Monday, 9 October 2017

Menorca with mum Part 1

When I had to book a holiday to go on with mum, I knew Menorca would be the right place after going there on the hen party earlier in the year. She hasn't been yet and I hadn't seen nearly as much of the island as I wanted while we were there, I felt I already had a little plan in place of the things to do and see.  It has the right mix of all the things mum likes, famous for nice shoes and bags, good cheese, amazing food and unspoilt loveliness with very few children. It's not a touristy island at all, being a Unesco world heritage site. I got some bargain flights from easyjet and managed to book one of the nicest hotels on the island only a month or so before we left (Artiem Capri), which made me very happy as it was peak Summer holiday time. We had a hire car to get around, although only a small island, this was brill for us as we really went for quite a few drives and explored some of the quieter beaches. For the first day, we just relaxed. We ate in a tapas bar we found and just stopped at before we checked in at the hotel. Then once we'd checked in, got ourselves up to the pool for a sunbathe and relax, I dragged mum to the supermarket for some snack food and we pretty much sunk into the first day as one should. I didn't really take my camera out until the second day after a little wonder down to the town and a mooch around some shops. 

This gorgeous bakery was where we bought our bread for the first packed lunch.
It was just off the square in Mahon where we had a drink in the sunshine.
This is the best Gelato on the island. Well that's what trip advisor told me anyway. And it was pretty good. It was directly opposite another Gelato shop which no-one was in, so that must say something, as everyone was in this one! 

Still not really sure what Cheese ice cream is. Not entirely sure I want to find out either. It sounds weird. I'm hoping it's something lost in the translation....
This is the view from the top of the hotel where the swimming pool, jacuzzi and spa are housed. It was never busy. Absolute bliss with the gorgeous sunshine every day. You could even see the big boats and cruise ships coming in and out of the port.
One of our first good meals was in a restaurant which is quite famous on the island for the best Asian food, Restaurant Way. I can't recommend it highly enough. I had been there on the previous holiday and the owners are just brilliant. Even though we should have booked, and we didn't, and they were really busy, they managed to accommodate us for such a delicious meal and cocktails while we looked out over the gorgeous yachts and boats. When you compare what we spent in comparison to what we would have spent on similar meals in London, it was a bloody bargain!

Mum enjoying her Negroni at the table. 
On the walk back I just had to photograph this staircase. It looked gorgeous lit up at night. Everything is so photogenic and clean.

The next morning, we went to some markets. I'm a sucker for a green door and peeling paint. Goodness knows why. I just like it. 

The views by the market were stunning. 
This particular market was set around the edge in the cloisters of the old church. It's actually lovely to walk around because it's a bit of a break from the direct heat.

I loved this guy's bar above, he posed for my photo! It was made so carefully and crafted out of old pallettes and beautifully varnished and polished. It was like someone had brought it straight in from hipster East London and plonked it right in a Spanish Market! You can just sit, eat cheese, drink wine and watch the world go by. 

And to finish today's post, here's a couple of photos of me and Mum with the weird cow. They are proud of their dairy in Menorca! 


Thursday, 5 October 2017

10 Joys number 12

It's been a while, so I've upped the number from 5 to 10! 10 Joys! Isn't life great?!

1) Producing my first show in my new job - I've completed my first one and attended the screening. Lovely clients, lovely show and I did ok! That's a joy right?!

2) Louisa and Steve getting married - The wedding was beautiful and I was so pleased to be there. I had an amazing time with old friends and woke up with a banging headache on a gorgeous country estate where we had home cooked breakfast all together and I picked pears from the orchard then drove back to London. I do love a country house wedding!

3) Defib training - This might not sound like a joy but it made me happy. My employers brought in the St John's ambulance trainer and I finally learnt CPR properly and how to use a defibrillator if need be. Also a much easier method of recovery position. This might sound straightforward to some people, but not everyone, there are so many of us that don't know basic first aid. I love that I can now help out in worse medical situations if, god forbid, I'm ever in those situations.

4) Church fun day - Anne, Phil and I ran a very small stall which the church kindly gave us free during their fun day. Anne and Phil planted up some bulbs in pots, I baked some cookies and all together, we made about £30.00 because the weather was absolute crap that day so the turnout wasn't as good as we hoped. We had a nice time though. We had beer and burgers and talked to local people. £30 in the kitty is better than a kick in the teeth as my mother would say!

5) Christening - I went to the Christening of one of my oldest friend's Goddaughter/Niece. He now lives in LA and his sister lives in New Zealand but they both came to London for the Christening with their mum and I was so happy to see them and be invited. She's the most gorgeous baby and it's just good to see old friends and barbecue in the garden in the sunshine and bless a child, isn't it?

