Sunday, 23 June 2019


I'm the type of person that just gets on. I just go along with it and do what is required. I'm not an anxious person or worrier but recently I've been feeling a tad overwhelmed!

How can I reduce my plastic pollution?
What about the polar bears?
Who's going to be the new PM?
How is Donald Trump in power?
Is global warming why it keeps raining?
Why has America changed it's abortion laws?
What about the bees?

This is on top of my normal weekly thoughts/tasks.

30 hour a week job, school runs, housework, homework, cooking, food shopping, daily quiz on what's for snack, pets, packed lunches, trying & failing at slimming world, attending slimming world, swimming lessons, football training, friends, family, elderly parent, partner, kids, life admin (remembered to book MOT but not the blood test!)....

The list goes on.

My own self care (god I hate that phrase but too tired to think of something better) goes out the window. I'm also a terrible contradiction. I really want to start some exercise but if I have 30 or more minutes free I'd rather faff on my phone. I then feel guilty. Likewise I'm currently on a yo-yo diet.  I know how to lose weight but seem unable to stick to it.

Time with my partner also goes out the window if I'm honest. If I do have time I'd rather read a book & have some peace; if he has time he'd rather go to the pub.

I saw a great quote recently "You can do anything but not everthing" (Credit unknown)

"You can do anything but not everthing"
Credit unknown

I think I need to remember this. Maybe take a little breather. Sod the housework. Take a walk and stay off Twitter. Oh and buy a lavender plant for the bees!

Hope you are all doing ok?

Emma xxx


Friday, 21 June 2019

Parks with Cafe's in Northamptonshire

A friend asked my advise on which park to take an 8 year old with a café I gave a few suggestions and it's inspired this guide.

My park guide has over 100 places to visit which range from basic to all singing & dancing Parks & Playgrounds in Northamptonshire however this guide is going to focus just on those with café facilities so us parents/grandparents/carers etc can treat ourselves to a cuppa (cake optional!) whilst the kids tire themselves out.

Stanwick Lakes

Café Solar is open every day (from 10am to 4.45pm March to October and 10am – 3.45pm November to February) and serves hot & cold food.  There's also an indoor play area called The hideaway.  The Skyloft Coffee lounge is on the mezzanine and in a quieter location.  Finally The Lakeside Terrace is perfect for sunny days.

Castle Ashby
Small tea room but lots of outside seating (some under a large canopy) Also a play area with plenty of seating & kiosk which serves drinks and some snacks. To enter the gardens there is an £8.50 per adult charge, £3.75 for children and under 5's free.

Abington Park
Aptly named The Park Café (need to double check opening times - found a couple of different ones online)

Umbrella Café Saturday 9am - 5pm Sundays 11am - 4 pm Closed Monday and Tuesday open Wednesday to Friday 11.00 - 13.00 enjoy cake, snacks and drinks and enjoy the artspace.

Bradlaugh Fields
The Barn only open 3 times per week.  Wednesday 9.30 to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.30 to 11.30am.  Tea, coffee and snacks served.
Stay & Play sessions are most Thursdays 9.30 to 11.30am £1.50 per family.

Radlands Skate Park/Beckets Park
The Outpost Cafe is next to the skate park 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday. The Ark Cafe boat is also based here.  Open Thursday to Sunday 10am to 4pm (11am Sunday). This is a vegan cafe by day and events venue by night.

Hunsbury Hill Country Park
The Drovers Return Café open 9am to 5pm 7 days a week.

Salcey Forest
Grounds Café open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and till 5.30pm Saturday & Sunday.

Sywell Country Park
Pump House Café open 10am to 5pm 7 days a week.
There is also a tots soft play area inside (small charge applies).

Brixworth Country Park
The Willow Tree Café Monday to Friday 10am to 4:30pm (hot and fresh food is served until 2:30pm) and Saturday, Sunday and School Holidays 10am to 5:00pm (hot and fresh food is served until 3pm).

