Fisherman’s Tavern, Broughty Ferry

This weekend we had Mini-me and Teeny-him staying so we decided to head to Broughty Ferry knowing Teeny-him would love the beach and park. Therefore, after Mini-me and I had worked up an appetite shopping and OH and Teeny-him were tired out after the park we went to the Fisherman’s Tavern for something to eat.

Teeny-him

We chose The Fisherman’s Tavern as it’s a Bellhaven pub and would be a bit more child friendly than some of the other pubs in the area. As expected it had one of those large set menu’s with pictures of food and offers all the normal kind of pub grub – burgers, pasta, steak pie etc. OH immediately plumped for Gammon Steak with Eggs – a 10oz gammon steak served with 2 friend eggs, chips and garden peas. Mini-me and I both decided to have the normal size Fish & Chips – Chunky beer-battered haddock fillet, served with chips, garden peas and tartare sauce (I had mushy peas) .

There was a chilren’s menu which offered a pic’n’mix selection of burger, fish fingers, sausages, chicken nuggets or fillet and then add a side and a veg. Teeny-him wanted cheese burger, chips and garlic bread but was told he wasn’t allowed that as it had to be a veg and they couldn’t swap items so his mum ordered him the cucumber and carrot sticks (which she ate herself) . We were also told we had to pay extra for the cheese, which we said was fine.

When Teeny-him’s meal arrived there was no cheese on it so we all had our meals and he didn’t, which devastated the tired 3 year old. Cue 4 minutes of hysterical tears as the waiter dashed off to find some cheese and we all tried to pass the toddler chips to appease him without success.

Our meals were all good. OH got runny eggs, which was great although he did mention his gammon steak was a little salty. Mini-me and I both enjoyed our fish and chips and were glad we didn’t go large as our fish was already big enough. The tartare sauce was a bit boring so it probably came out of a jar. The batter was spot on and the fish was fresh. I loved that I got proper mushy peas and none of those crushed peas people keep trying to fob off on me.

Like a typical toddler, Teeny-him ate the majority of his burger, most of his garlic bread and all the chips we put on to his plate so from that I am saying he really enjoyed his food.


My only complaint was the strict children’s menu. Kids are picky, it’s hard enough getting them to eat in the first place never mind putting up barriers by telling them they can’t have something. Surely it’s not that difficult to offer garlic bread and chips? And don’t get me started on the 50p for cheese that didn’t turn up at the start…

3 main meals, 1 kids meal, 1 non-alcohol lager, 1 large glass of white, 1 diet coke and a slice of cheese (50p) = £43. 14

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The Bothy, Boglily Farm Steading, Kirkcaldy

I have always been aware that there is buffalo farm in Fife but recently it has been more and more on my mind. Possibly because Boglily Farm has been one of the farms featured on the program This Farming Life or maybe because I entered a competition and ever since Steve Mitchell, the farmer, has been emailing me with gorgeous pictures of meat packs but either way The Bothy, the cafe on the farm, was on my list and today OH, Mini-me, Teeny-him and I decided to pay it a visit for lunch.

I had pre-checked the menu on their website and knew that it was a cafe that sold mainly sandwiches and burgers so pre-warned everyone and I also knew that the children’s meals were macaroni, sausages or sandwiches and that Teeny-him would be happy with any of them.

When we arrived the first thing we saw was a colourful turkey and 2 emus, which fascinated the wee one just as much as they did the adults.

Mini-me and I went into The Bothy to find a queue and a very busy room. We were asked if a 15 minute wait was ok. It was so our names were taken and it was suggested we had a look around the shop. OH and Teeny-him explored the farm some more and found some pygmy goats and new born lambs. Unfortunately, the buffalo were still in the barns but they should be out and about in the summer, which is a great excuse to go back.

The shop was packed with good food. There was everything from buffalo steaks to chicken kebabs, pork sausages to fish cakes, duck eggs to marinades and there was definite bargains to be had. Once I have emptied my freezer I am going back for one of their packs.

When we wandered back into The Bothy they were ready for us and we were quickly seated. The waitress was fabulous with Teeny-him and after taking his order of macaroni and chippies (no garlic bread) and apple juice took him over to where there were some hidden toys and helped him pick some he could take back to the table. We all ordered burgers, which are named after the main places in nearby Auchtertool to thank them for putting up with the odd stray buffalo that may wander around the village. OH had the MURRAY COURT, Buffalo burger, cheddar, crispy bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, red onion & bacon jam , Mini-me had the THE MALTINGS, Buffalo burger, haggis, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion & peppercorn sauce and I had the MAIN STREET, Buffalo burger, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion & Bothy burger sauce.

