Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Interview :: Mel from Hey Bambini

This week I’m thrilled to shine the interview spotlight on one of our guest reviewers Mel.
Mel has been reviewing kid friendly cafes and restaurants for Hey Bambini just on two years now.

Oh how the time flies eh!

So we got to thinking a few weeks back that everyone gets to read her candid reviews and see her happy snaps, it’s high time readers get to find out just a little bit more about her and her beautiful café loving kids

Day Job/Occupation: Physiotherapist and serial cafe-goer, helping to write reviews for Hey Bambini

Kids :: Ella 4 years and Angus 2 years

Tea or Coffee? :: At a cafe, skinny flat white, at home T2 tea. Number per day depends on how bad the day (or night) has been!

Sweet or Savoury for Breakfast? :: I love the idea of a sweet breakfast, but can only do the savoury, eggy option. Runny poached eggs with smoked salmon and avocado is my ultimate breakfast. Maybe with a cheeky glass of bubbles too!

How often do you dine out with your little people? :: I probably take the kids out twice a week for brunch or early lunch and sometimes we'll do the weekend breakfast with my husband. We also try to do an early family dinner about once a month, but somehow we just seem to run out of time.

Keeping it local! Where do your family hangout out the most when dining out? :: We love going to Maxii Moo in Brunswick. The staff are really friendly and love kids and the kids corner is amazing! There are plenty of toys, books and cartoons to keep the little ones amused and I can have a coffee, breakfast AND read the paper without being disturbed. Well, not too much! As a bonus, there's a park across the road if the weather is nice and the little ones need to burn off some energy.

What is the ultimate family friendly feature you love in a kid friendly café? :: Definitely a play area or corner with toys, books, pencils and paper to keep the kids amused for more than five minutes. As the kids are getting older, this is getting much easier. Angus still doesn't understand the concept of 'mummy time'!

What do your kids love to eat when they go out?:: Ella and Angus both love Babycinos with a marshmallow, and will more or less eat anything! Cheese and vegemite toast, pancakes, eggs, chips, biscuits, muffins.....

Best thing about eating out with kids? :: It teaches the kids valuable social skills, but best of all it gets me out of the house, enjoying good coffee and staying sane! It also shares my passion for food with the kids.

Worst thing about eating out with kids? ::The mess and them 'cracking it' mid meal.

Your BEST eating out tips for new parents :: Don't be afraid to take the kids to cafes from a young age to get them used to the idea of being out in public. Ella was a week old on our first venture out. Be prepared - take wipes, books, toys etc to keep the little ones amused, especially if you're not sure if the cafe is kid friendly. Don't plan to spend too long in one place. Chances are you'll only fit in a quick coffee before they have had enough.

Describe eating out with kids in three words :: Fun, challenging, messy!

Big thanks to Mel for sharing with us a slice of her café hoping life with the kidlets. I certainly like the sound of a glass of bubbles for breakfast! You can find more of Mel’s kid friendly reviews over HERE. Enjoy!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Disney Peter Pan Afternoon Tea

This week Mr 4 and l had the pleasure of attending the Disney Peter Pan Children’s Afternoon Tea which was hosted by the lovely folk from The Langham Hotel.

In a word The Langham Hotel is very glamorous. Ornate chandeliers hang from the ceiling, marble adorns the walls and no 5 star hotel is complete without a few bubbling indoor fountains. Yep told you it was glamorous.

The afternoon tea was held upstairs in the ARIA bar and their attention to detail at The Langham is
first class. We were greeted by warm and attentive staff who showed us to our table then took our beverage orders and asked if we had any dietary requirements. Also waiting on our table was some colouring sheets and pencils for Mr 4, he was in heaven.  It was the perfect distraction while we waited for his afternoon tea, which may l say arrived promptly.

On our three tiered plate was a Tinkerbell Fairy Cake, Pirate Cookie, Crocodile Jelly Cup, Pixie Sherbet Stick, Wafer Teepee, Clock Biscuit, Fairy Bread, Ham and Cheese Sandwiches and fluffy scones, which was all washed down with a Pirate Punch.


Mr 4’s eyes lit up and he proceeded to consume all the decadent delights in front of him. I think he mentioned several times that afternoon that “l’m an eating machine” well he certainly lived up to that self-proclaimed statement! And if the food wasn’t enough to impress Mr 4, he also received an audio Peter Pan Book to take home. It was smiles all round.

For the mamma’s and the papas they are served a similar stylish three tiered stand which consists of an assortment of finger sandwiches, fluffy scones and a luxurious assortments of sweets treats and tarts. I was also in foodie heaven.

It really was a delightful way to spend an afternoon with my little man, in fact l would go as far to say we had a magical time. We love Disney and the Langham folks have come up with such a wonderful concept of combining high class afternoon tea with the Disney theme while throwing into the mix a few kid friendly touches. You’re kicking goals in my book Langham folk, because sometimes you just want to “feel a little bit special” and sip on tea and nibble on ribbon sandwiches with your little peeps.

So if you’re looking for the ultimate child friendly school holiday treat in Melbourne then look no further than the stunning Langham Hotel. Your little Tinkerbell or tiny Mr Smee will be most impressed indeed.

Cost$30 Per Child add an extra $15 if you would like the Peter Pan picture book
$49 per adult

*Child Rate up to 12 years of age*

Weekdays from Monday 1st July – Friday 19th July
10am-11.30am OR 12 noon – 1.30pm
More Information click HERE

Bang for your Buck – What Do You Get!
Superior High Tea Service in a Child Friendly Atmosphere
Theme Matched Colouring Sheets – this visit we had Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.
Themed Children’s Picture Book to Take Home (Optional)
High Chairs on Site
Change Table

Bambini Tips
Close to the NGV - South Bank - Transport available are Trams and Trains
Ideal for out of towner’s looking for the ultimate Melbourne foodie experience
Ideal birthday treat for your little man or little miss


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Melbourne’s Best Pizza Restaurants for Families


An ideal early dinner for the 'Hey Bambini' bubba’s is pizza followed by ice-cream.  Mr Bambini loves to snack on the antipasto plate while l like to throw back a few vino’s after a long day of crafting, visits to the park, washing dishes, cutting fruit, reading books and scrubbing dried Weet Bix from the floors - now that’s a fun job!

