Giraffe Restaurant Review

If you live near Bournemouth you can’t have missed the zillion and 2 billboards advertising the new Girafferestaurant that’s opening at Tesco Castle Lane East (very near our beloved Littledown Centre, home of the Little Pickles Bournemouth Market) and if you shop at Tesco you certainly can’t have missed the HUGE orange sign poking out the Tesco roof!
I must say the refit of the dodgy old supermarket café has had me intrigued for a while, it has certainly looked more glamorous than any super market café I’ve ever seen and the little giraffe heads etched in the glass make me smile as I go in to do the worlds biggest chore – supermarket shopping!
We were lucky enough to go along to a preview of the new restaurant last week, have a good old fashioned nose around and try the food before the big opening on November 10th.  The preview wasn’t just to satisfy the nosiness of people just like us, it was also being used as a training exercise for the waiting and chef staff.  What a refreshingly great idea that they’re practising everything and taking feedback good and bad to get everything perfect before the big open day!  We’ve got to say they’re doing a great job, from the second we were checking out the menu outside we were brought straight into the warm, found a table and checked on numerous times to make sure we were ok.
I must confess I let my Mum come along and even when she was highly embarrassing the waiter didn’t even flinch and carried on as a true professional would.  The food was AMAZING, absolutely delicious, steak and chips has never tasted so good, it’s actually annoying that as I’m writing this on Saturday evening I know the restaurant hasn’t opened yet and I can’t go back to eat it again!  Fresh lemonade and mint served in a quirky little jar was my other favourite, seriously the simple things in life keep me happy!
Price wise, it isn’t cheap, I wouldn’t say given the quality of food and service that it’s expensive.  If you were to compare it to another supermarket café it does cost more but it wouldn’t be a fair comparison as it is a nice restaurant that just so happens to be located at a supermarket.  If my husband decided to take me out for dinner (cough, cough, wink, wink) I’m not sure how impressed I’d be at the romantic location but considering my tummy’s still rumbling thinking about steak I’m sure we’ll be going back and probably sampling a cocktail or two as well.
Written By Chelle – Bournemouth Little Pickles Market  Organiser, Next event Christmas Special, 7th December 10am-12noon, Littledown Centre

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Personalised Funky Giraffe Bib Review

Baby Pickle is by far the dribbliest (not sure that is a real word but we will go with it) baby I have ever had, with all of the others by 18 months we were well and truly past putting a bib on unless they were eating. But she has to permanently have a bib on otherwise her tops end up soaked with dribble.

So now she is more of a little girl than a baby we are always on the look out for cute bibs, and Funky Giraffe Bibs don’t disappoint with a huge range of bibs.

I had fun playing around to personalised one for Baby Pickle, choosing a gorgeous purple and choosing and positioning the text.

Doesn’t she look mighty cute in the finished product

The quality is great and washes very well, I will definitely be purchasing more, first on my list Christmas ones, they have offers on if you buy several bibs which make them very reasonably priced.

Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets


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My First MAD Blog Awards

I was lucky enough to win a last minute ticket to the MAD Blog Awards Dinner last Friday, so I jumped at the chance of going to meet and celebrate the success of some of the countries best Mummy and Daddy bloggers.

Even though it was all a bit of a rush to collect the pickles from school, drop them with Grandma and shoot along the M4 into London, I knew it would be worth it.

Once I arrived and managed to park the pickles bus in the worlds tightest car park, I heading into the drinks reception feeling pretty nervous being a newbie, but the buzz was infectious as soon as I entered the room, I got chatting and felt at ease even though I didn’t really know anyone.

After drinks and chatter, we headed to our seats for a very scrummy dinner, then it was onto the important stuff The Awards.


This year for the second year running the awards was hosted by the very beautiful and charming Dr Ranj from Cbeebies and This Morning. He certainly did not disappoint with his witty humour and genuine excitement for the finalists.

There was lots of giggles and plenty of wine consumed (not by me unfortunately as I was driving, maybe next year!). As well as laughter there was many tears too, as some very inspirational bloggers that won awards shared their personal stories of ups and downs.

The evening was fantastic and definitely worth the travel, over the last few days I have been checking out lots of the great blogs that were finalists and now have plenty of bedtime reading.

So I would like to congratulate all of the winners especially The Future’s Rosie who won MAD Blog of the Year, well done everyone xx

Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets

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Tale of The Brave Movie Giveaway

I love spending quality one on one time with my pickles, so when the opportunity came up for a Boys Day Out to Thomas Land with my one and only son Faryl (F), I jumped at the chance.

We had a long drive, just over 2 hours from Wiltshire to Tamworth, but F kept me entertained with his constant questions.

It was a complete surprise for F as he had no idea we would be visiting Thomas Land and plus we would also be attending a screening of the new Thomas and Friends Movie, Tale of The Brave.

