Our Date Day, Canteen at Archerfield Walled Garden

Yesterday, we had a very rare date day. I think we both truly needed it.

My best advice for when to have a break just your partner and yourself? Is before you think you need one!! If you wait until you need one you’ll most likely already be burnt out. {easier said than done for most I know} That’s how I felt, burnt out, running on empty. A good nights rest wasn’t washing away the day before - I was grumpy, tired and truly needed that break to be Karen not ‘Muuuuummmm’.

Can I be honest? Motherhood can sometimes make me feel claustrophobic. Right now Matilda is pretty challenging, I feel like she cries a lot. From the moment she wakes she cries for my attention. If we’re in the car the moment it comes to a stop she’s screaming for me to get her out. She’s very IMPATIENT. Is it because she’s the youngest and used to getting what she wants? Is it because she’s two and pushing/testing the boundaries? Who knows!! All I know is it has been testing. There’s been lots of change and upset to routine recently with Eilidh moving school and the school basically being off the entire of April so I haven’t been in my best ‘switched on mum mode’ which I don’t think that has helped either.

Anyway, we did what we needed to do and reached out for some help. We asked G’s mum if she would watch the kids for the day, take them out somewhere, have them for dinner and maybe even put them to bed! She was more than happy to do it.

Canteen, Archerfield Walled Garden

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We headed down to Canteen which is a brilliant event ran by Rogue Village within Archerfield walled garden, Dirleton. We’ve been to Canteen a few times with the kids and have always had a great time.

For being a really busy place it is SO well organised. There’s parking attendants making sure traffic flows well, lots of people on site making sure things are running smoothly. They get some of the best traders you could imagine. Set up in a square boxed off from the main shop/cafe the traders vans are placed around the sides of the square, in the centre there are fire pits whether to keep flies away or to give a good rustic vibe while filling your hair with the smell of wood burning, either way it creates a fab mood. There’s a few tables to sit at and under the shelter plays music and there’s usually some craft activities for kids. Sometimes there’ll be a live band but if not it still has a great vibe with music playing. Yesterday there was also a few vintage stalls ~ which were amazing and Dahlia flower store from Edinburgh also paid a visit selling their beautiful bouquets and plants.

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It is very well thought out bringing a huge range of different culinary experiences from Fat Hippo {awesome burgers and delicious dirty fries} to the Good-Campervan serving up Vegan & Vege delights.

There’s also stalls for getting drinks, whether you’re looking for a delicious cocktail or just to grab a beer.

When we go here, we have NO control. We are big foodies. We love to try a bit of everything {well as much as we can} we started off at the Fat Hippo, a trader who promises delicious burgers in a brioche roll (is there any better way to have a burger? I think not!) and their own fat hippo burger sauce. It did not disappoint. I got the Little Hippo

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Little Hippo

A quarter pound burger topped with Monterey Jack cheese, bacon and fat hippo sauce

G got their bigger one but I really can’t remember the name!!

We got a side of their dirty fries to share which taste exactly how their name would suggest. Fried in the burger fat and topped with fat hippo sauce and delicious bacon pieces.

So that was round one - ha!

We decided to go for a walk, you’re never too old to walk round the fairy trail right? The kids love it here, especially Oscar who is obsessed with fairies! We came here for the Fairy experience (also organised by Rogue Village) Oscar still talks about it, it was truly magical.

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Round two was pizza from the wood fire kitchen. Simple, fresh and super yummy!

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We got some fab cocktails from Herringbone. I got the ‘Seadog’ which was Gin, lemon, grapefruit & thyme it was v good but G’s one was so much more delicious and refreshing, he got the ‘Westgate Tide’ grapefruit, vodka and lychee (he got it without the vodka as he was DD)

We managed to find a spot on the grass so sit for a while and enjoy our pizza, watch the entertainers performance.

There was a lot of people there yesterday but honestly you hardly noticed, it still felt pretty free to walk around without it feeling crowded. I think it’s probably because it’s open 12-6pm, so you’ve got people coming in at different times of the day and leaving too.

We went back in for round 3 (I kid you not ha) this time we wanted to sample some of the sweet stalls. There was a waffle truck and a creme brûlée caravan. What would you choose?

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I went for creme brûlée. It’s burnt to order {insert heart eyes}

They had a few options, rhubarb crumble, salted caramel brownie or just plain old delicious creme brûlée.

I went for the brownie one. It fitted with my goal to consume as many calories as humanly possible.

It was outstanding. Is there anything more satisfying than cracking the top of a creme brûlée? I think not my friends.

I let G try some (forced him) it’s really not his thing but he tried it and said it was one of those things you instantly regret - his face was hilarious. I kinda judged him. Ha

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Yellowcraig’s beach, North Berwick

After that I felt suitably filled, we headed to the beach. Yellowcraig’s is one of my favourite ever beaches. We’ve only been once before with Eilidh and Oscar, when I was pregnant with Matilda.

Just outside North Berwick, follow the brown sign for the caravan site to find the car park. It’s £2 for the day to park but that means you’re only 500yards from the beach, right next to a woodland play park and is easy walking distant to Yellowcraigs view point looking out over the Bass Rock, Berwick Law and Fidra Lighthouse.

We had such a fab time walking along the beach just the two of us. We didn’t spend too long here as the idea of popping into Ikea on the way home came into my mind haha.

Just as we were heading back we saw some puffins flying over to the little island where the lighthouse sat!

Let’s talk real for a moment. Children can put a huge strain on the best of marriages. We feel very lucky to have in each other an understanding of each other’s needs. To us, communication is key!

Couple time is so important in any relationship to be able to step away from those roles of mum and dad and the responsibilities that come with those roles. I loved being able to actually look at Graeme and talk to him without interruption, to actually have a laugh with him.

To no longer feel like we’re in competition as to who is the most tired or who should go up to see the kids who have wakened this time.

When you’re parents your responsibility and main concern is your children, you sometimes forget about that person you share the house and the jobs with. You forget to live out with your roles and enjoy each other’s company. We expect so much from each other sometimes without giving the other anything in return. It’s very easy to say ‘you’ll get time when the kids are older’ but what if by that point we have forgotten who we are? That we love each other too? And want to spend time together?

Don’t wait for the kids to get older, do it now. Be with each other now. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it. Go water your grass, spray a hose right over it and wait for the sunshine to make you bloom!

Karen x