A Weekend in Cotswolds

This summer a beautiful weekend was spent in Cotswolds listed as an area of outstanding beauty (ANOB). The location is ideal just a short drive from London and for us from Hertfordshire.

This is my second visit, during our first visit crica 2013 Gloucester was the base and this time Chipping Campden was chosen as the base.

Chipping Campden is close to some of the beautiful spots and the main reason for the visit was to visit the lavender farms in Snowshill more about it here.

Broadway Tower

For a beautiful view of rolling hills from the tower and some scrumptious food at the café.

Broadway Tower

For More info on Broadway Tower visit the Website here

St Edwards Church

You don’t have to go all way to New Zealand for the hobbit’s door you can spot one right here at Stow-on-the-Wold. It is so magical, while you are here don’t forget to try some handmade fudge in the town and do check out the antique store and charity shops there you may never know what treasures you will find.

Hailes Abbey

A view from one of the stores in the town centre a secret garden.

DSCF0992copyr

Address – St Edwards Church 2 Crossways House the Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham GL54 1AB

Hailes Abbey

If you are looking  to get away from the tourist groups or crowd I would suggest you to visit the ruins of Hailes Abbey founded in 1246 by the Earl of Cornwall a centre of monastic life  where monks lived for three centuries now a peaceful place to collect your thoughts.

Hailes Abbey Hailes Abbey

Website here

Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the water also known as the Venice of the Cotswolds is charming little town for a stroll along the water, a great spot for families.  You can spend a couple of hours or even a day here if you have the time. Dotted alongside the river you can find many pubs, antique stores if you walk a little further there is a beautiful pottery studio. There is something for everyone here. Tip: the place gets really crowded in summer so plan accordingly.

Bourton On The Water

Bourton on the water - Antique Store

Bourton on the water pottery Bourton On The Water

Website here

I visited Arlington Row Bibury in 2013 but I wanted to visit again but when we arrived the place was so packed with no parking space this warrants for another trip in the future.

Note: All the information here was correct during the time of our visit. Please check the website for additional information. Image ~ ©Nessy Samuel All rights reserved and all views are my own.
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3 Days in Exmoor, Devon | Top Sights to Visit

Exmoor is between Somerset and North Devon located South West of England. To be honest 3 days is not enough but sometimes one needs to take a short break. I have compiled top spots to visit to truly experience what Exmoor and its surroundings have to offer.

Exmoor |Devon - England UK

Lynton was chosen as the base to explore Exmoor I have written a separate blog post about our stay at HighCliffe House.

Lynton a small town on Exmoor coast in Devon standing tall on the cliff of picturesque harbour village of Lynmouth.  I was really impressed that all the establishments in this small town are run by locals not a sign of big chain in sight.

Lynton Exmoor | Devon - England UK

Lynton Exmoor | Devon - England UK

Lynton and Lynmouth Funicular Cliff Railway Station

Nearest Postcode EX35 6HW

Lynton Top Station  | Devon - England UK

Top tip to park the car near Lynton and take the funicular to Lynmouth as it gets really crowded during the day.  A café with both covered and open space is located outside Lynton station which has breath-taking views of the coast and mountains.

Lynton Exmoor | Devon - England UK

Watersmeet House

Nearest Postcode EX35 6NT

National Trust property with ample parking at the entrance and short walk down to café. As the name suggest there is a river gorge, waterfalls and ancient woodland. Don’t forget to try the scones here you need the energy to walk back to the car park after few hours of exploring.

Watersmeet House | Devon - England UK

Watersmeet House |Devon - England UK

Valley of Rocks

Nearest Postcode EX35 6JH

A coastal circular walk with parking and café an easy walk though it was foggy on the day of the visit yet it was breathtakingly beautiful and bit spooky when you  see the cliff almost merging as one with the sky and ocean.

Valley Of Rocks Exmoor National Park| Devon - England UK

Valley Of Rocks Exmoor National Park| Devon - England UK

Church of All Saints

Location: Exmoor Heritage Coast, Exmoor National Park, Selworthy, Minehead TA24 8TR

There is no better view of rolling hills of Exmoor. Parking is available outside the church an amazing place which has a calming effect and the church so peaceful.

