Would you consider the theatre for a night out?

Are you an avid theatre goer?

I must admit the truth and tell you I haven’t been to a proper grown up play for aaaaaaaaaaaages.

I did take Z to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea last summer as part of the Kids Week in the West End where kids go free and both he and I loved it.

Living in Bromley we have The Churchill Theatre on our doorstep and I don’t know about you but I wasn’t aware of all the fab plays they have there across this year which span from musicals to stand up to intense intellectual productions.

Talking of intense productions. I had the honour of attending the premier (at The Churchill!) of The History Boys by Alan Bennett, voted ‘the nations favorite play’ last year and winning endless awards it was one I was excited to see.History Boys-202

Overview

For those of you don’t know The History Boys is a comic drama which covers the summer after A-Levels where a group of boys stay on in the classroom to be preened for Oxbridge exams. It’s set in the 80’s and some may find it a little on or behind the line as it represents what happened in certain schools and places in that time period where headteachers may of turned a blind eye….

It’s a thoughtful story of the time which covers comradery, not only with the boys but with their teachers, and gives you an insight into intellectual learning where it meant more to teach life than just a curriculum.

The director Kate Saxon notes, ‘the play does not present realism…their take on sexuality too liberal for the time. There is no bullying in the group…by freeing itself of realism the play is able to take a microcosm of the time and place and allow us to see relevancies that stretch far beyond it.’

Atmosphere

The theatre was packed! Considering it was a Monday evening this wasn’t something I expected and the bar was buzzy in the interval. It may not be something you immediately think of for a night out but an early dinner, good play, few drinks before, in the interval and after it offers it all really!

The Play

It had me listening intently at times, honestly, trying to keep up, it had me feeling sad and feeling happy. Evoking emotions like a rollercoaster and it made me realise that a lot of the olden days in teaching had a magical quality to them regarding the passion of old school teachers. The team of school boys bounced off one another easily and the play ran through perfectly. Hector (played by Richard Prior) managed to endear himself to me even though he was the one person acting inappropriately…

As is quoted again by the director ‘Bennet helps us along; the lessons are far reaching. Not only do they cover life, love and death, the extra-curricular lessons are equally enlightening.’

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The History Boys runs until Saturday 2nd May at The Churchill Theatre. Find out more and book your tickets here PLUS quote ‘HISTORYPACKAGE’ and receive a Band A seat, program and drink for £25.

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Champagne Afternoon Tea Anyone?

Days out for Mummy & Daddy are important now and again to help you reconnect with your partner and remember that you do have your own personalities.

Recently the other half and I had a gorgeous day out at Vertigo 42 in London. It was a christmas present bought for us by the ‘kids’ (very generously 🙂 )

Food

Lovely range of sandwiches including salmon, ham and cucumber.

Two cakes each, one a chocolate caramel and the other a lush passion fruit number.

A scone with clotted cream and jam.

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Drinks

A glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne and some Earl Grey for me.

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Overview

A circular venue with AMAZING 360 views of London, we were lucky with a spectacularly sunny Spring day so you could see for miles. The staff were attentive but not intrusive. One tip I received from my Mum who had been the week before was to ask for your tea when they deliver your champagne so you have it with your food.

This was bought on a voucher offer and for £30 for two was stunning value. Afterwards a wander round the City and a couple of drinks in Leaden hall Market which was bustling with the after work crew made it a lovely day out.

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Family Time

Last week was a lovely one 🙂

I’m still filled with warm and fuzzy feelings. I had my best friends birthday, a day trip out just with Mummy, my favourite Auntie and Uncle came to stay from Friday to Sunday, it was my Dad’s birthday on Saturday and we got to see my brother and his wife and my gorgeous niece and nephew.

Family, family family.

To start at the beginning….

Thursday:

Gorgeous turkish dinner at Havet in Bromley. This is amazing, I’ve blogged about it before here, Turkish-conkers-keith-lemmon, albeit a snippet. It didn’t let me down and we ended up across the road at The Barrell and Horn also detailed in the above post. – Not that I’m a creature of habit or anything?!

Friday:

Mummy and me went to The France Show at Olympia. This was a show with all things France. Admittedly I got jealous on Level 2 at all the lovely french properties for sale but Level 1 had lots of delights such as duck confit baguettes, crepes, sausages, cheese and one of my favourite bakers from Ropewalk in Bermonsey – Comptoir Gourmand which is a fast-growing traditional French patisserie company who had lots of tasty treats including these gorgeous meringue.

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I also picked up an amazing mixer/soft drink named Pimento. A ginger, chilli tonic which I have become quite addicted to with Gin and even on it’s own 🙂

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Saturday:

We went for a good run around at High Elms which is a lovely parkland and wood estate near mums, they have an eco visitors lodge where the kids made a collage picture whilst we looked at the history of the estate. Once we’d spent some energy we went on our trip to Frankie & Benny’s. Now I’m not one to moan (ok I did but…!) these chains aren’t really my thing to be honest but with 4 children in tow and majority rules this is where we went.

