New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem

Welcome to the third part of Leah’s American adventure! Confused? You can read Part One here and Part Two here.

J&V

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New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem

Thursday, 17th December

Today I moved house for the last time. My final stop was Bowery Street in Nolita (which stands for North of Little Italy- apparently a made up area name created to spark gentrification: it worked!) The area is a strange mixture of grittiness, art galleries and high end clothing stores. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but I really loved it in the end. I stayed at the Bowery House, which is a re-purposed hotel which served as temporary lodgings for soldiers returning from WWII. A couple of friends stayed here a few years back and described the cabins as deluxe “chicken coops”, each cabin having just enough room to fit a single bed and storage of essential items. The cabins also feature wooden cross hatched slats over the empty ceiling space. It’s a great cost effective way to stay in Manhattan and is fine for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time in their room.

I’d signed myself up for a Free Tours By Foot tour of the Lower East Side, Nolita and the East village that afternoon. The rain was really heavy and I managed to arrive uncharacteristically early so took the opportunity to take shelter, order French Toast and drink copious amounts of coffee. As I waited in the rain for my tour guide, I wondered if I was the only one silly enough to show up for a free tour in heavy rain. Luckily, one other person (a Canadian girl) was foolish enough to honour her commitment and the tour went ahead with our inimitable tour guide, Dante Salerno. It was an awesome and very informative tour and we learnt about the immigrant communities who moved to the area, the punks and finally the hipsters (or yupsters). The tour included a trip to the site of CBGB, famed hangout of the Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads. We also caught a glimpse of the site of the world’s first underground park, the Lowline– a plan to use solar technology to shed light on an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side.

The soggy tour was followed up with an educational visit to the Tenement Museum (learning about the fates of a German and Italian family who lived in the building we were shown around). In the spirit of No Sleep till Brooklyn, I went straight to a highbrow variety show type thing at the magical McNally Jackson bookstore. Playwright Annie Baker and novelist Lynne Tillman gave a fascinating talk on the powers of inanimate objects, read from their and others’ work and made me miss my university days. On the way home I went to the excellent Joe’s Pizza (our tour guide had said it was the best pizza in NYC) and got invited to a party on Ludlow Street. Though it may have made more entertaining reading, I decided that going to party at a pizza queue acquaintance’s pad probably wouldn’t have been one of my better ideas. Instead, I ate my pizza slice and retired to the coop.

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemNew Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and Hem

Friday, 18th December

Today I got up super early to go on a pilgrimage to Orange, New Jersey to see where my grandmother was born. Fun fact: I am 1/4 American (I can already picture my family collectively rolling their eyes at this claim, but it is technically true). Though my great grandparents were both Cornish, my mum’s mum was born in NJ and moved to Cornwall when she was eight years old. Though I never heard it, apparently she retained her American accent until she was in her 40s. How cool is that? Anyway, I found out that Orange is only 20 mins or so from Penn Station so I set off on a photographic odyssey, hoping to capture a slice of Americana. There was time for a nose around Little Italy before catching a ride to New Jersey.

Orange didn’t disappoint and I managed to cause a bit of a stir by being white and owning a camera with a prominent lens. A few friendly locals came to chat to me about soccer (oh dear)! It was quite a run down, industrial city but really different to just about anything I’d seen before. Most of the houses were pretty dilapidated but this added to Orange’s charm- it looked as though it might have been quite a swell place to live 90 years ago and I felt pretty emotional when I saw Granny’s childhood home on Watchung Avenue.

