There are few cities as fun to explore with children as London. Kids love the active Royalty and Buckingham Palace, not to mention the Sherlock Holmes museum. Of course, there is also Hamley’s Toy Store, the largest and oldest toy store in the world. With your Time & Place apartment you will have a view of the Palace which will make catching the changing of the guards that much easier. If your children are anything like mine, they will want to go back again and again just to see if they can get the guards to crack a smile. Your days will be quite full with all of the activities on offer, but which of the amazing plays to see and where to take the kiddos to dinner can be a bit more confusing. Time to get your Time & Place Concierge involved in obtaining the best tables and tickets for you. On a recent trip with a 10 and 7 year old I did a ton of research and ended up with an amazing evening.
When choosing where to dine in London, I wanted to make sure my husband and I got to take advantage of London’s epicurean moment, while not forcing my kids into a stuffy meal. Take advantage of my research because I ended up hitting all the nails on the head. Our dinner choice was Social Eating House, Jason Atherton’s most casual Michelin starred restaurant in London. Jason Atherton, trained under Gordon Ramsay, has opened over 15 restaurants worldwide and has received Michelin stars for many including this one. Social Eating House maintains a playful Gastro Pub style, which if you go early, is casual enough for kids and gourmet enough for adults.
Social Eating House is a restaurant where no detail has been overlooked. The charming casual pub style makes it comfortable, but the service and food feels top notch. From inventive cocktails and starters, to fantastic deserts and everything in between, the food is delicious. The menu changes regularly, but they were more than happy to make changes for my children. They specialize in pub food dressed up, so elevated Macaroni and Cheese and steak and fries are regular items. The servers were also able to work their way around our Uno game, create mocktails for our children, and tweak the menu so everybody left satisfied. As we were finishing up and preparing for a 7:30pm curtain call, the rain came down. Surprise, surprise. When in London… A black taxi was waiting outside ready to get us to the theater on time and dry; yet another example of great service. We enjoyed gourmet dining in 70 minutes, just about how long I can keep my kids still.
We chose Matilda: The Musical and were not disappointed at all. In 2011, this production won 7 Olivier awards, the most awards won at that time. Amazingly, this is a play where the 10 child actors, all under the age of 12, are the stars and they shine brightly! There are few things more exciting to children than watching other children perform. Add in that these actors are pulling pranks on adults who deserve it and you have an audience that remains engaged throughout the production. Honestly, the acting and singing these children do is phenomenal!
My six year old was still singing the songs week later, which is always the sign of a good musical. The sets are made of letters, which makes intermission fly by, as kids try to find all of the words hidden in them. But in the end, it is one of those rare plays that appeal to both adults and children, without snide jokes aimed towards adults while leaving the children out. There is something really nice about the whole family laughing together. Cambridge Theater is even appealing; small and intimate and incredibly appropriate for the production. I would highly recommend getting yourself there, ASAP!
Now back to that Time & Place rental, and make sure you have asked the Concierge to stock your favorite night cap. Sitting on the terrace and looking at the palace view will be the best end possible to your fantastic family evening!
About the Author:
Lizzie Livingston is an avid traveler, a mother of two boys, aged eight and eleven, and a blogger. Since moving to Hong Kong seven years ago, making family travel interesting and fun has become more of a focus of her family’s life and writing.
Visit Her Website at: www.JrMagellan.com