I’m aware the last few blog posts have been rather negative in tone. Obviously I never want to be one of those parents who can’t say anything positive at all so to be more cheerful I shall tell you about our Easter weekend.
Review: Calke Abbey Easter Egg hunt
We are members of the National Trust, thanks to S’s parents, which is handy for weekends and UK-based holidays. This Easter they teamed up with Cadbury’s to hold Easter Egg hunts. So we decided Calke was the place for our hunt.
Food: they have a small restaurant but it was packed so we stayed away and opted for the barbecue outside instead. It had dreadfully slow service and announced, after queuing for 10 minutes, that they were out of one of the options. When S got to the front he was told E’s beanburger would be another 10 minutes wait. Needless to say she’d eaten half of mine by the time it arrived. But the worst thing about the catering was the coffee. Perhaps in the restaurant it’s proper brewed coffee but for those of us using the kiosk it was instant. Even S was shocked and he doesn’t even like coffee. In Calke’s defence, they are currently building a new restaurant but… no, actually there’s no defence. Instant coffee is wrong.
The hunt: Excellent! Cadbury’s provided a cardboard pith helmet, passport and clue sheet – for £3.50 – and a series of clues on a trail around the park. It was hard to say, doing the hunt, who was enjoying it more – the children or the adults. Certainly by the end of the hunt, most of the adults on the trail seemed to be wearing the hats.
This, I think, is further evidence that adults need play too – I will be submitting an application to a funding body soon to reflect that we need an adults playground, with swings and slides and Easter Egg hunts and fun things to do. The clues were all to do with nature so a good opportunity to further teach E about small creatures (see future blog post I’m planning about this) and we got an egg at the end of the it!
E got some eggs at nursery on Thursday and promptly put a foil covered one in her mouth, foil and all, so was taught swiftly by her father to unwrap first. Here she got straight in and unwrapped the foil all over the floor. *sigh* Still, she picked up the no littering message quite quickly after that.
The rest of the venue: We didn’t go in the house, we like the gardens. There’s lots of different rooms to see and places to explore so E was very happy wandering about – into patches of nettles, across flowerbeds – and was clambering around in a greenhouse when I spotted a mouse. I nearly called to her so she could see it but realised it may have created a stampede of screaming people so managed to control myself in time.
Toilets: They use recycled water in the garden toilets and the water is warm. Take note Wollaton Hall, Nottingham toilets with your FREEZING hand washing facilities. There were also baby change facilities – clean, bright, new.
All in all it was a fun day.