Outdoor Food on Friday - 31st July 2015

This post will be appearing as if by magic while I am actually eating food outdoors! I am at Camp Bestival this weekend. Looking forward to lots of eating outside and drinking of course. I shall look forward to sharing my photos when I get back next week.

As I set this to go live on the blog at 9am I'm going to assume I just woke up in my tent and I'm either

  1. Boiling water for coffee
  2. Wandering about to see if anyone is selling bacon
  3. Eating a pot of instant porridge
  4. Drinking a breakfast drink of vodka and cranberry.
It probably depends on the weather to be honest!

But hopefully whatever else I get up to at the festival I will have time to meet some other bloggers and online friends, sharing some proper quality time chatting, eating and drinking together.

I'm also hoping to catch a talk about food for camping by Genevieve Taylor author of How to Eat Outside because if that doesn't sound like my sort of thing, then what does?!

Have you been cooking or eating outside this week? Have you blogged about it? I'd love you to link up.
Do grab a badge for your blog and join up using the linky below. Spread the word!.

Outdoor Food on Friday

Painting a tent - Take two

Once upon a time I bought a tent (by mistake - I know - who'd have thought) on ebay. And because it was cheap and old and tatty and canvas, I decided to try painting it, as a test. It turned out brilliantly (read all about that here) and so I was keen to try it again with a better tent. I sold my lovely painted Barry and decided to paint up Wilfred, while leaving the new 'Lord Lichfield' bare. (Lords like that sort of thing I think)

lichfield two man pyramid tent
Lord Lichfield

I allowed DD to choose the theme this time. And she chose Japan. It's not perfect, but we are not artists! We opted for a panorama of snow capped mountains, a cherry blossom tree and a pagoda. A general consensus decided we needed some swallows too.

painting a cabanon 4 man pyramid tent with fabric paints
Some Rushes at the foot of the North Mountain

painting a cabanon 4 man pyramid tent with fabric paints
The Cherry Tree
painting a cabanon 4 man pyramid tent with fabric paints
DD painting the pagoda
We painted everything free hand, no stencils. And we used fabric paints from YellowMoon and some Fabsil to double check it would stay waterproof (this worked brilliantly last time.
painting a cabanon 4 man pyramid tent with fabric paints
painting a cabanon 4 man pyramid tent with fabric paints
The swallows

The tent had it's first post-painting outing at the Curious Arts Festival, where it withstood a small shower with ease, and this weekend will be coming to Camp Bestival with us. I also bought some Japanese themed bunting...

painting a cabanon 4 man pyramid tent with fabric paints

Do say 'Hi' if you spot us at the tent!

Tuesday Tip - Phone Charging at a festival

Ah Tuesday. Time for a Tuesday tip.

This week I'm off to a festival and so are many others so I thought I'd refresh your memories about electronics in fields. We all love to get away from it all, when 'all' doesn't mean our mobile phones! I'm as addicted to the online world as the next person and so when I camp I have several options to keep my smartphone charged up (and my tent lit so I can read after dark)

An alternative to using apps and smartphones but still having the ability to stay in touch is of course to take a cheapy phone with a new preloaded SIM (no panic then if you lose it or drop it into the toilet)

For example the Samsung E1200 is available on Pay As You Go (PAYG) for just £5 (when you top up £10 credit) on Virgin. The 800 hours of standby battery life will probably last longer than you do and losing it won’t ruin your whole weekend. It’s the ideal festival phone!
Available from: http://www.mobiles.co.uk/pay-as-you-go-mobile-phones.html
But assuming you really do need that power hungry smartphone... First off check your car, many cars have a charger (what was in the olden days the cigarette lighter) some will work to charge a phone via the appropriate cable when the car is switched off - some will not - so check yours. My Fiat for example loses all electric connection when the ignition is off, while my husband's Ford has 2 charging points (one in the boot) that work when the ignition is off.

But maybe 5 days of draining your car battery (and the trek to and from the car park) is not for you. In which case you could try taking a precharged battery power pack, the one I use will charge my phone about 4 times. There are various types and prices, in general the more you pay the more power you'll be storing. Check the output too as some smartphones (and tablets) need quite high amp ouutput. My power pack has two output options via two usb ports, 5V/1A and 5V/2.1A . These power packs need to be fully charged via a plug socket before you leave home.

A third option is a solar back up battery - these too can be charged prior to going away and then refreshed and topped up via the sun. The only problem with them is that to be able to get power on a dull day you need a fairly large solar array. The smaller versions are great but only really work on a sunny day, last year I tested a tiny one and it was hopeless, while my Sun Bell (light and charger) worked well, the Sun Bell has a larger solar panel and can be left to charge even under glass (eg in a car or a conservatory) , it provides a great light and also has a charger point.

Don't for get that some festivals (Camp Bestival included) also offer a charging option, this can cost money though, and you will need to be prepared to leave your phone with 'strangers'.

This year at Camp Bestival I'll be using a few of these options I expect! I normally take the solar lamp away fully charged and the battery back up, if the battery back up charge fails, I move on to the solar. Are you going to be mobile free at festivals this year? Or are you attached to your phone?

Oh and one last thing. The mobile phone signal at Camp Bestival (and many other festivals) can be quite terrible, so power or not, keeping in touch with home or your online friends can prove tricky!

The Curious Arts Festival - Hampshire

I was lucky enough to win some festival tickets (I know!! massive thanks to Camp Fire Magazine) and so last weekend I went to the Curious Arts Festival in Hampshire.

It was all my favourite things in one, as I'm a self confessed 'Author Groupie' a literary festival is right up my street. My daughter simply adores comedy and loves stand up. We both love camping and I love gin! All of these things and more were catered for.
Patrick Gale interviews Damian Barr
A dog is tickled
The festival allows dogs which made for a delightfully friendly and tail-waggy time, we made friends with one cute little fellow based on our mutual love of fried haloumi.
A dog sits for more haloumi
The sun shone, the decorated trees, scattered deckchairs and classy furniture in the grounds of the beautiful Pylewell Park just finished the delightfully upper class feel. I managed a little poetry writing, DD and her friend took a stroll to the lake, there may have been snoozing in the sun and icecream (there was)

Book tree (one day tree, you too could be a book)

I was thrilled to finally meet an author I've chatted to for year online, Philip Ardagh (failed miserably to take a picture of of his fabulous beard too!) I also bought several books by Patrick Gale, an author that had been recommended to me some time ago. After attending an interview with him, and chatting to him at the book signing I'm really looking forward to reading 'A Place Called Winter', but first I'm reading a collection of his short stories, 'Gentleman's Relish' many of which have a distinct 'Tales of the Unexpected' feel about them.
Gentleman's Relish
My daughter was delighted with the comedy, from Lucy Porter, Simon Evans (very funny with his dry sarcastic humour), Richard Herring (who actually nearly caused me to do myself an injury through laughing at his romantic Ferrero Rocher tale of woe), Mark Watson (who DD is a huge fan of) to the new discovery, and very funny Noise Next Door.(thanks for inviting me onto the stage and singing saucy songs to me, it was a blast)

Mark Watson
One tiny criticism is that they need more food stalls! A local bakers and a local sweet shop maybe? Or even the local WI could run a tea and cake tent!  But I have no complaints and the free showers (which I didn't use obviously), water points, and clean toilets made staying fresh and hygienic easy!
some gin being photobombed by a sausage dog

Plenty of gin was drunk (by me - DD is only 15 after all) and music was danced to. It was a glorious festival, in glorious surroundings, and we were blessed with sunshine. Totally relaxing, I cannot wait until next year.
DD and me on a glamourous sofa, looking glamourous

Outdoor Food on Friday - July 24th 2015

This weekend I'm at home, but last weekend I was in a field with gin and literature at a rather fabulous festival in Hampshire (more of that later!) The food as it happened was not a highlight of the festival unfortunately, as while it was very nice, it was quite limited, and possibly due to that some stalls ran out of food on Saturday night leaving us with only a 'take it or leave it' option. Luckily the option was hummus in pitta with salad, and haloumi fries! so not all bad. And of course there was always gin.

