A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Travel: Stay in a Medieval Lodge at Warwick Castle

I love this bed in the Medieval Lodge at Warwick Castle

Fancy sleeping in this bed!

 

History lovers, Horrible Histories fans and fellow house fantasy dreamers, if you are looking for somewhere unusual to stay this year with family or friends, look no further, but act quickly, these will fill up fast! From 1st July 2016 you will be able to stay overnight in a medieval lodge at Warwick Castle in the ‘Knight’s Village’. These two-storey lodges look perfect for weekends away with medieval evening entertainment and two day access to the Castle and its attractions.  I think they offer good value too, especially as today I’m sharing a 10% discount for A Residence readers. Continue reading

House Fantasy: War and Peace Interiors

 

War and Peace BBC - Photographer: Mitch Jenkins

BBC – Photographer: Mitch Jenkins

Time for another House Fantasy, let’s play War and Peace interiors. Have you read War and Peace? I haven’t, but that’s okay, because I read that some of the BBC cast hadn’t read it beforehand either. Have you been watching it though?

War and Peace is full to the brim with plush, brooding velvets, whimsical dashings of lace and opulent gold tassels, luxurious interiors are on the way to be the next trend to take the world by storm. What do you think?

I wasn’t sure at first, I’m definitely not talking a whole house or a whole room makeover, but the costume colours really appeal for starters: greys, reds and dusky purples. There are some of the elements of the Pantone Colours of the Year that I found myself strangely hankering after. But there is enough colour drama to stop that being too wishy washy. Continue reading

10 Questions About Rehoming a Greyhound

We rehomed Max about 2 years ago, when he retired from racing, via the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust. Little did I know how many questions I would answer about rehoming a greyhound on our daily walks, from workmen calling out 'Did he win anything?' to toddlers asking if he is a donkey, to people seriously considering adopting a greyhound wanting to know about food and walks.

 

We rehomed Max about 2 years ago, when he retired from racing, via the Lincolnshire Greyhound Trust. Little did I know how many questions I would answer about rehoming a greyhound on our daily walks, from workmen calling out ‘Did he win anything?’ to toddlers asking if he is a donkey, to people seriously considering adopting a greyhound wanting to know about food and walks.

Once I had the best chat with an elderly Scottish gentleman who told me stories of helping his Dad train a greyhound by cycling across the park with various treats tied to the back of his bicycle, then there is the lady across the road had a greyhound she says lived to be 19, and always stops to stroke Max. He is a great conversation starter.

 

1. Did he win anything?

Max aka Bower Hawk apparently won 20 of his 60 races at national level, which is pretty impressive, so I am told, I’ve never really been a fan. He had a knack of coming in from the back and winning, which made him an exciting dog to watch. His father was the legendary Westmead Hawk, the first animal to be given a waxwork at Madame Tussards. Continue reading

Sea Salted Fudge: the Sweetest Gift

Fudge the sweetest gift

 

Last weekend, I was invited to join Jo Brand on her Hell of a Walk for Sport Relief. It felt wrong not to take anything for Jo, even though I could see from all the media coverage she was being given lots of gifts along the way. In the morning my daughter found a tin of condensed milk in the cupboard, and asked if we could make fudge. I’ve been promising for ages, it seemed like as good a time as any!

The results were amazing and it is so simple and quick to make, so I am sharing the recipe here. The salt really brings out the flavour and the light muscovado sugar, we used Billington’s fair trade, gives it a really rich flavour. Perfect pick me up for long walks, rainy afternoons or a weekend treat. Also a lovely way to show someone you care. Continue reading

Date Night Swiss Chalet Style & DIY Hamper Gift Giveaway

Date Night in a Swiss Chalet

 

Pack a hamper with goodies, present to your loved one, cook up a fondue, cheese and/or chocolate, fill a flask with a hot toddy and snuggle up under a new throw, by the fire, with the candles lit and share your dreams. Retire to bed with a new duvet. Sound like the recipe for the perfect romantic evening? Today I’m sharing the love with some lovely ideas for a date night Swiss chalet style, I also have some products to giveaway to get your hamper off to a great start.

