> The Beesley Buzz: September 2016

When is a washing machine not a washing machine?

When it is your friend. When it is on your side. When you no longer feel restricted to only using the one cycle that you understand. When it meets your every laundry need. When it feels like it has been built to be fully customisable for your own family. When you don't feel you can press the wrong button. When you no longer have to do handwashing (yay!). When laundry is no longer a chore. When laundry disasters are a thing of the past. When it can do practically everything save for telling you that you've left a tissue in the pocket!

Welcome to the world of the AEG L89499FL with OKOMix technology and Optisense features. Rated at A+++ - 50% (if like me numbers aren't your thing - in short, that is an excellent efficiency rating).

Gobbledy gook descriptions aside, this washing machine that we were sent to review courtesy of AEG and Mumsnet bloggers really feels like it has been designed with all the needs of my family in mind.

I need a massive drum - This machine has a 9kg washload AND it WEIGHS your washing as you put it in (just remember to switch it on before you start to load it).

I need wash cycles that can be made shorter when there's less washing - see above - it WEIGHS the washing and it's Optisense technology means that it can work out exactly how much water, energy and time to use. It even tells you how much detergent to use based on how much washing is in there - Mega cool!

Having kids ranging in age between 4 and 12, the kind of washing they generate varies. A lot. Miss T has just started school and so often comes home with school lunch down her white top. J is a sweaty nearly-teenager who needs his smelly bedding washed on a hot wash. D generally stays clean but then again loves art and so occasionally gets very mucky. Then there's work shirts that create an endless pile of washing and ironing. I have my own delicates that I have NEVER trusted a washing machine with (until now that is).
 I even entrusted my new delicate dresses to the new washing machine - Now that is trust!

So very varying needs. It seems crazy now to think that I stuck with the same wash cycle all these years being too afraid to change it because I wasn't sure how the washing machine would react.

The strange thing is, with the new AEG washing machine, there seem to be more options than ever with its digital control panel. And yet I feel so safe in its hands - trusting it completely with my washing. It almost feels like you really can't go wrong.

Yes those delicates have gone in and it has done a wonderful job with them.

Yes those work shirts have gone in using the steam function and come out not needing to be ironed.
After washing them, I put these shirts on a refresh steam cycle and now they won't need ironing! 
Yes I can set the temperature to a hotter wash for those smelly sheets and a cooler wash for everything else.

For the first time I can trust washing at 30C. I remember when the detergent adverts first tried to encourage us to reduce our washing temperature to 30C claiming it would wash as effectively. I soon realised that was not the case.

Yet with the AEG's OKOMix technology (which combines the detergent with water and then sprays it right into the heart of the washing), a 30 degree wash really does get clothes clean and smelling unbelievably fresh. The detergent goes in the drawer as normal and the washing machine does all the clever stuff inside.

The smell blew my mind. I could not understand how I was using the same detergent I always use and the washing was smelling and looking cleaner than ever - AND on a lower temperature wash.

AEG have made 4 very short videos that explain all this far better than I can and they're worth a watch because everything they say has proved to be true in our experience of this truly incredible machine!

Everything about what this machine can do has the wow factor. Let me tell you about when we read the instruction manual. Bear in mind that an instruction manual for an appliance is usually considered a boring read. Something to be quickly looked at and then shoved at the back of the drawer never to see the light of day again.

As we read about the features of the AEG L89499FL we were literally 'oohing' and 'ahhhing' in amazement. The more we read, the more excited we got. Yes I know! Excitement reading an instruction manual. I never thought it possible either!

When it comes to technology and appliances in particular, I'm usually wary of making recommendations about products because what suits one person may not suit another. But regarding this AEG washing machine, I have one thing to say...

When you need a new washing machine - Get one of these!

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product and have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.


GBBO Week 6 - Botanical week - Sunflower Seed and Courgette cake reblogged

'Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do.'*

For this weeks Mummy Mishaps GBBO Bloggers bake off, I'm reblogging an Autumnal recipe from last year which fits the botanical theme...Inspired by the things growing in my garden....

