My Fitness Journey

When I moved to Washington state, I became quite the running fanatic. I ran a few times during the week on my own, and my Saturday mornings were reserved for running followed by a gab-fest at Starbucks with a great group of ladies. I was by no means the fastest runner, but I enjoyed it and I had discovered the rumoured “runner’s high.”

When I began to run in 2009, I would hear people talk about half and full marathons thinking I could never do that. But soon, my 3-mile runs turned into 8-mile runs and those 8-mile runs turned into 13-mile runs. If someone asked me to go for a run, I never asked the distance because I knew I was ready for it.

Life changed though. I moved far away from those awesome running buddies. And then, I had a baby. Although I still love to run and want to continue doing it, it no longer loves my knees. Things aren’t the same anymore for me when it comes to running. And, I’m okay with that.

This past year, after a few failed attempts at rekindling my previous running skills, I knew I needed and wanted to find something that was more suited to my current lifestyle of chasing a toddler around and the unpredictability of Richard’s travel schedule. So, last autumn, after hearing one of my wonderful friends back in Washington talk about her experience with yoga and becoming a yoga teacher, I thought I’d might like to give it a go. I knew it had to be a form of yoga that really challenged me though. As much as I value relaxation and mindfulness, I needed bang for my buck – as we say in the States – when it came to my limited hours for a work out.

I searched and searched and stumbled across a small studio on the second floor of an old mill along the canal that has a pub on the first floor. How is that for character?! I Facebook messaged with the teacher prior to my first class, but I was still anxious entering into this unknown new-to-me form of fitness. Once we started though, I knew I was hooked.

Ashtanga. It’s crazy and awesome and mental and challenging and tough and beautiful and grounding. Each week, I get on the mat and it surprises me. Some days, it isn’t necessarily a good surprise in that maybe my balance might be completely off! But, most days, it’s an hour and a half of time for me in which I push myself to try harder and to hold that pose for just..one…more…breath.

My teacher is incredible as well. Ashtanga is not for the faint of heart, but she makes it accessible to everyone. She’s down-to-earth and funny and likes to tell stories as we go along. We have a laugh, and everyone that I’ve encountered at her studio comes with an open heart and the willingness to learn.

Ashtanga has truly become something that can bring me so much joy whilst simultaneously slapping me across the face. The postures are a constant reminder that my practice is only about me and no one else in the room. I see this as a pretty good metaphor for life and the tendency to compare ourselves to others. To properly practice (in yoga and in life), we need to focus on ourselves and our own limitations and learning to push through them when necessary.

Each time I practice, it not only affects me physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Whether I can swing the full hour and a half studio class or I just have 15 minutes with a toddler beside me doing her (quite impressive) version of a vinyasa, any time I spend on the mat positively impacts my day. I’m forever grateful for walking into my first Ashtanga class back in October as it has become the exercise that I see myself doing throughout my lifetime.

Have any of you tried Ashtanga? Do you have a form of exercise that you absolutely love?

A Little Reminder of How Lucky I Am

Last week, I began working a very temporary office job to help out at my husband’s office. Up until last Thursday, I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at home with our girl since her birth. I am only doing 1 1/2 days a week, and my first day truthfully flew. I was busy and enjoyed having some time back in an office setting. I arrived home and Richard asked me how the first day went. I said that I did not mind it at all, but if anything, it really lit a fire under my bum to find work that provides me flexibility in my hours because I dropped our girl off at 7:15 AM and picked her up at 6:30 PM. It was a long day for her to be away from home, a long day for me to be away from her, and a long day for her grandmother who looked after her.

I never thought I would be the mom that did not go back to work because I have always worked and been proud of my professional career. But, she arrived and things changed and the opportunity was there for me to stay at home. I feel ever so lucky and fortunate that I’ve been able to spend the past couple of years with her. It was always our agreement that once she began nursery at the age of 3 that I would find some sort of steady work, so as the months tick by and we come closer to her 3rd birthday, I’ve begun to look for work and have applied for a number of part-time jobs. So far, I have not had any luck, but I’ll keep trying.

Today was my half day at the office, and when I got to my mother-in-law’s house to collect our girl, I was oh-so-happy to see her and be on the receiving end of one of her amazing hugs. (You know those hugs that kids give with every ounce of their being? It was one of those. Wow, did I feel loved!) She was excited to get home and see Daddy too, so after a quick tidy up of the children’s toys and books scattered around Grandma’s lounge, we were off to our house. As I reversed into the drive, she saw Richard’s car and said excitedly, “Daddy’s car! Daddy’s home!” It always makes my heart smile when I see our little blondie run to her daddy after he has been gone all day and give him a crazy big cuddle, and tonight was no different.

