Anthony Gormley, Sea Shells And Bus Painting

Art, the sea and delectable food are one of life’s perfect combinations and for me Margate is a home to all of these.

In August the imposing cast iron sculpture from Anthony Gormley was erected on the chalk in front of the Turner Contemporary and I have been desperate to see it for myself for months.

It is one of one hundred sculptures from his ANOTHER TIME series and was as breathtaking as I imagined.

‘I wish to celebrate the still and silent nature of sculpture, ANOTHER TIME is necessarily isolated, and is an attempt to bear witness to what it is like to be alive and alone in space and time’

As I looked out to sea I thought of the words that Anthony Gormley had used to describe land work whilst listening to Oscar’s opinion on the piece.

What really stood out to me was the compassion he was showing for the man being alone. He looked on asking why he was standing alone and as we left kept looking back and worrying that he was being left alone and lonely.

It really was a sight to behold and something I’m really pleased to have shared with Oscar.

Sadly the Tuner Contemporary didn’t have a lot work on display as they were preparing to showcase the world of Tracey Emin…I think I need a trip back to see this.

We still managed to make use of the gallery though by grabbing a late breakfast and taking in the view form the beautifully light and airy cafe, and have a through the beautiful neon installation to the side of the gallery.

For the middle of October we were lucky enough to have picked a very mild day to visit and spent a good while chasing the waves, jumping over rock pools and collecting shells.

The foodie inside me was out in force and on our last visit we had passed The Bus Cafe along the sea front and I was determined to see what they had to offer on this visit.

Oscar was thrilled to climb onboard and take to the top deck to find a table.

The converted bus is run by a super friendly couple that were extremely friendly and very welcoming of little ones which is always a huge bonus for us.

The menu comprised of a selection of wraps and salads that you can mix and match to your own taste.

Fillings were plentiful and jammed packed with flavour.

Not only did Oscar enjoy the novelty of eating his lunch on a bus, he was also handed a special pen so they he could create his own masterpiece on the side of it.

He was more than about this happy to say the least!

The months of having this little one to myself during the day are passing by way to quickly and I have plans for plenty more days like this before I have to let him move onto his school life journey.

He is way more ready for this than I am!

Saying Hello To Autumn At Priory Farm

A chill in the wind, beautiful rich colours, Halloween and cosy afternoons snuggled up under warm blankets are just a few of the reason I absolutely love October.

The weather hasn’t yet changed to the bitterness of winter and getting out into the great outdoors is a real pleasure.

The first adventure for us is always a trip to Priory Farm to select the perfect pumpkin for carving and eating if I ever get round to trying pumpkin pie…I have been promising the children this for the past goodness knows how long!

I have written about Priory Farm countless times as it has so much to offer from fantastic play areas to a brilliant discovery walk and they always go that extra mile for special occasions such as this.

Today we climbed aboard the truck that was decked out perfectly for Halloween with missing limbs, cobwebs and huge spiders.

The short journey lead us straight to the pumpkin field which the children couldn’t wait to get to and select their favourite pumpkin, which for the first year ever wasn’t a competition to see who’s was the biggest.

A good few laps of the field and more than a few pumpkins picked and rejected we finally had our favourites and headed back to the kiosk where there was a game of ‘roll the pumpkin’ and hoopla onto creepy arms to keep the children amused while we waited for our ride back.

Prized pumpkins in hand we climbed aboard and headed off to get a well earned piece of scrummy cake and a good coffee.

There is so much going on over the next few weeks at Priory Farm as well as the pumpkin picking and a visit come highly recommend from us!

Country Kids

Dinosaurs Invade London At Jurassic Kingdom

Who would have thought that tucked away in a suburban part of town there would be grand Georgian house with stunning grounds homing a whole host of dinosaurs!

Last week we went on the hunt for them and wasn’t disappointed.

