A few Devon snaps

Sometimes we fool ourselves thinking we are up to date and connected with the people we were once close to due to facebook and all our social media sites but there is nothing like a proper catch up (face to face!) over long walks, pub lunches and numerous cuppa's! That's why I decided to jump on a train Devon bound to catch up with old chums C&C. Oh and not forgetting the cutie pie Eleanor who has grown into a little strong minded person! How time flies. One thing that hasn't changed is our love for afternoon tea, so the first thing we did was head over to a cute village called Burford for cream tea at The copper kettle.  

Burford is your classic english village and made me realise that it's been way too long since I had dragged myself away from the smoke. We roamed in and out trinket shops and museums until we found thee pub with thee pie! Wow this pie was immense. I can still taste it now. It was so lovely to get a decent Sunday lunch though. I really cant seem to find a decent Sunday roast in London! Please share if you have...

Picnics in Exmoor watching little Ellie splash around in the lake is what its all about! Bless her she hated us for dunking her in but soon got used to it! Have you been to Exmoor? Its something about the rugged natural beauty to the place that brings you straight back down to earth. It was so peaceful. After my trip to Thailand, Devon with its cosy pubs and wholesome food nursed me and my dodgy tummy back to life :) 

Well a trip to Devon is not complete without 'real devon icecream' from Tiverton. Butterscotch too - nom nom. 

If it's been too long since you picked up the phone to your school friends as you're 'busy', or made that long train journey to your grand parents who live in the outer Hebrides. Suck it up and go and see them. Make memories. Make a surprise visit?

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Petersham Nurseries

Petersham Nurseries, a short walk away from Richmond Hill is an enchanting shabby chic retreat from the bustling town life of Richmond. Tucked away, it feels like you have discovered a hidden treasure as you walk through the wooden gates and towards the glasshouses crammed full of vintage finds, mismatched furniture and dahlias in every shade! 

The nursery is abundant with so many varieties of plants and herbs, planted in terracotta pots to wheelbarrows. Chose from lavender, hydrangeas, orange trees and many more plants many which are propagated on site!

After taking a gazillion photos I headed to the gorgeous cafe/teahouse. The mouthwatering ingredients are produced in the walled garden at the nursery so you know you'll be eating fresh and scrumptious food here! Salads with butternut squash, bacon and gorgonzola and huge cakes that look so picture perfect you don't want to eat it. You could just come for a coffee but guaranteed you wont make it out of the serving shed without a tray full of mains, puddings and some hot beverage. 

You can also dine here at the Michelin restaurant. For my budget at the moment, it's a wee bit pricey but I did manage to have a sneaky peak at some diners plates as I passed and turned green with envy! I'm sure they light up the glasshouse with fairy lights in the evening. Surrounded by the plants I couldn't think of a more romantic date!! If you want to take your loved one for a special meal somewhere a little bit different from your average chains then book a table here! For details and menu's click here.

One hour later, one slab of black forest cake gobbled up I was ready to head to the antique shop! The shop is full of glass, chandeliers, mirrors with price tags for the rich and famous so head to the garden shop if you wanted to pick up something from nurseries to take home with you. I bought some hand soap as I find it virtually impossible to come away from here empty handed!

Lavender adorned many surfaces and walkways around the glasshouses.

I'm not going to tell you the cost of the wooden dolls house...

A few selfies in the mirrors couldn't be helped! 

The views around Petersham

So readers, another place tempting you to visit in London. I hope you manage to come down soon and enjoy the place as much as I do! 

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10 wonderful things that made me smile this week.....

1. The smell of the rain and watching it pour from the grey sky while sat warm inside! I really love the fresh summery smell.

2. My painted jug arrived from the pottery cafe. Finally! It may look hideous but add some flowers and it looks alright?!

3. Bargain costume jewelry from Zara to add a bit of sparkle to my outfits.

4. Lazy days reading my new book from Phillipa Gregory. I'm broke from my recent holiday to Thailand but still forked out the money to buy her new novel The White Princess.

5.  Did I mention Thailand. The memories of my sleepy days lounging in hammocks on the beach makes me smile for sure!

6. Maroon 5's song - Love somebody on repeat on youtube. That man does something to me...Hot hot as always Mr Levine.

7. Marmite and cheese toasties - say no more.

8. Picking wild blackberries along the Thames - freebies always tend to make me smile :)

9. H&M! Shock. Horror. I love H&M. They have some awesome staples right now. What's a girl supposed to do when tops are £7.99 looking very Boden-esq? 

10. This quote.

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Smelling the Roses

I have always loved living on the Thames, but sunny days like this, where I can leave my front door and arrive at Hampton Court in just under two hours, makes me feel a lucky girl indeed. 

Hampton Court famous for Henry VIII's Royal abode is strikingly beautiful. The red bricks against the blue sky greeted me after walking alongside the palaces long walls for almost an hour. It took my breathe away.

It has been a place I've been eager to visit for a while after becoming head over heels in love with Phillipa Gregory and her novels on woman from our past. My latest obsession is the cousins war she writes about and portrayed so well in The White Queen shown on BBC at the moment! Her novels are so addictive, you really have to pick up one today if you haven't given her a go yet! I thought after reading all about Henry's grandparents/parents in the Kingsmaker I might get something out of visiting Hampton. I was a wee bit disappointed on that front. It's very gimmicky and basic information supplied but still its an amazing place to while away an afternoon....

Chatting with Francesca and picking fresh blackberries along the way..

And finally arriving to this! Told you...striking.

Being a cafe/cake reviewer I have to admit without too much guilt that one of the main reasons for my visit to these historical places is the fab cafes they give us! They never disappoint and leave me in a state of confusion over what to actually buy.

So after meandering through the roses, we gravitated to the cafe. Naturally.

I went for a prawn baguette and I NEVER eat prawns.It just looked that good. Francesca opted for a salad/vegetable combo with smoked salmon. There was a creamy chicken and sweet potato stew that will be my reason to return here. The tickets to get into the palace are pricey at £17 so I wouldn't do that again but I will definitely visit Hampton Court just for the cafe and beautiful rose garden.

So my post title is smelling the roses. I don't think I've ever smelt roses before?! Why, I don't know! Or maybe they've never smelt this good! I couldn't stop smelling all the different roses as we passed. 

Oh the Dahlia's! I swear by it that will be my daughter's name. 

Hampton Court is for the history buffs, the foodies, the plant lovers and the people out there that just want to be surrounded by beauty! It's a place for all types and ages so why don't you plan your visit while the sun is still out for us all. Apparently they nuture the oldest vines in the UK on their grounds that grows dessert grapes every September. I'd say that would be a good time to visit so you can smell the roses while eating the sweet grapes of the palace.

Have a fun Bank holiday my lovelies! Look forward to hearing about what you get up to :)

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