|James McNeill Whistler:|
Nocturne: The Thames at Battersea
I had taken her up for a flying impromptu visit previously during one half term week. We meant to do a number of museums but the coach (booking at the last minute meant the coach was half as expensive as the train) went past the Natural History Museum and when we saw the queues outside, we were both a bit dismayed. "Are we going to do any shopping on this trip?" Piglet asked in a quavery voice. 'That's my baby!' I thought. We had a fab time tootling round Regent Street (Liberty's and Hamleys Toy Shop), I showed her Leicester Square explaining that many films première there, and she particularly enjoyed Chinatown with all the great little shops full of fish fountains and Hello Kitty Lucky Cat figures. (I'm afraid I refused to buy that one.)
OK, so lesson 1 is Book in advance, LOL. We would have got really decent train tickets for a good price if we had done that. The train journey is much quicker than the coach, much more comfortable and from where we travel, you end up in Paddington. There is an excellent selection of places to eat in Paddington Station, including Boots and M&S with sandwiches if your budget is not up to Yo! Sushi and stone oven pizzas.
Actually lessons 4, 6 and 9 are all Book in advance!
And lessons 2, 3 and 5 are Get there early.
|Read about the essential phrase|
book at The Trek Collective
|Details at Design Mom|
We had providently bought sandwiches to take along from the Tesco Express by our hotel. When I tried to eat at the British Museum on my previous trip I was appalled at the crowded and littered tables (almost impossible to find somewhere to sit and eat) and at the poor range of food for children. Cafés at the Natural History Museum seemed much bigger and cleaner, but the food still looked geared to adults, surprisingly, and the nice cakes were so expensive even I baulked at getting one.
I was glad we'd taken our own lunch as we discovered the Natural History Museum has an excellent picnic area, designed for school trips, in the basement. There were many clear tables with comfortable seating and a small café counter for cups of tea and coffee if desired.
While walking to this area, I also spotted a room at the side where exploration is encouraged. Here Museum staff are on hand to answer questions but basically children (and grownups, LOL) are allowed to pick things up, handle them, put them under microscopes and magnifying glasses, take basic notes and draw them. There is everything from a stuffed fox to stones with fossils in, a turtle shell, bones, tiny beetles in blocks of perspex. Piglet really enjoyed this interactive room and we were able to just sit at the side and let her have fun.
|You can see The Shard jutting up over these medieval buildings.|
|Quoth the raven never more ... |
(two ravens on the railing).
|Mmm, the baby octopii!|
Oh what a shame nobody else liked
them and I had to eat them all ...