Overall it was OK. From a Tried & Tested and Toddler Approved side of things I would say all the kids had a great time so I won’t whine on. They had a kiddies pack to complete, their own menu with plenty to choose from including pizzas, pastas and burgers, this included a drink and desert and lots of balloons. The waiter did really well considering there were 13 of us!

The evening saw us all vegging after a manic day and watching Hot Tub Time Machine, hilarious very easy watching film starring John Cusack. If you haven’t seen it then do.

Happy Days!

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Toddler Approved Tuesday

 

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Mummy’s Gin Day Out

So I took some time out this weekend for myself. Yes, just me and my lovely friend Regan from What I Ate Last Night and NO kids!!

It was lush! I love my kids as much as the next person but a day trip out without them is a very rare occasion so I was excited all week! If you fancy somewhere funky and original and you’re in or around London then Ropewalk in Bermondsey is where to head. There are some lovely pubs, restaurants and quaint shops on Bermondsey Street worth a look too. So after a stroll down there we headed into Ropewalk.

After a wander past the gorgeous stalls which sell handmade produce including some spicy beef jerky, Bad Brownies, gorgeous breads and much more we headed straight to Montys Deli for the infamous Salt beef sandwich. Monty’s has moved into a big arch now so don’t be put off walking through a tiny door and in past all the ovens etc. We had to wait as it was so busy but it was well worth it!

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We obviously needed a drink to go with our sandwich so carried it out to the Little Bird Gin arch. One of my favs. Seated outside in the cold we managed to purloin some blankets and a hot water bottle and ordered a rhubarb gin fizz and a bloody mary. Watch out for the latter it is particularly spicy 🙂 We tried a warm negroni and a breakfast Martini after these which were both amazing. I was tempted to top up my empty bottle of Little Bird at home but having gone up to £30 a bottle I’ll just have to hope Santa brings one!

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The next stop on our free mummy trip was Bar Tozino. This place is open till 10 ish whereas the rest of the market packs up about 4 and trust me when I say it genuinely feels like you are stepping in to a little piece of Spain in the middle of London. There are hanging serrano hams, olives, prawns, octopus and more (yuk loved by Regan!) and a dish I have replicated a number of times at home, do it yourself garlic bread.

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You simply pour on some oil, rub in the garlic, put on some tomatoes and top off with course salt. All this was joined by one sweet sherry and one dry sherry. I can categorically now say I don’t like sherry! haha! So poor Regan had to drink them both whilst I got a lovely spanish beer instead 🙂

A trip to Maltby Street wouldn’t be complete without some takeaways so we returned home laden with fresh olive foccacia bread, a tub of ‘raping olives’ from Tozino (you’ll have to go and try some to find out what that’s about!) and a Salted Caramel Brownie from the Bad Brownie company. Yummy Yummy!

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Blogfest : lonely or friendly ?

So interesting reading a lot of #blogfest posts which gives a range of different points of view. This was my first bloggers conference and I went on my own. I had fancied going but having been relatively new to the blogging community and not having £95 spare I had to rule it out but then I was super lucky and won a ticket the week before.IMG_4727

I won’t write an in depth post about the sessions as plenty far better writers have already done this so you can catch up with them instead. My overview of the day was that I was glad I went as although I was super nervous I had a stern talking to myself and walked in with bags of courage fired up to talk to people I recognised.

I managed to introduce myself to Aby and Em from You Baby Me Mummy and Snowing Indoors, Katy and Jenna from whatkatysaid and tiny footsteps – Are you sensing a theme? These guys are all linkup hosts. You feel you know people better when you are interacting regularly. Although I entered the sessions by myself a lot of the bloggers I sat next to, behind etc chatted away. I read someone’s post who said the lunch hour dragged and they ended up stood in the corner by themselves – perhaps Mumsnet ought to have a first time blogger meet corner to give the first timers/new bloggers/single bloggers a meet point and a bit of comfort?

I enjoyed walking round the sponsors, had a good chat with the Coca-Cola guys who were all super friendly and knowledgable and had a gorgeous stand!IMG_4719

I bumped in to Katy from Hurrahfor gin and Katy from ehbahmum (who was super brave being on stage for one of the sessions) and Stephie from Dontbuyherflowers – all by the mulled wine stand I might add 😉

I must fess up to leaving early and not seeing the keynote as I had to get back for my sons first ever fireworks display but I was glad I went. Would I say all the sessions were great? Probably not, some were a bit yawn fest but then others found them profound so it really does depend on your thing. My favourite was the how to find your funny as it had  my favs Rebecca Front and Arabella Weir and introduced me to Katy (above eh bah mum), Jon Ronson and Elaine Miller from GussieGrips but I didn’t come away with loads of new ideas I just enjoyed it.

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There was no knocking the amazing goodie bag which was full to the brim. So the question is would I go again? Right now Im not sure. From a networking opportunity yes, from a content of the sessions point of view Im not so sure…

Ask me again next year!

 

 

Super Busy Mum