Sunday, 18 January 2015

Kew Gardens: the winter edition with kids

Arguably, winter is not the best season to visit Kew Gardens.

The Royal Botanical Gardens in the leafy SW London suburb of Kew 
are a premium destination in spring and summer, 
when one can admire nature blooming in all its colours.


A Mum in London

However, our visit on a cold Sunday 
made us appreciate the wintry version of Kew’s leafless gardens 
in more than one way. 

And proved that Kew Gardens 
are great for a family visit with the little ones.

Here’s why:


Tropical Climate

There’s no better feeling of escaping the crisp January temperatures 
and get transported to tropical climates. 

How? Step inside Kew’s immense glasshouses, 
which house the most varied and precious collection of tropical plants, 
ranging from colourful orchids to odd-looking carnivorous plants.

A Mum in London

Treetop walk

Another Kew Gardens attraction not to be missed, 
especially in summer when all the leaves are green. 

The 200 metre long walk is 18 metres above ground 
and offers panoramic views of London 
and a closer look to the high perched realm of treetops.


Marine Life

There are not just plants in Kew. 
Children will be thrilled to discover amazing exotic fish 
in the Princess of Wales conservatory ponds and the marine aquarium. 

The toddler was over the moon 
when he spotted clownfish and a spiky puffer fish!

A Mum in London

Children’s facilities

Much to our surprise, the otherwise impatient toddler 
didn’t get bored at all during our visit to Kew Gardens. 

But even if he did, Kew Gardens are well equipped 
for families with young children: 
there is a playground and the indoor play area ‘Climbers and Creepers’, 
where the little ones can burn some energy 
while learning interesting facts about nature.

Finish off your day with a snack/lunch
at the child-friendly White Peaks cafe,
strategically located near the playgrounds. 
Kew Gardens, winter admission £9.50, children under 16 go free.
Nearest tube: station Kew Gardens Station {District Line}.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

London's Christmas Windows 2014


'Tis the season to be jolly
and to gaze at some of the world's
most beautiful Christmas windows.

Take a virtual walk on London's streets 
to see the fabulous Christmas displays
of London's most iconic stores.

A Mum in London

Selfridges

Massive gingerbread houses, a giant goose and a unicorn
parade in the chic department store's Christmas displays.

Tagline: Fantasyland in Oxford Street.

Our favourite window: the gold Paddington Bear
standing on a pile of marmalade jars next to a golden London taxi!

A Mum in London

Fortnum & Mason's

The foodies' destination of choice displays
will have more than one drooling over Piccadilly's pavement.

Tagline: Foie gras & Champagne

Our favourite window: the regal/out of this world
staging of the perfect Christmas pudding.

A Mum in London

Liberty

Liberty's windows are brimming 
with a multitude of objects that make you go 
'I want that, and that, and that'.

Tagline: A gift guide in a window

Our favourite window: the one with all the cute toys, of course.

A Mum in London

John Lewis

Following on the success of its heart-melting Christmas advert,
John Lewis' windows feature a colony of adorable penguins, 
that are sure to delight young children.

Tagline: Penguinland 

Our favourite window: the ice-skating baby penguins.

A Mum in London

Harrods

Undeniably, these are London's most pretty and festive 
Christmas window displays for 2014 - a must see!

Tagline: A Fairy Tale Christmas

Our favourite window: the patchwork rocking horse,
too pretty for words.

See last year's Christmas displays here.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Lovely Buys: Streethub

I love small independent shops in London; 
You can always find original, lovely products, 
handpicked from around the world.

I am sure I would be buying most of my gifts
from independent shops, if only I could find them online.

Because going to the actual shop, 
after a week of daily commute,  
and spending another minute in a packed tube 
is definitely not how I want to spend the weekend. 

A Mum in London

Well, that's sorted, thanks to Streethub
an online place where one can find selected products 
from the best fashion and design independent boutiques in London. 

Browsing through StreetHub, 
I was genuinely impressed by the variety, 
originality and loveliness of the products. 

There is something there for every taste 
and I love that most of the products 
were carefully handpicked by the boutiques' owners.

