Navigating Northants in October

My oh my, I’m back at writing these chatty, lifestyle posts again – welcome back Navigating Northants posts!

If you’ve been here for a while, you will know I used to do monthly round-up of what I got up to during the month. For a while, I really enjoyed them as they gave me a focus on what to write and when to publish them.

I tend to eat and navigate EVERYWHERE and often share it on my social media, especially Instagram stories, but often I find it doesn’t make it onto my blog – so I thought it would be about time that I brought this old school blogs back!

So at the end of every month, expect a round up of what I eat and where I navigate in Northamptonshire. Here we go:

  1. Pilkington Comms in Northampton
  2. Afternoon Tea at Whittlebury Park
  3. Pantomime Rehearsals in Syresham
  4. Eating a Spread & Katie’s Cakes
  5. My first Northampton Saints Game
  6. My Blogging Workshop with Pink Clouding Co
  7. Out of Office Coffee at Rushden Lakes
  8. Pumpkin Picking at Saxby’s Cider
  9. Bottomless Afternoon Tea at ARTea Room with The Start Up Hive

Pilkington Comms in Northampton

This month, I have been visiting the folk at Pilkington Comms, who are a PR Agency based in Northampton. I’ve known Jessica Pilkington for years, through previous work so it’s great to be back in touch with her and her new thriving team once again for some big projects we’ve got coming up!

Their offices are based at Miller Mobbs House and I always feel so welcome stepping in there, especially that there is an office dog and there’s tea and coffee on tap. However, I think it will be time for me to make a coffee round next time!

And they have also recently hired the lovely Chanelle over at Food & Frolics on Instagram! So even more reason for us to meet up for coffee catch ups!

Keep an eye out soon, as I’ve got some great work with them lined up that focuses on my love for Northamptonshire and independents. 

Pilkington Comms | Nicole Navigates

Afternoon Tea at Whittlebury Park

Nothing brightens up the cold and misty October vibes than a gloriously bright and yummy Afternoon Tea at Whittlebury Park!

I love that Whittlebury Park is only a stones throw away from me and good thing too, because it means I have lots of their culinary delights right on my doorstep. As I have explained in my latest Whittlebury Park Food Guide, there is lots to indulge in.

I got to enjoy a gifted Afternoon Tea along with my mum and overall, it was just a really lovely way to spend some time with my mum. Since I moved out of my parents house, it’s always nice to find occasions of which I can spend time with my parents – so an Afternoon Tea was the perfect excuse to catch up. 

The Afternoon Tea was delightful in all senses of sight, taste, smell and texture! I will say it once and will say it again, if you ever go for Afternoon Tea there, make sure your waitress is Sue as she was a ray of sunshine! 

Read more: The Whittlebury Park Food Guide

Whittlebury Hall Food Guide | Nicole Navigates

Pantomime rehearsals in Syresham

It’s pantomime time again. Oh, yes it is!

You may or may not know that I take part in a local pantomime company called Take Your S.E.A.T Syresham Pantomime which has been running for over 20 years by Keith Watts, who founded and has directed every pantomime ever since. 

I joined back in 2017 when I got to play Snow White in ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ which brought back my love of performing (fun fact: I did Musical Theatre as a degree!) and then I came back the following year to play Wendy in ‘Peter Pan’.

Now it’s my 3rd year and I am playing the Prince in Cinderella – I have NEVER played a male before in a show, so it’s a big challenge for me but one I am excited to dig my teeth into as it’s such a comedic role! 

I didn’t want to audition for Cinderella purely because it was too similar to previous roles I’ve played. If you fancy coming to see me in a different light, we’ll be performing the show between 19th – 22nd February 2019 at Syresham Village Hall!

Eating a Spread & Katie’s Cakes

This month, I got to experience the tasty delights of two local businesses who I invested in for Josh’s surprise party which I held and organised. 

I wanted to do something special for him, since it was the first time he would have a birthday where we had our own house – so a house party seemed perfect for the occasion, but with a house full of guests, I needed food. 

I have been drooling over Spread’s Instagram feed for ages, so I knew I had to contact Amy to see whether she could put on a 20 person spread for the occasion.

It didn’t disappoint and it was a talking point of the night – there was so much to see and eat, including all the gourmet cheeses and even hummus dip with bread baguette! 

Another business I invested in was actually from a close friend of mine who runs her business, Katie’s Cakes and is based in Towcester.

She creates beautiful cupcakes, celebration cakes and more and I knew after seeing all her amazing creations, I had to get her to make Josh a big birthday cake.

Again, she didn’t disappoint – chocolate everything, covered in caramel and chocolate drip, topped with chocolate and caramel sweets all in four layers of gooey, caramel, chocolaty goodness. It was monstrous but in all the right ways. 

Overall, the party was a success and was made better with these two foodie additions. 

My first Northampton Saints Rugby Game

What an experience! My first ever Northampton Saints game – am I a proper Northamption now? 

