Thursday, 26 December 2013

OBDW. Obligatory Boxing Day Walk

Boxing Day.

It's a funny day I think. In fact, the period in between Christmas Day and New Years Day is a bit like No Mans Land- sort of dead time. There's not a lot to do except eat, drink and be a bit more merry. Some might venture out and brave the shops, some of you might even be working the sales- bravo, it is certainly not something I'd want to be doing having gorged the day before. But mostly, I find myself at home, sitting in front of the fire, thinking of New Years Resolutions which will inevitably be broken within the first 2 weeks. 

It is also the day of the traditional Boxing Day Walk. Even if you have never been on a walk before in your life, this seems to be the day the entire nation feels a united sense of desire to walk off the turkey from the day before. Perhaps you have a shiny new pair of wellingtons you'd like to show off, or the dog has been barking at you too long now to ignore. Either way, today you must walk. Or maybe you're one of the crazy people who cycle. In which case, I'm sure you have already cycled the breadth of Britain before breakfast has been served. 

After a late brunch of, yes you guessed it, more meat and cheese and toast, mum and I wrapped ourselves up, collared Callie and met up with our neighbours for a walk around the surrounding area.


It really is the perfect day for a BD walk, bright blue skies and crispy cold breeze. Perhaps a little too wet underfoot but hey, we all like a splash in a puddle now and then.



This is one of my favourite hidden places at home. It's where the Earl would come on a day out... perhaps with a picnic hamper, maybe even to entertain his latest squeeze.. Whatever he used the place for, it sure is beautiful! 




I stumbled across my castle...tadaaaa! Callie had a good sniff of it whilst I inspected the inside... Hmmm think it needs some work! 




The views really are amazing though, I can see out to the Cotswolds and beyond on a day like today.



               Even Callie had to stop to take it all in. 


Retrieving home, we topped ourselves up with more tea and cake. My very great friend from school is dropping round tonight- she has travelled all the way from Australia (woweeee)- and so I expect this wholesome day shall take a nosedive as we revert back to our former teenage selves. 

May the wine flow and the gossip commence.

Pass me another turkey sandwich, won't you!


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

a very merry christmas

So we are nearly there, the marathon that is Christmas is almost upon us. We are hedging towards the 27th mile and blimey, I'm ready for a lie down already!

Home is now a fully functioning Christmas spectacle. Baubles are hanging, boughs of holly and ivy fill every inch of the house and a rather naughty sized mistletoe ball is waiting to be used in the porch. 








Whether you are at home, working a night shift (you are an angel and deserve huge recognition) or battling the elements to get home to your loved ones, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

I'll see you on the other side.

Take a deep breath...


Friday, 20 December 2013

bristol. 2.2

I should perhaps explain that whilst we were in Bristol, we were recruited by Sarah's amazing mother to help with wedding/Christmas prep. Yeah, so Mel and I decided to turn up at their house, 3 days before Sarah's brother got married... Oops. It would have been rude not to help! 

In between picking up groceries, getting lost in Costco and stuffing the fridge full of oddities, we headed to Primrose Cafe in Clifton. It's a great little deli style eatery, ram packed with delicious and nutricious salads, wholesome soups and naughty puds. I settled for a warm chorizo and Parmesan salad with amazingly fluffy polenta bites and a balsamic reduction. Topped with a perfectly poached egg.



Sarah opted for a very posh salmon fish finger sandwich and Mel joined me with the super salad. 




I love visiting places like this, it's so relaxed and we didn't feel the need, or desire from the owners, to move on quickly. I could have easily stayed there all afternoon, were we not required to pick up an enormous painting, the other side of Clifton. 


Seriously, look at it! And guess who had to sit literally underneath it. Apparently if you're short, then this is the way you're treated. Chuh! 

I did a spot of standing under the mistletoe, but to no avail. Boohooo. 


                    Form an orderly queue gentlemen! 

After our busy afternoon of wedding chaos and a spot of Christmas shopping, we headed back to the apartment and set to work on sorting out some supper. I decided to introduce the girls to one of my favourite quick meals. Nabbed from The Londoner ( this is one hell of a guilty pleasure. 

All you need is a Camembert, chutney of your choice and cheat's Jus Roll croissants. Open up the croissant and lay out flat, generously spread your chutney over the fluffy pastry and on top of your round and then wrap up. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or so and tadaaaaa, the perfect baked Camembert with a twist. 


