Friday, 30 June 2017

Tots Town Norwich - where your imagination brings play to life!

Coming from a background of over 20 years in Early Years I know how much children can learn from imaginary play, just how good it is for developing relationships, building confidence, a great emotional outlet and so much more. So we were delight when one of our guest writers had the chance to visit Tots Town, Norwich.

Situated in Hetherset, just off the Norwich Southern Bypass, Tots Town is run by Lindsay (previously a Primary School teacher) and Ian.
Tots Town is an indoor playarea, which makes it ideal all year around, so no matter what the weather you will still have fun.

Opening Times:

Tots Town is open most days with the exception of Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Easter Sunday and New Years Day.
They typically offer 3-4 play sessions daily:
09:15 – 10:30 (The Early Riser) (10:00 – 11:15 on weekends)
11:15 – 12:30 (12:30 – 13:45 on weekends)
13:15 – 14:30 (15:15 – 16.30 on weekends)
15:30 – 16:45


Child (walking, 1+ yrs) from £5.95
There is 1 free Adult space per paying child.
Pre-walkers (under 1yr) are free with siblings.
Additional Adults are £2.50.

There is plentiful free parking right outside the building making this easily accessible and convenient.

Tots Town is set out in "Make Believe" areas in a spacious and airy environment. The air-con is a wonderful bonus for those hot summer days!  The place is immaculate and the staff regularly keep the areas tidy and ready for the next imaginary adventure.

We were pleased to send our little friend Maya off to Tots Town for a visit and she took her Mummy, Auntie and cousins along with her to join in the fun. On the day they visited it was very quiet and the girls could run around and explore freely, whilst their Mummy's could join in and feel relaxed knowing that they were in a safe and secure play area.

First stop, the supermarket!

There was something for everyone - builders, emergency services, hairdressers, doctors, shoe shop, cafe, baby care, oh the list goes on!

The play equipment is made from sturdy and bright materials. Real packaging in the supermarket and lifelike tools and utensils add to the children's play experience.

Dr Maya is ready to see her patients! 
A great touch in the doctors surgery were the x-rays. The girls loved these and were diagnosing broken bones for everyone!

The sessions run for 75 minutes, allowing the children plenty of time to explore all the play resources available. The dressing up was a great hit with the girls and they took to the stage like mini popstars!

All the facilities at Tots Town were very clean, the toilets catered for their customers well and baby changing facilities were available.
There was a Cafe with reasonably priced refreshments; drinks and light snacks.

So whilst the Mummy's sat back to take a breather, the girls whipped up their own snacks in the Tots Town Cafe.

Good news - Tots Town also offer party packages!

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their play session at Tots Town and I think a return visit will be planned! 
Make sure you check out their website for all the information you need, you can also find them on Facebook.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Harry Potter Afternoon Tea at Mocha, Great Yarmouth

One of our guest writers recently had the pleasure of attending a Harry Potter themed afternoon tea at Mocha, Great Yarmouth. Mocha is situated just down Regent Street.
The coffee lounge and cafe specialises in homemade cakes and it's customers rave about them!

Upon arrival the magical transportation into the mystical world of Harry Potter began, the theming was evident and the efforts that Mocha had put into the event were already showing signs of high quality.

Tickets cost £15 per person and included a drink and a wonderful cake stand packed with scrumptious sandwiches, savouries and cakes. Additional drinks were available to purchase at £4 each (£4.50 for cocktails.)

Once seated guests found a letter on their place setting, wonderfully addressed to Harry Potter, The Cupboard under the Stairs!

Inside this wax sealed envelope we found the menus, detailing the delicious fayre about to be served.

Whilst waiting it was the perfect opportunity to have a look around at the outstanding efforts that had gone into theming the event. The owners hadn't scrimped on the decor. Everywhere you looked was in theme, even down to the smallest of details!

The excitement to try the Felix Felicis, a mix of lemon and grape whet the awaiting appetites! And it wasn't too long before the food was served.
It's hard to describe how wonderful it was, all themed and so tasty, you'll just have to check out these photos! They'll leave you wanting!!!

Did you see that little Mandrake

Everything imaginable had been themed, even down to the platters the food was served on. And a quick pop into the loos, who's that you hear? Moaning Myrtle!

By the end of the afternoon tea everyone was fit to burst! Not before a glass of Butterbeer though! 

Mocha also ran a raffle with loads of amazing prizes - first prize was 2 tickets to Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour! That must have been a VERY happy winner!
They also sold magnets, wands and sweets.

The Mocha Harry Potter Afternoon Tea was amazing, a must have for all you HP fans out there! 

It's back this August Bank Holiday!

