We asked the mums nominated for London’s Best Mummy Blogger what they love about their corner of the city. Last week several nominees revealed some of their favourite spots to hang out as a family, for date night, for girls’ night out, or for some elusive ‘me’ time. Here we present part two: our bloggers give their top neighbourhood tips, from Crouch End to Barnes, Brockley and beyond.
- Where in London do you live, and what do you love about it?
- Where in your neighbourhood do you enjoy hanging out as a family?
- Where do you love to go without the kids—date night, girls’ night out, or for some ‘me’ time?
Dina and Natalie, Kensington Mums
Dina: I grew up in Kensington and this is where my heart stays. I live around my kids’ schedule; they have me by their fingertips at all times.
Nathalie: I’ve very recently moved to Parsons Green from Notting Hill Gate and love how family- and child-friendly it is around here. The choice of parks and playgrounds is great and it feels like living in a ‘tranquil village’ whilst still being so close to the centre of a buzzing city.
Dina: Me-time is a very important aspect of a mother’s love, to make time for herself. It took me a while to get the hang of it. I love to get a massage (anytime!)—as I spend most of my working hours in front of the computer, my neck and shoulders get a bit stiff.
For date nights, we enjoy going to the movies as that is something we used to do before kids and continue to do. We also love being with our close friends and going out for sushi. Our favourite must be Hare and Tortoise just off Kensington High Street!
Nathalie: When I’m alone I love to visit flower shops… flowers’ beauty relaxes me (I know it sounds funny but it’s true) and picking my favorite bunch each week keeps me smiling.
Date night? My husband and I have discovered a restaurant in Soho called The Palomar—we love it and improvised a date or two there in the past few months. We like to sit at the bar, have a drink or two and then eat the most delicious food—you must try it!
Sara, Mind Your Mamma
I live in Isleworth and have for nearly ten years now (how time flies when you’re having fun!). Having moved to Isleworth from Shepherd’s Bush I really appreciate how it’s a much quieter area. It’s mainly residential, it feels safe, and it’s lovely and green.
Our most favourite place is Osterley Park, part of The National Trust—sometimes we can’t quite believe how such an amazing place can be on our doorstep! We often cycle there as a family, and our children love watching the ducks, swans, cows and horses. We can pick up fresh produce from the local shop, and last year in July we were lucky to be able to stay overnight at The Big Camp. We set up a tent with a few other family friends, went for a torch-lit walk around the park in the middle of the night and got to wake up the next day in this stunning place.
Since it’s opened, my favourite place has been the Hilton in Syon Park. It has a luxury spa and swimming pool that I’ve yet to visit without the children (unfortunately!), but my favourite part is the bar (and I don’t even drink!). I love going there with my husband on the rare occasion we go out without the boys. But I’ve also been there with friends, and it’s a really nice, relaxed place with good live music, nice cocktails (or mocktails in my case) where you can enjoy some great company.
Sunita, Lucky Things Blog
I live in North London with my husband, Mr. H, and our two IVF miracles—the two Munchies (aged four and two). We love how close we live to lots of our favourite areas. It’s important that we’re not too far from town. We also love the food around here, whether it’s the Mediterranean TFC supermarket in Palmers Green (we pop there to pick up lots of fresh Turkish bread, and their humous range is pretty epic) or our favourite Indian deli, Majjos—freshly made Indian food, perfect for takeaway dinners.
In Muswell Hill I’m a big fan of Chooks—modern fried chicken and there’s a real diner feel. It’s another independent restaurant. Got to love it that they do root beer too! It was a favourite hangout during both of my maternity leaves.
Another favourite restaurant is The Bald Faced Stag in East Finchley. Their dining room is gorgeous and the booths are great for family dining and girls’ night out. For a proper Sunday roast we head to The Old White Lion in East Finchley or the Clissold Arms on Fortis Green Road.
For a date night, we sometimes pop to an Everyman Cinema (there are loads around North London and they serve the best hot chocolate—rock ’n’ roll I know!). Mr. H is great at organising date days out too—so we may also hang around the South Bank.
For some me-time, it could be any corner of London. I love roaming around and snapping away pics of London town and street art when I can.
We live in North West London, near Swiss Cottage. What do we love about it? Location wise, we’re very fortunate. We’re about a 15-minute drive to central London and we are also very close to public transport links along with the M1. It’s a very family-orientated area, close to good schools and near Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath and Kenwood so we find ourselves outdoors most weekends.
We love a good picnic in Regent’s Park and H adores the playground there. We tend to feed the birds and she goes for a cycle whilst we walk.
We are really quite spontaneous on date night and go wherever our food cravings direct us. We do love a good Italian or sushi restaurant but we’re also great fans of Chicken Shop and Dirty Burger. Girls’ night is a little more curated and we head into town, to the cinema or somewhere local. For some ‘me’ time, I tend to go for a walk, spinning or venture around Selfridges for a couple of hours.
Claire, The Pramshed
I live in Brockley, South East London, with my husband and daughter. We have been here for nearly seven years having previously lived in Greenwich. I really enjoy the green spaces of South East London, the parks, and its local cafés and restaurants, where I spent most of my maternity leave eating cake and drinking coffee (or wine).
We really love to visit Hilly Fields park. The views over London are fantastic and there is a brilliant play park for our daughter. Our favourite places to go for food and drink are The Orchard and The Brookmill pub, both places are really child-friendly and serve delicious food. The Brookmill also has an excellent child-friendly beer garden too.
Going out without the kids is a tricky question as this doesn’t happen very often. However I love to visit East Dulwich with friends for its bar and restaurant scene, especially Meat Liquor or Toast. If I’m going out in Brockley, it’ll be The Orchard with the NCT ladies for prosecco!
Sarah Lawton, Mumzilla
I currently live in the third of our W’s—Walthamstow, Wanstead, and now here, Woodford Green. You can pretty much see the Essex border from here but I’m hanging on with my fingernails.
We’ve only been here a little while, but I already love walking the dog over the golf course (golfers are a hazard, but what’s life without a little risk?!) and I also love Cook!, a shop that sells homemade frozen meals—very handy, tasty and great for pretending I’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day when I’ve actually been in sloth mode watching Netflix.
We tend to hang out at our gym (the shame!) but Rian gets to bomb around with his pals there and we sometimes get to enjoy a hot coffee! Otherwise, see ducking and diving at the golf course.
There are some great little restaurants in Walthamstow—the Orford Saloon, a tapas place on Orford Road is sublime and super cozy, with great wine. I also love the Village Kitchen and Eat17—all on Orford Road! There’s also the draw of Mother’s Ruin gin hub just around the corner… mmm, gin…
Jennie, Feed In Style
I live in Barnes, South West London and love it because it’s like a little country village in zone 3! There’s so much green space, wildlife and it’s right on the river. It’s a very family-orientated area with so much to do.
On the weekends our little family is always down on Barnes Green at the duck pond feeding the birds. You can also find us in the White Hart Pub a lovely family-friendly spot on the river.
Catarina, That Fitster
I’m deeply in love with Parsons Green, where I’ve been living for the past six years. I call it my happy bubble. You have everything and can walk everywhere—you almost forget you’re living in such a big city like London. There are great schools, parks, restaurants, shops, supermarkets and, of course—lots of fitness studios
We love going to Bishops Park on weekends! My husband and son will play football while me and the girls ride on our bikes and pretend to practice yoga on the grass. Afterwards we’ll get together with our friends and their kids for a picnic!
Going out for a workout. That’s my time. Fitness is my therapy and I do something different almost every day. You’ll find me spinning at Ride Republic, doing Reformer Pilates at Heartcore or dynamic yoga at the Power Yoga Company. Bishops Park is my favourite for a morning jog. You’ll also find me wherever there’s a good avocado toast—St Clements and Boys n’ Berry are my current faves. Hope to see some of you there!