Tag Archives: Restaurant

Hotel Praktik Bakery – Barcelona

Carrying on from my trip to Barcelona…

Its quite exciting this is my first hotel review I’m writing. but I’m mainly writing what you would see on tripadvisor just with extra pictures!

Anyway back to my experience The Hotel Praktik Bakery. You’ll notice the hotel from its famous yellow roof.  Honestly there was never moment where it was quiet in the bakery.

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I know you are probably going to hate me for saying this but when I’m in a foreign country I’m one of those typical ignorant Brits who cant speak a word of the language besides please and thank you and the odd hand gestures to ask for the bathroom. I have said this year I want to learn a new language, so Spanish it may be!

 

So every year my Christmas present budget for everyone is £40 as mum hates us spending too much on gifts (that’s more her thing). I still am in shock that that my trip cost me £150 for flights and hotel for THE BOTH OF US (for 2 nights, 3 day)! yes! I know! this amazing deal was found on lastminute.com by moi. I am advising everyone to have a look online if they’re looking for a small break.

 

I am 100% a lover for tripadvisor, from restaurant reviews to hotels; I would’ve most likely checked it out on tripadvisor before going. The review on here were majority positive but with the odd review moaning how busy and noisy it could be. Its a bakery in a hotel. What would you expect?!?

 

First of all the hotel location was too good to be true. Literally 2 blocks away from Passeig de Gràcia which personally I think is like our knightsbridge with shops, from Louis Vuitton to Stella McCartney. It is unreal! And the metro is soo easy to use. Again the station is on Passeig de Gràcia and is 2 stops away from Les Ramblas and 2 trains to Sagrada Familia. And the Metro Subway is so much cleaner than the London tube so I would honestly recommend it if you want to travel in Barcelona and so much cheaper (you can buy a travel card which has 10 travels for 10 euros)

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I have to admit it is a pretty unusual lay out. As soon as you walk in you greeted with the bakery and you’re not quite sure where the reception desk for the hotel is until you walk further down an notice the receptionist in a bright yellow blazer hidden on the of the counter shared with the bakery side. I will admit it was little annoying the fact that we arrived at the hotel 12ish and waited till 2pm to check in but our room still wasn’t ready. I guess it gave me more of a chance to try out more baked goods!

 

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This swirl in the middle was my FAVE! Cheese Bacon and puff pastry. That honestly is my heaven. The further you bite in the more cheesey bacony good is stuffed in there. I know you have 2 types of people in this world…those who like crispy bacon and those who like when the bacon is just cooked. I can’t really say I am just one. I mean I love crispy bacon with a fry up but I don’t mind a bit of just cooked bacon. This bacon was just cooked so the fat was still a little chewy which I love!

 

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Major PERK from staying here is that because the bread is baked freshly every morning, you get that freshly baked bread aroma oozing through the building. Seriously, what could be better than that? Nothing that’s what!

 

 

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This was my favourite part of the hotel- the lobby/bakery seating area. I just found it so soothing watching the bakers prepare the pastries and breads. I actually fell in love with one of the bakers. I seen him everyday whilst staying here and every morning he would smile whilst I creepily stared at him in awe whilst he rolled the pastries into cones to make croissants. Don’t worry this man was literally older than my dad with a peppered beard. I have to admit I feel like he looked like Pablo or maybe a Densel. I didn’t take a picture of him because well that’s a bit too far!

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This was my breakfast whilst at the Praktik Bakery. Toasted ham and cheese croissant. Sorry I’m just going to be showing my food!

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I loved loved loved their lemon cheesecake. seriously zesty and soo addictive!

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I know it’s so rude but no matter where I am, I always want proper cup of tea in the morning…PG Tips, milk, one sugar. This time at the bakery they did black tea (which is pretty much English breakfast), but with cinnamon. So I decided to go for an Earl Grey and I LOVED it! It basically a normal tea with a floral after taste! So now I just thought I’d share with you’s that I like a bit of Earl Grey (milk, one sugar).

Now for the Room itself although you could do what I did and stalk the reviews on tripadvisor but this just gives you an idea of what the rooms are like. from the reviews I think all the rooms are laid out the same just different views from the window.

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I love this picture! I love a town house. God knows why I find them ‘cultural’. I won’t bore you any more with my obsession of town houses.

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AND…

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Stepping out from the window literally you see this! Sagrada Familla.

