Life in Lockdown: how to stay happy & healthy during quarantine

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

I’ve always loved the idea of homeschooling but didn’t think I’d have the intelligence, patience or willpower to do so. After these two – almost three weeks – I can tell you that it’s bloody hard! I’ve always done so but now praise teachers even more for what they do with our children, it’s not an easy job with one let alone a class full of twenty plus.

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Homeschooling is not as easy as it seems!

We also must need to thank all of the key workers working hard to keep our country running. The shop workers, seriously – where would we be without them? It’s amazing that we can all stand together as one and as a community, helping each other out. In Greenwich there is a mutual aid group made up of locals volunteering to help out those in need who are struggling with their daily lives. They have a Facebook page so if you can volunteer or know someone that may need/would like the help, get in touch. Please note that it is a private group so you will need to have a FB account to access it: https://m.facebook.com/groups/greenwichcovid19mutualaid

Life in Lockdown: London’s Quarantine/Self-isolation

So we have been self-isolating since the school closures were announced on Friday 20th March. We have only gone out when necessary for essential shopping which we try to limit to no more than 2-3 a week. We didn’t stockpile but made sure we had a few extras of our normal shop to keep us going for a few weeks. We haven’t been sick or had symptoms *touch wood* and have stayed away from our friends and family.

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Keep yourself busy, not bored

Of course, we practice social distancing and we try to only nominate one of us to do the essential shop. I get Daddy P to do it as the last time I tried to go to the shops it was a little awkward and I felt very anxious. Social distancing wasn’t entirely possible in our local supermarket and other people noticed it too. One even commented “well we’re all gonna die anyway” …I wanted to say something so badly but we’re all entitled to our own opinion and in these uncertain times, who knows anymore. I wrote an earlier post about the racial tension I experienced which still looms in the air. Even an NHS worker in London was recently racially targeted because she was of Asian-looking heritage. There’s only two words that people need to think of in this situation and it’s “BE KIND”. Be kind to everyone but especially those who are working flat out to keep us safe.

This coronavirus is affecting us all mentally, emotionally and physically. The kids are managing well and to be honest, haven’t been asking too many questions about it. They’ve just taken it on board and got along with things. I am so grateful that they are able to have this mindset especially as they’re not allowed outside more than once a week.

How to stay happy & healthy during the lockdown

1. Keep to a routine

Keeping to a routine will not only save your sanity, it will also give the family a sense of structure to your day. Most days, try to wake up at a reasonable time like (before 10am) and get that morning routine going. Especially as most of us are now at home it’s so easy to fall into a slump and put your body clock out of sync with the world.

If you are homeschooling you might want to wake up like you would do on a ‘normal’ school day and start your studies at 9am. For us, we’re a bunch of lazy bones and will wake up around 9-10am and start homeschooling an hour after. Our morning routine includes washing face/brushing teeth, eat breakfast, set up the desk and get into homeschool-mode. So much easier that we don’t have to faff around with school uniform!

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Homeschooling Tip: have a routine and dedicate time for study and play

Everyone’s routine will be a little different – the same goes with the homeschooling. Before I started, I had big plans for Little Man and a good day’s schedule all planned out. After the first day, we realised it wouldn’t work and so have adapted it to suit us since then. Now we limit school work to 2 hours a day and usually try to do it before their lunch at 1pm. However, we are also flexible so if we’ve had a lazy morning, we’d carry on with relaxing and playing then do the homeschooling after lunch or during the second half of the day.

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If homeschooling is stressing you out, just make sure that your child reads daily

2. Eat well

Don’t curb on all the processed food as now you’ll actually have the time to cook. If you’re not great at it or stuck for ideas, just head online and you’ll find that the internet world is really your (virtual) oyster. If the kitchen is not really your forte, subscription companies like Gousto, Mindful Chef and Hello Fresh can actually be very helpful however they will be very busy due to demand. Have a look for food boxes from your local grocery, they might even deliver for free. You can even check out their boxes recipes online too, here’s a link to Mindful Chef’s latest recipes to whet your appetite.

Note: get the kids involved with the cooking! It’ll count towards their ‘life skills’ and makes great bonding sessions.

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Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can include in your meals

Breakfast: make sure you have a good breakfast to start your day. Our favourite is oat porridge with a small dollop of jam or a slice of toast with cheesy scrambled egg. For myself if I’m being lazy, I have a slice of toast with tea and then coffee!

Lunch: we keep it simple for lunch as the kids usually get involved. Recently we’ve been making easy egg-less fluffy pancakes – I will upload my recipe and photos on the blog shortly. There’s also a protein pancake recipe on this blog if you fancy something different.

Dinner: Daddy P and I take it in turns but I would say 80% of the time, I’ll cook and he’ll clean because he’s the best at cleaning! 🙂 Our recent meals include salmon and dill quiche with salad, seafood and fish pie, easy macaroni cheese, veggie lasagne, and even fish stew! As Daddy P is pescetarian we don’t cook meat anymore – saying that I did make sticky soy and garlic glazed chicken wings the other day which was so tasty.

If meal planning or coming up with new meals is really difficult, try to have at least one nutritiously dense meal a day.

3. Dedicate some time together

We try to get in our daily “together time”. This is any fun activity that we can do all together as a family. There’s also a weekly Sunday family rave courtesy of Big Fish Little Fish events at 2pm on Facebook Live so don’t miss that one! It’s pretty amazing. They put on an amazing show, we’ve been to a few family raves in person so it’s really nostalgic to watch them on Sundays. Also an excuse for us to make noise and go crazy with dance.

When I want to workout alone, I put on Zumba Workouts (Youtube) and work up a good sweat, my favourite workouts are from a lady called Ysel Gonzalez – she has such a vibrant energy it’s amazing. Sometimes the kids join in which is nice too. I’ve also bought a rebounder to use at home and the kids are having a good workout on there too! I’ve not had a go yet but will try it out this weekend. 

If you’re stuck on ideas, here are some ‘together time’ activities you can fit into your routine:

  • Yoga
  • Reading/storytelling
  • Games – board games, console games, team player games, made-up games
  • Messy play or imaginative (role play, dressing up)
  • Arts and crafts-making
  • Cooking/baking
  • Dancing
  • Watching a film together
  • Gardening (if you have a garden) or planting (indoors or outdoors)
  • Learning a new language
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Little Man finishing off the toppings

4. Do more yoga

We’ve been doing family yoga stories together once a week, sometimes more if they’re up to it. There’s also a lot of yoga teachers offering online classes (free, pay-what-you-can and donation-based) so have a look out for them. There’s literally a class for everyone and any family. If you’ve never done yoga before, don’t worry about it – family yoga is fun and the focus is on the bonding experience between parent and child/children and having fun! If you’re still unsure, you can put YouTube’s Cosmic Kids Yoga for the kids (ideally for 3-9 yrs) to keep them busy for an hour or two.

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Photo Credit: Yogi Beans

For yourself, now is a better time than any to start your own yoga practice. Yoga really is for everybody. Don’t think that you need to be flexible to start yoga – flexibility is a by-product of yoga!

My advice for you would be to look for yoga ‘flows’ (classes/sessions) that are specifically for beginners if you have no/very little yoga experience. These sessions are the best at easing you into simple poses and will have more options for modification. Restorative yoga flows are also great for beginners and they focus on releasing tight areas and are friendly enough for those who suffer from mobility issues or injuries. It’s also great for those who just want a much slower and relaxing pace.

