Growing up, no matter how many nights we all ate on our own due to clubs,  parents working late or hobbies, we always, always came together on a Sunday.
We would all sit around the table, talking about the week...well mostly squabbling really...and would enjoy a huge Sunday roast.
We also ate a lot of lovely food too which I'm sure is where my love Sunday dinner come from.

It was brilliant - my favourite time of the week
(I've always loved my food)


And it is probobly why I'm such a big Sunday lunch fan now.

I'm certainly the better chef in my household - my wife openly admits she hates cooking - and I've been known to produce some mammoth sized Yorkshires in the past.

None of these pre-made, frozen ones on my watch thank you very much - it has got to be the real deal.


But I have let the side down lately and haven't cooked a family Sunday lunch for what seems like an eternity now, we are just mega busy all of the time.

Charlie plays rugby all year round and that means the weekends are just full of driving from game to game and when we do arrive home it is way past dinner time and we are all too tired to slave over a hot stove cooking a lovely Sunday lunch and then tidying up all of the mess that I usually create.

I know I said I am a good cook but I am also a very messy one too.

It seems that having a real good Sunday lunch is something in the past in the Baker Bunch Household.


So when we were invited, as a family, to sample the food offerings at Leeds' Blackhouse there was never going to be any other option for me - well for all of us - than to sample their Sunday lunch menu.

The Blackhouse menu was packed full of amazing meals- I was in meat-lovers heaven reading it.

But I think because as a family we hadn't had a Sunday lunch for a while we were naturally drawn to the Sunday lunch.


We arrived at the Blackhouse and we were all taken back on how stunning it looked.

It looked a little too posh for us if I'm honest, but we were put at ease straight away when we were greeted by some lovely staff members who took us to our seats where they had already set out a high chair for Willow



When we first had our invite we thought twice about bringing Willow along because she was at the age where dining out with her is a little tricky - it's quite hard to enjoy a meal and sort her out properly...well it is for Simone...once my food is in front of me nothing disturbs me.

But we changed our mind when Blackhouse actually asked if Willow wanted to pop along too and lets be honest, it was definitely unfair for her to miss out.


And as it turns out Willow loved it.

The staff were super with her and I think because the place had such a relaxed atmosphere, she had a great time and didn't moan once so we could all relax and enjoy the beautiful food that we ordered.

She loved the huge fish tanks too.


And it wasn't just Willow who was having a great time, in fact the whole family loved the place.







Especially when we were treated to some live music whilst we dined too.

It was a really nice touch and added to the calm, warm environment or the restaurant.



Now - the food.

First up, we had the best tasting garlic bread I have ever had.

It was the garlic rub bread with olive oil and sea salt, unlike other garlic bread I have had in the past, this was a little do it yourself job.
First of all you drizzle the amount of olive oil you require onto the toasted bread, then rub the amount of garlic you like by rubbing the halved garlic clove onto the oil.

My mouth is watering thinking about it.


Then, myself and Charlie shared a starter, normally we would get one each but after the garlic bread and the upcoming Sunday lunch we didn't want to over do it.

We opted for the chicken skewers with satay dipping sauce.



The chicken was cooked to perfection, packed full of flavour and really tender, it kind of fell off the skewers when pulled.
The sauce was OK too but had too much of a nutty taste for me and I'm not a lover of nuts so I didn't have to much of it.
To be honest though, the chicken had enough flavour so not dipping them in the sauce didn't really matter.

Now lets get down to the thing we had been craving since we read the menu - the mains.

We each picked a different meat...

I went for the beef, the wife chose the chicken and our son opted for the pork.

Each came complete with a very huge, fabulous homemade Yorkshire too




I mean come on, look at how amazing they are, I don't even need have to write about them too much because they tasted as good as they appear - even better in fact.

All three meals came with a huge amount of different vegetables too - there was loads to go around - but sadly this is where I fail as a blogger because I forgot to take pictures of the dishes, but if you watch our little video at the end pf this post you will see them.

The amount of food we had on our table was awesome, it looked like we had our very own buffet going on.

My beef was lovely, the slices were cut to perfection, not too thin or too thick that you would struggle to chew through it. 

