Our last holiday as a Couple

Sunny Filey beach - Beak Up Crafts

Last week, Wayne and I went away for our last holiday as just the two of us before a small crying person comes into our lives. We went to Filey on the Yorkshire coast and stayed at Haven’s Primrose Valley park for seven days. I wanted to write about it as we had such a brilliant time and didn’t want to leave, and that I’d totally recommend a final break away together as a couple if you are about to have a baby.

I know that static caravan parks sometimes get a bad rap and people can look down their nose at them. Hey, if that’s your vibe fair enough and I’m probably not going to convince you otherwise, but we love them (and we love the odd stay at a luxury hotel too!). Our trip to Filey was the perfect break for us and what made it really special was that we got to spend it just relaxing with friends and family.

Panorama of Filey beach - Beak Up Crafts

We didn’t do an awful lot to be honest but then again when I think about it, we did quite a bit. What made the holiday so great was the fact that our friends Rob, Amanda and their little boy Alfie, and Christine, Paul and their toddler Noah were staying there too. We hung out together a lot, heading to Scarborough for fish and chips, chatting and watching the kids run around in the soft play area, losing lots of 2ps in the amusements.

Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts

Wayne and I also had a daily Starbucks (hello Pumpkin Spice Latte!), I had an almost daily nap. We read, watched TV, I did some crochet and Wayne and Rob did plenty of running. Wayne’s parents and brother came for a day too which was really nice. We ate in, we ate out. It was great, totally relaxing, and we were spoiled by the sunny late September weather.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte - Beak Up Crafts Kate and Wayne - Beak Up Crafts

It’s funny. Wayne and I had both been looking forward to the break for so long, and while it felt like we were there for ages the week also went by in a flash. We’d both been working hard up until the time off and it’s always such a shame when something so good is over. For me, the holiday signalled the start of my maternity leave, and while Wayne will be off for two weeks again soon for his paternity leave, I didn’t like it when he had to go back to work on Saturday! We’d got into the swing of just hanging out and relaxing together as with the random shifts and weekends we both work it’s only on holidays that we get to properly unwind and spend time together.

Sunshine at Filey beach - Beak Up Crafts

I feel like I’m getting all gushy but sometimes a holiday doesn’t have to be miles away from home or cost a fortune to mean the world. This holiday was really special to me for all the reasons above and I’m so glad we went away for a relaxing week together just before everything changes.

Have you been on a UK break this year or are you a big fan of the Yorkshire coast? Do you have any other places you would recommend we check out next year? I’d love to hear from you.

Lots of late September sunshine love,

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Life Lately

Scarborough sea front - Beak Up Crafts

Things have been pretty busy lately so I thought I would share a bit of an update about what’s been going on and what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks.

At the start of the month Wayne and I went to a wedding at Grays Court in York, which despite the heavy storms the night before, took place in blistering hot sunshine. My shade-hopping tactics paid off, though, and I somehow managed not to get burnt! The garden at the venue was lovely. We went to a wedding of two friends there last year too which you can read about here (and check out just how lovely the garden is!). Here’s a picture of me, Wayne and bump from the day.

Wayne and I at the wedding - Beak Up Crafts

We also finished off building our nursery furniture and all we need to do is put a couple of shelves up and add in a few decorative bits and pieces. I’m hoping to share a post on our finished nursery soon so watch this space.

Wayne and I also had a trip to Scarborough for the first of the summer’s cricket festivals in the seaside town. We watched the opening two days of Yorkshire’s County Championship match against Worcestershire and generally relaxed and filled our faces. It was really nice to get away for a couple of days.

Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts Scarborough Cricket ground - Beak Up Crafts Feet on a bench - Beak Up Crafts The harbour in Scarborough - Beak Up Crafts

In good news, Wayne got a well-deserved promotion at work and treated himself to a new car. Well, I say himself but I’m sure I’ll be driving it a bit when baby comes! I also sold my house in Leeds which is a real weight off my mind and not only allows us to consolidate and do some home improvements but it will make things much easier when I’m on maternity leave. It’s been a bit stressful but all worth it now!

Oh and if you missed it I finished my new baby blanket too. You can read more about that, get the pattern and the colour chart here.

