Event: Family Fun at Festival Place’s Eat Street this Easter


Festival Place is the place to be for families this Easter, with two days of delicious free food and entertainment planned on Good Friday and Easter Saturday.

From 11am – 3pm on both days there will lots of deliciously indulgent free food and drink from the shopping centre’s big brand restaurants and cafés including Wagamama, Giraffe, GBK and more. All to be enjoyed to the sounds of a lively mariachi band!

TV chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, will be attending the event, taking to the stage between 12pm and 2pm each day to teach everyone how to cook quick and easy French classics through his interactive cooking demonstrations. Avid fans will also get the opportunity to have their books signed by the celebrity chef himself!

Those with a sweet tooth will be able to sample tasty treats from the likes of Costa and Thorntons whilst budding bakers are invited to put their creative cupcake skills to the test in the Great Festival Bake Off.

The competition is open to adults and children with two age categories; 11 and under and 12 and overs.

The entries will be judged in the management suite at Festival Place between 9am and 10am on Saturday 4th April and will be assessed on the most interesting combination of flavours and most beautiful decoration,  with fifty percent of marks awarded for appeal, twenty five per cent for creativity and twenty five percent for appearance.

Finalists in both categories will be displayed on the Great Festival Bake Off stand outside Debenhams on the Upper Atrium and the prizes will be announced and awarded by TV Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli at 2pm on the same day.

As well as the main prizes, everybody in the 11 and under category will receive a medal for entering.

For full information on how to enter and for full terms and conditions visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/eatstreet.

There will  also be other fantastic prizes up for grabs by engaging on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #EATSTREET.

With the opportunity to also find out more about how to receive special offers and discounts by signing up to Festival Place’s loyalty scheme, Festival Rewards, the event will have something for everyone and is a must for the diary this Easter bank holiday weekend.

Commenting on the event, Marketing Manager at Festival Place, Sarah Murphy, said: “This is the third year that we have held our Eat Street event and we are delighted that Jean-Christophe Novelli is going to be joining us.

We look forward to welcoming both local shoppers and those from further afield and showcasing some of the fabulous food available from our big brand restaurants and cafés.”

To keep up to date with all the latest news about the Eat Street event and other Festival Place news visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/eatstreet or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


A Date for your diary: National Play Day 2014

This year’s National Play day is on Wednesday 6th of August.

Update: The event in Tadley has already been arranged and you can find more details HERE.

The event at Eastrop Park will also be going ahead and you can find more details HERE.

For those of you who have never been this is a FANTASTIC free event.

We’ve been for the last couple of years and we always have a great time.

The whole thing is free and there are usually lots of brilliant activities on.

Normally it’s at Eastrop Park and there is free parking near the War Memorial Park.

Usually there is also a free bus that runs during the day to take you from the car park to Eastrop (we normally walk though as it’s just as quick!)

I really hope that this event goes ahead again this year as it’s such a brilliant day out.


Related Posts

National PlayDay – 7th August 2013 – Free Event!!!

Review 2014: Giraffe Restaurant in Basingstoke

It had been a while since we last ate in Giraffe but we recently had breakfast at the Giraffe in Heathrow Terminal 5 and had a fabulous time.

So I was delighted when I was offered the chance to review Giraffe in Festival Place, Basingstoke.

I’ve eaten in Giraffe in Festival Place several times over the years.

Mr NHM’s 32nd birthday party (it was his first birthday in the UK in 7 years!!!) was held in Giraffe and we had a fab time and were treated really well then.



We were very lucky to be treated to appetisers (chicken potstickers and crunchy Shrimp):

a main course (steak with peppercorn sauce and sweet potato fries and Farmer’s market burrito):

and pudding (Baked White Chocolate, Marscapone & passion fruit cheese cake and Key Lime Pie)


(the Key Lime Pie is not something I would normally go for and it was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!)

and we also sampled some of their lovely non-alcoholic cocktails:

Miss NHM had a “kids meal” which included a main course (nachos):

and pudding (banana split):

and a glass of milk, which she loved because it came in a cup with a lid:

The food was YUMMY, as it always is.


