Malmo & Moss: Campling on Camping.

I grew up in a non camping family.  My dad would rather set his underpants on fire than spend a night under canvas.  Coming from such solidly tent averse stock meant that in my twenties, (when I still had disposable income that was not all spent in the Lego store) I was much more likely to be found reading a Mr & Mrs Smith Guide than browsing the Millets sale for collapsible camping chairs.  But then we had kids (3, all boys, yes, all boys) and found that a spa that offered reflexology was suddenly less critical to a successful holiday.  What mattered instead was space, lots of space and as you can't get more spacious than a field our camping career commenced.  However, thus far, we have proved to be a rather crap campers.  We have non of the gear and no ideas.  Thus horribly rookie mistakes have been made along the way. Look away now seasoned campers but I was initially unaware that camping without an airbed is about as comfortable as wearing a thong to play badminton. Or that if you don't go to the loo before you get into your sleeping bag then at 3am you will find yourself facing a Sophie's Choice dilemma between walking to the toilet block in the dark or squatting outside the tent fearing that your #sneakyslash will attract a pack of feral foxes to circle your tent.  So I have sought some advice from a more seasoned camper than I, a lady whose list of camping essentials includes the IG Rug and sequinned belly baskets. I am talking of course about the Delicious Dee Campling, Belle of the Bell Tent.

Campling on Camping. 

My career as a camper began badly whilst on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition in my teens when my fellow bronze award candidates and I burnt all the wooden tent pegs on the camp fire in error, thinking they were kindling wood. 🤷🏼‍♀️However, despite this shaky start, I have continued to go camping all of my life - before and after kids, in rain and shine. They've been the best and worst holidays. Nothing beats a sunny camping holiday, glass in hand, watching the children playing happily outdoors all day. Conversely, I'll never forget the slugs in the tent one particularly wet summer! 

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Being a huge fan of my home comforts, I've always tried to make our tent cosy, but the purchase of a bell tent three years ago was a game changer. The transition from camping to glamping really does vastly improve your camping experience. Here are my 5 top tips for glamming up your camping and becoming a bona fide glamper. 


1. A Bell Tent.

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They're popping up everywhere now and as well as looking great, they're much quicker and easier to put up than traditional tents. You can buy them in several sizes - 3m to 6m diameter. Ours is a 5m one with a zipped in groundsheet (the slugs can't get in!) and was from www.soulpadtents.co.uk. When deciding on what size bell tent to get the main factor to consider is being able to dry it out. I know I sound like your dad, but bear with. It has to be 100% dry before you pack it away or it will rot. So you have to have a big enough garden or nearby space to be able to erect it to dry if you've been rained on whilst away. Once you've decided on size then the world's your oyster - they are soooooo easy to put up! I can even do it on my own in less than half an hour. Our old frame tent used to take two hours and a guaranteed bust up involving threats of divorce and murder.  And once your bell tent is up you'll notice how quiet and calm it is compared to traditional nylon tents - no rustling or flapping noises. As long time Outwell tent users, we were sceptical about how dry you'd stay in a bell tent and how difficult they'd be to put up but our worries were unfounded on both counts. If you like the sound of bell tents, then you're ready for stage 2! 

2. Rugs.
Rugs in a nylon tent would be ridiculous because they'd get damp from the condensation. However, because of the way that modern canvas bell tents are waterproofed, you don't get condensation. You might still think rugs are ridiculous in a tent but read on and allow me to convince you! 

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You can buy beautiful bespoke coir bell tent rugs from Soulpad. They look stunning and make your bell tent look like a proper home.  However, we always bring our own rugs from home though because a) we're tight! and b) I prefer an eclectic look. Adding rugs immediately makes the tent look and feel cosy, warm and homely. This year I brought THAT rug ( aka the 'Erica' rug ) with us from www.laredoute.co.uk. My husband obviously gave me the the worlds biggest eye roll about that one!  I also bring a vintage Persian rug I bought for a song from eBay years ago and a few from my burgeoning sheepskin rug collection. They all roll up tightly inside each other for packing and take up hardly any space in the van. My husband may disagree on the space thing but I remain resolute on it.  Look how cosy it looks! And it really feels luxurious too which is a proper bonus when you're in soggy Cornwall for a week. 

