Food, Travel, Winter

The Lake District | Food

When people asked me where we were going on our honeymoon I would explain to them all about the beautiful little cottage we had booked right in the middle of the countryside and the walks we had planned but I would always end with the most important thing – the food we intended to eat. For me the food is an integral part of any holiday and a great way of sampling local culture. Both Russell and I are big foodies, part of the reason we fit each other so well, and so when we are looking at visiting a place the food is a massive consideration. Having been to the Lakes numerous times I knew that the food here does not disappoint. From pubs, to cafes, to restaurants if you’re looking for amazing food the Lake District is the place to be. I thought I’d share a selection of the places we had some seriously spectacular food on our honeymoon for any other foodies out there wanting to take a trip.

The Watermill
This was the local pub for us, just down the farm track from our cottage we decided to pop here for a bite to eat when we really couldn’t be bothered going any further. We’d been told it was a great place for a nice local ale, so Russell was in his element choosing a few to try over the evening. The food was good english pub grub and was absolutely delicious. If you are looking for a chilled out evening, somewhere you can go after a long walk for a slap up meal and a drink this is the one.

Poppi Red
One of my favourite cafes from when I used to visit with my parents, Poppi Red is full of cute floral prints and vintage gifts. Predominantly a cafe it also has a lovely little shop worth looking round before you sit down and order one of their deliciously naughty cakes. We decided to go for a panini each and were really impressed with the use of local ingredients including Hawskead Relish and local meats. This is a great place for coffee and cake or lunch out with the girls.  

Another place I used to go to with my parents when I was little, Zephs is definitely more of a restaurant. Although you can just turn up in your jeans its also somewhere you feel you can get a little bit more dressed up for. The menu is entirely vegetarian but don’t let that put you off, even my meat loving husband managed to enjoy himself as we ate two courses before going through to their cinema to watch La La Land. Zepherellis is both a restaurant and cinema offering special deals for food and cinema tickets. It was a lovely place to go to as more of a date and we enjoyed the chance to dress up a bit and have a special night out together.

Mason Arms
This is definitely my favourite place in the Lake District (so far), a beautiful little 13th century inn the Masons Arms is cosy and warm with a crackling fire, candle light and the most amazing food you’ll ever eat. A slight step up from pub grub, it serves all sorts of local dishes such as lamb Cartmel as well as ham hock, black pudding burgers and my personal favourite – Masons Arms Ribs. If like me you are a bbq rib lover this is the place to go,  having sampled many bbq ribs all over the world for these are the best. A great place to go for a cosy relaxed date with sensational food.

Adventure, Christianity, Style, Travel, Winter

Nene Way | Wellingborough

Last weekend we were lucky enough to go on another holiday, this time it was just a little weekend away but it was really nice to get some time out of Oxford and out in the countryside. We went away with our church’s student group as Russell is both a student and student leader at the weekly groups and I make the cake. It was an amazing weekend, the theme was on Identity, and I definitely felt God talking to a lot of us there including me. I feel that I learnt a lot and found it challenging some of my ideas and feelings. I also made lots of new friends and ate a lot of good food so all in all it was a pretty epic weekend!
We went away to an adventure centre in Wellingborough, a place I have never been to before, in actual fact I realised I haven’t really been to the east side of England ever before so thats definitely somewhere I’d like to explore more. As a self professed British travel blogger I love any chance to travel to a new place in Britain and do a bit of exploring. On the Saturday afternoon we had a little bit of free time and Russell and I decided to have a little wander along the Nene Valley. It was very pretty with a series of waterways and lots of birds and as we watched the sunlight turn into that perfect golden we couldn’t help but stop to take a few photos. 
We have a few more trips planned for 2017 around Britain and so I am hoping this is going to be the year of exploring my country a little bit more.   

