Friday, April 18, 2014

South-coast Breakfasts : Wellies Restaurant


With the long Easter weekend ahead of us, we decided to start the 4 days off with a hearty walk at Kingley Vale Nature Reserve followed by Brunch at a new restaurant in a converted barn a few miles down the road. It was also a good excuse to escape from the house as our contentious builders are still hammering and sawing away, even on Good Friday.

I have seen mention of Wellies restaurant in a few local magazines and online and it's been on our list of places to try for a while. It's miles from anywhere, literally in a farm yard with fields surrounding it. It's a place frequented by walkers and horse-riders, more than the usual beach-goers and yachties.

They are open seven days and serve evening meals on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. The main restaurant is quite small, but there's a lovely deck at the back looking out on to a courtyard which is doggie friendly (hurray!)


Our Easter feast consisted off a large full English (for Jim) a small English (for Theo) bacon and scrambled eggs (for me) hot chocolate, cappuccino and orange juice.When we arrived at 11am we were the only people there, but by the time we left it was starting to fill up with people arriving for lunch.

By its own admission, Wellies is off the beaten track, but it's definitely worth seeking out. Amidst tranquil surroundings it feels exclusive and undiscovered and the food is great. We've had a sneaky look at the dinner menu and we will definitely be going back. (It would be lovely for my birthday in August - hint hint!) Visitors to Goodwood or the Festival Theatre could do a lot worse than jumping in the car and heading west to track this place down.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Living Arrows 15/52

bikehat  35mm, ISO 200, F/2.5, 1/2000 

We have some tired eyes in this week's portrait. A dry cough has been plaguing his (and our) sleep for the last few nights and he was running out of steam by the time I got the camera out yesterday.

His bike "hat" is on his head most of the time these days as he's just started to get the hang of his balance bike and is relishing the speed at which he can navigate the footpaths and tracks round our house. It's one of the first things he asks for in the morning and we have quite a battle persuading him to take it off at the end of the day.  

living arrows

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

April's Center Parcs Challenge... Easter nests


This month's Center Parcs challenge, which gives you the chance to win a family break at a Center Parcs village, is all about making Easter nests.

Theo has made loads of these recently. They did some at his nursery, we have made them at home and lastly a third batch with his grandma and cousin Millie. These photos are from that third making session. Our house is currently surrounded by scaffolding which means the light in the kitchen is terrible for photographs, thank heavens for his grandparents bright kitchen!

We eat variations of these Easter nests all year round (off season they are simply "chocolate crispies") so we just switched cornflakes for Shredded Wheat (for authentic nest appearance) and added some chocolate eggs on top... because clearly they just aren't chocolatey enough on their own.


The Center Parcs experts have some interesting twists on the originals, including a diet-friendly savoury celery version. You can check out the challenge page for inspiration and information on how to take part.

I’m a Center Parcs Family Blogger and visited Longleat village with my family. If you want to enter to win a place as a wildcard winner just go to the challenge page to find out how 

CenterParcs Family Blog Club
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On and around the water of Chichester Harbour...

We've had a couple of outings around Chichester Harbour this week thanks to the brilliant (and very reasonably priced) activities run by the Chichester Harbour Conservancy. On Thursday we took part in a kite making workshop which was held at Hayling Island Lifeboat Station, a beautiful modern building right at the harbour entrance with amazing views (we could see our house several miles away across fields and water)

We made kites from bin bags, which flew amazingly well and actually looked rather beautiful when airbourne. In June there is a mass kite flying event to celebrate 50 years of Chichester Harbour being an Area Of Outsanding Natural Beauty, so they are hoping a few of these will be flying on the day...


I can't believe the weather we had, not bad for early April!

And today we took Theo and his cousins out on an Easter egg hunt aboard the Solar Heritage a solar powered boat bought with lottery funding. They do wildlife tours and champagne breakfast trips too (we might be back!)


The best part of the boat trip for me was cruising past all the expensive property on the waterfront. I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone to discover that we rather liked this New England style house that looks like it's straight out of Nova Scotia...

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall gingerlillytea 
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Liberating photos from the computer

I've been reading a lot recently about the importance of actually printing our photos. Most of us have a hard-drive full of pictures, but very few tangible copies of them. Aside from the pleasure of surrounding ourselves with our own pictures, having prints of our photos is another line of defence if (God forbid) we lose the digital copies.

So Last week I decided to get a few of them printed. When they arrived in the post I stuck a load of them up around my desk and decided to put the others in a frame.  

This Umbra Gridart frame is from Red Candy and takes photos that are 4x4 inches, it would be brilliant for instagram pics, but also works well with standard 4x6 inches prints, providing the image has enough space to allow trimming. 

If you don't already have a paper guillotine and plan on doing anything like this, buy one! Seriously, it's one of the most useful things I ever bought and scissors do not do the same job, no matter how neatly you cut.

Once trimmed, I laymy photos out on the sheet that came with the frame and moved them around until I got a layout I was happy with....

I used Pritt Stick to glue them in place, mostly because it was the only thing I could lay my hands on, but actually it's perfect for this job, because it's easy to peel off and reposition the images if you need to.

And here is the finished result... I love it! Theo is having such fun pointing out all his family members and I love the modern contemporary look of frame.

Thank you Red Candy for another great bit of homeware!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My personal home style

Victoria Plumb are running a competition asking bloggers to take the Great British Home Challenge and discover their style. We've spent most of the last week choosing products for our two new bathrooms (one quite modern, one quite classic) and so I was intrigued to see what category Victoria Plumb would put me in to.

I answered all the questions about my personal style and learned a few interesting facts about British homes along the way (such as 175,000 woodburners are installed in British Homes every year) and the result was...

 "Elegant and classy, you just adore period d├ęcor and style. 
You love the classics; subtle wallpaper, dark wood and rich colours. 
You have a penchant for opulent fabrics and secretly covet a Steinway 
piano for your living room. You search antiques fairs until you get the 
perfect piece. At home, your tastes are high-class classics; game pie, 
roast beef and all the trimmings or a fillet of plaice." 

Whilst I'm not a fan of dark wood, I do like subtle wallpaper and rich colours and of course, everyone likes to be called elegant!

This post is an entry for the #GreatBritishHome Challenge  sponsored by Victoria Plumb, a source of quality bathrooms for every type of home. Take its “What’s Your Celebrity Home Style?” quiz to discover what your home says about you.

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House remodel week 5 : Small boy goes upstairs!

Over the last month Theo has shrugged off all the enormous changes going on around him and just accepted the extraordinary concept that the builders are making him a "new bedroom upstairs." Until this weekend we weren't really able to show him what all the banging and sawing has been about, but finally there is some ply on the floor and we can take him up...


He had quite strong opinions about where things were going to go in his new room...


I'm not sure how he can possibly take it all in, but he seemed happy enough.

The basic timber structure upstairs is now almost entirely finished, the electrician has been in and done the first fix and this week the walls and floors will be filled in. Today we have a meeting with a company about our log burning stove (hoping it can be done within our budget!) and next week the staircase arrives.

However don't be fooled into thinking we are on the home straight. There's still a roof to go on and about another three months of internal work followed by all the decorating and finishing we will do ourselves, but so far we are making good progress!

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