Browsing Category

Activities

Activities Property Services

Hutton Bubear : Finding Your Family Home

Spring has sprung and it’s the time of year when people who know it’s time for a change, start their property search. Where do you begin? Especially if you don’t know the area,  the house might be right but what about location, commute, community to name a few major aspects on making a ‘good move’.  The competition for a great family home, in particularly outside London, is fierce and you need someone in the know and on the ground who can be your eyes and ears to properties that you wouldn’t otherwise hear about…

This is where Catherine and Alice can assist! Hutton Bubear are a bespoke property-buying agent providing unrivalled access to properties marketed both privately and publicly including many not available on the open market.

 

Hutton Bubear

They act solely on behalf of their buyers and tenants to find homes across Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire and London.

They have excellent relationships with all the agents and are often first to hear about a new property on the market through word of mouth.

If any these counties are on your list – get in touch and I can guarantee they will make what is usually chore, very enjoyable!

 

We pride ourselves on clearly understanding our clients’ brief in order to find the perfect property for them.

 

brick-and-flint

 

What made you start your business?

We moved out of London to relocate in the country with small children in tow and even though we had a great deal of property experience, we realised that finding the perfect house is just the start. To us, there was an obvious gap in the market for a professional advisory service for families looking to make the move from town to country (or vice versa).

Together we decided to put our years of property search experience together and create the business to fill that gap. We both fully understand the challenges a big move brings and work tirelessly to make it as smooth as possible for our clients.

family home

 

Who is HB ideal for?

We’ve worked with lots of people in different situations, from families relocating from a big city to the country to those wanting to downsize. We’ve worked with investment buyers to those with no experience wanting to find their dream house.

 

kitchen

 

We understand our clients have busy lives so our aim is to provide a home search that’s second to none as well as taking out the stress of the buying process by dealing with agents, lawyers and other third parties on our clients’ behalf.

 

How do you juggle work with family?

It’s easier now that all of our children are at school but with two of us, we were able to help each other out when we first set up the business. We’re a real team and when we’re not on the road finding properties we work where we live. Obviously we try and maintain a healthy balance but because there are two of us, it means we really can be in two places at once if we need to be!

 

image1

 

What do you recommend thinking about when looking for a home?

  • Schools are obviously high on the list with most of our clients but the key is knowing the (realistic) travel times as well as fully understanding what each school can offer.
  • We look closely at the practicalities of commuting including train journeys and travel to stations.
  • We find out if there are any hidden catches that might be a future nuisance or financial burden along with checking a myriad of other things like road noise, planning applications, flight paths and so on.
  • Gut feel when you walk into a house counts for a lot but we make sure all the pros and cons have been fully investigated.

 

Alice’s Favourite’s 

Restaurant : Numero Uno on Northcote Road. A throwback to my London years! Still love it.

Hotel : Baba Beach Club in Thailand thanks to an unforgettable family holiday a few years ago.

Holiday Destination : The North coast of Scotland – remote, but so beautiful.

Shop : Iris in London. Happily they have a brilliant online shop so I can still visit albeit virtually these days!

Website : www.re-foundobjects.com – gorgeous things for the home

Interior designer : Rita Konig

Parenting tip?

The ability to laugh, a proper Sunday roast and a good night’s sleep all help!

 

Give them a call today for an initial chat!

Alice 00447920 454 944 Catherine 00447885604127 or just have a nosy of their website…

huttonbubear.co.uk

Follow @huttonbubear on Instagram

outlook-sscl1reb

Activities Services Travel

Start & End Your Family Getaway Without Breaking a Sweat

When planning a family holiday the main elements to consider are destination, accommodation and which flights or airline to choose.  However, how you start and end your trip are equally important.  Travelling with little ones can be very tiring and stressful not least because everything seems to take twice as long when you’re wrestling with luggage, pushchairs etc. as well as making sure the kids are happy and safe.  The team at Family Transfers will give you a recipe for a stress-free and happy start to your holiday.

How Can Family Transfers Help You?

