Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Tati's Hotel Magic Muddle app review


If your kids are early risers, even at the weekend, the chances are they'll be familiar with Tati's Hotelcurrently on ITV1 at 7.10am on Saturday mornings. The programme is set in a magical hotel managed by 8-year-old Tati, where the number one rule is ‘Have Fun’.

Well, no need to get up at the crack of dawn at the weekend now ! You can download Tati's Hotel Magic Muddle app to your ipad and play it whenever you like ! We were sent a code through to try it out and the girls have had great fun with it.

It works exactly like those plastic square puzzles where you have to slide the pieces around to reconstitute the original picture. You just need to click on two pieces that touch to inverse them and it's simple enough that both 6-year-old Juliette and 10-year-old Sophie picked it up instantly.

The pictures feature all the show’s favourite characters from bellboy Bopper to dancing chambermaid Dizzee, the snobbish Mr Snapweazle to cuddly Chester the Cat. There are three progressively more difficult levels and the games are timed so that you can try to get faster and faster and beat everyone else's time.

My one criticism is that it's a bit limited, reminding me more of a mini game that you would find within a more varied app, but it is only 69p which is cheaper than the apps offering a selection of mini-games.

For the price of a packet of sweets, it's given the girls hours of entertainment in total so it's definitely a worthwhile investment, especially if you need to keep the kids occupied and tantrums at bay while out and about or travelling.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : 69p


Other reviews you may be interested in :

Formalwear for Little People - Mytuxedo.co.uk



Back at the beginning of the summer, I was contacted by Mytuxedo.co.uk, who are - according to their website - the leading online formal wear store for men and boys of all ages. They asked if I had any formal events coming up for Pierre for which they could send us a tuxedo. Well, we didn't have any weddings to go to this summer for once, but there was a small matter of his christening and I thought it could look very cute if he came out looking like a mini James Bond !

After some very wriggly measuring which had Pierre giggling and saying "again, again" (yes, just like a Teletubby), I sent off his measurements and awaited the delivery man.


I was very impressed by the very smart suit protector bag that turned up, which looks just like a grown-up one but scaled down. Not only does it keep everything perfectly clean (even more important with tiny tots who would love nothing more than wiping their sticky, chocolatey fingers all over their new suit !), it has a handy bottom part which keeps all the other bits (bow tie, shirt, etc) together so that they don't get lost.


Inside there's a very smart pair of black trousers, whose pockets, seams and buttons show the attention to detail.


A dress shirt, bow tie (which comes in a choice of colours ranging from classic black to white and even hot pink !) and cummerbund to really complete the look.


And to finish off, the very smart jacket, with the same attention to detail and really solidly sewn seams.

Mytuxedo.co.uk sells suits for grown ups as well as as teens and tots from age 2 (the smallest jacket fits a 20" chest and the smallest trousers are a size 18" waist) so if you want a "mini-me" look for a page boy at a wedding, or a special suit for a school prom, it's a great place to look. The fact that you can order online means you don't have to drag young kids around the shops, which is always appreciable, and if the size isn't right, they're happy to change it for you.

We did have this problem actually - the suit was too big for Pierre but, as he was basically the smallest size available, I wouldn't have been able to get a smaller one - but that's no problem. It's safely stashed away in his cupboard ready for him to wear next year at weddings, graduations, Christmas parties and anything else we get invited to. It's such a cute look that I can't wait to unleash it on doting grannies and aunties !


(In case you're wondering, this is what Pierre ended up wearing for his christening. Nowhere near as impressive as a mini-tuxedo but he's still a cutie. And don't worry about the blue lips - he's not oxygen-starved, he's been nibbling blue sugared almonds !)

But I digress ! Getting back to Mytuxedo.co.uk, I have to say, I was actually really impressed with the prices too. If you go for one of the packages, it all comes in at a very reasonable price, even in these time of credit crunch.





Even going back over a decade ago when I got married, I can remember the prices for bridesmaid dresses and page boy suits and they were a lot more than that. And, if you want to do some serious name-dropping, you might like to know that MyTuxedo.co.uk has been supplying suits for the last six years to a number of prestigious clients including the BBC, MTV, Lloyds TSB, Big Brother and the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. How cool is that ?!

