Little Lambs Softplay – New Location And Better Than Ever

Setting up a business whilst being a busy Mum is something that is no mean feat and something many of us would shy away from for many reasons.

It takes drive, determination and passion to keep going and I am in awe of anybody that bites the bullet and makes their hopes and dreams a reality.

This is exactly what Sophie the owner of Little Lambs Softplay in Coulson has done and I have absolutely loved watching her journey and how far she has come in a few short years.

From a small area in a cricket clubhouse Sophie then moved her business onto a bigger and better premise inside a very popular shopping centre in Sutton that was a huge success, so much so that she then had the opportunity to grow even more allowing her to open the new premise she is in today in Coulsdon town centre.

I went along with Oscar to check out everything that is now on offer and we were both more than pleasantly surprised.

The softplay area is extremely spacious with slides, ball pits, ride-ons and lots more to keep little ones up to the age of 6 occupied.

On the same level there is plentiful seating from tabled areas to a cosy corner away from the noise that would be perfect to fed babies or simply pick up a book a relax if it all gets a little to much.

One thing that has always drawn me to Little Lambs is the food. Softplay areas are not usually renowned for the best food but they have really got this down to a tee here.

From indulgent waffles covered with cream and all sorts of goodies to at the healthier options of jacket potatoes that follow Slimming World guidelines, there is something for everyone.

I settled down with a warm croissant and a creamy coffee while Oscar opted for the fully loaded hot chocolate.

My head was turned more than a few time though with the scrummy looking Oreo milkshake and festive late complete with a mini mince pie.

Full up and worn out from all the running around we made our way upstairs to the role play area that I absolutely fell in love with.

The children can get dressed up in a huge variety of different costumes, take to the stage and become a mini popstar, get cooking in the kitchen area or do a spot of shopping in the supermarket or finally become a builder in the construction area complete with a cement mixer, bricks and safety equipment.

Little Lambs really do have everything you could want and more from a Softplay and more.The usual equipment to allow the children to build confidence, agility and let of some steam; good food to keep you all fuelled and an interactive area to allow you to really engage with your little ones whilst growing their imaginations.

This has certainly gone on our list of favourite places to visit and we will definitely be regulars from here on in.

*collaborated post

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!

A Park Cafe Ready For Any Weather 

  

Today we thought we would make the most of the good weather and take a trip to Pistaschios In The Park, Banstead.

We have been regulars to this park for some time and love the spacious cafe with a great ajoining playground.

Today I meet with the lovely new manager Javid who showed me the fabulous new addition of a soft play area for toddlers which has made an extra bonus to an already great cafe.

  
   

They serve a selection of great hot and cold foods and fab coffee that I can vouch for.  

With the weather being so good today we couldn’t say no to a delicious ice cream and a yummy lolly that was perfect for number four’s allergies.

   
 

The only downside up until now has been the problem with water logging in the playground. I love getting out and about and covered in mud, but when it comes to puddles at the end of slides and under climbing frames it not so much fun! Thankfully this problem has now been resolved with a fabulous all weather surface covering the entire playground.

  
 
The children enjoyed climbing, swinging and slidding to their hearts content and it was only number five that managed to find and fall into the only puddle in the whole playground!

   
    

This Easter Monday they are having an Easter raffle which is being announced at 11 and some more Easter fun to join in with too!

So why not take a trip this weekend and try out the great new facilities.  As the title of this post suggests this cafe is no perfect no matter what weather is thrown at us.

I would love to know what you all think of it so please let me know.

        
 

Under 1 Roof:The Name Says It All

With five children I have done my fair share of ferry kids around over the years, in fact at times I have literally had to split myself in half to get them all to the right place at the right time.

What I could have done with was a place that catered for all our needs in one area and this is just what the clever people at Under 1 Roof in Woolwich have bought to life with their outstanding new project.

 

We were invited along to the press day just before the grand opening to see just what they had to offer.

Upon arriving I thought I was going to be walking into a normal run of the mill soft play which if you are a reader of my blog you will know are never top of my list!

