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Ealing Life

Patri – Indian Street Food Comes to Northfields Avenue, Ealing

January 18, 2019
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Patri is a brand new Indian Street Food Restaurant, which has recently opened on Northfields Avenue in Ealing. Founder, Puneet Wadhwhani (also founder and creative director of the independent street food chain, Chai Naasto), has created a never-before-seen menu bringing to life the snacks and dishes he once ate as a child growing up within a bicycle ride of New Delhi train station, and of those he remembers eating on board India’s great rail journeys.

We recently went to try out their extensive menu and found ourselves trying all sorts of wonderful dishes. My taste buds were on sensory overload and as their menu offers lots of vegetarian and vegan options, I was surprised to find some of the meat free dishes were actually my favourite!

Patri Restaurant – Northfields Avenue, Ealing

We were absolutely delighted to be served a wonderful selection of small plates to start off our meal. Ranging from Pani Puri Bombs, which were crispy wheat balls filled with chick peas, boiled potato and topped with tangy, hot, spicy and refreshing mint water.

We also tried the Chatpati Aloo Tikki Chaat, which was two stuffed spicy potato patties served on a bed of boiled chickpeas drizzled with lemon vinegar, onions, tomatoes and pomegranate, topped with tamarind and mint chutney.

If you are looking for something a bit different when it comes to drinks, Patri serve a huge range of craft beers, organic wines and soft drinks. We asked our waiter to suggest which drinks would best compliment our meals? He was happy to help with our selection. We enjoyed a lovely white wine and Amelia had an organic lemonade!

If you are wondering if this restaurant is kid friendly? I can tell you it definitely is! The waiter was happy to make suggestions from the menu that were not too spicy and more suited to a child’s tastebuds. There were definitely items on the menu that she could enjoy! We found the staff very accommodating for children and if you need to use the toilet facilities, you will even find a miniature toilet especially for kids and something else a bit special, but I will leave that for you to find out! Let’s just say I have only ever experienced toilet facilities of this high standard when I once visited Japan!

We particularly enjoyed the mixture of main dishes we ordered. I can highly recommend the Railway Mix Grill, which is more than plenty for two to share. It includes: half a tandoori chicken, one lamb seekh kebab and two paneer tikka’s. Amelia really loved this combination, so it’s perfect for kids.

There was no shortage of delicious dishes to try and my other recommendation would be the Murgh Makhani, which was a butter chicken on the bone, marinated and then cooked in a clay oven. It is gently cooked in buttery tomato cashew nut gravy topped with fenugreek honey and coriander.

At the end of our meal we were treated to a traditional Indian tea, which is something I haven’t tried before and have to say I did enjoy it!

If you would like to try some authentic Indian Street food? Patri is this place for you and your family. Be sure to book your table well in advance, as especially at weekends it is a very popular place! They also offer a take away menu if you would like to enjoy this amazing food at home.

Don’t forget you can also follow Patri on Social Media.

Facebook @Patri

Instagram @patrinorthfields

Disclaimer – I was given a complimentary meal in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of my recent visit.

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Explore Learning – Brand New Tuition Centre Now Open in Ealing Broadway

January 11, 2019
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Explore Learning has opened a brand new tuition centre in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre. They offer award-winning maths and English tuition for children aged 4 to 14 years old. If you are looking for your child to build their confidence and make progress with their learning in the New Year then Explore Learning could be the ideal place for them!

Perhaps your child is preparing to sit the 11 Plus or a local entrance exam? Then Explore Learning can build strong foundations, whilst developing their speed, accuracy and exam technique. Or maybe your child is struggling at school? If this is the case the tutors will be able to pinpoint where your child needs extra help and concentrate on that area. Even if your child is a high achiever Explore Learning can provide support, making sure they are challenged at the right level for their ability.

Explore Learning – Ealing Broadway

If you sign your child up before the 1st March 2019 you will save the £50 joining fee, so it is worth booking in for a free trial session soon. You will be able to meet the team and discuss your child’s needs. Both you and your child will be able to see the centre in action and experience how it works for yourselves!

Our Experience of Explore Learning

Amelia absolutely loves going to Explore Learning, she actually asks when is it time to go? I really like the relaxed and friendly environment and have always found the staff to be friendly and engaging. Children are taught to be “fearless learners” which from what I have seen encourages them to ask questions, show how they have worked out their answers and to not give up. The concept that I am really keen on is that they are rewarded through effort and not ability. This means if they complete all their learning outcomes for that session, they are given lizard cards (they can earn up to 4 cards at each session). These lizard cards are used like a currency. The children collect them and in turn can can be used to ‘buy’ items such stationary or small toy as a reward for their effort. You can see the prize wall below and the sort of things they can earn.