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All in all it’s been a bit of a busy month! I hope you’ve had a good one too. Here’s to a hopefully sunny and productive August!

Lots of summer love,

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A Slice of Luxury in the Yorkshire Dales ~ Yorebridge House

Yorebridge House - Beak Up Crafts Yorebridge House - Beak Up Crafts

Earlier this month Wayne and I headed to the lush, rolling countryside of the Yorkshire Dales for a short break. The trip away was my main gift for Wayne’s 30th birthday (which was in April) but we kept it on hold for June as we had quite a few things going on earlier in the year and it gave us something to look forward to. Plus we gambled on the weather being that bit nicer in June and happily lucked out on our break falling at the start of a mini heatwave. Pass the suncream!

Anyway, I took Wayne to Yorebridge House which is a small luxury boutique hotel on the River Ure on the edge of the unspoilt village of Bainbridge. It’s a bit pricey but if you’re looking for amazing food (we’re talking a seven-course meal which was the best of my life), well-appointed rooms and places to relax, then it’s for you.

We stayed in the Rangali or ‘Maldives’ room. There are just 12 rooms and each one is individual in its style and decor. I picked this one for two reasons – it reminded me of the place we stayed at on our honeymoon and there was a private HOT TUB.

Here’s some photos of our room before we unpacked and messed it up with our stuff.

Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts Rangali Room - Beak Up Crafts

Oh and the hot tub? Here it is:

Rangali room hot tub - Beak Up Crafts

The hot tub was a big hit, although I could only really stay in for a few minutes at a time/just dip my feet in with having a baby on board. It was so nice to be able to relax outside in our own private area in the sunshine.

The communal lounge and bar areas of the hotel are decorated in a relaxed, contemporary style. Think soft muted greys and browns with splashes of light green.

Hallway at Yorebridge - Beak Up Crafts Lounge at Yorebridge house  - Beak Up Crafts Lounge at Yorebridge house  - Beak Up Crafts Lounge at Yorebridge house  - Beak Up Crafts

We played a bit of mega dominos before our evening meal then moved to a room overlooking the grounds for a drink before we ate.

View from the lounge - Yorebridge House Flowers - Yorebridge House - Beak Up Crafts

I booked the dinner, bed and breakfast package and I’m really glad I did was the food was outstanding. I thought it was going to be a three course meal after looking at the menu, but oh no, how wrong I was. We’re talking seven, yes SEVEN courses. I’ll let the photos do the talking as they can paint a picture better than my words ever would be able to.

  1. Canapes: Black pudding in crackling crumbs, goats cheese wrapped in parma ham and a smoked salmon stack
    Canapes
  2. Amuse-bouche: Creamy onion thing (the name of which I’ve forgotten) served with sunblush tomato bread and an individual mini loaf.
    Amuse-bouche
  3. Starter: Salmon Ballotine with heritage beetroot, watercress and horseradish
    Salmon - Beak Up Crafts
  4. Main: Belly Pork with apple, rainbow chard and pied de bleus
    Belly Pork - Beak Up Crafts
  5. Pre-dessert: Lemon Posset with shortbread.
    Lemon posset - Beak Up Crafts
  6. Dessert: Apricot Parfait with roasted apricots and almonds
    Apricot parfait - Beak Up Crafts
  7. Coffee and treats: A handmade mini ‘feast’ ice lolly with popping candy, a salted caramel cup and a passion fruit pastille.
    Treats with coffee - Beak Up Crafts

Talk about stuffed!

Saying that, the food didn’t stop there. The next morning we were still able to pile into breakfast. I really enjoyed this too, and the restaurant is nice, bright and airy.

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Things to do in the area:

It might look like all we did was eat, hot tub and sleep (which isn’t too far off to be honest) but we did have time to check out a couple of sights in the local area.

Before we checked in we headed to the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes. If you love cheese, this is the place for you, as there are tens of samples to try and lots of cheese to buy.

