Slava’s Snow Show

It’s back again this year again and we are going to see it this time!

The multi-international award-winning SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW returns to London’s Southbank Centre for a fifth consecutive Christmas season, playing the Royal Festival Hall from 16 December 2015 to 3 January 2016.

Slavas Snow Show

A combination of theatrical clowning and breath-taking visual effects, it is a show unlike anything you have ever seen before – a world of wonder, in which a bed becomes a boat, a web of cotton envelops the audience and one tiny piece of paper becomes a snowstorm that will, quite literally blow you away. SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is a stunning spectacle, which combines the unbridled silliness of slapstick with visual extravagance and beauty, all of which has established its creator, Slava Polunin, as a creative genius of international acclaim.

In its 22 years, the show has been performed in 120 cities in 30 countries to more than 3 million spectators.

We love going to see shows and this one looks great because it’s a bit different to your conventional theatre experience. It’s not recommended for the very young although parents can use their discretion, but I think some aspects might be a little dark in parts. Children under 3 are not allowed.

SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW is produced at the Royal Festival Hall by Matthew Gale, Mark Goucher and Jenny King.

Slavas Snow Show


Skate – At Somerset House

On Sunday we had our first ice skating outing of the season! And it was wonderful….

I love ice skating, especially in the run up to Christmas, there’s something very magical about it! We’ve been a few times before but never to Somerset House, so when I received an invite to the pre-opening of their Skate 2015 event, partnered with Fortnum & Mason, I was of course, over the moon!

I couldn’t wait to go.

Somerset House is renowed as being the most beautiful backdrop for ice skating in London and now I can see why. As soon as we arrived and glimpsed the enormous Christmas tree with the dazzling ice rink behind it and the handsome building surrounding it, I could really see what all the fuss is about.

skate at somerset houseIt’s stunning!

Security was tight and after I’d checked in my bag, we decided to have a little nosey at the Fortnum & Mason area. They have  taken over the West Wing of Somerset House for the second year running. It’s incredibly Christmassy and they will be showcasing not only their seasonal goods but the very best of their world-renowned products.

On the other side of the rink there is the lovely pop up Skate Lounge which offers a range of festive drinks and seasonal snacks, winter warmers and treats.

skate somerset houseEnjoying a hot chocolate and some mince pies in the Skate Lounge before heading onto the ice.

My twins were reluctant to skate. They haven’t been skating before but had both said they really wanted to try this year. Unfortunately, the separate infants ice skating rink which is usually open every year, wasn’t ready in time for this pre-opening skate! This is where the skate aids are that little ones hold on to as they skate round the ice rink. It will, however, be ready for opening day but for now, my twins had to decide whether to come onto the main rink with us, or watch!

They decided to watch so the OH stayed off the ice initially with the twins whilst myself, Teen and my girl booted up!

skate somerset houseTeen helping his little sister on with her skates!

It was great to finally get on the ice! It’s always a bit scary initially while one get used to the skates but it doesn’t take long to get into the swing! I absolutely love that feeling of skating outside in the Winter… feels so free and fresh!

ice skatesMe on the ice!

Teen is like a pro on the ice… he has no fear whatsoever and whizzes round at the speed of light! He was great with his little sister as we took it in turns to hold her hand!

somerset house

My daughter loved it! I must take this opportunity to mention the fantastic Ice Marshalls here at Somerset House. They were on hand to ensure everyone was ok and to help with the younger skaters, either by holding their hands, picking them up to give them a fast spin around the rink or simply to give them a little one to one help!

ice skating christmas

After a while O (one of my twins) decided he would ‘have a go’. On went his teeny weeny skates which I thought were sooo cute and on he came! H was still refusing but O, although nervous, really enjoyed it.

ice skating somerset house

The weather was unusually mild for this time of year and the ice was actually melting rapidly. Towards the end of our session it was almost like skating in a huge puddle! It didn’t affect the quality of skating but it did mean that if you fell over you’d be absolutely drenched!

