A few top spots near to Badgells Wood:
Visit a Micro Brewery who will even deliver to your pitch by prearrangement!
Harvel House Farm Shop for supplies, their butcher offers an impressive selection for the Camp Supper,as well as locally baked bread and milk from Kentish cows.
Riverside Himalayan Gardens is a mere half hour away if you do decide to venture out of Camp. It’s a stunning gardens, with plenty to explore (dog allowed on leads), and a fabulous adventure playground.
The Teal Cafe is just next to the gardens (which don’t open up 10.30am) so if you fancy a quick stop off before exploring, be sure to head there for a great Coffee and plenty of local produce.
Here’s a mini vlog tour of the site, and a couple of clips from the Himalayan Gardens. I must apologise for the shaky camera work, it’s my first ever vlog!
We had a lovely day in Whitstable, Kent recently. I always think of the Kent coast as a long way from where we live, but the journey was really simple and quick. It might have been something to do with the fact few people are up that early on a Saturday morning…
We went to Whitstable to catch up with some friends we hadn’t seen in ages. There are so many people I want to catch up with since moving back to England, but the logistics of moving, settling in, and a Toddler, mean it’s taking far longer than I would like to snatch an hour or two to catch up on the fast few years. So I was thrilled to get a whole day with these guys. One of these friend’s is Naomi Goggin, award winning Professional Photographer, so a couple of snaps are her’s (I think you’ll be able to guess which are the Mama with the Iphone, and which are done by a pro). Her website is here, and I cannot recommended her enough.
Because we were there to see our Friends, we didn’t do much touristy type stuff. We did really enjoy walking along the seafront, piles high with Oyster shells. And navigating through the windy street filled with cute little pubs and shops. stopped for Breakfast at the Windy Corner Stores & Cafe. A cute little spot, just one Street back from the seafront. They had simple, but tasty breakfast options, and are dog and child friendly. This was really put to the test when Intrepid Bebe was hooning around the entire Cafe, and using her water squirting camera to “take pictures”.
Intrepid Bebe loved rushing around on the beach, scaling the shingle, and investigating the fish market. We stopped for lunch at a fish & chip shack right on the beach. They have a selection of Oysters, so you can sample to local delicacy. I ordered skate, not knowing it’s a type of Ray, and full of bones-top tip; don’t order Skate unless you like bones in your fish!
We got incredibly lucky with a long pram nap, so managed to steal an hour in one of the lovely whitstable pubs. it was full of a local artist group, which we had spotted earlier down at the harbour. They were showing one another their drawings, and it was lovely to earwig on their conversation.
With all the catching up, and the eating, we didn’t see everything Whitstable has to offer. But here are a few other things which re on my wish list for next time:
Wheelers Oyster Bar– I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this fabulous looking little restaurant. It’s come highly recommended from everyone I’ve spoken about it to since.
Afternoon Tea at the Bears Trading Company
As a trained Clinical Pilates Instructor, who rarely finds the time to get to new classes these days, I would love to get a chance to go to the Pilates Studio Whitstable
before your trip, head to Whats On Whistable for the latest events and news.
East Quay looked like a simply stunning spot for a Wedding (or other function), I just need to persuade someone to get Married there!
The Harbour Garden Cafe looks like the perfect spot fro lunch on a sunny day.
The not for profit Umbrella Cafe, with it’s tasty menu and program activities is certainly somewhere I’d like to head to on another visit.
I haven’t spent any time in Dorset since childhood holidays in Boscombe. We popped down for a flying visit to see intrepid bebe’s fairy godmother, who has a holiday flat there.
Beautiful Bridport is a Dorset coastal town of around 13,000. It’s only a little over two hours from London (dependent on the M3).
The town is beautiful, it took forever to walk down the main street because there were so many lovely buildings, eye catching shop fronts, and brightly painted front doors. Not to mention the pop up market stalls scattered along the pavement. Fortunately when you’re walking at ‘toddler with backpack’ pace, it’s not exactly speedy. Unfortunately, three pairs of eyes are required to stop said toddler from roaming into the bakery, or climbing into an antique suitcase. You many know I love doors! And this town has beautiful doorways aplenty!