Teeny-him said his macaroni was tasty and yummy and his mum, who stole some, agreed that it was really good and she is a connoisseur!

OH really enjoyed his although the runny egg did make a bit of mess and his bun disintegrated but other than that he loved it and particularly enjoyed the red onion and bacon jam.

Mini-me, who I think is hard to please, loved hers and commented that the home made coleslaw was good. She also said, although the haggis was lovely, she wouldn’t order it again as it filled her up too much and she now feels haggis shouldn’t be on a burger (this was the first time she had experienced the addition of haggis). Of course, she cleared her plate.

I cut my burger bun in half and had no issue with it as it kept it’s integrity throughout. The burger was solid and high quality, the sauce went well on it and the potato wedges that accompanied our burgers were amazing and were coated with herbs – we think thyme, rosemary and oregano but we could be wrong. Regardless they were lush.

Looking around I could see others with sandwiches and cakes and everything looked amazing. The service was impeccable and the quality of food was spot on.

1 children’s meal, 3 burgers, 3 tins of juice – £41.90

A Fishy Weekend in Fife

Mini-me and Teeny Him decided to spend some time with the old foggies this weekend. The pair of them haven’t been well recently and were looking for some TLC. So to try and fatten them up and keeping it simple, MM, TH and myself visited Home Farm View on the outskirts of Kirkcaldy. However, we never call it that as we usually say it’s Chapel View or Hungry Horse due it it’s previous incarnations. It is now a Greene King Inn so as you would expect with a chain it’s a very samey menu, which caters for a wide range and is geared up for families. We went there solely because it has a play area for Teeny Him to play in.

Sat in the play area (£1 extra) we ordered a child’s macaroni cheese with chips, garlic bread and rainbow vegetables, an adults macaroni with garlic bread and green leaves and I went for the seafood mixed grill, which was grilled cod loin, salmon and seabass fillet with butterfly king prawns.

TH ate his macaroni as soon as it appeared and managed a couple of chips before deciding the chute was more enticing. To be fair his plate looked better than his mum’s who struggled through half of it before giving up. I enjoyed my mixed seafood grill although the only way of knowing what white fish was what was that the seabass still had it’s skin on. Unfortunately, it wasn’t crispy. The prawns however, made the plate a winner as they were fat, lovely and juicy. It also had roasted Mediterranean vegetables and fries with their skins on, which I loved.

Considering the price and that it was a stress free meal with a toddler it got big ticks.

2 adult mains, 1 children’s meal, 3 juices and a play area = £30.89

The following day was bright and breezy but with a threat of snow flurries hanging over it. We therefore thought a trip along the coast so we could watch the big waves crashing was in order. This time we swapped TH for OH who has also been suffering with the lurgy recently.

We had been to The Bank in Anstruther before and knew it had stunning sea views so we thought we would take MM there to try and put a smile on her face and to get more calories in to her.

MM ordered a hot chocolate with marshmallows when we arrived and I went for a large white wine. OH, the driver, had a coke. We were also able to watch the huge waves crashing as we pondered the menus.

The options were either from the lunch menu 1 course £7.50, 2 £10.75, 3 £14.50 or the a la carte. OH and I went a la carte and MM went for the lunch menu.

MM had battered fish, peas, homemade slaw, salad garnish and swapped the chips for mashed potatoes. OH had Wild Scottish Venison Haunch Steak, pan roasted with a red wine and rosemary sauce, root vegetables and carrot and potato mash and I decided to have Crispy skin seabass fillets Thai spiced vegetables & sesame egg noodles.

My seabass was beautiful and this time it had the crispy skin I was looking for. The Thai vegetables were nice and crunchy and my only complaint was that there could have been a tad more lime to cut through some of the oils. MM wasn’t keen on her mash after looking forward to white mash (like her mum makes) instead of the yellow stuff on her plate, which she insisted was Smash until I explained different kinds of potatoes tasted and looked different. She did manage to eat all her fish though, which after a weekend of Miss Picky saying cheese tasted too cheesey and garlic bread was too garlicky I was relieved. OH said his venison was a little bland as he thought it would taste more gamey. I thought it looked a little rare and it was a bit chewy but he insists it was good and it was his cold that made it taste bland because he loved the presentation and tastes. He also finished MM’s mash so it was good to see his appetite back too.