Church of all saints - Minehead |Devon - England UK

Exmoor National Park |Devon - England UK

Broad Sands – Combe Martin

Nearest Postcode: EX34 9SR

A steep walk down the cliff to the coast where you can find caves, coves with an island lookout. I am not kidding when I say the steps leading down to the coast is at 90 degrees but it is was well worth it when we spotted these two divers against the sun ready to meet the ocean.

Broad Sands, Combe Martin |Devon - England UK

Broad Sands, Combe Martin | Devon - England UK

Top Tip: Check for tide timings before you begin the walk as the coast completely disappears.

Covelly

Location Hartland Devon Heritage Coast, North Devon EX39 5TL

An idyllic postcard village with cobbled streets and where cottages meet the ocean.  Don’t forget to grab an ice cream on your walk down the path.

Covelly | Devon - England UK

Covelly | Devon - England UK

Top Tip: We took the Landover taxi service on our way back dreading the steep climb, make sure you wear proper shoes in case of wet weather you don’t want to roll all the way down.

Speke’s Mill Mouth – Hartland

Nearest Postcode EX39 6DU parking near Hartland Quay

The waterfall is located on Hartland’s Heritage Coast in North Devon an area of outstanding beauty.  A spot where the waterfall meets the ocean.

Speke’s Mill Mouth, Hartland, | Devon - England UK

Speke’s Mill Mouth, Hartland, | Devon - England UK

Top Tip: The path leading to the hills has no tarmac and is prone to waterlogging so make sure to wear waterproof shoes.

Note: Image ~ ©Nessy Samuel All rights reserved . All views are mine and were correct at the time of visit.

Hidden Garden in London – A visit to Fulham Palace Walled Garden

It was an early morning visit to Fulham Palace located a short walk from Putney Bridge Underground Station. I would have passed this Putney Bridge so many times in the past and never knew there was a palace or walled garden here. I was so intrigued when I received the invite from Instagramers London that I had to go.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

A bit of History and Future Plans

Fulham Palace is home of the Bishops of London purchased in AD 704 which served as country retreat for the bishops and their families before becoming the bishop’s permanent residence in the early 20th century. There is so much history here and with the help of Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources, Fulham Palace trust is embarking on £3.8 million three year restoration project if you are interested in volunteering they have number of ways to do that. It is truly about the community and to preserve the heritage for the future generations to enjoy.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden There are two entrances, the main entrance via Bishop’s Avenue you are welcomed with the beautiful Gothic Lodge just look at the stunning chimneys followed by the open courtyard or you can take a short walk from the underground station via the woodland to reach the walled garden.Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden
Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

The Walled Garden

We were welcomed by the team at Fulham Palace and the current Head Gardener Lucy Hart who has experience working in Kew Royal Botanical Garden.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

The historic walled garden was built between 1766 and 1768 by renowned architect Stiff Leadbetter for Bishop Terrick. The garden underwent a major restoration in 2011-2012 and the original knot garden design was reinstated, the colours inspired by Bishop Blomfield’s coat of Arms – red, blue and yellow.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

When I walked into the Tudor Gate entrance I was welcomed with curves of wisteria which is more than 150 years old, the oldest in London a beautiful sight can you imagine when they are in full bloom the whole walled garden to be wrapped in these beautiful flowers so I make a mental note to visit then.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

Against the wall you can find metal framed glass greenhouse housing vegetables and herbs which is part of volunteer run Market Barrow and can be brought on sale days.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

The garden besides growing vegetable have an amazing apple orchard housing five bee hives which produces an award winning honey and one can also learn to be a bee keeper here. There are three Tudor bee boles I am not posting a photo of them but I will leave it to you to discover and enjoy spotting them.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

I left the garden with heady scent of lilies.

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

To know more about Fulham Palace or if you would like to hire venue or just go for a picnic please visit the Website

Fulham Palace and Hidden Walled Garden

Note: I received an invite from Fulham Palace as part of Instagramers London. All the views are my own. Image ~ ©Nessy Samuel All rights reserved.

Lavender Farm | Day Trips from London

Don’t have time to visit Provence in France not to worry we have few Lavender Farms located just a train ride or short drive from London.

It is that time of the year again where the fields turn purple; while you are there you can eat or sip on great produce right from the farm or buy few souvenirs to take with you back home.

Hitchin Lavender

Located in Hitchin, Hertfordshire is working farm open to the public. You can not only walk among the fields but you can pick your lavender for a small entry fee. They have some tasty cupcakes and lavender lemonade in the café. Towards late summer you can visit the farm to see rows of sunflower. What I like about the farm the rows of lavender almost merge with sky and perfect for picnics.

Top Tip keep an eye on their social media page where they announce late evening opening, a perfect way to watch the sunset with very few visitors.

Hitchin Lavender Farm

Hitchin Lavender Farm Hitchin Lavender Farm  Lavender Cupcakes

Hitchin Lavender Farm Still Lemonade

Mayfield Lavender

Mayfield Lavender An organic Lavender farm located in Banstead, North Surrey Downs perfect for day out or perfect spot for portrait photography. They even have tractor rides for kids. I really liked the lavender ice-cream here. Fresh cut lavender is available to buy from the shop at the farm along with various goodies all related to lavender.

Mayfield Lavender Farm

Mayfield Still Lavender

Cotswold Lavender

Cotswold is known for his postcard perfect villages but overlooking Cotswold Hills is Cotswold Lavender. The farm is nestled in beautiful landscape picture perfect and they not only have lavender farm but a large wildflower meadow filled with rainbow of colours. I would highly recommend their sparkling lavender lemonade which is really refreshing after a walk in the farm.

Cotswold Lavender Farm

Cotswold Lavender

Cotswold Lavender Farm Meadow

To know more about all the farms please visit them here Hitchin Lavender, Mayfield Lavender, Cotswold Lavender

Note: This is not a sponsored post, the views are my own and all images are ©Nessy Samuel All rights reserved. The information is correct at the time of my visit, please visit the links provided to know more about the farm.

In Search of Raindrop Cake – Yamagoya | London : A review

Yamagoya is located at Shaftebury Avenue a limited time pop up residency above Shuang Shuang a hot pot restaurant. The closest tube station is Piccadilly Circus.

Yamagoya

Yamagoya is known for its Ramen but I went in search of Raindrop Cake. We were seated immediately my husband and I ordered White Grape Ice Tea because as it was a warm day in London. The drink was very different and refreshing for the heat wave.

White Grape Ice Tea

For starters we ordered Gyoza – Fried Pork Dumpling and Chicken kara-Age – Japanese Style Fired Chicken thigh and yuzu mayo. We especially like the chicken kara age the batter was light, crispy and the meat very succulent and moist perfect.

Chicken kara-Age - Japanese Style Fired Chicken thigh and yuzu mayo

When we ordered main we were informed that the Raindrop Cake is served only if we ordered Ramen or Chicken Kara-age curry rice (Chicken cutlet, house special curry and japanese rice). They make a limited portion of the cake per day.

We went ahead and ordered Chashu Don – Glazed Chashu, spring onion and Japanese rice made out of pork and Oyako Ramen Chicken Bone Broth,chicken chashu,marinated burford brown egg ,wood ear mushroom,wakame seaweed,bamboo shoot and spring onion.

Oyako Ramen Chicken Bone Broth,chicken chashu,marinated burford brown egg ,wood ear mushroom,wakame seaweed,bamboo shoot and spring onion.

The broth of the ramen was good but the highlight of the mains was the Chashu Don the smoky and sweet flavour of the dish was sublime and I would definitely recommend the dish.

Chashu Don - Glazed Chashu, spring onion and Japanese rice made out of pork

When the Raindrop Cake arrived it was a clear jelly with hints of tea which you hardly notice served with molasses and roasted soybean powder. The molasses and soybean powder gives it some crunch and sweetness. If you have a sweet tooth I would not recommend this dish as pudding was more of a palate cleanser. It was one of the dishes that you have to try once.

Raindrop Cake served with molasses and roasted soybean powder
Raindrop Cake served with molasses and roasted soybean powder

If you would like to have a look at their full menu please visit here

Note: This is not a sponsored post and the views are my own and photos are ©Nessy Samuel All rights reserved

Perfect Sunday Roast at Hawksmoor – Borough | London – A Review

Hawksmoor is located near London Bridge Tube station just short hop from Borough Market. So what is special about this branch of Hawksmoor they have Market Specials on the board makes it a perfect spot if you would like to taste produce from Borough Market.