Autumn. I love this time of year. For me nature in the autumn months is more full of life than any other time of year. Springtime demands lots of gentle nurturing to get little seedlings to successfully grow. The brightness of everything else in summer overshadows the brightness of nature. Winter is barren. But autumn is different. Autumn displays colour and change and fruitfulness in abundance.

The trees turn a myriad of colours unseen at other times of the year. The hedgerows sparkle with ruby red autumn berries. And my own garden displays the fruits of my labour with green tomatoes desperately soaking up every last ray of sunshine to ripen up before winter sets in. Green beans keep coming day by day appearing as if out of nowhere. Courgettes are pushing on to grow a few more centimetres before being picked. And the bright yellow heads of sunflowers proudly shine their faces towards the sun knowing it won't be long before they will be sadly drooping their heads allowing their seeds to fall like tears to the ground ready for next year.

And it was these autumn treasures from my garden that gave me the inspiration for these sunflower seed and courgette cakes.

I made a larger cake to slice along with mini ones on a tiered cake stand to enjoy.

The little edible 'accessories' of strawberry ladybirds and marzipan bees add to the variety.

We added some sandwiches to make it into an afternoon tea!

I have made these dairy-free so that they can be enjoyed with friends who are dairy intolerant but simply substitute butter in place of the dairy-free spread if you wish to.

Sunflower Seed & Courgette Cake (Dairy-Free)
5 eggs
320g self-raising flour
300g caster sugar
300g dairy-free spread (I used 'Pure' sunflower spread)
400g courgette (so 1 large courgette or 2-3 small ones)
60g sunflower seeds
juice of a lemon
1tsp rice flour

for the buttercream:
200g Pure dairy-free sunflower spread
650g icing sugar
half tsp vanilla paste
a few drops of yellow food colouring

for the centre of the sunflowers:
dark chocolate chips (use dairy-free if you need it to be dairy-free)
chocolate vermicelli (again check it is dairy-free - some brands are and some aren't)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease an 8 inch silicone 'tin' with sunflower oil spray. Grease a 12 hole non-stick muffin tray with sunflower oil spray.
2. Cream together the Pure dairy-free spread with the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and a little flour at a time after each egg is added.
3. Add the remaining flour and mix.
4. Grate the courgette and squeeze out some of the liquid using your hands. Add the grated courgette and mix.
5. Add the sunflower seeds and the lemon juice and mix. As my mixture looked quite wet, I added a teaspoon of rice flour to stop it being such a wet mixture.
6. Pour the mixture into the silicone cake 'tin' and into the muffin tray.
7. Bake in the oven until cooked through. This is around 30-35 minutes for the larger cake and around 20 minutes for the smaller ones in the muffin tray.

To make the buttercream, cream together the icing sugar with 200g of Pure and a drop of vanilla paste. I added a very light yellow food colouring to mine as the buttercream looked very pale without it so you can add as much colour as you wish to make your sunflowers very yellow or a more mellow yellow as I have done.

Pipe using a 'wide ribbon' icing nozzle attachment to make your sunflower petals and then sprinkle some chocolate vermicelli in the centre.

For the large cake I also used some dark chocolate chips in the centre.

For the smaller cakes, I wanted to leave them 'naked' around their sides to show off some of those flecks of green from the courgette and the goodness of the sunflower seeds. So the buttercream is sandwiched between two cakes and then the flower piped on top.

Now for those simple little extras to make this autumn afternoon tea extra special and pretty.

Maple, Lemon & Rose Marzipan Bees
I had seen some gorgeous little marzipan bees on Frances Quinn's website with a video of how to make them. Frances uses honey & orange blossom to flavour the bees. I wanted to create our own flavoured bees so these are the ingredients I used to make 8 bees:

10g maple syrup
15g icing sugar
25g ground almonds
flaked almonds - 16 pieces
edible gold paint
melted dark chocolate - to pipe on stripes and eyes
a few drops of lemon juice
a few drops of rose water

I think they look rather cute!

Strawberry and chocolate Ladybirds
What else would look pretty alongside bees? Why ladybirds of course! So these are just strawberries cut in half with dark chocolate piped on as spots and a head to look like a little ladybird.

So simple and yet they look so lovely alongside the bees and the cake.

