Bank Holidays are a tradition in Britain, which usually involves an awful lot of praying to the weather gods for no rain, and possibly even a few hours of sunshine.
More importantly, it provides families the chance to have an extended period of time together; a precious extra twenty-four hours where homework, and ironing the school uniform, and packed lunches can be forgotten about for just one more day. Where Sunday night doesn't bring groans, sighs and tantrums.
And one of the best parts of the whole thing? Is the food.
I was chosen by Britmums to receive gift vouchers for Morrison's supermarkets and told to 'spend [it] in store on my Bank Holiday shop!'.
Always one to rise to a challenge, I visited my local store last week to assess the situation and to work out what I'd be buying in advance of my weekend-specific shop. I knew that as we were going to be in Manchester for the Blog On MOSI conference that a traditional barbeque would be out of the window as we'd have no facilities. I also knew that whatever we bought would need to be eaten up there and then as it wouldn't survive the journey home.
Picnic food it was to be then!
Therefore on Bank Holiday Monday, we called into a local Manchester branch on the way to meet Claire from Six Degrees of Harmony and Kate from Chaos and Calm (and their respective families) at Red House Farm. With four children and various parents eating, I needed to stock up on the most enticing picnic food. I was keen to explore the vegetarian provisions (Tesco and Asda have rubbish vegetarian picnic food) and to find ready-prepared fruit portions as well.
Of course, a Bank Holiday picnic is not complete without fun and games as well, so I stocked up on throwing and catching toys, and plenty of bubbles. And just in case, sun protection!
The above picnic selection (including the crockery and picnic blanket) came into just under £50.00. I feel that a lot was bought for the money, especially as I can easily spend £25 on picnic food for just the three of us in Tesco or Asda.
In anticipation of a late return home on Bank Holiday Monday, I'd popped into the Cardiff Bay store on Friday morning and stocked up on a light dinner after our journey back; pasta and a rewarding bottle of Martini Rosé prosecco, complete with raspberries. The prosecco was on special offer reduced from £10.75 to £7.49; bargain!
The pasta prima verde was a quick meal to whip up after nearly five hours in the car, and it certainly hit the spot for the three of us. With broccoli and asparagus kept fresh in the produce section by mist sprayers, the verde aspect was certainly lush and tender. Morrison's have a great selection of fresh pasta with wonderful vegetarian fillings (I chose a pesto tortellini), and some very tasty ready-made sauces. I normally make pasta sauce from scratch, but standing over a hot stove creating a roux was the last thing on my mind!
Pasta was just the right thing to eat after a long journey, and with melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding for dessert, I think it was a good price at £15.00 for two course for the three of us.
Oh and I just had to buy these for The Boy as well, perfect for exploring the beach on the next Bank Holiday!
We are fortunate that living so close to Cardiff we have access to a good range of supermarkets; indeed we have Tesco, Morrison's, Aldi and Asda in a straight line and all occupied within one straight mile. I tend to alternate between the four supermarkets, depending upon specific items that I want to buy, but I always buy fruit and vegetables from Morrison's as the quality is far superior to the other three supermarkets. With the addition of the new Nutmeg range of clothing for children, it's even more of an incentive to shop there.
Many thanks to Britmums and Morrison's for the opportunity to take part in this challenge, we had great fun!
I received £80.00 gift vouchers from Morrison's for the purpose of this review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.