Posts tagged Travel
Travel Edit | Santorini, Greek Islands
Santorini with kids

Behind the Madness

There was a dream that had to be lived.

I will stay true to myself. I will explore. I will learn. I will achieve. I will do these things alongside having children. That was my promise to myself. That is the one I am keeping. And, that is why we chose Santorini.

Booked with optimistism. Sure. But I know my children. I knew they would be able to ‘cope’ with such a grown up place. Perhaps a destination that should have been on the pre-children bucket list. It was. I just didn’t quite make it!

Always filled with a sense of adventure. Defying the laws of ‘what’s expected’ excites my soul. Being true to my inner free-spirit is what makes me truly happy. It makes my journey through motherhood and their journey through childhood fully rewarding, fulfilling and utterly creative. We have created the most beautiful memories living this way.

Encapsulated from the moment I woke up. Views that are worthy of a postcard. That was the magic this island has to share with you. From every angle your eyes are met with a moment that takes your breath away. A moment you desperately would like to capture and store in a bottle for those dreary times in life to remind you how beautiful the world really is.


And…We celebrated a birthday!


Completely special. Tying a milestone to this precious place. A fond memory treasured forever.

Celebrating an ocassion whilst on an adventure makes it stress free. The adventure takes the strain. Less expectations of ourselves and more expectation for the stunning surroundings and backdrop to do the work for us. The only effort required is a meander to a local bakery to collect the most fabulous cake they have fit for a celebration.

Im sure awaking to that view and being sung happy birthday and enjoying a slice of cake in front of it will sit beautifully in her mind for the rest of her life.

Santorini boat trip
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.

the view from the loon eye

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.

changing of the guards london

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.

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
The round pond, Hyde park
The round pond, Hyde park
Swan watching
Swan watching
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... Bluebells


I've always dreamed of setting my eyes on fields of bluebells. It's been a childhood dream that I have been dying to share with the children. Living in a city bluebell fields are not something you hear the folks of London discuss, so after a little research I knew to find my dream bluebell fields I would probably have to travel, but actually I couldn't believe I found the perfect place not too far, a 30-40 minute drive from London.

Last Sunday afternoon, we packed up the car, put some music whilst Gabriella played on her iPad, Lucia had a snooze and we drove up to Hertfordshire.

Ashridge Estate is breathtaking. You know its going to be right when you drive through the village just before Ashridge. Clean air, beautiful grounds and woods which to be honest I can imagine it would make the perfect location for an afternoon at anytime of the year. The woods are untouched natural beauties. Rustic, quiet and at spring time so full of bluebells. It was just as I have pictured it would be. Sorry to be cliche but to be surrounded by a sea of bluebells was dreamy, almost magical. It was just so incredible to be away from the city for a moment and enjoy the simplicity of nature and as much as we love London the soul needs this change from time to time. The girls were able to run through the fields, climb broken trees and pick up sticks and Gabriella had her first encounter with stinging nettles, poor Gabriella!

Bluebells cover the woods like a pretty lilac carpet IMG_6971 IMG_6893 IMG_6791 IMG_6917 IMG_6899 IMG_7016

How i'm loving spring. There's just so much to see and do. After a winter of being cooped up indoors we have been taking full advantage of our glorious weather.

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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Sketch: Afternoon Tea


I've been waiting to introduce Gabriella to afternoon tea for some time, it's one of my favourite British traditions that I hope we can enjoy together over the years. What better place to have her first Afternoon tea! Sketch is one of my all time favourite places to dine and hang out in London. I probably spent way too much time here pre-children! At Sketch afternoon tea is served with a very Alice in wonderland feel. It's the combination of a very atmospheric, interesting, fun and colourful venue, waitresses in Alice in wonderland inspired uniforms and an eclectic array of to die for chinaware and most importantly beautifully presented afternoon tea.




