NHM Readers Recommend: Quick Healthier Alternatives to McDonald’s

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Recommendations for healthier alternatives to McDonald’s (cheap and quick) for when you can’t be bothered to cook (such as when you’re other half isn’t eating at home) but it’s not at occasion, jacket potato type places along the lines of M&S cafe”

As always, thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

NHM Readers Recommend: Quick Healthier Alternatives to McDonald’s

Costa

Mary said, “Costa drive through have hot food now like macaroni cheese. It’s still about a million calories but it feels healthier than McDonald’s.”

Sainsbury’s Cafe

Hannah said “Sainsbury’s cafe is nice, has a good variety and is relatively cheap.”

Yvette said, “Sainsbury’s”

Charlie also said Sainsbury’s cafe, “…I love the staff and people are really chatty unlike some coffee shop chains.”

Louise said, “We do Sainsburys cafe at Hatch Warren quite a bit too, mainly because the chips are GF and Miss NHM loves ‘Ham, egg, chips and peas’.”

Lucy said, “…when I asked if the chips were gluten free they told me no. I said how last time I was there they were but they were adamant they weren’t and refused to check. I was gutted, and sat and watched the rest of the family eat…not good when I was heavily pregnant and hormonal. I bet they are but I happened to go on a day the staff didn’t want to check!”

Jenni said, “I was in Sainsbury’s today, it’s convenient but I always find the service shocking & today was no exception unfortunately.”

Subway

Katie said, “Subway is always a fave, and if it’s warm, even better!! A lot more filling than you’d think.”

Louise said, “…the last two times I was in a local Subway they were so grubby!!!”

Wendy said, “We’ve found we can’t trust subway, they have a really lax attitude to allergies and being American they have egg in all kinds of stuff it isn’t normally in.”

Ellie said, “I used to work in subway and depends who is working on how clean it is. I ran a tight ship when I was in charge but overall they only care about profit and not about anything else.”

Vanessa said, “The Subway in Brighton Hill is lovely.”

Morrison’s Cafe

Hannah said, “Morrison’s is also nice….and do feed the kids free on certain days after school.”

Hayley said, “Morrison’s cafe… kids eat free after 3pm weekdays…”

Debra said, “Only problem with Morrisons is the toilets are nowhere near the restaurant which is a pain with kids!!”

Cesca said, “Morrisons cafe is always a winner for us, kids eat free after 3 per adult meal and there’s a little play area! But I also get the cardboard boxes like the happy meal boxes or home bargains do a basket and I do my kids a home made version of McDonald’s!”

Yvette said, “Morrisons…”

Cafe Giardinio

Susie said, “Cafe Giardinio up opposite Iceland do paninis, jacket potatoes, pasta dishes.”

Shabby Gourmet

Marion said, “Shabby Gourmet! Home cooked meals, with no additives or preservatives, using only the freshest ingredients, and cooked with as much love as, if not more than, you’d cook yourself for your own family. What could possibly be better?!!…Old Barn Stores in North Waltham stock us, plus The Village Shop in Upton Grey, and Premier Stores in Old Basing. You can also pop over to Cliddesden to collect directly from the kitchen. This is the website – www.theshabbygourmet.com

Louise said, “…and they come frozen and most are gluten free!! I have a few in my freezer for emergencies.”

Elisa asked, “Are any of the vegetarian options also vegan friendly?”

Marion replied, “Yep! It’s not a meat-free kitchen, though. I’m actually massively inspired by vegetarian and vegan food at the moment, as I’m writing a vegetarian day course, cookery course. It’s one of my most requested courses, so I think I’d better do it. Vegetarian is inspiring me and vegan is just that little (big!) step further. I’m finding it really exciting.”

Costco

Amanda said, “If you have a costco card and are near a costco £1.50 for a jacket potato! If you’re wanting quick and easy at home batch cooking is the way forward for easy and healthy.”

Louise said, “We do Costco too as they can’t go too wrong with a jacket potato and cheese!”

Waitrose

Ruza said, “Waitrose café has good priced children’s meals…”

Yvette said, “Waitrose cafe!”

Festival Street Kitchen

Ruza also said, “…I like the festival place kitchen.”

Pizza Hut

Hayley also said, “…Pizza Hut restaurant, the ice cream factory is s big hit with my son.”

