Birthday at The Hawksmoor

The twins turn twelve next week and I still can’t quite believe that they are growing into young men.
I mean, they are still kids, still my little boys, but they are hitting that age where they are to grown up for parties or pass the parcel.

The same applies with eating out. They are starting to divert from the kids menus to the adult side.

It means our bills have increased, but I love watching them choose what they want to eat and trying different dishes.

I cant bear to think how much we will be spending when we are taking six ‘adults’ out gor dinner!
Mikey and Harri have also taken a serious liking to steak, thanks to a meal in Florida where they tried a porterhouse, medium/rare (melt in your mouth – perfection).

With this is mind, for there birthday we decided to take them to one of Londons top steakhouses, The Hawksmoor.

It is a first floor restaurant set between Regent Street and Picadilly. It has a lovely classy Art Deco feel along with a very relaxed atmosphere and is not pretentious at all.

I gained brownie points straight away because Mikey thought the restaurant was like a scene from the Kingsman movie.

When I told the lovely host at the front desk what Mikey had said, he played along brilliantly…..offering him his lighter (along with a wink) and told him to keep it safe as one twist and the taser is activated. The boys thought it was fantastic!

Lets start with my favourite…..the cocktails.

The cocktail menu is extensive but after a quick look I decided on the Hawksmoor Collins cocktail (£10.50) which is a gin based sour drink, and to die for!
Mike stuck with his favoirite, an Old Fashioned (a whisky cocktail), which he said was one of the best he has had.

I had the Dorset Crab starter and the boys shared the ribs. The obvious main for us was the fillet steak. We chose creamed spinish, beef dripping fries and mash with gravy.

The boys shared a fillet steak as after their rib starters they didn’t think they would manage a whole one and they were right.

The whole meal was spot on! Perfect, simple and delicious, the boys absolutly loved it.

I am afraid the food was so good that I made the rookie mistake of not taking many photos.

The menu has something for everyone, the fish dishes looked incredible (I eyed up a few as they were being taken to neighbouring tables) and will be trying one of those at my next visit.

The Hawksmoor is not cheap but it is no more expensive than what you would expect to pay at a London restaurant with a similar reputation.

They do have offers such as two courses for £27 and can provide an express menu if you have theatre deadlines.
We decided to stick with the A la carte menu on this occasion.

Whether it is a date night, family dinner, a lunch with the girls or taking your kids out for a special meal, I definatly recommend the Hawksmoore, Air Street and can not wait to go back.

For more information take a look at their website https://thehawksmoor.com

Have you eaten at The Hawksmoor? What did you think? What restaurant do you reccomend?

Love Kate

Xxx

CampBestival 2017

Well, what an experience this was!!

On paper, this weekend was my idea of absolute hell.
Six children (two babies), a tent, rain….lots of rain, mud….lots of mud and not a tiled roof in sight!

Somehow, amongst the damp and filth, we dug deep into our British souls and managed to have a fantastic weekend (great friends and the Gin also helped).

Due to my total lack of organisation we didnt manage to secure a motorhome this year.
Instead, we opted for CB Boutique camping with a company called PodPads.

It was a six man bell tent that included a groundsheet, carpet and six campbeds with sheets.

There was enough room in our tent for our travel cot, double buggy and festival trolly.  Although, with all the paraphernalia that comes with two children under two, it was a squash in there and not much room to move around.
If the weather had been better and we could have left our bits outside it would have been much roomier.

There is a fab ‘reception tent’ where they provided us with free tea and coffee facilities and you can charge your phone free of charge.

One of the best things about Boutique camping (beside avoiding divorce while trying to errect a 6 man tent) is having the car park at a reasonable distance from your tent and being a short walk from the actual festival.

Last year, at the campervan field, it felt like a Marine assult course getting us, the five kids and a buggy from the motorhome to the festival.
Thats not meant to discourage anyone, but for us, and the ages of our children, we prefered to be closer to everything.

Next year we will head for Boutique again.  I am going to start doing my research now into what we will stay in and ill post about that over the next couple of weeks.

