A night at the Bath Spa Hotel

What a difference a week makes. Last Friday evening, my boys and I had just checked into the Bath Spa Hotel; courtesy of our lovely friends at Joules. We’d had such a fun day with them at Badminton Horse Trials and they’d kindly arranged for us to stay at the Bath Spa Hotel for the night, to save us all driving home. I’ve been to Bath once before — many years ago — but I can’t remember if we actually stayed overnight. I think we did; we were living in London at the time, so it would have been too far to go just for the day, but I’ve no idea where. All I do know is, it wasn’t at at the Bath Spa Hotel. I’d have definitely remembered. This beautiful, grandiose hotel is sited in the most glorious Georgian house, sitting in beautifully manicured grounds. Stepping inside is almost like stepping back in time. It’s most definitely not a boutique hotel but lavishly decorated in a traditional style. And that’s not a derogatory comment in any form. I loved it. Like Stepping into a Bygone Era The interior decor was ‘contemporary Georgian’ — if there is such a thing. Classic furnishings and opulent accessories; it’s the most beautiful… Read More

A date with Joules at Badminton Horse Trials

I think it’s fair to say that — for me — the last eight weeks have been tinged with frustration and a little bit of boredom. It’s unlike me too; I don’t get bored easily. If I ever feel my attention waning — and inertia setting in — I tend to just change direction and do something else. But when you can’t drive or easily take yourself off for a walk, it’s difficult not to feel the pangs of boredom. So when my lovely friends at Joules asked me out on a date I literally jumped at the chance (or should I say ‘figuratively’ as clearly I’m not able to jump at the moment!). Best of all, my boys were invited along too — both the twins and my big (man-shaped) boy — so I had my favourite chaperones accompanying me. Our date with Joules We were invited for a day at Badminton Horse Trials, where Joules have had a presence for 27 years. They’ve even got a jump on the cross country course named after them these days. Not wholly surprising as the company actually began life at this kind of event. Tom Joule began selling his clothes at country fairs and equestrian shows and, even though in May 2016 they had 97 stores throughout… Read More

The Dinky Duvalay | A caravan must have for kids

It’s that time of year folks! Spring is finally here which means it’s time to dust Dolly down and get her out of her winter hiding place. Hurrah — adventure awaits. I think we can safely say that I love my caravan; and since we bought our first van —  Dolly 1 — I’m always on the look out for a clever gadget or caravan accessory. Last year I found the number one essential item — the Duvalay — literally the best thing I’ve ever come across for camping in a caravan. I wrote a whole post about it; singing it’s praises. Then at the end of last year Duvalay launched a mini version for kids; ‘The Dinky Duvalay‘. It sounds a bit over the top but this simple bit of kit has literally revolutionised our lives. Just like the original Duvalay, it’s Dinky counterpart is essentially a posh sleeping bag. It comprises of a memory foam mattress, bottom sheet and duvet combined; but unlike it’s plainer big brother, the Dinky Duvalay comes in a bright, unisex animal-print. It provides a comfy, portable layer, that you place on top of a caravan bed to give the best night’s sleep. And neatly rolls up in it’s own bag. Since we traded Dolly in for a bigger version a… Read More

Our stay at the Hotel Aiguille Percee in Tignes | With Mark Warner

For someone — like me — who’s never been to the mountains before, the coach journey from Grenoble airport to the ski resort of Tignes was pretty spectacular. Winding through the French Alps, looking down over vast canyons and valleys — all smothered in a thick layer of snow — was breathtaking. And as we pulled in to Tignes-Le-Lac and the coach stopped, we were able to get a proper look at where we were going to be spending our first ever family ski holiday. Tignes is located 2100 metres above sea level; and due to the high altitude offers skiers the chance of fabulous snow, even late on in the season. We arrived on 12th March and — apart from the roads which were clear — everywhere else was covered in a dense blanket of snow. The coach dropped us off and we walked up the footpath to our home for the week; The Hotel Aiguille Percee. Looking every inch as chalet-like as I’d hoped, we were warmly greeted at the front desk by Wayne — the lovely general manager — who checked us in and let us know when, and where, all the welcome meetings were; plus the times of the meals etc. The Accommodation We stayed… Read More

