Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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HAPPY FAMILIES all platform magazine available from Magzter less than £10 per annum.

Soon everything will be in the Happy Families from Magzter.

You can also print it out, copyright remains with the authors but it is a fully printable magazine.

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Research has revealed it’s still the simple pleasures in life that make our children smile. Forget technology - pulling silly faces (44%), reading stories (28%) and playing hide and seek (27%) remain the best and simplest ways of putting a smile on a child's face, said the survey of 1,000 parents and children.

The research commissioned by Wrigley's Extra®, spoke to children and their parents about what makes them smile to mark the launch of its own storybook, The Lost Smile.

Launched as part of Wrigley Extra’s Smile Back™ Project – The Lost Smile depicts Kyle’s search for his family’s missing smiles, armed with a toothbrush “for brushing up smiles”, and a feather duster, “to tickle out hiding smiles.”

6,500 copies of The Lost Smile – authored by children’s poet Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey - will be distributed free of charge through a Wrigley’s Extra partnership with The Co-operative, reaching children in parts of the UK where rates of tooth decay among children is particularly high.

Joseph Coelho, author of The Lost Smile said: "It’s so exciting to hear from the research that a simple bedtime story is still so meaningful to children. Children give smiles so easily and yet as grown-ups, the pressures of modern life can stop the smiles from happening. This book is a simple nudge to parents to smile. You smile and the world smiles back. So it’s critical that we protect those smiles.

The monies raised from sale of the book will go towards Wrigley’s Extra Smile Back Project which aims to protect children’s smiles by donating money for every pack of Wrigley’s Extra and every storybook sold to its chosen charity partner, Action for Children. This will fund the creation of oral healthcare workshops for families across the UK, benefitting more than 10,000 children and 5,000 parents in its first year.

For information on how to protect your family’s smiles and how you can support the Smile Back Project through the purchase of The Lost Smile, visit The book is available for £3.99 RRP and all funds raised through its sale will go towards supporting the work of Action for Children and the Oral Health Foundation.

Merlin Pass

Exclusive ‘Mister Maker’ Workshops at Sea Life Brighton

Mister Maker, the kids’ arts and crafts sensation, is to help thousands of youngsters create their own sea creatures at Sea Life Brighton this May.

The popular CBeebies presenter has put together a series of exclusive instruction videos to help children make marine animals ranging from a paper-plate stingray to a foil and tissue paper shark!

“They are all things that can be made with left over or waste household materials, so this is also helping youngsters take care of the environment,” said Max Leviston, General Manager of Sea Life Brighton.

The four videos, filmed exclusively for visitors to the UK’s Sea Life Centres will be featured at Sea Life Brighton from May 14 to June 12.

The Mister Maker shows have covered seven series so far and are among the highest rated shows on the CBeebies channel.

“Mister Maker is a naturally engaging character who just makes arts and crafts easy and fun for every child, whether they have a flair for art or not,” continued Max.

“The way he introduces each project will also help our younger visitors learn more about the particular sea creatures they will be making, which we hope will encourage many to go on and learn more.”

Along with the ray and shark, children will also get the chance to make a cake-case jellyfish a colourful tropical fish.

As well as the creative delights of the Mister Maker workshops, Sea Life Brighton offers plenty to entertain young visitors including digital dinosaurs in Jurassic Seas, a glass bottom boat, and the chance to get closer than ever before to some of the reef’s most loved creatures in the brand new Secrets of the Reef installation.

For more information on Sea Life Brighton and its Mister Maker workshops, please visit

The Merlin Annual Pass offers unrivalled variety no other annual pass can compete with!

Island Grill at the Lancaster London

Island Grill, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY
Reservations on 020 7551 6070 or visit

Named after the fact that the Lancaster sits on an island site directly facing Hyde Park, the Grill can be accessed direct from street level just a few metres to the right of the exit from Lancaster Gate central Line or through the first floor of the main hotel. It's a popular venue for locals and 90 per cent of diners are just that or indeed regulars, possibly because they are aware that it's gained two AA Rosettes and three stars from the Sustainable Restaurants Association. That's due to Head Chef Adam Woolven’s tireless efforts to create an eco-friendly yet luxurious dining experience.

All their produce is sourced as locally as possible.