I would be lying if i said the weather did not affect our weekend. 
Although we all enjoyed ourselves, we didnt get to make the most of what Camp Bestival has to offer.

We tried to do as much as we could when the rain stopped, but there is so much to to do, we missed out on alot.

Having a couple of art-mad youngsters in our crowd, we headed to The Art Tent first.
The kids had a great time making dreamcatchers out of old vinyl records and cds.

Once the main acts started we headed over to Castle Field.
We rumaged for a spot like crazed fans to watch Justin Flethcher AKA Mr Tumble and then pitched up for my personal Camp Bestival highlight of the weekend…..Dick and Dom.  You’ve never know true exhilaration until you have screamed ‘BOGIES’ in the rain, like your eight year old self.

One thing that did help keep my spirits up while my Hunters were getting abused was The Alchemy Bar by Schweppes.

A Gin and Tonic cocktail bar where Special ingridiants mixed with the G&T’s added something a bit special to my already favourite drink.

So with a couple of bevvies inside us, we soldiered on.

We danced (in the rain) to All Saints, Mark Ronson, Madness, Louisa Johnson and the other amazing acts that made up the 2017 line up. 

The kids raved with Bflf in the Bollywood tent and threw some shapes at Sara Cox DJ set.

Now lets talk about the food…..oh the food!
Ive mentioned in previous posts about how much I love the Camp Bestival grub.

On the first night we had an obligitory crepe…one of the kids favourite things! Not cheap at £5 each, especially when you have as many mouths to feed as we do, but its becoming a tradition we cant resist.

The paad thai noodles are a huge hit with my little lot.  I can guarentee they will put away a portion each, no problem!!
And obvs, anything that does get left, Mike and I are ready and waiting to swoop in like seagulls on Brighton Pier!

The corn is another essential whilst at CB! I can guarentee, my instagram is always cluttered over CB weekend with gorgeous kiddies sinking their teeth into a golden, buttered corn on the cob in The Lower Kids Garden. 

Then you have Mikes playground, The Feast Collective.
This is a tent/section of the festival dedicated to different cuisines and dishes from all over the place.  Whether you fancy fish and chips or a lamb curry, The Feast Collective will sell it.
Mainly with a street food vibe, This is where i know ill find Mike if we get split up.

We tried DJBBQ pulled pork burger, which was everything i had hoped for after salivating over his Instagram over the last few months.
We tried chips, cheese and gravy which i am convinced would make the best hangover food and was another winner with the kids .
The dish of the weekend for me had to be the Indonesian Coconut Curry and dumplings…..it was the BEST curry I have ever had!

Another great thing about Camp Bestival is that you can bring your own food and drink into the grounds. 
So, as tempting as it is to just keep browsing the stalls, trying a dish ever hour, bringing your own bits will save your pennies.

The rain finally eased off on Sunday afternoon so thats when we headed to The Dingly Dell.

This is an area in the woods with a childrens park, farm animals and outdoor activities like zip wires, childrens building sites and Lizzies Way.
Now, im not going to lie, I haven’t made it to Lizzies Way.
I have been told by my other blogging friends that this is a highlight of Camp Bestival.
All i needed to hear was, in the middle of the woods, she has a mud cafe and you can make potions!!…this is enough to make sure it is our first stop on the list for next year!

Over the next couple of weeks I will publish more posts on Camp Bestival. 
I will cover more about the accomodation options, what to see, saving money and travelling there etc.

For now, the purpose of my post is to say, despite the weather, Camp Bestival 2017 was brilliant weekend, making more unforgettable memories with the kids, which, afterall, is what its all about.

The tickets for 2018 have just been released and ticketline offer a paymentplan.

You can book your tickets and pay them off weekly which I have done for last two years and it works so well.

Boutique options are not available yet but if you secure your weekend tickets, they include standard camping pitches. 

If I have managed to convince any of you to go, please let me know and we can keep in touch over the next few months and maybe even hook up over a G&T  in the Magic Meadow next year 😉

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it on your social media.

Love Kate x 

A weekend in Liverpool

Another one of my best friends turned 40 this week and we celebrated by whisking her away on a suprise weekend to Liverpool. 


