Posts tagged London
London Gardens, Fenton House

Hampstead, It's always a pleasure to meet. We adore wandering your beautiful rose lined cobbly lanes, each time we are with you we can barely believe you are in London.

We will forever thrive off of the hustle and bustle of living in London. It's an inherent part of us. It keeps us motivated. It keeps us dreaming. But when those moments of being overwhelmed and overworked and perhaps overstimulated hit, we make sure we listen to our souls and escape to a place of sanctuary for a change of scene and to rest our minds.

Balance...it's the key to a successful, happy life.

That's what I believe at least. Even if for half a day every now and then. We have a growing list of places we go to for a little time out in London. There are tranquil spots in London, they just need to be discovered.

Fenton House transports you back in time to when life was a little less fast paced, enclosed by the most precious walled garden. A small piece of country life in London. How heavenly to spend a late Sunday afternoon playing lawn games as a family and exploring the vegetable garden, apple trees, hanging pears and every other beautiful element of this most wonderful plot. A wander around the house is also such a delight.

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Admiring...

hanging pears

 

Location

 
 
 
Pearl and Groove Gluten Free Cakes | Portobello Road
pearl and groove port hello road

For the most delightful, prettiest and tasty gluten free cakes you must prioritise a visit to Pearl and Groove on Portobello Road. You will find the bakery on Portobello Road, walk under the Westway past Golbourne Road and keep going a little further than you think you're supposed to and you will find it on the left side. Perhaps not somewhere you may stumble upon but a wonderful little bakery you will make every effort to visit once you know it's there. The window display is home to an array of delicately coloured rows of beautifully handcrafted and decorated mini cakes. Be prepared because you will want to try them all.

We sat on the candy coloured pink table and chairs outside, warmed up with a chai tea latte and feasted on these gorgeous edible pieces of art.

pearl and groove portobello
pearl and groove gluten free
gluten free london pearl and groove
pearl and groove
Pearl and Groove notting hill gluten free
pearl and groove gluten free cakes london
 
Painting Outdoors | Hyde Park
outdoor painting with kids

It's true, the best things in life are free. I mean that sincerely.

Each and every day I take a moment to show my children the beauty in our world, our surroundings and how to create something wonderful and fulfilling from things that do not cost a thing. I feel passionate about teaching my girls to see the beauty in everything and not to rely on technology to fulfil their lives entirely.

Treasured Moments

It may be simple, but taking some watercolours, paintbrushes, some paper and a bottle of water to the park and setting up under a shaded tree in the summer months can be a beautiful thing. 

Precious and timeless. It's moments like these, I pray, they will treasure forever.

Tea & Scones | V&A Madjeski Garden
family lifestyle blogger london

It's one of my favourite places to be. To rest, to relax, absorb and to be inspired. How I love the V&A. Why? It's pretty. It's toddler friendly. They serve tea and cake. I say no more.

On this day, we had a lazy summer morning. Which we love.

My suggestion on how to follow those slow summer mornings goes like this. I imagine you're not yet dressed, so thats the first task. Make lunch, a light lunch at home. Pack up a few bits for the little ones, don't forget the wipes or take nothing but a book if you're on your own. Plan your route to South Kensington. Wade through the tourist and keen British art enthusiasts and find sanctuary in the V&A's Madjeski Garden. Pick up where you left off with a slow relaxing afternoon by enjoying some tea and scones on the lawns whilst the little ones run around and explore the gardens and be entertained by the free children's activities.

madjeski gardens family friendly
family lifestyle blog london
V&A children friendly family blogger london
childrens fashion blogger london
Battersea Park Zoo | A Family Day Out

We love to paint a beautiful weekend by filling it with adventures whether they be simple or extravagant in nature. We are keen animal lovers and although we have no pets yet we love nothing more than a day at the zoo or farm. Living in London has many things in plentiful amounts but zoos and farms is one particular area where you have slightly less choice. However, Battersea Park Zoo is a wonderful alternative to London Zoo and still relatively centrally located, just a stones throw away and short walk from Chelsea over Battersea Bridge which pleases the eyes and soul with the most encapsulating views if you choose to wander across. We couldn't resist the tempting views and decided to exit our uber ride a little early to enjoy a slow paced walk to savour the views over the bridge finding our way into the leafy hidden park. You will find the zoo tucked away just beyond the entrance nearest to Battersea Bridge. The zoo is a haven for families, designed with toddlers and younger children in mind. There are smaller animals, scheduled feeding times which can be watched and enjoyed by the whole family, small play areas dotted around and above all, it offers interactive moments which will very happily play on your mind  for all the right reasons.

