Monday, 17 October 2016

Snow White With White Rose Theatre

They say never meet your heroes. Or in my case, never cower in the dark near other people meeting their hero - Scotty T. We've been huge Geordie Shore fans forever, we consider our weeks to be less exciting when we're in between a series. I think for oldies like us, it's the shock value, likability and living vicariously through people who appear to be having several people's fun at once. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we were invited to watch an X Factor style talent show featuring Scotty T - in that he was the judge, and many many talented young women were auditioning to play Snow White opposite his Prince Charming in an upcoming "pop up" panto in Leeds. When I say he was the judge, I mean that there were four professional judges and Scotty T was there to sort of bring the fun factor I think.

I was really shocked at the high quality of the performances. The would be Snow Whites had to act and sing - I mean, I used to think I could carry a tune and now I realise I am a terrible singer compared to these people.

After much deliberation and amazing auditions, 17-year-old Lucy Dures from Barnsley was chosen, after wowing the judges with her formidable singing voice, nifty dance moves and uncanny resemblance to Snow White herself.

Lucy has been performing since the age of 6, and honed her craft by attending Jill Brooke's Dance School, The RMC Theatre Company and the Pauline Quirke Academy. She said, "I have done many shows over the years but this is the biggest opportunity I have been given so far.
I am so excited to be playing the role of Snow White. I have loved Panto all of my life and to be playing the Leading Lady alongside Scotty T is incredible!"

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will play out in a huge, purpose-built big-top tent in the grounds of the former Tetley Brewery from 8th December for three weeks. Guests will be welcomed by a host of fairytale characters, and be able to enjoy food, refreshments and pre-show entertainment.

For tickets, head over to or call the Box Office on 0113 870 7769. Tickets can also be booked by calling into Jumbo Records in St Johns Centre, Leeds
Notes to editors

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
On the grounds of the former Tetley Brewery, Leeds, LS10 1JQ

Twitter - @WR_Theatre
Facebook – The White Rose Theatre

Wednesday, 5 October 2016


As a mother of three children, I am well used to bedtime routines. I once tried to estimate the number of bedtimes I had done over the past 8 1/2 years - I forget the exact figure as it was terrifying and depressing, but all I can say is that it was A LOT - in the thousands! And now we have three children, you can times that by three.

Obviously our 8 year old is pretty good at getting himself ready for bed, but there is still homework to check, reading records to sign and uniform to get ready for the next day - just at the time of day when you are naturally most tired yourself! Now of course we have baby girl, and the bedtime routine takes even longer! But one thing we won't compromise on is a) getting her good nappies for night time to ensure she has a full nights sleep and b) using Bepanthen nappy cream. I've tried the supermarket own brand and they just don't cut it! There is nothing worse than having an uncomfortable baby wake up at 3am due to nappy rash or discomfort in that area, expecially when it can be easily avoided. We've generally been lucky with our children and none of them have suffered much from nappy related problems - but the trick is to change your baby's nappy regularly and use Bepanthen at every nappy change. Also daily bathing helps, as it removes any trace of nasties from that area.

We were lucky enough to be sent a tube of Bepanthen and asked to take part in the #BepanthenBedtimeChallenge - thought it wasn't really a huge challenge for us, as we use Bepanthen anyway!

Hard to open lid is essential!

As you can see, our child is a maniac

For our bedtime routine, as soon as we're done with our evening meal, the bath goes straight on. We fill it quite high so that baby girl has a nice relaxing soak and fill it with toys - most recently we've been using bath crayons though these have a horrible habit of turning the water an odd colour, so these might find their way into the circular file (e.g. bin). Baby girl basically then soaks the whole bathroom by scooping up water and chucking it over the side of the bath - it's great "fun". After ten minutes or so of mopping the bathroom floor, baby girl goes to her bedroom in a towel whilst we wrestle with her and attempt to get her dressed whilst applying Bepanthen. Then she has some milk and a story before settling down for sleep. Thankfully, baby girl is not one of these that needs soothing to sleep, which is a good job as we've then two other children to get to bed! Ah, maybe when they're grown we'll miss the bedtime routine, though it does usually end up in at least some shouting. Not much, but some. Still, at least she won't be sore - Bepanthen all the way!

