What’s next?


I’ve been thinking, and trying to decide what next to do with my blog.

Some of you lovely people have read and liked my blog posts on different venues and things to try in and around my home town. But, like with most things, life takes you away from that and I am now unable to write such things on things I have tried in the outside world.

Therefore, I have taken the executive decision to keep the blog, but review books, films and music instead…

I hope this is ok with my followers and I hope you still get some enjoyment out of what I write.

Thanks for reading!


Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, in Winchester, Hampshire, UK

Every year for the past 6 or so years, I have gone to the very popular Christmas Market that is set in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral. I have always enjoyed going, trying out the food stalls, watching people ice skating (or trying not to fall over) and looking at the items that people are selling, perhaps buying a few things for myself or presents for other people.

However, this year, I was slightly disappointed in the range of stalls that were present. Some of the stalls were selling the exact same things, and there wasn’t much variety in the stalls present, for example three stalls in a row were selling gin and I saw at least three stalls selling the same cardigans for children!

The crafts section of the market on the other hand was delightful, selling things that people had made themselves and were selling things like hand drawn cards, essential oils, and scarfs, gloves and hats.

The food section was also good, especially ‘The Gourmet Cheese’ stall that sold toasted cheese sandwiches (my favourite being ‘The Christmas Quacker’) alongside a pickled gherkin. Also, there was plenty of variety in the food market that you could choose from.

All in all, the Christmas Market at Winchester Cathedral was good this year, but not as great as it has been in previous years.

If you want to visit the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market, you only have until Friday 22nd December 2017!

Check out their website here: http://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/home/christmas-at-the-cathedral/christmas-market/

Or their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/WinchesterCathedralChristmasMarketAndIceRink/?hc_ref=ARTOeXn2bKUrVCu3oFRmiubgd1nD42sVdruNKRhhy7tQpFZ_a_oIvLuUR6ZVybkjkUk

Featured image taken from: https://www.christmasmarkets.com/individual-christmas-market/winchester-cathedral-christmas-market-ice-rink/

The Nutcracker by Vienna Festival Ballet at The Lights Theatre, Andover, UK

Last night, I went to see The Nutcracker performed by Vienna Festival Ballet at The Lights Theatre in Andover. It is safe to say that I really enjoyed it, and I think everyone else in that theatre did as well given the standing ovation the performers received!

It had always been a dream of mine to see The Nutcracker ballet live, and the show last night did not disappoint me. Next, I want to see Swan Lake!

The first half of The Nutcracker was funny, joyful and mesmerising, however, I did notice  that some of the dancers were out of time with each other and the music, but they did catch up quickly.

The second half was absolutely beautiful, with dances from different cultures in Clara’s dream world.

All the dancers did a fantastic job, and it was truly breathtaking.

Check out their website here: http://www.viennafestivalballet.com

Or their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ViennaFestivalBalletCompany

Sweet Ice Cream Lounge in Winchester, UK

Today, I was sat in an ice cream lounge on a freezing cold Friday in December, you must think I’m mad! However, their ice cream, crepes, waffles and hot drinks make it worth it.

There are many options of ice cream to choose from, including caramel, white chocolate, and bubblegum, plus many vegan options like vegan mint choc chip and dark chocolate to a range of sorbets like passion fruit. They also have a gluten free menu that includes crepes, and a savoury crepe menu.

The staff are really friendly and professional. The prices are reasonable but you do get a lot for your money, plus they are extremely tasty.

So, I had the Totally Tropical Vegan Sundae, except I don’t like the coconut sorbet so swapped it for passion fruit sorbet. It also had mango and raspberry sorbet, topped with pineapple and kiwi and a mango sauce. It came out in a large glass vase and I was surprised at how much sorbet I got (it was a lot more than I was expecting). Filled to the brim with the three different sorbets, it was very tasty and the combination was amazing!

In the past, I have also tried their Dark Chocolate sorbet and the Naughty Fruity Crepe. They are all delicious, but go and try them out for yourself!

