This afternoon Little Sis and I visited Westfield London to get ourselves into the Christmas spirit. It’s quite easy for us to get to Westfield London so we hopped on the tube and soon emerged into the shopping centre. I love to plan so had a list of things to see and do.
First up was to check out the Christmas lights and decorations which were so pretty. There’s a fantastic indoor ice-rink so we spent a good 10 minutes watching people ice skate. There’s a minimum age requirement of 4 so we’ll be trying it out next year. There are seals for young children to sit on or hold onto so you definitely don’t have to be an expert to try it out.
Then it was on to a late lunch at Pizza Express as I know my daughter will always eat something there. I had a delicious Bosco salad, she had pizza
After lunch it was time to hit the shops. I still had a few presents to get but managed to buy everything on my Christmas list, including a few cheeky extras from Cath Kidston. How I love that shop! The one at Westfield is huge so I stocked up on some cheery Father Christmas cards and festive tableware.
Little Sis wouldn’t let me walk past the Disney Store without going in. She was in Seventh Heaven, surrounded by Minnie Mouse in all shapes and sizes!
We had pre-booked tickets to Santa’s Grotto too so ventured outside to find it. You need to be there 10 minutes early to register and have your photo taken, then we were given special glasses and ushered into the 5D cinema. There was a cute animated story that tells the tale of Elbow the Elf, and how he saves Christmas with the help of all the children in the grotto. Every child cleverly featured on a present so there were lots of very happy children, mine included! Then we queued to see Father Christmas who magically knew exactly what Little Sis wanted for Christmas. We even had our photo taken with him.
We went back into Westfield for a hot drink and a final shop before heading home. We could easily have spent longer there, especially as the Centre is open later than usual in the run up to Christmas. You can find out about all the Christmas events and opening hours on the Westfield London website.
Disclosure – please note I was given a gift card to cover some of the expenses above but all thoughts and opinions are my own
Today The Fat Controller took some time off from his duties on Sodor to visit Hamleys, and we were there to meet him! There was storytelling (The Snowy Special and Snowy Tracks), balloon modelling, face painting, colouring activities and more. My children had a lovely time as this was before the shop opened to the public. They loved meeting The Fat Controller and were very attentive when he was reading stories.
The Reverend W. Awdry originally created Thomas the Tank Engine to cheer up his son when he was sick. In the same spirit, Thomas & Friends are celebrating Christmas this year by undertaking an epic journey to help The Fat Controller deliver presents to children in hospitals across the UK and Ireland. Show your support by logging in at www.Tracks4Thomas.com via Facebook or Twitter and adding a piece of virtual track to Thomas & Friends’ Christmas journey.
For more information and the chance to win prizes, visit www.Tracks4Thomas.com.
The Fat Controller is also appearing at Hamleys Cardiff (17th November), Glasgow (24th November) and Dublin (1st December). I’d definitely recommend it for any little Thomas & Friends fans.
Filed under days out, London
London Open House weekend has to be one of my favourite weekends in London. Hundreds of buildings throw open their doors and over the years I’ve visited some brilliant ones, from the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices to the Old Operating Theatre, Barnardo’s Village in Barkingside to Ally Pally and the London Eye.
Since having children we’ve visited less buildings but we’ve still managed to get out and about. Now the children are that little bit easier to manage and we live in a different part of London it feels like we have so many new places to visit. I look forward to seeing lots of new places in west London and this weekend we managed three properties, all completely different:
Swakeleys House – the most important house in Ickenham and only open to the public on one day every year (for Open House). It’s a Jacobean house dating from the 1630s and is absolutely beautiful, although empty.
Kempton Park Water Treatment Works – a 1928 industrial cathedral housing 2 triple expansion steam engines and 2 steam turbines.
Heathrow Pod – the world’s first commercially operational Personal Rapid Transit system from business parking to T5.
Kempton Park Works – currently set up as a biscuit factory for scenes in Midsummers Murder!
This weekend marks the end of the summer bucket list we started back in July so I’m pleased to be able to tick off go plane spotting at Heathrow. The Bugaboo Bee has been our faithful friend over the last couple of months and I’ve loved using it. I’ve written about some of my favourite features here and here.
The toddler starts nursery this week, it looks like we’ve finally mastered potty training and we’ve banned Little Sis from her dummy during the day. What adventures are next for the inhabitants of the gingerbread house?