Posts in TRAVEL
New Year in Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall

I am always a little bit suspicious of New Year - there is always so much potential for it to be an anti-climax. So I have learnt in recent years to make sure I have something planned with people I love pretty far in advance. This year turned out to be pretty much perfect! 

We went to Cornwall for a weekend and stayed in the most beautiful cosy cottage in a little village called Stratton. The weather wasn't great but we still managed to get out to do things and who cares when you can snuggle up on the sofa in front of the fire reading a book watching the others do a jigsaw (haha when I was a kid that would have all sounded so boring to me, but now it is just pure relaxation!). 

Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall

It really was such a chilled few days and when we got back to London all I could think about was being back there, not needing to be anywhere, reading, and eating yummy food with some of my favourite friends. 

Some of the highlights were
1. A cinema outing to the most amazing little village cinema called Rebel cinema.
2. Drinks and pool at the local pub around the corner while desperately trying to connect to wifi.
3. Crazy golf in the cold and rain and not coming last (!!!) then on a hot chocolate mission to warm up.
4. Fish and Chips at Rick Steins.
5. Exploring Bude, Padstow and Boscastle
6. Windy walks on the beach
7. Heading to the end of the sea wall to watch the fireworks over Bude and welcome in 2016

Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall

It sounds like we actually did a lot but really it was the perfect amount in the time we had. I tried to carry the chilled vibes into the start of this year, I have been taking things easier and I feel like for the first time in my life I have learnt some really good lessons in self care and coming up with little rituals and routines that make me feel relaxed even in the crazy busyness that is London. I am appreciating our little snug house more than ever and going to bed early with a book is what I crave right now. 

How ever you are finding to cope I hope you are enjoying January and are finding ways to relax and rest! Have a great weekend! 

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Yorkshire Lavender
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley

At the weekend we were visiting NM's family up North. His Mum had mentioned ages ago that there were some lavender fields near where they lived and to me that just sounded incredible. So since we were up at the right time of year we decided to go and check it out - I was not disappointed! It was completely stunning, not only was all the lavender and flowers beautiful but the views across the countryside were amazing too. I think on days like these I am just in awe of God's creativity and don't think I could ever believe that things like this beautiful just appeared by accident. 

Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley

Anyway as you would expect I took so many photographs (these are just a small selection). I am saving up for a new camera at the moment so actually took all of these on my iphone but I am pretty pleased with how they came out. I shared the above picture on instagram and it had the most likes I have ever had for a photograph! ha. 

Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley

There was also a really lovely tea room and we had a yummy lunch there after our exploring. 

I was really impressed with this place. It was free to get in, there was a lovely little shop, the food in the cafe was really good and there were some amazing views. The place isn't huge so I would say 1-2 hours would be plenty to explore. If you are in this neck of the woods at the right time of year I would seriously recommend checking it out. 

Afterwards we went and explored Beningbrough Hall - I wanted to go after seeing these photographs by the lovely Rhianne. We had a great time there too but I will save those pics for another post. 

I had a bit of a rubbish week last week, nothing major, just not been feeling myself and feeling a bit down, but a three day weekend in the countryside seriously did me the world of good! Sometimes a change of scenery and a bit of extra headspace is all that is needed to sort me out. 

Happy Tuesday!

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A week in Boston
Liz Mosley Boston

After our jam packed few days in New York we headed on a bus to Boston. Our week there was much more chilled than NY and we were staying with some lovely family friends. We were staying in the South End of Boston which is a seriously nice neighbourhood. 

We had a lot of fun wandering around exploring the cute little independent shops (like Olives and Grace who I had been following on Instagram for a while) along with deli's and cafes. We did have a little bit of a culture shock with some of our shopping experiences. I guess we must be 'reserved' Brits because we found some of the staff in various shops pretty full on - they certainly know how to do the hard sell!

Liz Mosley Boston

Because we didn't cram in quite as many things each day as we'd done in New York I've decided not to do a day by day account but rather share what we got up to under different headings. If you have a trip planned to Boston I would seriously suggest trying these places out!

PLACES WE ATE
Coppa - This little Italian restaurant had great reviews. We went there for drinks and nibbles one afternoon and sat out on the sidewalk (see how American I have got?). The arancini and boquerones were pretty spectacular. 

The Beehive - We went here on the first night we arrived and it was so much fun! Except I got ID'd at the bar and nearly wasn't allowed in as I didn't have it with me! They had a great band playing live jazz -  which was totally the sort of jazz I love and the delicious cocktails were a winner in my book!

South End Food Trucks (SOWA) - I think food trucks are one of my favourite ways to experience great food. I just love the relaxed vibe. We were lucky that while we were visiting one of the car parks in the South End was overtaken with loads of great food trucks! I know we do have some but I hope food trucks become more of a thing in the UK.

Liz Mosley Boston

DeLux Cafe - This was a great local place with a relaxed and friendly vibe and fun kitch decor. 

Legal Sea Foods - Great seafood is a given in Boston and this place did great clam chowder! Lots of other yummy seafood on offer too. 

Union Oyster House - We didn't go this time, but if you are into oysters you should go and sit at the oyster bar and eat them here! It's super popular but such a fun vibe.

Mikes City Diner - If you want a proper American breakfast full of eggs, pancakes, grits etc and frankly more than you could ever eat then Mikes is the place to go - it is a proper traditional American diner and such a fun experience. 

PLACES WE VISITED/WANDERED
Beacon Hill -
This is a historic neighbourhood in Boston, full of beautiful houses and is a lovely area to wander around, with lots of cobbled side streets and huge brownstones. Definitely worth wandering around and seeing if you can sneak a peek in some of the windows. 

Liz Mosley Boston
Liz Mosley Boston

Marshfield - We also spent a couple of days at the beach about an hour south of Boston reading, taking long walks on the beach, eating yummy food and generally just relaxing. We lucked out with the weather those two days and got a little bit of a sun tan. I decided to brave the water and went for a quick swim - and I mean REALLY quick...it was soooo freakin cold, I think I lasted about 3 minutes. 
 

Liz Mosley Marshfield
Liz Mosley Marshfield

Boston Common - one thing I love about Boston is how walkable it is. You can explore so much of the city by foot. On one of the days we walked all around the centre including Boston Common which is a beautiful park and also the fairly new Rose Kennedy walkway. The city, in my opinion seems to have a great mix of high rise buildings and interesting architecture interspersed with lots of green space. 

Liz Mosley Boston
Liz Mosley Boston
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Liz Mosley Boston

Harvard - Just a short train ride away we visited the beautiful grounds of Harvard. It has such a great atmosphere and is just like you have seen in all the films. Beautiful buildings and it was fun watching lots of students and their parents being taken around on tours. 

Liz Mosley Harvard
Liz Mosley Harvard

Institute of Contemporary Art - I think this is one of my favourite galleries in the world. It is not huge but it's the perfect size for me based on the amount of time I like to spend in a gallery. It is an interesting building with incredible views over the waterfront and in the summer they have gigs and all kinds of interesting things going on in their outdoor space, over the years I have seen some great exhibitions here (One time I visited there was a Shepard Fairey exhibition that was amazing!) . This time sadly half the exhibition space was closed but I still really enjoyed looking around the exhibition that was there. 

PLACES WE SHOPPED
We didn't really do much shopping on this trip but we did visit a few cute places while we were wandering around. Olives and Grace is a cute little shop in the South End with super friendly staff. Newbury Street is a really nice place to go shopping, lots of high end shops and also lots of chains that we have in the UK. We also visited Davids Tea. We are not that big into tea but if you are then this is the place to go...you can get all sorts of loose tea here - more types than you can ever imagine - only go in if you are willing to sniff almost every type of tea they have though before buying anything. Also just wandering around the South End you will find lots of cute little boutiques and quirky shops. Definitely worth exploring. 

If you have any plans to visit Boston I hope these recommendations help and if you don't, totally add it to your travel wishlist! We had such an amazing time and now I am itching for more travel adventures. We will probably have to wait until next year and after quite a few city breaks since we have been married we are thinking somewhere more remote for our next trip and maybe somewhere in the UK

I hope you're all having a great Tuesday and have lots of summer adventures planned! 

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places I would like to visit in the UK

I don't know if it is just because we have just got back from holiday so I am automatically thinking about the next adventure, but recently I have been thinking about places that I would like to explore that are a bit closer to home in the UK. I think I always forget how many incredible places there are on this little island to check out. I don't think we will do another holiday this year now...but if we do these are a few places in the UK that are on my list to check out. I think also after doing quite a lot of city trips we are both craving something a bit more remote and scenic (there are still a few cities on here though - we can't help ourselves!). 

The Lake District 
This is a place that I am kind of surprised I haven't been to yet but after seeing Siobhan's pictures from her trip there it is firmly on my list of places that I want to explore. The scenery just looks so beautiful. I can totally imagine staying in a cute cottage and going for long walks and watching films and reading in the evenings. The image below is one of Siobhan's

Edinburgh
A city that I feel like I have read a lot about and heard lots of amazing things about but have just never managed to spend any time there.....yet. I drove through it once and the architecture did look beautiful. Image found here.

Scottish Highlands
The photo below was taken by Josh Brine. Doesn't it just look out of this world stunning. I love the thought of hiking through these wild and rugged hills and then snuggling up with a good book in the evenings. 


Cornwall
Ok so Cornwall is a big place but I would love to do a bit of a road trip (maybe in a camper van?) and explore loads of the beautiful beaches, villages and towns. I spent 3 years studying in Falmouth and it was a pretty beautiful place to hang out. I haven't been back for years but I think NM would love it. Click image to see original source. 

