Thursday, 4 April 2019

My perfect bouquet - rainbow flowers!

Although I do always love the flowers Nik picks out for me, this year, I really wanted to create my own rainbow bouquet!  I love flowers, learning names of the ones I love and arranging them.  I sometimes think in another life I would have loved being a florist!  Maybe one day, maybe when I retire I could get a job in a pretty little flower shop.  Anyway, for now, I make do with being creative with my own flowers and this year I went to both of Uckfield's lovely florists, The Flower Shop and Miss Bloomsbury.  It helps that they're just a few doors apart on the High Street so I was able to pick and choose my stems from each to create my perfect colourful arrangement which looks beautiful on our new bar cart in the dining room!

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Oast Farm shop - picnic

Nik had a day off last week to do some admin work from home so we all ventured down to our local cafe, forgetting that it's closed on Tuesdays, oops!  Luckily Judith was in the shop and happily made us a cup of tea and coffee when we bought some things from the shop to have an impromptu picnic outside.

Monkey Business in Lewes - soft play review

I'd only been to Monkey Madness once before, soft plays can get pretty expensive when you have two kids to pay for plus an adult entry, then inevitable snacks, drinks, etc as you can't bring your own in.  Luckily, when a friend suggested it on a recent blustery day, they had a deal on so it was only £9 for me and the twins to get in.  The last time we went they were only one so it was a very different experience now they're four and can properly climb and go off and have fun on their own in the giant climbing frames!  Plus it was a term-time Tuesday so it wasn't too busy and there were no big kids charging around to be fearful of.

We stayed there all morning and for a while after lunch too.  Kalyan has been asking to go back to "hotplay" ever since so we'll have to check when their next deal is on.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Sunday Roast review at the Abergavenny Arms near Lewes

Not to be confused with the one in Tunbridge Wells!  (Yep, we started driving in the wrong direction before a slightly heated discussion and a quick phone call to check before a swift turnaround!)

We met friends at the Abergavenny Arms near Lewes recently (not to be confused with the one in Frant where Nik started driving to, in the opposite direction), and had a lovely afternoon.  They're dog and child friendly so it was perfect for us and our friends with their fur baby.  The pub is traditional style with a lovely beer garden out the back.  It was a bit cold and windy the day we went so we sat inside where it was nice and cosy.

Up Country garden centre & cafe - review

We had a really fun day out at Up Country garden centre near Haywards Heath.  I've driven past it so many times but never ventured in until my friend suggested we meet there for the kids to play on the bus.  I had no idea they could play in the old bus in the back, I always thought that was the cafe as it has a big cafe sign on it, lol.  Turns out the cafe is inside the shop and the bus is just there for fun!

Chailey Windmill

Our visit to Chailey Windmill was a totally random stop on the way home from a play-date at a nearby garden centre.  It was such a lovely sunny day and I spotted a windmill sign as we drove home so I turned round, parked the car and off I went with the twins to try to find the windmill.  It was just a short 5 minute walk away and looked glorious in the big blue sky with not a cloud to be seen!

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Sunday Roast at Framptons, Tunbridge Wells - review

I was struggling with a few deadlines last month so wasn't able to get this review written until now but our Sunday roast at Framptons in The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells was definitely one of the best I've had locally!  It's not a cheap option with roasts costing £16.50 - £19.50 but I honestly think it's worth it if you can splash out.

I went with the twins and my in-laws while Nik was working one weekend in February and we had the most amazing meal.  I've reviewed Framptons before and have always been impressed by their food and I love the surroundings with vintage touches around, a rustic look upstairs and lots of lovely wood in the bar area downstairs.  I also like that you can see openly into the kitchen where the chefs are working hard plating these delicious dishes.

We skipped starters and went straight for the roast, I had the salt marsh lamb with salsa verde, the twins opted for beef which came with a Marmite hollandaise sauce (I was a little dubious but it was actually very tasty!) and the in-laws had beef too.  All the meat was served pink, they did check I was happy with that for the twins.

It was all amazing and came with a drizzle of gravy over the meat but we were given a huge jug of extra gravy on the side (a big plus in my eyes).  The meat was so tender and flavourful and the Yorkshires had the perfect fresh texture.  I often find with pub roasts they seem like they've been reheated as they dry out but these were lovely.

We also received a massive bowl of vegetables including some amazing crispy roasties, parsnips, a carrot mash and kale.  Our server offered to bring us more which we initally declined as we thought we had plenty but after tasting the kale (and with Priya loving it too!), we asked for more of that and got a new fresh bowl of the buttery greens.

Of course, I couldn't resist dessert and the twins always get a scoop of ice-cream if they've behaved and eaten well when we go out.  Priya opted for "manilla" and K had mango sorbet.  They were thrilled with the little edible flowers on top!  I chose the chocolate delice which was heaven, served with clotted cream ice-cream!

Puddings range from £5 to £7.50.  There isn't a kids menu but they make smaller portions of some of the menu items so they had a kids roast (I'm not sure of the cost of this as my father-in-law kindly treated us).

Service is friendly and efficient, not overbearing but attentive.  We had a really good meal, it's such a great place to chill and enjoy eating.  I'd highly recommend it!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Cuckoo Trail - the ultimate bike ride

I'd never been to The Cuckoo Trail before so was really excited when we had a lovely sunny day in February and my friend suggested we meet there with the kids and bikes for the afternoon.  For those of you who don't know (hi Mum!), it's a path than runs for miles starting in Heathfield and going all the way to Eastbourne.  We obviously didn't go that far with our 4-year-olds but still had a jolly good ride along the sheltered fairly flat  path, having parked for free in the car park opposite Waitrose.  We found a small park part-way along too during one of the road crossings and stopped there for a little while on our way back to let the kids get a run about too.  Of course, it was finished off perfectly with ice-cream in the Waitrose cafe when we got back with 4 tuckered out little ones and two tiddly ones!

Carafe Cafe, Lewes - review

I'd been past this cafe a few times but never been in, it seemed like a good idea to check it out when we fancied going somewhere for lunch after a visit to Raystede one weekend.

Carafe is an independent coffee shop with a Turkish twist.  They serve the usual cafe fare but also have some Turkish delicacies and Turkish coffee.  Nik and I loved their Turkish pastries and breads (and the kids enjoyed their massive sausage rolls!)  The sweet treats were good too, Nik and the twins all had cookies and I had a lovely sticky chocolate orange cake which was too irresistible to photograph (I forgot before I wolfed it down!)  The staff were so friendly, the cafe was light and airy with cool photos of coffee on the walls and the food was beautifully laid out.  We'll definitely be back!

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Sunday Roast at The Guildford Arms, Greenwich - review

There are roasts and then there are ROASTS!  This was the best Sunday roast I've had in a long time.  Seriously amazing.

The twins and I joined my in-laws for lunch one weekend Nik was on a course in London, at the Guildford Arms in Greenwich.  It's a modern pub with big bright windows and rustic furniture and a lovely daily menu.

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