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.  

Zepherellis 
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

Lifestyle, Slow Living, Travel

And the adventure begins….. | 2017

Happy New Year! How weird it is to be in 2017 and yet how right, 2017 is especially exciting for me because in just two short weeks I shall be married to my best friend and the love of my life. For me New Year is always an exciting time of year, the scent of anticipation hangs in the air and anything seems possible. I do believe that you can make a change to your life whenever you want but the end of a year and the beginning of a new one is always a great time to reflect and think about where you are going. This year I am feeling a lot more settled and so it has almost been easier to start planning some of the things I wanted to achieve in 2017. I am definitely open for surprises and spontaneity and being led by God, but I also think its important to give yourself a few goals to motivate yourself. I love to read other peoples goals for 2017 so I thought I would share some of mine with you all.

Nourish:
In 2016 I started to get a lot healthier and I lost about half a stone in weight. It wasn’t everything I wanted to lose but it was a beginning and the start of some healthy habits I’m hoping will stick. This year I would like to lose a bit more weight and get back down to my natural healthy size, I want to keep up with my swimming three times a week and start doing some more yoga. I’ve also just started to buy my meat locally and a big goal of mine is start ordering a local veggie box to be delivered. I really enjoyed eating seasonally as its not only good for me and my body but also for the world around us. I’m hoping to continue to cook and bake and learn more about food along with my husband (eek!) and we’d also love to grow our own veggies and herbs.

Create:
This year is going to be another year of creating the life I want to lead. I definitely feel I am getting closer and closer, I now have a job I love that allows me to use my creative talents all day long and still have time off to do some writing. My goals this year are to finish my novel, write my children book and publish a few articles. I have been lucky enough to be asked to write for a care magazine so already 2017 is going to be the year of getting published! I also want to try to develop my blog more and see where that takes me.

Slow:
A big thing for 2016 was to learn to slow down and start living a more simple life, I definitely feel like this is something I have really started to do but I know there is still so much to learn and develop. I am enjoying learning about concepts like Hygge and Minimalism and how these can be applied to a christian lifestyle. My goal for 2017 is carry on developing, to make sure I spend time outside on walks with Russell, to read as much as I can, to bake and cook from scratch, to knit my own jumper and spend less money. I will be moving in with my then husband in two weeks and I think 2017 will be all about creating a life the two of us enjoy and learning to be present in the moment together.

Travel:
Something I think I would encourage all Christian couples to do is wait until you’re married to go on holiday just the two of you. Russell and I have never been on holiday just us and we are so excited to spend a week together away on our honeymoon. We get to kick start the year with a relaxing week in the Lake District and we are hoping to follow that with a few other trips. Both of us really want to travel and so my goal in 2017 is to make it to Amsterdam and Germany together and a few places in Britain like Bath and The Highlands. I know they aren’t the most exotic places but they are parts of the world I have always wanted to visit and I can’t wait to explore them with my Husband

Spiritful:
A big thing for 2017 will be developing a stronger relationship with God. I learnt so much about Him and myself in 2016 through reading, praying and spending time with my small group. I am excited to see where he takes me this year. I am also wanting to continue with my morning yoga and meditation, I devote this time to God and I find its a really important part of my day and really helps my anxiety. I know a lot of Christians will disagree with Yoga but for me I think we can learn so much from other cultures and concepts if we let God come into it and focus on him then it is a form of worship. I also want to learn more about mindfulness and how this can be done in a Christian way.

I am super excited for everything that will happen in 2017 and I hope you too are dreaming up some goals and plans for this year! 

Autumn, Fashion, Food, Slow Living, Style, Travel

The Best Autumn Day

Oh Autumn I cannot get enough of you! I know some people can’t wait for summer, for bare legs, bonfires, beach trips and sun kissed skin but for me there is no better season than autumn. I spend the summer months waiting in anticipation as autumn creeps closer and closer. Although I was watching very careful autumn in Oxford definitely suddenly appeared. It seemed one day it was beautiful September sunshine warm enough for ice cream and sandals, and then over night the temperature dropped by 10 degrees and the bright orange and mustard colours began to appear in every tree. It seemed autumn was especially prevalent in Hereford last weekend when we went up to do wedmin, and I couldn’t contain my excitement. We had decided to spend Friday and Saturday inside doing wedding jobs and then take a day off to enjoy the season outside on the Sunday. Luckily we were blessed with the most amazing weather, my absolute favourite type – bright blue skies, cold crisp air and low golden sunshine. It was glorious.

We decided to go back to one of our favourite spots to go walking in Hereford, the Brockhampton Estate and were extremely excited (well as least I was, not sure about Russell) to find out it was apple day! The National Trust definitely put on some of the best events and this was one of them. We enjoyed wandering around the house where we tried spiced mulled apple juice and sat in the 1950s sitting room – my outfit that day definitely blended into the surroundings. I’m wearing my lovely new dress from Lindy Bop that I got in the sale, I wanted some clothes in more autumnal colours and this definitely fitted the bill. We then wandered through the court yard where the cider pressing had been going on and got a good whiff of apple. After having a look around the shop we went in to the orchards and spent the best part of an hour jumping around trying to grab the shiniest juiciest apple on each tree. I have never actually been apple picking before so it was a new experience for me and I absolutely loved it. We decided to get one of each variety we thought looked the nicest including a massive apple almost the size of my head.