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : Bronze package from £20, Platinum package from £80

for more information : http://www.mytuxedo.co.uk/

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Biscuit Village review


When the opportunity came up to write a review for Biscuit Village, who make - as their website says - "natural handmade designer iced biscuits", I had a bit of a brainwave. Looking through the wide range of themed biscuits, with everything from flowers and animals to dinosaurs and DIY tools, I decided that it would look very cool indeed to get the baby boy tin and scatter the gorgeous creations across the table at Pierre's christening. When the beautifully presented and ribbon-wrapped tin arrived, it looked almost too good to open.


Inside, the sense of luxury and perfection continues,as you come across a pristine layer of coloured tissue paper, sealed with a "hand made" sticker. And underneath that, you have the selection of biscuits which are perfectly protected in individual sealed sachets with bubblewrap between each layer.


The biscuits look absolutely beautiful - sheer works of art that are almost too good to eat. The attention to detail is incredible and they have real wow-factor so for a special gift or occasion, such as a new baby, a wedding, a birthday or a new house, they'd make a really special gift.

Their "about us" page says that they are a family-run bakery with a passion for biscuits, and they go on to explain that : "Here at the Biscuit Village we do not compromise on quality. We have been perfecting our delicious recipe for many years and source quality fresh ingredients such as the organic honey and our free range whole eggs which are sourced from local farms . We use 100% butter and no nasty hydrogenated fats. We are passionate about our sugar craft and see our biscuits as an affordable indulgence to be enjoyed by all. Where we can, each biscuit is made with natural colouring to make for a healthier alternative for each design. We also use natural acid free inner packaging in all our products and individually wrap each biscuit to seal in the freshness."

I said that they were almost too good to eat, but it would be a shame not to as they do taste very nice too ! If you're now looking at these thinking "oooh I wonder if they do such and such", even more good news is that they do bespoke biccies too, so if you want something totally unique, they're the place to go.

They're more expensive than biscuits you'd buy in the supermarket, but they are culinary masterpieces, guaranteed to add a touch of pzazz to your party and dazzle everyone who sees them, let alone eats them !

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £24.99 for a tin


Other reviews you may be interested in :



Bandai Armouron review



If you make a checklist of all the things that boys (and tomboys) want from their toys, you'll find pretty much all of them in Armouron from Bandai. Dressing up and roleplay - check. Construction and creativity - check. Running around and rolling about on the floor making aaaggghhhh noises - check. Mindless violence - check, if you want (but it's only pretend !). Looking like your favourite heroes and TV characters - check. So it's hardly surprising that it won the best role-play category in the Toy Fair Best New Toys for 2010 Awards


When the lovely people at Bandai offered to send me some to try out, I thought Pierre might be a bit small but Juliette was keen to give it a go (see ? Who says it's just for boys ?!)so I said yes please. I was astounded to see just how much turned up ! They sent through an Armouron Action Set, two Armouron accessory sets, five Snapperons sets and two Armouron short daggers. Wowee !


The Armouron (I keep writing Amouron - not quite the same ! Must be my "make love not war" mentality coming through from my subconscious !) Action Set is the basic starter set. It costs £30, comes in red or blue high density foam and comprises a helmet, chest and body armour, a shield, a gauntlet and Snapperons. (More about those in a moment.) This would be enough on its own but you can add to it, funk it up and get creative by buying add on kits.


Such as the Armouron Accessory Sets - we got the Spikes set, but they also come in Wings or Flames (from left to right below).



Each Accessory Set costs £15 and basically allows you to jazz up the basic Action Set so that you look extra funky and can show off your twiddly bits to your mates ! You get a head piece, shoulder pads, visor and shield to add to your suit, plus some extra Snapperons, and, I have to admit, they do look very impressive once they've been added.
 

Ah, the Snapperons that I keep mentioning. Well, as their name suggests, they are the fastenings which allow you to snap on the different parts of your costume. You can get silver or gold coloured Snapperons which are very bright and shiny and a pack of 6 Snapperons costs £5. You do get a few Snapperons with each kit that you buy, but they're the smallest parts so will inevitably get lost and need replacing, or you may just need extras if you have lots of add-ons or just want to make your armour look funky and bejewelled !


