Eat with Spencer Pop-Up Restaurant Wharf Distillery April 2017

Find out who is Spencer and why do we want to eat with him? (That’s eat with, not eat him).

Review: Old Mcdonald’s Farm Parties

Today one of my besties threw a farm party at her home in Wolverton and my two year old, George and I couldn’t wait to see what was in store!

A recently set up local company called Old Mcdonald’s Farm Parties offer to bring the farm to you for a reasonable cost. Animals and all.

Arriving at my friend’s house, I was so surprised to come face to face with a donkey, two lambs, chickens and a rabbit in her back garden.

The donkey and lambs were in proper farm pens that they had brought with them and set up. The chickens and rabbits were in cages.

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All the kids that attended were enjoying interacting with the animals at their leisure before the party ‘officially’ started. When it did, all the children were asked to sit down and there was some fun farm trivia questions and animal facts being learnt before the first demonstrations.

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Then children were given the opportunity to feed the donkey. One at a time they were shown how to lay a piece of carrot on a flat palm for the donkey to gobble up.

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Next up was grooming. Being shown how to brush down the donkey and help keep him clean.

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Then it was time for the lambs to shine (and be fed). The children was allowed to feed a bottle of milk to both the two lambs. It really was a cute sight.

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The huge fluffy rabbit was then taken out of his cage and had fun sitting on the laps of the children for a much enjoyed stroke. All this was happening under the watchful eye of the two farm party supervisors who made sure the children were kept safe, explained the best way of approaching animals and also stopped them from escaping!

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The chickens next. Children were able to fill a hand with corn for the chickens to peck and enjoy.

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Then a good old fashioned game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey was started (not on the real donkey!) The children loved it.

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Then last but not least, the donkey was saddled up and children put on a safety riding hat and were able to go for a donkey ride! This was definitely the best part for me, seeing George take his first ride on a donkey. He looked a bit unsure but didn’t cry or ask to get off, so I’ll take that as a success.

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After all the fun with the animals my friend put on an amazing lunch for the kids (and big kids) including the biggest chocolate cake I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen so many kids hovering for cake.

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George had a great time at the farm party. He is only two years old but the children that attended ranged from slightly younger all the way up to us big kids. It felt like the sort of experience you could wish for when you attend local open farms but in such a small group the hands on time was extremely special and well worth the money.

If you fancy hosting your own farm party for a children’s birthday or a special occasion or even a local event then you can find Old Mcdonalds Farm Parties on Facebook here.

It’s definitely something different that the children LOVED.

ARTea Room: Afternoon Tea

Off the beaten track this quirky tea room is worth tiptoeing past the chickens for

Today’s #AfternoonTeaWeek visit is to ARTea Tea Rooms at Wakefield Country Courtyard in Potterspury.

Although ARTea is in Northants, it’s not at all far from Milton Keynes and is very easy to find just off the A5.

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Made up of three rooms including a beautiful loft room, ARTea is a vintage lover’s delight.

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It’s not just a tea room/café. It’s a space for Art. A gallery where Artists can display their work and customers can buy. It’s a kitsch collection of paintings, drawings, arts and crafts goodies that make your eyes jump from place to place as you try and take it all in. It seems the perfect relationship.

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Mismatched vintage teacups and saucers were already laid at the table when I sat down. I love vintage tea ware! Pretty floral patterns on delicate china cups and saucers. Whilst I ordered my English Breakfast tea I noticed the relaxing tones of 50’s classics quietly playing and felt myself relaxing into this cosy warm place.

Teapots of loose leaf tea wearing cute knitted tea cosies on their bodies proudly like winter jumpers were presented to the table (with strainers already inside – how convenient!)

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Then immediately after a two tiered vintage cake stand filled with sandwiches appeared to join them.

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Sandwiches were rustic and of various mismatched triangle shapes and kept their crusts on. White bread was used along with chunky granary/seeded bread. Feeling perfectly in keeping with the shabby chic vintage feel of the tea room.

The sandwiches were served with three different fillings:

Egg mayonnaise
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Cheese and pickle
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Ham and tomato
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So, different from elegant slender finger sandwiches but quite satisfying all the same. Ham was a great quality, egg mayonnaise had that definite homemade taste to it and my favourite, the cheese and pickle was lip smackingly tasty.

