Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Food Review: Bistrot Pierre Leicester

There’s nothing better than enjoying a lovely meal out, do you agree!? I love food and love trying and experiencing new restaurants and types of food and so I jumped at the chance to head down to the newly refurbished Bistrot Pierre in Leicester to try out their new Autumn/Winter menu and took the crew along with me too! 

We had a table booked for 12pm Sunday, the perfect time to fuel yourself for the day or to take advantage of the Sunday Roast to keep you full until teatime. We had a sneaky look at the menu online before we got there too and were super excited to eat all the food! Millie also knew exactly what she wanted before we even got there...

The Restaurant

Embracing the French culture and their love of French Cuisine, Bistro Pierre has a swanky feel to it with leather couches and little wooden tables that you’d typically find in any Bistrot in France. All of the food is prepared by chefs using a mixture of artisan provincial ingredients and locally sourced ingredients too. It has a very casual vibe to it however, I can imagine it can be the perfect place for a dinner date too, with dimmer lighting and candles on the tables! They also have highchairs for little ones and have cool menu books and crayons for older children so they have something to do whilst waiting on their dinner!

It’s less than 5 minutes away from Highcross shopping centre in Leicester so it’s perfect if you want to escape the usual ‘Fast food’ option and head for something a little different as there are a selection of different menus with 2 courses starting from just £11.95! You can also pop in for breakfast where they serve everything from Pastries to Pancakes, Full English to Toasties - I definitely need to revisit for Breakfast time! 

The Food

We had the 3 course Lunch option which is £13.95 (view the menu here) plus a bottle of the house Red Wine which was really good and Millie had a main with desert, plus all the bread before the mains come.

We were seated away from the main part of the restaurant which is always a relief for me whenever we’re with the kids as I like to know that they can do whatever they want without disturbing others however, it did get busier by the time we were on our mains but they were both chomping on food and were so well behaved, this didn’t actually become an issue at all. We definitely need to eat out a lot more now Mylo is starting to eat (he loves his food!). 

Parfait au foie de volaille (Chicken Liver Pate with Toasted Sourdough and Red Onion chutney)
Ramequin aux champignons (Baked Cheese and Mushroom Ramekin with Bacon bits) 
Both starters were delicious. The pate was so smooth and creamy and the red onion chutney accompanied it so well, even Millie enjoyed it coated on her bread! The Cheese and Mushroom was amazing - jealous that Adam got that instead of me as I could have eaten that twice over. The mushrooms were so juicy and the sauce was perfect to dip bread into! 

Haddock à la béarnaise (Haddock fillet on green beans with béarnaise sauce)
Burger maison (Beef burger with Gherkins, plum tomatoes, relish and gem lettuce) we both had a side of fries with our mains. 
Millie: Macaroni Cheese
The haddock was beautifully cooked and very meaty, it was the perfect size too served with the green beans and fries, I wasn’t left feeling like I’d overeaten. Adam had the burger and by the time I had eaten half of mine, it was gone! He said that the gherkins were really sweet and the burger was cooked just right! 
Millie’s macaroni cheese came with a little side of fries and cucumber + tomatoes, it was so cheesy it tasted amazing, she ate so much too which is unlike her but the bit she left, we actually had boxed up and she ate it later on at home! 

Crème brûlée 
Crepes with mixed Berry compote and Vanilla Ice cream
Millie: Strawberry Meringue and Ice cream
I was a little disappointed with the size of the crepes as I’m so used to HUGE chocolate filled ones and the mixed berry compote was a little sour for me but the ice cream was so good. Adam also really enjoyed his Creme brûlée (I don’t actually like it) and said it’s the best one he’s ever had. Millie ate all of her pudding - no more needs to be said. 


The service we received was great. Although we were served by a few different waiters/waitresses, it was a constantly amazing service with chatty, friendly staff who wanted to make us feel completely comfortable. 

The food portions were just right. We usually end up over-eating and end up coming home feeling really sick but this was just the perfect amount of food and we left 100% satisfied. No need for pudding on the way home! 

Millie enjoyed it too which is a massive thing for us, she enjoyed the food and had something to do as the menus have little activities inside with a pack of pencils - she’s really into her colouring and drawing at the moment so it was a good thing and obviously kept her entertained. 

It’s somewhere we’d return in future, even though it is a french Bistrot, there isn’t any weird things on the menu and it is EXTREMELY good for the price you pay. You couldn’t get that quality food from any other restaurant chain for that price! I’d love to return for their A la carte menu to see what the difference is. 

If you’re looking for somewhere different for lunch or dinner (or breakfast) I highly recommend checking out Bistro Pierre - they also have lots of other locations too so be sure to see if there’s one near you!
(This was a collaboration post with Bistrot Pierre and the meal was complimentary) 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Rent or Buy

I moved out when I was 20 years old, moving to university firstly and then moving in with Adam a year later when we fell pregnant with Millie and since then, we have lived in 3 different houses/flats, now in Number 3 and what we hope to be the last of them all. However, we’re in no rush to buy our own house or even start saving! We have a roof over our head, food on the table and we’re happy, isn’t that the main thing?! To be happy?! 

There are so many opinions around buying houses and renting as it’s seen to many as ‘wasted money’ but in our eyes, we’re paying for our own home, its what we wanted and unlike many, we’re not in a position in which we can save half our salary each month to be able to save for a ridiculous deposit to buy somewhere half decent just to get on the property ladder. So, do we carry on renting or do we buy our own house!?