Until the other week when I had a lovely vegan recipe linked up I hadn't considered the way a festival can restrict your choices. I shall be looking out for vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free offerings at Camp Bestival from next Thursday and shall report back. I'm lucky enough to have no allergies, and as I eat meat I confess I've not thought about this before, but at this recent festival we took one of DD's vegetarian friends and it's changed my outlook a bit. I'd love your thoughts on festival food and allergies, and options.

But as usual, there is no theme to the linky except the great outdoors and food!

Have you eaten outside this week? Cooked outside? I'd love you to link up. Do grab a badge for your blog and join up using the linky below. Spread the word!.

Outdoor Food on Friday

Festivals as a summer holiday?

It seems that what was once the destination for young late-night music lovers has grown up! British festivals are now becoming a hot spot for families, (maybe as those once young ravers just refuse to give up), fast overtaking the traditional summer holiday, according to new research carried out by ticketing agent Skiddle.

Their survey of over 1,000 Brits revealed that 68% of respondents had either taken their child to a festival or knew someone who had, while 53% had been to a festival with their parents or knew someone who had. As you know I take DD to several festivals a year and I have met lots of other families that do the same, there are more and more festivals that include 'kids fields' that are more like the old holiday camps than a music festival!

Nearly half (44%) of respondents stated that they attend festivals for a new experience, with 48% attending because family and friends are going, or as a break from work and everyday life - similar to the reasons many people go on a summer holiday. I personally go for the relaxing, the sleeping on the grass while listening to music, and the lack of judgemental looks when you have wine with your breakfast.

With hundreds of family friendly festivals now taking place in the UK, many families are now choosing to frolic in muddy fields, rather than on a sunny beach abroad. And not all of those fields are as muddy as you'd imagine, some years I am sun-kissed after only 4 days away.

Ben Sebborn, co-founder and technical director at Skiddle said: “The UK is renowned for its buzzing festival scene and it’s great to see more families attending the festivals and sharing a life affirming experience with their loved ones. There are plenty of family friendly festivals available throughout the UK, with family-specific camping areas and lots of activities created specifically for children to enjoy."

Skiddle's childproof festival checklist:
  • Ear defenders – to avoid any sore ears from loud noises;
  • Head torch – great for changing nappies in the dark;
  • Wet wipes – every festival goers' staple; particularly those with children;
  • Wellies and waterproofs – we do live in the UK after all;
  • Sunhats and sun cream – as above!

See more of my blog for tips and festival ideas for you and your little ones.And don't forget that you could tag a camping trip to one end of a festival to make it a proper fortnight away. Some festivals are in lovely areas of the country and some extra days camping can give you time to explore the region.

And check out the infographic by Skiddle for more festival facts


Outdoor Food on Friday - July 17th 2015

It's Friday so it's time for an outdoor food linky.
This weekend (actually later today) I'm off to a festival so I'll be eating outdoors for the next 3 days. I'm hoping for some excellent festival food. I am taking my daughter and her friend. Her friend is a vegetarian, so I may be having to try some options I don't normally look for.
I am a fan of the falafel, partial to a pizza and often crave a curry but what other vegetarian options are good for festival food and camping in general? I know on last week's linky there were some great vegan vege parcel recipes, but there will be no camp fires at a festival. I'll let you know next week what I discover - until then I look forward to your linked posts, or ideas in the comments below.

To link up you don’t need to be a camper or have a camping blog, or a food blog, you just need a recipe or story on a blog post that relates to food eaten outside.
Please link and try and visit and comment on at least one or two other blog posts. Thank you

If you are also at the Curious Arts Festival in Hampshire this weekend...look out for us! Do grab a badge for your blog and join up using the linky below and spread the word!.

