Tag: weekend away

A weekend in Paignton

No-one was more surprised than me when we booked up to go away at Easter for a weekend in Paignton. It wasn’t on our travel plans for 2019. Firstly, going away for Easter wasn’t even on the cards; we hadn’t even talked about it. Secondly, we haven’t been to Paignton in 11 years. The husband used to holiday there as a kid, and we went a couple of times early on in our relationship, but the economy took its toll on the English seaside town, like many others across the country, and we heard reports of closed pubs, boarded up frontages and a general feeling of rundown-ness which didn’t appeal.

So, what changed? We’d heard that the town had received investment and was in better shape. But what really swung it was watching Channel 4’s “Four in a Bed” programme, and talking fondly of staying in a UK guesthouse by the seaside. Fuelled by a couple of glasses of wine (as the best plans always are) our weekend in Paignton was booked!

What did we get up to?

We had loose plans of what we wanted to do over the course of our 3 night break (woo-hoo for a long weekend at Easter), but of course we knew we’d be held to ransom by the British weather. We needn’t have worried though. Like much of the UK, Paignton was bathed in wall to wall sunshine with higher than average temperatures, which meant we spent pretty much all of our time outside.

Out and about

We walked along the coast from Paignton and up to Roundham Gardens looking down on Goodrington Sands. You wouldn’t think that some of these views were in the UK, especially not in April!

We caught the Dartmouth Steam Railway train from Paignton to Kingswear, and then got the ferry across to Dartmouth.

Then we walked along the riverfront to Bayard’s Cove, before heading to the Above Town area and walking past coloured houses and through woods down to Dartmouth Castle.

There isn’t an awful lot to see at the castle, but there are some educational exhibitions and hands on things for kids like helmets to try (which, FYI, also fit adult heads too – I speak from experience), plus the views back down the river to Kingswear and Dartmouth were stunning. We got 20% off the entrance price with our steam railway ticket, so we only paid £6.60 each. It’s free if you’re a member of English Heritage, which we keep saying we’re going to join but never get round to, although I think it’s only a matter of time!

Then, on Sunday, we went to Paignton Zoo! It’s quite a hilly zoo, so probably not great for people with mobility issues. We saw lions, monkeys, giraffes, the elephant, zebras, ostriches and camels. The tigers weren’t out to play, which was a shame but we were super chuffed to see everything else. There are peacocks wandering freely around the paths too.

Where next?!

Have to be honest, I always overlook going away in the UK in favour of going overseas – mainly because of the weather situation! Let’s face it, our weekend in Paignton would have been very different if it had been raining; which there’s always a chance of during British summertime. That said, I’m so keen to see more of the South West. I’d happily do another weekend in Paignton. There’s so much to do in the area, including the other 2 English Riviera towns of Torquay and Brixham. I’m keen to explore some of Cornwall too.

Do you love visiting the UK? Any tips for where else I should put on my list?

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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A weekend in Whitby – part 1

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that part of my birthday present from the husband last year was a weekend in Whitby. You don’t remember? You don’t memorise every post I ever share? I’m disappointed…

Anyway, with getting our flat ready to sell (i.e. painting everything shiny new and hiding all the bad bits with rugs and furniture) and then moving into our new house, and then holidays and general stuff, I only got around to cashing in my trip the weekend before last, having booked it a few weeks before. If you follow me on Instagram (what do you mean, you don’t? More disappointment…) you’ll already know a bit about my trip.

Headline – it was AMAZING! Seriously one of the best weekends away I’ve had in absolutely ages. I didn’t stop grinning like a loon and making happy noises all weekend. Of course, the fact that we had great (if unseasonal) weather helped a lot, because while the British seaside in the sunshine is quaint and enjoyable, in rain and cold it just involves dodging from amusement arcade to amusement arcade and stocking up at the off licence before snuggling in bed back at your B&B.

