The past week was such an exciting one, I don’t really know where to begin in relaying it all! But I suppose that since the beginning’s always a sure-fire bet, we’ll begin there…

J Barbour & Sons was founded some 120 years ago this year by a man (and visionary!) named John Barbour, and the company has been handed down through the generations ever since. In celebration of this being a landmark year for the company (as well as Barbour’s beautiful collection of tartans and their incredible heritage), myself, the darling Jen from J for Jen, and a fair few journalists from international press teams were invited up to Scotland and Newcastle for a few day’s break. I flew up from Heathrow to Edinburgh (during those ‘we’re in the tail-end of a hurricane, brace yourselves!’ weather warnings, and with enough turbulence to make even the most seasoned traveller a little green around the gills!), and arrived at Prestonfield House in serious need of a little time and space to decompress. And oh my, did I find it.


Prestonfield is without doubt the most beautiful hotel I’ve ever been in! It’s all plush carpets, beds so large you could lose yourself in them, velvet curtains, tall sash windows, and long portrait-lined corridors. The sort of place where nothing’s too much trouble for the staff, and you wind up wishing that you could move in to one of the rooms and live there forever. Right after I’d settled in and unpacked, I sat down by the window and ate little white chocolate truffles alongside a glass of bubbles, whilst admiring the view of Arthur’s Seat out my bedroom window. A ‘pinch me’ moment, if ever there was one!

Prestonfield-Hotel-Edinburgh Prestonfield-hotel

After spending approximately 8 and a half hours attempting to comb out the knots in my hair (again, thank you mini-hurricane), I headed down to a formal dinner hosted by Dame Margaret Barbour. Before dinner, we got to see a mini preview of Barbour’s S/S15 collection (all muted shades, lightweight fabrics and soft tartans, so beautiful!) and were talked through both that and the current season’s collection by the head of men’s and ladieswear respectively. Dinner itself was just wonderful. We ate ‘neeps and tatties’, haggis (which was so delicious, and was even ‘addressed’ in traditional Scottish style!), marmalade puddings, and sweet chunks of Scottish tablet. Toasts were given, glasses were raised, bagpipes were played Robbie Burns poetry was recited, and Auld Lang Syne was sung. I didn’t take many photos (I was too busy pretending to know the words to Auld Lang Syne ;) so you’ll have to trust when I tell you what a beautiful evening it was! There are one or two snapshots over on my Twitter feed, so click through for elegant place settings and table centres and whatnot…

Peacocks-at-Prestonfield-house Eggs-benefict

The following day, after a breakfast which featured a roughly 2:1 coffee to food ratio (just how I like it), we gathered up our suitcases and bags and headed out in the direction of Leith, for a trip to tartan specialist company Kinloch Anderson. Now, I hadn’t realised quite what a serious business tartan is until last week’s trip! Barbour (both the family and the company) has roots in Galloway in Scotland but has been located for most of its life in South Shields, so when they found themselves in need of their own signature ‘Barbour tartan’, they called in the experts. Kinloch Anderson are a sixth generation family business, who specialise in creating tartans, kilts and Highland dress, and a whole range of beautiful tartan products. It was Douglas Anderson who designed the beautiful signature olive green Barbour tartan, which is used to line so many of the waxed jackets.

The story behind the tartan is a beautiful one. Helen Barbour (Dame Margaret’s daughter), had been doing some research into her family’s heritage, and discovered that neither they or the company itself had its own tartan. Up until Helen’s lifetime, Barbour jackets were lined with widely available tartans like ‘Black Watch’, which made them easy to replicate and prone to (poor) imitation. Kinloch Anderson designed a new, totally original tartan for Barbour at Helen and Dame Margaret’s request, which is based upon the Ayrshire district tartan (the district from which John Barbour came) and has an earthy colour palette to echo the company’s countryside roots.

What I think is most beautiful though is that not only is the tartan registered to the company, but it’s the Barbour family’s own tartan too. And so because of this, in wearing our tartan-lined Barbour waxed jackets and those soft woollen tartan scarves we borrow from our parents and never give back, we become a part of Barbour family heritage. The idea captured my heart, and reminded me for the umpteenth time during the week what an incredibly powerful thing family is.