5. Be flexible and realistic with your expectations

It’s so easy to try and cram as much in as possible, especially when we’re provided with so much choice and now have a lot more time on our hands. Take each day as it comes and as much as having a routine and structure is important, so is the ability to be flexible and realistic with your expectations. If the children seem like they have too much energy, have some time out and maybe even skip the schoolwork for the day. Enjoy the time you have with each other.

It’s hard for the children to not be able to release their wild energy normally like they would do running about in the playground and so they can become restless, mine certainly do! Be more understanding towards them and give them a little lee-way.

6. Practice daily mindfulness

Learning to be in the moment – being present, becoming mindful is something I am trying to teach myself. I can get quite riled up from the children that sometimes I lose my sh*t and go on a shouting rampage. What good does it do? Nothing. How does it make me feel after? Like a crappy parent. So why continue to do it?

Stop the cycle by observing and not judging whether it’s a good or bad situation, just accept it as it is. Only then can we move forward to a more positive outcome. I bought a mindfulness book which helps me to challenge my thoughts and behaviours – almost like a CBT book that helps me to keep calm and become more mindful of everything around. There’s also brilliant mindfulness apps for adults and children. For adults, I love the CALM app and for kids, we use the Moshi Twilight stories app. It really helps the children to relax and usually sends them off to sleep. Other mindfulness activities can include mandala colouring (great for kids too!), guided meditation and yoga nidra.

7. Boost your immunity

I’m sure you have heard this everywhere. Keep your immunity levels high to keep your health in good condition. You don’t have to purchase the world of tablets but multivitamins with omega 3 or vitamin D, and vitamin C tablets can go a long way. A good way of getting in vitamin C is through eating fruits like oranges. Try not to juice them as this extracts mainly the sugars that’s contained in the fruit. You’ll get more benefit from eating oranges whole and eat fruits with the skin on like apples as the fibre is in the skin.

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Turmeric latte / Photo by Osha Key (Unsplash)

When I’m not feeling too well, I like drinking my honey and ginger tea. Just hot water, a teaspoon of honey and a thumb-size knob of ginger (crushed) is the best thing ever.

Turmeric is also another fantastic ingredient that is an immune-booster, it’s anti-inflammatory and said to help with healing. My mother used to buy fresh turmeric root and rub it over her acne spots to help it heal faster. Unfortunately the root can be hard to find but they would be available in most Asian food stores but turmeric powder can be found in most supermarkets.

I like making turmeric lattes with turmeric powder and dairy-free milk (oat milk or brown rice milk is the best for this!) and enjoy. If you have a frothing tool you can get a really lovely foam going and a professional barista-style turmeric latte.

8. Get some fresh air

Whether you have a big garden or an apartment balcony like me, there’s always time to get some fresh air. We are still currently allowed to go outside for an hour of exercise so you could use a few minutes of this time to go on a gentle walk. If you’re up early enough, take the kids with you so they can get some fresh air too – by going earlier you’ll avoid unnecessary crowds of people. Of course, continue to practice social distancing and stay safe when outside.

If you prefer to go stay indoors the garden is a wonderful place to be, learn to make use of your green space – perhaps get the kids involved with some gardening or have a little campfire (no actual fire of course!) but you can teach them camping skills or scouts activities which you can find online. If like me you have just a balcony, leave the balcony door open for a few hours each day to let fresh air circulate inside the flat.

9. Don’t forget about yourself

When you have a family, looking after number one *yourself* can sometimes become the last priority but during this lockdown, your own mental/physical/emotionally self must be taken care of first. It’s the time to be selfish because you don’t look after yourself, who will look after your family?

I’m not saying splash out on something lavish – unless you can really afford to – I’m saying do something nice for yourself at least once a week or month. Whether it’s allowing yourself to binge on one whole Netflix series or eating that whole batch of chocolate brownies you made, just do it!

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Glossybox UK: beauty subscription box

I re-joined Birchbox last month and I’m looking forward to this little treat. Other beauty subscription boxes include Look Fantastic (check out their pretty April box here), Glossybox and Beauty Pie. If you prefer natural or vegan beauty products, I’d highly recommend trying out the LoveLula boxes. I need to start reviewing the boxes again but I stopped as it took a lot of time, though now I have a little more time… why not!

These beauty boxes are life right now and the best thing is that you can choose to pay in block to save money or pay on a monthly basis and cancel at anytime. If you change your mind, you can resubscribe at anytime too.

Stay happy, Stay healthy and above all else… stay safe!

Lots of love to everyone during these uncertain times. Take care of family and more importantly yourself in both mind and body. x


*Disclaimer: this post contains some affiliate links

Days out: Sensory Sundays with Nahdz Adventures

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family Lifestyle Blogger

I first met mumpreneur Nahdia @Nahdz_Adventures from a Paint & Slurp event that was ran by her and London artist @artsybeaumont which was super fun. This was a few years ago and the craft event is all about bonding with your child making art together on canvas whilst enjoying a healthy smoothie. Since then, I’ve been going to Nahdia’s amazing sensory workshops, Sensory Sunday with Nahdz.

The now-mum-of-three is an amazing, a real supermum – she blogs, runs her own business, takes care of her boys and travels with the kids in between. Mumspiration right there! She’s also supports lots of small businesses; when I first qualified for my kids yoga teacher training, she came along to my classes with her boys without fail. I’ve since moved away from there so haven’t been able to yoga with her and her boys as much anymore but I’m so glad I got to spend a good few months with teaching them family yoga. I could see the boys progressing in their yoga poses and strength every week.

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Nahdia with two little attendees / Photo credit: @Nadz_Adventures

What is Sensory Sunday with Nahdz?

Sensory Sunday with Nahdz is a monthly workshop that allows children to explore, play, and experience sensory stimulation (messy play) in a fun and safe environment. Parents can sit back and mingle with other parents or get just as involved with their children. The children can play to their heart’s content without anyone telling them “don’t make a mess” – every child’s dream. At the end, parents can walk away happy whilst Nahdz and her team work their magic clearing everything away. It’s guilt-free fun!

It’s a very inclusive event and is suitable for any child that likes sensory/messy play or you’d like to introduce your child to sensory/messy play. Little Man and my nephew loved the one I took them to a couple years ago. I haven’t taken Little Miss before so I think she will really enjoy the event. As I now work weekends, this makes it harder to do things with the kids when I’m not around. Daddy P is not really the best at looking out for these fun things to do.

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Dinosaur table / Photo credit: @Nadz_Adventures

Play, play and more play!

Nahdia usually sets up around 4 different trays (depending on number of children attending, PS parents/carers go free!) each with a different sensory element. The one we attended we had a dinosaur tray filled with pulses, rocks and plastic dinosaurs, another table had coloured rice and magnetic numbers and letters. It was even fun for me to plunge my hands into so I know the kids loved it. There’s also usually a special guest (ie. a book reading with an author) at the end of the workshop too which is a perfect way to wrap up the event.

The workshop is for children as young as pre-walking babies and toddlers up to primary school age. I took Little Man when he was 5 and he really couldn’t get enough of it!

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Seaside table / Photo credit: @Nadz_Adventures
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family Lifestyle Blogger
Alphabets table / Photo credit: @Nadz_Adventures

Okay, where do I sign up?