Where we stayed

The British seaside is rife with B&Bs, which can range from delightful boutique rooms to out and out scabholes (I’ve stayed in both types, over the years). Using Whitby’s association with Dracula as a basis for our stay, the husband suggested Bats & Broomsticks which is a themed B&B without being tacky or cheesy. With only 3 bedrooms it has a cosy homely feel (as homely as a room with a four poster bed and a bat hanging from it can feel!) and the décor is incredible; moody, gothic, snakeskin wallpaper, wooden fireplaces, stone gargoyles, leopard print towels, a basement breakfast room where a beautifully cooked full English breakfast is served by candlelight and eaten with cutlery with grim reaper carved metal handles. Very quirky, certainly an experience (a good one!) and it’s position at the top of a hill gave our legs a good workout too.

Where we ate

Fish and chips at the seaside is practically the law, and Whitby apparently has 2 entries in the top 20 fish and chip shops in the country in 2017. However, with the good weather on Saturday came lots of day trippers and tourists (like ourselves) which meant long queues and few spare benches or places to sit and enjoy our national dish. So, instead, we took position on an outdoor terrace at The Pier Inn, overlooking the bay, and had pub fish and chips, which was so so good (which shouldn’t have been a surprise; if you’re positioned by the sea you have to make sure your seafood game is strong).

On Sunday we ate at Abbey Wharf, on the opposite side of the bay, again sat outside on their upstairs terrace, and both ordered their seafood paella off the specials menu. It’s a dish that will live on in my memory for a long long time; huge chunks of white fish, salmon, giant prawns and so many mussels that we built a jenga style tower of shells by the end of our meal, all encompassed in creamy flavoursome rice. Just stunning.

I’ll tell you more about what we got up to in another post (I have a lot of pictures and stuff to say!) so look out for that. Until then, here are some photographs I took in the town.

Seagulls are rife, as you’d expect, which is another reason it made sense not to get fish and chips and sit on a bench! (we saw one man get swooped upon from a great height, and I don’t share food!) and you can just smell the sea. The town is on two sides of the port, connected by a bridge. West Cliff has a big beach and is probably more touristy (traditional amusement arcades and fish and chip shops), while East Cliff has quaint cobbled streets, cute shops and the Abbey. More on that next time!

Have you ever been to Whitby? Do you like the British seaside?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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My first…wedding anniversary

Another first of another month!

This month the husband and I will have been married for 8 whole years. Wowsers! We have a way to go to catch up with Chris and Charlotte, who I posted about yesterday, but it’s pretty good going for an unmarriable handful (me) and a previously engaged twice commitment-phobe (him!)

There are two things that stick out in my mind about our first wedding anniversary. The first is that my Dad actually said “I don’t know how you’ve made it to a year” with the reasoning that I am the afore-mentioned unmarriable handful. I mean, he had a point. But still!

The second thing is that we went to Marseille

Based in the South of France, Marseilles has an enviable climate and a very Mediterranean feel. We totally fell in love with the place. It’s small enough to get around quickly with a great public transport system, lots of pretty buildings and great architecture, harbours, beaches and we got door to door in 6 hours. We declared it our new go-to weekend break.

Unfortunately, after we got back, Ryanair ceased the Birmingham to Marseille flight route and we haven’t been back since.

My top tips for visiting Marseille:

  • Pre-plan your airport transfer. Stupidly I didn’t, thinking it would be cheap enough to grab a cab on arrival. All the drivers wanted between 60 and 70 euros; no way! So we jumped on a bus, me blagging the husband that I knew exactly where we were going, when actually I had no idea (if I’d ‘fessed up he’d have panicked and just thrown money at a taxi). Between a printed map and some pigeon English to the very French bus driver we established he was only going as far as the main bus station. So from there we jumped in a cab to our apartment; which still ended up costing us 20 euros for what would have been a 5 minute walk, had we known where we were going.
  • Jump on an open top bus tour. This is something I recommend wherever you go on a city break, as it gives you a really good feel for a city and you can then decide which bits you want to revisit. The audio guides are usually pretty interesting too for some history. If the weather’s good try and sit upstairs for the best views.
  • Do consider going for longer than a couple of days. Ours was just a flying weekend visit but there are lots of beaches with watersports and activities in Marseille, so you could easily have a mix of city and beach break.
  • Get familiar with the underground metro system. There are only 3 lines (from memory) so it’s easy to use, very cheap and very convenient with little to no crowding and comfortable air conditioned trains.

