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

and

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.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Could this be the Ultimate Escape to the New Forest

About a 30 minute drive from Southampton and, in fact, for us about the same from Lymington, this beautiful hotel nestles in the heart of the New Forest.

For me, this is a place I visit quite often for coffee with friends, but today was a special treat.  We were here for lunch.

Even more of a treat in store for Malcolm has he has never been here.

A drive through the New Forest is always a pleasure but when you live somewhere you rarely do any sightseeing, which is a pity really.

The drive, of course, can be slow sometimes ....
so if you have a deadline give yourself time to drive slowly!

We did, of course, set off early and arrived with time to start the lunch with a welcoming glass of fizz!
and there was more .....
This cute little pan of delicious scrummy nibbles were delightful.

Please forgive me.  I have forgotten what they were called, just trust me when I say they were a gastronomic delight.

We were looked after incredibly well and were shown to a very stylish restaurant, with views of the gardens.

We opted for the Seasonal Set Lunch menu.  There was the option of two or three courses and very reasonably priced.

A quick peek down to the bottom where the deserts caught my eye so the three courses would probably be the order of the day!

I always think it's rather rude to get the professional camera out in a restaurant (unless of course you're working on a commercial shoot) so I tend not to do it.  Please take our word for it .... the food was delicious.

Of course, if you don't believe us, you can always go and try for yourself.

After lunch Paulo very kindly took us through to the lounge for coffee, after which we thought we ought to try and walk a little before getting back in the car.

A wander is a must.  These gardens are full of surprises.
And the view of the building is stunning from many angles.
 It is truly beautiful, so I'll let you wander with us for a while .....
 I sat on this bench in a secluded area of the garden and watched the butterflies and bees.
But if you want to be a little more energetic, there's a forest ramble.  Not for us on this occasion..... I do wonder where it goes though?
You could always extend your lunch to an overnight stay?
  
There are many options here.  All seem to be quiet, private, and unique.
 No Malcolm, not today ...... maybe another time though :)
 Lodges, cottages, forest suites, hideaways ........
with a little more wandering and we came upon the Lake Cabin.  
Looks like the sort of place you could peacefully curl up with a book or stay a little longer and even write a book!

If it's peace, tranquillity and luxury you are after, then this is your ultimate escape to the New Forest ......it is, of course,