The bulk of the 90 covers are on the higher level which also accomodates a well stocked bar and the open view kitchen, but there are several tables at a lower level too. Island Grill’s sleek design was conceived by Stiff + Trevillion, the talent behind Wagamama and Fakhreldine. With a white limestone exterior and large glass entrance doors, Island Grill creates a striking visual impact on arrival. The 90 cover restaurant has vast floor-to-ceiling windows running along the two outside walls, allowing light to flood into the restaurant space. In the evenings, the back-lit ceiling panels create a warm ambiance. The open-plan kitchen design allows diners to view the chefs at work, adding another dimension to their gastronomic experience. We visited during the evening and enjoyed the long crisp lines and the muted colours such as muted browns and lighting comes mainly from recessed lights but there are a few stainless steel globes.

The wine list is varied and reasonable, and the house choices are particularly good. You can't go wrong with the Rose (Pinot Grigio Villa Garducci). There are Redswhich  include Merlot, Shiraz, Beaujolais and Bordeaux with the Whites represented by Chablis, Riesling, Sancerre, Chardonnay and Sauvignon BlancFor international travelers there are plenty of Bourbons as well as single malts and blends such as Chivas or Johnny Walker, and there are at least 6 different vodkas and a similar number of Cognacs and gin choices.

Island Grill is open from 7.00am–10.30pm. From Noon until 7.00pm, the restaurant offers a Prix Fixed lunch and early evening menu, priced at £9.50 for two courses and £12.50 for three courses.

From the A la Carte menu you must choose the Green Olive Ciabatta which is an elongated and chunky breadstick with an olive embedded within it. For dipping there is an extra virgin olive oil.

There are traditional starters such as Calamari (£7.95), Vegetarian Cannelloni (£6.95) with wild mushrooms and ricotta, a vegetarian butternut squash Risotto as well as Scallops, Pork Belly and several Salads. There’s also a Savoury black truffle éclair. Most can be ordered as a main course as well.

With a clue in the title it’s clear that the grill element has to be pretty strong and they have a range of steaks which include an 8oz Fillet of Beef £29.50, a 10oz Sirloin £21.50 and a 10oz Rib-Eye £21.50 which are all 21 days dry aged and sourced from Britain

There is also a Pork Cutlet £13.50 and for Chicken fans a whole baby Chicken for £13.50 which is served in a crispy skin. Fish fans can choose today’s catch or a Tuna Steak (£15.95). The kitchen is open plan and diners can see their choice being prepared.

There is also a good range of alternatives and there are four fish alternatives (fish and chips which is plaice, Sea Bass, and Roast Salmon and a seafood Linguine). We opted for the Linguine (£14.50) which has Tiger prawns, clams, mussels & braised squid in rich tomato sauce. This is surprisingly filling and the sauce is delightfully delicate and a far cry from some which can be overpowering. There is no skimping on the fish and it is the best that we have had for some considerable time.

Meat is in the form of Lamb, Duck, Chicken or a signature burger. Starters as mentioned above can also be turned into a main course and we opted for a Prawn Caesar salad (starter £6.50, main £11.95) which had the large Tiger  prawns at the compass points and baby gem leaves, ciabatta, croutons, anchovies, with a Caesar dressing.

When it comes to dessert you may wish to sample something with honey in it, such as the Honey Panna Cotta (£5). This is because of the hives kept on the roof of the restaurant. The bees make use of the plentiful supply of pollen to be found in the neighbouring Hyde Park. At present there are 3 hives and plans to extend these and surpluses will be available for sale.

Look out for the Creme Brulee selection to share £7.50. With three different flavours (Passion fruit, dark chocolate & raspberry Brûlées with refreshing sorbets these proved to be a great treat and we enjoyed sharing these.

There are a range of desserts including a Baked Sultana Cheesecake (£4.50), a chocolate Trio (£5.50) which is a dark chocolate fondant, Valrhona chocolate sorbet, white chocolate & coffee foam. Then there is a Treacle Sponge, abd of course a selection of ice creams and sorbets.

Finally there is the Forty Miles Cheese Plate which has cheeses all sourced within that radius which is served with biscuits, grapes and chutney.

Photo courtesy of Richard Twilton

The childrens menu - yes we did order from it is varied enough even for the most picky. Children also have a small pack with a maze, crayons and pencils and quizzes to keep them busy during the relatively short wait. Our little angel did full justice to the Burger but there is also chicken, pasta and fish and chips to choose from and the portions are far from tiny.

There is a breakfast menu too. Apart from traditional staples are you up for a Bloody Mary or even a Champagne breakfast. These feature a full english along with the featured drink (tea and coffee are also included).

So the acid test. Would we return. Yes, there are several more items on this menu we would like to try out and with good service, good prices and a relaxed and ambient atmosphere that does more than just tolerate children, we will be returning soon.

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