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Saturday 25 July 2020

Gunby Hall National Trust | 12 Trusts of 2020

I've found another little National Trust gem in Lincolnshire to visit and this will be number 3 of my #12trusts of 2020 challenge! If you haven't read the first two, I've been to Blicking Estate and Belton House.

Gunby Hall National Trust

Gunby Hall is set in the Lincolnshire Wolds and is composed of a beautiful country house and Victorian walled gardens with beautiful countryside behind it.

Gunby Hall National Trust

As with everything this year, there were social distancing measures in place such as a one way system around the grounds, hand sanitiser at the rest rooms and signs reminding us to keep 2 meters apart which was all helpful. Like other sites that are open, you also need to book in advance to attend Gunby Hall.

Gunby Hall National Trust

I was particularly chuffed that at Gunby you can walk your dog around the gardens which Harry loved almost as much as I did! I was in awe of the beautiful plants and flowers growing in the gardens, with the bees and butterflies dancing around them too. With 8 acres of garden to walk around, there is plenty to see and always something in bloom too.

Gunby Hall National Trust

Gunby Hall National Trust

There were lots of little areas to sit and enjoy the views of the hall as well as areas within the gardens and an area of meadow they had kept free for picnicking too. Each of these spots to made it easy to social distance and sit either on the ground or on benches depending on what you preferred.

Gunby Hall National Trust

Gunby Hall National Trust

It was lovely to head somewhere completely different to our usual surroundings for a break from the everyday and we enjoyed a picnic whilst we were there too. If you fancied a hot coffee, the café was open with outdoor seating in the court yard.

Gunby Hall National Trust

Outside of the hall and gardens were beautiful fields to wander through with cows grazing and a walk to the Ice House Pond which takes roughly 30 minutes. To the side of the gardens was a quaint little church called St Peter's Church.

So what can I tell you about Gunby Hall? Although we we'rent able to go inside, we did marvel at it from afar. This homely country house was built in the 1700s where the Massingberd family lived until 1967. In 2012 the hall was taken over by the National Trust.

You can also stay on the estate as  there are also some cottages used as holiday lets. Choose from the Old Rectory, Whitegates Cottage or Orchard Cottage.

Our visit to Gunby Hall was wonderful. It feels like a quintessentially English place to visit that you can enjoy for a day or make into a stay if you fancy. I'd really recommend this trust for picnicking and if you're into beautiful blooms!

Have you visited Gunby Hall?


Thursday 23 July 2020

My Favourite Podcasts of 2020

With being at home so much this year, I’ve gotten sick of binging Netflix and listening to music and with the lack of seeing people as much, I’ve missed a good chat too. This is where podcasts have really come into their own; listening to interesting topics from fascinating people or chats with people who are hilarious. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favourites for you to discover too! 

Shagged Married Annoyed

If you’re into podcasts and haven’t heard of Shagged Married Annoyed- where have you been!? This is by far my favourite podcast to listen to at the moment! For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, it’s a podcast hosted by comedian Chris Ramsey and his wife Rosie Ramsey and is basically discussing the highs and lows of married life each week with some hilarious stories and questions from the public too. On each episode they will summarise how their week has been, then have a rant known as “what’s your beef” detailing what one another has done to piss them off that week. It’s marvellous and very relatable if like me you have (or are) a long suffering partner! As the podcast has progressed over time, the stories and questions from the public have become increasingly vulgar and hilarious in equal measures. I literally laugh out loud and sometimes cry a little bit, which looks insane to my other half if I’m listening with headphones on. From forgotten shits in trousers to Vaseline for your dog’s dick- the stories will have you in stitches and the way Chris and Rosie tell them will also crack you up. If you’re in need of a good laugh 

To Baby or Not To Baby?

I love To Baby or Not to Baby as it's podcast I can really relate to!! If like me you're umming and arring over the prospects of having kids, tune into Naomi who is newly married and constantly being asked when she's having a baby! In each episode she interviews various people on their experiences of parenthood as she tries to navigate what to do. There are some amazing stories, some which will reduce you to tears of happiness or tears of sadness and will have you hooked. I absolutely love this podcast and would highly recommend it if you're in a similar position or even if you're not and just genuinely curious!

