20th April 2018 by - No comments

I love tea. I also love a good cup of coffee. But tea has always had an extra special place in my heart.

Being half English & half Turkish, I have grown up with two cultures who are avid tea drinkers. The English like their tea in a mug, piping hot with milk. The Turks on the other hand enjoy black tea in a tall shapely glass with a slice of lemon, or just as it is.

So to celebrate today I would like to share with you my favourite tea of the moment. Of course I have many favourites, but this tea has an exceptional taste which I know you will all love.

The Tea –

English Tea Shop is steeped in tradition by using the finest quality tea leaves and age-old practises to bring us a superb tea from the heart of Sri Lanka. Working with the finest organic and Fairtrade farmers, English Tea Shop is able to create unique blends of quality tea.

Grown in the heart of Sri Lanka, English Tea Shop’s English Breakfast boasts a strong, full-bodied and robust flavour guaranteed to satisfy the palate of those who love a proper brew. For the ultimate tea break, pair with a citrus cake or lemon biscuit wih the tart flavours complimenting the brew perfectly.

English Tea Shop’s tantalising blend of Earl Grey encompasses the finest Ceylon black tea with aromas of fresh Bergamot boasting an aromatic and refined flavour.

Verdict –

It is just sooooo yummy! I like it with milk or black with a slice of lemon.

It just tastes exactly of tea. Deep flavours so yummy and not at all over powering, but just right.

English Tea Shop products can be purchased from Amazon, and whilst the offices are based in the UK, the tea is farmed in Sri Lanka. You can also find this yummy tea in Harrods, Selfridges and in some other stores around the UK.

Enjoy & Happy National Tea Day! xxx

http://www.etsteas.co.uk

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4th April 2018 by - No comments

After our recent visit to Amsterdam I am still under the city’s bewitched spell!

I am still looking out for all things Amsterdam!

I dont know what it is about the many canals and lovely buildings, but I find the city so breatakingly beautiful.

I came across this wonderful read which I also found out was due to be a blockbuster movie starring my favourite Alicia Vikander.

The Book –

Soon to be a major film starring Oscar winners Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz and Dame Judi Dench, and adapted for the screen by Sir Tom Stoppard.

From the bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel comes a thrilling story of power, lust and deception set in seventeenth-century Amsterdam
Seventeenth-century Amsterdam – a city in the grip of tulip fever.

Sophia’s husband Cornelis is one of the lucky ones grown rich from this exotic new flower.
To celebrate, he commissions a talented young artist to paint him with his beautiful young bride.
 But as the portrait grows, so does the passion between Sophia and the painter; and ambitions, desires and dreams breed an intricate deception and a reckless gamble.

Verdict –

I loved every single page of this book.

After visiting the amazing Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, seeing the priceless paintings by Rembrandt and other great artists, it was wonderful to step back in time to seventeenth-century Amsterdam, to when these portraits and scenes were actually painted.

A book which will transport you back in time.

I cannot wait to see the movie.

Available on Amazon and in all book shops Nationwide.

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27th March 2018 by - No comments

A weekend away with the kids is our favourite way to see and explore a new city. It is never an easy task but with lots of planning it can be so much fun for the whole family.

Living in London we are lucky enough to be so close to such wonderful European cities, all a short airplane ride away. With the added benefits of technology, checking in and getting to your destination could not be easier.

This past weekend we took the boys to beautiful Amsterdam, my darling husband and I had been before but it was an exciting first for the boys.

So here are my tips & recommendations for a fun weekend away in Amsterdam with kids!

Where we stayed –

We stayed at the Marriott Amsterdam, I got a great rate for a family room via booking.com. The room was immaculately clean, with two huge double beds. The location of the hotel is best for kids as it is right next to the Vondelpark and the two big museums – The Rijksmuseum & The Van Gogh Museum.

Where we ate –

Breakfast –

On our first morning we went to one of our favourite cafes in Amsterdam – Das Bakkerswinkel. There are a few of these dotted around Amsterdam and they are so super child friendly, and the food is great. The boys tried the Dutch favourite – butter on fresh bread topped with chocolate sprinkles!

On the second morning we wanted to try something new so we went to Bakers & Roasters, a short stroll from our hotel. It didnt look like much from the outside, set in a quiet residential street, but inside ot was buzzing! Great coffee, amazing pancakes! The whole family was very happy.

Lunch / Dinner –

We had a fantastic dinner at the American Hotel Cafe. Dating back to the 1800’s this hotel is a National Heritage site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautifully decorated in an art deco style. We booked for an early dinner, but they also serve breakfast & lunch. The food was great, I had a fish soup which was delicious, tge boys loved their choices from the kids menu.

Places to visit –

The Rijksmuseum – is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum. It is filled with the most amazing pieces of art & the dolls house section is definately worth a visit. The book ‘The Miniaturist’ was inspired by these houses.

The Van Gogh Museum – is an art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. It comprises 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters by Vincent van Gogh. The boys were very excited to see the masterpiece ‘Sunflowers’ in real life.

Anne Frank House Museum – is a writer’s house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht. I would recommend children 10 years and over attend this museum. I think younger children would not really gain or understand the true impact of the museum. It does show quite graphic images from Concentration camps which could be upsetting.

I went along with my older son who has been studying WW2 at school and found it very interesting.

Top tips –

  • Dont eat breakfast in the hotel, instead get out & explore. Eat where the locals eat. Hotel breakfasts are always the same.
  • Book museum tickets well in advance. I booked my tickets in January for our March trip.
  • Use you iphone maps app to get from place to place.
  • Hop on a boat trip to explore the canals. The tours last 1hour and a tour guide points things out along the way.
  • Book your train tickets from the airport to the city center in advance. The journey takes 15mins.
  • Try the fresh mint tea! Its sooo good!

Websites –

http://www.bakersandroasters.com

http://www.debakkerswinkel.nl

https://www.amsterdamamericanhotel.com/en/restaurant/

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