On that note, here are a few pics! I have less than I would like, because 8 years ago phone cameras were pretty naff and I didn’t blog or live my life on instagram – if I went back now I’d be snapping everything!

Have you ever been to Marseille?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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A trip to Wales and a stay at the River Café in Glasbury

About 5 years ago the husband and I were invited to a wedding just over the Welsh border. The bride and groom included a list of accommodation which was local to the wedding venue, which is how we found the River Café.

Situated in Glasbury on Wye, it sits in an enviable position on the river, with a large decking area looking over the water, a well recommended restaurant and just 5 rooms available on a B&B basis. We were so taken with our stay, albeit brief, that we said we’d love to go back another time and just chill out.

That time was this weekend.

Setting off early (for us!) on Saturday morning in the bright sunshine we drove through country lanes and small towns, meandering down the west of England towards Wales. First stop was Hay on Wye, famous for it’s literary festival happening in a couple of weeks. Hay has a proliferation of bookshops and pretty little streets which were decorated with brightly coloured bunting.

We had a little wander round and a mooch around a small vintage market. How cool is the stuff on this stall?

Hay on Wye vintage stall

Hay Castle was built in the 12th Century. It’s not open to visitors, although there is a restoration project planned.

Then on to Glasbury on Wye. The River Café is run alongside Wye Valley Canoes which, unsurprisingly, is a canoe centre! They hire out single and double kayaks and canoes, as well as mountain bikes, tandems, and lambretta scooters! As I mentioned, there’s direct access to the river so it’s easy to get going, and the team at Wye Valley will come and collect you and your canoe from wherever you end up, if you want them to. Isn’t that fab? You could row down to Hay, have some lunch and then get delivered back to Glasbury by road rather than having to go against the tide to get back.

We had nothing as energetic in mind. In fact we wanted to do nothing apart from sit on the riverside deck and relax. Here’s the view of the back decked area, from the other side of the river. Nice, eh?

View of River Cafe Glasbury

Ironically we stayed in the same room this time around as when we were last there 5 years ago. The rooms are all simply decorated with white walls and simple furnishings; nothing fussy or chintzy.

Outside River Cafe Glasbury

It was lovely to open the windows and hear the birds tweeting while we unpacked our bits and pieces. A comfortable bed, delicious pillows and the softest duvet made for a great night’s sleep, and the bright airy bathroom with it’s walk in powerful shower was a great way to start the morning.

And so we spent Saturday afternoon sitting outside and reading with a couple of drinks, which was non too shabby with these peaceful river views.

Then showered and changed for dinner (I had chicken terrine to start, confit duck for main, and cherry cheesecake for dessert; all real tummy pleasers!) We were in bed ridiculously early for a Saturday night, no doubt exhausted from all that doing nothing in the fresh air! And Sunday started with a fabulous freshly cooked breakfast with tea and toast and never ending freshly pressed cloudy apple juice.

There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area, with the Elan Valley and Brecon Beacons National Park both being a short drive away. We quite fancied doing the Waterfall Walk but hadn’t come prepared (TripAdvisor reviews recommend waterproofs and sturdy shoes to walk behind the waterfall at Syn ) so that’s one for another time.

It was a lovely relaxing change of scenery, and I would highly recommend the River Café – either to stay or to eat – if you’re ever in the area (do book a table in advance though, as the restaurant gets very busy).

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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A weekend in Cornwall – Looe Music Festival

The husband came across Looe Music Festival a couple of years ago and we went for the first time last year.

