A Strong Coffee

Monday, 16 April 2018

Meal Planning 16th April

Well the Easter Holidays are nearly over and it is time for me to get back to meal planning. We have been in Thailand for most of the holidays and whilst I would love to tell you I ate an array of the local dishes, a bout of food poisoning left me surprisingly unhungry and I probably ate more pasta than Thai cuisine.

So what will be on this weeks menu?

Monday: Pizza
Tuesday: Sausage pasta
Wednesday: homemade burgers

Thursday: Fish pie
Friday: Lamb Dhansak

Saturday: Scampi and wedges
Sunday: Lamb hotpot


Hijacked By Twins

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Garlic, Lemon And Chilli Prawns

These garlic, lemon and chili prawns are a fantastic starter or a tasty light lunch. Packed full of flavour they are one of my favourite dishes.


This recipe serves 2 people for a light lunch, but could probably stretch to 4 people as a starter.


Garlic, Lemon And Chilli Prawns

  • 240g frozen raw prawns, defrosted.
  • Bake at home ciabatta
  • Olive oil
  • 1cm cube of ginger chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 lemon
  • a handful of parsley
  1. Bake the ciabatta as per instructions on the packet.
  2. Finely chop the garlic, ginger and red chilli. Place this in a wok with some oil oil and then add the prawns.
  3. When cooked through, add the juice of a lemon to the pan and a handful of finely chopped parsley.
  4. Serve on the freshly baked ciabatta, drizzled with olive oil.





Hijacked By Twins

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Afternoon Tea At Coworth Park Ascot

For my friends Birthday in June, I bought her an afternoon tea at Coworth Park in Ascot. We finally managed to get round to having it in March! I am pleased to say, however, that it was worth the wait.
Coworth Park is part of The Dorchester Collection and is based near Virginia Waters. They have afternoon tea sittings at 2.30 and 16.45.



The afternoon teas take place in the Drawing room, which is quite a small venue and will need booking. I found that the 2.30 slots were booked up a long way in advance. There was more availability on the 16.45 slots and this actually works well as it serves as your dinner. I booked the traditional afternoon tea which had a special offer of a free glass of sparkling wine and was £34 per person plus service charge.

It was particularly nice as there was a pianist throughout the tea. We had a selection of finger sandwiches, warm scones and then a range of delicious pastries. The latter were particularly good. Sometimes cakes can look pretty but taste wise aren't so good. This was not the case here. All were delicious. If you aren't able to finish them, they will give you a little box to take the remainder home.

My particular favourite was this caramel profiterole with shortbread.

coworth park afternoon tea


It was a lovely afternoon tea that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone who is looking for a delicious afternoon tea in Berkshire. Now with only a few months to go until her next Birthday, I think we need to be a bit more organised. But where do suggest we go next?


Family Fever

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Win The Little Princess On DVD (2 Copies To Giveaway)

Today I have a giveaway for Little Princess fans, you could win one of two copies of the DVD I Don't Want To Go To Bed.


Abbey Home Media are excited to announce that their first Little Princess DVD is due for release on 2nd April and called " I Don't Want To Go To Bed."

Based on the best selling books of Toby Ross, Little Princess is a hot on Channel 5's Milkshake. This first DVD contains 6 episodes of this animation.

With voices from Julian Clary and Jane Horrocks, I Don't Want To Go To Bed see's the Little Princess lose a tooth, learn to accept help from friends and find value in a night's good sleep.

If your little one is a fan of the Little Princess then you can purchase the DVD from 2nd April from abbeykids.co.uk, Amazon, ASDA, Sainsbury's and all good retailers. I am also excited to be able to offer two of my readers the chance to win a copy for themselves. Just complete the Gleam entry below. Good Luck!

