Let’s talk about last night… at the Oakleigh

porn star martini, Katy Pearson, the Oakleigh, #whatkatydidUK

Going down well: One of my porn star martinis

When your local bar has an extensive revamp, reopens with a new name, new look and promises “epic food, creative cocktails and great times” then it was only a matter of time before I’d be checking it out.

The Oakleigh, in London Road, Leigh-on-Sea, launched a couple of week ago and is offering a new restaurant, cocktail bar and evening bar.

It’s on the site of the former popular Bellini Bar and Brasserie, which closed a few months back – and is run by the same folk, namely the McManus Pub Company.

I’ve had a fair few girly nights at Bellini (pre-baby, its oh-so-moreish jam donut cocktail gave me possibly one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had!) so when I was invited along for dinner and drinks at the Oakleigh, there was no way I would be saying no.

The husband and I headed up there last night, after our tot was tucked up in bed and the babysitter safely installed in front of Love Island. Continue reading

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Our sunshine… by name and by his nature

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydiduk, #mummandsonny

Sonny Jim – our sunshine from the very start

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

It’s a sentiment that has survived centuries – and is one of the most famous lines from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

And it’s true – expect it’s kind of not. A rose might smell as sweet, but would you want to go sniffing something that was called rotten? You’d just give it a miss wouldn’t you? It’s why pollock doesn’t sell nearly as well as tastes-almost-exactly-the-same cod.

And when you are having a baby, names suddenly seem to matter like never before. Let’s face it, it’ll be a defining piece of his or her identity for a lifetime. Often it’ll be the first thing people know about about them – and opinions will be formed on what sort of person they are, on just the moniker you have picked out for them. No pressure, right? Continue reading

Why I’m full of awe for single mums

Sonny Jim, Gary Pearson, cousins

Sonny Jim with his daddy and big cousins, Ethan and Carter

A couple of weeks ago my husband took the baby out for the day. Without me.

It was a mere six-and-a-half hours, but I fretted about it rather an inordinate amount beforehand.

This was despite the fact I know Gary is just as capable as me at soothing our little Sonny Jim should he get upset. Despite the fact the little guy smiles for his daddy more than he does for me. Despite the fact Gary was taking him to his parents to spend time with his cousins, doting aunties and uncles and grandparents who would all lavish the little lad with so much love in my absence.

Despite all of this, my heart was aching beforehand. It was to be the longest me and the boy had been apart since he was conceived. Prior to this I’d only been away from him for a couple of hours – and never in an actual whole other town! Continue reading

Today we’re loving… baby massage for dads!

Gary Pearson, Sonny Pearson, Sonny Jim, Basking Babies, baby massage

Daddy gets to grips with some baby massage!

By the husband (Gary Pearson)

I have to admit I was a little dubious about Basking Babies’ Baby Massage for Dads class, I thought it very much sounded like something “for Mums”.

Nevertheless I agreed to give it a whirl, and I’m glad I did, as the little lad loved it!

As part of the Basking Babies holistic health and happiness programme the 90-minute session took place in instructor Becca’s front room in Leigh-on-Sea. Fellow instructor Lianne ran the session. The mums can come along too and enjoy a cup of tea and cake (and a chat) in the kitchen while the dads get down to business. Continue reading

Restaurant review: Rak Chang, Leigh-on-Sea

By the husband (Gary Pearson)

Rak Chang, Leigh-on-Sea, Broadway

Rak Chang for our first date night since Sonny’s birth

It was Friday night ,”date night”, for my wife and I.

Our first outing since the birth of our little lad Sonny. He’s our first child and aged a tender ten-and-a-half weeks old we felt (just about) ready to venture out in the big wide world again…

So for our first apres-baby date we were thinking nothing too fancy, nothing too fussy, something we could trust and know we were going to enjoy. A safe bet.

We chose Rak Chang, on the Broadway, as we had been there a few times before and had always enjoyed a good, dependable meal with ample variety. After all, you don’t want to go too wild on your reintroduction to the real world do you!? Continue reading

Today I’m loving… taking the baby to work!

Gary Pearson and Sonny Pearson

Those reporters seem to be getting younger all the time…

Me and the husband first met in the newsroom. The year was 2003. He was a chief reporter at the Echo newspaper and I was a first year uni student there on work experience.

It was another three years until we started dating. By then I had graduated and was a reporter at News of the World and he was steadily working his way up the rungs in Essex.

Years passed. We married. And eventually we ended up both working in the Echo newsroom again.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading