Mother's Day | Hampton Court Palace

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Mother's Day is fast approaching and it's time to plan how we're going to spoil our mums this year! What better way to treat your mother like a princess than spending the day at a palace? Well that's what my mum and I did last weekend at Hampton Court Palace and it was gorgeous.

We started with afternoon tea at the Tiltyard Cafe in the grounds of the palace where we were served a platter of sandwiches and cakes and individual pots of tea and coffee. After having a very healthy week this was such a guilty and indulgent pleasure. The tea and coffee was made to perfection, the sandwiches were very fresh, and the cakes were gorgeous (we were both dying a bit over how good the scones with clotted cream were). It was a really lovely lunch and a perfect way to spoil my mum. Feeling very satisfied we set off to explore the palace.

Hampton Court Palace is one of the homes where King Henry VIII lived. Even though King Henry VIII was a really bad person I found him the most interesting King to learn about at school and one of the only one's I remember much about (history never interested me too much) so it was really exciting being in the place where he lived and walked the corridors. 

The palace is beautiful and displayed in a great and entertaining way. In the dining room there are sound effects of clinking glasses and pouring liquid, we picked up a scratch and sniff card to show what things would have smelt like hundreds of years ago during the reign of King Henry VIII, and you could even glimpse Henry and one of his 6 wives walking through the corridors.

There is so much to do at Hampton Court Palace. You could go on a guided tour, explore the outdoor maze, or enjoy the magnificent gardens and grounds. Over Mother's Day weekend (13th-15th March) there will be a special event held at Hampton Court Palace called Florimania with flower arranging demonstrations from the national association of flower arrangement societies, perfect to celebrate the arrival of Spring!  You can book your tickets for Hampton Court Palace HERE and you can check out other great ideas for Mother's Day Out in London and the rest of the UK HERE
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This post was written in collaboration with AttractionTix and Hampton Court Palace.

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RECIPE | Porridge With Banana And Desiccated Coconut

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I've recently been educating myself more on food and the things we should and should't be putting into our bodies. It's a subject I find really fascinating and I discovered I wasn't nearly as healthy as I thought I was.

Porridge is such a great thing to start your day with! It contains fiber (great for maintaining good cholesterol and blood sugar levels), complex carbohydrates (giving you lasting energy), iron (which helps oxygen get around your body), phosphorus (good for filtering waste out of your body), calcium (which strengthens teeth and bones) and vitamin A (an antioxidant which kills free radicals, and aids cell growth). OK, I'm sold!

I've been on a quest to 'dress up' my porridge bowls and boost the meals nutritional value. Well, breakfast doesn't need to be complicated, or boring for that matter, so keeping the toppings simple is a must for me. Here's one of my new favourites (and honestly, two weeks ago you'd never have heard me say anything with banana in it was a favourite of mine)!


INGREDIENTS:
(serves 1)

1/2 cup organic porridge oats
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp honey (optional. I use manuka)
1 or 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 banana, sliced


DIRECTIONS:

Heat the porridge oats in a small saucepan with the milk. Add water (Orlaith likes it all, I like half). If you like things a bit sweet you can stir in some honey while it's heating. Stir the porridge regularly for about 7 minutes until you've reached your desired consistency. Put the porridge in a serving bowl and finally add the sliced banana and sprinkle over the desiccated coconut.

Enjoy x

QUICK TIPS:

If you're a hungry badger like me or you'e cooking for more than one person you can double, triple, even quadruple this recipe as required and adjust measurements to taste.

Porridge oats are meant to be gluten free, however due to farming and manufacturing practices they commonly gets cross contaminated making it inedible for people with coeliac disease and gluten intolerances. There is a brand of oats made by a coeliac which claims to be 100% gluten free. The brand is called Tilquhillie and I'm not sure if they're organic but you can check them out HERE.

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Art of The Brick London

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Last week was half term during which time Orlaith and I popped down to East London to check out the Art of The Brick exhibition. I love finding galleries to take Orlaith to because I like her to open her imagination and see what it's possible to create. And when I saw that someone was using Lego to create big models with, something she has and plays with herself, I knew we had to go.

Nathan Sawaya, the creator behind Art of The Brick, spent over 4,000 hours and 1 millions bricks creating the pieces on display at the exhibition. There were a few really impressive pieces, a few which oozed creativity, and a few which looked like they had been put together to fill empty space. The pieces are predominantly set in dark rooms using light projections to create different effects. I can't say I'm a fan of so many dark rooms for an exhibition, but that's just a personal preference. It felt nice to step into the white walled room where some photography was displayed alongside Lego props, it was my favourite part of the whole gallery. I found the photography and composition stunning.

Once you've made your way around the exhibition there is a room with buckets of Lego for the kids to play with, a Duplo soft play area for the smaller children and of course lots of Lego merchandise for sale. I'm glad we went and I think it was great for Orlaith to see such large scale things made from little lego bricks, however I think the admission prices are a bit steep. On a positive note, there is a free cloakroom onsite and, being next to Brick Lane, there is so much to do in the area before or after your gallery visit. Why not grab a bowl of cereal at the Cereal Killer Cafe?

Art Of The Brick will be in London until 12th April 2015. You can book tickets to visit the exhibition HERE

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