Friday, 7 February 2020

REVIEW: Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa

Our first family trip was spent with friends at the Stoke by Nayland Hotel making use of the spa facilities and the two championship golf courses. 
Leavenheath, Colchester, Essex CO6 4PZ

How to get there: Being based in Surrey it was so much closer than I thought
and only took us about 2 hrs by car. The award-winning hotel is located in the
Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the easiest way to reach the
hotel is by car, which is just a short distance from Colchester and about a 1.5hr
drive from London or 45 minutes by train.

Accommodation: Our accommodation for the weekend was in one of the
fantastic lodges located on the golf course just a short drive from the main hotel
(there is a 24hr shuttle service so you do not need to drive) or a few minutes
walk. The lodge was amazing, a cosy electric fireplace in the lounge/kitchen, 2
bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There was plenty of space for two couples and their
babies with added amenities of high chairs and travel cots available at an
additional charge. 
The lodge also had a lovely terrace area, dining table and fully equipped kitchen
which allowed us to cook for ourselves on one of the nights we were there. The
lodges have won several green awards for being self-sustainable through
investing in renewable sources of energy and providing their own power and
were nice and cosy with under-floor heating during the cold November nights.
Although we did not stay in the main hotel they have plenty of suites and rooms
available with views of the lake and the golf course, for all the details visit here.

Food: Stoke by Nayland has a number of dining options with Sports Bar in the
golf area, The Gallery Grill which has just had a makeover, a lounge bar area
with the most amazing fire and the Lakes Restaurant which is where we ate on
several occasions. They also have The Peake Bistro down in the spa.

On the nights we were not cooking for ourselves we had dinner in the main
Lakes Restaurant, which offers AA Two Rosette dining. They offer classic, locally
sourced dishes such as steak, pork belly, tuna steak and trout. During the day,
they offer an amazing afternoon tea which we got to enjoy whilst the husbands
were off playing golf for £19.95. The friend I was dining with was dairy free and
the restaurant was so accommodating. With a wide array of teas beautifully
presented, mini rolls, scones with local clotted cream and cakes.

Golf: Whilst I am not a golfer my husband is a keen player and enjoyed a round
on the Gainsborough course on the Friday. Both the Gainsborough and Constable courses are championship ones and have hosted some very prestigious televised tournaments including the European Senior Tour. As you can see the views from around the course are amazing and the 4 different lakes and multiple bunkers make for an enjoyable but challenging round.
Spa Facilities: Whilst the boys were on the course, we were in the spa. We also
had several spa treatments including:

 Eyebrow Re-shape £17
 Hot Stone Massage 55 mins £62
 Crystal Clear Frozen Facial Elite 70 mins £115 or £570 for a course of 6.

My skin after the Crystal Clear facial was literally glowing, I think it was at its
peak about 48 hours after the treatment. Hailed as groundbreaking; with the unique microchannelling roller to really get deep into the skin and help to rejuvenate I can see why, it’s also very relaxing pumping the skin full of oxygen
and hydration.

The spa itself was a hotbed, make sure you book up not to disappoint there are
lots of Spa Day experiences to choose from with a spot of afternoon tea or lunch
as part of the package where you get a fluffy robe, towels and flip flops and
unlimited access to the pool which also has special family times so we could take Winston for a dip. There is also a sanarium, steam room and Jacuzzi to enjoy.
Green Credentials: The Peake family, who own Stoke by Nayland Hotel, has
been farming in Suffolk for over 80 years, mainly apples and now also soft fruit.
Their Boxford (Suffolk) Farms long-term strategy has been to operate as a
sustainable green business, Bill and Devora Peake were founder members of the
Soil Association in the 1950s. More information can be found here.

Now a third-generation family business (Did you know Copella was created
here?), which owns and runs fruit farms, a fruit packhouse/storage business and
Stoke by Nayland Hotel employing some 600 staff, they have invested around
£5 million over the last six years in the installation of renewable energy sources.
These include an anaerobic digester, solar panels, biomass boilers, air-source
heat pumps and ground source heat pumps, and they harvest millions of litres of rainwater from glasshouses to re-use on crops.
Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf, Spa & Lodges Tel 01206 262 836;

B&B starts from £90 per room per night based on two sharing an executive single/cosy double room.

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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Christmas Gift Guide 2019

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Friday, 18 October 2019

How to plan a Baby Shower

How to plan a Baby Shower
Second time lucky (I somehow deleted this blog post after I was about to press publish *cries into my baby sick stained clothing*) this is my first post since I gave birth to Winston - I will write about my birth but I thought that I need to catch up on all the posts I had lined up prior to labour that I never got out - trying to get my groove back and why not start with a party post, you all know I love a good party.

I originally did not want a baby shower as I had so much going on, it did not take much to twist my arm but I decided to host as I could be in the comfort of my own home and go to bed when I got tired and I have a big garden which I rarely get the excuse to have anyone round.

If you have read my wedding blog post you know I do not like typical 'themes' so I guess you could call my baby shower theme a love of food and balloons.

The decor as you can tell involved balloons:

How to plan a Baby Shower

How to plan a Baby Shower
The food was the inspiration behind my baby shower I really wanted a grazing table, I contacted a few companies but the cost (although I probs spent way more in the end) and the fact I wanted to create it made me just go for it, I could also use my new CostCo card! 

To start the grazing table I started with crackers, I used ones from Peter's Yard, I first tried them last year and knew they would be perfect with all the different colours, textures and shapes - there is even black ones using charcoal and Rye.

Then fruit, pretzels, nuts and meat including my favourite, Parma Ham, large cheeses scattered throughout.

