27 January 2015

A NIGHT AT THE CHAPEL WITH I-ESCAPE

Window and art at the chapel BrutonBakers trays and pastries beautiful wrought iron chairThe other week I was woke up in the luxury of soft cotton sheets and pillows that embrace you like a mothers arms, and the best thing was the silence. No shouts of breakfast or transformers, just pure silence and the smell of freshly baked croissants drifting in from the hall. A rare treat indeed for this tired mama.

The wonderful online travel company i-escape invited me and some other lovely bloggers to an evening At the Chapel in the en vogue village of Bruton. It was great to meet the team behind the company I've admired for a while now. We were invited downstairs to the beautiful Club room, where cowhide, stone stacks and marble floors dress the space to create the perfectly minimalist ranch style room that would suit the likes of Palm Springs.

delicious pizza from a stone pizza ovenivy clad brick wall and french doorsMagazine selection at breakfast
There was prosecco and pizza – the perfect combination – to enjoy while we listened to the many destinations around the world that i-escape showcases. If you haven't used the website before I would definitely recommend it, we used it to find one of our honeymoon stays in the South of France and it couldn't have been more dreamy. The best thing about booking through i-escape – apart from the in depth reviews, listing both the pro's and con's – is that you will always get the the same, if not better deal than booking with the hotel directly. Plus there are little extras to make your time that bit more special, like a welcome hamper or a complimentary bottle of fizz depending on where you book.


After cooing over some beautiful destinations and hearing about their selective process for handpicking the best boutique hotels and apartments, we were able to take part in a destination matchmaking workshop where the team put their heads together to match our preferences to perfect breaks abroad. It was brilliant to see how spot on they were with my matches being this beautiful Architect's cottage in Reykjavik  and this stunning apartment in Spain with Eames chairs, exposed stone walls and warm lighting *swoon*.

Modernest scandi style hotel dining room at iescapehunter welliesConverted church bathroom interior At the Chapel Bruton
Converted chapel bedroom interior scandinavian styleBooking accommodation abroad with little ones can sometimes be a bit tricky which is why I love i-escape with kids, not only does it allow you to travel without compromising on style – a big issue or me – but it makes finding the perfect bolthole easy with categories such as babies, toddlers, kids and teens to choose from as well as using countries and amenities to shortlist your preferences.

After lots of laughter and chats with friends, I took my tipsy self upstairs to my beautiful twin room which I was sharing with Fritha, and sunk into the welcoming bed before getting the most restful nights sleep. In the morning I woke slowly to the soft light filtering in through the window, jumping in the shower and heading downstairs to enjoy a latte or two before catching the train home.At the Chapel is definitely a favourite of mine (click on the link to see my full review) and I was super grateful for another chance to stay in this beautiful hotel.*I was a guest of i-escape's At the Chapel, all word and opinions are 100% my own .

26 January 2015

WHY I HEART COPENHAGEN // THE TALE OF THREE CITIES

As much as I love Bristol – and I do – there are other places that hold my heart and make me weak at the knees. You know, the ones that make you swoon. Well I thought it would be fun to share one of my favourite travel destinations with you, have you guessed it? Yes that's right, Copenhagen and yes I am wearing double denim *shhhh*.

When I was studying my design degree at university, it made sense that I hopped over to visit our Scandinavian friends and use Copenhagen as place to inspire my dissertation. That seems a lifetime ago, but I still have fond memories of exploring the different neighbourhoods with their beautifully coloured buildings and houseboats along the canals. Obviously back then I was (very) young and pre-child so the adventures are laced with hazy memories of late nights out and long lie ins. 

I've always wanted a reason to go back and visit the city with fresh eyes, so when we took F on his first holiday abroad I knew it had to be Copenhagen. 

So if I had to share three things I love about about Copenhagen, what would they be?

pastries on Make A Gif

Yep that's right! Pastries as big as your head. If you're a fan of food (like me) and love eating out then Copenhagen is the place to be. What better way to start your day than with some freshly brewed coffee and a warm pastry, and not just any old flaky pastry, but a Danish pasty made with all the tasty goodness that makes you go mmmmmmm for all to hear. We stayed in a small well designed apartment right in the heart of Nørrebro and our street was eclectic by day and bustling by night, with people eating al fresco or drinking a glass of wine tucked under a blanket.

Every morning we would walk over the river to the most amazing farmers food market – a must if visiting the city – which houses over 60 stalls selling everything from fresh coffees to olive oil, sweets and even organic skin care products. We'd sit on the stools with our pasties and coffees in hand, and watch the locals drop in on their way to work.

We found some great bars and eclectic cafes, like the Laundromat where you can watch people doing their washing while enjoying some tasty food, or Granola situated in the coolest street and Halifax where the burgers are delicious!

The second reason I love this city is the design. The architecture, the products, the graphics, the art all just oozes cool. I am a huge fan of Scandinavian design and what better place to see it than the capital which houses some fab finds of the home. We loved checking out the Dora design store, not to mention Hay which sell these cool colourful trays.

