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A day out: Foodies Festival @ Syon Park

What better way to spend a Bank Holiday Monday than with food, friends, and frivolity at a festival? All the way back in May (I'm SO behind, I know), I was lucky enough to win tickets to the Foodies Festival at Syon Park, London from my lovely blogger pals, Jess and James. As a huge lover of anything edible, I couldn't resist the opportunity to attend such an exciting event, so I invited another blogging friend, the lovely Hels, along to join me! Here's how we spent our day!

Everyday Superpowers

What are everyday superpowers, I hear you ask? Well, they're not exactly the kinda stuff you'll see Spiderman and Wonder Woman getting up to in the cinema. Everyday superpowers are just little things that would make your day to day living much easier. Just think about it: wouldn't it be amazing if we really could use some superpowers IRL? Here's my list of the supernatural abilities that I'd LOVE to have.

Disney Princess Lookbook

Did you grow up wanting to be a Disney princess? Did the new Beauty and the Beast film reawaken the fantasy for you? Well now you can realise those dreams! Any excuse is a good excuse to get dressed up, in my opinion, and adding a little Disney magic to an outfit makes it all the more special! For today's post, I was inspired by three of my favourite princesses to create looks which you can actually buy, proving that tou're never too old for Disney! This post is also the latest in my Ab Fab Collab series with the lovely Abbie Chic! Abbie has also been inspired by Disney's Beauty and the Beast to create a post of her own - make sure you head over to check it out!

Abbey Bakes Carrot Cake Muffins

Hello ladies and gents, and welcome to another episode of Abbey Bakes! After sharing my choc chip cookie recipe last month, I'm back with another simple yet mouthwatering bake to tickle your tastebuds! This week I'm baking carrot cake muffins which are so good that you can ALMOST convince yourself that they count as one of your five-a-day. Almost. I love seeing when people recreate my recipes, so if you give this one a go, please tweet me a picture, or tag me on Instagram!

A day out: Salisbury

salisbury day out guide sightseeing

Now, without meaning to blow my own trumpet, most people who know me (I believe) would describe me as a fairly organised person. However, on the day that I was due to visit Salisbury with a group of other archaeology students from Oxford, I was not organised. Not one bit. In fact, I'd totally forgotten that I was going, and had woken up 15 minutes before our mini bus was due to leave to a text from my friend Francesca asking where I was. Oops. Thankfully, after getting dressed in precisely 5 seconds flat and running as fast as I could to the bus stop, I made it! So, here's how I spent my day out in Salisbury!

💒 Salisbury Cathedral 💒

salisbury sightseeing attractions visit

The highlight of our trip was definitely our guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral. For over 750 years, the cathedral has welcomed pilgrims from across the globe, and it's not hard to see why! The exterior architecture is just stunning, and if you go on a tower tour like we did, you get to climb the 225 feet to the top of the spire, which is the tallest in the UK! The tours can take up to two hours, and I was thinking that I might be a little tired of it by the end, but that certainly wasn't the case! Our tour guide was very jovial, knowledgable, and kept everyone in the group engaged. When we reached the top of the tower, he even gave us a toffee and a badge to mark our achievement, which was really cute!

visit salisbury day trip attractions

The top of the tower provided panoramic views across Salsibury and surrounding Wiltshire, which on a beautifully clear day that we were lucky enough to have, were especially stunning. On the tour, our guide pointed out features of interest that you wouldn't otherwise notice, like how part of the cathedral visibly sags under the weight of the tower - eek! Another thing that I really loved were the engravings on many of the panes of glass in the tower windows, apparently they used to charge visitors who wanted to inscribe messages on the glass! Some people had chosen to commemorate births, marriages, and deaths, and others had drawn pictures - it was fantastic to see the evolving history of the tower through these etchings.

tourist attractions salisbury salisbury to do day out
salisbury highlights tourist salisbury sightseeing attractions

🏠 Mompesson House 🏠

salisbury sightseeing tourist

Again, if you know me well, you'll know that I absolutely love visiting National Trust properties. Call me a grandma if you like, but I think they provide a perfect day out, which is very reasonably priced if you have a National Trust membership like I do. So, when we turned up in Salisbury and unexpectedly discovered a NT property in the close next to the cathedral, of course we had to look round. Mompesson House is an 18th century townhouse with a beautiful garden, which the National Trust is currently in the process of restoring. Apparently the last occupant of the house, whose ancestor had bequeathed the house to the National Trust prior to his death, left only the curtains in the house when he vacated the premises - something tells me that he wasn't terribly happy at having to move out!

The house has numerous claims to fame, including as a setting for the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility, starring Kate Winslet! One of my favourite rooms in the house was the library, which had a stunning blue moulded ceiling! The best feature in this room was a small bookcase, or rather - a cocktail cabinet which was disguised to look like a small bookcase! I've now decided that I want a cabinet just like this in my dream house!

salisbury sightseeing things to do salisbury attractions

🌇 Salisbury Town 🌇

Aside from the cathedral and the close, the centre of Salisbury itself is very picturesque! We wandered round some beautiful parks at lunch time, and there were no shortage of spaces to stop off for a picnic. As for shopping, a real highlight was watching fudge being made at Roly's Fudge Pantry. Located next to the historic arch which signals your entry to the cathedral close, the fudge pantry sells pretty much any flavour you could ask for - the butterscotch offering was a bit hit with me! However, if you are on a tight budget, there are plenty of places to grab quick, cheap snacks too. Francesca and I (as typical students) went to Poundland for our ice cream!

salisbury historic attractions day out tourist sightseeing salisbury
salisbury day out attractions


🏰 Old Sarum 🏰

salisbury day out sightseeing
Being the old-school cool archaeologists that we are, we also stopped off at an Iron Age hillfort on our trip to Salisbury. This was located at Old Sarum, a site with over 2,000 years of history. The foundations you can see in the large photo above are actually of Salisbury's first ever Norman cathedral - according to our guide, the Norman monks had such a bad relationship with the soldiers stationed within the fort that they requested a new cathedral to be built away from the pesky military men! The new building is the cathedral that you see today!

Have you ever been to Salisbury? Where is your favourite place for a day out in your local area? Please share your recommendations with me in the comments below, and I may well pay you a visit!

Until next time,

A x

Bookshelf Update #2

I posted my last Bookshelf Update post alllll the way back in November of last year, but with the mountains of uni work I've been ploughing through as part of my Masters degree, I haven't had much time for recreational reading! However, I've collated all of the books I've read since my last update post here to share a huge collective review with you all today! But don't worry, all the reviews are spoiler free, so if you want to pick up any of the books that I've read, the plot twists won't be ruined for you!