Pret A Manger

Linda said, “My fave place is Pret Manger opposite the Sports Centre. A little on the pricey side but really healthy and so yummy.”

Asda

Yvette also said,”… Asda.”

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Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop

Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop

Coffee, time away from the kids, it was already sounding like a dream before I stepped through the door! Being partial to a good coffee, I was seriously looking forward to Cupper Joe’s Coffee Brewing Workshop.

About

The workshop focuses on brewing speciality coffee at home using filter coffee methods covering:

  1. Coffee Beans – varietals, countries and characteristics
  2. Water
  3. The importance of coffee grinders and impact of grind size on a brew
  4. Coffee to water ratio and its impact on taste
  5. Brewing method, including Kalita and Aeropress

This included hands-on coffee brewing and lots of testing!

It’s safe to say I had no idea how much was involved in coffee making and how much control you can have on the finished product. From your choice of coffee and knowing what to look for, to how to brew with different methods right down to how much difference the water can make – we even did a little experiment on this with really interesting results! “Making coffee is part art and part science” as Joe states on his website, and this is definitely what we discovered.

Joe also managed to fit in some iced coffee making which was so appropriate given the weather we were having. I will definitely be putting that to good use!

The workshop itself was a really good mix of listening, group conversation, watching and group coffee making and testing. Not surprisingly we were all pretty buzzing by the end! I’m looking forward to using my new found knowledge in experimenting and finding the best coffee that suits me.

Rating out of 5

5/5 I had a great time, learnt loads, drank lots of awesome coffee. What’s not to love! It was also great to learn from someone who is so clearly passionate about what they do.

From complete beginner to the more experienced, if you are a coffee lover or just looking for something a little different to try, I would certainly recommend this workshop.

For more information on Cupper Joe’s workshops, or to try some of the amazing coffees and hot drinks at his pop up events, check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cupperjoe/

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Cupper Joe – Coffee Brewing Workshop. The workshop was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Juliet was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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My Experience: Body shaming 7 year olds

On Saturdays, after Miss NHM’s swimming lesson, her and Mr NHM go out for a “Daddy Daughter” date, so they can have some quality time together and have a chat.

It was during their “Daddy daughter” date on the morning of the Royal Wedding when Miss NHM suddenly said to my husband: “Daddy, I need to be skinnier”. Just matter of fact, in the way that my daughter is.

It was so out of the blue and not related to what they were discussing and he was so shocked that he just asked her why she thought that.

She said “Because ***** says I’m too fat and I need to be skinnier”.

He continued to be so shocked that he just changed the subject. When he got home he asked to talk to me in private and told me what had happened. I was just as shocked. I had NOT anticipated dealing with things like this when our daughter has just turned 7 years old.

We agreed that we wouldn’t make a big thing about it but would try to re-iterate a positive body image.

However at dinner the next evening I made a flippant comment about it being really healthy and Miss NHM piped up with: “good, I’m glad it’s really healthy as I’m too fat and I need to be skinnier”.  I was so shocked again, but slightly more prepared, so I told her that she is definitely not fat and her body is just perfect as it is.

(Miss NHM already has challenges with food because of her coeliac disease and she is anything but fat.)

I emailed the head teacher on Monday who had asked me to keep them informed previously, as it’s not the first time that Miss NHM has had things like this happen to her.

The head teacher confirmed that body shaming at 7 years old isn’t as rare as you would think.

A few days later I spoke briefly to some trusted parents in the playground and a couple of the Mum’s of girls said that their 6 or 7 year old daughters had also said, at one time or another, that they were “fat”.

WOW. Just WOW. What is our society coming too?

I was very naive in thinking that because we don’t have a TV Miss NHM would be avoiding this type of thing. I hadn’t expected some of her peers to be projecting it instead!

Miss NHM hasn’t mentioned it again since that weekend but she’s being kept away from the other child in school because of their negative impact on Miss NHM anyway.

I’m sharing this not because I have any answers. I don’t have any, but in case any other Mum’s and Dad’s are freaking out about their young children saying things like this, you are not alone.

If anyone has any specific professional advice about what to do with this, then please do let me know.

I don’t know whether it’s right to not make a big thing about this with Miss NHM or whether we should be talking to her more about these things.