Well... it’s safe to say that we are going to be renting for the foreseeable future. For us, it’s safer to know we have somewhere to live with neither of our wages being consistent at the moment and we actually really like the house we live in. We have more than enough room for all of us (all being Me, Adam, Millie, Mylo, 2 cats and a dog...) and our landlord is the nicest guy ever. We pay a reasonable amount for a 3 bed house which is 5 minutes walk from the local town and within 45 minutes of 4 major cities - Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby. Show me a house that gives me all of that and I might re-think our renting situation. 

There has got to be a few rules though I think, when it comes to renting. We’ve luckily, had really good renting experiences over the 6 years we’ve lived together and HomeLet were keen to know our own #Rentingrules but it’s definitely important to:
- Respect the house as if it is your own, repair anything you can that isn’t major
- Make all payments on time 
- Leave the house as you found it when you moved in 
- Be honest with your landlord 

We haven’t really done much cosmetically to this house as we spent most of the time sorting the garden (take a look at the difference in my blog post here) but we do want to make it more homely and add some prints and art work over the next year or so, just to make it more us. But, for the time being, we’re really happy here and aren’t in any rush to own our own home. 

A wedding on the other hand... 

Friday, 13 October 2017

5 Frighteningly Fun ways to spend Halloween with Children

Halloween is a great holiday to spend with children! There are plenty of things that you can do that are family friendly, or you can wait until the children are in bed and celebrate in your own way (shots, shots, shots!). I wanted to share with you some of the things I think a family with young children can do to enjoy the halloween period as I often think families can get stuck in a rut with some of the non-traditional holidays and thought that now was a great opportunity to share with you some of the other ways you can enjoy Halloween without suggesting the usual trick or treating thing. We usually throw a party which kids come along to and then the adults hang around later on and dress up too!

Enjoy getting dressed up in spooky outfits as a family
You will mostly find children dressed up in spooky costumes come 31st October, knocking on doors and yelling “trick or treat!” But, why not do things a little differently this year and get involved in the costumes yourself. Many families now use this as an opportunity to have a theme for the halloween costumes and dressing up as a family. Think Addams Family as being a popular suggestion on Pinterest. But there are plenty more you can think of if you happen to be creative. I love this idea as I think children will enjoy doing something as family, even if it is just getting dressed up together. Take it one step further and organise a halloween party for families and encourage others to get involved as well. There certainly will be plenty of photo opportunities!

Carve a pumpkin
Pumpkin carving is a great family thing to do. From heading to the pumpkin farm and picking your own (we head to Cattows Farm in Leicestershire), to spending the time together carving a spooky face and creating a lantern for your front door. There are plenty of ways to make the most out of this as well. For example, use the pumpkin flesh to create a pumpkin themed meal like a soup or pie. You could also roast the seeds for a healthy snack.

Make something halloween themed for tea
On the subject of food why not use this as an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen!? You could decide to turn a normal family meal into a halloween themed spectacle. Thankfully, there are plenty of recipes online like this Halloween recipe from Parenting Pod if you find yourself lacking on the creativity side of things.

Watch a scary movie with snack 
Finally, while not all scary movies are family appropriate, there are things you can watch together thanks to Disney and other animation companies creating child appropriate halloween themed films. Get yourself some popcorn and jump on Netflix to see what is available. Maybe even let the children stay up a little later as an extra treat. It’s a nice way of having some quality family time without the need to step out your own front door.

Get Crafty
Millie loves anything to do with crafts at the moment so why not make some of your own decorations?! Use paper plates to make your very own Pumpkins, Bats and Frankensteins to stick round the house and you could even do a Halloween Hunt with them too - placing them around the house and garden with some treats alongside them. Its a great way to get little ones involved if you feel that they’re too young to go Trick or Treating! 

So there you have it, four suggestions to enjoy the halloween period with children. If you have any other suggestions then please leave me a comment. Enjoy the 31st!
(Guest contributed post)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Gift Idea: Shimmer and Shine Magic Carpet

Kids. They become obsessed with so many different things over such a short space of time and I know Millie is no different. She goes through phases of loving her Princesses, Paw Patrol, at the moment she loves to draw and write (as she’s just started school!) but one thing that never seems to get old is her love for Dolls. She loves her Barbies and similar dolls and plays role play games with them constantly and Shimmer and Shine dolls have to be her favourites and so you can imagine the joy when she was kindly sent the new Fisher Price Shimmer and Shine Magic Carpet and I told her she would be on Mummy’s Blog to talk about it! 

The entire package comes with a moving magic carpet *it does not fly* and both dolls complete with outfits. The carpet has roller wheels on the bottom which mean it can glide across smooth surfaces and carpets and the back of the carpet has a wave like motion when this happens. Lift the carpet and pretend to fly Shimmer and Shine into a magical adventure with over 40 phrases and magical sounds from the TV series too, including the catchy theme tune! 

Millie absolutely loved playing with it and immediately ran upstairs to get changed into her Shimmer/Shine outfit too (she’s so cute!). Here’s her own thoughts on the toy:
“I really like how it moves on the floor, it makes Mylo laugh!”
“I can sing the songs when I press this *the gem shaped button in between their seats* button. I love the songs!”
“I can pretend they’re flying off to Zahramay and going to find Leah!”

All she wants now is the other dolls to add to her collection and she’ll have the entire group which she’ll play with for hours on end! It’s a perfect Christmas Gift Idea for boys and girls who love Shimmer and Shine! 

*Please note that batteries are NOT included and it will require 3 x AAA batteries to function. *
RRP £41.99 currently on offer at Smyths Toys for £36.99