Tag Archives: London

Things to miss about Shoreditch pt.2

Now that we’re leaving the area, naturally I’m dwelling on all the things I like about it: the narrow, Dickensian streets, the Barbican, the coffee stand in Fortune St park run by the nice Aussie bloke and the girl I thought was a Kiwi but who turned out to be a Geordie (such is my ear for accents).

And, as always with East London, there are new places popping up all the time. On Saturday I checked out Story Deli in Redchurch Street, which has relocated from its old premises off Brick Lane. Run by a former Vogue stylist and her husband, it serves what are hands-down London’s best pizzas (way better than Pizza East, or that place in Brixton everyone bangs on about). At £15 apiece, they’re also its most expensive, mind you. I was quite huffy about the price until I tried one:

The shit iPhone picture isn’t really doing it justice. They’re also massive – we found that one between us was plenty.

Despite the ELLE Deco décor, it’s the most child-friendly eaterie I’ve been to in a long time (ever?) thanks to one ingenious touch… A box of Brio. The owners have left one in a corner, meaning that my two-year-old – the kid who would have been shouting/running around/generally pissing you off – was silently engrossed in trains for the duration of our meal. Heaven. If only all café owners would do the same.

I’m going to miss the people here, too. When we were set to move to Battersea, I was slating South West Londoners (for being thickie minor-public-schoolkids with an inflated sense of importance, penchant for spotty Emma Bridgewater crockery, etc), when my friend gently pointed out that there were some people who thought that Shoreditch, too, was chock-full of idiots. Oops, point taken. If you haven’t seen this already, it sums them up far better than I ever could:

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Filed under General rants and moans, Kids, parenting... Non-mums may want to move along, Yum... Food

The joys of soft play

Yesterday I went to hell. Or, more specifically, Gambado during the school holidays.

Gambado is your average soft-play centre, only bigger and more garish. It being the holidays, there were a lot of older children there. What you forget about older children, when you spend little time with them and have been hoodwinked by sentimental Victorian notions of innocence and purity, is that most of them are vile little shits, who would smilingly murder each other if it meant they got to the slide quicker. I stood near a large group of them in Bunhill Fields the other day, their picnicking parents close by but out of earshot, doubtless grateful their offspring were playing so nicely. Except they weren’t. They were tormenting each other, calling each other knobhead and loser, and kicking footballs aimed squarely at each other’s faces. And those were the nice ones, the ones called Arlo and Felix, who have long hair and wear organic, fair-trade cotton tees.

Anyway, Gambado. Don’t know why I went there. For a start it’s in Chelsea Wharf, possibly the hardest place in London to get to from Shoreditch. I couldn’t face driving, and the law of the underground is that, if there is a lift, it will be out of order, and you’ll have to stand teetering a buggy over the top of the stairs until someone volunteers to help. You’ll then smile gratefully, making out like you didn’t realise buggy + kid + all the random kid crap = around 60 kilos, thanking them as they quietly despise you for daring to take the Tube in rush hour when everybody knows it is only for office workers during this time. ‘You won’t need to go to the gym now!’ you’ll joke as, red-face and panting, they drop the buggy at the other end, a light film of sweat coating their brow. Nyuh, they’ll grunt, silently vowing never to help another mother again. I know, I’m spoiling it for everybody.

To top it off, the boy didn’t much like Gambado. He screamed much of the time he was there, hating the crowds and finding the bumper cars too scary. What I am learning about small boys is that they do not need complex entertainment. Show them a building site or some public transport and they’re pigs in shit. Fifteen quid on a warehouse full of soft-play equipment is frankly a waste of money. Although, to be fair, my Mum friends tell me that on a Monday morning during term time it’s a different place altogether, which no doubt means that at some point I’ll be persuaded into giving it another go.

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Filed under General rants and moans, Kids, parenting... Non-mums may want to move along

Back in London

So we’re back from LA, and having taken a toddler to Sea World, the zoo, Travel Town and 55 other places designed to keep carping kids amused, I’ve learned that for him there is no greater entertainment than standing beside a toilet and watching it flush.

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Want to know how to get cheap spa treatments in London?

Then check this out.

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Filed under The bits I can't think of a category for