25 musings about turning 25 next week | Turning 25

Hello, hello

So in just five teeny tiny days time I’ll be turning a quarter of a century. Yep, twenty flippin’ five. How exactly has that happened? This, among other things, have been crossing my mind as this mini milestone has leered over my shoulder for the past few weeks, so I thought I’d condense them down to an appropriate 25 strong listical, cos, y’know, content.

  1. I’m starting to wonder if we’re now too old to still classify people into what year group they were in at school.
  1. I’ve seriously considered spending about $50 on a single candle, which is a sure indication of my progression to being stereotypically middle aged.
  1. I also now apparently give two shits about the thread count of my bed sheets.
  1. Instead of spending our money on gallivanting round hotels and restaurants, Jess and I now lust after couches, flatpack furniture and Le Creuset cast iron cook pots.
  1. People are beginning to ask me what my “partner’s” name is. So I’m either old and/or they think I could possibly be a lesbian. (Though the fun part is when I say his name is Jess. They must get their mind absolutely blown).
  1. I’m actually giving people younger than me advice. And they’re taking it.
  1. I’ve got a plethora friends’ of hen parties and weddings in my calendar.
  1. Turning 25 does now mean that I’ve made it 25 whole years without ever squeezing a spot.
  1. I’ve also learned that people instantly despise you when you say this to them.
  1. I’m wondering what the next form I fill in will be, and shuddering a little at the thought of ticking the 25-29 box.
  1. I’m feeling incredibly equipped for when I receive my ‘invitation’ to my first smear test, as I’ve already had one and am looking forward to explaining this to the clamp-bearing nurse.
  1. A small part of my soul dies every time one of my friends buys a house.
  1. My body has started actually needing herbal tea to function.
  1. The other day I got heartburn for the first time.
  1. I think at 25 I’ll have inched into the next age category in terms of breast cancer prevalence so there’s a little nugget of joy for my anxiety.
  1. People no longer seem to give me a judgey look when I buy pregnancy tests even though in my head I still feel like the stick is basically my audition for a potential appearance on Teen Mom. (FYI I only buy prego tests because I’m super paranoid and check every month just to be sure, not because I’m an idiot that still thinks risking it is cool.)
  1. If I don’t get enough water for like half a day, I seriously wilt like a flower.
  1. It’s becoming harrowingly apparent how far away I am from being the subject of Taylor Swift’s song 22.
  1. Apparently my body can no longer handle the ‘warm up’ cider I used to chug before a night out sponsored by heavy spirits. Mixing drinks ain’t cool no more, says my ever-aging liver.
  1. Chunders are no longer ‘tactical’.
  1. White bread consumption is now a one way ticket to guaranteed bloat.
  1. An exciting week is dictated by things like new accounting software to manage my invoicing.
  1. An intense and wrenching wave of nausea consumes me when I so much as think back to how I handled going out so much at uni.
  1. Things that I thought I’d know by now are still utter mysteries to me. This week I witnessed a conversation that I think was about some form of political unrest in Japan, and I’m ashamed to admit I had literally zero clue what they were talking about, and I just sat there wondering where they ever learned about this stuff.
  1. Everything we want to do is dictated by the two words I hate the most. ANNUAL EFFING LEAVE.

So that’s that. Here’s to another year of me spoiling you with perfectly pointless lists of shit that you probably didn’t want to know.

Over and out,

Coco x

 

 

Digital Detoxing | Wellness Loading by Andi Lew | How to Do a Digital Detox

Ah, detoxing. Juices, teas, cleanses… everywhere we look there’s an opportunity to reverse all the bad, undo your mistakes and ‘detox’ the crap out of your body. Problem is, all we seem to do right after a detox, is retox. No, you can’t undo years of bad eating with a 3 day juice cleanse. Shock. The key is repetition, and learning from your mistakes, and making new, better habits each time.

Last week I attended Andi Lew‘s Wellness Loading book launch with the lovely Zee from Insincerely Her.