Now, it's no good looking like a souped-up Power Ranger if you haven't got something to wave around aggressively ! Forget laser guns, Armouron keeps things traditional and gives you a choice of Short Dagger (£10) or Long Sword (£13). I was initially a bit concerned about passing these over to the kids but they are soft and bendy and won't do any damage. The middle bit is hard plastic and could do some potential damage if you smacked somebody on the head with it though !

I can certainly see why this is such a popular toy, because you do get to construct (and deconstruct and reconstruct and customise) to your heart's content, constantly changing your outfit, but it is a bit scary (as a parent) when you start adding up the total cost of your collection. For the big boxful we were sent, I've just done a quick tally and it comes to just over £100 (but, to be fair, that is for two people). If you think of the kind of toys that girls collect (Littlest Pet Shop, Barbie, Zoobles, etc), it's exactly the same and, at least with the Armouron, the kids do get the encouragement to go outside and run around in the fresh air too.

The basic kit at £30 is actually a good price so, as long as you get together with the rest of the family to buy the add-on accessory sets for Christmases and birthdays, you could get a fabulous collection built up quite reasonably.

Pierre has just turned 2 so he's still a bit small to play - the website says that Armouron is not suitable for children under 36 months and also warns that this toy does not provide protection. It does however provide hours of entertainment, creative play and make believe, which is always a good thing. And it does make a very nice change from fairy wings and princess dresses !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £30 for the basic set, £5-£15 for the add-on accessories

for more information : http://armouron.com/uk/

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

DISCOVER THE JOYS OF MEXICAN FOOD ON SEPTEMBER 16TH

Mexican Independence Day, when Mexicans all over the world celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule, is on 16th September. These recipes, courtesy of Discovery, will help you get in the fiesta spirit ! I'll be trying out some Discovery products for an upcoming review so I'll let you know how we get on.

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Festive Feasting On Mexican Independence Day

Circle the date in your diary: September 16th marks Mexican Independence Day, a fun-filled celebration in a sunshine country packed with singing, dancing, music, fireworks and fantastic food. Now you can bring the magic of Mexico to your very own dinner table with Discovery’s selection of mouth-watering recipes.


As Mexicans everywhere prepare to celebrate in style, seize the opportunity to take part with some quick and tasty dishes guaranteed to ignite the party atmosphere. Kick off with Fajita Wedges, a fantastic twist to the popular potato that’s full of flavour. Follow with a Mexican classic: All in One Chicken Fajitas topped with Guacamole, Salsa and Soured Cream. Then party into the night with some sweet Blueberry Chips, a deliciously moreish treat that’s been designed to be devoured!

Bursting with big-hitting flavour combinations, it’s the perfect family banquet to celebrate Mexican Independence Day in true fiesta fashion…



Starter: Fajita Wedges

A light appetizer that’s perfect to get the taste buds tingling. The extra adventurous can add shredded cheese, chives and soured cream for added flavour.

Ingredients:

· 1 kg potatoes, skin-on, cut into thick wedges
· 2 tbsp oil
· 1 sachet Discovery Fajita Seasoning Mix
Method:

· Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6

· Coat potatoes in oil and Seasoning, to taste

· Lay on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until well browned and cooked

· Serve immediately



Add a classic main to the mix: Chicken Fajitas

Perfect for minimum fuss, maximum enjoyment. The beauty of fajitas is that they can be varied so easily… chicken, prawn, steak or vegetables, there’s something for everyone!

Ingredients:

· 450g boneless chicken, cut into strips
· 2 tbsp oil
· 1 sachet Discovery Fajita Seasoning Mix
· 1 onion sliced
· 1 green pepper and 1 red pepper sliced
· 8 pack Discovery soft flour Tortillas

To serve:

· Discovery Salsa
· Discovery Soured Cream Topping
· Discovery Guacamole
· Discovery sliced JalapeƱos (Red or Green)
Method:

· Coat chicken in oil and seasoning mix

· Heat a heavy based frying pan until very hot and add chicken

· Fry for about 3 minutes until well browned

· Add onion and peppers and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the meat is cooked

· Serve with warm Tortillas, Salsa, Soured Cream, Guacamole and JalapeƱos



Dessert: Blueberry Chips

A delightful dessert that perfectly ties up a great Mexican dining experience. Buy twice as much as you think you’ll need because you won’t stop dipping!

