Christmas at Waddesdon Manor

Waddeson Manor is a Manor house (surprisingly) located in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Waddeson Manor invite the public to join them for festive fun during the months of November-December (Wednesday- Sunday from 11AM-6PM).  Weekends are very busy at Waddeson Manor so they do suggest if you can to visit during the week.

We visited Waddeson Manor on Sunday 26th November and had the best day ever. We arrived at the car park at about midday and wondered over to the bus stop (about a 5 minute walk from the over flow car park). There was a short que but we got on the next available bus and the journey was about 5 minutes.

We had tickets to the Manor House so upon arrival we walked up the path and entered the house to ensure we didn’t miss our time slot. We envisioned the house to be full to the brim of beautifully decorated Christmas trees in every room (Annie’s mum had been the year before and said the Manor House was worth a visit). This year however the theme was animals but we felt like they could have made the exhibition a little bit more festive it was in fact very odd and a bit of an anti-climax. So if you are thinking about going to Waddeson Manor this isn’t something we would recommend doing spend your £10 on a couple of mulled wines instead.

The Christmas markets we located either side of the manor with a walk way and grass in between. The stalls had lights around them which looked particularly pretty at night. As usual most of the stalls were food related, not that we are complaining at all! We tried a lot of cheese, chutney and fudge on our way round and it was all delicious.

It took us about an hour and a half to wonder around the markets, we still had about 20 minutes before our afternoon tea so we enjoyed a delicious mulled wine & hot chocolate to help warm our bones a bit.

Festive afternoon tea at Waddeson Manor was incredible, it cost £25pp and was worth every penny. We were served a glass of champagne on arrival before ordering our tea off of the menu. They had a great selection of teas on offer but we all picked the English breakfast tea, it always feels wrong ordering a tea that isn’t English breakfast when having afternoon tea.

The selection of sandwiches or sandwich alternatives we should say were incredible and we all agreed that we much preferred having sandwich alternatives as they were less filling which meant we had plenty of room for the cakes. The sandwich menu included; Brie and cranberry tart, pork chipolata wrapped in bacon with honey mustard, smoked haddock rarebit and more.

The selection of cakes and desserts were also delicious and we loved the variety of flavours on our platesd. The menu included; mini mince pie, winter spiced apple pannacotta, homemade scone with jam and clotted cream and many more.

We didn’t feel like we were being rushed at all during our afternoon tea, the waiters and waitresses left enough time between the sandwiches and cakes which meant we really got to enjoy our time. The atmosphere was perfect and we were lucky to have a round table (we don’t know what it is but we just love a round table they are more sociable that’s for sure).  We would highly recommend the afternoon tea in Waddeson Manod and it was definitely one of the highlights of our day.

We left Waddeson Manor at about 16:30PM and noticed the que for the buses was incredibly long, although they said the que goes down quickly we actually opted to walk back to the car, we had just eaten a lot of cake and decided we could do with the exercise. Waddeson Manor have created a path that is well lit but we must have taken a wrong turn and ended up walking along the road which actually turned out to be the better option. The path wasn’t muddy but it was incredibly slippery so although probably a more direct route it probably wouldn’t have saved us much time.

All in all it was a fab day out and we would definitely recommend a visit, if you are travelling a long way though we would suggest you definitely grab a bite to eat whilst you are there and take a walk through the gardens. We loved our day at Waddeson and it was the perfect way to kick start our month long festive fun.

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Our 2016 Favourites

Seeing as we have been doing monthly favourite posts, we also thought it would be fitting to do a post all about our key favourites/favourite moments of the year together! 6 faves for 2016!

1) Holiday to Ibiza – we booked a very last minute holiday to Ibiza for an absolute bargain! For some reason flights to Ibiza were super cheaper so we first booked flights and then decided to check out accommodation. We decided that we didn’t want to stay in San Antonia, firstly becuase its super expensive and secondly becuase we didn’t want to go away to solely party! We stayed in ? And paid to go all inclusive which was so worth it. The highlights of the trip were the day trip to the Island of Formentera and the day at Ocean Beach Club.
2) Running – this year we have loved going running, especially in the summer when its warm. We have explored a lot of our local area going on super long runs. Even in the cold winter dark evenings we have managed to keep up the running, but stuck to the roads and not the woods! We entered to the London Marathon for 2017 but were unsuccessful but would like to definelty enter a race of some sort next year.
3) Protein powder – this year we have really got into protein powder. We will have a protein shake after the gym but have also begun experimenting with it in the kitchen. We have got into pancakes with protein in them in a big way, it has been such fun experimenting with different flavour combinations. We have also made protein flapjacks and protein muffins so watch this space!
4) Nights out – we have had some very funny nights out this year, from local nights out to a crazy night out in Sheffield. We love dressing up, letting our hair down, having a drink or two and a boogie on the dance floor!
5) Fitbit – we both received fitbits for Christmas last year, so this year we have loved wearing them and tracking our steps. They particularly handy as we sit in an office all day long. Scarily they have become addictive and we always try to make sure we meet our target of 10,000 steps a day! Post to follow in the New Year so watch this space.
6) Photography – now we are not professional photographs but we have loved experimenting behind the camera this year. We have realised how important it is to take good photos for our blog and Instagram account. We now have a ‘bridge’ camera to take photos on, and have also got a tripod, this is very handy when there is no one about to take a picture for us. We would love to invest in a D-SLR in the near future. Think we need to get saving first though!
We cannot wait to see what 2017 will bring
What were your highlights of 2016? Share them with us!

