|The Shakespeare Mercure, Stratford upon Avon|
This is where we've been the last few days - The Shakespeare Mercure in Stratford upon Avon. It's a gem of a hotel, right up my street, with squashy sofas, wing-back armchairs and open fires. Loads of nooks and crannies too so you can hide away and cosy up.
We saw a few sights....
|Anne Hathaway's Cottage|
....and had the much-longed-for cream tea.
We also had a steak and red wine feast at the hotel brasserie, a gorgeous [mushroom] risotto at a local Italian and a rather rough-and-ready G&T with chips at a slightly dubious bar on Sunday when we arrived (Sunday was the day for football, apparently, and I have learned to accept that Manchester United will always manage to scupper any romantic plans I have). At least the win kept my man smiling.
But my favourite part of our little break was yesterday afternoon. We'd been out for brunch at Cafe Rouge (Eggs Benedict), mooched around the shops and strolled by the waterfront. The weather wasn't great, it was quite dull and blustery, so after having a quick nose around Shakespeare's birthplace we headed back to the hotel for a cup of tea in the lounge. We didn't move from there for three hours! I had my crochet, he had his book and the nice waiter kept topping up our teacups. It was so warm and quiet in the lounge, I could see out of the window from my spot and when it started to pour with rain at 4pm, I can't tell you how utterly content I felt with my husband snoozing in the armchair beside me. Although I have to say it felt like a glimpse into the future!
From my old lady chair by the window I had a good view of this little beauty in a shop opposite. I kept imagining it in my kitchen, brightening up my mornings. So, yes, it came home with me:
I'm going crazy for this stuff at the moment. In Waitrose this evening I picked up a new cake tin:
I am a sucker for a cake tin. I've got loads in various shapes and sizes - I really didn't need any more. They had a set of three round tins in this Union Jack design too - I resisted today but I just know I'll be putting them in my trolley before the week is out. Somebody stop me! (Or better still, provide me with good excuses as to why I might need more tins.)
So back home and I'm 3lb heavier. Dammit, just sneaked back into the ten stone mark. Arrggggh. I thought I'd seen the back of the tens for good! I won't be beaten - I've stocked up on loads of healthy food and I'm starting my exercise DVD again tomorrow. It's called the 30 Day Shred. I can't tell you if it's any good or not because it's a 30 day programme (obvs) and I only ever make it to day four before I forget about it. All I can tell you is that it's twenty minutes of absolute torture every day and the music on it is rubbish so you need to hit the mute button and use your ipod instead. (This has the bonus of blocking out the instructor's cheesy 'motivating' one-liners too.) People swear by it on the WeightWatchers community boards so it must work. Blinking diets. Why do I love food so much?!