Cornwall

As you probably know, my husband and I have relocated over Christmas to the Cotswolds from London and were fortunate enough to have January off before starting work. The idea of this was to give us time to settle ourselves in a new area and enjoy the house whilst recharging the batteries after a chaotic couple of years.

I had visions of us swanning around the Cotswolds sipping lattes and going on long country walks around quaint villages with not a care in the world. The reality has been quite different with builders and painters finishing off snagging and we both have a bad habit of getting over busy and so we have had six people to stay over the past three weeks as well. I can’t complain too much because it is entirely our own doing, but we decided we needed to book a couple of days away to ensure we couldn’t be contacted or getting roped into anything. The perfect place for seclusion and zero mobile signal is, of course, Cornwall!

We booked into a beautiful farm outside Bude called Sanctuary Farm which had no wifi and no mobile signal but it was exactly what we wanted. The farm was beautiful and the hosts were so accommodating and friendly. The first day we explored local beaches including Widemouth Bay which is great for surfing (although a little chilly in January), Boscastle and a small place called Duckpool which is rocky but a nice walk from the farm.

Day two took us a little further and we went to Perranporth Beach, Kynance Cove, The Lizard and Falmouth. I have only been to Cornwall once before to visit the main touristy areas and so I really enjoyed exploring a different and quieter side of the county.

(I temporarily lost my camera on the first day, so these were just taken on my phone – excuse poor quality!)

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TOP TIP: It became clear that during the winter months Cornwall shuts up shop with signs in windows saying they reopen again for the summer – something to bear in mind!

From House to Home

I know it has been a couple of weeks now since we last post, but things have been so manic I have not had the time – sorry! Hopefully by reading this blog you will understand 🙂

We bought our house in Cheltenham almost a year ago with the view of modernising the current house and adding an extension on to the back. The people in our house before us were a young couple with a toddler so I can understand why perhaps they did not get around to updating the interiors, and it allowed us to put our stamp on things without feeling too guilty!

However, what started as a 3 month project turned out to be a 9 month full renovation which included entire re-plumbing, re-wiring and moving of internal walls. Throughout this time we also had a couple of surprises in our garden including a bomb shelter and a drain which nearly meant we had to cancel all building of the extension due to regulations. Thankfully, with some careful thought from the planning officers and our builders, we were able to figure it out!

As our first home, we were keen to use the house to reflect both of our personal tastes and styles. Last year, my husband and I travelled to Morocco to both Marrakesh and the Atlas mountains where we fell in love with the country’s interiors and attention to detail. Needless to say, the dark walls and ceilings were a no-no, but we were able to pick up a few vibrant rugs and a brass side table in the souks which are now scattered throughout various rooms.

When designing a home it is not about replicating exact designs in specific rooms, but about bringing together key pieces of furniture and ideas which compliment each other within a house. I tend to find that balance hard as I can get a little too over-excited when I get an idea in my mind, luckily my husband is very good at bringing me back down to earth! My personal opinion is that a house can look nice when it is immaculate and ultra-minimal, but to me that does not feel like a home. I like pictures and little insights into lives, along with the nice pieces that remind us of travels or fond memories. Otherwise, a house is just a house – does that make sense?!

Anyway, after what seems like an age, we have finally been able to unpack and put the finishing touches together. We have been living here for two weeks now and I have to say it is only now that it is starting to feel more like our home. Emotionally I found I had distanced myself from it as it had taken so long, and so settling in and getting it to feel like ‘home’ has taken a while. I think I will start to enjoy living here now, just in time for our housewarming on Saturday! YAY!

Christmas

I don’t know about you, but Christmas this year has been absolutely manic. I have no idea what day it is and Christmas Day seems about two weeks ago as we have been driving around the country trying to fit in seeing both sides of the family.

I am sorry this post is slightly late, but I hope you had a good day and are now finding time to relax after the merriment! I’m not going to write anything for this post, as I thought I would share a few photos with you from my day as we hosted our first Christmas in our new (slightly unfinished) home….

The Londoners Arrive!

We did it!

After a stressful few weeks of liaising with builders, plumbers, electricians and decorators to ensure our Cheltenham house is habitable we have just about made it.

Admittedly, the windows only went in on Tuesday and the water is being switched on later today, but at least we are in! We started this house renovation in April and we were promised it would be ready in August with a view of being able to ease ourselves into the move over the next few months. Typically, things never run to time and multiple things were found to need work along the way. A main drain disaster and bomb shelter discovery later, I walked in today to our new home and new life.

