Friday, 8 August 2014

A Greek Holiday

It's no secret that we have been counting days 
{a bit like prisoners} 
lately at A Mum in London's casa. 

After a long wait, 
our much anticipated 
summer in Greece is finally about to begin. 

A mum in London

So, the next weeks will mainly consist of:

diving in the crystal clear Aegean sea, 
lazing like lizards on a sandy beach, 
eating lots of moussaka and stuffed tomatoes, 
going out for late drinks. 

A Mum in London

The Toddler will indulge 
in some of his favourite summer activities: 

chasing the very patient Cycladic cats, 
eating as much ice cream as one can, 
relaxing in the hammock with a good book,  
and getting very spoilt by everyone. 

A Mum in London

There will also be lots of sunset watching, 
a few ferry trips, 
late afternoons at the beach 
and some free babysitting {we hope}. 

There won't be any blogging though, 
so see you again in a few weeks. 

Happy summer! 

Photos taken in the islands of Tinos, Kythera, Syros

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

London Date Night: Skylon at Southbank

If you want to spend a beautiful summer evening 
like a true Londoner, 
then head to Southbank. 

Right on the banks of the Thames, 
under the leafy trees, 
Londoners get to unwind 
and enjoy some of the best sunsets in town. 

A Mum in London

Southbank is definitely 
London's most vibrant and summery spot. 

There are so many things to do:
catch a film at the British Film Institute
attend a concert at the Queen Elisabeth Hall, 
or get a good dose of culture at the Tate Modern 
{open till 22:00 on Friday & Saturday}. 

Then you can go for a romantic dinner and drinks 
to one of the many restaurants & bars. 

A Mum in London

One restaurant I would recommend in a heartbeat 
is the Skylon. 

On our recent date, 
Mr K and I had dinner at the Skylon Grill 
and we were very pleasantly surprised. 

We opted for the post theatre menu, 
which is great value for money 
with 3 courses for £23.50. 

We had the salmon and garden salad for starters  
and the very tasty chicken Caesar 
with hand cut chips as a main. 

A Mum in London

The big surprise was the desserts: 
The panacotta was scrumptious and light, 
while the iced banana mousse with caramel pop corn 
was a little chef d'oeuvre patissier.  

Our French waiter provided excellent service, 
the ambiance was relaxed and convivial, 
and the views were simply beautiful. 

And after that, the perfect way to end a summer date 
is to sip a Pimm's while watching boats going up and down the Thames 
{the Royal Festival Hall's bar make excellent Pimm's}. 


See what's on at Southbank Centre
Nearest Tube station is Embankment
Skylon Grill & Restaurant, Royal Festival Hall

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Grosvenor Hotel Victoria: a Review

We were recently invited to spend one night 
at a four star hotel in central London. 

We promptly said yes, packed our bags, 
and hopped on a District line train. 

A few stops later,
we were in the heart of London,
at Victoria station. 

Ready to indulge in the old-time grandeur 
of one of London's oldest purpose built hotels.

The Grosvenor Hotel

A Mum in London

The Hotel 

Built in 1862 just next to Victoria Station,
The Grosvenor was once considered
the most luxurious hotel in London.

Having undergone a recent refurbishment,
The Grosvenor can proudly reclaim its past glory.

The grandeur and opulence
is evident right away in the lobby.

A sparkling chandelier & amazing flower centrepiece
steal the show,
while the warm welcome from the staff
makes you feel at home right away.

A Mum in London

Staying at The Grosvenor  

We were given an Executive Room, 
with a king size bed and a walk-in closet 
{the dream}. 

The bed was huge and very comfortable, 
and was spacious enough for the three of us 
{the Toddler slept in the middle}. 

The spacious bathroom was equipped 
with a high pressure shower head 
and luxury toiletries from Penhaligon's 
{an ideal way of relaxing after a long day}. 

The little touches like the handwritten welcoming card, 
the bag of treats, the soft teddy for the Toddler 
and the free and easy to access Wi-fi 
were duly appreciated. 

Plus, executive room guests enjoy 
complimentary access to the Club Lounge, 
where one can have breakfast, 
or enjoy a complimentary drink. 

Eating at The Grosvenor

We had dinner at the hotel's Brasserie,  
a warm & cosy restaurant with a dimly lit dining room, 
perfect for an intimate dinner. 

The menu features classic feel-good brasserie dishes, 
like moules marinières, club sandwich, rib eye with chips 
and an array of appetizing salads and starters. 

