Shepherd’s hut Kent UK

A Return Visit to Our Favourite Staycation Spot

It’s not often that I return to somewhere I’ve visited previously, but Clavertye Shepherd’s Huts is a place that I just couldn’t get out of my head from our girly getaway last October. So as autumn started creeping up on us again this year, I couldn’t resist planning a trip back.

This visit would be slightly different to last year though when Evie was just a tiny seven month old baby who didn’t do much more than sleep, giggle, try new foods and sit nice and still for all the photos mummy wanted to take. Whereas this year my extremely active little toddler is now walking, talking and has a huge personality that never stops.

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Salzburg with kids

24 Hours in Magical Salzburg with Kids

Just a thirty minute taxi ride from Bavaria and we had arrived in Salzburg.  But I hadn’t prepared myself for quite how quickly this city would capture my heart, make me feel like we were in a land straight out of the pages of a fairytale, and have me dreaming up another visit before we’d even left.

We only had one night and a far to brief 24 hours here but even so it very quickly became one of my favourite European cities – for its beautiful architecture, the prettiest of gardens, the exceedingly delicious cake, and the huge amounts of enjoyment for the whole family.

The Visit Salzburg tourist office had kindly left a map and guide book waiting for us at our hotel, along with a Leo the Lion colouring and sightseeing book that Evie delved straight into, and a Salzburg card for me which gave us free use of public transport around the city as well as free admission to all tourist attractions and museums.  Not wanting to waste any time we headed straight out to start exploring. Continue reading

Family friendly Munich

Hotel Laimer Hof: The Most Family Friendly Stay in Munich

If you read my guide to Munich last week (and you should because it’s such a lovely city to visit) then you will have seen we stayed at the most fantastic family friendly hotel in the beautiful Nymphenburg district. But it wasn’t enough to just mention the hotel briefly in that post – it was such a wonderful place to stay that it gets a whole post of its own!

Hotel Laimer Hof ticked all the boxes in what I look for in accommodation when travelling. Located in a quiet and pretty residential area of the city but still only a 10 minute tram ride out of the centre, it’s a traditional looking building with turrets making it look a bit like a small castle. Always important to be wowed by a place as well as feeling like a princess! With the atmosphere of a small intimate guest house rather than a big impersonal hotel and a heap of authentic Bavarian charm, they cater extremely well for families here making it one of the most family friendly accommodations in Munich.

Family friendly Munich

The majority of the rooms here are double rooms or family rooms which are nice and spacey with a romantic cosy feel plus all the basic amenities you could need in a hotel room. But we were lucky enough to be given THE most amazing apartment to stay in which couldn’t have been any more perfectly suited to Evie and me. The apartment was huge – so big it could easily have been someone’s home – which meant that my little explorer had plenty of room to practice her new walking skills as she had just started walking on her own the day before our trip began.

Family friendly Munich

We had a lovely modern kitchen surrounded by the most beautiful stained glass windows, with everything we could possibly have needed, a large wooden dining table, and the staff were kind enough to bring a highchair up to our room for Evie.

Family friendly Munich

This was absolutely brilliant for us as it meant I could make dinner in the apartment (or get a take away from the pizza shop around the corner when I couldn’t be bothered to cook), rather than eating out every night – a lot more budget friendly and convenient when travelling alone with a toddler.

Family friendly Munich

The bathroom had a shower as well as a separate bath which also suited us really well as most modern hotel rooms only have showers so Evie was ecstatic to be able to splash about in the big bath for the first time during our trip.

Family friendly Munich

The bedroom had a large comfy double bed with some sweet treats left on our pillows which of course Evie promptly sought out. Although I was perfectly happy to share my bed with her she didn’t seem quite as keen to share her sweets with me.

Family friendly Munich

The great thing about having a separate lounge area is that once Evie was in bed at night I could then relax and enjoy the rest of my evening. Getting comfy in one of the cosy armchairs, it was easy to switch off and watch TV or read a book (or more likely scroll through Instagram) without worrying about having the lights on, being noisy and waking her up which is what often happens when we’re in most standard hotel rooms.

