We spent one day in Venice and we made the most of that day. We arrived at San Marco Square at approximately 9.45am, explored San Marco with a cherry Gelato in hand walked halfway towards Rialto Bridge.
The number 1 ferry boat took us along the Grand Canal which was absolutely magical like the view from Rialto Bridge. Rialto Bridge however was so busy that I only used it for a photo opportunity, if you have a pram with you, make sure you have a lot of strength, and then quickly moved onto to the Rialto Market. On the way we found a beautiful bar with the view of the Grand Canal, it was so relaxed and the waiters were not rushing to get us out and were very helpful with the baby, as nowhere seems to have baby changing facilities.
We found an amazing restaurant along the side roads of the market. I really would recommend spending some time to walk behind the main path ored San both our evening meals in Murano and the restaurants were so accommodating with the bubba and prams.
We ended the day in Cannaregio, known for the Jewish quarter. This area is residential but in true vennision style there are lovely relaxed bars along the canal. If you get fed up with the crowds but not ready to go back to the hotel, Cannaregio is a great place to go for a stroll or have another Aperol Spritz.
When you research Murano glass-making pops up. In 1291, all the glassmakers in Venice were forced to move to Murano due to the risk of fires. Now as you wonder the streets all the windows are filled with stunning coloured blown glass masterpieces.
When I started researching Murano on TripAdviser, I became slightly worried as the reviews were not that favourable, with complaints about the lack of restaurants and life in the evening. I agree that if you are on a girls’ holiday and you want bars and nightlife on your doorstep Murano is not the place for you. For families I couldn't recommend it more.
From the moment I stepped of the boat in Murano, it was everything I expected Venice to be. People were relaxed, sitting alfresco eating cichita with Aperol Spritz in hand. After exploring Venice and Burano it was always such a treat to return to Murano, too sit by canal and have a drink before returning to our hotel room to let Bubba crawl free. We both our evening meals in Murano and the restaurants were so accommodating with the bubba and prams.
‘Mum on the move’ Murano tips and tricks….
1] Murano is best in the day time for exploring. In the evening it is very relaxed with a few restaurants open till 10.30pm.
2] Murano has a very cute Childrens’ park with picnic tables if you need to let your kids’ run free.
3] You get more for your money in Murano, from the size of the hotel rooms to the cost of food and drink.
Burano is a beautiful Island in the Northern Venetian Lagoon, with 3000 inhabitants. It is best known for its lace making, fish dishes and one of the most colourful locations in the world.
The different colours of the houses, today is the islands main attraction. Historically the colourful houses were useful to delimit the properties. An ancient legend narrates that fishermen painted their houses to see them from long distance when they were far away for fishing.
Burano is such a charming little Island. I took the ferry boat from Murano and arrived at the Island at 9.30am. When we arrived it was a sleepy little village with a lot of charm. By visiting the Island earlier in the day it really allowed us to explore the little island, which had such a tranquil feel. We stopped at a local coffee shop, where you really could feel the community spirit.
At 10.30am the Island came to life, lots of boutique stores opened tables lined the pavements and the Island filled with visitors.
‘Mum on the move’ Burano tips and tricks….
1] If you want to walk around Burano with a pram arrive to before 10am, so you can dodge the crowds on the ferry to the Island. You will also get some great photo moments.
2] Pre 10.30am very few cafes are open just for drinks. Search out the local coffee shop off the main square. They are very welcoming to families and you will get a great coffee.
3] When the Island starts filling up pull up a chair with a great view and order an Aperol Spritz. My 10 month boy was entertained for at least 20 minutes people watching.
4] Note that the ferry back to Murano/Venice from 1pm is very busy so ensure you are the stop at least 10 minutes before the ferry is due to get at the front of the queue.
I love people watching and trying to capture people's everyday actions. Going to Burano early in the morning early allowed me to capture moments in Burano.
I can honestly say I have not noticed the beauty of cherry blossom till now. This year I have spent a lot of time exploring Kent and the greener parts of Greater London, and enjoyed watching the seasons change, especially watching the beautiful cherry blossom trees bloom.
Time Out featured the best places in London to see cherry blossom and I was surprised to see Greenwich park featured as I regularly go to Greenwich park.
There is a stunning walkway that goes past the cricket pitch towards the rose garden which leads to the back entrance of Rangers House. This walkway features the most beautifully planted Cherry Trees that create an arch over the path, and as Time Out wrote when in bloom it really looks like candy floss. Under the trees are benches perfect for relaxing under the bloom.
I went for a walk with my Bubba on Easter Sunday and saw the buds on tree. The photos I took are from Wednesday 18th April and Friday 20th April. From what I have read, the mini heatwave is the cause for the early blossom.
10 weeks ago I joined an evening class at City University to learn Photoshop. I love staying at home with my bubba but I really wanted to do something that was just for me for a couple of weeks, and something that was creative.
Over the last weeks all my very limited spare has been taken on practising ,rather than posting, and I have time had very limited time now as bubba is crawling, causing the most destruction around our house.
I met a really group of interesting people which included; photographers, novelists and app designers. I really would recommend any new mums to take a couple of hours a week to do something that challenges and liberates you from being a mum.
Lumiere London is back and with one more day, you have to make the trip to London as it really is spectacular. 18-21 January 2018.
London is a light festival with more than 50 artworks reimagine London’s architecture and streets, transforming the city into a dazzling nocturnal art exhibition. Each year international and local artists to create works that light buildings and public spaces, transforming cities across the UK with the aim to change the way we think and feel about public space.
This is my first post where I have not had my sidekick with me. I am quite adventurous with Troy however rush hour in London is one adventure too much, even for me! I saw many families with prams however all kids seemed over 3 and I am very glad that I did not have as I think the crowds would have overwhelmed him.
In 3 hours I managed to get round a third of the exhibitions. Kings Cross had a great cluster of illuminated interactive artworks, what was great about the Kings Cross pieces is they really captured the change this area has been through from derelict part of London to the center of tech and creativity. My two favourite installations in Kings Cross are Aether (York Way) and Waterlicht.
Luminer ‘Aether’, was a mesmerising show with powerful music perfectly matched with the wave of lights. After watching three rotations each time giving me shivers I pulled myself away and walked to Waterlicht. The Aether masterpiece has been created by a British collective of designers called Architecture Social Club with the soundscape created by Max Cooper.
After leaving Kings Cross I jumped on the tube and got off at Oxford Circus to see ‘Origin of the World Bubble 2018’. Suspended above the crossroads of Oxford Street and Regents Street this piece had crowds of people from angle looking up in awe. I saw the colour full projections but I have seen on Instagram that there were many artwork projections.
I walked through China Town, Carnaby Street and Trafalgar Square and ended my night in Leicester Square.
I loved Lumiere ‘Nightlife’ created by UK artist Jo Pocock in Leicester Square . This installation brought to life the English urban garden with English wildlife. The animals looked like they had been created with so much love as they are beautiful, warm and realistic creatures.
If you do decide to do it with a baby I think they will love it as all babies love lights, use the Visit London app to plan what you want to see and beware of the crowds. The pieces of art around Southbank would be a great area visit with kids as it is mainly pedestrian areas and there are loads of places (Tate Modern, Southbank Centre) where you can pop inside for a nappy change.
Click for more information on Lumiere London.
I have just returned from my first holiday to Lisbon as a family. With the flights booked while I was pregnant, I had been looking forward to this holiday for a long time. Truthfully even though I was filled with excitement I was a little anxious as our holidays as a couple have always been a mix of exploring and relaxing, and I still wanted to keep true to this even with a baby.
We were so lucky, on average the weather was 28 degrees , so much hotter than expected for the end of October, and not one rain drop!
Lisbon has so many places where you can really enjoy the sunny weather. If you want to soak up the rugged charm of the city you can walk up one of the many hilly cobbled streets and enjoy a coffee and Pastéis de Nata alfresco, sit on one of the many deck chairs on the waterfront cocktail in hand looking out at the Tagus River. Or if you are like us with a baby and can’t spend too much time in one spot as you four month baby is more of an explorer than you, you can continuously walk along the waterfront and shaded streets or go a road trip along the coast road from Lisbon to Cascais.
