Stop buying, start borrowing! Library of Things Woolwich now open to local residents

Are you tired of buying things that you only end up using once then it goes into the murky depths of your storage cupboards? Have you ever wished that there could be a place where you can rent household items and then hand back once you’re done? If the answer’s yes to either of those questions then sign up online and get yourself down to your local Library of Things.

Whether it’s a pasta making machine or a sewing machine you’re after, you’re bound to find something you can borrow. There are a number of places in London (which I am sure will soon expand rapidly!) which have opened up over the years and it’s now arrived in the neighbourhood of Woolwich.

Continue reading “Stop buying, start borrowing! Library of Things Woolwich now open to local residents”

London’s Most Beautiful Parks for a Summer Picnic

As the UK is on the roadmap out of lockdown, rule of six regulations are reintroduced and the sun is starting to shine. As we take advantage of finally being able to see friends and family outdoors again, it is important we choose the right spot to help maintain social distancing guidelines.

With 3,000 of London’s parks to choose from, researchers at Essential Living can tell you which of London’s parks are ideal for a summer picnic. Taking the Ordnance Survey list of biggest parks, the team have extracted the six largest within Greater London to reveal where you can relax and enjoy your long overdue catch up with the comfort of large space.

Here are London’s 6 largest parks:

Richmond Park, Greater London – 9.53km²

Image: Royal Parks

Richmond Park, situated in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is the largest of London’s Royal Parks with an impressive size of 9.53km², meaning it may be the best place to go for social distancing. 

Essential Living has calculated that it could fit a whopping 684,788 visitors with everyone maintaining two metres between each other. 

Along with its wide open spaces, grasslands and deer herds, there is the Pen Ponds Cafe, located near Broomfield Hill. Serving a wide range of hot and cold snacks and beverages, you are spoilt for choice with bacon rolls and freshly brewed coffee followed by ice cream and biscotti.

Hainault Forest Country Park – 3.62km²

Hainault Forest Country Park is a Country Park located in Greater London. With 3.62km² of space this park is perfect for keeping your distance from others, whilst still enjoying its open space parklands, numerous public footpaths, Hainault Forest Golf Club and Fox Burrow Farm.

If you run out of snacks or refreshments, you can nip to Le Bistro Loco for some freshly ground coffee, locally baked patisseries and hot paninis and sandwiches, which you can enjoy in the spacious outdoor seating area. 

Bushy Park, Greater London – 3.45km²

Linked to Hampton Court Palace by the Longford River, Bushy Park is famed for its mix of waterways, gardens and grassland, and roaming herds of red and fallow deer. With 3.45km² of open space, maintaining social distancing isn’t an issue.

The Pheasantry Cafe refreshment point is located at the Diana Car Park, open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in the winter. You can tuck into their traditional bacon rolls or a variety of sandwiches and hot dogs, whilst washing it down with a freshly brewed continental coffee or a nice refreshing fruit smoothie.

Hampstead Heath 3.16km²

Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most popular open spaces with beautiful countryside, located just four miles from Trafalgar Square, the heath has some of the best views and highest points in London for everyone to enjoy. 

Open from 9 am until dusk, the Golders Hill Park Refreshment House is ideal for a quick healthy lunch bite to eat, offering takeout soups, pasta pots and salads. Customers have also mentioned their great cappuccinos and comfortingly hot cups of tea for the perfect winter warmer. 

Wimbledon Common – 2.90km²

Wimbledon and Putney Commons are countryside escapes amidst the urban surroundings of Wimbledon, Putney and Kingston-upon-Thames. The Commons offers 1,140 acres of calm and tranquillity amid the urban surroundings of Wimbledon, providing an important home for wildlife and a place for visitors to relax and unwind. 

Next to the famous Windmill Museum, the Windmill Tearooms is the perfect pit-stop for a refreshing bite if you are on a relaxing summer stroll. They continued to provide for walkers despite lockdown, offering a choice of hot and cold drinks as well as their selection of homemade cakes, tray bakes and famous bread pudding.

Hampton Court Park – 2.59km²

Hampton Court Park is a walled royal park managed by the Historic Royal Palaces, lies between the gardens of Hampton Court Palace and Kingston upon Thames and Surbiton in south west London. Its beautiful open space is perfect for those socially distanced gatherings (up to 6 people only though, remember).

The Molesey Lock cafe situated by Hampton Court Bridge has a wonderful garden oasis, perfect for enjoying their freshly made sandwiches and wonderful pots of tea. Perfect for fulfilling the needs of passers-by on their long journey.