Outdoor Food on Friday

Workforce socks, for walking and working - review

I don’t do much walking anymore, but when I do I like to wear proper walking boots and thick socks. Getting out into the countryside needs to be a comfy experience, no one wants blisters! And without proper foot wear you can risk, wet feet, sweaty feet (yuk), cold feet and just general discomfort. Especially important if you are walking each day over a period of time too as your feet have no time to heal. Most walkers spend a fair bit on boots and waterproof clothing but can be less discerning when it comes to socks. I have been reviewing some Workforce socks and not only do they look the part, they are nice and thick and comfy too. Sized correctly they don’t bunch up in my walking socks and give great cushioning support when I’m walking.

If you are looking for a comfy, soft and cushioning walking sock with a classic look, that is also hardwearing, you could do a lot worse than Workforce socks

Workforce also have socks designed specifically for wetter working conditions. The Classic Thermal Sock features full terry cushion footbed for the maximum comfort and shock absorption with 90% acrylic to ensure the cold is kept out all day. 

Workforce Long Boot Socks offer increased support to  the heel, toe and arch areas, ensuring greater durability.
Workforce socks are also the perfect choice for industry professionals, for a wide array of different DIY projects or simply for ensuring maximum comfort and support when worn for a number of different activities.  With 17 different designs currently included in the range, practicality is always a priority and Workforce guarantees to provide a hard working sock that doesn’t compromise on style or comfort. 
For more information please contact www.workforcesocks.co.uk
Disclosure. I was sent several pairs of socks for the purposes of this review but the opinions and wording are my own.

Top 10 essential things to know, do or bring to, Camp Bestival - UPDATEFOR 2015

A mini list (with links to more detail where necessary) of the actual vital stuff you need to know.