What I Wore…
Top – Joules | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunters 
Travel, Winter

The Lake District | Bowness

Our final day in the Lakes was really bittersweet. We’d had such a lovely time relaxing in the beautiful surroundings of Cumbria, we’d been answerable to no one being able to get up when we wanted, eat when we wanted, light fires, relax, read, walk and have cake for breakfast. It was an amazing chilled out week and a great start to our marriage, we both agreed the cottage we had stayed in was so wonderful we’d really love to come back and were already planning a few more trips round the uk. We decided to take a drive around the countryside on the last day having an amazing lunch in Hawkshead at Poppi Red followed by some slightly terrifying driving round tiny little lanes with tractors coming full pelt at you.

We ended the day by watching the sunset over Lake Windemere in Bowness. It was a gorgeous day and our only day of proper sun since we had arrived so we wanted to make the most of it. Donning our coats and scarves we walked a long the peer and watched as the golden light reflected on the water. Walking further down the shore I found myself surrounded by hundreds of ducks, geese, swans and pigeons as I watched the quiet still water sparkle. I wished that moment would last forever, just Russell and I surrounded by gorgeous scenery, not a care in the world and nowhere to be.

What I Wore…
Coat – Joules | Scarf – H&M | Hat – New Look
Style, Travel, Winter

The Lake District | Coniston

Whenever I go to the Lake District I can’t help but be reminded of Beatrix Potter at every turn. I think this probably started after I saw the film “Miss Potter” when I was 12 and saw all the beautiful locations where she spent her later life. It was around that time that my parents decided we would go to the Lake District every year in autumn for holiday. The film Miss Potter definitely piqued an interest in Beatrix Potter, I loved how much of a rebel she was and that she was writer just as I wanted to be. I can definitely see why she chose to live in such a beautiful place, for a writer it offers endless inspiration and I imagine when you get one of those annoying writers block moments a nice stroll around the cumbrian countryside will soon get the juices flowing again.

Unfortunately “Hilltop” the house in which Beatrix Potter lived was closed when we went due to it being out of season so instead we went for a wander along the shores of Coniston. It was absolutely gorgeous and again a very easy lake side path. On our way back home however we happened to pass Yew Tree Farm Cottage which I remembered as the cottage they had turned into Hilltop for the film “Miss Potter”. A while ago I came with my Mum for afternoon tea and read all about the filming process that had taken place here. Unfortunately they no longer serve afternoon tea and instead Yew Tree can be rented as a holiday cottage, but I still wanted to have a little wander around the front of it. The house is framed by stunning hills behind it and I can imagine it would be an absolutely amazing place to live. I think if I was ever to live in the Lake District this would be exactly the type of house I’d want.

It felt very fitting to be wearing my little book dress for our day of tracing Beatrix Potter’s steps and I think she would have approved of the design. I hope we can go back at some point when Hilltop is open and have a look around, I don’t think I will ever get bored of looking into Beatrix Potters life, she was a great feminist, writer and helped to conserve much of the Lake District so it is still as beautiful today as it was then, she’s definitely one of my big inspirations.

What I Wore…
Dress – Cath Kidston | Cardigan – M&S | Necklace – Fatface
Outdoors, Travel, Winter

The Lake District | Grasmere

Oh Grasmere! So beautiful it took my breath away, I can definitely see why Wordsworth decided to settle there. We decided to go for another slow walk on our third day away and I quite fancied having a little wander round the town of Grasmere. We started off near Rydal water and followed the path along the waters edge until we reached Grasmere lake and then continued round the lake side. It was such a stunning walk with awesome views and gorgeous reflections on the lake. If you want to see some really beautiful scenery but want and easy walk I would definitely suggest the lake path around Grasmere.  

About two thirds into the walk we reached Grasmere and went for a nice drink at the 1769 pub, the food looked amazing but we had already decided to save ourselves for dinner at the local pub that night. We then stumbled across Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread, I had read about this place when I was looking up things to do on our honeymoon and so I knew it was worth a visit and was excited to try this famous gingerbread. We bought ourselves a little parcel of gingerbread, I love pretty packaging and it seemed to make the gingerbread taste even better. We carried on our walk, hand in hand, munching on “the best gingerbread in the world” with big smiles on our faces. It was another lovely day out in the quiet calm Lakes.