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 3 | She and HemWhen I got back to NYC I found out that MoMA was free on Friday evenings so I joined the hoards of other cheapskates in some art appreciation before being traumatised by how busy it was in the gallery. If you go to New York, I’d recommend paying the $25 and looking at some art in relative tranquility. That said, I did manage to concentrate on the Jackson Pollock exhibition before I fled in terror, breathing a sigh of relief as the subway car rattled across the Brooklyn Bridge on the way to Bogota. As you might have guessed, Bogota is the name of a restaurant in Park Slope as well as the capital of Colombia. I was reunited with my Brooklyn buddy who had rejected my sentimental idea to go for Korean barbecue and opted instead for South American fare. Sentiment aside, my first foray into Colombian cuisine was excellent, as were the mojitos and the Brooklyn beer (it had to be done). Nash entertained me for large swathes of the night by impersonating JFK/Mayor Quimby and teaching me how to say haaaaabo-side (harbourside) in a Boston accent. After bidding a tearful farewell to Slinka and Mr Whiskers, I demanded a lesson in yellow cab hailing from a real life New Yorker. It turns out you just stand in the way of oncoming traffic and raise a finger. Fun fact: Nash once played softball with Matthew Broderick.

To be continued….

….but in the meantime why not follow Leah on Instagram xx

New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 1

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1

Happy New Year everyone!

We are kicking off 2016 with something a little different! Our glorious friend Leah (pictured above, smiling) likes to go on adventures and, like any good friends would do, we have spent an unreasonable amount of time pressuring her into writing about them for us! Until now we have failed to convince her to do so but imagine our excitement when she decided to embrace her inner Carrie Bradshaw (sorry, Leah) and write about her trip to New York for us! Hoorah! Over the next few weeks we are going to be posting Leah’s NY diary, which should help us combat those January blues and, potentially, leave us all a lot poorer once we’ve inevitably booked flights to America so that we can follow in her footsteps. Fun fact: Leah is really good at both writing and adventures.

Enjoy!

J&V

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She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1

I’m going to New York City to see a boy. That’s right, I’ve fallen in love. Not with the boy (though he is pretty dreamy) but with New York. Having spent five days there in the hazy summer of ’05 and my whole sentient life soaking up the city in sight and sound, I know it intimately and not at all; New York is the teen crush I’ll never grow out of. A few weeks back, an octogenarian New Yorker mocked me for fawning over her accent: I’ve got it bad. It’s my first solo trip anywhere and I’m terrified and excited in equal measure. Will my British accent and claims I live in a castle be enough to buy me some friends? Will I meet She & Hem’s exacting standards? Probably not, but I shall try my very best.

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah's Big Apple Adventure Part 1

Friday, 11th December

“You’re going to New York City… On… Your…Own?” My palms became so sweaty that I feared I would fail the fingerprint scan at Newark Airport. The incredulous tone of the man welcoming me to the USA got me thinking, was this the most ridiculous idea ever conceived? Was I the first person to venture to the Big Apple alone? Aren’t we all essentially alone? “Ummm….yes?” I offered, memories of last night’s work Christmas party conga line and the accompanying headache fresh in my mind. After a few more probing questions and a sigh of relief to my response about leaving the country in ten days, I was through security with a vague sense that I’d failed and that I wasn’t really good enough to be in America. It was time to seek out a friend, a prize with which I would be rewarded after doing battle with a tram, train and subway. I was nervous and excited but mainly so so sleepy.

Saturday, 12th December

I awoke at Nash’s apartment (a self styled “hell hole” that wasn’t actually all that bad) with a cat in my face. It had identified me as an outsider and was willing to stare me out until I confessed. I had met Nash in a Trick Art Museum on Jeju Island, South Korea in July and liked his sarcastic sense of humour. We went for French Toast and pancakes at a diner in Park Slope, a leafy area of Brooklyn where he lives and I did my best not to comment on how cool and like a movie set everything was (everything was super cool and like a movie set). It was an unseasonably warm, bright December day and we decided to do a spot of people watching in Prospect Park before checking out the wonderful Brooklyn Public Library and the awesome Brooklyn Museum. I was particularly excited to see an exhibition on Coney Island, a favourite stop on my post university road trip around North America. Later on I would rave about pizza BY THE SLICE and hope that I wasn’t becoming too annoying a house guest. I took myself off on a photography walk while Nash finished some work (in his spare time, he’s a grad student at NYU), aiming for the gritty industrial port. I couldn’t stop beaming to myself as I took it all in, catching sight of the Statue of Liberty in the distance, marvelling at the beautiful Brownstones, the festive decorations and the ubiquity of the stars and stripes.

