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Folkestone Harbour Arm

By 12 August 2015 Lifestyle, Travel

For fifteen years an increasingly dilapidated concrete arm has jutted out into the English Channel from Folkestone harbour. Once upon a time it was a railway station and passenger port with the steam trains stopping beside the steam ships departing for the continent. In 1891 it was possible to travel from London to Paris (via Folkestone and Boulogne) in just 7 hours 30 minutes.

During the First World War, Folkestone harbour was known as the ‘Gateway to the Trenches’ as millions of troops headed for the front line. With the last ferry leaving in September 2000 and the harbour branch line officially closed in 2014, Folkestone harbour is now waiting for development.

Folkestone Harbour Station

Old link-span at Folkestone harbour

The refurbishment of the harbour arm, a £3.5 million project, is presenting Folkestone with a pleasure pier for residents and locals to enjoy. The Folkestone harbour arm consists of a lit walkway that goes all the way to the lighthouse at the end, pop up cafes to delight foodies and live entertainment.

Lighthouse at the end of Folkestone harbour arm

The harbour arm lets you get a whole new perspective on Folkestone. My husband and I visited on the first day it opened and the weather was stunning.

Folkestone Harbour Arm Panorama

Folkestone cliffs viewed from Folkestone harbour arm

View from top level of harbour arm towards Folkestone harbour

Folkestone’s harbour arm will be open Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays all summer. Check out their Facebook page for the latest news.

Nearest station: Folkestone Central 1 mile – 54 minutes from London St Pancras International. Book online with Southeastern before 24th August to save 25% on off-peak tickets.

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Afternoon Tea at the Bull’s Head in Chislehurst

By 9 June 2015 Lifestyle

What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than stuffing your face with yummy food? Last weekend my sister and I headed up to Chislehurst to check out the newly refurbished Bull’s Head pub. They’ve given their interior a brand new look and added their gorgeous English tea room complete with patterned tiled floor, tea cup light fittings and oodles of light flooding in through the glass roof.

English Tea Room at the Bull's Head Chislehurst

The pub also has B&B rooms and a function room. There was an event on when we visited, which made parking in the car park impossible. After a little bit of fun trying to get back out again we found a nice space just a couple of minute’s walk away in front of the church.

My sister at The Bull's Head Chislehurst

Once we were seated at our table we got down to choosing our afternoon tea option. The options are a most traditional afternoon tea which comes with a choice of teas or coffee, a most unusual afternoon tea that’s served with a Hendricks gin cocktail in a teapot or a most decadent afternoon tea served with champagne. My sister and I both chose the traditional afternoon tea, Sarah had the Bull’s Head Blend tea and I opted for Blue Lady.

Afternoon tea at The Bull's Head, Chislehurst

Tea cup for afternoon tea at The Bull's Head Chislehurst

It wasn’t too long before the food came and we got stuck in straight away. The menu says ‘artisan bread’. I’m not sure what makes the bread artisan but the sandwiches were very tasty and didn’t last very long as we wolfed them down. Our afternoon tea was at 3pm and all I’d had to eat all day was a bowl of cereal in the morning because I didn’t want anything to spoil this experience.

Finger sandwiches - afternoon tea at The Bull's Head Chislehurst

I felt I should have a break before moving onto the tiny cakes but that was never going to happen. We both eagerly tucked in and enjoyed every last morsel. My favourite was this cute cube that looks a bit like a custard with a sponge layer at the bottom. I don’t know what it was but the coloured bits inside tasted amazing! So fruity.

cake closeup

The other cakes were a sponge topped with jam and coconut, my first macaron, a chocolate tart with a fruit filling topped with chocolate ganache, and a fruit tart. All were delicious. The last layer was the scones, cream and jam. These beat us. I don’t know if it was the fact that we tackled the scones last but I wasn’t that keen on them. They seemed a little dry and there could have been more cream and jam but that’s because I love mine slathered in both! Had we not been so full I’m sure we could have asked for a little more.

Overall, we both really enjoyed our afternoon tea at the Bull’s Head in Chislehurst. It made a nice change and it was a lovely place to spend some girly time. I’d recommend the Bull’s Head as it’s the ideal place to linger while having a good natter. At £15pp for the traditional afternoon tea option, it’s not cheap so it would be ideal for a special occasion or treat.

The restaurant at the Bull's Head

I had to get a photo of the refurbished restaurant as it’s gorgeous.

Many thanks to the Bull’s Head and Roche Communications for providing my sister and I with a complimentary afternoon tea for review purposes.

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The Bull’s Head

Royal Parade, Chislehurst, Kent, BR7 8NR

Afternoon tea served daily between 2pm and 5pm

To book, phone 020 8467 1727

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5 blogs to inspire twenty-something women

By 6 May 2015 Lifestyle

Today’s prompt for Blog Every Day in May is ‘share the blog love’ so I’m going to share with you some of the blogs that I visit the most. I love reading these blogs and feel inspired to either make things, cook, or just generally ready to get up and at ’em!

