Happiness, Home and Hygge

Hygge who? 

It’s almost the official start of winter and in these chilly, dark months some find it hard to maintain their cheerful summery attitude and slump into these groggy, drizzly days with a harsh case of the winter blues. But here at Portlebay we like to see winter as one of our favourite season. Why? you may ask- because it’s the perfect time for a lil hygge!

Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) is a phenomenon that has been blissfully introduced to us by the Danes and captivates their obsession with cosiness and contentment. Hygge isn’t as much a physical thing as it is about the way you feel and is most commonly described as a feeling or moment that is charming, special or cosy.  Hygge can be embodied through candle lit rooms, mindful moments, good books, campfires with friends and taking life one cup of tea at a time.

For us there’s no better way to spend the winter than snuggled up with a bowl of popcorn watching our favourite movie, tucking into a sweet packet of Cinnamon swirl popcorn whilst playing a board game on a rainy day or making pretty decorations for the Christmas tree out of this tasty snack!

According to the telegraph news paper the countries that are most devoted to the hygge lifestyle (Finland, Denmark and Norway) are the top three happiest countries in the world! England is humbly placed at number nineteen in this list, and whilst that certainly means we aren’t miserable we believe there’s a thing or two we can learn from slowing down, enjoying the present and soaking up a little more hygge.

With this in mind we decided to kick of this beautiful frosty season with a hygge inspired blog post, influenced by a few quotes that truly promote that hyggelig feeling!

Here’s some tips on how to plan your very own wintery hygge weekend! After all weekends away are the best way to create hygge memories which are simply worth their weight in gold (go on, give it a try!).

Step 1 -C’mon lets get Hygge with it! 

First of all, to fully indulge in hygge, you have to take a step back, grant yourself some time off work and choose a weekend to get away from all the hustle and bustle of your every day life. Planning a weekend away is a wonderful process in itself. There is something truly satisfying about the little spark of excitement you get from finding the perfect venue and contemplating all the fun things you can do there (for us this involves dreaming about the large amount of popcorn eating that will take place- YUM!). Looking for a location ripe for hygge means you want somewhere rural and relaxed where an opportunity for campfires, long walks or log burners is a definite possibility. Saying this however, it is arguable that hygge is less about where you are and more about who you are with. Therefore, ensuring that a few candles, board games, books, tasty snacks and good friends are on your packing list means you cant really go wrong!

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Step 2- A little means a lot

A hygge weekend is all about doing wonderful little things with the people you love and all the little ways you let the people around you know you love them. For this we would recommend cooking meals together or lending your cosiest jumper to someone who forgot theirs (There’s always one!). Here are a few other perfect little hygge gestures-

  • Making friendship bracelets.
  • Putting fluffy socks on the radiator to warm them up before you all put them on.
  • Bring someone coffee in bed in the morning.
  • Baking some sweet treats to enjoy after a long walk.
  • Reading a book out loud together (we would recommend something spooky or a childhood favourite!)

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Step 3- who’s up for an adventure? 

Nothing quite screams cosy and content over the feeling of stumbling back into a warm house after a long walk on a crisp winters day.  The way the warm air hits you in the face and turns your cheeks rosy and gets your mouth watering for a delicious hot chocolate is simply perfect! The best way to find a beautiful countryside romp is to look up the local area online or pick up some local hiking brochures! Picking somewhere with pretty views and preferably a couple of pubs along the way makes the adventure even better. However, no matter how long and lovely the walk will be the best part is getting home and collapsing onto the sofa; achy feet, red nosed and above all happy.

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Step 4- the realisation

So by now the question you are probably asking is ‘how will i know if i managed to achieve a hygge weekend?’. This daunting question is one that you shouldn’t let press to heavily on your mind, after all the aim is to relax, slow down and be comfortable in your surroundings not spend the whole time worrying if your hygge enough! Either way here are a few bench marks that we tend to go by;

  1. You will feel truly cosy to your very core.
  2. You’ve made memories to last a life time.
  3. Your loved ones feel just that little bit closer to you.
  4. You’ve never felt more grateful for the little things in life.
  5. you’ve eaten your body weight in popcorn.
  6. And you feel like you have truly had a well earned break!

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What to pack for the perfect hygge weekend 

  1. Cosy Socks
  2. Candels
  3. Books
  4. Board games
  5. Lots (and lots) of popcorn
  6. Comfy clothes only!
  7. Fluffy blankets
  8. Comfy walking shoes
  9. Plenty of warm hats, scarfs and jackets
  10. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate (and mini marshmallows if your really cheeky)
  11. Essential toiletries (forgetting this would make a stressful weekend)
  12. Face packs, hand cream and bubble bath bits for a DIY spa night
  13. One or two good movies
  14. Craft materials
  15. Recipe book

Sources:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/discovering-hygge-in-copenhagen/eight-ways-to-be-happier/

https://www.hyggelife.com/blogs/news

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How To Plan A Trip with €1000

The wonderful blog Call Me Boujee, belongs to the very, very charming Kel. Kel created the blog as a place to detail her ‘travels, struggles and mumbles’. Here is a typical post that can be found on ‘Call Me Boujee’ written by Kel- How to plan a trip with €1000.

Hello, friends!

Since I started my blog a few months ago, I have been pleasantly surprised to receive a few questions from some of my lovely readers.

One of these questions was how to plan a budget trip to the destination of choice. First of all, I am humbled that you read my blog and grateful that you take the time to ask me questions. I shall try not to let this get to my head. **too late**

When most people think of traveling, they are panicked by the humongous price tags that may come along with the decision to travel. Most people actually end up never traveling or not traveling enough because of these price tags. Maybe it’s African in me, but I do not think it’s fair to pay out of your nose to travel and experience nature and culture.

I  going to give you a few tips and tricks that will reduce your travel costs immensely, while still allowing you to have fun on your trip. I have personally traveled with a less than €750 budget twice, so I think I might be of particular help. It is risky, but sure, but what’s the fun in safe?

The most important thing you have to do when planning a trip for less than €1000 is chosen a country whose local currency is inferior to the currency you earn in. Life tends to be much cheaper in countries with inferior currencies so you will almost definitely enjoy a lot more luxury at a far cheaper cost.

Another thing you want to get out of the way is flights. I personally use jetcost.co.uk which I have found gives the cheapest prices on the world wide web so far.

 Accommodation

There are a number of options for accommodation when on a budget. My personal favorite is Airbnb which is abundant in choice and reasonably good self-catering Airbnb accommodations for €50 or less a night. A tiny tip for you here is to book much earlier than your intended trip, especially if you are traveling during peak times. Airbnb hosts tend to get a little pricey during peak seasons.

You can also look into backpackers, hostels, and camping depending on your personal style and preference.

Food

If you rent a self-catering accommodation, you will probably have a kitchen available to you. Cooking your own meals will cut the cost of your trip by at least 50% as restaurants in most holiday destinations are unjustifiably expensive. Again, if you go to a country with an inferior currency, meals will almost definitely be affordable even on a budget. If you travel to a considerably expensive country like Seychelles, you can pick up luxury food choice from the supermarkets and cook for yourself.

Transport

Hiring a car in anywhere in the world will set you back €30-50 per day so depending on how tight your budget is. You may choose to stick to the public bus system or even just hire a car for a few days where you need to travel far and use public transport for the nearby areas. Good itinerary planning skills are needed here.

Excursions

If on a budget, there is a good number of free and/or cheap things to see and enjoy in every country in the world. That is the best thing about keeping an open mind when budget traveling. You will see wonder where a normal person wouldn’t even take a second glance. Therefore, you do not have to pay out of your nose to experience and enjoy the world.

Things like hiking, ocean swimming, swimming pools, DIY snorkeling, museums and farmers markets are free or really cheap.

