European road trip: week 1

After we crossed the Channel Tunnel from England to France (so much easier than the ferry, by the way) we began our month-long road trip through Europe by driving south east through northern France.

Reims, France

Our first overnight stop was in Reims, the capital of the champagne region – because of its location on the way to our next destination more than any desire to visit.

We’d booked a chambre d’hôtes at a working farm about 15 minutes outside the city, where the owner Joy made a fuss of Sam and his “beautiful blue eyes.”

Reims cathedral, France | Angel In The North

Like many French cities, Reims has an impressive cathedral and – unknown to most people, I think – is actually the place where the Germans capitulated, ending WW2. (The definitive text was signed in Berlin the next day).

The former schoolhouse where the surrender took place is now a modest museum; we couldn’t help but feel history on our shoulders as we stood in the room where peace was agreed. Continue reading “European road trip: week 1”

What happened when we took our baby travelling for a month

It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged but there are times in your life when you just have to take a screen break. This has definitely been one of those times.

As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader, my husband qualified for a two-month sabbatical from work (he’s just gone back – boo!) and we decided to take ourselves and our now six-month-old baby on a month-long road trip around Europe.

So, now we’re back, what was the verdict?

Honestly, it was perhaps the best month of my life.

I really didn’t expect to say that. Though it was me, really, pushing the idea, at least in the beginning, we both had doubts about whether taking a baby on such a long journey was the right thing to do and our excitement was tinged with apprehension even when we set off. Continue reading “What happened when we took our baby travelling for a month”

Three days in Leeds

When rail ticket retailer The Trainline asked me to write a blog about what to do in Leeds, it was harder to decide what to leave out than what to put in.

So much new, good stuff has arrived in the city in the last few years, and though I included genuine favourites of mine I wanted my tips to have wide appeal.

I suggested places to eat, drink and shop and talked about Leeds’ lively arts scene.

Hop on over to The Trainline’s blog to read my guide to how to spend three days in Leeds.

How to spend 3 days in Leeds: visit the Corn Exchange

Let me know if you think there’s something I’ve left out!

What is your favourite place to go or thing to do in Leeds?

Review: Lifft baby sling

Since Sam was a newborn, I’ve taken to wearing him in a sling. Babywearing suits me because I’m quite active and don’t like being restricted about where I go, and it has seemed to suit Sam who usually spends most of his time in his sling asleep.

I’ve had a jersey wrap sling which has served us well once I got the hang of tying it right (basically it’s a long piece of fabric that you wrap around yourself and over your shoulders three times), but he’s now getting older  – nearly five months – and nosier, and I’ve been looking for an alternative that gives him a little more freedom to look around.

So I was pleased to be invited to review a Lifft sling and when I browsed the website I was struck by how simple they looked to use.

Review of the Lifft baby sling | Angel In The North

Continue reading “Review: Lifft baby sling”

What I wore: festival wedding outfit

We went to a fabulous wedding a few days ago.

This family do was always going to be special – because it would be our son Sam’s first wedding – but when the veil was lifted on the couple’s carefully laid plans it was so personal, so fitting and so full of love that it is destined to be a day to remember.

I felt rather nice I have to say in this folky white and blue embroidered dress from Monsoon that had been hanging in my wardrobe – all teasing and enticing – for a few weeks. (You might have noticed I featured it in my picks of the best embroidered dresses around. It’s now in the sale at less than a third of the price I paid – only a few sizes left). Continue reading “What I wore: festival wedding outfit”

A late summer wish list

Late summer fashion and home wish list

  1. Black hexagonal wire wine bottle holder, £25, Holly’s House
  2. Wire and wood industrial shelves, £50, Cox and Cox
  3. Black and white striped laundry bag, £16, Future and Found
  4. Bar drop back rose gold earrings, £19.95, Howkapow
  5. Pom pom sandals, £9, New Look
  6. Embroidered blouse, £35.99, Mango
  7. Rose Muuto elevated vase, £79,*
  8. Swedish green task lamp, £69.95, Howkapow
  9. Mama bangle, £70, Southwood Stores
  10. Pink round sunglasses, £15, Marks and Spencer

Six embroidered dresses for summer

Six summer embroidered dresses from the UK high street

// clockwise from top left / embroidered Tropez dress, Oasis, £58 / embroidery shirt dress, £79, & Other Stories / embroidered dress, £39, JD Williams* / loose fit indigo embroidered dress, £35, Marks and Spencer / Carmen embroidered dress, £79 reduced to £23.70, Monsoon / long sleeve embroidered dress, £49.99, Zara //

How to do classic Scandi home style

Scandinavian-style design has had a huge influence on our interiors over the last few years.

My own home is no exception, as you’ll know if you’re following my house renovation.

My Ferm Living triangle jute rug from Cloudberry Living has been moved into the nursery, and I’ve added another Scandi touch with a new grey moulded rocker. Full room reveal coming after a few finishing touches!

Animal nursery Scandi Vitra rocker chair

Regretfully this is not an original Vitra* RAR rocking chair (RRP £449…) but it still gives a nod of classic Scandi-style to the room, and it is fairly compact as well as practical and perfect for night feeding and the baby’s trickier bedtimes. I bought it from Achica.

But what is Scandinavian style and how do you get it in your home? Continue reading “How to do classic Scandi home style”

Packing a capsule holiday wardrobe

While planning our European road trip, I’ve been putting quite a lot of thought into packing clothes for the month-long holiday and its various climates.

I don’t think we’ll see huge differences in the weather but whereas in Croatia and parts of Italy temperatures are usually around 21-22°C when we’ll be there, it will be a few degrees cooler in northern France and I expect may feel quite autumnal at times.

While I want to make sure I have enough clothes for the month and that I’m ready for most eventualities, I also want to pack light so the car is not uncomfortably stuffed, because the baby’s things will take up a fair amount of room.

So when I was challenged to pack a capsule wardrobe in a House of Fraser suitcase, I thought it would be a good exercise in whittling down what I will actually need! I was sent this lightweight suitcase and had to pack clothes for a week’s holiday without going over a 15kg baggage allowance.

My challenge was to pack light for a week in Paris – and in my view any time spent dreaming about the French capital cannot be classed as wasted.

Black and white gingham cotton top from Marks and Spencer via Octer, Laura Ashley sunglasses, Alphabet Bags Explore bag

Continue reading “Packing a capsule holiday wardrobe”

Our European road trip

As I’ve mentioned in passing a couple of times on the blog, we’re planning a road trip around Europe this summer.

It’s safe to say we’ve ummed and ahhed about whether it’s the right thing to do, with a baby who will be five months old when we depart.

But my husband has qualified for an eight week sabbatical from work and I’m on maternity leave and it seems wrong not to use the time to do something memorable.

So I thought I’d let you know a bit more about what we have planned – though our holiday is still taking shape! Continue reading “Our European road trip”

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