Kinloch-Anderson-traditional-tartan-kilt Kinloch-Anderson-family-tartan

^^ Aren’t those herringbone wool blankets to die for? If I’d had space to get it home in my suitcase, I’d have bought one in a heartbeat! ^^

Kinloch-Anderson-tartan Bright-tartan-picnic-blanket Cider-with-Rosie-Barbour-tartan

What I wore :: Barbour ladies utility quilted waxed jacket || Shirt || Winter dress tartan scarf || Jeans || Boots || Hat (similar)

After leaving Kinloch Anderson, we headed over to the riverside for lunch at The Kitchin. I felt so full up after the previous night’s dinner I thought I’d never manage to eat again, and yet by the time lunch rolled around, I was pretty ravenous! The Kitchin had a lovely modern-elegant feel to it, and the food was wonderful. The emphasis is on ‘From nature to plate’, and we were given a little printed map of Scotland at the start of the meal which showed the provenance of most of all the main ingredients. Inspired! I ate a starter of partridge, then a saffron risotto with pancetta-wrapped cod cheeks, followed by a chocolate and mint soufflé. All delicious, but the cod cheek risotto won the day. It was so rich and buttery, and both hearty and delicate all at once.

The-Kitchin The-Kitchin-cod-cheek-risotto

And so, to Newcastle! I’ll continue on recounting the trip tomorrow, so stop by in the morning for some a sunset that’ll blow you clean away! For now, we’ll leave off with the sun setting over the river Tyne…



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This week’s been full of so many amazing, exciting, and extraordinary things that I can’t wait to tell you all about, but just for now, let’s focus solely on the littlest moments. The sinking into plush hotel beds, the smooth take offs and landings, the homecomings. Because that’s what these posts are for, aren’t they? Treasuring the small and the seemingly insignificant, as well as the grand and exciting? So here’s to the little things, with 10 things that’ve made me happy this week!

1. The sweet man on the plane next to me on Tuesday, who talked to me right through take off because he noticed that I was maybe just a little bit terrified. He told me all about how he and his wife met, and was just so generally sweet and lovely and I couldn’t have been more grateful for his kindness.

2. Wearing Essie polish in the shade ‘Smokin Hot’! And the fact that’s it’s lasted so long without chipping, that’s been pretty happy-making too.

3. Cashmere socks, & roaring fires.

4. Every single song on Haim’s album. I’m having a love affair.

5. Leaving notes scattered round the house for Jason to find whilst I was away. There was one wrapped up in some pasties I’d left in the fridge, one in his trainer laces, and another in the toothbrush holder in the bathroom! I leave notes for him whenever I go away on trips, and it’s one of my favourite traditions we have. Jason’s still got one I wrote him during the first couple of months we were together, a tiny green post-it that I tucked into his jacket pocket one morning!

6. Managing to zip up my suitcase. It required the full weight of my body, and a lot of shoving, but I did it ;)

7. The cheese and spinach soufflé I ate on Wednesday night that pushed me from feeling comfortably full to just a little bit sick, but that was so incredible it was totally worth it.

8. Rising early, and breathing fresh morning air.

9. A certain vanilla mascarpone and peanut butter macaron.

10.  New tartan scarves! I’m building quite the collection, you know…

I’ve been so out of the blogging loop over the past couple of days, so in the comments, will you link me to your favourite post you’ve either read or written in the past week? Let’s share good things! :) And have a happy weekend!


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It’s Thursday, so that means it’s the perfect day to add some wonderful new blogs to your Bloglovin’ feed, right? And it just so happens that I’ve got 20 of the sweetest blogs you ever did come across to introduce to you today! There’s a little something for everyone linked below- from food blogs to motivational and inspirational blogs to lifestyle blogs, and so many more besides! So have a little browse through, and get ready to find some new favourite reads :)

I’ve been following Quaintrelle for a good couple of months now, and let me tell you, it’s such a lovely blog to have in your reading list! Setarra lives in Washington DC, so in reading her blog is you get to vicariously live out your best American dreams- pretty great hey?! Quaintrelle is a lifestyle blog primarily, full the sort of sweet, unassuming ‘this is what my life is really like’ kind of posts that never fail to charm me. I love Setarra’s energy, the natural, organic feel of her posts, and the way her blog feels so totally unique and individual. I think that’s a pretty rare thing to find in a blog, these days!
Favourite post of the past week? What I’ve Been Up To In Real Time…