Ingredients:

· Discovery Soured Cream
· 75g blueberry conserve
· Oil for shallow frying
· 4 Discovery Flour Plain Tortillas, each cut into 8 triangles
· 100g caster sugar

Method:

· Mix together Soured Cream and blueberry conserve and chill

· Heat the oil and quickly fry tortillas until golden

· Lift out of oil with a draining spoon and sprinkle with sugar whilst still hot, then leave to cool

· Place blueberry dip in the middle of a serving plate and surround with tortillas

Come and celebrate Mexican Independence Day with Discovery and Strictly Come Dancing winners Darren Bennett and Lillia Kopylova on Saturday, 10th and Sunday 11th September in Brighton’s Jubilee Square. Mexicans all over the world celebrate with good food, music, dancing, pinatas and competitions, so here’s your chance to join in the fun!

For more information and recipe ideas, visit http://www.discoveryfoods.co.uk/

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Giveaway #112 - Win a £45 voucher for Up to the Moon toys & gifts - closed - winner @hannahmdy

Up to the Moon is a brand new website that sells educational and traditional toys, crafts and gifts for children. Nicola Howlett, who set up the business, describes it as "a family run website that offers what we think are the very best educational and traditional toy and gift ideas for when you want to give something really special to a child aged between 3 and 12. In these days of computer games, we believe that a really important part of education is interacting actively with others, so many of the gifts we have chosen encourage co-operation, imaginative play and sometimes just good old fashioned charging around outside having fun with each other!"

I'm over the moon (excuse the pun !) to be able to offer one of you lucky readers a voucher code worth £45 to buy whatever you fancy from the website.




Or be tempted by this funky Spy Kite with Camera.


Or maybe this Electric Dragster Kit will catch your eye.

To be in with the chance of winning, just do the following three things :

(1) leave me a comment in the comments box with a way of contacting you (twitter name or email). If I don't hear back from you within a week, I'll have to pick another winner.


(2) comment on any of my other blogposts and tell me where you commented (other giveaways don't count and each comment only counts for one giveaway !)

(3) Head over to http://www.uptothemoon.com/ and tell me one of the things that you'd love to win from the website. (Leave us a link to the product page then we can all check out your finds !)

Bonus entries :

You can do any or all of the following for bonus entries - just make sure you leave me one comment per entry so that they're all counted !


(1) Follow me on twitter (@cherylp59) and tweet about my comp - this is now dead easy if you click on the tweet button on the right-hand side bar. Feel free to shorten if necessary, or you can make up your own tweet. Make sure you copy in @cherylp59 so I can track this.


(2) I love reading your comments so leave me some extra comments on my other blogposts (maximum 5) and I'll give you a bonus entry for each one ! Just remember to leave me a comment here each time to tell me you've done so.


(3) I've created a facebook page for Madhouse Family Reviews so I'd love for you to become a follower on there too - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Madhouse-Family-Reviews/144910798898626


(4) Subscribe to my blog by email (near the top of the right-hand sidebar) so that all the new posts pop into your inbox in a handy digest every morning

(5) follow my blog with Google Friends Connect (over on the side bar on the right)


UK only. Closing date : 17/9/11





Jumbo Games Disney Princess Magic Wand Game review



As soon as the lovely people at Jumbo asked if we'd like to review a Disney Princesses board game, I knew we'd be on to a winner and that was before I even laid eyes on it. I don't care if there is a whole "pink stinks" campaign these days, there's something about the Disney princesses that makes all little girls' (and usually their mums' and grannies') eyes light up, remembering childhood dreams of Prince Charming, luxurious palaces and happy endings. 


As soon as I started unpacking the box, both 6-year-old Juliette and 10-year-old Sophie (even if she does claim she's outgrown Disney now !) crowded round excitedly to examine the contents. 2-year-old Pierre didn't want to miss out either and was fascinated by the wand, even without the batteries in it ! Ah yes, the batteries ...


