Sandringham

Sandringham is one of my favourite places to visit. It’s about an hour and a half’s drive from where I live, so Adrian and I decided to go up there last week and take a tour round the house, gardens and museum. We also had a delicious picnic on the Queen’s lawn, unfortunately she wasn’t at home on the day we went but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind us having tea and sandwiches in her back garden. I would loved to have bumped into her and caught up on family gossip.

Sandringham House is the Queen’s country home and is situated in North Norfolk, about 20 minutes away from Hunstanton (which, might I say, is the windiest seaside place on the planet!) Sandringham House has the most amazing gardens and woods where you can walk round, it’s filled with beautiful flowers and statues. If you don’t fancy walking all that way, there’s even a shuttle that will drive you round to take in all the wonderful sights.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

We didn’t go inside the house on this visit as we’ve been in many times before. There’s a section that is open to tourists and a tour guide will show you around each room and talk you through some very interesting facts. The bronze statue of the horse Estimate is a new addition since we came last, it stands right outside the main entrance to the house. The Queen is the first reigning monarch to win a Gold Cup when her horse, Estimate, won in 2013. You learn something new every day!

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

I had to do it, didn’t I? If there’s a place to have a slice of cake then you can guarantee I’ll be there. We went into the Stables Tearoom, which has a wonderful selection of cakes and sandwiches, I naturally choose the chocolate cake and it was absolutely delicious, I’m surprised it lasted long enough for me to take a photo. There’s also a restaurant that sells home cooked hot and cold meals, but it was extremely busy on our visit, plus I think we’d already eaten enough from the picnic we’d brought with us.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

There are so many hidden little places at Sandringham, it’s such a beautiful place to sit and relax, enjoy a picnic and take in the scenery. It’s an extremely popular place for tourists but the further into the woods you go, the less chance you’ll bump into crowds of people.

I had to have my photo take outside York Cottage, which is on the other side of the lower lake at Sandringham and will be the country home of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I did wonder if Harry and Megan were in one of the upstairs rooms measuring up for nursery furniture, but no, there wasn’t any sign of them. Oh well, maybe next time.

Just a bit further up from York Cottage is Queen Alexandra’s Nest over looking the picturesque view across the lakes, this charming summer house was built for her in 1913. Sadly I couldn’t get up any closer as it’s not wheelchair accessible, it would have been the perfect place to chill and listen to the sounds of nature.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

We must have walked round every inch of the stunning gardens, one of the prettiest and most interesting areas was the North Garden, where you’ll see a statue of Father Time, the Buddha Statue, colourful flowers and beautiful box hedge lined walkways. You could literally get lost in there, it’s almost like something out of a fairy tale. Whatever time of year you visit the gardens look amazing,  Spring leading into Summer is probably the best time as the displays of rhododendrons are quite simply breathtaking. On a sad note, somewhere in the grounds of Sandringham I lost one of earrings that Adrian bought me for our wedding anniversary in 2011, I didn’t notice until we got back to the car.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

Sandringham House is absolutely amazing with the most spectacular views of the house, woods and gardens, as well as inside the house and museum. There’s also a gift shop where you can buy something to remember your visit including jams, cookies and little trinkets. I bought my Aunt a jar of Sandringham Strawberry Preserve as she loves some on her toast in the mornings, and for myself I picked up another thimble for my collection. Next door to the Gift Shop is an outdoor clothing shop, you could always pick up a pair of walking boots if you fancy an extra long walk round every inch of the woodland. Inside the museum there are all kinds of items that have belonged to various generations of the Royal family. One I found particularly interesting were these wheelchairs that belong to Queen Victoria, I’d quite like mine to have a plush royal red cushion.

I love coming to Sandringham House, it’s such a beautiful place. Each time I’ve come there’s always been something new to learn or different to see. I’ve been a few times but still haven’t quite made it to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, it’s right next to Sandringham and is used by The Queen and members of the Royal family. You’ll be able to watch them walk from Sandringham House down to the church on Christmas Day. I’d definitely recommend Sandringham to anyone, even if you’re not a royal fan, it’s such a stunning stately home with amazing architecture and a wonderful history. The gardens and woodland are quite simply beautiful.

