Friday 9 January 2015

Travelling to Paris

Last month we went to Paris for the weekend to see the christmas spectacular in Disneyland. Arwyn and I went to this a few years ago before Eva was born and loved it, so we were desperate to take Eva there. I will blog about our time in Disney on a separate post and dedicate this one to how we travelled there.
We booked the Eurostar to the centre of Paris during one of their sales and managed to get the return journey for £59 each. All children under the age of 4 can travel for free if they are willing to sit on your lap. They currently have a sale on now, so make sure you check out any offers, Eurostar. Also from May they are starting trains to the South of France, so this is definitely something we will look into later on this year.
Our train was departing at 8.31am so we new we needed to stay as close to St Pancras as possible as we didn't want to contend with attempting to travel across London during the peak morning rush to work. I have to say the thought of doing that with the suitcase, pushchair and Eva really wasn't very appealing in the slightest.
We booked to stay at the Premier Inn St Pancras which is a fairly new hotel. It cost £130 and it was well worth the money. We didn't arrive until 11pm at night (we had to drive from Cardiff to London after work = nightmare) and by this point we were desperate to get a good nights sleep. When we arrived the staff were super friendly and so helpful. They attended to us as you would expect to be attended to staying at a 5 star hotel. They helped us use the self check in machines (very easy) and supplied us with all the information we would need. I honestly haven't come across such nice hotel staff in a long time. 
The room itself was perfect. Stupidly I didn't take any of my own pictures (probably due to how late it was) but it does look exactly as it's shown on the website. We booked a double with a cot. The room was quite large which is great when you are traveling with little ones as let's face it, you need all the room you can get as their stuff tends to take over. There was a tv and tea and coffee making facilities (always a bonus!!). 

We'd run out of milk for Eva, so Arwyn went downstairs to see if we could get some. Again the staff were attentive and very efficient and got us some free of charge. 
The location of the hotel is absolutely perfect for travelling from St Pancras as it is literally on the doorstep. It probably took us about 4 minutes to walk there and that includes walking with the suitcase, pushchair and waiting for the traffic lights. The entrance to the station just so happens to be right infant of the entrance to the Eurostar. It couldn't have been better. We will use this hotel every time we travel on the Eurostar as we were so impressed with the experience and value for money.

The Eurostar is the ideal way to travel especially when you have children. Check in is usually fuss and stress free. The only thing you have to contend with is slight queues. Eva loved the journey. She loved being able to look out of a window (we played eye spy quite a bit). She also loved the fact that she wasn't constrained to such a small area and was able to walk through the cabins when she was getting bored. This is one of the positives of train travel over an aeroplane. We packed the iPad, books and colouring materials also to keep her entertained. 

The train we took arrives in the Gare De Nord but you can get one that goes directly to Disneyland. It's normally slightly more expensive to go straight there. We wanted to go to the christmas markets that are at the start of the Champs Elysees. If you are ever looking for a christmas market destination, Paris would be a high recommendation from me. It's simply beautiful and i'm sure there are many others across the whole of Paris. 

To sum up we were so happy with how Eva behaved during travelling and would recommend the Eurostar and Premier Inn St Pancras to anyone. We can't wait to use both again.

Have you ever been on the Eurostar? Can you recommend any small products to entertain toddlers? Any recommendations for how best to pack hand luggage for Eva when we fly long haul to Dubai and Australia in April? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Love Kerry and Eva xx

Monday 5 January 2015

Tucked up in a Grobag

We've been huge fans of sleeping bags for Eva as we have used them since she was born. We swaddled her for the first few weeks and then put her into a sleeping bag at night. Therefore, we were delighted to be sent a bag to try from 'grobag'. Grobag were the original makers of sleeping bags for babies and toddlers and safety and comfort are what they pride themselves on. They start at sizes 0-6 months and even go up to size 6-10 years in a range of different togs to suit different temperatures. You can view the full range here, Gro Bags.
We were sent this lovely style for Eva tor try which is a 2.5 tog in 18-36 years. Eva is coming up to 2 next week and this size is ideal for her. There is still plenty of room for growth and even though it seems very big at the moment, she moves very well in it at night and it doesn't seem to restrict her or wake her up. The tog is perfect for most nursery's as it suits a standard room temperature and therefore can be used all year around. This particular style is currently on sale, Candy cloud go bag
I'm so pleased with the product. Even though we will soon be moving Eva from a cot to a bed I will still use Grobags for along as I can instead of a duvet. I find them the safest option for baby and toddlers to sleep. Eva has always slept exceptionally well in a bag so I don't feel the need to change, even as she grows older. 
We took a few photo's, unfortunately Eva has a pink light shade in her room which seems to create a horrendous colour so please excuse the quality of the pictures.

Gro bag also do many other fantastic sleep products. One that has really caught my eye and is going to be on our shopping list is the Gro Anywhere Blind. We are travelling to Dubai and Australia in April and it will be ideal for our holiday. We went to Australia last year and all suffered from jet lag. It was very difficult to get Eva to nap and adjust to different sleep times. The Gro anywhere blind is a blackout blind which attaches directly to a window. This is definitely something I am going to try out.

Anther product that I think would be perfect for Eva is the Gro Clock. It's a sleep training and learning clock. Eva will be 2 next week and is starting to learn and understand more on a daily basis. This product would be fab for teaching her when she should wake up and also start teaching her the time. It will be a useful tool for when moving Eva from her cot to her bed. Let's cross fingers that it keeps her in her bed and not wandering around!!!

There are also 2 products that i'd like to point out to any new parents or parents to be and they are the Gro Swaddle and the Gro Hush. I was useless when it came to swaddling with an ordinary blanket and really wish I had known about these!! They are top of my list for when baby number 2 comes (I am not pregnant yet!!). The Gro hush also seems like a genius idea. It's a little device that plays white noise which is perfect for mimicking being inside the womb. I wish we'd have had this for the early months with Eva. Make sure you check it out.

Have you used Gro Bags? Do you use duvets? Have you got any other Gro products? 

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Love Kerry and Eva xx
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