We loved it so much that we said we would 100% definitely go again. And so we did.

As is usual with me I was watching the weather forecast on an hourly basis; hoping for sunshine but not counting on it. But we woke up to clear blue skies, packed the car, and off we went!

Driving to Cornwall

Looe is such a pretty place. I hadn’t been to Cornwall prior to our first visit last year, and was immediately struck by it’s beauty. A pretty harbour town, it’s split into East and West Looe by the River Looe – the two sides connected by a town bridge. It’s a myriad of small streets and fishing boats, leading down to a wide clean beach.

Out and about in Looe

Houses in the hills Looe

Looe harbour and houses

Looe harbour

It has a lot of history – check out the plaque on the Smugglers Cott pub! Built in 1430!

Smugglers Cott

During the music festival the whole place comes alive, with multiple stages around the town and bands playing in pubs, restaurants and out on the street.

It’s an absolute bargain at around £80 for a 3 day ticket, and there really is something for everyone. This year’s headliners were The Proclaimers, Jules Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, and Johnny Marr.

We stayed in a Parkdean caravan about a mile away from the centre which was comfy, cosy and in a great location.

The organisation is second to none. Well laid out with plenty of well priced bars, lots of clean toilet facilities and friendly helpful stewards, as well as lots of different streetfood stalls. Shuttle buses run every 10 minutes or so at peak times, stopping off at all the main holiday parks and campsites and dropping people off in the middle of Looe for just a pound each way.

The main stage is on the beach.

Looe Music Festival stage  Looe Music Festival beach

Looe Music Festival main stage

The whole area is so pretty…

Looking inland from Looe bridge

…and sparkles with lights as dusk approaches.

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Looe evening

We ate noodles, paella, and Cornish pasties from various street food vendors.

Lamb, mint and potato pie with mash and gravy from Grumpies of Cornwall deserves a special mention. I could have eaten everything on their menu!

Grumpies of Cornwall lamb pie

Grumpies of Cornwall

Ate cake and drank wine at the harbourside after dark.

Cake and wine

And ordered handmade cocktails from the Beetle Juice van!

Beetle Juice cocktail van

The stage and beach light up for the headliners.

Looe Music Festival at night

Jools Holland at Looe Music Festival

Personal highlights included The Dodge Brothers – an Americana skiffle band. Mark Kermode – of film critic fame – plays the double bass; my favourite instrument in the world.

Looe Music Festival The Dodge Brothers

Wille and the Bandits played the BBC Introducing stage. We’ve found out they’re playing at a venue near us in a couple of weeks, which is great news!

Wille and the Bandits

And an afternoon in the Bullers Arms pub watching Steve Flanders play a great set which had the whole pub singing along.

Steve Flanders

The weather was fantastic all weekend – I had my legs out enjoying the last of the summer sun! (obligatory festival hats were worn too)

Looe Music Festival

Me at Looe Music Festival

I don’t like to be a creature of habit, because I want to see and do as many things in life as possible, but I already know there’s a very good chance we’ll be back for the third time in a row next year. That’s how special it is.

**Some photo credits to the husband on this post, including the ones with me in them, obvs!

 

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Wild Boar Hotel, Tarporley – a review

I’ve mentioned before how I like getting away; even just a one night stay away from home can feel like a lovely break from the hustle and bustle of normal life.

I’m also a big fan of bargains, so it goes without saying that voucher sites like Groupon, nCrowd and Wowcher are my friend.

I bought a voucher from nCrowd back in January for this hotel, at the bargain price of £89 for an overnight stay, 3 course evening meal and breakfast. It was valid until end of August so we decided to wait until summer and combine our stay with some outdoors activity and culture.

The outside of the hotel is very impressive, in mock tudor style with pretty gardens and outdoor seating.

Wild Boar Tarporley exterior

Wild Boar hotel

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Inside, the lounge and bar areas are nicely decorated with a cosy homely feel in a traditional style which matches the exterior.

