Showing posts with label mayochup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mayochup. Show all posts

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

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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Saturday, 20 January 2018

Stuff yourself stupid with crepes
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On our way to the Good Home Show at Olympia, we stopped off at Chiswick to Crepe Affaire and got some brunch.

The first thing that struck me was that minimal expense was spared in the decor. The flooring was just concrete, the same if you were to rip up your flooring or pull up the carpet. Still, I think it's the trendy "shabby chic" look they are going for.

The bar and prep area
All the staff donned t-shirts with "my name is..." and on further investigation it was due to the manager not ordering their name badges. Personally, I don't think name badges are necessary, the only other places you see them are self-help groups and primary school. If there was to be a complaint, it's extremely rare that you'll remember the persons name anyway.

We ordered the crepes and having had the crepes on the continent before, we expected something light and airy. How wrong were we?

Once they arrived, they were enormous! We knew straight away we could not finish them and so it proved. In the end, we got bored of eating them as they were all the same flavour. Crepe Affaire does have an orange presser were you can order freshly squeezed orange. Perfect.

All Day Breakfast crepe

Eggs Benedict 
If you do end up going here, please ensure you don't eat anything beforehand as the portion sizes are so huge. Crepe Affaire can afford to decrease their size and their customers won't be unhappy. Having said that, I wonder how much food is going to waste every day?

Score: 6/10

Crepe Affaire
382 Chiswick High Road
W4 5TF

Crepeaffaire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Sunday, 14 January 2018

Mayochup expansion for 2018
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We predict 2018 will foresee a sharp decline in the amount of restaurants we will visit as, in February, we will have a baby girl.

So to compensate, we will expand the blog to parenting as we are entering this world for the first time. Please join us on our journey and we look forward to posting in the new year.

Happy New Year to you all!
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Friday, 29 December 2017

Aloha Asturias
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Back in September we took a long weekend to Asturias, the northern most county in Spain and based ourselves in Gijon using Airbnb. This was by far the cheapest option as the hotels were at least double.

Packed into the four days, we also visited Oviedo, Cangas de Onis and Ribadesella. Transport links are excellent and very good value for money so there is really no need to hire a car.

Gijon is a small seaside town full of little boutique shops and breathtaking views out from the beachfront. The pace of life is very slow and you will definitely feel relaxed.

Gijon square

Another angle of Gijon square

The Gijon beach with great views

What you will notice is the siesta time where the whole town will shut down for a couple of hours in the afternoon and re-open in the evening apart from a couple of bars and/or restaurants. So you will need to plan shopping around this. 

The next day we went to Oviedo which is just like any other major city. It has the usual array of shops and layout. Altogether, it was nothing spectacular apart from the architecture and the Cathedral.

Oviedo architecture

Streets of Oviedo

Oviedo Cathedral
Day three we went to Ribadesella which is a small town on the Asturas shoreline and it's a very pretty town indeed. It's very nice to take a leisurely walk through and take in the sights. We also visited a cave however, we were not allowed to take photographs so we can't show you them on here. Shame really. 

There's plenty of places to eat but don't go for this one!
This restaurant, Casa Gaspar, offers sub standard greasy food and to top it off, we had a very stroppy waitor who clearly wanted us to leave as we were approaching siesta time.

Coloured stairs found in Ribadesella

The sleepy town of Ribadesella

For the last day, we went to the Asturias National Park. Be advised, set off in good time as it takes three hours to get there from Gijon but it's worth it just for the views alone. We took a gentle walk clicking pictures along the way. 

Views from our walk

A lake in the valleys offered a welcome break

For a cheap, relaxing break I would recommend going to Asturias. The Spanish are very welcoming and will speak English to you if you get stuck although it is always nice to try speaking Spanish and making an effort. In terms of finance, you don't need to take a lot as everything is fairly cheap and the food is great (apart from that one in Ribadesella). What Asturias does pride itself on is their Cider which is unsweetened and slightly flat. We did try it and it is very strong but the flavour is quite bitter.

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Sunday, 10 December 2017

Mmmm grease!
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After watching Ferdinand in the cinema, we hunted around Westfields in London and stumbled on Penang which serves Malaysian and Thai food. Considering this is our favourite food types, we went in.

We were asked to sit near the window to make the restaurant appear busy and immediately found a wonky chair. So that was swapped and we sat down and perused the menu.

For starters, we went for seafood dumplings and when they arrived, they looked very appealing however, they were a bit too greasy.

Seafood dumplings
For the mains, we ordered the Claypot Chicken and the Seafood Laksa. The chicken in the Claypot Chicken was a bit rubbery but it was OK on the whole. Nothing special.

Claypot chicken
The Seafood Laksa was on a whole new level. I have sampled many many Thai and Malaysian dishes and this one wins on all fronts as it was the worst Seafood Laksa I ever had the pleasure of sampling. For one, it came with a mightily generous two prawns and some random unrecognisable 'seafood' items that you had no idea what they were. To top it off, it came with a sickeningly layer of grease which looks very unappealing and tasted as such too. It was so bad that it was sent back and removed from the bill.

Seafood Laksa

The grease on top of the Seafood Laksa
It's not often we leave a restaurant hungry but on this occasion we shall eat at home.

Score: 0/10

White City
Unit 1032
Southern Terrace
Westfield White City
W12 7GA

Penang! Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Sunday, 5 November 2017

Travel back in time at The Colosseum
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We devoted a whole day to go round The Colosseum, which is also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, and the nearby Palatine Hill which has been around for nearly 2000 years. The Colosseum took 8 years to build, started in 72AD under emperor Vespasian and finished off under Titus. Amendments were made under Domitian but we can safely say it was opened for the public in 80AD.