Press release originally published by Essential Living

Note: Methodology and Data Sources
Using the Ordnance Survey’s list of 100 biggest parks, we extracted the six largest parks within Greater London and calculated how many people could visit the park based on its size and also keeping two metres away from each other. This was calculated by multiplying the number of people that can fit in a 1km2 area whilst keeping 2 metres distance between them (71,856) by the area of each park.

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/news/britains-100-biggest-parks 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Greenwich Dance - Up My Street Online

Greenwich Dance receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund

Greenwich Dance has been awarded £192,820 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary announced on Saturday 17 October.

Greenwich Dance is one of 588 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support – with £76 million of investment announced over the weekend. This follows £257 million awarded earlier last week to 1,385 organisations, also from the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Throughout the pandemic Greenwich Dance, already operating peripatetically, has reinvented itself as a dance organisation ‘without walls’, building a dynamic online home for itself and the artists it works with. Within this the team will create a revolutionary new creation space which has the potential to transform the way dance is created and presented. Using this model Greenwich Dance will restart the creation of original work safely with 70% of the grant amount going directly to artists and freelancers.

Melanie Precious, Chief Executive Officer of Greenwich Dance said “This grant will be transformational for us as well as for the artists we work with. In applying for this grant our concern extended beyond our own future to that of the independent freelance workforce, without whom Greenwich Dance would have no purpose or mandate. Whist we recognised that this fund was not being offered for experimentation we also felt certain that without new ideas the sector could not survive. We are thrilled and relieved to be in receipt of this funding so that we can work to keep artists creating.”

A previous Greenwich Dance performance / Credit: Greenwich Dance‎ – Up My Street Online with Temujin Gill via Facebook

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is more vital funding to protect cultural gems across the country, save jobs and prepare the arts to bounce back. Through Arts Council England we are delivering the biggest ever investment in the arts in record time. Hundreds of millions of pounds are already making their way to thousands of organisations. These awards build on our commitment to be here for culture in every part of the country.”

“Culture is an essential part of life across the country, helping to support people’s wellbeing through creativity and self-expression, bringing communities together, and fuelling our world class creative industries.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England

Sir Nicholas also stated: “This latest set of awards from the Culture Recovery Fund builds on those announced recently and will help hundreds of organisations to survive the next few months, ensuring that the cultural sector can bounce back after the crisis. We will continue doing everything we can to support artists and cultural and creative organisations, with further funding to be announced in the coming weeks.”

You can read the original press release on the Greenwich Dance blog here

This financial injection will be the lifeline booster our local arts and cultural businesses need to stay afloat during the ongoing pandemic, which continues to cripple other businesses and sectors around the world.

Looking for dance classes online? Greenwich Dance have a wide range class styles online from African Fusion, Ballroom, and Latin to family dance and kids hip hop. Click below for more info.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | London Family and Lifestyle Blog

Mothercare Greenwich: New store celebrates with #Welcometotheclub launch event

NOTE: Mothercare Greenwich store has now closed down permanently. Please check online for your nearest Mothercare store.

At the beginning of November to launch the new opening of the Mothercare Greenwich store which is based over at the Brocklebank retail park in Charlton (near to the Wickes Charlton store for you locals), the big parenting brand partnered with a team of top parenting experts, including Zoe De Pass of @DressLikeaMum, to host an exciting interactive evening, offering honest advice and tips to expectant parents.

It was a brilliant event and a shame as I wasn’t able to make it because everyone looked like they had loads of fun! Those who attended received personal shopping experiences, exclusive discounts on top of the special workshops and talks hosted by parenting experts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mothercare Greenwich Parenting Event
Photo by @Dresslikeamum / Instagram

Hosts from the night…

Zoe De Pass – trendy mummy, influencer and fashion blogger
Zoe is known for her fantastic taste in mum-friendly attire that is super stylish. I love looking at her instagram page for style inspo. At the event she spoke about how maternity style can be done without compromise. The mother of two and fashion blogger is on a mission to challenge misconceptions of dressing like a mum. Zoe also introduced her picks from Mothercare’s capsule collection, THE EDIT, which includes trend-led separates and dresses that can be mixed and matched to offer fashionable yet comfortable solutions to dressing during pregnancy and nursing. It’s great that there’s now a wide range of stylish maternity wear to choose from.

Beth Kitt – midwife and parenting book author
New parent myths like baby brain were dispelled by midwife and author Beth Kitt. Curious parents-to-be could ask as many questions about parenting and parenthood to their heart’s content. With years of experience in midwifery, Beth shared her invaluable tips on pregnancy and surviving the first few weeks with a new baby. She is the author of the book, ‘The Bump to Baby Chapter’.