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Wild Boar hotel interior

I’ve read reviews that drinks are expensive, but being a city girl they seemed just usual to us! We got to the hotel about 5pm, after we’d been to Beeston Castle, and we sat outside in the sunshine just chilling and enjoying the views.

Most of the hotel bedrooms are on the rear of the building, overlooking maize fields – this was the view from our window.

View from bedroom window Wild Boar Hotel Tarporley

Dinner was a mix between restaurant offerings and very good pub grub – all really well cooked and presented. My rabbit terrine starter was something different to what I’d usually have, I really enjoyed it.

Rabbit terrine

Husband had smoked salmon. For main course I went with chicken and smoked bacon pie which was served with chips – it was creamy and meaty and delish, and for dessert I had a strawberry yummy-ness! No other food photos, I was too busy enjoying it!

So much good food and fresh air (ok, and wine) took it’s toll and I was in bed (and asleep) by about 10.30pm.

Breakfast was served between 8am and 10am and consisted of the usual breakfast fare – English buffet, cereal, croissants, fresh fruit and yoghurts. I’m not a massive English breakfast fan, although I do normally have a few bits, but I was feeling virtuous (!!) and so only had some cereal and two croissants with jam (which were some of the nicest butteriest croissants I’ve ever had!) and a nice cup of tea.

Some of the TripAdvisor reviews complain that the hotel is rundown and needs attention. There’s honestly no pleasing some people! In places the woodwork and paintwork could probably do with a bit of TLC but on the whole it was a lovely lovely place, and so nice to get away from the city and soak up the countryside.

It’s a deal I would look out for again, and would definitely book another stay.

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A trip to Cheshire – Beeston Castle

This weekend we travelled up the M6 to the greenery of Cheshire, staying overnight on a voucher deal (more on that tomorrow). We were about a mile and a half from Beeston Castle, which is run by English Heritage, so we planned to drop the car off at the hotel and walk to the castle, have a mooch around and take some pictures.

Entrance to Beeston Castle

Entrance to Beeston Castle 2

When I checked the website last week, I was thrilled to find that there was an event on at the castle – Clash of the Knights. This involved a tournament of 4 teams clashing on the battlefield in a re-enactment of medieval Britain. A historical camp was set up and there were demonstrations of clothing and weapons, plus music and areas for children to battle against each other (although the weapons weren’t real, obvs!)

Clash of the Knights

Clash of the Knights

We took a picnic.

Picnic at the castle

Picnic - strawberries and cream

And cheered on the knights.

Clash of the Knights

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Clash of the Knights

Clash of the Knights

Clash of the Knights

(did you know that shields, contrary to popular belief – and Hollywood representations – were made of wood? Metal would be too heavy and dent easily, plus if someone hit a metal shield the knight holding it would get painful reverberations up their arm. Wood is lighter and more forgiving. Shields would be thrown away at the end of each battle and replaced for the next one).

Then we climbed up to the castle ruins.

Beeston Castle

At the bottom of the hill are the remnants of what would have been the ramparts. The views were stunning.

Beeston Castle

Beeston Castle

The castle ruins are up a rather steep hill, and an even steeper slope.

Beeston Castle 2

Beeston Castle

But again the views are fabulous – 360 degrees of countryside.

Beeston Castle

Beeston Castle

Beeston Castle

Beeston Castle

We had a fabulous afternoon of sunshine, fresh air and history. A perfect Saturday!

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Hotel Review – Cotswold88, Painswick

Sometimes just being away overnight, like we did this weekend, is all it takes to feel like you’ve had a good break. A change of scenery, travelling somewhere, seeing new places – it can make a normal weekend feel like a mini holiday.

It’s also really easy to pack for!

