Thursday, 15 February 2018

Delicious Tapas at Champagne Charlies!

We absolutely love a good tapas but do find that when it's just the two of us a regular tapas restaurant can soon become pricey, so when we discovered that Champagne Charlies in Great Yarmouth offered a fixed price all you can eat tapas we were keen to try it.

Champagne Charlies is situated just down Regent Road so is really easy to get to if travelling by bus, or there is road side parking close by. Recently Champagne Charlies has changed ownership, it had a good reputation previously so we were keen to see if it still lived up to expectations.

The restaurant was moderately busy considering it was a cold January evening. Inside has a lovely modern decor. We were greeted and shown to our seat. i had pre booked via the restaurants Facebook page, where the response and communication was quick and very helpful.

Prices for the all you can eat are £12.95 wkday/£15.95wkend per person, They also offer a small selection of pizza options (this would suit Emily down to the ground!)

The waitress explained the menu and ran through the specials. We were told how ordering would work, this isn't an all you can eat buffet where you walk over to the counters, here you order the dishes you wish to have from a menu and these are table service. 

Whilst we looked at the menu to choose our main dishes we were brought a bread tray, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping and a dish of olives.

We each got to choose 3-4 dishes each time, until we were full. 

And what a delicious selection there was!
Everything was freshly cooked and quaintly presented in small rustic dishes - terracotta bowls, individual pans, etc. 


All in all we enjoyed 19 various dishes and were still offered more! Some of which we duplicated as they were so good. Each dish offered a small sample per person to enjoy, this way you can try a larger variety of foods.

Champagne Charlies also offers a large drinks menu, including cocktails! I had to sample one of these just to see what they were like!

The staff in Champagne Charlies were very attentive and polite. Nothing seemed to be too much hassle for them. When we first ordered they checked for any food allergies so they could prep the food accordingly, as each dish is freshly prepared. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Champagne Charlies and will be planning a return visit soon, along with the girls. It'll be a great way to get them to try samples of new foods, Emily is still a very fussy eater but even she has shown eagerness to try some of the Tapas.

So if you are fancying some fresh tapas then give Champagne Charlies a try, to find out more information then checkout their Facebook page.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Healthy Fish Pie - low fat recipe

This recipe serves 4 and is simple to prep and bake. With the ingredients used it is super low in fat and has great benefits from the fish, which makes it a fantastic meal when you are following a healthy lifestyle. Not only is it healthy but its a very filling and satisfying dish.


250g Salmon Fillet
360g Cod Fillet
150g King Prawns
450ml Semi Skimmed Milk
I Fish Stock Cube
1 tsp Cornflour
Salt and Pepper
Veggies to serve, we choose:

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4
Peel and chop the potatoes, then boil these until tender. Then mash, I don't add anything extra to the potato other than a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If you prefer then feel free to add a splash of milk or a knob of butter, bare in mind that this adds fat to the recipe.

Step Two:

Chop the cod and salmon into large chunks, you can use your preferred fish for this dish, its entirely up to you.

Step Three:

Pour the semi skimmed milk into a pan and add the fish stock cube and seasoning. Bring to the boil.

Step Four:

Add the fish to the milk mixture and simmer until the fish is cooked through. Now add the cornflour and stir until the mixture thickens.

Step Five:

Pour the mixture into an oven proof dish and makes sure the fish is distributed evenly.

Step Six:

Cover the dish with the mashed potato and place into the preheated oven.

Step Seven:

Cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and the mash has browned on the edges.

Step Eight:

Serve and enjoy!

This was such a delicious and satisfying meal and will definitely be on the Speed's menu again! 

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Girls Night Out in Gorleston

Over the past few years we have seen a uprise in our little town, from being the quiet and "poorer" neighbour of the once bustling town of Great Yarmouth, Gorleston has quietly been stretching out its legs and taking a stand. 
No longer is our town the sleepy little place it once was.

With a steadily growing High Street, fabulous restaurants and bars, plus the continued popularity of places such as The Cliff Hotel and The Pier Hotel down by the beach, we are starting to wake up to the beautiful town that has been sitting beneath us this whole time!

What better way to find out than having a girlie night out!

