Center Parcs, Winter Wonderland at Whinfell Forest.

On Friday we all descended upon Center Parcs, Whinfell Forest for our 10th annual Winter Wonderland. We first visited when Joe was 11 weeks old and have been every year since. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Center Parcs. 5 Years ago our good friends Ruth and Darren joined us with their family, a year later Jacks friend Harry.


Its great; between our families our children range between 8 right up to 18. Despite the huge age gap they still all want to come every year. I am not sure there are many locations where we could persuade them all to come along. Center Parcs is the perfect place for families and friends to get together, spend quality time and chill.

It works so well, as although we book lodges next door to each other, we still get to spend family time alone with our own families. Because we are next door Joe and Finn are able to explore and build dens together behind the lodge whilst we are able to enjoy a mulled wine sat by the open fire whilst watching the boys play in the woods. I love the fact that as the lodges have lots of space around them, the boys have the freedom to play out, yet never go out of view.

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The Mighty Midland Q

Last Saturday as part of our Q Hotel ambassadorship duties we were lucky enough to stay at The Midland Hotel Manchester.  This was our first visit to Q so we were excited but nervous about the task ahead. Now I would imagine the Midland is one of the most grown up hotels of the Q family, It first opened its doors in September 1903 and is every bit as grand now as it was back then.

PicMonkey Collagemidland3

On first impressions the atmosphere in the reception area was just amazing. It was very grand with a huge tree and with a pianist playing festive tunes, It felt very special.Check-in was easy, there was plenty of reception staff available and although it was busy, we did not feel we had to wait or were at all rushed during the checking in process. Alex, the Lady that checked us into our room was efficient and very helpful.

We then met Thomas the guest services manager of the hotel, who showed us to our room. Thomas told us about the Midland and a little about its history, and kindly arranged a pre theatre dinner for us. This allowed us to chill for a while, rather than rushing around trying to find somewhere to eat. He made us feel so at ease and welcome and even arranged our pre dinner drinks when we visited the bar later in the afternoon.

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Stocking Filler Idea’s for Teenage Boys

So I have finally ordered my first Christmas present, and have arranged a shopping trip to try to get on top of the whole situation. I need to get a bit organised, because it’s not just about ticking names of a list is it? I like to consider the taste of the person I am buying for, look at their interests and hobbies to get a present that is just right.

There is nothing worse than a useless present, and I will not apologise for saying this but I have had the odd present in the past that is just better with the wrapping on. But more of that next week, in my post the Ghosts’s of Christmas Presents Past.

Today I am thinking about stocking fillers for teens, they are hard to buy for aren’t they? Or is it just Jack that has my uber expensive taste in life. So finding the perfect stocking fillers for him take a lot of thought.

PicMonkey Collage older boys


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