zondag 26 september 2010

A country walk

One of the things my husband and I enjoy is walking. The girls are not always that keen, but now that they get older they seem to enjoy it more. Walking not only clears the mind, but it keeps you fit as well. It's also a great way to enjoy the countryside; the wildlife, amazing views, ancient cottages, streams full of trout and fields with corn. The best thing is to end your walk with a cream tea. We enjoy that very much! When your left foot doesn't want to get in front of your right foot anymore, it's good to have something so delicious to look forward to :-)!

The special thing about walking in England is that you have 'right of way', which means that you have the privilige to pass over someone else's land. It enables you to see special places, farmhouses and land you would never see otherwise. As far as I know there is only one area in The Netherlands you have 'right of way' as well, and that's in certain areas of Limburg.

The photos you see today were taken during walks we made in the area of Nettleton, Castle Combe and Lacock. I will show you some more photo's soon.

I wish you a happy start of the new week!

Lieve groet, Madelief

woensdag 22 september 2010

The greatest refreshment of human spirit

God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man, without which, buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks, and a man shall ever see, that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection.

Sir Frances Bacon (1561- 1626)

Enjoy your day!

Lieve groet,  Madelief

woensdag 15 september 2010

Shops, streets, markets and a place to stay

During our visit to Gent we stayed in a beautifully decorated Bed and Breakfast, called 'Engelen aan de Waterkant'. The owner is an interior designer, and it shows. Our bedroom was tastefully decorated in black and white, with the most beautiful fabrics, bedlinnen and accessories. The bathroom, with a fresco on one wall and a roll top bath, soooo beautiful! I haven't even told you yet about the delicious breakfast, with fresh croissants & Belgian bread, yogurt with fruit and coffee and tea served out of silver pot. The B&B is situated in 'Het Zuid', a very lively part of Gent and about a 15 minute walk to the city centre.

Today some pictures of the B&B, but also of the streets, alleys and markets we walked through. I think Gent is a great place for shopping too. It simply has class. You could have seen me standing in front of the Delvaux shop, looking at the most exquisite handbags. It's a pity the bags are so expensive! I also enjoyed the shop 'Home Linen', which has a lovely collection of lace and linen tablecloths, napkins, night dresses, etc. The flowermarket on 'De Kouter' and the brocante market which takes place during the weekend on the St Jacobsplaats are great too. I bought a lovely white terrine with little blue flowers for only five euro. Isn't that a bargain?! You can see it on my last picture, together with the terrine I took home with me from Antwerp last year. 

Well that's it for now. Wish you all a happy wednesday!

Lieve groet, Madelief

vrijdag 10 september 2010

Il Giardino Segreto

It was my intention to post the second part of my visit to Gent, but you will have to wait until next time. I hope you don't mind. I simply had to show you these photos first! I took them at Villa Augustus, a restaurant/hotel in Dordrecht, that I visited twice recently. Villa Augustus was once a watertower/pumping station that stood on a piece of land overlooking the river Wantij, the city of Dordrecht and the Biesbosch Wetlands. It is one of my favourite spots, not only to have dinner or afternoon tea, but also to enjoy the beautiful gardens and soak in the special atmosphere.

The second time I visited, some colleagues and I went on a guided tour. We were shown around the grounds, the greenhouses, the restaurant and the shop.

We also visited the hotel, which had some breathtaking views! All the rooms are decorated in a different way. My favourite was the 'Giardino Segreto' or secret garden. The first four photos were taken in that room. It is the ideal place to spend a honeymoon or just a very special night. It does not only have its own four poster bed, but also a private patio and garden. It is a bit overlooked by some of the hotelrooms, but nevertheless it's simply great!

You know what the good part is? This weekend it's 'Open monumentdag' in Holland. Villa Augustus is one of the monuments open to the public. So, if you are nearby Villa Augustus is worth going to!

I wish you all a happy weekend! Lieve groet, Madelief