Supply a family-friendly driver

All our drivers are chosen for their child-friendliness. Their main aim is to get families safely to their destination.  Some little ones don’t particularly relish even the most comfortable of car journeys and our drivers are totally understanding of this!

familytransfers191

Someone who can help with the bags

Our drivers understand that you only have two hands and those are best employed in keeping your children safe and happy, so they will help with the bags so you are free to tend to your excited little travellers.

familytransfers249
A spacious and comfortable vehicle
We only use large vehicles with plenty of space for the whole family and also the luggage…no need to feel crammed in!
familytransfers188b
The correct car seats matched to your children’s age and size
Safety and comfort are key and never more so than with regards to the car seats we provide.
In our London fleet we only use Maxi Cosi car seats ranging in stages from 0-12 years.
familytransfers118
Reliable, on-time service
We will be there when we say we will and get you to your destination on time.  And we do all this so that you can enjoy your holiday from the moment you leave home!
Activities Fashion

What Sort of Jacket Should You Get?

It’s jacket season. Even if a sweater or jumper will suffice, it doesn’t finish off your outfit like a jacket. I am not talking a big fur lined parka that we need for the majority of Autumn/Winter, no, just a little jacket that you can throw on and that goes with most things.

Utility jackets were popular last year and there are still a few around but I am delighted to see that blazers and bombers are still donning the front row of London Fashion Week.

(If you are wondering where I get my information from, which I don’t blame you for thinking – it is many hours reading blogs, magazine and perusing fashionista’s accounts on Instagram. I like to think I am the filter that separates the wheat from the chaff – in terms of price and actual wearability!)

SHEARLING 

Shearling will be popular for both short jackets and longer coats. (Teddy jackets are a thing  that is circulating that I’m hoping won’t catch on).

If it’s your thing New Look have a lot of different colorways at the moment (although I do love the zip..)

Teddy

My ultimate shearling coat however, would be this dream coat from ME+EM.

Seeing as it is £1 short of 1k, I won’t hold out much hope but am on the hunt for something 10% £1000.

Shearling Jacket

 

BROWN 

There is a lot of brown around at the moment. If you look sophisticated in shades of brown (generally works on warmer skin and darker hair) rather than a walking xxxx, this is a lovely well priced jacket from Sezanne.

Sezanne

LEOPARD PRINT 

You will have had to be walking around backwards not to notice all the leopard print coats on the high street.  I really don’t think this is a trend that I will be joining as I just really look like Pat Butchers little sister in a full length leopard coat.

BUT I love short. I love zips. I love bombers and I LOVE Stella Macartneys Leopard Print jacket. Again. I have only included for inspiration but if anyone can tell me a high street version, I will buy them one too!

Stella Macartney

 

I would also err on the side of caution as when a trend (leopard) is this big (aka I have heard of it) I wouldn’t invest too much dollar in it as it may look reallllly wrong next year! If you want leopard print go for a another animal print or different colour way.

Now, we have done trends – this is my realistic hit list… 

The Hair Faux Fur Jacket from Hush is pretty cute…

Hari

I am almost truly set on this Holister Co shearling for £65. It will definitely that satisfy that shearling shaped hole.

Holister Co

You can’t go wrong with this £20 ASOS cotton bomber. It’s in my shopping cart! Works at pick up, with work out gear or even over a evening wear.

ASOS Bomber

If you are on the hunt for a genuine leather biker, I really like the shape of the Select Femme ones. Not a quick purchase at £230 but a brand worth investigating…

Select Femme

If you are looking for sleeveless, which you can also wear underneath your coat when it gets colder for extra warmth, these Big Cat Clothing gilets are warm and a great fit, good length & come in loads of different colours.

Big Cat Clothing

 

I’m loving all of Zara’s blazers right now, and this crepe one with pleated sleeves is a lovely (especially at £59!)

Zara Blazer

Another staple is a denim jacket. I like light blue and stretchy (maybe a bit summery) but I think any denim is a perfect transitional piece and one that you will use year in year out.

I haven’t had any luck with my ideal denim jacket but if you want a girlfriend denim jacket (slightly looser) or embroidered, there are plenty.

This Silk Fred number would be a talking point! (£35)

Silk Fred

 

Thank you for reading! Hope this has inspired rather than confused!

