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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.


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


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


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!)


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.


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.


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

Places Reviews Travel

Black Pig Retreats : Luxury Safari Tents, Dorset

We have just returned home with our hearts full and a renewed love of camping. We stayed at Black Pig Retreats in Motcombe, Dorset (near Shaftsbury) this weekend and didn’t want to leave.  We arrived on Friday evening and were welcomed by the very calm and kind Carolyn who immediately asked if the kids wanted to go in the boot of her ‘buggy’. That won them over and within two minutes they were off with her. I like this place!!


We followed them down the dirt track and then up the hill we were presented with out accommodation for the weekend. Wow was the first thing I exclaimed – and that was without even seeing inside.

Safari Tent

The tent had an eat in kitchen living room, 3 bedrooms (to sleep 6), flushable loo, hot shower a lovely terrace.


The whoops of joy as the kids explored their surroundings. They were particularly enamoured with the tree house style bedroom painted in Greek blue with rich mustard curtains to keep out the light and make it true camp style.


The kitchen was spotless and very well equipped – I didn’t need my trusty plunger as there was a stylish and sturdy Le Creuset one that was far superior to mine.  There was some milk, break and biscuits too to keep hunger at bay for when we arrived. They really had thought of everything.


I couldn’t believe how high spec our bedroom was, 6 pillows and a goose down duvet!!! This is one place that you can leave your pillow at home!




There was so much space, we were able to have friends over for drinks and a BBQ. The kids were in heaven meandering through the brooking exploring all the sights to see on the trail – especially the ‘Lion’.

Sweet Peas

The next morning the children were whisked away to feed the animals on the farm. Carolyn has a real way with children and felt immediately comfortable with her.


The highlight was feeding the real black pigs and of course the horses!

Horse Feeding

I highly recommend you visit. It is super comfortable and so peaceful and beautiful – I feel really well rested and refreshed and will definitely be heading back. It would perfect with the family or even a midweek break with a couple of friends as they have a studio for Pilates & Yoga too.


To book, call Carolyn on 01747 590 678 or email

Beauty Reviews Spotlight

Oskia London : Improve Your Skin With These Products

There is a first for everything, and I had a first this weekend that I never expected to happen – ever. Growing up, I had severe acne. From the ages of 15-17 it was horrific – I was actually pleased I was at an all girls boarding school (!) so I didn’t have to face the ‘real world’. After failing with many different medications both internally and tropically – I hit the hard stuff and was prescribed Roaccutane – twice. For those that know this drug, it is not for the fainthearted and is really the last resort. Now I have grown out of it (thank fully although I lie awake at night praying that none of my children have my ‘gene’) and when I apply my tinted moisturiser I still so pleased I don’t have to trowel it on my skin and camouflage my face with industrial cover up.

So, this weekend when someone commented that I had ‘lovely’ skin, I really was taken a back and was very British about it ‘oh no i don’t, it’s so dry, I have pock marks etc’ as I genuinely don’t think I have good skin.

But actually, when I think about and look up close, I do have pretty good skin. It is smooth, well nourished and looks well cared for.

This is only a relatively recent thing in the last few years, since I have jumped not he bandwagon of using serums and acids and what not.

And then after a chance meeting with one of Alex’s old friends in the pub, who introduced me to his brand OSKIA, after trying it, it improved even more. I love all their products for dehydrated skin


Rather than wax lyrical about how incredible this brand is, I will recall a text that my friend sent me, after she used my OSKIA.

“Wow, I love that OSKIA oil and moisturiser, my skin feels and looks amazing – thanks for the tip!”

You are welcome my friend.

And today, not only do we have an interview with the founders but they are also offering a generous 25% off with londonmummy18 if you buy through their website

What made you start OSKIA Georgie?

After trying my fathers MSM supplement (a bio available form of sulphur that he was introducing to the market to repair horse joints) my complexion glowed – no eczema or acne – and  my nails were so strong.

I started researching the effects of tropical nutrients on the skin and OSKIA launched in 2009 as the first nutritional skincare brand that focuses on bio-available nutrients.

Since then we have won over 100 awards, opened our own lab and factory in the rolling hills of Wales in Monmouth, where I come from. My amazing husband, George Gordon, runs the business with me, which luckily works very well, and we split our time between our London HQ on Sloane Street, and our factory in Wales.



I have seen OSKIA in many of the high end department stores. Who else stocks OSKIA?

We are really lucky in that we work with the best of the best and have never approached any retailer ourselves. In the UK, you can find us in stores such as SpaceNK, Selfridges, Net a Porter, and hotel spas like the famous Cliveden & Chewton Glen (both of which I have just formulated their own brand spa products for them) but we also love the independent stores and spas like Mortar & Milk and the very cool Pig Hotels.

Of the products I tried, I think your Renaissance 360 made the biggest difference to the condition of my skin.

rennaissance 360

What are your best-selling products?

Probably our Renaissance Cleansing Gel, which is a lovely pink enzyme cleanser and the first gel-to-oil on the market when it launched.

However, our Restoration Oil is also very popular as is the Renaissance Mask which is amazing before or after an event….

Renaissance Mask


Do you have celebrity endorsements?

Lots, but I’m afraid we don’t spill the beans. It drives my PR mad but I very strongly believe that skincare is private and brands shouldn’t divulge. We have a very ‘British’ approach to this, which is probably the reason why we have a very loyal celebrity base. I have a growing pile of thank you letters from the most amazing people – I am very lucky! What I can tell you though is that we also work with the British movie industry- Bridget Jones, Tomb Raider, Danish Girl, Le Mis, Star Wars. You might have spotted our products in Bridget Jones’s Baby – I nearly fell of my seat when they popped up.

What’s next for OSKIA?

We have some really lovely new launches this summer which I’m very excited about – they slightly bring out the inner girl. We’ve also just launched in the US with Barney’s, so this will take quite a lot of focus for this next year.

Georgie’s Favourites

Restaurant : The Dairy, Clapham Old Town. I can only really describe it as British seasonal tapas – and absolutely amazing.

Hotel : Any of the Firmdale hotels. Currently, I’m loving The Crosby Street Hotel in New York. I think Kit Kemp is a genius designer.

Shop : I recently discovered By Drew in Soho New York. I walked in and screeched that I would like to buy everything – the clothes, the carpets, the chairs, everything. I would like to live in it. Like most mothers I spend far too much time in Peter Jones.

Website : Tricky one as I don’t spend much time browsing websites. I do love antiques though and love That makes me sound really boring though doesn’t it!!

Holiday destination : Tulum, 20 years ago. It is still amazing though. I love bare foot chic and really don’t like the big flash hotels. I’d be very happy in a rustic cabanas with no air conditioning. Tulum is heaven.

Parenting tip :

Oh my goodness where do I start. I have 3 children, ranging from 18 months to 7, and I worked the day before Arthur, 7, was born. I think being a mother is really hard work and absolutely exhausting. Juggling work and family is harder still and I always feel guilty – either I’m not working hard enough or I’m not with my children. However, I strongly believe there is no right work/life balance and if anyone says they do they are fibbing. Instagram really doesn’t help which is why I’ve kept off it until now (I now do post!).  We are all doing a brilliant job! So my biggest tip is to do something everyday just for yourself, whether it is a walk, reading the papers in a cafe, spending 30 mins in a gallery, or having a quiet bath (that last one never works – children can sniff out a ‘family bath’ in no time and suddenly there are an extra 3 bodies in the bath.)

Do make the most of this incredible offer. The website is really easy to navigate and remember –  you are worth it – you only have one skin!


25% off all full size products.

Code londonmummy18.

T&C only.

Exclusive offer.

Can not be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Fashion Reviews

TLM Edit Press Launch

Well it would be weird not to cover my own press lunch wouldn’t it! I am sitting at my desk buzzing after a wonderful lunch with lovely ladies who have championed me since I started my little shop alongside The London Mummy. When Daze from Archie’s Food asked if I would like to review their catering service, I jumped at the chance and decided to tie it in with a Spring launch to showcase all my new goodies.  Here is how it went…

The trio from Archie’s Food Husband and wife duo William (his middle name is Archie) and Daze with their professional silver service waiter Mark arrived in good time and set to work moving chairs, laying up and prepping the food.


It was so lovely not to have to worry about any of those logistics and I knew from the excellent communication that I had with Daze in the run up, that everything was in hand.  We had decided that the menu would be a light Spring lunch – and the best bit to start with Champagne cocktails (see the raspberry above!)


I could just…. get to work on my currency plan (I valued every one of my items in terms of coins and then every guest was given 5 points to choose items up to that value. Don’t worry if you don’t get – maybe it was a bit weird, but it worked and meant everyone chose what they wanted!!)


Archie’s Food not only cater for private and corporate events, they have a space for events above their office (kitchen that is open for the best coffee in Fulham!) so if you are wanting to do private event or launch – this might be just the place.  The  Halibut and Aubergine was an absolute taste sensation!


The lovely Susie Babington Gardens styled my studio starting with a beautiful arrangement of white orchids on a side table (aka my deep freeze!)


She then turned her hand to creating a stunning country garland to run across the table.


I love her upmarket style and it was a joy to watch her with her floristry scissors snipping away effortlessly creating such wonderful arrangements.


If you are looking for a florist for an event, to gift someone a bunch, garden design or want to check out her new ‘Unreal’ range – a very deceptive faux flowers.

Here are a few snaps of the room.  I had areas for earrings and necklaces, cuffs and key rings and bag and bag straps.

As many of the bloggers and stylists were off to sunnier chimes in Easter, the beach cover ups and clutches were big hits!


The items not he lower rails are detachable fake collars – not shirts for kids btw!

One of the most popular items were the funky sunglasses – a few inspired by Gucci and Victoria Beckham!


A huge thank you to all the ladies who headed down to the countryside for a day out – perfect for International Women’s Day! Head over to my Instastories to see who was there!

So if you are off somewhere warm, need a gift for a pal or just need to update your look now the weather is warmer, please have a look at my new website – my mission is to sell items that you can’t find elsewhere so you don’t look like everyone else, all at a good price and of course with a dash of colour, tassel or sparkle!

Have a great day,

Lots of love

Lucinda xx

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.


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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


How To Make Duvet Days Easy & Enjoyable

With 3 sick children over the last few weeks, half term and this Beast from the East that has shut school for two days, I would have usually lost the plot.  There is only so much homework, tidying, playing and cooking you can do with them before some form of screen has to be switched on.

When I was asked by the team at Now TV if I wanted to review the Now TV Box and Kids pass – As a slight technophobe (yes I know I am seem quite savvy, but the back technical end has never been my forte and the thought of actually setting up something myself – well no!) I was apprehensive but I decided to go for it!

Now Box

The USP of NOW TV compared to its competitors is it has NO CONTRACT and even a monkey (me) can set it up.


Here is how to do it…

  1. Buy a NOW TV box (a basic one is £14.99) and a box and 3 month Kids pass is £19.99, then £2.99 per month! Bargain!
  2. Set up an account with NOW TV (do this before you plug your box in otherwise it is very disappointing as you plug it in then have to enter your account details and if you don’t have them there are moans all round!)
  3. Plug in the Now TV Box to the wall and the cable to the back of the TV
  4. If your internet is dodgy you can use an ethernet cable from the box to your TV
  5. Turn the box on, go to the HDMI channel you have plugged your box into
  6. Point the NOW remote at the TV and go to home


The kids have watched Batman Lego Movie, Up, Boss Baby, Honey I Shrunk The Kids to name but a few.  That’s on top of these fab shows.

Kids Shows

I cannot wait to have a night in to myself to watch some absolute classics (like catching up on TOWIE and Real Housewives) and these Oscar nominated films. A film pass is only £9.99 and they do epic bundles of kids, sport, entertainment and films too.


I really want to watch SJP’s Divorce and only £7.99 for a months entertainment pass, I think that is value for money!!


By the way, once you have an account, you can watch Now TV on your phone, tablet and computer… those car journeys will now be a breeze!

Sign up to NOW TV  and get a 14 day free trial of their kids pass.  I am so pleased I have discovered it and actually worked out how to use it. If I can, you can!!!

Kids Pass-1506416731234

This post was written in collaboration with NOW TV however all opinions are my own. 

Food Reviews

How To Make The Most of a Night Away

Pink ticket, blue ticket – whatever type of ticket it is called – being ‘allowed’ a night away, without the kids, for no reason in particular other than for desperate need to speak to each other during the daylight uninterrupted (I don’t know about you but i’m knackered in the evening and I turn in to an incommunicative zombie – much to my husbands delight) is a MEGA treat.

London, country, gastropub, airbnb, room above pub, country hotel, boutique hotel or even stay at home (and kids go to Granny and Grandpa’s)….

How Do You Choose? 

With the amount of choice nowadays, it is hard to decide what you fancy – as we don’t have time to think about anything other getting through the next set of jobs – how are we meant to make a sensible informed deciton about out own needs? (Please read tongue in cheek – I am not quite that desperate!)

All I knew is that I wanted to chill and not rush around like a deranged chicken trying to tick off as many sights and shops as I possibly could – just because I wasn’t with a box of frogs aka kids.

We needed to relax, read the papers, catch up on all the Style magazines my mother saves for me, watch something other than Officially Amazing Goes Bonkers (ok, it is pretty good – a firm family favourite but not every time we turn the TV on) and to sleep.


With only 1 night… 

  • You don’t want to spend hours in the car
  • You want it to be quiet
  • You don’t need loads of facilities as you are knackered
  • You need it it be spacious as you aren’t going to move from it
  • You need it to be comfortable for the above reason
  • There needs to be good food (obviously!)

So, we came to the very sensible conclusion of  The Stafford

A quintessential old English hotel in the heart of Mayfair. 


