Saturday, 20 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

I'm off to Portugal today to spend Christmas with my family and hopefully a few rays of sunshine peeking through the clear blue skies!

I'll be taking a break until the 2nd of January so want to wish you all a magical Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Enjoy and I'll be back in the New Year to share a few of our Portuguese adventures...xx



Friday, 19 December 2014

Mrs roomtobreathe, Festive food & Travel Republic...

I had a lovely surprise this week when I opened up my inbox to an email from Travel Republic to let me know that a little post I wrote on Bolo Rei (The cake of Kings) was being quoted in their feature on International Festive cooking!

It is a very useful guide with some delicious looking recipes from around the world to get you going.  So if you fancy serving up something a little different to friends and family this year go take a look. In Portugal salt cod is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve, and I'm loving the idea of this American salad as an alternative this year. See how else you can be inspired this Christmas...Enjoy!

festive-food-v6-with-logo-compressor

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

He's behind you! It's panto time once again...

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a trip to see a good old panto. When I was an agent I used to dread this time of year when I'd be travelling around the country alone sat amongst screaming children, watching our clients.

Now with a little girl of my own I love sharing this most British theatrical tradition. Needless to say she loves the theatre and is indeed going with her class to see Aladdin tomorrow at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. We will follow that on Thursday evening by yes seeing Aladdin once again...we bought tickets in September before the school announced their trip!

Anyway here is my round up of the best shows around the country, there's really no excuse get your tickets and go have a lot of laughs over the festive season...enjoy!

In London the Hackney Empire sees the return of the super talented Clive Rowe and Sharon D Clarke in the rip roaring Mother Goose.


In Cambridge we have Aladdin treading the boards at the Arts Theatre.


Winchester Theatre Royal always offers a wonderful traditional panto, this year they are showing Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

Qdos, the biggest Panto producers around present Aladdin at the Edinburgh Kings Theatre
 King's Panto 2014/15: Aladdin

Up in Sheffield Dick Whittington is lighting up the stage with a dear old friend of mine John Barr as King Rat


Lastly Mother Goose at Chipping Norton, I always loved going there to see clients. Such a lovely theatre and a good old fashioned panto!
MOTHER GOOSE

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Our weekend

It's been a long crazy week so we've taken the day completely off today. We've spent the day watching Christmas movies, enjoying our own company.

Friday was a particularly full on day with Matilda performing her school nativity at 2pm followed by her ballet show at 5pm. These events are the highlight of any parent's diary, to see their beaming faces whilst waving enthusiastically at their Mummy's and Daddy's in the audience is enough to melt anyone's heart.

Yesterday we hotfooted it to London for her friend's party and a quick visit to see her Godmother, the whirlwind few days have taken their toll as Matilda is now full of cold and exhausted...so today we did nothing, absolutely nothing. Hopefully this will allow us to recharge our batteries before the onslaught of this last week of work. We'll be flying out to Portugal next weekend to spend Christmas with my parents, and a little bit of blue skies and sun, keeping our fingers crossed!

Now back to place on the sofa to watch the Strictly Come Dancing results show...











Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Paddington Bear Film

Paddington
Photo from the bbc.co.uk

I've been anxiously waiting for the release of Paddington Bear since first hearing about it, as a child I loved immersing myself in Paddington's tales. A cheeky bear prone to the odd accident or two he lies at the heart of many a young child, his life like qualities, extremely good manners have been charming us all since 1958.

The film did not disappoint. It tells the story of Paddington's beginnings, his arrival in London and his subsequent adoption (somewhat reluctantly at times) by the Brown family of Windsor Gardens. Beautifully acted especially by the ever increasingly talented Ben Whishaw who is the voice of Paddington. His voice has the right childlike naivety required that embodies the spirit of this bear, making him totally believable. The bright colours and good honest humour renders this one of the funniest and most heart warming films I've seen in a long time. The film equivalent of a warm hot chocolate and mince pie in front of an open fire in deepest winter, it depicts Paddington's adventures in the colourful West London perfectly. As you can probably tell I fell head over heels in love with the feeling of being transported into a charming, magical world normally reserved for children.

If you're at a loose end this weekend, do no hesitate in taking a trip to the cinema to see this beautifully 'British' movie! I've already pre ordered the DVD that's how much I loved it!







Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Mill Road Winter Fair

Last Saturday one of the most lively and colourful roads in Cambridge played host to its annual Winter Fair. A celebration not only of Christmas but of it's international community. When we moved to Cambridge my neighbour said 'if you ever get homesick go to Mill Road, it's the closest you'll get to London short of going to London' and how right they were, I could easily be transported back to the multicultural Golborne Road!

As a regular visitor to Mill Road I love mooching around its welcoming cafes, restaurants, the oriental supermarkets, Arabic food stores and vintage shops.

Saturday was a brilliant celebration of the heart of its vibrant community, with the road closed off to traffic the public meandered up and down taking in the wonderful sights and sounds. Bands seemed to pop up out of nowhere to create uplifting music, street performers entertained while the food stalls fed the hungry revellers. There was big emphasis on independent local crafters with plenty of Christmas shopping opportunities in every community centre in the area.

It was the perfect start to the Festive Season with the scent of mulled wine filling the air and everyone's hearts! What a wonderful afternoon!

















Saturday, 6 December 2014

Christmas at Burwash Manor, Cambridgeshire

Burwash Manor lies just off the busy A108. A haven of  tranquility it is a real gem, tucked away in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside surrounded by fields dotted with cows, horses and ponies, Burwash Manor is still a working organic farm. The farm converted the barns surrounding a courtyard into 15 independent shops, a tearoom and a lovely spa.

Amongst the lovely shops is the wonderful deli that presides over the courtyard, filled with local produce, it is perfect place to grab a quick delicious lunch to eat on the picnic tables overlooking the picturesque countryside.

With plenty of free parking and wide choice of shopping potential Burwash is a welcoming place to do your Christmas shopping. All manner of family members can be catered for; a packed old fashioned toyshop, the deli The Larder, one of my favourites Homestuff with History that sells wonderful vintage homewares and gifts, Manor Florist provide beautiful arrangements and Providence is your retro hardware store. The tiny wineshop packed sky high with a wonderful collection of wines waiting to be added to your Christmas wishlist as well as the magical Christmas shop where you can buy all your unique decorations and little stocking fillers.

Since moving to Cambridgeshire I’ve been a regular here, even if only for a browse and a drink at the delightful tea rooms. Admittedly, it is rare for me to leave empty handed, the shops are always so helpful and friendly it’s hard to resist....