Nestled within 80 acres of glorious landscape you’ll find Chicheley Hall. I had no idea this grade 1 listed building existed until this year but as I made the approach, this stunning mansion based just outside of Newport Pagnell commands attention.
You may have seen from my Instagram last month that I (and a friend) were invited to stay here for the evening. As I really enjoy looking around historic houses, I quickly accepted the invitation.
The mansion has 48 individually refurbished rooms, carefully manicured gardens, a restaurant, a bar and a resident peacock called George, who I was told sometimes wanders in and makes himself at home. That was the deal breaker for me; as soon as I heard George’s calls I knew I was going to enjoy my stay.
The building itself is something you would expect to see in a period drama. The impressive baroque facade is both dramatic and quintessentially twee. Which is why it’s been selected as a film location for many well-known tv adaptations and films such as Pride and Prejudice and Black Beauty.
The interior is light and airy with very high ceilings on the ground floor and a large sweeping oak staircase leading up to the first floor.
Each space has it’s own unique character with dark solid wood walls in the breakfast room as well as tall marble pillars lining the impressive hall where wedding receptions are held. This room is the most spectacular, with plenty of natural light and period features.
The Bedroom: The Appleton Superior Suite
I stayed in the Appleton Suite for the night. The room had an upside down lock which was fiddly to open but only added to the charm of the place. I opened the door to a bright, period style bedroom with tall ceilings and two gorgeous sash windows which looked out over the gardens and lake.
The furniture was in-keeping with the date of the building but also had individual touches, as well as all of your mod cons like a TV and hot drink facilities, including free wifi should you need to do any work (or ‘gram).
The bed made me feel like a princess – it was literally the comfiest bed I’ve ever slept in (and I’ve stayed in Westin hotels!). Even with a few gin and tonics I slept all through the night (a difficult feat for me these days) and woke to the sound of George’s calls at a very reasonable hour, I might add.
At first we did have trouble finding the bathroom but that was only because the doorway was disguised as a wall panel. Again all of these features add to the rooms character and made the experience all the more exciting.
Speaking of the bathroom, this was like five star luxury. Everything was totally modern with large marble effect tiling on the walls and floor. There was even complimentary toiletries which I enjoyed under the large shower head and felt refreshed.
But before I went to bed, we spent the evening exploring the grounds. The groundskeeper is definitely kept busy with the fruit and vegetable garden as well as tending to the trees that lined the pathway to the back of the house.
I couldn’t have asked for a better evening; the sun was shining and it was warm enough to sit outside in the garden and enjoy a glass of prosecco. The perfect way to finish off a stressful week.
I strolled down to the lake at the side of the mansion which had a resident swan. The grounds and the house are just so peaceful and tranquil. I can see why so many people get married here.
The Dining Room: Dinner and Dessert
Dinner and breakfast were both served in the intimate dining room. I adored this room the most as there were so many paintings watching over you and the large sash windows brought in a warm and delicate summer evening’s light.
All of the tables were neatly set for dinner with a a cute vase of freshly cut flowers.
We skipped the starter (even though they sounded delicious) and went straight in to the mains. Being the carb fiends that we are, we both selected gnocchi with feta, tomato and peas.
I’m not lying when I say my thoughts often drift back to this meal. Usually during work hours just before lunch time… it was so GOOD!
For dessert we opted for a homemade vanilla cheesecake, summer fruit cooli and a scoop of vanilla ice cream from the daily specials menu. Again, this didn’t stick around for very long.
Tummies well and truly full, we retreated to the lounge area and started on the gins. The room had an inviting fireplace and decor. This was the perfect place to wind down after a full on week and an evening of exploring.
Overall, this is the grandest place I have ever had the pleasure of staying at. When someone ‘puts a ring on it’ this will definitely be up there in my top places to have my wedding. The food, the atmosphere and the location were complimentary and yet still hit me with the wow factor at each turn. I can’t wait to go back for a longer break.
Have you been to Chicheley Hall? I’d love to hear about your experience.
When you are looking for a place to call your own, it can be the most exciting stage of your lives. Whether you have already owned a home or you’re a first time buyer, moving into a new place is exciting and gets you ready for that next chapter in your life.
The main question you might ask yourself when you first start looking at a new property is the type of property you want to buy. You might want to look for a 2 room flat for sale, but similarly you may want to hunt for a house. If you are unsure on which type of property you currently try want, there are a few different things that you will need to seriously consider.
Before you even start to consider the type of property you might want to live in, you will need to think about where it is you are looking to move. Location is the biggest factor to consider when you move home because it will need to be close enough to work and if you have kids, close enough to a good school for them. When it comes to the choice between a house and flat, location can play a role in the type of property you are most likely to find. For example if you want to move into the middle of the city, you will find that flats are more readily available for you and you can likely find a great flat right in the centre of the city. However if you want to live in a more rural location, you are much more likely to find houses. And you will be able to enjoy the outdoor space you are afforded by making this choice.
If you want to start thinking about how your life is going to be in the future, the type of property that you buy is going to affect what you are able to do. For example if you want to get ahead in your career and have the privacy of being alone, then a flat in the city centre is the best choice for you. Even if you are a young couple who aren’t fussed about having pets or a family. However, if you and your partner are buying a home to make your own, the thought of getting pets and having children may be something you want in the near future. Because of this a house will be a better option for you to take because it is larger and the pets and kids will have outdoor space to play in.
Another thing you will want to think about is the potential for you and your family to make changes to the property that you live in in the future. You will want to think about what scope you have for making changes as well as think about how well you will do when you come to sell the property further down the line. It is important when you are buying a home that you see a potential for financial benefit further down the line. If you know that you can make changes which will add value to the home, then you will be safe in buying the property because you know you won’t lose out in the future.