What was different about tonight though is that as I was reading her a story, she began to get upset and said, “Mummy stay home with me.” This broke my heart. It doesn’t help that I was gone for 4 days on 2 separate occasions in the past month, and now, I’m gone again. Even though I talk to her about me going to work and her going to Grandma’s, I’m still not there with her and her schedule has changed. I know she is having fun with her grandma, but as Richard and I discussed tonight, it was almost like it hit her all of a sudden.

As I held back tears and comforted her, I promised her that tomorrow I would be home. That tomorrow would be a day for just the two of us. I brainstormed what big plans I could make for us, but when I mentioned to her that we would have to the grocery store, her eyes got big and she said, “Yes! Buy yogurt. Buy watermelon. Buy crumpets. Put jam on them.” I was so sweetly reminded that I don’t need any grand gestures to make up for my time away from her. All she needs is me and the normal every day.

 

Serious love to all mommas out there! We rock! xx

 

 

 

Lantern Magic at Chester Zoo

Yep, it’s February, and I’m about to talk about Christmas. Lantern Magic was too good to not write about though!

I had never been to Chester Zoo before, but Richard had taken our girl when I was in the States for a friend’s wedding over the summer. You don’t actually see any real animals during Lantern Magic as it takes place at dark yet I was still very much looking forward to seeing the large animal lanterns.

We had pre-booked tickets months in advance, and as the day drew nearer, it was calling for rain. It did rain most of that day and a little bit whilst we were there, but it didn’t spoil the fun for us. We just layered up and wore raincoats. A certain little girl was particularly excited to be wearing her Peppa Pig wellies to splash through the mammoth puddles!

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When we arrived and entered the zoo, each child was given their own little lantern to carry around the path. (Our girl would not let go of hers and ended up holding it in the car seat for most of the drive home. It was quite cute!) Then, each family was given a large lantern to be used and returned. These lanterns were heavy as they were a bit wet, but the various colors added to the atmosphere of the night. Richard and I took turns carrying around our lantern.

There was a path that everyone followed around the zoo in the same direction through various themed areas, such as an enchanted forest and a butterfly garden. Each area had its own lanterns that pertained to the theme.

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Our favorites (and I think this went for most people there) were the large animal lanterns. They were quite spectacular! A few of them were even animated by people, which was a unique touch. There was a giraffe whose head and neck was operated by a person to move in an extremely life-like manner. There were also two people wearing flamingo lanterns, who walked and carried out flamingo-esque mannerisms. We were very impressed!

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Around the path, there was at least one place to stop to purchase a snack and hot chocolate, but we chose to keep moving and head to the cafe at the entrance that was serving a few winter meal options for adults and kids.

I would definitely recommend Lantern Magic as a fun and unique Christmas event. It was well organized and reasonably priced. It has been added to our list of must-do’s for Christmases spent in the UK. Next year, I’m hoping for a dusting of snow because the lanterns would look even more stunning on a bed of the white stuff!

Tips for Applying for a UK Visa

After posting my recent visa update, I thought it might be useful (maybe?) to someone going through a similar visa process if they happen to stumble upon my blog to offer some tips. These are things I picked up from going through a number of visa application processes of my own as well as from advising on visas when I was study abroad advisor back in the day. So, I hope these come in handy for someone.

