Given that my ‘baby’ is now a fully fledged toddler, I find I can no longer refer to my excess digestive-biscuit-layer as ’baby weight’ without soliciting snorts of derision from LH.
It’s time to sort it. The classic mantras (eat less, move more / nothing tastes as good as skinny feels) don’t have the power to keep me away from the macaroons. I want to be fitter, leaner, stronger and not just thinner.
I’ve learned my lesson about paying for a course of classes upfront – between the kids and the travel plans, I’ll only ever attend a couple. It needs to be local and flexible for me to stick to it. I’m goal oriented and competitive by nature so with this in mind I’m adopting a 3-pronged approach.
First, I have signed up with the Natural Doctor for a 3-month Fresh Start program. Essentially it’s a review of your current health, diet and lifestyle followed by a tailored 3-month program of food, supplements and support to get you back to healthy eating and living. The one-to-one is in Winchester. Local, tick.
Secondly, I’ve enrolled on a Wildfitness 3-day energiser on the Isle of Wight, which promises to kick-start my metabolism and enthusiasm with a combination of nutrition, natural movement classes, training and much-needed downtime. Travel time, 1hr. ideal.
Lastly, I have entered myself (and an unsuspecting but hopefully willing friend) to run in Hill X, a cross-country race with ‘unexpected surprises’ in the South Downs National Park. The strap line ‘fortune will favour the brave’ is warning enough. Marvellously, it’s held in my postcode so I can train on the right terrain and have no excuses not to turn up.
Not bad for a mornings work. Of course now the hard part begins. I’ll keep you posted on progress.
I’m sorry to say I’m not big on celebrity. I couldn’t really care less if I end up next to Brad & Angelina on an overnight flight to LA, as long as they don’t want to chat or let their myriad kids kick the back of my seat. I’m partial to a royal but only in as much as they set the standard by which we must behave. Thank goodness for Harry .
However, with royal baby fever spreading like a rash across London, I thought it best to sling my rowdy boys into the newly unwrapped Nursery Suite at the eponymous Grosvenor House hotel, designed in honour of W&K’s imminent arrival by royal hand-holders Dragon’s of Walton Street.
There’s a gargantuan cot with sumptuous linens, a pretty hand painted table and chairs for a teddy bear tea party, a regency dolls house stacked with toy soldiers. It’s all so very sweet and so very very British Empire. The humongous Silver Cross Balmoral with ice white tyres is far too gorgeous to take out for our Hyde Park picnic (though it’s there for the taking), while the stuff you really need (steriliser, nappies, bottle brush) is all on hand.
Londoners take note: many a happy day is had playing tourist in your home town. It’s the ride (on the open top bus, pedal boat, Thames ferry, tube) that they remember. And you have the perfect excuse to check-in and chill out.
You might forward the bill to Crown Estates though as it’s princely to say the least. And no, that’s not a subtle prediction.
I’m not ashamed to admit it. Shallow maybe, but I’m all about the aesthetics. I like things to look considered, cultivated, chic. Which is not to say I want image over content. I simply don’t see why you can’t marry style and substance. Alexa Chung manages.
At Cobbe Place, in West Sussex, the design ethos is greek-beach-villa-meets-vintage-flea-market with neutral hues, hopsack linens, and painted wood floors accented by mismatched crockery, antique rocking horses and cult prints in oversized gilt frames. There’s 3 barns (soon to be 4) around a pretty courtyard with a big, inviting, dining table under a pergola crying out for lazy BBQ’s and bottle after bottle of chilled Chablis. A trillion candles surreptitiously lit at dusk give the whole place a sultry glow.
There’s a boat in a tree and an abandoned shepherds hut for clambering on in the garden with the stunning white blonde charming and meticulously-mannered children who live here. Add the healthy hearty locally sourced and beautifully presented breakfast, deep bath and proximity to fab family things like middle farm (hay-bale-heaven) and the bluebell railway and there is your recipe for a perfect weekend en famille.
It’s also super close to Ardingly – a fab trade market for preloved and slightly overpriced antique and vintage decor. Turn the event into a treasure hunt to keep the little ones engaged. Emma & Bryony handpicked most of the quirky decor for Cobbe Place from here so if you love what you see then time your trip with the next event, but make sure you either go in a big van or are sufficiently charming so that you might be offered some space in Emma’s burgeoning shed if you get carried away.
Q. How did I miss The Pig In The Wall when it’s on my doorstop?
A. Ah yes, I travel AWAY from home. Shame, looks lovely.
Night Sky Muslins
Jungle Jam Sleeping Bag
Boff has been variously wrapped in, laid on or snoozing under his aden+anais
cotton muslins since day one. He’s addicted. So we thought we’d share the love and give two readers a pre-holiday treat.
Cool in the heat, warm in the cool – these Night Sky muslins are the perfect travel companion – as is the sleeping bag with gorgeous Elephant print (yes I want to keep it, but I’m marvelously altruistic).
Just subscribe to the blog by email and in the comment box below, share your best family travel tip.
The two best answers will result in a lovely treat in the post. A little lux lifestyle boost. It’s that simple.
Goodness knows we did Miami. We did it proud. Back in the day when supper started at 9.30pm, dawn was bedtime and breakfast consisted of a stick of celery in a strong bloody mary by the pool at midday. We went to see and be scene.
Back then, everything was glam, fresh, slick. From our hair to the suite at The Delano. A few years and a couple of kids later , The Delano (like us) could do with an update. Well-loved, but most certainly not the head turner it used to be.
Just like us. For instance, I won’t flop by the rooftop pool in a Brazilian bikini for reasons of public safety. In fact, there is now more flip than flop.
So the burning question is, is Miami the right destination for a family holiday? Will we arrive to find everyone a thigh-taller, hip-smaller and decade younger than us? Or will Miami, like us, have widened, softened and relaxed enough to accommodate a brood.
I’ve heard that SLS South Beach has great suites (Lenny Kravitz designed two penthouse suites, priced for rock stars) and is altogether more relaxed than South Beach is know to be.
I’m thinking of descending with the LLL contingent, donning a nice floaty kaftan and heading over to take a view. The boys love a pool party, pref. no foam. I’m teetering on the brink of booking. Any ideas?