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What I Learned My First Time Making Authentic English Scones

After writing about our time in Devon, England, I became inspired to try my hand at baking scones.  I have never attempted this before, and was a little nervous (especially since I had some pretty dang amazing scones to compare it to from England).

As it turns out, the place where I had the best scone of my life (Watersmeet House) actually published their recipe online.  Here is my experience, including what I learned for the next time I attempt scones.  I hope that this will help you too if you are a scone-baking newbie like myself.


One-Day Road Trip Through Wales - Seeking Ancient Ruins, Dragons, and Castles

I  have been sharing about our journey to seek some family and personal history in the U.K. (see these fabulous things to do with kids in London, and read about our idyllic weekend in the countryside in Devon).  Over the coming weeks I will continue detailing recommendations from our trip, but today we are focused on our one-day drive exploring Wales!

I hadn't been to Wales since I was a baby, and had no memory of it, so this part of our trip was totally new to all of us.  We only had a day to get from our hotel in south Wales to our next hotel in Liverpool, so we tried to pack in as much history, scenery, and family fun as we could.  Our goals as a family were to see a castle (my idea), hunt for dragons (Grayson's idea), and see a lighthouse (Sawyer's idea) in the mythical land of King Arthur, Merlin, and fire-breathing dragons.  

After driving up from Devon, we spent the night in Newport (not too far from the Welsh border and Cardiff) at the Hampton by Hilton Newport/East.  We love Hampton Inns in the US, and Hampton by Hiltons in the UK have the same good, clean quality and complimentary breakfasts that we expect from Hampton Inns.  After a good night's sleep, this is where our Welsh road trip began the next day. 


Family Harry Potter Halloween Costumes

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Halloween is quite possibly my favorite holiday.  The #FabFam has fun choosing a family costume each year (and I'll do this until my kids think they are too cool for it... and maybe even push for it then).  Some of our costumes from the past few years include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The LEGO Movie, Despicable Me / Minions, and Avengers

This year, we chose characters from Harry Potter!  Grayson is Harry, Sawyer is Voldemort (of course he is), Nik is Ron Weasley, and I am Hermione Granger.  Nik and I debated between a few other pairs as well, with Severus Snape and Lily Potter being another top choice.  Ultimately, we thought we'd fit the family costume better with Ron and Hermione.


A Weekend in Devon, England

After departing London during our family’s recent U.K. road trip, we drove to the southwest of England (via Stonehenge – but more on that later) to spend the weekend in Devon. Why Devon? Well, while we wanted to see as much of the country as we could during our road trip, Devon in particular has a special connection for us, and there’s a bit of a story behind what brought us there.  

Our good friend, Katie (who we met along with her husband Ben during our Mediterranean voyage a few years ago) grew up in Devon, and her parents still live there. On many occasions we heard Katie talking about how beautiful and peaceful it is in Devon, and how she, as a big city Londoner, will always be a country girl at heart because of her time there. We missed an opportunity to visit Devon for her and Ben’s wedding a few years ago (we would have been there in a heartbeat, except it conflicted with our Kenyan safari). When we visited Katie and Ben in London last fall (or is it “autumn?”), we talked of Devon, and how wonderful a place it was for Katie and her siblings to grow up. We made loose plans that one day we would bring our kids to England with us, and that we would visit Devon with Katie and Ben. A few months later, those loose plans became real plans, and the #FabFam had a tripped booked to the U.K., and a weekend planned for Devon for the summer!