Friday 21 August 2020

Visiting the Sunflower Picking Patch in Hampshire

Today we visited a beautiful sunflower field in Hampshire, an instagrammer's dream! Sunflower Picking Patch is located in Fordingbridge and they are open to visitors throughout August. 

I've been to a pumpkin patch before but never sunflowers (the same company run both from the same location!) so we thought it would be a fun visit for the kids and something a bit different. 

You can book tickets in advance or pay on the gate, however they do limit numbers so I would definitely advise booking online. We booked in advance and just had to show the email at the front gate. The cost is £6 per person, however under 4's go free. 

Parking is free and plentiful and the Sunflower Picking Patch is very easy to find if you are coming from the Ringwood direction. It's on the main road and you can't miss it! 

Once you get inside you can head straight for the sunflowers, although a friendly member of staff advised us to leave that until last. You might want to pick yourself a bunch of sunflowers so it makes sense not to have to carry them around with you. 

There are crafts available to purchase and we saw some lovely looking sunflower pails that children were painting. We opted for a tin can bee/ladybird kit and handily this was all contained inside the tin so it was easy for us to take home without having to do it there and then. One to save for a rainy afternoon! 

There was an ice cream van on site, plus toilets and also a fab little play area which our kids really enjoyed playing on. The noisy cars were a big hit! There was a lovely swing that is perfect for having your photo taken on. 

The Maize Maze on site is really impressive and is over 4 football pitches in area with almost 2000m of path! (We got lost and I'm certain we covered every one of those metres!). The maze has been designed with Covid in mind and has nice big pathways so there is plenty of room for social distancing. It's a bit uneven underfoot but you could definitely take a buggy round - my friend did just this and had no issues. 

The maze is bee themed and features 9 fact boards along the way with a surprise in the middle which you might spot peeking over the top of the maize plants. We loved getting to the middle and it was reassuring to know we weren't completely lost! 

The sunflower field was our last stop of the afternoon and it was a sight to behold - hundreds and hundreds of bright sunflowers swaying in the wind. We walked around the entire perimeter of the sunflowers and found the best flowers over the nearest side. Alot of the flowers on the far side were already starting to droop but to be honest, there were so many that you wouldn't have any problems finding the perfect sunflower! 

If you choose to purchase some sunflowers, they are priced at £1 per flower of 6 for £5. You can bring your own secateurs but they do have spares you can borrow. 

There are plenty of perfect spots for photos and lots of little pathways through the sunflowers if you wanted to go further into the field. 

We had a lovely afternoon and really enjoyed our visit. If you want to pick some sunflowers of your own, be quick because you only have until the 31st of August. It's definitely worth following them on social media too because they will update on bad weather closures. And it's definitely nicer to visit on a sunny day! 

Thursday 20 August 2020


Sometimes emails drop into my inbox and it takes me less than a second to hit that reply button....."Would we like to review a box of pick 'n' mix from a new local company?", yes please!!

Pick 'n' Mix takes me back to my childhood, going into Woolworths and choosing from the vast array of sweets and chocolates. It's just not the same these days, and especially since Covid came along, pick 'n' mix sweets seem to have disappeared.

This is where The Bon Bon Boys come in! Spotting a gap in the market in the middle a pandemic, Kalem and Joe launched their brand new pick 'n' mix delivery service and have been getting rave review ever since. They handpick and test all the sweets themselves...I mean, that's gotta be a tough job?!

We received a "Classic" box (£10.95) -  a 9" pizza box stuffed full of sweeties. The kids eyes nearly popped out of their head when they unwrapped the tissue paper and saw the selection in front of them. It was a mission getting any photos because they were so eager to dive in!!

With over 25 different sweets, there was something for everyone. Featuring classics such as fried eggs, fudge, foam bananas, chocolate mice, fizzy dummies and even a giant worm sitting happily on top!

There was such a good selection, I don't think there was a bad choice in there! Personally I love the chocolate mice and anything fizzy so these were the ones I went for first but the kids loved all the strawberry cables and sour apple belts.

