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Activities Days Out Places

6 Family Farm Days Under One Hour From London

Back in the day, you would go to a farm and expect to see a couple of domestic animals roaming around, a few farm animals in the field, have a play on a rickety old climbing frame, eat a Mr Whippy and then head home. Oh no. Not nowadays. We expect a farm to entertain our poor little deprived children and not only give them a taste of the countryside but entertain, thrill and stimulate them like a theme park! Fun farms!

Here a few that you can reach in about an hour from London – so go for the day and still be back in time for tea – that definitely won’t disappoint!

Bocketts Farm

Leatherhead, Surrey

Nestled just off the A3, it’s very easy to get to Bocketts. There is lots to do – inside and outside play areas, animal feeling and some lovely lunch options – as well as Bocketts being a working family farm. The farm is home to hundreds of animals, including lambs, piglets, chicks and calves. For us, The Pig Racing was a real highlight. It’s actually a full-on marathon and the children went nuts for it. I didn’t know pigs could run that fast… Very fun.

Address: Young St, Fetcham, Leatherhead KT22 9BS, United Kingdom

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Photo credit: @olliedixonphoto, Facebook

Bucklebury Farm Park

Reading, Berkshire

This is a delightful farm and we particularly enjoyed the go karts and play bus. The guys had fun careering down the assault course in the woods too! Bucklebury is very charming and the shabby-chic style cafe was lovely and also very helpful – warming baby food and helping prevent our errant 2 year old from wandering into the kitchen without losing their cool!

Address: Bucklebury, Reading RG7 6RR, United Kingdom

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Credit: buckleburyfarmpark, Facebook

Looking for a short family break? Here are 12 luxury staycations the whole family will love… 

Godstone Farm

Godstone, Surrey

The soft play and vast adventure playground alone is worth the entry fee here. There is also a much appreciated section for the under 2’s. The dino trail and designated playground filled with ride on tractors and trucks was also a real hit. They are very generous with the time they allow for rabbit and chicken ‘cuddling’ although the chicks were out of bounds for the 1 year old. ‘They aren’t very good at releasing their grip at that age…’

Update July 2020: Animal holding and the playbarn are currently closed but hopefully we’ll see them opening very soon!

Address: Farm Limited, Tilburstow Hill Rd, Godstone RH9 8LX, United Kingdom

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Looking to update your wardrobe, buy a gift or treat yourself?

You will find a gorgeous range of jewellery, accessories and clothes on TLM Edit, all hand-picked by The London Mummy.


Epsom, Surrey

Hobbledown is the ‘Harry Potter’ of all farms. It is like entering a different land and each area is crafted beautifully. Teepees and tents line the paths and there is something interesting going on at every turn. I could have perused the shop for longer than I did too. There were loads of cool books, games and toys – will definitely stock up on Christmas presents next time we head back!

Address: Horton Ln, Epsom KT19 8PT, United Kingdom

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Read also: Al Fresco Inspiration: 10 Things Your Family Picnic Is Missing

Odds Park Farm

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Odds Park is a huge farm with plenty to do including tractor rides, animal feeding, a wonderful sandpit and plentiful play areas. Everyone’s highlight was the sheep racing though, where you backed a sheep and if it came in, you won a medal. That made a few happy (and unhappy) faces! The staff are very friendly and the map is clear with an extensive plan of what’s on at what time.

Address: Wooburn Common, Wooburn Green, High Wycombe HP10 0LX, United Kingdom

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Wellington Country Park

Riseley, Berkshire

We always race straight to the train as soon as we arrive. Hughie, the train driver, always welcomes us aboard with a huge smile. Each time we visit they have added to the collection of little statues, gnomes and animals along the route. Don’t forget to scream when you go through the tunnel! If you manage to get beyond the three different outdoor play areas (they are brilliant – especially the zip wire), there is a sweet little farm area and a beautiful lake to walk around. A top day out.