Oxford
Oxford is where my parents used to live and where they met, and they did take me a couple of times when I was a kid but it was such a long time ago that I would love to go back and explore. The architecture and history is just so interesting. The photo below is by Ella Masters.

Cambridge
Another beautiful historic town not too far away from London. I fancy a trip here too. I think we could probably do it in a day which would be a fun outing in the summer. Click on the image to head to original source.

Are there any other places that you think I should add to my list? I am definitely hoping to tick off a few of these over the next couple of years and see more of what the UK has to offer! We explored Corfe Castle earlier in the year and I really enjoyed it. 

We are off on a quick road trip to Devon this weekend for the wedding of some lovelies. I hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to! 

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New York, New York
Liz Mosley - New York

Earlier in the month you might be aware that we went on a bit of an American adventure. Originally the plan was to just visit friends in Boston but since we were so close it seemed a shame to not try and tag on a couple of days in New York. NM had never been and I hadn't been back since I lived there for 3 months about 7 years ago, so we were both excited about exploring the city. Anyway, I thought I would attempt a little run down of some of the things we got up to and places we went to eat out incase you might be thinking of going, or maybe this will inspire you to add it to your travel list! 

Our plane was delayed on the way there but we arrived at our hotel just in time to go out for dinner. NM had done loads of research and this place had been recommended all over the place. Cafe Habana - it was seriously such a good start. We were super tired but we sat at the bar, I had the most amazing taco's (mine were shrimp) and a cocktail and just had fun people watching - the place was small and nothing glamorous but had a great atmosphere (just how we like it).

The first day the weather was pretty grey and drizzly so we decided this would make a good gallery day. We started off with breakfast at a cute little vegan place near our hotel called The Butcher's Daughter. Smashed avocado on toast is always a winner with me...especially if there is an egg on top!

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed off to the MET, which even if we only ended up doing one gallery (which we did), was the one that I really wanted to check out. We mostly hung out in the modern art bit (we can usually only last about 1.5 hours in a gallery and this is the sort of gallery that you could spend a week in!) - and they have such a great collection. I was very happy to see Chuck Close, Anselm Keifer, Mark Rothko and a few other of my favourites, and the gallery was not too busy at all. The entrance was busy but the place is so big that when you get into the galleries it is actually really nice and relaxing. I wish London galleries were still like this. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed off for a walk through Central Park which was so nice even in the grey and drizzle. If we had had longer in NY I could happily have spent a whole day exploring this park! 

Liz Mosley - New York

We walked and explored some of midtown having lunch at Empanada Mama, but then the rain got a bit much so we headed back to the hotel to re-group and get ready for an evening trip to Birdland a jazz club near Times Square. We seriously had such a fun night. We listened to Maria Schneider Orchestra while sitting at a little table eating food and drinking wine and it was just such a great vibe. I'm going to make an effort to go to some of the old school jazz clubs like this in London. It is a seriously civilised way to listen to music! 

Liz Mosley - New York

Day two the weather was AMAZING so we decided to cram in as much as humanly possible having had a pretty chilled day on Monday. We started off with breakfast at Black Seed Bagels which was a total highlight. I had ricotta, apple and honey in a sesame seed bagel and it was a total winner! I am definitely going to attempt to recreate this at home. 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed straight to the Highline, which wasn't around last time I was in NY so I was keen to check out. It did not disappoint (but was maybe a little bit more crowded than we would have liked). But it was just so nice to walk along and the juxtaposition of all these plants and gardens next to the tall buildings around was pretty cool. There were some interesting sculptures and bits of artwork along the way too which was cool. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We jumped off at the end of the Highline and headed to Chelsea Market, but to be honest found it all a bit overwhelming and crowded...so we checked out our burger map and realised that in our wanderings we were close to Corner Bistro - so we popped in there for a burger. It had a really cool unpretentious old school vibe. 

After that we decided since the weather was so good it would be a nice time to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. I love this bridge and the views of the New York skyline as you look back are super cool. 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

Once we got to the other side we explored DUMBO for a bit and then headed to Juliana's, got a pizza to take out and had our dinner sitting on a bench in a park in the shade looking over the most spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. I will be honest it was pretty awesome. NM and I are both pretty into our pizza and we both said we thought it was the best pizza we had EVER eaten which is pretty bold but I really think it was true. 

Liz Mosley - New York

After that we were both pretty exhausted from all the walking we had done but we decided to power on due to the good weather and headed down to the Staten Island ferry. We caught it just as the sun was setting (which was our plan) and watched the sunset behind the Statue of Liberty and then on the trip back we got another incredible view of that iconic skyline all lit up. I am sooo glad we did this and best of all it was totally free! 
 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

Ok so this is probably going to be the longest post ever - but onto day 3. We started off with breakfast at the Egg Shop, again near our hotel (there were seriously so many good places to eat near where we were staying and I would totally recommend this area to stay if you're staying in Manhattan). I had a truly amazing breakfast of pulled pork, avocado, poached egg, with long thin tortilla chips on top. This is another one that I am definitely going to try and re-create at home. It was a total winner.

