How different do you look after 3 glasses of wine?

‘Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy’ – Benjamin Franklin

One of my favourite quotes is that alcohol is what makes the good times better and the bad times bearable. If I knew who first said it I would have it at the leading quote to all my wine related posts because I think it’s so true. And I’ve never been shy in admitting that I love a bottle of wine or two.

When I was idly trawling through Stumbleupon one Sunday afternoon (probably hungover from the previous nights wine) I came across an article about Brazilian photographer Marcos Alberti who did a series of photos of his friends after they’d drank 1, 2 and 3 glasses of wine and the results were fascinating.

I mean, there was an element of ‘people look more relaxed after a couple of glasses of wine’ shocker. However what I did find fascinating was the really subtle differences in some of the subjects faces. Some people were noticeably more relaxed, they tied their hair back or removed items of clothing. There was definitely caution to the wind being thrown. However what amazing was the people who were so obviously trying not to look any different, yet their faces told a completely different story. In the first picture, where people were fatigued and stressed by the end of the working day, there was a vulnerability and dare I say sadness in some of the peoples eyes. Yet after a couple of glasses of wine the smile was reaching their eyes again and they looked 100% more relaxed.

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Some being me, I thought I would completely steal this idea, take my Samsung Galaxy S6 and see how different me and all my friends look after 3 glasses of wine. I’m unclear as to whether Marcos’ subjects knew what the purpose of the photo session was for, however my lasses knew from the start. It would have been weird making them pose up against my living room wall without telling them what was going on, so I’m not sure if that’s skewed the results slightly. There were a few ground rules to this experiment though; we all drank the same drinks, and we used Prosecco instead of wine (carefully measured out into 125ml glasses).

Whilst the results may not be surprising, they are bloody funny!

Ang:

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Carrie:

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Emma:

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Me:

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Steph:

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All we seem to hear these days is how bad alcohol is for you, and yes of course if we all lived macrobiotic, wheat free, gluten free, sugar free, taste free, fun free diets I’m sure we’d all be very virtuous and live to 150 but where would the fun in that be? While this experiment probably won’t win me any Nobel prizes (mainly because I didn’t think of it) it was still great fun to do and a brilliant excuse to get the lasses round, drink a shed load of wine and dance around my living room to boyband videos after a long working week – like we needed an excuse!

Oh, and the outtakes are pretty funny too:

Outtakes

 

Elliott’s Kitchen, Wylam

‘I like to be able to sit in a cafe and watch the world go by and observe people’ – Sophia Myles

There’s a lot of negativity on the world at the moment. Even on Facebook and instagram there’s people eye rolling at their so called friends who are at the gym or posting their slimming world meals. There doesn’t seem to be much bigging each other up anymore.

So let me buck the trend and take a moment to gush about our amazing friends Jill and Phil Elliott who after what feels like years of near misses have finally fulfilled their dream of owning their own cafe. And what a cafe it is.

Jill and I have been close friends for over 15 years when we worked as barmaids together at our local pub in Cramlington (she taught me everything I know about alcohol). She married professional chef (and all round lovely bloke) Phil is 2009 and they’ve been great friends to us ever since.

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Elliotts Kitchen on Main Street in Wylam is everything you’d want in a cafe and more. In fact to just call it a cafe is doing the a disservice. Phil has honed all his years in the professional catering industry to create a fantastic gastro cafe serving not only your regular coffees and traybakes but ever changing lunchtime specials like quiches and runny scotch eggs. All freshly made on the premises with local produce.

We visited at about 2.15pm on a Saturday and it was just nicely busy after the lunchtime rush, enough people in to create an atmosphere but even free tables to get a good seat. The decor inside is minimalist but classy, big windows letting the sun stream in and light wooden furniture and fittings.

We only went for coffee and cake; a latte (made with Italian coffee) and slice of rocky road for me and a pot of Earl Grey and a date scone for Dave. Both treats were a decent size (there’s nowt more frustrating that a small scone) the rocky road was stuffed with fluffy marshmallows and not to over powering with sickly chocolate, so you don’t have to worry about your kids bouncing off the walls after a slice. Two drinks and two sweets came to around £8, which isn’t unreasonable, particularly for Wylam.

We didn’t stay for lunch, although judging by the smells from the kitchen perhaps we should have! Their manu changes regularly if not daily and an example of some things they’ve had on recently are spiced parsnip soup, aberdeen angus shepherds pie topped with swede & potato mash, beef onepot served with onion bread & parsley dumpling and stilton and mushroom tarlets. Not to mention sandwiches and a different cake of the day.

