Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Top spots to visit in Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire in South West England.

This has been one of the warmest Summers I have ever experienced in the UK. We’ve had 3 whole weeks of dry heat and sunshine.

I really think it’s been the perfect time to explore UK’s coastal areas.

I recently wrote about where to eat, shop and play in Margate, South East England.

So now, I thought I’d turn my attention to South West England.

My most recent visit were to Dorset, Devon and Wiltshire.

I’ve always wanted to see Durdle Door (image above), one of Dorset’s most iconic landmarks on the Jurassic Coast.

I can tell you now that it didn’t disappoint. Isn’t it breathtakingly beautiful?

Durdle Door is a limestone arch formed by the waves from rock erosion. Durdle is from the old English word ‘thirl’ which means drill.

If you are planning a trip to Dorset or driving further down to Devon, then I would highly recommend Durdle Door as a stopover.

Adjacent to Durdle Door is the beautiful Lulworth Cove and village.

This house is called Cove Cottage, and I believe it is available for hire. If I ever owned a house in the countryside, I would love to have one that looked like this. I’m not sure how easy it is to maintain a thatch roof, but they sure look pretty don’t you think? These English stone houses look so idyllic and romantic. If you have a sweet tooth, then you have to visit The Doll’s House, a minty blue 19th Century Grade 2 listed cottage, that was once inhabited by fishermen, until 1992. You can find yummy cream teas and ice creams here. Perhaps what they are most famous for here, are their home-made fudge with natural ingredients and flavours, sourced locally where possible. Did you know that Thomas Hardy lived in Dorset? Many of the places he describes in his books were based around the surrounding areas there.

This was a poem that he wrote about Lulworth Cove scribed on the wall in the village. I thought I’d show off my Salted Caramel ice cream from Jake’s in front of the Hardy wall. We stayed at Hawkchurch Resort and Spa in Devon, at the border of Dorset. It’s a 5 star luxury retreat with views over the Axe Valley. This is a view of our holiday lodge at Hawkchurch, and might I add, complete with an outdoor hot tub.  The decor had a relaxed Scandi Coastal feel, and we felt instantly at home when we arrived.

It’s so nice to have a kitchen on holiday, so we can cook up delicious meals at leisure, as we unwind with a glass of wine in the evening. We were surrounded by beautiful countryside and greeted by the gentle baa of sheep. There were also holiday homes for sale at Hawkchurch Resort and Spa.

I was curious, so got a little tour of the homes for sale. These beautiful holiday lodges start from £80,000 to around £200,000. Here’s one of the double bedrooms. The homes come fully furnished and dressed. They even have super cute roll top baths in their bathrooms. I think I would request for mine to be pink. How about you? There was a reception area with friendly staff on hand to assist guests.

I was fascinated by the lighting in the lobby area. How fun is this version with glasses? The facilities at Hawkchurch Resort and Spa was second to none.

They had a large indoor swimming pool, a spa that offered the best back rubs, and a restaurant with delicious theme nights.

We particularly enjoyed Fish and Chips, and Curry night. devon lyme regis A short car drive from Hawkchurch Resort & Spa took us to the picturesque harbour village of Lyme Regis. There were so many colourful doors to snap. I was in total insta heaven. It was a pleasant stroll on the beach, with a nostalgic British seaside vibe. devon How cute are these colourful beach huts for hire?

I’ve never hired a beach hut before, have you?

I guess it’s nice to have a base, if you were spending the whole day on the beach. This is the door colour of my dreams, at Bayleaf cottage. The best place for breakfast in Lyme Regis, Devon, is The Town Mill Bakery. All their breads are freshly baked on the day. I believe they also have a traditional Mill next door, but this was not open when we were there.  This was the most delicious Turkish eggs I had for breakfast at the Town Mill bakery with bacon rashes and sourdough bread. Since we’re on the topic of food, I thought I’d show you a great place for lunch in Lyme Regis called Swim on Marine Parade, which is right on the beach.

The view is amazing and the decor is a super cool Boho Urban jungle style. This was what I had for lunch and it was so tasty. It’s called Sunbeam, and consisted of red and white quinoa, falafel, baby spinach, hummus, roasted peppers, slow roasted tomatoes, quick pickled cucumber and red onion, toasted seeds and citrus dressing.

It was as delicious as it sounded. I didn’t do much shopping during my time away, but I did stock up on my favourite Dorset tea. We had such a fabulous trip in Devon and Dorset.

Our drive back to London took us past Wiltshire, and we decided to stop over for lunch at Pythouse Kitchen garden. There is also a walled garden which at the time we were there, was not yet in full bloom. I bet it looks amazing now. I’ve written about my trip to the walled garden a few years back. Our lunch was amazing. Everything was homegrown from their gardens. It was such a treat to see Stonehenge on the drive back too. top places to visit England Hope you have enjoyed my little tour of South West England. It certainly was an amazing time away with the family.

( All photography are my own. I would like to thank Hawkchurch Resort and Spa for inviting me to stay.)