3. Lighting

Yes I'm going to talk about fairy lights again! I absolutely love fairy lights and have them all over my house. I add them inside the bell tent and (if it's dry) outside too. They add more magic to your tent and have the added bonus of helping you find your tent in a dark field! 

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Festoons are also a great option and lots online shops now sell them such as www.glamcampingcompany.com. You can get them battery, solar or electrically powered and I have all of them for every eventuality!  

Special note: only warm white fairy lights are allowed - not bright white, blue or multi-coloured.  This is the law.  As I write, I'm in unspoken competition with one of my French camping neighbours a few pitches down. Every night she has adds more lights, festoons and candles, so I add more lights too. Last night, though, she committed the crime of adding a string of multi coloured fairy lights. She has totally lost my respect and I now consider the battle won for me!

4. Bunting. 

Another of my lifelong loves is bunting and another bone of contention in the Campling household - 'c**ting bunting' is a phrase not unheard of in this house.  I stand resolute though - there's nothing like a bit of bunting to lighten the mood. This is especially true when on a soggy camping trip in Cornwall. Some types of bunting are a little passé I concur, but I personally love the 'fringing' type of bunting around more now - multicoloured torn fabric remnants like this:

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Or, alternatively, white rectangular bunting like this like the kind Malmo & Moss has in her garden seen below.

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I love https://www.petitpan.com/ for unusual colourful bunting and https://greyseptember.co.uk/ for Scandinavian style white bunting. 

5.  Cool storage. 

Once upon a time, storing your stuff when camping was all about keeping things as dry as possible in plastic boxes. But because you don't get any condensation with bell tents, as I mentioned before, you can use whatever you like! We use a vintage leather trunk to keep our cooker in, wooden crates for the kitchen and food and belly baskets for everything else - shoes, suncream, snorkels, toilet bags - the works. This year I've added a vintage bankers tin and my round 'Florence' shopping basket to my camping storage collection. As William Morris says'  Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful' and I argue that the same rule applies to camping. Storage can be both useful and beautiful in your bell tent. 

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There's one last thing you'll need for glamping and that's a big hatchback vehicle as a minimum. The only drawback of bell tents is that they do weigh more and take up a bit more room in the car than standard tents. We have a VW Transporter and it's perfect for us - a family of five plus all our camping paraphernalia AND Rob's bike and cycling paraphernalia! 

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So  - give it a try. I guarantee you'll never go back to normal camping because it's not like normal camping. You feel like you're living in your own cool little canvas cottage. All they have to do now is to overcome the other camping dread - communal toilets - and invent bell tents with bathrooms and there really will be no looking back!

Malmo & Moss: Culture Club

Cultural highlights my family have taken in this month have included Captain Underpants the Movie, Match of the Day 365: Football Facts For Every Day of the Season, Twirlywoos Series 1 and 2 and Sheringham Splash Swimming Pool.  Luckily for you guys, I have delegated the Malmo & Moss cultural review to Dan Hull so that instead of a round up of the best places to catch a veruca in North Norfolk it is going to encompass delights that include Balengacia, a cool Californian girl band and a zesty lemon risotto designed to transport you to the South of France rather than west of Cromer.  So without further ado it's over to Dan.

 Dan's gorgeous Scandi inspired apartment makes for a considerably more pleasing on the eye picture than me in the flume queue at Sheringham Splash

Dan's gorgeous Scandi inspired apartment makes for a considerably more pleasing on the eye picture than me in the flume queue at Sheringham Splash

August

The month we should all be basking in the glorious golden rays of summer. The air should be thick with the sound of deckchairs creeking and ice cubes chinking. Unfortunately 2017 appears to have had another ideas for us all. Rather than let the sogginess of the situation get us down, I propose we find ourselves means of escape. Whether you like your escape delivered in the form of a dog-eared paperback or projected onto a screen in all its cinematic glory, your August selection awaits

Listen.
‘Something To Tell You’ - Haim.