I can’t wait to come again soon.

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

Sandringham House

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Hitchin Lavender

A few weeks back Adrian and I spent the most relaxing afternoon at Hitchin Lavender. The last time we visited was back in 2014 and considering I only live a short distance away I can’t believe this is only the second time I’ve been. This year we made a conscious effort to go and make the most of the beautiful flowers over the last few weeks of summer.

I’ve never been one to just pack a bag and go anywhere on the spur of the moment, I’m the kind of person who needs to both mentally and physically prepare for an outing, even if it is just down the road. Since I started my blog I won’t relax until I’ve got the photos I’m after. The visit to Hitchin Lavender was going to be more of a challenge than normal. I’d seen everyone’s gorgeous photos pop up all over Instagram,  I began wondering how on earth I was going to get any kind of content without having a bench to sit on and not include my wheelchair. Thanks to my very kind husband and an old picnic rug I think we managed quite well.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

I’ve been to a couple of lavender farms before but none quite as large and beautiful as the one in Hitchin. There are around 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick your own fresh flowers from. I had forgotten the amazing smell that hits you the moment you arrive, then you are immediately greeted by a sea of purple as the views from inside are quite simply stunning. The farm is well equipped for all visitors, including a gorgeous cafe and gift shop, which I obviously had to pop in before we left.

I hadn’t realised how many other bloggers came to visit Hitchin Lavender, there was a number of fashion bloggers taking photos for their Instagram and parent bloggers taking photos of their little ones collecting lavender. I was determined to get my shots too, however difficult it was.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

It was a boiling hot day when we visited the lavender farms and I wasn’t sure how long I’d be able to stay. I’ve been taking a white umberella out with me to use as a parasol, I’m sure people wonder what on earth I’m doing holding a brolly in the middle of a heatwave but it’s one way of keeping the midday sun from directly beating down on me. There are a couple of shaded seating areas right near the entrance, on the day we came it was full up with people sheltering from the heat, but it is something to bare in mind if you are planning to visit.

The first place we headed for was of course the rows of lavender, after all that’s what we came for. The entrance fee to Hitchin lavender costs £6 for each adult (£4 for wheelchair users) and £3 for a child, the price includes a brown paper bag which you can fill with lavender cuttings using a pair of scissors you’re loaned for your visit. We collected two bags full of gorgeous lavender and it’s now in a vase in my bedroom, the smell is absolutely incredible. Once it’s dried out I plan on making little lavender bags to go in my wardrobes and chest of drawers. I still have a bowl of potpourri in my living room from lavender collected on my last visit and it still smells lovely.

The farm is wheelchair accessible, however the ground can be a little uneven in places but you are in the middle of a field. We were both laughing ay how I was bouncing around in my wheelchair, that’s just our sense of humour, life’s too short for taking everything seriously and I want to make the most of every moment while I can. I’d taken a large bag with me and made sure to pack sun cream, my large flask of cold water and a few other essentials.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender

The view of the lavender and sunflower fields were absolutely stunning. Adrian pushed me up the slight hill to where it was a bit quieter. Being the gentleman that he is, he laid the rug down amongst the lavender and lifted me down onto the ground. These are the kind of experiences I would never be able to enjoy without him and not a day goes past when I take him for granted.

It felt wonderful to be rolling around amongst the lavender, I felt totally free. There are more than one type of lavender and you can see all the different colours as well as some wild flowers. We took loads of photos and, let’s face it, the backdrop is pretty amazing. I think we both enjoyed a little time relaxing for a while, the farm was very busy yet still peaceful at the same time. Despite the heat we headed up to the field of sunflowers, however the ground was much more difficult to get across so Adrian cut me two beautiful sunflowers to take home (which you are also allowed to pick.) For about a week afterwards they were in a vase on my desk and made me smile every time I saw them. It’s always the simple pleasures in life that seem the best.

