Suffolk with kids

48 Hours on the Suffolk Coast with Kids

Our holidays this summer are a little different to usual seeing as we can’t go abroad, but going on a UK staycation and exploring more of our own country has been a really wonderful adventure.  Our roadtrip took us from Kent all the way up the coast through Suffolk and onto Norfolk.  I don’t like being stuck in the car for too long when it’s just me and Evie (there’s only so much playing eye spy and listening to the Frozen soundtrack I can handle), so Suffolk was added into our itinerary as a brief stopover on our way up to Norfolk.  But we ended up having so many fun adventures here that I hadn’t even anticipated for that I even changed some of our plans to stay in this part of the UK for a bit longer.

The coastline has some stunning child friendly beaches and traditional seaside towns as quintessentially English as can be.  There is also the countryside to explore with its many farms, wildlife, nature walks and fields of gold to frolic in, as well as plenty of entertaining attractions for the whole family.

So here are my recommendations on what to do on the Suffolk coast with kids if you only have a couple of days:

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Stockholm with kids

A Magical Christmas in Stockholm with Kids

My inner child and belief in magic has never really disappeared so Christmas has always been my very favourite time of year.  But, since having Evie, it has become even more magical.  I adore watching her wake up with excitement every morning during December to see what the elves have left in her advent calendar tree; she shouts out in delight whenever she see twinkly lights; and the thought of Santa brings a huge smile to her face.

Which is why I love visiting a different European Christmas market every year – for the adventure together as well as sharing the magic of Christmas with her.

For this year’s destination we decided on Stockholm, somewhere which I had already heard was extremely family friendly, looked incredibly festive, and a country that neither Evie nor I have ever visited.  It’s no surprise that visiting a city in Sweden is going to be a fairly expensive trip so getting a Stockholm Pass, which provides entry to most of the city’s main attractions, is a fantastic way to save some money while seeing all the sights.

These are my top tips for what to do in Stockholm with kids at Christmas time and during winter. Wrap up warm and get out to explore this ridiculously pretty city!

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Vegetarian restaurants in Porto

Top 3 Vegetarian Restaurants in Porto

Full disclosure…I haven’t been vegetarian for long.  Well okay, technically, I’m pescatarian so, not eating any red meat, my travels around Portugal this year relied very heavily on fish, seafood and plants (and cake too of course but that’s talked about in another post).

While Portuguese cuisine is quite heavy on meat and seafood, with pork and stews being popular dishes, I didn’t have any difficulties finding places to eat that catered to vegetarians.  In fact, Porto is a city that caters extremely well to all palates and has many restaurants and cafes that are solely vegetarian and vegan.

I’ve included a variety of different styles of restaurants, all serving up healthy seasonal delicious fusions of food, so whether you’re after a casual lunch with friends, a date night or a delicious weekend brunch, I’ve got you covered.

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Brunch in Porto

The Best Brunches in Porto

Brunch is always a good idea.  Especially when you’re travelling.  And especially when you’re travelling somewhere that has such exceptional cuisine.  It’s been a while since my taste buds were as satisfied as they have been in Portugal, particularly in Porto, which has an abundance of cool restaurants and quirky cafes that serve an expert brunch.

Clearly the best meal of the day, brunch gives you a totally valid excuse to have a lazy morning and then enjoy excessive amounts of both savoury and sweet in one go, with a fun social atmosphere, all while sipping on booze before midday. I may have had a dessert overload, as you would have read in my last drool-worthy post on Porto’s most indulgent desserts, but I also brunched hard, so here are some of the best places for brunch in Porto.

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Desserts in Porto

Porto’s Most Indulgent Desserts (and Where to Find Them)

On my recent visits to Porto I have been lucky enough to have eaten at some of the most fantastic restaurants, all recommended by locals, from great brunch spots to the most divine vegetarian restaurants.  I now have so many recommendations to share that there are far too many to include in one post, so I’ve split it up into sections.  The first…desserts!  Obviously.  Because cake is the most important food group especially when the Portuguese seem to do them so well.

The streets of Porto (which you can wander afterwards to burn off all those sugar-filled calories) are full of cafés and sweet pastry shops.  The Portuguese coffee culture gives you an excuse to enjoy something sweet alongside your morning, afternoon and/or evening espresso.

So here is my list of the best places for dessert in Porto.  Warning…there are several photos of me enjoying said desserts because apparently I eat so many and enjoy them so much that it just has to be caught on camera.