In no particular order, my visa tips…

  1. Be on top of when you need to apply and how much time it will realistically take you to complete your application. You don’t want to have to rush everything as the applications are quite in-depth and require a number of additional documents be included. For us, this meant passports, marriage certificate, birth certificate for our daughter, bank statements, pay stubs…you get the point.
  2. Save random things. Basically, be aware of what sort of supplemental materials you’ll need to include in your application. For us, the hardest things were bills or other official correspondence addressed to both of us. These cannot be bills printed from your online account, which is difficult when most bills are sent and paid online now. We needed 6 pieces spread over the course of 2 years from 3 different sources. It’s helpful that my husband saves pretty much everything!
  3. Photocopy everything before you send it to the Home Office. This is so important. Most of what you will send off will be originals. What if something gets lost in the post? It will make your life so much easier if you have copies of everything in case something does happen to your application. Another reason for photocopying? Ease in completing future applications. The applications I submitted for my first leave to remain and for my second were essentially the same. It saved me loads of time by being able to flip through page-by-page and use my previous application as a guide to how I worded things, etc.
  4. Check, double check, then check it forty more times. I’m not exaggerating. The applications have to be perfect. You don’t want to spell something wrong or enter a date wrong. Small things can delay applications, so it is worth it to review your application a lot before sending it off. I even recommend having someone that you trust look over it for you. A fresh pair of eyes can often spot errors that might not jump out at you as you’ve been the one filling in all of those small blocks that have made your eyes cross.
  5. Just because the application is the same, doesn’t mean the requirements are the same. This time around I was required to pay an NHS fee. (Talk about a shock to the system when the price of my visa nearly doubled with that addition!) The application isn’t complete until every piece is submitted, so be sure you know exactly what is required.
  6. Post it securely. The Royal Mail has something called Special Delivery, which keeps whatever you are sending under lock and key until the postman collects it from the post office. This service can also be tracked online, and when it arrives at its destination, a signature is required from the recipient. It cost me less than 9 quid and was completely worth my peace of mind.
  7. Don’t book any international travel until you are certain your visa has been approved. The Home Office has your original passport and, in some cases like mine, your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and you cannot travel abroad without those documents. Okay, this one is a good idea, but I totally didn’t listen to my own advice. Months ago, we booked flights back to the US for Thanksgiving at the end of November. I was fairly certain it wouldn’t be an issue, but I half wondered if I hadn’t jinxed myself with those flights.
  8. Call the Home Office if you have any questions. Although you might know others who have gone through a similar process and their experiences are helpful to hear, they cannot ultimately give you an official answer on specific questions you have about the application. I’ve called the Home Office a few times, and they have always been helpful. It doesn’t hurt to be certain, so give them a ring and yourself some peace of mind.

I do hope this might be helpful to any newbie visa appliers out there! And, please feel free to get in touch with me if you need to vent or chat about the application process. It always helps to have someone on your side who has been there before.

Would anyone else like to add any tips of their own?

Please don’t go!

Well, don’t worry, United Kingdom, you’ve got me for another 2 and a half years.

I found out last week that I was approved for my second leave to remain as a spouse – hooray! Having been approved once before in this same visa category, I wanted to believe that I would definitely be approved this time as I am even more settled now with Richard and our daughter. However, as I sent off that 2-inch thick envelope containing every detail of our life my application, I still left the post office feeling a bit anxious.

This time, I received my letter requesting me to submit my biometrics just over a week from posting my application. This is compared to when I applied in 2013 using the FLR(M) application and it took close to a month to receive that letter. Receipt of that letter left me feeling hopeful that things were moving quickly and I might receive word soon. I actually went to the post office the day after receiving the letter and had my digital fingerprints, photograph, and signature captured. I wanted to be on top of it, especially as we have flights booked to the US for late November.

After submitting my biometrics, it was once again a waiting game. I knew I should receive a reply from the Home Office within 8 weeks of submitting my application, so I marked each week on the calendar and silently wished for super smooth sailing.

It was a surprise when last Friday there was a knock on our front door, and it was a courier with a small envelope addressed to me. This envelope carried my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), which resembles a driver’s license and which I must have with me when traveling abroad. The rest of my documents were sent under separate cover and arrived via Royal Mail that afternoon with a signature required upon delivery. What a relief!

When my BRP arrived, it was just me and my girl at home, and I showed the card to her and kept saying, “Yay! Mommy can stay!” She thought this was hilarious and would hold up the BRP then say, “Mummy! Yay!” It was so sweet. (Yes, I say ‘mommy’ and she totally says ‘mummy.’ I’m holding onto my little American-isms as long as I can yet it is adorable to hear her say ‘mummy’!)

So, what does all of this mean? It means that in 2018, we have to reapply again, but for indefinite leave to remain. That will be a huge deal for us!

 

Strolling the Grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park

On the Tuesday morning of Adam and Kayla’s visit, I told them about a few places that we could visit and gave them the task of deciding what we would do that day while I was out getting my haircut. They checked the places out online, and when I came home about an hour later, they had planned the rest of the week for us! It was perfect, and I was so relieved because I put a lot of pressure on myself when visitors come as I want to be sure they have an amazing time.