Dasha, our server (who was lovely and looked after us so well!) told us that if you sign up to the free Giraffe App, every time you dine and spend over £20 you can get a stamp. Once you get 5 stamps you are entitled to 50% off your bill. Sounds good to me!

Giraffe is a great place to go if you can’t agree on a theme to eat, as they have lots of different kinds of meals that cater for most people’s tastes.

You can also get breakfast in Giraffe and they do a really good selection. We at breakfast ate at the Heathrow Giraffe and were really impressed. Maybe something to consider for half term next week?


The children’s meals include a colourful play mat (other side of the mat shown! lol) and crayons and Miss NHM was given a pink “giraffe” with her milk which she was very pleased with.

In fact, during our long weekend in Germany, she spent most of the time playing with the giraffe’s she was given in the Heathrow Giraffe, so we needn’t have bothered taking any toys with us for her!?!?!


Were clean and in good condition when we visited.

I like the music that they play in Giraffe. The music really helps with creating a fun atmosphere.

Baby Facilities

Were excellent. There is a separate baby changing area which includes one of those cool little toddler chairs which are such a brilliant idea!

There are lots of high chairs as the photo demonstrates:


Is in Festival place and is the standard rate for parking.


Are reasonable when you consider what you are getting for your money.

They also have a special dinner menu with a starter and main course for £10.75 and a “Lunch for less” main course which is £6.75.

Rating out of 5

I’ve given Giraffe in Basingstoke 5 out of 5 and not just for the way we were treated on our visit this time.

Every time I’ve eaten in Giraffe in Basingstoke I have been impressed with the staff and the food.

Thank you very much to the staff who made our visit so enjoyable!

Thank you very much also to Festival Place who organised this opportunity for my family!

If you do visit Giraffe after reading this review, don’t forget to tell them (like any reviews you read on NHM) that you are visiting because you read the review.

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. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Eat Street 2014 at Festival Place today!

I’m gutted that we can’t go to this today. I didn’t get to go last year because we were away and had every intention of making it this year, but Miss NHM has chickenpox!

It’s on today from 12pm to 3pm and you can experience the sights, smells and bustle of an authentic street food market, where you’ll find some of your favourite restaurants cooking up bite size versions of their bestselling dishes for you to try for free.

Find out more here: http://www.festivalplace.co.uk/eat_street.htm

John Torode will also be there and has recorded this short video about Eat Street: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHQYoV3zfBc

If you do make it to Eat Street, please have some food for me and Miss NHM!! ????

“The Best Baby Changing in Basingstoke Town Centre” 2014 Poll

It occurred to me today, whilst in town, that it would be really useful to know which are the best baby changing places.

So, I thought I would put a poll together and see what everyone else thinks.

I don’t often go into town, so please add any places that I’ve missed as I could only think of three!!! lol.

Thank you!

[polldaddy poll=7942184]

TinyTalk Baby Signing Basingstoke


New Spring term starts January!

Why Baby signing? because babies have so much to say!

The Spring term will see a new addition to the well loved TinyTalk baby signing classes, with a new interactive sensory section of the class.

By using new sensory toys we can help babies to develop their fine motor skills or hand coordination skills, needed to make signs.

We work on their babbling skills, blowing raspberries and making noises, needed to make spoken words. Watching the bubbles, as they float in the air, helps them to focus their visual skills, needed for watching someone speaking to them.

In addition to this new section there will still be all the well loved nursery rhymes and songs, of course the signs and the signed story time, our fun walk about songs, and the important social time.

The Spring term will be 12 weeks long with a half term, starting the week beginning 6th January 2014. The classes are prepay only.

Classes on Mondays in Basingstoke town 11.00-12.00

Wednesdays at Chineham 10.00-11.00 and 11.15-12.15.

