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Holiday Ideas

Fascinating facts and Easter customs from around the world. Let’s egg-splore!

Three cookie cutter shapes: a chick, a bunny and a flower, filled with paper strips and sweets

Easter Icons

Egg-stravagent

Did you know that children in the UK receive on average 8.8 Easter eggs each every year with an average household spend of £75 on Easter treats? In the USA, 90 million chocolate bunnies and 91.4 billion eggs are produced each year. An egg-sorbetant  16 million jellybeans are used to fill the hollow centre of Easter eggs, enough to circle the globe three times over!

Colourful jellybeans filling the frame

16 Million Jellybeans

Egg-sercise

One old Easter tradition is a game in which real eggs are rolled down a hill. On Easter Sunday in Scotland and North-East England, some people have great fun rolling painted eggs down steep hills. The owner of the egg that stayed uncracked the longest wins. Even today in the north of England, for example as at Preston in Lancashire, they still carry out the custom of egg rolling.

In Poland, few things signify Easter more than a friendly water fight. On Easter Monday, or Wet Monday, these festivities commence by throwing lots of H2O at each other. In the olden days, it was mainly single guys chasing single girls, and it was believed that the soaked individual would be blessed with fertility and strength. Nowadays it’s pretty much everyone water-fighting everyone.

A little child wearing a tie dye shirt splashing in a water fountain

Splish-Splash

The people in Bermuda aim high for Easter. As a way to symbolise Christ rising from his grave and ascending to Heaven, kite flying is everyone’s favourite pastime during this holiday. Bermudians make their own kites with wooden sticks, colourful paper, and intricate designs. These special Easter kites can take weeks for the people to design and create. Finally the kite is topped off with a special tissue called “hummers” that makes a buzzing sound, aka the sound of Bermudian Easter.

Egg-streme

In the Czech Republic, it is customary for men to get a special Easter whip that they then use to swat the women they fancy most. All the local men and boys will roam the streets with gaily decorated willow switches looking for girls to ‘lightly’ whip. The whipping is not intended to be painful, but instead is meant to encourage good health and beauty. This is apparently to ensure fertility and vitality as the willow is the first tree to wake in spring. How kind. I’d rather stick to rolling eggs down a hill.

On Easter Saturday at 11am sharp, the residents of Corfu throw clay pots of all sizes, from their balconies. This Venetian tradition dates back to the 16th century, when on New Year’s Day, people threw their old possessions from the window in the hope of receiving new ones – the noisy breaking pots scare away evil spirits and mark a new beginning.

Rows of clay pots piled up against an old wall

Out with the old and in with the new…

Egg-splosive

Yellow and red fireworks in the shape of an atoms electron pathway

Egg-splosive

Churches across Greece celebrate midnight mass with a fireworks display but on the island of Chios two rival churches take it to the next level. The parishes of St. Mark’s and Panaghia Ereithiani are built on hilltops 400 metres from each other. Throughout the night they fire hundreds of homemade rockets at the opposition’s belfry. Direct hits to the bell tower are counted the next morning when the winner is declared.

Egg-citing

In some parts of the world, Easter is high time for crimes – not biting off the ears of innocent chocolate bunnies or cracking beautifully decorated eggs. No, we’re talking about the Norwegian tradition of reading, watching, and listening to crime stories and detective thrillers during the Easter holidays. The whole country seems to be in on the suspense as publishers, radio and TV stations produce murder mysteries, and even the milk cartons carry short detective stories printed on their side.

Scary, dirty hands coming over the side of a grass embankment

‘Whodunit’

Eggs-hausting

Finland’s Easter offering is a wonderfully quaint ode to spring. Children plant grass in small portable beds inside the house and literally sit and watch it grow. The excitement really ramps up to new levels when the shoots break through. After the grass has finished growing to maturity, children decorate it with painted eggs and paper bunnies to signify a time of fertility in the country.

Little girl looks on amazed at a new shoot growing

New Life

Some customs to do with Easter have now, thankfully, egg-spired! What are your Easter traditions? Please leave a comment to let us know.

Whatever your plans are this Easter, we hope you have an egg-ceedingly good weekend. Hoppy Easter from Hiplets!

If you are in Bath around this time don’t miss out on some of these fun filled family events:
Easter Weekend at Kilver Court – https://www.kilvercourt.com/easter-weekend-at-kilver-court
Feel Good Friday at Bath Racecoursehttps://www.bath-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/feel-good-friday
Side by Side Easter Trail – https://americanmuseum.org/whats-on/full-events-listing
Easter Sunday Lunchhttp://www.bowood.org/event/easter-sunday-lunch-shelburne-restaurant/
Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt – https://www.cheddargorge.co.uk/whats-on/glow-in-the-dark-egg-hunt
Egg Drop Challenge – https://www.avonvalley.co.uk/weve-got-easter-cracked/
For more details, visit the Visit Bath and Bath Racecourse websites.

 

5 Very Merry Reasons To Visit Bath This Festive Season

Golden glitter gift box and star decorations
Faded golden globe lights in the background with a simple nativity scene of Mary, Joseph and baby in fore ground.

Photo Credit: Gareth Harper on Unsplash

Bath is completely magical at Christmas – the winding streets and beautiful old buildings are transformed with twinkly fairy lights, there are cosy, welcoming cafes and pubs on every corner, and the fabulous independent boutiques make it the perfect Christmas shopping destination. The Bath Christmas Market is, of course, legendary, but what else is not to be missed during the festive season? We asked local blogger Sal Godfrey to round up her favourite things to do in Bath at Christmas…

1. Apres-Ski Bar, The Abbey Hotel 

A wooden chalet, with tables and chairs in front and lit up with pretty lights

Photo Credit: The Abbey Hotel

Every Christmas, this pop-up bar appears as if by magic outside the Abbey Hotel, and is the perfect place to warm up and chill out after a serious shopping spree. Inside the rustic log cabin you’ll find a snug alpine ski lodge, beautifully decorated and lit by lanterns and candles, with lots of comfy corners to take a load off your feet, and a bar serving mulled wine and winter comfort food. Entry is free but it can get quite busy as the evening goes on, so bear that in mind when you plan your visit.
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Treat Yourself to the Ultimate Girls’ Weekend in Bath

For hundreds of years, Bath has been the place to come to treat yourself. The Romans knew just how to do it, with everything from fine food to the ultimate spa experience, and Bath carries on the best of both traditions today – so it’s quite simply the perfect location for a girls’ weekend away. Whether you’re on a hen party, catching up with old friends or just taking a little mother-daughter time, Bath has something for you to enjoy. We asked local blogger Sal Godfrey for her top three recommendations…

For Dining: Chez Dominique

This elegant, understated French restaurant on Argyle St will whisk you away to Paris for a few hours. The menu changes regularly but is always full of irresistible dishes – I’m still daydreaming about their pork steaks with pickled walnuts and Roquefort butter weeks later. You absolutely must save room for the dessert menu too. If you’re in a bigger group, then you can book their private dining room (with beautiful views of the weir) and have your own space, or simply reserve a table in the main restaurant – booking is definitely recommended. They have a fantastic set menu too, with two dishes for just £14 before 7pm, so have an early dinner and leave yourself plenty of time afterwards for my next recommendation…

Chez Dominique Chocolate Treats

Processed with Snapped. Photo Credit: Sal Godfrey

For Drinking: Sub 13

This chic bar makes some of Bath’s best cocktails, including a whole menu based around the dream team that is gin and tonic. You wouldn’t know it from the discreet frontage on George St, but Sub 13’s stylish lounges are spread over several floors and highlights include a snug, candlelit champagne bar in the vaults and a beautiful courtyard garden at the back. You can book your own vault in the late night club downstairs, where drinking and dancing goes on until 3am at the weekends, or even arrange your own mixology class. The best bit? Sub 13 offers a huge range of their award-winning cocktails at 2 for 1 until 10pm, every single day.
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Beyond Scones – The Best Afternoon Teas in Bath

Hiplets_Afternoon_Tea

Ah yes, the afternoon tea. As soon as you mention England to anyone who has been, it’s often memories of scrumptious scones and piping hot tea that come up. But a great afternoon tea is so much more than that. It’s about the setting, and about the ambience. A really memorable afternoon tea also needs more than just scones to stand out. After all, the afternoon tea ceremony has a long and hallowed history to live up to.