battersea park zoo london
battersea zoo
battersea park zoo london

Take a Picnic

In my opinion, summer is made for picnics and let's seize every opportunity to have one. Make use of the beautiful Battersea Park in which the zoo is set in. It's beyond gorgeous. Take some time to soak up the summer sun, I certainly did. It felt so good to enjoy a punnet of dark red cherries and watch various people pass by. I'm actually a keen people watcher, honestly, I could sit somewhere for hours completely occupied. What better way to break up the day than to sit out on the lawns, set up a picnic and let the children run free and refuel. Not to mention the great opportunity to take a moment for yourself and watch the world go by. I literally enjoy making a meal out of a picnic, any opportunity to put my creativity to work. Styling our picnics by choosing pretty napkins, throwaway trays, summery melamine cups and lovely blankets certainly makes the whole affair even more enjoyable, for me, at least. Thankfully the girls always adore all the little details.

battersea park picnic
picnic battersea park
battersea park picnic

Fabulous Play Areas

What makes Battersea Park Zoo that much more suitable for toddlers and younger children are the endless play areas. There are many places to make a pitstop, the play areas are scattered around the zoo waiting to be explored by little people. Just so ideal to keep them busy and avoid moments of boredom. I'm not quite sure what was more interesting for the Gabriella and Lucia, the animals or the amazing play areas. There were tunnels and Lucia became obsessed with, wooden tree houses that had them running in and sliding out. 

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battersea zoo
battersea park zoo london
battersea park zoo london
battersea zoo
battersea park chelsea
battersea park zoo london

Location

 
A Simple 72 hours in London with Family
view from the london eye

Make the Most of London

Rather than feeling as though we need to make a run for the nearest airport, brave airplanes and long exhausting journeys especially with children why don't we take advantage of what is right here.


London is one of the greatest cities in the world. But, I can completely see how overwhelming it could be to face the hustle and bustle with a family especially if you are not used to the crazy speed at which this 24 hour city works. As a mother and the greatest lover of London I can recommend how to spend some of your time here with your family so that you enjoy it.

1. Visit the London Eye

london eye for kids

You have to visit the London Eye at least once in your lifetime. I'm up to visit number three, the view is breathtaking and like no other that you will find of London unless you are privileged enough to take a helicopter ride of the city. On our last visit we took the girls to see the city that they adore from up high in the sky. It was amazing to be able to show them all the landmarks that we so often visit or they read about all at the same time. The experience is certainly a toddler pleaser.

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2. Take a Stroll down the South Bank

Taking a stroll along the south bank could very nicely follow a visit to the London Eye. It's atmospheric, busy and makes the perfect location to watch the boats along the river Thames. Not only will you see Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Oxo Tower and the Tate gallery there is a more than substantial row of restaurants to choose from. If you're with children, you would probably be wise to select Giraffe as the restaurant to eat in. They cater for the little ones so well, balloons, colouring in and a good children's menu which is imperative for keep them entertained. The adult menu is not bad either and the food is a little better than the average child-friendly chain restaurant.

 

3. Have an English Breakfast

This is only right, when in London do as a Londoner would do. I know for those that reside elsewhere in the UK an English breakfast is not something unfamiliar but there are some really great places to enjoy an English breakfast here in London.

Try Mike's Cafe just off of Portobello Road on Blenheim Crescent. It's not fancy, but it does a good English breakfast at a good price. The service is good without being overly cheery and the location is great. If you're not in the mood for an English breakfast they do lovely pancakes and french toast.

 
 

4. Wander along Portobello Road

Portobello Road colourful houses

Take a wander after your English breakfast. Even if it's not Saturday when Portobello Market is in full swing it's still a great location to take a wander. Be inspired, spot pretty roads of stunning colourful houses with contrasting doors and enchanting knockers. I promise your camera will not get a break. There are so many kodak moments. Dip in and out of antique stores and grab a coffee and cake as you work up an appetite. 

