American Style Afternoon Tea at Karbon Grill, Sunderland.

We were kindly invited along to sample the American style afternoon tea at The Karbon Grill restaurant situated inside The Hilton Garden Inn, Sunderland which is adjacent to the Stadium of Light, Sunderland Football Grounds.

Upon arriving at the Hilton garden I was pleasantly surprised to see how beautifully modern and stylish the interior was, open and spacious with a real touch of elegance this would be the ideal place to stay if visiting Sunderland for a city centre location.

We were shown to a large table set out for all of the North East Bloggers in attendance and served Banana & Strawberry milkshake which was so thick I don’t even think would have worked it way up a straw!  The shake was more of a smoothie or yogurt and the second round was a little thinner which was easier to drink!


The afternoon tea was brought out typical cake stands then positioned for us all to take photographs etc before large platters were presented for us to sample the foods.  On the top tier was the Pork and Chorizo Burger, Buffalo Chicken wing and Spicy Sauce.   I don’t handle things well when it comes to heat so I took one bite of the Buffalo chicken wing and hid under the table!  WOW!   If you like spicy foods then these are for you, most of the girls around me ate them with gusto so I think it may just be that I am a huge wimp!! lol  The pork and chorizo sliders were amazing…and I may have had more than one… (not all of those on the plate though…just an additional one!) lol


Tier two was Cheese and Pickle Bites and Mini Calzone with a a dish of tomato relish.  The cheese and pickle bites were my favourite and tasted a little like macaroni cheese coated in breadcrumb, the pickle did not have a tang like that of the sandwich variety but more of a sweet, crunchy compliment to the smooth cheese!


The bottom tier had a slice of Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie and Mississippi Mud Pie.  My absolute favourite was the Key Lime Pie, such a light tangy fresh flavour that really cleansed the palette after the tang of the pickle and heat of the chicken wings!  The addition of the fresh strawberry was a lovely touch as it worked really well with the Mississippi Mud Pie!


A selection of American classics, perfect for sharing as a meal
or to complement a drink at the bar
Available from 12noon until 5pm
£14.50 per person (minimum two people sharing)

*Booking advised but not essential.




We were invited along to sample the menu for purposes of this review.

Carving Pumpkins with the girls!

One of our favourite activities in the run up to Halloween is the carving of pumpkins, a lot of people don’t like doing it because of the mess that inevitably ensues but for us that is all part of the fun!


The girls love getting sticky and scooping out the stringy innards of their pumpkins, seeds generally flying everywhere before we settle on an inevitably not very scary at all face!


First up this time was Evie and she loved doing it all herself this year, granted I helped her a little with the knife for the face but other than that she did it all herself.  After getting a little too knife happy we had a little accident while making the eyes so she is wearing a plaster over her ‘cut’.


We popped a little light inside and after deciding that it was raining a little too heavy for ‘Pippin’ (the pumpkin – get it!!) she would settle indoors.  I did try to explain that she wouldn’t mind the rain but after hearing how it was too cold for her we settled on keeping her inside! lol


Amelia dived straight into hers with gusto, I thought she might be a little icky when it comes to grabbing the insides but needn’t have worried as she was in up to her elbows!


 These monster pumpkins are fabulous and a great size for little ones to get their teeth into without having to be too gentle.  After pulling out and scooping the insides we again agreed that this pumpkin, named Squeaker thanks to the noise it made when we were cutting it open, would live indoors….I’m sure at some point we will get to put them outside but until the rain stops and the coldness moves on then they are living on our fireplace! lol


Now comes the big questions… I dry the seeds to use for decoration with the kids?  I’m sure they would love stringing them!

Have you carved and decorated your pumpkin yet?



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Games Night with Tactic Games!

Those of you with children will know that Friday nights ain’t what they use to be!

Gone are the days of dressing in your finest, spending ages perfecting your make up and then climbing into ridiculously high heeled shoes only to roll home after a few drinks some hours later….

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that and I have enjoyed many a happy night on the town but now i am at the other side of 40 with a 2 year old who thinks sleep is for wimps, well, I’m at the stage where I envy those going out but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it all again!

Give me a pair of soft pjs, a mug of hot chocolate, a good movie and I’m a happy bunny!  Throw in to the mix some games with the family and its perfection!


Family time is what it is all about, so when we were offered a couple of Tactic Games to review we jumped at the chance to complete our Friday night!  We were sent Kimble and Crazy Cafe and I have to admit to letting out a little whoop of joy!


Kimble is a modern day Frustration, those who were born in the 70/80s will know what Frustration is!!

tactic1 tactic4

This was a great opportunity to introduce the girls to a game of my childhood but with a new twist in the theme of best selling movie The Secret Life of Pets!   For those who don’t know how to play you press down the centre button on the board which ‘pops’ a metal plate underneath the dice causing it to flip.  Whatever number the dice lands on is the number of spaces you move around the board.  The aim of the game is to get all of your pieces back home before your opponents.  For some reason Evie wiped the floor with us all and had all of hers back before we even made it half way!


Next up was the Crazy Cafe and with this a game of crazy stacking fun where you have to whip the table cloth out from underneath all of the pieces!


 You take it in turns to spin the spinner and place or stack items onto the make shift table (which is all included as part of the game)  Set up is easy and this is a fabulous game for little ones as they get to make a mess without any real mess!

tactic6 tactic

Amelia loved the fact that none of us could pull the cloth out without causing carnage, not one of us left things standing on the table once that cloth was pulled!  Evie did suggest we fill the cups with water to make it more fun but we drew the line at that one – maybe when someone has perfected the cloth pull on the empty items we may give it a go, until then though we will just keep practicing! lol


Thank you to Tactic Games for the chance to try these games, we really did enjoy it and it was great to play together as a family.  The girls loved having our full attention and we spent the night giggling and enjoying some quality time together.



We were kindly sent both games for purposes of this review.