To my surprise thought we were lead through to a vast, colourful, engaging space that had been set up just like a mini town.  The builders were still busy getting things ready but the children were still in awe of the grandness of the place. 
Ann-Marie Martin, one of the founders and directors showed us around her baby and the passion for what she has created just oozed from her.  She had a real connection with children and adults alike and her excitement for what she had created was a key indicator to me of what a success this project will become.

The boys couldn’t wait to check everything out and there was so much to look at.  First stop was to try out the fantastic car shaped seats in the hairdressers which I had trouble prizing them away from!

   
   
Next stop was the soft play area.  I loved the puzzle wall which was something I had not seen before, they had the usual selection of soft bricks to build with, a double slide and a imagination play corner where the boys loved playing at being the King.

   
    
   
There is also a children’s theatre, a large cafe that overlooks the soft play, a spectacular sensory room, 84 place nursery, messy room, retail village, wellbeing and therapy room and a really well set up networking room.

   
 
Entry to Under 1 Roof is free and once inside you have the option to spend as much or as little as you like opening it up to the whole community.

There is a full seven day program that I challenge anyone to not find something of interest.  It is perfect for families such as mine with bigger age gaps as there is something for children from 0-11.

Under 1 Roof is now fully open and I can’t wait to go back to try everything they have to offer.

Having An Extra Cuddle On Mother’s Day

As I sit here tonight with some little ones in bed and my youngest cradled in my arms I am feeling eternally grateful for being blessed with five wonderful children.

For me Mother’s Day is a time to sit back and really take in how lucky I am to be a parent.  With everything going on in day to day life we tend to take things for granted and although a lot of people are negative about days like Mother’s Day and feel it is to commercialised I think it can be as extravagant or as simple as you want to make it.

This year I was woken at 2.15am by number four whispering Happy Mother’s Day to me and clutching his card.  I snuggled him in bed with me until I was woken again with a huge pile of pastries and chocolate.

  
I didn’t want to go out for a restaurant meal as it always ends up costing a fortune for something we end up throwing down our throats before the children all start to play up.

I love spending time outside so opted for Priory Farm in Nutfield.  Sadly everyone else had the same idea and we couldn’t get a table!

Bundling everyone back in the car we went to one of our favourite cafes in Reigate, happily got a table and had great food without the formality of a sit down meal. 

   
   
We then walked down to Priory Park and head a good walk and mess around in the playground.  

   
   
I went on a bit of a mission hunting for fairies doors that we had never managed to spot before. The kids got bored but I kept searching much to their annoyance and couldn’t find even one!

  
We made our way back home to yet more food and the normality of getting ready for the week ahead.

Such a simple day and nothing that we don’t do on a regular basis but with the emphasis of Mother’s Day in our heads the kids were that little more well behaved and I was that little more relaxed and thankful for all that I have.

What did you all get up to today?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Warming Up At Priscilla’s Tearoom

After a bad start to the week with number four being poorly today was the perfect day to get the little ones outside and get some fresh air.

 Scooting is always a favourite in this house and luckily enough one of our local parks in Sanderstead, Surrey has a wonderful area that younger children can safely scoot and ride their bike with the fun of bumps, hills and obstacles.  

     
 

After wearing them out with a good few laps we had a fun around in the playground and then popped into Priscilla’s Tearoom that is located directly next to the park to warm ourselves up and grab something to eat.

The tearoom has a wonderful homely feel and is full with beautiful vintage furniture and decorations.  

   
   
There are shelves filled with stunning homemade gifts and food items that can be purchased at very reasonable prices.

The boys immediately made themselves at home and grabbed themselves a snack from the counter whist I ordered my coffee and chatted to the lovely lady serving us.

  

Our hot drinks were bought over in pretty cups and saucers which fitted in perfectly with their theme.  Even number four’s babychinno was served in a cup and saucer which is a nice change from the usual plastic cup children’s drinks are usually served in.

   

We were a little early for lunch but there was a good selection of rolls and sandwiches on offer and some yummy homemade cake that I will be back to sample when I’m not being so good!  All of there produce is locally sourced which is a real pull for me as it is highly important for local businesses to support each other for everyone to thrive.

Number five was on form and throwing a spectacular ‘terrible two’s’tantrum for the majority of our visit but at no time was I made to feel uncomfortable as is the case with so many places you can visit with little ones.

