Fire Elf

On one of our evenings in Porto we decided to head out in the evening for pudding and a drink only to notice some fire.  We headed towards the fire and stumbled on this amazing art instillation spread across the city.   Here is a little clip just a small part of the experience.

 

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Country Elf

We’re off on a countryside adventure this weekend. The Broadlands Country Show. This is a proper country show, there are dog breed competitions, gun dog trials, demonstrations in the main arena. Food and local produce, rides and stalls.

The show is set in the attractive grounds of an Estate called Broadlands, which is well worth a visit another time. Lovely old house, beautiful gardens and lovely walks. Back to the show, if you buy your tickets online in advance you will get a cheaper ticket, it’s a little expensive at £15 but everyone under 16 is free which is nice. We toddle on through and stop at the gun dog trials. I have never seen this before it’s very cool. We stop toIMAG2677 watch the “long retrieve” there a red ball like thing is short into the air and down the end of the enclosure accompanied by a loud simulated gun shot. Now, all being well the dog sprints off down the field and returns with the red ball like thing…this is not always the case and lots of the dogs had a good romp around and sniff before returning (or not) with the ball.IMAG2685_BURST012_COVER

Next we head to the main arena, where we are blown away by the craziness that is “The Devils Horsemen”. Not for the faint of heart, that is sure. These guys are mad, they hang off the sides of the horses and do handstands on the back of galloping horses. Then to top it off they stand astride two horses for a race. It’s thrilling, and I will not lie…it leaves me desperate to go horse riding. Perhaps a new career path?

We munch our way round and enjoy pasties, hot coffee (to ward of the cold as it starts to rain), popcorn and candy floss. We pick up some apple strudel and cakes to take home and on the way out I can’t help it… I get some fudge as well. (Licorice flavour…oh my, so, so good)

I’m already busy looking up the next Country show I can get to.  If you fancy heading along to a show, I found this website with lots of information about upcoming shows.

Elf YES!

About this time last year, I decided that I needed a pick me up.  I needed more adventure and joy in my life so started this blog with that idea in mind.

12 months on Mr Elf and I are saying yes to more and more adventures, we are planning a great big Elfventure as well.  Travel, food, cooking, craft, exercise and trying new things have become part of our everyday lives. It’s been an amazing journey and I am excited by the new opportunities and adventures that this blog has given us and have brought to our lives.  By saying yes to trying new things I have learnt so much, by saying yes to new places, new skills and new experiences, we have been more present and more content in life.

I hope that so far you have enjoyed reading our adventures.

Here’s to another year and many more!!

Nostalgic Elf

As the year comes to a close, we just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has read, commented and supported the fledgling effort of elves about.

We’ve been to France, Portugal, Glastonbury, Spain, travelled around in and around London, Windsor, Winchester. We’ve been to the beach, city, country, churches, cathedrals. We’ve baked and cooked and we have eaten a lot of food! We walked llamas, climbed walls and learnt to knit and make ceramics. We hope you have enjoyed everything that we’ve shared and all the adventures and misadventures that we have written about.

We look forward to all the adventures and experiences that 2017 will bring and hope you will share them with us too!
Love X

Elf in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang or Lung Phabang is a city in the north central Laos it is actually made up of lots of surrounding towns and is a UNESCO city due to its beautiful and well preserved architecture as well as its religious and cultural heritage.

When you fly into this beautiful place the world seems to open up as you appear fly between the hills, mountains and soar over the Mekong.  Breath taking from the start.

We stay slightly outside of the main part of the town in a beautiful series of cabins around a series of ponds.  It is lovely. Most of the hotels and hostels have bikes for rental or that you can use for free, ours is no different and I would recommend this as the best and easiest way to get around Luang Phabang.  The main centre of town is set around four main roads and there are lots of little roads that lead off these. But it is very easy to find your way around even I manage with my terrible sense of direction.

The centre of Luang Phabang is dominated by mount Phou Si follow the stairs all the way up to the Wat Chom Si which is a lovely shrine.  Its small and delicate. The view is beautiful, the air is full of butterflies and there are green trees stretching out in front of us.

