March, 2019

Amazing last minute Easter holidays to book

If you fancy getting away from it all on a lovely family holiday this Easter but haven’t booked anything yet, it’s not too late. Whether you want an Alpine ski trip, a city break or a sunny beach escape, we have some ideas for amazing holidays that both grown ups and kids will love.

Hit the Slopes

French Fun

Esprit Ski always has some last minute availably for school holidays, along with great childcare.  They currently have rooms in their property in La Rosière, France. The ski area is great for families and offers everything from gentle nursery slopes to plentiful off-piste options.

Esprit are offering seven nights at the Chalet Begonia in La Rosiere  from £784 per person,  a saving of £50 per person departing on 14th April 2019 from Edinburgh, Manchester and London airports.Chalet Begonia is one of four chalet apartments in the Ferme d’Elisa building situated a convenient 150m from the nearest lift. Price includes flights, transfers, chalet catering accommodation with wine. Esprit’s Childcare is available from £349 for six full days for children aged between 17 weeks and 12-years-old.

Swiss Snow

Top-end family ski operator Powder Byrne have some great deals in snow-sure high-altitude resorts. For example, Priva Alpine Lodge in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, is sophisticated but comfortable, with a traditional alpine-chic interior, a mountain dining hut, swimming pool and spa.

A family of four can stay in a 2-bedroom superior apartment with a welcome hamper for £7100 from 6th to 13th April. Price includes flights from Heathrow, transfers, Powder Byrne in resort services including complimentary ski guideing and access to their award-winning children’s programme.

Fly and Flop

European Family Favourite

The Almyra in Cyprus has long been known as one of the best luxury family hotels in Europe with amazing facilities and kids clubs in a fantastic beach location.This Easter guests can save just under £1,000 and receive complimentary upgrade to half board is they book a stay there with Sovereign Luxury Travel.

They are offering a seven night holiday in two Interconnecting Inland View Rooms, on a half board basis, from £3,795 per family of four – saving up to £927. The offer includes complimentary upgrade to half board private resort transfers and return international flights from London Gatwick with easyJet. Based on departures 07 April 2019.

Caribbean Paradise

Carlisle Bay on the tranquil south coast of Antigua offers water sports, tennis, rainforest hikes as well as a full children’s programme at its dedicated kids club. Awarded ‘Best Long-Haul’ Hotel at the Family Traveller Awards 2018, the 87-suite resort offers a huge range of activities for all ages. While it’s a long-haul destination, flights are direct and less than eight hours. Plus with only four hours’ time difference, families can leave Gatwick at 10am and be enjoying the beach by mid-afternoon. Bliss!

Luxury Worldwide Collection offers a week over Easter at Carlisle Bay from £12,125 per family, saving up to £3,580. Cost includes return flights with BA from Gatwick to Antigua, 7-night accommodation in 2x inter-connecting Garden Suites on a bed and breakfast basis and private transfers. Valid for travel between 9-22 April 2019. based on a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 children under 12yrs).

Indian Ocean Escape

With beautiful beaches, directly flights and no jet lag to speak of, Mauritius is a firm favourite for families. The Residence Mauritius have introduced their new ‘Little Explorer’ packages, showcasing fun and inspirational family and child friendly experiences.

The Little Explorer Package starts from £50 per child and includes a guided tour of Marche de Flaq, a ticket to L’Aventure de Sucre museum, baking session, tasting session, apron and hat. Rooms at The Residence Mauritius start from £330 per room per night on a half board basis.

Far East Fun

The Six Senses Samui, Thailand offering a huge savings of 40% families this Easter as kids stay and dine for free. With 66 villas overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Siam, you can explore the amazing surroundings, island hop or even try out some juggle trekking on elephant back.

Seven nights in an Ocean Pool Villa Suite from £8,895 per family of four (based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing) That includes breakfast, return International flights with Malaysian Airlines and private airport transfers. Book by 31 March 2019 and travel until 21 April 2019.

Closer to Home

Cornish Coast

You can’t beat Cornwall for a beach break in the UK. The newly renovated St Michaels Resort, opposite Falmouth’s Blue Flag Gyllyngvase beach, is a lovely base from which to explore the coastline. It has a great three-night family package that includes a stay in a classic or twin room, a full Cornish breakfast, one 3-course dinner, spa and health club access. They even give Easter eggs to everyone in the family and if you want to take your pooch just book one of the dog friendly rooms. A 3-night stay starts from £272 per person. Available from 8 to 27 April.

Beautiful Bath

Congrove Barns are just a few miles from the centre of Bath. Both are newly renovated and are a great self-catering option for families, with large, open living space and brilliant games room, complete with table football and board games a-plenty keep everyone entertained. Outside there are also croquet and badminton sets for garden games a hot tub to relax in.

