Lapland UK

At the beginning of 2019 we booked our tickets for Lapland UK and having been last year, we were really quite excited. One thing that did sting however, was forking out £300 for the tickets a few days before payday in January. (Ouch!). However, this year we invited my sister and her husband and 4 months old baby to join us, so we told ourselves it was all in the name of making memories!

A few weeks before our planned visit, a beautiful boxed invitation was delivered, personalised to Ita. The suggestion was to pop it in the freezer and tell her that it had come straight from the North Pole, so that is exactly what we did.

Lapland UK is situated in Ascot, Windsor. We had booked a 10.30am slot which meant we had to be there for 10am to check in and obtain Ita’s elf passport. However traffic was an absolute nightmare and we literally made it by the skin of our teeth! In all honestly, leaving during rush hour on a Monday morning wasn’t the best idea.

This was our second visit to Lapland UK and typically, check in is quite manic. The queues are not obvious and so you will find people cutting in, especially if they are late. This is quite frustrating to be honest, but there is no way to contact Lapland UK so if you are running late, it is quite stressful. Basically, leave with plenty of time!

Once you have your passport you enter through to an enchanted forest where you meet two elves who tell the story of Lapland UK. They explain that every pine cone grows into a baby elf, who will eventually grow up to be one of Santa’s helpers. Ita was mesmerised… as were we!

Then we are asked to recite a magical spell to open the doors to Lapland!

When the doors open, there is no denying how beautiful and snowy the scene looks. The snow covered trees really so make you think you have stepped into a cold forest. You instantly feel like you are elsewhere.

Off we went down the snowy path with fairy lights twinkling to meet the elves at the Toy Factory. This workshop does look very realistic and the elves here are so energetic!

Here at the toy factory the children were asked to help Santa by making stuffed snowmen to deliver on Christmas Eve. This year Lapland gift you a stuffed snowman upon “check out” to give to your child as a surprise at Christmas. This is a really cute touch because I know Ita will truly believe that the snowman came from this toy factory.

Next we went to meet Mother Christmas who read the children a story and invited them to decorate gingerbread men. I think this is perhaps one of my favourite interactive parts of the day. The attention to detail, again, is brilliant and I love that the spotlight is specifically on the children. You also get to take your gingerbread man away as a snack for later!

After visiting the Toy Factory and Mother Christmas, there is free time in the Elf Village. This is truly a winter wonderland and aesthetics wise, it looks amazing.

The elves here are so friendly and Ita met quite a few of them who were happy to spend time talking to her and having photos taken. The elves stay in character the whole time.

In the Elf Village you will find one restaurant (which is always very busy), a sweet shop, a post office where you can write to Santa, a few small elf huts selling warm drinks, ice skating and a chance to meet huskies!

We very deliberately did not visit the village shop this time as last year we noticed that the penguin which Ita had stuffed when helping Santa, had been on sale here for around £25. I’m glad that this year Lapland actually gift you the stuffed toy.

The ice skating is included in your ticket price and there are ample penguin skating assists available. I would really recommend doing this since it diverts children’s attentions from the shops! We spent £4.50 on a tub of sweets, only for Ita to drop them almost immediately. Now isn’t that typical?

The restaurant is quite expensive but there is plenty to chose from. 2 meals and one drink set us back £20. I do think that given the expense of the tickets, a meal voucher should be included. With that said, Lapland UK do allow you to bring your own food and drinks which really is rather fair on their part.

I would say that you have roughly 90 minutes of free time in the Elf Village. That can actually feel like quite a lot of time when you are there as the village is quite small. Plus the excitement of meeting Santa Claus really kicks in for the children.

At 1.30pm we were able to walk the beautiful snowy trail, past the elves houses to Santa’s lodge.

This walk is possibly my favourite part of the entire visit. You really do feel like you are else where and the attention to detail is brilliant. The walk doesn’t feel rushed or short either. There are lots of photo opportunities on this walk and you also get to see Santa’s reindeers!

