Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots

AD/Gifted. With winter coming, my thoughts have turned from flip flops and sun hats, to cosy scarves and warm winter boots. I feel the cold fairly acutely, so my bundling up for winter always starts a little before everyone else. With Jack Frost nibbling at my nose, I hot footed it down to Hotter Shoes in Bury to get my feet measured for Fit Fortnight (16th and 29th September) and to pick out a new pair of winter boots.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

Fit Fortnight is a great event. A few times a year, Hotter invite everyone to visit their stores and get their feet properly measured. I got the tram up to Bury, met some friends for coffee and a chat, then popped in to Hotter to get my feet measured. I usually buy size 7 shoes, but I knew that I was probably buying shoes which were slightly too big. My hunch was correct, both my feet are slightly different sizes, but the best size for me is a 6.5 E fit.

Rachelle, who measured my feet explained why I’d previously struggled with some shoes in my correct size. I have almond shaped toes which are more comfortable in a rounder toe, rather than a pointy one. This simple thing blew my mind.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

I tried on several different styles of boot. I really fancied a nice pair of knee high boots, but practicality took over. Once I’d tried on the Whisper slouchy ankle boot, I knew I wouldn’t be leaving with anything else. It’s made with the softest leather and was just so cosy to wear.

Whisper boots are available in a range of different colours (black, dark tan, navy, maroon, forest green suede and urban grey suede). I have quite a few boots in black, so I decided to ring the changes and go for the maroon. The boot has a zip up each side, which makes it easier to put on and take off. They also have a lightweight, flexible sole which make them super comfy straight away and really easy to wear all day long.

Hotter have launched the Hotter App which is free to download. You can use it to create wish-lists, see how other people style their shoes and access exclusive discounts and sales.

Review: Hotter Whisper Slouchy Ankle Boots for winter

The Hotter Fit Fortnight event is happening between the 16th and 29th September 2019. This fortnight is dedicated to finding you your perfect fitting shoes. In their stores across the UK you can have your feet measured to keep up-to-date with your shoe size and width as your feet can change size throughout your life. It’s really well worth getting your feet measured again; I know that finding my perfect Hotter fit means I’ll have comfy, toasty feet this winter.

If your feet like being comfortable in nice shoes, you should check out Hotter Shoes online, or visit your nearest Hotter Store.

Disclosure: I was given a pair of Whisper boots in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are my own.

Dining Out: Capocci’s Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

AD/Complimentary Meal. On Friday night I took my boy for a mother and son date night. We took the tram to Media City (Salford Quays) and went for a meal at Capocci’s Pop Up Restaurant which is located in the piazza near the BBC building.

Capocci’s is in what appears to be a converted shipping container. It’s under cover, but outdoors; so if you’re dining, please do take your big coat as Manchester is beginning to feel pretty autumnal already.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

From breakfast to dinner, Capocci’s serve a range of traditional Italian recipes and the pop up is proving particularly popular with the locals. Capocci’s was pretty busy when we visited, with lots of people dining in, or ordering takeaway pizzas.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

When we arrived, the boy was famished after a busy day at school, so we ordered our food straight away. He ordered from the kid’s menu, starting with pane all’aglio – caramelised garlic and mozzarella bread, followed by pollo Milanese – breaded chicken and pappardelle pomodoro. I ordered the burrata which came with a salad of grilled vegetables, followed by the pizza margherita classico.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

Unfortunately there was a mix up with the order, so all the food came at once, which took a while to come out of the kitchen and my son was a bit beyond himself with hunger by the time it arrived. The waiter apologised for the mix up and offered us a complimentary dessert, more of which later.

Having so many dishes in front of us at once was quite over facing, and as a result the garlic bread mostly got left behind. It was nice bread, but without the cheese it definitely needed some oil or something to dip into.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

The boy loved his chicken, it was beautifully cooked, with crispy breadcrumbs and lots of lovely fresh pasta. He left the tomatoes, but I snaffled those up. I was impressed to find such a grown up dish on the kid’s menu.

My burrata was absolutely delicious. Beautifully silky mozzarella with some of the loveliest grilled vegetables I’ve ever had. The dish was missing ingredients which were listed on the menu, which was a shame, but it was one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten in a long time.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

My pizza was good. It had a lovely thin and crispy base and a thick layer of sauce and cheese. It was nicely priced at £7.95 and I can see why the pizzas would be a very popular takeaway option.

