Summer is filled with so many wonderful moments. Hot paddling pool days, Ice-cream eating walks and outdoor family adventures. To us, summer is about sticky sun-creamed babies. Bare feet, walking in the grass and endless BBQ’s in the evening sun. It’s a happy time where our family comes alive, venturing outdoors and exploring the new. Like most, we’re more social and adventurous when ‘the sun has got his hat on’ (as my four-year-old would say. Every year is different, and our traditions change as the children grow.
This year we decided to start a new annual tradition and venture outside of our comfort of farm parks and swimming. Seeking a new experience for our little ones to enjoy. As you are all aware, I love to blog and vlog, and my favourite evening/breastfeeding activity is reading others blog posts. Additionally, while reading one evening I stumbled upon a few mummy blog posts about their annual trip to a lavender field. Inspired by their breath-taking photography skills (of which I aspire to, but am lacking in), it was decided that we would follow in suit and try this new family tradition. What a perfect way to document our families’ growth over time, and in the picturesque setting of the lavender.
Therefore, a few weeks ago we ventured to Somerset Lavender farm. Armed with a camera, tripod, picnic, sun-cream, sunhats, stroller, sling, a tired baby and an overly energised four-year-old, we set off. Do you ever think that packing and preparing for day trips require more energy than the trip itself? It definitely did that day.
However, we made it to the Lavender, or ‘purple field’ as Tommy calls it. What a beautiful sight. Nestled in the village of Faulkland, Somerset, behind some Cotswold stone houses was the lavender farm. A wealth of purple lavender, yellow sunflowers and green fields. The moment you enter the perfectly mown car park, and see the pristinely kept vegetable garden, you know just how loved this little farm is. What a beautiful place, hidden in the Somerset countryside. How had I not found this place before.
It was the perfect setting for my explorative monkeys, and an idyllic landscape for my dreamy family photo. Firstly, it was decided to stock up, on caffeine and ice-cream! So we headed to the café. Situated by the side of the purple fields, was a quaint café and shop, complete with the umbrellas and picnic benches, hanging baskets and a relaxing, warm aroma of lavender. Apart from those pesky wasps, that kept trying to get Tommy’s ice-cream, I honestly felt like I had stepped into an Instagrammers heaven!!
We set off across to the lavender and watched as the little ones explored. Emme stood against a raised flower bed, bouncing up and down in excitement, picking up pebbles from the path and placing them in the flower beds. Tommy zoomed round the walkway, overly excited to see the vast purple fields up-close, stopping now and again to watch the busy worker bees, collecting the pollen, and the white, ‘cabbage eating butterflies’ flutter by him. It was lovely, and sounds just perfect.
However, as a family we are still yet to perfect the potentially stressful process that is.. getting the right photo. I honestly need to know my fellow bloggers secret to their successful photos. But with a hopeful mind we went off exploring in the lavender. It truly was a wonderful sight, seeing the lavender all clumped together, in parallel rows, filled with families posing and playing, couples holding hands and sitting together to take a selfie amongst the purple mass. Professional photographers positioning themselves at the right angle and fiddling with the small buttons on their cameras to capture the right light.
Having done lots of lavender field searching on pinterest I knew the positioning I wanted. Tripod was set and the Bluetooth button attached. Craig was stood, angled in the exact location, all that was required was happy children and myself at a preferred angle. It sounds so easy. The next half an hour, to an hour later we had learnt many life lessons. Firstly, always charge the Bluetooth button before we decide to use it. Secondly, I am not a photographer and have no idea how to use my DLSR Camara. And Finally, by the time everything was set the little ones had had enough of posing! Looking back, I love our photos, and think we did pretty well for amateurs. But on further reflection it would have been a smoother, less frazzled process if I hadn’t been quite so obsessed with getting that ‘perfect photo’.
Nonetheless, it was a wonderful day out, which we managed to capture, for my little one’s future. I am already excited about the prospect of seeing them grow in next year’s shots.
In addition to the picturesque setting, we were so lucky to be made welcome by the owner and staff. When we were wondering round the field, Tommy asked if he could pick a bunch of lavender to give his Grannie. A sweet gesture, by my innocent little love. Of course, we then discussed the implications of this on the farmer, and if everyone did as such, there would be none left. A rather deep conversation for my four-year-old, which of course he didn’t accept. In conclusion, I spotted the farmer and encouraged Tommy to ask him if he was allowed. (Hopefully to stop him asking me for the 100th time). What a lovely man. Although busy, he spoke to us and gave us a handful of the lavender to take home. It was so kind and such a small gift, but it meant so much to Tommy, who proudly walked the rest of the time clutching the bunch in his hands. Who needs toys, when an innocent bunch of nature can provide just as much enjoyment and fulfilment.
Overall, we had such a lovely family day, although a bit stressful (through my frazzled, mummy expectations) on the photography front. Lessons learnt for next year! But Somerset Lavender was perfect, and we will be back next year to do it all again.