At the end of this trail you land in a hut where you discreetly check in your children and provide some personal details that the elves pass onto Santa.

We waited about 15 minutes and then an elf entered the room and announced that Santa was ready to see Ita! She was so excited, it made me so happy!

Another short walk away we found ourselves outside Santa’s lodge. When we entered he immediately greeted Ita using her name and I could see her little face light up.

Santa had quite a long conversation with Ita and congratulated her on passing her swimming lesson and on her ballet classes. He even noted what she had asked for Christmas.

You could see how in awe she was. The setting is remarkable and seems so authentic (you know what I mean adult folk!!).

He presented Ita with a husky stuffed toy, quite similar to the one from the year before but darker in colour.

Myself and my sister laughed when he asked us what he should buy Mother Christmas – little things like this add to the whole experience.

Elsie was even given a little huskie rattle.

The way out is through a gift shop. Let’s face it, every attraction does this. In the shop they sold lots of accessories for your husky and of course, Ita wanted some! My sister bought her a little collar for about £4.

When I posted about our trip last year on social media, I was asked “is it worth the money?”. I was asked this quite a lot actually.

Let me start by acknowledging that it is expensive for what is about a 4 hour experience. In fact it cost half of what our Disneyland Paris booking cost. However, it really is a magical experience and there is nowhere like it (apart from the actual Lapland!). In short, I truly believe it is worth it.

When you are there you can see why the tickets cost what they do. From the settings to the costumes, everything is so well showcased.

I would think that it is most suited to 3 – 10 year olds. Anything younger would not benefit so much but there is still a cost. My sister felt that although they really enjoyed the day, they wanted to see the same excitement that Ita demonstrated.

Tip!! Lapland UK do days from as little as £55 but they do sell out very fast. I would suggest signing up to their newsletter so you are informed when their ticket portal opens so you have a better chance of securing the cheaper tickets.

So what is included in the price?

From start to finish; a Lapland passport, Lapland newspaper, gingerbread man, ice skating (including skate hire), meeting elves and having photos with them, meeting Santa, a toy / stuffed husky, one high quality printed photo with Santa (you can buy more including digital), and free parking. This year children also got the stuffed snowman they made in the toy shop!

So if you are lucky to grab the cheaper dates, then this does work out quite fair. Many have said that adults should not cost as much and I do agree. The adult ticket should at least include a warm drink in the Elf Village.

http://www.laplanduk.co.uk

Elf on the Shelf

This year we knew that Ita would love the antics of the festive Elf on the Shelf and when the official company contacted us to be on board, we thought it was a great idea.

The idea of Elf on the Shelf is that you “adopt” a scout elf who visits every day from 1-24 December and reports back to Santa on your child’s behaviour. Emotional blackmail at its finest you might think… and perhaps you’re right! But actually you’d be surprised how excited Ita gets to see Sparkle (her elf) every morning and discover what she has been up to during the night.

It is now the 9th of December and we are in DEEP!!

I have to admit, I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it is. Remembering to do a fun antic is one thing but keeping it interesting is even harder. To date, Ita’s favourite greeting has been this one above.. where Elsa froze Sparkle!

Because of this, Instagram has become our place to go for nifty ideas! Some lovely mums who I have met via social media have even volunteered their ideas!

First up is Jayne, aka @the_munchkins_and_me (Instagram) who is mum to three toddlers(!!!) Sebastian 3, Ophelia 2 and Rosalie 16 months.

Jayne loves this tradition because “i love to see the look on my little ones faces. They think it’s magic and it’s a great way to keep them busy on the run up to Christmas”.

Kizzy (@kizzy_mummyto2_x) is mummy to Riley 7 and Missy 2. “I love the sense of magic it brings – it’s the first thing the kids to, run around the house looking for them!”

Beth (@emiilyoliviaa) is mummy to Emily 3.

Beth loves the fun set ups and looks forward to seeing Emily’s reactions in the morning!

