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August 6, 2019

Top 10 ways parents survive long car journeys with children

  • LISTENING TO MUSIC AND TRADITIONAL GAMES STILL POPULAR
  • BUT NEARLY A THIRD OF PARENTS COULDN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT ELECTRONIC GADGETS
  • ONE IN TEN (13%) COPE BY VISUALISING THEIR FIRST BEER OR WINE ON ARRIVAL

A new survey reveals the top ten ways parents cope with long car journeys with their children, with electronic gadgets now an essential item of survival kit for most families.

The survey carried out by Opinium, and commissioned by iCarhireinsurance.com , a leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, asked parents with school-age kids for their top tips on  surviving long (over two hour) car journeys.

Nearly two fifths (38%) admit that electronic gadgets make long journeys more enjoyable, and nearly a third (29%) say they could not survive without them. 84% also set no time limits for how long the kids use them. 

However, traditional car activities remain popular with music playing from the car system (42%) and classic car games, such as iSpy (40%), still coming out top.  Parents who wish to interact with their children may be in the minority but over one in ten (13%) actually ban electronic devices on long journeys, because 10% of them say these journeys are a good opportunity to talk.

  1.  “You really do know all the words….” (parents said with a heavy heart): Playing music in the car is the most popular entertainment (42%), with nearly a quarter (24%) downloading a playlist for the family and 23% creating individual child playlists.
  2. “I spy with my little eye….”: Two fifths (40%) say they play classic car games, like iSpy and 20 Questions.
  3. “I can’t hear you”: A third (36%) provide headphones for kids’ electronic devices so they don’t have to listen to the game, YouTube video or film their kids may be watching.
  4. “It’s my turn”: Nearly a third (32%) give each child their own device so they don’t have to share.
  5. “Can we listen to it again, and again, and again?”: Nearly a third (31%) listen to their child/ren’s favourite song or CD on repeat.
  6. “Just one more…”: A third (30%) of parents admit to bribing their children to be well behaved with treats and sweets.
  7. “Yes, you can have the kids’ meal”: Nearly a third (30%) promise a visit to a fast food outlet.
  8. “It has to be a U or PG”: More than a quarter (28%) let their children watch movies on long car journeys, while 18% listen to audio book, and 11% to podcasts. 
  9.  “Super Mario, Pokemon or Minecraft?”: A quarter (27%) let their children play computer games on long car journeys.
  10. “Get the beer and wine on ice!”: 13% of parents survive a long car journey by visualising their first pint or glass of wine on arrival. 

“I’ve done many long car journeys with my children, and it can be difficult to keep them all entertained, especially when they’re all different ages and have different interests. I’m glad it isn’t just me who hands over the tablets to have a bit of peace.” said Ernesto Suarez, CEO and founder of iCarhireinsurance.com.

Ernesto continues, “One thing you don’t want to be worrying about when hiring a car with kids, is the amount you’re going to have to pay if it’s damaged or stolen, which can be up to £2,000 even if it’s not your fault. Make sure you buy excess insurance from a standalone provider like iCarhireinsurance.com before you drive your hire car, to not only save you money, but to give you total peace of mind, once the kids have their gadgets and headphones on that is.”

July 4, 2019

Top 10 Restaurants in Spain for Vegetarians and Vegans

Spain has been developing its plant-based food scene for over 30 years, and is home to a wide-variety of vibrant vegetarian and vegan restaurants for food-loving travellers

With up to 10% of All Europeans Now Following a Plant-Based Diet, These Are Top 10 Restaurants in Spain for Vegetarians and Vegans In recent years, there has been an increase in Europeans switching to a plant-based diet due to higher awareness around the negative effects of animal agriculture, as well more available information regarding the health benefits of not eating meat.

Due to this shift in attitudes, it is estimated that around 10% of all Europeans now follow a plant-based diet. Furthermore, the continent leads the way in terms of global meat substitutes, and holds 39% of the global market.

