Lunch With A View At The Greyhound Hotel

For year and years I have driven past the Greyhound Hotel in Carshalton and never taken the time to stop by to see what they  had to offer.
When I was asked to come along and check out the newly renovated restaurant I was more than happy to take a visit and see what I had been missing for all these years.With the youngest two and my Dad in tow we went along to sample some dishes from their new menu.

I have to admit when we first entered the plush dining area with my two fidgety boys my heart sank a little and was really worried it was going to be a fraught experience but I couldn’t have been more wrong.I was welcomed warmly by the lovely owner who was genuinely more than happy to have little ones share the experience of dinning in his beautiful restaurant.


They soon settled in their seats and were more than happy to spot the ducks from the window that offered fabulous view of Carshalton Ponds.

The menu offered a good range of hearty ‘pub grub’ with a difference. There is a twist on the usual favourites with a few different dishes in there to which makes the menu that little bit special.

I chose the roasted garlic kiev with truffled mash, treacle bacon and summer greens whist my Dad opted for the signature Greyhound cheeseburger with ale onions, shredded lettuce, pickles and fries.

My chicken was beautifully moist and was complimented perfectly with the smooth truffle mash.

My Dad thoroughly enjoyed his juicy burger with lashing of flavour that had been added with the use of different pickles and sauces.

The boys chose sausage and chips and fish and chips from the children’s menu.

Their plates were completely cleared which is a rarity and number four was super impressed with his ‘snail’ shaped sausage!

Pudding was going to be struggle but it would have been rude not to try!

I opted for the sticky toffee pudding with ice cream which was everything you could want from a warm, indulgent pudding.

Number four always struggles with pudding as he has so many allergies, but the waitress was more than accommodating and he was very happy with his huge bowl of meringue and strawberries.

Our first visit was one to remember and the beautiful food and faultless service will certainly be bringing us back again in the near future.

*we were gifted this meal for the purpose of the review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Soothing My Eyes With Clinitas Eye Drops

I love summer and everything it brings with it.  Lighter evenings, picnics in the park and sunning ourselves at the beach – if we’re lucky.

The only thing that puts me off the summer months is the dreaded hay fever!

Constantly sneezing, sore throat and my biggest bug bear that comes in the form of sore and itchy eyes.

No matter how many different tablets and nasal sprays I’ve tried my eyes still really suffer.

I was really pleased when Cinitas asked me to try out their lubricating eye drops as I had big hope they would help me to relive my problem.

The preservative free drops came in an easy to use applicator and were suitable to use as and  when I needed.  There is no need to store them in the fridge as you need to with some eye drops so they were easy to pop in your handbag for when you need them.

It’s not only hay fever suffered that can be helped with this drops.  If you get dry eyes from being stuck in front of the computer screen all day or just irritation from the everyday environmental issues we face this drops are perfect.

They are a real all round eye drop that lubricates and soothes eyes from the first application.

GB Pizza Review:Pizza Like No Other

From the moment I stepped through the doors of GB Pizza I knew this was going to be the perfect place for us.

Dark grey walls that had been brightened with flashes of neon pink lighting, exposed brickwork and quirky art work is exactly the kind of decor that draws me in.


We made our way to the till where we were greeted with a smile and explained to how the restaurant works.

The laid back approach to dining was a real hit, especially with two hungry, fidgeting mouths to feed.

If I’m honest pizza is never something I pick out of choice but the rest of the family adore it and with a gluten free option for number four I was more than willing to give it a go.

I was really impressed with their alternative menu.  Never before have I seen toppings such as Parma ham and nectarine or pear and English blue cheese.

My other half being a lover of basic food went for a margarita that that have cleverly used a play on words to create their own ‘Margate-rita’, the boys shared a gluten free pepperoni and I went for the pear and English blue cheese.


We took our seats outside to take in the beautiful view whist sipping on a glass of fabulous white wine from the restaurants temperate controlled barrels that you can top up yourself when you fancy!


After only a short wait our thin, crispy and perfectly topped pizzas arrived on beatiful wooden paddles with A cute instruction list on how best to eat them!

I can honestly say on my first mouthful this lady that can normally take or leave a pizza was completely converted.

They were the perfect size, the flavours complimented each other beautifully and I wasn’t left with that horrible bloated feeling you can sometimes get from pizza.

The boys demolished theirs with no problem which is a rarity and I had to stop my husband from going back for seconds!

Pudding is usually off limits to number four, but much to his excitement there was a gooey gluten free treacle tart with his name on it.

His little face lit up when it was brought out and by sneeking a bite to eat whilst he wasn’t looking I could completely see why.

I have earmarked some georgous looking browines from sampling on our next trip!

