Sunday, 29 March 2015

Silent Sunday #13

A happy baby

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Tommee Tippee Closer to nature digital baby monitor review

Tommee Tippee video baby monitor

Tommee Tippee video baby monitor receiver

Back when I was pregnant we knew we needed to get a baby monitor and naturally, I wanted a good one. I'd had my eye on this one, but at £180 it was way out of my price range.  Then at an Asda baby event, they had it on offer for half price, so just £90 - that was a price I was more comfortable with, and the order was placed.  Over 5 months on, I thought I'd share my thoughts with you on it.

It does come with a sensor mat that the baby sleeps on and will detect if they stop breathing.  I felt that I'd be a nervous nellie if I used this, so we decided to put that bit to one side - this we bought for the LCD monitor more than anything.

The system itself is great, it can tell the temperature in the room, and has full on infared night vision - so that in the night when all the lights are off, you can still see how your little baby is doing and if their dummy has popped out etc.  It's a decent sized screen, and you can zoom in and move the image about a little etc.  It also has a 2 way chat - so if your baby has woken up and needs some reassurance, you can press the chat button and talk to them.

Other than the full colour screen seemingly seems to have a pink wash over it, it's pretty good and serves the purpose.  It's also got a decent range on it so I can see him wherever I am in the house.

However, for us, this hasn't been the perfect solution we thought it might be.  For example, when unplugged from the charger, the battery doesn't last that long, it won't last a full day, so every night it needs to be on charge.  There's also been quite a few occassions where he's been crying and the monitor hasn't picked it up until a good 30 seconds after.

The screen is supposed to come on if it detects movement from him, but 90% of the time the only occasions when the monitor comes on is when one of us walks past it, and that's only now and then - normally the monitor only lights up if we make it.

I think for the money this is a very over-priced piece of kit - yes it's great to have the screen and be able to see him, but other brands like Motorolla do similar systems for a lot less money - here ytou're paying for the sensor mat, and as much as I haven't used it myself, I have been told it gives a lot of false positives - but that's just conjecture.

All in all, I wouldn't buy it again, I'd try something else.  I'd definitely go for a video monitor again, but not this one, I think it's really over priced and has a very poor battery :/

Friday, 27 March 2015

Afternoon Tea at The Angel, Abergavenny

It's no secret that I adore going for afternoon tea, so I figured it made sense to start sampling afternoon tea's from around the Cardiff and surrounding area (within about a 1 hr drive) to see who can really does have the best afternoon tea.  Currently, for me, it's Pettigrew Tea Rooms - so lets see how The Angel faired in comparison.

The hotel itself is gorgeous, very luxurious but not modern, which is something I loved.  All the rooms were a bit of a well-thought-out mismash with rooms leading on to an assortment of other rooms.

The place is beautifully and elegantly decorated, scented by fresh flowers.  We were greeted by really friendly staff who really couldn't be more helpful.  After seating us, they fetched a high chair (and a cushion as Squidge was too small for the chair).  We were both having afternoon tea, the only real decision is what tea leaves to have - we pretty much decided this on the drive over - I opted for Assam, and hubby went for Earl Grey (a new fav of ours).

Daddy seeing what Squidge wanted to order from them menu - he loves looking at words :)
Daddy and Squidge

Seeing as I'm vegetarian, they kindly brought my sandwiches separately (a lovely touch).  There was one egg mayo which was delicious, a cheese and cucumber, a cheese salad and a cheese and spring onion - all very lovely on very fresh bread.
Vegetarian sandwiches

Our teapots were gorgeous too, very heavy but very beautiful, gosh I'd really love one of these at home! 

The afternoon tea stand was lovely and not too over the top.  The bottom tier was the sandwiches, middle tear was taken up with little cakes and the top tier were two little orange (delicate) desserts which I'm not sure I can explain other than saying there was a little sponge at the bottom, some preserve, some creme anglaise and a little cream on top.  They brought out warm scones with jam and cream after we'd finished our sandwiches and they were absolutely gorgeous.

Then we moved on to the little cakes - these reminded me of French Patisserie style, the way so many were cut with a very sharp knife showing off all the perfectly defined layers.  A big shout out to the custard tart too - I've never had one before where the custard didn't fall apart and squeeze out when eating it, cutting it or sticking the fork in it - it was so well set, and delicious. 
Afternoon tea stand

These are the orange desserts, we had them at the end to cleanse our palettes as they were very subtle in flavour and far from rich. 
Orange desserts

My tea in beautiful china, the best way to drink tea. 
Cup of tea

This was the tiramisu from the middle of the mini cakes - this was the nicest tiramisu I've ever had the pleasure of tasting, it wasn't too rich, the sponge was very moist and again, it didn't all fall apart. It had beautifully defined layers and had been cut with a very sharp knife.

Overall it was a fantastic afternoon tea.  The staff were amazing, so friendly and helpful. We weren't left with dirty plates on the table and they were really good at keeping an eye scanning the room in case any customers needed them - one of my pet hates is when for ages you try and get the attention of staff and they're standing in the corner chatting instead of attending to the needs of the customers.

This wasn't a cheap afternoon tea at around £21 a head - however, the quality was fantastic, the service you definitely paid for and the beautiful surroundings, and as you can imagine, there were lovely customers around us too.

That being said, for me there's still things I'd have preferred, like less cake and maybe another sandwich - and for vegetarians, a better range of fillings - since 3 of the 4 were cheese (not that I'm complaining, I love cheese, but not all people would have liked that).  I really am a fan of having a big slice of cake, instead of the little cakes too - but that's all personal preference.  This was a beautiful afternoon tea and I'm sure we'll go back again.
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