How To Make Friends Podcast with Gemma Scopes

I discovered Gemma's podcast How To Make Friends via Twitter and although I don't feel lonely or in need to make new friends, I was drawn to episodes such as How to Stop Being a People Pleaser and How To Be a Good Friend. Gemma is incredibly knowledgeable, uplifting and inspiring in her episodes and if you are someone that is feeling lonely and wants to make friends, she has all the tips, skills and advice you need to start your journey. Not only does she have a fabulous podcast, she also has a digital penpal list and blog. I've also had the pleasure of having Gemma on my own podcast- The Prosecco Sessions to discuss Loneliness Vs Being Lonely in season 5 of the podcast.

Make it Modern

I came across this unique podcast when I joined the Lady Pod Squad group which Make it Modern are also a part of. Hosted by Kelsey and Ashely, this podcast delves into classic tales and topics whilst putting a modern spin on them. From Egyptian Queens to Tennis, Dating the Signs to The Peaky Blinders- they cover so many vast and interesting topic that will begin in the past but end in the future with how they've been made modern. It's something a bit different to your other podcasts and Kelsey and Ashley are lovely to listen to. I've learnt some really interesting fact from listening too!

The Waiting Room with Dr Alex

You may remember Dr Alex from the 2018 series of Love Island. Since finishing on the series, he's gone on to create a podcast The Waiting Room with Dr Alex. The podcast is medical based and looks into ways to enhance your life with the help of experts and celebrities too. There's also a segment where listeners can email in with any medical queries or ailments and Dr Alex and co will give advice. It reminds me a little of The Surgery which used to be on Radio 1 and I find it fascinating.There are episodes on fitness, cosmetic dentistry, mental health sun care and so much more. There hasn't been a new episode since March but due to COVID I think Dr Alex has been a bit pre-disposed in A&E and working for the NHS. The lastest episode to be released was however on NHS Nursing Careers and is definitely an episode to check out. 

And finally, I can't not mention my own podcast in a post like this!

The Prosecco Sessions is now on season 5, with season 6 to be released later in the year *fingers crossed*. This latest season covered a multitude of topics with my favourite being on festivals! There was also the hard hitting topic of miscarriage which I really hope was informative and helpful to anyone that listened. I also covered living abroad, running and marathon running, style, nutrition and much much more and I'm sure there is a topic to interest everyone. If you're interested in being a guest on season 6 I'd love to hear from you! Or even if there's a particular topic you'd like covering. Pop an email over to

Anyway those are my current favourite podcasts of this year. I've been enjoying listening to a mix of mainstream and more indie podcasts and hope you enjoy them too!

Friday 17 July 2020

Belton House National Trust | 12 Trusts of 2020

photo of Belton House

It seems forever since I started my #12trustsof2020 challenge (this was the first one) and to be honest I don't think I will complete it now either- thanks covid! Despite being unable to currently look around the stately homes, I'm chuffed that I am able to now visit another National Trust sites albeit just the parkland and gardens. So, the second site I opted for this year was Belton House.

Belton House National Trust review

A colleague had recommended it to me as it has lots of open space which is great for social distancing and it's conveniently located close to some of my family too, making it a great place to meetup outside.

photo of Belton House

Set in the Lincolnshire Countryside close to Grantham, Belton House itself looked stunning from the outside and had plenty of space to sit and enjoy a picnic, which many people were when we visited. I was a little bit in love with the greenery growing in the courtyard area too!

Belton House National Trust review

Belton House National Trust review

Belton House National Trust review

Belton House National Trust review

If I hadn't had Harry with me, I'd have been able to wander round the formal gardens but there's a strict no dogs allowed in this area which I can understand. Harry loves to sit on flowers and stick his head into shrubs so the gardens wouldn't stand a chance! Instead we walked around the beautiful fields, taking in the views, fresh air and also spotting some deer.

Belton House National Trust review

The grounds are a lovely place to walk around and the dogs absolutely loved it, with wooded areas and grassland too.

Belton House National Trust review

I'd have loved to have gone inside Belton House itself but for obvious reasons I couldn't. What I can tell you from looking at the NT website is that inside is an accredited museum; with a range of family portraits dating as far back as the 16th century as well as 17th century furniture and much more. I'd love to come back another time to have a peek inside but on this occasion it wasn't meant to be!