Ideas:

  • DIY snorkeling-Love snorkeling or just simply want to try it out, why not try a DIY snorkeling adventure. Tour guides would charge an arm and a leg to take you snorkeling when in actual truth you on your own near the shores. Bring your own snorkeling equipment in your suitcase and you will avoid the exorbitant prices of hiring on the Island.

Safety Tip: keep close to the shores and don’t venture out too far into the ocean.

  • Visit a museum- museums tend to be free or very cheap to get into. They are a brilliant way to learn more about the history and culture of the land without paying out of your nose.
  • Swimming pools- If you fancy a day at the pool, most hotels will charge a small fee for swimming in their pools. Why not grab your beach bag and head over to a hotel pool for some relaxation time?
  • Museums-Most museums around the world are free or extremely cheap to access. Museums are a great place to learn about the culture and history of the local area. They are informative, interactive and fun

Don’t forget to take out travel insurance before you travel. If you are traveling to a country with an inferior currency, chances are that health and medical services there are rather inferior too. It might be wise to take out travel insurance to cover you in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Let’s sum this all up, shall we?

Accommodation (7 days).

Double room €35 – 50 = €245 – 350

Restaurant

Luxury Supermarket groceries €180

Transport

Car hire €50 × 7 days €350

Miscellaneous insert your own figure.

In my opinion, €1000 is more than enough spending money for two as long as you budget and plan your trip well. So why not plan an adventure there for your next holiday? I promise you will not regret it.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to slide into my DMs. If you like this post and would like to see more, do follow me on my Instagram page (@thatboujeebabe) and on my blog (http:/callmeboujee.com)

We loved this piece by Kel and most certainly feel the need to jet away now! Also, here’s a cute snap of Kel and our popcorn!

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Some of Our Favourite Local Cream Teas!

Today is a very, VERY important day. We’re sure you all know, because it’s just one of the most wonderful days of the year, but just incase you don’t… IT’S NATIONAL CREAM TEA DAY! WOO! Grab the jam, grab the cream, it’s time for a West Country party.

As we are from the home of Cream Tea’s, we decided we best let you all know where to find some of the best spots in Devon, to feast on a traditional Cream Team!

Also, do help us settled the ever ongoing argument of cream or jam first?! It’s certainly a debate here at The Poppery and we need to put it to bed for once and for all! Are you a Devon Cream Tea-er or a Cornish Cream Tea-er? (See the image below to distinguish a Cornish and Devonian scone.)

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Avon Mill

The first spot that we would like to introduce you to is Avon Mill. Avon Mill, is primarily known for being a really rather gorgeous garden centre, with a few little boutique shops, a gallery and a very lovely cafe (that serves a deeeelicious Cream Tea!) This is a great place to visit if your looking to have a mooch around and a munch! Opposite the garden centre is also a gorgeous grassy area with a pretty river- perfect for a sunny visit!

Cream Tea
The Avon Mill Cream Tea!

The Two Bridges Hotel

Next on our delicious Cream Tea list is the Two Bridges Hotel. Situated in the breathtaking Dartmoor National Park, the Two bridges Hotel is a very beautiful place to visit. With plenty of magnificent walking routes nearby, you can easily spend a whole day enjoying the scenery and after treating yourself to a well deserved Cream Tea! (Sounds like a perfect plan to us!) Oh and for those of you that like to take a pup with you when you walk, the Two Bridges is also dog friendly and will warmly welcome any four legged friends.

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The Two Bridges Hotel cream Tea!

Dart Marina Spa & Hotel

Another venue that hosts a magical Cream Tea is Dart Marina Spa & Hotel, in Dartmouth. Situated right by the River Dart, the gorgeous Dart Marina Spa & Hotel offers a lovely outdoor space to soak up the sun and watch the boats come and go; the ideal setting to enjoy a very delicious Cream Tea. Dartmouth is certainly the perfect location on a sunny Saturday- explore the town on foot, explore the sea via kayak or take the ferry across the water and experience a very scenic coastal walk- then a Cream  Tea to finish! YUM!

 

We hope you make the most of National Cream Tea Day wherever you are and make sure you let us know whether you eat your scones in the Devonian or Cornish style!