Of course it’s easy for me to be bias, they’re my mates after all, however to be honest I think that just means I’d be more brutally honest if i didn’t think they were quite up to scratch (or at the very least just not say anything at all!) but I honestly honestly am super impressed and proud, not only in the hard work and sacrifice Jill and Phil have made but in the genuine quality of the food and the menu.

If you want a boring croque monsieur then go to Cafe Rouge. If you want quality, locally produced homemade food with a quirky twist. Go to Eilliott’s Kitchen!

Address: Main Road, Wylam, Northumberland NE41 8AQ
Phone: 01661 852422
Facebook: Elliott’s Kitchen
Twitter: @foodmatters07

 

Monkey Feet’s Highs and Lows of 2016…

When Helen asked me to write this post my heart sank! 2016 has been a tough year at Monkeyfeeet HQ, heck most of us would agree its been a year full of shockers world wide right?

I’ve thought a lot about our year and we are genuinely very blessed in many many ways, I have an amazing little family and  we have a lovely house in a lovely location. This year we have had 3 great holidays and my husband and I have spent two evenings away without children which is unheard of! Because of this it seems silly to complain about anything making us sad, we really are very lucky.

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Crazy holiday selfies

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even crazier ‘parents night off’ selfies

We have had some struggles though the largest of which being the passing of my lovely Mother In Law, the kids lush Nana. Her death came suddenly and the shock and grief have honestly infiltrated every bit of our family life and so I’ve felt like we have been at times washed out to sea, struggling to stay afloat. We are strong though and whilst the light may be a small chink there it is at the end of the tunnel and I feel we will get there together.

Another low is how poorly we have all been following a bout of Norovirus on our October Holiday we seem to have spent all of November catching and passing around one bug after another!

Personal highlights for me have included having two articles published in The Huffington post, earning a small wage from my little corner of cyber space and  working with some amazing companies. I’ve also been involved in the creation of a new local Womens Institute and I’m proud to be the Secretary but more so be part of a group of women so eager to support one another and make a difference in  our community, we have collected food for our food bank and donated around 40 bags filled with treats and necessities for vulnerable and homeless women across the region.

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My WI committee sisters!

I’m also proud of my Facebook pals, in November I asked for donations for

  • The Womens Refuge
  • Children who would have little or nothing at Christmas
  • Handbags for the Homeless Appeal
  • Gifts for the Church Christmas lunch for lonely and homeless folk….

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Not even half of the collection!

We were over run, overwhelmed and over joyed with the response! Two car loads of toys clothes and toiletries to the Refuge, one car load of gifts, clothes and toiletries to our young peoples projects and church lunch, bags of food to the food bank, a car full of toys and books to families with nothing this Christmas  and 2 massive cars full to the Homeless Women NE charity! My spirit was truly restored at the generosity of others and I will definitely be co-coordinating more charity help this coming year.

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My Son squeezed into a car full of Handbags for the Homeless with not an inch of space left over!

In balance I can’t bring myself to say we have had a great year because it feels disloyal to the memory of our lovely Mam BUT we are blessed every day, we have found a smile every single day and the family may have struggled but we did it together.

Karen writes at blog.monkey-feet.com and can be found on facebook and twitter

Do Long Distance Relationships Work?

‘Obviously, a long-distance relationship is hard. But, like anything worth having, you make it work’ – Leona Lewis

Growing up on an Army base means that the majority of my friendships as a child were fleeting; we all moved around every 3 years or so, so if they didn’t bugger off to another country halfway through our friendship, I did. A few I became pen pals with and have since reconnected with on Facebook but for the most part, no real solid friendships were made.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a charmed childhood; great weather, 10 week long summer holidays, average class sizes of around 10 but I get green with envy when I hear people talk about someone they’ve known since they were kids. I also feel we missed out with loads of family time as I only ever saw my grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles once a year if that. All of our relationships, apart from the four of us, were long distance.

Helen & Meagan

Meagan

I met Meagan when I was 15, on the internet in a Backstreet Boys chat room. It seemed my allocated hour of internet usage on a Sunday morning coincided with her allocated hour on a Saturday night and we quickly became close. We then became email pen pals, in contact almost on a daily basis and in 2001 we finally met in London when she was over in the UK studying in Oxford (after spending what felt like 6 months convincing my parents it was ok to let their 19 year old daughter travel to London to meet someone off the internet!)

