Festive Fun at Bluestone

We were incredibly lucky to get the chance to go down and enjoy Bluestone back in May this year and knowing what a fantastic time we had then, we couldn’t wait to whizz over again when we saw that our favourite family get-away in Pembrokeshire, were hosting some very special Christmas Events and had been transformed in to a place jam packed with family festive fun.

A soggy but great stay

The gorgeous landscape of Bluestone with it’s wooden lodges, rolling hills and woodlands lends it’s self beautifully to that of a winter wonderland (although being the beginning of November, we didn’t find ourselves surrounded by snow but instead, rather a lot of rain!) Since our last visit, the site had been transformed. The activity centre was swathed in green and red, the village adorned with Christmas touches and everywhere had a touch of Santa’s sparkle.

Arrival, an Elf Welcome Party and Fish’N’Chips.

We made sure to book ourselves in for the early check in. Being able to drop our things straight in to the cabin, meant we were free to get started on the fun as soon as possible. There was no choice or hesitation for our kids when it came to where first. Before the bags had even hit the floor, they were trying to drag us back out to the Adventure Centre.

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Winter Wonderland in the Adventure Centre

When we got there, we were in for a big surprise. The Adventure Centre had been completely transformed. The reception had become like Santa’s Grotto. Twinkling lights and snowy touches were adorned across entrance room, red and green canopies swirled across corridors and gigantic trees dotted about the adventure centre.  The kids were full to the brim with excitement and I can’t deny that my husband and I were a little giddy too.

After wearing ourselves out on the giant climbing frames in the soft play, we ventured upstairs for an Elf Welcome Party. A fun kids hour that included good old fashioned party games and dancing. What a great start to the adventures!

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Ramsey Lodge – Our home for the weekend

After this, we headed back towards our home for the weekend – a Ramsey Lodge in Forest View. A brilliant upside down cabin with two beautiful big bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms on the ground floor plus a gorgeous living space upstairs with a gorgeous view of the lake and village.

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Before we made it back though, we did decide to pull in and pick up some freshly cooked fish and chips from the new take out van for a low-key relaxed dinner on the first night. This choice was spot on as we all loved every moment of sitting upstairs in our gorgeous lodge, the kids unwinding and tucking in to our gorgeous hot chips and fresh fish.

Kingdom of the Elves

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We made sure that Kingdom of the Elves, Bluestone’s title Christmas experience  was our first booking in to the exploration of festive activities on offer. So Saturday morning we could be found eager and excited ready to begin over at the adventure centre. At reception a lively Elf was ready waiting to greet us, she then adorned us all with some bright red elf cheeks and taught the kids how to perform the secret elf high five. Through in to the centre, our group (of about 20 or so) was greeted by a brilliantly cheeky elf called Little Buddy. Little Buddy got the children rounded up, sprinkled us all with some shrinking dust and led us through the magical tunnel in to the Kingdom of the Elves.

The Chocolate Room Elves
Tidying up the Living Room
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Doing the bedtime spell

The experience worked the children being given a card style passport where they were to go and meet the various Elves that help get Santa through Christmas night across a house.







In each room they would then receive a stamp before moving on to the next. After Little Buddy had explained all this, he handed out the cards and dressed each child in their Elf tunic and we were off. The kids giggled and jumped their way through several rooms, meeting an array of wonderful and brilliant Elves.

Over the various stops, they helped tidy up the lounge with a fantastic cabaret style Elf, kept a gigantic pet cat quiet and learned how to cast a magic sleepy bedtime spell in the bedroom. Their favourite by far however was meeting the Chocolatier Elf and making a tasty choccy snowman gingerbread biscuit! The Kingdom of the Elves experience was just over an hour and a half long and the kids emerged absolutely entranced with the magic created.

Cinderella – The Pantomime

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We absolutely loved the Bluestone Panto. Unashamedly our family loves a good pantomime and we go every year to one in Berkshire. So we were quite excited to add this to our itinerary. After the jam packed morning, I was however nervous how it may go after seeing how worn out the kids were from their time in the Kingdom of the Elves. I needn’t have worried. Tired or not, the brilliant performance in true pantomime style had our children (and everyone else’s) entranced from the minute the curtains opened.

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Excited to meet the cast from Cinderella

Set in the newly built village hall, Cinderella featured a fantastically fun cast that brought the stage to life. The beautiful Fairy Godmother and Cinderella had Youngest’s eyes alight with admiration, Eldest thought Buttons and Prince Charming were ‘super cool’ and the Ugly Step Sisters had my husband and I giggling like naughty school children.


The performance lasted an hour and featured brilliant Panto classics with shouts of “he’s behind you” and fun audience boos and cheers but it also contained more modern nods with a great social media scene (and co-ordinated outfits from the sisters!) that encouraged the audience to tweet with the #BluestonePanto for the interval style shout outs.

We loved, loved, loved the pantomime and the kids especially loved having the chance to have their photos with the stars after the curtains closed.

Story time with Santa

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This was our third and final booked activity for the Saturday and the kids were still going strong. Story time with Santa was a special meal located in the Farmhouse Grill. We all got to enjoy a quick Christmas Roast and Jam Roly-Poly pudding before being whisked in by two Elves to a magical room for a special Santa meet and greet experience.

Story time with Santa
Snuggled up for a story

The room was gorgeously decorated with cushions galore for the kids to cosy in to and the North Pole’s famous reindeer faces peeped from the back wall. It wasn’t long after joining the room that the main man himself Father Christmas arrived and the children, all snuggled down to hear a lovely story about toys from Christmas past. The story and a few fun activities down, the children then had the chance to go and have a quick meet with Santa and pass on their Christmas wishes. Making sure the children waiting weren’t bored or restless the Elves kept them distracted with activities to make Reindeer food for Christmas Eve and tags to write down their Christmas dreams. After a lovely meet with Father Christmas and Eldest confusing the situation by asking for an advent calendar for his Christmas present, we tucked our two up and swept them home, exhausted from every part from their day of magical Christmas fun.

Making reindeer food!

Christmas Messy Play

Sunday was a bit slower paced than the jam packed itinerary of the day before. After a fab morning swimming over at Blue Lagoon (every bit as fun as our last trip), we headed over for a Christmas Messy Play session upstairs in the Adventure Centre. Awaiting us was tables of delightfully messy and gooey fun that brilliantly captured our children’s imaginations plus two very lovely and fun members of staff to lead the session.


