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Parenting

Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery – A Family Afternoon Out In Ealing

March 17, 2019
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Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery finally re-opened it’s doors this weekend in Ealing, after being closed for three years while the Grade-1 listed building underwent refurbishment. Once the country home of British architect Sir John Soanes. Built between 1800 and 1804 it is a stunning example of architecture of this time. The opening has been eagerly awaited by the people of Ealing, West London. For many months the building has been shrouded by hoardings and I have often walked past to try to get an glimpse of what has been going on. So I was thrilled to be some of the first members of the public to venture into this stunning building this weekend!

I am over the moon that here in Ealing we have somewhere to view amazing pieces of art on our doorsteps. The exhibition area intends to have three different artists presenting their work over the next twelve months. Currently, Anish Kapoor is showing his work until the 18th August 2019.

Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery – Ealing

I am also so glad that Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery will be providing space for local families to engage in creative activities and other workshops suitable for adults too. This addition to Ealing will make our area even more well known as place for families and help our community to grow.

The house is really interesting to walk around and there is plenty to learn about it’s history and of course how the refurbishment was completed. Amelia particularly enjoyed dressing up in some costumes that were available!

In the Upper Drawing Room the beautiful wallpaper really is spectacular! Within this room there is an opportunity for children to play with wooden blocks and other interactive hands on toys. While parents can sit and marvel at this stunning room!

Heading downstairs to the Gallery area, which was once Ealing Lending Library and dates from 1939. You can enjoy Anish Kapoor’s exhibition in this amazing light space.

Anish Kapoor’s Exhibition at Pitzhanger Manor & Art Gallery – Ealing

These pieces of art are really breathtaking and transport you into another world of mirrors and light. It’s hard to really get a full appreciation of Anish Kapoor’s work without actually seeing them, so I highly recommend that you go and see them for yourself. My Daughter Amelia found them fascinating, as I’m sure most children would!

Finally on your way out don’t forget to visit the shop. Selling lots of lovely gifts and some locally produced products too. Including Pitzhanger honey and cards by local artist Charlotte Berridge.

Information to help plan your visit

Address: Mattock Lane, Ealing, W5 5EQ

Admissions and bookings

Go to the website

Opening Hours see below

Ticket prices

Adult tickets start at £7.70, with a reduction in price for Ealing residents priced at £4.95. The ticket price includes entry to the house and gallery.

Children from 0-17 years are free of charge, there are various other concessions, so please see the website for full details.

You can also join as a member which will give you free unlimited entry, plus many other benefits.

Ealing residents can also visit for free on Tuesday and Sunday mornings.

Accessibility 

The whole building is accessible to wheelchairs and buggies.

What’s on

There are so many events planned at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery coming up over the next few months. I’m especially looking forward to some of the family activities they have planned. Including: Upcycled Easter Baskets & Disco Eggs, Chocolate Easter Egg Workshop, Little Builders: The Great Materials Hunt, May Half-Term: Mystical Mirrors and stories and Open House Families to name a few.

You can pick up a copy of the What’s On Guide at the Manor or find out more details over on their website.

If you enjoyed this blog post then, why not have a read of one of my other posts? Ealing 135 Group – Local Parenting Support & Events

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My Mood Stars – A learning aid & interactive toy that can help children express their feelings

March 11, 2019
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Today, I would like to introduce you to My Mood Stars these tactile cuddly little stars are an ingenious invention by Wendy Woo. She saw a need for children to be able to express their emotions particularly in young children or in children with special needs. As parents, carers and teachers well know when a child can not express truly how they feel, it can lead to anger, anxiety and frustration. Mood stars can allow a child to explore how they are feeling in a fun and simple way. They also allow children to gain an understanding of the emotions and feelings of others, which is something important for all children to learn.

Wendy Woo worked as a Nanny before having her own three children and later on she became a Registered Childminder, so she has a huge amount of knowledge of how children play and develop. Wendy explains in her own words what My Mood Stars are about.

“Encouraging emotional development was always a priority for me during my long career as an Early Years Practitioner, leading me to design and develop My Mood Stars.”

“My Mood Stars and the accompanying board started to gain attention from parents and carers of children with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Some of these children have difficulty recognising and acknowledging facial expressions so My Mood Stars helped as a visual aid. I was delighted, not only had I made a really fun toy but an effective developmental resource that would actually help young children.”