I found Lisbon had a rugged charm which I loved but it also confused me. There were beautifully tiled buildings with intricate patterns that were left derelict and then there were areas like the Comércio Square which were so well maintained and looked very royal. The city was covered in street art which added to Lisbon's rugged charm. Pieces were hidden under motorway flyovers to building takeovers like the Crono project that commissioned street artists to transform neglected buildings in the business district instead of abandoning Lisbon's crumbling heritage to the developers. This Guardian article by Rachel Dixon is a great read on the history of street art in Lisbon.
My 'Mum on the move’ Lisbon tips and tricks….
1] Find a hotel with an out door communal area. It’s a great area to relax outside of the hotel room even when you bubba is making noise. We stayed at the Jupiter Hotel which has a lovely roof top which had 2 pools and a bar.
2] Ask if your hotel provides baby cribs and baby baths. I found Portugal was really child friendly and the hotel kindly sterilize my bottles.
3] Beware Lisbon city is very hilly with the pavements being quite thin and very cobbly. The cooler months would be great to explore the city however in the hotter months I would recommend including day trips out of the city. Lisbon has a lot to offer outside of the main city.
4] The tram is a great way of seeing the city however the prams do not fit. We decided not to go on the tram using a sling due to the heat.
5] If you love street art, and you have an iPhone go to the underdog art shop as they have a map which pin points the key pieces of street art. If you are lucky enough to have an Andriod phone download the Lisbon Street Art App.
6] We hired a car as we wanted the flexibility to go on a few road trips. I would only recommend you do this if you are a confident driver. The roads and motorways are very confusing even with the support of google maps.
I love a movie day at home, but I prefer them as a treat rather than the norm, and with winter coming I know I will have many to look forward to. So I was beyond happy when our Indian Summer arrived… it may have only lasted for a week, but it was a good week nonetheless.
I really enjoy going to different places with my Bubba. While I know he won’t remember all our trips when he is older, he is so alert and nosey, I can’t help but hope that these experiences will build him up to be a confident little explorer, not scared to try new things.
This week has been full of adventure; we’ve walked the cobbled streets of Covent Garden and crossed the Jubilee Bridge where there were some amazing buskers still playing summer tunes. We went for a woodland walk, my tiny friend particularly loved jumping in puddles … and the highlight, a trip to Hever Castle Gardens.
The decision to go to Hever Castle was made that very morning. I planned to just jump in the car with my Bubba, but anyone with a baby will know it’s not as easy as that. After two outfit changes, feeding and packing the car with everything I could think of, including the camera, we managed to leave the house.
I have fond memories of running around the maze as a child, and this visit just built on my fond memories. The gardens are an absolutely stunning mix of summer and autumn colours … walking around your imagination goes wild, picturing the gardens being enjoyed by the ladies of the Tudor dynasty.
I can’t wait to go back for the Hever Castle Christmas celebrations.
I could not leave Dubrovnik without exploring Old Town so I went back at 5.30pm when it was a lot cooler. I was quite lucky that on this day that no cruise ships had docked. The following day had 5 cruise ships docked and with the heat it made Old Town feel a bit to touristy.
Bubba loves a good people watch so this is what we did and my photos reflect this! Due to the holiday season there was a great mix of tourists and locals. As I could not take the prams up the stairs we explored ground level and spent time at Church Sveti Spaso and Old Town Harbour.
I took a break from snapping pictures to watch the sunset over the Old Town Harbour, which was a magical moment, a memory I will never forget from my first holiday with bubba.
I did it and survived!! I travelled to Dubrovnik with the bubba and got us both back in once piece. I even managed to sightsee at the same time.
You can see why Dubrovnik Old Town is used as a filming backdrop, it’s like a step back into time.
On the first morning I turned up to the ancient walls at 8.30am with the intent to walk around it but this did not happen. The sun had already come out to play and I now have to consider protecting my bubbas skin.
So instead I got on a boat and went to the Lokrum, an island 15 minutes away with lush foliage, botanical gardens, olive groves and beautiful views.
