Review: Alice’s Adventures Under Ground at the Royal Opera House

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | ROH Alice's Adventure Underground review

I wish I could tell you half
of the things. Alice used to say,
beginning with her favourite phrase
‘Let’s pretend.

– Through the Looking-Glass, ch.1 ‘Looking-Glass house’

How can I sum up the ROH performance of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground? It was like a whirlwind of CRAZY! Just like Alice falling down the dizzying rabbit hole, the performance was a spiralling sensation. I really did not expect the performance to turn out the way it did, but am so happy I got to watch it.

I was invited to attend the press evening performance (Feb 4) with Little Man but unfortunately he was ill that week so I took Little Miss along with me instead. I wasn’t sure what to expect as she is only turning four so I thought it might be a little overwhelming for her but surprisingly she lasted well. You could hear the animated voices of other children in the auditorium who seemed to love it. What’s not to like about a chaotic performance from giant ‘eat me’ cakes, blue ‘drink me’ bottles, four giant crying baby heads and Humpty Dumpty?

We arrived slightly later than planned and the queue to collect tickets was much longer than expected – I was unfortunately not in the right queue! How was I to know?! LOL We made it to our seats in the auditorium stalls (row L) which had great views of the stage. We took a few selfies before settling down for the performance to start.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | ROH Alice's Adventures Underground
©ROH 2020. Photo by Clive Barda / Lewis Carroll Cast featuring Claudia Boyle as Alice
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | ROH Alice's Adventure Underground review
©ROH 2020. Photo by Clive Barda / Lewis Carroll Cast featuring Claudia Boyle as Alice
My thoughts on Alice’s Adventures Under Ground…

This opera is unlike any other; it breaks all the rules. Singers are pushed to the extremes with their vocal ranges (hitting over 30 top ‘C’ notes in the first five minutes of the performance!), Jabberwocky sung in English, Russian and German, and Humpty Dumpty recounts his tragic tale to a rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy… all thanks to Gerald Barry and his clever mish-mash of Alice in wonderland and Alice through the looking-glass.

The Cast
Alice: Claudia Boyle
The Red Queen: Clare Presland
The White Queen: Hilary Summers
The White Rabbit: Sam Furness
The March Hare: Peter Tantsits
The Cheshire Cat: Mark Stone
Humpty Dumpty : Joshua Bloom

All of the cast above also played various other roles.

A big well done to the cast for their vibrant performance. The fifty-five minute show was a little too short for my liking but at the same time, it was just the right amount of time for families with younger children to enjoy. I really enjoyed it but for Little Miss, she just didn’t get it which was disappointing. I guess it was just too much going on at one time for her. It was her first time watching an opera performance and I’m sure if it was Little Man, he’d probably would’ve thought the same thing. However for him, he’d be able to get by from reading the surtitles – that’s what he did when we went to watch The Lost Thing.

There were also moments that made me burst into laughter. My favourite scene was after Alice went through the looking glass and witnessed the battle between the red knight and white knight. It was hilarious watching the two duelling then falling off their horses, only to apologetically help each other get back on to battle again. Little Miss’ favourite (and recognisable scene) Alice falling d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-down the endless rabbit hole that even she had to catch her breath before meeting the rabbit and the four ‘eat me’ cakes. The four baby heads which represented the four bottles totally threw us both off which was quite funny very weird! I really don’t remember that scene from Alice in Wonderland at all!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | ROH Alice's Adventure Underground review
©ROH 2020. Photo by Clive Barda / Lewis Carroll Cast featuring Claudia Boyle as Alice

Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bit, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | ROH Alice's Adventure Underground review
©ROH 2020. Photo by Clive Barda / Lewis Carroll Cast featuring Claudia Boyle as Alice
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | ROH Alice's Adventure Underground review
©ROH 2020 – Photo by Clive Barda / Lewis Carroll Cast featuring Claudia Boyle as Alice
“When Alice tumbles down into the Rabbit Hole into Wonderland… she meets a successions of strange characters in unusual situations… Following the trial of the Knave of Hearts – accused of stealing the Queen’s tarts – Alice finds herself in Looking Glass Land…
Here, Alice becomes a Queen herself.”
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | ROH Alice's Adventure Underground review
©ROH 2020 – Photo by Clive Barda / Lewis Carroll Cast featuring Claudia Boyle as Alice

The story is told in a most peculiar yet enchanting way. Lewis Carroll would’ve been appreciative of this wonderful approach. There’s singing, shouting, speaking, growling and squealing alongside the orchestra accompaniment. With two performances a night for 6 nights, it’s pretty intense. The show itself was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it type of performance. It’s fast, it’s wild and it’s fantastic. If you missed it (it went by as quickly as its performance dates) then I hope the Royal Opera House will put this opera on again next year.

It’s definitely one not to be missed. 🙂

For a more formal take on the show, you can check out British Theatre Guide’s review from Vera Liber who I met at the last ROH performance I’d attended. Unfortunately I didn’t bump into her that night but if she’s reading this, I send my love and warm greetings!

More on the show here: http://bit.ly/ROHaliceadventures


NB. We were kindly gifted tickets to the performance in exchange for this blog review. All words, opinions and content are my own. ©ROH 2020 copyright photos that were provided to me by the Royal Opera House have been credited respectively. 

Decor: How to decorate your home according to your horoscope

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
2020 is just around the corner!

How quickly has the year gone by?!

This time is also the time when most people find the need to redecorate their home and that’s totally me. New year, new home right?! 🙂 Decorating the home can be really difficult, but have no fear because I’ve got something pretty exciting to help you out.

I’m quite a spiritual person and believe that a positive-energy in the home home can have a positive impact on my daily living. Everybody knows a cluttered home can lead to a cluttered mind and de-cluttering can be quite therapeutic, it can also have good effect on your mental well-being. I’m naturally a hoarder so regular de-cluttering is definitely high on my list but that doesn’t mean I always manage to get round to doing it. Instead I usually save the big de-cluttering for spring (hence, spring cleaning) and for the new year.

In Chinese culture, it’s considered to be a good omen to do a thorough deep-clean and de-cluttering the week before Chinese New Year.

Decorating your home according to your horoscope…

Wayfair UK have teamed up with expert astrologers, Francesca Oddie and Sally Kirkman to create a guide on how to decorate your home based on your horoscope. If you don’t know which star sign you are, just look for your birthday next to the horoscope name. Luckily for our household, we’re pretty much the same. Little Man and I are both Leos, Daddy P and Little Miss are both Taurus. Cool right? Even weirder, Little Man was born the day after my birthday and Little Miss’s due date was a day after Daddy P’s birthday.

Here’s a great little infographic that they have created to help us out:

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope


Decorate like a LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22)

For Leos, the astrologers say;

For a Leo, your home is your castle and nothing says ‘let it reign’ like a huge fireplace located in the beating heart of your home – the living room. A fire sign who loves a good social gathering, your home is adorned with bright colours: orange, red and plum, and accented with a few gold accessories like frames, cushions and lighting. For those who are Leo-born, there’s no such thing as too much animal print, so make 2020 your year to go wild and lay down that leopard print rug you’ve been pining for.

… very interesting!