My Daughter Amelia is six years old, despite having quite advanced language skills for her age, she still struggles at times to get across how she really feels. We played with the mood stars for a little while and it was interesting to hear her describe how she related to each of the star’s faces. Mood Stars are suitable for children of any age.

The Mood star set comes complete with:

A board that can be mounted on the wall and included the hooks and fittings to do so.

8 mood stars including, Shy Star, Sad Star, Scared Star, Happy Star, Angry Star, Surprised Star, Silly Star and Sleepy Star.

Plus the book, which is an excellent way to work through some of the emotions your child might be feeling. As you can see Amelia has both drawn a picture and written a comment about snoring.

The mood stars are small enough for little hands to hold and are made of a material that will simply attach and detach from the board. Moving and replacing the stars on the board is a game in it’s self.

I wish I had know about this wonderful education toy years ago when Amelia was younger, as I can see how they would have been invaluable in dealing with lots of the changes that small children go through such as: Mummy/Daddy going back to work, starting nursery or school for the first time, sleep issues and potty training.

Wendy has also developed some suggested games that could be used alongside the Mood Stars, a leaflet is included in the pack and you can also find out more over on her website. The game that stood out to me that was particularly helpful was “Today I Feel….”. This activity allows the child to take control of their emotions and express how they feel thought the day. In this game you use the board and stars as part of their morning routine, allow the child to choose which star they are feeling that day. If it is a negative star, the child will see this as a challenge to end the day with a postive star. If the child feels they are in complete control of their emotions, they will want to ‘win” the game.

Wendy has also published two books which are available to buy online via her website, Rat & His Amazing Musical Band, plus Rat Loses His Voice.  These stories have become firm favourites in early years settings such as childminders and nurseries and has been developed to encompass much of the UK Early Years Framework. Both both are priced individually at £10.00.

If you would like to buy your very own set of my Mood Stars you can head over to Wendy’s Website where the board and set of stars are priced at £24.99 and you can also purchase extra copies of My Mood Star book for £5.99.

Disclaimer – AD -This is a collaborative post with My Mood Stars, however as always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of my opinion of the product.

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Ealing 135 Group – Local Parenting Support & Events

March 10, 2019
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Ealing 135 is an organisation run by volunteers who put together playgroups, events and networking for parents/ carers with children under 5 years old in the borough of Ealing. “Ealing 135 was established 40 years ago by a small group of mums who felt Ealing was lacking activities and support for those with babies and young children. In the days before Netmums, Mumsnet and Facebook, finding and connecting with others in the same boat as you was harder and being a new parent could be a lonely and daunting experience” Sourced from Ealing 135 website. So if you are looking for some new Mum friends and some great local events then you should definitely consider joining Ealing 135.

How much does it cost to be a member? 

Standard membership: £15
Out of Area members*: £21
*(any postcode that does not begin with: W3, W5, W7 or W13)
Members on benefits: £5

If you would like to join head over to the Ealing 135 Website. Where you can join online.

Ealing 135 Pre-loved sale

What is included in the membership?

(Sourced from the Ealing 135 Website)

  • The newsletter – Only members receive a jam-packed newsletters four times a year, detailing all the Ealing 135 activities, alongside a regularly updated diary of baby and toddler groups going on each day in and around the borough. It also includes loads of suggestions for trips further afield and great articles written by our members and local businesses about a range of topics
  • Reduced entry costs – Members get cut-price entry to our Saturday Box Making, play-sessions and Actions, Songs & Rhymes (ASR)
  • Access to holiday events – Members can attend holiday events, which are always popular since most local activities only run during term-time. The most popular events are the Spring Fun and Summer Fun events, where each session offers 2 hours of action packed crafts, singing and fun.
  • A range of discounts – Only members get access to discounts which have been negotiated with local business exclusively for Ealing 135, encouraging you to shop local.
  • Access to special interest groups – Members can join groups for first time parents, second time parents, grandparents, lone parents, working parents, or parents with babies who are or have been in special care. These groups provide valuable support by connecting you with others in a similar situation to you.
  • Access to the babysitting circle – Only members can join this system of reciprocal babysitting. It’s a great way to get a night out knowing that it is another parent that will be looking after you child/children and not having to pay because double glass pebbles are used as payment. You’ll get 6 hours worth of pebbles to get you started once you’ve joined and you earn more by babysitting for others.
  • A packed diary of open houses and other activities organised by our members – Members receive the full diary of Ealing 135 events, the majority of which are actually small informal gatherings organised by members to enable you and your kids to get out and about throughout the week. From coffee mornings and playdates, to meet-ups in the park, group forays to local playgroups and even trips further afield, there’s always something going on.