I got invited to Franklin’s Gardens to watch the Northampton Saints vs Saracens game which unfortunately Saints lost, but it was still a fantastic game with an electric atmosphere that was great to watch. 

I usually don’t like watching sports when Josh has it on TV, but I have previously enjoyed the atmosphere that football has to offer – but there was something completely different and much more interactive. 

I especially loved the opportunity of getting to relax in the Captain’s Club which is a separate part to the main bars, which is secluded and gives you your own private bar where you can enjoy alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well as pie and mash which we thoroughly enjoyed!

The Captain’s Club is also a great place to witness pre and post match interviews where they will interview one Saints player who played the game and the other who didn’t due to injury or other reasons. 

It was a great insight to the players themselves as well as game tactics, for someone who was a complete newbie! We also loved the Fans Village which was essentially a HUGE street food festival full of street food vendors – my kind of place!

Overall, it was a great day out and Josh and I are even considering booking a future game!

My blogging workshop at Fox & Peony

If you think I love blogging, think again, as I am now offering blogging workshops with Pink Clouding and thanks to Emma, I’m gaining the confidence to do it myself!

I got to deliver my 2nd blogging workshop to a bunch of small business and aspiring blogger ladies in the beautiful cafe that was TheFox&Peony which is run by Ellen and is all types of instagrammable, glittery gold and pink!

My blogging workshop is aimed at beginners or those looking to step up their blogging game as we go back to basics, from setting up, which platforms are best to use, how to categorise and niche, to actually how to format a blog post and how you advertise it. 

I always have so much fun delivering my workshops as even I go away learning something from those who attend. Myself and Emma from Pink Clouding are offering follow up sessions for anyone who has previously attended the workshops if they want that extra bit of help. 

We will also be announcing further workshops in the new year together, but I will also be offering it as a service too if anyone is interested!

Out of Office Coffee at Rushden Lakes

Don’t get me wrong, I love a trip to Rushden Lakes for it’s thriving retail and things to do, especially when it comes to shopping, but I do find it does lack in independent businesses. 

That is why it makes a nice change to be able to visit an independent coffee shop whilst there – and that’s why I was super pleased to visit Out of Office Coffee whom I’ve been familiar for being coffee shop based in Milon Keynes having visited their Newport Pagnell shop a few times.

But I am so glad there is now a branch in Northamptonshire!

Out of Office Coffee at Rushden Lakes offers a wide open space, with a botanical theme and they are all for sustainability and are all about creating a space that is “out of office” which is ideal for working and/or as a meeting space for creatives and much more. 

It makes for a great escape, especially for me and I found my first visit a very enjoyable experience, especially as I witnessed them taking photos of their special promotion and I got a complimentary cake out of it – thanks guys!

I will definitely be back to work there again, or to meet friends over a leisurely coffee. 

Pumpkin picking at Saxby’s Cider

And last, but certainly not least: I attended my FIRST EVER PYO Pumpkin event at Saxby’s Cider!

I missed out on a lot of the PYO Pumpkin events in the area, so I was thrilled to see that Saxby’s Cider was holding their own at Grange Farm for everyone to come along.

I went on my own, but it didn’t matter, as I managed to pick lots of glorious pumpkins which I am using to either carve, to make into soup and to decorate my front porch!

Whilst I was there, I couldn’t help but have a cheeky trip to their Cider shop to grab some Mulled Cider ahead of Christmas as well as have a taste of their BRAND NEW Apple Juice which is coming soon – ideal if you’re not a big drinker but appreciate the work that goes into fresh apple pressing.

Read more: Cidery Tour and Tasting at Saxby’s Cider

Bottomless Prosecco Afternoon Tea at ARTea Room with The Start Up Hive

Four words: Bottomless Prosecco Afternoon Tea = music to my ears!

When Lauren asked me if I wanted to come along to her first Bottomless Afternoon Tea event, I obviously said yes! Lauren is the founder of The Start Up Hive which is all about getting small business owners, self-employed, bloggers and other creatives in the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire areas together for evenings of networking, learning and sharing.

However, Lauren came up with, quite frankly, a brilliant idea, to create a non-networking event that is just all about getting people to local venues, to drink lots of prosecco and enjoy a nice Afternoon tea – and that’s exactly what she did!

We got to enjoy unlimited refills of Prosecco (which made for a tipsy Nicole!) whilst enjoying the Afternoon Tea delights that ARTea Room had to offer. Everything was indulgent, tasty and my mum and I had such a lovely time together.

The ARTea Room is based at Wakefield Country Courtyard in Potterspury, Northamptonshire and it even has a wonderful selection of pre-loved clothes that we got to browse and I even picked up an old Boden piece for £9!

Thank you Lauren for the lovely invite!

WHAT A BIG MONTH! There has been lots going on and it never seems to stop – but I’m not complaining! 

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like me to do monthly updates like this again, please comment below and let me know! I’d love to know what you thought of it.

Where have you navigated to in October? Make sure you tag your photos on Instagram using #NavigatingNorthants 

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