Food, Lifestyle, Reviews

Chewton Glen Hotel Afternoon Tea & Spa Treatment – Review

A delicious afternoon tea and luxurious spa treatment in a 5* luxury country house hotel

Traditional Afternoon Tea Chewton Glen

I was lucky enough to be treated by my husband to afternoon tea and a 60 minute spa treatment at Chewton Glen to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, and what a treat it was!

The country house hotel is set in the New Forest and boasts luxurious spa facilities and award-winning dining. My first tip would be to give yourself enough time to discover and enjoy this beautiful hotel. Take a moment to explore the inside dining areas and wander round the stunning, manicured gardens. Don’t miss The Kitchen Garden either. Giant pumpkins, grape vines, kale, tomatoes and herbs are just a few of the many things you’ll find, along with gorgeous flowers.

My first trip was to the spa and I couldn’t wait! I hadn’t had a massage since I was pregnant and so it was certainly needed. I enjoyed a 60 minute warm oil massage and it was truly divine. My therapist tailored the experience to focus on my trouble areas and it felt amazing. The massage focused on my whole body and my favourite part was the hand and feet. I also got to enjoy a face mask during the front massage and I could literally feel my aches and worries leaving my body. After the massage I was left to let the oils soak into my body while enjoying a delicious passion fruit sorbet – a wonderful end to 60 minutes of pure bliss! At £105 per person for an hour massage it isn’t cheap, but for a one-off, or special occasion it really is fantastic.

Next it was afternoon tea in The Dining Room. The room itself is beautiful. Bright and airy, with stunning decor it really does make for a special occasion. We were lucky enough to enjoy a window seat, which overlooked the beautiful gardens and outdoor pool.

The afternoon tea did not disappoint. Using local, fresh ingredients we tucked into a selection of finger sandwiches (smoked salmon with dill, brie with pear chutney, beef and horseradish and egg and cress). My favourite was the egg and cress and so when our waitress asked if we wanted anything else, I asked for some more – it was a special occasion after all and I was very hungry after my massage! The plain and fruit scones were delicious and I particularly enjoyed the homemade strawberry jam. We were also treated to an array of cakes and pastries including lemon drizzle, fruit tart, cupcake and passion fruit profiterole, and all this was washed down nicely with a lovely cappuccino. There was not a crumb left in sight on either of our plates – it really was delicious. Chewton Glen’s traditional afternoon tea is £29.50 per person and so isn’t the cheapest in the area, but if you’re looking to book somewhere for a real treat, I’d definitely recommend it.

P.S. If you have time, follow the signs from the grounds to the beach. It’s a lovely woodland walk past the hotel’s nine-hole golf course, that only takes 15 minutes, and you won’t be disappointed when you get there as you’ll get to witness gorgeous views of the the Needles rising from the sea in the distance.

I hope to visit again some day…My rating… 4 out of 5

Lifestyle, Motherhood, Reviews

Micralite SmartFold Buggy – Review

The award-winning Micralite SmartFold is a fantastic all-terrain buggy, perfect for families on the go!

Micralite SmartFold Buggy

I was lucky enough to test the award-winning Micralite SmartFold from Bournemouth Baby Centre and I was not disappointed. I had heard that the pushchair is meant to fare well on all terrains and so I took it down to Bournemouth Beach to see if the hype was true!

I was so impressed with the Micralite SmartFold on Bournemouth beach. The air-filled back tyres meant I could easily pull it on to the sand without any effort and the mud guards prevent wheel clogging, which can really slow you down on some buggies I have used on the beach.

I was so impressed with the pushchair on the sand, perfect for our family trips to Bournemouth beach!

I am not the most muscly of mums and so when looking for a pushchair weight is a huge factor. What’s great about the Micralite SmartFold is that it’s light and easy to push and manoeuvre with one hand – ideal if like me you have a dog to walk and buggy to push! It features a unique shaped handle bar too, which is fully adjustable.

I tested the buggy with my 8 month old baby boy, but it’s suitable from newborn right up to 22kg (around 4 years old), so you certainly would get a lot of use out of it. Jack seemed to enjoy the ride and slept for an hour as we walked along Bournemouth promenade and up across the clifftop. It was a sunny day and the hood provided good coverage.

The Micralite SmartFold looks the part too. It’s very stylish and features weatherproof fabrics along with UPF50 protection, so it is perfect for holidays home or abroad, come rain or shine! It even comes with a storm cover for really bad weather, which there is always a high chance of in England!

Micralite Smartfold Buggy Review
If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then this buggy is a great choice!

The buggy is compact once folded, but it does take a few attempts to get the hang of it, so I would suggest watching a YouTube video so you know what you’re doing!

One of the only downsides is the basket. It’s an OK size but difficult to get to, so it isn’t the most practical if you are looking to carry a lot, which is a real shame.

