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BRAND IN FOCUS // ZARA HOME | KIDS: AW17 “Little Adventures”

Zara HOME | Kids have just launched their AW17 campaign: Little Adventures – and it does not disappoint. There are several ranges, that can of course be mixed and matched up for a bespoke theme to you. This season Zara take inspiration from the woodland, grown up Industrial meets Scandi and traditions prints & pastels.

I particularly like the Industrial and reworked style pieces. They look so unique – definitely not something you’d imagine picking up on the high street! The Scandi themes make for a relaxed slumber, while the pastels and prints create a vintage feel.

The Kids Home range doesn’t stop at the sleeping quarters though; there are also bathroom textiles and accessories as well as a dining range.

There are some really lovely pieces to mix & match up and take inspiration from – perfect for refreshing your current Child-space, or curating a brand new room! Shop The Little Adventures range, here.

 

C
✖️✖️✖️

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Eating Out | GLASS, Berlin.

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WHEREGLASS, 10623 Berlin.

DATE: 23.10.2015

TIME: 7:30pm.

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We took the train to Zoologischer Garten and strolled along the chilly, but short, route to GLASS. Filled with the anticipation of a magical evening, celebrating Mr Memoirs’ 30th birthday, we actually passed GLASS! We backtracked and found the restaurant tucked away between building’s.

First impressions were great – we received a very warm welcome and an abundance of smiles. Good start. We were asked to choose where we would like to sit, we decided on a lovely table in the corner, by the window. We were immediately provided with the menu… hidden inside an envelope. Having previously had correspondance with the Host, Juliana, I had decided to keep the new menu a surprise! I had read several incredible reviews of Glass and of the Head Chef, Gal Ben Moche, so had high expectations – and I was not disappointed!

The tasting menu is available with 5 courses (€75 each) or with 7 courses (€95 each). We opted for 5 courses, as well as the wine pairing (€45 each).

The five courses I chose were:

ONION SOUP // GRUYÈRE / BRIOCHE

FOIE GRAS // PONZU / DUCK CONFIT (+ 10 €)

MINESTRONE // SCALLOPS / BEANS / ZUCCHINI

JERUSALEM // POULET DE BRESSE / CAULIFLOWER

CANDY BOX – Dessert – which has to be shared + 20 €

However, we were advised that we’d receive a surprise treat or two before our first course. I don’t think we could have been more shocked and in awe of the ‘treats’s. I, still today, a week on, cannot stop thinking about the first dish we received.

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Dehydrated soya milk with a miso sauce. Actually just the most incredible thing! I could have eaten a bowl full of this.

This was quickly followed by:

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Another sharing treat, the hot-cheese filled crackers to the bottom corners were my favourite! There was also sardine topped falafel and dehydrated egg’s and bacon.

We were then served another ‘breakfast’ style dish:

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This one was a sweet treat – with egg yolk just cooking to the bottom.

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“Taste on a spoon”. One of my favourite mouthful’s of the evening. Ravioli, filled with Oxtail broth, topped with oxtail, greens and parmesan. INSANE. This spoonful was just stunning. The ravioli popped open in your mouth, releasing warm liquor. I have never tasted anything like it.

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Next were served a homemade pretzel bun each, along with 2 slates of butter that were out of this world! One of the butter’s were made with olive oil – using olive’s from the vineyard where one of our wine’s were produced – the other was topped with volcanic salt.

We were then served the first dish we had picked from the 5-course tasting menu.

Mr Memoirs loves anything smoked and earthy, so ‘Forest in a glass’ with its mushrooms and vapour meant he was in his element!

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The waiter was incredible at describing each individual dish – and really set the scene with the Forest in a glass dish. Mr Memoirs remarked that it did indeed feel like he was walking into the depths of a forest, taking in the different scents of the forest floor. The smokiness lingered too – very clever.

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Onion Soup with Gruyere and Brioche. The dish was served with the onion consommé being poured at the table by the waiter, who explained all the fine details to the bottom of the bowl. A warming and tasty dish that left me cleaning the bowl with my leftover pretzel!

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Foie Gras with Ponzu and Duck Confit. There was a surcharge of an additional €10 on this dish, and it was so worth it! The Foie Gras was the best I’ve ever tasted and the duck confit ‘dumpling’ was divine. I could have definitely done with a gravy boat of the sauce however! It was just superb.

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“Minestrone” with Scallops, Beans and Zucchini. The waiter gave us a cheeky smile as he placed these dishes onto the table and declared, “This dish is a lie, it’s not really Minestrone! This dish is made using a lobster bisque…”. I’m not a fish easter, at all, so I was quite apprehensive about this dish to say the very least. But my goodness, it has completely changed my mind! The bisque was filled with bags of flavour, as was the pasta, beans and courgette. I also ate the majority of my scallop! Which is a huge achievement for me – and of course, a huge compliment for Glass. The scallop was so delicate and tasty, I couldn’t help but go back for more.