Address: Odiham Rd, Riseley, Reading RG7 1SP, United Kingdom

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Whichever one you choose, you will have a lovely day. They are all perfect destinations to meet friends, escape the grind and fill up one day of the holidays!

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Fashion Places Travel

Our Stay in Fish&Pips Luxury Chalet in Meribel

Happy New Year! Slightly stumped how to share one of the best weekends I have had in years, without sounding like a boastful txxxxr. Well, here goes! Within my usual style of sharing brilliant businesses and brands with you, it’s now time to turn my hand to a wonderful company, Fish&Pips who we went skiing with to Meribel Village before Christmas.


To get you up to speed, Fish&Pips are two lovely ladies, who out of a shared love of special places to stay, friendly service and delicious, freshly prepared food have become the luxury escape experts for both chalet and Summer holidays.

Holly & Philippa

Otherwise known as Holly Chandler (the ‘Fish’!) and Philippa Hartley (the ‘Pips’!), they go back a long way and are life-long family friends.

After we’d finished university at Edinburgh and Brighton (respectively) it became clear that our visits to career advisers had told us nothing in comparison to what our next few seasons in the Alps would teach us. It’s what we love, and it’s what we do best. Through many years of working together in the Alps and holidaying with various chalet companies, we know what works, what doesn’t, what’s important and what isn’t.


Alex and I were lucky enough to be invited to stay in one of their 13 different chalets in Meribel Village in the Three Valleys.  (FYI, they have 6 catered chalets, 6 self-catered and 1 serviced)

Meribel Village

I know, we couldn’t believe it either!


We were met off the plane in Geneva (only 1.20hr flight from Gatwick) by one of the lovely Fish&Pips drivers who swiftly drove us up the mountain to our chalet.


Despite driving in the dark, his confident driving put me at ease on the winding roads, which I must say is a rarity driving through mountainous regions.

On arrival we were greeted by chalet girl Carla, who was very welcoming and smiley.


All of their team members are welcoming and friendly whilst remaining professional and attentive. They have a wealth of local knowledge about the resort so were able to ask lots questions about the conditions, the resort and the chalet.

Speaking of the Chalet – wow. Alex and I actually got the giggles at how luxurious it was. Chalet Baita , one of their catered chalets, has recently been designed to a very high spec.


The communal living area was cosy and inviting with beautiful views overlooking the pistes (and hot tub on the left!)

Living Rom

Our bedroom was very ‘alpine chic’. There was also a noticeable amount of storage – something that is usually lacking when unpacking bulky ski stuff!

Master Bedroom


After we freshened up, it was time for some bubbles and canapés.

Hand Picked Wine

Handmade from scratch by brilliant Chef George, The Mini Croque Madams were a taste sensation!!! Everything is sourced locally so have failed trying to recreate them at home!


All of their catered chalets have professionally trained chefs working in them. They have a partnership with The Abinger Cookery School and Adam Byatt who owns the Michelin starred Trinity Restaurant in Clapham Old Town.


There’s no chance of going hungry, with a wide choice of breakfast options (7 breakfasts in total, of which 2 are continental) and each evening you have canapés followed by a 4 course meal for 6 of the nights that you stay.

That’s not forgetting the afternoon tea upon returning from skiing…

Afternoon Tea

and a cheeseboard each evening…

cheese board

and we were packed off with a home made energy bar each morning!


Their pre-holiday care and concierge service is also what sets them apart. They work with an amazing bunch of suppliers and will recommended and help organize anything you might need during their stay from Ski School or childcare to transfers and massages.

I want to give a special mention to the guys at Marmalade Ski School After a few hours of private lessons with them, my style and confidence improved.

They are also wonderful with kids. Ok, my kids weren’t with us – I could just tell they would be great!  They can turn their hands to expert skiers who want to go off piste to beginners straight out of nappies.


(and well versed with jokers – as above!)