Once the children have completed their learning they get to go to Surf Club, this is place that they can relax, engage in play, read, colour and even play a board game with one of the staff members.

How does the monthly membership work?

Your child can attend the tuition centre once or twice a week for sessions lasting approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

What are the opening hours?

Centre opening hours in Ealing during term time are:

Monday 15:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 15:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 15:00 – 20:00
Thursday 15:00 – 20:00
Friday 15:00 – 20:00
Saturday 10:00 – 18:00
Sunday 11:00 – 17:00
Bank Holidays 10:00 – 16:00
Opening times change when it is school holidays.

Do you have to book?

No, it’s really flexible, you just turn up at a time to suit you. They are open throughout the week, weekend and during school holidays.

What will my children learn?

Maths, problem solving English, reading, spelling and comprehension. This will be done via their own programme of work, which adapts to their own particular strengths and development needs.

How is the centre staffed?

The tutor to child ration is 1:6 and all of the centres are Ofsted registered.

Are there any other options to help pay the fees?

Childcare vouchers/Tax-Free Childcare, the childcare element of Working Tax Credits and the Childcare Grant for full-time students could enable you to save on your monthly membership. They also offer a fantastic scholarship scheme which gives a 50% discount to parents receiving Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance. What’s more, with their ‘Refer A Friend’ scheme members can reduce there monthly membership, simply by successfully introducing other members to Explore Learning.

You will find Explore Learning on the First Floor, Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, Ealing, London, W5 5JY There is plenty of parking available within the shopping centre. The centre is also only a short walk from Ealing Broadway Station. While Amelia is at the centre I usually do a spot of shopping or even have a bit of time out in one of the local coffee shops! For any enquires you can contact the centre on 020 7052 1968

Disclosure – I was gifted one month’s complimentary membership at Explore Learning in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of our experience.

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Watermans – Local Theatre & Cinema for the holidays

December 28, 2018
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At a loss for things to do with the family after Christmas in Ealing? How about visiting your local Arts Centre Watermans? They have some wonderful family theatre and cinema for the Christmas holidays. Watermans is just down the road from Ealing in Brentford. Easily accessible from Ealing, a short bus ride on the number 65 or if you want to drive they have a car park too. We went to see their festive show, The Heart of Winter by Lyngo Theatre and my six year old sat for the full sixty minutes totally engrossed in this original story. She absolutely loved the special effects from the smoke machine, lighting and even the clever use of talcum powder!

Image credit: Anna Forlati

“Christmas is coming and Sally can’t sleep – it’s far too hot! The weather has gone topsy-turvy. No-one can remember the last time it snowed, or even rained, and her father can’t sell any of his umbrellas. To help her sleep Dad reads her a story about the last snowflake.

That night Sally has a dream that changes everything – a mysterious silver spark transforms her bedroom into a glistening, white field where she meets the glowing heart of Winter.

Watermans welcomes back Lyngo Theatre, who brought you the playfully comic Snow Play in 2016. Heart of Winter is their magical new musical show which warmly celebrates family, friendship and the good fortune of finding the winter we really need and want…with the precious festive offering of lots of fluffy snow!”

We really enjoyed this show, it had a magical quality. The story was simple enough for young children to grasp, but at the same time it had a message that adults could get something from it too. You still have time to catch a performance as it ends on the 30th December. Shows run both in the morning and the afternoon. Tickets can be booked online and to give you an idea of the price a family of four could see the show for £36.00, which I think is very reasonable.

Watermans also have plenty of family cinema showing in the coming weeks, including Mary Poppins Returns. Running from the 4th January until the 17th January. They also offer parent and baby screening, which means you get to enjoy a film without the worry that your baby might disturb others.

The Grinch is on now until the 3rd January and with all tickets priced at £5.00. It makes it a more affordable option than going to some of the more mainstream cinemas.

Plus don’t forget The Nutcracker and The Four Realms, which on now until the 3rd January.

Watermans Spring programme is out now, with lots of children’s shows suitable for different age ranges. Some of the highlights include: Three Sat Under The Bayan Tree, Mischief and Mystery in Moomen Valley and Snow White, Red Rose and Brown Bear. Have a look at the Watermans Website for all the details.

