Kensington Mums Back to School events for September

Local mums’ and parents’ website Kensington Mums is hosting a couple of exciting events for this month, helping you get back into the swing of things for the start of the new school year!

Kensington Mums

First up is a pampering event for all the mums out there – perfect for having a little ‘me’ time whilst the busy academic year starts up again. (Or maybe a relaxing moment after a busy summer!) Kensington Mums is proudly inviting you all to a special back to school pamper party at Salon Valentino in the heart of Kensington on Wednesday 23rd September for a blow-dry and express manicure.

Kensington Mums Pamper Party with Ruuby App

Each mum will receive two treatments (which must be booked in advance with assigned time slots) – there will also be an option to have a quick make-up look (eyes/lips) which is great for both school run mums and working mums! Kids are allowed to accompany you; drinks and nibbles will also be available for all to enjoy. All mums attending will also receive ‘Love Ruuby’ vouchers, which gives you £10 off any treatment booked over £30. Tickets for this event cost £10 and must be booked in advance – book your place today!

On Friday 25th September, there’s a first aid for babies and toddlers course provided by First Aid for Life, the the leading independent supplier of award-winning first aid training in Greater London. Mums and dads will see this as a great opportunity to pick up some first aid skills that may be life-saving in the case of an emergency.

Kensington Mums First Aid for Life

This two-hour course will be relaxed, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions throughout. Taking place at My Kid Atelier in SW6, the course costs £50 per person or £100 for couples – you can again book your spot for the course online.

More on Kensington Mums and their other upcoming events can of course be found at

Kensington Mums September Events
Back to School Pamper time with Ruuby App
9.30am – 12.30pm, Wednesday 23rd September 2015
First Aid for Life Course
7pm – 9pm, Friday 25th September 2015

Half term events at Gambado Chelsea

It’s half term week – of course! – and many of you will be looking for fun activities to keep the little ones entertained. Indoor play and party centre Gambado is running a full timetable of events this week that will feature plenty of face-painting, balloon modelling, character visits and more!

Better still, if your child is dressed up as his or her favourite character, they will receive a voucher to come back at a fraction of the cost! (Offer valid Monday Monday 16th February to Sunday 21st February 2015. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.)

There will also be a daily treasure hunt where someone can win a family membership pass!

Half term events at Gambado Chelsea

So, calling on all Elsas, superheroes, pirates and princesses to come down to Gambado this half term!

The full timetable of events:

Monday 16th February
11am Meet Gambado the Tiger
1pm Treasure Hunt
3pm Meet Spiderman

Tuesday 17th February
10.30am Chinese New Year Mask Making with Queen Quack (Requires prebooking via Gambado’s Facebook page – £20 per child)
11am Meet Gambado the Tiger
1pm Treasure Hunt
3pm Meet a Storm trooper

Wednesday 18th February
10.30am & 11am A free taster Alphabet Dance class (18months – 4 years)
1pm Treasure Hunt
3pm Meet Gambado the Tiger

Thursday 19th February
11am & 12noon A free taster Street Dance class (4-11yrs)
1pm Meet Gambado the Tiger
5-7pm Pirate & Princess Disco, come dressed as a Pirate or Princess and join us for an evening of dancing games & competitions.  Hot Dog and 1 free adult included. (Requires prebooking via Gambado’s Facebook page – £12 non-member per child & £10 member per child)

Friday 20th February
11am Meet Gambado the Tiger
1pm Treasure Hunt
3pm Meet a Princess

Half term events at Gambado Chelsea
16th – 20th February 2015
7 Station Court
Townmead Road

Half term events at Gambado Chelsea

Moira Wong Orthodontics opens on Kensington Church Street

A new orthodontics practice recently opened up on Kensington Church Street, offering a wide range of specialised dental treatments for both children and adults alike.