There’s a very real chance this album’s success is solely down to me. The girls from Haim definitely helped a little, but mostly it’s down to the excessive amount I’ve played it since its release. Your month needs no other album to complete it, of this I assure you. Something To Tell You combines a constant string of hooks that take a swipe at that part of your brain where songs get stuck, with with vocals practically begging to be sung along to in your kitchen on a Saturday evening. It may be brief in its duration but it’s exceptional in its delivery. For me, a lifelong fan of Fleetwood Mac, the comparisons have always been clear, but here the girls from Haim even manage to channel some of Janet Jackson’s heyday into proceedings. That’s quite the combination.  Open all of the windows that will possibly open, let every last drop of sunshine in that nature will allow and dance like you haven’t got a care in the world, this is the sound of summer.

Read.

Mrs Hemmingway by Naomi Wood.

I have no qualms in judging a book by its cover and I am in no way ashamed to say so. I first stumbled across this book because of its blissful blue cover and the impossible poolside glamour of the women who sit atop it. I’m happy to say that shallow decision turned out rather well in the end. A lesson for us I’m sure you’ll agree.

Naomi Wood’s tale of one of literature’s most famous names chooses to focus instead on his wife, Hadley Hemmingway, as the pair transport their life to the South of France for the summer. The hosts of cocktail parties and gin-laced debates about literature, the couple struggle to overcome Ernest’s decision to take a lover a little too close to home. In the heat of the blistering sun, Hadley’s jealousy and longing for her husband’s affection makes for a surprisingly salacious summer read.

Watch.

To Catch A Thief.


If the combination of a summer on the French Riviera and the unparalleled beauty of Grace Kelly wasn't enough for you, Alfred Hitchcock's unflinching direction should be. Never has a woman looked more glamorous at the beach than Grace Kelly. Sun hats, coordinating beach bags and a white gauze overskirt ensure Grace takes centre stage in Hitchcock’s tale of a jewel thief terrorising the Riviera’s richest residents. Quite simply don’t make films like this anymore. A snapshot of a cinematic era we’ll probably never see again, To Catch A Thief will be a sublime addition to a balmy Sunday afternoon.

Visit.

Balenciaga at the V&A.

You don't need to be too familiar with the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga to appreciate the beauty of the V&A's latest fashion exhibit. A true master of the cut, Balenciaga's pieces rest on the body like pieces of sculpture. His groundbreaking silhouettes were to alter the way women dressed forever and push the boundaries of our expectations of femininity. It may not pack the conceptual punch of the spectacular staging the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit managed, but on a rainy afternoon in the capital there can be little more satisfying than gawping at pretty dresses lined up neatly in a row. 

If like me you always go straight to the gift shop before the exhibit, you’ll be pleased to discover the V&A have just relaunched there in spectacular fashion. We all know ultimately the gift shop is the most important part of any exhibit after all.


Make.

When it came to the food that should accompany a trip to the Riviera, or a scandalous affair in the South Of France, it had to be lemons. What single taste transports you to the sun more than the fresh zing of lemon? If you haven’t yet discovered Madeleine Shaw I urge you to spend some time with her site. Along with her three cookbooks, it is filled to the brim with recipes for everything from peanut butter cakes to lemon asparagus risotto. Everything is dairy free, sugar free and wheat free but what it doesn’t lack is flavour. You won’t find any paragraphs about the benefits of sipping agave nectar whilst holding your head upside down and chanting mantras either you’ll be pleased to hear. What you will find is recipes for real life that are designed to help your body do its best every day, along with a selection of dishes that will only further enhance your August escape plans. 