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Following this, we received another ‘treat’ – a Horseradish Sorbet. Never experienced anything like it. Just incredibly powerful and cooling, all at the same time.

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And now time for the ‘main’ – Jerusalem. Now, I am a person who would not order chicken on a restaurant menu. Chicken is a staple in our house, it makes for a quick and easy dinner for us all; or is reserved for Sunday lunch. Not special enough to order from a restaurant, in my opinion… That was my opinion until I tasted Poulet De Bresse, the most sought after chicken, all the way from France. I can’t even put into words how surprising this dish was – I didn’t want it to end. The chicken was like nothing you’ve ever tasted before, really very special indeed. The cauliflower details were so tasty, as were the peas and grains. Stunning.

…and then came the pièce de résistance. The Candy Box. Presented table-side, by head chef, Gal Ben Moshe. 

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The Candy Box is a magical display of childhood tastes. Obviously, liquid nitrogen is always a bonus too! This was the most memorable and fun dessert we’ve ever had. Gal presented our version of The Candy Box with “H B 2 U”, in celebration of Mr Memoirs’ 30th birthday. Very thoughtful.

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Also, shout out to Juliana who added a birthday candle to the proceedings!

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We chatted to Gal after we’d finished the meal and congratulated him on such a wonderful and unique dining experience. It’s going to be very difficult to top the evening we shared with GLASS. We will definitely be heading back to GLASS when the menu changes – which we imagine to be Spring as Gal tends to use seasonal ingredients. There is also a Vegetarian menu available; offering both the 5 or 7 course tasting menu.

I cannot rate GLASS highly enough – from the staff to the food, everything was just stunning. A relaxed atmosphere with the most unusual dishes. Simply a must whilst in Berlin! (And get a reservation in soon, I can see this restaurant gaining it’s first Michelin star very soon – it is already featured in the Michelin guide – so tables will be at a premium!).

Thank you GLASS.

MM.

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Restaurant GLASS
Uhlandstraße 195
10623 Berlin
Phone: 030-54710861
Email: reservierung@glassberlin.de
Website: glassberlin.de
Opening times:
Tuesday to Saturday from 18:00 to 23:00 clock

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The Big Feastival 2014.

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Well, I’ve been meaning to write up this post for a long while now! But, the usual happened… Lots going on with work, Eli running riot, holiday shopping, going on holiday (INCREDIBLE HOLIDAY – post to most certainly follow), more work and family time.

SO! Where do I begin?

We had the most amazing weekend at The Big Feastival and we were so sad when it came to an end! From start to finish – from the delicious food and drink we had the pleasure of tasting, actually watching and meeting our favourite Chef’s and of course, the absolutely incredible activities and performers for the kids. (I *even* loved the camping part too!). Quite literally, our perfect festival! We cannot wait until next year!

This post is most likely to be quite photo-heavy.

So here it goes!

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Our journey there (and back) was brilliant. No traffic and beautiful country roads as we travelled from our Essex-home to the Cotswolds. Eli slept a lot which was also great. We’d been up since 5am, so we hoped he’d sleep in the car to catch up. (We also could have done with sleeping en route too – we barely slept a wink for the excitement!)

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Our car was brilliant going across the fields – finally, proper off-roading in our off-roading car! It was raining and really quite chilly when we arrived on site, at Alex James’ farm.  We decided it best to hire a Mr Trolley, because as you can see, we did not travel light! I don’t know how we would have managed without it to be honest, lots and lots and lots of trips back and forth to the car I guess! Which, frankly, isn’t ideal with a toddler and drizzle! We hired the trolley when we arrived and again when we were packing up on the Sunday. We hired the trolley for the minimum time of 30 minutes. We weren’t far from the car so filling and emptying the trolley and returning it back to the Mr Trolley stand took no time at all! We located some flat land within the Family Campsite and set to work…

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Our wicked tent cost just £50 from Halfords! I honestly cannot recommend this tent enough. I’m not a camper, by any stretch of the imagination, (although after this trip, I might be a camper now!), but this tent was perfect! It took about 15 minutes to put up and about 10 minutes to take back down again (thanks to the help from Mr Eli of course!). It was sturdy and roomy inside; and it felt like really good quality. We’ve had a ‘pop-up’ tent previously (unfortunately, this tent is lost somewhere between France and Newcastle due to friends not returning it back to us, post-2008 Surf trip . They know we’re not happy about it…) and the new tent is by far a better product! I look forward to camping with this tent again.