This post is an entry for #BepanthenBedtimeChallenge, sponsored by Bepanthen. Learn more at or

Monday, 26 September 2016

Holiday Rememberings

It's now a month since we came back from our holiday in Normandy and to be honest, I'm home sick for France! The food is incredible - it starts with baguette and croissants at breakfast time, followed by a lazy lunch in the sun, numerous coffees and then the inexhaustible supply of moules frites in the evening. Kir royale with dessert... what an amazing holiday. We were lucky enough to be staying on the beach front in a small town called St Aubin, we've never stayed anywhere before that wasn't in the middle of nowhere, so it was wonderful to be able to walk to cafes, boulangeries and restaurants as well as along the five mile promenade. Swimming in the sea, walking on D Day beaches, using metal detectors to hunt for war memororabilia (not my idea of fun) that kind of thing. Ah, it's no wonder I'm home sick for France.

But before we set off on the long drive, we were lucky enough to receive a fabulous kids suitcase from the guys at icarhirecarinsurance, something to make our journey just a little bit less stressful, and a bit more fun.

Fun suitcase with lots of fun things inside
Fun toys!

Inside the suitcase was a kids game, bubbles, a camera, travel pillow, fun game pack and more!

Car bingo
I loved this fun game for the car, what a great idea! And definitely helped pass the time during the SIX HOUR journey down to Portsmouth. Man that took a while.

Cute tag
Really cut was this tag attached to the case, we'll keep this for ages and use on future cases.

It's a great idea having a travel pack like this for journeys, it literally only feels like five minutes until the kids start claiming they're bored - with five hours to go, it can feel like a LONG time.

The port

Mont St Michel
This was one of the first things we saw in France - what an amazing view it was. And facing it zillions of amazing restaurants all selling oysters for peanuts. Heaven.

D Day findings
Of course all the boys wanted to know about was the D Day stuff. Part of me liked the fact they were interested in history. Part of me was in despair at their obsession with war.

Beach running
Baby girl spent the whole holiday trying to run into the sea. She took exception to being told she couldn't and every time we restrained her from running headlong into huge waves, she acted like we were the most terrible parents ever and had a huge melt down. Fun!

Fun breach times
But the best thing is that we finally had a bit of chance to relax. Ish. We sat down occasionally and got full nights sleep each night. with three young kids that's as good as it gets. But the food, I will never forget the food... France I want to see you again soon!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

#MamiaDaysOut Challenge

For quite a while now, we've been huge fans of Aldi, especially since one came to be built in our home town around a year ago. I was quite skeptical at first, but after a few trips round where I managed to buy a whole week's shop for less then £40, and I was converted. We still use other supermarkets, but I would say the bulk of our food comes from Aldi. We've been especially impressed with the baby products, especially the nappies which are a great low cost alternative to Pampers.

Anyway, we were lucky enough to be sent a cute hamper full of goodies for our youngest child, which is especially handy as we've already got a fun Halloween game planned using the hamper basket!

Fun hamper,  great excitement when it arrived.
When we opened the hamper, we were thrilled to see a huge selection of baby goodies, including rice cakes, a multitude of healthy fruit pouches and pots, and a water based fruit drink. Basically everything you'd need for a fun day out when it's tricky to prepare baby good on the move.

Hamper full of Aldi Mamia baby goodies
So on Friday, we put the food to the test by taking our baby out to quite a posh restaurant in Harrogate called Drum and Monkey as it was my birthday. Baby girl was really well behaved thankfully, as it was one of those restaurants with a low ceiling and was generally really quiet and full of elderly retired people. Not usually the sort of place we take baby, but the food was pretty amazing and I was lucky enough to have lobster. It was my birthday after all. However there wasn't anything really suitable for baby to eat - even the pasta had chilli in it, but luckily we had our Mamia food! So all was well.

Baby girl enjoying her Mamia fruit pot
From all of the pouches and pots, our daughter definitely preferred the pots over the pouches - I guess she's maybe a bit old for the pouches and the pot is a bit like a yoghurt - but less likely to end up in her hair. All of the food is 100% organic, so there's every reason to be happy about it, like our girl was here. I love the fact that these pouches and pots can just be packed for days out, holidays, or just going to the park to keep baby happy and healthy. Perfectly easy and a fraction of the price of other pouches like Ella's Kitchen - and just as nice.

Later we used the Aldi nappies and thought they were great especially in terms of the value they give. I would say that Pampers are longer lasting and don't require changing so often, but they are also double the price, if not more!

