Bernardi's, the popular Italian restaurant and bar on the local foodie haven of Seymour Street, has recently launched a kid's set menu which looks great.
For those of you who haven't been, the food is fresh and delicious and the space is large, bright and airy. The basement bar is also great and they serve delicious cocktails. They have a weekend brunch menu with delicious options as well as an a la carte menu. They are kid friendly and welcome local families!
A review will follow shortly but in the meantime, here's the kids menu to whet your appetite.
Bernardi's 62 Seymour Street, London W1H 5BN
A new nursery is due to open in October 2018 at Marble Arch. I have been sent the following details which I am pasting across here as I believe it will be useful to many local parents.
Bryanston children’s Nursery @ Marble Arch – opening early October
Bryanston Nursery @ Marble Arch
Age of children: 0-5 years old
Cara Laine: Director
Sarah Cornish: Head of Child Care - ex Ofsted Inspector
Claire Berridge: Nursery Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryanston Nursery @ Marble Arch will be set in the gorgeous surroundings of the Annunciation Church in Marylebone and Portman Square gardens will be where the little ones will have their own garden !!
Bryanston Nursery offers a unique service, catering 100% for your child so that you can focus on your day/work and trust your child is in safe hands.
This is one of the only nurseries in Central London taking children from 3 months to 5 years old.
A family business with hugely successful nurseries in Bath which already have a proven track record, history and solid reputation.
Key strengths which set Bryanston @ Marble Arch apart from others:
Accepting the 30hrs funding nursery in Central London location
Flexible hours - working around a flexible timeline whereby children can be booked for half days/full days, term time only, long mornings etc
Byranston will open at 7.00am and close at 7.00pm
Fully trained and qualified nursery staff whom have worked in their other nurseries in Bath (Combe Down and Guinea Lane)
Low leavers rate across all staff and currently going through the Investors in People Award
Provide nappies and wipes on site so parents do not have to provide (once a child is dropped off at Bryanston Nursery their every need is catered for)
The chefs are working towards the Early Years Nutrition Award which will be provided at Bryanston, child’s nutrition is a high priority
New toilets/desks & chairs – the whole building is being refurbished to provide suitable and safe environment
Relaxing waiting area for parents for coffee/chat/wait for children/ free Wi-Fi
Sunday school is held at the church in one of main nursery rooms
Family run business – whom own x2 hugely successful Nurseries: 'Combe Down' & 'Guinea Lane' in Bath
Unique nursery service
Easy for pick up and drop off
Nursery with a proven track record, history and solid reputation
Portman Square Gardens which is gated and only accessed by key will provide the outside play area for the children, the nursery will have a Turtle Bus for the non-walkers so that all children can benefit from the outdoor space
Bryanston focus on your child so that you can focus on your day/work and trust your nursery 100%
30hrs a week nursery in Central London location – open from 7.00am – 7.00pm every week day
Flexible hours - working around a flexible timeline whereby children can be booked for half days/full days or specific time slots/hours
x2 successful nursery staff whom already work in Bath (Combe Down and Guinea Lane)
Low leavers rate across all staff
Provide nappies and wipes on site so parents do not have to provide (once a child is dropped off at Bryanston their every need is catered for)
New toilets/desks & chairs - whole building is being refurbished to provide suitable and safe environment
Relaxing waiting area for parents for coffee/chat/wait for children/ free Wi-Fi
Sunday school is held at the church in one of main nursery rooms
Bryanston @ Marble Arch aim is to make parent’s lives and working hours more easily manageable, knowing that their children are happy, content and in a safe and secure environment. Their children can enjoy their days developing friendships in a nurturing environment.
I think its fair to say that most Marylebone families are living in a space that is probably a bit smaller than would be idea, with too much stuff primarily due to kid-related clutter. One day recently when toys and crayons had taken over the living area, my husband lamented about the lack of space. I pointed out we had looked at properties (in pre-child days) in Zone 2/3 which were 3x the size and he had said its too big, at which point he replied, "I didn't realise kids have so much STUFF!"
In an ideal world, I would have a formal living area as a lovely adult space and a kid-friendly space for all the STUFF. However that was the compromise when we decided to live centrally.We all probably have too much stuff too, and Marie Kondo etc have made a living from telling us to throw away our stuff, but inevitably it gets replaced by new stuff eventually. And of course if you get rid of your child's stuff without telling them, quite often it is suddenly their "most favourite toy ever and you threw it away".
