On a sunny Sunday, it’s lovely to get the chance to go out as a family and enjoy spending some time together without worrying about the washing, the cleaning or the somewhat wild-looking lawn in desperate need of a mow.
And this Sunday, we were really lucky as we were invited along to the Henley Regatta by Bugaboo, who were hosting a fun-filled ‘Discover Bugaboo kids area’ for the day!
I’ve always quite wanted to go to the Regatta, and having seen what was on for the kids (facepainting, balloon modelling, and entertainment from Sharky and George) and knowing that there would be beer and deckchairs available for the Other Half, I was pretty sure they’d be excited to go too. So we did!
The train journey was a bit of a mission (involving a tube and two mainline trains, much to the Wee Man’s delight) but we were expecting that and since we were accompanied by rocknrollerbaby and her two little ones who are great friends with the Wee Man and Bubby D I knew they would most likely love bouncing around on the journey together. As it happened, whilst everyone else was crammed in like sardines between Twyford and Henley-on-Thames, the Wee Man and his friend lorded it up and sat in a first class seat each, happily chatting away to each other and refusing to even consider sharing. Luckily, given the general atmosphere of expectant excitement and the fact that the sun was shining, the surrounding squashed adults seemed to find it all rather amusing and it was only a short three stops before we arrived anyway…
The Discover Bugaboo area provided a perfect base for the day. Big squashy fatboy beanbags, large well cushioned and comfortable loungers and Bugaboo deckchairs were spread haphazardly around, all with a great view of the river. An upper deck with bar, more comfy seats and a TV showing the Wimbledon coverage sat at the top of the area. And two lovely face painters and a balloon modeller were in residence, who Bubby D and the Wee Man immediately made a beeline for.
My interests lay more in the variety of Bugaboos strewn about the place. ‘Discover Bugaboo’ really was the right name for the area in relation to me, because – despite being a pushchair enthusiast – I’ve never really had a good look at them before.
Before having kids, I was pretty much clueless about pushchairs, although I do remember my own mum lusting over particular models when I was young. Perhaps I’ve inherited her pushchair loving tendencies, because once the Wee Man was on the way, investigation into our chariot of choice got seriously underway and I’ve not stopped since! But the Bugaboo slipped through the net in the first instance because it wasn’t in the Mothercare catalogue, and in my uninitiated new-parent state I imagined they must stock every pushchair in the world. How wrong I was!
Anyway, the Regatta gave me the chance to rectify that and I had a good old poke around.
The new Bugaboo Buffalo is a beast of a thing as many modern pushchairs are. Large wheels, sturdy metal construction, versatile chassis, integrated bag clips with the ability to securely carry 6kg, and a higher seat height than the Cameleon all combine to make it a comfortable pushchair that can tackle any type of terrain that’s thrown at it with ease.
There weren’t any mountains around but we took the opportunity to put it to the test on a less challenging terrain anyway, and took a leisurely stroll down the river instead. Bubby D sat semi-reclined and giggled happily watching rowboats race by and geese swim lazily around, whilst I considered the ease of steering and the minimal impact of the uneven and sometimes stony ground. The large hood provided great coverage from the blazing sun, and the five point harness kept her securely strapped in so that we could venture close to the riverbank edge without any worries.
It was all rather exciting as the Buffalo isn’t available to buy for a couple of months yet, so Bubby D is one of its inaugural riders! She certainly seemed to really like it and I have to say I quite enjoyed pushing it too. It’s a bit different to the much smaller stroller that I’ve been using lately, but not in a bad way – even given that at 12.3kg its over twice the weight, it was still just as easy to effortlessly steer one handed.
We didn’t have time to fully explore all the various features, but once they are available in the shops I’m looking forward to having a much more thorough look at it!
Talking of smaller strollers, we checked out the Bugaboo Bee, too. Kitted out for the summer with a newly designed breezy sun canopy (also available for the Donkey, the Buffalo – pictured above – and the Cameleon) which boasts UPF 50+ sun protection , mesh panel windows for easy ventilation and light reflective fabric with zip down sections to provide additional shading, it’s far more of a lightweight runaround than the much bigger Buffalo, Cameleon and Donkey. Bubby D happily made herself at home in that as well – and in fact we were so interested to discover more that we ended up taking it home with us to try it out for a longer period.
I even got to take a sneaky peek in the new Bugaboo offices, which were right next to where we were enjoying the Regatta. The Bugaboo staff are so obviously passionate about their pushchairs, and it was lovely to take a guided look at all the different models on offer as well as hearing a bit about what’s coming up in the near future.
But the day wasn’t all about pushchairs, by any means.
In fact, being that we were at the Regatta, you might think it was all about rowing – but that was actually more of an aside to the entertainment, relaxing and ice cream eating that went on whilst soaking up the sun.
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting for the kids to enjoy playing ‘sharks and lifeguards’ with the fantastic entertainers Sharky and George, taking part in treasure hunts, paddling around in the river and running around bopping each other with cushions in an impromptu game only they know the rules of!
We did watch some of the rowers flying by, and witnessed the Gloriana make its way slowly past too – and of course the day was topped off by Andy Murray becoming this year’s Wimbledon Champion!
Covered in ice cream, smeared face paint, mud and river water; and wearing giant sleepy smiles, the Wee Man and Bubby D crawled into their pushchairs and we made our way home.
And as an added bonus, both the Wee Man and Bubby D went to sleep with no fuss in the same room, at the same time, for the first time ever!
A perfect end to a practically perfect day 🙂