We had the traditional fish & chips (£14.50), 
which according to Mr K was the best fish & chips we has ever had, 
the vegetarian risotto with wild mushrooms (£12.50) 
and the Toddler had a croque monsieur (£10.50) 
followed by a scrumptious ice-cream sundae. 

The portions were enormous and the food was genuinely good, 
and I would definitely recommend the Grosvenor's Brasserie 
if you are looking to enjoy a nice meal in an exquisite setting. 

Plus, they have high chairs & child-friendly dishes 
{like the club sandwich & sausages with mash potatoes} 
for the little ones. 

Sightseeing from The Grosvenor 

The Grosvenor Hotel is ideally situated 
for visiting London's most iconic landmarks on foot 
{the tube station is only 2 min away if walking is not your thing}.

I'd suggest you start with Buckingham Palace 
{a 10 minute walk from The Grosvenor}, 
to see the Changing the Guard.

Then stroll through the beautiful St James's Park 
where you'll get amazing views of London's skyline at the Blue Bridge
{if you have children, they can let off steam at the playground}.

Next, I'd recommend you pass through the Horse Guards 
to see the most beautiful horses 
and take some snaps in front of 10 Downing Street.

Five minutes from the Prime Minister's home 
you'll find London's most famous landmarks:
the Big Ben, Westminster Abbey & the London Eye 
{all a 25 minute walk from The Grosvenor}. 

~ ~ ~

In a nutshell: The Grosvenor is a grand London hotel, 
where one can enjoy a very comfortable stay, 
good food, excellent service 
and an ideal location for sightseeing. 

The Grosvenor Hotel101 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 0SJ.
Rooms from ~ £250.

We enjoyed a complimentary stay & dinner at The Grosvenor Hotel. 
All views and wording our own.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

London's Best Fountains & Paddling Pools

"Sunny with temperatures reaching 30ºC"  
is always a welcome forecast in England, 
but it can prove a bit difficult to keep cool  
and entertain children at the same time. 

Luckily, the capital is bursting with cool spots 
and water features to keep everyone refreshed 
during the summer months. 

This is our top three {and free} 
London pools and fountains. 

A Mum in London

Southbank's Fountains

A fountain with a twist: 
jets of water appear and disappear quickly, 
creating water rooms 
where you can keep dry{ish} if you go to the centre. 

 A very fun way to keep cool, 
both for adults & kids. 

Parent Tip: unwind with a Pimm's 
from the bar next to the fountain.

A Mum in London

Bishop's Park Urban Beach 

London's only urban beach 
is a brilliant place combining sand and shallow pools,  
on the banks of the Thames. 

The big sandpit, the pools with the sprinklers 
and the trees make Bishop's Park 
one of the best summer destinations in London. 

Parent Tip: pack a picnic 
and pick a premium spot under the leafy trees. 

A Mum in London

 Wimbledon Park Paddling Pool 

The exciting water features 
and the beautiful park surrounding it, 
make Wimbledon Park's paddling pool 
a busy happy place on a hot summer's day. 

Plus, if the children get bored 
there is a big playground for them to enjoy. 

Parent Tip: make a day out of it 
and go for some mini golf or tennis in Wimbledon Park.

Southbank Fountains, open every day except Mondays, excluding bank holidays. 
Nearest tube station is Embankment.

Bishop's Park Water Features, open daily 10am to 7pm during the summer months.
Nearest tube station is Putney Bridge.

Wimbledon Park Paddling Pool, open from June 1 to August 31, from 10am to 5pm. 
Nearest tube station is Wimbledon Park.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Family TV

The Toddler and I were recently invited
to the gorgeous Ham Yard Hotel in Soho
to celebrate, along with the very cute SpongeBob,
NOWTV joining forces with Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. 

With the all mighty Peppa reigning high in our house, 
this could only be good news, 
as we always rely on her to keep the Toddler entertained 
while we rush to prepare dinner after a long day out. 

Featuring an array of children's favourite characters 
like Peppa Pig, Dora, Ben & Holly and SpongeBob 
this means plenty of entertainment 
for the summer holidays. 

A Mum in London

What is even better 
is that you can get access to all this fun 
with just £4.99 a month 
via NOWTV's instant and contract-free 
Entertainment Month Pass

With 12 channels, there are plenty of series and shows 
for parents to enjoy too, 
once the kids are tucked in bed. 

Plus, the NOW TV Entertainment Month Pass
works on all the devices (iPad, smartphones, etc),
so you can be sure to have it with you
wherever you go this summer
{super convenient on long car journeys}. 

In a nutshell: entertainment for all the family 
that won't break the bank.
NOWTV Month Pass £4.99, more info here