Lots of love

Lucinda x

 

 

Activities Days Out Family Life Places Reviews

25 Things To Do With Your Child This Summer

As I enter the first Monday of the summer holidays without any plans, trying not to switch the TV on – this post from Emily at Kings Tutors is so helpful, I am devouring every suggestion. Have a look at her ideas – you will be so enlightened!

logo-1

Take it away Emily…

It can be difficult to keep a child entertained for a summer, but with this list of fun, educative and healthy activities, you should find the task somewhat easier.

Reading Challenge

Head to your local library and see if they are holding a summer ‘reading challenge’. The summer reading challenge uses various rewards to motivate your child into reading 6 books over the summer break. If your library is not holding the challenge, you can always create your own. More information about the reading challenge can be found here

screen-shot-2018-07-23-at-09-33-41

There’s an app for that

There’s an app for almost everything these days and summer activities with kids are no exception – explore app stores for ideas. Lots of these apps will involve outdoor activities, so you don’t need to worry about spending a day staring at a screen.

Stargazing

A fun evening activity, it is best to stargaze on clear nights and in areas with low light pollution. Don’t worry if you don’t worry if you know nothing about astronomy. You can find apps, websites and magazines to teach you and your child the stars.

Get lost in a maze (and hopefully find your way out again)

Find your nearest maze, let your child lead the way, and see how long it takes before you eventually find your way back out.

Wildlife

Find some wildlife to enjoy and to learn about. This could be in the zoo, an aquarium, a farm, or just in your back garden.

A day at the beach: a timeless classic

If you want the day to be somewhat educational, spend some time looking for shells and wildlife. There are also lots of urban beaches around the country now too, have a look online and find a more convenient and local way to enjoy the sun and sand.

Fruit picking

Another way to make healthy eating more fun. Whatever it is you go pick, your child will be more enthusiastic about eating it than they would be if it was shop bought.

Cherry picking

Board games

Pause the video games and take a break from screens, take the time to play some board games. If you want a more educational game than monopoly, there are lots of options out there.

Visit a cave

Do you know your stalactites from your stalagmites? If not, head to some caves and learn something new with your child; if you do, head to some caves and enjoy feeling knowledgeable while your child learns something new!

Grow something

Whether it be fruit, vegetables or some flowers, children will take pride in growing something, will learn some gardening skills and, if it is fruit or vegetables will be willing (at least try) to eat it.

Science experiments

There are lots of simple, fun and educative experiments to do from the home. This video is full of ideas.

Practice a new language together

There are lots of ways to learn some basic language skills, including apps, books and videos. You could help your child with some vocabulary they have learnt at school or try something entirely new with them. If you are lucky enough to be travelling abroad over the summer you could try to learn some of the language skills you might need; children will love having the chance to practice their skills on holiday.

Write a book or story together

This doesn’t need to be anything particularly long or spectacular, but it can be a fun and productive way to get creative and practice writing skills.

Take classes/lessons together

Everyone can always learn a skill and everyone can always get some more exercise, so have a look at what classes and lessons are offered locally. Leisure centres always have lots of options.

Scavenger hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt around your house, garden or beyond. Use clues as a way to practice educational skills.

Crafts

There are lots of ways to make crafts fun – you could go for a walk and make a collage from items you find on the way or you could use crafts as a chance to re-use and recycle.

Museums

Educational, free, and out of the rain, museums are always a great way to spend a day.

img_7075

Fossil hunting

This could be slightly more difficult because it can’t be done anywhere, but there are lots of places across the country which are suitable – just make sure you know your ammonites from your belemnites!

Have a smoothie day

Spend the day making smoothies. This can be a fun way to eat healthily and to sneak some fruit and vegetables into your child’s drink.

Summer sport

There is almost always some sport happening over the summer. See what’s on and try to get your child interested and see if they would like to try a new sport.

Bird feeders

Bird feeders are easy to make as this RSPB guide shows and they provide a great opportunity for your child to engage with nature.

Look local

Have a look on your local newspaper’s website; it will be full of local activities and events which are happening across the summer.

Outdoor cinema

Every summer there seems to be more and more open-air cinemas popping up around the UK. A trip to one of these cinemas is great for the evening; they often show family-friendly films too.

