UK Lifestyle Blog

24 December 2017

Christmas with the Harts | Week 3

Saturday 16th December

Today we got up and set off to Stamford in Lincolnshire. It's only around an hours drive and I've been wanting to visit for a while. We were originally going to go on Tuesday but due to the bad weather we waited until today.

When we arrived we parked up the car and headed in search of a hot drink before we began exploring. We stumbled across so many lovely cafes and ended up at Café au Chocolat, for none other than a hot chocolate! I swear my blood is purely hot chocolate now with the gallons I've been consuming. I had a raspberry and lavender hot chocolate and it was seriously tasty.

We did a bit of planning, and then headed off in search of cheese for our Christmas Party. We walked along some gorgeous roads, with pretty houses whose front doors were donned with gorgeous wreaths. The ultimate house goals. We then stumbled across the Cheese Cellar, and made a very festive purchase. Cheese with cranberries and festive spices, which we cannot wait to tuck into! I also admired their amazing gin selection, but managed to restrain myself.

We carried on to the shops, which there are so many gorgeous ones to choose from. Chez Soi is incredible, specialising in modern country interiors it looked so beautiful. There were tables adorned with delicate trinkets, and vintage shelves lined with lots of goodies. I could have bought everything.

We also popped into Sophie Allport, as I have been following them on Instagram for a while and when I saw they had a store in Stamford I knew we had to go in. I loved their window displays, so Christmassy!

Taking a little break from shopping, we wandered down over the bridge to take some pretty photos looking back at Stamford. It seriously is such a beautiful town.

We doubled back, popping in and out of a few more stores, even making a purchase at Hoptroff & Lee antiques. I couldn't resist this dainty pheasant bell, he now takes pride of place on our living room book case, and I have joked to my husband that I'll use it when I want a tea/gin from him!

To round off our short trip to Stamford we finished at Cloisters Italian for some scrumptious pizza's. Before heading back to the car for our journey home. We are definitely going to be coming back here again, maybe for a weekend break as I really want to visit Burghley House too.

Sunday 17th December

Today we went to do some shopping in Derby. It was extremely busy and lets be frank not very successful! I had gone for a few bits and bobs but didn't actually end up getting that much. Instead we did have a very yummy dinner in the Cosy Club, which if you are ever in Derby I would recommend visiting. Their food is incredible and the interior décor is something to be marvelled at!

Instead I retired to the sofa in the afternoon to do a spot more online shopping. Our oven seems to be on the blink which is extremely annoying the week before Christmas! Good job my parents are cooking this year!

Monday 18th December

I headed into Nottingham with my family for a mooch around and grab some last minute bits and pieces. I could not believe how busy it was for a Monday morning and the buzz of Christmas shoppers going about their day was interesting to watch. It makes me glad that I've finished my gift buying!

We had a quick potter around the Christmas Market, but I am going back again tomorrow evening with Stephens family to get some food and have a better look around. Instead we stopped and watched the ice skaters before heading on for some dinner.

We did a food shop to see us through this week, as on Thursday we are doing our 'big' shop. Luckily this year as we aren't cooking Christmas dinner we just need party food. We are hosting two parties, one with all of our friends and the other Christmas night with our families. So for now we just got some bits to see us through until then. I may or may not have added a Terry's Chocolate Orange to our basket because, is it really Christmas if you haven't had one of these? I'm saving it for a cosy night in later this week.

The rest of the night was spent curled up on the sofa after finishing the last of the Christmas wrapping.

Tuesday 19th December

I spent this morning giving the house a good clean and tidy from top to bottom. We are hosting twice in the next few days and I wanted to make sure that the only things I have to worry about on the days are food, drink and entertaining.

In the afternoon I met up with my MIL and FIL and headed off to Nottingham Christmas Market. We met my husband there and started the afternoon with a quick Costa. I had the Black Forest Hot Chocolate, it's one of my favourites in their Christmas range.

We then headed for a mooch around the stalls, it was even better than last year, they had fake snow spraying from the roof tops, music filled the air. It was lovely.

I had spied a Yorkshire Pudding Wrap stall, that I knew I absolutely had to try. It was filled with roast potatoes, stuffing, gravy and mint sauce. I can confirm it was delightful, just like a sunday dinner in wrap form. I could definitely eat another one!

We finished by grabbing some giant sweet cables, which we pick up every year and then had a cheeky gin before we headed home.

Can you believe that it's less than a week now until Christmas Day!

Wednesday 20th December

Today we got our oven fixed, hoorahhh! No cold food for Christmas haha. That wasn't just the high light of our day though, we also went to Chatsworth House today to marvel at their Christmas Decorations. Every year they choose a theme to decorate the house in, and this year was Oh Dickens! Celebrating all of Charles Dickens' work.

The house itself is incredible in design, but the festive décor made it even more magical. I was trying to think what my favourite room was, but to be honest, I loved them all! There was a spinning Christmas tree, decadent table, and the most incredible chair donned with fruits.

We also had a quick potter around the gardens, as there is something magical about seeing the rolling hills in the mist of a winters day. All the plants are depleting, ready to hibernate over winter. It was lovely to get some fresh air.

This evening we went to the local pub quiz, which had a Christmas theme this week, so I actually knew some of the answers!

Thursday 21st December

Today we entered the chaos of the Christmas food shop. First though, we hit Ikea for breakfast, because £3.50 for 2 coffees, 1 veggie breakfast and toast is seriously the ultimate bargain. We also bought a knitted throw for the sofa, in preparation of long nights ahead curled up in front of the TV.

Then we moved on to Waitrose. Spending a grand total of around £90 on party food, drinks and baking supplies. To be fair, it wasn't as busy as expected, and we managed to do two laps getting all the things we think are the must have party foods (cheese, cheese, cheese). I'm hoping to share with you some of it in one of my final blog posts for 2017,  so keep your eyes peeled for that one!

We then headed over to Aldi to grab a few more bits and pieces. Bought a new TV stand, as I have gotten sick of the sight of our cheap one that we bought when we first moved in. It just didn't go with the rest of the room and needed to go, ASAP. Now we only have the blinds to change in our living room and that is the first room to be completed. It's only taken us two years..

We finished our night, attempting to bake cookies. Attempting being the word, the first batch were too runny and ended up forming one giant cookie blob. It tasted delicious but looked atrocious. The second batch were too hard, you could break teeth with them. So at that point we gave up, its a task for another day! Maybe by next year I might have mastered it!

Friday 22nd December

Today we had a morning at home, and then I met up with my friends later in the afternoon for dinner and drinks. We stayed local, having a few cocktails in the pubs and then had a Thai for dinner.

I had a fair share of cocktails, which probably wasn't my greatest idea, as we are hosting a party at ours tomorrow! It was a lovely evening of catching up over delicious food and drink.

I was home by 11:30, and can definitely tell I'm getting older as I was tired by then! (though in all fairness I always seem to be tired).

Just like that another week over!

I will be putting together a little photo montage of our Christmas sometime before the new year, but until then I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas making lots of memories.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas


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