An award winning parenting & travel blog | Family Life | Travel | Food | Adventure

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Chesters Roman Fort, Museum and Tearoom - Hadrian's Wall


 

  Now that we are a family of five, our days of bank holidays being spent in our local pub with friends are long gone. These days, I use this extra day off school to plan a day trip somewhere. Harry is currently studying Roman's at school so we decided to use the first May bank holiday to visit Chesters Roman Fort. We have visited here in the past and with news that they had just opened up a brand new tearoom it was an obvious choice.

Hadrian's wall map at Chesters Roman Fort


A Tearoom on Hadrian's Wall

We started out day with lunch at the new tearoom which is located next to the entrance. There are a handful of tables indoors and lots of seating outside with glorious countryside views. It wasn't too cold so we decided to brave sitting outside.

Chesters Roman Fort Tearoom on Hadrian's wall

Chesters Roman Fort Tearoom on Hadrian's wall

Chesters Roman Fort Tearoom on Hadrian's wall

Chesters Roman Fort Tearoom on Hadrian's wall

Chesters Roman Fort Tearoom on Hadrian's wall

We arrived at 12noon and discovered that the menu is fairly limited - I asked about children's sandwiches but were told they just had what was on the board. My children are fairly picky and wouldn't really eat ham and pease pudding with salad or the other options on there. You are missing a trick Chester's - I'm sure children's packed lunch boxes with a plain ham/cheese/jam sandwich, a piece of fruit, a small piece of cake and a juice would sell well. Anyway, the children decided on homemade soup that was advertised but we were told it wasn't ready so they ended up with their third choice of a scone, cake and juice which they still enjoyed. It does say on the Chester's Tearoom website that a children's menu is available so hopefully this is in the pipeline.

I ordered a bacon sandwich made with local bacon which was fantastic and Steve ordered a sandwich which was freshly prepared and equally as delicious. They also serve our lemonade of choice, fentiman's. The highlight of our lunch was most definitely the homemade cake - huge slices of rich, crumbly yet moist cake was like some sort of heaven. When we re-visit later in the year I will take our own sandwiches for the children but we will definitely be sampling some more cake. I would highly recommend the Victoria Sponge! Our lunch for 5 was less than £20 so a real bargain too.

Hadrian's Wall Museum

Hadrians Wall museum at Chesters Roman Fort

Hadrians Wall museum at Chesters Roman Fort

Hadrians Wall museum at Chesters Roman Fort

Chesters Roman Fort is home to a collection of almost 11,000 finds from forts and milecastles along Hadrian's Wall. The museum is small but they pack a lot in and there are interesting books and information sheets to read if you'd like to further your knowledge. Entry to the museum is included in admission (or free if you are an English Heritage member).

Roman Cavalry Fort

Roman Cavalry Fort at Chesters on Hadrians Wall

Roman Cavalry Fort at Chesters on Hadrians Wall

Roman Cavalry Fort at Chesters on Hadrians Wall

Roman Cavalry Fort at Chesters on Hadrians Wall

The Roman forts are full of places to explore and pretend you are a Roman yourself. There are lots of well-placed information signs too which really help you visualise how the forts once may have looked.

Bathhouse and River Views


Roman bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall

Roman bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall

Roman bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall

Roman bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall

Roman bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall

Roman bathhouse at Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall

The Bathhouse is probably our favourite part of Chesters - our children find it highly amusing looking at Roman toilets and learning about communal saunas and changing rooms. This area is right next to the river and you really have to spend a few minutes taking in the glorious view.

Special Events

Roman Falconry on Hadrians Wall

Roman Falconry on Hadrians Wall

Roman Falconry on Hadrians Wall

Roman Falconry on Hadrians Wall

Roman Falconry on Hadrians Wall

Special events at Chester's (or any English Heritage properties for that matter) are always absolutely superb (read about Roman Soldier week last year here). We visited during a Roman falconry day and watched some magnificent flying displays as well as learning how the Roman's used these fantastic birds to their advantage.

Check out these future events which are usually included in admission or charged at an extra £1 per activity:-

Saturday 23rd - 31st May, 11am-5pm - How to be a Roman Soldier

Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st June, 11am-5pm -  Dad's Roman Army

Saturday 25th July - 7th August, 11am-5pm - Archaeology Detectives

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August, 11am-5pm - Romans & Gladiators


Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall - A review

We enjoyed a wonderful trip to Chesters Roman Fort and would recommend it to anyone. It is wonderful having all of this heritage right on our doorstep. I can't wait to re-visit in August for Gladiators & Romans.