Art galleries

Let your child attempt to draw their own versions of the classics and teach them about the exhibits (or find a tour guide or brochure to teach them instead). Art galleries are often free, too!

Fly a kite

An old-school option, but always fun, especially if you make the kit with your child before flying it! This CBBC video might help you get started.

screen-shot-2018-07-23-at-09-35-58

Kings Tutors are leading Private Tutors in London so if you are looking for a tutor to keep your kids brain ticking over this summer, contact them!

kingstutors.co.uk

Activities Days Out Little Reviews

The Little Grand Tour : Art Tours For Kids

One thing I fondly remember of my father, is he knew the answer to everything. I have never known a person with such a good general knowledge and knew if I was on his Trivial Pursuit team – we would definately win. Sadly however, I lack this knowledge!! I don’t know whether it is nature or nurture, but I am very keen to help my kids excel in their pub quizzes over the years! If you are with me and want to give your children an understanding of art history, The Little Grand Tour is just what you need to know about.

During the 18th and 19th centuries men and women ventured across Europe on a ‘Grand Tour’ to experience high culture and see first hand the wonder of Italian art and sculpture. Isabel and her team want to inspire a community of little grand tourists across London to its many secret and varied collections in well known and not so well known galleries and museums. Together with their LGT passport, children can enjoy their holiday and weekend tours. Lasting 2-3 hours depending on the tour, with a necessary picnic pit stop, they focus on a number of works of art which we hope will not only encourage a love of art but also contribute towards school learning.

My oldest son and his friend went a Myths and Legends Tour at the National Gallery yesterday.

img_7075

I dropped them off at 10 with Isabel and Annabel and 4 other boys and let them get on with it.

img_1559

When they arrived back at the same spot two hours later, they were telling me 3 paintings they saw – all under late rennaissance era.

img_1581

From never having been inside an art gallery to all of a sudden knowing who Titian was – that’s not something I could have ever taught!

There is something about them being with a stranger that makes them behave (in my opinion!) so Isabel encourages parents to drop the kids with her rather than join the tour (as much as you will want to!)

img_1585

As Isabel has two children (age 10 and 6) herself, she has an immediate way with children and knows how to engage them straight away.

They were given a Little Grand Tour silicon bracelet, a neck tag and a ‘passport’ to collect stickers each time they go on tour.

Boys

For the individual tours, they fill in a small form of what paintings they saw and have time to recall their favourite painting and redraw and colour it on the back of their worksheet.

Worksheet

Isabel knows how to bring art alive and I am looking forward to booking them on another one – I love the sound of ‘Picasso and Colour’ at Tate Modern!

Here is a list of what’s coming up

Wednesday 18th July: Cedric Morris & Floral Fun at The Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Friday 27th July: Picasso & Colour at Tate Modern (10am-12pm)

Wednesday 15th August: Tate Britain (10am-12pm)

Wednesday 22nd August: Victoria & Albert Museum (10am-12pm)

Friday 27th August: Picasso & Colour at Tate Modern (10.30am-12.30pm)

Tuesday 28th August: Flower Fairies at The Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Thursday 30th August: Flower Fairies at the Garden Museum (10.30am-12.30pm)

Contact Isabel to book hello@thelittlegrandtour.co.uk

thelittlegrandtour.co.uk

Activities Days Out Events

How To Look Stylish without Following Fashion

What a joy to spend the morning in beautiful surrounding at a styling workshop with Kate Evans. I have been following Kate on Instagram (check her stylish and accessible squares out) for a while and have admired her informative stories and blog posts, so when an oppountity arose to hear her in ‘real life’ I jumped at the chance.

She was leaving the Glos to enlighten a group of ladies at a styling workshop and lunch hosted by Jo at Blaegrove Barn, who runs gorgeous events & workshops from a barn in her garden.  It is available to hire for your own event such as hen, baby shower, corporate or party too.

Blaegrove Barn

Kate kicked off the morning introducing herself.

KE Styling

Everyone was immediately reassured that she wasn’t some super stylist who was going to throw high fashion on us, but who would teach us how to wear clothes that would suit us to reach our potential.

