Desire or Aspire?

Nowadays most of us choose to have our lives strewn across the internet. We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all forms of social media. In many ways the openness of internet world is a positive thing, we have banks of knowledge available to us at the click of button, we can check up on old friends, make new ones and feel closer to celebrities more so than ever before. However, there is always a downside to any positive, they can make us feel a lack of achievement, ungrateful and make people hungry for recognition.

So in light of this, I have decided to create this post to help myself and others understand that its important to take a step back from the machines and look at what is right in front of us. Or one day, we are going to look back on our lives and wonder what we could have achieved.

I can’t speak for the world, but most of my memories are made up of spending time with loved ones, reading a good book, shopping in my favourite boutiques or rearranging my furniture (yes I do this). We should feel blessed for what we have in life and what we have accomplished up till now. Not look at others and compare ourselves (even though we do), because we have different experiences, different opportunities and often find those we admire, also admire someone else just as much.

So what I want you to do is walk around your house, take in the beauty, find three things within stepping distance you love about it and that make it special to you! These can be any three things and don’t have to be your favourite. If I was going to start listing my favourite things in the house they would be Walter, Jon and my harp. I want you to find three things that you look at and smile at. For the purpose of this exercise I have taken photos of mine and explained what they mean to me below!

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1) This is my beautiful image of Kew Gardens that I bought last year when I visited the Orchid Festival with Jon and his parents. Even though this is just another glittery post card to most people, to me it is a symbol and memory of so much in my life. It shows the changing of seasons throughout Kew Gardens, and unbeknown to many, Jon took me here when we were just friends for a day out together and it is the place that we went too before he asked me to be his girlfriend. It is an incredibly personal image to me as it shows the seasons that can relate to moods: frosty, sunny, cool and calm and also relate to 365 days of life. For that reason, when I look at this postcard so much springs to mind, it is a cheerful, relaxing yet slightly childlike way which I think shows the fun side to life.image1-4

2) Next we have a little felt animal that is a true likeness to our fury friend Walter. This little guy brings back to so many memories and is so special to me because he is Jon’s first attempt at a felt animal (with some assistance). I first used felt years ago with my friend Lauren her mum and my mum at one of our craft days / girly get together. Since then I found it super therapeutic as you have to repetitively jab at the felt to give it texture and create a fabric like finish (says a lot about me). One rainy day back home visiting my parents, Jon was looking a bit bored so I suggested we had a go at crafts. He wasn’t too into it at first as he hadn’t made them before but after I got the kit out and started showing him what to do he really got into it and finished felt Walter in a matter of hours. I am now so proud of this as it is way better than anything I could have done and is going to forever hang on our Christmas tree. When it isn’t Christmas he sits on the bookshelf just where our real life Walter likes to sit (and nibble books).

image1-53) Finally on my list is this beautiful snow globe, that probably shouldn’t be out because it isn’t Christmas, but it is and has been since my little brother gave it to me at Christmas. I am so sentimental about anything gifted to me by my family especially if it is from my baby brother (who is taller than I am). This snow-globe was picked out by my brother one Christmas and he bought it for me, because he thought I would like it. Not because my Mum told him to get it, but because he wanted too. Anyone who has a sibling will understand how special it is when your sibling gifts you something like this. As well as this, the snow globe has been all over the place with me, everywhere I have moved. I find it relaxing and calming to look at so I keep it on my dressing table in my bedroom. Inside it is a beautiful silver deer surrounded by sparkling snow which just gives it that little sparkle.

Now, don’t you feel better? Instead of sitting on your machines wishing to be someone you’re not, aspire to be the person you are and appreciate what you have in life. I feel so much happier now I have done this exercise and am looking for more things I find beautiful, if something doesn’t mean anything to me then there is almost no point in keeping it, so give it to someone else and create a new memory for them.

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Wicked weekends

I am so thrilled the U.K. has bank holidays, it’s an opportunity for those of us who work full time to take a few days holiday without having to dip into our precious holiday funds from work. Here are my tips on making the most of these times and what you can get up to on our next long weekend!

What did I do?

Friday / Saturday

Over the first of our May bank holidays I literally did not stop. I had my lovely friend Lauren to stay (I met Lauren at University, when we went to watch Downton Abbey in the common room and hit it off!) Friday night which was wonderful. I got to show her our new flat, chill out, have a catch up and then end the night by watching hilarious YouTube videos.

