Nature's Jewels at Hills Cafe

When I first moved to our current home I'll admit to having some reservations. The house itself was lovely and knowing our landlords a little gave us a sense of security after a few awful past experiences. We have a nice, big garden and I no longer have to traverse a mountain huge hill anytime I want to go into town and back.

My main concern was the area we were moving to and it's reputation. I'd heard horror stories about crime, an ice cream van that also sells drugs (Eek! I wouldn't know the truth of this, but the ice cream is good) and undesirable neighbours.

All of which has been completely unfounded. If anything, I have found the Micklefield area to be friendly and community focused. I love the library where the workers and volunteers are chatty and great with the kids. The chippy, Chinese takeaway and convenience store are very close and local events are run regularly, including 'Micklefest', fun days and an outdoor cinema.

I'm also a big fan of Hills Cafe, I love the idea of it being run by volunteers and providing opportunities for people to gain work experience. They have a selection of toys for children, friendly staff and a small but perfectly formed outdoor space.

In the summer they held a number of small activities for children and we attended one run by Nature's Jewels. It's not the first time we've come across Julie as she also provided craft activities at Pann Mill earlier this summer but she clearly has a large repertoire of crafts at her disposal because this time we played with clay.

Everything was provided - clay, beads, sparkles, leaves, sticks and tons more. It was quiet when we first got there but had picked up by the time we left an hour and a bit later.

It was reasonably priced although tricky because it was a 'donation' and so I opted for £3-4, it's always hard because you don't want to under pay someone! I also spent some money on a lovely cup of tea (they have mugs like buckets) and hot chocolate (complete with cream and marshmallows) for Lily and a babycino for Ollie.

We attended this session at the end of the holidays and I wish I'd tried it before as it was a really nice way to spend the morning. Nature's Jewels also run sessions at the library and based on this activity, they're really good - the kids had a great time and I had tea which is always good.

*I have not been asked by anyone to write this review, I just wanted to share with you! All opinions are my own*
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