Monday, 15 December 2014

Parragon Book Buddy Review-Baa Baa Black Sheep

If you're still looking for toddler gifts or stocking fillers this is an adorable little book! We received Baa Baa Black Sheep by Little Learners for our November book as part of the Parragon Book Buddy programme.
Complete with finger puppet through the centre, the book tells the well known nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep. The finger puppet adds that 'something extra' to really engage with your little one.
Eliot has been a big fan, he's still not completely sure how the sheep moves which is very sweet. He has also enjoyed showering Baa Baa Black Sheep with some sloppy kisses! The illustrations are lovely and feature the different characters from the rhyme.
The big plus point for me is that it's a hard, sturdy book. Eliot loves flicking through books but often accidently (or purposely) rips pages. Obviously this book is safe from any toddler tearing! So we can read it together or Eliot can flick through it as and when he wants without the worry of any pages being torn.
The size of the book is ideal for popping in change bags to keep tots entertained on the go, which we've done with Eliot. It has been a great distraction when out and about and Eliot is bored or beginning to get cranky. 
You can purchase from Amazon here.
Giving Baa Baa black sheep a kiss!
* We received this book in exchange for our honest opinion.

Wimsey's Restaurant Parsons Green- Guest Post

For the first time ever, I am handing over to my other half to write a post! All of the photo's were also taken by him. He is a still and landscape photographer with his own 'quirky' photography site Meet Petty Photography.
But first a few words from me!
On Thursday we were lucky to have a rare date night, we ventured to Wimsey’s restaurant on the New Kings Road. Prior to our date I had a flick through the menu online and noticed a cat design on the header. Being a cat lover I was instantly intrigued and wanted to find where the inspiration came from!
Now over to the OH!

I have an adventurous side when it comes to food and I particularly like all types of Game. I've always found it hard to locate a restaurant in London which has a menu that permits such delicacies, so I was very excited to discover Wimsey's, on the New Kings Road in Parsons Green.
Wimsey's is a seasonal restaurant that promises...

'quality food, expertly cooked, from the very best ingridients we can find which, where possible will be British'
'Our menus will vary with the seasons and there will be special dishes each week to reflect what is on offer in the markets'
The Cat Design Lucinda mentioned!
 In spite of my love for a good meal, I normally take my time in a restaurant choosing what to have. But looking through Wimsey’s menu online, I made my mind up straight away. I had my eye on the starters of Pigeon, Rabbit and quail. The mains of Pheasant, and Goose  struck my attention immediately.
The restaurant itself is within an easy walking distance from Parsons Green tube and close to a number of bars if you fancy a pre or after dinner drink. On arrival, the name of the restaurant was bright and bold over the sparkling Christmas tree, which was a warm addition to the outside.
The staff on entry were extremely pleasant and welcomed us with the gesture of taking our coats. Rather than escorting you to a random table which to me never makes sense, Wimsey's would much rather have you decide where to sit. We opted for the table by the window which allowed a good view of the main area of the restaurant and it's interesting collection of wall art.

The drinks menu offered a large selection of wines, ports and sherrys, champagne, cocktails, digestifs and an unusual mix of soft drinks such as Victorian Lemonade and Wild English Elderflower. It was a bottle of the Italian Sergio sparkling wine we choose, with an accompaniment  of sparkling water.
We engaged in pleasant conversation with the owner of the restaurant, Gwyn who told us about the name of the restaurant and the key features of the food. Wimsey's is named after the family cat, a character who had been in their lives for nineteen years. This delighted Lucinda and myself, (having felines of our own) it was nice to hear a touching story behind the name.

To start I had the pan roasted breast of Sussex quail, with pickled wild mushrooms and truffle & port sauce. Lucinda opted for the poached and rolled Dingley Dell ham hock with homemade piccalilli and toasted sour dough.
The food arrived promptly, and was attractively presented in a not so overcrowded way and looked marvellous under the suitably lit lights and twinkles of the Christmas tree.
Sussex Quail

Poached & Rolled Ham Hock
The main body of the quail was pan roasted to perfection and being drizzled in a zany truffle and port sauce, it gave a rich fruity accompaniment to the tender quail. An added bonus were the wings which were crispy coated and provided crunchy side to an already well received starter.
Lucinda also enjoyed her starter of ham hock and was a big fan of the homemade piccalilli. It became clear how much work goes into the dishes when we were told the ham hock dish takes twenty four hours to prepare!