For the last 5 years, our house has been a super-kid-friendly, kid-focussed space. It is comfortable, we aren't precious about our belongings, children can come and play and have fun. However as our daughter has grown up, we are gradually seeing less plastic primary-coloured tat and so we starting to feel like we could reclaim the space at least a little bit. However I still wanted to keep the space kid-friendly so we weren't at the stage of getting in an interior designer to rethink the space etc. This is where Nete with her business Moberry Interior stepped in.
Nete is a local mum who has changed careers and is following her passion for home interior design. She has 2 children under 6 and knows all too well what we are up against when trying to have a beautiful yet practical home. She is Danish so has the fabulous Northern European eye for style and design. Nete is also very aware that at this intermediate stage of "reclaiming your home", you may not want to spend a lot of money and so is very aware of budget.
Nete came into our house and immediately pinpointed some very quick, easy and cheap things to do. We got rid of old throws from the sofa, moved a (slightly dubious patterned) rug to another area of the room, and removed doors from a tv wall cabinet we inherited from the previous owners. Just doing that, the room suddenly opened up! We moved some books around in the book shelves, and she inspired me to do a bit of decluttering of cupboards and shelves. All of this made a massive difference immediately at zero cost.
Next she advised on some possible colour schemes we could work with for the soft furnishings, as we had an eclectic collection of cushions we have acquired over the years. On her return visit she presented a couple of different colour schemes that tied in with some existing items we liked. For each colour scheme she presented a range of cushion covers and furnishings she had found online, all with sensible prices. I ended up going for ones from H&M so for under £40 I had a full new set of cushion pads and covers which look great! She also advised changing the boxes we use for toy storage to something more aesthetically pleasing. She presented some lovely affordable options as a starting point and when I used that to look around online more I found some fab wicker baskets in the John Lewis sale - so again a massive impact in the look of the room at low cost.
Nete made a scale diagram of the room and its furniture which we played around with. After a fun morning of moving furniture about we came up with ideal positioning of the existing furniture as well as a plan of action for replacing existing pieces over time. She picked out a few pieces online to guide me, we exchanged thoughts and found more options to bear in mind when we want to buy soemthing. Even though we haven't replaced our existing things yet, I now know what types of furniture will fit the look and feel of the room, and importantly what will not look good! We also talked about longer term bigger things we could do with the room if we decide to change things more dramatically.
We went through a lot of the prints and art that we have hidden away in our cupboards, and have decided which pieces will look good where, advising on the frames to go for. For someone with a poor aesthetic eye like me this has been so useful. Now I have started to understand a bit more.
Of course decluttering and staying on top of STUFF is key but the small changes made the room look so much better that it has been easier to keep it up as I want the room to stay looking nice.
Nete understands the needs of family life and had great ideas about combining needs like storage with the desire to make our spaces look lovely, all while being mindful of how much or little you are able to spend. Little things that she notices and can advise on can make a big difference, and her advice on bigger changes like new furniture are well-considered and sensible. I highly recommend her service.
You can find out more about Moberry at www.moberry.co.uk where you can also see some examples of her work. Alternatively you can contact her at email@example.com
Lipault - a new bag/accessories store on Marylebone High Street
The other day I popped into the new Lipault Store on MHS (where Whistles used to be). I was prepared for it to be yet another high-end, high-priced boutique and was annoyed as the high street is already full of not-very-useful-for locals and overly-expensive shops. How wring I was!
What a pleasant surprise I had! The brand is a French brand started by someone who has experience in the travel industry. They focus on luggage and handbags/accessories, with items both in leather and also durable nylon (think Prada, Longchamp). The designs are classic shapes, with practicality in mind, but with a focus on colour. The store is so eye-catching! They have classic and then seasonal colours which are beautiful. The attention to detail is fab, with contrasting linings in some bags, so you get just a flash of contrast, accessible zippers and pockets for travel cards etc, with an elegant and simple design. The shapes are practical and recognisable as classic bag shapes that have stood the test of time. Totally my kind of thing!
The best part - the price! Nylon bags starting from around the £50 mark - yes you read correctly!!!
I picked up a gorgeous crossbody, nylon bag for £69 which is super practical and the perfect size to carry all my bits but also discourage me from lugging too much around in a big bag. I love the nylon especially with kids, and also the British weather.
The luggage is also lovely. Great colours and design that has really been thought through e.g. well-padded handles and they are unbelievably light. The most interesting idea is a suitcase/cabin bag that flattens for easy storage! For anyone living in London this may just be a game-changer! I really want one and hopefully my next suitcase will be one from the Pliable range www.lipault.co.uk/pliable-luggage-2-wheels-65-cm-anthracite-grey/64777-1010.html - and again the prices are comparable to the normal large luggage brands. The brand is actually owned by Samsonite so you know you are buying a quality product. The bags some with a 3 year warranty too.
