Tom & Jerry, London Designer Outlet and More

I’ve written a lot about my interests, but I feel like I’ve left out the most important part of my life… My family! I am blessed to have a wonderful, loving family; my husband, HD, and our two wonderful boys, Tom and Jerry. Tom is six going on to sixteen, he likes to be heard, and is our resident moaner. Jerry is three years old, he’s very shy and loves singing nursery rhymes. all. day. long. They have a love-hate relationship with each other, and are both mamma’s boys!

It’s the half term holiday this week so HD had taken Monday and Tuesday off from work to spend time with Tom and Jerry. On Monday, we went bowling. Tom is VERY competitive and is not a gracious loser, to put it mildly. It did not end well. It hardly ever does, to be honest.

We left the gutters up for the boys and they used ramps, Tom went first, so every round he was automatically in the lead. This was easily detected by his mood, he was laughing and making jokes, with no sympathy for his poor, old mamma, in last place (In my defence, the gutters were down, and I didn’t have my weetabix that morning!). It wasn’t until Jerry got a couple of strikes, that he overtook Tom into first place.

The winning strike!

To console Tom for finishing in second place, I had a flashback of my childhood, and out came:
“First the worst,
Second the best,
Third the one with the hairy chest”
It worked – he smiled, and we could carry on with our day. After bowling we went from northwest London to the southeast, then to the east and finally back to the northwest. It felt like we were on an episode of ‘The Apprentice’ but it was a good day and we got a lot done.

On Tuesday, we used the morning to recover from the day before and catch up on housework. After lunch we got ready and went to the London Designer Outlet. HD and I had both heard a lot about it but never got the chance to visit, so thought it would be the perfect opportunity. Neither of us are big shoppers, when we need something, we go and get it. We don’t see the point in wandering aimlessly for hours. However, one of the things I loved about our visit to the US, was all the outlet malls, so I was really excited about this place. There’s a good selection of shops, restaurants, an outdoor play area for children, a cinema and plenty of parking. The outlet is situated in Wembley, in the shadows of the iconic Wembley Stadium, easily accessible by car, foot or public transport.

After our necessary shopping was done (pyjamas for the boys and a couple of gifts for my cousins), we went for dinner. HD and I are both foodies, so we knew where we wanted to eat before we even got there… The Handmade Burger Co:

beautifully handmade, chargrilled burgers,using traditionally reared, grass fed, 100% fully traceable prime Scotch beef, made from scratch here everyday

The restaurant style is something similar to Nando’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), you wait to be seated, decide what you want and go up to the till to place your order and pay. Your food is then brought out to you. There are so many different options, it can be a bit overwhelming, but our waiter was very helpful and explained what’s what. HD ordered a classic beef burger, with a habanero sauce, which comes in a syringe for you to inject inside your burger, for added taste. I thought it was a bit gimmicky.

I ordered a brie and cranberry chicken burger, in a brioche bun:

In addition to our burgers, we ordered two portions of hand made chips, two Oreo milkshakes, and a Junior burger meal for Tom. Jerry slept through the whole trip, and had dinner once we got home – I felt bad but he looked so peaceful sleeping, that I didn’t want to wake him. I’m not sure if we liked the ‘chargrilled’ aspect of the food, as everything had a slight burnt taste to it. The chips at the bottom of the bowl were definitely overdone. HD had asked for a habanero sauce (in the syringe) but was given a garlic sauce. Our Oreo milkshakes were very milky in taste, with just a hint of the Oreos. HD asked for his to have more Oreo added to it, so they offered to make him a new one which they brought out as we were ready to leave. It didn’t taste any different. We had also asked for water with our order, this was not brought till we had to ask for it again. The atmosphere and layout of the restaurant was nice, the staff were friendly and helpful, and the food was satisfactory – nothing amazing. The restaurant was quite busy for a Tuesday evening, and they didn’t seem to have much staff. This could be the reason for the sub-par experience we had. Overall, it was an enjoyable evening, and I wouldn’t mind returning – I’m not sure HD feels the same way. A major redeeming point for me, is that I didn’t feel overly full or bloated after finishing my meal. I’m usually careful about what I eat because I’m sensitive to fatty foods, fried foods, overly sugary foods, processed foods (I’m sure you get the picture), which is why I tend to cook/bake things at home, rather than buying ready-made.

Tom doesn’t go back to school till next Tuesday, so I have to think up many more activities to keep him busy. Does anyone have any ideas for children aged three to six? I’ll probably go to my dad’s for a couple of days. He’s a typical, doting grandfather and spoils them rotten. I pretend to tell him off when he’s stuffing them with junk food but I secretly love that they get that kind of love and attention from him. They’re a handful but I wouldn’t have them any other way. Earlier, they were sitting still and eating their lunch in silence, and I said “I love you guys”, Tom looked up and said “even when we’re naughty?”, it made me laugh. By the way, they’re not really called Tom and Jerry – even I wouldn’t be that mean.

What plans do you have for the half term holidays? Have you been to the London Designer Outlet? Have you tried the Handmade Burger Co? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Smile, and you can take on the world!

Latifa xx

4 thoughts on “Tom & Jerry, London Designer Outlet and More

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