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Sunday, 13th December

I have been savaged by mosquitoes. In New York. In December. On the plus side, it’s another gloriously sunny and mild day in Brooklyn and those sights ain’t gonna see themselves. Why don’t we have delicious French Vanilla coffee in Britain? Maybe we do and I’ve never noticed. After a leisurely (pronounced leez-ure-ly) start, I decided to embark upon the Lonely Planet walking tour of Brooklyn Heights: more beautiful brownstones and incredible views of the iconic Manhattan skyline. I also took in Truman Capote’s house (I think I was looking at the right one) and Jane’s Carousel before wandering around the super cool and elephant free DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. After reading about the resurgence of poetry as an art form in the New Yorker a couple of months ago (I’m so cultured), I managed to seek out Berl’s Poetry Shop. Unfortunately, it was closed! I finished the day strolling up the magnificent Columbia Heights, the street on which my Brooklyn buddy grew up. Fun fact: Nash’s parents once rented a studio in their house to the author Norman Mailer.

In the evening we decided to take a trip to the super cool and super stunning BAM Rose Cinemas to see Chi-Raq, the new Spike Lee movie. We arrived early so had time to make a detour to one of my buddy’s favourite barbecue restaurants, The Smoke Joint. It was packed so we sat at the bar, I confused the beautiful bar staff with my strange accent, we ate Southern Sandwiches, drank Margaritas and enthused about pickles (well, I did). It had a really cool vibe and we shot the breeze about American/British cultural differences for so long that we managed to miss the beginning of the movie. After watching Chi-Raq (which I would give 8/10, btw) I would also like to say hooray for the enthusiasm of American moviegoers. My amazed reaction to high fives at mediocre jokes in Wedding Crashers in ’05 came flooding back. Fun fact: as a child, Nash once went to the baseball with Spike Lee. Apparently he (Spike Lee) was “like 5’1” and really mean”.

To be continued….

….but in the meantime why not follow Leah on Instagram xx

Make like a blogger and Split

I recently escaped the rain of Blighty when James and I jumped on a plane to sunny Split in Croatia for a week of ridiculous relaxation! And ice cream. So much ice cream.

Split became our destination of choice after some unsophisticated research which saw us work out that it was the cheapest, hottest place one can fly to from Bristol in August. I think our return flight was £30! DEAL. Thank you for existing, EasyJet. Anyway, it turned out to be a top decision as it’s an absolutely beautiful part of the world and has left me desperate to go back and explore more of Croatia. Or CroYAYtia as they clearly should call it.

It was around 40 degrees the entire time we were there which blissfully meant it was a real struggle to do anything that didn’t involve lying by the sea. As a couple who usually have itchy feet to explore everything and anything whilst on holiday (we once went on a six hour round trip to see a giant fork whilst holidaying in Switzerland, I kid you not) it was rather nice to be forced to relax! It also proved the perfect opportunity to road test my new Karl Lagerfeld prescription sunglasses from Specsavers*. Although I’ve been wearing them at home, it was only when I was sunbathing and reading at the same time that I truly realised what an idiot I am for not having had prescription sunglasses before! Plus they look pretty chic too, right?

Isn’t it beautiful? I’m really keen to go back so if anyone has any top Croatia tips or places to visit I would love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below.

Jx

Mr and Mrs Clement, Clock Barn, Hampshire.

