Tag Archives: Gloucestershire

Giffords Circus – Fun for a Great Cause



Steven Kaack2Image Courtesy of  Steven Kaak

At the start of the summer we were lucky enough to be invited to attend Giffords Circus Painted Wagon show when they were situated in the beautiful setting of Sudeley Castle.

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Giffords Circus has announced that all proceeds from their closing show this year will be donated Maggie’s Cheltenham. Sales from tickets to the 5pm performance on Sunday 25 September at the circus’ HQ, Fennells Farm, will support the charity close to the circus’ heart. Giffords Circus co-founder, Nell Gifford has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer and has benefited from the support of Maggie’s Cheltenham Cancer Care Centre.



                                                                                               Image courtesy of El Gifford

El GiffordNell Gifford said: “Maggie’s have been hugely beneficial to my journey and the support they offered me at a tough time was invaluable. Cancer is something that touches each and every one of us in some way – almost all of us have a friend or family member or someone we hold dear who’s been treated for the disease. I hope Giffords Circus fans and newcomers alike will be out in force to dig deep and raise a fantastic figure for the charity, ending The Painted Wagon tour on an almighty high.”

Maggie’s Cancer Care offers free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. Maggie’s Cheltenham Care Centre is found on College Baths Road and is a place with professional staff on hand to offer the support people need. Centres are places to find practical advice about benefits and eating well; places where qualified experts provide emotional support; places to meet other people and places where you can simply sit quietly with a cup of tea.

Giffords Circus wish to champion the work of Maggie’s Cheltenham as a thank you for the support the charity offered Nell Gifford during her treatment for breast cancer. Returning from a sell out stint in London, Giffords Circus’ The Painted Wagon has a few dates left in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, entertaining audiences with this original whip-crackin’ horse-wranglin’ hell-raisin’ Wild West extravaganza.

Andrew Rees

Image courtesy of Andrew Rees

Directed by the critically acclaimed Cal McCrystal, The Painted Wagon invites audiences to a spectacle of eye-catching acrobatics and aerialists from far and distant lands, dancing horses, bounty hunting and gold panning, all to the beat of the “Dodge City” Giffords Circus saloon band.

The Painted Wagon comes to a close in September. Giffords Circus’ charity performance will take place on Sunday 25 September at 5pm at Fennells Farm, Lypiatt, Stroud. Tickets are priced at £22 for adults and £14 for children age 3 – 14; under 3’s go free if sitting on a lap. This includes a hog roast for which donations can be made. All proceeds from this performance go to Maggie’s Cheltenham Cancer Care Centre.

 To book tickets for the remaining dates and the final charity performance, visit www.giffordscircus.com or the Box Office on 0845 459 7469.

A Very Cowley Christmas with Cowley Manor

christmas tree image

cowleymanor_full_logo_rev-5One of the signs that Christmas is around the corner is the annual charity fashion and shopping event held in November at the fabulous Cowley Manor near Cheltenham.


This year the event is being held on Wednesday 25th November 2015 from 6pm – Midnight when the whole of Cowley Manor is transformed into a boutique shopping venue with each of the hotel bedrooms being taken over by various sellers and businesses.

Garden Room 2

Showcasing …

We have a cosy feel to the show this year with luxurious silks and sumptuous knits and a decadent food hall filled with gourmet delights, from wine tasting and artisan chocolate to cocktail masterclasses and much more.  Perfume counters, antique fine jewellery and inspired beauty sparkle are sure to get everyone in the spirit of things, alongside gorgeous Christmas wrap, crackers and floristry… there’s really no place like A Very Cowley Christmas!





Not only is this is a great chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping and catch up with friends but it is also one of the few chances you can have to wander around this amazing hotel and if you are anything like me, enjoy having a nose around some of the finest hotel rooms in the Cotswolds!

Exceptional Room Best Room (2)

This year the charity that is being supported is Winston’s Wish the leading child bereavement charity in the UK which was founded in Gloucestershire in 1992.


General admission tickets are £5 in advance or £7.50 on the door, with all proceeds donated to Winston’s Wish Children’s Bereavement Charity.

