April Life Lately

April has been a strange month because everything has either been BW (Before Wedding) or After Wedding (BW) and I think I've already written enough about our wedding for now (catch up with part 1, part 2 and part 3), so this post might be a bit shorter and more disjointed than usual!

Here's what I got up to in April and here is my One Second Every Day for the month!

What I've been doing

Phil and I had 3 days off before the wedding which was perfect and completely necessary. We'd thought 3 days would be too long and it was, but in a good way. We had a few errands to run in the few days leading up, including picking up suits, meeting with our wedding co-ordinator to finalise the last details and our rehearsal, but we also chilled out a bit, cleaned the house and car (it was sooooo good coming home to a spotless house on Sunday!) and gave us enough time for anything last minute. I think it definitely contributed to how relaxed I felt on the day!

Oh and then I got married, did I mention that?

On the Sunday after our wedding, once we'd cleared all our stuff from the hotel (our back bedroom is now full of centrepieces yet again!) we had a few jobs to do and then we headed to my Mum's for a little party. We'd been really looking forward to this as a chance to catch up with people we might have missed on the day and to hear all the stories and see all the photos from the night before! We also opened some of our amazing presents, including a personalised drawing of the church we were married in from my parents, a signed Liverpool shirt and an amazing print of the Royal Exchange Theatre, which is a really special place to us. I also got to show off the watch Phil bought me as a wedding present, and wear my new Liverpool shirt with Cantillon 19 on the back!

This month also meant the 21st Birthday one one of my favourite people, my new little sister! I am incredibly grateful that not only have I married the best person, I've also inherited the best family, and I'm so lucky to have two amazing new siblings. As an only child I can't explain what it's like to gain the best little sister I could have asked for.

Where I've been

On the Monday after our wedding we had a few jobs to do (and Game of Thrones to watch....) - taking back suits, dropping off vases at the florist and taking my bouquet to my Mum's so it could be sent off to be freeze-dried. So at about 3pm we were finally ready to head onto our minimoon!

We had booked 2 nights at the amazing Lygon Arms in Broadway - the most amazing spa hotel I've ever seen. We were upgraded to a junior suite for our minimoon and we were in what looked like a converted stable. We had a four poster bed, a roll top bath and the both beautiful surroundings, honestly, it looks like Game of Thrones.

We had dinner in the incredible restaurant ("It's booked under Mr and Mrs Cantillon?") and then we were absolutely exhausted!

On Tuesday we had some time in the morning to look around Broadway before our message at 11am, so we went around the little shops and I discovered my dream shop - selling nick nacks, board games, books, homeware and gin!

We had an amazing massage and then had some time in the pool before we headed out to walk up to explore more of Broadway.

Broadway is like toy town. It is all cute little stone buildings and shops selling chocolates or tweed, cutesy cafes with cakes in the window and an amazing two-storey deli. It doesn't look real.

I browsed both the bookshop and the deli before we decided to grab some cake before going for a walk. We popped into the Market Pantry and settled on a chocolate brownie and some sticky ginger cake. The brownie was honestly one of the best brownies I've ever had!

Once we were fuelled up we decided to walk up to Broadway T0werThis was a decent walk and maybe more of an ascent than we had expected, but it was a lovely cool day and the walk was amazing. It was a little foggy so we didn't get the full view, but we met some sprightly lambs on the way up! Broadway Tower was well worth a visit even though it was a bit overcast for us to experience the amazing views it boasts!

There isn't loads to do in Broadway, but it was perfect for two nights when we wanted to relax without feeling the pressure of trying to squeeze everything in. The Lygon Arms is one of the nicest hotels I've stayed in, and was perfect for our minimoon but I don't think we'll be staying anywhere that lavish any time soon!

On Wednesday we left Broadway and decided to visit some of the little chocolate box villages we'd been told to see in the Cotswolds. We bought cheese and went to two bookshops in Stow-on-the-wold, drove through Upper Slaughter and found a parking space in Lower Slaughter.

From there we walked through to Bourton-on-the-water which was my favourite place on the trip. It reminds me of the villages in the Lake District - lots of little shops, tiny niche museums, ice cream shops and cafes. We also sampled some Cotswolds gin but unfortunately we couldn't get on a distillery tour (maybe next time!).

On our walk back we were looking for the Cotswolds Brewing Company. We'd seen a sign for it, but Google Maps seemed to show it in the middle of a field which erm, it was! The bar wasn't open so we got a cider for the road and walked back to the car with a cider in hand in the sunshine. It was one of my favourite parts.

On Wednesday afternoon we drove to Cheltenham to our airbnb where we spent the rest of the week. 

On Thursday we went for brunch and explored the city, walking through Montpellier Gardens and to Pitville Park. We knew Pitville Park was where we'd be going for parkrun but didn't realise it was so huge! It's a good job we checked where the start was! 

