c April 2015 | Garden, Tea, Cakes and Me

Win Tickets to Chelsea Flower Show - Ended

Homebase are offering one of my blog readers the chance to win two tickets to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea on Friday 22 May 2015. This year Homebase introduce its 2015 Chelsea Collection – a range of plants inspired by The Homebase ‘Urban Retreat’ Garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Designed by award-winning Adam Frost, the Homebase Garden has been designed as an urban community garden in which local wildlife can flourish.


    
Deep Red Aquilegia
Foxglove





















If you are lucky enough to be a winner or are planning a trip to The Chelsea Flower show this year, be sure to look out for the Foxgloves, Deep Red Aquilegia and Euphorbia plants in the Homebase ‘Urban Retreat’ Garden.

Win 2 tickets for Friday 22 May to RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

How to enter
To be in with a chance of winning this prize you must enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, you can gain extra entries by completing additional tasks. 

If you can not see the Rafflecopter widget below, you may need to refresh your page using F5. For more information on how to enter you can watch this Rafflecopter video or visit fellow blogger Super Lucky for a simple guide on using Rafflecopter. 

Remember if you enter the competition by tweeting be sure to include the link to your tweet. If any of the links are not working on the widget leave me a comment at the bottom of this blog post or tweet me.

Closes 10 May 2015. Winner must supply their details to enter the competition for their prize to be posted in time for the show. UK entrants only. For Terms and Conditions click the link on the Rafflecopter widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway This prize is kindly donated by Homebase. Photo credit: Homebase
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A holiday to Cornwall - Poldark country

I have heard many people tell me how wonderful Cornwall and for the first time ever I visited it earlier this month with my sister. It involved driving through seven counties before entering Cornwall, a fair road trip indeed. But worth every mile.

Staying in a rather gorgeous hotel called The Cornwall on the out skirts of St Austell, our room had a balcony view of the hotel grounds and countryside. It was a holiday that included all the treats you would expect, cooked breakfasts, a dip in the pool, spa treatments, cream teas, ice creams and of course fish and chips. We spent our days exploring villages and magnificent gardens.

Charlestown




Over the last few months I have been enjoying the television series Poldark every Sunday evening. I had established early in my holiday research that many of the Poldark town scenes were filmed in Charlestown, so it was a must visit. In fact it has been used as a location for many films and television shows. It was nice to see that very little has changed over the years. 


Old Harbour Masters Office - Charlestown
After a walk around the harbour walls I had a peek into the Old Harbour Masters Office, which was quite the little palace. A sign on the window showed you could rent it for £40 for 2 hours, it included wifi and phone signal. I loved its unique seeling point 'the more the weather throws the better the view'.

I was surprised how interesting the Shipwreck and Heritage Centre was to visit, I had assumed this would have a heavy slant towards entertaining children. It was well balanced to entertaining and informing both adults and children alike about Charlestown's history. You even get to walk into the disused clay tunnels which bring you out into the middle of the harbour wall, looking towards the tall ship that was docked. 

There are some wonderful small shops that are worth popping into, I made one or two purchases just a few small items that will always remind me of my visit here. My favourite shops included:- Tallships Creamery (lovely fudge!), Charlestown Crafts and The Craft Kiln.  

A quick refreshment break at Wreakers also saw me treat myself to one of their very tasty chocolate hazelnut cannoli, a first for me only previously eaten a lemon cannoli.


Mevagissey



Mevagissey is an old town with a working harbour, I enjoyed a lovely stroll around in the Spring sunshine although it was mightily windy. Fabulous fresh fish and chips in The Fountain pub, as recommended by the owner of the fudge shop in town. I do find it worth asking locals for food recommendations. What a gem, a quaint old Cornish pub with lots of character and a jolly happy landlord serving wonderful food.

More Cornish adventures to follow...

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Is this the best National Trust secondhand book shop in the UK?

I love an opportunity to browse the bookshelves of a secondhand bookshop. Discovering  that longed for out of print book from your  reading list.  I think it is fair to say that a large number of National Trust properties these days have their own secondhand book areas. They tend to range from a large well organised shop, or outhouse to a small cupboard or in some cases just a shelf or two. For me finding a book in one of these historical locations add that extra element of mystery to the history of a secondhand book. 

best secondhand bookshop England
Is this the best National Trust
secondhand bookshop
in England?
One of my local Shropshire National Trust Properties has what must be one of the most welcoming, well organised secondhand book shops and is of almost tardis like proportions. Where can you find this this jem of a Secondhand bookshop - Attingham Park, Atcham in Shropshire. It is located in the corner area of the stable block, which you pass through upon arrival at Attingham Park. 

You enter through the doorway into a small room where you may be greeted with a welcoming roaring fire, perfect on a chilly day. A small table in the centre of the room displays a clear price guide and honesty box. The book shelves wrap around this small room and are well organised with clear subject separators. 

Secondhand bookshop at Attingham Park, Shropshire

As you turn to leave this small room you will find a small staircase that leads you into another room filled with yet more bookshelf lined walls and another welcoming fire, there are a further two rooms. the third room has a wonderful selection of children's books and in the final room you will even find a whole shelf of books dedicated to royalty! The quality and condition of the books for sale were very good, I did not find any scruffy or tatty looking books.