Let’s take a quick moment to appreciate those times when you meet someone for the first time and you just click instantly. You might be completely different people, with different types of jobs and at different stages in your life, but somehow, something clicks. The conversation doesn’t feel totally forced, and you’re actually interested in what the other person has to say. Despite us being at a PR launch for a book advocating a digital detox, I’m grateful for the internet for bringing me together with people like Zee. 

Anyway, we slurped some vegan, sugar free ice cream (which was surprisingly good), mingled and heard a motivating and refreshing chat from Andi, about how stepping outside of our comfort zone, cutting off from the digital world and appreciating the world around us can be a total mind cleanse.

I’ve often wondered about giving up Facebook or my smartphone, for a period of time or even forever, but the nature of my work does command me to keep up with digital. I can’t manage brand’s social channels without an account myself, nor would I want to profess to be a social media guru if I was shunning it behind closed doors. But that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from a digital detox.

Wellness Loading takes you through the benefits of a digital detox, and how to do one. Even if it’s no phones on date nights, or at the table, or after 8pm, or even turning off your 4G so your iPhone is just a normal telephone for a few hours. Cut yourself off. You’ll soon realise how accidentally addicted we’ve become. *sings accidentally in love from Shrek*.

I’m now trying to put my phone in another room overnight. That way, if I can’t sleep I won’t be tempted to check out snapchat, and I won’t waste hours before falling asleep on Instagram and Pinterest. Anything that needs to be done can be done by 10pm. I’ve recently got a sleep spray for my pillow with lavender in. I think it’s helping me sleep deeper and wake less during the night, and I notice an even better change when I cut off from my iPhone earlier the evening.

Sure, I’d love to say phones away as soon as I get in from work, particularly in my field, but without wanting to sound like I’m making excuse after excuse, my friends and family in the UK are all waking up around 6 or 7pm Australian time, so I do like to be on hand then to keep in contact. But, once that’s done, it’s night night phone. I’m finding it really refreshing, and hey, if nothing else, it makes Instagram a hell of a lot more exciting when you’ve not been refreshing it every few hours!

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Image via APL Photography.

Have you tried a digital detox?

Coco xx

 

Literally a Blog About a Soap Dispenser and Life

This baby does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a blog about a soap dispenser. Literally.

This is quite a fitting post for today, as I’ve literally been through all the feels a twenty-something working from home can possible feel on a Friday.

I woke up feeling good. I made myself a grapefruit and a jasmine green tea and sat in a state of motivated calm on my yoga mat, before concluding I should probably wait until the Foxtel man has been before I start downward dogging my ass off. (For my UK readers, Foxtel is basically Sky TV but it’s not called Sky because, ya know, Straya)

Before the guy arrived with all his installation wires and ting, he called me to host the most awkward conversation that I totally wasn’t prepared for at 9.30am. He called to tell me he couldn’t find a parking space.

Ummmmm. Ok? What do you say to that? “Oh okay bro no worries don’t sweat about installing the box we’ll just live without it so you don’t have to go through the struggs of finding a parking space kay, bye.”.

Obvs not. So it was a pretty silent phone call with a very awkward hang up at the end when we both realised we had truly reached a stalemate.

He eventually rocked in after an equally awkward encounter on the video intercom. (Our building has an entrance gate and then each tower has it’s own set of doors, so people have to buzz us twice to get let through both doors. Fine for pals, not so fine for pizza delivery guys/Foxtel men/any other category of stranger ‘cos you end up having the awkward ‘second hello’ dilemma when you don’t know whether to be super familiar because you feel like you know them so well after the first buzz, or whether to act surprised when they buzz again. Legit.)

He was wearing a San Francisco 49ers SnapBack and I was totally torn between pretending I hadn’t noticed it, and running to put my New Orleans one on and asking him if he wanted sack off his Foxtel career to chill here and fist bump and talk about the SuperBowl.

