We.Are.FAM-ILY

Molly and I have spent the last two weekends celebrating with our loved ones, occasions that are definitely worth sharing.

To mark the 80th birthday of my grandpa, we had lunch at Hotel Du Vin in Tunbridge Wells, where we were provided with our own room, complete with super friendly and accommodating waiter Antonio, who couldn’t have been more charming.

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Regardless of whether you have something to celebrate, I would definitely recommend a trip to Hotel Du Vin (especially when the sun is shining) for a drink in the perfectly manicured gardens, or for a delicious bite to eat. They are child friendly, (Antonio drew several pictures for Molly to colour in), and they often have great deals to take advantage of. Take a look at their website for special offers but some of my tried and tested favorites are:

  • Spend £75 in the bistro and get a room for £25 on a Sunday evening. We used this deal in the Brighton hotel which was lovely, and even had a roll top bath in the bedroom!
  • A 4 course Sunday lunch (including a French Market Table buffet with a large selection of seafood, salads and breads) for just £24.95

The following weekend was spent celebrating the wedding of one of my best friends. I wouldn’t normally blog about a wedding but this event was so special I had to share it with you. To give a bit of background, the bride and groom are landscape gardeners who were lucky enough to host their reception in the incredible grounds that they maintain (and live within), in idyllic and picturesque countryside with their very own chicken coup, pigs sty, and vegetable patch.

If you think of the perfect countryside wedding, this was it. It had everything from festoon lights, rustic tables and chairs, hay bales, lanterns, a hog roast, and it even had a basket full of giant marshmallows next to the fire pit. The children were kept entertained with a ‘creative station’ with colouring and stickers, and there was also fancy dress box (with a variety of wigs and props for the makeshift photo booth) which Molly took an instant liking too. In fact, during the best man’s speech, she appeared wondering straight passed the top table wearing a multi-coloured clowns wig and oversized glasses, carrying her best ‘serious’ expression, completely oblivious to what she was disrupting.

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The caterers were amazing and made sure the day was full of yumminess, the florist was incredible and did an outstanding job with the country theme, and the cake was one of the best wedding cakes I have ever seen, which was subsequently cut with an axe.

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While the evening guests joined us on the dance floor to the sound of the brilliant band, Molly was more than happy making friends with the other children and running around in the different wigs. I kept going to check on her and she kept telling me that she was fine and that she didn’t want me ruining her vibe (not in such words, but may as well have been). She would appear every now and again with ‘presents’ for me, including half eaten marshmallows and arms full of glow sticks.

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As the night drew in, I was more than happy to wander around with molly falling asleep against my shoulder, she is normally so active that I have to make the most of her sleepy cuddles. Eventually, after my arms had gone numb and my hip felt like it was just about to crumble, I lay her down on a hay bale and we snuggled underneath a blanket, amongst the celebrations, and I couldn’t think of a place I would rather be. Most of our school friends were all together under the same roof, igniting all of our wonderful shared memories, and there I was, with my baby girl asleep in my arms.

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A day and night spent with my second family, which really couldn’t have been more perfect. A wonderful day for a wonderful couple, many congratulations to you both.

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If you are getting married, or know of anyone who is planning a wedding, make note of these guys, you won’t regret it:

Florist: Fleur Mantella

Caterers: Sussex Chef

Cake: Sharon Lord

Band: Baregrooves

Complete landscape design, maintenance and construction service: Robingate Landscapes