Huggle — A shop, café and playspace in one!

Imagine a children’s shop stocked full of great toys, baby equipment, children’s decor and stylish furniture… doesn’t that alone sound impressive? Now, imagine this store has buggy parking, kiddie toilets and baby changing facilities, a little café, and an indoor play space for kids — aaahhh, it’s like heaven for parents! This heaven is called Huggle, and it’s a newly opened shop located in Swiss Cottage (just opposite the leisure centre). It was started by a local husband and wife team who spent two years researching the market before opening up their shop and who completely get what it’s like to be a new parent struggling to find the best products for their kids. (more…)


PrimroseBakeryElias and GraceHampstead Heath
Primrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in LondonElias & GraceHampstead Heath

Tricycle Theatre

The Tricycle Theatre, located in Kilburn (North London), is a publicly subsidized performing arts venue most well known its ground-breaking, politically charged performances. They specialise in presenting plays which reflect and promote the cultural diversity of its community.  The venue includes both a large theatre and a 300-seat cinema as well as smaller studios for workshops and other small plays.  They also have a Children’s Theatre Programme which puts on some of the sweetest little shows for kids, often with the use of puppets, live music, storytelling and singing…and with an added ecological or social message to their stories.  We recently went to see The Three Billy Goats Gruff and it was great fun! (more…)


kentish-town-city-farmPrimroseBakeryolive loves alfie
Kentish Town City FarmPrimrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in LondonOlive Loves Alfie

Melrose & Morgan

Two years ago our Christmas got canceled on Christmas Eve — well the trip we had planned to Switzerland did anyway. It was our first Christmas with a child and you know how important they are! We were devastated. I think the only thing that saved us was Melrose & Morgan, our local deli in Primrose Hill (where we lived at the time). We turned up at 12pm to a packed store of everyone collecting their orders and they thankfully managed to make us up one of their ‘Christmas’s in a box’. It honestly saved the day.

But Melrose & Morgan is not just for Christmas, their fantastic home-cooked meals are perfect to take home, heat up and make you look like a domestic goddess. Sadly my better-half isn’t easily fooled – Melrose & Morgan’s food is just that bit too delicious for him to believe it was made by me whilst I had 2 children hanging off my arms. (more…)


PrimroseBakeryolive loves alfieElias and Grace
Primrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in LondonOlive Loves AlfieElias & Grace

Elias & Grace

Elias and Grace is a small but well stocked children’s shop located on the main strip in Primrose Hill. This trendy boutique has one of the best selection of clothing brands in London, including all our favourite European brands like  Simple Kids, Quincy, Maan, Album di Famiglia, Petit Bateau, Pepe Shoes, Bonton, etc. Everything is displayed really well (in sections divided by gender) and they do a really good job of creating ‘looks‘, mixing up the different brands and styles. They also have a great online shop, and they ship internationally. (more…)


PrimroseBakeryOttolenghiTricycle Theatre
Primrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in LondonOttolenghiTricycle Theatre

Olive Loves Alfie

olive loves alfieAlthough it’s a bit off the beaten path, it’s worth a trip to London’s Stoke Newington neighborhood if, for nothing else, a visit to the lovely children’s boutique Olive Loves Alfie.

This small but charming shop is chock full of children’s toys, clothes and accessories. Not your normal mass-market toys, but the sort of things that will inspire you to spruce up your children’s toy basket or run home and redecorate the nursery. It’s the perfect place to find a unique birthday gift, a piece of art to cover a bare wall, or even vintage chairs, globes and toys for your home.

You’ll find Djeco toys, Katvig clothes, Rice accessories, and the list goes on. And there’s something about the way it’s all displayed that makes you really notice the attention to detail and the heartfelt selection. A really lovely neighborhood shop that makes you wish you lived in the neighborhood… (more…)


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Elias & GraceKentish Town City FarmPrimrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in London

Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre

Swiss Cottage Leisure CentreIn the reception area of the Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre, you’ll spot every type of person… from the 20-something fitness buff to the old man with his badminton racket, mums with their buggies, teenagers with their swimming gear, toddlers running out of the Little Rascals soft-play area, etc. This council-run leisure centre offers something for everybody.