BLOGMAS Day 25 – Christmas Day traditions

MERRY CHRISTMAS! We hope you have had a lovely day with whomever you have spent it with! We will be eating our own body weight in food and drinking all the champagne we can get our hands on.  We have enjoyed Blogmas so much this year, we are so sad it is over! Twenty Five blog posts involved so much planning, writing, giggling and eating but we wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

We hope you have enjoyed following us along on our journey and the lead up to Christmas, we have been feeling more festive than ever this year and we have blogging to thank for that! We thought the best way to end Blogmas would be to write about our own family traditions!

Rachel Tradition’s

Christmas Day is only with my immediate family as the rest of the family live in Northern Ireland. Christmas Day for me isn’t a huge family affair and nothing out of the ordinary as we will often eat meals as a whole family. For this reason I have chosen to take advantage of all the bank holidays and go away for 3 weeks to South East Asia. I am sad to be missing Christmas Day today however I am currently living it up in Bangkok before my tour with G Adventure begins tomorrow.

However we would usually wake up early-ish on Christmas morning to stockings waiting in the hall for us. We all sit in the front room and open our stockings whilst listening to Christmas music. Then myself and mum start making breakfast. We always have a box of Cinnamon Squares for breakfast, these are from our local cafe called believe it or not Cinnamon Square and they taste delicious! We heat them in the oven and enjoy these with bucks fizz! At the breakfast table we open what we call our ‘main present’. This is the big main item we have asked for. We all open at the breakfast table and its always exciting!

We then get ready and all dressed up to head to church. We always attend Church on Christmas morning without fail and its a short family service.

Then we go home and start getting ready for a late lunch, I will always help mum prepare the lunch. I also help serve up the starter which is always fish. We usually have a selection of terrines and king prawns. We all sit down to the starter and open our crackers.

We then eat the main course about 30 minutes later which of course is a Christmas meal with all the trimmings, Turkey, Gammon, potatoes, veg, pigs in blankets etc all washed down with wine or prosecco.

We are always too full to have dessert but will spend the rest of the day munching on a selection box! We spend the rest of the day opening presents and will often crack out a board game or two! We end the evening watching a film that we have most likely received that day before tucking into bed!

Annie  Tradition’s

Usually the music will be playing at full blast from about 7 o’clock in the morning! Even if you wanted to stay in bed (which we don’t) you wouldn’t have a choice. My dad always cooks a full English on Christmas morning and makes sure there is plenty of champagne flowing (you will never have an empty glass in our house).  We tend to open our Santa presents in the morning before heading down to the pub for more beverages. This is actually a new tradition, we never did this when we were younger as we were too busy playing with all our new toys and who wants to go to the pub when they are younger? BORING, now we are older we love it!

Once we are home from the pub; Canapes will be served, games will be played, presents will be opened and champagne will be drank- this is basically our day on repeat.

We have always had Christmas dinner quite late, we have never been a Sunday lunch family we always have our roast in the evening.  Table presents have always been a tradition in our family; they are usually small funny gifts!  We always have salmon and prawns to start which seems to be a tradition for most families! Christmas dinner is then served followed by homemade Christmas pudding.

We usually end the day on the sofa in a carb coma still munching on chocolate whilst watching a film or a Christmas special that is on TV.  Christmas day is pretty relaxed in our house and boxing day is when we have the rest of the family over to celebrate.

Merry Christmas 

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BLOGMAS Day 7- Fitness Wishlist

We couldn’t do Blogmas and not have a Christmas fitness wish list feature on our blog!  There are so many amazing fitness gifts out there that any fitness fanatic would love. You can never have too much active wear and if someone tries to tell you otherwise they are wrong.

Tote Bag- everyone needs a gym slogan tote bag in their life and we love this Kelly Connor design from Etsy. The slogan reads ‘When I work out at the gin I like to rum’, the bag costs £14.75 and is a great size for all your gym kit.

