Christmas on the South Bank

I spent yesterday (belatedly) sawing excess branches off our tree to the sound of Christmas tunes. I’ve been making endless lists and checking them repeatedly.

And I’ve even managed to fit in something that’s become a mini Christmas tradition – date night with my husband at the mini Christmas market on the South Bank.


During the year I lived in Germany, I lost track of the number of Christmas markets I visited, drinking gluhwein against the bitter cold and tipsily spending all my money on scented candles and random tat for relatives. Sorry relatives.

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Virgin Holidays launches first family brochure

There is so so much more to family holidays than a week on a sunny beach in Europe (not that I object to those).

And my heart always sinks slightly at the assumption travelling with kids can’t be as exciting and varied as holidays pre-parenthood. For starters, there’s such a difference between travel with a baby, toddler, young child and teen, not to mention attitudes to what you love.


So I’m already slightly won over by the sound of the first Families brochure from Virgin Holidays, 36 pages covering theme park breaks, escorted tours, RV holidays, cruises, ski trips and ranch stays, along with beach holidays featuring the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Florida (to give just a taste).
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Reviewed: Ready Bed inflatable travel bed

Tucking Minnie in to her ‘big girl’ bed at home, she still looks so tiny to me, even when surrounded by (and occasionally burrowed under) her army of stuffed animals. In a travel cot, she’s more like the Incredible Hulk, about to burst through the sides.

At almost two and a half, with a pair of long legs not inherited from her mother, a travel cot is really an emergency measure rather than a workable sleep solution. But with normal single beds seemingly miles off the ground, I’m nervous of putting her in in case she decides to fall out.

toddler-owl-ready-bed-bedBed guards and rails are obviously one solution (which I haven’t really explored). Or thinking about it from a toddler’s point of view, a much more exciting Ready Bed – aka her ‘special blow-up holiday bed’.

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Thursday Travel Treat: Tunisia

I am in need of sunshine this morning (or sleep). So in place of a lounger, I’ve dug up some sunny memories of Tunisia for today’s #ThursdayTravelTreat on Instagram.

It’s almost 10 years since I visited this slice of North Africa (where did that time go?!), haggling in the medina in Tunis for a leather bag that had to stay on the balcony until the camel smell died down, visiting the ruins at Dougga and Carthage, snapping madly in the fabulously picturesque white and blue Sidi Bou Said…


As ever, do join in with the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter with your own slice of sunshine (or other travel treat to cheer up a grey Thursday) and link below.


Image copyright MummyTravels

Reviewed: Sofitel Gatwick airport hotel

I love low-cost airlines, I really do. Without them, I doubt I’d see as much of the world as I’d like, especially now I’m paying for Minnie’s plane ticket as well.

The drawback with our trip to Lanzarote? A 7.40am departure time which meant getting up at about 3.30am, waking up my toddler, and hopping into the car to drive sleepily around the M25. Or staying in an airport hotel.


Pre-bavy, I suspect I’d have got round the problem by booking a taxi and trying to doze on the journey. Now, the focus is firmly on stress-free (or stress reduction, at least) – and as I crawled wearily out of bed at 5am to face security, heavy bags and a four-hour flight, I was very glad I only had a few minutes walk across to the North Terminal. Continue reading