Check out @Nahdz_Adventures instagram page or Eventbrite for upcoming Sensory Sunday dates. So far, the events have been held at Space@61 in Dulwich which is a cosy space that can be hired for events. I love the venue, it’s super family-friendly. It’s quite easy to get to with parking spaces nearby and outside the venue.


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The Top 5 open-air ice skating rinks in London review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice Skating Rinks in London this Christmas

This winter is the best time for us to get our skates on and unleash our inner figure skater vibes! I cannot skate but that doesn’t stop me getting on the ice. I try to go at least once every year and each year I tell myself that I will take up skating and get better… but like NY resolutions, the feeling and motivation disperses and I’m left saying the same thing year on year.

I’ve taken it upon myself to give myself a Christmas mission and visit 5 beautiful and magical ice rinks in London. Below are my favourite five rinks which are all outdoors so you can enjoy the stunning views of majestic surrounding buildings.

There are so many ice skating rinks in London to visit but here are a few a good places to start you off…

1. Somerset House ice rink, Strand

Somerset House is mainly known for hosting London Fashion Week/Weekend events but every winter they also put on a spectacular ice skating arena, especially if you visit late afternoon/evening time when the lights are on. There’s a big Christmas tree as the centrepiece, plus having the building as a backdrop for your skate is simply amazing.

The Greenwich Mummy | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice skating rinks in London
Personally, I think the Somerset House ice rink is the beautiful rink in London!

A few days I went with one of my work girls to skate and we really enjoyed ourselves. It really is a stunning location but get ready to see a lot of couples skating together, a lot of newbies clinging onto the edge of the rink and more experienced skaters showing off their moves in the middle of the rink. There’s no skate aids here apart from for young children so I wouldn’t recommend skating here if you’ve never been on the ice as you will just be clinging onto the sides of the rink for the whole session. I am not great on the ice and found it quite challenging without any skate aids but managed to get by a little although I had to have lots of resting time in between because my legs got tired… Real quick. Also it gets quite busy on the ice but really feels festive and enjoyable.

They play good music on the ice and the lights change colour which creates a lovely skating atmosphere. Sessions are 45 mins which is a good amount of skate time. The skates for hire are really good quality and I’ve found lace-up skates to be extremely comfy compared to the standard clip-in ones.

The Greenwich Mummy | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice skating rinks in London
Quality lace-up skates really make a lot of difference!
The Greenwich Mummy | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice skating rinks in London
A great evening skate but be aware, there’s no skate aids available here!

Adult tickets are from £11 for the 45mins session which includes skate hire. Arrive at least 15mins early to drop off your bags at the hut (first bag/item is free, £2 per item thereafter). Then go into the other hut to collect your skates. There’s also Skate Lates from 8pm where you can enjoy skating listen to the latest hits and some classics from the venue’s DJ. Good vibes!

http://bit.ly/somersethouseicerink


2. Queen’s House ice rink, Greenwich

Based at the foot of a UNESCO Heritage site, voted as UK’s Top 10 visitors attraction the Queen’s House in Greenwich is one of the most beautiful places in London. The ice rink here is the only outdoor rink in South East London and is beautiful to skate around. This year, the rink at Canary Wharf has not been brought back so this is currently our closest ice skating rink.

We had the pleasure of skating here on its launch event (you can read our ice skating review here) which was fantastic. The kids had such a wonderful time and I am so glad to have an ice rink so local to us! For me, this rink comes in as a close second behind Somerset House because even though it is an amazing rink with really magical views, the skates let me down – they are the really cheap clip on ones which hurt my feet so bad. The good thing about this rink is that they have not one, but TWO types of skate aids for you to choose from. A penguin aid for less confident skaters and the banana aid (seen below) which is ideal for tiny skaters and complete first-timers. The banana aid is really fun but for those pushing the aid around, it’s hard work! Get ready to burn extra calories with that thing.

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A view of the Queen’s House ice rink
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice skating in Greenwich at the Queen's House ice rink
The ice rink all beautifully lit up at night

A night – or late afternoon skate here would be stunning. As you can see from the image above, the Queen’s House lit up at night is really something. It looks magical and so festive! The rink doesn’t get overly busy too which is great as it means more space on the ice to go round. Tickets are from £13.50 for adults and from £6.75 for kids, unfortunately there are no family tickets but if you’re a Royal Musuems Greenwich member, you can take advantage of their discounted tickets.

UPDATE: save 43% off your ice skating tickets on Travelzoo for just £9 per adult ticket: http://tidd.ly/b1c5abaf**

http://bit.ly/greenwichiceskating


3. Natural History Museum ice rink, South Kensington

South Kensington is well known for their museums and now every winter, for their ice skating too! Passing here last winter with Little Man I thought about taking him on the ice but unfortunately he’s not a big fan as I am with ice skating so we gave it a miss. I’m planning to head out this year with Little Miss as the ice rink is small but good enough for parents with young families. There is a morning parent & toddler skating session which includes skating, skate hire and a free hot drink for both… of course we will opt for the hot chocolate option! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Ice Skating Rinks in London this Christmas
Credit: Natural History Museum

This rink is on my list to take the kids once we break up for Christmas holidays. It looks like it’ll be a good one and a skate by the NHM would be a delight! Naturally, we’ll head into the museum after for a little look around and lunch at their cafe or a nearby restaurant. Adult tickets are from £12.65 and tickets for children start from £8.80. There’s also a reduced family ticket for four cost from £39.60.

Every Friday evening from 7-8pm, fragrance brand Viktor&Rolf will be transforming the ice rink into a Flowerbomb fantasy. Join in as they turn the ice pink, hang sparkling baubles from the Christmas tree and the infuse the air with their new Flowerbomb fragrance.

http://bit.ly/naturalhistorymuseumicerink


4. Hampton Court Palace ice rink, Hampton Court

Situated in the gardens of Henry VIII’s historic home, the Hampton Court Palace outdoor rink offers you the chance to glide across the ice whilst being surrounded by spectacular views of the amazing Tudor palace. This scenic skate is perfect for all skaters from complete beginners to the advanced. Skate aids are available, and just like at Queen’s House you can choose from the penguin or the banana.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice rinks in London
Look at that awesome view and rink size!

Tickets are slightly pricier than the other rinks already mentioned (apart from Somerset House) from £15.00 per adult and £10.50 per child. This will have to be a solo skate for me or with friends as it’s slightly out of reach for us and to be frank, the prices are a little more dear. From the images on their website, I can see that people are wearing the blue clip-on skates… a big turn off for me however that view does look really appealing. There’s also a cafe bar by the rink so you can grab a hot drink and something to eat before or after your time on the ice. 🙂

http://bit.ly/Hamptoncourtpalaceiceskating


5. Winter Wonderland ice rink, Hyde Park

Skating around an outdoor bandstand playing live music? What more could you ask for! This rink looks pretty amazing in the day time and at night, even more special. When I visited this rink with my girl friends, unfortunately it was a very wet evening and we all got caught in the rain. It was only a mist but so much water pooled onto the ice, it made me really nervous with skating on it. However it wasn’t all bad – the wet ice actually made it easier to glide and skate but it was certainly more slippery in some areas of the ice as the rain froze over.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice rinks in London
Credit: Time Out
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Top 5 Magical Outdoor ice rinks in London
The fairy light canopy added a little bit of magic to our open-air skate

There are penguin skate aids at this rink for hire £5 per aid which I bought but ended up not using. There were many families on the ice that couldn’t really skate but didn’t want to put money out to get an aid and were really struggling. I ended up giving my penguin to a young child who skated with his mum and sister who were also inexperienced skaters.