If you enjoyed this post, have a look at our post Vessel Beer Shop- Plymouth!

8 Ways to Celebrate Summer!

The smell of fresh cut grass lingering in the air, summer blooms sprinkling the landscape with bright, beautiful colours, bees and butterflies bustling around keeping busy and Pimm’s O’clock now a daily necessity- oh it must be summer! HOORAY!

After many months of wind, rain, doom and gloom, us folk in the UK just can’t help but rejoice at the first sight of sunshine. We can finally escape the winter hibernation and take up residence at one of the many glorious beaches we are so lucky to have. As Summer is a big deal, we believe that it should celebrated and welcomed in a truly joyful manner. So, here are eight ways to celebrate the sunny season and make the most of the sunshine!

1. Be a Beach Babe

Go on a mini adventure and seek out a new beach that you’ve never visited before. Explore some caves, play in the waves, build a sandcastle! In Devon, our gorgeous home, there are soooo many hidden beaches to discover and no single beach is the same!

2. Make The Most of Those Summer Events

There are always loads of events organised for summer, so why not make the most of them?! Some events you can keep an eye out for:

  • Festivals- music, art, cultural, sports, entertainment, craft
  • Flower Shows
  • Outdoor Cinema
  • Food and Drink Fairs
  • Farmers Markets
  • National Trust

3. Make Some Summer Sangria

What better way to celebrate summer than making Sangria. Grab that red wine, it’s time to revel in the sunshine!

4. Just Relax…

Take some time to genuinely enjoy the summer. Read a book, watch the sunset, take a stroll in a picturesque location. Often at home we forget to press pause on our hustling and bustling lives and don’t take time to just chill out- be it long or short have a stay-cation!

5. Organise a Summer Shindig

Get your friends and family together and make the most of those long summer evenings. We’re talking bbq, salads, drinks and games!

6. Spend Time as a Family

It can be hard to find time and to find an activity to suit everyone in the family, but there is no better season than summer to get the family together. Here are a few ideas for the whole family to get involved with:

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Play mini golf
  • Build a sandcastle or an entire sand village
  • Go camping- even if it’s just in the garden!
  • Go to a pick your own farm
  • Make a butterfly garden
  • Visit the coast and explore a costal walks with a pub lunch!
  • Go for a picnic
  • Visit a National Park
  • Simply eat dinner together outside

7. Try Something New!

It’s summer, try something new! Surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, roller blading, anything! You may try a new activity and just love it!

8. Put Down the Technology

We are all busy bees and keeping up with our daily tasks is made 100% easier with the help of technology. Sometimes though, it’s nice to just enjoy the people and environment around us. Here are some more traditional forms of entertainment that can be even more fun than our normal digital pastimes:

  • Board games
  • Star gazing
  • Flying a kite
  • Charades
  • Frisbee
  • Cricket
  • Card games
  • Build a bonfire to cosy around

We hope you have an amazing summer with many wonderful adventures and memories!

 

Surfs Up! – How we celebrated international surf day

Saturday 16th of June saw international surf day take place, a day that celebrates the surf life style and the importance of environmentally conscious movements along our coastlines. It is an especially celebrated day in key surf locations such as Hawaii, California and Cornwall which was established in 2005 and is becoming increasingly popular, especially along the beautiful South-West coast.

This years international surf day theme was ‘Protect and Enjoy’ which is an ever increasingly important message within the surf community and modern day as we see the build up of plastic pollution in our oceans.

This day of celebrating surf is inspiring to us as we admire the talent of those in the international surf league and even those local surfers catching a few waves on our favourite beaches, however, it also reminds us to reflect on the products that we use and the huge difference we can make from little acts such as picking up rubbish we find on the beach.

To celebrate International surf day here at Portlebay we caught up with surfer Sarah Ashley to chat about her surfing experience and enjoy a few packets of our popcorn on one of the most beautiful beaches around (in our opinion) Bigbury-on-sea! Here’s what she had to say:

1) How did you first get into surfing?

