Mellow Mummy : Taking life as it comes...

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Sun Inn - Family Friendly Eating in Hampshire

As a family, we love to eat out.  Sometimes for a special treat, sometimes just as a means of release from the fast pace of life.  Our girls come with us 99.9% of the time, regardless of whether we are eating in a smart restaurant, or a local 'caff'. This weekend we were invited to test out the family-friendliness of The Sun Inn, a gastro pub near Dummer, just outside Basingstoke in Hampshire.  It was a brilliant meal out and I have a special discount offer for Mellow Mummy readers...

Our first impressions were great - it was astonishingly easy to get to, just a minute from the M3, junction 7.  In fact, if you've ever driven on the M3 near the A303 turning, you've probably seen the Sun Inn down below you!

Last week The Sun Inn launched their new seasonal menu and we were some of the first people to try it out.  I loved the great gastro-pub balance between classic pub dishes (such as fish and chips, pork ribs or beef burger) and more "restauranty" main meals; we visited at lunchtime on Saturday where there was also a range of sandwiches available, and my, did they look good!

I was most impressed by the children's menu which was just a mini version of the main menu.  Lara and Holly were both drawn to the idea of mini meatballs for their starter which arrived with a dipping bowl of ketchup.  It is a long time since I have seen Holly eat with quite as much enthusiasm - a big hit.

Myself and Mr. B. found it hard to choose a starter, there were so many tempting dishes.  In the end I chose a very delicate hand-made butternut squash and sage ravioli served with a red pepper and carrot broth.  I though the dish was elegant and executed to a very high standard, though I did find the sage and squash flavours a little lost in the strong red broth (though I wouldn't have sacrificed the pasta... it was perfect).  Mr. B. enjoyed his roasted pork belly but was most wowed by the smoked apple puree - both dishes were served with micro-leaves such as rocket which may sound very chef-y but it was quite comforting to see these growing in the greenhouse behind the restaurant after our meal!


For their main course, both Lara and Daddy chose fish and chips.  The title does it a dis-service. Beer-battered fish (made with local ales), crushed peas, tartar sauce and the most amazing triple-cooked chips.  Lara is a big fan of the triple-cooked chip and finished off every morsel of her food.  I would say that the silence from both her, and Daddy during the meal just went to show how much they enjoyed it.

Holly chose a handmade burger from the menu, also served with those crispy, chunky triple-cooked chips.  Their children's meals were part of a fixed-price two or three course menu with three courses costing £11.95.

I chose a main course from the A-la-carte menu to really see what all the fuss about head-chef  (and landlord) Gordon Stott was all about.  My Roasted lamp chump with wild rice, broccoli veloute, buttered curly kale, honey poached figs and star anise reduction was one of the more expensive dishes on the menu (£17.95) and was a flavour combination unlike anything I've ever tried before. I thought the partnership of star-anise with the wild rice and lamb was very clever (and not something I'd have been brave enough to try myself) and the figs paired with lamb is definitely a combo I want to eat again.  My lamb was tender and tasty but could have been improved by a bit more colour or caramelisation during cooking.

Our meal was finished off with a selection of Hampshire ice-creams.  Mr. B. and I were both a bit too stuffed to really appreciate the stunning dessert menu... I'm now regretting not having tried the "Taste of the Fair Ground" which featured candy floss, popcorn, doughnuts, marshmallows and candy apples.

We really enjoyed our meal at the Sun Inn and felt the dining area was well suited to children with easy access to the toilets or through the small bar to the sizeable garden which features countryside views, large grass areas and an excellent wooden play area.  On days when the children weren't in tow, I think we would also have enjoyed sharing a bar meal in the comfy sofa areas inside the Sun Inn.

SPECIAL OFFER: If you book a family meal at The Sun Inn, Dummer between now and the end of October, kids can eat free if you quote Mellow Mummy when booking.
  • One free child per one paying adult. 
  • Please quote 'MELLOW MUMMY' when booking.
  • The offer is valid until October 31st 2014.
  • Children can eat at any time during restaurant opening times.
  • This offer is not valid with any other offer.