Please check the English Heritage Website for prices and opening times and visit them on facebook to keep up to date with news and events. 

Share:

Win a family ticket as Disney On Ice 'Worlds of Enchantment' visits Newcastle this October

Disney on Ice presents worlds of enchantment

Disney On Ice will be returning to Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena during 6th-11th October 2015 with their spectacular new show 'Worlds of Enchantment'. Tickets are on sale now and available from just £16.

Disney on Ice Anna and Elsa from Frozen in Newcastle

Fans of Disney’s Frozen will be transported on a voyage of delight to the wintery world of Arendelle to see sisters Anna and Elsa live on ice as they embark on an epic journey with the hilarious snowman Olaf and Kristoff. 

Disney on Ice Ariel from The Little Mermaid in Newcastle

The new show will also see the ice transform into a magical under the sea kingdom as Ariel's home is brought to life in front of your eyes.

Disney on Ice Buzz, Woody and Jessie from Toy Story in Newcastle

Buzz, Woody, Jessie and friends will relive their adventures from Toy Story 3 as they try to escape Sunnyside.

Disney on Ice - Win tickets to the Newcastle show


Lightening McQueen and his crew will be performing their high speed stunts and tricks in spectacular fashion.

Worlds of enchantment is set to be the fastest selling Disney On Ice show to visit Newcastle in recent history with over 25% of tickets being sold within the first 3 weeks of tickets going on sale.

October can't come soon enough and we cannot wait to see the new show. We are delighted to have been provided with a family ticket to giveaway in our special Disney On Ice competition. The prize is a ticket for up to four people to watch Disney On Ice - Worlds of Enchantment at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena on Tuesday 6th October at 7pm. Please note - the prize is not transferable to another date, time or venue. You can enter via the rafflecopter giveaway below. Good luck!

Share:

Friday, 29 May 2015

Pre-theatre dining with kids at Las Iguanas, Newcastle

Whenever a family show comes to the Theatre Royal in Newcastle, I will always be asked for recommendations for pre-theatre dining with children. I always have three answers:-

1- The Botanist (if you can get a table)
2- The Fat Hippo Underground
3 - Las Iguanas

I have reviewed both The Botanist and The Fat Hippo Underground (see here for The Fat Hippo with kids) but despite dining at Las Iguanas fairly regularly for some reason I have never blogged the occasion. We were in Newcastle last week after school and decided to pop in for a treat-tea. Here's what we thought:-

Children's menu Las Iguanas Newcastle

Las Iguanas is located on Grey Street just a hop, skip and a jump away from Newcastle's theatre royal. If you are planning on visiting before a performance make sure you reserve a table as it does get busy. It is also worth knowing that their bar area is very welcoming to children as we found out when we went to see the Nutcracker with my friend Mandy from Mammy Flynn Fun Times. Their 2-4-1 happy hour is available in both the bar and restaurant (check here for times) and very poplular. I couldn't resist ordering myself a pina colada.

Pina Colada's

The children's menu is a very reasonable £5.90 for a main course, dessert and drink (including refillable squash) or children can choose half portions from the main menu for half the price. I love how there is a mix of favourites alongside a few Mexican options such as wacky tacos and crazy quesadilla meaning that all tastes (and levels of fussiness) are catered for. 

We were sat in a lovely booth in the corner of the modern and bright restaurant and our children enjoyed their colouring and activity sheet.


Pre-theatre dining with kids in Newcastle
Children's burger and fries

All of the children's meals are served with a salad bowl on the side which is a nice touch (even if my children refused to touch it) and are brought out as soon as they are cooked meaning there is minimal hanging around waiting which gets the thumbs up from me!

The lunch menu at Las Iguanas is served until 6:30pm daily making it an ideal choice for pre-theatre. There is a good selection of starters to choose from and they are priced at only £1.90 or £2.90. Bargain! Main courses are priced between £6 and £7.90. On this occasion hubby decided to order the Chilli Con Carne which is made with slow cooked braised beef, minced beef, black beans and spicy tomatoes on a bed of garlic rice. Steve will always say nothing comes close to his homemade chilli however this version from Las Iguanas was almost as good, flavoursome and not too spicy.

