Hall’s Croft

Hall’s Croft is a 17th century house in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, home to William Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna Hall and her husband, Dr. Hall. This was the last house we saw in Stratford-upon-Avon, along with Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Shakespeare’s New Place and Shakespeare’s Grave. The house can be visited with a joint ticket and it’s very interesting even if the main reason to visit Stratford-upon-Avon is to see where Shakespeare lived and worked.

 Hall's Croft

The timbered house was built in 1613. It was home to professional people before being a small school in the mid 19th century. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust purchased Hall’s Croft in 1949 and after repairs it was opened to the public two years later.

 Hall's Croft

The house is gorgeous, like all houses from that period.

John Hall was a well known doctor. His case notes were published after his death in 1657 and they were a popular textbook for other doctors for many years. Dr Hall was a compassionate physician. He would treat both rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant patients. Some physicians at that time thought astronomy or blood-letting were good medical practices, but Dr. Hall preferred treatments made from plants, herbs, animal extracts, gemstones and rocks.

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Weekly Shopping

I saw a blog post written by Dana about her weekly shopping and I’ve decided to write a similar post, as an alternative to “What’s cooking”. It was an interesting experiment for me too as we don’t usually buy everything we need for a week in one day. As we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, we have to go shopping quite often.
I think we spent a little more this week as I bought vanilla paste, chocolate spread, snacks and honey and I don’t buy those weekly. Those would add up to a bit over £10, so we might be in the average spend category.

01 Weekly Shopping

This was our main shop with another couple of small top-ups. Some of the things in here will last for more than 1 week and some are not on our usual shopping list, more of an impulse purchase. The total for this is £54, considering the top-ups, it got to approximately £65 per week for 2 adults. I obviously didn’t include any alcohol and the dog’s food is not included either. That is higher comparing to the £52.20 an average household spends on food on a week (average household has 2.4 people, so the spend should be under £50 for 2 to get close to the average). I took the information from ONS, if you want to have a look.

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I’ve been to Frodsham, a small market town in Cheshire a few weeks ago, but only now I was able to squeeze the post about it. I mentioned Frodsham before, when I reviewed The Queen’s Head, the 17th century pub we had lunch that day. In Frodsham there are lots of lovely places to have a drink or a meal, a beautiful park to walk in and an Art Gallery.
Another interesting thing about Frodsham is that it was a filming location for Far From the Madding Crowd, a great movie I saw last year. Other movies filmed there are Hollyoaks, Merseybeat and Robin Hood.


I’ve visited the gallery and I liked the pieces on display. Some of them are for sale, so I’ve decided not to take pictures inside as I wasn’t sure about the copyright. The Castle Park Arts Centre has its own parking and there is a lovely tea room.

02 Frodsham

Outside the art centre is the park. It’s lovely on a warm day, there is a garden and a playground for children. There is also plenty of beautiful cut grass where you can have a picnic or just relax. I spotted this walnut with green walnuts in it. Some of the trees have plaques with their names, a nice touch.

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Wheatsheaf Inn Wirral

I’ve been to the Wheatsheaf Inn, an old pub in Wirral for many years, but I never blogged about it, not even a small mention. The pub was recommended to me by the guy who sold us the car and I know how strange that sounds. Locally is known as the Thatch due to its thatched roof. My husband and I were both very excited about the pub and when we mentioned it to our friends, they told us Wheatsheaf Inn is one of their favourite pubs too. In celebration of this, we went there for drinks, obviously.

Wheatsheaf Inn Wirral

The pub celebrated its 400th birthday in 2011. In the next building is the Cowshed restaurant. The restaurant gets its name from a long history of dairy farming and because it’s a converted old cattle barn, 250 years old.

Wheatsheaf Inn Wirral

This time we went during the day for coffee and a light lunch and I was very pleased with everything. We did have to wait a bit for our lunch, but I wasn’t too bothered about it. We had the time and I like the place so much that I was happy to wait.