Watermans – Brentford, London

Disclaimer: we were gifted free tickets in return for a review. As always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of our visit.

 

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Christmas Gift Guide – With Neon Sheep

December 17, 2018
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Running out of time searching for that perfect gift? Have you been into Neon Sheep at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre? They have a wonderful range of gifts from: stationary, homeware, clothing to tech and phone accessories.

I have put together some of my favourite products to give you some inspiration.Don’t forget these products are available to buy online too.

How about this retro fabric letter board? It comes with 187 letters and is perfect for leaving messages in your home or displaying that quirky quote, £16.00.

Unicorns are all the rage this Christmas so keep warm and cosy in this kids super cute unicorn hat at £5.00.

Fancy giving a present that means they can design their own mugs? Check out this mug decorating kit, which includes two mugs to personalise with oven bake transfers, £8.00.

More unicorn goodies, this textured cushion will brighten up any sofa and is just £8.00.

This knitted mermaid tail blanket is just the thing to keep you cosy on a cold Winter’s evening, £20.00.

You will find Neon Sheep at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, unit 43, Ealing, W5 5JY.

Neon Sheep -Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre

Disclaimer – I was gifted the above items in return for a blog post. All views are my own.

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Pasta Remoli – Italian Restaurant in Ealing

December 16, 2018
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Dickens Yard Ealing is starting to fill up with lots of new businesses and one of the most recent editions  is Pasta Remoli. Fans of fresh Italian cuisine will love this brand new restaurant. With it’s laid back atmosphere it’s  perfect for a family get together. You will find Pasta Remoli at unit 6, Dickens Yard, Longfield Avenue, W5 2TD. They also have restaurants at Westfield Stratford and Finsbury Park if you are going to those areas.

Pasta Remoli, Ealing

I was impressed with space and the decor of the restaurant. The tables layout is good and  they not too close together.

For £6.50 kids can have their choice of pasta and a sauce and then an ice cream to follow. Amelia enjoyed her meal and I think the price is very reasonable for the amount and quality of the food.

It’s always great to see an open kitchen and the service was speedy and efficient!

Our starter was an antipasti platter priced at £16.00, which was more than enough for 2 people to share. It included: a salami and cheese selection, arancini, mixed bruschetta, bread and focaccia.

I decided to try their roast chicken dish (13.00) and really enjoyed the baby chicken which was marinated in paprika, served with roast rosemary potatoes and a mixed salad.

My Husband decided on a fresh pasta dish with Lobster and he wasn’t disappointed!They offer a delicious range of homemade desserts. I couldn’t resist this fruit tart, with a custard base and a fresh fruit topping (£4.50).

Pasta Remoli also offer Masterclasses for the budding chef!

“Designed for enthusiastic home cooks, these masterclasses will give you an opportunity to learn how to prepare perfect pastas and sauces. Simone Remoli’s love for authentic Italian ingredients is the platform behind every recipe he creates, many of which draw inspiration from his native Roman cuisine, with a modern twist. He believes that the greatest inspiration a chef can have is building a delicious dish from one simple yet wonderful ingredient.”

The four weeks course fee is £275 per person to include all ingredients and equipment and a rewarding graduation dinner held at Pasta Remoli Ealing. Classes can also be booked individually at £75 per session (excl. graduation dinner).

For course dates, and to book your class go to Pasta Remoli

Pasta Remoli – Dickens Yard, Ealing

Disclaimer

I was given a complimentary family meal in return for a review. All views and opinions are my own and are an honest view of my recent recent.

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GrillVille Restaurant Review – Pitshanger Lane

November 27, 2018
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Have you tried GrillVille on Pitshanger Lane, Ealing yet? If not then you really must! GrillVille won second place in the Ealing Restaurant Awards 2018 and was definitely well deserved! I would describe GrillVille as a great place to go for a laid back meal. Expect mainly meat on the menu so, steaks, ribs and burgers. They do however offer some vegetarian options if that is what you are after. This is a family run restaurant and really does have a friendly atmosphere.

GrillVille serves breakfast, brunch and dinner and is open Monday to Friday 08:30 to 22:00. At the weekend Saturday 9:00 to 10:00 and Sunday 9:00 -21:00. Their brunch menu is served until 3pm, so it’s the ideal place to go if you fancy a cooked breakfast with all the trimmings.

