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A magical experience at Magic Alley

We had the most amazing time at Magic Alley and we can’t wait to go back again and again.

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“Like most people, the kids and I love magic. And we love nothing more than having a fun experience together, in fact we’ve had hundreds of fun and exciting experiences together while reviewing attractions and theme parks locally, nationally and beyond in the past 6 years. Yesterday we discovered that one of the most fun attractions out there is only 5 minutes from home. We had the most amazing time at Magic Alley and we can’t wait to go back again and again”.  

~ Mette.

 

We visited Magic Alley in Stratford-upon-Avon and we didn’t quite knowing what to expect beforehand, so when we were greeted by Barry, our host for the afternoon, little did we know that we were in for a fabulous treat and a fantastic, fun experience.

You know when you come to an attraction and they try to give you the sheet of questions that is supposed to enhance your experience? Well, we almost always say ‘No, Thank You’ to these, as we often find that going it alone and experiencing where we are at our own pace and in our own way, is how we like it. Well, with Barry we were given no such option and we soon discovered that there was a good reason for this. Because at Magic Alley the question sheet (which isn’t just a sheet, it’s three whole pages of fun!) plays a huge part in the experience which wouldn’t be the same without it.

Our experience at Magic Alley also wouldn’t have been the same without him. He was incredibly funny, fantastic at showing us the ropes, checking in with us and keeping us on track, and he did it all with a great sense of humour, the kind that can be enjoyed by all ages, and respect for the dynamic of our little unit, which was me with three 10-year-olds.

 

 

Three times the magic

A visit to Magic Alley is an experience in 3 different stages. The main event is the experience itself, which is part museum, part interactive experience with clues, spells, dressing up, stories and all kinds of magic. We spent a full hour inside the experience and was, truly, magical. Going through room after room, each dressed up on a different magical theme, we had such fun collecting clues working out the answers to the questions on the sheet together. And new seasons bring on new themes, new clues and new questions in Magic Alley, which means you can keep coming back again and again. You’ll definitely see us there again and again.

 

 

When we came out on the other side having very nearly answered all the questions on the sheet correctly (yes, yes, Barry, there was that one question where were waaaaay off, but let’s move swiftly on!), we assumed we’d be getting our certificate for a job well done and be on our way, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Barry sat down with the kids and went through the sheet with them, took them back in to make sure they got the one (very, very, very) wrong answer right and book-ended the experience with great comedic value.

 

Then on to the second part, which is the shop. I say ‘shop’ but it’s so much more, because in the shopping area, which is several well-stocked areas with everything from magic spells and wands, to incense, quirky books, gifts, fairies and fairy houses, unicorns and dragons; vintage toys and games… and so, so much more. Whatever level of magic interest you’re at, there’s something for you in this shop.

 

And now to the third and final part: the café, which is unlike any café we’ve ever visited. Unlike any other place mostly because on the menu, they have 11 (that’s eleven, 1-1) different flavours of hot chocolates. They also serve butterbeer (yes, it really exists), pumpkin juice (yes, really!) and milkshakes. We opted for 5 different flavours: Raspberry, key lime, blueberry, peppermint and white hot chocolate. They were all delicious, fabulous and fun… magical, some might say.

In short: What a magical place Magic Alley is. I loved it, the kids loved it and we’re sure you will too.

Mette / A Taste of Warwickshire x

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Culinary Experiences

Bonds Lifestyle: Shop, Cafe and Antiques Emporium

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“On our way to Stratford-upon-Avon a few years back, we drove past a sign to a shop and cafe we had not visited before, one of these places where you’ve seen the sign a couple of times and decided to definitely pop in sometime.. and today was that time.

Well, to say we didn’t know what to expect and that we were completely bowled would be the understatement of the century. Because Bonds Lifestyle is…. ‘Amazing’, ‘Fantastic’ and ‘An incredible shopping experience’? Yes, it’s all of those things, but they don’t actually quite describe Bonds Lifestyle well enough.

We just have to show you… click the video above and when you’ve watched it, if you think you’ve seen what it’s all about, you’d be closer but you still wouldn’t have seen even a fraction of the utter fabulousness that is Bonds Lifestyle”.

Mette ♡

Bonds Lifestyle are all over social media – follow them here: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

 

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Culinary Experiences

The Farm in Stratford-upon-Avon

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“Yesterway we visited The Farm in Stratford-upon-Avon for the first time. I had heard lots about The Farm, had seen pictures and pretty good idea of what to expect… or so I thought. The Farm more than lived up to my great expectations of a wholesome food destination set in beautiful surroundings and offering ethical and sustainable culinary produce and products. The Farm is an absolutely wonderful place for shopping, eating and getting together… we all loved it, you will too”. 

