London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Easter & spring weather in London is proving to be the usual unreliable affair. Storm Katie visiting for Easter, but don’t be fooled by the pretty name as it involves rain washouts and winds of 50/60 mph! Luckily we are spoilt again with choices for Easter in London with kids! We spent the gorgeous sunny Good Friday guests of Cutty Sark and thereafter out and about Greenwich Park.
The world’s sole surviving tea clipper and fastest ship of her time treated us with tales, warm staff and all sorts of distractions, including wooden but vocal pigs, pianos to be shipped to Sydney, tea boxes & crates, bells to be rang. The views from the lowest floor/ coffee shop level are really awesome as the 19th-century sailing ship has been raised over three metres allowing one to walk directly underneath!
And what’s better than an Easter Egg Hunt? Well, literally a tray of chocolate eggs handed over to you. Have a guess how many will a toddler have? Well, how about 4, on the spot? So hey mum, it is almost Easter afterall ; thanks a lot to Cutty Sark & Chestertons’ team !
Next door to Cutty Sark, for weather less than glorious, there’s also the National Maritime Museum, great children galleries including a very cool fish market section with pretend fish, cash tills and shopping baskets.
With weather so random part of Easter celebrations I took our son out for his first afternoon tea, a Mad Hatter afternoon extravaganza. That would have probably gone a lot better should he have slept that day as usual, but hey, such is life with a toddler, a roller coaster most times. I’ve been a fan of Sanderson hotel it’s been too long too mention . Let’s just say that over the last 15 years, I spent few outrageous evenings at the Long Bar and some nice dinners at Suka, especially that we used to live next door. So very happy to be back with my son and make a fool of myself in a different manner.
The tea itself is a proper celebration of 150 years of Alice in Wonderland: vintage book, teapots with kings and queens, plates decorated with birdcages, go round ballerina in the sugar box, icecream in a small flower pot and a themed doggy-bag . My favourite savoury items included the mini croque-monsieur, caviar scotch egg with salmon and crab éclair. The selection of sweets was awesome, the magic pot bottles went down a treat, both myself and my son, we both had 2 each – panacotta & mango sorbet. The coffee pocket-watch macaroons yum, the ladybird cake velvety, the chocolate truffle caterpillar beautifully sliding down the throat, marshmallow mushroom so cute. I chose the Mad Hatter tea, a green one with hints of passion fruit, guava and mango – divine. For the celebration we also went for a glass of champagne, so all beautiful and light headed thereafter. My son loved the treats and loved Sanderson facilities – the latter a bit too much. Discovering pool, funky elevators with planets and solar system within, the ball swing, retro phone and funky chair and the bars.
So it’s been murder to leave, on top of a beautiful afternoon, I also won 5 minutes less glorious right at the Long Bar 6pm, me heavily pregnant trying to convince an overexcited toddler to head to the reception/ jump into a cab. Hopefully the pain of the other guests was not that bad – Sanderson staff graceful and helpful as usual. I hope next time will still get a cake with a Welcome back, after-all some of my champagne fuelled evenings were on a par with my toddler afternoon tantrum 😉
With weather being wet and grey, we spent a beautiful Saturday in Henley on Thames and being guests of the Rowing and River Museum.
The Wind in the Willows is utterly charming and we went back and forwards few times. Tea to be had in a small carriage/ caravan, toads going round the lake, badger snoring, vintage automobiles, wind blowing with buttons in the forest with the red eyes blinking in the dark, Mr Toad in prison and making his escape – it’s all a delightful fairytale setting.
Now we just need to read the book ! After the third time going round, we grabbed a bag-pack full of goodies (under 5 years in our case) and we managed our way up. Staff reassures us the record was a father going round the Wind in the Willows for 13 consecutive times with his 3 years old son. So after-all, ours stopped at 3, so not that bad?!?
The Rowing gallery contains traces of history from ancient Greeks rowing to the modern Olympic Games and many boats various shapes and sizes including suspended from the ceiling. Attractions for our toddler were rowing together and testing the gym equipment; thereafter the wildlife corner. There’s also an Easter trail and chocolate egg prizes, no doubt all very popular. We finished the visit with lunch at the Quince Tree, more pretty views over the river, risotto fish, wagu beef burger & pistachio goute, all yum plus distractions still coming from the back-pack.
A quick stroll after lunch by the river, very pretty houses and birds but still grey and wet. The playgrounds also next door but we will have to return to picturesque Henley on Thames another day when sun is shining to enjoy it properly ! For such wet Easter in London with kids, declaring ourselves delighted with the views from the museum itself. Happy Easter all !
Disclosure: Many thanks to Cutty Sark and Rowing Museum for complimentary press passes. Photos, comments & 40 weeks pregnancy hormones above my own.