Cheese at Wensleydale Creamery Cheese at Wensleydale Creamery Cheese at Wensleydale Creamery

On the way home we headed to Aysgarth Falls, made famous by this scene from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Aysgarth Falls - Beak Up Crafts


So there you go! I hope you enjoyed seeing my photos from our trip to the Yorkshire Dales and stay at Yorebridge House. I’m hoping that Wayne and I will go back one day in a few years, maybe for my next big birthday milestone!

Have you been to the Dales before and if so where are your top places to visit?

Lots of Yorkshire love,

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Our Holiday on the West Coast of Scotland

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The week before last Wayne and I spent a few days on the west coast of Scotland, just south of Ayr.

We were pretty lucky with the weather to be honest, after almost being put off making the five hour car journey due to the iPhone app telling us to expect rain upon rain. However, I’m glad we weren’t as it was really sunny, although the stiff wind coming off the sea stopped us in our scatily-clad sunbathing tracks.*

*I’m joking. I don’t do sunbathing, least of all in anything remotely skimpy.

Blue-sea---Craig-Tara---Beak-Up-Crafts Craig-Tara---Beak-Up-Crafts

Anyway, we stayed at Craig Tara Haven site and it was really good, save for the up-the-hill slog we faced to get back to our van after walking to the beach/shop/pub/in our search for free wifi.

Some people can be a bit sniffy about caravan sites and I’m annoyed I totally forgot to take photos of inside our van while we were there as it was really nice. For starters, the bedroom had a massive walk-in wardrobe and I don’t know anyone who has one of those at home!

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We didn’t do that much while we were there apart from a couple of walks on the beach, a trip into Ayr for a nosy/food supplies and to try and fix my waterlogged phone (now sadly deceased), and lots of relaxing, eating and sleeping.

After driving back home we had another four days off which was really good. I enjoyed splitting our time off into time away and time at home as it really helped us to recharge our batteries. Saying that, the other night I went for a casual lie down at about 9pm and promptly fell asleep until 7am the next day.

I’m not sure when we’re going to be able to go back to Scotland again with the autumn arrival of our little one, but it’s a place I really like, especially after our time in Glasgow last summer where Wayne and I covered the Commonwealth Games. If you’ve got any top tips of places to visit for the future, though, I would love to hear them!

Lots of Scottish love,

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Birthday Week

Scarborough---Beak-Up-Crafts

Last week both Wayne and I celebrated our birthdays. Wayne turned 30 and I became a little bit older than that (boo), and we celebrated by taking a trip to the Yorkshire coast.

We stayed in Filey but had a day trip to Scarborough, which is where I took these snaps.

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We were so lucky with the weather for early April, as the showers did one and gave way to beautiful sunshine (although it was still a bit chilly on some days). That didn’t stop ice cream from happening, but annoyingly I couldn’t have any of Harbour Bar’s finest whipped cones due to my baby-on-board status.

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The day we came home coincided with my birthday but we stopped in York on our way back and had afternoon tea at Betty’s followed by a lovely walk by the river. Then we went home and I had a snooze.

Afternoon tea at Betty's Cakes at Betty's Tea at Betty's York Minster

I hope you like my holiday photos. Have you been to Scarborough before? I would love to hear your favourite bits as we’re going back in July for the cricket festival.

Lots of birthday week love,

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{Keeping it Real} Sunshine Wednesday

Poolside---Beak-Up-Crafts

Wayne and I went to Tenerife last month for a bit of much-needed winter sun. (You might have seen a few photos over on my Instagram feed).

I thought it would be good to share a few snaps of somewhere sunny – but with a cautionary tale.

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You see, even though these photos show a sunny and tropical destination, with bright blue skies, a dazzling pool and the obligatory palm trees, the reality wasn’t quite like that.

Yes, we did get a morning like this, and the sun also came out for an afternoon later in the week.

But what these pictures don’t show is the six other days of grey sky, quite chilly temperatures and the worst weather Tenerife has seen in February for 16 years. Oh, and I had Norovirus for three days at the end of the holiday and had a far from lovely time being sick and, er, well you can imagine the rest.

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So why am I telling you all this? Well I think it serves as a good reminder that not everything everyone shares online is the full story. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all fun in their own way but from time to time I reckon it’s wise to remember that everyone only ever shares the best bits.

