Birthday trip to London 

Birthday trip to London 

We’ve just returned from 2 days (child free) in London to celebrate my birthday so I thought I’d share my favourite places we visited. 

Hotel Indigo Tower Hill 

We stayed at The Hotel Indigo about 5 minutes walk from The Tower of London and a few minutes from Aldgate Tube Station. I wanted to be close to the City/ Southbank area and this was in a good location. We got a good deal with it being a Sunday and were really lucky to get an upgrade, the views were amazing. The room was fairly big with a super comfy bed, amazing  rainfall shower and even a complimentary mini bar with Water, soft drinks & cereal bars (especially appreciated after sampling the Gin bars around Bermondsey the evening before). 

I’d definitely recommend this hotel for exploring this area of London and hopefully we will be able to return soon.

View from our room
View from our room
Hotel Room


Maltby Street Market 

The first place we headed to was Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey. This is a street food market with a few bars that let you eat your food at their tables if you are having a drink there. We loved it! There was such a wide variety of food and a great atmosphere. We had an amazing burrito, Gyozo from ‘ the Gyozo Guys’ & sampled some Gins from Jensen and Little Bird Gin both of which I loved. If you love street food Maltby Street is definitely one to put on your list. 

Maltby Street Market
The Gyozo Guys
Little Bird Gin
Little Bird Gin

José Tapas Bar  

On Saturday evening we went to José tapas bar on Bermondsey Street. We love tapas so I’d researched the tapas bars in the area and I wasn’t disappointed. Every dish we tried was extremely tasty & Fresh. We had the Croquetas Caseras, Mussels ,Mixed Cheese with quince & Jamón Ibérico. The portions were quite big so we found this plenty. Along with the food, two glasses of Rioja and two beers the bill come to £56 (including service charge) which was really good considering we both agreed it was some of the best tapas we’ve had both here and in Spain. It’s quite small and you can’t book so be prepared to wait but it’s definitely worth it. 

José Tapas Bar
José Tapas Bar
José Tapas Bar
José Tapas Bar
214 Bermondsey

After our Tapas we went to 214 Bermondsey, on Bermondsey Street a few minutes from José. As part of their Sunday Social offer they have a gin flight for £11 (usually £18). I’m a recent convert to gin so loved the idea of tasting different gins and guessing the different flavours in each.We had the Orient Express, you are given 3 different gins (Colombo, Ophir and Star of Bombay) and Bermondsey tonic water without being told which is which. The answers are in an envelope to be opened once you have made your guesses. It was a fun way to taste the different drinks. The staff were really knowledgable and friendly and their was a really good choice of drinks. 

214 Bermondsey

The Breakfast Club 

On Monday morning we headed to The  Breakfast Club on Southwark Street, near London Bridge. We visited 2 of their other restaurants when were in London last time so definitely wanted to try this one. There was a big queue even on a Monday morning, it was definitely worth the wait though and shows how good the food is. I had the Huevos Al Benny with Home style potatoes & Stu The full Monty, we were both really impressed. It was Definitely needed after sampling the gins the evening before. 

The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club

Borough Market 

We visited on a Monday so Borough wasn’t fully open but what we did see we loved. There was a street food market with lots of different stalls, but we visited just after breakfast. Next time we go to London we will make sure we visit when everything is open as the range and quality of stalls is amazing. 

Borough Market
Borough Market

Monmouth Coffee 

I’m a coffee lover and quite a few people recommend Monmouth to me, I loved their coffee and the range is so wide. We went for the blend of the day and really enjoyed it. Well worth a visit if you are a coffee fan. 

Monmouth Coffee

Tate Modern

We then headed along the Southbank to the Tate to check out their new viewing terrace on the top floor or the Blavatnik building.The views across London are amazing I’d definitely say it’s must visit. It’s free to enter the Tate but their is donation points around the building. 

Tate Modern Viewing Terrace
Tate Modern Viewing Terrace
Tate Modern Viewing Terrace
Tate Modern Viewing Terrace

Sky Garden

We went to the Sky Garden twice we were that impressed by it. Once at our pre booked slot of 3pm (book a week in advance) and once in the evening where you can just walk up. Although booking for a table in the evening needs to be done in advance so I’d recommend checking out the website for the best advice on how far in advance to book. There are also restaurants that are bookable. The views are incredible and we were lucky enough to see sunset which was amazing, we then went back a few hours later to see London at night. The bar was expensive a glass of prosecco & a pint was around £16 but I think the views more than make up for this and it’s worth it as a treat. You obviously don’t have to buy any food or drink while you are there but it was a lovely way to toast my birthday. 

