Visiting The View, Osea Leisure Park

Visiting The View, Osea Leisure Park

If you read my recent ’30 Things To Do Before 30′ post, or have read my list (link in the top bar of the blog) then you’ll have seen that one of the things I want to achieve this year is to visit 12 new places in Essex.


As with most things in life, it’s easy to take those things that are right under our nose for granted and I’ve realised recently that the County I live in is one of the things I should be making more of – there is so much to see and I want to do exactly that this year.


But what’s that got to do with The View in Osea you might ask? Well, it was visiting this little gem that made me decide to add this item to my list – I’d never been to Osea before and it’s not all that far away, which made me realise I need to start exploring a little more!


Anywho, back onto today’s subject – The View, Osea


I was very kindly invited down by the team to see what they had to offer – never one to turn down the opportunity to put food in my face, I – of course – said yes.


K and I popped down on a lovely bright and sunny Saturday afternoon. I’d spent the morning doing housework and he’d been playing football, but with the past few months being mega hectic for us, this was a very rare opportunity for us to take a few hours out and spend some time together, just the two of us.


The View itself is a cafe situated on a leisure park that also provides camping and touring facilities. As well as providing the space for people to bring their own tents or caravans, there’s also the option to hire one of their units on site which are all very cool and I desperately want to stay in – a lodge tent, treehouse or shepherd’s hut. Like I said, very cool!




The cafe itself is located at the other side of the park to the entrance area so it has great views of the estuary, but it only takes a couple of minutes to walk there from the parking area as it’s not that far away. It’s quite a pleasant walk too as you pass through all the static caravans with their cute little gardens.


The View itself, as mentioned, overlooks the water and it’s structure is designed specifically for that, with a large glass front providing fantastic views (hence the name!) as well as a seating area with plenty of tables for those that want to sit out in the fresh air and take in their surroundings.




Inside, the decor is really interesting – it’s a perfect blend of modern, comfortable and the fashionable ‘cute cafe’ style that is really popular at the moment.


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The food itself is more ‘snacky’ than a full meal, with a variety of sandwiches, toasties, cakes, crisps and drinks to choose from. It’s also licensed so if you’re looking for a slightly more adult bevvie, you can grab one of those with your lunch.


Obviously, as I was carrying out a review, it was only right that I sample what they had on offer, whether or not it’s good for my waist line. The things I do for blogging eh…? But struggle on I must…




I had a rather delicious chicken and cheese baguette while K had a chicken and bacon toastie, both of which were lovely and tasted really fresh. As you can see from the picture above, I also had a bag of crisps (gotta love a crisp) and a slice of their elderflower cake.




I’ve never tried elderflower cake before but it was so good! K doesn’t eat many sweet or naughty things, but as my eyes were bigger than my belly, he happily finished this off!


After stuffing ourselves myself silly and complaining that I thought I might burst out of my jeans at any given second, K suggested we go for a wander around the site to burn it off. Good plan Mister!




The views are great and the weather was what I consider a ‘real British summer day’ – a bit on the cloudy side but lovely and warm with a cool, fresh breeze to stop you from overheating.




I really loved my visit to The View and Osea Leisure Park and definitely think I’ll be popping back at some point; especially as I want to stay in some of their fancy overnight accommodation, I think it’d make a brilliant weekend with friends!


With a gem like this going undiscovered for the past 26-years I’ve lived in Essex, I wonder what other places I’ll discover over the next year!


(I made a little YouTube video of our visit, so take a peek here to see what it’s all about!)


Penny xx

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City Marque’s Serviced London Apartment