The next day we went exploring the area and ended up in the most adorable, chocolate box / postcard village you have ever imagined in your life! Minster Lovell. We had previously searched places to visit close by and Minster Lovell came up as a suggestion due to its beautiful 15th century ruined Manor House and church.

We loved the little village so much! It reminded us of Cranford / Lark Rise to Candleford (books / BBC drama). When we were there we went to the local pub for a yummy cool drink which was much deserved!

On the way back we went on to Oxford where I accidentally (on purpose) introduced Lauren to the most adorable range of purses. These purses are in the design of bookshelves / books / shops and all sorts! They’re sold in a cute independent store where she treated herself to the cutest purse (I will be returning next payday to get myself one)!

Sunday

On Sunday Jon and I headed off early to Lyme Regis as I had never been and desperately wanted to go fossil hunting! This was a pretty long day as the drive down was a little over two and a half hours (same back), so it is quite a commitment to do, but totally worth it when we live in such a beautiful country.

Due to the hot weather the beach was completely packed, so we ended up clambering across rocks bare foot, squelching through the clay and sand looking for fossils on the way to a secluded section of beach. Totally worth it! We pitched up, had a dip, read some of our books and ate the picnic Jon had made. It was wonderful!

We had a good few hours at the beach before having a little mooch round the town, where Jon of course found a bookshop, then we headed off home and slept soundly till morning when it was (thankfully) BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY!

Monday

This was a great day, as it is usually a day we have to work, so we spent it together exploring Oxfordshire and its nature reserves! We decided to stay closer to home because it isn’t often you find yourself in a situation where you can do anything you want and more often than not people tend to go further afield in search, whereas I love to explore my doorstep!

We went to a nature reserve about 40 minutes drive from us called Foxholes.

Foxholes is a beautiful forest / woodland with fields, a river and little pathways running through it owned by BBOWT.

We did admittedly get lost, but with a compass, maps and Jon we got back to our little blue beetle in no time and went for a lovely late lunch in Burford at the Priory.

Rounding up

When it comes to it I think that it’s vital to make the most of our free time together. People, me included, spend so much time on our phones, computers and watching tv now that we just don’t switch off enough, leading us to feel tired, down and stressed. For this very reason it’s so important that we clock off even if for a day or so and spend it exploring our magical world, reading its books and enjoying its natural beauty!

Book shops

I recently got back from a weekend trip to Hay-On-Wye, the country’s capital for bookshops. Our journey down to Hay was wet windy and took about three hours. However it was most certainly worth it. For this blog I have picked my top bookshops (or places to get books). There are so many more to see and so many more events over the year that I wanted to just give a brief overview of what it is like to visit Hay on a typical weekend away visit.

Where to stay?
Image result for the swan hay on wyeI was lucky enough to get us a room in the lucrative Swan Hotel based on the high street only a stones throw from the Main Street. The hotel is wonderful and elegant. It is on the pricy side of Hay, so if you’re looking to spoil someone (just like I was) it’s perfect. However if you’re on a really tight budget there are some other amazing options throughout the little town.

IMG_7715The Cinema Book Shop

Almost opposite the hotel is the old Cinema Book Shop which is over three floors worth of books both old and new. There is also a specialist section full of antique books, maps and much more. This was the first bookshop Jon and I went in once we arrived in Hay and by gosh, we stayed there a while! Jon was in his element and we ended up getting some incredible books, one of which was on ‘rare vegetables’ which made me laugh so much we bought it. I almost wish I had bought this book called ‘The Girl who was took good looking’ purely for the title, but I decided against it and settled with a photo.

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Two other books that caught my eye were The book of Asparagus and A book about potatoes because they seemed so random. There was also a book on rare vegetables was so funny (not particularly photogenic) but we I ended up buying it as the content was just so astonishing to me. It has artichoke, aubergine and even types of potato in it that we can get in pretty much any supermarket nowadays.

 

The Castle Bookshop at Hay

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The next stop on our bookshop-crawl through Hay, was to the outdoor bookshop overlooked by the most beautiful ruin castle. The thing about this bookshop is its honest. You can browse at your own leisure, take a seat on the lawn and read and then if you so wish purchase a book for £1 in the honesty letterbox by the steps leading up to the beautiful castle. Here I got a really cute little book about ‘ponies and horses’ detailing the ins and outs of ponies and horses over the world. I then spent the evening with Jon (as he read James Bond books) telling him random horse facts which I think drove him slowly mad as his laughter turned into eye rolling and ‘oh dears’. It’s little books like this that I love. As much as I find new literature and old classics dreamy and wonderful, it’s the books that are lost and forgotten that can be the most special.

