Saturday, 16 June 2018

Sunday celebrations at The White Horse - Harpenden
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Out of the blue, my brother-in-law proposed to his long term girlfriend and to celebrate, we were invited to a pub outing and dinner at The White Horse in Harpenden.

The pub is situated on the edge of Harpenden next to idyllic houses and greens and fits in nicely in the area. The garden area is extensive and well looked after. The inside blends modern with rustic giving it a homely feel so it suits all seasons. As it was a warm evening with a bright blue sky, we opted to eat outside.

So after the chinking of the champagne glasses filled with prosecco, it was time to order dinner. The weather put paid to the availability of the menu, not because it was spoiled, but due to the pub being extremely busy over that weekend.

We both opted for the pork roast with crackling and all the trimmings. As you can see, the portion size is good and you definitely get your moneys worth.

Pork Roast with all the trimmings
My mother-in-law is a little fussy when it comes to ordering restaurant food and not all that keen on English/European food so she had Halibut with Asparagus and vegetables which isn't on the menu but the The White Horse was more than willing and capable to tailor a dish to her needs. 

Halibut with Asparagus and vegetables
Even though we managed to polish off our mains and feeling quite full, there is always room for pudding and we were enticed by the Rhubarb and Almond Pie which was amazing. The almond pie was warm and soft which complemented well with the strips of rhubarb and the dollop of clotted cream.

Almond and Rhubarb pie with clotted cream
This pub is recommended if you're in the area and is a nice place for large groups to come together. 

The White Horse
Redbourn Lane
Hatching Green
Harpenden
Hertfordshire
AL5 2JP
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Thursday, 31 May 2018

 Beautiful Bournemouth
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Bournemouth is a 1.5 hour drive away so when the sun’s out, we can pop down and we did just that. However, when we got there, and this was upon arrival at Bournemouth, it was foggy. No matter though as there are still plenty of things to do other than the beach.

A foggy start

Beaches are empty due to the weather
Being a typical British seaside resort, there’s plenty of amusement arcades, snack shops, restaurants, tourist shops and other places to visit. There’s even a sea life centre should the weather make a turn for the worse. Luckily for us, the fog lifted and we were treated to wonderful views of the English coastline. Baby Tamara loved it and got to touch sand for the first time and was captivated by the sea. However, the sound of the waves lapping the shoreline soon put her to sleep!

Luckily the weather improved

Views of the sea
There are plenty of places to eat but our tip is to walk a little further down the promenade to find ones that are more reasonably priced as the restaurants by the pier (the main entrance) tend to be quite expensive and lacking in quality. Harry Ramsdens being the major culprit. All batter, hardly any fish. So after a 15 minute walk, we found a lovely little place called Chine Side. This place offered seating upstairs on the balcony which is perfect for those sea views and people watching. Being by the sea, we couldn’t resist Fish & Chips and Salmon Fishcakes & Chips. We were pleasantly surprised with the healthy portions too. It's a shame there was no mushy peas but can't have everything.

Fish and Chips

Salmon Fishcakes and Chips

We returned home just before the stag and hen groups would come out to play which is the right time. Also beating the traffic on the way back. This resort is definitely worth the trip and a great place to relax.

Chine Side
Durley Chine Road
Bournemouth
Dorset
BH2 5JG
01202 438288


Chine Side Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Sunday, 15 April 2018

The problem with blogging
12:10 3 Comments
Is other bloggers. We all know the ones. It's me, me, me, me, and me some more. Here's a rundown of what irks us.



Facebook groups

We used to be a part of these groups but the constant "must re-post or acknowledge at least 10 other posts" is time consuming and don't have time for this. Also, most of the posts are utterly irrelevant to what you are blogging plus there are the 'fun police' who come at you and snitch if you a) don't do their posts or b) feel you haven't done enough. So I don't post on these groups anymore. Plus the comments you receive in return are nonsensical and clearly other people have not read your post.

Blogging events

We went to one of these in London and it was full of fashion/beauty bloggers who were more interested in posing in-front of random bits of furniture than integrating with others. Furthermore, most actually had no clue about blogging and were listening attentively to a seminar in how to write a blog post. Most were taking notes about basic stuff such as labels, tagging, formatting and the like. We tried to talk to a few people but most were not interested apart from themselves and their next post. The me, me, me, me types. We left after an hour, bored and underwhelmed. We will never attend one of these again.

Instagram/Twitter

We largely have given up on this media due to the follow/unfollowers. You can spot the accounts that do this, the ones with 15k followers and only following 1k. This is the same with Twitter too.