How can I help?
Ealing 135 is still in desperate need of volunteers for the following roles:
– Chair
– Events Manager
– Northfields Playgroup Coordinator
If you’d like to get involved or would like more info please email  ealing135chair@gmail.com or send a pm on Facebook.  All volunteer committee members get free annual membership to Ealing 135 and volunteers for events and playgroups also get to go for free!
You can also follow Ealing 135 on Facebook for all their most recent news and you can also join their great Facebook Group for local information and buying/selling of baby and child related items.
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Honest Burger Ealing – Eating Out With The Kids

March 4, 2019
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Honest Burger Ealing is slightly different to other burger restaurants, founders Phil Eeles and Tom Barton started Honest Burger back in 2010. They wanted to offer burgers made from high quality ingredients.  “British beef patties are made in our own butchery and homemade rosemary chips cut and cooked daily. Every restaurant serves local beers from neighbouring breweries, and many restaurants serve local burgers using ingredients from nearby food heroes.” I was really pleased to see that this restaurant uses cheese from local Cheddar Deli in Northfields Avenue and serves beers from Werid Beard Brew Co. I think it is brilliant to see a business like this supporting local small businesses in the Ealing area. If you are eating out with the kids in Ealing, I think you will find this restaurant to be child friendly. They have a kids menu, colouring to keep them occupied and if you arrive early evening the restaurant isn’t too busy. The staff we came across seemed to be used to welcoming children and were very accommodating. You must check out the chalk board at the back of the restaurant, you are encouraged to leave comments and let the staff know what you thought of the burgers!

I loved the relaxed dinning style at Honest Burger. The menu is simple and they offer a good value children’s menu. The mini burgers come with rosemary salted chips (you can request no salt if you like), and all cost £5.50 with any juice. Amelia really enjoyed her meal and polished off the lot! So it was a big thumbs up from her.

I love a Gin and Tonic, so I was really pleased to find Honest Burger’s homemade Gin & Tonic on the menu! Served with with Psychopomp, cucumber and dill favoured. It’s exclusive to Honest Burger and a really refreshing drink. They also serve a range of cocktails too, if you fancy something a bit different. Local craft beer is on the menu too, as is a range of ciders, wines and soft drink options too.

If you are looking for something a bit special you can’t go wrong with the Cheese Truck Burger – £12.50 or if you are really hungry you can double up for £3.50! Comprised of Honest beef, deep-fried smoked British mozzarella, Old Winchester cheese, chipotle jam, pickles and rocket with homemade rosemary chips. You better be quick if you want to sample this amazing taste sensation as it is only available until the 31st March 2019.

Another option would be to go with The Ealing Burger – £12.50 (only available in the Ealing branch), beef, bacon, Dambuster Cheddar, Dorset Red, mustard mayo, onion, rocket, tomato and pickles with chips. Brent from Cheddar Deli in Northfields Avenue helped the, to pair two British Cheddars – one sharp, one smoked for a punchy double cheese flavour.

If you are still hungry then there are also some yummy side dishes too, we particularly enjoyed the BBQ chicken wings served with chipotle BBQ sauce and spring onions – £5.00

The Ealing Mummy’s verdict – fresh juicy burgers, with hand cut chips served with a smile from the friendly staff. Comfortable seating and welcoming atmosphere (definitely child friendly). Great drinks menu and supporting local businesses too! What’s not to like? Already looking forward to our next visit!

You will find Honest Burger at – 53 New Broadway, Ealing, W5 5AH. They also have other West London branches in Chiswick, Hammersmith, Portobello, South Kensington and Bond Street, plus many branches around London and other branches in the South of England too.

Honest Burger – Ealing Broadway Branch

Disclaimer – I received a complimentary family meal in return for a review, however as ever all views are my own and they are an honest reflection of my experience.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out my review on Patri – Indian Street Food Restaurant in Northfields

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Independent Schools In Ealing -The Ealing Mummy’s Guide

February 17, 2019
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I’m often asked what are the options for independent or private schools in Ealing? With lots of Open Days coming up this Spring, I decided now was a good time to write a blog post about Independent Schools in Ealing. We are very fortunate here in Ealing to have so many great schools. If you are looking for a co-educational school, a boy’s school, a girl’s school or a faith school, then Ealing has many options to choose from.