They also have a branch in Totton, Southampton, UK

Check out their website here: http://sweeticecreamlounge.co.uk/menu/

Or their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/SweetWinchester/

Chocolate from Chococo Cafe in Winchester, UK

I went into Chococo Cafe today in Winchester, where they sell hot chocolate and other chocolatey gifts. I bought the above two items in the picture, the ‘Heavenly Honeycombe Clusters’ and the ‘Sea Salt and Cocoa Nibs’ chocolate slab pieces.

Usually, I go in there to have a hot chocolate, but today I didn’t have enough time so just bought some chocolates. I can say though, that their 100% dark chocolate hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and either mint or orange flavouring is absolutely to die for! It is absolutely delicious.

So, on to the taste test. The honeycomb pieces are basically thick bricks of chocolate with pieces of honeycomb in the middle. It is very hard to get your teeth into, but still very nice once you manage to break a bit off!

The Sea Salt and Cocoa Nibs chocolate on the other hand is thin pieces broken off of a larger slab (at my own guess) with small pieces of sea salt and cocoa chunks mixed into it. This has an absolutely brilliant taste as the salt enhances the flavour and the cocoa nibs ad a bit of texture.

They had loads of other products in their shop, including a chocolate dinosaur and a chocolate rubber duck! For easter, they even do a dinosaur easter egg with chocolate fossils inside!

Check out their website here: https://www.chococo.co.uk

Or their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/chococowinchester/

Chocolates, Fudge and Truffles from Thorpe Confectionery, Hampshire, UK

Over the weekend, I met up with the makers at Thorpe Confectionary as they were running a stall selling their chocolates, fudge and truffles at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke at the Christmas Market. I tried their truffles and chocolates and also their fudge.

They sell a variety of homemade chocolates including ‘Honeycomb Crunch’, ‘Raspberry Truffle’ and ‘Coffee Caramel Cup’. My favourite being the ‘Elderflower and Gin’ one! They also sell a variety of homemade fudge including ‘Salted Caramel’ and ‘Butterscotch’.

The ‘Elderflower and Gin’ chocolate was absolutely delicious, and the ‘Salted Caramel Fudge’ just melted in my mouth.

They are a family company who makes all their own chocolates and fudge themselves, and they are all very tasty. They also do wedding favours if you’re looking for ideas!

Check out their website here: http://thorpeconfectionery.com/index.php

And their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ThorpeConfectionery/

The Travelling Cupcake in Andover, UK

I went into The Travelling Cupcake in Andover town centre today as I was just passing by their shop and saw some wonderfully decorated cakes in the window (I know, I get tempted too easily!)

I came out having bought four cupcakes (two rainbow/unicorn ones and two toffee ones) (see pictures). The rainbow coloured ones looked so beautiful, I had to buy them, and I absolutely love toffee.

Starting with the rainbow ones, on closer inspection, it has edible glitter and either a sugar rainbow or unicorn on the top and even the cake is rainbow coloured.



That is pretty epic!

Now for the taste test: It was very sweet, but really nice, if a little on the stodgy side, but all in all a good cake.


Now for the toffee ones: topped with toffee sauce and fudge pieces with very sweet toffee flavoured butter icing, this makes for a very tempting cake. The cake itself had a very sweet toffee taste and again a bit on the stodgy side. Actually, it might be way too sweet for me!

As with these two types of cakes that I bought, I definitely prefer the rainbow one as the toffee was too sweet.

If you’re in Andover, have a look through their shop window at their display cakes, they really are wonderful.

Or, have a look at their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thetravellingcupcake/

Clock Barn Wedding Venue in Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK

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I recently got married at the Clock Barn in Whitchurch, Hampshire, UK and it was absolutely amazing! The food was very tasty (provided by Galloping Gourmet), the staff were very organised and made the whole day go smoothly.

Firstly, I got in contact with the Clock Barn to arrange a visit to see the venue, its surroundings and what they had to offer. The correspondence between myself and the Clock Barn was professionally done, and although I had to postpone our viewing of the venue several times due to having a baby and being in hospital, they were always understanding.