We looked at the dessert menu and OH decided on Baked orange panna cotta with dark chocolate shavings lemon shortbread rounds, MM didn’t fancy anything and I ordered another glass of sauvignon blanc but a small one this time.

You might notice that the pana cotta arrived with no dark chocolate shavings. We did ask and were told that some things change on the menu and that’s how the dish arrives now. This was disappointing as one of the reasons OH ordered it was for the dark chocolate and orange taste. He then struggled to find much orange in it as it all ended up on one spoonful, which left nothing for the rest of the dessert so really it should have been described as pana cotta full stop.

Overall the it was a lovely meal and being able to watch Hibs beat St Mirren in the bar next door added to the fabulous afternoon.

A hot chocolate, 1 large, 1 small white wine, 1 coke, 3 mains and 1 dessert = £54.85

I’m on my way

I wrote this blog after being at Hampden in March for the Hibernian v Ross County League Cup Final when Hibs got beat 2-1 😦 

 
I used to go see Hibs home and away as a teenager. Then I met a man who wasn’t interested in football and he got me pregnant. Therefore, Easter Road was forgotten about until my son was at an age I could take him. We then started going to all the home games. Then he met a woman who wasn’t interested in football and got her pregnant. Now my son and I are just ‘allowed’ to go to the big games. It’s our day out together and we both look forward to them. Him because Hibs have a chance of lifting a cup. Me? Because I get to spend time with my son, drink Guinness and forget I’m a feckin’ Gran now.

So Scottish League cup final weekend and we had tickets for Hampden. *excited face*

Although the old Famous Fife supporters bus no longer runs, 2 big Hibs fan had taken on the thankless task of running a minibus. Imagine the widest assortment of Hibs fans you can – that was our bus load! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the 3 Musketeers, long suffering partners, lone wolves, well meaning parents, the guy that has been drinking for 3 days solid and the loveable rogue.

We were picked up outside Wetherspoons at 10.30am all resplendent in different shades of green. Apparently the carryout de jour was bottles of rose wine and Mad Dog 20/20. Of course, as a grandmother, I was a lot more sophisticated and had a floral design hipflask full of Jack Daniels secreted about my person.

As we made our way towards Glasgow the CD player, at full blast, played every Hibs song imaginable and then when they ran out Bobby Nicholson came on singing Go and See the Pandas (honestly You Tube it).

3 toilet stops later (lay-bys) and all bottles disposed of pre Harthill (to avoid the police) we were almost at the rugby club in Giffnock we had booked into for some (more) pre match drinks. It was at this point in the journey it came to everyone’s attention that there was an almost overflowing cardboard pisspot on board the bus. Yes – the ones you get in hospital – someone had come prepared! However, they hadn’t thought through the emptying of it. Every corner the minibus took became dicey as it sloshed about. The singing then restarted, ‘Your pissssss is stinking’ to the Proclaimers tune Sunshine On Leith. I deliberately looked away at the next red traffic light.

The rugby club was great – how/why they put up with us all (we weren’t the only bus load in town) gawd only knows – yes I know money over the bar BUT…(that was a big but btw)

Then it was time for Hampden *excited face* We got off the bus near the ground and was told Purple Zone carpark for pick up. Whatever. *runs off with excited face*

So then there was some football stuff. The guy who had the seat next to us (who I’ve met before) appeared at half time. Turns out his flight from London had been cancelled and he’d had to fly from Gatwick/Heathrow instead (I forget which one because JD and Guinness) and his flight didn’t get in until 2.30pm. He had managed to share a taxi with other Hibees he’d met on the flight and had just caught the equaliser at the top of the stairs. Unfortunately, he had to change his flight home too because of course his car was now parked at Heathrow/Gatwick. Therefore, he had to head straight back to the airport after the match. I don’t need to spell it out to you what this means but incase I do

D E D I C A T I O N!

Full-time whistle blows. Bugger.

So dejectedly we head back to the bus. Purple zone?? Excuse me Mr Policeman…. He directed us to Aitkenhead Road. What’s that word that rhymes with tanker? Long story short we got to the bus 40 mins later – it was parked right next to the stadium and I was the colour purple!

The best bit though (apart from the fact the bus had waited!) was one of the long suffering partners had made everyone on the bus a ham salad roll – yippee!!

GGTTH

Parenting Toddlers and Teens

I work with families who have troublesome teenagers. The teen’s behaviours usually include things like truanting and causing bother in school when they are there, offending in the community, being verbally abusive to their parents/carers, trashing their houses and usually drinking alcohol or taking substances with their negative peers. My job is to help the families change their anti-social teens behaviour often by changing their own behaviour. This is usually a huge stumbling block because carers seldom believe they need to change, after all they’ve been bringing up kids for years and have never had this trouble before.

