Seeing the UK’s Largest Pumpkin!

Seeing the UK's largest Pumpkin!

Dear Mummy, Halloween is fast approaching and we took the opportunity to celebrate the harvest and visit The Autumn Pumpkin Festival at Royal Victoria Country Park, in Southampton. This seasonal extravaganza was hosted by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, and in its … Continue reading

Silent Sunday 14.05.17

Even when we’re feeling low a smile brightens up our day! My mummy’s been in hospital recently. This is me onboard the MSC Preziosa cruise ship docked in Southampton last week which made me very happy!  If you like these photos … Continue reading

Common People is returning to Southampton

Southampton Common People 2017

Dear Mummy, we’re super excited that it’s May at long last. We can almost smell summer on the horizon and the days are getting longer the sky is getting bluer and the sun is shining. The last bank holiday in … Continue reading

Summer is in the air!

Hinton Ampner

Dear Mummy, we’ve been basking in the sun this week and nursing summer colds. With a change in the temperature our noses are running, eyes are itching and sore throats are back, but that hasn’t stopped us enjoying the warm … Continue reading

LUSH Southampton Bloggers Event

Lush Review Creamy Candy Bubble Bars

Dear Mummy, a couple of weeks ago you were invited down to Southampton (your old haunt) to attend a LUSH event. Half your life was spent living in Southampton and studying there, so it was like returning home when you parked up in the … Continue reading

Our Easter weekend in photos

Our Easter weekend in photos!

Dear mummy, phew! What another hectic weekend! We like being busy even in the mixed weather.

Eat Street at Festival Place

Multi Michelin Star award winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli

Over the Easter weekend we visited #EatStreet at Basingstoke’s Festival Place Shopping Centre. Here we picked up some last-minute chocolate from Hotel Chocolate, enjoyed free food tasting from Costa and Nado’s and watched the talented multi Michelin Star chef Jean-Christophe Novelli put on a live cooking demo. The weather was horrible and it was a lovely way of spending a rainy afternoon out of the house.

Exbury Gardens steam train

Exbury Gardens steam train

On Saturday we visited Exbury Gardens, in the New Forest. We were supposed to be visiting on Good Friday but chose the better day to visit.

Daffodils at Exbury Gardens

Daffodils at Exbury Gardens

However it was very windy and overcast, still it didn’t dampen our spirits as we ran through the daffodil fields and saw the beautiful flowers!

I chickened out of the steam train ride to see the Easter Bunny as I got scared of the bunny man (more like boogie man!) I get frightened really easily of large mascots and characters.

Highclere Castle

Easter Egg Hunt at Highclere Castle

On Easter Sunday, we braved the weather and went to Highclere Castle (where they film Downton Abbey) to join the Lady of the manor on an Easter Egg Hunt in aid of Naomi House and Jacksplace. We had a great time at the Easter Fair.

Easter at Grandparents

Easter at Grandparents

Bank Holiday Monday was a more quiet affair as we saw my Grandparents down in Hayling Island and spend the day by the seaside. We weren’t brave enough to go skinny dipping though!! We hope you had a great Easter weekend too.

Love Bella x

Chocolate Easter Egg baskets

Easter cake



Living Arrows

Top Ten Places in Hampshire this Easter!

Easter in Hampshire

Top Ten Places in Hampshire this Easter!

Dear mummy, here’s a little list I compiled of places to go and things to do in Hampshire this Easter! Easter is a lovely time in this neck of the woods and we love visiting gardens and farms in Spring. Here’s our top ten attractions.

