Stockwood Discovery Centre (11/03/17)

Having heard about the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton on The Smallest of Things blog, we decided to check it out on a rainy weekend day. With it only being a 25 minute drive from Watford, it was a handy, FREE, indoor place to visit with an energetic toddler. First stop was the Discovery Hall, which featured…

Berkhamsted to Boxmoor canal walk (03/02/17)

We’d spied the canal (and its pubs!) when visiting Berkhamsted Castle, and were keen to take a stroll along the towpath. We set off south with the intention of walking for an hour before stopping off at the Fishery Wharf Café at Boxmoor for refreshments. There were countless narrow boats taking advantage of the tranquil mooring spots (if…

Bekonscot Model Village and Railway (30/01/17)

‘You must go to Bekonscot Model Village!’: we’d heard this countless times since moving to Watford. The model village, built in the 1920s, is on the edge of Beconsfield and reachable via the M40 in about half an hour from Watford on a good day. The weather was bright enough when we visited for some…

Grand Union Canal to Grove Mill walk (09/01/17)

We’d walked down the Grand Union canal towards Croxley and Rickmansworth a couple of times and fancied checking out the route north towards Kings Langley instead. On a cold and bright winter morning we set off from Cassiobury Park, passing onto the left bank at the first lock. The scenery here is more open (less tree…

200 Years of Printing 1816 – 2016 @ Watford Museum (17/01/17)

Just before Christmas we popped along to Watford Museum to catch the 200 Years of Printing exhibition. We were unaware of the huge role Watford played in the development of the industry, and stumbled across the ad for the event when researching Rembrandt House. The story was told across display boards near to the entrance. There…

Bar Mezé, St Albans (03/01/17)

Just a quick post about a great lunch find in St Albans: Bar Mezé is a Cypriot restaurant serving Greek, Ottoman and Arabic-influenced food. We ordered a couple of the usual bread-and-dips (houmous, tzatziki) as well as one of the house specials: an Egyptian filo pastry with chicken, feta, béchamel sauce and herbs. The food…

Winter in Cassiobury (31/12/16)

A frosty morning in Cassiobury Park brought out dozens of walkers plodding off the Christmas grub. Here are some photos from a cold and crisp day!

Flourish Bakery (22/12/16)

We came across Flourish Craft Bakery while browsing local restaurants on TripAdvisor. We were fortunate, as you’re unlikely to stumble across it in person, tucked away as it is on an industrial estate off St. Albans Road. It’s a craft bakery that supplies products to delis and cafes across London and recently opened a cafe on its site (with a baby…

Moving to Watford: One Year On (13/12/16)

It’s a year since we moved to Watford from London. But did we? We’re still having conversations with friends and colleagues over what really constitutes ‘London’. We both work in the capital and consider Watford – as it’s on the tube and a quick overland hop into Euston – still part of Greater London. Our commutes…

Rembrandt House, Whippendell Road (12/12/16)

We’d noticed the old plaque (?) space on the side of refurbished Rembrandt House on Whippendell Road and tweeted out a few things about its early history. 140 characters doesn’t do it justice so here’s a little more … We’d heard the building had been a large printing works and had assumed this had always been…

Oxford Natural History Museum (01/11/16)

We woke up one Sunday to a particular wet weather forecast and thought, with just a tinge of panic, ‘we must get out of the house otherwise we will all go mad’. Out of that was born the idea of going to Oxford for the day, as it could offer a treat for us as…

Cassiobury Park playground (18/10/16)

We’ve been many times, but thought it useful to post a few pics of the larger playground at the bottom of Cassiobury Park if you’re thinking of making the trek …

RAF Museum, Hendon (10/10/16)

Another Watford family recommended the RAF Museum in Hendon for a rainy day. It’s a huge indoor complex down the A41, and easily reachable by car in 20-30 mins, depending on traffic. It’s also free (though the large car park is pay-and-display)!

Heritage Open Days: Amersham Heritage Day (07/10/16)

This was our last visit of the Heritage Open Days weekend held over 10-11 September. We hadn’t visited Amersham before: the town was far quainter than we’d anticipated, with some lovely independent shops, ancient pubs and a beautiful park.

Waterstones opens (06/10/16)

Great to see a bookshop opening in Watford: Waterstones was doing a roaring trade in its new High Street location (opposite the Intu entrance) when we visited at the weekend.

West Herts College café (04/10/16)

Here’s a useful find: the café at West Herts College is open on Saturdays and has spacious seating areas outside in the foyer (to the left and right of the picture below, as well as inside the café itself). It’s great for grabbing a coffee if you’re that end of town at the weekend (it’s next to…

Heritage Open Days: St Albans South Signal Box (29/09/16)

Third stop on our trip around Heritage Open Day attractions on the weekend of 10-11 September was St Albans South Signal Box. The Grade-II-listed site was built in 1892, but by 1980 had closed. After many years of neglect a Trust was formed in 2003 to look after it, with the signal box finally opening to the…

Cheslyn Gardens – Watford’s best kept secret (22/09/16)

We’ve spoken to a few people who’ve lived in Watford for many years and have never heard of Cheslyn Gardens. That’s a shame, as it’s one of the town’s best kept secrets. The council-owned gardens is at the north end of Nascot Wood Road, so to be fair isn’t likely to be stumbled across unless you live that end of town….

