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Nativitea at the Bell Inn, Brook

I am a big fan of afternoon tea, even opting for the classic combination of finger sandwiches, fluffy scones and delicate cakes over a more traditional buffet at our wedding. Many a birthday, my baby shower and bridal shower has featured the three-tiered cake stand. It even manages to find a place in our holidays, parties and as of last year, as a treat during the Christmas holidays.
The Bell Inn have also created a festive slant on the traditional afternoon tea, albeit a lot more sophisticated than my attempt (yes I am looking at you frosted fancies). With an enviable team in their kitchen, including Head Chef Mark and their extremely talented pastry chef Ellie, this is a far cry from the often stodgy offerings found on discount sites.
What is Nativitea?
Nativitea is a Christmas-inspired afternoon tea, that is full of surprises! With a choice of three sandwiches, homemade sausage rolls and three desserts, this is a filling, satisfying, but not overdone treat to celebrate the season. …
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Brewhouse and Kitchen - a Review

As the cold nights draw in, our minds naturally turn to comfort food served in cosy locations. The Brewhouse and Kitchen on Poole Hill have the perfect seasonal menu to warm and satisfy, served in a warm and casual venue.
Here are my favourites from their menu:
Sticky BBQ wings with a blue cheese dip - surprisingly juicy, with a sharp blue cheese dip. This will be an absolute hit with my wing-obsessed husband. I found myself hogging the dip and going back for more wings!
Mini goat’s cheese, with roasted shallot coulis, red basil, heritage tomato and crostini - I am not traditionally a lover of goats cheese, but these totally won me over! Creamy and strong in flavour, I will definitely order this again.
Mac n cheese melts with chili jam - mac n cheese is my favourite food pleasure and there were delicious. Not too rich, but comforting all the same. They were a hit with the whole table during tasting.
Freshly baked bread sticks with balsamic & olive oil, classic hummus and beetroot hu…

Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland

Lily and I were so excited to be invited to Bournemouth’s Christmas Tree Wonderland on Friday. I must confess, as I approach my first Christmas as a mum, I was not feeling too festive, rather thinking about all of the extra things that need to be done, with a lot less time than years previous.
Although Christmas shopping for Lily is an absolute joy, it has struck me how many of the Christmas events, we can no longer attend as we have a baby in tow. Some are too late in the evening, some in unsuitable venues, some just don't allow children, which makes navigating our usual festive traditions very tricky.
So imagine our joy when a baby-friendly invitation arrived! We would experience the Alpine Bar, Bournemouth Christmas Market, Bournemouth Skate & Moguls Alpine Bar, Santa's Grotto, the Big Wheel and the show stopping Christmas Tree Wonderland. I delved into our wardrobe of festive outfits with the excitement of a small child!
Here are my top tips for a fabulous, festive (and…

Bombay Sapphire Distillery - A Review

The Bombay Sapphire Distillery is unexpectedly based in rural Hampshire, with easy access via train and bus. No need to drive - hurrah! A shuttle bus collects you from Micheldever and Overton train stations for just £3 return, making the journey accessible and easy to plan. The tour takes you on a sensory exploration of the history, making and make-up of the world-famous, blue glass enclosed gin. From the original stores and worker homes, to the state of the art glass buildings, the self-guided tour is fascinating and engaging.

My favourite part was the aroma room, where you explore the aromas from the many ingredients that blend to make this delicious liquid. Aromas you like, get a hold punch on your card, those that are not so nasally pleasing - move on! From here, you find a pattern that recommends a group of cocktails to select from in the tasting room. It is so much easier than scanning a massive menu in the busy bar! Finally a guided tour of the stills room, rounds of an insight…

Chicken & Blues Winton - A Review

Chicken & Blues have three restaurants and a touring food truck (Boscombe, Ashley Cross and their newest addition- Winton). They specialise in great quality, home-made chicken wraps and portions. Their sauces and wrap boosters were originally what set them apart, but now their great range of sides, drinks and their Sunday Roast menu, make them a popular destination with families, young professionals and seekers of post-workout protein. They offer comfortable, casual dining with the sounds of Americana and a vintage vibe.

Ease of communication

N/A - There is never a need to book, unless you are in a large group. The menu is easily accessed online and their app contains a great range of easily accessed offers, such a 241 wraps on Wednesdays.

Breastfeeding friendly?
5/5 - I must confess I did feel a little unsure about breastfeeding here, as the core clientele tend to be young males in groups, or solo and fresh from the gym. A far cry from a mum tribe. Normally I grab a take away to eat…