Richard Booth’s Bookshop

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Hay-On-Wye has the most incredible collection of books, a cafe and a cinema to boot! There are sections fo kids, collectors, mythical believers, scientists, literature-lovers, zombie enthusiasts, gardeners, hygge-lovers and much more. The bookshop is spread across three levels (cellar, ground floor and first floor). Upstairs there are walls of literature, home comforts, Scandinavian books and all sorts of religious and mythical books. So, there is really something for everyone, you don’t really need to be an in-depth book-worm to feel comfortable here as there is really an area for everyone.  Whilst Jon spends the better half of an hour rummaging about the literature upstairs, I had a chance to sit down and read some wonderful books on Norway.

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One of the best books I found was in the ‘home / crafts’ section and it was called Living in Norway by Elisabeth Holte, Solvi Dos Santos and Knut Faldbakken.

The book is an eclectic mix of over 250 images of interior and exterior shots of Norway giving the reader a real sense of design, culture and heritage. My favourite bit about the book is the lack of ‘people’ and the fact there are so many museum style photos, or Insta-worthy photos throughout. It’s an adult picture book of Norway with some beautiful written text explaining the style / history and culture of the people.

After our exhausting mooch intertwining ourselves through bookshelves, we went for a much deserved coffee in Richard Booths is incredible coffee shop. When there we were amazed at the really lovely selection of homemade goodies from cakes to warm lunches and both opted for a cosy salad.

Addyman books 

image2-2The most instagramable bookshop in the town award has to go to this gem. This is a bookshop that has been created by someone artistic and with a real thought of the type of customers they want to bring to the shop. Jon ended up buying so many books here we went away with a free tote bag and a discount!

We loved this bookshop so much we ended up going back there again on Sunday. We were the only customers in the shop from 10am Sunday for a good hour or so, I found at the top of the stairs a beautifully decorated loft space converted into Shackleton’s hut from one of his expeditions. It was wonderful because the whole ‘hut’ was full of polar books, snow books, exploration books and of course Shackleton books too. Addyman’s is so wonderfully planned out, it just makes you want to feel at home. It’s also refreshing to a find a bookshop allowing you to feel honest and trusted. So many shops have sadly fallen victim to theft that they just case everything and cover the place in cameras, which makes for quite an uncomfortable setting if I do say so. This is certainly not something you feel in Addyman!

So when it comes down to it, if you love books, reading and culture Hay is somewhere you should (if you have not already) visit!

 

 

 

 

 

My hygge home

It’s official! I now live in an adorable, old house surrounded by beams in a quite little town just outside of Oxford overlooking spires, pretty old houses and at night the cutest of sunsets.

Moving from a London Kensington flat was not an easy decision for us, moving from a city that had everything. Parks, coffee shops on every corner, jobs and friends to somewhere alien and new.

The decision came after Jon’s contract ended at the Natural History Museum in London. Even though I had been offered a wonderful job at Kew Gardens, we decided that the only real reason we were staying in London was to be in London!

But, truth be told, since both of us had more or less done everything we wanted in London and Jon’s contract had come to an end we decided it was time to move elsewhere (with good train links back of course)!

Where to go?

The big question we had to ask ourselves, was where do we go? We seriously discussed Norway as an option and also Australia, but because my Norwegian isn’t good enough and Jon has already used his work holiday visa in Aus we decided (for now at least) to save up and live in the idyllic county of Oxfordshire!

Firstly, can I just say how shocked I was at what you can get for your money outside of London! I feel like a princess in a castle (I suspect I literally could be if we moved to Scotland or Wales). It’s been incredible and I haven’t missed London much at all, and it isn’t like it’s difficult to go back.

My home

Having a home is so important and I feel you can be at home anywhere as long as you’re made to feel welcome, relaxed and at ease. Well, that is exactly what we felt moving into our new home. It’s big, bright airy and full of character. So I’m going to share a few of my hygge home comforts with you!

Candles

If you go back through my blogs, you’ll see I’ve dedicated an entire blog to candles!

Woodwick candles and Green & Black Easter eggs!Candles are incredible and no home should be without them! Here I’ve got our Green & Blacks Easter eggs (gifted by Jon’s lovely Mum) with my Wood-wick candle that crackles like an open fire and smells like fresh ocean air! It’s blissful!

