Ghibli Museum, Japan.

Ghibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and HemGhibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and HemGhibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and Hem

Ghibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and HemGhibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and Hem

It’s my (Victoria) 2nd wedding anniversary in a next week, which not only means that I’m due a hella sweet present but also that lots of lovely wedding pictures have been popping up on my Facebook timeline. I’ve really enjoyed looking back at all the photos. It still feels like it was the perfect day.  A few photos that really caught my eye (and given me a severe case of wanderlust) were from our honeymoon. We went on a bit of a tour of Japan and it was honestly the BEST TIME EVER. I can’t imagine ever visiting anywhere that’s as magical, fun and interesting as Japan.

I can’t wait to take my daughter there in a few years time. My husband and I have decided to wait until she is old enough to appreciate it fully. We are keeping all of our fingers crossed that she loves Studio Ghilbi as much as we do, as it’ll be a great excuse to go back to The Ghibli Museum. As we are both huge Ghibli fans, as soon as we had our honeymoon route plotted (through the awesome Inside Japan), one of the first things we did was book our tickets to The Ghibli Museum and got VERY excited about riding the giant Cat Bus. A typical (purr-fect?) honeymoon activity I’m sure you’ll agree.

Ghibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and HemGhibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and Hem

I came away from the museum with so many beautiful photos, it was hard to whittle them down into a blog post. Hundreds of photos of dust bunnies, spiral stairways and glorious glass windows. Spellbinding stuff. There’s so much to enjoy that I’d even recommend a visit to non-Ghibli fans! Watch a short film in the Saturn Theatre, wander the roof garden with gorgeous views over Inokashira Park (and a giant robot) or pop for a Ghibli-themed lunch in the Straw Hat Cafe. Thinking about it all over again has put a big old smile on my face. You’ll be pleased to know that I did get a little Spirited Away in the gift shop and that cheeky Totoro above came home with me.

Ghibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and HemGhibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and HemGhibli Museum, Japan | Hem and Away | She and Hem

Sayōnara!

Vx

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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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 2

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2

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

J&V

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She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2

Monday, 14th December

Today has been a day of travel and no friends. I was a little nervous about today as I know that I can be a bit incompetent when it comes to anything practical. I’m pleased to report that I have managed to make it to Boston in one piece, having navigated the New York subway, an Amtrak train, the T (Boston subway) and my way to my Airbnb, located on the dreamily named Wonderland metro line. Acquiring friends has been less successful: I temporarily befriended a very obese man on the train by delivering his rubbish (trash) to the bin (trash can) on a number of occasions throughout the four hour journey and I have made acquaintances with a Brazilian couple staying at my Airbnb. Having made a token effort to be sociable and in the process forced to watch That 70s Show, I ventured outside to a convenience store where I found some pretty questionable pre packaged baked goods. I had planned to go and eat crabs alone, but I always find venturing out tricky when you arrive in the dark and don’t know the neighbourhood. From my brief trip outside, it did feel pretty safe (it’s an Hispanic neighbourhood in East Boston). I retreated to my room as there was good wifi and I felt like watching a movie and getting an early night to compensate for the work Christmas party/mosquito deficit.

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2

Tuesday, 15th December

Today, I followed the slightly pretentious (and excellent) Wallpaper Guide to Boston almost to the letter. Their 24 Hour sections are usually really good and take away the often debilitating tyranny of touristic choice in a big city. I took the long subway ride to Columbus Avenue, dreaming of eggs over easy in a classic American diner. Unfortunately, the cardboard boxes lining the windows of Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe shattered my breakfast dreams and I walked away, heartbroken and hungry (it did look as though Charlie’s was undergoing a refurb so you should totally check it out if you’re in Boston in 2016)*. Dusting myself off in the beautiful Boston sunshine, I headed to the JFK Presidential Library & Museum, a library visit always guaranteed to enliven the senses. As well as looking spectacular on the outside, the museum was very inspiring and brought to life everyone’s favourite dreamy American president (and Boston native). After seriously considering a career in politics and befriending a German physician who gave me an apple, I headed to Cambridge to visit the MIT Visual Arts Center for some challenging installation art. The current exhibition is Rosa Barba: The Color Out of Space, comprising films, sculptures and text. I was delighted to enter a room filled with mini projectors and multilayered text (mimicking the appearance of a celluloid projector). The showstopper was a series of images of stars and planets projected through coloured glass panels with voice over reflections on the nature of the universe.