5. Say Hello to the Queen at Buckingham Palace

buckingham palace london

She may not be home but isn't everyone curious to see the Queen's residence? It's also something that the children will enjoy. They read about her in books and learn about our Queen in history, being able to picture where she lives is important to them. The most interesting part of the trip is undoubtably coming face to face or as close as possible to the Queen's guard as you will ever be able to. If you walk through St Jame's Park to where they carryout the changing of the guard it really is quite something to watch.

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If travelling by tube, it's my view that St Jame's Park tube station would be the nicest and safest walk to Buckingham Palace.


This little guide to a family staycation in London is the first of many on Mummy Gorgeous. It's a classic guide, with very expected suggestions. Perfect for those who haven't explored London in a while or visited some of the well known spots with their family. Over the coming year you will find quirky and even more inspirational staycation guides to London.

Stroll the Picturesque Backdrop of St James Park

Take a Stroll...

If you love the outdoors as much as we do, you will probably love exploring the gorgeous surroundings of this very regal and stunning London park.

The perfect mixture of manicured gardens, typically English looking but with a very clever touch of exotic plant choice in places and in other spots that feeling of untouched natural habitat for wildlife. It most definitely works, it seems to provide an ultimate sanctury for all sorts of animals. It's what makes it the perfect place to wander with the family. 

St James Park London
st james park london

Beautiful Ducks...

Take some bread, actually, take as much bread as you can, the ducks are gorgeous and it's such a pleasure to feed them. Such a large variety, you will be captured by their beauty.

ducks st james park london
ducks st james park london
st james park london days out kids

Daisies for Days...

The fields of densely covered daisies are mesmerising for any child. There are clusters and clusters at this time of the year. It would be a shame to not make a daisy chain or two. Set up a picnic or treat yourself to an ice-cream and sit with the view of the lake. Take in the view, admire the ducks and unwind whilst the children collect their daisies.

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flowers st james park
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With pretty deep pink blossoms hanging over head, beautiful scenes in every direction, cafes tucked in each corner and the Queen's residence Buckingham Palace just moments away, St James Park is high up on the list of free family days out. A wonderful place to hang out with the family.

Location...

 

Nearest station: St Jame's Park (walk directly across the road into the park)


Gabriella Wears:

Dress - Cos

Sandals - Zara 

Lucia Wears:

Dress - The Brand (TK Maxx)

Shoes - Mini Melissa

 

 

 

The Orangery | Hyde Park

Tunnels of Green Leafy Arches

The orangery is the most delightful, pretty, hidden gardens you may ever see, especially in London. From Spring time onwards the colours just continue to burst through, every time you visit you will see another layer of colour appear. Utterly gorgeous. Expect to be mesmerised and in awe of this peaceful oasis take some lunch and savour every detail, listen to the sound of water fall from the fountains and be sure to take your camera.

A Winding Maze-Like Pathway

We walk this Orangery even in the winter and I'm so glad that we do, I somehow appreciate the bare and moody backdrop the orangery provides in the Winter. Come the Spring, the transformation is just so spectacular. The white snowdrops in March that delicately stand around the orangery and through the walk way are the first sign of what's to come. The bluebells add another dimension,  a few weeks later, the tulips and other Spring flowers just take the whole experience to another very beautiful level.

The Orangery Hyde Park

It makes the perfect place to have a wander with the children, it's perfect for toddlers, the bright florals seem to keep them very entertained. If you're really lucky take a book to enjoy whilst they nap. It's also a huge crowd pleaser for when you have guests from out of town or abroad and its totally free. 

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Take a stroll down the windy maze to the little cafe and enjoy a cup of tea at Kensingtoon palace. 

Dippy Eggs | Sweet Things, Notting Hill

 

There are many excuses I have to wander along Westbourne Grove to Portobello Road, and here’s another. Sweet Things bakery. I’m so pleased you have arrived in Notting Hill. I am familiar with their very sweet bakery in Primrose Hill. It made the perfect coffee shop for playdates with the girls and of course they loved to share pretty looking sweet treats with their friends. I used to cherish those moments when I had a few minutes peace enjoying a cupcake and a coffee with a friend whilst the children would crawl into the toy box under the seats near to the window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Things may be known for their deliciously sweet cupcakes but they do a fantastic breakfast/brunch too. I was recommended to try the dippy eggs and I can tell you they are some of the best soft boiled eggs you will find around Portobello Road. I usually always drink coffee with breakfast but at Sweet Things it’s a little different, I have to enjoy their awarding winning hot chocolate, almost every time. Gabriella opted for a croissant to dip in her cup of hot chocolate. If you can, and you’re hungry, order it all, everything is executed just perfectly and don’t forget to finish with a salted caramel cupcake, they are divine. They also do so many different layer cakes, loaf cakes and crepes with all sorts of fillings, sweet and savoury. 

