I always say one of my favourite things about Bristol is its proximity to a wealth of gorgeous countryside. We haven’t had a car for the last few years however (and I don’t cycle), and although there’s plenty of green spaces and walks reachable on foot it’s not the same at jumping in the car and escaping the city. With a little one on the way, we decided it was time to get a new motor and, aside from all the practical benefits, I’m beyond delighted that we can go on mini weekend adventures.
Instead of discovering somewhere new, for our first exertion we headed to one of our favourite places on the outskirts of Bristol, The Ethicurean. I sing the praises of this place to anyone who will listen and it is quite a regular feature on my Instagram feed. But for those who don’t know The Ethicurean is restaurant set within a beautiful victorian walled garden. The views are stunning, the seasonal dishes they serve taste and look incredible and there’s a signature toffee apple cake that’s nothing short of magical!
We left it a bit late to book a table for lunch but that didn’t stop us turning up for a wander around the lovely kitchen gardens and enjoying a slow afternoon in the sun with a pot of tea and a slice of the aforementioned amazing-toffee-apple-dream-cake! I’d recommend a trip at any time but this end of summer season seemed like a particularly beautiful time of year to visit, the gardens were luscious with gorgeous flowers in bloom and the trees abundant with fruit.
It’s sort of amazing to me that barely a 30 minutes drive away from the city centre we can find such a perfect slice of countryside paradise. That said, every visit at some point includes the inevitable musings on local property prices. But for now we’re content to head back to our town house with a full bellies, full camera rolls and a full veg box to boot!
More ‘adventures outside the city’ to follow! Where would you recommend for a day-trip jaunt?
I’ve had my Lomography Diana Mini a couple of years now but this is only the second film I have had developed from it. I go through phases of taking it with me on adventures and then forgetting about it all together for a while meaning that the shots I’ve got back span across a number of different occasions. This recent roll goes all the way back from Glastonbury 2015 to a friends wedding in August the following year!
The nature of the Diana mini brings lots of light leaks and double exposures, which with practice could surely use to greater effect, but for the most part I end up with happy accidents (plus a few disappointments) in the developed roll.
Regardless of the results it’s always fun to get a film back, discover what’s on there and take a little glimpse back in time. This little collection are the epitome of my summer – my favourite views at Glastonbury, cold drinks on hot days and friends looking dapper in summer wedding attire thrown in for good measure!
During autumn over the last few years I have been sharing pumpkin pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #SquashWatch.
When I started popping the Squash Watch tag on my posts back in 2014 it was really just so I could look back through them myself; nothing makes me happier than the sight of pretty pumpkins at this time of year. The idea of the Instagram community connecting via a hashtag was not so much of a thing two years ago as it is today, not in a way I was aware of anyhow.
|@blidandhatton | @catherine_frawley | @hellokiddostudio | @littlegreenshed |
Since my lovely friend Kym shared the #SquashWatch love, the # feed has been filling up and looking so very gourd-geous! This post features just a few of my favourites but please jump on to Instagram and marvel at the beautifully styled shots on the feed; it is entirely my happy place right now. And of course, keep tagging #SquashWatch – Halloween may have been and gone but the pumpkin party is still going strong on Instagram!
|@jmpsmithdesign | @muustardgirl | @kymgrimshaw | @littlegreenshed |
Sometimes one of my favourite things about Bristol is how quickly you can escape from it!
On the late May bank holiday weekend we packed a picnic in our hire car and headed off for an adventure to go chasing waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons.
Before I’d lived in Bristol I’d only ever been to Cardiff, but over the last eight years I’ve had the chance to explore nearby Wales a lot more. I’ve loved discovering its beautiful beaches, mountains and now the incredible waterfalls in the Brecons.
Each of the four waterfalls the route took us passed was stunning but without doubt the highlight was the huge Sgwd-yr-Eira fall. Being able to walking behind the wall of roaring water was pretty much magical.
The sun shone on us all day and the walk was long and tough at times but in that way that feels good and rewarding. After returning to the car for a well needed flask of tea accompanied by a melted chocolate bar we drove the scenic route through the mountains home. Such a perfect day – my favourite of the year so far.
The waterfall country of the Brecons isn’t exactly on our doorstep but having all this spectacular scenery within just a couple hours drive is amazing. I’d love to hire a car more regularly to explore more and I’m sure there are many beautiful escapes on the outskirts of Bristol reachable by public transport I’m yet to discover – If anyone has any tips let me know! 🍃🌿
If you’re inspired to go chasing waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons yourself, the Four Waterfall trail I took started at the Cwm Porth car park, find details at breconbeacons.org.
I’m one of those annoying people that genuinely quite likes a rainy day. During the inevitable downpours which followed the recent glorious weather everyone seemed to be lamenting the change in weather like that was it for summer; whereas I was feeling pretty chirpy and especially marvelling at how the word suddenly seemed so green. And of course documenting the fact through my iPhone…
Over the last few years I feel that I have been much more aware of the changing of the seasons than I used to be. I knew it was all going on of course but I’m sure I didn’t notice in the same way the signs of spring as they appeared… the bright daffodil blooms being followed by beautiful blossoms which in turn give way to all this luscious green.
Maybe it’s getting older or a stronger desire to seek out nature amongst city life, but in truth I think the shift in awareness is actually an interesting by-product of my ever increasing love of iPhonography and the desire to share snippets of my life in pretty little squares on Instagram. Like being more aware of the seasonal change in surroundings, I look at everything in a slightly different way these days – noticing the colours, the light and moments happening around me as I go about my daily life. If something catches my eye I may well get my phone out and snap away but also often I don’t. I understand where the argument that our constant craving to document can take one out of the moment is coming from but for me I disagree; I believe the potential for a perfect shot actually makes me more present.
What do you think my fellow insta-obssessed? I’d love to know if the #JustGoShoot mentality has had an effect on your world view.
Follow me on Insta at @_charlieswift or for more off-the-cuff snaps I’m on Snapchat as charlieswift.