Rye | Sussex

20140730-075416 am-28456901.jpg

20140730-075418 am-28458835.jpg

20140730-103239 am-37959379.jpg

20140730-102556-am-37556409.jpg

 

 

 

20140730-102550-am-37550226.jpg

 

20140730-102548-am-37548452.jpg

 

20140730-102554-am-37554241.jpg

20140730-103239-am-37959029.jpg

Ben and I headed off to Rye at the weekend for a friend’s wedding. I had heard little to nothing about Rye before that day – but when I came to work Friday and said where I was going that evening, everyone pipped up to say something. ‘Oh Rye is beautiful!’ ‘There’s a lovely old pub there…’ ‘Go down to this beach on the Sunday…’

Well folks – Rye has now made my top three towns of England.

It is a stunning town on a hill and very well serviced by a ton of small independent stores and coffee shops. It has a number of adorable B&Bs and pubs that still have accommodation above. The charm of the cobbled streets (stunning to look at, rough to walk on) and the old houses that looked like they had remained untouched since the 14th century truly took my breath away.

Let me just say that any moment I could steal away from the wedding and all it’s wonderful festivities, I was walking around this town taking photos and enjoying the sunshine.

We stayed at the old and haunted Mermaid Inn which is the most Old English place I have ever stepped foot in. Just to get to the room was a maze of going under low beams and passageways and twisting around old staircases. You can visit the bar area and restaurant if your not staying, and I recommend it just to see the interiors of this old English maze.

The wedding was held at the much more modern George Inn – which had a much more upscale charm.

I wandered around for breakfast one morning and stumbled upon the Apothecary Coffee House which is a charming venue with retro looking baristas and amazing looking cakes. They had soya milk (which is always a plus for me) and I had a simple croissant for a total of what you would pay for a small latte in London.

I love this town. With the seagulls cackling away as a sign of the sea being near, it would be a perfect holiday place, even for families. X

Musings on Sunshine

20140629-052507 PM.jpg

20140629-052459 PM.jpg

England glistens in the sunshine. There is this green lushness that England has generally (I think it’s from all the rain) and sunshine is the perfect compliment. I don’t know of anything else in nature that makes me so excited or brings me more happiness then sunshine and heat on a Saturday or Sunday.

So I apologise ahead of time for my postings on sun, heat, and how awesome this is. I think my fellow Londoners can agree. X

Regent’s Canal

20140629-050811 PM.jpg

20140629-050822 PM.jpg

20140629-050836 PM.jpg

20140629-050846 PM.jpg

20140629-050858 PM.jpg

This is one of my favourite walks in London. The canals stretch from Little Venice all the way through Stratford, and are relatively untouched by tourists. It is such a tranquil walk through the city that you don’t even realise you are in bustling neighbourhoods.

We walked from Regents Park through to Camden Lock – which isn’t that far in the scheme of things, but was still beautiful. And with the sun shining and the tourists away, it was a great way to spend a morning in the city.

Something I have always wanted to do is to rent Boris bikes and ride from Little Venice to Paddington. What a great ride though the town – with pubs and places to stop off and rest – it would be a fantastic day out. X

Paycocke’s House

20140625-081735 AM.jpg

20140625-081745 AM.jpg

20140625-081756 AM.jpg

20140625-081723 AM.jpg

20140625-081711 AM.jpg

20140625-081811 AM.jpg

In Coggeshall, there is a gem in the form of a National Trust property. The Paycocke’s House, once belonging to a wealthy merchant in the cloth trade, was built around 1500, with many of the original features still intact. The ornate woodwork and wood paneling is a stunning display of craft, and the gardens are a lovely place for a small game of croquet!

The home is small, but the details and the knowledgeable staff are a treat. There is even a small cafe to sit and grab a tea and cake (I went for a cream tea- could not resist!).

X

Coggeshall | Essex

20140625-074544 AM.jpg

20140625-074531 AM.jpg

20140625-074803 AM.jpg

20140625-074616 AM.jpg

20140625-074748 AM.jpg

20140625-074600 AM.jpg

Last weekend we had STUNNING weather once again! I tell you – 78F (24C) degrees is a beautiful thing in England, and it does not come around often!

