Family breakfast at Table Table restaurants

Family breakfast whether at home or out and about is one of our favourite things. Before we had children, some of our loveliest times were enjoying a Full English and comparing the best ones on offer at pubs, greasy spoons and restaurants. We imagined ourselves as restaurant reviewers never imagining that one day we would be just that!

My Dad used to make an amazing cooked breakfast and it was always the very thing my Mum fancied if she was feeling off colour. Similarly, my husband makes the best breakfast in my house. To be honest, timing all those food items is daunting to me so I leave it to him.

On Saturday, we were invited to try the family breakfast on offer at the Red Lion in Horndean – one of a number of Table Table outlets across the UK.

breakfast

We arrived to a friendly greeting from the manager. Before being shown to our table, a waitress explained where to find the various tasty treats on offer some of which were self-service and some of which were served to the table. The restaurant was quite busy with a wide range of age groups including families with small children, a group of teenage boys and couples. There was plenty of space for everyone and we did not feel at all crowded.

Service was very friendly and particular thanks goes to Jess who was so very lovely with my shy daughter. They bonded over a love of croissants and hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows! I think it is really important that family-friendly restaurants provide not only affordable and healthy food but also are genuinely nice to the children. Too often, I find the staff ignore the children and I don’t like that.

My daughter was thrilled with the wide range of pastries on offer and ate an amazing amount. She enjoyed putting Nutella on her toast and she felt very special when freshly-baked croissants were delivered to her by the lovely Jess. She also enjoyed yoghurt whilst my husband relished a bowl of fruit salad, always one of his favourite things.

Both my husband and I ordered cooked breakfasts and you could choose the specific items that you liked best and lots of them too if you wanted to go down that route. The breakfasts did take a while to arrive but I don’t mind that at all as the reasons were explained to us and we were offered another treat as compensation. We were both delighted with the food when it arrived and it was worth the slight wait.

I particularly enjoyed the bacon which I usually find so disappointing. It had a smoky taste to it and was thicker than usual. The mushrooms were proper ones not those bland tinned ones that too often appear. Black pudding is now apparently a super food so I had to have that too!

My husband had at least one of each item on offer – he has quite the appetite! He comments, “The choice was fantastic. The delay was an issue but at least you knew it was all freshly cooked so that could be forgiven easily”.

Check out the wonderful offers that make eating out out a real option for families even if working to a budget and whatever time of day.

You and your little ones can choose as much as you like from the cooked and Continental selections, including crispy back bacon, succulent premium sausages, eggs as you like them, hash browns, pan-fried mushrooms and more, alongside beautifully baked pastries, cereal, fresh fruit, plus chilled juices, tea and unlimited Costa Coffee.

And the best bit is that up to two under 16’s eat breakfast for free when one adult orders a full Premier Inn Breakfast.

This offer applies to Table Table restaurants situated next to Premier Inn hotels:

Free breakfast for two children aged 15 or under when purchasing an adult breakfast. This offer is available weekdays 6.30am-11:30am and weekends 7.00am-11.00am

This offer applies to Table Table restaurants not situated next to Premier Inn hotels:

One child under 10 years can choose from either a cooked breakfast, a vegetarian breakfast, eggs on toast, beans on toast or a two egg omelette when one adult purchases and Ultimate Cooked Breakfast meal deal or an Ultimate Vegetarian Cooked Breakfast meal deal.

The Red Lion at Horndean

Our family were invited to visit the Red Lion at Horndean in Hampshire for a meal. The Red Lion is tucked away in a village very close the A3(M) and conveniently located next door to a Premier Inn. The pub restaurant is spacious and suitable for large or small groups. It was family-friendly but I could also envisage it providing a very suitable place to meet for a business lunch or breakfast.

Red Lion Horndean

We were delighted by a friendly greeting from the lovely Emily who showed us to a table and checked that it suited our needs. Emily was also very efficient ensuring that she took a drinks order whilst we perused the menus. She also told us about free refills on Pepsi. All of the family liked how we were given time to decide what we would like to eat without any sense of pressure. My daughter can be shy around adults but seemed very comfortable with Emily and the way she spoke to her. An activity pack was offered which my daughter declined as she was too busy talking about her latest game.

