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20 posts categorized "Travel"

Family vacation to New Zealand Part 2

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Alan Scott winery

Alan Scott Winery

Carrying on from last week's guide around New Zealand's South Island, here is the other half of Anouk's (from Make History Co.) scenic family get away. From the blue skies to whale watching, we are all ready for another holiday. New Zealand looks like the place to go! Especially for families who are worried the young ones are going to get bored and start with the " are we there yet"s, Anouk has already tried and tested some of the best spots around, so you can be sure of a wonderful time!

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Marlborough Vineyards Vines Village Concept Store

The Vines Village

Nelson
We left Fox Glacier early in the morning and headed all the way up to Nelson. A lot warmer and a whole lot nicer! Recommend Deville for lunch, Morisson Street for coffee or breakfast and Boat Shed for dinner. O and there’s a Saturday market with crafts and food, including our #1 favourite NZ peanut butter Pic’s.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Totaranui

Totaranui
A two hour scenic drive from Nelson will take you to one of the most amazing camping sites in the world; Totaranui DOC camping. Right in the heart of the Abel Tasman National Park  and a stroll away from the golden beaches; it’s paradise and your kids will not want to leave. Hardly any tourists and a lot of super friendly Kiwi’s who have spent their family holidays here for generations. You can take stunning walks in the National Park, go fishing, BBQ and roast marshmallows, the kids make friends in no time and you can be brave enough to take a swim in the freezing ocean. Great wake up call! 

Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sounds are another piece of paradise with bright turquoise waters and beautiful coves and bays along the many peninsulas. They are dotted with small secluded restaurants and holiday homes.

We stayed at Raehiti Lodge which the super friendly new owners have totally renovated. It has great food, excellent wines, complementary kayaks and a view to die for. You can also just have lunch there, but we highly recommend staying at the Raehiti for at least one night. It’s a 10 min boat ride from Te Mahia wharf.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Marlborough Vineyard

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Marlborough Vineyard

Marlborough Vineyards
On your way down to Kaikoura, do stop at the Marlborough Wineries. The Vines Village offers a nice first stop with a scavenger hunt and fudge factory for the kids, a concept store for mum and a rugby field for dad. We had a lovely lunch at the Alan Scott Winery, they serve great kids menus (with goody bag!) as well. We also visited the Cloudy Bay vineyard, where you can lounge in their beautiful garden.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Kaikoura Crayfish

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Kaikoura Whale Watch

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Kaikoura Seafood BBQ

Kaikoura
We went for a whale watch boat trip at Kaikoura which was amazing. You are literally meters away from sperm whales, dolphins, albatrosses and seals. So definitely worth a stop but the town itself is nothing special. Again way too touristy with busloads of tourists attracted by the wild life. The Kaikoura Boutique Hotel is a cosy and best designed place to stay. For breakfast or lunch, head to the Reserve Hutt and the best fresh cray fish for dinner can be found at the Kaikoura Seafood BBQ on the peninsula.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Akaroa view from lighthouse

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Akaroa lighthouse

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Akaroa The Little Bistro

Akaroa

We ended our holiday in this small town, a former French settlements, 45 minutes drive from Christchurch. And even though the English took over more than 150 years ago, the town still feels like a small French beach town.

There’s a lot to do here. You can swim with dolphins, watch an art-house or kids movie at the charming cinema, play a game of mini golf, go for a swim at one of the nearby secluded beaches or learn how to cook at the Akaroa Cooking School.

An outside lunch in the garden at Vangionis is a treat, alternatives are The Brasserie or The Stables. And we had a lovely dinner at The Little Bistro. On your way back to Christchurch say ‘au revoir’ to this beautiful country in style and stop for a last drink at the Hilltop Tavern. Stunning views guaranteed!

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Dunedin Deep Creek

.. Make History Co.
.. New Zealand Family Vacation Part 1
.. Bloesem Gazette: Kids Edition

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Family vacation to New Zealand Part 1

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Hiltop tavern view

In the most recent issue of the Bloesem Gazette, along with other kid related DIYs and stories, you'll find a travel story covering a super scenic family vacation to New Zealand. We always make sure to include a little travel into each issue of the Gazette but for this special Kids issue, Anouk from Make History Co. shows us a very kid-friendly trip you can take with sights, activities and some wholesome family time. 

