.: Hanbury Manor @ Marriott Country Club :.

As you probably have noticed, I’ve really enjoy spending a weekend in a Country Club. You will find mostly golfers or people attending a wedding there, but I really enjoy all the greenery and the peace and quiet. Our last weekend away was in Hanbury Manor by Marriott.

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

Loved the Oak Hall

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

The room was a classic Marriott style, nothing fancy but comfortable. Our room was similar to this one

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

As soon as I arrived to my room, had some chocolates waiting for me

13754386_10207809332086037_1982254458223836370_n

I’ve really enjoyed exploring the different rooms.

13692584_10207809646733903_7235889066612899241_n 13731573_10207809646893907_410540411180781235_n 13697084_10207809648013935_3757432725164687696_n 13775988_10207809652774054_819118327857374111_n 13669220_10207809653214065_4089412613063853854_n 13754267_10207809658054186_2189296209810130959_n 13659037_10207809658774204_1981108926755812273_n 13775806_10207809658934208_8363089678990583025_n

13754271_10207814126205887_6446032938885529509_n13697160_10207810228628450_7259663998721692543_n

We’ve ended up our afternoon with tea & G&T for him

13697064_10207810228948458_6536336121786736358_n 13686522_10207810266589399_8474712397469981465_n

Next day we’ve spend a good part of the afternoon relaxing in the pool. For me it really felt amazing with my 7 months pregnancy

Photo from Marriott

Photo from Marriott

It really felt good to relax before baby arrival 🙂

Advertisements

.: Exploring Bibury :.

Bibury is one of those magical places in the Cotswolds that everyone should try to visit at least once. It feels like a travel back in time. It’s also considered one of the most charming villages in UK, and I can see why!

Photo from google

So it had been in my wishlist for a while. I had already visited a few other places in the Cotswolds (like Bourton on the water or the wildlife park), but not yet Bibury. So on our way from Wales back home, we had to stop over to explore it

First we’ve stopped at The Swan Hotel for lunch and we couldn’t resist a cottage pie. I love a good pie!

13315508_10207466119225930_5421019354947827975_n

13335612_10207466120025950_4449090849174155584_n

Such a beautiful place isn’t it? Then our pie arrived. Really fresh vegetables and such a tasty and filling pie!

13310354_10207473000957969_3796452976755212066_n

After lunch we were ready for a walk in Bibury. Even if it was going to be a small walk (because the village itself is quite small), it was meant to be such a pleasant one

This place looks like out of a children’s fairy tale. Absolutely beautiful!

Have you been in Bibury before? What’s your favourite village in UK?

.: A weekend in Wales :.

One of the turning point for me this year was the last May long weekend. It was a weekend where I’ve decided: that’s it, I need to change! Up to that point I was feeling absolutely miserable at work and not taking into enough account my pregnancy. I was commuting around 01h30 each way, suffering from severe morning sickness (which curiously enough lasted until around this long weekend too) and hating what I was doing. I would never reach home before 20h30. He was going nuts with me and quite concerned about me and the baby.

He was more than right! This was the weekend where I’ve started meditation. We’ve both started together but he gave up on the same day saying he couldn’t do it, because he’s mind was always travelling a million places. I’ve been doing it daily ever since.

Maybe it was also the combination of the place where we were, as we were given our little house for the stay (you can read it all about it here), or the fact that I felt happy that we had our time together, but I felt inner change. We went for a few walks around the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s a beautiful area that we still need to explore properly.

I didn’t took as many photos as usual, because I just wanted to enjoy it!

And a delicious chocolate I had bought on the national park. I’m not joking but this was sooooo good! (and the logo is so cute!) – You can check their page here.

We had lunch in a lovely pub, loved the decor!

13241365_10207459774547317_5937472901071728486_n 13319745_10207459774347312_157300791175773731_n

And went for another walk in the afternoon

We had to go to town to buy some shorts for him, as he managed to land on mud while trying to take some long exposures. Fortunately he was alright and he didn’t broke the camera (or my lenses!), but he was covered in mud. So we’ve cut our walk to do some shopping before returning back to the hotel for a walk around the area, meditation and a relaxing dinner.

Sometimes all we need is really to disconnect from the world and appreciate the little pleasures like walking together in the park!

.: A weekend away in a country club Wales :.

Is there anything better than a long weekend away? After my stressful week (year?) I was really looking forward to chill down and just relax.  I went to South Wales on this one, which I find is one of the best places in UK to slow down and relax surrounded by all the green scenery.  For instance I love Lake District a lot, but it just takes forever to get there, especially if we’re talking about a long weekend! I’m hoping to be back at some stage, in any random weekend to spend a few days there. South Wales is a much easier option as it’s just 2h15 from London (or 3h and a bit with the traffic on a long weekend).

The point of a weekend away tends to be to relax, and starting the weekend stuck in 6h queues isn’t a great start. Finally one that was far more relaxing! We’ve managed to reach the hotel for dinner at 08h!

The choice for the weekend was one of the Country Clubs from Marriott, St Pierre.

Photo from official website

I really like the Country Clubs because they tend to be spaces surrounded by lots of green. Is there anything better than wake up with the sound of birds and green around you? The staff at reception was really friendly and welcoming! They gave us a map of the area, which included a walk at the property and some recommendations for restaurants around.

We were allocated to one of the lakeside villas, next to the main hotel, in front of the lake and the golf course. Our building didn’t had a lakeside view, but there was a small garden, so it was ok

As you get into the house, you’ll see a small kitchen area, which would benefit from a little upgrade, but I wasn’t counting on having one, so didn’t bother me at all.

13254148_10207455059229437_5450750154066329389_n

We’ve ended up spending most of the time before going to bed here. This is where I was doing my meditation exercises too.

13315794_10207455059469443_5010317249892026480_n

13256489_10207455060189461_196341275838744435_n

Outside space… it was raining quite a lot when we arrived, but the rest of the weekend was really beautiful!

13266004_10207455059589446_3569596730122040660_n

Don’t ask me why I took a photo of the bathroom, but I did! Again would benefit for some modernisation but it was clean and functional so no complains here.

13322149_10207455060309464_2397326091479088195_n

13322131_10207455060829477_7673055115794657077_n

The bed was one of the smallest I’ve seen in any Marriott. It was a normal size, it’s just I’m used to have huge beds (like 2m x 2m!)

13263668_10207455060629472_1563102203583822070_n

The main hotel area was quite a classic Marriot wise. Lots of dedicated rooms between the leisure area (which we’ve ended up not using) and the restaurants. I didn’t took any decent photos so will use the ones from the hotel

For dinner we’ve ended up going to the Zest Restaurant, as the main restaurant was already fully booked. I like the zest’s as they tend to be quite casual and relaxed (although I would advise you not to order the pizzas, I did that once, never again!)

13226756_10207461665914600_4170018844645707052_n

For my first dinner I’ve ordered the chicken lemon which was quite ok. On the 2nd night I’ve ordered the salmon salad which was a really good choice!

13315332_10207461666234608_3208907382250061658_n

with fruits for dessert

13269302_10207461756676869_7133773801481935308_n

The breakfast room (at the main restaurant) was quite busy, but the staff was really quick and efficient. We never had to wait long before our coffees would arrive. They also had poached eggs (which not all hotels have). My favourite option was the fruit!

13263795_10207464931836246_1176905098081438555_n

So overall it was quite a relaxing choice!

13321963_10207461806318110_3478978907755983894_n

Any country club you would recommend for a relaxing weekend away?

.: Welcome Spring & Natas :.

Finally spring is here, and with spring it was also the first Sunday I felt fine since the year started 😀 To celebrate we went to visit a special brand new place in Hammersmith: Cafe de Nata

You know I love a good Nata, it’s my favourite pastry from Portugal. I just can’t resist it, especially if they are warm and house made, like the ones below.

We arrived close to 11h30, and the shop was still closed as they were waiting for the Natas to come out of the oven. The smell was amazing! I couldn’t resist just having one, so we had 2 each, and extra 2 to bring home. As I’m not drinking coffee now, well just rarely here and there (ahhh so hard to resist) but he had the espresso and he said it was delicious. We were explained that they’ve decided to select their own mix of grains. So looking forward to come back and try it myself

5514_10206920523826386_6713898392198536791_n

So welcome spring! I’m really excited for the months ahead, especially with my dream trip coming soon: Japan!!!

.: A Weekend away around Yorkshire – Country Club :.