From clear ceramic brackets to invisible braces on the inside of teeth, as well as the Invisalign method, Moira Wong Orthodontics provides many treatments that help to enhance self-confidence in patients and well as improving the overall general health. For children, the clinic specialises in interceptive treatment from the age of 7 that aims to prevent and reduce the need for more complicated attention later in life. For adult patients, Moira Wong Orthodontics seeks to solve long-term problems (such as jaw problems, discomfort when eating or even headaches, neck ache and shoulder tension) caused by mis-aligned teeth.

Moira Wong Orthodontics

Treatments take place in the practice’s contemporary building which also houses a brand-new play room that’s been exclusively designed for children to play games, make friends and feel as happy and comfortable as they would do if they were at home.

The practice was founded by Dr Moira Wong, a dental graduate of the Royal London Hospital. After beginning her career as a house officer in prosthetic dentistry, she moved to Bristol Dental Hospital where she held senior house office positions. It was here that she gained her fellowship in dental surgery and worked in the paediatric dentistry department, treating special needs children and addressing complicated development problems. Dr Wong later moved to Guy’s Hospital, gaining her master’s degree, before continuing on to the consultant programme at King’s College and St George’s Hospital, achieving her Fellowship in orthodontics. At the moment, fewer than 300 practitioners have this level of training in the UK, with only 5 to 10 people each year gaining the accreditation. Dr Wong prides herself on her excellent reputation for highly skilled work and her approachable, communicative manner.

Moira Wong Orthodontics

Moira Wong Orthodontics was officially opened by the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, Maighread Condon-Simmonds, a few weeks ago on an evening that also saw more than £1,000 raised for local charity Borne which strives to promote research into premature birth. At the opening, the Mayor praised the new local business, especially in its scope for helping younger patients:

“We need dentists in the local area a lot, especially highly-skilled orthodontists […] Children often have to travel quite far, all the way up to the West End so it means a lot to the community when finally they have a local orthodontist to go to. I’m pleased that our children in the area from now on are in the great care of Dr Wong […] There are lots of primary and nursery schools in Kensington so this opening will certainly bring more convenience for parents living locally.”

Moira Wong Orthodontics
Caroline Greenhalgh and Professor Mark Johnson from Borne together with Dr Wong
Moira Wong Orthodontics
Dr Wong with the Mayor of Kensington & Chelsea, Maighread Condon-Simmonds

The founder of Borne, Professor Mark Johnson, also said:

“The charity strives to change the lives of mothers and babies by reducing the incidence of premature births. However, in order to do this, we need support to carry out our work and research. The funds raised in the event today mean so much to us, as it shows ongoing commitment of the local people and community. Certainly it gives us more encouragement on our journey to help prevent disability and death in childbirth and create lifelong health for mothers and babies.”

To find out more about the practice and the treatments it offers, please see

Moira Wong Orthodontics
27A Kensington Church Street
W8 4LL

Kensington Mums’ Social Events this August and September

If you’re a little down because summer’s almost over (and the weather seems to suggest that summer’s definitely over) then don’t fear – local parenting website Kensington Mums once again have a number of exciting events lined up to ease you into Autumn!

On Thursday 18th September, from 1pm to 3pm, Kensington Mums will be hosting a Beauty Masterclass at Whole Foods Kensington – join Whole Foods’ in-house healthy eating specialist Maura and learn how to make some amazing natural products…that you’ll also be able to take home! The products you’ll be taught how to make are an apple cider vinegar toner, a ‘Green Goddess’ face mask, and a coffee & coconut body scrub. The class costs £10 and little ones are welcome – learn how to make something new (and healthy!) as well as connecting with local, like-minded mums. Booking is essential, and can be done online – places are limited, so early booking is recommended! More details here.