Slide Candy were a brilliant boutique company that fitted our boots and ski’s in the comfort of our chalet. I have never had such a comfortable feet on the slopes!



It was lovely being in a resort with experts who knew where to go (and how to get there!)

I especially enjoyed our lunch on the piste and the fun company of the instructors and Fish&Pips ladies.



It was especially spoiling to have a long lazy lunch with no responsibilities  to deal with afterwards, like the usual picking the kids up from school… I ‘may’ have got a little carried away with the apres ski one or two nights on the Genepi but we were there for the opening nights of the Folie Douche and Lodge Du Village so needs must.

Lodge Du Village


Another notable aspect of Fish&Pips is their pledge to reduce their environmental impact reduce consumption and waste, educate others and plant more trees. They have joined forces with the amazing team at ‘One Tree At a Time’ to do so to help make the chalet industry greener and we want to set a template for others to follow.


Fish&Pips can also look after you for your summer holiday too. Stay in one of their hand-picked hotels or beautiful villas in Cyprus, Portugal, Croatia, Menorca and Mallorca and let them look after every detail of your holiday so no detail of your trip is left untouched.

Mallorca Villa Canacati

Now that would be something to look forward to!

For any information, pricing or just initial chat, contact the friendly team at Fish&Pips

Sales and Booking +44 (0) 1306 264005



Activities Days Out Family Life Places Reviews

25 Things To Do With Your Child This Summer

As I enter the first Monday of the summer holidays without any plans, trying not to switch the TV on – this post from Emily at Kings Tutors is so helpful, I am devouring every suggestion. Have a look at her ideas – you will be so enlightened!


Take it away Emily…

It can be difficult to keep a child entertained for a summer, but with this list of fun, educative and healthy activities, you should find the task somewhat easier.

Reading Challenge

Head to your local library and see if they are holding a summer ‘reading challenge’. The summer reading challenge uses various rewards to motivate your child into reading 6 books over the summer break. If your library is not holding the challenge, you can always create your own. More information about the reading challenge can be found here


There’s an app for that

There’s an app for almost everything these days and summer activities with kids are no exception – explore app stores for ideas. Lots of these apps will involve outdoor activities, so you don’t need to worry about spending a day staring at a screen.


A fun evening activity, it is best to stargaze on clear nights and in areas with low light pollution. Don’t worry if you don’t worry if you know nothing about astronomy. You can find apps, websites and magazines to teach you and your child the stars.

Get lost in a maze (and hopefully find your way out again)

Find your nearest maze, let your child lead the way, and see how long it takes before you eventually find your way back out.


Find some wildlife to enjoy and to learn about. This could be in the zoo, an aquarium, a farm, or just in your back garden.

A day at the beach: a timeless classic

If you want the day to be somewhat educational, spend some time looking for shells and wildlife. There are also lots of urban beaches around the country now too, have a look online and find a more convenient and local way to enjoy the sun and sand.

Fruit picking

Another way to make healthy eating more fun. Whatever it is you go pick, your child will be more enthusiastic about eating it than they would be if it was shop bought.

Cherry picking

Board games

Pause the video games and take a break from screens, take the time to play some board games. If you want a more educational game than monopoly, there are lots of options out there.

Visit a cave

Do you know your stalactites from your stalagmites? If not, head to some caves and learn something new with your child; if you do, head to some caves and enjoy feeling knowledgeable while your child learns something new!

Grow something

Whether it be fruit, vegetables or some flowers, children will take pride in growing something, will learn some gardening skills and, if it is fruit or vegetables will be willing (at least try) to eat it.

Science experiments

There are lots of simple, fun and educative experiments to do from the home. This video is full of ideas.

Practice a new language together

There are lots of ways to learn some basic language skills, including apps, books and videos. You could help your child with some vocabulary they have learnt at school or try something entirely new with them. If you are lucky enough to be travelling abroad over the summer you could try to learn some of the language skills you might need; children will love having the chance to practice their skills on holiday.