Splashing in the Penguin Pool

The tables on offer were: Christmas cooking ingredients (cocoa, marshmallows, sprinkles, dough, flour) Reindeer Poo (straw and glittery chocolate runny mousse!) Penguin Pool (dozens of little penguin models in bright blue water) and Reindeer Food (oats, glitter, raisins, carrot shreds). There was also a fun painting table to transform cones in to bright and sparkly Christmas trees.

We knew sort of what to expect from this activity having done the Circus one before on our last trip but this was a brilliant session that both children absolutely adored. In fact despite being in it’s temporary location of being in the upstairs young soft play room, which drew many of the children over when they’d tired of the messy play – it managed to maintain Youngest’s attention to the very last minute and saw me having to pry her tearfully away from the beloved Penguin Pool.

Jinglebelle Dinner Show

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Due to school and work, we planned to check out late on the Sunday night rather than the Monday morning, so we could whizz home whilst the children slept. So before we left, the perfect last activity was the Jinglebelle Dinner Show. A fun interactive dinner show for the family based up in the magical surrounds of the Wild Woody Cafe.


The brilliant characters Jinglebelle, Peter Pan and his Shadow, had the kids up and dancing and running to and fro before getting everyone settled down to enjoy a tasty Christmas dinner. Youngest is full swing in to Princess and Fairy adoration and so she took great delight in jumping up on her chair and calling for Jinglebell every time Pan’s pesky shadow danced his way around the dinner tables. The show was the perfect end to our Christmas stay and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to the festive season.

All in all

Due to the short nature of our stay, there was still exciting parts of the Christmas shenanigans that we managed to miss! Our timings with the Jinglebelle show meant we missed the Village Christmas Light Show and there was also Christmas Songs being performed over in the Village pub the Knights Tafern. Fingers crossed if we return again, we’ll be sure to make these a must do.

We had an absolutely incredible time with our young pair at Bluestone’s brilliant Christmas stay and only wished we’d had longer to stay and enjoy the fun. The accommodation as always was superb, clean and sumptuous. The facilities were spotlessly clean despite the venue being completely fully booked and on top of that, the staff relentlessly wonderful. Every single staff member was genuinely lovely from the friendly staff in the Village Bakery to the entertainer from the Jinglebelle show, who when leaving at the same time as us, went out of his way to pull over and make sure we were OK whilst we were doing our Sunday night checking out and spotted that we couldn’t see anyone at the arrivals desks. These are the things that make Bluestone so special and for us, completely above and beyond the other family holiday resorts found in the UK. Thank you to everyone at Bluestone for such a wonderful and magical Christmas trip!

If you’d like to find out more about Bluestone’s Christmas Holidays, then please visit their website here: http://www.bluestonewales.com/breaks-holidays/winter

Don’t forget you can also get £25 off all breaks with Bluestone by getting your Mumsnet Berkshire & Reading discount code here: http://www.bluestonewales.com/campaigns/mumsnet

#KingdomoftheElves #BluestonePanto #BluestoneBlogger

Spooky fun at KidZania London!

We had the absolute pleasure of heading to Westfield’s new star attraction KidZania this weekend, in honour of their half term special event and Halloween. Our trip is not easy to squeeze in to a simple few paragraphs, with just so much fun to fit in, so we kept our notes in diary mode!


Prior to our trip:

Eldest is 4, so KidZania was something I had become aware of but the concept had seemed very senior and something I had questioned being value for him. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. When the review opportunity reached my inbox and I discovered the venue is designed to suit children ages 4 and up, I was absolutely delighted and couldn’t wait to get started. The process to get tickets was smooth and the staff were helpful at every encounter.


KidZania and Westfield Shopping Centre is located in Shepards Bush, London. From central Reading to Westfield’s car park took us exactly an hour, so a bit of a drive in the car but nothing to cause too many a cries from the backseats!


Parked up and we found KidZania effortlessly, despite this only being our second trip to the mammoth shopping arena. The carpark was well signed, giving us clues which area was the best to park in for KidZania. Once in the mall, up on the top floor was a gigantic entrance located right next to the lifts and our whole experience began.

3pm – Checking In

KidZania AirportThe minute you step off the escalators, the KidZania world begins. The clever entrance design is based upon an international airport and with British Airways branding, plane and uniforms all around, Eldest was a buzz with excitement. At checking in, myself and Eldest were fitted with a wristband watch style device that was set to be the key for the whole event. These ingenious wrist gadgets were tenfold with their purposes (to check in at each job, decked whether they’d done a KidZania Degree course etc) but the primary reason exists for security. As we were logged in, our wristbands were each connected and it was reassuringly clear that in no way could Eldest depart the venue without or with anyone but myself. Not only that but the watch has the ability to act as a tracking device, should I have lost him in the venue, then not to panic, dozens of self scanning screens dotted about the venue and also the staff would have been able to find him in a heart beat thanks to this whizzy little gizmo.

After our bands were fitted, the process was explained about how we could fill the next 4 hours in KidZania. Eldest was handed a wad of KidZos, the currency in KidZania, we were given a map and set on our way.

3.10pm – Finding our way

We were kindly given a tour of the new land we had just crossed in to and we began to get our heads round how this magical place worked. Eldest’s 50 KidZos was the start of his money and it was now his choice how that could go on. Around the ‘town’ are dozens of activities for children to try their hands at and experience. Some of these offer KidZos payment and others cost KidZos to participate. Set in the centre of the town square, was also the Department Store. A shop full of toys and goodies, that accepts only KidZos currency – so, the more jobs you do, the more money they earn and the more loot they can purchase in the department store! Around the tour, it became shockingly clear I’d completely underestimated KidZania, this place was incredible and my son was nothing shy of mesmerised as we walked about adding to a very long list of all the things he wanted to do.

3.15pm – Our first experience

After our tour was finished and we were left to our own devices, we ventured off to remember which one we liked the most. Eldest loved the look of the Recycling Centre and they were just about to open their doors to a new intake. 20151024_153523(At the door of each experience i
s a handy poster. Detailing the age suitable, the amount of children allowed in each session and the session length so you know how long you could be waiting and most importantly whether you’re spending or earning those precious KidZos!) As he went to go through the door, the host explained parents wait just outside the door. However with all the noise and hubbub, Eldest became a bit tearful and retreated back outside, declining the chance the go in. As we went f20151024_152956or a walk about to get our bearings, I spotted what could be a golden ticket of an activity. In front of us was ‘Air Conditioning Engineer’ and some soft play style climbing entrances and tunnels to climb through. Eldest completely understood I couldn’t come in and whizzed straight in to have his high viz jacket and builders hat uniform popped on. That was it for Eldest and there was no turning back, he understood the experience and leapt in with both arms open. He whizzed about the air tunnels several times and when done, joyfully collected his 6 Kidzos salary.

3.35pm – Innocent Smoothie and a pit stop

20151024_154046As I mentioned above, the air conditioning paved the way for our day and immediately after this Eldest was keen to head over and participate in the Smoothie making experience. Sat outside the glass room, I watched as he whipped on his lab coat and hair net and joined in as he discovered where various fruits come from and how the whole smoothie process happens. This experience came at a cost of 12 KidZos but Eldest happily pottered out holding his own carton of Innocent smoothie. We took this as a chance to grab a quick pit stop and enjoyed a delicious sandwich and cake from the coffee bar upstairs too.

4pm – Fire! Fire!

20151024_164947One of the star experiences is most definitely the Fire Brigade. So this is where we headed next. After queuing up and getting uniform on. The kids were treated to a quick video on fire safety and then it was all aboard the fire engine as the town’s hotel was ablaze. The children excitedly clambered on and whizzed across the venue in the truck where they had the opportunity to spray water hoses and put out the fire with much glee.

20151024_163859At this point my Husband and Youngest joined us. Originally with not much to gauge on how the site works with younger ones, we’d planned for them to pop around the shops and lunch whilst we were busy in the venue but after the tour I discovered there was in fact a generous area dedicated to the little ones in the early years area. So after updating my husband, they joined us in KidZania and Youngest and I left my husband to watch the last of the fire brigade whilst we went to explore the Early Years House.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 22.26.40This fun role play house kept Youngest amused for some time. She especially enjoyed the bathroom with it’s waterbed with sensory lights and floating fish. The kitchen however is where we spent most of our time, cooking pretend meals and jotting things down on the blackboard.

Across from the play house was another early years room, crammed with plenty of goodies including piano, colouring tables, dozens of puzzles and baby toys galore. Youngest was in her element!

4.30pm – We are the bell ringers of Kidzania!

20151024_171236Back with Eldest and we tried once or twice to get in to the ever so popular Cadbury’s experience but Eldest’s patience wasn’t quite up to the long queues, and so we went on an explore for another session. He was very happy to discover the Clock To20151024_171445wer job. After some training, he donned a beautiful red jacket and full faux fur hat, made his way out to the town square balcony and with the host’s help, announced to all with a loud bell that ‘they were the bell ringers of KidZania!’ they then played a merry tune and came back inside, another 8 KidZos earned!

5.10pm – Back where we began.


After our bell ringing and then another whizz or two around the air conditioning engineering, we found ourselves drawn back to where we began. The recycling centre. As a bin truck loon, this was a fascination for Eldest and now in full confidence he jumped straight in and happily greeted the host who kindly remembered him from before. Through the window I watched as he learned how to mulch the paper down and in the mould recreate a new sheet and set it out to dry. All smiles as he pottered out with his earnings.

5.45pm – Passports ready!

20151024_184045The gigantic British Airways plane looming over the entrance had also been looming on Eldest’s mind the whole way around. He was eager to get on and this was certainly a very popular activity, so the wait was long but Eldest was keen to hang it out. There are two choices one to be a pilot (costing KidZos) and one to train as cabin crew (earning KidZos). With the queue being ever so slightly shorter for Cabin Crew, that’s where Eldest popped himself in the line. The wait was definitely worth it, although this is the one place in the whole thing that I’d have a suggestion for improvement, with so many parents waiting about outside, an airport style waiting lounge for parents or even a few seats would have been really appreciated, as our feet wer20151024_183231e very weary by the end of this activity.

After Eldest had been in the activity doing his training for 10 or so minutes, families of cabin crew were called through to become passengers aboard the flight.
We were welcomed by our children crew and took our very life like seats aboard the plane. As parents, we nearly swooned as we watched our little guy lead the motions of the safety display with arm signals, belts and life jackets. He then took a seat as other adorable cabin crew came round and offered us some refreshments and collected rubbish with their hostess trolley. Youngest, also a passenger, was very much in the belief this was a real flight and was rather dismayed to find her croissant and grapes were plastic!20151024_183726

Due to the wait and length of the activity, it was now nearly half past 6pm when we got out and so that was to be our last one due to an exhausted pair of children. After collecting the last of Eldest’s salaries, and totalling up his kitty, we headed off to the department store for him to find his memento of the day (a wind up somersaulting monkey!)

Halloween Throughout

Throughout our entire session at KidZania was also a brilliant Halloween theme. The town was suffering a zombie epidemic! Fun zombies roamed around the setting and rather than anything too terrifying, Eldest and Youngest found it hilarious as they watched as Zombies were shooed (and even swept!) out of various activities and the cafes. The zombies would scarper quick upon hearing a nursery rhyme and back when Eldest had been a bell ringer for the square, he’d taken great delight in them all shooing after hearing his bell playing a sweet tune.


The Halloween event also had a wealth of additional activities. Children could get free zombie face paints, they could undertake a fun multitasked activity around the town to help create an antidote for themselves and best of all, an hourly Thriller Zombie flash dance in the main square. We thankfully got a great view of this, when up on the balcony for the bell ringing and Eldest watched in awe as the Zombie leapt and danced about.

All said and done
This incredibly fun Halloween event is now on and running up until the 1st of November and is 20151024_185153a real half term entertainer. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this brilliant venue to anyone. We barely covered a quarter of the jobs and activities and the full list on offer including police, surgeon, beauty salon, dentists, radio station, Gourmet Burger Kitchen Chefs and so many more, mean that we could visit again and again and Eldest still wouldn’t have had enough. I’m now trying to figure out how he could ask to have another go on his Christmas Wishlist. I also was sad to have not got a chance to poke my nose in to the parent’s lounge. A relaxing looking space that gives parents a great chance to relax as older kids run around the town.

The full guidelines of ticket prices, ages (under 8’s must be accompanied, over 8’s can be allowed in whilst you go and enjoy some peaceful shopping) and all detailed information can be found on KidZania’s website: http://london.kidzania.com/en-uk/

We are very grateful to KidZania for offering us complimentary entry for Eldest and I, in return for a honest review. We had an absolutely fantastic time and cannot wait to visit you again!


Buy Books for Syria with Waterstones & Oxfam

Mumsnet Berkshire and Reading are proud to be sharing the details of the Waterstones wonderful charity book sale in aid of the Syria Crisis Appeal. For more details on this great event and cause, please see the full details below.

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Waterstones READING BROAD STREET and ORACLE stores are proud to announce its ‘Buy Books for Syria’ campaign, with the goal to help raise one million pounds for Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

Waterstones READING BROAD STREET and ORACLE stores are joining Waterstones bookshops around the country to sell a selection of books donated by publishers by bestselling authors such as Philip Pullman, Hilary Mantel, Neil Gaiman, David Walliams, David Nicholls, Victoria Hislop, Lee Child, Salman Rushdie and Caitlin Moran, and every penny of the full retail price of each book sold will be donated to Oxfam.




Sarah Martin, Bookshop Manager at Waterstones Reading says “We’ve all been moved by the images we’ve seen on the news of the refugee crisis and we’re proud that our bookshop now has the opportunity to come together with the local community and the Oxfam Syria Crisis appeal to help to alleviate the suffering of those affected. The books that have been donated are some of the best around and would be a joy to sell in any circumstances – with all the proceeds going to such a good cause, we can’t wait to get cracking.”

Author of the bestselling Rebus books, Ian Rankin said: “It’s great to see Waterstones uniting with publishers and authors to raise money for Oxfam’s work with Syrian refugees. Buy a book, help save a life.”


James Daunt, Waterstones’ Managing Director, said: “In desperate times like these, everyone feels the need to do something, to help in some way. We are doing what we do best: bookselling, and it only feels right that every single penny of each book sold will go straight to Oxfam. We are proud to be able transform the generosity of authors and publishers into such a substantial contribution to Oxfam’s work.”

Mark Goldring, CEO, Oxfam said: “With £1m our program could deliver clean water to another 150,000 people in Syria, or support to tens of thousands of people in Jordan over the next year. This help is urgently needed as the conflict in Syria shows no sign of ending.”

Authors and UK publishers responded generously to Waterstones’ request for book donations.  These books will be stickered with ‘Buy Books for Syria’ and will be displayed in all Waterstones shops.

Author support includes Jeffrey Archer, Mary Beard, Alan Bennett, Michael Bond, William Boyd, Bill Bryson, Tracy Chevalier, Lee Child, Julia Donaldson, Neil Gaiman, Mark Haddon, Matt Haig, Robert Harris,Max Hastings, Victoria Hislop, Khaled Hosseini, Marian Keyes, Lynda La Plante, Andrea Levy, Hilary Mantel, Peter May, Ben Macintyre, Alexander McCall Smith, Caitlin Moran, Michael Morpurgo, JoJo Moyes, Patrick Ness, David Nicholls, Philip Pullman, Ian Rankin, Tom Rob Smith, Salman Rushdie, Ali Smith, David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson.

UK publisher support includes Atlantic Books, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Egmont, Faber, Granta, Hachette, HarperCollins, Oneworld, Pan Macmillan, Penguin Random House UK, Profile, Pushkin, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Titan, Usborne and Walker.

For further information please contact WATERSTONES READING BROAD STREET on 0118 9581270

Waterstones Reading Broad Street, 89a Broad Street, Reading, RG1 2AP



“This is a wonderful initiative, turning our passion for the written word into practical help at a time of terrible crisis.” – David Nicholls

“This is a great idea from one of the world’s great booksellers – fun for readers and help for refugees all at once. Jack Reacher says: do your Christmas shopping at the Buy Books For Syria table!” – Lee Child

“I’m delighted to be a part of the British book world’s effort.” – Salman Rushdie

 “Serendipitously, I’m in Jordan right now visiting the Za’atari refugee camp with Oxfam so I can wholeheartedly support the Waterstones Buy Books for Syria campaign” – Mark Haddon

“It’s great to see Waterstones uniting with publishers and authors to raise money for Oxfam’s work with Syrian refugees. Buy a book, help save a life.” – Ian Rankin

“I am really happy to be part of this Buy Books for Syria initiative. It would be fantastic if this idea spread to other types of retail too. Why not?” – Victoria Hislop

“The cause is so obviously good that anything we can do is worth doing.” – Philip Pullman

“I support this initiative with heart, mind and soul” – Ali Smith

“This is the biggest refugee crisis in history – 60m people, world-wide, are displaced, half of them children – threatening both the stability of the Middle East and Europe, and our own sense of compassion, and the value we put on human life. Whilst the governments of this world still fail to come up with a solution to this problem, I am proud to do as millions of others have, and say ‘We see you, we hear you, we will not let you suffer this alone. We promise – help is coming’.” – Caitlin Moran

Waterstones is the UK and Eire’s leading high street bookseller with 280 shops. It employs over 3,000 booksellers. Waterstones is the only national specialist book retailer of scale in the UK, with the average sized shop carrying a range of around 30,000 individual books and with over 200,000 titles in the largest shop.

 Oxfam is a global movement of people who share the belief that, in a world rich in resources, poverty isn’t inevitable. It’s an injustice which can, and must, be overcome.

Oxfam respond fast in emergencies, and stay to help people rebuild their lives. They work on long-term projects with communities determined to shape a better future for themselves.  And they campaign for genuine, lasting change.

In Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, Oxfam are providing life-saving clean water, sanitation and vital support for hundreds of thousands of families who have lost everything.

WIN! A family photoshoot and canvas worth over £300!

Local photography company, Seven Springs Studios in Aldermaston, Berkshire have a great prize on offer, to help you capture the precious time you spend with your family this autumn.

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The prize on offer is:

A photoshoot for one family portrait on canvas worth over £300!

We also have 10 runner up prizes for a photoshoot, including a 5×7 print.

To enter:
– Browse the fantastic selection of photoshoots available with Seven Springs Studios here. (Seven Springs Photo Shoots)
– Comment below to say you have entered
– Click the following link to fill in an entry form, stating what type of photo shoot are you interested in and entering the code MUMSNET in the voucher box 

Enter Now

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Please note, to ensure attendance for winning photoshoots, Seven Springs do ask for a £25 fully refundable deposit at the time of booking for each photoshoot.

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Competition closes on the 18th of October at 12pm.

Seven Springs Studios will randomly pick the winners and contact them to arrange their photo shoot. Seven Springs hold the right to redraw winners if there is a failure to respond 14 days after making winning contact. Entrants must be 18yrs and over and is open to UK residents only. No traveling expenses are offered.

Good luck!!

Green fingers for the summer holidays

Do your children love a dig around the garden or potting a new plant for the summer? Well then be sure to check out these fun Gardening Inspired activities this summer holidays, across Berkshire!

Squires Garden Centre over in Windsor, have some fun activities and events on to keep the little ones amused this August.

create and grow

  • Create and Grow Your Own Strawberries Workshop on the 14th and 17th of August – Where kids can first add some glitter and sparkle to a pot before they fill and plant it with their own strawberry plant! See here for full listing.
  • Create and Grow Cress Workshop on the 24th of August. Give your pot some character and some goggly eyes before planting your own harvest of cress. See here for full listing. 