Kensington Mums Fit Club

If you’re after something equal parts relaxing and social, there’s also the Kensington Mums and Bumps Coffee Morning taking place on Monday 22nd September from 10am to 12pm at the lovely Hotel Chocolat on Kensington High Street. For £5, you’ll receive a complimentary hot drink, be able to view a chocolate presentation by the resident chocolatier and also have an opportunity to try a small selection of chocolates. You’ll also be able to take advantage of a 10% discount on any purchases made at the cafe or shop. Tickets can be booked online – once again, book early to avoid disappointment! Children welcome; more details here.

And if you’re looking for something a little more energetic to get started with straight away, the Kensington Mums Fit Club is being held in Kensington Gardens every Saturday, 10.30am to 11.30am. This free club is hosted by actual Kensington mums Sabrina and Iram, and is open to all levels – and you can jog, run, bike or just walk during the session. More details here.

More on local mums, parents and kids’ news at the excellent Kensington Mums website:

Et Patati patata French summer day camps for kids in South Kensington

If you’re looking for something exciting and a little different for your little ones to do during the long summer holidays, take a look at these fun French summer day camps taking place in July and August.

French summer day camps - Et Patati patata

With 30 hours of immersion tuition per week led by an experienced, native French speaking primary school teacher, your kids can learn French without leaving London! Each week is much more than just a basic learning of the language – there’s also a wide range of fun and creative activities in French that are tailored to the program of French schools. These include stories, songs, visits and workshops that will encourage your kids to talk, write and relate the fun days they’ve had…in French!

Classes are held in two age groups – 4-6 year olds and 7-10 year olds – and take place Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm. Every week involves a different grade – foundation, intermediate, advanced and confirmed – and at the end of each week, children receive a “French immersion program certificate”.

Weeks include:

  • J’aime la nature/Wild and green week! (7th – 11th July) with a farm outing, a cooking workshop, arts and crafts and French theatre
  • Les petits explorateurs/Explorers Kids! (14th – 18th July) with a trip to the summer program of the Natural History Museum;
  • Les petits génies/IT genius junior! (21st – 25th July) with a science theme – including a visit to the Science Museum
  • Les petits archéologues/Archaeology for Kids! (28th July – 1st August)
  • Tintin reporter in London! (4th – 8th August)
  • Asterix Week (11th – 15th August)
  • Wild and green week (29th – 25th August).

There’s also sports activities during the afternoons of each week.

For full details of the French summer day camps and to register, please see or email

Oh and, by the way – “Et Patati et patata” means “Blablabla…blablabla…”!

Storystock comes to the Saatchi Gallery for the Easter holidays

Following its launch at a sell-out festival at the Bush Theatre last year, the storytelling circus Storystock comes to the Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road for the Easter holidays this year, from 7th to 27th April.


Suitable for children aged from 4 to 13 years old who love stories, Storystock combines stories with art, artists and art-isms and will be held alongside the Gallery’s new exhibition, Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America.

There will be a number of workshops, pop-up events, tours – and storytelling, of course! – as well as Storystock’s reinvention of the audio guide, which they’ve named the ANTI-GUIDE.

Award-winning artist Amy Gadney has been commissioned to create the ANTI-GUIDE, offering up a completely different and immersive way of experiencing the Pangaea exhibition. The ANTI-GUIDE will be available throughout the exhibition’s run.

“We’re thrilled to be creating a family element to the Pangaea exhibition in the beautiful, inspiring and fun Saatchi Gallery. We want to give children the chance to learn about the art in an irreverent and playful way through our creative workshops, storytelling, pop-up events and ANTI-GUIDE – our psychedelic audio guide,”

explains Claire Gill, STORYSTOCK co-founder.

Tickets for Storystock can be purchased online at or by calling 08444 77 1000. Tickets for Storystock cost £18 online in advance – this includes a workshop, storytelling (for 4 to 7 year olds, in the morning) or tour (for 7-13 year olds, in the afternoon) and the ANTI-GUIDE.

Drop-in weekend passes, including for the Easter weekend, are available online or on the day and cost £10, which includes drop-in storytelling, activities, a tour and the ANTI-GUIDE.

