A family picnic at Emmetts Garden

Blogging service has been disrupted by some completely crazy weeks of work as we ran a major conference alongside our normal, busy consulting load.  The last month for me has been entirely Pickle Jar and parenting!  But since the conference concluded (successfully!) yesterday, it’s time to get back to normal – so I have some blog posts to catch up on!

First up – Fathers’ Day.

It’s hard to believe it now it’s a bit chillier, but a couple of weeks ago it was ridiculously hot in London – so we decided to  get out of the city for Fathers’ Day and enjoy a family picnic.  We packed up some scrummy food and got our National Trust guidebook out to pick a spot.  We chose Emmetts Garden – a hillside garden with loads of woodland trails and glorious views over the Weald of Kent.

It was absolutely beautiful.  We slowly walked up through the garden to find a shady spot for lunch, and found a quiet place with gorgeous views:

Full of lunch, we decided to explore the Garden properly, so set off along the trails.  Sophie looked the part with her walking stick and hat!

She stopped for a rest when the heat got too much, and loved kissing everyone through the kissing gates!

It was so lovely to be in the shade and relative cool of the trees, so we spent ages ambling along the woodland paths, exploring and climbing.

The kids were delighted to find some dens half way around – although a bit disappointed that they were fully built with nothing left for them to do!

So they instead amused themselves with funny face competitions (random I know)

Alex did a good job with the wayfinding!

And he soon found he way to the brilliant natural playground.  The National Trust do these so well, letting children run wild with den building, climbing and scrambling.  Sophie loved the little tree trunks:

And Alex loved the careful balancing:

And they both loved the new swings!

Everyone was feeling so hot after the walk and play, so we were delighted to find the Old Stables Cafe where we stocked up on ice cream and lollies to cool off.  We all snuggled up and shared what we’d bought.

Soon it was time to head home, so we walked back through the more formal gardens which were in full bloom for the summer.  The children ran off ahead exploring the paths through the flowers:

It smelled amazing!

I loved the formal rose garden which we had almost all to ourselves:

It was such a perfect way to celebrate Fathers’ Day.

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