Over the past ten years or so where I live, I’ve started to see a real change in the eateries that are on offer. Existing venues are having makeovers, Pubs are re-vamping for the better and there is an award winning restaurant right on my doorstep (sort of) There are also a plethora of coffee shops but stray away from the high street and you can find yourself a little piece of France right here in Surbiton. The French Tarte treats surbonites (a real word) to delicious freshly baked pastries, bread and coffee, our very own boulangerie. They do the most amazing chocolate brownie *drools*. They also host a supper club and do afternoon tea. It’s a bit of an all-rounder basically. Now when it comes to afternoon tea, I’d like to say that I’m a bit of a connoisseur. I’ve sampled a fair few in my time. There’s nothing quite like a load of savoury food followed by cake, washed down with a nice cup of tea or in my case, a glass of champagne. So would The French Tarte live up to my expectations?
I’ve been on the look out for some decent ankle boots for about, oooh, five years now. I always play it safe when it comes to buying shoes, as in, I rarely buy any, hence playing it massively safe. For one, the money thing and two, I tend to stick to what I wear the most, and that happens to be trainers. I’m a trainer girl through and through, only straying to flip flops when the weather is warmer and heels if pushed. But stomping around woods and parks in wet leaves and mud in trainers, doesn’t really work and often leads to ‘soggy foot’. I needed some decent ankle boots to see me through the colder weather, so it was well timed that I was invited along to a blogger event at Hotter Shoes in Guildford.
The National Trust to me when I was in my teens and twenties, was just for old people. It conjured up images of boring old buildings with lots of grey haired walkers wondering about in mud clad boots. Fast forward to now and actually that last image isn’t far wrong (!!), but there is a whole lot more to the National Trust than just the older generation. It’s effectively a conservation organisation, founded in 1895 it protects country houses, gardens, grounds, coastlines and historic landscapes. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to saving our beautiful countryside, but I’ve also learnt that it’s a fantastic lifesaver for parents too. I bought myself membership last year and it’s one of the best things I’ve spent money on since having a baby. Membership gives me access to some great places, wide open spaces (unintentional rhyme), a bit of history, houses to nose around and of course, great coffee and cake too. Now that the kid is two, I can sometimes (sometimes) coerce her into a bit of walking, so NT places are great for exploring, climbing and just being outside in the fresh air. I’m a big believer (not beliber) of getting both me and her outside as much as possible, it keeps me sane and it wears her out, win win. Here are some of the awesome places that I’ve ventured to so far.
This might seem a slightly dramatic, odd topic to talk about here as it’s not really in keeping with my other posts to date, but I want to share an experience with you that I had a few years ago. Have you ever had a near death experience, a close shave (in the non-razor sense), a close call or a very near miss that seemed to make time stand still? I have, and it’s something that I’ve wanted to put down into words for a while now. My near miss ‘moment’ happened four and a half years ago when my husband and I were on honeymoon (yes that’s right, honeymoon!) I didn’t ‘float above the bed’, I didn’t see any dark tunnels or flashing lights but it was enough to class it, I think, as a ‘near death experience’, exciting, no?
January is done and dusted for another year, and this time round I’ve completed my first ever ‘Dry January’. Yes you heard me right people, for the first time in a long time, I’ve done a whole month sans drinking. Okay, before we start let me just put it out there that I only completed up to day twenty eight before I broke after a particularly stressful day but hey, I still did good! I wanted to attempt a month without drinking for various reasons, one being just to see if I could do it, but mainly because I had a pretty stressful Christmas, having had an early miscarriage on Boxing Day. After that happened, I spent several days drowning my sorrows in the bottom of a bottle. When I woke up in a daze on New Years day, feeling rather dreadful I acknowledged that my body needed a break. Now that January is over, I’ve found that I’ve learnt quite a bit about myself and my drinking habits, in the days that I abstained.