Elf on the Shelf is available from various stores including WH Smith’s, Hamleys and House of Frazer.

https://www.elfontheshelf.co.uk

Where you can find some very funny ideas!!

Sealife and Lego Discovery Centre, Birmingham

During the weekend, we were invited up to Birmingham to visit places that are child friendly and a good day out.

As soon as we got to Birmingham, we headed to the Sealife Centre which is located on The Waters Edge, on the canal. There is so much parking there, which was very handy and made getting there very easy, also there are a few places to eat which was also handy as after a long drive the kids were hungry.

We have visited a couple Sealife Centres in the UK and have to say this one is by far the best. The layout is striking and very pleasing. Their penguin section was unfortunately closed at the time we visited but they have seals, which you can meet close up. The girls got involved and went into a little tank and watched closely as the seals swam up close to them!

Another highlight is the 360-degree ocean tunnel, where there are sharks, giant rays and the Giant Green Sea Turtle (our favourite) swimming around you and under you too.

There are also so many different varieties of creatures, 2,000 to be exact and they range from clownfish, piranhas, jellyfish, sharks, etc.

I would highly recommend going here, the tour lasted about an hour, as it was jam packed with things to see.

You can upgrade your visit while you are there and for an extra £10 per person you can go across the road to the Lego Discovery Centre – which is exactly where we visited next.

As soon as we walked in, the girls were asked to go in front of a green screen to take their Lego themed photos

We then took our place in the queue for the Kingdom Quest, which is a laser ride where we had to rescue the Princess. We all really enjoyed it as it was a lot of fun and suitable for all ages.

At the end of the ride you are led through to the MINILAND where the staff have put together all the most famous landmarks built completely out of 1.5 million Lego bricks – which were interactive and looked amazing. We spent a lot of our time here just looking at the details and marvelling at the cars and vans driving around the Lego builds.

After this we went through to the Lego playground which is aimed for kids from 3-12 years old, and this is very accurate, as Ita loved playing and building and so did our niece Mia, who is 10 years old.

Along with all the things you did, there is also a Duplo farm, build and test zones and a 4D cinema (the queue was way too long, so we didn’t do that unfortunately).

There are plenty of activities you can do in the Lego Discovery Centre, there is a Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, character meet and greets, 4D cinema and a soft play – so all the kids can have a really good time while there.

Lego Discovery Centre is a really cool place to visit and again would highly recommend it, especially when you group here and SeaLife together.

Check out our YouTube video for our visits to SeaLife and Lego Discovery Centre:

If you want anymore information about both these attractions, check them out here:

https://www.visitsealife.com/birmingham/

https://birmingham.legolanddiscoverycentre.co.uk/

Winter Wonderland, London (Incl. Zippo Circus)

As a Christmas family tradition, we have always taken a trip to Central London to visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

It has evolved so much in past 10 years, from a few rides and Christmas stalls, it is pretty much a theme park now.

Winter Wonderland has so much to do, which includes Ice Skating, The Magic Kingdom, Giant Wheel, Ice Bar, over 100 rides, Santa Land for the smaller kids, and the Bavarian Village.

As extra attraction they have spectacular shows which includes Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, Paddington on Ice and Mr Men and Little Miss shows in the Circus Megadome, all of which can be pre-booked in advance or on the day, depending on availability.  

We arrived at the Circus tent in the morning, got out of the cold, got a coffee and waited to see the Mr Men and Little Miss show. Ita was very excited to watch the show and as we were there early, we got front row seats.

The show featured all the favourites from the Mr Men and Little Miss world, including Mr Bump, Little Miss Splendid, Little Miss Bossy and a special appearance from Little Miss Christmas, it lasted about 45 minutes and was thoroughly entertaining.

We then spent the next few hours exploring everything that Winter Wonderland has to offer.

