Monday, October 24, 2016
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Stay for the weekend this autumn and bring the Grandparents for FREE!

Forget the typical 18-30s, multi-generational holidays are the new travel trend and The Esplanade Hotel in Newquay is totally tapping into this. During October and November 2016, this uber cool, family-friendly, coastal hotel is offering all guests staying the chance to extend the fun by bringing along the grandparents for free*.

With The Esplanade Hotel overlooking Newquay’s iconic surf beach, Fistral, there are loads of coastal adventures awaiting all members and generations of the family. Rooms start from £80 bed and breakfast, what could be better than some special bonding time on the coast with those that matter the most?

Although traditionally considered a summer destination, Newquay is a sensational place in the autumn. There is nothing more magical than snuggling up with a glass of deep red wine as you enjoy the remainder of the autumn months within the cosy environment of Pebbles Bar or the Ocean View Restaurant. Here is a list of top multigenerational autumn activities here at The Esplanade Hotel:

Beach fun for the kiddies: Charge through the sand dunes to the shore at the famous Fistral Beach. Explore the nooks and crannies of Cornwall’s coast with a low tide rock pool adventure. Creepy crabs and sneaky starfish; swaying seaweed and wriggly worms will delight young seafarers as you uncover marvelous marine life where the land meets the sea.

Take the leap: Don’t wait until the summer to experience the refreshing nature of the sea. Zip into your wetsuit and get ready to plunge into some fun ocean adventures with the on-site Quiksilver Surf School – it’s the ultimate natural high.

Sensual mum/grandma time: Relax and enjoy some much deserved ‘me’ time. Sink into the hot tub, steam up in the sauna and pamper yourself with an indulgent spa treatment at The Esplanade’s sister hotel, the Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa. There is also a 10% discount off treatments for guests.

A wild swim: Immerse yourself in nature with a wonderfully wild swim. Hidden coves, rocky inlets and with the sun sparkling off the sea, a refreshing ocean swim will leave you feeling totally revitalised.

Dog walks: Cornwall is dog friendly all year round as it’s not a holiday without all of the family, even the furry members! The Esplanade welcomes dogs and given its sensational setting, is the perfect place for man and beast to roam and rest. Located on Pentire Headland, enjoy stunning coastal or garden walks with absolutely no crowds. A stone’s throw away from both Fistral and Crantock beaches and also a great place to base if you want to explore the rest of beautiful Cornwall.

For dad and/or granddad:
Become a wild wave warrior, and surf the famous Cornish swell. Quiksilver Surf School offers lessons for all ages and actively encourages multigenerational fun. For the more adventurous, the school also offers coasteering – explore the rocky coastline by climbing, jumping and swimming.
Golf: Get into the swing of things at Newquay Golf Club which is just in ear shot of The Esplanade. This amazing links course enables you to take inspiration from the sea and surf whilst getting healthily competitive.

With a fantastic indoor soft play area, heated pool and pirate ship adventure playground to be used after spending time at the nearby beach or harbour, getting sandy, rock pooling, rock climbing, playing beach games or building momentous sandcastles. There is just so much fun to be had on this Cornish coast!

Contact the hotel’s reservations team on 01637 873333 for more information. To see the menu or to book your stay, see:

*Book a family room and get a double or single room for free. *The complimentary room will be offered on a room only basis. *Complimentary room is available to the Grandparents of either the person making the booking - or the Grandparents of the accompanying children. .* Offer not valid during October half term (21st - 31st October 2016)

School dinners vs. packed lunches: 4 hidden lunchbox nasties

/Did you know that the contents of your child’s lunchbox may be worse for them, and their teeth, compared to school dinners?

In the past, school dinners have received notoriously bad press. But following Jamie Oliver’s campaign, in which he famously criticised Turkey Twizzlers, the standard has drastically improved. In fact, government guidelines now state that schools must provide: “high-quality meat, poultry or oily fish; fruit and vegetables; bread, other cereals and potatoes.” They cannot provide: “drinks with added sugar, crisps, chocolate or sweets; more than two portions of deep-fried, battered or breaded food a week.”

Despite the new rules, a lot of parents opt instead to make a packed lunch for their children at home, particularly as many consider it to be a healthier option. But there are actually plenty of hidden sugars that can easily creep in.

To help you out at the start of the coming school year, Europe’s largest dental treatment provider mydentist reveal the top four unhealthy foods that we commonly see in school lunchboxes, along with a few gold star alternatives.

1) Sandwiches

The staple of any packed lunch, sandwiches of all shapes, sizes and fillings have been gracing children’s lunchboxes for years now. But while Public Health England recommends that we base our meals around starchy carbohydrates such as rice, bread, pasta or potatoes, white bread in particular can be damaging to our teeth.

The starches that are found in white flour are formed from simple carbohydrates. These can linger in your mouth, perhaps stuck in between teeth, and break down into simple sugars where bacteria feed and produce acid.

It’s all about opting for healthy alternatives; introduce wholegrain bread and pasta and brown rice to your children, as these are far better for their teeth and general health. Although these can still stick to your teeth, the bacteria doesn’t grow as quickly.

2) Raisins

Another common sight in a lunchbox, many parents may even remember tucking into a packet of raisins at school themselves. A lot of people may think that dried fruit is an easy and healthy snack, when in fact it is quite the opposite. Dried fruits have a high sugar content and tend to be very sticky, which means they can linger in your mouth and in between your teeth for longer than usual. This results in sugar being left on the teeth which bacteria then feeds on, producing acid that causes tooth decay. Fresh fruit is always preferable to dried or processed fruit, as the sugar content is not as accessible or harmful. Try grapes instead of raisins!

3) Smoothies

Just like raisins, smoothies are often thought of as a way of increasing a person’s daily fruit intake. Whilst this may be true, they actually contain a high concentration of sugar which can lead to tooth decay.

It is better to drink a smoothie with a meal rather than sipping throughout the day or between meals, and government recommendations state that 150 ml of smoothie or fruit juice counts as one portion of fruit. However, a less sugary option is to encourage your child to drink water or milk instead.

4) Cereal bars

Cereal bars are a snack commonly marketed as being healthy, perfect for people on the go and a great addition to lunchboxes. Whilst they may contain granola and grains, what actually holds the cereal bars together is sugar in liquid form like glucose syrup or honey. The latter in particular will often be cited as a reason for cereal bars being healthy, but it contains a very high percentage of natural sugars.

Be sure to check the packaging carefully as companies are required to list their ingredients separately, which may make it appear as though they contain less sugar. And although the bars will often contain fruit, this will again be dried which, as we mentioned before, is high in sugars.

Barry Cockcroft, Non-Exective Director at mydentist and former Chief Dental Officer for England, commented:

Providing a wholesome and healthy meal for your child at lunchtime sets them up well for the rest of the day. It also limits unhealthy snacking and means they are far less likely to eat lots when they get home. It is important for children’s general health, as well as their oral health, that they are encouraged to eat a balanced diet at all times - particularly younger children when they are still growing and developing. And school is the perfect place to incorporate good eating habits.

“Parents should also do their best to educate children on why it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. This includes foods to avoid or limit when they aren’t with them, and how to take proper care of their teeth during brushing.



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.

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.

All platform magazines are the future -  no more dragging web pages that don't fit and are difficult to read on your mobile devices.

Also Movie Central and Animals Write are available free from Magzter. Only registration is required. No credit cards -  no cost'

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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