The Stafford


It ticked all of those boxes and one of the most impressive aspects was the service. Wow, nothing was too much trouble, every whim was waited on (not because this was a review – oh no I wish!) and all the staff were very humble, polite and charming.




We checked in, did a circuit of the hotel – didn’t take long as it isn’t vast and then headed to our room.

The ambience was cosy without being too chintzy.


It felt rather Italien actually – must have been the marble bathrooms.


As there isn’t a spa, I booked in a massage with Blow  Whether you want a treatment, nails done, hair blow dried they can come to your hotel room and do it there and then.

My 60 minute deep tissue massage (and it was deep!) was £60 which is much less than usual London prices. 

Then for some champagne and a trip to The American Bar. I had been here before but never realised that it was attached to The Stafford.

Possibly one of my favourite bars in London. Off the beaten track, discreet, cosy and awesome decorations.

American Bar

After the friendly bar men ploughed us with Expresso Martini’s (leftover from orders – for some reason he liked us!) we headed to the acclaimed The Game Bird for supper.

I have heard great things about this restaurant from one of my ‘foodies’ friends, so I was expecting good things.

It didn’t disappoint. In fact, nothing was a miss.

The philosophy at The Game Bird is simple – dedicated to following the seasons and supporting local artisans including award-winning family owned farms, we have created a ‘theatre of the senses’ menu based on uncomplicated excellence: local, seasonal produce sits alongside time honoured British classic.

The Game Bird

After sleeping for 11 hours, yes 11 hours, we rolled down to breakfast that we now considered brunch and it was WOW!


I won’t wax lyrical about the food as 1) it’s piggy and 2) I am not a restaurant critic but if I heard anyone criticise it, it would put me off them, not the restaurant!

Anyway, I highly recommend you hop foot it there, even if it is just for afternoon tea or a drink at the American Bar.

Ideal For

  • Central cosy one stop shop night away
  • Take international friends for a quintessential afternoon tea
  • A sociable family dinner at The Game Bird
  • Warm up drinks with friends at The American Bar

The Stafford, St James Street, SW1A 1NJ

Family Life Little Products Reviews Spotlight

Mini Epic : Take The Chore & Bore Out of Party Invitations

Have you noticed how each class or school send children’s party invitations? There are three different groups. Some flick the date out on whatssapp (my worst – umm hello, I have lost the date before I can say ‘another whatssapp group’), loads use an online tracking service – sorry, I do love my kids and their friends and the convenience of having it all in one spot, but I won’t be paying for a coin for each invitation thank you very much. The majority of parents, send a paper invitation home in the book bag. Yes, this is lovely for the kids and if I was more organised I would put it in my inbox and reply straight away – however often not….

None ideal.

So, when I discovered husband and wife duo (a professional animator and a media producer) who had created Mini Epic as an alternative  way of sending kids party invitations – I was very excited!




As parents of two young girls, they know the importance of getting invitations done as quickly as possible but also wanted something a little more entertaining than paper or a static image.


Party invitations rarely capture the excitement of what’s to come on the big day, so we wanted to create a new kind of invitation that’s entertaining, functional and makes the whole process of sending and managing invitations easier.


Mini-Epic is a fun and fast way to send online animated party invitations for kids’ parties.

  • You simply pick an animated template
  • Add your party details
  • Upload a photo and within 60 seconds your personalised invitation is ready to view.
  • Then you can send it by email and track your guests’ RSVPs (or download your invitation to share via WhatsApp)

And the good bit?

All for just £9.99!!!


Mini Epic


If you have a party coming up, you could try a free preview… 


I know for a fact a little girl who would love this 0ne…





An oldest son who would like this one (although he isn’t allowed a video game party quite yet!)



and a second son, who would like this invitation – he would watch it on repeat!!



And they do adult invitations so I may just be winning in the original stakes when I decide to have a party!

Jonathan’s Favourites :

Restaurant : Antipodea in Kew Gardens – their Brew Melt is a family favourite for breakfast on a lazy weekend.

Hotel : The Dorchester – there’s something special about having afternoon tea there with our daughters once a year.

Holiday Destination : New York – we have family across the pond and we always make sure we fly in to the Big Apple – so much to see and do.

Shop : Hmmmmm…very difficult to say, but I do like Reiss, my wife’s a fan of H&M and our daughters love Smiggles at the moment.

Website : Vimeo – inspiration, inspiration, inspiration!

Parenting tip : If you’re serving food at your child’s party, try individual packed paper lunch bags. Not only will each child get the same portion, but you can easily cater to any food allergies and it makes clearing up a whole lot easier too. Oh, and go for juice boxes or small bottles of water – less chance of a spillage!


Twitter : @the_mini_epic

Facebook : @TheMiniEpic

Instagram : @mini.epic

One off £9.99 includes invitation and tracking.