Today I’m loving… clocks to spring forward with

It’s Easter Sunday AND Daylight Saving Time starts today too…

Butterfly Clock Red, Red Candy

Butterfly Clock Red, £135, Red Candy

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Restaurant review: La Belle Epoque, Leigh-on-Sea

By the husband (Gary Pearson)

Katy Pearson at La Belle Epoque

9 months pregnant and loving these dishes!

Subtly tucked away amid the quirky row of niche shops in Leigh is an absolutely charming little French restaurant.

La Belle Epoque is delightfully authentic and when you step inside you could be excused for thinking you had just stepped in from a bustling Parisian side street, rather than lively Leigh Road, such is the make-up of the place.

So much thought has gone into the decoration creating a lovely intimate atmosphere, perfect for a romantic evening.

And the welcome is something special too. Owner Benoit has bags of charisma and is so friendly, informative without being at all irritating. He knows when to have a chat and when to leave you alone to enjoy your food.

Benoit, who hails from Marseille, proudly tells us how he does his fair share of cooking, while running the place with his cousin and employs two top quality chefs and often is front of house too.

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Today I’m loving… birdhouses!

Spring is certainly sprung and finches and song sparrows are starting to arrive in our Essex gardens… meaning it’s totally time to update your birdhouse (or treat yourself to one if your plot is currently house or feeder-less!)

Mr and Mrs Birdee Birdhouse

Mr and Mrs Birdee Birdhouse, £9.95, Furnish

We have two birdhomes and one house-style feeder here at High Tide – as of yet no feathered friends have taken up residence, but I’m living in hope that this spring (our second here) things will be different. Continue reading

Today I’m loving… photos of my bump!

So at 37 weeks pregnant Baby Pearson is considered full-term (even though I’ve got a few weeks left till my due date – Easter Monday if you’re wondering!)

And I’ve somehow reached this point with hardly any photos at all of me and bump.

When I was first pregnant I planned to take a picture every month and chart how my bump was growing…but I’m a real worrier and I didn’t want to tempt fate in the early days when the chances of a miscarriage are high. And then once we’d got past those worrisome early weeks it seemed strange to start that at four months. Especially as I barely had a bump at all until about six months (yes, I did actually moan about it at the time – I know better now.) Continue reading

Today I’m trying… baby first aid with St John’s Ambulance

“Learning baby CPR is like having car insurance – you hope you never need it, but if you do need it you’re ever so grateful you have it.”

Katy Pearson pregnant - picture by Sarah Briggs

Baby first aid: Putting this worried mama-to-be’s mind slightly more at ease (PHOTO BY SARAH BRIGGS)

These are the opening words said in my three-hour baby first aid class with St John’s Ambulance.

The sessions, which are held all over Essex, cover everything from the correct recovery position for babies (cradled in your arms with their head tilted downwards – not on the floor on their side like adults), CPR and choking to dealing with fevers, croup and burns.

At eight-months pregnant with my first child, and by nature something of a worrier, I was prompted to take the class after the UK’s leading first aid charity aired its new Nursery Rhymes Inc advert – in which a short video featuring the stars of Nursery Rhymes Inc shows how to do baby CPR.

The campaign was launched after parents told the charity that their baby not breathing was the first aid emergency they feared the most, yet only one in four knew what to do.

I was soon to be one of them. And the thought of being clueless – or doing the wrong thing – should I ever find myself in that nightmare situation, quite frankly terrified me. Continue reading

Restaurant review: Irmas, Leigh-on-Sea

By the husband (Gary Pearson)

Irmas is an easy going, happy-go-lucky, welcome-to-all type place. Where you can breeze in, have a good, hearty Italian inspired meal, a catch-up with friends and/or family, then off you go again.Irmas in Leigh-on-Sea

There’s no waiting around ages for your food, no pretension, no drama.

It was a Tuesday night when we went and the place was very busy with all sorts of people – there was a lively family birthday party, a few intimate couples plus groups of friends sharing a bottle or three of Prosecco.

The venue is modern and open-plan, and the decor is shiny and clean cut. Simplistic table settings with wooden chairs and mini black tiling surround. The staff are young, bubbly and helpful. It gives off a welcoming cheap and cheerful vibe. The food’s not particularly cheap, but the place is certainly very cheerful. Continue reading

Plant of the month – March: Azalea

Pink AzaleaA flowering Azalea is a source of endless delight and March is an excellent month to place your Azalea in the garden so that you can enjoy a truly explosive cascade of flowers from May onwards.

Azalea flowers profusely and elegantly in May and June with romantic flowers in white, pink, red or burgundy, but there are also varieties with bi-coloured flowers. This garden plant’s shape is as varied as its colour palette: from a standard shrub to a lollipop tree, and pyramid-shaped plants. Even the shape of the flower can vary, from large and small to double and single flowered. There are Azaleas with bright green or even black leaves.

The Azalea is a hardy plant which prefers a semi-shady spot in the garden, because the soil there is usually a bit damper. Continue reading