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.

Happy and Home: Free champagne!

Making Elderflower Champagne

Okay I admit it, it is 11am on a weekday morning and I am happy and home drinking free champagne. I was so excited to taste my elderflower champagne and share my successes with you here. Oh, and to tell you to absolutely make this, it is the most divine tasting thing I have ever made and costs next to nothing to make – just the cost of a few lemons and a bag of sugar. I actually feel guilty for sitting on the recipe my mum gave me for over 20 years. It’s in this post here, quick, go make some! Continue reading

House Fantasy: A Villa in Ibiza

Ibiza Villa by Clickstay - 4

You know when you stumble on that villa, the one with the jaw dropping views, the incredible terrace, a complete seaside retreat, the stuff of dreams?  When you know it is absolutely the perfect situation? I caught a glimpse of Villa Wu Wei over on Clickstay, and I knew it had to be my next ‘House Fantasy’.

This blog began many moons ago, on a sun lounger in Spain, so Spain will always have a place in my heart. Ibiza is also is somewhere I never went in my youth, but there is no reason not to go with kids, it’s more than a hedonistic clubber’s paradise… Continue reading

Q&A: Lord and Lady Carnarvon, Highclere Castle

Q&A: Lord and Lady Carnarvon, Highclere Castle

Recently I was invited to Highclere Castle, with Visit England, to explore the Capability Brown gardens with Lord and Lady Carnavon, to see the Egyptian Museum and tour the house which was featured on Downton Abbey. In my last post on Highclere I had just sat down for afternoon tea to find the 8th Earl of Carnarvon sat down next to me, so over the course of the day, I even managed to sneak in some of the A Residence Home Q&A questions… Continue reading

Happy and Home: How to make sushi (with prizes)

Have you ever made sushi? It's easier than it looks and really satisfying. Find out how to make sushi in this post

The ‘joy’ of tidying the kids bedrooms and then learning how to make sushi. It was a Japanese kind of day. The tidying was an emotional affair, but the sushi making on the other hand, was truly joyous. Leading Japanese foodie brand Yutaka challenged us to make our own sushi, come see the fun we had moulding sticky, sweet rice into little sushi rolls. Yutaka have also kindly offered a sushi kit for two to giveaway to one of the bloggers linking up to happy and home today, along with a stylish sushi plate set from Wayfair. Continue reading

The Ultimate Unforgettable Wedding Gift Guide

Wedding gift guide - the art of imaginative wedding gifts that are truly unforgettable

I asked those who have been happily married for years to tell me which gifts stood the test of time for this wedding gift guide. I’ve also woven in a few new gifting ideas from Wayfair you might like too, if you are venturing off list or putting together a wedding list. Although many couples have a wedding gift list these days, increasingly wedding guests are looking off list, for something really unique and memorable. The married couples I asked all admitted to appreciating the gifts from those who went off list much more than they realised. Continue reading

7 Easy BBQ Salads, Plus A BBQ Giveaway

Watermelon, feta and tomato salad

It’s great to get some veggies into a BBQ, but the last thing I want with a burger is the traditional BBQ fare of a heavy pasta or potato salad, neither do I want to just empty a token bag of salad into a bowl, that no one eats. BBQ salads can be really easy as well as complimenting, and even over shadowing the food on the BBQ, here are some ideas to get your mouth watering.

Continue reading

Happy and Home: How to Make Elderflower Champagne

How to make Elderflower Champagne

When I was 18 my Mum presented me with a cookbook with all my favourites and many ideas from across the family. This recipe was one of hers and while I remember her making it when I was small, I was always too young to taste this mildly alcoholic brew. Walking with Max over the bank holiday weekend I stumbled on some elderflowers and decided, after all these years, it was time to try out that recipe. Continue reading

25 super filling 100 calorie snacks

25 super filling 100 calorie snacks

I’ve had an amazing birthday week and eaten and drunk more than I would normally – and it was brilliant  – but I thought I might remind myself of some of my favourite healthy snacks too, just to tip the balance back a little, although don’t worry, you will find crumpets and hot chocolate in here too.

At the moment I am enjoying eating whatever foods I like, but trying to be a bit mindful about it and make snacks more of a mini meal than something grabbed while standing in front of the kitchen cupboard. So here are 25 healthy and filling snacks that also happen to come in under 100 calories. Continue reading

Garden Inspiration: Celebrating 300 years of Capability Brown at Highclere Castle

Garden Inspiration: Celebrating 300 years of Capability Brown at Highclere Castle

You can always rely on a taxi driver to set the scene when you arrive in a new place. On route to a press day at Highclere Castle I discovered Hugh Bonneville, of Downton Abbey fame had also sat in my cab, a rescue mission by my driver, after he refused to be driven a mile further by the reckless driver who had picked him up in London. As well as Hugh, hoards of Australian, Japanese and American tourists had also sat in the back of the same cab. One woman from New York flew in and out in a day, just to see Highclere, after managing to purchase a ticket for the castle online; pre booked tickets sell out fast, but there are also limited tickets available on the door.

As we left the main road, the vast swathes of land the castle inhabits came into view and my taxi driver told me about the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb. As we rounded the bend and the castle appeared, my driver told me that one car load of young girls actually screamed at this point. I felt like a disappointing passenger, the view was incredible, but I wasn’t sure when to admit that I have never watched Downton Abbey, which was filmed here. It slipped out later, when I was chatting to the 8th Earl of Carnarvon about Egyptian relics over scones and tea. Continue reading

Reflecting on what makes a happy home #happyandhome

Rope mirrors from Wayfair UK with printers block reflected

What makes a happy home? It’s a quest I have been on for a few months now, I’ve looked at homes in different countries, considered my own home, I have loved reading other people’s posts about finding the happy in their homes. My curiosity has now got the better of me,  happy homes has become a research project. In case you missed it, I’ve moved Happy and Home to Tuesday. Continue reading

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