So anyway, we’ve had our 2½ year old granddaughter, Teeny Mini-Me, staying with us for the last 5 days. She’s been no trouble at all but like most toddlers is always on the edge of a tantrum, is demanding and needs to be constantly supervised because she is into everything. Are you starting to see the similarities to teenagers?

I did but only after getting home from a particularly difficult day at work. Although I was shattered when I spoke to Teeny Mini-Me I noticed I used a soft tone, I gave her time and listened intently to how her day had been. To be honest, I didn’t understand everything she said but I appeared interested and replied with Really? Wow! You’ve had a busy day. She was happy with this and then wandered off to finish trying to force fir cones into her toy car.   When I was hanging out the washing I asked for her help but after she got bored with handing me pegs I didn’t complain that she was no longer helping but thanked her for what she had already done. When she wanted to spend time with me I put down my phone and played with her. After all, that funny meme on Facebook is still going to be there in half an hour. When she did something new or good we clapped and shouted hurrah. If there was anything she couldn’t do herself either me or OH would help her. We didn’t assume she could do it herself. We watched her constantly from a distance to make sure she was safe but at the same time giving her the freedom to learn for herself. Of course there were times when she wasn’t getting her own way and she’d start to moan and get stroppy or start to cry but we distracted her with other interesting things she could do. Obviously we used incentives to get her to finish her food – the usual finish your chicken and you’ll get a yoghurt; help me wash the dishes and then we’ll go to the park.

All of these responses were natural and not put on at all. It’s what you do as a parent of a toddler or in my case, a granny.  It was all the stuff I had been telling my families to do that day at work.

Suddenly it dawned on me. What I needed was for my families to treat their teens like toddlers. The mums, dads, grannies, granddads, aunties, uncles and  other carers need to go back and do what they used to do 12 years ago. Back when it felt like the kids were so much easier to deal with. When you think about it, stroppy teens need the same kind of attention that toddlers need. They need spoken to calmly, listened to intently, spent time with, praised and appreciated, given choices and constantly supervised.

However, can you actually imagine treating your teen like a toddler? Chances are they’d think you were taking the piss, feel patronised and then revert to form, swear, stomp off and slam some doors – leaving you feeling like you’re the bad one. If you speak to anyone like a child they will act like a child, which obviously is fine with toddlers but with a teen you want them to act like adults. And don’t tell me you don’t because you’re constantly telling them to grow up! No, what you have to do is treat them like toddlers but speak to them like adults.  So be consistent, no sarcasm, no shouting, answer them when they ask a question and don’t tell them 2 minutes when you really mean half an hour.

So I’ve got a new meme for Facebook. It’s going to be my new mantra. I’m going to patent it and make posters and fridge magnets.

Stroppy Teenagers: Treat them like toddlers, speak to them like adults.

stroppy teen.jpg

Breast is best (another digression)

My daughter, Mini-me, gave birth to Teeny Mini-him just over 3 weeks ago. She is just 21 years old and was determined to breast feed. I had fed her myself and if she had decided not to breast feed I would have thought it odd and tried to talk her out of using formula. However, she was just as determined to feed Teeny Mini-him as I was to feed her so I was over the moon.

She had a traumatic birth, 15 hours of hard labour but the smiles at the end were all worth it. After the marathon, Teeny Mini-him was immediately put to the breast and completely naturally, started to suckle. Every member of staff who popped into the room encouraged her and they all had a top tip. Mini-me listened to them all just as determined as ever.

When she came home, only 24 hours later, she found it difficult. Teeny Mini-him had a tiny mouth and it was difficult for Mini-me to get all of her areola into his little mouth so her nipples suffered; cracked, sore and sometimes bleeding. Lanolin, the best nipple cream on the market, was £10 and not available as a minor ailment treatment and the cheaper creams did nothing to alleviate the pain. I bought the £10 cream. Twice. I bought nipple shields. I bought a breast pump. I bought breast pads. I was as determined as she was she would keep breast feeding and therefore, happy to fund the purchases.  Mini-me doesn’t get a lot of money and without my purse she wouldn’t have been able to afford the items.  To be honest,  I found it surprising the items that should support breast feeding mothers were so expensive. I’m quite sure Mini-me would have bought formula at £7 before she would have bought nipple cream at £10. Regardless, and thankfully, she kept breast feeding.