Liz Day – parenting consultant
Liz talked about the ultimate hospital bag checklist to prepare expectant parents for labour, birth and the first few hours with a newborn. From nursing bras and birthing plans, to headphones for labour playlists, and cotton nightwear to stay cool. This is one talk that I would highly recommend to all new parents. When I was a first time mum, I never got the chance to attend these kind of events (I’d always missed them ironically) but my BabyCentre forum helped me out a lot! A lot of the mums on there were 2nd time mums so they gave me a great insight on what’s essential to bring and what’s not too important.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mothercare Greenwich #welcometotheclub Launch Event
Zoe shows us one of her fave picks / Photo by Mothercare

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mothercare Greenwich #welcometotheclub Launch Event
Photo by Mothercare

So as you can see, attendees were treated to a night filled with fabulous people and information. With the event being a great turnout, Mothercare Greenwich has already lined up their next store event. On Sunday 10th December (10:30am-12:30pm) they will be hosting their Expectant Parent event – you can reserve your free space at Mothercare Greenwich here.

The Expectant Parent Event will be running from December 3-10 2017 at Mothercare stores around the UK. You can find your nearest participating store in the link at the bottom of this post. It’s a free event but you have to reserve your space. The event will include car safety and car seat fitting advice, the latest sleep safety advice (very important as sometimes this changes year to year following new research), pushchair and pram choices, and even baby and child first aid however this is at selected stores only.

On their website, you can also join their MyMothercare club to get email notifications of when they have new events, invitations to exclusive events, special discounts including money off-vouchers, be the first to know about their sales and much more. I’m a part of the MyMothercare club and I love it.

(featured image – photo credit: James Graham/Linkedin)


For more info about the brand’s expectant parent event and your nearest participating store:  https://www.mothercare.com/advice-buying-guides-and-services/services/expectant-parent-event/services-ms-parent-event.html

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review

Food Review: Beefeaters Woolwich

Being on my fitness journey, I have learnt that being healthy is not about restricting yourself or cutting out foods, it’s about making better food choices but also allowing yourself to eat freely from time to time. That is what makes healthy eating more sustainable.

I don’t believe in all the ‘clean eating’ stuff, I’m more of the flexible IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) eating kinda gal. 🙂 Even sometimes macro counting goes out of the window for me. I still make conscious decisions to watch my carb intake – not because I don’t want to eat a lot of carbs – but because of my gestational diabetes diagnoses in both pregnancies I just want to err on the cautious side of things.

Last week I visited this lovely new steak restaurant, Beefeater Woolwich. Woolwich Arsenal has undergone a series of redevelopments to sass up the area. Not a bad thing as it’s nice to bring fresh people to the area but I can’t help feeling like eventually my lovely rough-around-the-edges town will become fully gentrified. Last year’s Marks and Spencer relaunch was nice to witness because there’d always been an M&S in Woolwich so it was welcomed back with open arms. However I am not so sure if the same can be said for some of the other new food places that have cropped up there.

First Impressions
Beefeater in Woolwich is located on the main road underneath its Premier Inn hotel counterpart. I suppose quite a few of the hotel residents would dine here are its the closest restaurant to the hotel (Nandos is second) that opens late enough for food in Woolwich. From the outside, the restaurant looks quite modest and blends in well with the surroundings, only the giant signage gives away their location. My table was booked for 6:30pm and by then it was already dark outside so luckily the brightly lit sign helped me find my way to the restaurant entrance.IMG_9270

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I went along as a lone diner as my dining partner (my sister) had to drop out at the last minute. I didn’t mind but felt a little apprehensive because I have never really dined alone and just had visions of being seen as a loner whilst everyone else was sitting with their friends and family eating, laughing and having fun. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. I was greeted by a lovely member of staff who escorted me to my table. I told her I was dining alone and she sat me opposite the open kitchen and said that the booth is popular with people who dine alone and work/business diners who need to use their laptops whilst lunching/dining. That made me feel a little bit more at ease.

The interior decor has a modern rustic look with wooden panels and a mix of leather sofas and fabric chairs. I really liked the industrial-inspired lighting and beef cuts hanging decoration. I also loved my view of the open kitchen, I would definitely ask to be seated in the same place I sat.