Luckily, or should I say miraculously, none of us took a drop! We managed to come away unscathed and completely dry!

We had a fabulous morning at Somerset House. Such a great way to spend time together as a family. My friend Ruth, a blogger at was also there so it was fab to see her!

We will certainly be going back at some point during the Winter and next time, H says he definitely wants to join in!

Skate officially opens tomorrow, 18th November and is on until 10th January so do head down if you get the chance. Entrance fees start from £7.50.

WIN a Pair of Tickets to the Foodies Festival Christmas

Last year at around this time I ran a competition to win tickets to the Foodies Christmas Festival and this year… I’m doing the same!

I have 2 pairs of tickets to giveaway for this fantastic event which is a must go to for any food lover. But even if you’re not a mad foodie, the excitement of Christmas food and markets is something anyone can enjoy.

Foodies Christmas Festival

Retro recipes in the Chefs Theatre, vegan treats in the Artisan Christmas Market, Champagne Ski Bar and a London Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features you can look forward to as Foodies Festival Christmas returns to London’s Truman Brewery 27th – 29th November.

Following the popularity of last year’s inaugural Foodies Festival Christmas, East London’s Truman Brewery will once again be transformed into a culinary winter wonderland, as they bring London’s top chefs, award-winning artisan producers and international street food together under one roof for a fabulous festive feast.

Acclaimed London chefs and celebrity cooks will swap their aprons for Santa hats in the Aga Rangemaster Chefs Theatre, sharing their favourite recipes and top tips to help visitors create the perfect Christmas banquet. Confirmed chefs include (more TBA):

Adam Simmonds – Michelin Star & Great British Menu Winner 2014

Dhruv Baker – MasterChef Winner 2010

Jesse Dunford Wood – PARLOUR
Adam Handling – Adam Handling at Caxton
David Degiovanni – Union Street Cafe
Kim Woodward – Savoy Grill

Omar Allibhoy – Tapas Revolution
Michael Weiss – Quiglanos
Matt Robinson – Bluebird Cafe
Richard Kirkwood – The Wright Brothers

Retro Recipes in the Chefs Theatre will transport festival-goers back in time to the 1960s when green piped potato, glacé cherries and multi-coloured cheese and jellies were all the rage. Inspired by infamous TV chef Fanny Cradock, several chefs will recreate classic recipes such as the Prawn Cocktail, Baked Alaska, Sherry Trifle, Chicken Kiev, Vol-au-vents and Duck a l’Orange in their own signature style.

An Artisan Christmas Market boasts over 150 of the finest producers selling locally produced cheeses, chutneys, chocolates, sauces and jams, biscuits and crackers, cakes, puddings and more for visitors to sample and shop from; perfect for picking-up those little extras that make Christmas extra tasty and special.

A Vegan area in the Christmas Market offers a range of delicious and healthy vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats for visitors to indulge in including desserts, street food, bakes, condiments, beers, wines and more.

London Gin Theatre - Gin lovers will rejoice as London’s gin producers host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses. Wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are also on-hand helping visitors match wines with Christmas flavours in the Drinks Theatre and beer expert Melissa Cole champions craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas in masterclasses with local brewers.

Other features of the festival include an outdoor Street Food Courtyard where visitors can feast of flavours from around the world; a Cake & Bake Theatre hosted by London’s top bakers, chocolatiers and Great British Bake Off contestants an accompanying Pudding Hall - a haven of sweet treats selling festive favourites such as eggnog and mulled wine, Christmas cake and mince pies, marzipan bonbons and macaroons.

While parents shop and enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly from the Champagne Ski Bar, children under 12 can enrol in the Elf Cookery School with Kiddy Cook, where they can bake and decorate snowballs, gingerbread men, cookies and cupcakes to leave out for Santa.

Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, local choirs singing carols and entertainment throughout the day. Visitors can enter the Chilly-Eating Competition (the winter version of the famous chilli contest), register their team to compete in the Christmas Bumper Quiz and have a group Christmas jumper picture taken in the photo booth.

So to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, simply enter via the Gleam widget. But be quick, this comp is only running for two weeks!

Mummy Endeavours – 2x Pairs of Foodies Festival Christmas Tickets

The Minions at the BT Tower!

Last week we were invited to celebrate the launch of The Minions coming to the BT Store. I was really looking forward to this because a) the kids and I hadn’t seen the Minions movie… it was one of those we kept saying we’d go to the cinema to see but didn’t get round to and b) it was at the BT Tower!

It was an early start but I knew it would be worth it. And I was right.

bt tower

As we approached the BT Tower, the kids were excited but a little apprehensive about going up so high! But once we entered the building and went through security, which was similar to an airport check in, they spotted Bob, Stuart and Kevin and all their worries disappeared!

minions bt tower

We had some croissants, juice and coffee (for me), before heading to the private screening room to watch The Minions movie!

minions bt tower

The film was fantastic. It got off to a slow start but really gained pace. The kids loved it, lots of silly Minion-y capers! The plot is about life for the Minions pre Gru (their Master in the Despicable Me movies). It shows us how they were searching for a Master and found themselves involved with the nasty, but brilliant Scarlett Overkill! Cue a journey to London and meeting a young Queen Elizabeth! It really is a funny film… for me, I loved the Queen and all the Englishness, especially when they’re driving through London’s streets in the Queens carriage and end up swinging over the Thames… classic! The kids of course laughed out loud at the carnage and loved the super cuteness of the Bob, Stuart and Kevin.

The Minions movie definately got a thumbs up from us!

As if that wasn’t enough though, as part of our day at the BT Tower, we were being treated to lunch in the famous revolving 34th floor at the top of the tower! How exciting! We zoomed up in the lift which flies at 7 metres per second, and 20 seconds later (after some ear popping on the way) we reached the 34th floor and were greeted by the Minions again!

Minions BT

The views were breathtaking! It felt amazing to be at the top, overlooking beautiful London. I love London and would never tire of these views. I did a few laps of the floor to really take it all in!

views from bt tower

I’ve been lucky enough to go to the top of The Shard and that too has breathtaking views, but it’s almost twice the height of the BT Tower, therefore everything is tiny when you look out.

Here at the top of the BT Tower, even though it’s ridiculously high, you can see everything much clearer; the streets, the parks and even people going about their business! The skies cleared too as the morning wore on which made the viewing even better!

the bt tower

There were a number of activities laid on for the kids get involved with, including face painting, nail decorating, colouring in and balloon making!

minions bt tower

My children had a blast! Then it was lunch time. We were treated to a delicious buffet followed by desserts, all served and consumed whilst the room was revolving at 158 meters high! We were all fascinated by this, especially my little H! The room takes 22 minutes to do a full revolution!

bt tower revolving floor

We stayed and enjoyed the event as long as we could! It’s fair to say we were the last ones to leave. Opportunities like this don’t come around often so we, ok I, made the most of it!

After receiving their goody bags to take home and saying goodbye to everyone and the BT Tower itself, I reminded the children how lucky they were to go to inside and to the top of this very famous London landmark. Not many kids can say they’ve done that!

They were very happy indeed! :)

The Minions is out now to watch on the BT Store!


I love running competitions here on my blog but actually, I haven’t run as many as I would’ve liked.

So to make up for it, I am bringing you a competition of epic proportions…. and you’re going to absolutely love it!

This is MASSIVE.

I’ve got together with three other fabulous bloggers, Ruth from RocknRollerBaby, Katy from Modern Mummy UK and Emily from Family Four Fun to bring all of you the chance to…


Yes! That’s right….. we have one of the biggest bundles of prizes ever to be given away by the blogging community, with a total prize value worth around £2500!