Outside the Colosseum
Close up of the Colosseum walls
To skip the enormous queues, we decided to join a guide who offered fascinating insights in what happened in The Colosseum at the time which we would not have gained if we went round on our own. The guide group also used the fast track queue system so the day was not entirely wasted.

Once inside The Colosseum, you'll be amazed by its size which at the time, could hold 50,000 people. That's 50,000 people watching barbaric gladiatorial activities which would not be accepted now in our society. How times change huh?

Part of the flooring had to be reconstructed to accommodate tourism but you can see that it has a lower ground where they kept the slaves, gladiators and animals for forthcoming entertainment.

Part of the lower ground revealed
After the tour of The Colosseum, we then proceeded to Palatine Hill which is one of the seven hills Rome was built on. Our guide explained that the reason for the seven hills was that the lower ground was too swampy to build on however, in time, the Romans drained and expanded. The Palatine Hill is the only one preserved and is now a major tourist spot. As you can see, not a lot is fully preserved due to earthquakes and general erosion however, what remains is magnificent.

View from Palatine Hill
An old copper door which has turned green through time
Some of the columns have remained
The tour took around 3-4 hours and it did not feel rushed. The guide was good and told you all you needed to know although she did get annoyed at one American who was filming her. Quite right too. You don't need to pre-book as once you get there you are inundated with tour offers as well as sellers offering selfie sticks and useless toys.

This definitely should be on your 'to-do' list when in Rome.
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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

All roads lead to Rome
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We went for a long weekend trip to Rome and found it to be the most historical and cultural city we have seen on our travels to Europe. Sure, there are many cities which boast historical elements but none more so than Rome, the Romans and the catholic church.

Not a modern building in sight
The posts will be broken down to three to make it easier for you to read which will cover Rome, The Colosseum and The Vatican City.

First off, it's Rome itself which is full of ancient buildings and narrow streets. The buildings are bright, colourful and welcoming. There are no skyscrapers or any modern buildings which would ruin the look and feel of the city.

Narrow streets of Rome
Wonderful old buildings
There are many sights to see and all can be done by foot. You really don't have to travel far to see an attraction or a renaissance church and all are free unless you choose to make a donation or throw a coin in the Trevi fountain.

One of the many fountains
However, Rome is busy. Very busy and full of tourists, especially American tourists for some reason. Expect queues and crowds for pretty much everything except the churches. Why? There are so many churches that it's impossible to visit them all and dilutes the tourists. Still, there's one good thing is that nearly all the locals speak English.

Rome palace and obelisk
A little note on the food. It is what you would expect. Places selling pizza, pasta and the like. It is absolutely no different to what we have here in the UK when comparing it to Zizzi's, Pizza Express and similar. I guess it's geared towards the tourists therefore we didn't get the chance to taste real Italian cuisine which is a shame. A tip is not to go for the restaurants near the attractions as that is where the prices will go up. 

Rome is a very pretty city and is well worth a visit. The hotels are expensive but there are some great Airbnb's out there. I'd recommend getting one near the centre so you can walk to each destination easily.
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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Ooh la la at La Porte des Indes
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Tucked away in a side street in Marble Arch, if that's such a thing, is the welcoming exterior of La Porte des Indes which is best described as an Indian restaurant with French influence. The interior is decorated with Indian art, artifacts and huge plants spanning from the lower ground to the ceiling. Reminded us of the greenhouses in Kew Gardens.

La Porte des Indes exterior
We booked the Jazz Sunday Brunch which is £35 per person and is a buffet spread out on two floors. Which is great as you can go up as many times as you like. You can find the starters and desserts on the lower ground floor and the mains (vegetarian and non) on the ground floor. Price also includes 1/2 pint of beer, glass of red or white or a soft drink.

Now, due to it being a buffet, we went a bit wild on the starters. We tried everything they had to offer and did not leave enough room for the main course buffet. Still, can't complain as each of the starters was amazing apart from the Watermelon and Pepper soup. You would think there's a twist on it but no, it's simply cold Watermelon juice with pepper granules floating on the top. Err right... but we'll let that one slide.

Different types of starters available

The Watermelon and pepper soup
We went for the meat mains and there are four choices, or all four, and on offering was Lamb Bhuna, Murgh Tikka Makhni and white fish curry I can't remember the name of.

The main course buffet

Selection of main courses with rice

Unlimited naan bread brought to your table
Whilst we were enjoying our meal, we were showered in light entertainment in the form of a jazz band and the fire alarm a few times. To mix things up, the jazz band played a few well known TV theme tunes.

Light entertainment
After a well earned break, we eventually waddled to the desserts and what an offering there was! Fresh fruits, belgian chocolate mousse, Panna Cotta and those really really really sicky sweet Indian sweets plus more I can't remember off hand.

Selection of desserts

What did puzzle me was the lack of French influence. We thought we would find it in the food, and especially the desserts as the French are masters of that, however there wasn't any. Belgian mousse is err Belgian and Panna Cotta is Italian. Thinking back to the mains and starters, there's none there either. Still, that's a small gripe considering the wonderful food we were treated to.

If you love Indian food, and lots of it, then this is the place to come. Make sure you're really hungry to get your moneys worth!

Score: 9/10

La Porte des Indes
32 Bryanston Street
020 7224 0055

La Porte des Indes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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