Earlier this year we did just that and went off to the Cotswolds. I had received an overnight stay and dinner as one of my Christmas gifts from ‘im indoors (running out of ways to describe Mr Me on here – maybe I should just stop talking about him) which I was free to book at my leisure. After a whole 4 weeks back at work in the New Year, I was more than ready to get away.

Cotswold88 hotel is stunning. It’s part of the Mr & Mrs Smith hotel collection.

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Painswick – the small village in which it is located – is equally stunning. Dating back to the 11th Century, the village is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Even on a cold January afternoon, with overcast skies and a howling wind, it was a pleasure to be there.

We arrived at the hotel before the advertised check in time and were invited to leave our bags at reception and either explore the village or make ourselves comfortable in one of the hotel lounges. We headed out to a local pub for some lunch and a mooch around the village.

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Everything is built in Cotswold stone.

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Wanting to make the most of the hotel and it’s sumptuous surroundings, we headed back at around 3pm.

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There are quirky touches around every corner.

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Each of the public rooms is decorated individually.

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A large glass of wine in front of the roaring fire soon brushed off the cold walk around the village.

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I loved these light fittings in the bar.

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The staff were incredibly helpful and friendly; I’d expected an element of stuffiness as can often be the case in boutique hotels but that wasn’t the case at all. We were immediately put at ease on arrival and remained entirely relaxed throughout our stay.

Dinner was delicious. I can’t remember the detail so have just checked the website, only to find that the hotel has been sold! It’s currently undergoing total refurbishment and will be closed until Christmas. It will be interesting to see what happens. The new name is “The Painswick“, which it used to be previously. I got the feeling from some of the locals that the extravagant décor was not to their taste, so maybe it’s going back to the traditional look. It was certainly anything but during our stay!

On Sunday morning we had a look around the churchyard – a grade 1 listed building. There are some very old tombs and monuments, and a plethora of yew trees.

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Would I go back? Not to Cotswold88, obvs, as it doesn’t exist anymore! That’s really surprised me, but also disappointed me as we’d hoped to go back in the summer. But Painswick is definitely worth a visit; even if just part of a short stop on a mini tour around the beautiful Cotswolds villages in the area.

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Gig review – Ginger Wildheart Songs and Words

I’m going to start this review by saying I’m not a Ginger fan. Why was I there then? Well, it was by the seaside, and I never miss a chance to get out of Birmingham! Plus I’m nosy and curious; who doesn’t want to hear the behind the scenes stories of a band you’re engaged with, even if only in some small way?

Let me backtrack. My musical tastes have been very varied over the years; changing and evolving. When I met hubby he introduced me to loads of bands I’d never heard of and, by osmosis (i.e. him playing them so much at home until I had no choice in the matter) I started to pick up on different stuff. As such the evolvement of my musical tastes continued. We’ve been to see many of these bands – often these days at my request – and that was where I first encountered Ginger. He was playing guitar for another of hubby’s musical heroes (Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks fame) and ended up in the bar of our hotel later that night. I asked if we could get a photo and he said no and ran off, laughing. I took this to be arrogant rockstar behaviour and, being my judgemental self, declared he was a knob.

Fast forward to 2013, and the Wildhearts touring their debut album, Earth versus The Wildhearts, in full. Again I was seduced by a weekend away with friends – the gig was only part of it. And I’m certainly not averse to their music. I was quite often to be heard singing along at home, and I appreciated the clever lyrics and catchy riffs. But at this gig, in Nottingham Rock City, I got it. The place was packed (it was a sold out show) and the energy of the band and the crowd were just brilliant. The performance was so good and so tight that it was like listening to the CD at home. And I had a fab fab time.

So much so that I asked the hubby if we could see them again, on the same tour, a few weeks later in Kentish Town, which we did.

By now I was having to revise my opinion of Ginger. Because you can’t really like a band if you think one or more members are absolute tossers. And I started to think that, actually, I was probably in the wrong with my initial opinion of him. After all, why should he have acquiesced to a photograph he didn’t want just because I requested it? It was late, he was chilling out post performance having a beer. He wasn’t malicious or rude about the refusal, in fact he was quite playful. And then I felt like the knob (not an uncommon occurrence, tbh).