Inside the barn

Not only is she an expert in the colours and shapes, she is also a trained life coach and a bevy of knowledge on which shops suit which style personality and shapes.

She generously pinpointed what colours we should be wearing – I should wear deep (dark), bright (jewel colours) with a warm undertone (i.e. yellow based) and although I had my colours done a few years ago and trained how to do women’s seasonal colours (i.e. Spring or Summer) this updated version knowing your key characteristics was much more helpful!

Luckily, I was wearing the right colours!

Black & Pink

Kate went through the key trends for this Spring / Summer, and as we had learnt what suits us, we knew whether we could wear them or not.

SPRING SUMMER TRENDS 

Trouser Suits 

If you feel a trouser suit is too formal, dress down with a logo T underneath and some trainers.  This Boden trouser suit is a particular favourite of Kate’s (she nor I are endured with any of these recommendations FYI!)

Remember if black isn’t one of your colours, there are other neutrals that you can wear top to toe such as navy blue, grey or chocolate-brown that will suit you and look smart if they are the right colour for you!

1980’s 

Bomber jackets – Zara is always good and for the perfect jumpsuit head to Rock The Jumpsuit.  Best worn if your shoulders nd hips are the same width apart – if not – get those shoulder pads on you! Very 80’s…

Tapered trousers are also a winner this season. (My trousers in the above photo were a bit blousy…)

Fluted Sleeves 

Perfect if you have a small top half and to even your proportions out if you have a heavier bottom half!  (Monsoon are great for that latter problem – really good this season)

What can you wear with these though? A gilet!

Crazy Brights 

If you aren’t good with brights around your face, accessorise it up!  Gift Pop have gorgeous brightly coloured horse hair belts.

image005

Florals 

If you are tall, wear large patterns and if you are small wear smaller patterns! Reflect!

Ted Baker is doing fantastic florals at the moment.

image003

We sat down for an incredible lunch that Jo had prepared surrounded by beautiful interiors.

Blaegrove

From the nibbles to the homemade lemon posset and the salads in between – it was absolutely gorgeous.

Pepper salad

These tulips were from Jo’s garden – I forgot to ask how she gets them to stay so upright!

img_4343

After chatting and enjoying top fodder (Jo humbly said she used Tart London’s latest recipe book but I think most of her salads were totally from her own repertoire) we set about to glean as much info from lovely Kate on what’s what, who’s what and where’s where…

ENJOY!

Who does good t shirts?
Whistles…

Options to dress down a blazer?
Lucy Dodwell (great for a flash of neon) and FWP by Rae (great for slogans) do super cool sweatshirts in lightweight fabrics.

3 favourite small clothing brands
Baujken
Miranda Dunn
Be4 Ballerina’s who can personalise your trainers!

Top 3 go to items in your wardrobe when you are in a rush
In the summer, Maxi dress, Cropped trousers, Statement tee

jacket

Best return of investment on an item
My Keith Scarrott gold backed boots….I just love them and they make me feel so happy when I wear them!

3 favourite Instagram accounts
Suzie Verrill – she is hilarious
Caroline Hirons – brilliant beauty advice and she cracks me up
Mamma’s Scrap book…stunning interior shots but also brilliant instastories. Anna is a Psychotherapist and does lots of work on promoting support of mental health issues.

Silver or gold jewellery?
Mostly gold as I have a warm skin tone- so works much better- but I also like mixing my metals and wearing both at the same time. Cotton and Gems is my favourite!

Last book you read?
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi…an incredibly moving book about Ayaan’s upbringing in a strict Islamic family in Somalia and her escape from it into Dutch Politics.

The song you pelt out on your own?
Anything from Train or Christina and The Queens

3 favourite apps
Snapseed for photo editing
Hairy Letters (for kids)
Wunderlist (sharing to-do lists between yourself and someone else. I love it I can add things to my husband’s list!)

Best tip for Instagram
Be yourself and make connections with other users so you can support each other. It can be a harsh place…but it can also be SO supportive and positive. Be strict with how long you are on it, how often you check it otherwise it can easily take over.

Follow her here!