Spain, a country often praised for its vibrant food scene, is one of Europe’s most foodie-friendly destinations, and has been seeking to bring plant-diets into the mainstream for over 30 years thanks to its diverse regional cuisines and abundance of natural produce.

Starting from Vigo and Barcelona, and finishing up in the capital, Madrid, Smart Lemur, a website dedicated to authentic travelling, has chosen the top 10 vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Spain.

1. Cat Bar – Barcelona

Despite its feline-themed moniker, Barcelona’s Cat Bar isn’t home to any cats. Instead, this small, five-tabled establishment focuses on creating top-level vegan burgers and serving local craft beers. Located on the fringes of Barcelona’s much-loved Gothic Quarter, this unpretentious, bustling bar is a must-visit for anyone who loves quality, plant-based food and adventurous beers. Depending on the day of the week, there are also live piano free-for-all performances.

2. Superchulo – Madrid

Superchulo‘ or ‘Supercool’ in English is one of Madrid’s top vegetarian restaurants, and has been singled out by Cosmopolitan, Vogue, TimeOut and ABC for its optimistic and daring menu. Its dishes are based on the principle of simplicity and urges diners to “count colors, not calories”. Superchulo aims to serve environmentally-sustainable dishes, which are designed with the health of visitors and the overall planet in mind. This hip joint is also pet-friendly.

3. Pizzi&Dixie – Madrid

Pizzi&Dixie is an Italian restaurant specializing in plant-based cuisine, and prides itself on dishes such as mango ceviche, yellow curry and black garlic tagliatelle, and its novel, activated charcoal pizza, which is considered a detoxing food. Honestly. Located in the centre of Madrid, Pizzi&Dixie is a colorful locale that adds an interesting twist to Europe’s rapidly developing vegetarian and vegan food scenes of the continent.

4. VA DE BO – Palma

Va De Bo is widely-recognized for its vegan dishes, as well as the kindness and hospitality of its owner, Joao. Live piano and guitar sessions, bright colors, and bringing people together over good food, good music, and conversation are the order of the day here.

5. Veganitessen – Sevilla

Located in Seville’s Arenal market, Veganitessen specialises in plant-based tapas and sweet treats. Praised for its high-standard of customer service, Veganitessen’s greatest hits include vegetarian kebabs, cold Andaluz-style beetroot soup, and a vegan take on the much-loved German currywurst. This small restaurant also serves craft beers, vegan-friendly soft drinks, and food to take away.

6. Les Maduixes – Valencia

Les Maduixes has been around for almost 35 years, and still prides itself on being one of Valencia’s first vegetarian restaurants. This bright locale prides itself on fresh dishes such as ravioli in calabaza sauce, and basmati rice with ceps and shiitake mushrooms. It also serves up a wide variety freshly-squeezed juices and smoothies, organic lager, and bio cola.

7. Vegetart – Barcelona

Vegetart‘s focus is on locally-inspired Catalan cuisine, and this takeaway joint serves up generously-sized regional dishes such as calçot cannelloni, leeks with almond, and a vegan take on the traditional Spanish tortilla with seitan chorizo or mushrooms. This small deli also won the award for the best vegan omelette by Anima Naturalis magazine.

8. Veggie Garden – Barcelona

Located by the Plaça Catalunya in the beating heart of Barcelona, this bright and cheerful vegan restaurant’s specialities are Hindu and Nepalese meals including Thali and Byriani. However, there are other options such as vegan wok, wraps with vegan cheese and guacamole, vegan burgers, and Chinese-inspired chili tofu. Veggie Garden also blends a number of delicious juices, smoothies, and milkshakes including one containing vegan chocolate.

9. Teresa’s – Barcelona

Created by Teresa Carles Borràs, a vegetarian chef and chef consultant of 35 years, this small, unassuming vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Barcelona’s motto is “eat better, be happier, live longer.” Since 1979, Teresa and her team has been influencing Spain’s vegetarian food scene by farming their own produce, using local ingredients, and developing recipes. Dishes include bowls, salads, burgers, tacos, and smash-hit toasts. Teresa’s is also home to a gluten-free and plant-based bakery.