Bakeries and coffee shops like this are like little gems, they are places that we can hang out with a friend and catch up over coffee, sit and do some work on your own, pop in and buy a cupcake or two to eat whist strolling along portobello and feel welcome to take the little ones to breakfast and feel like we are not disturbing the peace. You can see how thoughtful they are, there are USB and plug sockets dotted all over, ready to be used and enjoyed whilst you enjoy and coffee and a bite to eat. One other thing, they are a cashless bakery, that means you need to used your card or contactless via your iPhone. What a great idea, it suits me just fine, I never have cash anyway.

Sweet Things

8 Blenheim Crescent
Notting Hill
W11 1NN

www.sweetthings.biz

Ice-Cream at Harrods Ice Cream Parlour
Harrods ice cream parlour
Harrods ice cream parlour

Just because it's cold outside let's not forget about ice-cream. Honestly, there is no chance for me to do such a thing, I'm forever reminded and asked for ice cream all year round. I know the girls have been missing their cold, sweet treat, so, I promised them an ice cream experience that would make up for the lack of ice creams over the past few months. They were not disappointed. Isn't there something just so mesmerising about Harrods? I can never wait to be overwhelmed with the feeling that you get as soon as you approach the guarded doors, the ones to the magical department store. It's a store that really plays with your senses, I love being whisked away to another land in mind and body. We all know that Harrods delivers a magical shopping experience and their dining experience is just as spectacular. For ice cream, there is simple nowhere like Harrods Ice Cream Parlour.

Harrods ice cream parlour
Harrods ice cream parlour

I will make your decision very simple when it comes to choosing which ice cream sundae to choose. The Harrods Special. It wins hands down, no competition. It's the very reason visiting Harrods for ice cream is a clear winner. If I have visitors in town that request ice cream I always take them to experience the magic of a Harrods Special. I couldn't resist sharing a video of the ice cream showstopper.

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With just a little change from £20 it isn't cheap but honestly, the drama and theatre that comes with the truly scrumptious desert is priceless and when considering that it could easily feed two to three people it is quite cost effective. If you do treat your children to a trip to Harrods Ice Cream parlour, trust in me when I say that it will be spoken of for days, months and yes even years after. It would make the perfect birthday treat or reward for something special. It's also great for no reason at all.

Harrods Ice Cream Parlour Nearest Tube - Knightsbridge

The Round Pond, Hyde park
London blog - round pond hyde park
London blog - round pond hyde park

Dreary days, grey cloudy overcast and drizzling skies. Doesn't winter make it just that little more challenging to get yourself motivated? Let alone entertain little people. Feeding the ducks shouldn't just be left for spring and summer. The girls still like to get out in the fresh air so we have been strolling down to the round pond in Hyde Park to feed the ducks at least once or twice a week. We wrap up in our warmest attire, warm coats, woolly hats and knitted scarves and we pack a huge bag of stale bread for the ducks to enjoy.

Family blog - round pond hyde park
Family blog - round pond hyde park

At this time of year the round pond is a lot quieter and without sounding silly it's nice to spend quality time with the ducks without a million other people watching your feeding session. We usually always finish our time with a walk around the pond, its very peaceful, with a view that allows my mind to meditate and relax and in the near distance you can admire Kensington Palace.

London travel blog - pond hyde park
London travel blog - pond hyde park
Mummy Blog - feeding ducks london
Mummy Blog - feeding ducks london
UK Lifestyle Blog
 - round pond hyde park
UK Lifestyle Blog - round pond hyde park
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London Lifestyle Blog - pond hyde park london
London Lifestyle Blog - pond hyde park london

Even if you don't live walking distance to Hyde Park, going to feed the ducks at the round pond is located in the perfect location, you can hop off the tube or bus at Queensway or Bayswater and on entering the park it's a very uncomplicated 5 minute straight walk from the entrance. If you're feeling really energetic you could combine it with a visit to the Diana Memorial Play Park which in my opinion is the best play park in London for children.

