2/18/2018

Spitroast Kitchen Crosby* | Just Add Ginger


Whenever I hear about a new local coffee shop or eatery, I get really excited. Being mum to Eric means being constantly on to go. He is so full of beans that a day spent at home generally just consists of me chasing him up and down the living room because all he wants to do is cruise around the furniture, attempt to climb the chimney and generally cause chaos. So the more we get out the house, the better...

...Especially if it's somewhere I can combine mum duties, food and catch-ups with friends. Even though I love and am incredibly lucky to be in the position to be a full-time mum now, it can be really isolating. Having outings that involve human contact, free entertainment for E (he is so nosey and loves to look at everyone and everything around him) and the ability to appreciate good food whilst he is distracted are always something I look forward to.

I was kindly invited down to Spitroast Kitchen* for lunch this past week. Supporting local and independent businesses is something I always try to do and having never visited before, I was really keen to head on down, tuck into some food, and see what it was all about. I'm always adding to my list of places that are accessible, baby-friendly and serve good quality so I was really hoping this ticked all the boxes. Seizing the opportunity to meet up with one of my mummy friends, on Monday afternoon, a - somewhat grumpy Eric - in tow, we packed up and headed on out.

spitroast kitchen crosby menus

Located on South Road in Crosby Spitroast Kitchen is really easy to find. You can either chance it and see if you can spot a parking space on the road, or if not, there is a car park about a five minute walk away. I will say that it is a bit of a squeeze to get a pram or pushchair up over the step and into the restaurant on your own (a lovely staff member saw me struggling and came to help), but once you are inside, there is loads of space to negotiate a buggy. 

The restaurant has a really relaxed atmosphere about it, with a big open kitchen, bare-brick walls and an eclectic, well-curated mix of industrial-inspired decor that isn't overwhelming on the eye. It's a space that was airy and light in the day but would look great for evening dining experiences too. It wasn't overwhelming or pretentious, and the demographic of diners there ranged from families to friends and a few couples too.

Once we were seated (our table was at the back - lovely and big, with plenty of space for two babies, a highchair, prams et al) there came the agonising decision of just what it was we were going to eat. With both a lunch and main menu to look at, there was a lot to choose from. And it all sounded delicious. 

green plant - spitroast chicken crosby interior

spitroast chicken crosby interior

Wanting to get a full appreciation of the food that Spitroast offers I decided to order from the main menu, opting for a rotisserie roast chicken 'drum & thigh' with sweet potato chips and a greek yogurt dip. My friend opted for the chicken pesto pasta which had been high on my own list of dishes to try (yes - I was secretly hoping she'd let me sample some).

As someone who will always like having options, it made me really happy seeing that the main menu gave you the chance to build your own menu, allowing you to pick your own chicken portion then add one or more sides. It's not just a concept that suits those with varying appetites but is also something that takes into account diners' budgets too!

chicken and sweet potato fries

bowl of pesto pasta

There wasn't too long a wait for the food but by the time it came out I was so hungry I couldn't wait to tuck in - the smell in Spitroast was making my mouth water so much! Both dishes were a treat for the eye, with the chicken having been particularly well plated. The staff were really accommodating and at our request had brought out a bowl where we could put a very small portion of the pesto pasta for Eric to try (I always like to include him in mealtimes and let him have a little taste of the food we are having). 

I don't think my chicken could have been more perfect of it tried. Super crispy skin and juicy succulent meat it was probably some of the best I had ever tried. If I had put a knife to it I think it would have glided through with ease it was that well cooked. It was also the perfect size for a lunchtime meal and would be ideal for those with small appetites at teatime too. The seasoning on the meat was balanced perfectly too. The dip was a refreshing accompaniment but in all honesty I didn't need it for the chicken, instead using it mainly for my chips.

And the pasta? That was lovely too. A really decent portion size for the price, with a good chicken to pasta ratio (yes I did get to try some). Eric was a big fan too, chomping away on several pieces of spaghetti and just generally having a whale of a time people watching. 

If it wasn't for the fact that I wanted to leave room for dessert I wouldn't have left a crumb on my plate. Spitroast had nailed it

nutella cheesecake slice

And as for pudding? We have a saying in our house - 

If you're going to be a bear be a grizzly. 

So that's just what I did. Without a second glance at the dessert menu I ordered a slice of homemade Nutella cheesecake and oh my god it was like a little slice of heaven on a plate. Not wanting to make my friend feel guilty (she chose not to have dessert) I tried to hide the delight on my face but I think I totally failed. It was just too yummy. 

In my eyes Spitroast Kitchen completely smashed it. They deliver on good quality food, excellent presentation and great service. I felt completely at ease being there with a baby. No request was too much and I would 100% go back there again. My friend even booked her and her other half in for Valentine's Day as we left - she, just like me, was really impressed. 

