So just like that we're into May already! The boys were in Italy for their Easter Holiday the first two weeks of April and the last two weeks have flown by because we have been back to school runs and normal routine. If you read my Siblings Project post for April you'll know that it was tough for us being apart for so long even though we knew the boys were having a great time and were well looked after. It was amazing to be reunited though and to have them back home.
We had three days together just me and the boys and one with something already planned so when it came to Monday evening I was scouring the internet to find a cheap local day out for us as I knew the weather was going to be quite good the next day. I found out about the snowdrop gardens and woodland walk at Hodsock Priory near Blyth, North Nottinghamshire, just off the A1 between Worksop and Doncaster, so decided to head there for a look around and some fresh air.
The weather was beautiful. The sun was out and we were all wrapped up. The boys had grabbed their sunglasses before we left the house too! We walked round and looked at all the stalls and the boys were fascinated by the skateboarders and the fountains in the square.
Bill's in Nottingham is in a beautiful building. It used to be a bank. The ceilings are high but it feels quite cozy at the same time with sofa benches and velvet cushions on the wooden chairs. There were a few people in the restaurant at 10am but it was fairly quiet which was great for us as we got served immediately. There is a separate children's menu and the portions for the boys were great.
Gedling Country Park was an old colliery and was officially opened after paths were installed for walking and cycling in 2015. The playground was added in autumn last year and the boys love it. There is a large area for toddlers with a sand pit, floor trampoline, swings, slide and a roundabout and then another large area for older children with swings, two slides and a climbing frame among other things. The boys favourite is the zip wire. There are also picnic benches so you can take food to eat.
This was the fourth time visiting the Pudding Pantry for me, third for the boys. When we really enjoy going somewhere, we go back again and again and we always order the same thing! I know we should probably try something different but I think we like to stick with what we've had before and know we love! The staff are so friendly, the service is fast and the food (and drink) really is delicious.
The Nottingham restaurant is set in a beautiful old building which was actually a merchant's townhouse and has three floors including the cellar which houses the toilets which have been done up with period features. We were sat at a round table for 8 people in a semi-private room off one of the main rooms. This was great for the kids as it meant that when they had finished eating they could get up and walk around without bothering other people eating.
The last four weeks have been all about spellings and reading. I'm finding it really hard to fit it all in but the boys are doing so well. Last week they got 7/10 in their spelling test and this week Oliver got 7/7 and Ethan got 6/7. Oliver said he also got 3 merits for doing well so we're so pleased.
As much as I love the convenience of a supermarket and having everything together in one shop I really love supporting local businesses. Unfortunately now the boys go to school in the opposite direction to the milk shed we don't go as often as we used to when they were at nursery which was only a five minute drive away.
I suggested we go to a local garden centre that we had never been to before but I had seen others mention on Facebook in the past. I checked the website and saw that the cafe - Belle & Joe's - had been voted the best garden centre cafe in 2013 by the Nottingham Post.