Hitchin Lavender

Adrian and I both needed a sugar boost before we went onto the next part of the fields, I had to sample a slice of one of the delicious cakes in the cafe. I was really impressed with the choice there was, not going for my normal chunk of chocolate cake, I sampled the passion fruit sponge instead and it was rather yummy. We both sat outside the cafe under a parasol and enjoyed the views, it was too lovely to sit indoors even on a boiling hot day. It really did feel lovely being with nature, even the bees didn’t bother me too much, just be careful if you are planning on walking amongst the lavender. You can literally hear the buzzing where ever you go.

Hitchin Lavender

Hitchin Lavender is such a dreamy place to visit and close to both London and Cambridge. It’s open later in the evenings on certain days, how amazing would it be to watch the sunset over the beautiful fields of lavender. Can you imaging how amazing the photos would be? Well there’s always next year.

It really was the perfect summer’s afternoon collecting flowers from Hitchin Lavender. we felt so relaxed when we got home, not sure if it was from the gorgeous fragrance or that we’d both switched off from everyday life. I recommend this place to anyone planning a visit over the summer. On certain days throughout the year there are workshops, events and cinema nights, so you really do have a little bit of everything while you’re there.

Have you been to Hitchin Lavender or another farm just like this one? Are you planning on visiting one next year?

Top: Izabel

Broderie Anglaise Culottes: Topshop

Shoes: River Island

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Cromer Pier

We’ve been having such gorgeous weather, so what better place to be than by the sea. Adrian and I decided to take a trip to Norfolk, which is a lovely area of the UK and holds a special place in my heart as my Nan used to take me there on holiday when I was a child.  

I have family living in Norfolk and it’s always great to go and stay with them for a short break. We travelled up there extremely early on the Monday morning, packing a flask of tea and some snacks to stop me getting hangry!  Luckily I fell asleep for the first hour of the journey, meaning Adrian was able to drive in peace. Feeling like a child again when I caught my first sight of the sea as we pulled into Cromer I gave a little “Whoop, Whoop” and had to take a photo. There are definitely benefits to having a Staycation, but to honest I’ve never been abroad and absolutely love exploring the UK.  Norfolk is a wonderful place at any time of the year, with the birds for company, beautiful scenery and the sea breeze in your hair.

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

Cromer is a traditional seaside town on the Norfolk coast and is an extremely popular place for family holidays and day trips, it’s like stepping back into the Victorian Era. It’s not far from Sherringham, which is where we went last year. Cromer has a lovely beach, a fun fair on the promenade and a museum on the beach front. It’s also known for it’s iconic Pier with a Pavilion Theatre and lifeboat station at the end. There’s also plenty of little seaside shops if you fancy picking up a souvenir or two.

After freshening up at my Aunt’s house we took a stroll along Cromer Pier, which is Grade II listed and still puts on a show at the Pavilion Theatre, sadly we didn’t get to see this time.

We found a quaint little  seaside cafe at the beginning of the Pier and I had the most delicious Vegetarian breakfast to keep me going throughout the day. We walked right to the end of the pier and we were able to get some stunning views of the coast and out to sea. Thankfully it was a gorgeous sunny day without a cloud in the sky and I had remembered to put on the factor 50. 

I had forgotten I’d got this lace off the shoulder top, it was one of those things I’d bought in the end of season sale from New Look last year and forgotten about. It’s loose and flowy so made the perfect choice for today.

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

The following day we took a drive up the coast, stopping at a few quaint little vilage seaside places and we finished up at Wells Next The Sea. Doesn’t matter where we go in Norfolk, we always end up at Wells as they have some of the best seaside fish and chips. There are so many pubs and places to eat but we always choose to take our chips and sit watching the boats come into the harbour.

And of course, a visit to the seaside would not be complete without an icecream!

We had the most amazing few days, it was great to get away from our daily routine and catch up with family again. I love being by the sea, I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the feeling that all my stresses are being carried away by the sound of the waves or just the slower pace of life in this part of the country. Whatever it is, I can’t wait until the next time we go.

A Few Days In Norfolk

A Few Days In Norfolk

You may also be interested to see what else I’ve been up to in my Monthly Chatty Post.

