Something from the weekend….a picture-worthy few days

I’m always snapping away on my phone, truth be told, but this weekend seemed to give me more in the way of picture opportunities than usual. It was indeed a lovely weekend, filled with fun but relaxation too. Anyway, I thought I’d share my instagram feed by way of summing it up…..

Friday night started the weekend with cocktails, as it always should…..

…..we played Guess Who…..

……and then Adam beat me at Triv!

Saturday began with a lovely long dog walk……

…..we headed to Barton Springs for a nice change…..

…..and the sun shone for us rather splendidly!

We found a darling little tea room and gallery for lunch…..

….where they serve an epic Hot Chocolate…..

….and yummy tea on quaint mis-matched china…..

…..as well as lush lunches like the stuffed mushroom on toast that I went for!

Once home we set about hanging our new treasure, the huge antique map of London that looks rather marvellous on our lounge wall…..

….and after that it was an afternoon of snoozing as it all got too much for my boys!

Another lovely walk on Sunday morning, this time at the stunning Chick Sands woods….

….I love all the little dens people have built there!

After a yummy breakfast of Staffordshire Oatcakes (the last left in the freezer after my Mum’s visit!) we pootled around the market and car boot sale, where I picked up some little treasures….

…..and where my favourite stallholder gave me this incredible menu from the 60’s!

We finally took the tour of the museum opposite where we live in the afternoon….

….and took part in a Victorian lesson where we had to practise reading parrot-fashion…..

…..did maths in old money on slate….

….and worked on our handwriting with a dip pen!

The rest of the day was more relaxing, eating and watching of Buffy. Bliss!

What did you get up to?

Ems x

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Something from the weekend….. adventures with apples

Boy was it good to have a nice simple weekend in our new home finally! It’s lovely to be busy and have lots of things to do, but I have really enjoyed just mooching about the house this weekend! We are nearly there on getting the place sorted (all boxes are now unpacked!!!) and have even hung most of our pictures.

Still, we did get out of the house a little and I’ve grown even more in love with my new local area…..

On Saturday morning, after a much needed lie-in, we yummed up poached duck eggs on toasted English muffins, then took the short walk into town. I’d completely forgotten that it was Apple Day in the old market square (despite getting all excited when I heard about it!) so it was a lovely surprise to find all sorts of apple-themed stalls there. As well as stalls for local farmers and their various types of lovely produce, there were bric-a-brac stalls and a tombola….plus a game of throw the maggots into the apple! Love it!

We pottered about for a while, buying a few bits and bobs we needed, and having a nosey about. I found a gorgeous Hornsea Fauna deer vase for my collection in the Oxfam shop, which I was very excited about! We had a stroll through the market too and picked up some lovely large pomegranates, as well as a huge chocolate muffin and an enormous cream donut!

We scoffed those back at home with a cup of tea, before making our way to Letchworth to drop off the mountains of cardboard we’d accumulated and to have a look for some bits of furniture we still need. We managed to pick up a lovely little plant stand for the stair well, but are still searching for bed side tables and our dream cocktail bar! Adam also picked up a wonderful vintage tweed jacket though, and we were both delighted to meet several darling greyhounds who were in town with the Greyhound Rescue West of England. We spent a good while meeting the wonderful dogs, who have the softest ears imaginable, and just love to snuggle up to you. We found out that it’s possible to foster them, or even just have them stay for the weekend for some post-op R&R, so we really want to look into that!

After supper, we decided to snuggle up on the sofa to watch a film. I’m incredibly excited about Skyfall (the new James Bond film) coming out this week, so we opted to watch Casino Royale to get into the spirit! Adam’s been practicing his cocktail making skills, so he rather aptly decided to make us Martinis to drink whilst we watched. He’s getting really good and they were delicious (although I still prefer his amazing Whisky Sours!).

It was another lie in on Sunday morning, and a bit more sorting out around the house. I also took some time to ‘feed’ my various Christmas offerings….. extra brandy went into the three cakes I’ve made, as well as the mince meat, and more rum went into my first attempt at Christmas pudding! We couldn’t resist a very quick trip to the market though, where there is a car boot sale each Sunday….well, it’s just so close! We managed to come back without buying anything though, which I think is a first!

We’d been lucky enough to be sent a nice big bag of cooking apples, which were harvested on Friday from Adam’s brother’s garden, and so I baked up some little apple pies for our afternoon tea……for which we were joined by dear friends Holly and Jamie, as well as their three super-cute children. We had great fun showing them the new house (especially as the children were so excited about all the secret doorways and all the different rooms) and indeed entertaining the children (although perhaps it was more a case of them entertaining us!). It seemed very quiet once they’d all gone, and I packed away the treasure box I’d been showing them, and the fake mustaches they dressed up in!

We had left over cottage pie for supper, and spent the evening writing letters and emails, before our sleepy heads got the better of us and we retired to bed with Horlicks and books.

What a lovely, relaxed weekend!

How was yours?

Ems x

Something from the weekend….. Sunday ‘Fashionista’ afternoon Pret-A-Portea at The Berkeley

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First round….. yummy sandwiches with the crusts cut off

On Sunday it was time for my final birthday treat….. after a nice long lie in (boy I needed it after the Saturday!) and slobbing about watching a few episodes of The Wire, we made our way to Knightsbridge for a very special afternoon tea. I’ve been wanting to go to the Pret-A-Portea at The Berkeley for years, ever since I heard about it in fact. No ordinary afternoon tea, their ‘Fashionista’ version of the traditional occasion draws inspiration from each season’s couture collections, creating incredible and stunning biscuits, fancies and meringues to match the trending colours, shapes and patterns.

After arriving to the gorgeous Berkeley reception, we were taken through the Caramel Room to our lovely window table. I was delighted to find a neon pink shoe with my name on to reserve the table for us, as well as all the beautiful Paul Smith China laid out ready. I went for the Couture Champagne Menu (when in Rome) and was poured a generous glass of Laurent Perrier Rose to start, whilst Adam went for the caramel and pear tea. Then before long we were served the first round of our tea…. a long plate of delicious sandwiches, including smoked salmon and cream cheese, Coronation chicken, cucumber and a tiny egg roll. All the fillings were perfect, as were the yummy breads (including a sun blushed tomato bread and a miniature oaty roll).

