Countryside strolls and food comas – yes, we’re back in England

It feels like no time at all and yet a lifetime since we were both here in England. Really it was only a few weeks ago, but so much has happened since then.

This is the last leg of our epic European trip (for this year) and we’ve got plenty to tell you since we landed back in Blighty. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Hope you enjoy this week’s IG Edition

Jim & Christina x

Our first stop is St Albans. We’re catching up with our amazing friends Andy and Fran who moved here from Sydney a few years ago. We’ve only got 1 night with these guys, but hopefully they’ll be back in Sydney for Christmas.

We’re heading out into St Albans town for a few drinks and dinner. On the way Mrs R and I enjoy the beautiful old architecture of the town.

St Albans is one of the oldest recorded towns in England and was a main hub for the Romans. There’s some fascinating history to the place and it’s very pretty. If you haven’t been here before, you should definitely check it out.

This morning we’re on the train into London to catch up with one of Mrs Romance’s school friends. We get to Kings Cross and discover this great old guy playing one of the public pianos in the station. He’s really good – as is Mrs Romance’s photo of him. Love this shot.

We’re out with Tori – Mrs Romance’s mate from school – exploring a few of the famous spots in her neighbourhood. We discover this old car just off Portobello Road. The backdrop’s pretty too with the row of coloured houses. This is a popular spot for Instagrammers so getting a shot like this without loads of other people in it can be tricky.

Mrs Romance looks happy, doesn’t she? Maybe it’s because we’ve just shot a new tutorial for Hair Romance here. I’m sure you’ll be seeing it on her site soon enough. For me, I’m just glad there aren’t any bees in this rose bush!

London really has turned it on for us. We’ve been here a couple of days and it’s barely rained at all. This row of townhouses just about sums up what we love most about London. The big streets are so pretty and so full of history. Well-played, London. You’ve got us falling for you!

It’s not a trip to London without a cab in it, is it? Mrs Romance is playing with her newly-developed skills – adding a bit of blur for movement in her shots.

She’s written about how you can take your travel photography to the next level here – she’s also telling us about finding your vision in your photography too. Check out her video in the post as well. It’s a journey through Puglia in Italy and it’s very pretty.

The streets of London always fill us with intrigue. It’s such an interesting city, so full of life and history. It’s something we miss when we’re away from Europe – the combination of a living town and a history long past.

To finish our London trip, it seems only right that it’s with one of Mrs Romance’s favourite subjects!

And we’re back east again! We’re with my mum and dad having the one thing I really do miss when I’m not in England: proper fish and chips.

It’s quite a plateful, isn’t it? I’ve got no idea how we’re going to shift the holiday pounds at the end of this, and to be honest I don’t really care. You’ve got to live for the moment, right? Especially when the chips are as good as they are at the Codfather in Sudbury, Suffolk.

It’s not long before we’re back on the road again. This time we’re back in Buckingham to see my sister. Mrs Romance is quite smitten with the pink door in Buckingham town.

My sister has brought us to the Cotswolds in Worcestershire for a bit of breakfast and a hike. We’ve never been to the Cotswolds before and I must say, we’re impressed. Not only is it a pretty part of the country – the town of Broadway knows how to cook up a breakfast!

This is in Market Pantry in Broadway and it’s remarkable.

Our bellies full, we’re ready to tackle the hike. We’re going up the hill – one of the highest in the Cotswolds – to check out the historic Broadway Tower. We’re only halfway up and the views are already impressive.

Some of the locals look up as we pass – I like to think they’re cheering us on. Mrs Romance is more cynical and thinks they’re watching to see if we step in any of the little gifts they’ve left us. Of course my sister obliges. She always does!

The views from the top of the hill are amazing. You can see for over 60 miles, and on clear days you can see right to the West Midlands.

The hike has been most taxing, so we make our way to salvation and sugar. Hamiltons of Broadway is a real old-school sweet shop full of the best I remember having as a kid. We can only spend a short time in here – Mrs R is starting to get frenzied!

The town of Broadway is so bloody pretty. Everything is so quaint. The Broadway Hotel is a central point for the town and the restaurant here has won serious acclaim. But the best part of this hotel is round the back. They also have a fish and chip shop attached to the same kitchen. For a quarter of the price you can dine on some of the finest fish and chips around.

How beautiful is this car? It fits perfectly with the Cotswolds aesthetic.

My sister wants to buy some lavender for her garden… and it just so happens there’s a lavender farm nearby! Cotswolds Lavender in Snowhill is such a pretty place. And for a small fee you can walk amongst the fields of flowers. It’s very relaxing – we’ll all sleep well tonight!

This is what everyone does when they get to the rows of lavender. It looks like they’re all squatting to do something rather grim, doesn’t it? They’re not, they’re just having a photo. I hope.

Mrs Romance can’t help herself and is down there too!

I’ve never been to a lavender farm before. I can understand now what the fuss is about. It’s very pretty. We’re just surprised at how busy it is. It may not look it, but there are so many people here today.

We’re almost ready to head back to our friends Clare and Dave away east but my sister has one final surprise for us. We’ve come to Waddeston Manor in Aylesbury for afternoon tea and a stroll round the grounds. It’s such a beautiful place.

Once we’ve chosen our tea – there are so many options and you can have as many as you want – the first course arrives. Pea and prawn tart, egg and smoked salmon finger sandwich, coronation chicken slider, bruschetta, roulade and a caramelised onion and cheese tart!

And then the dessert plates arrive! Dark choc brownie, rhubarb macaron, lemon meringue tart, scone and cream tea, fruit tartlet, and a delicious panna cotta. We’re so full, we stumble out of the manor house and head for our cars.

This is a next-level food experience – but make sure you book. It’s a popular spot for high tea.

Waddesdon Manor is such a stunning building. Full of history and stories – and Mrs Romance is totally in love with this door!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IG Edition. Next week will be the last chapter in our journey, so make sure you don’t miss it!


Jim & Christina x

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