A new coat

I’ve been steering clear of the sales in the last week or two, as sadly it’s been a bumper month with both car insurance and gym membership renewals up.

But two things I genuinely do need are a new black coat and leather bag. I still haven’t found a bag I like (picky? me…?) but last night I did stumble upon a gorgeous black coat that fulfils my very specific brief, the Katy Fur Collar Coat from Oasis. I seem to be a proper sucker for fake fur at the moment – if you’re a tactile person, it just feels so lovely and comforting.

This set me back £45 – which for a black coat I’m very happy with – as long as the quality is decent when it arrives, it’s work as a brilliant cost-per-wear ratio!

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All the Way to Winchester

At Christmas, our friends moved down to Winchester, in the south of England – and let’s face it, it would have been down right rude not to go down and visit them, wouldn’t it?

It turns out Winchester is not only super handy for the airport and very picturesque, but it’s also a foodies paradise.

We flew down early doors on Saturday morning, and post-run (for them, not me – I enjoyed a quiet house, a cup of tea and my friend’s latest edition of Ideal Home magazine…) we headed to Côte for brunch. I had a hard time deciding between the chive scrambled eggs, and the crepe complet, but plumped for the crepe. And my oh my, this was a good choice! The crepe itself was light as a feather, with lovely bacon and fried eggs – there was also a delicious creamy, cheesey layer which we couldn’t quite decide on – maybe crème fraiche, or a little bechamel? Either way, this was delicious, and I could quite happily have scoffed two.

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After brunch, we went for a wander around Winchester, which is just the perfect place for some post-brunch shopping – a great choice of shops in really characterful buildings (on a side note, I do love it when stores have to choose sympathetic store fronts and signage, rather than sticking up some neon monstrosity), and lovely cafes and pubs. We stopped off for a cheeky glass of Prosecco in Green’s Bar, had another mini wander and popped in to the Mucky Duck for some more brief refreshments. I do feel the need to point out we didn’t wobble home! We left the gents in the pub to ‘finish their pint’ (in reality the cheeky boys ordered another after we left!) and took a detour into the Coop for snacks on the way home. The next couple of hours we did some serious vegging to work up an appetite for dinner…

Our hosts had so many dinner options they were keen to try, we ended up booking one place for starters and then on somewhere else for main. Starters were tapas at El Sabio. Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of this, but it’s fare to say we probably over did it for starters…particularly when our friend added a panic tortilla to the mix! We had all the usual suspects – patatas bravas, manchego, prawn skewers. It was all very fresh and tasty, and would have quite happily tried more dishes if we weren’t off somewhere else for the main course.

Catch of the day at The Green Man, Winchester

Catch of the day at The Green Man, Winchester

Following starters we strolled – waddled – on to The Green Man for mains. We did need a bit of a reprieve so took our time and had a few drinks before ordering dinner. Our host’s sister had recently had her wedding reception here, and I can totally understand why – I loved it. The decor was gorgeous and it was so cosy I could equally see sitting by the fireplace reading the paper and having brunch, as us having drinks and dinner. The men shared a main course, and I shared with our friend Jo. We had the catch of the day, trout with sautéed potato and spring vegetables. This was so simple, perfectly executed and utterly delicious. In spite of being stuffed, I could quite happily have eaten the whole damn lot. The boys shared a good burger, which sadly I didn’t get a photo of.

It’s fair to say, we absolutely loved Green Man, and I’m fairly sure if we lived in Winchester, it would be our favourite local.

I’d wholeheartedly recommend Winchester if you’re looking for a relaxed weekend break, especially if you like long walks in nice scenery, great restaurants and nice bars to sup a drink or two. I’m always looking for UK break ideas, so please leave recommendations in the comment!