I would honestly recommend this place to EVERYONE! from the price to the location. This is honestly one of my favourites and I am definitely returning next year (or even this year, maybe this summer…)

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Scoffing in Barcelona

As the Fabulous daughter I am, I decided to take my mum to Barcelona as her Christmas present! yeah I know, Daughter of the Year!

So the last time I was in Barcelona, was when I was 8 and all I remember is that awful football grounds. This time I wanted to return pretty much for the food. Not that I’m looking for the ‘perfect’ Paella just some good Mediterranean food for decent price!

I cannot explain how sick I am of food right now (which is seriously hard to believe). The first thing I did as soon as I came home was stand on the scales and wait anxiously to see how generous the scales have been to me-4 pounds in 3 days apparently! So currently I am on a detox as I am writing this to you!

 

Obviously when in Spain you have to try a paella which I did. Unfortunately I didn’t actually take a note of where the place was (just  that it is in Les Rambles). It was nice but  I just wasn’t blown away with it. Dare I say this is the downfall with having all these amazing food markets in London, you don’t get the shock of being surprised with the unusual flavours, it just makes you feel like you’ve had it before.

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So the Famous Food Market, La Boqueria Market was amazing! I literally was just in awe whilst strolling past the stalls. I loved the fact that this existed…

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This is literally ham in a cone! obviously it had to be jamón ibérico

 

In the market they had these amazing kitchen/stalls where you could sit and have the fresh seafood cooked right in front of you. Unfortunately I have this huge fear of pigeons and in the market all the friggin birds were literally at your feet, scavenging around the floor. So the idea of eating there was a no go from me.

 

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So I seen three Mexican food stands in the market but I just couldn’t face another bite after scoffing taster after taster! At least I managed to take a picture of these weird yet cool breakfast burritos.

 

Speaking of Mexican, Mum was dying to have churros in Barcelona. God knows why but I thought churros originated from Mexico but apparently they’re just of a Spanish origin. NERD ALERT: apparently Churro means course, rough. Yup, Google is my friend! of course I had to search this up!

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Look at how thick the hot chocolate is! It literally was like drinking melted chocolate. As soon as I realised this was how hot chocolate was done here, it instantly reminded me of my cousin Beaky AKA Jenny. she is a MAJOR chocoholic in my family. Whenever Beaks and I go for coffee she will always order a slice of chocolate cake and hot chocolate. Then she will dunk that whole slice in the drink and almost make like a pudding and eat it like a dessert! so weird I know!

 

 

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As you can see I very much enjoyed them!

Through out the whole trip mum took the best mug shots of me eating literally majority of them are of me ‘enjoying my food’. This was the funniest one, I have to say! I kinda think my mum is a better photographer than me!

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Pudding Bar, Soho

The Pudding Bar is a pop up dessert restaurant which well you’ve guessed it only serves desserts. Its a very tiny dainty little restaurant with rustic furniture. The only word I could describe this as is hipster. Why? A)The menu is served on clipboards and B) The tap water is served in glass cordial bottle. But trust me there is nothing wrong with that. So how I ended up here? Well I finally got to see one of my favorite artists play live at the royal Albert Hall, Gregory Porter. If you don’t know who he is then you clearly have shit taste in music. Joking…But anyway I kind of had to force my brother, Ajay into coming with me since no one and when I mean no one would come with me to see him. And I was not going to sit for 2 and half hours like a larry. Anyway we ended up eating late and getting to the show half an hour late thanks to my brothers time keeping who made me wait at the bar of the restaurant for over an hour, whilst having the bar tender giving me that sympathetic look that says, “honey, just give up already. He’s not coming.” So once the show finished (which by the way was amazing!), Ajay and I was going to Ronnie Scott’s after but decided it was getting late and to be honest I did not fancy running for the last train home or worst getting the night bus! So instead We decided to go for some dessert.

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So this was my order…S’more Cheescake

The marshmallow topping honestly was to die for. it was honestly so light and airy. I mean I honestly dont like Meringue, just something about it just puts me off. But this, was just too addictive. It literally felt like I was eating clouds. Then the filling well it was average if I’m honest. just a normal chocolate cheesecake filling. Silky and smooth, everything I think it should be. Now this was the part was which really disappointed me, the base.  The idea behind it sounded nice. a gingernut biscuit base. The only problem was it tasted stale. You know when you were younger and your mum used to buy those cheapish frozen dessert and you leave it to defrost and then serve and you get that horrible stale frozen taste. That’s what I had. So I had to eat around the base.