We decided that we didn’t want to sleep on the floor of the tent – let’s be honest, we’re too old to be sleeping on the floor now. I also refused to sleep on a blow-up bed or with a sleeping bag. We purchased two very, very comfortable camp bed’s for a tenner each from eBay (brand new, inc postage!) and we took a long our Winter duvet as it tends to get very cold on a night, even in August. I suppose you could call us Glampers in respect of this. Eli also equally had his Glamping cap on with his Little Bird by Jools Oliver sheets and blankets in his travel cot.

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Never before have we been to a festival where there are food stalls on the camp site. The main ‘arena’ didn’t open until after 10, so the stalls were much-needed for our breakfast before you head into the main area. Of course, this isn’t any old food van on a campsite! This is a “Le Swine” van by Bruno Loubet! Also wanted to mention that on each campsite there are an amazing amount of loo’s, showers and an area to use a cooking stove should you wish. There were no camp fires allowed on the site, at all. I thought this was brilliant. I was of course worried about other people using gas around out tent due to there being several tragedies in the past few years, so this set me at ease. And how nice is it waking up and not smelling of fire?! Definitely made for a lovely camping experience.

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And… we’re in!

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We watched DJ BBQ for a wee while and then decided to head for some late-lunch!

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Mr Memoirs headed straight to the DJ BBQ stall where he ordered this incredible pulled pork burger! YUM!

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Me, being me, opted for Risotto… because that’s what you have when you arrive at a festival, right?

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We then spent some time at Adam Henson’s farm. Eli is a massive animal-lover so he was in his element being able to get up close and personal with all the lovely animals!

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We then caught Mr Levi Roots and his Reggae band.

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The Doom Bar tent by Sharps Brewery was particularly awesome, with its beach and secret tasting rooms! I had a lovely pint of IPA which tasted like honey.

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We’ve been going to festivals for over ten years now. But this festival was special. We had our beautiful, and well-behaved, little boy in tow – it literally could not have been any better!

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Dancing at the main stage!

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Having a drink with one of our favourite people, Mr Gennaro Contaldo. Last time we caught up with Gennaro, Eli was fast asleep and we were sat they didn’t meet properly. This time, Eli was more than awake!

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Time for the Hello Apparel to come out! This lovely sweater is available in store and online at Southwood Stores.

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Want to also do a massive shout-out to the ever-so-brilliant ladies from the Up All Hours tent. They provided a cosy, home-from-home environment in which you could change and feed your little one’s. I loved chatting to you both over the weekend! Thank you for making our festival experience a fresh and clean one! (And cheers for all the goodies you send us home with too!).  Up All Hours is a new parenting platform that connects, entertains and most importantly supports parents who are ‘Up All Hours’. sign up, here> Up All Hours.

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The Katsu curry from Yu Kyu was so good I had it TWICE over the course of the weekend.
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Crepes from Crêpe Lucette to satisfy my sweet tooth.

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It went A LOT higher and faster than I expected… and seemed to be never-ending!

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Only bumped into our favourite off of Countryfile! Mr Adam Henson!

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We went for ‘Number 5′ from Alex James’ Cheese Hub – and what a choice! It was so delicious and creamy – and went really well with our red wine back at the tent.

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I will have to do a blog post on everything Little Bird by Jools Oliver related – too much to talk about!

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One of our festival highlights was watching the lovely Justin Fletcher from CBeebies.

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I can’t bare these… but Mr Memoirs do love a Bloody Mary! He thoroughly enjoyed this one from Little Devil. It didn’t half have a kick to it!

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Well, this was dreamy! Amazing smoked short rib in a brioche bun with salsa and a fried egg. RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! It was the salsa that really did it for me. This was from the stunning Barbecoa van.

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Oh heck, it’s only David Loftus and Bruno Loubet!

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Chatting to David Loftus while we wait for Jamie and Jools to come from round the van!

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These two people, right there, are my favourite people. I adore Jamie and Jools (I know you’re all so sick of hearing this now!) but I do. We’re huge Jamie Oliver fans – every recipe we’ve ever cooked and in every Jamie restaurant we’ve ever dined, we’ve always eaten the most tasty food our tummies could muster. And Jools, well, Jools has given me the chance to dress my son in beautiful clothes that suit US as a family. Our son wears clothes that reflect him as a person and he looks so damn cool it’s untrue (not even being biased).  Oh, and while we’re on it…

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Speaking with Jools Oliver is probably the most star-struck I’ve ever been! (Even after meeting all those rockstars… and indeed the actual Queen!). She’s just beautiful, isn’t she?!

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We had a lovely Gin and Tonic while the boy slept, from the great guys over at Fever Tree. We love their soft drinks (mixers), they go amazingly well with Sipsmith Gin and Chase Vodka too!