I have always loved being outdoors and by the sea. On it, in it. Any excuse to breathe salt air into my lungs. I grew up by the ocean and on boats, so surfing seemed to be a natural progression for me. Back home in South Africa one of my closest friends was an SA champion! But it wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I learnt how to surf. I was lucky enough to have a friend from school take the time to teach me. From the dawn surf missions to late night sessions after work – from then on I was hooked! I owe you Harry!

2) What board do you use, and why do you like it?

I have tried out a few surf boards over the years to find what I am most comfortable with. From starting off with the stereotypical beginner minimal, to progressing on to a thruster. I now surf a 6’ fish as I believe this is best suited to British waves; especially over the summer when the temperatures rise and the swell drops. I currently own 3 surfboards though, including a thruster which I love for its ease of duck diving under waves. This is just for now though, I love board shopping and my surfboards always change as my surfing improves.

3) Where are your favourite surf spots in Devon?

Bantham is where I learnt to surf so it will always be a special place to me. It is also one of the most consistent surf spots in Devon (close to Plymouth, anyway) so it’s my go-to surf spot. I also love the Gastrobus at Bantham (food is always priority) and the views of Burgh Island are beautiful!

4) What’s the biggest wave you’ve ever ridden?

6 foot and I can honestly say I was in over my head (literally.)

5) Where is the coolest place you’ve ever surfed?
I went on a surf trip to Sagres, Portugal, this year and it has to be one of my favourite experiences to date. With southern, western and eastern coastlines to choose from, you can literally go wave hunting and there is always going to be surf somewhere. Surfers paradise! All within 30 minutes of each other too!

6) What advice would you give to anyone wanting to take up surfing or anyone who is just starting out?

At first, go with a friend. You want to feel comfortable and enjoy your first experience, I know for a lot of people their first try can be a make or break for them. Make a fun day of it and rent some foam boards. Don’t feel pressured to have to stand up on the board on your first day! As with everything surfing takes time and practice. When you get the hang of it and want to go on to purchasing the gear and really getting in to it – do your research! Beginners often make the mistake of wanting to jump to intermediate boards too soon and then stunt their ability to learn and progress. Ask the guys at your local surf shops for advice. More often than not they’re surfers themselves with loads of experience and industry knowledge to share! It sounds so cliche’ but surfing truly is a lifestyle. So above all, surf for the love of the sport and the tranquillity of being out on the water.

 

 

Check out Friday’s blog to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of our shoot and catch up with Sarah! 

Ideas For National Picnic Week!

This week is the perfect excuse to pack all your favourite snacks and treats, and head to the perfect picturesque location! Gather the girls, the fam, your very best-est friends-it’s National Picnic Week!

Have a read below for all your National Picnic Week needs and inspiration!

Where to go?

Find a pretty spot that you can spend the day…

  • The beach
  • A park
  • By a river or lake
  • A national park venue
  • Under a beautiful tree
  • A spectacular garden- even if it’s your own!
  • Take a slightly different spin on National Picnic Week and host an evening dinner picnic party!

What To Pack? (That you may forget!)

  • A good blanket! – If you only have a normal blanket, line it with a simple shower curtain to make it waterproof!
  • Cushions- keep comfortable!
  • A  portable speaker
  • Napkins and hand wipes
  • Suncream
  • Re-use a jar for salad dressings
  • A bag to collect any rubbish
  • A bottle opener
  • A cutting knife

Picnic Activities

  • A ball- tennis ball, beach ball, any kind of ball! You could even pack some rackets or bats too
  • Playing cards
  • Swimming costume and towel- in case you pitch up next to some enticing water
  • A good book
  • A frisbee
  • If you can, bring a bike along and explore the area!
  • A map of your chosen picnic destination, to help guide a new adventure!

We hope you have the most amazing picnic, with the most scrumptious treats and wonderful company! Happy national Picnic Week!

Meet Tina: Surf, Sup & So Very Cool!

Tina Beresford is a surfer living in Cornwall, who is part of the Gul Surfing Team, that compete in three different surfing disciplines in the UK and abroad. She has very kindly given us an insight into her very cool surfing life and we wish we were as cool and talented as her!

How did you get into surfing?

I had always wanted to try surfing and at the age of 18 I finally got the chance on a university surf trip to North Wales. I loved it and was instantly hooked! It shaped my future as I later took on the role as the captain of my university surf club, organising all the trips and working to get as many people surfing with me as possible! I then travelled for a year to surf spots around the world, to improve and experience warm water surfing. Following this amazing experience, I slowly moved south from Manchester to Cornwall in order to catch more waves and meet similar minded surfing friends.

What made you get into competitive surfing?

Apart from the few surf competitions I competed in at University, when I couldn’t really surf, I made a late entrance into competitive surfing at the age of 28 in; longboard, shortboard and stand-up paddleboard surfing disciplines. I always liked the idea of competing and after over thinking about why I should/shouldn’t do it, I just went for it entering every surfing competition going, with the simple aim of becoming a better surfer!

What have been your competition highlights so far?

Last year I was lucky to compete for England, at the ISA Worlds Standup Paddleboarding championships in Denmark, where I placed 13th in the world for Womens Sup Surfing. This was the third time I’ve represented my country, abroad in sup surfing, with the first being in France in June 2016 and then at Cloudbreak in Fiji in November 2016, with some of the best surfers from around the world! In Fiji, I came 12th in the women’s event and got a real taste of what it’s like for surfers that compete internationally, on the best reef based waves in the world!

My aim for this year was to make it to the final of a British Longboard Union event, which I reached last week, at the Fistral Beach event. I claimed 1st place in the Womens Longboard open! This was a real competition highlight and I’m hoping the rest of the year will go just as well for my longboarding.

I’m lucky to have had so many great experiences during the last 4 years competing in surf events. A few of my other highlights include; winning the National Sup Surfing womens event at Watergate twice, experiencing Boardmasters World Surf League events, competing with Britain’s best shortboards in Thurso, making the womens semi finals and coming second in the English Nationals senior womens shortboard event. I’ve surpassed what I expected to achieve!

 

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Tina doing her thing!

Favourite Surf spots?

This is a hard question as there are so many great surf spots in Cornwall. Some of the most well-known are on my favourites list such as; Fistral beach, Watergate, Crantock, Godrevy and Sennen. Outside of Cornwall I’ve been lucky to surf some amazing waves such as Cloudbreak in Fiji, Jeffery’s Bay in South Africa, The Pass in Byron Bay, Thurso in Scotland, Hossegor beach breaks in France, Blacks in Southern California…..to name a few! So many more I hope to travel to and experience!

What advice would you give to those learning and wanting to progress?

If you are a new beginner surfer, it’s probably a good idea to seek out surfing lessons with a qualified Surfing England surf school, to learn quicker and in a safe environment.
Remember that “float is your friend” in most British waves and should allow you more time on your feet experiencing riding a wave. Many people seem to buy a small board too soon and have trouble getting up on waves.

It’s also essential to get a good quality wetsuit to enjoy surfing in cool to cold British waters, plus some gloves, boots and a hood for the very coldest months. Being warmer improves the experience of surfing, you can have longer surf sessions and keeping warm can help prevent injuries. The wetsuit should be well sealed keeping in a layer of water which is warmed by the body and prevents you from losing too much heat while in the water. So, it is sometimes worth paying more for a higher specification wetsuit such as the one I wear, the Gul Viper which has fluid seams.

Finally, get in the sea as often as you can to gain experience and fitness, and remember to have fun! Surfing can sometimes be frustrating but it is also a very rewarding sport!

Check out Tina’s Instagram page to follow her surfing journey! We are certainly inspired and will be in the water this summer (we’ll wait for the sunshine before jumping in though!)

Enjoyed reading all about Tina and her wave lifestyle? Have a peek at out blog post Guest Blogger Emma: Why She Loves Devon too!