Showing posts with label Panasonic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Panasonic. Show all posts

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Staying Overnight at Bear Lodge, Port Lympne

We recently spent a night staying at Bear Lodge in Port Lympne wildlife park and it was such a fantastic experience for the children and us.  It wasn't our first time glamping, but Bear Lodge was definitely the most glam thanks to the en-suite shower and toilet and the running water in the kitchen sink.  We slept overlooking the bears as well as being able to see out 40 miles towards the coast and we had our entry to Port Lympne included the next day.

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

We were expecting the tents to be big and from the outside they looked similar to others we had stayed in.  Inside they were quite different though, so much bigger and better.  Being a family of six, we had one of the largest sized tents which sleeps up to 8.  There was a master bedroom, a second bedroom with bunk beds and a bed built into what looks like a wooden crate.  It had a storage/crawl space underneath and you could close the shutters both sides to make it fully coccooned.  There was a small 'kitchen' with cupboards, a fridge and a sink, a dining area with a large table and a living area with a sofa.  Outside the tent were tables and chairs so we could sit and enjoy the view.

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

All of the beds were made up with thick winter duvets and fleece blankets which we were really grateful for as we stayed at the end of October and it got pretty chilly! Whilst the previous day was mild, the night was freezing and we slept wrapped up in the warm layers.  I would definitely recommend taking warm layers if you are going outside of the summer season.

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

There were around 20 tents all grouped together with a communal playground in the middle which all four children loved.  It was really great to be able to let them run around out there as soon as they woke up in the morning too.  

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

Just behind our tent was a small meerkat enclosure and towards the bears was another one with small mammals (I have forgotten their names) that the children loved watching run around through the wire tubes.  Whilst the area felt safe and serene at times, you were very aware that you were sleeping in a wildlife park and we heard the bears growling through the evening too.

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

The views were breathtaking and my photos do not do them justice.  The sun set just in front of us so it was the perfect spot to sit and watch it.  As occupants of Bear Lodge you can book in to do a later safari so rather than queing with the day customers, there were later safaris for the guests to go on an hour tour of the reserve taking in animals such as the giraffes, rhinos and deer.  We were staying at Bear Lodge as part of a project I have been doing with Panasonic so we had dinner with them, but there is a restaurant on the campsite that sells dinner and breakfast and had a bar.  The tents don't have any cooking facilities so you do have to eat out.

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

If you are thinking of a visit, then don't forget to pack warm pyjamas, wellies and some marshmallows to toast! We had a brilliant time and I would love to take the children back.  From one year old up to six, they all found different things to amuse themselves and there was a lovely atmosphere in such a small site with the children all playing together.  

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping

You can stay at Bear Lodge at Port Lympne from £210 a night and that includes entry into both Howletts and Port Lympne for the duration of your stay, all bedding and towels and the safaris.  You can read more about our experience at Port Lympne here.  I have also written about the amazing Dinosaur Forest

Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping
Bear jumpers for Bear Lodge - It had to be done! All 4 are from Tootsa Macginty
Bear Lodge, Port Lympne, glamping




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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Experience Fresh at Port Lympne with Panasonic

Panasonic are passionate about cooking with fresh ingredients and as part of their Experience Fresh campaign we were invited along for an overnight stay at one of the glamping tents at Port Lympne.  Our trip combined fresh food straight from some of their brilliant small kitchen appliances, fresh air and a chance to see some endangered species up close.

Daniel from the Naked Nutritionist talked to the children and us about the importance of eating fresh foods, getting lots of vegetables into your diet (you should be eating far more vegetables than fruit) and how the Panasonic small kitchen appliances can help make this a possibility from green juices to pumpkin soup.  He used fresh and in-season produce and we were able to taste his creations.  The blue cheese and walnut bread from the bread maker was a hit with all the kids and the purple juice was perfect for Halloween as well as being quick to make in the slow juicer (named that because of the way it juices the food to retain the most nutrients).

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne, Tootsa Macginty

After our chat we were shown to our accomodation for the night, a glamping tent in 'Bear Lodge' which looked out onto 40 miles of countryside including the resident bears of Port Lympne who we could hear growling during the night.  We have done glamping before but these tents were even more amazing with ensuite toilet and shower, warm duvets and a log burner.