Next up came a large tea stand full of beautiful canapes and fancies….. we’d hardly dug into these when we were brought fresh plates of more sandwiches and then the canapes and fancies were replenished throughout too! The canapes included tiny teardrop spoons of crab, salmon, beef and feta, as well as a shot glass of a yummy cucumber and mint cold soup. I’ve had soooo many canapes in my time and these really were some of the best.

The sweet stuff is really where it’s at though. Having finished my Cham I was served the white peony tea (a new favourite of mine) which went beautifully with all the treats left to try….. Perhaps the most stunning was the Jason Wu romantic cherry bavarois with coconut cream, topped with a playful pink skirt and biscuit heel….. I also loved the clever take on Fendi’s nautical stripes in the form of a red and white striped vanilla cake filled with fraise des bois cremeux and topped with an over-sized yellow button…..

And because I’m such a girl, the two chocolate fancies were amongst my favourites…. Gucci’s Art Deco Grand Marnier and dark Valrhona chocolate mousse embellished with golden popping candy is absolutely divine….. and the homage to Michael Kors’ signature leopard print made with Grand Marnier was just scrummy! The most impressive to look at were the light blue Dolce and Gabbana blueberry sponge cake wicker basket, the Miu Miu vanilla bikini biscuit and the wonderful Christian Louboutin neon yellow chocolate biscuit…. but my favourite I think was the clever take on Mulberry’s summer at the seaside catwalk theme, with a tall shot glass of white chocolate creme de menthe and raspberry mousse topped with a lemon meringue, all perfectly emulating the sugar sweet tones of a maxi dress I adore.

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Very fancy fancies, inspired by Jason Wu, Mulberry, Fendi, Miu Miu, Michael Kors and Gucci

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Laurent Perrier Rose and the stunning Paul Smith china

I think we did rather well at eating the plates and plates of goodies brought to us…. it genuinely is a case of quality AND quantity! We did finally give up, a good couple of hours after arriving…. it is certainly a lovely way to while away an entire afternoon and is one of the most luxurious and indulgent experiences I’ve enjoyed. It didn’t stop there though, as our lovely waiter boxed up the fancies we couldn’t manage in a fabulous neon pink box, so I carried home the second of two very classy doggy bags that weekend! Quite the breakfast the morning after!

I can’t recommend this experience enough…. even Adam (who isn’t as trend crazy as me, and certainly wouldn’t usually opt for an afternoon tea) thoroughly enjoyed himself, and I left feeling utterly spoiled! It’s £39 for the Pret-A-Portea, £49 for the Champagne version, and £55 for the Couture Champagne menu which includes a glass of Laurent Perrier Rose. I think it’s superb value, compared to lots of more traditional afternoon tea, and especially as everything is replenished as much as you like and there’s no competition in terms of style. We booked a good few months ago, so be prepared to wait…… it is well worth it though even for someone as impatient as me!

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Menu inspiration card for Pret-A-Portea SS/12….. a super cute doggy bag and a show with my name on it!

Wednesday Wants…….. A trip to Selfridges full of wants

So I’m currently in Paris for a few days, but because I’ve managed to get relatively organised and I didn’t get around to this post last week, I thought I’d better schedule one in!

On Monday I took my American friend Michelle (visiting London for just a couple of weeks and now in Paris with me!) to Selfridges to look at some of their Big British Bang stuff….. I wanted to see all the special things they had on, and especially the roof top which has just been re-opened for the summer. There’s lots to see there during their special festival, especially if you’re into very British stuff….. there’s a lovely ‘Brittanica’ exhibiton of stunning 50s dresses….. The Bonpas and Parr Crazy Golf up on the roof, with cake inspired holes in the shape of London landmarks…. The first ever Highgrove pop-up store…. The Big British Shop, filled with extremely tempting British treasures…. A Dents exhibition of very Royal gloves…. The Daylseford roof top cafe….. and the Big Yellow Shop which features lots of iconic brands who have specially made their famous things in Selfridges yellow!

It’s no surprise then that I found LOTS that I wanted…..

Artisan mixer 6.9L frosted pearl, £799

I have a lovely white Kitchen Aid already…. I use it lots for baking and cooking and I wouldn’t be without it. But there’s no harm in wanting to upgrade right?! The new Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer is the best performing mixer in its class, and far bigger than the original one at 6.9 litre. As well as a bigger bowl, it boasts enhanced performance and a much more powerful motor (the man told us it was something in horse power, which made me think of cars so it must be powerful!). It comes in a lovely classy black, a sleek silver and a very cute candy apple…. but it’s the pearl one I love most…. the man let me stroke it and it felt sooooo good!

Dulcina peep-toe sandals, £845

There aren’t many things more British than a Pearly Kind and Queen….. and how better to honour that fine tradition than with Tabitha Simmons’ Dulcina sandals. Crafted from soft velvet, these elegant heels are accented with pearly buttons, embroidery and feather detailing. Love!

Ladurée: Savoury: The Recipes, £28

Following the success of Ladurée: Sucre, you can now get hold of this second volume of neverbefore – published recipes from the legendary Ladurée tearoom. Containing a hundred elegant recipes from Ladurée’s Chef, it’s full of beautifully photographed treats, and is stunningly packaged in velvety lilac, reminiscent of their famous macaron boxes. From duck foie gras with rose macaroon to vegetable tagliatelle with Ladurée tea and cardamom, as well as the taramasalata éclair with rose petals, the book presents a fine array of appetizers, main courses, fish, meat, salads and omelettes. Delish!

And on that note…. see you after Paris!

Ems x

Things to see and do this weekend….. It’s still all happening in London

So everyone’s winding down after all the fun of the long Jubilee Weekend, but who wants to let the party spirit die?! There’s still plenty going on and a really fun vibe in London right now with all the extra visitors, bunting, and even sometimes a touch of sunshine! Here is my round up of suitably British activities for this weekend…..

Open Garden Squares Weekend

Originally set up as a way for the public to access private squares in central London, this event now includes a wonderful range of private institutional, commercial and communal gardens all over London. This is a lovely way to explore some of the little-known and hidden green spaces across the capital, with secret orchards, community horticultural projects and historical gardens on show. Tickets are £9 for the weekend and available here, as well as a list of all the participating gardens.

