Archive | July 2013

Sparkling Sunset by the Whitby Coast


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis blog is my final entry before I turn the big 30 and begin a new chapter, leaving behind my twenties.  I am happy to announce that my boyfriend and I are now engaged – something I never thought I would get to experience and write about in a blog.

The other weekend my partner and I decided to go for a long weekend in Yorkshire and we happened to have some of the best weather so far this year – must be our weather magic.

We arrived on Friday in York and began by going on a haunted tour of the city.  The guide really made this tour as he took us round to the Minster, Guy Fawkes birth place and the shrine to Margaret Clitherow – the martyr of the Roman Catholic Church.  He involved different people including my other half in acting out being hung drawn and quartered.  I think even the tour guide jumped though as we stood in the historic street ‘The Shambles’ where he explained butchers would hang up their meat and people emptied chamber pots so blood etc would make a river down the street, when someone pulled loudly shut a window above us.

We then met up with my friend and her other half for dinner in the Mumbai Lounge.  Pregnancy is really suiting her.  I predict it will be a baby girl – watch this space!  That night we stayed at The Golden Fleece pub.  This is the oldest Inn in York – mentioned in archives as far back as 1503 and is believed to be haunted.  We stayed in Lady Peckett’s room.  Lady Peckett’s husband owned the Golden Fleece around 1702 and some guests have reported seeing her ghost.  The pub has great charm with its uneven floors – our bed had a block of wood under one leg to make it level.  Whilst we didn’t see the ghost of Lady Peckett the waiter at breakfast, we joked, seemed almost ghost like!


We met up with my Mum and Dad the following day and visited York Railway museum for the 75th anniversary of Mallard doing the fastest speed of a steam train in the world at 125.88 on July 3rd 1938.  Little did I know that when my other half and my Dad went somewhere for a quiet chat it was for my now fiancé to ask my Dads permission for his daughters hand in marriage.

That evening the two of us travelled on to Whitby and had a most enjoyable fish and chip tea in the famous Magpie Cafe.  The building itself was built in around 1750 when it began a long association with fishing and shipping.  It opened as a cafe in approximately 1939 and is widely considered the best place to get fish and chips in Yorkshire.


Full from our meal, my other half suggested a walk along the beach and then as the sun was setting, colouring the sky red, and the sea was rhythmically grazing the shore; he dropped down onto one knee and produced a stunning sapphire and diamond ring.

my ring

Engagement rings go back to the 13th century in the Western World and are worn on the second finger on the left hand as this is believed to be the shortest distance to the heart.  I was so stunned – the first thing I said was are you joking before giving an enthusiastic yes.  It couldn’t have been a more romantic proposal given that our first date had been fish and chips on the beach in Broadstairs.    We celebrated in Wetherspoons of all places with a bottle of champagne which the staff had to dust off!

Champagne was actually discovered by mistake when the cold winters halted the fermentation process only for it to start again in the spring creating a bi product of carbon dioxide which remained trapped in the wine.  It is now generally seen as the drink of choice for celebrations and in a book I am reading that I was kindly bought as an engagement present ‘How to Wear White’ it is said that the UK spends over £5million a week on champagne!  There is some suggestion however that the consumer trend this year is towards people buying Prosecco over champagne to celebrate with.

The following day was spent walking round the town, playing crazy golf (where I got a hole in one) and in arcades as well as going on a boat trip.  I’m sure those cuddly toy machines are rigged!  I couldn’t resist this gem of a satchel – so like the ones of the Cambridge Satchel Company but far cheaper, which I discovered on a market stall.


 new bag

We had a fish and chip tea down on the beach again whilst the sun set and I dipped my toe into the cool sea.

We then finished our stay with a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors railway and a visit to Goathland where Heartbeat was filmed.  On arrival back at Whitby, we grabbed some freshly baked doughnuts only to be dive bombed by seagulls!


We returned home to break the good news to both sets of parents.  I still can not quite believe it has happened to me – the little girl who said no one would ever marry her.  I cannot stop admiring my ring and feel like I am on cloud nine.  This wonderful event also ticks another box on my bucket list, so I have achieved 4 out of 10 of the items – got engaged, been to India, done the Moonwalk and started riding lessons again.  The others will be carried over to my new bucket list to do before 40.

We now have around a year to plan our special day and I can’t wait to get started.  Look out for lots of wedding planning themed blogs over the next few months!

Horsing Around

Royal Ascot is Ascots most prestigious race meeting and was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne.  The British love affair with horses dates back far further than this with the first believed horse race to have been in Yorkshire in 200AD.  To this day horse racing remains the second most popular attended sport in Great Britain with Royal Ascot drawing around 300000.  On Saturday 22nd June myself and my Mum attended the last day of Royal Ascot.  On arrival at Waterloo station, there was a rainbow display of hats and fascinators and women and men dressed to impress clutching picnic baskets with bottles of Champagne.  We had our own bottle of wine but as we were in the main grandstand we were not allowed to take it in so we quickly downed it – hunched under an umbrella outside – so classy!  It was a blustery and rather showery day but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits.

Ascot is of course renowned for its fashion as much as, if not more than its horses.  I wore an Oasis dress and a red hat with nude stilettos and an oversized nude clutch.  My Mum and I enjoyed a Pimms in the fashion bar whilst checking out the outfits of others.  I was gutted to walk past someone in the same dress as me that I had thought quite unique – I am all for imitation being the most sincere form of flattery but at an event with such social standing it was rather gutting.


In total I placed 4 bets each way costing me a total of £16.  I came away with £25.20 after Dandino romped in at 2nd place and an outsider in Krypton Factor came in 4th.  As it was my other half who suggested Krypton Factor as he perused the race supplement in the morning’s paper – I treated him to a silk tie.

The Royal procession was quite wonderful and grand even if the queen was hidden under an umbrella.  The procession takes place each day before races begin and the Royal Standard is raised.  People were even placing bets with the bookmakers on what colour hat the queen would be wearing.

Of course horses and fashion don’t only collide at Ascot; equestrian influences on fashion are often revisited with trends such as tweed, jodhpurs, blazers and of course riding boots as well as horses often being used as props in fashion shoots.  Autumn/Winter 2013 is no exception.  I love these Dune riding boots, but it seems wrong to be thinking of winter when summer has only just arrived.

dune riding bootOne of my bucket list items before hitting 30 was to take up horse riding lessons again.  I learnt as a child on a pony and on a holiday in Zante, when I was 18, I went on a horse trek so I felt sure that although it would be my first time back on a horse for more than ten years that it would all come flooding back to me.  How wrong I was.  I arrived at Callum Park riding school to be confronted with a large white horse of 16 hands 2 – much larger than I had ever ridden before.  After much struggle I got myself in the saddle.  Walking around the paddock seemed fairly nice and relaxing but I had forgotten how physically demanding rising trot is.  I managed a half hour lesson but ached like never before the following day, however I will be returning for a second lesson.

Did you also visit Ascot?  What did you wear? Please share photos of your outfit.  Until next time ……