One of the things which strikes me in England, compared to Australia is the prevalence of chains. be that cafes, restaurants or shops. i appreciate set up costs, and rents are so large, especially close to London, it must be very difficult for new business’ to get a start. So it was lovely to walk down a high street which still boats and independent butcher, bakery, florist and multiple cafes, bars and restaurants.
Coffee is a bit of an obsession in our family, so I had already asked around for where was the best place to head. We had breakfast at the lovely Soulshine Cafe. A great spot with amble toys, in their clever converted under stair space, to keep IB happy. They also have a lovely outdoor area and spacious changing area.
Oh the food? Isn’t it funny how once you become a parent the food features quite far down the list when selecting where to eat! Power to the parents who say, sod it, I’m going fine dining with my kids and don’t care what anyone thinks. Or perhaps they have those mythical babes who sit content lay colouring? But for me, IB having space to roam, and the staff being warm (rather than eye rolly) ranks pretty highly. Fortunately Soulshine have big ticks for both.
Then we headed towards West Bay. The striking Jurassic Coastal Cliffs create a beautiful backdrops for a beach walk.
The outdoor play area is fabulous for for kids of a broad age range. One of the best I’ve seen.
Seeing as the sun was out, we headed to Baboo Gelato, for salted caramel ice lollies, and a generous scoop of mint chop chip. we like to make sugar a treat, and this was well worth it.
We also stopped for a lunch at West Bay Cafe
It was a shame we weren’t staying longer, there were so many lovely spots to explore, such as:
The Venner Cocktail bar at Bull Hotel was unfortunately closed for a function on the Saturday night. But their boutique hotel and restaurant look so lovely, we may have to stay there next time we are in town.
June sees Bridport Food Festival which the locals we chatted to all spoke very highly of.
On our way home we stopped for lunch at the Ilchester Arms in Abbotsbury. A stunning little town, and an excellent pub. Seeing the sign on the way in welcoming ‘dogs, kids, and muddy boots’, and the friendly service and delicious food made this the perfect choice.
I am a big fan of vouchers and experiences as gifts, as opposed to material possessions. When we find ourselves being told to come up with presents we want, it all just seems to be missing the point. Thanks to vouchers (from cookery class, to RAP jumping) I have tried all sorts of fun new things, and created precious memories as a result.
My Family kindly gave my husband and I a spa half day at the Brooklands Hotel, Surrey as a Birthday gift. Almost four months later, we were able to find a weekend which would work for everyone (Child caring Grandparents and all).
If you aren’t familiar with the Brooklands Hotel’s B Spa, it is located in North Surrey, near Weybridge, and next to the site of the Mercedes Benz Race Track. A Spa on a Race Track might sound like an interesting combination, but it was great to be able to sit in the giant Jacuzzi bath on the outdoor balcony and watch the cars do spins and burn-outs. My Husband loves a bit of pampering. I’m pretty proud that my Ozzie Outback, Farmer boy can embrace a Facial and a Massage with the best of them. So no arm twisting was require to share a spa day together (he was possibly more excited than me). But he definitely enjoyed watching the Cars as an added bonus.
Our package included a 25 minute Massage, and we treated ourselves to Facials as well. The girls were lovely, and excellent at their jobs. You can rally tell if a therapist is just going through the motions, or cares about what they do, and as a Client you reap the benefits when they do really care. We had a couples room, which meant I was able to crack up laughing when Intrepid papa fell asleep mid facial and started snoring!
As mentioned, the giant Jacuzzi bath was a definite highlight, along with the treatments. The modern and immaculately clean changing rooms also have Steam Rooms and a Sauna. Another real highlight for me was the Meditation Room ,which you can book privately and lounge on Water beds, listen to relaxing music and just switch off, utter BLISS.
An additional treat in our package included an Afternoon tea. I find Afternoons teas can be hit and miss, but this one was excellent, with imaginative cakes and freshly baked scones, it’s rare i can’t finish a sweet treat but I was utterly stuffed!
We had a wonderful time and will certainly be back-I’d love to stay next time (and hopefully the Grandparents will be willing to babysit if I promise they can go to the Spa one day too), so I will keep you posted on a review of the hotel.