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Beauty and makeup products I've loved using this month

Well my plans to do an Instagram Story every day during July went right out the window, although I did manage a few days, this is something I’d really like to make an effort with next month. I’ve really been enjoying taking more lifestyle photos to share on Instagram. When I looked back over my Instagram from before I was blogging, my feed was full of life, hardly a beauty product insight. Gradually it shifted more towards “Rosie Loves Life” and “Sharon” kind of disappeared, it used to be my online photo album to share with friends but then I suppose that’s what Facebook is for.

Anyway, July has been a busy month for me with some very exciting things going on, I met new people, explored new places and went to the cinema for a girls night out. I’ve also been trying out some fab new products and most of them have made it to this months favourites along side some of the other things I’ve loved in July.

W7 Eyeshadow Palette Delicious

W7 Eyeshadow palette in Delicious

This is an absolutely stunning eyeshadow palette and I’d been trying to get hold of it when it first appeared online. Finally I managed to purchase the palette as soon as it came back into stock and I’ve been absolutely obsessed with it ever since! It’s a dupe for the ABH Modern Renaissance palette, but much more affordable at only £12.95. There are 14 different eyeshadows with a mix of berry and neutral shades, including matte and shimmer, some of which are totally out of my comfort zone. I’ve mainly been using the darker, berry tones, which are highly pigmented, but a few of the lighter shades don’t really show up much on me at all. I’ve been getting much braver with my makeup looks but I’m not quite ready to dye my hair pink just yet!

The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Cream and The Body Shop Skin Defence Essence

The Body Shop has been a place I’ve loved for years but hadn’t been in for a while. I needed to replace a few bits and picked up the Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence and I’ve been using it on my skin before I go out in the sun. It’s a lightweight milk that makes my skin feel so soft, it contains SPF 50 so it will protect my skin against sun damage so it’s seen a lot of use this month and came with me on both trips away.

I’ve also been using The Body Shop’s Atlas Mountain Rose Body Cream as part of my daily skincare routine, it’s super creamy and leaves my skin feeling extremely soft. It’s has a slightly different fragrance than the plain old rose I usually go for, this body cream has less of a sweet smell due to rose mixed with warm spices and amber, so it’s a really comforting fragrance. I’ve been suffering with a lot of dry areas on my skin, especially my elbows, and this has been the only body cream that’s sorted them out. Plus it’s a wonderful body cream to apply after having a relaxing bath, oh that’ll be the next thing on my list, the bath foam to go with it!

NYX HD Foundation and Barry M Lipstick Mannequin

For a drugstore foundation I’ve been pretty impressed with NYX HD Studio Photogenic Foundation, I tend not to wear to much base in the summer but occasionally I need more than a tinted moisturiser. After being outside in the sun a lot I had to get a foundation that was a few shades darker than my winter one, so thought I’d try the NYX range. This foundation applies really lovely with my damp beauty sponge and gives a lovely dewy finish. I only apply a light layer but the coverage is incredible. It doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin and didn’t stick to any dry patches. Plus it comes in a handy size tube, so it’s easy to pack for a holiday.

Barry M Satin Super Slick Lip Paint in Mannequin is a beautiful peachy, nude shade and has been my go-to lipstick on many occasions this month. It contains Shea Butter, so it’s extremely moisturising on my lips, it almost acts like a lip balm and lipstick in one which has been great on busy days. It’s incredibly glossy and last pretty well considering it’s a satin lip product. I’ve also seen a gorgeous wine shade, which will be perfect for Autumn!

Sass & Belle Trinket Dish

The month started of with the most amazing trip to Brighton, I was extremely excited as it was my first time visiting there and I was going to meet my blogging friend Holly. We both had an amazing day together, exploring the sights, eating ice cream on the Pier and generally having loads of fun hanging out together. Holly very kindly gave me this pretty trinket dish as a reminder of our day together and it has sat on my dressing table with my favourite pieces of jewellery on it . Isn’t it so pretty? If you’d like to find out more about what we got up to, I’ll leave a link to my blog post here.

W7 Nail Polish in shade Fluorescent Pink

I adore pink nail polish but this has to be my favourite shade ever! I’ve been wearing W7 Nail Polish In Fluorescent Pink for most of the month and it seemed to go with most outfits I was wearing and looked pretty good when I was holding products for close up shots in my photos too! It applies really nicely, quick drying and stays chip free for days, which is pretty good going for me.