All there is left to say is that a pizza restaurant that can convert a sceptic and can easily cater for out little allergy boy is a winner in our eyes and will be luring us back on our next visit to Margate.

Skinfix:Eczema And Sensitive Skincare Launch

We were asked along to have brunch at The Riding House Cafe in London the other week to celebrate the launch of the Canadian skincare brand Skinfix in Boots stores.


We were treated to some good food and copious amounts of coffee whilst hearing all about the new range that I was hoping to be of great benefit to my family.


My husband and my two youngest boys all suffer from eczema and for well over a year we had a horrendous time with number three backwards and forwards to the doctors and several hospital stays because of his condition.

I really feel that I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to both prescribed and over the counter treatments for skin conditions as in desperation we have tried anything we could get our hands on.

At first glance of the Skinfix range I was very impressed by the attractive packaging.  They have steered clear of the clinical approach and gone for something that is gender-neutral and would look great on any bathroom shelf.

This award winning range that is based around using natural ingredients keeping it free from fragrance, sulphates, parabens and phthalates is mid range in price but with the most expensive product coming it at under £18 I don’t think this is to heftier a price tag.

With my mind racing with all this fresh information we set of home to see how they held up on my itchy little ones.


I tried the soothing wash and lotion from the adult range which unfortunately wasn’t suitable for my husband as it contains nuts but worked really well on my dry hands that are worn down due to the everyday ups and downs of parenting.

The real test was the new baby range that is set to hit the shelves soon. 

 Number four still gets large areas of eczema that irritate him day and night. After a couple of weeks of using the gentle eczema balm the areas because less red in appearance and the itching was greatly soothed.  It was easy to apply and the squeezable tube was much better to use than having to scrape from a large pot that tends to get messy with the thicker creams.

Number five has more generalised dry skin that give him terrible problems with sleeping at night.  The gentle lotion was easily absorbed and kept his skin soothed all night.

My favourite product by far though was the hair and body wash.  I always found it a struggle to keep shampooing seperate from the bath water.  This combination allowed me to bath them so much quicker as there was no separate hair washing to be done.

This range is suitable for day to day dryness of the skin to more serious skin conditions.  It really is a fabulous range that I will most definitely be stocking up on!  

Pasta Remoli Restaurant Review 

After traipsing round the streets in the cold and the rain due to a faulty sat nav coming across the vibrant facade of Pasta Remoli was a very welcome sight.

This super cool new restaurant is in the perfect location situated outside the newly upgraded Finsbury Park Station.

Upon arriving we were shown to our table and given the extensive menu to mull over with a fantastic red.

Simone Remoli the brainchild behind this great new concept of Italian dining has bought a modern twist to good honest Italian food.

The menus main draw is the mix and match style pasta where you pick a pasta, sauce and topping of your choice.  This is great if you like to try something complety set to your own taste.


I went for caprese with deep fried mozzerella balls, the chef’s suggestion of pappardelle with Italian sausage ragu and finished off with best tiramisu I’ve even tasted.


  

The sourcing of the produce is extremely important to Simone and a large amount of ingredients are directly from Italy.  This really comes through with the wonderful flavours of the food.  The mozzerella just melted in my mouth and the Italian sausage had a fantastic subtle kick.
I loved everything about the experience from the relaxed atmosphere in the uber cool setting to the fine wine and beautiful food.


  
The staff were friendly and attentive and didn’t even crack when faced with my husband’s million and one allergy requests!

I had a great night out as a couple but will be back soon with the children as they will love the pick your own menu and their gluten free options mean we won’t have any problems with my little allergy boy.

If you are looking for well priced, traditional Italian food in a a relaxed and welcoming environment then I highly recommend you give Pasta Remoli a try.
I was invited along to this restaurant for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinion.

Allergy Friendly Strawberry Cupcakes

Valentines Day is fastly become a big celebration in the UK with it being a day not just for couples but something that the children now join in with.

My older children all attend Valentines  discos at school and the younger ones have made some beautiful cards at school.

To be honest for me it should be something special left for couples to enjoy but im going with the flow and letting the kids join in with the celebrations too!

Number four wanted to do some baking this week so we went with a pink theme and made some strawberry flavoured cupcakes that were suitable for his allergies.


Strawberry Flavoured Cupcakes

Cake Mixture

  • 110g self raising wheat free flour
  • 110g dairy free margarine 
  • 110g caster sugar
  • Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp strawberry flavouring
  • 1tsp red colouring

Buttercream Frosting 

  • 140g dairy free margarine
  • 250c icing sugar
  • Few drops red colouring
  • Strawberry flavoured sparkles
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and lay out 12 cake cases ready for filling.
  2. Best the butter and sugar together, add the egg replacer, flavouring and food colouring.
  3. Fold in the flour until completely mixed.  Then transfer to cake cases.
  4. Cook for 10 mins then place in a wire rack to cool.
  5. Make up the buttercream by combining the margarine with the sugar and then mixing in the food colouring.
  6. Once the cakes are cooled place the butter cream on top and pull a fork over the top to create a rough surface and then sprinkle over the strawberry sparkles.

