell you its all thanks to Google Maps! She got us booked into a beautiful spot for brunch and walked us miles but I can hand on heart say I saw London in a way I never had done before! When we were all discussing what we wanted to do on our day together I straight away put The Sky Garden into the mix and both the girls agreed so that was a definite yes! I couldn’t contain my excitement – but more on that in a different post!

As we left Waterloo we were heading towards London Bridge, past Borough Market which I have heard lots about and got some lovely snaps of Tower Bridge! We did lots of catching up and shared some stories to keep all of us up to date with our goings on!

We were brunching at The Folly which is located about 2 minutes from the Sky Garden near Monument tube station. I had no idea why Monument is called that, so I was suprised when we walked past The Monument – another part of London’s history I had never seen!

Helen has an eye for a good food spot, when we met up in London a couple of years ago we ate in a resturant on The Strand and the foot was insane & The Folly didn’t disappoint either. Throughout our day, I must have said several times it didn’t feel like we were in London and I think its because we were pretty much constantly surrounded by greenery. The Folly had such a relaxed atmosphere and felt like we were on a terrace outside, when in fact we were inside with the typical hustle and bustle of London just outside. We all had the special to eat, which was french toast with bacon and maple glaze (but I didn’t taste much maple), to accompany I had a Iced Green Tea, which was lovely! 
After a re-fuel and more gossiping, we paid the bill and made the short walk to the sky garden and yes ladies & gents, it really is as lovely as you hear – keep an eye out in weeks to come where I will spill the beans in a separate blog post…..however you can feast your eyes on this warm up shoot in preparation for my 2nd Dimples & Daisies shoot in September! 
Yes, I Did This & Yes People Were Watching & No I Didn’t Care!

Our next stop was a church that Hayley had spied on Pinterest, that had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London and has since been restored into a wonder garden and little quiet paradise in busy central London. We spotted it from the top of the Sky Garden and still managed to walk past it (good old google maps haha)! However, when we did spot it, full 10/10 for Hayley as it was just beautiful and for me the noise of busy central London disappeared, it was like we were in a secret part of London that blocked out all the craziness.

It turns out I took over 50 photo’s at St Dunstan In The East, so above is just a small snap shot, if you would like to see more please get in touch as I would be happy to share them with you! 
We had all agreed that Spitalfields Market was the place we wanted to see as well, so we did a bit of a trek (we ended up doing around 6 miles in the end that day) across London to Spitalfields Market of course, I purchased something & for those of you who follow me on Instagram will have already seen my buy!

How lovely are these finds?! I could have probably got something from at least 10 stalls that we looked at, but with limited hands to carry my goods I just got my t-shirt which for £4 was a complete steal and made a vow to come back to get more goodies another day! We started our walk back to Waterloo, heading over Tower Bridge and stopping for a beverage and chat about our favourite reads! 

So that ends our girls trip to London! It was such a beautiful day and I can honestly say I don’t think I felt in London at any point in our trip, there was hardly and hustle and bustle and everything was so relaxed! It was lovely to spend the day with 2 lovely ladies who never fail to put a smile on my face and warm my heart! 
Orange, Yellow & The Bride!
I can’t wait for next time! 
Love
Emma xxx

Our Mini Break

A couple of weekends ago, we packed up bags and did a mini road trip down to Wilvescombe in Somerset for a delayed break to celebrate Matt’s Birthday. We stayed at The White Hart which is a lovely little pub which also runs a B&B, we have stayed here before a couple of years ago and I decided to book this hotel again as we loved the food so much last time!

We did a de-tour on the way via Clarks Village, a shopping Outlet at Street, unfortunately due to accidents and roadworks it took us just over 4 hours to do a 2 hour journey….to say I was restless is an understatement. We had a quick look round the shops, Matt got a new pair of jeans and I spent the entire time clock watching as I knew we had another hours drive to get to the B&B to make sure we could get a table for the same night!

Beautiful English Countryside

It was almost like time stood still when we arrived, it was like nothing had changed when we were checked in we were told the food was ten times better than before, which concerned me a little as we thought it was brilliant last time, nevertheless we booked in for dinner and headed up to our room to freshen up.

Beautiful Beams In Our Room – With A Comfy Bed!