I definitely agree with the gold. I love gold accessories! I’m not sure I 100% agree on ‘there’s no such thing as too much animal print’ but I do like the odd leopard print or peacock print. I prefer textures than print so a beautiful fluffy or shaggy rug would be amazing but I think an animal print rug might be too much for my taste. I think I’d prefer adding small touches of animal prints and figurines instead. Animal wood carvings and metal ornaments of elephants, giraffes and lions always looks great and a statement animal print cushion would jazz up the sofa nicely.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
My animal print & gold accessories list
  1. Roda Feline Cushion by World Menagerie
  2. Gonzalez 3 Piece Giraffe Statue Set by Alpen Home
  3. Cervantez Lion Figurine by Rosdorf Park
  4. Mahoney Elephant Metal Strape Trunk Up Figurine by Happy Larry
  5. Ouled Africa Cheetah Cushion Cover by World Menagerie

As for a big central fireplace in the living room, that would be amazing but I live in a new build so a fireplace would be a dream. Perhaps I could go for an electric one – we could have it fitted where the radiator is currently placed. That’s up against our living room feature wall so might work well.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
I have to admit this leopard print rug is pretty cool! / image: Wayfair UK
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
‘Let it reign’ with a feature fireplace / image: Wayfair UK

 


Decorate like a TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20)

For Taurus, the astrologers say;

A true Taurus appreciates the finer things in life and where better to show off your taste for lavish décor than at home? A sign who loves to add indulgent fabrics wherever possible, from cushions and throws to a dreamy velvet sofa, all tied in with a few eclectic artworks and elegant lighting. Admit it, you are also slightly obsessed with earthy colours and stepping into your home is like walking into a botanical oasis. With the motto ‘you can never have too many house plants’, investing in a fancy new vase or chic plant pots might be worthwhile for the new year.

Daddy P is a fan of velvet and we are both loving this new lush green shade that’s popping up everywhere. We are actually going to paint our living room in this colour sometime in the new year which will be exciting! We’ve always dreamed of buying a velvet sofa but with two young children, it’s not the right time for us to do it although it’s in our future plans. In the meantime we will definitely be adding more indulgent fabrics to our home/

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
My indulgent fabrics and plants list
  1. Luxe Cushion in teal by Symple Stuff
  2. Berkshire Cushion by Canora Grey
  3. Ione Cushion in ochre by Rosdorf Park
  4. Monstera Floor Foliage Plant in Pot
  5. Throw in charcoal by Christy
  6. Drummond throw in silver by Rosdorf Park

Daddy P is actually not a fan of the botanical look but I am totally mad for it – we have started our plants collection and will continue adding to it. We currently have a mix of real and artificial plants because it’s easier to manage and it also gives the room a little more depth… or so I like to believe. We have two pots of beautiful pink winter heath but they died from lack of water and sunlight on our balcony – oops! The good thing about the winter heath is that the beautiful coloured bulbs don’t fall out until the next season so they look alive and colourful but are in fact dead. It gives us enough time to try and revive them or thrown them out and purchase some new ones.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope
Luxe textures and indulgent fabrics / image: Wayfair UK

 


P I N  T H I S  P O S T !

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - How to decorate your home according to your horoscope


This post was created in response to Wayfair UK’s latest article on decorating your home according to your horoscope: http://bit.ly/wayfairhoroscope – I was sent the inforgaphic but was not compensated for this post. I genuinely wanted to share this great content with you all.

Review: The Lost Thing at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Lost Thing at Linbury Theatre review
So you want to hear a story?
Yrots a raeh ot tnaw uoy os?

Last week we were invited along to attend a showing of The Lost Thing at the Royal Opera House. As the show was suitable for children aged 6+ I was allowed to bring a plus one and naturally, I took Little Man with me. We don’t go to the theatre regularly and normally when we do go, it’s usually to our local Greenwich Theatre (which is fantastic for families!) so going to a fancy one like the Royal Opera House, I had to make sure my little monster was going to be on his best behaviour.

We attended the evening performance (7.15PM) but there are days when a matinee performance is showing. We made our way from North Greenwich to Covent Garden easily and just missed the rush hour period as we set off around 5PM. When we arrived at the Royal Opera House, we were ‘greeted’ by the doorman (they just opened the door, no smiles and we were the first to initiate the actual greeting, but hey ho) who showed us the way to the reception desk. Looking around I could see why we were not as warmly welcomed as we would be at our little Greenwich Theatre. The majority of the ROH attendees are mostly older, mostly middle-class and attended without children. A totally different demographic than what we’re used to seeing.

As we headed downstairs to the Linbury Theatre, it was a little less intimidating as we saw more families and young children. Little Man didn’t notice anything but as a parent, I feel like the theatre should be a more welcoming place for those with young children. Perhaps if we had attended a matinee performance it would’ve probably felt less judging as we usually associate evening shows with adult guests rather than young families.

As we were a little early, we decided to head back up and have a look around the small gift shop. We bought a laser-light keyring and a ballet pump keyring for Little Miss. We then headed back downstairs to the cafe outside the Linbury Theatre and had a hot chocolate and a brownie which satisfied our sweet craving.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Lost Thing at Linbury Theatre review
A quick photo before heading inside the Royal Opera House
What is The Lost Thing?

The Lost Thing is a picture book written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. It became one of his bestselling books worldwide and well-recognised in the literature world. The story is about a boy who discovers ‘The Thing’ which doesn’t seem to belong to anything in particular, making it ‘lost’. In the book, The Thing looks very mechanical and is orange-red with greenish metal claws and legs whereas in the theatre production, it’s more organic and living with a green, moss-like body and ever-changing number of legs.

In this theatrical adaptation by Ben Wright and Jules Maxwell (from Candoco Dance Company, a world-leading professional dance company) we are treated to a different kind of storytelling; one that’s filled with not only music but also theatrical singing, opera and dance along the way. ‘Mixing it up’ is definitely a good way of exposing children of this new generation to a variety of performing arts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
Joel Brown as The Boy
Review: The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House

Despite the lukewarm review of the show being “too static and slow” from The Guardian online, I much agree with the reviews from Culture Whisper and British Theatre Guide. The performance was pleasantly executed, and provided both children and adults with some true thought-provoking moments. In the programme booklet they gave me, it mentions that The Thing in the performance is not meant to replicate Tan’s illustration but instead, represents something living and organic. The Thing can shape-shift changing from two legs to eight legs, growing larger or smaller depending on its mood.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
The Boy finds The Thing
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Linbury Theatre review
Shaun Tan’s ‘The Thing’ / Photo Credit: ACMI

“We wanted to take it in a completely different direction and build on the skeleton of the story, which is about celebrating difference, supporting what is lost, and potentially contemplating what we are losing. We decided to shift the nature of The Thing itself to be this odd, biodiverse, many-limbed organism…Ben Wright, interviewed by Lyndsey Winship

I can understand why there may be some disappointment as to why the original story was never followed through completely but then again, adapting a picture book into an opera/theatrical performance is not ordinary neither. The story lines is minimal but I think that makes it easy for children to understand. There’s also surtitles and audio description for those hard of hearing. The diverse cast are fantastic – all extremely talents and a good mix of both disabled and non-disabled dancers, musicians, singers.