We'd spotted the Everyman Theatre on Wednesday night and seen they had a Thursday matinee of Avenue Q which we'd never seen, so we spent the afternoon in the theatre which was great fun!

When we'd been out for brunch we'd spotted the most amazing restaurant in a converted cinema and we earmarked it for dinner. The Daffodil does a pre-theatre menu (which for us for post-theatre!) which made it quite reasonable for an amazing meal in the most incredible setting!

On Friday we took a day trip to Gloucester on the bus which took about 45 minutes (hey you can take the girl away from work but she'll still find a Stagecoach bus!) and was a lovely journey. It was Good Friday so there was a service on at Gloucester Cathedral but they still let us walk around as long as we were quiet! The Cathedral was absolutely amazing and I'm so glad we went. 

We also had a walk around Gloucester Docks which were beautiful on a sunny day, and around the outlet mall before we headed back to Cheltenham.

We decided we wanted to buy a bottle of the Cotswolds gin as a memento, so when we got back I searched for where to buy it, and that was when I found the best bar in Cheltenham! John Gordon's is half a gin bar and half a whisky bar, and they will help you find something perfect to your tastes. As we'd already had the Cotswolds gin and really liked it, I asked for something similar, and was given a Garden Swift gin which I absolutely loved, and we promptly bought a bottle to take home!

We decided to spend our last night in, and had spotted a pizza place called Fat Toni's that we realllllly wanted to try, so we had another few drinks and ordered a pizza to collect. Their pizzas are 20" in diameter so you definitely don't need more than one, but luckily they can do it in thirds, which was perfect for us. We got a third meat for Phil, a third veg for me and a third margherita. It was the crispest sourdough base in a woodfired oven and it was amazing (and huge!).

On Saturday we headed over to Pitville Park again for parkrun, and it was one of my favourite parkruns I've done! It was a beautiful park, the sun was shining and I really enjoyed my run!

The plan was to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon on the way back home, but once we'd got back and showered and checked out after parkrun, it was gone 12.30 by the time we got to Stratford. We drove around for 45 minutes (it looked lovely!) but on a beautifully sunny Saturday, there was nowhere to park! Oh well! I'm looking forward to going again and properly spending some time in Stratford in the future.

So what to do on our way home? I had a look on my phone and found a few National Trust sights nearby, so we decided to just head home and see if we saw any signs for anywhere we could visit on the way back. About 15 minutes into our drive home we saw a sign for Charlcote House and we decided it would be perfect.

Phil and I have been talking about National Trust membership for years (in fact, we nearly signed up in Lyme Park the day Phil proposed!) and with the wedding planning done, we decided now would be a good time to actually sign up. I was absolutely buzzing! We have definitely hit peak old married couple now!

Charlcote House was amazing and the grounds were even more amazing. We had a lovely walk around in the sunshine and it was the perfect end to our amazing minimoon!

Phil and I also got our money's worth of our National Trust membership this weekend with a trip to Quarry Bank Mill. I'd not been for absolutely years and I'd forgotten how beautiful it is (not something you really appreciate as a child!). We only walked around the grounds (and a bit beyond, okay we got completely lost!) on this trip, but I can't wait to go back in the Mill for the first time in about 20 years!

What I've bought
Bosh! was pretty much my favourite new recipe book of 2018 (besides The Green Roasting Tin, of course!) so I was thrilled when I found out the Bosh boys were creating a 
sequel! Keep your eye out for a review of Bish Bash Bosh over the next few weeks.

The nice weather also got me thinking about my summer wardrobe, so I treated myself to some cool trainers, and finally replaced my denim jacket I got for my 20th Birthday (no, seriously).

Whatb I've been reading
Ooooh some bangers this month. Like everyone else in the universe I fell hard for Daisy Jones and the Six and straight after I read Taylor Jenkins-Reid's previous book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo which I also absolutely adored!

Not a high reading month with the wedding and a pretty busy minimoon, but I also read The Summer that Melted EverythingA Ladder to the Sky and Bitter Orange, and listened to American Kingpin on audio.

I read Pet Sematary last month and made the mistake of reading the book way too close to seeing the film. I'm usually terrible at remembering details from the book when I see a film but I adored the book and it was so fresh in my mind that I couldn't stand all the changes they'd made for the film, and how thematically different it was. Pet Sematary is a book about loss and mourning, and this was a straightforward horror with the same title. And I think if I'd known that I would have enjoyed it more, but wanting a straightforward adaptation of one of my new favourite books, this was disappointing,

I did completely love Eighth Grade which I'd wanted to see for absolutely ages. It was exactly what I wanted it to be.

At home we've watched Tropic Thunder and finally finished Fargo season 3. Fargo is pretty much my all-time favourite TV drama and this article summed up perfectly how I felt.

And also, obviously, Game of Thrones.

What I read online
Yes and Yes - How to live within your means

April was the best month ever but I'm excited for what May will bring!

I hope you enjoy your long weekend!

Charlotte x


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