Then the pain just got too much for her and she found expressing milk and giving it to Teeny Mini-him in a bottle worked better. It helped her, and her concerned partner, see how much he was getting, it stopped the partner stressing and gave Mini-me’s nipples a break. I wasn’t quite as happy but obviously, glad she was still feeding herself.

Late one evening, a couple of nights later she called me. “Mum, if I come and get you can you, will you come with me to Asda so I can buy formula milk? He’s not settling, I’m not producing enough milk and he’s starving.” She was in tears.

“No.” I replied. “Bring Teeny Mini-him down here and I will help you.”

Thankfully she came down.

That night I sat with her. I got her to use the nipple shields. It was sore to begin with but he fed. The more he fed, the more milk she produced. Eventually sated, I took Teeny Mini-him from her and settled him as she fell asleep on the couch. I covered her up and made a little cot on the floor next to her.

He woke during the night and without my help she fed him herself and he slept again.

Since that night, she has stopped expressing and every feed is via the breast. She still uses the nipple shields but she has managed to cut out the middle man of the breast pump. Soon Teeny Mini-him will be big enough to suck her entire areola into his mouth and the nipple shields will be ditched.

She is a great mother, doing a great job and I’m thankful we have such a good relationship she turned to me for help that night. I know without that connection she would have bought formula and Teeny Mini-him, who would still be healthy and looked after, would miss out on the amazing bond that breast feeding gives. Without that bond would she have called?

No-one will ever convince me that breast isn’t best.

Although I’ve moaned about the price of items to support breast feeding, what I realise now is that support from family members is far more important and valuable to a new mum.

Lady Gardening and Maxin Restaurant, Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Today started off a bit different from I expected. Remember Mini-me gave birth last week? Well, it turns out her lady garden got vandalised at the same time and she needed an emergency gardener to have a look at the damage straight away. So instead of a long lie and a slow leisurely start to my Sunday, I found myself in A+E minus my normal morning coffee and any kind of sustenance.

From A+E we were shuttled back to the same ward Mini-me spent 15 labour hours in just a week previous.

First the midwife had a shifty but decided she needed a doctor to give a 2nd opinion.

Then a Junior Doctor had a bit of a nose and she decided she needed the Registrar to have a look too.

When the Registrar eventually showed up he had a peek and felt that the Consultant shouldn’t be left out so he got to have a squint at Mini-me’s bits too.

So after everyone had had a good look at the garden the decision was to leave it alone and allow nature to take it’s course (of antibiotics).

We eventually managed to leave the hospital at 5pm. We’d been there since 10.30am and all we’d had was a plate of custard creams and some weak hospital tea. Therefore, Mini-me got a chippy on the way back and, with hindsight, I wish I had too but as OH was home alone and probably hadn’t ate all day either, I thought we could go out.

Long story short, we ended up at  Maxin’s Cantonese and Peking Restaurant in Kirkcaldy.

The restaurant was really quiet but then it was an odd time for us to eat. I’m pretty sure that there aren’t many people looking for Cantonese food at 6.15 on a Sunday.

Our first mistake was to both have starters – I went for the Chef’s Mini Rolls and OH went for Crispy Duck Rolls. There were loads of mini o2015-09-20 18.58.23nes and OH’s duck ones were h2015-09-20 18.58.30uge! Next time we are definitely sharing a starter.

I knew as I was putting the last bite of filo pastry into my mouth that I was going to struggle with my main, which was Singapore Chow Mein Spicy Hot (Stirred fried with curry oil, mixed peppers, fresh chilli, ham, chicken, char sui). It was just as spicy hot as the menu said it was and that was with me deliberately leaving the red chili slices at the side. It was a little dry but I enjoyed it and only left a couple of spoonfuls – that was my second mistake – I should have left a lot more.  2015-09-20 19.21.03

OH had struggled with the menu – mainly because he didn’t have his glasses with him but also because he never knows what to have if there’s no steak. He eventually asked the waiter for Crispy beef (with sweet & sour sauce dip). Now the waiter did try to dissuade him from this by offering a Cantonese style chicken sweet and sour but OH stood firm. This was his second mistake and he should have listened to the waiter as when his dish arrived it looked rubbish. Basically just deep fried beef and a dip.  2015-09-20 19.21.51 Three mouthfuls in and he was bored with it. He also left some because it was too greasy and uninteresting for him not because he was full. He then said, as he had a bad taste in his mouth, he needed a dessert. He opted for a Meringue and Strawberry Tower.  It was barely mentioned as it quickly disappeared. 

