Afternoon Tea For Two At Moggerhanger Park

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I had never been for afternoon tea until a few weeks back. It has always been on my list of things to try and I even put it on my 30 before 30 list as something I was determined to do before the age of 30. Well, I’ve done it and let me just say, it was incredible.

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I was invited by the team at Moggerhanger Park  to sample their afternoon tea. Moggerhanger Park is just up the road from us in Bedfordshire and we enjoyed a leisurely drive there only to come across the most beautiful stately home and grounds. Not only do they offer afternoon tea but they also offer tours round the grounds, walks and even a playground. We parked up in the spacious car park after passing some sheep roaming free (this was a delight to see and it is great that they put signs up to warn you to drive slowly and carefully because of the animals). The sheep seemed unfazed by us and we continued on our way to The Old Kitchen in preparation for our afternoon tea.

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We were greeted by the most loveliest member of staff when we arrived, she was very attentive throughout our experience as were the two young men who were also working with her. The weather was a little precarious but we decided to sit outside under one of the parasols whilst the sun was shining and even when it started to rain, the staff checked to see if we were okay – I felt so sorry for them but what amazing customer service!

We were asked what tea we would like and we opted for green tea which arrived quickly and there was plenty enough for my friend and myself. We were also asked what sandwich fillings we liked – I opted for prawn mayonnaise and my friend opted for ham – we were pleasantly surprised when the sandwiches arrived with the cakes and we had sandwich upon sandwich for ourselves! We were unsure if we could manage it all but we knew we would give it a good go!

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The sandwiches were delicious – they were full to the brim, no skimping on filling here, oh no – and the prawn mayo was just right. The cake stand with all the cakes, macarons and scones on it was so pretty, it looked too good to eat – but of course we had to tuck right in. We were treated to scones with clotted cream and jam, macarons which my friend had never tried before which was an experience in itself plus brownies, big slices of cake and so much more! Every mouthful was delicious and we are even talking about taking a friend there for her 30th birthday next year.

I would definitely recommend visiting Moggerhanger Park for afternoon tea or perhaps even for lunch or a tour of the grounds. It is a beautiful estate and I definitely want to visit again.

Have you ever been?

We were offered the afternoon tea for two for free in exchange for an honest review 

A Murder Mystery Dinner with Far Out Theatre at West Compton Manor

I was recently invited to possibly the most exciting opportunity I have ever had through this blog, a murder mystery dinner and stay overnight. The murder mystery part was performed by the lovely people behind Far Out Theatre at West Compton Manor and we were able to stay overnight in order to really enjoy the proceedings. It was a little drive to Dorset but it was more than worth it as we had a fantastic time.

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I’ve been slightly delayed in getting this post up as we’ve all been suffering from sickness bugs recently and I wanted to ensure I published this with a clear head so I could talk about just how much we enjoyed ourselves. You may have seen my numerous pictures on Instagram about it, I’m sure you can see I had a great time.

West Compton Manor itself is an absolutely gorgeous place and we were very honoured to stay there. When we arrived, we were invited in for tea and cake before being shown to our rooms. We were totally not expecting the team at Far Out Theatre to already be in character but it was great, really building the excitement before the dinner later on that evening. Ben Tover was indeed a very good butler.

I’ve always wanted to do a murder mystery so was excited to see how it would proceed and we were shown five scenes, all based on the day of Edd N Buried’s funeral and his wake thereafter, of which we were all attendees. One scene was played out before we retired to the room for dinner, others whilst eating.

We were able to question the suspects between these scenes and really put the team from Far Out Theatre on the spot. Fair play to them, they responded well despite having some very strange ways thrown their way from Steve and Amy aka Everything Mummy! The food we had was absolutely delicious and we were supplied with plenty of wine to make our stay as hospitable as possible. What we didn’t realise was that the cast actually prepared the food themselves alongside the performance and our sometimes very intrusive questions – how amazing are they?

