Tea for Two – Afternoon Tea at Whittard of Chelsea, London

Living at home with very busy boys it can be hard to find the time to spend quality time with each one of them. The boys are normally, either, running or playing football and myself or Dad spend our weekends ferrying them around from one place to the next.

Last weekend we were invited out by Whittard of Chelsea to attend an Afternoon Tea for two at there Tea Bar in Covent Garden. I took this as the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with my middle boy.

Whittard of Chelsea Tea Bar is an extension of the Whittard of Chelsea Covent Garden store.

Situated in the middle of Covent Garden Piazza, downstairs within the flagship store you will find more than your average tea and coffee shop. The Tea Bar features a specialist bar that serves a menu of full afternoon tea alongside 100 loose leaf teas with delicious cakes and savouries to compliment their astonishing tea menu.

Whittard Tea Bar also serves a selection of alcoholic drinks, tea infused cocktails, sandwiches, hot chocolates, coffee and all day afternoon tea.

As we arrived we were immediately greeted by the lovely friendly staff, who made us feel very comfortable throughout our visit. The Tea bar is rather small inside and you get that cosy feeling from the rather relaxed atmosphere.

We were shown to our table and offered the menu. Oh my! I had never seen so many choices of different types of tea that was on offer. They had a pretty extensive list of teas available and we had no idea what to choose. Luckily, our host, Marta, was there to offer some advice on what to try. After telling her what tea we normally drink she recommended the Jade Formosa Oolong for my son and the Matcha Guricha for me. Marta also offered us her plethora of knowledge on tea; Oolong tea is a traditional chinese tea that the leaves are wrapped into small beads and can be brewed multiple times.

Tea Menu

We were served our tea and given 3 timers; 3, 4 and 5 minutes. We were advised to give our tea between 3 – 4 minutes to infuse.

Infusion

The tea was every bit of what you would expect from Whittard, it lived up to its expectation. Full bodied with a herbal richness.

The Whittard Tea

We ordered our afternoon tea and opted for The Whittard Tea which is their signature spread of sandwiches, scones, cakes and tea for an afternoon of champions.

As we waited for food to arrive we sat and sipped our delightful tea and chatted about school and work. It was lovely to spend time with my son in such a charming and relaxed surroundings. Sitting in the tea rooms you wouldn’t think that just beyond the window was the busy hustle and bustle of London.

It wasn’t long before our host was heading our way our afternoon tea.

The Whittard Tea

I was also served up a glass of pink prosecco that was infused with strawberry and mint. I must say, I don’t normally drink but this was very refreshing and smooth. A very summer taste. I certainly could have had more than one glass of this fine drink.

The Whittard Tea consisted of selection of handmade finger sandwiches – smoked salmon with lemon cheese; coronation chicken; cucumber; egg and cress Scones. Scones with clotted cream and tea-infused strawberry and mango preserves and a choice of five bitesize cakes.

The hardest choice was what to put on first on the scone; jam or cream?

The presentation was beautiful as was the taste. Freshly prepared food, with delicate flavours that sent my taste buds into overdrive. A sensational selection of excellent food to indulge in. A perfect british tea time experience.

Outstanding service, delicious food and a fantastic variety of drinks including vast tea choices Whittards Tea Bar is definitely a place to visit and a quintessential location to book for a Mother’s day treat.

Not only can you book for afternoon tea you can also browse round the shop and buy some amazing gifts that they have on offer. I would definitely recommend the Easter Tea; a treat that is better than eggs. A nutty oolong tea with subtle hints of chocolate and buttercream, finished off with a scattering of sugar bunnies. Not only is it palatable but it also smells amazing.

Whittard Afternoon Tea £30 per person

Glass of prosecco £6

Tea ranging from £3.50 -£5.00

Take a look at what Whittard has to offer here

To book a table for afternoon tea or check availability take a look here

We were gifted with the afternoon tea and a goody bag for the purpose of this review

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The Most Love-a-Bull Animation: Ferdinand Review

Blue Sky Studios and director Carlos Sadanha (Rio, Ice Age) brings you FERDINAND.

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A charming tale of a giant – lover not a fighter – bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies together a misfit team for the ultimate adventure and proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.

Inspired by the beloved book “The Story of Ferdinand,” FERDINAND (Voice of John Cena) is a heartwarming family comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Sally Philips, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.

We was sent the DVD to coincide with the Digital Download, Blu-ray and DVD release on 16th April.

The boys were really excited to watch this new animation. I must say it was the quietest my boys had been all Easter holidays. From the moment the film started to the end, I didn’t hear a peep from them-apart from giggles.

“My brother and I watched ‘Ferdinand’ and we thought it was hilarious, but also upsetting at times. Ferdinand is a great film and I would recommend it to all ages, young and old. Our favourite bits were the ‘Last Battle’ and ‘The bull in a China Shop’ because they were both funny and dramatic. My favourite character was ‘Paco’ who makes a great comedy duo with Ferdinand, his ‘brother’.”

Ferdinand really is a love-a-bull rogue who inspires the world by just being himself. He is unlike his stable mates whose ultimate goal is to face a matador in an arena, Ferdinand just wants to smell flowers. He has an unlikely bond with a young girl (Nina)

The movie is delightful with cute animation. A story of love and friendship that makes a great family movie.

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Ferdinand’s Guide to Healthy Living with John Cena
  • A Goat’s Guide to Life
  • Ferdinand’s Team Supreme
  • Spain Through Ferdinand’s Eyes
  • Confessions of a Bull-loving Horse
  • Creating the Land of Ferdinand
  • Anatomy of a Scene: The Bull Run
  • Learn to Dance with Ferdinand
  • Ferdinand’s Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden
  • Creating a Remarka-Bull Song
  • “Home” Music Video
  • Art of Ferdinand Gallery

Get set for a belly full of laughs!

FERDINAND charges onto Digital Download on 10th April and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD on 16th April

We was sent a copy of the DVD for the purpose of this review

 

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Sheep & Wolves DVD: Review and Giveaway

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From the producers of The Snow Queen 2 comes Sheep And Wolves, a fun, animated adventure featuring the voices of Tom Felton (Harry Potter) Ruby Rose (Pitch Perfect 3) Jim Cummings (Winnie The Pooh) and China Anna Mcclain (Black Lightening).

In a magical faraway land, in a picturesque village nestled among green meadows and rolling hills, lives a flock of carefree sheep. But their idyllic and stress-free solitude is interrupted when a pack of wolves sets up camp in a nearby ravine.

When the wolves’ retiring pack leader Magra (Cummings) announces that his future successor must prove his worth by defeating their rivals, the powerful and blood-thirsty Ragear steps forward. But, the only wolf brave enough to challenge him is Grey (Felton), the pack’s favourite but hopeless goofball. Grey has to prove to everyone, including his Fiance, Bianca (Rose), that he is worthy of becoming a leader. However, Grey faces a slight mishap and ends up taking a magic potion; given to him by a travelling gypsy rabbit, Mami, that turns him into a…Ram! After going back to the den and being chased out, he finds himself within the company of the sheep and quickly befriends Moz, a simple-hearted and kind ram and Lyra (McClain), a good-natured and naive young ewe.

Fusion x64 TIFF File
Fusion x64 TIFF File

Will Grey find his way back to his pack and his girlfriend Bianca?

Grey loves to mess around and be the centre of attention, but after spending time with the sheep, he soon learns what is important and being true to himself. Grey quickly becomes a leader that Magra would be proud of, but not for the wolves…

Fusion x64 TIFF File
Fusion x64 TIFF File

“From here on out, we’re not a flock- we’re a pack! A pack of wild sheep!”

We found the film to be very similar to the plot of The Lion King, although not as serious. Grey is kind and quick-witted. There were parts of the film that had the children laughing and you quickly become a big fan of Grey, wanting him to grow up and take on responsibility.

The film features mixed messages but we saw it about friendship and how to deal with other groups who are different to you. Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes and when it’s not expected.

My children enjoyed the humour and story of the film. It’s a great, feel good, family film.

It was interesting to hear Jim Cummings voice as Magra, I grew up being a big fan of Winnie The Pooh, He is a very talented man.

