Monthly Archives: June 2013

Coffee #0004

Coffee #0004

Black Americano at Bordeaux Quay, with five of us for breakfast. Two cheese and mushroom omelettes and two pancakes with bacon. The table was at the back of the Brasserie in sight of the toy and books boxes so M could run around and explore to her heart’s content.

30-June-2013

Coffee #0003

coffee #0003

Percolated coffee with condensed milk. This is breakfast after the sixth night in a row with not much sleep. I’m reading Gone Girl and writing a book review which I won’t talk about yet. My dad is in the hotel across the street and my sister is somewhere off Whiteladies Road. Mersina had porridge for breakfast and we’re watching the Wiggles.

The Nescafe mug was given to me by my old employers in Colchester when I moved into my first flat on my own in 2002.

30-June-2013

Soy latte #0002

Soy latte #0002

A soy latte at Friska Foods in Rise on the Clifton Triangle. I was with Mersina and my sister, Alia. We were waiting for my dad to arrive and charging our phones with our newly bought phone chargers. Alia bought two books.

29-June-2013

Soy latte #0001

Soy latte #0001

One soy latte, one dairy flat white, one Eccles cake and one custard tart from Hart’s Bakery. Mersina and I got to Hart’s at the Bristol Temple Meads train station just before 9am after going to our early morning doctor’s appointment at 8.10. We waited at the bakery for her dad who had been out to the Gromit Unleashed launch and we all caught a train to Cardiff at 9.56.

The dairy flat white has the love heart.

28-June-2013

Breastfeeding awareness week

I’ve read some meaningful and emotive posts on breastfeeding this week and it made me want to share as well but I can’t quite find it in me to go down that route. Instead, here’s a list of all the places I have fed my daughter over the last two years and a bit:

The Bristol mayoral inauguration
The More than Words festival at the Bristol museum
At Cinnamon Square in Rickmansworth
In the Bristol Central Library
College Green
The Ethicurean
The See No Evil festival
Upfest
Eat, Drink, Bristol Fashion
Yurt Lush
The European Green Capital announcement launch at the M-Shed
The Square Kitchen
Ashton Court
In front of Chandos Deli
The Tobacco Factory
The Brewery
The Bristol Old Vic
Flinty Red
On the train
On the bus
On the aeroplane
Love Saves Sunday festival
Clifton College
StrEAT
Explore @Bristol
The Bristol Hippodrome
The Colston Hall
St Stephen’s Cafe
Flavalanche
AngelBerry
Brandon Hill
The Grain Barge
Bristol Zoo
The Bearpit
Boca
Paintworks
Queen Square
Small Street Espresso
Berwick Lodge
On the Harbourside
At the bottom of the steps when she fell down the stairs
On the way to A&E when she dislocated her elbow, in the taxi, in my arms for half an hour
Rainbow Cafe
Bristol Eats
Quakers Friars
Giraffe
Caffe Gusto at the Harbourside
Lashings
The Lounges
The Watershed
Beese’s
Zazu’s Kitchen
The Thali Cafe’s launch in Southville
Bar Chocolat
Prezzo
Pieminister relaunch on Stokes Croft
The King of Egypt exhibition at the museum
Mi Casa pop-up at the Big Chill
St Werburgh’s Sunday Roast pop-up
Yume on Cotham Hill
Mamma Mia, my favourite Italian restaurant
El Puerto
The Arnolfini
Bordeaux Quay
The Robin Hood
The Wardrobe Theatre
The White Bear
Highbury Vaults

And many more…

Did I mention the mayoral inauguration?

Breastfeeding at See No Evil 2012

Sticker Fun Holiday from Top That Publishing (and the Froobles)

I received these books for review after responding to a tweet. I didn’t know the publishers until then.

I am already a bit biased pro- Top That Publishing because these books arrived just two days before I was set to travel to Devon with a 2-and-a-quarter old toddler. Look at them: Untitled

They are perfect toddler entertainment.

As the bigger book says there are 555 stickers about various scenarios such as horse riding, a day in the park in autumn, skiing, an airport and various other locations. The paper is shiny and of good quality and the stickers are colourful and creative.

I initially thought the pictures were a little busy with figures added in already but my daughter loved them. She loves to add stickers in order to cover already existing characters so she had a great time.

She didn’t get as excited about the second book – the Froobles – because she’s a little young for the story so we’re saving that one. The first one was perfect though and we still have lots of stickers left.

Thanks for the chance to review Top That Publishing!

You can find them on Twitter at: @TopThatPub

Woolacombe Bay holiday

by Graeme White of Something Doing

Devon-gold-coast

For several years now I have wanted, nay needed, to see more of the UK’s South West especially its glorious coastline – recently this simple dream came true when my flatmate received a 2 free nights stay at Woolacombe Bay holiday village near the appropriately named Woolacombe Sands.