There was a professional photographer on the ice when we skated so be aware that staff will tell you that you can’t take photos on the ice – because they want you to obviously purchase theirs so if you must take a photo like we did, make it snappy and do it discreetly.There was also live music; we had a singer performing with her guitar. Her acoustic renditions of Christmas songs were mellow, festive and added perfect ambience to our wet skating session. We enjoyed our 45 minute skate and of course, my feet got blistered from the clip-on skates which were in really bad condition. They had the worst skates compared to the rinks at Somerset House and the Queen’s House.

Apparently Hyde Park’s rink prides itself as the largest outdoor rink in the UK I can’t tell you for certain. From photos, I thought the Hampton Court rink looks bigger but I won’t know until I go there myself. As soon as I can tell you, I’ll let you guys know. 😉

http://bit.ly/winterwonderlandicerink


Bonus: Tower of London ice rink, Tower Hill

Okay, I know my post title says Top 5 but think of this as your bonus ice rink location because I couldn’t disregard it.

Tower of London is one of the Historic Royal Palaces in London (like Hampton Court Palace) and a very popular attraction for visitors in the UK and overseas. You can skate outside the fortress and admire the beautiful ambience as it’s lit up in the evening.

Prices are similar to Hampton Court; from £15 for adults and from £10.50 for children. For me, this one will be a miss but I’m sure it’ll be a great visit if you’re a History buff. Skate aids can also be hired here (must be booked in advance) but their website doesn’t specify what kind of skate aids are available.

http://bit.ly/toweroflondonicerink


I hope you enjoyed this little round-up posts of my top 5 magical outdoor ice rinks in London. Have you visited any ice skating rinks this year or perhaps you’re looking to go soon before Christmas? Leave me a comment if you have any other recommendations of open-air ice rinks in London too! x

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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!

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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
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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.

Summer Holidays: Our Disneyland Paris 2019 Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review

We survived Disneyland Paris!

We are back from Paris and our day trip to Disneyland Paris. It was an amazing experience, now looking back at it, but at the time it felt chaotic. In this Disneyland Paris 2019 review I’ll write about our overall experience so you can make up your own mind on what to expect, what to bring, and give you some helpful tips which I did’t know about before our trip that could help you.

Book Disneyland Park Tickets in advance

Booking your park tickets in advance will save you a lot of money. If you do plan to visit the park more than once in the year, an annual pass is worth a consideration as you get a better deal. We booked our tickets directly on the Disneyland Paris website however there are many online websites that offer Disneyland ticket deals. For example, after booking ours I found tickets for one day park, hotel and Eurostar for £99 per person. Much cheaper than what we paid however we did go during the SUPER MAGIC (super-peak) period. You can have a look for ticket deals on 365 Tickets which is great site for theme park ticket deals.

Save ££: if you don’t have a specific date in mind, search on travel deal sites for the best deals. Usually you can get a good deal on Disneyland park tickets, accommodation and flights on Travelzoo.

The travel: Eurostar from London St. Pancras

We departed from London St. Pancras Thursday evening at 6.01pm and arrived in Paris at 9.35pm local time so about 2.5hrs train journey ride. The children were a little restless by the end of the train ride but did good enough to stay seated. Children under 3 do not need a ticket as they can sit on your lap however if the train is empty you can be cheeky and place them on a sit next to you if no-one takes the seat. Eurostar staff are incredibly courteous and I have never had a bad experience on it – staff speak both French and English fluently and you can use card or cash (euros or pounds) at the refreshments cafe on board. There’s a toilet on every coach and air conditioning throughout the train. There’s also wifi on board but I couldn’t figure out how to connect on it as my phone would’t connect so can’t comment on that but free wifi – what’s not to like?

Save ££: purchase tickets when Eurostar are doing promotions on their tickets, you could book as cheap as £29 one way per person and under 3s are free.

Top Tip: Download a few movies or shows for the kids onto the tablet before hand and bring some books or activity packs to keep them entertained for the ride. That way you can minimise any tantrums and/or tears.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Eurostar journey from London to Paris

We arrived at Paris, Gare du Nord around 9.35pm local time. Leaving the station was very straightforward and easy. We got hungry and decided we wanted to eat before heading to the hotel so we stopped off at a restaurant opposite the station. Big mistake. I already knew in the back of my mind it would be a bad idea but I couldn’t bring myself to take us to McDonalds but in hindsight, I wish I did. At the restaurant we ordered, one margherita pizza, one salmon dish, one lamb confit, two glasses of orange juice and a hot chocolate… the bill came to 60 EUROS! WTF?! Note to self, food is expensive in Paris! Now, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal had the food been really tasty and value for money, the food was bland, not cooked well and seriously BASIC. I’m not expecting fine dining standards at a cafe/restaurant however I know the French like their food so I expect good quality food for that price. If we had gone to Mcdonalds, it would’ve tasted better and cost half that much.

The hotel: Renaissance La Défense hotel

We stayed at the Renaissace La Defense in the finance district of Paris. An urbanised area complete with its own shopping centre, restaurants, metro, train and bus station. It’s very easy to get around via public transport but man! It’s a different story via taxi – none of our taxi drivers were familiar with the area and one even said to us “c’est compliqué” – all of the hotels are built up a level above ground whilst the street level is below ground. What this means is that if you arrive by car you’ll need to head upstairs onto the upper level to get access to the hotels.

On our arrival night we weren’t aware and walked through a labyrinth to find our hotel. Lucky our driver spoke English and Daddy P spoke French fluently. I’m sure if I was alone with my minimal, broken French I may not have been able to navigate the way. Once we arrived, we felt much better – the hotel was stunning. The staircase was beautiful and the reception area was clean and bright.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
The stunning staircase at Renaissance La Defense
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Beautiful decor at the Renaissance La Defense

Staff were very courteous even though it was past 10pm, we were greeted like we were the first people they had seen all day. Check-in was smooth and within 10 minutes we were given our room keys and on our way to enjoy our room. Our room was clean and spacious, we had tea/coffee making facilities, a good amount of toiletries and clean towels enough for all four of us. Blackout curtains to keep the light out let us sleep for longer which was great. The massive flat screen TV kept the kids occupied in the morning evening before bedtime. Morning shower was great but I wish the water pressure was a bit stronger.

Save ££: Have a look on Booking.com for hotel deals or if you prefer more privacy, check out Airbnb.com for great one or two bedroom apartments you can rent in Paris. Sometimes you’d get a better deal on these than the hotels. You can save more money by shopping at the local supermarkets to make home-cooked meals instead of eating out.

Top Tip: stay central if you want to visit the main landmarks or see more of the city. The further out into the suburbs you go, the more time you will spend travelling and you’ll also spend more on travelling costs buying train tickets.