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We were treated to a Bloody Mary Veloute, then stuffed mushroom to start followed by goulash and ice cream for dessert. It all tasted delicious – I especially enjoyed the mushroom starter – and since we are talking about food, I have to mention the gorgeous breakfast I was made the next morning – it tasted divine and was exactly what I needed!
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Throughout the five scenes, our choices for the perpetrator changed many times but when it came to opting for who we thought had done it, I went with my original thought. With all the information we had gathered together, mine seemed like a viable bet and I like to fancy myself as a detective when watching or reading murder mysteries anyway. I was wrong. Only one person got it right and that was Steve, which he was incredibly smug about!

After the perpetrator had been revealed, we spent some time chatting with the Far Out Theatre team and Ashley who owns West Compton Manor. They are an incredibly friendly bunch and a great group of people to have a laugh with. They are very talented and I wish them well with the murder mystery dinners in the future – I’ve been recommending them to everyone!

Keeping Fit At Go Ape

A month or so ago now, I was invited by the team behind Simply Health to visit a place of my choosing from the list they provided and see just how many calories can be burned and steps taken whilst doing these activities. I was helpfully provided with a Fitbit for this challenge and was given the following options of places to visit:

  • Up at the O2
  • Go Ape
  • Escape In Time

All were very intriguing and something I would love to do but I eventually settled on Go Ape and headed off with a friend to test everything out. Now let me tell you, I am not a big fan of heights so this was always going to be a challenge for me. However it is a challenge I jumped into wholeheartedly and faced my fears as much as possible. I was interested to see how many calories could be burned and how many steps could be taken. Whilst some things didn’t take much energy, the netting sure proved a challenge as I struggled to get from it and onto the ledge – I probably burned the most calories here!

Due to being strapped up in a harness and having to use my hands to keep me safe at all times with my safety line, photos were obviously a no go – since both myself and my friend were strapped up and we had no one else with us, I’m afraid we had no one to take pictures but I do have this certificate which I am very proud of!

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Simply Health have recently spoken about how wearable tech can help when trying to make exercise a little more fun and I certainly agree. I found the whole experience fun (whilst a little frightening and challenging at times!), especially looking up the data on the Fitbit later.

So what did swinging about in the trees do for me? Here’s a list of everything my Fitbit told me…

  • I burned 224 calories overall – I think most of these were probably when I was stuck on the net and panicking, haha!
  • I took 1229 steps overall from the office to the finish of our activity
  • I covered 1.2km
  • I was fully active for 41 minutes
  • The activity lasted for around two hours – 41 minutes is for where I didn’t stop moving but a lot of time was spent catching my breath, panicking on netting or catching my bearings

I was very pleasantly surprised at these results. Whilst I didn’t burn as many calories as I perhaps would have doing some other activity, this definitely gave my muscles a workout and my mind too as I pushed through my fear. After experiencing such a different way of getting exercise in, I am very keen to try other more unique avenues of exercise. I really enjoyed myself and am very proud of myself for giving it a go.

Do you use wearable tech when exercising? Do you find it motivates you more? I definitely think my Fitbit inspires me to be more active – I am very competitive with the other ladies from Slimming World!

A Fitbit and entry to Go Ape was provided FOC for creation of this post

My Favourite UK Beach Holidays

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Although I do love going abroad for a holiday, nothing quite beats a good old holiday in the UK. I’ve been taking UK breaks for as long as I can remember and we try to go once or twice a year even now so that Jack has a similar experience to what me and Steve had when we were little.

With Summer approaching, we’ve been thinking about where we want to visit this year on a short break. We are already visiting Greater Yarmouth in October but it would be nice to go somewhere else before then. Here are a few of my favourite UK beach holidays to go on – do any of these places hold a place in your heart?

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Isle Of Wight

I had never been to the Isle of Wight before last year but I know my parents went plenty of times before I was born and loved it. They are actually going again in a couple of months and I am so jealous. It is such a beautiful island and I especially love spending the day down at Shanklin beach – we get to enjoy the sand and the sea before visiting the amusement arcade…tons of fun! Of course, you’ve got to fit a visit to Blackgang Chine in there too!

My aunt lives on the island and has made me aware of some other beautiful spots that I need to check out so I certainly plan on taking a break there sometime soon.

Tenby

When we visited Wales back in 2014, we were advised to stop off at Tenby beach as it was meant to be beautiful. We had an amazing day here and I am keen to get back to Wales sometime in the future. I’ve only been to one small area of the country so I am keen to get around and explore.

