So here it is, #MerryBristmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, also known as #merrybristmas. We are, once again, very fortunate indeed to partake in this brilliant annual campaign by Visit Bristol, which aims to promote the festive offerings in our fair city. Over the past couple of weeks we have been all over the place, throwing the girls into the festive season head first, to see where’s good to go with little ones this December.

Santa Steam Special at Avon Valley Railway

First up, it’s Santa on a Steam Train! What on earth could be better?! We wrapped up warm and headed to Avon Valley Railway in Bitton for a delightful trip in one of their beautiful vintage carriages. The atmosphere on the platform was lovely, with the Christmas tunes blaring out, tinsel agogo and even some little donkeys wearing festive attire. The dream.

We were treated to an hour long trip during which Santa came to visit us in our carriage. He was great with the kids and thankfully wasn’t phased when Poppy requested a helicopter for Christmas! I’m not sure how that’s going to fit down the chimney. There was also an opportunity to get off the train and have a photo with Santa but we decided it was a little too cold for Hattie – next year!

It’s not the cheapest of options when it comes to meeting Santa (although some dates are cheaper than others) but it was a real family experience and perfect for the train enthusiastic toddler! You’ll need to be quick if you want to book tickets as they are selling out fast. Book here!

Santa’s Grotto at Bristol Zoo

We always love a trip to Bristol Zoo so we were keen to take the girls to try out their Grotto experience. This is the first year they’ve really been able to partake in this sort of thing and it was a joy to see how excited they were by it all. We were greeted by some very cheerful Elves who invited us to do some festive arts & crafts, followed by writing and posting off our letters to Santa. The rooms were decorated beautifully and really added to the magic.

We were then led through to meet the main man himself who was so lovely and really engaged with the girls, asking them lots of questions and having a real giggle. The presents were great too, a cuddly lemur for P and a cuddly penguin for A. Perfectly on theme and meant we could go find the corresponding animals after! We also liked, as the eco-conscious Santa explained, that the presents were wrapped using brown paper as it can be recycled after. Good work, Bristol Zoo!

You can book your own Grotto experience here! All money raised from the Santa’s Grotto events will contribute to BCWEZSL’s charitable objectives and it’s running until December 23rd.

Winter Wonderland at Wookey Hole

Uhoh, Rudolph has taken a wrong turn and ended up down in the caves at Wookey Hole! Time to grab your glow sticks and go on a Christmas trip that’s a little different.

We loved exploring the caves and encountering touches of Christmas at every turn was pretty darn cool. There was even a chance to dance to some Christmas music in one of the chambers! We were slightly apprehensive about taking a toddler and newborn on a 45 minute tour in the dark but they both loved it (well Poppy did, Hattie slept through the whole thing – win). It’s worth noting that the caves, unsuprisingly aren’t buggy friendly so you will need a sling, and if you want to buy a glow stick you will need £2 in cash.

If you visit on the weekend, there’s also a Christmas circus show, 4D cinema experience and the opportunity to visit their own Santa’s Grotto. If, like us, you visit in the week there’s still plenty to see and do! Poppy loved the soft play, animatronic dinosaurs and the vintage penny arcades.

See what’s on offer at Wookey Hole here!

Christmas at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

Christmas at Noah’s Ark is a very green affair, with all their decorations made from recycled materials, the lights are eco-friendly and there’s even a Christmas scene created from unwanted items. What a wonderful way to spread Christmas cheer.

We visited on a very quiet day and the girls had an absolutely fabulous time running riot in their ginormous soft play and play barn. If you haven’t been, it’s fantastic and I think the parents had just as much fun as the kids!

We also really enjoyed strolling round meeting the animals, with the elephants and giraffes proving the most popular with the toddlers. They were amazed!

If you fancy visiting Noah’s Ark this festive season, they are allowing visitors to feed the Reindeer for free on Saturdays at 3pm. Check out the website for more details and to see their other Christmas events.

So, those are our highlights for this year but there’s so much on offer in Bristol this Christmas! Let us know your highlights in the comments as it’s only the beginning of December and we’ve already set the bar pretty high for the girls!

J&V x


We were kindly gifted entry to all the above attractions as part of a campaign with Visit Bristol but all words and opinions are our own.

Summer in Bristol with Visit Bristol

Yes chaps, it’s that time again. After the success of #MerryBristmas, thanks to the lovely team at Visit Bristol, we have been able to visit a ton of local family attractions over the last few weeks as part of their #SummerInBristol campaign. If you follow us on Instagram, you will know exactly what we are talking about as we’ve certainly squeezed A LOT in this time around. It seriously is our idea of heaven. We just love keeping the girls busy! Here are our top Summer picks but check out our Instagram story highlight here to find an extended version of what we’ve been up to…

Avon Valley Country Park

We both love Avon Valley Adventure Park because it has so much to offer, including animals, several parks and the most amazing soft play. It even has it’s own miniature railway! This year they are celebrating their 30th birthday, so they have lots of excellent special events coming up so it’s worth checking out their website. They are also offering a special ‘Summer Pass’ which gives you unlimited access until the 1st of September for £30pp. See you there?