We will definitely keep shopping at Aldi as it offers great value for money and great quality products too. I just wish they did home shopping!

“This post is an entry for BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia

Friday, 9 September 2016

Review - Anchor Inn, Gargrave

We love eating out as a family, and it's one of the few things we do REALLY well. I'm a believer in eating together as a family and MAKING those children talk to us - even if they really don't want to! So I was delighted to be invited to try out the new menu at The Anchor Inn, Brewers Fayre in Gargrave last weekend. 

The pub itself is very warm and welcoming, it's quite nostalgic in the sense that it reminded me of eating out with my own parents as a child, which is no bad thing. The pub itself actually has a soft play area which our children raced over to as soon as we got there, there was no charge for this, it was just part of the pub. The kids menu was spot on for our three young 'uns, and we ordered bangers and mash for our 5 year old, cod tastic for our 8 year old, and spaghetti for our 1 year old. I thought value for money was excellent, and drinks, although an extra charge, are refillable as many times as you like which is ideal when your children drink everything in about thirty seconds like ours seem to do.

The adult menu is typical pub fayre and I thought very good value for money. Best of all, if you order two glasses of wine, you get the rest of the bottle free! So that's what we did. Though I would like to add that as this was a lunchtime, we took most of the bottle home.

The wine was amazing! And so much better than I was expecting. Were it not for the children I could very easily have drunk more than one glass for sure.

The kids food arrived very quickly and was enjoyed by all, especially our 1 year old. We've been to a
few restaurants recently that try to do fancy things for children and it never words. Just keep it simple I say.

Banger and mash.

We ordered steaks as I like to order things that I know are going to be cooked fresh. They could perhaps have done with being on a hotter griddle, but the taste was lovely, and very good value too.

Delicious steak!
Now for desserts, now these were really special. Our kids LOVED them!

Brownies and strawberries with chocolate dip - yum!

Make your own face!

Ice cream sundae
All in all I thought it was a great place for a family meal on a cold and rainy Saturday. Value for money wise, five meals, five drinks and a bottle of wine came in at around £50 which is amazing in terms of what we received. One thing I  haven't mentioned was the service - the staff at the Anchor Inn were lovely and couldn't do enough for us, they were polite and welcoming and also speedy - very important when you have young children. They were obviously well used to families and totally understood the whole process of eating out with small children. Definitely deserving of a mention.

I will definitely be going again!

I received a £50 voucher in order to pay for our meal, but all thoughts are my own.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Puzzles and Games for Kids

Argh the Summer holidays drag on. In a previous life, I was a teacher, and there was no issue with childcare in the Summer holidays - I was the childcare! These days, sorting out who is doing what in the Summer hols is a major head ache, and a costly one too! Working from home, there is some flexibility around having the kids around when I'm working for bits and pieces, but it's not fair to them or me to have them around the house for long periods - thank god for grandparents! However, Friday is a non working day for me, and we're always looking for new things to do. This morning, we popped to Ilkley to buy some school shoes and now we're back for a bit of a rest before some swimming later this afternoon, so why not spend some time on something educational in the mean time!

We tried out this cool new website called Puzzles and Games for Kids, the idea being that children spend time independently solving jigsaws to help with hand eye co-ordination, fine motor skills and general problem solving - my five year old loved it! There are a variety of different puzzles to complete, and the best thing is they can be differentiated according to your child's age/ability. Makes learning fun too - brilliant!

Here's what we did...

We started off by clicking on "Choose File" and actually imported our own photo to make into a jigsaw! Here you can see my five year old moving the pieces around - it was just the right level of trickyness for him, but I could have clicked on 5x5 to make it that bit harder...

As well as importing your own photos to turn into jigsaw, you can choose the pre-made images as well, which are very age appropriate and appealing. Here you can see a jigsaw that might be more appropriate for an older child in the 5x5 format.

The whole selection of puzzle with more to come I'm sure!

It was actually a really good motivator for getting my son used to using a mouse - though these games can also be used on mobile devices and best of all, are free! Great news.

What online games do you recommend for those "down time" moments in the holidays?