We know almost everyone is back to school but for all our fellow travel fans, let's start planning for the next trip shall we? Here's part 1 of Anouk's guide to a family friendly New Zealand trip around the South Island.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Lake Tekapo



Means of Transportation
We didn’t go for the gigantic campervans but instead chose a little more rock ‘n roll; a vintage bright blue VW van. We slept in it whenever we thought the camping site offered a unique location or vibe that we couldn’t find in a hotel and otherwise we just used it as our car and slept in a bed & breakfast. I would definitely recommend travelling with a car (or vintage VW!). The campervans are inflexible, hard to drive, it forces you to camp every night and above all; they cost a fortune! You can rent a classic VW in your favourite colour from the amazing friendly owners of Classic Campers.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Christchurch Industrie Espresso

Christchurch
Christchurch was hit hard during the 2011 earthquake. It destroyed most of the city’s centre and has only begun to rebuild. But there are some nice new hot spots arising.

Hotel Montreal is upscale but the nicest new boutique hotel in town and a pleasant start for your NZ adventure.

As there are not many shops left, The Colombo is one of the nicest food (famous handmade Pot Sticker dumplings, gourmet hamburgers, Macarons), lifestyle and fashion boutique shopping complexes. There’s a Farmer’s Market on Fridays. It is owned by the same cool lady – Lily Cooper – that owns Hotel Montreal. She is one of the big believers and investors behind many Christchurch reconstruction initiatives.

Speaking of entrepreneurship; Christchurch has a whole new ‘coffee roaster’ movement going on. There are cool coffee roasters that opened their coffee shops right next to their gigantic (or tiny) coffee grinders. We visited and loved C4 coffee roasters HQ and Industrie Espresso Bar but there are many more.

For dinner I definitely recommend Shop Eight Food & Wine. Owners Liz and Alex cook up the most delicious local and seasonal dishes and serve great wines. Bringing the kids is no problem. It’s location in the lively Regent Street is also great for a night out.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Lake Tekapo exploring

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Lake Tekapo Run 77

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Lake Tekapo  Fairlie Bakehouse

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Lake Tekapo  Tin Plate

Lake Tekapo
On your way from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo, stop at the Fairlie Bakehouse in Fairly. They are famous for their cakes and pies. Some say they bake the best ones in New Zealand!

At Lake Tekapo Run 77 is a cute place for coffee and lunch and we loved having pizzas and pastas by the fireplace at Tin Plate. We stayed at the Lake Tekapo Lakeside Top 10 camping site, which offers a great location, set right at the shores of Lake Tekapo and overlooking the bright blue waters and white Alpes.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Dunedin Deep Deli Creek

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Dunedin  Seals sunbathing

Dunedin
We took the scenic route (via Omarama) passing a great view of Mount Cook and Moekari Boulders to Dunedin. My uncle emigrated to Dunedin in the ‘50s so it’s a special place for us, but I’d recommend the Otago area for several other reasons. Watching the yellow eyed pinguins and seals sunbathing on the Otago Peninsula beach is amazing. Although I think the kids preferred their visit to the Cadbury Chocolate factory… Mazagran is a great place for your caffeine shot. So is Kiki Beware and Nectar Espresso. For breakfast or lunch the Rhubarb Café is yum. For lunch or dinner go to The Bund, it’s pretty patio overlooks the Octagon fountain. We were lucky to run into Deep Creek Deli food truck on the Otago peninsula. Best fresh baked sausages in town so keep an eye out for it!

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Queenstown Gondola view

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Queenstown Amisfield Winery

Queenstown
Queenstown is full of backpackers and tourists but still has a good vibe. We made a reservation at Botswana Butchery for Christmas Eve. Food, wine and service were superb. If you’re willing to stand in line for at least 2 hours (!!), you can sink your teeth into one of the tastiest burgers you ever had from Ferg Burgers. Get your best morning coffees at NZ’s cutest barista; Peak Espresso. The Gondola and Luges are a nice day activity for the kids. To compensate for mum and dad after a morning at the luges, drive up to the Amisfield Winery for lunch; beautiful surroundings and great food and wine. If you’re looking for a nice spa or massage, Queenstown is the place; the Matakauri Lodge, Aro-Hā and the spa at Nugget Point all offer great massages. All three are also beautiful places to stay in Queenstown. Last but not least, if your kids are small like ours, the trip down to the (often rainy) Milford Sounds can be too long. A good alternative is to book a scenic flight to Milford Sounds from Queenstown.

