The Secret Garden & Stormont Estate

Tuesday 8 November 2016

I cannot wrap my head around the fact that we are now a whole week into November.

It's practically Winter, but tell me this: what happened to October?!
I barely remember the last month, to the point where I'm not even really sure it happened.

It feels like only yesterday it was Summer and we were enjoying whatever meagre weather
Northern Ireland has to offer and now it's pretty much Christmas!

Sorry. Is it too soon for Christmas talk?

In all seriousness though,
I feel like Autumn is over before I've really had a chance to enjoy it properly.
It's my favourite season, by a mile, and yet I feel as though I've barely experienced it this year.
Last year was full of forest walks and Halloween fun (check it out here) but this year has been relatively quiet.

Well, until this last week, that is!
On Tuesday, Gemma (#heybestfriend) and I had the same day off, which rarely happens, so we
promptly made plans to spend the whole day together.

No word of a lie, she picked me up at 12pm & I got home after midnight.
Friendship goals!

We decided to be super cute, and went for Afternoon Tea at The Secret Garden, Dundonald.
It was amazing!

It was £22.98 for Afternoon Tea for two, and the
 selection of food that we were presented with was unreal.
The sandwiches were really tasty, and the scones were perfect, but it was the
selection of mini desserts that truly made it incredible.

There were mini pavlovas, brownies, fifteens, mint aero squares, shortbread & a raspberry panacotta.
Ooh, and don't forget the TWO giant pots of tea that we washed it all down with.

It's safe to say that we rolled out of The Secret Garden that afternoon!

We decided to head over to Stormont Estate, as I've never really explored the grounds before,
and it was one of those perfectly beautiful Autumn days.

The sun was shining, the bright blue sky was dotted with white fluffy clouds, and the
trees were in their element, showing off the golden tones and red hues of their crispy leaves.
It was freezing, which only made our walk that much more enjoyable
because we were wrapped up in warm coats and huge scarves!

We frolicked in the leaves and had all the fun throwing them in the air
and taking cute photos of each other, because really,
what else were we going to do with an abundance of fallen leaves?!

It was a beautiful way to spend my day off, and it reminded me of exactly why Autumn is
my favourite! It's always the best before it starts raining in earnest
and the leaves turn from crunchy, crispy glory to a soggy, slippy, gross mess!
That part of Autumn, I'm not a big fan of!

In other news, I started my Christmas shopping last week!
I'll be honest, it feels really good.
I'm never usually one for being totally organised for Christmas. 
Most years you can find me running around still buying presents on Christmas Eve...yes, unfortunately I am that person! 

This year I would like to be different.
I'd like to be one of those people who has all their shopping finished well before Christmas,
so I can be all smug and relaxed and enjoy the run up to Christmas Day without stressing out about
buying last minute gifts for people I might have forgotten.
 I feel like I'm off to a good start, so here's hoping I can keep it up
over the next few weeks!

Anyway, Autumn is the best & Stormont is pretty,
so if you're in the area or visiting Belfast,
you should definitely make an effort to check it out & have a wander through its grounds!

What are your favourite things about Autumn?