Thursday, 27 June 2013

Afternoon Escape in the Summertime

Hey everyone,
As I mentioned in my most recent 30 Day Snap update, I visited The Saxon Mill Bar and Restaurant in Warwickshire for lunch with my grandparents this month. Little bit of context for you: the mill ran from the 12th Century right up until 1938 and is situated on the River Avon. The mill was converted into a bar/restaurant in 1952 and is a popular place for families, walkers and weddings - any occasion! I used to visit The Saxon Mill quite regularly throughout my childhood, especially on a lazy Sunday evening in the Summer. I have so many memories of sitting by the fence with my sister watching the water go rushing by as my family sat behind us in the sun. I remember walking along the bridge too and feeling the current thunder by underneath. The bridge leads over to a country path through a field and up to a cute little church belonging to a nearby village. Although I didn't cross the bridge on this visit, I noticed a few walkers taking advantage of the beautiful weather. The Mill proves a popular location for them to end their stroll with a refreshing drink.
I hadn't visited Saxon Mill in quite a few years so I loved going back. It was still as mesmerizing as I had remembered, so I took a few quick snaps to share with you!
Each table has its own individually patterned slate number plate stuck in the plantpot - cute!

View from table included ruins of a church/castle (can't remember oops) nearby where some TV programmes have been filmed!

Sometimes I find escaping from everyday surroundings so refreshing. And a break away can be so much easier than we often think; it doesn't always need to be a holiday or long, planned journey. All this took for us was 20 minutes in the car but it can be even easier than that! Even just going for a walk in a nearby park or field can relax you so much more than we may realise. Anybody else feel the same way? I hope to go back here before summer is out!
What have you guys been up to? Have any of you got a place you enjoy going to like this? Would love to hear it!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

On the Bookshelf: Billy and Me - Giovanna Fletcher

This week I have decided to introduce a book review feature onto my blog which I will call ‘On the Bookshelf’. Everytime I finish a book or piece of writing that I think is worth sharing with you guys (whether it be for good or bad reasons) I will create a review type post and title it under the header ‘On the Bookshelf.’ I would love to share with you things I have been reading as I spend so much of my time doing it! The book I have chosen to kick this off with is Giovanna Fletcher’s debut novel entitled ‘Billy and Me’.

Set in the idyllic village of Rosefont Hill in Kent, England, ‘Billy and Me’ is focused around ‘normal-girl’ Sophie May and the cute tea shop she works at with her best friend and mentor Molly. That is until one day Billy Buskin, an up-and-coming movie heartthrob walks in and sweeps Sophie off her feet turning her world upside down. Will she be able to cope with the pressure of being thrown into the limelight? Or will the strain of being in such a public relationship prove too much for her?
I personally really enjoyed this story. Not only does it contain a wonderful romance, but as readers we are also transported into Sophie’s past and the heartache that she has faced. When I first started reading, I did not expect to be reduced to tears at any point but sure enough I found myself blubbering away into my cuppa as the plot progressed. Giovanna has created such a delightfully charming setting in Rosefont Hill which she contrasts directly with the fast-paced life of central London. Sophie and Billy’s love is pushed to the limit – is it really possible to stick together when it seems everyone and everything is waiting for them to crumble?
Giovanna has created a more realistic view of the burden dating a celebrity brings - no doubt taking inspiration from her own experiences of being married to McFly’s Tom Fletcher. I feel that we are too often only shown the perks to being a ‘WAG’ and while designer clothes and expensive food may be all well and good; it was interesting to view a more accurate representation. Sophie soon finds that this lifestyle isn’t all the media makes it out to be. Behind the smiles, glitz and glamour lies an intricate web of hurt, lies and deceit that is all too easy to become tangled up in. She has to decide whether this is really the life she wants, or whether she has made a terrible mistake.
 I had high hopes for this book from the moment I found out it had been written and I have not been disappointed. It’s a perfect summer read; charming, surprising and romantic. It’s not pricey either – Amazon is selling for only £5.24! I definitely recommend bagging yourself a copy. I only wish I had a perfect hideaway like ‘Tea-on-the-Hill’ nearby. A place full of mismatching floral fabrics, endless tea, cake, gossip, and reading? Yes, please!
Have you read this already? What did you think? Do you have any suggestions for further reading? Please let me know!