Wanaka
On the short trip from Queenstown to Wanaka we visited the old mining town, Arrowtown. I wouldn’t recommend spending a night there - it’s more touristy than authentic in my opinion – but it’s nice for a short coffee or lunch break.

We loved Wanaka. You can go horse back riding, ride quads (both at The Cadrona), water skiing and take beautiful walks or bike rides around the lake and mountains. If you want to bring home nice NZ design gifts, go to Gifted Design. For dinner Bistro Gentil is Oh la la and we all loved every bite of our organic breakfast and lunch at Relishes and at Florence’s ‘our eggs are happy and our bacon was free to roam’ food store. Lakeside Apartments offer a beautiful view over the lake and are walking distance to every hot spot in town.

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand | Fox Glacier helicopter

Fox Glacier
We did the Glacier helicopter flight here which our boys really enjoyed and you can take a guided walking tour up to the Glacier as well. But other than that this town was way too touristy. - Anouk

Bloesem kids | Bloesem Gazette: Family vacation to New Zealand

Make sure to catch part 2 of the New Zealand guide next week!

.. Make History Co.
.. Bloesem Gazette: Kids Edition

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Playtime Paris experience: Paris hotspots

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

If you know Anouk from Make History Co. like we do, you know she'll make every experience a great one (we think it's probably why all her products are all about capturing and remembering the amazing experiences we have growing up). Last month she headed to Paris to exhibit her new products at Playtime Paris and of course the sweet lady that she is took the time to send over a little travel report of her time there, inclusive of photos so we can be sufficiently jealous. Won't you come be jealous with us? Over to you Anouk!

Every six months toute Europe’s hottest kids fashion, kids design, kids retailers and kids media meet in Paris for three days during Playtime Paris. This year we discovered and met super cool brands like the Icelandic Iglo + Indi, French/Swedish Petitbo, Swedish Gardner & The Gang and Danish Cam Cam.

After a long (HOT!) day at the tradeshow, there’s nothing better than to return to a hotel that caters all your needs. We stayed at Mama Shelter and couldn’t be happier with our choice! From the yummy French breakfast, super friendly staff, jaw dropping Philip Starck designed interior, to the comfy beds. Best of all; you never want to leave! Unlike most hotel restaurants and bars, Mama Shelter actually manages to become one of the hottest spots in Parisian night life. We’d say Mama Shelter is the perfect base for your romantic weekend, business stay or family holiday in Paris!

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

La Recyclerie

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

On our last day we did manage to step out of our Mama comfort zone to explore Paris. Here are just a few spots we’d recommend. << Ow, when we arrived in Paris, a friendly taxi driver introduced us passionately to a popular French singer, Zaz. Russel Crow has already fallen madly in love with her voice and we suggest you play her music while reading on to get into the Paris mood! >>

We started our exploration a little north of Montmartre with coffee at an old abandoned train station called “La Recyclerie”. It’s outside garden overlooks the train tracks.

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

La Recyclerie

From here, we went to visit Habitat vintage, where you can find vintage furniture treasures on the weekend.

We walked down to Mont Martre to see the Sacre Coeur and admire the artists and illustrators at the top of Montmartre. If you’re travelling with kids, you can persuade them to join in on this bit of culture by promising them a delicious Nutella crepe (thin pancake) when strolling down from Sacre Coeur ^_*

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

Colette

We had lunch at Chez Sésame (51 quai de Valmy), a cool little place by the canal for brunch, lunch, dinner and ‘aperitifs’ – or, pardon my French – cocktails. For brunch/lunch Hollybelly with a monthly changing menu is also a great choice!

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

Balouga

After lunch we visited two of Paris most famous concept stores, Merci and Colette. You can pay the Louvre a visit as it is situated right in between. A few steps down from Merci, you find Bon Ton, a cute kids concept store. We also loved the small shops in the beginning of Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth and Rue du Vertbois, especially the kids furniture store Balouga where classic mid century design meets modern design.

