What To Do During Your Staycation

Holiday season is here, and many people are already sharing snaps of white sandy beaches and azure coloured oceans on Instagram. But what if this year you are not going away on holiday, maybe through financial issues or work commitments, what can you do if you are planning a staycation? The good news is that staying at home doesn’t have to be dull or boring, there are so many diverse and interesting things you can do, maybe even learning a new skill in the process.

Here are a few ideas that may give you food for thought.

Cookery Classes

You can have great fun with some cookery lessons and can learn new skills into the bargain. There are so many different sorts of lessons out there, ranging from cookery basics (i.e for someone like me, who hosts a dinner party with a selection of takeaway menus at hand), or for people who want to refine their skills, or learn a specific type of cookery, like French Cookery, or learning how to make Asian cuisine, or even divine macaroons. These courses are suitable for anyone with a passing interest in food creation and preparation, and will certainly give you a fabulous new skill and end product to take home.

The Big Sleuth

A day in the city of Birmingham can be about so much more than shopping. Following on from the Big Hoot in 2015, this year Birmingham’s streets, squares, museums and shopping areas will be filled with more than 100 beautifully decorated bears, so that a day in the city can really mean ‘we’re going on a bear hunt.’ Grab a map, put some sensible walking shoes on, and get ready to hunt down those bears. The bears will be auctioned off at the end of the Summer to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. (Visit The Big Sleuth website for more information).

Go to a Festival

A festival no longer means having to travel miles from home, most areas now have festivals of everything ranging from music to food. One food festival that I have been interested in is at RAF Cosford, and combines a range of local producers, chef demonstrations and even live music, all combining to make a really fun afternoon. Combine it with a trip around the RAF museum, which is brilliant, with entry free of charge.

A family ticket for the food festival costs just £12. Buy tickets here.

Football Friendlies

The football season may well be over, but that doesn’t mean a summer without football. Next month a whole host of friendlies and tournaments will be taking place, including the Emirates Cup which Arsenal will be taking part in this July, along with Benfica, Seville and Leipzig. Family tickets are available and reasonably priced, and could be a great way to introduce your child to European football…or just an excuse to watch Olivier Giroud in action.

What plans do you have for the Summer?


Festival Fever – No Thanks!

When it comes to festivals, it is safe to say I am now firmly on the side of 6 out of 10 magazine and their stance in the article ´Why festivals aren´t for me´.

Now, I am the first to admit that Kate Moss and her crew of super cool friends still look amazing glamping in their Winnebago´s, complete with their own toilet and home comforts. And yes, the music is still super exhilarating in its brilliance. I am so looking forward to the Goddess that is Florence Welch headlining this Friday night. But I will be just as happy to watch it on the TV in my Menorcan hotel (blessed with all BBC channels) rather than actually experiencing it at Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Festival

Why? Well there´s the British Weather for a start. If I wanted to bathe waist high in mud, I would make sure it had some theraputic or beauty properties first – maybe in a Turkish mudbath? British festivals are well known for mud, rain and storms, it just seems the mention of the word ´festival´ seems to turn the best British Summer into Monsoon season!

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And then there´s the toilet situation. The 6 out of  10 article hits the nail firmly on the head when it says ¨…It is insane how much of my festival hate is urinary based´. There are the portaloos filled so high you literally rise when you sit down on them. The obligatory peeing in a bottle, and then throwing it (if it´s cold it´s beer, if it´s warm it´s pee…) is a sad but true fact when you have found yourself a good space and don´t want to lose it. Why would we pay good money to put ourselves through a urine soaking?

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Then there´s injuries. Pryers Solicitors have produced a great infographic of festival injuries that you can also view on the 6 out of 10 page. Falling whilst crowd surfing, being hit by flying objects, slips, trips, falls and all manner of crushes just add to the absolute ´fun´of festivals.

When you put it all together, maybe it is best to enjoy it all from the comfort of your armchair, with a clean toilet just a step away…


Summer bags for festivals and Holidays from Cath Kidston

There is something about Cath Kidston that screams Summer at the top its voice. Maybe it is the kitsch prints and patterns, or the use of shiny, wipe clean materials that make them picnic and festival friendly, or maybe it is the cute boxy styles that mean they always have a ladylike edge. Whatever it is, a Cath Kidston bag is top of your Summer shopping list.

This season the brand has the perfect backpacks for traveling light, whether to Glastonbury or Glyndebourne. I just love the chintzy tea rose print that is perfectly girly and feminine. There are wipe clean day bags with 50s polka dots that would jazz up the simplest of jeans and t-shirt combinations, and are light enough to use every day without breaking the wrist. And then there are the travel bags. I am definitely getting the London holdall that packs into a tiny wallet – this is the perfect bag to put into your suitcase to give you an extra option when you need extra baggage on your way back.

Do you own a Cath Kidston bag – are you as obsessed with them as I am?

Spot Backpack £42 click to visit Cath Kidston


cath kidston trailing floral backpack £42 click to visit Cath Kidston

cath kidston Spot Day Bag £50 click to visit Cath Kidston

cath kidston Spot Day Bag £50 click to visit Cath Kidston

London Fold Away Holiday Bag £38 click to visit Cath Kidston

Antique Rose Travel Bag £75 click to visit Cath Kidston