New homeware brands and talents from Tendence 2018.

I have just returned from a fabulous trip to Tendence, an international trade and consumer fair in Frankfurt, that I’ve previously written about here.

I thought I’d show you a few of my favourite new homeware brands.

It was fun to explore the up and coming designers at the Talents section of the fair.

Two of the talents I selected coincidentally had a ‘hands’ theme to their works.

First, I’d like to introduce you to  Anna Štěpánková and Tereza Rosalie Kladošová, who both graduated with a Masters degree from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague in 2016.

Tereza’s major was in fashion design and Anna studied product design. Their fun and colourful woollen rug collection, called Chopit, featured human hands with food.

The image above is of a hand and pretzel. Here we see the hand dipping into sauce. Next, I’d like to introduce you to Verena Rempel, whose beautiful artistic work feature in an exclusive bedding and cushion cover collection.

All the patterns and motives in her designs were from the photos of her hands. Each side of the bedding had a unique design, so you could change up the look of your bed easily. new homeware brands I couldn’t stop myself swooning over the homewares collection at Hubsch Interior.

Check out that gorgeous mirror that doubles up as a clothes hook. As you can see, the round mirror and Terrazzo trends are still going strong . I’m loving that small Terrazzo dressing table mirror on the floor. Don’t you just love the timeless elegance of Scandinavian design?

I found myself drawn to these beautiful candle lantern jars by Eldvarm , made from handblown glass, powder coated metal and tanned leather straps. The colours from the naturally dyed leather were simply stunning. I’m coveting these fireplace accessories, also from Eldvarm. This beautiful rug and cushions are by Elena Schimmel of Minividuals. The rugs from Minividuals are baby friendly because they are machine washable. I captured this image of the Minividuals stall at Tendence. Since we were on the subject of kids, I thought I’d show you 2 other cool children’s products that I found.

These colourful wooden toys could also double up as Home decor, and are by Kumi Mood.

You could pull on Justus the parrot’s cord and it would flap its wings up and down.

How cute is this comics blanket from Pad concept. ?

It would be perfect for my Marvel loving son.  If you’ve been looking for some stylish, easy to wipe clean table mats, then look no further ,

These pastel mats from By May Stockholm   were simply stunning. Talking about pastels, how cute were these cushions from Pytt Living? Their new collection cushions are excitingly now made from recycled plastic. Hope you’ve enjoyed my mini curate of the new homeware brands at Tendence fair.

Next year the fair would be bigger and even better.

I hear there will be an Urban, Modern, Cosy, Adventure and Earth district. Which district will you be exploring?

Wishing you all a lovely start to your week.

( All photography were provided by the brands mentioned in this post, and this is a paid partnership with Tendence only.)

Brabantia ironing board 5 steps to more pleasurable ironing with my new Brabantia ironing board.

Where do you do your ironing? Is it in your laundry room, in front of the television or somewhere else?

Ironing can be such a mundane task, so I’m definitely for anything that can make it more joyful.

I thought I’d share with you my 5 steps to a more pleasurable ironing experience: Step 1 Stay close to storage.

I do my ironing upstairs near the bedrooms and linen cupboard.

Our laundry room is downstairs in the basement, and our home has 5 floors.

I always find it such an effort to go up and down the stairs with the ironing, so I’ve decided to do it right at the top of the house near all the cupboards. ironing board Step 2 Get a beautiful ironing board cover

Ironing is so much more pleasurable when you have something pretty to stare at don’t you think?

Check out my gorgeous new ironing board  cover from Brabantia, a collaboration with Irish designer ‘Queen of prints’ Orla Kiely. The new limited edition design is in Orla Kiely’s Flower Oval Stem print. Isn’t it just so pretty?

Love how the orange colour pops out from the grey.

The ironing board cover is made from 100% durable cotton with a resilient foam layer for ironing comfort, making it the ideal ironing surface for both normal and steam ironing.

The cover comes with a cord fastener and Stretch System, so that it is easy to fit and always smooth and taut.

I can’t believe the cover retails for only £15.50. Such a bargain for amazing design.  Step 3 Get a good ironing board with multiple adjustable heights.

If you spend a long period of time ironing, then it is essential that the ironing board is at the right level to maintain posture and comfort. My new Brabantia ironing board is amazing as it has seven heights (69 – 96 cm), easily adjustable with a handy trigger switch.

The Brabantia ironing board and cover is available to buy in John Lewis and on Amazon. Step 4 Iron in fragrance.

I use eco friendly botanically fragrant products as part of my laundry care, such as Wilton London’s laundry liquid and fabric conditioner in a Cedarwood scent. I notice they also do a Jasmine scent now.

The aroma from the essential oils as I steam iron is simply up-lifting. Step 5 Listen to some tunes

I just love having some background music whilst I iron. I pick and mix my tunes depending on my mood.

So there you have it, my 5 steps to a more pleasurable ironing experience.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

( All photography and styling are by me, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This is a paid partnership collaboration with Brabantia but all views are my own.)

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