  1. First off. While Camp Bestival is a music festival that is far from all it is. It was begun as a spin off of Bestival as a cross between a Holiday Camp, and a festival. They even have their very own Blue Coats! Of course this means there is loads to do, plenty of comedy, films in the tent cinema, shows, circus acts, craft areas etc for children from as young as babies to teens. There is also a teen Den, just for those 13 - 17 to hang out. Perfect for the festival goers of tomorrow to get a feel for festival life away from their parents. As the main festival site is a castle they also have a jousting area this year (NEW!) there will be displays by Wild Warriors of the Cossack!  Also this year Dick and Dom are back with their zany sense of humor and fun. On the last night there is a spectacular fireworks finale.
  2. Camp site. It is hilly. You will probably need a trolley to transport all your stuff from the car park. If you don't own one you can hire them at the festival. Take the tent and minimal stuff on the first trip, find your spot (it gets crowded) and pitch the tent. Be polite to your neighbours, make friends, share a glass of wine, you never know when you may need their help! Tents can end up very close together, consider earplugs if you are a light sleeper, I also take an eye mask as my tent lets light in very early! The walkways between the tents are well lit with suspended lights and these stay on nearly all night, it makes a trip to the loo relatively easy but can keep you awake if you pitch near them.
  3. Hygiene and Toilets - everyone panics about festival loos and while they can be bad, they are usually OK - Camp Bestival has very well organised toilet facilities. There are portable chemical toilets in the main camping
    area (these are often emptied, but in the early morning, don't camp too close or you'll be woken by the trucks arriving) They are kept pretty clean. There are washing facilities near them (cold water only). There are also showers, and posh flushing loos that you can pay to use. And in the festival site itself there are compost loos, daunting at first (they have a long drop under the seat!) but actually pretty nice to use. Bring your own loo roll, wet wipes and hand sanitiser - make a small pack of these items to carry with you. Personal chemical  toilets are not allowed in the camping areas as there is nowhere to empty them. Ladies may like to consider buying a Shewee. While there are showers they often have long queues. For 4 days I tend to just shower before I leave home, use wetwipes at the festival and shower when I get home again. Take lots of wet wipes.
  4. Do buy the programme, spend some time planning the stuff you really can't miss, try and spot times that you will be free for meals etc. leave space between acts if you can (unless they are on the same stage) as you need to move around the site, use the toilets and get drinks too! If you are a family, ensure everyone gets to see at least one thing they really love each day. Consult the map to plan travel between the tents/stages. Some tents get filled early so consider that in your plans, if you arrive late you may not get in.
  5. Food. There is lots to buy but it's not cheap. Balance meals out with meals at the tent and take snacks. You can cook on small portable gas cookers outside. Take things that are quick to heat to save time and gas, tinned food is a good idea, baked beans, hotdogs, chilli etc (remember a tin opener!). No glass is allowed on site so no jars of pasta sauce, baby food, or bottles of wine etc. Bringing your own alcohol is allowed in the camping area only (there are bars in the festival site) and not in glass, think bags of wine, tins of G&T and cans of beer. Take snacks (especially for kids)  eg individual cartons of juice (there is drinking water available at lots of locations) packets of biscuits, apples, dried fruit, croissants, cakes (individually wrapped are great!) packets of crisps etc. Don't forget to visit the WI tent for a cheap and cheerful cup of tea and a piece of cake, or maybe a sandwich.
  6. Weather. Most years it has been sunny. So come prepared. Bring light clothing and suncream, sunhats and flowers for your hair too (yes even the men). But be prepared for rain, bring wellies and a waterproof jacket. As it's a festival wellies, especially funky coloured ones, have become ubiquitous, many people wear wellies everyday regardless of the weather. This year with The Wild Things project there may be opportunities for messy play and tree climbing so you may want to bring suitable clothing for that too!
  7. Dresses - only in kids sizes much to my dismay
  8. Money. There is loads to spend your money on at Camp Bestival, from bubble wands to vintage fashion. Flower hair garlands and fancy dress. Try and stock up with the sort of things that will be popular with children before you arrive, it will save you £££s. Things to buy before you go include; glowsticks, bubbles, furry tails, flower hair bands, fancy dress, balloons, diablos, hula hoops, frisbees (soft ones!) and sponge balls. If you run out of cash at Camp Bestival, there are cash machines, they will charge you a fee and there may be queues. Lots of the shops will take  cards though. There are both camping supplies shops (for when you realise you forgot the tent pegs) and basic grocers (selling fresh milk, fruit, bread etc) onsite too - they are cornershop prices rather than supermarket prices, but handy if you forget things or run out of anything
  9. Fancy Dress. This years theme is Wild. So anything from dinosaurs to wild animals, hunters, explorers, gruffalos or just imaginary wild kings and queens, the fancy dress ideas are numerous. Most people make some effort to dress up a bit. It needn't be elaborate, a painted face, a tail, some feathers in your hair (or beard)  but you may regret it if you don't join in. Some families go to extreme and amazing lengths with their costumes!
  10. Rubbish. There are lots of bins onsite, in the festival itself and in the camp site. Take some binbags and keep your rubbish in it, keep your space tidy. On the last day check you leave your space clean and tidy. It will take you 5 minutes to clean your area up and chuck the bin bag in the rubbish area, Don't leave it for someone else to do. Paying rubbish clean up crews puts festival costs up, help keep prices lower (and animals safer) by leaving just a patch of yellowing grass behind.
  11. Be flexible. Sleep when you are tired, eat when you are hungry. Wee when you are ....needing a wee and also when you spot a loo with no queue! Phone signal is pretty poor across the whole site, some fields are worse than others so don't rely on mobile apps for reminders or for texts to locate family, have some meeting points and times planned. Don't stress over healthy food, or washing, or bedtimes. It is (sadly) only 4 days, just go with the flow and have an awesome wild time. 

See you there - say hello, you can buy me a Pims!