For Tuesday, they decided that we would go to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as the weather was sunny and without a dark cloud in sight. (Can you guess where this is heading?) The park is about a 35- to 40-minute drive from our house, so when we got close and Adam and Kayla noticed how big the park is, they were surprised. Apparently, from the website, they had come to the conclusion that it was just a park in the center of a town with some sculptures in it, but they still wanted to check it out. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is actually a 500-acre country park, so they were very happily surprised to know this was where we would be spending the afternoon.

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We had a nice picnic lunch on the grounds near the YSP Centre before heading off to explore. We headed down to the Boat House and the Lower Lake first. YSP is currently hosting the Wave, which was part of the poppies installation from the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red that was at the Tower of London. It was still being constructed when we were there, but we were still able to catch them installing it for its opening on 5th September.

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We crossed over the Cascade Bridge and risked our lives passing the Highland cattle grazing right in front of us. (Have you see the horns on those things?!) We followed the path through the woods until we reached Seventy-one Steps.

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It was at this point where I might have made a fatal error in continuing on. Because, unfortunately for me, but fortunately for my adventurous girl, we didn’t have the backpack/baby carrier with us as we had forgotten it in Richard’s car and he was at work. Adam and Kayla said they were going to carry on up the steps to the Longside Gallery, which is quite a distance if your daughter gets tired and needs to be carried. I debated about what we should do and finally decided to go along with them.

Our girl made it up over half of the steps on her own before asking me to carry her. I was quite impressed! She then walked a bit then I carried her a bit then she walked a bit then…. Phew! During this ascent towards the Longside Gallery, we could see the sky becoming more black by the second. We were moving as quickly as we could with an inquisitive and independent toddler wanted to touch every tree and stick in sight. We did make it to the gallery for a bit of a break before we decided to risk the threat of rain and head back towards the car park.

We were all tired and my arms felt as if they were about to fall off, but our girl was even more tired, so I ended up carrying her the whole way down across the Cascade Bridge. Shortly before arriving at the bridge, the rain arrived. Oh, did I mention we had one adult-sized raincoat between us?! Thankfully, the little ones were protected, but to avoid the rain as much as possible, we ran from tree to tree. Our girl didn’t mind the rain one bit and was venturing out whilst we huddled under the trees. This did make for some great photo opportunities and lots of laughing and smiling.

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Eventually, we ended up at Camellia House for a short time, so my little niece could have an afternoon snack of milk. I really enjoyed wandering around that space. It was a bit of a secret garden with sculptures hidden amongst the trees and foliage. It was a great little detour on our way to the car.

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After a great day at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, we ended our day the way we ended pretty much every day that Adam and Kayla were here…with ice cream! We stopped at Charlotte’s Ice Cream Parlour in Whitley. We got the ice cream and ate it in the car. The ice cream was absolutely delicious, so I’d definitely recommend a quick stop there if you are in the area. It was another great, albeit exhausting, day with our wonderful visitors.

A Hike at Hardcastle Crags

Does anyone else keep a mental list of local places to visit when you find yourself at a loss for things to do near home? I try to keep that list present in my mind, but I often find myself with brain freeze when the times arise when we can’t think of something to do. Hardcastle Crags has been on that list since Richard told me about it a couple of years ago. And, with my brother, sister-in-law, and niece visiting, we were fumbling to come up with something to do on a Sunday that didn’t require a long car ride. I impressed myself and Richard by actually remembering Hardcastle Crags, and I believe all of us were impressed with the great day out it provided.

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We parked up and headed off in search of the mill that houses a café. (You do have to pay to park unless you are a member of the National Trust.) We knew we didn’t want to follow the road the whole way there, so we quickly headed downhill to the river and followed the river the entire way. It’s a beautiful and fairly easy walk. There are a few places along the walk where there are stepping stones across the river, so we had fun crossing those.

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When we reached the mill, there were a good number of families enjoying picnics around the river. We had lunch inside at The Weaving Shed Café. The food was simple and good. There are signs in the café saying that they are “off the grid” meaning they don’t receive electricity from the national grid, so they can’t always guarantee that they can serve hot food and drinks. It’s a unique little place, and I like the quirkiness of it. They also have a small gift shop along with the option to tour the mill for an additional cost. We had two kids under two with us, so we decided to forego the mill this trip. There is further hiking past the mill, which I think is more strenuous and that we will hopefully check out some time soon.

