I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the Summer! I’m sure the world has been speeding up ever since we first went into lockdown last March!
I’ve even started to track my working hours because I couldn’t work out where all my time has been going, which has been a helpful exercise. I’ve been using Toggl to track my time, which allows me to see which clients I spend the most time on, as well as how much time I spend on admin for The Mindful Gingernut.
July has been an epic month for sport, with the finals of Euro 2020, the return of crowds to Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. I don’t think my tv has ever been on so much!
Overall, July was a great month! It was ram-packed full of adventures, work picked back up again, and the weather for most of the month was great, albeit a little too hot for this ginger at times.
Here’s a look back at some of the adventures July had in store:
Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa
Way back in December, my boyfriend/partner/manfriend/other half (boyfriend makes me sound like I’m 16 again! How do you describe your partner if you’re not yet engaged/married etc. ?) had attempted to treat me to a spa day for my Birthday. However, as we headed into another lockdown, the chances of this happening looked slim. He reverted to gift buying instead of an experience, and we put the spa break on hold.
We finally got around to booking our spa break for the beginning of July and headed to Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa, which sits on the border of the Surrey Hills and the South Downs National Park.
Unfortunately, the day we were heading for the spa, I woke up with a horrendous stomach upset, but not wanting to let my boyfriend down, we headed off. I put the stomach pains down to my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and hoped they would pass.
I felt awful for the entire stay, but I managed to enjoy little moments of it. The hotel & spa had some incredible views, and it was lovely to spend some time with my boyfriend after a busy couple of months.
We arrived around midday, checked into the spa and headed straight to the treatment rooms. We had both opted for a Marine well-being massage, which after at least 18 months without a spa day, was just what we both needed.
Once our treatments had concluded, we headed down to the pool. The pool area consisted of a whirlpool, sauna and steam room, which we used before checking into the adjoining hotel for the rest of the day and evening.
Included in our package was a two-course meal at the hotel’s restaurant, and despite feeling considerably worse by this point, I got myself glammed up, and we headed to the restaurant for dinner.
However, no sooner had our starters arrived, I felt even more dreadful and could barely look at my food, let alone eat it. I felt so gutted because the restaurant was lovely and had stunning views over the nearby hills. The waiting staff were lovely and so accommodating. The food, on any other day, would’ve looked delicious. We decided it was probably best for me to head back to our room, and the hotel staff kindly brought our meals to our hotel room so we could finish them there if we wanted to. My boyfriend devoured his, but I was feeling too ill to touch it.
Our hotel room was divine! If I could’ve chosen anywhere else other than the comfort of my own home to feel ill in, we had done well in choosing Lythe Hill.
The following morning we woke up to some beautiful hillside mist. I could feel my appetite starting to return, so we headed back down to the restaurant for some breakfast before heading back home. We had breakfast outside on the terrace, and it was just what I needed after the night before.
I was gutted to have been ill for our trip, but I can’t recommend Lyth Hill Hotel & Spa enough. We’ll definitely try to head back later this year for another stay, and hopefully, I’ll be able to enjoy it to the max this time!
A Trip to the Seaside
Despite my boyfriend having been in England since he was 16 years old, he’d never been to the English coast! I suggested we corrected that, so we decided to make a flying visit and headed down to the Dorset coast for a brief 36-hour trip.
I had spent many a family holiday in Dorset, and it’s an area that I adore. The Jurassic coastline is wild and craggy, and on a sunny day, it can be as good as being abroad.
Thankfully both of us were feeling ok for this trip!
One of my all-time favourite places to visit in Dorset is Lulworth Cove. I blame the geographer in me! Not only is the coastline a geographers dream, but it also offers traditional seaside delights with some great fish & chips and plenty of ice cream parlours!
We arrived around lunchtime, so we parked up and headed straight to get some fish n chips for lunch. We took them down onto the pebble beach and sat watching the boats and enjoying the salty smells of the seaside.
We travelled down under complete cloud cover, but on arrival, we found ourselves in glorious sunshine. So after our fish n chip lunch, we headed back up to the row of shops between the car park and the cove and treated ourselves to some proper Dorset ice cream.
Fuelled with food, we headed up the steep hillside and walked over to Durdle Door, another of my favourite places on the Jurassic coastline. As we sat on the beach at Durdle Door, I think my boyfriend finally understood the beauty of the English coast. It wasn’t anything like he had expected, and I think he finally started to understand my obsession with it.
Once we had walked back to Lulworth Cove, it was time to get back into the car and make our way over to Bournemouth, where we had booked into a Premier Inn for the night.
We’d booked our trip to Dorset before the England football team found themselves in the Semi-Finals against Denmark. With both of us being massive football fans, the remainder of the day consisted of trying to get to our hotel in time to watch the match (to check out my recent posts about England’s amazing journey in the Euro’s click here and here)!
Despite being eager to get checked in, we took the scenic route to Bournemouth, driving through Corfe and Studland Bay before getting the car ferry from Studland to Sandbanks in Poole.
From Sandbanks, it is just a short drive to Bournemouth and, we managed to get checked into our hotel room just as coverage for the match was starting.
For some reason, the hotel wasn’t offering room service because their restaurant was full, so we had to order food in, but this wasn’t a huge inconvenience, as with so many food apps now available, we had plenty of choices!
After a great nights sleep and after a good breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant, we headed into Bournemouth. Bournemouth has a different vibe from that of Lulworth. It’s a lot more commercial and has a gorgeous sandy beach. We did a bit of shopping in the high street, walked through the Central Gardens and headed to the beach for a walk along the beachfront.
Despite only making a flying visit to the coast, it was great to get away and do something we hadn’t been able to do for a long time because of the pandemic.
The only problem with getting away, it’s made me hungry for more adventures!
Catching up With Friends
July also saw some lovely local days out with friends, including trips to RHS Wisley, Eel Pie Island, Kew Gardens and Runnymede Memorial Trail.
Eel Pie Island is a fascinating place to visit and is only open to tourists two weekends per year. It’s home to several artists studio’s, some of whom also reside on the island. Twice a year, the island opens its artist’s studios for tourists to have a look around. Words couldn’t possibly do the place justice, so I’ll leave you with a look through my photo’s, so you can get a feel for it.
Interesting Fact: Eel Pie Island used to be home to a music venue that hosted the likes of the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. Sadly it was ripped apart by a fire in 1971 and was never re-built.
Although I had a lovely day out at Kew Gardens later in the month, I always feel like it’s expensive for what you get. With pre-booked adult tickets being around £17.50 each, car parking is an additional £7, plus extortionate cafe prices, it’s not a cheap day out by any means. If you’re into palms and Arboretums, you probably won’t mind paying the price. It’s just not my kind of thing. It’s the second time I’ve been now, and my opinions remain the same. A pleasant day out, but only if you’re prepared to spend some money.
I finished the month by getting my second covid vaccine. Case numbers had been rising here in the UK so I had been anxious to get my second vaccine done and dusted. Despite being fully vaccinated, I still feel nervous about doing some things. I’m not particularly keen to mix indoors, and although we’ve had the odd meal out, both of us feel weird about it all.
That’s it for this week, but don’t forget, if you’d like to keep up to date with more of my musings, you can now subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Click here to subscribe.
How was July for you?