Saturday 20 April 2019

Taking the Stress Out of Packing for your Holidays

Up until a few years ago I used to pack far too much for our travels!

You see we made the decision to take our bags on board for further trips so that we could make a quick getaway.

So things had to change.

Since then, as soon as we've booked our trip, I start thinking what I'm going to pack.  That's mainly because by the time we go I've managed to get the clothes down to the amount I actually need to take :)

Easy packing...

You may have read our blog Top Tips for Easy Packing where you'll find lots of tips including my great find from Eagle Creek.
I bought mine on Amazon as it was the best price at the time but search Eagle Creek for the best deals.

Easy showering ....

Prior to our trip to Kontokali Lake House in Corfu, I found another little gem for showering, which, by the way, doesn't need to go in your liquid bag.
This sponge is absolutely brilliant.  When wet it lathers up and smells divine.  I also felt I got a bit of exfoliation too which, of course, helped with the suntan.  :)  Definitely worked for me and saved me having to squeeze a shower gel into that tiny liquid bag. 😏

Again I bought mine on Amazon.  There are lots of different fragrances.  I've just ordered another one for our next trip :)  I'm trying the French Lavender this time.

And another thing ....

Remember if you are travelling to a hot country the mosquitos can easily spoil your holiday.  If these little devils do get the better of you you'll need something to ease the troublesome itching.

I took my Antipodes Saviour Skin Balm and found this to genuinely be my skin saviour.  Stopped all itching and the lumps and bumps disappeared almost overnight.  Definitely worked for me!

So the moral of this blog is when you book your holidays, plan ahead, make a list, use our notepad to help you ..... 
start packing early because I bet, if you're anything like me, by the time you go you'll have taken some of of those clothes out of your bag 😲

It's holiday time ..... pack ...... and ...... RELAX

Take the stress out of packing.
Happy holidays :)

Tuesday 22 January 2019

A Day Trip to the Forgotten Casualty of War

After spending our break away at Limestone Hotel we decided to do a little day trip to this beautiful forgotten village.  Malcolm had read about it and suggested we go explore.

So pleased we did.

A beautiful location lead to the downfall?

One of the forgotten casualties of World WarII on the Isle of Purbeck is a small coastal village in a beautiful location. It is situated near the Bovington military firing range.

Sadly the location of the village lead to its downfall.

It all began back in 1943 with a month's notice

World WarII, the military's preparation for D Day was well underway and the Army needed more space.

On 17th November 1943 the people of Tyneham Village received a letter from the War Office giving notice to the 225 residents to leave their homes by 19th December!

We're sure you'd like to help

The letter they received said
 "The Government appreciate that this is no small sacrifice which you are asked to make, but they are sure that you will give this further help towards winning the war with a good heart." (taken from Tyneham feature)

They were advised that a special office would be made available in Wareham for questions from the residents of Tyneham.

So Tyneham Village was evacuated and has been deserted ever since.

Most of the village is now derelict,

with little pieces of history pinned to the walls.  It is very humbling and incredibly interesting to walk around this beautiful place.

The Church has been restored with its beautiful stained glass windows. It has become a museum for the small village. 

Pinned to the door is a reminder of how the villagers felt and their hopes of returning one day ..... sadly which was not to be.

Although the school actually closed in 1932, long before the evacuation. It is still lovely to see and a reminder of how schools used to be.

The school has been left as if the children had just gone out to the playground.  Loved it :)
The exhibitions in the Church and School are open from 10am to 4pm when the village is open to the public.

It is well worth a day trip to Tyneham Village.  Entrance is an honesty box for donations.  I do hope visitors use it as it would be sad for it to close.

This was a memorable visit and one we would have been sad to miss.

When we were there pretty snowdrops had started to bloom in the grounds.  The snowdrop is aptly named 'the flower of consolation'.

Thanks for joining us on our day trip to Tyneham.  If you go be sure to let us know what you think too.

Where to next?

Safe travels all
Jan and Malcolm :)

Monday 14 January 2019

Lulworth Boutique Hotel Review

Happy New Year to you all.

Can't wait to share our experience at this lovely Boutique Hotel in Lulworth.

It's part of a small group of boutique hotels and B&Bs called The Petite Hotels, run by the amazing young entrepreneurial couple Edward and Daria.

From the moment we booked this Hotel we knew it was going to be right for us.  Edward spoke to Malcolm on the phone and emailed back and forth and couldn't have been more helpful. 

A small boutique hotel with everything you need and more

Friendly, welcoming and professional with great food and comfortable rooms.  What more could you ask for?