Rosie is from Ireland, and when her lovely sister (who still lives over there)  contacted me about doing something special I couldn’t have been more up for it. 

I cant take any of the credit for this weekend.   

I was pregnant while it was being organised and while my intention was to take on the organisation with Jennifer,  I let the side down. 

Luckily, Jenny did an amazing job,  dispite my total lack of cobtribution! 

I told Rosie that I was taking her away for a couple of nights, just me and her. 

I picked her up in an Uber (my first Uber experience, and it was amazing).  The cab dropped us to East Croydon where we jumped on the train to London Euston via Victoria.

I loved every minute of that train journey.   Watching her face, totally clueless and out of control.  

Rosie is the ‘ mum’ of our group,  always looking after us and making sure we are OK.   It was really strange seeing her reaction, having to rely completly on me (I’m not sure she enjoyed that part of the weekend! 😂) 

At every stop I would grab my bag and tell her ‘this is it ‘, I would watch her get up, get to the door and then tell her I was joking! 

She wasn’t impressed but I found it hilarious!  

Once we were at Euston I suggested we grab some breakie at All Bar One…little did she know…. 

Rosie was greeted by three more of our girlfriends, sitting there, ready with coffees and cocktails… shouting suprise!!!

Rosie was in tears, totally overwhelmed,  but it was amazing seeing her register just how much she is loved by us all. 
FYI All Bar One do some seriously yummy breakfasts! 

Over breakfast we gave her some clues to guess where we were taking her:

 

The biggest boy band ever were from there…… She had no idea 

There are lots of Irish people there…. Nope

It had an ‘e’ in it… Huh? 

Brookside was based there…. LIVERPOOL!!


We jumped on the train, opened a bottle of prosecco and had one of the best girls chats I’ve ever had. 

During that two hours we talked about everything from relationships, bladder control,  sex and laughed from start to finish. 

The poor fella sitting next to us was pre warned when he sat down that he was in for a special journey and if he embarrases easily he should probably think twice about sitting there.

I did offer him a drink to calm his nerves! 

When we got to Liverpool we headed straight to the hotel. 


#squadgoals

The Shankley Hotel was a great base for a girls weekend.  It is right in the middle of town.  A 5 minutes walk to the station and even less to the shops,  restaurants and bars.
The hotel is lovely,  decor is fabulous with glamour being at its heart and the rooms are great. 

The main room had six double beds in it and a kitchen area. 

I’m even thinking about going back with the kids as there are not many hotel rooms that can comfortably fit all of us in.

When we entered the room it was beautifully decorated (by the Irish girls who were hiding in the toilet).  They had left out champagne,  chocolates and strawberries. 

When Rosie walked into the room two of her sisters and her best friend from Ireland ran out of the bathroom! 

This triggered another flow of tears and a few ‘c u next Tuesdays’ muttered at us.

She was blown away,  she hasn’t made it home to see her family this year and I know she was missing them terribly.  
For them to fly over and organise this weekend was a perfect present. 

The package we booked worked out at £230 each for eight of us (that includes splitting Rosies costs between us).
That included the hotel, a cocktail making class, dinner on the Saturday night,  a choice of either make up or hair to be done and Afternoon Tea.

The train from Euston to Liverpool Line Street was £85 return.

On the Friday, after we had finished the introductions (this was the first time in 20 years that rosies London friends meet her Irish girls) we headed off for out cocktail making classat The Art House.

It was like going back to Playa de las Americas when I was 17,  downing dirty ouzo shots!

It was a real giggle though and the girl that took the class was lovely.  Also, nothing breaks the ice like slut dropping and making cocktails. 

From there we headed to Concert Square and enjoyed a few more drinks and  Shisha.

The next morning the sun was at full force and with the temperature soaring we were determined to enjoy brunch and an espresso martini by the water. 

We took a cab (£2.30!) to Albert Dock and had some coffee and cocktails at Panam.


We discovered during the weekend that Londons shopping experience had serious competition.   

Liverpool has all the shops you could possibly wish for,  all within an easy walk between eachother.
I would love to go back again just for a shopping weekend! 