If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then the Micralite SmartFold is a great choice as it really is a fantastic multi-terrain buggy.

At £495 (including a free Foot Muff) it isn’t the cheapest of buggies, but it’s high spec, sturdy and stylish, so if you have the money to spend, I would definitely recommend. However, if you like to pack a lot into the basket, this isn’t the buggy for you!

Find out more on Bournemouth Baby Centre’s website.

Lifestyle, Motherhood

Top 10 Teething Remedies and Toys for Babies to Soothe Sore Gums

Here is my list of top 10 teething saviours, which have helped soothe my baby’s sore gums, from teething toys to homeopathic remedies.

Jellystone Teething Stacker for Babies
Jack absolutely loves his Jellystone Rainbow Stackers

My little boy is nearly 8 months old and his first two teeth have started to poke through at the bottom. Unfortunately teething means an unhappy baby. We are getting through so many bibs due to lots of dribbling and Jack is chewing everything in sight. His favourite thing at the moment seems to be our television remote!

To try and help other parents get through the terrible teething stages of their child’s development I thought I would share my top teething saviours, which have really helped soothe Jack’s poorly gums.

1. Teetha Teething Granules
Teething Granules have been a life saver for Jack when he is in distress with his gums. Just before bed, or when Jack appears to be in discomfort, we pop the granules on a spoon and feed them to him and the relief is almost immediate! What I like about the granules is the fact that they are homeopathic. The Teething Granules come in little sachets so are a baby changing bag must-have!

2. Jellystone Teething Stacker
Jack absolutely loves his Jellystone Teething Stacker. These award-winning, brightly coloured rings provide relief for sore gums and also help to encourage hand eye coordination. They are also a fantastic toy for Jack when he is in his highchair, which means I can enjoy my lunch while he plays happily! Made from BPA free, non toxic silicone, your baby can chew on the Jellystone Teething Stackers happily.

3. Cucumber Batons
Hard foods are great for teething babies. I have found that cucumber batons work wonders. Jack loves to gnaw on cucumber as the cold helps soothe his gums and it is also a good way of getting water into their diet.

4. Milk Ice Lollies
Breastmilk ice lollies, or “mumsicles” as I like to call them, also provide relief for sore gums and are great for babies in hot weather. I bought some ice lolly moulds on Amazon and poured my expressed breastmilk into them, popped them in the freezer and voila, you have a healthy, soothing snack for your baby! You don’t just have to use milk, you could also make fresh fruit lollies from pureed fruit and pure fruit juice. They are specifically designed for small hands, so are good for weaning too! You can buy the Annabel Karmel Mini Ice Lolly Moulds on Amazon.

Sophie the Giraffe Teething Toy for Babies
Sophie the Giraffe is made from 100% natural rubber

5. Sophie the Giraffe
I think every child has a soft spot for Sophie the Giraffe! Jack loves Sophie and enjoys chewing on her legs to ease the pain in his gums. It’s made from 100% natural rubber so it’s a safe teething toy for your little one. It also comes in a lovely box making it a great gift for newborns and baby showers! It’s nice and light and Sophie’s spotty body and squeaker stimulate baby’s senses. Sophie the Giraffe is must-have baby toy in my opinion!

6. Teething Car Keys
This toy certainly does unlock some fun! My sister-in-law bought these for Jack and they are one of his favourite toys when he is in his pushchair. Easy to hold for small hands, the keys feature four buttons, which play car sounds to stimulate your little one’s senses and attached are plastic discs which your baby can chew on to soothe painful gums. The Teething Car Keys, available from ASDA, are another great buy for under £5!

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Teether Rattle
Another firm favourite is Jack’s Hungry Caterpillar teether rattle. Suitable from birth, the brightly coloured soft caterpillar crinkles when you touch it and has a soft, green textured teether tail, which really seems to help soothe Jack’s gums. The red and green colours really catch Jack’s attention and he loves to pick it up and move it around in his hands, which also stimulates his senses and encourages development. You can buy The Hungry Caterpillar Teether Rattle for under £10 on Amazon.

The Hungry Caterpillar Teething Toy for Babies
The textured tail is great for teething babies!

8. Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush
If you child loves bananas then this is a fantastic teething toy! It features peel handles so it’s easy to hold and comes with two silicone finger toothbrushes so you can brush your baby’s teeth and help soothe their gums with gentle massage. What’s more the Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush comes with a handy storage case and is BPA free and dishwasher safe.

9. Calpol
When Jack is in a lot of pain I give him Calpol and it really seems to soothe him, providing rapid relief, especially at bedtime when his teeth keep him awake.

10. Cuddles
One thing that also helps to calm Jack down is cuddles from Mummy and Daddy! He has definitely become more clingy since he started teething and extra cuddles and kisses seem to comfort him and calm him down. And cuddles are free!

I hope you find some of these useful. I have tried lots of different things and so you may find a mix and match approach is the way forward.