When we finally went to see the venue, I fell in love with it immediately. My now husband knew we were getting married their as soon as we walked in and my eyes lit up at its gorgeousness. We were met by one of the members of staff (Tilly), who showed us around, let us take pictures, and explained the whole process of booking and choosing our wedding breakfast menu with Galloping Gourmet.

I then went home, went onto their website and booked the date straight away. We went with a November wedding (mainly because the cost was a lot less expensive).

We were then invited to meet with Galloping Gourmet, who were providing the food and drinks at the wedding to arrange what the wedding breakfast would be. We chose a vegetable soup for the starter, lamb roast for main and sticky toffee pudding with caramel custard for dessert.

Over the next few months, I had to send in wedding seating arrangements and how many guests would be attending.

We were then invited to a tasting evening event where we had a full 3 course meal with an extra surprise course, along with drinks and canapés. This helped us to understand the layout of the Clock Barn and how seating arrangements would be laid out. Also, the food was great!

Then, our wedding date finally arrived and I turned up with all the decorations that I had made. The staff greeted me and made me feel welcome. I was taken to the bridal room where I was to get ready with my daughter, my mum, my now mother-in-law and my Matron of Honour. This room was perfect, with a little on-suite toilet, plenty of mirrors and a make-up dresser table. We managed to put a travel cot up in this room for my daughter and still had plenty of room to move around.

Just before the ceremony was about to take place, myself and my Matron of Honour were brought up from the bridal room, into the main hall, and waited until beckoned into the ‘dance floor’ room for the ceremony to begin. This was all co-ordinated by the staff, the DJ and the registrar, all of whom made me feel so relaxed at this very nervous time.

After the ceremony, myself and my husband went off with the photographer to have photos taken, while the guests mingled and had drinks. We then rejoined the guests in the ‘Stable Room’, where we were offered drinks by the waiting staff and had more photographs taken.

Then it was time for the wedding breakfast. All the guests were sat down at their tables and the waiting staff refilled glasses and brought over dishes of food. This was all done in a very organised manner and was absolutely delicious. The waiting staff were all very polite and kept recharging glasses as soon as they noticed one was empty.

After the wedding had finished, and all guests had gone, the staff then tidied up for us, putting all our things away for safekeeping where we could collect in the morning.

This was a very good experience, and I highly recommend the Clock Barn as a wedding venue.

Here is their website: http://www.clockbarn-weddings.co.uk/



Wedding DJ from DJ Chris Burford in Andover, UK

About three weeks ago, at my own wedding, DJ Chris Burford provided the wedding entertainment all day, from playing the songs through the wedding ceremony, entertaining the guests through the wedding breakfast and throughout the evening.

We first met Chris a couple of months ago, having been recommended to use him for our wedding entertainment by the venue of our wedding. He went through our song list that we wanted playing through the ceremony, and through the wedding breakfast, and added that he could bring along a selfie photo booth where our guests could dress up and take funny pictures of themselves.

We then met up with Chris again a couple of weeks before the big day to discuss what other entertainment could be provided, for example his version of Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo.

On the day, he arrived early to set up ready for the ceremony to begin at 14:00. He made the day very relaxed and helped lighten the mood at the wedding breakfast by playing games with the guests, which was really good fun.

After the wedding, Chris came round with the photos that were taken on the selfie photo booth on a memory stick, and also brought round a photo album full of messages that he asked the guests to write.

It was a very good experience having DJ Chris Burford at our wedding, and I highly recommend him.

Check out his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/djchrispburford/

Or his website here: http://www.djchrisburford.co.uk



Personalised Scrabble Frame from Treasured Gifts on Etsy

I purchased this ‘Scrabble Tiles Name Frame’ from TreasuredGiftsGB on Etsy, and I was not disappointed. I asked for our names to be included in a frame with three small owl embellishments added to the bottom, on a blue background.

The delivery was very fast and the packaging was very secure. All the letters on the frame are lined up perfectly and the owls chosen are brilliant.

Check it out here: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/treasuredgiftsgb