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Love is certainly in the air this year, with lots of wonderful weddings to attend before my own in September! Last weekend, the OH and I packed our darling Clementine off to the local cattery, donned our Sunday best and drove to Hampshire to watch some of our oldest friends (and Fantasy Football professionals) tie the knot. After the decade they have spent together, it really was quite the occasion. It was also a blooming lovely way to catch up with several old friends who had traveled from far and wide to be there, and who we both miss immensely. I thought I would share some of the photographs that I took on the day to celebrate the very happy occasion. Congratulations Jen and Sean, it was a beautiful wedding and I feel privileged to have shared the day with you!

The wedding was held at the historic Clock Barn in Whitchurch, surrounded by glorious countryside as far as the eye can see. I took advantage of the green space under the thatched clock tower during mingling time to take a couple of outfit photos. I must admit I was slightly more self conscious than usual, after being spotted by several confused wedding guests. I think they were rather curious as to why I was taking so many photographs of my shoes, but then again, they are fabulous shoes! However fabulous, they didn’t last long once the Cèilidh band started and I danced the night away!

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It was an emotional wedding, even the cake was in tiers…

Vx

Hem and Away: The Story Museum

Hem and Away: The Story Museum

Once upon a time we took a trip to the land of Oxford to visit the magical world of the Story Museum. We had so much fun exploring this delightfully quirky wonderland that we couldn’t help but dedicate a whole post to our adventures. Shall we continue?

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Since opening in 2009, the museum has been steadily working to create an international centre that’s dedicated to celebrating all forms of storytelling. Thanks to a willing army of volunteers (who are all very helpful and friendly), teachers, artists, and authors they have been transforming what they have called a ‘dilapidated building’ (but what is now more sort of charmingly ‘shabby chic’) into the most incredibly fun place to spend an afternoon. We honestly had so much fun there, it really does make you feel like a big kid!

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Just when you thought we couldn’t get any more ridiculous! You can imagine how happy we were when we stumbled across ‘The Changing Room’ where you are encouraged to throw on all sorts of ludicrous fancy dress and then sit on a giant talking throne! We spent a fairly unreasonable amount of time here.

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Much merriment was also had as we wandered around the ‘Draw me a story’ exhibition which features six fabulous illustrators. It was wonderful to see their original artwork, prints and sketchbooks as well as seeing so many children getting involved with the workshops and chatting to the the artist in residence!

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On the top floor of the Story Museum you are treated to the extreme reading room in which you can sit and read (books are provided) in all manor of ridiculous spots including a garden shed, a cage or, if you’re like us, one or two boats! You are then invited to pop on a dressing gown and enter the ‘Time for bed’ room in which you will find a 15ft bed, complete with patchwork quilt. This quite magical space is all lit up with fairy-lights and is, quite possibly, the comfiest room in the land!

The End

 Have you read our guide to Oxford

Hem and Away: Oxford

Hem and Away: Oxford #beagreatwesterner

We were recently invited by First Great Western to take part in their #BeAGreatWesterner campaign which aims to showcase the excellent places you can visit by hoping on one of their trains. We decided to take this opportunity to venture 90 minutes up the line to beautiful Oxford for a weekend city break as, despite meeting there at a festival, neither of us had ever spent any time in the city itself.

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Taking our love for hotel bars to the extreme, we checked into The Malmaison – a former prison which just so happens to also be a medieval castle! But of course! It certainly is a very impressive sight and we had a lot of fun exploring the hotel and its impressive grounds. With a central location and incredible cocktail bar, it was without doubt the nicest prison either of us has ever stayed in.

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Whenever we visit anywhere new we always spend an obscene amount of time scouring Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for nice places to eat and drink. Thankfully Oxford didn’t disappoint! We can highly recommend The Modern Baker for their delicious green macha latte and their ridiculous array of yummy cakes! We also had a great time in Brew drinking coffee whilst listening to The National on their record player – the dream! For dinner we visited SoJo to sample their much raved about dim-sum (turns out it deserves all the raves) and the fab Turl Street Kitchen, whose menu changes every day depending on what’s in season. We thought their two courses for £14.50 deal was a bit of a Saturday night bargain and oh my god look at those puddings!