Fairy lights & Fluffy Blankets

img_7621As I type this, I’m sat snuggled under my pink Zara Mohair blanket watching Jon play on his PS4 with the fairy lights glittering away in the background.  I find fairy lights so soothing and relaxing. They bring a small amount of happiness to a home that wouldn’t be there otherwise, so why would you want to be without? I even have cute little fairy lights round the top of the bookshelves in our hallway, LED of course as I wouldn’t want to burn the books!

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Wooden beams with fairy lights and a Lego dinosaur!

Pictures

 

So many homes don’t have pictures hanging on the walls and I don’t understand why! Blank walls are for conference rooms and swimming pools, not homes! There is nothing more sterile than a vastly empty wall. Even though we’ve only been in a matter of days, I’ve already insisted we hang our pictures up and here is a small selection for you to see the difference a picture can make!

img_7611At the top we have Jon’s map on the left and a picture of Milly on the right. To the left of the map we have a feature opening which is entirely glass and almost a picture of the hallway in its own right. You can also see the next picture (Wrendale Hamster) which we have next to the stairs in our hallway!

 

It’s really not expensive to get pictures for your home. You can get personal ones like we have on our side table, or of our dog Milly, or more fun and general ones like the map or hamster. The Wrendale hamster is actually a birthday card from my parents that I had framed and the map Jon got in a charity shop for £6. I really think they look great and work well with the characterful home we’ve found ourselves in.

Kitchen

It’s true, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Without a decent kitchen you really don’t have a home and therefore it’s essential, I think, to have a warm welcoming kitchen for you after a day at work.

I always make sure there is some nice bread in the bread bin and some homemade goodies for Jon in the cake tin!

On my cook-book rack I like to keep fun books such as this Pride and Prejudice themed cook book, once belonged to Jon’s Grandma. I do however use it when cooking as it’s a great way to stop your book getting dirty and covered in oils and sauce!

Since I share my home with someone who loves to cook, Jon has a lot of say about where things go in the kitchen. If it were up to me I wouldn’t have all the oils out, but he likes them there so it’s where they stay! I do still get to squish my Wrendale tea coffee and sugar pots, and a spice rack into the scene!

The little things

This is something I’ve written a blog on before. The little things are what really make a house a home. These could be gifts from loved ones, funny photos or memories in handmade cushions or even just those little touches you like!

I personally love glitter, magical things and anything that takes me away from reality somewhere I can relax and dream! Here are two little touches I’ve picked from our new home to share with you.

img_7618The first picture is of a cluster of mushrooms made by Jon’s dad, these are really sweet and special to us different ways. To me they remind me of my Grandad as he used to turn wood in a similar way. But for Jon they are a solid connection to his Dad which is really special and sweet. I just love how they sit on the old beams. It’s as if this little bit of wood was made to hold them!

Whilst this is, theoretically, a Christmas decoration. I like to keep it up throughout the year. It’s a beautiful reminder of history and the past. These balls made from paper used to be all over people’s houses at Christmas time in the 1920’s and I think should come back into fashion! My Mum bought me this in 2017 for our London flat and I just love all the detail and golden edges. It’s so sweet!

If you have a new home and want some inspiration, feel free to get in touch above it visit me on Instagram @lucyblackall. X


I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my new hygge home! Please follow me to keep up-to-date with my blog and future posts! X

Toasty warm drinks!

I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been so put off any type of dairy (even lactose free, as I am lactose intolerant)! I read an article a few weeks ago about dairy and someone wrote that pus is in dairy and quite honestly, true or not it just makes me feel sick every time I think about milk now. I have been veggie my entire life and don’t often opt for dairy as it makes me quite unwell, but over the years lactose-free substitutes have become readily available and made life a little easier. Alongside this there is (at the moment anyway) a huge interest in being vegan, which for me is fantastic! I walk into a supermarket and am met with about ten different types of milks (or mylk) made from all sorts of weird and wonderful items, (I mean cow boob milk is gross the more I think about it).

Anyway, this blog isn’t about my dilemma with dairy, it’s about warm drinks and the fact I have been drinking as many as possible these last few wintry weeks. One of my favourite since Christmas has been mulled (hot) apple juice. As much as I love a warm tipple now and again, I do prefer my drinks alcohol free for the most and this is just heavenly after a long day at work.

