Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Introducing ........The Afternoon Tea Diaries!

Here at Mrs Lils there is nothing that we love more than a spot of afternoon tea, so we have decided to start a new feature on the blog.....The Afternoon Tea Diaries. 

We often find ourselves stumbling upon afternoon tea served in the most unusual of places so we thought that it might be nice to share this information with our readers. We will always be honest about the menu, price, taste and most importantly, how delicious the tea was. 

First up was afternoon tea at The Bluebell in the very pretty Henley-in-Arden. The service costs from £15 and all in all it is excellent value for money. 

It wasn't the first time that we have been to The Bluebell for afternoon tea but we both commented on the fact that this time the service was a little disappointing compared to previous visits.

The Bluebell is a lovely pub in the picturesque village of Henley-in-Arden in Warwickshire and has a wonderful feel to it which offers a mix of high end gastro meets elegant vintage. We have eaten there on many occasions and have been lucky enough to dine with them for both lunch and dinner too; most recently I celebrated my birthday there.

So off we went on a lovely summers afternoon....

We were seated at a lovely table near to a window that overlooked the bustling high street so we were perfectly happy to wile away a few hours chatting and watching the world go by. 

Afternoon tea was served fairly promptly and the selection of sandwiches and sweet things was very nice indeed. We were most impressed that they had provided some sandwiches without their homemade mayonnaise, as my friend is pregnant, very thoughtful of them we thought. 

We had a good selection of sandwiches followed by delicious mini fruit crumble tarts. There was also mini lemon sponges which were nice but we felt perhaps not up to their usual standard in terms of taste. We soon dipped in to the extremely moreish rose and champagne jelly pots and these were simply amazing; the rose was delicately light and considering I am not a huge fan of jelly, I could have eaten these over and over again.

We paused for another cup of tea at this point and this is perhaps where things weren't up to the normal standard that we'd received in the past....I don't think that I have ever had to ask for the pot to be refilled before, as they are generally super attentive. I obviously don't have an issue with asking for new water for the pot, because that would just be lazy, but it took us an age to find anyone to do so and considering that they weren't super busy, I did think this seemed a little odd. It then took them quite a while to bring the fresh water and during the remainder of our service we weren't offered more water again which is just not how it normally is at The Bluebell.

When our new water arrived we both indulged in a delicious scone with cream and jam which I must say was baked to perfection and tasted beautiful. 

All in all we spent a lovely afternoon catching up and it was finished off with a huge hot chocolate which was just perfect.

I am sure we will be back at The Bluebell for afternoon tea soon and I am sure than once again all will be well with the service.

Bye for now,
Mrs Lil xx

Monday, 29 November 2010

Playing the waiting game.......

So here's the deal.....about 11 years ago someone very important told Mr Lil and I that we'd have problems conceiving......cue lots of upset, heartache, panicking and tears. Then somewhere along the way it got easier and better and even though it was still very hard at times, it did become more bearable.

Fast forward 11 years and everything changed. I had an operation which was a massive thing for me (being the complete drama queen that I am), had some blood tests, used a sparkly machine that told me that I'd ovulated and was more or less waved on my merry way by my GP. Great. no I mean it, really really great.............

I now hover between absolute disbelief (is this amount of disbelief actually possible without me being pregnant?!?) and pure excitement! On the disbelief days, of which there are many, I really struggle to believe all the good news and just struggle and find it hard to come to terms with it all. I'm aware that my head is playing the catch-up game a little but it seems to be stopping for a little snooze along the way too - if you're listening head then a gentle jog would be great. I try and talk about it - to the people who aren't completely sick of listening (are there any of those left?!) but it's so hard to explain, really it is. I'm also aware of the fact that there are lots of people in a much worse position than me and really I am getting all that I have ever wished for so really I sound incredibly ungrateful. But, my head has thought one way for so long that sometimes it really is impossible to think another. On the exciting days it's the complete polar opposite! I am completely thrilled, have so much hope and belief that I find it hard to contain it and I really do believe that this will happen! But then, you know what........disbelief rears it's ugly head fairly promptly and has a big old laugh at me. Laughs in my face, mocks me and taunts me like a playground bully. How silly do I feel for believing excitement when really disbelief is clearly the front runner!

