UK

Chilling out on Fistral Beach

Surfing on Fistral Beach

I love this photo. I know so many things about it that quite simply aren’t visible to everyone else. That my daughter, who loved pink, and once selected outfits on the basis of how twirly they were, now prefers blue. That blue, especially this periwinkle shade, is so totally her  colour. It’s the colour of her eyes when she was a newborn – indigo eyes, black hair, hard to believe now. You can’t see it in this picture, but this colour brings back the flecks of that baby in her eyes and I remember… Or that this messy hair isn’t …

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Badly behaved…

Rudeness and bad behaviour just isn't necessary

Recently we visited a restaurant on our holidays. It was about 7pm, and after a long drive, we were looking for some great pub food, as recommended by our hotel. As we walked through the bar area en route to the restaurant, we got a glare from the barman. Odd, but not unusual – sometimes pubs don’t allow children in the bar, and that’s fine. But what happened next left us speechless. “Oh, we can’t have children in the restaurant. Or the bar. We do have this table in the lobby, but unfortunately it’s taken at the moment.” The Rising …

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Great British Holidays: 5 reasons to visit Lynton and Lynmouth

Lynton and Lynmouth is an ideal base for exploring Exmoor

The rumble of the cattle grid beneath the wheels announced our arrival on Exmoor, and immediately the landscape changed. Trees gave way to vast green plains, peppered with gorse and sprays of heather. Here and there a paint splash of pink as rhododendrons grow wild, making an easy home, tipping the hat of irony at my futile attempts to cultivate them in my own garden. A smile rushed onto my face and took up permanent residence for the next two days. 5 Reasons to visit Lynton and Lynmouth Wildlife Immediately there were sheep, suicidal as they wandered the roads, peering …

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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: Wot so Funee?

Last week we had an invite to the spectacular Hyde Park Winter Wonderland experience. Mummy has always wanted to go, but balked at stories of queues and prices with young children in tow. Come the day, Mummy was ill in bed with gastric flu. Being caring souls, we deposited a tray of lucozade and paracetamol by her pillow, and gave her a cheery wave before heading off with Daddy in search of hedonism. What we did at Winter Wonderland   We rode the giant observation wheel – 3 revolutions in 5 minutes were just perfect to show us everything we …

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Harry Potter Studio Tour London review – don’t bother with Universal

I am not well-known for wanting to go out. I may have mentioned before that leaving the house is a process which requires expert “people management” skills on behalf of my parents. It begins with a bright and cheerful “Today we’re going to….” followed by some strategic groaning and face-making by yours truly. So I astonished even myself when I was up and dressed before the old’s alarm went off, on the day we had scheduled to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. When you book tickets you have to choose a time-slot, and we were a tad early …

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7 things you need to pack when camping with kids

I dragged my parents camping several times this summer. Some of it they enjoyed (namely, the parts where they were asleep, and the parts where they were drinking cider), some of it they didn’t. I enjoyed ALL of it. I know how to have a good time, and so I offer you my best tips for getting rid of the camping jitters and throwing yourself into the spirit of camping with kids. What to take when camping with kids Friends: there is nothing like a couple of middle-aged people whining about boredom to wreck your holiday. There are fields full …

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Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival the only family-friendly festival you need (review).

Highs for the kids at Big Feastival 2013

Call me Victor Meldrew if you will, but most of the time I enjoy staying at home. I like my own company, my family (though if you tell my sister I said that I will shoot you with my best stick), and just hanging out with my toys. Going out is – well, it’s hard work to be honest: getting dressed, putting shoes on, walking, all of those things are just an irritation, and I prefer to be getting on with life. But on Sunday I was actually keen to leave the house. I surprised everyone, including myself by looking …

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A Just So Festival Review – Not your average camping trip…

The Just So Festival feels funky and colourful

This year we attended our first festival as a family. Prior to my arrival, M&D spent a fair bit of time at festivals, by all accounts being carefree and jolly, though how that’s possible without the presence of a fun-loving child, I have no idea. Anyway, they’ve been in enforced festival-hibernation for 8 years, and this was the summer they intended to go back to their grass roots – literally. We started with Magic Summer Live – a music festival, breaking ourselves in gently with just one day. That ticked, could we manage a whole weekend? We donned our wellies …

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5 things you never knew you could do in London for kids

We live close to London, so we’re lucky to have it on our doorstep whenever we’re stuck for something to do. From lunches in Chinatown, to cycling practice in Regent’s park, via an hour (or several) in Hamley’s. Our children are so lucky to have this city available to explore. And yet more often than not we go to the usual places, the obvious sites, missing the many hidden jewels that London for kids has to offer. So this holiday we decided to explore some of the secrets of London for kids. London for kids: Stratford This week we visited The …

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London with kids: a perfect weekend and an “epic” hotel!

What to do and where to stay in London with kids: “It’s really nice here, even though it’s a bit posh.” nice  adjective, nic·er, nic·est. 1. pleasing; agreeable; delightful: a nice visit. In other words, kids like it. posh adjective. sumptuously furnished or appointed; luxurious. A posh place. In other words, adults like it. You couldn’t really get a better recommendation for a family friendly hotel. Happy kids + happy parent = great weekend. We’re just back from a very cool weekend in London with the kids. Before the children were born, we spent a lot of time in the capital, wining and dining, visiting the sights and soaking up the …

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