We got some food, which was a bit expensive (but that’s to be expected), we then headed to the Giant Wheel which was so much fun. Ita and I really enjoyed it, but my husband who is afraid of heights wasn’t too keen on it 😊

Afterwards we took a trip to the Magic Kingdom which was incredible. It’s a walk-through attraction which shows beautifully crafted ice sculptures that tell the story of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. It was so cold, so do wrap up warm when you go, but it is really worth it.

Then we took advantage of the smaller rides that Ita loves going on like the carousel, “it’s a small world adventure” (not to be mistaken with the Disney version haha), etc.

Afterwards we made our way back to the Circus Megadome to watch Zippos Christmas Circus.

Zippo Circus were very kind and invited us to check out the show.

At under an hour, the Christmas themed performance is for family audiences and provides breath-taking magical moments throughout.

The Gemini Sisters started off the show as they worked in harmony and they glided and perform incredible acrobatics in mid-air.

The next breath-taking artists were Khametov’s High Wire troupe from Uzbeckstan, who performed the ultimate high wire act when an artist stands ‘on ballet points’ on her fellow artist’s head to cross the wire – we were all open mouthed and amazed.

Performed in the circus tent, the Megadome offers theatre-style comfort and a heated environment which can be helpful when it gets colder outside.

The family friendly atmosphere, complete with festive theming, ensured this is one experience not to be missed.

The shows are on daily at 13.00, 14.30 and 16:00, it is advised to arrive 20 minutes before start time to take your seats.

Tickets to Zippos Christmas Circus are priced from £7.50 for a child (2-12 years), £10.50 for an adult and £30 for a Family Ticket (2 adults / teens and 2 children or 1 adult, 3 children). Under 2’s go free when not occupying a seat. These prices exclude transaction fees.

Zippos Christmas Circus at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland runs until 5th January 2020. Tickets should be pre-booked to avoid disappointment    

www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/attraction/zipposchristmascircus/  

As we were leaving we decided to play some games, of which there are plenty at Winter Wonderland and Ita was lucky (and we were unlucky) to win a huge soft toy which she wouldn’t let go of until we got back to the car!

Giving Back this Christmas

You will struggle to find someone who loves Christmas more than we do! I promise you! However, we know how fortunate we are and so for many years now we have always included “giving back” in our December schedule.

This was a tradition that started almost a decade ago for me; when I would collect new toys from colleagues that they kindly donated, and bring them to our local children’s hospital. When I started my current job almost 5 years ago, people were less able to contribute so I started buying small toys/gifts throughout the year.

Since Ita was born she has attended the hospital drop off with us, but this year will be the year she truly understands where those toys go.

I have already started explaining to her that some children have to spend Christmas in hospital. She remains quite puzzled about this (of course!) but she has also told me how sad she thinks that is. And that there is my point.. it is sad! Ita is very fortunate and I want her to know this.

This year we will be visiting the hospital on Friday afternoon to drop off selection boxes to the children and the staff. She is quite excited about this but I know full well that it may be overwhelming on the day. Ita is very sensitive and very much in tune with her feelings despite only being 3 and a 1/2 years old.

(Dress for the hospital drop off last year!)

As well as our annual hospital visit we also donate a food shop to a food bank, donate a new toy to Home Start (a charity for families who are struggling) and put together a small care package for those who are leaving the care of the Local Authority. For the last few years I have also raffled off one of Ita’s dresses and donated the money to the Make a Wish Foundation.

I know many who put together bits and bobs for the shoebox appeals that are often run by schools but this tends to be for children overseas. Any form of charity is kind, but I do think there are so many locally who would benefit from your kindness too!!

When I was younger I remember that shops like Superdrug would hold collection points for you to drop new presents to, so they could be distributed to poorer families. Since this has stopped, I have found that the Salvation Army still run this type of campaign. Truth be told, not many places do this anymore which is such a shame.

Last year, another mummy I met through Instagram, told me that she started this tradition too with her little girl, Bella. She said this was deliberately because she had seen me doing this with Ita. I cannot tell you how much this meant to be! She had some amazing ideas such as baking cakes to hand out to her neighbours and making cards for them too. Every bit of kindness is noticed!