After a more than a little fraught journey to from South London we made it to Osterley House in Isleworth, which a a stunning National Trust property with acres of beautiful land that is just perfect for hosting Jurassic Kingdom which is there from now until the 17th April.

It is accessible by public transport but a long walk from the train station for little legs or a short bus journey but the buses are only scheduled every 20 mins which was a long wait for my impatient children.

The car park however is huge and free to National Trust members of £7 all day.

Time slots are available to book easily on line for the event and I would suggest you allow yourself plenty of time as there is lots to see and do.

The Jurassic Park style entrance paved its way into the attraction itself which has you following a path through the grounds spotting dinosaurs as you go.


Some are static but the majority have moving limbs and sound effects which the children loved.

It is a far more interactive experience than I had imagined and there are dinosaurs that you can climb onto, a sand pit that lets the little ones try their hand at becoming an arciologist and digging out bones and an education tent where you can sit and watch a short show that explains a little more about dinosaurs.

As far as eating goes the places is perfect for picnicking as there are so many great places to pitch up. There is also a small selection of fast food stands where Izzy count resist the churros!

The children also has a great time making us of the National trust facilities which are always a winner by tree climbing, den building and swinging on the rope swings.

All in all it is the perfect day out for dino fans and even those that aren’t so keen could easy make us and enjoy everything else Jurrasic Kingdom has to offer.

*we were given tickets for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Country Kids

The Wicked Uncle Challenge

Number two is the hardest child to buy for.  He never asked for much for birthdays and always has a very sparse christmas list.  In a way this is commendable and a welcome change the the catalouge sized requests we get from the others.

When Wicked Uncle set us the challenge to pick a grown up to buy a gift for I knew that number two would be the biggest challenge of all my little ones!

My poor sister was my chosen grownup and was a little daunted by the task ahead.

She was actually really plesently surprised that the online toy shop was jammed packed with so many goodies that her challenge was going to be easier than she thought.

The site offers you the option to select the gender, age and type of area that is best suited which narrows there search down perfectly.

Number four is a techy teen so when she came across the x-cam quadcopter drone she hoped it would go down well.


Delivery  was super quick and when the big parcel arrived number four looked super happy to get a special gift through the post, the delight filled his face as he opened the box to reveal his drone.

After charging he headed straight to the garden where he spent ages perfecting his flying skills and trying to capture images of his younger brothers playing on their scooters below.

From the selection process of the purchaser to the reaction on the children’s faces Wicked Uncle have got the whole experience sussed!

This will 100% be my go to site for christmas presents for all the family and I have a feeling  the christmas list from number two may be a little longer this year!

*we were gifted this drone in return for the review. They are all my own, honest opinions. 

 

Taking Five In The Poppies

After a morning of never ending housework, badly behaved children and a monumental change to our Counrty as we know it I decided to pack up a bit of lunch and take the youngest two out in the fresh air and forget about the dreadful morning I had just had.

The other day I had spotted a field of poppies not far from me that looked perfect to explore and take some photos. I adore flowers in their natural surrounding and I know I would love this as much as the lavender fields we visit several times in the summer.

I wasn’t entirely sure if we should have been in the field and the boys were not to happy with me pulling them across a huge muddy area that filled their Crocs with grit and dirt.

Once they were in they loved looking at the vibrant colours that seemed to span for miles.

I only had my phone with me unfortunatly so I think we may need another trip back with my camera very soon.


Toddler Christmas Lunch At Hobbledown

For the first time last year we took a visit to Hobbledown in Epsom, Surrey for their wonderful Toddler Lunch With Santa.

After a terrible journey due to horrendous traffic I arrived with two very miserable toddlers!  I booked in through the screaming and made our way to the play barn, found a table and thankfully peace was restored.


  
After a good run around in the brilliant soft play area that also has a cafe to serve a much needed coffee a friendly elf came to lead us into the cosy hut where we would be meeting Santa.

The children all sat at the table while cute gingerbread men were handed out for the children to decorate.