No-one wants to see a photo of me hunched over a toilet or dreary snaps of a deserted pool – and I can totally understand why – but I sometimes end up comparing myself with others online (which as we know is the thief of joy for the digital age) and it’s good to remember that sometimes things aren’t actually like that in real life.

So there you go. We won’t be going back to Tenerife any time soon and I can confirm that being sick on holiday really is no fun.

Lots of keeping it real love,

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Our Romantic Trip to Rudding Park Hotel

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I’m excited to share that today I’ve had a post featured on one of my favourite travel blogs, From the Poolside, which is run by the lovely Stephanie.

Her gorgeous blog is packed with travel inspiration and ideas, specialising in the luxury end of the market, for both couples and families.

Stephanie wrote this lovely guest post for me sharing how she made her wedding favours, and when I told her Wayne and I were going back to Rudding Park Hotel to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, she asked if I would like to write a guest post for her.

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I love Rudding Park in Harrogate as it’s where we got married so I jumped at the chance to share how brilliant it is with her readers.

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If you would like to check it out then please head here.

Lots of hotel love,

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Three Favourite Things to do in Bath

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I’ve never been to Bath before but when Wayne surprised me on Christmas day with a gift that was a two-night spa break in the city I was really pleased. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit and who doesn’t enjoy going to a spa, especially in chilly January?

We had a brilliant time and I think there’s something so nice about exploring places in your home country as they can so easily be overlooked.

Here’s my three favourite things to do in Bath:

1. Wander around the Abbey area and have a pit stop at Sally Lunn’s

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Bath Abbey is a stunning building and on a sunny day it’s absolutely beautiful. We really enjoyed wandering around this area of the city and getting lost in the small column-lined streets. I had been recommended Sally Lunn’s (which is one of the oldest buildings in Bath) and as they served a range of sweet and savoury treats on brioche style buns we headed there for a pot of tea and a snack.

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We tried a bun with milk jam, which is like caramel, and it was absolutely delicious.

2. Check out The Rec, home of Bath Rugby

Sadly there wasn’t a game on while we were in the city, but Wayne and I both loved having a look at Bath’s rugby ground which is right by the river Avon and close to Pulteney Bridge.

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You get there after a nice walk along the river and I don’t know if you’re allowed to just wander in and have a look, but we did and it was pretty cool! We also spotted probably Bath’s most famous player later on that day, but more on that soon…

3. Relax at the Thermae Spa

We had to make a choice between going to look at the Roman Spa or relaxing in a modern one and we chose the latter. The Thermae Spa is right in the middle of the historic city with views of the abbey from the rooftop pool. There’s also a whole floor dedicated to steam rooms (with four to choose from) and an indoor pool (which was sadly closed for renovations when we were there).

http://scarlettlondon.com/bath-thermae-spa/

You can’t take photos inside the spa – and trying would probably ruin your camera anyway – hence the photo above is borrowed from Scarlett London! We stayed for a couple of hours and enjoyed floating around in the rooftop pool, which started to light up as it went dark. TOP TIP: If you use the Vouchercloud app you can get three hours for the price of two at the spa. Midweek afternoons are apparently the quietest time at the spa.

Other things we loved:

The Cream Teas!

Cream-tea-at-the-Bridge-Coffee-Shop-in-Bath---Beak-Up-Crafts Magazines-at-The-Bridge-Coffee-Shop-Bath---Beak-Up-Crafts

After a couple of hours of walking around we decided to stop for some food, and as we were on Pulteney Bridge we headed inside The Bridge Coffee Shop. The cream tea was great, but beware as at this place, for one cream tea you get two scones with jam and cream and a pot of tea for one – so enough food for two! Wayne ordered a cream tea each but we soldiered on and ate all four scones anyway. While we were scoffing we spotted Bath player Sam Burgess crossing the bridge. Sadly my belly was too full of cake to chase after him for a selfie.

There was also a really lovely shop next door selling plants and flowers.

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The Royal Crescent

It took a bit of finding (even though Bath is a fairly small city!) as we weren’t really paying too much attention to road names or just the direction we were walking in. However, when we got there I’ve got to say the Royal Crescent was pretty impressive – and so much bigger than I had imagined.

