UK Lifestyle Blog

5 December 2017

An Autumn Weekend in the Cotswolds

We recently escaped to the beautiful Cotswolds, for a magical weekend away to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We decided that rather than buy gifts for each other, we would prefer to use the money to book a weekend getaway each year, as we both love travelling.

For our first anniversary weekend away we booked a stunning farmhouse in the Cotswolds. It was very near to the pretty medieval town of Burford, which is where we started our trip.

It was around a 2 hour drive to Burford, through some very cute towns along the way. The weather wasn't the best, but that made it all the more autumnal (and the perfect excuse for lots of hot chocolate to be consumed!)

We parked up and headed straight to for one of their world renowned Lardy Cakes, and a hot cup of coffee.

The Lardy Cake was absolutely delicious, so sweet and flavoursome, definitely the ultimate comfort food on a rainy day.

Bellies full, we headed out to wander around the shops and pubs, whilst stopping to admire all the houses.

Feeling a little chilly after all the wandering, we popped into the to warm up with a cheeky hot chocolate. We found a cosy nook and relaxed. The décor is dreamy, with an open fire, wood flooring and dog print cushions.

I had also wanted to visit Bibury whilst we were down this end of the woods, so once we had finished our drinks, we hopped back in the car and headed there. It was only around 20 minutes drive from Burford, making it the perfect place to pop over to on your travels.

Bibury did not disappoint, it looked magical in the autumn light, even the rain didn't take away it's beauty.

It wouldn't be an anniversary break without a few cheeky selfies now would it. Check out the rain on my poor husbands glasses!

We walked around the little charming village, even spotting a Kingfisher as we did! Until we decided that we had to stop for another warming drink at the tea room. I was even more happy to see another lit fire!

Once we had warmed through we got back into our car and headed off to check in to our B&B. We were staying about 15/20 minutes drive away at in Upper Milton. It is an absolutely stunning home and I will be writing a whole separate post on it, as it is one of the best B&B's we've ever had the pleasure of staying in.

We relaxed in our room for a little while before getting all dressed up for an evening of celebration. Stephen had booked us a table at , a 16th century Inn in the centre of Burford.

It is a quaint, super cosy pub, with fantastic service and atmosphere. We grabbed a drink at the bar whilst we perused the menu (I had a gin of course) before we were taken to our seats.

I had already decided that I wanted the Millionaire's Mac and Cheese, I'd craved it all day and was so happy it was on the menu! The Ultimate comfort food, in a cosy pub? Yes please.

Stephen went for the Choir and Parmesan crumbed Seabass with Dauphinoise Potatos. He said it was absolutely delicious and full of rich flavour.

To finish, we both went for the Dark Chocolate Delice, which as you can see was incredible. Both the presentation and taste was pure perfection, I could eat it all over again now!

We sat and chatted for a while before heading back to the B&B happy and full, ready to start the next day of exploring. I'm not going to lie, I was awoken early hours by an owl hooting away!

The sun was peeking through the trees early Sunday morning, and we got to appreciate what beautiful surroundings we were in.

We packed our bags and headed down for breakfast, before making our way to the park and ride.

We headed off to Oxford for the morning, to explore the university and all of the shops. The park and ride is a brilliant idea, as we were told it is fairly expensive to park in Oxford, and it's only about a 10-15 minute bus trip from there to Oxford's centre. Making it less stressful than having to try and find a space anywhere!

We spent a few hours in Oxford, taking in the university, walking the cobbled roads and admiring the shops. Before long it was time to head home.

We had such a memorable 1st anniversary. The Cotswolds are as beautiful as everyone says, and we will definitely be making a return trip to some of the other beautiful towns it has to offer.

Have you visited the Cotswolds? Where did you stay?


27 November 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide for 2017

I can't quite believe it, but it's some how 4 days until the 1st of December, and that means one thing, Christmas is just around the corner! Most of you may have already began your Christmas shopping, perhaps you're super organised and everything is wrapped and ready to go. If not, or you're stuck for those last few gift ideas,  then I have you covered. I have trawled the internet, and compiled a categorised list of gifts just for you!