Since then we’ve grabbed every opportunity to see each other wherever we may be. I visited her in college in 2002 in Nebraska, she was studying in Spain in 2004 and flew to see me in Cramlington. In 2006 Dave and I were on holiday in Orlando and she flew down to spend a few days together and loads of other times since then. Most importantly, she flew to England for what was essentially a long weekend to come to my wedding in 2013. I love how we’ve integrated into each other lives even though we’re miles apart; her friends and family have become my friends and family and vice versa. I love how her and my dad banter about baseball and politics over twitter or how she will wish my friends happy birthday over Facebook, because any friend of mine is also a friend of hers.

Of course it gets difficult sometimes. There’s days when I may be struggling with something or see a piece of super exciting boyband news and I want to go to the pub with her to have a full debrief of the situation but I can’t. Whatsapp and Facebook have made things loads easier but it’s not the same as being in the same room as someone. I know she’s always at the other end of the phone or email though if i ever need her. It sucks we don’t get to do normal friends things like go to the pictures together or meet after work for a drink; but we do get to have amazing adventures together instead which is a happy compromise.

Sam & Jo

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My best friend Jo who I met when I started middle school at age 10 has lived apart from me since we were 18 when she left Cramlington to start uni in York (she now lives in Manchester). It is mad to think that now we are 32 we have spent more years apart than together but between the ages of 10-18 we forged a super strong bond that I think is unbreakable.

We don’t chat on the phone/on Facebook as Jo is super busy with a demanding job and I am busy at home with three kids and work and we only see each other two-four times a year (we always make the effort to spend the day together around Christmas time and at some other point through the year) but when we do that bond is instantly back and we just pick up our conversation where we left off. We can tell each other anything even if it has been 12 months since our last meet up and I think that’s pretty special.

Holli & Laura

We met back in 2009 on our first day at Teesside University, where we were allocated the same grubby little student house along with eight other girls. As student life goes, we ended up getting drunk together for two weeks straight during Fresher’s after which we felt like we’d known each other our whole lives. 

In 2012 when we graduated and it was time for us to move back home and get ‘proper’ jobs, Laura headed home to Lytham St Anne’s in the North West whereas I decided to make a go of it in Newcastle in the North East with my boyfriend who I’d also met at university. Since then, we’ve relied on WhatsApp, Snapchat or speaking on Facebook Chat to keep in touch. As is a best friend’s duty, we’re still on hand to give each other fashion advice, albeit not from the changing rooms, but we’ll Snapchat each other photos of outfits we’re considering to get the other’s honest opinion. When there’s something really big we need to talk about (like Laura’s recent engagement eeeek) we’ll have a phone call where minutes seem to turn into hours without us realising.

Of course, like any long distance friendship, life can sometimes get in the way and you feel like you’ve drifted apart, but the great thing about my friendship with Laura is, no matter how many days, weeks or months its been since we’ve spoke, as soon as we pick up that phone to have a catch up it feels like we’ve never been apart. We’ve sort of got this unspoken understanding that no matter how long its been, we’ll be there for each other as soon as we’re needed. It doesn’t matter if we don’t speak every day, because we know that when we do we’ll have loads to catch up on.

Fast forward to 2016 and we’ve even started a blog together (https://shesaidshesaid.co.uk/) as a way to keep in touch and share what we’ve been up to! We’ll write about our own little adventures and send drafts to each other to edit. Who’d have thought we’d find a hobby we can share together whilst 150 miles apart!

 

Celebrating National Best Friend Day

‘My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake’ – Aristotle

27th May is National Grape Ice Lolly Day. Did you know that? I’m not entirely sure I would even know where to purchase a grape ice lolly let alone put aside a whole day to celebrate it’s existence. It sound amazing though, grape Kool-Aid and grape Jolly Ranchers were always my favourite.

Anyway my point is there’s a ‘day’ for everything these days and thanks to National Day Calendar I will now never ever again miss national Heimlich Maneuver day (1st June in case you were wondering). One that I was alerted to on the calanedar though was today, 8th June and National Best Friends Day.

