BEST FAMILY STAYCATIONS OPTIONS June 20, 2017 18:50
Sometimes packing for a flight with car seats, travel cot, buggies and piles of suitcases just seems a little bit too much. Or the thought of having a screaming unhappy baby and child on the plane is enough to make you rethink about going away. The UK has some amazing places to visit whether it be for a long weekend away of for a week over the school holidays. We've compiled a list of great staycation options in the UK, all of which have been visited by ourselves or by close friends with children of all ages.
Bedruthen Steps Hotel and Spa (Newquay, Cornwall)
(From £170 for a double room per night)
Situated on the North Cornwall coast, this family friendly hotel has a beautiful coastal location. Don't be put off by the not-so-attractive 70s looking block when you arrive, it's what's on the inside that counts! As well as being a few minutes walk from a beautiful beach, the hotel offers lots of activities for kids of all ages, from indoor softplay, pool and entertainment each night in the main hotel area. Perfect for entertaining your little ones while you sip on a cocktail at the bar which is close enough for you to see them but just far enough away to drown out some of the noise of a kid's party.
Center Parcs (Woburn Forest, Bedford)
New Park Manor (New Forest, Hampshire)
(From £115 for a double room per night)
Part of the Luxury Family Hotels group with hotels all over the country, all of which offer great facilities for families with babies or young children.
New Park Manor is a beautiful 17th century hunting lodge located in the heart of the New Forest between Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst. The family spa hotel can arrange all the baby equipment you would need for the stay from cots, changing mats, sterilisers etc, taking the stress out of packing for you. For babies there is a baby monitoring service, free milk and pureed food. For babies from 3 months up to children of 8 years old, there is a supervised crèche filled with toys and crafts, plus play areas. Each child is eligible for a free two-hour session a day. Babysitting can also be arranged. The swimming pool, bikes (including toddler wagon options) and cinema room will keep children of all ages busy.
Being in the middle of the New Forest, ponies, picnic areas and cycling trails are on the doorstep. If you do decide to go a little further Beaulieu National Motor Museum, Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World are a short drive away.
As well as a full range of treatments, the spa features hydrotherapy pools, thermal rooms, a foot spa, 'experience' shower and outdoor hot tub, plus relaxation areas.
Celtic Manor (Newport, South Wales)
(From £99 for a double room per night)
Celtic manor is set in 1400 acres of parkland with two properties onsite, the period Manor House and the contemporary Resort hotel, plus a self-catering option in the Hunter Lodges.
For children under 5 there is a creche which includes activities such as bubble-blowing, sensory time and music makers, a soft play area for children up to 8 and a games room. For kids 11 and over, there is the daily Hideaway Club with a fully qualified child care team. There is also an outdoor playground, two adventure golf courses, archery, laser combat, tennis, mountain bikes, clay pigeon shooting, fishing and an exciting forest jump tree top ropes adventure. An endless choice of activities for all ages!
There are a number of the restaurants number of restaurants on the resort many of which have children menus so you can all dine together. There are also more formal dining options if you fancy a night off. Babysitting can be arranged by the hotel. The two spas and health clubs offer a huge range of spa treatments and exercise classes.
Chalcot Manor (Tetbury, Gloucstershire)
(From £199 for a double room per night)
Chalcot Manor is a beautiful stone manor house with farm buildings set over 220 acres of beautiful Cotswolds meadowland. There is a good choice of family rooms and two delicious dining options, one formal and one pub-like that caters for children. They offer baby listening devices tuned into the reception desk or can arrange babysitters.
The playzone is open daily for ages 0-16. There is an Ofsted registered creche which is packed full of toys. For older kids there is The Mez with it's own 12 seater cinema, playstations and Xboxes. There are also tennis courts, an indoor and outdoor pool, a dedicated kids playground, woodland gymnasium, mini football pitch, a disc golf course, free bikes to hire and horse riding.
The spa with its long list of treatments available is great for a couple hours of time out. The outdoor hot tub is fab!
IT'S FESTIVAL TIME! WHAT TO PACK WHEN TAKING A BABY May 26, 2017 07:00
With the sun shining and British summer fast approaching it must mean festival season has arrived. Whether you are going to a local gathering on the village green or heading to the mother of all festivals Glastonbury, we've created a list of essential items to pack when venturing out with your baby.
