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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ice skating in Greenwich

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

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

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

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

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

Our best moments & highlights…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#ExploreGreenwich
#QueensHouseIceRink
#QueensHouse


P I N  T H I S  P O S T

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


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

Discover: Where to find Santa’s Grotto in London this Christmas

Where can you find Santa’s Grotto in London?

The simple answer is… everywhere!

There are loads of places where you can take the kids to experience Santa’s Grotto no matter what part of London you’re from. I’ve mainly sourced out the ones most local to me but you can even find a grotto by heading to your closest shopping mall and maybe even department store.

Some of the big department stores experiences (Harrods, Hamley’s, Fortnum & Mason, and Selfridges) are all sold out already! It seems like every year when I look, I’m always too late however it’s not a bad thing as the tickets for these places are usually around £25+ which is extortionate in my opinion. Christmas should not be all about commercialising and keeping pockets fat for the big companies. Instead, head to your local events and support your local or small businesses.

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There are also free Santa experiences at shopping centres so check those out too. I will carry on updating this post as we draw closer to Christmas in case I come across others. So without further ado, here’s a list of where you can find Santa in Greenwich and the surrounding areas:

Santa’s Grotto at Greenwich Market

The Greenwich Mummy Blog: The Search for Santa's Grotto in London
Credit: Greenwich Market

Dates: November 30 – December 24
Price: £5
 (proceeds going to the Greenwich & Bexley hospice)

The Grotto in Greenwich is a great little local spot. It’s right in the heart of the old covered market so you can enjoy the festivities around the area, grab something to eat before queuing up to see the Big Guy. Children also receive a small gift during their visit. If this is your child’s first experience or you just want a relatively short experience, I’d recommend seeing Santa here – it’s a no-frills visit but at least you can still get a photo with Santa and save your money for Christmas shopping!

https://www.greenwichmarket.london/events/detail/father-christmas-2019


Victorian Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands
Credit: Museum of London Docklands

Dates: November 29 – December 23
Price: £10

For a Santa experience with a bit of a difference, I would recommend coming to see Santa at the Museum of London Docklands. It’s a great museum in general and will definitely keep the kids busy. There is even a play area for the under 5s called Mudlarks Gallery and is free however you will need to reserve your child’s space. You can do this online or on the day. I’d recommend online to avoid any disappointment as the Mudlarks gallery does get full very quickly. Tickets for this year’s Santa visit is £10 per child.

A few years ago we visited the Santa’s Grotto here and got some really nice photos however I remember the queue was extremely long! Staff are on hand to check on you every 30mins or so and to usher you into the room where Santa is. You can read our Victorian Santa’s Grotto experience review here

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london/whats-on/santas-grotto?id=23408


Santa’s Snowflake Grotto at Westfield Stratford City

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Santa's Grotto experiences in London
Credit: Caleb Woods via Unsplash

Dates: November 21 – December 24
Price: £7.50
(parents, children and infants all require a ticket)

I really loved the Santa experience we had at Westfield Stratford City years back when Little Man was a toddler. I don’t have any photos to share with you of the experience but I remember it was really immersive. It started off with families being ushered into a room to watch a short show about Christmas then we were slowly ushered into another room where we then waited to meet Santa. The price was only for the experience and the photoshoot but we had to buy the images. I think I bought a framed photo and a photo bauble.

This year, the experience has a North Pole theme where families will be “magically transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own personalised christmas decoration and explore all the fun activities within the Grotto.” The kids will then receive a gift and have a photo opportunity with Santa. After that, you’ll be ‘magically transported’ back to London.

https://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity/entertainment/events/santas-snowflake-grotto/54380


Selfies with Santa at Lewisham Shopping Centre

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Dates: December 17 – December 24
Price: FREE

Last year, Lewisham Shopping Centre had a Santa meet & greet event and we were invited along. The Santa and elves from The Holly Jolly Co. were so lovely and really made the experience special for us. The team are entertainers and are also available for party hires so check them out if you want to host an event and in need of good friendly entertainers. This year, they are back again so make sure you pop along from Tuesday 17th December until Christmas Eve!

We also donated gifts to the giving tree. You pick the the tag that you want which has a child’s age and gender on there so you can pick a gift for them. Buy your gift(s) then come back and the staff will help you attach your tag. I let the kids pick a child each. If the tree is there again this year, we shall do the same. After all, Christmas is about the gift of giving and spreading joy to all.

https://lewishamshopping.co.uk/articles/come-meet-santa-claus-lewisham


Santa’s Grotto & Christmas fayre at Lesnes Abbey

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

Dates: December 7 & 8 
Price: FREE

A two day Christmas extravaganza at Lesnes Abbey. With over 30 different craft and gift stalls, a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and live festive music. On Saturday you’ll enjoy a Christmas Market, Grotto, stalls, mulled wine, minced pies and lots of kids activities. For Sunday there will be more new stalls and the kids can be entertained on the Frozen bouncy castle and indoor Christmas pop-up disco. Amazing!

https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/events/event/7168/lesnes_abbey_christmas_grotto_and_fayre

with love x

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Linking up with the #DreamTeam

Fun things to do with the family this Halloween & October half-term

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Things to Do Halloween Weekend

Wow! October half-term is already here!

