Sunday, 9 February 2014

Penny Hill Park

Long time no blog! But I'm in the mood for sharing and this is a smashing one. Last week Joe and I wanted to spend a night away. We wanted to stay near but feel like we were a million miles away. I've never been on a 'spa break' and I wasn't too sure what to expect, but after taking countless recommendations and being bribed by a sensational January offer we drove 40 minutes to Penny Hill Park.

The place is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l, it's a huge country manor with big fireplaces and gigantic carved wooden doors and the dreamy countryside smell. Every room is completely unique, so we were shown a few and (I) picked our favourite!


 After dropping our stuff we spent the day in the spa, had smoothies in our fluffy dressing gowns and did NOTHING. The steam rooms and saunas are great and thankfully there was no fainting! My favourite was the jacuzzi/super hot swimming pool that you could swim through to outside.

We spent the evening in their michelin star restaurant, I've never eaten anywhere fine dining before but :-O!!!



Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Big 21

These pictures paint a gazillion words so I'll let them do most of the talking...


Completely fought over


A whole lot of love all round



A load of giggles too



Way too many cocktails and canap├ęs


An attempt at a group picture


Candles and birthday wishes


and the HUGEST bag of pick 'n' mix


Words can't describe the weekend I had. We danced the night away in London and woke up to 15 of my best friends on my birthday. Feeling a little teary and overwhelmed still as I write this, a huge huge thank you to all my beautiful friends and family and for all the birthday love.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Ubud Part One

Ubud is the cultural centre of Bali. Filled with lots of little villages, markets, small galleries, temples and local warungs (Balinese restaurants) and surrounded by huge rice paddie fields.

We chose to stay in a hotel bang in the centre of the action, the Alaya. On arrival we were given cold sweet mint teas as well as a complimentary upgrade (Thank you Alaya!). Throughout our stay we were addressed as Ibu (Miss) and Bapak (Mr) which was very cute and constantly made me smile.



On our first day in Ubud we woke up early to head to the markets to avoid the sweltering heat. Breakfast was a delicious three course meal - we both decided on poached eggs which came with a neat fruit plate (the passion fruits are sensational out here!), strawberry yoghurt and a big bread and pastry basket. I also went for a cappuccino and fresh strawberry juice and Joe went for an english breakfast tea and apple juice; a morning feast.


Fully nourished we headed down to the main city market. The Alaya is on Jl. Hanoman street which takes you straight to the market. Our walk was lovely, passing lots of little shops buried in buildings selling hand made ornaments and little gateways to temples.


The place was crazy, sellers mark their prices at 500% of what they are willing to sell for so it's all fun and games even if you don't want anything. There's hundreds of stands in tight alleys with very similar goods, which we weaved in and out of with many other people.


After buying a few goodies to fill our rooms with, some presents for the lucky few and having a laugh with the locals we made our way dow towards my most anticipated place.

The sun started to beat down so I purchased a little hat, I didn't want to get burnt (hope your proud mum!)

                   

Anyway, we arrived, I was extremely excited, Joe was a little sceptical.
I quickly made a friend,


I really thought we had a special bond and that he fancied me, but he soon moved on..


So, monkey forest is home to hunderds of mischievous long tailed macaques of all shapes and sizes. It's a well kept, structured jungle with temples and statues for Balinese ceremonies. 


Boys and girls...


We walked and watched for hours observing the naughty behaviour. 



The babies were just *sighhhhhhh


 Absolutely tiny and strongly guarded and protected by all.


Locals sell bananas at the entrances to the temple of monkey forest. Joe decided towards the end he'd feed a few, feeling confident having seen others do it.


And a picture of the happy family... 


back to spend the afternoonn by the pool.


Before heading to a cute restaurant, bridges, I picked up this little black jumpsuit in a Balinese lace shop out here called Ulawatu.



It was all absolutely delicious and we returned the next day for lunch, so I'll reveal a little more in my next blog.


We returned to our hotel for peppermint tea, and cards. Before tracing round Ubud trying to find a sports bar to watch tottenham, coysss!!
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