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The Lakes and Lane Head Farm

Our 2 night stay on this trip was gifted but all opinions are my own.

The sun is shining and it’s making me want to plan another adventure up in the Lake District. If you haven’t already make sure to read my previous post on day 1 in Troutbeck and catch up on our visit to Aira Force and our wonderful accommodation at Lane Head Farm.

After another hearty English breakfast at Lane Head Farm and Country Guest House we packed the car up and off we went for the day.

We had heard from our b&b hosts that The Lakes Gin Distillery was only a short drive away so I definitely wanted to visit there before we left. On every trip to the Lake District so far I have managed to bring something back and most of the time it is mini gins for friends and family and always from The Lakes Distillery brand. As it was lunchtime we were a little peckish but with the large breakfast still maintaining our strength I chose to go for a chocolate tart and coffee. Mr C chose a cheese platter and we sat to enjoy the relaxing yet jovial setting. The food was wonderful and looked as appetising as it was. After a bite to eat we visited the on site shop where I simply had to get a branded tumbler. I mean I didn’t have to but I had to.

We took another stroll on our second day too. We had done the same walk with friends previously but somehow managed to get lost and miss our ferry back, (I know, don’t ask) so thought we should probably do the actual route. I wanted a steady walk with the distance but not the height and so that’s what we did at the bottom of Catbells. There were open spaces for Mia to run around – meeting plenty of dogs on the wayand as always, plenty of surrounding views. We made it to a fantastic spot on the lake where we spent a fair while before turning around. There’s something about being in nature with the water and the greenery that is so relaxing that everyone should visit a similar place if they can.

It was sadly time to head home after our antics but not without first nipping back to Lane Head Farm and Country house to say goodbye and a huge thank you to our wonderful hosts for the weekend. I honestly couldn’t recommend the b&b enough and we will certainly be back soon.

Featured

A Weekend In The Lakes

Part of this trip was gifted. Our two night stay and dinner at Lane Head Farm were kindly offered to us yet all opinions are my own of course!

Ok, ok we love the Lake District. It isn’t hard to see with it being all over my Instagram, features in my blog and now in prints on the walls around the house. I don’t think we’ll ever tire of the natural surroundings from the hills and beautiful slate buildings to the multiple lakes (or bodies of water, as I’m told) and we’re already planning our next break.

This visit we stayed at Lane Head Farm Country Guest House and we were warmly welcomed right from the start. We had never stayed in Troutbeck before so didn’t really know what to expect but for me it was one of the best locations we’ve ever been in. A short drive into Keswick can get you a day of retail therapy or that last minute walking gear and a little further along can get you to The Lakes Distillery. One of the major location bonuses was the fact that there are incredible views for miles, simple or long walks and you are close enough to choose your hill of choice for that day. Having previously walked Catbells, Blencathra is definitely a ‘to do’ on our next visit.

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Lane Head Farm is dog friendly so Mia also got a great greeting. A treat is the way to a chocolate Labrador’s heart and she is no different. Our hosts also thought about Mia in the room too and supplied us with a towel (for muddy paws), treats (for well behaved pups) and a bowl (for forgetful humans). I love additional touches like this and it really makes both us and pooch feel more at home.

Day 1

Well, what morning doesn’t start with a hearty breakfast? Especially one with lots of walking. This meant me and the hubby went full English, I mean we could have gone for fruit and cereals but that’s just not us *see shrugging emoji*. A good 10/10 for breakfast and we were on our way.

When we spoke to David and Suzette the Lane Head Farm B&B owners they were filled with walk suggestions and tips so we took their recommendation of going to Aira Force. Well, wow, I can honestly say it is now one of my favourite places. Being close to the B&B it is a beautifully scenic, National Trust cared for area with waterfalls and streams throughout. We will be going again and taking a different path just to see more of it next time.

After Aira Force, a wet dog and a wet bottom (yes I fell in, casual) we decided we needed food. Another recommendation was a visit to the Dog and Gun in Keswick centre to try their popular goulash. Very tasty may I add and we’ve had it in Budapest itself.

Our next stop was another frequent haunt. There is a garden centre in Ambleside that beats the garden centres near home. On multiple floors and supplying pretty much any gift, home decoration, clothing or garden furniture you could need the place is big and could be an afternoon in itself. It also had a ‘smallest house’ replica so I was content with the cuteness.

As it sometimes (regularly) does in the UK, it rained. This made us completely change our plans and instead of finding somewhere to eat out I pretty much wanted to head back to the B&B where there was a warm shower waiting. After a quick call to Suzette they were happy to squeeze us in for dinner at Lane Head Farm and it was the best decision! Local gammon and egg with chips was just what the day ordered after being out for so long exploring. The rest of the evening was spent with David and Suzette hosting at the bar whilst chatting with us and the other guests. We learnt so much more about the Lake District during that conversation and it was great to sit, chat and meet different people from all over the UK and further afield. I never expected the experience being at a B&B so it was such a welcome extra.