So, in light of this, we are rarely seen on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook however, if we have commented on your post, re-tweeted or liked, we will have read it properly. If the Facebook group in question forces us to comment on eye-liner or something else unrelated, then we just aren't interested.


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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Encore de Cafe de Paris
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Somehow, for reasons that are still unexplained, we won tickets for Cafe de Paris so on a Friday night, we went. Once we were there, unbeknown to us, we were actually entitled the VIP package which allowed us the three courses, a bottle of Prosecco and two free drinks. Unfortunately, or fortunately for me, Mrs Mayochup was pregnant at the time therefore could not drink anything alcoholic so the whole bottle of Prosecco and free Kir Royale was mine. Be rude not to waste it.

Ruby and performing guests

Another picture of the performers
We previously posted about Cafe de Paris and we were pleased to see that Ruby was still the MC who is still at his flamboyant best terrorising the gentlemen who he took a shine to. The acts were truly amazing and it’s hard to comprehend that us human beings can perform like that whether it being balancing on one hand on a raised platform to performing acts with fire. Over the course of the evening, it must have been the first time in its history that there were no hen parties but of course there were other celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries.

For starters, we went for the smoked chicken and papaya on blini. This comes with beetroot & shallot dressing and sweet potato confetti. The other starter was the cured salmon carpaccio with palm hearts, caper berry and rock salt. The salmon is no different to what you have in hundreds of other restaurants, light and refreshing but the smoked chicken and papaya was amazing. Surprisingly light and full of flavour.

Smoked chicken and papaya on blini

Cured salmon carpaccio with palm hearts, caper berry and rock salt

Between meals, we were treated to a magician plying her trade with card tricks and misdirection.  One guy on our table thought he had it worked out but the magician had him sussed and got nowhere. We forget her name but she was at the Edinburgh Film Festival, not that narrows it down much.

Magician with her really bright red hair
For the mains, we got the prime rib-eye steak with hand cooked chips and garlic butter. The other was grilled chicken breast which comes with courgettes, potato fondant, girolle mushrooms and parsley. Both were well cooked and well received.  Especially as one of us was drinking a lot and needed to soak up the booze!

Grilled chicken breast, courgettes, potato fondant, girolle mushrooms and parsley

Rib-eye steak with hand cooked chips and garlic butter

We thought we were only eligible for two courses so to have dessert was a bonus. We opted for fresh fruit salad and warm chocolate brownie.

Fresh fruit salad

Warm chocolate brownie

We do recommend coming here even if it's not just for the food. The entertainment is fantastic and worth the entry fee alone.

Cafe de Paris
3 Coventry Street
London
W1D 6BL

Cafe De Paris Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Saturday, 3 March 2018

Money saving tips for your newborn child
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When we were looking in Mothercare and related stores for prams, clothes and cots, we we blown away by the prices they charge for such items. For example, a very helpful sales assistant was showing us a pram which can be adjusted to cover ages from newborn to toddler and it did look very handy indeed. However, and this is a biggie, the price they were charging was around £700. This wasn’t a top of the range model nor was it the cheapest one but £700 is totally ridiculous. We needed a pram and the solution came from Shpock. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a free ads app where people buy and sell all manner of things and you can filter results by product, category and distance. We got a barely used Mamas & Papas interchangeable pram for £85 which brand new would be ten times the price. This also came with a car seat.

Our pram we got for £85
As for clothes, we are in a fortunate position to receive so many hand me downs that we are covered until Tamara is a year old. Not to mention all the gifts too. There is little point in buying designer clothes for babies and toddlers as they will be messed up in no time at all nor will they appreciate a ‘label’ on them. In fact, designer clothes as a whole is the easiest way to throw away your money as you are paying for the advertising and the brand rather than the quality of the clothing. Asda’s George, TX Maxx and Primani are just as good.

Baby clothes are so tiny!
For every day items, nappies are cheapest on amazon and use kitchen roll to put under the baby instead of the disposable baby mats. You get far more sheets of kitchen roll and it's cheaper too. Much cheaper. Use cotton wool to clean the baby and use non-branded sterilising tablets. They're mere pence in the supermarkets.

We do have a few toys and teddy bears but she’s too young for them at the moment. What seems to be the best source of entertainment is the full length mirror. She loves looking at that and reacting and going for walks around the house and outside.

You don't need to spend a lot and if you shop around, you can be very economical. Babies needn't be expensive. 
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