.: Waddesdon Manor :.

When a friend of ours invited us to go with him to Waddesdon Manor a couple of weeks ago, we could only say yes! Having seen his photos from this place, it was already on my wishlist.

How to reach Waddesdon Manor

So it’s actually quite a short drive from London, not so easy if you’re going by train (2h commute)

It’s a shame it was almost raining and quite cold the day we went, but still could see how gorgeous the house was

Impossible not to love this gorgeous house, every single detail is impressive!

One of the most important aspects of this house is about being able to transform according to the seasons. I compared against my friend’s photos from summer time and the changes are quite impressive. The garden changes every season as well

After that we went for some noodles in Aylesbury before heading back home. Need to go back on a sunny day

What’s your favourite House & Garden?

.: London Open House 2015 :.

Why do holidays fly so fast? Why oh why 😦 Just to think that just a few days ago I was still in Portugal enjoying a bit of summer, but reality kicks in and I’m back.
Anyway, I returned just in time to visit the London Open House, which for those of you that keep on reading my posts will know it’s an event I really love.

Previous years

  • 2014 – Guildhall & the royal courts of justice (Just notice I never did a post on this one)

This year it was the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, which is a gorgeous building

Have you been into the London Open House before? Which one is your favourite building?

.: A visit to Stourhead :.

It’s so hard to believe I finally made it here! Stourhead is on my wishlist ever since I moved to UK, that’s right! I almost made it on my birthday (11/11/11), but as the days are so short in winter time we didn’t had any time left after Salisbury. Because it’s 2h away from home, it’s been on the wishlist ever since. But last weekend and inspired by our trip to the lakes, since we had a brunch cancelled on Saturday and it was probably the last day of summer in UK this year, we had to go!

We are now on a mission to take the most benefit of his national trust membership. It’s really worth it! Just in the lakes and now we are almost in break-even. I need to add myself on that as well, as all the places on my wishlist add to almost Β£100!

I wish the photos would do justice to this place, is absolutely stunning!

We had a stop for lunch and then a visit to the House

Tip: Stourhead is quite a romantic place, so a good idea is to take your other half, prepare yourself a picnic basket and enjoy the day! It’s perfect for families as well

Have you been in Stourhead? What is the place that you have in your wishlist for so long you can no longer wait? Wish you all a lovely week!

.: Exploring Lake District :.

After our tormented journey to Lake District, and after a glorious breakfast the next morning, we were more than ready to explore! First we’ve decided to go for a walk in Keswick itself. The views around the lake here are fantastic. It was very tempting to do the boat tour, but as it was rainy and we wanted to visit more places we ended up not doing it. Next time, want to

Thanks to our hotel host, we were advised to stop by Battermere, and I’m so glad we did. The views are breathtaking! I wish my photos could do justice to this place

He did a video, the song is crappy because the video was all shaken due to the roads:

Tip: Most people tend to stay in the south lakes around windermere, but the north lakes are more beautiful also less crowded as well. If you’ve travelled all the way up at least try to make the most of it. Next time I’ll just do north lakes

Next morning we woke up yet again ready for another superb breakfast and to socialise with the other guests. As we had another 5h ahead of us (considering a small break and any potential traffic), we only really had a morning.

I’ve decided to go to Ullswater and in particular to Aira Force, a beautiful waterfall

We had lots of fun doing a bit of trekking in the muddy roads. This place is really worth the visit! Trouble is, by the time we were going down to the lake it was too windy and crappy weather, so we’ve decided to go for a warm soup before heading down back home.

Love cream mushroom soup

You know the feeling when you had a good weekend and you’ve managed to disconnect from all your worries? This is how I felt, after all the Lakes are one of those inspiring places! Can hardly wait to get back πŸ™‚

Have you been into the lakes? Any ideas you would like to share?

.: Beatrix Potter Tea Time :.

One of the things I was really looking forward to do on the lakes was to visit the Beatrix Potter tea room. Although I’ve never really read the books as a child (which is quite a shame) I love her drawings and illustrations. To me it’s like Disney before Disney ever existed, so magical!

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Being in the lake district I had to stop by and have my tea in the tea rooms! We were not very hungry as we had lunch 1h before, but that was never an excuse, was it?

I went for the Tea & Scones

And how here’s the part I feel really proud, he said he prefers my scones! πŸ˜€ The tea was really delicious and served in lovely china it feels it tastes even better πŸ™‚

Note to self: It was really greedy to ask for the cake as well, but it was so creamy and delicious!

After the tea, I went up to a quick visit to the shop

So adorable!!!! If you are near the lakes, please ensure a stop by πŸ™‚

 

.: A journey to Lake District :.

Friday afternoon I was more than ready for the weekend, specially because we were going to celebrate our anniversary in Lake District. I even managed to stop working really early (16h!!!) but…

If you live in London and if you drive then you will know that Friday + Rain are never a good combination, never! We didn’t even managed to get into the M4 which is literally less than 0.5 away from home, so just to get out of London it took us forever. M40 was pretty smooth but while reaching Birmingham the chaos started. There was a massive accident on the M42, which meant that we couldn’t take the faster route and instead we had to go around adding 1 extra hour into our journey. It felt the journey was taking forever… As we finally reached the lakes, it was pretty dark and we could barely see anything outside. We managed to reach the hotel around 22h30 – which means 06h30 when it should take 04h30!