Hogarth’s House and Garden

London Green Fair

And on with the green theme….. The London Green Fair is London’s largest, free ‘green’ festival and takes place this weekend in Regent’s Park, from midday until 8.30pm on Saturday and from midday until 7.30pm on Sunday. The aim is to reflect the green aspirations and achievements of London, with diverse and free content. This year’s 20th anniversary line up includes contemporary live music, high-profile speakers, debates and forums, children’s activities, boutique market stalls and organic bars and food stalls. There will also be original events such as The London Permaculture area, an electric ‘Bikefest’ and an outdoor performance from an 80 piece dutch wind symphonic orchestra. Plus of course, you get to take in the beautiful surroundings of the park!

The Big Roof Top Tea and Golf Party

As part of their Big British Bang event, Selfridges has once again opened its legendary roof to launch The Big Rooftop Tea & Golf Party, transforming the space into a destination for a round of a crazy golf like no other and the highest afternoon tea on Oxford Street. The Daylesford Café will be open daily, from 12 noon until 10pm, serving up a specially designed menu of organic dishes in the pretty picnic setting. It’s not possible to book, so tables are allocated on a first come, first served basis. You can book from next week though for a ticket to play crazy golf on the roof….. The Bonpas and Parr crazy golf course is designed by British food architects, Sam Bompas and Harry Parr, with each of the 9 cake-based holes representing one of London’s most famous landmarks.

The Big Roof Top Tea and Golf Party at Selfridges

The British Biscuit Festival

Not enough sweet treats for you yet?…… This weekend the Brunswick Centre is hosting The British Biscuit Festival, the UK’s first festival totally dedicated to the nation’s much loved treat! For three days The Brunswick will be presenting biscuit building workshops, tea dances, The Terrific Biscuit Tin Tournament, The Tea and Biscuit Social, a farmers market and stalls, all as an ode to the modest but delicious British Biscuit!

The Tea and Biscuit Social

Free Range

This isn’t about food….. Free Range is an Old Truman Brewery special project set up by Tamsin O’Hanlon to provide new creative graduates with an amazing opportunity to showcase their work on an international level. Since it started in 2001, Free Range has become the number one platform for up and coming creatives to showcase their work to both the public and the design industry, and proudly presents the work of thousands of fashion designers, artists, graphic designers, photographers and interior designers. Taking place across the iconic Truman Brewery venue, there will be more than 60 exhibitions and it’s free to get in!

Free Range Art and Design Show

A Tuscan Spring in London

And back to food….. You may remember me waxing lyrical about my visit to The Backdoor Kitchen earlier in the year….. these clever chappies have set up a pop-up restaurant in their own home, to showcase top-notch Italian cuisine at an incredibly affordable price. It’s a unique experience and a brilliant way to try out new things, and this weekend they are hosting a ‘lost Tuscan cuisine’ themed supperclub, serving specially designed dishes such as Crema di Ribollita con Calamari all’olio alle erbe, Tonno Briaco con Melanzane Marinate and one of the chef’s creative desserts. You can read more about the concept and their menus on their blog, and make bookings at just £25 per person here.

Back Door Kitchen

Have a good one!

 

Ems x

Things to see and do this Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend…..

So…. it’s here! The much anticipated Diamond Jubilee weekend…. with two days off to boot! A couple of my cunning plans have been thwarted though….. I thought The Monument would be the best place to get a good view of the river pageant and some awesome photos, but I found out yesterday that it’s closed to the public on Sunday….. and all the tickets have gone for the Jubilee Festival at Battersea….. but there is still lots and lots to do, and I am very much looking forward to getting involved!

Epsom Derby

The Queen will begin her official Diamond Jubilee celebrations by attending the Epsom Derby Day on Saturday. The famous race meeting is one of the oldest and most famous horse races in the world and is one of the most glamorous events in the international racing calendar. The Queen will arrive by carriage, followed by thousands of well dressed spectators.

The Newburgh Quarter Street Party

Back in London, head to the Newburgh Quarter in Carnaby on Saturday for their street party. There will be live music from rockabilly band Carmen Ghia and her Hotrods performing on the bandstand on Ganton Street, with jive dancing from noon. There will also be complimentary strawberries and cream from outdoor tricycles, and a stunning Diamond Jubilee cake by world famous cake specialists Choccywoccydoodah will be cut for everyone to share at 3pm outside their new emporium! The Lomography shop will be hosting a Jubilee themed Lomowalk taking in St James Park and Buckingham Palace, there will be zumba dancing with Marshall Street Leisure Centre, and Peekaboo Vintage will be offering a 20% discount and goodie bags for customers.



Jubilee Jam

To celebrate the Jubilee weekend, Proud Camden are hosting a 4 day festival starting on Saturday, featuring the best of British live music, vintage swap shops, and a retro tea room! The very British knees up offers a jam-packed schedule of live bands and DJs, and is free to get in until 11pm via their guest list.

Big Jubilee Lunch

The Big Lunch is a very simple, but ever so clever idea from the people behind the Eden Project. Their aim is to encourage as many people as possible all over the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in ‘a simple act of community, friendship and fun’. Last year almost two million people took part in The Big Lunch and this year it rather aptly falls on the same weekend as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations! So on Sunday, as announced by Buckingham Palace, The Big Jubilee Lunch will be a part of the main programme of events to celebrate the Jubilee and it’s not too late to join in! Your Big Lunch can be anything from gathering a few neighbours together in the garden, to a full blown street party with food, music and decorations. I just hope the weather holds!

And speaking of lunch…..

Kettners are celebrating the Jubilee by launching a British Afternoon Tea ‘Fit For a Queen’ in their Pudding Bar. The Afternoon Tea will run for a special launch weekend from the 2nd to the 5th June in honour of the Jubilee, and will continue on Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 8th June, 1.30-4.30pm. There is a cream tea at £8, Afternoon Tea at £18.67 and a Champagne Afternoon Tea at £27….. here’s a taster of the menu….. Traditional Finger Sandwiches with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Cucumber, Ham and English Mustard , Egg and Cress…. Homemade Scones with Clotted Cream and Preserves….. Treacle Tart, Chelsea Buns, Trifle and Chocolate Digestive Cake. Yummy!