Theimag1278 markets are a great place to eat and you wind yourself into the lanes to a buffet style eating experience.  Most of this food is vegetarian and served cold.  The colours and smells of these food markets is …wow!  Defiantly and experience, not the best food of the trip I have to say, but the experience is much more than just the food.  It is wonderful we sit and chat with locals and tourists of all walks of life and it reminds me so acutely why I love to travel.

Luang Phabang is full of life and just brimming with wonder.  As I write this I realise there are so many things we need to share.

Another wonderful day was spent cycling around the Wats (temples) which I really recommend.  Luang Phabang has over 30 Wats so don’t try to see them all.  We set out with a map and a planned route but in the end, we ditched this and had a meandering cycle around the streets of Luang Phabang and stopped in and Wats that we saw when we felt like it.  The highlights were Wat Xieng Thong, which is the Golden wat and probably the most famous of the Wats, Wat Visoun Narath with its lovely and unusual roof and Wat That Luang which is home to a very large bronze Buddha.  Remember there is a strict etiquette policy, make sure you are dressed appropriately, shoulders and knees covered, take your shoes off before entering.

The people of Laos are lovely, Luang Phabang is a magical place with much to offer and to do.

Look out for our next post on our top things to do in Luang Phabang.

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London’s best Burgers!!

Burgers. The king of fast food, and now the king of the gourmet fast food. There are so many choices when a hunger for a burger kicks in, where do you start? I love a burger and have narrowed it down to my favourite three in London and I am sharing these with you.

3. Honky Tonk
This American style dinner does burgers, hot dogs and cocktails. I go for the chicken burger here, its well-proportioned, the bun is a brioche bun which is soft and adds a sweetness. There is lots of filling and everything is well flavoured and compliments each other. Mr Elf has a beef burger and there is a little bit of slip and slide going on but he is very happy with the taste.

2. Blues Kitchen
These guys have a few restaurants now, and are spreading across London. They are always beautiful inside and really do feel lovely to be in. The menu is compact but there is a burger special that changes every month. I opt of the cheese burger. It is well formed, delicious, not too much cheese and everything tastes fresh. Blues Kitchen have a range of their own sauces as well I used the BBQ ketchup and it was perfect. There is a good bun to burger ratio and it is not over cheesed.

Coming in at number one…the one… the only…

1. Honest Burger 
Ah…what can I say to sum up an Honest Burger. It is a wonderful thing of beauty. Be warned after trying one of these…no burger will live up to them. The patty is perfectly seasoned and cooked to order, it’s juicy and tender. The signature burger, The Honest, is wonderful. I know we are talking burgers, but the chips at Honest are also just divine! Crispy, hot, covered in Rosemary and some how tasting like summer.  Everything perfectly balanced, fresh and just amazing.

A special mention that is not in London but in Windsor is Flaming Cow.  Beautiful and unusual burgers a definite contender for the crown!  The Red Neck is a thing of wonder.

Wedding readings

 

We wanted to share our wedding reading with you as we love this piece of writing. I have also included some extras that we did not chose but loved as well.

XV. “Two bubbles in a crystal bowl appear”

Two bubbles in a crystal bowl appear
Born separately: round the opposing rims
Each for awhile in a charmed circle swims,
And shuns the other’s touch, as if in fear.
A gold-fish rising breaks the mimic mere;
A thwart tide, traversing the surface, dims
The placid water: from the distant brims
The bubbles swept together are one sphere!
They might have perished singly; might have known
Life but not love, and living separate
Have ceased imperfect, sundered mate from mate;
And thou and I have walked the world alone,
And died so, if the strong storm had not blown
That swept us hither on the tides of fate.

 

Other lovely readings that we also love.

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernières

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being ‘in love’, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”

The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James

“It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and — I won’t pretend to deny — brighter and nicer and even stronger. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I didn’t have them. Theoretically I was satisfied, as I once told you. I flattered myself I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid, sterile, hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better.”

We would love you to suggest your favorites or recommendations.

xx