Afternoon tea as a tradition had been around since the mid-1800s. It is often credited to the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell, who elevated it to a substantial afternoon meal in upper class circles. The contents of the menu at an afternoon tea has changed over time, but the decadence of the tradition remains. Below we list some of our favourite places in Bath to have afternoon tea like an English nobleman or woman.

Hiplets_Afternoon_Tea

 

The Pump Room

The Pump Room is a great place to stop for tea in Bath, as it’s part of the Roman Baths, one of Bath’s most popular attractions. After you learn about the fascinating history of the Romans in Bath, you can sit down for a well deserved break with a nice cuppa. The room itself is stunning; columns along the walls and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, whilst a pianist plays for your enjoyment.
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Family-Friendly Restaurants in Bath – Where to Take the Kids This Half-term

Pizza Restaurant in Bath, UK

Bath has a reputation as a seriously romantic weekend away, and of course it’s a must-visit for history fans, with everything from ancient Roman ruins to Jane Austen’s former haunts. But it’s also a brilliant place for families to visit – the city is compact enough that you can walk everywhere without little legs getting too tired, there’s plenty of green space, and there’s lots of great family-friendly food and fun too. We asked local blogger Sal Godfrey for her three top picks on dining out in Bath with kids in tow…

The Bathampton Mill

Kid-friendly Restaurant in Bath, UK
Photo Credit: Bathampton Mill
Just on the outskirts of Bath, the Bathampton Mill is a beautiful old pub with a big garden, overlooking the River Avon. As well as a great children’s menu, offering two courses for £7.95 Monday-Saturday (and a roast on Sundays for just £6.95), there are plenty of options for the grown-ups too, from a great gastropub menu with all sorts of delicious international influences. On a sunny day, you can sit on their terrace and let the kids wear themselves out in the garden, or you can get everyone together in the cosy, relaxed bar space. To make this a proper day out, travel to the Bathampton Mill by boat – the Pulteney Princess leaves from the weir, right in the centre of Bath, and takes roughly half an hour to get to the pub, with beautiful views and a bit of commentary along the way. Under-5s travel for free and under-16s cost just £3 each way – visit the Pulteney Princess website for departure times and more information.

The Real Italian Pizza Co

Pizza Restaurant in Bath, UK
Photo Credit: Sal Godfrey
Right in the centre of the city, The Real Italian Pizza Co is always my first recommendation for families looking to go out for dinner. The atmosphere is great, the food is fabulous and it’s really good value too, with their freshly-cooked pizzas starting from less than £10. There isn’t an official children’s menu – instead, they simply offer smaller pizzas and smaller portions of their pasta for half the price – so there’s plenty of choice. In the summer, you can sit outside in their courtyard, or even get your pizza to take away and have a picnic – just along the road is a beautiful open square by Bath’s historic abbey, which often plays host to buskers and performers on warm evenings. For the authentic Italian experience, return to their sister company next door, The Real Italian Ice Cream Co, for dessert – this fabulous gelateria is full of great flavours and stays open late on summer nights, so you could almost be in Florence…
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Escape Winter, Come to Cape Town – Our Top 5 Activities

Many places in the Northern Hemisphere have seen a big drop in temperatures in the last little while, a sure sign that winter is here to stay for the foreseeable future. But, way down South in the Southern Hemisphere, summer is just getting started. Because of this, destinations like Cape Town, South Africa are increasing in popularity with travellers looking for a bit of sunshine to get them through the rest of winter.

At Hiplets, we believe Cape Town is one of the foremost tourist destinations in the world, and we are continuously expanding our portfolio of unique self-catering properties here. Luckily, we are spoilt for choice! As you will be too when it comes to activities in the Mother City when you visit. Below are some of our top suggestions for what to busy yourself with during your stay in Cape Town.

Take a drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive

chapmanspeakdrive_view

It’s really worth your while to rent a car or hire a driver to take you along this scenic road. Chapman’s Peak Drive hugs the coastline from Noordhoek to Hout Bay in Cape Town. There are plenty of spots along the road where you can stop to take photos of the frankly mind-blowing view, so schedule in enough time to take it all in.

Both Hout Bay and Noordhoek are great suburbs with plenty to see and fantastic places to have some food. If you prefer hiking to driving, you could also hike to the top of  Chapman’s Peak itself. Both the trek and the view will take your breath away. This outing is particularly easy to accomplish if you’re staying at Chapman’s View in Noordhoek.

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