The menu was impressive giving a large choice of traditional pub fare and more unusual choices too. It was big but not so huge that it was daunting. This is pet hate of mine – menus that take about a decade to read!

My husband and I opted for a sharing platter as a starter. We enjoy such platters but were really impressed with this one as it was not gigantic but quite sufficient. I hate it when the starter is so enormous that you don’t feel ready to eat your main and a pudding is pretty much out of the question.

My daughter chose vegetables for her starter. Isn’t it great when you eat out and can also feel they are getting a good contribution to their 5 a day?

Our mains arrived promptly and were well cooked and we all cleared out plates. My daughter had cod, my husband gammon and myself a glorious beef lasagne as I was in the mood for comfort food with the cold weather.

The puddings were superb with my husband opting for cheesecake and myself for banoffee pie. We did end up trying each others too.

cheesecake

My daughter has a small pot of chocolate dipping sauce with a generous portion of various fruits including strawberries and orange portions.

The venue was quiet when we arrived and although it got busier as the day progressed, it did not feel cramped as there was plenty of space between tables. I enjoyed seeing all age groups from babies to the elderly there. I always think this is a recommendation of a place in itself.

Throughout the meal we felt very relaxed and happy. It set up a great mood for the day.

Payment was dealt with efficiently and a loyalty card was offered which is cool because we will definitely be back.

The only slight negatives were not about the food or service. I noticed a dodgy door lock in the ladies loo and felt the baby change area should be signposted better. There were slopes which I imagine make the place more accessible although my husband felt these needed marking better.

Here are our scores on the doors!

Starters – 10 out of 10

Mains – 9 out of 10

Desserts – 9 out of 10

Service – 9 out of 10

Affordability – 10 out of 10 – we had 3 in our party and the drinks and food bill came in at less than £50

Atmosphere – 9 out of 10 – we felt very relaxed, unrushed and enjoyed how the restaurant seemed to actively welcome all age groups.

Location – 7 out of 10. The Red Lion at Horndean is convenient for business people staying at the Premier Inn who could grab an early breakfast or a business lunch. Although not the most vibrant village, Horndean is close to countryside walks, the coast and the tourist attractions of Portsmouth.

Do you think you will visit the Red Lion?

Boating in Norfolk with Herbert Woods

Boating in Norfolk gave us our happiest family break ever. We had never had a boating holiday before but we can’t wait to get back on board.

247

We arrived at Potter Heigham to collect our boat with its glorious name Tranquil Light. There was a real community feel to the place with a good amount of nautical fashion on show. My youngest son and Him Indoors were dispatched to check us in. Louis arrived back at the car with a huge smile on his face telling us excitedly that the boat was gigantic.

Our boat was perfect for our family with 3 bedrooms all with their own loo facilities. Louis bagged himself the master bedroom straightaway and we went with that. There was a comfortable lounge area and a spacious and brilliantly equipped kitchen.

We all looked at the wheel nervously as Pete from Herbert Woods showed us all the facilities on the boat. I skimmed through the written folder of information and had a bit of an eek moment when it said all my children were capable of handling the boat.

Pete gave us clear instructions and a demonstration on how to handle the boat. Him Indoors took a little while to get used to it but my teenage son Luke took to it like a natural. He did most of the driving during the holiday.

th

How can I possibly get over the magic of boating on the Norfolk Broads?

1. I loved having some proper relaxation. How often do we get that as busy mums? I slept deeply and sunbathed enjoying my time away from responsibilities, world news and the Internet.

2. It was great to see so much nature from the rustling reeds to the beautiful water lillies. The Broads are a haven for bird watchers and we saw lots of butterflies too.

3. The boat speed was between 4 and 6 miles per hour. Over the years, I find car journeys make me anxious with speeding drivers and so much business. I much prefer messing about on the river at a gentle pace.

