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Fame – The Musical 30th Anniversary Tour – Review

Fame The Musical comes to Bournemouth and is guaranteed to have you up on your feet dancing!

Fame The Musical – 30th Anniversary Tour

I was lucky enough to be invited to the press night of Fame at the Bournemouth Pavilion for its 30th Anniversary tour and what a night it was!

For those of you that haven’t heard of Fame, set in the 80s, it follows the lives of students at the highly acclaimed New York’s High School of the Performing Arts. Over four years we see them grow up and follow their highs and lows, romance and heartbreak.

The show has a great cast including Keith Jack as Nick Piazza (BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do), Mica Paris (Broadcaster and Presenter who appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2006) as Miss Sherman and Jorgie Porter (Theresa McQueen in Hollyoaks and contestant om I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! and Dancing on Ice) as Iris Kelly.

For me the standout performance of the night was one of the lesser known cast members, Stephanie Rojas, who plays the fame-obsessed, troubled, Carmen Diaz who dreams of a career in LA and will do whatever it takes to get there. You really feel her pain in the song ‘In L.A and her rendition of ‘Fame’, which she performs with the other students is guaranteed to have you up on your feet dancing!

Mica Paris also shone in her role as Miss Sherman with her powerful voice and strong stage presence. Her passionate performance of ‘These are My Children’ resulted in a roar of applause and cheers from the audience. Hayley Johnston was very funny as Mabel, a dancer who can’t seem to make it through a class without eating, swearing by the Seafood Diet – “I see food, and then I eat it!”.

Jorgie Porter doesn’t sing in her role as Iris Kelly, but her dancing is amazing. She dances with grace and when she is on stage you can’t take your eyes off her. In fact, the whole ensemble are extremely vocally and physically talented.

I also loved the set design, which has the back wall covered by colorfully lit headshots, which light up during the musical numbers.

The show certainly is action-packed and the theatre was buzzing from the moment I entered (with my complimentary and very tasty press cupcake), to the moment I left. The final rendition of ‘Fame’ had the audience on their feet, dancing in the aisles and I left the Bournemouth Pavilion wanting to put on some leg warmers and boogie into the night! As a young girl I dreamed of performing in London’s West End and Fame made me reminisce fondly of all the theatre productions I used to take part in at school and when I got home I started looking for the next musical I could go and see.

Fame has been running for 30 years and you can see why – I do think this show will ‘live forever’ …!

Food, Lifestyle, Reviews

Chewton Glen Hotel Afternoon Tea & Spa Treatment – Review

A delicious afternoon tea and luxurious spa treatment in a 5* luxury country house hotel

Traditional Afternoon Tea Chewton Glen

I was lucky enough to be treated by my husband to afternoon tea and a 60 minute spa treatment at Chewton Glen to celebrate my first Mother’s Day, and what a treat it was!

The country house hotel is set in the New Forest and boasts luxurious spa facilities and award-winning dining. My first tip would be to give yourself enough time to discover and enjoy this beautiful hotel. Take a moment to explore the inside dining areas and wander round the stunning, manicured gardens. Don’t miss The Kitchen Garden either. Giant pumpkins, grape vines, kale, tomatoes and herbs are just a few of the many things you’ll find, along with gorgeous flowers.

My first trip was to the spa and I couldn’t wait! I hadn’t had a massage since I was pregnant and so it was certainly needed. I enjoyed a 60 minute warm oil massage and it was truly divine. My therapist tailored the experience to focus on my trouble areas and it felt amazing. The massage focused on my whole body and my favourite part was the hand and feet. I also got to enjoy a face mask during the front massage and I could literally feel my aches and worries leaving my body. After the massage I was left to let the oils soak into my body while enjoying a delicious passion fruit sorbet – a wonderful end to 60 minutes of pure bliss! At £105 per person for an hour massage it isn’t cheap, but for a one-off, or special occasion it really is fantastic.

Next it was afternoon tea in The Dining Room. The room itself is beautiful. Bright and airy, with stunning decor it really does make for a special occasion. We were lucky enough to enjoy a window seat, which overlooked the beautiful gardens and outdoor pool.

The afternoon tea did not disappoint. Using local, fresh ingredients we tucked into a selection of finger sandwiches (smoked salmon with dill, brie with pear chutney, beef and horseradish and egg and cress). My favourite was the egg and cress and so when our waitress asked if we wanted anything else, I asked for some more – it was a special occasion after all and I was very hungry after my massage! The plain and fruit scones were delicious and I particularly enjoyed the homemade strawberry jam. We were also treated to an array of cakes and pastries including lemon drizzle, fruit tart, cupcake and passion fruit profiterole, and all this was washed down nicely with a lovely cappuccino. There was not a crumb left in sight on either of our plates – it really was delicious. Chewton Glen’s traditional afternoon tea is £29.50 per person and so isn’t the cheapest in the area, but if you’re looking to book somewhere for a real treat, I’d definitely recommend it.

P.S. If you have time, follow the signs from the grounds to the beach. It’s a lovely woodland walk past the hotel’s nine-hole golf course, that only takes 15 minutes, and you won’t be disappointed when you get there as you’ll get to witness gorgeous views of the the Needles rising from the sea in the distance.

I hope to visit again some day…My rating… 4 out of 5

Lifestyle, Motherhood, Reviews

Micralite SmartFold Buggy – Review

The award-winning Micralite SmartFold is a fantastic all-terrain buggy, perfect for families on the go!

Micralite SmartFold Buggy

I was lucky enough to test the award-winning Micralite SmartFold from Bournemouth Baby Centre and I was not disappointed. I had heard that the pushchair is meant to fare well on all terrains and so I took it down to Bournemouth Beach to see if the hype was true!

I was so impressed with the Micralite SmartFold on Bournemouth beach. The air-filled back tyres meant I could easily pull it on to the sand without any effort and the mud guards prevent wheel clogging, which can really slow you down on some buggies I have used on the beach.

I was so impressed with the pushchair on the sand, perfect for our family trips to Bournemouth beach!

I am not the most muscly of mums and so when looking for a pushchair weight is a huge factor. What’s great about the Micralite SmartFold is that it’s light and easy to push and manoeuvre with one hand – ideal if like me you have a dog to walk and buggy to push! It features a unique shaped handle bar too, which is fully adjustable.

I tested the buggy with my 8 month old baby boy, but it’s suitable from newborn right up to 22kg (around 4 years old), so you certainly would get a lot of use out of it. Jack seemed to enjoy the ride and slept for an hour as we walked along Bournemouth promenade and up across the clifftop. It was a sunny day and the hood provided good coverage.

The Micralite SmartFold looks the part too. It’s very stylish and features weatherproof fabrics along with UPF50 protection, so it is perfect for holidays home or abroad, come rain or shine! It even comes with a storm cover for really bad weather, which there is always a high chance of in England!

Micralite Smartfold Buggy Review
If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then this buggy is a great choice!

The buggy is compact once folded, but it does take a few attempts to get the hang of it, so I would suggest watching a YouTube video so you know what you’re doing!

One of the only downsides is the basket. It’s an OK size but difficult to get to, so it isn’t the most practical if you are looking to carry a lot, which is a real shame.

If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then the Micralite SmartFold is a great choice as it really is a fantastic multi-terrain buggy.

At £495 (including a free Foot Muff) it isn’t the cheapest of buggies, but it’s high spec, sturdy and stylish, so if you have the money to spend, I would definitely recommend. However, if you like to pack a lot into the basket, this isn’t the buggy for you!

Find out more on Bournemouth Baby Centre’s website.