The Peppermint Pencil
It’s so easy to wax lyrical about Anya’s beautiful blog! I just adore it. If you’ve not yet clicked through to it and fallen in love (and why on earth not!;) then you’re in for a treat. The Peppermint Pencil is a lifestyle blog that leans more on the creative side than many others I know- full of beautiful still life photography and posts about Anya’s artwork. I just love her photography, and the beautifully calm, serene vibe that The Peppermint Pencil has. I really can’t recommend adding it to your reading list highly enough, you’ll just love it I’m sure!
Favourite post of the past month? Apple Pie Cocktail

Lisette Loves
Lisette’s blog is one I’ve been reading for a good long while now (a year at least!), and I’ve loved it ever since the first day I clicked through to it. Recently though, Lisette’s posts seem to have gone from great, to totally and completely amazing! Her blog is full of joy- a way of featuring the little things that make each week beautiful. There are recipes, weekend snapshots, and little lists of things Lisette is thankful for. And I’ll tell you what, I’m just straight up thankful that Lisette’s beautiful photographs and posts provide me with such wonderful and absorbing reading material!
Favourite post of the past week? Weekend Window

The What Now Blog
It’s such a pleasure to have Louise’s blog linked back in my sidebar again this month! I’ve just loved getting to know it lately. The What Now Blog is full of incredible posts, all designed to inspire thoughtful living, a healthy frame of mind, and a more positive attitude towards work. I love checking in with Louise’s blog whenever I’m in need of, or just fancy a bit of a pep-talk! Her posts are always so beautifully written, well thought out, and never fail to inspire. Definitely a blog to add to your reading list right away!
Favourite post of the past month? Don’t Neglect The Power of Imagination.

A Little Lusciousness
It’s always such a treat to have the lovely Rosie’s blog linked in my sidebar! A Little Lusciousness is a food blog, and a brilliant one at that! It features the sort of recipes that’ll help you out in a ‘what on earth should I cook right now?’ fix- just straight up, delicious, unfussy food. And what’s really amazing is that over the past few months, Rosie’s taken her foodie skills to the whole new level and now hosts pop up private dining events at her home in Acton! Isn’t that just the coolest idea you’ve ever heard?! So,  let’s all go for dinner at Rosie’s house soon, okay?
Favourite post of the past month? A Little Lusciousness Pop Up 20th September

The Awkward Blog
Oh, Angela is a darling. Her blog is just the biggest ball of sunshine and loveliness and gorgeous photographs and beautiful writing and…oh. I just love it! The Awkward Blog is a lifestyle one, full of charming posts about Angela’s life in London with her fiancé Robin, and their two sweet kittens. I love the mixture of posts that Angela shares- her London restaurant reviews especially are some of my favourites! You should know that this month, Angela posted photos of a fried chicken and waffle burger*. I KNOW! Well, what’re you waiting for, the link’s below!
Favourite post of the past month? Bird (is the word) Shoreditch.

Cocktails and Caroline
I’m so glad that Caroline chose to start advertising here on Cider with Rosie, all those months ago. It’s been such a pleasure to watch her blog grow, and get to know it better and better over the past few months! It’s always such a brilliant read- Caroline’s posts are so engaging, full of photos of delicious food, envy-inducing travel destinations, restaurants to die for, and not to mention that handsome pup of hers! If fun, exciting, charming lifestyle blogs are your cup of tea, then Cocktails and Caroline is a blog you’ll want to add to your reading list right away!
Favourite post of the past month? Eggs, Bacon & Jimmy Chew

A Dash of Ginger
Kirsty’s blog never fails to impress me. Her recipes always look divine, her photography and styling are a dream, and I challenge anyone to click through to her blog and not add at least recipe to their ‘must try’ list! This month, Kirsty’s rounded out the Great Blogger Bake Off by making chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting (I KNOW!) as well as sharing recipes for peri peri cauliflower bites with garlic dip, AND hazelnut mille feuille! If that’s not enough to tempt you to click through to this most wonderful of blogs, I don’t know what is!
Favourite post of the past month? Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. 

Daydream In Blue
Oh, I just adore Tom’s blog. You know how oftentimes people look at a blogger’s site/Instagram and say ‘Ooh I’d like to live in their world!’? Well, I totally want to live in Daydream in Blue world! It’s just such a chic place he’s got going on over there! Tom’s posts centre around home decor, inspiration, photography, and product reviews. They’re always so clean and beautifully put together, and draw me in time and time again. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Favourite post of the past month? Lovely Stationery from Fox and Star!