Allergy Friendly Pancakes

 
 Shrove Tuesday is alway one of our favourite days, from the pancake flipping to stacking them high and all of us tucking in to piles of them covered in lemon and sugar!

So that number four is not left out we always make him some allergy friendly ones to enjoy.

This recipe is the closest we have got to the real thing and to be honest it’s really hard to tell the difference!

Allergy Friendly Pancakes

  • 250g Plain white wheat free flour
  • 2tsp Baking powder
  • 300ml Oat milk
  • Egg replacer, equivalent of two eggs
  • Oil for frying
  1. Place the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
  2. Add the egg replaced and slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Allow to stand for a while whilst heating the oil in a pan.
  4. Once hot place a ladle full of the batter and cook for about 30 secs until cooked on the underside.
  5. Either turn the pancake over or if you are feeling brave give it a flip!
  6. Once cooked serve with a topping of your choice.  I always go for traditional sugar and lemon but go ahead and use your imagination.

Toddler Christmas Lunch At Hobbledown

For the first time last year we took a visit to Hobbledown in Epsom, Surrey for their wonderful Toddler Lunch With Santa.

After a terrible journey due to horrendous traffic I arrived with two very miserable toddlers!  I booked in through the screaming and made our way to the play barn, found a table and thankfully peace was restored.


  
After a good run around in the brilliant soft play area that also has a cafe to serve a much needed coffee a friendly elf came to lead us into the cosy hut where we would be meeting Santa.

The children all sat at the table while cute gingerbread men were handed out for the children to decorate.



Following this a yummy packed lunch was served whist Santa made his grand appearance to sit with us whist we ate.


  
The children were then called up one at a time to have a chat and collect a present from Santa.


  
Nice and full we waved goodbye and went to have a look at Santa’s reindeer and a couple of very cute donkeys, and then finally had a run about in the huge sandpit before heading home.



This is such a wonderful day out for toddlers with a real mix of things to do.  You also have the option of paying for entry to the rest of Hobbledown which is a really good day out with plenty to explore.

The only issue I had is that it is listed as simply a craft activity on the internet so number five couldn’t actually take part due to his allergies.  If I had known in advance this is something I could have provided my self so that he didn’t feel left out.

Super Yummy Banana Cake

Who doesn’t have those few browning bananas left in the fruit bowl that nobody really wants but it is always such a shame to throw away.

What better way to use them up than to make a super yummy banana cake that the whole family will enjoy.

I came across this recipe on Cerea’s Kitchen blog  and jiggled it around a little so it was also perfect for my little allergy boy too.

Banana Cake

  • 5 bananas
  • 50ml maple syrup
  • 130g rolled oats 
  • 150g wheat free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 75g coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 60ml melted coconut oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 360F or 180C and lightly grease a square baking tin with coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl mash the bananas and add the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla extract, vinegar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.   
  3. Next mix in the oats, flour and baking soda.
  4. Finally add the mixture to the tin and cake for around 35-40mins.   

  

   
  

  

Allergy Friendly Pizzas

Saturday nights should be about rubbish food and easy watching TV with the family. 

With number four’s allergies the biggest no no is pizza so instead of ordering a big greasy takeaway we love to get the kids involved and make our own pizzas so that number four doesn’t get to miss out on the fun.

This allergy friendly pizza crust recipe is fine for the whole family but to be honest the others prefer a normal base.

We let the children chose which topping they like and let them get on and get creative.

   
 

Here is my pizza crust recipe if you fancy giving it a go:

Allergy Friendly Pizza Crust

  • 450g Wheat Free Flour
  • 3/4tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2tsp Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 1tbsp Yeast
  • 360ml Warm Water
  • 1tbsp Olive Oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C 160CFan or gas Mark 5.
  2. Combine half the water with the yeast and leave for about five minutes.  Add the sugar after the first few minutes.
  3. In another bowl add the flour and baking powder and mix well.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture, oil and the rest of the water.  Stir well with a wooden spoon.
  5. Take the dough and place onto a floured surface and form your pizza base.  Place into a lightly greased tray and cook for around 30mins.
  6. Remove from the oven and cover with a tomato sauce base and your favourite ingredients.
  7. Place back into the oven and cook for another 20 mins.

    

We had a selection of cheese, ham, pepperoni, sweetcorn, olives and peppers.

   
 

The children loved the whole process and cleared their plates.

What is your favourite pizza topping?