The Jubilee Floatilla 

This is the big whammy as far as I’m concerned….. I’ve never seen anything like this and I have high hopes (although I am rather gutted to see it’s due to rain on Sunday!). As part of the Jubilee Pageant, The Queen will travel in a flotilla of a thousand boats from all over the UK, the Commonwealth and across the World, measuring an anticipated seven and a half miles from end to end. The event will see the largest fleet of ships to be assembled on the River Thames in 350 years, as part of a royal tradition which dates back to 1533 when Anne Boleyn travelled by boat for her coronation.

Millions of people are expected to gather around the river to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty, as well as the wonderful assortment of sailing ships, steamers, rowing boats, canoes and kayaks….. At the head of the floatilla will be the Port of London Authority boat, Ravensbourne II, followed by my favourite, the Belfry Barge which holds the eight Royal Jubilee Bells forged at the local Whitechapel Bell Foundry (which reminds me, I must get onto a tour there soon…. it’s only around the corner from me!). The last boat will be the Symphony, which will carry the London Philharmonic Orchestra, although there will be several other musical barges along the length of the floatilla, including once which will play James Bond themes as it passes the MI6 building!

Lots of the Thames bridges will be closed to traffic, and some to pedestrians too. In fact, the only bridges one is allow to view from are ticketed, so whilst you can use the rest to cross the river it will be best to view from the river banks where there will be about 40 big screens. Here is the schedule so you can best plan where you want to be…..

  • From Noon – Vessel mustering at Hammersmith, Putney and Wandsworth Bridges
  • 1.30pm – Kayaks launch from Lots Road, Fulham
  • 2.40pm – The official start at Battersea Bridge…. Royal Jubilee Bells start ringing and the floating belfry departs
  • 2.50pm – The Royal boat The Spirit of Chartwell departs Cadogan Pier….. The Queen will board near Albert Bridge
  • 3.00pm – Bells in churches along the riverside ring
  • 3.00pm – The floatilla passes Chelsea Bridge
  • 3.10pm – Vauxhall Bridge
  • 3.25pm – Westminster Bridge
  • 3.30pm – Waterloo Bridge
  • 3.40pm – Blackfriars Bridge
  • 3.45pm – Southwark Bridge
  • 3.50pm – London Bridge
  • 3.55pm – The Honourable Artillery Company fire a 41-gun salute from Tower Hill as the royal barge crosses into the City of London
  • 4.00pm – Tower Bridge
  • 4.30pm – The Queen arrives at President Quay near the entrance of St Katherine’s Dock, to watch the passing pageant
  • 5.30pm – The last vessel in the flotilla passes under Tower Bridge
  • 5.30pm onwards – Boats begin to disperse along the river, with some continuing as far as Greenwich

There’s a great map here to help you plan your day and there is also an iPhone App which will follow the route.

Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace

On Monday, there will be a concert held at Buckingham Palace, featuring a star-studded line-up of performers including Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Jessie J, JLS, Kylie Minogue, and Robbie Williams, who will all perform on a spectacular stage built around the Queen Victoria Memorial, right in front of the Palace. The ticket ballot is now closed but you can see it broadcast live on the BBC from 7:30pm  ….. the event concludes with The Queen lighting the National Beacon…..

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons

Also on Monday, over 4000 Beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, along with the Commonwealth and UK Overseas Territories. You can see lighting times and a map of where they’ll be taking place here.

Tuesday

On Tuesday morning Her Majesty, His Royal Highness, and many Members of The Royal Family, will attend the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee at St Paul’s Cathedral at 10:30am. Afterwards, at 11:30am The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will drive from St Paul’s Cathedral to the Mansion House via St Paul’s Churchyard and Queen Victoria Street, for a reception hosted by The Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Court of Alderman and the Court of Common Council. Other Members of the Royal Family will attend a reception at the Guildhall, given by the City of London along with the full congregation of the St Paul’s Cathedral Service.

After that, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will drive from Mansion House at 12.30pm to Westminster Hall, via Queen Victoria Street, St Paul’s Churchyard, Ludgate Hill, Fleet Street, the Strand, Whitehall and Parliament Square. There, a Fanfare will be sounded by the State Trumpeters and a Jubilee Lunch is to be hosted for The Queen by the Livery. And at 2:20pm The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales will depart the Palace of Westminster for Buckingham Palace, in a Carriage Procession. The Queen and Prince Philip will be using the 1902 State Landau, whilst The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Henry, will be travelling in another State Landau.

The procession will depart from New Palace Yard, up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch, along the Mall, and into Buckingham Palace through the Centre Gates at around 2:40pm. There will be personnel from the military services lining the streets, along with military bands and the Sovereign’s Escort, and The King’s Troop will fire a 60 gun salute before the procession arrives to a Guard of Honour in the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

Then at about 3:30pm, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other Members of The Royal Family will appear on the Balcony for the RAF Flypast and a Feu de Joie from the Forecourt…… a celebratory cascade of rifle fire given as a salute by The Queen’s Guard, interspersed with the National Anthem played by the Band of the Irish Guards.

A rather fitting end I think to a wonderful weekend of pomp, bunting and very British fun!

I hope everyone gets to enjoy some of the celebrations wherever they are!

Ems x

About to turn 30…… some serious distraction planning

So this June I will be turning 30. I believe it’s customary to dread this, and although I have no idea why, the prospect does indeed fill me with dismay. But as with most things, I find that if I do plenty of planning, and have lots to look forward to over the summer, the impending doom doesn’t seem so scary.

And so I’ve been booking and planning and organising my way through the last month, so that the path to my 30th is filled with lots of fun activities. Here is what I have coming up this summer…..

Tonight I’m going to see Babel in Caledonian Park. It’s a site specific theatre project, produced by Wild Works and Battersea Arts Centre. Created specially for the park and its awesome clock tower, the promenade performance boasts a 300 strong cast and plenty of impressive effects. I am ever so excited…. although I would really rather it wasn’t raining! Wax jacket and wellies it is!

Babel

I’ve been wanting to see the Mondrian and Nicholson exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, and I’ve just found out that you can go for free on Mondays….. so that’s where I’ll be heading next week, before the exhibition closes on the Sunday. I’m a huge fan of Mondrian, in fact I went over to the Hague just to see his work at the Gemeentemuseum, so I can’t wait to go.