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After leaving Hardcastle Crags, we headed into Hebden Bridge to show our visitors this funky little village. We had ice cream (basically a must on every day out with an almost 2-year old and a twenty-something ice cream-obsessed sister-in-law) and enjoyed walking around checking out the shops, the canal, and the lock system. The canal and the locks were of particular interest to my brother and sister-in-law because it isn’t something you see much in the U.S. They even got to see one of the narrow boats go through a lock. I loved to see there was a crowd gathered to watch the boat pass through – oh, the excitement of life in a small village!

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I’d definitely recommend Hardcastle Crags (and of course, Hebden Bridge) for a nice day out in the Calder Valley. The day was a great reminder to explore the beautiful places close to home as well as those further away.

The War of the Roses

With my husband being an avid cricket fan, he mentioned to me in passing that Yorkshire would be playing Lancashire at Headingley Cricket Ground during the summer for the famous War of the Roses match. The game is called such because Yorkshire’s symbol is the white rose and Lancashire’s is the red rose. I did my research and saw that tickets went on sale at the beginning of February for the T20, so I set myself a reminder to purchase the tickets that morning in February for Richard’s birthday gift. He told me what stand he wanted to sit in and I did the rest.

Flash forward to Friday the 5th of June and it was time for the cricket match. I had told Richard he could take one of the guys if he preferred, but he wanted me to go, which made me really happy because I’ve actually come to enjoy cricket over the past few years. Yes, some of the matches can go on for days (literally), but as I mentioned earlier, this match was a T20, which meant each team bowled 20 overs for a total of 120 balls (6 balls in an over). T20s are fast-paced because each club bats their heart out since they have a limited amount of time to get as many runs as possible.

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The atmosphere at these matches is brilliant with the fans being extremely enthusiastic about their home county. Any event which pits Yorkshire versus Lancashire is bound to be full of banter and shows the fairly intense rivalry between the neighbouring counties.

We arrived about an hour prior to the start in order to grab a pint and some food at the grounds. It was already filling up and there was a buzz in the air, a lot of which was due to the extremely excited Yorkshireman that I am married to! He was filling me in on random facts and bits of information, and I was completely enjoying seeing him so excited.

After finishing off our dinner of sausages and our first round of pints, we made our way to our seats. As we started to come down the stairs in our sections, I was convinced we were fairly high up, but Richard just kept walking down closer and closer to the cricket pitch until we realized that we were in the front row. At that moment, I believe I scored close to 1 million wife points! Richard’s face (okay, let’s be honest…mine too!) was plastered with a giant smile.

Sitting in our seats, we were enjoying people watching when we heard an announcement stating that before the start of the match there would be a filming for one of our favorite shows, A League of Their Own. (Those of you in the U.S. may recognize the host of the show, James Corden, as the new host of The Late Late Show.) We were even more excited now to see some of the cast from the show playing cricket. It was quite hilarious to see these non-cricketers trying to bat. (Well, one of them is a cricketer, but he bowled at them…FAST.) We’re looking forward to when the episode runs next season. Soon after, the match started and my favorite Yorkshireman was in rare form as he cheered loudly for his county’s cricket team.

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One of the things I was looking forward to was hearing the chants from the fans. Many sports teams here have some epic chants, so Richard had said there would likely be some great ones at this match. We could not help but laugh though as the only chant coming from the Yorkshire fans was a very drawl “Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire.” It was so blah and had no oomph to it, which was such a stark contrast to the energy of the match.

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Although Yorkshire put themselves in a great position to win after batting first, Lancashire ended up winning by a few runs. The result was disappointing, but we still had an amazing time. I completely enjoyed the experience and hopefully we’ll be able to catch another T20 next summer. I have always liked sports – not all, but most – and with cricket being such an iconic sport here in England, I’m happy that it is something I can enjoy watching with Richard.

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Celebrating the 4th of July in the UK

I logged into my WordPress account and saw that I had started this blog post right after the 4th. I had completely forgotten about it, but I still wanted to share it, even if it is a bit late.

The week of the 4th of July brought absolutely beautiful weather to us in England. It was glorious! The sun lover in me was in heaven. I actually felt like we were on holiday sitting out in our garden, enjoying juicy watermelon, and taking in the view. It was absolutely wonderful and my mood got a much needed boost from the sun.Abersoch1

With the weather as good as it was, we expected it would carry on through the weekend, so we made plans to go to Abersoch for some family time and to have our own little 4th of July celebration. The weather unfortunately cooled off, which for me was disappointing, but I am sure for the rest of the UK was a dream come true.