How do you decided where to send your child with so many choices? In my opinion the best thing to do is to attend an Open Day, that way you will get to see the school in action and even meet some of the pupils who will be happy to tell you about their own experiences of the school.

St Augustine’s Priory

St Augustine’s Priory  is a Catholic Independent Day School for girls aged 3 – 18 years and boys in the Nursery, set in 13 acres of stunning grounds. The school even has it’s own farm and forest school!

Main Points of Entry 

Nursery, Reception, Year 5, Year 7, (11+) and Sixth Form, with entry considered in other year groups subject to availability.

Pupils wishing to enter Nursery through to Prep III (Year 2) will be invited to attend classroom assessments.  Candidates wishing to enter into Lower I – Lower II (Years 3-5) will sit formal written assessments in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning and will also spend time in the classroom as part of the entry process.

Entry into the Senior School for 11+ takes place on their Selection Day. Candidates will sit exams in English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and participate in a Creative Task.  Interviews will also take place on Selection Day.

Next Open Day

The next whole school Open Morning is 10am on Saturday 9th March 2019. You can registered your interest to attend via their website. If you can’t make the March open day then there will be another one in October 2019 or alternately you could enquire about a tour at another time.

Contact Details

St Augustine’s Priory
Hillcrest Road
Ealing
London
W5 2JL
020 8997 2022
office@sapriory.com

St Augustine’s Priory – Ealing

Notting Hill and Ealing High School

Notting Hill and Ealing High School is an independent day school for girls aged from 4 until 18 years old. The school won The Sunday Times Independent Preparatory School of the Year in 2018.

Main Points of Entry 

4 + (Reception), 7+ (Year 3), 11 + (Year 7) and 16+ (Sixth Form).  There may sometimes be places available in other year groups.  Entry is selective and via an appropriate test and/or interview at each stage.

Next Open Day

April 2019 – check their website for more details.

Contact Details

NHEHS Junior School
26 St Stephen’s Road
Ealing, London
W13 8HH

(020) 8799 8484
Admissions (020) 8991 2165

juniorenquiries@nhehs.gdst.net

NHEHS Senior School
2 Cleveland Road
Ealing, London
W13 8AX

(020) 8799 8400
Admissions (020) 8991 2165

enquiries@nhehs.gdst.net

Clifton Lodge

Clifton Lodge is a small private Prep School in central Ealing. They take both boys and girls from the age of 3 up to 13 years old. They offer preparation for the 11+ to attain places at some of the best senior schools in the London area. They are part of the Cognita School Group.

Main Points of Entry 

Entry to Nursery (age 3+) and Reception (age 4+). Places are also offered at any time during the school year subject to places being available.

From September 2020 Clifton Lodge will become a sole 11+ prep school, with one exit point in Year 6.

Next Open Day

Saturday 16th March and Saturday 18th May 2019, 10am until 12:00 noon. Contact the Admissions Registrar to book your place or to arrange a private tour.

Contact Details

8 Mattock Lane
Ealing
London

W5 5BG

020 8579 3662

admissions@cliftonlodgeschool.co.uk

 

Clifton Lodge – Ealing

Harvington Prep

Harvington Prep School is a girls school which was founded in 1890. They accept boys in Nursery only and take children from the age of 3 years old up to 11 years. They pride themselves in offering a high standard of education to prepare their girls for the 11+ examination. Many girls have been offered places and academics scholarships at some of London’s top schools.

Main Points of Entry 

Entry is accepted in any year depending on availability.

Next Open Day

Contact the school directly to organise a tour.

Contact Details

Harvington Prep School

20 Castlebar Road

Ealing

W5 2DS        

020 8997 1583

admin@harvingtonschool.com

Harvington Prep School – Ealing

St Benedicts School

St Benedicts School is a co-educated school accepting both boys and girls from Nursery all the way to 18 years. Recent developments include a new Sixth Form Centre and Art Department, which opened in 2016.

