Monday, 25 January 2016

Beating the Winter Blues in a Bishop's Garden

It's been a while. 

After a lot of sleepless nights courtesy of a teething baby, 
add a terrible January into the mix, 
and that could maybe count as a good excuse for a long blog break. 

Anyway, we're back and have been beating those winter blues 
with crisp cold walks at one of London's best kept secrets 
in terms of 'super beautiful places to visit with the kids 
that don't cost a penny and make a fabulous day out'. 

A Mum in London

It's Fulham Palace's walled gardens
13 acres of peace, quiet and breathtaking nature 
next to the wonderful Bishop's Park.

The gardens, which are laid out exactly as in the 19th century, 
are home to rare and very old trees, 
to medicinal plants, an orchard, and a glasshouse 
where the Palace's gardeners grow tomatoes and pineapples. 

The experience has something refreshingly rural: 
we saw gardeners working peacefully, 
children learnt about the plants and how they grow,   
and, in the end, we even bought fresh produce from a wooden cart.  

A Mum in London 

We met a gardener who was very friendly 
and who patiently answered all of our gardening questions 
and we parted with tips about how to grow pineapples. 

The children were thrilled to see how tomatoes grow 
and to watch the gardeners dig holes and plant small trees. 

A Mum in London

After a walk in the gardens, I highly recommend 
a cup of tea and a cake in the Palace's drawing room;  
it's guaranteed you'll feel like a Jane Austen heroine. 

And, although all that might sound posh, fear not: 
the place is very child-friendly with a kids menu and high chairs. 

In a nutshell: a lovely way to get closer to nature 
without even leaving London.

Fulham PalaceBishop’s Avenue Fulham SW6 6EA {nearest Tube station is Putney Bridge}
Admission to Fulham Palace and its gardens is free of charge  
The gardens are opened daily from dusk till dawn

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Winter at Southbank for all the Family

Opened for just 7 days, 
from the 17th to the 24th December from 10am to 4pm, 
the NatWest Family Fun Zone in Southbank 
is the perfect place to head to for some festive fun. 

Situated on Southbank Centre's Riverside Terrace, 
the dome-shaped NatWest Family Fun Zone 
is packed full of free activities for children. 

There is face-painting, magic shows, arts & crafts, 
workshops and immersive storytelling,
{see a timetable of the activities here
all while raising funds for Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

A Mum in London

Do not miss the children's workshops 
held in the morning by Aardman Animations,
 the world-famous creators of Wallace and Gromit. 
These workshops provide a unique opportunity for children 
to learn new creative skills and bring home their own festive Pigby model.

All funds raised within the NatWest Family Fun Zone 
will be donated to Evelina London Children’s Hospital 
and families can spread wishes 
by leaving messages on the Evelina London wall.

In a nutshell: festive fun for all the family 
for a good cause.

Natwest Family Fun Zone at Southbank Centre, from 17th to 24th December, 10am-4pm
Admission: Free
More info on family events at Southbank Centre here

Monday, 14 December 2015

London's Christmas Windows 2015

Strolling around the capital's streets
is a real treat this time of year,
especially when passing in front
of the spectacular Christmas windows
of London's most iconic department stores. 

A Mum in London


Head to Knightsbridge with your little ones
to be amazed by the details of Harrods' Christmas windows.

The theme: a mice invasion {in a cute/adorable/not scary way}.

Tiny mice have lots of fun in the lower windows
of the posh department store,
which are at the perfect height for the kids.

Favourite bit: the mouse dance teacher in her purple bolero; 
she reminded me of my own dance teacher.

A Mum in London

Fortnum and Mason

Alight at Green Park to feast your eyes 
on the Christmas dispays of Londoners' foodie destination. 

The theme: Amalthea's horn in a Christmas window edition. 

Fortnum's windows are filled with goodies, fine foods 
and beautiful colours. 
Each display is so perfectly arranged, 
it's like a work of art.

Favourite bit: the lion guarding 
all the yummy Christmas puddings.

A Mum in London


Oxford Street's ultimate shopping department store,
promises to fill your eyes with stars.

The theme: Selfridges went for a non Christmas theme this year
by dressing its 12 windows with the signs of the Zodiac.

Each window depicts the main colours and characteristics
of each zodiac sign along with luxurious ojects.

Favourite bit: although I do missed
Selfridges' proper Christmas windows this year,
Scorpio's window, pictured above, is breathtaking.

Take a look at London's Christmas windows in 2014 and 2013
Harrods' nearest Tube station is Knightsbridge, Fortnum and Mason's is Green Park, Selfridges's is Bond Street.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Pretty Girls Wear: ilovegorgeous

'How I wish they made all this in a size 10';
this was my first thought 
as I entered the cutest little boutique in Primrose Hill. 

Picture ethereal dresses, 
the most adorable sequined jumpers, 
and super cute 'I want them all' accessories.

 All this happens at ilovegorgeous
which was set up in 2006 by two friends with a love for design;  
they could not find pretty garments to dress up their little girls 
so they decided to start making some!

A Mum in London

The result: a collection full of colour 
innovative motifs and exquisite details 
made from fine quality materials. 

In short: every girl's dream. 

I browsed the collection at their Christmas party, 
and I was amazed at the prettiness of the formal dresses, 
which are perfect for weddings and christenings, 
and at the softness and unique designs of baby wear. 

A Mum in London

The collections are available online at the e-shop, 
but I would strongly recommend 
visiting one of the two ilovegorgeous boutiques 
in Notting Hill and Primrose Hill. 

From the perfectly dressed windows to the little vintage toys and details, 
ilovegorgeous boutiques are so pretty and magical
it's a unique experience to take a little girl shopping there.

And what about those mamas to boys, like myself?   
Well, I was told that ilovegorgeous 
will soon launch a collection for boys too. 

Last but not least, in the run up to Christmas. 
the online shop has a really cool advent calendar
and every day they are treating customers 
to a unique offer or gift. 

In a nutshell: truly special and pretty garments for girls 
designed in London.

ilovegorgeous boutiques: 52 Ledbury Road Notting Hill and 73 Regents Park Road Primrose Hill

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Santa's Grottoes in London: Reindeer Food

Nothing says Christmas like a visit to Santa's Grotto. 
It's always so sweet to see the excitement on the children's faces 
as they are about to meet their gift bearing hero. 

We recently visited the Santa's Grotto 
at Eddie Catz in Wimbledon 
and we are happy to report from the Big Guy HQs. 

A Mum in London

Making Reindeer Food at Santa's Grotto 
in Eddie Catz Wimbledon 

The Grotto at Eddie Catz has a traditional feel.  
Before meeting Father Christmas, 
the children are welcomed by the Elves into Santa's workshop. 

There, they are asked to write their letter to him 
and then prepare some magical reindeer food 
which they can take home with clear instructions 
to sprinkle it in the garden on Christmas Eve. 

This cute activity, which is taken very seriously by the children, 
helps set the mood and prepare them for meeting the Big Guy. 

A kind Santa then greets the children with cute gifts 
{a plush toy for older children, a Christmas bib for babies} 
and a photograph is taken which is included in the price. 

In a nutshell: a cute Grotto with a personal touch, 
ideal for toddlers and babies. 
Plus, after the visit, the kids are welcome
to use the soft play facilities for 2 hours. 

Santa's Grotto at Eddie Catz Wimbledon, SW19 2LP, from £15

Disclosure: Complimentary visit.
All views and wording my own.
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