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Witley Court and Gardens

It’s been a while since I visited a ruin, so Witley Court and Gardens was on my list of things to see. I love ruins, I find them romantic and a bit sad, but in a lovely way. Witley Court is now managed by English Heritage.

 Witley Court and Gardens

In the 1890s Witley Court was visited by the fashionable society. One of the frequent visitors was the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII.

 Witley Court and Gardens part of English Heritage

Witley Court started as a medieval manor house and it was transformed into a substantial Jacobean mansion by 1655 when it was bought by Thomas Foley. The family started their business by manufacturing nails. Gradually they abandoned the industrial base and went on concentrating on being landed aristocrats and politicians. The 1st Baron Foley (1673–1733) enlarged the house by adding wings on either sides.

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Women’s Running Race Series – 5k

Last Sunday I’ve been on Women’s Running Race Series, the 5k run. I mentioned I’m going to race before, when I talked about How I prepare for 5k in collaboration with Roots Collective, the oficial sponsor of race series. In Liverpool, Women’s Running Race Series was held in Sefton Park. There are more races if you want to have a go.

I made a routine and I was able to stick to it in the first three weeks, but after 7th July I had some health issues, a cold paired with a headache, and I wasn’t able to run as planned. I did some pushups, but it’s not exactly helpful for running.

I wanted to have a good time as the first point in my 40 before 40 list was to run a 5k in under 40 minutes. I was motivated to do that, but I wasn’t sure I will be able to do it.

Women's Running Race Series 5k Liverpool

I usually workout or run in the mornings, after walking the dog, at around 8am, before breakfast. On Sunday, at the race, I was running later, as the race started a bit after 10am. So, I had a light breakfast, only a sandwich and some raw peppers, less than I usually have. I had two espressos 30-40 minutes before the race and a banana 15 minutes before. Now I think I should have had the coffee and the banana closer to the race. For the race I made my own energy drink with golden syrup and sea salt (it has more minerals than regular salt). I though it was a good idea, until I had a drink during running and it was yucky. I still drank it as it was a better option comparing to water, but I’m not going to make this energy drink again.

I managed to get to my objective. According to my app, I did 5k in 37 minutes. I crossed the finish line in 39 minutes (and 5.2 km according to my app) and either way I was under the 40 minutes. I think the difference is that I start my app before actually passing the start line, as I was further down the field. I will consider the 37 minutes as the result as I paced myself with the app. I was looking at the stats when I was running, I knew the time I wanted to achieve and I made sure I did it.

I’m a long way off the winners, I imagine they had under 30 minutes, but for me this was the best result I had and I’m proud of myself.

The official results are out and my Chip time is 39:01. I finished 39 from 73.

*I was invited. All opinions are my own.

British Style Collective – Shopping and Designers

Yesterday I blogged about British Style Collective – Catwalk and Alcatel Arena Show and today I’m blogging about Shopping and Designers. More details on the BSC website*.

Shopping and Designers at British Style Collective

I mentioned yesterday about Gary McQueen (top-left) and his scarf debut collection: Life – Death – Rebirth. The collection is a tribute to Alexander McQueen, his uncle. For the Life scarf (top-right), the modernist fantasy birds design he said he used real pigeons, trained to take parts in photoshoots. That is impressive.
The second one (bottom-left) is Death – carved ivory. Alexander cared about animals and he incorporated that in his collections, like NATURAL Dis-Tinction, Un-Natural Selection in 2009. He presented the impact of humanity on the environment by using antique taxidermy in an artspace in a building used as a morgue in Paris. As I said, Death was my favourite scarf. As it’s silk and quite expensive (£250), I will not buy it. I don’t wear silk for ethical reasons.
The last scarf of the collection (bottom-right) is Rebirth, a celebration of femininity.

I’ve embedded the youtube video again, as it’s just as relevant today as it was yesterday.

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