Something happened at the beginning of the week that shook me to the core and left a blanket of sadness hanging thickly over our community. I don’t want to go into too much detail, or to dwell but another Mummy, a friend of mine, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away.
The tears have flowed, the sadness is great and I decided we needed to do something to shake things up a bit as I could tell that the weight of the grief was being strongly felt by the children as well, even if they don’t fully understand, as there has been great sadness among friends and in school too.
So on Friday, I decided to book Saturday night away. We have almost finished converting our camper van Wilma. (If you’ve not heard of her already, she features heavily in my interactive story video below, although the real Wilma is not bright orange and sadly not quite so magical!)
If you’ve not seen it before, it’s aimed at young children, and my first attempt at making a vid so please be kind!! 😀
Our own Wilma, however, isn’t quite finished, and most importantly, doesn’t have a heater, which, although the weather was forecast to be nice, is pretty essential in Britain in early March! So I had a bit of a search and discovered this website where I was able to specify the region, the dates and the sort of thing I was looking for. I fancied glamping, and found this amazing wooden pod on a farm with sheep roaming about and a lake out front with ducks, geese and we even saw a kingfisher.
We checked in, bought some fresh eggs in the little farm shop on site, (courtesy of the chickens outside our pod), and unpacked our stuff, then we headed to the nearest town for fish and chips on the beach. In all honesty, it was a little disappointing, there were so many chippies and we chose the one rated fairly highly and it was distinctly average! Very greasy and expensive too. I’m not normally a whinger but the accompanying service with a grunt made the whole experience a little pants!
After that, Mr PB wanted to watch the rugby, this had been planned for and our pod had a tv for this very purpose. The idea was that the kids would have a snooze and then we’d all walk along the riverbank to the pub for dinner. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans, the kids refused to nap, I got totally wound up, (as I quite fancied a nap myself!), we threatened cancelling dinner, the trip, all future ice cream ever, and then, when everyone was totally stressed out, realised we’d need to backtrack or go hungry. Or home, which was very much on the cards too!
A quick phone call to the pub determined that they were not doing food that night. Into the van we got, on a mission to find a place to eat using trusty generic internet search engine. Which showed the next town to have three places to eat. Upon arrival, we discovered all three were closed, or actually closed down, it was the vibe of the whole area really, a bit run down and forgotten.
We kept going, so much was closed! Determined not to resort to fish and chips twice in one day, (they were at least plentiful!), the useful search engine led us to this gorgeous indian restaurant. However, being a) good and b) not shut down, meant they were full, they were so kind and took pity on us, offering to rustle up a takeaway for us, and it came so quickly. I was incredibly grateful and the food was so good, probably the best indian I’ve had in years, every cloud as they say!! We ate it back at the pod, after battling to keep for the kids awake on the drive back as both had suddenly decided they were exhausted…funny that! They were fast asleep by quarter past 8 and we watched a bit of tv and then joined them. I slept so well, I was really surprised!
The next morning, we had our fresh eggs scrambled on bagels, really scrummy, then deliberated what to do for the day.
We were near to Cheddar and were toying with going there, but we’ve attempted it once and the kids are too young to get any value for money from our entrance really, I didn’t fancy carrying them up the 300 odd steps to get to the bits that are open out of season!nI am also a bit of a (total!) castle geek. I love them! I did my art history and architecture thesis on them at a-level I like them that much. I came across Dunster and boy am I glad I managed to persuade my hubby to drive almost an hour further away from home to visit, it’s amazing there! It’s a proper castle, huge and turrety and beautiful!
They have really made a lot of effort to make it a fun day out. The rooms are done up with furniture and lots of information and all the guides are really friendly and helpful and obviously very passionate about the history of the building.
There is so much for children to do, a special family trail guide to the rooms to keep them interested, lots to do along the way, we loved laying up the cutlery for a banquet and had some fun napkin folding! There were games and a toy castle with knights laid out in one room and in warmer weather, there are lawn games for everyone to play. There is also a wonderful dressing up room and a creepy crypt that genuinely spooked the bejeezus out of me, could have done the flickering lights to be honest! 😀 The gardens are just divine, everything was just bursting into life and it was gorgeous, a short stroll through them, there is a river with a natural play zone for the kids to burn off some energy and a brilliant bridge which is perfect for Pooh sticks! (Googling this led me to the fascinating nugget of info that there are World Pooh Stick Championships taking place in June, well I never!)
After a very full morning, tiredness was kicking in, so we headed into the village itself for some lunch and were directed to the quirky Chapel House Tea room where we ate lovely food, admired the really unusual decor, and I drooled over the amazing looking cakes and crafts but decided against both due to imminent children into exhausted meltdown stress.
They then slept most of the way home! Win. I took my usual abundance of photos, I shall put a few below, I find it so hard to restain myself!
All in all, it has been a much needed night away, and I think it has helped us all as a family. I really hope you like photos of flowers by the way!! 😀