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed to wander around the upper west side a bit so that I could show NM where I used to live. Annoyingly I couldn't remember the exact address and every street looked the same and also everything had changed...so it was a bit of a disaster..but it was nice to explore a different bit of the city. I then dragged him off to see the Cupcake ATM! Haha so cool, and the coconut cupcake I had was yummy! 

Liz Mosley - New York

Next stop Grand Central Station...that place will never cease to blow me away with its stunning architecture and those windows! The onto lunch. I had it in my head that I wanted to try pierogi, so NM found a highly recommended Ukrainian place called Veselka and we got ordering. They did not disappoint that is for sure. We tried all different types but I think the pork ones were my faves and they probably would have been even better if they were deep fried (isn't everything?) like the other ones we had.

After lunch we headed back to Brooklyn this time to explore the oh so trendy Williamsburg. We started off with cocktails and nibbles in the bar at the Wythe Hotel. The views were so amazing and it was just nice to sit, chat and chill. We had some crostini that were really tasty and just gazed at that skyline again.

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then wandered around and checked out a few of the shops including the Mast Brothers Chocolate shop. As far as design is concerned these guys have totally nailed it when it comes to packaging. I could never justify buying chocolate this expensive back home, but since we were on holiday I treated myself to a bar - made from goats milk no less.

Liz Mosley - New York

Dinner was a bit of a disaster. We were planning to head back to the hotel and chill and then head out somewhere but my tummy started to feel pretty dodgy (probs too much food already) - so I went to bed and NM went off and got himself a pretty epic meatball sandwich from Parm.

The next morning we headed off to the very cool Jack's Wife Freda for brunch and then packed up our bags and headed to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Boston, and all too soon the New York leg of our trip was done. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We felt really happy with all of the stuff that we had done...and while there were a million other things we could have done too, we explored lots of areas, saw some amazing sites and ate some incredible food. 

Tune in soon for a post about our time in Boston. Happy Friday, really hope you have a good weekend!  

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insta snippets from Boston
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We have had a lovely week in Boston, staying with family friends, chatting about life and exploring this beautiful city. It is nice to have been doing things in a slightly more chilled fashion after New York. We also spent a couple of days at the beach which was lovely. 

This city has got so much to offer and I would seriously love to live here at some point in my life if that was ever an option. There is so much creativity, music and culture, I think it would be a great place to live as an artist...and there is also a great foodie scene. Anyway, I will do a much longer post on what we got up to in the next few weeks. In the meantime we are heading back to London after a lovely refreshing holiday and will have the weekend to get ourselves together before going back to work on Monday! (ha, I am sure that will be a shock to the system!) 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

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snippets from New York
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Guys we are in New York and it has been a total whirlwind! We have only had 3 days in the city and so we have really crammed in as much as possible. My legs and feet ache but I am a happy camper! We have visited the MET, Central Park, explored so many different areas, eaten A LOT of amazing food but also burnt it all off walking (I hope!). We went over the Brooklyn Bridge, ate the best pizza I have had in my whole life (for real!) in DUMBO, listened to jazz, walked the highline and eaten some more. Anyway I will do some more in-depth blog posts in a few weeks but just wanted to give a little taste of what we have been up to. You can follow along on Instagram too if you want. We are off to Boston today for what I think will be a much more chilled week! 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! 

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A weekend in Clifton (Bristol)

Warning - this post is mostly about food! Last month we spent a weekend in Bristol (staying in Clifton), for our second wedding anniversary. I used to visit Bristol a lot when I had a friend studying at university there but it had been a long long time since I had been and I was really looking forward to exploring the city again. While we were there, there seemed to be some sort of morris dancing competition going down - so there were morris dancers on every corner which I loved! NM did some pretty thorough restaurant research before we went so we ate very very well and I thought I would share with you the places we visited in case you find yourself in the area! 

Flinty Red > We went here on the first night and the thing that struck me most was how lovely, friendly and helpful the staff were. This restaurant had a chilled vibe but they were doing really interesting things on the food front, and we enjoyed everything that we tried. I have to say I think the polenta chips were my favourite. 

Bagel Boy > OH MAN - I love a good bagel and this place did not disappoint. We went here for lunch and there was so much choice. NM opted for a classic smoked salmon and cream cheese but on seeing my beast he was a bit disappointed he hadn't gone for something more exotic. In mine I had halloumi, roasted peppers, leaves and pesto mayo. We had sweet potato chips and coleslaw on the side and it was a feast!

St Nicholas Street markets > We didn't actually eat here but this was just around the corner from Bagel Boy and we wandered through. There were loads of delish looking food stalls and some cool crafty shops too! Definitely worth a look round, and if we weren't on the hunt for bagels I think we would have eaten here for sure. 

