Being totally honest, when I went down to Bournemouth it was without any plans, other than watching the sunset with my book in hand and wandering along the beach for an ice cream. So when I was kindly tipped off that Rick Stein has a restaurant just along the bay in Sandbanks, Poole, I knew that I needed to get a little organised and book myself a last-minute lunch table there. One of the hardest… View Post

Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton

Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton

When I snuck away for my seaside weekend to Bournemouth, I did it for one reason; a hotel balcony view over the ocean. A couple of the hotels that I wanted to stay in along the coast were fully booked,  I booked into the Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton. It was everything I wanted – a Victorian grand dame in true British seaside style, but not so glam that it had airs and graces. Just a… View Post

Hidden Secrets of London: Chiswick House and Gardens

Hidden Secrets of London: Chiswick House and Gardens

There should be a law passed declaring that all historic houses and gardens must be visited at the end of sunny days, and as near to twilight as possible. There is a magic in dappling sun as it beams lazily through tree boughs that can’t quite be put into words. Especially in the beautiful Chiswick House and Gardens grounds. Chiswick House is a magnificent neo-Palladian villa set in beautiful historic gardens in west London. The house… View Post

Unique England: The Kington Langley Scarecrow Competition

Unique England: The Kington Langley Scarecrow Competition

England to me is personified in 3 words; beauty, history and a touch of the surreal. There really isn’t quite a country like in the whole rest of the world. (I could write thousands more words on this Island – and have done – but let’s stick to 3 for the sake of this post not topping out at 18,000 words.) Enter stage right the annual Kington Langley Scarecrow Competition. From intrepid explorers conquering the… View Post

A Beautiful Beach Staycation in Bournemouth

A Beautiful Beach Staycation in Bournemouth

The ocean waves have been calling my name. Eventually, I decided on a Bournemouth escape. I simply wanted to read my book on the train for a couple of hours of English countryside, stay somewhere lovely and get some of that Vitamin Sea.