Guests of Bear Lodge are able to go on one of the later safaris, after they have shut to the public and it was fascinating seeing the incredible enclosures, the different species and hearing about the  amazing conservation work that Port Lympne are doing as they prepare to release animals back in to the wild.

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne, Bear Lodge, Tootsa Macginty

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne, giraffes

After our overnight stay, we had a day to explore the zoo and we all loved it.  Having done the safari the day before, we were free to discover the rest of the park on foot and we started with the tigers.  The boys were captivated by the different species and we spent ages watching the monkeys behaving in an all too familiar way as the smallest ones started getting cheeky and the elder ones chased them around.  Most of the animals at Port Lympne are endangered species and they work hard to breed the animals and release them back into the wild with plenty of success.  

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Panasonic had talked to us about experiencing fresh and the weekend gave us the opportunity to do this in different ways, sleeping closer to nature in our tents and exploring the huge green park on foot.  We found one of the play areas and the children loved having the freedom to move and climb as they pleased.  We found the park really well set up with areas to sit and eat and a few different playgrounds to break up the visit

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

We loved exploring Port Lympne with the children, it was such a brilliant place to get up close with the animals and the Dinosaur Forest was their absolute favourite, filled with lifesize models of dinosaurs throughout the different ages.

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Staying at Bear lodge in October meant it was really cold when we woke up in the morning and I would have done nearly anything to have stayed under the warm duvet and fleece blankets they provided.  By the time we got home the next evening the children were covered in mud, snoring on the back seat and Daniel's pumpkin soup fresh from the Panasonic food processer was exactly what I needed!

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Thank you to Panasonic for inviting us along to learn more about experiencing fresh.

Disclosure - This post is in collaboration with Panasonic
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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Back to School with Panasonic.

The transition back from summer holiday freedom to early morning school runs has been tough and it hasn't helped that Archie is still on half days for another week and a half.  The freedom to wake, eat and sleep when we wanted to has gone and now I can guarantee that at 3:15 on the dot two little voices are declaring that they are 'so hungry'.

We have been working with Panasonic and Daniel from The Naked Nutritionist to solve our back to school food problems and he came up with three delicious recipes for us.  Both boys have school lunches and whilst I know that they have to follow certain guidelines, I also don't know what they are eating at school so I want to make sure I get as much fresh and healthy food into them as possible when they are at home.



My children always come out of school hungry so my first question was about after school snacks that will give them the energy to get through the rest of the day without making them too full up for their dinner.  Daniel created a green juice recipe that would help get some vegetables into them and was a great way to get them involved too.  We used a Panasonic MJ-L500 juicer which slowly presses and crushes the food with its stainless steel screw to keep more nutrition in.  The children loved getting involved and feeding the vegetables into the juicer and I love how easy it is to clean afterwards as you can take it apart and pop it in the dishwasher! 

I wanted some ideas for dinner times too as we always resort to the same vegetables which we know they will eat (peas, carrots and sweetcorn). Daniel came up with two brilliant recipes to get the children eating fresh and more variety.  The cauliflower mash is perfect for the days when they are not that hungry as it is lighter than mashed potato and we loved it with cream cheese added as well. The Panasonic MK-F800SXE food processer whizzed through the steamed cauliflower in seconds creating a creamy mash.



The boys ask for a pudding every evening and so Daniel taught me how to make a chocolate and avacado mousse that was sweet and delicious but full of hidden avacado which is such a great food for getting all the right vitamins to keep their brains working well.  The food processor has 33 functions and we have made so many different things with it by swapping the attachments.  (Next up is our own nut butter!).  Along with the classic hiding veg in a pasta sauce, I think hiding avacado in a chocolate pudding works great!

The recipes for all three of these are available on the ideas kitchen website and if you want to see Daniel and I cooking them then check out the facebook live we made on Panasonic's facebook page.

I have no excuse not to serve up something fresh and nutritious to the ravenous school boys at 3:15 each afternoon now!

In collaboration with Panasonic.





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