Get the Buzz. At Woolley Firs Environmental Educational Centre you can find out the buzz on Bee’s!

Bumble Bee at College Lake July 2011
Bumble Bee at College Lake July 2011

Buzz over to Woolley Firs to test your taste buds with different types of honey. Make a bee, see like a bee and collect pollen for a prize. Learn how to help bees in your garden and sow a bulb or wildflower seed to take home. Activities suitable for 4-11 year olds. Full listing here.

Little Diggers Club – If all this gardening has worked up an appetite, check out some of these yummy garden cooking events happening at Wyevale over in Binfield.

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  • Flower Pot Bread – Bake your own seed and honey bread in a flower pot and see how it grows! 12th of August.
  • Bug and Butterfly Bakery – Bake a chocolate sponge cake and decorate with green lush coconut grass and yummy icing bugs. 18th of August.
  • Pizza Party – Make your perfect veggie pizza garden with a rainbow of delicious ingredients. 25th of August.
  • Booking is essential for all these Wyevale events and more details can be found: http://www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk/summer-adventure#BugButterflyBakery#ixzz3iQUeRCfK

Little Muddy Boots – The gardening fun doesn’t need just be for the older kids either. Based in Ascot is Little Muddy Boots. These are “classes are for 2 to 5 year olds who love to be outdoors, and for parents who would like inspiration and a little helping hand to teach their children about gardening and the natural world.”

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You can find more on their website here.

Do you know of any fun Gardening happenings in Berkshire over the holidays or beyond? Be sure to share in our comments if you do!

A Family Day at the Races

The sun was shining in our albeit brief experience of summer a fortnight ago and we had some family guests over from Australia who were keen to experience some English fun and days out, so when the lovely people at Royal Ascot got in touch with us, offering us the chance to come down and experience their family fun day, we leapt at the opportunity.

IMG-20150713-WA0008Royal Ascot is an impressive structure, the kids who had been talking and jumping excitedly from the car, drew silent on arrival when they saw the big buildings and huge union jacks. It wasn’t long before they were back to leaping with excitement though when they saw all the fun on offer.

IMG-20150713-WA0050To the right of course was the family fun area which was fantastic on such a beautiful day. Included in our entrance tickets was as many goes as we liked on (obviously whilst queueing with others which naturally slowed the kids down a tad!) a giant inflatable slide, teacup waltzer, fairground swings and coconut shy. There was also a IMG-20150713-WA0059soft play corner for the little tots and a huge picnic area in the theme of Teddy Bears Picnic, with toadstool tables, giant garden beanbags and benches galore.

Also to be enjoyed around the area was a big character teddy stopping for cuddles, appearances from The Gruffalo for story time and meet and greets and even the chance to meet a retired race horse. The whole day saw me snapping photos away like a paparazzi of the kids, with so much excitement on offer that sadly I ran out of battery just as the kids got their arms around the cuddly Gruffalo strolling around. If not enough we also spotted jugglers and a man creating the most gigantic bubbles, that truly entranced the kids.


IMG-20150713-WA0033Our absolute favourite part of the family enclosure though, was the pony rides. Eldest wasn’t too sure on a ride (after seeing a horse race, he feared they may go galloping!) but youngest was chomping at the bit! Joining the queue, she was giddy with excitement and squeals of “Horsey Pony!” A little nerves hit when she went to climb the saddle of the beautiful Samuel but after a stroke of the mane, she happily climbed aboard and loved every minute of her lap. The only tears came when she had to get off. To have the chance to let the kids experience a pony ride, all inclusive in our entrance ticket was unbelievable. We’d been wanting to get the kids on a horse for a while now but feared it may be a waste of money if they got spooked at the last minute (as eldest did!) so this was brilliant.

IMG-20150713-WA0010We had the chance to go in to the Premier area, which brings with it a dress code including jackets and ties for the men and no denim or trainers for all. Getting suited and booted for the day was great fun. These days our finery is left sat in the back of the wardrobe waiting for a wedding invitation or very occasionally a landmark birthday in the family. So we enjoyed a trip to the shop to pick out a dapper little outfit for Eldest and a dress to shin for Youngest. The beautiful Premier space also served as the perfect space for our Australian guests, who at a slightly older aged, enjoyed the chance to sit down and enjoy the races in comfort.


IMG-20150713-WA0056Food was another favourite of the day, as we treated ourselves to a humongous portion of fish and chips each. Although that said, a 21month old, some ketchup and my finest silk dress wasn’t the greatest combination I had planned out but it certainly was tasty, as was our ice cream at the end of the day in the Picnic space.

IMG-20150713-WA0005Eldest loved watching the mechanics of the race, the horses lining up, looking at the names of all the horses in the book and giggling at some that made him laugh. He enjoyed picking the name of the one he thought may win and watching the race play out. Then going down and seeing the winning horses after a few of the races was a real hit for him too!

Ultimately the best part of the whole day though, was those working at Royal Ascot. The staff from the minute we stepped through the gates, till the moment we left were incredible to us and the children. Everywhere we went staff would stop and ask Eldest and Youngest if they were having fun and engage them in conversation. They were endlessly helpful when it came to finding our way around the course, finding baby changing and bathrooms for a toddler in a last minute toilet dash and helping our older guests who needed a little aid in some of the accessibility. Security runs the entire venue making you feel comfortable and safe as a family when there is a large amount of alcohol around, but not one of the staff were intimidating and Eldest was quite enamoured with the bowler hats they all wore.


Ascot have more family fun planned through out the year, where children under 18 enter for free at all Ascot Racedays.: 

  • The Halloween Raceday and Firework Spectacular on Saturday 31 October
  • Christmas Racing Weekend on Saturday 19th December

There will be fairground rides, a Halloween parade and various other children’s entertainment at the October meeting whilst in December there’s plenty of festive fun including the chance to meet Father Christmas, story telling with Mrs Christmas, funfair rides, reindeer and carol singing to round off the day. All alongside the racing.

More appropriate for older families is the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and Concert on Saturday 8th August. Where racing is followed by a free evening concert featuring Lulu, Rick Astley, Razorlight, Blue and Hayseed Dixie.

We were invited to come down an enjoy some complimentary tickets with Royal Ascot in exchange for an honest review. We send out a big thank you to all the staff at Royal Ascot for a wonderful opportunity. 