I thought the interpretation of The Thing as something organic and living, familiar yet somehow forgotten, was like a metaphorical example of the world we live in today. There is a scene where The Boy almost hands The Thing over to the odds and ends department, but then a janitor appears and strongly advises against it, saying that things left there get permanently forgotten. We then see the janitor being comforted by The Thing and feeling happy that it’s in his presence. It reminded me of how happy and content we once were to just enjoy simple things ie. nature but now we’re constantly fixated on our phones and devices.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
The Boy and The Thing
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
The Janitor, The Boy and The Thing

“In the book, the denouement is that it finds a place where it belongs. In our version that place is a very saturated, green, mossy jungle…” –Ben Wright, interviewed by Lyndsey Winship

Summary: my thoughts on The Lost Thing

Little Man loved the performance and has asked to go back to watch The Thing come to life again. We will aim to go before the new year. He also lost his thing (a small toy) there at the theatre, which has now become his ‘lost thing’ – now isn’t that a story within a story for you?

I loved the story so much that I ordered the picture book online for Little Man, he instantly recognised the book from the ochre colour scheme and enjoyed reading it however he told me that he much prefers the ending that he saw in the opera adaptation.

The Lost Thing is showing until January 4th 2020 and tickets are between £7.00-£35.00 for a seat, how can you resist a familiar yet story?

More info on The Lost Thing performances and tickets: http://bit.ly/TheLostThing

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
Taking The Thing to the place where it belongs
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Lost Thing at Royal Opera House Review
So you want to hear a story? 

You can watch the video of Shaun Tan’s story here:



P I N  T H I S  P O S T

The Lost Thing


[AD] We were given complimentary tickets to attend the performance of The Lost Thing at the Royal Opera House in exchange for this review post. All opinions and content are in my own words and photos that have been used are credited to their sources respectively.

Beethoven and the Dinosaurs storytelling concert for under 5s

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beethoven and the Dinosaurs concert review

When I was a young girl, my father decided that he wanted me to develop musical talent. Lucky for him, I wasn’t too bad at it and was able to pick up playing piano quite easily. Unfortunately, I stopped playing piano around the time I was doing my GCSEs because I felt like it was all too overwhelming for me. In hindsight I am a gutted I didn’t carry on but that’s life and my priorities were different to what my dad wanted/expected them to be. To this day however, I still enjoy listening to piano music and admire those who play it.

The Aurora Orchestra at King’s Place

The Aurora Orchestra create interactive, musical storytelling concerts aimed at under 5s. This was something unheard of to me but I thought the chance to exposing my little ones to classical music early on would be a great idea. The only other time the kids got close to hearing classical music was when they were still inside the womb and I’d occasionally put on classic.fm for them to listen to.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beethoven and the Dinosaurs concert review
The Creative Team introducing the audience to Beethoven and the Dinosaurs

The Aurora Orchestra are currently performing their new storytelling concert, Beethoven and the Dinosaurs at King’s Place in Kings Cross and last week, I went along with Little Man. He’s six so older than the recommended age but I didn’t mind and neither did he! The Orchestra will be there until the end of this week then they’ll be back again in February to perform Chopin and the Dragonfly. You can also go on Youtube and have a little look at how the concerts are performed: https://youtu.be/GPjSTd-moZ4

A little bit of participation from the grown-ups is always good fun but the Aurora Orchestra team are really good at retaining the children’s attention. The concert was 45mins long was was definitely long enough. Each musician had their own solo part to play which was lovely; our musician trio was made up of the flute, the cello and the piano.

The following pieces by Beethoven had been specially arranged for the concert:

  • Symphony No. 4
  • Symphony No. 6
  • Bagatelle Op. 33 No. 2
  • Symphony No. 6
  • Diabelli Variations
  • Piano Concerto No. 3
  • Moonlight Sonata pt. 1 & 2
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 in A major
  • Symphony No. 7 (adapted)
  • Piano trio Op. 1 No. 1

All of the children really loved the concert. They were all so attentive, there was only one outburst from a teary child but he soon settled after seeing some more dinosaurs appear. We had moments of dancing and laughter especially towards the end when the storyteller asked the children what dance move could the dinosaurs do and a little girl shouted out “pooing” it was refreshing to see the storyteller going along with it. 🙂

The concert is on show from December 1-8 so don’t miss out on booking your tickets for Sunday if you want to check it out. As it’s in King’s Cross you can make a day out of it with the family by heading over to the British Library. Check their website for timings and prices. A family ticket for 4 (2 adults 2 kids, or 1 adult 3 kids) cost just £23.50 which is great value.

I am really looking forward to the next concert, Chopin and the Dragonfly (in February) so I can take Little Miss with me to experience the concert. I think it’s brilliant how they can weave these classical pieces into stories and make it fun and immersive for the children. We’ll be going on a weekday as I’m at work on the weekends but hopefully that should mean less crowds for us to battle on our commute!


About: Far, Far Away series

Far, Far Away is Aurora Orchestra’s series of immersive storytelling concerts for young children aged 0–5 and their families. These interactive musical adventures bring to life music by a particular composer or style of music, weaving together live performance, an original story by critically-acclaimed poet Kate Wakeling (Aurora Writer-in-Residence), and a set design built around the audience and musicians. Audiences are invited to step inside each story through guided listening, singing, dancing, holding props and much more, becoming immersed in a magical world of music, language, discovery and play. Some past Far, Far Away productions have been Beethoven and the Dinosaurs, Tchaikovsky and the Marvellous Kingdom, and Bach and the Noisy Night-time.

https://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on/family/aurora-orchestra-far-far-away-11/


NB. We were kindly given complimentary tickets to see Beethoven and the Dinosaurs concert for the purpose of this blog post review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.

Review: ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen’s House ice rink

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Queen’s House Greenwich Ice Rink
Dates: 29 November 2019 – 12 January 2020
(closed Dec 25)

Winter time is the only season where I need no excuses to drink my body weight in hot chocolate and look like a Michelin-man. I’m loving all of the fluffy layers, borg-lined jackets and teddy-fleece fabrics this year. It’s been a real long time since I’ve skated however this past week I have been going regularly to ice skating rinks around London. In an upcoming review, I’ll be sharing my favourite outdoor ice rinks in London with you so look out for that soon.

For the past few years living in the area, there’s always been an ice rink in Greenwich. Greenwich is a lovely little town that draws people from near and far to come and sample its culture and cuisine. The Queen’s House is a part of the Royal Museums Greenwich, one of the UK’s Top 10 visitor attractions. It’s also a UNESCO protected Heritage site and has been beautifully preserved.

The National Maritime Museum is next door and they have a wonderful under 5s play area that’s free to drop-in. Across the road is the Old Royal Naval College where you’ll find the newly renovated Painted Hall. Just behind the attraction is Greenwich Park and a short but steep climb up the hill, you’ll find The Royal Observatory. The last remaining tea-clipper, the Cutty Sark, is a short walk away and so is the popular Greenwich Market. On Wednesdays, there’s a toddlers soft-play session under the ship.

If you have a young child, you can really make a day out of your  visit by combining a few things to do together. Check out this post of when we went along to the Toddler Time session at Cutty Sark. There’s also lots of interesting events going on at Greenwich market over the Christmas period so be sure to check out their website.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Cheeky faces outside our favourite museum

Ice skating in Greenwich

We were kindly invited along to the opening launch of the Queen’s House Ice Rink. Apparently this Greenwich outdoor ice rink is the only one in South London There wasn’t many of us there which made it a lovely first experience for the kids, despite the rainy weather. We will definitely be back in the next week or so for more skating!