Why is parenting so hard at times?

Louise: I wrote this a few weeks ago and I’m not as worried about it anymore as Miss NHM hasn’t mentioned it since but it does make me a little concerned about the future and what that might bring. 

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Cafe in the Park team up with Pots 2 Paint for May half term 2018

Cafe in the Park in Beggarwood are teaming up with Pots 2 Paint for the half term. We will have plates, mugs, coasters and fridge magnets for the kids to paint from Wednesday- Sunday next week. Will be a great idea for a Father’s Day gift!

More information can be found on Cafe in the Park’s Facebook page
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Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Pop-up Coffee Shop

Thank you very much to Juliet for writing today’s review post and thank you to Joe and El for letting us trying out their offerings!

Review 2018: Cupper Joe – Pop-up Coffee Shop

I got a little distracted whilst on holiday recently when Louise asked if anyone would like to review a pop-up coffee shop and brewing workshop (which is to follow, and I am VERY excited about this!). I politely said that I would love to whilst my inner child was shouting “me, me me!”. I am by no means an expert when it comes to coffee, but since having kids it has definitely become my go to place. I now get great joy out of sitting down (preferably!) for a good cup of tea or coffee and I was very intrigued to see what Cupper Joe had to offer.

About

Cupper Joe is a new speciality coffee service company offering a mobile pop-up coffee shop and coffee-brewing workshops. On Joe’s website, he writes “We’d like to bring amazing coffee (and other drinks) to the masses, so our focus is all on the quality of our ingredients, the care we take in producing our drinks and the service we offer to you. We work exclusively with speciality coffee roasters to bring the best coffee to you.”

The pop-up coffee shop I attended took place at Basingstoke Track Party, which meant that (thanks to the amazing train distraction) I actually got to try several hot drinks and finish them without little people around. It was lovely to meet Joe and his wife El from Cupper Joe and I’m looking forward to having more of a chat at the workshop. I’m not sure if I’m embarrassed or thrilled (probably both) that I managed to finish four drinks in that time!

There was a great selection of hot drinks available and I had two teas (New House Blend, Rhubarb and Custard), Callebaut Dark Hot Chocolate and a Mocha. I really enjoyed the New House Blend and loved that there was a really great selection of tea available. The mocha is my usual go to drink and I was amazed at how smooth it was, I am nervously writing that it could possibly be the best I’ve had (sorry R!). The hot chocolate – all I can say is if you have not tried Callebaut hot chocolate before, I really would recommend it!

So does Cupper Joe bring amazing coffee to the masses? In my humble opinion, absolutely!

I really must give a big shout out to Fudging El, not only for the awesome name, but also for the amazing handmade fudge that she makes. It tasted soooo good, I even convinced my other half to stray away from his usual banana preference to buy a packet of Chocolate Espresso. Other flavours available at the pop-up coffee shop were Banana and Cinnamon, Peanut Butter, and Coconut Lime and White Chocolate. I have also noticed a whole host of other amazing flavours on her Facebook page. El’s handmade fudge company works closely with Cupper Joe and is also available separately for events or retail.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. This has definitely been up there as one of my favourite reviews to carry out and I am now super excited about the pending brewing workshop. I suspect I will be eagerly looking out for Cupper Joe’s pop-up coffee shops, I have already pressed follow on the Facebook page. 

For further information, and to find out where Cupper Joe’s pop-up coffee shops will be in attendance, visit the Cupper Joe Facebook Page.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Cupper Joe – Pop up Coffee Shop. Juliet’s coffee was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Juliet was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Review 2018: Hart House Gastropub & Coffee Shop

Thank you very much to Hayley, one of the NHM Secret Reviewers, who has done a fab job!!

Hart House Gastropub & Coffee Shop, Fleet

 

Hart House

Address:              335-337 Fleet Road, Fleet, GU51 3NT

Tel:                       01252 377733

Website:               https://harthousefleet.com/

We were lucky enough to get the chance to review the new Hart House Gastropub & Coffee Shop in Fleet.

Set in the old Ask restaurant (after an extensive and classy makeover) the pub sells itself on being a ‘pub for everyone’ so being a vegan with a coeliac/dairy -free daughter they were going to be tested!