Travel: getting to Disneyland by train

After a good night’s sleep we woke up around 9am to leave the hotel around 11am. We went to buy snacks and food at the local Monoprix before heading to Disneyland Paris. Unfortunately for us, there was no direct RER train to DLP in Paris due to train engineering works which was going on all day from August 10-18. This was something we didn’t know about until we got there so make sure you check the train schedules online a few days before leaving so you can plan your route effectively. Using the Metro and RER trains were very easy and buying a ticket was also very easy. Ticket machines are available at metro station and offer different languages so you don’t have to work it out in French. Our RER ticket cost us €30.00 one way (2 adults, 2 children) which covered our journey for zones 1-3. I’d definitely recommend travelling to Disneyland via train – it takes around 1-1.5hr normally and is the cheapest option compared to taxi, Uber or coach. Driving is another option but be aware it’s about 26 euros to park your car there.

We probably would’ve gotten away with buying just 1 child ticket as Little Miss was in her pram and I just pushed her through the gates with me. Unlike London, the metro staff do not frequently regulate the gates and you will see people jumping them or walking through without a ticket.

We started our journey at 12.00 and got to Marne-la-Vallée (Disneyland’s station) at 2pm. This is because part of our journey (from Auber to Vincennes) required us to exit the metro, walk 10mins to the next station (chateaux de vincennes) to resume our journey. During that walk we stopped off at a McDonalds for lunch. Children’s Happy Meals in Paris are great! The kids got a nugget happy meal each and it came with the toy, 4 nuggets, small chips, apple juice and a strawberry yoghurt drink. Amazing.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
The beautiful gardens at the start of the park entrance
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Main park entrance
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Disneyland Paris: Sleeping Beauty’s castle looked amazing!
Park rides, parades and that ‘fast pass’ ticket

The main park was spectacular but man the crowds… soooo many people! I wasn’t ready for how busy it was. I should’ve known better as we arrived in the afternoon. We ended up only going on about 3-4 rides in total but for us, it wasn’t a bad thing. The kids just simply preferred the experience of being at DLP than concerned over going on the rides. Originally, I had wanted to arrive at the park as early as 10am but I am so glad we decided on a later afternoon time. I guess that’s because they are younger – I think if you have older children, they will want to queue up for as many rides as possible!

With our entry ticket, we were given ‘fast pass’ access – I think Disneyland will continue to offer this for a while yet. Simply head over to the rides that are available with the fast pass and print out your advance tickets. Unfortunately you can’t select the times but the ticket will allow you to skip the queue when it comes to the time for you to go on the ride. We printed out our Buzz Lightyear laser blast tickets at 2.30pm but was given fast pass for 7.30pm – we didn’t mind but just trying to give you an idea of the timings the tickets give you.

Save ££: Bring food, snacks, drinks and water with you. If you have younger children it’s not to bad but if you have big eaters or older children they will get very hungry and want to eat/snack constantly so stock up on these things by visiting a local Lidl, Auchan, Carrefour or Monoprix before entering the park. You’ll also save time queuing for food at the park’s restaurants.

Top Tip: If you’re not staying at the parks, travel to the park via train – it’s cheap and easy. The station is right outside the entrance and it’s hassle-free. Another tip, if you have young children, bring a stroller! Your feet, legs and sanity will thank you for it later.

I was extremely close to not bringing our stroller but a friend of mine who went a week before said don’t even think about not bringing one. The park is large and little legs will tire fast. Also they’re bound to fall asleep at least once during the day. You’ll also save around 30 euros not hiring one there!

We queued up for a mini boat cruise in Fantasyland which was enjoyable and relaxing once we got on the ride. The queue was about 30-40mins which was pretty long for one ride – some of the other rides had even longer wait times. The longest wait time I noticed was 90mins – my advice would be to check out the rides you want to go on online ahead of the visit. Anticipate long queues and wait times so plan to go on about 4-8 rides if you are there for a day visit. It’s impossible to complete the park in one day no matter what season you go.

After we finished our boat cruise, we went to check out Sleeping Beauty’s castle and the sleeping dragon underneath the castle. The boys went on the Pirate tree house and Phantom Manor ride whilst Little Miss and I went over to the town square to watch the street parade at 5.30pm which was fantastic.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Family Time: Quick selfie outside sleeping beauty’s castle

If you think you’re not going to be able to see all the Disney characters or only have a day ticket like I did, I’d highly recommend watching the street parade – it is one of the best things you can do and you can easily get a good spot. You will be able to see all the Disney characters in one sitting. The parade is approx. 30 mins and you will be able to see all the characters clearly; Donald and Daisy duck, Mickey and Minnie mouse, all the princesses, the Lion King characters, Buzz Lightyear, Woody and friends, Anna and Elsa from Frozen.

Character Meets: Mickey Mouse

This was the only character meet that we queued for – we tried to look for Toy Story’s Jessie and friends in the Western World part of the park but we were too late. At the Princess Pavilion, it was Rapunzel from Tangled that we could see in the afternoon but the queue for her was even longer so Daddy P and I made the decision to go and see Mickey as we thought both of the kids will enjoy it more. We weren’t disappointed.

Even though the wait was 1.5-2hrs long and we even missed our fast pass entry for Buzz Lightyear’s laser blast ride, it was SO WORTH IT! The kids were kept entertained in Mickey’s theatre with short movie clips that were on a loop. I loved the concept they developed for it – like it was a special backstage meet with Mickey. Just before it was out turn to see Mickey, one of the animation team saw Little Man’s tshirt and noticed it was his birthday – they made a quick call and was able to get Mickey Mouse on the phone to him before our meet! Little Man said Mickey wished him Happy Birthday and just seeing his face lit up was an unforgettable moment.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Meet Mickey Mouse backstage at his theatre in Fantasyland
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
The kids with Mickey Mouse

We took our photos with Mickey – you are free to take your own photos using your phone of your Mickey meet but Daddy P and I were too filled with awe from seeing him with the kids we couldn’t move much haha! The photographer took the photos for us and gave us a little card so at the end of the meet we can purchase the photos if we wanted to. As we didn’t take any of our own photos, I bought them but they looked amazing so it was hard not to buy them. You can purchase just the images or with a photo frame. Of course they offer a deal for multi purchases and I bought two photos with frames for 25.99 euros which is around £23 – not bad for two beautiful photos but if you do want to save money, don’t forget to take your own photos at the meet! The staff will even help you take the photo on your phone if you want to get a full family shot, no charge.

Staff at Disneyland were incredibly friendly, smiley and very talented. They are able to switch seamlessly from one language to another; from what I gathered all staff speak French, English, Spanish and German. In that order. And I’m sure they can speak Italian and possibly Mandarin too as there was a lot of Asian people there. Just amazing! Language barrier is really the least of your concerns at DLP.

The Fireworks: Disney Illuminations

This has to be the real highlight of my Disneyland trip and I am so so glad we didn’t leave before it. Everyone gathers in the centre around 9pm onwards for a good spot and I don’t blame them. However we decided to head back to the Western World and go for our dinner. We dined at The Lucky Nugget Saloon which was affordable and tasty. A meal deal for dinner was 21.99 euros and for that you get a main dish, side, dessert and soft drink. The service was quick and super easy – we queue to order, pay and get seated shortly after. That took around 15mins and our food arrived at our table around 5mins after being seated. We took our time to enjoy our meal which was delicious – I had the rack of ribs and Daddy P and co had the fish with chips. We didn’t opt for dessert. We left the restaurant around 10.30pm and by then the park will filled with people waiting for the fireworks display. We walked all the way to the park entrance as we wanted to be one of the first to leave and had a decent spot watching the illuminations. We didn’t stay for the whole thing which is around 30mins but we watched the majority before running off to catch the train home. If we were staying at the park’s resort we wouldn’t be in a rush and take our time to find a good spot close to the Sleeping Beauty castle which is where they project the illuminations from. All I can say is whatever you do, stay for the show. Don’t miss it because it really does highlight your whole experience.