But wait… there’s more. It started to rain cats & dogs and we had no umbrella… we were parked around 500 yards from the hotel, a short walk, but not ideal while it was raining that much. So after 06h30 we’ve waited another 30m in the car for the rain to slow down!

Tip to self: If you leave in the UK always (I mean it, always!) carry an umbrella 😐

Fortunately the guys at the hotel had given us very precise details on how to reach our keys from the safe locker and get into our room, as there was no one available to meet us at the house at that point in the evening. Thanks for that! At least something went well πŸ™‚

I couldn’t believe when I finally got into our room:

Such a comfy bed waiting for us!

It was really easy to fall asleep, but being that I’m still with a cold I woke up lots of times to cof… yap…. but at least it was weekend!

Elm Tree Lodge

So let’s talk about the hotel. As you know, I’m quite a fan of boutique hotels having had really amazing experiences so far and in the lakes there are not that many “big chain hotels” so it was the perfect opportunity to stay at a lovely boutique hotel. B&B are the way to go on the lakes. After a bit of investigation I found the Elm Tree Lodge on Booking.com. Once you get indoors, the first thing you notice is that it feels you are visiting a friend’s house. The room itself was quite cosy but lovely decorated. Loved the wallpaper which matches the chandelier

The other thing I’ve noticed was the guestbook where you normally find all information you need, but in this case it was quite unique and it felt more like the family’s etiquette:

  • If your shoes are dirty please take them off at the entrance – taking into account people walk along the lakes and do trekking, this is a very likely scenario;
  • Breakfast is served from 08h15 to 08h45 – so it’s not a very long window, but again if you were visiting family / friends this would be the same scenario;
  • Please don’t take your mobile with you, leave texts and calls to once you’re back in the room

These were the ones I remembered, but once we went next morning for breakfast everything made sense. The dining area it’s a cosy family room with a big table so everyone will be sitting together. It encourages socializing, after all we’re on holiday so it should be easy right?

Once we’ve got in there was only 1 lady there and we ended up discussing how terrible the journey had been next day. For her it took her 8h from London – gosh, at least ours wasn’t that bad! Then we were joining by 2 young guys who were going to climb the mountain in Keswick. We feel now very inclined to do the same next year πŸ™‚

The host was really really friendly and welcoming! He treated us really well over breakfast, which was so delicious!! Coffee was really tasty (yes, even I’m saying coffee is tasty!) Β and the sausage? So good! We left breakfast with a big smile on our face and a promise of an amazing day exploring the lakes πŸ™‚

More photos from the hotel (sourced from the official website)

 

.: A walk in Windsor :.

After an amazing day in Oxford, and a concert at the Royal Albert Hall – oh yes, I had to find a way of taking my parents to the Royal, it’s a must do! I manage to find tickets for Four Seasons by the Candlelight (my dad loves classical music)

To keep on the topic of English things to do, the obvious choice was a morning walk and lunch @ Windsor before I had to take them back to the airport.

The restaurants look really inviting, but after my sunday breakfast, which consists of scrambled eggs mixed with cherry tomatoes, we were not hungry (yet). My parents are not really used to anything for breakfast which isn’t cereals or bread and milk. But in the meantime we’ve done pancakes at home and they’ve really enjoyed the eggs πŸ™‚

After our walk we’ve ended up going to a lovely pub for a Sunday Roast, which they loved.

I find Windsor a really lovely place for a visit! I also love going to Virginia Water Park which isn’t that far from Windsor either. Have you been in Windsor? Any tips?

.: A walk in Oxford :.

For those of you that read my blog for a while you will know that I love Oxford! (And Cambridge too) I wish I would have studied in a place like Oxford, but didn’t had that chance really.

Because Oxford is only 1h away from home, we tend to go there quite often and I’m never bored of it! It was also one of the first places I’ve visited when moving to UK. It’s really easy to commute from London Paddington to Oxford.

So, knowing that my parents were coming, I had to take them there. It was a sunny weekend in June, so perfect for a walk:

Black & White

It’s got to be one of the most beautiful libraries in the world!

Graduation days

In Colours

Quack quack

What to see in Oxford
If you are an Harry Potter fan, you’ll need to visit a couple of places, like Christ Church

Or the Bodleian Library

Photo from google

Natural History Museum

Outside Oxford

For all my previous posts on Oxford click here.

Have you been in Oxford? Any tips?

.: Exploring West Wittering :.

You know the feeling when you don’t even realise how much you miss something until you see it again? This was my feeling today with fluffy sand. Had no idea I was missing it as much as I did as soon as I took my shoes off and started to walk on it. Felt like jumping around and roll, and then the feeling of walking along the beach with my feet on the water. The south portuguese of me was more than delighted with the experience.

You see, living in London beach means a nice garden nearby and some sun, or in some lucky days a tour to Brighton (and for those of you that have been there, there’s no sand really). I had been in Bornemouth and Poole before, where there is sand as well, but this year I had not seen fluffy sand. I feel a lot happier now πŸ™‚

I would definitely recommend West Wittering beach for an amazing day in the beach and just exploring around.

Love these little houses!!!

I felt like this fellah exactly!

Case to say no one in my family gets why I felt so happy with a visit to the beach haahahhaha

What’s your favourite beach in UK? And if you could fly somewhere, where would you go?