The Apple > After wandering around the city centre we stopped at The Apple which is a boat moored up, with a bar inside and is famous for its cider. I am not a big cider fan, but NM enjoyed his and I had a pimms. It was really nice to take a break from all the walking in the sunshine and watch the world go by. Actually quite a few stag and hen do's went by which proved entertaining. 

Amoeba Cocktail Bar > We went here late on Saturday afternoon before it got really busy and luckily for us it was happy hour! We had some delicious cocktails. We stuck to one each but there were so many on the menu that I would happily have tried. There is a nice decked outdoor area at the back. This bar is right in the heart of Clifton village.

Bells Diner and Bar Rooms > I have to say this restaurant was the total winner of the whole weekend. If I had to recommend just one place of all the ones we visited this would be it. The restaurant was very unassuming and was on the corner of a road in the middle of a residential area. Probably not the sort of place you would stumble across if you were visiting. The decor was fun and quirky with lots of vintage trinkets all over the place. The menu was sort of tapas style and it was SOOOO yummy. I am desperate to go back here and try some of the things we didn't get to try. One of the surprise highlights for me was the imam bayildi which I had never had before. I think the menu changes pretty often but I feel pretty confident after what we tried that there would always be amazing treats on their menu.

The Farm Cafe > We went to this cafe for breakfast and went for the granola and it was just perfect. I enjoyed every mouthful and now I am determined to try making my own again and see if I can get it as good as this. NM had scrambled egg on toast with chorizo which was a winner too!

Spicer and Cole > We actually visited two of these. One on Saturday when we stopped in for a coffee and then on Sunday we went to a different one for lunch. They're cool cafe's with yummy looking food that didn't disappoint - we went for a sausage roll, amazing bowl of salad and a sandwich. Simple but delicious!

Papersmiths > This is totally not a food place but is the most beautiful stationery shop that you ever did see. See the pic below to work out if this is your sort of thing...but if you are into beautifully designed magazines, notebooks and stationery tools then this is a place not to miss. I could have spent ALL of my money in here but was very restrained and just came away with a cute little map of burger places for our trip to New York. 

I know it looks pretty much like we just ate and drank our way around Bristol which is kind of true (we are gastro tourists for sure!) but we also did some other stuff. We lay in a park in the sunshine chatting about life and the future, we explored Clifton Suspension Bridge and went down to this pretty cool cave that had a great view of the bridge. We walked all along the harbour area - lots of walking basically. Food and walking that is totally how we roll! Below are a few more pictures from our trip! 

Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday! 

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A day in Brighton
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When I met up with Siobhan last week she recommended checking out the Elise Gets Crafty podcast and what can I say, I am now addicted. They are so good and I am really enjoying the topics she tackles. One of her early episodes was about creative field trips - I really like this name and realised that this is actually something that has always been important for me. Just getting out of your normal everyday routine and getting inspired. This could be through travel further afield or could even be exploring a new city in your own country, or even just a new corner of your own city or town (or a new area of countryside if you live in the country). 

Last week I went on a creative field trip to Brighton which is always a fun place to visit. It is nice to be in a city with a totally different feel to what I am used to, to be by the sea and also to visit different shops and independent cafes. On Monday I was talking about how great it is to hang out with creative friends, well I got to hang out with an all time fave Kate. I don't get to see her nearly as much as I would like and still dream about us living in the same city again one day but whenever we meet up it is like no time has passed. 

Hope you enjoy these pics from my day. If you have an opportunity to take a creative field trip anytime soon I would totally recommend it. We are actually going to Bristol this weekend for our anniversary so I'm looking forward to a new place to explore and lots of inspiration! 

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Happy Wednesday folks! 

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A weekend in Corfe Castle, Dorset

Sometimes I get so excited about travelling and exploring different countries that I think a lot of time I forget how amazing and beautiful the country I live in really is. I need to make an effort to explore it more and appreciate it more than I currently do. 

Last weekend we went to Corfe Castle in Dorset and it was just stunning. We stayed actually in Corfe Castle (not the actual castle but the village it is in which is also called Corfe Castle) in a really cute - what looked like a cottage from the outside, but inside was actually a massive house that slept 15 of us and had a huge garden. You could wander around pretty much the whole village in about 15 minutes and I loved it. We went to the local pub for drinks and dinner, we went to the village bakery for croissants and bacon rolls, we went to the sweet shop/newsagents for the paper, eavesdropping on the village gossip and just generally wandered around enjoying village life. I don't think I could do it all the time but there is something so lovely about life in a little village. 

On Saturday we got the steam train from Corfe Castle to Swanage for the day to see the sea and then on Sunday we did a quick tour of the Castle before heading to Arne nature reserve. Check out some of the pictures...I couldn't recommend visiting this beautiful part of the country more! 

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I took all of these photos using my iphone and edited them with the VSCO app. 