Running socks Marks and Spencer’s sell some of the best running socks we can find. They are thick so stop any blisters appearing when running. The socks we have chosen are £6.00 for a pack of two in the colour Aqua Mix which you can find here.

Women’s Health Subscription every girl loves reading a magazine and we especially enjoy reading women’s health. You can get 11 issues for just £26.99 which we think is an absolute bargain. Women’s health magazine gives you tips and advice to help keep you motivated every month. Who wouldn’t want a monthly fitness fix delivered straight to your door?

Water Bottle- We love anything personalised so when we saw these water bottles we were immediately in love! The water bottle is monochrome and can be purchased from not on the high street for £17.50.

Fitbit- We absolutely love our Fitbits and if you haven’t already got one it needs to be on your fitness wish list. They are amazing and have a great customer service team if you ever have a problem with your fitbit. We have the Fitbit HR Charge and the FitBit Alta.

Popband Hair ties- It’s time to say goodbye to dented kinky! A Popband hair band would be the perfect hair band to use when working out. We like to run on during our lunch break so having a hair band that doesn’t leave a crease would be perfect. There is a large variety of colours and designs suitable for all occasions.

Pink Soda Leggings- This brand has so many amazing products on offer it was hard to choose just one pair of leggings! Pink Soda sell a collection of fitness and lifestyle essentials designed to make you look and feel good when working out. We love these Pink Soda Sport Grindle Panel Tights, they cost £28 pounds and are available in sizes 6-14.

Forever 21 Sports Bra’s- Forever 21 always has an amazing range and this season their sports bras are all beautiful. Forever 21 active wear is so affordable (£13) that we have picked a couple to go on our wish list. First up is this low impact bra there is a choice of two colours and we especially liked the back detail of this bra. Our second pick is a medium impact bra which has gorgeous black mesh detail on the back and front. The final sports bra we picked out of the collection was a high impact bra which will be perfect for running or HIIT training. We love the colour plum so we were immediately attracted to this bra we also liked the striped elasticised band.

Nike Running Jacket- would it really be a fitness wishlist without at least one Nike product in site? We know Nike is a little on the pricey side but it is Christmas so you should treat yourself after all! We have chosen this Nike Shield running jacket in the colour red. The jacket is light weight and water resistance which will be perfect in the wet cold months.

Some other ideas would include; running gloves, foam roller, yoga matt, Backpack, sweat towel, running gloves, protein powder, protein shaker, weight training gloves, hoodies & sweatshirts, long sleeved running tops, resistance band and maybe even some weights for when you train at home. 

What are your fitness must haves? We would love to hear about them!

BLOGMAS Day 1- Hello December

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Can you believe it’s December the 1st already? This year has gone way too quickly (we are sure the older you get the faster the years go). We have decided this December to take part in BLOGMAS! We have so many exciting blog posts planned and scheduled for the next month! We love reading other Blogmas post’s so couldn’t not join in this year.  We cannot wait to document our Christmas this year so we can look back on our blog in years to come and remember all the fun we had.

Christmas is without a doubt the BEST time of year, there is so much to look forward to; wearing Christmas jumpers (the uglier the better), pretending Santa exists because come on no one really wants to grow up, having an excuse to wear anything sparkly, sitting by the fire in a cosy onesie eating mince pies and watching Christmas films is possibly the best Sunday ever. Visiting endless German markets, waiting for the John Lewis advert to come on TV, ordering a drink in Starbucks and getting your first Red cup of the year, getting excited for pigs in blanket and Brussel sprouts (yes some of us do like them), Christmas song’s being played on the radio while decorating the Christmas tree and this is only scratching the surface we could go on all day.

Working in London at Christmas time is definitely a perk. Work Christmas parties are always SO much fun! Even if there are a few embarrassed faces coming into work the next day but hey that’s part of the fun. Christmas time at work always results in lunches lasting way over an hour with usually far too much wine and carbs being consumed, everyone already knows the afternoon is going to be a write off.

Secret Santa at work, there are usually so many unanswered questions! Joke or serious? Does it depend on who you are buying for? Should this be made a rule when picking names out the hat? Is everyone going to keep it a secret? Do I really want to waste my money on a load of junk? What do I buy a 50 year old man? This person has told me they won’t be happy with a joke present? Aaah so many questions, but then again I suppose that’s all part of the fun.

Christmas is still just as fun now as it was when we were younger okay so you don’t get such a ‘magical’ experience but its becomes magical in so many different ways. Seeing the excitement on someone’s face when they have opened a present you have bought can be even more exciting than receiving presents.

We cannot wait to document our Christmas this year so we can look back on our blog in years to come and remember all the fun we had.

We love everything about Christmas apart from the topic that always pops up around this time of year… Wait for it…. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO FOR NYE? Aaaah and the response is the same every year… I HAVE NO IDEA!

Merry Christmas everyone!