Avon Valley Railway

Just down the road from the adventure park is the rather charming Avon Valley Railway, which was such a big hit with our two train obsessed toddlers. They loved riding and waving to the steam trains on Bitton station, pretending they were Thomas the Tank, of course! Top Tip, if you’re flexible with dates, you can save over 50% on tickets over at Groupon right now. They are valid for use on
August 7, 11, 14, 18, 21 & 28
September 8, 11, 25 & 29
October 13 & 20

Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo Gardens is always a fabulous place to hang out but it really comes into its own in the Summer months. There a plenty of animals, naturally, but the gardens themselves are absolutely stunning! It also has a good amount of stuff inside to either hide from the heat or the rain (who knows, eh?) and if you take some swimming gear, the splash water-play area will keep any little ones entertained for hours.

The Zoo kindly gifted both girls an animal adoption pack and they are so cute! Each pack came with a certificate, cuddly toy of the animal and two adult ticket admissions. It’s really sparked an interest in those animals for both girls and would make a lovely gift.


On a budget? Lots of the museums and galleries have got great summer activities on offer. M Shed is always a hit with our two and Bristol Museum has a good little play area. Our pick of the bunch though is the ‘Fluffy Library’ at Arnolfini which will be there until the 11th of August. Created by artist Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou, it’s an absolutely wonderful space filled with a giant soft creature, with a fantastic collection of inclusive children’s books dotted around for you to sit and share. They are running a drop-in workshop on July 28th for 5-11 year olds.

ZaZa Bazaar

We were also lucky enough to sample some of Bristol’s delicious foodie offerings. We stuffed ourselves to the brim with a meal and cocktail, kindly gifted by ZaZa Bazaar, who rather surprisingly have possibly the best floor tiles in Bristol. Just look at those beauties! It’s the perfect place for picky kids and if anyone throws a tantrum, you can hide behind the chocolate fountain.

Even after all that food, we still had room for an impromptu date at our favourite gelato place in Bristol (and boy are there so many now!), Swoon Gelato. Yum!

Next stop, Bristol Balloon Fiesta on August 8th to the 11th.

Thanks again Visit Bristol!


As part of the #SummerinBristol campaign we received passes allowing us entry to all of the above attractions for free. All opinions are our own.

Festive Family Fun with Visit Bristol #MerryBristmas

Photo by Hunch Co.

Last week we were lucky enough to receive our idea of a Golden Ticket, a ten day pass for all of Bristol’s amazing family attractions to see and sample their festive offerings, courtesy of Visit Bristol. How kind! If you follow us on Instagram you will understand exactly how exciting this was for us. We have two very active toddlers who are happiest when they are exploring, so we really went for it and used the pass as a great opportunity to discover new places to take the girls. It was so fabulous that we’re seriously considering asking Santa for membership for several of the attractions. Here are our ho ho highlights!

Photo by Hunch Co.

First Up, Tyntesfield! From now until 2nd January Tyntesfield will be stepping back to Christmas past by having ‘A Very Victorian Christmas’ indeed. Now, we’ve both been to the National Trust grounds before but we were absolutely taken aback by just how beautiful the house itself is inside. We would definitely recommend collecting a ticket at the entrance and enjoying the traditional decorations (including the best Christmas tree we’ve ever seen!), storytelling, carols and a whole lot more. You can even ride in a horse drawn carriage!

If you are in the centre of town, then head for a browse of the outdoor Christmas markets. They seem to get bigger and better every year! We like to feast on all of the festive treats on offer with our firm favourites being the chocolate fountain and the Bratwurst, but if you are more adventurous, embrace your inner Torvil and Dean and head to We The Curious for a skate around their ice rink.

We also heartily recommend hopping on board a Bristol Ferry Boat for a delightful trip around the harbour. If you really want to push the boat out (ho ho ho), for £13 a head you can join them for a Santa Cruise (why they didn’t call it that is a mystery), which promises lots of festive treats for those big and small. You can find out more about it here.

Last but not least, and slightly further a field, is Slimbridge Wetland Centre. This is our top tip for a Christmas day trip to please all generations. This was just as big a hit with the Grandparents as it is with the toddler and it well worth the drive. As well as admiring the wildlife, you can join Slimbridge for a multitude of festive activities. You can breakfast with elves (!) as well as pay a visit to Santa in his magical grotto. Other festive frivolity includes the opportunity to ice your own gingerbread man, build an elf den, toast marshmallows or send a letter to the North Pole at their post office!  I think we can all agree it all sounds pretty excellent and you can find out more here

Merry Bristmas, everyone!