After carrying our apples back to the car we went to the lovely little tea rooms in the old apple store, we decided to continue our theme and bought a cider for Russell and an apple juice for me with a scone to share. By the time we’d finished it was almost five o’clock and the sun was beginning to descend and glow golden over the fields. We enjoyed a walk around the grounds and even stumbled across a private Georgian mansion which I decided must be Netherfield Park (I really wanted to knock on the front door and ask for Mr Bingley).

To end our day we piled back into the car, turned the heating on and drove part of the way back to Oxford stopping in the Cotswolds for the most amazing meal at Bitter and Twisted in Chipping Norton. I love living so close to the Cotswolds, everything was lit up with beautiful fairy lights and for the first time this year it started to feel really Christmassy.

What I Wore…
Dress – Lindy Bop | Cardigan – M&S | Shoes – New Look
Autumn, Fashion, Style, Travel

Stow on the Wold

I recently started a new job that I absolutely love, I get to spend my days singing, dancing, crafting, baking and playing games with elderly people. Its the best job I’ve ever had being an activities assistant in a care home and it might sound like a total doddle doing all the things I love all day but it can be very hard waring emotionally, physically and mentally. When you’re working with people with dementia you have to be constantly switched on and, although when I get home I feel very satisfied and happy with what I’ve achieved that day, I am tired. In previous jobs I have gotten so excited by all the new things I’ve been learning, I’ve totally thrown myself in and come home brimming with ideas that I then start to research which has led to me completely over whelming myself. Having lived with anxiety now for over a year, I have become wary of giving myself too much and am a lot more aware of chill out time. I have approached this job cautiously and as much as I love it and like talking about my day with people I have managed to leave my work at the door when I leave. This is quite a big achievement for me and I am hoping this is my mindfulness, something I’ve been really working on, finally coming into play. 
I have also had to be careful that once work is done and dusted all my spare time isn’t taken up with wedding stuff. A lot of people when we started planning our wedding gave us the advice to make sure we take time out and remember all the reasons we want to get married and it was honestly the best advice we got. When you’re getting married your whole life can become about the wedding and for me and Russell that’s really not what it is about. We are so much more excited for the marriage and often find ourselves feeling guilty for prioritising time together doing other things rather than wedding planning. But I think it is definitely really important the closer we get that we take more time out together and that is exactly what we decided to do the other weekend. 
Living in Oxford means we are close enough to visit so many places for the day including London, multiple amazing National Trusts and of course the beautiful Cotswolds. We definitely haven’t made the most of living so close to the Cotswolds and one of our plans for the new year once we are married is to try and get out there more. This time around we decided to visit Stow on the Wold for the day, I have never been however as soon as we arrived Russell recognised it as the place he’d visited with his family a while ago. Unfortunately being a Saturday it was quite full with tourists (we prefer to go at quieter times or just avoid the tourist places in general) but that didn’t stop us from having a love day out. 
We started off by having a delicious meal at the White Hart, a very quaint Cotswolds pub and hotel with lovely old beams and squishy leather chairs. We then set off around the town, we dipped into small book shops, little gift shops and because I had stupidly misread the weather we ended up rooting around in the charity shop for a cardigan. I found these super cute little black jumper that was originally M&S but was now only £4.50. I used to be very into finding a bargain in a charity shop but in later years haven’t been so much, this trip definitely rekindled my love for rooting around for those little gems.  

We had a really lovely day out and it was exactly what we needed to take out minds off wedding stuff for a little while. 
What I Wore…
Dress – Cath Kidston | Jumper – M&S (Charity Shop) | Shoes – Primark | Bag – Old | Sunglasses – Tribe

Lifestyle, Outdoors, Scotland, Summer, Travel

For Nature Made Her What She Is

It feels so amazing to be back in Scotland! I cannot tell you how excited passing the Welcome to Scotland sign on the motor way makes me. I’m not sure why but this is just where me and Russell feel most at home and once here its like we start getting back to being ourselves again. I think it probably has something to do with being back in the countryside, neither of us are really city people and so getting back to nature is definitely something we relish. I also love how the changing of the seasons is so much more apparent here, there is no mistaking it is September, you only have to look at the plum tree practically falling over with fruit to see that harvest time is well and truly here. 
These photos were taken in the village where Russell’s parents live. It is one of my favourite places in the world due to its quiet calmness and extraordinary scenery. I feel so blessed to be able to come and stay here, we are surrounded by woods, beach and fields meaning we can pretty much take our pick for doggy walks. The sunshine was incredibly beautiful on this day and we decided to go down to the beach to enjoy bask in its warmth. 
I really can’t wait till we get to move to Scotland, this is definitely my souls happy place. 

What I Wore…
Top – Red Herring | Jacket – Fatface | Jeans – New Look | Wellies – Hunters