run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Friday, 30 August 2019

Paw Patrol Afternoon Tea at Family-Friendly Park Plaza Westminster Bridge

How do you make afternoon tea - officially the best meal of the day, given it covers cakes, biscuits, scones, more cakes, more biscuits - even better for kids? Sprinkle a bit of Paw Patrol on top of the biscuits and cakes, stir in a massive playroom packed with every Paw Patrol toy you can imagine and the Ryder-starring programme itself on a loop on a projector... And sit back and watch your tots have the time of their life!

We took the Tube to Park Plaza Westminster Bridge last week and immediately realised how family-friendly the hotel is, with posters about the kids disco that evening, the (supervised) Paw Patrol playroom available to all guests as well as afternoon tea-gobblers, amazing art installations that double up as play places for kids (like these amazing swinging face chairs) and views of Big Ben, the Thames and the Houses of Parliament. 



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Thursday, 4 July 2019

Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park: the best family theme park

“It’s the REAL PEPPA PIG!” the beam on my toddler’s face as he squealed with joy at the enormous cuddly Peppa handing out high-fives and cuddles made our 730am trafficky drive out of London to Paultons Park worth it. It’s the theme park that hosts Peppa Pig World - a paean to the pre-schooler’s porcine favourite - and our two- and four-year-olds had the “best day ever!” (I quote.) So did we. Here’s why we rate it:

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Review: Picnic hampers from Carluccio's

Before I became a parent I loved the occasional summer picnic: a lovingly-prepared smorgasbord of cheese and crudites and cakes and olives and... 
Then parenthood meant making picnics A LOT. Most days out involve some kind of outside lunch prep: slices of bread rapidly whacked together to form a sandwich; a bag of Babybels. Fruit that's likely to squash and/or explode en-route. A pack of crisps, if they're lucky. Shoved in a bag with a bottle of water.
The picnic has never been so unglam. And it takes a surprisingly long time to put together every time too! All the wrapping, veg chopping, fridge-ransacking.. 

So you can imagine how excited I was to check out Carluccio's brilliant picnic hampers - especially the kids' one..


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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Foxhills: family-friendly hotel review

 
Thanks to this blog and to my day job (as a journalist at the Evening Standard, where I sometimes write travel pieces amongst other topics!), my family and I have been lucky enough to visit a lot of Britain's family-friendly hotels. We've loved the Four Seasons, Coworth Park, Calcot Manor amongst others.
But we're just back from a stay at a hotel we'd not previously heard around luxe parenting hotel chat - and it was incredible - and cost a lot less than the others on this list. So we really recommend you book a trip to Foxhills - here's why:

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Monday, 17 June 2019

Family-friendly brunch in Kensington, London

Remember what brunch was like in the pre-kids days? Leisurely, long; there'd be newspapers, steaming-hot coffee, endless courses... Relaxing... And a not-to-be-repeated for 18 years memory?!

Because even the best-behaved kids won’t sit for *that* long - and you can't even leisurely stroll around the buffet table when you've got people hanging onto your legs, begging to have yet another chocolate croissant...

Or that's what we thought, until we hit up a new family-friendly brunch at the NH Hotel in Kensington this weekend.

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Saturday, 1 June 2019

In The Night Garden Live: a review

I have to confess I didn't have sky-high expectations before I sat in the velvet seats of the Hackney Empire to watch In The Night Garden Live. A kids' TV show (albeit one of the most popular on TV, and definitely one of tiniest man's favourites) would be jazzed up a little bit for the theatre, I reckoned, with those dum dum, dum dum dum dum duuuuum dum starting notes on repeat throughout. Nothing too exciting. My eldest's first theatre trip was to see The Tiger Who Came To Tea; I didn't have such high hopes for the plot of ITNG. 

But then the curtain lifted. The familiar tune played (and yes, it's been an ear-worm in my head ever since). And tiny man gasped. He really did. Then he waved wildly and squealed "IT'S IGGLE PIGGLE!!" (Noise doesn't matter, most of the rest of the tot audience were gasping too). 

Then there were beautiful, full-size puppets (with costumes made by the star behind the London 2012 opening and closing ceremony - seriously!) and excellent puppeteers, Avenue Q-style; there were dancing characters, plus there was a plot that had my four-year-old captivated, whilst my two-year-old just kept beaming. 

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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Ten NW London Places to Take Your Kids .. That You'll Actually Enjoy Too

Soft play is the worst place to be a parent. They're stuffy, stinky, germy holes with no daylight, crappy food and worse coffee. There's only one bearable one (Ally Pally's Little Dinos, where at least you can get a great juice and it's small enough not to lose sight of the offspring you like enough to have bought to soft play). 


But as I jumped reeeally high on a trampoline yesterday whilst watching my kids racing around beaming next to me, inspo struck. Here are ten places to visit in or near NW (ish) London that aren't just about the babes - you AND your kids will enjoy them all. (And if not, tell me where's better. More days out that aren't soft play are always appreciated.)
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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Review: Family-friendly London hotel St Ermin's

A lot of luxury London hotels are so swish you feel worried about turning up with your tots: the marble, the priceless breakables, the silent lobbies with clip-clopping heels, the too-pricey restaurant when really one of the great things about going to hotel with kids is that they can tumble up to bed upstairs after a lovely dinner.... 

Luckily, we're just back from a stay at St Ermin's, a four-star hotel in Westminster, a toddler's scoot away from Big Ben, the Thames, St James' Park and the West End, where the kids couldn't have been more welcome, the food was really fantastic, and the stay was relaxing. 
Oh, and you're sleeping a few metres away from 350,000 bees, too, which was a real favourite with the kids... Read on to find out more about St Ermin's Hotel.
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