If you follow me on Instagram, you will have probably noticed that I posted quite a few pictures from England in the past few weeks. That’s because the Dutchie and I spent 10 days back in the ‘hood as we had two weddings to attend, a week apart.
Was it a holiday? Sort of. Do I feel rested? Hell no! Does England feel like home? Definitely not.
So, what to do when you’re in England staying in 10 different places for 10 nights? Pretend to be a tourist! 😀 Or as my best friend described us: “you’re like posh gypsies travelling round in your Audi”. Thanks for that, darling!
Highlights of our trip:
Southampton – Baby Shower for my sister
I’ve never been to a baby shower before. There was a game which involved having to guess which chocolate was smeared inside a nappy. I was not impressed. However, all the “baby people” seemed to enjoy it immensely my little sister was glowing which was lovely. Less than 2 weeks to go until her due date!!
My brother’s wedding
Everyone cried. Everyone except the Dutchie that is – who was looking the wrong way when my brother broke down as the bride walked in. I can understand why – she was a princess. A very special moment.
Lyndhurst, The New Forest with my best friend
(Despite her gypsy comment. Kinda why I love her… like me… she has no filter whatsoever.)
I feel the same way about horses as I do about swans. They’re pretty, from a distance. Though when horses start running downhill towards you… not so fun!
We skedaddled out of the way with her 7 month year old boy before I felt safe enough to take this. Bit of a scary moment!!
Lyndhurst is a gorgeous little touristy town. I also recommend the village of Burley which my Mum describes as having “quaint little shops with knick-knacky things”. Pretty much sums up every shop in the New Forest!
Whitchurch near Basingstoke – Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Definitely one of the highlights of our trip! I lived in Basingstoke for 6 years and never knew about this place – but with good reason – it only opened its doors in October 2014. (6 months after I left England.) It was a bit of a dreary day when we visited, but luckily most of the tour is inside.
This beaut (two greenhouses joined together) was designed by award winning British designer Thomas Heatherwick – famous for the 2012 London Olympic Cauldron, the Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, and the New Bus for London.
The greenhouses are used to house the botanicals needed for Bombay Sapphire: almond, lemon peel, angelica root, coriander seeds, juniper berries, orris root, cassia bark, grains of paradise, liquorice and cubeb berries.
After schmoozing round for a bit, exploring the grounds and then tasting and smelling all the botanicals which go into Bombay Sapphire… you then go into the “Dakin Still House”… where the magic happens!
One of the tour guides takes you through the gin making process and you get to see Thomas and Mary – the two distillation machines which produce over 33 million litres of Bombay Sapphire Gin per year. Amazing stuff.
There’s also the heritage room where you can find out the history behind Laverstock Mill and Bombay Sapphire.
We have the Dutch to thank for gin – as they invented jenever – from which gin evolved.
Then the last thing to do on the tour? Drink a gin cocktail!! LEKKKKKKKER!
Another friend of ours lives in London so we took a walk along the Thames, part of the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race course… leading to Hammersmith Bridge.
While visiting another friend, this time in Farnham, we stumbled upon St Andrew’s Church.
More walking… I love walking!
I also love wine.
(FYI – Jalapeno Pretzel Pieces – THE best pub snack known to (wo)man! They blew my previous fave – scampi fries – right out of the water!! The best discovery of our trip. The Dutchie and I are now obsessed. We bought 8 bags to take home with us and have since ordered more online!! Wooei… I can’t talk about these bad boys enough!)
2nd Wedding of the trip, near Milton Keynes
One of my best friends from University tied the knot. Another beautiful day and the perfect end to our trip!
They had a gin bike… (The Travelling Gin Co.) as if we hadn’t had enough gin that week 😉 and an Oyster Meister. Dangerous and delicious.
Conclusion: I love England but I don’t miss it. I only miss my friends, family and English pubs.
Have you been to England? What were the highlights of your visit?