BLOOMSBURY & AROUND : A FAMILY DAY OUT
If you haven’t been yet, next time you are in the Bloomsbury/ Kings Cross area look out for the wonderful dance centre The Place, which is situated off the Euston Road (opposite The British Library). It is situated bang in the heart of what I call real ‘Children’s London’, as it is the home to the Great Ormand Street Children’s Hospital, JM Barries ‘Peter Pan’ and a hop skip and a jump away from some fantastic and fun things for the whole family to do.
Often missed by visitors, Coram’s Fields a 7 acre (kids only) playground with animal farm is on the doorstep of Kings Cross & St Pancras Stations, and also very close to The British Museum. It has a lovely Austrian/Viennese cafe Kipferl, football pitches, adventure playground, small farm with chickens, sheep and pets and is a real community driven institution that is totally charity funded and hosts a great range of drop-in activities for kids of all ages.
5 mins away is the uber stylish Lambs Conduit Street. A perfect spot for a deli-lunch, coffee, books, and home to our friends Thornback & Peel (homewares), Oliver Spencer (menswear), Persephone Bookshop. Here you will find Great Ormond Street Hospital home to Peter Pan the JM Barrie novel, and around the corner back towards the Euston Road, The Brunswick Centre (great architecture and food/shopping), The Foundling Museum, and Ciao Bella the best ever family italian restaurant.
You can’t really miss these majestic iconic train stations, especially as they have both Kings Cross & St Pancras have been given incredible multi-million pound overhauls they are sparkling and glistening for everyone to admire.
Euston Station provides the gate-way from London to the West Midlands, the North West and North Wales (and parts of Scotland) . It is brilliant for making the 5 minute trip to the Wellcome Collection (just opposite the station by UCHospital). You can also walk into the West End, Regents Park, and Camden from the station.
KINGS CROSS & GRANARY SQUARE
Kings Cross is still going through a huge re-development. It is a shopping destination in itself, and for us a favourite place as it is the big daddy to our treasure Granary Square water fountains & St Martins School of Art. It is a great family spot as they have delicious street food on Fridays and weekends from KERB, a great place to sit and play on the (fake) grass banks by Regents Canal, or have a smoothie and the best coffee from Caravan restaurant in Granary Sq. Each summer they host unique pop-up events and festivals, such as ice-cream festivals, roller discos, children book festivals and music concerts.
An Art Desination
St Pancras (home to the Eurostar and national rail to the Midlands) is worth walking through just to hear the passers by playing one of the ‘public’ pianos.
It is almost and Art destination in itself as you can see three icons in the station; the Sir John Betjeman statue, ‘the Lovers’ statue by Paul Day and the Dent Clock. Less well-known is that its plinth carries a beautiful high-relief frieze in bronze, featuring images from the history of the tube and train.
Most recently the station has installed its first sculpture on the terrace wires. Cloud: Meteoros is designed to unite people inside the station with the world outside. Much like a Greek Agora (meeting place), the cloud will hover above the buzz of visitors to St Pancras and the figures gently resting on top echo the passengers waiting on the platforms below.
Shopping & Eating
To keep your energy up and a smile on your face, buy a treat from the one of the many many shops ; Foyles Accessorize, Fat Face , Fossil, JD Sports, Joules, L.K.Bennett, Marks & Spencer, Monsoon, Oliver Bonas, Thomas Pink, Cath Kidston Hamleys, Isle of Flowers, Links of London, Neuhaus, Rolling, Luggage, The White Company.
Or you can have a posh ice-cream from Gelato Mio, or get your lunch from a huge range of cafes and restaurants. M&S, Benugo, Yo Sushi, Fine Burger Company, Le Pain Quotidien, Carluccios, Carluccio’s DesVins Café & Wine Bar, Searcys Champagne Bar, Searcys at St Pancras Grand, The Betjeman Arms, The Booking Office Bar, The Gilbert Scott, or Wine Pantry! That’s enough choice to make you lose your appetite, and your credit card I know. xo