All posts filed under: Travel

September is rushing by

Who else feels like September has just rushed by in the blink of an eye? The sun hasn’t always shone this month, but that didn’t stop us all having fun. I made my own sunshine and enjoyed the last days of summer. Here are my favourites so far…… St Malo, oysters, French markets, spending time with friends, French doors and windows #JustOnePerfectThing My local cultural outing this month was with our book club/food club to Queens Mill in Castleford, the home of Allinsons flour mill. It is being lovingly restored keeping that Yorkshire heritage alive. Who remembers the slogan ‘Bread Wi n’owt taken out’? We enjoyed a fab Yorkshire supper in the Queens Mill Tea Room. I’ll be posting a review quite soon. Now it’s time for me to settle down for autumn, read, sew the quilt for my grandsons first birthday, put my garden to bed for the winter, walk on sunny days, go visit some of Yorkshire’s National Trust properties and plan my next trip or two! And you? SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

In a nutshell: August

August, well it just sort of went! It went in having my little house painted internally at the beginning of August and the finale was having new flooring laid in my hall and lounge at the end of the month. And as we know, that doesn’t just happen by itself. All that prepping and cleaning up!! So many choices, so many decisions. Making decisions for yourself is the hardest, right?! I struggle to take photos of my little house in its entirety. Because of that, I’m not always the best interiors blogger. However, I do love my home and I like to share what I’ve been up to and what’s on my interiors radar. It’s my little bit of imperfect perfection. The fun bits have been gradually filling my newly painted hall with new pictures, and reframing my old favourites. I’m lucky to have an artistic daughter, and my home is filled with her work. The middle of August brought us a family staycation, back to the area where I grew up, Cartmel. It is …

New York: Foodie Tour

You’re in New York for the first time ever. You’ve got 4 hours and an appetite for everything. Where do you start? Fortunately, I’d planned a tour with Geovanni, a guide from Tours by Locals. Food tours are one of my favourite tourist activities while travelling and Geovanni came recommended as a foodie and architect, so fitted my requirements well and truly. He met my globe-trotting friend and I at Brooklyn dock where we had just arrived early that June morning after crossing the Atlantic on QM2. Geovanni came with a car and driver, unfortunately not his usual tour guide duo, so it made for an interesting ride for him navigating one way streets and the onward drive out to JFK. But my requirements were met, to sample typical NY food away from the tourist routes, a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and whatever else we could get to see in four hours. The first food stop after leaving the Brooklyn cruise terminal was the area known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), …

In a nutshell: July

Life can’t always be perfect, but we can still look for something small that makes us happy. It may only be a fleeting moment, but it’s precious. #JustOnePerfectThing So, how was July for you? It was a very busy month for Grey Goose – crammed full of being a Granny Goose, gardens, lunches with friends, a local music Proms, a weekend in Alnwick and other delights. It’s fair to say that the weather has been a little disappointing in the UK – especially after that glorious heatwave in June. It was certainly more puddles than picnics. But despite the downpours, there is still beauty and perfection by the barrow load. Which is the whole point of my new #JustOnePerfectThing. I’ve come late to Instagram, and after wondering what all the excitement was about, I’m fast becoming addicted to the camera on my phone and the skills of talented photographers out there. I love the pinky-purple hue of all these photos – lavender was clearly the colour for July on Instagram. Top row: @hellomistermagpie / @sky.larking Bottom row:  @topknotsanddaisies /@edinburghgardendiary I can’t wait to …

Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing

Having had to cancel this trip last year due to being ill, I had feelings of both great excitement and trepidation when sailing out of Southampton on the Queen Mary 2 in June. I had been really looked forward to 8 nights at sea, and I had long dreamed of sailing into New York…but I’m saving that post for another day. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard the iconic Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is a truly unique travel experience. Important to note, the Queen Mary 2 is a true ocean liner, not a typical cruise ship. Built with a double hull and four stabilizers, the bow was designed to slice through the seas like a hot knife through butter so like its historic predecessors, can comfortable and safely traverse the rugged North Atlantic year-round. Actually, for anyone who has ever enjoyed sea days aboard a cruise ship, that experience should be at the top of a “to-do” travel list. The QM2, which carries more than 2,000 guests, is 17 decks high – approximately the equivalent of …

