Saturday, 8 April 2017

My boys got to be royalty for the day at Kenwood

Weekends can be such a big deal and when they are combined with school holidays the pressure is on to make each one meaningful. Well we had a helping hand last weekend when English Heritage offered to host us for a visit to Kenwood House in Hampstead. While I am without question a Londoner I have little affinity with North London so I've never been there before, but I can see I've clearly been missing out. When we arrived it was already really busy with families enjoying the sunny weather and sitting outside enjoying picnics, playing games and generally making the most of a nice day in spring.

Brew House Cafe in the sunshine 
My boys exploring Kenwood House gardens 
First things first we had to get some lunch so we went to the Brew House Cafe for a lovely meal courtesy of Searcys - the same people behind the champagne bar at St Pancras. The boys had a packed lunch box (£7) and me and Hubbie had a delicious Sunday roast each (£15). As you can see it was a massive meal ! The boys were treated to an ice cream cone afterwards and we really needed to walk it off as we were so full, but happy. I can heartily recommend the food here, but maybe pace yourself so you can also have a cream tea - I wish I had left some room for that. 

As entry to the house is free you can instead spend the money on a nice lunch and make a day of it. We were lucky with the weather, but on a colder or rainier day I can imagine that a Sunday lunch here would be a real draw.

We found Kenwood to be really child friendly with plenty to keep them occupied. My boys loved the dressing up clothes and indoor play area. On the day we went there was also a craft activity with a minimal charge (£1). You can also pick up an explorer backpack to help guide smaller visitors round the house and gardens.

Dressing up time 
My little king 

The house itself is really impressive and the volunteers are well informed and friendly. We heard some amazing facts and stories about the paintings in the rooms and were given some really helpful pointers to help keep the boys interested. 

The beautiful library
Bear on the stairs 
The grounds at Kenwood are really beautiful and there is also a lake. I spoke to a friend who told me she's been to see concerts here and with such lovely surroundings it must be so atmospheric. While we took in the scenery we spotted a fantastic tree for climbing and Brown Bear decided to brave it to the top branches. I was impressed with his deft footwork, but equally pleased when Blue Bear made the decision not to scale the branches as I didn't fancy climbing up to rescue him if he lost his nerve.

We'd love to thank English Heritage for inviting us to visit and I'll give them the last word: "whether you prefer visiting ancient castles, grand houses or spooky abbeys you and your family will find plenty to explore and get involved with. We give all our visitors the chance to try stuff on, investigate things, climb the ramparts or simply enjoy the atmosphere and stand where history happened. During Easter we will be running a series of Easter Adventure Quests across the country, where families can meet a costumed character, solve clues and win chocolate rewards."

We were invited to visit Kenwood House by English Heritage and would like to thank the site team for making us so welcome. Thanks also to Tudor and Robert at Searcys for a wonderful lunch. 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post. 

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