Also finishing soon is the Hermes retrospective at the Royal College of Arts. The prestigious brand is celebrating its 175th Birthday this year and the exhibition will host exquisite leather pieces from Thierry Hermes’ beginnings in Paris and throughout the brand’s history. It’s free to get in too.

In the last week of May, I will finally get to see the theatre version of War Horse. I’ve been meaning to go for the longest time and we had to book ages in advance…. but we have managed to get front row seats for what promises to be an incredible, and emotional performance.

War Horse

I’m looking forward to my friend Siobhan’s Hen Do at the end of the month too. We’re going bowling and dancing and drinking…. sounds like lots of fun afoot!

But before the month is out, I get to see Anthony Minghella’s enchanting production of Madame Butterfly at The London Colisseum. I have loved each of the English National Opera’s shows I’ve been to see…. and have seen some of my favourites twice even. This is the production that I most wanted to come back though, and to share with Adam. He’s less keen about the opera than I am but I found this version so stunning and unforgettable that I hope he enjoys it nearly as much as me!

Madame Butterfly

It being my Birthday month, I wanted some pretty big celebrations in June. And rather conventiently, I’ll be starting right away with the Jubilee long weekend. I am most excited about the boat pageant on the Thames…. we are pretty close to Tower Bridge so I’m hoping to get a good view!

Soon after that it’s Adam’s birthday, and we’ll be starting celebrations with a trip to see 39 Steps at the Criterion. It’s another show we’ve been meaning to see for ages, so I can’t wait to see how it’s staged (especially with only a cast of only 4 playing 139 roles!), as well as dinner beforehand next door at the glorious Criterion Restaurant (Christian Bale once ate there you know!).

Criterion Restaurant

The following week will see the start of my birthday celebrations proper….. my very good friend Michelle is coming over from the States and we’ll be spending three days in wonderful Paris as part of her visit. I adore Paris and I’m looking forward to a less hectic trip there now that I’ve seen a lot of the sights….. I can’t wait to mooch about the markets and discover new places wandering the little back streets.

The next weekend will see my birthday picnic in my little secret garden in the City. There should be a good bunch of us there, hoping for good weather! The bunting is pressed ready, so I just need to fill a picnic basket with goodies! Drinks will be Pimm’s and most likely my new favourite….. our ‘Turkish Delight’ cocktail made from our own rose flavoured vodka and pink lemonade!

On my actual birthday weekend, Adam is taking me for breakfast at The Wolseley on Piccadilly. I’ve always wanted to go there and their breakfasts are famous….. I think I may go for something like the haggis and duck eggs or the kedgeree. I just need to decide what to wear!

And for another outfit dilemma…. on the sunday I’m being treated to the Pret a Portea afternoon tea at The Berkley. This is something else I’ve wanted to do for an age too! The elegant tea draws on the season’s trends and fashions, with cakes and fancies styled on key pieces of the season. I can’t wait to see which pieces make an appearance!

Fasionista’s Pret a Portea

Not one to limit my birthday celebrations to just a week, I’m continuing the following week with another trip to the opera. This time it’s the premier of Damon Albarn’s new opera, Dr Dee. I saw Monkey at the O2 and loved it, so I am super excited about this!

Then it’s the first wedding of the season for me…. this one is London based and I have my outfit all ready. I picked up a gorgeous champagne gold satin cocktail dress in the Reiss sale earlier this year, and will be pairing it with my beloved Kiki heels from Kurt Geiger. I’m also hoping to make myself  a hat in time too!

Kikis

July will be busy too….. we’re off to see Hitchcock’s Blackmail at a special BFI outdoor screening at the British Museum. I’ve not seen the film before but I have high hopes, especially with the unique setting. Here’s hoping for great weather again!

Next, we’re hosting a friend from out of London for the weekend….. I’m planning a wonderful dinner on the Saturday, but on Sunday the plan is to take the wine tour at Vinopolis. I’ve taken it twice before, as well as formal wine training, but it really is such a good day out that I wouldn’t mind doing it a hundred times!

I get another trip to the opera in July, as my friend Jane and I go to see Porgy and Bess. I’ve not seen this before, but I know some of the lovely and famous songs from it and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story goes. Even if it is a little emotional!

Porgy and Bess

We finish up the month with a trip to Devon for the next wedding. I managed to snag some bargainous First Class train tickets, so the arduous journey shouldn’t be unbearable! I’m looking forward to a weekend out in the countryside, and hopefully we’ll fit in some lovely walks as well as the main event!

So that’s my summer as planned so far! Still time to fill up August, although I suppose I may need a rest by then with all this going on! I’m hoping to book in some time with friends to have lots of dinner parties and soirees once the main holiday rush is over. And maybe we’ll fit in a mini break or two out of town. Hope it’s sunny!

What are your plans for summer?

Ems x

Ideas for your weekend….. What? No rain?!

So apparently the rain is meant to be stopping for the weekend! I’ll believe it when I see it (sorry for whining on about the weather all week, but I really have had enough now!), but it IS the start of May, AND a long weekend….. so surely there is fun to be had!…..

Fashion

Christian Louboutin

Design Museum, Shad Thames, Adults £10

You may have seen me get all excited about this a few months ago when I heard about it….. and now it’s finally here! Christian Louboutin at the Design Museum celebrates a career which has pushed the boundaries of high fashion shoe design. The exhibition reveals some of the artistry and theatricality of the iconic designer’s work, offering the visitor a unique exploration of his processes, right from the initial drawing to production.

Shopping

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair

Old Spitalfields, nr Liverpool Street, Saturday 5th May, Free entry

The marvelous Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair returns to Old Spitalfields Market this weekend, with great value fashion and furniture of all sorts to see and buy. It’s well worth a rummage and a browse.

Treasures from our last visit to Judy’s

Art

Kokoro: The Art of Horiyoshi III

Somerset House, until 1st July, Free entry

“Kokoro means ‘heart’ in Japanese; it is the ‘feeling’, the ‘inner meaning’ that underpins the Japanese approach not only to art, but to Japanese life as a whole. It is what makes Japan quintessentially Japanese.”

Hosting a selection of paintings by Irezumi master Horiyoshi III, this exhibition sets out to make you ‘feel’ Kokoro….. leading visitors on a journey through nature and legend, in the form of silk paintings and photographs.