As bubs preferred movement to letting mummy relax and stay in the same spot for no more than 15 minutes I spent close to 6 hours exploring the island and taking photos.
Moving back to Greater London (south east), I still visited London for my days out and, have not visited any of the Kent coastal towns. My mum had the day off, the sun was shining, so off to Whitstable we went.
Whitstable is a fishing harbour town, famous for its Oysters. Completely ashamed of myself for not trying Oysters, given that I am huge seafood lover, we made our way to Whitstable Oyster Co beach hut. Let’s say, I will never forget my first time eating Oysters! Sat beside the beach, in the bright summers sun, beautifully fresh oysters with just a dash of Tabasco - yum!
I decided on street photography in Whitstable as it was full of vibrant people enjoying moments in the sun. As I said in my last post, I did experiment more in manual mode, however I need to learn more about optimising the exposure on sunny days.
My next post maybe from Croatia. I say maybe, as I have learnt life with a baby means plans can change last minute!
With only a few weeks left for the lavender to be in full bloom this summer, I ventured out to Lullingstone in Kent to visit the lavender fields.
Bubba is now 3.5 weeks old so I feel like I should be in the swing of things, but everyday I face a new challenge & I learn something new. Today's challenge was attempting to walk in a field with a pram.
As he is very long but still small I am unable to use my baby carrier as it swallows him up, so my pram was put to full use. It was not the easiest, and a 10 minute walk felt like a 30 minute walk but I made it work.
The Lullingstone Lavender Fields were just beautiful & you could definitely not get away from the fragrant smell. Also who knew there was a Lavender flavoured ice cream? Not me till today.
Today taking photos with the bubba by my side I am using the preset modes, however on my next shoot I will go back to the manual mode.
My best photos from today are ones for the family album, but I am still very happy with today’s selection of photos.
I am proud to announce that I have had a beautiful baby boy and I cannot keep my eyes of him.
My baby boy's father also has his birthday in June so it was a big incentive for me to get dress and venture out of the house.
Bubba was only 6 days old so as you can imagine it was a struggle to find something that fitted and put on some mascara, in between feeding and dressing my beautiful boy. However my partner and I did it! We managed to leave the house!
As it was such a gorgeous day we went to Dulwich, with my camera in tow, not expecting I would have a chance to use it. After lunch we went for a walk in the gardens of Dulwich Picture Gallery. To my shock everything was in my favour; the sun was out, Bubba was happily sleeping and I had time to take some pictures.
Day 6 was a great day!
The day before I turned 39 weeks pregnant, London decided to have a heat wave. Normally this would have given me great joy, but this year I chose to runaway to Ipswich, which promised to be 6 ℃ cooler.
As well as putting my feet up & enjoying a range of decaf coffee at Applaud Coffee, I slowly walked (or waddled) down to the waterfront and started snapping. It was a great place to practice aperture and exposure settings.
I would call this trip our babymoon, as we have not been abroad since. Surprisingly to all my friends, I had never been to Amsterdam but a city I have always wanted to go.
I think my boyfriend got bored of me going on and on about going to Amsterdam for the past 4 years and booked the city break.
We walked every where, so I could see as much as possible and soak up the atmosphere for the city. While exploring the roads around the canals, we stumbled across smaller two street art galleries, that even though they were closed they opened their doors for us, when they saw us peering through the windows.
I didn’t think it could get any better and then I found out that the Moco Museum was exhibiting Andy Warhol and Banksy, and they were showcasing the Swat Van.
I will be returning very soon when I can enjoy the canal side drinking and dining in the sun.
This was such a special holiday for two reasons; Iceland is a truly beautify country with scenery I will never forget and I had just turned 12 weeks pregnant.
My partner and I hired a car and treated the holiday as one big road trip. Everyday we explored different areas including the Golden Circle tour and natural hot springs that were hidden off the beaten track.
I highly recommend hiring a car and create a DIY tour. It was the best decision we made. It gave us the freedom to avoid busy periods and take refute in the car with the heaters on full blast when we lost all feeling in our fingers.
This holiday was really like a dream come true, a real life winter wonderland!