After almost three weeks away, we’re finally back home, safe and sound. Although our trip was mainly to visit my ailing MIL, there were some other high points, including our second visit to the Château Grand Barrail hotel and meeting fellow blogger and vlogger, Laurie of Vanity and Me.
As we have done in recent years, we drove through Spain and France to get to Essex where MIL lives (although she’s in a nursing home at the moment). We decided to spend one night in the luxurious Château Grand Barrail hotel because we loved it so much the first time. It’s located just outside Bordeaux, by the beautiful village of Saint Emilion.
Unfortunately, after taking these photos of the outside of the Château Grand Barrail , I realised I’d left my camera charger at home, so these are the only decent photos of the entire trip! That’s a mistake I won’t make again (eye roll emoji). You can see a few more arty farty pics of the castle grounds below.
Travelling from Portugal to the UK, we prefer to use the Channel Tunnel because Michael finds the ferry too long and boring, so we usually spend three nights going. Our first was in Salamanca which is a beautiful Spanish town full of history and glorious architecture. We were also delighted to find a little restaurant that had a couple of vegan dishes on the menu so we were happy! Night two was spent in the Château and the third night we stayed in Rouens, which was a pleasant enough hotel, before heading to Essex the following day. Returning home, we spent the first night in Le Mans in a fabulous central hotel, and the second in San Sebastian, in another great spot. But I’ll tell you more in another post next week.
After San Sebastian, we had intended to stay somewhere else, but in the end we chose to motor on home, so we drove for a good nine hours to get back. I must say, I’m thrilled to be home. In the past, I’ve always dreaded getting back, because for years I wanted to return to live in the UK—or elsewhere. But I’ve come to realise we live in such a wonderful part of the world where not only do we have fabulous weather (although currently, it’s peeing down with rain lol), but it just has a certain ‘something’ to it, you know? It’s also safe, which is such a huge bonus, especially in light of what’s happening in the world right now. Plus, I reckon it’s one of the best places to visit/live, if you happen to be vegan. The supermarkets are really on the ball when it comes to plant-based food, as are some restaurants. Lisbon, for example, has some of the best vegan restaurants in the world (in my humble opinion!). I’m not going to delve more into it right now, but I will be writing more about this wonderful country that I’ve called home for the past 36 years.
As for MIL, she’s not doing so great at the moment, but we’re hoping she’s going to pull through. We’re just not sure that she wants to at this stage. But we managed to spend some quality time with her in the nursing home which was wonderful. We also opened our Christmas presents with her lol. And boy, was there a lot! I’ve come home with so many bottles of perfume, nine pairs of knickers (!), four handbags (plus one that Michael bought for me), about thirty hair scrunchies (I had asked her for a green hair scrunchie but she couldn’t find one on it’s own, so she bought a pack of about thirty all in different colours lol!), face creams and much more! It’s a good job we have a big car. Fingers crossed she’ll get better so we can see her again soon.
Another highlight of our trip was meeting up with Laurie of Vanity and Me. Laurie and I have been online buddies for years now but we’d never actually met. So, she and her partner, Dee, came over to Chelmsford to meet up. We met in John Lewis for a cuppa and a good natter before we had a brief look around at some of the clothes. It was truly wonderful to finally meet up and I’m excited to do it again (hopefully) in the not too distant future. Meeting Laurie has also put a fire in my belly to start focussing on creating more content for the blog, Insta as well as YouTube. I’m excited to see where it takes me! If you’re not following Laurie, you really should be. She’s the Queen of neutrals, as well as classic dressing. Find her on her blog, YouTube Channel and Instagram.
So, what have you been up to lately? Why not share in the Neverending Style link-up, below? I’ve shared a couple of Insta reels I did whilst we were away. See you next week!