Supernaturally Healthy
Kezia is such an inspiring lady. She’s a font of nutritional knowledge, and her blog is just the same! Supernaturally Healthy is designed to encourage and promote healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle, and is full of helpful tips and advice. I especially love Kezia’s food posts- in the past month she’s shared posts about super foods like cacao, busted myths about gluten, and shared her own personal goals for the month! One to follow along with, especially if you’re on the road to greater wellbeing and a healthier lifestyle!
Favourite post of the past month? Dreams & goals for October!

Dutch Lady Digi Design
Dutch Lady Digi Design is a darling little Etsy shop, run by Daphne! Daphne offers Blogger templates, blogs ‘extras’ (the sweetest signatures you ever did see!) custom blog headers, and so much more besides! One of the questions I get asked most frequently here is where to go to for blog design, so it’s always lovely to be able to point people in the direction of an online shop like Daphne’s! I love how delicate and feminine her design work is, and it’s all amazingly affordable too! Perfect for anyone looking for a blog upgrade or refresh!
Favourite designs? These sweet post signatures! 

Bumpkin Betty
Bumpkin Betty is quickly becoming one of my most frequently read blogs. I just love it! Jaclyn’s posts (and her blog itself, you must go and see her beautiful design!) are always so beautifully put together, her photographs are gorgeous, and her posts never fail to leave me feeling inspired. Jaclyn and I first met months ago when we were working on a small project together, and it’s been so lovely to watch her blog develop and grow since then. I just can’t get enough of it! If sleek, chic, elegant lifestyle and ‘creative inspiration’ type posts are your cup of tea, you’re going to just love Bumpkin Betty!
Favourite post of the past month? 5 Instagram accounts to get lost in.

A few more blogs to read + fall in love with ::
Living for the Now || Favourite post? :: It’s okay to…
The University Project || Favourite post? :: Things that made me happy #8
Life Into Words || Favourite post? :: Currently 001
Rosedog Blog || Favourite post? :: Mini Burgers Rosedog Style
Ji Ji Kiki || Favourite piece? :: Russian Doll Stud Earrings
Up and Down in Surrey and London || Favourite post? :: Berlin in Pictures
Every Bit Samantha || Favourite post? :: Happy Wednesday Mars Bar Cupcakes
The Fox and Furrow || Favourite post? :: Hiding from the rain in Borough Market

To see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie during November, click through to the Sponsor page and take up an advert today!


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Last weekend, I persuaded Jason to come along to the Taste of Autumn festival with me at RHS Wisley. ‘It’ll be fun!’ I said. ‘We can taste autumn!’ I was expecting that autumn would taste very much like overpriced apple cider and delicious pastries and maybe pork burgers with stewed apples and caramelised onion. That is what autumn should taste like, right?

In reality, the festival wasn’t quite so great as I’d anticipated it would be, but the beautiful displays of pumpkins and squashes everywhere almost made up for it. I’ve never seen so many different varieties all in one place before- who even knew there *were* so many types of pumpkin and squash and gourd! It’s almost, almost tempted me to get a pumpkin for us to carve and pop outside our house for this Halloween. I don’t think I’ve ever carved a pumpkin before, but the prospect of being able to toast, salt, roast, and eat an entire pumpkin’s worth of seeds is kind of tempting me to try.

After a short wander around looking at what the festival had to offer, we headed up to the herb garden to sniff rosemary and sage and all those other herbs that smell exactly like Sunday roasts. Jason dreamt of having his own vegetable patch (ideally one brimming with produce year-round), whilst I just dreamt of being able to keep herbs on the kitchen windowsill without them dying due to overwatering/exposure to excess cold/heat, and indiscriminate snipping.

Giant-Halloween-pumpkin Red-and-yellow-apples Country-autumn-festivalAutumn-produce-cart Artisan-loaves Purple-sageMarbled-squashesBarbour-quilted-wax-jacket

What I wore :: Top || Jeans || Boots || Jacket || Hat (similar)

And now, fun things! I’m flying up to Edinburgh today for a three day press trip with Barbour, hurrah! So as you read this, I’ll be busy trying to squish my entire wardrobe into a small cabin bag, and praying that this crazy old mini hurricane doesn’t ground my flight! If you’d like to follow along with what I’m up to in Scotland over the next few days, Instagram’s the way to go! Find me at ‘ciderwithrosieblog’ :) Catch you in a couple of days!

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