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Baked Alaska. I have never had this before. I always used to remember on suite life of Zack and Cody, yes I was one of those who used to watch it. But I remember them saying Baked Alaska as if it was one of the most extravagant desserts. ever! I always do this thing where no matter what I always want to try more than 1 dessert so I make who ever I’m with get something different So i can try it. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Made of Honor. Where the girl, Michelle Monoghan always shares her desserts with Patrick Dempsey. I like to think that’s what I’m like, sharing my dessert with Patrick Dempsey.

But  the Baked Alaska was amazing. It was an apple tart topped with ice cream and with a thick fluffy coating of marshmallowy cream with a toasty nutty crisp finish. I literally had no fault with this. It even had maple syrup drizzle around the plate. Enough said.

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I would Definitely recommend this place if you fancy somewhere for afters! just maybe don’t order the cheesecake.

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Japan at Your Doorstep

I get a random text from my dearest older brother Ajay asking me to meet him for dinner. Quite out of the ordinary but I was happy to meet. Since he’s now transferred to Westminster from Manchester University and me now working in Peckham, South London. We can actually meet up for dinners which I reckon won’t happen as often as I’d like but still, I’m still happy. And Ajay was taking me to a new Ramen Bar…Kanada-Ya.

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Kanada-Ya reminded me of Japan’s own version of McDonalds. Just seemed to casual, full of Japanese Natives. This Noodle bar is small but definitely not grotty; very trendy and hipster like. Thank god they haven’t all discovered this place yet, or maybe they’re too intimidated to go.

If you’re not entirely sure what a Ramen is…Well its Amazing. It’s like a Much Better and healthier version of Pot noodle. So its a soup that originated in Japan Consisting of Noodles, Meat/ Fish Broth topped with sliced pork, spring onions and seaweed and occasionally a soft Tea-boiled egg (not to keen on that part). Honestly its the most amazing thing EVER!

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There’s only 3 types of Ramens you can get here. 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions topped with beansprouts; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Deluxe Chashu pork collar, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions. Fairly cheap from £10-£12.50.

Miso broth

Ajay and I both ordered the Pork with Beansprouts, but the weirdest thing was the waitress asked us how we like our noodles cooked. Has that ever happened to you? Apparently in Japan they like there noodles hard because it’s still cooking whilst in the broth. So I asked for mine to be hard and it was so worth it. Al Dante. Perfect. They didn’t turn to slush; weren’t too chewy just right. Now I’m usually the annoying customer who shoves a whole load of soya sauce in the bowl because it needs more flavour. But here I didn’t need to add anything in. The broth was a lot more Cloudier but had really strong clean flavours.

The thing that I was intrigued to try was the Wood ear fungus. it was like an crunchy mushroom. Really words couldn’t describe the bite it had. It was over powering and strong, just so there but not too in your face. If people don’t know what nori is its a sheet of Seaweed. You just add the sheet into the broth and let it slightly wilt and just shove it in your gob. It gives the broth a fishy taste and not in an unpleasant way.

Just saying I ate my bowl of ramen with 7 minutes. I’ve worked out, you’re meant to stretch the noodles first, well the bit you want to eat and then and then whack it in! And you slurp the noodles in. I know it sounds disgusting but you know you’re eating right when you make the noise.

But Ajay decided to be more experimental by picking Spicy Miso. It wasn’t nice. It was like Wasabi. Apparently you’re meant to pinch a little bit at a time with your chopstick to taste. DO NOT STIR THE SPOON INTO YOUR BOWL.

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This is I think is like Pickeled Carrot but I really wasn’t sure. The lady next to us was putting it on her spoon and adding it to her noodles using the chopsticks. I didnt try some unfortunately I was to busy shoveling the noddles down as fast as I could.

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Whenever I try to experiment I fail Miserably. So for drinks I thought I was ordering what the guy opposite was having (PS he looked like a Japanese version of John Lennon). Instead I got this. Now I know Arji buys these from Cyber Candy but I have never been temped to try a bottle of E numbers waiting to kill my insides. And I was right, It was Artificially disgusting!

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The cool thing about this was opening the bottle there’s a cap which you push down which releases a glass ball in the neck of the bottle. In Japan They have this thing we’re you see who can open the top and get the glass ball out the quickest without smashing the bottle. Well that’s what the Waitress explained to us. Me and Arji tried this…We both failed miserably.