Little Princess DVD



Listed on Prizefinder
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The Hinds Head, Bray, Lunch Menu

After a weekend at Center Parcs and a feed the big cats experience, the last part of my husband's 40th Birthday present was lunch at The Hinds Head in Bray. We have visited a couple of times before (including a Sunday when the boys were young) and have never been disappointed. The Hinds Head is owned by Heston Blumenthal and offers really good food, but not as theatrical as that at The Fat Duck.

The Hinds Head Bray

It has one Michelin star which I am pretty sure it didn't have when we last went. It also seemed a little more pricey, except for the lunch menu. Now that was amazing value at £25 for 3 courses. There is a catch though. It is a set menu and there is only one choice. To be honest, when I go somewhere like this, I actually like not having a choice. It means I would eat things that I would never have picked off the menu myself and have never been disappointed.

Both my husband and I opted for the three course set menu and also added on a Scotch egg as well.
If you go to The Hinds Head, then I would highly recommend ordered the Scotch egg. They are warm with a runny yolk and a world away from anything you would buy in the supermarket.


Our starter was Cod Brandade. I can say that I wouldn't have ordered this off the menu out of choice but it was delicious as well as beautifully presented.

cod starter - the hinds head


For our main course we had chicken ham and leek pie. It is certainly the best pie I have ever eaten. Flavours were intense and although I would have happily eaten more, the size was just right.

chicken and ham pie at the hinds head

Finally we ended our meal with a sweet treacle sponge.

treacle sponge

When The Hinds Head had confirmed the booking, they asked if it was a special occasion, so they bought out some chocolates and a candle for my husband.


If you are looking for a Michelen starred lunch, with good hearty food rather than complicated, all at a good price, then The Hinds Head lunch menu (Mon-Fri) is certainly worth a try.

Where have you been to have great food recently?


Family Fever

Monday, 19 March 2018

Weekley Meal Plan 19th March

Well I don't know about you, but I wasn't banking on building a snowman this weekend. It was a poor effort, but little man was happy.



This week see'e the boys doing their karate grading so they will have an extra lesson on Monday nights so an easy meal is needed there. To be honest, easy meals all week are on the plan. I seem to be exhausted at the moment and the last thing I want to do after a day at work is spend hours cooking so, simplicity is the key this week.

Monday: Homemade quiche with wrap base

Tuesday: Courgette and feta frittas. This is a Nigella recipe that I haven't made for ages but tastes great.

Wednesday: Parsnip soup

parsnip soup


Thursday: Sausage pasta

Friday: Lamb curry

Saturday: Some kind of salmon. I got a side of it this week and half is in the freezer.

Sunday: Roast chicken.





Hijacked By Twins

Monday, 12 March 2018

A Marmalade Sandwich Fit For Paddington #Paddington2DVD

With Paddington 2 available on DVD from today, I have been challenged to make a marmalade sandwich that would live up to Paddington's high expectations.



If you didn't manage to catch Paddington 2 at the cinema, then I would really recommend the DVD. It is not often that you can say a sequel is even better than the original, but in this case it is. I am not ashamed to admit that I had tears in my eyes at the most beautiful ending.

The film sees Paddington saving to buy a special book for his Aunt Lucy's  100th Birthday. However, the book is stolen and Paddington ends up in prison. It is down to Paddington and The Brown's to unmask the thief. There is a cast full of stars and it is refreshing to see Hugh Grant take on a different kind of role.

So what better way to celebrate the release of Paddington 2 on DVD than by enjoying it with a marmalade sandwich. I asked the boys opinion on how we should do this and it was agreed that we one make one like the star of the film himself, Paddington.

I was keen to use margarine on the bread, however, my eldest said that Paddington would not do this so we left it out. We used a bear shape cutter and then added detail using a slice of banana and some raisins. The perfect snack for when you are watching the film!

Paddington 2 is out now for you to buy on DVD, Bluray and digital download.

Have you seen the film? What did you think?







Disclosure: We received a Paddington 2 Goody bag with the DVD in exchange for this post.