The only thing I grumbled about slightly was when we were setting up the board for the first time and I had to go wandering off to the kitchen twice, first to find 2 AAA batteries (which I eventually managed to pilfer from the DVD player remote control, after discovering that the batteries drawer was empty - that was close !) and secondly to find a blunt knife to prise open the "magic pathway" attachments (like big poppers, but very difficult to open). A lot of toys that we've been testing lately have had the batteries included, and I have to say that I much prefer this, even if the price is bumped up slightly to cover the cost. The rest of the board was very easy to slot together though and looks very impressive once it's all set up.


The thing that everybody was most impressed with was the magic wand though, which replaces dice. Each player waves the wand and a voice tells you how many spaces to move or whether you can swap places with another player or rotate a magic path. Not only does this seem quite magical in itself, it also means that you don't have to keep going under the table to retrieve dice that have been rolled too hard and fallen on the floor ! As if that's not magical enough, at the very end of the game, when one of the players has reached the gates to the castle, the wand has one more magic trick up its sleeve (or handle) - you touch the point of the star on the castle gates and they magically open. The girls were very impressed - and also laughed their heads off because as the gates sprang open, they made the poor princess waiting to go in go flying across the table ! Oops !



The gameplay is simple enough, with no complicated rules. The magic pathways add a tactical element to the game as you can be nice and help players move along or be nasty and block them, depending on their age and how nice you're feeling ! The special squares like the evil characters who make you miss a turn, the wand for an extra go or the magic squares which protect you from being swapped with another player, are all easy to understand because they are visual and you don't need to read, so it's great for younger players.


Game play lasted about 20 minutes which was perfect. There was no arguing and no cheating and nobody got confused about the rules, despite the age difference between the players. Even Pierre joined in - he waved the wand and we moved his princess. Up to four players can play at any one time.


And the winner was ... Juliette, which she was very proud of ! It's a lovely family game that kids (not necessarily just the girls) can play whatever their age and the magic wand adds an element of wow-factor that makes it seem extra special. Just don't forget to buy the batteries when you buy the game or you'll have some very disappointed youngsters to deal with !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £14.99



Other reviews you may be interested in :



Jealous "irresistible guilt-free sweets" review


Like most kids, all three of the Madhouse Mini-Testers have an incredibly sweet tooth (as do their parents !)so, even if I like to get them eating as healthily as possible, I still think it's important for them to have the opportunity to indulge and enjoy sweeties and other treats. When I saw a tweet go by asking for bloggers to review a new range of high end guilt-free sweets, I offered our services without a second's hesitation.

I did a bit of research online and learnt some more about the company. Unbelievable as it may seem, the people behind Jealous - Imran Ali Merza (a former City trader) and Tahzeen Basunia (chartered accountant) - have discovered a gap in the sweets market and have come up with an innovative concept - luxurious gift boxed sweets that can be given in place of a box of posh chocolates.

Imran Ali Merza, managing director at Jealous, says : “Sweets are immensely popular among almost everyone, but confectionery gifts are largely chocolate based, meaning there are no real gift options for sweet lovers. Sweets are bought in packets or at a pick and mix store, but not really given as gifts. We wanted to change this and bring sweets out as equals to chocolates in the gift stakes – standing the humble gummy bear alongside the praline with pride.”

“We also wanted to ensure they could be enjoyed by all, hence our ranges are made free from artificial enhancements, are gluten and gelatine free and also suitable for vegetarians. They come stunningly boxed and in ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ ranges – providing a gorgeous gift for any occasion. We’ve had a great deal of interest in the range so far and anticipate strong sales at Selfridges, which is famed for its well-stocked confectionary department,” he added.


We received a mini sampler box, as you can see above, and happily munched our way through the box. They tasted lovely and fresh. The gummy sweets seemed much softer than many of the jelly-type sweets that the kids eat and the fizzy ones had lovely zingy flavours without being so sour they made your eyes water !