As we had been promised compensatory gelato, and gelato was the speciality of the house, we went ahead and ordered some for pudding. He ordered the coppa al cioccolato – chocolate and vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate and caramel sauce, whipped cream and a chocolate flake. I ordered a scoop each of the raspberry and lemon sorbets. The gelato was very delicious, and well worth stopping by for if you want a sweet treat.

Dining Out: Capocci's Pop Up Restaurant, Media City

As we came to leave, our original waiter had left and not passed on the message about the mix up, so we were billed for our gelato; this rankled a bit as we wouldn’t have ordered it otherwise. I just settled the bill as it was quite late and I needed to get him home to bed.

The service was friendly and attentive; but the mix up over our order meant I had to manage a very grumpy and hungry boy for longer than I would have liked, and the rescinded offer of complimentary gelato wasn’t a great way to end the meal.

The food at Capocci’s was delicious. I would have liked to have seen more proper vegetarian options on the menu; but what I had was excellent and I would eat there again. It’s a really lovely spot to have a pop up restaurant, as the day turns to night, you get to enjoy one of my favourite views of Salford Quays – the lights from The Lowry and the Imperial War Museum glistening on the water. It’s a brilliant spot for a romantic dinner for two, or a family meal with the kids; plus it’s dog friendly!

Capocci’s Pop Up Restaurant is only in Manchester until 22nd September; so if you fancy it, it’s worth getting down to Media City pretty pronto! For more information and to take a look at their menu, visit their website.

We were given a (mostly) complimentary meal in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.

Book Review: Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans

AD/Gifted. One of the things we enjoy most during our quiet times at home is sharing our love of Roald Dahl books. I grew up reading The BFG, Matilda and The Twits and it’s been nothing short of lovely to read them with my son. To add an extra layer of interest, this month we have been dipping in and out of a new book Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans.

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans was published in August 2019 and is illustrated by Quentin Blake. Written by Roald Dahl and Stella Caldwell, it is a really beautifully presented book, with die-cut pages which mean you can press out around the images and create a parade of heroes and villains. You can press out some of the characters entirely and keep them safe in the envelope which is tucked away on the last page.

Book Review: Roald Dahl's Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans

The book features both heroes and villains from The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG. The pages are bursting with detail about the characters and their dastardly deeds, or brave heroics. Each section allows you to get closer to the characters; learning more about their lives and giving them the chance to dive into their fantastical worlds and meet new people along the way.

We especially loved the die-cut pages, which mean you can keep your pages intact, or carefully pop out portions of the pages if you prefer. It’s a really tactile and interesting way to enjoy a book.

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans is a beautiful companion piece for any Roald Dahl fan. We’ve loved pouring over the pages and soaking up all the delicious detail. It’s as beautiful as you would imagine a book illustrated by Quentin Blake would be, but lush with words from Roald Dahl and author Stella Caldwell. It’s suitable for ages 6+ and would make a really lovely gift for fans of any age.

Book Review: Roald Dahl's Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans

Roald Dahl’s Beastly Brutes & Heroic Human Beans costs £14.99 (hardback) and is available from a wide range of book shops and online (affiliate link).

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to read our review of The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

AD/Gifted. The school holidays can take some filling. In the last few days of freedom before school started again I was running on empty and fast running out of ideas. With an afternoon free and two boys to entertain, I pulled out this So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory; sold it to them as a science experiment and accidentally turned two boys into bath bomb entrepreneurs.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory costs £19.99 and contains everything you need to make 6 bath bombs. The set includes a mixing station, 3 storage tubes and a moulding shape, a pipette and measuring spoon, 12 bags of powder, 2 bags of decorations, 4 surprise figurines and an instruction leaflet.

