"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page"
What makes it so simple to answer is that I know the key factors that would make it perfect. Family. Fun. Food. Adventure.
What makes it impossible is that there are so many places I'd love to visit, people groups I'd love to meet, foods I'd like to try, scenery I want to be wowed by, adventures I want to have...and so it becomes impossible to pick one location or one specific type of holiday to describe as my perfect holiday.
What I do know though is that as much as I try to kid myself and say that I'd like a relaxed laid back holiday doing nothing, I know that would bore me. Worse still that would bore the children and there's nothing worse than bored children on holiday!
We like our holidays to be a little different and so we've always done things ourselves, our way. After having a package holiday disaster for our honeymoon (where a 1 metre splash pool was portrayed to be a huge swimming pool with a fish-eye lens in the brochure - I kid you not!) we lost our trust and so have since taken on the burden of all that organisation and planning ourselves.
And we have had many many happy holidays and wonderful memories made....after all "we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us"
But that does take its toll. It is tiring as parents to have to plan for entertaining your kids all the time on holiday. To be their entertainment. To find things to do. To keep everyone occupied and happy all of the time. Especially with children of varying ages and interests.
We've found that planning a holiday can be compared to cooking a meal. You start with a blank slate - you can choose to go anywhere in the world or in the case of the meal, you can choose to cook anything.
Then you have to factor in the needs and preferences of the children and yourselves and you often end up with something of a compromise that doesn't quite work as well as it could. Here's a little video we made to illustrate what we mean.
We have heard that there is someone who can help. An organisation that is so trusted by its customers that over 50% book again and again. That over 50,000 people trust them with their holiday plans each year. Someone who can achieve that fragile balance between keeping us all busy and active and yet provide the freedom for us to relax and unwind too. Where they take pride in the food that is served and look after all the little details that can make an ordinary holiday extraordinary.
There is an ancient proverb that says:
"it is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times"
We have heard about Mark Warner a lot. We have read recommendation after recommendation and now we are ready. Ready to see for ourselves if it is really true. Whether there is someone out there who cares about that precious time known as 'holiday' as much as we do.
We are a family of foodies - from mum and dad who love eating out, creating new recipes and learning about foods from different cultures. To 9 year old 'The Brilliant Chef' who has his own foodie blog and dreams of one day owning his own restaurant. Three year old Miss T is rapidly following in his footsteps as she helps in the kitchen practically every day.
But don't just take our word for it. Here's a pinterest board of blogposts from our own blogs to show of our food and travel adventures
Follow Rebecca's board Food and Travel adventures on Pinterest.
And as this is similar to a job application in the sense that we are applying to become part of the Mark Warner family as ambassadors, it is only right to submit a C.V. In this case our C.V stands for Culinary Victories! We've split them out for 9 year old Brilliant Chef D, who inspires us with his fearless experiments in the kitchen and his passion for cooking and then for us as The Beesley Buzz below that. To be honest, although I knew we truly were a foodie family, I had no idea just how many creative foodie successes we have had until I listed them out like this - So I think we can safely say that we certainly are serious foodies - but I like to think that we can be serious foodies but in a fun kind of way!
Culinary Victories for The Brilliant Chef
November 2015 (aged 9) - Runner-Up BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show 2015
September 2015 (aged 9) - Winner of Skybadger / Baking Mad baking competition (D got to cook with Edd Kimber!)
November 2014 (aged 8) - Winner of Kent Cooks Final
October 2014 (aged 8) - Winner of BBC Good Food Bakes and Cakes show 2014 (meeting MARY BERRY!!!)
May 2014 (aged 8) - Dubble Chocolate photoshoot and rainforest cafe meal
December 2013 (aged 7) - Visiting Noma in Copenhagen and meeting the chefs there
September 2013 (aged 7) - Patak's test kitchen masterclass
March 2013 (aged 7) - Anjali Pathak doing a masterclass with D at our house!
November 2012 (aged 6) - Finalist at Kent Cooks live final
Recently we found out that D won the 'Love your Greens' brassica recipe competition to have his recipe published in a cookbook in 2016 as well as winning £300 for his school!
Culinary Victories for The Beesley Buzz
The following food related blogposts were selected as winning blogposts. I share these not to boast but to inspire others. I was someone who, a few years ago, could barely cook or bake, but I have been inspired by learning from others, from online recipes, from our travels, from other creative activities to cook and to keep trying even when things go wrong.
Rainbow jacket potatoes and rainbow salad - Blogpost and video - Recipe using Clover
Dairy Free sunflower seed and courgette cake 3rd place in the Great Denby Bake off 2015
Lindemans Capture the sunshine recipe / menu challenge - Our spring menu
Milk taste test with Cravendale
Hotel stays with kids blogpost and video won us afternoon tea at Royal Garden Hotel
Petits Filous Magic Squares playdates ideas - blogpost and videos
Heaven Scent Polenta cake - Canderel challenge
The Great Denby Bake off 2014 - 2nd place with Afternoon tea recipe
Belvita biscuits #MorningWin challenge blogpost
Mission deli wraps - super soft mission blogpost
Panzanella Salad selected for Morrisons recipe e-book
Evo3 olive oil Salad Skewers recipe
Space, Stars and Meatballs 'meateors' recipe
Bolognaise Boats recipe
Turkey 'fajtikkas' recipe
Trip to Noma, Copenhagen following my Herby Hake and couscous recipe video
Star Baker awards from 2015 Great Blogger Bake off for the following recipe posts:
Chocolate centrepiece - peacock feathers and shortbread eggs
Free-from Maple and Polenta cake with candied carrot
Silver Mushroom Bake Along with Bake Off award for Victorian Week: Hot water crust 'fesen joon' inspired pie
Bakespiration Button Gingerbread Biscuits - 2nd place in bakespiration baking challenge
Other cooking victories:
Mornflake porridge Spurtle challenge winner: Eastern inspired porridge (my recipe here)
Primula 'Hickory Dickory Dock' sandwich recipe used in Primula ebook
Raspberry cream profiteroles - winner in Bravissimo Berry baking competition
Lamb dish selected for a 'Baafta' award from Welsh Lamb
Food and Travel - two of our big passions combine to make our dreams come true. Never has the 'eat well. travel often.' saying been truer.
After all "if we were meant to stay in one place, we'd have roots instead of feet".
This is our entry into The Serious Foodie category of Mark Warner Holidays' Family Ambassador programme 2016.
Title quote by St Augustine.
Roots/feet quote by Rachel Wolchin