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

Merci

For dinner, it’s Paris so you can hardly go wrong, but the lovely staff of MamaShelter recommended the following Paris restaurants:

- Miss KO : 49/51 avenue George V
- Le Kong: 1rue du Pont Neuf
- Le Beaucoup : 7 rue Froissant
- Glou: 101 rue Vieille du Temple
- La Mangerie : 7 rue de Jarente
- La Petite Mangerie : 5 rue de Bretagne

Thank you for sharing Anouk! We'll just live vicariously through you adventures :) - The Bloesem Team

Bloesem kids | Playtime Paris experience - Places to see, things to do, food to eat while in Paris.

.. Make History Co.
.. Follow more of Anouk's crazy adventure on her Instagram

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Home away from home

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Travelling with the entire family can be tough sometimes.. especially finding a place that's big enough for the kids and for everyone to feel at home, especially if it's a longer trip. While browsing around recently, I stumbled onto Kid and Coe , a site where you can find kid friendly family vacation homes. With a team made up of parents, they understand the needs of their customers and so we thought you guys might benefit from the site too. 

I mean even if you don't plan on travelling any time soon, most of the houses you'll find here are true eye candy and interior inspiration!

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

Bloesem kids | Kids friendly vacation homes at Kid and Coe

.. Kid & Coe

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We are going on vacation with Irene from BloesemKids

Irene_spanje

"Dear readers: I am so very sorry for this long silence! It wasn't planning on being offline for such a long time. I came to the Netherlands about 10 days ago and the places where we were staying were without internet connection (!)... perhaps a good thing for this online addict because it allowed me to fully enjoy being with my family and some time off. Last Thursday we flew to Spain and this image was taken of me yesterday, enjoying a marvellous late lunch in a wonderful restaurant in Romanya de la Selva near Girona.... so today a bit more about my vacation in Spain..."

We are Going on Vacation with me, Irene from BloesemKids

and we are we going to...
LLagostera in Spain at the beautiful Costa Brava. I was 4 years old when I came here for the first time and I still love it! The beaches and rocky coast line are just amazing and the country side is gorgeous too... 

Who are you bringing along?

My husband Rik and our two boys, Lode and Kiet (6 and 3 years old).

 

Pinoverde

LodekietplayingWhere do you stay? 

We stay at a house that my parents bought long ago. It has been renovated a couple of times but still feels very much like home. Going on vacation to a real home works very well for me... we have never been the camping types... I think that is because we've been roaming the globe for years and coming 'home' while on vacation just feels great.... down time with the family, living easy...

How do you get there?
By plane from the Netherlands and while in Spain we drive a super cute Ford convertible ... yes, you can call it an oldtimer...

Kiet_cars_spanje

Kletsboek

What do you bring?

too much … always too much, including my work and I should not be doing that!

Any travel tips?

I always bring things-to-do books for my boys that we use during flights and traveling. I enjoy making puzzles with them or other easy games like travel bingo. This year I brought a Dutch book called…Vakantie Klets (=Holiday Talk) by gezinning and it worked perfectly. While Kiet was sleeping on my lap Lode and I worked our way through this book and had lots of fun chatting with each other and writing the pages. It is already a nice keep safe book that will always remind me of his vacation .

What are must-see places in the world according to you?

The Costa Brava… The rough beach side and the spectaular little villages that bring you back to the middle ages...

Villagespain

Sunflowers

I will try to be back later today with some more images from the beach at parafrugell where we are heading right now for a late lunch at the beach in a restaurant called Tragamar.

Tragamar

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Monday's quick start: Zig Zag City Guide Rome

Zigzagcityguides

"Meet Zig and Zag, two characters that will guide your child through Rome. Your young travelers won’t miss a beat with thirty interactive city cards filled with facts and activities. They’ll learn words and phrases in Italian, reflect on what they experience, draw what they see, and take a quiz about Rome to keep them on their toes"

Alane send me an email about her Zig Zag Rome guide and I LOve it and she told me this summer a Zig Zag San Francisco guide will be launched and Paris and NYC are next on their list.

Rome_cityguides

Mapzigzag

..Zig Zag Rome guide

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