09.08

Cider-with-Rosie-Bophut-Koh-Samui-honeymoon-6

After a few days of being so very lazy we’d all but melted into our sun loungers, Jason and I decided it was probably time to get out and explore the island a little. We wanted to try and find a balance on our honeymoon between spending enough relaxing days at our hotel that we’d come back refreshed, but also making sure we didn’t waste the opportunity to explore such a beautiful part of the world!

Our hotel was set about a five minute drive away from Bophut fisherman’s village, and so we hailed a cab (and by that I mean the lovely team at our hotel called one for us, and gave us strict instructions that if we got charged more than 400 baht per journey, we were being quite literally taken for a ride!), hopped in and headed into town to spend the evening exploring.

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Our first port of call in the village was the main street itself- a chaotic collection of awning-covered shop fronts, restaurants sending wafts of incredible cooking smells out towards us, and endless tiny stands all claiming to be serving Koh Samui’s Very Best Pancakes! The whole place was pretty set up for tourists, of course, but still kind of charming too!

We made our way through one of the little beachfront restaurants and set ourselves up at one of the tables they had on the beach at the back, ordered ourselves a round of drinks, and settled down to watch the sun begin to set over the bay. The waitress brought over a Singha (for Jason), and a strawberry daquiri (for me), and we sat and drank them whilst having yet another (you’d roll your eyes if you knew how much we talked about the wedding on honeymoon!) conversation about The Big Day. It’s been amazing to us both how we had such different experiences of the same day- we kept saying ‘do you remember when this happened?’ and ‘where you here for this moment, or that moment?’, and having our memories jogged by the photos our friends and family put on Facebook.

If I’m being honest with you though, I secretly only half listened to Jason whilst we chatted that evening, because I was so busy staring out to sea hoping so much to see dolphins in the bay…;) We spotted some in the distance during a boat trip we’d taken the previous day (the captain shouted that a pod were swimming nearby, and I almost fell overboard trying to get a better look!), but I had this dream that perhaps if we were really lucky, we’d see some leaping in the bay. It never happened, but it didn’t stop me gazing out at the water all day every day, just keeping my fingers crossed…

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Once we’d finished our drinks (Jason just as clear-headed after as his final sip as he was his first, myself…not so much. It was POTENT!), we wandered down the sand to the next restaurant along, whose name, in truly unhelpful blogger fashion, I’ve totally and completely forgotten.

Whilst the name of the restaurant wasn’t at all memorable though, the meal most certainly was. We ate Massaman curry, steamed rice, spring rolls, and I know I’m forgetting things again because it felt like we had at least half a dozen dishes on our table. The curry was *so* incredible though- rich and warming and decadent, and with a glass of Merlot on the side? It was heaven.

What I wore ::
Camisole – Abercrombie
Skirt – past season, similar here.
Bikini top – Monsoon (similar).

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The real highlight of the meal though came halfway through, and wasn’t food related at all. I glanced up at Jason mid-way through taking my fifty millionth mouthful of curry and rice, and caught sight of the sunset I’d been waiting for all evening lighting up the sky behind him. Spoons were thrown down, napkins fell to the floor (well, the sand, since we were eating on the beach and all), and I grabbed my camera just in time to catch a couple of photos of the dreamy, violet-hued sunset below. Wasn’t it a good one?

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Next to come? A walk through the palm trees, & our day spent driving a lap around the island…

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07.08

Honeymoon-Cider-with-Rosie

Before we get onto the good stuff, can I tell you one thing I’ve definitely not been so happy about this week? The fruit situation here in the UK, in comparison with Thailand. I mean, not to be one of those ‘oh well this isn’t a PATCH on what I ate in ‘insert farflung country here’ types of people, buuuuuutttt…it’s safe to say I’ve been spoiled. I mean, we can set aside the rambutan, and the dragon fruit, and the mangosteen as special cases (all totally amazing and addictive, but not so mainstream here in England), but you know, even the bananas and oranges were better in Thailand! I’ve missed waking up and starting each day with a plate heaped with the most beautiful, colourful, ripe fruit this week like you wouldn’t believe! But enough of this nostalgia. (I’m nostalgic for so much at the moment, if you got me started I’d never shut up! Having all our family here, the constant celebrating, the sharing of photos and stories from the wedding…aaaand there I go…) Instead, here’s to the simple things, the quiet moments, and the small stuff- here’s to going back to basics, and counting ten little things that’ve made me happy this week :)

1. Hearing my sister’s voice all the way from Tanzania! I said goodbye to Cesca just as Jason and I were leaving the wedding (speaking about it in past tense is SO WEIRD.) and she flew to Africa the very next morning. I’m heading to the airport to pick her up next Friday, and I just can’t wait! 99% of my excitement is because I can’t wait to see my sister herself, and the other 1% is because I’ve been nagging her to take lots of photos for me whilst she’s been trekking and on safari(!!!) this week, and I cannot *wait* to look through them!