I love it when lost of great ideas come together. I’ve been exploring ways to bring a little bit of hygge to life at home, I’ve also been drawn to the Chalet chic trend. At home Mr A and I have rediscovered the fun of cooking together and cooked up a Date Night in Cairo feast with a kit I bought him for Christmas. Then the team at Wayfair created some wonderful printable tags to adorn and inspire your own Valentine’s gift hampers, they also happened to mention the team in Berlin had been out for fondue. Then it hit me, how about a Date Night in a Swiss chalet? Continue reading

Joining Jo Brand on her Hell of a Walk

Team Honk join Jo Brand on her Hell of a Walk

Penny, Leyla and Joanne walking with Jo Brand and Gaby Logan yesterday, featured on BBC news this morning.

‘She’s in good spirits’ say the people at Comic Relief, as we nervously wait to join Jo Brand as she hits 52 of the 150 miles, at Doncaster Racecourse, on her ‘Hell of a Walk’. The room is full to bursting with people tucking into jacket potatoes at the day’s lunch stop: navigators, 3 television crews, Jo’s trainer Greg, doctors, Gaby Logan, Comic Relief staff involved with logistics, media and social media.

As one of the founders of Team Honk, who bring bloggers together each year to support Comic Relief and fundraise, I’ve been invited to join Jo on her walk and blog about it. I am accompanied by Leyla and Joanne, who organised stints of the Team Honk relay in Yorkshire and Hull. Continue reading

Style Challenge: 6 Secrets of Storage for Kids’ Rooms

The secrets of storage in kids' rooms

Kids always have other ideas about what a storage item should actually be for, it’s their naturally inquisitive and creative minds in action. My children are 7 and 9, so I think we have emptied every storage system in the house, we’ve been through every option when it comes to storage for kids, we’ve worked out what was worth investing in, what wasn’t, what can be modified and repurposed as they grow, and what stands the test of time.

It’s all too easy to buy storage without actually working out what you need, even more so with kids because their stuff changes constantly. But I definitely have a few rules of thumb. Continue reading

At Home: Little Being Happy Rituals

A weekend well spent

The first thing I saw when I looked on my phone this morning was an article about it being Blue Monday. ‘That explains everything!’ I thought. Why I kept pressing snooze, why I couldn’t manage being happy about today, why I felt a sense of impending doom. Blue Monday, the day when we suddenly realise we are stuck on an iceberg between Christmas and payday…

But I also wasn’t in the mood to be dragged down, I mentioned I was reading a book by Anthony Rubbins, and one of the quotes that stuck with me was

Choose the beliefs that empower you.

A few things went wrong this weekend, various member of the family spent chunks not speaking to each other and we forgot something important which feels bad. But this Blue Monday, instead of choosing to focus on things we should have said or done differently, as life is never quite perfect, I am going to focus on some things that happened this weekend that made me love January. Continue reading

Home From Home: Hotel Touring Bologna

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Last year, at World Travel Market,  I bumped into Manuela, part of the lovely family who own Hotel Touring Bologna, Italy. Hotel Touring is the only hotel in Bologna with a hot tub on the roof terrace, and what a roof terrace, overlooking this charming city. The unique terrace is often what first grabs people’s attention, but having now visited, there are so many things that make this boutique hotel a wonderful home from home.

On Wednesday I shared my trip to the antiques market in Bologna, today I want to share the hotel with you. You can tell this is a family run hotel, arriving felt like being welcomed into the family, the welcome is warm and attention to detail is great. Manuela, Georgia and Matteo suggested some great things for me to do in the city by email befoehand, and each day there was a friendly little note in our room with reminders about reservations or bookings they had made. Continue reading

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