Think Cinnamon, cloves, oranges and mixed spice

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Warm Mulling Syrup

My wonderful friend Emma made me a few different yummy treats as a gift. Mulling Syrup being one of them. I like to drink mine with apple juice from Innocent

I found a wonderful recipe on BBC good foods which you can find below:

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  • 250g caster or granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges halved
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ nutmeg freshly grated
  • small piece ginger sliced

Mix all in a pan with 1 litre of water and voila! I love to then use it with apple juice instead of wine, but I am told wine is equally as good!

Bubbly chocolate in a cosy little mug 

There is nothing I love more than hot chocolate. Everyone thinks you need to have it with warm milk, but I think its much tastier with coconut milk, soya or even just plain hot water.

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Deliciously Ella 

Another thing you need to watch out for if you want a vegan hot chocolate is the powder (if you use instant). Make sure it doesn’t have lactose / dairy or whey in it and you’ll be good to go. One of the best ones I use is goody coco from Lidl. If you want something a bit more up market that doesn’t contain refined sugars and rubbish is to use raw cacao date syrup and cinnamon.

However, for me I most recently discovered sweet free from choc shot which is full of goodness and yummy, but it does taste a little different from normal hot chocolate which I think is a good thing in many ways. It takes the edge off the sugar cravings so if you’re going refined sugar-free then even better! I also think it’s a fab thing for weight loss as its very low in calories coming in at under 15 calories a tsp!choc

I do love my warm drinks if you hadn’t guessed already and I think they are one of the best ways to beat any situation good or bad. If I am feeling down to sad a hot up of tea, mulled apple juice or hot coco. I remember when I was younger and used to get upset or sad the one thing that I could always make myself feel with was probably tea. So next on the list is the magical and famous tea!

There are so many types of tea, some people argue that there is really only one true type which is English Breakfast / Assam or the type you have with milk. For me there are quite literally hundreds of types. Enough for me to start an entire blog on (or Tea-sta-gram page?)! When I worked for Danone Waters I made friends with a great guy who ended up going to work for Tetley. Thanks to him I have lots of types of tea in my cupboard that I got to try before they went out on sale in shops! It really does pay to be a tea lover and know someone in the tea business.

Tea cures everything, good bad or happy

For this very reason, I have decided to end my blog with a selection of mearlgreyy favourite teas starting with earl grey!

Earl grey is a normal black tea with bergamot orange and citrus fruits mixed in together with a little lemon and grapefruit thrown in. It is floral and delicate which makes it a perfect tea for people who don’t like the strong darkness of a builders tea.  It’s a mixture to me of both herbal tea and normal tea. You can drink it with milk, lemon, straight or if you’re a bit odd cold.

Next on my list is the standard chamomile tea. My mum had an enormous bag of this chamomileteain the tea cupboard at my parents house and she gave me a pot full. I love it. All you need to do is sprinkle a few buds into a cup add hot water and drink. It’s a relaxing tea that is full of goodness. It is an anti-inflammatory for the skin, soften lady pains and induce sleep. A few things I am sure you can relate too!

 

Another favourite of mine is Blackcurrant and Vanilla. You can get these from Lidl. 5201350_31They are super posh, so don’t be fooled by the whole ‘Lidl’ thing. They are so yummy and taste great.

Another type of tea you can try is mixed fruits, Tetley do a huge range of teas which are fantastic. Some are full of vitamin C and for colds and flu, others are fruity and just for flavour so I would recommend going over to their website and checking them out!

 

However, don’t feel like spending lots of money of these teas, as they can get pricey. If you have time and want to know exactly what you’re drinking then you can make your own teas with dried flowers, fruits and all sorts! It’s very easy, you can air dry them over time or on a low heat in the oven if you don’t have a dehydration machine!

Continue reading “Toasty warm drinks!”

Bed socks rock!

There is nothing I love more than getting back home after a long tiresome day an slipping into something more comfortable. Sadly for Jon that doesn’t mean lingerie as he’s found out the hard way, and actually means oversized jumpers sometimes my baggy joggers and a pair of bloody good socks!

Even when life gets though, I can always count on a cosy night in with my boys, snuggly blankets and cup loads of coco!

I’ve collaborated on this blog with one of my closest friends Aurora who has kindly supplied me with genuine insider knowledge about the best bed socks (as well as some beautiful pictures).

So if you hadn’t guessed, I love bed socks! I love slippers and I love big chunky cosy knitted slipper-socks and especially love new ones!