Supporting local independents is so important, especially when you're living in a world of chain restaurants. And with branches both in Crosby and on Smithdown Road, rotisserie fans in Liverpool, you really have no excuse. Get yourself down to Spitroast Kitchen and tuck into one of the many tasty dishes they have to offer - I promise you you will not regret it one bit.

*I was kindly invited down to Spitroast Kitchen Crosby to enjoy a complimentary meal for myself and a guest. This does not affect my opinions. They are my own and always 100% honest. For more details, please see my disclaimer.

2/14/2018

Eric At 10 Months | Just Add Ginger


Every month on my Instagram I upload a milestone photo of Eric but it is really rare that I update you all on his progress and development. Part of it is because he changes so much that I find it hard to keep up with myself. The other part is that I just don't really ever have the time! 

But I feel like lately he has changed a lot. The little tiny baby we brought home from the hospital who was all nose and was swamped by his going home outfit has gone and now we have a babbling, crawling, cruising toddler. And whereas I am saving making a video update until he turns one, I wanted to share his progress here instead. 

photograph of 10 month old baby boy
Photo: Michael Ivan Photography
Sleeping 

At about eight months Eric took a turn with his sleeping....again. Instead of sleeping through the night he started waking at about 4am again. And sometimes he was fully awake. I would have to sit in his room for about an hour, reading to him and stroking his back until he fell back to sleep. We knew this couldn't go on and that we had to make a change. Ryan did a little bit of reading and we realised that Eric just wasn't going to sleep early enough. So we switched up his bedtime routine. 

Now he goes to bed in between 7pm and 8pm. We give him his last feed in a dimly-lit living room, change his nappy and then take him upstairs to bed. Then it's a story, a goodnight kiss, and then he's left to it. Normally he will go straight down but if he doesn't we do practise some controlled crying so that he learns to settle himself. All being well he will sleep until 7am the next morning, only stirring in the night if his dummy falls out. 

Cruising & Crawling 

Eric army crawled from about six months, but proper crawling didn't fully click until he realised how he could pull himself up into a standing position. To me that makes no sense but something in him must have twigged. However now his movement of choice is cruising. He loves toddling around the place holding on to whatever he can to get himself from A to B. He is also really happy when he's walking clutching on to our hands. On a couple of occasion he has decided to stand up unaided so walking isn't too far off, but you can tell he needs to build his confidence up a bit more first. 

photograph of 10 month old baby boy
Photo: Michael Ivan Photography
Eating 

There isn't really a food we've given Eric to try that he hasn't liked. He was a bit iffy with avocado for a while but I persevered and now he doesn't really mind it. The only issue we have with food is that Eric still doesn't have any teeth, meaning that everything we give him needs to be either super soft, melt in the mouth or mushed up. Trying to come up with creative ideas for lunches and dinners can be tricky (we do use jars quite a bit), but whenever we go out there is usually something on the children's menu that he can eat which is nice because he gets to be a part of the dining experience and  eat from a big boy plate.  

Talking 

We have a very vocal baby on our hands nowadays. For a while everything was "mama" but now Eric can say "dada" "baba" and "gaga" too. We could have sworn he said "daddy" the other day so we are holding out to catch him doing that again. There's no real pattern to when Eric 'talks' but listening to him babble away when he talks to his toys or after you say something to him is the cutest thing.

Personality & More 

Eric is still a really chilled out baby but he does have moments of being an absolute monkey. If there is something wrong he will let you know about it. If he's hungry he's grumpy, if he's tired he's grumpy....and heaven forbid you should take something off him he's not meant to have! But these instances are really rare and 99.8% of the time he is an absolute joy. He is happiest when he is looking at his books, or cruising around the furniture, and he still loves cuddles with daddy (although he's starting to want to snuggle into me more which makes my heart melt). He really likes watching The Gruffalo's Child, and more recently Tangled - he thinks Pascal is hilarious. We must have had that film on at least thirty times. I don't mind though - hearing his laugh is so worth it. 

It seems like out of the blue Eric will do something amazing. And over the past few months he has clapped along to others doing the same and learnt to wave. He loves doing the latter and will quite happily wave not just to other people and babies but also to inanimate objects (which I'm not going to lie does freak me out a little bit).

At the end of January Eric started going to a childminder. I really needed to have some time to myself during the week to focus on blogging or YouTube or to just do housework. Eric is so inquisitive that I don't really get a minute during the day to do very much. He only goes for one full day a week but this is plenty of time for me to get things done. 

Even just writing this I can't believe we now have a 10 month old. It simultaneously seems like a minute and a lifetime since Eric was born and I'm still in awe of the fact that we are starting to think about his 1st birthday celebrations!