There is a real sence of community spirit here and they put on many groups such as book clubs and knitting clubs making it more than just a stop off when visiting the park.

We finished our trip off by popping to the duck pond which is only a few minutes away from the tearoom and a great way to round off our day.

 

This really is a lovely little tea room that is well worth a visit.  We will be back very soon to have a spot of lunch and can’t wait for some warmer weather to sit outside and enjoy an ice cream or two!
We were asked to come along and try out the tea room for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.
 

Plane Spotting At Redhill Aerodrome

It amazes me that you can live somewhere all your life and still come across little gems that you never knew about.

We live around 30 minutes drive from Redhill and never knew there was a working aerodrome there, with a cafe and viewing area.

Number five is a huge fan of planes so this was to be a perfect trip for us.  

  
The aerodrome is very well signposted but would not be accessible by public transport.  There is parking onsite directly outside The Pilot’s Hub when you arrive.

Their little faces lit up as we approached the coffee house which is situated directly on the aerodrome.  The boys picked a table outside with a fantastic view of the planes and helicopters that were taking off.

   
   

 

We sat for ages taking everything in over a lovely coffee.  The food is all homemade and very reasonably priced.  We didn’t sample anything but will be back soon to have a spot of lunch.

   
   

As you walk through the 1930’s aviation themed coffee shop it leads you into the aircraft hanger where you can get up wonderfully close to the aircraft.

   
   

The only disappointment today came from number four as he was upset my sister couldn’t fly us off in a plane!!

This really is a hidden gem and one that I was going to keep for myself!  We will be back soon to sample some off their homemade cakes and watch more of the beautiful aircraft take flight.

   
  

Checking Out Little Lambs Softplay

A while ago I was asked by the lovely Sophie to bring my little ones along to her softplay cafe Little Lambs in Sutton.

So today mine were in desperate need to let off some steam and I was in need of a good coffee so we popped along to see what we thought.

  
We parked easily in the St Nicholas centre car park which took us straight to the cafe.  I didn’t bother to get the buggy out but there is ample space to leave your buggy outside and the full glass frontage allows you to easily keep an eye on it.

We found ourselves a table and went over to the counter where we were greeted by the super friendly staff who served me my much needed coffee.

  
The boys spent a good few hours jumping on the bouncy castle, slipping down the slide, leaping into the ball pit and balancing on all the soft bricks.

   
     

Once they had built up a good appetite we sat down to a wonderful lunch.  I was extremely impressed with the large range of healthy choices that were on offer, including Slimming World options.  You can also choose from some yummy homemade cakes if you fancy something a little naughty!

The children’s menu was perfect for number four as I was able to choice from the lunchbox menu so that all  his allergies could be catered for.

     
     

Before we headed home the boys popped round to the quiet corner to do some pictures on the chalk boards and play with the toy kitchen.  This is a great addition as sometimes little ones like a change from the hustle and bustle that softplay brings.

   
 

All in all we had a fantastic trip.  The staff were super friendly and more than helpful, the play areas were well kept, safe and had plenty to amuse my youngest two, number three was more than happy to have a snack and play on her iPad whist the boys played, and finally the food menu was vast, tasty and extremely good value for money.

I would highly recommend Little Lambs to anyone with under 5’s and will be returning there very soon myself.
We were given a free day out at Little Lambs in return for this review.  All opinions are my own honest thoughts.

Rainy Summer Holiday Trips In Surrey

I knew that my post on outdoor summer days in Surrey was tempting fate, and I was right!  A few days later we  have horrendous torrential rain.

For me a bit of rain never puts me off getting outside and to be honest all the places such as farms are empty which I love!  Unfortunately though even I have to give in sometimes and settle for indoor activities instead.

I’ve listed a few of my favourites for you here:

Mother Kitty’s

  

If you have under fives, nestled at the top of Rickman Hill in Coulsdon is a wonderful little softplay and vintage tea rooms called Mother Kitty’s perfect to relax and have a cup of tea whilst you watch the little ones play.

   
 

The soft play is only sutiable for under 5’s but I bring my older ones along as they are more than happy to sit and have a drink whist making use of the free wifi!!

