Hatton House

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We spent last weekend in Cambridge for a wedding, and used the trip as the perfect opportunity to test out Airbnb. I’ve loved the idea of the site since I heard about it, but Chris wasn’t quite so keen. After scouring the site to try and find somewhere reasonably priced but not too far from the city, I stumbled across Hatton House B&B in Longstanton and placed a reservation. On arriving, I think we were both struck by the serenity of the house and it’s gardens- a beautiful yellow brick house surrounded by gardens and ponds, it was picture-postcard perfect.
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The whole house had an air of tranquility- fresh flowers, candles burning, clean white walls and light filled rooms (both our bedroom and bathroom had windows on both sides overlooking the gardens)- it was bliss and I just wish I’d had longer there to relax in that bath or lounge around longer reading in bed on a Sunday morning. The 8 free-range chickens clucking and scuttling around the grounds were just an added bonus.

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Highly recommended- Jayne was the perfect host and I can’t wait to head back there next time we head to the city. When we found out our room with a delicious breakfast was only £20 more than a night in a dorm room at one of the Cambridge colleges, it seemed even better value, and I can’t wait to book another break via Airbnb.

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Le week-end #3

Another busy weekend, but this one was spent getting through the list of chores that have been building up since the start of the year.  It was *finally* dry and sunny on Saturday so we set about sorting out the garden. As a bit of perspective, this is what our garden looked like in December, before we moved in…and still does.

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Yep, it really is totally empty. And made up of very soggy clay. And stones. Lots of stones.

Needless to say, the wet weather hasn’t been exactly cohesive in terms of being able to get anything done in a garden that’s essentially an empty, claggy mess. We’ve been waiting for the ground to start to dry, but after 2 months of being here and no sign of that in sight, we thought we’d just go for it and take advantage of a sunny, clear day.

Saturday started with a relaxed breakfast at home, followed by a trip out and about for garden supplies, and then home for a lot of planning.

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After 3 garden centre trips (and another 3 with my Mum today), we eventually dug in one half of the edge of what will be our path (Chris did most of the work, I mostly observed and tried to be helpful), and added in some horticultural sand into the areas I’m planning to plant up first. Then we decided these guys had the right idea, and we decided to give up and join them in crashing out.

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Side note- I love that our hellebore is starting to come out. It looked beautiful in the morning sunshine.

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And finally, Como has been showing off his big, wobbly belly a lot. Gosh, my cat is round, but just look at that face. Gorgeous.

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Le week-end #2

Another relatively chilled weekend here which has been blissful. Lots of catching up with friends and family and lounging around with the cats. Somehow, the weather here was beautiful today- how unexpected!

Friday night was spent chilling out with my 2 new favourite boys. George was pulling out all the charm stops for Valentine’s Day.

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While we had no plans at all on Saturday, we popped out to the supermarket (exciting news, I know) and had a steady stream of people popping in for a cuppa. Lots of tea was drunk and a lot of Sochi was watched- the USA vs Russia Ica Hockey game was so close! Continue reading

Le week-end #1

In an effort to make more of my free time, I’m planning to start documenting what I’ve been up to on my days off via photographs- here’s what I’ve been up to over the last 2 days.

Saturday was entirely cat related- we picked up the two new, furry additions to the family at 9:00 and spent the day milling around the house or seeing family while they settle in. They’re restricted to downstairs only for now. Como has been living inside our Pin City Amsterdam which was on the floor and is now covered in fur! Luckily there are no pins in it at the moment…

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As for George? He’s taken to hiding inside the coffee table. He’s definitely the braver of the two (and going to be trouble too, given that he’s not even 10 months old yet), and once he’s built up a bit of trust he’s been coming out and going gooey for a good old belly rub. Such a charmer- he spent yesterday afternoon winking at and rolling about for my sister.

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While the cats settle in, we’ve been trying to spend some time in the same space as them without hassling. This has been a great excuse to get on with things in the kitchen, so I’ve been baking away this morning- cappuccino cupcakes and banana muffins à la Nigella. Given that I’m trying to cut back on sweet treats, these will be for Chris’s colleagues once they’ve been iced.

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I think Spring has officially sprung early as well and I’m enjoying filling my home with cut bulb flowers. I know we’ve had a real run of horrid weather, but it hasn’t exactly felt like Winter really has it? I’m half expecting a freezing, snow-filled end to February to make up for the mild season so far. We’ve only had 2 frosts that I can think of this year- very bizarre.

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Finally, we spent Sunday afternoon in Portsmouth and had a lovely lunch at Pizza Express, courtesy of Clubcard vouchers (such a great deal). I have to say I very much enjoyed putting the diet on hold for a meal.

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Once home, it was time to enjoy Sunday my favourite way- chilling out on the sofa with a whole pot of coffee having a chat about our weeks and generally catching up. We’ve both been so busy recently that we’ve rarely had an evening together this week, so it’s been good to have a bit of time just us.

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Tonight, I’m looking forward to having a bit of a pamper session before the new working week begins.

Hope you all enjoyed your weekends and found time to relax and have fun.