Don't forget that while there is a medical tent if you need antihistamines, Calpol or any other medicines it's wise to buy before you travel and bring them with you. Illegal drugs are of course still illegal - even at a festival

Tuesday Tip - getting a warm night's sleep

This week’s Tuesday tip is about sleep again! No one is on good form unless they sleep well. So today I’ll give you a few tips on staying warm.
Staying cool is easy, you open up as much of the tent as you can and lay on top of, not in, your sleeping bag, wearing as little as possible. Staying warm is trickier. So here are my top tips.
Even in summer it can be cold at night so don’t assume you won’t need these tips just because you are camping in August

  • Use a quality sleeping bag, not the cheapest one you can get at the supermarket. Down is (apparently) wonderful if you can afford it. If not do unroll the bag early and give it a good shake to give it time to puff up. (air your bag during the day too to keep it dry and fresh) 
  • At home you are toastily sandwiched between an insulating mattress and a duvet. When camping it’s easy to forget that camping beds/inflatables/roll mats etc have little in the way of insulation. On a chilly night try adding something (blanket, silver sided roll mat) under you as well as over you. 
  • Don’t be afraid to take extra blankets or throws. There are many microfiber options that are both light to carry and good for insulation. They are also handy around the campfire of an evening for keeping your knees warm. 
  • Wear a hat. Even though lots of bags offer a hood option I find wearing a hat really helps on a cold night. I also like a warm neck so I sometimes wear a snood! But take care – I don’t want you to strangle yourself, a roll neck jumper would also work. 
  • Onesies are excellent for warmth, you can wear thermals under them if necessary and they prevent cool kidneys because they can’t ride up like a pyjama top would. 
  • Socks. Warm feet are an essential to a good night’s sleep – I reviewed some great socks a while ago. Pack some cosy bedsocks. 
  • Have a hot drink before bed so at least you start off with heat to spare! Getting warm once you’ve become cold is harder than staying warm from the outset. 
  • You could make a hotwater bottle (I tried that once, had a leak and have never done it again!) or use a heat pack (you can buy one off heat packs at chemists and online) 
  • But under no circumstances take smouldering BBQs into the tent to ‘use up the last of the heat’ they give off carbon monoxide which is a heavy gas that your lungs choose over oxygen, you will die in your sleep! They are not safe even in the living or porch area. 
  • If you use a tent heater (I don’t) ensure you read all the safety info and only use it as suggested. 
  • Keep everything dry – it seems common sense but being dry will keep you warm. If you are worried that the tent might leak on your sleeping bag while you are out all day, pack things into black bin liners as a precaution. 

DD having a hot snack before bed in the tent in October
Sleep well!

Outdoor Food on Friday - 10th July

It's Friday so it's outdoor food time again! What have you been eating or cooking outside?

WorldVision have declared today Floral Friday and are encouraging garden parties and flower themed events for charity. I baked an decorated cakes for us to eat at work. But wouldn't a summer garden party be lovely? I'm tempted to organise one. Tea, cucumber sandwiches...some cake, Pimms in a jug, bunting in the trees. Have you had any outdoor parties yet this year? I'd  love some party picnic themed food ideas!

Flower cakes for #floralfriday with Worldvision

Do grab a badge for your blog and join up using the linky below and spread the word!.

Outdoor Food on Friday

To link up you don’t need to be a camper or have a camping blog, or a food blog, you just need a recipe or story on a blog post that relates to food eaten outside. Maybe you had a family barbecue? Maybe you have a great one pot chilli recipe, or a cool new way to make s’mores. Did you have a picnic? Or have a great sandwich recipe that travels well? We need to know! Please link and try and visit and comment on at least one or two other blog posts. Thank you

Tuesday Tip - eye masks and ear plugs

Sometimes sleeping in a tent can't be tricky, both at festivals, where it can be extremely noisy at night, or in a campsite with crying babies (not yours!) or lowing cows, assorted wildlife screeching or rowdy tent neighbours.