My first day of sun worshiping happened on our patio – where I stayed out for nearly 5 hours without sunscreen and burnt my shoulders, arms, and back quite significantly. I don’t regret a moment of it.

But for Day 2 – our Sunday – Ben was keen to go out and about. So we decided to head over to the cute village of Coggeshall in Essex for a wander and some National Trust action.

What a beautiful old town! I love the architecture of the high street – and all the flowers! Peonies, English roses and more all over the pubs, church yard, and houses.

We went for a cheeky mid-day pint at the 14th century Woolpack Inn – which had ornate little bars and a patio filled with sun and flowers.

Highly recommend for a stroll on a sunny day – and the people we met were lovely and so friendly! X

World Cup

20140625-083433 AM.jpg

Have you been watching the World Cup? The atmosphere is contagious! Ben and I have been supporting England to no avail – but some teams are in and doing well (hello USA – time for soccer to be a bigger sport?).

Who are you rooting for? X

Currently Obsessing…

fedf38a54b5c507105709c41962f54a6

… with Japan!

I have had an itch for visiting Japan ever since reading Memoirs of a Geisha.  What a unique society and customs that are so unlike what I am use to!  Then I picked up a small travel guide to Kyoto in a charity bookshop a few weekends ago – and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since!

I would want to go all over – however I am increasingly becoming obsessed with the thought of Kyoto.

I would stay here: AirBnB

Here are some fun guides:

Goop

Lonely Planet

Wallpaper*

 

Image via Flickr

Visits from Across the Pond

20140608-093231 PM.jpg

20140608-093214 PM.jpg

When I was in high school, I enrolled in French. It was a course I was fascinated by – the French language to me was the ultimate language. It was a beautiful mix of words and sounds that awakened every sense of me.

I wasn’t the only person in my family to have this feeling toward the French language. My mother and aunt had it too. And through this connection (made even more true by the fact that I went to my mother’s alma mater) is how I met this incredible woman.

This is my high school French teacher – the one and only Madame!

Teachers can truly touch a life – and Madame certainly does so for me! It was wonderful to see her and spend time with her in my lovely, sunshine filled city of London today. I wish her all the best and will always remember her and her French classes!

All my love Madame! X

Saffron Walden

20140608-101607 AM.jpg

20140608-101630 AM.jpg

20140608-101618 AM.jpg

20140608-101752 AM.jpg

When the weather forecasts sunshine and 75F (23C) degree weather, you must travel. And by must travel, I mean to go 15 minutes up the road to the beautiful town of Saffron Walden and bask in the sunshine and scenery.

Saffron Walden is a beautiful old market town that has been around since the Bronze Ages – and while many parts have changed since then, it still retains a 17th century charm alongside 12th century castle ruins. It is a stunning place to be.

We only spent 2 hours here – which was nowhere near enough! The well serviced high streets are filled with a great mix of independent shops, cafes, pubs, and the odd high street store. And on Saturdays the street are filled with a market atmosphere.

I absolutely adored this town and highly recommend visiting! X

Venice | Italy

20140602-104233 PM.jpg

20140602-104243 PM.jpg

20140602-104225 PM.jpg

20140602-104158 PM.jpg

20140602-104206 PM.jpg

20140602-104215 PM.jpg

20140602-104425 PM.jpg

20140602-104250 PM.jpg

This past weekend, Ben and I had the privilege of being flown out to Venice to visit my family. My dad and my sisters were in Italy for the last 10 days, and it was our opportunity to see them. First time in over a year!

We landed in glorious sunshine and HEAT! Oh the heat was fabulous. We sat down in an outdoor cafe for some pizza margarita and wine not more than 20 minutes after we arrived. Welcome to Italy!

We had a wonderful time walking around the city. We explored the palace, piazza San Marco, and wandered aimlessly around the streets. Much wine and pasta was consumed.

Overall Venice was a beautiful city. It was so romantic and charming – every where you turned were small canal ways and winding pedestrian paths. I loved how the water was everywhere! And so blue!

I think next time I go I would like to see more of the islands – and perhaps take a ride on the vaporetto. I would have loved being on the water. X