Chilli Con Carne from the Lunch Menu at Las Iguanas

I decided to order the open steak sandwich which I must say was a bit of a gamble as I do find steak tends to be over cooked when it is cut into strips and served in a ciabatta. I need not have worried though. My steak was medium-rare and melt in the mouth. I'm not so sure about the combination of pink pickled onions and cheese though?? The portion was a good size for what I paid with plenty of fries and I would order this dish again.

Pre-theatre dining at Las Iguanas in Newcastle

Perfectly cooked steak at Las Iguanas, Newcastle

Our children ended their meal with ice creams all round (which Heidi declared was the best ice cream she's ever had as it didn't give her brain freeze). Service had been attentive and prompt - we were in the restaurant for about 45 minutes in total which is perfect when you have a show to catch after school or work.

Children's dessert at Las Iguanas

Our bill was £41 for the five of us. Considering the children had two courses and unlimited drinks and I had two cocktails and steak I think Las Iguanas offers fantastic value for money.

What do you think? Where would you recommend in Newcastle for pre-theatre dining?


Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com
Share:

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Acorn Glade - Retreat | Relax | Reconnect

I am the first to put my hands up and say that being a parent is the hardest job you can have. Although it is obviously rewarding it really is rather relentless and can put a strain on even the strongest of marriages at times. We are really lucky to have family close by who are always more than happy to look after the kids for a day or two so when an opportunity to get away with Steve crops up I don't hesitate in booking us up so we can enjoy some proper time together instead of time discussing what's for dinner, who's picking the kids up, helping with homework and acting as a referee between the three kids. When I stumbled upon Acorn Glade which is an ADULTS ONLY retreat near York, I knew it would be the perfect place to stay and really get away from the stresses of every day life.

Acorn Glade - glamping in York

Set in four acres of land on the outskirts of the Vale of York, Acorn Glade feels like you are in the middle of nowhere yet you can walk to the local village of Melbourne and York city centre is only 11 miles away. Acorn Glade is a designated wildlife site with a strong focus on 'green living' and with only two yurts and one cosy log cabin on site, it is never crowded and everything has been designed to encourage true relaxation.

Acorn Glade - glamping in York, lakeside view

We arrived on a sunny evening and were welcomed by Richard and Julie with open arms. They gave us a quick guided tour, ensured we had everything we needed then left us their mobile number and informed us if there was anything at all we needed during our stay to just give them a ring as they were only two minutes away in their house. As soon as I opened the door to Daisy Yurt I could already feel myself unwind.

Daisy Yurt


Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, Daisy Yurt

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, Inside Daisy Yurt

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, Daisy Yurt

The Yurts have been designed to ensure they are cosy, romantic and private yet functional too. They feature comfortable double beds with lots of cozy blankets (and a hot water bottle), comfortable seating and your own gas stove and kettle plus. Tea, coffee and cookies are provided too.

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, inside Daisy Yurt

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, Daisy Yurt - Champagne

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, inside Daisy Yurt

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, inside Daisy Yurt

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, inside Daisy Yurt

At night the yurts were really magical with fairy lights twinkling above your head, candle-lit lanterns and your own roaring fire. It really was lovely and snuggly.

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, Daisy Yurt candles

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, Daisy Yurt lanterns

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire, Daisy Yurt - wood burning stove


Wildlife

There is an abundance of wildlife at Acorn Glade. The heart of the site is taken up with a private lake where you will find the most charismatic ducks and geese (and the cutest goslings if you visit at the right time of year). We spotted quite a variety of birds during our short stay and a even managed to see a water vole on our last evening. Because there is a lot of wildlife around, the dawn chorus can get rather noisy and you may be woken by the sound of birds tweeting. It was an absolute privilege for us to do this and dozing in and out of sleep to the sound of birdsong really was wonderful and not an annoyance at all. The lake has it's own private rowing boat which is free for guests to use and you are provided with food to feed the fish in the lake should you wish.