We left school and arrived at the National Maritime Museum at 3.40pm, as we were a little early we popped into the museum for a little look around. We could see from the outside that the lighthouse beacon was on and like boats to a lighthouse, we were pulled in by the light. We had a little look around the souvenir shop before heading back out and across over to the Queen’s House. The weather was not too cold but I’d highly recommend dressing the kids up warm for the ice. We warmed up with delicious hot chocolates before or our session but you can also choose from teas, coffees and mulled wine. Snacks and sweet treats are also available.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
There’s always a good photo opp at Greenwich!
The Greenwich Mummy | Review: Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queens House ice rink
The kids checking out the ice before getting on
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Checking in at the QH reception and getting a hot chocolate before our skate session

Skating sessions can be booked in advance online. Prices are from £13.50 for adults and £6.75 for children. The skating sessions are 45 minutes which is pretty standard timing. The prices are also similar to other London outdoor ice rinks. If you add in the benefits of the rink being stunning and on the doorstep of two museums, it’s decent value-for-money. After checking in we went to change into our skates, children’s size starts from infant UK 9, if your child’s feet is smaller than this they offer bob skates which go over your child’s actual footwear.

Skate aids are also available to hire for £5. They have two types of skate aids to choose from; the penguin which is suitable for single beginner skaters and the banana skate aid which is a godsend if you have more than one child. Just pop your little ones on and push them around the ice but be aware, it’s tiring work especially if your kids are older as their weight makes it harder to push and steer if you are also a beginner skater.

Our best moments & highlights…

The stunning background views
When it comes to outdoor ice skating venues, the view has to be one of the highlights. I can confirm that the Queen’s House lit up after dark for our session was truly amazing. It really added to the magical experience. Even if you skated here during daylight hours, I think it would still look just as beautiful. I will be back very soon for a solo skate and will definitely opt for a morning session. During the daytime, the Queen’s House Greenwich is always open and free to enter so make sure you pop in and have a look around at the wonderful artwork and don’t forget to check out its stunning Tulip spiral staircase.

Unfortunately, I get blisters on my feet each time I skate because my feet are flat and over-pronated. If you have a similar condition, make sure you wear thick socks and/or bring some gel cushion pads to avoid excessive rubbing. For me it’s also self-inflicted as even though I can feel my feet are over-rubbing I never get off the ice. Quitting is for losers… haha!

Processed with MOLDIV
Even with the dark clouds, the building still looks beautiful!
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
…and at night, it looks even better!

The family-friendly size
The Greenwich ice rink is on the smaller side compared to the likes of Winter Wonderland and Somerset House however I personally think this is much better and safer especially if you have a young family and/or you’re not that confident on the ice. A smaller rink usually means staff can be more attentive and approachable for handy tips and help on the ice. As it’s a newly opened rink, there’s less of a crowd on the ice which gives you a better skating experience however I am yet to go here on a weekend so it might start getting busier as the days go by.

If it’s your first time on the ice, I’d recommend watching some Youtube videos on how to fall safely and how to skate. It’s always important to learn how to fall safely as a bad fall on the ice can really do some damage to your body especially your back and even head. If you’re an experienced skater you can still enjoy the beauty of the rink but may find yourself doing several laps pretty quickly. Not a problem as there’s also less people on the ice so you can practice those backward swizzles and turns. 🙂

A priceless first-time experience
Little Man and Little Miss thoroughly enjoyed their first time on the ice. The laughter and fun and giant smiles on their faces was priceless! For Little Man, it’s technically his second time on the ice but the first time he actually skated. As much as they loved Daddy P and I pushing them around, they were brave enough to get up on the ice and skate with one of us holding their hand. Little Miss seems a natural on the ice, Little Man needs a little more practice to find his feet and his balance.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
Daddy P pushing the kids on the banana 2-seater skate aid
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
The kids are absolutely loving it but it’s tiring work pushing them!

A local attraction for us
Lucky for us, we now have an ice rink a short walk or bus ride away from us which is fantastic. There’s always so much on offer in Greenwich and I am more that grateful to live in such a wonderful area. I’ll be taking the kids to see Santa once December hits and we’ll surely be back for another skate and visit to the museums. Schools around here break up on December 19th so we’ll have the Friday free to get out and do things.

If you live further afield, Greenwich is only 10 minutes from London Bridge and is very well connected with public transport. I’d advise leaving your car at home as there’s hardly any parking spaces available. You’ve got the national rail close by as well as the DLR, the river boat (Thames Clipper), numerous buses and the underground (Jubilee line) at North Greenwich which is a bus ride away, approx. 2 miles away.

Perfect for intimate skate dates
A smaller, intimate rink also makes a great place to skate for couples wanting a skate date. Daddy P and I have said that we’d like to return to skate together, probably on a school day when both of the kids are still in school so we can have a little bonding time together.

This rink is a great venue for couples however, I wouldn’t recommend considering a skate date if it’s your first time on the ice as what happens is you’ll end up just clinging onto the side of the rink instead of actually skating and having a good time together. Although saying this, at least here you can hire a banana skate aid to help you move so if one of you can skate… you can push the non-skater. 🙂 The other romantic place to skate is Somerset House however they don’t offer any skate aids so avoid going there if you’ve both never skated.

For more details or booking, visit the RMG Queen’s House website

#ExploreGreenwich
#QueensHouseIceRink
#QueensHouse


P I N  T H I S  P O S T

The Greenwich Mummy | Ice skating at the Queens House Greenwich ice rink review


NB. We were invited to the press launch and compensated for our time on the ice in exchange for this blog review. All words, opinions and content are my own and photos must not be used without my consent.

Getting into the Halloween spirit with Pumpkin Carving at Lewisham Shopping Centre

The Greenwich Mummy | Lewisham Shopping Centre Halloween Special

This October half term has been a lot of fun for the kids this year. Normally I am not involved with Halloween activities as I’m not a big fan of the day (Vietnamese superstitions and all) but this year I wanted to put myself aside and let the kids have their fun.

Pumpkin Carving in Lewisham

Little Man had a lot of fun carving and decorating his pumpkin at the Lewisham Shopping Centre‘s Pumpkin Party. It was a free event and lots of people came by the stand to have a go at carving. Little Man and I had a team effort – we traced the stencil together then took turns to carve sections of the pumpkin. When it came to scooping out the fleshy bits (which he called “scooping the guts out”) he left that to me.

When it came to decorating it with glitter he was great at doing it himself. Of course, I had to join it – who can resist a bit of glitter fun?

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family Things to Do this Halloween Half Term

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family Things to Do this Halloween Half Term

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family Things to Do this Halloween Half Term

Halloween shopping at Lewisham Centre

We also did a little bit of shopping after our pumpkin carving. We headed to H&M and I bought for Little Man the coolest reversible sequin ghost jumper which he has loads of fun flipping around. For Little Miss, I got her a glittery black tulle dress and alice cat veil as she wanted to be a cat for Halloween. We also went to M&S and picked up loads of treats including chocolates, jelly sweets and lots of Halloween snacks for a mini party at home. *update* the stores now have their Christmas range in stock. H&M also have a lovely collection of Frozen apparel, also in time for the movie launch.