Keep an eye out for Day 2, there’s plenty more to come!

5 of my Eco Swaps

Just to be clear this list isn’t exhaustive. I’m not making 5 changes and going ‘right, I’ve done my bit for the planet’. No, no, no. This is just 5 recent and (for me) simple swaps that I have done to put me on the path of doing my bit. Once these are integrated into my lifestyle I aim to keep evolving to make a smaller and smaller carbon footprint within my abilities.

1. Soap swap.

No more bottled shower gel. I’m getting into bar soap, remember when your gran had these?! We have one each and I intend to keep this going. It’s an easy change and just means I reach for a different product at the supermarket. The packaging leaves less environmental mess and we’re happy using it.

2. Repair not Replace

I have two pairs of jeans. They have holes in them. I was throwing them out for a while until my mum said she could fix them. After finding out that gallons upon gallons of water are used to simply make a pair of jeans I have decided that mending, repairing and altering would be the next change I can make.

3. The to-go cup is gone.

I like my tea and coffee when I’m out and about but I didn’t know previously that most of these cups weren’t recyclable. To change my take away cup usage I now have my own, or two of my own. One was a gift and the other Starbucks one was £1. For me it’s a simple swap. 1 in my bag, 1 getting cleaned.

4. Cleaner Cleanser

I started to make this change I while back. I was using up my products and thought ‘ I could probably do without that plastic bottle of toner, which also means I no longer need cotton pads. That’s two things that can now leave my home in one swoop. I know some people still love toner and LouiseEllen on Instagram made an eco friendly swap to a different type of cleansing pad so if that’s your thing there are alternatives. For me not using them both has made my skin more hydrated, cheaper on my purse and less product on my skin.

5. Canvas carriers

No more plastic bags taking up under sink space. They’re fabric instead. I love this bag swap but it does make me realise how many I was using for shopping before. They’re reusable, washable and I use them for everything. I’ve found they’re super versatile.

I’ll keep updates on my swaps and here’s hoping small changes will make a big difference.

Thanks for reading,

GB Travel Resolutions

I completely understand we are half way through the year but you can make resolutions at any point right? I didn’t make New Year Resolutions because they’re usually to do with changing something about yourself, which I wouldn’t stick to anyway let’s be real and I couldn’t see past the end of my nose in January never mind into next week. Now I am making a resolution to visit more places this year and make the effort to see the sights the UK has to offer.

So here we are just stepping into May and I’ve thought of a few places I want to visit this year.

Brighton

This place has been in the back of my mind for a while and it is a regular airbnb lookup. I can’t say that the beach is somewhere I’m crazy about or where I regularly dream of going but with the other sights to see and what Brighton looks like it has to offer in terms of boutique shops, crafts galore and on trend eateries I definitely want to visit this year.

Liverpool

With the city having arguably the most musical history in the UK and still having many places open to visit it is on my 2019 travel list. Maybe an overnight stay or a weekend to discover a little more will be just the ticket.

Oxford

I can’t say I know much about Oxford but that’s probably all the more reason to go and see what it has to offer. The historical architecture is the current main draw to visit the city along with the University and the only other thing I know, a trip to see what Bicester Village is all about.

Cornwall

After many visits during family holidays I’d love to now see the area as an adult. I definitely have more appreciation for a clotted cream scone and cup of tea, even though it was pretty good then too, but to see the sights of surrounding towns of the South would be a great trip. As previously mentioned I’m not much of a beach bum (more country bumpkin) yet the sound of the waves might be heard more this year.

If there’s anywhere I should add recommendations are always welcome and if you want to catch up here’s our latest travels to the Lake District.

Picture Perfect in Birmingham

I am always up for anything Christmassy, well by the first of November anyway, so really an evening of being surrounded by Christmas decorations, cocktails and food sounded like fun. Also having been to Dirty Martini before in Birmingham I half knew what to expect and knew where the best photo spots were (thanks sis!).

I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about my camera, how to take the best photos or a lot about anything else but Viking Photography were our hosts and I was determined to get a question or two in which Elouisa happily answered. In photography lighting is always a biggie and with the darker months it’s like an uphill battle trying to get photos taken whilst there is a fraction of daylight. It’s true to say that bars are not known for their bright, perfect selfie taking lights and so it was of course darker in Dirty Martini. To get the most from our photos at the event and during task one Viking Photography shared with us their light bars. Quite literally a game changer during winter and I’m definitely going to get myself something similar whether it be a ring light or bar style. The white light is exactly what I’m looking for to take clear photos even when the outside isn’t looking too great. We were also able to use coloured acetate sheets to give the images a different mood or wash of colour.

The second task consisted of a little more roaming. Using prisms we were able to create more abstract images, playing with different sides and edges of the glass to get the shot. I have included a few of the images but there was so much more that you could do with them and other girls had really shown these off.

Of course when the Instagrammable cocktails and food came out it was hard to resist a few more photos and by this time, if anything, I was more confident to just play around with the options on my camera to see what they did and what gave the best results. The food itself after picture taking was very good and personally the pigs in blankets and brownies were the best of the evening.

The event absolutely flew by and it was great to meet and speak to people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It was also so good just to take the time to learn and find out more about my camera instead of the usual point and shoot and hope for the best by taking a hundred photos. I found this extremely helpful simply because I believe sometimes pictures need to be captured quickly and in the moment rather than posed.

There was a competition later on in the evening with our entries being photos we had taken during the event and as I’m a huge fan of interiors and decor my entry was just that. After all of the photos and camera swapping in the evening I thought this image was taken on my phone but this was with my camera and I love the result, very Christmassy.

Elouisa was the judge with the final vote and a deserving winner, Little Blonde Blog, took a great photo winning a great printer from Viking Photography.

Luckily the evening for me didn’t end there and my sister showed me more sights of Birmingham to be seen on my Instagram soon.

Thanks for reading and a huge thanks to Viking Photography, Elouisa and Jennie for organising the event #VikingPicturePerfect!

Celebrating Valentine’s*

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Whether you are out celebrating with your loved ones or having a chilled evening in enjoy it.

Myself and the hubby will be relaxing tonight but luckily we got to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day with an evening out at Lost City Adventure Golf. Having been invited to try out their golf course and taste their delicious cocktail menu we were looking forward to a night out having fun.

Having been a couple of times before I was excited to try a different 18 hole course as they now have two. You can even combine the two courses and play all 36 holes if you’re feeling super competitive, something I will definitely think of doing next time.

We chose the Sacred Skull Pass course and started straight away. For a Friday evening it was fairly busy but we were never waiting too long and enjoyed watching the people before and after to seeing how they did too. For a while I was doing very well but as it tends to do when you say it out loud I lost my winning streak soon after! Hubby won the game overall but I was still incredibly happy with my hole-in-one on the 13th hole!

After totalling our scores and catching a super non casual outfit of the day photo complete with a photo bomb we headed upstairs to the Tiki Bar.

It was again busy as it was the weekend but we were served quickly. I chose an espresso twist which came complete with a chocolate palm tree sprinkling and the Mr chose a Tahitian Torch. Needless to say they were super tasty and I will certainly be trying some more at their 2-4-1 times in the near future.

With the evening complete we headed home saying that we had a great time and should definitely return, next time taking others with us and upping our competition. We will be recommending it to friends heading to Nottingham and keeping it in mind for another date night and if you’re heading there for Valentine’s Day, enjoy!

This post is a collaboration but all opinions and views are my own.

Our Tuscan Honeymoon Part 2

Welcome Back for Part 2! If you’re not caught up you can also read Part 1 and see more places we visited whilst on our honeymoon.

After seeing some parts of Siena we had booked a three night stay in Florence. On arrival we found that the city is surrounded by high walls as with most of the areas and how they were built. We were staying at Hotel Baglioni and when we arrived left our car with the attendant to park as we could easily get around the city on foot. This hotel was again booked on recommendation and when we arrived could see why. We were given one of the top floor apartments on an outdoor terrace which looked out over the rooftops of Florence. A beautiful view of the Duomo made our stay a little more special. The hotel is right in the centre of the city and we were only a few minutes walk away from the shops, restaurants and tourist spots. There was plenty to see in a short space of time and we had made a plan to relax so we didn’t spend our time queuing, thankfully. If we went again we would probably plan ahead to get our tourist attraction tickets, minimize queue times and pay the right amount as there were ticket touts around.

Wherever we ate whilst in Florence was incredible and being sat outside looking up at the Duomo eating pizza was one of my favourite times. We also visited the Magnum store to create our own topped ice cream which was worth it.

The city is completely alive all of the time. The shops are open until late and there was always people walking around or sat outside restaurants. Another place we ate was the …. which included great service and really well priced to say it was in the centre of Florence. The most expensive place we happened to come across was close to the museums and statue of David where we sat and had a coffee. The menu didn’t have prices so we definitely learnt the lesson of always checking.

From Florence we moved back into Siena and to our last hotel. It was friendly and had its own pool which was warm enough for me to swim in and around the pool was the perfect place to sunbathe. There was a shop poolside to charge ice creams and drinks to your room so basically it was perfect for me. On one of the days where we weren’t poolside we drove to San Gimigano which was a very old city housing the bull racing arena filmed in James Bond. It was also one of the easiest cities to park at which doesn’t sound like much but they don’t have parking like we know it. The restaurants were packed in the arena area so we went back a few streets to eat which is something I would recommend to anyone.

I bought most of the gifts for people back home and myself from Florence and San Gimigano, mainly magnets as I like to cover my fridge in them.

If you have any recommendations of Italian cities where we should go to next let me know!