November in London

London has been extra gorgeous this week. We’ve been treated to some really beautiful sunsets. I love the filtered light at this time of the year. We’ve also been enjoying all the wonderful festive events. If you’re visiting this month or during December be sure to check out the Ice Skating rink at the Natural History Museum, Skate at Somerset House, and Winter Wonderland.

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An afternoon in Paris

I discovered the beautiful Nina’s Tea via Instagram a few months ago and immediately ordered their Thé de Marie-Antoinette. Not only does the tea taste beautiful (apples and roses) but it’s also packaged in the prettiest reusable tin.

I was even more excited to find out that Nina’s is a lovely tea room and boutique in Paris. We were lucky enough to visit last weekend.

My daughter and I had a lovely time. The store is absolutely gorgeous in shades of pink, white and gold. It’s a fabulous way to enjoy some quiet time away from the streets of Paris. We each enjoyed the Marie-Antoinette Afternoon Tea which included a pot of Thé de Marie-Antoinette and a slice of delicious Marie-Antoinette cake. We could smell roses and apples when the tea and cake were brought out!

The staff were absolutely lovely and even gave Miss R her own little jam to take home.

The store is open Monday to Saturday from 12-7. Be sure to keep some room in your luggage for a box of two of their delicious tea.

The boutique is close to Place Vendôme which is always a lovely area to wander around and window shop. If you have little ones with you, head to the Tuileries for a ride on a charming carousel. There is a playground close to the carousel that is perfect for older children with large climbing equipment and slides.

Nina’s Address: 29 Rue Danielle Casanova, 75001 Paris, France

A morning at Winter Wonderland

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It really is the most wonderful time of the year! We arrived in London at the beginning of December almost three years ago and I remember being so amazed by all the Christmas events throughout the city. I still get so excited for these events especially Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and Skate at Somerset House.

Hubby and I have made it a tradition to visit Winter Wonderland twice each year. We go with the kids and then also visit during a weekday when they’re at school. They are obviously two very different experiences!

On Monday we dropped the kids at school and then headed off to Winter Wonderland! It was a drizzly day but that didn’t worry us. My main motivation was to sample some of the delicious German food and have a look at the stalls selling pretty Christmas decorations.

We enjoyed hot chocolate and churros to warm up after the walk to Hyde Park.

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I’d like to try some crepes when we visit with the kids. This stall looked so sweet.

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Then we strolled around looking at the rides. The kids will love some of these!

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After a wander around it was time for more food so we headed to the Bavarian Village. It had started to rain so this was the perfect place to relax with some food. The huge Bavarian hall has loads of different food stalls to choose from.

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Entry is free and some of the attractions that require tickets are bookable online. This includes the ice skating. Head to http://www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com for more info.

 

Cosy Essentials for November

 

 

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Chunky Knit Cape, Faux fur blanket, Cable Knit Cashmere Socks, Corduroy Jeggings, Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, Iced biscuit

 

Is it really November already? It is starting to get really chilly here in London. I’ve started to prepare the home for cosy evenings in as well as stocking up on some knits that will work with my growing bump. Luckily there seem to be a lot of cape style knits in the stores at the moment and these work perfectly. I don’t like to spend a fortune on maternity wear so the cape style knits are perfect as they’ll hopefully also work next Winter.

I’ve started to prepare the home for cosy evenings in as well as stocking up on some knits that will work with my growing bump. Luckily there seem to be a lot of cape style knits in the stores at the moment and these work perfectly. I don’t like to spend a fortune on maternity wear so the cape style knits are perfect as they’ll hopefully also work next Winter. I’ve also discovered some great corduroy jeggings in gorgeous colours. They are warm and so comfortable.

My must have items for a cosy evening include a luxurious faux fur blanket, delicious hot chocolate with cute festive cookies, and soft cashmere socks to keep the feet toasty!

Stay warm

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Exploring Richmond Park

We spent a lovely few hours exploring Richmond Park this weekend. It’s such a great park to visit if you want to experience a little bit of English countryside close to London. 

It was a little foggy during our visit but the Autumn leaves are just beautiful. Because the park is so big we often didn’t pass anyone during our walk. Something that doesn’t happen often in busy London!

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The park is huge and there were a few different areas we wanted to explore so hiring a car for a few hours seemed to be the way to go. It also made getting to Richmond easier for us with the kids. 

We joined Enterprise Car Club recently and hired one of their cars for the trip. Booking is really easy once you’re signed up. We don’t own a car and love the convenience of borrowing one for an hour or two. 

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We were all hungry once we arrived at Richmond Park so decided to head to the cafe. We enjoyed a hot lunch at the Roehampton Cafe before heading back to the car so we could park closer to Isabella Plantation.