Nighttime needs to be peaceful and if it's not then a set of soft earplugs are your friend!
Do not use earplugs if you have children that may need you in the night, obviously, you need to hear them, but you don't need to hear the man in the next tent snoring like a dying hippo (this actually happened at Glastonbury and I've never been so grateful for earplugs).
So assuming you can safely be deaf overnight earplugs are excellent. I favour the soft ones that are disposable, you squeeze them and insert them and they expand into the ear canal, deadening all sound, they are great.

The second thing that can cause lack of sleep is at the other end of the day. Canvas (and nylon) can be pretty poor at keeping light out on a bright sunny morning, so in the summer when dawn is so early light can be a real waking problem.
I now take a sleep mask away and wear that at night (by now I can tell you are impressed at my sleeping gear) and it really helps with a lie in.
So that's this weeks Tuesday tip, ear plugs and eye masks to help extend your sleeping hours and ensure a restful camping trip.

HeatHolder Socks, a warm feet review

When I go camping one of the things I like is laying in my bed at night, snug and warm, listening to rabbits and foxes and who knows what snuffingly about around the tent. Some evenings it’s harder to feel warm and snuggly than others though. If you’ve spent a day in rain on a windswept hillside, or in a chilly lake water skiing (I have never done that so I’m guessing) or wandering about a festival, scantily clad in fancy dress on a drizzly British summer day (I have done this one) it can be hard to get warmed up again. As I have poor circulation due to Charcot-Marie-Tooth my feet are often freezing even on a warm day, on a cold day you could use them to chill champagne.

So I was pleased to be asked to review some HeatHolder products, including some simply super socks! They are so warm and snuggly and fluffy inside. I tried them on on my cold feet and really felt the difference almost immediately. They are really soft and thick, the inside brushed layer is like candyfloss (less sticky obviously) and they felt just dreamy. I was also sent a blanket which will be perfect for evenings sitting in the tent, or in a camp chair near the fire, and over my sleeping bag on colder nights.

If you suffer from chilly feet keeping you awake I would recommend trying some HeatHolders. They also make cute welly socks, that not only make your wellies look snazzy but stop the tops rubbing your legs when you are in your festival shorts, and of course keep your feet super warm even when in cold festival mud.

Whichever festivals you choose to go to this year you will see amazing sights, meet lots of people and witness great entertainment – but don’t forget to make sure you’re prepared for the British weather!

Heat Holders have a number of thermal products in their range, including socks, wellington socks, blankets, thermal underwear, jumpers, neck warmers, hats, gloves, tights and leggings, and are available to buy online at www.heatholders.co.uk and at various high street retailers.

Disclosure. I was sent socks and a blanket for the purposes of this review but the opinions and wording are my own.

Outdoor Food on Friday - July 3rd 2015

Sometimes eating out is a more enjoyable experience thanother times. At the weekend DD and I went to the Bristish Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park. I had won some tickets in a competition so only had to find the train fare and the cost of food. We ate Fish and chips and to be fair they were really good, a smallish bit of fish but really nicely cooked, hot and tasty. The size of the chip portion was good too, and even though the portions were £7 each at least we weren't fleeced extra for ketchup (a practice that annoys me).

But if the food was slightly pricey...the drinks!

I like to have a drink on a sunny day at a festival and often I'll take my own can or two of gin in a tin or similar, I usually buy a drink or two as well. We weren't allowed to take drinks into the festival so I was forced to buy from the bar. I chose a gin and tonic. It was served from a can, ready mixed, I was not offered any ice, let alone a slice of lemon. I was charged £6.50

I had to have another drink to recover from the shock :-)

We had a lovely time. Have you eaten outside this week? Good or bad experiences welcome. Or a recipe for campers or picnics? Please link up below and spread the word. Thank you (why not grab the badge for your blog!)

Outdoor Food on Friday

Night night, sleep tight - Camping sleep mats review

For a long time I have searched for the perfect comfy night's sleep when camping. As I'm in my 50s the simple thin foam mat favo...