Tag Archives: summer

Finishing the weekend back in Norfolk by the river

denver4This post is just to round off my lovely birthday celebrations at the weekend, and to be honest it is just an excuse to post some of the lovely pictures I have from Sunday’s sunny afternoon. We drove back fairly early on Sunday after waking up early and realising how hot it was going to be, we figured it was more of a day to be spent in the lush greenness of Norfolk, sunbathing in the garden or by the sea. I was looking forward to a chilled out afternoon of sunbathing with the tortoise and getting some blogging done, but as always, Mark went swanning in and sabotaged my plans with more ideas about eating. We were less than a hour from home when he suggested popping to Denver, to The Jenyns Arms for a pub lunch by the river, and I just couldn’t resist. The thought of sitting by the river in the sunshine while dragonflies danced by on the breeze sounded just too perfect for words.denver1I’ve been to the pub a few times, and am always overwhelmed by how beautiful the location is and how charming the pub itself is. Some might say it looks outdated, but in my opinion that really adds to the charm and makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. Strolling around the side entrance, we saw the garden was already busy with others who had shared the same idea, but after ordering drinks and food, we only sat for a second before snagging a perfect waterfront table. We were less than a metre from the water, where ducks were swimming by accompanied by a duckling who seemed pretty excited that he was swimming and kept quacking at us for attention. It was such a beautiful day, the sun was beaming down on us as we watched the longboats glide gently past, while the rushes and willow trees rustled in the breeze. Further along the river, we could see swans swimming gracefully in the distance and cabin cruisers parked up along the shore.denver2Of course, quite rightly, you’ll have realised by now that this weekend was all about food and it seemed only right to finish it on a high. I ordered the salmon on a bed of asparagus with rocket, salad and new potatoes, it was supposed to come with hollandaise sauce but I didn’t really fancy that part. The dish was lovely, perfectly cooked salmon and the potatoes were gorgeous with some melted butter on top. It was a perfect Sunday lunch for such a hot day. Boyfriend ordered the steak and ale pie with roast potatoes and peas, this too was gorgeous. A completely home-made pie with delicious pastry – and for me pastry makes a pie – which crumbled and melted in your mouth. The whole dish looked tasty and he really enjoyed it, I’m sure I would have too if I had been hungrier. They had loads of delicious dishes on the menu including a variety of roast dinners, and I will definitely be going back to try another.denver3After lunch, we decided to go for a stroll along the river to look at the boats and dip our feet in the waters after our hot, stuffy drive back from the Big Smoke. We wandered along the riverbank, found a huge house with hardens full of chickens and an empty dock where we sat and sunbathed for a while, dunk our feet in the cool, refreshing waters. A friendly duck came over to say hi and see what we were up to and I found some stale bread on the dock to feed her with. More boats floated past with the passengers waving hello, it was such a peaceful and calm day – really the epitome of what Norfolk is about and why I love it so much. I felt like I had stepped back in time, into a Famous Five novel. It was a shame we had already had lunch or I would have insisted on a picnic basket filled with lashings of ginger beer, hard boiled eggs and a screw of salt to season them with. We should have been jumping in the river and swimming all afternoon with Timmy the dog… Ha I’m getting carried away now! My point is, it was lovely and as we carried on along the riverbank, we found a perfect sunbathing spot where we lay out for hours before finally making our way home to Lynn.

What is your favourite pub in Norfolk? Or just your favourite spot?

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Part 2: A busy summer touring round as many festivals as possible – Secret Garden Party and Boomtown Fair

After a few weeks break, I was anxious for my next fix of freedom, music, and a lot of amazing entertainment – all washed down with lashings of smelly portaloos and sleeping in a field. It was time to pack up the car again as we headed to Secret Garden Party in Huntingdon, just a short drive from where I live, and just me and the boyfriend again.

The tickets were a Christmas present from my other half and I was expecting big things – this was the festival I was most looking forward to over the course of the summer. And boy, did this one deliver in more ways than I ever imagined! It was a magical place centred around a beautiful lake for swimming, and the weather was amazing so perfect for this, with entertainment that varied from live music all day, swing dancing, puppet making and crafts, literature talks and comedians, and even pig racing!

And there were huge art installations and constructions throughout the festival which included the huge sad-looking fox in an Indian headdress…

 My homemade flower fairy costume…

Watching Bastille play live – one of the best sets of the entire summer!

John Newman was amazing as ever…

Especially when we managed to meet the man himself!

 The paintfight was an incredible sight…

 Faithless live was fantastic!

 Every stage was buzzing and packed and we were thrilled when we stumbled across a secret performance by Chase and Status and Nero!