Nearest stations: Queensway or Bayswater

Chanel Exhibition London: Mademoiselle Prive
Chanel exhibition London
Chanel exhibition London

Chanel is all about elegance. The house of Chanel oozes Parisian sophistication and timeless style. I know my wardrobe needs more Chanel nestled between the rails. The day I am able to do so cannot come soon enough. I appreciate nothing more than a high quality, everlasting, capsule wardrobe. A few Chanel pieces should be in every woman's wardrobe, budget permitting or not. My ideal pieces would be two tweed jackets, a handful of bags and at least two little black dresses. I could think of nothing better than to revel in everything Chanel for an afternoon. From anyone who knows of Chanel, to those who lust after every piece (which is me, by the way) to the ones who own an array of pieces should go and see the Mademoiselle Prive exhibition thats currently on at the Saatchi Gallery in Sloane Square.

Chanel Exhibition Saatchi Gallery
Chanel Exhibition Saatchi Gallery
Chanel exhibition london
Chanel exhibition london

There are queues, but, for some reason when you are waiting for a Chanel exhibition time seemed to pass far quicker than it actually did. The large monochrome printed boards of Gabrielle Chanel outside was just a taste of the style in which the exhibition followed. Why should we expect any different, this is Chanel after all? Everything felt very clean, crisp and contemporary but with a very elegant atmosphere.

Gabrielle Chanel
Gabrielle Chanel
Chanel exhibition
Chanel exhibition
tweed Chanel
tweed Chanel

Creativity. The exhibition shows the true creativity behind Chanel, what Gabrielle's thinking was behind her choices and the design elements are explored. Actually, I can't believe how many of these unspoken design elements (totems as they are called by The House of Chanel) we hardly notice, but, are a huge part of the make up of this fashion label. I have a new appreciation for them. The story behind the making of Chanel was very interesting, as a designer, I found her direction quite inspiring. She had a vision and stuck to it. She didn't believe in following the latest fashion but instead she created her trends which are admired and copied and considered a trend in themselves until this day. Travel played an influence fabric choices, particularly, the tweed we see throughout every collection was inspired by her trips to Scotland. The days

Gabrielle Chanel
Gabrielle Chanel

Every room explored her journey, giving little peeks into the path she chose and the decisions she made to create such an iconic fashion house. Through a short film we learned that Gabrielle left very little direction for current creative director Karl Lagerfield, he merely had to use the collections that had been created as a guide for the way in which he should continue, it was inperative that he found a way to interpret the Chanel style for the future. He assumed the role so well. This is clearly what he was born to do.

Chanel exhibition Saatchi Gallery
Chanel exhibition Saatchi Gallery

Every detail down to the floors beautifully represented Chanel. Every room was an adventure, full of textures, smells, small touches to awaken the senses.

Chanel exhibition Saatchi Gallery London
Chanel exhibition Saatchi Gallery London
Chanel Handbag
Chanel Handbag
Mademoiselle Prive Saatchi Gallery
Mademoiselle Prive Saatchi Gallery

My love affair with Chanel has only heightened. It's left me appreciating the brand even more, wanting more, now i'm off to raid my savings account and pester the other half.

The exhibition is free open from 10am-6pm everyday until November 1 2015 - website here

Italian Fountains Hyde Park
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They make such a beautiful backdrop. The perfect spot to take a moment during a stroll through the park. You will often find people reading a book, eating lunch, enjoying a coffee or gazing at sparkling droplets of water that fall from the fountains. Long lazy afternoons reading a booking in front of the fountains are currently on hold, but we do take some time to hang out and have a snack, sometimes lunch, we say hello to the duckies and admire how beautiful this place is. I will often catch gabriella and Lucia completely taken in by the view, their little minds enjoying their surroundings. It's really very sweet.

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Gabriella loves to scoot up and down and all around the fountains as if they are part of a maze. Yesterday, she scooted until her heart was content, only popping back to me or rather Lucia to fuel up on some grapes and off she went.