And then we were ready. It was time to enjoy afternoon tea. Not just any afternoon tea but one that really utilised nature's bounty and the treasures of autumn found in my garden.

So I'm hoping the floral icing pattern and the fact it has sunflower seeds and courgettes in it, makes it fit the botanical theme sufficiently!

'Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do.'  * Helen Keller quote
Mummy Mishaps

A summer of wanderlust with Pink Lining

a strong desire to travel.

  1. We could not have been sent a more aptly named bag from Pink Lining this summer. Our summer was filled with travel adventures and it was very much a case of "have bag, will travel"

  2. The Sunflowers Wanderlust Rucksack has been THE most perfect travel companion. And boy have we put it through its paces! First there was our overnight stay at the LEGOLAND hotel...
...Then there was our week in Wales.....

Even Daddy doesn't mind carrying Pink Lining bags - here he is up the Burj Khalifa
Not only has the Wanderlust rucksack stayed looking as gorgeous as the day it arrived, but it has been super practical on our travels with all its well-thought out handy pockets and compartments. 

I have found myself constantly questioning why on earth I had not tried a Pink Lining rucksack style bag sooner. I LOVE all my other Pink Lining bags, why did I fear it would be any different with this. 

Let me tell you about just a few of the things I love:

  • It's super comfy to carry on my back (even has buggy straps should you need to hang it on a buggy handle)
  • It has one mega large zipped compartment (there are smaller pockets within that to help keep you organised)
  • It has that all important pen holding strap - something I find useful time and time again. if I need to quickly entertain Miss T, I can easily grab pen and paper for her to doodle.
  • The second smaller zipped compartment on the front of the bag has an insulated bottle holder. Just the one on this bag, but that is perfect for us as I just use it to keep a small bottle of water cool for Miss T in there. It also has a mesh zipped pocket - brilliant for storing anything you don't want to lose as it's easy to check exactly what you've put in there.

I almost feel as if I don't need to say anything about the quality because the Pink Lining brand is synonymous with quality - the products are so well made and designed to stand the test of time. 

Ditto for the stunning designs, the talents of Charlotte Pearl. Sunflowers in particular have a special place in my heart - my mum loved them and we always grow them in our garden each year. They are also popular with bees and I love how that links with our surname and by association our blog name.

Can I say anymore other than wishing I'd had this bag in my life sooner.

And I'll end with the plea I always make to Pink Lining...keep doing what you are doing because you do it so well. And please keep expanding your range so that it continues to meet the needs of your family and mine. 

Disclosure: Pink Lining kindly gifted this gorgeous bag to us for the purposes of review. All opinions are our own honest opinions. 


My Dubai round-up post

Here's a post purely for my own benefit I'm afraid...I like to have holiday diary posts all in one place so I can find them easily in future so here are the posts we wrote for our Dubai 2016 holiday:

Dubai Diaries - Day 1 - A magical dream - Rove Hotel, SEGA republic, Dubai Aquarium and Thiptara at the Palace

Dubai Diaries - Day 2 - Cultural breakfast, Rove Pool and Apron & Hammers

Dubai Diaries - Day 3 - Butterflies & Burj Kalifa

Dubai Diaries - Day 4 - Adventures at Aquaventure


Clean Eating Strawberry Bakewell Tart - GBBO week 5

I'm not going to get into talking about the news surrounding Bake Off and who is staying and who is going with the show moving channel, I'm going to enjoy it this year for what it is about...Baking and people's passion for baking.

So for pastry week, I wanted to join in without piling on the calories so decided to try to adapt a bakewell tart into a 'clean eating' bakewell tart.

Just to clarify what 'Clean' eating means to me - it is not about 'good' food and 'bad' food as I totally believe in a healthy balance and occasional treats. For me it is about using healthier alternatives to refined sugar and flour where possible and just trying to make recipes that little bit healthier.

So in the case of the Bakewell tart this meant, using fresh berries (I used strawberries just because I had some in the fridge) rather than sugary jam, making a pastry from different ingredients to the usual flour and butter and trying to make an almondy filling without refined sugar.