The Yorkshire puddings were almost on par with mine - almost - but nobody's perfect right ;)

But the gravy was a million times better than anthing I could rustle up, and all of those vegetable options were perfect and seasoned well too. 

Everything got a big thumbs up from Charlie and Simone too but they let me finish what they couldn't manage so I knew how everything tasted.

Amazing that's how.

Out of all three meats I think the beef wins it for me though - it won on taste and also the sheer amount of it too.

And I know what you're thinking, after all of that grub there's no way there was room for pudding?

Wrong!


I did only have a little bit though - I pinched some of Charlie's - no matter where we go he can always fit in some sort of chocolaty pudding and this was up there with the best in his list of top puddings.

I mean who doesn't love chocolate and ice-cream.

I can not fault Blackhouse at all and would definitely recommend them to anyone and everyone - they have even inspired me to get back in the kitchen again too.

Please check out our little video from our day out - oh - and please subscribe too



CARL
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I was invited to review, all views and pictures are my own 


One of my highlights of 2016 was starting up our family Youtube channel, BakerBunch

It was started with the idea in mind that in the future we could look back at all the crazy, fun stuff we got up to, and could have loads of memories right there in film form of kids growing up. 

If you have ever watched one of our videos then I'm sure you will notice how close and how easy going we are.
Myself and my wife try to give our kids everything we can and we really do spoil them rotten, but not in the way that our kids are spoilt brats - they aren't - and they don't moan or whinge when we say "No" to something - and when I say "kids" obviously right now I just mean our 11 year old...whilst I should be saying Willow is too young to understand the concept right now, well I can't -  our little diva will certainly kick off if she doesn't get her own way and we're expecting major tantrums because she's already showing signs of doing it already.

Good luck to us then.

I wouldn't say we really have any set rules as a family either - there are some but we don't have a strict bone between us, but because we choose to live like this it makes our little family run like clockwork and it works perfectly for us.

Myself, Simone and Charlie are definitely in sync with each other.

It shows in everything we do really - when it comes to our morning routine I think we could do it all with our eyes closed it runs that well...and to be honest I am that tired sometimes whilst I'm doing my bit I think I actually have done it with my eyes closed, especially on those mornings that begin with Willow standing up in her cot at 4am, shouting (literally shouting too) at us because she wants to go downstairs to play.

So what do we do?
Well lets say that Simone takes Willow down, I follow shortly after once I've had a quick wash put my work uniform on.
I bypass them both in the room, head into the kitchen, fill the kettle up, make Willow's milk and get our coffee on.
I give the kitchen a wipe over and a sweep up, then take the milk to Simone who has changed a nappy and has Willow waiting for her "Di Dee" (it means a lot of different things at different times of the day but at 4am, it means milk).

I feed the cat, pour the brews and take them into the room - Willows usually had enough milk and cuddles by now and is busy playing -  great timing for Mummy because she can now have her brew. 

This little routine is something we have done every day for the last 14 months and even before that we had a slightly different one to get us all to work and school on time.

Our timing is impeccable even if the roles are reversed and we are definitely in sync with each other. 

And then I leave for work and it is time for Mum and son to be in sync with each other, because Mum needs to get herself, Willow and Charlie up, cleaned, fed and dressed in a certain amount of time.

Charlie is amazing with his little sister and she adores him so much, so when Mum needs a little time to chop up the fruit or make the porridge in he steps and withour arguing does an amazing job playing with and looking after Willow. 

He knows when and how long he's needed for and Simone doesn't even have to ask him, he just comes into the room and sits with her and doesn't moan - he loves helping out.

Even little things, like when we popped to a carvery for a Sunday lunch it works like clock work too.
We go in, find our seats, Simone gets a little plate full for Willow and when shes gets back, myself and Charlie will get our food and then I sit with and help Willow whilst Simone grabs hers and then we alternate between eating and helping Willow.

Such little things to most but everything just flows so smoothly and we don't even need to talk it all through, its just happens.

We are definitely a family in sync and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we are so close and spend so much time together.
It's not often that Charlie will sleep out and nobody ever asks to take him out, even just for the day, to spend time with him so he has become really comfortable just being with us.
And Willow, well she's 14 months now and nobody has ever asked to take her out at all - not for the day and certainly not to sleep...no quality time for me and Simone...but to be honest we don't care, we'd rather them both be with us anyway.

