Friday Favourites 08.06.18: Poldark returns, hotel pics and quirky summer decor

Happy Friday Ladies! Another hot and sunny week is heading toward the week-end - what better than a photo of Ross Poldark in the surf to say hurrah, summer is here! And straight to the ultimate favourite of the week.... 1. Getting excited about the return of Poldark on SUNDAY!!!  Caspar and I are super excited and already gossiping and speculating about what might happen. Top of my wish list is that the BEASTLY (there is no other way to describe him) Osborne Whitworth gets his come-uppance. Anyone who saw season 3 must agree he is now a more dastardly baddie than that snake George Warleggan. For those of you who love period dramas and haven't seen this you must!

On the theme of period pieces I was taking photos at work this week to post on our websites. The hotel is Victorian and my parents have kept it as 'in keeping' as possible, but with modern elements in places too (like our new extensions). The Victorian décor, furniture and ornaments etc aren't for everyone and some people have complained the hotel is like a 'museum' or they would prefer it 'modernised.' I think if I put these photos on the website it will make it clear we are a Victorian era property and attract people who appreciate it and don't want a clone hotel. So favourite no 2 is 'embracing the quirk.' We were watching 'Diners, Drive Ins and Dives' the other week and there was a restaurant that refused to serve French fries; the staff wore t-shirts that said 'we aren't for everyone'. Love. It. So here is an insight into the 'quirk at work'. I appreciate this won't be for everyone, but I have learned to love the antiques in the old place:

Original fire place. For some reason we have a picture of Teddy Roosevelt on the first floor. I kind of love the randomness of it:

Barometer. Every so often someone who knows what it is taps it.

Original fire place in the office / reception - it has a huge log on it I brought from home that will never burn, but when we get it going in winter it is glorious. I used to like it so hot I could feel it warming my back. On the right there is a bell - it must have been to ring the servants when sitting by the fire to ask for more fuel. We use the brass fire accessories to tend to the fire and carry the brass scuttle to get more tinder.

Yes, those are bed heaters and chamber pots. If there was an apocalypse the hotel would survive - we would just use all the antiques and forget the 20th and 21st century every happened.

As if to prove my point - copper kettles and copper biscuit barrel. There used to be a wooden and brass knife sharpening machine next to this but it seems to have disappeared.

 Another old windup clock we all forget to wind up. And an organ.

Lots of sideboards everywhere, and wash stand jugs and dishes like this. Like I said, if all 23 showers broke, we'd be prepared, ha!

Lots of chandeliers. The original owner knocked out or thorough a lot of the old Victorian coving, dado and picture rails so the fake ceilings had to be taken down and the original features painstakingly restored:

In the bar:
We also have another painting of King George above the bar bell but I must have lost that one.

I am jumping now to No 3 - a natural makeup find. I have a bit of a mix of regular and natural make-up. Every so often I find a brilliant, affordable natural makeup that is even better than its regular counterparts:

This was less than £7, lasts all day (even in this heat) and the colours are great. Also when thrown into a makeup back it doesn't break up. I like using natural eye products where possible as my eyes can be sensitive (especially in hay fever season) and I think - it if this product works brilliantly well without added chemicals it is a win - win!

Favourite No 4 has to be sucking it up (American phrase garnered from my American go getter friend Sandy) and getting up at 05:25 yesterday to do a 4 minute cardio and weights workout.! I kind of knew that it would need to happen at this time - I'd been wracking my brain to figure out when else I'd have time to do it and there was literally no other option. I knew if I left it until 9pm (only other time slot) I would either be too tired or would have to cut back on blogging (nooooooo!). So 05:25 it had to be! Plus it has the added benefit of other house-holders, including pets, still being in bed. I thought it would be hideously difficult to get out of bed, that I'd feel sick, or see the sofa downstairs and just climb on it, but it was actually OK. I set my own alarm (that's a first) and got up straight away - knowing it would be unfair to wake everyone else at that time.

I left my workout gear ready in the bathroom, and my yoga mat, weights and the DVD (yes DVD) ready in the lounge.  Couldn't get the DVD to work at first which was incredibly frustrating at that time of day, but once I did it was pretty easy to get in to - and very energising. It helped that I was familiar with and kind of knew the workout off my heart (last time I did this was 8 years ago though!). Once the cats had been released and the dog woke up barking, and Andy and Caspar came down to go out on a walk at 6am it got a bit crazy, kickboxing around them, but it got completed! I had a real sense of achievement, felt like I had more energy and more focused getting through everything in the morning. Will definitely repeat it and get this done 3 times a week. I am looking forward to seeing the results!