The ANTI-GUIDE costs £4, which can be bought online or on the day.

Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York’s HQ
King’s Road

It’s All About Piano! returns to the Institut français, 4th to 6th April

From 4th to 6th April 2014, the Institut français in London will celebrate the king of all musical instruments with its second piano festival, It’s All About Piano! Come down to discover the infinite possibilities offered by the black & white keys, from recitals to film screenings, kids activities, workshops and much more. Rising stars and the greatest pianists – including Alexeï Lubimov, Lucy Parham, Pascal Rogé, Jacky Terrasson, Pascal Amoyel – will enchant with all styles of piano music, from the classical repertoire to harpsichord recitals and jazz performances.

It's All About Piano

There’s a full range of events on each of the three days of the festival, from a recital by Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov on the Friday; a screening of the children’s film The Magic Piano (followed by a storytelling of The Out-of-Tune Piano), and a documentary on The Making of a Steinway Piano, both on the Saturday; Musical Storytelling with award-winning storyteller Jan Blake, and recitals from Geoffroy Couteau, Kenneth Weiss and David Bismuth on the Sunday – with much more on each day as well, of course! There will also be several activities and events also taking place throughout the festival, including free piano tuition and a Build Your Own Piano workshop. And if you’d like to take things easy, why not relax in the Piano Bar where you can enjoy some music whilst sampling cocktails and piano-themed delicacies?

Each event is individually priced – please see the full It’s All About Piano guide for details and to book tickets:

You can also purchase a Piano Pass for £10, which will give you 50% off the price of all recitals during the festival!

Make sure to come down to the Institut français this April to sample the delights of the piano!

It’s All About Piano
4th – 6th April 2014
Institut français
17 Queensberry Place

Exciting Kensington Mums events taking place in March!

Favourite local kids and family website Kensington Mums have a number of exciting events lined up for March that we’re sure you’d love to know more about and join in with!

First up, on Friday 7th March (10am – 2pm), Kensington Mums’ Motherhood Project will be featured in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s celebration of International Women’s Day. This will take place at the Harrow Club, 187 Freston Road, W10 6TH. This is a FREE event and crèche and lunch will be provided – however, registration is required so please email or if you would like to attend.

Kensington Mums' Events - Mother's Day

Next up, on Saturday 15th March (3pm – 6pm), why not celebrate Mother’s Day with a very special event hosted by Kensington Mums and featuring some top guest speakers? Taking place at The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5 0SW, speakers will include baby sleep expert Jo Tantum; TV presenter and founder of Miamoo, Saira Khan; and Amanda Frolich, the UK’s leading celebrity children’s entertainer. Please see for more information about the event and to book a place; tickets cost £30. The first 30 people through the door on the day will receive a VIP goody bag!

Kensington Mums' Events - Fun Run

The following day, 16th March, will see the Where is Wally Fun Run with Kensington Mums take place in Victoria Park. All are welcome to take part, including children aged 8 and over (who must be accompanied by an adult) – registration is £20 which includes a FREE Where’s Wally? costume. No specific fitness level required – you can walk, jog or run 5 or 10km! There’s also fun races for the under 8s too – it’s £10 entry for these, including a free costume again. The event is being held in aid of the National Literacy Trust which helps struggling children to read and write. Email to take part.

For more details about these events and Kensington Mums in general, please see their fantastic website at

Puppy Tennis – tennis classes for children – comes to Holland Park

Starting next week, there’s a new set of tennis classes for children that are being held in Holland Park – Puppy Tennis! Suitable for boys and girls aged from 18 months to five years – otherwise known as ‘pups’! – the classes will not only teach your child to play tennis, but will also serve as a way of improving coordination and taking on other key learning skills, all in a safe and fun environment.

Tennis classes for children - Puppy Tennis

Group coaching classes last 45 minutes per session, with six and twelve week bookings available from 5th November 2013; children can begin their sessions any week from then. The classes cost £72 for a six week session, or £144 for a twelve week one; there is a maximum of eight children per class.