Pretty, tasteful and comfortable

We stayed for three nights over the Christmas break.  It was a last minute booking for us.  Because of this we got the luxury of staying in two different rooms.  

Ha! Ha! no not a room each :) 

We had one room for two nights and the last night a different room.   

West Lulworth

We booked here as we love the sea and to be able to walk to the cove each day would be perfect.  Also it isn't too far away from Lymington for a short break away, even shorter when the Sandbanks ferry is in operation, not for our journey, so check before you leave home!

West Lulworth is quaint, pretty and feels a little like going back in time with its lovely thatched cottages and old world charm.
It's a short walk down to the cove and there are plenty of places to grab a coffee or glass of wine en route back and forth!

Lulworth Cove

I can't remember ever having been here before?  I'm sure I must have been but probably in my childhood.  Can't believe I've left it so long before coming here again anyway!  

It's a beautiful little cove and there are many walks that actually make you gasp, that's gasp for breath and at the beauty of the views.:)

After a day or two watching people walk over the top to Durdle Door we dithered as to whether we should do it or not.  
Yep that's the one up the hill there in the background of the image below.
After walking past it again for our usual walk, Malcolm said 'I think we should do it' .....well after his hip op his consultant did say he could walk as much as he liked.  Not sure he meant hill walking but ......
we turned back and up we went!

We got to the top and were rewarded with this!
We were so pleased with ourselves that we stopped for some silly selfies!  I know, I know kids will be kids and some people never grow up but hey this was an achievement and worth celebrating with a little silliness :)
Excuse us for not posing or pouting .... now that would be silly!

The Hotel 

A beautiful Country House on the hillside with fabulous views over the countryside.

We had read some of the reviews on the infamous Tripadvisor and there was a bit of a grumble about the hotel being at the top of the hill. 

Yes it is, that's why you have views!  However, it's a gentle slope weaving up to the hotel entrance and if you have wheelie luggage it isn't too much of a problem, even for Malcolm who was recovering from a hip replacement.  I'm sure too that the lovely staff would be only too happy to help should you need it.

Limestone Hotel

On arrival we received a very warm welcome and were taken into the cosy lounge and bar area.
Bar and lounge Limestone Hotel


After a relaxing drink we were shown to our first room, The Garden Room.

Delightfully and tastefully decorated and lots of attention to detail.  Big soft pillows and decorative lighting ..... makes you feel that you want to just curl up on the bed immediately :)

 Pretty views over the hillside from this room and out to the garden.

We remained in the room for two nights and loved it so were a little sceptical about moving on to The Chocolate Room.

We needn't have worried.  This too was a lovely room completely different to the Garden Room but was beautifully and, once again, tastefully decorated.
The views are still there but a little more effort is required to see them.  However, this room is incredibly cosy and if you can bear to leave it, you only have to step outside the door and you have all the view you need.

The details ...

There are tea/coffee making facilities in the rooms and a lovely jar of cookies too, which are delicious.

Lovely soft large bath towels and gorgeous toiletries (recyclable packs).

In the two rooms we had there was no wardrobe.  However, the hanging rail with shelves was absolutely adequate for a short break.  

I love this idea.  Wouldn't it be great for a guest bedroom at home too?  


The dining room is light and airy and the food, whether it be breakfast or dinner is absolutely delicious. 

In fact ...... the food was so delicious we couldn't really stop to take photos :)  

To be honest we rarely take a camera into a restaurant unless we've been commissioned to do so! On this occasion we were there to eat!  

However I did sneak a few on my phone :)

The little book with the menu is cute and adds to the Country feel.  I love Beatrix Potter and think she'd be amused and over the moon to know her books are being used in this way ......
The image below was my starter on Christmas Day ...  yum yum.
PS.  Good news for dog owners.  Limestone Hotel have two dog friendly rooms!
For more information visit Limestone Hotel Website

Well anyway .... that was our fab Christmas break over:(  
Shhh .... I think Malcolm did a great job finding this place.  It was perfect in every way.  Yes, yes the weather could have been better, but it was December!  As they say no such thing as bad weather it's just the wrong clothing.

A huge thank you to Edward and all his staff for their friendly professionalism from start to finish.

Where to next I wonder .....?  
Malcolm get booking darling :)

Monday 3 December 2018

Studland and Winston Churchill and Enid Blyton to Name But a Few Famous Names

Whoa!  As my grandson would say.  Where did that time go?
September since my last post.

Vacation?  What vacation?

Since my wonderful birthday trip and our journey home with a trip down memory lane, life has taken over, as I'm sure you'll all have experienced at some time or another.

So no vacation, staycation for us for a while.