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This Waitress, was the coolest waitress at a ramen bar, I personally thought. usually they’re really quiet and have that look that says “don’t disturb me b*tch”. But instead she helped explain everything, from the noodles to the drink! I think we became abit annoying towards the end, constantly asking her what certain things were.

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I would definitely recommend this restaurant to every Ramen Lover! And order extra noodles.

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Walrus Canteen in Manchester

Sorry for the delay…FYI this was experience on 13th November.

Okay so for my cousin, Sneeta’s 23rd, we celebrated with a weekend away in Manchester. And since Ajay kinda lives there at the moment we went for dinner with him. So with Sneeta, she makes out like she’s not a fussy eater, but trust me she is! Now Ajay thinks he knows Manchester like the back of his hand, he took us down a road which is just off the high street, where you see all these hide away places, like you would in Soho. That is what it literally reminded me of. which is where we came across Walrus.

To be honest we all said we didn’t want a typical burger place but then when you see a deal, £6 a meal, you kinda want to go in, no? I have to admit the waitress was a little…not with it shall we say, but the food was pretty decent. Unfortunately we didn’t get a cocktail. Which I think had to do with the late nights etc., so we were all living on ice cold lemon water.

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Excluding the deal, the prices were considerably cheap but we just wanted the deal. For our orders; Jemma and I had the pulled pork toasty with a side salad, which honestly was pretty damn good, especially the salad which was really fresh and crisp, not just iceberg on a plate. Ajay and Kaj had the fish and chips with minted mushy peas, and Sneeta had the burger….typical. Now I’m the type who will suggest for others to get a dish that I may think sounds nice so I can have a try. It’s not selfish, I’m just ‘curious’. But trying a bit of everyone’s, I ‘thoroughly’ enjoyed it! Honestly if you are in Manchester and want somewhere a bit cheap to go, I seriously recommend it.

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If you wondering what we had for desert. We had this….

Daim cake

Cookie dough Cake – simple vanilla sponge with chocolate chips and light brown sugar, topped with caramel frosting and chocolate ganache. with cookie dough balls coated in chocolate sprayed gold.

It’s a little un-clean. BUT i wont be giving of the recipe for this disaster. I tried to freeze the cakes in advance and found they tasted like Daim cake you get from IKEA. and I HATE Daim cake. Wasn’t my best, I know. and since there was soo much left of it we decided to give it to a homeless person on the side-walk, with cutlery and everything. maybe next time it’ll work. but for now, i will NOT be freezing my cakes!

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Apsley’s, a Heinz Beck Resturant

Mum Officially turned the BIG 40 over the weekend (well a couple of weeks ago!), and to celebrate we went out to a POSH restaurant. I’m not sure whether you’re like my family and I; who like to visit these fine dining places, for special occasions. I  guess with my family, when it’s a special birthday, we’d go all out for dinner and go some place real Fancy! Like for Ajay’s 18th we went to Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant in the Mandarin Hotel in Knightsbridge. And that was AMAZING! Honestly I cant explain how cool the food was. Pate disguised a Mandarin fruit. It was hilarious when the waiter brought over an orange and some toast. The look on dad’s face, it wasn’t until 10 minutes later when we all realised the orange was really yellow fat (like the the butter on top of pate). It even had a leaf poking out of the top. I would have rated that 9 1/2 out of 10. Just my dessert was a down fall-summer fruit something. cant remember.

Then for Dad’s 40th a couple of years ago we went to the Ritz. Now that was more POSH. That was a bit too… i don’t know, I guess we’re not a quiet family, well dad isn’t anyway.  I would rate that a 7, just because of the toilets and the decor.So beautiful!!

Back to Mum’s birthday Meal, oh just look at the Pictures! The decor of this restaurant is just WOW. seriously I don’t know how to describe it. almost like a movie scene; grand and majestic. i know it may sound a little over exaggerated BUT it was truly beautiful. Let’s start right from the Beginning: somehow we ended up being half an hour late, since dad was determined to drive since he’s a snob to public transport. But the Hotel/Restaurant is like a minute away from Hyde Park. The staff were really considerate and moved our booking to eight, which was really nice of them, since other places would have warned us the table will reserved for 15 minutes. so yeah when we finally did reach Lanesborough Hotel which is all slim and quite grand looking. It was abit awkward because usually when you come to a hotel you’re greeted with the reception desk. instead we got slightly lost and had to ask the doorman where the restaurant was, since it was like gully (sorry the closest i can describe it- but a very sublime one).Turned out it was right down the other end of the hall. So when we actually reached the restaurant, we were told to wait at the bar, since our table was getting ready.