Classes take place on a mini court, using mini rackets and sponge balls. As well as fun movement drills and hitting the sponge balls across the mini net at targets, the youngsters will be taught the basics of tennis with regards to the court, tennis scoring, different shots and simple tennis techniques. There will also be match play and imaginative tennis throughout! Week by week specifics can be found at the Puppy Tennis Course Guide.

All tennis equipment and rackets will be provided; the tennis pups just need to bring their own trainers and a water bottle to join in.

As well as classes on the tennis courts in Holland Park, there are also sessions available at Bishops Park Tennis Centre in Fulham SW6. It’s also possible to book Puppy Tennis as a kids’ party, or to book individual coaching sessions.

Puppy Tennis was founded by Katharine Brown, who has coached tennis for nine years and grew up as a national junior tennis player. She’s also a fully qualified British LTA coach, is CRB checked and First Aid trained.

For full details on Puppy Tennis, please see

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park returns for 2013!

One of the most popular Christmas events that’s right on our doorstep – Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – is back this year! Taking place from Friday 22nd November 2013 through to Sunday 5th January 2014, the event’s usual attractions and activities from previous years will be back again, ready to get you into the Christmas spirit.

One of Winter Wonderland’s most popular attractions – ice skating on what is the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink – makes its usual appearance at this year’s event. With a rink that’s over 1,600 square metres in size, you’ll be able to skate away to your heart’s content, entertained by live music playing throughout the day and night at the Victorian Bandstand that sits by the rink.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2013

Following its success last year, the Magical Ice Kingdom returns this Christmas – but will now be twice the size, with even more snow and ice sculptures! Created especially for Winter Wonderland, this will be a fantastical world of ice and snow with visitors being able to explore a medieval village and a giants’ forest (with ice trolls and a ogre to fight), as well as an ice castle with a scary dungeon. Have a go on the extremely-popular ice slide, but this year enjoy some refreshment at the Ice Bar too. Then sit in the Ice Swan, watch the frozen jumping fish and have a go at kissing the frog!

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2013

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2013

The youngsters will be very pleased to hear that Santa Land returns as well – with its LEGO DUPLO Santa Express, Santa’s Workshop and…Father Christmas himself, of course! He’ll be in Santa Land daily, complete with a sack of free gifts.

Additionally, after sell-out shows at last year’s event, Zippos Circus will be appearing this year as well with two special shows – Zippos Christmas Circus during the daytime, a show suitable for the whole family, and Zippos Cirque Berserk, an evening show for older thrill seekers. The daytime show is jam-packed full of jugglers, clowns and aerialists and the perfect length – at 50 minutes – for the little ones to sit through. Meanwhile, Cirque Berserk is a contemporary circus thrill show with death-defying knife-throwing, fire, the ultimate High Wire and the Wheel of Death – where two extraordinary acrobats spin together in an unbelievably small steel wheel. Additionally, VIP boxes are available for Cirque Berserk, which give you fast-track entry to your own private box, which is stocked with a bottle of champagne and chocolates.

Winter Wonderland 2013 will also feature some of my personal favourites, such as the Angels Christmas & Yuletide Markets which has over 200 stalls offering unusual and handmade cards and gifts such as ceramics, jewellery, wooden toys and Christmas decorations. And no Christmas event is complete without a Bavarian village…bratwurst and mulled wine at the ready! There will also be many other restaurants and bars on site to warm yourself up at, and plenty of theme-park style rides to have fun on.

Tickets for Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, the Giant Observation Wheel and Zippos Circus are already on sale – book early online to avoid disappointment! But don’t forget that general entrance to Winter Wonderland is entirely free!

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2013

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2013

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2013
10am to 10pm daily, Friday 22nd November – 5th January 2014
(opens at 5pm only on 22nd November and closed on Christmas Day)
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