5 Weird and Wonderful Things To Do at Camp Bestival

Hurrah! The clocks have gone forward!! This annual event literally makes me smile from ear to ear. Goodbye winter. We’ll miss you! Said no-one. Ever. It’s that time of year where I start coming out of hibernation and begin to look forward to the warmer months that lie ahead. We bought a family calendar a few weeks ago in the Kikki K sale and have been merrily filling out the boxes; marking off when we’re away or have people staying. One of the things that certainly puts a smile on my face is planning our festival weekends. Thinking about the colour and joy of festivals is always a lovely distraction. Having a look at what bands are on, at which particular festival. Take Camp Bestival for example. This year they’ll be celebrating their tenth anniversary and have got a stellar line-up in place. They’ve got Mark Ronson gracing the Castle Stage on the Friday night. Madness are doing a slot, plus Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is the Sunday headliner. The thought of long hot days, sipping cocktails, watching the bands; then sloping back to Dolly, tired and happy, to have a  lovely sleep in our cosy Duvalay beds makes me smile from ear… Read More

207 weeks and 2 days | Me and Mine {February} featuring Joules

February. A very short and very memorable month for me and mine. We’ve done some decorating. Been  planning and getting very excited for our upcoming ski trip with Mark Warner. And, of course, we celebrated our wedding anniversary down in Cornwall; at lovely Dreamcatchers; courtesy of St Mawes Retreats. It is definitely one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever had the privilege to stay in; but bricks and mortar aside, Cornwall was breathtakingly beautiful. Even in early February. The sun shines differently on that little corner of the British Isles and even on the darkest, stormiest day, the little fishing village of St Mawes was bathed in a magical, clear light. Inside, outside and exploring… We took some family with us; my sister-in-law, her husband and our niece — who is the Twinkles big cousin — and her husband. Spending time with our nearest and dearest is always something I treasure; our annual family BBQs are something I really look forward to and it was lovely hanging out with them for a few days. Really freeing not to have a fixed agenda for a change; to not have to be at a particular place; at a particular time. To have leisurely lunches, bimble around the little towns; browsing shops and… Read More

Celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary at St Mawes Retreats

At around twenty past two on the third of this month my boy and I had been married for sixteen years. The happiest times of my life have happened with — and as a result of — this amazing man. I love him more than words can say. I’ve written about our wedding day before. It’s bizarre that it was so long ago; the memories are etched in my mind and, if I close my eyes, I can see scenes of the day playing out as clearly as if it were just last weekend. And even though sixteen years may not be a landmark year in the strictest sense — after my wobble about mortality and age the other week — I think every milestone should be celebrated. So we decided to mark another year of married life by escaping to Cornwall; to St Mawes Retreats. Not only is the house an interior lovers delight— with it’s designer fittings and luxury feel; you can read about that here if you fancy a nosey — it’s positioned in one of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles too. St Mawes is so picturesque. Think quaint little, pastel painted cottages and stunning landscapes and you still probably wouldn’t be imagining anything as beautiful… Read More

206 weeks today | {Siblings February}

Siblings February 2017. In one months’s time, I will be the proud ‘owner’ of two four year old children. Not babies. Not toddlers. Children. I’ve said it again and again but I can’t stress enough how fast the time seems to be going since I have had the boys. I know they say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ but the rate of knots that the months seem to be playing out is crazy. Their daddy and I were looking at them a couple of days ago and we both looked at each other and questioned who the grown up little people in our kitchen were. Where are the babies?  Where are the tottering toddlers? It’s times like this that I’m so grateful to have started this blog. To be able to look back and see what we were doing a year — or even two year’s — ago is just amazing. Sponges Their development over the last month or so has been rapid; lots of learning and trying new things. Cosmo’s grasp of numbers is fantastic; just like his daddy. And Bertie’s aptitude for drawing and creating is lovely. He’s so like me in that respect; always making pictures. We’ve been looking at the alphabet and learning that when different letters are… Read More