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Watching Daisy Lowe bake (who knew she was doing that now?!) with her Mum Pearl Lowe and Danny Goffey standing infront of us.

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Seeing Jamie and Gennaro cook together in real life was an absolute pleasure. The relationship they both have is wonderful. They were so funny, informative and so full of passion.

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My path recently crossed with Alex James’ via work. I would have loved a chat and a proper photo with him but unfortunately his P.A wouldn’t let me. Such a shame! I took a #selfie irregardless, ha!

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We waited for what felt like hours for our pizza’s from Rossopomodoro – but when they arrived, my goodness, they were goooood! Worth the wait!

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Fat Boy Slim was incredible! We hadn’t intended on staying for the set from Norman Cook, but we got sucked in! Eli was fast asleep and the crowd was just so happy – the atmosphere was amazing!

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The next morning was our final day (booooooo). Mr Eli helped us pack up the tent so we could then go into the main arena and enjoy the rest of our last day at the festival.

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Eli and I had lovely bacon rolls and Mr Memoirs opted for Kedgeree from What The Dickens!

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Our first stop (and possibly my actual highlight of the festival!) was seeing the delightful Mr Bloom swoon. Eli was in absolute awe – he was so mesmerised, it was beautiful to watch him!

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Then we went to see Jamie and Adam Henson…

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…followed by Monica Galetti (who was surprisingly lovely in real life!)

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Then we spotted Mr Nathan Outlaw.

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After a final mooch around the site and a spot of lunch (yes, we went and had a Katsu Curry again) it was time to get the car packed up and drive home. We literally had the BEST weekend – we had the time of our lives, all of us. This is the perfect festival for a family – and of course, a foodie.

I must also take this opportunity to thank the brilliant folk over at Jamie’s Italian without whom we would not have had tickets The Big Feastival! We sadly missed out on the Early Bird tickets for the 2015 Big Feastival as it was while we were on holiday (we didn’t time that well did we!) but we will certainly be booking up when they’re available for general release.

MANY THANKS AGAIN BIG FEASTIVAL – YOU WERE EPIC!

MM.

 

 

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Whoever said, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch!”, are WRONG!

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Do you enjoy dining out but don’t enjoy the price tag that comes with it?

Becoming a Mystery Diner may be the perfect solution.

Mystery Diners are volunteers who give up their time to visit a range of restaurants, hotels and pubs and complete a report about their experience. In exchange you are reimbursed for your invaluable feedback.

Becoming a Mystery Diner is a great way to enjoy eating out at different restaurants, whilst saving money.

Being a Mystery Diner means you are able to say what you really feel about the service and the food in a productive and professional way to get your voice heard. You know that your feedback is appreciated and valued and often visiting somewhere a second time means you can see your feedback put into action with improvements made specifically as a result of your report.

You are able to socialise for free, as well as treat family and friends. Many Mystery Diners have said it encourages them to eat out regularly with their partners, friends and family who often enjoy the “secret assignment” nature of the meal. This is also a great way to give your children their first insights into dining out and trying different foods.

It also allows you to discover some real gems of places to eat that you never knew existed!

Mystery Dining is the ideal role for anyone who enjoys good food and appreciates good customer service and of course their bill paid for at the end.

The Mystery Dining Company is now recruiting over 1,000 Mystery Diners this summer, across the UK, for a variety of clients they work with such as Prezzo, Fire and Stone, Flaming Grill, as well as family favourites such as Giraffe and Wacky Warehouse.

So treat your family this summer and eat out for free at some great restaurants.

To sign up, click this link! And follow @mysterydining on Twitter for lots of updates!

Enjoy!

MM.

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Surprises from my best friends!

Table at Babylon restaurant, Kensington Roof Gardens.

On Saturday of last week (9th June), I was whisked off to Kensington for lunch with my best friends at Babylon, Kensington Roof Gardens. The restaurant and garden’s were absolutely amazing… there were real-life flamingo’s in the gardens! On the ROOF, in Kensington! Crazy!

When I arrived at the restaurant I called my friends and they came and met me at the reception and lead me to our table. They’d decked the table out with ‘Baby Shower’ banners and presents! What a lovely surprise!

I thought I’d share the lovely gifts that they got us 😀

Scrummy cupcakes from Whole Foods.
Scrummy cupcakes from Whole Foods.

 

We're massive fans of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", so this amazing box has taken pride of place in the nursery!

 

Lots of presents! Lots of essentials 🙂

 

Beautiful gifts from The Little White Company.

 

Absolutely adore this super-soft bunny rabbit and elephant rattle from The Little White Company!

MM.