Article
20 comments

Woodford Bridge Country Club

Woodford Bridge Country Club

If you follow me on social media or have read about our adventure at Bude beach, you will know that I spent the beginning of last week in beautiful Devon and to be more precise at Woodford Bridge Country Club, a branch of Diamond Resorts International, a global hospitality and hotel brand with hotels in over 300 locations worldwide.

We were guests of Travelzoo, who had kindly invited us to trial their website, and after going through all the offers on their site, we decided to book a well needed short break not too far from home. On Travelzoo, you can find everything from restaurant, concert and spa deals as well as short breaks or international holidays – and everything for an amazing price!

Just to give you an example, the stay in our 2 bedroom lodge (self-catering, with Champagne and chocolate surprise) cost £99 for two nights. Regularly, you would pay £220 for this package, so by booking through Travelzoo, you are paying less than half the price. How amazing is that?

Anyway, let me tell you a little more about our stay at Woodford Bridge Country Club.

Woodford_Bridge_Country_Club-Milton_Damerel-Hotel

Accommodation:

During our time at Woodford Bridge Country Club, we stayed in one of their 2 bedroom lodges. The lodge sleeps up to 6 people with the option of adding travel cots for babies and toddlers. It spreads out over two floors and on the ground floor, you find a spacious living room equipped with a flatscreen TV, DVD player and two comfortably three seater sofas. There’s also a dining area with a big wooden dining table and chairs and a small, but well set out kitchen that comes with all mod cons that you would expect at home, e.g. a big fridge-freezer, a washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, kettle, coffee machine as well as a selection of sauce pans, frying pans and cutlery. There are even different sized baking tins available, which is great, if you are staying longer.

On the second floor, you will find a bathroom with bath tub as well as two spacious bedrooms: one of them a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, the second a twin bedroom. Two more people can sleep on one of the pull out sofas in the living room.

Throughout the lodge, there’s plenty of storage for your clothes, shoes and suitcases and outside, you have a little patio area with a table and chairs – perfect for warm summer nights or dining al fresco when the weather is a little better.

All in all, the Woodford Bridge Country Club lodges (they offer apartments and 1 bedroom lodges too) are the type of accommodation that I would happily stay in again. Clean, spacious and very child-friendly. You can get cots, highchairs and stair gates delivered to your lodge too.

bude beach 14

Location:

Woodford Bridge Country Club is literally situated in the middle of nowhere, so you will need a car, if you want to explore the surrounding area. The closest beach is in Bude, which is a little over 15 miles away, the closest supermarket around 8 miles. There are some local attractions such as Lizzy’s Larder, an award-winning farm with a farm shop and tea room or the Gnome Reserve, a collection of over 3000 garden gnomes – yes, really! The resort staff are also happy to advise on attractions or things to do in the area and will happily hand out maps of North Devon and Cornwall. Extra tip: Beware the mean pheasant when traveling along country roads.

Food:

There’s a club restaurant on side and a pub, but we didn’t use either of them as we had two toddlers in tow and thought they might not be very patient at the end of a busy day. We did however use the takeaway service that the hotel’s bistro offers and the food, delivered straight to our lodge, was really lovely. We ordered Thai Green Curry, Chicken Korma, some cheesy chips, garlic bread and salad. The portions were very generous and the food arrived hot and tasty. For breakfast, we just got some bits and bobs at the supermarket. That way we were independent and could eat when the girls were up and ready. There was the option to have breakfast in the bistro though and having a look at the menu, I can say that the choices on offer were great and reasonably priced, so definitely an option, if you don’t fancy preparing breakfast yourself.

woodford bridge country club pool

What’s on site:

Woodford Bridge Country Club offers a great range of activities for all ages as well as a well looked after playground and a decent sized swimming pool within the fitness centre that also houses a gym, a squash court,  a sauna, hot tub and table tennis tables. There is also a beauty studio on site as well as a hairdressers, so you can always look your best when dining in the club restaurant

In all buildings of Woodford Bridge Country Club, you will find a number of posters that inform you about daily activities. When we stayed at Woodford Bridge, you could attend a guided walk, a jewellery making class as well as evening program and quizzes. We only used the pool as we didn’t stay long enough for any activities and preferred discovering the area on our own, but all communal areas were very well maintained and had we spent more time at Woodford Bridge Country Club, we would have definitely made use of them.

