Coram’s Fields: Play park in central London

London is full of hidden spaces, especially unexpected green areas – gardens in squares, mini wildernesses tucked away and parks even in the heart of Zone 1.

One of the play areas at Coram's Fields - a free park and playground, with city farm in central LondonBut unless you have kids (and perhaps even then), you probably won’t have come across Coram’s Fields. Not least because you’re not allowed in unless you’re visiting with a child.

I first came across it a couple of years ago, and it’s been on my vague plan of days out since then. Now Minnie’s a bit older, I thought it would be great to combine with the British Museum and the perfect option to let her run off some energy. So that’s exactly what we did. Continue reading

What makes a family-friendly hotel?

When I wrote about my family travel wishlist for holiday abroad last week, a lot of people commented that it’s the little things which make a hotel family-friendly.

So what makes a hotel truly family friendly? Child and sleeping baby on a bed.And I completely agree. I don’t mean hotels which have a single highchair in the restaurant and announce they’re baby-friendly, but the ones where the staff have an extra smile for kids, where their enjoyment is just as important as adults – rather than treating them as small nuisances to be tolerated for the sake of their parents’ money.

So what do I think most parents really want? With half-term looming, I’ve been checking out Park Inn and what’s tempting me about their family-friendly side. Continue reading

City Tripping #13

Living in London, I know there’s always something happening on my doorstep, whether it’s new and exciting or a classic family favourite. As it’s on my doorstep, and I have a three-year-old to work around, I don’t take as much advantage of this as I should.

City Tripping city travel blog linky - week 13. Shot of Muscat in Oman

But I made up for that this weekend. Braving the rain and making the most of the brief sunshine on Sunday, I managed to check out the Hawker House Street Feast after a boat trip along the Thames on Saturday night.

And then another of my ‘must do before school starts’ list the following day, with a trip to the British Museum and to the nearby playground at Coram’s Fields. More to come on both of those, but the activity trail at the British Museum proved such a success that there were tears today when I insisted we couldn’t go back again this morning… Good job there’s plenty more to see! Continue reading

Night out at Hawker House Street Feast, London

With a three-year-old and few babysitting opportunities costing less than £50 per night, it’s safe to say my husband and I go out less (together) than we used to. So when we do, it’s fun to push the boat out a bit.

Last weekend, with only the most cryptic clues to let me dress appropriately, my surprise night out did, unexpectedly, start with pushing the boat out – well, hopping on board one of the boats running along the Thames as we headed east along the river.

Hawker House Street feast in London - my night out at the food festival meets street food eventI’d read about Hawker House Street Feast for the first time on last week’s City Tripping linky, courtesy of Just Go Places. So when I discovered the London pop up-meets-food festival was our destination, my mouth was already watering.
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Best places to see snowdrops

We’ve got daffodils blooming in our garden and there are buds on the trees – something I can’t quite wrap my head around, given that it’s only February.

Normally at this time of year, the only flowers on my radar are snowdrops. And reminded by Mini Travellers’ day out at Rode Hall’s snowdrop walk I’ve decided to ignore the crazy weather and pretend Spring hasn’t already sprung.

Snowdrops blooming in spring. My list of the best places to see snowdropsHelpfully, the National Trust has published its own list of the best places to see snowdrops, including more than 300 different varieties at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire. I have to admit I didn’t know there were that many varieties. So here’s my pick from their properties across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Continue reading