Archive for September 2015

Camping at Swiss Farm Cottage

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Another year has flown by and again we haven't used our tent as much as we would have liked. A couple of weekends ago Mr MoaB had the weekend off, so we decided to go camping as it would be the last chance this year!

We didn't want to travel too far as we were only going for one night so chose Swiss Farm Cottage near Henley. We called up in the morning to check availability before we set off. You can only book a minimum of 2 nights if you book online, but by calling we were able to confirm that we stay just one night. It took about 50 minutes to drive there.

We checked in and then headed into the cafe for a bite to eat as it was lunchtime. The cafe is right by the outdoor pool. Unfortunately this meant that Little Miss A just kept asking the whole time to go swimming! Although the pool was open (2 brave souls decided to take a dip) it was very cold. We managed to distract Little Miss A a bit with the small children's playground but ate quickly so we could leave the pool and go and put our tent up.

Little Miss A loves the tent! We gave her some spare pegs and a mallet to keep her entertained whilst we put the tent up as she just wanted to get in!

There are different grades of pitch - we just went for the basic one. Posher people had electricity and a picnic bench!!

It was a really nice campsite. There was a really nice lake tucked away with lots of ducks and geese. There were also lots of pigs - Little Miss A did really well with her counting and between us we counted 3 big ones and 14 babies! We also spent time in the other playground where lots of other children were playing too. Little Miss A held her own with the bigger children!

Once set-up we decided to drive into Henley for a bit of a wander around. It really is a lovely town. We headed down to the river and walked along for a while. Little Miss A had an ice-cream at the first ice cream van we found. We also found a really nice park which had a few fairground type rides. Little Miss A chose to drive the bus!


We couldn't have picked a better weekend weather wise. It was really warm during the day. Of course the night time was a different story! Brrrrr! It was cold. Surprisingly, the temperature didn't seem to bother Little Miss A that much - she certainly didn't wake up cold. I think I suffered more and definitely didn't sleep that well.

After a lovely bacon sarnie and hot cup of tea, we set to the task of taking the tent down. As soon as were done, we were off to visit the National Trust property that was just a few miles away - Grey's Court. 


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Tudor Fayre in Aylesbury

Monday, 28 September 2015

This year we went along to the Tudor Fayre again. This annual event is organised by Aylesbury Town Council.

Most of the activities were at the Bucks County Museum but we did come across a band playing in Kingsbury and a couple of musicians in Market Square as well.

We started off in the Museum gardens and after a look at the amazing birds of prey, the Jester arrived and Little Miss A took part in a bit of his Jester School! I'm not sure she understood what she was taking part in but it was fun to watch her getting involved!

Little Miss A had a bit of a sword fight with her Daddy - she held her own against him! Then we headed inside the Museum. There was lots going on in here as well - much more than last year. Little Miss A had a bit of a dance to the musicians before doing some crafts. Then we found a room with archery so Mr MoaB had to have a go!


There were lots of other activities to take part in for older children such as candle making, along with different Tudor people to meet including a Naval Commander, Spice Merchant and Silk woman. King Henry VIII was also in attendance but we didn't manage to get a picture with him this year.

We popped back out to the garden before heading off. We went via Kingsbury and we're glad we did as there was a band playing. Little Miss A did a bit of dancing but then they turned on a big bubble machine and Little Miss A ran around with sheer delight!





Before we set off for home we went to the Old County Hall to see Karl Vaughan's photo exhibition - Aylesbury Timescapes. These were fantastic photos - he's managed to merge current views of the town with old views. Many of these photos can be seen on the Aylesbury Remembered Facebook page.

These events were part of the Heritage Open Days - a weekend where lots of events take place around the country, including in Aylesbury. You can read more here about our experience at the Charter Day & Tudor Fayre last year.


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My Sunday Photo 27-09-2015

Sunday, 27 September 2015

This is my favourite picture of this week. One of Little Miss A and her Daddy!


It was taken today at Rushmere Country Park. Our second visit to this Park and we had a great walk exploring a whole different area to last time. Here they are at the Boathouse. I love the way the light is shining on them and their big waves!

OneDad3Girls

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Community & Emergency Services Day 2015 at Waddesdon Manor

Thursday, 24 September 2015

It was the turn of Mr MoaB to take Little Miss A along to the Community & Emergency Services Day at Waddesdon Manor this year which took place on 12th September. I took Little Miss A along to the Waddesdon Community Day in 2014 but this year I went to a bloggers event and left Mr MoaB and Little Miss A to have a nice Daddy Daughter Day!

The great thing about the Community Day is that entry into the gardens and house are free for everyone, you don't need to be a National Trust member. Last year we weren't members so this was our first experience of Waddesdon Manor, now we are members so this was Little Miss A's 7th visit of the year! This annual event is part of the Heritage Open Days and there are local emergency services and community teams providing activities for the kids to do.

Luckily Mr MoaB and Little Miss A had nice weather for their wander about. Little Miss A enjoyed meeting the various animals that were there.


It appears that her favourite thing was the motorbikes - big and small! She went on them several times.










She also enjoyed taking the driving seat in the police vehicles, especially the tractor. I love the fact that she wore the helmet (although it did keep slipping down so she couldn't see!).





Once they'd done a few circuits of all the emergency vehicles, they headed off to the Woodland Playground for a run around. I can't believe how long they spent that day at the Manor - they were there about 3 hours.

Hopefully this event will happen again next year. We'll be putting it in our diary!

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The Crows Nest - Beefeater Review

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Recently we enjoyed a family meal at the newly renovated Beefeater Crows Nest restaurant in Tring. It's definitely worth a visit if you haven't been for a while.

We were invited to review the restaurant so I asked my parents to join us for lunch as a treat for us all. Also, I thought it would be better to have 4 opinions (not including Little Miss A's!).

On arrival, Little Miss A was given a Mr Men & Little Miss pack which kept her distracted for a bit whilst we looked over the menus.



The weekday lunch menu is very good value. Although the list is more limited, it is all meals off the main (very comprehensive) menu and as I wanted steak I could opt for my preferred cut of steak at a cheaper price. My Dad was really pleased to see mussels on the menu as he doesn't have them very often.

Mr MoaB was the only one to opt for a starter - chicken wings. We chose pasta with tomato sauce for Little Miss A. The kids menu is really well designed with pictures as well as descriptions which really helps little ones to choose for themselves as they can point to what they want. I thought Little Miss A would wolf her meal down as we'd been swimming beforehand which always makes us hungry, but she didn't eat that much and was happy to just play with a few toys my Mum had brought for her.


My Mum and I had ordered sirloin steak. We were actually presented with T-bone cuts (much more expensive!) as apparently a new chef had got the order wrong. Probably not something they want him to do too often and he maybe should take a look at the cow pictures around the restaurant which show the different cuts of meat!

My Dad opted for pudding as Little Miss A was having an ice-cream. He does love profiteroles! I just got a photo in time before he demolished them!

The decor is very fresh and bold. There's definitely a theme to the decor and if you're a bit sensitive to where your meat comes from, then it might not suit you!


The restaurant boasts some really great views. I imagine you get nice sunsets if you time it right! There is a large garden at the back with a climbing frame so we spent a bit of time out there after our meal.

Here's what each of us thought:

Mum: "Lovely food enjoyed in great company!"
Dad: "Two of my favourite things - mussels and profiteroles!"
Mr MoaB: "Lovely service, very tasty steak!"
Me: "Great decor, great choice and great food!"

If you're looking for a family friendly local restaurant, then this is definitely a good choice.

Disclaimer: We received a voucher to review the Crows Nest Beefeater but all opinions are my own. We paid the extra to cover our bill.


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My Sunday Photo 20-09-2015

Sunday, 20 September 2015

This is my favourite picture of this week.


It was taken yesterday at the campsite we were staying at. Little Miss A really enjoyed visiting the pigs and it was great seeing her actively counting them. There were 14 little piggies and 3 big ones!


OneDad3Girls

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My Sunday Photo 13-09-2015

Sunday, 13 September 2015

This is my favourite picture of this week. I just love Little Miss A's gleeful face in this photo!


It was taken today in Aylesbury. There was a band playing in the Square as part of a Tudor Fayre and they had the best bubble machine. I've never seen so many bubbles in one go! Little Miss A absolutely loved it!


OneDad3Girls

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My Sunday Photo 06-09-2015

Sunday, 6 September 2015

This is my favourite picture of this week. A rare one captured of Little Miss A and me!


It was taken on Monday when we went to Towersey Festival. It poured with rain all day but that didn't stop us having lots of fun!

OneDad3Girls

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Aldenham Country Park - 100 Aker Wood

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Yesterday we visited Aldenham Country Park. The big appeal of this Country Park is that it has Winnie the Pooh's 100 Aker Wood!

Little Miss A was not on the best of form when we first got there (she needed a bit more sleep) and was determined to set her own agenda. We tried several times to entice her into the 100 Aker Wood but she kept wandering off. First to see the horses, then to see the ducks. Luckily I'd taken some food so she could feed them.

Eventually we made it onto the 100 Aker Wood path and once Little Miss A started finding the different features, she loved it!






I wasn't really sure what we'd find in the Wood, but it's all been really well designed with lots of little houses to discover plus other features from the stories such as the North Pole!



Little Miss A spent ages in Pooh's House. It was nice that you could actually go inside and that there was a Pooh Bear. Lots of other children came and went, but she stayed in there! We actually ate our sandwiches whilst we waited for her to finish playing in the house.











The last thing we had to do was play Pooh sticks on Pooh Bridge! I kept losing!

It's a really lovely walk and very manageable for toddlers. It was pretty muddy in places so wellies are needed during the winter and after lots of rain.

We decided it was time for a refreshment from the kiosk. Then Little Miss A spotted the playground so we spent quite a lot of time on the equipment. There were 2 play areas, one aimed at younger kids and one for older kids. Little Miss A spent just as much time in the older kids area!

There are lots of additional activities which you can pay for (cheaper to book online in advance) including a Pony Zone where you can ride the horses, a Woodland Adventures area with Monkey Nets & Tree Climbing plus a working interactive Farm and Small Animal Petting Area. However, if like us, you stick to the free areas then you can still enjoy a full day out walking around 100 Aker Wood, the Lake and visiting the playground.

Aldenham Country Park is about a 50 minute drive from Aylesbury near Watford. It's definitely worth the drive with so much to do there. Car parking costs £4.50 which you can pay at the exit barrier or if you haven't got change you can pay at the kiosk where they give you a token.


LarabeeUK

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Me & Mine - August 2015

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Joining up again with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project. Unusually we have two photos of our little family for August!



These were both taken on our family holiday. The top one is us on the Shaun in the City trail in Bristol. I can't believe how much Little Miss A enjoyed spotting the Shaun's! The second photo was taken at a fantastic playground we visited with Mr MoaB's family.

August Highs:
  • A lovely Mummy & daughter walk along part of the Grand Union Canal. It's amazing what we have right on our doorstep, just need to take the time to explore it!
  • Little Miss A's first experience of a Splash Park. It was definitely a success. Would love to take her again - maybe if we get a hot spell in September!
  • A really lovely day out with my parents at Stanwick Lakes in Northamptonshire. The water play area was just what Little Miss A needed to cool off as it was a really hot day!
  • Our family holiday. We stayed with Mr MoaB's Mum up North and managed to pack a lot in including a trip to the beach, the fantastic playground we're pictured in above and a local village Scarecrow Trail. 
  • Thanks to Visit Bristol, we enjoyed a fun few days in Bristol. There were so many highlights including the Shaun in the City Trail, a visit to the Aquarium and watching Little Miss A splash about in Millennium Square.
  • We've managed to get out on lots of family walks this month including College Lake, Tring Park and Burnham Beeches.
  • Little Miss A and I took full advantage of the brilliant free events in Aylesbury during Parklife Weekend - Live in the Park and Fun in the Park.
  • Through my volunteering with the local NCT branch we were able to go to Towersey Festival. It rained all day, but that didn't stop Little Miss A having lots of fun. 

August Lows:
  • Watching the pennies. It's always in the back of my mind and we are really careful. We're still paying off the unexpected expense of the car we had to buy in June. That's why we had a very cheap staycation holiday and stayed with Mr MoaB's Mum to save on accommodation costs!
  • It does seem like Mr MoaB has had lots of time off in August which has been fantastic but the days he has worked have just been crazy long. The days just seem very long and often lonely. This should get better now the school holidays are over and it's getting darker earlier, so he'll be home earlier. Just eating together of an evening would be nice!
The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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