I really can’t believe how quickly time flies. It’s also been a little while since I last posted on here and it’s simply because it’s been really busy at home. I currently have two part-time jobs which is making everything a little hard to juggle at home. It’s been so long since I last cooked a decent meal (the kids aren’t complaining – they are loving the amount of chicken nuggets and chips they can consume weekly.)

So between the two jobs, looking after the kids, lesson planning for kids yoga and self-studying yin yoga and keeping up with my own practice, I’ve found time to sit on the computer and type up this post. Simply because there’s SO many great things to do this October half-term and leading up to Halloween I wanted to share my favourite event with you guys. We will be attending most of these events – you can find a more comprehensive list on things to do on Time Out and Babes About Town so be sure to check them out too. I love reading the posts on Babes About Town because it’s very family-orientated.

So without further ado, here’s my list of fun things to do with the family this Halloween & half-term break:

paintbox

Painting on a Pumpkin workshop

Where: V&A Childhood Museum
Dates: Monday 21 – Friday 25 October

Times: 10.40, 12.30 & 14.40 (80 mins)
Price: £7 per child
Use an unusual canvas to paint on… a pumpkin! Inspired by the Big Draw Festival’s theme, “Drawn to Life”, create a painting on a pumpkin with help from artist, Amy Brown to take home. Suitable for children aged 4+

For more details or to book visit their Eventbrite listing: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/painting-on-a-pumpkin-workshop-tickets-73580883403

Here’s a few photos of our pumpkin paintings from when we attended the event:

 


The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Halloween Family Things to Do

Paint your own Halloween Pottery workshop

Where: ARTFIX Cafe, Shewsbury House
Date: Tuesday 22 October
Time: 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Price: £12.50
Come along for some half term fun!! There will be a choice of Halloween themed pottery pieces including pumpkins, monsters, or I can help turn your handprints on a plate into Dracula, a Witch, a Spider, the list is endless.

The workshop costs £12.50 and will include one pottery piece each, all paints etc and Daniella on hand for help. Booking is essential by email or DM. A £5 deposit will be requested.

To book or for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/artfix-cafe-at-shrewsbury-house/halloween-pottery-painting-at-artfix-cafe-shrewsbury-house/523826351720522/


pumpkin-patch

Pick Your Own Pumpkin on a pumpkin patch

Where: Stanhill Farm, Dartford
Dates: Tuesday 22 – Thursday 31 October

Times: See website for more details
Price: free entry, for the maize maze it’s £6 per person (free for under 4s)
Forget BYOB, it’s all about PYOP (pick your own pumpkin!) Grab a wheelbarrow and head down to the patch where you will find a huge array of pumpkins in various different sizes. It is also a great chance for a photo opportunity, surrounded by a sea of autumnal, orange colour! There are two maize mazes – the main one which takes around 1.5hrs to complete or a mini-maze that takes around 20-30mins to complete.

For more details: https://www.stanhillfarm.co.uk/pumpkin-patch

Here are a few photos of our day out to the pumpkin patch:


Where: Foxes Farm – Basildon or Colchester
Dates: Tuesday 22 – Thursday 31 October

Times: 10am til 5pm
Price: free entry, optional £3pp for entry to the corn maze
Head down to one of the two pumpkin patches owned by Foxes Farm – you can choose from Basildon or Colchester. Both patches have an 8-acre corn maze and loads of pumpkins to choose from. No need to book either, you simply just turn up! They accept both cash and card but do check their website for farm closures due to the weather. Be aware, they do not allow dogs onto their farms.

For more details visit: https://www.foxesfarmproduce.co.uk/pumpkin-patch/


The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween half term

Enjoy a frightfully fun Halloween Party

Where: The Jetty, Greenwich Peninsula
Date: Thursday 24 October
Time: 12-4pm
Price: SOLD OUT – unfortunately this event has now sold out!

Come dressed in your Halloween best for witchy crafts and ghoulish games on Greenwich Peninsula. Get involved in some autumnal arts and crafts then head along The Tide in search of tricks or treats. Head back to the Jetty and spend the afternoon listening to a spooky story with a warm drink and snack from Hej – The Jetty’s resident café. All are welcome, but parents must accompany their children for the afternoon of fun.

http://jetty.greenwichpeninsula.co.uk/whats-on/halloween-at-the-jetty/


The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Halloween Family Things to Do

Try your hand at Pumpkin Carving

Where: Lewisham Shopping Centre
Dates: Thursday 24 – Saturday 26 October
Times: 10.30am til 4pm
Price: Free
This Half Term, head to Central Square at Lewisham Shopping Centre for some FREE spooky fun. From 24th to 26th October, we’re holding a Pumpkin Party in the centre. You’ll be able to carve pumpkins to take home, and don’t forget to have your picture taken in the stocks too.