Spoiler: I stuck with the former option.

Anyway, post Foxtel, my motivation for a day of yoga and work subsided, and I sunk into the couch to explore the jazzy features and catch up and box sets and omfg unlimited movies and sports and HELLO Sex and the City box set lemme just cancel allllll ma plans and fester here for all eternity.

So I watched some SATC and THEN mustered the energy for yoga. By this point it’s noon, just FYI.

15 minutes in I got all shaky and weird and hot and flustered and oh wow my 2 weeks off running is really taking it’s toll on me. I think my iron levels are low at the mo too because I’ve been focused on loosing some kgs before holiday lately and my stores of all kinds of stuff tend to take a hit when I’m doing that. So yeah.

So I got all scared and toddled back off to bed and lobbed a big red iron pill down my neck and messaged Jess for comfort and sympathy.

He suggested I ate something and my growling belly did concur with that notion, so I had this wild idea of allowing myself bread as a treat. But nah I ended up making a one pan bake thing with tomatoes and bean mix and tuna.

I then realised I’d had no coffee yet so scuttled downstairs to caff-up. I felt like I regained my colour on the first sip, so I’ve learned my lesson never to skip coffee and jump straight to green tea. Always coffee first. Always always always.

Because I’m guilty of Googling allllll the health woes, I Googled how I was feeling and turns out feeling sicky after drinking green tea on an empty stomach is TOTALLY A THING.

Anyway this soap dispenser. You can tell how all over the place I am by the structure of this blog. This is hardly an advert for my copywriting credentials. Soz and that.

This week I got my hands on a marble and copper soap dispenser that I have honestly wanted for about 2 months because ummm, rose gold is everything. It kept selling out from Kmart (for UK readers, basically a shitter version of Primark. Homeware is on point, clothes look like Tesco before they got swaggy) and when it was online it wasn’t letting me order it for pick up and the delivery cost three times the cost of the soap dispenser. So I was avoiding that option until I was sure it was my only option.

I had to schlep deep out into the ‘burbs this week for an appointment, which meant a whole new realm of Kmart branches that may in fact have it in stock – and OMFG THEY DID. $5 for the best soap dispenser ever. It matches the little plant, candle and random geometric copper basket thing that really has no purpose but is so totally Pinterest that it just HAD to take pride of place in our kitchen in our new apartment.

Here she is in all her glory (feat. the aforementioned plant and geometric piece of weirdness) – though the marble effect is more subtle than I expected and is hardly captured when you take photos of it but STILL. It’s still so beautiful.

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All bow down in her glory. You’re probably thinking wtf that’s so average but I’ve wanted it forever and it’s taken over my thoughts and dreams so just be happy yeah?!

Anyway it’s now 3pm and I’ve made no dent I wanted to achieve today sooo yeah.

Toodles xxx

 

 

 

