From little acorns, big trees grow. That’s exactly how I feel about our recent move. It was a mere seed of an idea just a year ago, but in the past ten months, we’ve relocated from Sydney to the English countryside.
Yesterday, we took an evening walk through a neighbouring village as church bells rang out across the green, rolling valley. Quintessentially English thatched cottages adorned with climbing red roses glowed in the golden evening light. This is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of our former city lives!
Thatched roof and red roses – winning combination. I slow down for a little lustful gaze every time we pass this darling cottage. It's finally cracked the 20 degree mark here in Blighty and the countryside is looking stunning. The sky is blue, birds are singing – and I keep hearing English people complain it's 'too hot'!! People, enjoy – this is glorious! . . . #countrylife #countryside #countrycottage #cottagestyle #englishcottage #redroses #thatchedcottage #englishbeauty #thatsdarling #ukblogger #rutlandblogger #rutland
Like everything in life, there are ups and downs to life in the country. The scenery here is undisputedly gorgeous, with rolling green valleys and a patchwork of fields punctuated by charming chocolate-box villages.
I’ve been charmed to discover the people here are friendlier, too, or at least less guarded. The cheery chorus of morning “hellos” assaulting me as I leave the house still takes me by surprise occasionally.
City vs. Country Living
Of course, nothing in life is perfect. There’s been the odd hitch or two as we’ve transitioned from city to country living.
I quickly learnt the perils of low ceilings. Seventeenth-century cottages may indeed be charming, yet every time I strap on a pair of high heels I misjudge the ceiling height, bruising my forehead.
Another particular country bugbear of mine is phone signal — or the complete lack of it.
There are loads of things about city living I miss, including sushi, small bars, delicious Vietnamese pho, and nipping to the shops for just about anything my little heart desires.
So I’ve diagnosed myself as needing a city trip to get my fix. And if a girl’s craving a city bursting with great shops, pulsing energy, and lots of bright lights, there’s only one place to go: New York.
Sadly, we’ve maxed out our travelling credits for 2017, as that’s what a trip around the world will do. So, I’m planning a trip to New York for next summer.
New York, New York
I’ve been trawling glittering NYC websites bursting with trendy eateries, hipster bars, historic brownstones, and shops until I feel quite faint with desire.
New York, the City That Never Sleeps, is jam-packed with towering skyscrapers, Fifth Avenue shops, no-frills Reuben sandwiches at Katz’s Deli, bagels, giant pizza slices, and the best darn cheesecake on earth.
On my hit list is morning coffee in Central Park, as I’ve missed proper, barista-made coffee. For the rest of the trip, I plan on eating and shopping on an alternating basis.
Call me shallow, but can you imagine the sheer, unadulterated pleasure? From sample sales to vintage clothing stores and bazaars to the glittering glory of Tiffany’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, I’m coming to get you all!
Cosmopolitans in the City
When I’ve bought myself at least one lovely outfit, a hang-the-expense, big blowout night out is in order. What could be more razzmatazz than frocking up in New York for a night on the tiles?
The plan is a lively cocktail bar for Sex in the City-style cosmopolitans, a show in neon-lit Times Square, and then perhaps a little dancing at a funky basement jazz club. And some more cocktails!
We haven’t decided on a hotel yet, as I’m having far too much fun perusing them all. With a seriously deluxe experience that’s synonymous with Fifth Avenue decadence and a hefty budget, there’s The Plaza. This hotel is divine, although I think our visit might be limited to high tea served in the hotel’s swanky Palm Court.
A great option for a happening New York hotel is the slightly more affordable yet buzzing district of Brooklyn. This borough is often regarded as New York’s hippest, famed for its vintage flea market, stunning Botanic Garden, delicious dining options from Polish pierogies to delicious Jewish delis, and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn is five times the size of Manhattan and often referred to as Manhattan’s boutique version. There are some amazing Brooklyn hotels, catering to all tastes and budgets. And of course, saving a few dollars on our accommodations means extra dollars to spend in the shops!
Anyone else planning a trip to the Big Apple? I’d love to hear what’s on your hit list! Let me know in the comments.