2015-09-20 19.51.57

My third mistake was to have 2 tins of diet coke with my food. By the end of my meal I had a stitch in my stomach and looked like a snake that had swallowed a pig. This is the problem when you haven’t ate or drank all day and then binge on fizzy juice and spicy food. I should have followed Mini-me’s lead and just had a fish supper.

Don’t get me wrong, the food was good, the service was lovely and the only thing wrong with the meal was OH and I’s choices.

2 starters, 2 mains, 1 side, 2 pints of lager and 2 tins of coke – £42.20.

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Banner’s House Hotel, Markinch, Fife.

OH and I were babysitting for our granddaughter today (Yeah I know – I don’t know how I can be a gran either ;p). As a way of blackmailing my son to come out and meet with us in public I told him if he wanted us to babysit he’d have to meet us in Banner’s House Hotel in Markinch with his toddling bundle of fun. Of course, you can’t treat one without treating the other so MiniMe was invited too.

Therefore, I pre-booked lunch for 4 and a child. When MiniMe and I entered Banner’s (OH had to go pick up MiniHim and TeenyMe) they immediately asked what age the child was and then completely re-arranged the table accordingly. They couldn’t have been more friendly or helpful. We were given menus and asked for our drinks order. With a quick look at the lengthy drinks menu MiniMe asked what their fruit smoothie was and after a quick dash to the kitchen and back was offered strawberry, banana and pineapple. She plumped for strawberry and banana and was happy with her choice. I wasn’t driving or on call so had a glass of red :D. We were eventually joined by OH, MiniHim and TeenyMe who gave their drinks order and we all perused the food menus. There was a set menu – 2 course for £12.95/3 for £14.95 or a brunch/lunch menu which offered sandwiches, burgers and baked potatoes as well as a few other main meals.

Whilst we waited TeenyMe was offered some crayons and paper. The waitress then returned with a child’s welly boot with crayons and some old set menus in it. Bonus points for some great recycling!

The set menu was a little odd as it offered slightly surprising dishes rather than the norm. The mains were smoked haddock omelette, jerk pulled pork baguette, Mediterranean vegetable spaghetti and fillet of coley. The kids struggled with it (I say kids, they’re both in their early 20s) so I was the only one that went for the set menu. I had Cauliflower Soup to start with and TeenyMe got a children’s meal of chicken strips and chips brought at the same time (this was the waitresses suggestion and it was a good one!) I liked the soup – it was nothing amazing but a thick and creamy dish. It came with a small doughy roll (no butter?!?) which tasted homemade. 2015-08-01 12.53.42-1

MiniMe ordered a BLT baguette and a portion of chips, OH went for the 8oz Chargrilled Ribeye steak with pepper corn sauce, homemade onion rings, chips and salad and MiniHim went for Jamican Jerk chicken burger – grilled spiced chicken breast, homemade bun, chips and salad.

I followed my soup with fillet of coley with herb crusted potatoes and a mussel and brown shrimp sauce. I don’t normally eat the skin on fish but this was amazing and I ate every last lovely drop of the dish2015-08-01 13.08.42-1. The mussels were consistently fat and fresh and although MiniMe was trying to get me to help her with her chips I couldn’t as my fish dish was satisfyingly filling.

MiniMe’s only complaint was that her plate wasn’t big enough as every time she cut into her baguette her bacon went flying.2015-08-01 13.07.47-1 2015-08-01 13.07.39-1MiniHim said his burger ‘wiz gid like’. Although he left some chips and salad there was no sign of the chicken breast or homemade roll so it must have been gid. OH said his steak was good but he thinks he’s starting to favour the Flat Iron cut as it’s a thicker more juicier steak. (As usual) OH was glad the peppercorn sauce came in a little jug which he didn’t pour over his steak.2015-08-01 13.10.07-1

Dessert time – MiniMe went for the Double Belgian Chocolate Brownie served warm with vanilla Ice Cream, which she said 2015-08-01 13.58.28was really chocolaty and she highlighted the fact that she couldn’t have ate it if it didn’t have the ice cream with it. OH fancied the Orange & Vanilla Rice Pudding with Dark Chocolate which was on the set menu so I ordered it for him and MiniHim was already starting to wain so I gave him permission to leg it. He didn’t need offered twice. As is my norm, instead of pudding I ordered another glass of red.

