There used to be a pretty good variety of Chinese restaurants in Peterborough but that has long since been the case. These days finding a good eat-in Chinese option is a pretty tough call.

One Saturday, Mum and I found ourselves pulling up outside her local Chinese restaurant.

The Royal China. What it lacks in kerb appeal – and it really does – it makes up for with it’s food and hospitality!

We were quickly seated and were offered a set menu which seemed like good value for money. The set menu is a 3 course option at £15 per head.

There is plenty of choice. We opted for mixed starters which consisted of 9 different dishes to try. The satay chicken was by far my favourite and probably the best I have ever tasted.

The spicy To-Ban Beef was a dish I hadn’t tried before but was lovely – nothing was overly spicy. Other dishes were 2 different styles of spare ribs, crispy seaweed, sesame chicken toast, prawn toast, spring rolls and chicken with chilli and garlic. It was brought out to us within 15 minutes of ordering and we were asked a couple of times if we would like any of the dishes topped up which was nice.

On to the duck!

Plenty of succulent duck meat and fresh chopped spring onion and cucumber with pancakes. I thought that the hoisin sauce was a little too salty but not enough to complain about. Mum didn’t notice it at all and we happily munched our way through all of it.

The main course

I feel like to get a good measure of how good the place is you need to try a Sweet and Sour dish at a chinese restaurant. With that in mind, I opted for the Sweet and Sour Pork. Mum went for the healthier Cantonese Pork. We both decided on noodles for our side dish.

My Sweet and Sour Pork was absolutely lovely. The balance was just right and the pork wasn’t too chewy and nice and crispy. Don’t be put off by the small portions, it was made really clear to us that we only had to ask if we wanted more and they were more than happy to oblige.

Mum’s Cantonese Pork was well received and the bit I tried was delicious. The noodles were lovely too. Nicely flavoured and not too oily which is something I have encountered at other establishments.

We honestly didn’t feel the need to order any more than was brought out to us but we were asked several times if we were sure. In the interests of a thorough investigation of the food on offer, I decided to leave room for dessert.

I was glad I did

The desserts are not included in the set menu but they are really reasonably priced. To add one to your meal, Royal China charge just 90p! I opted for the cheesecake but there was a pretty good choice on offer. Ice cream, toffee apple (when do you see that on a menu?!), profiteroles, banana fritters, or lychees.

As well as my cheesecake I also ordered coffee. The coffee here is really good. I don’t know about you but I hate it when I have had a nice meal and then a bitter coffee ruins it at the final hurdle!

A nice surprise

Along with our coffees we were presented with a little plate of complimentary pick & mix style sweets. I had thought that I was a sensible grown up of 37 years but it turns out that being presented with free sweets has much the same effect that it had on me as a child. It was a lovely touch.

The Set Menu

royal china werrington peterborough set menu

Would we go again?

So I guess that’s the most important question, isn’t it? Before we visited The Royal China I checked out Trip Advisor for reviews. I read that the staff were a bit rude, that the place was freezing cold and it wasn’t an entirely pleasant place to visit.

What we found was a welcoming, well set up Chinese restaurant that while it looks a little run down outside is a great choice for a meal. All of the members of staff who we encountered were very polite and professional. We were very well looked after during our meal without it feeling intrusive. The menu was incredibly good value and the food was utterly delicious! We will definitely be back for a return visit and I quite liked that there is a separate section which would be good for hosting larger party sizes making it a good option for family get togethers.

Looking for other restaurants to try in Peterborough? Why not check out our review of Turtle Bay

We were sent this toy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

STEM toys and blind bag collectable toys have been seriously on trend for the last year or 2 and their popularity certainly doesn’t seem to be waning. The Beaker Creatures Whirling Wave Reactor is a toy aimed at children aged 5+ which combines these two trends in a really cool and engaging way.

Moose absolutely loves simple experiments and anytime he is asked if he wants to choose a toy he will usually opt for a blind bag so I was interested to see whether the Beaker Creatures Whirling Wave Reactor would hold his interest.

What’s in the box?

beaker creatures whirling waves collectable

This 12-piece set includes:

  • 1 Reactor Pod with mystery Beaker Creature
  • 1 Limited-edition colour-change Beaker Creature
  • 5-Piece Whirling Wave Reactor
  • 2 Classification cards
  • 2 Mini-posters with amazing science facts
  • 1 Experiment guide

How does it work?

