Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog

29/08/2016

Blazers and Bank Holiday style


Monochrome fashion


What a wonderful end to a bank holiday, after a bit of a rainy start it was nice to finish with a blast of sunshine and some time spent in Cardiff at the Street Food Circus and then a walk through the park. You can really sense that change in season with the days slowly getting cooler and more jackets are making there way out from the back of my wardrobe. 

I also treated myself to this cute organic Cactus printed tee from one of my favourite ethical brands People Tree and managed to get this for a real steal in their sale and adds that little bit of colour to what would be a straight monochrome outfit. So this weekends street style outfit is Karen Millen trousers, People Tree t-shirt, Wallis blazer, Doc Marten shoes and an Anchor and Crew necklace. 




I have to say secretly I am quite looking forward to Autumn, don't get me wrong I absolutely love summer as it's my favourite season of all but there is something so lovely and cosy about Autumn, as well as watching the leaves change and getting the big chunky sweaters out. Who else feels the same? 


26/08/2016

Taylors Tea and saving Bees


bee mug


I feel with age and each year passing I've started to see a more defined picture of myself, what I stand for and believe in and the type of legacy I want to leave behind for my children. As I get older my passion for the environment, outdoors and nature has grown year on year and as a household we aim to consciously leave as little impact on this earth as possible. As they say one person cannot make much of a difference but if we all made small positive changes together we really could make an impact.

If your interested in gardening and the environment, like most people will know our precious native British honey bees have been in decline but a whole 50% over the past 25 years which really is a very scary thought when so much depends on them. The sad thing is a lot of their decline is down to us and how we treat this beautiful planet of ours, the pollution, pesticides and man-made changes to their environment so when Taylors Of Harrogate got in touch to tell me they were giving something back to the bees and providing them with the most amazing Grand Budapest Inspired Hive.


Grand Budapest Hotel


They also sent us a little starter pack with wild flower seeds and our own mini bee hotel to make our garden as friendly and welcoming to bees and pollinating insects. One section of our garden has been purposely been left to grow wild with a few brambles and blackberries hanging over the garden walls with an abundance of hedge woundwort, roses and various other creepers, there is also a little bench and it's my favourite spot to relax in on a warm day while watching the kids run around. Near our wild spot is a little walled shelf where we have placed our original bug hotel which has become home to a few solitary overflies, spiders and woodlouse and now our new mini bee hotel stands proudly next to it and we are hoping the nearby flowers will attract some new residents to it.


rose bush

bug hotel


There are so many simple and easy ways to help protect and attract bees to your garden, courtyard or even balcony and these small actions can lead to big change. Remember the worlds crops and flowering plants rely on insects such as bees, wasps,  hoverflies and such to pollinate and without them it would directly affect to food we eat or the tea and coffee we drink. Grow Wild are even giving away a packet of Free Wild flower seeds to help get you started.

Here are the top 3 ways to attract bees to your outdoor space

1. Plant groups of colourful flowers together in sunny spots. They especially love Lavender, Buttercups and Sunflowers.
2. Reduce or preferable stop the use of pesticides in your garden.
3. Provide solitary bees with a safe place to make their home, such as a mini bee hotel.


adult colouring


Another way to help the Bee cause is support the Bumblebee Conservation Trust which is now 7000 members strong and still growing. They are working to stop and reverse the decline of the British bumblebee population as well as educate people about how important these mini pollinators really are.

I am so pleased to be involved with this Taylors Bee Campaign and it's a really positive step in the right direction seeing companies investing time and money into giving back to nature. At the end of the day a world without bees is a world without tea (and many others things too). Taylors also have some amazing new herbal teas out with Rose Lemonade and Spiced Apple being my favourite. They also have an amazing competition running at the moment with the chance to win an all inclusive family trip to Kews Garden including train travel and lunch at the Orangery restaurant, so do check them out.

An associated post

23/08/2016

Northern France with P&O and Hotel Du Parc

Happy baby


If you follow our family travel adventures on Instagram you may have already noticed that at the beginning of summer we spent a long weekend exploring the small village of Hardelot in Northern France as well as the fascinating sea centre Nausicaa in Boulogne-sur-Mer. 

We have done a fair few short European breaks taking either the Eurostar or Ferry although always as foot passengers so my eldest was extremely excited at the prospect of driving our car onto a ferry and driving off again in another country. The journey from South Wales to Dover  is just over 4hrs so we decided to stay at a Premier Inn on the way down from Cardiff to split up the journey. This meant we were only an hour away from the ferry terminal in the morning making for a far more relaxed start to what would be a long day.

Once we arrived into Dover, the check-in service for our P&O Ferry  was very quick and straight forward despite there being cues later in the season our experience was a positive one. After we had parked our car up before boarding we went for a little walk around the ferry terminal which has views of the ships as well as a cafe, bar and shop. 


channel crossing



Once on board we made a beeline to the open deck as my eldest wanted to wave goodbye to the White Cliffs of dover and I always find leaving port an exciting time. The crossing was a little windy but mainly smooth throughout and there is just enough to see and do on these medium sized ferries that young children don't get bored including a little play area, TV or if you want you can now connect to the wifi. There is also plenty of food options from more formal dining in the Brasserie to a more casual family affair in the food court or coffee shops. 


family travel


Once we arrived in Calais it didn't take long to get back on the road and on our way to Hardelot, a small French costal village around 45 minutes away and close to the northern city of Boulogne-sur-Mer. Finding our  hotel was surprisingly easy (okay so we used a SatNav) despite its wonderful rural location. Hotel Du Parc is the perfect spot for those who want some down time, relaxing with long walks as the hotel is surrounded by areas of forest, golf and horse riding facilities. 


Hardest

stunning pool


The area is very French and therefore a lot of the hotel clientele is also French which is lovely and added a real authentic feel to the place, although this did causes a few interesting attempts at conversations with the reception staff who were very friendly and patient of our terrible attempts at French (at least we always try). The room was fantastic with a small balcony eating area and more than enough space for a family to be comfortable in for even extended stays. There is also plenty to do onsite including a stunning outdoor pool, sauna,  tennis courts and a small kids play park. The hotel also houses one of the best restaurants in the area although it was fairly formal and would be easier with slightly older children then our own although the bar area had plenty of seating and was a nice relaxing and family friendly space with a small bar menu. 

The small town of Hardelot is only a 2 kilometre walk or a matter of minutes in the car and has a variety of bakeries, cafes, creperies as well as a variety of restaurants and boutique shops and it had a really lovely atmosphere to it. This is certainly an area we would like to explore more in the future especially as we ran out of time to visit Chateau d'Hardelot, a local historical site. 

We only spent two nights at Hotel Du Parc but it was very relaxing and the perfect base for exploring the area including visiting one of the biggest attractions outside of Paris and leading marine centre in France, Nausicaa. I will be sharing our experience of Nausicaa very soon. 


Hotel Du Parc


We were guests at Hotel Du Parc in associating with Nausicaa
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