The DVD is set to be released in the UK  9th April 2018

RRP: £9.99 Cat no: TRL398

We have kindly been given 2 copies of the DVD to give away, enter below via rafflecopter for your chance to win
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Thomas and Friends MINIS Motorised Raceway review

Calling all Thomas and Friends little engineers… Thomas and James need help to choose which track to take down the from the mountain.
My little boy loves Thomas and Friends and loves to set up his vast amount of track in the garden and play away for hours at an end, sending trains around the track and helping them on their way. So you could imagine his excitement when he notices A Thomas and Friends toy had been delivered for him to play and test out.
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He has quite a few MINIS in his collection as he went through a stage of buying the little collectible bags, which he normally carries around in his little rucksack or put into his pockets when we are going out somewhere. Because of their size, they are ideal for children to collect and carry about with them.
He couldn’t wait to test it out and was soon begging me to open it for him.
We found the instructions easy to follow, although assembling it was a little tricky for him to do.
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He followed the step by step colourful picture instructions and found the parts with no problems.
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I then helped him to put it together, some parts had to be pushed in until they clicked and needed a bit of a firm push. To be fair they was pointed out on the instructions sheet by marking it with a little yellow star, these parts can not be taken apart once fitted together. The whole process of labeling the stickers, fixing the track together and placing the batteries in took us about 15 minutes.
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The set comes with two Mini trains; Thomas and James and as we quickly worked out that the other Minis all fit on too.
The raceway is great fun. The adventure starts when you send the trains up the steep vertical lift, which the minis climb up automatically. The bottom of the train attaches to a small little black hook on the motorised track.
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Once they reach the top, you then need to choose which track to send them back down on, using the hand switch at the top.
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The minis can go in three directions.
The first track is the waterfall, as the mini travels down it heads straight into a 360 degree loop
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The next track is a free-fall, it seems that the track is broken, but have no fear as the minis jump the gap and land safely on the bottom track.
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Use Cranky the crane to safe the minis by swiveling him around and swooping him down to catch them before they fall
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The trains have hooks and eyes on either end so they can hook together or on to Cranky
The last track seems to be heading no where, as soon as the minis arrive at the top of the lift they roll off of the edge, defying gravity and rolling upside down along the track. The track is  T-shaped which, when aligns with the bottom of the mini, keeps the mini securely on so it doesn’t fall off.
I’m not sure that my son has a favourite track to send the minis down on as they are all fast and thrilling. 20171109_195231
He certainly enjoys being the engineer and changing the choice of track each time a mini arrives at the top, but you have to be fast as they travel along them tracks as fast as lightening. It definitely is full steam ahead with these minis.
At the bottom of the raceway are two sheds where you can store two minis when not playing with it.
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The only downside to this toy is that when switched on it can be a little noisy and the track direction changer is a little stiff to turn, but that could be a good thing as then it doesn’t slip around when you don’t want it to. Also, it doesn’t pack away back into the box -it has to stay erected.
The raceway requires 3AA batteries, we used rechargeable ones and have been playing with it for just over a  week now and they have showed no signs of running out yet. The first day my son played with it for hours and has kept on playing with it daily.
The raceway is bright and colourful to attract the eye of a young child. It is sturdy and easy to move around from room to room. We found the Minis raceway to be fun and entertaining.
The raceway is suitable for ages 3+
RRP £44.99
We was sent this toy for the purpose of this review. 
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Luxury Chocolate Workshop with Red Letter Days – Review

*****Warning – this post contains the word ‘chocolate’*****

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A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to a chocolate making and tasting workshop by Red Letter Days at My Chocolate. The event was being held at My Chocolate Shoreditch, London. Although, they do have other venues available in London, Brighton and Manchester.

The workshop was ran by two chocolate connoisseurs, one who did all of the demonstrating and one who was preparing the chocolate and utensils for us chocoholics to use on our chocolate making.

I arrived fashionably late due to travel problems, so when by the time I had arrived they were already 20 minutes into the first part of the evening, which was preparing your very own indulgent chocolate martini. I was greeted at the door and was directed to the sink where I washed my hands first and then shown to a table where a few of the other attendees had already began creating the martinis. I believe that were shown a technique called ‘wagging the tail’ where they used a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate over the martini glass to decorate it before mixing up the chocolate vodka in a shaker.