The price does seem expensive, compared to the normal jelly or fizzy type sweets that you can buy, but the whole point is that these are high end, luxurious products to be offered as a gift, so it's like comparing a packet of Smarties with a box of Belgian truffles ! It's definitely an interesting concept, which needs a good marketing campaign so that people equate these kinds of sweets with luxury and grown-up gifts worth a higher price.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £13.99 for 400g
for more information : http://www.thejealouslife.com/ or follow them on twitter at @thejealouslife

Other reviews that may be of interest :

Rowntrees new sharing bags review
Chocolate Craft Praline Filled Mini Eggs review
Wrigley's 5 Flood chewing gum review

Letterbox Activity Tablecloth review



When Letterbox (http://www.letterbox.co.uk/) told me they'd be sending me an Activity Tablecloth for review, I expected something flimsy and plasticky or maybe made of some kind of paper.


I wasn't expecting a lovely, thick, padded, soft tablecloth that feels more like a thick quilt and that can be washed and reused - but that was exactly what I got.


As you can see, it's really big. I unfolded it and draped it over the settee to give you an idea and you can't even see the settee (a 2-seater) at all ! The dimensions given on the website are 57.5 x 39”/146 x 99cm which means that it's big enough to cover a standard dining room table, not just a small coffee table.

It's covered in a wide range of activities that appeal to all ages - colouring, wordsearches, dot to dots, mazes, spot the difference, finish the picture, etc - so even the grown-ups can have fun and join in (as demonstrated by Madhouse Grandad !).


Another great surprise is that it's double-sided so when you've done it all, you just need to flip it over and you'll get another couple of hours of quiet play (as a parent, don't you just love those words ?!).

The great news is, it's reuseable because once it's finished with, you can wash it in cold water and it's ready to go again ! It can be cold washed in the machine but I preferred to wash ours by hand. The only thing that slightly bothers me is that once the six washable marker pens have run out, they might be hard to replace and I'm concerned that shop bought "washable" felt tips may come out less easily and leave stains on the material. Time will tell for that one though.



It's a great way of keeping the kids occupied, as well as protecting your table or floor from rogue felt-tip colouring that goes over the edges. I'll also be pulling it out as a great collective activity at the next birthday party we host. If you buy a lot of activity books, it's also a more eco-friendly, reusable alternative to all that paper.

It got a huge thumbs up from the whole family, kids and adults alike.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £15



Other reviews you may be interested in :

New website - www.tesco-baby.com


I just wanted to share the news that landed in my inbox that Tesco have just launched a new website - http://www.tesco-baby.com/


This is a new space where you can give and receive support and advice and hear news of upcoming products and offers. There will also be a section for you to share your thoughts and feedback.


There is also a blog that will include news but they will also be looking for guest bloggers so let them know if you want to be a part of it!



They have also announced the online launch of this year’s BabySafe. This year they have created a series of free videos, online, to offer you online first aid training with experts from the British Red Cross off the back of some new research that revealed 72% of parents wouldn’t feel confident in administering first aid.


Have you done any first aid training before? If not these videos are a great basic ‘how to’ guide. And if you have they make a great refresher!


The first video is all about prevention and will advise you how to deal with bumps to the head and falls. Each video will be followed by a live twitter chat hosted on @TescoBabyClub to give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have to a British Red Cross first aid expert.


 And don’t forget to stop by Help a Mum to submit your best tips for your chance to win 200 Clubcard points and a selection of baby products.

for more information : http://www.tesco-baby.com/

Other blogposts you may be interested in :



Giveaway #111 - 5 pairs of tickets for Good Food 2011 Winter - closed - @mumoffunkids @acguest EmmaG @beachrambler @5_minutespeace


BBC Good Food Show Winter – 21 Years old this year!
23 – 27 November NEC, Birmingham

The BBC Good Food Show Winter is 21 this year and to celebrate we have teamed up with the organisers to offer you the chance to win 5 pairs of general admission tickets. (All tickets are general admission excluding Saturday. Tickets are non refundable and non-exchangeable. Ticket terms and conditions apply.)


The BBC Good Food Show is the biggest and best food Show in the country and has been paving the way for food Shows for the past 21 years. This year the line up is just as stellar as always with top foodie faces including John Torode, Gregg Wallace, James Martin, Rick Stein, Glynn Purnell and many more taking to the 2000 seater Supertheatre. There will be hundreds of exhibitors from Flavours of Spain to British Fine Foods and Luponde tea plus come and see some exhibitors who have been with us from the very beginning including Foxes Spices and The Curry Sauce Company. With Christmas just around the corner it will be the perfect place to pick up inspiration to make your Christmas stand out from the crowds this year and try something different!