2. Saying ‘my husband’ all day every day! I’ve been doing that annoying newlywed thing of squeezing it into conversation as often as is humanly possible! ;)

3. English Breakfast tea. There’s nothing I miss more when abroad than good old Twining’s English Breakfast, with semi-skimmed and no milk!

4. The daily moisturiser routine that’s been keeping my post-holiday skin peeling to a minimum. It’s pretty intense though- I’ve been slithering into bed each night like some sort of slimy sea creature. What a lucky man Jason is! ;)

5. Making the most of the major nesting phase I always go through when I’ve stayed away from home for more than a night or two. I’ve been buying storage crates and cleaning everything in sight and reorganising just about every corner of our house, and having a whale of a time doing it! I’ve got to make the most whilst it lasts though, since I’ll be back to my old disorganised ways soon enough…

6. The return of the GBBO! Jason and I watched episode 1 eating slices of the Victoria sponge I’d baked for his coworker Ian the previous evening, and the cake + cake on telly combo was just too good. I couldn’t adore that programme any more if I tried!

7. Catching up with friends, both old and new. Made me the happiest of all <3

8. Sundried tomato pesto, with everything. I’m kind of obsessed.

9. Nude nail varnish. Though my favourite (Essie Spin the Bottle) did smash and leak on the way home from Thailand, which most definitely did NOT make me happy in the slightest!

10. Being home. Being married. Being right in the moment. It’s been a pretty happy week :)

Three posts I’ve loved reading this week :: Freya’s AMAZING posts about her work in Pakistan (photos to die for, and writing that made me well up. I just adore that pint-sized wonder woman) || Ella’s recipe for roasted green bean spring rolls || & Deb’s recipe for sesame noodles with cucumber (trying it first chance I get!)

What’s made it to your happy list this week? And how was July for you- did anything fun or exciting happen? Let’s catch up, I truly feel so out of the loop! <3

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Posted in 10 THINGS, HAPPINESS

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06.08

Cider-with-Rosie-honeymoon-Koh-Samui

After the whirlwind day we’d had on the 17th, we needed a day to recoup before heading off on honeymoon. We spent the Saturday catching up with our nearest and dearest (who, ironically, we’d actually spent the least amount of time with at the wedding itself!), and, naturally, putting off the task of honeymoon packing until the very last minute. We also made the fatal error of leaving Jason’s car unattended around his brother and brother in law whilst we had a big family dinner at his Mum’s that evening, and so wound up drIving to the airport the following morning in a car covered in the sorts of graffiti that got us beeped at the whole way from home to Heathrow! ;)

I usually find flying pretty horrible (I’m nervous the whole time, and can’t ever seem to settle to sleep), but to be honest, after having had such a hectic few weeks leading up to the wedding, sitting down to a whole day of films and cat naps was actually pretty lovely!

HEATHROW >> BANGKOK >> KOH SAMUI.

The very first thing that hit us, when we arrived at our hotel in the North of Koh Samui mid-afternoon on the 20th, was the scent on the air.

The base note was, of course, the smell of the humid air itself. A layer of warm and spicy incense smoke made up the heart, and then, finally, a layer of frangipani that was carried towards us on a breeze sent up from the sea. I’ve never been anywhere in my life where the air smelled so beautiful- if I could’ve bottled it, I would have.

We chose the Melati Spa Resort in Tongson Bay as our honeymooning spot because we’d hoped it’d be peaceful and relaxing- something of a retreat after such a busy few months of planning. And you know what? It hit the mark on every level.

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The grounds of the hotel were vast- thick with palm and banana trees, orchids, frangipani trees, and bird of paradise plants. A maze of pathways cut through the jungly gardens, paths I found so very confusing and difficult to navigate I honestly didn’t manage to get from our villa to the restaurant at the very top of the grounds without getting lost once the whole time we were there.

The villas all are totally self-contained and secluded, so much so that we didn’t see another soul (aside from the staff) that first day until we finally made it to the restaurant in the evening. Saying that though, the quiet might’ve had something to do with the colossal storm that hit shortly before the sun set! I’ve never known storms like the ones we saw in Thailand. In the space of 20 minutes or so the wind would go from non-existent to being strong enough to set the palm trees waving and bending and swaying, then the sky would grow dark and moody and the humidity would reach breaking point, and finally, all of a sudden the heavens would open and raindrops bigger than any I’ve seen before would begin to fall fast and hard. We loved those nighttime storms, with their huge flashes of lightning and colossal claps of thunder, even more than the warm, balmy evenings.