H&M reversible sequin jumper, £9.99
H&M tulle dress, £9.99 / alice band with veil, £2.99
Spookalicious treats at M&S Lewisham

Our last little shop was to Smiggle for some stationary fun. We had a good look around the little shop. At the moment, they’ve just launched a new range of Frozen stationary – in time for the Frozen 2 movie. The backpacks look amazing and kids can choose from the sparkly gold Anna accessories or the shimmery icy blue Elsa accessories. My preference would be the Anna collection as it’s such a beautiful gold colour but I know Little Miss would prefer the Elsa collection. We also picked up a handy all-in-one Smiggle dinosaur pencil case for Little Man. It’s got a section for pens and pencils, a special compartment for the eraser and the sharpener and even comes with a mini calculator. Perfect for secondary school kids but just as cool for primary school kids IMO. Also, Smiggle Lewisham currently has a 25% off everything promo in store (excludes Frozen 2 and Star Wars collections) so make sure you pop into your local store and check out the goods.

Frozen 2 stationary now available in store at Smiggle Lewisham
Smiggle pencil case, £13.50

Lewisham Shopping Centre opening times

The centre is open 7 days a week. Times of the stores may vary during seasonal periods ie. Christmas, New Year and Bank Holidays.

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday (Late night shopping – yay!)
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Check out their page for Christmas opening hours: https://lewishamshopping.co.uk/your-visit/opening-hours


More pumpkin fun…

On Wednesday we headed out to Stanhill Farm to pick some pumpkins. It was a first experience for all of us so it was really nice to be able to share that with each other.

It took us two buses to make the journey however as the buses take a longer route, it also took us around 1.5hrs when by car it would’ve been a decent 25-30mins journey. On our way back, we took an uber ride home as we had heavy pumpkins and I wasn’t ready for any restless tantrums on the buses for another 1.5 hours.

The pumpkin patch at Stanhill Farm is a good size with lots of pumpkins to choose from. There was even a little area where the farmers had put a load of pumpkins together so you can take some lovely photos if you wanted to. Only Little Man was cooperating with me for the photos but I did get some really nice shots of them around the patch. 🙂

I made a little video of our outing too. You can watch it here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hVb3GeecdhI


NB. We were kindly gifted shopping vouchers in exchange for our pumpkin carving experience review. All words, content and unbiased opinion are my own.

New adventure playground opens at Kidbrooke Village

Cator Park, Kidbrooke Village

On Saturday 8th June, a new (and free!) outdoor play space, Cator Park, had opened up at Kidbrooke Village. Unfortunately I work the weekends and was unable to attend the launch but judging from the images below, the opening turned out a big success with many families enjoying the space and the sun! Lucky bunch!

Children can jump, climb, swing and slide to their heart’s content. The park also incorporates a series of stepping stones designed by local children, dotted around the park alongside a number of brass rubbings as part of an educational ecology trail.

Photo Credit: Camargue

Photo Credit: Camargue / Berkeley

There was also a fete going on at the launch opening which offered craft sessions and learning sessions about the local animals and wildlife with London Wildlife Trust. Families and children learnt about “how the ‘rewilding’ of the green space is helping to increase biodiversity and encouraging birds, mammals, amphibians and insects to make their home among the plantlife.”

It’s really nice to see that the local authority and government are trying their best to utilise the green spaces we already have and create refreshing new ones for the local community to enjoy.

To find out more about Kidbrooke Village and the new play space visit the Kidbrooke Village Community Facebook page (@kidbrookevillage). 

Review: Our trip to VUE Eltham cinema was Splendiferous!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Vue Eltham Cinema Review

Bank Holidays are fantastic because it’s a day when school’s out and I don’t have to take a day off work to spend it with the kids. We haven’t been able to spend a lot of family time like we used to because I work both weekends now so Last Monday we decided to make the most of it. We headed out to the new VUE cinema that opened up on Eltham high street.

We were invited along to watch a film – we chose Wonder Park. It’s 1hr 28mins long which is a perfect length for two kids under 5. Daddy P and I really wanted to watch Avengers: End Game with the kids but after seeing that the film was 3hrs long, we decided to give that a miss.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Vue Cinema Eltham review
En route to watching Wonder Park at Vue Eltham cinema

From our home in Greenwich, the 286 bus takes us directly outside the cinema in 25-30 mins. If you’re coming from Eltham station it’s a 10mins walk (0.5mi) or short bus ride up the hill. For those that drive, are a few car parking bays on the high street but the nearest car park is at Sainsbury’s directly behind the cinema (£1 p/hr and free after 6.30pm). I really like Eltham as it’s just like Greenwich – totally accessible in south east London. Also, there’s a cheeky Nandos restaurant door which is a bonus!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Vue Eltham Cinema Review
Vue Cinema on Eltham High Street
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Vue Eltham Cinema Review
The foyer and refreshments area at Vue Eltham

VUE Eltham Cinema

The cinema is one of the smallest I’ve been to with only six screens however its size doesn’t compromise on its quality and standard. Bank Holidays are really busy so it was only natural to expect lots of people and queues.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog / VUE cinema Eltham review

The location of VUE Eltham is superb because it’s right on the high street and is so easy to find. You really can’t miss it. If you’re a local, you’ll have no problem finding it. If you’re not then just take any bus that will get you to Eltham high street and it’s a short walk – you can see the big VUE sign anywhere on the high street so you really can’t miss it.

The queues were not that long but it did take us a while to get served. I’m pretty sure it’s because the cinema had just opened and the staff had to quickly deal with the influx of people coming through the doors. I pondered on the choice of snacks to pick for our film but decided to keep it simple. I got a regular soft drink for Daddy P, Kids combo pack for Little Man and a mixed slush puppy for Little Miss. I decided not to buy anything for myself but was very tempted to get nachos with cheese because they looked so good! The price was not bad too, all of our snacks and refreshments came up to nearly £20 which was a bargain in my eyes. I’m sure we’d normally spend £40 in another cinema.

Little Man and I also eyed up the pick and mix bar but decided to be good for the day. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Vue Eltham Cinema sweets bar
Mmmm the sweeties bar!

The VUE cinema in Eltham has two floors and is accessed by the stairs or the lift. My only little niggle is that there are no signs in the lift to point out which screens are on which floor – this would’ve helped us a lot as we ended up heading up onto level 1 only to realise our screen 4 is on level 2. With a total of six screens and 857 seats, all screens are fitted with two wheelchair bays per screen which is great for those who require accessible seating.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Vue Eltham Cinema Review
Daddy P & Little Miss

All screens are fitted with Digital Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound and Sony 4K Digital projection for that clear picture quality and audio. We got to sit really close when we watched Wonder Park which was amazing! You can really see all the tiny details very clearly on the screen. Our seats were also super comfy and pretty spacious. There were also booster seats available just outside of our screen which would come in handy if you have young children.

Our chosen film, Wonder Park was absolutely amazing! Splendiferous, you could say. I won’t spoil it for you but I can tell you there’s no super sad ending like in other animations and there’s no talk of death but there are some sad moments quickly erased with lots of happiness and laughter. If you’ve not seen the trailer, definitely have a look.

Yay or Nay? …100% YAY

I can say it’s definitely worth a watch and the kids have already asked to watch it again and for just £6.99 a ticket you can’t really go wrong. It’s the cheapest cinema ticket around and Vue Eltham does offers the best value in seat, screen and sound. They also do morning special screening for toddlers (Mini-Mornings) and autism-friendly screenings. Check their website for more details on showings.

