The National Trust….a national treasure

Mr PB and I were married at a National Trust venue – The Vyne near Basingstoke. A romantic ceremony in the stone gallery and the party of all parties in a set of Stunning Tents in the walled garden.


So, you would think that we have been avid members of the Trust for years. Well, whilst we had membership post our wedding day, we didn’t visit many of the houses or gardens apart from our wedding anniversary visit back to the gardens at The Vyne.

As a child, visiting a national trust property always felt like a chore. Attractive to the older generation, it felt like an extended history lesson.

But over the years, The National Trust have genuinely upped their family game, offering so much more than dusty, cold rooms in large homes with some gardens to look at but not touch!

Since becoming parents, we have explored, walked, laughed and smiled around so many of the houses and gardens that I’ve come to realise that this organisation is something special.

Where else can you have a slice of delicious cake and pot of tea, a wander through stately country homes and then play chase on the lawns.


Here are some of my favourites:

The Vyne, Basingstoke – of course it holds a special place in my heart but it has grown over the years to be a chosen destination for families for picnic on the lawn. The addition of a small play area for children with bouncing cows, ride on tractors and push along lawn mowers is great as well as the ability to visit to renovation being carried out on the roof.

Mottisfont, Winchester – with expansive lawns surrounding the stately home, there is plenty of room to play and have a picnic. A beautiful river walk and the choice of 2-3 great tea rooms/restaurants makes this a great meeting place for big groups.

Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury – the formality of the gardens make it less about picnics and more about wandering taking in the gorgeous planting schemes and overwhelming views of this incredible mansion. 

Basildon Park, Reading – like Mottisfont, this property is not short of grassy areas to play rounders in! It also benefits from walking routes taking you out into the parkland – varying lengths so you can choose what best suits you and your family.

Cliveden House, nr Windsor – the play area here is by far my favourite of all National Trust properties we have visited. Based around classic children stories, you are surrounded by beautiful wooden sculptures of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. The house is also a hotel so not one you can visit without staying but the restaurant is great with lots to offer and the grounds are never ending. A great place to get lost in.

If you don’t have membership, please do so. Whether you are a smal family and expanding family or just a couple, this is the best amount of pennies a year you will spend! 

This weekend, most National Trust properties are running Easter Egg Hunts. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ 

x PB x

Exploring the Swiss Alps – Baby Destinations 

As part of our recent road trip through France, we took the opportunity to go across into Switzerland to visit some family in Verbier.

Hand on heart, neither myself or Mr PB have ever considered Switzerland as a destination for a summer holiday. Clearly, it’s a ski resort through and through so why venture over there for anything but apres skiing and snow? 

We were quickly proven wrong with our first mini hike when we arrived. With little PB in the baby rucksack, we worked our way along the mountain path to take in the extensive views and beautifully clean fresh air. 


On our only full day, we didn’t want to waste it, so we hired some electric bikes from Mountain Air, Verbier. 


With excellent customer service, they provided us with all the kit to help us venture up the mountain with a 1 year old. Little PB in his very own trailer with a sun/bug screen and straps and fantastic mountain bikes making the journey on the steep slopes seem effortless.


Stopping at the top for a bite to eat, the view was breathtaking. It has a very different feel to the winter season….obviously…..you can get a table for a start and there is a quiet tranquility to the mountain. 


Verbier does feel a little ghostly out of its peak season, but if you overlook the small amount of roadworks and the odd shuttered hotel and shop, the absence of tourists makes it’s feel like the perfect secluded holiday destination.

You can hire bikes from Mountain Air for CHF 65 for the day and the trailer is CHF 30 (which gets progressively less expensive the longer you rent for). Contact the excellent team on the following:

http://www.mountainairverbier.com 

rentals@mountainairverbier.com

Tel: +41 27 775 44 00

And with a view like this to wake up to every day, how could you not want to explore further…

Back in business…

I’m pretty certain that I speak for most new mummies out there that planning every small detail in the anticipation of your little bundles appearance to this world is fun and exciting!

It’s fun and exciting to put your focus into deciding whether to have a hospital bag AND a labour bag……what colour to paint the nursery……what the new arrivals first outfit will be…..who will look after the dog when the waters break……

And the key to why it’s fun and exciting is because we have oodles of time and (for the most part until we are doing an impression of a weeble) we have the energy.

1 year later….

I can honestly say that along with not knowing a love like I have for our little human, I have never known tiredness and a lack of energy like I have had over this past year. The learning curve is intense, the sleepless nights feel relentless (even though there really weren’t that bad!) and no amount of coffee could put that sparkle back in my eye. But, I’ve loved every minute. Well, almost…..

Parts of what made me ME became hidden in this last year….which made me feel resentful…. which I then regretted for feeling that way! Vicious bloody circle!

But after a very relaxing holiday and an opportunity to reflect, I’ve decided that this  can change.

Being able to balance a full time job and being a mummy means that it’s equally important to invest time to myself and my old life and the main area I want to focus on is right here. You’re reading it.

Pineapple & Button Co is back in business. I’ll be writing more blogs, I’ll be creative with P&B Co products and will share photos of beautiful places and even more beautiful planners.

However, I can’t ignore that my new accessory is now a changing bag, so I will be writing a series on Baby Travels sharing our experiences of holidays and day trips and how they can be baby and family friendly, even if at first they don’t seem it!

As a mummy attempting to be creative and stylish, I hope you enjoy what’s to come as much as I’ll enjoy writing it!