Get your picture taken in the stocks and post it to @lewishamcentre on Twitter & @lewisham_shopping_centre on Instagram using the hashtag #snappedinthestocks to be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of spooky gifts from selected retailers – woop woop!

Find more info here: https://lewishamshopping.co.uk/terms/whats-categories/events

Here are some photos of our day out to the pumpkin carving at Lewisham Shopping Centre:


The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Halloween Family Things to Do

Go on a Witch Hunt at Cutty Sark Gardens

Where: Cutty Sark Gardens
Date: Friday 25 October
Time: 1-4pm
Price: Free
Its a hunt for witches around Cutty Sark Gardens! With a clues sheet and small prize for each successful participant, enjoy this fun activity with the whole family. Suitable for children aged 7+

For more info or to book: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/witch-hunt-at-cutty-sark-gardens-as-part-of-the-halloween-market-tickets-76436608955


The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Halloween Things to Do

Watch a spooktacular movie: The Addams Family

Where: cinemas nationwide
Date: Friday 25 October
Time: various

We are soooo looking forward to this movie release! We’re keeping an eye out on all cinema websites but it seems as though tickets are yet to be on sale so that means no pre-order which is a shame. We will most likely be watching at our local ODEON Greenwich cinema or at our favourite VUE Eltham cinema. It’s definitely going to be a big hit for all families looking for a spooky fun film to watch next week and running up to Halloween.


The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Things to do this Halloween

Go on a Petrifying Pumpkin Hunt

Where: Selfridges, Oxford Street
Date: Tuesday 29 – Thursday 31 October
Time: 11am – 4pm
Price: Free

Enjoy a spooktacular trip to our brand-new confectionary space on LG at Selfridges Oxford Street, London on either the 29, 30 or 31 October. Our ghoulish treats – including squishy body-parts sweeties and crunch skeleton biscuits (thanks Biscuiteers) – are sure to delight. Simply drop in and collect a map from our WOW Kiosk and you’re good to go.

Event is free but booking is required: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/petrifying-pumpkin-hunt-oxford-street-london-tickets-76215997099


The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Halloween FAmily Things to Do

Enjoy an arty crafty Halloween party in Greenwich

Where: The Forum at Christ Church, East Greenwich
Date: Tuesday 29 & Wednesday 30 October
Time: 10am to 12pm / 2pm to 4 pm
Price: Free for under 6 months, £7.50 for 6-12 months, £15 for 1-5yrs

Toddlers and young children will have a fang-tastic time at this soft play party session. Complete with soft play, arts and crafts hosted by The Artful Toddler and refreshments. Parents/Carers go free which is an added bonus! Come in fancy dress or not, your choice. Book your tickets at The Forum’s reception.

https://www.forumatgreenwich.org/


The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Halloween Family Things to Do

Eat, drink and be scary at a fancy dress party!

Where: John Lewis Roof Garden, Oxford Street
Date: Thursday 31 October
Time: 10.30am – 12 noon
Price: SOLD OUT – unfortunately this event has now sold out
Families and friends are invited to attend the annual Halloween Fancy Dress Party held on The John Lewis Oxford Street Roof garden. Children are encouraged to come along in fancy dress, don’t worry if you forget we will have a dress up area on hand to keep your little ones in character. There will be cookie decorating, face painting and much more.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/halloween-fancy-dress-party-tickets-74303290141


What’s On at the weekend:

Saturday 26

Halloween films for kids and families, Southwark: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/halloween-films-for-kids-and-families-tickets-75820508181

Pumpking carving and costume competition at Mudchute Farm: https://www.mudchute.org/news/spooky-fun-saturday-october-26th-2019

Sunday 27

Pumpkin carving at the Halloween Market, Cutty Sark: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/pumpkin-carving-at-the-halloween-market-at-cuttty-sark-gardens-greenwich-tickets-76459752177

Need some inspo on how to decorate your pumpkin? Take a look at this article from Good Housekeeping blog – it’s got some amazing ideas which you can easily replicate. We tried the balloon one, the ghost sweetie one and the nail varnish dripping.

Happy Haunting!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Halloween Family Things to Do

 

Recipe: Apple & Banana bread bake by Melissa Hemsley (V)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Apple and Banana bread bake loaf

I went along to my local IKEA Greenwich store last week for a foodie workshop event called “Waste Not, Want Not”. It was hosted by the lovely Melissa Hemsley (from Hemsley + Hemsley) and was about making the most with food and learning throw nothing away.

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We were ushered into the sleek kitchen showroom by Maria from IKEA Greenwich who ticked us off the registration list as we entered. Melissa poured us all a glass of water, sparkling lemon or lingonberry mixed cordial which looked lovely but I stuck with the lemon which was refreshing. We were then told that we were going to receive Melissa’s latest cookbook, Eat Happy as a gift which was a wonderful surprise! She also happily signed it for each and every one of us. 🙂

The event night

Melissa then introduced herself to us and talked about her love for cooking and how she lives by the “waste not, want not” motto which was the take-home message of this workshop. Growing up with strong Filipino traditions and culture, she explained to us that her mother made sure she never wasted food. I think it must be an Asian thing as I always remember my parents saying the same thing to me when I was young and as a result, I too rarely waste food. I always had to finish my bowl of food and was never allowed to throw it away… or else there’d be trouble!

