Life • April 5, 2016

A Little Babymoon in Hampshire…

I think technically a babymoon is a made up word. Or at the very least, it is a word used to describe a couple going off and relaxing somewhere just the two of them before the birth of their baby. With two little girls already in our lives, that was never going to happen. But we did decide to have our own little version of a babymoon last week when we headed off for a last little break to Hampshire before our baby boy arrives in a few weeks time.

We actually went to Hampshire back in the Summer, a couple of weeks before we found out we were expecting our third baby, so it seemed perfectly fitting to be going back there a couple of weeks before he is due. It is a beautiful part of the country so we were looking forward to a couple of days of relaxing and some quality family time together, while of course exploring some new parts of this gorgeous county. Of course though we had to go back to Peppa Pig World, with a certain little girl’s obsession for the little pink pig showing no sign of waning.

Here is our trip in photos and a video….

hampshire_march_16_aAfter a three hour drive, the first stop on our journey was to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, a charity run attraction set in 180 acres of Hampshire countryside.

hampshire_march_16_fThe gardens cost £22.00 for a family of four to visit, or £9.90 for an adult and £2.20 for a child, but on a sunny day you literally could spend all day there. The girls were so excited to find out there was an easter trail on, they had to go round looking for clues by following a map- it was heaven for them.

hampshire_march_16_gWhat is it with children and sticks? They were walking around at one point pretending to be old ladies.

hampshire_march_16_bPosing with my big girl. There were so many hidden nooks and crannies, it was amazing to explore- there were ponds, education gardens, so many different plants and woodland children playgrounds. hampshire_march_16_cI love this photo.

hampshire_march_16_xShe is going to be the best biggest sister.

hampshire_march_16_hThey were literally in their element running around, I just wish we had somewhere like this near where we live. hampshire_march_16_iWhat you get if you ask LL to smile nowadays. 😉

hampshire_march_16_jA bit of sister bonding.

hampshire_march_16_kWe literally had hours of fun exploring (there is also a cafe as well as a tea room too)

hampshire_march_16_lTheir favourite part was definitely the treehouse which had lots of climbing areas, including a climbing wall and a slide.

hampshire_march_16_mThis man has been looking after me so well this pregnancy- I love this photo of him.

meandminemarch16_dThere were so many lovely places to take photos, so we had to take a couple of family ones too.

hampshire_march_16_vAfter a lovely afternoon we headed to our hotel for the next two nights- The White Star in Southampton. Part of the Ideal Collection, it is on a gorgeous street called Oxford Street.

hampshire_march_16_zbThe White Star is a tavern with rooms and an amazing restaurant- we were super impressed to find out that they had given us their three bedroom serviced apartment on the top floor of the building. It was huge and it meant that we didn’t have the usual hotel thing of having to go and hang out in the bathroom while the girls went to sleep. It was a real novelty having separate bedrooms and also a lounge area too.

hampshire_march_16_nHaving a little chill out before going out to dinner.

hampshire_march_16_zeWe decided to go for dinner at a gorgeous Italian restaurant called Keats Restaurant in a little village called Romsey.

hampshire_march_16_zfThe setting was smart yet intimate and didn’t feel intimidating with the girls, which sometimes I can find that non chain restaurants do. For starter we shared the Mozzarella in Carrozza which was ridiculously unhealthy but so so delicious.

hampshire_march_16_zaI had the Fillet Steak for my main course (I have been craving meat this whole pregnancy) which was perfectly soft and cooked to perfection. Mr E had the Tagliatelle Verdi al Salmone which he said was delicious, while the girls had pasta, but mainly filled up on the free breadsticks. 😉

hampshire_march_16_zI wasn’t going to have a pudding as I was ridiculously full but then I saw they had creme brûlée which is my absolute favourite dessert in the world- so of course I had to try it. It was absolutely delicious.

hampshire_march_16_y The next day we woke up after a rather eventful nights sleep- LL managed to fall out of bed and bang her head on the bedside table in the night so she woke up with a big bump on the back of her head. But all was forgotten as we made our way to Paultons Park. We have been there twice now and absolutely love it. Mads is at an age where she prefers the rest of the park to Peppa Pig World but LL is obsessed with Peppa still.

hampshire_march_16_oA face of joy at seeing her absolute favourite character. Peppa Pig World is so good for little ones and they are honestly in their element there.

hampshire_march_16_pWe picked such a good day to go, it was sunny and (reasonably) warm but the queues were quite quiet. Having been in the summer holidays before where we had to queue for over an hour to go on the Peppa Pig rides (with the rest of the park queues being a lot shorter), we were so pleased to find that even though it was the easter holidays we didn’t queue for more than half an hour for all the rides, including the Peppa Pig World ones.

hampshire_march_16_wI took a photo of them here last Summer and it is crazy how much they have grown in that time.

hampshire_march_16_qMy happy girl enjoying her day. It was one of those lovely relaxed days and we got on so many rides. I am surprised by what daredevils my little people are.

hampshire_march_16_rHaving a rest from all the excitement. It was such a good day at Paultons Park, even though we love other theme parks I do find that Paultons has so much for younger children to do, while having slightly more ‘thrill seeker’ rides for children who are just on the cusp of enjoying them like Mads at age five.

hampshire_march_16_uAfter a lovely day we headed for dinner at the most beautiful little place- The Bugle in Hamble. Part of the Ideal Collection again, we were blown away by the gorgeous setting, Hamble is a picturesque little village by the water.

hampshire_march_16_tWe had a little walk down to see the boats and it was deserted which meant we had the whole place to ourself- it was really beautiful and I definitely recommend a trip there. There were lots of little waterside cafes and restaurants which I can imagine would be lovely in the summer.

hampshire_march_16_sI love this photo Mr E took of my bump. At nearly 37 weeks pregnant, I am getting to that stage where I feel incredibly uncomfy but I know I will miss this bump once our baby boy is here.

hampshire_march_16_zcAfter eating so much the previous evening, we decided to be a little less greedy and just went for main courses. I had the fish and chips which was delicious, you can’t beat those seriously chunky chips.

hampshire_march_16_zdMr E had the homemade burger with chorizo and cheese (the photo is a bit rubbish- we won’t make a food blogger out of him yet!) which he said was amazing, while the girls had fish fingers and chips. The Bugle has such a cosy and intimate setting and the staff were incredibly friendly too.

After a lovely meal it was time to head on the long journey back home. We were meant to be staying two nights but Mr E had to have an important conference call on the Friday morning, plus I had to go to a recently made hospital appointment, so we decided to pop the girls in their PJ’s and travel home that night. We had such a nice time in Hampshire and it was so nice to have a final little treat away together before the baby arrives and travel becomes a little harder for a while!

Here is a little video I made of our time in Hampshire…


NB: Thanks so much to Hampshire’s Top Attractions for inviting us back to experience more of Hampshire, it was an absolute pleasure. All words and opinions are my own. 

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