Do pop by the store, the staff are very friendly and the colours are great to lift you mood.
**Special Offer** - the Store has 20% off your first purchase (see flyer below) running until 31st August. Make sure you show them the flyer and mention Marylebone Mums!
Lipault, 1 Thayer Street, Marylebone W1U 3JA
Hippy Fish arrived in Marylebone at the end of 2017 serving much needed colourful healthy food in these dark cold winter days.
For those of you new to poke - it is a dish originating in Hawaii with strong Japanese influences. A base of rice (traditionally, but Hippy Fish offers several carb and no-carb options), topped with a range of veggies, flavourings and dressed raw fish, or prawns, tofu and even chicken at Hippy Fish to allow for maximum flexibility. They had a range of delicious sauces which really lift the flavours. Their fish is sourced from the same supplier as Nobu!
I'm a big fan of poke generally and used to have to go to Soho where there are few cafes specialising in it, so it is great to have a specialist in the neighbourhood. They have a range of drinks, and are soon offering coffee too.
Full disclosure - I did get a free bowl of Poke when I visited to learn about the store but I was planning to stop by to try it out anyway. It was yummy and I enjoyed choosing all the various toppings and condiments from the large range. Here's my bowl before I scoffed it!
You can find out more info at www.hippy-fish.com
Hippy Fish, 5 Thayer Street, Marylebone, London W1U 3JG
As readers and followers of Marylebone Mums, you may have picked up that I am an advocate of trying to use local businesses where possible. The needs of a family are such that supermarkets and large chain restaurants are of course part of life, but the much-talked-about "village feel" of Marylebone comes from the fact that we still have many independent local businesses catering to locals (both residents and those who work here) who can provide for our needs.
Stores like La Fromagerie and Ginger Pig draw people to the area from miles around but there is so much more than that. We have hardware stores where we can get advice and help - the Crawford St hardware store next to Titania's Garden is amazingly well stocked, and Redmount on Seymour Place had helped me out when I have had a flooded kitchen with washing machine leaks. We have the fruit and veg store on Blandford St who has a great variety of produce and the luxury of purchasing 1 or 2 pieces of fruit rather than pre-packaged, plastic wrapped multipacks (I'm on a household crusade to reduce single-use plastic consumption - more on this another time!). The wonderful organic/natural store As Nature Intended also adds to the variety in the area, and I have also previously written about La Petite Poissonnerie on New Quebec St who can source even the most obscure fish as well as advise and give you recipe inspiration.
Recently we have welcomed Boxcar to New Quebec St - a fab new butcher and grill where you can buy meat but also has a lovely menu for dining in or take away and is open all day from breakfast time. I had visited a few times for their delicious bacon rolls (which are sooooo goooood). Recently while picking up lunch and some meat from the butcher I met Nicola Gregson who is part of the Boxcar team and thought it might be an opportunity to learn and share more about the business and what they hope to bring to our Marylebone community.
The main director of Boxcar, a Marylebone local, is experienced in the hospitality business with several bars and restaurants to his name. He wanted to create a neighbourhood place with a focus on quality products. When that was mixed with the other director who is from a family of butchers, a dying tradition as we all know, Boxcar was created with the aim of primarily being a butcher and grill but with provisions and other complementary items mixed in. The store has been 18 months in the planning. Boxcar was chosen as a name as it is what drove the cowboys out of business - refrigerated railroad cars that enabled food to be transported more easily.
Boxcar focuses on UK produced products. Another of the directors is Nicola's brother who knows and has visited all the producers and suppliers personally. Fruit and veg come from within a 50 mile radius. Meat comes from areas such as North Yorkshire (I bought some delicious lamb from there), and Essex less than 100 miles from here! They have complete knowledge of the food chain for the products they are selling. Though the products are not necessarily organic, they focus on the integrity and quality of produce, food miles and the conditions that the animal is reared in.
There is an in house pastry chef who is baking most of the breads and pastries in house now - the soda bread uses Nicola's family recipe. The sausage rolls and pies they have for sale are just delicious. I was skeptical about the mushy pea pie but it was one of the most yummy things I have eaten for a long time and I will be having to ration my consumption of them or else I may end up having to go up a few dress sizes!
Even the eggs for sale have been thought about - they sell pullet eggs. These are eggs from chickens who are under 12 months old so basically just starting to lay eggs. They are smaller than most supermarket eggs by 25% and may be wonky shaped, but they have a high nutritional content. Supermarkets don't sell them so they tend to be destroyed - such a waste - but Boxcar will be selling them from a local farm.