To finish off the table was the showstopper from Hummingbird Bakery, I had the rainbow pinata cake in blue and inside is filled with rainbow colours and m&ms and everyone was in awe, Hummingbird is always my go to the size of the cake, the taste and the price just makes it a no brainer.  
How to plan a Baby Shower
Even though I couldn't drink at my babyshower, the fizz was flowing and in these quirky champagne baby bottles from PrezzyBox
How to plan a Baby Shower
1. 'My Waters Broke' - Get some little plastic babies and pop them in an ice cube tray, each guest gets and ice cube in their drink, the first baby to pop out of the ice you have to shout 'MY WATERS BROKE'.

2. Guess the baby - each guest brings in a baby picture of themselves and all guests have to guess, we actually went digital with this and guessed on a album on Facebook.

3. Can you guess the bump size? - Everyone gets to cut a piece of string and the closest to my bump size wins, everyone was way off, they thought I was HUGE. 
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
How to plan a Baby Shower
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Friday, 5 April 2019

15 'Nesting' Baby Essentials

I have already done some serious 'nesting', a strange term that everyone seems to call pregnant people when they start preparing their home for the baby...not sure I would say I am building a nest, but I have spent a small fortune, my babies wardrobe is better than mine and Adams combined and the nursery is at mood board stage.
15 'Nesting' Baby Essentials
You would of seen a lot of baby content on Instagram but this is the first baby blog. To catch you all up I about to turn 23 weeks pregnant and I am having a little boy, name is top secret but we have three choices. I will do more blog posts and go into more details about how I have been feeling etc but this one is all about SHOPPING.

 I thought I would share some of the key items I have already got for baby FK, I will do some separate post on clothing and the nursery when its complete so if you think I am missing the obvious of a cot...that will come later on.

The traditional moses basket comes in three colours; midnight, linen and dove grey. Most people see a moses basket as an essential for the first six months when the baby is sleeping in your room as an alternative have a look at number 6 on this list for a more modern take.

I am guessing you will need a blanket at arms reach at any one time, so I think I will need to get a few but this one will get a special place in the nursery as its so soft and looks stylish, it comes in three different colours and I just got told you MUST get a cellular blanket to even leave the hospital but don't worry LGS have you sorted and its the nicest one I have seen so far.

One thing I wanted was my home to have more security especially as I’m going to be at home more often and the Blink system is battery powered so no electrician required - YES please. It links to my phone so I can see when the delivery man takes my parcels away without leaving them but it also give me peace of mind. 

These come in jersey or mesh fabric and they are for babies from newborn to around 12 months. Being compact and super soft has made this carrier a winner, we have already been practicing with it, although Dylan (the cat) refused to be a model. 

Something I have started to 'stockpile' is baby beauty products, when you go to places like The Baby Show you will end up getting lots of sample versions for you and baby.

The Organic Babies Newborn Collection is one of my full size versions and is such a great gift for a new mama with shampoo, oil, nipple balm and nappy cream, the perfect full size starter set.
An alternative to the traditional Moses basket is the SnuzPod3 which is a bedside crib for the baby up to 6 months whilst it sleeps near you, in your room. You can easily lift off the bassinet and there is a reflux incline feature and fits perfectly with my room decor.

Odylique has the cutest packaging, I am already in love before using it. The set comes with baby gentle wash & shampoo, baby repair lotion and soothing salve.

One for Mama to be in this incredible pregnancy pillow, it was the only thing I didn’t think I needed but god once I reached 20 weeks I swiftly changed my mind - your neck, back and pelvic girdle is crying out for one and the BBHugMe does what it says, hugs your body!

If you have ever seen a purple and white sheep around a child, that my friend's is Ewan - settling those sleepy heads he mimics the comfort of the womb with a pink glow and soothing sounds. The deluxe version also features smartCRY®, cleverly designed to automatically activate when baby stirs in the night.

Isn't this why we all have kids to dress them in the cutest of items that you shouldn’t skip this when it comes to towels. A hooded towel is important to ensure your baby gets warm / dry from top to toe quickly. The baby bunny towel is 100% certified organic micro-cotton that’s super soft and absorbent.

A bit different from your standard baby sleeping bag the ergoPouch Clouds Cocoon swaddles the baby so he will be snug as a bug - remember to pick the right tog for the season this easily transforms into a sleeping bag.

This bath grows with your little one is is a whale so what is not to love!!

This super soft bouncer is perfect for baby to get cosy. The bouncer will rock gently with the movements of your baby with no batteries required. Newborn - 2 years

I don't have this but I know a pump is an essential, I would love to hear of anyone who has tried the Elvie or other pumps as it looks too good to be true a silent breast pump that you can use whilst out and about - the dream right?!

Johnson’s is a brand I remember when my little brother was born a brand loved my Mums for years and they have gone for a total re-brand.
CottonTouch products have a lightweight feel to enhance your touch!

The must have for any new mama and so many stunning covers I was quite boring and went for white - I wonder how long that will stay shiny and new for?! The sleepyhead does seem to be the number one things on ever mamas lists and you can get accessories for your one like a toy arch. 

It’s a safe area for baby to sleep, play, change and tummy time. Suitable 0-8 months.

A pram is obviously an essential and the Quinny Hubb meets all my mummy needs, something to go to town, go for a forest walk and also have plenty of space for all my shopping with the XXL basket - so many have basically no space for my handbag let alone a baby bag.

The Hubb has three from birth solutiosn I went for the Hux Carrycot but you can also get the cocoon and matching maxi-cosi pebble plus car seat.

One key feature of the pram is the one-hand folding.
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