Onwards but not upwards :)

Malcolm had recently had an op and unable to fly - well of course if he could actually fly it would be a miracle - but you know what I mean - no air travel for three months.  

Our Anniversary this year needed to be UK and not too far from home.  So we opted to stay quite close and travelled to Dorset.  Not as near as it could have been as the Sandbanks Ferry was having its annual refurb.  

Long way round for us and destination Studland Bay. 

We'd never been here before.  Well actually we'd been to Studland but not stayed here.

A lovely traditional Dorset Hotel steeped in history

Set in four acres of gardens and woodland a Hotel which is said to have inspired Enid Blyton and her Famous Five, Noddy and Secret Seven novels.  Wow, that takes me back a bit 😔 

Certainly the children will not feel out of place here.  The playroom is an absolute delight with soft toys, dressing up clothes and the largest lucky ducky I've seen - love it :)
Ooh look, they even have treats for your dog :)

And you may be concerned if you're not a dog fan.  No need to worry as they also have a doggie diners' dining room!  How cool is that :)

History Lesson coming up :) July 1940 and a very important visit

When visiting Studland to inspect sea defences, Sir Winston Churchill took tea at The Knoll House Hotel.

And in April 1944, Sir Winston Churchill, King George VI and General Dwight D. Eisenhower visited for lunch after over seeing the D-Day rehearsals on Studland Beach.
Gosh there's so much more to know about this historical hotel.

Dirty Dancing? 

When you drive up to the hotel, Malcolm rightly says, it reminds you a bit of Dirty Dancing or that era :)
Cool, because that's one of my favourite films.  
Ah .... did someone mention op?  Probably no dancing then!  Whew that's a relief anyway :)

The new owners, Kingfisher Resorts, have ensured that the Hotel retains its traditional charm.

When you enter, it's traditionally warm and welcoming.  
And in this weather,  the log fire is a delight.

We were welcomed at reception by a friendly lady who shows us to our room.  It seems quite a long way and I think I'll never find my way back, but, in fact, it's very easy and there's lots to see en route, especially the Noddy and Big Ears memorabilia cabinet and the huge chair which was Malcolm size.  Brilliant!

 Our room is, as promised, with a sea view.

And a balcony too, which I'm sure in the Summer would be lovely, but today we chose the comforts of our room without venturing out of those doors.
Cosy blankets, pretty cushions, tea making tray, TV and a very powerful hairdryer.    

I had to mention the hair dryer because many hotels we stay in, even 5 star hotels, really do not realise how important 'power' is to us women.  I have stayed in luxury 5 star hotels and could have asked Malcolm to blow hot air on to my hair and it would have dried quicker!
Full marks for this hotel!

The Christmas cracker is an extra of course!  If you haven't yet booked Christmas, I'm sure here it'll be grand and you'll be well looked after.

Luxury toiletries

The bathroom is modern and spotlessly clean with beautiful Elemis products and fluffy towels.

And it's not long before I feel it's time for a well deserved curl up on the bed with the Sunday Style magazine.

This is bliss.
If you don't want to curl up in your room just yet, the walk to Studland Bay beach is very close.
Very wet and grey when we ventured out but invigorating and we knew we had somewhere cosy to return to.
We did grab a warming coffee in the National Trust shop at Studland Bay before we ventured back.
Our wander across the golf course was a little calmer and the views over Old Harry Rocks are truly beautiful.

Have you guessed where we are yet?

The Knoll House Hotel of course :) where else would Enid Blyton or Winston Churchill visit?
And if you'd like to know more about the history of The Knoll House visit the hotel About Us page.

No need to worry about allergies if you have them

The restaurant is impressive and the food delicious.
Needless to say I was even more impressed with the Restaurant Manager, Damien.  He was attentive, friendly and, before we sat down, he had taken the time to find out about any allergies.
Consequently he knew I had a digestive disorder to nuts and seeds and each night he diligently went through the menu with me.

Lunch in the Bistro

The Bistro is a must visit and has lovely views out to Old Harry Rocks.
 and great wine of course.

Be warned they don't do small portions here.

I could go on and on about this place, there's so much to know and has a great feel about it.

You can lounge,

you can read. ...there's plenty to read if you haven't bought your own.

 or you can just drink in the views from many windows.
We needed a relaxing break with a chance for some walks too.  This you get here.  We got what we needed and more.

Thank you to all the staff for making our stay relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable.  Be warned .......we'll definitely be back.:)

See you next time ..... who knows where .... who knows when?  
One thing's for certain, it will be in the UK :)
Thank you for following......

Jan and Malcolm