While in John Lewis Katie had a Charlotte Tilbury make over which resulted in some yummy purchases.

We headed back to the hotel for about 5 to have our hair and make up done, ready for the night ahead. 

I opted to have my hair done.   I love doing my own make up and am very particular about how I have it.  Also, I am low maintainence with my hair so if someone else can glam it up then it is a no brainer!
Given the scorching weather we headed up to have a drink on the roof top bar before dinner (all at The Shankley Hotel).  Watching the half cut girls dancing in the sun kicked the night off perfectly!

Our first night was fun but fairly quiet given we were all mums, and away from the kids for the weekend. It was also quite ‘studenty’ at concert square. I’m not knocking that but we like a bit of sophistication in our older age (early night anyway) so we really wanted to find the area you could go to and have a cocktail made with proper spirits and not sugar and tequila!  😂 

I asked around during the day and it turned out our hotel was on the road  where all the best bars are! 

After our dinner at the hotel we headed to  The Alchemist Cocktail Bar on Brunswick Street.

The cocktails were out of this world and  the atmosphere was great but it was a bit of an arse-ache waiting around at the bar to order our next round.   That could be out fault for sinking each cocktail so quickly. 

We had cocktails there that bubbled, steamed and even ones that come with syringes of shots!

If you like Cocktails I would definatly recommend this bar. 

The night carried on in a bar down the road where we partied till the early hours.

The difference with partying in your 30’s is rather than passing out in bed with a full face of make up and glass of wine next to your bed, we got back,  made a coffee, took our make up off, and at 3am we were putting Philip Kingsley hair masks on! 

We kicked our last day off with a perfect post party breakfast at Barley and Beans.  I don’t know if it’s because we were so hungry but it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had! 

I went for their granola bowl and bacon and eggs.  The other girls had full English and eggs beniddict.  As you can see from the picture, we had an amazing pile of Nutella pancakes for dessert 🍰 

After a some more shopping we went back to the hotel for Afternoon Tea and a de briefing of the weekend before we said our goodbyes and headed to the station for our train back home. 


I had a great weekend! 

After having Arthur I really needed a bit of child free time to myself. I’m home, refreshed and ready to tackle (literally) the kids. 

I met lovely new friends, caught up with old friends,  partied, relaxed,  shopped and laughed.   

I laughed so much and realised how lucky I am to have such wonderful girlfriends who I love with all my heart 😘




Rosies Coffee Lounge, Lingfield

Today I found what might be one of my favourite places as a mum of a toddler and a baby! 
I have to share this little gem with you because I have been waiting over 10 years to find somewhere like this!  

Rosies Coffee Lounge in Lingfield is every parents Haven.
The front of the shop is set out like a usual coffee lounge with a lovely vintage theme and on arrival you wouldn’t necessarily expect much more than a great breakfast and cup of tea. 

It is the back of the shop that left my speechless, I can only describe It like a mums ‘speak easy’ coffee shop. 

At the side of the coffee Lounge is a babygate that leads into a lovely ‘play room’ full of dressing up clothes and toy boxes. 

On the other side of this lovely room is a fantastic, covered, outdoor area with tables and chairs and a contained soft play area for babies and toddlers.
Perfect for a rainy day, you can sit and catch up with friends or just enjoy some time indulging a coffee and slice of cake while the little ones crack on and play. 

Rosies offers even more to us parents on a sunny day with a gorgeous outdoor garden. 
Completly covered in fake grass it feels a little like being in teletubby land.

They have ride on toys, benches, bouncy castle and lots more to keep the children entertained.
I honestly couldnt find fault in this wonderful place. 
The decor is quaint, cosy and vintage which makes chilling in their garden all the more relaxing. 
Baby gates and fencing everywhere means there is no way of children escaping which takes the anxiety out of enjoying your cuppa.
When i normally take George out for coffee with the girls i’m forever having to wrestle him into staying in a high chair, chasing him round like a lunatic before he starts stealing food from an unassuming diners plate or running out the front door. 

If I am lucky enough for him to sit still he is usually screaming like something out of the exorcist for a biscuit, that once I give him, he chews and spits back out 😣 
The toys, grass and equipment at Rosies are spotless which I am completly in awe of as I have never found a kids space that I am happy to walk around without my shoes on. 
If there was a coffee themed Masterchef, my friend Rosie and I would be the Greg and John and with our vast experience I can tell you Rosies Coffee Lounge capuchinno is one of the best we’ve had. 

The jackets potatoes and breakfasts were great too. 

On top of all this, the staff were so wonderful, welcoming and patient with the children (and parents) it made the whole atmosphere even more enjoyable. 
Rosies also offer children’s party packages and events.   Take a look at their website for more information. 

https://www.rosiescoffeelounge.com
I should add,  don’t be put off of you have no children.  As I mentioned earlier,  the font of the shop is a great area and when I was there,  not a child in sight! 
It’s important,  given my glowing review that you know I did not recieve anything in return for this review.   In fact, I went ‘secret shopper’ style and didn’t even mention Modern Mum to them. 
So, if you want to find me between the hours of 9-2 this is probably where I will be plotted up with Rosie, my laptop, a copy of OK or If I’m feeling like a particularly good mum,  I might even be playing with my children 😉
Let me know if you take a trip down there and what you think and tell them I said hi 🤗

Peace Out

Lisa is 40! 

Forty years ago today something pretty special happened.   My girl Lisa was born! 

We first met at work 15 years ago and it has been a friendship that I have been thankful for ever since. 

A career driven, strong, independent women who still manages to keep her femininity and maternal insticts at the forefront of her personality. 

She doesn’t suffer fools and you can guarentee you will get the honest truth whether it suits you or not, but if you ever need her she is there unconditionaly. 
God help you if you upset her friends or family, her comical wit and quick tongue will shoot you down in a heartbeat. 
When she announced her pregnancy six years ago and she told us she was planning to carry on working full time, I must admit I wandered if her career would have to take a back step.
Hell no, she juggles work and motherhood like a pro.  

Always giving her job 100% and making sure her family get all her attention when she is at home.   She even manages a pretty decent social life! 

She is a perfect example of a modern, working mum and I am so very proud to call her my friend. 
Always the more sensible of my girls I think it’s safe to say she keeps us all in check and in return we have opened her mind to the world of f#cks, Ann summers sambuca and low-cut tops 😘

So,  the year she turned 40 was always going to be a big deal.
We have a few celebrations in the diary over the next few weeks but today, we sacked off the local garden centre and kicked off the celebrations with a girls boozy breakfast at Aqua Shard.
I’ll review ourbreakie on another post.

Lisa, Happy birthday Chick.  I hope you enjoy every minute,  you deserve it.
Love you 💗💗💗
Kate  xxxx

Petworth and The Three Crowns, Wisborough Green

​I am really lucky when it comes to my relationship with Mike.

Being self employed he is at home alot of the time.  

This would drive most wives to murder! But, as it happens,  I quite like it!  
He often joins me for a coffee with the girls in the morning, listens to us moan about shit we find to moan about and then lightens the mood with one of his cocky comments.
I’m completely going of the subject of my post!

What I’m getting at is that he often suggests a random trip out after I’ve dropped the kids off to school.  
It might be that he has a job to price up or check on so we could be off anywhere (I’m writing this blog from the car on our way to Clapham)

Just before Xmas we took a trip out to a place called Petworth.

Petworth is a beautiful, small town in West Sussex, about 30 minutes from Horsham.
A town made up of cobbled streets, antique markets and beautiful boutiques.

We didn’t have much time there as we were restricted by the school pick up but there is a national trust property there which I will save for my next visit. 
Obviously I managed to find enough time to check all the shops out!  

I was so pleased with a bunch of real mistletoe I treated myself to 😘

The indoor antique Market is fantastic. If you like quirky bits for your house that add character or you just love a mooch around, looking at vintage gems it is definatly worth visiting. 

Some of the items we looked at I’m certain would be ten times the price on Kings Road!

After We left Petworth we stopped for lunch at a lovely pub on our way home in a little place called Wisborough Green.
It is a beautiful, quirky village pub set on a picturesque green.

On arriving our welcome was perfectly fitting! 

