Rossopomodoro Pizza

Sometimes you just feel like eating pizza. So easy, so tasty, so casual… and kids always love it! Rossopomodoro is a Naples-based pizza chain with three locations in London (Chelsea, Covent Garden and Notting Hill). All their ingredients come from the Napolitan region of Campania — even the water used in their pizza dough is rumoured to come from Naples! Pretty impressive for a Pizza chain. They also have highchairs and welcome children — they’re Italian after all.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

natural-history-museumpilateskew gardens
Natural History MuseumKinesis Pilates StudioKew Gardens

Kew Gardens

DSC_0096When the girls asked me to write for Babyccino one of my first ideas for a post was Kew Gardens. We got to know the Royal Botanical Gardens when we moved down South and immediately became members. We now go every couple of weeks and still love it just as much — it is such a great place for kids.

Apart from being a huge space to run around with fascinating trees, flowers and plants, there is also a dedicated indoor children’s area called Climbers and Creepers. All the zones have an educational element relating to plants and their habitat and have been so cleverly thought out to cater for a really wide age group (quoted as age 3 – 9 but there are great touchy-feely bits too which are good for babies).

On the other side of the gardens is the Treetop walkway (designed by the architects of The London Eye) which is 18 metres up in the air and 200 metres around — giving you an opportunity to see the tops of the trees and those who inhabit them. At ground level there is a tunnel with an exhibit giving insight to what happens under the trees (good for any bug and creepy-crawly enthusiasts!). (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

natural-history-museumrossopomodoro pizzakew bridge steam museum
Natural History MuseumRossopomodoro PizzaKew Bridge Steam Museum

Kew Bridge Steam Museum

kew bridge steam museumI have a 3-year-old boy, a 34-year-old husband and a 60-year-old father and they all love this Sunday afternoon activity: a ride on London’s only working Steam Engine. The Kew Bridge Steam Museum is open every day except Mondays and is great to marvel at various engines and locomotives. But the real fun is taking a journey on a steam engine – which is open to visitors every Sunday and bank holiday Monday from Easter through to October. Well worth a trip (and the girls tend to have a pretty good time too!).

Kew Bridge Steam Museum is on Green Dragon Lane, TW8 OEN. Nearest Train Station is Kew Bridge.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

emma-hope-shoe-collagebrora-stripey-hoodynaturalmat
Hope for your feet…BroraNatural Mat

ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:

Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Gracelands Café

gracelands cafeKensal Rise is an area in London which has changed so much in the past few years, becoming increasingly more family friendly. There are now loads of cute kiddie shops, organic delis, restaurants, and other family-oriented venues. And, with Queen’s Park so near, it’s a great neighborhood for a family outing.

Yesterday I met a friend at the lovely Gracelands Café on College Road, and I’m kicking myself for not having discovered it sooner! It’s a charming, kid-friendly café with big windows to make it bright, big wooden tables to make it cozy, and, rather impressively, a kitchen serving really good food! (I took all three kids to lunch, and managed to actually enjoy myself.)

They have a small, well-contained play area, plenty of highchairs, and all the necessary kiddie utensils. They also have outdoor seating in the front and a lovely patio out back.   And, in addition to the café, they offer classes and workshops for kids and adults in the two rooms behind the café, a space they call Gracelands Yard.

Check their site for more info, and click here for a map.

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Carluccio'spilatespetersham-nursery
Carluccio’sKinesis Pilates StudioPetersham Nurseries

Kidsen

Kidsen

I sometimes joke that I must have been Scandinavian in a previous life.  I just feel so at home whenever I visit the northern countries and I love the simplicity, the practicality, and the design of their products.

So, when I heard about the new Scandinavian kid’s store in Kensal Rise, I knew I would love it.  Kidsen is London’s first Scandinavian children’s store, founded by ex MTV producer and resident Swede, Corina Papadopoulou, who hand-picks the products with a very clever eye for design.  Kidsen stocks exclusive brands including Brio, Klippan, CelaVi, Elodie Details, Our Childrens Gorilla, En Gry & Sif, Holly, Norlie, Plastisock and Mini a ture. You can literally buy anything from nappies, to buggies, to cots (a cool, bright yellow cot from Brio!), to cool toys and clothes.  A delightful smorgasbord of Scandinavian style! (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Carluccio'sDaunt Books interiorpetitaimeweb2
Carluccio’sDaunt BooksPetit Aimé

Daylesford Organic

Daylesford OrganicWhen Notting Hill organic grocery store Fresh & Wild closed down last year, it left an empty void in its coveted location on Westbourne Grove.  The once buzzing street felt empty without the little tables outside and the beautiful window displays of organic fruit and veg.  Finally, however, the street is once again alive and thriving with the recent opening of Daylesford Organic!

The stylish restaurant/café/shop took over the big Westbourne Grove location with gusto, and offers up something even Fresh & Wild never did: highchairs for kids! (Up until now mums were forced to choose style over comfort if they brought their kids with them to Westbourne Grove!)

The decor is simple and chic, with it’s sleek, white, organic interior (fresh grass growing in the middle of the table!).  And the food is good, specializing in what is organic, seasonal, local and fresh.

It offers the perfect pit-stop for all that shopping in Notting Hill!

ALSO IN THE AREA:

gracelands cafeOttolenghiCouverture
Gracelands CaféOttolenghiCouverture

Petersham Nurseries

Petersham NurseriesTake the train from central London to Richmond Station and follow the high street through town toward the river. Turn left and walk along the river past the cafés and kayak sheds. Cross the pasture filled with buttercups and cowpies, and venture toward Petersham Nurseries. Set within this lovely garden center is a restaurant that will impress on many levels with delicious food and beautiful décor.

