What a whirlwind of a weekend. Is it over already?! Weep.
As most weekends go, it was all about precious quality time with family and friends.
And surprisingly, this weekend was all about snow time too!
Light reflecting, mood uplifting, ‘make everything pretty’ snow.
Lush (unless you’re stuck indoors)-thank goodness for my parent’s super snowy garden!
So pretty isn’t it?!
So we had two whole days with those we love, mostly singing ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ and Saturday night drunken silliness on two glasses of champagne. That’s vegan life for you!
I’m doing #Veganuary for those who don’t know, and much to everyone’s hilarity, it’s made me even more of a lightweight than I was before. Good times.
…The highlight of my weekend (apart from getting tipsy on Saturday night) was hanging out with my gorgeous baby nephew, Zachary-the cutest munchkin you ever did see.
We’re all completely besotted with this sweet little dude, the youngest member of our family, my brother’s son- and he seems to like cuddles with his Aunty Vicki too!
Just look at those cheeks!
Zachary spreads joy with his adorable little smile, sweet baby scent and hilarious cry-face (he even looks cute whilst blubbing).
He totally reminds me looks-wise of my first born son, Oliver, as a baby, and frankly has made me come over all broody (much to the worry of my husband)!
Be still my beating ovaries!
Huge thank you to the stunning Essential One for the beautiful little wardrobe of clothes sent to Zachary. How gorgeous is this starry baby sleepsuit! The quality and style of the Essential One’s pieces are simply exquisite.
What a beaut!
Now, let’s rewind in detail on what we got up to on Saturday and Sunday (I do love reflecting on fun weekends)!
…Saturday morning was the boys first ever tennis lesson as we embark on working with Theo Paphitis’ #SBS winning brand Tennis Tots for the next few months where the boys will learn to play together and have fun on Saturday.
I was so impressed with how much both boys learnt in 50 minutes.
A nurturing, warm and fun environment (the kids laughed non stop), Luke the teacher, had everyone hitting balls and feeling excited about tennis within minutes.
I’ve always loved tennis, have played since I was a child as have my folks, and as a family we become Wimbledon-crazy come July, so it feels a bit special to be sharing my own love of the sport with my sons.
After all that exercise, it was time to refuel in Leeds, where my brother Solos, his fiancée Lucy and little Zachary joined us for a late lunch c/o of Hotel Chocolat’s Roast and Conch Restaurant.
With vegan options a-plenty, I dined on delicious vegetable soup (which Xander loved and polished off) and delicate but filling West Indian curry (everything is cooked or seasoned with cocoa on the menu adding depth, flavour and warmth to the dishes).
Look at this dreamy market vegetable soup with cracked cacao and sourdough bread.
Vegan ground provision* coconut run-down with cacao rice and peas, sweet potato and spinach nib dhal and spiced tomato relish. * West Indian for vegetables grown in the ground.
Fragrant, filling and delicious.
Lucy had an epic burger-the chopped rump steak burger with aged cheddar, cacao beer braised onions, creole chutney and potato chips.
Hello chunky chips we all gobbled up!
My husband Peter plumped for the Caribbean fish run-down: market fish and seafood in a light curry stew with seasonal vegetables.
And hello there tasty sweet potato crisps. Crunch!
Puddings as you can well expect from Hotel Chocolat are out of this world. I abstained (weep) as all had dairy but the party devoured these in minutes!
Molten chocolate lava pudding made from the cacao bean on site with cacao nib infused ice-cream.
I did enjoy my cocao tea (even if it wasn’t a pudding)-a tea made from infused cocao nibs, this tasted just like hot chocolate without the dairy!
My brother could not stop raving about the Roast and conch mousse collection: Trinidad 68% milk with malt brittle, Saint Lucia 78% Dark with toasted nut crumble, Ecuador 90% Dark with roast nibs-too pretty to eat (almost)!
With a cheesecake-obsessed husband this dessert was the only one for him-Prosecco poached new season rhubarb, white chocolate cheesecake, spiced biscuit and cacao pulp sorbet.
…And the feasting didn’t stop there.
Saturday evening saw us drop the kids off at my folks and head off to dinner at one of my brother’s delicious Italian restaurants Giorgio’s in Headingley, with great mates who were visiting from Manchester.
I’ve known Carlie since we were tweens, one of my closest friends in the world, it’s always a laugh when we and our husbands get together.
Our #hothusbands here, matching in blue!
James’ birthday was earlier in the week so it was bubbles all round for us, as we watched the snow fall (and fall) from the restaurant windows during dinner (and wondered if we’d make it home). We did!
Carlie and I couldn’t resist taking these snow leopard style pics in the street after.
We had no idea we’d both be donning the same print either. Mummies with style right?!
I LOVE Carlie’s Topshop number and mine was nicked from my Mama’s vintage collection-and it’s the biggest, thickest vintage coat you could imagine.
Perfect for keeping me warm in the snowscape that was Leeds that night!
The next day was babysitting duties for Aunty Vicki as Zachary popped over while my sister in law to be did some wedding prep- and my own boys spent most of the day donning new Star Wars wellies and building snow men (and a snow Christmas tree Xander informed me). Creative.
We reached our house fifteen minutes from my Mum’s, to find no snow here much to the kids’ dismay. It was definitely back to school today!
What a perfect weekend. I’m sad it’s over.
What did you guys get up to?