Overall experience:

We had an amazing time at Woodford Bridge Country Club. The resort was clean, quiet and very well looked after and the customer service was outstanding. We had a daily call from reception checking in with us and making sure that we had everything we needed and on the evening before our departure, reception phoned to offer us help with our luggage on the next morning. It was lovely to know that we are really valued as guests and that there was help available should we need it. Would we come back? Definitely, I have already recommended it to friends and family who are looking into booking a short break at Woodford Bridge Country Club.

Disclosure: We were guests of Travelzoo and only paid for our internet use and food. All opinions are our own and 100% honest. All images apart from Bude beach courtsey of Woodford Bridge Country Club. 

 

Article
9 comments

Review: Walkers Mighty Lights

walkers-mighty-lights-crisp

Blogging really has it’s perks, I won’t lie about it. You meet inspirational people, make new friends and if you are really lucky, your postman brings you a big box of crisps – crisps that aren’t only terribly tasty, but also healthier than others. He brings you a box of Walkers Mighty Lights.

Walkers Mighty Lights are Walkers new range of crisps: mighty in flavour and lower in fat than any of Walkers’ other crisps. We were sent 3 multipacks for our big taste test, but before I tell you what we thought about them, here some interesting facts about Walkers’ latest masterpiece:

* A single pack weighs 25g and contains 114 calories and 4.7g of fat
* Mighty Lights are made from real potatoes and baked in sunflower oil
* Walkers’ latest ridged crisp does not contain any artificial colours or preservatives.
* They are available in three flavours: lightly salted, cheese & onion and roast chicken, with all flavours suitable for vegetarians.
* Walkers Mighty Lights contain 30% less fat than average crisps.

So what did we think about the Walkers Mighty Lights?

Ben and Amy are massive crisp fans, whereas I am the one with the sweet tooth in our family, so when they discovered that we had been sent a massive box full of crisps, there was no holding them back. They opened a bag from each multi pack, snuggled up on the sofa and started their big taste test. Their winner was the cheese & onion flavour. No surprise there for me as that’s the flavour they always go for. Ben described them as light and crispy (he’s got such a thing with words), but he didn’t notice that they contained any less fat than other crisp brands. He did however highlight that the lack of fat did not mean a lack of flavour. The bag was gone as quick as any other and the two of them quickly reached for another one.

Personally, I am not too keen on crisps. I do eat them occasionally, but when I fell pregnant with Amy, I really went off them. I did however try some of the new Walkers Mighty Lights as, obviously, I can’t write about something on the blog or even recommend it without having tried it myself. Not being a fan of cheese & onion crisps (I always find that the cheese flavour is a little overpowering), I picked the lightly salted and roast chicken flavour and they were really pleasant in taste and texture. They had a nice crunch to them, the ridge made them a little different from their original Walkers brothers and sisters and the fact that they are a little more healthy than standard crisps made me eat them feeling a little less guilty about my cheeky treat.

I can’t judge, if they are any better or worse than any other brand as I simply don’t eat enough crisps to be a fair judge, but the fact that Walkers Mighty Lights have 30% less fat than other crisps makes me consider them more than other brands. They make a great snack on long car journeys or a picnic and are the perfect size for a lunch box treat.

Disclosure: We were sent 3 multipacks and were compensated for this review. 

