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

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Travel Photographer Returns to Exbury

If you follow our blog,  you may well know by now, I am in love with these gardens and will go as many times as I can.  Sadly not as many as I'd like:(

Head Gardener's Notice Board

Your walk is always helped by the Head Gardener's notice board, with all that is a must see, if you have the time.  

I find this very informative.  My personal favourites are always the Sundial Garden, the Herbaceous border and the Hydrangea walk.
The hydrangea walk is still colourful and I actually love the hydrangeas when they begin to change in colour.

On the day I visited, the sun was in and out and at times created the most beautiful light.

You could easily spend a day here and still not see everything.  I love it!

Dahlia heaven 

I love dahlias but have never actually grown them.  That may sound a little strange but I think I'll have to take time out to learn a little about them before I get growing!  I'd be devastated to lose such beautiful blooms.

Consequently, I am always blown away by the dahlias at this time of year at Exbury.

Bees and butterflies gather here

A haven for the bees and butterflies, especially in the Sundial Garden.

I do hope the winds of late haven't done too much damage to these beauties.

Sweet potato soup with croutons and crusty bread

Well one can't visit these gardens without calling in to Mr Eddy's Restaurant ...... this soup looked so inviting I just had to try it.
Yum Yum ... I wasn't disappointed. 

For opening hours and prices visit Exbury Website
Check for dates for the Ghost Train rides and Christmas Train rides.

Thanks for visiting.  Hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Travel Photographers' Postcard from Marlow and a Trip Down Memory Lane

One of the loveliest places on the River Thames and one of the prettiest High Streets.  

Many years ago we lived there and that's how we remember it......  

The question is does it still have it's charm?

Oh yes indeed it does.

Just a snapshot of the High Street today as we have far more important things to think about.

Lunch of course :)

And without further ado I'm going to take Malcolm to a place where I know he will love the food.

We were greeted with a very warm welcome.

Being fresh air fanatics, I'd booked a table outside and today I wasn't entirely sure I'd made the right decision?

However, the heaters were turned up and the contemporary coloured black and white striped blankets were ready on a 'just in case' basis :)
Very cosy indeed.  No need to worry about being cold.

The lovely Aimee was soon at the table announcing she was our waitress for today and asked if we'd like maybe some olives or bread and a drink whilst we chose from the menu.

Yes please!  Having eaten here before I knew only too well that the food would be delicious and we could take some time to choose.

The menus in hand, as I thought, we ummed and ah'd .... it all looked appetising.

The lunch menu was extremely tempting and realistically priced too.

And so the lunch menu it was .......

Now I could go on and on about what we chose and how incredible the food tasted but .......

1.  I don't want to bore you


2.  I really don't want to make myself feel hungry 😏

Consequently, images follow:

Starters ....
followed by:
followed by:
Gosh after that I think we need a walk along the river.  What?  Oh dear time has run out on the car ...... 
maybe next time.

Now the question is ....... can you guess who had what?

A huge thank you to the Marlow Bar and Grill for the most amazing lunch, fabulous friendly and professional service and delicious food.

We'll be back for sure.

Until the next time.