This year our advent calendar includes so many fun activities for Ita; Disneyland Paris, Lapland UK, theatre trips and even a trip to the zoo. We have also included 5 “giving back” days; gift drop off at the local children’s ward, making cards for our local nursing home, a delivery to a local food bank, dropping off a present at Home Start (watford always have a drop off in the Intu), and putting together a box for those leaving “care” (this is usually 17/18 year olds who now have to make their way in life having been under the care of the local authorities for various reasons).

I strongly feel that teaching children the importance of “giving back” will make them grateful for what they do have. Will you take part this year?

Ideas on how you can “give back” this Christmas;

Donate tinned items to a food bank

Make cakes or cards for your local nursing home

Ask your local authority on ways to help

Donate a NEW toy to a local hospital

Sponsor a local sports team

Hold a raffle and donate the money

Help the homeless (volunteer at food points)

Thank the emergency service (via your closest hospital) they usually have to work on Christ day day!

Donate to your local animal charity

Donate an hours pay to a charity

The Garcia Family

The Snowman, Sadlers Wells

We were invited down to Sadlers Wells in Holborn to watch Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman, and having seen it many years ago, we were very excited.

For years now it has become a tradition of ours to watch this show on TV and last year was Ita’s first time watching it too. She vaguely remembered the story, especially the fact that there are no words, so I did wonder how she would find the theatre adaptation. Funnily enough, she was able to describe The Snowman is great detail though which demonstrates just how synonymous it has become with Christmas.

In short, she thoroughly loved it! We all did.

As mentioned, having seen this show years ago, we knew that there would be many children attending. Our understanding is that this show has become hugely popular with families so you shouldn’t expect a totally silent production. In fact, if you do not have young children yourself, then we would recommend booking a later show. With that said, we would still recommend this Christmas show whether you have children or not! The sounds from the children in the theatre didn’t take away from seeing the show at all.

The only “problem” (which really wasn’t much of a problem) that we encountered was that there were no booster seats at all and with having a small child with us, we felt she may have benefitted from one. The auditorium is slanted though which helps with viewing.

The theatre show is very much like the short film. It begins when a little boy builds a snowman that comes to life at night. The Snowman takes the boy on an adventurous night meeting the likes of Jack Frost, dancing fruits, woodland animals and Santa himself! It was so heartwarming to see Ita gasp when Santa appeared on stage!

Ita was laughing throughout the scene with the dancing fruit and was clapping her way through the scene with the ballerina and toy soldier. I personally loved the ice princess and her ballet performance.

The opening scene where The Snowman comes to life is so cleverly done. It amazes me how you can completely understand a story without words.

We were all mesmerised by the beautiful music from the live orchestra which felt overwhelming when “Walking in the Air” was played. When The Snowman and the boy were elevated into the air the whole auditorium started clapping.

The dancing and ballet scenes are stunning. The choreography has been done in such a way that it is entertaining for children whilst being complex enough for adults to appreciate to.

The Snowman is recommended for all ages. I did feel some of the children struggled to sit through the performance of 1 hour and 50 minutes (with a 20 minute interval) but Ita’s attention was completely captured through the entire performance so I do think it is dependant on each child.

If you are going to see just one festive theatre show this season, make sure it is The Snowman. This will definitely we a yearly tradition for us now.

Tickets are still available – link below.

https://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2019/the-snowman/booking

Cadbury World, Birmingham (Christmas visit)

Having planned a weekend away to Birmingham many months ago, we had decided that we wanted to revisit Cadbury World for their festive activities.

We had visited Cadbury World this year on Easter Monday and having booked an 11am slot, it was very busy. So this time we knew we wanted to visit as early as possible! We were kindly gifted our tickets and we were very pleased when we saw that we had been booked for the 9.40am start. (This is the earliest booking even though Cadbury World opened at 9.30am on this particular day).