Fear not, Sketch is surprisingly child-friendly particularly at weekends. it's best to book, we didn't and waited for 10-15 mins for a table. We were sat in the parlour which if you booked you would have the option of choosing from some of their other rooms. All are stunning and totally unique which means visits do not get boring, just change rooms for a different backdrop. With children I would advise the Parlour or the Glade both rooms have more of a slightly informal feel which is just what you need when eating out with unpredictable ones! We sighed with relief when there was another family with 3 children of the same age group as ours already sat close-by. You know that feeling, for some reason it instantly takes the pressure off. Have you spotted the sleeping baby (Lucia) next to me on the sofa? Yes, that's right, Lucia practically slept through it all only waking near the end to sample a little of the tasty goodies. Couldn't have asked for more! I had a very enjoyable experience. It's always iffy taking a nearly 1 year old out to eat expecting them to keep still at a time when all they want to do is explore and learn new things.








The variety of little sweet and savoury sandwiches, cakes and patisseries makes afternoon tea very enjoyable for Gabriella. There's not too much of any one thing, no opportunity for little ones to get bored of their meal. We literally had to fight to get a look in!

Oh and guess what was one of Gabriella's favourite parts of Sketch? Going to the toilet! Who can blame her, I've always loved making a trip to the amazing pod toilets. It's an experience in itself, and the perfect place to take a bathroom selfie!





It's Christmas at Kew


We are loving embracing being a family of four over the Christmas season. Most of us think of Kew Gardens as a summer destination but how lovely to see what could be an under utilised venue at this time of year transformed for the winter. It's a festive, fun and unique event. A light trail to tickle the senses. beautiful delicate snowflakes lit onto the walk ways, hidden surprise christmas presents in lights, colour everywhere with sprinklings of fire and enchanting music. Theres a pit stop for food and a vintage fairground. We all loved it, Gabriella had so much fun and although Lucia cant speak yet I know she enjoyed it, the evening was full of fun sensory stuff to keep her happy and entertained. The highlight was making a very special wish by holding a lantern and closing her eyes, It was then placed on the very magical wishing felt like something from a fairytale. This wasn't planned, we should all try to do more things that aren't planned. We love a bit of spontaneity! Last minute spontaneous plans can be the best. Sometimes not having the opportunity to think about what something is going to be like means that youve not had any expectations which generally means you enjoy it a lot more. Honestly, I do believe given a chance my expectations would have been blown regardless, it was that wonderful. What an amazing evening experience. We struggled to get tickets and I now know why. If you can get in this year you must, it's days like this that create memories that will last a lifetime.

















Happy Birthday to Me :-)

I'm not quite sure how I feel about birthdays these days. I'm still trying to get my head around the idea that your 30's are the new 20's. Although I'm not a fan of getting older I do love that age has given me a wonderful family to share special occasions with. Any how, I had a fab birthday, spent most of it eating my favourite foods and tried a few amazing restaurants some of which I've been dying to try for ages.

We admittedly do not get much time to spend together as a couple since having Gabriella so we took full advantage that my mum offered to come and stay for my birthday weekend. Celebrations started early, we ran out of the house like teenagers to join some friends for birthday drinks one of which shares the same birthday week as me. Since we were in Mayfair and feeling a bit peckish we headed into Soho for a midnight snack at Grill Shack. All I can say is you really must try this place its simple, affordable great tasting burgers in an amazing location.



Saturday was my actual birthday, as most parents know choosing a restaurant can be hard work when considering toddlers! After all, who can predict those dreaded meltdowns or control their oh so funny clown like behaviour ( to us but not to others)! My first choice of Roka was certainly off bounds but I couldn't have chosen better Burger and Lobster another must try if you haven't already. Who could ask for a better menu, the choice of either burgers or lobster! With only 3 options there is no paper menu, get for us indecisive types and parents that never actually get a chance to look at the menu anyway! Great atmosphere, loud enough to drown out any behaviour problems from the kids and simply delicious food. All 3 options are £20 each, lobster for £20...yes please! The only down side is the wait time for tables, luckily we only had a 20-30 minute wait but I've heard it can be up to 2-3hrs, painful for kids.






To round off the weekend we stayed local and had lunch at XO in Belsize Village. Good food, amazing cocktails and a kids menu. Use the Toptable website to find some really good offers, at the moment they have 50% off the set menu.