Main Points of Entry 

Admission to Nursery (3 +), Pre- Prep 1 (Reception) and a smaller intake of pupils at 7+ for entry to Lower Prep (Year 3). Then for the 11+ for the Senior School. There may be places in other year groups subject to availability.

Next Open Day

The next Senior School Open Morning is Thursday 9th May 2019 and the Nursery/Junior Open Morning is Tuesday 21st May 2019. Contact the school to make further enquires. Private tours can be arranged too.

Contact Details

Senior School
54 Eaton Rise
Ealing
London
W5 2ES
020 8862 2000
Junior School
5 Montpelier Avenue
Ealing
London
W5 2XP
020 8862 2050

 

St Benedicts School – Ealing

Durston House

Durston House is an independent preparatory school for boys aged 4-13. There are various schools in London that have an entrance exam for the 13+ and Durston prepares their boys for this. They have a large sports field near to the school where the boys participate in a variety of activities.

Main Points of Entry 

Entry to Durston House at Reception is non-selective. Admission to Year 1 up to Year 8 is subject to availability of places and an assessment, plus references from the boy’s current school.

Next Open Day

16th, 17th, 18th May 2019. If you are unable to attend one of the Open Days, individual visit can be arranged. Contact the school for more information.

Contact Details

12-14 Castlebar Road
Ealing
London
W5 2DR

020 8991 6530

info@durstonhouse.org

Durston House – Ealing

Avenue House

Avenue House is a small co-educational pre-preparatory and preparatory school, located in West Ealing.

Main Points of Entry 

Any year group depending on availability of places.

Next Open Day

Spring Open Day – Saturday 2nd March 2019, 11am to 1pm.

Contact Details

70 The Avenue,

Ealing,

London

W13 8LS

020 8998 9981

school@avenuehouse.org

Avenue House – Ealing

I hope you have found my guide to independent schools in Ealing useful? Do let me know in the comments.

The details I have included have been sourced from the school’s websites and as far as I am aware the information is correct at time of publishing. If you require any further information, I suggest you contact the schools direct.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid by any of the above schools for this post.

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How To Manage Fever in Children – Guest Post by Dr Stephanie Ooi

February 16, 2019
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Hello! Thank you to Joanne for inviting me to guest post on her blog! I am Stephanie Ooi, Mum to my almost 2 year old daughter Lily and a private GP working at MyHealthcare Clinic in London. I post information about a variety of health topics with a bit of Motherhood in between. There is so much misinformation about health nowadays and I hope to provide some accurate bitesize information for people to refer to! I wanted to go through how to manage fever in children. We have gotten through about 2 bottles of Calpol this Winter period and I commonly see feverish children so I thought it would be a good place to start!

Dr Stephanie Ooi – GP & @the_gp_mum

A note on Calpol and Nurofen:

Calpol is a branded version of Paracetamol. Nurofen is a branded version of Ibuprofen. The branded versions are more expensive, but not any better! Unfortunately the market is saturated with the branded versions, but if you can find the generic versions these are perfectly good to use too!

What is a fever and why does it occur?

A fever is a temperature above 38C.

It happens because the body is trying to fight off an infection and make it harder for any bacteria or viruses to survive. It is not an illness in itself. As a result, you don’t actually have to give any medication to lower a temperature unless your child is distressed or unwell. If they are otherwise happy, they don’t need any medicine!

What can I give to my child to manage fever?

If they are distressed then choose either Paracetamol or Ibuprofen and use it by itself. If one does not work to make your child comfortable then switch over to the other one. If this doesn’t work then you can start to alternate doses of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.

How often can I give medication?

Paracetamol is given every 4-6 hours and Ibuprofen is given every 8 hours. Follow the instructions on the box for dosing. Jotting down the times at which you give medication can help to avoid any confusion or mistakes.

Some general advice:

– Encourage regular fluids (can continue breastfeeding as normal)

– Avoid overheating or shivering. If your child is feeling hot then you can take off layers, but no need to strip them down completely. Conversely, do not put on additional layers even if your child feels cold.  Cool baths or sponging is NOT advised (a rebound fever can occur after this)

– Look out for signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, reduced wet nappies, dry mouth, absence of tears)

When should I worry and seek medical advice?

  • If your baby has a fever and is under 3 months old
  • If there is evidence of dehydration
  • If you are worried about their breathing
  • If they have a fit
  • If there is a non-blanching rash
  • If the fever lasts for more than 5 days
  • If they are becoming more unwell
  • If YOU are worried – you know them best!

