Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome

Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome l She and Hem
Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome l She and Hem
Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome l She and Hem

On Wednesday night, I was very kindly invited along to The Bristol Hippodrome to watch the UK tour of super popular musical, Kinky Boots. Not only that, but I was lucky enough to be welcomed backstage before the show started to have a tour of the Hippodrome and all of the kit needed to put on such a spectacular production. As a Theatre Studies graduate (no really, I am), I was as happy as Larry, as the Hippodrome is such a beautiful space, a real curtain raiser of a building! It may not surprise you to learn that, during my time studying theatre, I once did a performance about puns. Well, really it was just a play on words…

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes the audience from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. I feel compelled to give a shout out Joshua St Clair who played the lead role on Wednesday night. I was so impressed I didn’t even realise he was the understudy! A solid performance with top vocals. Encore!

Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome l She and Hem
Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome l She and Hem
Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome l She and Hem
Kinky Boots UK Tour Review | The Bristol Hippodrome l She and Hem

Kinky Boots will be at The Bristol Hippodrome from Mon 25 Feb – Sat 09 Mar 2019 with performances on Friday’s at both 5pm and 8.30pm, Saturday’s at both 2.30pm and 7.30pm and every other evening at 7.30pm. Ticket prices: from £19.50 depending on which seats are available. If you’ve not heard of Kinky Boots before, I’d definitely recommend checking it out – I had a blast! And don’t worry parents, even thought the two main characters are called Charlie and Lola, I can promise you this show is a world away from it’s namesake book/tv show!

Victoria

The Coconut Tree, Bristol

Between all the working, blogging, and regular bouts of soft play, us Mums unfortunately have to turn down quite a few event invites nowadays. However, every so often, an email arrives in our inbox that we simply can’t resist. This was certainly one of them! We were very kindly invited along to try the Sri Lanken Street Food and fiery cocktails on offer at The Coconut Tree on Clifton Triangle in Bristol*. We could even bring our BFF along, the wonderful Ellie, from Better Bristol and Beyond.

With three small children between us, it can be difficult for us to get together on a regular basis, but we’re making sure we have a girls dinner date scheduled in once a month to catch up, usually over cocktails. We visited Coconut Tree on a weeknight, and although it was fully booked, it wasn’t noisy and the atmosphere was pretty much perfect for us to eat, chat and eat some more.


There were highlights a-plenty. Our personal favourites were the Coconut Tree’s famous Egg Hoppers (famous for a reason!), the mixed Kotthu (finely chopped rotti cooked with egg and veg and/or meat… SO GOOD!) and the spicy cuttlefish (nothing fishy going on there!), and Ellie was particularly impressed with their huge selection of both veggie and vegan options.


Thank you so much for inviting us along Coconut Tree, we’ve been raving about it ever since! We’ll be back!


V&J x

*We were invited for a meal at The Coconut Tree during the Visit Bristol event. The food and drink were complimentary but we left them a nice tip to say Thank You for the super tasty food and friendly service.

Back to the drawing board

Last week we met up to pay a visit to the RWA, Bristol’s finest art gallery, to check out their current colourful abstract exhibition by Albert Irvin. The large scale distinctive paintings can be seen until the 3rd March 2019.

We also had chance to check out the RWA’s gorgeous hidden gem of a cafe, The Epiphany. It’s a real delight, so we’ll definitely be back soon to sample their lunch options.

In true She and Hem style we went dressed for the occasion in the new fun stationery themed pieces, gifted to us by the wonderful Joanie Clothing, and let us tell you, they are real works of art…

Victoria wears the Picasso Paintbrush Breton* with the Sarah Scallop A-Line Denim Skirt*

Jo wears the Sarah Scallop A-Line Cord Skirt* with the Michael Stationery Print Ringer Tee*

What do you think of the stationery range?

V&Jx

Festive Forest at SouthGate, Bath

Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate

We were kindly invited by SouthGate Bath to come and check out their Festive Forest Christmas installation. Now If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you will know how much we love a little visit to Bath. It’s the most beautiful city at all times of the year but it really comes into its own at Christmas.

