I would like to go there!

Unique and inspiring travel destinations

Lake District … Swallows and Amazons … something to aspire to.

We’re off to Keswick, in the Lake District as a whole family over fourteen of us from three generations! My husband grew up here- he was a typical free range kid- open spaces, outdoor adventures with his sister, being free to be a child and get up to all sorts!

My children have never been to the Lake District so to set the scene for them I bought ‘Swallows and Amazons’ by Arthur Ransome for our bedtime reading to get us in the mood. This was one of my favourite stories as a child. The story of children roaming free – sailing, camping and having their own adventures away from a world where grown ups could keep a close eye on them.

The simplicity of life back then is something of which we would all wish for our own children now. Has it been irrevocably lost or do we think in a different way now? Is it society that does not allow us to relax when our children are out of sight? I’m pretty sure there aren’t many parents who would allow their children at the age of 7years to go camping on their own for the summer holidays on an island on a lake! I know it’s just fiction that I am comparing the present day against but let’s say for sake of argument that the children were to be perfectly safe, how many of them would have the skills needed to survive?

In the attempt of giving my girls varied life experiences I often come up with ideas of things to do that either myself or my husband did as children. The things we choose are uncomplicated, simple pleasures from which we feel the girls will gain life skills, experiences and probably most importantly great childhood memories that they will want to share with their children when the time comes.

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Casa Mia, Leeds- a great family meal out

If you know North Leeds then I’m pretty sure you’ll have heard about or been to Casa Mia in Chapel Allerton. If not, then this is one place to fix a date in your diary to come and visit.

My girls keep Casa Mia at the top of places they like to go and eat. It’s a family favourite of ours. The ‘coffee shop’ in Chapel Allerton can be many things to many people. From breakfast with delicious fresh croissants, a stop for great coffee mid morning, lunch with friends or an evening out. Our favourite time to visit is tea time on a Sunday, a lovely way to finish the weekend. All the staff are very friendly and welcoming, more than happy to have the whole family eating together. On a warm and sunny day the outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying the weather. Remember your sunglasses!

The food is of an extremely high standard, serving genuinely delicious Italian fare ranging from salads, pastas, pizza, meat or fish main courses. Today there was a barbecue from which the tempting smell was drifting all over Chapel Allerton. If we hadn’t already been on our way this would have tempted me through the doors without doubt!

At the end of each meal my girls look forward to their ice creams, sometimes they are even invited behind the counter to make it! We look forward to our coffees. I truly rank them as Leeds No.1 for the best latte!

If you are in Leeds city centre and can’t make it to Chapel Allerton there is also a second Casa Mia in Millenium Square – so don’t miss out!

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