• The Milestone Hotel: The best afternoon tea in London

      There are not many traditions that ooze “British” than the custom of afternoon tea. Americans are fascinated by it: Delicate finger sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and the smallest amount of cress; Miniature pastries, perfectly formed, whose ...

Wales: Going down a coal mine, literally

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  Visit Wales sent the Modern Family to The Valleys to see what they could discover and learn. A part of the trip, we stopped by Blaenavon, a World Heritage Site which is the birthplace of the industrial revolution. A living historical jewel, Blaenvaon offers several places to visit (see list below). But the absolute MUST […]

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Wales: Learning to fish in The Valleys

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  Drive through a housing estate in the Cwmcarn Valley, and you suddenly enter a magical forested area. Once a colliery, the Cwmcarn Forest has reinvented itself as an outdoor adventure playground that offers extreme mountain biking, fishing, walking and glamping in pod-like wood cabins. There’s something for just about everyone, including a STUNNING drive through […]

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What do kids really learn from a family holiday?

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When I was a young urban professional (remember yuppies?) holidays were all about getting away from the stress of work life.  Warm destinations with swimming pools were popular. So were snowy havens with lots of sporty options. Sometimes there was a bit of office one-upmanship (wouldn’t it be cool to go to INSERT SWANKY DESTINATION). […]

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Good Reads: 11 fantastic book club suggestions

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  I’ve belonged to all different types of book clubs. There was the couples only book club a while back, led by an Oxford foreign languages graduate. Each session was a mini dissertation on the selected book (oh the pressure). Then there was the book club where we only picked classics. I left after I […]

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Review: Pizza Express Limited Edition Seasonal Specials

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  Y’all know all about my love affair Pizza Express. The forumla works wonderfully for family night out together. Pizza Express have just the right mix of activities/food to capture the attention of kids and adults. And of course a large glass of a fruity and intense Barbera is always welcome. We’ve spent many family […]

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The Milestone Hotel: The best afternoon tea in London

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  There are not many traditions that ooze “British” than the custom of afternoon tea. Americans are fascinated by it: Delicate finger sandwiches filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and the smallest amount of cress; Miniature pastries, perfectly formed, whose only job in life is to entice; Scones with crisp crusts and flakey insides, smothered […]

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A Modern Mother’s crepe recipe; aka “Daddy’s special pancakes”

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  When I was growing up in California, my four siblings and I would beg our father to make “Daddy’s Special Pancakes” on Sunday mornings. They were paper-thin pancakes that he’d filled with strawberry and apricot jam. It wasn’t until I visited the UK in my 20s that I realised “daddy’s special pancakes” were called […]

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Pocket money and other random thoughts…

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Pocket money is one of those topics on which everyone has an opinion. As parents, most of us give our chidlren pocket money, but inquiring minds want to know the nitty gritty (like how much, how often and for what?). No matter what we give, it’s a tremendous opportunity to make sure we’re teaching our children […]

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Taking the girls to The Little Welly children’s festival

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Festivals can be an exciting way to experience life. Something new around every corner. Sizzling sausages and grilled onions filling the air. People to watch. A new activity to try. But there aren’t many festival aimed just at children, so when local mum Rachel Hughes asked if the Modern Family would like to review her brainchild […]

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The best way to travel around London

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We bought our first Volvo XC90 when my eldest was 2 and we were on temporary assignment in California. We wanted a 7-seater that would accommodate our growing family (I was pregnant with number 3) and the ever-present grandparents and out-of-town visitors. We were planning to put the car to the test and drive all […]

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The perfect weekend with kids in Santa Cruz, California

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  When we are in California, we always try to fit in a couple of nights in Santa Cruz, a local beach town nestled in the most northern end of Monterey Bay. It’s just a 30-minute drive from where we stay in San Jose, you can literally be in the middle of Silicon Valley and […]

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Review: Pizza Express Christmas Menu

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  I’ve been having an affair with Pizza Express for a long time. It started before I was married, but was living with OH. Driving home on the M4 after a day working in Stockley Park for a software company, I’d realise there was nothing in the fridge for our dinner. I’d stop by our […]

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I NEED this shirt for tomorrow mummy

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Picture the scene. 7 pm on a Sunday. Light drizzle outside. As I turn the key in our front door, I calculate I  have just enough time to make sure the girls wash their hair for school the next day, and let it dry. They have school lunches on Monday, so I don’t need to worry what […]

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The Rubens at the Palace: Doing the London family tourist thing

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  I spend a lot of time in London, often taking the first train in and spending the day in meetings and coffee shops, but I’m embarrassed to say the girls (8, 9 and 11) have only come in for occasional day trips. This half term we stayed as guests of The Rubens at the Palace, […]

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Marwell Hotel: A weekend break with kids in Winchester

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  The Marwell Hotel is a lovely 3-star property set amongst Hampshire woodlands. Near the historic city of Winchester, the hotel is made up of four “lodges” which are connected by glass enclosed walkways, allowing you to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings in comfort.   We found ourselves there as guests of the hotel on an […]

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Succotash with sweet corn, red peppers, onions and roasted sweet potatoes

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OK, so I know succotash is supposed to have beans in it. My “special” version takes advantage of what was in my veg box! Plus, I roasted some of the veggies for extra flavour. You could easily throw in a tin of shelled beans to add protein and make it a main dish. Ingredients: 1 […]

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