In a nutshell: June was travel

Yes, I’ve been travelling the last few weeks, and I’m beginning to get a little bit confident in believing that my travel mojo is back! When your confidence gets squashed after several years of being ill, you tread a very cautious line in believing that life can return to anything like normal again, and adapt is what I am learning to do. So……where have I been?? I’m going to do full posts on my trip later, but it falls into three adventures, so watch out for my posts in the coming days. A voyage (not a cruise) across the North Atlantic on board Cunard Queen Mary 2 (known as QM2), including the dramatic rescue of a lone sailor, followed by a day stop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And then the ultimate – a biggie ticked off my retirement bucket list – to sail into New York at dawn!! A whistle stop foodie tour of New York in four hours. And discovering the lifestyle in a lovely part of New England, with a little food and …

Three Things I’m Loving This Week

My new book…. I have my ‘book club’ book on the go but couldn’t resist getting hold of this book as I’m being a bit of a nature lover just now, ‘Wonderland – A Year of Britain’s Wildlife Day by Day’. Just love the book cover, so pretty. It’s by two guides to natures wonderland, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss and takes you through the year, day by day, sharing the unexpected delights that we can experience in our skies, beaches, rivers, fields, forests and back gardens. I’m getting into a routine of having a cuppa in bed in the morning and reading the entry of the day. Today, 27 April, Stephen Moss wrote about ‘Sea’ Swallows flying up the Bristol Channel as global voyagers. A real swallow that just happens to be flying across the sea! These short paragraphs are just long enough to give me more daily insight into Britain’s wildlife. And now back to the book club read, ‘Inferno’ by Dan Brown!! Boroughbridge….. A lovely North Yorkshire town I’ve discovered this week. …

Weekend Away:Alnwick

A few weekends ago I spent a long weekend in Alnwick and the Northumbrian coast with my partner in crime. Despite the chilly weather we had a smashing time having some much needed R&R. Stay We based ourselves in the market town of Alnwick, dominated by the famous Alnwick Castle and Alnwick Garden all within a few miles of gorgeous sandy beaches and more castles. Just around the corner from Barter Books, that very famous second hand bookshop home of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, we stayed in a delightful and sympathetically renovated holiday cottage kindly loaned to us by friends who were overseas on holiday. Set just off the High Street, with free parking, this was a perfect base offering all home comforts and more besides. For those not so lucky to have such friends Coquet Cottages have luxury holiday cottages in Northumberland. Eat It’s a few years since I’ve been to Northumberland but I have fond memories of visits and a couple of the old favourites did not disappoint. My friends …

Seville:awe-inspiring architecture

My recent Spanish visit inspired by Rick Stein began and ended in Seville. Seville is a city with something of a split-personality. It’s a giant mish-mash of Moorish, baroque and gothic architecture with a dash of the ultra-modern thrown in there for good measure. Simply put, it’s stunning. It’s an incredibly walkable city typified by the small windy streets that sporadically open out on to beautiful plazas. Walking is definitely the best way to get a true sense of Seville’s soul. There’s a church on every corner. And colourful mosaics and tiles, the detailing on the buildings is something else. Even the undersides of the balconies are adorned with beautiful painted tiles. Seville’s Old Town is the third largest in Europe and contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. My globe-trotting friend and I had two nights at the Hotel Fontecruz Sevilla Seises. It was ten minutes by taxi from the station down the narrowest of streets that no serious motorist would dare to drive. The hotel was right in the city, on the edge of …

Secrets of Cádiz

Rick Stein and his recent TV series (and now a book!) ‘Rick Stein’s – Long Weekends’, has a lot to answer for, he has encouraged my get up and go, to get going. His series of culinary city breaks prompted my globe-trotting friend and I to jet off to Cádiz to explore this Andalusian city. Helping me restore my confidence to travel too!! The best gateway was Seville airport, add a train journey of an hour and a half from Sevilla Santa Justa station and we got off the train in Cádiz met by a wonderful fresh salty smell of the sea!! So here we were, in a city that is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe. Don’t you just love superlatives? 😉 Surrounded almost entirely by water, Cádiz’s ancient centre is a romantic jumble of narrow streets and tall, once grand buildings covered in brightly-coloured, peeling paintwork and ornate wrought iron balconies.  The waves of the Atlantic crash against eroded sea walls, sea gulls circle the skies. Cádiz’s links with …