I have heard so much about their Sunday Roast which is listed as the best roast in UK by Observer Food Monthly.

So one fine Sunday my husband and I reserve a table and off we went. Once we reached we were seated immediately and ordered drinks. I opted for Grapefruit & Bergamot Iced Tea and my husband Seasonal Lemonade which was in blush pink. Both were refreshing and really nice, I was leaning more towards seasonal lemonade so ordered a second round.

Hawksmoor-Borough

For starters we ordered Jersey rocks roasted with bone marrow (six pieces), I felt the flavour of the oysters disappeared with the breadcrumbs and felt a bit heavy from the bone marrow. We usually have the oysters raw so probably I will try that when I visit them next time.

Hawksmoor-Market Special- Borough

For the piece de resistance we ordered slow roast rump Native breed beef, slow roasted and served with all the trimmings. It was worth it while I type this post I fondly remember the taste. We were to full to order desserts and the roast was too good that I didn’t want to eat anything after the main course.

Hawksmoor-Borough- Sunday Roast

To know more about Hawksmoor and to have a look at the menu please visit here

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All view are mine. Images ~ ©Nessy Samuel All rights reserved

Places to stay in Devon England United Kingdom

A Luxurious Adults Only Break In Exmoor | Highcliffe House – A Review

Adults only luxurious break with panoramic view of the sea and the mountains.

Location

Highcliffe house a luxurious award winning bed and breakfast (B&B) is located in Lynton within Exmoor National Park North Devon.  We booked the last available room (Summer House) at Highcliffe House. The B&B is owned and run by two fabulous people Neal and Jason.

Highcliffe House B&B | Lynton | Exmoor - North Devon

Before Arrival

We received an email from the hosts about restaurants, sights nearby, walks etc. I found it very handy while planning the trip.

On Arrival

We reached the B&B after dinner so we gave the complementary welcome scone a miss. Neal gave my husband and me a warm welcome and explained where everything was located. The guest are free to use the common lounge which has a bar and fridge.

Highcliffe House B&B | Lynton | Exmoor - North Devon

We were then taken to our room, the view from the room was one to remember.

Highcliffe House B&B | Lynton | Exmoor - North Devon

Our Room –  Summer House

Summer House has high ceilings filled with antique furniture, a 6 foot bed with pillows with various degree of softness and three windows with views of Lynmouth Bay, the Lyn valleys and the Exmoor hills. A fire place located at far end of the room and a sofa to relax in. The room is equipped with Wi-Fi, television, a fully equipped hospitality tray with locally sourced tea and coffee, shoe tray and luggage rack. The bathroom is comfortable with bath and shower, toiletries, towels, bathrobes and hair dryer being provided. A shelf filled with small collection of books in the room, more books was available in the lounge downstairs.

Highcliffe House B&B | Lynton | Exmoor - North Devon Highcliffe House B&B | Lynton | Exmoor - North Devon
Highcliffe House B&B | Lynton | Exmoor - North Devon
Highcliffe House B&B | Lynton | Exmoor - North Devon

Breakfast

The breakfast is served between 8.30 and 9.30 in the sun room which has a great view of the mountains and sea. A cold buffet with various fruits, yoghurt, juices and cornflakes is available at your comfort. The main course is prepared by Neal while Jason mans the front of the house. You have wide range of choices from full English, warm croissants and pancakes to eggs benedict.

I went for pancakes while my husband opted for full English. The pancakes were so fluffy and perfect with bacon and maple syrup while my husband found his breakfast equally good. The second day we opted for Egg Florentine a beautifully presented breakfast and tasted good.

Breakfast Goals.

A post shared by N E S S Y S A M U E L (@nessysam) on

We enjoyed our stay immensely and we look forward to visit them again. The hosts have been very attentive to every detail in the B&B a great place to stay for bit of rest and relaxation. Tip: Arrive early so that you don’t miss the scones 😉

Connect with Highcliffe House here

Note: This is not a sponsored post and the views are my own and photos are ©Nessy Samuel All rights reserved