It was voted the best leisure centre in London by TimeOut guide in 2008, and for good reason.  But it also deserves a mention for its incredibly kid-friendly atmosphere and programs… ranging from swimming lessons, ballet, basketball, etc.  Toddler’s World classes are offered twice a week, and the soft-play area is opened all week long. On a rainy day in London the Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre can be a savior. (more…)


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Blue DaisyBelgo — for mussels and frites!Elias & Grace

Kenwood House

Kenwood House is located at the top of London’s Hampstead Heath park and is one of my favorite places to go for brunch on a weekend.  Not only does Kenwood House boast sumptuous interiors and important paintings by many great artists (Rembrandt, Turner, Vermeer, etc.), it also has an impressive café/restaurant with one of the best ‘English Breakfasts’ in London.  They also make, in my opinion, the best hot chocolate in the city — it’s worth the walk up there just for a sip!

In nice weather you can sit outside at one of the many picnic tables set in their beautiful garden and enjoy some of the best views of London.  They also have plenty of highchairs and changing tables in the bathrooms, and kids can run freely around the garden area, or join the queue of other children waiting to buy an ice cream from the café!

Hampstead Heath is truly worth a visit if you’re in town, and a walk finishing at Kenwood House will be the icing on the cake of the whole experience!


Hampstead HeathCarluccio's
Huggle — A shop, café and playspace in one!Hampstead HeathCarluccio’s

Belgo — for mussels and frites!

Twenty years ago London had a reputation for having bad food (let’s be honest, ‘bangers and mash’ are not the most innovative of foods). Now however, thanks to an influx of new British chefs, even traditional English food can be tasty. But, what truly makes London’s food so interesting in my opinion, is the growing number of international restaurants in this city. You can now find some of the world’s best French, Italian, Spanish, Indian, Middle Eastern and Chinese restaurants across London. (My only complaint is the lack of good Mexican restaurants!) Seriously, if you’re craving it chances are you can find it!

Belgo is one such restaurant… where you can walk from the rainy streets of London straight into a Belgian world of traditional (and tasty) mussels, frites and hundreds of Belgium’s best beers.

There’s nothing really fancy about it, but the food is good and the atmosphere is authentic. And what’s more? It’s extremely kid-friendly with loads of highchairs and a kid’s menu which includes a mini pot of mussels and an activity kit.


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Carluccio’sHanover Gate Playground in Regents ParkThe Charlotte Street Hotel

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath

We lived in London for nearly two years before we discovered the Hampstead Heath, which is a huge shame as it is one of London’s finest gems, and is, in my opinion, the most liberating outdoor activity in London.  The fact that you can feel so far removed from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of London and yet be smack in the middle of it is a treat which is unusual for such a big city.

Hampstead Heath is London’s largest historic parkland, and arguably the most beautiful.  Unlike the more manicured and planned Royal Parks of London, the Heath is more wild in nature, offering 3.2 sq km of roaming meadows, fishing and swimming ponds, dark and lush woodlands, hiking and biking trails, and some of London’s best playgrounds. (more…)


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Belgo — for mussels and frites!Carluccio’sBlue Daisy


OttolenghiOttolenghi is a restaurant/café here in London that is famous for its eye-catching window displays of scrumptious treats as well as for their take-away food and coffee. I used to live around the corner from their Notting Hill branch, and it was such a luxury: fresh muffins and scones in the morning, great sandwiches for lunch, and the most delicious take-away food for dinner! My husband actually joked that our dinners were more often made by our friend, “Otto” than by anyone else!

Ottolenghi is also our ‘go-to’ place for party food and canapés. Their catering menu is impressive, and they’re always extremely organized and helpful; they’re happy to give suggestions, and everything comes with ‘how-to’ instructions for sauces and spices. Whether it’s a baby shower, grown-up party, or even a sophisticated kids’ party, the food will surely impress your guests!

