Top 5 In The Know Kids Outings

The fahhhbulous Ana Potter from Urban Explorer has created a hot list of great places to go in London with kids. Urban Explorer’s mission is to get kids in our cities, exploring more, enjoying more and learning more – without costing the earth. Their weekly newsletter is a treasure trove of ideas. We are rather big fans.

Urban Explorer

Now this ain’t no usual list they’ve given us. No siree. This is a list of secret places that only the FORTUNATE FABULOUS know. And without the kids knowing it – they’re educational!

1. Kids art and architecture classes at Sir John Soane’s Museum

The Sir John Soane’s Museum is a genuine treasure trove of artefacts and curiosities. Soane was the architect of the Bank of England and his former residence houses over 30,000 architectural drawings and antiquities, including works by Turner and Canaletto.

Kids classes at Sir John Soane’s museum are varied but focus on art, craft and architecture. Interesting and unique art workshops are held during holidays and half term. Class numbers are small and kids tour the museum for inspiration before creating their masterpieces. Kids create prints, plaster models, stained glass and dozens of other unique items. There is also a very popular Young Architects Club on weekends for 7-10 year olds and 11-14 year olds.

Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Bloomsbury, London WC2A 2BP 0207 405 2107


2. Gardening at Chelsea Physic Garden

Founded in 1673, The Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanic garden and has a growing collection of over 5,000 different plants. Small but perfectly formed and centrally located in Chelsea, this is a wonderful hidden gem to visit. The workshops for kids are in-depth and genuinely educational, ranging from beginners gardening to learning about mini-beasts and even chocolate workshops. The classes are nice to do together with kids as carers remain throughout and participate. Picnics on the lawn are encouraged during lunch break although the on-site cafe is delicious and highly recommended.

Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS 0207 352 5646


3. Baking at Poilâne

What began as a tiny bakery in Paris in the 1930’s has now become a worldwide sensation stocking the shelves and tables of some of the finest shops and restaurants worldwide. These famed loaves along with biscuits and a small selection of patisserie, are made daily in a tiny London outpost in Belgravia. On most weekday mornings, the bakers will take kids (over 6 years old) into the heart of the bakery to see how the bread is created from scratch, they may even get to sample some goodies fresh out of the oven. Ring the day before to check for spaces.

Poilâne 46 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PA 0207 808 4910

4. Creative writing at the Ministry of Stories

Set up by a small group of writers including Nick Hornby, the MoS is an centre for creative writing for kids aged 8-18 years old. It is run by volunteer writers to inspire kids and help them explore their imaginations through writing and storytelling. They host regular workshops, book clubs and events including opportunities to interview locals, photograph and write articles for local papers. There is also a very well designed, very cool Monster Supplies Shop stocking an array of wonderfully disgusting items that will tempt any child in purely through irresistible curiosity – a great place to stock up for Halloween.

Ministry of Stories, 159 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch, London N1 6PJ  0207 729 4159

5. Pottery Cafe

This is a friendly shop within which lays a treasure trove of pottery waiting to be personalised and taken home to enjoy. The mugs, teapots and huge selection of items to paint make wonderful mementos as a gift for father’s day, a special friend or grandparent, and it is suitable for creative’s of any age – from teeny baby hand prints on a mug to intricate paintings.

We love that Pottery Cafe use Emma Bridgewater raw pottery pieces (the mugs are the nicest to drink from and a perfect size). Children enjoy painting, leaving their creations behind and collecting them a few weeks later all shiny and beautiful; just like from the shop, only better.

Pottery Cafe, 153 Northcote Road, Battersea, SW11 6QB (several locations) 020 7223 3388

So, now you can look like the best parent on earth, who’s the most fun and takes their kids to the BEST places. And all whilst teaching them a thing or two – thanks to the fabulous Urban Explorer. Enjoy!

The Track Pack

Now I don’t know about you, but in our household, we’ve been counting down to the London Olympics, like ALL my husband’s life! Anyone who thinks he’s hard done by with my handbag ‘habit’ needs to know quite how much he has managed to find to spend on tickets…..

London 2012 Olympic Logo
Logo....not a fan....definitely not medal winning

Anyhow, stuff him, the performances, medals etc. Let’s focus on STYLE! Three über designers are designing for their teams for the Olympics. Ralph Lauren for Team USA, Stella McCartney for Team GB and Giorgio Armani for Team Italia.

So, not to be outdone, I bring you a around-up of stylish sports looks for your own little Olympians. Now I’m not going all Union Jack on you – I already did that with my Jubilee Crown Duels post and that hurt. So, ready, steady, go…..