Kokoro: The Art of Horiyoshi III

Out and About

Canalway Cavalcade

Little Venice, nr Warwick Avenue, Saturday 5th to Monday 7th, Free entry

Canalway Cavalcade is a unique festival, celebrating and promoting the community and its waterways. Expect a very British affair with Morris Dancers, a real ale bar, a pageant of boats, and stalls to browse.

Food and Drink

The Landmark Hotel

Marylebone Road

From Little Venice it’s a comfy walk down to Marylebone and the stunning Landmark Hotel. At its heart is the amazing 8-storey high atrium, the Winter Garden, where amongst the palm trees you can take a luxurious afternoon tea or Sunday brunch….. even if it’s raining, you’ll feel like the sun is shining here.

The Winter Garden at the Landmark Hotel

I hope the sun shines on you this weekend, whatever your plans!

Ems x

PS. I knew I’d forgotten something! This sounds so much fun I had to come back on and add it…..

As part of New Cross and Deptford Film Festival, this Saturday will see Telegraph Hill transformed into an outdoor, cycle powered cinema! In order to see Pixar’s gorgeous ‘UP’ the audience will need to invest some pedal power…..with help from the brilliant Electric Pedals . And it’s free! Get your plimsoles on!

Something from the weekend…. An Easter Egg Hunt, lots of yums and plenty of relaxing

What glorious weather for the weekend! I trust you all managed to enjoy it? I certainly did! Here’s how……

It was a quiet night in for us on Friday, with a big fry up supper (the rather shoddy home-made tofu Laksa I’d made the night before had us hankering for something simpler and less healthy!). Apart from cooking and eating, the evening was mainly spent slobbing in front of the TV.  I started the first season on True Blood, which I’m really quite liking other than for Anna Paquin, whom I’ve never liked watching. Still, she seems to be in it a lot so I will have to get over that!

We were up and out at a reasonable hour on Saturday morning, after a quick breakfast of some yummy new coconut yoghurt Adam bought for me. We’d decided we really must go out on The Big Egg Hunt, and it was the perfect day for wandering about town in the warm, snapping photos with the gorgeous blue sky as a backdrop. We took the bus into Covent Garden, and there began our hunt…..

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Before we’d found any eggs at all, we popped into the London Transport Museum’s shop for a quick browse. It really does have some brilliant gift ideas and some lovely things for the home. After that, we walked through the covered market where we began to find our first few eggs….. a lovely white one covered in sculpted flowers….. a bug furry one covered in brown muppet-like hair….. and this fun and bright one covered in cutesy characters were some of my favourites.

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Having found all the eggs we could in Covent Garden, we decided to walk towards Soho for some lunch before moving on up to Carnaby Street where there were more eggs to find. On the way, we found that the London Graphic Centre were having a yard sale, from which I picked up some bargainous brushes and great bits for model making…. and back up at Seven Dials we came across this wonderful bead stall where I bought some treasures for my jewellery making.

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From there we walked down Shaftesbury Avenue to Old Compton Street and stopped off at the wonderful Maoz for their amazing falafel…. for £5.80 you get a yummy pitta filled with falafel, hummus and fried aubergine, plus Belgian fries, a drink, and as much salad as you can manage. Stuffed, we walked through Soho to Carnaby Street for more egg hunting, and then back down to Piccadilly where we failed to find any at all. Still, that part of our adventure wasn’t completely fruitless, as Adam found an amazing Gelateria called Scoop, where we sampled what is probably the best gelato we’ve had in this country…. He chose the Cioccolato Bianco (with cocoa butter and farm fresh raw milk), the Pistacchio (with superior pistachios from Bronte, Sicily) and the Cioccolato Extra Fondente (actually a sorbet, with a blend of Gran Cru extra bitter cocoa). All were incredible, especially considering the latter is dairy free! Next time I think I will try the  Tiramisu’ (with genuine Italian mascarpone cheese, espresso made from single origin coffee beans, acacia honey and Marsala wine from Sicily) and Green Tea (with Matcha from Kyoto).

And speaking of Matcha, I chose bubble tea over gelato for my pudding…. Bubbleology is a must-visit for me when in Soho, and so it was a large Matcha tea with tapioca pearls for me which I guzzled as we walked down Piccadilly on our way to Green Park. I never can pass that way without a quick peak into the Burlington Arcade, and there we happened across another three eggs too (as well as a chance to snoop the windows of the lovely jewellery shops)!

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By the time we got to Green Park, we were ready for a sit in the sun, rubbing our very full tummies! By then it was warm enough that I could sit without my cardi, exposing my milk white shoulders for the first time this year! The park was full of picnickers and sun bathers, and we also saw our first shirtless man of the season (what is it with that?! it wasn’t THAT warm!).

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From there we wandered across into St James’s park, where dozens of blossom trees were in bloom, and where all the birds and squirrels were busying about, full of the joys of Spring. We found a few more eggs there as we walked around the pretty lake, before we headed to the end of the Mall and found there the National Police Memorial. Stunningly lit in the afternoon sun, the impressive glass wall is set within a shallow pond which makes it a very peaceful and elegant memorial.

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Having found what were to be our last to eggs of the day, we crossed over to Trafalgar Square to see the new fourth plinth sculpture. ‘Powerless Structures Fig. 101’ by Elmgreen and Dragset is a sculpture of a boy astride a rocking horse…… “We wanted to create a public sculpture which, rather than dealing with topics of victory or defeat, honours the everyday battles of growing up.”

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And then it was time to head home as we snagged the front seats on the Routemaster! Rather weary from our long day’s wandering, we stopped in at the pub for a half (mine was the lovely Hightgate Bee-Zone honey beer) and at the shop to pick up a light supper. Of chocolate.

The rest of the evening was spent on more lounging, whilst we uploaded our photos from the day. I’ve counted about 31 eggs we found….not bad for one day, but there are still about 170 we’ve not found!

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We’d decided that Sunday would be a restful day, and so we only ventured out to Waitrose for the week’s supplies. A lot of this ended up being cake as we couldn’t resist the many cheesecakes, gateaux and muffins at the patisserie counter, as well as some more of the wonderful Heston’s Earl Grey and Mandarin hot cross buns! We rewarded ourselves for our shopping trip with a pot of Earl Grey alongside some of our cakes, whilst settling down to the cross word and Sudoku.