During the Easter Break, and before our big trip to Japan, we’ve decided to go all the way north to Yorkshire, because it’s an area I’ve always wanted to explore but never really had the chance to. Unlike my recent trip to Wales, this was bound to be a painful journey. It started on my way from work. I left the office a bit before 15h, aiming to be at home before 16h, but the trains were cancelled so I was constantly checking on google maps on how to get home. It was raining cats and dogs too and traffic really bad, so even taking a taxi was no longer an option. I’ve made it eventually, at 16h20.

Then getting out of London took us more than 2h, stuck in traffic in the north circular road. (Long weekend + rain, worst combo in UK!) Absolutely terrible! To make matters worst I now need to make more regular breaks and can’t handle 4h in a row in the car or more as I’ve used to.

Same as last weekend, we’ve stayed in one of the Country Clubs from Marriott, Hollins Hall, which means a golf course, spa and lots of green around you. All you need to relax! We had to eat in one small service station at around 20h30, because we were no longer sure if we would reach the hotel on time. We’ve managed to arrive at around 22h30, so I was really tired. The friendly staff at the hotel was already waiting for me and made my check-in really stress free and as efficient as possible. Thank you guys! Couldn’t resist but to throw myself in bed and fall asleep. So this time I don’t have many photos

12049660_10206973119941256_5473232309752880297_n

Photos below are from the official website

The hotel is on top of a beautiful hill

Quite a bright reception

Main restaurant

The pool

The breakfast was the normal continental breakfast, but at least there were lots of fruits available. On Saturday evening we’ve managed to get a table booked for the main restaurant and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed my meal

12072786_10206998548896964_1365349415951546698_n

12321206_10206998549096969_3993021719377398493_n

Mushroom risotto

3536_10206998549336975_3181343446622517361_n

Really delicious cheesecake!

Quite a relaxing weekend even if it was a bumpy start! It felt amazing to wake up with the sound of birds and going for walks outside.

Btw happy children’s day! (In Portugal) Just notice it’s my last Children’s day, so going to celebrate and have ice cream 😀

.: Exploring the countryside – Norfolk :.

Back in July we’ve decided to explore Norfolk, because it’s an area we had never really explored.

We’ve stayed at one of the Marriott Country Club Houses. I’ve tried a few and I normally like them, as they tend to be located in quiet areas in the country. There were a lot of families there to enjoy the golf or just enjoy the area

They also had a nice pool, but we left our swimming suits at home, so we couldn’t use it. Not clever!

11218888_10205341341067804_2758144383343180876_n

It was actually the first in UK ever that I couldn’t sleep because it was too hot and there was no air conditioning. Who would ever say, but this year all summer was around July and this was precisely when we’ve decided to go away. We even had to use the air conditioning in the car. Shocking right? We can’t forget that summer is the best day of the year in UK.

We went for a walk in Norwich itself, which isn’t a big town but it’s quite a charming one. I didn’t took proper pictures because it was too hot to be outside.

10985880_10205339635225159_4422255350656142015_n

IMG_0788 IMG_0790

It was so hot we’ve decided to go for a lunch break. We’ve ended up going to Bill’s which is a chain I really like. The staff was really friendly.

10169245_10205339634865150_2763874931745509960_n 11238222_10205339634425139_5035262915953073677_n 11659257_10205339634625144_8617803176619894613_n

After lunch we went to the coast for a walk. I was hoping we could still do the seal watching, but the boats had gone in the morning, which means I need to come back and plan it properly.

 

IMG_0798 IMG_0804 IMG_0806 IMG_0810 IMG_0816 IMG_0819 IMG_0828 IMG_0832 IMG_0841 IMG_0850 IMG_0858 IMG_0870 IMG_0871 IMG_0878

After Ice cream we’ve return to the hotel for dinner outdoors.

10411753_10205341341387812_2709620727265574517_n

I had the worst pizza ever, worst than the frozen ones we buy at the supermarket for £1, but this was not the main restaurant of the hotel. But I was keen on staying outdoors to enjoy the weather and the views. Dinner aside, we’ve ended up having fireworks (I can’t recall the reason), which were quite nice (10m of them).

11659216_10205341985043903_4177380329899761567_n 11698567_10205341985283909_2124278656377908178_n

Next morning, the weather wasn’t that great anymore and the forecast was rain. Before heading back home, we’ve decided to explore a bit more the countryside but we’ve ended up getting lost. The landscape was quite beautiful though, but it felt that the cows were spying on us!

 

IMG_0885 IMG_0896

So in the end it was a really lovely weekend away and I hope to be doing more of this in 2016 🙂