Matt Loves A Photo!

We had a lovely dinner the first night, Matt had the Pie Of The Day & I had Belly Pork, we followed it up with a Cheeseboard to share (our favourite desert!)! We were truly stuffed, but managed to pop to the co-op for a bar of chocolate and a cheeky scratchcard as Matt was feeling lucky! He wasn’t wrong as he won £20! 

I had planned out our day for Saturday, with high hopes the weather was going to be lovely and hot. Unfortunately the day started off really grey and muggy which was frustrating, but luckily it didn’t hamper our plans. We headed off down the coast to Paignton, where I spent many summers in my childhood on family holidays and I always love taking Matt there, despite us visiting there a few times as a couple we have never been on the Dartmouth Steam Railway (Matt has a thing for trains!).

It cost £32 for the both of us to get a return journey to Kingswear, including the foot passenger ferry over to Dartmouth, which for a day out isn’t too bad! The trains were on a reduced timetable as its not quite height of the summer yet, but during the summer they run really frequently. We passed some sights that I was able to point out of places that I have been too when I was younger!

We took the short ferry trip over to Dartmouth and treated ourselves to a pasty and a walk round the shops, I mucked up with the parking ticket, so we couldn’t stay there as long as I would have liked to, but that makes it a reason to go back!

Once we were back in Paignton, we headed down to the beach got ourselves an ice cream and headed for the pier to play on the penny machines! Once we had used up our £2’s worth of 2p’s it was time to head back to the car and venture back to the B&B, we stopped off at Trago Mills on the way on a hunt for some house bargains (more about that in a later post) and tried to figure out where we were going to go for dinner.

We settled on staying in the Pub and had a few drinks before and after dinner and spent time reminiscing on years gone by and what our plans our for the future. We had a lovely evening which was matched with lovely food, its hard to believe that when we stayed the first time I turned my nose up at having any sort of fish for dinner and this time round I polished off a large helping of freshly caught mussels! 
We had a lovely little weekend away, it was perfect to spend some time away from home together and recharge our batteries until our next little adventure. We don’t have any more travel plans at the moment but that is because we are working hard to save up for our own home, however I am sure we can squeeze in a couple more little weekend breaks where we can.
Trying To Stop Matt Being Rude!

Love

Emma xxx

UK Staycation

Whilst writing this I am sat on a train on the way back from a work meeting in Bristol with 2 colleagues and staring out the window at the lovely British countryside thinking about my last blog post & the fact that we potentially wont be going abroad for at least the next 18 months and that we wont be having a holiday. Then it was like one of those light bulb moments you see on cartoons and I realised holidays don’t have to be abroad, why not do a staycation! We could do day’s out or 1 or 2 night city breaks it doesn’t need to be a luxury trip abroad that we have spoilt ourselves with.

So I have gotten to thinking about a couple of places in the UK I would like to go and figured it might tick some of your boxes too!

Edinburgh

The first thing that springs to mind about Edingurgh is the castle, so that has to be top of the list to visit (arrange your trip here http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/). However, I have heard that Edinburgh is really good for Mexican food and as I love Mexican too, somewhere I have to visit is Miro’s Cantina. I don’t normally look for restaurants on Trip Advisor, but we did when we were in Rome and we had the best meals ever at a really good price, so as this is number 1 Mexican in Edinburgh I would definitely give it a try!

Oxford

We have already been to Oxford a couple of times, mainly to go to the outlet at Bicester, but I have always been intrigued about going to Blenheim Palace. I really enjoyed history at school and quite fancy taking a look round and learning more about it, from the pictures it really does look beautiful. Here is the link to the website so you can find out more http://www.blenheimpalace.com/

A month or so ago, a fellow blogger posted a picture on instagram of a prison that had been made into a hotel and the first thing I thought was ‘I would love to stay there!’, so I got straight on google and checked it out. The hotel is called Malmaison Oxford, its based in a converted prison in a medieval castle – how cool is that!!! Prices start from around £160 for Bed & Breakfast for a basic room, why not book yours here https://www.malmaison.com/locations/oxford/

There are hundreds and I mean hundreds of places in the UK to visit why not sound off in the comments below with where you have been and loved or where you would love to go?

Love Emma xxx