This Sunday was a working day for the hubster, which normally means that my ‘go to’ location with the boys is my mum and dad’s, however they were away at a wedding in Lyme Regis this time, so I immediately wondered if it would be possible to get together with my sister and her family (who we only get to see sporadically these days due to distance and busy lives). Originally I invited them to come to us, before remembering that they are currently without a car and the 40-odd mile journey would be much easier for us to make by car.
My sister suggested a pub lunch at a child friendly venue and it was agreed. It was another beautiful sunny day – it really did feel like mid-summer! Like us, my sister and her family have ended up living just on the borders of leafy Surrey, except in their case they are on the London side, whilst we are on the Hampshire side. In both cases this means we have easy access to a lot of beautiful and scenic locations (and possibly across the line into Chelsea Tractor territory! Where I live in particular you can go from one end of the socio-economic ladder to the other in about five minutes depending on the venue) but I digress as this was not a feature of our day out!
My sister had spotted this particular pub, The Woodman, in Woodmansterne, a while ago and made a mental note that it would be the perfect place to go with the boys for lunch one day, so Sunday proved the ideal opportunity to try it out.
It is romantically located on the far side of some lavender fields and when you arrive you immediately know where you are as there is a lovely little park with a very intricately carved out fallen tree trunk spelling out the location. Just behind the pub is a little playground which the kids had fun running around before we headed into the pub garden to find a table. I don’t know whether it’s a permanent feature, but out in the garden was a bouncy castle – perfect! JJ was in heaven and EJ was pretty impressed too.
There was a 50th birthday party in a reserved spot over by the barbeque and a live band playing some jazzy summery music which added to the party atmosphere! Although it was very busy and we had a fairly long wait for our food it was probably the easiest meal out I’ve ever had with the boys with none of that tension you usually get as they get hungry and whiney and bored – in fact we barely saw them up close for a long time as they were happy playing – its hard to imagine this scenario indoors in the winter months!
Any trouble they ran into on the bouncy castle was swiftly dealt with with the aid of my lovely 14 and 15 year old nieces (at one point we had to intervene as there was a bit of a bully upsetting JJ briefly. My niece quickly sprang into action, bounced straight in there and had polite words – what a star!).
What with good food, good company, sunshine and happy kids, it was a fab way to while away a summer’s afternoon. Being outdoors is defininitely one major key to happiness with small children so thank goodness for the intervention of summertime and hello Vitamin D surge!!