Priced at £10.95, I think the boxes are really reasonably priced and would make perfect gifts for anyone with a sweet tooth. Alongside the 'Classic' one, you can also purchase the 'Vegan' one and 'Retro' one (£11.45). Delivery starts at £3 and you can ship one of these yummy boxes to anywhere in the UK. However if you live in Dorset, you may qualify for free delivery which is brilliant - have a look at the FAQS for more info.

The Bon Bon Boys Pick 'n' Mix boxes get a big thumbs up from us...and the kids are already asking about when our next one is arriving 😄

For more info and to order, have a look at The Bon Bon Boys website where colourful pictures of all the sweets will tempt you into ordering your very own box.....!

"Just one more Mummy!" 
*Disclaimer - We received a complimentary box of sweets in return for an honest review. I think the speed of how fast the sweets disappeared is a testament to how yummy they were!

Thursday 6 August 2020

Farmer Palmer's Farm Park Reopens! Summer 2020

Last month saw the reopening of one of the most popular attractions in Dorset, Farmer Palmer's Farm Park. We have been going there since Elliot was a baby and it's a brilliant day out.

They closed their doors back in March due to Covid 19 but have been keeping their visitors up to date with regular emails and social media posts, going into lots of detail about what's going on behind the scenes and the new changes that will be implemented on opening. We were really missing our visits so it was brilliant for them to keep in touch like that and I'm sure a lot of people appreciated still being able to visit virtually!

One of the most important changes to happen has been the booking system - currently visitors are unable to just turn up, they must pre-book tickets online.There are two slots - morning 9am -1pm and afternoon 2pm-530pm.

The booking system is really straightforward - we have annual passes so I just logged into my dashboard on the website and then picked a date and time slot.

On the day of our visit the kids were so excited to return! We arrived at our allotted time and check in was quick. It looks a little different as the front desks have plastic screens up and there weren't any timetable leaflets. However there was a large poster with all the information you'd need including what was open and what time we could see the animals, I just snapped a photo on my phone for convenience. 

Although the indoor play areas (soft play and the play barn) aren't open, there is still lots to do at Farmer Palmers and the kids couldn't wait to explore. They spent ages in Straw Mountain, they like to pile the straw onto the bottom of the slides and slide into it and we always end up covered in straw! We noticed that Erin's actually grown since our last visit and she was able to clamber up to the higher slides with a bit of help from Elliot. 

The tractors are still very popular and this area looks a little different. The bouncy castle has been removed and instead, the tractor area has been expanded with a one way system in place. Most kids seemed to be sticking to this! 

Some of the animal encounters have stopped due to Covid but we were still able to see lots of animals on our walk around the pens. We spotted a Goat Talk on the timetable and this was held in the big animal barn which we've not been in before. The worked out really well because there was lots of space for social distancing and all families had their own little section to stay in. We were also allowed to hand feed the goats which was fun! 

The go-karts are still open and there is a member of staff on hand to sanitise after every go. Speaking of sanitising, there are hand gels available all around the park which is great to see. 

The sand & splash zone and outside play area are both open and we spent lots of time in these. We followed the Trim Trail down to the Maize Maze and we ventured in, hoping not to get lost. (luckily there's no chance of that at the moment as the maze is on a one way system to follow social distancing regulations!)

The Hen House is now take-away only, but there is lots of extra seating around in the park, including the old animal barn which has been repurposed and is now the "Grazing Barn". The menu looks to be sightly smaller than before but don't panic, you can still get those yummy chips! We didn't get a meal but we did get drinks and a huge slab of the famous chocolate cake. (It's worth noting that FP's are taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme so you can get half price food on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August)

Overall, we had a fab visit and I was really impressed with all the extra measures in place. Visitor numbers are limited and this worked in our favour because it felt lovely and quiet, even in the popular sections like the tractors and playground. The staff are so friendly in the park and they really made sure all visitors were enjoying themselves. It's great that families can have a little slice of normality in this strange time! 

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Farmer Palmer's website
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