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July 2nd, 2009

Last week I wrote a post about the hobbies I have outside of dolls’  house collecting. This week I thought I’d give you some recommendations for places to visit, things to do and some of my favourite shopping sites, for the other things girls love, it’s all about having some diversity in life.

One place I go back to, time and time again, is Chatsworth House. To my mind, there is nothing in the United Kingdom that is quite so spectacular as driving down the road and seeing the huge fountain in the gardens shooting up into the air. For those who like culture and history, the house itself is rich in both (look out for the trompe l’oeil violin) and the gardens are immaculate. As a child I loved the adventure playground and the farmyard. Now-a-days I return to go for walks in the grounds, but I still draw inspiration from the surroundings.

In the south west, Lanhydrock has one of the best Victorian kitchens you could wish to see and over in Kent, Churchill’s family home at Chartwell is another favourite. The dining room in this house is close to perfection for me! I love the colour scheme, the arched windows and the fact that it gets so much sunlight. One day, when I have a house big enough, I’d love recreate it to enjoy myself.

A few things I’ve enjoyed recently have been strolling around Cardiff Bay and  watching people come and go. I’ve also had a go at making my own soap and jewellery, the soap was more successful and made great presents.  I used this company who I saw at an exhibition and have found them to be helpful with fast delivery. Add a little glitter to the soap before it sets for a truly ‘sparkling’ clean.

If I’m going shopping online, besides all the well known department stores that we all know and trust, I’ve found a few gems. Asos.com is great for a fashion fix, but it’s their diffusion lines I like the most. Lots of ‘designer’ stuff at a high street price. The model shots can be a bit off putting (all very young and skinny) but they go up to size 20 on some items so they do cater for those us not a size 8.

For gadgets, I can’t beat Misco.co.uk for delivery times and everything for a computer, often at prices better than those big names. I ordered from them on Saturday last weekend, was told it would take 3-5 working days to arrive and got my parcel on Tuesday. Great service!

Finally, when I want something really unique, I go to etsy.com which I am sure we have mentioned on the blog before. For unusual items, crafted by hand it’s a great place to ‘visit’. Don’t be put off  by the dollar signs, there are plenty of people selling from the UK too. Enjoy!


Amy Gutierrez is the Marketing Controller for The Dolls House Emporium. She’s the proud owner of a Classical and a Tudor Manor and when she’s not mucking about in miniature she can usually be found on top of a horse or in front of a computer.


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