Number NinetySeven, Tapas Heaven

I would never usually write about somewhere this close to my home, but in this case, I can’t not. Living in Suburbia has taken its toll. I’m no longer down with the kids, and although Surbiton is rich in delicious, independent cafes, it’s also rich in big branded restaurants, (everything you expect from a family friendly ‘burb). I’m not a fan of the big brand and I have been struggling to find anywhere to call my local. Surbiton is designed for families and whereas I do really appreciate this, (I’m a proud owner of one little monster), how fucking amazing is it to go somewhere that’s just that bit too cool for the kids? I’m not a Pizza Express kind of girl, and it’s great that Surbiton finally has a fresh alternative for us Suburbitons, fighting the stereotype. 



Tapa literally means ‘cover’ or ‘lid’. In the beginning there were olives, almonds fried in oil and sprinkled with salt, and chunks of bread served with an olive oil dip. These are the original tapas. Simple foods, requiring little or no preparation. As the tradition evolved, tapas became more of a gastronomic event, with each new venue developing their own specialties. 


Tapas, is based on simple recipes and the imaginative use of seasonal vegetables and local ingredients. The concept of tapas is to share. It is essentially a style of eating rather than a method of cooking. 


Tapas (or one tapa) can be whatever you want. It is very popular in Spanish culture, the Spanish traditionally don’t drink without eating something, and originally these small snacks were given free as an accompaniment to a bought drink. Tapas can also be dinner with friends too. That’s the beauty of it. You can order as little or as much as you want.  It can be kept simple or be made more complicated. It can be a small snack  taken with a drink or two at lunchtime, an appetiser in the early evening before the main meal, or even as nibbles with a post-dinner cocktail. Whichever way you prefer it, I prefer mine best served with a gin cocktail amongst great company and a lovely atmosphere. Let me introduce you to this little beauty, Number NinetySeven



Tapas at N.97 is hearty and unpretentious. The ingredients are fresh, flavours are robust and the presentation is simple. In it’s own words “innovation and buzz of the city meets the openness and warmth of the country”. N.97 is a breath of fresh air and just what my corner of Suburbia needed. Oh yeah, and did I mention it has a Gin bar? It’s hip, sleek and perfectly cutting edge. My kinda cool.

http://www.no-97.co.uk

97 Maple Road, Surbiton KT6 4AW

Open Tuesday-Sunday

Follow them on Instagram @numberninetyseven

Follow them on Twitter @no_ninetyseven

Find them on Facebook @numberninetysevensurbiton

Lindsay X

All pics were taken by me at Number NinetySeven and are of genuine dishes.

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The Magic Garden. Magical.

One particularly chilly and overcast day this June, and after checking the daily weather report (let’s face it – I should have known better!) Mr Intrepid, BV and I decided to check out the new Magic Garden at Hampton Court.

I’d heard good things about it, and it was relatively local (2 train stops, a bus ride or a 30 minute boat trip).  Almost 2 years living in Surbiton and Fam-A-Lamb have never taken a River Boat (insert shocked face emoji here!) It seemed like a pleasant, outdoor option for a bit of a grey day, so we opted for the latter.

Turks River Boat Cruises did exactly what it said on the tin. For £8 for an adult return ticket (BV free), we hopped on and settled ourselves down for a leisurely and relaxing river cruise. Pff fat Chance. BV was wild with excitement (and a little bit suicidal). He ran around the boat’s cabin like a wild animal, followed (and saved from diving of the side) by daddy! So not relaxing! With the exception of my crazy, little hell cat – it was a delightful journey and I highly reccommend.

We disembarked at Hampton Court, whereby BV continued to run like a mother fucker- straight in to the path of an oncoming tractor! Fortunately for my poor heart, it was travelling about 2 miles an hour and I was able to save him. Again.

The Magic Garden itself costs £7.70 per adult (under 5’s are free). This includes access to the Maze. I believe it was free for a short time before the official opening  on 4th May by Kate (The Duchess of Cambridge). Gutted we missed that. On busy days there is a time restriction, however we got lucky with a term time week day visit. Boom.

The Magic Garden is epic. There’s water, and sand play, big slides and staircases with thrones at the top. Not to mention, a dragon, a unicorn and a coffee shop! Hurrah – we were in for a fun, caffeine filled day.

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There was plenty for my little bear to do despite being ‘under 2’, the astro turf alone proved to be a hit! The only thing to impair our Fam-A-Lam day out was the weather. It was so hot (bloody weather apps!) and we were all massively overdressed. BV had the luxury of the water features to run about it, however I am not sure the Mr and I could have got away with free spirited leaps through the streams. We were all so sticky and sweaty by the time we left – in fact that is my only criticism of The Magic Garden here, the lack of shade. If you are visiting here on a sunny day – ensure you have plenty of sunscreen and maybe a parasol.

BV day trip rating 10/10

Lindsay