The four of us joined forces to convince some of the best brands around to come on board and play #SantasLittleHelpers with us, so that we could offer YOU this amazing chance of winning our monumental prize!

We’ve got practically everything you could possibly need for your best Christmas ever!

From the tree, to homewares, to toys and gifts, before finally filling your boots with a huge hamper of food plus drinks!

Christmas #Competition

We managed to bag some fantastic electrical goodies, like a NOWTV box and an Amazon Kindle Fire! We have some pampering lotions and potions and we’ve even thought about your Christmas party dress!

Christmas #competition

Our toy bundle is massive! I think we have most kids covered with this lot! There’s only a fraction of items pictured here but please see the full prize list below to check out what’s included!

Christmas Competition

We are all super excited about this giveaway and we hope you’ll all get behind us and help spread the word!

Please pop over to the other #SantasLittleHelpers blogs (mentioned above) and leave a comment on the competition posts and please feel free to retweet all of our #WinChristmas tweets! Thank you so much :)

Twitter handles for all four blogs are:

@CarolynneAsh (me) @ModernMummyUK @familyfourfun and @rocknrollerbaby

Entering our competition couldn’t be easier, just use the below Rafflecopter widget and enter via as many options as you like. The daily tweeting option gives you a new entry every single day so don’t miss out there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition will run for ONE month only, from midday today to midday on 30th November.

We wish you the very best of luck!

Now, for the full list of fabulous prizes…..

Now TV Box, Christmas Tree With Stand from Pines And Needles, Christmas Party Bag Pack from Party Bags and SuppliesMagformers Wow Set, Heat Holders Fleece Blanket, Olaf Soft Pal from Philips, Pair of Drumond Park Games, (Shout & Ssssh don’t wake Dad), MvBii Zing, Bundle of Family DVDs (including; Postman Pat, Dino Time, Fairytale: Story of the Seven Dwarves, Snow Queen, Snow Queen 2, Robo-Dog, Dino Time, Moomins and A Christmas Star), Le Mu Occasionwear Dress of your choice, Slumbersac Sleeping Bag of your choice, Cuddledeer Toddler Towel from CuddledryI See Me Personalised Story Book of your choice, Hatley Baby Sleepy Romper or Children’s PJ Set, Fisher Price Smart Set ScooterTwirliwoos Big Red BoatReal FX, Pip Ahoy Lighthouse Playset By John Adams, Frozen Snowglobe Maker By John Adams, Mini-Make Cupcake Set By John Adams, Sands Alice Castle Playset By John AdamsIn The Night Garden Ninky Nonk Track And Train Set, The Greedy Sheep By John Adams, Santas Express By HornbyWoof Woof Duggee Toy, My Friend Freddy Bear By Vivid Toys, Family Ticket To Stick Man Live I The West End on a date of your choice, A Family Christmas Hamper from Warburtons, A Family Christmas Hamper from Asda, Turtles Giant Leo Playset By Flair, Cool Create IDO3D Activity Set By Flair, £50 Bundle Of Zelfs By Character, £60 Schleich Wild Life Bundle Including A Safari Animal Rescue Truck Elephant Care Set And Animals, Easy Nails Spa By Character, Bright Eyes Pet by Character, Xeno Koopies By FlairLabyrinthLincoCare Skincare, Julian Charles Bedding, Little Tikes Lil Ocean Explorers 3-in-1 Adventure Course, Natural History Museum Dinosaur Guess Who, Rose Of My Heart Sling by Rockin’ BabyScience Museum Robot Lunch Box, Family Ticket To Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas At The Lyric Hammersmith on a date of your choice, Mamas And Papas Armadillo Doll’s PushchairBaby Annabell Core Doll, Mini CHOU CHOU Bundle, Bratz Core Doll, Lalaloopsy Tinies Deluxe Pack, Aldi Bundle Of Christmas Drinks, Braun Thermoscan7 ThermometerOxo Good Grips Lily Salt & Pepper MillsOxo Cold Brew Coffee MakerOxo Baby 4 Piece Feeding SetPersonalised Santa Sack from″ Amazon Fire and from the Early Learning Centre the Happyland Ginger Bread HouseMagnetic Playcentre in Red or Pink, Big City GarageDrop and Pop Giraffe and the Happyland Remote Controlled Race Track. A selection of Mince Pies and other treats from Walkers Shortbread and DVD’s.. the Minions, Elf:Buddy’s Musical Christmas and Get Santa!