23 Truths About Owning an iPhone

Evening all. This week I’ve fallen victim to a few iPhone fails. Yes, I cracked my screen, broke my charger and splashed water on it while texting in the tub. Basically the Apple hatrick. It made me realise that there are a few, well, facts of life that become apparent when you join team iPhone, that I just had to share some of mine! I’m sure you’ll all agree!
  1. Your favourite bars, restaurants and cafés are no longer ranked on the quality of food or value for money. More on the vastness of their available plug sockets (can we get an Amen for starbucks)
  2. The term 1% can mean anything from “this is the end” to “chill bro, you’ve got half a day’s battery left”
  3. There is no greater feeling of triumph than when you drop your iPhone in such a manor that you are expecting it to be smashed to pieces when you see it landed face down, only to realise it has made it through yet another near fatal experience.
  4. You then brand your blessed iphone, INDESTRUCTABLE, and tell everyone you know.
  5. Your iphone then, one sad day, falls victim to one of your losses of grip, shatters a dramatic pattern in both the screen, and lets face it your heart too, which is usually followed by angry slurs at how brittle and fragile the iphones are. Yes. We’re talking about the same indestructible iPhone you raved about last week.
  6. The torch app you installed years ago is actually useless, as the toolbar has its own built in torch.
  7. You have a distinct feeling of attachment to the Paper Toss and Beer Drinking apps that were downloaded on your first iPhone. You’d rather delete photographs of your wedding day than these classic bad boys.
  8. You will never truly know what the mysterious 4GB of “other” is cluttering up your 16GB iphone. Nor why the total capacity isn’t, never was, and never ever will be, the full 16GB.
  9. Upon realising this, you vow that next time you will get the 32GB or 64GB. Trust me. You wont.
  10. The touch ID on your iPhone 5s NEVER works when you’re trying to dazzle your non-iphone-owning friends.
  11. The same can be said for Siri
  12. If you haven’t already, the day will come when you will swallow your pride, skuttle up to a waiter in a restaurant, and beg and plead that a member of staff has an iphone charger you can borrow.
  13. The aforementioned waiter and fellow staff will usually say yes, and give you a look tailored only for this moment, which encompasses sheer compassion and sympathy at the fact you’re out of battery and can no longer operate your pressing schedule of Snapchat, Instagram and Candy Crush Saga on the tube home.
  14. You can tell what kind of person someone is by whether they use folders for apps or just leave it scattered across the home screen.
  15. You will have, at some point, somehow taken a screen shot of absolutely nothing, and to this day have no idea how it happened.
  16. When someone tells you their battery life is awful, you just can’t take them seriously unless they answer yes to the “ah but do you close down all your apps by double clicking the home screen? Question. If they don’t, then quite frankly, they deserve it.
  17. You will forever wonder why you can’t just say haha, without the daily battle of it saying gaga.
  18. Similarly, if something is hilarious once, and constitutes a capital HAHAHAHAHA, you are committing to being stuck with the OTT expression of laughter for the rest of your life, thanks to autocorrect changing every “haha” to that one.
  19. You have never. Ever. Wanted to say Ducking, and quite frankly cant even believe it’s a word
  20. You can never be allowed to say the word “Yo”. It will always be changed to “up” or “to”
  21. You spend your life explaining to non-iPhone users what you actually meant when you said ducking, gaga, Sanjeev, shut, and various other assumptions that autocorrect makes on your vocabulary choices.
  22. There are no words to describe the frustration you feel when your message alert goes off, but all you get is an obnoxious blue dot next to YOUR OWN MESSAGE. What the hell is that about?!
  23. Despite all this, you are iPhone ‘til you die, and would never, ever consider switching. United we stand, iPhone owners. Together, we can survive a life of bad battery life, smashed screens, and an infinite future of autocorrect fails. WE LOVE YOU APPLE.

22 Harsh Realities of Rediscovering Your Bebo Page

Well, its Sunday night, but, its the best of Sunday nights, because its a public holiday tomorrow, so no work (hurrah!). This post is coming to you live from my bed, where I am currently nestled doing a terrible job of not smearing Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream all over my clean white bed sheets. Cry. Anyway, a week or so ago I stumbled on an embarrassingly hysterical time capsule of my mid teens, in the form of my Bebo page, and there were some eye-opening features that, I think, perfectly sum up how our generation (the golden generation!) shaped the beginnings of the social media era! Forget Facebook, Tumblr, SnapChat, Whatsapp and Instagram, this my friends is where it all began. Well, this and MySpace. Here’s 22 things that come flooding back to you when seeing your Bebo page after approximately 7 years. And yes, the pics are ALL from my own Bebo page. Just because I love to voluntarily humiliate myself.

Enjoy!

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1. An argument with your friend resulted in an instant rethink of the order of your friends on your page

2. The other half of me was pretty much the greatest honour you could be given

3. You remember the day when the share the love count went up to 3 per day and your sluttiness tripled. And on that day you were most probably at home, on your gigantic desktop PC, grooving along to the dialup internet tone, shouting at your mum to get off the pissing landline. *You may be intrigued to know that since we all migrated to Facebook, the “luv” count has increased to five per day!