Despite initial protests that the set was for girls, once I’d unpacked everything and set it up, the boys got very into mixing the ingredients together. To make the bath bombs, you mix a packet of coloured baking soda and one of citric acid together, add a little bit of water and any sprinkles or surprise figures, press it together and leave it to dry out for half an hour in the mould. It’s really easy and really fun to do.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The boys were as interested in the raw ingredients as they were the final product. I let them have a little taste of the citric acid, it’s pretty much what sherbet is made of, just without the sugar. They learned that citric acid is a key ingredient in all kinds of fizzy sweets. Mixed with the coloured baking soda you get a super-fizzy bath bomb. We did proper science and they really did enjoy it.

The instructions were really clear and easy to follow. I think it’s one of the best sets of this kind we’ve tried. The mixing ball was a little bit tricky to open, so it might need a bit of adult supervision. I used a butter knife to ease it open. You also need to make sure the kids aren’t going mad adding water. My son added far too much and it took an age to dry out.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The resulting bath bombs were brilliant. I don’t think either boy had ever had a bath with a bath bomb before, and both were thrilled with the fizziness of it all. There’s enough in the kit to make 6 scented bath bombs. I suspect you can probably buy the ingredients elsewhere and once you’ve used up all the powder packets included, you can carry on making your own.

The So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory was a brilliant way to spend an afternoon with the boys. They were both interested and enthusiastic about making the bath bombs and I think they learned a few things too. I would absolutely do this with them again.

Toy Review: So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory

The So BOMB DIY Bath Bomb Factory costs £19.99 and is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon (affiliate link). It’s a great set, everything you need is included and it’s just a brilliant box of bath bomb making fun.

Disclosure: We were set this bath bomb making kit in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: The Careless Collection – Artisan Chocolates

AD/Gifted Product. Masterchef 2018 finalist and pilot, David Crichton, has launched an exciting new range of handmade luxury chocolates – including a vegan selection and a bright pink ruby chocolate bar. The Careless Collection is a contemporary new range of handmade luxury chocolate bars in distinct flavours and vibrant colours.  Each recipe has been created in David’s development kitchen in Cheadle Hulme, offering unique flavour combinations for sophisticated palates. He sent me a box from The Careless Collection to try out.

His inspiration for the range came from the TV show when the contestants were tasked with creating a dish for an idol and he chose George Michael. Based on the song ‘Careless Whisper’ and the chocolate bar Wispa, he created two variations – one with a rich chocolate mousse and balsamic vinegar, and the other with salted butter caramel. He has since developed these two bars and added to the range.

The Careless Collection

The flavour combinations are something you might not have tried before, I know I certainly haven’t. Each box costs £12.50 and contains four bars. The box I received had a bar of each of the four flavours, which was a great way to introduce yourself to the range.

The Dark – Heirloom Ecuadorian Nacional 71% dark chocolate shell, filled with a salted butter caramel, olive oil and balsamic vinegar ganache. This is by far the richest bar in the collection, seriously good chocolate filled with an incredibly rich salted caramel butter. There are hints of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but they are gentle and don’t overwhelm the chocolate. It is very rich and I love (really love) the slated caramel butter, I’d like a big jar of that and a spoon please.

The Milk – Single Origin Venezuelan 43.5% cocoa shell, filled with toasted coconut and lime. This smelled like a posh bounty bar, and tasted like a very posh bounty bar. The coconut inside was delicious and beautifully offset with the lime. It wasn’t too sweet either, which I sometimes find with coconut. This was one of my favourites.

The Ruby – Using a very unique, naturally occurring, ruby cocoa bean, the chocolate (which I’ve never tried before) really tastes of berries. The bar is filled with muscovado caramel, and a rich dark chocolate ganache flavoured with floral notes of rose and lychee. The rose was reminiscent of Turkish delight, but not at all overpowering. It was, I think my favourite, just because it was so unusual.

The White – 29% Cocoa butter white chocolate shell, with a unique blueberry, tonka bean and basil filling. The sweet white chocolate really brings out the cherry notes from the Tonka bean. The blueberry is subtle but it’s a delicious combination.

The Careless Collection is a truly artisan product, handmade and unique. They’re the kind of thing you’d bring out after dinner to share with friends; a real conversation starter and a great way to finish a meal. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to scoff the whole bar to yourself. I think they’re best cut up and shared with friends. Sharing is caring, after all.

For more information about The Careless Collection or to buy online, you can visit the website.

We were sent a box of chocolates for the purposes of this review. All images and opinions are our own.