Article
7 comments

Tassimo T40 – A coffee maker review

tassimo t40 coffee maker

I’m not a major coffee drinker, in fact coke and latte macchiato are the only caffeinated drinks I ever have, but when I was asked, if I would like to review the Tassimo T40 coffee maker, I instantly thought of the range of hot drinks that would come with it and agreed.

Tassimo T40 – it couldn’t be easier

Last week, we received the Tassimo T40 in black as well as a selection of coffee and hot chocolate pods. My parents have one of the older Tassimo models and Ben has always wanted a Tassimo himself, so as soon as the parcel arrived, we unpacked it and set up the latest addition to our gadget collection. As we already knew the concept behind the Tassimo coffee maker, we didn’t have to waste time reading the instructions and started making our first brew within minutes of receiving the Tassimo T40. If you have never used a similar machine before, it might be reassuring to give the manual a quick read. It really won’t take long as the Tassimo T40 is really easy to set up and operate.

Push the button

All you have to do is fill the tank with water, insert a pod, close the pod compartment and press a button that regulates everything. It really couldn’t be easier. Milk-based drinks such as cappuccino, latte macchiato or some hot chocolates come with an additional milk pod, which dispenses frothy milk and makes your drink extra creamy – yummy!

You can even make cups of tea with your Tassimo, although I’m not convinced that this option is really great value for money. It is much quicker than putting the kettle on and popping a tea bag in a cup, but a pack of tea pods costs around £3.79 and I would only get 16 cups of tea out of it. If I bought a pack of tea bags and made tea the conventional way, I’d pay a little less and get at least three times the amount of tea. So, if you are on a budget the tea pods might not be the best option for you. Convenient however, they are!

All in all, the Tassimo T40 is a fab little kitchen gadget. It’s not as big as its predecessors so doesn’t take up too much space in your kitchen. It’s easy to clean and most of all easy to use and it allows you to drink your favourite hot drinks at home. Check out my friend’s blog The Crazy Kitchen. Helen created The Ultimate Caramel Macchiato and you can recreate it at home using your Tassimo. It looks so tasty!

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Article
0 comment

Review: Potters Crouch Candles – Lily of the Valley & Magnolia and Vanilla

potters crouch candles handmade candles luxuious handmade candles from the UK

I love candles and I often buy them, simply because they smell amazing and make a house a home. Candles can create a warm and friendly ambiance and I do find that they help me to unwind and relax. When Potters Crouch Candles asked me, if I wanted to try one of their candles, I instantly agreed. A girl can’t ever have too many candles!

The website of Potters Crouch Candles is easy to navigate and gives you a great overview of all scents available in the range, so it really wasn’t hard to find out my favourite scents, but more about them a little further down the line. The great thing about Potters Crouch Candles is is that every single candle is unique. All candles are handmade, hand-labelled and hand-finished in a 300 year old barn in Hertfordshire and I think that it’s this love  for detail and the product that makes me appreciate the candles even more. They burn approximately 50 hours and at £8.50 per candle are super affordable.

Currently, there are 4 different ranges available on the website: Fruits & Flowers, Fragrances of Yesteryear, Fragrances of the World and Christmas Candles, but I concentrated on the Fruits & Flower range when picking my scents. I guess, I didn’t expect it to snow in the middle of March when choosing two beautiful and flowery scents called: Lily of the Valley and Magnolia &Vanilla.

potters crouch candles handmade candles luxurious candles UK lily scent

Lily of the Valley is a really fresh scent that is at the same time quite traditional. It’s beautiful really and reminds me of springtime walks with my grandparents. They live near a forest that is covered in lilies of the valley every spring and smelling this candle just takes me back on those walks. The scent is really subtle and fills the room with a lovely light smell without being too overpowering.

potters crouch candles handmade candles luxurious candles uk magnolia and vanilla candles

The Magnolia and Vanilla candle has a much stronger and deeper scent than Lily of the Valley, but it is one of the smells that I really adore because it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside whenever you light the candle. To me it’s more of an evening scent, because it has a really relaxing effect on me whereas Lily of the Valley makes me feel all energetic and get up and go. Don’t expect it to be overpowering though, it really is still quite subtle and gentle.

All in all, I am really happy with the scents that I have picked and the overall quality of Potters Crouch Candles. They burn evenly, don’t smoke and smell absolutely divine. At £8.50 a candle, they are really affordable and a great gift idea for birthdays or special occasions like Mothers Day, a new home or simply a thank you. I know that I’ll be back for more as Potters Crouch Candles aren’t only great quality, but also pretty to look at  and a product made in the UK.

Disclosure: I received two candles of my choice for the purpose of this review. My opinion is 100% honest and unbiased.

Article
2 comments

February Food Favourite & Mother’s Day Chocolate Gift Ideas

Deli24 snacks green & black's taster collection guylain

This post might look a bit random at first glance. The combination of savoury snacks and divine chocolates might not be an obvious one, but there is a reason behind my apparent madness. From now on, I want to introduce one foody item a month that was a firm favourite in our household during each month of the year. As you can see above, February’s favourite were the Deli 24 snacks. We were sent an entire box of them a while ago and let me tell you one thing: They didn’t last long!

Deli 24‘s range includes seven different flavours which come in handy single or multi packs making them the perfect snack for lunch boxes, picnics or if you fancy a little something between meals. They come in the following flavours:

I absolutely adored the Ham and Cheese flavour and Amy was a massive fan too. I wasn’t overly keen on the Piri Piri Strips and the Chicken with Sage and Onion Stuffing however, simply because I don’t like sage or stuffing, but Ben and Amy really enjoyed them to the point that we have gone and repurchased them since finishing our samples. What I really liked about Deli 24′s snacks is that they are all individually packaged, which means that they are easily to portion when you are planning your day out or pack your little one’s lunchbox. They also tasted really natural and I couldn’t find a hint of artificial flavouring in them, which always is a massive plus point for me. A real bonus is that they are a great source of calcium for little bones and teeth, so I am happy to give them to Amy as a snack when we are out and about. Unfortunately, our local supermarket doesn’t stock the whole range yet, but I hope the other flavours will soon hit the shelves as well. After all, Deli 24′s snacks are a great alternative to your ordinary cheese string or lunchbox snack and will definitely make a regular appearance on our family outings.

Now onto something completely different. Well, not completely different, but we are going from a savoury snack to something sweet and indulgent. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I would like to introduce to you two gorgeous boxes of chocolate that would make every mother’s heart melt and therefore are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. They are Green & Black’s Taster Collection and Guylain’s Seashells. Both come in beautiful gift boxes and are great for sharing, entertaining or a cheeky little treat with a nice glass of wine.

While Green & Black’s Taster Collection allows you to trial 24 different chocolate flavours reaching from dark chocolate with crystallised ginger to milk chocolate with butter scotch, Guylain’s Seashell collection concentrates on the chocolate maker’s traditional Belgian recipe of 100% pure cocoa butter and their unique hazelnut praliné filling made with caramelised and roasted hazelnuts. Both boxes of chocolate are rather different in flavour, but both of them will win you over with their love for quality chocolate.

Although both gift sets feature white, milk and dark chocolate, I would suggest Guylain’s Seashell collection to milk chocolate lovers as it definitely has a prominent milk chocolate taste whereas Green & Blacks Taster collections features a number of quite rich and dark chocolate flavours from Belize and the Dominican Republic and is probably more enjoyed by someone with a taste for warmer and deeper flavours.

Either way, they make a wonderful present for Mother’s Day or any other occasion and I’d be happy to receive either of them on Mother’s Day. Both brands are a little more high-end, but you definitely get what you pay for with both Green & Black’s Taster and Guylain’s Seashell collection. You’ll just have to decide which one’s for you now!

Disclosure: Thanks to Deli 24, Green & Black’s and Guylain for the samples for this review.