It’s no secret that in Italy, eating is a social event. On our cruise stops in Italy last year we saw so many large families gathered in cafes and restaurants sharing their food and chatting. It’s always seemed like a great way to eat.

Prezzo have recently added La Famiglia to their menu and we were asked along by Britmums to try it out. La Famiglia takes the stress out of ordering and means diners are able to share one large bowl of pasta ( either Penne Arrabiata, Spaghetti Bolognese, Spaghetti Carbonara or Penne Alla Rusticana) which is big enough to feed up to four people. It also means there’s no food envy or a toddler stealing your food because it looks better than their own.

We chose to try out La Famiglia at the recently opened Dalton Park Prezzo. It’s quite a new restaurant and we’ve been meaning to pop in for ages so this was the perfect excuse.

The restaurant is light, bright with a beautiful modern decor. Prezzo have a range of different size tables and booths and our party of 4 were given a comfortable, spacious booth with a great view of the restaurant.

The staff during our visit were extremely welcoming, helpful and great with our little man. We met the manager who set an excellent example for Prezzo.

After a quick look at the menu we decided on Spaghetti Carbonara as it’s a dish we all like. We also chose one garlic bread with cheese and the second with cheese and caramelised onions.

While we waited for our food to arrive the man man enjoyed colouring in his menu/activity sheet – I love it when restaurants have some form of entertainment available for younger children. It’s a great way to prevent strops and tantrums before food.

When the food arrived our table was completely full. The sharing bowl was huge! The great thing about La Famiglia is that you’re able to dish up and eat as much as you want. If you you’re hungry you can add more to your plate from the sharing dish in the middle.

The garlic breads looked ( and tasted amazing) and the little man was even brought a smaller child size garlic bread just for him.

The pasta comes with serving tongs and a large spoon to help share it out.

The food was delicious, I personally wouldn’t usually opt for Speghetti Carbonara as I prefer spicier dishes but it was really tasty and full of flavour, in fact the whole meal was faultless. I particularly enjoyed the garlic breads – just the right amount of garlic and cheese and not too soggy. The little man really enjoyed serving it and dishing it out to us, in fact I think his title during the meal was ‘Pasta Man’.

We thoroughly enjoyed eating together, particularly because my Mam was able to join us. The little man loves spending time with his Nana so it was great to eat and chat together. La Famiglia was the perfect choice for us, we all enjoyed the food and there was plenty to share between the four of us.

Despite the fact we were full from our mains we couldn’t turn down the dessert option. We were able to choose two scoops each of either vanilla, strawberry or chocolate ice cream which turned out to be the perfect ending to our meal. The ice cream was very creamy and completely finished us all off!

We’ll be returning to Prezzo soon and will definitely be trying another variant of La Famiglia.

 

This post is an entry for the BritMums #PrezzoLaFamiglia Challenge, sponsored by Prezzo.https://www.prezzorestaurants.co.uk/LaFamiglia

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Fathers Day this year is Sunday 18th June. You’ve still got plenty of time to find the perfect gift for the Father figure in your life.

If you want to buy your favourite man something special this year, check out some of the wonderful gift ideas featured below.

Handmade Natural Soap from Bean & Boy ~ £4.95

Bean & Boy sell a great range of soaps that are made using responsibly-sourced vegan ingredients, pure essential oils and traditional methods. They’re ideal for those who have sensitive skin and contain nothing artificial, no SLS and no parabens. Their Peppermint and Coffee soap Gardener’s soap is ideal to give this Father’s Day.

With a hearty aroma of coffee and freshness of peppermint it’s perfectly suited to the man in your life. It creates a soft and moisturising lather and is perfect for getting rid of oil, soot and grease.

Tile Mate ~ £23

Tile are the world’s leading Bluetooth trackers and the perfect gift for the man who loses everything! The Tile Mate can be attached to almost anything as it’s super small, durable and lightweight. You download the free Tile Mate app to your phone and then use it to make your Tile Mate (and whatever it’s connected too) ring to help you find it. If you can’t find your phone, use the Tile Mate button to make your mobile phone ring – even if it’s on silent!

I love that the Tile app remembers the last time and place it saw your Tile Mate and that if the item your Tile Mate is attached too is stolen, the wonderful Tile community can help you find it. With over 5 million Tile users, it’s a huge helpful network and a great way to help locate your belongings.