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I can remember only a few years ago when this beautiful little spot had started to lose its charm. It was run down and very tired. I cannot described how pleased I was to see it be fully restored to its former glory, it has been carried out so beautifully. It feels regal, full of splendour and has a historically British feel again. If I ever have visitors over from out of town, I usually always take them to this spot after all it is a place to be admired.

Natalie Wongdays out, LondonComment
The Serpentine Pavillion
London Travel Blog
London Travel Blog

When I find somewhere that inspires me, I just want to keep going back. I truly love places that keep me wanting more. We must have visited this spectacular masterpiece what feels like more than a thousand times this summer and we have never tired of it yet. It's such an instagramable outdoor art piece, I have to stop myself at times.

This magnificent pavillion is very neatly tucked away behind the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park. From the Baywater side it could almost be missed. Perhaps that is the idea, to be totally shocked by the unexpected.

London Travel Blog 2
London Travel Blog 2
London Travel Blog 3
London Travel Blog 3
London Travel Blog 4
London Travel Blog 4
London Travel Blog 5
London Travel Blog 5
London Travel Blog 6
London Travel Blog 6

You may wonder what we find ourselves doing at The Pavillion almost every day?! It would be rude not to absorb, take in and admire the stunning work, and, we tuck into delicious goodies from Fortnums; Mason who have little snack stalls, vintage looking ice cream vans and drinks vans dotted around the showpiece. I usually sip coffee if it's early in the morning and indulge in ice cream if it's past midday. We lay out on the grassed area or at the Fortnums and Mason brand coloured outdoor tables and relax, chat and soak a little British sun.

London Travel Blog 7
London Travel Blog 7
Such an eclectic array of bright and bold colours and textures
Such an eclectic array of bright and bold colours and textures
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2015-07-28 13.08.16-1
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2015-07-28 13.10.18-3

The space is so stimulating for children, Gabriella always wants to go to 'the rainbow tunnel' as she has named it. She's a little creative person which I love to see blossom. Places and exhibitions like this are so important to them at this age. It shapes and helps to develop their creativity and imagination. Don't you just love the vast amount of backdrops this one art piece offers. Every photo is so different and the exact same position can give a totally different look defendant on the sun and the time of day. It's a photographers heaven.

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Blogging in London
Blogging in London
Our London Blog
Our London Blog

How bare will this space feel once it's time for it to move on? I hope this space continues to be used creatively like this. Oh, and Fortnums, what will I do without a little bit of you when you are no longer ten minutes travel from home?

Front Doors in Colour
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Sometimes we all need a little inspiration so I thought I would start to share the sorts of things that inspire me each day.

I would love to live in one of these candy coloured chocolate box houses. Until then I'm going to obsess over their vibrant front doors and contrasting painted render and distinctive door knockers. Anything goes and somehow any bright or pastel combinations work. It's all in experimenting with clashing colours. Naturally these houses work best with an adorable typically English garden to compliment, preferably with strongly scented roses for added effect.

Cute little roads with rows of coloured houses seem to attract me like a magnet. The atmosphere and backdrop they create adds depth and playfulness to a neighbourhood. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons I have come to adore Notting Hill. Even on the dullest of days a stroll down Portobello Road and the rest of the neighbourhood lifts my spirits. Portobello is the road I will casually stroll down if I'm having creative block or just want some added inspiration for a project or collection I'm working on.

I often wonder whether the colours the owners choose reflect their personality and confidence in life. What do you think? It doesn't stop at the colours. Knockers and various studding add to the personality and overall style of the door.

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pretty purple house covered in white roses

pretty purple house covered in white roses

Vibrant red front door with a contrasting choice of blue render. Strong and bold.

Vibrant red front door with a contrasting choice of blue render. Strong and bold.

Delicate pastel pink front door with matching render. Soft and elegant.

Delicate pastel pink front door with matching render. Soft and elegant.

Clashing colours. So wrong on paper but so eclectic on Portobello Road.

Clashing colours. So wrong on paper but so eclectic on Portobello Road.

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Personally, I'd love a candy coloured render, maybe a pink or peach with a coral or turquoise door. What colours would you choose?