christmas competition

Happy Halloween from Asda

Even though the kids enjoy the whole Halloween thing, I haven’t been too taken in by the whole American phenomenon. It annoys me a bit if I’m honest. Don’t really know why, I just think it’s a bit too contrived. And the whole trick or treat thing? Hate it!

But of course I take the kids if I have to, although last year we’d had a tummy bug just before, so Halloween was cancelled and I was secretly chuffed! I didn’t put the pumpkins outside and made sure our house looked as if we weren’t taking part.

Hehe! Not very seasonal I know.

So this year, feeling a little guilty about last year, I’ve decided to try and show a bit more enthusiasm. The kids have been mega excited about it for ages because my twins were invited to a friends birthday party, which was Halloween themed, so we had to hunt for costumes etc early on! It’s the first year actually that my twins have been really into it, they’ve always been a little scared before now, so it was wonderful when Asda got in touch with us, asking if we’d like to receive some of their Halloween goodies!

I can make the house look spooctacular this year with this lot!

asda halloweenLove this flashing pumpkin and light up skull

asda halloweenHow cool are these skull candles?

asda halloweenWe’ve got some make up kits… perfect, just what we needed! The one on the left comes with a book of ‘how to do..’ some Halloween inspired face painting too!

asda halloweenThere’s a dracula-esque wig (which my daughter is modelling beautifully here :) ), a plastic butchers knife, a skull placemat, perfect for a party and a fab, creepy light up owl!

asda halloweenWe’ve got a very delicious looking thick chocolate haunted house to make, as well as some ghost cake pops! And these cool skull plates will be great to eat them off! We’ll be making these on Saturday!

asda halloweenThe kids have gone crazy over this massive hairy spider! He’s fab isn’t he?

All these Asda products have really got us into the ‘spirit’ of things. My daughter is off to a Halloween party on Friday night which she’s looking forward to immensely, we’ve been practicing her scary make up with the kit we received and the house is feeling perfectly creepy!

We’ll be off trick or treating on Saturday, but we still haven’t carved a pumpkin and I’ve heard they’re in low supply this year… yikes, better hurry up…. now where’s my broomstick!

asda halloween

Brewers Fayre – Great Value Food

I enjoy going out to eat as a family, but being a family of six, eating out can be very expensive, especially with a strapping teenage lad! It costs a blummin fortune!

So when Brewers Fayre got in touch, asking if I’d like to take my family to one of their local restaurants to check out their new Autumn menu, I jumped at the chance.

I found our nearest one, which isn’t that far but I honestly had no idea it was there, and booked a table. I thought we’d go early to make the most of the fabulous deals they do if you order before 6pm. On the day we went though, Teen actually had other plans and the OH was delayed at work so just four of us went along. Myself and my three younger children made the absolute most of it.

I liked the idea of going out for some good ‘pub grub’ which is what I associate with Brewers Fayre. Some of the restaurants are situated within pubs and many have a play area… there used to be one near where I used to live years ago, when Teen was little. We used to go regularly… he would have a little play and then we’d eat!

Going somewhere kid friendly is a must. I want the children to feel comfortable and I don’t want to be stressing if they’re making a bit of noise, as kids tend to do.

This particularly Brewers Fayre was part of a Premier Inn. When we arrived it was quiet so we had a good wander around, familiarizing ourselves. The seating areas were well spaced out and we were told we could sit anywhere we liked so I let the kids choose.