It’s actually quite a simple concept. Basically a bath bomb with a toy inside is placed inside a plastic pod and whirled around after water is added to the chamber to extract a surprise creature.

So simple in fact that Moose set the whole thing up all by himself.

Moose loved turning the handle to swirl the water around in order to excavate his creature. He was excited to find out which character he would reveal!

Extracting the character is just the first of the 5 experiment ideas on the instruction sheet included in this set. We will definitely give a couple of the others a try! You will need additional items for the other experiments but they are things you will have in your kitchen cupboards so no other major outlay is required.

After your creature has been revealed there is a character sheet so that you can identify him or her.

What did we think?

I thought that for the price point the Beaker Creatures Whirling Wave Reactor represents good value for money. Moose really enjoyed the extraction of his creature. He also played with it all (on the draining board to save mess) for ages afterwards. I like that there are other experiment ideas but I think it’s a shame that only 1 “pod” is included. It would have been nice to have 2 in the pack to be able to try a second time but you can buy  additional pods.

Giveaway

 

We have teamed up with Learning Resources to offer 1 lucky reader the chance to win their very own Beaker Creatures Whirling Wave Reactor worth £16.

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person.  The winner’s details will be sent to Playtime PR for Learning Resources, in order that they can arrange delivery.  Please allow 28 days for delivery.

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We were sent this toy to play with in exchange for an honest review. All opinions remain our own.

My first encounter with Feisty Pets from Jazwares was just before Christmas. I had been searching for a gift for my niece and I spotted the unicorn but was sadly forbidden to buy it by my sister (aka lil miss party pooper). She was a bit worried that it would scare her then 3 year old. I still maintain that the niece is fiercer than the Feisty Pet – but it’s a close run thing.

feisty pets

Fast forward to much more recently and Moose was sent his very own Feisty Pet to play with. If you have been paying attention you may be aware that Moose has a bit of a strange taste in cuddlies… His favourites are still his Crate Creature and his Fuggler.

With this in mind I felt pretty confident that the Feisty Pets would be an equally big hit with Moose. There are several different ones to choose from. We were sent Sir Growls-A-Lot. He is a very cuddly looking bear with a fierce side!

feisty pets

Each Feisty Pet is undeniably cute but each has their own likes and dislikes. Just as well, so you can stay on their good side!

Sir Growls-A-Lot’s are:

Likes: Trash cans, raw meat and hibernating.

Dislikes: Waking up, loud noises, jail food.

The Feisty Pets plush is 25cm tall which is a good size I think for a toy that children will want to carry around (to play pranks on people) and best of all, they don’t take batteries! Their fierce side is brought to life using a mechanism you grip at the back of their head. It’s pretty easy to work and Moose had it sussed after a couple of attempts.

As well as the plush version, Feisty pets are also available as 4″ plastic figures. They have the same no batteries approach which is great and Moose loved taking this one to the park to surprise his friends!

Her name is Princess Pottymouth. Princess might seem like an average kitty, but do not assume anything. She is prone to sudden mood changes during human interactions. It is advised to wear thick layers of clothing before attempting to pet Princess Pottymouth. I grew up with a cat just like that – must be a ginger tabby thing!

In addition to the plush and the 4″ range there is also a Feisty Pets Mini Misfits Blind Figures range! Moose does love a blind bag and this one was a big hit. I quite like that this little 5cm collectable range comes with a mini Feisty Pet as well as a carry case/home for it.

I liked the quality of all 3 of the ranges and Moose really enjoyed pranking his big sister! Moose has been playing loads with his Feisty Pet friends and I will definitely be buying more for him to add to his collection!

Feisty Pets are available from all good toy shops.

 

Brio is a brand I grew up with. Some of the Brio in Moose’s toy box in fact IS the Brio I grew up with!

A few years ago my Dad decided to clear out his loft and gave me tubs of our old toys. One tub had Brio train track in it. Considering that I am <cough> nearly 40, it goes o show that this stuff seriously stands the test of time.