With 16 of the girls from work, I headed out on a midweek treat to see just what Gorleston has to offer.

Prep and Pampering!
Before a good night out I like to treat myself to a new outfit, get my hair done and perhaps even a manicure! With a few high street stores such as New Look and Peacocks you can be sure to find yourself a cheap outfit to get you started. 

Then off to Body Matters for a little pampering, they offer a great range of massage and treatments from £23 for a mini facial, plus they sell gift vouchers so if anyone wonders what I'd like for Christmas, one of these would be great!

I've recently paid my first visit to 10 Baker Street Hair and Beauty to have my nails done. A set of gels set me back £15 in their promotional offer (regular price is just £25) and lasted 3 weeks, no chips! In fact the only reason I had them taken off was my nails had grown too long! Great service too, very friendly and even gave the girls a coat of nail polish. 

We also have Urban Oasis and USA Nails, I've not tried these yet but with all these shops  there is plenty of pampering to go round.

Half way along the High Street you will find Fusion. Fantastically popular and with prices from £20 for a cut and blow dry they offer competitive prices with a high standard of service. Well renowned for the quality of their cuts they are not to be missed!

Time for Drinks!
From The Short Blue (perhaps one of Gorleston's best kept secrets) offering a range of drinks and homemade foods at the far end of the High Street, right down to the newly refurbished The Feathers, there is definitely time to pop in for a quick drink (or two!) 
But the best place for cocktails has to be The Cliff Hotel, with their Boozy Bands costing just £20 which then gives you your choice of 5 of their fabulous cocktails!

Where to Eat?
We had a table booked at Cozies, just off the High Street on Baker Street. They offer the typical American Burger House style foods. Cheap and cheerful, we made the most of one of their long time offers - 2 for 1 burgers.
What a plateful it was too and at just £97 for 17 burger meals (drinks paid for separately) we just couldn't fault it! The decor is a little dated but the place is clean and staff friendly and efficient. We pre-ordered our food as we were in a large group, everything was tasty, they were even happy to provide a "doggy bag" for one of the group!

At the other of the High Street you can dine at The Olive Garden (formally Tides.)
This is a very popular Greek and Mediterranean restaurant. A beautifully decorated restaurant which also has a function room available to book. The food is bright, colourful and fresh, best of all the children's menu offers something other than something with chips! (They can still have these mind you.) In fact, just writing about the place makes me feel that I need to pay them a visit!

Check out Trip Advisor for more info on where else to eat in Gorleston, some of our favourites are The Shed, Porterhouse and Gambas. Places on our "to try" list are Margo's, SW1 and Bar 1

Our new CINEMA!

We finished our night out with a visit to our brand new 4 screen cinema to watch Bad Moms Christmas 2, at Gorleston Palace Cinema. With prices from £8.95 during off peak times for adults and special offers including 2 for £12 on Mondays, the cinema is certainly a great addition to our town. They also offer a members scheme which gives you £1 discount on ticket prices. 
We were in screen 4 which was a cosy viewing, if a tad on the hot side!
The seats were comfortable and as it was a Wednesday night it was fairly quiet. We were delighted to find the bar area; drinks and sweets were reasonably priced for a cinema. The ticket prices are a little more than the cinemas in Norwich and Great Yarmouth but I do think I'd pay it again as the convenience of the location outweighs this.
But there was something here which really made me smile, the staff - dressed in their bow ties, were great and as we left there was a member of staff stood by the exit to wish everyone a good evening. A little bit of old fashioned chivalry. Lovely.

Coming Soon!
We are excitedly looking forward to the new Wetherspoons opening up along our High Street. This will make a fantastic addition to the area.
Wetherspoons also offer a smart phone app where you can order and pay from your table. We often use this when in one of their pubs and have always found it works well.

So get your glad rags on and get to Gorleston!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Remembrance Rocks

We've recently been enjoying the new craze that's been sweeping the country, locally named "Norfolk Rocks."
I'm not sure where this craze first started, it has stemmed from Rocks of Kindness as far as I can see.
This involves decorating rocks with paints, permanent markers, glitter or embellishments, basically whatever you can that stays on the rock, many people also varnish their rocks to seal them.