Moving house is one of the most stressful things a person can do, even if you are only moving down the road. I know on top of that, moving to a new part of the country is scary and brings with it a whole new set of worries. Whether that be making new friends, finding new favourite places to eat or worrying ‘what if it doesn’t work out?’. Something which I have come up against is people’s concerns of what if I get bored or run out of things to do and I keep comparing it to London. It will be different, and that brings with it a myriad of benefits and opportunity, and I have realised that it is important to stop trying to compare it with London. My neighbour said a very valid point to me the last time I saw her, and that is that motorways go two ways. It sounds blindingly obvious, but it is important to understand a) because it means that if you really do hate it, then you can always return to London and b) you can still go and visit! When you go back to visit you can stay in those new areas that you never quite got round to exploring properly, or for some familiarity why not stay in the heart of your favourite place?! This way, you can actually have the best of both worlds, the slower and calmer day to day life without the horrific commute standing under somebody’s sweaty armpit, but you can hop on a train for 1.5 hours and be in Paddington ready to go to all your favourite spots.

I really wanted to share that because although it is scary, it is also really exciting and many people I have spoken to would love to have the courage to move more into the sticks, but it is that fear which stops them.

Anyway, we have three days to unpack and get the house/our lives ready for Christmas so I really should actually get on with it – wish me luck!

The Countdown Begins

As I mentioned in my first post, although I have loved my time in London, my husband and I will be leaving this city over the Christmas period to begin the next chapter of life in Cheltenham. The moving date is the 22nd December, which means today marked the final week in London!

I am writing this post surrounded by boxes as we pack up what has been our home throughout our time here. This move brings with it mixed emotions as these past few weeks have gone by at a ridiculous speed. People are drawn to London for a whole host of reasons, but for me it was more of a love-hate relationship at first.

I moved here as my now-husband was offered an opportunity to become Chartered with  the most reputable company in his field, and despite how proud I was of him for his great success, it meant that I too had to go to London. I grew up on the South Coast and my experience of life so far had been of the beachy coast and the rolling hills of the South Downs. Admittedly, I had moved to Cheltenham for University, but the town took getting used to and it seemed very large and busy by comparison to where I grew up!

When we moved to Clapham, I had no job and no friends so it took quite some work to find my feet. However, soon enough I had made friends, got to know the local area and enjoyed getting to know London. Two years later and I now find it hard to imagine living anywhere else. I love the buzz of the fast-paced life and the vast array of adventures this global city has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited to move to Cheltenham and make it our home for the foreseeable future, but it does seem rather sleepy in comparison!

It is for this reason, that I wanted to write this blog and share my experiences with you. The saying ‘the grass is always greener’ seems very apt at this point – I am going to the Cotswolds after all!

 

Sunday Brunching

There is no better feeling to waking up at the weekend knowing that ahead of you lies a relaxed and stress-free day. Forget the alarm being snoozed multiple times, waking up in the dark and trudging to the bus or tube in the cold and rain… today is a day for a leisurely brunch!

Time in London seems to fly by, and so weekends are an important time to recharge the batteries. I have noticed that the brunching culture in London (and in Cheltenham!) is becoming more and more celebrated. With bottomless brunches popping up everywhere, and the Kiwi’s championing the rise of the avo on toast, I wanted to write about one place in particular which, for me, has the perfect brunching recipe.

I first came across Flotsam & Jetsam by accident about 18 months ago. My husband and I were enjoying the annual Bellevue Road Street Fair in Wandsworth and after purchasing a couple of locally produced gifts, we were in need of a drink. I love to stare into Estate Agent windows to look at the properties for sale, and as we stood at Knight Frank’s window admiring a local Victorian two-bed we noticed a little coffee shop around the bend.

We got chatting to the staff  there and discovered Flotsam & Jetsam had been open for just two weeks. The family who owned it were from New Zealand and had bought with them Kiwi recipes and sourced what is now my favourite coffee – Allpress. They do a range of food throughout the day including F&J pancakes, superfood salads and huevos rancheros. I also highly recommend trying some of their snacks from the counter. There is a delicious gluten-free zucchini bread and they have unusual cake selections (the hummingbird cake is a personal favourite).

Flotsam & Jetsam is now one of our all-time favourite brunch spots and we love trying their ever changing menu. The staff are always friendly and nothing is too much bother – I couldn’t recommend it enough! To have a look at their menu click here : https://flotsamandjetsamcafe.co.uk

 

TOP TIP : Get there early! There is often a queue, but the staff will take your name and the wait is never longer than around 20 mins.

London meets the Cotswolds

Hello!

So let me start by saying this is my first ever blog, so you may have to bear with me. I wanted to start writing this blog as over the Christmas period this year, I will be relocating with my husband to the Cotswolds from London.

Something which I have noticed is that in London, it is common for many people to live in the buzz of the city during the week, but at the weekend retreat to country homes or trips away for some respite. According to an article which was released recently, one of the main motivators for an individual was a work-life balance.  The article went on to say how more people are considering a move out of London to the countryside for a better quality of life, which was also a big motivator for us.

During my move, I will be making the most of my final weeks in London and will be reviewing a couple of favourite areas to explore which I would love to share with you. I will also be sharing my experience of transitioning into a slower pace of life for anyone who is thinking of making a similar move!

I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!

Rosie x