Write a book or story together

This doesn’t need to be anything particularly long or spectacular, but it can be a fun and productive way to get creative and practice writing skills.

Take classes/lessons together

Everyone can always learn a skill and everyone can always get some more exercise, so have a look at what classes and lessons are offered locally. Leisure centres always have lots of options.

Scavenger hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt around your house, garden or beyond. Use clues as a way to practice educational skills.


There are lots of ways to make crafts fun – you could go for a walk and make a collage from items you find on the way or you could use crafts as a chance to re-use and recycle.


Educational, free, and out of the rain, museums are always a great way to spend a day.


Fossil hunting

This could be slightly more difficult because it can’t be done anywhere, but there are lots of places across the country which are suitable – just make sure you know your ammonites from your belemnites!

Have a smoothie day

Spend the day making smoothies. This can be a fun way to eat healthily and to sneak some fruit and vegetables into your child’s drink.

Summer sport

There is almost always some sport happening over the summer. See what’s on and try to get your child interested and see if they would like to try a new sport.

Bird feeders

Bird feeders are easy to make as this RSPB guide shows and they provide a great opportunity for your child to engage with nature.

Look local

Have a look on your local newspaper’s website; it will be full of local activities and events which are happening across the summer.

Outdoor cinema

Every summer there seems to be more and more open-air cinemas popping up around the UK. A trip to one of these cinemas is great for the evening; they often show family-friendly films too.

Art galleries

Let your child attempt to draw their own versions of the classics and teach them about the exhibits (or find a tour guide or brochure to teach them instead). Art galleries are often free, too!

Fly a kite

An old-school option, but always fun, especially if you make the kit with your child before flying it! This CBBC video might help you get started.


Kings Tutors are leading Private Tutors in London so if you are looking for a tutor to keep your kids brain ticking over this summer, contact them!

Places Reviews Travel

Black Pig Retreats : Luxury Safari Tents, Dorset

We have just returned home with our hearts full and a renewed love of camping. We stayed at Black Pig Retreats in Motcombe, Dorset (near Shaftsbury) this weekend and didn’t want to leave.  We arrived on Friday evening and were welcomed by the very calm and kind Carolyn who immediately asked if the kids wanted to go in the boot of her ‘buggy’. That won them over and within two minutes they were off with her. I like this place!!


We followed them down the dirt track and then up the hill we were presented with out accommodation for the weekend. Wow was the first thing I exclaimed – and that was without even seeing inside.

Safari Tent

The tent had an eat in kitchen living room, 3 bedrooms (to sleep 6), flushable loo, hot shower a lovely terrace.


The whoops of joy as the kids explored their surroundings. They were particularly enamoured with the tree house style bedroom painted in Greek blue with rich mustard curtains to keep out the light and make it true camp style.


The kitchen was spotless and very well equipped – I didn’t need my trusty plunger as there was a stylish and sturdy Le Creuset one that was far superior to mine.  There was some milk, break and biscuits too to keep hunger at bay for when we arrived. They really had thought of everything.


I couldn’t believe how high spec our bedroom was, 6 pillows and a goose down duvet!!! This is one place that you can leave your pillow at home!




There was so much space, we were able to have friends over for drinks and a BBQ. The kids were in heaven meandering through the brooking exploring all the sights to see on the trail – especially the ‘Lion’.

Sweet Peas

The next morning the children were whisked away to feed the animals on the farm. Carolyn has a real way with children and felt immediately comfortable with her.


The highlight was feeding the real black pigs and of course the horses!

Horse Feeding

I highly recommend you visit. It is super comfortable and so peaceful and beautiful – I feel really well rested and refreshed and will definitely be heading back. It would perfect with the family or even a midweek break with a couple of friends as they have a studio for Pilates & Yoga too.