So, back to Songs and Words. Hubby was planning to go to the Birmingham date, but didn’t make it. So I suggested we head down to Weston for what was the final date of the tour, at the Blakehay Theatre.

Blakehay

Great venue. Beautiful building, easy to find, incredibly friendly and helpful staff, and a bar so cheap it was rude not to drink quite a lot of vodka. The performance space is fully seated and very intimate (only 10 rows, auditorium style), so every seat had a fabulous view of the stage. Sound was great.

And so to the actual show. I had a really, really ace night. Ginger is very funny, witty, acerbic, self deprecating and honest. He spoke with fervour and raw emotion about the ups and downs of his career – the promising times, the bad times, the drug times and the prison times. The audience were hanging on his every word, just waiting to hear what would come next. The story was punctuated with songs from his albums – clever segues that moved the monologue along, 2-3 tracks combined into a medley. He sounded fab. Great catchy vocals delivered with passion, sung acoustically with just himself and Jase Edwards from Wolfsbane on guitar. There was no stage show. Nothing fancy. Just two people, an album backdrop and a soundman. And it was all the better for it.

S&W

Is he a rockstar? Yes. Does he have rockstar attitude? Yes. But I no longer think it’s negative or arrogant. I left the theatre seeing him as an incredibly talented individual, a brilliant songwriter and a passionate musician who has, at times, had the rug pulled from under his feet (and by his own admission, sometimes kicked it away himself with his destructive behaviour). Ultimately he’s a person doing a job, and obstacles have been put in front of him carrying out that job. To hear his own happy ending – finding love and the success of the Pledge campaigns – was a really nice finish to the show (which, incidentally, was over 3 hours long including the interval – real value for money). And his gratitude to the fans was obvious. Ultimately, through Pledge, he’s giving his fans what they want, at a time when a record company won’t do that.

Of course there’s something in it for him – there’ll be money and adoration – but you really feel that he’s in it for the music. And for that I retract all the bad thoughts I ever had.

Roll on more Songs & Words.

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Hotel review – Kyriad Gare Nice (one last French related post)

It’s important when booking a hotel to have done your research so you know what to expect and aren’t disappointed. I knew, therefore, that many of the rooms in this hotel are overlooking the railway lines.

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Was it a problem? Not at all! We used our room purely for getting ready and sleeping. The windows are extremely efficient in keeping out the traffic noise and the trains don’t run through the night anyway. The room itself was ideal for our needs – spacious enough for a two night stay, clean, with an incredibly comfortable bed and pillows. The walls are covered in fabric rather than standard wallpaper, which gives a nice touch, and the dark wooden furniture and black out curtains make the room feel comfortable and higher end than a basic chain hotel. The bathroom is bright and well equipped with a strong shower which always had plenty of warm water. Small things like plug sockets near to the dressing table, a full length mirror and a powerful hairdryer made our stay ideal for a city break.

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The staff, without exception, were very helpful. All spoke excellent English. On arrival and departure our bags were stored away securely so we could enjoy our day before and after check in without having to lug them around with us. When I asked for extra teabags they were brought to our room within minutes.

Location, for us, was ideal. Just 20 minutes from the airport in a pre-booked transfer, 5 minutes walk from Nice Ville train station so we could quickly and easily get about (we went to Cannes and Antibes) and literally right at the beginning of a Metro line (although we didn’t use it). There’s a good size cheap supermarket next door and it’s around a 10-15 minute walk down the main shopping street and down to Place Massena and Jardin Albert 1er.

The only slight blight on the stay was the fact that the hotel doesn’t switch the air conditioning on until mid May, so both our bedroom and the hallways were very warm. However, the French windows open on to a Juliet balcony so we were able to get some air circulating.

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I’d have no hesitation in staying there again.

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