Lambretta T shirt from Jacamo ~£35

Clothing is always one of my go to gifts. Hubby is a nightmare at buying his own clothes so he always appreciates a

This fab Lambretta t shirt is from Jacamo’s range of t shirts. It’s has a stylish button down collar with contrast Lambretta logo and is made from cotton and is machine washable. As it’s from Jacamo, it’s available in a wide range of sizes – right up too 5XL.

Best of British Beer – Dad’s Favourite Six Pack ~ £19.95

If you have a Dad who likes a tipple, then the Dad’s Favourite Six Pack is perfect. The set contains 6 500ml bottles of different British Ales. You can even choose the types if ales you’d like, including mixed, real ale ( this is the version I chose), traditional bitter, pale ales, golden, craft lager and dark and strong ( there’s a £2 additional charge for this one).

Hubby was really impressed with the ales included in the set above. He particularly liked the Allendale Brewery Tar Bar’l stout with it’s smooth and rich flavours of coffee and chocolate which are complimented by orange hops. Another favourite was the Conqueor, which is produced using a blend of 5 malts including Chocolate, dark Crystal, Carafa and Smoked malt. You could check out some other alcohol related gifts if you visit this page.

You can get £5 off your first order from Best of British Beer if you use the code FD2017.

You’re able to add extra’s to your order for a small extra charge. How about a branded Best of British Beer glass, a bag of gourmet popcorn or perhaps a packet of Snaffling Pig pork scratchings?

Dorca Pace 6 Plus razor subscription ~ from £3.95 per month

What about something a little different?

How about a Dorca Pace 6 Plus razor subscription? The razor has a pivoting head for flexibility and a wide guard bar that preps the hair, it provides the user with an advanced single stroke shave. Aloe Vera, Vitamin E and Lavender Oil infused moisturising strips protect and soothe your skin.

You’re able to choose the subscription that meets your needs and the prices are very reasonable.

Cross Star Wars pen and journal set ~ £55

Studious Father to buy for? How about the Cross Star Wars pen and journal set from Pen Heaven? The journal and pen set are available in a range of 4 colour options and it’s amazing quality. The journal has a durable leatherette cover with the Star Wars Death star logo and contains 160 thick pages.

The black rollerball pen comes with an R2-D2 design and clip emblem and even has a lifetime guarantee against mechanical faults. It’s a beautiful set for any Star Wars lover.

Hope this post has given you some ideas if you’re still struggling for inspiration for Fathers Day.

* Some of the items included in this post were sent for inclusion consideration.

 

 

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When we bake, the little man loves pressing the buttons on my huge silver food mixer but for obvious reasons I’m a bit reluctant for him to get too close. However, the recent arrival of the Casdon Kenwood Titanium Mixer means he can get involved while we’re baking and I’m less worried that he’ll loose a finger. The mixer is designed to be true to life but in a child friendly way.

There are two different ways that the mixer can be used –

Children can turn the handle on the top of the mixer which manually turns the attachments within the bowl. I think this is a great way for younger children to get involved, especially those who may be a little worried about the speedier rotation.

Secondly, adults can add two AA batteries to the mixer ( you’ll need a small screwdriver for this), this then automatically turns the mixer paddle and children can change the speed by turning the dial on the front.

Using the mixer encourages realistic role play and helps children use their imagination. By using the pop up arm, development of hand-to-eye co-ordination is enhanced and helps them to develop their problem solving skills.

It’s also a great way to show them how kitchen equipment works and allows a sense of achievement when they use the mix to help create something that they will later cook and eat.

As well as changeable paddles and a spatula, there’s a small recipe book included. It features a couple of recipes for use with the mixer. However, I don’t think you’d manage to make the actual recipe with the mixer alone. We found it necessary to use my ‘grown up’ mixer to make the mixture and then decant some into the Casdon mixer so that the little man could mix it more. The Casdon mixer doesn’t seem to have the power to make cake mixture from scratch, and if you fill the mixing bowl too full, you can hear the motor within the mixer, start to struggle.

That said, it hasn’t stopped us enjoying it and it’s given me an excuse to get out my mixer and bake a little more often.

The parts from the Casdon Kenwood mixer are easily removed so they can be washed. There are no small parts or crevices where your cake mixture can build up which saves me time when it’s time to tidy up.