We spent our first night in the hotel watching the storm from the traditional Thai restaurant right at the top of the grounds, whilst eating a veritable feast of some of the most incredible food I’ve ever had in my life. I know we ate maybe 8 dishes between us (all light and fresh and delicious), but the green curry with vegetables and fried silken tofu was *so* fantastic, all the others paled in comparison! I couldn’t even begin to explain what the flavour of the broth was, it was so complex. Sweet and tangy and creamy and warm all at once, with little rounds of tofu so soft they melted away as soon as they hit your tongue. I could’ve eaten that curry every single day without getting tired, it really was *that* good!

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The days we spent at the hotel were as happily lazy as you’d imagine. We’d alternate between basking like lizards in the sun (either on the beach or by the peaceful, adults-only Sanctuary pool our room backed onto) whilst burning through our books at a rate of knots. And I do mean quite literally burning, since the sun was so very hot the binding glue on the copy of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro I was reading actually melted!

Our basking and napping and reading routine was punctuated with visits to the restaurant down on the beachfront, for both breakfast and lunch. We made it our mission to sample as much of the drinks menu as we could during the trip, not only in the name of hydration but also because every single one we tried was so outstanding, it seemed a shame not to taste the lot! Below is a banana, mango and yoghurt smoothie (my favourite!), and a lemon iced tea with sugar syrup that could be added to taste.

Special mention too must go to the fresh young coconuts that were available to order, served with both a straw for drinking the water, and a spoon for scooping out the creamy fresh. As a girl (should I say woman, now that I’m a wife and all? ;) who poured a the entirety of the first and last carton of VitaCoco coconut water she bought down the sink after taking and hating one single sip, the fresh stuff has me totally and completely converted!

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^^ Completely obsessed with red vegetable curries- the spicier the better! ^^

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^^ One particularly spectacular lunch for Jason- Northern Thai curry with fried noodles and chicken. ^^
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At the end of each of those first few lazy days, we’d potter back our room and I’d beeline straight for the outdoor shower, set in a tiny courtyard off the back of the bathroom and lined with tall banana palms. It was the very best place to rinse each day’s quota of salt and chlorine from my hair, all whilst pretending to be in one of those Herbel Essences ads of a few years ago ;) (anyone else remember?!)

There’s so much more I want to share with you from the trip (from our travels around the island, and the beautiful sights we saw along the way), but since I already feel as though this post will come out a mile long, we’ll regroup in a day or so…

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Posted in HONEYMOON, THAILAND, TRAVEL, WEDDING

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04.08

Cider-with-Rosie-goingtotheChappel2015-wedding

#goingtotheChappel2015 >> #beentotheChappel2015!

The past few weeks have gone by every bit as speedily as everyone warned us they would…and yet somehow also, it feels as though we’ve been away from normality for months and months! I keep referring to the time before the wedding as ‘last year’, and feeling as though we’ve come back from honeymoon to a world where everything feels exactly the same, and yet totally and completely different. I’m not sure I can even articulate quite what I mean- am I making sense at all? (I think I’ve forgotten how to write in the past couple of weeks!) It’s just been the most blissful almost-three weeks, I’m still kind of floating along in a daze. My face honestly has been aching from smiling so hard, for so long!

It’s the strangest feeling, working for months and months for this one single day, and feeling as though the work will never end and the day will never arrive, and then in the blink of an eye- the day’s been and gone! It’s hard to even begin to explain how amazing it was- I remember the day as a total rush of elation and laughter and dancing and music and cameras flashing and clicking non-stop! I kid you not, when I finally closed my eyes to go to sleep that night, I actually saw iPhones dancing around on the backs of eyelids after having had so many held up in front of us all day long!

I’m so, SO very excited to share more from our day with you, and am waiting on our photos to arrive from the wonderful Sam before I start trying to whittle down the 700-odd pictures he’s sending over into blog posts! In the meantime, we’re going to be talking bridal beauty (I did my makeup myself, so will be sharing a roundup of all the products I used to put together the look), and, of course, honeymoon!

Thank you, from us both, for all the lovely well wishes we received over the course of the wedding. You made the past few weeks even *more* exciting than I ever thought possible, and that really is saying something!

Stay tuned for posts from the island…

* photo by our wedding photographer, Sam Docker.

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