Getting In The Festival Spirit With BFLF And Camp Bestival On Tour

A whole year is a pretty long time to wait in between festivals so thankfully Camp Bestival and Big Fish Little Fish have got together this year to create a tour that allows everyone to experience the fun of  festival for a few hours before the summer and get ready for this years festival theme of ‘pop stars and rock stars’.

Last year we spend a lot of time next to the BFLF stage at Camp Bestival and the boys absolutely loved dancing around and jumping on and of the stage to all the great music they put on.

We were lucky enough to go along to the tour at Dreamland in Margate last week which is one of my favourite seaside attractions.

The cool, retro theme of Dreamland was the perfect setting for a children’s rave with lots of open space around the roller disco area that had been transformed into a super cool dance floor for the kids…well the adults too!


 The dance floor was packed with people dancing playing with the tents and tunnels that were set out and eagerly awaiting the bubble machine and glitter cannons to go off!

For the really tiny ones there were quieter areas set up away from the hustle and bustle of it all.

It wouldn’t have that festival feel without face painting and even though my guys weren’t interest there were some very impressive faces walking around.

The boys spent a lot of time over at the craft station getting tattoos, making superheroes masks and creating masterpieces with the play dough.

In addition to all this fun families had the opportunity to grab some ‘pop stars and rock stars’ themed props and take a photo at the booth that gave them the chance to win one of three family tickets to Camp Bestival 17 which would make for the most fantastic prize!

The next event is in Hackney on 23rd April and if is set to be another cracker if you can get along to it.

If not please take a look at everything Camp Bestival has to offer. I can’t put into words what a mind blowing experience we had last year and this years is set to top it! 

A Wintery Escape To The Frosted Fairground At Dreamland 

We first visited Dreamland over the summer and knew that it’s retro feel and rustic, seaside charm were always going to bring us back.

I did however always consider it to be a summertime trip and had never really considered going during the winter months until we were asked to go along last weekend to visit their Frosted Fairground.


We were greeted with fairy lights and candy canes that dressed the theme park and super happy elves that were all injecting a massive Christmassy feeling into everyone.

The children were itching to get to the rides and even my moody teen had a smile put onto his face when he saw what they had to offer.


They jumped on and off all of the vintage rides from the classic helterskelter to the hurricane jets and super cute classic cars.


It may have been super cold but I think it added to the atmosphere and with the adrenaline flowing through the little ones they didn’t mind one bit.


For a break from the thrill seeking we took a trip to visit Santa and his elves in his grotto.

This wasn’t your usual run of the mill trip with a quick present and a photo. The children were unlisted as Santa’s helpers and got to make some food for the reindeers, sort out a problem with the very important toy maker and sing some festive songs to really get them into the mood.


The children were really excited to get into to see the main man himself…well apart from number five who stayed firmly  inside my coat!


Santa was really friendly and sat for a good while talking to the children about their Christmas wishes.

We didn’t want our day to end so we went back to take in the atmosphere while grabbing some candy floss and a hot chocolate and listening to the Christmas hits were playing around the park.

 

For us this was the perfect Christmas trip with plenty to keep the kids amused and wear them out on while still having a really Christmassy feel.

There is plenty of food to chose from either outside while you are on the go or you can take a break inside and warm yourself up.

You could even have a spin around the roller disco if that takes your fancy.


Dreamland is free to enter which is a huge pull to me as it allows my parents to come along who love to watch the children play but don’t really have any want to join in on the rides and this is normally something they will still have to pay to do in many places. 

Wristbands can be purchased that allow you to ride all day which I always find the best way with fairgrounds as their are no disappointed faces when you have to say no!
We dragged our day out until the bitter end until and are looking forward to a trip back at the beginning of January to keep away those after Christmas blues!

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

The Perfect Break At The Old Barrel Store Margate

We discovered the delightful town of Margate last year and immediately fell in love with the up and coming, quirky seaside resort.

When I was offered the opportunity to have an overnight stay at the Old Barrel Store in the heart of Margate town I was over the moon.

We had a short and easy drive into Margate with just the youngest two and easily found the property nestled just off one of the quaint streets that house some wonderful shops selling anything from vintage homeware and clothes to yummy retro sweets.

The boys ran to the front door of the grade ll listed flint cottage to be the first in to investigate.

We were lead straight into the kitchen that had everything you could possibly need including a cupboard stocked with all the essentials you need to prepare meals that you wouldn’t necessary want to drag along with you which ead a lovely touch.

The kitchen also housed a visitors book full to the brim with positive comments and lots of great tips and piles of leaflets to help you get the most out of your stay.

We headed from here into the living area that was a real step back in time.  The furniture and accessories had all been perfectly sourced to create a wonderful vintage feel which is a huge love of mine.

Although the decor is immaculate it still felt homely and with the addition of plenty of toys that could be used indoors or taken down to the beach with you I was at complete ease having the two little wirlwinds with me!



The living room leads straight out into a pretty little garden that is perfect for the children to play in, cook a yummy BBQ or simply relax and have a drink while soaking up the sun.

