Earlier this month, we ventured to London with children for the very first time. One of my earliest childhood memories is of a visit to this big city with my parents and so, I was super excited to take our tiny two to the capital.
Take a peek at the video of our adventure here:
After our journey down, we started our weekend with a quick hop on a tube (got to love the jacket matching the decor). Then a mooch around the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.
From that trip to London as a child, I vividly remember a water exhibit at the Science Museum, where you could splash about and get hands on. It was still there (or something very much like it) all these years later and our two loved it just as much as I had.
Our home for the weekend was the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. We’d been invited to stay and test out their family services.
They are on a mission to prove the parents and kids can both enjoy the luxury of a 5 star hotel, without any of the stuffiness. And oh they do it well. Would you look at that view from the hotel?
The hotel is right on the corner of Kensington High Street and Kensington gardens. The park it overlooks is home to the Diana Memorial Playground (including giant pirate ship and sand pits) perfect for little adventurers.
We stayed in a pair of interconnecting rooms which was ideal. Hotel room stays with a pair of toddlers give me the fear. You know that awkward moment at 4am where you wake up startled to them pointing out to you… “IT’S DARK MUMMY! MUMMY! IT’S DARK!” Or the having to go to bed at 7pm with them? Yep, if you’ve got young children, you’ve been there. The option of adjoining rooms at The Royal Garden Hotel meant a good night sleep for all, hurrah!
The hotel have created their own map of the area, especially for kids, pin pointing all of the must visit sights and things to do close by, along with how to get to them. This was really useful and G&H really enjoyed map reading (kind of) all weekend. (You can find the map here: Kensington a Guide for Families.)
The hotel also provide backpacks and goodie bags for all children staying. Such a thoughtful touch, which G&H loved.
On Friday night, we made use of the “Flicks and Food” package at the hotel. It’s trays of movie night style treats, delivered piping hot to your room, to enjoy along with unlimited films for an evening.
Seriously though, homemade fish fingers and chips, in your pyjamas, whilst watching Minions? This is the stuff toddler dreams are made of.
The next day we decided not to plan too much and just see where the day took us. I am a planner by nature, but sometimes when life is hectic, a bit of going with the flow is the perfect antidote.
We started off in Covent Garden early, before the crowds. We had front row seats to watch a street entertainer climbing a free standing ladder, he kept us all enthralled. G announced that that was CRAZY!
We planned to walk up to Carnaby Street, but the rain got the better of us and we ended up flagging down a cab. Top parenting tip right here, don’t teach a toddler how to hail a taxi, they will spend the rest of the weekend trying to test out their new magic trick. Ha!
We spent the rest of the day exploring, with the obligatory trip to Hamley’s. Oh their little faces, the total wonder at the toy shop of dreams (it even made me forget the crowds in there for a moment..) they loved it. We gave them each a small budget to choose something to buy.
H chose rollerskates for one of her stuffed toys (that was a surreal purchase) and G chose a remote control car to add to the 27 we already have at home. They enjoyed every moment of the experience of shopping there for something of their own though, so money well spent.
The next day we waved a sad goodbye to the breakfast of all breakfasts at the Royal Garden Hotel. The kids were made totally welcome in the restaurant and they loved choosing their own bizarre breakfast combos (salami dipped in Nutella anyone?)
We’ve been lucky enough to eat some amazing hotel breakfasts over the years, but this really is something special. THAT is how you do hotel buffet breakfasts.
Before leaving, we made use of the borrow a scooter service at the hotel and went to Kensington Gardens. They scooted in the sunshine for hours, I hired a SantanderCycle and pootled around the park with them (Mr TT picking each of us up as we fell off!)
It was the most beautiful end to a wonderful weekend. London in the sunshine really is glorious isn’t it?
If you’re planning a visit to London with children, I can’t recommend the Royal Garden Hotel highly enough. They really go the extra mile to may a visit to the capital as easy as possible for parents and heaps of fun for kids.
PS Did you watch the video? Sorry for the scooting in reception… Oops!
The ‘Food and Flicks’ add-on is £40 for one adult and one child.
Disclosure: We were kindly invited to stay as guests of The Royal Garden Hotel, however, as always all opinions are our own and truthful.