Like that gorgeous porcelain lamp
that looks equally stunning switched on and off.

A Mum in London

By grouping products under four categories, 
Women, Men, Home and Kids, 
this is your place to find original gifts for everyone 
and beautiful home accessories. 

You can either choose the free click and collect service 
or have your purchases delivered at your door 
in a superfast 90 minute same day delivery 
{ideal for last minute Christmas presents}.

StreetHub is a lovely idea 
that makes finding the perfect gift so easy! 


Top picture: Metal Angel £9, cushion £44, Porcelain Lamp £39.95 & Fairisle Dolly £45, all from StreetHub.com

This post in A Mum in London's entry 
to StreetHub's bloggers' competition.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Destination: Menorca, Spain

There's no better way to beat winter blues 
than booking a holiday to a warm, sunny place by the sea. 

And, Menorca ticks all those boxes 
and is very kids-friendly too, apparently!

The following post has been contributed by Thomson Flights.

A quiet escape: Menorca, Spain
Unlike its party-hard-or-go-home siblings, Menorca is the tranquil little sister of rowdy Mallorca and Ibiza. With its luminous blue waters, white sand and lush forested areas, this little jewel promises an undeveloped haven in the heart of the Balearics, and the perfect spot to take a family in need of some serious chill out time. Read on for some of the most relaxing pursuits in this, one of the world’s natural beauty spots.

A Mum in London
Book all inclusive
If you have a young family, take the hassle out of searching family-friendly restaurants and book something all-inclusive. While it’s unlikely you’ll find a high-rise, concrete crash pad, there are still plenty resorts suited to lounging around a pool with the kids.

Hit the beach
Without question Menorca is privy to some of the finest sands in Europe. This will delight any little ones hoping to get digging with a bucket and spade, while adults can flop open a sun lounger and dive headlong into a good book. If you enjoy a little wildlife-spotting, make for Es Grau, where you can spot the flora and fauna of the nearby nature reserve, or paddle in the clear, shallow waters of idyllic Cala Macarella for some of the best swimming in the Balearics.


Explore the caves of Cala Morell
This ancient landscape of sea and rock called Cala Morell conceals a man-carved necropolis which dates back thousands of years. It’s easily reached from the town of Ciutadella by bike or car, and costs absolutely nothing to visit!

Take a relaxing cruise
Charter a glass-bottomed boat and explore the waters around Mahon, the island’s capital. While you may not have time to get around all the coastal highlights on land, seeing the sights is a breeze if you’re skimming past the likes of Lazaretto Island and Sant Felip Castle.

All that jazz…
After a hectic day of doing very little at all, indulge in some laid-back nightlife at the San Clemente Jazz Club, Menorca’s oldest jazz venue. Get into the swing of things from 21:30, or if you happen to be in Mao harbour area, slip into something glitzy and sip one of the renowned cocktails at Akelarre Jazz Club for a smooth evening of rhythm and blues.
Images by Tuscasasrurales and Ihourharene, used under the Creative Commons license.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Chic & Classic for Children: Amelia Brennan

I was recently contacted by Amelia Brennan
a small British clothing boutique 
selling the most adorable garments for babies & children. 

Browsing through the collection, 
I instantly fell in love with the classic designs 
and immaculate cuts of the children's clothing range. 


A Mum in London

The trademark hand-smocked and embroidered details, 
which very much remind me of Prince George's wardrobe, 
are perfect for dressing up the little ones on special occasions, 
like weddings, christenings and other celebrations. 

The clothes are made with natural fabrics 
that are friendly for baby's skin, easy to wash 
and have been designed to be durable.  


A Mum in London

The selection, although not vast, is absolutely lovely: 
traditional rompers with embroidered and smocked details for babies, 
super cute dungarees and Peter pan collar shirts for little boys, 
and the most lovely hand smocked dresses for little girls. 

Most importantly, 
the classic and timeless designs 
make these adorable clothes perfect 
to pass down to future generations.

Pictured: baby romper £37.50, boys' dungarees £49.99, girls' dress £40.00.
All available at AmeliaBrennan.co.uk

Disclosure: Collaborative post.

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