A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

A Residence Blog

Travel and adventure taking, memory and home making, parenting and play shaking, never faking, tales of family life.

Camp Bestival: the festival with a foodie line up!

Camp Besitval foodie line up

Camp Besitval foodie line up

Music drifting through the August haze, flags waving in the breeze, sun kissed family sprawled on a picnic rug spread with food from around the world. After a morning of sword carving and willow boat making, circus games and watching acrobats walk the high wire we’re ready to eat. I dig into poached egg with gilled aubergine in smoky sauce atop sourdough toast. Mr A has the best of what DJ BBQ is spinning and the kids are feasting on simple sandwiches just how they like them, and cake from the WI tent.


Smokey sauce, grilled aubergine and egg poached in front of me, in a giant pan of smokey sauce, all piled big on a slice of sourdough and topped with fresh coriander

I will let you into a secret, I only have a quick glance at the music line up for Camp Bestival, I am quite happy to trust that Rob da Bank has that sorted. Much as we love music, there is so much to do that we have often spent the whole weekend pottering and making stuff, dropping in on the odd band. But one line up I have had a proper look at is the Camp Bestival food line up – yes this incredible festival actually has a foodie line up –  because as a veggie and a foodie, the catering is a huge highlight for me.

Festival catering means we can try loads of different restaurants relatively cheaply – I use the word restaurant because the caterers truly are incredible  –  while the kids eat whatever appeals to their more limited palates. Mr A and I also have totally different tastes as a carnivore and a veggie. Everyone is a winner.

We’re really excited to be Camp Bestival Bloggers again this year. We’re displaying the badge with pride!

Continue reading

Industrial Style with History at the Newly Refurbished Malmaison Edinburgh

Industrial Style with History at the Newly Refurbished Malmaison Edinburgh

After an incredible week in a motorhome on a family road trip around Scotland, Visit Scotland treated us to a night at the Malmaison. Our motorhome trip was awesome and I have so many stories to share, I don’t know where to begin yet!  It was such cosy family trip, our bed on board was so comfy, but it there is always room for a little luxury at the end of a road trip.

My stay at Malmaison has given me lots of ideas for my magnetic office wall project too. I love the industrial feel, and with it a sense of history, Leith is steeped in maritime history.

Love the maps on the wall, we have custom map wallpaper in our hallway and it is a massive talking point. Cool to have USB chargers by the bed too! Continue reading

Home Inspiration: Oh I do love to be beside the seaside!

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside - lovely ideas in yellow and grey for a seaside themed bedroom or home

Spring feels like it is here, I came home from a week by the sea in Wales to daffodils. That burst of yellow, and the week by the sea, collecting treasures and beach combing, started me thinking about a sea themed home inspiration. You can also take a proper tour of the lovely cottage we stayed in, and see my driftwood art projects, part of Happy And Home this week.

I’ve been trying to find a way to ‘say seaside’ without too obvious nautical touches. I really loved the yellow and grey living room of the house we stayed in. So I’ve picked this yellow and grey bird duvet. The Lloyd Loom chair in the office was beautiful too, so I chose this modern grey tub chair take on that.

I loved collecting bits of driftwood, rope and fishing net with my kids, and this blanket reminds me of that. As does the rope on the mirror, but it still has an elegant shape and look too.

The seagrass baskets all over the cottage we stayed in had a lovely sea worn look to them and reminded me of the texture of rope and driftwood. They were great for displaying beach finds.  Kilner jars (without the rubber seal) are another great way to display sea glass, pebbles and shells.

On the walls, this  Hannah Cole Cornish Sea Dog picture reminds me of a harbour town we visited, Aberaeron in shape. Although Aberaeron is much more brightly coloured, I like the muted pastels for this look. There has to be a little bit of seaside humour too, I love this “I do like to be beside the Seaside‘ wall art, it makes me smile.

There are lots more lovely ideas on my Beside the Sea Ideas Board.