They’d already spotted a Slush Puppie machine behind the bar so that became their first order…. Vimto flavour and they loved it!

brewers fayre

The Manager was great. He came over to check everything was ok, explaining all the different options of meals. Each day they have a buffet menu from 5pm with a different theme for every day. This is eat as much as you like. Monday is the Pizza Parlour, Tuesday is Mexican, Wednesday is Burgers and Hotdogs, Thursday they have the Curry Night, Friday is the Chip Shop, Saturday cooks up Chicken and Fajitas and Sunday of course is the Carvery! I love this!

brewers fayreThe Buffet counter

He gave the kids some colouring pencils and a little activity magazine each. The kids theme here at Brewers Fayre is Dennis the Menace, which is very appealing to youngsters!

brewers fayre

imageMy boys checking out the kids menu. It had a great, fun layout, all the meals looked incredibly inviting!

We decided not to go withe buffet and instead order something from the menu. The kids had difficulty choosing, there were so many meals they wanted. Finally they opted for a burger, a hotdog and chicken nuggets – the usual kids favourites!

I took my time perusing the adult menu. Before I arrived I’d decided I wanted steak, but once the menu opened and I was faced with a multitude of delicious looking dishes, I wasn’t so sure!

In the end I decided upon a steak pie! The northerner in me loves a pie and well, I just fancied one!

The Autumn lunchtime menu is unbelievably good value. Two starters for £2.99 – which is cheaper than the ONE starter ordinarily. Two mains for just £10.99… and these aren’t smaller meals, they are exactly the same size as the evening meals!

I ordered two starters for us to share. Nacho’s (the kids choice) and garlic mushrooms! These went down a treat.

brewers fayreMy twins tucking into the Nacho’s. They lasted about two seconds, literally!

brewers fayreThe mains!

The children were very happy with their meals, two of which came in little baskets which they thought was wonderful! My steak pie meal was lovely except the mash was a bit too dry. The gravy helped but I would’ve liked the mash slightly more creamy and soft if I’m being honest.

The atmosphere in Brewers Fayre was so relaxed that I felt we were able to really chill out and take our time. As a mum I think this is so important. I didn’t have to cook and the kids were having a nice time too so there was absolutely no need to rush off.

Once the mains were finished, we checked out the desserts.

Two of my children chose donuts and one chose a chocolate sundae.

brewers fayreJust look at that chocolate sundae.. it was heavenly but I thought there was no way my little 6yr old would get through it. He did. No problem at all! The donuts came with chocolate sauce and this exciting popping candy – my daughter loved it. A really good novelty ingredient!

brewers fayreFor me, I ordered two desserts. Well, for £2.99 it’d be rude not to!

I had a chocolate fudge brownie with ice cream and some toffee profiteroles. Don’t worry though, I didn’t eat all of this (I could’ve), the Manager very kindly wrapped up the profiteroles for me to take home!

The staff at Brewers Fayre were very helpful and friendly. The Manager was very attentive, he took the time to go to each and every table, chatting to the customers and ensuring everyone as happy.

All the drinks are refillable as many times as you like. Even the Costa coffee! This made me very happy!

brewers fayre

We had a lovely time and will definitely be going back. We had been given a £50 voucher to spend but we spent only a fraction of that and we didn’t go lightly! It’s such good value for money. As parents, we are under the impression that nipping to a Mcdonalds is one of the cheapest options when eating out, but for not much more money, you can sit down in a Brewers Fayre, have an extensive menu to choose from, unlimited drinks and really enjoy that restaurant experience.

They also do an eat as much as you like breakfast, which I’m definitely going to try and they put on extra deals during childrens’ holidays!

If you haven’t been, I would say go and give it a try. It’s not the Ritz by any means, but if good food and great prices is what you’re looking for, then this is the perfect place!