                 Look at the little baby cheesus! Ho ho ho. 


Our evening consisted of snuggling under the duvet, eating a hideous amount of sweet baklava and watching You've Got Mail. Is there anything better than this?

A lovely few days away, and home just in time for Christmas. Until next time Bristol! 



Wednesday, 18 December 2013

bristol. 1.2

I found myself in Bristol again this week and it is ever becoming my favourite place to visit, for more reasons than one. Having travelled home for a few days of home comforts I joined up with Mel and Sarah for some excess eating, a cheeky drink or two (or three or four..) and a good film sesh before heading home for the Christmas madness. 

Having spent almost the same time trying to get into the overwhelmingly enormous Cabot Circus as we had done on the motorway from home, Mel and I made a quick dash to the shops to buy some suitably sophisticated clothes for our night out with cocktails before descending on Sarah.

Sarah lives in a seriously cool penthouse, which has a hot tub on the roof. Yup, the roof... Having unpacked our things and turned our room into an exploded wardrobe we hopped onto the roof for a quick dip. Champagne was obligatory here. 


                     .... Mad moment before hopping in! 


                  Sorry just had to, Sarah! Cheesy cheesy! 

Clifton had kindly put on a light show for us (so thoughtful) but as soon as our fingers turned to prunes we decided it was probably time to make the dash back down stairs. Brrrrrrr! 

Having filled ourselves with cheese and all manners of carbs we got dressed up for a night at a bar called Hyde & Co. This is one of those exciting places which is so inconspicuous we could hardly find it. Tucked up a side street we spotted the sign and gave the door a knock. 



                           Knock knock!

Apparently they look through the peep hole and if they like the look of you (weird, I know) they'll let you in! Thankfully we must have shopped well as we were greeted by a charming man who took us to our table. 


I never do selfies (hardly ever, I promise..) but this is one of the only photos of me on this night! Humble apologies. 

                   This place is seriously cool. 



So difficult to choose what to drink though...hmmmm decisions decisions!!



                         Hello lovely ladies!




Very cool interior- my secret interior designer in me was having a field day. Got a bit snap happy...


                        And seriously yummy drinks! 


After leaving Hyde & Co, our night took a somewhat grimy nosedive. We ended up in some questionable 'club' being ogled at by an office christmas party. I think it was time we headed home for bed, ready for our next day, full of adventures. 


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

marlow christmas shopping

Firstly I apologise for the delay in a post- I had completely forgotten how busy a school is at Christmas. Countless carols have been sung, mince pies consumed and I'm now on my third Christmas dinner. If anything I'm just getting comfortably fat. Merry Christmas me! 

Oddly enough, despite all the festivities, I still don't feel entirely Christmassy. I play Lily Allen's cover of Keane's classic, "Somewhere Only We Know" approximately all the time and I wrap myself up in scarves and woolens, but I just don't feel very festive. STILL. So to conquer this, I popped down to the Marlow Christmas Market for a spot of shopping (read eating). 

Aside from the fact I had to keep an eye on my little angels, I managed to squeeze in a piping hot mulled wine (burnt my tongue, I guess that's karma though for quaffing away whilst on duty..)and I think this sorted out my festive problem.


Marlow is a beautiful little market town with enviable houses and shops dotted along a wide cobbled street. With its backdrop of white lights and the smell of chestnuts roasting this was a really magical evening. 




   Just a little odd... Three Wise Men and their... alpacas/llamas?! 


             Sarah looking very festive in her red trousers. 


              Me looking less festive in front of a sign...

I'm not going to lie, the stalls were mostly Young Enterprise things, but the food on offer was excellent. The shops were still open too which meant we could pop into our favorites to pick up last minute presents. 







                     Beautiful braces of pheasants.




Of course I had to get one of these babies. Just look at it! Well 'tis the season to indulge! 


               I made some friends whilst on my travels...



I have no excuses now to not feel jovial. I even went to the Royal Opera House last night to see The Nutcracker- it is wonderful and if any of you can get your paws on some tickets then do, it's breathtaking. 

I hope you're all jumping around the tree and adorning yourselves' with ridiculous jumpers and an inordinate amount of tinsel. I'll stop being such a Scrooge now, sorry.