To book, call Carolyn on 01747 590 678 or email

Days Out Places Travel

Drayton Manor Theme Park : Fun Family Day Out

Despite the 300 mile round trip, we had a lovely day at one of Britain’s best theme parks. Situated in the county of Staffordshire, Drayton Manor Theme Park is a picturesque theme park based around a duck laden lake. Like many of the major theme parks (Peppa Pig World at Paultons, CBeebies land at Alton Towers), Drayton Manor has a dedicated area for any little Thomas The Tank Engine fan.


Thomasland is the perfect place to introduce your little one to the delights of a theme park in a gentle and fun surrounding.


There are so many rides in this area that queues were minimal. They loved the water pistol Fire Engine ride. Simple but brilliant.


The rest of the park is packed with traditional theme park rides. This car ride is always a winner isn’t it?

car ride

The log flume was brilliant but very wet so make sure you cover up otherwise you will be walking around soaking for the rest of the day 🙂

Log flume

Sadly my oldest who is a rollercoaster fantatic was disappointed to be 5cm too short to go on the ‘only 1 of 2 stand up rollercoasters in Europe.  #secretlyrelieved


Instead we went on the some twisty upside down ride that made me slightly ill for the rest of the day. However we had our rollercoaster fix as there were plenty of miniature rollercoaster for 110cm and up…


There was a vast choice of places to eat. We chose a Pizza Pasta place next to the zoo (below they are checking out the Meerkats) and had pretty good meatballs!


We let lunch settle with a viewing of an Ice Age 4D Cinema experience.  We were thrown around and sprayed with a fair bit of water which the boys loved.


The younger two had a run around on one of the many adventure playgrounds.


H and I had a wander around the Dino Trail and brushed up on our dinosaur intel.

Dino Trail

H also practiced his photography skills – great one of the three dinosaurs…


All in all a lovely day which would make a great birthday or holiday treat.

Price list

If you looking for a fun day out to amuse the kids this summer, you can’t go wrong with Drayton Manor.  As one of my kids asked the next day ‘ When can we go back?’

That’s always a good result!

Tickets were complimentary in return for an honest review of which all opinions are my own. 

Places Travel

Seventy Ten Travel : Last Minute Summer Holiday Ideas

As half term is looming, there can only be one thing around the corner – The Summer Holidays. My friends fall in to two camps. The organised and fully booked or the ‘fly by the seat of their pants’ camp. As a fully fledged member of the latter camp the former unnerve me.  If you haven’t booked anything yet, but realise you want to and kind of have to if you don’t want the dregs – this post is for you.

Kindly written by Ed Burke at Seventy Ten Travel, he has collated suggestions from Europe to Further afield – to suit all ages and requirements.



Porto Elounda, Crete

This is a great value luxury option for families. The interconnecting family rooms ensure complete comfort and the idyllic setting will ensure relaxation from the get-go.

This 120 room hotel is one of three hotels in the Elounda SA Resort, which all share the same facilities (if you really want to treat the family then the Elounda Peninsula adds an extra layer of comfort and glamour).

Here you get the best of both worlds, the ambience of a small hotel with the facilities of a large resort and the space that comes with it. There is a great choice of restaurants, a superbly spoiling Six Senses Spa, The Kids Ark has a huge range of activities on offer for babies all the way up to teenagers and there’s a football academy as well as golf and tennis facilities. The beach is small but calm, so perfect pottering territory for the little ones.


Package Price: £6,925 based on a family of 4 (children aged 2-12), departing 29th July, staying in 2 interconnecting sea view rooms with breakfast and buffet dinner, return flights and private transfers.

Sun Gardens, Dubrovnik

There is something beguiling about Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Coast, the stunning coastline encased by crystal clear water, punctuated with delicate islands and intriguing historical remnants. Sun Gardens Dubrovnik allows families to enjoy this spectacular area without foregoing any of the often mandatory family requirements.

