Oh, it’s been a little quiet round here hasn’t it? Sometimes life has a habit of just running away with you, and that’s how it’s been round here for the past little while. I’m going to try and start a little monthly update, called Pages of My Lifestyle Diaries to round up all the little things that go past in a month (or longer as the case may be!)
Ok maybe long while. But still, you get me. I’m still going to be tapping away and writing up all my recent adventures, some of my favourite recent meals in London, but I thought I’d give you a whirlwind tour of everything…
Summer officially started a long time ago (anyone else frazzled to a crisp in London?), but just before it did, on one drizzly weekend a very good friend and I escaped London for some long overdue r&r at The Fish; we’d booked a beautiful little Hilly Hut for the weekend and delighted in hours spent in our hot-tub, watching Bridget Jones with some bubbles in the evening, long delicious dinners at Hook, and walked it all off with a long walk to the gorgeous little town of Chipping Campden.
I’m so excited to write all about our amazing weekend – and it’s quite a long post so I didn’t want to publish it until I had captured all of the magic of this country hotel. I’m actually already looking at a return trip to stay in their brand new Hideaway Huts – yup, the shepherd’s hut addiction continues, it’s not just limited to Wriggly Tins…
Fully rejuvenated – and pretty prune like after spending as much time as humanly possible in the hot tub – we returned to London for a busy couple of months.
At the end of June, Andy and I booked the most last minute trip I’ve ever booked and hopped across the channel for some hot summer sun in the Bordeaux region. Think long lazy afternoons by the pool, wine tastings galore, staying in chateau (with the added bonus of a very cute resident puppy!) and exploring the old town of Bordeaux. I’m not sure that I’m a last minute booking convert, but it certainly was such a fun, relaxed trip and one that I’d do again in years to come. There’s so many places in France I want to visit (oh hello Provence!) and it was lovely to be able to tick somewhere off.
How did we get to Sunday evening already?! Today has been super restful, we’ve caught up on TV, cleaned the flat and generally laughed our way through the day. Now for some Sunday evening yoga (thanks to rediscovering my @sweatybetty addiction and wanting to exercise WAY more!!) and a little more pretending I’m still in France..! #weekendsfromlondon
I’ve also started a new little side project (because apparently I’m incapable of sitting still for too long..!) called Weekends From London; an account, and maybe soon to be more (!), dedicated to all the amazing places you can visit just outside of London and further afield, to help you maximise your annual leave and weekends! I’m loving looking back at all the amazing mini-breaks and weekends away, and curating my list of places I can’t wait to explore! Join me on Instagram and share your adventures with #weekendsfromlondon to tell me where you think the best places to weekend are!
Way back in May I was lucky enough to visit RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the first time with The Dorchester; I know it’s super belated but I’m still going to put together a post all about our morning there and why you should try and visit next year if you haven’t been before!
I’ve not been feeling as inspired by the London restaurant scene as I had before, but I’ve still come across some absolute gems of new restaurants and new menus. Some favourites have been Bar Douro, as well as the Umai Sushi Saturday menu at Sake no Hana (which I actually tried with Angie last year but never quite got round to writing up!) I’m really excited by the Mary Poppins afternoon tea at Aqua Shard, the newly opened Hide restaurant and the Ukiyo Brunch at Aqua Kyoto – all of which I’m trying to find dates to book asap! There’s also a very pretty new opening in Clapham, called Pi, which looks ideal for an easy date night.
Last weekend, we popped to Cocktails in the City to soak up some sun, some cocktails and try out some new bars we hadn’t visited! To regular readers and friends, it will come as no surprise that we loved the Cahoots and Mr Fogg’s pop ups but also finally tried cocktails from Nightjar – I’m definitely going to make an effort to visit the bar now! I had such a fun girls’ night at The Polo Bar at The Westbury thanks to the lovely Binny; I loved meeting some new blogger friends as well as saying hello to ones I’ve met time and time again. I haven’t had a proper girls’ night in so long and it was the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful Chelsea flower show inspired cocktails over lots and lots of laughter – and delicious canapes from one Michelin star Alyn Williams.
In other cocktail related news, we’ve recently visited the new Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals in Fitzrovia, which is just beautiful. I loved all of the cocktails we tried, as well as the decor and fun atmosphere – it’s such a fabulous addition to the local area and one I can’t wait to visit again, soon!
The reason for everything being a little quiet? Well, as you may or may not know, I’ve been training to be a solicitor for the past two years, and had run into qualification – i.e. me applying to be a qualified lawyer and I’m so excited to be starting as a qualified solicitor in September! It’s been 7 years since I started my law degree, did my LPC and then my training contract – so, yay – finally!
I’ve also remembered that I love feeling fit and in shape, and so my Virgin Active membership has seen itself being more and more used recently. I’m trying new classes like barre as well as classes I’ve done for years like spinning – I’m more than a little rusty and both but I’m really enjoying feeling fitter and healthier as a result. Oh, and I’ve also rekindled my love for Sweaty Betty and their gorgeous kit!
What I’ve been reading
Off the internet, I’ve been a bit slow to the party on the Alexander McCall Smith series The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, but I really enjoyed the first couple of the series which I read on holiday. I’m part the way through The Essex Serpent which I’m enjoying so far – a lovely mix of love story and historical, which is pretty much my sweet spot.
On a slightly more personal note, a wonderful woman I once interned with in America has written her first novel! One sunny Saturday afternoon, I took myself to the pub and tore through Corinne Sullivan’s debut novel Indecent – if you’re looking for a beach read or something light this summer, definitely add this one to your list!
In the blog world I’ve loved:
- Keeping up with Angie’s amazing adventures at home and abroad – especially her incredible trip to the Amalfi Coast and her trip to The Pig (which just reinforced my need to go!)
- Binny’s amazing afternoon tea experience at The Berkeley for their Prêt-à-Portea!
- Claire and Laura’s beautiful trip to the Cotswolds – making me want to return asap!
- Polly’s top 10 romantic pools with a view (hold on – I’ll be back in a moment, I’m just updating my bucket list!) and generally being so impressed with this wonderful lady’s positive attitude to life and her ‘Spread a Little Sunshine’ initiative!
What I’ve been buying
- My love for Liz Earle continues – their Cleanse & Polish has been a miracle worker on their skin, but most recently I’m loving their incredible masks, as they always sort my skin out no matter what it needs
- In January when we were in New York, I picked up this Coach Rogue handbag in the sale and it’s been a perfect day bag for summer. I absolutely love the colour and the fact that there are so many ways you can use the handles (cross body, over the shoulder or just in your hand) – and I might or might not have my eye on a slightly different size and colour which is also in the sale…
- Sweaty Betty leggings – actually, Sweaty Betty anything… Though my main love at the moment goes to their bum-sculpting leggings which are making me feel amazing at the gym – they wash so well and are so comfortable that I want to go to the gym again and again just so I can wear them! Though I also have my eye on these pretty little shorts…