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There are so many things I love about this time of year. After our move out of London – to a Cotswolds village called Oddington – we are very fortunate to have a beautiful garden, and everything is out now despite the June heatwave. It’s very special to be able to be outside so much at this time of year with our two boys.
When the weather allows, we BBQ a lot over the summer. Actually, my husband does – I have to confess he is the cook in our family. I’m normally given the job of making the table look nice, and sorting drinks and cocktails if we have friends over. We love spicy food, so we get through a lot of chillis. Max uses them in sauces, dips and for garnishes. They seem to make everything taste good and look good.
There are a lot of young kids between our friends these days. Since moving, we’ve really enjoyed having friends for the weekend. It means between naps, and after the kids go to bed, we can all have dinner and catch up properly. With a seven-month-old and a two-year-old, getting them both to sleep by 7pm feels like the best Friday night. If the weather’s good, it’s nice to be able to sit outside with Max, have dinner and a drink, and chat through our week and what the plans are for the weekend. That quality time together marks the end of the working week.
I’m currently living in dungarees and a white tank top. It doesn’t feel like my wardrobe is very glamorous day to day with Rafferty and Marloe in tow – but I have invested in multiple pairs of dungarees. They help me still feel like I am wearing something interesting but are super comfy for running around after two boys. My favourite pairs are from A.P.C. and 7 For All Mankind.
There is an amazing little coffee place in Great Tew. It does the most incredible breakfasts. It’s called Quince and Clover. You can also get food throughout the day and great coffees. MOR in Chipping Norton is another great place for coffees and pastries, so we might pop in on a Saturday morning.
We are right next to Daylesford. If we are having people over, we will pop in there for something special – we have to rein ourselves in as it’s nearly impossible to go there and leave without buying something. There are several other farms and farmers markets not too far from us. Stroud Farmers Market is great and happens every Saturday, then there’s an outdoor market every Tuesday in Moreton-in-Marsh. If we have friends down for the weekend, there is so much to do with little ones near where we live. We will probably go to the Cotswolds Wildlife Park or Cotswolds Farm Park – the kids can run around safely and the adults can catch up.
I try to wear SPF all year round – but in general, I remember to do it much more in the summer. I use the Eucerin Anti-Pigment Day SPF30. I find that I need to use a great foam cleanser every evening to clean my skin. I use Irene Forte Lavender Foam Cleanser followed by the Naked & Thriving Radiant Serum Set. This has an antioxidant day serum, a brightening serum and a resurfacing night serum – I’ve noticed a huge change in my skin this year since using all of them.
THE EDITION 94; QUINCE & CLOVER COTSWOLD; @WETHEFOODSNOBS; DOUBLE RED DUKE; COTSWOLDS FARM PARK
I feel like this is such a great time of year to watch sports. I’m not a football fan so I don’t have to fight with my husband to turn it off. This year we’ve both enjoyed watching Wimbledon, the Ashes and F1 – we even managed to convince our eldest that sport is better viewing than Paw Patrol.
We’re lucky to have some amazing pubs nearby. These are a few we have really enjoyed visiting and would recommend to anyone on a Cotswolds trip: The Double Red Duke in Clanfield, The Swan at Southrop, The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, The Milton Hare in Milton-under-Wychwood, The Potting Shed at Tetbury, The Mason Arms in Southleigh, The Swan Inn in Swinbrook and The Angel in Burford.
Our nearest pub is The Fox at Oddington. It’s in walking distance and does amazing food and drinks – I really like a Moscow Mule. Other than that, a cold beer is as good as it gets when the sun is out. We can also get coffees to take away from the pub while we’re on family walks. It has a lovely garden so it’s a nice place to go with friends and kids when we have people to stay. They have also let us order pizza to take away a few times too, which feels like a real treat. Takeaway options are very few and far between in the Cotswolds – there’s not a Deliveroo bike in sight.
In a few weeks, I’m going on a child-free weekend with my best friend Poppy. Max is looking after the boys, and Pops and I are heading to Mallorca for a wedding. We have four boys between us, so it’s going to feel very strange hanging out just the two of us, but we can’t wait. We will rent a car, explore the island, go to the beach, sunbathe for more than five minutes at a time, swim in the sea, eat, drink cocktails and attempt to get a few full nights’ sleep! I might even try to convince Poppy to do some sourcing with me for The Edition 94.
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