242 weeks | Pumpkin Picking and Family Fun #NoDullDays

The clocks went back this weekend. Did you enjoy an extra hour in bed? Or is the change in time wreaking havoc with your body clock? One thing’s for sure. We’ve got a run of short, dark days ahead. In the immortal words of Jon Snow; ‘Winter is coming.’ But dark days shouldn’t have to mean dull days. There are so many fun things to do during the colder months. Last week, during the half term holiday, the boys and I went up to my parent’s for a couple of days. As we were hosting our annual Halloween party, on Saturday, I’d decided we should go pumpkin picking, to pick up some spooky supplies. We found a brilliant place; just a stone’s throw from my parents’ home. Pick Your Own Pumpkins, Bednall was the most fantastic setting for a morning of family fun. For a start, it was free. And secondly we got to spend a few hours out in the fresh air. Top up your levels I’ve found that getting outside is one of the best ways to keep my spirits up during winter. Lack of sunlight can equal low vitamin D intake — and I always feel a bit out-of-sorts… Read More

The Discovery Adventures | Featuring the Land Rover Discovery Sport Part 2

The Discovery Sport HSE LUX might look like a total babe but it doesn’t just have a pretty face; it definitely has a lot more going on than just it’s looks. 4-wheel-drive’s have really come on over recent years. Our Freelander is pretty basic in comparison to the Discovery Sport; which is it’s successor. The car we test-drove, as part of the Land Rover ‘Discovery Adventures’ campaign, was definitely not like the utilitarian, 4-wheel-drive that we’re used to. It was a dream to drive — not too big — and even though it can house 7 passengers it still felt manageable. With über-comfy seats that — I quote: “feel like they’re giving you a hug” Mr D’s words, not mine. Plus, once you’ve set your perfect position you can digitally save it — and come back to it again — simply by pressing a button. Perfect if more than one of you are insured to drive it. All the toys I loved all the gadgets and toys. It had the most amazing in-car computer system. Satnav, parking assist (with rearview cameras) plus, you can pair your phones up by Bluetooth, chat to your friend whilst listening to Spotify on the incredible 10 speaker Meridian… Read More

The Discovery Adventures | Featuring the Land Rover Discovery Sport Part 1

My blog has been the bearer of much happiness over the years. It’s brought a change in career, amazing friendships and good fortune. Plus extraordinary opportunities that have made my head spin. Too many to list but most notably: The message that asked if I’d like to become a member of the GLTC testing team. Finding out that the recipe I’d created for Hellmanns had been featured in The Lady magazine. Given my nickname has been ‘Lady’ for the last 20 years, this caused much hilarity amongst my friends. Getting the notification to say that I’d been appointed a Mark Warner Mum Tears and squealing for that one. And, more recently, an email to ask if we’d like to review a Land Rover Discovery Sport. Erm. Let me think about that for a moment… Definitely not an opportunity that I’d turn down, given my past association with Land Rover. We had a Series 1 Land Rover when I was a child. It had a canvas roof (with plastic windows) and I used to play tents in the back of it. I loved it. That was followed by a Series 2. My long-standing memory of this one was being taken ice-skating… Read More

Just So Festival {the best family festival for first timers}

A question that I’m often asked is;  ‘Of all the festivals you’ve been to, which is the best family festival for first timers?’ It’s a tricky question to answer; depending on the kind of thing that would suit you. Are you seasoned campers — happy in large crowds — or would you prefer something on a smaller scale. Would you be keen to experience something eclectic and left-field or do you prefer something a little more mainstream? After going to Just So festival, last month, I’d probably say that it’s definitely one that covers most bases and (in my humble opinion) of all the festivals we’ve been to, it would scoop our award for the best family festival for first timers. Just So is one of the smaller UK family festivals — with a capacity of just 5000 — which makes it a great first festival to cut your teeth on. If you compare it to Camp Bestival for example — which has a capacity of 30,000 and is a much bigger beast — it’s positively tiny. But good things come in small packages and even though it’s diminutive in size, Just So has got a lot going for it. The… Read More

7 More Sleeps to Just So Festival 2017

Just So Festival

So whilst Camp Bestival may be over for another year, festival season is still in full swing — hurrah — and the boys and I are now counting the days until Just So Festival, which is on the 18th-20th of this month. We’ve never been before and I am beyond excited!! It’s now in it’s 8th year; our friends have been since the first one and always wax lyrical about how much fun they have. We’ve always wanted to go but it falls the weekend before Shambala, which we’ve been going to for years. And much as we love them, we’ve always been a little bit hesitant to do two festivals back to back. But we vowed to fill this summer with as many good things as possible, so this year we are going to both! Just So is a different kind of offering to the festivals we’ve taken the boys to before. Underpinned by a strong arts and theatre vibe, I’m getting the feeling that it’s going to be more like a huge, interactive art installation; or a crazy theatre production where festival go-ers find themselves as part of the cast. Childhood Dreams Full of wonder and magic, Just… Read More

229 weeks and 2 days | Camp Bestival 2017

Camp-Bestival-2017

What makes Camp Bestival 2017 stand out from any other year we’ve been? It rained. And rained and rained and rained. But as a very wise man, called Gilbert K. Chesterton, once said; ‘When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.’ And I think that perfectly sums up Camp Bestival 2017. Festival Fun Yes, it rained. Yes it was muddy. But there was still so much colour and fun. The soggy conditions didn’t manage to dampen the humour and spirits of the families that braved the weather this year. It was nothing short of extraordinary to see thousands of adults sitting in a field — literally getting soaked to the skin — watching Dick and Dom, live on stage, to keep their children amused. We British are stoic when it comes to appalling weather conditions, aren’t we? It almost had a different feel to other years, in that there was even more camaraderie and good spirit (if that’s at all possible). Everyone was in the same (leaky, soggy) boat. Most people had young children in their party to keep entertained; and everyone was sick of the British summer trying to spoil things. But… Read More

A week at Bosinver in Cornwall

After our St Mawes adventure in February, we followed it up with another trip down to Cornwall in May. This time to Bosinver, near St Austell. I wrote a little post saying that we’d booked to go, back in September of last year, and we’d been looking forward to it for the best part of 8 months. That said, when you book so far in advance you can’t always guarantee the weather and even though the days leading up to our holiday were warm and dry, the week that we were there was not. It rained and rained. Perfect weather for ducks in fact. But the wet weather didn’t dampen our spirits and my three boys and I had such an amazing time. Bosinver Farm is almost like a little village in it’s own right. There are 20 separate dwellings on the site; everything from chocolate box cottages to a state of the art eco-house. I’m going to write a dedicated post about the accommodation. I was lucky enough to check out a few of the houses whilst I was there and they’re so beautifully presented they definitely deserve a little write-up of their own. Plus I took far too many… Read More

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