The workshop was supposed to include a live cooking demo but because of some technical issues with the cooker it didn’t happen so instead we got lots of tips and advice from Melissa on how to build a ‘waste not want not food bowl’ from unwanted bits and bobs sitting in the fridge (there’s also a recipe for this in the Eat Happy cookbook).

Food glorious food

She constructed a simple, beautifully presented bowl filled with chickpeas, boiled eggs, radishes, green beans, a leafy salad and feta cheese – all topped off with a light dressing. I love healthy food bowls but never really knew how to construct it properly so seeing it done was very helpful.

We all chatted about food and how some foods can have so many ways of cooking it or eating it. For example when eating an orange, instead of throwing the rind away, zest it and use the shavings to infuse sugar or add it to another dish. Alternatively you can even save the rind and use it as potpourri.

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Melissa’s apple and banana bread bake

 

Banana and apple bread bake

During our chat, Melissa pointed out the delicious cake that caught everyone’s attention; the banana and apple bread bake! She posted up the recipe on her instagram page @melissa.hemsley the following day and I was keen to give it a try. It smelled so so divine at the workshop, I knew I had to get back to baking.

See Melissa’s Banana & Apple bread bake recipe post here

The banana bread bake came out so soft and fluffy. I don’t know if that’s how soft it’s supposed to be but I love it like that. Occasionally a heavy stodgy banana bread hits the spot but this evening a lighter version was perfect. I decided to make mine a little different and changed the recipe slightly – simply because I didn’t have all the ingredients at home so just made it up as I went along which turned out great!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Cake Recipes
Tada! Here’s my delicious apple and banana bread loaf – super moist and tasty!
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Apple and Banana bread bake loaf
So happy how my bread loaf turned out!

Here’s my adapted version of Melissa’s banana and apple bread bake. To make this yummy dish vegan-friendly, simply swap out the eggs for a chia or flax seed mix, or another egg substitute. To make it gluten-free Melissa suggested quinoa or buckwheat flakes. If you’re allergic to nuts, use only coconut flour if you’re okay with coconuts otherwise you can try it with another flour – perhaps polenta or millet.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 1 apple; 3/4 grated for the bake and 1/4 sliced for decoration
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 25g coconut flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 4 medium eggs (for a vegan alternative, swap for chia seeds or egg substitute)
  • 150g coconut oil
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp allspice seasoning
  • 1tbs brown sugar

Method

(bake using the same instructions as the original recipe)

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4
  • Add all ingredients (apart from the bananas and apple) together in a blender and blitz until smooth
  • Add in banana and apple and blitz further to your desired consistency (with or without lumps)
  • Pour into a lined loaf tin and add the decoration apple slices
  • Bake on the middle shelf for 50mins
  • Do the knife test to ensure the bread bake has thoroughly cooked inside then leave on rack to cool
Enjoy!

There’s so many different ways to recreate this banana bread and that’s the real beauty of it. I’m thinking of adding in chocolate chips or orange rind next time too to spice it up a little bit more! 🙂

Bon Appetit, x

IKEA Greenwich X Melissa Hemsley | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
A cheeky photo with the lovely Melissa Hemsley!
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Apple and Banana bread bake loaf
We were all treated with a signed copy of Melissa’s new cookbook at the Ikea Greenwich workshop

 

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

The Greenwich Mummy | Toddler Time at the Cutty Sark Greenwich

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

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

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

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

5 Fun Facts about Cutty Sark…

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

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

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

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

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

Facts extracted from RMG – more fun facts here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Cutty Sark, it was a pleasure!

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Greenwich Mummy Blog Review | Family Lifestyle Blogger

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

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

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

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

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

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

The film

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snow-pocalypse: Friendship Never Melts at Greenwich Theatre review

Greenwich Theatre Snow-Pocalypse Review | The Greenwich Mummy Blogger

The last two people in the World…
Find the last book in the World…
And it’s a book all about something called ‘Christmas’…

The performance focuses on the two characters, Trilby and The Boot (who are great actors and hilarious!) in an apocalyptic style setting. Surrounded by nothing more than debris and odd household bits and bobs, the two take us on an interactive but intimate performance which was thrilling and super funny to watch.

Photo by Tom Ziebell / Greenwich Theatre

After we checked in to the theatre, we were shown the way to a small black tent and was told we were to enter through this way. I thought it was a joke at first but it wasn’t – lucky for me I am short so it was easy getting through but I did get stuck on the other side getting out! I guess for nimble children it’s much easier but I loved the quirky first impression. We were able to choose our seats and decided to get front-row seats. It was really nice and close – so close that we could also touch the actors!