The Two Bedroom Residences allow more than enough space for everyone to get a peaceful night’s sleep (the secret to every successful family holiday!), as well as a sitting room, kitchenette and terrace – giving the option for a quiet night in every now and again. The dedicated kids pool and pebble beach is perfect for lazy days pottering around the resort, or for a mini adventure there is a boat service into Dubrovnik old town and further afield you could take a boat to explore some of the beautiful neighbouring islands and beaches. For a bit of parental R&R there is an excellent kids club as well as lots of supervised sport activities. There’s also an excellent spa and some superb restaurants to choose from.


Sun Gardens

Package Price: £5,895 based on a family of 4 (children aged 2-12), departing 7th July, staying in a Two Bedroom Residence with breakfast, return flights and private transfers.

Abama Ritz Carlton, Tenerife

You may remember Tenerife was one of our recommendations for the Easter Holidays. The summer is also a great time to visit. Despite being so far South the weather in July and August is absolutely perfect.

Dubbed ‘the island of eternal spring’ the July day time temperatures average is in the late 20’s with very little rain. Despite the perfect weather it’s not high season like the rest of Europe so you get good value for money. If you are looking for a world class resort hotel, then the Ritz-Carlton Abama should be high on your list.

Set within an enormous private estate on the less developed west coast, you are cocooned away from the masses and there is no real reason to leave. Firstly the food and drink is astounding, M.B holds 2 Michelin Stars for it’s Basque cuisine and the Japanese-fusion restaurant Kabuki has one star – these are complemented by a great range of alternatives both formal and informal. Adventures await children aged 4 – 12 at the enormous kids club.

All in all, the Abama is perfect for families looking for a spoiling break away.


Package Price: £6,245 based on a family of 4 (children aged 2-12), departing 7th July, staying in Two Connecting Rooms, Half Board with daily Kids club and Spa Circuit, return flights and private transfers.


If you feel the children are old enough (or young enough), you may wish to to embark on a more active holiday. Getting out and about seeing places brings opportunities to create memories that last a lifetime. It also makes the holiday seem much longer and on returning home you’ll feel recharged and rejuvenated despite the additional exertion.

Ed and Rosie would be able to advise on many fun options and have detailed a few below.


The Alps

Bring out the “von Trapp” in your family with a summer trip to the Alps. Whether you choose to visit the Sound of Music heartland of Salzburg or the convenient French Alps, there is a host of wholesome family fun to be had. Walk or take a lift up to the beautiful meadows and collect flowers, swim in the bracing lakes or cycle the designated routes (electric mountain bikes are now widely available).

Megeve is particularly fun in summer and easy to get to, with loads going on and some excellent hotels.


Italy, Slovenia and Croatia

This year for my annual family adventure, I will drive through Northern Italy and Slovenia to the Croatian Coast. Starting in Lake Maggiore we will show the children where we got married and spend some happy days swimming, boating, visiting the islands and enjoying the fabulous food.

We’ll then drive across to the Veneto region to visit Verona and Lake Garda (unfortunately the opera might be a bit late for the children, but we may try and have a peek). We will then bite the bullet and take the long drive to Pula in Croatia (you can get a boat from Venice if preferred). After a few days on the coast, we will venture into Slovenia, visiting the beautiful capital Ljubljana, before heading into the mountains to the Lake Bled region. Then it will back to Italy to drop the car in Venice before flying home.

Lake Bled


Last summer, Rosie spent time exploring Transylvania in Northern Romania. The destination totally surpassed expectations and she’s already plotting her return there! It really is an idyllic destination not only for couples but also for families.

We covered a fair bit of ground visiting many traditional Transylvanian towns and villages, stopping along the way to nose into some ancient squares, overtaking many a horse and cart (which are still the mode of transport for many rural families), tasting some schnitzel and pork soups, striding up hillsides and of course driving the famous Transfagarasan pass (voted quite rightly by Top Gear as one of the best mountain roads to drive in the world).