www.madeleineshaw.com
http://madeleineshaw.com/recipes/asparagus-risotto/

Malmo & Moss Diary: The Occasional Home Store Autumn Fair

3 weeks before the birth of our first son we moved from South to North London in search of a family house we could afford without assuming a debt the size of Germany's GDP. We left behind many of our closest friends who were die hard South Londoners and thus regarded Enfield as a spot on the map somewhere near outer Mongolia.  I was, therefore, a bit worried that it was just going to be me and the baby with Mr Tumble for company.all day.   So when we arrived for our crash NCT course in an old Quaker Hall I was desperately hoping to meet some kindred spirits to avoid becoming overly acquainted with the contents of Mr Tumble's spotty bag.  After an uncomfortable first 90 minutes of the class when the word vagina was said about 113 times more than I wanted to hear it in the company of 10 strangers, we took a tea break.   It was then, over an intensely stewed cup of PG tips and a soggy Rich Tea that I met Sally,  my kindred spirit.   It turned out that as well as both drinking our teas black and both being able to name all of Jordan and Peter Andre's children we also shared a love of vintage homeware.

 Bottle blondes who love black tea it was meant to be!

Bottle blondes who love black tea it was meant to be!

After the first intense period of motherhood passed when conversation revolved around shades of shit rather than chaise lounges we got our non baby produced shit together enough to think about pursuing our passion for all things old and interesting (excluding Des O'Connor to be clear) and took a stall together at a local vintage market.  We enjoyed it is so much that inbetween getting Sally to tell me, for the 417th time,  the story from her BBC runner days about when she blow dried Nicky from Westlife's hair, we started to dream about putting together an event of our own in the Quaker meeting hall where we had first met.  

 Some of the lovely vintage bits that @so_sally_vintage took along to our stall together

Some of the lovely vintage bits that @so_sally_vintage took along to our stall together

 Malmo & Moss stock from the early days

Malmo & Moss stock from the early days

 Sally's most popular items are always her bus destination blinds which mean she has a strong insta following amongst the bus spotter community!

Sally's most popular items are always her bus destination blinds which mean she has a strong insta following amongst the bus spotter community!

A couple of years passed and although our pelvic floors got weaker as we gave birth to our second (and in my case third) children, the dream just got stronger.  Enter Beth.   Her stall was often opposite ours and featured a beautifully curated mix of quirky curiosities but whilst we ogled it from afar it wasn't until we got chatting during a drop in trade one Saturday that we realised that she too lived in Winchmore Hill and, in a happy piece of coincidence, used to both edit the wonderful Selvedge magazine and organise their fairs which are renowned in London and beyond.  Suddenly the idea of organising our own event started to look a little bit less like something Duncan Bannatyne would laugh out of the Dragons Den and more like something Peter Jones would give a serious ponder.  

 The kind of beautiful items we used to ogle on Beth's Little Game stall

The kind of beautiful items we used to ogle on Beth's Little Game stall

 Her home is just as beautiful

Her home is just as beautiful

 As is her photographic styling, picture by Katya de Grunwald

As is her photographic styling, picture by Katya de Grunwald

Several Monday night meetings around our three kitchen tables later, the Occasional Home Store was born.  An event which will bring the best in both vintage and contemporary homeware to our little corner of North London along with some delicious food and drink to sustain you whilst you shop.  Over the last few months Beth has grappled with Wix to build us a lovely website whilst Sally has become an overnight expert in event licensing, insurance, food hygiene and pretty much every other sensible thing that i forget to think about when I am getting overexcited about how great it is all going to look on instagram.

 My kitchen table aka OHS Headquarters

My kitchen table aka OHS Headquarters

 Thank you to the wonderful Tia Talula (@tiatalula) for being patient when it took about 1000 shots to get a photo when it didn't look like at least one of us was being tortured/trying to hold in a fart

Thank you to the wonderful Tia Talula (@tiatalula) for being patient when it took about 1000 shots to get a photo when it didn't look like at least one of us was being tortured/trying to hold in a fart

 

And as for me?  Well I have been working my way through our wishlist of dream vintage sellers, contemporary designer/makers and interiors shops we would like to pop up at the OHS and spent a lot of time pinching myself as one by one they have all said yes.  All my Modern Rustic Christmases came at once when Kay of Kinship Creative DC (aka the Modern Rustic Madonna) said she would love to come along and run a workshop for us on how to blend Scandi and Vintage pieces to create a Modern Rustic home.  But it didn't stop there, within a fortnight that workshop had become a double bill with Kate Watson-Smyth aka superstar interiors blogger Mad About the House who will be imparting ten top tips to improve any room for those lucky enough to have bagged one of the limited places available.