Dining area

About

Hart House offers:

Pub/restaurant –  open from 9am for breakfast daily. They have several menus, including Breakfast, Children’s, Main (which includes sandwiches, burgers and steaks), Vegan and Sunday Roasts.

Coffee shop – Open from 8am to 5.30pm daily, although we didn’t try this, the cakes they had on the counter looked delicious!

Private Events Space, complete with own bar, sound system and TV screen which is available for private hire.

There is also a patio garden and dogs are welcome in the bar area.

Unfortunately, there is no parking at the pub itself, but being so central there are plenty of car parks nearby.

Food

This was what we really wanted to test!

Having looked at the menu before we went we were really pleased to see that they could cater for all of us. Their menu is very clearly laid out with most dishes being gluten-free already and many adaptable, they also state whether the item is dairy-free or contains nuts.

This is such a big thing for us, more often than not we are presented with a folder of dietary information to sort through before we can order. They also have a separate vegan menu complete with starters and desserts!

We all had starter, main and dessert. My husband had the Black Pudding Scotch Egg to start and has been raving about it since, I can fully recommend the vegan Sweet & Sour Butternut main dish (AMAZING!) and my daughter ate all of, and thoroughly enjoyed, the Chocolate & Pistachio Brownie with Banana Ice Cream which I had intended to share with her!

Having had so many difficult experiences while out for dinner with our daughter it was so refreshing to just enjoy a meal.

Black Pudding Scotch Eggs
Sweet Potato Falalfel

The Tzatziki was so good for this that I made them double check it was vegan, it was and was made fresh!

Lamb steak of the day
Sweet & Sour Butternut Curry
Children’s Meatballs

My daughter had hers with chips rather than pasta.

Chocolate Pistachio Brownie with banana ice cream

We also sampled the vegan panacotta which was very good, and my husband had the sticky toffee pudding – although that didn’t hang around long enough to take a photo!

Drinks

Hart House has an extensive drinks menu, including cocktails and also holds a half-price prosecco event every Friday from 5pm.

The Bar

Service

At the restaurant the staff were attentive, well versed in the menus and any questions we had were answered quickly, the chef also came out to go through the gluten-free/dairy-free options for our daughter so we’d have no worries.

We did wonder if we were just getting great treatment due to us writing a review, but it became clear throughout our visit that the staff were equally attentive to all the customers.

Child-friendliness

When we visited there were several other families there with small children, the atmosphere is nice and relaxed, and I think next time we may brave it with our three-year-old as well.

There are baby-changing facilities in the downstairs disabled toilet, and the spaces between tables is big enough to get a pushchair through easily.

Score out of 5

5 out of 5! We really couldn’t fault them at all, we had a very enjoyable visit.

The food was fantastic, the staff are really clued up on specific dietary requirements, the atmosphere is good and it’s great value for money.

If you’re in the area and looking for somewhere to eat, I’d recommend you give them a try. We weren’t disappointed.

We’ll definitely be visiting again soon, I’m keen to try out their Sunday Roast menu (and maybe take a look at the cakes again!)

The cake counter

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Hart House in Fleet. Hayley’s family meal was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Hayley was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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NHM Readers recommend: Baby-Led Weaning Ideas

Thank you all for the replies we had regarding a question on baby-led weaning from a member of the NHM community: “I need some inspiration on baby led weaning foods for lunchtime and dinner time. I’ve done the cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, pasta but am wondering if anyone has any other suggestions?”

Thank you also to Juliet who put this post together!!

NHM readers recommend – Baby-Led Weaning Ideas

Kelly says “Eggs are good in different forms – scrambled, slices of omelette even egg muffins with different fillings. Pittas, Hummus, Avocado (messy!!!), Savoury rice, Soup!!!”

Natalie says “Banana egg pancakes – easy to do (2 ingredients) make up a batch and they’re good warm straight from the pan & my little one also likes them cold too so good for out & about”

Shona says “This Facebook page gave me so many awesome ideas outside of the normal ones… worth a look.” Weaning, starting solids/finger food- Friendly Support & Guidance

Catherine says “pasta is my fav with mascarpone cheese and some herbs as it’s salt free or sometimes I use an Ellas pouch for sauce. Avocado toast, grated courgette in pancake mix. Peas are great when they get their pincer grip. I also use a lot of preloaded spoons for rice or lentil dishes etc.”

