UK Lifestyle Blog

27 November 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide for 2017

I can't quite believe it, but it's some how 4 days until the 1st of December, and that means one thing, Christmas is just around the corner! Most of you may have already began your Christmas shopping, perhaps you're super organised and everything is wrapped and ready to go. If not, or you're stuck for those last few gift ideas,  then I have you covered. I have trawled the internet, and compiled a categorised list of gifts just for you!

I hope you find it helpful

{{The Gardener}}

{{The Star Baker}}

{{The Explorer}}

  • Help them keep track of travels with this effective Map
  • Keep their documents safe in this stylish Passport Cover
  • One for the short escape lover, this book offers plenty of travel ideas
  • Help them track their travels with this gorgeous diary
  • For a more Lavish gift, why not help them capture their travels perfectly with this sleek camera 

{{The Ginthusiast}}

{{Make-Up Magpie}}

{{The Home Maker}}

{{The Comfort Seeker}}

{{For Him}}

{{For The Stocking}}

  • If you don't get chocolate in your stocking is it even Christmas? These extra festive Pocket Christmas Chocolates are the perfect sweet stocking filler
  • Help them get organised for the new year with this pretty Rose Gold Notebook
  • A mug is a perfect gift for all those hot winter beverages, they will love this adorable Polar Bear one!
  • If you know a loose leaf tea lover, then this Pug Tea Infuser is not only handy but so cute!
  • Socks are another great stocking filler and these Avocado ones are super sweet

I hope this guide has helped you find that special someone the ideal gift, or maybe a treat for yourself!


22 November 2017

Our 24 hour stay in Rye

The final leg of our trip to the South Coast brought us to Rye. Rye is probably one of the most beautiful places that I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. The cobbled winding roads, houses clad with flowers and cute independent tea rooms are a marvel to behold. It really was a dream destination to finish our trip on. If anyone wants to lend me a couple of million pounds then I would move here in a heart beat.

We stayed at the beautiful Willow Tree House, which you can read about here. Willow Tree House is only a short stroll away from Mermaid Street, which is the most popular street in Rye.

As we made our way from the B&B into Rye, we stopped at the bottom of Mermaid Street for a spot of breakfast at The Old Grain Store.

I had Nutella on Toast which was delicious, the bread was door stop thick and scrumptious, it really set us up for the day ahead. Near to the Old Grain Store there are a number of antique shops, perfect for perusing and looking for treasures!

As you leave the Old Grain Store and cross the road you reach the bottom of Mermaid Street, the most photographed street in Rye, and you can see why. Every house is beautiful, dressed with pretty foliage and fancy front doors. I loved walking up the cobbled path and reading all the names of the houses and imagining what it would be like to live there.

We decided to climb to the top of St Mary's for the best view of Rye. It's a narrow and interesting climb to the roof of the Church, but so worth it for the spectacular views.

It's amazing to see all the cute houses below, and the views go on for miles. I would definitely recommend it if you are in Rye.

After taking in the spectacular scenery we had worked up quite an appetite, and there was only one place for it, Cobbles Tea Room.

Down a quiet cobbled lane, surrounded by flowers is Cobbles Tea Room, it's like something out of a fairy tale. We popped in for scones and tea and soaked up the atmosphere, and yummy smells of warm cakes. It's such a cute little spot for a refreshment break, perfect after all that walking!

Re-fuelled we headed back out to enjoy some more of the independent shops, following the winding cobbled lanes and learning about Rye's History.

Also if you've nosied around my corner of the internet, you will know that I am a huge interior's/home lover (I have a few posts lined up soon for the décor department) and Rye is all types of home goals. I could literally live in every house I saw, and it had definitely got me dreaming of my future house goals (complete with doggy companion and boot room please).

We carried on pottering around the little shops and stopped for a quick drink at The Mermaid Inn, before heading back to our B&B to get ready for our final night out of the trip.

We had our evening meal at Simply Italian, which was incredible! As it was our last night I didn't snap any photos, but I would highly recommend them. The service was incredible and it was really busy to say it was a week night, which goes to show how popular it must be. We then headed back to our B&B for a night of relaxation, before driving to Battle for a quick stop on the way home.