The day ended with a stroll through Boston Common, some giant frogs and a walking tour. I was a little dubious as the only tour available had guides dressed in 18th Century garb, but it was actually really good to learn more about Boston life and those awful colonial Brits. At the end of the tour, I went to the Cheers Bar with an Australian girl called Izzy. It was good to visit but a bit of a rip off. All was forgiven when I caught sight of Marky Mark on the TV in the bar. Mark Wahlberg? In Boston? What could be more exciting?! After listening to me drone on about New Kids on the Block/The Funky Bunch/90s pop for some time, amazingly Izzy agreed to accompany me to The Barking Crab (tagline: “We think everyone should have crabs!”) and we donned our super touristy crab bibs and ate crabs and drank rum late into the night. Thanks to Jo (of She & Hem fame) for the crab recommendation. The crab bibs made it feel like I was in a 90s American movie and the location on the beautiful harbourside provided dazzling views of the lights of Beantown. Fun tip: an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

She and Hem | New Year, New York: Leah’s Big Apple Adventure Part 2ny13

Wednesday, 16th December

I was excited to return to the bright lights of NYC, realising that trip time was slipping away and there was probably enough things on my wish list to take up a few months. I boarded the express train to Washington and marvelled as small town America glided by. We had to change trains due to a power outage so ended up on a slow, local train rerouted to Grand Central Station. Though I arrived later than anticipated, I absolutely love it at Grand Central. It’s so so beautiful and awe inspiring yet similarly busy and stressful, which elicits a strange feeling of serenity coupled with panic. Part of me wanted to stay for hours taking photographs and the other part wanted to get out of there as quickly as humanly possible. Unfortunately the stress of people colliding with me and my heavy suitcase won out and I made a hasty getaway.

I arrived at my home for the night as the sun was setting. As I wheeled my suitcase along the city streets it dawned upon me that I was in New York City, maybe that’s what being in Manhattan does to you. Such a realisation was followed by a sudden pang to get back to Brooklyn (I get attached easily) so I checked in at the Jane Hotel (a former residence for sailors with cabin-like rooms and staff are dressed as bellhops!) and jumped on the L train to Williamsburg, an area scathingly described by my Park Slope residing buddy as “a shanty”.

I went to the achingly cool Nitehawk Cinema where you can order food (themed to the movie, no less) and cocktails right to your cinema seat. The last time I had experienced such a wonder was at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, I was very very “tired and emotional” and was ejected from a screening of The Aristocrats for supplying minors with alcohol (they were only a couple of years younger than me). Anyway, I digress. Though I had a great time, I think I would get very annoyed with all the food/drink serving interruptions if I’d actually cared about the film I was watching. Not that I didn’t enjoy Trumbo (with my Communism 101 Sandwich and The Driver cocktail laced with Gosling’s Rum), but it didn’t set my world on fire. I still wish we had a Nitehawk in Bristol. The bar was also magnificently cool.

To be continued….

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

*Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe closed permanently in 2014 after 87 years of sandwich related success. Worst news –  Jo 

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.

Wedding | Clock Barn | HampshireWedding | Clock Barn | HampshireWedding | Clock Barn | HampshireWedding | Clock Barn | HampshireWedding | Clock Barn | Hampshire

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!

Clock Barn | Hampshire | Boden Alice HeelsShe and Hem | Poppy England | Boden Alice HeelsWedding Cake | Clock Barn | HampshireWedding | Clock Barn | HampshireWedding Flowers | Clock Barn | Hampshire

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

Vx

1 Hot Bath Street, Bath Boutique Stays

1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK

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.