 Finally, the pirate ship – an incredible stage construction in the middle of the lake that was the centre for a huge fireworks display – the best I have ever seen – and was burnt down on the second to last night!

This festival was beyond imagining, unfortunately because of personal reasons I found I couldn’t enjoy it quite as much as I would have liked, but it was amazing and worth every penny. I can’t wait to go back to this one again – not next year, but perhaps the year after.

Two weeks after, we were joined by a group of mates and headed to Boomtown Fair – a huge reggae and ska festival in Winchester and one that I was also really looking forward to. It was the only festival where I paid no attention to who was playing and just went where the group guided me. It was amazing and there are so many sights I still cannot explain – so much theatre and weirdness! Unfortunately, because I had my phone stolen I was unable to take as many pics as I would have liked.. but here are some I stole from a friend as well as the few I captured.

The Lion’s Den – amazing stage!

A very bizarre wrestling ring stage that we came across..

An amazing lightning show..

The Arcadia blew my mind…

  checking out the fairground rides at sunset…

 The gang enjoying some reggae in the afternoon…

Chilling out in the beautiful sunshine before heading off to see another amazing reggae band..

Such an amazing experience this festival – would recommend it highly and definitely plan on going back!

Part 1: A busy summer touring round as many festivals as possible – Wyndstock and Hideout Festival

Now that the summer is clearly drawing to a close, I’ve spent the last week huddled under an umbrella with soggy feet in my sad-looking ballet pumps, shivering despite wearing several layers and the token pashmina has come out of storage. I find myself reminiscing and feeling pretty happy with the way I spent my summer, after a short holiday in Croatia for a music festival, forgoing my usual two-week break abroad, I spent the rest of the summer touring around music festivals across the UK and for once getting to make the most of the beautiful, if late, summer we have had in the UK.

After discovering music festivals last year when I went to Manchester’s Parklife Weekender with my university friends, they ignited something in me that although already aware of, had never really unleashed before now. My love of music, dancing and meeting all types of new people from across the country was perfectly suited to the lifestyle and I had no choice but to further indulge when I went along to Glade Festival and Zoo Project Festival – all attracting very different crowds, from the chavvier types to the laid back hippies, I had a fantastic time at all and quickly decided that 2013 would be my festival summer.

Thankfully, my friends, family and jobs all helped to make this happen and despite going to five festivals this summer, I actually only paid for one set of tickets – top blagger, I know.

It all started at Wyndstock, a new addition to the scene which is marketed as the anti-festival. Set up by Victor Wynd as a party for his friends and like-minded individuals to enjoy a Midsummer Ball in the beautiful setting of Houghton Hall, in my home town, the event is for the more upmarket festival-goer. There was dancing, feasting, fireworks, literature talks, petting of prize bulls, a “fox hunt”, falconry, puppet theatre, lawn games, tours of the stately home, jazz, storytelling and stargazing amongst many more amazing activities. My favourite was the swing-dancing lessons and competition, which my boyfriend won and was very proud about. I love anything vintage-inspired and Gatsby-esque and this was an amazing opportunity to get very glammed up and go to a banquet of lobster and venison before partying the night away with some amazing people.

Before the hunt, meeting the horses and hounds..

Glammed up for the banquet and a night of dancing..

Meeting the host for the evening, Victor Wynd himself…

Our swing-dancing teachers shared dinner with us..

Mark winning the swing-dancing competition..

All in all, a very fun festival with amazing benefits such as being a small and intimate affair, and very posh toilets and showers!

Then we boarded a plane to the Island of Pag in Croatia for Hideout Festival which was very much a festival for the beautiful people – everyone had amazing bodies and the perfect tan. But I wasn’t bothered about all of that, we had a team of friends with us and more meeting us out there for one thing only – to dance until the sun came up every day. 

There were a lot of amazing DJs coming along to play the festival and I was very excited to see a whole range of them including Julio Bashmore, Chase and Status, Skream and Benga, David Rodigan, Rudimental, Seth Troxler, Andy C, Pendulum, Redlight, B-Traits and many, many more… Here are some of my snaps:

Sunset on the first day in Croatia.. such a beautiful country!

Packed out stages…

The King’s Lynn crew ready to rave until dawn..

David Rodigan – one of my favourite sets of the whole week!

Raving is even more fun when you do it with some of your best friends…

Chase and Status were pretty intense…

Boat party with Midland, MK and Julio Bashmore playing… so nice to get away from the festival for a short time..

And sadly, ending with Rudimental, who only gave a rubbish DJ set rather than a full show – such a disappointment!

I wrote about my experiences at Hideout Festival in a preview and review for This Festival Feeling in exchange for press tickets.

Check out my next posts for the rest of my experiences…