Life • August 24, 2015

A Trip To Hampshire….

Our little LL is obsessed with a certain pink pig. We can be in a supermarket and she will spot the smallest bottle of Peppa Pig bubble bath and go absolutely crazy shouting ‘Mummy it’s Peppa, it’s Peppa.’ Mads loved the programme too when she was younger but she didn’t quite love it as much as her little sister. She definitely adores Peppa and the rest of the clan.

We have been saying for a long time now that we needed to take LL to Peppa Pig World, often laughing that if she went she would probably explode with excitement about seeing her heroes up close and ‘in the flesh.’ Therefore when we were invited to Hampshire for a couple of nights with Hampshires Top Attractions, we jumped at the chance to go and visit and of course give our little girl the dream of going to a whole world dedicated to Peppa herself. Not only that, we wanted to get a chance of visiting some other parts of this beautiful county.

Here is our trip in lots of photos and a video…

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We got up early one Tuesday morning and headed straight to Paultons Park. A lot of people think Peppa Pig World is a separate theme park, when in actual fact it’s just part of a bigger park full of fun.

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Look at this girls face. She was in utter awe of Peppa Pig world, full of big smiles and sheer amazement on her little face. If you have a Peppa fan I completely recommend it, it was really busy, but there is lots for them to do and we did go in the summer holidays. We still did not have to queue for more than 40 minutes for a ride.

Happy girls.

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Life made!

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After exploring Peppa Pig World thoroughly we headed off to the rest of Paultons Park. Compared to Peppa the queues were tiny, getting on most rides within 5-10 minutes. The girls loved this little jumping jack ride and as you didn’t need to go on with an adult we loved sitting back and watching their happy smiles.

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Poor LL! There was so much to do there for all ages and lots of rides for little kids. There’s also some lovely grounds and gardens to look around, as well as a splash park (hint-bring cossies if it’s warm) and a few different playgrounds, including one on sand. We could have easily spent a couple of days there.

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My two little munchkins. I love it when they run around hand in hand, it’s so sweet.

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Just before we left Paultons Park we found this beautiful garden so I couldn’t resist taking a photo there, it was so colourful.

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After a short drive we arrived at our hotel the Hilton Southampton Ageas Bowl. On the outskirts of Southampton, this brand new hotel is gorgeous. The public areas are modern and spotlessly clean. Our family bedroom was perfect for us and we all smiled when we walked in.

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Look at that view! We were thrilled to find that we had a balcony which is a nice touch for a UK hotel, and it overlooked the cricket pitch. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to have one of these rooms when there was a concert or a cricket match on. The girls loved looking out at the groundsmen tending to the immaculate lawns.

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It really was nice to sit outside and get some fresh air.

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The bathroom was spotlessly clean and new, we loved the subway tiles as well which was a nice reminder of home.

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Obligatory selfie in the bathroom mirror.

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They were so tired and cuddly when we got back from the theme park. I love it when they are like this, they are just so sweet together at times.

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Look at the love on their faces.

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Next we took a short drive to the village of Otterbourne where we discovered a beautiful quaint little pub called ‘The White Horse at Otterbourne’.

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Part of the Ideal Collection, the White Horse is stylish but cosy, with locally sourced food and a fantastic kids menu. (We loved that you could draw on the menus and we were given an abundance of crayons) Mr E and I wanted to have something different each but we both couldn’t resist the Hampshire Steak Burger, with Hoxton Brioche Bap and Tomato Relish. I had extra chorizo on mine which was utterly divine and even though the portion size was huge I still ate the lot. It was absolutely delicious.

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For pudding I had the New Forest Strawberry Iced Parfait which again was delicious and really light and refreshing. Mr E had the Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream which was definitely big enough to share, although he certainly gave it a good go. We would really recommend the White Horse as a place to take children, it was stylish and smart without being somewhere you wouldn’t want to take little ones, plus the food delicious and the service fantastic.

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On the way home it started to rain and the light was the most intense I have seen- a beautiful mixture of pink and orange. Me being the crazy weird person I am asked Mr E to pull over so I could take a photo and the only place we could fine was a supermarket car park. Still I love this photo of them in that surreal light and if you look closely you can see the raindrops.

We then went back to our hotel with very full tummies and went straight to sleep.

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The next day we woke up slightly later as the girls didn’t get to sleep until later. We had a lazy morning before heading over to Marwell Zoo. Having stayed bizarrely at the Marwell Hotel a couple of years ago, we were yet to visit the zoo so were excited to go and see some animals. I love this photo of them staring at the rhino.

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I haven’t been to that many zoos before as we mainly have safari parks near us, but I have been to Whipsnade and London Zoo which are huge. Marwell is smaller than them, but we actually preferred it. The animals had lots of space to roam and all the zoo areas are immaculate and really informative.

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When we were having a picnic on one of the large open areas we noticed that we managed to get really up close to the rhinos by going down to a secluded little spot where no one else was about. It was fantastic as we were so close to them.

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I love this photo of them being silly. It was a sunny day and it was lovely to sit outside and have a picnic. Note they are wearing giraffe clothes (from Next if you are wondering!) which genuinely wasn’t intentional even though Mr E thought it was. They delighted in showing the giraffes them, although I am not sure the giraffes were hugely impressed!

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We loved the zoo, there was lots of animals to see, our favourites being the penguins, giraffes and rhinos. You could easily spend a whole day there and not run out of things to do as there was large adventure playground areas for the little ones too.

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After the zoo we headed off to the delightful city of Winchester which on the surface looks beautiful and we wish we had more time to explore it. Dinner was at ‘The Stable’, the city’s newest opening serving pizza, cider and pies. (perfect combination in my eyes!) Immediately we loved the big open folding doors as it was a warm and stuffy day. The Stable is part of a group of nine down in the South West and we really loved the concept.

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Although obviously cool and stylish, The Stable was perfect for children, with a great kids menu and huge big menus to draw on. It was laid back, friendly and absolutely brilliant for my pizza loving pair.

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Although she’s not smiling in this photo, I love how big and blue her eyes look. She’s really growing up so very quickly. Where did my little baby face go?

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Our pizzas arrived and were huge, but we all managed to eat every bite. Each restaurant has a slightly different menu as a lot of the ingredients are locally sourced. Mr E had the ‘The Hampshire Hog’ (pictured) minus the dijon mustard and I had  ‘The Blazing Saddle’, which was pulled beef, caramelised onions, smoked bacon, jalapeño chillies and green peppers.’ Apparently according to staff ‘The Blazing Saddle’ is the most popular one in all locations which I found interesting.

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The restaurant was stylish, with lots of wood and industrial style metal. The upstairs, with it’s high ceilings and open pizza oven where you could see what the chefs were doing, was gorgeous. Overall we were incredibly impressed with The Stable- please open one in Cambridge soon as our family live on pizza!days_out_in_hampshire_35

Following our dinner we headed back to our hotel where we found a nice patch of grass to run around and let off some steam, we played frisbee as the sun was setting.

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I adore this photo of them all. I love having adventures with these three.

On our final day in Hampshire we got up and had breakfast before setting off home. The weather was absolutely dreadful so we didn’t hang about and as such I don’t have any photos of our final morning. We did get stuck in traffic on the m25 on the way home which wasn’t much fun! We had such a great time together in this lovely county, I wish we had more time to explore. It was such a fun couple of days and we all absolutely love getting this quality time together.

Here is a little video of our time in Hampshire…

NB: Thanks so much to Hampshires Top Attractions for inviting us. We had such an amazing time. All words and opinions are entirely my own. 

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