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We spent a lot of time just wandering around gawping at all of the pretty buildings as it really is an incredibly stunning city! We coincidentally managed to time our visit to coincide with the last day of exams so the atmosphere was one of great jubilation and we loved watching all the happy students covering each other with flour and silly-string! We also had a great time at the Story Museum which had been at the very top of our ‘to do’ list. We actually had so much fun there that we are going to dedicate a whole post to it! We also found time to visit the very Instagramable Modern Art gallery to see Lynn Hershman’s Origins of the Species (Part 2), as seen above, which is on until 9th August.

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See? Pretty beautiful! After spending a long time browsing the historic Covered Market as the rain poured down outside, we were relieved to see some sunshine and decided to make the most of it by paying a visit to the gorgeous Botanic Gardens followed by a mosey around Christ Church college. There’s just so much to look at! Did we miss any Oxford gems? If so, let us know, as we need an excuse to go back!

J&V

 

1 Hot Bath Street, Bath Boutique Stays

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As you may know, we love spending time in Bath…..not just to keep ourselves clean you understand, but also to eat, be entertained and get pampered! Although it’s only a short train ride back home to Bristol, we just couldn’t refuse when we were offered the chance to stay in the tub a little longer and have a snazzy sleepover at the incredible 1 Hot Bath Street. There wasn’t a rubber duck in sight!

1 Hot Bath Street is one of the insanely gorgeous properties owned by Bath Boutique Stays. There is certainly nothing wishy-washy about this accommodation, it’s a Georgian dream! It sleeps up to twelve people in four bedrooms over three floors, but you may not be surprised to hear that we just couldn’t bear to leave each others sides and ended up bunking in together! After all, it wouldn’t be a real sleepover if we were on different floors, would it? It definitely didn’t have anything to do with the idea of being alone in a massive townhouse, no sirree. We needn’t have worried though as we slept soundly and felt very secure indeed! We were also pleasantly surprised not to be disrupted by any late might revelers, which was impressive as the property is right in the centre of Bath. Top marks!

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We had so much fun exploring all the rooms and admiring all of the detail that has gone in to creating such a fab space. We would have gladly taken a lot of the furniture home with us! They really have done an excellent job of creating a modern contemporary space whilst being faithful to this beautiful 200 year old townhouse and we really appreciated the local touches they have incorporated too. Our bedroom (which we chose because we liked its lamp so much) overlooked one of our favourite Bath hotspots, Thermae Bath Spa. Sadly we didn’t have time to pop along this time, but what an excellent excuse to stay again! I (Victoria) will be dropping lots of subtle hints to my exceptionally beautiful, intelligent and generous bridesmaids over the next few weeks as I’ve recently discovered the Roman Goddess Gold Hen Spa Package and HELLO, it sounds incredible. Vintage tea party! Cocktail making! Makeovers! Spa! It sounds like my perfect hen do. Hint hint.

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I think possibly our favourite room in the house was the kitchen, which has a beautiful breakfast bar area and everything you could wish for having a big celebration with family or friends, including cake stands, picnic baskets and even champers. They really have thought of everything. Naturally we had to have some champagne whilst we were there, as you really shouldn’t have Bath without bubbles!

She and Hem

Coffee with Currys

Coffee with Currys | She and Hem | Cardiff

Not a day goes by in which I am not fueled up to the eyeballs by delicious coffee. Without it, I am pretty despresso. Although I am slowly but surely working my way through the South West Independent Coffee Guide (look, here’s me really enjoying a hotdog at the launch party), when recently invited to a whole day of coffee based fun with added cocktails and cake, I just couldn’t say no to #coffeewithcurrys. The event was held at Waterloo Tea in Cardiff, a blooming lovely place which is located in the equally lovely Wyndham Arcade. Having only ever been to Cardiff once before to boo Luis Suarez during the 2012 Olympics, I really enjoyed wandering around the city and it’s charming arcades before the event.

