Chiswick eating, That was the weekend that was

That was my Chiswick Easter Weekend

It was a blowy Easter weekend.
My heart went out to the poor mother that lost her daughter on the bouncy castle. The pain and agony that she is feeling – and the anguish that so many mothers feel every day.
It really just makes you want to hug and hug your children and count your blessings every day you have with them.
And it seems strange doesn’t it to just go on after that and write about our weekend, but it really is a celebration of life and of motherhood and of Chiswick Boy’s childhood.
When we got to Kew Green, we found a tree that had been blown over in the wind. There were so many children climbing over it when we got there that we thought it was some organised activity to begin with!

We were heading for Kew Gardens but it was closed. They lost 12 trees, with many more possible losses. After the tragic accident there died a couple of years ago when a woman was killed by a falling bough, I guess that they – thankfully – weren’t taking any chances.

A lovely woman was just inside the gates though, handing out chocolate Lindt bunnies through the bars to children who’d come for the day.


An Easter Monday lunch fit for a queen

Queen of our hearts that is! Yes, my mum – Grams as she’s known in our house. She was down for the weekend bearing lots of chocolate eggs.

We went out for Easter Monday lunch and ended up at the Botanist on Kew Green. It was our first time there. It’s a massive space inside – loads of tables and little nooks and crannies too.

I will do a proper write up and review later, but here’s a bit of a snapshot.


Yorkshire pudding for a Yorkshireman

Chiswick Daddy and I both had the pork loin with crackling. It was beautifully presented and tasted lovely. Yorkshire pudding was large and up to the standards of my Yorkshireman Chiswick Daddy!

But the only downside was that the crackling was a bijou, delicately laid on top affair. Whereas my idea of crackling is a great fatty cholestral-attacking row of the stuff. Apart from that it was lovely.

Grams had fish and chips, but asked for roast potatoes instead of chips which they happily obliged with.
And I thought that Chiswick Boy’s cheeseburgers and chips were very cutely presented. The chips were gorgeous too (obviously I had to do my maternal duty of being chip tester. It’s a very important role I’ll have you know and one that I take very seriously. Really. Yum.)
Word to the wise – it’s not immediately obvious that there’s a children’s menu at the Botanist. We asked for it on the off chance, and I’d originally thought that I’d have to get Chiswick Boy the main burger at £11 which I know he wouldn’t have finished.
This child’s burger was a more palatable £6 and just enough for him!

Pitstop upon pitstop

We did have another pit stop that day – at the Express Tavern by Kew Bridge.

Mum spotted all the statues in the garden as we were passing and we wandered in. I’ve never been inside before – so another first for us all!

Inside the bar area they were playing old vinyl Elvis Presley and the barman was really friendly. Mum’s cup of tea came in a proper teapot and cup. Look at that:

She’s mega fussy about her tea (in the same way that I’m mega fussy about my coffee). She hates the tea I make for her!

But I can say hand on heart that she said the Express Tavern tea was the “best cup of tea I’ve had in a long while”.

We’ll definitely be back when it’s warmer and next time we’ll try out their Sunday lunch!



The Ballet and the Chinese Buffet: a North London adventure

On Good Friday we’d headed up to Angel, as we were kindly given press tickets to see Snow White at Sadlers Wells.

I do have a deep-rooted affection for Sadlers Wells. I grew up reading the Lorna at the Wells set of books, and I still find it impossible to watch the ballet without thinking that when I grow I’ll be a ballet dancer. Sigh. No reality check please – let me just daydream about floating in gossamer and lace.


Instilling a love of the arts

The production was flawless – truly breathtaking. And it was part of Sadlers Wells family weekend, with lots of free and taster activities in the foyers.

I do love theatres that do outreach like these over school holidays. Let’s face it – living in London costs so much and for many of us it’s a lifestyle choice. Little things like this remind us why the slog of the daily commute is worth it – and helps us fall in love with London all over again.

And it helps fill our kids with a passion for dance and music and art – and all those things that people have been coming to cities for since the invention of cities themselves.

I’m going to do a proper write up about Snow White, but for now I’ll just add that one of the best bits was the cast of kids for the crowd scenes, from a local school.

The show itself was a twisty retelling by our lovely poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and the show has a narrator too so everyone can follow the story along.


Apples and noodles

Chiswick Boy loves noodles and I’d promised him that we’d go for some before the ballet.

We met up with my ex, whom you may remember we meet up with a lot. It’s an ex from a while ago – after all, I’ve been in a relationship with Chiswick Daddy for 14 years this year! But my ex has remained one of my best and closest friends.

So we popped into One and One near to Angel tube, which was your standard Chinese all you can eat buffet. I haven’t been to one for years and years and it was Chiswick Boy’s first introducton to this very London experience: the all you can eat Chinese buffet!

It was £7.50 for the grown ups, and just £5.50 for Chiswick Boy – and the sweet and sour chicken was particularly scrummy.

They had lots of fresh fruit on offer too. Which is why Chiswick Boy’s plate looked like this – it’s what happens when an 8 year old meets his first Chinese Buffet. Apple slices and Noodles!


Sink or swim

Suffice to say we ate more chocolate than you can shake a chocolate stick at, and we’re still finding little bags of mini eggs that the Easter Bunny left around the house.

But of course Easter Sunday wasn’t just eggs this year – it was also the Boat Race!

I was cheering for Oxford of course – being a Dreaming Spires graduate myself.

We went down to the Chiswick Pier House as there’s always such a fun sense of camaraderie there (and a bar). It was bitterly freezing though.

It was especially exciting and momentous this year as we saw the women’s race at more or less the same time. So many people say ‘I didn’t even know there was a women’s race’ – and I was the same until last year. So I’m really delighted that the profile has been raised. Not before time!

I think few things are more inspiring than seeing the Cambridge women with smiles on their faces in a near-sinking boat, still rowing and determined to finish the course.

That is what I think the boat race is all about – determination and tradition.

Not a bad mantra for Easter itself really.


How was your Easter? And what did you get up to?









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