Obviously that has made us closer as a unit and we are that in sync with each other I reckon we could give the F1 teams a run for their money - we all know how in sync they have to be with each other, one false move in the pit, once false piece of communication could cause major disaster or injury.

So look out  Mcalrean, RedBull and Mercedes - if you are looking for a new team, one who are 100% in sync with each other then you better give The Baker Bunch a call! 

Check out the video to see the importance of being in sync in Formula 1


CARL
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* sponsored post - all words & thoughts are my own

When it comes to Christmas I am a little bit of a grump, Scrooge, Grinch, whatever you want to call it.

I don't hate Christmas or anything like that but I just find it hard to get into the spirit, which I'll admit is quite strange with me having two kids.

I think the problem is that because I do a lot of hours at work and work right up to Christmas Eve so it means I don't really get involved in telling Santa what my kids have asked for and me and the wife never bother with any gifts for each other because we like to make sure Charlie and Willow get spoilt rotten.

Charlie's at the age now where he's asking questions but will not say Santa isn't real just in case he wakes up to no presents - but he knows - and Willow is a bit too young to understand it all at the moment but I'm sure that will change very soon.

I was recently looking back at old blog posts and came across one I posted last Christmas featuring a so called "Christmas jumper" and I was quite ashamed of myself - it was really bland, it looked boring and it really got me thinking that things needed to change, I need to try be a little bit more festive.
So this year when Boohoo Man got in touch with me wanting to collaborate on a Christmas jumper post I thought this would be the perfect time to show that I do have a little Christmas Spirit inside somewhere. 


The campaign was based around what jumper type are you and Boohoo have put together a small quiz (which will be at the end of this post) which, after answering all the questions, will tell you which style of jumper is best for you.

I took the quiz and the jumper style for me is"Fun" which is actually 100% accurate and I can prove it by showing you the Christmas jumper I have been wearing this year already,  





I have posted a fair few pictures of me wearing this jumper on my social media already and it went down a treat, just check out some of the reply's from my Twitter followers,








What do you think of my jumper?

Would you wear it?


Please take the quiz and post in the comments section What Christmas Jumper You Are.




CARL
Before we had kids and actually had something of a social life, I like to think I was "involved" in woman's fashion quite a bit.

We used to go out every weekend without fail and that meant Simone needed a brand new outfit every single weekend, sometimes two depending on how many times we were planning on going out - sometimes we were out ThursdayFriday Saturday and Sunday.

God only knows how we used to manage it or even afford it but we certainly did it.

I was kind of our weekend thing, Simone used to work at New Look back then and would sometimes finish at dinner time.
I would head down into Bradford to meet her, we used to grab some lunch in the market cafe and then we would wander the shops over and over again and pick out her outfits.



In those days I think I had a bit of an opinion about women's fashion - Simone loved my opinion on the things she was trying on.
And actually I was really big on my own look too - I wanted to look my best all of the time.

Looking back I think all of our money must have been spent on nights out, clothes and food. 

How things have changed! 

I think it was possibly when we had Charlie and our crazy nights out came to a permanent halt - money was put to other uses like nappies and baby milk and I think my eye for fashion - both mens and womanswear - went totally out of the window and that's how it has stated right to this day.

I'm not really bothered about it anymore.

If I ever do go shopping with Simone now - and it doesn't happen often - if she asks my my opinion about something I admit, I just say it looks fine because I hate shopping.
I just want her to hurry up so we can go get some food or go home for a brew.

I don't have time to want to be bothered about it all these days.

I'm working anything up to 21 hours a day right now. I'm trying to parent my kids, keep my blog going - there just aren't enough hours in the day to be sat outside fitting room curtains being enthusiastic about a pair of jeans and a jumper.

Of course I can look at a lady and think hmmm that outfit looks nice...but really, do I actually do this?

No, I don't think I do.

And whilst I respect the fashion industry and everyone who loves every aspect of it, my life simply doesn't have the time to include much of it these days...

Well especially the women fashion aspects anyway.

My wife will just have to struggle on giving herself her own opinion.

Yep - times really have changed.

CARL
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