I have always been a self-confessed girly girl; I like pretty, pink, sparkly things, I always wear a bit of mascara, and everything Disney makes me happy. But when it comes to flowers, supposedly one of the most romantic gifts for us gals, I am just not impressed. Mr Ayla knows that I would rather be treated to a book over a bunch of roses because, while they may be beautiful, what’s the point when they just die?!
Lately however, I seem to have taken a liking for all sorts of beautiful bright flowers. Not the ones that I can quickly kill off at home, but those I can visit in abundance and know that they will still be blossoming long after I’ve left. We had some Adventures in Kent’s Bluebell Woods earlier in the year and this weekend we visited Mayfield Lavender Farm in Surrey where 25 acres of bright lavender blossom over the summer months.
As soon as we stepped out of the car I could smell the sweet pine-like floral scent of the lavender. It filled the air around us but it was nowhere near as overpowering as I thought it would be and my usually sensitive nose didn’t feel the need to sneeze once despite the bright purple haze that seemed to roll on for miles all the way to the horizon.
As it was such a lovely sunny day there were lots of people milling around but the fields were spread out so far that we had plenty of room to explore by ourselves, wandering up and down the rows of lavender and taking plenty of Instagram-worthy photos without coming across anyone else.
It didn’t take long for Mr Ayla to find his way through the purple rows of flowers to the café. Food is usually my first thought but instead I got distracted chasing the bees and butterflies that flitted around the flower buds, willing them to keep still for a few seconds so I could get the perfect picture. (I obviously joined him in the café a bit later because of course I wasn’t going to miss out on trying some lavender flavoured treats!)
We dodged the tractor trundling visitors around the edge of the field and instead wandered away from everyone to a quiet spot to take some more photos. It was so hard not to just constantly snap away here and in the space of 2 hours I took more photos than I did on a weekend trip in the UK last year! Every step I took there was another beautiful image to capture; it would be the perfect spot for an engagement or wedding shoot.
While I aimed for a sweet and innocent pose in amongst all the purple lavender with the bees buzzing around me (see, I’m totally a Disney princess), Mr Ayla decided to do a slightly less girly pose and jumped high over the rows of flowers instead.
There’s something about the smell of lavender that has always made me think of old ladies. Maybe my nan or great-nan used to wear a lavender scented perfume or have lavender potpourri around the house when I was younger, I’m not sure. But after scouring the little shop and cafe full of lavender gifts, lotions and sweet treats that all smelt wonderful and were perfect for relaxing, I may have been converted. Or maybe I’m just becoming an old woman myself!
Not being able to resist, I treated myself to a huge fluffy lavender flavoured scone that I took home and had later that evening with a cup of tea. Like the smell, the lavender flavour was also quite strong but it wasn’t at all displeasing. I will still always prefer a normal plain scone but the lavender added an extra flavoursome kick. Much like my view on bacon and maple syrup pancakes – enjoyable but I just wasn’t entirely sure it worked together. I do plan on making some lavender ice cream next though with the recipe and bunch of lavender I brought home from the farm.
I love sunny weekends at home as we get to explore so many wonderful places that are right on our doorstep. Escaping the city for a change and spending a fun day at these stunningly beautiful lavender fields was the perfect outing for a sunny Sunday.
Have you visited any lavender fields in the UK or been lucky enough to visit the stunning fields in Provence, France? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!