• Art,  Crafts

    Back to school

    If you’ve had much of a look through this blog you might have noticed a few themes, for both Steph and I. A love of food is the most obvious one; when we lived in the center of Bristol that was where most of our expendable income went. Travel is also right up there, although this year has been very travel-light, as we’ve focused on building our new home. If Steph gets her way this will be addressed next year!  The third main theme is a love of making things, whether it be our very hand-made wedding, or trying our hands at a new craft. For me one of the…

  • Food & Drink,  Lifestyle,  Photography,  Portraits of Cheltenham

    A meaty treat

    We’ve recently moved from Bristol to the outskirts of Cheltenham and one of the hardest things about moving away from Bristol has been leaving the thriving food scene behind; we were never short of options for somewhere fantastic to go out for dinner.  So after only a couple of weeks in our new home town we were delighted to get an invite to the opening of a new steak restaurant in Cheltenham’s food and entertainment area- The Brewery Quarter. A really good, well cooked steak (well cooked on a good hot charcoal grill, rather than ‘well done’) is a wonderful thing, but all to often restaurants serve up poor quality,…

  • Food & Drink,  Lifestyle,  Photography,  Travel

    Discovering Hampshire

    Well, more specifically, Basingstoke. We have a friend from Basingstoke who almost choked on his beer when we told him we were having a romantic weekend away in his home town, followed by the question, ‘why?’. Well first off Mum and Dad bought James and I a voucher for money off a brand of hotels and the cheapest one happened to be in Basingstoke. Plus the hotel looked really nice, was set amongst it’s own grounds and not too far away from Bristol. We took the Monday off work and headed up on the Friday so we could make the most of the trip. We were staying at Audleys Wood…

  • Food & Drink,  Lifestyle,  Photography,  Travel

    Exploring Devon on the way to Dartmouth

    James and I haven’t really taken any holidays this year, with Mum going through Chemotherapy and our self build project, we’ve not really wanted to be anywhere else but home or plan too far in advance incase we needed to be elsewhere. We’ve taken to booking more spontaneous trips over long weekends instead with one of our most recent being a lovely few days down in Devon. I had booked us into a spa hotel for one night in Dartmouth but James decided we should extend our trip so booked up a Bed and Breakfast in Torquay for the night before. We headed off on the Saturday morning from Bristol,…

  • Cotswolds,  Lifestyle,  Photography,  Travel

    Exploring the Kennet & Avon canal in the laziest way

    Six friends, looking for a short break together; what do you do?! Find a cottage or a lodge, go camping? Last year we stayed on a permanently moored boat which was really nice, so we thought we’d up the ante this time and go with a narrow boat, conveniently less than an hour from our home. Apart from messing about on dinghies and jet-skis, none of us have done any sort of proper boating, but that didn’t seem to phase the boat hire company, so we weren’t overly worried. Before we went we watched a safety video with basic boating guide and details about how to operate a lock, and…

  • Cheltenham,  Food & Drink

    Bar Padron, Cheltenham

    I’m talking tapas again but this time in Cheltenham. One of the main things I’ll miss about Bristol when we make the move to our new home on the outskirts of Cheltenham will most definitely be the food scene. We eat out at least once a week at the moment and rarely have a bad meal – the quality and variety on offer in Bristol is probably the best in the country! Cheltenham as a town, isn’t too far behind though and has a growing food scene with more independent restaurants opening all the time. One of the most recent being a tapas bar called Bar Padron, located in the…

  • Cheltenham,  Cotswolds,  Lifestyle

    Chapter 2 of our self-build story: Out of the ground

    Once we finally got past the planning permission hurdle and out of the ground, things started moving very quickly! Following the end of May bank holiday the team got started on the block work on Tuesday 28th May. Our front entrance! By 30th May we had window surrounds on the ground floor. On Saturday 1st June Steph visited site and had a stretch: Study: Kitchen: The week commencing 3rd June the team finished off the ground floor block work and started on the brick: Up to Thursday 6th June progress was really good, but Friday was a complete washout, and Saturday and most of the next week wasn’t much better;…

  • Lifestyle

    A moment in time

    It can’t have escaped your attention that climate change is a pretty hot topic at the moment. Recently Bristol (and other cities around the UK) were significantly inconvenienced by protesters ‘spreading the message’ that we need to act now. Whilst I saw a few diehards actually on the picket line, the vast majority seemed to just be enjoying a festival in Castle Park. I was away when it started raining but I would’ve been interested to see how many stuck around when the going got tough! If not from someone handing out a flier in the park, where do you go for information about the real big picture, rather than…

  • Bristol,  Food & Drink

    New Moon, Clifton

    James doesn’t have many weaknesses or faults, in a nutshell he’s pretty great. He does however, struggle slightly with memory failure. It may also be that he’s not always listening to me jabbering on but I’m not going to delve too deep into the reasons he can’t remember things I’ve told him as that could be dangerous for our marriage. I knew one thing I had mentioned to him on more than one occasion was that we needed to visit New Moon in Clifton. I love the fact you don’t have go far in Bristol for a good tapas bar and New Moon is one of them. What’s better than…

  • Bristol,  Cheltenham,  Cotswolds,  Crafts,  Lifestyle,  Photography

    To self build or not to self build

    Bristol’s been a wonderful home for the last 6 years, especially the central spot we have with its easy access to all Bristol has to offer. Living in the middle of one of the most popular cities in the country comes with its compromises though, and the main one is space- both inside and out. So for a while now (nearly 4 years) we’ve been looking for a new home in a slightly more rural setting.  We’ve viewed dozens of houses and with each viewing we honed our view of what’s important to us, seeing features we loved as well as those we’d rather not have. If you had a…