Christmas Hits Clapham With Winterville

It’s not often my children consider me a cool Mum but they were pretty impressed with me the other day when we had a mad dash after the school run to attend the launch night at Winterville on Clapham Common.

Winterville has been billed as London’s alternative festival and it certainly lived up to its name.

As we entered through the neon lit walkway we were greeted with the smell of roasted chestnuts, the sound of familiar christmas hits and a mixture of traditional decorated trees and super cool lighting from the many food stands.

The kids didn’t take long to spot the rides and headed straight off for an adrenaline rush.

The older two headed for the bigger rides of which there were plenty, the good old fashion Waltzer was the favourite while the younger two stuck to the smaller rides…not that they were happy about it!

After the thrills and spills of all the rides we headed over to take to the ice. I took a sigh of relief when they told me Oscar was to young to join in as ice skating is not my forte to say the least.

We sat on the sidelines enjoying a delicious hot chocolate and a gorgeously gooey chocolate brownie while the others thoroughly enjoyed skating around with the beautiful backdrop of the hustle and bustle of Winterville.

By now they had all worked up an appetite and we headed over to Street Feast where there was an amazing selection of street food from juicy burgers to crispy breaded chicken, sumptuous wood-fired pizzas to sticky ribs and so much more.

It is a great place to get out of the cold as well as filling your bellies!

We only scrapped the surface of what Winterville has to offer and I would love to go back to have a round of golf with Plonk golf, see if my skills are better on four wheels in the roller disco, and maybe take in a show.

It would also make a fantastic child free night out as sampling the delicious looking mulled wine and tipsy hot chocolates in the Spiegeltent.

I loved the urban vibe mixed with the traditional Christmas and I wholeheartedly agree that Winterville brings an alternative edge to your usual Christmas festival type attractions and is definitly worth checking out for yourself.

* We were asked along to the launch night for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Our First Country Fair Of The Year

The beautiful sunshine came out for us yesterday to make a trip to our first country fair of the year yesterday.

Years ago we used to visit Merton Abbey Mills and decided to take a trip there in with the Country Fair at Morden Hall.



Sadly the buzzy atmosphere that there used to be at Abby Mills is no more with a real lack of stalls.  It’s such a shame and would be great if some kind of regeneration project could be started there as its such a great area.

That said the boys had fun picking themselves a toy from one of the stalls, there are plenty of good restaurants to chose from and popping into see the water mill working is always great fun.


From here we walked to Morden Hall to see what was going on at their Counrty Fair.  It is a fair walk but all flat and takes you past Dean City Farm which is always worth a visit.

We made our way into the grounds where people were picnicking and playing pooh sticks from the many bridges the grounds home.

The fair itself is a real mixture of the traditional attractions that I love such as coconut shys, willow weaving, bee keeping, magicians and many more with the big rides that the older ones love.


The steam engines were wonderful to see and everyone loved the huge display of KNex that had been set up as a miniature fairground.


There were plenty of food stalls to choose from and a couple of great Pimms and traditional cider stalls.

The highlight for the youngest two was the medieval area where they got to watch the Knights complete in full armour.  Number four said it was the best thing he had ever seen!


This was the perfect start to the spring for us with so much to see and do inside and out of the fair.  It is running again today if you fancy popping down to take a look!

Our Last Summer Fete Of The Year

For anyone that knows me they will know that one of my top summer activities is visiting village fairs.  I love the feeling of stepping back in time and the simple fun of things like the coconut shy, lucky dips and tombolas.

With the last Bank Holiday upon us we set off to visit the Donkey Derby in Godstone, Surrey.  It was everything I love about a village fair, lots of stalls to browse, cream tea tents, Punch and Judy and the added bonus of the donkey races.

   
   

The children loved picking a donkey to cheer long and watched them race over the finish line.  They sat mesmerised at the Punch and Judy show and had a couple of rides on the monkey swings.

We had our obligatory cream tea under canvas while the children tried their hand at hand spinning and now  know where the song ‘wind the bobbin up’ comes from.

   
   

The highlight of number five’s day was the ornate wooden organ that he stood by for ages dancing to and popping pennies into the pot.

   

It was a lovely way to round off the summer holidays and now roll on the Christmas markets. 
  

Flower Show With More Cream Teas

Every year a wonderful house in the pretty village of Chipstead in Surrey opens its grounds to allow the local flower show and fun run to take place.

This is always a favourite for our family as it feels like a step back in time with a traditional brass band, coconut shys, cream teas and Pimms tent.

   
     

We took a wonder around the gardens of the owners grand home and had a look at his collection of exquisite classic cars that number four wanted to have a drive in!

   
     

Next stop was a jump around on the bouncy castle, trying our hand at the tombola, a successful throw on the coconut shy and some cupcake making.

   
     

We had a pit stop and endulged in a scrummy cream tea whist listening to the fabulous brass band.

  
It really feels like you are on the set of something like the ‘Darling Buds Of May’.

There are lots of games and shows put on in the centre of the main field and plenty of stalls selling lovingly handcrafted goods, flowers and lots of yummy food.

We saved the show tent until last and left the little ones outside with my Dad so I could have a good look around without the worry of one of them destroying someone’s entry that they would have put so much time and effort into.

   
   

My Mum was a keen flower arranger many years ago and I am really getting into photography do next year we are thinking about entering ourselves!!

  
 

Spring Has Sprung – Craft Fairs And Sand Ice-creams



I’ve been following The Milk List on Facebook for a while now, they  sell beautiful vintage furniture and toys for children’s bedrooms and  I noticed this week that she was holding a stall at a craft fair in Caterham so I decided to take a trip down there before our usual Saturday routine.





I was not disappointed when I arrived.  I was greeted with a smile at the beautifully presented stall which had many fabulous items.  We chose two wooden cars and a retro Bambi that are going to look great in number four’s room.  We would have browsed for longer but he had taken a liking to a set of pool balls that I was concerned were going to be launched through the opposite stall!  There is an online store in the pipeline so I will be keeping my eye out for that.





With such beautiful weather today I was looking forward to our Saturday trip to the park.  We had a picnic packed which the boys were very excited to be able to eat on the grass for the first time this year.  Once we had eaten and taken in the sun for a while we headed to the sandpit with our new sand toys which I’d managed to buy in between the screaming and crying on our IKEA trip yesterday.  I have to admit they’d been thrown in the bag yesterday with all the stress and I had not paid much attention to them.  Once opened I realised they were actually a little set of ice-cream cones and pots that can be filled with sand.  It was a great purchase as number four is normally happier to launch sand over me and any unsuspecting passerby but these keep his attention for a good hour.









This superb weather has got us all excited for the predicted scorcher of a Spring and Summer.  What plans have you all got in the pipeline?