Some where that is child friendly is so important to me, I really don’t want to go somewhere that doesn’t  make you feel relaxed with children in tow. GrillVille is perfect in that respect, they offer a kid’s menu which includes various choices of a main course and a kids breakfast for £5.95. Our Daughter Amelia was made to feel very welcome and she is already asking when she can go back!

We decided to share a starter which was onion rings served with an aioli dip. The portion sizes are generous, so it was perfect for two!

For our main courses, I went with the whole rack of ribs and my Husband decided upon a steak. Both meals were delicious and we were pleased to find out that GrillVille always tries to source their produce locally on Pitshanger Lane where ever try possible.

Our desserts were equally tasty. We had crepes with frozen berries and chocolate brownie and ice-cream.

GrillVille is a really welcoming family run business and reasonably priced too. You will find them at 114 Pitshanger Lane, London, W5 1QP

Disclaimer – I was invited to sample the menu at GrillVille in return for a review. As always the above post is an honest reflection of my recent visit.

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Pamela Howard School Of Dance – Ballet & Dance Classes In Ealing

November 23, 2018
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The Pamela Howard School of Dance was established in Ealing 70 years ago, originally named the Howard-Le Gray School and started by Pamela Howard herself. Once pupil of The Royal Ballet School and who went on to teach stars from Ealing Studios. The school offers classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern and National dance, for students of all ages and ability, and has recently expanded to include music, drama and body conditioning. All classes are taught by qualified teachers, and they welcome students of all backgrounds and experience. Many students have gone on to work in the dance or performing arts fields, and previous graduates include world renowned dancer and choreographer Graham Lustig.

My Daughter has been taking ballet classes and now also tap classes, since the age of 3 at the Pamela Howard School of Dance. I have been so pleased to see how her dancing ability has progressed. I would recommend classes to local parents, because I have always found the members of staff to be so friendly and they have made both myself and my Daughter always feel so welcome! The standard is high and children are encouraged to move on to examination if they wish.

What are the benefits of ballet for children?

  • Ballet and dance is a brilliant way to nurture confidence in young children. Attending a class usually means leaving parents outside the studio and learning to trust their teacher. Your child will meet new friends and interact with other children. Plus, there may be an opportunity to perform on stage, which for many children can be daughting at first, but can be a real achievement.
  • Ballet teaches children to focus and take instruction.
  • Your child will also develop coordination and balance.
  • Overall ballet and dance are a great form of exercise and as recommended by NHS children between the ages 5 to 18 years should be aiming to get 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

One of things that I love about this school is that they have a yearly stage show, which has been previously held at The Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford. The level of talent has been outstanding and when I have attended a performance, I have almost forgotten that I was in Ealing and for a moment thought I was watching a perfomance in the West End!

If you would like to find out more about the classes available have a look at Pamela Howard School of Dance Website. They have available places in some of their classes, so do contact them to find out more.

The Pamela Howard School of Dance can be found at 141 Broadway, West Ealing, London W13 9BE and you can contact Sue Cunningham on 07850 889948 for more information.

 

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Turtle Bay – a taste of the Caribbean in Ealing Broadway

November 17, 2018
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The evenings are dark and there is definitely a chill in the air, so how about heading down to Turtle Bay, Ealing Broadway to bring a little bit of the Caribbean into your life? Turtle Bay opened back in 2014 at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and since then as been a part of the Ealing restaurant scene. With it’s laid back atmosphere, Caribbean vibes and daily happy hours. We decided to give this restaurant a try as they have recently launched a new children’s menu.

Turtle Bay – Ealing Broadway

Turtle Bay’s new children’s menu launched a few weeks ago and has the added benefit that it offers two different portion sizes. For younger children there is Tiny Turtles which is £5.95 for a starter, main and a drink. For the older ones there is Bigger Turtles which is £7.25 which includes a starter, main and a drink. Puddings are extra and range from £1.75 to £2.50. All in all, I think the kids menu is really good value and Amelia really enjoyed all the courses.

Also, we were happy to find as well as the usual colouring you get in most restaurants Turtle Bay also provides a game of snakes and ladders which really kept Amelia and Daddy occupied!

We enjoyed some tasty starters which included white bait and squid. The portion sizes are large, so you could share them.

I particularly enjoyed my main course of Trini Chicken Curry, which comes complete with rice and peas and a roti flatbread.

There was lots to choose from on the pudding menu, I decided to go with was the banana and toffee cheese cake.

Don’t forget the cocktails! There is a daily happy hour and they even serve mocktails perfect for kids or those who don’t want to drink alcohol!

We really enjoyed our visit to Turtle Bay, there is a wide range of food on the menu, something to suit all tastebuds. Plus the atmosphere is really upbeat and makes for a really different night out. Don’t forget if you are looking for a venue for your Christmas Party this could be a great option, plus they have a special offer at the moment, book a Christmas meal for ten or more people and they will give you a £20 Turtle Bay Gift Card. If there’s thirty or more of you it’s £50!

Disclaimer: I was invited to Turtle Bay to try out their new kids menu in return for a review, as always all views are my own and are a honest reflection of my visit

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Interview with Pam Wade – Local Ealing Photographer

November 9, 2018
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This week I would like to introduce you to Pam Wade who is an Ealing Photographer. I first met Pam last year, when I was looking for someone to take some photographs of my family and I was over the moon with her attention to detail and flair! The first time she took photos of us as a family was in Walpole Park, Ealing. When I looked at the photographs afterwards they had this beautiful rich quality and I could really see all of our personalities coming through on the images. Next Pam came to Amelia’s 6th Birthday Party at The Little Gym Chiswick where she took images for both our family album and for promotional purposes too. Pam is a Mother herself and she really knows how to put children at ease and I think the results speak for themselves! So if you are looking for someone local to Ealing to take some stunning photos of your family, then I can not recommend Pam enough. Also, if you are a local business and need some professional images for your website Pam may well be able to help there too, she has also covered a variety of community and sporting events.

I recently had another photo session with Pam, this time at Kew Gardens and I think you will agree that she has captured the beauty of Autumn perfectly! You will see a selection of Pam’s work from that session below, plus if you scroll down to the bottom of this post you will see more examples of Pam’s work. So now I am handing over to Pam! In this interview she will tell you all about her love of photography and how she balances Motherhood with a successful business.

Our Autumn photo session at Kew Gardens

Where do you live and tell us about your family?

I have lived in Brentford for nine years and have three children, a boy aged ten and identical twin girls aged seven. 

Which places do you recommend to go in Ealing/Brentford? 

As a family we love to eat in Pizza Express, ASK in Kew and La Rosetta in Brentford.  The children are always very well looked after in all of these restaurants and happy children = happy us! For day trips there is nothing our three enjoy more than going to Gunnersbury Park or Boston Manor Park where they love to build dens and climb trees.  We also often take them further afield to Saville Garden and Virginia Water which are both so beautiful, especially this time of year.  We are very lucky to have Watermans theatre on our doorstep and take full advantage of their Saturday morning movies. As a couple we are really enjoying to the Black Dog Beer House in Brentford which only opened a few weeks ago and Sami’s Spice in Brentford was an old favourite but sadly closed recently – we haven’t yet found a new favourite.

What did you do before you became a Photographer? 

Before I became a photographer I worked as a PA at GlaxoSmithKline.  I had worked for SmithKline Beecham / GSK for 16 years and left following the birth of our daughters in 2011. 

Amelia at the The Great Broad Walk Borders – Kew Gardens

Why did you become a Photographer? 

I have always had a love of photography.  Growing up I was rarely without my camera.  Once our children came along my passion for capturing every special moment on camera grew even more and I decided to turn my passion into a business. 

Amelia on the steps of Kew Palace

How did you train/learn photography? 

Over the years I have read lots of manuals and self-help guides.  When I decided to make a business out of photography, I completed the NCFE level 1 and 2 courses at EalingMedia College, followed by a Photoshop course and an Advanced Photography course at the Putney School of Art and Design.  

What camera do you use? 

I use a Canon 5d Mark 3. 

What do you enjoy to photograph the most? 

I love all photography, but I really love working with children the most and being able to capture the personality of each child in my images. 

What tips do you have for photographing children? 

I always get down on the child’s level, try to connect with them and make them relax.  I try to give them enough time to get used to having the camera aimed at them, even showing them the images if they want to see them – sometimes this makes them want you to take more photos. I tell them corny jokes and generally act the fool and play with them – children love an adult who larks around!

How do you balance Motherhood with running your own business? 

This is never an easy thing to do.  Family sessions tend to happen at weekends when most people are not at work, which obviously affects our weekends at home. I try to get most of my editing, marketing and paperwork done while the children are at school, but sometimes it is just not possible.  I am very lucky as I have a very supportive husband who takes control if I have to work at weekends or evenings.  I offer reduced rates for mid-week sessions during school hours to try to minimise my work when the children are at home.  

What is the history of your business? 

I started my business in 2015 and over the years I have worked with so many interesting clients.  The Princess Alice Hospice, photographing two of their fundraising events – Ride London and an abseil down the Orbit Tower – I was totally freaked about having to actually go up the Orbit Tower, but soon lost my fear once I started taking photographs.  Sara Ward at Hen Corner commissioned me to photograph her wonderful micro bakery and separately her Bee Keeping Course.  There was a promotional photoshoot for Katherine Whitby of Babysteps, which was really interesting. 

Recently I provided some product photography for Lucy Savage at Handmade in Ealing, capturing her wonderful Christmas Chocolates and earlier in the year her Easter chocolate range.  St Paul’s Church commissioned me to photograph the licensing of the new Priest in Charge, the Revd Sarah Guiness.  St Paul’s Church of England primary school commissioned me to photograph the dedication service/event for the school’s Alexandra House opening. I was the official photographer for the Brentford Dog show 2017 and more recently, the Brentford Festival 2018 at Blondin park.  I have also worked with Cultivate London, photographing their Farm Day last summer and a Cocktail Evening.  Most recently I have photographed a Yoga Instructor in a very creative session in Gunersbury Park which was lots of fun.  In between all this there have also been lots of lots of family photo sessions, newborn sessions and maternity sessions along the way.  Oh yes, I have also photographed the lovely Ealing Mummy her family on two occasions this year!   

What is the biggest challenge running your own business? 

For me the biggest challenge is time management.  I struggle with trying to wear so many different hats all in one day. On a normal day I am the marketing manager, the accountant, the creative editor, chef, teacher, homemaker, photographer and Mum so juggling all of these and getting the balance right can be quite a challenge. 

How do you suggest a parent should prepare for attending one of your photos sessions? 

Give yourselves plenty of time to prepare in the lead up to the shoot. To make it as stress free for yourselves as possible choose your outfits well before the day and make sure that you and the kids are comfortable in what you are wearing.  Bring a change of clothes for the child, and even a change of top for yourselves just in case you change your mind half way through.  Don’t have a haircut just before the session just in case something goes wrong.  Bribery is a wonderful thing.  If you have a child who is not very happy the day of the shoot make sure you have a treat hidden away!

What packages are you offering at the moment? 

Christmas is fast approaching, so for the month of November I am offering 15 minute mid-week Christmas themed studio sessions for toddlers for £45 and 30 minute family mini sessions in local parks for only £65.

 Do you also offer prints too? 

I offer Mounted Prints, Framed Prints and other wall art such as canvas, acrylic and prices vary depending on size and product. Basic prints are also available to order and prices start at £9.50 for a 5×7 print

 Where can potential clients find out more about you? 

You can find out more about me and see examples of my work on my website www.pamwadephotography.com and also on Instagram and Facebook @pamwadephotography

I am also available by phone for an informal chat 07923 403503

Some more examples of Pam’s work!

Birthday Party at The Little Gym Chiswick
Photo Session – Walpole Park, Ealing

Karen Clancy – KC Flow Yoga Ealing
Handmade In Ealing – Chocolate & Confectionery

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Where to visit Santa this Christmas in London

November 4, 2018
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Christmas is coming (yes I know it is only the 4th November!) So now is the time to think about where your little ones will meet Santa this Christmas! Some grottos in London get booked up very early and if you are looking for certain dates it’s better to be organised and book now. There are so many places to visit Santa or Father Christmas depending on what you like to call the man in red. So how do you decide?

I have compiled a top ten of the places that you could go this festive season. They range in price from completely free to super expensive! Plus, I have given you a brief description of what to expect and I have also added some of my own photos from past years too. I hope you have an amazing Christmas 2018!

Santa’s Grotto Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre – 2017

The Magic Wardrobe – Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre

Where? Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre – Outside Tesco

When? 17thNovember until 23rdDecember, every weekend 11-6pm

Cost? Free!

What to expect? A great opportunity to meet Santa locally, no need to book just turn up! With the added bonus that it is free!

Wyevale Garden Centre – Osterley 2016

Breakfast or Tea with Santa – Wyevale Garden Centre – Osterley

Where? Windmill Lane, Osterley, TW7 5PR

When? from the 1stDecember morning and afternoon slots available.