Jennie says “We do a cooked chopped broccoli with breadcrumbs, cheese, chilli sauce and egg mixed together and baked in a Yorkshire pudding tray that goes down well”

Laura says “Mine loved peas and broccoli for weaning and still loves them now at 4. Steam til they’re soft enough to go a bit mushy. But a great intro to green veggies.”

Kimberley says “Maybe add hummus and other dips to bread sticks and carrot sticks.”

Lottie says “With blw I have just always given my daughter whatever meals I am having. She enjoys chilli, curry, gnocchi and bangers and mash at dinner time. For lunches we have crackers with cheese, wraps, quiche and sandwiches. Just have to be mindful of salt intake!!!”

Claire says “Mine used to love these spinach and cheese muffins, make a huge batch they freeze well and are great for taking out too… View topic – spinach and cheese muffins • Baby Led Weaning

Also like the others said egg stuff so eggy bread, sliced omelette, hard boiled eggs, cheese cubes, sweet potato chips, homemade fish fingers always go down well and tuna pitta pockets (can also make these with puff pastry and freeze!)”

Rachel says “Whatever you are eating….that’s the best bit”

Laura says “The baby led weaning cookbook app is so good! Only £4.99 I think and so many good and easy recipes”

Karen says “Anything you eat.. (except honey if under 1 year). Cut into pieces that are longer than their fist initially so they stick out of a clenched hand. Let them go for it. Don’t worry how much goes in/down. Food before one is just for fun. As they get used to it make the foods smaller, you’ll be surprised how they’ll concentrate until they can pick up that pea! The book baby led weaning by Gill Rapley is fab”

Wendy says “Agree with above just feed them whatever you are eating. The only real rule is no honey until around 12 months. I’ve heard so many people say how much more enjoyable weaning is second time round because there’s no rules.”

Kath says “As the others have said anything you are eating. Often if my little one was on my lap while I was eating she would launch her hand onto my plate to try whatever it was. They do say that if they can’t handle it they won’t be able to pick it up (eg smaller foods like peas etc with that worry of choking). I remember at around 8 months old she got hold of a spare rib while we were having chinese and started munching on that!”

Tara says “Baby led weaning cookbook app is really helpful. Includes advice as well as recipes”

Jade asked “With the carrot sticks are they supposed to be cooked? Will be asking the exact same question in 6 months time”

  • Kelly said “Entirely up to you and what you’re comfortable with an uncooked carrot probably will only be used for gnawing!!! But quite good for teething!”
  • Catherine said “I would avoid raw carrot sticks myself and raw apple slices.. whole raw carrot or apple or else cook carrot or blanch the apple”
  • Karen said “If they’re sat upright, supervised and only putting food into their own mouth then the risk of choking is very small. As baby hits 6 months(ish) their gag reflex moves backwards in their mouth, they may trigger their gag reflex as they learn to put food in their mouth, but that’s what’s supposed to happen, that way they learn how to do it. Have a look at the book baby led weaning by Gill Rapley”

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Review 2018: Giraffe, Festival Place

Thank you very much to Lottie for today’s NHM Review post!!

Lottie and Louise (NHM) were invited along to try out Giraffe’s new menu and set up. We had a BRILLIANT evening and thank you VERY much to the Giraffe team for making our evening so lovely!

Giraffe, Festival Place

Giraffe in Festival Place, Basingstoke has recently had a bit of a makeover with new decor and a new set up where you now go up to order your food and pay when you order. Recently, we were lucky enough to attend a tasting session at the new and improved Giraffe, where we got to try samples of meat and vegetarian dishes from the new menu.

Drinks

There is a large range of drinks to choose from on the menu including beer, wine, soft drinks, smoothies and cocktails. We were both driving, so we opted to try the ‘Homemade Lemonade’ (which is one of the unlimited soft drinks to choose from) and a mango and ginger ‘Nix and Kix’. I really enjoyed the lemonade and would definitely order it again.

Food

Nibbles and Appetisers

First up, we were given the ‘Roasted Harrisa Nuts’ and ‘Lovely Olives’ from the nibbles section of the menu. I don’t usually eat nuts but thought I would give them a try and was pleasantly surprised, I really liked them!