Belton House National Trust review

We did however get to peruse the gift shop which had lots of lovely bits including plants and garden bits.

Belton House National Trust review

All in all it was lovely to visit this National Trust site. It's definitely one that's perfect for summer time picnics and long walks. I'll definitely be packing a my picnic hamper in preparation for next time! It's also worth noting that whilst Covid is going on, you need to book your visit online as you will be turned away otherwise. It's really simple and easy to do and will guarantee there is no disappointment.

Belton House National Trust review

Have you been to Belton House?

Thursday 9 July 2020

Throwing an At Home Festival

Lets face it- 2020 is not going to be the year for outdoor festivals and general mass gatherings, so why not have a festival from home? And even so, having a festival from home is a great way to ensure you've definitely got a ticket, front row seats and you don't have to rough porta loos and camping right?

I was due to go to a couple of festivals and gigs this year which have been cancelled or rescheduled and with Glastonbury being cancelled, I decided to hold my own little festival in the back garden! With Glasto set highlights from previous years being played on the BBC over the weekend, it was the perfect time to hold a festival with guaranteed good music.

I invited our guests- all four of them (which adhered to the current covid guidelines at that time) and to get into the festival of course they needed some tickets! I used Canva to create these and then ordered some festival style wrist bands from eBay.

Having been to many festivals over my time, I had plenty of paraphernalia around that we could use to decorate both ourselves and the garden, starting with my VW tent!

I am obsessed with this tent, having always wanted a VW campervan. Alas this is most likely the closest I'll ever get to owning one! Regardless I love it plus it's perfect for festival camping, being the same dimensions of a camper van and easy to spot in a sea of tents. The flower power design lends itself perfectly for a festi-feel too. If you've got room for a tent in your garden, I'd definitely recommend putting one up for this kind of party as it a) adds to the theme and b) it's extra space for people to stay if needs be or c) if you have kids coming, playing in a tent would be great fun for them!

Next to the camper van, I laid out a suitcase full of festival dress up for my guests to raid and embellish themselves with. As you can see below, my embellished captain's hat (which I have a tutorial on making here) went down rather well with one of my mates! From sequin leggings to, novelty glasses, head wear and general embellishment, there was something for everyone to adorn.

At many a festival there are signs to various stages, yoga areas etc so I thought I'd make my own signage for the garden using some cardboard and printed signs that were themed around the names of my guests. I then added some banners of the festival name around the garden- again designing all of this on Canva before gluing, sticking and tying it all together.

Adding some bunting can also add to the festival feel. I usually have an abundance of it but I couldn't locate it on this occasion so I made do with what I had and made some last minute paper ones. Bunting will always remind me of festivals when it blows in the wind and adds another decorative element. Flags would also look really good to put up if you have some to hand or have time to make any. I also had some white card and strung that up for us to write affirmations and other meaningful thoughts that come to mind when you're drunk haha.

For food we fired up the bbq and served sweet potato wedges, spicy chicken wings, hot dogs and burgers like you'd get at the food vans.

Our "Main Stage" was framed with some straw bales which I was kindly given for free by a local horse owner. I imagine these won't be as easy to source if you're not rural but again they really added to that festival feel. Also at the "Main Stage" we had Glastonbury playing on iPlayer for the entire weekend via an old tv which we covered with a bbq cover between rain showers! This area was the perfect little dance area and helped to section the garden off into "festival" areas.

As the evening drew in, we flicked a disco ball on and gave everyone glow sticks to adorn themselves with whilst we played drinking games with jelly shots and lots of laughs.

We had such a great time with our friends and I really enjoyed putting the weekend together, so much so that I'd love to do this as an annual thing! With a bit more planning, who knows what I could create for upcoming years. Flags will be a definite yes and more weird and wonderful decor. Watch this space...

*DISCLAIMER* We only stood this close together for the photo- the rest of the time we were socially distancing.
All in all I had a brilliant time hosting our at home festival and our friends loved it too.

Did you celebrate Glasthomebury or would you do an at home festival?

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