WHAT A SUMMER ITS BEEN… It really has been the most magical few months, with celebrations galore; four weddings, two hen dos, two stag dos, two trips abroad (Portugal and Cyprus), many birthdays, many staycations and lots of time spent in the garden with friends and family.
After a chaotic 2 years previous, this summer felt like the perfect opportunity to celebrate summer like it’s your first. And I certainly did just that, making up for lost time and missed moments, with the people I love the most.
And of course, I took lots of photos, and I even ordered a CEWE photobook to remember what a magical summer this has truly been.
I wanted to pull together a list of my favourite moments from this summer which you can read about below, and I have printed a gorgeous photobook which I will cherish forever.
Our escape to Dorset
Back in April, as the lockdown ended Theo and I packed up the car and headed to Dorset for a weekend by the sea. We went for long walks, ate chips on the beach, explore the local area and really got back to doing what we love the most, going on adventures!!
Making up for lost time in Manchester
Then at the end of the month we headed up to Manchester to see our best friends who have been living up there for two years renovating a house. We went bridesmaid dress shopping for their upcoming wedding, ate lots of good food and got to explore everything Manchester has to offer.
Brunch in London with the girls
At the start of May I went to London with three of my best friends for brunch in west London, making time to catch up after months of being apart and spending quality time together. I have so many amazing photos from this day which I will cherish forever.
Weekends in The Cotswolds
Then next up Theo and I headed to the Cotswolds with Indie, our pup, for a weekend with my family. We rented an epic house in Burford and spend three days exploring the local area, heading to Stow on the Wold, Daylesford Farm and Westonbirt The National Arboretum for a lovely Sunday morning walk. It was so lovely to be reunited with my family after such a long time and eat together and chat together.
Catching up with friends in London
Then I also headed to London for brunch (I love brunching!) with two of our friends Sandy and Gurj, and we explored central London on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Launching Outdoor Adventure Girls
A major achievement of my summer was launching Outdoor Adventure Girls, a female-only community with over 4,000 members (and counting!) which provides women to connect with like-minded people, push themselves out of their comfort zone and get outdoors. We have now hosted 25+ regional meet ups and we have our BIG WEEKEND happening in November this year, where 50+ women are coming together to meet, explore and connect.
Brunch in Shoreditch
After a busy few weeks Theo and I decided to head to London for a day exploring east London and grabbing brunch at the newly opened Maya at The Hoxton. The views were amazing, the food was even better and the company was THE BEST. We had to be sure we made time to spend quality time together as life got busy again and we love exploring east London, especially when we take a trip to Columbia Flower Market.
Weekend at Rudloe Arms
Next up we headed for a weekend at The Rudloe Arms, the home of Marco Pierre White and enjoyed 24 hours at his quirky hotel. We eat lots of amazing food, slept lots and really went off grid for 24 hours after a busy month. Oh and we met Marco himself and got chatting for over an hour!
Amy’s and Jo’s wedding
At the end of June we celebrated two weddings, my university friend Amy and her partner Matt, and our old neighbours Jo and Tom, who both got married within four days of each other. We had the best time celebrating their love and have so many amazing photos from these days.
Adventures in the Peak District
At the start of July, Sandy and I headed to the Peak District for a few days of exploring, hiking and catching up. We are staying at the AMAZING Rivendale Lodge Retreat near Ashbourne (such a great base for a weekend exploring the peaks) in one of their premier lodges. And whilst we work out our plan for the coming days we’ve taken a dip in our own hot tub.
Eating my way through Chinatown London
I spent the day exploring Chinatown London to see their fantastic floating botanical garden installation. It is inspired by tranquil inner-city gardens found across East and Southeast Asia and showcases seven different species of flowers, which have been chosen for their beauty, cultural symbolism, and significance. You can spot Chinese Peony, Tiger Lily, Sunflower, Orchids, Peach Blossom, Tulips and Hibiscus plant all floating above your head, as you wander around Chinatown.