So to make everyone’s life a little easier when Friday night rolls around here is our cracking list of Melbourne’s BEST pizza joints that cater for families, because nobody says NO to Pizza.

Buon appetito!

La Cannella – Kensington
High Chairs – Pizza Dough for Kids to Play With - Plastic Cups

Mr Wolf – St Kilda
High Chairs – Colouring Sheets – Kids pizza and an ice cream sundae for just $10 - Open at 5pm :: See Our Detailed Review

Jimmy Janz – Brunswick East – Elwood
High Chairs – Change Table – Early Dinner Time 5pm

Casa Farro - Fitzroy
High Chairs – Change Table – Early Dinner Time 5pm - Gluten Free Options

La Svolta – Hampton & Prahran
High Chairs – Crayons – Kids Menu

Hava Gander – Brunswick
High Chairs - Change Table - Colouring Pages – Early Dinner Times - Gluten Free Options - $10 Pizza's See Our Detailed Review

Ladro :: Prahran – Fitzroy
Kids Menu – Kids Cooking Classes – High Chairs - Kids Parties

Fire Chief – Hawthorn East
High Chairs – Change Table – Early Dinner Time 5pm

Pizza Religion – Hawthorn 
High Chairs – Kids Pizza – Kids Ice Cream with Freddo’s – Pizza Dough for Kids to Play With – Heated Courtyard – Also can cater / host kids parties from 4pm Daily – Booking Essential when bringing a Pram or needing a High Chair.

Did we miss your favourite? Well best you add them in the comments so we can check them out too.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Road Test :: Café Kit by Micador

Restaurant outings and café adventures are pretty much classed as normal activities for our kids. They are slotted into our weekly routine like going to kindergarten or attending our Sunday swimming lessons. It’s safe to say they are exposed to a range of foods and restaurant environments. Why just on the weekend we had Japanese for dinner, then Chinese for lunch, then the following day out for coffees and cake. That’s an exceptionally good weekend for us – not great on the bank account or the waistline, but stupendous for me on the cooking front and the kids get to sample some new flavours to try and love.

The only thing that is getting a little tired on the dining front is how we entertain the kids while we eat. You see the kids demolish any meal in about 5 minutes flat – Mr 2 who has affectionately become known as Conan the destroyer, can polish off 2 spring rolls and 2 dumplings within minutes. No bad for a pint size soul hey, thus leaving him and Mr 4 about 20-30 minutes of free time to get easily bored and play havoc with the waiting staff.

Not fun.

But can l tell what was fun this week when we went out? Our colourful café kit which was designed especially for the Hey Bambini babes and sent to us by the lovely folk over at Micador. It was the perfect solution to ease those boredom blues while hubby and l got to finish our meals. Mr 4 was thrilled to road test the new café kit – Conan however not so much, lucky for me l’d packed some cars.

The kit was made up of various items such as the Pet House Bestie Markers, Crayon Kids Finger Puppets, a Triangle Pencil Purse pack, a sharpener, Purse Scribble Pads and of course a colourful pencil case to carry it all. I did mention that Mr 4 was thrilled to bits to give a test run didn’t l. It’s been attached to the hip ever since l got it out of the delivery box.

The Pet House Besties are his favourite. They are colourful animal figurines and when you pull them apart there is a felt marker inside, which is perfect for drawing beautiful pictures of mummy. ‘Gush.’

I found the Micador range sent to me was superbly well designed for little hands to grip , offered a great colour selection and of course the products are all non-toxic, which was a relief as Mr 2 thought he wanted to eat a Crayon Kid Finger Puppet for dessert. He said it tasted yuck. Just as well, because they are for creating not eating, Conan.

My favourite part about the products is that they were light weight and the kids found them easy and fun to use. The café kit was also easy to carry and is now permanently packed inside our outing bag, when Mr 4 isn’t carrying it around the house from room to room.

I would totally recommend these products to any family who are regulars to the dining out circuit. Mr 4 also gives them a big thumbs up too.

Fast Facts About Our Micador Café Kit

You can build and design your own kit café right HERE
Excellent Product Range on offer which is suitable for all ages.
Suitable for all developmental stages
Easy to use –Easy to carry around – Easy to wash off clothes

Are you wanting to get your hands on one of these cafes kits? Well you’ve scrolled down to the right place. We’re giving away a Café Kit to one lucky reader. To enter leave a comment below. All you have to do is tell us what your kids love to eat when you take them out. Simples!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our Winter Bucket List

The kids and l have come with a few activities we would like to do this winter and with school holidays coming up l think we’ll need a little inspiration to fill in our days. I originally saw the idea of a 'Winter Bucket List' on Pinterest and thought it looked like a bit of fun.

Will you be doing a bucket list for winter?


Toast Marshmallows by an open fire

Help Grandpa collect fire wood

Visit the National Art Gallery on a rainy day

Make an indoor cubbyhouse

Watch a family movie with fresh popcorn

Pack the car and take a trip to the country side with Mum and Dad

Help Mum make Shepherd’s Pie

Go to a footy match with Dad

Bake Cookies

Have an inside picnic

Visit an indoor play-centre

Have lunch in a country pub with an open fire

Drink hot chocolate at a kid friendly café



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