10. Restaurante Cúrcuma – Vigo

Widely recognized for its Neo-rustic ambience and its outstanding banana cake, Restaurante Cúrcuma is a delight for those who follow a plant-based diet, as well as those who do not. A number of online reviews cite its stuffed aubergine and vegetarian lasagne as other highlights from the menu. Diners are also urged to ask the helpful waiting staff for recommendations if they are stuck for choice.

With plant-based diets becoming increasingly popular across Europe, expect even more restaurants to begin experimenting with alternative takes on traditional dishes using fruit and vegetables. If, however, you are not fully ready to commit fully to vegetarianism or veganism quite yet, check out Smart Lemur’s list of the top 10 street foods from around the world

October 11, 2018

Autumn Event Ideas

Autumn at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Thrill seekers, family fun, shows, events, hot ice and a new roller coaster: ICON! There’s so much choice at Blackpool Pleasure Beach! The Autumn schedule is mixed and packed right up into the Christmas season!

Belle Vue is your perfect transport partner. Forget finding an all-day parking spot half-way across town and trudging about. We are here to make the experience nothing short of amazing!

Maximise your time with an experienced on-call driver who knows the best spots and puts your pleasure first!

BOOK YOUR EXPERIENCE TODAY. CALL 0161 947 9477.  QUOTE “PLEASURE BEACH PACKAGE” FOR THE LATEST DEALS!

DISCOVER MORE AT: FUNTASTIC TRIPS

See Blackpool Illuminations 2018!

Blackpool illuminations, running from 31st August – 4th November 2018, has got to be one of the 10 great Wonders of the World: 10 kilometres long and using over one million bulbs!

2012 marked the centenary for the Blackpool illuminations. Princess Louise in May 1912 opened a new section of promenade. To mark that occasion, 10,000 lights were festooned along the promenade! The start of things to come!

You can hire a 20- 33- 49- or 83-seater coach or mini-bus from Belle Vue Coaches to visit Blackpool!

Kays Fish and chips, Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Rock, The Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Circus, the piers, promenades, the sea, stag and hen dos, Freeport Shopping Centre … EVERYONE LOVES BLACKPOOL!

Now is the time to book with us! Ask us if we can book tickets cheaper for you and save money!

Enjoy quality time with colleagues, family and friends! See our Blackpool page for more here.

Funtastic Events at Alton Towers Resort

Alton Towers Resort is now home to thrill rides such as Wicker Man, Galactica, Nemesis, Oblivion, Rita, Th23teen, Smiler, Blade and Enterprise. Over on our sister site, Funtastic Trips, we’ve posted all the latest ride details for you to check out!

Scare Fest 2018

Scarefest promises to be the scariest and the most terrifying event to date! There is something for all thrill seekers and families, with tons of terrific rides, blockbusting attractions, amazing live shows, and weird and wonderful costume characters. J

Join us for our terrifying Scarefest event 6th – 7th, 13th – 14th, 19th October – 2nd November 2018. It’s a Halloween Spooktacular when the Theme Park becomes home to Halloween! You get to enjoy rides in the dark plus there’s loads of extra entertainment.

Scarefest also brings the opportunity to ride the world’s first 14 loop rollercoaster in total darkness, casting advocates into the unknown alongside the return of the terrifying scare-mazes.

Spine-Tingling Terror!

The multi award winning scare mazes have been re-scarified for this year and we are adding another NEW maze to the line up! And as if that’s not scary enough, dare you take on our world-class thrill rides in the dark?

Fireworks *

Date: 3rd & 4th November. Join Belle Vue and friends for a spectacular Fireworks event, that will dazzle and delight!

* Pre-book to guarantee entry 0161 947 9477