 Styling from a previous Kinship Creative workshop which gives me the complete interiors horn.

Styling from a previous Kinship Creative workshop which gives me the complete interiors horn.

 Sign up to our workshop and you will go home armed with tips to transform your rooms into beautiful spaces like this, the gorgeous sitting room of Kate Watson Smyth aka Mad About the House (image taken from her instagram @mad_about_the _house)

Sign up to our workshop and you will go home armed with tips to transform your rooms into beautiful spaces like this, the gorgeous sitting room of Kate Watson Smyth aka Mad About the House (image taken from her instagram @mad_about_the _house)

The final icing on the cake came when Vicky, the owner of the beautiful home and body brand Plum & Ashby, said she thought our event sounded great and that they would love to collaborate with us on putting it together.  So on the 9th of September, in association with Plum & Ashby, the doors of the first Occasional Home Store event will be opening at 10am in St Peter's Church Hall, 10 Langham Gardens, N21 2DN.  Our OHS venue is just 2 minutes away from Grange Park overground station which connects to Finsbury Park in just 10 minutes from where you can access the Victoria and Piccadilly Lines.  It is also just 10 minutes drive onto the M25, North Circular or M11 so wherever you are coming from we should be within easy reach (unless you are coming from the Isle of Skye in which case I admit the transport might be more tricky). We are feeling equal parts hugely excited and hugely terrified at this point in time so I would love it if you guys could come along and hold my hand for the day.

 Some of Plum & Ashby's beautifully packaged products, you can see why I was doing cartwheels when they said they would like to be involved!

Some of Plum & Ashby's beautifully packaged products, you can see why I was doing cartwheels when they said they would like to be involved!

Until then (to give you an incentive to come along that doesn't involve my clammy hands) I wanted to share with you just a few of the amazing sellers we have coming along on the day and to give you a peak into some of their homes so you can see how their style translates from stall to semi-detached. Look out for more glimpses through the keyholes of our fabulous stallholders in future blog posts.  

Of Special Interest

Of Special Interest is a Crouch End interiors institution. Offering a prodigious range of elegant pieces for the home, the store has grown from its early incarnation as junk shop. Over the last two decades owner Belinda Fulton has taken over two neighbouring shops as their owners moved on and then the annex behind when it came up for rent. Her loyal customer base (including me!) can choose from antique European furniture sourced in Holland, stylish lighting, mirrors and irresistible impulse buys in the form of candles, kitchenware and faux foliage.  Her home is every bit as stylish as her shop and if you would like to see more of it be sure to have a look at Malmo & Moss Meets: Belinda Fulton

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 I start mentally moving furniture around my house as soon as I step inside Of Special Interest because I instantly want to buy things like these beautiful drawers

I start mentally moving furniture around my house as soon as I step inside Of Special Interest because I instantly want to buy things like these beautiful drawers

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Beetle & WILDE

Beetle & WILDE is a vintage emporium that delights in blurring the boundaries between art, anatomy, natural history & design - adding drama and intrigue to interiors with an eclectic mix of cultures, periods, styles & scale - from Victorian wunderkammer curiosities to mid century classics and quirky modern finds. If you’re the kind of person who longs to linger in the Natural History Museum past closing time you will love what Beetle & WILDE have to offer and I am certain you will love owner Caz's sultry, darkly sexy home even more. 