Photo from

Then place them around the area when you are out and about, we've found some that were well hidden and others that have been placed within clear view.
We found our first rock during late summer, just before returning to school and were soon hooked into the craze.

Have a quick search on Facebook and you'll most likely find a painted rocks group in your area. I joined up to Norfolk Rocks (UK) and the excitement grew. 

Hiding and finding these little tokens of kindness, some beautifully painted by toddlers and children, some stunning examples from artistic people, some not so talented (me) but are still fun to find.
Many people like to include a little message of hope or kindness too.
Generally people write on the bottom instructing you to take a photo and put on to the Facebook page, then keep or re hide the rock. Many include a hashtag followed by their name but that's entirely up to you.

Following on from the Ladybird Rocks event we held in early October another event sprang to mind!
Along with my friend and fellow rock enthusiast Ceara (the Photo Queen!) we started the Remembrance Rocks event.

This was to encourage people to paint a rock with poppies or other Remembrance symbols and to place them at the Monument on St George's Park, Great Yarmouth on Saturday 11th November. 
(Not wanting to be in the way during the Remembrance Sunday Service.)

One the day we met up at the Monument at 10.30am, some of our other friends had joined us, as had a few other members from the Norfolk Rocks (UK) Facebook page.

I had taken a few spare rocks and Sharpie pens with us to keep the children busy and for any other members of the public who were interested.

(All photos unless specified otherwise are courtesy of Ceara Manifold.)

We noticed a few official gentlemen gathering, a Veteran, a Vicar, others in uniform and we realised that there was going to be a small service whilst we were there.
Emily then approached one of the men with a poppy rock and passed it to him, telling him what we were doing.

Pretty soon we had him and the Vicar joining in with the rock decorating!

We explained why we were doing this and how it was helping the children to understand what Remembrance Day was really about. It can be such an abstract concept for children nowadays, our children are fortunate enough to live in relative peace and I imagine there are very few who have Grandparents or even Great Grandparents who were around World War 2, let alone World War 1!

The rocks made quite an impact once they were placed, a total of 117 encompassed the Monument in total. (We actually removed these on the day and returned them the next morning at the request of the Officiators who wanted them to be part of the Remembrance Sunday ceremony!)

(these photos courtesy of Nicola Lambert.)

The children took the last of our spare rocks and politely asked the Veteran whether he would like to add to the collection. I will admit this was quite an emotional moment!

We then took part in the small service and observed the two minute silence at 11am. 
As we stood there, children with bowed heads and a few of them holding each others hands, I couldn't help but feel extraordinarily proud of them all.

During the silence I was acutely aware of the general humdrum of everyday life going on around us; the joyous play of children on the nearby play area, the birds, the drone of traffic and it struck me how ironic it was.
This everyday life going on around us and we were seemingly oblivious to it, and how in our world today wars, fighting and terror continue to effect people all around the world and yet we still go on with our lives.

We spent a little more time with those involved in the ceremony, Mr Mason from Norfolk Fire Service and Rev, Ward taking time out from their day to talk to the children and really take an interest in what they were doing. They also took time to pose with the children and the rocks on the monument.

As us parents watched on, pride swelling inside at how mature and respectful the children were behaving, how much they were taking in and the thanks they gave without prompt not only to these men but approaching the Veteran there to Thank him also.

As we cleared up after ourselves I noticed that the children had wandered up to the monument and were quietly reading the names of the fallen soldiers. We gave them some quite so they could take their time. 
My two spotted a familiar surname amongst those honoured on the monument.
A soldier's name - S.D. Millichamp, my maiden name.

Lest We Forget

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 - Resource website

I was recently introduced to, a great resource for introducing fun and educational activities to young children from 2-11 years of age. No matter what their starting ability is you can utilise the site to put together stimulating activities for your child. With links to lessons plans (great for those home educators) and worksheets, exercises, stories and games there is something for everyone. has over 30,000 educational activities available! Plus Guided lessons and progress trackers. You can subscribe to from $9,99 per month, or a one off payment of $298 gives you unlimited lifetime membership!


Make Math Fun with Buttons!



Kindergarten Math Activities: Make Math Fun with Buttons!