With bucket and spade in hand he boys were itching to get down to the sea which is literally a few minutes walk away.

They ran up and down the beautiful stretch of sandy beach and were even brave enough to take a paddle in the sea that was still extremely chilly!

It wouldn’t be a trip to the seaside without some seafood which we grabbed from Manning seafood stall which is situated right by the Turner Contempary.

We then made our way to Dreamland amusement park that the boys were itching to get to. We had a good few hours there trying out everything it had to offer and we were all extremely impressed.

We had worked up a good appetite so headed down to GB Pizza where we sampled the best pizzas I have even tastes and I challenge you to say anything different!

With two extremely tired boys in tow we headed back to the cottage for bath and bedtime.

The bathroom again was immaculately decorated and had a wonderfully calming atmosphere perfect to start a relaxing evening.  The children were thought of again in here with a slip mat provided to prevent any accidents with slippery little ones!

All cleaned and ready for bed we headed to the children’s room which had the vintage theme carried through.

There were pretty vintage decorations, plenty of books for bedtime stories and crisp white, cosy bed linen that the boys fell asleep in within minutes.

With the children fast asleep for the first time in months we savoured the moment by having a cheeky glass of wine while enjoying our beautiful, peaceful surroundings.

It wasn’t long before we made our way to our cosy room that had a good sized bed, ample storage space in the wardrobe and the all important hairdryer that I’ve often found missing in many self catering properties.

We woke up after a good nights sleep and the only night number five has ever slept through and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading out to do some more exploring.

We bumped into some very friendly neighbours as we made our way to the shell grotto that I had wanted to visit on our past trips but had not yet got round to.

It was only a short walk from the cottage and was strangely situated in the middle of a residential street that I was not expecting.

Once inside it was a magnificent sight and well worth a trip.

The boys were itching to get back to the seafront and I was desperate for an ice cream.

We stopped at Melt ice cream parlour in the Sands Hotel that served the most delicious ice cream in a beautiful setting.

Sadly it was now time to make our way back to pack up the car and say goodbye to the Old Barrel Store.

We had a perfect stay in a wonderful cottage that was steepted in history and loving resorted to create the most wonderful holiday getaway.  The passion for their cottage really shine through and nothing had been overlooked, everything you could ask for was there for you to make your stay as easy as enjoyable as possible.

The Old Barrel Store would make a fabulous weekend getaway as a couple as much as a family holiday with all the family.

If you are looking for a seaside getaway with a difference then look no further than this fabulous cottage.
*we were given an overnight stay for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

Retro Fun At Dreamland Margate

Dreamland in Margate was an amusment park that my Mum has very fond memories of from her summer holidays in the 1950’s/60’s.

Fun filled days of good old fashioned rides and fairground stalls, of which my grandparents favourite was ‘Spin A Disc’ where they won some beautiful cut glass that is still in the family to this day.

Many years have passed since then with Dreamland having a change of name for a few years and sadly a long period of closure.

Thankfully last year a regeneration program was started on the site and we went along to check out how much our little ones would enjoy this iconic amusment park.

Unfortunately we had a midweek trip which meant that the rides outside were not open for us to try out, but we will be back very soon to give them all a try.

There was still a whole host of activities to get involved in inside and we headed straight to the roller disco to see how we got on, on four wheels.


Luckily enough for me number five was to little to join in so I got to sit on the sidelines and watch my husband and number four slip and slide around the rink.

Let’s just say neither of them were naturals but they had a good try and enjoyed bopping along to the upbeat disco music whilst making their way round.

If you fancy watching instead of skating like me there is a run of great diner style booths along the edge of the rink where you can relax and grab a drink or something to eat while watching all the fun.


From here we made our way into the Octopus Garden which is a soft play with a real difference.


You have your usual ball pit, soft bricks to play with and areas to climb and slide down that all children love. 


But they have kept a seaside theme and added some great features such a several sandpits, a dressing up area, role play sections where they can do some shopping or get their hair done and a gallery that they can create their own chalk masterpiece in.


If all of this gets to much and a refreshment break is needed there is a great little cafe where you can grab hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, salads and lots more.

We filled our bellies with some really tasty chips whilst sitting in a really cool beach hut before heading out to the amusement arcade.

Slot machines are normally a pet hate for me!  Poring money into machines with the hope of getting something in return which rarely happens.

I have to say though I was very impressed with the machines that Dreamland have to offer.

There was a whole section of vintage machine that gave the children the opportunity to play with games that my Mum my have played with all those years ago.

They had all the other games you would expect to see in an arcade plus lots of machines that allowed the children to earn tickets that they could then exchange for something of their choice at the till.

While my husband and number four were busy earning tickets number five was keep amused by trying to pick up the money from this super cool floor!

We all had a wonderful, fun filled afternoon at Dreamland and have created some wonderful memories in a fabulously restored amusement park that is steeped in so much history that the restorers have managed to withhold perfectly.

We can’t wait to come back and try out the rides later in the year and tell you all about it!

*We were gifted tickets for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinion.