Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Travel, Uncategorized

Oh Pretty City is One!

Although I have been blogging for many a year it is hard to believe that my first post here was only written a year ago today. Blogging for me has always been a part time thing – my ‘bit on the side’ but I have been lucky enough to attend some lovely events and the blog has been a great inspiration for getting out and experiencing places to share with my lovely readers and hopefully it has inspired some of you too!

To celebrate a year of blogging I am going to share some of my favourite locations that I have posted about since last summer.

Favourite restaurant

I have visited quite a few restaurants in the past year, armed with my Tastecard I love to look out for quality restaurants that offer good service and value for money but one of my favourites has to be Le grand bistro in Paris, fine dining in a perfect Parisian setting!

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Favourite night out

I don’t really blog much about nights out because I’m not much of a raver but I have been to a few silent discos in the past year which I thoroughly enjoyed. The silent disco at the Shard was a great experience which I would happily do again, it is a great night out of drinking and dancing with the added bonus of amazing views to take in!

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Favourite theatre show

I have really got a taste for the theatre in the past year after seeing some great musicals, I hope I get to see a few more in the next year. The classic love story of An American in Paris is full of super talented singers and dancers that have you singing along in awe and was a proper feel good show.

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Favourite green space

London is full of some amazing green spaces but my most recent visit to Kew gardens showcased some lush green lawns and beautiful exotic plants that you’re not likely to see anywhere else, unless you are taking a lifetime trip around the world! Also has some great structures to admire like the hive.

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Favourite trip abroad

I had managed to reach the ripe old age of 37 before embarking on my first girls holiday with my girlfriends and although it was only a weekend away we had a fab time in Tenerife. One of the things I loved about it was just how clean the area was and although we went in November the sun was shining enough for us to brave the swimming pool!

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Favourite family attraction

As my kids have got older they are more reluctant to accompany me on day trips because they find it boring so it is nice to visit family friendly places that appeal to them as well. My son particularly liked the Art of the brick Lego exhibition down the Southbank with its large collection of impressive superhero Lego structures and the opportunity to create your own.

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Favourite market

I haven’t visited as many markets as I would like this year but I think it will be hard to find somewhere that would beat Borough market just for the fact that it is full of such a wide array of delicious food and it is hard to not buy a bit of everything while there. Plus I interviewed Maria from Maria’s café for a university project and she was very sweet and helpful!

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You probably wouldn’t believe it but I am actually quite a homely person, I much prefer a night in to a night out and if I have the opportunity I will lay in bed all day reading and watching Netflix so I have impressed myself with the amount of adventures I have been on in the past year, as well as taking care of four children and working towards a photography degree!

I hope I get to visit loads of new places in the following year to share with you. I would love to know where your favourite places are!

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Exhibit – Balham

My darling daughter recently turned 15 and with her birthday on a weekday we didn’t really plan any sort of celebration. She had already arranged to go out with her friends at the weekend and we were going to have a family meal or takeaway at home on the day. Birthdays have always been a big deal for Kyra, as soon as one is over she starts planning the next (This will soon wear off once she gets to the late 20s I’m sure) and she does enjoy being the centre of attention. After finishing school she was adamant that we all had to go out to celebrate her big day so I had the task of finding and booking a restaurant at short notice.

Restaurants are not cheap when you have a family of six so my first port of call was my Tastecard app. Not many restaurants offer a discount for six people either but then I came across Exhibit in Balham.

Exhibit looked like a really fun space, described as a youth club for adults, it features a bar, restaurant, cinema and hosts different events throughout the year.

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Situated just outside of Balham station (you can see it while standing on the platform) it is just a few stops on the train for us so I decided to book us a table. The lady on the phone was really friendly and happy to book us in at short notice.

On arrival I assumed that we would go to the restaurant section upstairs but we were told that it was closed and we had a table downstairs in the bar. I didn’t really mind this as it wasn’t too busy and seemed to have a nice vibe.

Décor

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The décor was fairly nice, it felt somewhere in between a café and a restaurant but there were a few shabby parts including a hole in the wall next to our table.

Food and drink

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We ordered a range of items from the menu and unfortunately some were not available. My son had the chicken burger which looked delicious but my daughter ordered the gluten free version which disappointingly arrived with the bun substituted for two pieces of gluten free bread, this didn’t look very presentable and was also awkward to eat. I think if you are going to offer alternatives they should at least go with the dish you are serving.

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I decided to have the healthy option and went for the powerbowl which was surprisingly tasty, I did however get bored of the green parts after a while and shared the burger with my daughter! We would have liked to sample their desserts but we knew we had a big birthday cake waiting at home so gave them a miss.

We all enjoyed our meal at Exhibit and left feeling full. The waitress that served us was friendly and chatty and all the staff were really laid back. The bill came to around £90 including the tastecard discount which we felt was a bit pricey for what you get. We probably wouldn’t have a family meal there again but I have heard good reviews about their bottomless brunch, which includes unlimited prosecco, so may have to check that out next!