Little Hotdog Watson have a fun colourful selection of hats to keep your little one's head cool. All hats are UPF50+ providing protection from UVA and UVB rays. The citronella mix repeller finish in the fabric also protects them from mosquitoes for up to 30 washes. The design also means their ears and the back of their necks are covered too.
We love the smell and non greasiness texture by the French skincare brand Mustela. They specialise in natural products that are gentle on skin prone to atopic conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Its SPF50 sun screen comes in three sizes: 100ml, a travel-friendly 40ml and a large 300ml lotion. It uses a patented active ingredient extracted from avocados to encourage the skin’s natural barrier and preserve its cells. It’s also water resistant and suitable from birth. Available at all good pharmacies
Vital for any music festival and useful for both when they are awake and trying to sleep. They look pretty cool too! Banz do a great range for babies 3 months plus and are available at Kidly.
Let's face it, we are bound to have some rain during a festival in the UK. Investing in a good waterproof is vital, as there is nothing worse than a cold wet unhappy baby. The Dutch brand Go Soaky have created simple, stylish and high quality waterproofs in unisex colours. The Roger Rabbit waterproof onesie for babies up to 1 years old is perfect to keep them dry from head to toe. There is a soft jersey lining for extra comfort and the diagonal zip makes putting it on and off super easy. They also do a range for toddlers and children up to 14 years of age too.
GO EVERYWHERE MAT
Holding a baby all day in a sling is going to result in some very sore shoulders plus they will soon get cranky and need a good kick about. The AVERY ROW Go Everywhere Mat has a waxed cotton base that is both water resistant and hardwearing, making it perfect for damp grass or rough surfaces. The cushioned mat with its soft cotton top makes it super comfy for your little one to lie and sit on while you get some deserved rest. It all comes bundled up in a bright yellow leather carry strap perfect for transporting around from place to place.
And of course plenty of wet wipes!!!
ALL CHANGE September 06, 2016 09:56
It's all change here at Avery Row! Over the summer we've been working away with the goal of launching some wonderful new products in time for the new season. Keep watching, we'll be giving some sneak peeks on social media and our blog over the coming weeks.
For me personally, this September is a funny one. Not for 20+ years has September meant 'back to school' but now my little baby is taking her first steps in to the big wide world and embarking on this wonderful new phase of life. I am excited for her, and she seems quite happy about the idea too. She's not going to bed cuddling her school bag like some of her friends, but she's not dreading it. I guess I should be happy with that.
We've had a fabulous summer and spent lots of time cramming things in before we're in a school routine forever (well at least 12 years...) including visiting every playground in West London, lots of picnics, a couple of very good outdoor theatre productions, swimming in (slightly suspect looking) outdoor pools e.g Ravenscourt Park, pond dipping at the Wetlands Centre, zorbing at Hobbledown Farm...the list goes on.
And even though our British summer redeemed itself towards the end, now it's time to settle in to Autumn. Crunchy leaves, conkers, halloween. We can't wait!
In addition to changes in our household, Fiona is managing spectacularly with a huge bump in the final weeks of pregnancy. Her world about to change forever!
BEST OILS & CREAMS FOR STRETCH MARKS WHEN PREGNANT July 04, 2016 13:57
My second trimester is now officially over. Everyone told me that it would be 13 weeks of much higher levels of energy and that I would feel great again. Unfortunately that feeling only materialised in the last 4 weeks but it did happen and it was great to feel human again.
Being a first time mum but a little older than average age to have you first, I've seen lots of my friends and family go through their pregnancies and got loads of helpful tips on the way.
One thing I was conscious of was avoiding getting stretch marks. I think it all stems from the tattoo I got near my stomach as a teenager and for some reason even worrying back then that it would become all distorted when I had a baby, despite that being far far into the future. I still remember the tattooist saying that as long as I kept it oiled and moisturised it would be ok. Once my tummy started growing and my skin suddenly felt much drier and tighter I was on the case. I bought some and was gifted a variety of oils and creams. Here is my review on some of the creams and oils I tried.