Yes, Mocha and staging the event from 26th-28th August, tickets cost £20 per person. 
See their Facebook page for details!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Southbank Centre Food Market

During a recent visit to London we happened upon this most amazing market selling great international street food. I didn't know at the time that this was a regular weekly event and have since been reading up about SC Food Market

Opening times

  • Friday, 12 noon – 8pm
  • Saturday, 11am – 8pm 
  • Sunday, 12 noon – 6pm 
  • Monday (bank holidays only), 12 noon – 6pm

Summer opening hours (July – August)

  • Friday, 12 noon – 9pm
  • Saturday, 11am – 9pm
  • Sunday, 12 noon – 6pm
  • Monday (bank holidays only), 12 noon – 6pm
Where to find it?

Situated just off Golden Jubilee Bridge and just a few minutes walk from The London Eye the SC Food Market is easily accessible. 

The food is fresh, colourful and very moreish! 

Stalls prepare their foods and drinks fresh each day, bringing vibrancy and tantalising tastes to the public, from small producers to independent traders, foods from home and abroad, there is literally something for everyone here.

Prices ranged from £2-£8 for most things and portion sizes were larger than I expected. We had a good look round first, starting off with cocktails. Mine was a rather delicious Hedgerow Berry cocktail mixed with Prosecco, from Honestfolk.

By the time we finished our drinks we were ready to choose. I opted for a Grilled Halloumi Souvlaki from The Athenian
It was delicious!

Emily went for traditional Italian wood fired pizza from Dough Bro and Mollie choose Chicken and Chorizo Paella, cooked by Label Anglais. Chris went for a burger from Jacob's Ladder, but he had eaten most of it by the time he walked back to us so no photo!

To finish I had Baklava, which was priced at £3 for 2 generous pieces. and the girls had fresh fruit and marshmallow kebabs with melted Belgium chocolate and an assortment of toppings!!! 

There is a limited amount of seating at SC Food Market and we got lucky as we spotted a group leaving and nabbed their table, great when you're with children but most people were happy enough walking round eating.

We LOVED the SC Food Market and I have already put it on our "Must Do" when we next visit London!
There was a great atmosphere and the place was packed. We enjoyed trying the different foods and the girls were keen to sample a few new things too.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Shreks Adventure - Merlin Entertainment

We recently visited Shrek's Adventure London, situated on South bank just by Westminster Bridge. 
Shrek's Adventure is part of Merlin Entertainments and ticket prices start from £19.00 per adult and £15.30 per child (online discount prices.) or you can save even more money by purchasing a combi ticket and visit 2 or more of Merlin's Attractions!

Shrek's Adventure is open daily, 10-4pm weekdays and 10-5/6pm weekends (for more information ad to prebook your tickets then visit their website.)

We hadn't heard much about Shrek's Adventure before we went, unlike Merlin's other popluar attractions, so we were unsure of what to expect.

Checking in was simple, the queue for this was drastically quieter than nearby London Dungeons or Coca Cola London Eye, and we went straight through to the ticket desk. We had prebooked our time slot but arrived quite a bit early, however, the super helpful staff allowed us in early.

The great theming was evident from the entrance, some quirky nick nacks running along and behind the ticket desk and through the corridors to the attraction.

As we made our way inside there were plenty of signs about informing us that photography was not allowed so sadly we had to put our cameras away.

Separated at birth!
As we entered the first performance arena we were introduced to the quest we faced in Far Far Away Land and then boarded the Red Route Master to commence our journey. Shrek's Adventure takes you through 10 live character interactions within different areas of Far Far Away land, meet characters such as Cinderella and the Wicked Witch! These are live actors and I must say they were exceptional, not the usual cheese and awkwardness you find in attractions.

Each of the characters you meet include plenty of audience participation, including asking some of the children to look after objects to take with them to the next character. Both the girls had chances to do this and this certainly added a fun aspect to the tour.

Whilst we visited they were also running a treasure hunt, searching for Dinosaur eggs, this has since finished but I expect they will have alternatives throughout the year.

Finally you get to meet Shrek himself and at this point you are allowed to take photos. There was a short queue for this and the staff still gave each family ample time to pose with Shrek. The costume was high end which was pleasing as I have seen some shockingly cheap character costumes at attractions over the years!

At the end of Shrek's Adventure you will find an area for posing and some fun photo opportunities, a few interactive displays for the kids (the small and the BIG!)

Then the final exit via the gift shop, Emily found her twin in here! 

I must admit. this attraction was one of the most enjoyable of the Merlin Entertainment at South bank, second to the London Dungeons. Particularly as we had never been before. 

For more information then check out their website or find them on Facebook.

Check out our other Merlin Entertainment features: