Chocolate brownies

Chocolate brownies

Sometimes you just have one of those days. Those sorts of days when nothing terrible happens, but little thing after little thing happens and you get to a point where need a bit of a pick-me-up. I recently had one of those days and these chocolate brownies certainly helped. They’re decadent yet easy to make. Chewy, crunchy and goey all at once and can made and baked within a child’s naptime – if that’s when you need them the most ;)…

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Plum and vanilla slice

Plum and vanilla slice

A few months back I treated myself to a copy of the National Trust cookbook.  Adam and I had National Trust membership while we were living in England and I have so many fond memories of spending days exploring the Trust’s beautiful old houses and stunning gardens.

We hosted a group of friends this weekend gone for a summery barbecue and I turned to my National Trust cookbook for some seasonal inspiration when it came to dessert…

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A taste of England

A taste of England

A few weeks ago I received an email reminding me I had a voucher to spend an online retailer specialising in books, music and films. I’d totally forgotten I’d received the voucher, so it felt like a real windfall – a chance to treat myself to something new to devour.

Scrolling through the pages of items on offer, I came across a National Trust cookbook and was immediately sold.  I ordered it and a few days later it arrived…

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Bibury

Bibury

Over one week Adam and I went on a tour around Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire scouting for potential venues for our wedding.

On one particularly chilly morning we found ourselves in the charming Cotswold village of Bibury.

We took a walk around and both fell a little love with this ridiculously cute place…

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Savouring Sundays

Savouring Sundays

Now that Adam and I know we’re moving back to Australia, we’re trying to savour and enjoy the time we’ve got left in England. A few Sundays ago, while Adam was away on a work trip, I awoke to a particularly mild autumn day. It was overcast and slightly breezy and had the hankering for a good old walk.

I wasn’t in the mood for a wander on the Malvern Hills, so decided to take myself back to local National Trust property, Croome Park,  which I visited for the first time last December. While I loved exploring the main house on my last visit, I wanted to spend some time in the 700 acres of parkland that surround the property…

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The Tudor house

The Tudor house

Love him or hate him, King Henry the VIII, certainly played a huge part in English history.  I knew of him, but it wasn’t until my first trip to the United Kingdom in 2010 that I learnt more about him, his wives and his legacy. That holiday sparked an interest in the Tudor era that I still retain (and a bit of a crush on Jonathon Rhys Meyers and his depiction of Henry in The Tudors television show :)) and I’m always keen to learn a little more.

So the other day I made the short train journey north to Worcester to Greyfriars’ House, a Tudor era National Trust property, in the city centre…

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Lyme Park

Lyme Park

I can remember being a 17 year old school girl sitting in my English class, devouring Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It was a world so completely different to my own, yet the story still resonated with me and it remains a favourite book. When we’d finished reading the novel our teacher played the cult 1995 BBC mini-series of the same name, starring Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth and *that* white, wet shirt scene.  Oh how my teenage heart fluttered, not only for Darcy but for the beautiful scenery and those amazing houses. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve re-watched that series. I know the story, but never tire of it.

Last week’s visit to the Peak District allowed me to fulfil a cheesy Pride and Prejudice fangirl moment. Adam and I headed off to the National Trust’s Lyme Park – the property used as Pemberley (exterior only) in the BBC production.

Lyme Park, Disley, Derbyshire.

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Glorious Gower

Glorious Gower

England has been well and truly blessed with some beautiful spring weather over the last week.  This weekend just gone has been the warmest of the year so far and I’m looking forward to sharing what I got up to soon. Today though is all about my first trip to the ‘seaside’.

Last week Adam and I jumped in the car and drove down to the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Adam described the region to me as the ‘Riviera of the U.K.’, a place where there were beautiful beaches and charming villages.

Rhossili Beach, Gower Peninsula, Wales.
Rhossili Beach.

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A day in Wales

A day in Wales

On Friday Adam and I woke up to the most brilliant sunshine.  We’d both been under the weather for a few weeks with winter coughs and sniffles and by chance we also both had the day off work. Adam suggested we get in the car, go for a drive and make use of our National Trust membership.

A little over an hour later we found ourselves in south Wales at Tredegar House just outside of Newport. The property belonged to the Morgan family for around 500 years and is set in beautiful parkland just off the M4 motorway.

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Exploring Croome

Exploring Croome

Last week I celebrated my birthday and as part of his gift to me Adam bought us National Trust membership.  I’d been ogling at some of the properties the Trust owns in the lead-up to our departure from Australia and we recently had a wonderful stay in a National Trust cottage in the Lake District, so I was thoroughly chuffed at the present.

After a scan of the thick book of attractions that was sent to us, we quickly decided to head to a property about a 20 minute drive from Malvern, Croome – which for many years was the home of the Earls of Coventry and more recently the site of a secret World War Two airbase, RAF Defford.

The main house is stunning and I must confess I immediately felt like I’d stepped onto the set of a Downton Abbey episode!

The approach to Croome Court, Worcestershire.
The front approach to Croome Court – can you spot Santa’s sleigh and reindeer?!

The house had been decorated for December…

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