Apologies if you stopped by for a joyous read but it's hard to explain things sometimes and easier to write them. Hopefully soon enough the excitement will strike out as the front runner and I'll have my lovely blog writing head on.


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Getting there.......

I haven't updated on my weight loss for a little while so I thought that I would do so today seeing as today marks the day when despite the too-ing and fro-ing of holiday weight gain I have now lost 2 stone. 

There is still a way to go to get to where I want to be but I really feel like I can do it this time. No radical diets, no starving myself just plain and simple healthy eating and exercise. There was a time when I thought there was a little diet secret that I didn't know, that all my slimmer friends had forgotten to tell me but no, it is as simple as making a conscious effort. 

I don't think it's been easy but at the same time it hasn't been hard! I have to make educated decisions about food everyday and generally be aware of my calorie and fat intake but at the same time I am still eating things that I enjoy and have perhaps even found new things that I love - pomegranates being one of them!

So, the journey continues with the end goal in sight now! I will get there and whatever outcome that brings at least I will be a slimmer, happier Mrs Lil.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dear Infertility.......

Dear Infertility,

I think that you have been expecting this letter for some time, perhaps even longer than I have been planning to write it for. 

We've been together for almost 11 years now but if I'm honest, I just really don't see a future for us. In the early days I hated you but fairly soon you won me over and I got used to having you around. I stopped feeling like you were bullying me and picking on me and instead I came to trust you and find comfort in you. However, now it's time for you to move on and find someone else. How I wish that you didn't have to find someone else, someone to put through those agonising days, tear filled nights and someone whose heart you'll make ache but I know that you will and my deepest respect goes out to that person for having you as part of their life.

I often wonder how I'll cope without you......how will I cope with having no-one to blame, how will I cope with not having a reason, how will I cope with you not being the first thing that I think of in the morning and the last thing that I think of at night. How will I cope without your voice in my head telling me how inadequate I am, how my husband would be better off with someone else, how I am the only friend left in my group of friends who hasn't got children.....How will I cope? The answer to this is I don't know, really I don't but I am willing to at least try.

Right now I feel like the new girl at school with no friends, cold in the playground with no-one to turn to. You did this to me, you made me depend on you to the point where no-one else would understand so how can I expect others to have the answers now. But actually I don't mind being the new girl, I don't mind making new friends and I don't mind shaking off my security blanket even if that makes me cold for a little while. I'd rather be cold and hopeful than warm and empty of hope.

I'd like to say that it was good while it lasted but it really wasn't! But you did teach me a lot about myself, stuff that I'd never have learnt otherwise. 

Perhaps you're not ready to leave just yet but when you are please can you lock the door behind you and post the keys through the letterbox....you won't be needing them again.

Mrs Lil

PS - Perhaps I'll write to you again and let you know how I am coping without you

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Is it so bad to land in the stars.....?

Earlier this week I stumbled across a blog which I then sat and read from start to finish last night. If you have the time and the inclination to then it is well worth a read. The author writes with astounding honesty and whilst the truth is at times hard to read it is also refreshing to know that other people experience things in the same way.

When I sit and think about all that Mr Lil and I have been through in the quest to have a baby I sometimes wonder how we have survived it. I knew when I met him that Mr Lil was the one for me - I remember waking my sister up at a ridiculously silly hour in the morning to tell her about this 'boy' that I'd met and how fabulous he was. I remember that within two days of meeting him I contemplated ending things because I was so scared of how powerful my feelings for him were. I also remember knowing that it was right to move in with him after less than a week - I will never ever forget the look of utter disgust and pure desperation on my Mother's face when I was putting my belongings in to the car to move to my new home. Add to that the huge amount of negativity that our relationship has received at one point or another and mainly from one person, sometimes I really do wonder how we have ever got this far. But we have and I 100% know that we are beyond breakable.

