A Foodie’s Stroll along Covent Garden with a Toddler

Covent Garden, London. I absolutely adore strolling along its elegant piazza, taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the living statues and performers. There’s a true buzz to this place and my toddler loved running around chasing pigeons and observing the street entertainers. However, she did keep a safe distance from the incredible live statues. My other half is also kept entertained (much to my delight) as there’s an Apple shop which kept him occupied for a little while at least whilst I enjoyed a spot of window shopping.

Sssshhhh ,there’s also lots of ‘tummy temptations’. Its not a secret that I love eating and I have a very sweet tooth. First stop, Laduree! French macarons are one of my true weakness, I love them. (They are so expensive though) Their display is always impeccable and is always way too inviting. Aaaah, a little box to share.

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Even if it can get very crowded, I still enjoy looking around some tourist-friendly crafts. This stall in the Apple Market definitely caught my eye as my toddler absolutely loves dancing. The quote was so apt ‘ Born To Dance ‘.

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The Apple Market was gorgeous in all of it festive glory. We had a wonderful time catching a few shows, relaxing and just enjoying each other’s company.

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Time for sweet treat number 2. Intense dark chocolate soft serve with raspberry sauce on a crunchy waffle cone from Godiva. It was heavenly.

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Of course, after all these lovely sweet treats .. the toddler just had to announce that she was hungry. Starving in fact. We managed to squeeze in a few photographs before stumbling upon a friendly family-run restaurant, Pasta Brown. Luckily, they had smaller starter size pasta portions on their menu.

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Mummy daughter duo

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One with her grandpa

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One must dance, everywhere.

Hello, Pasta Brown.

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Gamberoni, butterfly king prawns sautéed in garlic butter with mixed leaves. The sauce was perfection.

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Spaghetti Alio Olio Alice. Chicken, brocolli, pine nuts, chilli, garlic and olive oil.

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Classic Bolognese which little one loved. Dairy and egg free option for her.

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I have a soft spot for family run restaurants and they dealt with all our requests very well. Delicious food is the main thing though. Mmmm! I would definitely go back. Do drop by if you are around Covent Garden, I have made a mental note in my head to explore the London Transport Museum the next time we are there.

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Remember remember the 5th of November

Remember, remember the fifth of November… Guy Fawkes Night, Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night. Whatever you call it, it sure is a fun albeit freezing night out for all the family celebrating the failure of Guy Fawkes’ infamous Bonfire Plot. Bonfires will be lit and fireworks will be illuminating the night’s sky with ‘BOOM BOOM BOOM’ as my toddler would put it.

We have been talking loads about fireworks as Diwali just passed and she had quite a few  fireworks themed activities for the past week. Her playgroup organised a lovely firework painting station for them, which she thoroughly enjoyed. We wrapped up warm and went to the annual Rainbows festival of fireworks at Leicester Racecourse. We were not sure whether to go for this or the biggest display at Abbey Park. I think we definitely made the right decision as we knew the toddler might be very tired and it might not go our way when the fireworks went off. Who knows, we might have to make a run for it  and Abbey Park was a much larger venue. Parking was a huge factor in this too. We were there from half 5 right up to the end of the children’s display which started at 7. We were frozen by then. A little someone who was never a fan of gloves kept asking us to ‘fix it’. Its very telling that she was cold 🙂

When we arrived, little one was excited to look around the funfair and we asked her whether she wanted to go on a centipede roller coaster. She profusely said no. However, we took her on a tamer train ride. She had her game face and was oh so serious when her daddy took her in the little train carriage but when she came out .. she was squealing with excitement and told me that she sat on a Choo Choo Train and rang the bell. Little joys in life, it was lovely to see her expressions.

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She especially loved the live music on stage, where she danced for at least half an hour whilst waiting for the children display. I forgot how expensive it can be for things like that. Our entrance was £7.50 each  (£5 for advance tickets), rides usually cost about £2.50 (double that as she is still wee to go unaccompanied), coffee / tea £2 and oh my word, the warm sugary donuts were 4 for £5! Oh well, all in all .. an experience to be had.

She was still excited when they were counting down to the kiddies display but all went a bit wrong when it started. She was not as excited as the last time she saw fireworks and started saying no and she was scared after a few minutes. My husband and I ran helter skelter working our way through the crowds whilst catching bits of it. She would look in amazement for a while and say lets go. We missed the lighting of the bonfire as well as the adults display (no surprises there)

As we were leaving and was in the vicinity of the carpark, she started wailing again as she wanted more fireworks. Oh the looks on our faces.

Till next year kiddo.

Pumpkin picking experience

Yes yes, its yet another pumpkin patch blog post on the internet but it is special for us as its our first experience with the little one in tow. It might have been easier ( *clears throat* photo opportunity ) last year as she was not yet a walking talking toddler .. I could have plopped her anywhere and it would have been picture perfect (jokes). Its nice to set little traditions for the family though and we will have to make a conscious effort to go again.

We went to Cattows Farm, a beautiful piece of Leicestershire countryside but their pumpkin patch was empty. They had a huge demand of Pick Your Own this year but no worries as they had a special plan in place for the kiddies. They just placed pre harvested pumpkins on their land 🙂 Well, who cares! We were there and we were going to make the best of it.

She was thrilled when she saw so many pumpkins but one would assume pumpkins would be the main attraction at a pumpkin farm? It was ALL about the dandelions and the daisies for her. She kept saying ‘Look Mummy ‘ ‘Look Daddy!’ ‘I am picking lots and lots’. It was adorable, bless.