Our family experience at Vue Eltham was smooth and very enjoyable. I feel like it has more of a family vibe than most of the other cinemas I’ve been to. Whether that’s because it’s smaller and intimate, or because it just seems more tolerable for us all, I loved the family-friendly atmosphere.

The closest cinema to us is actually just a 10 mins walk from home but we’d happily make this Vue my new go-to cinema location for £6.99 and short bus ride. I still owe Daddy P a cheeky movie night and dinner for his birthday last weekend and the kids have been pestering to go back and watch Detective Pikachu!

UPDATE: We went back to Vue Eltham during the May half-term holidays and watched The Secret Life of Pets 2 – highly recommended!! It was a great storyline and the short clip after the credits was hilarious!

NB. We were gifted family tickets to VUE Eltham in exchange for this blog review. All content, opinions and photos in this post are my own and cannot be used without permission.

My Noughty Wave Hello Haircare Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Noughty Haircare Review

…so Noughty it’s good!

I LOVE British brands when it comes to beauty. Especially now that we’ve been able to step up our game in offering high quality, natural products that actually work! I’ve become a convert with my skincare and have left a lot of my beloved Dermalogica products behind, swapping it for more natural brands like Neal’s Yard Remedies and Australian skincare brand, A’Kin because I also really like Aussie skincare and haircare brands.

I recently got my hands on some lovely samples of the Noughty Wave Hello range. I’m no newbie to the products, I’ve used them before and fell in love with some instantly but then moved away to try others, so it was nice to give them a go again. There’s also a vlog review which you can watch at the end of this post.

IMG_4604
Check out my vlog at the end of this post!

I love experimenting with products but there are a few ranges that I really can’t be without and these definitely include the Noughty Hair care products. So without further ado, here’s my review on Noughty’s Wave Hello haircare range. If you don’t fancy reading, you can watch the video review instead. 🙂

My Noughty Wave Hello Haircare review…

For my loose wavy type 2A hair, I really love it! It’s nice and lightweight, cleanses my hair properly but still remains gentle and smells lovely and fresh. I used the Wave Hello shampoo, conditioner and curl creme in a number of different variations and can say after two weeks, I prefer using just the shampoo and conditioner as I found the curl creme just too heavy for my hair.

Wave Hello Shampoo/Low-poo
Enriched with sea kelp (to help soothe the scalp) and avocado oil (locks in moisture, strengthens hair), this low-poo gently cleanses the scalp to leave it fresh and clean without stripping it of natural oils.

As I only wash my hair twice a week maximum, I tend to get oil buildup on my scalp but just one application (sometimes two if it’s VERY OILY) and my scalp is squeaky clean. I feel like the shampoo lathers up much more than when I first tried out the range but that might be due to my hair now being used to non-sulfate/non-silicone cleansers. When I first used this range my hair was still getting used to changing over to the natural products so maybe it was more greasy then making it seem like there was less lather during each wash.

IMG_4375    IMG_4404
Post-washed hair (left) and 1st day after washing (right)

I cleanse my hair either in the bath if I’m having a soak or over it if it’s just a hair-wash day. I run warm water down the hair and lather up with this low-poo once or twice depending on how much buildup I’ve got. I concentrate the low-poo on my roots and spread the lather to the ends to keep them from being over-cleansed. I then rinse and always follow up with conditioner. When I am doing a clarifying wash, I would follow up with an intensive hair treatment/deep conditioner instead.

Wave Hello Conditioner
Definitely one of my favourite conditioners. The conditioner contains the same active ingredients as the shampoo. The two that I think really comes out in this product is something called ‘Quinoxy’ which somehow reminds me of ‘quinoa’. It’s similar – quinoxy is Noughty’s “blend of wheat extract, camellia oil and linoleic acid to blitz flyaways, decrease volume, boost smoothness and retain shape”. My fine to medium hair always seems less frizzy with the shampoo and when I mix it with water as part of my 2nd day hair refresh mist (1 part water, 1 part conditioner) it really revives my waves and keeps it as frizz-free as possible…

IMG_4600
2nd day hair: near enough frizz-free!

I also really like Shea Moisture’s weightless coconut-fusion range and find it a great alternative to my Noughty Wave Hello collection. I alternate between these two as Shea Moisture products contain protein-based ingredients, Noughty doesn’t.

Wave Hello Curl Taming Creme
As much as I wanted to love it, it wasn’t for me. It made my hair feel heavy and just weighed down my sensitive, loose waves. From the video, you can see that my waves will literally straighten out if you brush them with your fingers. I think curlier hair or wavies with a tighter pattern will benefit from this cream, especially curlier hair as it’s a rich cream. It’s just too heavy for my fine and sensitive waves. My daughter’s 3A/3B curls really loves this cream and so I use it for her instead.

IMG_4609
I use the Noughty curl taming creme on Ame’s 3A/3B curly hair

**Get a third off all Noughty hair care products on Boots.com**
shop here

So… do I recommend Noughty?

Hell yes! If you’re based in UK and following CGM, you will love this brand. It’s curly girl friendly and whether you have fine, loose waves like me or super curly hair like my daughter, there’s going to be a product that you will love. And with most products priced at £6.99 what’s not to love?! They have just launched their Christmas gift sets so you can even try a whole range for less. There’s also a promo on at Boots (see above link) and if we’re lucky we might see a half price promo on their website like we did on Black Friday! 🙂

What’s the ONE Noughty product I can’t live without?

This one I can answer hands down, without a doubt.. the To The Rescue intensive conditioning mask. O. M. G. I have not had anything like it! Super weightless but super hydrating and moisturising! The closest consistency I could measure it to would be the Shea Moisture JBCO leave-in conditioner; super creamy but super light like a whip.

It’s definitely going to stay on my shelf for many more years. A little goes a long way so I don’t need more than a scoop for my long hair. I love using the deep conditioning mask straight after a clarifying cleanse or whenever my hair seems a little dehydrated.

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My #1 ultimate favourite Noughty product: To The Rescue intensive conditioning mask

… et voila!

And that’s my Noughty Wave Hello haircare review done!

If you’re planning to give Noughty a try, go for it. They’re an affordable range (all around £6.99 per 250ml bottle), 97% natural which is pretty damn good, cruelty-free (no testing on animals), vegan-based ingredients, and free from all those chemical nasties ie. silicones, sulfates and parabens.


Watch the vlog review:


NB. I received a sample of Noughty Wave Hello haircare collection (shampoo, conditioner and curl creme) in exchange for an unbiased review on this blog and vlog post. All opinions, photos and content are my own and shouldn’t be used without my consent.

Food Review: Bill’s Restaurant Greenwich is a great place for eating out with family

Bill’s restaurant first opened their doors in 2001. Since then, there’s over 20 Bill’s restaurants in London and UK. Recently, all of their stores have undergone a revamp and adopted a beautiful, tropical vibe. We were lucky enough to be invited to Bill’s Greenwich for an evening out and had a fabulous dinner. The food was fantastic and the service was faultless.

First impressions

We arrived at 5pm for our booked table. We were greeted by our waiter, Kieran then sat by the window. Kieran checked if we needed highchairs for the kids. The decor is beautiful, I really love how they’ve revamped the place. It looks like a modern, urban-tropical oasis. I really loves all the potted plants surrounding the restaurant. Little man loved the bird ornaments and animal paintings. The plus velvety chairs were super comfy and the leather booths looked really good too.