(£14.99 for 125ml)
You only need a little so the bottle will last a long time. Good value for money and is really nourishing, leaving your skin really smooth. The main problem was that it takes a long time to soak in. In fact it takes so long I think I will be throwing out a lot of my t-shirts after this pregnancy from all the oil stains.
Khiels Argan Oil cream
(£30.00 for 200ml)
Technically not a stretch mark cream but I've used this cream regularly for the past 10 years. Argan oil is high in vitamin E and gives skin a natural boost. Another pro is that the lotion is non-irritating, non-greasy and absorbs easily so there's no need to wait a long time before getting dressed, . The main drawback is the price, when I realised I had used a quarter of the 500ml bottle in a week I probably needed a less expensive option.
Mama Mio - Tummy Rub Cream
(£23.50 for 120g)
Great non-greasy cream, that absorbs straight into the skin quickly without it feeling oily or sticky. Contains organic shea butter and omega rich oils such as argan, avocado and coconut oil to give strength and elasticity to the skin. Your skin does feels really elasticated and nourished after each application. Has a nice smell which isn't very strong.
Cowshed - Stretch Mark Balm
(£21.00 for 250ml)
Glides onto your tummy and skin really smoothly leaving it feeling soft and moisturised all day. It contains all natural ingredients such as sea buckthorn oil, coconut oil, shea butter and vitamin E, to keep your skin moisturised and elastic as it stretches. Another plus is that you only need a small amount. However it has a more oily texture compared to some other creams/balms as so takes a while to absorb into the skin.
Palmers Coco butter stretch mark cream
(£3.35 for 250ml)
Definitely, the best value for money, absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling smooth and elasticated. Even though the cream is quite thick, you do need to use quite a lot of it to stay moisturised but given the price, that's not really a major issue. The only drawback for me was that I have never been a fan of the smell of coco-butter. But it you like the smell then this is a hit.
Clarins - toning oil
(£40.00 for 100ml)
Smells really lovely and leaves skin feeling really smooth and soft. It's not as hydrating as some of the creams but for a body oil, it absorbs relatively quickly, much faster than the bio oil. It's more expensive than some other products out there, but you don't need much so a bottle will last a long time.
DOT TO DOT LONDON June 26, 2016 18:11
Last week we took part in the awesome Dot to Dot show in London which showcases the latest in independent children brands. The creators handpick what they think is the best and most creative in the industry, providing an place for brands and buyers to come together. We were really excited to be part of it all for the first time.
Being 27 weeks pregnant meant I was pretty useless during some of the set up, so I enlisted the help of my lovely husband to help Helen and I build our display unit and do all the heavy lifting while I gave them words of encouragement (which was definitely required when he realised he had put some of the panels on the wrong way round!)
Helen making a few last minute touches just before showtime.....
..... and we are ready to meet everyone
The pregnant lady needs her afternoon snack to keep going!
We had an awesome time and met loads of exciting fun new people and brands over the two days as well as catching up with familiar faces.
A big thank you to Carly & Nicole and the entire Dot to Dot team for organising such a great show!
TOP 5 HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS FOR THE GEM April 28, 2016 09:34
We are always so pleased to hear from our customers and receive photos of their travels abroad with the Go Everywhere Mat. We loved them so much that we decided to compile a list of our top 5 holiday destinations with the GEM so far.
1. St Lucia
James and mum Emma spending the afternoon on the beach surrounded by stunning views of the Pitons.
Baby Dan watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean, lucky little fella!
3. New Orleans for Mardis Gras
Mia couldn't get enough of her beads which she collected during the parade.
Baby Hugo having a picnic with his mates in the park in Sydney.
Baby Tom chilling in the shade on the beach in Langkawi
If you have a favourite holiday pic of your little one on their Go Everywhere Mat and want to share it with us, please do send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, NEW TIMES April 22, 2016 12:46
Last weekend, Fiona and I had an amazing trip with our girlfriends to New York to relive the old times, and visit the place that inspired us to start Avery Row.
Accompanied by 4 of our closest friends and ex-New York roomies, we made a trip back to the Big Apple for a weekend of shopping and cocktails. We all left the babas with the dads, and headed to Heathrow T5 to start the weekend in style.