However, we still managed to enjoy our weekend by the sea, even if the weather wasn’t as great as we were hoping it would be. We filled our weekend by walking to the village and to the beach, watching our girl explore the beach and collect every seashell she could, and eating delicious burgers and sausages hot off the grill. If we couldn’t be in the U.S., then this was the next best thing, and it was honestly a perfect way to spend the 4th of July. As I told Richard, “It just doesn’t feel like the 4th without a barbecue by the beach or a pool.”

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Oddly, the 4th of July is one of the U.S. holidays I miss the most. I’m not sure if it is because it was always about spending time with friends and family or that it was the one day a year when everyone would come together to celebrate our country no matter their political affiliation. For me, it is a day about being proud of where you come from and celebrating that with those you love the most. Although we didn’t have any U.S. flags waving here in the UK, I definitely felt a sense of pride for my home country. I was glad I shared a relaxing 4th of July weekend with my little family, and I hope that in the not-so-distant future I can show both Richard and our girl what it’s like to celebrate the 4th in the U.S.

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Bohemia Brilliantly Delivers

Our weekend in Jersey was well underway, and after a full day of exploring St Helier, we returned to the hotel in order to take advantage of The Club Hotel’s spa facilities. As a guest of the hotel, you are able to use the indoor salt water pool as well as the salt cabin, the experience shower, and the sauna. We really enjoyed the relaxation and the quiet of the spa, particularly the pool and the salt cabin. We didn’t book any treatments, but I had a look at the spa menu and it looked wonderful.

That evening, we had extra special plans to have a meal at Bohemia, which is the Michelin-starred restaurant in the hotel. For Valentine’s Day, they were offering an eight-course menu and we were both really looking forward to it. We arrived at the restaurant and had a seat at one of the tables in the bar. Richard ordered us drinks – a gin and tonic for him and the special Valentine’s champagne cocktail for me. We let them know we were eating in the restaurant and were brought the delicious canapés shown below. We savored these in the bar whilst we browsed the menu for the evening and soon it was time to be seated at our table in the restaurant.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, we definitely went all out during the entire weekend and decided to do the wine pairing with the meal. We were so glad we did this. Each time a course had a wine paired with it, the sommelier came to the table to explain why he chose that wine to accompany the course. I’ve been fascinated with how wine can (or can’t) complement food since I lived in the heart of the wine-producing region in eastern Washington state, so it was fun to have a little lesson during the meal. Being that we both really like Tempranillo, we were excited to try the Tempranillo Blanco. It was definitely our favorite, and it was neat to try something which is the first of its kind.

So, that was the wine, but how was the food? I’m not sure how to accurately describe this meal, aside from saying that it truly was out of this world. I’ve never had a meal where I have sat between bites and thought about the flavors and how the ingredients went with one another. Over the course of the meal, we spent time discussing what we were tasting. It was honestly incredible with everything cooked to absolute perfection, especially the scallop and the venison.

Because the menu listed the ingredients, we found ourselves wondering how the next course would be served and what it would look like. We were never disappointed as the presentation of each course was an absolute work of art. (I knew from the outset that I wouldn’t be taking photos during the meal because I wanted to focus on being with my husband. Once we were seated, I was so glad I made that decision as it would have felt completely inappropriate.)

Quite possibly the biggest surprise of the evening was the dessert described on the menu as a Valentine’s Kiss. If I remember correctly, it was passionfruit, blood orange, and chocolate served in the shape of very realistic albeit large lips! I loved hearing the chuckles and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces as their desserts were presented. It added an aspect of humor to the meal and I loved that, plus it was absolutely delicious.

A lot of my fondest memories involve eating at great restaurants with some of my favorite people. This meal at Bohemia has been added to those memories of mine and is most definitely one I will never forget. Yes, the food and the wine were the highlights, but the service was impeccable as well. Because of all of that, I can say that it is the best meal I have ever had. Honestly.

Bohemia is a must-visit if you are in Jersey and want to experience world-class dining at its finest.

This quote was used in one of the publications in the hotel, and I think it is a brilliant description of our experience at Bohemia:

“I dreamed about the food when I went to bed. It was a fairy-tale dinner, and Steve Smith is a magician.”

-The London Metro