I took both LO and Baby Girl with me this time and not sure if I was making a mistake in doing so but she was really well-behaved (until towards the last 20 mins of the show) when we sat down. Before the start of the performance, there is an interactive craft workshop that’s put on for the kids to get involved in making the props for the show (which also gets used in the show too!). As we came when the performance started, we had missed this workshop which was a shame as I think LO would’ve liked to make something that he’d known would be used during the performance.

Trilby and Boot don’t speak English – they have their own alien language which ironically you can work out what’s being said through some of the words said, the actor’s actions and body language. The gestures, sounds and expressions that the actors use outweigh the baby-babble. It just goes to show that we don’t have to understand words in order to understand what’s being said.

Photo by Tom Ziebell / Greenwich Theatre
Photo by Tom Ziebell / Greenwich Theatre

Everybody was laughing and was really enjoying the performance. My plus one said she really enjoyed the show and I think the kids had a whale of a time! For me, Baby Girl started to get restless in the last 20mins so I had to stand up with her at the back of the room. The staff were super accommodating and understanding. The production team is very small but they made everything really seamless from the lighting to the music to looking after the audience.

Snow-pocalypse is shown in the studio and not the main theatre room, it’s a much smaller and intimate atmosphere which was lovely and works really well with the interactive performance. Don’t be surprised if Trilby or Boot ask you to snap a photo or for them! 🙂

Here are some of the photos we took of the kids at the end of the performance with the snow machine. Look at LO’s hair!! It looked crazy but he didn’t mind. He loved it actually. We all did.

Well done SharkLegs for coming up with such a fantastically interactive production and thank you Greenwich Theatre for putting it on show. We thoroughly enjoyed watching it!

Tickets are £13.50 for adults and £8.50 for children. For more info on show times and tickets:
https://www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk/events/snow-pocalypse-friendship-never-melts


NB. We were given tickets to watch Snow-Pocalypse at Greenwich Theatre. All words, opinions and content are my own except for the press images which were supplied to me, courtesy of Sharklegs & Greenwich Theatre.

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.

Mothercare Greenwich: New store celebrates with #Welcometotheclub launch event

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | London Family and Lifestyle Blog

At the beginning of November to launch the new opening of the Mothercare Greenwich store which is based over at the Brocklebank retail park in Charlton (near to the Wickes Charlton store for you locals), the big parenting brand partnered with a team of top parenting experts, including Zoe De Pass of @DressLikeaMum, to host an exciting interactive evening, offering honest advice and tips to expectant parents.

It was a brilliant event and a shame as I wasn’t able to make it because everyone looked like they had loads of fun! Those who attended received personal shopping experiences, exclusive discounts on top of the special workshops and talks hosted by parenting experts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mothercare Greenwich Parenting Event
Photo by @Dresslikeamum / Instagram

Hosts from the night…

Zoe De Pass – trendy mummy, influencer and fashion blogger
Zoe is known for her fantastic taste in mum-friendly attire that is super stylish. I love looking at her instagram page for style inspo. At the event she spoke about how maternity style can be done without compromise. The mother of two and fashion blogger is on a mission to challenge misconceptions of dressing like a mum. Zoe also introduced her picks from Mothercare’s capsule collection, THE EDIT, which includes trend-led separates and dresses that can be mixed and matched to offer fashionable yet comfortable solutions to dressing during pregnancy and nursing. It’s great that there’s now a wide range of stylish maternity wear to choose from.

Beth Kitt – midwife and parenting book author
New parent myths like baby brain were dispelled by midwife and author Beth Kitt. Curious parents-to-be could ask as many questions about parenting and parenthood to their heart’s content. With years of experience in midwifery, Beth shared her invaluable tips on pregnancy and surviving the first few weeks with a new baby. She is the author of the book, ‘The Bump to Baby Chapter’.

Liz Day – parenting consultant
Liz talked about the ultimate hospital bag checklist to prepare expectant parents for labour, birth and the first few hours with a newborn. From nursing bras and birthing plans, to headphones for labour playlists, and cotton nightwear to stay cool. This is one talk that I would highly recommend to all new parents. When I was a first time mum, I never got the chance to attend these kind of events (I’d always missed them ironically) but my BabyCentre forum helped me out a lot! A lot of the mums on there were 2nd time mums so they gave me a great insight on what’s essential to bring and what’s not too important.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mothercare Greenwich #welcometotheclub Launch Event
Zoe shows us one of her fave picks / Photo by Mothercare
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mothercare Greenwich #welcometotheclub Launch Event
Photo by Mothercare

So as you can see, attendees were treated to a night filled with fabulous people and information. With the event being a great turnout, Mothercare Greenwich has already lined up their next store event. On Sunday 10th December (10:30am-12:30pm) they will be hosting their Expectant Parent event – you can reserve your free space at Mothercare Greenwich here.

The Expectant Parent Event will be running from December 3-10 2017 at Mothercare stores around the UK. You can find your nearest participating store in the link at the bottom of this post. It’s a free event but you have to reserve your space. The event will include car safety and car seat fitting advice, the latest sleep safety advice (very important as sometimes this changes year to year following new research), pushchair and pram choices, and even baby and child first aid however this is at selected stores only.

