On Saturday night we headed out for an early dinner with some of my family. We rarely do this, as I worry (perhaps a little too much) about bubs going to bed past her bed time. It was so lovely however, and we all had a great time!
We headed to The Chequers Inn, which is based in Lytchett Matravers in Dorset. We had never been there before so I really didn't know what to expect.
On arrival my first impression was it was a warm, family friendly (so important for us) and welcoming pub. We sat at a lovely round table so we could all chat, which was perfect.
They had a main menu, as well as a specials board. The menu had a nice selection of pub grub. It also included a strong children's menu. I ordered the Cajun Chicken Burger, which came with a mixed salad and home cooked french fries. I have to say visually it looked yummy, and it tasted as good as it looked! My little lady had homemade fish fingers, chips and peas. The portion size was very generous, and she enjoyed it very much.
As well as the food being tasty, what really stood out to me was just how baby/child friendly the pub was. They had a toy section, which bubs enjoyed playing in. I also spotted two mums openly breastfeeding, which is how it should be (in my opinion).
I didn't have a desert as I was SO full after my main meal, Other members of my family did, and said they were delicious. In particular the homemade Chocolate Brownie looked amazing!
The service was very good, They checked back on us a little way into our main meal, and asked us if we would like more drinks every now and again.
If you are looking for a family friendly pub in beautiful Dorset, I would highly recommend The Chequers Inn.
The Chequers Inn
75 High St, Lytchett Matravers, Poole BH16 6BJ
Tel: 01202 622215
Do you have a favourite place? Mine has to be Kingston Lacy! I love visiting all year round! It is the perfect day out for all of the family. In fact it is the first place we took bubs when she was first born (all a bit of an exhausted blur if if I am honest, but still so special to the hubby and I!)
A beautiful country house and estate near Wimborne Minster, Dorset was for many years owned by the Bankes family. Now the estate is run by the National Trust, and loved so much.
I can't explain it, but every time I visit I feel like I am "home" (dreaming I know), but it just makes me feel happy.
My favourite time of the year to visit is the spring when the vast gardens are in bloom, and the blossom is stunning. The gardens are taken great care of, and so interesting all year round. In the summer families come along with picnics and enjoy them on the beautifully maintained lawns. Such a happy atmosphere.
If you are looking for something to do as a family, that is fun, beautiful, and full of history I would highly recommend a trip to Kingston Lacy!
As you may or may not know I love arts and crafts. As well as blogging, I own a small company called Crafts and Giggles offering craft parties, so basically my life is arts and crafts!
It is so special that I get to share my crafty passion with my little lady! The other day we popped into Hobby Craft. I said to her to pick something she would like to make. She chose a rather large Halloween pumpkin! We decided to decoupage it. Bubs chose one set of decoupage paper, and I the other.
My little lady is only two, so I was a little concerned it may have been a bit too advanced. With my guidance and supervision she picked it up pretty quickly!
How did we do it?
-we ripped up the decoupage paper into a variety of sizes.
-using a special decoupage glue we put glue directly onto the pumpkin using a paint brush (one section at a time)
-we then layered the paper on top of the glue
-using the paint brush we dabbed the decoupage paper into the glue on the pumpkin, and popped more glue onto the paper in a dabbing motion.
-we repeated this process until the entire pumpkin was covered.
We are both so happy with the outcome! The hubby even thought it was shop bought! Kx
The holiday blues have well and truly set in…I know I shouldn’t complain but hey it’s a thing right?
We have been home from our Family Mediterranean P&O Cruise for 5 days, and I find myself spacing out in the memory of one of our best family holidays!
This was our third P&O cruise with our little lady (very lucky I know). We just love how easy they are with a busy toddler, that you get to see new places at every stop, and it is all inclusive.
This was our first fly cruise, usually we go from Southampton which is SO much easier for us. On the up side by flying you get into the warmer climate, and calmer seas a lot faster!
P&O do make it very easy. They organised a chartered flight from Gatwick, and sorted the luggage in Malta (where we embarked) so we had one less thing to think about! Our luggage was waiting for us outside of our cabin when we got on the beautiful Oceana!
Our cabin was the perfect size for the 3 of us. I always opt for an inside cabin, firstly because it is cheaper, and secondly because it is pitch black at night giving us all the perfect night sleep!
On arrival we signed our little lady into the Reef, the children’s club on board. As she was 2 it meant she could stay and play under the supervision of the staff. The ship had very few children on, (as it was out of season), so bubs had one to one with the staff which was great! Every day she woke up asking if she could play, she loved it so much!
I was a bit apprehensive about leaving her at the start, but it was fine. The Reef had a soft play area, craft activities, and SO many toys! I couldn’t get her out in the end,
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We stopped at Malta, Montenegro, Split, Venice and Zadar. Each stop was absolutely beautiful! Our favourite was Montenegro! It was stunning! We booked a tuk tuk so explore Kotor, expensive but so worth it! The views at the top blew us away.
The food was endless on the ship…our favourite meal was the outside BBQ they put on as we sailed out of Malta, it was delicious! I did think the buffet food could be improved a little bit, the Britannia was better.
The staff on the Cruise couldn't do enough for us! They were so kind to our little lady, smiling at her and chatting to her wherever we went. One lovely waitress even showed her napkin folding, which was so lovely!
