Tasty expat Christmas pub lunch

It’s nearly Christmas! C is the most Christmassey man I’ve ever met, mocking up a spontaneous Nativity play using dressing gowns, muslins, and various stuffed animals. He also organised a traditional British lunch at The Churchill on East 28th Street for some other expat friends of ours. The Churchill’s a good British pub, check out the menu here if you fancy a roast with all the trimmings. It also plays recordings of Winston Churchill’s speeches in the loo, which is initially unnerving but then surprisingly hypnotic.

We had a v funny conversation swapping stories of cultural or language barriers, British expressions that can unwittingly derail any conversation with an American. Continue reading “Tasty expat Christmas pub lunch”

Bryant Park’s brrrrilliant Winter Village

Two old friends from home recently came for a weekend in which they crammed the most astonishing amount of NYC sightseeing. Taking advantage of jet lag and general child-free giddiness, they saw A LOT of New York. It was ace.

The highlight for me was ice skating at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Our third winter here, and we’d never done it before. Sometimes it takes having visitors to make you explore. Really glad we did. Continue reading “Bryant Park’s brrrrilliant Winter Village”

Starting a new Christmas tradition

Sorry about the radio silence. I epically ran out of blogging steam in the run up to Christmas, and then used the excuse of toddler jetlag to avoid writing. It’s now well into January so I can procrastinate no longer. **sound of sleeves rolling up and a big gulp of tea, brief pause to google ‘what is the opposite of procrastinate’?**.

We flew back to England for Christmas, and had a fab time catching up with friends and family. We tried something new this year – staggered presents. Last year we packed up the lot and carted them to Devon via London, and then all the way back to New York again. This year we decided to exchange our own immediate family’s gifts a couple of weeks early in Manhattan, and then for the girls to open one or two a day (as and when friends gave them something, providing their behaviour had deserved it) throughout our trip.
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Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – new Discovery Garden for kids

The girls and I went to check out Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s newly expanded children’s Discovery Garden, which opened recently within the enormous Prospect Park (where T and I once got lost trying to find the zoo).

Meeting up with a school friend of Ts, we had a great time wandering through the gardens, letting the kids charge off at full speed with no concern for traffic or disturbing anyone. It was wonderful watching them let off steam like that, it can be hard to find somewhere open enough to let them really run here. Little B was determined to keep up, stumping along behind the four year olds in her clumpy wellies. Continue reading “Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – new Discovery Garden for kids”

How to survive the school run when it’s -12c

We’re back in New York after a wonderful Christmas break in the UK, and now adjusting to the reality of a school run in our first New York winter. This morning the building’s thermometer read -12 degrees Celsius. Actually, that’s a lie. It read 12 degrees Fahrenheit, but I prefer to stick to Celsius as it sounds colder and therefore more fitting.

The cold has brought some fresh challenges to the school run this term. Normally we drop B off for the morning at her little local nursery, leave her pram there, and then T scoots beside me on the way to her school. But it’s simply too cold for scooting now, T’s eyes keep filling with water (not sure if it’s the cold or the wind chill – probably both). So I’ve assembled the gigantic double buggy, and bundled them up like little Eskimos.
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Exploring Ellis Island

Apologies for the unusually long silence since the last post. Realised it had got out of hand when a friend emailed to check everything was OK. No cause for alarm, folks, just the combination of a busy Thanksgiving, buying and wrapping Christmas presents, and last but not least, taking on the extra challenge of making B a quilt for Christmas. It’s coming along pretty well, actually; have been reading up on quilting blogs for all the different stages involved (sooooooo much preparation), and it’s nearly finished. When it’s done, I’ll upload some photos as have so enjoyed the project. But it has sucked up all the time usually spent on this blog….

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Just my cup of tea – Tea & Sympathy

It’s cold. Minus 5 degrees celcius cold, with winds that T says “steal my air”. We have to allow an extra ten minutes to get the girls layered-up before school, and the doorman now gives a quick check in case I’ve forgotten to zip up B’s fancy 7am Enfant blanket again, before he shoulders the door to push against the wind.

One consequence of this cold snap is that my need for proper tea has doubled. Even headed home for 45 minutes the other day in order to make myself a cuppa before the afternoon school run.

Since being told recently by one local cafe to please stop asking for boiling water, I’ve largely given up ordering tea here, as it’s just so disappointing. Until an Anglophile school mom took me to Tea & Sympathy.
Continue reading “Just my cup of tea – Tea & Sympathy”