It was like popping to your favourite aunties who you haven’t seen in years. 

The owner greeted us,  she was over the moon to see George (if you have kids you know how reassuring it is to know kids are welcome, Lots of pubs have an over 50’s only attitude).

After seating us she went through the menu and explained that all locally their meat and seasonal veg are locally produced on nearby farms. She then offered her preference on the dishes, which I loved! 

We were introduced to the two family shit-tzus who wander around the pub and greet all the visiting dogs at the door. 
They did the perfect job of cleaning the floor around George, not that my son tends to waste any of his food! We are usually lucky if he comes away from lunch with his fingers in tact! 

Unfortunately, after a coffee and cake at Petworth neither of us were hungry enough to order a full lunch so we opted for a starter each. 
Mike went for The seafood chowder, which he thoroughly enjoyed and dispite it being a starter, hit the spot perfectly and was washed down with a recommended pint of Ale.

I opted for the sticky pigs cheek with black pudding. Again,  it was absolutely delicious.  Thanks to baby number six, mine was washed down with a lemonade and lime but then someone had to drive us back 😉

George had a lovely sausage and mash, unfortunately it was so good that the dogs went hungry. 

All of this accompanied by a friendly banter with the owner /hostess and the impeccably mannered staff. 
Whether it’s a family lunch out in the country,  a dog walk followed by a drink and a bite to eat or a romantic dinner I massivly recommend this wonderful pub!

http://mobile.dudasite.com/site/thethreecrownsinncom?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thethreecrownsinn.com%2F&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F#2943

Saint Nick popped in for a cuppa!

​Deck the halls!  
We have had a really special,  festive weekend full of friends,  wine,  mince pies, sausage rolls, tinsel, The Pogues and Santa Claus! 
Back in November I looked into which Santa to take the kids to visit.  
I looked into local garden centres, National trust venues and shopping centres.   

I know most of them are great experiences but when you have 5 children they are also really expensive. 
It got me thinking,  how much would it cost to bring the big guy to us!?

I hit Google and found a company called Hiresanta.  
They sent me a few videos of different Santa auditions and the relevant price for each Santa.

Obviously, the best,  most realistic was the most expensive….. And typically the one I set my heart on. 

The price tag for our Santa came at a wopping £300, but,  considering I was going to spend £100 for 2 minutes with a half decent Santa at the local garden centre, I thought I’d give it a go.

He didn’t disappoint!

The children were absolutely blown away (and so were the adults). 

Turns out our Santa was a professional actor with credits such as Eastenders, The Bill, Frost, Londons Burning and Casualty just to name a few.
He spent two hours talking to the children,  listening to each of their presie lists and told them a lovely Christmas story. 

We are definatly going to book again for next year. 
Some of the older kids were suspicious but he was pretty convincing and left even the most defiant believers wondering….. Could he be!? 

So I can confirm we are now officially in the Christmas spirit! 
If you can get a few friends together and split the cost it is a great experience and a chance to make special memories that last forever. 
It’s also a great excuse for the parents to get together with a few bottles of wine and let a jolly man in a suit entertain the children for a couple of hours. 

Only one problem, Santa left his belt on my bed!…. Try explaining that one too the kids 😆🙊🎅

HO HO HO!!!! 🎅
http://www.hiresanta.co.uk

Recipe for perfect kids

​I totally won my kids over today!  
Today I have been honoured with 

‘ the best mum in the world ‘ and ‘absolutly amazing ‘
They have hung all their clean washing up and put it away for me,

Cleaned their rooms and fed George.
They had a shower without asking them,  and now as i type this we are cuddling on the sofa.
The secret?  Well it was so simple I can’t believe it is taken me so long…… 


OREO COOKIE MILKSHAKE

2 x packs of oreos

Half a tub of vanilla ice cream 

Milk added depending on how thick you like it. 

(just half that If you don’t have a mini tribe like me!) 
All wacked in the blender  

(sorry I didn’t get a chance to take a photo before my angels inhaled two glasses each!) 
Anyway….. Viola! Happy kids!!!

YOUR WELCOME 

(she takes a bow)