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During the event there were five stations, where you could take part in different activities, such as latte art, coffee cocktail making and testing your taste buds at a coffee cupping session. Once you had bean (HA!) around them all, a glorious lunch was available, courtesy of Waterloo Tea. A gorgeous array of gourmet salads, artisan breads and cheeky truffles was our reward for a hard morning’s work (it was work, right?), and I would definitely go back the next time I am in Cardiff, as the food was absolutely delicious. Later in the day, they even provided a seemingly endless parade of cakes, presumably just to counterbalance the high caffeine intake with a healthy dose of sugar. Definitely my cup of tea!

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As if that wasn’t enough, the main event was saved for the afternoon, and it was certainly a case of last but not least. Two contests, requiring all the skills, knowledge and intellectual guile that we, naturally of course, had picked up throughout the day. First, the coffee cupping contest, a fierce battle of taste buds, brain cells and who could pull off the most dignified slurp (not me). Representatives from each group were called forward and asked to blind taste test a selection of coffees, matching them in turn to a list of brews, based on flavour profile alone. Challenging, but oh so tasty! The techniques we learned earlier were especially useful in tasting the coffees and picking out certain tastes and styles, and it helped that we were guided along by the dutiful, knowledgeable baristas. Contestants submitted their cards, with the winner being the person with the most correctly matched coffees.

Then, the latte art contest. Latte art is always something I’ve wanted to have a crack at, and while I very much enjoyed my first attempt earlier in the day, I’ll be the first to admit that the end product wasn’t the most sophisticated of art ever seen. More broken jigsaw piece than a cute balloon unfortunately…

Again, representatives from all teams were called forward and tasked with producing a latte art heart. The end results were displayed before the crowd, with the winner determined using the tried and tested “applause” scale. A bottle of champers to the winner, whose foam heart made me swoon with delight! Generous to the last, Currys also offered up a Nespresso machine to the attendant who posted the best Instagram pic, using the #coffeewithcurrys tag. Can we do this every weekend please?

All that remains is to say thanks a latte to Currys, Nespresso and the team at Joe Blogs Blogger Network! I had a great time, and have been on a coffee high ever since. I hope to get some sleep in again in the next two to three weeks.

Vx

Hem and Away: Cup North

Hem and Away : Cup North

As a coffee lover, pun appreciator and willing frequenter of The North, I was pretty excited when a Kickstarter page for the spectacularly named Cup North was put under my nose a few months ago. A two day extravaganza of coffee you say? I’m IN. Thankfully I wasn’t alone in this caffeinated enthusiasm and so it was that last weekend that I went on a pilgrimage up the M6 to indulge in the very best the coffee industry has to offer (and visit the family but they don’t get their own blog post. Soz guys).

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This party for the fully awake was held at ArtWork, a fantastic arts production hub which was the perfect space to host the individual coffee stands. It was amazing, and slightly weird, to see so many of my fellow Bristolians in attendance with the wonderful Extract Coffee, Full Court Press and Clifton Coffee all flying the flag. GO TEAM! Naturally I homed straight in on them, firstly because I am a hideous creature of habit and, because seriously, that’s some damn good Bristol coffee. Observe how happy I am!

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I did manage to break out of my comfort zone and ventured to nearly all of the stands for a chat,  sample and the occasional cheeky purchase. It was all excellent fun and I may have even ended up with something that isn’t coffee (SOUND THE ALARM) in the form of the dreamiest hot chocolate I have ever tasted from Kokoa Collection!

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The highlight for me was probably watching Howey Gill of Counter Roastery demonstrate how to make their experimental “pearled coffee”. He gave such a fascinating talk and watching him create his little jelly balls of coffee was pretty darn cool. The result was described as a deconstructed latte and tasted incredible! He also showed us how to make our own coffee filled balloons. PARTAY.