On a Sunday you can enjoy a roast dinner at the Sun Inn (along with a smaller selection from the main menu).  You can find out more about the Sun Inn near Dummer over on Facebook, twitter and on their own website.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Sponsored Video - #VoiceofMums

Earlier this year, Cussons Mum & Me started looking for people to share their own motherhood tales through the medium of song.  The #voiceofmums website explains a little about their campaign to share the realities of parenting little ones through unique twists on favourite nursery rhymes, encouraging us all to share them on twitter and instagram using the #voiceofmums hashtag.

This fun video features real mums who were invited into a studio by Cussons Mum & Me to sing (and shout) about life as a mum.  The result is this first video about snotty noses.  Nice.

Nobody prepares you as a first time mum for quite how complicated it can be trying to de-snot a baby; and with most babies suffering from an average of 8 colds during their first year, it is a skill you really need to get the hang of.  Cussons Mum & Me range now features a new Baby Bath to Comfort Snuffles; it contains a methol fragrance to help unblock tiny noses naturally.

One of my favourite things in the whole wide world is a relaxing thermal, menthol bath and I think babies will love it too.  As the colder weather draws in you need to be armed with nose-unblocking, and snot-wiping techniques especially in the run up to bedtime.  There is nothing more stressful than trying to settle a baby who can't understand why they are finding it so hard to breath and bedtimes can be a real challenge when your little one has s snuffly nose so it is a great idea to be able to build some nose-de-stuffing bubbles into your pre-bedtime routine.

I'd love to see more of the "real" parenting moments that Cussons Mum & Me come up with.  The glamour of weaning (spending the first 5 years of their lives cleaning food up off the floor) or perhaps the embarrassment of realising, at the end of a day travelling through airports, that you've spent the entire day covered in baby sick from breakfast time?

You can find out more about #voiceofmums from Cussons Mum & Me on twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

This is a sponsored post: but that doesn't stop it being fun to read! SPONSORED BY CUSSONS

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Mypure Natural and Organic Running Remedies #bbloggers #naturalbeauty #organic #review

This month, I decided to base my MyPure natural and organic cosmetics review on running remedies.  Having started running in June, I'm now building up my distance and my speed to get me through my 10 mile challenge; after every run my body feels like it needs a pick-me-up so what better way to test out some of the MyPure range of organic bodycare products?  For a relaxing post-tun bath I chose the Skin Blossom Therapeutic Bath Soak and for some TLC where my aches and pains need it most, the Bentley Organic Muscle Balm.

Skin Blossom Therapeutic Bath Soak
Skin Blossom Therapeutic Bath Soak

Skin Blossom is a new brand for me - I like the look of all of their products but the Therapeutic Bath Soak called me.  My post-run bath is a bit of a ritual and I've been on the lookout for something that would not only help me wind down in the evenings, but also help my legs on the way to recovery.  The combination of Lavender, Rosemary and Ylang Ylang essential oils makes this a beautiful-smelling bubble bath although I've noticed that the smell quickly disseminates and I don't really get the benefits of the scent once I'm in the bath.

Aloe Vera and coconut oils make this a gentle and kind addition to the bath with no irritants for my skin.  With over 98.8% organic ingredients it ticks most of my boxes. It is, of course, free from SLS, SLES, ALS, Phylates and Parabens, synthetic colour or fragrance.  The Therapeutic Bath Soak from Skin Blossom is a relaxing bubble bath but I think the short-lasting scent lets it down.  It costs £5.96 from Mypure.

After my bath, I would normally apply a body lotion but recently I've had some really really achey legs.  The tops of my legs feel stronger but this comes with a sacrifice after each run!  I've also struggled with the strength in my lower legs, ever since I twisted my ankle on holiday so the Bentley Organic Muscle Rub is a godsend.  It is a highly aromatic balm blended with natural oils with healing, relaxing properties for body and mind.

Bentley Organic Muscle Rub
Bentley Organic Muscle Rub

The scented oils of camphor, mint, cinnamon, clove and cajeput (similar to tea tree) are blended with sunflower oil, beeswax and shea butter.  The balm is soft and easy to apply and you can feel it getting to work instantly; a gentle warming sensation.  This organic muscle balm is exactly what my legs needed and I'm feeling so much more alive after my runs since using it.  Mind you, the cat isn't so much of a fan and runs away from me after I've applied it!  The Bentley Organic muscle balm costs £7.20 for

You can find out more about Mypure on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.
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