Overall we had the best holiday! Bubs was so so sad to leave, as were we! It was another holiday of a lifetime that we will treasure forever. I have said it before, I would definitely recommend cruising with little ones! Kxx
Yes autumn is nearly upon us (again). I must admit I do love autumn, the beautiful colours and the cosy nights! One thing we love to do as a family is Pumpkin Picking! My 2 year old loved going last year! We all got to choose our own pumpkins fresh from the ground, and decorate them at home. It costs hardly anything, and gets you out into the fresh air! Here are some of our favourite Pumpkin Patches to visit across Dorset and Hampshire!
Sopley Farm is on the edge of The New Forest! They will have plenty of pumpkins for you to choose from again this year, and wheelbarrows will be available to transport your pickings! They will be open the whole of October! We had a great time picking our pumpkins here last year! The staff was so friendly, and they had a cute café on site.
Address: Sopley Farm, Sopley, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 7AZ
Tel: 01425 672451
Opening times for Pumpkin Picking: (October) 10-4pm
We headed here a couple of weeks ago to pick some strawberries. It is a bit smaller than Sopley Farm, but just as fun! Squash and pumpkins are usually in Season from mid September to end of October!
Address: Lenctenbury Farm, Soldiers Road, Norden, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5DU
Tel: 07798 743877
Pumpkin Picking Patch Fordingbridge
As well as pumpkin picking they offer Halloween crafts, witches and more! Perfect fun to keep your children busy !They have over 15 varieties of pumpkins across 30 acres!. They will all be ready to be picked by you in October.
Address: Pumpkin Picking Patch, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 1AN
Opening times: 13-14 & 19-28 October (9.30 to 4)
Rogate Pumpkin Patch
Rogate Pumpkin Patch is perfect fun for all of the family! It is half way between Midhurst and Petersfield on the A272. They offer a very rustic Halloween experience .There offer lots of fun activities, such as smash a pumpkin, pumpkin skittles, decorate a pumpkin, sling a pumpkin, corn blaster and spooky slime making.
Address: 1/4 east of Rogate Village, Slade Lane Rogate, Rogate, Hampshire, GU31 5EG
Tel: 07830 412806
I hope my Pumpkin Patch suggestions are helpful! If you do go pumpkin picking this year I hope you have the best time! Kxx
Anyone else love a cheeky weekend away? It has been so long since we took one. The last trip I had planned we had to cancel as my little lady got Chicken Pox (booooo). Anyway… I was heading down to Cornwall to host a craft party with Crafts and Giggles, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to combine work and play!
When looking to book somewhere to stay, I realised our weekend coincided with the Easter Holidays. The prices were sky high, and loads of places in Plozeath were booked up! (What a rooky error!) That’s when I found St Moritz Hotel, and they had the availability. It was a tad out of my price range, but hey why not… work hard, play harder.
We arrived early (check in was 4pm, and we arrived at 1pm) the lady on reception was lovely, and let us check in anyway! The hotel was beautiful. The staff were all beaming with smiles, and so lovely to my little lady. This makes such a difference us.
We had booked a family suite. The room was a good size, clean, beautifully decorated, and practical. It had a pull down bunk-bed but we opted for the travel cot, which was all set up ready for us. We were on the ground floor, and had a mini conservatory type thing that opened onto the hotel grounds, this was lovely extra space.
We off course started the break with some food at their Sea Side Café. It was a pretty special “café” Penny was extremely welcoming and gave our little lady a fab activity pack. We opted for some comfort food, stone baked pizzas. They were pretty good.
That evening we had booked into their Shorecrest Restaurant. It was expensive, but I had the Plaice and it has to be the softest Plaice I have ever eaten. We enjoyed a three course meal, and bubs loved her meal off of their children’s menu. The only thing I think they could include, is more vegetables on the children’s menu. This was definitely lacking. The breakfast was pretty special too!
The hotel has some great facilities for children. In particular a good sized swimming pool, and a children's play room. The toys could do with a little TLC but it is definitely as nice extra. I think the pool was a highlight for bubs!
We loved our stay at St. Moritz Hotel. I think the kindness and attentiveness of the staff made it. It was such a treat to be waited on and taken care off. I would highly recommend it for families looking for some time out.
We decided to celebrate Mother’s Day a week early for my mum this year. We chose The Lime Wood Hotel for lunch, as we went for Mother’s day there the year before, and we really enjoyed it.
A TOUCH OF GLAM, SMILES AND YUMMY FOOD
As soon a we entered the Lime Wood Hotel we were made to feel very welcome. All of the staff were smiling, and were very attentive. As with our last visit they welcomed my little lady with open arms. That is probably the best thing about it. Even though it is a prestigious venue children are made to feel welcome, and it is unpretentious.
We started off with drinks, olives, and nuts by the beautiful bar area. It was very relaxing. We then went through to our table, and enjoyed some delicious food! The Lime Wood highlight the importance of sharing food, and provenance is everything. Well... we did just that! We all shared our food, bringing us all together. My little lady and I enjoyed the bream, and she then went onto try the home cooked vegetables, and everything else in sight.
FISH PONDS, ICE CREAM, AND OVERSIZED SWINGS
Between courses we headed outside into the spring sunshine to see The Lime Wood's grounds in all their glory! My little lady loved the fish ponds, and the oversized swings (as did my hubby!) We felt like we could explore, and let my my two year be just that, a two year old!
We all enjoyed our visit. It is quite expensive...but hey for a special occasion it is fab! I would highly recommend it for families. I will definitely go back for another special occasion.
Check out my vlog below...FOR A taster of the lime wood HOTEL!
Thanks for reading K x
Hi! I am Katie... a new mum trying to balance life, work and a beautiful baby girl! I love to take photos, travel, write, make art, and spend time with my family! xx