There was a small queue already outside when we parked up but we swiftly entered and lined up to begin the tour. When you “check in” you are given a number of chocolate bars each! What a way to begin the tour.

The tour begins by learning about the coco bean and takes you back 1000 years through the Aztec rainforest where you learn how important the coco tree was to their culture. Mia, our niece, commented how fun it was to begin the tour this way and in hindsight I can see what she meant. Given the coco beans importance, it was nice to learn more about it and where it initially came from.

Having travelled through the rainforest you enter Birmingham where you learn about John Cadbury and his sons who helped build the Cadbury Empire. The clever Victorian set up with the vintage Cadbury signs had so much attention to detail.

This was one of my favourite parts of the tour because learning about the dedication of generations of the Cadbury family made me feel quite patriotic!

Again, because we were so early, the tour was very quiet and this time we were able to learn quite a lot more.

After this experience, we went to try our hand at decorating with chocolate! This area is called the “Have a Go” area. Ita loved this and spent about 20 minutes writing her name and drawing hearts. At no point did we feel rushed and the staff continuously cleaned the table top to allow the girls to write/ draw more. (For videos of this please see our Cadbury World highlight on Instagram).

By this area is “Chocolate Making” where you also get to taste melted chocolate with a choice of toppings including biscuit, jelly babies, oreos and marshmallows. Here you can order personalised items (they looked amazing! some were so creative).

We were then given MORE chocolate to pop into our goodie bag!

One of the areas Dominic enjoyed the most was the advertising section. There were a number of adverts that we remember from our childhood which brought back nostalgic memories!

The girls also got to have a go on the Cadbury green screen! (Video on Instagram). This was definitely a highlight for them as the staff made sure they could chose their own props to have fun with. Of course Ita copied Mia!!

This area leads you in to Cadabra which is the only ride here at Cadbury World. It takes you through a mini magic journey where you will see very familiar faces to Cadbury’s. One of the best things about this ride is how inclusive it is – it is totally wheelchair accessible. We especially loved the little festive additions to the ride.

The end of the tour brings you out through the Cadbury World shop. There are lots of treats and plush toys available to purchase… the girls bought fidget spinners – don’t ask!!

Afterwards we headed to reception to request that our time for the Santa Show was amended to an earlier one since we had breezed through the tour in about an hour and a half. The reception staff changed our time slot with no issues so we headed to the outdoor play area where the Santa Show and the Snow White panto are both set up.

The girls LOVED the Santa Show and though that Santa himself was very funny. The show lasted about 15 minutes and your given a selection box on your way out!!

If you want to view the YouTube Video, check it out here:

We then decided to head to the 4d show which was right next door (and because we really enjoyed this last time too!). This is one of the best things about Cadbury World and my only quibble is that I wish it was longer… but that’s based purely on how much we all enjoy this part!

We then headed to the Snow White panto which was a perfect way to end our festive visit.

The tour itself lasts about an hour and a half and is a “self tour” which we really like. It enables you to spend as much time in areas as you want to. Outside has a huge play area and you have the 4d cinema experience as well as the Bourneville Museum. I would think that in total, you would expect to spend about 3 hours here give or take.

In respect of places to eat, there is the Cadbury Cafe where you can purchase sandwiches etc however there are many picnic spaces outside too.

We would strongly recommend booking in advance since you are not guaranteed entry otherwise.

When we arrived, people were purchasing tickets for a start of midday. Booking in advance secures your time slot and is a much quicker process.

Link to purchase tickets;

https://cadburyworld.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/5883?catID=5392

Students and those over 60 years can purchase tickets at a reduced rate and children under 4 are free!

There are also special prices for families which you can find online.

We really enjoyed our visit and the girls are eager to go back! Must have something to do with all that chocolate they were given!!

Big Moe’s Diner, Wembley

I don’t think I have ever been more excited to write a blog post! Today we visited Big Moe’s Diner and upon uploading stories of our trip to Instagram, I received loads of questions and lovely comments. So I’ll try my very best to answer them. I have saved the videos that we uploaded onto a highlight “Eating Out”.

Big Moe’s kindly invited us down to try out their menu and so of course we happily agreed! There are currently 3 locations; Beckton, Aldgate and Wembley Park (with a new Ilford base being opened soon). Today we visited the Wembley branch which is on the 2nd floor at the London Designer Outlet, right by Wembley Stadium.

Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted by a very cheery and polite waitress who had told us that the Cadillac booth was free (honestly had it not been free I’m quite certain that Ita would have kicked the occupants out!!). There is only one Cadillac booth here and I would suggest that it can seat around 6 people. The restaurants itself is quite big and there are plenty of other retro booths, but this one is quite the show stopper. Therefore if you really want to sit here, mention it when you make your reservations.

The menu is totally true to what you would expect from a 1950s American diner. There was quite a lot to choose from and I kind of wish that I had been as clever as Dom was, since we had decided what he was going to eat prior to going!

For our starters, we decided to order a platter to share. This platter is recommended for 3-4 people but since we weren’t sure how big the portions would be, we ordered it anyway. The platter was absolutely huge and could have easily fed 4-5 adults! It came with BBQ chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, potato skins, onion rings, cheesy garlic bread and 3 different dips. Not only was it really tasty but it was really well presented too.

For main, Dominic went for waffles with fried chicken and maple syrup. This is something he has wanted to try for ages and it didn’t disappoint at all. We both wished that we hadn’t eaten so much to start with because again the portion sizes are very big. (Obviously NOT a complaint!).

Ita had a meal from the kids menu which was very well varied. She chose lightly battered chicken strips and chips and again the portion would easy please a child up to 10 years old at least. Other options included pizza, beef burger, mac n cheese and even vegan nuggets so there really is quite a lot to chose from and still in keeping with the theme.

I went for the Texan Strip Burger which comprised of lightly battered chicken strips with lettuce and mayo. The chicken in the burger was delicious and I loved the way the chips has been cooked with the skin partly on. I’m quite sure I’d order this again!!… although the waffle and chicken did look tempting… as did much of the menu actually… hmmm… ok I’m clearly still thinking too much about the food!!

We decided that there was no way we would be able to have a desert each so we ordered Ita one scoop of bubblegum ice cream and we shared a Fererro Rocher sundae. As we expected, the sundae was definitely enough for 2 people to share (and we couldn’t even finish it!). Ita’s ice cream portion was very big too!

We did have a look at other people’s portions and I want to confirm that we were not given more having been invited, everyone else too had huge portions!!

One thing that people have commented on, was the fact that Ita was dancing the entire way through meal!! Well I don’t blame her! The music was 1950s and it was hard not to sing along!! The atmosphere as soon as you walk in is just electric. The rockerbilly music lifts the atmosphere so you couldn’t not be excited and the staff were all courteous and polite. The only thing that was missing was the roller skates!

In terms of the decor, it is so well kitted out. A lot of thought has been given so that you feel fully immersed in the American diner experience. Everything was themed so well and aesthetically it’s perfect.

Today we attended for lunch which starts from about noon or thereafter. The restaurant is open 7 days a week and on Friday and Saturday it is open until 11.30pm. You can order up to 15 minutes before closing.

There is a separate breakfast menu which is very comprehensive. Breakfast is served from 8.45am Monday to Friday and then from 8am on the weekend. (You can only order breakfast until noon when the menu switches over to lunch/dinner).

We had so much fun today and we loved the food. There is no doubt we will visit again. Would we visit here purely for the food? Yes absolutely. Big Moe’s Diner feels like more than just a restaurant.

I would thoroughly recommend this restaurant especially if you have children. They are treated so well and encouraged to have fun!