4. You picked a cool indie song to play out when someone goes on your profile, to accurately reflect your amazing taste in music and emotional depth and complexity. I believe mine was Plain White Tees – Let Me Take You There.

5. Your profile had something like this on it, which was cleverly designed to appear as though you were filling in essential information, while subtly further enhancing your level or perceived “alternativeness” that was outlined by the aforementioned theme tune to your profile.

[x]..Celebrates on-9th june..[x]

[x]..Found in- My own lil world!. .[x]

[x]..Brushes- Redish Brownish hair!..[x]

[x]..Crys behind- Brown eyes..[x]

[x]..Stands at- 5ft 7..[x]

[x]..Walks in- Size 6..[x]

[x]..Hates- Goodbyes…[x]

[x]..Loves- shopping&WESTLIFE..[x]

[x]..Misses- France[x]

[x]..Hides- Emotion..[x]

6. YoU wRoTe YoUr EnTiRe PrOfIlE lIkE tHis. Because, well, why wouldn’t you

7. Everything started with xXx…xXx or xoxo (see my above display name for full details)

8. You created a quiz about yourself and judged your friends by how well they scored, and had subsequent arguements about their response to questions like “Who’s sexier? Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom”.

9. You then created a quiz about the aforementioned fitties, just to make sure your pals were as prepared for your imminent relationship as you were.

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10. You copied these smilies from some smart arse’s “notes” section.

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11. Profile pictures depict the era known as BI (Before Instagram), and followed the below criteria:

  • A black and white/sepia effect on your camera was used
  • Taken of yourself with your arm showing (the art that has now become known as the selfie. Don’t you noughties kids go thinking you invented this. We’ve been pulling this shit for years)
  • Preferably looking away from camera, occasionally using wind created by your hair dryer, because it was clearly plausible that you had a modelling career at one point or another
  • Often with a caption like “wtf am i doing lol XD”, so you don’t seem conceited, despite being 100% sure you look fit as

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12. You changed your profile “skin” almost daily

13. You replaced one of your info sections with a touching tribute to how much you “luv ur gurlz”

14. Your “happiest when” box most likely said something to this effect: “txtin m8s, lolin’ prank calls, wid ma gurls x, shoppin, ltm…” LTM meant listening to music. In case you had forgotten!

15. You find you wrote ‘scribble back’ or ‘wb’ after each wall post, because there was absolutely no shame in seeming keen back then

16. You explicitly wrote private jokes about your “crush” on your friend’s page, hoping he’ll see. Or better still, in a foreign language, because after a B grade GCSE you were obviously fluent. You left a highly crackable code for everyone to understand.

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17. On your friends’ whiteboards were drawings of phallic objects, because you were so 100% sexually experienced at age 13. Obviously.

18. You created a photo album of your friends with their profile pictures in it. Probably entitled “Girlies”. You would also have an album called something like “Moi”, “Piccys of meeeeee”….or similar…written in extremely coherent “text speak”.

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19. Your square of 16 top friends featured a few ‘arrow’ photos pointing to certain people, with delightful sentiments like “Luv dis gal” or “My fit boi xx”

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20. You wrote “shopping lol xx XD” under ‘sports’

21. You had a countdown timer to something significant in your life. Like Christmas Day, or the end of your tense and incredibly challenging SAT exams.

