Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sunday Lunch at The Royal Oak, Newick - Local Roasts review

As part of my Local Roasts series, Nik, the twins and I went out for Sunday lunch at The Royal Oak in Newick last weekend.  We called on the day to book and had no problem getting a table at 1:30pm.  We were slightly late (as is often the way when wrangling two small humans) but were greeted warmly and asked to sit anywhere we liked.  We chose the corner table by the window and settled in.

We didn't realise at first but the menu was up on one of the walls and the Sunday roast options were chicken or beef, both with the same trimmings - roast potatoes, veg, stuffing and Yorkshire puds.  We all opted for the beef and ordered some drinks, wine for me, milk for the kids.

The pub has a proper cosy old atmosphere with beams on the ceiling, jugs and plates hanging everywhere and the fire was lit next to the bar.

Our drinks and food arrived quickly with friendly and polite service.

Getting every last drop

We were asked if we'd like anything else so we asked for horseradish and when I noticed there wasn't much gravy, I asked for more and we were brought a huge gravy boat full.

Our roasts included everything promised with a nice crispy ball of stuffing, a huge Yorkshire pud, mashed swede & carrot, cabbage, peas and I was pleasantly surprised to find cauliflower cheese amongst the veg.  Yum.  Everything was perfectly tasty and well cooked with no mushy veg.  The roast potatoes tasted freshly cooked too and although the Yorkshire was tasty, I found it a bit too dry and crispy although enjoyed it once soaked in gravy.

The twins enjoyed various aspects in true picky toddler style, Priya mostly sticking to potatoes while Kalyan wolfed down his (and Priya's) beef.  Portion sizes were ideal, plenty of food but not too much.  We were nicely full and might have stayed for pud if it hadn't been for looming nap time and potentially grumpy tired twins.

They were very happy as we left though as we met a friendly dog by the door.  

Olive Dragonfly Rating - The Royal Oak, Newick
Food & Drink - 8/10
Atmosphere - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Value - 8/10
Overall - 8/10

Sunday, 14 January 2018

My Sunday Photo - Buxted Village Barber

For My Sunday Photo this week I've chosen my favourite photo from the last week of my 365 project.

I took Kalyan for a haircut at Buxted Village Barber.  This time we had to wait for his turn and the twins were fascinated by the window decals so I nipped outside to grab a photo.  As always, Denise did a great job and Kalyan loved the experience, he really seems to like the clippers although they do sometimes tickle him.  Priya had a haircut recently so she just had her hair brushed as she wanted a turn in the chair and I wanted to avoid a tantrum.  She keeps asking for a "proper haircut" like Daddy and Kalyan, I think because she hates having hers brushed!

The first 12 days of my 365 project.


Saturday, 13 January 2018

My favourite Bloody Mary cocktail recipe

When Nik and I had a night out in Brighton a couple of months ago, we went for a cocktail at Twisted Lemon and Nik had a Virgin Mary which isn't something either of us would usually order but we both loved it (I had quite a few "sips" and would have ordered one myself if we didn't have to leave for dinner)!  So when I saw a Bloody Mary recipe in the latest Waitrose Food magazine, I decided to give it a try but we've changed a couple of things so it's more to our taste and usually make it without the alcohol which actually makes them pretty healthy and they're super easy and quick to make.  (Waitrose also have this recipe on their website which is a bit different again.)

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Greatest Showman - review by Bex

On Wednesday night I had a spontaneous night out with my friend Zoe.  She had a 2 for 1 voucher for the cinema and wanted to see The Greatest Showman before it finished showing in our local cinema, Uckfield Picture House.  I hadn't been that bothered about seeing it but no-one else could go with her and I thought it would be nice to spend some time with her sans kids as we'd never managed it before.

I also had new boots and sequins I hadn't had a chance to wear on a night out yet so I figured it would be fun to get a bit dressed up ;)

Monday, 8 January 2018

Going for gold - top tips for DIY spray painting!

The guest room is coming along nicely now, I've managed to get rid of all the furniture we no longer wanted, all donated to a local furniture charity shop.  It's a brilliant way to get rid of furniture you no longer want, saved us more wasted time trying to sell it ourselves and benefits the local hospice, plus they collect it free of charge, check out the Hospice in the Weald website.

Priya waving goodbye to the truck carrying away our old furniture.

As for the fun stuff, you may have noticed on Instagram that I've been going mad with the spray paint over Christmas.  I decided some gold touches with the Hague Blue walls in the room would look nice and started with this gorgeous hexagon mirror from Oliver Bonas.  I had hoped to get both the small and large sizes to hang together but they sold out of the larger one and although I found plenty of other ones, none were much larger in size to go with the small one.  In the end I opted for a circular one to hang with it and actually think it'll look nice having the two different shapes.  While on the Oliver Bonas website, I also found this gold edged tray which is perfect in the room.

Friday, 5 January 2018

I'll give you the moon.

My boy LOVES the moon.  We've known about his love for the moon pretty much since he could talk.  He gets so excited when he sees the moon, be it in real life or a book or on TV.  "I see the mooooon!"

So when I saw these 3D printed moon lamps, I knew I had to get him one for Christmas.  The lamp we've been using as a night light has been scratched and now looks quite tatty.  This is the perfect replacement and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought of this exact photo opportunity when I bought it ;)

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Cocktail Recipes

We enjoyed quite a few home-made cocktails over the Christmas, birthday and New Year period.  Here are some of the recipes for what you may have seen us enjoying on my social media, they're all very simple short drinks and super quick to make.  Apologies for the poor photos, I was too busy enjoying the day to bother with the big camera so these are all phone snaps ;)

A good old gin martini

Our Christmas Day 2017

I was so excited about Christmas, as usual, and this year we finally had the Christmas I longed for when we were trying so hard for a family.  The excitement, the traditions, the magic and all the special food ;)

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Birthday brunch at The Real Eating Company Lewes - review

On my birthday this year, Nik and the twins took me out for birthday brunch!  I chose the place as I remembered going to The Real Eating Company earlier in the year with Laura and the kids and we loved it plus they do prosecco.  There was plenty of space and the menu was fab with a special breakfast deal on weekdays. You can get a breakfast with a tea or coffee for £7.95 before 12pm.  We actually didn't arrive until 12pm after all the morning birthday fun but it was on Saturday anyway so we missed out on the deal.

The bacon & banana pancakes we had in May which are sadly no longer on the menu.

Woodlands Festival

It's that miserable time of year, Christmas is over, there are no more parties and the weather sucks.  We're all back at work/school and I need things to look forward to!  I'm trying to plan some fun weekends and looking forward to some other exciting adventures we have coming up this year.  After discovering the ultimate fun of a family festival last year, we're booked to attend no less than three this year already!  After our first (and second and third) family festival last year, we're really excited to be discovering more this year.  

A new one for us will be Woodlands Festival which is in
 June at Elm Wood, near Hawkhurst in Kent.  It's still not too far away so we'll be close enough if we do need to abandon camping with the kids and come home but fingers crossed it all goes as well as the Medieval Festival last year!

This festival looks like another amazing extravaganza of family activities, colourful fun and music.  This video of last year's highlights below looks amazing and I'm in love with that rainbow bunting above!

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