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Travelling Dreams

I think it is quite a common phenomenon for people to start planning their holidays in January. If you live in the UK the days are cold and wet and very short and so you start day dreaming about warmer climbs and travelling adventures. I certainly have been, and so I thought I would share some of my travel dreams with you. These are some of places that I am longing to go to. If I am lucky I might cross one or two off this year but most likely I will have to wait a while before visiting a lot of these places. Also some of them are places that I have been to and am longing to go back to. Anyway here we go:

1. Segovia

I lived in Segovia for a year when I was 7 and went to school and spent a lot of time doing Spanish dictations. Anyway that was over 20 years ago now and I have been wanting to go back for years. I think 2015 might be the year!

2. Bolivia

About 10 years ago I spent 4 months in Bolivia on a mission trip. I fell in love with the country and would love to go back to show NM this amazing place and also because I am sure it has changed a lot since I was there. The photo above is of the Salt Flats - all of that is salt! It is a truly incredible place.

3. Iceland

This has been on my wish list for a really long time. Lots of people seem to have been making the trip in recent years. I love the idea of renting a remote cottage, hiring a car and just exploring.

4. Faroe Islands

I found out about this place from following along with photographer Tim Coulson's travel adventures with his family. It just looked so beautiful it got added to my list. 

5. Amalfi Coast

NM loves all things Italy and so do I now too. He went to the Amalfi Coast years ago and ever since I found out about it I have wanted to visit. It looks like such a magical place (lots of stairs though!)

6. Amsterdam

I have been to Amsterdam once for a day on a family holiday and I don't know why but it got under my skin. I have been wanting to go back for a couple of years now and it is also on my list of places I would love to live. Not sure how I got that from just one day, but seriously I loved this place!

7. Salvation Mountain

Ok this is not a city or a country and I think it is in a desert in America somewhere but doesn't it look insane. Ever since I have seen pictures of this place by various bloggers I follow I have wanted to go there, especially since it is basically a massive work of art which is a tribute to God with its powerful message 'God is Love'. You can find out more about it here.

8. Marrakesh

I have wanted to go to Marrakesh for ages now. We nearly went last year but it didn't really work out. Maybe a long weekend sometime in the future though. Love the thought of exploring all those souks. I have heard good things! 

9. Croatia

All these pics (click image above) by Sally Mussel White has put Croatia firmly on my list. This looks like a great country to explore. 

10. New York

What can I say - I HEART New York. I spent 3 months living there doing an internship when I finished University and I FELL IN LOVE. It is an incredible city and I desperately want to take NM because I know he will love it too. 


All of the images above are linked to their original sources...just click on the photograph. I would love to hear if you have been to any of these places or if you have any other places that you I should add to my list. I am going to have to go back to saving the pennies! 

Happy Wednesday!

Burano

While we were in Venice we visited the islands of Burano and Murano. Both were beautiful and it was a great day out, but the one that really stood out was Burano. The island is not big at all (you could probably walk around the whole island in about 30 minutes) but it is absolutely full of striking brightly coloured houses and quaint canals. We were there on a glorious sunny day and it was just amazing. I found it really inspiring because the colour combinations were just so bold, and every little corner made you want to take a photograph.  Burano is famous for lace, and in the olden days (not as much now) lace was a big Venetian export and this was where it was made. It was also a fishing village and the story goes that the fisherman painted their houses different bright colours so that they could spot them easily while they were out at sea. I'm not sure that is the reason anymore, it's probably more to attract tourists, but it really is lovely.

As I mentioned in this post, the concentration of tourists in Venice is pretty high, and on Burano it is even higher. It's such a tiny island and basically the vaparetto is full of people planning to wander around the brightly coloured streets.

Here are some of the photos I took. I really love how some of them came out so I think I might print and frame some and have a little set to go on the wall. They would definitely brighten up any room! 

Happy Monday!

Visiting Venice


You may have worked out from my Instagram or this blog post, that NM and I went for a week's holiday in Venice. I thought I would do a little post about our time there in case anybody is planning a trip and wants some tips and advice. 

Accommodation
We decided for this trip to rent an apartment rather than stay in a hotel. Partly because hotels in Venice are pretty expensive and partly because we love food and we wanted to be able to buy and cook our own food from the local markets. We booked an apartment from this place - it was small but very central, perfect for two people and just what we wanted. 

Food
We are total food lovers, so when we travel food plays a big part in our plans and what we do! It can be hard to find good restaurants in Venice as there are just so many geared up for tourists that don't serve anything very special or that appetising. Our general rule was if they had photographs of the food in the windows we would give it a miss. We were lucky to have a few restaurant recommendations from friends which served us well, and I would definitely recommend doing a bit of research about places to eat. The other thing we discovered early in the week was Cicchetti which is basically an Italian form of tapas. It's common for Italians to head to their favourite Bacari for Cicchetti and a glass of wine or prosecco throughout the day. When we discovered it we realised this was much more our sort of vibe rather than fancy meals out, so we would plan our days around various Cicchetti stops and on the last day decided to do a Cicchetti crawl where we visited a few great Bacari's that we had seen throughout the week. 

