Amsterdam ♥

Another long absence from the blog! We are still in the midst of building chaos and living without a kitchen is starting to take its toll. I don’t think I can take many more microwaved meals and takeaway pizzas! Luckily, the husband and I had booked a very timely weekend break in Amsterdam earlier this month and it was the perfect opportunity to escape from all the noise and dust for a couple of days. It is one of our favourite European cities but the last time we went was at least 12 years ago so a return visit was long overdue.

Heathrow pod

{In the driverless pod taking us from the car park to Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Very high tech indeed!}

Hotel Pool

{After a slight mishap where we caught the wrong train at the airport and ended up at Amsterdam South rather than at the Central Station,  we arrived at the hotel and headed straight for the hotel spa complete with pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.}

Hotel bar

{A pre-dinner drink in the hotel bar – we stayed at the Hotel Amrath which had fantastic service and was in a great location.}

Tales & Spirits

{On the first night we had dinner and yummy cocktails at Tales & Spirits.}

Amsterdam

{We spent many hours walking around Amsterdam taking in the sights. The weather was cold but (mostly) dry.}

Park

{The sun came out when we strolled through Vondelpark.}

Droog

{A really cute side table at cool interiors shop Droog.}

Diamonds

{We visited the Gassan diamond factory..}

Foam Photographic

{..and the Foam photography museum.}

Pancakes

{We feasted on pancakes (a must when in Amsterdam) and…}

Restaurant RED

{…ate the most divine caviar, lobster and steak at the very excellent Restaurant RED.}

Breakfast

{A lie-in and breakfast in bed on the Sunday morning…}

Flight home

{…before flying back home to London.}

It was the first time that we had both been away from the children for more than one night. We did really miss them but they had a great time with their grandparents and I think they’re old enough now for us to make a weekend away a yearly occurrence. We’re thinking of Rome next!

 

A Nice Day for a White Wedding

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They say that a change is as good as a rest and I certainly feel refreshed after our weekend mini break in Cambridge. We were only away for one night but the change of scenery and some quality family time did us the world of good. On Saturday we attended my husband’s cousin’s wedding, held at one the many colleges of Cambridge University. Glorious weather, a stunning setting, beautiful ceremony, good food and wine all did their part to ensure that it was a great day. And I was a very proud mummy indeed after many of the guests complimented my children’s good behaviour (it’s nice to know that they can do it even if I don’t always see that side at home!). It was their first wedding and they all did very well to sit still at the ceremony in the chapel and during the speeches. My eldest was happily chatting away to the guests at the dinner, impressing them with his knowledge of Henry VIII and all his wives.

The only downside was the sleeping arrangements. We had a family room in the hotel where we stayed, with one double bed and two singles. After the requisite arguments about who should be sleeping where, we ended up playing musical beds for much of the night and I don’t think anyone woke up in the same bed they went to sleep in. On Sunday we strolled around Cambridge, taking in the sites, along with the sea of other tourists, and stopping for ice cream at one of the many cafes. We decided against punting on the river as my husband was feeling rather delicate from the previous night’s excesses!

Now we’re back home with just over a week to go until our main holiday. Hope you’ve had a good start to the week. X

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{The boys looking handsome in their new suits.}

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{Clemmie looking cute in the stunning grounds of Trinity College.}

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{A cheeky selfie in the chapel}

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{I love the little touches that the couple did to personalise their wedding such as using second hand books as place settings.}

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{Kings College in the centre of Cambridge}

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{Bicycles and beautiful old buildings were everywhere.}

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{We will leave the punting for next time!}

This (or rather last..) Week’s Favourites

This week's faves 11:11:13

I just got back from my little jaunt to the spa hotel this afternoon and have been trying to hold onto that relaxed, pampered feeling while supervising homework, negotiating sibling arguments and cooking tea. Not that easy at times but I did feel more chilled than usual and even managed to keep my serene demeanor when I caught my eldest trying to find out how many ‘bad words’ his seven-year-old brother knows (and eagerly offering to teach him any that he’s not yet familiar with..)

So my weekly favourites post is once again later than usual but at least I have a very good excuse – and even if I had wanted to, I couldn’t have posted it yesterday as we could not get any Wi-fi connection at the hotel.

1. It seems a long time ago now, but for Cameron’s birthday last Monday we went for brunch at a local restaurant at his request: Full English breakfast, Eggs Benedict and French toast – a great way to start the day!

2.The weather turned colder this week and no one could have been more pleased than Clemmie who finally got to wear her leopard print hat (or ‘tiger hat’ as she calls it)

3. You know that Christmas is getting closer when the Gingerbread lattes arrive at Starbucks! As much as I love the Pumpkin Spice one, this is my hands down favourite and I shall be having at least one a week between now and Christmas Day.

4. Casper’s Beaver Scout group had a visit from a blind man and his guide dog last week and all the boys were tasked with making a tactile picture of the dog. Here is Casper’s contribution, made with some sticky-back felt I found in the crafts box.

5. Reading material for my night away: Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon’s memoir In My Shoes and the latest issue of British Vogue.

6. We arrived at the hotel mid-morning and had a cappuccino in the restaurant while we were waiting for the room to be ready.

7. They say a change is as good as a rest and swapping the congested roads in our pretty but densely populated village for rolling hills and fresh air certainly did wonders for the mind and soul.

8. Yesterday we stopped for lunch at The Mulberry pub (which incidentally is owned by radio and TV celeb Chris Evans) down the road from the hotel.

9. A facial and a manicure were among the treatments I indulged in. I love this OPI nail polish but unfortunately I forgot to ask what the colour is called.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Due to the lack of Wi-fi, I am a bit behind with replying to comments and reading your blogs but I’m sure I’ll catch up in the next couple of days. Hope you’ve had a great start to the week. X