When we arrived he couldn’t wait to go and see all of the familiar engines especially Percy, he’s the green one right?!?! But we headed straight to the 4D cinema to see the film, we were greeted by the Fat Controller, no we don’t have a picture of F and him as he was a little bit weary. There was also lots of fab Thomas toys to play with, F favourite was the Roaring Dino Take And Play Set, so there’s an idea for his Christmas pressie. We also picked up drinks and yummy popcorn.


Then the Fat Controller announced that we could enter the cinema, our last trip to the cinema earlier in the summer wasn’t a great success with F being very fidgety and requesting at the top of his voice he wanted a wee wee every ten minutes. But I was thinking positively and the positive thinking worked as F was glued to the hour long film from start to finish.

The film was great, definitely worth a watch, especially for any of those train mad Little Pickles out there.

After the viewing we headed to Thomas Land and I have to admit I was plenty surprised with the range of rides for little ones, F bounded from one ride to another as he giggled and smiled his way through the day. As the schools had just gone back to school Drayton Manor was very quiet so that meant no queuing, bliss.

As I was a bit lazy I didn’t pack a pack lunch, we had burger and chips for lunch, it wasn’t cheap but the burgers were good quality and very yummy.

After lunch we chilled or shall I say I chilled in Emily’s indoor Adventure Play while F ran off his lunch. Then we went for a wander around the zoo area and found some dinosaurs and a fantastic outdoor adventure play ground.


Then before we headed home we jumped on the Polperro Express to see what else the park had to offer, which was lots. So definitely need to return to Drayton manor with the bigger pickles to conquer the big rides. Plus Thomas Land is getting bigger in 2015 so we would love to visit again to see the improvements.

So Faryl’s verdict of the day ‘I had fun fun, can we go again tomorrow and take Jolie too’

If you have would like to checkout the new Thomas and Friends, Tale of the Brave Movie then enter our competition to Win a Thomas goody bag including a copy of the DVD.

Good Luck


Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets


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T&Cs The competition will end at midnight on 8th October, the winner will be picked at random and Little Pickles Markets decision is final, no cash alternative is available. This competition is no way associated with Thomas Land or HIT Entertainment

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Your Little Pickle’s First Day at School

It is a huge step as parents to wave your Little Pickle off to Big School, I have done it 3 times now and I can assure you it doesn’t get any easier. I have shared a few pointers with you.

  • Free School dinners, from September 2014 all key stage one children will be entitled to free school dinners, yippee that’s one less lunchbox to pack.

  • Tears are ok, when all three of my big pickles have started school, I became emotional in the run up, buying their first school shoe shoes, seeing them in their full uniform for the first time. Then watching them toddle off into their new classroom, even though you know they will have a ball.

  • Name everything, everything from, polo shirts to pants, yes one of my children managed to lose her pants while changing for PE!

  • Don’t expect to find out what they have been doing, I am sure all children sign the secrecy act on their first day at school.

  • Uniform, 5 polos/shirts (make sure you keep one for best, well school photo day anyway), 2 to 3 jumpers depending how messy your pickle is, 2 skirts or trousers, socks and tights for the girls when the weather starts to get cold. Having extra means no mad panic to wash and dry uniform mid week if they get a bit mucky. PE kit, shorts, school PE top, daps, jumper and tracksuit bottoms in school colours. Some schools require you to buy from them but most schools are happy for you to just buy the jumpers with school logo on from them and the rest from supermarkets.

  • Shoes, buy good quality shoes as they sure take a battering through the school day and don’t be surprised when they get scuffed because I’m sure they will on their first day.

  • A calendar, whether it is on the wall, in a diary or on your smart phone. You will need to take note of all the events going on at school especially in the run up to Christmas as there is usually lots going on. I have learnt the hard way and missed an assembly before and felt like the world’s worst parent for it!

  • The school run, walking check how long it takes and allow a bit extra for stopping to say Hello to the neighbours cat, collect sticks, walk along that 1 ft wall or anything else that appeals to a curious 4 year old. If you are driving leave yourself ample time to park about half a mile away, as every school I have ever come across never has enough parking.

  • Then there is the big day, it always seems so surreal, plus if it’s your first pickle starting the thought of doing the school run for at least the next 12 years, is pretty daunting. I have 9 years under my belt with 15 to go, eek I so wish I hadn’t bother to calculate that, I wonder how many lost shoes and forgotten lunchboxes we will have in those years.

  • School is pretty tiring for your Little Pickles, so remember they may not have much energy for lots after school, so maybe not the best term to start those swimming, ballet or karate lessons you have been meaning to sign them up for.

  • And Mums and Dads make sure you always have a waterproof or umbrella on hand, as if rain is forecast the Heavens will always open between 8.15 and 9.15 or 2.45 and 3.45 guaranteed.

But most of all remember to enjoy watching the progress and knowledge they will get from starting school, as much as we would all love to keep them our babies forever, we need to let them go and learn to flourish.

Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets


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