Kate Instagram

I am seriously considering booking a shopping trip wth Kate. She is so lovely and has a super fun sense of humour, and totally just gets it.  Also tempted by her ‘online shopping’ package – give her your brief (an event for example) and she will edit a Pinterest board for you with suggestions.

Now that is service!

How much?

Prices start at £75 per hour…  but the amount of money you will save in the long run far outweighs the initial outlay.

Kate & lucinda

What a fun day! I feel so inspired and am going to go through my warden with vigour!

Subscribe to kate-evans.co.uk
Keep up to date with events at Blaegrovebarn.com

Activities Gift Guides Reviews

St Pancras : A New Shopping Destination

On Thursday I felt like Tom Hanks in The Terminal. Except I was at St Pancras International all day by choice. In fact, I had planned to spend a couple of hours there but after I visited every shop, stopped for a couple of beauty treatment and had a coffee in one of the many cafes, 5 hours had elapsed and I was actually late for the kids!!

St Pancras International is not only an international train station, it is now a shopping & eating destination.  The beauty of St Pancras is it is beautiful too. No stark lights like popular shopping centres so I didn’t get the fuzzy head that I usually get if I stay too long inside one.

img_0795

The natural light that pours through the roof makes it a destination for design students and tourists who want to take some lovely London photos too.  The architecture really is incredible.  Read here for the history of St Pancras.

img_0796

The concourse of shops is orderly and neat with large glass windows so you can peer in before you enter.

St Pancras

Each shop was beautifully laid out, not very busy and I noticed how attentive the staff were.

The added bonus is that opening hours go beyond the normal high street to cater for time poor travellers, eaters and shoppers.

St Pancras kindly gave me a £100 Gift Card to buy Mothers Day presents.

Gift Card

There was no shortage of ideas!

Jo Malone

If you know what scent you like (I like Peony & Blush) anything from Jo Malone would make a lovely gift – the packaging alone conjures up excitement.

I loved trying the limited edition scents that have just been launched. My favourite from this range, English Garden, was Poppy & Barley. It is scrummy!

img_0789

I also had a cheeky hand massage (which was free!) You can book online. A lovely treat for you and your mum!

Jo Malone

Neals Yard 

I really enjoyed perusing the shelves of Neals Yard (a treat in itself to go deeper than a quick glance through the window when the kids are in tow).

I was particularly taken by their teas and supplements (and want to try the Organic Beauty Oil which you add to your breakfast, smoothie or dressings!)

Natural Health

I personally would love some intensive body cream tottery and get my flesh ready for Spring. The lovely lady who works in the shop recommended Geranium & Orange Body Balm!

Geranium & Orange Body Balm

Cath Kidson 

If you love bright and a bit of floral, Cath Kidson is a lovely place to gander.

Cath Kidson

I love the new London Toile Print.  Good to see a London scene without the obligatory red (bus) and black (taxi) in it!

London Toile

Fortnum & Mason

What a treat to have a peak in Fortnum & Mason. What struck me was ho reasonable the prices were. A box of biscuits in a nice tin only (ok not your average digestives) was £12. A lovely present for the right motherland who can beat a receiving a Fortnums bag!

Fortnums

John Lewis 

A more reasonable alternative was down at John Lewis who’s whole shop seemed geared towards gifts. These Whittards tins of teas are pretty – it makes meant to buy the whole range of candy coloured ones.

Tea

As you know I am a sucker for anything pink and love the packaging on this Georgian tea caddy!

Earl Grey

Marks & Spencer 

No shopping destination is complete without a trusty Marks. Whilst I have my eye on these yellow slim waisted trousers  there is no denying that Marks is the place to grab a good quality stylish bunch of flowers on the run!

Frill Pocket

Oliver Bonas

Oliver Bonas is basically a homeware and gift shop so you will find something in there. I have my eye on these small gold printed rugs. Perfect for jazzing up a small corner of a room.

Rugs

Their selection of cards were pretty hilarious too – this one ticked me in particular!

Mum card

Have a look to see all the Shops at St Pancras International. Here is a shot of a selection!

