Tag Archives: cafe

Petersham Nurseries Candlelit Carols

Petersham Nurseries is one of the gems of suburban London. It’s not your typical garden center – it’s possibly the chicest, bohemian greenhouse wonderland I’ve ever encountered.

The vast grounds near Richmond were saved from developers by an Italian businessman and his Aussie wife, and they’ve since redesigned the gardens, opened a Michelin star restaurant, a rustic teahouse, and a vast garden shop full of salvaged homewares, antique furniture and vintage garden décor.

And it happens to be the premier place in town to rekindle that old-fashioned Christmas spirit!

Petersham Nurseries Teahouse

The event was a candlelit evening of Christmas carols and shopping!

Petersham Nurseries Shop

As we entered the packed dirt-floored nursery, we were handed a ticket for a free cup of mulled wine. Crumbly mince pies were also on hand to nibble as a group of singers from Barnes Choir filled the café with the beautiful harmony of Christmas carols.

Petersham Nurseries Mulled Wine Ticket

Petersham Nurseries Carols Mulled Wine Mince Pie

Petersham Nurseries Carols Sip

Petersham Nurseries Carols Santa

Petersham Nurseries Carollers

Petersham Nurseries Carols Tree

Petersham Nurseries Carols

The space was heaving with fir trees and berries, shiny red baubles, and twinkling fairy lights – it was a magical Christmas dreamland!

Petersham Nurseries Shop Plants

Still humming “Jingle Bells”, we wandered around perusing the shop! My eyes didn’t know which way to look first – left or right, up or down. Every inch of the place was covered in vintage prints, gilded mirrors, antique chandeliers, homemade wreaths, scented candles and soaps, and heaps of Christmas ornaments.

Petersham Nurseries Shop Walls

Petersham Nurseries Shopping

Petersham Nurseries Shop Putti

Petersham Nurseries Shop Baubles

Petersham Nurseries Shop Crocuses

Petersham Nurseries Shop Mirror Reflection

Petersham Nurseries Shop Hobnail Pitcher

Petersham Nurseries Shop Baubles Tree

This shop is one of my top recommendations for finding unique Christmas gifts!

And I couldn’t pick a place with more charming Christmas cheer.

Weekend in Cornwall

This weekend we rashly packed a bag and made a break for the Cornish coast!

We arrived in the charming seaside village of Rock and checked in at the St Moritz Hotel. Surrounded by wispy tufts of beach grass, the blanched white Art Deco resort serenely overlooks the headland and Atlantic Ocean in the distance.

St Moritz Cornwall Hotel

St Moritz Cornwall

St Moritz Staircase Winding

St Moritz Staircase

St Moritz Bar

After enjoying a welcome drink in the bar, we whipped on our coats and set off down the hill toward the beach.

St Moritz Beach Cabanas

St Moritz Coastal Path Beach Sign

St Moritz Coastal Path

We followed the coastal path north towards the bay of Polzeath, looking down from the grassy bluffs on those enjoying the beaches at low tide below.

St Moritz Coastal Path Beach

Polzeath View

Polzeath View Grassy

St Moritz Coastal Path Windy Hair

St Moritz Coastal Path Lighthouse

Despite the constant winds battering the coast, this area of England remains resolutely green and brimming with the most delicate little flowers.

Polzeath Flowers

Polzeath Pink Flowers

Polzeath Path

When Polzeath came into sight up ahead, we could see the surf was dotted with hoards of people in their wetsuits hoping to catch a wave. From long boarders to boogie boarders, young and old, it was quite a surprise to see so many surfers braving the cold swells.

Polzeath Bay

Polzeath Bay Surfer

Polzeath Surfboards

Polzeath Surfside Beach View

Even though it’s October and you have to wrap up a bit, it still feels good to walk in the sand and find a cute little beachside cafe to pause for a bit.

Polzeath Surfside Peace Signs

Polzeath Surfside Portrait

Surfside is the coolest beach shack ever with a simple (but classic) menu of tasty surfer grub – every dish equally tempting. I mean, how am I supposed to choose between a lobster roll and lobster mac n’ cheese? It’s impossible! And that’s not even taking into consideration the crab sandwich with chili mayo!

Polzeath Surfside Open Sign

Polzeath Surfside Menu

So we ordered all three – passing the enamel dishes back and forth across the table for “just one more bite.”

Polzeath Surfside Lobster Roll

Polzeath Mac n Cheese

Polzeath Surfside Crab Sandwich

Polzeath Surfside Bite

Polzeath Surfside Table

Polzeath Surfside Orioles Hat

After lunch, we sat for a while watching sand-flecked children and shaggy coated doggies whir by in fits of giggles and tail-wagging. There’s something about the excitement of the beach, no matter the season, that makes you feel a bit like a kid again. So we rounded up our friends for a round of crazy golf.

Polzeath Crazy Golf Stroke

My swing was a little bit rusty but I felt like I’d just won the green jacket when I expertly sunk a hole in one!

Polzeath Crazy Golf Hole In One

Then a few holes on, my opponent battled back with one of his own!

Polzeath Crazy Golf Loopty Loop

Polzeath Crazy Golf Another Hole in One

We love a bit of friendly competition, but this time we actually didn’t keep score.

I think this once it was simply enough to have a cheerful playmate to walk the sandy path back home with after a fun-filled day at the beach.

Zannos Melathron, Pyrgos

The best part of our hotel was its fantastic location in Pyrgos – a quaint, sleepy Santorinian village that has managed to lay low despite the overwhelming crush of tourism besieging most of the island. When we arrived in the town square, this dashing young lad was waiting to carry our luggage up the steep ascent our room.


Zannos Melathron is a Relais & Chateaux property at the tippy top of the village. Settled into the slope of the hillside next to the brilliant blue-domed Agia Theodosia, the hotel has a bird’s-eye view of the island’s northern tip. From the restaurant terrace, you can see the cliffs of Fira, and then Oia further in the distance.

The mansion is the former mid-19th century home of a powerful Greek shipping family. The main public rooms of the interior still evoke a nostalgia for the charmed life this glamorous home once contained.


Agia Theodosia

Agia Theodosia

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The suites are cavernous – in the truest sense of the word! While some might find this cosy, I actually felt a little bit claustrophobic. Everything was clean and thoughtfully arranged – and I loved this little nook.

nook room

Outside on the terrace was shaded seating for two, a couple of stripey sun loungers, and a jacuzzi.


jacuzzi jacuuzzi


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And how about these views from the pool?

pool pool4 pool5

After settling in and unpacking at the hotel, we made our way down into the village to the best lunch joint on the map – Selene. It serves mouth-watering local dishes with the warm welcoming service characteristic of the region. I have to admit, it was so good we went back again (though I won’t say how many times).

outside int

House baked bread with tomato tapioca

House baked bread with tomato tapioca

Squids with tomato crust

Squids with tomato crust


Octopus carpaccio with white eggplant salad

Octopus carpaccio with white eggplant salad


Chicken leg (gyros style) in pitta bread with grilled Santorini zucchini and yogurt-spearmint sauce

Chicken leg (gyros style) in pitta bread with grilled Santorini zucchini and yogurt-spearmint sauce


And of course, what Greek meal would be complete without an oozy warm slice of baklava? baklava

On that sweet note, I’ll save the rest for tomorrow – when the real adventures begin!