A Waste-Less Journey – Tips for battling food waste!

After seeing AO.com’s exciting campaign a Waste-Less Journey, a mission to alert people to the shocking value of food waste we are creating in Great Britain’s homes; we’ve decided to share some of our favourite waste proof recipes and tips! Check out below for what we do and be sure to share your ideas too!

More than 15 million tonnes of food is wasted in UK homes every year, most of which is still perfectly edible.

Finish the Jar 

When the mayonnaise jar has reached it’s time but there’s still some left in the crooks and crannies of the jar. Throw in a little oil, herbs, vinegar and seasoning. Shake it up to loosen up the left over mayonnaise and keep shaking till mixed and you have a lovely salad dressing.

The same can be said for the last of the Nutella jar. So add some warm milk, shake up inside the jar and it will create a lovely nutty hot chocolate or if it’s summer – throw some ice cream in and eat straight from the jar for a yummy sauce topping.

Fruit to Freezer

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 23.45.01I don’t know about your home but my kids are mad for starting an apple, banana, kiwi etc and changing their mind half way through. Throwing half a perfectly good piece of fruit away, makes me scream inside. So instead we have a smoothie bag, a large resealable freezer bag that all the half finished or on the edge of use fruit lives in, frozen and ready to use for blitzing in to a delicious smoothie or ice cream when the mood takes us!

Freezer Bags

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 23.45.56In fact, it’s not just fruit but we have freezer bags for everything. Some bread on the turn and no time to get up and feed the ducks? Whizz to a light breadcrumb and freeze for a later date (home made chicken nuggets/fish fingers are super easy to make and fun for the kids). Cheese that’s not been wrapped properly and gone hard in the fridge? Grate and again stick in a ‘cheese bag’ in the freezer, perfect for grabbing handfuls for cheese sauces and if you’ve collected a variety of cheese in the bag then even better for a deep mixed flavour for that macaroni cheese!

The UK wastes 15 million1 tonnes of food every year. This is the equivalent of throwing away one fridge load of food each and every month.

Plan Ahead Cooking

Most know that weekly food shops and meal plans can keep your shopping budget and food wastage down to a minimum. However there are many blogs and websites out there, that can help you take it a step further. The theory of ‘Once a Month’ cooking, seems full on but can in fact be a much easier and stress free process than you think. Take one day of the month and pre-bag and prepare a month’s worth of meals. These can be things along the lines of easy to freeze lasagnas, shepards pies, stews etc.

Even easier are ‘dump bags’ – way more delicious than the name implies, a load of ingredients dumped in to a freezer bag and frozen until ready to defrost and pop in the slow cooker (for 4 hours on high) or oven for 45mins. Just make sure the meat you pop in the bags is raw and never frozen prior or is already and still frozen meat. Our favourite recipe is this one below that Eldest refers to as Yummo Chicken, we typically serve this with quick cook noodles, some tender stem broccoli and a sprinkle of seasame seeds:

Yummo Chicken Freezer Dump Bag

Serves 4

4 x chicken breasts or a pack of chicken breast mini fillets
1/2 cup of tomato ketchup
1/4 cup of melted honey
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 Tbsp of lemon juice

Mix together in the bag and freeze until ready to use. Defrost overnight and place out in a suitable dish in an oven for 45minutes until cooked through or you can decant in to a slow cooker for 4 (high) or 8 (low) hours.

Half a portion of cereal

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 23.50.12So often in our home a measly half portion of cereal finds it’s way back in to the cupboard. Too small for a bowl, it never seems to get eaten again. Asides from adding this in to the new bag, you can also use these little scraps of cereal for cooking. A handful of Special K or Bran Flakes can taste great crushed up and sprinkled over some berries and ice cream. Cornflakes make an excellent crisp crumb for a home made chicken goujon rather than a breadcrumb or try this twist for a yummy alternative to a standard chicken goujon.

Honey Mustard Cornflake Goujons

Cornflakes crushed, with a light sprinkle of slat and pepper mixed through

Honey Mustard dressing

Chicken breasts chopped down to nugget or goujon size

Cooking spray/oil spray.

Simply dip your chicken in to the honey mustard, ensuring all is covered before dipping the chicken in the crushed cornflake crumbs and again sprinkling over if needed to make sure all is covered. Pop on to a foil lined baking tray and once all are prepared, give a spritz of cooking oil and pop in to a preheated oven for 25-30mins until cooked through.

Head to ao.com now for a wealth of tips, free meal planners, freezer guidelines and recipe ideas!

Cut your cake and eat it too

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 23.51.37Once this tip was passed on to me it was like a revelation. Cake, is a favourite in our house, however no one is a huge fan when it gets a smidgen stale so this tip worked wonders. Instead of cutting a cake in to wedges to serve out, cut your cake directly across the middle in a neat half. Then work your way out from the centre of the cake evenly and pushing back together when storing. This keeps the middle beautifully fresh and moist and the life of the cake stretching much further than the usual style of serving.

Ice Cube Tray Versatility

Your ice tray is far more than a tool for hosting boring old ice.

  • Fresh herbs, great for a special dish but can often wilt before you get the chance to use them again. Well chop and freeze them with either some olive oil or melted butter for some on the go cooking portions.
  • If there’s any left over wine, pop them in the tray to freeze for a small portion to use on hand when cooking rather than opening a fresh bottle or for a really refreshing snack.
  • Pop a grape in each one to separately freeze for a wine cooler that won’t distort the taste of your drink.

Yogurt dates a go-go

If there is a few kids yogurts left with time running out to eat them in, once again the freezer is your friend. Stick lolly sticks through and freeze in the pots for mini kids ice lollies in the summer. Or if it’s the tube style packets, freeze and then pop in lunchbags to defrost by lunchtime and act as a cooler keep food cold through the morning.


A term passed down to our family from my in laws. Iffitt, is a dinner that basically translates to “If it is in the fridge, it’s being cooked” This is a meal often cooked the night before the weekly food shop and sees me throwing together anything that may be left in there. It’s created some wonderful concoctions, but often it’s cooked up and served in a fun buffet style. The kids love being able to pick and choose what they fancy and I love that the food doesn’t go to waste just because it doesn’t necessarily make a traditional meal.

The Waste-less Journey has been created by AO.com.


Alfie Outdoors

Alfie Outdoors continues to extend Shirly Hughes literary legendary status even further. The connection to Alfie’s joyful character is still as relative to children today as it was 34 years ago, in his first appearance.


