23 September 2017

Siblings Project - September 2017

I loved having the girls together over the summer holidays and they really enjoyed being together too. The three of them have a ready made party and there is always someone who wants to play, or to dance with, giggle with or explore with. I couldn't help but feel a little sad when September rolled around and work, school, and play school resumed separating us all again throughout the week.

At the same time, I think we were all ready for a bit of the routine that September brought with it after lots of very slow mornings and living at my mums while we had our kitchen refitted. After a few days of school runs and several tears from everyone things settled down as they always tend to do.

siblings project september 2017

What has been lovely to see is the girls supporting each other and missing each other a little too. Phoebe and Lottie will often run to Ellie in the playground when we collect her in the afternoon and give her a big hug. They will chat over teatime about what they have been up to and I love to hear what they tell each other. Lottie has started play school with Phoebe who has proudly taken her by the hand and helped her settle in beautifully. She showed her where to put her lunchbox and helped her put her slippers on on the first day which was just so lovely to watch. It made leaving Lottie on her first day so much easier and as i drove into work I felt really proud of them.

siblings project september 2017

Whilst they each go their separate ways and do their own things during the week, they are always there to support one another, each one a little pillar each doing their bit. I hope they will always be there to hold each other up when they need it and be strong for one another, each important individually and as a team.

siblings project september 2017

I think this months Sibling project photos capture that part of their relationship perfectly and are one of my favourite sets this year. They also capture the lovely carefree summer we had as we make our way into autumn and leave summer dresses behind in exchange for wellies and bobble hats. We are all looking forward to October as it brings with it Half Term when we can all be together again.

Me x

7 September 2017

A Family Break At Doddington Hall

Doddington Hall, nestled in the quaint Lincolnshire village of Doddington, is the perfect place for a short family break. It's an idyllic setting which offers a wonderful space to be together and explore.

The little ladies taking in beautiful Doddington Hall
The Tailor Rooms located in the old stable block

There are several stunning holiday cottages available to stay in, as well as a selection of double rooms on a room only basis in the Stable Block. We recently spent a night in the Tailor Room 1 which was perfect for us. A large, spacious and tastefully decorated room with a double bed, with two Z beds and a travel cot for the girls.

The room was so comfortable with crisp linens and homely touches

Our room, Tailor Room 1, handily located on the ground floor.

There was also a sofa, en suite shower room and everything you would normally expect from a hotel stay. The setting is so peaceful and the large windows in the building provide incredible views of the beautiful surrounding countryside. In just a short space of time we really felt like we had got away from it all and all we had to concentrate on was the now and being in the moment.

Phoebe enjoying the view from our window
The little ladies made themselves very at home

After settling in to the room and feeling very at home we walked up to the Hall to explore.  The hall has a magical and warm, welcoming feel to it, particularly so when we visited with with the display of unicorns and wishes at the entrance for the Summer of Imagination Event which as you can imagine the girls thought were amazing.

Doddington Hall is a great family day out with so much to explore, we loved the unicorns
My favourite spot, the Fairytale Folly complete with blankets and a basket of books to read

Wandering through the gatehouse and through into the gardens it felt as though we were stepping into the pages of 'The secret garden', with little pathways and new things to discover around every corner. The girls were mesmerised by the 'talking trees' and played for ages in the willow houses, their imaginations were truly captured.

Phoebe loved the fountains in the Gardens of Mindfulness
Lottie playing in one of the Peaceful Pods
I love to watch the girls explore and just be children and Doddington Hall is such a wonderful place for them to do this. They spent ages following a little frog hopping around the edge of a fountain in the Gardens of Mindfulness and running round and round the Lucky Labyrinth maze. Their favourite spots were the fairy village, hidden in a little copse of trees, and the 'wishing tree' next to it where you could write a wish on a luggage tag and tie it to the tree. So far only Lottie's has come true... (she wished for chocolate ice cream!) Ellie and Phoebe wished for a pet unicorn and to be Elsa from Frozen so they might be waiting a while yet...

What would you wish for?
Ellie hanging her wish on the tree

As part of the Summer of Imagination Event we were lucky to watch a wonderful mime performance by the Rhubarb Theatre Company which really engaged the children and provided a welcome rest amongst the exploring as we sat in the sunshine together. The hours seemed to simply disappear and we found ourselves amongst the last to leave for the day, it was such a peaceful and relaxing place to be as a family.

Doddington Hall is a wonderful place to spend time together as a family
The city of Lincoln is just 5 miles up the road so we drove there for tea before heading back to the Stable block for the evening. The grounds surrounding the Hall are so lovely with several walks of varying distance. We wandered down to the lake and watched the cows and sheep in the fields on our way back to our room and ended up sitting on the bank outside the stables watching the sun go down and rolling down the hill. It was a day of such simple pleasures and memory making, giving us the ultimate gift of time together as a family.

Walking back to the stable block at the end of a lovely day
Lottie loved the sheep and cows in the surrounding fields at Doddington
After eventually getting the girls off to sleep (they were very excited after the hill rolling and all being in the same room!) we all had a very comfortable nights sleep before waking up ready for breakfast. The accommodation is on a room only basis but next to the Hall there is a fantastic cafe which serves an utterly divine breakfast menu as well as lunch and cakes throughout the day. We highly recommend the Lincolnshire breakfast and American pancakes! There is also a restaurant which opens on Friday and Saturday evenings if you stay over the weekend.

Phoebe declared her morning pancakes as the 'best pancakes ever!'
Next to the Doddington Cafe there is an incredibly stocked farm shop and deli filled with delicious looking local produce, a home and clothing store and 'Giant Lincoln' where you can hire bikes to explore the local area. After a hearty breakfast we hopped on some bikes and set off along the new cycle path to the next village where we found a park for the girls to play in.

Our first family bike ride with Giant Lincoln
Lottie in particular loved our little cycling adventure and wouldn't take her hat off!

Cycling along the cycle path was so lovely as we didn't have to worry about cars and it felt great cycling along together as a family. It was our first family bike ride together and although the girls were in a bike seat and trailer they loved it, it was so much fun. I can't wait until the girls are old enough to be able to cycle a few miles on their own as it's just such a wonderful activity to share as a family, there was such a sense of freedom to it which you don't always feel like you have with young children. The team at the Giant Lincoln were so knowledgeable and helpful and the bikes were excellent. It was the perfect end to our stay.

We had such a great time exploring Doddington Hall and all that it has to offer and would really recommend it for a day out and short break. We left feeling so content and the girls haven't stopped talking about it since we got home, asking when we can go again. We made a little video of our stay and our favourite bits which you can watch by clicking play below:

Me x

*This is a collaborative post
All thoughts and opinions are my own*