The restaurant’s vibe was chilled and casual enough to bring a young family without feeling weird and out-of-place. My two monsters can be extremely loud and noisy sometimes so we’d normally only go to places that have a busy vibe (think Nandos)… it was definitely different for us but in a good way.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
Bill’s Greenwich new tropical look / Photo credit: Bill’s Website
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
Bill’s is soft lighting in the evening adds ambience to the place
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
Bill’s Greenwich

The restaurant floor had soft mood lighting which I love because it adds so much ambience to the place but Daddy P wasn’t a fan. He prefers a well-lit setting “so he can see what he’s eating”. If you’re like my hubby then heading out here earlier would be a better choice as the natural sunlight floods in during the day.

The food

We had a good amount of time to choose from the menu without feeling rushed. Looking around, I can see all the staff were being very attentive to each of their guests. Our water glasses were refilled regularly and our orders were taken swiftly. Food arrived in good time too.

We took advantage of the kids set menu for our little monsters and ordered the macaroni cheese for the mains and a chocolate mousse and strawberry ice cream for desserts. For myself and Daddy P, I ordered the oak-smoked ribs and he had the seafood and red pepper stew (Thursday special).

From ordering to service, it was about 15-20mins which is really quick but maybe this was because Thursday nights are slightly quieter than other nights.

When the food arrived, we were not disappointed. It looked and smelt amazing! The kids’ food arrived first then ours. I had a little taste of the macaroni and it was nice, cheesy and creamy. I expected the iron dishes they came in to be super hot but they were not too bad, warm enough for little hands to hold and enjoy.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
Macaroni cheese from the kids menu
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
Yummy yummy!!

Then my ribs and fries arrived… man,it was full! There were lots of ribs and a generous portion of sweet potato fries. I didn’t enjoy the red cabbage slaw as it was very bitter. I tried to mix it with mayo to make it palatable but it couldn’t be saved.

In the end it didn’t matter because the ribs were cooked to perfection! Melt-in-your-mouth ribs… it was heavenly. I don’t normally order ribs so I’m glad I took a gamble.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
My delicious melt-in-the-mouth ribs

Daddy P was thrilled with his seafood and red pepper stew. It came with a side of saffron aioli toast. I had a little taste of his stew and I must say, it was a good choice.

I was slightly envious of his stew. The prawns were large and cooked well and the stew was divine – so flavoursome. Daddy P is a fussy pescatarian so there’s a lot of dishes he’s not a fan of (including tomato-based stews) but he was so happy with it, he couldn’t stop raving about it!

His only feedback would be that there wasn’t enough toast to go with the stew. It’s a generous stew portion but he had only about 4 or 5 thinly-sliced sticks of toast to dip with. We ended up ordering extra bread because Daddy P said he couldn’t continue enjoying his meal without it. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
Thursday special: seafood and red pepper stew.. delicious!

Kieran, our waiter came to check on us at timely intervals to make sure we were enjoying our meal (which we were!) and topped up with water. We also ended up ordering a side of chips for the kids because they were still a little hungry after the macaroni cheese.

For kids with big appetites, the portion size is very small but for us, it was okay.

I’m sure the burger and chips or fish fingers with chips and peas would be more filling. As the kids set menu is a two course meal, we picked one of each dessert for them. We knew they wouldn’t finish it but ordered it nevertheless.

I decided not to order my own dessert in the end because I was still so full from the ribs. It was a much bigger portion than I anticipated. Daddy P ordered the cinnamon doughnuts for himself but we ended up sharing because he couldn’t finish it either! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
Left: hot chocolate / Top: cinnamon doughnuts / Right: strawberry ice cream with Bill’s wafer

There was about 6 doughnuts and after eating two, Daddy P was struggling. I helped out of course and ate three, then he devoured the rest with a little encouragement. The doughnuts tasted like little balls of fried, sugary, heavenly goodness. They come with two dipping sauces; caramel and chocolate. They tasted like a cross between dinky doughnuts and churros. I ordered a hot chocolate with cream which was nice and the whipped cream was light and fluffy.

We’ll be back…
We loved the atmosphere, the food and the staff. We can now have a good family night out that won’t break the bank, especially being with it so close to Christmas.

There’s an upstairs area which is well-lit and has ‘The Ivy Cafe’ feel about it. I’ve visited the Blackheath branch and I’m sure they have the same green wall paint and mirrored hanging. For Daddy P, I have requested for an upstairs seat due to the lighting but personally, I prefer the mood lighting downstairs. it’s way more romantic. 🙂


Why Bill’s Greenwich is a great place:

  • Beautiful decor and a chilled casual vibe
  • Friendly, attentive staff
  • Generous portions of delicious food
  • Very affordable, especially for families
  • The perfect place for every occasion – be it a family dinner, social gathering, catch-up with friends, after-work drinks with colleagues or a date night

(We didn’t drink but the cocktails ordered by the table beside us looked amazing!)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Bill’s Greenwich Restaurant Review
It’s official! We love Bill’s Greenwich 🙂

NB. We were invited to Bill’s Greenwich for a complimentary meal in exchange for a blog review. All words, photos and content are my own. Any photos that are not mine have been credited respectively.

Review: Our day out at Cutty Sark’s Toddler Time

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich

On a not-so-sunny Wednesday, Little Lady and I headed out to Greenwich for a little bit of pre-nursery fun. We were invited to explore the last remaining British tea clipper, the Cutty Sark. You can’t miss it, she lies in the heart of the high street opposite the popular Greenwich market.

Greenwich is a beautiful place to visit – a mix of old and new. It’s also a great place to live – everything is local, there’s good access to public transport and there’s lots of families living in the area. The only difficulty is finding a free parking space in the area as it’s a heavily pedestrianised area.

Journey to the Cutty Sark ship
We hopped on a bus from home and took it towards Greenwich, we got off at the stop opposite the Old Royal Naval College and walked towards the ship. I pointed out to Ams the ship’s sails and took a moment to take a photo of the signpost below with a view of the ship in sight.

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
Directions to the Cutty Sark for Toddler Time
The last British tea clipper

5 Fun Facts about Cutty Sark…

1. Cutty Sark is 148 years old
It was launched on 22 November 1869 in Dumbarton, Scotland. Built to last for just thirty years, it is now in its third century.

2. Cutty Sark has travelled 957,995 nautical miles
During its years as a British merchant ship, Cutty Sark visited sixteen different countries and travelled the equivalent of two and half voyages to the moon and back.

3. Cutty Sark was built for the China tea trade but would carry a vast array of cargoes in its career
Cutty Sark carried almost 10 million lbs of tea between 1870 and 1877. The opening of the Suez Canal marked the end for sailing ships in the tea trade and so Cutty Sark had to find new employ. It transported a variety of cargoes, including over 10,000 tons of coal, before finding its calling in the Australian wool trade. It would transport more than 45,000 bales in its career.

4. Overall, however, Cutty Sark is an extremely fortunate ship
It survived storms which ripped its rudder off on two occasions, survived a dismasting in the First World War and a terrible fire in 2007. In the year before the fire, the majority of Cutty Sark’s original fabric had been removed. This meant that, while devastating, the fire was nowhere near as destructive as it could have been. Over 90% of the ship’s hull structure is original to 1869.

