Monday, 28 April 2014

Wine Tasting Weekend Away

Hello Kittens. I've just returned from a fabulous weekend away wine tasting with my sister, and I have to say I can't remember the last time I had so much fun! On Friday evening we got the train from Euston and headed to Bosworth Hall where the event was held. The train journey was just over an hour, and we got into the party spirit by indulging in a few glasses of Rose. Boswoth Hall is a beautiful Grade II listed mansion in the Warwickshire countryside, and a 20 minute taxi ride from Nuneaton which is the nearest station. 

We arrived just in time for dinner so quickly checked in and freshened up before heading down to the restaurant. Meals were buffet style with a good selection of courses. After dinner we headed to the bar to check out the wine selection. A few bottles and a good gossip later and we were ready for bed.

The next morning we woke bright and early and headed down for a hearty cooked breakfast. Wine tasting started at 9:45 which feels like a ridiculously early time to be drinking, but hey, when in Rome.

There were 14 of us on the course which was run by Thirty Fifty. Our host Erik Falck was brilliantly knowledgeable, put us all at ease and happily answered questions from us eager beavers. Throughout the day we tasted 17 different wines, including a blind tasting, and learned how to pair wine with food, Old World versus New World Wine, how to blend different grape varieties and how to assess value for money in a bottle of wine. The course ran until 4:00pm and included lunch with specially paired wines. It's fair to say by the end of the course everyone was feeling a bit tipsy and in good spirits. I would recommend the course to anyone who likes drinking wine and would like to learn more about it. Would be brilliant for a girls weekend away, hen do or romantic getaway. 

The following day we made the most of the pleasant Spring weather and wondered around the hotel grounds which were absolutely stunning. If you ever visit, do take advantage of the hotel facilities and book in for a spa treat. 

Great weather, beautiful venue, great company, yummy food and fabulous wine. My idea of heaven. We are hoping to make this an annual treat. Seriously can't recommend it enough. Cheers!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Mothers Day Lunch

This weekend was Mothers Day here in the UK so on Sunday I headed to Essex to spend the day with my family. My sister invited me and my Mum over for Sunday lunch, although she forgot to mention that I would be cooking! Luckily I enjoy cooking so I didn't mind. Once the food was in the oven and the veg was prepped, we got onto the all important business of a good girly catch up and gossip over a bottle of wine.

I hadn't seen everyone for ages and it was lovely spending time with niece and nephew

Soon enough it was time for dinner. Pork with roast potatoes and veg was the dish of the day. There was cheesecake for pudding but that got demolished before there was anytime for photos!

My Mother hates posing for photos but I managed to sneak a few. Doesn't she look lovely!

And here is a very rare one of the two of us...

A few more random snaps from our afternoon together...

It was such a lovely day. Must do lunch with the fam more often.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Girls Weekend in Liverpool

As a belated birthday present to my friend Jess, this weekend we headed to Liverpool for a night out. Celebrations started on the train with a bottle of bubbles, and a couple of hours later we arrived.

After getting dressed up we headed out for cocktails

Next up was dinner at Circo, where we were treated to an impressive freakshow performance during dinner.

Birthday girl was invited to the stage to perform!

Dinner was lovely. I had the confit if duck to start, pork belly for main and a hazelnut and chocolate brownie for dessert.

We woke up the next day with sore heads all round. After refueling with a fry up we took advantage of the good weather to blow the cob webs away with a stroll around the docks.

 We had an amazing time and want to make it an annual trip. The last time we went to Liverpool together was 7 years ago. Here is a little then and now picture.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Kicking the January Blues

January can be a depressing time. Pay day feels like a lifetime away, the mornings are dark, it's cold and rainy and it feels like there is nothing to look forward to. Well all the above is true but I've decided that this year I am going to enjoy January.

First off, dry January. Bare with me. I know the thought of giving up alcohol for a month doesn't seem like a happy one but the effects have been surprising. No weekend hangovers means I have been waking up a lot earlier and going out and doing stuff rather than lazing on the sofa, which can be a very tempting past time at this time of year. No alcohol means that eating out is very cheap. Grab your friends and a Taste Card and try a restaurant that is normally a bit out of your price range. 

Exercise. It seems that everyone is trying to shake off the excess of Christmas and focus on being healthy. Take advantage of this new found motivation to cultivate some healthy habits. I love running but hadn't done any exercise in 18 months, until now. I forgot how good the 'high' is after a run. My aim is to get those endorphins racing regularly.

Pamper sessions. When it is cold, dark and raining and you don't want to go outside, have a mini home spa. Run a hot bubble bath (don't skimp on the bubbles!), light some candles and grab a magazine. Follow that with some exfoliation, and open that posh moisturiser you got for Christmas. Then give yourself a manicure and pedicure. I love a pamper session followed by an early night in fresh sheets and pj's.

Happy January!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

What made me smile in 2013

Hi everyone. Today is new years eve so thought I would share a post of things that made me smile in 2013. At the beginning of this year I decided I would save little trinkets to remind me of all the good things that have happened a mini time capsule. This was probably the only new years resolution I have ever been able to keep. I put them all in a box and opened it today. It has made me realise that although 2013 has had it's bad points, I have a lot to be thankful for, especially my amazing family and friends.

One of the best Christmas presents I have ever received was from my sister last year. She surprised me with a trip to Disneyland Paris! I was so excited. We went with my niece and nephew in February and I had such a good time. This is the note she gave me as my present plus our entry tickets to the park.

In April I turned 30 and celebrated with dinner and drinks with my friends in Shoreditch. I saved a card from the restaurant and the cork from the champagne my sister bought me.

One of my favourite birthday presents was from my friend Jess, tickets to Lovebox! We go every year as a group and the group keeps getting bigger. 

In September my sister and I went on or first holiday with just the two if us. We flew to Costa Brava in Spain for 4 days and it was the most relaxing holiday I have ever had. I saved the dining pass from our hotel as a little reminder. You can read more about that holiday here

In November I was lucky enough to have a flying visit from my best boy who now lives in Australia. We had a day out in Greenwich followed by a night of dinner, cocktails and dancing in Soho. I saved the ticket stub from our ride on the Emirates cable car across the Thames. You can read more about that day here

And that's it, 2013 in a nutshell. Here's to an even better 2014.

Happy New Year!