OH didn’t finish his pudding and disappointingly said it was really only rice pudding with orange zest on the top with a sprinkling of dark chocolate and he really wanted more chocolate and orange in the dish.2015-08-01 13.58.34

TeenyMe was given vanilla ice cream as part of her child’s menu – thoughtfully given in a dish with the cone separate. It got puddled about with. Not being used to taking a toddler for lunch, and with hindsight, I should have asked for an even smaller dish for TeenyMe or for an empty plate so she could get a bit  from all of our plates as she is at that awkward age between jars of food and kid’s menus. I will know the next time 🙂 Saying that, the chicken strips she got tasted great.

OH took TeenyMe out for a walk and I asked for the bill. It arrived in half a coconut with some jellybeans – the kid in me loves that! Unfortunately, when I checked the bill my set menu had been rung up separately so I went to the bar to get it sorted out. The good looking waiter apologised immediately saying it was his error and changed the bill for me. I then gave him my card to pay and punched in my pin code. I’m not quite sure what happened next but very quickly it resulted in my card getting blocked and me having to get OH to pay for the meal. I’m guessing it was a combination of him giving me the machine without pressing a button first and me putting in my number and hitting enter without reading the screen. Oh well, at least he had the beauty…..

Anyway, a quick visit to the bank and being told all I had to do was put my card in the hole in the wall, put in my pin, select other services, then pin services followed by unlock pin rectified the muck up. (that’s a top tip btw).

One set 3 course meal, 1 child’s meal, 1 steak, 1 burger, 1 baguette, 1 dessert, 2 glasses of wine, an Irn Bru and a soda water and lime (in other words a lunch for 4 and a toddler)  = £77.85

The Riverside Inn, Dundee

Last weekend I was off call for work but on call for babysitting duties. The baby in question is our beautiful 1 year old granddaughter (yes, I know you didn’t think I was old enough ;p)

As it was a rotten day on Saturday we tried to think of somewhere indoors that would suit a nosey wee one but also keep our interest too. Therefore, we decided to head north to The Scottish Antiques and Arts Centre at Abernyte in Perthshire, which if you like wandering around old bits and pieces, perusing chic modern furniture, accessories and clothes and finally pick up some fancy cheese in a deli then it is the place to go when it’s raining. There really is something for everyone whether it’s an antique figurine, a brand new footstool or a cup of tea and slice of cake. The down side is that the restaurant area is a bit too upmarket to sit with a toddler. We, therefore, headed along the River Tay to The Riverside Inn in Dundee.

I had thought it was still called The Marmalade Pot but we discovered it had been refurbished and boasted a tv screen at every table and a free soft play area. Yes, I did say a TV SCREEN at every table. It’s anti-social dinning at it’s best. I guess you do have the choice of switching it off but as the waitress led us to our table I didn’t see any blank screens.

What I did like though, was that the table we were shown to had already been set for us with a babyseat and children’s menu. I had brought some food for the wee one so it was just OH and I that needed to decide. As we looked over the menu the waitress brought over some plastic cutlery and chatted with the wee one, which was nice. The menu was the usual pub grub but also advertised hanging skewers and a Build Your Own Burger section. Thinking the DIY burger was too much hassle OH decided to go for a 28 day aged 8oz Rump Steak with seasoned chips, petits pois, mushrooms, onion rings and roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine. I went for the Chicken fajitas with pan-fried peppers, red onions, tortillas, jalapeños, grated Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Whilst we waited I tried to feed our granddaughter but she was far too interested in everything that was happening around us. Other children running around, large groups arriving with presents and balloons and the waitresses passing by with platefuls. However, we soon had her full attention when our food arrived. 2015-02-21 14.26.41My fajitas were sizzling hot and made quite a racket when the dishes were placed in front of me. OH’s steak, although looking good just didn’t have the same pizzazz.    2015-02-21 14.26.48   When I saw the amount of spicy chicken and peppers there were I didn’t think I would be able to finish it all but oh boy did I manage, and enjoyed every drop.

OH made short work of his steak too and managed to lose a few chips to the wee one who preferred them loads more than the food I had provided. I’ve just asked OH to pass comment on his meal and he’s said “You can’t really go wrong with a steak – it was a good bit of beef done the way I asked without any sauce on it.”  So there you have it. 2015-02-21 14.26.34

After we’d scrapped our plates clean, I toddled after the wee one through to the busy soft play area where she spent 20 minutes trying to get everyone’s attention and I spent 20 minutes trying to get her attention to capture a colourful happy pic. We both failed but both had fun.

It’s not a place I’d go for a romantic meal or even a meal with another couple but with kids that arent teens yet (let’s face it teens wouldn’t want to be seen with you out anway)  it’s an ideal place to go and have good food whilst they watch tv and run around in their socks.