The Wednesday afternoon class at Hatch Warren is already full.

If you would like to know more then please contact me abih@tinytalk.co.uk or take a look at the website www.tinytalk.co.uk/abih

Basingstoke Positive Birth Group

Cerys sent me a message asking me to let you know about the new Positive birth Group that is being set up to promote positive birth:

I wanted to let you know about a new group I’ve formed in Basingstoke to promote positive birth https://www.facebook.com/pages/Positive-Birth-Group-Basingstoke/587552747970645

It is part of the Positive Birth Movement http://www.positivebirthmovement.org/

The group will meet monthly and the first meeting is Wednesday 9th October at 12.00 noon at The Tea Bar at the top of town.

This is what the facebook page says about the group:

Non-judgemental group run by Mums for Mums (and Dads)-to-be to spread The Positive Birth Movement. Sharing knowledge and discussing experiences and options to promote positive birthing and empower women in their birth choices.

Free monthly meet ups

I would love to go along to this, but unfortunately I’m working at this time. Hope you get lots of interest Cerys!

Classes that are still running during Summer 2013

Below are some classes which are still running during the summer holiday’s.

Most children’s centres are running a cut down programme during the summer. For more details, you can find the links to the Children’s Centre’s HERE.

Don’t forget to check out the PlayBus dates HERE. The Playbus is being run by local Children Centre’s, so should be appropriate for the under five’s.

Your local library will also be running some classes that are appropriate for babies and little one’s, like RhymeTime and Baby Bounce. You can find more details about local libraries HERE.


Jumble Bee’s

A fun and active sports session for you and your child. This is an affordable sports club for pre school children and toddlers.

The class will be a fun filled session with lots of games and sporting activities to help build confidence and physical ability whilst keeping fit and healthy.


preschool singing is on it’s holiday time table as of 29th July. 1 session at 9.45 with additional activity to follow(optional).

At st Gabriel’s church popley on Mondays. Pay as you go including refreshments. All welcome.

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s

Caterpillar Music

Summer sessions for Caterpillar Music:

  • Tuesday 23rd July 11:10am Chineham Village Hall Community Room
  • Thursday 25th July 1:15pm Christ Church in Chineham
  • Tuesday 30th July 11:10am Chineham Village Hall Community Room
  • Thursday 1st August 1:15pm Christ Church in Chineham

On Tuesday 27th August at 9:30-10:30 we are having a Caterpillar Music 1st Birthday Party at Chineham Village Hall. This will be a Caterpillar Music session followed by cake, drink, free play and children get Caterpillar Music “goody bags”.

The sessions are reduced at £4 per session (usually £5) and the party is £5 (but it must be prebooked).


NCT Coffee and Chat

10am to 12pm at Brookvale Hall. You don’t need to be an NCT member to attend. Costs £1.50 which includes drinks and cake.


Mumbaba sing along for preschoolers is running through the summer. There are 2 sessions on a Friday morning, 9.30 & 11 o’clock at Christ church, Chineham. Older siblings are welcome too. Pay as you go which includes refreshments.

Are there any other classes that are missing? Please let me know if there are. Thank you!

National PlayDay – 7th August 2013 – Free Event!!!

Apologies to those of you weren’t able to see yesterday’s “Things to do” post on your phones. I am hoping the problem is resolved today. If it isn’t could you please let me know again. Thanks! (Apologies that this post is a little late today too, it’s already one of those weeks! lol)

I went to the National Play day at Eastrop Park in 2011 when I was on Maternity Leave and it was brilliant! It’s a free event and they have lots to do, although it’s mainly for children aged 3 and over. There is special parking, at the top of Eastrop and a bus that runs all day, so you don’t have to walk up and down the hill. I am hoping this is still running this year, although if the bus isn’t running, it’s not so far to walk.

For those of you who aren’t in Basingstoke, there are Playday events happening all over the country, so please check the website at the bottom of this post to find a free event near you.