There are two museums that should be on everyones to do list, especially if you have kids. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and SMK are both architecturally wonderful, house beautiful art and even the lunch is served on brilliantly designed plates Now let's just take a minute to coo and ahh over little F....

Bikes. Bikes. Bikes. Yep the whole city is full of them and it's great. In fact it makes getting round the city a breeze and there are so many cool designs to look out for. If you have a little one you can get around with them tucked up in a cargo bike and if bikes don't take your fancy then the city is super easy to explore on foot. 




So yep that us, we love Copenhagen! There's probably so much more that I could share about this wonderful city: the beaches, the parks, the flowers, the friendly people, meeting Father Christmas... the list goes on. I hope I've inspired you to visit and if you're looking for a fun scandi adventure then this is the city for you.

This post is my entry in the 'tale of three cities' competition ran by Accor hotels. You can see some of the other entires by checking out the #3cities hashtag on twitter. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get to see my 35th Birthday abroad rather than at home on solo parenting duty.


23 January 2015

LOVING HABITAT IN THE HOME

Now I'm in full house mode I've been looking at ways to spruce up our sofa and hide the multitude of F mishaps that have appeared over the years. I've lost count at how many times I've turned up at the dry cleaners, clutching sofa covers decorated in crayon or spaghetti in the vain hope that they can perform the impossible and make it as good as new *news flash* apparently they can't.

Now that F is no longer a baby or a sticky fingered toddler, whose sole purpose in life seems to be focused on touching every part of the sofa while covered in chocolate or peanut butter, I am thinking that now might be the time to upgrade. Yep I could use throws and cushions to spruce it up and hide all that lurks beneath and I do, but I still know it's there, plus any excuse for sofa window shopping has to be a good thing right.

It's no big secret that I have a crush on Habitat, I've always been a big fan of their design, functionality and fun approach to creating stylish interior spaces, which is why you might spot a few pieces in our lounge such as this Tripod light which I love. So I though I would share some of the designs that I'm lusting over right now, after all a girl can dream right.

 I totally love the fabric on this Italian made 3 seater Chester Sofa and we've had our eye on the solid oak three door Max Sideboard which would be a great place to hide all our mess, plus it would look great with lots of fresh flowers on top.

Our current sofa is grey too so it makes sense that I am drawn to the grey sofa's available, I think there are so many ways to style it, especially with pops of colour such as this orange cushion. I love the arms on this one as it would be perfect to rest a tray on with coffee and a book, and if it hasn't got wide arms then one of these bamboo side tables would look great too.


In fact I would just really like a lounge that looks beautifully styled and can stay like that for just one hour for me to enjoy ;) I'd love to hear about your sofa crushes and get some inspiration.


*This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are 100% my own.


21 January 2015

CURRENT CRUSHES FOR THE HOME // INTERIOR INSPIRATION

As my January declutter ritual gets underway, I'm suddenly finding room for all beautiful things I've had my eye on for a while. So I thought I'd share some of my current crushes for the home in the hopes that it it satisfies my lusting and they don't all fall into my virtual shopping basket – although one or two of these may or may not have already fallen in and be winging it's way over....shhhh.

1. Botanicals are back with a bang this season and floral prints are going to be everywhere come spring. I'm loving this striking printed cushion for my office chair.

2. I have this thing about trays, I love to use them on the sofa as a makeshift table for my drinks and snacks while working. This geometric pattern tray from Ferm Living would be perfect to use in the lounge.

3. Oh my eyes! I totally love everything about this side table, the cut of the wood, the copper legs, the  beautiful design. As this comes in with a hefty price tag it will have to remain eye candy for now.

4. I'm always leaving my phone or watch lying around, so this cute spotty clock from Society 6 would look great in the kitchen or the hallway. I might even start being on time for things.

5. Our sofa is looking quite sad after enduring a few years of F bouncing all over it, so these scatter cushions from Multiyork would give it a great facelift and blush pink is on trend for 2015. They also have a great Etched Oynx cushion too which would compliment the pink.

6. This is one of those items I definitely *ahem* may have accidentally purchased for our flat. I've been after this Eye Eye poster from Fine Little Day for ages and I can't wait to get the bold graphic print on our wall.

7. Another long term lust of mine is this Rose Aztec blanket which would be perfect for snuggling under or just to dress the sofa or bed. It has so many uses and it's utterly gorgeous too.

I'd love to hear what your current crushes are for the home?


*This is a collaborative post. All words and opinions are 100% my own.

20 January 2015

3/52

"A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015."

F: A lazy morning.

It seems weird that I'm posting the third photo of the year as this signifies that January is on its way out already. How does time pass so quickly?! We've been having a little furniture shuffle and F is loving the space in his bedroom, spending lazy mornings playing with lego and and drawing on his blackboard wall. While he takes it slow things couldn't be busier this end. I'm now at the start of another solo week as Paul is away in Bucharest for work, so I'll be leaning on the caffeine a little to help me get through the week. I'm still focusing on getting the flat sorted out with plenty of DIY and painting under way, as well as planning more travel for 2015. I hope you have a great week!

Linking in with The 52 Project.