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As you may recall I enjoyed quite a car journey when my friend Kate and I decided to take our girls on a night away at a hotel in Derbyshire.  The car journey however, was to prove the easiest part of the whole trip.

IMG_1778 (Small)When we arrived at the hotel I checked in before Kate and I lugged the numerous bags, bears, dolls, suitcases and children up to our bedroom.  We were told by the hotel that the children’s activities had finished for the day and that dinner was to be served at 6pm prompt meaning that we had two hours to have a bath, relax and get ready for dinner or so I foolishly thought. I spent the next hour acting as a joint referee as the children swung between being best friends and arch enemies. There were tears and tantrums to be endured over everything from which drinking cup belonged to which child to which bed to sleep in.  The bed issue was to prove a recurring motif throughout the stay, but at this early juncture I thought it would just blow over, little did I know that at 11pm that evening my friends daughter, Gracie would still be wanting the bed designated for her and Hattie to share all to herself.

IMG_1770 (Small)As I bundled all three girls into the bath together all that could be heard was giggles and the splash of water. I felt my frazzled nerves relax and enjoyed a nice cup of tea as I pondered over how lovely it was to get away for the night.  Half an hour later Kate and I dressed our little Princess’, before we set off for a lovely meal in the hotel dining room.

The hotel dining rooms were chaotic with eighty-two fellow diners seated and I cannot express my delight when they said that we would have to dine in a separate room. We had a delightful meal in our own private dining space, where the girls danced, played and even ate their dinners.  Lulled into a false sense of security Kate and I began to enjoy the evening, but once back in the bedroom, the curse of tired, squabbling children struck again. There were arguments over everything and anything before Gracie announced ‘’I am a Queen and all Queens have their own bed’’. Behind veiled smiles we finally settled the girls into bed and we wreaked our revenge the following day as we dragged them around vintage and antique shops, amidst groans of ‘’not another shop’’.

IMG_1713 (Small)As the trip away came to a close the girls all peacefully snuggled up in the back of the car and asked, ‘’when are we going away again’’. I think they enjoyed themselves in amongst the squabbles.

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog,