Thursday 12 December 2013

Christmas in London with Toddlers

I love London, I love Christmas and I especially love the big city in all it's festive glory.  There is an atmosphere you can't beat and they go all out on the wonderful decorations.  I have been looking forward to showing the boys the wonders of London at Christmas and Dylan is at that age where his eyes light up and you can really see the excitement in his little face.

We live less than 90 minutes from London on the train but this can be a long way with two under two and a half, so being able to stay overnight makes the whole trip easier and smoother.  This Friday we decided to show Archie and Dylan the sights and we were lucky enough to be offered a room at the Royal Garden Hotel for the night.

Situated in Kensington, it was the perfect location.  The hotel is central, easily walking distance from buses and tubes and is next door the beautiful Kensington Gardens.  This was priceless with a toddler in tow as we escaped the hustle and bustle for some autumnal leaf crunching when we needed it.

Our executive room was on the 10th floor and had an amazing view over the city.  We spent time pointing things out and Dylan loved sitting and watching the airplanes flying over.  The bloke and I were treated to an incredibly comfortable king size bed and the sofa pulled out into a double bed which my 2 year old was delighted to have all to himself. Archie's cot was not the plastic travel cot I accepted but a beautiful wooden cot that I was really impressed with.

He is not the best sleeper and I was worried how the difference would affect him but because this was so close to home he didn't seem to notice the change.  On arrival in the room, the boys were presented with some gorgeous bears wearing a hotel robe which was perfect as we hadn't brought along the usual brigade of teddies that fill their cot and bed.  They were also given mince pies which was a lovely touch.

The room was perfectly sized for the four of us with plenty of space and the bathroom, with a very deep bath (I may have enjoyed a lovely, warm and very bubbly bath), a large shower and 2 sinks was huge and perfect to relax in once we had got the little ones into bed.

We enjoyed an afternoon tea in the hotel before setting out to find the lights and it was a wonderful experience.

 A choice of teas that we had great fun sniffing, a selection of delicious sandwiches and then some beautiful cakes went down well with all 4 of us, but it was the scones that were hands down the best I have ever tasted!  The tea was relaxed, they had a high chair for Archie all ready and I felt comfortable and relaxed breastfeeding in there.

Dylan was entertained by the man playing piano, the wonderful food and the feeling that he was a little grown up, and somehow both boys sat beautifully through the entire experience (one very proud mummy)

After the tea, we hopped on the tube, Dylan on foot and Archie in a sling and headed to Covent Gardens to see the magic.  The giant Christmas tree, the Lego snowglobe, the massive baubles hanging everywhere and of couse Rudolph with his flashing red nose had the four of us captivated and we love the atmosphere at Covent Garden so much, it really was worth the visit.  We sat outside enjoying some shakes and took it all in, in one of those perfect family moments.

At 9pm, 2 hours after the boys usually go to bed, we decided to head back and it was wonderful knowing the hotel was so close and we would soon be tucking them up (and heading into a bubble bath), rather than a stressful train trip with a double buggy, and we all had a great night's rest!

After a good night's sleep we were treated to breakfast in the hotel restaraunt and they sorted out a high chair for us straight away and were more than accomodating of the children.  The full english included a wonderful selection of food and omelettes made to order which are well worth going for as both myself and the children will tell you.

Being able to see London at Christmas was a wonderful experience made all the more exciting by a stay in a beautiful 5 star hotel.  Having a base made it easy and accessible and the hotel was brilliant for families.  I would thoroughly recommend it for comfort, location and family-friendliness.

Disclaimer:  We were invited along for a complimentary stay in the hotel, afternoon tea and breakfast but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.


  1. Sounds like you had a lovely time. We are heading to London this weekend for a stay over with the children. After your recommendation we will definitely be heading to Covent Garden and then the world is our lobster - I think I may go with the sling option too. Might be easier than a buggy!

  2. That cot is gorgeous! Not what I'd expect from a hotel at all. Glad you had a lovely time X

    Kerry @ Lived With Love | Parenting & Lifestyle blog

  3. It looks like you all had a lovely time on your break away. I always think London is magical at this time of year. x

  4. That looks like a lovely time out taking in the magical Christmas sights.


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