Friday, 16 June 2017

A 'Blooming' Slice of Our Holiday in Malta at The Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa

Here it was just as we remembered it .... except ...... it was hot, hot, hot.

Our trips to Malta have been amazing and we've have always been blessed with beautiful weather.  We knew visiting in June would be hotter, but don't think we were quite ready for how hot!


Not to worry, on this occasion the pool is open and I'm sure we'll find ways of cooling off - a dip and possible the odd cold beer or two.

More about the pool and celebrations on another day because nothing prepared us for this!

Blooming June

We had always been welcomed at Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa with smiles and glasses of orange juice - really appreciated always feel a little jet lagged.   I know it's Malta, only an hour ahead of UK, and a short 3 hour flight, but we always seem to book an early morning flight and have to get up at 4am!  Not complaining, of course, as it means we get a long arrival day. 😊

Anyway I digress!

As we arrived, sun streaming through  .....
we drive in, once again in our 'little' hire car, but the staff are used to us now and take it off our hands to park it.  Think they worry Malcolm will get stuck in it one day and we may have to stay ... 
now there's an idea :)
Feels like we're coming home .... welcomed by all, and I mean all, some familiar faces and some new and we're handed the thirst quenching orange juice.  Cool and refreshing, goes down a treat.
Heaven begins here.

But now, we were in for a beautiful surprise.  
We had never seen the Corinthia Palace in 'blooming June'.  Stunning. 

After the 'hellos' and a quick chat with 'our friends', we were taken to our suite.  Well, we know where it is, of course, but everything is done properly here no matter how often you visit.

Our suite as we remembered it.  Huge bed, comfy cushions and soft towelling robes and the incredible balcony where we sit with our morning cuppa and in the evening sipping wine.
Talking of the balcony, on venturing out I was totally blown away by the view of the gardens and this beautiful 'Jacaranda' tree. 
A word of warning, if you want to see this in bloom, you need to visit at the beginning of June.

When the blossom falls, it looks a little like wedding confetti .... actually, talking of weddings, this is a fabulous wedding venue.

Bless the staff, though, they are probably very glad when all the blossom has fallen!  The clearing up is constant especially when they have an outdoor event!
So there you have it, now you know the meaning of a 'blooming' slice of our holiday in Malta. Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa in bloom and just a slice of our holiday.

And, trust me, you haven't seen it all .... there's more .... but that's for another day.

Watch this space. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A Postcard from Helmsdale River

As mentioned in Right on Kew Malcolm went off  for a week's salmon and trout fishing with instructions to bring back some photos.

And boy did he!  Not of the fish he caught.  Apparently when caught they have to be put back in the river so no time for photographs.

What no words?

I did ask for a few words to go with the images?  

I got many tales of laughter, beer and food, and a twisted ankle - ouch! but not actually much about the place.  Funny that!


So just a brief spiel about Helmsdale.  Sitting on the east coast of Scotland,  once the home of the largest herring fleets in Europe but today synonymous with salmon fishing.. Ah, hence the reason for going there I guess. :)

They do say when you look at an article, what do you see and remember first?  The photograph, of course!
I have to say that the beautiful images of this stunning place speak a thousand words and will definitely be remembered ..... actually I might like to go there myself one day - no, no not for the fishing but definitely for this beautiful countryside.

Why a postcard from Helmsdale River.  You can't get much writing on a postcard can you so the title seemed to fit perfectly. :)

Friday, 26 May 2017

Right on Kew

Just 30 minutes from Central London and one of the largest World Heritage sites, this just has to be on the 'place to visit' list.
I have only been once before, many years ago, and always wanted to go back  Living in the New Forest, of course, it isn't just 30 minutes!

 So, whilst my husband was off salmon fishing in Scotland (yes he did go with instructions to bring back photos - not salmon it has to go back in the river), and
right on 'Kew' my son and his family took me there. 😊
 I advise you to buy tickets online.  I was lucky my son is a member and took me as a guest.  
And judging by the queue outside, not only me getting in free but being a member definitely had the advantage of being able to walk straight passed the queue to the entrance!

Directly inside you are reminded of the beauty of this place.
And then to add to my grandsons' delight a peacock was strutting his stuff in the gardens and didn't seem to be a bit perturbed by the visitors.  Still I suppose he is used to it.

Shame he didn't want to flirt, it would have been lovely to see those amazing feathers in all their splendour. :)
Down to the eager instruction of my grandson I do have, probably, a dozen images of the peacock ... oh and a video on my phone :)  Won't bore you all with that because my favourites are of my grandsons keenly watching this beautiful feathered bird (and actually a few years ago you wouldn't have found them anywhere near it) :)
Then you all have to do the tree walk to the Badgers' Sett.  
Ok, ok I didn't do it. :( 
Well someone has to take the photos don't they?
 Welcome to the Badgers' Sett, Humans please watch your head! 
 Some truly amazing views - not sure where this is, but it's just across the river from Kew.  Someone was enjoying it :)
 And, of course, the beautiful Palm House.
Strangely the grandsons didn't want to go in here, maybe because they had the playground on their mind.