Woolacoombe

Devon is one of my most favourite places in the UK and Woolacombe is a favourite place to visit. With a gorgeous award winning beach and tons of things to do (including a number of walks around the coast), there is something for all the family here. In terms of where to stay in Woolacombe, whether it’s a lodge, caravan or camping you’re after, Woolacoombe Bay Holiday Parks has something for every family with fantastic facilities right next to Woolacombe Beach. Visit their website at www.woolacombe.co.uk and youll see why they are so popular with family holidays in Devon.

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Camber Sands

This place will probably always have a place in my heart. Steve’s parents originally owned a caravan down there and then we did – then we both sold up due to rising costs. However we used to go down once or twice a month to spend the weekend when Jack was smaller and we loved nothing more than taking a walk on the beach in the morning and enjoying the sunshine. Camber is only a small little village but their long, stretching beach is something to be marvelled at.

With Steve’s parents potentially moving down to that area, we will probably be spending a lot of time down there in the future.

Greater Yarmouth

Finally my usual haunt. I haven’t actually been back to Greater Yarmouth since I was pregnant with Jack so October will be Jack’s first experience of the place. I don’t know how much has changed in five years but I am looking forward to taking Jack to the Pleasure Beach and then looking down on the sand from the rides above before heading onto the beach and enjoying ourselves! I can’t wait.

These are just a few of the places I love in the UK that I have visited and enjoyed over the years. I remember how much I loved visiting the beaches with my Dad and doing all the different things you can do – building a sand castle, visiting the rock pools, skimming stones. Now that Jack is getting to an age where he can understand more, I am keen to get him enjoying UK holidays just as much as his parents did when we were little and I am hoping he has similar great experiences like we did. We’ve also got to visit my uncle who lives on the seafront near Clacton. So many beaches, so little time!

Where are your favourite places to holiday in the UK? Have you got a favourite beach that you like to head to when Summer rolls around? Why is it your favourite? I’d love to know!

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Get Yourself To Willows Activity Farm This Half Term!

Willows Activity Farm is one of our favourite places to visit in the school holidays. It is just down the road from us and offers such fun things to do! We visited just before Christmas (read more about that here) and we were recently asked if we would like to see what they had going on this half term. Of course, we couldn’t say no!

You may have seen some of my Instagram shots from when we were but this week is actually lambing week so as well as some other fun half term activities, we also got the chance to see some baby lambs up close and personal and if we were really lucky, some being born!

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Some of these lambs were just a few days old and we even saw some that had been born very early that morning! We stood in the lambing marquees for quite some time as when we got there, a ewe was in the full throes of labour. We did end up standing there for quite some time because she seemed to be sabotaging herself – she’d push really hard and she’d get somewhere then plonk herself back down to get comfy and the lambs feet would disappear again. In the end the farmer had to help her deliver but it was a truly beautiful moment and I am glad we waited for it.

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If you look carefully, you can see the baby lamb next to the ewe on the left. As you can imagine, Jack had plenty of questions and once we left the sheep marquee we set about answering all of them whilst also going to visit the other animals that he desperately wanted to see.

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We even saw a baby calf who was just three days old – so incredibly beautiful! There is so much to do this week at Willows Activity Farm – they have tons of things on for the February Frolics lambing event with funfair rides, fleecy arts and crafts, the magical Ice Rink, lamb bottle feeding, storytime, sing-a-longs, puppet shows, learning about lambing and so much more! Plus there are still a multitude of things to do at the farm all day including visiting the lambing marquee, the agility play trail, visiting the farmyard, the under 5’s play area and a whole host of other things!

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We didn’t do much on Monday as I really wasn’t feeling well and Jack was starting to suffer the effects of a cold too. However we did manage to attend a few of the lambing events, especially a lamb being born in the lambing marquee which is the one thing we really wanted to see! Jack really enjoyed himself and is already asking when we are next going back!

I think our next trip will be to visit the brand new Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground, opening on the 2nd of April 2016. Sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun! If you live in or near Hertfordshire, be sure to visit Willows Activity Farm this half term. You won’t be disappointed.

We received free entry in order to review the half term events