And whilst we were there, we stopped by to try some botanical garden inspired dishes, used in ESEA cooking and cuisine. First up, we headed to Dumplings Legend for vegetarian Dumplings shaped as orchids, Vietfood London for the most amazing chicken marinated with nuoc mam and edible rose buds, Cuppacha for the Butterfly-Pea Flower Tea and ended our day with the Strawberry Blossom Combo with Viola Flowers Bubblewrap London. All the dishes we ate were UNREAL and it got me excited to travel again, meeting new people and exploring other cultures
Wild swimming in Shropshire
I headed back to the Peak District in July for another day exploring the area, but this time we headed west towards Shropshire and did the Three Shire Heads walk, stopping by an amazing waterfall at the mid-way point.
A weekend in Lisbon
Then international travel was open, so Sandy and I booked a flight and head to Lisbon for two days to explore my favourite city in the world. We eat Pasteis de Nata, walked around Belem and had great food on multiple rooftops including SEEN Lisboa.
Learning to surf in Ericeira
Then we left Lisbon and headed north to Ericeira for a week-long surf camp at Lapoint!! We were there for 7 days learning to surf, socialising, going on adventures and much much more. It was the trip that re-ignited my love for the world, for people and for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
My favourite moments included:
– Standing up repeatedly on day 3 and finally understanding the obsession
– Meeting strangers on day 1 who became good friends
– Sitting on the beach before a lesson with Julieta and the group, planning our POA
– Challenging myself mentally and believing I can push the boundaries
– Enjoying a beer on the terrace with Sandy in the early evening watching the sunset
– Playing volleyball on the beach with a group of amazing people
Sophie’s hen do
Then a week after getting back from Portugal I headed back to Manchester for a weekend there celebrating one of my best friends hen do! I was a bridesmaid so organised activities, eating out and making the whole weekend a real celebration with the other bridesmaids. Sophie has the best weekend and I am so glad we went her off into married life with a great weekend!
Katie’s hen do
August was busy! Then the following weekend and one of my most proud moments of the summer, was organising my sister-in-laws hen do a week before her wedding. After many cancellations we decided to celebrate her hen do in my garden, with all of her favourite people. I decorated the garden, hosted welcome drinks and we started the weekend, before heading to a local vineyard for a tour and then back to mine later for a BBQ in the sunshine. It was such a great day and I printed 50+ photos with CEWE to decorate the garden for a photo wall, so we could take photos all weekend.
Jack and Katie wedding
And then it was September and life continued to be busy with my brother and my sister in law’s wedding in Northamptonshire where we celebrated their love and we had the best day. It was the first time our extended family and friends had come together in nearly three years so it was an amazing weekend full of laughter and love.
Our best friend’s wedding
Then two weeks later we headed up to Derbyshire to celebrate our best friends Sophie and Tom’s wedding at Darley Abbey and what a wedding it was. It was an amazing venue, the bride looked AMAZING and then we partied the night away dancing to our favourite music. It was an incredible day and we were so honoured to play such a big part in their special day.
Cyprus with Sandy and Gurj
And then to end the summer Theo and I headed to Cyprus to stay at our favourite resort Aphrodite Hills and were joined mid-week by our friends Sandy and Gurj. Overlooking the Mediterranean sea, Aphrodite Hills is an award-winning 5-star resort with breath taking views across the countryside and their iconic Championship PGA Golf Course.
We stayed in one of their Junior villas, which slept six people on the main drive up in to the resort, in Grand Poseidon complex. The brand new Villa is furnished beautifully and equipped to a very high standard overlooking the resort main entrance, offering views of the dramatic ravine.
This summer really has been my favourite to date, full of celebrations, quality time, coming together, laughing, dancing and much much more. I am so happy I’ve been able to forever remember this summer through the photos I have taken, and the photobook and prints I now have to last a lifetime.
Check out everything CEWE has to offer from photobooks, to retro prints and wall art.
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If you on a bigger trip exploring more of Europe check out my guides to France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom.
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