Our first week on Tour: Manchester

Well this week certainly has been challenging… It’s been a lot of fun but I wasn’t anywhere near prepared for what being on tour with a baby would really be like. Trying to stick to some sort of nap schedule while still fitting in activities around Barney’s work schedule has been tricky but we managed quite a few mornings or days out!

We rented a great flat in the centre of town, which meant walking everywhere was no problem but I struggled to find many ‘baby-friendly’ activities for Isla. Certainly very few places where I could just let her run around. We visited Waterstones’ a few times as they had an amazing children’s section, fully equipped with a Wendy house that Isla was just thrilled with!

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She waited very patiently for some friends but the big kids didn’t want to play with her!! Haha!

Our new SmarTrike (full review coming soon!) was a saviour as Isla loved it so much she was perfectly happy to be pushed around Town & not get out… She didn’t want to get out when we got back to the flat either… Haha!

One of the best things we did was get the Combi Ticket for SeaLife & The Lego Discovery Centre, that we visited on two different days – it was £17.50 each (Isla went free!) if you book online in advance. They are both at the Intu Trafford CentreIntu Trafford Centre which is the biggest (and weirdest!) shopping centre I’ve ever been to. It’s almost modelled on the Venetian in Vegas but bigger & tackier… That said, it was easy to navigate, they have every shop, restaurant, and attraction you could want. The parking was easy & free and they even had a play beach, rides and carousel outside the SeaLife/Lego. We took Isla on the carousel which was so lovely!

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I can’t get enough of this gorgeous outfit!! All from Zara Baby, Top can be bought here & trousers here.

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The Lego Discovery Centre was brilliant even if Isla was a little too young to fully enjoy it. They recommend from 3years up but they do have a Duplo farm for the little ones too!

We loved the ride that she could go on, Barney definitely had to most fun out of all of us! There was plenty to see & do – you can even join in on a workshop with a master builder! The cafe is pricey, but what you’d expect & the baby duplo area was pretty dirty! Other than that a great afternoon with lots to discover and a special shout out to the incredible staff who couldn’t do enough to make sure our day was perfect!

Isla tried her first BBQ at Red’s True BBQ – as you can see… It’s a hit! Big thumbs up from us too – great food at an amazing price, absolutely brilliant service & so child friendly! Isla even got a balloon to take away! Plenty of high chairs & open floor space to bring a pram. (There are a few small steps on the way in!) The baby change is uni-sex but a little dingy! Overall a great place to grab lunch with the family! 

We visited SeaLife & it got off to a promising start with impressive projections & a great set up to introduce you to the Aquarium. Everything is very new & shiny, but a little underwhelming. We’ve been to London & Birmingham SeaLife so were expecting more for our money. It’s very small – but has a softplay in the middle that might make your visit last a little longer than ours did. It didn’t take us more than 30 minutes to walk through the whole thing as there are no sharks, penguins or otters in this one. Isla enjoyed herself & showed off her fishy ‘noise’ the whole way round as she pointed & laughed at them all – that made it more than worth the ticket price!

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We couldn’t resist the cheesy photo block as Isla actually ‘waved to the fishies’ when she was asked too! Haha! IMG_4538

Isla fell asleep just as we were leaving so we headed over to the adventure golf for a little almost adult fun!

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I also took Isla swimming to the Aquatics Centre which was great! They have a huge baby pool with different slides & water sprays! It was warm, pretty clean & had amazingly helpful staff. Make sure you call before you go to be sure that the baby pool is open as we tried a few times & it was broken. They run sessions so be sure to get there early to make the most of your hour in the pool and prepare for a busy changing room after as everyone gets kicked out at the same time!

Isla’s favourite part of Manchester was this rainbow art installation called ‘ Through No 3’ by Liz West! She ran through it at least 100 times & even stopped to take a selfie inside!

Not a bad start to the tour, home next week and then off to Birmingham – so please send any recommendations over to us or leave them in a comment below!

All of Isla’s outfits are from Zara Baby.

