Tag Archives: Turkey

#Blogmas Day 6: The Perfect Christmas Lunch

Since Oscar was born I have always hosted Christmas Day. I love having all of the family over and we always have a house of around 14 people. I am super organised and start planning Christmas Day in November and start buying drinks and things on my weekly shop to spread the cost a bit. Up until now we have always rotated each side of the family for actual lunch and then the rest of the family would join us in the afternoon. This year as we are in the new house we have space to have everyone for lunch, 12 of us and I can’t wait!

I always order my Turkey from Waitrose and pick it up on Christmas Eve. This year as there are twelve of us for lunch I have ordered two turkeys; one large and one medium. Luckily I have two ovens now to cook them in in our new house. Any leftover goes into my Mother in laws Turkey soup for Boxing Day anyway. I make sure my Turkey is ordered and I have my desired collection slot in November as soon as I get the email from Waitrose saying the slots are available.

A couple of days before Christmas I go to Marks and Spencer and buy all of the vegetables, a couple of ready made carrot and suede mashes, yorkshire puddings, ready prepped parsnips, pigs in blankets and the sausage meat.

I have already booked my Tesco delivery slot for the 23rd. Having it delivered this day means if there is something out of stock I have time still to grab what I need from the shops. From Tesco I get all the drinks, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, goose fat, maris piper potatoes plus all the other essentials I need to get us through the Christmas period.

I always bake a chocolate cake and my Mother in law brings the Christmas pud. I also do mince pies and brandy butter and Christmas cake for desserts.

On Christmas morning I get up early and prep the Turkey. On my first time cooking at Christmas I googled ‘best way to cook a Turkey’ and followed a Jamie Oliver step by step guide. I have done the same with my Turkey every year since and it always tastes amazing. I remove the giblets, place a large cooking apple and a large orange inside the Turkey, carefully without tearing the skin put a fine layer of butter between the bird and the skin, the lay strips of bacon on top of the bird and cook for the amount of time calculated by the weight of your turkey.

I then write out on a piece of paper all of the timings, when things need to be cooked and how long for so everything is ready at the same time. It’s actually really easy if your organised.

I cook everything in disposable bacofoil trays so afterwards it can all go in the bin and then its only plates, knives and forks in the dishwasher. I also clear up/wash up as I go along so there is minimal mess.

Our finished Christmas Dinner always consists of; Turkey, pigs in blankets, sausage meat, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, peas, carrots, white cabbage, carrot and suede mash and bread sauce and gravy. Its a good job we have big plates! As Oscar isn’t keen on Turkey yet I also cook a piece of gammon in a honey glaze for him.

Merry Christmas!

Review: Venosa Beach Resort and Spa, First Choice

On Thursday we got home from our two week Summer holiday in Didim, Turkey. At least we landed back into Gatwick with some sunshine instead of the usual rain! It was so hot in Turkey ranging from 30 to 35 degrees but as soon as it got to hot at least we could jump in the pool. I booked our holiday back in March through Thomson/First Choice and made a big saving as Oscar finished school on the 2nd July we could go away out of the state school holidays. We stayed at the Venosa Beach Resort and Spa and the hotel is only over a year old so is really modern and clean. We were upgraded to a duplex room so we had two bathrooms and Oscar had his own room off ours. The rooms were lovely and cleaned well every day. Our holiday was all inclusive which was great as we could drink and eat as much as we wanted. At breakfast, lunch and dinner there was a huge selection of food, something for everyone, you defiantly wouldn’t go hungry. There are also four A la carte restaurants within the hotel, Turkish, Italian, Fish and Mexican and you can go to one of these once per week. We went to the Fish and Italian restaurants.

        

There are four pools and a private beach that you can use and on the beach there are various water sports you can do. We went on a Pedalo and Greg and Oscar went on a Jet Ski. The hotel location wasn’t great and most excursions were between 1 and 3.5 hours away. We booked the First Choice dolphin show and it was cancelled due to not enough interest. Personally I think this should of been stated to me when I booked it with the rep that there could be a possibility of cancellation if not enough people booked it as then we wouldn’t of told Oscar that we were going as he was so disappointed when we told him we couldn’t go anymore. The is also an amazing spa in the hotel I had an aromatherapy massage and Greg had two traditional Bali massages and they were out of this world and really cheap too.



The Venosa hotel despite being advertised as one of First Choice family hotels isn’t really geared towards children. There is one small children’s pool and 3 large water slides that are only open 4 hours a day. Luckily Oscar is confident in the water so he played in the large pool. If you wanted to put your child into the mini club available there are no English reps and the children’s reps didn’t speak great English either. There is a mini disco at 9pm for twenty minutes and then the evening shows were straight after that. The evening shows were awful and there sense of humour is a bit warped. In the comedy show the sketches were very odd, one had a man being killed and another one was a woman being beaten by her husband. The Turkish guests found this hilarious, needless to say we did not and we left. The evening shows are defiantly not for children! So other than the above that is all there is for children to do.

You can jump on a little bus outside of the hotel and go into the town where there is lots of shops and cafés which were nice and a large beach with beautiful clear water. We also got a cab to the Didim yacht club which was lovely and the only place Greg managed to get a nice cappuccino! The shops are full of toys and replica clothes and handbags. We went to an evening market and Oscar got four superhero toys for only £8! Everything is so cheap to buy.

The one thing I would recommend if staying in this hotel with children is do not stay in a room on a high floor as the balcony doors are so easy to open and not secure enough at all. Luckily we were on the ground floor but last Sunday evening we were sitting on the terrace and there was a loud bang and a little six year old girl had fallen off the balcony on the 11th floor and landed on the 3rd floor. She was taken to hospital with injuries but it was a miracle that she survived. We noticed a lot of children on their balconies pushing the plastic tables up to the glass and standing on them to look over when their parents weren’t watching them, madness!!

Overall we had a lovely holiday together but felt there wasn’t enough to do and two weeks at this hotel was a few days to long. Also if you are looking for somewhere for children to go into the mini club and have loads to do, this hotel isn’t for you. I think it’s more for couples and families with teenagers.

Our Holiday At The Venosa Beach Hotel And Spa, Didim ☀️

As I am writing this I am sitting by the pool in Turkey and it’s very hot, 37 degrees today! Oscar is loving it and has been playing in the pool all day long and eating his body weight in Ice cream! (so have I).

We booked our holiday back in March through Thompson/First Choice as we used them to book our holiday to Crete last year and were really pleased with it. We also got a great deal as Oscar finishes school earlier than the state schools we manage to save a whopping £1200!! 

We are staying at the Venosa beach hotel and spa in Didim and it’s beautiful. Right on the beach and has several pools for Oscar to play in. We are on a all inclusive deal which is great as you can drink and eat as much as you like. This deal is especially great round the pool during the day as you can have unlimited bottles of water and in this heat you will need a lot.

For children there is also a mini club for ages 4-12 if you wanted to put your little ones in for a bit (I haven’t used it myself, I personally wouldn’t leave Oscar). There is also a childrens play ground put we have had more fun together in the pool. Oscar wears his Zoggs float discs that he uses at his swimming lessons and has so much confidence in the water, jumping in and out. Lot’s of people have commented on how great he is in the water. I am so glad I took him to lessons from such an early age!


In the evening there is a mini disco that Oscar loves except he keeps saying he doesn’t understand the songs as they are in Turkish, bless him so he trys to copy the other children as best as he can.

There will be more on our holiday and plenty of photos to follow when we get back! Hope the weather back home is good! Xxx