Meet me in Venice…

How can you refuse when a friend asks you to meet them in Venice? You simply cannot and so I find myself heading there for the weekend, rather spontaneously! We decided I think on Sunday evening! My friend, whom I lived with whilst at University, is living in Dubai, but has popped over to Europe for the week and as our meet ups are now spread so far apart from one another, they are even more special! So I am super excited!

This will be my second trip to the city this year, as I went to meet another friend from University there in March, when we ended up going for a Venetian Rowing lesson which you can read about here and I attended a talk by Art Historian and presenter of the BBC’s Italy Unpacked Andrew Graham-Dixon. The talk you can also read about here.

I am not sure what we have planned for this weekend, but I am sure we will end up having an adventure or two! The first, shall be finding one another…I don’t think I have ever visited Venice, without getting a little lost!

I am looking forward to my train journey as I can read some more of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, which is the first book I am reading for my Read Around the World feature! More to come on that soon, but you can read my first post here and I am still looking for suggestions of other books, from each country around the world! So let me know if you have any!

For now, I must pack, as I am prone to leaving things to the last minute! Only thing is, I am at a loss as to what to take! This week has been a disaster weather wise, Wednesday was 13 degrees, stormy and rainy (I even wore wellies!), Thursday and Friday 23 degrees and sunny! It makes my head spin all this weather changing…but the forecast says it should be nice, so fingers crossed!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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A picture I took of San Marco from the water taxi back in March

Anna

Things I Love Sundays

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It has been a busy and full week back at work and I have to say it is taking me a little while to get used to it again! However, it has warmed up slightly here and the sun is shining bright today…which puts you in a good, positive mood!

I am thinking about doing my ‘Things I Love Sundays’ feature every two weeks, or as a month review, but I haven’t decided yet. What do you think?

For now however, this week I have been loving…

Going back to work and seeing all my students! Getting organized  Making new friends New opportunities arising  Lavender and Chamomile room spray Saturday lunch with my girls Catching up with friends who live way too far away Being asked if I live in a library because I always have new books…then being told by a little girl we should open a library together and call it ‘La libreria dei sogni’ The Library of Dreams Chamomile, lemon balm and lavender tea (Loving Lavender and Chamomile everything, at the moment!) – Discovering new places in Milan I haven’t visited before, like the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio (pictured below!) – 

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The outside of the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, Milan

What have you been up to or enjoyed this week? I want to hear!

Here’s to a productive and happy week ahead!

Anna

A few days on the Suffolk Coast

Whilst I was home for the summer, my parents and I (as well as the dog!) decided to spend a few days in Suffolk. We stayed at The Westleton Crown on the Suffolk coast between Southwold and Aldeburgh. The Crown is a charming hotel, restaurant and traditional pub, serving delicious food, with a great atmosphere and of course dog-friendly – Robbie loved sitting in the lounge after dinner! All the rooms were named after birds, rather than having numbers, which was a rather charming touch! I was in the Wren room and my parents in the Nuthatch.

We had a very relaxed few days visiting Snape Maltings, Southwold Pier, Dunwich, Dunwich Heath and Woodbridge. The countryside in  Suffolk is beautiful, especially Dunwich Heath where we went for a really lovely long walk (getting just slightly lost at one point), before heading back to the National Trust tea rooms for tea and scones! Perfect and how very English!

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It was a rather rainy day when we visited Southwold Pier, but I love how this image looked when I gave it this filter! Slightly mysterious!

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The Pier has an ‘Under The Pier Show’ with hand-built machines, all a little quirky and out there! I had a go on the ‘Crankenstien’, which you have to wind up and watch as Crankenstien becomes more and more angry! It made me jump when he suddenly screams at you!

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British street artist Pure Evil, created this piece of art to commemorate George Orwell and the time he spent in Southwold. Orwell wrote ‘A Clergyman’s Daughter’ whilst in Southwold. The artwork will remain a permanent feature of the pier.

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The stunning Dunwich Heath

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Giant (and surprisingly comfy!) deckchairs at Dunwich Heath!

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In the village of Westleton, where we stayed, there was a really interesting and quirky second hand book shop! My Dad found three history books, and when you wanted to pay, there was an old oil can and a wooden stick which you had to beat to get someone’s attention! Very eccentric…but charismatic! They even offered us a cup of tea!

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If you have never been Suffolk is a lovely place – great countryside, friendly people and it feels very traditional, very British! If you have been, where did you enjoy visiting? What did you see and do?

Anna

Back in Milan – Things I Love Sundays!

Ciao da Milano!

I am back in Italy after the summer and back at work.  So things have been a bit busy this week, what with my birthday, packing, flying, unpacking, work…which has meant I haven’t done much writing!  However, I plan to get myself more organised this week and get back on track!

So I will make it short and sweet! It is nice to be back and getting into a routine again, but I am already missing all my family and friends. However, as I am writing from a cold and rainy Milan today, I could be tricked into thinking it is England!

This week I have been loving…

Amazing chocolate birthday cake my Mum made me! Delicious! My suitcase weighing exactly 20kg at the airport (Phew! – No excess baggage costs! I am still to learn the art of packing light!) Starting My Best Friend by Elena Ferrante for my Read Around the World feature…I am already hooked!  Speaking and hearing Italian again Catching-up with my friends Dinner and drinks for my birthday Sunday brunch with my friend Grace Wandering around Milan Making plans and predictions for the year ahead!

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Eggs benedict at brunch today – with Green peach and mango tea! We went to Living by the Arco della Pace – one of my favourite places for brunch and they also do a great aperitivo and delicious cocktails!

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!

Now Milan…where is the sunshine I have been dreaming of whilst I was away…..

Anna

 

Bellinis at Brunch!

At the weekend I went to London to visit some friends, two of whom used to live in Milan, but left about a year ago! It is always super fun to catch up with friends and as I can’t make it back for Anna’s birthday in October I took her to an early birthday Brunch on Sunday, at the Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings on Northampton Road.

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Both of us enjoy getting a little dressed up at the weekend and heading out for a lazy brunch, or wine-fuelled lunch and so I wanted to try and find a really cute place which was new to us both! I researched cool places for brunch in London and discovered the B & H Buildings! The space is really lovely and the decor is amazing! There are lots of different patterns and textures on the furnishings and the place is filled with plants and flowers! It has a really cheery atmosphere and all the staff were super friendly and helpful!

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We both opted for the poached eggs on a muffin with avocado, chorizo and pico de gallo (delicious!) and we had bottomless (yes that’s right…bottomless) bellinis! They kept coming round with a jug of bellini and filling up our glasses! It was fabulous! So much so, we had to move to the bar for a coffee before we left!

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A little merry we left ready to go on with our day and headed over to see the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace! Post to come on this soon!

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Are you a brunch or lunch type of person? Where is your favourite place to eat? Favourite type of food?

Anna

 

A Day at the Zoo

I don’t think I had been to the zoo in at least ten years, so my friend and I decided it was the perfect day trip for the Summer holidays! Our local zoo, Colchester, has recently been rated 2nd best in the UK and 11th best around the world! It is home to over 270 species and is set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes. The zoo partakes in many different breeding and conservation programmes and helps to protect threatened and endangered species.

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It has changed a lot since I went there as a little girl and has some fascinating new animals such as the adorable Red Pandas and the Sun Bears! We had a lovely day exploring the zoo, I even fed an elephant and a giraffe! We managed to catch a picture perfect moment when two sea lions had a cheeky kiss as they passed over our heads in the sea lion tunnel and saw two lions hugging! So sweet!

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I also posted this photo in my last ‘Things I Love Sunday’ post – but I just love it, so I am including it again!

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This is one zoo I would definitely recommend, not only for the animals and the awards it has won, but for all their efforts in helping to improve animal welfare standards, research work and education programmes. Hope you enjoy some of my photos!

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Have you been to Colchester zoo? What is your opinion of zoos? Do you a favourite zoo or animal park? What is your favourite animal?

Anna

Things I Love Sunday

Why does the Summer always go so fast? I have already been home for two weeks and I will be heading back to Milan and work at the start of September! However, for now I am so happy to be in England, relaxing, catching up with old friends and enjoying the great British Summertime…..hahaha!

So here is what I have been loving this week…

Walks in the wood Games night with friends and being a pro at playing Taboo  Trips to London with my Dad and his history lessons on the Tudors in the National Portrait Gallery Buying pretty postcards Audrey Hepburn portrait exhibition  Reunion with my house mates from University and it feeling like we hadn’t spent a week apart, let alone three years! Wandering aimlessly around London’s canals Peppermint tea  Listening to Lady Gaga on repeat

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Tower Bridge as the sun was starting to go down

What have you loved this week?

Happy Sunday evening!

Anna