Whilst I was tucking into the sandwiches a platter plate was brought to the table. A beautiful arrangement of scones, cakes, sweets and even fresh fruit was up next.

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First scones. Two fruit scones for one happy girl. The scones were warm and clearly had come straight from the oven. You couldn’t have asked for fresher.Crisp exterior and warm, soft interior that is one of the best I’ve tasted this week.

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Pots of clotted cream and jam were of a large generous size so there was no fear of running out. Strawberry jam was particularly fruity and yum.

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Cakes/sweets came in three offerings:

Mini Victoria Sandwich
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Chocolate brownie
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Lemon posset
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All the cakes are made in-house. The Victoria Sandwich was very moreish and reminded me of my star baker’s cakes (my mum). The lemon posset was a standout winner. Light, dreamy lemon flavours danced on my tongue with just the right amount of sweetness. I’d eat another, oh and another…

On the same platter as the scones and cakes, fresh fruit was arranged. Strawberries, grapes and kiwi fruit were a pleasant and refreshing way to end the meal. A unique touch from the other teas I’ve had this week but it works.

The Afternoon Tea at ARTea is for a minimum of two and costs £12.00 per person. It does require booking in advance. There is a luxury Afternoon Tea available where a glass of sparkling wine is added for only £3 more. Mmm.  

Date of visit: 11.08.16
ARTea
Wakefield Country Courtyard
Potterspury
Northamptonshire
NN12 7QX
01327 810 245
http://www.artearoom.co.uk/

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WOBURN BRASSERIE: AFTERNOON TEA

What better way to spend a relaxed Sunday afternoon than surrounded by tea and cake.

To kick off #AfternoonTeaWeek I travelled into Bedfordshire.

Woburn Brasserie situated in the heart of the pretty Georgian town of Woburn which is only a short hop away from the bustle of Milton Keynes.

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The first two weeks of Invisalign invisible braces and me

I call them braces but I guess they are officially called ‘aligners’. You know what I mean though? Braces is what we traditionally call what we use to straighten our teeth.

It’s now been two weeks since my teeth were prepped and the Invisalign were first put in my mouth and I wanted to share with you how it’s been, adjusting to life with them and what I’ve experienced so far.

Back to the beginning. The first time the orthodontist put the Invisalign braces in, they felt massive. They felt like I had big plastic things covering my teeth. I had a lisp, sounded like I had something in my mouth. Yes, I know. I actually did! They first went in about 9am and by 5pm I was feeling quite distressed. Aside from the lisp and feeling like I had something in my mouth, they were tight! I felt like I had a vice around my teeth and it was getting tighter and more and more uncomfortable. I am being careful to use the word pain. There wasn’t pain in the conventional sense of toothache or suffering severe pain, but it was close. My lip and just inside my lips had a couple of tiny cuts or sores from where the little buttons which are stuck on my teeth rubbed on the delicate skin. By bedtime I was glad to go to bed and try to forget all about these big monstrosities inside me.

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Waking up for the first time with my Invisalign in!

That first sleep was weird or at least waking up was weird. How many times can you say you wake up to feeling something in your mouth that shouldn’t be there? But once I was fully awake I was elated. No more discomfort! The tightening, aching feeling I had been suffering 6 hours + after first fitting had gone. I was so relieved. Some part of me had been wondering the previous night, what have I let myself in for?

The past two weeks have gone by fast. Any sore lips or mouth was cleared up within a couple of days. I suffered no ulcers, which I was told were common, so yay! I did have a moment about day 7 when I got that same tightening feeling and discomfort again, but it was after I had been out for a meal and had the Invisalign out for well over an hour and I put the blame down to that. Again the discomfort was short lived and hasn’t reappeared.

Eating and drinking was weird at first. Having the Invisalign out for any length of time to eat or drink doesn’t feel right. Like my teeth are missing something. I’m sure it’s helping me not to mindlessly snack or drink sugary drinks. Water is the only drink that’s ok to consume whilst the aligners are in your mouth. So there’s been lots of water drinking and not much else. The lisp is now completely gone, my voice seems to be perfectly me again. This is great news for me as I talk a lot and the prospect of being voice-conscious for the next ten months had me in a bit of a tiz. I even had an interview on local radio without even battering an eye.