I hope you find it helpful

{{The Gardener}}

  •  These gorgeous , handy for growing mint for mojitos!
  •  A to help beginners get their garden groove on.
  •  These for a touch of glamour during those practical tasks
  • for an extra special gift.
  •  This  is perfect for garden prep 

{{The Star Baker}}

  • The gorgeous , for sharing those delicious creations
  • , for the messy baker
  • for a quick bake!
  • The ultimate bargain , to give their arms a rest and look pretty on their kitchen worktop.

{{The Explorer}}

  • Help them keep track of travels with this effective
  • Keep their documents safe in this stylish
  • One for the short escape lover, offers plenty of travel ideas
  • Help them track their travels with this gorgeous
  • For a more Lavish gift, why not help them capture their travels perfectly with this

{{The Ginthusiast}}

  • A taste of everything with this
  • Ginspire them with this (see what I did there)
  • A is great for them to enjoy a cheeky Christmas tipple
  • Help them get creative with their very own
  • How about a for their bar/cabinet, or you know, to drink.

    {{Make-Up Magpie}}

    • A Luxury , bound to make any make up lover drool!
    • Get them party ready with this  for all the party glamour.
    • The, an essential in anyone's make-up stash, practical and pretty
    • One to give keep all through the festive season.
    • Wow them with this It also makes a great Secret Santa gift!

    {{The Home Maker}}

    • The perfect great for hosting the next cheese and wine night, hint hint
    • A cosy the ultimate sofa companion at this time of year.
    • These adorable are bound to make any home lover weak at the knees
    • You can't go wrong with a posh  to burn on those cold nights.
    •  The cutest, great for kitchen windowsills filled with festive flowers.

    {{The Comfort Seeker}}

    • Keep their feet warm with these cosy
    • Classic Comfy Christmas staple,
    • A super toasty perfect for those festive movie nights.
    • The Essential of all loungewear, a snug
    • An ultimate comfort seeker,!

    {{For Him}}

    • This gorgeous , is sure to keep him warm this Christmas
    • A, perfect for all those weekend escapes
    • Make Sunday morning fry ups easier with this handy
    • If he's a coffee drinker, one of these  would be the perfect present
    • Keep him fresh during the party season with this 

    {{For The Stocking}}

    • If you don't get chocolate in your stocking is it even Christmas? These extra festive are the perfect sweet stocking filler
    • Help them get organised for the new year with this pretty
    • A mug is a perfect gift for all those hot winter beverages, they will love this adorable
    • If you know a loose leaf tea lover, then this is not only handy but so cute!
    • Socks are another great stocking filler and these ones are super sweet

    I hope this guide has helped you find that special someone the ideal gift, or maybe a treat for yourself!



      22 November 2017

      Our 24 hour stay in Rye

      The final leg of our trip to the South Coast brought us to Rye. Rye is probably one of the most beautiful places that I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. The cobbled winding roads, houses clad with flowers and cute independent tea rooms are a marvel to behold. It really was a dream destination to finish our trip on. If anyone wants to lend me a couple of million pounds then I would move here in a heart beat.

      We stayed at the beautiful Willow Tree House, which you can read about . Willow Tree House is only a short stroll away from Mermaid Street, which is the most popular street in Rye.

      As we made our way from the B&B into Rye, we stopped at the bottom of Mermaid Street for a spot of breakfast at The Old Grain Store.

      I had Nutella on Toast which was delicious, the bread was door stop thick and scrumptious, it really set us up for the day ahead. Near to the Old Grain Store there are a number of antique shops, perfect for perusing and looking for treasures!

      As you leave the Old Grain Store and cross the road you reach the bottom of Mermaid Street, the most photographed street in Rye, and you can see why. Every house is beautiful, dressed with pretty foliage and fancy front doors. I loved walking up the cobbled path and reading all the names of the houses and imagining what it would be like to live there.

