Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

Tintagel Castle | Cornwall

King Arthur had it made....

A Glamping Weekend in Devon

Ever since the first time I laid eyes on the British countryside I was in love. I remember giggling while on every drive we took in those first few weeks because every church or village that I saw looked exactly like a postcard. It was everything I imagined it would be and more. Friends, British postcards don't lie....the countryside is incredible. Sometimes I seriously just want to cry it's so beautiful. And this past weekend, we finally had the chance to immerse ourselves in it.

I have been an admirer of Canopy and Stars website for a while (if you haven't seen it, go check it out now!!) And I found a great little yurt on an organic farm that I thought would be right up mine and Van's alley. And I was 100% right.

A Sail with the Seals | Blakeney Point

I have been wanting to see the seals like for forever. And finally, Mr. Gunter agreed to take me! Blakeney Point is only about an hour and a half drive from Ely, so we hopped in the car Saturday morning and took off for a gorgeous drive through the English countryside. Side note: the countryside is really beautiful. I wish I could capture it for you all. We literally ride in silence just totally wrapped up in the gorgeous scenes.

Upon arrival in Morston, we ate an amazing lunch of seafood at the Anchor Inn before making our way down to the marina to find our seal tour boat. If you are ever in Morston, STOP HERE!

A Touristy Day in London

While my Mom was in town visiting, we headed to London to have a day full of being tourists. You may have seen some of our "Day of Selfies" on my Instagram account! We had a blast just wandering around the city and taking in the landmarks. One place that I am kicking myself for not snapping shots was at Borough Market. But wow, too many yummy sights and smells to be worried about a camera there! Nevertheless, here are some snaps from our day as tourists in London. 

Parliament | Westminster Abbey | St. Paul's Cathedral | Tower Bridge | The Shard | Tower of London

Lately | Two weeks of fun


My Momma came to see me!!!

The blog has been a little quiet as of late, but that's because I have spending some much needed time with my mom who came to visit from Dallas! She was such a sweetheart and intentionally planned her trip during our trip to Germany so she could watch her 'grandbabies' and they were totally spoiled for the whole duration of her stay. Oh well...that's what grandparents do right?

So....what all did we do? A LOT. We.....

Explored Ely in the rain, wind and sunshine....


We are back safe and sound from a weekend getaway to the beautiful Rome! Before I get into all that is the Eternal City I wanted to write up a little post on what's been going on lately in the Gunter household. It's a little lengthy but its been a good while since I've written a Lately post!

Ely Christmas Fair

Last week, we attended the Ely Christmas Fair preview. We wanted to see what it was all about and the preview was the perfect idea since we would be missing the weekend fair while in Rome. Set in the Ely Cathedral, it was incredibly magical! As if the Cathedral couldn't be any more magical. We shopped the stalls, which filled the massive Cathedral to the brim, while sipping mulled wine and munching on mince meat pies. Perfection! We scooped up a couple gifts and thus started the Christmas season. Christmas begins waaaayy earlier here than in the States because there is no Thanksgiving holiday here to act as a buffer. And I quite like it!

If you haven't seen my Ely Cathedral posts or my many Instagram shots, check these out: Interior, Tower and Exterior. She's a beaut!

RyanAir flights
While I am getting better at flying and keeping my nerves under control, I still get vertigo every now and again on takeoff. And if I don't, sometimes I just feel like I am going to faint because my nerves are going berserk. But I have to say, on our last two trips flying with RyanAir (Prague and Rome), I have been impressed with how smooth the flights have been. Well except for the huge bounce on arriving in Rome.....haha! We bounced pretty high and landed hard but we made it safely! I always judge the pilot when he comes over the loud speaker and I have to say, RyanAir pilots do a good job of sounding cheery and giving us an itinerary of the flight path which I thoroughly enjoy!

Crossing the Alps
And speaking of flying, the last two flights took us over the Alps which is the most amazing thing to fly over on a clear day. They are a truly incredible sight from the sky and I can't wait to get back to the slopes this winter season! We are counting down the days!