Also remember that if you buy a flat you will not be able to extend the space as you would if you owned a house, so if you are planning to have a larger space to live in you might want to go down the house route instead.
As far as investment goes with the type of property you buy, you will find that young people are always on the lookout for a flat so if you want a quick sale down the line, you are likely to get one if you own a flat. A house can be a little trickier because every family has a different idea on what they want in their home.
Something which you may have not considered before starting the hunt for your next property is whether or not you want to be able to host parties. If you are looking for a place where can host Christmas with your whole family, then a flat may not have enough space to accommodate for all of the people as well as the food you will prepare. A home will provide you with the perfect opportunity to host or the entire family. However if you are looking for a place you can host small dinner parties with friends and drinks, then a flat is ideal because you will have a cosy atmosphere to work with and you don’t need that extra space. Your lifestyle plays a key role in the property you want to choose so make sure that you really think about things.
Many people love the thought of having a garden because it is a place you can relax and sunbathe in the summer, as well as play with the kids and your pets if you have any. You could host barbecues for the family and just generally enjoy the summer sun while it is her. However, not everyone is too bothered about having a garden, and in fact it can be a turn off for some people due to keeping plants alive and maintaining the space. Decide which of these two people you are before you start looking for a house.
Most apartment buildings will have a communal outdoor space if you want somewhere you can sit outside, so even if you don’t want your own garden you will still be able to have an outdoor space to visit during the summer. Think about your needs and whether being cooped up inside all of the time is what you really want. Some people just like the option of sitting alone in their garden to read or think, so if you do, a house may be the better choice.
Hi everyone and Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve written a life update post so let’s a have a little catch up.
Firstly, I hope your 2018 has got off to a pleasant start. I feel like mine has. I feel a lot more invigorated about so many things; my job, my art, my aims and my social life.
During winter, it’s all too easy to let the cold and dark days impact upon my mood and cast doubt on many areas of my life. So I’ve been combating dark nights and mornings through reminding myself of things to be grateful for.
I know people care about me
I am lucky enough to know a handful of people who actually go out of their way to get in touch with me to see how I am and include me in their plans. Not all of my close fiends are nearby right now but knowing that they think to send me a message and ask how things are in my life really does means a lot.
I have a roof over my head
There have been far too many stories in the news recently about homeless people dying on our streets. It’s harrowing. As much as I hate hearing about it and talking about it, more needs to be done to help those who are worse off than ourselves.
These horrifying stories are also a harsh reminder that I am so, so lucky to have a roof over my head and somewhere to go should something happen in my current situation. It also means that I am in a position to help others less fortunate.
I have a job I enjoy
We might all question how much we need a job when the alarm goes off on a Monday morning but I am very, very lucky to genuinely enjoy 99% of the work I do each day. I get to be both creative and technical in equal measure which makes me really happy.
I go into my job each day to see my colleagues but also my friends and some of the funniest moments of my life have been at work.
I have things to look forward to
When a new year is stretched out ahead of you, it can seem quite daunting trying to plan in goals and fulfill New Year resolutions. Putting a strict timescale on achieving something not only sucks the fun out of things but can actually make me feel anxious at meeting self-imposed deadlines.
Instead, I plan my future around things to look forward to because if there’s nothing exciting waiting around the corner life quickly seems dull.
How has your 2018 been so far?
It’s time to get festive on the blog.
Every year I write a gift guide to help those searching for the puurrfect gift to give to the crazy cat lover in their life. From clothing to decor and from pet-friendly alcohol (yes, really!) to kitty treats, there’s something for everyone.
Here are my top picks of feline themed gifts for 2018.
Something to wear
Cat shoes, why not! These cute black cat-shaped ballet pumps are from ASOS and will look super cute dressed up and dressed down. Perfect to dance the night away over the festive season.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a crazy Christmas jumper. But this one is adorned with your favourite animal. Featuring cute kitty Santas levitating against a cosmic background it’s certainly a conversation piece and a snuggly addition to any outfit. You can purchase similar, but equally as ugly, sweatshirts from here
Something for their cat to wear
Everyone loves to see cute animals dressed in people clothing. There are hundreds of instagram accounts dedicated to this type of thing. I picked up these two festive pieces from Pets at Home. The reindeer outfit was actually in the dog section but a size small should fit your cat. The gold bow tie is elasticated and will slip over your cat’s collar too so won’t be uncomfortable for your cat to wear.
Something for kitty to eat
As Christmas is a time for good food and merriment, it would be a shame for our four legged friends to miss out. Why not get yours, or their cat a stocking filled with treats or a bag full of their favourite kibble in different flavours. You can pick up the stocking and treat bag from Home Bargains.
Something to get a cat merry
You’ve probably seen videos of wine suitable for dogs and cats. I recently picked up this Pawsecco for my cat, Mick, at my local garden centre but you can also get it direct from “the brewers”and from Pets at Home. Now you can finally drink all the wine without your cat judging you.
Something to keep a cat amused
Cats are constantly destroying their toys so some new play things will always be welcome. My cat really likes dangling, elsaticated toys that snap back so he can jump and chase them around corners. But he also likes anything that rattles as it moves too like these simple balls with bells inside. You can get these festive coloured toys from Home Bargains too.
Something to decorate
Cat inspired decor will always be well received. I especially like these cat fairy lights from Find me a Gift and this ginger cat vase below.
You can pick this handsome ginger cat vase up from Quail ceramics
Something that sparkles
Jewellery is a perfect present and something cat themed is obviously a bonus. There are loads of cat themed sparkly items on Etsy made by incredibly talented people and it’s always great to support individual artisans.
If you think there’s anything else cat related worth mentioning, please feel free to link below.
Merry Christmas x