With my brother and his partner now living in Cheltenham, we decided now was a great time to go and visit for the weekend (January, I know a bit cold and wet but hey ho)… here’s a break down of what we did, where we went and what I’d recommend.
We used Airbnb for our accommodation (being a race weekend everywhere was expensive and booked up); we were not disappointed. We had a duplex, one bedroom apartment in the town centre (St George’s Road). Having the kitchen/lounge area (which is lacking in hotel rooms) made sterilising bottles, storing milk and entertaining baby so much easier. A car parking space was included, which was great as most things we did were within walking distance so the car stayed put.
Things to do:
On the day we arrived we went to Birdland and we were almost the only people in there. Maybe that was because it was a cold January lunchtime or because it was a Friday lunchtime and everyone else was at work… but it didn’t matter to us; the only downside was that the cafe wasn’t open – but you could still get a hot drink from a machine.
F’s favourites by far were the penguins – it was absolutely unbelievable how close you could get. They seems to stand statue-like for ages… waiting for feeding time I guess. There were a large variety of birds to see, a playground and a (bit of an odd) Dinosaur walk to go on.
Good start to the weekend.
A short walk from Birdland was Bourton on the water – a lovely, quaint little town with oldie-worldie shops (a year round Christmas shop, sweet shop, etc), tea rooms and picturesque scenery. We stopped for a very nice fish finger sandwich followed by a clotted cream and jam scone – yummy!
The main ‘day out’ we had was to the Festival Trial Day at Cheltenham racecourse. It’s a great excuse to get dressed-up (or wrapped-up) in Peaky Blinders inspired get-up.
We were lucky that the weather stayed dry all day. So although it was cold, we were able to see all the different sections of the racecourse – the bars, track side, the parade ring and getting into the centre of the racecourse for one race! The racing was great fun – I even got a few winners (beginners luck!)
However, it a very ‘adult’ day out, therefore going with a baby did pose some challenges. Don’t get me wrong, he behaved impeccably (thankfully) but it’s not really a breastfeeding friendly place – I’m not sure how I would’ve fed baby had I not taken bottles – not to mention I did not what to open my coat let alone get by boobs out in that temperature! To be prepared I expressed throughout the week and froze the milk, defrosting it that morning. When we got there I had to get a container from one stall, then hot water from the coffee stand to warm the milk up – my message, it can work, just be prepared.
Places to eat:
On the first evening we had a meal at the Gridiron bar and grill; a short walk from our apartment. We had starters and mains, both were very nice. I went for the Mac and Cheese start (a meal in itself!) followed by the standard steak and sweet potato fries.
Indian Voojan (Montpellier Street)
A ‘bring your own booze’ establishment (although it does also have a bar that serves alcoholic drinks), meant that the bill was cheap at the end of the evening. The bill may have been cheap but the food was great. I had a lovely chicken passander, whilst my husband had a garlic chicken balti and stated it was the best he’d ever had.
Unfortunately a few of the attractions nearby weren’t open due to us going out of season; yet we still had a great family weekend away – and we will be back.