les jardins d'eyrignac

Avenue of Hornbeams

Visiting Les Jardins D'Eyrignac was one of the best things we did in Dordogne.

Avenue of Vases

French Garden

French Garden and Avenue of Hornbeams

Flower Garden

Kitchen Garden

White Garden

View of the Manor from the Enchanted Terrace

The garden, whose gardeners have some mad topiary skills, is a true work of art.


a morning walk

It's been a week since we got home from France. I miss the postcard views, the lazy evenings and long sleep-ins, but it's nice to be home again and to slowly readjust to the rhythms of reality. 

Here are some pictures of our morning walk to Les Delices, the boulangerie at the bottom of the hill. Wouldn't it be wonderful if every morning could start like this?



I turned 30 today. It was quite wonderful in the end.

We started easing the pain the celebrations early, on my birthday eve, with a bottle of champagne and sunset-watching on our balcony.

This morning we bought pastries from the boulangerie at the bottom of the hill, drank birthday tea and opened presents. I Skyped my parents and spoke to my in-laws. I received messages from my wonderful friends and felt very loved. I was totally spoilt by my awesome husband.

Foie gras. Of course.

We had a very long lunch at Chez Julien in Paunat. It was the most idyllic spot.

Attempting to pose for a photo whilst being mauled by a herd of dogs (seriously, this was only half of them)

When we got back to Beynac, we had a quick dip in the Dordogne before an evening stroll through the countryside where we met a real life dog lady.

It was the bestest day, and although I sometimes forget, at 30 I have a whole lot in my life to be happy about and so much to look forward to in this brand new decade (plus, I hear 30's the new 21). Also, I became an auntie yesterday. A baby niece may be the best birthday present ever.



We've been waking up to this view for the past few days. Living next door to a castle is pretty sweet. The rest of the days have been spent wandering around markets, medieval castles and villages, along rivers and up steep cobblestone paths, eating croissants, walnut cake, duck, fois gras and possibly the best ice cream flavour known to man, caramel au beurre salĂ©. Amazing.


birthday brownie

Instead of cake we had brownies to celebrate S's 30th birthday. Let's face it, brownies are so much better. I used Nigella's recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess. If this is the ultimate brownie, then consider this the ultimate indulgence. Just reading the list of ingredients is likely to increase your waist line by a good few inches. This is a very special occasion brownie, and man is it a treat worth waiting for.


waterlow park kitchen garden

I have a thing for community gardens at the moment, so on Sunday (after the Heath) I was delighted to discover a community kitchen garden hidden away behind a high hedge in Waterlow Park. Seeing the strawberry, courgette, runner bean, borage, chilli and spinach plants, which were mostly planted by school kids, growing in this quiet and colourful space made me very happy indeed. 


turning 30 and new hair

All images via Pinterest
I turn 30 in a couple of weeks, which I'm pretty sure entitles me to a fabulous new haircut. But alas! I am at a loss as to what to do with it. I am sick of my hair being so long and so straight and so dried out at the ends. Also, the colour is ALL WRONG. At this length I don't have to do anything to maintain it (I've given up blow drying), which is good, but it does take about 10 hours to wash it and brushing it afterwards takes an age. I'm not sure if I'm ready to go for something drastically shorter. I've had my hair in a short bob before and it was lots of fun, but going from super long hair to super short feels like such a BIG STEP. I've been pinning away on Pinterest in the hopes that something will inspire me. I can only hope my hairdresser has a flash of genius on the day. If you have any words of wisdom, feel free to send them my way.

*It isn't lost on me that all of the women in these pictures have gorgeous wavy hair, which mine is not. Wishful thinking perhaps?



On the hottest day of the year we were lazing in the Heath reading our books when the clouds darkened and fat droplets of rain started to splat on us. Soon the sky opened and a mini monsoon rained down. We took shelter under the trunk of an old oak tree and watched the thunder storm roll through. After a while, the clouds parted and the sun warmed things up again. 


take this waltz

On Friday night S and I saw Take This Waltz at the Everyman Cinema. It was magical

p.s. How cool is the Everyman? You sit on reclining sofas and you can order treats from your seat! S swears he'll never go to any other cinema again.
p.p.s. Dad, the soundtrack features two Leonard Cohen songs. I think that makes this movie a 'must see' for you.


the giant's causeway

On our last day in Northern Ireland we went for a long walk along the coast to the Giant's Causeway. The day was calm and cool, and the scenery spectacular. We were stung by stinging nettles, clambered over barbed wire fences to dodge a landslide, got stomped at by an angry sheep and fell into thistle patches. It was super! The pillars of lava forming gigantic hexagonal stepping stones were pretty awesome too.