Our Family ‘Staycation’ at St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall

Deciding where to go for our first family holiday was a mammoth task; we wanted somewhere luxury, beautiful and most of all happy for us to bring Isla… Easier said than done!! Travelling with a baby has it’s restrictions but that doesn’t mean you have to end up in a ‘kidz’ holiday park wishing you’d just stayed at home…

We found the St Moritz hotel in Rock, Cornwall and boy did we luck out! It was absolutely perfect. There’s a Cowshed spa, indoor and outdoor pool, gym, two buzzy restaurants and a bar. The finish is super-stylish and contemporary, the location’s unbeatable and the Guest Host is on hand to plan your stay from start to finish. You can book into a hotel room, penthouse apartment or child-friendly garden villa, all with everything you could need for travelling with kids! Cots & linen are provided (for a small fee) and if you book into a King/Twin room you even get your own sea view beach hut next to the outdoor pool – if you are planning a summer visit!

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Isla was just a little grumpy as we arrived… but that changed quickly!

Located in Trebetherick, with views across the stunning Camel Estuary and Atlantic Ocean, close to Rock and Padstow and within five minutes of the beaches at Daymer Bay and Polzeath, St Moritz is the destination for a relaxing beach break.

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Isla made herself at home on the giant marshmallow bed right away! It was such a comfortable nights sleep – we didn’t want to get out of it the next morning! Isla had a great sleep in her cot but jumped right in with us first thing for cuddles & cartoons.

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Ready to catch some waves!

After the long drive we decided to go for a swim, as it’s Isla’s favourite thing to do! The pool changing rooms were spacious & clean. They have amazing disabled access too.

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Just relaxing in her own private pool… Lucky girl!

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After our swim we decided to brave a coastal walk down to the beach… It was rather windy as you can see… But the breath taking views more than made up for it! You wouldn’t be able to take a pram – but I felt safer baby wearing Isla anyway.

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We made a quick pitstop for a hot chocolate to warm up… Isla was fascinated but had to settle for her milk! Onesie from Gap Kids.  The service we received everywhere was amazing – so accommodating & friendly.

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Baby carrier from Baby Bjorn & Bear Suit from The Little White Company.

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We had to improvise a little to get Isla into the high chair – but she found it hilarious, of course! Breakfast was included in the room price & was absolutely delicious – my eggs Benedict was a particular highlight.

That night we had a three course dinner in the main restaurant that was absolutely beautiful. The service was wonderful & the restaurant was incredible stylish. The menu is a little pricey – but you pay for what you get. The attention to detail was exceptional & it was great to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen.

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The next morning we went for another swim before driving over to Padstow. You can get a boat/ferry over but as we were there out of season – the last one back was too early to fit in our special dinner plans!

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Padstow has some lovely little shops to explore and great walks along the cliffs. All paved & accessible with the pram. (Urbo2 in Camel from Mamas & Papas!) Isla had her eye on some fudge that we were bringing back as a souvenir for her big cousins!

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For dinner we went to Rick Stein’s Cafe… He also has a restaurant in Padstow but only allows children over the age of 3. The food was fantastic, as you would expect – but make sure you get a reservation well in advance as even on a midweek in January it was fully booked from the moment it opened! The cafe itself is very small so there really isn’t much room for a pram – leaving the pram in the car & baby wearing would be a great option.

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Full & happy, we headed back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the night watching movies in our spacious room & letting this cheeky monkey stay up after bedtime for some extra family time before our much needed mini break was over. After another great nights sleep we grabbed breakfast & headed home.

It was the perfect first family holiday, short but sweet! We can’t wait to come back to this beautiful hotel & see it really come to life in the summer. They have some amazing deals on their website for out of season – if you don’t have to fit in with the school holidays yet. We stayed on the Discounted Decadence package & thought it was amazing value for money.

Family Friendly – 10/10
Baby Change Facilities- 10/10
Hotel Room – 10/10
Food – 9/10 (Just a little too expensive!)

Swimming Pool – 10/10
Nearby Activities – 10/10

You get the picture… absolutely perfect!! Thank you so much to everyone at the St. Moritz for making our first family staycation such a success!