The summer seems to have made a swift departure just in time for the school holidays and this weekend saw an unbelievable amount of rain hit our doorsteps. We were cooped up in the gloomy rain and boredom was looming, however there was one shining beacon of excitement for the family in store. We’d been sent a copy of the brand new release from literature superstar Shirley Hughes and none other than from Eldest’s all time favourite book series, Alfie.


Eldest finding out what his surprise was!

Aflie made an appearance in Eldest’s life roughly two years ago, just before he went from being Only to Eldest. When I had spotted ‘Annie Rose is my little Sister’ as being a good read for a big brother about to be on the receiving end of a little sister, I snapped it up. Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 22.01.44

Ever since that book, which swept Eldest into a swirl of imagination and feelings of kinship with Alfie (and that beautiful last line of Annie Rose is my little sister, which always makes me shed a tear) Alfie has been a constant in our family life. Book sets for birthdays, Christmas, special treats, you name it – Alfie is the number one choice in our house, so this new release was a real treat.

Alfie Outdoors once again stole our hearts and imaginations. As always the book softly weaves through the story and comes and goes in to different areas of their lives but always keeps a tight grip on my toddler’s attention.

Shirley Hughes has a way with words that have a superb poetic quality, bringing a beautiful descriptive to the setting scene. You can almost feel the early morning air surrounding you as it does Alfie on the opening page. 20150724_132022

This story focuses on Alfie exploring the garden and his adventures in growing his own vegetables and a special visit to the goat sanctuary. Once again Eldest felt Alfie was in fact living the same path as his own, as it had only been the month before we’d been digging up the end of our garden for play space and planting pots and growing blueberries. On top of this, Alfie’s relationship with his favourite goat from the sanctuary was a reflection of Eldest on our family holiday to a farm in Cornwall in June, where he had built up a loving fondness of a cheeky goat called Midnight.

Edlest and Youngest feeding their beloved goat Midnight

The illustrations as always are beautiful enough to be hung on the wall and as a special treat the last pages of the book featured an illustrative calendar of Alfie’s year outdoors. This was great fun for Eldest and Youngest to point to each month and spot what Alfie and Annie Rose were up to.

So far we’ve been in possession of the book 5 short days and the book has been read I would say roughly 4 times a day if not including the half pick ups here and there.

Alfie Outdoors continues to extend Shirly Hughes literary legendary status even further. The connection to Alfie’s joyful character is still as relative to children today as it was 34 years ago, in his first appearance.

This is another timeless classic to join the others on our Shirley Hughes shelf of the bookcase!

Alfie Outdoors is published on the 30th of July and is available on Amazon here.

We were kindly sent a copy of Alfie Outdoors in return for an honest review of the book. We are extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity and thank all involved. 

Summer Holiday Camps across Berkshire 2015

The countdown to the Summer Holidays have begun and with spaces snapping up quickly across the county for Holiday Camps, we thought we would round up and share some of the best listings on our site:


With 4 locations across Berkshire this summer (Woodley, 2 x Bracknell and Ascot), Koosa certainly have you covered. Their listing includes exciting new additions such as “Special Activity Days, Weekly Themes & Fancy Dress Days” and mentions Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 20.49.02“KOOSA Kids will be delivering an action-packed programme of themed indoor and outdoor activities, including the Olympics and Wet n Wild Days, getting crazily creative with activities such as Cardboard City and Art Attack as well as a whole host of other exciting and challenging activities and games in the Endeavour and Discovery Zones.”

KOOSA are Ofsted approved and are suitable for children aged 4-13 years. Their hours are: Standard Day 10am-4pm, Extended Days from 8.15am-6pm. Holiday Fun from £19.25, 8% discount when booking full week, 3rd child goes free.

For full listing and contact details please visit here.

Claires Court Holiday Activities – Holiday Club and Sports Club

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 20.57.52This fun and affordable childcare option looks great for those in and around Maidenhead. The listing mentions: “For children aged 3 to 12… we provide quality childcare during the holidays that include a daily packed programme of sport, art, craft and specialist activities with a range of significant learning opportunities provided by outstanding carers and staff.” 

Their hours are: Standard Day 9am to 4pm, Extended 8am to 6pm. Full listing and contact details can be found here.

Circus Week at Norden Farm

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 21.00.43Despite this only running for a week, we couldn’t help but add this
thrilling option in to the mix. Held at Norden Farm, children have the chance to learn “Incredible circus skills and performing. Stilt walk, ride a unicycle, perform on a trapeze and walk the tightrope!” 

Running hours are: 10am – 4pm. For full listing please visit here.

Coding, Electronics and Minecraft

Summer camps are often sports themed but for some this can be far from the preferred option. If your child’s a whizz at the keyboard and would feel more at home doing coding, then don’t forget to check out the variety of week long courses being held by FireTechCamp over at Reading university this summer.

The listing mentions “Under the close mentorship of expert tutors, students will engineer their own original work, designing games, building custom projects and upgrading their digital skills in a fun and supportive environment.

The following courses are on offer: Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 21.03.28
*Hardware and Electronics with Arduino
*Coding Games with Java
*Teen Coding with Python
*Minecraft Maker
*Video Game Design”

For the full listing, please visit here.

Kings Camp Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 21.11.00

However if sports are definitely the winning choice for your family then Kings Camp are one of the best around. Kings Camp are hosting two venues around Reading this summer and their listing states “Kings Camps run during school holidays and are suitable for children aged 4-17 years. Choose from flexible daily or week packages, with extended hours also available.”

For the full listing, please visit here.

Bliss at Bluestone: Our Review, continued…

The Village

After a much more rested sleep on the second night, we had a slower start to the morning. Eldest played with his new birthday toys and Youngest tried to run off with them all. The clever living space had two very large sofas around a coffee table and a television with freeview and guest info. Then off of this was a nook with a third smaller sofa and coffee table. This great layout meant we were able to create a little toy/play area off the centre of the lounge and keep all the new lego and wooden cars under control in the living space.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 10.25.47Mid morning we headed off in to the Village. We had popped here briefly on the arrival day to collect some supplies and then to have dinner and Kids Hour but this was our first chance to have a good old snoop.

The Village Shop was lovely and had everything you might need (or might have forgotten to bring!) The nicest touch we found was that there were the big brands etc but when it came to the sausages, eggs and other fresh produce, they were all local suppliers and brands and they were delicious too. Off the Village shop is an off licence with a healthy selection of drinks, whatever you taste.

Also in the Village there was a toy shop, clothes shop and arcade games room. The Oakhouse Restaurant (which we sadly didn’t get to try with our jam packed visit) and the pub The Knights Tafarn. There was also a lovely bakery/coffee shop with fresh bread, cakes and pastries.