1 – A Beautiful Mess

Elsie and Emma are sisters living in America’s Midwest. A Beautiful Mess is much bigger than a blog, it’s a whole lifestyle company, but on the blog you can find home decor inspiration, recipes and crafts. I’ve never actually made anything that they’ve posted a DIY on but one day I will! I just have a feeling it won’t come out the same…

Fancy customising your shower curtain? Statement shower curtain DIY.

2 – The Everygirl

The Everygirl was the blog that inspired me to create Chapterthirty. It features interviews with awesome career girls, fabulous home tours and loads more. Its downside is that it’s US-centric, which is why I wanted to create a resource for British women. I haven’t been able to find anything similar to The Everygirl in the UK.

Check out this New York apartment home tour. Perhaps you can channel a bit of the ol’ Big Apple in your flat.

3 – The Travel Hack

The lovely Monica is living her dream. She’s a full time blogger who gets to travel the world plus she’s in the process of renovating a house and she’s a new mum to the gorgeous George. Basically, her life is pretty appealing to me.

Here’s a great post about how to travel the world with a 9-5 job.

4 – IHeart Organizing

I actually stumbled across Jen’s blog while researching an article about storage for work. I fell in love immediately. I’m such a messy person who would love to be organised, I’m just not really programmed that way. Jen has three boys and her home is so beautiful. I’d love to have a pantry just so I could organise it!

These DIY cereal box drawer dividers are such a brilliant way to organise your kitchen or desk drawers.

5 – Fleur de Force

Here’s another girl with an amazing life. Fleur and her gorgeous hubby Mike live in a wonderful house in the countryside with their cute puppies. I’m definitely having a cocker spaniel once I buy a house. She’s best known for her YouTube channels. My favourite is her vlog channel as I love the insight into her life that you get.

Here’s Fleur’s latest vlog where she has breakfast with Bobbi Brown.

Who are your favourite bloggers?

Come back tomorrow for ‘home sweet home’.

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Frozen churros for cheats

By 5 May 2015 Lifestyle, Money

This Cinco de Mayo celebrate with a tasty (and a little bit naughty!) treat that’s surprisingly cheap. The other week, Lidl were celebrating the tastes of Spain and had a great range of Iberian goodies available including these frozen churros.

If you’ve never had them, churros are like strings of donuts that are deep fried and tend to be eaten with coffee or hot chocolate for breakfast. You can also buy them from street food stalls to enjoy at any time.

The last time I had churros was at Broadstairs Food Festival, and the time before that was in Mallorca. I love them and was very excited to find them in the freezer section at Lidl.

Rather than having to make the dough and pipe it into the fryer, now all you need to do is grab however many you want out of the freezer and either deep or shallow fry them.

Lidl churros

Frozen churros from Lidl

Heat oil to cook churros

Shallow fry the churros

Churros with cinnamon sugar and chilli flakes

I prepared a simple cinnamon sugar to sprinkle over the churros and because it’s Cinco de Mayo I added a few dried chilli flakes.

Churros top view

Scrummy!

What frozen gems have you found lately? Share your secret in the comments. I promise I won’t tell anyone….

This post forms part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. Tomorrow’s prompt is ‘share the blog love’. Follow along with all my BEDM posts here.

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Say no to guilty pleasures

By 4 May 2015 Lifestyle

There are lots of things I enjoy doing but I don’t feel guilty about any of them. Life is too short to spend time beating yourself up about doing something that brings you pleasure. Whether it’s watching Eastenders or eating the remains of the raw cake batter left in the mixing bowl, do what you love. Stop worrying about what other people might think.

Food

I love food and I know that I eat too much of the wrong things – such as scotch eggs. I love scotch eggs. Yes, I’d prefer to be slimmer and I know I need to eat more healthily but I think diets where you feel guilty for going off track once or twice are more harmful. If you feel guilty for eating that piece of chocolate cake I think you’re more likely to think, ‘sod it, I’ve failed at my diet so I might as well forget about it’ – think of it as a reward. There’s no harm in having that piece of cake – just don’t eat cake all day. ‘All in moderation’ should be your mantra.

Lay ins

I love a lay in. My perfect Sunday involves lying in bed watching Sunday Brunch. My husband usually wakes up early and if I’m lucky – which is most Sundays – he’ll bring me tea and toast around 10am – love him. Some people think that staying in bed half the day is a waste of the day and, yes, they may be right but after a week at work I think I deserve it.

Scouring the web for houses I can’t afford to buy

I’m pretty obsessed with browsing Rightmove and Zoopla for our future house. I realise that none of the houses will be available to buy in 3 years’ time when we can actually look properly but I like seeing what we can get for our money, which areas we could live in and what sort of houses I like.

Wearing frilly socks

It turns out I’m actually 5 years old. I don’t remember ever having frilly socks when I was little so I’m making up for it now. Even if they’re not on show, I enjoy knowing that I’m wearing them. Is that weird?

I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about their pleasures. As long as what you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone and it’s not illegal then what’s there to feel guilty about?

Do you agree with my thoughts on guilty pleasures? Let me know in the comments below.

This post forms part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. Tomorrow’s prompt is ‘Cinco de Mayo’. Follow along with all my BEDM posts here.

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