Sunset at Sky Garden
Sky Garden
Sky Garden
Sunset at Sky Garden
Sunset at Sky Garden
Sky Garden
Sky Garden
Sky Garden at Night
Sky Garden
Sky Garden

Pizza Union

We wanted something quick for tea before our train home and after a quick look on trip advisor decided on the Spitalfields branch of Pizza Union. We loved the Pizza and it was extremely good value at around £21 for 2 12 inch pizzas, a Nutella dough ring dessert & a large Peroni. The ingredients were really fresh & both pizzas were full of flavour. The service was extremely quick as well. Definitely worth a visit if you fancy a pizza and are close by. 

Pizza Union
Pizza Union

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The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

In the run up to Halloween Chester Zoo staged a special event ‘The Enchantment of Chester Zoo’ as members we were able to attend this event for free. 

The Zoo had been cast under the spell of an evil sorcerer and it was our job to help save it. The event started with an introduction by various characters to explain what had happened and how we could save the zoo. This was brilliant and so interactive. 

We had to visit 3 animals the tarantulas, aardvarks and the bats learning a fact at each animal in order to receive some potion. At the end all the potion was added to a big cauldron and we received a certificate to thank us for saving the zoo. 

Finn really enjoyed the day, even though he didn’t fully understand the tasks he loved all the characters and it was an opportunity for us to visit animals we wouldn’t normally go to. 

The Autumn & early winter (as well as spring) are definitely my favourite times to visit the zoo as it is quieter and looks beautiful with the changing seasons. I’d definitely recommend a visit at this time of year if you can. 

Mattel Play, Liverpool 

Mattel Play, Liverpool 

We love Mattel Play, in Liverpool. We visited a few weeks ago for the second time and Finn had a brilliant time. 


It’s located on the Albert Dock and has Thomas the Tank, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam themed play areas. We booked online and entry cost £19 for the 3 of us. Each session lasts 2 hours. 


Finn’s favourite is Thomas, there’s a ball pool, a pedal operated train, large models of the engines & plenty of other activities. He loved this section and was so excited to see the characters. 


We even got to meet Fireman Sam, he came out onto the stage area and danced to the theme tune. The children could then have their photo taken with him. Finn ran straight to the front. 


Bob the builder is ideal for older children as it has more activities they can get involved in like drawing, mega blocks and hand operated diggers. Finn still really enjoyed this section though. 


Fireman Sam is the last area you come to. This has a slide, a replica shop, a fireman’s pole, a model boat & fire engine. Finn loved sitting in the fire engine and pretending to drive. 


We spent about an hour and a half there but would have happily spent the full 2 hours if Finn wasn’t tired. We visited each section twice. It is definitely excellent value for money and we will be regular visitors. 

In the Night Garden Live

In the Night Garden Live

We had an amazing day at In the Night Garden Live at the Trafford Centre. Finn was so excited as soon as we got in the Showdome, As there is projections on the ceiling of the Ninky Nonk. It ran really smoothly getting to your seats and there was a countdown to the show. The seating is  steps with plenty of room so he could move around. 


The show was brilliant and it was lovely to see how excited all the children got as the charachters came onto the stage. 


We bought Finn an Iggle Piggle teddy and a balloon which came to £17.50 expensive but probably about the same as similar attractions. 

​I’d definitely recommend booking the meet the character experience Finn loved meeting Iggle Piggle. You choose one character and the time slot  is in order of who booked first. We booked last minute so had about an hours wait. You get a text with a link  so  you can track how long is left. 

I’d definitely recomend for any In the Night Garden fans, we had a lovely day. ​

Our Favourite Days Out 

Our Favourite Days Out 

We are very lucky as close to us in Chester, we have a lot of days out and activities suitable for toddlers. These are the current places  we love to visit. 

Chester Zoo 

We live about 10 minutes away from the Zoo and are annual pass holders, we love it. We are lucky as we can pop in for an hour or 2 or spend the day there. The recent addition of Island’s means there’s lots more to discover as well. I’d definitely recommend a visit if you haven’t been. 


Chester City Centre 

I never really thought of the city centre as child friendly until I had Finn, but there’s plenty to do with kids. We like to go to the Wesley Centre which is a church with a café and a play area for children and toddlers. We also love Grosvenor Park and will have a picnic there if the weather is nice. Finn then loves to go on the swings and  we walk down to the river and feed the ducks. 


Greenacres Animal Park 

This is a lovely farm located about 15 minutes away from us. It has a petting area which Finn loves he has bottle fed a baby goat and petted a snake, owl, rabbit and a skunk. There are plenty of animals to see, a play park and a soft play area. 


Soft Play 

We love soft play centres on a rainy day. Finn is a typical toddler with plenty of energy so when we can’t get out I take him to a  play centre so he can burn some energy. He loves the slides and ball pools. There are quite a few choices near us and they often do free days in term time. 


Cheshire Ice Cream Farm 

The Ice Cream farm is another attraction we are lucky to live about 15 minutes drive from. I have done a full review of the Ice Cream farm  Here. There’s a soft play, a park, a farm, a sand and water play, mini golf, go carts and plenty more. Not to mention the Ice Cream. I’d definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area.