Ticket prices start at just £20.50

To book tickets please visit http://www.bbcgoodfoodshow.com/ or call 0844 581 1360
 
To be in with the chance of winning, just do the following two things :


(1) leave me a comment in the comments box with a way of contacting you (twitter name or email). If I don't hear back from you within a week, I'll have to pick another winner.


(2) comment on any of my other blogposts and tell me where you commented (other giveaways don't count and each comment only counts for one giveaway !)

Bonus entries :

You can do any or all of the following for bonus entries - just make sure you leave me one comment per entry so that they're all counted !

(1) Follow me on twitter (@cherylp59) and tweet about my comp - this is now dead easy if you click on the tweet button on the right-hand side bar. Feel free to shorten if necessary, or you can make up your own tweet. Make sure you copy in @cherylp59 so I can track this.

(2) I love reading your comments so leave me some extra comments on my other blogposts (maximum 5) and I'll give you a bonus entry for each one ! Just remember to leave me a comment here each time to tell me you've done so.

(3) I've created a facebook page for Madhouse Family Reviews so I'd love for you to become a follower on there too - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Madhouse-Family-Reviews/144910798898626

(4) Subscribe to my blog by email (near the top of the right-hand sidebar) so that all the new posts pop into your inbox in a handy digest every morning
(5) follow my blog with Google Friends Connect (over on the side bar on the right)

UK only. Closing date : 30/9/11

Other current giveaways you may be interested in :

Monday, 29 August 2011

Brits spend more on barbeques than summer holidays

As bank holidays are often spent firing up the bbq, I thought this article made interesting reading ! Don't miss the top tips for hosting the perfect (late) summer party. We haven't had much of a summer so who knows ? Maybe we'll get lucky and get a nice Indian summer instead !

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BRITAIN’S SIZZLING BARBEQUE BILL

Sociable Britons spend more on summer barbeques than their summer holidays


According to the latest findings from The Pimm’s® Summer Socialising Report, Britons are spending £724.02 hosting and attending barbeques during the summer season - far more than they would spend on a one week summer holiday abroad, which currently averages £543.5 per person.


Forget serving up a single measley singed sausage, British hosts are going all out to lay on barbeque spreads full of food fineries, spending an average of £141.67 on their guests for every barbeque. With three quarters (75%) of Britons surveyed hosting up to five barbeques during the course of the summer it’s not just our waist-lines that are bearing the brunt, this could be weighing heavy on the bank balance too.


The good news is Brits are happy to share the cost and when we’re not hosting lavish barbeques ourselves, we’ll happily shell out £96.39 for each summer get-together we attend over the course of the summer. Gracious guests individually fork out an average £22.68 for every summer party, readily bringing a selection of food, drink and even gifts for their hosts.

The findings are a testament to the great British attitude of remaining defiant against adversity, we won’t let these frugal times or the weather take the sizzle out of our summers.



Further findings from The Pimm’s Summer Socialising Report show:

1. The cost of summer BBQs isn’t enough to deter hardy Brits from their love of al fresco socialising – nearly half (48%) agreed the cost was well worth it, catching up with friends and having a good time is a top priority when attending summer get-togethers

2. One in five hosts believe guests shouldn’t have to bring anything to summer parties, preferring to foot the bill themselves

3. A third of hosts ask guests to bring along their own tableware, doilies and crockery

4. One in ten admit to asking guests to bring their own coals and even firelighters to a BBQ


Spokesperson from Pimm’s, Emma Sherwood-Smith, said: “There’s no question that summer socialising is a top priority for Brits, the fact we spend more on summer barbeques than going on holiday is further proof of this as is our resilience. We are already well-versed at huddling around rain-drenched barbeques and picnicing on windswept beaches, so the thought of spending a little extra is a cost we’re willing to pay to have fun with friends during the Great British summer. The Pimm’s Summer Party couldn’t agree more, and so they’ve devised five top tips to ensure summer parties across the land go off with a bang-er!”

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