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Roxy Lanes Leeds Family Bowling Fun

Thinking of new things to do each weekend can be a drag - but lately it's just been one blogger event after another, which is fine by me. This weekend it was the turn of Roxy Lanes to throw a big blogger bash, and we were lucky enough to be invited for some bowling fun! The idea of something to do in Leeds that is actually very family friendly is very appealing to me - there are only so many times you can look at weapons in the Armouries and stuffed tigers in the Leeds City Museum, sometimes only bowling will do! This particular weekend, my husband is away with work for a few days, so it would be the very first time that I had taken all three children into Leeds alone. I had a plan of action for what time we would set off, where we would park and exactly how I was going to get there - and for once I was actually mega organised and we were only ten minutes late - it was pouring with rain so I am blaming the weather for getting in the way.

The staff at Roxy Lanes in Leeds are brilliant and very clued up when it comes to dealing with kids. Not only was it my first outing into Leeds alone with the three kids, but also the first time we've visited a normal place since we got a diagnosis of Autism for the oldest - so loud noises, bright lights and music were always going to be challenging. But the staff were great with him and that always makes a big difference. After being served some lovely drinks and sorting our shoes out, we set to the challenge of bowling - not easy with a screaming child in a pushchair and a child with Autism - plus a five year old who isn't quite sure which lane to bowl down each time. But anyway, we had fun, and the bloggers around us all seemed very understanding, which was blessed relief to me.

Although there aren't many lanes at Roxy Leeds, in my opinion that's a good thing when you go with kids - it means that you don't need to worry about your child wandering off as it's very easy to keep an eye out. There are lane guides and a rail to send the ball sailing down if they aren't strong enough to throw - and there is even a cool sparkly/disco ball! Woohoo!

After the bowling, the guys at Roxy Lane came up trumps again with a colouring competition to give the parents a breather whilst we waited for the food. Full working felt tips and a nice age appropriate picture to colour whilst we had a breather.

Here you can see the kids menu - which was spot on - basically everything that kids like to eat - pizza, burgers, chips, dough balls - bonza! Sadly I didn't get any photos of lunch as I was too busy dealing with three children at that time and pizza! It would have been nice if perhaps Roxy could get a couple of highchairs as it was quite tricky eating whilst holding a hyperactive 1 year old... However there are baby changing facilities and a lift up and down to enable pushchairs and wheelchairs to enter.

Roxy Juniors is a special "club" that takes place weekdays 3 - 6pm and Saturday 10am - 3pm and is £10 each for pizza, unlimited soft drinks and a game of bowling. Roxy Lanes also hold kids parties and it's well worth a thought as it's always nice to "contain" kids in a small area when there are many of them!

The day finished with some fun games and a cupcake for everyone - which were well received by all - especially baby girl.

Cupcake heaven

We were invited to Roxy Lanes Leeds to take part in a blogger day but all thoughts are my own.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

A Day Out With Wynsors Shoes

Like many families, we struggle to come up with new ideas for what to do at the weekends. Since I work from home, usually by the weekend I'm chomping at the bit to get out of the house and get amongst the humans again - have social interaction, smile, that sort of thing. But with one child with ASD, a baby and a boisterous five year old, sometimes our outings are less than successful if truth be told. The other thing of course, is that there is nothing more annoying than spending £100 on a day out that is stressful and no fun - something that happens to us all too often. So when we were invited on a bloggers day out with Wynsors World of Shoes, I knew I would be amongst non judgmental parents who would probably be too busy focusing on their own children to worry about what mine were doing...

The point of the day out was to make people aware that Wynsors have recently launched a new ‘Outdoor’ range for all ages, featuring great brands such as Regatta and Merrell, so getting out into the great outdoors seems like the perfect way to celebrate!  Luckily for me the walk took place in Bingley - where I actually live - so we had a two second drive down the hill to join the other bloggers. We were also joined by Cedric, from Bingley Walkers are Welcome, and a lady from the Canal Trust who came to lend her expertise. We were kindly given a fun pack which included some duck feed - not many people know that it's actually not a good idea to give bread to ducks as it's bad for them - so this food was a healthy alternative.

Healthy Duck Food
Sadly the weather wasn't on our side, so we were a pretty wet crew trudging towards the canal from Bingley station - but fresh air is always good and a little rain never hurt anyone. 

Cedric expertly guided us along the canal tow path and pointed out the wildlife we should look out for. Even though we are from Bingley and have walked along the canal tow path many times, we had never been to "North Bog" - which was a fun diversion for the children. Cedric told us to look out for herons on our way, and told the children how to tell the difference between male and female ducks. 

