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Going Local: Horsell Common

Posted in Local
on 08/01/2019

New Years Day walks seem to be the tradition for pretty much everyone in the UK (is this a global thing?), so we decided to hit up the wonderful Horsell Common which is just 10 minutes down the road from our current flat!

Ages ago, I mentioned that I wanted to focus more on the amazing places, spaces and faces close to me, as I think we can all get FOMO at the great holidays people seem to be having all the time. Well, I failed massively last year because we decided to start buying a house instead and all of a sudden there was no money left. I’m going to try again this year – after we’ve completed on the house, though.

The winter sunlight through the trees creates the most amazing atmosphere, warming the coldness of January.

I bloody love a good forest

Anyone else have a never ending love for trees? The trees at Horsell Common are AMAZING! I love that these birch (?) trees are beautiful and serene in some shots, and absolutely terrifying and creepy in others. I definitely wouldn’t want to get lost in these woods at night!

The other absolute bonus of the Common is that it is dog spotting heaven! We must’ve seen 40+ dogs in an hour – I’ll make sure to get some good quality heckin’ woofers next time we head there.

The yellow sandy beaches of... Surrey?

Horsell Common fun fact!

The beach area in the previous photo is the setting that H. G. Wells set the opening to War of the Worlds. Aptly named “The Sandpit”, it’s super cool to be in an area that’s famed for a bookish connection! I did walk around for a while thinking they filmed the film there so good job I only spouted that fake news to my boyfriend!

Rows and rows of ridiculously tall trees. Absolute heaven!

Imagine if it snows

I bet this place looks magical when it snows! The crunching of the top layer and then walking onto spots where the snow couldn’t reach because of the foliage – that is my happy place.

And I bet it smells amazing in spring and summer when the flowers and leaves are in bloom! The colours will probably be a bit more vibrant in the ferns!

The ferns and heathland will look amazing in summer! And, maybe my boyfriend will one day look up from his phone to take it all in...

Someone could’ve been more impressed with the scenery… I jest, he was actually on his Insta Stories!

We’ll definitely be heading back – we walked for over an hour and hardly covered a fraction of the grounds. Plus, there are links that take you into a village which should have some tasty treats and cute sights!

So, Horsell Common is a winner and hopefully I’ve inspired you to do some investigating in your local area! Make sure to follow and tag me in your blogs, Twitter or Instagram posts so I know you’re up to good stuff!

 

River Exe Cafe

Posted in Local, Travel
on 09/08/2018

I’m going to say it: Devon has some of the best food in the country. I will fight you if you try and say otherwise! From veg to fish, meat to cheese (and wine!), and a bit of cake in between, you could travel the county and still be finding new and amazing places to eat.

Enter the River Exe Cafe.

Situated on a flotilla in the middle of the River Exe Estuary, this floating slice of foodie heaven serves fresh fish, seafood and sea veg throughout the summer season (April-September).  It’s pretty popular – my mum booked three weeks beforehand and we could only get on the 3pm sitting!

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We arrived in Exmouth to get our water taxi over to the floating restaurant. As per Devon, the views were gorgeous, although the storms you could see on the hills made the water a little choppy!

If, like me, you’re someone plans their meals out at least a week in advance, the menu online looks a little sparse. DO NOT PANIC. It’s because their specials (and mussels) are where the party is at! I’m still distraught that I’m allergic to mussels but, there were five or six specials to whet my appetite instead! From lobster to plaice, all of the ingredients were either caught by the local fisherman, whose boats you sail past on your way to the flotilla, or from local farms.

The food. Oh. My. Days.

To start with, I tried scallops for the first time. I have been missing out – they were baked with a coral butter and white port, and then topped with a parmesan crumble. Amazing.

Next, I opted for the Thai Green Curry which had salmon topped with sesame seeds, crab claw, monkfish and crevettes within it, and was accompanied with a pineapple and chilli salsa and some sea veg. The curry came with some rice but, in my pre-dinner meal planning, I’d already decided that, regardless of accompaniment, their truffle and parmesan frites were the only accompaniment I would ever need! And, honestly, they were incredible. My mum had the lobster, which was also pretty special.

To finish, the only real choice on the menu was the Salted Caramel Fudge Brownie with ice cream and berries. Is there really any other logical choice? It was gooey and warm and the best way to round of a fabulous meal!

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Then, it was time to get our water taxi back to shore. You get 2.5 hours for a sitting, which is plenty of time to have three courses and coffee! This is a real gem and, if you’re in Devon in the warm season, get yourself a table booked!

Thank you for reading – it feels good to be back! Where is your favourite foodie find?

Going Local

Posted in Life, Local, Travel
on 07/08/2018

Exploring is awesome. We all know that – what is better than going somewhere you don’t know, getting lost and then heading to the nearest bar for a well-deserved cocktail?

But I feel that sometimes you can spend too much time focussing on the far away, rather than what is directly in front of, and around, you. I’ve lived in the Surrey/London area for almost two years and, until May, I hadn’t even gone to a local lake – why is that? I was too focussed on jetting off somewhere to have a break from life and up my gram’ game.

So, I’ve made it my mission to give more time to my local area.

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Because it is beautiful and I’ve been taking that for granted. Sure, I haven’t got the classic passport and plane ticket photo, and I haven’t spent hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds to get the next “it” place, but I will get to meet some cool people and go on random day trips with friends, and my ‘gram game will still be great because finding beauty in the everyday has to be the ultimate goal.

But I am lucky because my local area includes a fabulous city that would be classed as a holiday for many people. I live in an area where wealth is aplenty so my green spaces will stay green when others will become housing blocks and schools and hospitals other fundamental pieces of society because there is simply nowhere else for them to go.

So, I’m going to be writing a lot about places that may, or may not, be familiar but will cost a fraction of the price as a holiday and will be within the UK and guaranteed to give you a great time and a great ‘gram.

I’m really interested in hearing your views on this! I get serious FOMO when I see people jetting off to these exotic places – is that a thing? I’d also love to read some posts on things in your local area/within the UK and then maybe we can get a round-up post together or something?

Comment, share, tag me – I want to hear about all your recent local travels!