What I Wore…
Coat – Joules | Jumpers – M&S | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunter
Outdoors, Travel

The Lake District | Elterwater

I am now an old married woman enjoying the joys of married life! I’m only just starting to get used to calling Russell my husband and myself a wife, but every time I do it makes me very happy inside. I’m loving the quiet calm evenings together as we slowly settle into married life. Work and university have already started back and I’ve been starting to put into place a few of my 2017 projects (super exciting!) so I’m still a busy bee. It seems like ages ago we were on our honeymoon but it was actually only last week. Already I am dreaming of future holidays together and where we can go on our next adventure.
We absolutely loved our stay in the Lake District, it was exactly what we needed after the busy weeks of Christmas and wedding prep. We were lucky enough to book ourselves a beautiful cottage surrounded by stunning countryside but very close to the lovely towns of Windermere and Ambleside. The cottage we stayed in was absolutely perfect with a little log burner, huge bath tub and under floor heating! (I was very excited about the underfloor heating). On our first day out we decided to go for a gentle walk somewhere, luckily one of our friends had given us a walks and pubs guide and after a flick through that we decided Elterwater would be perfect. I used to go to the Lakes a lot with my family as a child so I remembered the Britannia Inn at Elterwater and knew we’d get some good food and beer there.
It was the perfect walk, slowly taking in the scenery, holding hands and paddling in the water whilst breathing in the cool fresh air. We of course finished it off with a drink at the Brit and the biggest portion of chips I think I have ever seen. We finished off the day by going home and eating pizza in front of the fire whilst watching a film, it was a really wonderful start to our honeymoon.

What I wore…
Coat – Joules | Jumper – Fatface | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunters

Christianity, Lifestyle

His And Mine Are The Same…..

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” – Withering Heights (Emily Bronte)

Tomorrow I am getting married. A whole year of planning, preparation, crafting and praying has lead up to this moment. People keep asking me if I am nervous and how I am feeling, the truth is I’m not really nervous at all. Whether the day goes exactly to plan or whether there is a huge hiccup doesn’t really matter to me, the only thing that matters is that I get to marry my best friend, the love of my life. Right from the beginning planning the wedding although fun, has been a chore to get through, something I had to do in order to marry this amazing man. I know the day will be lovely but I cannot wait to exchange our rings and become man and wife.

Never have I doubted that this wasn’t right, straight from the moment I met him at our church I felt something I couldn’t explain. It felt like a force pushing me towards him and I acted quicker and more confidently than I had ever done before. I just knew he was meant for me, when I look back now I think it must have been God pushing me in that direction, it took me three weeks to fall in love with him – both a shock to me and him. But I always knew our destination was here, marriage was always where we were headed and now I cannot wait to finally promise that I will love and cherish him for all eternity. He is the kindest, most loving, Godly, worthy man I have ever known. Our connection is so much deeper and stronger than I have ever felt with another human and the only way I can describe is by using this beautiful quote from one of my favourite books – Withering Heights “Whatever souls are made of his and mine are the same”. We are the same. And tomorrow we become one forever.

Photos taken by Sarah at Salty Sea Photography 
Book Review, Books, Lifestyle, Slow Living

Cosy January Reads

Its that time of year again. The time of year most people hate but I actually love, winter and autumn for me are the best as I love nothing more than snuggling under a blanket, hidden away from the cold weather outside, reading a book. I like the dark nights that make warm baths and early nights acceptable. I love hot chocolate, home made soup and stew bubbling away in the pan whilst scented candles burn and fairy lights flicker prettily. Don’t get me wrong, I love spring and summer too but nothing can beat that cosy hygge feeling I get to indulge this time of year. One thing I also love about this time of year is the feeling of a fresh start, a new beginning and a time to start following those dreams and learning new things. For me a big part of January is putting things in place to help me reach me new year goals as well as reading and learning as much as I can. I love to read books that will inspire me for the year to come and encourage me to try new things. With this in mind I have created a list of books I am looking forward to reading over the next few weeks. This time next week I will actually be married (woohooo!) and on my honeymoon so a lot of the books I’ve chosen with the idea of being able to read them quietly snuggled up in front of the log burner with my husband. Let me know if you have any new year reads you’d recommend, I love to add books to my list of to read!