What You Need:

  • An assortment of buttons (from your own collection or a bag at the craft store)
  • Bowl
  • Sheet of construction paper or card stock
  • Glue

What You Do:

  1. Sort the buttons. Dump the buttons onto the table or floor. Point out all the pretty colours and different sizes. Can she put them into separate piles? Have her sort them by colour first, then by shape, and then by size. Can she sort by two descriptors: colour and size?
  2. Count the buttons. How high can she count? Have her drop the buttons into a bowl while counting. This will help her with one-to-one correspondence. Make sure what she says matches the corresponding button.
  3. Button PatternsShow her an AB pattern, such as red, blue, red, blue… Can she continue the pattern? Can she make other AB patterns? How about an ABC, or other three-colored pattern?
  4. Make a Button Letter. Using the glue, write the first letter of her name on the construction paper. Have her glue the buttons on. Now she has a tactile letter to trace with her fingers. Make more letters as your child encounters them in school or at home, and she'll learn the alphabet in no time!

Monday, 9 October 2017

**COMPETITION** The Cliff Hotel 90's Explosion! Friday 27th October 2017


Join the Cliff Hotel for a totally 90's Explosion! on Friday 27th October. 

With music from 

Urban Cookie Collective


AND Rozalla!

Tickets are just £17.50 per person and not only include these fabulous artists and we don't mean tribute acts but the ACTUAL artists, but the Cliff Hotel's resident DJ Chris Speed will be at the decks to warm you up with a mix of the 90's greatest hits and then bringing the night to a close with fantastic tunes from the decade.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Mermaid School in Aqua Natura

Having just spent the afternoon reminiscing holidays in the sun with friends, I took a look back through our short break at Magic Natura, Benidorm. Ours was a Jet2Holiday booked via Holiday Hamster.
Whilst there we had unlimited all inclusive access to Aqua Natura, the hotel's onsite water park.
A great water park with a wonderful added attraction - Mermaid School!

This is situated on a little island in the centre of the main pool, a small walkway over the pool brings you to the entrance. 

The experience costs 20 Euros per person and includes costume, make over, accessories, photo shoot, time using the tail in the water and a photo.

The kiosk opens just after midday, we booked over at the Customer Services desk and were given a receipt to hand over. (I found out later that we could of booked this at a discounted rate direct from our hotel, this would of cost 18 Euros per person, however, we were happy to pay the 20 Euros and still considered this value for money.)

We were greeted with great enthusiasm as we arrived, the lady who works the kiosk also performs as a Mermaid in the water park and we had been watching her just before booking the girls in. 

We were able to stay with the girls as they selected their tails and tops, then on to accessories.

There was a whole array of tiaras, flowers, lei lei's, necklaces you name it they had it and it a vast rainbow of colours. The girls spent quite a while choosing, trying on various items before finally making their selection.

After this we helped the girls into their costumes and were asked to wait in the entrance, by now there were several other children who had joined the girls, all keen to become Mermaids.

On to a mermaid makeover next, beautiful swirls, flowers, sparkle, diamont(es) adorned the girls faces in colours to compliment their mermaid tails.

Now it was time for the girls photo shoot. they were taken to pool side and the assistant helped them to wiggle into their tails and attach the mono fins. They had individual photos taken and several of them together. They certainly seemed in their element throughout this, lapping up the attention!

Finally it was the time the girls had been waiting for, time to get into the pool!

Mollie entered the water first, whilst Emily was having her individual photos taken, and very quickly got to grips with the tail and impressed us with her confidence using it. The lady guiding her allowed Mollie to explore the tail but stayed close by in case she got into trouble. Shortly it was time for Ems to join them, she also took to the tail well, not quite as confidently as Mollie but she managed to glide herself through the water.

In all the girls were in Mermaid School for over an hour, a good half of which was in the water using the tails. The quality of the photos they took were exceptional and as well as the one included (your choice of those that were taken) we purchased a few more. I heard that the mono fins were for sale at the water park (but never actually found them or found out how much they were.) From where we were standing we had a great view of them using the tails, diving down under the water and gliding along.

The girls really enjoyed the experience, using a mono fin has been on their Bucket List for some time now and they weren't disappointed. The make up used was waterproof so stayed on during the swim and throughout the rest of the day. 

Highly recommended if you are visiting the area.