On their website, you can also join their MyMothercare club to get email notifications of when they have new events, invitations to exclusive events, special discounts including money off-vouchers, be the first to know about their sales and much more. I’m a part of the MyMothercare club and I love it.

(featured image – photo credit: James Graham/Linkedin)


For more info about the brand’s expectant parent event and your nearest participating store:  https://www.mothercare.com/advice-buying-guides-and-services/services/expectant-parent-event/services-ms-parent-event.html

Family things to do this Halloween half term (in and around Greenwich)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Things to do this Halloween

With Halloween night just a week away, there’s plenty to do this October half-term. There’s lots going on in the Greenwich area but if you fancy venturing out a little more, here are some of the best events that I’ve come across so far that’s suitable for the whole family, some are free and some are paid so there’s something to suit everyone!

Monday 23rd

Eltham Palace Gardens, SE9 (events throughout the week)
From creepy crafts and a fancy dress competition for the kids to pumpkin carving for the whole family, head down to Eltham Palace one day this week for some fun-filled entertainment. Pumpkin carvings cost £4 and on at select times; see here for more info

Discover Stratford Children’s Centre, E15 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Chris Wormell Dinosaurium book signing event. If your little one is dinosaur-mad then this is event is not to be missed. Chris Wormell will be reading from his book and the book signing will be at the end of the event. If you’re only free for the morning, don’t miss out on

11:30am – The Gruffalo film screening. For one day only, it’s going to be a popular one so pre-booking is essential. Entry to events includes admission to Discover’s story world and storytelling space. While you’re there, why not book to see the Gruffalo and other stories exhibition? It’s on throughout the week and at different times during the day. See the full list of events at Discover Stratford here

Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
Kids Halloween craft workshops will be on at Greenwich Market from Monday to Thursday. They are drop in sessions so no need to book in advance. There will be other workshops and events going on throughout the week (see below).  More info on Greenwich Market events here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween
Pumpkin carving competition for the family at Eltham Palace

Tuesday 24th

Greenwich Market, SE10 (events throughout the week)
2pm – Free Flying Mat Kids yoga (also on Wednesday). Time to downard dog and rest in child’s pose. Treat the kids to a fun yoga flow in a bustling environment. No need to book, just turn up and have fun!

Museum of London Docklands, E14
Dear Zoo storytelling for under 5s – this storytelling of Rod Campbell’s Dear Zoo looks at the animals that arrived on London’s docks years ago. At the end of the storytelling, an interactive session of learning how to build crates with different materials should have the children interested and excited. Best of all, the event is free and there’s three time slots for the day. More details on the Dear Zoo storytelling here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween
Free mat yoga for the kids at Greenwich Market (Source: Yogi Beans)

Wednesday 25th

Greenwich Market, SE10
2pm – Flying Mat Kids yoga, free event

Thursday 26th

Charlton House, SE7
10 to 1pm (drop-in) – Holiday Histories: Haunted Houses. This fun workshop is ideal for kids wanting to exhaust their creativity and craft skills. Learn how to make a haunted house using a variety of different materials. Create something extravagant like a centrepiece or something smaller as decoration. The session cost £1.50 per child and the price is inclusive of all the materials for the session. Suitable for age 4+, more info on the haunted house craft at Charlton House here

Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Dance and Music, SE8
11am and 2pm (BSL interpreted performance) – Cia Maduixa presents DOT digital dance performance. If your kids are more of a culture vulture or love the performing arts, head down to Trinity Laban to watch this amazing dance performance by dance company Cia Maduixa. Press releases describe the performance as “blending precise digital projections, with dancers’ bodies and a bespoke score, DOT is as mind-bogglingly clever as it is charming.” Want to see a snippet? Watch the DOT performance trailer here

Suitable for age 3+. There will also be free pre-show and post-show arts activities for the kids at 10:30am and 3:15pm. See more info on Cia Maduixa and how to book tickets here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Things to do this Halloween half term
Cia Maduixa DOT performance at Trinity Laban (Photo by Jordi Pla)

Friday 27

Greenwich Market, SE10
10am to 4pm – Miss Libby Rose Sewing workshop. The sewing costume workshops are for kids only and due to popularity we must state it is just one costume per child. The costume making choices for this year are: Spooky Pirates, Wicked Witch, Curious Cat, Halloween (or Frozen) Princess, Zombie, Dracula, and Day of the Dead. There will be a fashion show of all the costumes at 4pm and a winner will be chosen for best design.