If you are visiting on an event day I would suggest booking in advance as it would be quite busy and there might be a wait for a table. You can do this online – the link below brings you to the website.

https://bigmoesdiner.co.uk

Halloween Afternoon Tea – Sugar Boutique, Knebworth

We visited the Sugar Boutique for their Children’s Addams Family Halloween Afternoon Tea. We really love a themed Afternoon Tea and this was no different.

The Sugar Boutique is a very quaint shop on a very unassuming high road in Knebworth, Hertfordshire. Sugar Boutique are primarily a cupcakery that create all kinds of sweet treats from novelty cakes, to wedding cakes, to cookies and of course their amazing cupcakes.

They have a huge array of themed High / Afternoon Teas which they tend to change on a regular basis, for example, at the moment you can book the following:

  • Be Our Guest (Beauty & the Beast)
  • Frozen
  • Harry Potter (which looks incredible)
  • Down the Rabbit Hole (Alice in Wonderland)
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Edible Garden

If you are interested, click the link to see what is available at the time:

https://www.sugar-boutique.co.uk/high-tea or www.instagram.com/sugarboutique123

We were lead to an outbuilding which was decorated amazingly for Halloween and is used to house guests. Our Afternoon Tea was waiting for us, we were asked for our drink orders, and for our choice of sandwich.

As soon as that was completed, we tucked into our food.

We had a cheese pastry finger, brioche bun with ham and cheese, The Addams Family Cupcake, Cousin It Cake Pop and an Uncle Fester Light Bulb Cookie.

I have to say, the details and the thought that went into every aspect was very thought of and fitted in perfectly with the theme.

We will be rebooking with Sugar Boutique very soon and will be updating you with what Afternoon Tea we choose and how they have created it.

For more information about Sugar Boutique, please have a look:

https://www.sugar-boutique.co.uk/

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Tour

Over the weekend, we visited the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to attend their new Stadium Tour.

I bought this as a gift for Christmas last year, as I thought it would be a guaranteed winner and I knew my husband would love it (and of course he did).

As we drove up the Tottenham High Road, we were met with the most incredible looking building amongst the shops and houses of Tottenham – it is honestly an amazing looking structure.

SAMSUNG CSC

We got parking right outside the ground which was very handy (a non-event day of course) as parking around the stadium is usually quite difficult.

We were advised by email to start the tour at the club shop. After a short wait, we entered and were met with the largest club shop in Europe – it is truly huge, packed full of Spurs kits and Spurs themed merchandise.

After we checked in, we were led to the auditorium, before the tour started, we were played a very poignant video about the history of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Now I am not a football fan of any measure, but it was very emotive and got me very excited for the tour to start.

We were then shown the hospitality entrance and ushered up to the 9th floor, literally the top of the stadium to check out the views which were incredible. Then we took our seats on the 4th floor to see the pitch from the best view in the house (pretty much where the Chairman seats).

We were told of the mechanics of how the pitch was constructed, how they cater for the NFL games and how the sounds the fans make can be kept in the ground with the way the stands were built (sounds boring but a shout of “come on you Spurs” by 40 people resonated and made a lot of noise).

SAMSUNG CSC

Next we were taken to the state-of-the-art changing rooms, so we can take snaps of my husbands’ favourite players and Ita really enjoyed the time to have some attention on her.

We then were led out of the players tunnel so we could go pitch side and have a seat in the managers seat which was another great photo opportunity and a really enjoyable part of the tour.

For last part of the tour, we were taken to where the manager and players hold their press conferences, this was a perfect photo opportunity which my husband ran to do as I sat on a comfy journalist chair 😊

Now the tour took around 90 minutes, which seems like a long time, but the time flew by, and we were kept so engaged by our tour guides and Ita really enjoyed it too.

This tour is an amazing behind-the-scenes attraction for Spurs fans, football fans, sports enthusiast, families and visitors to London and we would highly recommend it as something to do.

If you want more information about the tour, please have a look here:

https://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/the-stadium/visitor-attractions/stadium-tours/