If you aren’t familiar with Bath at all, the SouthGate is a relatively new addition (it has been open since 2010 which makes me feel super old, I can tell you) and a lot of hard work went into making sure this newcomer blended perfectly with the Georgian architecture that makes Bath so beautiful. They totally nailed it and now, as you walk around, you’d honestly think it had always been there. As someone that grew up here, I know how much life SouthGate has injected into what was once a very tired area of Bath. There’s just so much to do with so many great restaurants and shops. Plus, there’s a fabulous brand new boutique cinema, Tivoli, that we can’t wait to visit!

Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate

So what of the Festive Forest, I hear you cry! Well, it’s really rather magical and you can see that a lot of thought has gone into making your time in SouthGate feel that little bit more special. They have gone for a Narnia inspired vibe, complete with a ‘magical wardrobe’ to walk through. Guests are greeted by a veritable winter woodland playground, with life-sized animals, twinkly trees and a giant snow globe in which to frolic. It’s rather lovely and it even snows every half an hour! We saw a lot of stunned children (and adults) who weren’t expecting a flurry.

In a complete stroke of genius, they have dotted heated cosy cabins around the plaza, complete with cushions and blankets. You don’t have to pay to use them, you can simply plonk yourself down in one, should you need a break from all that Christmas shopping! Or, if you fancy, you can do what we did and grab a hot chocolate form the Nordic Delights bar, then snuggle on down! They have proved to be really popular with a nice mix of families, students, and workers taking full advantage of the warmth!

Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate
Festive Forest at SouthGate

After all that frivolity, we were spoiled for choice as to where to eat! We plumped for Thaikhun, a thai streetfood restuarant that has incredible decor. The food was excellent and we will definitely be heading back to sample some more of their dishes.

The Festive Forest is on until January 7th, let us know if you go!

J&V

This post was written in collaboration with SouthGate Bath. All opinions are our own.

A Wes Anderson inspired Christmas

Last month we went along to one of our favourite National Trust properties (we are both members – that’s how we get our kicks now) Tyntesfield, because from now until 2nd January, they will be stepping back to Christmas past by having ‘A Very Victorian Christmas’. Now, we’ve both been to the grounds before, but we were absolutely taken aback by just how beautiful the house itself is and we were so glad we took the time to have a walk around and explore every gorgeous room. If you are in the area over the festive period, we definitely recommend collecting a ticket upon entry and enjoying the delightful decorations (including the best Christmas tree we’ve ever seen below!), storytelling, carols and a whole lot more lols. You can even ride in a horse drawn carriage, if that’s your thing.

Now, let’s tall about all of these fab festive outfits. We’ve both agreed that they are probably our favourite looks of the year. A big shout indeed. All of the items from the first three photos are from She and Hem faves, Joanie Clothing*. We seriously love Joanie (they haven’t paid us to say this!). We can always find just the right piece we need for all occasions. If you are a regular reader you may remember we both wore Joanie dresses to a friend’s wedding earlier this year. Jo’s black body and sequin skirt and Victoria’s brown corduroy skirt above are also from Joanie*, with the addition of Victoria’s black sparkly jumper from George at Asda. Our black and brown Chelsea boots are oldies but goodies from Boden* and the beautiful matching watches are from Lokken.

We definitely can’t sign off without mentioning our amazing photographer who captured our day at Tynesfield so beautifully. Thank you so much to the incredibly talented and all round lovely lady, Ello from Hunch Co. Pay her a visit for more stunning images. We cannot wait to work together again!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2019!

Victoria and Jo

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

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

We were kindly invited along to Bristol Zoo this weekend to creep around and have some gruesome fun taking part in their Half Term Halloween activities. We followed the Mystery Trail Handbook to navigate our way around the Zoo, spotting (and impersonating) our favourite animals as we went. A was unexpectedly fond of the flamingos! So much so, we had to pop in on them on the way out to say goodbye. Oddly, she also seemed quite taken by the giant spider in the Wicked Witch’s Activity Corner…luckily for the Witch, I managed to convince A that she already has enough toys.

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Other firm favourites were the (scary) seals, (petrifying) penguins and the (haunted) hippopotamus, which was lovingly referred to as ‘Pippo’ for the rest of the day. One activity I thought she may have been too old for was the Skull Spy, but she absolutely loved running around finding all of the hidden skulls lurking in bushes and down Dracula Drive. You could say, she had a really Spook-tacular time! I must give a shout out to the Zoo gardeners because, my goodness, the Zoo is looking phenomenal at the moment! The green spaces around the park all look delightfully autumnal, with pumpkins and colourful leaves for as far as the eye can see.