Suitable for ages 4-7 yrs old. This is a free event but booking is required via Eventbrite – book your child’s place here

Greenwich National Maritime Museum, SE10
11am to 4pm – Halloween party: Lost in the ice! Join us on a horrifying journey through the icy depths of the Maritime Museum at our annual family Halloween party. There will also be a spooky story parade, a portable photo booth to take scary selfies for memories and a trick or treat trail. Tickets cost £8. Read more about the Halloween party here

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family things to do this Halloween half term

Saturday 28th

The Vanbrugh Pub, SE10
12pm to 4pm – The Vanbrugh Funday. A fun day for all the family; there will be face painting, best dressed competition, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, lots of frightfully good food and live music from 8pm to end your night in a fangtastic way! More details here on The Vanbrugh pub’s website

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family things to do at Halloween half term
Halloween Family Funday at The Vanbrugh pub in Greenwich (source: The Vanbrugh)

Sunday 29th

Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10
10am to 4:30pm – Halloween in Greenwich by Events Inspire: The event is aimed at families and offers lots of Halloween themed activities each day. On Sunday, there will be craft activity (Halloween mask making), storytelling, a magic show, Punch & Judy puppet show, costume parade and finish off with some spooky music. There will also be street food and drink stalls, jewellery and craft stalls. The full programme can be seen on the Eventbrite page here where you can register for your free tickets.

The Albany Deptford, SE8
2pm to 5pm – Disco Kids: Spooktacular party. Get dressed in your spookiest get up and head over to The Albany this Sunday for a fantastic disco party! Suitable for kids age 7+ and adults too! Expect fun, fun and more fun! Tickets cost £6, family tickets £20.

For more info, visit http://www.thealbany.org.uk/event_detail/2133/Family/Disco-Kids:-Spooktacular

I wish you all a frightfully fun half-term! 🙂

 

 

#StreetFans: The Fan Museum’s latest exhibition on street art and fan-making

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Musuem #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: Captain Kris, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)

Last week marked the opening of a new exhibition at The Fan Museum in Greenwich. Nestled along a row of Georgian homes on Crooms Hill, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just another pretty  house from looking at the building’s exterior. The museum has been open since 1991 and is only a short walk away from historical Greenwich.

Inside, you’ll discover an immaculate garden, a stunning orangery which is open for afternoon tea and a museum home to thousands of fans originating from all over the world. Due to lack of space, only a handful of collections are on show at one time. The latest exhibition, Street Fans is currently on display until December 31st 2017. It features the work of 29 street artists, 1 fan maker and just over 50 fans celebrating the diverse creativity of contemporary art and the traditional craft of fan-making.

The Greenwich Mummy blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans
Temporary Exhibition Space | Source: The Fan Museum

Each fan has been uniquely designed by the street artists and crafted by fan maker, Sylvain Le Guen. The artists were presented with several mediums to play with which included spray paint, acrylic, pen markers and even mixed media.

“Curvilinear tangles; precise geometric compositions; typographic scribblings evoking ancient hieroglyphics; demonic felines; buildings spinning violently around a vortex – the pleasure each artist took in creating their designs is palpable.” – The Fan Museum

All of the fans were crafted to respect the artist’s design. I have a few favourites but the one currently at the top of my list has to be Jordane Saget‘s Arabesque #2. I really love the mesmerising pattern of the fan which is not only beautiful but also has a calligraphy-like quality to it. The fan itself looks simple yet elegant, minimal yet intricate – it’s that kind of juxtaposition that I love.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: Jordane Saget, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen

Why fans?
Fan-making is a traditional craft that has existed for centuries however it’s becoming a craft that’s been forgotten. As the world moves into a more digital way of living, traditional craft skills such as piano, parchment and fan making are dying out and even Prince Charles himself said more needs to be done to preserve them for future generations. The Telegraph quoted Prince Charles; “traditional crafts are as much a part of our shared heritage as our wonderful historic landscapes, beautiful buildings, rare breeds of native farm animals and varied museum collections.” It’s good to hear that the Prince is also passionate about the survival of such crafts in the UK.

Some of the biggest names have worked on this project including the likes of Pure Evil, Lily Mixe, Annatomix, Sr. X, RUN, Louis Masai and many more. There’s a favourite fan for everyone – whether you’re into geometrics, pop art, optical illusions, graffiti or fine art. As long as you love art you will admire this creative collection.

What will happen to the fans after the exhibition?
The museum’s curator, Jacob Moss explains that there needed to be something more than just a financial incentive in order to get the artists to partner up on this project. So after December 31st, these stunning fans will be returning to their rightful owners, the artists. Jacob mentioned that he will try to acquire a few select pieces for the museum’s own collection but did not reveal which ones they’d be.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: RUN, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition launch
Artist: Dale Grimshaw, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Fan Museum #StreetFans exhibition
Artist: Philippe Herard, Maker: Sylvain Le Guen (Source: The Fan Museum)

Once you’re done exploring the Street Fans exhibition, you can also take a look at the rest of the museum and the other fan collections including other contemporary ones and more older, traditional ones. The Fan museum is family friendly; there’s a children’s activity trail for the kids to get involved in discovering the fan collections and a small gift shop to make your visit a memorable one. The Fan Museum is closed on Mondays but open Tuesdays – Sundays.

Got a burning question for Europe’s leading fan maker, Sylvain Le Guen? Head down to Lewisham Southwark College on October 10th at 5:30pm for a special Q&A with Sylvain and The Fan Museum’s curator, Jacob Moss.