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Where to eat in Lisbon

10 of the Best Foodie Spots in Lisbon

Scoping out the best restaurants and local delicacies used to be one of the highest priorities on my list when travelling.  But due to the exciteable toddler who now accompanies me on all my adventures, I don’t often get the luxury of eating out at nice places as much anymore.  My main criteria now seems to be restaurants that cater to small children, where no one would blink an eye at a bit of noise or a toddler going for a wander around the tables or crayons being thrown all over the floor.  And bonus points if the restaurant has a play area!  Ah the joys of travelling with children.

It wasn’t until we returned home from Lisbon that I realised just how many amazing places we’d eaten at in the few days we were there.  So many in fact that the food needed a whole post of its own!  All of these places come highly recommended by a local (which was the only reason we ate so well because I did absolutely no research myself), some of which are family favourites.  So they have been tried and tested by both locals and tourists (aka me) too.  None of these are specifically child friendly but they all catered very well to children, so whether you’re travelling with kids or without, these are some of the best places to eat in Lisbon.

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Lisbon with kids

Exploring Lisbon with Kids

If you read my previous post on falling for Lisbon you will know that our first experience of this city was a very brief one.  This time around we had several days to explore at a more leisurely pace as well as a local to guide us around, showing us all the best attractions and local spots, which gave us the chance to fully appreciate this beautiful city.

Many parts of Lisbon are made up of a maze of steep hills and narrow cobblestone streets – particularly the old district of Alfama with its historic colourful houses and superb viewpoints.  Pretty to look at but not so ideal to visit with a baby in a pram!  I found this out the hard way on our first visit (I’m surprised the wheels didn’t fall off), so I would recommend taking a baby carrier for these areas to save yourself the workout of pushing a pram uphill that you most definitely did not sign up for on a city break.  Other easy ways of getting around are Uber or tram.  Most of the Uber drivers we used had a baby seat in the back and the tram is always fun for little ones to take a ride on.

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Cape Winelands with kids

Child Friendly Wine Estates in the Cape Winelands

Yes, you read that title right!  There are a huge amount of wine estates in Cape Town and the surrounding Winelands, and clearly they know that parents want need the occasional glass of wine as the majority of them cater so well to children and families.  So of course we had to include several in our itinerary and our road trip through the Winelands became one of the best parts of our trip.

South Africa’s Winelands are just beautiful, all with spectacular mountain backdrops and lush green vineyards that fade off into the distance.  Even if you’re not a wine drinker I would still highly recommend visiting at least a couple – for the picture perfect views as well as the variety of other attractions that can often be found on the estates aside from the wine tasting.  I didn’t used to be much of a wine drinker but then I had a baby who turned into a toddler so now I am very fond of a glass (or two)!  Travelling with an almost two year old I did wonder how well she would fare while us girls were all enjoying our wine but everywhere was so completely child friendly that actually the wine was just one of many reasons to visit.  Each wine estate we stopped at had so much more to offer providing copious amounts of fun and activities for children, from playgrounds to animal parks and even non-alcoholic tastings for the little ones and those who don’t drink

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Exploring Island Life in Boa Vista, Cape Verde

Our trip to Cape Verde was a year ago now so I thought it was about time I finally wrote about it seeing as it’s one of the places I get asked about most often.  A lot of people have either never heard of this small collection of islands dotted just off the coast of West Africa or they don’t know much about the destination.  In all honesty I didn’t know much about the islands either and was under the impression that it was just a relaxing holiday destination with large all inclusive resort hotels and not much else to do.

Me being me, I obviously looked into what there is to do on the island because there’s only so long I can sit on the beach or around the pool before getting bored and I always like to get out and explore somewhere new.  Boa Vista literally translates as “good view” in Portuguese so it only seemed fitting that we venture outside the resort in search of these good views.

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Hilton Munich Airport Hotel

A Peaceful Retreat at the Hilton Munich Airport

Having experienced several airport hotels in London, I already knew how easy and stress-free they make overseas travels.  Being in a different country, having to navigate public transport from the city centre for an early morning flight was even more daunting than an early wake up alarm at home, especially when you factor in a toddler plus all the baggage I had to handle alone.  So when I came across the Hilton Munich Airport Hotel I immediately knew how convenient a stay it would be, making our last night in Germany a much more relaxed one before we headed back home.

With plenty of public transport options from the city centre – or even an easy train ride from Salzburg, Austria, which is where we came from! – we had no problem finding our way through the airport terminal to the hotel in just a short walk.  In fact I wondered at first if I had got us lost as the Hilton’s lobby is so tall and expansive with glass walls in every direction and palm trees towering over a cocktail bar in the centre.

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