Five Go Off To Eat Crisps : The Clayton Hotel Liffey Valley and Tayto Park

Five years ago when we first went to Tayto Park, I admit, I was confused. Was it a playground with a zoo attached? Or a zoo with a playground attached? Our kids were too small for any of the rides, and I don't remember seeing any rollercoasters - I was too busy trying not to lose sight of ...

Something Old, Something New: Back for More in Union Lido

Sunbathing Cambrils Park - Office Mum

“We’ve been here six times,” said the woman behind me in the queue at the bakery, “and now we’re afraid to go anywhere different in case it’s not as good.” This was in Cambrils in Spain, and she wasn’t the only one who said it. One family reportedly rented the same house in Cambrils every ...

Tell them the one about the fish

It was eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, and we'd been chatting to and entertained by our hosts, Jean and Dónal, for about an hour at that stage. We'd only met Dónal that morning but we'd meet Jean two days earlier when we'd arrived in her Airbnb in Ballybunion. She had welcomed us like old friends, although having ...

Four Campsites in Italy: Comparison and Review

If you're a campsite person, you'll have had the conversation; the one where you chat with the people in the mobile home across the way about which campsites you've been to and which ones they've been to, and which ones were great and which ones were awful. Who you stayed with, the size of the pools, and ...

Union Lido Campsite Review: Going back for more

I need to preface this post with a caveat: we went to Union Lido campsite in Italy for the second part of a two-centre holiday, the first part of which was spent in Bella Italia. We had an incredible time in Bella Italia, and had agreed that it didn’t matter that our mobile was fairly ...

Bella Italia campsite review – what’s in a word?

"So where are you off to?" my child's teacher asked, as we chatted about holidays. “To a mobile home in a campsite in Italy,” I said. “Oh, is it Bella Italia? I went there when I was ten,” the teacher replied, and that was when I realised for the first time that Bella Italia had been around ...

Wishing The Kids Were Here: Martinhal Cascais Review

*Review: I was invited to review Martinhal Cascais, but all opinions are my own* I put my book down on the lounger and turned my face to the sun, pausing for a few seconds to appreciate the moment - to appreciate sitting by a pool in Portugal, with nobody to look after but myself. I thought back to ...

Take me to the beach: A weekend in Malaga with my BFFs

Malaga city centre - office mum - andrea mara

Are you and your friends like me and my friends? We stay in touch on WhatsApp and Facebook. We grab coffee when we can, and we have really, really good nights out when we find a date that suits everyone. But we haven't been away together since our hen parties a very long time ago, and with ...

Better than a Roman Holiday in Bloomfield House Hotel

Bloomfield House Hotel - Andrea Mara Office Mum

We spent our first wedding anniversary wandering around Rome, eating pasta and drinking wine, and asking strangers to take our pictures in pre-selfie, pre-smart-phone days. We spent our second wedding anniversary sitting in Shanahan's, eating steak and drinking wine, and praying we hadn't forgotten to bring our voucher. Our third anniversary was different - it was the ...