Here are just a few of the best ones Aurora and I have picked out! We actually (between us) own all of these and more. I have more bed socks than regular socks, which is genuinely ridiculous considering that I have two huge draws of socks…

Where to get cosy socks?

1) So, we are starting with the best on our list as the rest are in no particular order. These are the magic cashmere socks from The White Company… These socks are so soft and cosy, it is said once you put them on, you’ll never be able to wear another type of sock again.

2) Laura Ashley – I bought some beautiful pink and white wool socks here a few weeks ago in the sale. They’re so soft and pull up just above my ankle. They’re incredibly soft and cosy, but I just cannot find them online. Here’s to hoping they bring them back next Christmas!

3) Hygge House do the best selection of hygge loungewear! If you’re looking for cosy and fun head over and check them out!

4) Christmas markets! Last year I got myself the cutest little pair of alpaca wool socks a lady made from her own herd of alpacas, as you do… they were about £25 but handmade from a farm who raise and love their pet alpacas! Part of me was so jealous, how incredible is that? To have pet alpacas!

5) Home made socks! Both Mum and Kaja have made me the cosiest socks in existence! Here’s one of Kaja’s her way out to grab groceries in her beautiful home made socks! They’re so cosy and teamed up with a pair of cosy joggers, who wouldn’t want to wear them! Maybe though, don’t go for the hat…

Can a place be Hygge?

Hygge is a feeling you can’t fake or make happen. It is those little moments in life you feel entirely at ease and relaxed somewhere. That place could be snuggled under a duvet with friends sipping hot chocolate and gossiping about old times. It could be watching a silly movie with your sister or best friend or spending much treasured time with your parents over dinner. Whatever it is, it is a personal feeling, one that can not be falsified!

Hygge is a wonderful thing, I experience it with my Norwegian friends more than anyone, as they known how to hygge like no other – but more recently us Brits have taken on this Scandinavian word and embraced it into our lives!

So the point of my post is, can a place / city or location be hygge?

I’ve always been nostalgic about Oxford, not just because I went to University there and met my best friends there, but because the city itself offers so much charm, character and comfort. Oxford is a city I smile about, laugh about and feel happy about for thousands of reasons.

One way to think of Oxford is to take all the amazing bits of London and squish them into one little city, there you have it – Oxford!

With more relaxation, bikes and people holding books more so than anywhere else in the country, Oxford is is a little bubble of joy that I think, you just can’t escape! It makes me feel bubbly and warm just like the feeling of hygge!

Things that make me hygge in Oxford:

Coffee shops – The missing bean is the coffee shop centre if Oxford! It’s the cosiest and cutest of the coffee shops overlooking one of Oxford’s famous colleagues. With chai lattes on offer, who could resist?

Museums – There are dozens of museums in Oxford, but for me the Pitt Rivers and NHM have to be my all-time favourite! They’re both in the same building and offer so much in he way of fun and education whilst being polar opposites!

Parks – Oxford is so unbelievably green, every turning leads you to somewhere new! My favourite park is Christ Church Meadow as it offers a river, a glimpse into the botanical gardens and a little tour of all things Oxford. If you have time to kill and fancy learning about the history of the city you can explore the parks, architecture and all things Oxford on a freewalking tour!

Punting and peddle boats – nothing says oxford like a good old punt! You can rent these from a few different places, but the most popular is to the side of Magdalen College where you can get up to all sorts of watery fun!

Cinemas – I used to write reviews for the Phoenix picture house when I studied as a student in Oxford, it is a really cute cinema in the city centre offering a wide range of films from blockbusters to Art house! There is also the classic UPP on Cowley road that offers a classic take on what cinemas used to and still should be!

Cocktail bars and pubs – My goodness where do I start and end with this one? I’ve gotten so used to London prices I couldn’t believe my luck when I went back to Oxford to find you can get a cocktail for £5 in happy hour or £6.95 normally at The House tucked away down an alley in Oxford! With hundreds of bars and pubs on offer I’d also recommend the Turf Tavern, the most hobbit friendly pub I’ve ever been too!

Shopping – This has changed so much since I lived Oxford, there is a new HUGE shopping centre now that reminds me of Westfield in London. So you have no real reason to leave the city anymore! Alongside this, the city is filled with the cutest of shops from independent ones such as Arcadia opposite the Oxford Union to Blackwell’s bookshops dotted all over the place so for me, there is a shop for every occasion, not to mention the Christmas Market every year!

So what do you think? Can a place feel hygge to you? Oxford certainly does to me!