Here are a few of our favourite places that served Cicchetti: Cantine del vino gia schiavi, Osteria Al Squero, Al Bocon Divino, Do Spade

Some restaurants we liked were: Osteria alla Frasca, Taverna Al Remer,

The other thing we did in Venice was head to the Rialto market (which opens in the mornings) and bought fresh ingredients to make our own dinner. We got some fantastic sardines and king prawns and made a really lovely pasta dish. The seafood in Venice really is pretty spectacular, and so if you enjoy cooking and are staying in an apartment with a kitchen I would totally recommend this! 

Also GELATO - eat it, lots of it...it is amazing. (especially the pistachio flavour) - We went to: Gelateria Nico

Travelling around
On our way to Venice we were debating on whether we should buy a week's Vaparetto pass (it works out cheaper than buying a ticket each day or for each trip) - but we decided not to in the end and I'm so glad we did. Because our apartment was pretty central in the San Marco sestiere (district) we were able to easily walk to all of the 6 different districts to explore them each day. We found that we had no need to take the Vaparetto. Going everywhere on foot ended up saving us quite a bit of money. We did get a Vaparetto pass for one day and that was to go to the islands further out to the North, called Murano and Burano. It was totally worth a day trip as they are absolutely stunning islands - especially Burano which is very small but full of brightly coloured houses. 

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I would definitely recommend getting the Vaparetto for at least one of the days you are there because it is nice to see the city from the Grand Canal - even though the boats are often very crowded.

I am hoping that all the walking we did cancelled out all the eating and drinking we did. We did find we had to make stops to just sit and watch the world go by because if we walked for too long we both got tired and grumpy. ha. 

Things to do
There are lots of things to do in Venice and to be honest we didn't really do any of them. We needed a chilled week and so we decided to do Venice our way. This consisted mostly of walking around and exploring the different districts, stopping off for food and drinks when we wanted and just generally taking it easy. As I mentioned above we did go to Burano and Murano one day which was really fun. Venice is SO touristy. It kind of bothered me a lot at the beginning (even though I know, I know, I was one of the tourists) - I think because Venice is not that big the concentration of tourists is just way more intense, and everywhere you go there are people speaking different languages and taking pictures of themselves with selfie sticks. As the week went on I was more chilled about it and just embraced it though. We would often try and go off the beaten track to area's that were more residential, a lot quieter and a lot less touristy. We went to two art galleries when we were there. The Peggy Guggenheim and also the Ca'Pesaro where they had an exhibition of modern art called 'Rauchenberg to Jeff Koons'. I loved this exhibition, partly because it was full of artists that I love, but also the building was spectacular and there weren't loads of people there. I would recommend the Peggy Guggenheim too but it was much busier so it was harder to really appreciate the works of art. 

We decided not to go on a Gondola ride while we there...some people have their hearts set on it, and if that is you, I would say go for it. I enjoyed watching them go by - those Gondola men have some serious skills navigating the canals but yeah actually getting on one didn't appeal. 

Shopping
There are lots of shops selling leather made goods, glass goods, Venetian masks and things like that, and also much to my delight stationery shops selling absolutely stunning hand printed papers and things made out of those hand printed papers. haha - I am such a geek but these are the shops that got me really excited. I spent all week going into them and then at the end of the week found a shop that had a beautiful range of handprinted and machine printed paper, so I treated myself to 6 sheets. 

Venice is a truly magical city. It is just like you have seen in the films - there is a stunning view around every corner and it is unlike anywhere else in the world. It is the most touristy place I have ever been to too, but I loved exploring this city. Lots of people were surprised when we said we were going for a week, and on reflection I can see why, you could totally get a sense of what Venice is like in a few days, but we took things at a slow pace and wandered around in the sunshine and had a really lovely relaxing time. If there is anything else you want to know feel free to ask in the comments below...I might not know the answer but will do my best to help! 

Underwater adventures

I have some pictures to share in the up coming weeks from our travels to Colombia in the summer but one of the highlights was snorkeling off the carribean coast while we were there. My little sister it seems was born to be in the water..she loves it. It was almost as fun watching her diving down to the sea bed as watching the beautiful fish. she had an underwater camera with her so we had lots of fun taking photos. I think she took most of these because she was just a total natural diving down and getting close up to the brightly coloured fish. 

My favourite thing about it all (apart from the amazing fish obvs) was the way the sun made patterns through the water. Nature is seriously inspiring and I want to let it inspire and influence my work more. I am going to see if I can recreate and incorporate this pattern in some way. 

Also see that coral in the second image. That maze sort of pattern is incredible!

Anyway I hope you enjoy some of these underwater photographs. 