So for the pastry case I used Henrietta Inman's recipe for Hazlenut pastry (I have the wonderful Clean Cakes book which I often rave about but you can also find the pastry recipe here).  I made half the recipe quantity which made two small tarts and two tiny thumprint tarts with the leftover pastry.

I decided upon the hazlenut pastry rather than an almond pastry that is also in the book (and also found here) because I didn't want it to become too almondy as it has the almond frangipane style filling.

Once the pastry was baked and cooled, I filled with a layer of my 'clean eating frangipane'. This was a simple mix of 50g ground almonds, 1 tbsp maple syrup, a bit of non-aroma coconut butter, and a splash of Rude Health Almond drink.

Finally for the 'jam' I blitzed up some fresh strawberries (very approx 200g?) together with chopped dates (approx 40g) with a spoonful of chia seeds. Again the actual proper recipe can be found in Henrietta's Clean Cakes book or there are loads of Chia Jam recipes online but I just tend to guesstimate. I did prefer using dates to sweeten it as normally I use maple syrup but somehow I felt the dates worked better. I love that there is no faffing about with cooking this jam and it tastes so fresh because of being raw.

Finally some sliced almonds and a drizzle of dark chocolate to garnish and my clean eating strawberry bakewell tart was ready!

In the interests of honesty, the kids didn't enjoy it much, but me and Richard loved it as we've grown used to using lots more of these healthy ingredients lately.

Reading about Mummy Mishap's chocolate pastry this week, reminded me of when I did make some proper pastry that turned out really well earlier in the year - you can read my full post here but even I was impressed with myself - which never happens!

Linking up with Mummy Mishaps Great Bloggers Bake Off

Mummy Mishaps

Getting out of the lunchbox rut thanks to Flora!

I am genuinely and sincerely grateful to Flora for sending us a cute lunchbox with a little leaflet of ideas for kid's packed lunches. Whilst school dinners have come a long way since I was a child, sadly when it comes to packed lunches it is all too easy to get stuck in a lunchbox rut. Which is exactly where we were.

It has been a case of same old sandwich, cereal bar and pack of crisps for a long time now so it was great to have an opportunity to shake things up a bit for the better.

In fact, we're not the only ones... "A Flora-commissioned University of Leeds study recently revealed that only 1.6% of children in England receive a packed lunch that meets the nutritional standards set for school meals, with just 17% of lunches containing any kind of vegetables or salad. Flora wants to change that!"

The little guide containing tips and ideas follows a 'lunchbox builder' plan where you create a main from some suggested ideas, then add a snack or two and finally 2 portions of fruit or veg from your 5 portions a day.

It also has some themed lunch ideas like 'Florasaurus', 'Stegasaurus' and so on - but I stuck with the main lunchbox builder guide and found it SO useful!

My own tips for getting kids to eat their five a day as part of their pack lunch involve making fruit and veg a little different and fun.

My kids adore fruit crisps from Nim's* which are 100% natural and count as one of your five a day so that is one of the things they often ask for in their lunchboxes.

Presenting fruit as fruit kebabs or rolled up in wraps also makes it more fun and appealing to kids.

Spiralising vegetables like these carrots and popping it into little silicone cake cases is another fun thing to do with fruit and veg!

Now before you judge me as giving my kids unhealthy food when you see these rainbow sprinkles, please hear me out first...I spotted the concept of 'fairy bread' in a magazine recently - quite simply bread with butter or spread (or in this case Flora), and Pinterest is rife with the stuff. 

So I wanted to have a go at making my own...

And then giving it a healthier twist...

So in our healthy version of 'fairy bread' we have wholegrain bread, spread with Flora Original and topped with pieces of dried fruit (We used Nim's Kiwi & Pineapple 100% natural air-dried crisps and Orange Nim's crisps broken into small pieces and mixed with freeze dried raspberry).

Not only did it look super but when given to D to do the all important taste test, he actually preferred the healthy version of fairy bread - *fist pump* - Yes!

This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora. Check out their lunch planner and recipe ideas here 

Flora kindly sent us the lunchbox and a voucher to purchase Flora with. 

*I work with Nim's Fruit Crisps as my 'day job' but my honest opinion is that I adore them so much! 