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo

Halloween at Bristol Zoo
Dress by Trollied Dolly

If you think you are brave enough to come face to face with some creepy critters this Halloween, from now until 4th November one child can go free with every paying adult when you book online. Use code ‘FREECHILD’ at the checkout to redeem. You are welcome!

V x

Disclaimer: We were not paid for this review, we were however invited by Bristol Zoo to attend their Halloween activities and did not pay for our park entry. All words and opinions are blogger’s own and all ‘standing and looking serious by a tree’ poses are blogger’s own too. 

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number ThreeMama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

Mama Club at Number Three

It would be an understatement to say that since Poppy and Ada came along, a lot has changed. The girls are 15 & 16 months old now (I know, what) and, until a few weeks ago, in that time I (Jo) could count on one finger the amount of haircuts I had managed to have. It’s really not easy to find any baby-free time during the week and at the weekends we would much rather be hanging out with the family than disappearing to have our tresses trimmed. It’s tricky.

We were therefore intrigued when an invitation from Number Three hairdressers in Bath appeared in our inbox to come and try out their Mama Club. The idea, they said, was to bring the girls along to the appointment. We’d been a few times to Number Three in the past and loved it but couldn’t imagine how our boisterous toddlers were going to be compatible with their stylish, relaxing salon. The concern only deepened when we rocked up at 11am with two girls who had skipped their morning nap and were ripe for a whinge.

We needn’t have worried. Number Three have really thought this one through and have a whole private floor dedicated to the Mamas. There’s no pressure, no rush, and no need to worry about disturbing anyone as you are neatly tucked away on the top floor. We parked up our prams in the space provided and ascended the stairs!

Mama Club at Number Three Mama Club at Number ThreeMama Club at Number ThreeMama Club at Number Three Mama Club at Number Three

The top floor is split between two gorgeous rooms with the first containing a kitchen area complete with bottle making and sterlising facilities, as well as what every parent needs, coffee on tap. We were then led through to the private salon area, which is perfectly geared up for Mums and their tots. Poppy and Ada were very happy indeed as it had toys, space to run around and biscuits. Lots of biscuits. And we were happy as it had lots of lovely comfy chairs for feeding, coffee and biscuits. Lots of biscuits.

Once the girls were nicely occupied, we robed up and sat in our chairs. For once, it wasn’t awful staring into the hairdresser’s mirror as instead of looking at our sleepy faces, we could instead keep an eye on our two trouble makers. Despite their lack of sleep, they were pretty angelic and it was really, really cute to watch them play. On the occasions they did need us, we were free to go to them without feeling awkward and both girls spent time sitting on our laps during the cut without our stylists batting so much as an eyelid.

Mama Club at Number Three

It was actually all rather fun and at the end we both had lovely new dos! I just had mine tidied up but Victoria went for a proper chop and looked thoroughly gorgeous as a result. We skipped off for lunch (after saying hello to a very small baby arriving with his Mama for their appointment), agreeing that Number Three have really nailed it. Local Mums have got a real treat in store and we hope word spreads as to how great a service this is.

If you’re local to Bath and fancy checking out Number Three’s Mama Club it’s on every Wednesday and everything you need to know is right here.

Thanks for inviting us along, Number Three!

J&Vx

Beets ‘n Roots | Bristol

Beets 'n Roots Cafe Bristol | She and Hem

Well what a tip top start to the week I (Victoria) have had! Spring has very much sprung in Bristol, and with the new season come the new cafe menus! One venue putting away their winter coats is Beets ‘n Roots Cafe on Cotham Hill, to which I was invited to try out their new Spring menu. And oh my, what a colourful culinary treat it was!

On arrival, I was greeted on their spacious sundeck with a selection of smoothies to try. Appetite suitably whetted, I was handed a brunch menu from which to order whatever I fancied. That’s my kind of menu. After some deliberation I chose the buckwheat pancakes with banana, Nutella and maple syrup. They were an absolute treat. So much so that I seriously cannot wait to get back to Beets ‘n Roots fast enough, or get the OH to up his buckwheat game. Gimme.