Family friendly Munich

The location of Hotel Laimer Hof was one of the biggest draws for me and the area ended up being my favourite part of Munich. I loved it so much here with its adorably cute houses with colourful front doors, bicycles leaning against lampposts, and people with friendly welcoming smiles as Evie and I walked by. If I was to live in Munich this neighbourhood would definitely be the place I’d go!

 

 

A brief stroll around the corner is the beautiful Nymphenburg Palace which we visited a couple of times. My favourite time of day was early in the morning before we’d had breakfast and before the hordes of tourists descended. Usually I’d never be up and about by 7am but when your one year old wakes you up at ridiculous o clock what else are we to do but go exploring!

Family friendly Munich

With only the swans and ducks for company and the occasional cyclist or jogger out for a morning run, it was so peaceful and tranquil – apart from Evie’s excited shrieks at seeing the baby ducks waddling about which she then waddled after with her newly walking feet!

Family friendly Munich

A few minutes in the opposite direction is Hirschtgarten, a brilliantly family friendly park and beer garden with a children’s playground, deer to feed, live bands playing music, stalls selling traditional German fare and, of course, lots of beer in the biggest ever glasses.

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After our morning wanderings around the palace or the park, we headed back to the hotel for breakfast in the intimate dining room which had lots of choice for both Evie and I from cereal, fruit and yoghurt to breads, pastries, eggs and meats.

Family friendly Munich

They even had smoked salmon which isn’t often found at European breakfast buffets so I thoroughly enjoyed piling my plate high with scrambled eggs and salmon and I’m pretty sure I was the one who gobbled up all the salmon every day! This is also where Evie got her love for Babybel cheeses and now whenever she hears me opening the fridge at home she’s running straight up behind me trying to pinch a Babybel out!

Family friendly Munich

Spy her little hand reaching for the Babybel!

Family friendly Munich

No mum I didn’t touch it!

This is the sort of accommodation that I love coming across when I travel. Not only was the location perfect giving me more of a local feel to Munich but the staff were super friendly and helpful, giving me a hand with everything from bringing a highchair up to our room, giving me directions and tips to the city and helping me carry my luggage and the pram outside when we left. There was even a large antique cabinet in the lobby full of little toy bears and rubber ducks dressed in German attire that kept Evie very entertained while I sat on the couches with a drink.

Family friendly Munich

This would be a fantastic place to stay whether you have children with you or not but for me, travelling alone with Evie, which was occasionally just a little bit stressful, I really felt at ease here and we both especially felt at home. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Family friendly Munich

Thank you to Sebastian and his family who hosted our stay at Hotel Laimer Hof. We had a fabulous time with you and if we ever return to Munich (and I really hope we do!) we would love to stay with you again.

Where is the most family friendly accommodation you’ve stayed? Where have you felt most at home? Let me know in the comments below or at:

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Munich with kids

A Long Weekend in Picture Perfect Munich

During the majority of our trip to Germany we were based in Munich, the capital of Bavaria and a perfectly located central spot for road tripping to several fairytale locations around this part of the country. Basing ourselves here meant that we had plenty of time for some chilled days in between the sightseeing and day trips when we could explore the city at our own leisurely pace. Down days and a slower pace are crucial when travelling with a little one – especially when travelling alone with a little one as we both needed a bit of a break at times!

I am lucky enough to have the lovely Allane from Packing My Suitcase as a friend and as she lives in Munich it meant that I had my own personal tour guide around the city, plus her baby girl was a great little travel companion for Evie. She also ended up being our photographer (Allane not her daughter!) which meant that I was in lots of photos – always a bit tricky getting photos with yourself in when you travel alone with a toddler!

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Gatwick airport hotel

Starting a Holiday off right at Bloc Hotel London Gatwick

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of airport hotels especially before an early morning flight. I’ve stayed at (and written about) a few over my travels because they really do make the start of a journey so much easier.