22. You were only cute and cool if your page was plastered with abstract artwork like this:

*•.¸(*•.¸♥¸•*´)¸.•*´

♥«´¨`•°x emma x°•´¨`»♥ ¸.•*

(¸.•*´♥`*•.¸)`*•.♥

or this:

——ρυτ——————-τнιѕ———— ——σи————— ——уσυя————- ——ραgє————- ——–ιƒ————- ——-yσυ————- ——τнιиκ———— ——ℓιиκιи-ραяκ—— ———яσςκ———-

22. You friendship group gradually migrated to Facebook. Some didn’t make the transition as well as others…

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…And then when you finally all caught on to facebook, you changed your bebo profile to say something to this effect:

“Dnt rly use Bebo nemre, tis shit, fb me xoxo”

(I haven’t named and shamed the friend who posted that message to me on 21/06/2008. I’m wondering if he knows who he is!)

So, there we go. While being intensely cringe worthy, its also a hilarious trip down memory lane. Unfortunately, the Bebo site itself has been disabled, but all links to profiles are still active, you just need to remember your screen name to be able to search it on Google. Helpful hint – it probably has xx_sexi_xx in it somewhere!

Night all,

Coco

Chinese Dumplings Cook Off From One Side of the World to the Other

Now, I don’t know about you, but I am absolutely obsessed with oriental food. Moving from my small home town to the bright lights of London, one of the first things I learned was, there’s more to life than Wagamama. London is packed with loads of authentic chinese and japanese restaurants that are much better than main stream chains, and my go-to choice of entrees are ALWAYS dumplings. Or gyoza, for the intellectual linguists amongst us. When I was in Australia, the suburbs are actually packed with restaurants specialising in dumplings, so I was in food heaven! Only problem is, I’ve been harbouring a severe allergy to shellfish, which eliminates a high proportion of restaurants, as they don’t offer plain chicken, beef or pork on their own. After finally tracking down some plainer ones, my boyfriend and I vowed that we would learn to master them at home ourselves. We decided we would make them together over Skype, in the evening his time (which was sadly 10.30am for me, but by the time we had finished it was like an early lunch). They actually turned out really well, and they’re super easy to make, really cheap, and actually pretty healthy (about 30-40 calories per dumpling, depending on fillings). A great treat for a down day!

Anyway, I snapped some pics of our progress, and how they turned out! Thought I would share it with everyone! I based mine on an online recipe for help with the dough, but the filling and cooking was all our own!

1. Create the dough (yes, we made this from scratch!). Its simply plain flour and water. I used 140g of flour and 150ml of very very hot water. This dough makes enough for about 15 dumplings. Mix the two together in a bowl until it makes a ball of dough.

2. Kneed the dough for about 6-8 minutes until its smooth and stretchy.

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3. Put in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth and leave while you make your fillings. (I’m unsure exactly what this is for, but a few recipes I had looked at online told me to do it, so I did.)

4. Chop up chives, four spring onions, two chilli peppers, two cloves of garlic, and one chicken breast into the smallest pieces you can. If you have a food processor, mince it and mix it together. I pre-cooked my chicken, but the bf used his raw. Neither of us died so its up to you. I’m just a serious raw chicken germophobe, so I pre-cooked mine. Just remember to make sure its cooked through at the final stage, particularly if you’ve used raw chicken. You’ll need to cook them a little longer if you have.

5. With your mixed up filling, add a bit of soy sauce (as much as you feel you need to get the ingredients to stick together), and some chilli oil if you like it spicy.

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6. Take out your dough, and roll it into a long, thin sausage shape, about the circumference or your thumb and forefinger when you make a circle. Cut the sausage shape into equal pieces. Usually about 15.

7. Roll each one into a circle shape, put a bit of filling in the middle (only a little bit – you don’t want to over stuff them), and fold the dough over like a pasty. Dab water onto the edges to make them stick, and press together with your fingers to make the edges flat. It looks a bit like the back of a stegosaurus.

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8. Once you’ve used all your dough and filling (the above proportions should make it just about exact), you can either fry or steam your dumplings. For frying, use a shallow pan, heat some oil until its hot, and place the dumpling in. Let it sizzle in the oil (use more chilli oil for more flavour if you like), and flip it onto both sides until they brown off. (Leave them for longer if you’re waiting for the chicken inside to cook). Also try and get the base side to flatten and let it stand up like that for a while too. For steaming, I tried various options as I didn’t have my steamer here with me, but the easiest and most effective method was just plop the dumplings into a pan of boiling water and leave for a few minutes until the dough becomes, somewhat, chewy. You’ll be able to tell by watching the colour and texture change. Remove with a draining spoon and serve!