The Easter week (19 – 26th April) is still available in the barn that sleeps six. £1,495 for a 7-night stay over Easter.  Check out to see these properties and lots more lovely rural spots to rent. 

Weekend Away

Irish Gettaway

The luxury Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort in Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland are just about open a selection of gorgeous new cottages. There are 17 dotted around the stunning parkland estate, each is set within its own pretty garden location with beautiful rural views.

Perfect for families, guests at the cottages can use all the hotel’s five-star facilities. They have different size properties so check out the website to find out more. If you’d like to opt for B&B instead of self catering then prices start from £170.00 per cottage per night which includes access to the award winning Thermal Spa Village.

City Sights

If you fancy taking the kids on a city break, then check out Novotel. Dotted all over the country, these simple, convenient hotels are often in great city centre locations. For example, a family room in the Edinburgh or York Novotel costs just £94 per night for a family room (two adults and two children). Kids under 16 eat free if the parents purchase breakfast with the room and kids get a free welcome gift too.

Ideal for a stopover or an weekend away that doesn’t cost the earth.























Jo Pratt’s latest book, The Flexible Pescatarian, offers a variety of dishes with or without fish. Try these fishfingers with four dips, sure to suit the many tastes of most households.

When time is short (that’s most of the time then!) and I want a home cooked, nutritious meal for all the family, this is often my go-to recipe. It uses accessible ingredients, is really quick to prep and involves minimal washing up. Furthermore, you can cook them immediately or leave them in your fridge to cook later which means you can cook them to suit the various comings and goings in your house.
I’ve given you the Moroccan inspired recipe here but there are numerous flavour combinations to suit your family’s tastes or ingredient availability (see PS at the end of the recipe). Now my children are a bit bigger, I’ll make four parcels from this recipe, but you might find you can get six parcels if you have smaller tummies to fill. Cook them all and put any leftovers in the freezer for heating up another day.
The parcels work very well as a complete meal in one – so there’s no need to make extra side dishes. That said, some couscous, pasta, rice or crusty bread are always a welcome addition.

TIME TAKEN 30 minutes

  • 450g / 1 lb white fish, skinned
  • 50g / 1¾ oz plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g / 4½ oz dried white breadcrumbs, ideally panko
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt
  • olive oil, for frying
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cut the fish into finger-sized pieces.

Put the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs into separate, shallow bowls. Mix the paprika, salt and a twist of pepper into the flour.

Lightly coat the fish in the flour, then egg, and finish with a coating of breadcrumbs.

To fry the fish fingers, pour in enough oil to cover the base of a frying pan and, when it’s hot, add the fish fingers.

Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and crunchy. You may need to do this in a couple of batches as it’s best not to overcrowd the pan.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with your chosen dips.

Alternatively, you can bake the fish fingers by putting them on an oiled baking tray and drizzling or spraying with oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas 6 for 6 minutes on each side.


TIME TAKEN 5 minutes

  • 100ml / 3½ fl oz mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together and transfer to a serving dish.


TIME TAKEN 5 minutes

  • 150g / 5½ oz frozen peas, defrosted
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • small handful of mint leaves
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the peas in a food processor and briefly blitz before adding the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and transfer to a serving bowl.


TIME TAKEN 10 minutes

  • 175ml / 6 fl oz olive oil
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • flaked sea salt

Warm the olive oil and lemon zest in a small pan until just tepid.

Place the egg yolks, lemon juice and water in a medium heatproof bowl. Stand the bowl in a pan of gently simmering water and whisk until the mixture thickens just enough to form ribbons when the whisk is lifted.

Remove the bowl from the pan and slowly pour the warm oil into the egg mixture, whisking continuously to give you a dipping sauce consistency.
Season with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Keep covered until needed.


TIME TAKEN 5 minutes

  • 125ml / 4 fl oz mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp wasabi
  • 2 tsp lime juice

Mix the wasabi and lime into the mayonnaise and transfer to a serving bowl.


TIME TAKEN 10 minutes

  • 150ml / 5½ fl oz mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped gherkins
  • ½ shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together and transfer to a serving bowl.

For more of Jo Pratt’s recipes head to our recipes page.

The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt
The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt
White Lion Publishing £20
Available on Amazon, Waterstones, The Book Depositor , and Books Etc.



Science Museum –
Explore the museum and its wonders after dark. With workshops, science shows and activities, it will be an unforgettable night.



Unicorn Theatre –
This surreal and funny performance explores all kinds of weather and takes delight in discovering the world wherever we are.