Exploring the East End

We’ve had a really lovely weekend – but now I come to blog about it, I find myself very disappointed that we took so few pictures! So this will be brief!

With the weather suddenly properly warm and sunny, we made the most of it and spent almost every second of the weekend outside. After a quite Saturday morning pottering around in the garden at home, we went on a London adventure to explore a new part of town. Matt was in charge of navigation, and he took us on the Overground to Whitechapel to start a long family walk.

We loved the colour and bustle of Whitechapel Road where the streets were lined with sari shops, food markets and so many people!  Alex was fascinated by the East London Mosque and was disappointed not to hear the call to prayer from the top of the minaret!

We stopped in at the Whitechapel Gallery for a quick bit of culture – and found ourselves in a very modern, surreal exhibition!  I must admit, it was quite terrifying wandering around the gallery with Alex and Sophie as most of the art was very accessible – so we spent most of the time chasing them and stopping them touching everything at the very last minute!

We walked from there, up Brick Lane where we stopped for lunch – stupidly stopping at the first open air cafe we found, consequently missing some amazing street food a few minutes further on.  But the lunch we had was still very nice, and rather conveniently located next to a “gourmet doughnut shop”!  The creme brûlée doughnut I sampled was heavenly.

As we moved towards Shoreditch, things got a trendier by the footstep.  Alex and Sophie adored some enormous balloons they spotted on the pavement:


And they settled right into the communal deckchairs next to some pop-up boutiques!  We felt very old amongst the young hipsters of Shoreditch and Hoxton!


I failed to photograph all the amazing street art we passed, the fab bandstand we played on in the sunshine and the brilliant range of shops, cafes and architecture.  Oh well, maybe next time.

We headed straight from the station to our friends’ house where Alex and Sophie had been invited for a pizza playdate with Sam and Una.  I love how my children are making their pizzas in the nude here!

They had so much fun with their friends, it was hard to pull them away – but bedtime beckoned, and Matt and I needed to put our feet up for the evening after so much walking!

Today was my favourite kind of local Herne Hill day.  I cycled over to Brixton with the children this morning, meeting Matt (who ran there) at the Rec for our weekly swim.  Lessons were cancelled today, so we all splashed around together – and Alex swam an entire width of the pool on his own without stopping 🙂

We then slowly made our way back to Herne Hill, where we stocked up on food at the Farmers’ Market and enjoyed a picnic in Brockwell Park, complete with a few goes on the miniature railway!  Then we dashed over to Ruskin Park for a playdate with Alex’s partner-in-crime from nursery, Finlay and his family!  The boys went wild for a couple of hours, playing like maniacs in the big paddling pool.  Sophie and Finlay’s sister, Ellis, were a little calmer – but still had a wonderful time in the sun.

After some delicious ice cream, we headed home for dinner in the garden and an early night for the children.  A truly perfect local day!

Before I go, I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite snaps of last week from Jacqui, my childminder.  She sends me photos all the time of what the kids are getting up to – and I must admit they regularly make me very jealous as I’m stuck at my desk!

This made me laugh out loud on Friday – Sophie spotted this poster in Ruskin Park and was concerned about her bunnies as she has three just like the one in her poster!  Here she is somewhat confused holding up one of her bunnies to the poster just to be sure!


Alex was lucky enough to go out on the lake in Dulwich Park last week with his friends:


Here are Sophie and her friends having a wonderful time:


And a great shot of Jake, Sophie, Isaac and Annabel on the big swings together!

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They have such fun – what lucky children I have.

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