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Menus for the evening; an a la carte menu and a set menu to choose from

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My view of the open kitchen

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Loving the decor of the place and the big beef cuts hanging plaque

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The Menu
From hindsight, the options I chose may not appeal to everyone but I really enjoyed my dishes. After speaking with my sister, she made a big deal about not combining seafood with steak – I didn’t know that was even a thing but there you go. Lesson learnt. The food was good, the portions were very generous and the price was affordable. I would definitely recommend Beefeater Woolwich to anyone who is local, travelling to the area or staying nearby. It’s our first steak restaurant in the area and I am sure they will become a popular choice for families wanting to eat out.

The Food
As soon as I was sat down, the host took my drinks order; I don’t drink so just went for a diet cola and a glass of water. For starters, I ordered the garlic prawn pan – I really fancied something not too heavy and you can’t really go wrong with grilled prawns. The starter took about 7-10 mins to arrive and it was lovely, hot and well presented.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Garlic prawn pan with ciabatta bread

The prawns were cooked well, not overdone nor under-cooked and I used the bread to dip the sauce that was in the pan. It tasted fresh and slightly buttery, I couldn’t really taste the garlic so my suggestion would be not to be scared of using a bit more to bring out the garlic flavour – after all, it is called garlic prawn pan. It took me 5 minutes or less to demolish the dish. I was hungry. It tasted good and I wanted more. There was decent amount of prawns in there and not a measly amount like 3-4 prawns which you can sometimes get in other restaurants. My plates were cleared relatively quickly by my waitress as I waited for my main course. I opted for the Beefeater Surf ‘n’ Turf with the prawn and lobster sauce and swapped my triple-cooked chips for sweet potato chips.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Surf ‘n’ Turf sirloin steak with king prawns (I swapped the triple cooked chips for sweet potato chips)

“All our steaks are served with half a slow-roasted tomato, grilled mushroom, Lamb’s lettuce and unlimited triple cooked chips.” Beefeater menu

I had my steak cooked medium-well and it came out beautifully. The steak was tender, juicy and not bloody at all but still nice and pinkish inside. The king prawns were also very tasty but less can be said for the prawn and lobster sauce. I knew I should’ve chosen the peppercorn sauce but wanted to be different. All I could think was the saying “stick to what you know” because that really would’ve been the best option. The sauce didn’t taste much like prawn or lobster but more of just a mild creamy sauce. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t fantastic either. The flavour of the sauce was just not strong enough.

I ordered creamed spinach as a side which I’ve had at restaurants before and loved but this time it was a little more overdone than I would’ve liked. The spinach did not have the texture as I was used to – it was more like an okra texture – good thing I love okra! I’ve never tried making creamed spinach but I guess it’s not easy as it would be so easy to overcook spinach. It was still tasty nevertheless so it didn’t bother me too much.

The grilled mushroom was amazing – the taste was lovely and cooked perfectly. I didn’t think the mushroom would taste that nice but it did! The sweet potato chips were nice but I wished they were presented in a small bowl instead of on the main plate. I love chips that have a crunch on the outside but about 80% of my chips were either soggy or soft due to the moisture of them. Perhaps sweet potato chips soak up more juice than triple-cooked chips so I don’t think other diners would have the same problem. If I had this dish again I would ask for my chips to be served in a separate bowl. I left the salad leaves and grilled tomato as I’m not a fan of them but they looked tasty and fresh.

I was really full after finishing the main course. I did really struggle to eat all of my chips but ate the majority of them because I don’t like to waste food and didn’t want to be hungry when I got home. I had to think twice about ordering dessert and was stuck between choosing the lighter chocolate torte and the chocolate brownie. With the recommendation of the host, I went for the brownie. Calorie and macro counting had already gone out of the window by now so I wasn’t bothered – I just wanted something nice and sweet to end my evening.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Rich chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream

The host gave me some breathing time before taking my dessert order which was great. It gave my belly enough time to settle and make some room for something sweet. 🙂 When the brownie arrived it looked amazing, it was very well presented. The chocolate brownie slice was of a generous portion and so was the ice cream. The chocolate sauce drizzle looked so pretty and executed with precision. I tucked into my brownie and was not disappointed.

The brownie was rich, soft and moist on the inside and slightly firmer on the outside – like how brownies should be. The ice cream was very milky and mildly vanilla flavoured which complimented the richness of the brownie. A well-balanced dessert I thought. A coffee would’ve been great for after dessert but as I was getting tired, I decided to skip the coffee and head off home.

My verdict?
I like this place. It’s good food, well priced for its portion size and has a lovely family-friendly atmosphere. I would definitely go back again.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger - Mum approved!