Outdoor Play and Tree House Park

SignThroughout the entire stay at Bluestone, enjoying the landscape is encouraged. Even little signs dotted about the resort make sure you know it is OK to run, jump and roll around in the fun their nature has on offer.

Despite the electric buggies you can hire to get around the resort, the fact the site was car free meant we felt at completely at ease to just let the kids enjoy themselves running around, rolling down giant hills and exploring what mini beasts may be lurking under shrubs and leaves. We even encountered a small cute long bodied creature whizzing across a path to the woods that I can’t say I have ever seen before, we think it was a stoat but being so nippy we never got a good chance to get a good look!


Aside from all play that can be done across the greens in Bluestone, there is also a fantastic chance for children to enjoy a more rustic and natural play frame in the Treehouse Park just off the Village. This brilliant play space kept our two entertained for well over an hour and a half (and they still had to be dragged away home for Youngest’s nap time!) The park has slides and tunnels but a variety of climbing and balancing pathway obstacles to get about and through.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 10.26.02It is conveniently located not too far from the bakery, meaning my husband was ushered off to collect the coffees to enjoy whilst we watched the children play before getting stuck in ourselves!

Booked Activities/Messy Play

Messy CollageBeing our first trip to Bluestone and wanting to really explore the site for the review, we didn’t book in too many activities bar the Messy Play session. This fun activity was themed around a clowns birthday party and featured several sensory tables full of fun mess for the kids to really explore. Eldest and Youngest were both swayed by the ‘cake’ table, piled with cake dough, cocoa powder, sprinkles, mini marshmallows and flour, all for them to get their hands in and mix about. There was also face painting and balloon modelling happening too! A jam packed hour that we thought was great fun.

We booked this session in before we arrived at Bluestone on their simple and easy to use pre-booking system. Before your holiday begins, you’re invited to log on and browse the activities, spa treatments and meal bookings and purchase these prior to arrival if you want to. For us this meant we knew financially where we stood on the trip as dinners we’d prepaid for via this booking system and it made things simple to manage budget wise. You can still book in to any of the activities once at Bluestone if you prefer, by the visiting the manned desks in the centres or via the phone line on site. Another bonus feature is you can pre-book essentials to be in your lodge upon arrival or for continental breakfasts to arrive to your lodge if you’re not feeling up to cooking!

Woodie’s Wild Café and the Woody Wild Dinner Show

Woody treeThis was our final pre-booked activity/meal and I think a real highlight for the kids. Set in the brilliant Woodie’s Wild Cafe, which brings an enchanted forest style to a restaurant setting, is a live show for little ones. After being shown to your balloon adorned table, they start by inviting  all the children to come and sit on a huge pile of cushion in front of the stage, whilst Leaf the elf reads them all a story.

WoodyI believe there are 4 stories that get rotated through but our story was about Busby the Bee. The children sat entranced in the story and then were all off across the other side of the room to meet Buzby himself! There were some games and dancing with Leaf and Buzby before the platters of dinner arrived.

This was easy going children dining that I think even the fussiest of eaters would be happy with. Despite it’s simplicity, it was as always still very tasty. A big tray of chip, chicken goujons, corn on the cobs, Buzbysausages and baked beans were brought out for each family to enjoy. Then a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce for the kids and a brownie for the adults desert. After the meal, a little more dancing with Buzby before they had a chance to take a photo with him and then enjoy a blast of every pre-teens favourite Let it Go, fake snow included!

Circus Room

CircusRoomThis was the hidden gem for little ones at Bluestone. Upstairs in the adventure centre is the Circus Room. After asking on the front desk just what this was, we discovered it was a huge play space and soft play for under 5’s. This gorgeous room was very calm (as we were only one of 2 families in there!) but offered great fun for both Eldest and Youngest. There were rolling ramps, sensory tubes, smaller soft play frames and lots of fun circus themed touches likes tents.

Leaving Day

Cars are allowed back down to the lodges on the transfer day, so we got ours down promptly first thing Monday morning. Thankfully leaving day was the only day we had any rotten weather and so whilst a soggy one, packing the car up was still an easy process. You are asked to check out by 10am but that doesn’t mean you have to be off site at this time. Before checking out (simply dropping your key card through the letterbox on the way out and leaving your car back in the car park) we stopped by the Village to grab some chocolatey goodies for the grandparents and some mini bug viewers for the kids friends. By this point Eldest was quite tearful, he asked if he could please live in Preseli View Bluestone for ever, so to distract him and to enjoy every last minute of our trip we headed off once more to the Blue Lagoon. This was a great thing to do as the Blue Lagoon also has it’s own car park so it meant we could splash, exhaust the kids once more and load us all straight in for the journey home.

Our trip

The Bluestone park had so much more to offer than we even had a chance to experience. There were adventures like the zip wires, climbing walls and high ropes for older children. So many more activities to book in to that I couldn’t possibly list (although the adorable miniature 4×4 driving experience caught my eye for when eldest is 6!) and I didn’t even get a chance to try out the spa. I never encountered one staff member without a pleasant exchange and they seemed genuinely happy to offer help at any opportunity.

Whilst we were out watching the watermill at the Smokey Joe’s Shindig, a little girl and her dad were chatting next to us. The little girl had yawned and seeing this her dad asked if she was all worn out. This had upset her and she was promising that no, she wasn’t worn out. The dad reassured her being worn out wasn’t a bad thing and when asked what he meant, he said “It’s means you’ve had so much fun, more than you can fit in and more than you can possibly think of” That sweet exchange made me smile as it was true for us too. Our 4 days in Bluestone had been more fun than we could’ve possibly thought of.

If there was any lasting assurance that these opinions are all genuine and our feelings for Bluestone weren’t prompted by their generous offer of the stay, I should say that we’ve already booked to go back (using the Mumsnet Local discount of course!! Get yours with the link below, plus the chance to win one of 40 holidays on offer.) We’ve squeezed in another 4 day trip in early September before Eldest begins big school and we’re bound to holiday time tables forever more. So if you’re looking for fun for the little, not so little and big ones that is an easy drive from Berkshire, try out Bluestone. I have a feeling it is to be a family  favourite for us for years to come!

Win 1 of 40 holidays and grab a £25 discount code for Bluestone holidays: http://local.mumsnet.com/Talk/local_reading/2392441-WIN-1-of-40-breaks-at-Bluestone-National-Park-Resort

It is with much thanks to Bluestone for this wonderful opportunity to stay at their resort in an exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Photos are not to be copied or used for any purpose outside this review. 

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