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Other things we did:

  • Spent way too much money in the Anthroplogie store.
  • Went for an early morning run past Bath cricket ground and around Henrietta Park.
  • Had some cheap eats at The King of Wessex pub.
  • Relaxed and read in our HUGE corner room at the new Premier Inn. I can really recommend this hotel as it was new, clean, in a great central location with one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in.

Angel-in-the-park---Bath---Beak-Up-Crafts The-Pump-Room---Bath---Beak-Up-Crafts Have you been to this spa city before? What are your top Bath tips?

Lots of West Country love,

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{Video Blog} Two Days in Paris

Eiffel Tower - Paris - Beak Up Crafts

Wayne and I spent two-and-a-bit lovely days in Paris recently and I thought it would be nice to share what we got up to in case anyone is planning a trip to the City of Lights. Paris was the first place we visited as a couple and now that we are married we decided to go back and spend some time meandering through the pretty streets in the run up to Christmas.

I thought it would be nice to make a short film of our break as while pictures can speak a thousand words, video can speak about a million.

Two days in Paris

Video by me, music So Good to Me (Radio Edit) by Chris Malinchak

Where We Stayed: Hotel Bellevue in Montmartre. Clean, cosy and while it’s pretty basic it’s in a great location and a double room costs less than £40 a night.

Where We Went: Everywhere! But the Christmas markets on the Champs Elysees and the tour of Roland Garros (where the French Open is held) were highlights, as was Place du Trocadero for great views of the Eiffel Tower (main picture).

What We Ate: Smoked sausages and creamy mushrooms at the Christmas market; a three course meal for less than 15 euros a head at Chez Marie (including the best onion soup ever!)

Have you been to Paris? Do you have any top tips of places to visit? We’re going back again in March as Wayne is running the Paris half marathon so any info will be gratefully received!

Lots of Parisian love,

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A Day in Amsterdam

Amsterdam canal - Beak Up Crafts

Wayne and I went for a short break to Amsterdam with our friends Simon and Nikita earlier this week and I thought it would be nice to share some photos of our trip for anyone else who is planning a holiday in the Dutch capital. (Or if you would just like to see some pictures of Amsterdam!) We set sail from Hull on Monday night on the ferry and woke up bright and early on Tuesday morning in Rotterdam. After a coach transfer (which I’ve got to say was a bit of a drag as it took nearly two hours!) we were in the centre of Amsterdam and ready to explore.

None of us had visited the city before so it was pretty exciting and we didn’t really plan what we were going to do. We only had a day there (as the ferry back hope departed that same evening) but we saw so much.

Here are some of my pictures from the trip. I absolutely loved the narrow buildings next to the canals and it was great just having a wander around. I think it’s really nice sometimes not to plan anything and just see where the day takes you.

Amsterdam canal - Beak Up Crafts Amsterdam pink bike - Beak Up Crafts Amsterdam - Wayne checking out where to go - Beak Up Crafts Amsterdam -  Beak Up Crafts Amsterdam---Beak-Up-Crafts-10 Amsterdam---Beak-Up-Crafts-17 Amsterdam---Beak-Up-Crafts-15 Amsterdam---Beak-Up-Crafts-16Amsterdam - Beak Up Crafts
Amsterdam - Beak Up Crafts Amsterdam - Beak Up Crafts Amsterdam---Beak-Up-Crafts-3 Amsterdam - Beak Up CraftsIf you’re a lover of cycling and bikes then the Dutch capital is the place for you. There are hundreds of thousands of bikes and pretty much every road has a dedicated bicycle lane.

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If you love cheese then make sure you check out the many cheese shops that are dotted around. They are a cheese-lover’s paradise with samples of absolutely everything.

Amsterdam cheese - Beak Up Crafts

We travelled from Hull to the Netherlands on the Pride of Rotterdam and if you fancy visiting Amsterdam I would really recommend you look out for the two-for-one deal we took advantage of. Two nights on the ferry (there and back) and a day in the city cost us £37.50 each – I think that’s a pretty good bargain!

Have you visited Amsterdam before or are you planning a trip?

Lots of travelling love,

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