6) Burlesque with Rosie - My new friend Rosie in my new job won tickets a few weeks ago to a burlesque night at the Underbelly festival on the South Bank. We had the most brilliant time. It was my first proper burlesque night and I loved it. We drank prosecco and gin cocktails and played in the Hilton Photo booth. You can see the results on my instagram here: cool video click here!

7) Pink Floyd at the V&A - I bought my dad a ticket as a late Father's day present and then he brought the rest of the clan along who also wanted to join in. We had a great family time, with breakfast prior to the event. It was really great. I could have spent ages in there but you know what kids are like, they rush through!

8) Bernays Gardens volunteer day with sausages and coffee - We started offering refreshments at our volunteer days and it's brilliant. There were pastries and cookies at the first one and I brought the camping stove for teas and coffees. As well as more local people turning up in general, they now hang around for a chat and a cuppa which is so enjoyable. Second time around, we decided to cook some sausages in the pan. Sausage butties, tea and coffee! It went down an absolute treat with everyone. We might not do it every month, but it was fun and delicious! I love being chef on my camping stove!

9) Food Festival with Vic - "Another competition you won?" I hear you ask. Yes, yes! My gorgeous friend Victoria won tickets for the BBC Big Feast in the moat at The Tower of London and we had free champagne and loads of food. The Sun came out and we had the afternoon off work. I love Vic, I love food and drink, I love the sunshine and I love it even more when I get to finish work early for the week with a Friday afternoon off!

10) Being back into the blog - Well I have loads to blog about and I'm motivated. This little online diary really has been going a while now. Lots of Menorca posts coming up.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

5 joys number 11

**Disclaimer, this was meant to go out before I went on holiday! hehe! **

I feel pretty lucky going away on holiday this week. I have that feeling of excitement at getting on a plane bubbling up inside me at work and the days can't go quickly enough! I've been so lucky and happy lately, life really hasn't been all that bad and for that I'm pretty grateful! So on with the list of 5.

1) Theatre lately. I took mum to see Touch at Soho theatre on Tuesday and it was a brilliant play. She met me after work and we went for a really good drink at The London Gin Club (Click here for website) beforehand. The play was fantastic and kept our attention throughout. The main character reminded me a tad of myself in places!
I was also lucky enough to see School of Rock with mum and her friend Suzanne, although I really didn't like it as much as I thought I would. The children were fantastic and the last couple of songs where they rocked out on their instruments was the best bit by far, but I could take it or leave it. I wouldn't go again. 

Then there was Wind in the Willows! This was so surprisingly good! We went for mum's birthday and I booked The Ivy Brasserie for dinner, and the meal was just delicious. So indulgent, relaxing and well done. But then the show just blew me away. I was expecting something aimed more for the kids but this is definitely for all ages. Rufus Hound was fantastic as were the rest of the cast. What a show! 

I was also lucky enough to go to a gig last week. Shapeshifter at Kentish Town. Spoilt or what?!

2) BGCG family picnic was a couple of weeks ago and despite the shit weather, we had a good turnout and managed to raise a decent amount of money again.

3) Went to see my new workmate play in her steel pan orchestra in the sunshine and it was so lovely. I do enjoy a community event and a Jamaican Patty!

4) I hosted my first grown up barbecue at my flat. The food was good, it didn't rain, my friends seemed to enjoy it, I had enough chairs and we played The Chase card game, which was fun!

5)  Lovely neighbours are hard to come by and mine are really sweet. The other day we were all out in the garden having a chat and a cuppa and I felt very lucky.

That's it for now. I guess Minorca will be my next blog... or the delayed Go Ape one!


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Louisa's Hen Party

I wish I had taken more photos on this trip, but here are the ones I took anyway! 

Louisa and her Grandma, 
Miranda looking super happy! 

Gorgeous Jess also looking happy!

Kathryn and Louisa, getting ready to head out. It was so hot this day! 

And we made it to the water! I like punting. Apparently, I'm a natural! Small, feisty, competitive thing that I am! 


The hen herself gives it a go! 

Hanging out with the other boat! 
Hi gorgeous Jo! 

That evening, we headed out for dinner. Louisa brought her friends and new boyfriend. 

I didn't take many photos in the evening, but because it doesn't happen very often. Here's a photo of Louise and Miranda doing shots. And we didn't even get that drunk! 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

5 joys number 10

Gosh, It's been a while since I've reflected. And there is so much to be happy about.

1) I am so joyful, grateful and happy to have a great new job. I feel ridiculously lucky to be in the industry I work in and I feel hugely grateful that I get to work with such a cool bunch of people every day. I like this graph!

2) Really happy to have completed my third year as a member of Bernays Gardens Community Group. We just had our family picnic to celebrate our new pavilion at the weekend and despite the lack of volunteers, bad weather and generally all of the forces going against us, it was a success again and we raised quite a bit of money to put back into the gardens! Yay for community volunteering and gardening and nice people!