Duck Feeding
The children had good fun running around and having races, they didn't seem to mind the weather - just means more puddles to splash in. 
Three Rise Locks Bingley
We walked up to three rise locks, where Cedric explained that this allowed boats to travel through what is actually quite a steep part of the waterway. 

Five Rise Locks

After three rise locks comes five rise locks. Boats have to travel through five locks and it takes 30 minutes to travel downstream, and 45 minutes to travel through the locks upstream. Each time you have to wait for each lock to fill up and "rise" to the appropriate level to let your boat through. The canal at Bingley is really fascinating and I can see why people are so interested in it. It's a great way to spend time as a family whilst at the same time not spending any money! It's also really popular with local dog walkers, cyclists and mums with prams. 

Lunch at The Potting Shed

After our walk we had a great lunch a The Potting Shed in Bingley with pizzas and posh burgers - great food and location. I haven't been with the children before and I thought it was really child friendly. We were also given a Wynsors goodie bag with information about the canal, and a nice Karrimor back pack - very useful for all our future walks!

Son 2's take on the day.

All in all a great way to spend the morning in the fresh air with nice people, have a chat and a nice lunch. You can find the Canal & River Trust information for yourself if you want to visit Bingley - there's a section on their website here with the activity sheets available to download: 

I was invited on this bloggers day by Wynsors World Of Shoes and was given a back pack and free lunch as part of the day, but all thoughts are my own.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Positive parenting...

I'm no parenting expert. Despite a degree in Psychology and being an experienced teacher, when it comes to parenting my own kids I am still very much a novice. It's learn as you go, and certainly NOT a one size fits all thing. But recently parenting has been getting on top of me. It has become a chore and not a pleasure. I have started to dread weekends rather than look forward to them, as I know there will be many moments of conflict with my children - as I desperately try to get them to spend time doing anything other than staring at an iPad. I actually regret hugely the decision to buy an iPad and often wonder about selling it or simply chucking it in the bin. It is the biggest cause of conflict in our house by a long way and is the first thing my children ask for when they wake up in the morning. I say "no, not yet" and the first of the arguments begin, before it's even 7am, and seems to set the tone for the rest of the day. The simplest of requests or any sort of transition, seems to always result in conflict - or downright refusal. I've been so worn down that I couldn't even think outside of the issue or come up with idea for tackling it, I admit I had given up and accepted constant conflict almost as a fact of life for the foreseeable future. A depressing thought.

Then I had a night away. In fact a night and a day away. Just that space allowed me to start thinking about it objectively and try to identify exactly what is going wrong and when. A few things struck me...

1) We've pretty much given up being nice to our children. Requests have become orders, and when these are ignored or reacted to, the conflict begins.
2) Spending time with my children is no longer a pleasure whatsoever
3) I am constantly worn out and fed up.

As the adult in the situation, only I can change what's going on here. So today I woke up and decided to have a totally different sort of day. Here's what I did.

1) I greeted each of my children really enthusiastically, and complimented them on something.
2) Rather than ordering my children to get dressed, I asked them what they wanted to do. They wanted to do different things but both could be accommodated, so we compromised.
3) Every small thing they did, I praised them. I used the language, "I've noticed that Lewis has been very grown up and cleaned his teeth without being asked, that makes me very proud." and "Euan you showed such good manners then, what a star you are." To be honest I sort of feel like I shouldn't HAVE to praise such basic things, but you've got to start somewhere.

The effect was immediate. And I mean, immediate. The first thing I noticed was the look on the boys' faces when I complimented them, they didn't know what to say, or do. That made me sad as I realised they weren't used to it, they were just used to us moaning at them or requesting them to do something. Not that what we were asking them was at all unreasonable, but I have to get out of that mindset as it's just not working!

The other thing I tried was if one of the boys did start becoming difficult, I ignored that and focused on the other child, "Lewis I really like the way you've eaten all your food, that makes me think you're a very sensible boy." Lo and behold, our other son suddenly stopped messing around and started eating too. Hmm!

One of the things I also noticed, was that if I engaged with the boys and chatted to them about something they were interested in, there were no issues whatsoever. They didn't even notice when that meant I was leading them towards their bedrooms to get dressed, as they were totally distracted. I asked questions (mainly about the battle of Waterloo) suggested theories and explanations. Really, and I mean REALLY engaged. Not just superficially, but a proper, real conversation that was genuine. In the past I've felt too worn down to really go above, "Oh that's nice".