Then we tried some of Giraffe’s appetisers. We tried the ‘Salt and Pepper Squid’ (Louise: My FAVOURITE!!),

‘Edemame Beans’,

‘Karaage Chicken’

and ‘Garlic Flatbread’.

Being vegetarian, the ‘Garlic Flatbread’ was my favourite and would make a perfect sharing starter before your main course.

Mains

The mains part of the menu is broken up in to different sections:

‘Bowls for the soul’ This is range of bowls of food including curries, rice dishes, tagines and more. We got to sample the ‘Katsu Chicken Curry’,

the ‘Malaysian Laksa’ with tofu and prawns and the ‘Spiced Aubergine Tagine’, which was my favourite dish of the night! The tagine is a combination of charred aubergine, beans and lentils, and is served with cous cous, toasted flatbread and yoghurt. There is also a lamb version for those who prefer a ‘meatier’ option.

‘Big n Beautiful Burgers’
Giraffes burgers are served in a soft bun with mixed leaves and a tomato slice, and they all come with skin-on fries. We got to try the Burger Bacon Cheese Stack and the ‘Halloumi and Falafel’ burger. Both were delicious, the sauce on the Burger Bacon Cheese stack was very tasty and anything that includes halloumi is good in my eyes!
 
‘Seriously Special Salads’

From the salad section of the menu we got to try the vegan ‘Super Freekah’ salad. Made up of butternut squash, roasted peppers, lentils, freeka and topped with yogurt it makes a lovely healthy option.

‘Flatbreads’
In addition to the ‘Garlic Flatbread’ starter, Giraffe’s menu has a range of flatbreads that you can also have as a main course. We got to sample the ‘Classic Margherita’ which was very tasty.

The other flatbreads include ‘Mexican Chicken and Chorizo’ and ‘Spicy Pulled Pork’.

Sides

There are a variety of tasty sides available on the menu, including ‘Sweet Potato Fries’, ‘Creamy Slaw’ and ‘Chipotle Creamed Corn’.

Desserts

When it comes to deserts, Giraffe now offer ‘Unlimited Frozen Yoghurt’. We tried vanilla flavour and it was really good. We were also lucky enough to sample the delicious ‘Churros’.

Churros are Spanish doughnuts, coated in cinnamon sugar and served with a chocolate dipping sauce.

We didn’t get to try the breakfasts that they offer but they look yummy!!!

Decor, Ambience and Facilities

With lots of wood, soft orange lighting and colourful furnishings there is a lovely warm and relaxed feeling in Giraffe. There’s music playing in the background which is loud enough for you to hear and enjoy, but not so loud that it disturbs your conversation. 
 
The new layout includes a counter for you to pay at and  a section in the middle for self service of the unlimited drinks and frozen yoghurt. All the facilities were very clean and well looked after.

Value for Money

With the majority of starters and deserts costing around the £5 mark and main courses roughly £10, I think Giraffe is great value for money. The Kids menu offers a huge range of meals – one of the biggest I’ve seen since having a child!
Kids Meal
You can even get a great deal of a main, desert and drink for £6.50. At weekends, they offer a free kids meal per full price adult main purchase! They also do a number of special offers, such as selected breakfasts for £5, 50% Flatbreads on Fridays and 2 for 1 on cocktails. 
 

Having been to Giraffe in the past, I have always noticed the warm atmosphere and great variety on the menu. I was delighted to see this was still the case following the recent revamp and the changes to how you order your food.

Thank you to Giraffe for having us, I will certainly be back soon!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Giraffe Basingstoke in conjunction with Festival Place. Our meal was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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NHM Readers recommend: Cooking classes for six year olds

An NHM reader asked “Hello! I’ve been hunting for cookery workshops/classes to attend with my nearly 6 year old son. I’ve found options for preschool age but can’t seem to find anything in the area for his age range. He wants to make real food, not just decorate biscuits or cakes now. Do you know of anything out there? Thanks!!”

Thank you to all of the NHM readers who responded, these are listed below, in no particular order! Thank you also to Juliet who put this post together!! 

Tot Cross Buns

Tot Cross Buns

Michelle said “Tot Cross Buns run by Allison Woolford. And now they’ve got Kerry on board too.”

