A whole week off with the family prior to starting maternity leave, and T requested a staycation. From my perspective a good suggestion as sitting for long periods anywhere is increasingly uncomfortable, not to mention sleeping anywhere, let alone somewhere without home comforts! A, however, was less impressed. “I want a proper holiday, on an aeroplane to Spain!”.
Instead we planned a full itinerary of close-to-home adventures; and A duly came home from her last day at preschool prepared for a week of family fun…. with a bad mood and a temperature of 39°+. Bah! After one day of sofa rest and pottering around Windsor we decided to carry on with the plan, armed with our purple friend, Calpol; but I’ll be honest this trip to the lavender fields was much more for me and my camera than the slightly poorly 3 year old and beleaguered husband I had in tow!
T was at least happy to find the coffee shop on our second annual visit to Mayfield, and A relished her car picnic overlooking the incredibly-scented sea of purple. On a grey day, with rain threatening it was pleasingly quiet compared with the litter-throwing mob of a sunny weekend last year. A was undeterred by the bees about their business and the snails creeping through the rows of lavender and happily played hide and seek, posing for a few pictures, wanting to show off the outfit she’d picked out specially.
Inspired by the lavender-infused delights on offer at the fields (including the most vibrant and melting lavender macarons); I used some of the organic lavender we brought home to make my first homemade marshmallows.
It was a bit of a cheat, using a kit from Lakeland, but I was nonetheless delighted with the results! I infused the water called for in the recipe with lavender buds and lemon for around an hour, then marbled through a little colouring before they set.
The result was delicately flavoured, perfect little pillows of billowy sweetness. Free from gluten, dairy and egg so we can all indulge.
Of all of the adventures we went on to have during our week at home – Legoland, the theatre, swimming camping and pottering around with undivided parental attention; the thing A chose for ‘show and tell’ at nursery was a small bunch of lavender to share the scent of with her friends. But not the marshmallows – they are not for sharing!