Pink Beach Hut in Southwold

My second trip of the month was a few days in Southwold. I’d never been there before so really didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be a really beautiful, quaint seaside town. When we fist arrived I had the most amazing vegetarian cooked breakfast in a cafe by the sea, it was so huge that I was full up for most of the day! We took a walk along the promenade and past the pastel coloured beach huts, had a stroll around the shops and walked along the pier where Adrian and I got caught in the heaviest rain shower ever! We were laughing so much and both looked like we been for a swim in the sea, but luckily soon dried off.

A painting from Dorkface Shop on Etsy

By now you’ll all know how much I adore Jemma and everything she sells on her Etsy store and I couldn’t let the month go without mentioning this gorgeous pink, white and blue painting from her. When Jemma started selling one off pieces of artwork I’ve fallen in love with every single one. She even shows little snippets on her Instagram Stories as she’s creating each piece, it’s so therapeutic I could watch them all day. It is first come first served with these larger canvas paintings, but each one I’ve seen so far has looked amazing. This one is now in my bedroom and I absolutely love it, the colours are beautifully put together. When someone commented on this on her social media they mentioned having the feeling of candy floss, clouds, flamingos and 1950’s tea dresses (sorry, I can’t remember who, so I can’t credit them). These canvas paintings are different to her usual drawings, you see what you want to see in them, she had a stunning orange, yellow and green one which had the feel of freedom in the sunshine and exploring in the woods. Jemma even had one with pom poms and glitter on!

What things have you been loving recently?

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I’ve been wanting to visit Brighton for as long as I can remember, but somehow never made it there. A few months ago my blogging friend Holly invited me down for the day and of course I jumped at the chance, so we arranged a date and counted down the days until we met each other for the first time.

I got up ridiculously early, like a child on Christmas morning, as I was both excited and nervous to be going somewhere and meeting someone new. Although Holly and I had been chatting on line for about a year and we had sent insta stories to each other, we hadn’t actually seen each other face to face. We decided to meet at the Railway Station as it was a busy public place, just to be on the safe side, but when Holly arrived we clicked instantly and we got on so well, it felt as though we had been friends for years.

Holly showed me around all the exciting places that until then I had only seen on the internet. One place I had wanted to see was Brighton Pier, so we had a wander round, stopping to look at all the stalls and amusements, not just once but twice, only the second time we decided to have an ice cream as it wouldn’t have been a trip to the seaside without one! I had to guard my ice cream from the huge seagulls, they weren’t going to take this beauty from me!

Holly and I explored round some of the old streets of Brighton, she was my guide for the day and pointed out all the exciting, tourist places. We stopped to look in  a few little gift shops and one of my favourites was Sass & Belle, which you may have already seen on Instagram. I bought myself a mug with a gold letter S on the front and Holly very kindly treated me to a pretty pink and white trinket dish as a special reminder of our day together. There were so many cute bits that I’d fallen in love with, I mean just look at the pink flamingo, but sadly I couldn’t have everything.

We were both in need of caffeine and sugar, so Holly and I stopped at a quaint cafe near the Pavilion gardens where I had the most incredible piece of carrot cake. I was so excited to eat it that I completely forgot to take a photo!

We then took a walk around the beautiful gardens, stopping to look at the Pavilion, the history of this place is absolutely fascinating and it’s such a stunning building that I had to take a few photos. Unfortunately it was a really cloudy day until much later on in the day when it eventually turned into a gorgeous hot summer’s evening.

Brighton is honestly one of the prettiest cities I’ve been to with so many beautiful views, a day really isn’t long enough to see everything and visit all the amazing places, I really would like to go back there. Parking is an absolute nightmare, next time I go I think it will be much easier to take the train as the station is right in the city centre and only a short walk from the sea front.

I hardly wore any makeup but my day trip to Brighton did give me a chance to try out these rose gold sunglasses, which are a slightly different style to ones I normally wear.

It was wonderful to finally meet Holly, she is so lovely and we had the most amazing day together. We talked about everything from blogging to life in general, next time I see her I won’t feel half as anxious before hand.

Where is your favourite seaside town?

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