3) I've booked a holiday for me and mum. I can't wait for a proper week in Menorca actually exploring, this time at a slightly more laid back pace and hopefully with a bit more summer sun than we had a few months ago when we visited for the Hen Party! Can't wait for the food in the amazing restaurants there either. They're all so good and I've preparedly list of favourites from last time and some new ones from Trip advisor. Feed me all of the food!

4) I have so many theatre trips booked up to look forward to, I love booking things ahead in the diary. When they finally come round, it feels like you haven't even paid it was so long ago! Sometimes.... We're going to see School of Rock, Wind in the Willows, The Addams Family and mum managed to get tickets to see Kristin Chenoweth at The Palladium for me too! I also got tickets to take her to see Touch at The Soho Theatre which is pretty much sold out I think, AND Brendan and I are going to the giant Bouncy Castle thing in Alexandra Palace on August Bank holiday weekend. I mean. If I'm not a lucky thing and this isn't joyful and if I can't be grateful, then I must be a stuck up snotty nosed bitch!

5) Summer weather and stuff ya know?! All of the things. Picnics, Midsummer Night's dream in Shenley, village fetes. There's not a huge amount to complain about right now!


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Hen Party in Menorca

Number three of my rather out of date catch up blog posts. Lottie's hen do in Menorca! So out of date that she's married now! (Links for places are included where I can remember. Just click the bold name) 

First bar/restaurant and picking drink while the other girls secretly go off and get the villa ready. 

Did someone say "Ugly Calamari which tastes amazing?" I did! 

Church in the square. 

Story time with Tash when she realised that the internet just wasn't going to allow her to be on a conference call, so she was forced to give up and have fun!

Our first croquets. My goodness did we have some good ones on this trip. I kind of recommend getting them everywhere you go, they're always different in each restaurant you visit.

Proper Sangria.

Emily and her pickle willy! A client called me just as I was taking this photo. So hard to hold back the giggles! 

We arrived at our stunning villa after lunch.
The view was ridiculous!

Harriet was pretty happy about it.
Then the girls decided.....
To jump in the pool fully clothed....

Wonder if this would have worked as a GIF?!

That night we went to the Sunset cave bar. The Cova d'en Xoroi. 

Then I took so many sunset photos.....

Then it got dark and we got colder (cuddles!) and went drinking at another bar...

It got blurry!

The next day was overcast and we had a big brunch all together at the house. Barbecue and salads and all kinds of deliciousness!

Followed by a Gin Factory tour and cocktail making class which I couldn't recommend enough. Especially with the gorgeous Jose taking us round! Gin Xoriguer.

Cocktail room!

Historical Gin bottles!

I made this! 

This was delicious!

The sun was out by the time we emerged! 

Then that night we went to dinner. Look at this stunning Yacht!

 We ate in a restaurant called Way. A Japanese place and totally delicious.

Lottie needed to protect her white outfit! 

Blurry but so happy! 

Post dinner drinks...

The next morning the gorgeous Danielle did yoga before everyone was up. The two early risers sharing a room, I captured her when she wasn't looking!

Random metal house.

Random Mahon Photos.

On our last full day, we chartered a private boat from this company Antiga Meloussa who were absolutely brill.

Tash in her element. 

The weather was amazing and everything was way too photogenic. He took us round the island stopping at small coves and beaches and feeding us the most amazing home made lunch of goats cheese tarts, salads, strawberries and chocolates! 

Me in my element!

Glamorous ladies.

Hullo drinks hatch! Hullo Tash!

Then Emily jumped in before she was supposed to!

Then a few of us did and we swam to the little beach. The others paddled in on a little boat!

Gorgeous ladies. 
Lunch friend! Seriously blue water. 

Got going again and it was time to put the sails up! 

I didn't want to leave! Ever! 

We came into another little cove a while later and all swam in a row. No boat this time.

If you look closely at these photos, you'll see that a naked man gave us a show on a tightrope. First Naked tightrope walker I've ever seen. We're not sure why he and his friends were naked. But they were.

Not that great a group photo! I think sun tan lotion may have been on the lens....

We were supposed to go back and have a big group barbecue. What actually happened was possibly better. We got off the boat, went to Maria Bonita, a gorgeous Tapas bar and stayed there. It really was delicious. All night. Eating, drinking, joking, laughing, playing "I have never" we were there from about 6pm to midnight when we were all merry and exhausted from the day of sunshine, boating and swimming.

Boob dessert! I have very few photos of this night. Some are just like that. We were having too much fun in the moment.

The next morning I took a last little photo of the villa before I left.

And lastly, this one photo wasn't mine, but it's a lovely group shot to end on! Thanks to my friend Gretta for taking it.

I had such an amazing time with these ladies. I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of women to go away with. And 3 days was too short for a holiday there, so I'm going back in a few weeks with Mum for a 1 week holiday! I think she's going to love it! The restaurants, bars, food, lifestyle, weather and views are just gorgeous.