Inexcusable Neighbor Behavior (the lengthy part)
I love that I have a blog and can vent about this. This part might even deserve it's own post! I have a crazy stalker neighbor and I secretly hope she reads this! Here's the deal. We used to board our dogs every time we travelled but we have some friends who live here in Ely who said they would love to come and watch them at the house if we wanted them too. So for awhile now, my sweet friends Catherine, Jacob and Luke have been coming and feeding and walking them while we are gone which allows the dogs to stay in the comfort of their own home. And usually they just stay over at our house. Which makes me so happy when I come home from a trip and they are just as happy as can be and not exhausted and stressed from the kennel!  They basically live in the heated conservatory and have access to the garden during the day. Sounds pretty normal right?

Well, we left Friday morning for Rome and not long after we were gone the Dog Warden was called to our house to check the welfare of our dogs. Are you kidding me? I still have yet to figure out why she would do this. My dogs are my family and basically my kids and I would never ever put them in harms way! Obviously, I brought them all this way to England. It's so insulting. And why didn't she call me first?

But I'm telling you, this lady watches us like a hawk. It's weird. She's a 'curtain twitcher'. This isn't the first time she has done something either. She's always complaining about our she comes by to tell us our bush is a couple inches too long. I'm not kidding. Or she complains that we have a few weeds in OUR driveway. She complains about our motion sensor light. She complains about my garden trees growing into another neighbors garden. I'm almost positive she is the reason we have a house inspection every 3 months. (She is friends with our landlord and has probably made them think that we are terrible). Every time they come to do the inspection, the guy is like 'why am I here, your house is in perfect order?' She complains that I have my groceries delivered. Don't I have a right to have that service? She complains about our neighbor's yard and cuts it herself if she doesn't like it....what?! And she brings my trash bin in if I don't have it pulled in by her time standards. It's out of control. Why. Oh, and she isn't even our nexr door neighbor....she lives across the street!!

I boiled over the Dog Warden thing while in Rome and the closer we got to home the angrier I got. Why can't she just leave us alone? The Dog Warden says it was an anonymous call (although it could only be her) stating that we leave our dogs unattended every weekend and they cry and howl (my dogs do neither). This particular weekend we were have said to have left Thursday to Sunday. Ok, wrong on all levels. Furious doesn't even begin to describe what I feel. And I love how we are said to have been gone the weeknd prior as well.... I had to look at pictures from my phone to see what we were doing. Maybe I should show her pictures of the dogs up on the sofa with us having the laziest weekend of all time! Out of town...pfff.

 The only thing I could think that would have made her call is if Bruno was barking. Bruno barks at things but he isn't a yapper. He barks to scare off a threat and then he's done when he feels the threat is gone. Mostly at loud moving trucks or if someone pulls into our driveway. He is a Boxer and is protective of us but incredibly loving....simple as that. (Willis on the other hand would sleep through burglars, fires and any other emergencies...English Bulldog for ya). But still, even if Bruno barked, is that reason to call the Dog Warden? She knew we had left for a trip and that's why she did it. She is freaking crazy. And she is the only thing that I dislike about England. I can't wait until this weekend....I might just have to throw a massive, loud party for my birthday. HA!

I am working up the courage and calm to go over and talk to her today without getting upset. What would you do?

Ok, enough about the crazy lady. Rome was amazing and I have lots of goodies coming up soon on the blog. It was a destination where the tears of joy flowed! Stay tuned :) 

#LDNBlogger Event | Conrad London St. James Christmas Tea

While I don't live in London, I do get invited to London blogger events and I graciously accept these invitations! It's always nice to take a trip down to the big city and take in the scenes. However, I am always happy to return to my little town and away from the noise!

This time around, I was invited to the gorgeous Conrad London St. James to preview their Sparkling Christmas Afternoon Tea. While I still feel like a newbie to afternoon teas, I thoroughly enjoy them. Especially when bubbly is involved!

It was a little funny to be eating Christmas themed treats so early in the year! This was back in October and it actually happened to be a warm and humid day. But it definitely put a smile on my face. And of course, the bubbly helped with that as well. We mingled for a bit before the tiers of goodies were brought to our tables. 

After a couple of glasses of Laurent Perrier, I opted for a white jasmine tea, which is my go to tea these days. 

The goodies arrived and we were in awe of the lovely arrangement. The top tier was a lovely mini Christmas feast including a brussel sprout shot, which was absolutely delicious, turkey ballotine and a venison bite. Each dish was very flavorful and I savoured every bite. I am always amazed by bite sized perfection!

Next up, the finger sandwiches. Including Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream Fraiche, Cured Gammon and Mustard, and my favorite, Beetroot and Spinach. 