Shops at St Pancras

What a fun day.  I will definitely be allowing extra time if I am lucky enough to be passing through again, or perhaps I might make a special trip there again. Who is with me? xx

Activities Days Out Family Life

9 Festive Family Activities

Christmas lights were switched on on Marylebone High Street last night which has given me the red light to go into full Christmas mode. What better way to start the Festive season on The London Mummy, with a ‘What’s On’. The lovely Melissa Gauge from Spare My Time is sharing her top 3 places to visit this Christmas with your family to get you in the festive mood.

Take it away…

1) Santa and his huskies at London’s Wetland Centre

Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT

2 & 3 December

WWT

Christmas is coming early thanks to a magical Santa’s Grotto with free husky and donkey rides for little visitors at the WWT Wetland Centre, Barnes Father Christmas tickets are selling out fast but there are plenty of other festive activities on that weekend – husky and donkey rides are free with admission (children 8 or younger, with weight restrictions) or you can lend a hand at the Elves workshop, making festive decorations or small Christmas gifts to take home.

(If you’ve not been to the Wetland Centre before it’s a must even without the Christmas activities – over 100 acres of managed wetland reserve, nature at its best.)

Top Tip: Apart from Father Christmas, there is no advance booking so make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment.


2. South Bank Centre

Belvedere Rd, London, SE18XX

10 November – 4th January (10am-11pm)

image-3

From Christmas Markets to roof top saunas, from Skandi rooftop bars to giant snow globes, from ABBA sing alongs to Nordic folk tales there really is something everyone at the Southbank Centre.

Top tip: try visiting the cosy Rekorderlig Cider Lodge for a glass or two of mulled wine


3. Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park, London, W2

Friday 17th – 1st January

Winterwonderland

A Christmas Bonanza – your only problem will be where to start!

Here is a pick of what’s on:

 Skate on the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink

 Take a journey in the deep sea at The Magical Ice Kingdom

 See the enchanting fairy-tale Cinderella on Ice

 Watch jaw-dropping acts in the Circus Megadome

 Experience spectacular views from the Giant Wheel

 Join the family fun in The Sooty Christmas Show!

 Drink festive cocktails at Bar Ice

Tickets get booked up fast however there is still plenty to see and do even if you do miss out on the big events.

Top tips : Keep your children close – this is a very busy event! We write our telephone numbers on our children’s arm just in case they decide to go for a wander.


Outdoor Ice Skating

With so many options of outdoor ice skating on offer we’ve narrowed it down to our top 5:

Hampton court palace: Open from November 24th – January 7th 2018.

This has to be one of the most picturesque ice rinks, overlooking Henry VIII spectacular home beside the Thames.

Tower of London:

Open from 17th November – January 2nd 2018.

Tip: visit in the morning if you are taking children, it does get busy later in the
day!

Somerset House:

Open from 15th November – January 14th 2018.

In our view, one of the most romantic ice rinks – perfect for that elusive date night. For an extra special touch try one of the Fortnum’s Skate Extras

Skate Extras Festive

Natural History Museum:

Open from 26th October -7th January 2018. The Natural History Museum is our die-hard Christmas visit. Be sure to book a penguin for the kids – they do run out quickly

Top tip: Outdoor ice skating does get VERY wet and cold! Bring plenty of layers, gloves and hats (possibly waterproofs for children!).

Covent Garden Christmas Pudding Race

2 December.

Great Pudding Race

Did you know that for the past 36 years there has been a Christmas Pudding race to raise money for cancer research? This fancy dress fun run is full of entertainment and amusements.

Children are not able to enter but not to worry, there will be a lot to see!


Operation Christmas Child

Be a part of changing a child’s life this Christmas and donate a shoe box with a few small gifts and necessities inside. This wonderful tradition started in 1990 and has helped over 146 million children in 150 countries.

Spend the morning compiling your gifts with your children and drop them into your local centre.

Operation Christmas Child Festive

Here is a link giving you do’s and don’ts to put inside your box.

Top tip: Remember to wrap the box and the lid separately so they aren’t stuck together when checks are done.

Shoeboxes need to be in by 18 November.

Melissa’s blog is well worth signing up for if you want to be kept informed of new businesses and what’s on in and around London and sign up to Spare My Time if you need any jobs done in your house or garden with a trusted tradesmen recommended by Melissa.

Read her Spotlight interview here!