Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Adventures In & Around Bristol

The kids went back to school today after a two week holiday and I'm feeling uncharacteristically calm, relaxed and not at all exhausted. Amazing how having a run of good weather can totally change how you feel at the end of school holidays - why can't it always be like this?! Everything's so much easier - and cheaper - when the sun shines, we all rub along a lot better and it's lovely to see two erstwhile pale, snotty children return to school with a bloom of colour in their cheeks, having had plenty of outdoor activity and a good dose of vitamin D.

Thanks to the clement weather, we were able to visit some old favourites and discover some new places in and around Bristol - here are three highlights from our Easter break...

Outdoor golf at Pirate Bay Adventure Golf

Crazy golf with a pirate theme and some interesting ways of traversing the holes. I sometimes struggle to find things that both my kids will enjoy doing, as my eldest is now 10 and quickly growing out of the standard kid activities, while my six year-old isn't quite ready to hang out at the skate park just yet. Crazy golf is therefore a good one, and this fun course was a hit with both my boys. It's an imaginatively designed, 18-hole course with a pirate theme: think sea shanty soundtrack and various pirate paraphernalia decorating the place. What's especially fun are the pirate boats and rafts that you have to climb onto and then pull across the water to get to the next hole.

There's also a cafe on site and dedicated area for children's parties. Adults cost £7.50, children £5 and under 3s are free. 

You can find out more here.

Stately scenery at Dyrham Park

We'd been here before but on that occasion it was cold and wet, everyone was grumpy and there was a melt down incident over something - can't remember what - that brought out visit to a premature close. But with our National Trust membership about to expire, we decided to give this place another go, plus it was a glorious sunny day. Needless to say, second time around our visit was much more successful. Dyrham is a lovely place to while away a sunny afternoon so if you're a member of the NT and in the Bath area, it's well worth a visit. Set in green, rolling hills there are some nice walks to explore and an impressive 17th-century house to wander round. To be honest, we didn't do much aside from set out a picnic rug and enjoy the sunshine while the kids made dens in the trees. But if you're not going to do very much, this is a nice setting in which to be lazy.

Find out more about Dyrham Park here.

Authentic Japanese food at Yume Kitchen

I've mentioned my kids' slightly random culinary preferences before. They're both the sort of children who view a fish finger with suspicion but are quite happy when presented with a barely dead octopus to tuck into. Now, I have no problem with their culinary precociousness at all - I love the fact they have such adventurous palettes. It can just be a bit annoying and expensive some times. For my eldest son, no motorway journey is complete without a stop at the services for M&S sushi. Doesn't matter that it might only be 9 in the morning - motorways and sushi have become inextricably linked in his brain. Then there is his YO Sushi! obsession. It's a fun place to take kids, what with the conveyor belt and funny Japanese pop music in the background. It's just not that wallet friendly so I was excited to finally give the much praised Yume Kitchen a try over the holidays. 

We had a very nice lunch here, enjoying authentic Japanese food (not limited just to sushi)at a very reasonable price tag.Our bill for four, with a mix of sushi and hot, main dishes came in at just below £40. Everything was super fresh and felt more authentic than you might get a sushi chain. The crispy squid, gyoza and beef teriyaki were particularly good, and our two sushi aficionados rated the sushi 'excellent'.

We visited the Cotham branch but there is now a new restaurant in Clifton Village which also does deliveries - find out more here.

I forgot my phone the day we visited, hence no pics of the amazing spread we enjoyed at Yume, but if you'd like to read a more in depth review, with an array of lovely photos, check out Bristol Eating Adventures here.


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