Tuesday, 31 January 2017

But first, coffee...

I see lots of Instagram and Facebook posts about the wonderful groups and events held at Roots Coffee & Community in Gloucester but we had never ventured over there. Their Facebook page explains that Roots is a member organisation with no shareholders and that all profits go back into community activities and when a friend suggested it would be a great place to meet up with our children (ranging from 4 months to nearly 4 years), I was pleased I would finally get to experience it for myself.

On arrival, I noticed that there were a range of seating options, from sofas and window seats right up to bench style tables, suitable for large groups. There were plenty of high chairs (the super light Ikea ones you can carry with one hand) and crucially, there was a children's play area tucked underneath the stairs! Honey and Ace went straight off to explore and were soon cooking up a storm in the play kitchen and heading off on a small world dinosaur adventure! I decided to order a drink while I waited for my friend to arrive and for only £2, was swiftly presented with a gorgeously rich cup of hot chocolate which gained extra points for presentation (see picture below).

Everyone was really friendly and nobody minded that Ace kept crawling over to say hello to them and play with the toys they had chosen and taken to their tables, the only thing I would mention is that there are some lovely games in the play area which are meant for older children so do keep an eye on Ace little ones who may think that dice and small plastic counters are snacks (well, Danger is his middle name after all...)

We spent a while chatting before ordering our lunch and never once did we feel rushed or pushed into ordering. When we did order, I was impressed with the range of freshly made food available and at really reasonable prices. A children's sandwich is only £1 and you can upgrade to a lunch bag which contains a sandwich, crisps or yoghurt, a homemade cookie, a piece of fruit and a drink for under £4! I am pleased to report that the tuna and cucumber wholemeal baguette was delicious and we will definitely be heading there again soon because it filled me up so much, I didn't even have room for cake!

Honey wears... Pink tunic by Gap Kids

So what, I'm Still A Rock Star...

Parenting often gets a bad rep, I see so many posts about how hard and tiring it is to be a parent but it needs to be recognised that sometimes we just rock it! Sometimes, we look back on the day and silently congratulate ourselves on reading our babies minds and meeting their food, sleep and play needs without incident. Sometimes, we teach our children a new skill and patiently repeat it until they start to understand. Sometimes they achieve something they've been trying to do for ages and when they get it, they look so proud, it makes our hearts burst.  Sometimes we just keep everyone alive and those days are super too! High 5 to all the parents who are rocking it today!

Honey wears... Leather jacket by Zara Kids

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Knap Time...

I've lived in Cheltenham for over 10 years and visited for shopping for over 20 years. I enjoy a nice walk and I love discovering new (to me, obviously, I'm not Christopher Columbus) places. So how have I managed to have never been up to Belas Knap before?

It's a place I've noticed and been interested in for as long as I've been driving past the sign but it's taken until now to actually get up there. We kitted Honey out in boots, waterproof trousers and coat and pointless gloves (which would be wet and filthy in about 10 minutes, note to self, must invest in some waterproof gloves for her) and off we went. 

On checking the English Heritage website, it promises to be a short yet steep walk, taking in fields, woodlands and beautiful views. We were treated to all three and Honey collected loads of treasure (moss, feathers, wool and sticks before everyone rushes there to find their fortunes) along the way too. 

There were lots of things to discover on the way up. Honey was excited to see SHEEP and was fascinated by a frozen water trough and a mole hill, she also mentioned that our friend's dogs would like the little dog gate by the stile. Ace sat in the sling and smiled a lot, especially when we walked through the trees, so I think he was having fun too!

The long barrow itself is just over half a mile up the hill and is well worth the walk. I did manage to freak Honey out a bit by reading the information sign out to her and for a while, she was convinced that we were going to see a dead person or that she was going to die but once she got over that, she enjoyed exploring. There are burial chambers (caves) to sneak inside, slopes to climb and slide down and from the top, the view is even more beautiful.

If you're local and like me, have never been up, I'd highly recommend it on a sunny day. It's definitely not buggy friendly and it is quite steep but the fact that it's not far, makes it totally manageable for a toddler who is used to walking.

Honey wears... Hat by Blade and Rose