Following this a yummy packed lunch was served whist Santa made his grand appearance to sit with us whist we ate.


  
The children were then called up one at a time to have a chat and collect a present from Santa.


  
Nice and full we waved goodbye and went to have a look at Santa’s reindeer and a couple of very cute donkeys, and then finally had a run about in the huge sandpit before heading home.



This is such a wonderful day out for toddlers with a real mix of things to do.  You also have the option of paying for entry to the rest of Hobbledown which is a really good day out with plenty to explore.

The only issue I had is that it is listed as simply a craft activity on the internet so number five couldn’t actually take part due to his allergies.  If I had known in advance this is something I could have provided my self so that he didn’t feel left out.

Christmas Days Out In Surrey

For me it’s not actually Christmas Day that is the best part of the season, it’s the whole lead up to it and the wonderful days out that can be had before the day itself.

Here are a few of my favourite places in Surrey that we love to visit:

Bocketts Farm

We have just had a wonderful Halloween trip to Bocketts Farm last month and Christmas time is just as great.

   
 

Here you can find all the fun that the farm usually has to offer such as feeding the animals, the wonderful soft play and ride on tractors and vast outdoor play area.

   
     

Our favourite pig race still runs aswell as the tractor rides around the farm, and you also get the added bonus of a wonderfully decorated farm and coffee shop and the option of adding in a trip to see Father Christmas.

   
 

Morden Hall National Trust

My favourites list would not be complete without a National Trust mention.

We love to visit Morden Hall that offers a variety of different activities over the Christmas period.  We went last year to visit their wonderful food market that served wonderful hot food and gifts a plenty.

  
We took a walk around the beautiful grounds and warmed up inside where they had plenty of crafts to keep everyone busy.

   
       

If you fancy a longer walk from here you can visit Deen City Farm which is small, but has enough for the children to have a look at and all they ask for is for a donation.

 

Christmas At Kew

For the first time last year we visited Christmas At Kew. This shouldn’t really be in with Surrey trips but I couldn’t leave it out!!  All I can say is the whole evening is truly spectacular.  The whole gardens are alight with beautifully different areas that give you a suprise around every corner.

   
       

At the end of the trail was a splendid old fashioned fair with small rides for the children and lots of yummy food.

   
   

The walk changes each year so book up and see what this year has in store.

Lunch With Santa At Hobbledown

I was going to keep this one a secret as after over eighteen years of trips to visit Santa this has been my favourite!

Hobbledown has lots on offer over Christmas but if you have toddlers then this is a must.

  
You start the session wearing them out for a while in the huge softplay area and from there you are lead into a magical room for some lunch and craft making.

  
Father Christmas then makes his entrance and calls the children up one by one to receive there gift.

   
 

For me the old fashioned take on Christmas makes this so special and we are already booked up for this year!!

Christmas Trail At Priory Farm

If you fancy walking off some of those extra pounds you put over over the Christmas period then Priory Farm is perfect.

  
The discovery walk takes on a Christmas theme and is great for getting in some fresh air and getting the kids some exercise.

   
   

There is the chance to see Father Christmas or simply take a short ride past his grotto on the Christmas train.

  
As I’ve mentioned many times the cafe here offers wonderful food for you to fill up on after a long walk and of course a trip to the farm shop for some yummy treats is a must .

  
Christmas At Chessington World Of Adventure

If you want a full day out then Chessington World Of Adventure is a great place to go. 

  
They have a small selection of rides open, you can walk around and see all the animals that they have to offer including the fab petting zoo and you can then warm up whilst having a look around the Sealife Centre.

   
     

You can add on a trip to Father Christmas whist you are there but it’s not something we have had the pleasure of doing yet.

  

After our wonderful overnight stay there over Halloween I can highly recommend making a weekend of it and staying over as the hotel and its facilities are fantastic and one the children will absolutely love.

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we have a few different trips planned that I would love to share with you all.