Sunday Afternoon at Hyde Park
 

Hyde Park is my all time favourite place to be in London. I've lived in Bayswater my entire adult life, from my university days until 2 years ago, the park has always been at the end of my road. Almost like an extension of my home and basically my garden. Moving away is probably my biggest regret in life, I've realised that a bigger home and more space does not necessarily equal a happier existence. Gabriella has asked everyday if we can move back to Hyde Park, her soul is similar to mine, sensitive, creative and strong willed. Strange that a 3.5 year old is so attached to the place, but true.

We will be returning home. Notting Hill, particularly Bayswater will always be home for me. It's where i'm at my happiest, where i'm most content and at my most creative. I've never settled since moving to North London. Sorry North Londoners, no offence but I too laid back for your vibe on a daily basis! Don't misunderstand me, to look at, North London you are extremely pretty but my soul just doesn't belong there. So, the search is on. We are looking for a new home. Of course, there are sacrifices when moving back to Bayswater but living where we are all happy is absolutely worth having less space and smaller garden or perhaps no garden (ok, so no garden slightly worries me).

After checking out the location of a few roads in Bayswater on Sunday we took advantage of the beautiful weather and lived for a moment as if we were back home. Doing what we used to do most days just for a couple of hours refreshed my memory as to why we were so happy whilst we were there. Who would believe an ice cream in the park could be so precious.

Sunday artists on Bayswater Road along Hyde Park
Sunday artists on Bayswater Road along Hyde Park
Lucia stealing my ice cream
Lucia stealing my ice cream
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The round pond, Hyde park
The round pond, Hyde park
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Swan watching
Swan watching
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Outside Space at The Natural History Museum

IMG_7380 Somehow we have always overlooked the outside space at The Natural History Museum. How incredibly stupid, it's stunning, peaceful in places with the most fabulous architecture as the backdrop. Perhaps because so much of our weather encourages us to seek out shelter for the long months of gloomy miserable days we miss some perfect outdoor locations. But Saturday was just too beautiful to be inside. We do love the dinosaurs, but dinosaurs there are so many months we can enjoy you in the winter!

So after heading over to Maitre Choux in South Kensington on Saturday afternoon we wanted to find somewhere to sit outside with the girls and enjoy our eclairs. In the distance, we could see The Natural History Museum, I remembered how lovely the lawns were just in front. When we arrived and it was so busy, swarms of people clustered together, far too many people to relax, enjoy and hangout with the girls. In search of somewhere to hangout in peace we wandered to the far left where we found a secluded grassed area which was still in front of the museum but seemingly unknown to the rest of civilisation. Perfect for us. With only 2 other families in sight we were able to let loose, run around and have some relaxed fun. The grand architecture of the natural history museum made the perfect backdrop for our afternoon.

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Our newly discovered hangout area backed onto the wildlife garden at The natural History Museum. I didn't even know this existed so obviously I had never been there. Open from late Spring until November. Curious to explore, we wanted to see what it was all about. A peaceful haven in the centre of South Kensington, you absolutely wouldn't believe you were in London.

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Unfortunately there is no entrance to the wildlife garden from the lawns, the only access was through the museum. Who cares, a walk alongside the dinosaurs to get there keeps everyone amused! The wildlife garden is located next to a very modern outside space inside the museum, which is rather lovely.

Mummy Loves... Maitre Choux

Mummy Blog I've neglected my mummy loves section lately so here's to the second post this week just to show you I'm still loving life and eager to share my latest loves with you.

Maitre Choux. What's not to love. Hand crafted, pretty, detailed, Choux parcels of deliciousness. It's no wonder I've been desperate to get my hands on some of these precious lovelies. Maitre Choux is the brainchild of Joakim Prat (previously head pastry chef for Joel Robuchon in the UK and at The Greenhouse), to sum it up briefly it's a London pastry shop with a Three Michelin Star experienced Chef.

The girls (particularly Gabriella) have a sweet tooth and are sort of like little magpies. To them everything that glitters is gold. The very Ity bity shop induced such excitement in the girls, well, rows of colourful, delicately decorated eclairs admittedly excited me too. The display just makes you want to try everything. So we tried a very colourful selection chosen by Gabriella.

Mummy Blog 2 Maitre Choux Mummy Blog The face says it all!

Each eclair looks like a piece of art. Gorgeous to look at, gorgeous to eat. Maitre Choux is located in South Kensington, a very brief walk from The Natural History Museum or The V&A Museum.