A Wicked Weekend in London

Once in a while it is nice to put the camera down and visit somewhere with absolutely no intention of blogging about it. After writing so much about our trip to Dubai recently, I wanted to actually take a bit of a rest from blogging about any trips. But we had such a fabulous weekend, and blogging seems to be a wonderful escape - quite therapeutic really - so here I am doing a quick write up.
It was a pretty momentous occasion actually - our first break away from the kids since they were born - that's over 12 years! So as much as I love my children - it was very much needed.

We owe Granny a huge thank you as without her agreeing to look after the kids, there was no way we could have gone. Each of them has certain needs (J with his Aspergers, Miss T with Juvenile Arthritis and D with his current broken wrist) - so it is a big ask asking anyone to take care of all three of them overnight.

We headed up on Friday lunchtime, missed the worst of the rain and grabbed lunch at Five Guys. The lovely staff at Five Guys were telling me that they'd been open there right next to Charring Cross for around 3 years and yet we'd never heard of them. It was actually on our trip to Dubai that one of the taxi drivers had actually excitedly told us that they had Five Guys in Dubai.

Anyhow we ended up feeling VERY full after our burger and fries (and yes the healthy eating went totally out the window!) so we made our way to the hotel.

Our overnight stay in London was actually courtesy of Renshaw Baking and a Valentine's competition they ran (it really has taken us this long to arrange childcare etc to be able to go) and the prize was "A 4*London Hotel Stay with Theatre Tickets for 2" via Virgin Experience days.

When booking, we didn't put much thought into it and went for Kensington Close hotel and Wicked as the show. I did a quick tripadvisor search for the hotel and there seemed to be mixed reviews leaving me a little wary.

Well one of the reasons I did decide to write something up is because the hotel was actually wonderful. It was a smart, clean, comfortable hotel. The beds were comfortable and it had all the basics you would need. I was impressed with things like the coat hooks that are often lacking in accomodation. The room was small but fine for just the two of us for a 1 night stay. For future reference I did enquire about whether any of their rooms could accomodate 5 people and frustratingly like so many other hotels, families of 5 just aren't catered for.

I think we had been totally spoilt by staying at The Rove in Downtown Dubai because it did make this 4 star hotel seem rather less than 4 star because Rove was so fabulous despite considering themselves to be a budget hotel.

So little extras like a box of tissues in the room, which we had at Rove, and complimentary use of the swimming pool and the selection of food at breakfast - Rove had it all. Yet at Kensington Close there was an extra charge to use the swimming pool (something I have never come across despite having stayed in many hotels with pools). Breakfast was fine but the selection was not as huge as what we've had in other hotels. Even hotels like the LEGOLAND hotel and Novotel hotels we've recently stayed at had a far better selection for breakfast.

We did go for a swim on Friday afternoon. A word of caution about the ladies sauna (saunas were separate for men and women) - There were rough sawn wood splinters which luckily didn't go in my skin but totally wrecked my swimsuit. I mentioned this to two separate members of staff so hopefully they will get it seen to, but no-one offered to pay for a replacement swimsuit or at the very least waive our pool fee which I thought was disgraceful.

Friday evening we headed over to the Apollo theatre and grabbed a quick bite to eat at Pret. I was SO impressed with their healthy eating choices. It was the first time I'd been to Pret in ages so it was the first time I was conscious of just how brilliant their healthy options were.

Wicked was utterly amazing - We thoroughly enjoyed the show and headed back to the hotel exhausted.

Saturday morning was the first lie-in we'd had for about 12 years too - so we headed down to breakfast at a leisurely pace. Then packed the grand total of about 3 items of clothing we'd brought with us and head to the V&A museum. Another first for me as I had never been before. I really enjoyed seeing the Iranian artefacts in particular.

To make the most of our time away from the kids, we'd booked to do a macaroon cookery class at L'atelier des chefs at St Paul's so that was next stop after grabbing a drink from LEON.

Our macaroons turned out brilliantly compared to previous attempts at home so that made us smile. Then it was back to Charring Cross, another burger at Five Guys for dinner and home.

By the time today came round, we were already wishing to get away from the kids again!!!