Mummy Loves... Organic Children by Green People


Gabriella and I have just left daddy at home and been on a much needed 4 week holiday. Before leaving I was thinking about all the things I will need, particularly for Gabriella. One of the items at the top of my list was a good suncream for Gabriella, one that actually works and doesn't do more harm than good (according to some recent articles I've read lately this is scarily true). The fabulous people at Green People sent Gabriella a few of their yummy organic products to try and one happened to be the Organic Children Sun Lotion SPF25 Lavender. We have had the pleasure of trying and testing it in our great British summer before jetting off on our holidays. Its smells so delicious and natural, not that sickly, overpowering smell that we find with most sunscreens. it has great coverage and lasts for hours. it's as moisturising as a moisturiser but as effective as a sunscreen should be.

It's strange but true...I was literally bitten to pieces by mosquitoes from the very night we arrived. Gabriella didn't get one bite for the first 2 weeks. I thought it must be my deliciously sweet tasting irresistible blood they loved. I was wrong! After two weeks Gabriella started getting bitten. I couldn't understand why. Then I had a brain wave, it must be a product she's using and I'm not. We had spent. 2 days out of the sun and I hadn't put the Organic for Children sun cream on. That was it! This wonderful product had deterred those horrid creatures. I have a feeling it may have been the lavender that they hated. What more could you want form a suncream?!

As a mother it feels great not to be overloading Gabriella's young and delicate skin with horrible chemicals. It's by far the best sunscreen for children and it comes highly recommended from Mummy Gorgeous and Gabriella!

We can't wait to try more products from Green People



Farmers Market Delights

20130531-123402.jpg One of my favourite things about moving to Hampstead is I'm now lucky enough to have a weekly farmers market each Wednesday on my road.

I love to support local produce and British products where I can. It feels great that I can buy seasonal flowers and veggies which are all organic. Seeing all the lovely fresh rhubarb has inspired me to bake a rhubarb crumble...can't get any more British than that! Look out for it on a future post.









From Notting Hill to Portobello Road

Notting Hill Blog

After a quick trip to the seamstress for sample fittings for work this morning we decided to take a walk to Notting Hill. We popped into the newish Jamie Oliver Recipease shop. It's quite amazing, it's such an interactive store with cooking classes going on in a huge island kitchen in the middle of the whist shoppers shop. Im not sure if it was because there was cooking classes going on but the space feels so inspirational, I know any budding cook would appreciate visiting the store. Since Gabriella was enjoying stretching her legs and we were feeling a bit parched, we continued our walk down onto Portobello Road and stopped for a quick refuel in Kitchen & Pantry just off Portobello. Mmmmm maybe I could smell the carrot cake calling me! I never want to leave...It's so comfy and cosy! Comfort food of jacket potato with beans and sausages and carrot cake to finish hit the spot perfectly. It's cold once again but Portobello Road never disappoints, it has that inspiring buzz no matter what the weather.

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A Few Days in Lourdes, France

Desperate for a break and to find a little clarity it was perfect timing when one of my dear friends asked me if would like to accompany her on a short trip to Lourdes in France. Naturally I was a bit hesitant at leaving Gabriella for the first time but after thinking about it she was being left in great hands...with her daddy. When I was a little girl I distinctly remember a bottle of holy water which lived on our mantle piece, always knowing that Lourdes is a very special place not only to Christians but anyone with faith or curiosity of faith, it's somewhere I knew I must visit once in my lifetime.

A small and humble town, Lourdes is Nestled in the hills with views of the Pyrenees mountains. It was beautiful to see that the town has been kept as true to the way it was centuries ago with little commercial influence. I loved the cobbled streets and hilly roads, albeit hard on the legs and the typically French architecture. It's hard to explain but Lourdes has an indescribable silence although there are lots of tourist around there is not a sound to be heard apart from singing birds, I've never experienced such a peaceful place, so tranquil and calming.

Lighting a candle in Lourdes for my family and all the people in my life was a moment I will treasure forever.