All posts filed under: Reviews

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Drake and Morgan at King’s Cross

Towards the end of the summer holidays, we spent a day in London. It was a mixed bag with strange weather and slightly (very) hyperactive children; we visited the Tower for the first time, then headed to King’s Cross for lunch. Drake and Morgan is a short walk from the tube station; bright, open and airy, arranged over two floors. We were seated in the corner of the ground floor, by the window. On a humid day, the open kitchen on this level offered no relief, which was a little uncomfortable. On the lower ground floor, where the spectacular toilets were also situated, it was much cooler, seemingly air conditioned. We chose drinks whilst perusing the food menu, my friend and I opting for cocktails from Drake and Morgan’s extensive range.    The children’s menu appeared to be a little lacking in the vegetable department (though salad was available in place of chips), not that this bothered my two! They both chose sausages, one with mash and one with chips – it would have been …

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Truly Lovely Potions

When my children were smaller, largely before Miss J started school, we spent a lot of time engaged in messy and sensory play activities. I invested in a Tuff spot not only to try and contain some of the mess but also to invent small world scenarios. We had such fun, making moon sand, conducting simple science experiments, painting with trains, tracing letters in all sorts of substances (our favourite being Angel Delight powder), and so much more. With the boy not so keen on getting wet and messy, once Miss J was spending her days at school, the fabric of our play changed. The boy and I would mostly play with trains, with a few diggers, dumpers, and wild animals thrown in. I tried to introduce messier aspects, hiding his trains in jelly and ice, but this more often frustrated than delighted him. One activity that really did work for him though were our autumn tracks in the Tuff spot.   We spent the morning collecting colourful fallen leaves at the park then constructed …

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Chessington World of Adventures

My first experience of Chessington occurred during the summer of 2008 when I was, unbeknownst to me, three months pregnant with Miss J. I have always wondered if this is why she is such an adrenaline junkie! We returned last August, when she was just under 1.2 metres tall and so couldn’t ride all that she wanted to. On Monday, we visited again, and Miss J was delighted to discover that she was now tall enough for the log flume!    Her other stand out highlight was the Vampire, which she rode for the second year in a row. The queue was, predicably, over an hour long (the joys of theme parks during school holiday season!), but the excitement on her face made it just about worth it!    For the boy, who is less brave when it comes to rollercoasters, he was very happy to explore the zoo and sea life centre, particularly seeing gorillas, lions and tigers, which are his very favourite animals.    Ride wise, he very much enjoyed the pirate boats, …

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Bella Italia, Baker Street

Italy is home to a number of my very favourite meals, and pizza restaurants are some of the few that we can eat at as a family (the boy is still limited by his hugely fussy palate). However, when we were invited to review the newly refurbished Bella Italia in Baker Street, London, I was a little unsure as to how well they would cater to us as a foursome, having never visited before. I needn’t have worried; from the moment we arrived, the children were addressed directly and catered for amply. The treats began with a free funky straw with each individual bottle of squash, which I found a lovely touch, and the children thought was brilliant.    Another pleasant surprise was the range of dishes on the children’s menu; all too often, we find the same meals again and again, but the Bella Italia menu was a delight. Not only were there lots of foods to choose from but there was also a variety of sizes to suit children of all ages and …

A Rainy Day at Drusillas Park

My kids have a love/hate relationship with animals or, more accurately, love/fear – my daughter adores them whilst my son is rather more apprehensive around them. Prime example; during a visit to a local farm, we walked through a field of animals where Miss J tried to ride a goat whilst the boy was running away from a goose. Still, we find Drusillas to be quite a good compromise as there are enough animals to keep Miss J happy, and there is also plenty for the boy to do as well. Cuddling Meerkat statues, for example.    And logging stamps in the spotters book.    Of course, for the train enthusiast, Drusillas also boasts a Thomas train that will take you right the way round the park, as well as a few other characters to spot throughout the day.    As mentioned previously, there are enough animals to keep Miss J happy, with meerkats and flamingoes being highlights for her.    And what I quite like about the attraction is the opportunity to do something …