J&V x

Merry Bristmas with Visit Bristol

Merry Bristmas with Visit Bristol

A couple of weeks ago, thanks to Visit Bristol, we were treated to one heck of a festive outing as we joined them for their Christmas press trip. The aim was to showcase some of the many fabulous things you can do in our city over the Christmas period and, good tidings we bring, most of it includes stuffing your face. MERRY BRISTMAS INDEED!

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We met at the Broad Quay Pieminister (or the one on the centre if you’re local), their third restaurant in the city and the only one neither of us had visited before. It’s rather swanky indeed and we were surprised to discover that as well as their usual selection of fabulous pies, they also do quite an extensive list of cocktails! Victoria was straight in on the seasonal offerings and plumped for a Gingle Bells, whilst I remained true to form and ordered a peanut butter and banana milkshake. Both of us were equally giddy afterwards.

We were here to check out ‘The Christmas Feast’, a truly excellent alternative for a Christmas meal out. You get to pick any Christmas pie (out of a choice of four) with mash, spiced red cabbage and gravy with a festive stick (yes, stick) and a pudding of your choice for £15. I practically had to have a lie down before even ordering. I always tend to go for the turkey option when dealing with a Christmas menu so went for ‘The Cracker’  (turkey, ham, cranberries, parsnips and Sherry), whilst Victoria went for the vegetarian ‘Christingle’ (parsnips, chestnut, cheese and leek). Both were presented, as most things should be, on a bed of delicious mashed potato and adorned with a ‘Festive stick’. The festive stick is possibly my new favourite thing about Christmas. All hail the stuffing ball, pig in blanket and mini Yorkshire pudding on a stick. I’ll take 400, please and thank you Pieminister.

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Tummies suitably full, we waddled the short distance to Broadmead to check out the Christmas markets. It was lovely to see them so busy already and the atmosphere was fantastic! Considering we visited early on a Friday afternoon in November, people were already getting well into the spirit of things and we gladly joined in and had our first mulled wine of the season. Now that we have finally entered December I can only imagine the Christmas spirits are flowing freely.

Merry Bristmas with Visit Bristol Merry Bristmas with Visit Bristol Merry Bristmas with Visit Bristol

I know what you’re thinking, we must have been peckish after all this eating and drinking! Thankfully, the lovely folk at Swoon were on hand to ply us with treats. We were both in absolute heaven as we tried their hot chocolate, which is essentially just pure liquid chocolate and quite honestly I was still thinking about it days later. We also had the opportunity to try all of Swoon’s festive ice cream flavours which are incredible! Gingerbread, Panettone and Mulled Wine were just a few that we sampled and if you’re in the area we heartily suggest you go and indulge.

Merry Bristmas with Visit Bristol Merry Bristmas with Visit Bristol

Sadly for me I had to skip off before the grand finale of a trip on the big wheel (down by We The Curious) and a pizza fest at Pi Shop but as you can see, Victoria and the rest of the gang had a pretty neat time completing the festivities.

Thanks for organising such a great day, Visit Bristol!


Ice and Pies!

Ice and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol Bloggers

What a bunch of blogger babes! On Friday night I (Victoria) wrapped up warm and joined Sophie from Saints On A Plane, Hayley from Bonjour, Blogger!, Dulcie from La Dulcie Vita and Amie from Credit Crunch Chic (Tara from The Style Rawr and Lucy from The Parent Game not pictured) for a night of Ice and Pies! We looked like an off duty ice skating girl band who only eat pies. Incidentally, this is pretty much my dream come true.

Every festive season I excitedly exclaim how I’d love to have a whizz around the rink at At-Bristol, but I never seem to get around to it before it vanishes for another year. Instead, I just bore my friends with my story about how Christopher Dean once called me ‘a ray of sunshine’. Unfortunately, compliments from skating legends do not equal skating prowess, and I can just about shuffle around the outside of the rink without falling over. Luckily for me, the soundtrack was spot on, so I felt pretty great creeping zooming along to Shake It Off.

For dinner, we popped along to St Nick’s night market to sample the new festive pies from Pieminister, which were pretty damn tasty. Myself and Hayley went for the Three Kings pie, which contains a mouthwatering combination of turkey, smoked bacon, parsnips and cranberries. It’s like Christmas in a pie. Merry Piemass indeed! It would definitely get more than 3.142 out of 5 from me…

Ice and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol | She and HemIce and Pies | At-Bristol Ice Skating | Bristol | She and HemIce and Pies | Three Kings Pieminister Pie | She and HemIce and Pies | Pieminister St Nick's | She and HemIce and Pies | Three Kings Pieminister Pie | She and HemIce and Pies | Pieminister at St Nick's Market | She and Hem

If you are looking for things to do in Bristol during the lead up to Christmas, check out Visit Bristol. If it’s not listed on there, it’s probably not worth going to.