a photo diary of pictures not from London

London is like other great cities with its endless list of things to see and do, places to eat, history, art exhibits, and architecture. It's exciting and fun and it can make your heart go pitter patter when you don't look at its prices. But the lesser heard about villages and towns surrounding London deserve a little love. They've got their own quirks and charms. They've got their own histories. This post is a little love note in photos to those villages. 


Nestled away to the northwest of London lies a small town called St. Neots. And this place holds a special part of my heart because it houses some childhood memories from my life in England. After grabbing a delicious brunch at Bohemia cafe, we walked off calories consumed around the city park, through the antique emporium, and down the alleyways of the quaint British village. Much had changed, but much had not. There was a Pizza Express on the same street as a Domino's and a Pizza Hut which sticks out in my brain as a very interesting marketing strategy. 



I spent a day out in St. Albans. Really, we went there specifically for waffles thanks to a recommendation from Tavener's friend, Lizzie. After stuffing our faces with fresh fruit waffles, we made the most of an afternoon by checking out the cathedral {donation-based entry} and grabbing a coffee at a vegan cafe {me, not him...Tavener doesn't do hot drinks}. A week later, we returned to St. Albans for a games night at Lizzie's flat with the whole gang of Tavener's friends, whom I had met the first few days back in England at a BBQ. It was such a fun night. I ate all the garlic bread and I never won a single game of Werewolves which still bothers me since I was literally always right about who the werewolf was...not that I'm competitive. 



I was based in Greenfield this go 'round in the U.K. I got to meet my Luke's family. My time in Greenfield consisted mostly of cooking dinners with his father, discussing proper tea-making strategy with his Nana, swapping stories with his sister-in-law, and watching Harry Potter in his family's lounge wearing my signature NZ wool socks and drinking too much tea. It's a tiny wee town but it was just the right place to spend time writing and pitching essays to publishers. I'm not I would have been disciplined enough to sit and do it in London. 



{+ technically BRANSCOMBE + SEATON}

Over the bank holiday, we went on a short road trip South to spend a few days in the tiny seaside village of Beer. The town is particularly significant to Tavener and his family, so getting to stroll along High Street while he gave commentary on every special memory made Beer my favourite stop on my "out of London" tour this U.K. visit. {Half} pints in pubs after coastal walks in the salty air, my lips chapped from the water and wind; nights spent cozied up by the fireplace in the family cottage, dancing on the wood floors-- I couldn't be happier that we made the trip to Beer. And, it should be noted for all my fellow nature lovers, Devonshire really hits it out of the ballpark. 

You can read my weekender's guide to Beer here. 


Time in England was bittersweet. The circumstances surrounding me re-routing myself to the UK were incredibly tragic and not ideal in the least but the thin silver lining was, without a doubt, getting to put the faces to so many names has been wonderful. England and the family I was enveloped in made me miss New Zealand in immeasurable, nostalgic ways, but it also made my heart happy to know that this little island at the top of the world is filled with warm and welcoming faces for me similarly to my favourite little island at the bottom of the world. All is not lost though, as I'll be making my way back to New Zealand SOON!!  I PROMISE! NO MORE GETTING DISTRACTED! 

Also, as a side note that's not completely related but is kind of related to "photos"... these are the last photos that I've edited pre-Lightroom! Meaning, I've managed to sort out some editing like a big girl {I know, right?} and have begun taking Skillshare classes. WHO AM I EVEN? We're in it now, guys.  I have so so much to learn, but one of my tasks for this coming year is to really make an effort on this space, meaning the Lightroom that's been on my computer will no longer be unused.