A little bit of advice, get there early. The eclairs have a habit of being sold out half way through the afternoon particularly on the weekends.

www.maitrechoux.com

Gabriella wears: T-shirt - Zara Kids Skirt - ilovegorgeous (last season) more like it here

Bank Holiday Weekend at Little Venice Canalway

IMG_6306 Bank holidays are made for over indulging in too much calories laden food which should of course be eaten in fabulous company, spending time with family and friends and generally staying out later than bedtime, well, in my case the children's bedtime. How nice to have an extra long weekend, but, doesn't it just leave us all wishing that bank holiday weekends are forever and that real life and their responsibilities don't exist? It has been wonderful to get carried away in the moment and have some work free time to create some lasting memories.

IMG_0130 West Thirty Six, Notting Hill too cute - sharing their first drink out! Gabriella's favourite face to pull at the moment…why can't it be smiles :-) IMG_0143 IMG_0142 IMG_6331 IMG_6300 IMG_6246

In our true family style naturally we started the bank holiday weekend on Saturday with lunch, we tried somewhere new, hats always exciting for us. We made it down to West Thirty Six on Goldborne Road in Notting Hill. Set in a beautiful, higeldy pigeldy townhouse style building and spread over a number of floors there is just so much to explore, we didn't get the chance to explore everywhere but that's great, it means I need to go back and have a wander and hopefully make it up to the fire pit located on the roof terrace. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, burgers of course nothing else will do for a bank holiday lunch. We then stopped on the way back at Little Venice to join in the celebrations at their annual Canal Cavalcade. Gabriella loves boats and what a spectacular display of narrow boats for her to enjoy. All Dressed up with buntings and heritage flags and other sorts of knick knacks, every boat was at their best on show for us all to enjoy. What I love about narrow boats is they're all individual and usually reflect elements of the owners personality. Gabriella loved searching for her 'favourite' boats. The sense of community could really be felt, all the narrow boat owners were drinking and eating and chatting together, and the support from the locals was amazing. Gabriella tried two new things, face painting and candyfloss. I was so excited to see my little girls face painted for the first time. The verdict was...she loved the face painting and was not too sure about candy floss, the idea was clearly greater than the experience!

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Bank Holiday Monday at Sensational Butterflies Exhibition at The Natural History Museum

IMG_6391 More than we expected in every way and so deserving of it's title. Sensational Butterflies at The Natural History Museum was just that, Sensational! We'd had such a busy bank holiday that we wanted to do something short and sweet but worthy of that last bank holiday afternoon.

For as long as I can remember I've always been attracted to butterflies, I collect all sorts of beautiful things with butterflies on them. I'm not sure what the attraction is, perhaps its their pretty unique markings, the colours and their tranquil nature.

Anything to do with butterflies and i'm there to check it out. We've been to many butterfly houses and this is definitely the winner so far. Set in the lawns in front of The Natural History Museum it's so much quieter than the bustle inside the museum, there's plenty of space on the lawns for a picnic but do not fear there are snack vans on the lawns for those that are not prepared on this occasion that was me!

IMG_6411 That tree trunk behind us is older than the dinosaurs, amazing. IMG_6418

There is such an array of butterflies, little ones, huge ones and so many exotic beauties to admire. The environment was just as stunning and well kept as the butterflies themselves which is just so reassuring to see. The staff are amazing, they are happy to show the little ones where the caterpillars hide out under the leaves and answer any questions they may have. Gabriella was given a card to stamp the process of caterpillars evolving into butterflies, she loved this as stamping is one of her favourite past times at the moment.

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We had a very special moment, one of the giant blue butterflies landed on Lucia to hang out for a few moments this really impressed Gabriella but she was so disappointed a butterfly didn't land on her! Wriggly three and a half year olds are not their prime target for landing on, but to save the tears I've promised to take her back to see if we can catch a kodak moment for her with a butterfly.

IMG_6602 Lucky Lucia made the perfect landing place for this giant blue butterfly! IMG_6462 IMG_6700 IMG_6507 IMG_6604 IMG_6632

We finished our afternoon by munching on crepes and ice-cream at Kensington Creperie just a 2 minute walk away, the long queue out of the door was worth the wait they were delicious!

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