And last but certainly not least, the scones! There were two types for us to try, the orange and cranberry scone and the Christmas spiced scone served with Devonshire clotted cream (of course), strawberry jam and blackberry curd. You just can't go wrong with flavors like these!

You would think we would be done with the tea, right? Well, we still had the main piece awaiting us: The Christmas desserts. Served up to us as a piece of art, it was hard to demolish these pretty little treats. I loved the creative snow covered window pane that covered the desserts. Such a nice touch. 

The desserts included mini meringue snowmen, Christmas postcard marshmallows, white forest yule log, a snowflake macaroon, chocolate orange Battenburg present, a winterberry Christmas tree and even edible snow! Can you find each one of these below? I enjoyed each of these but my favorite was the yule log. 

Typical blogger event....all of us snapping away before digging in!

After we were all truly fed and full, we were given a little takeaway box with some delicious macaroons. It was so nice to be able to bring something home to Van so he wouldn't have to just hear me gush about how amazing it all was. 

As we sat around and chatted in the gorgeous dining area, the harpist played us lovely Christmas songs to get us in the spirit. It truly was a special tea, one that I would return to if I had the chance! If you are looking for a luxurious afternoon tea to get you in the holiday spirit, look no further than Conrad St. James! The setting and the service are impeccable!

22-28 Broadway
London, SW1H 0BH
00208 1663039

Afternoon Christmas Tea £37 pp
Christmas Tea with free flowing Champs £45 pp

I was given a discount for my tea, but all opinions are my own.

Arundel | Where to Stay and Eat

After the Battle of Hastings, we drove an hour west to stay in the town of Arundel, since we were to visit the castle the next day. While driving in from the east, you come across the gorgeous view of the castle nestled in the fall colors. It's stunning and I wish I had a picture. I knew immediately that I would love this town. Arundel is the definition of quaint. I could not get enough of the buildings, bright colored doors and the interesting little shops along the high street.

After catching a glimpse of the town, I was thrilled that I had chosen a B&B to stay at rather than a hotel. We were able to experience life as a local. We stayed at Byass House B&B and were given a warm welcome by our host Sally. We later determined that staying at Byass House is like staying at your favorite Aunt's house. The one with the super interesting, clean and cozy house and who offers you wine glasses when she sees you with a bottle of wine. Sally was wonderful and so was our room. Spacious and with a lovely view over the garden. While our bathroom was not an en-suite, I never felt like it was a bother. And not to mention, the high street is just a short stroll away.

Breakfast was wonderful, wi-fi was great (we always have to have wi-fi on a Saturday night to watch Auburn), and the overall coziness left us feeling well taken care of. If you need a place to stay while visiting the area, stay here!!! Even if you have no reason to be in the area, come anyway. The town and restaurants are quaint and delicious!

Which leads me to the eat part. Two words: La Campania.

While I don't normally tend to choose Italian as my first choice (not that I don't like it, I LOVE Italian), we walked around town, spotting a few different restaurants and decided this would be the place. With no reservation on a Saturday night, we walked in around 6:35 and were told that they did have a table but we would need to be finished by 8:00. Not a problem we said. La Campania is fab. The interior is interesting and cozy (catching a theme here?) and the service was absolutely impeccable. We never had to ask for a thing. Also, they were really sweet to let us purchase another bottle of 'take-away' wine for a discounted price. Oh, and the food? Divine. I chose the Pasta of the Day and Van had the Lasagna....both extremely delicious.
Happy La Campania diners

Overall, Arundel was perfect. Go here. It is lovely.

A few other food suggestions:

Lately & an Autumn Stroll down the River Cam

Just a few shots from our recent stroll through Cambridge (which has been happening quite often). I just can't get enough of the river scenes.

The leaves are changing. The sun is setting a few minutes earlier each day and the rain is starting to set in. It's autumn in England! 

Not much new around here lately....

we are...

 mourning the Auburn loss to Mississippi State last weekend, but who knows what can happen 

 looking forward to our upcoming trips planned

staying warm wrapped up in blankets on the couch...still refusing to turn on the radiators just yet

eating leek and potato soup on the regular....staple in our house (along with zoodles)

watching Homeland, Downton Abbey and Walking Dead...quite the mixture!

What have you been up to lately?

Speaking of Downton Abbey, have you read the post where I got to visit the real Downton Abbey?! It's a must read, right here!