My first ever airport hotel experience was at Bloc Hotel at Gatwick Airport a few years ago, and because of the convenience, the friendly staff and the seriously amazing rooms, this is a hotel I go back to time and time again. So when I planned mine and Evie’s trip to Germany and Bloc offered us a stay the night before our flight, it seemed like the perfect way to start off our girly getaway and to make travelling with a toddler a whole lot less stressful. And as I was travelling alone with a toddler I needed it to be as stress-free as possible!

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Where to eat in Zurich

The Chocolate, Cheese and Coffee Lover’s Guide to Zurich

You don’t have to be crazy about all three things in the title to read this post. There’s something for everyone here but I’m not going to lie, the majority of this list does feature them all pretty highly. Because when you’re in Switzerland it’s only fair and right that you eat a tonne of Swiss chocolate. And cheese. Because chocolate and cheese are two of the best things in life, and coffee is just a given, so of course there were going to be a fabulous range of places to sample them.

The fact that so many chocolate treats are called “Schoggi” which is a ‘cute Swiss word for chocolate’ (I googled it and that is literally the meaning!) just made it all so much more tempting and had me wanting to eat it all.

Most of these places are ideal for children too as Zurich seems to be an extremely child friendly city, but whether you have kids with you or not they are all still some of the best places to eat and drink in Zurich.

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Inspiring travel mamas

13 Inspiring Travel Mamas

Due to it being Mother’s Day yesterday and International Women’s Day last week, I am feeling like celebrating all the strong and brave women right now. So I thought it only fitting that I share some of my favourite travelling, blogging and Instagramming mamas with you.

Mamahood isn’t always easy and travelling with a little one (or little ones in some cases) can be stressful but these ladies prove that it is possible. They all fill me with so much inspiration and wanderlust and they make me want to jet off with Evie on a new adventure every single day.

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Cruise with a baby

Cruising With a Baby

I’ve always been a bit unsure about cruises. Having been on a few over the years, from luxury Caribbean cruises to mini cruises around the Mediterranean, I absolutely love that you get to explore so many different places in the space of just a few days. Sitting on a different glorious white sandy beach every day? Yes please!

But on the other hand having only a day, or half a day really by the time you’ve got on and off the boat, isn’t really long enough to properly explore somewhere in depth. When I travel I like to do things off the beaten track, meet the locals and get lost trying to find the best eatery, but you just can’t do that on a cruise.

For a taster of a few different cities or beaches it is perfect though so we decided to give it a go with Evie. Our week’s cruise visited several places in Southern Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal and Morocco and I never would have guessed how seriously brilliant a cruise is with a baby. So here are just a few reasons why we loved cruising with Evie so much and, if you’re a bit unsure yourself, why I think a cruise with a baby is the most perfect holiday.

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Prague Christmas markets with a baby

Getting Festive at Prague’s Christmas Markets

Christmas has always been my very favourite time of year. I love everything about the festive season from the cosy winter nights and possibility of snow to mince pies and mulled wine, but mostly just that happy magic feeling that’s always in the air this time of year. Christmas markets have this in abundance so some of the European markets have always been on my travel wish list as they look even more festive and are just a tad more traditional than the likes of Winter Wonderland – which spending one hour at costs pretty much the same as three nights in Prague. So we went with Prague

Being Evie’s first Christmas we had an actual valid reason to go this year. She adores the twinkling Christmas lights, her whole face lights up when she hears the singing of Christmas carols and I knew it would make our first Christmas with her even more magical. This trip wasn’t for me in the slightest. In fact I didn’t even want to go at all. It’s all totally for her. Yup.

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Essentials for travelling with a baby

Gift Ideas for Travelling Mamas and Babies

I won’t claim to be an expert but I’ve travelled with Evie a fair few times in her 8 months on earth so I like to think I’m at least a little bit of a pro when it comes to travelling with a baby. We’ve been on all sorts of adventures from train and plane rides to road trips and cruises and now we sail through customs (mostly) stress free!

With Christmas coming up I thought it was a good time to share some things I’ve found super useful when travelling. I’ve included a whole different range of ideas from the essentials and the practicals to some that are just plain cute and simply needed.

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