Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Beating January Blues

After returning to London, getting back to work and enduring the minus temperatures of January I knew that getting through the first month of the year wasn't going to be easy. As if knowing my motivational struggles one cloudy day I received a welcomed email asking whether I'd like to stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel with complimentary food included, for a kind review in return. Thinking there must be a catch somewhere, as most things sound too good to be true, I did some googling on the hotel. After some extensive browsing I came to the conclusion that the offer was legitimate and thankfully excepted the rather spontaneous trip to Scarborough. And when the question came about of when I'd like to stay, to help me battle through the drawn-out weeks of January I choose the last pinnacle weekend of the month. 

The drive was simple and took in some great scenery from the surrounding countryside. On the last leg of the drive the approach to the hotel was set amongst a plethora of trees. The winding road seemed to lay parallel with a pathway which seemed like an enjoyable trail for the summertime. Soon we had made it to our destination and although it was overcast it looked impressive from the onset. Gathering our bags together we were hit with the first gales of the weekend - which continued during our entire stay. 

After checking in we were led through the maze of the hotel grounds to our luxury suite. There we met our spacious and cosy room complete with sitting area, king-size bed and modern bathroom. The latter got us particularly excited as the bath was huge and featured a large waterfall tap that beckoned to be turned on! After settling in we quickly made our way to the bar/casual dinning area for afternoon tea. Here we devoured fluffy scones, delicious cucumber sandwiches and sweet treats that were hard to keep my eyes off. With two rounds of coffee we certainly had our fill and I was worried that I wouldn't be hungry come dinner.

Later I went to run the amazing, big bath but was faced we cold water. The heating too seemed to be getting milder in the room and soon enough we had someone knocking on our door to let us know that there was a problem with the gas in our section of the hotel. True to their great customer service they offered us another hotel room to get washed in and although it wasn't quite the bath I was after it was nice to still be able to wash my hair! 

Next came what I was really looking forward to - the evening meal at the restaurant. Tim and I were greated with complimentary champagne and the best soup I've ever had (I'm still thinking about it now). For starters I chose prawn cocktail and Tim chose chicken roulade, both of which were tasty and succulent. After we enjoyed a shot of winter berry cordial and it was a zesty pick-me-up in-between the courses! For mains I opted for duck confit and Tim picked pork belly and these were well cooked, beautiful dishes that were wonderfully presented. We could have had deserts and coffees to finish the meal but after so much food (they do excellent portions) we just couldn't face it. 

After a great night sleep we woke up to even worse weather than the previous day but the heating was back on and I took advantage of that gorgeous, large bath. Once we had packed and got ready we moseyed on to the restaurant for breakfast. In the bright light of day you could really appreciate the vast gardens that enclosed the hotel. And if you can get a spot near a window you can get some pretty picturesque views. Despite feeling still very full Tim and I went all out and had the full English breakfast with a pot of tea. It was a pleasant breakfast with yummy bacon, sausage and good eggs. 

We were wanting to walk off the mass of food we'd consumed over the weekend with a saunter around the hotel grounds before check-out but just as I put my hat on rain began to pour - and it didn't let up. We decided to leave early and hit the road with just enough time to give our pleasantries to the receptionist and fill out a quick questionnaire. For a mini-break in England it really was a treat. We felt utterly spoilt and the care and attentiveness of the staff made us feel welcomed. However, it was a real shame a few things wasn't on our side - such as the gas situation and specifically the weather which meant we didn't get to explore. So, if you were interested in visiting Ox Pasture Hall then I'd recommend going in spring or summer to truly get the most out of your stay.  
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Thursday, 25 September 2014

A token of thanks

My last post was dedicated to covering Freya De Fleur's worthwhile Charity Blogger Event which if you haven't yet managed to read please show your support and do so here.
Freya Bromley hostess to the event was kind enough to gift all her guests with some great goody bags which included some lovely pieces. There were everything from make-up brushes to sweets and tea. To my delight there was also a gorgeous chunky ring from Ottoman Hands, a brand with stunning bohemian styled jewellery that really focus on beautiful precious stones. 
Besides such nice complementaries I was also gifted some stunning earring from the lovely people at Ottoman Hands personally. It was quite the surprise when the ladies from the brand's stall came over and past me a tiny black satchel labelled 'Give Me More'. I thought I had won a prize or that they were handing them out to everyone but apparently not! It still gets me all smiley and shy when people show kindness and generosity when it comes to my humble small blog but it never goes without gratitude so I'd like to say a big thank you ladies!
If you haven't yet heard of Ottoman Hands make sure to check them out here as I was drooling over their colourful jewellery pieces all night - and having worn the earrings a few times now I can vouch for their quality and prettiness myself! As someone who doesn't wear earrings too often I actually looked forward to putting these in my ears as they were light and very comfortable, unlike so many other stoned droplets that I own. It is always nice when you receive compliments too and I've had countless comments on how beautiful the colour is and where they were from. So, I will be pulling these out of the jewellery box quite often...
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Monday, 22 September 2014

Frey De Fleur Charity Blogger Event

Photos 1, 3 and 5 by Ignite Images

Just in time for the midweek hump, Wednesday 17th September saw a gathering of bloggers, press, brands and celebrities congregate for the discussion of a worthy cause: fashion conscious blogging. And I was lucky enough to be included on the guest list.

The event held in the loft of the bustling Jam Tree in Chelsea was hosted by blogger Freya Bromley from Frey De Fleur, who's reasoning for the night was a very personal one. You see the conscious blogging initiative isn't some frivolous coin of phrase that just sounds good - to Freya who is leading the motion, it is all down to raising the awareness of charities for it is one in particular, The Rainbow Trust Children's Charity which has been there for her, her family and her brother after his cancer diagnosis. 

During the event Freya took to a speech were she described how much the charity has helped her whilst struggling with being apart from her brother at Univeristy and how it had also considerably helped her brother too in many worthwhile ways. From simply being there to talk to when feeling low to providing care. So the £600 raised on the night will certainly go far in aiding many other families.

Freya also discussed that as digital influences bloggers can be highly influential in terms of shoes, bags and makeup but maybe now it is time to use our voices for more than that... How amazing would it be to have the power to use our own slice of the internet to raise awareness about good causes like The Rainbow Children's Charity - or any other charity that you hold close to your heart. I know I've been through things in life where charities have played a big part in helping to keep families supported and cared for. 

Freya herself has dedicated a whole section of her blog to charity fuelled blogging and plans to hold two annual events a year where people can get together and collaborate on ideas to help spread the word. This is one example of how crowd sourcing and blogging can be a very positive thing for the younger generation. Instead of fixating of twitter trolling, Instagram jealousy and blogging blues something like conscious blogging allows for us to think about more than ourselves and our own opinions and wants. 

I think it's an admirable mission and of course wherever I can I'll be happy to help and I will start to look beyond my normal realms of interest and start thinking seriously about charitable content too for Give Me More. It doesn't have to be something you do every week - but if you shed light on even one great cause that you genuinely feel passionate about then that could have an incredible domino effect online and hopefully get more and more people talking charity too. 

So, get Involved, spread the word and better still get helping out at your local charity - spend a day volunteering, give that big issue man your daily Starbucks spend, sign up for a charity run or even start your own event to raise funds. Just seize the opportunity for good now! Together it could lead to something amazing...
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Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A Day To Remember...

What a truly magical day... congratulations Alicea and Richard

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