Award-winning head chef, Skye Gyngell, uses the highest quality ingredients in respect of the season, and with support of small farmers and producers across England. The food is amazing, and don’t even get me started about the desserts…

Petersham Nurseries Restaurant is one of my favorite restaurants in London. It’s a beautiful setting (a garden – it doesn’t get prettier than that!), and it just has a very special feeling to it. It’s also the experience of heading to Richmond for the day, which is a lovely little village. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

natural-history-museumDaylesford OrganicKidsen
Natural History MuseumDaylesford OrganicKidsen

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

It is a marvel of a museum, a truly beautiful building with extraordinary exhibits. The Natural History Museum here in London first opened its doors in 1881, and his home to some of the most fascinating and rare objects (like the heaviest woolly mammoth tusks ever found and a skeleton of an extinct sea cow)! It is definitely one of my favorite museums in London, especially for kids.

There’s a life-sized model of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling of the large mammal exhibit and a roaring animatronic T-rex in the dinosaur exhibit. There’s also a ‘blue zone‘ of under water life, a ‘green zone‘ about the earth’s ecology, and a ‘red zone‘ about volcanoes and earthquakes. Like most museums in London, all the galleries are free to enter, except temporary exhibits. The website is very helpful, and even includes a parents’ survivial guide for tips on taking children. And the museum’s cafe is actually quite good and very kid-friendly. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

petersham-nurseryDaylesford OrganicCouverture
Petersham NurseriesDaylesford OrganicCouverture

Kinesis Pilates Studio

Kinesis Pilates StudioUntil recently I had never been inside a Pilates studio, I certainly didn’t know the difference between Pilates and Gyrotonics, and I would never have thought (even after my mom’s raves) that I would like it!

But oh contrare! With three lessons under my belt, consider me the newest Pilates fanatic. I have soreness in muscles I didn’t even know existed, and I’m loving it. I feel totally energized.

Pilates is especially great for mums and mums-to-be, as it is proven to strengthen your core (including pelvic floor muscles), increase flexibility, relieve back pain, improve your posture, and tone your body. What more could you ask for? It’s also an enjoyable work-out. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Couverturepetersham-nurseryDaylesford Organic
CouverturePetersham NurseriesDaylesford Organic

Natural Mat

Natural Mat Mattresses

Natural Mat is a small boutique tucked away on a quiet street in Notting Hill which sells the most beautiful nursery furniture, bed linens and natural mattresses. The famous mattresses are handmade in Devon and are 100% natural and non allergenic, breathable, naturally fire-retardant, and totally biodegradable! You can read the many advantages of their mattresses here. They come in all different shapes and sizes and can be custom built to fit any size requirements you may have. I definitely recommend stopping into Natural Mat if you’re expecting a baby, or if you want to spruce up your nursery. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Daylesford OrganicKidsenCarluccio's
Daylesford OrganicKidsenCarluccio’s

Ottolenghi

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!

ALSO IN THE AREA:

brora-stripey-hoodykew bridge steam museumnaturalmat
BroraKew Bridge Steam MuseumNatural Mat

Caramel Baby

Caramel Baby & Child is a lovely kids’ clothing brand that started with one small shop in South Kensington but has expanded now to 4 shops across London, a concession in Selfridges and a shop in Harrods. There is also now a shop in Japan, and one in Florence. It is, without a doubt, my most favorite English clothing brand. The clothes are beautiful without trying too hard — they aren’t too fancy or flashy, and they use such lovely colours and fabrics. They also have a fun selection of little toys and accessories, including the most darling shoes. The shops are beautiful and well worth a visit, especially the Sloane Square shop and the Notting Hill shop. (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

Carluccio'skew bridge steam museumnatural-history-museum
Carluccio’sKew Bridge Steam MuseumNatural History Museum

Hope for your feet…

Emma Hope Sneakers

The most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever worn? Not to mention — the coolest?? Emma Hope‘s by a long shot!! Emma Hope is one of the UK’s most prominent footwear designers.  Her range of shoes includes sneakers, boots, sandals, flats, pumps and platforms. They are designed to compliment all areas of your life from casual and business wear to evening wear and wedding shoes! And there’s even a men’s range (which my husband is way too familiar with)!

All her shoes are beautiful, well-made (in Italy), and unique. It’s worth a visit to one of her 3 London shops just to see the designs! But you can also shop or check for stockists from the new online shop. I promise — they are the best!

ALSO IN THE AREA:

petitaimeweb2rossopomodoro pizzaOttolenghi
Petit AiméRossopomodoro PizzaOttolenghi

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…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

KidsenCarluccio'snatural-history-museum
KidsenCarluccio’sNatural History Museum

Couverture

CouvertureI have always loved the shopping of Notting Hill. Whether it’s the great finds on Portobello, the trendy restaurants on Westbourne Grove, or the great boutiques along Ledbury Road, Notting Hill is one of those areas that has it all. But in the last two years, it has become the place to shop for your trendy tot in need of a fashion fix! I was already thrilled about the arrival of Caramel Baby and Petit Aime on Ledbury Road, but then I took a stroll down Kensington Park Road a few weeks ago and discovered yet another favorite find: Couverture!

Couverture is the kind of shop that makes you want to run straight home, replace your dingy pillows with new ones, hide all your cheap, plastic toys, make your home a bit more chic and minimal, AND give your wardrobe a re-think! (more…)

ALSO IN THE AREA:

petersham-nurserynatural-history-museumOttolenghi
Petersham NurseriesNatural History MuseumOttolenghi
Older Posts »