The little man is just as happy using the mixer to create ‘soup’ using some of his craft supplies or pieces of crumpled up paper so you don’t necessarily need to get out the baking supplies each time your child plays with it.

 

I really like the Casdon Kenwood mixer. It’s much better than I anticipated and very similar to a ‘proper’ mixer. The little man loves helping to bake cakes with it, but is just as happy using it to make pretend cakes within his play kitchen. At less than £20 on Amazon I think it’s a great toy for younger children and something that’d make a great gift.

* We were sent the mixer in return for an honest review.

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Noddy is a relatively recent favourite in our house. The little man loves watching the TV series on Milkshake and I have fond memories of it from my own childhood.

The little man was excited when we discovered that Kuato had teamed up with Dreamworks Animation to recreate the Noddy Toyland Detective game which is based on the popular TV series.

The game has been designed with teachers, parents and children to help develop a range of literacy skills and aptitudes so it’s something I am happy for the little man to use. It was developed by the multi-award winning team behind Dino Tales, Safari Tales and Dino Tales Jr and is available for download via the App store and Google Play, for just £2.99.

In the game, children can join Noddy as he becomes Toyland’s most famous detective in an adventure filled with storytelling, learning and creative fun!

Playing the game can help younger children with their reading and storytelling abilities, sentence structure and memory. It’s also a great way to help with word knowledge and comprehension and I think it’s ideal for it’s suggested age range of under 5 years.

Children can take part in mini-games, interact with characters like Bumpy Dog, Revs, Pat-Pat and the Panda Pockets, Fuse and the Naughticorns. Children can become a Toyland Detective themselves and use the ‘Who, What, Where Book’ to solve mysteries.

I love that once children have finished the activities and solved the mysteries, they can read a narrative photo storybook. It’s a great way for parents to interact and enjoy the game with their children.

I think the little mans favourite bits of the game are painting and decorating Revs car, completing the jigsaws and driving Noddy’s car around the screen.

I’m also a huge fan of the fact the app contains no advertising or in-app purchase options. It means I don’t need to worry about what else the little man is seeing or that he may accidentally click to purchase anything extra via the app. It’s refreshing to see that the app has a passcode-protected ‘Grown Ups Corner,’ which has a range of features that you can change things like the length of your childs screen time.

The Noddy Toyland Detective game is probably one of the best apps we have on the iPad for the little man. It’s lots of fun and at just £2.99 I think it’s totally worth the money.

 

 

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It’s rare that hubby gets five minutes peace when he’s in the house, so he was excited to have an excuse to sit down and make up the Meccano Ferrari 488 spider from Spin Master.

The kit comes with 305 durable metal parts including rubber tires, pose-able steering, 2 ergonomic tools and easy-to-follow instructions.

We have junior Meccano for the little man so I had an idea of what to expect. However, I hadn’t expected there to be so many tiny, fiddly pieces.

It certainly wasn’t an easy build, even for a child like 35 year old. The box states it’s aimed at children 10 years or over but I think that’s maybe a little optimistic. I can’t imagine many ten year olds would be able to put it together without quite a bit of adult intervention.

The parts are separated into individual packets when they arrive so we found it easier to separate each selection of pieces into the little mans plastic bowls (this was my job!). It meant smaller bits were easier to find and we didn’t have to keep rummaging through the bags.

It took hubby around two hours to put together so it’s not a quick build. He did rant a couple of times, purely because he found some of the parts quite fiddly ( I blame fat fingers). He was grateful to find the instructions showed the exact scale of the screws so he could hold them up to check he was using the correct ones.

Despite a few issues with the smaller parts, hubby said he really enjoyed putting it together and found it quite therapeutic – perhaps because he did it with out having the TV on or looking at his phone.

Once it started to take shape, the car looked pretty impressive. The pieces are robust and fit together well.

Made up, the 488 Spider is sturdy and looks good. The little man has demanded it goes on display in his room, and I’m sure when he’s a little older he’ll enjoy taking it apart and rebuilding it with his Daddy.

If you fancy trying out the Meccano Ferrari 488 Spider building kit, you can pick it up from Amazon for £29.68.

I think the building kit would make a great gift for an adult or a teenager who has a little bit of adult assistance.

* We were sent the building kit in return for an honest review.

 

 

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