Jx

Hem and Away: Bluestone

Hem and Away: Bluestone
Victoria wears a Lace Prom Dress from Yumi* with a mustard slip underneath, Big Spot Tights from Gipsy at UKTights* and shoes and sunglasses from Topshop. Jo wears a prom dress from Topshop (old), Sally Tights from Pierre Mantoux at UKTights*, sunglasses from Dahlia and heart shoes from Topshop.

When we first started She and Hem we certainly didn’t think about the many unexpected opportunities that would come our way. We didn’t think about the friends we’d make or the brands we’d work with and we definitely didn’t think we’d be dressed up to the nines on the back of a golf buggy in Wales. However, that’s exactly what happened after we received a letter (an actual physical letter!) from Bluestone National Park Resort inviting us to come try out their ‘adult packages’. Because, dear reader, WE are adults. Totally responsible grown up women. We at no point drove around in the aforementioned golf buggy blaring out Taylor Swift and giggling uncontrollably. At no point did that happen.

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Bluestone, which you’ll find nestled within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, opened in 2008. It has nearly 300 (we didn’t count them so we’ll take their word for it) luxury lodges, cottages and studio apartments which are all set within their 500 acres (we didn’t measure it so we’ll take their word for it) of countryside. We felt rather jammy indeed living it up in our stylish upside down lodge. We couldn’t quite get over the novelty of having our living room and kitchen area upstairs!

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As you can see, it’s pretty darn pretty and is naturally a haven for families making use of the many activities on offer. We, however, were there as ADULTS doing ADULT type stuff such as drinking beer, climbing walls and eating delicious pasties for breakfast. In your face, small children.

Bluestone offers four adult only packages, neatly known as Four Play. They aim to appeal in four different ways: Taste, Excite, Amuse and Relax. Luckily for you, we’ve tried them all out so you don’t have to. We’re good like that.

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For Relax we went to the resort’s Well Spa Retreat and spent a glorious sunny morning relaxing in the hydro pool, hopping from steam room to sauna and lying around checking Twitter relaxing in the relaxation room. We left feeling very refreshed!

As part of the Taste package we were treated to an absolutely delicious meal from their well posh finest restaurant, Carreg Las. We honestly didn’t really know how to contain ourselves when dish after dish of outrageously beautiful food was put before us. Even our bread looked delighted! We would like to publicly thank our waiters Bryony and James for coping with us totally freaking out about how great it is to be bloggers. They were lovely!

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The other two packages, Amuse and Excite, weren’t quite our cup of tea. But then, the Four Play packages are designed so that you can pick and choose which activities you do! Excite came in the form of the adrenaline filled High Ropes course through the woodland. Between us we had one dodgy knee and a fear of heights so it was never going to be one for us. It is, however, very impressive and was definitely being very much enjoyed by the other guests!

Finally, Amuse came in the form of a right royal knees up down at the beautiful Camp Smokey, reached via a boardwalk and hidden among the trees. It really is quite a scene! We were treated to hot cider, a banger filled BBQ and a live band. All of this was rather splendid but unfortunately we weren’t quite as on board with the enforced entertainment of dancing on the tables, party games and a wandering man with a microphone as some of the other guests. Again, this is purely a personal thing but we would have been very content with our jar of cider and a few marshmallows around the fire.

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Those minor qualms aside, we of course had an absolutely fabulous weekend! As well as experiencing the Four Play packages, we also so enjoyed being able to hire our golf buggy and drive around pretending to be a low budget Thelma and Louise. It was excellent fun. We also found time to venture to their flume filled, wave-machine enabled, hot tub containing pool of wonder! See you guys at the adult swim, yeah?

J&V

A massive massive thank you to Bluestone for inviting us. Although they really did spoil us rotten this review is 100% honest and 100% ADULT, obvs.