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Bolivia - 10 years later
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About 10 years ago I spent 4 months in Bolivia and totally fell in love with the country. I have been dreaming recently about going back. I have been having a bit of  a sort out of old photos recently and stumbled upon these from my trip. 10 years on and I thought I would share them. They are making me even more desperate to get back to this beautiful place. I would love to be able to take NM to some of the places that I visited. I met some incredible people while I was there who I have sadly lost touch with. At the time when I was travelling I didn't have a digital camera (that is shocking to me now...I can't imagine life without a camera constantly in my pocket) - and so I used a good old pretty cheap film camera. (I wanted something that I wouldn't mind if I lost or broke and would be easy to replace) - and looking at these photos makes me think I miss shooting with film a bit. The excitement of getting the pictures developed, it was all a bit unknown...what would come back? I also really love the look of them. There is something so beautifully grainy and imperfect about these shots. I hope you enjoy a little glimpse into my world of ten years ago. (I might have to do another post as these are a small portion of the images)

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The Big Island
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In July we travelled to the Big Island, Hawaii for a friends wedding. It was such an adventure and we had such an incredible time. I don't know what it is but Hawaii really got under our skin. We can't stop thinking about it, wishing we were there, wondering how we can get back there, and just remembering the amazing experiences we had.

We trekked through volcanic craters, snorkled with the most beautiful fish I have ever seen, saw lava flowing into the sea, ate fish taco's for the first time, saw a sea turtle chilling out on the beach, saw two friends commit to spending their lives together, ate the most incredible food at the four seasons and stayed in two beautiful cottages. Seriously it was incredible. We packed all of this into less than a week too!

The Island was unlike anywhere I had ever been! most of the time I felt like I was on another planet as it was all so volcanic. Here are a few pics of our trip and if you want to see more you can check out my vsco page. Sadly my phone died early on the trip so I lost most of the lava photos. Am still hoping I might be able to find them stored up in some cloud somewhere! (crazy!)

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and a pic of NM and some details from the wedding. I don't think there are any of me! whoops. Maybe I need to raid NM's phone and see if he took any!

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our lives in polaroid
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Ok so technically not polaroid but instax...but hey its the same deal. These are some pics that we took on our honeymoon. It was such an amazing time. I am hoping to have a wall full of instax pictures documenting our lives and also people who visit us in the kitchen and these will definitely be going up there!! I love the bottom left one of Mount Etna and the top right with NM's wonky sunglasses.

Devon
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This weekend we went to Devon. There were 18 of us in total, 3 families with other halves. We have been going away together every year for about 7 years now and it is always AWESOME. I love it even more now that NM is coming along with me. The weather was perfect, the house we stayed in was incredible...and the place had a ping pong table. What more do you need. We spent hours playing ping pong round robin which was pretty much the most fun and hilarious thing ever.

Other highlights were a loooonnnng walk on the beach, wrestling people to the ground, watching a bunch of hand gliders land, having a bounce on the trampoline and drooling over all the amazing food at the Totnes farmers market.

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Photography
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I have been thinking a lot recently about photography and about how I want to improve. I feel like I have got so used to just snapping pictures on my phone that I have not taken any time to actually work on improving my skills and using my SLR. I enjoy it and it would be so useful for so many things! especially this blog.  I don't really have time to do much at the moment, but I have decided that I am going to use the honeymoon - being in a new and interesting place - as an opportunity to start. I want to get better at documenting life with NM because we hardly have any photos of us together and I want to document all the adventures we go on.

These are some photos of butterflies (and a crazy caterpillar thing!) on a holiday in Colombia. We were staying on this stunning nature reserve, and Dad and I used to get up at 5 and climb up the hill on our doorstep and photograph butterflies, and then we would be rewarded by the absolutely stunning view from the top. I was pretty chuffed with how some of these came out. The top left one is particularly crisp. Not loving how the flash affected the top right one but you live and learn.

I have been going through lots of old work recently, so hoping to post up more stuff I have found soon!

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Camping
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The past two weeks I feel like all I did was stare at a screen. A computer screen, a phone screen or a TV screen. The Olympics was on and I was hooked. All my waking hours pretty much I was either designing or watching - (sometimes both!) Its has been amazing, inspiring and to be honest I am gutted that It is over...but I think it will be good for my eyes. We actually missed some of the excitement of the last weekend because we went camping! I haven't been camping for years, but it was so nice to get out of the city and explore some places that I have not been to for years. We went to Pembrokeshire, and one of the places we visited was St Davids! It is a tiny little town that is actually a city...as it has this incredible cathedral. I think it must be the smallest city in the world! It was stunning. Other highlights of the weekend were bbq dinner. Watching Mo win the 5000 in a fish and chip shop, swimming in the sea (freezing!) visiting Tenby and a boat trip around Ramsay Island checking out some cute seals. Seriously everyone needs to go and check out that area of the country! it is LUSH!! hopefully I can go back for more soon!

TRAVELLiz MosleyComment