As you know, K and I are pretty busy people which means that we don’t get a huge amount of time together, therefore when we do get some quality time, it really means a lot to me.
I was lucky enough to be chosen by City Marque to take part in their ‘100 Bloggers, 100 Nights’ campaign which, as the name suggests, allowed 100 bloggers across the country to stay in one of their serviced apartments for a night.  As we had something to do in London the following day, it seemed like a perfect excuse to treat K to a night away from home!
We were allocated a studio apartment in their City location which is slap-bang opposite Liverpool Street Station – a very convenient place to be when you’re in London!
The apartment building itself is very discreet so it took us a couple of minutes to find, but entry is simple with a personal security code allocated to you for access through the main door, then a second code to get you into your apartment.  These codes are different for every person and are changed all the time, so it’s very secure.
Upon entering the room, we were greeted with some little touches that made it feel special – our towels shaped into swans with little heart-shaped chocolates, plus there was a box of Belgian chocolates on the table.  Lovely!
The apartment itself was compact but modern, clean and offering all the facilities you could hope for.  As it’s an apartment, it’s fully kitted out with kitchen appliances and tools, so you can cook for yourself if you want to, plus a TV, Wifi, dining table, iron, sofa … it’s like a little mini home.  In fact, I said to K that if I had to live in a studio flat, I would be happy living there.
To make the most of the space, the bed folded up into the wall behind the sofa and the bedding was stored in a tall cupboard next to it.  When the bed is down, the sofa fits nicely underneath it and you have storage shelves either side which – huge bonus – had plug sockets in them so you can charge your phone overnight.  Little things like this make me happy!
We settled down in the apartment and shared a bottle of bubbly while we watched the rugby and I got ready to go out for dinner.  The only mirror in the apartment was in the bathroom which was a bit of a pain as obviously there was no plug socket in there, nor was there one in the hallway, so I had to sit on the floor and use the barely-there reflection of the oven door to straighten my hair.  There’s a few places in the apartment that a mirror could have been put and this would definitely be an improvement I’d recommend they made.
After going for dinner and wandering around London for 45-minutes we went back to our room to watch Match Of The Day and rest our heads for the night.  The bed had an orthapaedic mattress so was quite hard, but I prefer a hard surface to sleep on than a soft one and while it might not be to everyone’s taste, it has to be considered that this is a quality mattress to have.
Overall, I enjoyed our night in the City Marque City of London Apartment and when you consider it costs £92 for a night and budget hotels in a similar location will set you back at least £140 (prices correct as at today) then this is a MASSIVE bargain.  Your own little apartment, with kitchen and all, for considerably less than other hotels nearby!
Next time I have an overnight stay in London, I will definitely be staying with City Marque.
LilliesandLove xx
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* This stay was provided free of charge but, as always, opinions are 100% my own (and K’s!) *


Antiques Hunting at Battlesbridge, Essex

Despite the fact I am currently sort-of-homeless, flitting between K’s and my mum’s, I have always had an interest in interior design.  I believe your home should be a reflection of the person you are and I’m forever dreaming about what my own little abode is going to be like when I finally get myself out of the situation I’m in at the moment.
I posted a little while ago and said that I would be throwing little homewares posts into the mix on my blog now I’m in the latter half of my debt clearance and that little bit closer to having my own home again.  As I said, I’ve always had an interest in bits and pieces for the home but it’s always been a painful reminder of what I lost and therefore I haven’t wanted to blog about it, but that’s all changed now!
Although I like little individual, quirky items, I can’t stand clutter so I won’t be filling it to the brim, but as and when I do have my own walls and roof again, I can’t wait to fill it with items I find beautiful and meaningful.  Once of the best places I like to go for inspiration is antiques markets; they are full of wonder and excitement for me as I walk around oohhing and ahhing and making a shopping list in my mind.


We have a fair few antiques markets in Essex and one of the best is in a place called Battlesbridge, situated in and around an old mill, it’s a lovely location.  Just recently, K and I decided to pop down there for a mooch around and to see what they had.  We weren’t going to buy anything, but just to have a look – browsing antiques markets is definitely my idea of fun!
Here are some of the things I fell in love with:








Honestly, I could have spent a small fortune!
I definitely need to start a scrapbook of ideas for my future home, just to be sure that I don’t forget anything and to keep all my inspiration in one place.
Do you love antiques markets as much as I do and love the idea of giving a loved item a new home or would you rather have brand new and modern pieces to decorate your living space?
LilliesandLove xx

Windmill Appreciation – A Day Out With My Dad

I just rediscovered these photos on my phone and thought I’d put them into a little blog post as it was a lovely day that I definitely want to remember.

Back in the summer, I had a dad-and-daughter day with Papa LilliesandLove and we decided to go and visit an old windmill which was open to visitors for the day.

Windmills are such beautiful structures and so many of them are being left to decay and ruin; I think it’s a real shame, so a donation to have a look around inside seemed like a great way to spend a lazy, sunny afternoon with my Dad.

This particular windmill is no longer in use, however, it does still function so they use it a few times a year to ensure it doesn’t stiffen up and, by all accounts, it still creates good quality flour!  I know it’s stupid, but I still find it astonishing that over 100-years ago people built these mills with their intricate systems of lever, cogs and pulleys – I wouldn’t be able to do it, that’s for sure!



I know life moves on and so does industry, but it’s such an awful shame to see wonderful buildings like this being left to fall apart.  We should preserve as much of our heritage as is possible – traditions, countryside and buildings alike – as it is all so special and helped us on our journey to become the people we are today.


A beautiful building and one, I hope, donations will keep in good order for many years to come.
LilliesandLove xx

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