I read the blog with such sadness at times and pure relief that I wasn't able to relate to the bloggers posts about how infertility had affected her marriage. That doesn't mean that I think that my marriage is better than hers or stronger or different in any other way than the fact that by the time infertility came along for us we had already been through so much and learnt how to communicate with one another that I think that we just felt it was another thing to have to deal with in life. Smug....no.....grateful.....yes!

Recently I have been seeing a hypnotherapist/counsellor and I think that this is helping hugely with my positivity etc but also the sessions are really teaching me so much about myself and what I want from life. The overwhelming thing that it has taught me is that it's perfectly reasonable to aim for the moon but you know what, landing in the stars is just perfect too.

( NB - I do know that meteorologically that isn't entirely correct)


Monday, 1 November 2010


Wow, where does the time go! I haven't blogged for ages but life has been so busy!

Well, what has been happening! Work has been super busy which is all good, I've been in hospital which wasn't so good in the short term but really good in the long term (I hope), we've celebrated my lovely sisters birthday, had a completely relaxing and beautiful weekend away to celebrate my fabulous friends 30th birthday! All in all it has been an extremely good few months.

So, why haven't I blogged about all of these wonderful things.......at one point I didn't think that I wanted to blog anymore but now I've decided that I blog for me and if people read it and it's not funny or they don't like it then so be it because really it's my little online diary and a place to remember the things that made me laugh and equally the things that made me cry!

I really feel as though so much has changed for me in the past few months, I almost feel like a different person. I was chatting to someone recently and explained how I feel like I haven't felt like me for so long but didn't realise it and it was only when I suddenly realised recently that I felt like my old self again that I realised that I hadn't done for so long. Life has been so hard at times for so many reasons but I really feel that I have turned a corner lately and some days I feel like I could cry because I feel so emotionally content and happy!

I was driving today and I was listening to a song with words that nearly made me cry....I used to get like that a lot but realised again that it was something that I'd not experienced for so long. It was like I had closed off so many of my emotions for fear of hurt and upset all over again, that in reality I actually wasn't letting myself experience so much of the good stuff for fear of it going wrong! But as I said, I really feel that I have turned a corner lately!

The plans for a little Lil are still underway and surely that alone is something completely amazing to look forward to....perhaps I've finally woken up and realised that.


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Complete Lovliness

I have been a completely spoilt Mrs Lil this week!

On Saturday I spent a wonderful day with the very lovely Sarah from Blue Door Bakery. I visited the bakery and spent the day decorating beautiful cupcakes and just generally chatting the day away. Sarah also very kindly bought me some pretty flowers (which are above) and a selection of lovely Cath Kidston goodies, all with their own little tale to tell which I thought was super thoughtful and she clearly knows me very well! I really did have a lovely day.

Following on from Saturday I spent a lovely evening with Suzie and Laura. The evening flew by with us chatting all about Laura's impending wedding and hen events and we even watched Suzie's wedding DVD from earlier this year! After a hectic few days at work it was perfect! I haven't really known Laura and Suzie very long at all but their kindness astounds me. Last night they gave me with a lovely and really thoughtful collage of C&P pictures! They both know how sad I was to have closed C&P so they thought that it would be a nice reminder of all the lovely cupcakes that I'd baked over the past year or so! It really is lovely and is going to go up on the wall in my office! Thank you ladies.

I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such lovely people in my life. Some of them I have known for a very long time, one of them I am lucky enough to call my sister but some of them I have met very recently at a time when I didn't really expect to be making new friendships but you know what.......I am very glad that I did. I am a very lucky Mrs Lil!

On another note - 1lb loss this week!! What's that about?! 1lb, it's barely worth mentioning.