Whew .... and breathe

So my daughter in law and I ventured in.  It is very beautiful, but it is also very, very hot and humid, which is probably why it's called 
the Palm House.
We did a quick tour, because really you wouldn't want to miss it, but we also made a hasty retreat, after a quick pic of daughter in law before we both collapsed in the humidity :)
 Ah do you think this goose was hoping for a quiet stroll?
 And the magnificent beehive.  The humming sound gets quite loud.
Situated in a wild flower meadow and 17 metres tall, quite an extraordinary experience.
There is so much more to see here at Kew and I'd say almost impossible to do it all in one day.

Which means, of course, I'll have to go back another day at least to do the tree top walkway :)

Watch this space for some amazing photos of husband's trip to Scotland......

Monday, 22 May 2017

This is a Beautiful Story Telling House

An unexpected holiday took me to some beautiful places over the last week (hence my absence from the blog!) and I can't wait to share with you a few of the photos taken.

The beautiful home of Lady Brunner

My son and his wife had told me about this place in Henley and had visited many times.  When they asked if I'd like to go, I was delighted to say yes!

The weather was against us, but we donned our waterproofs and braved it.

Guided Tours

When we arrived at the entrance we were told there were scheduled tours of the house.

Normally my son and wife have the children with them and end up doing a whistle stop tour, as you can imagine! :)  So today whilst the kids were away the adults would play!  Consequently we thought a guided tour may be the way forward, so booked. 

The talk was sold to us as a grand tour of the house. Umm? Not quite. It was actually an in depth talk and a tour of the ground floor. 

Note:  45 minute talk

On entering the homely lounge here it seems like popping into someone's home for a cuppa and a chat and indeed this is where the talk begins.

The guide's talk in this room takes 45 minutes.  Grab a seat if you're not good at standing that long.

NB: My advice to you is never take the kids on a guided tour of this house, unless they can stand quietly for 45 minutes. (in all honesty I found it hard to do!)

Thereafter we wander the ground floor with information about each room.

However, the guide encourages you to come back in the afternoon to wander around the house without a guide, called 'freeflow'; when you will be able to visit the upstairs rooms. There are staff in each room available to answer questions.

Choices ... 

It is very informative, but wish we'd known it was only going to be the ground floor.  Not sure we'd have done anything different? It would have been good to know though so that we could have had the choice of doing just the downstairs or wait til later to do the whole house in one go. 

It's definitely worth giving yourself time to go upstairs, it's beautiful and incredibly interesting.  The views across the grounds are truly inspirational too.

By the way no photos are allowed in the house.  Pity :(

Women's Institute

As president of the Women's Institute, Lady Brunner created a kitchen garden for the production of jam making and the glass houses are full of veg. 

The warmth and personality of Lady Brunner is not only present in every room, but in the beautiful gardens, which feel like outdoor rooms. Ornate gates to take you through to something even more beautiful.


I was lucky to be taken to this garden at the time the Wisteria was blooming.  You will see why I say 'wow'.

The walk through seems never ending and the perfume fills the air.
Truly amazing and about 125 years old.  Wow again!
The dark skies loomed, but it didn't spoil my visit.
It is said that the gardens are really Spring and Summer.  Whichever time you choose to visit I'm sure you won't be disappointed. 

This house and garden is really a tribute to a lady who was warm, incredibly caring and practical too.

The story of Lady Brunner and her husband is really beautiful, but I won't spoil it for you.

This truly is a house that tells a story.

For opening times and events etc visit NT Greys Court

Thanks for visiting the blog, hope you've enjoyed these gardens too. See you next time.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Guest Blog Feature - Wow Definitely a Place to Visit

Whistler - located two hours from Vancouver and is probably one of Canada's favourite destinations.

Two mountains for skiing and snowboarding and a village with restaurants and bars.

The snow was disappearing ...

When we were there the snow was melting and we didn't have many days of skiing, but the scenery was amazing and we did a fair amount of walking taking in this beautiful place.  We found our phones were out of our pockets most of the time.  For a change not for speaking on, but for taking photos.:)
Well, it'd be rude not to take photos of these breathtaking views.

Blackcomb Mountain

37 lifts and 17 mountain restaurants
Skiable Terrain 3,414 acres / 1,382 hectares

How empty the pistes look!

As I mentioned, the snow was slowly disappearing and here you see the last few skiers on Blackcomb mountain before it closes for the season. 


Pemberton near Whistler is a small town farming community. 

It's cheaper to live here and workers from Whistler tend to find accommodation in Pemberton and travel in to work on the local bus.

Bears?  Really?

Oh yes indeed and this is skunk cabbage.  The bears feed on the roots of this!  Let's hope it's plentiful so they don't have to hunt for anything closer to home!

Now for a stroll ....keeping an eye out for hungry bears 😓

And there's no better place for a walk than around Alta Lake.
2.2km of stunning views.

More information on Alta Lake

Ah and what looks like abandoned vehicles.

We think they may have been destroyed by fire, but there isn't much information on it.

Village Stroll

Whistler village centre is pedestrian only. Through the village is a really broad street called Village Stroll ... always buzzing with young and old alike and flanked by shops and restaurants on either side.

For more information on Whistler there is a great website with facts, history and places to eat etc Whistler Information

A huge thank you to Julie from The Natural Confetti Company and her husband for sharing their travels to this stunning place with us.

Wow, Canada is definitely a place to visit some time soon....

Would you like to feature here?  Be our guest blogger?