Our mini-break to London
We are just back from a lovely couple of days in London and the journeys were fine thankfully!
My sister lives in Harrow on the Hill which is really pretty, surrounded by the beautiful Harrow School buildings. The little town centre has a vintage cafe called The Dolls House on the Hill which we popped into for a late lunch when we got there thinking Bunny would enjoy the company of the other children in there. Unfortunately, they said they were busy so we would have to sit downstairs where there were only two tables and no children! So we ordered crumpets with spreads and milkshakes/flavoured coffee and waited. The menu is quite expensive but had lots of choice and the cakes on display as we went in looked amazing. Our drinks came and we weren’t disappointed – the pralines and cream milkshake I’d chosen was delicious! We waited a little longer and eventually a guy came out of the kitchen and plonked our plates down in front of us and disappeared. We had no cutlery and there was no sign of any around or anyone to ask. I had a look around and found a solitary knife which we used to butter and spread the crumpets. We didn’t see anyone again until we went back upstairs to pay, so we didn’t bother buying cakes afterwards as we’d originally planned. Disappointing, but not the end of the world as the experience wasn’t what we’d hoped for.
On Friday, we headed to the Southbank for the Imagine Children’s Festival. We had lunch in the Southbank Centre where there were mini tables and chairs and little bookshelves full of children’s books to browse through. There were also lots and lots of other children which made for a more relaxing lunch, not having to worry about upsetting other diners!
Afterwards, we headed into the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall for an interactive jazz “musical romp” called Boom Boom’s Bow. After a little trepidation, Bunny loved it and was dancing and clapping and joining in with the fun, even running to the front to dance with the other children! It was the first time she’s so willingly joined in with a performance and reminded me just how grown up she’s getting!
We then met up with an old friend and her new baby while Bunny and Bear chased each other around and played with some other children and let off lots of steam! It was a great afternoon for all of us and I would certainly recommend checking the Southbank Centre out if you’re ever near Waterloo with children – even when the festival isn’t on, they tend to have lots of interactive activities in the space.
Today, we browsed the many charity shops on Teddington High Street (where my other sister lives) so that Bunny could spend her pocket money. There are two that sell just children’s clothes, toys and accessories, which was perfect for a little girl with a small amount of money to spend. After missing out on a Snow White Sindyesque doll to another little girl, she eventually chose a Disney Princess umbrella which, at only £3.50 was considerably cheaper than a brand new one and made for a much happier Bunny! I do love a good charity shop!
We drove home after lunch and Bunny slept almost all the way. Bear was quite good at entertaining herself, mostly fishing snacks out of her snack pot, drawing on her magnetic board and playing peek-a-boo with her blanket. She did have a couple of crying sessions, but once she found her dummy, went to sleep for the last bit of the journey. I would definitely recommend a magnetic drawing board and stylus for car journeys as they are self-contained, non-messy and can be wiped and reused again and again! I put a lap tray across the middle of the car seats and bought a non-slip mat for it so they could keep their drinks and snack pots on it which worked well until Bear decided to throw everything off it! Bunny did play her car bingo a bit, but mostly slept!
I will definitely go away with the girls again as we had so much fun and it was lovely exploring different places with them and giving them more time to get to know their aunties and uncles. Maybe, I’d even try the journey down to my parents….!