Travel: Stay in a Medieval Lodge at Warwick Castle

I love this bed in the Medieval Lodge at Warwick Castle

Fancy sleeping in this bed!


History lovers, Horrible Histories fans and fellow house fantasy dreamers, if you are looking for somewhere unusual to stay this year with family or friends, look no further, but act quickly, these will fill up fast! From 1st July 2016 you will be able to stay overnight in a medieval lodge at Warwick Castle in the ‘Knight’s Village’. These two-storey lodges look perfect for weekends away with medieval evening entertainment and two day access to the Castle and its attractions.  I think they offer good value too, especially as today I’m sharing a 10% discount for A Residence readers. Continue reading

Home From Home: Hotel Touring Bologna


Last year, at World Travel Market,  I bumped into Manuela, part of the lovely family who own Hotel Touring Bologna, Italy. Hotel Touring is the only hotel in Bologna with a hot tub on the roof terrace, and what a roof terrace, overlooking this charming city. The unique terrace is often what first grabs people’s attention, but having now visited, there are so many things that make this boutique hotel a wonderful home from home.

On Wednesday I shared my trip to the antiques market in Bologna, today I want to share the hotel with you. You can tell this is a family run hotel, arriving felt like being welcomed into the family, the welcome is warm and attention to detail is great. Manuela, Georgia and Matteo suggested some great things for me to do in the city by email befoehand, and each day there was a friendly little note in our room with reminders about reservations or bookings they had made. Continue reading

Mercato Antiques Market in Bologna

Antiques Market in Bologna

I managed to sneak a trip to Bologna, Italy, just before Christmas. The second Saturday and second Sunday of the month the antique market Mercato Antiquario Città di Bologna takes place in Piazza Santo Stefano in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica.  It was peaceful when we visited and full of all kinds of treasures.

What I love about Bologna is that it has jaw dropping architecture, medieval towers, cobbled squares with fountains and churches, rows and rows of porticoed streets. This setting is inspirational, but it is also bursting with great shops, markets, cafes, bars and restaurants. Best of all, it’s very compact and walkable, and not over crowded with tourists.

Have a little look round, it was lovely taking pictures here. Continue reading

The Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015: The Ham Yard


Thank you so much to all those who nominated and voted A Residence in the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015 for Best Organisation Blog. It was a real honour to be in the shortlist for the second year running. with four other fab organisations: Loaf, Mia Fleur, The French Bedroom Company and Bodie and Fou. The lovely mother and daughter team at Mia Fleur won the award, with Highly Commended to The French Bedroom Company. I thought I would share the night with you, as The Ham Yard in London was such an inspiring venue.

There are lots of great views, as you can see above, looking down through a spiral of oranges, into the bar we mingled in before the awards, was one of my favourites.

My guest for the evening was Selina Kerley, Online Content Coordinator at Wayfair. (Any blogging friends reading may know Selina, it was lovely for her to put online names to faces on the night). Selina in red, me in silver.

We settled in quirky chairs in the bar.

With a Gin and Ham Yard Tonic. Delicious.

The awards were presented more formally this year –  in a cinema style area with bright orange seats – by Sophie Robinson, the presenter of The Great Interior Design Challenge. Sophie talked about design democracy, and how blogs had made interior design so much more accessible to all. It was exciting to see some new categories this year, with blogs from around the world represented.

There was time for more drinks and catching up with fellow interior bloggers afterwards, and meeting new bloggers from round the world. Plus much more sneaking round the Ham Yard. Each turn seemed to involve another stunning splash of colour and interest. I snuck a look into this room on the way out, I love the pendant lights and the giant poster.

Then back out into the London night, via Piccadilly Circus, and home for all.

Thanks to Amara for a fabulous evening. Thank you to Bang and Olufsen who sponsored the Best Organisation Category. Thanks once again to all that voted and nominated, it means so much to be among such incredibly talented interior blogging company.

I didn’t come away empty handed, we were given a goody bag full of interior delights, More on that, now and to come on instagram.

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