One pint of lager and a tin of juice – £4.93 (bought at the bar as we waited on our table) and 2 main meals – £18.98 = a total  of £23.91.

Tunisia – Safari and Zulus

MiniMe and I decided to go on another excursion. This time we chose to go on the Safari and Zulu night but first I checked the pick up time – it was 12.40 in the afternoon! Result.

It wasn’t too long a bus journey so soon we were wandering around looking at lions and tigers and bears! Oh my! Well there weren’t any bears but there were lots of lions, tigers and porcupines, which I had never seen before. ImageAmazing spiky little sods.

I’m not quite sure why they called it a safari – there were no jeeps, men with guns or stampeding wildebeest just lots of animals in enclosures. I’m pretty sure it was actually a zoo. Quite a good zoo though as we saw lots of big cats and some of them were even in the process of making little cats (I had to hide MiniMe’s eyes at that point). The wildebeests were wandering around at peace and the meerkats were very laid back. Simples. Image

After the zoo we made our way out to the circular Shaka restaurant where we were seated at a table with 3 other couples.

We were then entertained as we ate. I love tribal drumming and I wasn’t disappointed. The Zulus danced and sang and the food just kept coming. There was also water, coke or red wine, which were also unending. I did keep trying to finish the wine but they just kept bringing more.

There was soup and bread to start with. The soup was a kind of broth with pulses and it wasn’t too spicy. Next there was briks – filo pastry filled with potato, egg, parsley and onion. These were followed by a salad. I thought to begin with it had tapenade on it but it wasn’t and therefore I was left baffled with the mixture, which was sludge green and a little vinegary but not too much. Whatever it was I liked it and kept helping myself to more. The next course was chicken and rice, which had been marinated for 24 hours and then the meal was finished off with fruit. The food was excellent and the dancing Zulus were fabulous. At one point I gave  MiniMe my phone and asked her to take a pic of the Zulus. I told her not to shoot until she seen the white of their eyes but she just replied that she couldn’t get that close!   Well, I  thought it was funny.2014-06-17 17.35.16

As the crowds got up to leave and as there was still wine left I poured myself one last glass instead of joining the queue to get out. I very soon had a young waiter asking if he could join me for a glass. I was only too happy to oblige and he hunkered down beside me out of sight of his boss. He then downed the glass straight without taking a breath. He politely tried to chat me up but I told him not to bother as he could have another glass if he wanted. It went the same way as the last. He then kindly told me I could take the rest of the bottle as long as I had a ‘sack’ – of course I did ;p  MiniMe, who doesn’t even like wine, was necking it straight from the bottle on the bus. The journey home sped by – I can’t think why.

Tunisia was a great holiday with MiniMe and we made lots of friends. Bella and Lolly were 2 of them. They were sitting in front of us on the flight there and were in the same hotel as us when we arrived. We soon started chatting  and then meeting up in the dinning room for meals, which lead to the bar for drinks and then obviously on to sharing a hookah….what??? ;p Their company really added to the holiday and, as Cilla would say, we had a lorra lorra laughs.

The waiters also helped make the holiday with their flirty ways and attentive service. One of these waiters was Samir or Sammy as Lolly called him. He said he liked me. I said I was married. He said he wanted to be my ‘frond’. I liked him being my frond because he made me special cocktails and gave me little heart shaped biscuits. One day he just appeared with a cappuccino with my initial shaken in chocolate on the top. On the day we were leaving he drew a picture of himself crying and pinned it to his t-shirt. I think my new frond Sammy wanted a tip. I told him not to chat up tight, married, Scottish women ;p

 2014-06-18 13.47.262014-06-14 18.41.48Back at Enfidha airport and the queues at passport control were still as bad. Thankfully there were no Germans for MiniMe to fall out with but we did learn the extent of what had happened in the toilet on the way over. The bloke that had been smoking had actually blocked up the smoke detector with toilet paper and then flicked his still lit cigarette into the paper towel bin, which had started to burn and had to be put out by the air-hostesses. Apparently we were only minutes away from an emergency landing because of the selfish twat. And his excuse was that he was off his face on drugs and didn’t know what he was doing. He had been allowed into the country (actually managing to miss the horrendous queues at passport control) and permitted to enjoy his holiday. From what I was being told in the queue all he had to do was to sign a form saying he wouldn’t smoke on the way back and he had his lighter and cigarettes confiscated. No-one could say if he had received a huge fine, would be banned from the country or lose his passport.

I like to think karma will catch him up at some point.