AND AND AND – we don’t stop there. No Siree. Here for you is a BRILLIANT map guiding you to all the Olympics venues….click to enlarge

Olympic Venues in London map by LondonTown.com

So there you go. Leave him indoors watching the kayaking finals whilst you get busy online with my tips. Your kids will win a GOLD MEDAL for sure in the style stakes.

Step2wo do a do with Rachel Stevens and Jasmine Guinness

My goodness, I had SUCH a busy old week last week. It was Mothercare, JoolsOliver and then off to Selfridges for the launch of  “Heart and Sole” – a great link up between Step2wo (owners of the kids shoe concession there) and the British Heart Foundation.

STEP 2WO Selfridges BHF Heart and Sole Campaign
All looks good enough to eat.....

Three fabulous mummy celebs designed limited edition shoes for the retailer 25% of the profits of which would be donated to the BHF’s Mending Broken Heart Appeal. We had the beautiful (sickeningly so…) Rachel Stevens, Jasmine Guinness (model, mum, toy shop proprietor….not fair) and lastly Charlotte Church – who unfortunately couldn’t be there to meet moi.

STEP 2WO Selfridges BHF Heart and Sole Campaign
Jasmine Guiness and Rachel Stevens our designers du jour!

Let’s shop some shoes…..

STEP 2WO  Selfridges BHF Heart and Sole Campaign
Charlotte Church's Simon Boot - boy FABBBBBB!
STEP 2WO  Selfridges BHF Heart and Sole Campaign
I HEART these Rachel Stevens' Nancy Stud Boots
STEP 2WO Selfridges BHF Heart and Sole Campaign
Jasmine Guinness' splats are MINE MINE MINE

It was awash with celebs and their kids – Harriet Scott, Tina Hobley, Sinitta, Elen Rivas, Angela Griffin, Jade Parfitt….and erm..moi. And my offspring. The kids were busied with an incredible balloon man, a brillo activity table courtesy of the fabulous Anorak Magazine, and a stupendously good face-painter. Busy kids = shopping mothers!

STEP 2WO Selfridges BHF Heart and Sole Campaign
Fresh paint....face paint....

Oh how wonderful it felt to be a luvvie for the day! A great afternoon was had by all and hopefully most of all by the Mending Broken Hearts Appeal. Click here to shop some seriously fabulous shoes and do your bit to help such a great cause. After all…who can resist a great pair of shoes…

Photo Credits: Andy Paradise

 

 

Bonton is a Ton of Bon

I went on a leetle tripette to Paris recently. So easy with Eurostar, just like with my husband, I just lay back and thought of England. Anyhow, as you can imagine my short trip a veritable trolley dash – in the same frenzied manner as one would have with 10 minutes to shop in a free supermarket. Except the pickings weren’t free, or even cheap. Just lovely and très chic.

Paris est Jolie!

So my new fave shop – actually ‘kids concept store’, is BONTON. It was packed to the rafters with everything from cool toys, to shoes, to clothes, to jewellery. I was in kids style HEAVEN. But fear not kids, you don’t have to trek to Paris, they are online! Love. Want .Need. Now. Here is a display of their own label clothes.

Simple but fun display

Look here people….I bought these Sonny Angel miniature dolls for my girls – you can get animal, fruit or vegetable €8 each. And you don’t know which one you’re getting from each set – it’s a surprise. R was upset she didn’t get Broccoli.

The Veg Gang

Who needs carrots to see in the dark with these FAB rabbit lights €46. I want one in every colour.

 

Rabbit Lights

This Tutu has shaky shaky bits (technical term) inside. Hilarious.

Birthday Tutu

It was actually whist in the shop that I fell for someone else. It was LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. Look at these Feiyue sneakers €60. They come with three sets of laces, blue, red and silver that are inter-changeable. I snapped up two pairs IMMEDIATEMENT!

Feiyue Trainers

So by the end of my visit, a great time was had by all in Bonton. Especially their TILLS…

Why Purple Dragon Made Me Green..

So happy birthday again (and again and again OMG does it ever end???) to my girlies. So to celebrate in style (again and again and again!) we took them to Purple Dragon – a luxury family members club in Chelsea for the day.

Busy little birthday bees

And even I was knocked off my (skyscraper heeled) feet. It was A…MAZING. And super duper stylish. Let me share why….

Little pods with leather Le Corbusier loungers for you to block out the world (or your kids..) whist surfing a borrowed iPad. Bliss…..

Your little Chelsea Hideaway

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