If you love quaint towns full of stories, independent shops and cute cafes then Rye will be right up your street. It's the perfect place to escape and has bags of charm and tales to tell. We really enjoyed pottering along the cobbled roads, popping in and out of shops and admiring all the beautiful houses. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants as well as being close by to other interesting towns.


19 November 2017

Our Stay at Willow Tree House, Rye

In September we had the pleasure of staying at Willow Tree House in Rye during our trip to the South Coast. I had seen it whilst browsing online and thought it would be the perfect place for us to spend our final night.

We arrived at the grand building, with its striking green door. We were warmly greeted, checked in and given a lovely illustrated map of Rye. We were then shown into our room which was the 'Bodiam'.

It is a gorgeous, bright and spacious room with a modern country theme. The bed was huge and extremely comfortable, just look at those plump pillows! I loved the gold accessories coupled with the dark wood, it made the room feel super cosy and homely.

What made this room even more special is all the little touches, every aspect had been thought about. There were magazines on the bedside table, a full tea tray complete with scrumptious biscuits and a mini hamper in the bathroom.

There was even a mini sewing kit in the bathroom hamper, which just reinforces the effort and detail that has been put into the rooms.

The Bathroom itself is gorgeous, with a luxury feel through it's high spec fixtures and pretty cream tiles. The shower was perfect and easy to get to the right temperature, and the heated towel rack was a perfect touch.

After a long day exploring Rye, we came back to Willow Tree House for a cuppa before diving into that glorious bed and falling into a slumber. One of the reasons we chose Willow Tree House, was not only the fact it looked beautiful, but also it's location and that it was only a short walk into Rye, and it's famous Mermaid Street is literally a stones throw away.

The next morning we headed downstairs for Breakfast in the Conservatory, which has a lovely view of the garden. There was an amazing selection of continental breakfast, with banana and chocolate muffins, cereals, yogurt and fruit. I opted for the yogurt with rhubarb compote and berries, as well as a banana and chocolate muffin, because who can resist those!

There was also an impressive cooked breakfast selection with choices from a home cooked breakfast to porridge and honey. My husband chose the smoked salmon and scrambled egg. I was rather full from the continental breakfast but did have some toast as well. We were kept fully topped up with tea and coffee which was perfect.

We left with full tummies and feeling well rested after a very busy week exploring.

If your planning a trip to the gorgeous quaint town of Rye, I would highly recommend staying at Willow Tree House. You are made to feel welcome from the moment you arrive, and the rooms are incredibly homely and cosy.

You can find out more here


13 November 2017

A Weekly Countdown to an Organised Christmas #1

Now that we are well into November, our minds begin to turn to thoughts of cosy nights in, cocktails with the girls and of course Christmas! I'm usually one to leave things until the last minute and then ends up having so much to do in a short space of time (tell me I'm not the only one!), therefore I wanted to put together a week by week countdown, for not only myself to follow but also to help make your Christmas a little more organised!

Some of you may have already started your Christmas prep long ago, some of you may not know where to start, so I'm hoping this little weekly guide will give you (and me) a helping hand!

So let's dive right in,

6 weeks to go!

1. Declutter. You already know that Christmas time brings a lot of gift giving, food shopping and filling your wardrobes with festive knits and sparkly dresses, which makes it the perfect time to have a good de-clutter. Pack away all of the clothes you wont be wearing again for a few months (goodbye summer), start clearing the cupboards, and emptying your drawers. I like to clear out a cupboard for Christmas food only, and then week by week in December start to fill it, and try not to eat it as I do so!

2. Assess your budget. I'm guessing most of you will have already started saving, go you!, maybe you've even bought a few gifts already. Now is the best time to assess your budget, work out what you want to spend on food for the day, whether you need any food for a house party/film night in, or are you having Christmas dinner out? Set out a list and allocate a set budget to each day/event. This way when you go to do your shop in December you know exactly what budget to keep to, and don't just keep adding to your basket! It will also leave you more money for more quality street, yum!

3. Check postal dates. Maybe even go ahead and print them out and pin it up somewhere so you don't forget to send out any cards or gifts. The Post office have released there dates already, which you can find here.

4. Start filling in your calendar with events. Christmas brings a lot of dinners out and parties to attend, so it's best to fill in your diary when they start coming in. Not only to avoid double booking, but also for budgeting and planning your perfect outfit (priorities). Tis the season to be sociable!