We had done our prep on new places to eat and shop but definitely wanted to revisit some of our old haunts, and had high hopes for some fun nights out.
First night we started with lethal mandarin martinis at the Boom Boom room at the top of The Standard hotel. We forgot how strong the cocktails are here! This really took the edge off the jet lag though and afterwards we skipped off to Tao opposite to return to an old favourite for a delicious pan-Asian dinner.
Our martinis of choice, about to be poured
Next day was plenty of shopping, and a delicious lunch at Dutch in Soho. We also visited the new Freedom Tower right next to our old office. A truly stunning addition to this area, and a beautiful contrast to the other skyscrapers in the Financial District.
With bright blue skies and the sun beating down, New York was buzzing with the first warm spell of the year.
Later on, there was nothing like a Prickly Pear and some nachos at Dos Caminos to quench our thirst after shopping....
On to the Gansevoort Roof Top bar where we watched the sun cast a golden glow over the city - so dreamy!
A new place for dinner - ABC Cucina - a few more bars and then Cafe Wha for some (very) late night live music, rounded up our fab Friday.
On Saturday, we had planned to do an early morning run around Central Park but given the night before, this turned in to a mid-morning stroll, brunch and then more shopping.
I'd forgotten how much walking you do in New York. Everything is just a few blocks here and a few blocks there. By the time I'd got to the afternoon cocktails venue, my iPhone pedometer told me I'd done 20,000 steps (approx. 10 miles). That at least justified the food and drinks which followed at Maiaolino.
And to our last day. More beautiful weather was the perfect setting for an outside seat for brunch at our favourite place in Chelsea, Cafeteria, followed by a walk along the High Line - a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.
Then it was killing time at the airport (how many cases for a 4 day trip ladies!?)
and back to our usual habits....
Thanks girls, and New York for reliving old memories and creating amazing new ones!
BUBBLE LONDON - OUR FIRST TRADE SHOW! February 17, 2016 11:45
Armed with our Go Everywhere Mats, picture boards, double sided tape, spirit level, hammer and nails, we headed to the Design Centre in Islington, London for our first ever trade show at Bubble London. I don't think either one of us realised the amount of work involved in preparing and setting up the stand before the show started. It turns out it requires two people plus a third to view in order to achieve a perfectly straight logo...
Our wall display showing the 4 different designs and how to roll with the waxed cotton on the outside.
We had some fantastic feedback at the show. Many visitors said they felt it was a really stylish and unique product. We also got a very enthusiastic thumbs-up from the dads who loved the unisex look said they wouldn't hesitate to carry a GEM around whilst on baby duty.
It was lovely to hear visitors telling us how they had heard about us prior to the show and how much they loved our deigns. We also got to meet many of the new as well as established brands showcasing there. Everyone was very supportive and we have a new set of personal favourite brands going forward that we will be rooting for!
On Day 2, we made our way to the stage area for our Perfect Pitch presentation, which was a great opportunity to present our mat to some small independent and large retail store buyers as well as influential members of the press.
Thank you to everyone who popped by our stand to say hi. We have been super busy following up all of our new contacts in the last couple of weeks and are looking forward to the new business relationships that are blossoming as a result.
We are looking into exhibiting at more shows this year so we hope to see you all again soon.
WE ARE FEATURED TWICE IN THIS MONTHS BABY LONDON MAGAZINE February 15, 2016 19:35
Thank you to Baby London magazine for writing lovely piece on Avery Row as part of their article on the rising stars at the Bubble London show earlier this month. But it was such great surprise to see our Go Everywhere Mat featured in their interior news section too, as one of their top picks for a stylish update to the home.
Click on the pictures below to read the articles.
Both these two articles are also featured in both Baby Surry and Baby Hampshire magazines too.
SUN, SEA, SAND AND A GEM January 21, 2016 15:23
After an extremely busy lead up to Christmas, we booked a very last minute trip to the Caribbean with friends. The location was beautiful - a small beach in St Lucia nestled between the 2 imposing Pitons mountains. Bliss!
First stop, time to dip our toes in the water and discover the wonder of footprints in the sand...
No trip with a baby is complete without the Avery Row Go Everywhere Mat...
Baby James was so happy by the pool while his mum and dad got some rare time to read
For the older kids, nothing could match the excitement of travelling in a very PINK took tuk. And downtime was spent colouring in a shady corner.
If Avery Row ever had a store, this would be the dream location! This beach hut had a gorgeous collection of beach clothes and accessories and quite a few cute bits for the kids too.
All in all a wonderful trip, lots of relaxation, family QT and time to think...refreshed and ready for new adventures and challenges in 2016.
BUBBLE LONDON - FINALIST FOR RISING STAR AWARD! January 08, 2016 11:22
It's been a busy but great first couple of months since our launch. We hope everyone had a great Christmas and fun new year!
Now that we are fully up and running, we have been looking into showing at trade fairs specialising in baby and children products. We have decided to exhibit at Bubble London as our first trade show which run from 31st January - 1st February 2016 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. We chose Bubble having visited the show last year and were really impressed with the overall look and feel of the show, as well as exhibiting a great selection of brands, many of which we loved. We thought it would provide us with an ideal opportunity to meet buyers from both established and small independent stores as well as the press.
As a new brand showcasing our first wholesale collection, we applied for the Rising Star Award which is awarded to the best debuting launch brand at the show and is judged on innovation, quality, originality and commercial appeal. There have been some great brands that have won and been shortlisted in the past, so we were absolutely thrilled when we found out we have been shortlisted as one of the finalists!
Preparations are fully under way.... stand layouts have been formalised, leaflets and lookbooks printed......the list goes on. We will also be taking part in "The Perfect Pitch" presentation which gives us the opportunity to pitch our brand in front of buyers allowing us to add some individuality and character behind it all.
We will be in the Bubble Nest area at stand VB7.
If you are planning on visiting the show we look forward to seeing you there!
FIRST MAGAZINE INTERVIEW WITH THE HOUSE OF COCO December 15, 2015 16:29
The House of Coco is a magazine that focuses on luxury lifestyle, with fun and exciting articles on fashion, beauty, music, art, travel and new ideas. We were really thrilled they recently published an interview with us as part of their Coco Business Inspiration series.
Read the full interview on the House of Coco website.
NCT MEET UP December 09, 2015 19:20
Our little model Mia and her mum Fran recently hosted an afternoon tea session with their NCT pals, where our Go Everywhere Mats were an absolute hit!
Fran - "With all the babies still being small and everyone being local, travelling with your child in a sling is so much easier than using a buggy. The only drawback is after a while you get tired of holding them and you have nowhere to put them down. I could maybe have 1 child in the bouncy chair and 1 on the baby gym but that's it, and I definitely didn't have room for 5 buggies in my hallway!
The mats are perfect for a meet up like this or the baby yoga group meet up I have next week. When I visit my friends and family, most of them will not have any baby gear at their houses. The mat is really light and easy to transport, so travelling on the train with it is not a hassle."
Francesca, Lana and Mia catch up on the weekend gossip over tummy time.
Meg - "I was worried Milly wouldn't last long on the mat before needing attnetion but she was so calm as soon as she was on it and happily watched the world go by lying there. We started calling it the "miracle mat" at the end of the day"
Milly chillin on her Go Everywhere Mat
So were Jennifer, Sandro and Joshan.
Francesca finished the day off with one more round of tummy time!
3-2-1.....WE HAVE TAKE OFF! November 25, 2015 00:00
We launch our online store today and so this blog finally goes live!
We hope you love our Avery Row products as much as we do.
Helen & Fiona
OUR GUINEA PIGS October 13, 2015 21:58
We haven't launched yet, but our very small initial batch of mats was delivered this week and we have promised them to our loyal friends and family. Two very close friends and new mums have been sampling the mat recently, with their new bubs, Elodie and James and we had to share these gorgeous pics.
It was a crisp Autumn day when I met one friend for coffee and a run around (our kids that is!). The youngest of the pack, Elodie, is 6 months now and so adorable. She can't sit up yet, but after a stint in the buggy and a good feed, she really wanted a kick around so the GEM was perfect. She lay there all snuggled up and happily watching the world go by while the others hurled each other around in the huge swing. Well done Elodie!
And later on, there's even space for a 3 year old...
Baby James has been chilling on his GEM at home in London, and at nanna and granddad's house in North Wales.
And there's even space for a little friend!
A huge thanks to our beautiful baby guinea pigs.
PHOTOSHOOT TIME - LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! September 07, 2015 00:00
FORMALDEHYDE - WHY SHOULD WE CARE? July 17, 2015 14:51
When we started out on our mission to design and make our Go Everywhere Mat, we didn’t know all that much about the baby market to be honest but wow did we learn fast. We expected that it would be a highly sensitive market with extremely stringent criteria and certification requirements. However, what we found was quite different.
Something we have spent a lot of time [agonizing over], is formaldehyde. What is this mysterious chemical which we have to be wary of and yet know so little about? Surely it’s pretty easy to find out with a quick google search right? Wrong. Formaldehyde and its widespread use in textiles as a finishing agent is quite tricky to get to the bottom of.
First of all, there is no single international standard which companies must legally conform to. Different countries have a different approach. When we tried to find out what the legal limits were for this chemical, it turned out there weren’t any in the UK and the manufacturer is largely guided by the specifications of the retailer. But where are retailers getting their standards from and are they asking the right questions? In Germany and Japan for example, customers are extremely savvy on this stuff, and many retailers have detailed criteria which companies must meet before they will stock them. The UK is not as strict as some of these countries, although is probably more discerning than many others.
Formaldehyde is measured in parts per million (ppm) and the level deemed acceptable depends on the intended end use. In other words, the level differs if the product is for a child under 36months, a child over 36m or an adult. The level of skin contact with the product will also determine the level deemed safe. Oh, and quite a lot of it can be removed upon the first wash so some companies choose to advise washing before use. And this is all assuming that the side effects of formaldehyde are only in the form of skin irritation. There have been a number of reports which cite formaldehyde as a carcinogen.
Of the many suppliers we met in the early days, we were surprised how many knew so little about the chemicals in their textiles. To be fair, if you mainly supply textiles for the home and for adults, formaldehyde is unlikely to be on your radar. However, as this information wasn’t generally available from our suppliers, we spent a lot of time and money testing potential fabrics for use in our mat, many of them failed and had to be crossed off the list. It has always been the most important thing to us, to ensure that what we put out there is 100% safe for our baby customers. So we kept searching until we found the right people with the right materials to go in our products.
What is most worrying of all of this is the sheer lack of guidance available to UK manufacturers and retailers who are developing products that we all use every day. There are various standards which manufacturers can choose to follow such as Oeko-tex and GOTS in order to assure the quality in the chain but with some countries like Japan banning formaldehyde altogether, surely we need clearer guidelines and information as businesses and consumers.
FEELING STRONG? June 24, 2015 10:45
Our first shipment arrived today. Whilst we had hoped the mats would be ready by now, the first thing to arrive safely was in fact our packaging. This was pretty exciting anyway as we've worked hard to design and source this - the gift packaging part to our product is so important, and who doesn't love a gift box?
But first we had to unload.
Upon arrival, the lorry driver looked at us both and asked us "Feeling strong ladies?' with a slight smirk (which only spurred us on more). Unfortunately his enormous lorry could only park across the road so we had quite a few trips back and forward to the office unloading 30 heavy boxes of...well boxes, and labels and gift cards.
When we looked inside we were so delighted to see our packaging and stationary in the flesh and are really pleased with the result. Can't wait to send these out. Just waiting for mats now.....!
MILLING AROUND April 22, 2015 20:00
Today was a very exciting day for us. We took a trip to the mill that prints our fabric and watched the first batches go through the production line. Luckily we hadn't worn our best jeans as we discovered early on, there is a lot of paint splashing around.
It was great to be able to see the designs we've been staring out on paper and screen for so long finally coming to life in cloth and colour. It was really interesting watching the entire process from start to finish and working with the printing team to tweek the cut screens and colours to get our designs perfect on cloth.
Our colour palette printed out in stripes!
After a fun morning of yay-ing and nay-ing colour ways, our work here was done and we skipped home (well drove) happy that we were one step further towards the finished product.