The term ‘best friend’ is a funny one, I’ve had lots of best friends in my life, I’m an army brat, I never stayed in one place for more that 3 years and at one point i’m pretty sure my best friend was my big brother. How tragic. The position of ‘best friend’ was very much a revolving door in my childhood and It’s taken me until I was in 30’s to realise who my best friends really are:

Ang

Ang

I met Ang when we were 16 and both hated out A Level Geography class. She made me laugh when working on a project about CDP and as I was talking about Bombay (as it was then – that’s how old we are) she started singing ‘Hooray for Bollywood’ and I thought she was just SO funny! We pretty much bonded over our hatred of high school and the people within it and the fact neither of us felt the need to go to University. We’ve been besties ever since. She’s the only friend I’ve ever been on holiday with, she’s the second person (after my parents) i texted when I got engaged and she held my hair and rubbed my back when I vomited up pancakes a in a plane ride over the Grand Canyon.

Janine

Janine

J9 is my oldest best friend (in that I’ve known her the longest). When I moved to the North East from Belgium and was treated pretty much like a museum exhibit, Janine was the only person who actually showed any interest in being my friend rather than firing a million questions at me about why i spoke English when I came from Belgium. Our first conversation went a bit like this:

Janine: Do you like horses?
Me: I love them!
Janine: I have 3! Let’s be friends!

And since then we have bonded over our mutual love of Michael Jackson, fancy dress, dancing and more recently hot tubs and Prosecco!

Meagan

Meagan

Remember when you were 12 and you had that penpal in Devon that you found on the kids teletext pages?t That’s kind of how me and Meg met other than we were 14 not 12, it was a Backstreet Boys chat room rather than teletext. We were lucky that despite her living in America our allocated 1 hour a day dial up Internet usage (this was the 90’s after all) always seemed to synch up and we struck up a great friendship. We met for the first time when she was studying in Oxford (because she’s a smartypants) and I got the train to London for the day to meet her. That trip was so important, not only did I find out she wasn’t a crazy Internet child molester but it was the day we became proper best friends and we’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the UK and USA to see each other.

Patricia

Patricia

It’s funny how you pick up people along the way in life. Patricia and I met in our early 20s when she was a newly qualified radiographer and we worked in the same department at a hospital in Newcastle. I was watching my first ever Angiogram and she leaned over and pointed out you could see the patient’s fillings on the x-ray. Then i got scolded by one of the nurses for laughing. I knew then we were going to get along. We very quickly became drinking buddies and soon after that holiday buddies when we took an amazing trip to New York together. She’s the best person to go to for advice, she kicks my bum when I need it (which is a lot) but always does it in a way that makes me laugh. She’s also the first of my friends to have a baby so seeing her in a new role as a mum has been a pleasure, because no matter how much changes or busy our lives get we still always manage to find time for a glass of wine or 5!

Steph

Steph

Although Steph and I were in the same year at school together we weren’t friends. We weren’t not friends but we just didn’t really have much to do with each other (she was much prettier and cooler than me for a start!). So it was kind of weird that we found ourselves working in the same office at our local Hospital in 2008. I was nervous when I found out wed be working together, I was pretty much bottom of the social totem pole at school and now I was working I’d moved on and didn’t want any reminders of Cramlington High School. Thankfully we worked in what was official the busiest office in the world* which gave us lots of time to catch up and we quickly became very close. I still like to say I’ve known Steph since school because factually it’s correct and I also can’t remember or imagine a life where we’re not friends. I love how every single one of our shopping trips ends up in the pub and every single time we pretend to ourselves how shocked we are that’s happened. Our respective better halves have also become very good friends, so if the theory that you are the company you keep is true, that’s further confirmation that Steph’s a keeper.

Also honourable mentions have to go to Carrie, Cheryl, Emma and John who make going to work fun

*This is a lie

 

 

Reason 10,987 why the NHS is great – Meagan’s Story

‘The NHS is a bit iffy when you sprain an ankle, but when it’s a high-priority issue, it’s fantastic. They don’t mess about. They’re incredibly efficient when things go wrong’ -Sophie Ellis-Bextor

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If you don’t follow James on twitter you really should, he’s hilarious and believe me he hates You’re Beautiful more than you do!

What’s this got to do with the NHS? Well, one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long while is James tweeting that he was officially handing over his cockney rhyming slang title to Jeremy Hunt.

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For anyone who’s been living up their own backside (or, more realistically, you don’t live in the UK) Jeremy Hunt is the UK’s Secretary of State for Health, and he’s been making, or at least trying to make, some pretty controversial and unpopular  decisions, particularly around junior doctors working hours and so called ‘health tourism’.