Mette ♡

An experience for everyone

Set close to the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside, the aim of The Farm was to create a memorable place that can be experienced by everyone. A unique destination that promotes wholesome, ethical and sustainable food prepared by Artisan producers from the local area, Great Britain and the world.

 

Food and Wellbeing Destination

The Farm is a family run business that offers a unique food and wellbeing destination that showcases local Artisan produce and promotes ethical, wholesome and sustainable food. The Farm was once a fruit farm, home to hundreds of apple, pear, plum and cherry trees, which produced for the likes of Waitrose and Mr Kipling. The Farm was popular with South Warwickshire residence for it’s ‘pick your own’ fruit and strawberries. In recent years The Farm struggled to survive and became derelict. the current owners took on the re-development in 2017, and with a shared vision and a lot of hard work, they created a truly stunning environment for all to enjoy.

Head to The Farm in Stratford-upon-Avon.

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Culinary Experiences

A Happy Stay at The Howard Arms

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“On this cold and wet Sunday in January I came home from our stay at The Howard Arms in Ilmington. It was just before midday and I had no other plans than sitting down by my computer to write this very feature on our wonderful experience. But then life happened… the kids needed the mum-taxi, the house looked like it had been robbed (which, thankfully, it hadn’t), the washing needed doing and the fridge was empty so shopping needed to be done… but it was okay, I was in a great mood and I could do anything!

Then the dog was having it no longer, he wanted to go out, so off we went for a long walk. It was really cold, I wrapped up warm, put some music in the headphones and off we went. As I was walking around this enormous field, Lady Gaga and I were singing our hearts out (“You look at me and, Babe, I wanna catch on fire”, my favourite song these days: ‘Remember Us This Way’ from the ‘A Star is Born’ soundtrack) and I was thankful there was nobody around to hear me but the dog (and he’s nearly deaf so he doesn’t mind), I realised I was still in a great mood, I could still do anything… in fact, I hadn’t stopped smiling all day and no amount of shopping, taxi’ing, washing, cleaning, dog-walking and tidying was going to change that”.

Mette ♡

The Howard Arms works wonders

It turns out a wonderfully relaxing time with your loved one in a beautiful and cosy country pub like The Howard Arms does wonders for your wellbeing… not that we were overly stressed to begin with, but life is busy and without even realising it, a nice afternoon walk in the Warwickshire countryside, a delicious meal by a country pub fire, a lovely room with a super-comfy bed and a hearty breakfast in the morning was just the thing to get us to wind way down and find ourselves again at the end of a busy week… Ahhhh!

BOOK YOUR STAY AT THE HOWARD ARMS HERE.

 

 

A cosy and luxurious Bed & Breakfast

The Howard Arms in Ilmington is a luxury Bed & Breakfast, an incredibly popular country dining pub and quite the destination for people from near and far in the UK and beyond. Located right in the centre of a quiet Cotswold village, it overlooks a stunning old chestnut tree on the green and is mere moments from several great walking paths. An idyllic setting indeed.

When we arrived, we decided to explore some of the beautiful scenery surrounding the pub, so we wrapped up warm, put our walking boots on, found the nearest public footpath and off we went on the most wonderful walk across some beautiful fields. It was only when it became a little darker that we decided to turn back, but we could have walked on and on.

 

The pre-dinner snooze

When we returned, it was time for the pre-dinner snooze (yes, it’s a thing, you should try it, it’s fabulous!) in the comfortable and super-soft bed in the beautiful room and before we knew it, it was 7 o’clock and time for dinner. In the cosy restaurant the fire crackled, the bar was buzzing and the restaurant was filling up nicely. It was a very busy Saturday night but from the standard of the service, it could have been a slow Monday at lunchtime, because they did not skip a beat and our every need was met with a smile from start to finish.

BOOK YOUR STAY AT THE HOWARD ARMS HERE.

 

Wonderful Food

The award-winning Head Chef at The Howard Arms has created a menu of top-quality pub favourites alongside imaginative starters, mains and irresistible puddings and we had the most wonderful dinner experience on this Saturday night. The food was amazing, the atmosphere fantastic and we so enjoyed our nearly 3 hours at what must be the best table in the house, close enough to the fire to feel a comfortable heat, surrounded by happy fellow diners but tugged away in the window seat creating a nice, private space for two.

 

A hearty breakfast to finish

The next morning we came back down for breakfast to see the very same restaurant transformed into a calm morning scene with a lovely Continental breakfast buffet and a mouth-watering menu of cooked breakfast dishes. We went for a traditional English breakfast and salmon on toast, both utterly delicious.

BOOK YOUR STAY AT THE HOWARD ARMS HERE.

 

And so was the conclusion of our wonderful, relaxing stay at The Howard Arms in Ilmington. We absolutely will be back again… anything that can set your mood on a positive path and keep a smile on your face for days, is worth revisiting for sure.

Mette ♡

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