I wasn’t able to take the time off last year to go to this event, but I am hoping to be able to go this year with my little one. It’s a fabulous day out! A great date for your diaries during the summer holidays. If you’re there, and you see me, please do come and say hello! I’m not wearing my NHM T-shirt though :-D.

Basingstoke National Play Day- Eastrop Park

Date: 7 August 2013

Time: 11:00 – 16:00

Details: Circus skills, a bouncy castle and craft activities are just some of the free activities for families at Play Day in Basingstoke.

The fun starts at 11am and runs until 4pm, giving families the opportunity to play and learn together.

Other activities on offer are pond dipping, sport activities, face painting and scarecrow making. A children’s farm will also be visiting the Basingstoke.

Organised by: Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council

Open to the public or invite only:  Open to the public


  • Eastrop Park
  • Eastrop Lane
  • Basingstoke
  • Hampshire
  • RG21 4QF

Contact details

Contact name: Mike Nicholls/Sarah Elkins

Contact number: 01256 844844

Contact email address: community.development@basingstoke.gov.uk 

For more details about National Play days, you can check the website here: http://www.playday.org.uk/about-playday.aspx

NCT Relax, Stretch and Breathe

Libby sent me a lovely email asking if she could let you all know about the Relax, Stretch and Breathe classes. Here is her post:Relax, Stretch and Breathe

Many thanks to Louise for letting me post about NCT Relax Stretch and Breathe (RSB), it’s such a great idea to have local activities listed for local parents.

I am Libby, a Basingstoke mum with 4 children aged 10, 8, 6 and 19 months. I am a fully qualified NCT Antenatal Teacher and Relax, Stretch & Breathe Teacher. I love working with expectant mums at RSB, seeing women from all backgrounds coming together regardless if they are preparing for the birth of their first baby or 4th or more!

It’s great to hear women’s truly positive birth stories when they come back to class to introduce their baby, whether it be using a relaxation to help stay calm while preparing for a caesarian birth or using a breathing awareness to work with a contraction.

Myself and Hilary (a fully qualified Antenatal / RSB and Yoga for Pregnancy Teacher and Birth Companion) teach the classes at Brookvale Village Hall Lower Brook Street, RG21 7RU (behind BCOT), just a 5-minute walk from Festival Place and the bus and train stations. There is a large free car park available during the session.

We are absolutely delighted that due to high demand for our established 7.30 – 9.30pm Tuesday evening class we have just started a second class running from 5.30 – 7.30pm on Tuesday evenings. Both classes have the same content, so it’s really up to you as to which class you would like to attend.

We do have a short waiting list for the 7.30-9.30pm class but a couple of spaces are currently available at the 5.30-7.30pm class. Please contact Libby for more information or to book, at  rsb@basingstokenct.org.uk stating which class you would prefer to attend or go to www.nct.org.uk/course/15523790 to fill in the online form.

The classes focus on gentle postures, breathing techniques, positions for labour and relaxations. The aim is for you to have an enjoyable and relaxing time, whilst improving your physical and emotional well-being and helping you feel more confident and positive about birth.

The postures are very gentle, specifically designed so you can attend throughout your pregnancy (after 12 weeks) and can be adapted to individual needs.  They can be taken on their own or as an add-on to our other antenatal classes. The classes are suitable for ALL women, regardless of their fitness level.

The cost is £10 per 2 hour session. Everyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a member of the NCT. We would like to make sure every parent can benefit from our courses. We therefore have lower prices for parents on lower incomes, young parents and/or in receipt of certain benefits. These concessions vary, from small discounts of 5% to a maximum reduction of 90% off the full course fee, see www.nct.org.uk/courses/course-prices/reduced-price-options. Please ask about these discounts which also apply to all NCT courses www.nct.org.uk/courses .

Thank you for reading and we hope to welcome you to a class soon!


*NCT is a registered charity Reg Charity No (England and Wales): 801395