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sunday club

The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray!

When the sun makes a rare winter appearance all Southerners dash to the beach armed with their buggies, dogs and families. Last Sunday was no exception.

We set off in the morning to Hengistbury Head. The sun made it feel as though it was a warm summers day, if not for the freezing breeze. I came prepared with my duvet bomber from Gap and Michael Kors ear muffs.

You can see miles of Dorset coastline from the top of the mount from Swanage, to millionaires row on Sandbanks, Bournemouth and Boscombe piers, Mudeford’s cute and colourful beach huts and the Priory at Christchurch. On a clear enough day, you can clearly make out the Needles on the Isle of White and watch the speed boats, jetski’s and fishing boats pour into the Harbour.

Feeling fresh and raring to go, me and Bella had some sprint races.

I lost.

Every time.

We made it to the top and stopped to take in the gorgeous views (and pose for a few photo’s).

Walking back down to the car, we passed the land train full of excited children (and adults). Golfers were trying their hand on a pretty boggy grass and couples were out parading in their convertibles. After a quick stop in Southbourne for coffee and Italian chicken panini’s we we’re back in Boscombe for walk number 2.

This time with 3 very excitable children wanting to be spun around, picked up and put on our shoulders. We strolled along the promenade at Boscombe beach and battle with the wind (and sand) for as long as we could withstand. Exhausted and windswept we headed back to the apartment for some well deserved “Sunday Club” hot chocolates.

Giant mugs of Cadbury’s hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and Dairy Milk shavings warmed us up while the children snacked on biscuits and chilled out in front of the TV.

This is what Sunday’s are all about. This is our Sunday Club.

 

these boots are made for walking

Between Christmas and New Year, we dragged our large full Christmas bellies down to Branscombe to spend time with our best friends.

The weather wasn’t going to give in. The south west has been lashed with the winter weather over the last few weeks resulting in sodden grounds and almost weekly floods. We set off down to the beach armed with an umbrella and good ol’welly boots.

After wading through the flood waters down the rough track to the beach, we reached the storm swept shores to witness the waves at great strength. I haven’t seen the sea so ferocious in all my life.

The great opportunity for a game? Oh yes. We spent almost an hour chasing the waves with Trigger and Dave (the dogs), until one of us became the unlucky sucker that got drenched. Not me, obviously!

Richard was seen flashing his naughty I LOVE BEIJING t-shirt, supposedly, until we realised it was definitely time for a beer and headed back to the house.

After another roast dinner and a few beers, I snuggled up on the sofa with my favourite pooch, Trigger. He is completely deaf and blind in almost both eyes. He’s the 3 year old son of Dave (female Dave, don’t ask) from her first litter. He was born with the recessive gene which means he is pretty much an albino dog with white fur and red eyes. They are the beautiful and intelligent Blue Merle Border Collies and I have hours of fun practising his ever growing understanding of dog sign language!

 

the gift of time, cornwall

There is something about a sporadic decision to jump in the car and drive somewhere on a mini adventure. It’s the same feeling I remember from my childhood, when I’d be waiting for my friends to come over to make a den. I’d have a few hours of “prep” time to gather all the towels, sheets and furniture I possibly could, while be completely overwhelmed with excitement.

Winter adventures, surprisingly, are my favourite kind of adventures. Although the weather is cold, the days are usually calm and settled especially on the south coast. I wanted to share with you an incredible place I visited between Christmas and New Years that I haven’t got around to blogging about (and you know how much a love a good catch up). Do you have loved ones that just have everything? Well, look no further, this is the perfect Christmas gift.

So, last year, just after Christmas we hopped into our car and drove. Destination – Hotel Penzance in Cornwall.

A beautiful Edwardian townhouse awaits. Hotel Penzance is a home from home. The rooms are exquisite, but not overdressed. Perfect little luxuries and the most comfortable beds. The views of the harbour and beaches make this hotel a retreat.

And if all of that doesn’t tempt you enough, a two rosette restaurant serves local and fresh grub for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No need to leave huh?

Well, unfortuntaley for the first few days I was pretty poorly with a sickness bug. But it couldn’t have been any better. Long baths in the day, enjoying complementary wine, tea, coffee and cake in the afternoon in one of the wonderful sitting rooms, long snoozes in the huge bed…I could go on. It was just magical.

I hope the pictures of food have distracted from the words. The pictures really do speak for themselves. Magnificent.

Locally produced where possible, it’s no wonder that the restaurant alone is so popular. A choice of daily made breads too are such a wonderful touch.

Opposite reception you’ll find the reading room. Warm with a log fire, Terry the cat will inevitably be purring for a stroke.

Cornwall is magical. Whether it’s your first time or like me, 1000th time it holds something truly amazing.

A trip to Hotel Penzance would make the most ah-mazing Christmas gift. Time with a loved one is priceless and I can hand on heart guarantee you’ll fall in love with each other again as much as you’ll fall in love with Hotel Penzance. Even better, they have done all of the hard work. You can view all of the gift vouchers they have available here.