Being self-conscious about whether anyone could see the Invisalign is still something I am getting used to. But I must admit by today they feel so at home in my mouth and with the lisp now gone I am worrying about that less. I have an action packed weekend in front of me with lots of talking to people and socialising so let’s see how that goes and I will report back.

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So now I’m at day 14 and I have just changed to my next set of aligners my first Invisalign step done! By now the first set of aligners are easy to take in and out and feel comfortable on my teeth, with no signs of tightness whatsoever. This morning when put in my new set of Invisalign I had that same tight feeling from day one but I tell you what, it felt pleasant! A bit like a cosy tooth hug. It felt like the first set were now too loose and these new ones are a perfect fit. So far or at least for the first twelve hours, there has been zero discomfort.

So, there’s where I’m with my journey to perfect teeth. Week two of forty four. No lisp, no injuries and no regrets.

Hysteria to hit Milton Keynes on Friday (I want it now!)

Mused – The UK’s number 1 Muse tribute band are playing MK11 – Live Music Venue on 12.02.16

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As one of Muse’s biggest fans ever. I cannot wait to see them live in April for the umpteen millionth time. The chance to kick back on a Friday night at my most favourite music venue in MK and see what to make of MUSED who claim to be the best Muse tribute in the country is an exciting prospect!

If Muse is one of your favourites, then come along and find me! Tickets are a mere £6.00 and are available online or on the door. Check out MK11’s event page on Facebook here.

If you want to keep up to date with my life, ramblings and things happening across Milton Keynes then join me on Facebook ❤

What do you get when you cross an Indian with a Mexican?

Today I went to Intu shopping centre in Central Milton Keynes for a spot of retail therapy.

First off, whoever said you can’t find a decent bargain on the high street surely hasn’t done their homework. I managed to pick up a beautiful red dress from TopShop for only £22.00 and a true wardrobe staple, a black high waisted mini skirt from New Look for only £3.99. Both items were full price too! Crazy.

My little monster was not disappointed either. Mr LouBou and I had given him a whole load of Duplo toys for Christmas but had struggled to get a baseplate building board for him as they kept selling out but they had some in today. Happy toddler.

The shopping trip had coincided with the opening of a new food outlet in Intu. Wrapchic. An Indian Mexican fusion eatery that had my brain bamboozled. Indian meets Mexican? Burritos with curry? Nachos with mango chutney? I had to see (and taste) what this place was about.

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They have opened just outside Barclays Bank in Intu. I guess you would call this the food court of ‘the new bit’. Wrapchic is simply just chic to look at. Exposed scaffolding with brilliantly coloured fabric canopy ceiling and exotic-looking cushioned chairs. Some of which look like painted crate boxes and some that look like steel bins with cushions on top. It’s something straight out of a street-food bar in India smack bang in the middle of MK.

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Outside Barclays? Exposed behind those ‘fake’ doors which don’t shelter you whatsoever? As us local MK’ers know the new bit can be nippy and you really can suffer the brunt of our changeable beloved British weather there. But thankfully even though Wrapchic is out in the open, you won’t be cold when you visit. Lots of ceiling heaters insure that your visit isn’t a chilly one. I was surprised when I left how the temperature drastically dropped and I instantly wanted to go back under the canopies.

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Now the important bit, the food. I had a burrito. A Chicken Mughlai burrito to be exact. I watched it being made and was impressed how generous the portions are. These burritos sure won’t leave you feeling unsatisfied. First in the toasted tortilla wrap was the authentic Chicken Mughlai curry, then I had my choice of rice, different types of beans, slaw, tikka sauce and chutney.  I opted for white rice, red kidney beans, slaw, mild tikka sauce and mango chutney but there are other choices if you are a bit more adventurous than me!

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As I sat down to eat I must admit I was a little apprehensive but one bite and I instantly saw why this company was born. It worked. It tasted amazing. I think a lot of that is down to the quality and flavouring of the Chicken Mughlai. Without that I think you’d have had trouble selling this to me. The brilliance is, this is fast food. No frills but no compromises on flavours. The chance to eat all those Indian spices and combinations that I love and at a very reasonable price. Burritos come in around a fiver. You’d easily spend that on a processed meat sandwich lunch.

I also tried a Mango Mousse which I found was a brilliant palette cleanser and refreshing after the spice and heat of the burrito.

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So try it for yourself? Tell me what you think. Indian Mexican fusion grub is now here in MK and I for one, hope it is a success.