The event then saw nutritionist Rosie Letts tell us all about the healthy juices, before we mixed up some rather aesthetically pleasing rainbow smoothie bowls with fresh fruit, granola, berries and seeds, all of which you can see in my Instagram stories video below.

Tasty food aside, there was one other thing that I was super impressed (and quite surprised) with, and that was how child friendly the venue was. Fellow local mums have asked Jo and I for recommendations for places to take their babies and toddlers in Bristol, and this is going straight on our list. My little one was a big fan of the magnetic boards, children’s books and being able to wander around the decking in the sunshine. She also absolutely loved all of the colourful food and drink, much to the delight of the staff who made her feel very special – thanks guys!

See you VERY soon Beets ‘n Roots!

Vx

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Since having babies, Jo and I (Victoria) are ALL about family friendly holidays. Luckily, that doesn’t always have to mean Butlins. Hey, we’ve had some great times at Butlins in our younger days, but while the girls are still only crawling around, a luxury hotel like the gorgeous Woolley Grange meets all of our staycation needs. Situated just outside the beautiful old town of Bradford-on-Avon, it’s the perfect place to spend some family time, relaxing in their 14 acres of fun! This all came in very handy, as we were recently invited along to try their ‘Baby’s First Stay Away‘ package.

Woolley is a real comfy retreat, with all the luxurious treats a tired mum needs. There’s many a large comfy sofa dotted around, a few cosy (and baby proofed!) fires, and most importantly for us, lots of room for children to play. They even have toy boxes in their social areas. Children are welcome everywhere in the hotel, which is great as going away with a baby for the first time can be pretty daunting. It’s very comforting to be able to relax while your baby has room to roam without disturbing anyone. All this made us feel super welcome, although the abundance of free chocolate in the welcome hamper certainly helped…

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

For me, the facilities are Woolley’s biggest selling point, particularly the onsite spa, which has a sauna, steam room and heated pool. As part of the ‘Baby’s First Stay Away’, the girl’s took part in a swimming lesson run by Puddle Ducks. That was a lovely experience for all of us, and the kids didn’t want to get out afterwards. As the pool overlooks the walled gardens, neither did we! The gardens are filled with ducks and chickens pottering around, cute wooden play houses and a fairy garden. It’s all really rather sweet.  

After their swimming lesson the girls spent some time at the Ofsted-registered Woolley Bears Den located in an old coach house. You get two hours of free childcare whenever you stay! We were all a bit nervous about leaving them as neither of the girls have been left with strangers before, but we were really impressed by the size of the facilities, the sheer amount of toys available, and the lovely welcome we received from the nannies there. It wasn’t long before we were back in front of the fire wondering how to spend our baby free time. *Spoilers* We spent it eating and drinking. Lots. Want MORE baby free time? Then sign up to the ‘Baby Breakfast Club’ where your little love is picked up from your room, allowing mum and dad a lie-in on the Wednesday morning.

As you can see above, there is also plenty to do outside too! We tried our hands at croquet, netball, football and even had a bounce on the giant trampoline. Unfortunately, it was far too chilly to jump in the outdoor pool, but that’s a good excuse to go back for a Summer holiday.

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

What makes this place so great for kids I hear you ask? Well! They really have thought of everything. The restaurant is filled with everything your baby/child needs to feel welcome, from highchairs to colourful cups and plates. The kitchen staff were even able to puree meals from the kids menu for the babies, using ingredients fresh from the walled garden. Our girls were big fans of the macaroni cheese and the sausage and mash. They send their compliments to the chef!

Woolley Grange have obviously spent a lot of time thinking about how to make all of the rooms feel like a home away from home for both adults and children. They give you a call before you leave to check what you’d like in your room to make sure you have the most comfortable stay possible. For example, you can request a cot, nappy bins, changing mats and a bottle warmer. I also requested a mini fridge to keep my daughter’s food in and they were more than happy to supply one.  Jo’s split level room, the John Baskerville suite, even came with it’s own sitting room. Once the kids feel content in their cots (just look how happy Poppy is below!), if you fancy heading down for dinner, you can request a baby sitter for an additional charge or take advantage of the free baby-listening service. I decided not to take them up on this offer, preferring to spend most of my time sitting on the windowsill admiring the view…

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Woolley Grange Luxury Family Hotel Review | She and Hem

Until next time Woolley!

V&J