  
If the weather holds out then there is a large park and playground that is great to have a run around in too.

Airhop

  

If you want your older ones to let off some steam and get away from their games consoles, Airhop is a fantastic place to visit.

Over 4’s can bounce around to their hearts content on the many trampolines, foam pits and basketball areas.

  
You need to book your hours session online and they do get full very quickly, so make sure you book well before your intended visit.

Little Street

I have only visited this fantastic place once, and it completely blew me away.  

The name says it all and once inside Little Street really is a mini town for your little ones to play to their hearts content.

   
 

They can do their shopping in the supermarket, go to the hairdressers, visit the doctors, pop to the cafe, drive up and down the street, work on the construction site and lots more.

   
   

This is a refreshing change to your run of the mill soft play area which I loved playing in as much as the kids.

   
 

You book your hours slot online as numbers are restricted to ensure your child can play in the best environment.

I couldn’t recommend this place more.  Really is a fantastic trip.

Honeywood Museum

We came across the Honeywood Museum last year after years of visiting Carshalton and were pleasantly surprised.

The entry is free and they simply ask for a donation as you leave.  The house is fasinating to explore and you can pick up question sheets from the front desk that the children can fill in as you walk around.

   
 
They put on regular craft sessions for the children that mine really loved taking part in.

I would suggest checking out their Facebook page to see what events they have going on before taking a visit.

  
Kidspace

Kidspace is a mega softplay area along the Purley Way in Croydon.

With a large age range in children places like this can sometimes be tricky for me, but this cover all ages for me.

There is a smaller area with a sensory play section, mini trampolines, climbing areas and slides that is sutiable for the little ones.

  
  
The main area homes a huge area that they can climb and slide around, a big ball shooting area, go carts and climbing walls.

   
   

It is more expensive than most soft plays, but it is worth the money.  

They have a lovely cafe serving hot and cold food that is a great addition to a great soft play.

The Lightbox

I love art and love to find places that the children can explore the arts in a fun yet educating way.

The Lightbox in Woking, Surrey is a small gallery perfect for children.  They  regularly change their exhibitions and always have something to capture the thoughts of little minds.

   

They have a craft room where they can get hands on and create their own masterpieces with the help of the lovely staff.

   
 

There is a all cafe serving a small selection of snacks and some wonderful homemade cakes.  Theses can be enjoyed in the beautiful garden to the front of the gallery of the weather is good.
I hope you have found something here that your children would love to visit; I would love to hear what you think.

  

  

  

Fruit Picking With A Tipsy Afternoon Tea

 

Our family all love fruit and we especially love our annual fruit picking trip.

Today was perfect weather for it so we set off to Flowers Farm in Godstone to start our day.

I only had the two little ones today so it was easier to keep an eye on the amount of fruit that was going into the mouths rather than the baskets!

   
       

Number four was quite reserved and only snuck a few, number five on the other hand didn’t get the concept at all and had to have his basket removed!

We got a fabulous crop of strawberries, raspberries and cherries and had a fantastic time running around the fields trying to find the best fruit.

   
       

 

Once we were all done we had a short drive up the road to the newly opened Oldpost.

I had been a while ago and had a beautiful Valentines afternoon tea here and wanted to take my parents and Sister as I knew it would be right up their street.

They were not disappointed as we walked into the beautiful, serene courtyard and picked a table by a tranquil water feature.

   

   

To my Sister’s delight they had a Wimbeldon themed menu which consisted of a scrumptious scone with cream and jam and a glass of processo or Pimms.

   
 

The staff were extremely welcoming and even though the setting was wonderful they were more than happy to accommodate my two over active little ones!

My Sister made a new best friend when she received a complementary top up on her prosecco.

  

Tummies full and slightly tipsy we had a walk around to see what else Oldpost had to offer.  There is a wonderfully stocked gift shop perfect for something a little different, a light and airy studio which offers a wide range of exercise classes and also classes for little ones; plus a beauty room offering a good array of very reasonable priced treatments.

   
       

With my birthday coming up next month my sister and I have a girly day there planned with another few glasses of prosecco to celebrate!