Our summer – living with lovely chaos

This morning my son went off to spend the day with his cousin. There’s not a lot that’s unusual about this, but it’s been a date which has been in my diary for weeks. It’s been a little beacon of peace in what has been quite a busy summer. I’ve been looking forward to today for ages. I had grand plans to catch up on some work, do a bit of life admin, tidy up a bit and maybe just sit and watch something on TV, something which isn’t Horrid Henry!

I’ve done most of my work, I’ve done my life admin and drunk some still hot when I got to them drinks. It’s been very useful, but I’ve not loved it. I went on Twitter and just tweeted about my day, I described our days together as lovely chaos, and in that I think I perfectly described him and us and our family life.

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

Like many family homes a late night walk to the bathroom means you run the gauntlet of discarded toys. There’s still an element of paddling when you go to the loo, the dining table is covered with half made crafts, science experiments, and drawings he has done or is doing. I don’t have a living room, I have a room which is given over to a wonderfully complex wooden train set which I’m pretty much forbidden to touch, lest I do something wrong.

The kitchen is a mess, mostly of his making. His constant school holiday hunger is driving me close to bankruptcy. I can’t make, bake or buy enough food to fill his belly each day. His favourite snack is toast which he’s recently learned to make himself. My kitchen is now given over to shifting dunes of toast crumbs and sticky surfaces where he’s dolloped honey or jam.

I wouldn’t change a thing.

This summer hasn’t always felt like my favourite. He’s pushed back a bit, he’s trying to assert himself and I’m giving way where I need to, he’s 8 now and needs room to grow into himself. Equally, he’s 8 now and needs to stop thinking he is king of the house and my direct line manager. He needs to learn to give and take and to listen to me. Like the time I told him not to walk into ankle deep mud whilst wearing the only shoes he had with him for the weekend.

Glamping at Camp Katur, North Yorkshire

The house seems too quiet, too tidy and too big without him. He goes back to school next week and I’m getting a little taste of my days without his lovely chaos. I will miss him and all the really ace stuff we’ve been doing, but he needs to get back into a routine. I need to start cracking on with my life and it would be nice to get my house back to something approaching tidy.

I’ve loved my summer of lovely chaos with my boy, the highs have been high and the lows thankfully not too low. We’ve been on adventures, we’ve done a million things, but being with my boy, learning with him and about him is the loveliest thing of all.

Win a set of Bigjigs Frog Skittles

Bigjigs have been making and selling traditional wooden toys since 1985. Since my son was born, we’ve always had lots of Bigjigs in the house, his wooden train set is still very much loved and played with most days. Their toys are robust and designed to delight and entertain children. I have one set of Bigjigs Frog Skittles to giveaway. Read on to find out more.

The Bigjigs Frog Skittles set contains six cheeky frog skittles and two differently coloured balls. The Bigjigs Frog Skittles set is an excellent way to improve dexterity and hand/eye co-ordination and is suitable for ages 3 years and up.

The Bigjigs Frog Skittles is available from a range of retailers and online for around £15.49.Bigjigs Frog Skittles

WIN A Bigjigs Frog Skittles SET

To be in with a chance to win a set of Bigjigs Frog Skittles, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5. The winner will be sent a set of Bigjigs Frog Skittles.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 29th September 2019.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will not be shared with any external party.
11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Dealing with Sun Cream refusers, with Childs Farm

AD/Gifted Product. I think it’s probably fair to say that most people don’t enjoy wearing sun cream. It’s sticky and greasy and it quite often brings me out in spots. If you’ve got a sensory disorder, like my son, then even the merest suggestion of putting sun cream on can be really challenging. I can’t keep him in all summer, and for a while we have compromised with a big sunhat and just cream on his arms, but a sunny holiday in Devon and us all wanting some beach time means, that we have had to insist on sun cream on all of his uncovered bits.

Over the years we have tried all kinds of tricks to get sun cream on him. We have applied it while he is asleep, we have ambushed him and we have tried getting him to put cream on us so he knows it’s ok. This week we showed him some pictures of bad sunburn, so he knew what could happen if he wasn’t careful and I gave him a bag of Childs Farm creams and carefully explained why he really needed to use them. He started by helping put sun cream on me, the back of my neck always gets a bit pink and is one of the areas he dislikes the cream the most, so he used a roll on cream on me, then rubbed it in. He’s a helpful boy.

There was a spray one which he used on my arms. He liked spraying the cream too. He seemed to react most negatively to the more traditional lotion. I let him rub some on my arms, then I admired his handy work. He went away and obviously thought about it for a little while, then came back and picked up the roll on cream and tried it on his arms. This was a really positive step, so I tentatively suggested he try it on his legs. This went down surprisingly well and a few minutes later he was dancing around my room shouting “Mum, I’ve overcome my greatest fear” whilst rubbing sun cream on the back of his neck.

This was all such a huge breakthrough, huge. I genuinely could have wept with relief. I’m not sure what the catalyst was. It could have been me patiently going through things again with him, it could have been the sunburn photos, it could have been having his own sun creams, or it could have been me saying we wouldn’t be able to go to the beach again if he wasn’t wearing cream. Whatever it was it worked, and I’m forever grateful.

Dealing with Sun Cream refusers, with Childs Farm

He’s very familiar with the Childs Farm brand, he uses quite a lot of their products at bath time anyway. I think using a brand he already enjoys was helpful too. I really like using their moisturiser myself, so I knew the sun cream would be kind to my sensitive skin too.

The Childs Farm sun cream range has factor 30 and 50 spf sun creams, most of which are water resistant and protects from UVA and UVB rays. It is suitable for babies and children and adults. It is dermatologist and paediatrician approved and suitable for sensitive skin and safe for people who may be prone to eczema.

We were sent a selection of sun creams and were not asked for anything in exchange. I wrote about our experience because it’s been so hard for us to get our son to use any cream at all!

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

AD/ Press Trip. We have been going to Just So since 2014 and we are huge fans of this wonderfully magical family festival. Each year is different from the last, sure there are some of the same things going on, but each year is delightfully different. Just So Festival 2019 was their 10th festival and memorable for a million reasons.

This summer has been a bit damp, we’ve had fairly extreme rain and some sunshine. I was hoping for a sunshiney weekend, but as we packed up the car on Friday morning, the heavens opened and over the next 12 hours dumped about a months worth of rain on the North West. We arrived at Rode Hall during a huge deluge and despite the best efforts of the organisers, we had to wait for about 45 minutes to get on site, which was fine.

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

We were camping in the Accessible Camping area and despite the rain we managed to pitch the tent and go and get our wristbands. By the time we were unpacked and settled, it was 8pm and the boy was asking to go to bed. It was still raining so decided to turn in early in the hopes that the morning would bring some sunshine.

Saturday did bring sunshine, so we put our wellies on and headed onto the site to explore. I’m not going to lie, it was very muddy, pretty slippy and quite treacherous in parts. I have limited feeling in my feet, so this made things harder for me to get about. My husband lent a steady arm and we explored as best we could. A lot of families were recreating the “squelch squerch” pages from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, which tickled us quite a lot, maybe they need a Bear Tribe for next year?

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

Saturday at Just So Festival 2019 saw us enjoy a whole load of fun things; the Silent Disco, the Woodland Library, Sirin, Toast, Campfire Stories and Campfire Songs, the Woodland Playground, The Retrosettes and a wander down to the lake to watch people go for a row. We met up with some wonderful friends and had a gossip, a catch up and a play. We sat down a lot because I was finding walking on the mud a bit hard going, but it didn’t dampen our spirits too much. Squelch squerch.

Sunday arrived and the site had dried up a treat. It was still muddy, but not as slippy as it had been and I found I could get around an awful lot easier. We launched ourselves into our last day and walked around looking for all the small things which bring us Just So joy, like the Dream Antelopes, the rollerskating flamingos and Boudicca on her chariot.

We ventured down to Footlights again for lunch and a listen to Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers. Wandering through the woods past the queue to meet the Fairy Queen, up to the Spellbound Forest and around the campfire with the very incredible Professor Pumpernickel (not pumpy knickers, as he corrected us). The blue haired professor is always a highlight. His collections of whizz-banging experiments are not to be missed and the boy was rapt. He even went up to him afterwards and had a chat with him, which demonstrated a huge leap in his confidence.