9. For dipping sauce, use either soy sauce on its own, or add chilli oil or fresh chillies, and some chinese rice wine/vinegar. Serve as an entree, or on a bed of egg/chicken fried rice as a main course!

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Easy and SO delicious!

Have a great bank holiday weekend, all!

Love always

Coco xx

A Secluded Sanctuary: Limewood Hotel, New Forest

Today’s post is one I have been meaning to do for a couple of weeks now. Its a gorgeous spot in the New Forest that I just have to tell you about. While I constantly plug the bright lights and the big city of London, and am not usually a countryside, middle of nowhere type of girl (despite having grown up there), this spot is a haven for relaxation and luxury, and one of the few exceptions to my rule.

Limewood Hotel, based in Lyndhurst in Hampshire, surrounded by green forests and neighbours to a whole host of wildlife, is a Regency county manor house. On site is a luxury spa, Max’s Bar (home to the best Martini in Hampshire) and15 boutique bedrooms and 14 delectable suites, many boasting private gardens, open fires, and glamourous bathing facilities.

My recent visit was for Afternoon Tea for my 22nd birthday, and I can tell you, it was certainly better than a lot of teas you will find in London (yes, you heard it here, I badmouthed London. Don’t tell anyone!). At £23.00 per stand (which includes four finger sandwiches, two scones and four cakes), you can share one between two people, and its just the perfect amount. The scones were fresh and warm, and the cake selection was one of the best I have ever tasted. The best part has got to be between the tiny plant pot (yes, plant pot) of rich chocolate mousse, and the smooth, moist carrot cake cubes, so definitely save those ’til last! They also offer huge range of loose leaf teas to choose from (though I admit I was boring and stuck to English Breakfast), and we also sampled their lattes. As self confessed coffee addicts, we can be hard to please, but the sleek glass tumbler of rich, smoothly blended beans really did impress.

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Picture: My own

The service is faultless, and I don’t think the words ‘short staffed’ and Limewood have ever been used in the same sentence. There are elegant, waistcoat wearing barmen on every corner, and a blonde haired young chap donning a tan leather greeted us at our car (which we were able to park on the lawn, might we add) and showed us through to the Hartnett and Holder Co. restaurant.

The hand lotion in the bathrooms is to die for, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t explore the grounds during your visit. Open plan and natural without being overwhelming, the grounds of the hotel boast two tree swings (oh yes!), floral trellises, quiet seating areas, patio terrace and sculptures.

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Pictures: My own

I am yet to sample the Herb House Spa, which opened in late 2010, so is still brand spanking new. Amidst peaceful treatment rooms and sun beds surrounding the outdoor steaming hot bubble pool, the spa offers a Mud House, Hydropool, Caldariam, Massive Forest Sauna, and an indoor swimming pool.

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Picture from: Limewood Hotel Website

For £195 per person, the retreat for two includes a choice of various massage or facial treatments, Mud House, set lunch in Raw and Cured (spa restaurant) and full use of the spa facilities all day.

This place is a real treat. Even if you’re next pay cheque is going on car repairs or rent, pop in for a coffee or a cocktail. The grounds sell themselves and you’ll get to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere before booking in your spa day or mini break 😉

Oh, and follow Limewood Hotel on Twitter @LimewoodHotel, and Instagram @limewoodhotel! (And meeee, if you want to! @Scrambled_Emma!)

Toodles

Coco

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Picture: My own

Im wearing: Baroque cigarette trousers, Next; nude peep toes, New Look; chiffon camisole, Primark (whoops); white blazer, Next; cube necklace, Accessorise.