Monday, 22 October 2012

October in Paris

I am dreaming of macrons this morning after returning late last night from a little weekend trip to Paris. 

Macarons Laduree
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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Today's Daydreams

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Today is a perfect Autumn day for exploring. It is not a day for sitting in my office dreaming of exploring. *Weep* 

Monday, 8 October 2012

Crafting: Mr. Turtle

One of my closest friends is a mummy-to-be and her little baby girl will be with us very soon! 

She is the first of my oldest school friends to start a family, and I am so excited for her! As it is the first baby to be welcomed into the world by our group, we're pulling out the stops! I'm hosting a baby shower for her next weekend. There'll be afternoon tea treats, there's a hamper in progress, and we've all decided to individually craft something for our newest and smallest group member! I love crafting, I really do, but it takes time and I don't seem to have very much of the stuff at the moment. I have found this gorgeous tutorial and free pattern at Make It And Love It, so I'm going to give it a whirl! I'm not convinced that my Mr. Turtle will be even half as pretty, or that his little shell will be shell-shaped, but keep your fingers crossed for me and I will let you know how he turns out.

Friday, 5 October 2012

One Year as a Mrs.

To celebrate our first wedding anniversary we decided to escape to the countryside for a weekend. We stayed in Gawthrop, in a little bolthole, Hazel Cottage. The cottage was beautiful, stylish and cosy, and was within walking distance of Dent. Dent itself is a teeny little village with a couple of pubs, a church, and a village shop.

We broke up our journey there with a delicious lunch at The Plough at Lupton. We were really impressed with this restaurant and we will definitely return if we're in that area again. Our SatNav took us down a few muddy wrong turns, but finally, after meeting a few woolly residents (welcome party pictured above), we settled into our little hideaway. Later, we decided to go into Dent where we sampled the locally brewed Dent ales with a generous portion of fish and chips at The George & Dragon pub. With the gorgeous Yorkshire Dales countryside around us, we enjoyed long, though rather soggy, walks followed by pints in front of buring fires. It was so nice to be in such a different landscape and be at a slower pace of life for a while.

Not satisfied in walking boots and raincoats for too long, on our actually wedding anniversary we put on our finery and journeyed across to Windermere in the Lake District. It was another wet and windy day but the setting of Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel was stunning, despite the grey clouds. We had one of the most amazing meals I think I have ever eaten/ will eat for a long time. The George and Dragon's fish and chip dish was forgotten as we sipped Champagne and enjoyed an incredible Michelin star meal in the impressive  dining room, with views over Lake Windermere. Fine dining isn't a regular thing for us and Holbeck Ghyll was a real treat. The food was delicious, service was great, and the setting really was was stunning. We went back to our bolthole and stayed up talking in front of the crackling log burner. It was the perfect way to celebrate the year we've shared as Mr. and Mrs.

On the way home, we decided to stop in at Wensleydale, home to Wallace & Gromit's favourite cheese. There is a cheese factory, where you can see how the cheese is made and there's a cheese tasting room. I know; another weekend highlight! Lots and lots of cheese to try. It was cheese and crackers for supper for a while after that!
We also visited Aysgarth Falls and sat watching the waterfalls flow for a good couple of hours with root beer floats and a cream tea. 

All in all, an excellent anniversary weekend to complete an excellent first year of marriage!

A Busy September

Wow. A whole month has gone by without a single post. Professional blogger I am not! This time of year is always crazy for me at work. Hopefully, things will calm down soon. I've also been having a lot of fun with family and friends these past weeks, too.   

A recent day out was the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival, held annually in Sefton Park. We had an amazing day overeating delicious food from local exhibitors, including Thai restaurants, steakhouses, French bistros and Greek tavernas. Our aim was to buy a taster dish from each stall. We failed, but definitely gave it a good go! This chocolate brownie cupcake from Puschka went down a treat.

The Ship and Mitre was on hand with a well stocked ale tent and lots of local brews to wash down the scrummy food! We enjoyed these two sitting on the grass in the sunshine, listening to The Loose Moose Stringband perform. 

There was also a brilliant marketplace and needless to say, we had a few carrier bags to bring home including soft, buttery croissants from The French Corner Ltd. for breakfast the following morning. 

Another highlight? Cookery demonstrations, including Paul Hollywood in 'The Great Merseyside Bake-Off', and Tom Kitchin. Lots of people queued for a photo with Tom Kitchin after his demonstration. Did I? OF COURSE!

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