4. This holiday brought out the best in my family. We worked together really well as a team taking on the various tasks of driving, navigating and mooring between us. Actually that is not quite true because I did very little and let the family take charge.

5. Although the boat did have a cooker, we chose not to cook and took had snacks on the boat, a takeaway and a pub meal.

6. We had great party times on the boat playing board games and cards. There was a television but we all seemed more minded to have good old-fashioned fun away from modern technology. When the boys don’t miss their video games, you know something special is happening.

7. My favourite town was Wroxham. Regular readers know I like to rummage in charity shops and I had a very pleasant hour or two in Wroxham buying games for the boat and some new to me clothes.

8. There are lots of amazing attractions near the Broads. However on this occasion we found the boating provided all the entertainment we needed. It is really good fun to wave at or chat with other boaters. Swans and ducks were regular companions as we sailed along. How lovely not to be chained to work or school schedules. Getting away from it all is such a joy.

We were not ready to leave. We all felt sad but also very excited to have discovered a new activity that suits all the family.

I highly recommend boating in Norfolk for a family holiday. You can choose the size of boat to suit your individual circumstances and you don’t need any previous boating experience. It is great for children to get them away from screens and to give them time to stop and stare at nature and windmills. They learn so much too from driving a boat to the importance of health and safety.

We will be back to Visit Norfolk soon.

Tranquil Light 2 sleeps 6 +2.

Shortbreaks – Low season £509, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

High price £1100, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

Seven night breaks are

£728 off peak, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

£1575 high season, plus Fuel depot £125, Damage Waiver £45

Day boats are available Monday through to Sunday, between the hours of 8.30am and 6.30pm, starting from £17 per hour.

How to Book

Address: Bridge Road, Potter Heigham, Great Yarmouth, NR29 5JF

Tel: 0800 144 4472

Website: www.herbertwoods.co.uk

Twitter: @HerbertWoods

Facebook: Facebook.com/HerbertWoods

We were gifted a press trip to enable this review

Playdays and Runways

Yonderland review

We attended a special preview screening of SkyOne’s latest family comedy Yonderland.

The series, created, written by and starring Mathew Baynton (The Wrong Man), Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond first launched in November 2013 on Sky 1 HD. It returns to screens on 13th July 2015.

141020_Yonderland_0375

SkyOne say “Head back to Yonderland this summer for an all-new outing of the critically adored, completely crackers, puppet-filled comedy from the team behind award-winning Horrible Histories.

I was attracted at the idea of a stay at home mum having a secret life in another world. However, I was disappointed that her other life involved solving problems for other people. Isn’t that what us mums do all the time? If I get to another world, I want to splash around in a chocolate fountain and have people serving me!

I did not find the show very funny either. I found the word play a bit too obvious for my liking and also did not like some of the more adult references with such young children in the audience. There were a few throwaway gags that made me smile but it certainly did not generate any belly laughs. Comedy is such an individual thing and this was just not for me.

Having said that my husband and son thoroughly enjoyed the show. My husband could not understand why it did not amuse me and my son wants to watch it on television. I guess two out of three ain’t bad.

In series two, settling into her role as Chosen One, Debbie of Maddox tackles tricky tasks for the Council of Elders, while fending off Negatus and Imperatrix’s attempts to get rid of her. Then there’s hubby Pete, who is growing increasingly suspicious about the blue sparks coming from the kitchen cupboard.

Yonderland is produced by Working Title Television with puppets by Baker Coogan.

I did enjoy the question and answer session with the writers after the screening. I wished they always answered the children’s questions honestly rather than trying to look for an easy joke opportunity. Fortunately they did answer my son’s question which was what genre of entertainment they would like to try next and what they would call the show. I was of course thrilled to hear someone say my son might have a future as the Head of Sky Comedy. Praise my child and I will forgive you a lot.

So if I had to mark Yonderland out of ten from a family point of view it would get 6 out of ten.

Yonderland returns with Series 2 on the 13th of July at 8pm on Sky 1

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.