Irchester Country Park
Quarryman's Cafe open 7 days per week.

Fermyn Woods Country Park  
Skylark Café opening time vary March to 4th November 10.30am to 4.45pm

5th November to February weekend 10.30am to 4.45pm and weekdays 11am to 3pm closed from 4pm 23rd December to 11am 2nd January.

Barnwell Country Park 
The Kingfisher Café. The cafe is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
Over Christmas the café will be closed on 24, 25, 26 December, and 1 January.
Rushden Lakes
There is an array of food outlets ranging from cafe's to restaurants.  Something for everyone after the nature walk and play area.

Fineshade Wood
Grounds Cafe Summer Hours (February to October) Mon-Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm Sat-Sun: 9:00am – 5:30pm Winter Hours (November to January) Mon –Fri: 9:30am – 4:00pm Sat-Sun: 9:00am – 5:00pm

East Carlton Country Park
Open all year and offers light meals, hot and cold drinks and ice-cream.

Wicksteed Park
Carousel Coffee shop, Peacock Cafe and Idea's Cafe but there is also fish & chips, burgers, pizza etc.  It is free to use the park & wander around (parking is payable).

Daventry Country Park
Reservoir Cafe 9am to 5.30pm daily except Christmas Day.

Just outside the 'Shire but worth a trip

Harrold-Odell Country Park
Dragonfly Cafe open daily from 9am to 4pm (5pm through the summer holidays). Breakfasts are served until 11.30am, light lunches until 3pm.

Rushmere Country Park
Tree Tops Cafe open daily 10am to 4pm (April to September till 5pm) snacks, hot and cold food, supporting local suppliers of quality produce using fresh, local ingredients (House of Coffee, Maynard's Dairy Ice Cream, Lickalix whole fruit ice lollies)

Emberton Country Park
Grounds Café Summer Hours (February to October) Mon-Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm Sat-Sun: 9:00am – 5:30pm Winter Hours (November to January) Mon –Fri: 9:30am – 4:00pm Sat-Sun: 9:00am – 5:00pm


Sunday, 28 April 2019

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes

Paradise Island Adventure Golf has landed at Rushden Lakes.  In the wreckage of an abandoned air craft, are two 18 hole adventure courses, spanning 14,000 sq/ft.  On the 19th hole you get the chance to win a free game! 

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes

I was invited along to try out the new Paradise Island Adventure Golf and can say it was a hit!  A few of the deceivingly simple holes caught us out and we all found the 2nd course slightly easier.  We were advised by a lovely member of staff that the 2nd course is also wheelchair friendly with wider access.  There was a wide variety of clubs to suit all heights and a good layout.  You can purchase snacks, drinks and there is a mini arcade, toilets and lockers.  

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes

Paradise Island Adventure Golf is located at the far end of Rushden Lakes in the same building as 360 Play and Rock Up.  With 5 hours free parking we had lunch after and a brief stroll along the boardwalk.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes

Paradise Island Adventure Golf is a perfect family activity and great way to get the kids out when you really cannot face another trip to the park. We spent just under 2 hours there which was for both courses.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes

They also offer a loyalty card.  Each time you visit you receive a stamp and after three visits you can claim 50% off entry, and after seven you receive a free game.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes

The only thing missing according to the kids was a water feature hole! We will definitely be back.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes
Prices are for 1 course - 
Under 5's £4
5-16 £6.50
Student/Concession £7
Adult £8.50
Family of 4 £26

For 2 courses - 
Under 5's £6
5-16 £9.75
Student/Concession £10.50
Adult £12.75
Family of 4 £39

Discounts for groups of 8 and over.

Paradise Island Adventure Golf Rushden Lakes
Opening hours - 
Monday to Thursday 12pm to 10pm
Friday 12pm to 11pm
Saturday 10am to 11pm
Sunday 10am to 10pm

** Disclaimer I received a family of 4 2 courses entry in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own**