Top Tip: If you want to make it home before the crowd, leave the park slightly before the end of the illuminations. You can do this by choosing a good viewing spot close to the park entrance so you can make a quick escape.

Depature Day: back home to London

We decided to have another lie-in as we didn’t get home until 1am the night before from DLP so we woke up 9am and checked out by 11am. We stopped off at McDonalds for ‘brunch’ – I forgot to mention that McDs in Paris offers macarons as a dessert! They are delicious and quite cheap, around 95 cents per maracon but I’m sure you can get a pack of 6 or 8 for a discounted rate. It was pouring down with rain on Saturday so our plans for going to see the Eiffel tower and Montmartre was out of the question. Not when we hadn’t packed any weather-proof or warm coats with us, we didn’t want to risk getting wet and coming down with colds when we get back home. We managed to get the metro to the Louvre Museum and hid there most of the day. After here, we made it to the station where we waited until it was our time to go home.

Top Tip: there are no free toilet facilities at the Louvre – it cost between 1.10-2.00 euros to use the toilet here so make sure you have some change with you.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Hiding away from the rain inside the Louvre Museum

We got to Gare du Nord by catching the metro from Louvre to Gare d’lest then changing at the station for the train to Gare du Nord. After spending a few hours wandering around the station, we headed upstairs to check into our Eurostar journey. There is a small children’s corner on the platform for kids to burn off some of their energy. Little Man did some reading, some colouring in and Little Miss joined in every now and then. There’s also a Paul’s Bakery and Costa Coffee on the platform for you to enjoy – yay!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review
Little Man having fun at the Eurostar’s kids corner

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Disneyland Paris 2019 Review

The highlights of Disneyland:

  • Night illuminations
  • A chance to see all of the characters at the parades
  • No need to pay for additional rides
  • Fast-pass ticket with every admission ticket
  • Public transport nearby (train station is opposite the park)
  • Ample car parking spaces

The downside of Disneyland:

  • Very long queues and wait times
  • Expensive and limited food choices
  • Expensive car parking charges (around 26 euros)
  • Expensive buggy hire (around 30 euros)

In summary, I definitely recommend going if you’ve never been before. It really is a wonderful experience despite the negatives. Yes, it can cost a fortune but the magic is still there and you’d see it in your children’s eyes. Just make sure you take them at an age that they can actually enjoy it (3 years and above) otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it unless you can really afford to spend at least £800+ on a few days. Booking during off season is a very good idea – avoid UK and French school holidays and you should find cheaper park prices and low park capacity.

I hope you enjoyed this blog review. We are looking forward to going back but whether that’ll be next year or in a few year’s time we’re not sure yet. It was definitely a memorable experience and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. 🙂 You can watch a video of our day trip on Youtube: youtu.be/Kgxoc1K3_gc

Au Revoir for now… we will be back!

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.

Festive ideas: 35 Christmassy things to do with the family!

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

“Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way…”

It’s that time of year again… c h r i s t m a s !

The only one thing that makes our wet Christmas great is all that quality time we get with the kids.

I’m not talking about just being stuck in the house with the hyperactive chipmunks but actual quality time for bonding and doing things together. My terrible two drive me INSANE nearly every day but somehow, at Christmas time it seems to be the only time where we love being together, crafting and making things.

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday and it looks beautiful. I let the kids put up a few of the decorations and did the lights and glass decorations myself. I managed to salvage some of the beautiful glass decorations we had from last year. A LOT were smashed as Ame decided she wanted to play with them and Little Man wanted to do the same.

I’ve decided that doing some Christmassy crafts together would be the way to go this year as the kids are showing more interest in that sort of stuff. I’ve compiled a list of 35 Christmas things to do with the family in Greenwich and around London… in case you run out of ideas!

35 Christmassy things to do
with the family…

  1. Pick out a Christmas tree together
  2. Make decorations for your tree
  3. Design your own wrapping paper
  4. Make your own wreath
  5. Make a Christmas stocking
  6. Make your own advent calendar
  7. Make something with pom poms… we made pom pom jumpers!
  8. Decorate your own Christmas cards
  9. Enjoy a Christmas story together
  10. Sing Christmas carols
  11. Devour a box of chocolates together
  12. Have a movie night in & snuggle under a cosy blanket like this one
  13. Prepare dinner together
  14. Bake something delicious – try gingerbread men!
  15. Do some family yoga Christmas-style!
  16. Visit Santa’s Grotto
  17. Watch the Nutcracker at the theatre
  18. Watch a nativity play
  19. Go to church
  20. Burn off some energy at the local park
  21. Do the Christmas shopping together
  22. Set a new Christmas tradition and stick to it
  23. Check out the deers at the Deer park in Greenwich Park
  24. Go ice-skating at a magical outdoor rink
  25. Make the best hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows,
    The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | A family lifestyle blogor check out the best places for a good hot chocolate in London
  26. De-clutter the house in time for the new year
  27. Donate unwanted items to charity
  28. Buy a dinner for a person in need
  29. Volunteering with your local community
  30. Read a book together
  31. Dedicate an hour to quiet time
  32. Dance together!
  33. Visit a Christmas market
  34. Enter a charity fun run – entries are still open for the London Santa Run
  35. Last but not least, make memories by taking lots of family selfies!

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.

Days Out: Top 9 Theatre Shows to see with the family this summer

Looking to become a culture vulture this summer with the kids? There’s so much going on in theatres across London from now until September and even until the end of the year.

Here are the top 9 theatre shows that have caught my eye… best of all they are suitable for the whole family – big and small 🙂

1. Alien Loves Underpants at The Belly Theatre

As part of this year’s Underbelly Festival, this adaptation from the popular children’s will leave both parents and children in stitches of laughter and fun, you’ll all be laughing your pants off!

Tickets from £11.50 / find out more

2. Rufus Longbottom & The Space Rabbit at Greenwich Theatre

Rufus Longbottom is a grouchy old man who lives in a care home and despises contact with other people. He loves watching his telly and does nothing else until one day he comes across a big yellow rabbit from outer space. A show filled with marvellous adventures, song, dance and interaction with the audience. I’m a big fan of small productions that are interactive and immersive. You’ll not be disappointed!

Tickets from £8.50 / find out more / other tour dates

3. The Elves and the Shoemaker at Greenwich Theatre

You’ll meet Mr Cobbler and his wife, who are struggling to afford the leather for him to make any shoes to sell. But could their fortune change? A beautiful retelling of a classical children’s fairytale featuring all of the original songs from the story.

Tickets from £5 / find out more

4. Not Now, Bernard at Unicorn Theatre

David McKee’s iconic picture book, “Not now, Bernard” is a story that’s been loved by many children and adults for the last thirty years. The show will be vividly brought to life in this brand new adaptation.