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

He loved the Giant Marble Run and Hammer and Chisel. We didn’t make Clay Faces this time, but we can do that at home too, so it’s no hardship. We listened to Hurrah for the Pirate King and danced to the ukulele orchestra. Together, we did all kinds of brilliant things and we filled our hearts up with a enough magic and wonder to last us a while yet.

I always find it takes a day to unwind, shake off our real world stresses and properly get into the rhythm of Just So. Our evenings by the campfire, listening to stories and singing our hearts out are a highlight. We love the live music, we love dancing down the Flamingo Lounge. We love the bits of magic around every corner.

It’s such a shame that the heavens opened and cast a cloud over the festival. There were a few grumbles and I did retire early on health and safety grounds on the Saturday night, but all the staff were really helpful and did their very best to make sure the show did go on.

It would have been nice if the sun had shone a little more, but we made a whole lot of muddy memories and my son had such a brilliant time. One of the most important things about our Just So weekends are that they really make us disconnect from our busy lives and reconnect with each other. It’s not just about the magic and the wonder, it’s about slowing down, dressing up as an owl (or a fox, or a stag, or a fish) for a few days and just experience life through the eyes of my child.

Family Festival Review: Just So Festival 2019

I hope next year it’s drier and a lot less muddy, but no less magical. I take my hat off to everyone who worked at Just So Festival 2019 and everyone who managed to bring joy to the weekend in spite of the weather.

See you round the campfire next year?

To grab your tickets for next year’s Just So Festival, visit www.justsofestival.org.uk.

We were invited guests of the Just So Festival 2019, we were given weekend camping tickets in exchange for this review. All images and opinions are our own.

Days Out: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Lowry

AD/Press Trip. One of our favourite places to visit is The Lowry and Salford Quays. There’s so much to do there, from the Imperial War Museum North, The Lowry Outlet, Blue Peter Garden and of course The Lowry itself. There’s always something fun on and it’s worth a visit just for a look around the galleries upstairs, but during the school holidays there’s even more fun on offer.

This week we were invited to visit The Lowry, have lunch at Pier Eight and watch their summer blockbuster – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, followed by an actual bear hunt. With summer holiday boredom seriously kicking in at home, we relished the chance to have an afternoon of bear hunting at The Lowry.

Days Out: We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Lowry

We began by having lunch at Pier Eight. I’ve eaten there before in the evening and the food has always been excellent. We ordered from the new bar menu, the boy chose pasta from the kids menu, and I chose four of the small plates. There is currently a lunchtime offer where you can get four small plates and two drinks for £18, which is really good value.

Days Out: We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Lowry

I chose the soup of the day, which was celeriac, one of my favourites. I also ordered the dirty fries, topped with cheese, crispy onions and spicy mayo. There was a dish of falafel and hummus and some delicious broad bean bruschetta. It would have been a very fine lunch for two, but definitely a delicious but too big lunch for one!

Days Out: We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Lowry

After lunch we made our way to The Quays theatre for the 2pm performance of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. The boy is 8 now and I did wonder if he might be a little too old for it, but I needn’t have worried. It was an hour of brilliant fun, we were both laughing our socks off, joining in in all the right places and singing and dancing in our seats. It really is a fabulous show, packed full of memorable songs and funny moments. It’s a treat and a half, and a great way to spend an afternoon.

We’d had such a lot of fun, we decided to do The Lowry Bear Hunt, or as much of it as we could. Around The Lowry and The Lowry Outlet there are lots of big bear benches dotted about, all have a page of bear facts to read. It’s great fun and we loved trying to find them all.

Days Out: We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Lowry

Upstairs at The Lowry is The Lookout where throughout the summer you can find lots of different and free family activities. On the day we visited there were lots of colouring and craft activities on offer, so we just enjoyed hanging out and doing a bit of colouring together.

We had a brilliant afternoon at The Lowry, there was lots for the boy to do. We both absolutely loved the play and the actual bear hunt was inspired and lots of fun. If you’re stuck in the summer holiday doldrums, an afternoon down Salford Quays is a great way to perk everyone up!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt runs at The Lowry until 1st September, for more information or to buy tickets, visit the website.

Days Out: We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Lowry

We were invited guests of The Lowry and received complimentary tickets and a meal in exchange for our review.