Following on from our jaunt at Bishopstrow House, Elldrew recently had the pleasure of another country weekend, this time at the Four Seasons in Hampshire (courtesy of a special friend who was celebrating a special birthday; both the friend’s name and age shall be withheld to preserve ones modesty). Unlike Bishopstrow where it was the two of us, this trip saw 20 friends converge on the New Forest for a fun filled weekend away!
Regular readers will know that Elldrew like to escape the London rat race, so with the Christmas madness behind us and Ell’s birthday ahead we booked a weekend at Bishopstrow House in Wiltshire. Having done several country house weekends in the UK our favourite, by far, was a few years back when we stayed at Cowley Manor (pre-blog setup, before you go searching). Since then we’ve tried to find a good reason to go back, but being amongst the top in its class it also carries a certain premium price tag. For this trip we wanted somewhere that wouldn’t break the bank, a 3-night long weekend not too far from London.
Without a doubt London is an amazing city. You can live here for years and unexpectedly take a wrong turn and find something new; such history covering such a small metropolis footprint. And there is nothing better than finding a garden oasis in the heart of The City.
With the new year comes the sales…and of course new releases from the fashion world. Elldrews latest crush is the Mulberry ‘Small Clipper Leather-Trimmed Canvas Holdall Bag’. The perfect bag for those weekend getaways and we are loving the brown and vivid blue tones. One word: WANT. Contact us if anyone is interested in sending us one HAHA. Happy New Year one and all, let’s make 2014 amazing!
“What time’s the restaurant booked for?” Elldrew enquiry.
“One o’clock, it’s about 15 mins drive away” comes a reply from a busy kitchen, kids hair frantically being brushed.
“But it’s 12.55pm now!” shrieks the ever prompt Ronnie.
“Don’t worry, no one ever arrives on time in France” informs our host.
BORDEAUX TO ROQUÉPINE
Toulouse-Lautrec was all I could think about as the captain announced our descent. We were descending into Bordeaux, not Toulouse, so Monsieur Lautrec didn’t have much relevance but nevertheless I thought of him…perhaps it was because Elldrew were about to embark on a weekend of gastronomy in Gascony and our route would take us south towards Toulouse.
Continuing on from our Lilianfels Blue Mountains adventure, we mentioned that we had dined in the Fine Dining restaurant ‘Darleys’, located about 20 feet away from the main hotel. As the original homestead of this famous property, the recent refurbishment has preserved the original features that are the soul of the house (open ornate fireplaces, leadlight windows, crystal chandeliers) and combined them with plush furnishings, artwork and rich wallpaper prints to create an enchanting atmosphere. You sort of feel like you have stepped back in time, as if accepting an invitation to dine by Sir Darley himself!
Australia. It’s a very big country, isolated in the middle of a big ocean, with lots of big empty spaces, so it’s not somewhere you’d expect to have size issues. However on a recent jaunt ‘Down Under’ Elldrew discovered that, in fact, the truth is quite the opposite – amongst the marsupials, wonders of the outback and beauty of Sydney Harbour, Australia has a lesser known series of tourist sites collectively referred to as the “Big Things”. Not wonders of nature, nor feats of engineering, these ‘Big Things’ are a random mix of oversized fibreglass objects varying from the ‘Big Mosquito’ to the ‘Big Oyster’ with detours via the ‘Big Didgeridoo’, ‘Big Potato’ and even the ‘Big Poo’. It seems that they come and go and although there is no formal count, estimates suggest there are around 150 ‘Big Things’ scattered across Oz. Some are “official” ‘Big Things’ others are subject to the viewer’s perspective, and not wanting our readers to miss out Elldrew bravely battled the bush to seek out a handful of these official and unofficial ‘Big Things’.