Woolacombe sands is part of Devon’s Golden coast, 3rd best beach in the UK (2013) according to TripAdviser, 25th in the world. It is truly stunning, regardless of any niggles I may have with the area itself and to walk on its smooth clean sands and soak in its crystal clear sea waters, it’s hard caring about any negatives on the surrounding area or life in general.

Without a car we traveled by train from Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter changing at Barnstaple then caught a bus (303 service) that took us straight to the camp site via the pretty nearby villages. The entire travel time was around 2.5 hours and an incredible opportunity to soak up Devon’s beautiful countryside.

Woods chip shop Barnstaple

A word of warning if you re-trace our steps , the 303 service is a bit scarce and we ended up with around a two hour wait , this did mean we had plenty of time to wander round Barnstaple and get some decent chips at Woods chippy near the bus station.

I had never seen proper country roads until that bus journey, I expect roads to fit two vehicles with excess space for a little maneuvering but that 303 route was unforgiving for motorists. As a bus passenger it was hassle-free and undeniably scenic, well worth it just to see the picturesque pastures and meadows that are core to North Devon’s beautiful landscape.

One thing to mention early on is personal transport is favourable if you decide to stay at one of the handful of camp sites in the area , mainly so you can benefit from the plethora of holiday venues, activity areas and museums that are all linked by pedestrian unfriendly roads and fair distance.

Woolacombe bay campsite sign

The camp site entrance was a road with the site’s sign on it and no other visual clues. We spent around 10 minutes walking down the road surrounded by thick blankets of leaning vegetation wondering if we were in the right place before stumbling upon what was clearly a holiday camp.

Mobile home pics

A few pics pf the mobile home we stayed in which was very neat and tidy when we arrived

Another 10 minutes or so got us to the reception building and keys handed over we were into our mobile home. A total 20 minute walk that would probably have been shorter if our party did not consist of a curious toddler.

The mobile home was quite spacious with a stunning view of the coastline from the living room/kitchen area. I am not well versed in mobile homes but it seemed well equipped and certainly catered for our needs. One niggle would be the twin bedroom beds were pretty small, I am around 5ft 10 and found my feet overhanging the mattress so if you’re tall(er) you might struggle to kip in their single beds, might be worth making inquiries as you book.

Woolacombe camp site play area

Woolacombe campsite shop

The campsite was pretty nice , it had a great play area next to a crazy golf course overlooking the bay far below. There is a swimming pool , sauna, wave machine , climbing area, bar/restaurant, club area and mod cons such as a launderette, public toilets/ shower and a surprisingly well-stocked shop.

The camp site staff were always friendly and helpful but genuinely so , they didn’t seem to put on a polite act which was nice, it’s those little details that can say a lot about a place.

The camp site dwellers were also pretty friendly, no one complained about the place during the little conversations we would have at the play area or walking down to the beach, although our holiday park neighbour said it would be nice if the nearby village had more shops.

From what I can gather our holiday site seems to attract large families, like the young mum with four kids who let rip at her young son down at the play area on our first evening –

“Tristen you little sh*t you’ve played up too much today, I’ve had enough, that’s it! Your not comin club wiv me later”

He was upset but he didn’t seem to take the threat too seriously, this was apparent when he started singing ‘ well I am I am I am’ in defiance. The young mum later revealed to my flatmate she had been drinking til 4am with her sister and hangover plus ultra boisterous son plus her other three nippers was a little hard to cope with.

There seemed to be tonnes of things to do in the area , but without a car and a 2-year-old we were pretty restricted getting to these places. There is a bus service that runs between the camp sites though, it’s worth noting it does not run past 4pm.

Nearby attractions/activities included –

woolacombe-collage

The Woolacombe Bay area is beautiful but it was not the slice of Devon I hoped for , everything is geared up to the beach which is stunning but it means the place feels a little superficial. Most buildings were B&Bs or hotels , what I hoped for was some old fisherman’s pubs, quaint cottages that sort of thing but I didn’t see any on my brief travels. That all said if I had to move there I wouldn’t grumble.

My niggles of the area are just minor in comparison to the lush sands and crystal clear sea waters. Photos I have shown foreign friends surprised them, they didn’t expect this country to have such beautiful beaches and neither did I.

I may well return to Woolacombe Bay , probably not the camp site but that’s not because it was unsatisfactory , I just want a slightly different feel to my holiday. I think it will most definitely suit larger families with older kids and their range of accommodation should cover most budgets.

Definitely returning to Devon that’s for sure.

Woolacombe Bay holiday village is one of the Woolacombe Bay holiday parks