Although some of the alcohol for sale is not UK produced, they do sell beers from Toast. Do try them and look them up as it is a great story - they use leftover bread to create the beer!
The team at Boxcar would love to hear about any interesting products you come across that you would like stocked too. They already have lots of interesting items in the store and more are coming soon.
The store itself is part restaurant and part butcher. The butchery team can of course provide you with whatever cuts you want and can advise on cooking etc. Downstairs the restaurant space doubles as an event space and there is a kitchen you can see into with an amazing grill for the meat. They can run butchery masterclass events and will also be running classes for the public in time. All around the store there are little details such as real branding irons used as decorations.
The restaurant menu uses the butcher's meat obviously but also small details like bread and butter pudding using leftover bread which is so great to see! The Sunday Roast sounds rather good, and they sell half portions for kids (and will happily provide plates for little ones who might want to share your dinner instead!).
I have visited the store a few times now. Full disclosure that I was given a free mushy pea pie and pork pie - both delicious, I would happily pay for and will be buying many more of! I have also bought the bacon roll a few times (yummmmm), steak salad, burger and beef sandwich. Firstly, they are all delicious! Secondly, they are priced very attractively especially considering the quality of the produce. I have also bought meat from the butcher - I recieved lots of advice, was introduced to some new alternative cuts, and the price was very attractive . The meat was delicious when I cooked it whicht is definitely a reflection of the quality of the produce.
This is such a great addition to the area and even better they are have a special offer for Marylebone Mums!
25% discount on all food when dining in - except the Sunday Roast dinner (sorry, they can't discount this) and is valid from now through to August 31st 2017. Just quote "Marylebone Mums Discount" when you ask for the bill.
The Langham London Hotel has recently launched an Afternoon Tea in association with Hamleys as well as launching family rooms and family packages in the hotel. The Family Getaway package includes options such as a VIP tour of Hamleys, afternoon tea, and even Kidzania tickets. It sounds like a real treat for families visiting London.
We were lucky enough to be invited to sample the afternoon tea just before the launch on 1st August. My 3.5 year old daughter was very excited when I explained that she was going to put on a lovely party dress, and would go to a beautiful hotel to have a tea party. Her expectations were high, and the tea did not disappoint!
The Langham, London Children’s Afternoon Tea is available in the Palm Court. In partnership with Hamleys, the Afternoon Tea is part of a series of initiatives aimed at providing families an enjoyable experience within Regent Street’s Grand Hotel. It is available to children aged 12 years and under and each child receives a complimentary Hamleys teddy bear as a token giveaway of their time at The Langham, London.
The tea has been created by Cherish Finden, Executive Pastry Chef together with Chris King, Executive Chef of The Langham, London. For those of you who watched Bake Off Creme de la Creme may recognise Cherish as one of the judges. As soon as I realised this, I was a little bit (ok, a lot) excited as I was a big fan of the show and was amazed by Cherish's exacting standards. I was very keen to experience her creations.
Three seatings are available in Palm Court: 1pm, 3.15pm and 5.30pm. We were at the 1pm sitting and in the future I will always chose this as it was an alternative to lunch and (more importantly) left us the whole afternoon to burn off the higher than usual amount of food (and sugar) that we had consumed by a long afternoon visit to the park!
When we arrived we were offered drinks. Children have a choice of strawberry and kiwi tea, hot chocolate, fruit juice , or as my little one chose, cold chocolate milk. It was delicious and it was great to have some many options for picky palates.
Then the main event. The most beautiful and carefully thought through afternoon tea. A jigsaw of delicious sandwiches, a Carousel Cup Cake Swirl, a Cookie Monster Macaroon, a Maltesers Chocolate Mousse and a Langham Cold Chocolate along with a Sweet Surprise Bag of assorted candy and classic sweets. Not only did it look stunning but everything tasted amazing. My daughter couldn't bring herself to eat Cookie Monster so I devoured him in true Cookie Monster style! (he was delicious)
The Children’s Langham Afternoon Tea with Wedgwood is priced at £27.50 per child.
Adults can indulge in the Wedgwood Afternoon tea. The cakes were some of the lightest and most delicious I have ever tasted and looked stunning. And of course no tea is complete without freshly baked, light fluffy scones.
The decor and atmosphere of the Palm Court are a fantastic mix of modern and traditional. There was no stuffy, old feel at all and the children were warmly welcomed. My daughter proclaimed it to be "amazing" and "the best fun".
I'm often asked for good places for afternoon tea and in the future I will recommend this as my top place, especially if you have kids, but even without. I have been lucky enough to tea at most of the main tea venues in London and this is definitely up there with the best.
I recently met Faisal Laljee, a local resident and the co-founder of kidsitter.co.uk who are positioning themselves as the "Uber" of babysitters. They provide local trusted and thoroughly vetted babysitters across the whole of London, having started off in Islington to great success. The beauty of the service is that they can now send you a babysitter in as little as 2 hours!
Founded by London Business School and Harvard alumni, KidSitter has a mission to connect parents with trusted and vetted babysitters. As such, KidSitter uses a thorough 5-step vetting process to ensure they work with only the very best babysitters, most of who are nannies, childminders, nurses and teachers. According to George Chan, the co-founder, “For every 10 babysitters who wish to work with us, only 1 will meet our criteria”.
The idea for KidSitter was born when George, found himself disappointed with the lack of short-notice childcare options available for babysitting his 5-year old. “Parents can count on KidSitter to provide them with the peace of mind, that someone trustworthy and qualified is looking after their child while they enjoy a night out or run their errands”, adds George. After working together on the idea for over 6 months, the founders launched KidSitter in Islington last October and prompted by demand, have now increased their service to all of London. “We can send you a trusted babysitter in as little as 2 hours, across most of London, and our price is still only £12 per hour with no joining fees, booking fees or added extras”, said Faisal.
Over 95% of parents who have used KidSitter have given a 5-star rating to their experience, with feedback such as:
“Reliable and wonderful service for families looking for someone trustworthy and competent to take care of their child.”
“KidSitter provides an amazing service - they do everything they can to provide families with high quality babysitters”
All KidSitter babysitters have passed a comprehensive 5-step vetting process. They are all DBS checked, paediatric first-aid certified, reference checked and interviewed in-person. Bookings can be made securely online at http://KidSitter.co.uk in 3 easy steps.
Kidsitters sounds like a great option for childcare. They will try to accommodate language and cultural preferences where possible, and as the business is still young and growing they are really focused on solving the childcare problem for us parents. I like that the business has been created out of the problem faced by a parent - they obviously understand the issues as well as what parents look for in a good babysitter.
London’s premier antenatal class provider Lulubaby are delighted to announce that from April 2016 their courses and classes will be available at the world-class central London-based private hospital, The Portland Hospital. These sound like exactly what I was looking for when I was pregnant, but could not find.
Lulubaby's classes are open to everyone, not just those having their babies at The Portland. The classes at The Portland are perfect for women who work in the central London area and want to attend a class after work. They are also useful for local mums-to-be in the Marylebone, St John’s Wood and Islington areas who will be able to meet new friends due at the same time for that much needed support during pregnancy and once their baby arrives.
Lulubaby’s antenatal course consists of 6 evening classes run by many different healthcare professionals including a midwife, obstetrician, anaesthetist, paediatrician, GP, women’s health physiotherapist and lactation consultant. Ladies receive up-to-date, evidence-based information which is balanced and unbiased. At least half of Lulubaby’s classes focus on what happens after baby arrives – sleep, soothing and all the practicalities of managing birth and coping with a new-born.
Partners are invited to most of the sessions and Lulubaby provide a detailed handbook for their clients to take home for reference. They have a team of breastfeeding counsellors on hand to support once the baby has been born and they also provide paediatric first aid sessions and refresher classes for 2nd time mums. They recently launched a maternity nurse and night nanny business, Lulunannies, to help provide their clients with top quality support at home once their baby has arrived.
The first Lulubaby at The Portland Hospital course is scheduled to start at the end of April 2016 for mums with babies due end May/ June. The cost is £525 per couple. Lulubaby also recently launched their new service ‘Lulunannies’ - DBS checked maternity and night nannies on request.
visit www.lulubaby.co.uk for more info
As you may remember the plans to make Baker St and Gloucester Place 2-way traffic were presented last year. The general view from locals was that it was a terrible plan and the community made its voice heard. The council have now returned with a slightly amended plan and are looking for feedback again. (Marylebone Mum's own personal view is that this continues to be a terrible idea and wishes that the whole thing was scrapped, but that's just my personal thought!)
The second round of consultation started on 22nd February and will finish on 20th March 2016, during which time there will be two open sessions to view plans and ask questions:
· 27th February, 12.00 – 16.00 at St Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, NW1 6AX and;
· 9th March, 13.00 – 19.00 at the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel, 108 Baker Street, W1U 6LJ.
As with the previous consultation, full details of the revised proposals as well as a questionnaire to complete and give your views on the revised proposals, can be found at www.bakerstreettwoway.co.uk
Please do take the time during this second round of consultation to review the changes made to the design and feed back.