Breakfast at The Boot, Sarratt (20/09/16)

Fancying a big Sunday brunch we headed out to Sarratt, a village a short drive north-west of Watford. It’s a lovely setting, with wide lawns bisecting picture-postcard cottages (apparently it’s used a lot for TV filming). A few pubs lie along the main drag, but we chose The Boot, a finalist in the Great British…

Heritage Open Day: Little Cassiobury House (10/09/16)

The house from which Cassiobury Park takes its name was sadly demolished in 1927. The recent restoration of the bandstand and the other improvements being made to the park as part of the Heritage Lottery fund grant have further revived interest in the estate, and it was with great interest that we visited Little Cassiobury House,…

Heritage Open Day: St Michael & All Angels (10/09/16)

Saturday’s terrible weather wasn’t going to stop us visiting a number of attractions open for this year’s Heritage Open Days. First up was St Michael & All Angels on Mildred Avenue (see some pictures of the exterior taken in sunnier times!). The church was consecrated in 1913 and was built over a number of years, mostly…

Cassiobury bandstand re-opens (06/09/16)

The Cassiobury bandstand was finally opened on Sunday afternoon after its renovation and relocation from beside the library. It was originally installed in the park in 1912, but fell into disrepair after the demolition of Cassiobury House in 1927 and was moved to the library setting in the 1970s. The £150,000 restoration was funded by the Heritage Lottery…

66 Book Club, Hemel Hempstead (04/09/16)

We chanced upon the 66 Book Club on Twitter. It’s a huge warehouse in Hemel that opens once a month to sell books at a large discount. On the day we visited all books were 70% off, with kids’ books a whopping 80% discounted. There’s a huge selection, and definitely one to visit when buying Christmas…

The Rhubarb Café (04/09/16)

We’d passed The Rhubarb Café driving around the Cassiobury estate. It’s a short walk from the bottom of Cassiobury Park but not easy to stumble across in a largely residential area (it’s on the roundabout near the Post Office on Cassiobury Drive). We popped in for a quick coffee with our little one. The coffee was good…

Café Cha re-opens (02/09/16)

We’d been hotly anticipating the re-opening of Café Cha in Cassiobury Park as we loved taking our little one to the playground before it closed for refurbishment. As the work went on we were a bit sceptical as the play equipment for very young children appeared to be being replaced with swings, a climbing frame and…

Hughenden Manor (14/08/16)

We’re a big fan of day trips and Hughenden Manor is an acceptable distance drive (roughly 45 minutes from Watford on a good day) so we decided to visit it one Sunday in August. It’s the home of the Victorian Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, and although it’s quite expensive to get in (in my opinion;…

Verulamium Park, St Albans (07/08/16)

We’ve been to the playground in Verulamium Park in St. Albans a few times – it’s only 20 mins by car and the car park is free for a couple of hours on a Sunday. The park itself is large, and features Roman remains dotted here and there. There’s also a paddling pool with a…

Watford Beach (07/08/16)

All throughout August, Watford’s home to ‘Big Screen on the Beach’. Our first trip there was on a sunny, albeit windy, Sunday afternoon when our son woke up slightly earlier than normal from his afternoon nap and we had enough time before his tea to potter down and check it out. Not having been to…

Cassiobury Farm Open Day (01/08/16)

We’d seen the deer from the tube window: look left as you’re sliding into Watford Met and you’ll just be able to make them out (as well as goats and ponies) through the trees. We’d always wondered what the site was, until we chanced upon the sign below earlier in the summer. Cassiobury Farm and…

Ashridge Estate (31/07/16)

The Ashridge Estate comprises 5000 acres of free-to-explore woodland just outside Berkhamsted on the edge of the Chilterns. We drove up there on what turned out to be a very busy day – there was a huge geotagging event on, with hundreds of people having breakfast at the large café adjoining the visitor centre. That said the driveway…

Tarboush, Market Street (30/07/16)

We’d been to Lebanese restaurant Tarboush once before, but not with our son, and fancied a tasty, inexpensive meal out as a family. Again, the experience was wonderful, and the staff could not have been more accommodating. We had four meze dishes between us – lamb arayes (see the pic below), halloumi, hummus, the house salad with…

Miniature railway, Cassiobury Park (24/07/16)

Just by the side of the larger playground in Cassiobury Park, there’s a miniature railway that’s an affordable treat for the little people in your life. The ride lasts about seven minutes and you get to go on a meandering route through the woods. Our train obsessed son took it all very seriously.  We’re hoping his…

Imagine Street Theatre (03/07/16)

We had really wanted to catch some of the Imagine festival’s shows whilst they were running but one thing or another meant we could only sit in on the end of the Sigma show. It had drawn a decent crowd and because we were late arrivals, we couldn’t manage to get that close – this…

The Matchstick House (02/07/16)

We always call this the “Matchstick house” or the “Hansel and Gretel house”.  It is definitely a Watford landmark and can be found at the junction of Gade Avenue and Rickmansworth Road.