Tickets from £6 / find out more

5. The Tiger Who Came To Tea at Piccadilly Theatre

A musical play adapted and directed by David Wood. Based on the book by Judith Kerr, this classic children’s book comes to life. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger!

Tickets from £12 / find out more

6. The Everywhere Bear at Polka Theatre

This captivating and beautiful new story from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb springs to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in Polka’s fun and exciting stage adaptation.

Tickets from £9 / find out more

7. Jack and The Beanstalk at Polka Theatre

Expect lots of surprises and beautiful images as Patrick Lynch (from Cbeebies) tells the gripping story of Jack who sells his cow for five magic beans and finds himself in the land above the clouds. It’s a show with something for everyone.

Tickets from £10 / find out more

8. The Jungle Book at Greenwich Theatre

Greenwich Theatre proudly presents this dynamic adaptation of “The Jungle Book”, bringing Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale to the stage with thrilling percussion, vibrant puppetry and Kipling’s unforgettable, larger-than-life characters.

Tickets from £9.75 / find out more

9. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt at Lyric Theatre

Join in this adaptation from Michael Rosen’s fantastic book, “We’re going on a bear hunt” and follow the family’s adventures with their musical dog on a quest to find a bear. As they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure!

Tickets from £17.25 / find out more

So much choice!

I hope these top nine have sparked your interest and you’ll find something great to watch. We’ll also be attending a few more shows so will try to review them as soon as I can!

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle Blogger

 


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Happy New Year: Our best nine of 2017

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family and Lifestyle Blogger

It’s the first day of 2018 and what better way to celebrate new beginning than by rounding up on our nine best moments of 2017.

So without further ado, here’s our best nine…

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(From top left to right)

  1. Baby Girl’s first birthday
  2. Mine and Daddy P’s 10th anniversary
  3. A mummy moment with the kids
  4. LO and Baby Girl baking cookies for the first time
  5. New Years Day 2017
  6. LO in his first nativity play at primary school
  7. A moment of the kids together
  8. LO’s 4th birthday indoor climbing
  9. Christmas Eve 2017

Love from Mummy & Co.,

Happy New Year!

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Review: Our family day out at the Greenwich Wintertime Festival

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review

The Greenwich Wintertime Festival – December 1st-31st 2017

With Christmas around the corner, there’s a host of winter markets, wonderlands and festivals for you to visit this December. This year, people can go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Winterville in Clapham and even Portobello market are doing a mini festival called the Portobello Winter Festival. Luckily for us Greenwich locals, we get to have our own winter festival right on our doorstep!

The Greenwich Wintertime Festival is located on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College – just a stone throw away from the infamous Greenwich market. You can enjoy the wonderful surroundings of historical Greenwich whilst exploring the festival and other parts of the town. We were invited to head down last Sunday and boy did we have a good time! Ticket prices start from £15 for adults (£20 includes the ice-skating session) and from £8 for children.

Here’s what we got up to…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Local Events: Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review
We’re missing one! Baby Girl stayed at home with Daddy P today

Arrival: First Impressions

We were booked for the Sunday afternoon slot and had arrived just a little after our session had started. I ended up leaving Baby Girl at home as she was sleeping… she was still asleep when we got home so she must’ve been tired! Checking in was pretty easy and there were no queues. One of the staff members on hand even volunteered to take our photo for us and of course we accepted without hesitation! It’s always nice to get someone to take a photo of us, we’re so used to selfies.

When we got our wristbands and went through, we were surprised at how big the venue was. I never realised how big the grounds of the Old Naval College was until walking around the place We had a sneak peak of the ice rink and decided that we would go their at the end of our visit. We had a little wander around then found some elves who were lining up children (and parents) to see Santa!

 

 

 

 

The Santa Experience

The elves ushered us along a tree-lined path which was lit up with fairy lights and larger colourful lights lit the floor of the pathway. As it was still light, we couldn’t see the full effect of the colours but I can imagine, the pathway would’ve looked beautiful as the sky got darker. We ended up in a room that was actually Santa’s secret launch pad! We had an interactive experience with the big man himself who came out to take a selfie with all the children at the end of the experience. All children were given goody gifts upon leaving the pad which was a nice touch to the experience. Inside our goody bag was a pop-out Wintertime Fest Christmas tree, an electronic light-up spiky ball, and a Christmas cookie shortbread.

The Shopping (well, lack of for me!)

Without a doubt, there will always be a winter market ready for you to splash some of your cash. Unfortunately for me, this week hasn’t been a good one financially so I wasn’t able to grab any gifts at the festival but there was loads of things I was eyeing up. Like the wonderful filled gift boxes at RockBox – all of the boxes are amazing but my personal fave is their resolutions box. 🙂 LO was really drawn to the dinosaur purses at The Lion Sparkles. It was really sparkly and the dinosaur shapes were very good! My personal fave from them was their black ROAR tote bag which I cannot find on their website. is now available on their website!! Check it out guys, it’s only £9.50 – a bargain!

 

 

 

 

The Food/Drink

There was only one row of food vans so there wasn’t an overwhelming choice of food to eat. In my opinion, it was all a little pricey but then again, it’s about the same kind of price you’d pay at most winter wonderland/market events. The good thing was everyone’s pricing was near enough the same as each other. £7 would get you a burger or taco or burrito and £3-4 would buy you a decent portion of chips. Sweet things like dessert waffles were £6 and churros were £5 for a regular cup and £7 for a large cup, complete with chocolate dipping sauce which tasted like melted chocolate – divine!

I highly recommend the cinnamon churros at Love Churros and ‘The Porker’ burger at Pulled. If you’re not a pork fan or meat, the taco van had some amazing tacos and burritos. There was also a seafood burger van serving soft-shell crab burgers which sounded amazing but the pulled pork was calling me… Super yums! We sat down in the seating area of the heated covered tent (where the silent disco takes place) to eat our burger and chips. We didn’t feel cold at all, the outdoor heaters they had were really good and everyone around us looked like they were having a good time.

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger: Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review
Live performances and entertainment in the tent

The Entertainment

Whilst tucking into our delicious churros, we headed over to the entertainment tent and sat down to hear We Are Trackless perform some wonderful Christmas carols and songs. Then there was a beat-boxing performance which involved the audience taking part. It was really good and was nice to see people joining in too. The performances here vary from day to day so make sure you check out what’s in store on the day. We were quite happy to just sit down and watch it all. If you’re heading down here on December 9th or 17th (both Sundays), there will be a special screening of the iconic Christmas film, The Snowman which will include a live brass band to accompany the film music.

 

 

 

 

The Ice Skating Rink

We left this one to the end which was like the icing on the cake for us. Before our skate session, there was a spectacular performance by the ice rink team who are actually freestyle dancers. After the performance ended, they opened the rink for the public. It has been years since I last put on a pair of skates but damn did it feel good to get back on the ice! I had a bit of the wobbles on the ice but holding onto LO’s seal aid helped. 🙂 Best of all, LO absolutely loved it! He had told me before he didn’t like the ice so for him to get on and skate with me was amazing even though I pushed him for 90% of our ice skating time.

The ice skating session is only 30 mins long which was enough for us. I also think we were allowed to skate for much longer. The rink is a decent size for both experienced skaters and complete first-timers. It was definitely big enough for us to enjoy without feeling intimidated. If you’re heading onto the ice, opt for the earlier sessions as it’s less busy then and would be a nicer experience for the children or people who aren’t that confident on the ice. Don’t forget to pick a seal aid if you need a bit of help skating.

The whole rink has a large viewing/standing area for people who are not going on the ice and there’s a small bar serving hot, cold and alcoholic beverages to keep you going. Once we were ready to leave the ice, it was approaching 5:30pm so we fufilled our three-hour time slot which seemed to have gone by really quickly. I asked LO if he would like to skate again and he said yes with a genuine smile on his face which really made my day and the burst blister on my right bony foot all worthwhile. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Events: Greenwich Wintertime Festival Review
Smiles for the camera! LO’s first winter festival!

Our verdict… we loved it! I’d recommend the Greenwich Wintertime Festival to anyone who’s looking for a smaller venue but has all the features of a larger event. This place is fantastic for families with younger children, or for people who prefer something quieter and less chaotic than the giant venues like Winter Wonderland. The festival was busy and bustling but not enough to feel over-crowded which was perfect for us!

I just came across this video from Videoblogg showing you around the festival – you can watch it here (opens a new window)

weloveit-mummyapproved

UPDATE!

I’ve read a lot of bad reviews about the Wintertime Festival and had a couple of comments on this post about the high prices (it is quite pricey!) and lack of things to see/do so I just wanted to highlight the pros & cons of the festival for those who plan on going so you can make up your own mind…

The Pros

  1. It’s a small and intimate winter festival on the Old Royal Naval College grounds (lovely surroundings) – there’s no loud music or massive crowds
  2. It’s in the heart of Greenwich so you can also enjoy other things nearby ie. the old market, Greenwich Park, Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum. If you have time, the Mudchute animal farm is only a 30mins walk via the foot tunnel (or take the DLR)
  3. Pre-book the package that includes the ice skating for the best deal
  4. It’s different from your standard winter festivals – the stalls sell curated, British-made goods from small (some are London-based), independent businesses, artists and designers – a great way of supporting independent British businesses!
  5. The entertainment was good and varies throughout the day – there’s also a silent disco for those who want to boogie
  6. There’s outdoor heaters in the eating areas which was nice but you still need to dress up warm especially if you’re out late

The Cons

  1. Wintertime Fest is a contemporary event; alternative festivals are not everyone’s bag of tea so keep this in mind
  2. The entry fee is a lot of money if you are expecting a lot more for your money. I’d suggest pre-booking the ice-skating package (£20 per adult) to get the best deal. For me, the skating was the highlight of our day at the festival and I’d happily pay the price to skate on the beautiful grounds again
  3. It’s a small festival, so there’s limited food and drink options (which are quite pricey). The gift stalls are independent small businesses so you won’t find the usual continental goods sold at winter festivals ie. gingerbread cookies, German sausages, cheeses, mass-produced toys
  4. There are no rides for very young children (under 4yrs) so there’s not much to do apart from ice-skating so this festival wouldn’t really be a good choice for new parents or those with toddlers. You might enjoy the carousel by the Cutty Sark and National Maritime museum more
  5. No ATMs on site so make sure you take out cash before entering or be prepared to pay for everything via card. There’s no re-entry once you’ve gone in
  6. The Santa experience is NOT a Santa’s Grotto one-on-one experience – we enjoyed the Santa experience but was disappointed that there was no one-to-one photo opportunity with Santa

I hope this updated section helps and I am really sorry for those who have been and didn’t enjoy the festival as we really liked it and not because we were gifted the tickets but because we enjoyed the calmer and quieter atmosphere, the churros and definitely the ice skating.


[#ad] We received a complimentary family ticket to attend the Greenwich Wintertime Festival. All words, opinions and photos are my own and this unbiased review is a true representation of our experience.

Our day trip to the Museum of London Docklands

During August, Museum of London Docklands had put on a range of free events for the whole family. These included workshops like jewellery making and creating artwork as well as story-telling days and interactive workshops about the history of London’s tunnels.

The Tunnel: Archaeology of Crossrail exhibition displayed objects that were recovered from the construction dig including as human remains that were found in Liverpool Street, Victorian chamber pots that were found near Stepney Green, and Crosse and Blackwell jars that were found near Tottenham Court road.

Alongside the Tunnel exhibition, an interactive workshop called Time Tunnellers. We were invited to attend the blogger’s launch of the over 5’s workshop but missed it due to bad weather and traffic. We still made it to the museum, just not to the event so we explored the museum instead. We had a look at the permanent collections at the museum. LO was really fascinated with the cutlass display and the whale tooth carving in the city and river gallery.

Time Tunnellers workshop

On LO’s birthday, we returned back to the Docklands museum and booked in for the free Time Tunnellers workshop. LO started off being really scared of taking part in the event so we had to take it all a bit slowly. As he warmed up to the workshop and saw the other children taking part, he started to become a little more at ease with the activity and got stuck in. I think he ended up really liking the workshop. Below is a slideshow of photos from the workshop. I found it really fascinating and the staff were really interactive and got the children and adults all participating at one point. 🙂 Some of the artefacts on display at the workshop were real findings from the actual Crossrail excavation such as the glazed ceramic pieces.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Museum of London Docklands Time Tunnellers
Time Tunnellers workshop for the over 5’s

After the workshop, we spent a little more time exploring the museum again. We checked out the Children Mudlarks gallery which is a free play area at the museum (needs to be pre-booked online or at the museum) but didn’t stay long enough as it was time for me to go to work… the joys of part-time work and parenting!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Museum of London Docklands
home time!

There’s always lots going on at this museum and I think people tend to forget about it compared to the bigger museums like the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and Museum of London in Barbican. If you’re nearby the docklands, head over to this museum for a bit of history – the kids will definitely love it and I’m sure grown-ups will too!

For upcoming free events in September, visit the Museum of Docklands website.


NB. This is a collaborative post.

My thoughts on: “What is Home?”

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair UK - What is Home?

This post was inspired by Wayfair UK’s post on “What is Home?”

I recently read an interesting article on Wayfair UK. They conducted a street survey asking people what “home” really meant to them. They were met with similar responses – home is all about family, comfort, and happiness. Out of 400 people Wayfair spoke to, 71% said that the sofa was the most important item of furniture in their home.

We do love our sofas and TV moments! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair UK - What is Home?
What is Home? / Source: Pixabay

To me, home and family are synonymous. One cannot be without the other – remember that there is a difference between a home and a house. As much as I love my peace and quiet, I love the feeling of lots of friends and family coming over for a social gathering. A home also can’t really be complete without a sofa, to be honest.

“We hit the streets of London over the Easter weekend equipped with an armchair and a microphone to find out what home really means to us! The findings were both insightful and heartwarming, exposing that our homes are much more than just buildings or places, they are family, comfort, inspiration, happiness and much more.”

– Wayfair.co.uk

I remember when we first moved into our home in Greenwich.

Baby Girl wasn’t born yet and LO was still a baby. We had no sofa for a month and had to sit on the floor for dinner and TV time. We didn’t mind as it was only short term but it definitely didn’t feel warm and inviting without a sofa around so I completely understand why it’s the most important furniture in the home.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Wayfair

Do you remember the first time you moved into your home and the point when it started to feel like a home instead of just a house?

What does the word “home” mean to you?

Let me know your thoughts below…