Cosmo Authentic World Kitchen, Norwich

When I lived in Nottingham while I was at university one of my favourite places to eat was a buffet restaurant called Peachy Keens. It was an all you can eat ‘everything’ kind of place and since moving away, I’ve missed it. I was so excited when I found out a Cosmo Authentic World Kitchen was opening in Norwich as it’s a very similar thing.

Cosmo

Me, John and Erin all headed into Norwich for the day for my birthday last month and headed to Cosmo for when it opened at midday. It was a Sunday and I don’t think I was prepared for the queue down the street when we arrived at 11:40. Once open though the wait wasn’t too long. I do wish we had booked though to make it even quicker.

While we waited for our table, we were asked to leave the pushchair downstairs. Yes, the restaurant is up a set of escalators with a lift available if needed. While I didn’t mind too much, Erin was getting tired and I had to keep my fingers crossed for her getting though lunch.

We got seated at the end of a row of tables which was perfect for us as it meant being able to get in and out easily and there was loads of space for the high chair. I could see why we were asked to leave the pushchair downstairs though. They have maximised how many tables are in there and there really isn’t much spare space.

What is available in regards to the food really depends on when you go. During weekday lunches there is less of a choice but it is also half the price (See bottom of this post for prices). We went on a Sunday lunch where everything was available.

As you can expect from the name of the restaurant, there is food from all over the world available; Italian, Asian, carvery, desserts just to name a few. We were really spoiled for choice. John started with sushi while I started with a roast dinner. It was Sunday after all.

Erin had a bit of a mix of food but she didn’t really eat a lot to be honest. Luckily, her meal was only £3 because of her age. She was super tired at the time so wasn’t too bothered about eating, well, until I got her some cake. Then she ended up having cake with noodles all mixed together. Yum!

John and I were both really impressed with the food. Each time we went to get another plate of food we could see things being filled up again. It was great to see how often fresh food was being brought out. I think we both managed 4 plates of food before having a couple of desserts. That was maybe 1 plate too many really.

The desserts were fantastic and there was such a large selection to choose from. I was in dessert heaven really and had way more than I probably should have. I loved that there was something for everyone; ice cream, warm puddings, fruit, a chocolate fountain and loads of different cakes!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the food at Cosmo. If anything let it down it would maybe be the baby changing facilities. It’s not that they were bad or dirty or anything but the lack of options. Cosmo is a really large restaurant but there is only 1 baby changing facility which is in the disabled toilet. When we needed to change Erin there was quite a queue of other parents waiting. However, as things go, it’s not the worst problem in the world!

PRICES

LUNCH from £7.99
MONDAY – FRIDAY 12:00 – 15:00 £7.99
SATURDAY 12:00 – 16:00 £10.99
SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 12:00 – 22:00 £14.99

DINNER from £14.99
MONDAY – THURSDAY 17:00 – 22:30 £14.99
FRIDAY – SATURDAY 17:00 – 23:00 £15.99
SUNDAY & BANK HOLIDAYS 12:00 – 22:00 £14.99

Social Network Solutions Blogger Event

Living in The Middle of Nowhere, Norfolk means not really knowing many local bloggers and especially not other parent bloggers. When Amy from Social Network Solutions (SNS) invited me to a cosy local event I was so excited. I actually nearly didn’t go though because I don’t drive and I had no idea where the event was. I’m glad I put on my big girl pants and figured it out though!

The event was held at Dotty Pottery which is in Hellesdon, Norwich. It’s a bit out of the city center which is why I had to figure out the buses but it was well worth it. Amy from SNS was there to meet us and I was the first one there. I’m always early; I can’t help it! I always get quite nervous going to events but Amy was so lovely and welcoming and I felt completely at ease. Erin was a little shy to begin with but it didn’t take her long to be her cheeky little self.

One the other bloggers and their children arrived, we got to choose a piece of pottery to paint and given some information on the paints, colours and what we could do! I’ve never done anything like this before so it was really useful for me.

Erin honestly had no interest whatsoever in painting her plate. She had loads of fun swishing the paints around on the palette though and she sort of painted the table, her hands and her hair.   I attempted to make something half decent though. I’m not artistic in any way though but I’m pretty pleased with how the plate turned out. There are one or two paint strokes from Erin on there too.

Erin was by far the youngest of the children at the event so we positioned ourselves at the head of the table so we had plenty of space for her to move around and play with the toys there! I was really glad to have Chloe from The Adventures of an Allergy Mummy and her gorgeous daughter Mia sat next to me and Erin. Mia was absolutely amazing with her painting and I was so impressed with her figure. I think she put me to shame a little bit. Erin and Mia may be quite different in ages but they certainly hit it off. Erin loved following Mia around and they even had a little cuddle!

It was so lovely to meet another local blogger in Chloe. She also lives in the middle of nowhere so we have that in common. It was also super nice to have someone to chat to who didn’t make me feel awkward or out of place. I know I was the ‘smallest’ blogger at the event but chatting to Chloe made me feel more a part of everything.