Recently we were sent the Brio Cargo Transport Helicopter. Moose hadn’t really played with his train track in a while and to be honest I had started to wonder whether it might be best to pack it away. Just a few days before the Helicopter arrived though he suddenly became interested again.

It’s quite nice now that he is a little bit older. It used to be that I would build the track and he would play with it but now, he really enjoys planning out where the track will go and putting it all together. He possibly enjoys that aspect more than running his trains along it even.

Inside the box

Included in the Brio Cargo Transport Helicopter are 8 pieces; 1x Cargo Helicopter, 1x Figure, 2x Wagons, 2x Wooden Loads, 2x Container

What did we think

The cockpit of the Helicopter opens to fit the figure inside which Moose loved and the figure itself is nicely detailed down to a little headset.

With a moving rotor (is it a rotor? propellor? turny bit?) on top, Moose had great fun loading up the helicopter and ‘flying’ around the room.

The back of the helicopter opens up easily for little fingers so that the cargo can be put inside. The cargo so far has consisted of the actual Brio cargo and also mini figures and even some chocolate eggs from Easter.

All Brio is made from FSC Certified wood. The Brio Cargo Transport Helicopter feels nice and sturdy. The trains, wagons, carriages, and road vehicles all feature the classic BRIO magnetic couplings allowing for easy connection to each other. Although, the helicopter itself will not fit onto the track due to having a trio of wheelbases.

I know that this will be a toy that Moose will get loads of play out of. Who knows, maybe his children will too someday! The Brio Cargo Transport Helicopter is available from the Brio website and is priced at around £34.99

This product was sent to us in exchange for an honest review. All opinions remain our own.

 

We received this toy in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own

There are some toys which I think of as an investment. These are the toys which, in some families, tend to be kept for the “next children” or even Grandchildren. Toys which don’t really ever go out of fashion and have a universal appeal. Playmobil is definitely one of those toys.

Playmobil and us

Upstairs, we have 2 other Playmobil sets. I bought a dinosaur adventure set, complete with fossils and a volcano, for Col, who is now 18. The other is a play park set with working swingset and seesaw among other things which was bought for Bess when she was, well, a lot littler than she is now! The intended recipients have played with the Playmobil sets and so have scored of nieces and nephews. They have held their own and now Moose loves to play with them too.

When we were offered the opportunity to play with a toy from the new Playmobil SPACE range, Moose could hardly contain his excitement!

The Playmobil Mars Space Station arrived and Moose couldn’t wait to play.

What’s in the box

The box contains a lot of pieces. If you are buying this set for a younger child, you might want to think about setting the fiddlier accessories to one side and giving them to the child when they are a little older. We have done this with Playmobil sets in the past and it works well – and means that you stand a chance of the tiny items not getting lost within a week of opening.

The Mars Space Station set includes two astronauts, one robot, space station, computer, tools, food supplies, space crystals, telescope, video recorder, and tons of other accessories.

There is some assembly required and you will need 2 x AAA batteries (not included in the set).

We love any playsets that encourage imaginative play. Playmobil is perfect for this. Creative kids can have a blast with the different features of the Space Station, including “cannons” (as Moose calls them). These are actually functional lasers, which are easy to shoot and reload quickly; they are also great fun.

Moose has a real thing for space just lately. He also loves Robots. When he found that this Playmobil set comes complete with a little robot he was very pleased!

 

After taking off the detachable roof, we were really impressed with the details and amount of objects which can be found inside. As much as the detail is there, it’s not overly fussy or complicated. Little touches such as the laptop had Moose really excited to play.

Attention to detail

The station also has a range of different areas, like the botany section and the sleeping quarters. These are intricately detailed, like the rest of the Space Station, and even have specific compartments and slots for the smaller pieces to go in.

In a playset like this it’s really handy to have the little bits packed away. It gives the child (or enthusiastic parent – no judgement) plenty of space to play.

Moose loved playing with the Playmobil Mars Space Station.

The light up sections and noisy buttons have kept him interested in playing for ages. Thankfully they aren’t too loud or tinny. The best part for me is that I can be confident that this playset will stand up to a 4 year old manhandling it. Playmobil is a brand that doesn’t disappoint.

The Playmobil Mars Space Station retails at around £60 . It may not be cheap but it is great value and a good investment. Especially if you have more than one child running around.