Here's Miss T enjoying the macaroons we made:
A photo posted by Rebecca Beesley (@rebeccabeesley) on


Dubai Diaries - Day 4 - Adventures at Aquaventure

Written on Sunday 4th September 2016 (apologies for photo quality - most taken with a waterproof camera at waterpark)

It's now 6am Sunday 4th September. We arrived home yesterday lunchtime UK time after a comfortable yet busy flight home with Emirates having had to wake up super early at 4am Dubai time making it a really long day by the time we got unpacked and to bed last night.

I have a 'note to self ' to add at this point. ..do not read an emotional book on an airplane. I blubbed my eyes out all the way home reading Jennifer Niven's All The Bright Places. Such a beautiful book.
Friday was our last full day in Dubai. Just like the other days we had a packed schedule with Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis The Palm Dubai. The plan was to then have lunch at Kaleidoscope, followed by The Lost Chambers Aquarium.

Well you know what they say about best laid plans and all that. In Dubai Friday and Saturday are the weekend days so I can only imagine that there may have been a mix up in communication from those organising our visit and the weekend staff on duty as they were not expecting us.

This led to a delay in getting our wristband entrance tickets sorted and getting started. A couple of other hiccups meant that we didn't get started at Aquaventure until after midday despite leaving our hotel as planned at 10am.
Aquaventure waterpark is located at The Atlantis, Palm Dubai - A stunning building inside and out!

I'm going to give you our top tips later in this post to make things run smoothly. In our situation the staff told us that there was no way we'd be able to finish by 2pm for our meal and sent me over to speak to hotel security about changing our meal time. He reassured us that we could take as long as we needed and then head over for our meal whenever we wanted. So with that (seemingly) sorted we headed into the Aquaventure waterpark and had an amazing time.

You would need to allow a long day if you want to enjoy everything - the place doesn't close until late in the evening so if you have that long, then stay and enjoy everything.

We prioritised the lazy river and torrents, the rapids, the kids splash area with kids slides and pouring buckets, shark attack (sadly with no sharks due to maintenance ), zoomerango, and leap of faith (sadly with no sting rays to see again due to maintenance.)

We also popped briefly to the beach/sea area just to tick it off our bucket list. It was really quiet on the beach and had stunning views of the Burj al Arab in the distance. The kids wanted to get back to the rides so we didn't spend long on the beach.

We had a quick peek at the dolphins in dolphin bay.
By the time we did all this (and we estimate that this was around half of what was on offer) this took up most of the day. When we headed for our Kaleidoscope meal we were told that Kaleidoscope was now closed until later in the evening (3 different people told us different times of when it was due to re-open). After racing around the hotel in an attempt to find someone who knew about our visit and could make a phone call for us we had to resign ourselves to the fact that we'd have to leave Kaleidoscope and The Lost Chambers aquarium for our next trip to Dubai. We are determined to come back to this amazing city!

We headed back to Rove hotel for our evening meal before packing ready for our early start the next day.

As promised, here are our top tips for Aquaventure Waterpark :
  • Arrive early and stay late to allow yourselves enough time for everything
  • Take as little as possible with you - the standard lockers are tiny
  • Extra lockers and larger lockers are available at extra charge so that is another option if you really can't travel light.
  • Bring some form of beach footwear with you. We had brought our crocs all the way to Dubai but we had no idea that we would need them for Aquaventure so hurriedly had to purchase shoes to wear on the day as we were told we'd be 'at risk' without them. Indeed we saw plenty of red burnt feet for those who were attampting to walk around without footwear because the ground really is hot enough to burn your feet very quickly.
  • Crocs and flip flops are fine for getting from place to place but aren't permitted in the water or on the rides. They advised us to wear the wet-suit type beach shoes which they said would be permitted in the water and on rides. It turns out that they are only permitted on some rides so we still had to remove them and hold them for some things.
  • Glasses aren't permitted on the fast rides so again I was having to hold them and then not be able to see anything as mine are prescription sunglasses. 
  • They are really hot on safety which is brilliant. There are lifeguards positioned everywhere and we even watched them doing a practise rescue with a lifesize doll.
  • They stuck strictly to the height restrictions which for most things seemed to be 120cm. Again fantastic from a safety point of view but to be aware of if you have little ones too you need to plan to swap around. 
For our family this meant that there was very little that Miss T could join in with. We only found the lazy river and the kids splash area that were suitable for her and she didn't enjoy the lazy river as she capsized in her ring at one point. The kids splash area then got closed for an hour for cleaning when someone had an accident which is great that they take hygiene so seriously. But if you do have a younger member of the family,  logistically you just need to plan to take turns on the rides so that someone can stay with the little one. 