After the painting we received some gorgeous gifts to go home with. I love a pamper in the bath so I’m really looking forward to trying some of these!

Love Boo

Congratulations Mummy Kit and Baby Very Gentle Top-To-Toe Wash

Young Soles

Daughter of the Soil

White Mulberry Shea Body Butter

Kingdom of you personalised book

Thank you so much to Amy and SNS for inviting us to this event. We had a blast, got messy and have coffee plans for next month with a new friend!

Disclaimer: We received items mentioned in this post as gifts.

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Twinkle’s Town, Norwich

When it comes to doing things with Erin, I like to find new places to take her. On Tuesdays we try to meet up with a group of friends we used to do Baby Yoga with and get the children together but we don’t like to do the same thing every week. A few weeks ago we went to Twinkle’s Town in Norwich.

Twinkle's Town

Twinkle’s Town is not your average play center. The describe it as ‘a little world for big imaginations.’

As you head up the stairs you are met with a toddler sized town full of amazing things for them to discover. There is a construction site with diggers, a theatre complete with dress up, a shop and a hospital, just to name a few sections. I was amazed by how much thought and time had gone into the design of this place and how much there was to do.

Erin absolutely loved running off and visiting the different sections. She was especially happy eating fake cake!

Twinkle’s Town often runs giveaway on their Facebook page and there are always different themed events going on. We went to an In the Night Garden event when we visited. There was someone dressed as Igglepiggle and In the Night Garden themed toys and songs.

Something I was really impressed by was the baby changing facilities, which are downstairs and located by the entrance. The changing room was impeccably clean and really well thought out. There was two different changing mats and some nappies, wipes and bags to use just in case you needed them. These were definitely some of the nicer changing facilities I have come across.

Unfortunately, Twinkle’s Town isn’t really in a convenient location. If you drive there is barely any parking and if you don’t, it’s a good 30 minute walk from Norwich train station. With a pushchair in tow, it’s a bit of a pain to be honest. I was lucky in that a friend drove us for this visit but we had to park a few streets away and carry our toddlers. Not fun!

Our visit cost £6.50 and included a hot drink but prices vary depending on if you book in advance and what the session is.  Sessions are also time limited. While Erin really enjoyed it, it’s not somewhere we’ll go too often but this is only because of the location. If it was more accessible we’d go a lot more.

Get in Touch:

63 Sussex Street
Norwich, Norfolk

Call 07721 391909

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A family trip to Banham Zoo

Last Saturday lunchtime my sister sent a message asking if we were free that night or Sunday. Her and her boyfriend hired a car for the weekend and wondered if they could come and stay. Of course, the answer was yes. I said I’d find us something to do on Sunday and we decided on Banham Zoo. John and I don’t drive so getting places like this is normally impossible for us.

Banham Zoo is about an hour away from where we live so the drive there wasn’t too bad at all. Erin isn’t really used to being in a car seat but she did amazingly well and even had a little nap before we got there. We visited on a pretty dreary Sunday so when we arrived the zoo was pretty quiet. Tickets aren’t overly expensive at £15.95 (includes donation) for adults under 3s are free. (Prices correct until March 31st 2017) The zoo opens at 9:30 every day except Christmas Day but closing times vary depending on the season.

Banham Zoo

Now, looking at the map, Banham Zoo isn’t the biggest in the world but that’s a good thing in my eyes. Erin is only 1 so she doesn’t have the concentration for somewhere like London Zoo yet. As you can see from the picture above, we started having fun as soon as we got to the zoo. These picture props are all over the zoo!

For a smaller zoo, there is a surprisingly good selection of animals to see. Each section we visited was really interesting and most of the animals were out! I thought a lot of them would hide away because it was miserable but I guess they didn’t care. Each of the enclosures looked to be really well thought out and plenty big enough for the animals which is so important.

We managed to get to see one talk during our visit and that was about the giraffes, John’s favourite animals. Erin was AMAZED by them. We got her out of the pushchair so she could see better and she kept trying to get closer to them.

Our absolute favourite part of the zoo was the Farm Barn. This area had sheep, donkeys, rats, rabbits, goats, llamas and pigs. There is a strange gate system to get into the area and this meant goats escaping everywhere. There are warnings but we were not quick enough. Trying to herd them back together was hilarious but my sister got butted a few times in the process. Here, you could buy food for the goats and llamas which is what made them all a bit crazy.

We also learned that Erin could apparently talk to goats. Every time they made their little noises, she would do it straight back. Clever girl!

I won’t go into detail about every animal but here are some extra pictures.

In the middle of our visit we went to the Parrot Pavilion cafe for lunch. It was actually the only place open for food. There are a few outdoor stalls but I guess they’re only open during the main season. The menu is pretty much what you’d expect from a place like this. Most of the food is already cooked and served as you ask for it.