I’m not here to get into any mass political debate around who should be working where and for how long or whether people who are found to be coming here just to access free health care should be shipped back from whence they came with a stern letter to their mum. What I do want to do though, is share my best friend’s Meagan’s story about when she came to visit me from America last July and got poorly:

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I’m one of the lucky ones—the lucky girl who doesn’t really get sick a lot. I can’t often relate to other women when they complain about the various infections that often happen in our ladyparts because I can’t remember the last time I had one.

Well, until I left the United States.

I touched down in lovely Newcastle on a Sunday in 2015; by Monday, I knew something was wrong. I had all the nasty markers of a urinary tract infection (water infection): urgent need to pee but nothing comes out; burning sensation; dark urine.

I tried to keep this from Helen because I didn’t want to put a damper on things, so I asked the pharmacist at Tesco if there were any over-the-counter medicines available for a UTI. Nope, I needed a prescription.

Helen, being the ever-so-observant friend, asked what was wrong. I finally admitted to the UTI and she immediately drove me to a nearby clinic. I spent the car ride over wondering how much it would cost to visit—would I be out several hundred dollars for simply peeing in a cup?

“How much do you think it’s going to cost for the visit?” I asked Helen when we got out of the car.

“It’s free!” Helen responded.

Duh, Meagan. I hadn’t thought about the NHS because we don’t have socialized healthcare in the United States, no matter how much conservatives try to claim that President Obama is leading the U.S. to socialism. It’s been almost eight years, he better get crackin’ if that’s still part of his plan.

Anyway.

Helen did warn that we might have to wait for a while, but the stars aligned and I was in and out of the clinic with a prescription in about 30 minutes—and that included a lovely conversation with the nurse about the U.S.

The grand total I paid? Free… well, something like $12 after I filled the prescription for the antibiotic. The actual visit was free.

If the roles were reversed and Helen was in the United States, she’d pay at least $155 for a simple visit to an urgent care clinic—and that doesn’t include extra testing and medication. Depending on the illness she could spend as little as $4 to many hundreds of dollars on the medicine to treat it, too. Emergency room visit? Upwards of $1,300 without insurance—and it could very realistically be much, much more.

And they’d want the money up front, too.

I’m well aware that healthcare is never free, no matter where you go; someone has to pay for it—and that someone is the taxpayer. I also understand that medical tourism is a problem because of Britain’s “free” healthcare and can understand wanting to put an end to free surgeries and treatments for those looking to game the system.

But for someone like me, who just needs a quick exam and script? It should remain free—or at least low-cost—to help travelers avoid even more costly treatments that would, ultimately, fall on the British taxpayer anyway since there’s no guarantee that I, the traveler, could afford some special surgery to fix my ailment.

I know we’re not going to fix healthcare here; honestly, I don’t know the first thing about fixing it in a way that would both work and satisfy everyone, because free hundreds dollar bills could fall from the sky and someone would still bitch about it.

What I do know? It was comforting that I was able to receive treatment in the U.K.—and courteous, at that—without breaking the bank. I only wish I could offer the same to Helen when she comes to visit me.

I’ll be honest, when Meagan said she had a water infection my heart sank a little, not because I was being a selfish brat and wanted to go home and drink the Margarita we were buying in Tesco (well, maybe that a little bit). But because from experience, I knew how long a wait in the local walk in centre could be, and I wasn’t entirely sure the walk in centre would see her, I had visions of me arguing with an over worked and under paid receptionist in A&E pleading that she get treatment even if we pulled a Rachel & Monica and she pretended to be me.

We arrived at the walk in centre at around 6pm and the receptionist couldn’t have been more helpful, I explained the situation, she handed us a form to fill out with some basic details, mainly purpose of visit, my details and Meg’s GP back home then asked us to take a seat. Here’s me thinking that we’d be sent away with a carton of cranberry juice, and they have special forms for people who are here on holiday who get ill, should have known really! I’d warned Meg that there may be some wait, so t was to both our surprise that she was seen within half an hour.