However this area is not just for the speed seekers; with such a stunning array of historical buildings and countryside to explore I would absolutely recommend it to all ages and interests, especially for a real family holiday with a difference!

Accommodation here is in beautifully restored local houses and buildings; not only offering further insight into local life and culture but also offering extremely comfortable and tasteful rooms as well as deliciously prepared local food – all for a fraction of the price that you can expect to pay in Western Europe.




If you’ve been thinking about a long-haul trip this summer but not got around to organising anything yet – then don’t panic – it’s not too late to get something organised.

There are many long-haul options perfect for summer holidays and often they’ll work out a similar price to a high-end European resort.

Our top options for a family long-haul trip would be:

South African Safari

A combination of the Malaria Free, Big Five – Madikwe Game Reserve with a predator free Ranch experience in the Waterberg is a winning combination. There are lodges that specialise in creating magical African nature based experiences for families.

Ed would be delighted to advise on ideas and suggestions.


Indonesia or Thailand

Thailand, strictly-speaking in its rainy season, so choose carefully, however the East coast and Gulf of Thailand enjoy idyllic weather perfect for a tropical family beach break. Indonesia is also in its prime, with over 17,000 islands to choose from you’re spoilt for choice. Whether you’re partial to an action-packed adventure filled with wildlife and exploration or a relaxing stay in a world-class family resort on the beautiful island of Bali – Rosie has a treasure trove of suggestions to offer.


USA Road Trip

Ed has spent the last two summers exploring the US with his family. He would delighted to help you plan a memorable road trip. Whether you plan to hire and RV, explore the beautiful beaches and islands, visit the theme or national parks – he will have some great tips to help you get the most out of your trip.


If you would like any advice, help with your itinerary or to book a holiday or trip of a lifetime, contact Ed at Seventy Ten Travel


T. 020 8004 7937

Events Food Places

Hassle Free Dinner Parties at Wyld Cookery School

On Tuesday evening we had a wonderful evening with Fran and her team at Wyld Cookery School in Wandsworth. We were invited to their ‘Hassle Free Dinner Parties’ evening which was the final instalment of the 4 week Wyld Cookery Club Evening Course, that also covers Asian Adventures, 30 Minute Meals and One Pot Wonders.

We were greeted with a glass of top plonk (or bottled beer much my husbands delight!) and given the outline and menu for the evening to have a look at before we got cracking.


We were introduced to the rest of the group who despite having spent the last 3 weeks together were friendly and inclusive. There was a mix of ages and both men and women.


Fran who started up the school 2 years ago gave a brief introduction on the order of the evening.  Starting with a demonstration, then time to cook yourself and finished off with a lovely sit down meal of the goodies you have just cooked.


Fran is a cool chick who made the evening fun and VERY informative. She made the demo’s lively and her patience with all the questions and inability to follow recipe’s was pretty impressive!

After the wonderful demo, we cracked on and had a go at cooking Chicken With Mild Mushrooms.


Check out the Hazelnut and Meringue cake.


Alex rolling his roulade – check out the pinky!


Fran was so generous with her tips and I felt of wave of inspiration after having felt so stale in the kitchen for the last few (6) years.

  • Chop the stalks if your beans in the bag
  • Use banana shaped shallots – much easier to chop
  • Whack in a whole crushed garlic (without peeling) to your butter to make garlic butter.
  • Use grease proof paper rather than tinfoil to cook meat (I did wonder why my sausages always stuck to the foil!)
  • Use portobello mushrooms or an alternative but never the cheap white closed cup mushrooms that have no flavour.
  • Stock Pots are a game changer.
  • Soak your dried wild mushrooms for 20 minutes and then, to avoid getting gritty bits in your dish, either strain the liquid through a muslin or discard the last inch of juice – this is especially important when cooking a risotto
  • Always fry your chicken thigh skin down to crisp it up and you don’t need fat – there is enough on the skin.
  • Icing sugar is a the best way to sweeten cream, not caster sugar.

