All posts filed under: Travel

Planning a Cruise: Norwegian Fjords

I feel I should tell you first of all that I am not a great sailor; for me, cruises generally represent a terrifying experience that should be avoided at all costs. The vast waters, the days at sea, the claustrophobic aspect of being trapped on-board.  Though I am getting better at travelling on water, I imagine it is far easier to distract oneself on the relatively short rides between Greek Islands than it is on a cruise. However. There is one destination for which I would be prepared to try to overcome my fear of cruises. Norway.  The Fjords.  Such dramatically beautiful landscapes coupled with fairytale stops along the way.  This is one journey I would love to make. A fascination of Norway, indeed Scandinavia in general, fuels this dream and a desire to travel as a family encourages me to make more imminent plans.  Added to that, Jasmine has requested that we see the Northern Lights, and Sonny has asked that we find somewhere to go where there will be snow.  A Norwegian Fjords cruise may just tick …

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Un Peu D’Amour Français

I’ve been a little bit in love with France since a school trip in Year 7.  Surprisingly, really, considering the trip consisted of multiple assault courses, thunderstorms, and evening meals of such dubious composition that they inspired an ill-advised attempt at vegetarianism.  Still, since that amazing holiday, there have been far lovelier trips, including four to Paris.  Highlights have included two weeks in a beautiful yurt in rural Calvados, five days spent exploring the Normandy/Brittany border (bonjour, Mont St. Michel), and a comprehensive tour of the prettiest seaside towns the North of the country has to offer. Despite these numerous visit I have but scratched the tip of the French iceberg; there are many more places that I would like to see. Provence for the lavender, Monet’s garden, a vineyard or two; skiing, even.  A villa in the south, a chateau in the North.  Borders and peninsulas.  Camping.  City breaks.  Mountains and countryside.  So much more to see and do. I am fascinated by the draw of other cities; how do they compare to Paris?  Are they as loud, …

Last Minute Country Escapes

Spontaneous nights away are just about as exciting as it gets for me, I love nothing more than hastily packing up an overnight bag, grabbing the kids from school and heading off for the weekend. We are so fortunate to have some truly beautiful locations within an hour’s drive away and you can’t really beat the English countryside for a relaxing short break. We have been lucky enough to stay in some gorgeous places in Surrey, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall and have a long wishlist of destinations we would still like to visit. I have been browsing the Great Little Escapes website and am very taken with the Peak District, though it is that bit further and would be impossible to manage in a weekend, sadly. As well as being relaxing, short family breaks are oh so good at promoting strong family relationships, reconnecting with nature, and can be as educational as you want them to be. We have only recently returned from Devon but I am already looking to book in our next few …

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Rockfish Torquay

The Torquay branch of Rockfish combines sublime location with beautiful seafood to create a convivial atmosphere. Situated on the banks of Torquay Harbour, the views really are special; aim to book a table for around 6pm to enjoy a sunset stroll around the quay after dinner. I’ll admit it – I’m not a great fan of seafood but found a good range on offer at Rockfish with something to suit all appetites and tastes. I started with delicious salt and pepper prawns whilst James had the calamari. The children were given an activity bag on arrival, which was a nice touch. The pack included stickers, crayons, a workbook and even a wallet. These packs are included in the £6.95 cost of a kids meal consisting of a main, side and dessert. Jasmine chose the beef burger as she refuses to eat seafood and Sonny had the fish fingers. For our mains, we adults opted for the fish and chips – I had cod and James chose haddock. I also added mushy peas and curry sauce to …

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Carluccio’s Exeter

We are very fortunate to be spending Easter with Cofton Holidays in Starcross, South Devon; a beautiful spot beside the River Exe. This evening, we ventured into nearby Exeter to sample the delights of Carluccio’s at Princesshay, a modern, sprawling open-air shopping centre. Having never been to a branch of Carluccio’s before today, I suppose I was expecting something fairly standard in terms of Italian chain restaurants. What was delivered, however, was rather more authentic – the staff, the wine list, the ingredients, they were all properly Italian. The menu was a little more what we elaborately referred to as grown up than a number of other places we have eaten at with the children, providing no real “safe” options such as pizza, chips or chicken nuggets. I can see why this might be attractive to most customers – it’s always nice to get the kids eating similar things to the adults, after all. Not so great for fussy eaters though and it certainly presented a problem for Sonny who refused all of the food …