Children can choose from 5 cold items or a hot meal (fish fingers, sausage, veg bites, jacket potato or pasta) with a drink and dessert for £5.95.

Adult meals vary but there are options like fish finger sandwiches, chicken curry, beef lasagne, beef chilli and pasta (roughly £5-£7 a meal) or sandwiches are also available. Now, you’ll notice something missing here. There are no vegetarian or vegan options apart from a jacket potato or a portion of chips. There is a gluten free menu but nothing on there is vegan. You also have to wait 15 minutes for anything from this menu to be cooked. This obviously means that you cannot eat at the same time as the rest of the group.

The food, honestly, was terrible. We paid about £20 for a chicken curry, chips and beans and a children’s fish fingers. My sister had a fish finger sandwich, her boyfriend a curry and a drink for about the same price. My sister could not even eat her food. The chips were so greasy and the fish fingers were black inside. Having worked in a similar kind of place (soft play) I know that you don’t have to use the absolute cheapest of ingredients to make money, especially when you get as much footfall as you do in a zoo. Erin, who normally loves fish finger and chips wouldn’t eat hers either and she’s not that fussy.

If we were to have another visit here, there is not a chance that I would eat here again.

We were at the zoo for about 4 and a half hours so the entrance fee was well worth the visit. We all had an amazing day and even Erin stayed awake the whole time. I’m sure we had more fun that she did!

Personalised gifts by Beach Hut Charm

Nearly a year ago now I lost my beloved Tiffany necklace in the crazy event of Erin being born. Since then I had been searching for something to replace it. It had to be super special though. I came across a very local company called Beach Hut Charm. When I say local, the owner Emma lives about 10 minutes away from me. I I had seen some of Emma’s products at local craft fairs and had fallen in love.

Beach Hut Charm

Beach Hut Charm offers bespoke handmade silver jewellery which can be personalised in many different ways. I was specifically drawn to this brand because of the ability to put a personalised fingerprint, handprint or footprint from your child on to a piece of jewellery. If there was something worthy of replacing a Tiffany necklace it was definitely a Beach Hut Charm piece.

To start with, I knew that I wanted something with Erin’s fingerprint on so I chose the heart fingerprint charm. When you order online you’ll be sent a kit to take any prints that you want putting on your jewellery. However, as Emma lives so close I popped round for a cuppa with John and Erin to get her print done. Erin was so good while we were taking her fingerprints and I think Emma fell a little bit in love with her, even if she did chomp on her wooden spoons!

After taking the prints and sending them back off in the post it would normally take a few weeks for your jewellery to be made.

Beach Hut Charm don’t just sell charms and necklaces though. Emma sells bracelets, cufflinks, men’s jewellery and also pet prints as well. Prices really do vary with Beach Hut Charm but there really is something for all budgets!

I honestly could not be happier with my fingerprint necklace and I haven’t taken it off since I got it. I added a chain to my charm although you can buy them separately if you already have  one. Erin is also a massive fan of my necklace. The minute I put it on she grabbed it. She now sits on my lap and plays with it, sometimes gives it a bit of a bite and also falls asleep holding it, which is super cute!

I have my eye on a couple of other items so I’m sure Emma will hearing from me in the new year!

Be sure to check out Beach Hut Charm in the following places:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Dog, babies and beaches!

Since moving to Norfolk something I haven’t taken advantage of is the beautiful coast. Part of the problem is that John and I don’t drive so some of the beaches are hard to get to.

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Yesterday we headed to a beach in Overstrand with some of the family. John’s brother and his girlfriend came round for a bit first with their gorgeous dog Roxy! Ever since we got Jackson I wanted him and Roxy to be friends but this is the first time they’ve met! Roxy followed him around while Jackson ran away as much as he could to stop Roxy from stealing his ball!

After some dog introductions, we took them to the beach. This was the first time both Jackson and Erin had been to the beach. John is a bit of a worrier when it comes to taking Jackson somewhere new because he is a bit of a terror. He also sometimes doesn’t listen to us when he should. When we opened the boot of the car, Jackson made a run for it down the slope… and Roxy followed! Luckily, after a little chase, we did get them back and on leads quickly.

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Windy!!

It was a bit windy at the beach!

The beach was really quiet and we were able to let the dogs off their leads safely, without the risk of them running off to other dogs or children. Jackson loved it! He was so happy running around after his ball, with Roxy not far behind him. He also discovered sea water which he thought tasted lovely!

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Erin wasn’t really too bothered about the beach to be honest. She’s been poorly and was tired. We had to carry her too and didn’t take anything to sit on. Unfortunately, she didn’t really get to do much at the beach

. She was quite happy watching the dogs run around though. I am excited to take her to the beach properly next summer though when she can really play.

Hopefully, by then, we can get Jackson bus trained so we can take advantage of some of the other beautiful beaches in Norfolk.

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It was so nice to have Erin’s Auntie and Uncle round and to go to the beach for a bit with the dogs! Hopefully this is something we can do more often. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it (and Jackson was worn out)!