More info here: https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/events/street-fans-qa-lewisham-southwark-college

The Greenwich Mummy blog | The Fam Museum Street Fans The Greenwich Mummy blog | The Fan Museum Street Fans ExhibitionExhibition
Street Fans exhibition at The Fan Museum (source: The Fan Museum)

I was invited to a blogger’s launch by The Fan Museum to review the Street Fans exhibition in exchange for this blog post. All words, photos and opinions are my own. Photos that are owned by The Fan Museum have been credited respectively.

Marks & Spencer Foodhall returns to Woolwich in time for Christmas!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog Exclusive - M&S Foodhall reopens in Woolwich
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Marks and Spencer Woolwich Reopens
Image courtesy of Grayling

Everybody loves M&S Foods, it’s a well-known fact. I’ve yet to hear someone telling me that they don’t like their food or drink. When I found out that Marks and Spencer were returning to Woolwich I was so happy. I’ve only been a Greenwich Mummy for a couple of years, I’ve actually been a Plumstead Common/Woolwich resident for over a decade so knew the old M&S store very well. I was very fond of it too, as was my dad.

When LO was born, we were still living in Plumstead Common. It’s not the greatest area to live in and the estate was practically derelict but the one thing it had a lot of was the sense of belonging – feeling like a part of a community. Something a lot of these flashy new-build flats and estates lack. Anywho, for as long as I can remember there was always a Marks and Spencer in Woolwich so when it closed its doors in 2014, we all felt a little very disappointed.

Marks & Spencer Christmas Food To Order: Last day for orders is December 15th by 5PM
Don’t forget you can choose delivery or collection at your local store

Last Wednesday 7th December 2016 at 10am M&S store manager, Calvin Sheridan reopened the doors of the high street store. What I loved most about this reopening was that a lot (maybe even the majority) of the staff members were from the original store that closed down. To me that demonstrates that M&S cares for the community and its employees. As an ex-M&S Foods employee, it makes me happy to know that the values and ethics of the company are still be upheld by new management.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Marks and Spencer Woolwich Reopens
Store manager, Calvin alongside his team cutting the store opening ribbon / Image courtesy of Grayling

Continue reading “Marks & Spencer Foodhall returns to Woolwich in time for Christmas!”

Things to do with the family this Halloween Weekend!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Things to Do Halloween Weekend

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I can’t believe that the half-term holiday is almost over! 😦

I wanted to take LO and Baby Girl to so many places this week but unfortunately it wasn’t possible as my plans changed quite a lot during the day and it’s hard taking two kids out… well, that’s how I feel anyway. Maybe I’ve also been a bit selfish as I’ve still been going to my morning fitness classes and the gym and even managed to get away one evening to go out for a girly meal with some old friends. *hides face*

I do think I deserve one night early evening off at least… 🙂 

If you’re stuck on Halloween ideas for this weekend, here are a few that I’ve come across for Friday to Sunday. I do apologise for posting this so late… I’ve been procrastinating with this post as I have a few other product reviews lined up which I need to start working on. Also my Polaroid Camera giveaway is still running but will end on Monday 31st October – the winner will be announced the day after. If you haven’t entered already, you can do so here… check out the blog post now

So without further ado, here are the few events around Greenwich and surrounding areas that may be of interest…

| FRIDAY |

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Things to Do Halloween Weekend
Spooky Halloween Fun Day at Greenwich Market

Spooky Halloween Day

Where: Greenwich Market, Greenwich SE10
Time: from 12:00pm – 6:30pm

Lots of music, workshops and fun at every hour from 12pm until 6pm including a zombie party with Diddi Dance, family yoga with The Flying Mat, a scary fashion show, pumpkin judging and lots more. 

For more info: http://www.greenwichmarketlondon.com/events/story/spooktacular-halloween-day Continue reading “Things to do with the family this Halloween Weekend!”

Review: Meditation & Sound Healing therapy in Greenwich

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Meditation & Sound Healing Review

The Greemwich Mummy Blog | Meditation & Sound Healing Review

I am loving my fitness journey! I can see my body changing slowly and I am loving the effects of eating healthier; it’s made a great impact on my skin, hair (even though I’m still experiencing postpartum hairloss) and energy level. Being a parent can be really stressful – actually it is VERY stressful – but some of us are just better at managing the stress than others. I used to be so chilled when it came to parenting when it was just LO but with Baby Girl now in the picture, I find that I am a lot more stressed, have zero patience, constantly anxious and feel like I can’t shut off properly because every five minutes one of them is crying (screaming) or the house needs tidying… again for the tenth time.

Being away in the morning for my fitness classes really gives me that ‘time out’ that I need to keep myself sane and I really love it. So when Kalie (@pyschicladykay) sent me an email to let me know about a meditation and sound healing taster session she was doing last week I could only say yes. Time out to meditate and heal? Why would I ever try to decline that offer? I’ve only ever touched on meditation in yoga class and through my BeCalm mindfulness app but it can be so hard to switch off and meditate properly with so much going around. I was excited to see what Kalie’s taster session was going to offer. Continue reading “Review: Meditation & Sound Healing therapy in Greenwich”