I hope that you found my guest blog on how to mange fever in children helpful? If you have any questions then please feel free to message me through my Instagram page. Unfortunately I can’t give specific personal medical advice, but I’m happy to answer any general questions!

You can follow Dr Stephanie on Instagram @the_gp_mum for more helpful tips on family health. She also  contributes to the blog Gas and Air set up by Clemmie Hooper from @mother_of_daughters. Who is a successful Blogger, Author and Midwife. Over on Clemmie’s blog you will find some really interesting articles about pregnancy, birth and beyond!

Disclaimer – This article is in no way meant to replace direct medical advice. If you have any concerns about your child’s health or your own health, then you should contact your GP, call 111 or attend A&E.

 

 

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Carluccio’s Ealing – Local Italian Resturant & Deli

February 11, 2019
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Half Term is fast approaching, so it’s great to have some ideas for family friendly dining in Ealing. We love to eat out in West London and one of our firm favourites is Carluccio’s Ealing – local Italian Restaurant & Deli. It has been one of our go to places, ever since Amelia was born. Eating out with children can be stressful, as we all know especially if your child is making lots of noise or is not keen to sit at the table. I think as parents we have all been there! However, if you are in an environment that caters for children, then the whole experience is a lot more relaxed for everyone! The Ealing branch of Carluccio’s was refurbished last year and as you will see from my photos it certainly is stylish with a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Carluccio’s Restuarant 5-6 The Green, Ealing, London, W5 5DA

Carluccio’s have recently re-vamped their children’s menu, which I have to say I now actually prefer, because there are more options. For £6.25 your child can have two courses including a drink and for £7.50 you can increase that to three courses. My Daughter is six years old and I would say the portion sizes are more than adequate for her appetite.

Carluccio’s New Kids Menu

Amelia is a budding restaurant critic too and has done a little write up here! She really enjoyed the new kid’s menu as you can see!

One of the choices of starter includes cucumber, carrots and celery sticks with a tomato sauce dip, children also get bread sticks too! A brilliant way to get one of their 5 a day!

The main course, along with the usual pasta options also includes: chicken or fish with vegetables, however Amelia when back to her favorite of pasta with a tomato sauce.

Carluccio’s has all the usual child friendly facilities that you would expect, such as baby changing facilities, highchairs and even child sized cutlery which make eating all that bit easier. Plus there is colouring and crayons to hand to keep them occupied. The other thing I like about this restaurant is that the tables are not too close together, so if you wanted to bring your pram then likelihood is there will be room nearby.

At the rear of the restaurant the tables can be set up for a larger family gathering or party. Just enquire at the restaurant and I’m sure they will be happy to help.

They have a wonderful selections of cakes and sweet treats, so you could also just come in for afternoon tea!

Plus, don’t forget if you are looking for a romantic Valentines Day meal than you better be quick to get booked in! From the 13th until the 16th February they are offering a special Valentine’s set menu three course for £22.95.

Carluccio’s have lovely selection of gifts available from their Deli and in-store shop. You will find ingredients to make your perfect romantic Italian evening at home also!

You can find your local Carluccio’s at: 5-6 The Green, Ealing, London, W5 5DA.

Disclaimer – I was offered a complimentary family meal in return for a review, however as all views are my own and they are an honest reflection of my experience.

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This week on Monday (it really was blue Monday for me!) I underwent surgery on my leg, as I have suffered with painful varicose veins for the past six years. I wanted to tell you about my experience and why I think we should be so proud of our NHS. We often hear so many negative comments about the NHS, but I want to remind us all that despite the ever increasing challenges and pressures on the NHS, we have something very special here in the UK.

As you know I’m a registered nurse and have worked in the medical sector for the past 21 years. However 6 years ago when I gave birth to my Daughter, I had an awful traumatic birth which wasn’t helped by the care (more like lack of care) that I received in a certain London hospital. My experience was so bad that I wrote an official complaint to the NHS Trust in question, this in turn lead to the member staff concerned being unable to work in that Trust again.

The whole experience left me wondering what had happened to the NHS that I know and had loved? The place where I have spent much of my adult life working, it even made me question my career choice. However, my experience this week as a patient has left me with a new view point. I now once again feel proud to be part of the nursing profession and I can tell you that there are still nurses who do care and know how to really get down on a patient’s level.

