Our recent visit to family-friendly London took us to spots we love, as well as spots we haven’t yet been to. Every time we visit, which happens to be annually due to the fact that it’s my husband’s birth country, we see more and more of this historical, beautiful city and I leave loving it even more. I know that my kids are lucky to go as often as they do, and they surely don’t appreciate it enough, but we manage to take advantage of our time there and soak in the sights whilst visiting family and friends. I’ve written about our time there again and again and again.
Here’s where we went this time around – I always love sharing the highlights of our trip with you, here and elsewhere.
The Tate Modern – I’d been trying to work in a visit to the Tate with my kids for some time, so this trip seemed like a good time as ever to visit. Located right in the heart of Southbank, the museum is vast and full of modern art from around the world. The museum is free and offers activities for families with children. Equipped with a map of the museum, my kids led the way past Picasso, Dali and other amazing artists.
Walk down Southbank – Located right on the River Thames, Southbank is a cultural center that houses the Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and more. It’s also a beautiful walkway on the river with restaurants, buskers and a lot to see on a stroll. The views of London across the way are stunning and it also holds much in the way of photographic possibilities.
Borough Market – Borough Market is London’s most famous food market, located just steps from Southbank. It’s a haven for anyone who is interested in food – chefs, restauranteurs, foodies, passionate cooks and people who love to eat and drink. My kids and I qualify for the latter and thoroughly enjoyed our trip through the market, munching on falafel, fudge and gazing at beautiful produce (such as the garlic pictured above). There are great people sightings and the food is simply divine. It’s really, really big so this interactive Market Map came in handy.
High Tea at the Dukes Hotel – After a day of sightseeing, we decided that a cuppa tea was in order, and not your typical cup of tea. We headed to the Dukes Hotel in St. James right near Piccadilly and the heart of London, a quiet, unassuming London hotel for an afternoon of traditional tea with a contemporary flare. My kids had not experienced high tea in London, nor had myself or my husband, and it was truly the perfect place to indulge. They serve Afternoon Tea in their elegant Drawing Room and Conservatory. We were positioned right near a beautiful Christmas tree and served cups of tea and scores of English delicacies in beautiful china, including delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones, hot toasted crumpets and a selection of cream cakes. My children enjoyed the experience just as much as we did. This topped our list on this trip, and I can’t recommend the experience enough. Here is what the Afternoon Tea menu looks like and it’s available daily from 1-6pm – reservations are required:
Selection of Finger Sandwiches
Chicken and cucumber
Fruit and sultana scones
mini carrot cakes
panna cotta with seasonal fruits
mini meringue lemon pies.
Tea of your choice
£29.50 per person
£39.50 per person with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Brut Champagne
GIN & TEA TIME
Selection of Finger Sandwiches
H. Forman’s smoked Scottish salmon
Ham and tomato
Cream cheese and cucumber
Coronation chicken finger sandwiches
Warm fruit and plain scones, clotted cream and jam
A choice between the following Gin & Tea infusions:
Black Vanilla Tea
£35.00 per person
Junior Afternoon Tea
£9.50 per child (up to 15 years old)
The Coffee Cup in Hampstead – If you happen to be in Northern London in the Hampstead area, pop in to The Coffee Cup, one of our favorite spots to chill out and relax. They also happen to serve wonderful, steaming hot chocolate as well as excellent pieces of cake.
Wagamama – If you’re looking for a kid-friendly meal, head to Wagamama, a chain of healthy Japanese restaurants all over London. Kids will delight in bowls of ramen, sat side by side other patrons as the tables are long and reach across the restaurant. Service is quick, efficient and the meals are top quality at really good prices (for London!).
Disclosure: We were guests at the Duke Hotel for high tea to facilitate this review and others, but as always, all opinions are my own.