Now I know that the NHS isn’t ‘free’ we pay in our taxes, but let me tell you, on that Monday evening, when my best friend who’d flown over 7000 miles to see me for only a week, I was thankful for the service that my tax contributions pays for. I was glad that after her antibiotics she was right as rain again and peeing a perfectly normal colour again (so she told me, I mean, we’re close, but we’re not that close!) and that meant we could go on to do stupid stuff like this for the rest of the week:

#tbt me & @upsidemeagan being crazy cool at the beach last year

A post shared by Helen Newman (@honestlyhelen) on

 

 

 

 

A Hen Do Fit for a Princess…

‘Nowadays, you can text 24 hours a day and be in constant contact, but every once in a while, it’s nice to just get out with your girlfriends and have fun’ – Amanda Schull

If you seach ‘Hen Party’ on wikipedia it says

‘A bachelorette party, hen(s) party, hen(s) night or hen(s) do, is a party held for a woman who is about to get married and despite its reputation as “a sodden farewell to bachelor days” or “an evening of debauchery,” a bachelorette’s party is simply a party, given in honor of the bride-to-be, in the style that is common to that social circle’

It wasn’t until one of my very best friends Steph asked me and Aileen to organise her hen do that I realised how much ruddy hard work Angela must have had to put in organising my own 3 years ago. I do, however organise other people’s lives for a living so Aileen and I were up for the challenge of giving Princess Steph a hen do she’d really enjoy.

The Location

At first we were looking for a city break, we’re lucky that we live in one of the greatest party cities in the UK so were quite happy to see what other cities had to offer. We were pretty set on Leeds as it’s not too far away from us and handy for anyone coming up from the south but Steph works there quite regularly and was quite frankly sick of the site of the place so that was vetoed. So we then dithered over Liverpool for a few days before finally settling on Windermere in the Lake District and I was lucky enough to find the absolutely beautiful Boston House which is part of the Terrace complex.

 

Location wise the house couldn’t have been better; easy to find (providing you don’t have the inability to read a sat nav like me) and so close to the train station I’m sure I was awoken one morning to an announcement that the 7:05 to Manchester was delayed – although that could have been a weird prosecco dream! It was very handy for people coming from different ends of the country and there was plenty of allocated parking spaces for the drivers.

The  house itself was perfect for what we needed; it had 7 bedrooms, some with twin beds, some with doubles but all with their own en suite bathrooms (thank god – I didn’t fancy having share 1 bathroom with 14 girls trying to get ready for a night out!) and the living areas were huge for us all to congregate in (the kitchen had a designated fridge just for wine – stick a fork in me, I’m done!). Everyone was arriving at random times on the friday so we had ourselves a little 90s themed house party where Bride was transformed into Britney and was joined by a couple of MC Hammer’s a couple of Uma Thurman’s, Clarissa (Explaining it all), overlooked Gladiator ‘Camelhoof’ and the Spice Girls.

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One other great feature about Boston House, aside from the designated Prosecco fridge, was the cinema room which we showed a video of Steph’s betrothed playing a game of Mr & Mrs, to much hilarity.

The Actvity

Steph’s pretty outdoorsy so we took advantage of our location and booked into Brockhole Tree Top Trek just 3 miles down the road from Windermere to spend the afternoon swinging through the trees which was great fun!

The high ropes course was expertly lead by hen Steph who looked like a pro up there as we followed along behind here with varying degrees of success but all with good fun. As there were quite a few different sets of friendship groups it was a really great way for us all to get to know each other, and I tell you, having strapped each other into our harnesses, Laura – who I’d only known for 12 hours at this point, now knows parts of my anatomy pretty intimately!

The whole course takes about 3 hours to get round in it’s entirety and is finished at the end by a pretty impressive zip line (a personal fave of mine!)

The Night Out

All that fresh air made some of us sleepy and all of us hungry so we went back to the house for a few disco naps, a few Baileys Coffees (to warm up of course) and to slowly start getting ready for our night out. Now, the town of Windermere isn’t exactly known for it’s rambunctious nightlife however we donned our glad rags non the less and managed to find a fab restaurant called The Lighthouse which did great food and even better cocktails!

Then it was back to the ranch to make further dent into the Prosecco rations and eat even more cheese.

For those of us staying on the Sunday night as well we walked off our hangovers by having a hearty breakfast (at 1.30pm) and going to sit by the lake and drink even more Prosecco (hair of the dog and all that!) then fell asleep watching Shrek. Thankfully our little naps perked us up enough to fit in some margaritas and have another stroll into town for some fish & chips which we decided to eat straight out the contains at the massive banquet table in the dining room – just like they would in Game of Thrones.

I think t’s safe to say everyone went hope having had a laugh and perhaps making new new friends, albeit (certainly in my case) a few pounds heavier!

Booking info:

Accommodation: Cumbrian Cottages
Activity: Brockhole Treetop Trek
Restaurant: The Lighthouse
Brunch: Homeground Coffee & Kitchen