 Parquet floor of dreams in Caz's fabulous kitchen

Parquet floor of dreams in Caz's fabulous kitchen

 A cornucopia of curiosities will be coming with Caz to the Occasional Home Store

A cornucopia of curiosities will be coming with Caz to the Occasional Home Store

Wicker & Weft

Baskets are definitely in the category of “items you simply can’t have too many of” – they are just so useful. And they last – a toy basket can become a home for a yarn stash, a picnic or a pet! Since becoming a Mum, Mim English Morgan  founder of Wicker & Weft feels more aware of society's 'throw-away' nature. “I want to play a tiny part in preserving skills and teaching the value of using something beautiful with a story." Her traditional handcrafted goods are sourced from workers paid a fair wage; not out of pity, "but because their time and skills are worth it.” Mim's home is a 1960s bungalow which acts as the perfect neutral backdrop for her beautiful baskets.  Whilst there are big renovation plans in store for the future, I love how calm and serene it feels already.

 Mim's beautiful bedroom

Mim's beautiful bedroom

 One of Wicker & Wefts gorgeous handcrafted baskets

One of Wicker & Wefts gorgeous handcrafted baskets

 Wicker & Weft's baskets in &Hobbs, another one of our exciting pop ups.

Wicker & Weft's baskets in &Hobbs, another one of our exciting pop ups.

To see more details of all of our exhibitors hop over to our website www.occasionalhomestore.com and make sure to follow @occasionalhome to hear all of the latest announcements.  Over the next month I will be out and about sourcing more finds for my own Malmo & Moss stall and trying not to keep everything that I buy for myself instead #failedvintagemogul. Here are just a few of the things I have hunted out to bring along so far.

 As you will notice from this picture the ladder from picture above is already looking very at home in my bathroom....

As you will notice from this picture the ladder from picture above is already looking very at home in my bathroom....

 Beautiful 18th Centry entomology drawings 

Beautiful 18th Centry entomology drawings 

Hope that has helped wet your appeitite.  Sally, Beth and me and my clammy hands very much hope to see you on the 9th of September when we open the doors of the Occasional Home Store for the very first time!  If you have any questions at all about the event please do drop us an e-mail at occasionalhomestore@gmail.com or DM @occasionalhome and make sure to check out our website www.occasionalhomestore.com

Malmo & Moss Does The Triple Bunhawk

Looks and Finds, our resident hair expert has the hair of my dreams.  With the Summer holidays upon us, she has kindly agree to share with us (and beautifully model) a fail safe holiday hair style which will keep your hair up and out of your way on hot days without making you look like an extra from Prisoner Cell Block H.    Introducing the Triple Bun Hawk.

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Malmo & Moss Sleeps: Five go Brocanting

Growing up, our Sunday night ritual was crumpets in front of the fire and a tv double bill of Antiques Roadshow followed by Lovejoy.  Consequently my knowledge of antiques extended to either Chippendale desks fenced to dodgy Russian oil barons by Lovejoy and Tinker or baroque art that someone found in their Granny’s attic and claimed they would never sell until they discovered it was worth £250K.  The BBC budget never stretched far enough for Lovejoy to go on a tour of the South of France, so, until I met my mother-in-law  age 23 (who has her own homewares business) I thought Brocante was some kind of infectious chest disease rather than a type of distressed vintage.

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Malmo & Moss Diary: Camel Toe on the Camel Trail

Camel Toe on the Camel Trail

When I was 18, I cycled the Camel Trail with my ex boyfriend who liked mountain biking, bodybuilding, pimping his Fiat Punto and listening to hard house dance music.  As somebody who enjoyed none of those pursuits, it was fair to say that we were fairly ill matched as a couple.  The kind of bike I enjoyed riding had a basket and I didn’t really like going round corners on it, let alone down bumpy hills.  My abiding memory of the excursion was not the stunning scenery but of riding along thinking “fuck off cocklord” as he shouted at me to cycle faster.  I was not, therefore, in any particular hurry to revisit the Camel Trail.  Given I am married to a man who is about as enthusiastic about cycling as most men are about catching chlamydia, I thought it was a pretty safe bet that I would not have to.  However, we have a six-year-old son who loves his bike and can now read pretty darn well. So when we went to Padstow for fish and chips and he spotted a leaflet about hiring bikes to cycle down the Camel Trail, I knew the jig was up.