We encountered a few deer as we wandered from the car to the Isabella Plantation.

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The Isabella Plantation is very popular during April and May when colourful plants and flowers are in full bloom. In Autumn the red and yellow leaves make the plantation look beautiful too. The kids loved exploring the plantation with its streams and tiny waterfalls.

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It was a great day and we’ll definitely be heading back there soon. Thanks to Enterprise Car Club for making our journey so pleasant.

If you’re interested in trying the programme, you can join for just £10 and get £10 in driving credits with promotion code BLOGECC. 

Just click here to find out more. 

* This is a sponsored post for Enterprise Car Club UK.

 

Day of the Dead Brunch at Peyotito

I enjoyed a delicious brunch at Notting Hill restaurant Peyotito yesterday.

The restaurant’s exterior was decorated in the most amazing floral installation to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

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The modern Mexican food was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the dishes with fried egg, the avocado toast with salsa and the super smoothies.

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Fried eggs with salsa verde
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Octopus Mexicana style on crisp tortilla
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Some of our dishes including chicken enchiladas with mole negro and traditional garnish
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Delicious virgin cocktail

A great place for a weekend brunch and then a wander around Notting Hill and Kensington Gardens. It was a beautiful day to wander!

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Peyotito London – 31 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU

A trip to Venice Lido 

We just returned from a fantastic holiday in Italy. It was our first trip to Venice and one we’ll never forget. Venice is just pure magic. We spent six days in Venice itself before deciding to relocate to Venice Lido for a relaxing few days on the beach.

I actually didn’t even know that Venice had such a beautiful beach. We visited on our second day. The ferry takes around thirty minutes from Rialto to Venice Lido. The beach is a ten minute stroll from the Lido boat stop. There are a number of private beaches to choose from. Many are associated with hotels but you can hire a hut or chair and umbrella even if you’re not staying at the hotel. There is also a public section that has chair and umbrella hire as well as food facilities. Two chairs and an umbrella costs about 27 euro at the public beach.

The sand on the private beaches is raked daily ensuring it is very soft. In the public section there are more shells and pebbles. We chose the same private beach each visit. The prices are pretty standard at each private beach and you can choose what you want based on your budget. We chose a hut in the second or third row. The huts come complete with a sun bed and mattress, table with four chairs, two deck chairs, and the hut with a mirror and cupboard to store your belongings. The price for the day was around 70 euro. After 2pm the huts are offered half price and also during the last week of August there was a promotion on offering half price huts all day!

We wouldn’t normally spend an entire day at the beach with the kids but having the hut meant we could rest in the shade during the hottest part of the day. We also enjoyed lunch at our little table and either purchased from the cafe or brought our own supplies from the supermarket.

The water was really calm during our visit and is also shallow making it great for kids.

It’s a great base for exploring Venice. I liked the relaxed vibe and the fact that it wasn’t as crowded as Venice.

When we decided to stay a few nights we had no idea the film festival was on! We booked our last minute stay at Hotel Regina. A great hotel as it is a short walk from the beach and restaurants. I loved the hotel breakfast as we ate in the lovely hotel garden each morning.

 

A delicious Italian brunch in London 

Over the weekend, I enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Theo’s Simple Italian at the Indigo Hotel in Kensington.

We were treated to a cooking masterclass by Theo Randall himself. He shared some great tips for making the perfect pasta at home. 

Theo recommends cooking packet pasta for three minutes less than the intructions state. Once done use tongs or a slotted spoon to move the pasta into into the sauce. Add two ladels of the pasta water to the sauce. This method will result in pasta that has absorbed some of the sauce and isn’t overcooked. Perfecto! I’m definitely going to buy a pasta machine so I can try making fresh pasta at home. 

After the cooking class we were treated to a special preview of the new brunch menu launching on September 24. Each dish was delicious from pasta to pork and amazing desserts. The set price will be £35 per person with a glass of prosecco on arrival. Dishes are designed for sharing.

The prettiest place in London

My daughter and I visited the prettiest place last week. The Wallace Collection is an art collection housed in the former townhouse of the Seymour family, Marquesses of Hertford.

It is a beautiful building and contains amazing art and furniture. Among the painters represented are Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Hals (The Laughing Cavalier), Velàzquez, Poussin (A Dance to the Music of Time), Canaletto, Gainsborough and Lawrence.

Well worth a visit if you’re in London. The interiors are amazing and each room is just beautiful. After you wander around enjoy afternoon tea in the Wallace Restaurant located in the courtyard.

Address: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN

Admission is free. Open 7 days a week 10am – 5pm. Closed 24 – 26 December.

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