I have two problems. I have a very small house and too much stuff! Not to mention my slight shopping addiction & significant lack of spare pennies to fund it. That in mind, I’ve been having a big clear out of both mine & Florence’s […]
We are very lucky to live in the very Heart of Kent. Our county really does live up to it’s status of the Garden of England, filled with glorious countryside, working farms and fields and fields of beautiful blooms. A couple of weeks ago, my […]
This weekend Florence & I headed up to Northampton with my Mum & sister for a trip down memory lane. My Nan – Nanny Ann as I called her – lived in Northampton for as long as I knew her and I have so many wonderful memories of the holidays and weekends I spent with her as a little girl there.
She lived in a tiny flat overlooking Northampton Race Course where they used to hold their annual Hot Air Balloon festival. We used to go each year & I have some lovely memories of watching the balloons with her and it was lovely to revive that tradition with Florence and her own Nanny.
We travelled up on Saturday and after a *slight* one hour detour through Essex thanks to a user error with the SatNav we arrived at our Hotel – The Premiere Inn in Northampton town center. The hotel is only a year old and was really lovely with super attentive staff & free weekend parking close by. We got settled into our room where Florence had a play & a nap after the long drive. She was so good!
At 5pm we headed to Billing Aquadrome in time to have a wander around the festival though sadly upon arrival we were informed that neither of the two main events would be taking place due to the wind & rain forecast. We would still have to pay the full entry fee to get in despite the balloon flight & glow being cancelled so instead we decided to give the Saturday a miss and went to get some dinner – the only balloons in site on our dresses! Libby chose a roast dinner & so we booked a table at the Toby Carvery in nearby Wooton. It’s a really family friendly pub & the food was actually really delicious. Florence made friends with our waitress and certainly stole the show as ever!
After dinner we went back to the hotel and watched a couple of girly films. It was like an old school sleepover! While there was a travel cot in the room, I had Florence in with me over night as it had been a long day and I knew she wouldn’t settle anywhere she couldn’t see me.
We set the alarm for 5am in the hope that we’d have more luck of seeung some balloons in the morning. As soon as I woke I checked the weather & twitter – the rain & wind had cleared and the balloons were going to fly! Off we went down to the Aquadrome, Florence and my sister still in their pj’s.
We watched as the crews prepared their balloons for lift off, fires roaring & filling them with the all important hot air until they were ready to take to the skies.
As the sun rose, the balloons took to the sky and filled it with rainbow colour. There is something so calming and beautiful about a sky full of hot air balloons floating off into the distance.
Florence loved all of the colours and it was so lovely to see my Mum repeating history with her own granddaughter.
Once the field was empty and the sky was full, we watched for a while and then went back to the hotel for breakfast before going out to explore Northampton town centre. It really is such a lovely town full of beautiful grand buildings and charming little cafes.
We passed the hospital my Nan used to work in, visited the market square where I would play on the roundabout every single time we went there and after a spot of shopping sat out in the sunshine by the children’s sandpit where Florence had her first experience of sand between her toes!
And once Florence was fed and changed it was time to make our way back home. We had such a lovely girly weekend and I can’t wait to go back this time next year.
We live in the heart of Kent and are so lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful family friendly attractions. This year I’ve made a summer bucket list of things we’d like to do & places we’d like to go to make the most […]
As you know, I try to support local independent brands as often as I can. You’ll often find me at farmers markets picking up local produce, pottering around in little boutique shops searching for the perfect gifts and I’d much prefer to grab lunch at […]
We had the loveliest family day out yesterday at the Volks Weald festival and getting lost in the Maize maze at the hosting venue, Penshurst Place. I had never been to a car show before, nor to Penshurst Place so it was all a bit new to me and we were excited to discover a new place to explore.
I’m not a great lover of cars, my knowledge of them just about stops with the colour so I was prepared to be bored until we got to the maze but actually the Volks Weald show was really good & definitely more than just a field of cars.
The grounds were lined with a rainbow gorgeous retro campers, beautiful classic beatles and super cool vintage scooters. I’ve come home dreaming of owning & restoring our very own VW Camper which we can go on adventures in as a family in the coming years.
The camper of my dreams!
There were also a lot of artisan stalls & food and drinks stands which my sister & I took great pleasure in wandering round.
This inflatable tavern was probably the showstopper when it came to the stands, what a cool idea for events! I think Sean has this high on his list for when we eventually get married (once he’s asked me that is!).
We had a lovely chat with Stephanie, the owner of ‘The Little Red Wagon Company’ who not only sells these gorgeous wooden wagons but made all of the dresses below in one week! They’re so well made and I love the patterns and bold prints. If they’d had her size, I’d have definitely picked one up for Florence in each of the designs.
We couldn’t resist making use of this ultra cool retro Coca Cola fridge!
There was live music playing while we ate our lunch on Hay bales and Florence hit the hay while taking a break from being in the carrier.
And then it was time to find the Maize Maze!
There are two routes for the Maize Maze – one that takes 15 minutes and one that takes an hour. Sean, of course, opted for the hour long route! We were given a map and a sheet to stamp the checkpoints in. It was good fun, though if you take a buggy be prepared to either leave it behind or pop baby in a carrier as the ground is very uneven!
And Florence even got a sticker for completing it!
We’ll definitely be returning to discover more of Penshurst Place this Summer as we didn’t get to see very much of it at all.
*EDIT 13.05.2018 – VOLKS WEALD FESTIVAL IS RETURNING TO PENSHURST PLACE FOR 2018 ON 13TH – 15TH JULY.
It has been almost 10 months since we moved into our little house on the High Street and I can’t quite believe how quickly the time has flown. As you know if you’re a frequent visitor here, I found out I was pregnant just five […]
It’s that time of year when the shops are filled with sales and if you’ve seen my latest fashion haul on my YouTube channel you’ll see I just cannot resist bagging a bargain when it comes to my wardrobe.. and Florence’s for that matter. Sometimes […]