  • Exbury Gardens, Southampton – Explore the Rhododendrons and jump on the steam train to see the Easter Bunny. We visited last year and had a great time!
  • Visit Marwell Wildlife, Southampton – To join in with the Easter Park Trail in the Zoo!
  • Build Lego at Bricks in Motion at Milestones Museum, Basingstoke – Watch the master builders create stunning displays out of Lego. We went last year to Lego Lost World and had a fab time.
  • See the spring lambs at Manydown Farm, Basingstoke – It’s lambing season along with Easter crafts and activities. We went last year and I made an Easter Egg card for my mummy!
  • Visit The National Trust at Mottisfont, Romsey and go to the Easter Bunny Ball and join in with the Easter Egg hunt.
  • Visit Wellington Country Park, on the Hampshire border of Basingstoke/Reading and join in with one if their themed days over the Easter break! We’re looking forward to visiting the Circus!
  • Visit The Vyne and join in with their Cadbury Easter Egg trail.
  • Finkley Down Farm, Andover – Pop down to the farm come rain or shine and see the little chicks and lambs!
  • Pop into Basingstoke Town and enjoy the events Festival Place have put on – Eat Street will be bringing live cooking demonstrations, entertainment and prizes. Also at the Top of Town in Basingstoke there will be Easter activities and entertainment too!

We hope you like our little list on activities over the Easter Break in Hampshire. Hopefully you can join in the fun! Let us know where you visit if you are local 🙂

Love Bella x

The List

Basingstoke’s Festival Place Shopping Centre

Festival Place Christmas Lights

Dear mummy, so the clue is in the title and I’m not talking about the shopping centre bit! Festival Place has only been opened for 12 years but already has its heart at the centre of the community. Festival in name and … Continue reading

My first pair of shoes

Dear mummy, love is in the air…..a girls love of shoes! Now that I’ve started walking you’ve decided that it’s best I get fitted for some ‘proper’ shoes. I know you lurve shoes, they pour out of your wardrobe spilling onto the bedroom floor and I like chewing on them and handling the different textures. It’s about time I’ve got my own.

Shoe boxes

We head to a little family run business called French & Sons in Southampton, the same place Grandma took you as a child. It was destined that you returned with me to get my first pair of sparky shoes.

French & Sons Front

W.J. French & Sons Limited in Bedford Place, Southampton has been opened for as long as my Grandma can remember. French & Sons has actually been established since 1803 and has a long history of shoemaking and fitting. One of the oldest shoemaking businesses in the country, it is now over 200 years since Francis French and his wife Martha opened their shoe shop in Kingsland Place, Southampton.

Records show that as early as 1794 the French Family were involved with the making of shoes. It was 1890 when the family moved to 40 Bedford Place and 1964 when they expanded the store to what it is today. Nothing’s change the signage still looks the same and all the wooden paneling.

French & Sons measurement

It was a horrible showery day but the store was inviting and the staff very friendly. They are all family orientated and we felt at home sitting on the comfy leather chairs. Other small people were getting their feet measured, not just length wise but also width wise.

The staff were so gentle with my feet and legs as they put my feet into this contraption with lots of lines and numbers on. Mr French himself greeted us and advised on my measurement I felt honoured to have such attention lavished on little young me. Size 3E…wow!

Start-Rite Shoes

Mummy and Daddy had a look at the children’s display shoes on the shelves, the others were stacked in boxes piled high on top of each other like books in a library. The staff were very knowledgable on all the makes and brands of the shoes they sold.

My mummy picked some Start-Rite ones in different designs and colours, and I was given the decision to choose as she held one in each hand. I liked playing with the boxes and tissue paper and it was strewn across the floor while store assistants chuckled and clapped.

Modelling the shoes

I started to try them on walking around store gazing at my reflection in the numerous mirrors and looking around at all the pretty display lights. I heard my mummy say to grandma ‘is this what it felt like when I tried my wedding dress on?’ All of you staring at me, unsteady on my feet tottering around the shop floor looking in mirrors.

Pink start-rites

Finally you agreed with daddy (as he was the one that was torn!) on my beautiful pastel pink patent Mary Jane Start-Rite shoes with little stitched butterfly’s and gem detail. 🙂 I love them and wore them straight out of the box.

Thank you so much for taking me to this amazing store and to Grandma for buying my first pair of ‘proper’ shoes….Oh and yours over 33 years ago.

Love Bella x