Saturday, 21 August 2021

A family trip to London. The Zoo, rainforest cafe, Fortnum & Mason’s sundaes & empty wallets!!



We had a fabulous couple of days in London to kickstart the summer holidays. Although if those few days are anything to go by then I’m declaring bankruptcy by the end of August πŸ˜‚ 


When you put your super plans into action you then need to pay for it all and days out don’t always happen cheaply. 


Keeping the children entertained over the six week holidays isn’t easy especially at the moment with the unpredictable weather.


We spent 3 days in London and it was fab. The children wanted to visit London Zoo again which was a lovely day out. The weather was kind to us that day too which helped massively. 


When we arrived on the Sunday we went straight to the hotel to ditch the suitcases and go and explore. Within seconds of stepping into the hotel the heavens opened and we had no choice but to sit in the hotel bar, wait for our room and watch the Olympics! It wasn’t a great start and I did start panicking about the weather for the days ahead. 


That evening we managed to get out for a walk along the South Bank. It was still drizzling with rain but warm so we stayed out for about half an hour. Not a great start to the couple of days we had planned but we did what we could. 


The next day we woke up to a lovely warm day (thank goodness). It was zoo day. The children love the zoo and there is so much to see. We arrived at 10am and started on one of the many routes around the zoo. Each child had a different animal that they were desperate to see (or also avoid in some cases). Thing 5 loves the sloths, Thing 2 loves the lemurs. They all love the gift shop!! 








We spent four hours wandering around the zoo and saw every animal. We love walking through the sections that are ‘in with the’ like the lemurs and monkeys. There is also in with the butterflies which Thing 2 hates and in with the spiders which didn’t appeal to some either. The spiders are on the large side and if you don’t look carefully you can get a little closer than you wanted to πŸ˜¬ 


We had booked the rainforest cafe restaurant for our evening meal. The Things wanted to go last year when we visited London but it never happened so thought it was perfect for after a day at the zoo. 


I was slightly unimpressed with the rainforest cafe. We had all been looking forward to it for so long. Our starters arrived with our mains and although we tried explaining to the waiter that we didn’t want it all together he didn’t understand what we were saying so in the end I just let him put it all on the table. I gave up trying to get my point across and by this point we were all hungry! 


Afterwards we walked down to Hamleys and the children had a good look around the shop across all floors. Be careful though! Hamleys prices are slightly more than other shops and the Nerf fun that Thing 5 spotted for £75 I found on Amazon for £20 πŸ˜± I’m all for letting the children choose a treat in the toy shop and we didn’t leave empty handed but I also refuse to pay £55 over the odds for something. Needless to say it was ordered on Amazon ready for his birthday the next week. 





On our last day I had booked a treat at Fortnum and Mason. I love going to look around their store and myself and Dadof5 have enjoyed their afternoon tea in the Diamond Jubilee tearoom which we thoroughly enjoyed so I booked The Parlour for ice cream sundaes. Again this was something I was really looking forward to and looking forward to treating the children to. 








You can build your own super sundae with a choice of ice creams, sorbets, sauces, toppings and finishing touches. So many flavour combinations to choose from. 


We were 10 minutes late which I was so annoyed about, I hate being late. We walked across from our hotel to the store and I had underestimated how slow Thing 5 would be on our journey. Anyway once seated we were served drinks relatively promptly and were asked if we were ready to order, I asked for a few more minutes. 20 minutes later we still hadn’t been asked if we were now ready. Thing 3 was sat under a very cold air conditioning vent and was freezing πŸ₯Ά and Thing 5 was having a meltdown. I was slowly losing it πŸ˜‚ 


We managed to get the waiters attention and placed all of our orders for sundaes. Lots of different flavour combinations were chosen by everyone and the sundaes arrived fairly promptly. They were delicious. So much choice when it comes to creating your sundae and we all enjoyed and finished our sundae (apart from Thing 5 who didn’t like his πŸ™„). 


I really liked the sundaes but was definitely underwhelmed with the experience. Thing 4’s sundae wasn’t as impressive as I thought for the price and I was slightly disappointed compared to the experience and attentiveness of staff elsewhere in the store and restaurants within Fortnum and Mason. 


Travelling to London from our home town takes just 38 mins on the fastest train which is a real bonus for me. I love travelling into London even just for a day trip and love staying there too. 


There is so much more we can see and do too. The children want to visit the London Dungeons and the London Eye. Thing 5 wants to go on an open top bus around the city too which we’ve never done before. We also need to try different hotels too. We stayed in the Premier Inn County Hall which is right by the South Bank near the London Eye. It’s always served us well and only used as a quick base for sleeping and maybe a pit stop between activities etc… but we do need to try more hotels that London has to offer, there are so many to choose from. 


We will definitely be back in London soon. We love visiting the city and can always find lots to do when we are there. It’s always worth trying new restaurant experiences and finding new activities to do too. 


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