A few weeks a go I went to visit some good friends of mine down near Guildford, and was once again lucky enough to have a whole weekends worth of good weather to enjoy the good company in.
Ellie and Ollie have recently bought their first house together. They are my grown up friends. Real jobs, real house, and a very real wedding coming up that I am beyond excited for. They’d only moved in a fortnight before our visit, so we enjoyed making the house feel like home, by creating lots of very happy memories in it.
After a pretty long drive down for Tom and I, and long days at work for them, Friday night was spent nibbling on a table full of food, drinking pimms in the garden, and catching up before things turned competitive with a game of cranium. A game I’d never played before which revealed I’m crazy speedy at solving anagrams (probably because I’m so crazy rubbish at spelling, that my first drafts tend to be one long anagram needing to be solved before I hit publish!).
We woke up Saturday morning to sausage sandwiches (veggie for me, meaty for them)cups of tea and a whole summers day to be filled at our leisure. We didn’t fancy travelling far, as we wanted to make the most of their garden with a mid afternoon barbeque before heading for a night out in Guildford that evening, so we stuck to their local area.
North Camp is only 10 minutes away from Guildford on the train and a mere half an hour to London – but not many people seem to know that yet, so keep it between us. It’s the type of place that in 5 years time will be full of independent coffee shops, and commuters, but for now, it has a small high street and a real lovely community feeling. To be honest unless you have friends that live there, then you’d have no real reason to visit, but we spent a lovely hour or so strolling down it’s very small high street and diving into it’s charity shops, before stopping off at The Tea Shop Around the Corner for a Latte and a Belgian Bun the size of my head. I love finding little gems like this, that are gorgeous cafes made for the people that live there and not trying to fill a niche to attract the latest hipsters or tourists. The coffee was good, the people were lovely, and tucked away in the corner was a small gift shop area where I picked up the card below to stick on my kitchen wall. Ok herbivore humour, I admit, might be a little hipster…
Then we headed back for our mid afternoon barbeque, where many burgers and sausages were burnt because we accidentally got a little distracted by cats and… well… alcohol. Luckily though my vegan options were safe, which I think is probably the only time anyone has EVER been jealous of a vegan at a barbeque.
You can’t really blame us for getting distracted by Sylvie though can you? I’m not a cat person by any means but seriously LOOK at her… Well I say her, Sylvie doesn’t actually belong to Ellie & Ollie, so she might not be a she, and she almost definitely isn’t actually called Sylvie, but that didn’t seem to bother her!
That night we headed into Guildford which I’d never been to before but instantly reminded me of York (which I say about basically any nice city that has a historic feel to it). We were aiming to be on the last train home, so we were going for classy cocktail night rather than drunken debauchary. I’ll let you decide based on the photos at just how classy we managed to stay!
First up we went to the gorgeous Thai Terrace for snacks and something a little exotic. Don’t judge me, but I can’t really remember what it was I ordered… I want to say maitai but really who cares? It was delicious! As were the cashew nuts! And the terrace itself was beautiful. Unfortunately it had clouded over, so we couldn’t make the most of the views, but I loved the garden feel to it, and imagine it would be stunning on a clear day. I’d also like to head back their to try the food. I LOVE Thai, so if you’re reading this Ellie and Ollie, that’s not so much of a hint but a command!
After that things began to get a little bit blurry, I vaguely remember bumping into a girl dressed as a penis, and visiting the largest pub and liveliest weather spoons in Britain, but all that really matters is we made the last train back, after an amazing night out!
Sunday morning was a chilled out affair of cookery programmes, tea on tap, and packing away before a long journey home.
It was such a lovely weekend and not just because the weather held out. When friends are so happy it quickly becomes infectious and not only that but Ellie and Ollie seem so settled. A year ago being faced with that level of contentedness might have terrified me, or sent me on to a jealous spiral, convinced I would never get to where they are. I’m still MILES away from buying a house or settling down, but seeing them made me realise how I feel like I am exactly where I need to be right now. There is no rush for me to own property, or to make a drastic career choice, I’m on my path and moving at just the right pace.
Thank you so much to Ellie and Ollie for welcoming me into their new home, and to Tom for being the designated driver for the weekend! Have you visited any friends this summer? What are their home towns like? I love to hear about the smaller places, you wouldn’t make a conscious effort to visit but are actually packed with their own charm.
Live life & make a house a home x