Safety is high priority - there were lots of lifeguards on duty

Life vest for children were provided free of charge
Like most of Dubai, the whole place was clean. The changing rooms were a pleasure to use with shower gel and shampoo provided for use in the showers. The floors were kept clean and dry. 

Towel hire is available or you can take your own.  Some people had got their towels at the start and used them to reserve sunloungers but as sunlounging was not something we were planning to do we only got our towels at the end. 

This caused a bit more of a delay as there is no towel pick up near the changing rooms and yet you need the paper ticket they give you to pick up your towel.  So this involved a bit of to-ing  and fro-ing to go to locker,  get tickets,  go back into the park to get towels then back to the locker room to get changed.  

With Dubai being so technologically focused we were impressed with the barcode wristbands being scanned for entry to the park and to access lockers and yet towel vouchers are issued on paper receipts and so are meal vouchers if you are eating at a beachside fast food restaurant like Shark bites or Barracudas where you can stay in your swimwear.  So being wet and carrying around paper tickets is not a good combination! 

Our final bug bear with this place was that smoking was permitted and in my book places with lots of kids around and smoking permitted is not a good mix. 

Oh and remember plenty plenty plenty of suncream. Spending so much time in the water makes you forget that the temperature is over 40 and unless you keep reapplying that suncream you are going to get burnt. 

Overall this is a great place to visit which is so nearly perfect. For us our timings went awry but if you allow plenty of time, and are aware of the small lockers and the need for beach shoes, then you should have a fantastic time as the rides are brilliant.

This was our last full day in Dubai but I hope to write a summary post at some point too to round up all our adventures. 

And here is some further info that Aquaventure and Kaleidoscope have provided: 

  • Aquaventure is the largest and most dynamic water-themed attraction in all of Dubai and the number one Waterpark in the Middle East and Europe. 
  • Set among 17 hectares (42 acres), this non-stop water experience consists of several extraordinary water slides, extensive river ride action with cascades, tidal waves and rapids. The lush tropical landscape is traversed by over two kilometres of water adventure; The Rapids circumnavigate and lead into the thrilling Mesopotamian styled Tower of Poseidon which stands in the centre of the action, reaching 40 m (100 feet) into the sky. The Tower Of Poseidon features five heart pumping, record-breaking rides.
  • Voted best waterpark in the Middle East and 3rd best in the world by Trip Advisor
  • The Aquaventure waterscape contains 18 million litres of fresh water used to power a huge variety of thrilling waterslides, a 2.3 kilometre river ride with tidal waves and pools, water rapids and white water chargers. 
  • Aquaventure is the only waterpark in The Middle East that offers Marine Animal Experiences including: Shark Safari, a delightful walk on the bottom of the Shark Lagoon, Cownose Ray Feeding, in the water interacting and feeding the hungry rays. 
  • Resort guests of Atlantis have unlimited complimentary access to Aquaventure Waterpark as admission is included in the guest room rate. For more information see: www.atlantisthepalm.com/marine-water-park/aquaventure-waterpark
Prices for visitors start from:
  • £44 (AED 250) for those above a height of 1.2 meters
  • £36 (AED 205) for those below 1.2 meters
  • Children aged 0-2 years of age can enter free of charge. 
Kaleidoscope is a truly international buffet breakfast, international lunch and dinner buffet with main focus on European Mediterranean cuisine, complemented by cuisines of Northern Africa, India and the Levant region. A mosaic pizza oven prepares fresh pizzas, as well fresh pasta and traditional curry and tandoors.

A huge thank you to Visit Dubai and Tots100 (special thanks to Extraordinary Chaos blog too as it was via Richard's comment on Sarah's blog that won!)