Monday, 21 July 2014

Number 8 London - Time to go home

Current state of affairs as I get ready to fly back to NZ tonight. 

1) Have I packed? No. 
2) Have I showered? No. 
3) Am I sitting on the sofa writing a blog? Yes. 
4) Do I want to leave this lovely summer and my dog and family to go back to work in the winter of New Zealand? No. 
5) Am I being a mature grown adult about this? No. 


In case you didn't know like everyone else in my world. I don't want to sit on an economy flight seat for 30 hours with a sore bum. :( 

Anyway, I've had the most incredible holiday back home. I'm certainly going back refreshed and happy. I still have some of the best friends and family I could ever ask for. And despite losing my purse, mobile phone, oyster card and injuring my bum and hand I can't really think of many bad things to say about my trip. So here's some photos that didn't make the cut in the other blog entries. 

The following 3 photos show a dinner I had at my brother and Villy's last week. It included prosecco cocktails, a whole duck and Villy's fancy surprisingly surprising mashed potato for main course, which was surprisingly delicious! 

 ^^ Their cosy flat ^^
 ^^ Some art on the way to the pub near Brixton ^^
 ^^ An attempt to get that pretty view, fail. ^^

 ^^ Dad cooking the lamb on the barbecue for my last family dinner. ^^
 ^^ My step mum cooking the rest and being the hostess with the mostess! ^^
 ^^ My brother being a boy and playing video games ^^

 ^^ Pickles, dad's dog. ^^

 So my sister seems to like sitting on the roof with the cats. 

 Her and my brother like loom bracelets too. Which they drop everywhere. I'm now the proud owner of 2 bracelets and a necklace. 

The roof is a great place to work on your loom apparently. 

 Some beer what I drank! 

 Max and I snuggled a lot. 
 New shoes! 
 I got very excited that the Swiss Clock has been returned to Leicester Square after years of being away. 

I died my hair red. 

I bought a lot of clothes including this starry cardigan. 

 Bracelet from my mum. 
And as Max is always such a big part of this blog I leave you with his goodbye to me. The Facebook status went a bit like this...

Bye London. See you at Christmas. Thank you to everyone who made this a brilliant holiday and sorry to anyone who I failed to meet up with and give a cuddle to. I will be back. 


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Number 7 London - A Somerset Spa Break

At the beginning of this week, I drove mum to Shepton Mallet in Somerset for some relaxation and bonding. Maybe this was inadvertantly my way of making up for missing Glastonbury again this year!

I bought a deal from just before I left New Zealand, and it really couldn't have been a greater deal or better value for Money. (I think I dealt with a guy called Alex too, he was really sweet and helpful booking the dates and calling me up in NZ at a good time for me!) Now, I think I might be giving away a little secret here, because it really was that good and I may as well tell you what and where I got it from. 

For £117.00 we had a 1 night stay over in the hotel, 1 hour treatment (facial and massages half each) a 2 course meal and breakfast the next day. The hotel was gorgeous, originally owned by Roger Saul, the founder of Mulberry, the interior is decadently designed and really makes you feel quite special staying there. It's now owned by Duncan Bannantyne and he seems to have maintained everything and kept a level of service which is quite high. 

^^ This is the view of the back from the gardens ^^

^^Our room when we got in was amazing. It was split over 2 levels with a mezzanine, 2 bathrooms, 2 beds, a courtyard leading out to the spa and hot tub area. All the mod cons, honestly, I was stunned!^^

^^ After an afternoon relaxing in the spa, we went out to the garden terrace for drinks before our dinner. ^^

^^ Home made bread, so delicious! ^^
^^ My risotto starter ^^
^^ Mum's pork starter ^^

^^ The mains weren't as great, they looked pretty but tried a bit too hard! They were still yummy nonetheless ^^

^^ Cheesecake for dessert. Again, although delicious, perhaps didn't need the honeycomb too! ^^
^^ Moving straight on to breakfast the next morning, I had a delicious fresh croissant, fruit salad and local scrumptious organic yoghurt ^^

I took the opportunity the next morning to take a few photos of the inside. 

These were probably my favourite posters in the bedroom. 

Waving goodbye, even though we didn't want to leave at all, mum and I went to shop up a storm at Kilver Court. We bought rather a lot, from a Mulberry scarf & coat for mum to dresses and shoes for me and clothes for my brother. I didn't take too many pictures, mainly ones of the Farm shop because I can't buy anything due to the fact that I live between two countries with no home, so interior design isn't a priority right now. If I take photos though, I'll remember it all for later! 

^^ Local beer and cider! Wish I could take some home. ^^

For lunch we sat outdoors and I had a delicious home made burger and mum some Pate on toast. It was so good! 

We saved the Mulberry Outlet in the old school till last, then went for a little drive into Glastonbury before heading off to London again. 

These huts below were a  rather odd stop off at the new rip off tourist centre on the way home. I find it very sad that a few years ago, I could pull over on the side of the road to get a good look at Stone Henge which has been there for thousands of years. Now there is a visitor centre, which is really quite modern and ugly in the landscape (this is my personal opinion) and they charge over £15.00 just to get a shuttle 1km down the road and walk up to it. It was free a few years ago! 

I understand donating money to maintaining the site, but this is just making money for the fancy new centre they've built, which as I said doesn't fit in with the landscape at all. Rant Over! Don't let them rip you off! 

All in all though Somerset, you were beautiful. Mum and I came back feeling happy and pampered and we would definitely go down for a break here again! Here are some poppies by the road on the way home.