5. A special dry dock was built for Cutty Sark in Greenwich in 1954
After an extensive restoration, Cutty Sark was opened by HM the Queen on 25 June 1957. As a symbol of Britain’s maritime trade, it became a memorial to the Merchant Navy and the 44,000 men killed in both world wars. Since 1957, Cutty Sark has welcomed over 16 million people and counting!

Facts extracted from RMG – more fun facts here

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
A beautifully restored ship
The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
Behold, the Cutty Sark

Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark
Toddler Time is a free flow play session held under the ship every Wednesday from 10-11.30am for under 4s. It’s a little bit like rhyme time and story time at my local library but with a bit more emphasis on the play element. Children can roam free under the ship whilst parents have a little chat with each other and the Toddler Time staff.

Ams was not really interested in playing with others this time – it was the first time we visited the underneath of the ship and she was overwhelmed with it all and preferred to explore her surroundings instead. There was lots of information about the ship’s history, the fire that happened and the renovations that took place and why the ship was updated with the new glassy look. All very interesting facts that I never knew about.

Ams having fun at Toddler Time Cutty Sark
The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich
A collection of the ship’s figureheads

There’s also a collection of the ship’s past figureheads to look at. They are really large and quite scary, I wasn’t really a fan of looking at all of them for too long. Ams also had a good look of them before heading off to explore the other bits of the ship. Unfortunately as the weather wasn’t great, the little madam didn’t want to explore the top deck of the ship which was what I was looking forward to. Her nursery session also starts at 12.30pm so we had to start making our way back to get some lunch then head to nursery.

There is a lovely little cafe beside the toddler time area serving hot and cold food and drink so it’s a really lovely space to burn off some energy or just to chill and chat with other parents.

Toddler Time at Cutty Sark
There are two sessions each week on on Wednesdays, a morning session at 10-11.30am and an afternoon session at 1.20-2.50pm. Our morning session was not too busy, there was around 10-12 other parents which is a good amount of people to have but not too much to feel overcrowded. The sessions are held during term-time only.

Price: £5 per adult, kids (under 4s) go free
Older children (4+) can also join but they would be charged the adult price. Parents can also sign up to the annual membership for £44 and go free – the membership also gives you free entry and access to exclusive events, entries and discounts to the cafes and shops.

Thank you Cutty Sark, it was a pleasure!

Naturally, we couldn’t leave without a look around the gift shop. Ams had a good look around before deciding she wanted the giant lollipop. I got myself a little tote back to add to my collection. We will be back to explore the top deck on a sunnier day and also I had my eyes on some beautiful wooly mitts (for kids and adults) which were SO WARM – I need a pair for the winter weather ahead. 🙂

After we left Cutty Sark we had a look around the Old Royal Naval College which is adjacent to the ship. It’s a great place to visit, also filled with plenty of history and free tours if you’d like to know more about the site. The ORNC is also a visitors information centre so if there is anything else you’d like to find out about Greenwich or the RMG, don’t visit Greenwich without a trip there. You can also choose to explore the college grounds yourself – just be mindful that it is also part of the University of Greenwich so there are lots of people moving around the area.

Have fun exploring the rest of Greenwich too – don’t leave without visiting the National Maritime Museum and if you have the energy, head up to the Royal Observatory. There’s always lots going on at the Royal Museums Greenwich sites.

For more info on Toddler Time or to book:
https://www.rmg.co.uk/see-do/exhibitions-events/toddler-time-board-cutty-sark


NB. This is a paid collaboration post in exchange for a unbiased blog review and we were gifted tickets to the Cutty Sark and Toddler Time session. All photos and opinions are my own.

Our family review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at Millennium Leisure Park Greenwich

The Greenwich Mummy Blog Review | Family Lifestyle Blogger

June 2018 was the release of the sequel to Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I had seen the critic’s reviews before we went to see the film so I didn’t know what to make of it all as the reviews weren’t great. Some reviews were slaughtering the film and saying how rubbish it was, others were a little less harsh and said it would be great for dino-loving children but it’s not for adults who loved the 2015 movie.

We went to see Jurassic World 2 in the first week of the release at our local cinema at the Millennium Leisure Park. There was even a special dino appearance with Dextor the dinosaur! The dinosaurs were very popular amongst the public and many people including children were brave enough to take photos with the beasts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review
LO thinking “to touch… or not to touch?”
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review
LO stroking the baby triceratops
The Greenwich Mummy - Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review
The main attraction: Decter the Dinosaur!

LO was very brave and stroked the baby dinosaurs. He was slightly afraid of Dexter because he was much bigger but did eventually get close enough to admire the triceratops from a distance.

The staff at Odeon Greenwich were lovely – as they usually are. This is our local cinema and they are always very welcome to families of all ages. I was slightly weary of how Baby Girl was going to react during the film but she was very well behaved. There was online

The Millennium Leisure Park is becoming the new lifestyle go-to place; there’s the cinema, Costa Coffee, Pizza Hut, Nandos and Prezzo to eat at, B&Q to buy all of your homeware things (my go-to place for my new allotment!) AND the new IKEA is finally taking shape! The IKEA has caused a lot of contraversy with the locals including myself – it’ll either be fantastic or a complete nightmare due to the amount of footfall and traffic that will pass the area… I’m positive about the new store opening and cannot wait! 🙂

The film

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (for us) was a good watch and I thought even though the storyline was a little simple, it was easy to follow making it suitable for young families to enjoy. Both LO and Baby Girl stayed interested in the story from start to finish – they absolutely loved the character Blue and LO was very keen to learn more about her back story. He said his favourite bit in the film was when Owen defended Blue but then she got shot and they had to nurse her better. I think the last fighting scene between Blue (the velociraptor) and the new hybrid Indoraptor was very good with lots of cool special effects.

I can understand how some film critics found the storyline to be a little thin (the story does not go into much detail about certain events) as some unexplained scenes left me slightly confused. Also, the concept of dinosaurs walking with us in today’s world is a little far-fetched. I was also a little sad with how it ended ie. what will happen to the world with the dinosaurs now supposedly loose? Also, the giant herbivore that was left behind to die on Isla Nublar was really sad. These gentle giants were left to die whilst vicious carnivores were transported away for keeping and cross-breeding. We later found out that they were selling the dinosaurs on the black market to the highest bidders. What they’d be used for, we can only imagine…

The film wasn’t as dramatic as the first Jurassic World. Saying this, it’s definitely a good watch for children and families but as an adult I’d probably expect more suspense, more plot and a thorough storyline. Despite all of this, I did think the socio-environment factors the film touched upon was very interesting. As humans, we are always curious to experiment but personally I think the old saying “curiousity killed the cat” is something to remember here.

After we got back home from the Millennium Leisure Park, Daddy P got LO a Jurassic World sticker book which he loved! He’s always asking me for the next Jurassic World toys (we got LO Blue and the dinosaur truck she was transported in from SMYTHS last month because he wouldn’t stop going on about it).

LO is ALWAYS talking about Jurassic World and watching snippets of it on YouTube. That’s how much he loves JW so if you have kids that love dinosaurs, getting this as a DVD present for a birthday or Christmas would be a good idea. I think we will have to this year. It’s our birthdays this week so either I might just have to buy it for him as an early treat! 🙂

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom Review
Dexter the Dinosaur making an appearance at Millennium Leisure Park!