Ottolenghi has four locations across London; the biggest one (and best for dining) is on Upper Street in Islington.

And if you’re like me, and can’t get enough of Ottolenghi, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve just released their first cookbook , complete with beautiful photos and famous recipes! Hooray!


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CouvertureKew GardensCaramel Baby

Daunt Books

Daunt Books interiorOur first flat in London was located right off Marylebone High Street, and around the corner from London’s most beautiful bookshop, Daunt Books. The year we spent living in that flat I read at least one book a week. I couldn’t get enough. Every time I passed by Daunt Books, there was a new window display of books that sucked me in! And the staff were always so helpful — they got to know my reading interests and would recommend new books to me each week.

The Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street is an original Edwardian bookshop, famous for its Travel section, which is stocked with a unique arrangement of books (guides, novels, non-fiction) organized by country. The long oak galleries and big skylights lend toward the beautiful interior feel of the bookshop. It’s worth a browse inside simply for the beauty. (more…)


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The British MuseumCoram’s FieldsHope & Greenwood

Blue Daisy

Last year around this time, my local art store closed. Bummer, I thought. Until I saw what replaced it… Blue Daisy — a great children’s store in Hampstead with everything one could possibly need for newborns up to pre-schoolers.

Blue Daisy

They stock all my favorite and necessary items, like the Beaba Baby Cook and silicone spoons, the Mokopuna merino wool baby clothes, the Swaddle Designs swaddling blankets, Sophie the Giraffe, bottles, bibs, bath toys, buggies, wooden toys, etc. etc. Need a Bumbo or Baby Bjorn baby chair? Or how about the Phil & Teds Me Too chair? They have it at Blue Daisy. Seriously, if you want it, chances are they have it. (more…)


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Elias & GraceOttolenghiMelrose & Morgan

Primrose Bakery — our favourite cupcakes in London

Primrose Bakery CupcakesCupcakes are big in America (I’ll never forget my first bite of a Magnolia Bakery cupcake… mmm), and they are becoming more and more popular. Bakeries are opening up across the U.S. selling “freshly made and hand-frosted” cupcakes. They’re the new “it” treat! I just LOVE them! So you can imagine my disappointment when we moved to London 4 years ago and there was nothing here that could compare. Unlike America, handmade cupcakes didn’t seem to be on the rise.

Thankfully, Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas of Primrose Bakery are taking charge, and London now seems to be catching up!



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Rossopomodoro PizzaHanover Gate Playground in Regents ParkPrincess Diana Memorial Playground

Kentish Town City Farm

I grew up on a farm so the idea of a “city farm” seemed a bit silly to me. “Surely it couldn’t be great. How can there be enough space in the middle of a city to house all those animals?” I thought there would be a few chickens, ducks (pigeons, probably) and maybe a few rabbits…

So when I took my son to one of London’s city farms for the first time, I wasn’t expecting much. (I think I even warned him that this wasn’t a real farm)!

But real it is! And definitely worth a trip, especially if you live here and the only exposure your child has to a grunting pig or a galloping horse is in one of those “My First Farm” picture books…



blue daisyHampstead Heath
Blue DaisyHampstead HeathHuggle — A shop, café and playspace in one!


Carluccio’sWith more than 10 different locations across central London, Carluccio’s is a good ‘go-to’ restaurant for decent food, friendly service and great accommodations for kids!

Carluccio’s Italian restaurants are kid-friendly without being obnoxious, and comfortable without losing their charm.  It’s a great family dinner spot where you can share a bottle of wine with your husband, while your kids stay entertained!

The kid’s menu, which  includes breadsticks, entreé, a drink, and ice cream for dessert, comes as an activity set with cute wooden coloring pencils, a color-your-own puzzle kit, and fun games. It’s super cute, and my kids LOVE it! (more…)


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The Charlotte Street HotelOrangery RestaurantInn the Park!