I have needed varicose vein surgery since 2016, but essentially I have been putting off having the treatment, because in reality I was so terrified to put my life in the hands of health professionals again! To cut a long story short the first time my surgery was booked, unfortunately the hospital had to cancel it. The second time it was booked I cancelled it, because I was having mental health issues with anxiety so bad that I couldn’t face it. So it was third time lucky!

Warning – there is a graphic picture of my bruised leg below!

This is just after I woke up from the anesthetic! I think I was still as high as a kite!

Anyway, the point I want to make is that my Daughter’s birth was just one bad experience and this time (obviously I was not giving birth, more having an uncomplicated procedure) at Charing Cross Hospital – part of Imperial Healthcare. I was treated with dignity and respect. I was very nervous about having a general anesthetic, but everything was explained to me and it was the little things the nurses, doctors and other members of the team did that made me feel cared for.

So now the surgery is done I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. My leg as you can see doesn’t look very pretty, I had what is known as a ultrasonography guided percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of the long saphenous vein. I am still finding it very uncomfortable to walk and sleep at night, as the bruising can get worse before it improves. However I am back at work and trying to get on with things, I’m just a bit slower than usual.

I have found a new prospective of both hospitals and medical care. I also think being a patient myself again has reminded me what is really important in nursing and that really it is the basics. As cheesy as it sounds it’s the human touch and the reassuring words that make all the difference. I was so lucky to have a lovely recovery nurse looking after me when I woke up from the general anesthetic. I remember her looking at me and making direct eye contact. She spoke softy and was reassuring, she didn’t rush me and I felt heard when I said I was in pain and very cold. She held a cup of water for me so I could drink small sips and made sure I had an extra blanket.

To practice as a Registered Nurse in the UK you must be a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and you must uphold the code of conduct. I have just pulled out the very first part of the code for you to read, as for me this part really stands out, but every single part of it is really important too. You can read the full code on the NMC Website.

Prioritise people

“You put the interests of people using or needing nursing or midwifery services first. You make their care and safety your main concern and make sure that their dignity is preserved and their needs are recognised, assessed and responded to. You make sure that those receiving care are treated with respect, that their rights are upheld and that any discriminatory attitudes and behaviours towards those receiving care are challenged”.

“1 Treat people as individuals and uphold their dignity

To achieve this, you must:

1.1 treat people with kindness, respect and compassion

1.2 make sure you deliver the fundamentals of care effectively

1.3 avoid making assumptions and recognise diversity and individual choice

1.4 make sure that any treatment, assistance or care for which you are responsible is delivered without undue delay

1.5 respect and uphold people’s human rights”

From the NMC Code of conduct – Publication date: 29 January 2015
Effective from: 31 March 2015
Updated to reflect the regulation of nursing associates: 10 October 2018

My School of Nursing & Midwifery badge from The University of Sheffield, where I completed my training in 1997.

Finally, I want to thank every single member of staff at Charing Hospital for their care (I doubt any of them will read this), this post is for their hard work and dedication. From the lady on the ward who brought me a cup of tea up to the Consultant Vascular Surgeon who performed my operation. I thank you for your care and consideration.

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Patri – Indian Street Food Comes to Northfields Avenue, Ealing

January 18, 2019
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Patri is a brand new Indian Street Food Restaurant, which has recently opened on Northfields Avenue in Ealing. Founder, Puneet Wadhwhani (also founder and creative director of the independent street food chain, Chai Naasto), has created a never-before-seen menu bringing to life the snacks and dishes he once ate as a child growing up within a bicycle ride of New Delhi train station, and of those he remembers eating on board India’s great rail journeys.

We recently went to try out their extensive menu and found ourselves trying all sorts of wonderful dishes. My taste buds were on sensory overload and as their menu offers lots of vegetarian and vegan options, I was surprised to find some of the meat free dishes were actually my favourite!

Patri Restaurant – Northfields Avenue, Ealing

We were absolutely delighted to be served a wonderful selection of small plates to start off our meal. Ranging from Pani Puri Bombs, which were crispy wheat balls filled with chick peas, boiled potato and topped with tangy, hot, spicy and refreshing mint water.

We also tried the Chatpati Aloo Tikki Chaat, which was two stuffed spicy potato patties served on a bed of boiled chickpeas drizzled with lemon vinegar, onions, tomatoes and pomegranate, topped with tamarind and mint chutney.