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It was only a light supper we fancied after our cakes and slouching about, so I made up some fresh salsa to go with some buttered red-skin potatoes and flash fried tuna. It was certainly one of the most delicious suppers I’ve made of late…. the super fresh line-caught tuna was gorgeous cooked very rare and with a little soy sauce.

After that, we settled down to watch Super8, which Adam has just bought on Blur-ay. We’d not seen it since the cinema and so were really excited to watch it again. I absolutely love the retro setting, the awesome music, and the touching story. You must see it if you haven’t already.

And by the time the film had finished we were very much ready for bed….. and so it was a lovely early night to finish up our wonderfully relaxing weekend!

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Something from the weekend….. back oop North: a visit to Leeds

Did you have a good weekend? I certainly did! I was so busy yesterday though that I couldn’t share it on the Monday as usual…. I couldn’t wait to put my weekend purchases to use (more revealed later!).

On Thursday morning (starting the weekend early as ever), we packed ourselves some cheese sandwiches and a flask of coffee, and made our way to Kings Cross for another trip up North. Adam’s brother and sister in law live in Leeds with two wonderful dogs, so we were looking forward to a visit, and seeing some friends up there too.

Out walking the dogs, view from our window, snuggling up with the dogs

As soon as we arrived at the house, it was straight outdoors for a walk with the dogs….. we had left behind a foggy, grey London, so it was a delight to get outside into the countryside, under a much bluer sky. On our return, it was time for tea, and we began our weekend of gluttony with scones (with jam and clotted cream of course) and smoothies (to try to be healthy). We mooched about for the afternoon, chatting, putting the world to rights etc. until a supper of garlic and chilli pasta (I must get the recipe) followed by a film.

I’m not sure how we missed Warrior at the cinema (anything with Tom Hardy is usually prioritised), but I’m so pleased to have finally seen it. When I was asked if I’d like to watch a film about cage fighting, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but as one would hope, this film has much more to it. Telling the story of two estranged brothers, and how they transpired to enter the same cage fighting tournament, it’s impossible not to grow fond of several of the characters…… By the time of the big fights at the end of the film, I was really rooting for them. The fighting itself is pretty compelling too, and I have to say I came away thinking I really must go and see some in real life! (I believe they often have events like that at the Troxy so will be keeping an eye out!)

Smoothie, Scones, Pancakes

After a breakfast of scrambled eggs, and another walk with the dogs, Friday morning saw us walking into nearby Farsley for a few errands. As we arrived to the bottom of the high street, we were enchanted to see the old fashioned grocers and DIY shop, and as we walked up the high street to the little Post Office, I was very taken in by this charming, Yorkshire village. Having posted my parcel (another order from my Folksy shop), we took a look into a little haberdashers I’d had recommended, R.L. and C.M. Bond Ltd. I was immediately blown away by the walls upon walls of buttons and ribbons, and soon began rooting through the little baskets of vintage haberdashery. I came away rather poorer in purse, although very much richer in buttons! I couldn’t wait to turn them into new treasures, on rings, cufflinks, bracelets etc….. and so that’s what I did for most of yesterday!

Farsley High Street, R.L. & C.M. Bond Haberdashers

We made our way into town on Friday evening, to meet dear friends Craig and Sheli. It was Sheli’s birthday yesterday, so we celebrated with dinner at Little Tokyo. We’ve all been meaning to go for a while, and it was certainly worth the wait. We started with cocktails in the little bar area upstairs, next to the cute koi pond…. Sheli had their Apple Mojo, Adam sampled the Blackberry Martini, and I went for a twist on my old favourite, their Bloody Geisha. I was pleasantly surprised to find I could really taste the wasabi used in place of Tabasco, without it being dreadfully hot…. in fact I really enjoyed this version so may well try it at home!

Little Tokyo, Bloody Geisha Cocktail

Next, we were lead downstairs to a beautiful dining area with chunky wooden tables and sunken seating. Adam and I shared a starter of perfect vegetable tempura, before our Bento box mains (Adam and I went for the tofu steak, Sheli the chicken teriyaki, and Craig the chicken katsu) all of which came with yummy rice, ginger-dressed salad and more of the wonderful tempura. Ours were about £12, and I can certainly vouch for their value….we were totally stuffed with the delicious meal and struggled to quite finish!

Tofu Bento Box, Little Tokyo, Vegetable Tempura

And we really would have left it there, had we not been presented with such alluring dessert menus….. (Japanese fortune cookies with sesame and coconut….. green tea ice cream….. ginger cheesecake with cointreau sorbet….. coconut ice cream….. lychee ice cream…..) but we really couldn’t turn down such wonderful sounding dishes, despite our groaning tummies. Sheli had a lovely strawberry sorbet, which came served in a bowl made from ice, in which were slices of kiwi and rose petals (will be copying that idea!)…. Craig went for the amazing ‘crispy parcels’ which are essentially marshmallow spring rolls (utterly incredible!)…. and Adam and I shared the delicious Japanese style profiteroles, which are filled with ice cream and topped with a yummy sweet seaweed and sesame sauce. We could not have been much more impressed…. I was particularly pleased to see Adam had enjoyed the meal, having spent time in Japan and struggling to find a good authentic Japanese restaurant in England.

Japanese Profiteroles, Strawberry Sorbet, Marshmallow Spring Rolls

The gluttony didn’t stop there though, as we breakfasted on pancakes with maple syrup on Saturday morning, before heading out to explore a newly opened exhibition at the University of Leeds. ‘Marks in Time’ opened on the Friday at the Marks and Spencer Company Archive, and is a permanent exhibition featuring just some of the amazing collection there. To celebrate the 100th birthday of Marks & Spencer in 1984, they began to collect together hundreds of historical items from all over the Company and created the M&S Company Archive. A dedicated team at the site has put together and catalogued more than 70,000 items from the last 128 years, charting the iconic brand’s history.

Starting with the company’s early years, large glass cabinets displayed cards of buttons, pretty tea cups, clocks and household necessities….. it wasn’t until the 1920s cabinet that clothing began to appear. The exhibition is a real reflection on fashion history though, as well as social history, charting trends throughout rationing, post-war optimism, and developments in food technology. True innovators, the display explains how M&S became the first store to sell fresh chicken using their ‘cold-chain’ method, and began to stock innovative new products such as Terylene and the chicken kiev!