The Little Book of Hygge – Meik Wiking
I bought this book before Christmas with the intention of reading it during my week off however I was bought another book about Hygge by my wonderful fiancè an so I read that one instead but have been itching to read this since. I am really interested in the Danish concept of hygge and how this can be applied to a Christian way of life. The whole cosy concept is exactly what I love about this time of year and one of my new years goals was to learn more about slow living and taking time to be present which is exactly what this little book talks about. It has the most gorgeous cover and the inside is full of pretty pictures and practical advice. I am really looking forward to taking this on my honeymoon!

8 Women Of Faith – Michael A.G. Haykin
This book was given to me by my soon to be sister in law and I am really excited to get to read it. It is a series of 8 small biographies of famous women who were devout Christians and how they faith influenced their lives and work. It is an inspiring book for men and women alike encouraging them to live out their faith. I am super excited to get my teeth into this one.

The Life – Changing Magic Of Tidying Up – Marie Kondo
I know this one has been circulating for a while and although I bought it almost 6 months ago now I haven’t gotten down to reading it yet. This year however is all about slowing down and creating space to live and after moving into a new flat that is lovely and petite I decided to read up on minimalism and simplifying your home. I love to learn about new things and then create something that works for me so I am hoping this book will teach me a lot about minimalism which I can then add to the things I’ve learnt about hygge and create something that works for me.

Soulfulness – Brian Draper
I am so excited for this book! When my anxiety was getting particularly bad I started to learn a lot about mindfulness however I found a lot of the literature was very person centred. I found that I could apply some of what I learnt to my life and allow God into it but I really wanted to read about mindfulness from a Christian perspective. This book came out in the summer and I quickly snatched it up, but again with the wedding and busy life I haven’t had chance to read it yet. I am hoping with my new years resolution of taking life slowly and calmly I will be able to enjoy reading and learning from this book.  

Fashion, Outdoors, Scotland, Sea, Winter

A Golden State Of Mind

Ahhhh Scotland! One day I’ll live here and stop harping on about how amazing it is, knowing me though I’ll never stop being amazed by this little corner of the world. Its definitely the place I feel most at home and I love to come back here again and again. One place I always like to come to visit when we are here is St Andrews, I love the little town full of pretty streets and grand old buildings with its lovely craft shops and the best book shop ever to have existed! But one of my favourite things is definitely the beach with Tensmuir forest facing you as you walk down and the beautiful towers of St Andrews facing you as you walk back. So when deciding where to give my brand new Christmas coat its first outing it was no contest really. 
I’d been wanting this lovely mustard yellow coat for ages, incredibly comfy and cute it is also 100% waterproof and has a hood. Unfortunately it was quite a bit out of my budget so when my lovely in laws to be bought it for me as a Christmas present I was super excited. I can’t wait to wear this on my honeymoon, I’m almost hoping it rains so I can test out its waterproofness. 
The walk we had was busier than normal being Christmas week but we managed to find a quieter spot right down at the bottom to splash about in the waves and chase the dogs round. Its moments like this when the sun is starting its slow journey to bed, the sky goes a pastel purple colour and Russell is there beside me holding my hand that I feel really blessed. Time stop stills for a minute and I can enjoy everything God has given us. 

What I Wore…
Coat – Joules | Top – Joules | Jeans – M&S | Wellies – Hunters | Hat – New Look | Scarf – H&M