Acorn glade lake, geese and goslings

Acorn Glade - glamping in Yorkshire - Rowing boat

Acorn glade - geese and goslings

Acorn glade - rowing boat


Relaxation

I'm a generally a very busy lady - always somewhere to go and places to see. We decided to plan nothing at all during our days at Acorn Glade. There is no wifi or tv at Acorn Glade so you really do get the opportunity to properly switch off from the world. We had stopped off at Northallerton on our journey to Acorn Glade and stocked up on treats from the local market, wine shop and Betty's

Fat Rascal, Bettys in Yorkshire
A 'Fat Rascal' from Betty's

Being able to spend time reading a book, practice my photography, have an afternoon nap, sit in the countryside with a bottle of wine with my husband, row a boat around a lake and spot lots of wildlife (and fairy doors) during our walks really was the best way I can think of spending my free time. There was no schedule to keep, no alarms or clocks to watch and no deadlines. If you can't truly relax at Acorn Glade, I'm not sure there is anywhere on earth you would be able to!


Acorn Glade view


Acorn glade fairy doors


Evenings

As the sun set, Acorn Glade is plunged into darkness. You can walk to the local pub The Melbourne Arms (but pack a torch), snuggle around the wood burning stove in your yurt or head over to the communal fire pit to build a fire.

Acorn Glade - lighting the wood burning stove in yurt

Acorn Glade fire

Acorn glade group around fire

We spent our last evening around the campfire with the other two couples who were staying at Acorn Glade. It really was everything we wanted from the experience and more - what's not to love about being toasty warm around a fire, sharing a bottle of whiskey with new friends and chatting about everything from where you have travelled to game of thrones theories and our lives back at home. If you stay at Acorn Glade I urge you to plan a night like this with the other guests. We were there until after midnight and had a really good laugh.

Facilities


Acorn Glade is a glamping site which means that you do have a lot of home comforts to hand. The Chicken Shed (pictured behind our yurt below) is home to a fantastic communal kitchen, private bathrooms and a craft room.

Acorn glade - daisy yurt

The facilities are shared between the two yurts and log cabin and you have access to plug sockets (for all important phone charging), a fridge to keep your essentials chilled, cupboard space, electric hobs, a microwave and every utensil you could ever need.

Acorn glade glamping - kitchen


Acorn glade glamping - kitchen


Acorn glade glamping - kitchen

There are two shower rooms and two toilets which were always immaculately clean. We didn't have any problem with hot water during our stay and there was always a good supply.

Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire - showers


Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire - showers

There are plenty of picnic tables dotted about for secluded picnics and covered seating areas in a wooden gazebo should the weather take a turn for the worse plus a half drum BBQ you can use should you fancy some al fresco cooking.

Out and about

As well as the local Melbourne Arms you can drive to the next village of Allerthorpe and try The Plough Inn. We spoke to a few people who highly recommended their burgers. On our first evening we were keen to make the most of our child-free time and decided to book a table at The Pipe and Glass pub which has won a string of awards and retained one michelin star since 2010. It is about 18 miles away Acorn Glade but definitely worth the drive. It is very reasonably priced too - a two course meal for two with a glass of wine was just over £60. Reservations are essential.

Pipe and Glass Pub - michelin star - Yorkshire - Watercress and wild garlic soup
Wild Garlic and Watercress Soup (£5.50) - The Pipe and Glass

We also paid the visit of Pocklington a visit which was about 5 miles away from Acorn Glade. A charming little town with traditional pubs, cafes and an ice cream parlour, we chose to dine at Pane e Vino in the market place - a small and friendly Italian restaurant complete with eccentric singing waiter. We were made to feel extremely welcome and happy hour pizzas were only £5.95.

If you would like to visit York during your stay, there is a park and ride a few miles from Acorn Glade (directions are provided in the chicken shed) which is a lot easier than driving the full 11 miles and trying to find a parking space in the city centre in my experience

Acorn Glade was one of the best places we have ever stayed. Give me nature, tranquility and total relaxation over a fancy hotel room any day! If you are looking for somewhere to visit with your other half I urge you to try here. Even if you've never tried camping or glamping before I promise you will love it.

Daisy and Poppy Yurt are available from £125 for four nights. You can check availability, prices and book online here.

Make sure you follow Acorn Glade on Facebook to keep up to date with their news and offers.


A few other photographs from our stay.....

Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire
Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire
Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire - log cabin
Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire - poppy yurt
Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire - poppy yurt

Acorn glade glamping in Yorkshire

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My Travel Monkey
Share:
© North East Family Fun | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig