• A great British seaside holiday

      The beach. The seaside. Whatever you want to call it. I love it. I was born in California not far from Santa Cruz and grew up making sand castles and running through freezing Pacific Ocean waves. As a teen, I ...

A great British seaside holiday

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  The beach. The seaside. Whatever you want to call it. I love it. I was born in California not far from Santa Cruz and grew up making sand castles and running through freezing Pacific Ocean waves. As a teen, I went through a period of being a surfer girl, which meant I got on a […]

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Favourites: Gliffaes Country House Hotel in Wales

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  Every once in a while you find a hotel that you really love. The kind where you make mental plans to return nearly as soon as you put the key into your room door and plop onto the down feather comforter. It’s exotic enough from your own home to make being away really special yet has the feel […]

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A caravan holiday in Brittany!

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  I’ve always wanted to visit Brittany. It’s so convenient – especially from southwest England. You can take an overnight ferry and wake up in France – within reach of a cafe creme and fresh baguette! I also secretly love camping. Not real camping, per se, but high-end mobile home camping – where you have your […]

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The Modern Family goes to Cornwall

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  Cornwall reminds me a bit of California. There are long sandy beaches, golden-haired surfers and a focus on fresh, seasonal food. There are bits that are distinctively different, like the coastal cliff walks, hedgerows and of course the ever-present pasty. The weather is variable. You can have glorious sunshine, making you think you ARE abroad. […]

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Spring pasta: Linguine, asparagus, borlotti beans, pancetta & chicken

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  Ah, Spring. With the arrival of nicer weather comes a plethora of fresh veggies. This dish was inspired by Alice Waters of Chez Panise, but I’ve added by own touches, and can you believe I gathered ingredients for this dish for just £1.42 per serving! Try it, you’ll like it. The girls loved it too. […]

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Take an #AtlantisSelfie to win a luxe holiday in Dubai!

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  The Modern family recently visited Atlantis, The Palm, the luxury resort in Dubai. You know, the one which is really popular with families because of the fabulous waterpark, where you can swim with dolphins and zoom through miles of water slides! OK, I’m exaggerating a bit. We visited a mini version of it. The Bluewater […]

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North Lake Tahoe: Spring skiing and lazing by the lake

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    One of the best things about visiting Northern California is having North Lake Tahoe a short reach away. Just a 4-hour drive from San Francisco, this snow sport mecca has the highest concentration of ski areas in the world (12 downhill and 5 cross-country).  Coupled with the largest, BLUEST alpine lake in North […]

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Spring: Yosemite’s best kept secret

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  Thinking of visiting Yosemite as a family? Try going in the Spring. We visited this Easter break with Visit California and now I’m a convert! In Spring, there are no crowds or traffic jams and the waterfalls are at their very best. The weather is pleasant – think high teens and 20sC  (60s/70sF) on the […]

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The Modern Family tries zip-lining!

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  “Is this your first time zipping?” Brian, the sandy-haired owner of Yosemite Ziplines and Adventure Ranch and our guide for the next two hours, greeted us. I hung for a just moment on his use of the word zipping, feeling a bit like a skier amongst a group of boarders, and wondered if I’ve been […]

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Wales: Going down a coal mine

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  Visit Wales sent the Modern Family to The Valleys to see what they could discover and learn. As 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 a 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 […]

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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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