Luxury For ALL The Family at The Four Seasons Hampshire

Sixteen years ago in a “previous life”, I found myself “living the dream” spending a 3 night business trip at the stunning Four Seasons Hotel on the beautiful island of Nevis in the West Indies.

Nevis

That was my first introduction to the incredible Four Seasons experience and one I’ll never forget.

Fast forward to today and I am now very fortunate to have the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire as one of my top clients! Not quite the same tropical sandy setting but equally as stunning and possibly even more beautiful, set in spectacular English countryside in a quiet village called Dogmersfield just off the M3 near Fleet.

The hotel is a majestic 300 year old Georgian Manor Estate set in 500 acres that boasts visits by both Henry VI and Henry VIII.  Providing the ultimate in luxury it is, as you would expect, a popular destination for those seeking a special few days away from the rat race.

Four Seasons General

The hotel particularly stands out for me as I have rarely found a venue of this stature that welcomes families with small children so warmly. As a parent who likes to treat myself to the finer things in life every so often, I have become very frustrated over the last 10 years trying to find pubs, restaurants and hotels that offer luxury and opulence whilst still welcoming families with open arms. The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire has quite simply nailed it!

Allow me to introduce you to “Kids for All Seasons”.

The hotel offers this exclusive “club” for their shorter guests!  On arrival, each child receives a personal invitation to participate in the fun packed Kids For All Seasons activity schedule, the hotel’s meticulously organised children’s programme.

“It’s definitely true that happy children make happy parents, so we aim to please the whole family by keeping the children entertained with a full range of activities to suit even the most discerning little guests!” Sam Kirby, Concierge.

The Kids for All Seasons Cottage is a wonderfully vibrant play zone set in it’s own charming building in the grounds, a short stroll from the main hotel. KFAS Inside

It is complimentary and available to all little guests aged 3 to 10 years. Under 3s are also welcomed when accompanied by a parent/guardian. Over 10s have their own games room upstairs with pool table, table tennis and wii station!

It is an Aladdin’s cave for the little ones. Run by the very lovely Nicole and a team of brilliant helpers (who the children all adore) the facility offers a wealth of toys; never-ending arts and crafts as well as films and video games.

Nicole Arts and Crafts

Even the children’s toilet is totally cool!!!

Taps

We have been providing our professional team of top class face painters to the hotel for 3 years now and love every booking.   As well as enjoying working with Nicole in the cottage we have also joined the wider team for family days, Halloween Parties; Christmas and New Year celebrations and of course their annual Terry Fox Fun Run raising funds for Cancer Research.

“Fascinating Faces is always a hit with our Kids for All Seasons and the school holidays wouldn’t be the same without Claire’s team’s colourful creations”

Sam Kirby, Concierge

Last Spring they also opened a brand new equestrian centre on site that offers “own a pony days” and riding lessons for children as well as a petting zoo during peak periods. The hotel also boasts a magical outdoor playground beside the cottage with a climbing wall, a rope bridge, covered slide and swings.

Outdoor Fun

Also recently opened, is the Highwire Adventure experience – check out this awesome video.

In summary, the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is a quintessentially English Utopia for families – there is so much more on offer than what I have managed to cover today – you can read more in this lovely review by a recent guest

http://familyholidays.fourseasons.com/family-holidays-hampshire-uk/

or better still book your family in now!!

http://www.fourseasons.com/hampshire/

(February half term, the Easter break and May Bank Holiday weekends are key dates coming up on the calendar so book soon if you’d like to experience this wonderful hotel and all it has to offer.)

The next dates you can find Fascinating Faces there working our magic with our paint and glitter are Saturday 14th and Saturday 21st February from 1.30pm – 4.30pm.

Fascinating Faces

And it’s not just for little kids either … big kids can have fun too!

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Friday Favourites ….. BRUSHES!

It’s been a while since I last updated my blog so I’m going to attempt to inspire myself by coming up with my Friday Favourites – hopefully weekly, but we’ll see how it goes!

I plan to venture into other areas of my life as well as the painty, glittery world so it may be anything from brilliant brushes to awesomely inspiring artists to fabulous friends or delicious culinary delights (!)  ….. suggestions welcomed!

Would love to hear your Friday Faves too!  Please feel free to comment below!

Let’s start with brushes – I have copious amounts stored in various places – I can’t restrain myself when I enter an art shop – just have to keep trying more!

Brush Pot  IMG_7914

But like many of you out there, I always revert back to my trusted favourites at each gig; especially when painting at speed!

1.  My king of brushes is my humble teeny weeny Grimas S2 – I think my “mild pulmonary heart murmur” would positively screech if I found myself at a job without one!  Introduced to this right at the beginning of my face painting career; I have never been without once since.  I love it for linework; dots and detail – I’ve tried many other fine brushes but always return to this little gem.

2. Flower petals are the design that draws the most oohs and aahs when surrounded by an audience and my reliable Da Vinci Nova Short Round Brush is what floats my boat!  Once again, I have many other options in my cacophony of brushes but this is the one I feel most comfortable with.  It loads quickly; holds plenty of paint and is perfect for double-dipping.  I have a 4 and a 6 but find the latter is the one I reach for more often than not.

3. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of one-stroke painting (mainly because it’s not my forte!), I do love it when I meet a more adventurous model who wants more than “just a few LITTLE flowers around my eye”!  It is then that I reach for my Donna Dewberry 3/4″ One Stroke brush.  I originally bought this from Fantasypaints4U but it appears they no longer stock them.  I’ve done a quick search and found one as part of a set here.

IMG_7917

4.  My “jack of all trades” has always been my Kolinsky No. 6 Sable Brush – beautiful for crisp, angled tiger-stripes; perfect for curls and swirls; lighter use can produce a fabulous thin line and you can even use it for petals.   However, following a recent, enlightening post on Facebook by a highly respected colleague, Brierley Thorpe, I am keenly searching for a synthetic alternative.  She writes “Sable brushes are made from Siberian Weasel, Himalayan or Yellow Weasels and Martens. These animals are not politely asked if they’d mind parting with a little annual snip of their winter tail. Manufacturers obtain the ‘hair’ in the form of whole tails or pelts which are sourced from the fur industry. Its a grim old trade. Buy synthetic brushes please”.   Despite my plethora of brushes, I have still not find a replacement that I can work with, so, painty friends, please comment below with any recommendations.