Play At Brewers Fayre – Castlewood (Derbyshire) Review

Play at Brewers FayreLast weekend my family and friends were invited along to the Castlewood Brewers Fayre located in Derbyshire to test out their brand new Beano themed play area for ‘Play at Brewers Fayre’. As every parent will know soft play centres can often end up being a bit of a love/hate day-out. Of course your kids love them, but if the centre is unclean or unsupervised they can be a real let down. Did we love the new area at Brewers Fayre? Read on to find out!

IMG_1453First impressions

The play area is bright, clean and surprisingly roomy (I could stand up straight inside and I’m reasonably tall). My friend also pointed out that the flooring was both clean and sensible so you didn’t mind mooching around in just your socks. The staff were very attentive keeping things spick and span, I saw them out with a cordless vacuum on a couple of occasions.

faceyBut is it fun?

Thanks to a great face-painter, my tiger, menace and ninja were straight in to test out the play equipment. There was a slide, tunnels, swings, rolls, cars and more, so the kids were thoroughly entertained. In fact they thought the equipment was so good that they’ve asked me every day since if we can go back! They even managed to meet Denis and Gnasher. I believe the cost to use this equipment is £3 per 90mins which seems like a fairly good deal, especially as parents can sit (or even eat) on the side lines while their little angels are having fun.IMG_1459

How about food?

The food on offer at Brewers Fayre is fairly typical for a chain restaurant. Along with the new play area there is now a Beano themed kids menu which got a thumbs up from my three. They tested out:

The Cod-Apult

Load up with crispy cod bites, chips, peas and ketchup.

The Big, Bad Dog

Hotdog, chips, ketchup and mini corn on the cob. Get your gnashers around that!

The Menace Burger

Beef burger with ketchup, coleslaw and chips.

Cookie Double Dare

A cool layer of ice cream sandwiched between two cookies.

Tricky Minnie Doughnuts

Lip-smacking mini doughnuts.

 

Plus unlimited soft drinks (this caused a lot of excitement).

The only complaint I heard was that the Cookie Double Dare dessert had rather small cookies.

IMG_1437So would we recommend a visit?

For families with kids it’s often hard to find a restaurant that can cater to the needs of everyone without testing the patience of the adults or boring the kids. Play at Brewers Fayre does a fine job of keeping everyone happy and well fed. We would definitely go back, in fact the kids have asked if they can have their birthday party there, which says it all I think.

For more Information

Visit Brewers Fayre online to find your nearest restaurant.

Easy Pistachio Cake Recipe with Cardamom Cream Icing

pistachio cake recipeFrom time to time I get rather bored of all my cake recipes and seriously hanker for something new and a bit more interesting. It was on one of these occasions that I came up with my super easy Pistachio cake recipe. I had looked around for a similar recipe but they all called for ingredients I just didn’t have and seemed overly complicated for what I had in mind. With this in mind I created this lovely sweet treat, it’s a wonderful moist cake with a denser texture than a simple sponge. The flavour is then truly highlighted by a Cardamom cream topping.

What You’ll Need for the cake

100g/4oz Pistachios (shelled)

4 Eggs

225g/8oz Self Raising Flour

225g/8oz Butter

170g/6oz Caster Sugar

55g/2oz Soft Brown Sugar

 

Cardamom Cream Topping

Seeds from 6 cardamom pods

100g/4oz Butter

200g/7oz Icing Sugar

200ml/7 fl oz Double Cream

 

Method

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Sieve the flour into the mixing bowl and then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to form a cake batter.

Chop the pistachios (not too finely, we want a bit of texture in the cake) and fold into the mixture.

Scoop the batter into a prepared cake tin and bake in an oven 180C/ 350F / Gas Mark 4 for 55 minutes – 1hour or until the cake is cooked all the way through. Cool on a wire rack.

Topping

Once the cake has cooled begin making the topping. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Grind the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar and add to the mixture. Pour in the cream and whisk until the topping is light and fluffy and easy to spread.

Spread onto the top of your cake and then admire your handiwork.

Finally grab a cup of tea and enjoy a slice!

 

 

 

Make a unique Valentine’s Card with Bostik!

The birth of Venus cardIt’s half term week here in Derbyshire and the kids have been here, there and everywhere! It might have been easy to forget Valentine’s Day but we’ve managed (just!) to fit it in. But who wants to make a boring old Valentine card? Certainly not us! So this Valentine’s don’t just give your loved one any old shop bought gift, give them a masterpiece of classical art (in card form). Make a unique Valentine’s card depicting the birth of Venus!

How better to say I love you than with the Goddess of love herself. The idea is all my own and I’m very pleased with it. However all the products used in this card creation were provided by the lovely folks at Bostik as I’m a Bostik Craft Ambassador in association with the Tots100.

Considering that you’re giving cardboard life to a Goddess this card is actually surprisingly easy to make and great fun for the kids. Of course I leave it up to you just how clothed you’d like Venus to be, plus the card can be as accurate or inaccurate (and fun!) a depiction of the great painting as you like. Ours is more of a loving homage :)

What You’ll Need:

1 Paper plate

Plain white thin cardboard

Bostik Micro Dots

Ruler

Stick on Decorations (eg foam hearts, jewels, Bostik Glitter Pens etc.)

I’ve made a little video to show you just how the card is made, but if you’d prefer text instructions then take a look below.

Step 1 – Start by taking one paper plate and folding it carefully in half.

Step 2 – Cut a triangle shape out from each end of the fold in the plate, to give the plate a shell shape.

Step 3 – Cut a piece of thin card 10cm X 1 1/2cm. Fold the card in three places: after 1/2cm, 2cm & 7cm.

Step 4 – Using some Bostik Micro Dots cut two short lengths to stick onto either end of the strip of thin card. Remove the clear backing to reveal the sticky dots.

Step 5 – Stick the card strip onto the back of the plate to make a platform and hinge for your pop-up figure.

Step 6 – Draw your pop-up figure, I drew a (naive) version of the Goddess Venus holding a heart. Of course she could look however you’d like. Colour and cut out your figure.

Step 7 – Using a long strip of Micro Dots stick the figure to the pop-up hinge on the plate.

Step 8 – Cut a strip of thin card 3 1/2cm X 1 1/2cm. Create two folds, the first after 1/2cm, then again after 2cm. Cut some Micro Dots and attach to the smaller 1/2cm fold.

Step 9 – Attach a pop-up decoration to the larger 1cm fold, I used stick on foam hearts. Pull off the clear backing from the Micro Dots and attach the decoration to your plate. Make as many as you like!

Step 10 – In the original painting a Cherub flies in the air above Venus, I used a Cherub shaped hole puncher with sticky back plastic to create my own versions. I added glitter using Bostik Glitter Pens and jewels and hearts using Bostik Glu Dots.

Ta-Da one gorgeous and very unique Valentine’s card!

If you do decide to make your own plate masterpiece then please do send me an email and tag me in the post, I’d love to see how they turn out!