Louise said “Tot Cross Buns is awesome!”

Kerry said “Please send us a message and we would be happy to talk to you about our Saturday kitchens which you and your son can come along too, we have lots of fun and are passionate about cooking and want to pass on this passion to children – giving them confidence with food and encouraging them to try new tastes and have fun in the kitchen with mum and dad. We look forward to hearing from you”

Cookery Doodle Doo North Hants

Cookery Doodle Doo North Hants

Alison said “My daughter loves Cookery Doodle Doo.. Highly recommended”

Katie said “Hi, I run Cookery Doodle Doo. For primary school aged children we offer the monthly Sunday Pudding Club. Drop your child off with us for 2 hours in Laverstoke and collect them proudly bearing a large pud to share at your family Sunday dinner. I also offer affordable private cookery lessons for any age child (and a group of their friends if liked) – why not get a group together for ad hoc or regular Saturday morning sessions?! They could make their own tea!”

Inspero

Inspero

Becky said “Check out this page, it’s a charity that does fab cooking and gardening clubs”

Sarah said “Check out inspero. Kids gardening and cooking”

Newlyns

Newlyns

Lyndsey said “I’m not sure if they do many kids classes but Newlyns Farm Shop in Odiham have a cookery school & run some kids events that might be worth looking into”

Marie said “We struggled with this for my youngest. As a cake baker and decorator, and old school home cook, she needed more than the basic stuff at that age. Didn’t find anything, but stuck it out til this year, her 8th birthday, and she has a cookery class at Newlyns cookery school in Warnborough. My eldest has done classes there, and they’re amazing. 2/3 course meals!”

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Review 2018: Prosecco-Dough workshop – Messy play fun for adults!

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Secret Writer for today’s post and THANK YOU very much to Louise at Messy Monsters Basingstoke for our free tickets in exchange for this NorthHantsMum review!

Prosecco-Dough – messy play fun for adults!

I was lucky enough to attend Messy Monsters Basingstoke’s first adults messy play workshop.

The aim of the workshop was to show the group of mums attending how to make quick and simple messy play activities to do with their children. The activities shown to us were suitable from really small little ones up to adults (it is very satisfying to sit and play with rainbow rice and chocolate play dough!).

On arrival at the workshop, which was held at Popley Fields Community Centre, I was greeted by the lovely Lou who runs Messy Monsters sessions for children and now adults. I took my seat at the table and waiting for me was a bottle of prosecco, some chocolates and biscuits as well as an interesting assortment of items including flour, cocoa powder and food colouring.

First of all Lou took us through the steps to make taste safe slime. I’ve seen so many make your own slime tutorials but as my daughter is still quite young I’ve been wary of letting her have it to play with so finding a way to make it taste safe just in case she did sneak a bit into her mouth was ideal!

After making the taste safe slime we went on to make rainbow rice and, with all the options we had for food colouring, we ended up with some lovely colours.

We then had a short break to refill on tea or coffee or crack open the mini bottle of prosecco everyone was given.

Taste safe play dough was next on the agenda with 2 different types to make and the additional option to add some prosecco to the dough! We made a traditional coloured play dough with a choice of lemon or peppermint scent (which we had also used with the rice!) And then a chocolate scented dough. The doughs were so simple to make and only use things you probably already have around the house. As with all the items we made, they only take a few minutes to do!

After the play dough fun (kneading the dough was very therapeutic!) We made sensory bottles with coloured water and various little knick knacks which would be interesting for small people to look at.

With everything we made there was a choice of colours and the option to add glitter!

I’d recommend taking a note book and pen so you can quickly jot the recipes down and wear clothes you don’t mind getting a bit mucky as I ended up a bit flour-y!! You get to bring home everything you make so it’s worth taking a bag along with you to make carrying your packs of messy goodies back to the car a bit easier.

I’ve come away from the workshop feeling much more knowledgeable about messy play and ready to have some messy fun with my daughter!

You can find out more details about these classes at: https://www.facebook.com/messymonstersbasingstoke/

Disclaimer: This post is a review of the Prosecco Dough Messy Play Basingstoke Workshop. Our class place was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are the NHM Secret Writers own

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! .