Pumpkin Patch

Cattows Farm

Pumpkin Picking

Dandelion

Pumpkin Picking at Cattows Farm

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Dandelion Love

Daddy Daughter Time

Daisies

What a lovely experience for us to enjoy as a family, we must remember to go earlier in the month next year. Perhaps there will be actual pumpkins to harvest 🙂 Cattows Farm is a wonderful family friendly place, we had a good wander around the farm shop and made some purchases. Little one was pretty chuffed with her big and ‘little’ pumpkin. Oh yes, I have to mention the cakes in their tea room. Looks super delicious but unfortunately we already had food plans, therefore did not indulge this time around.

Cattows Farm Leicestershire

Cattows Farm Shop

They also had a little children play area which must be fab for the summer!

Cattows Farm

… no prize for guessing my height 😉

Cattows Farm

Last not but not least, a picture with their resident sheep and goat. Sure hit with bubba, she loved saying hello.

Cattows Farm

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A day at Snettisham Park

There are many things in life that I pondered when I was growing up. Like what makes one happy? Money? Success? Beauty? Our day at Snettisham Park made me more sure about one thing, that it is none of the above.

There is something about being in the countryside during winter that is so thought provoking and mesmerizing. From the quiet atmosphere and cold climate to the beautiful scenic views. During our time at Norfolk, we discovered a little working farm that was nearby and it came highly recommended by the locals. We felt our little one would enjoy petting the animals that she often smiles ‘wording’ from her storybooks. I managed to convince myself that the 45 minute drive from where we were based was worth the journey, in fact my wife mentioned Kate Middleton brought Prince George there for some time away.

The drive there was ever so wonderful as we passed Cromer and Rutland with its wintry coastal landscape. I have not seen the sea for a while and it brings such delightful childhood memories. My father used to take me to the beach to swim, build sandcastles,  eat as much ice cream as I wanted and often answer all the questions I have regarding the sea. Like why is the sea blue, or why cant we live under water, or what happens if a jelly fish stings you?

When we arrived, we were incredibly pleased at how friendly and helpful the staff were. Right from the moment we rang, to us leaving, they have been nothing short of accommodating. It was a week before half term, and also due to muddy conditions, their deer safari was not open which was unfortunate but there were still plenty to do. Furthermore, the entry fee was only £3 per adult for the main park and we found this very reasonable for the adventure our baby had.

We started off by venturing into the sheep’s and pig’s ‘habitat’ but we met a little friend along the way.

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The smell was fresh of … manure but that didn’t stop our baby from getting oh so excited.

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She never stopped talking and if we could understand her, she was probably asking if we could keep them. She kept making ‘baa’ sounds imitating the animals around her. We did notice though that baby had little interest with the pigs, I personally felt because they were just too quiet and our little one just don’t do quiet.

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After our time with the sheep and pig, we walked out of the barn and met a very loud shepherd dog  chained to his doghouse. We stayed away, as daddy is not a big fan of dogs. We went across, and fed a herd of goats.

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One thing occurred to me when we were feeding them. All goats look old, here’s some teenagers.

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And here is an old goat

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Don’t you agree?

Actually, another thing that occurred to me is that they all have this look like they are full of wisdom. And if lions are considered the king of the animal kingdom, I would say goats are the wizards.

Our last stop before our tea break, was the cow’s barn. Mooooooooo!

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And you could see them calling out to our baby. Cruel as it may sound, when my little darling was enjoying conversing with the cows …

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all I could think about was ‘McDonalds’.

Anyways, we had a lovely pot of tea with some flapjacks at the cozy cafe. They had a little play area for baby too.

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After we warmed up, little one had a play on their ‘tractors’.

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The highlight of our trip here was definitely the finale. It was lambing season and we were invited to bottle feed the lambs. They were so playful,prancing around our feet, nibbling our clothes and boy, they could really drink milk. It took one less than 30 seconds to finish a bottle of milk.

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Baby enjoyed this the most I thought. She probably felt that she was just suddenly blessed with so many friends.

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Absolute joyful experience for the little one, to see her favourite animals come to life from her storybooks. Each little smile just brings so much content and purpose to our lives.

So now, when I look back and at all the times I pondered regarding one’s recipe for happiness, I realized.

That all you need is this :

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Penned by,

The Other Half

Best wishes.

 

 

Animals at Stonebridge City Farm

Boy oh boy. It’s the weekend and we have glorious weather! Hello sunshine 🙂 Freya is about to turn 9 months, old enough to coo and stare at animals but not very appreciative of them yet. Therefore, we cannot justify paying an entrance fee to visit farms or amusement parks just yet. There’s a farm right in Nottingham city centre which we enjoy going from time to time. Free to enter and open every day.

There’s piggies, often found rolling about in the mud.

Piggy spotted at Stonebridge City Farm

Piggy Chocolate Mould

A slow tortoise.

Tortoise

Chicken, ducks and turkey!

Cluck and quack

Thought I would share matching animal moulds from Baked By Me 🙂

Duck Mould

Hen Mould

Hello Goats!

Hello Goat!

Freya and the goats

Moo! I love them, they were so friendly.

Moo Moo!

and a matching chocolate cow.

Cow Silicone Mould

If I am not mistaken, this is the curly haired Angora sheep.

Angora Sheep

Baa baa sheep

Sheep Chocolate Mould

We-fie time!
Mummy Freya wefie