So today I have spent the day being 100% positive, engaging and "in the moment" pretty much the whole day. I have nothing left to give right now, but today was a GOOD day. We enjoyed spending time together and all got to do something we wanted. And I can't remember the last time that actually happened.

I purposefully haven't researched or looked into the theory or ideas behind the concept of "positive parenting" as I want to figure this one out for myself based on what is best for our family. But I can say that suddenly the future looks so much brigher. And I don't need to dread weekends anymore.

Now that is progress.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Mothercare Review

Like all mums in the UK I've pretty much grown up with Mothercare - in recent years the stores have become absolutely awesome. The store in Leeds has SO much in it - a cafe, changing room, feeding room, photography studio... and you can even go there for baby scans! It's a real home from home for us, and I sometimes just go there to relax and have a coffee with baby girl. The quality of the products in there really speak for themselves - and for any parent it's a must visit in terms of car seats, cots and more.

For me it's about safety, and the fact that all car seats are properly checked and fitted by the expert staff, means ultimate peace of mind. I also noticed that every member of staff is trained to use all of the prams and pushchairs which is pretty impressive. Some pushchairs can be quite difficult to grasp, but here you have an obvious point of call should you need any help. Genius!

We were lucky enough to be offered an item to review from Mothercare this week, and we decided to go for the ELC My First Sand and Water Table along with some Sand to go with it. Unfortunately, since receiving the items, it has rained solidly for days, so it's been pretty much impossible to get any photos - my little girl did have a quick splash on Friday evening before the heavens opened, and she was splashing about like no-ones business, laughing her head off. At 13 months, she's into EVERYTHING at the moment, and loves making messes and generally covering herself head to toe in anything she can lay her hand on. Water to me, is a better alternative to paint - which I'm pretty sure she would eat. The sand I am less sure about, as I have a feeling she will also try to eat it - but I also sort of think it's a trial and error thing - she'll only learn by tasting that gritty sensation...

ELC My First Sand and Water Table £30

ELC Sand £2.50
First of all, the table was SUPER easy to put together! It took less than one minute - which was blessed relief I can tell you. The table is in two parts - the bottom part if for the sand. It has a plug hole in it which is pretty handy, and is a great height for younger toddlers. On top of the sand layer you then place another layer, where the water goes. If you want to prevent water mixing with sand, there is a sort of lid that you can put on - a great idea. What I love about the top water layer is the way it looks like a sort of boat race track! The set comes with a boat and some digging tools - but we have plenty more at home, plus some boats that can whizz round. We use lots of cups and old washing dispenser cups to create ways to throw the water around, and baby girl absolutely LOVES it. I wish I could get a non rain photo - but when I have one I will add to this post.

I would really recommend this item as an ideal 1st birthday present. You really cannot fault the quality of Mothercare and anything bought from there you just know will be something that will last.

These items were sent to me for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts are my own.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Top 5 Father's Day Ideas

If you're anything like me, then thinking of ideas for Father's Day pressies - both for your own father and hubby - is low down on your list of priorities. What with birthdays galore, Christmas and the rest, my ability to choose useful yet luxurious presents seems to have fallen by the wayside! I commented to my husband recently that since we got together, he immediately obviously thought - "ah, no more present buying for me from now on, I now have a woman to do that for me!"

So anyway, back to Father's Day. Here are my fail safe ideas for easy pleasy pressies.

1) Whisky. Preferably a 12 year old as this is better value. Apparently there is a Whisky in Aldi that is to die for?

2) An olive tree - who doesn't love olives, and everyone knows that men love gardening. I got this one for my dad from Find a Present UK - incidentally they have loads of ideas for pressies.

3) I always think that this mini greenhouse from Ikea if a bit of crowd pleaser - speaking of gardening. Can be used in doors or out? And for £12 why not?

4) Cuff links never fail - and everyone loves lego. I picked up a pair of these on ebay for £2.99. Cheap and cheerful I say.

5) Craft beer - I don't actually know what this is but I have noticed that lots of men really like it. Saltaire Brewery which is close by to where I live do an actual keg of beer that men seem to get quite excited about. It's just where to store it?!

What are your Father's Day ideas?