If you are looking for something a bit different when it comes to drinks, Patri serve a huge range of craft beers, organic wines and soft drinks. We asked our waiter to suggest which drinks would best compliment our meals? He was happy to help with our selection. We enjoyed a lovely white wine and Amelia had an organic lemonade!

If you are wondering if this restaurant is kid friendly? I can tell you it definitely is! The waiter was happy to make suggestions from the menu that were not too spicy and more suited to a child’s tastebuds. There were definitely items on the menu that she could enjoy! We found the staff very accommodating for children and if you need to use the toilet facilities, you will even find a miniature toilet especially for kids and something else a bit special, but I will leave that for you to find out! Let’s just say I have only ever experienced toilet facilities of this high standard when I once visited Japan!

We particularly enjoyed the mixture of main dishes we ordered. I can highly recommend the Railway Mix Grill, which is more than plenty for two to share. It includes: half a tandoori chicken, one lamb seekh kebab and two paneer tikka’s. Amelia really loved this combination, so it’s perfect for kids.

There was no shortage of delicious dishes to try and my other recommendation would be the Murgh Makhani, which was a butter chicken on the bone, marinated and then cooked in a clay oven. It is gently cooked in buttery tomato cashew nut gravy topped with fenugreek honey and coriander.

At the end of our meal we were treated to a traditional Indian tea, which is something I haven’t tried before and have to say I did enjoy it!

If you would like to try some authentic Indian Street food? Patri is this place for you and your family. Be sure to book your table well in advance, as especially at weekends it is a very popular place! They also offer a take away menu if you would like to enjoy this amazing food at home.

Don’t forget you can also follow Patri on Social Media.

Facebook @Patri

Instagram @patrinorthfields

Disclaimer – I was given a complimentary meal in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of my recent visit.

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Watermans – Local Theatre & Cinema for the holidays

December 28, 2018
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At a loss for things to do with the family after Christmas in Ealing? How about visiting your local Arts Centre Watermans? They have some wonderful family theatre and cinema for the Christmas holidays. Watermans is just down the road from Ealing in Brentford. Easily accessible from Ealing, a short bus ride on the number 65 or if you want to drive they have a car park too. We went to see their festive show, The Heart of Winter by Lyngo Theatre and my six year old sat for the full sixty minutes totally engrossed in this original story. She absolutely loved the special effects from the smoke machine, lighting and even the clever use of talcum powder!

Image credit: Anna Forlati

“Christmas is coming and Sally can’t sleep – it’s far too hot! The weather has gone topsy-turvy. No-one can remember the last time it snowed, or even rained, and her father can’t sell any of his umbrellas. To help her sleep Dad reads her a story about the last snowflake.

That night Sally has a dream that changes everything – a mysterious silver spark transforms her bedroom into a glistening, white field where she meets the glowing heart of Winter.

Watermans welcomes back Lyngo Theatre, who brought you the playfully comic Snow Play in 2016. Heart of Winter is their magical new musical show which warmly celebrates family, friendship and the good fortune of finding the winter we really need and want…with the precious festive offering of lots of fluffy snow!”

We really enjoyed this show, it had a magical quality. The story was simple enough for young children to grasp, but at the same time it had a message that adults could get something from it too. You still have time to catch a performance as it ends on the 30th December. Shows run both in the morning and the afternoon. Tickets can be booked online and to give you an idea of the price a family of four could see the show for £36.00, which I think is very reasonable.

Watermans also have plenty of family cinema showing in the coming weeks, including Mary Poppins Returns. Running from the 4th January until the 17th January. They also offer parent and baby screening, which means you get to enjoy a film without the worry that your baby might disturb others.

The Grinch is on now until the 3rd January and with all tickets priced at £5.00. It makes it a more affordable option than going to some of the more mainstream cinemas.

Plus don’t forget The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, which on now until the 3rd January.

Watermans Spring programme is out now, with lots of children’s shows suitable for different age ranges. Some of the highlights include: Three Sat Under The Bayan Tree, Mischief and Mystery in Moomen Valley and Snow White, Red Rose and Brown Bear. Have a look at the Watermans Website for all the details.

Watermans – Brentford, London

Disclaimer: we were gifted free tickets in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of our visit.

 

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