One of the National Trusts best Secondhand bookshops
There was a small squeal of delight from me when I discovered a copy of Edith Wharton 'The Buccaneers', a particular book I was on the look out for and have plans to take with me on holiday this year. My sister hit the jackpot when following a conversation with one of the very helpful volunteers  they returned from the storeroom to have found her a further four of the Winston Graham 'Poldark' series of books.
Attingham Park National Trust books
Attingham Park Stable Block
Could this be the best National Trust Secondhand bookshop in England? I think so, but if I ever do find better I am sure to let you know.

Do you have a favorite secondhand book shop? Is there a better National Trust secondhand book shop I have yet to discover, please do share with me your favourite. 

Other National Trust Properties visited:
Sunnycroft
Benthall Hall

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Grand Designs Live London - Tickets Giveaway

Grand Designs Live are offering not one but two of my blog readers the chance to win two tickets to the Grand Designs Live London Show at the Excel centre during 2 - 10 May 2015. The show, presented by Channel 4 design guru Kevin McCloud, is the UK's number one, award-winning home show packed with design and inspiration for your home. So whether you are planning to re-style a room or add an home extension, you will find lots of inspiration and advice at the show. Who know's you may even bump into Kevin.





How to enter
To be in with a chance of winning this prize you must enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, you can gain extra entries by complete the additional tasks. 

If you can not see the Rafflecopter widget below, you may need to refresh your page using F5. For more information on how to enter you can watch this Rafflecopter video or visit fellow blogger Super Lucky for a simple guide on using Rafflecopter. 

Remember if you enter the competition by tweeting be sure to include the link to your tweet. If any of the links are not working on the widget leave me a comment at the bottom of this blog post or tweet me.

Closes 25 April 2015. Winner must supply their details to enter the competition for their prize to be posted in time for the show. UK entrants only. For Terms and Conditions click the link on the Rafflecopter widget.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Can you identify this plant - is this Lily of the Valley?

I have some plants that I am unable to identify. They have been growing in the garden for a few years now, and for the life of me I can not remember if they were already here when I first moved house, or more frighteningly I planted them. Either way I do not know their identity. 

Is this plant Lily of the Valley
What am I?
I was hoping they were Lily of the Valley but looking at the leaves closer I think they are too large and glossy.  They have never flowered, and are in a location that at this time of the year gets little sun and is rather shady due to a holly hedge. You can judge their size as they are next to a Hellebore, Rose and an Erysimum.  I think it likely that they do not like the location, if I can establish their identity I can move them to a more suitable spot. Hopefully they may then flower. 

What is this plant?
A plant with no name

Helping identifying a plant
My friend is a Hellebore

I am quite sure someone is reading this and immediately knows its identity, and is wondering if I know anything about gardening at all! I welcome any ideas you may have to help solve my gardening mystery. 

Update...

Thank you to fellow blogger Amy at Love Made My Home for identifying the plant as Colchicum, also called Autumn Crocus. At this time of year it grows large leaves, then in the autumn it flowers with the blooms looking exactly like crocuses but larger. Guess what, come Autumn there are indeed large light purple crocus type flowers in its location. Always good to solve a mystery - thank you Amy.
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Keep Calm and Have a Cup of Tea - My Wall Stickers Review

There have been many changes to my kitchen and dinning area over the last eight months. From replacing the kitchen wall tiles to changing all of the furniture. The end is in sight and now I just need to add one or two items to pull everything together. As of last week it was a type of wall art and creating a photo wall. 

Wall Art Sticker for kitchen
Wall Art - Keep Calm and Have a Cup of Tea!

I can now tick off the wall art - hurrah! As I have just fitted a fabulous wall sticker which declares to all visitors 'Keep Calm and have a Cup of Tea'. Which sums me up perfectly, I am 'mostly' calm and will mostly be found drinking a cup of tea! What do think? I absolutely love it, at first I thought it maybe too bright in colour but it actually works really well with its surroundings.

Keep Calm and Have a Cup of Tea Wall Sticker
Keep Calm and Have a Cup of Tea Wall Sticker

I love… 
how easy it is to add impact to a room with such a simple and easy to fit piece of wall artWith plenty of red accessories in the room this wall art really does help to complete the modern yet vintage look I was wanting to achieve.

Could do better…
normally when I review an item I usually have a useful suggestion or where there maybe some slight improvement following its use. Everything about this product was as promised, in fact I have been so pleased with it I have been showing my photo of it to all my friends!

Perfect for…
almost any room in the house, there is a wall sticker suitable for any taste, decor or look. From a fun and funky design for a children's room, to something more relaxed and tasteful for a bedroom or lounge. 

The important stuff…
The Keep Calm and Have a Cup of Tea sticker from My Wall Stickers costs £16.99 and comes is a wide choice of colours, it measures 60cms tall x 30cms wide. Perfect dimensions to be placed to the side of my kitchen dresser and the door to the lounge. 

Equipment to install a wall sticker
The instructions were very easy to follow and fixing it to the wall was very straight forward, with no hiccups. With your wall sticker you receive an instruction leaflet and a squeegee. You will also need some masking tape and scissors, I also used a spirit level as I wanted to be sure it was level. Once it is fixed to the wall there is no re-positioning it, so I did not want a wonky sticker. Guaranteed by the manufacturer for 5 years although likely to last longer.

Installing a wall sticker
Easy to install wall sticker

I received this wall sticker free of charge from My Wall Stickers for the purposes of this review, all options expressed are my own. 

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