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It tastes as nice as it looked. Very much like Irish Cream. They were creamy, rich and one could definitely drink one after another. What a treat! Very much-needed after the train journey I had just encountered. The smell of indulgent chocolate wafted around the room

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Whilst we gulped sipped at our chocolate cocktails, we all stood around the demonstration desk and watched how to make our very own oil infused large chocolate button.

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We was guided on how to place the chocolate onto the paper and how to infuse it with flavoured oil.  The chocolatiers made a huge milk chocolate heart decorated with dark chocolate, using the ‘wagging the tail’ technique again and then using the other end of the spoon to create a marble effect. The expert made it look so easy!

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Back to the tables we went, ready to create our own masterpiece. I chose to make a four-leaf clover and infused it with lemongrass oil. The oil is very strong and only a couple of drops is needed to add the taste to the chocolate. It was very hard, but I resisted, not to lick the spoon, as we was going to be using them again to do the marbling

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I chose dark chocolate, as that is my favourite – the darker the better! The marbling wasn’t as easy as it looked. I think my finished button looked a bit like a toddlers drawing rather than an exquisite chocolate, it was definitely authentic and handmade.

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By now, the only evidence of our chocolate vodkas was the empty glasses on the table. They were soon replaced with a glass of prosecco.

Once we had made our chocolate slab, we was ready to move on to the next part of the workshop, Truffle making. Now I have attempted to make truffles at home before as presents for the children’s teachers and they were a nightmare to make, I had cocoa all over me. So, I was looking forward to this part of the workshop to find out where I went wrong.

We was shown how to make them first by the expert chocolatiers and a helper from the other attendees and then we was sent back to our tables. For this part of the workshop we had to get into pairs.

Firstly you mix the chocolate with double cream, stirring it quite rigorously until it starts to set and become thicker – this is your Ganache. Then you place it into a piping bag ready to pipe out little chocolate slugs or wizard hats on the parchment paper. Once all of the ganache has finished, you wait for them harden.

This part of the workshop brought lots of giggles to the table as we quickly became aware that out little chocolate ganache slugs looked more like little emoji poops. Although, It didn’t matter what they looked like at this point as they were soon to be moulded into truffles.

Once we got the hang of how to hold and pipe the bag, it was quite easy.

And once they were all done, our glasses got topped up by the very nice lady at My Chocolate with Yet more prosecco

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The evening was definitely activating our tastes buds – chocolate and booze!

The chocolatiers tutor was what really made the experience enjoyable, she was fun, humorous, interactive and full of chocolate knowledge.

Whilst we waited for the Ganache to set we was treated to a talk about the history of chocolate and how it is made. We also got to taste 90% chocolate. We was tested on our taste bud knowledge of recognising dark or milk chocolate and taught on how to feel and smell the quality of a chocolate. High quality chocolate should smell strongly of chocolate and the texture should not be gritty or waxy.

The sound that your chocolate makes when snapped is a good indication of the quality of it. Good chocolate has a clean, crisp, sharp snap when broken and milk chocolate tends to bend, because it contains more sugar and milk

After our little fun lesson in chocolate it was time to get dirty with the truffle making. On the tables was a selection of topping to decorate our truffles with; honeycomb, cocoa powder, coconut, salt, raspberry swirls, white chocolate swirls and berry dust.

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This was definitely the time to get creative, release the chocolate demon in you and dig in. First we rolled our ganache into a ball, then coated them in some cacao powder and then dipped them into more chocolate. Before they set I added some of the toppings. Some of our ganaches were a little on the small side so I added two together and at the same time pressed in some raspberry dust and salt into the middle as a surprise when bitten into.

We made quite a mess of our table

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But it was most definitely a sign of a good time. I really enjoyed the whole evening. We got to wrap up our chocolate creations in some cellophane and ribbon to take home. My chocolate goodies didn’t last long once I arrived home as they were eaten by all in the house. the chocolates were mouth-watering and tastes as good as they smelled

The whole experience lasts for about 2 1/2 hours . It’s a great gift for someone who loves chocolate or even as a hen party. I may add that we did not prepare the chocolate- temper it, as that process takes a while. We did the decorating and producing of the truffles, buttons and martini.

Currently priced at £98 for two people on Red Letter Days Website

I was invited along for the purpose of this post, no payment has been received

 

 

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