It’s not a huge exhibition, but it is well curated and interesting, and with hands-on displays, dressing up and even a colouring in table, I’d say it’s well worth a look-in if you’re nearby. And it’s free to get in.

Next, we ventured back into town, and decided to investigate the Silver 70s exhibition at Leeds City Museum. Running until Sunday 22nd April, the free exhibition celebrates a highly eventful decade, inviting visitors to explore a house in 1970s Leeds. Filled with typically colourful and garish wallpaper and fashions, the exhibition features some very recognisable and much loved (by me at least) home wares, books and toys….. in each room I spotted memories in the form of Sooty puppets, a copy of Tufty, Fisher Price pull-along dogs, pastel coloured Tupperware (that my Mum still has!), stainless steel tea sets and that big plastic tree house toy that I think we had at nursery school.

Having been born in the 80s I was surprised to see so many things I recognised, but then I suppose things didn’t move quite so fast then….. and I’m not ashamed either, to say that I truly enjoyed the exhibition’s soundtrack of The Carpenters, Bee Gees, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac and The Commodores. I also loved the interactive elements….. design your own outfit and wallpaper based on 1970s fashion….. digging for fruit and veg reflecting the ‘grow your own’ culture and the wonderful ‘The Good Life’ show. I also got the chance to design my own Jubilee plate, next to a cabinet filled with Silver Jubilee memorabilia….. I can’t wait to see the equivalent collections for this year’s Diamond Jubilee! I wouldn’t at all mind a home filled with the gorgeous furniture and nick-nacks we saw though, and even the lime green kitchen units! Again, well worth a visit for anyone my age and older if you’re in the area.
By that time, we needed a sit down and some sustenance. We found both in the stunning Tiled Hall which sits between the Central Library and Leeds Art Gallery. Surrounded by gorgeously ornate green tiles, grand marble columns, a barrel-vaulted mosaic ceiling and the original parquet flooring (all only recently rediscovered), we ate yummy courgette and lime cake, and Caramac ginger fudge cake, along with great coffee. You can actually hire the hall for events….which I’ve mentally noted for future!

Afterwards we wandered a little into the gallery next door (especially enjoying the excellent Stanley Spencer paintings on the staircase) before heading over to snoop about the shops in the Victorian Quarter. I love the old arcades and the pedestrianised high street, not to mention the excellent selection of shops there! The Harvey Nichols window display was as impressive as ever, but better still were the windows at Mulberry which I’m sure were designed to tell Adam to buy me one of the Alexa hand bags cunningly draped over giant ice creams. He didn’t take the hint though unfortunately!

Dolls in the window at Mary Shortle, Leeds City Museum, Window at Harvey Nichols

For dinner, it had to be a trip to Bradford for a curry. We were super impressed by the extensive vegetarian options and gorgeous dishes at Saffron Desi…. the best of which was probably Vera’s Lahore Nihari Special with lamb cooked on the bone. My Channa Paneer Biryani was delicious too, and it was refreshing to see so many options for the vegetarian biryani…. rather than just the same thing as the others with the meat taken out!

Heading home rather stuffed, we settled down to watch How To Train Your Dragon, which Adam has been going on about for ages. It didn’t disappoint, and he’s probably right that it’s one of the best non-Pixar animations of recent years.

Sweet Lassi, Lollipop reward at Saffron DEsi

It was a slightly earlier start on Sunday, so that we could eat our breakfast of pancakes before heading over to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in good time. I’ve been wanting to go for ages, and the clear day promised some good photo time. The park is a wonderful place that “aims to challenge, inspire, inform and delight”, and is visited by some 300,000 visitors every year. Open all year round, there is really nowhere like it I know of to see amazing artwork in the open air. The grounds themselves are worth the visit, and it was lovely to wander about with the dogs (who are allowed in nearly all the outdoor spaces whilst on a lead), especially on a gorgeous spring day.

There is certainly something about seeing such stunning sculptures in the remarkable landscape too, and in the natural light. I loved finding the next piece as we explored gardens, fields and woods. My favourites included Anthony Caro’s ‘Promenade’ which appears to be watching over the beautiful and expansive lake….. Antony Gormley’s ‘One and Another’ which is a surprise find atop a huge tree trunk, rather like those hidden on top of landmarks such as The Roundhouse….. Marcia Farquhar’s beautiful, giant rocking horse, ‘The Horse Is A Noble Animal’…… and Magdalena Abakanowicz’s ‘Seated Figures’ which preside in duplicated, rusted form next to the charming Camelia House. I also enjoyed spying at the menagerie through the trees (we had to take the route adjacent to the menagerie path with the dogs) and adored the almost secret grotto, Lady Eglinton’s Well, which is carved into rocks next to the reservoir damn. A little owl sculpture which used to sit above the stone dating the well to 1685 has long gone, but the spring it was built around still creates a well in front of the grotto, which was a gift to local people.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

As we crossed over the pretty bridge back to the car park, I was reminded of one of my interviews for my degree course, which actually took place at Bretton Hall, the house in the centre of the park. The others marvelled that I’d chosen London over this picturesque setting to go to college, and I had to rather wonder why I’d not been more tempted to spend my student days there. Still, things would have worked out rather differently I’m sure, so I’m grateful for my choice. We will certainly be visiting the sculpture park again though (which is free to enter…you just pay to park) as there is so much more to explore…. I’m hoping we can go in the summer for a whole day and take a picnic to eat on the lawn. I really can’t recommend a trip there enough.

Bretton Hall and Grounds at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

We drove home via Blacker Hall Farm Shop…. we’d foolishly hoped to have lunch in the restaurant there, forgetting that it was Mother’s Day. It was fully booked of course, but we still enjoyed pootling about the farm shop, tasting home made cakes and picking up some bits to tide us over….. including what is probably the best cheese scone I have ever tasted!

After we’d returned and packed ready to leave, we snoozed away the afternoon snuggled on the sofa with the dogs. But soon it was time to head back to the station to make our way back to London. The journey passed brilliantly fast as we watched a few episodes of my new favourite New Girl though, and before long, we were home for a much needed early night!

Ems x

P.S. My proper photos of the weekend are on my Flikr page, here…..

Sorting my growing button collection back at home