This DVD might be 12 years old but it is great! I mentioned above I felt very focused and on top of things after this workout first thing (plus it was good knowing it was then done for the day). I was waiting for the 'crash' of tiredness to come but it really didn't - I think this could be that you get to that point in your life where you are really just tired most of the time and just learn to get on with it, ha! I did get to work and checked in the mirror late morning and thought to myself ' blimey, my eyes look puffy!', thinking I was just tired. Later that day I realise I was so 'focused' and patting myself on the back, I forgot to put mascara on all day. Had a lovely massage later that day - so nice that the immense knots are finally being manually forced out! The combination of the massage pummelling and the workout may hit me tomorrow.... Favourite No 5 - this magazine for home décor ideas:

I am thinking favourite No6 - this salmon red and blue  colour scheme would look great for our 'summer theme' and I am thinking of moving our blue, yellow and grey through to the conservatory:

I LOVE the mis-matched fabrics and prints - the cosy chaos of it.

This has a lot of the elements I love in home décor - great prints, animal themed décor, natural elements (the bird, the twigs), a couple of antique elements thrown in and flowers.

Our front room always has a ton of cushions and throws of different colours, fabrics and patterns. I love these unique fabrics and the fact nothing matches. I think it is the type of look that has to happen organically over time, rather than go to a store and buy it all at once. I could lie on this sofa with a book all day! Ahhhhh!

A bit of a different Friday Favourites this week - I hope it wasn't too dull! Have a wonderful week-end everyone - please leave your comments - do you like antiques, quirkiness and cottage looks? If not what is your favourite hotel style and favourite summer home décor style? Has anyone seen Poldark? Do you have any natural make-up recommendations? Or please just say Hi - I would love to hear from you! Big Hugs - Joanne xxx

Linking up with Erika and Narci for Friday Favourites:


It's sort of unbelievable to me that people complain about the period look of your hotel. But then, that might be my American perspective. As a relatively new country, anything old is an exciting anomaly.

I really don't think you would want to try to run that hotel IN Victorian times, though. Imagine emptying all those chamber pots and hauling all the water for those wash basins. Modern plumbing alllll the way for me, thanks.

Cassidy Adams said…
Proud of you for getting up early and making time for YOU! I try to, but I agree, it's so HARD:/. Enjoyed the Instagram stories:P
Shannon said…
I love all of the decor from the hotel!!!! I am fascinated with that era and would love to spend a night there! I love the room decorations and that color scheme! Such pretty colors. Way to go "sucking it up" and getting those workouts done!!!! Morning workouts can be grueling but once you are done, you don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day! Have a great weekend Joanne :)
Girl Meets Bow said…
I love all the antiques in the hotel- they give it such a cozy feel! And YAY you for getting up so early. I wake up at 4:30 am but I definitely don't get cardio... unless walking the dog counts! :) Have a lovely weekend!
Europafox said…
We do find the Americans and Canadians appreciate the history and antiques more, and it is great when you do have guests that don't compare you to a Hilton and see it for what it is - old, quirky, authentic. We can't make everyone happy and I now realise that :) No, I definitely WOULDN'T want to have run it in Victorian times... Although Trip Advisor wasn't about then, and people couldn't complain about wi-fi? Two sets of relatives of mind in the 1800s ran hotels - one was 'temperance' - that might have been easier too, ha!! Yes I agree though, I couldn't be emptying chamber pots and filling those bed warmers with hot coals everyday.
Europafox said…
Yes Cassidy you are right - it did feel like sneaky me time - got to stick to it! Thanks for the encouragement! :)
Europafox said…
Shannon you would only love the hotel if you didn't mind ghosts! It was a gentleman's residence, then a school run by nuns and we are haunted by one of the nuns still (seriously). I really loved that feeling, like you said, of getting the workout done first thing. It is probably the easiest time of year to get started as it is soooo light outside - got to get into the routine now and keep at it! Have a great week-end too!
Europafox said…
Thanks Gentry - it is definitely cosy and comes to life at Christmas! 4:30 AM!!!! Wow - RESPECT! I think if I did that I'd have to be in bed by 9pm! Have a great week-end - with some sleep-ins?;)
Melanie said…
Omg I love Aidan Turner and I forgot about Poldark!! I've been wanting to watch this forever and keep forgetting it exists! He's so hot! lol. Wow what a beautiful hotel! Quirky at it's finest! That's awesome your parents tried to keep the Victorian look. Oh and I still use the 10 minute exercise DVD's from about 20 years ago. They still work!! =)

Hopped over from Erika's linkup! Have a great weekend! Melanie | Toots + Dill Blog
Europafox said…
I kicked myself Melanie after doing this post as I should have added hairy chests as another Friday favourite,haha! He has such an interesting personality in the series, I have to add;) Seriously, one minute I love him and the next I am exasperated with him! You have to watch it, it is on UK Amazon so possibly on the US version too. Let me know what you think! : Thanks for your comments about the hotel! We are trying to hold on in changing times, staying true to its heritage while trying to add modern elements. The Firm is brill isn't it? Ive only ever done this but would like to try others when I get fitter, I'm going to look on netflix. Thanks for your great comment, going to head to your blig ASAp x
I love the embracing the quirk favorite. I am all about natural makeup. I wonder if I can find that here.
Europafox said…
It was actually a shocker how good the eye-shadow was -most things are usually half way down my face by lunchtime!

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