 These pretty aquamarine numbers were sadly not our bikes, which of the more "practical" variety

These pretty aquamarine numbers were sadly not our bikes, which of the more "practical" variety

The first challenge was working out the permeation of bikes that would enable one cycle mad six year old, two not especially competent adult cyclists, one not yet cycling four year old and a baby to make it from Padstow to Wadebridge and back.  The answer was one kids' bike, one adult bike with a baby seat and one adult bike with a ride on attachment for the four year old that made it look like a cross between a penny farthing and a tandem. Sleek streamlined peleton we were not.  The second challenge was finding a cycle helmet that would fit my abnormally large head.  It doesn’t look that big to the naked eye, but when you start trying to put a helmet on it quickly turns out to be the size of an enormous pumpkin.

 Exhibit A: Cycle Helmet perched atop my Mahooosive Head!

Exhibit A: Cycle Helmet perched atop my Mahooosive Head!

Having finally found something to accommodate Pumpkin Head, we popped the baby on the back of my bike to which he reacted about as calmly as a death row prisoner being invited to take a seat in an electric chair.  Hoping he would like it more once we got moving, we set off down the trail. Within 200m, it became quickly apparent that my ears were not the only thing that were going to be aching by the end of the ride. The Berlin Wall was still standing the last time I wore a pair of cycling shorts so when getting dressed that morning I had gone with the next best thing: a pair of denim dungarees.  However, it turns out that the reason Laura Trott does not wear dungarees for a lap of the velodrome is that they give you an acute case of camel toe on a bike.  

 Cheer up darling, it could be worse; you could have flange ache like Mummy

Cheer up darling, it could be worse; you could have flange ache like Mummy

Camel Trail
Camel Trail

With a bad case of flange ache developing and the baby still howling like a hyena, my six year old very sweetly rode alongside us to try and distract his baby brother from his two-wheeled misery.  Unfortunately, he tried to do so by holding his hand which caused his front wheel to get caught in our back wheel and him to go flying over his handle bars. Only 10 minutes into the ride and with three out of five of us now howling in agony, we decided to stop for a break.  Luckily this being Cornwall you are never more than 50m away from some kind of product containing clotted cream, so we were able to refuel and regain our equilibrium with a quick artery clogging snack of fudge from a beside the road bicycle snack stall.  

 Clotted Cream Ahoy!

Clotted Cream Ahoy!

 Can't imagine why Team GB are not whizzing round the Velodrome in this get up which Mr Malmo described as CND Protestor meets Mike and the Mechanics

Can't imagine why Team GB are not whizzing round the Velodrome in this get up which Mr Malmo described as CND Protestor meets Mike and the Mechanics

With the baby having downgraded his protests from completely furious to just occasionally grumpy and the injection of clotted cream having taken my mind off my front wedgie, I started to actually enjoy the ride.  The trail is an old railway track that runs alongside the river so there is no need to worry about bumping into cars and the scenery is genuinely lovely with lots of little boats bobbing in the estuary and plenty of lush greenery shading the path.  Our four year old loved being on the tag-a-long on the back of his dad's bike and before we knew it we had made it to Wadebridge, our halfway point.  It is definitely not your picture postcard Cornish village but it has lots of quirky shops and an independent feel to it that makes it a bit like a Cornish Camden!   

Camel Trail
Camel Trail
Camel Trail
Padstow

Bradley Wiggins could probably have cycled from Lands End to John O Groats in the time it took us to get back to Padstow but then again Bradley doesn't have to keep hopping off his bike every 3 minutes to retrieve a dummy.  But we made it in the end and would definitely recommend it for a fun family day out.  Just make sure you pack clothing that has a higher lycra than denim content.

Want to try it too?

We hired our bikes from Padstow Cycle Hire and it worked out at about £55 for a half day.  Obviously will be cheaper as a family day out if you have a more sensible number of children than us.  We were able to just turn up and hire them on the day although in height of summer may be sensible to book in advance.  There are also several cycle hire places in Wadebridge such as Bridge Bike Hire should you want to do the trail the other way round.