Tickets to ‘A Fashionably Late Feast’ at 10pm with 3 courses and a fashion show – £45 per person.

To book, email tickets@cowleymanor.com or call +44 (0)1242 870 900.

Information and images courtesy of Silver Ball PR

Sudeley Castle Play Date


Recently we were invited to Sudeley Castle for a play date by one of G’s Kindergarten friends. Sudeley Castle is located in the village of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. It is only about 15 minutes from where we live in Stow-on-the-Wold but it isn’t somewhere I have visited for years. It is famous for being the home of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s final wife and of all the Tudor castles in England, Sudeley is the only private castle to have a queen buried within the grounds.


Storm clouds brewing!

What is really great about Sudeley Castle is that is not over commercialised in any way. You really do feel like you are stepping into another world or someone’s home when you walk through the beautiful gardens and the old ruins. Having 3 children under 4 with us meant we didn’t venture inside the castle but I am going to save this treat for a rainy day when I have some time to myself. There is a Pheasantry in the grounds which is great to stroll around and spot some very exotic looking birds. It is home to a number of rare and endangered species that Sudeley are helping to preserve. There is also a very enticing café in the Banqueting Hall but again this looks like a treat for when you don’t have children in tow desperate to get to the play area.

The adventure playground is the main attraction for children and who can blame them!

childrens playground castle

castle play areaadventure playground Cotswolds


The fort is an amazing wooden structure with lots of different levels to climb up and down, a zip wire, turrets and a slide. (The slide was definitely G’s favourite part). There are trees sheltering this amazing fort so it is nice and shady on a hot day but can also provide great cover if it begins to rain (which it did when we were there!)


slide sudeley

In another part of the play area is an adventure trail and swings. The adventure trail provided great fun with us all trying to get from one side to the other without touching the ground. This was much trickier than it sounds.

The only down side is the entrance price is quite expensive for a one off visit. Children under 5 go free and children 5-15 are £5.50 but adult entry is £14.50, which if your main reason for going is to take the children can seem quite expensive. If however you are going to be visiting regularly the season ticket prices are great value with an adult season ticket £26.00 or a family pass for £37.50. I know we will visit lots during the summer holidays and have plenty more play dates there so my season ticket will end up being a great investment. I love it as much as the children as I always have one very tired little boy on my hands when we leave.

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Instagram tips with Emily Quinton

flowers in a window

Last Friday I was lucky enough to go to a workshop on Instagram tips with the amazing Emily Quinton. The workshop was a double whammy as not only is Emily one of the most talented and inspirational photographers about but the event was held at The Hambledon, a gorgeous shop located within the grounds of one of my favourite places in Gloucestershire, Cowley Manor.

The Hambledon is one of those shops where you feel as though you could move in and be quite happy to live there. They have a great range of quirky home ware, coffee table books to die for and the most gorgeous selection of clothes. I really had to restrain myself and only bought a couple of items and my copy of Maker Spaces.

Maker Spaces by Emily Quinton

Emily has just published her first book called ‘Maker Spaces’. The book showcases the homes and studios of some of the worlds finest ‘makers’, highlighting their style, inspirations and what drives them in their creativity.

(If you click on the image it will take you to Amazon)

Emily Quinton Maker Spaces

The Hambledon, Cowley

The workshop group was very small so we had an amazing opportunity to ask Emily tons of questions and find out how she works. The one thing that amazed me the most was that all her pictures on Instagram are taken with her iPhone and not some super expensive camera.

Emily is very much known for her images of flowers and all things floral, posting a flower based image to Instagram each morning. She talked through how to get inspiration from props and colours and to not be afraid to experiment. The workshop has really made me think about

  1. how I use my phone to take pictures
  2. how I think about the light and texture in my pictures
  3. what I take my pictures of

If you have a look on my Instagram account I think you will see a definite shift in my style (which I hope you think is for the better 😉 ) Emily really stressed about listening to what you like and what inspires you rather than trying to follow a certain tribe or style. I think being real to yourself is brilliant advice in any area of your life and not just blogging/photography.


Do you use Instagram? I am hooked and really love looking through peoples images, in fact since last week I have been far more on Instagram than twitter. I would love to know how and why you use Instagram.