      We decided to climb to the top of St Mary's for the best view of Rye. It's a narrow and interesting climb to the roof of the Church, but so worth it for the spectacular views.

      It's amazing to see all the cute houses below, and the views go on for miles. I would definitely recommend it if you are in Rye.

      After taking in the spectacular scenery we had worked up quite an appetite, and there was only one place for it, Cobbles Tea Room.

      Down a quiet cobbled lane, surrounded by flowers is Cobbles Tea Room, it's like something out of a fairy tale. We popped in for scones and tea and soaked up the atmosphere, and yummy smells of warm cakes. It's such a cute little spot for a refreshment break, perfect after all that walking!

      Re-fuelled we headed back out to enjoy some more of the independent shops, following the winding cobbled lanes and learning about Rye's History.

      Also if you've nosied around my corner of the internet, you will know that I am a huge interior's/home lover (I have a few posts lined up soon for the décor department) and Rye is all types of home goals. I could literally live in every house I saw, and it had definitely got me dreaming of my future house goals (complete with doggy companion and boot room please).

      We carried on pottering around the little shops and stopped for a quick drink at , before heading back to our B&B to get ready for our final night out of the trip.

      We had our evening meal at , which was incredible! As it was our last night I didn't snap any photos, but I would highly recommend them. The service was incredible and it was really busy to say it was a week night, which goes to show how popular it must be. We then headed back to our for a night of relaxation, before driving to Battle for a quick stop on the way home.

      If you love quaint towns full of stories, independent shops and cute cafes then Rye will be right up your street. It's the perfect place to escape and has bags of charm and tales to tell. We really enjoyed pottering along the cobbled roads, popping in and out of shops and admiring all the beautiful houses. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants as well as being close by to other interesting towns.


      19 November 2017

      Our Stay at Willow Tree House, Rye

      In September we had the pleasure of staying at Willow Tree House in Rye during our trip to the South Coast. I had seen it whilst browsing online and thought it would be the perfect place for us to spend our final night.

      We arrived at the grand building, with its striking green door. We were warmly greeted, checked in and given a lovely illustrated map of Rye. We were then shown into our room which was the 'Bodiam'.

      It is a gorgeous, bright and spacious room with a modern country theme. The bed was huge and extremely comfortable, just look at those plump pillows! I loved the gold accessories coupled with the dark wood, it made the room feel super cosy and homely.

      What made this room even more special is all the little touches, every aspect had been thought about. There were magazines on the bedside table, a full tea tray complete with scrumptious biscuits and a mini hamper in the bathroom.

      There was even a mini sewing kit in the bathroom hamper, which just reinforces the effort and detail that has been put into the rooms.

      The Bathroom itself is gorgeous, with a luxury feel through it's high spec fixtures and pretty cream tiles. The shower was perfect and easy to get to the right temperature, and the heated towel rack was a perfect touch.

      After a long day exploring Rye, we came back to Willow Tree House for a cuppa before diving into that glorious bed and falling into a slumber. One of the reasons we chose Willow Tree House, was not only the fact it looked beautiful, but also it's location and that it was only a short walk into Rye, and it's famous Mermaid Street is literally a stones throw away.

      The next morning we headed downstairs for Breakfast in the Conservatory, which has a lovely view of the garden. There was an amazing selection of continental breakfast, with banana and chocolate muffins, cereals, yogurt and fruit. I opted for the yogurt with rhubarb compote and berries, as well as a banana and chocolate muffin, because who can resist those!

      There was also an impressive cooked breakfast selection with choices from a home cooked breakfast to porridge and honey. My husband chose the smoked salmon and scrambled egg. I was rather full from the continental breakfast but did have some toast as well. We were kept fully topped up with tea and coffee which was perfect.

      We left with full tummies and feeling well rested after a very busy week exploring.

      If your planning a trip to the gorgeous quaint town of Rye, I would highly recommend staying at Willow Tree House. You are made to feel welcome from the moment you arrive, and the rooms are incredibly homely and cosy.

      You can find out more