This is going to be a post about two of my favourite things – travel and Disney. In particular, the DisneyLife app. (A new branch of the ‘favourite things’ tree.)
If you’ve read even a handful of my blog posts before, you’ll know that Belle and I are pretty much permanently on mini-breaks, holed up in some caravan somewhere, and in case you were in any doubt at all about the Disney element, here’s what hangs, pride of place, on the wall at home. I’m not sure whether Bee was more excited in Disneyland Paris, meeting Stitch, or at Camp Bestival, where she met Seth Lakeman. It’s a tough call.
The DisneyLife app
We are all very excited though about being part of the team of bloggers working with Disney to help people discover the DisneyLife app. And honestly, when I say I am excited, I really mean it. Not like when I say ‘I’m excited to be working with this new brand of high fibre cracker!’ (Although you know, it’s always nice to have work). This is proper ‘I might get to work with Disney! I can’t wait to hear from Disney!’ type excitement. Ask my fiancé, he’ll tell you how annoying I’ve been in the run up to this project going live. View Post
I don’t think I’ve ever really watched surfers. (Unless you count watching Point Break about 27 times as a teenager.) I’ve seen them, but I’ve never really watched them, and appreciated the dedication and passion that’s at the heart of surfing. That is, until I visited the Esplanade Hotel in Newquay.
As I sat in the big windows of The Esplanade Hotel, looking out over Fistral Bay, the sea looked like it was covered in birds – little black blobs bobbing up and down on the surface of the water. They were surfers though, lying in wait for waves. As I watched, I realised just how much lying in wait is actually involved. For minutes on end they bobbed, watching the waves, waiting for the one that would be worth it – all of that time for just a few seconds of adrenaline.
Our bedroom was pretty much directly above the big front windows, so we had a similarly lovely view to wake up to:
Before we arrived at Nozstock festival at the end of July, I don’t think I had done quite enough to prepare my fiancé for an authentic festival experience. Until last summer, the only festival experience he had had at all was The Proms, and I really don’t think that counts. As far as I know, Prom goers don’t tend to wear revealing mermaid costumes or walk around during the concert, kicking up hay with their bare feet.
Last summer, we eased him in gently with Wychwood Festival, but that’s so small and family friendly, and essentially in a car park, with tarmac floors, that it’s more like a large church fete.
“Is this what all festivals are like?” he asked, as we arrived at Nozstock, and passed a group of people with blue dreadlocks, holding cans of cider.
“Um, yes, pretty much,” I said. He has led rather a sheltered life, (until he met me), and sometimes funny coloured hair makes him nervous. I think he worries that he won’t know what to do, or how to behave properly, and that he will end up looking silly.
“Should I wear my hat?” he asked anxiously. “Will people laugh at me?”
I assured him that the beauty of a festival is that you can wear whatever you like, and no one will laugh. It’s just about having a good time, and escaping from real life. View Post
I have some fond memories of Crealy Park in Devon, which all came back when we camped at Crealy Meadows.
It was a favourite haunt when Belle was little, and we even went on a coach trip there from playgroup. I remember it clearly, as we took this very funny picture of Belle on the coach. It always makes me laugh because it looks a bit like she is being born – sort of popping out.
A few weekends ago I spent the night at the Mercure Bristol Holland House hotel and spa. It wasn’t any kind of illicit rendezvous, I was just checking out their new Bristol inspired room. It was designed by Laura Withers, the hotel’s Assistant Spa and Leisure Manager, as part of the Accor Hotels My Room project. Laura has lived in Bristol for nearly 30 years and loves the city, so created the room to reflect Bristol’s culture of street art, with particular reference to Banksy.
Arriving at the Mercure Bristol Holland House hotel and spa, I have to confess that I had my reservations. (See what I did there? Hotels? Reservations? Sorry…) Having lived in Bristol for a few years, I’ve driven past it plenty of times, and always thought that from the outside it looked a little bit dated. Because I’d only ever driven around that part of Bristol, I couldn’t really place it in my mind either in terms of how close it was to anything. I know it’s handy for Bristol Temple Meads station, but other than that, I was in the dark.
I’m pleased to report that stepping into the hotel lobby banished any concerns I might have had about the decor and design. The reception area was very smart and spacious, and I could see that the bar and restaurant area looked pretty smart too. I was soon checked in, and heading up to my room.
The Bristol theme struck me as soon as I put my little plastic key in the lock and opened the door. It was very well put together, with a bold pattern over the bed, and then little touches throughout the room. it could have easily been over the top, but it wasn’t – there was just enough of it to make a cohesive theme without the feeling like you were in Dismaland.
Belle and I have been on a lot of mini-breaks on our own. They’re fun. We have our little rituals, which mainly involve planning our snacks and which village-based murder mystery we are going to watch in the evening, and we rub along perfectly fine. Here we are in fact, looking adorable as always, outside our Hoburne Naish cabin a couple of weekends ago:
My lovely fiancé wrote this post about our trip to Woodland Tipi and Yurts in Herefordshire.
I won’t go into the details, but lately, as a family, we really needed to reconnect. Work has meant we’ve had far less time to spend together as a family and we were all feeling the need to go spend some quality time together. Cue a weekend away at Woodland Tipi and Yurts in Herefordshire.
When I was a child, a tipi was something you read about in a book about native Americans. Along with Eskimos in their igloos, they were things I never thought I’d experience first hand. Admittedly they seem to be everywhere nowadays, but a boutique campsite that offered the chance for us to be together seemed like too good an offer to miss.