Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sherwood Forest Break

A few weeks ago my mum asked if I fancied going on a short break before I go back to work. Of course I was keen and on Monday we headed north to Sherwood Castle Holiday Forest Lodge Park.
I booked the break through Hoseasons via the Teletext website, it was a bargain at £116 for 4 nights! We arrived about 5pm on Monday and I headed to reception to check us in. The medieval styled reception was used at the end of the movie Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves where Robin Hood escaped the Sheriff of Nottingham. 
I got our key and we drove down to our lodge. The lodges have a parking bay beside them, ideal for loading/unloading luggage and boy do you have lots of stuff when you go away with a baby!
The lodge had a lovely rustic feel and we had the view of the trees in front of us.

It had everything you needed, two bedrooms, kitchen and living area with TV and DVD player. Kitchen with fridge, microwave and dishwasher and a bathroom with a spa bath, lovely!!!
My mum isn't the type of person to go away and cook so we had breakfast in our lodge and ate out the rest of the time. On the first night we went to a pub up the road called The Rose Cottage. Which also happens to be round the corner from Center Parcs Sherwood Forest and well worth a visit. The menu offers a range of cusine, British, American and Mexican. We both ordered a pie which was
served piping hot with a generous amount of veg and chips. There was nothing we could fault about this place.

The next day we popped into the local Tesco in Ollerton, where I picked up some bargains in the F+F sale, which I will do a separate post or first vlog about.
Next we drove over to the nearest big-ish town. Mansfield and had a mosey round the shops. We went for dinner at an Italian restaurant called BB's, which accepts the Tastecard.

The restaurant was based upstairs but the staff were very helpful and assisted us with taking the buggy up. They bought over a highchair and made a fuss of Eliot. To start we had 'Tomato and Garlic bread' which was very tasty. For mains I had penne 'arriabiata' (one of my faves) and my mum had spaghetti dolcelatte. Both dishes were very nice and Eliot enjoyed his share of spaghetti dolcelatte.

On Wednesday we ventured to Newark to have a short nose before driving over to Nottingham.

I didn't take any pictures there but Nottingham is a huge place. I've been once before on a boozy night out when a friend was at uni but never saw the centre during the day. There are some pretty buildings there and I bought a lovely outfit for E in the huge Next.

That evening we went to The Big Fish for dinner which was near where we were staying. My mum ordered homemade fishcakes and I ordered 'Yorkshire' fishcakes. I should have asked what they were as I had no idea. When they came up it was fish in batter between to large potato slices and deep fried. I tried a mouthful of one and a bit of one of my mums fishcakes. I ate most of my chips but my mum barely touched hers, she was pretty certain they were frozen and was convinced the oil was old. None of the staff came to see how the meal was which wasn't good. My mum complained when they eventually came to take the plates. After waiting some more time, a more senior waitress came over and my mum explained again. The waitress told us the fat had just been changed and that they use beef dripping to fry the food. So if you're looking for a heart attack on a plate, this is a good place to visit but it wasn't for us.


The following morning we headed down to 'Animal Corner' at the holiday park which was great to have on site and wonderful for kids. There were sheep, chickens, pygmy goats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Eliot enjoyed watching the sheep in particular!

We then drove to the village of Bakewell, home of the Bakewell slice after Emma from Frugally Peachy recommended a visit. It was over an hour away but such a pretty drive through the countryside. Living in London it's hard to believe there is so much green space in the UK, I always fully appreciate it when I get to experience it! It's such a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of city living.

The first thing we did was head to a coffee shop to sample some bakewell! I wasn't overly keen on the traditional version I tried, I preferred my mums coconut and jam slice.
 Unfortunately it was a rainy afternoon but we braved the showers and had a wander around.
There was a village apothecary called 'Elliot Rose' so of course Eliot had his picture taken underneath 'Elliott' even if it was a different spelling!
We stumbled across a greengrocer which I had to take a snap of as not many exist today. At work
there was a story which featured a greengrocers that I often came across with the children but none of them knew what it was so I'm sure I'll be able to use the photo in work too.
I loved it, Bakewell is worth a visit if you're holidaying in the area!

On the way back to the lodge we stopped for dinner at a Chinese restaurant called China Fong. It had a choice of menus to order from, we opted for the three course menu for £7.50. We shared satay chicken and prawn toasts for starters. There was very little prawn on the prawn toast but the satay
 chicken was pretty tasty. Eliot tried his first prawn cracker and loved it that much he was crying for more!
For main course I had beef with mushrooms and my mum had chicken curry. We shared rice and noodles to accompany the dishes. They were both very nice.
The dessert included on the menu was Black Forest Gateaux with ice cream, which was ok but I was  feeling full for pudding at this point anyway.

When we arrived back at the lodge it was bath and bedtime for Eliot before packing some bits ready to leave in the morning.

On route home we stopped off in Melton Mowbray for lunch in a little cafĂ© called 'The Elms'. The staff we so friendly and made such a fuss over Eliot. The food was freshly cooked to order, they serve everything from breakfasts to afternoon tea. If you're passing through this would be a great pit stop!

Overall it was a lovely break and so refreshing to escape hectic London for a few days. I would definitely head back to the area we stayed in as there's so much more to see and I recommend the holiday park we stayed in for a base.

Now looking forward to our first family hol at the beginning of April!

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