Oh I could go on! You may know alot of this but I have never been to a cooking school and now have a bit of a bug to more.

I reckon the only way to learn properly is by doing and I highly recommend the friendly relaxed and informative way like Wyld Cookery School conducts their courses.

They also only first class ingredients and you also get to take supper home for the next night so it is super duper bang for your buck.

My highlight was the supper at end and also learning to make hollandaise sauce! Who would have thought!


The next evening course starts on March 21st so book yourself in or give it to someone close to you as a gift. What a great Valentine’s Day present and you will reap the rewards!

There are also some great courses for youngsters.

Wyld Seasonaire 

They also do a Gap Year Course to become a chalet boy/girl.

A no-nonsense, intensive two-week cookery course to give you everything you need to make the most of your Ski Job.

Wyld Essentials 

They are approved D of E provider for the who need to complete their Duke of Edinburgh award.

The course runs Monday to Friday with a maximum of 14 students. They enjoy lunch together every day, with breakfast on Fridays and on their first Thursday night they host a ‘Supper Party’ for their invited guests at the school. The hours are Monday 9.30am – 4.30pm and Tuesday to Friday have a 9am start!


The Wyld Essentials Cookery Course

There is also a course to get students culinary ready before they go their own way.

This is the ideal cookery course for anyone about to go to college, university, leaving halls of residence or simply leaving home and left to fend for themselves. The Wyld Essentials Cookery Course is a fun and hand’s on programme which will show you how to flip a dinner party on a budget, create a killer roast and smash a lasagna. Boiled, roasted, baked or steamed like everything we do, we cut out the nonsense and get into the detail that will leave you armed with a solid menu repertoire and confidence to tackle most recipes you put your hand to.


The Wyld Cookery School 

Activities Food Places

Mummy & Mini Tea, Urban Meadow Cafe

Last Sunday the kids had a fab time at the Princess Diana Memorial playground in Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park.  A little tip if you are heading there –  I didn’t realise you weren’t allowed in the playground without kids with you, so after letting the rest of them go on ahead (I was taking photos…) I was stumped when they wouldn’t let me in! Don’t make the same mistake…


Once we were reunited and the tummies started rumbling, we hopped across Bayswater Road (lots of pay and display parking btw) to Urban Meadow Cafe for a special family afternoon tea that they are currently offering, Mummy & Mini Tea.


Urban Meadow is a cafe/bistro attached to the Double Tree Hilton Hotel. The entrance is spacious and there are lots of outdoor tables as Urban Meadow attracts a lot of dog walkers and there are heaters and water bowl for your fury friend. Here is a little video.



We were greeted by friendly staff who showed us to our table and gave us the Mummy & Mini Tea menu. The interiors are slightly American Diner meets Daylesford!


We ordered 2 adult teas and 3 children’s. The food arrived quickly so there was little time to crack on with the craft packs that they gave the children – not that they minded when they saw the cupcakes! To our delight we were each given a small wicker basket with our tea in, including scones and clotted cream!


It was a tasty as it looks and everyone likes food served a novel way! What a lovely way to finish off the weekend.


Rating 0-5

Ambience : 3 It wasn’t very busy as it was their quietest time of day and they were clearing tables before the rush of dinner guests, so the atmosphere wasn’t electric.

Service : 4 At the beginning the service was a bit slow, but once the kids started kicking off and there were a few tuts from the other patrons, the service hotted up and we were served like kings!

Value : 4 All fed for £30. Not bad! There was so much food it doubled up as the kids tea.

Taste : 4 Soft & tasty sandwiches & large selection of specialist teas.

Overall : 4 It is a great place if you are in the area.  Next time you are in Hyde Park and fancy something to eat, don’t go to the cafe’s in the park #ripoff, head to Urban Meadow Cafe. It is a lovely family outing or also a great place to go with friends (or your dog) midweek. We will definitely visit again!