5. Purchase your advent calendars. I made the mistake one year and left it really late to buy a calendar and nearly everywhere had sold out, luckily I did manage to grab myself a chocolate one. This is particularly important if you want to get hold of one of the highly coveted beauty calendars that sell out super fast.

6. Start compiling a list of gifts that people would like, referring back to your budget for help in planning. If possible it might be easier to start buying bits now for a slightly less stressful shop! I say slightly because don't you find gift buying stressful in general? ahhh!  Every week nearer to Christmas the shops tend to get busier and busier, so starting earlier will help avoid some of those busiest days.

7. Rummage through your Christmas decorations, are there any bulbs that need replacing on your fairy lights? Do you need a few more bits for the house? Are you having a different colour scheme this year? Ask yourself all these questions before you go shopping to avoid buying things you don't need, or forgetting things that you do! (serial offender in this category). Personally I'm loving John Lewis at the moment, particularly their Highland Myths and Into the Woods Christmas collections. This set of hedgehog nesting bowls are top of my wish list, they are just adorable!

8. Make a December bucket list. Is there anything you really want to do this December? Perhaps visit a Christmas market, go ice skating, or maybe even just have a cosy festive film night with lots of hot chocolate (my dream night in). Make a list and then refer back to your calendar to see where you can fit these activities in.
So there you go your 6 week countdown begins! Let me know if you manage to check any of these off your to do list, or if you think I have missed anything that needs to be done this week!

I hope you enjoy this mini festive series on my blog, and let the countdown begin.


7 November 2017

Spending 24 hours in Hastings

The next stop on our trip to the south coast was Hastings, we left early in the morning from Eastbourne and it was only a short drive to Hastings.  We decided to stay at Travel Lodge on Bohemia road as the price was such good value for money, and it was only a short walk down to the sea front. When we arrived we couldn't check in straight away, so we just dropped off our car and headed down to the pier. Again we had dropped really lucky with the weather as the sky was a brilliant blue, and there was still some warmth in the air!

We reached the pier, with our map in hand.

 After stopping for a while and admiring the pretty pastel beach huts, We decided that we really wanted to grab some brunch, I'd seen a place called The Fig that looked perfect, so we made that our next stop of the day.

I adored the décor in The Fig, it's really made me want to paint somewhere in our house a dark alluring green, which completely clashes with my current bright neutral décor haha! Though I am so tempted to paint our bedroom feature wall this colour, as only us see it!

 The lighting was amazing too with the hanging bulbs, making it so cosy.

I ordered the Granola, which came with yogurt, maple syrup and oodles of fruit, including Fig! We also ordered some fruit smoothies, as after all the food we've been eating (mainly of the beige variety) we thought we'd better get some good stuff into us! It was scrumptious and much tastier than any granola I've ever had before.

Full up we headed to find Hastings Castle, Stephen is a history fan and so it was the perfect opportunity for him to visit it. The view up there is amazing, looking out over all of  Hastings. In the grounds there is a short video you can watch that explains about how the castle was used and what it would have looked like which is fascinating and a great way to get some context to where you are visiting.

These are serious house goals, I can't decide which I want more!

We popped into St Mary in The Castle for a quick iced coffee on our way back down from the Castle, and I have to say the décor was incredible with old white washed walls, copper accessories and lots of green leafy plants, they have free wifi too!

After wandering round a few more of the shops we headed back to our room to freshen up and get ready to go out for dinner.

The only way we manage to get a photo together on holidays!

I had done some searching online for places to eat, and came across Café Zanzibar, which is part of the boutique Zanzibar Hotel.

I was smitten with the photo's on Instagram (you know by now how much I love interior décor) so that's exactly where we headed.

These photo's don't do the place justice as my phone isn't very good in dark settings, but the décor and food was spectacular. We both opted for burgers, I had a fish one which was delicious, especially when accompanied with a cheeky floating goddess cocktail!

We decided to share the tiramisu, which I would highly recommend, it tasted divine.

After a bit of snooping, I've quickly decided that I'd love to stay in one of their rooms, they're just so luxurious looking, with free standing baths and decadent furnishings, they are pretty amazing!

After having another drink we headed back to our travel lodge to get an early night as we were travelling over to Rye in the morning for our final stay of the trip.

Read Part One of our Trip Here

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