For the main, I choose the pan roasted Essex Goose accompanied with braised red cabbage and pan gravy. I also chose a side of champ potatoes. Lucinda chose the Butter Roast Breast of chicken served with a herb mash and cream mushrooms. Gwyn recommended the brussel sprouts with chesnuts and redcurrants.
The Goose

Champ Potatoes

Lucinda's Chicken

Brussels, Chesnuts & Redcurrants
When the main arrived I was impressed at the sizable portion of goose served to me and was eager to tuck in! I found it succulent and juicy, I really did enjoy devouring it! Lucinda found her chicken to be an impressive dish too and described the chicken as one of the most tender pieces she has ever eaten. Of course I sampled some myself and was in agreement, the mushroom cream was so rich and creamy.
My side of champ potatoes made the perfect partner with my goose. I wasn't overly keen on the sprouts with chestnuts and redcurrants but that was down to personal taste, Lucinda enjoyed the twist from plain Brussel sprouts.

I'm not really one for dessert so I shared Lucinda's choice of chocolate & orange fondant served with cinnamon ice cream. Now this was a dessert Lucinda couldn't wait to sample. We were both impressed to hear that all the ice cream served at Wimsey's is homemade. I opted for a tipple instead, the Glayva Whiskey Liqueur.

 As soon as Lucinda broke open the fondant, the gooey centre was clear to see and in Lucinda's words both the fondant and cinnamon ice cream were 'exquisite'.
We were also given a cheeky glass of Wimsey's festive cocktail, the Christmas Mojito. It was fantastic, refreshing with a 'merry' twist of spiced rum and ginger beer.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at Wimsey's. The quality of the food and the preparation that is put in to each dish, is reflected in the prices. But when you are getting high quality, carefully selected ingredients this has to be expected.
If it's a fine dining experience you are striving for in London, definitely book a table at Wimesey's!

The kitchen in action...

Can you see the steam?

See our experience...

 *Disclaimer. We were given a complimentary meal in return for our honest review
Family Fever

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Toddler Stocking Fillers

Last year I bought a few things to fill Eliot's first ever stocking but then I became stuck for ideas. After a few tweets using the good old pbloggers hashtag I got some inspiration. Here's the post from last year if you fancy seeing what Eliot received in his first Christmas stocking.This year I've found it easier now Eliot is a toddler, and I actually ran out of space in this years stocking. I could have bought a few more bits! I filmed a little video (complete with festive tunes!) of what is going in Mr E's stocking this year which you can watch clicking here. Thank you for checking it out (if you do) and don't forget to like/subscribe, it is the festive season after all! ;)

My Sunday Photo 14/12/14

We had a rare date night reviewing Wimsey's restaurant and tried out their 'Christmas mojito' which was delicious!


Friday, 12 December 2014

Alternative Gifts For Toddlers

When I think about all the lovely gifts Eliot has received since he was born, they have mainly been toys, clothes and books. So, I thought I'd do a bit of an alternative gift guide for toddlers this festive season!

First up is the Organix Goodies Christmas selection box, suitable for toddlers over 12 months. Eliot and I are both fans of the Organix Goodies range and this is a perfect gift/stocking filler if you want to go for a healthier option of sweet treats. With Organix's 'No Junk promise', you can be confident you are gifting something that is far more healthier than the usual chocolate pressies on offer. All Organix products are organic, have no added salt, processed sugars, colours or flavours.
Not only is this selection box full of snacks free from 'nasties', you can also turn the box into a Goodies Winter farm scene!
It contains...
·         Organix Goodies Organic Raspberry & Apple Fruit Moos

·         Organix Goodies Organic Blackcurrant & Apple Fruit Stars

·         Organix Goodies Organic Mini Gingerbread Men

·         Organix Goodies Organic Alphabet Biscuits

·         Organix Goodies Organic Raspberry & Apple Soft Oaty Bar

The Organix Goodies selection box is priced at £2.99 and available from Asda, Boots and Ocado.

Next up is the Toddler feeding set from OXO Tot. I just think this is a great alternative gift for tots who are usually overloaded with toys. I believe a high quality feeding set is required for little ones learning to self feed and the OXO Tot set speaks volumes.
The set contains...

 ·         Fork & Spoon

·         Plate
 ·         Bowl with lid
 I've reviewed this set, you can read more about it here.

Personally I don't think you can go wrong with a personalised wooden gift and I adore this personalised box set of puzzles from Ace catalogue. I recently came across Ace Catalogue and discovered their range of personalised gifts. I think puzzles are great as they can be educational as well as helping develop fine motor skills. The bright colours are appealing but my personal fave is the hand puzzle. When teaching I've come across many children who are still confused about their right and left, I think it's ideal for helping establish that knowledge from an early age. 

Last but by all means not least is the Munchkin Bubble Blower. The reason I've added this to my gift guide is simple. Eliot loves bubbles, Eliot loves bath time. It's a win win product for us! This is definitely on my list to buy once we're all moved and settled. It looks like great fun and of course fantastic for a bit of sensory play.
What toddler gifts are on your list?
* I have not been paid to feature any of this products. I received a Organix Goodies selection box in return for featuring it and I previously received the OXO Tot set in return for a review.
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