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Cabana Brasilian Barbeque Review

We do love a good meal out, it's one of our only vices. Since we hardly ever go out for "date nights" - in fact what are they - we may as well have a five person date with our children! Obviously this can require a fair amount of careful forward planning - not required if there are only two of you - which is something we are well and truly experienced at! So today, we did something we've not done before - we went into Leeds and had lunch that wasn't in Trinity Kitchen - yes, it's true! Though in fact, the restaurant we ended up going to was directly next door to Trinity Kitchen, but it still doesn't count as TK - Cabana Brasilian Barbeque! Now this isn't normally my cup of tea - for no particular reason, just force of habit, but I'm always up for trying new things, why not? I've passed Cabana before but always just assumed it was for young 'uns and not for oldies like us - but actually when we were in there today, there was a real mix of ages - families, couples, older people and groups of students too - which is always a good indicator of how nice the food is I think.


On arrival I have to say the staff were lovely and friendly, not at all off hand - and even opened a special door so that I could enter with my huge pushchair without causing a commotion. We had a sort of booth in the centre of the restaurant with plenty of space for a highchair AND pushchair.

 I love this picture of baby girl - she loves the camera... the restaurant has a sort of festival feel to it, and hubby hit the nail on the head by saying it had a real holiday feel. Which I guess is the idea! A lot of the cocktails are 2 for 1, which explains why I have to two drinks in this picture. The cocktail menu was huge and I had a sort of Mojito style drink - I waited for the ice to melt to water it down a bit, didn't want to be sozzled.

2 for 1 cocktails. Can't go wrong.

Looking happy. 


 The kids menu is spot on for kids - and my two ordered beefburger and breast in a bun...


The popular flag?!

They were very keen to make sure they were having fries - which makes total sense as they were amazing - and the Brasilian flag for some reason was a total crowd pleaser. I should also add that there was colouring in to do which is always appreciated.

Cabana Steak


Squid - awesome
The adult menu was huge - I didn't really know where to start. But I've not had squid for AGES and I knew they would do it well, along with the epic dipping sauce. What a winner. For our mains hubby ordered Cabana steak and I had spicy chicken. I should add that the mains come on traditional Brasilian skewers like you would expect from this style of restaurant. The servers bring the skewer to your table and then swipe the food off the skewer directly onto your plate. There is also the option to add things to the skewer like ribs and prawns which I think would probably be a good idea as it would vary the meal nicely. Unlike other Brasilian restaurants, the food isn't limitless, in that you order a main and that's what you get. I actually prefer this as I find the continuous bringing round of skewers in other places really overfacing. The steak was amazing - cooked to perfection and you could tell it was really high quality. The chicken was less interesting, but then that's chicken for you. The marinade was lovely and was just the right level of flavour. The sweet potato fries however really stole the show - WOWEE. They were coated with something heavenly and tasted absolutely divine, like nothing I've ever had before. Beautiful.

Baby girl and daddy looking happy.
 Time for desserts! These were awesome. Frozen yoghurt I think is a really good alternative to ice cream and isn't quite as sickly. You could choose between peanut butter flavour frozen yoghurt or caramel frozen yoghurt - and we also ordered some chocolate filled dough balls. Mama mia they were delicious. In fact ALL the desserts were amazing as you can see...

Chocolate filled dough balls. Heaven.

Frozen yoghurt with a caramel sauce. Gorgeous.

The pricing of the meal was around £10 - 12 for a main which for lunch is good value, but for an evening meal is REALLY good value. I thought the kids menu was spot on - and at £6.95 including soft drink is incredible value when you compare it to Pizza Express and the like. Because of the spaciousness of the restaurant, baby changing facilities and general vibe - which sort of drowned out the occasional screams from my children - I would say that it's an ideal place to take children when you're out shopping in Leeds. For me, Trinity Kitchen is SO busy and we've sort of exhausted the options there. I actually found it cheaper overall to go to Cabana as the kids meals were such good value! Highly recommend and what I want to do now is go in the evening to REALLY get into the vibe - and have a few more cocktails from the extensive menu!

Cabana Brasilian Barbeque
Trinity Leeds
Albion Street, Leeds, LS1 5AT
0113 3917500

Opening Hours 
Mon - Thurs 11am - 9:30pm
Fri - Sat 11am - 11pm
Sunday 11:30 - 9pm

For the purpose of this review I was offered a free family meal at Cabana but all thoughts are my own.


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