Thursday, 11 September 2014

The British Museum with Kids

The British Museum never figured on my list 
of toddler-friendly activities in London. 

Maybe because of its collections 
{toddlers are not very keen on ancient statues} 
or because of the big crowds of visitors  
who flock from all over the world. 

So, when the Museum invited us 
to a special event for families, 
the Toddler and I set out to discover 
how child-friendly the British Museum really is. 

A Mum in London

Eight Mummies

The event took place at the Ancient Lives New Discoveries exhibition, 
where one can see eight perfectly preserved, never unwrapped mummies 
and discover their secrets with the help of technology. 

Along with an overly enthusiastic Toddler 
who kept talking about 'kissing the mummies', 
we followed the family trail.   

The Toddler had the chance to uncover hidden amulets, 
spot ancient toys and see what's inside the mummies 
{sounds spookier than it really is}.

A Mum in London

Only Children Allowed

Since it was a 'families only' event, 
there were lots of children and one didn't feel bad 
about their children speaking loud 
or tapping on the glass to 'wake up the mummy'. 

The museum's staff was very helpful 
with storing the buggies and providing information 
{fold-up pushchairs are stored for free in the cloakroom}, 
while the Gallery café has a kids eat free policy 
when you buy an adult meal. 

A Mum in London

Child-Friendly British Museum

The British Museum has many free activities 
for children of all ages; 
you can visit the Families' Desk to collect 
activity backpacks, trails and art materials. 

For children under 5 there are 
two especially designed trails and two new sessions: 
Little feet: all wrapped up, a journey to ancient Egypt through the senses
{28 November, 10:30-12:00, free drop in} 
and Little feet: mess it up, an exploration through messy play and art creation 
{5 December & 8 December, 10:30-12:00, free, limited spaces}.

The British Museum also plans to establish special family views 
for their upcoming exhibitions. 

We can't wait!

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, open daily 10:00-17:30. Admission free.
Nearest Tube stations are Holborn & Tottenham Court Road.
Find out more about the British Museum's family activities

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Stansted airport: Travelling with Children

On our recent trip to the Greek Islands
we flew for the first time from Stansted airport. 

Although being a London airport, 
Stansted is technically situated in Essex,  
and is a good 90 minute ride from central London 
{more on that later}. 

So, following Heathrow & Gatwick airports' reviews, 
which have proved very popular on the blog, 
it's time for Stansted's one. 

A Mum in London

Stansted Airport: the Pros 

The size: 
Stansted is a fairly small airport, 
which is always a good thing when you travel with kids 
{you don't have to walk for miles to get your gate}.  

The security check: 
although there were no family priority lanes, 
we found Stansted's security check 
quick, effective, with minimum waiting times. 

The car parking: 
given going to Stansted airport is a short trip by itself, 
it's a relief to be able to park your car there 
with what you'd pay for train tickets.

Stansted Airport: the Cons 

The distance: 
Stansted is a good 90 minute car ride from central London 
and a 50 minute train journey away. 

No children's areas: 
apart from an old wooden toy table, 
I couldn't spot any other play areas. 

No step free access to plane: 
in Stansted one gives/receives their buggy on the tarmac, 
which means that one has to juggle children, buggy & hand luggage 
on a flight of stairs before boarding and after disembarking the plane.

The Verdict 
Great prices for car parking and efficient security check, 
but there is much room for improvement 
regarding the children's facilities and step free access. 

Child-friendly score: 6/10 

~ ~ ~

Read More

Read more about Stansted airport's facilities

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A Very Royal Book Launch

Given the British fascination with the royal family,
it really didn't come as a surprise
to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's cocker spaniel
starring in a new children's book series,
titled The Adventures of a Royal Dog by Aby King.

In the first book of the series,
Lupo and the Secret of Windsor Castle,
the adorable dog gets his paws into some serious trouble
when an evil Corgi frames him
and constructs an evil plot to take over the realm.

a Mum in London

The beautifully illustrated story,
which is set in royal palaces,
features a whole array of pets and animals
but also the royal family and the baby prince.

The book launch was held
at the ultra chic The Kensington Hotel,
and involved munching on some delicious canapés
and taking home the most adorable goody/doggy bag.
Lupo and the Secret of Windsor Castle, Hachette Children's Books, £8,99

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Back to School with Nutmeg

It's back to school time 
{apparently the weather deems summer is over}, 
and parents all over the country 
face the gloomy task of stocking their kids' wardrobes 
with new autumn pieces & school uniforms. 

This is never easy: 
finding cute, good quality clothes 
which are met with the child's approval 
can prove a bit tricky and very costly. 

But not if you shop at Nutmeg

A Mum in London

Nutmeg is Morrisons own clothing brand, 
to which I was introduced a few months back. 

Designed by a mum, 
Nutmeg's clothes are great value for money, 
and feature an amazing attention to detail.

I really like  the big zips that run smoothly, 
the quality and softness of the materials, 
the cute details and the low prices. 

Plus, after being soiled, pulled, washed countless times
the clothes remain as good as new. 

A Mum in London

The Toddler received some clothes 
from the very cute Nutmeg AW14 collection,    
and I can safely report we were both very impressed. 

The gilet is a real steal at £10, 
thick, warm and very stylish. 

The jeans (£8) have cute details and an elasticated waist, 
while the cotton jumper (£7) is super soft and comfy. 

Most importantly, 
they have a picky Toddler's approval. 

In a nutshell: great everyday clothes for the little ones
that won't break the bank. 
See the Nutmeg AW2014 collection and find your nearest shop

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sweet September from La Pâtisserie des Rêves

You know that feeling 
when your summer holidays end {sigh}
and you need a little pick me up 
to beat the back to school/work blues? 

There is a certain kind of treat 
that always works its magic in those situations.

A real, super scrumptious French patisserie,  
like the ones you can find at 'La Pâtisserie des Rêves
who just opened two stores in London 
{in Marylebone & South Kensington}.

A Mum in London

What's even better is that La Pâtisserie des Rêves 
is organising a 'back to school' tea party 
where all attendees will receive 
a complimentary box with mini treats.

Hosted by co-founders, 
pastry chef Philippe Conticini and entrepreneur Thierry Teyssier, 
the annual afternoon was established in Paris 
and has proved increasingly popular, 
with over 2,500 guests attending last year's event.

In London, 
it will be held on Sunday 7th September from 14:00
in Marylebone's Portman Square. 

A Mum in London

Simply pack a picnic and drinks, 
dress in pink & white 
and head to central London for a fun day out. 

For the children, apart from the square's playground, 
 there will be a mini treasure hunt 
with hidden boxes of treats attached to helium balloons 
{sounds like fun}.

The afternoon will culminate in a competition, 
judged by Philippe and Thierry: 
guests are encouraged to dress in pink and white 
and get creative with their picnic 
for the chance to win a complimentary private tea party 
at the boutique for up to 20 guests. 

To reserve a place, 
RSVP on the Patisserie's Facebook page

La Pâtisserie des Rêves picnic at Portman Square, Sunday 7 September from 14:00.
Nearest tube stations: Marble Arch & Bond Street