Local Expert – Claire/ Midlothian South Edinburgh

Name: Claire

Website: Click here.

Facebook: Click here.

Instagram: @clairehoustonbabymassage


I’m a mummy of three – Fraser is six; Isla is three (or ‘almost four’ if you ask her!); and Katie has just turned two. I’m a baby massage instructor teaching classes in Midlothian and South Edinburgh. My blog is fairly new, but all about baby massage as you’d expect! My Facebook and Instagram feeds are also all about baby massage and being a mum/parent.

 

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Favourite places to eat: We are fans of family lunches out, especially at the weekend. Evening meals in restaurants can be tricky with three littlies but when we do venture out for tea, we stick to places like Pizza Express! Our favourite lunch spots are….Pentland Plants because they do amazing savoury scones and have a little play area to occupy the children. Poddingtons at Straiton serves fabby milkshakes that the kids just love. The Flotterstone is great, especially if it’s sunny and you can sit in the beer garden courtyard and they have a great selection of food on the kids menu and classic pub food for the adults so it’s win-win. And of course you can’t go wrong in Dobbies for brunch followed by a stroll around the fish tanks!

 

 

Favourite places to go: We are so lucky in Midlothian to be surrounded by some fantastic historical sites and great stories to spark the imagination. Rosslyn Chapel is a great afternoon out with it’s mysterious tales, guides in medieval dress, little play/education area and cafe (empire biscuits are our favourites).
Vogrie Country Park is our go-to place on a dry day. There are two play parks (one especially good for pre-school kids and a bigger, more adventurous area for the older ones), ponds, lots of woodland paths (just about bike and buggy-able) and a cafe. There are always special activities in the holidays and a ParkRun every Saturday morning. Similarly, Dalkeith Country Park is brilliant. There are lots of great paths snaking through the park for miles – the bluebells in the spring are incredible! Fort Douglas is an adventure playground which is definitely worth a visit with kids age 4 upwards.

 

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Favourite places to shop for your little ones: Straiton retail park is pretty handy – I’m a fan of Next! Sainsbury’s is my first port of call for nursery clothes whereas it’s M&S for school uniform (online or at the Gyle shopping centre).
Favourite classes or groups: Can I say baby massage with me – haha! (OF COURSE, IT SOUNDS LIKE A FAB CLASS – Guidebook baby). Gymtastics in Penicuik has a great range of classes for toddlers, preschoolers, boys only etc… We loved Daisy Music Time when the children were a bit younger and the very welcoming Breastfeeding Cafe both at the Glencorse Centre. Roslin Baby and Toddler Group is perfect for a cup of tea and biscuit (or twelve) for the grownups and lots of toys and space for the wee ones.
 

Any other local tips?: Ikea! Let the kids play in the children’s furniture section or make use of the free hour in the crèche for kids aged 3+ whilst you enjoy a free tea with your family card. There’s messy play sessions every month and sling meets/breastfeeding groups on Tuesdays.
Loanhead and Penicuik Centres are also great resources – library, swimming pool, cafe and wee softplay.

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