1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK1 Hot Bath Street | Bath Boutique Stays | Bath UK

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

Four go mad in Manchester

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | TravelShe and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

A wee while ago we ventured North for a girls weekend with fellow appreciators of quality cake, Kelly and Deesha. Whilst we were there we decided to eat and drink all of the prettiest things we could find! Which turned out to be pretty damn easy. Manchester, we salute you.

Our first port of call was milkshakes at the incredibly popular Home Sweet Home. Kelly and Jo went for the blueberry topped with Lucky Charms (!), whilst Deesha and Victoria plumped (plumped being the operative word…) for peanut butter and jelly! Breakfast of champions. It was the perfect place to spend a Saturday morning. After spending far too long browsing the many floors of Afflecks, the home of She and Hem faves Chocolate Ape, Pop Boutique and Thunder Egg, the sight of Ginger’s Comfort Emporium was quite the comfort indeed! We perked up and planned our evening over a few brews. If you fancy reading about the evening in question, click here! *Warning* This link involves Harry Styles.

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

On Sunday morning, before catching the train back to Bristol, we took a (very) leisurely stroll to Sugar Junction. A vintage tearoom serving freshly baked cakes, homely meals and some of the best milkshakes in Manchester. There is no such thing as a light lunch in the life of She and Hem, so after much discussion we settled on milkshakes (duh), pancakes and a large slice of cake to set us on our merry way. Bristol, you seriously need to up your milkshake game. Or maybe that’s just the sugar talking.

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel She and Hem | Manchester | Travel

Manchester, we’re mad fer it!

V&J

 

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden | She and Hem | Devon

Whenever I get the opportunity, I love to spend a long weekend exploring areas of the UK that I’ve never visited. Even better, I like re-visiting places I travelled to as a child on a jolly family jaunt, seeing what has changed and what hasn’t. Although Devon is somewhere I’ve frequented many times before, I always love going back, as it holds very special memories and well, it’s just such a beautiful place. Whilst I was there visiting Bovey Castle recently, I found the most glorious country garden. It definitely wasn’t seedy!

The Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | Devon

As luck (read: much planning) would have it, I was dressed in my finest florals. I bought this Zara dress for the Vogue Festival in March and think that it’s got some real staying power! I’m sure it’ll be a staple for several summers to come. I can also see it creeping into my winter wardrobe, perhaps frolicking with a cable knit jumper, thick tights and boots. As I was popping into Exeter to enjoy all it has to offer, I wore my trusty and super comfortable humble oak brogues from Clarks teamed with fun yellow New Look sunglasses, my Boden bag* and a tan belt from ASOSYou could perhaps say that my choice was outstanding in it’s field (I hope that one wasn’t funnier in my head!). 

The Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | DevonThe Secret Garden | She and Hem | Devon

I hope you enjoyed weeding about my own secret garden party!

Vx

Hem and Away: Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia.

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Last month during a family holiday to Tunisia I took full advantage of the incredibly cheap public transport and headed north from Tunis by taxi, coach and train, to sample the blue and white (and yellow!) delights of Sidi Bou Said. With it’s picturesque cobbled streets dotted with delicately decorated doors and clusters of delicious evergreen jasmine flowers, it was certainly a highlight of the holiday. 

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Sidi Bou Said is a dreamy labyrinth of steep pathways leading to magnificent views of the bay reaching out to the Med, with a wealth of pretty cafes serving traditional Arabic coffee, tempting mint tea and sticky sweet baklava. Even though we were battling against near 40 degree heat, the scenery was reward enough for climbing the hefty hill below. Half way up I discovered the most enchanting yellow door (see above). This beauty definitely won a place in my Top 5 Tunisian Doors of 2014, which also includes this gem. Like the decor? Stay tuned for more delightful Tunisian architecture on the blog soon. It won’t be too much to handle, I promise!

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and HemHem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem
Dress – House of Fraser | Hat – Pull and Bear via ASOS | Sunglasses – ASOS | Shoes (seen above) – Solillas

Hem and Away | Sidi Bou Said | Tunisia | She and Hem

Have you ever visited Tunisia? If so, what did you think? More Tunisian posts to come next week!

Victoria x