Fitness and Lifestyle

Scone with the Wind: A Literary Recipe Book for Cake Enthusiasts and Prose Aficionados




Scone with The Wind: Cakes and Bakes with a Literary Twist by Miss Victoria Sponge

When I spotted 'Scone with the Wind' whilst on one of my (very frequent) perusals of Vinegar Hill, I knew it was inevitable that it would be coming home with me. As an English Literature graduate and a cake connoisseur, this little book packed full of recipes with a literary twist combines two of my greatest loves - books and baked goods. 

I'll be honest here: the combination of half-marathon/aquathlon training, real life stuff and the fact that I'm desperately trying to make my way through all the seasons of Pretty Little Liars before I accidentally stumble across any spoilers, means I haven't found time to try out many of the recipes yet. I whipped up a batch of the namesake Scones today though, sans any baking disasters or cakey tantrums. The recipe was really easy to follow, the results are rather scrumptious and I managed not to burn down my kitchen - success!

Scone with the Wind has a huge range of recipes - from Don Biscotti to Wuthering Bites, Waiting for Gateau to Much Ado About Muffins (which are next on my 'to bake' list). With an RRP of £9.99 this would make a perfect gift for any book lovers in your life.



Travel: Southwold, Suffolk






















A couple of weekends ago on a sunny Saturday, my boyfriend and I headed across to Southwold for an afternoon of fish & chips, beach strolls and ice cream. Southwold is a lovely little town in Suffolk, located on the North Sea coast. It's one of my absolute favourite places to visit so I thought I'd put together a little travel guide!

EAT

Breakfast: Pop into No. Fifty One Cafe located on the High Street, it's quite small but the food is super yummy and it's the perfect way to start the day.

Fish and Chips: A trip to the seaside isn't complete without a generous serving of fish and chips - there's two fish and chip places on the pier and I'd highly recommended heading for the one furthest down (I'm 90% sure it's called The Boardwalk) where you can enjoy some seriously delicious food with a lovely view looking back at Southwold Beach.

Ice Cream: Okay, I know it's traditional to have your ice cream on the beach but stay with me on this one. Stray away from the seafront and head towards the high street and you'll find Beaches and Cream. They've got a huge range of ice cream flavours (go for the salted caramel, you won't regret it) and lots of cool sweets to boot. Best enjoyed on the green, the perfect way to have a little break from that sea breeze!

Dinner: The best way to wind down after a day in Southwold has got to be dinner at The Crown Hotel. A member of the Adnam's Brewery family, this place combines amazing food with a nice relaxed atmosphere. They've just been awarded Suffolk Dining Pub of The Year for the second year in a row so a trip to The Crown should definitely feature on your Southwold to-do list.

VISIT

The Under The Pier Show: Not your typical seaside arcade, The Under the Pier Show features a range of quirky homemade arcade machines and simulator rides created by Tim Hunkins. From a dog walk simulator to an armchair getaway, it's well worth checking out.

The Adnams Brewery: This one is still on my to-do list but from what I've heard the brewery tour is pretty cool - you can even make your own gin! I'd also recommend popping into the Adnam's Wine Shop - you need a bottle of their White Burgundy in your life, trust me!

Walberswick: The best way to work up an appetite for your fish and chips? A stroll across to neighbouring Walberswick. With lots of beautiful views and plenty of running around space if you've got dogs with you, a walk to Walberswick is a great way to spend an afternoon if you've got a longer stay booked in Southwold.

STAY

I can only dream of owning a home in Southwold, so renting out a cottage is the next best thing for that home away from home feeling. There's nothing better than arriving back from a windy walk on the beach, getting cosy and falling asleep on a nice comfy sofa. Check out Best of Suffolk for an idea of the different cottages and apartments on offer.

WHEN TO VISIT

One thing that makes me love Southwold so much is that it's a lovely place to visit all year round. I was a little bit worried that it was going to be horrendously busy when we visited a couple of weekends ago because it was such a sunny day (we usually visit during the colder months so that the puppy-dog can run around on the beach) but I was pleasantly surprised - it was slightly busy but nowhere near as crowded as places like Cromer etc tend to get!
We also spent New Year's Eve in Southwold last year which was amazing - at around quarter to midnight everyone was out on the promenade and there were fireworks on the beach which made for a great atmosphere. The whole going out clubbing on New Year's Eve thing isn't really my scene so this was the perfect way for me to see in the New Year surrounded by my favourite people.


Writing this post has made me want to go back to sunny Southwold already, road trip anyone?


Weekend Notes: Afternoon Tea at Hanbury Manor




This is a bit of a throwback post as these pictures are actually from a weekend in August last year, oops! A Sunday afternoon spent indulging in tea and cake is one of my favourite ways to while away the time, and when it comes to sweet treats Hanbury Manor really know their stuff. Located in the Hertfordshire countryside, Hanbury Manor is a 5* Hotel set against a backdrop of 200 acres of stunning grounds. Their afternoon tea is quintessentially British, with finger sandwiches, scones and beautiful handcrafted pastries served everyday between 1pm and 5pm in the oak-panelled dining room. With a range of teas and the option to add champagne, a trip to Hanbury Manor is the perfect way to celebrate a special event or just to treat yourself to something different at the weekend! If you're a cake connoisseur I'd definitely recommend a visit (and a stroll around the walled garden afterwards to walk off that cake-coma).

Zoeva Luxe Collection Complete Brush Set





Zoeva Luxe Collection Complete Brush Set RRP 115 EUR

A good set of makeup brushes are an essential part of your beauty toolkit and these gorgeous brushes from the Zoeva Luxe Collection are yet to disappoint. Not only are these brushes great to look at, they're also really well designed and easy to use. The combination of natural and synthetic bristles make these brushes both incredibly soft and durable - I've been using them pretty much everyday for the last six months and I haven't had any bristles falling out. The face brushes create a lovely smooth finish without absorbing too much product meanwhile the different shapes and sizes of eye brushes means this set is the perfect one stop shop for definition, blending and everything in-between. The set comes in a beautiful zip up case which is super handy for storage and travelling. I didn't think anything would ever tempt me away from my trusty Real Techniques brushes but it's safe to say I'm head over heels with Zoeva. I'm currently eyeing up their lipstick range, someone stop me!


Photo Diary: 36 Hours in Paris















One of my birthday presents from my boyfriend this year was a surprise trip to Paris at the end of March - he's just the cutest! We bought and moved into our new house earlier that month so it was the perfect time to have a little break from all the moving-related stress and take some time out for ourselves.

We've both been to Paris before so we weren't too fussed about rushing around all the usual tourist spots. I always feel like the best way to experience a city is just to take it easy and soak up the atmosphere rather than desperately trying to cram in all the sights just because that's what you feel like you're supposed to do there. We stayed at the Renaissance Arc de Triomphe Hotel which was perfectly located for a chilled out weekend - we were right by the champs-elysées and just a short metro ride away from everything else. After checking in to the hotel, our first port of call was a little bistro next to the Arc de Triomphe where we tucked into croque madame whilst watching the world go by. Tummies suitably full, we hopped on the metro down to the Notre Dame and had a browse of the Parisian homeware stores nearby - there was some seriously pinterest worthy pieces on offer and it took a major dose of self-restraint to resist temptation and come away empty handed.

As an English Literature graduate, it was only natural that I was going to be making a beeline for the Shakespeare and Co bookshop. It was fairly crowded but the building is beautiful (so many little nooks and crannies) and there was a cute cat having a snooze upstairs so all in all it was a successful visit. We found a little cafe nearby and spent the rest of the afternoon stuffing ourselves with crepes and ice cream before heading back to the hotel for a pre-dinner snooze (I'm a granny okay!?).
Dinner was a relaxed affair at another restaurant just up the road from our hotel. A few strawberry mojitos and an impromptu photoshoot in front of the Arc de Triomphe later (Graham now has a picture of me standing in front of it in a flamingo-esque fashion with my eyes closed as his phone background...) we tottered back to our hotel room. 

We got up pretty early on the Sunday morning and went out for a 10k run in the rain (we met at running club so this is actually far more romantic than it sounds haha!). It was such a lovely way to see the city before all the crowds were up and around. We headed to Ladurée for a well-earned lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon wandering in and out of shops along the champs elysées. After one last coffee in a teeny little coffee shop we caught the train back home to England with lots of happy memories and a tacky eiffel tower statue for our book case. Until next time, Paris!


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