Birthday Treat!

Matt spoilt me on my birthday with a surprise trip to Newcastle! It was lovely to get away for a few days and just eat good food, drink good cocktails and chill. We haven’t been away this year as we have been focusing on the house and putting our stamp on it, so thinking of holidaying abroad just hasn’t happened. Don’t get me wrong, we have started to look for next year with a few choices up our sleeves, but this year we knew it just wasn’t going to happen.

We headed off at 6am in the morning – yes 6am – and headed off…..Matt was driving and we had been on the motorway for about 10 mins when he said we were headed to the west country, I was quite excited and started faffing on my phone doing something when the next time I looked up we were on the M3?! Totally not the way to the west country, after quizzing him constantly for about 30 minutes, he told me we were headed north but that was all I could get out of him.

With so much excitement about going back up north after a few years with Matt, I shared a little Facebook post on my page (why not follow me there?). We stopped in a service station for McDonalds breakfast and a large Costa Coffee for me and headed back on our way, after a little while I looked on the map to see where we could be ended up and Matt eventually told me it was Newcastle!

I was really excited as we have talked about Newcastle for a while, so I was pleased we were finally going to make it there!

We had a brilliant few days up north and enjoyed exploring the city, although not much to do everyone made us feel so welcome and the shopping is INSANE!!! Here are a few snaps from our days away for you to enjoy

Where We Stayed: The Cairn Hotel, in trendy Jesmond

What We Saw: Whitley Bay, Angel Of The North, Metro Centre, Eldon Square, Black Gate, Castle Keep

Where We Ate: The Herb Garden, The Botanist, Chaophora, Blackfriars, Olive & Bean

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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

Staycation

As I have probably mentioned a gazillion times in my blog, Matt & I are saving to buy our property. It isn’t easy and we I often feel really disheartened about the amount of time it is taking us, especially when we see others moving in quicker than we are. However Matt is always there to bring me back down to earth and remind me that we are doing this on our own with no funding from either sets of parents and that we have spent the last almost 7 years seeing the world with each other first.

That is something we have also had to limit/give up. Travelling.

I first went abroad (that I can remember as mum will argue we went to Disney when I was 4) when I was 16 with college to New York. I loved it and it stirred something in me to want to explore the world. I AM lucky, I have seen some amazing places in the world:
Fuerteventura, Agadir, New York x4, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Croatia, Rome, Venice, Cuba, Mexico. 

But, there are always more places on my list that I need to see and explore but I never think about where I want to see in the UK! We are probably only going to be able to do days out OR weekends away so I thought I would share with you a couple of places I would like to venture to!

London Sky Garden

I heard about the Sky Garden in London last year, every time I scour their website I am drawn there even more! Located on London’s Fenchurch Street, there are 3 storey’s of fantastically landscaped gardens with observation decks, a bar, restaurant and open air terrace! Its completely free to visit, but you do have to book your visit in advance or alternatively book in at a bar or restaurant to enjoy a cocktail or 2 and some yummy food whilst taking in the beautiful gardens and the sights that London has to offer!

Sky Garden London Tink Jayne 15
This Picture Is Courtesy Of All About Tink – Check Out Her Amazing Review!

The Lost Gardens Of Heligan

When I was younger I loved watching The Little Princess on video so when I stumbled across pictures of the Lost Garden on Pinterest the other week it took me right back to my childhood! St Austell, Cornwall is the home of Heligan Lost Gardens, with over 200 acres to explore and only uncovered in the last 25 years I can imagine the pictures just don’t do it justice! The gardens are open all year round (apart from Christmas Day) and at just £13.50 per adult, I think its a complete bargain! I haven’t been to Cornwall for a long time, but this is definately on my wish list for our next visit!

Can You Believe This Is In The UK? Visit Here To Find Out More!

Blenheim Palace

We have driven past the signs for Blenheim Palace many many times but have never actually visited there. Located just outside of Oxford it is home to the Duke of Malborough and holds over 300 years worth of history as well as beautiful gardens to explore. You can book your tickets online, which start from £14.90 for an Adult, I have had a look at what’s on there over the coming months and there are some lovely things that you can get involved with!

The Water Terraces
How Stunning Is This!

I hope I have inspired you to look closer to home when planning your next weekend break, the UK has some amazing things on offer to us that we take for granted!

I cant wait to plan my next weekend break!

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