Now the bar was really cool. Well would have been if it weren’t for Arji, since he is only 14, there’s a rule where you cant be in the bar after half 6 if your under 16. So we waited outside of the bar area into, i’m not sure what you would call it, a lounge maybe? I thinks its where like all the afternoon teas are held and that kind of thing.  where the rich people would ‘hang and chat’. Hah, I actually sound like a commoner. you know when you know somethings RICH and POSH when drinks are £15. seriously a cocktail was £15 and lemonade was £9. But since dad was paying mum treated herself to a little cocktail since it was her birthday. I guess you can say Dad weren’t too pleased but he enjoyed himself. In the End. Now the thing Which wowed me was this:

The bar snacksExcuse the poorly taken Picture BUT this was given to us whilst we was waiting for our drinks. Now on the top tray (sorry you can’t see ’em, but its actually homemade Pretzels. I can’t explain what it was about them, but they tasted yum, almost like it was fresh! And then on the second tray it’s your typical Nuts. like freshly roasted, where they have a crunch to’em.  And now we get to the Best bit. if you can see through the poor camera with trying to eat the lovely big fresh and tasty olives. See i’m not a olive fan, but these were just soo NICE. Like you don’t get that normal tangy after taste from the brine or oil. It has this almost sweet taste but i definitely give it 2 thumbs up. the chandeler Bare in mind this is a fancy place and i was a little embarrassed to take pictures I thought i’d had to get a few sneak peaks for you all. This place honestly seemed like something out of a film. The waiting staff we’re lovely especially the bread man. He walked around our table 4 times with different selections of breads. the one i remembered was this thin Sicilian bread. it was so thin and crispy and so light. we all took our order and the first dish brought out was this:

This was an apatizer- chicken liver spring Roll

photo 4 (2)This was something Arji ordered, Carbonara Fagottelli. I think that’s what it was called. it was basically inside out Carbonara- egg yolk ravioli with Parmesan gratings and sprinklings of crispy pork cheek. YUM, no? we ended up swapping since Arji freaked out with the smell of Parmesan. Like the better older sister i am, i opted to swap dishes. To be fare this dish was better. This dish was rich and slightly heavy but soo cool. like you have to have each pasta bit in a whole mouthful. so once you bite into it, egg yolk would bust out in my mouth. oh it was soo good, a little cheesey but GOOD.

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This was MY dish I had picked out. I cant exactly remember what exactly it tasted like but all i can remember is that the Duck was moist. i think it was a little boring but to be honest i just wanted to show you how pretty it looked.

Now the Main I can not remember what I had and I didn’t really take a picture so I am sorry!

Now below was my dessert: Chocolate and passion fruit. so i’m thinking when I read the menu, hmm i guess it might a chocolate bar with some sauce on the side or something like that. Instead they bring this out. Now i am really sorry, the waiter come out explaining each of our dishes,like what flavors they used; a proper foodies talk. And well I’ve completely forgotten what it was he said. Apart from chocolate sorbet. SORRY i guess this’ll punish me for not writing this sooner. But at least the pictures look alright. REMEMBER they are all sneaky shots me and Arji took! photo 1des

Now this was DEFINITELY something I remembered. The PRE DESSERT. Yes there is such thing as that. It apparently is known to cleanse the palette so you can really taste the flavors of the dessert. But again i’m gonna be straight with you, I think this WAS my dessert. Lime cheesecake and banana ice cream. The lime was so Tense and strong, that it really did clean my palette, i definitely recommend the restaurant just for the cheesecake.

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YUMM!

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AFTER dessert. i love this when after your meal, dessert, you get the little treats at the end with teas and coffees. Oh it was so pretty and cute. Top to bottom: Hazelnut and Praline, Almond shortbread (moon shaped), Apricot centered Bomb, toasted almonds and shortbread based truffle, Raspberry Jelly (made in Sicily)

And Last but not least the manager I guess of the restaurant knew it was one of our birthdays (Dad told him, but won’t admit to it). So he came over with a little dessert dotted with candle in the center. It was too cute. And after that, the head chef walked over to each table asking how the dinner was. I thought that was really polite and sweet. he also gave dad a tip on how to get the lamb so tender (cook it with love). He was quite funny how he was so quiet and shy, but during the dinner we could hear the chefs shouting, well “talking more abrupt” with each other, which was funny!

photo (9)Happy 40th Birthday Mum! xx

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