Cost? £10.95 child & £8.50 Adult

What to expect? Meet Santa and receive a present, tuck into breakfast or enjoy an afternoon tea, decorate your own biscuit and take part in festive fun activities!

Santa’s Grotto – at London Wetland Centre

Where? WWT -Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT

When? 8, 9, 15 & 16 December. 10am– 4pm.

Cost? £10 per child and accompanying adults go free, however normal admission charges apply. So for example a family ticket is £34.77

What to expect? Receive a gift from Father Christmas and have the opportunity for a photo with him! Also husky sleigh rides, donkey rides and an elves workshop at an additional cost.

Image courtesy of Westfield London

Santa’s Snowflake Grotto – Westfield White City

Where? Westfield White City – Shepherd’s Bush

When? 22ndNovember until 24thDecember

Cost? £7.50 per child and £7.50 per adult

What to expect? “Westfield London invites children and families to Santa’s Snowflake Grotto, a magical world of snow. You’ll be transported to the Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves make all the snow in the world. Children will create their own snowflake and explore the various activities within the factory. Meet Santa in his icy Snow Chamber, where every child will receive a gift and have their photo taken with him. To leave the North Pole and go back to London, experience the infinity room. The visit lasts approximately 20-25 minutes, and photos can be purchased in the Christmas Shop at the end.” (source from Westfield website)

Santa’s Grotto – Smiths Garden Centre Denham

Where? Smiths Garden Centre, 95 Oxford Road, New Denham, London, UB9 4DE

When? Various dates in December – book in person or by phone

Cost? £7.50

What to expect? “Meet Santa and also ride the train will also be in operation taking you on a spectacular journey throughout the Smith’s Winter Wonderland on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December, as well as the final week in the lead up to Christmas. The train ride is £2.50 and cannot be booked, just turn up for a magical adventure!” (source from Smith’s website)

Hyde Park – Winter Wonderland

Santa Land at Hyde Park – Winter Wonderland

Where? Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park. Nearby tube station and mainline stations include: Bond Street, Green Park (step free access so best if you have a buggy), Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria.

When? from the 23rdNovember

Cost? FREE!

What to expect? There is no booking, so first come first served basis. Choose your time carefully as it will be busy! Perhaps consider avoiding weekends.

“Catch a glimpse of Santa in his Christmas grotto and enjoy a magical family day out in the new and exclusively designed Santa Land! This year, we’ve created a convenient family entrance that will take you straight into Santa Land. See your little ones’ faces light up as they experience the full festive experience including the brand new 45m long Ice Slide as well as an Ice Trike Trail. There’s so much to do with plenty of eateries and sweet treats, specially chosen rides to suit the little ones and the chance to meet Santa in his grotto.” (source from Winter Wonderland website)

Hamleys, Regent Street

Meet Father Christmas – Hamleys

Where? 188-196 Regent Street, London, W1B 5BT

When? Selected dates from Saturday 24th November – Monday 24th December 2018.

Cost? £39.95 child, adults do not require a ticket. Recommended age range 3-7yrs.

What to expect? “Jingle all the way to the Finest Toy Shop in the World to join Father Christmas and his loveable elves for fun, magic and theatre at this very special time of year. Meeting Father Christmas at Hamleys is an extra special experience where children will take part in seasonal activities, spend time with Father Christmas and receive an extra special gift bag to take home. During this group session each little guest will hear magical stories of Christmas, write their own Christmas wish list and meet Father Christmas himself, all surrounded by the finest toys in the world.” (source from Hamleys website)

Lapland, Uk

Where? Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Road, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8BD

When? 17th November – 24th December

Cost? The cost is variable depending on which day you book, but to give you an idea a family of four (including two adults and two children) would cost £300. this includes:

  • Personalised invitation to every child from Father Christmas by post
  • Entry to LaplandUK
  • Elf Passport for every child
  • All activities, and performances including ice skating
  • Beautiful gift from Father Christmas for every child
  • One free photo per booking
  • Booking fees
  • Parking at Whitmoor Forest
  • Christmas Morning Thank You card from Father Christmas for every child

What to expect? “LaplandUK is an original adaptation of the Father Christmas story and the secret world of the elves brought to life through a 4-hour immersive experience of unprecedented scale and quality.” (source LaplandUK Website)

Visit Father Christmas – Crockford Bridge Farm

Where? New Haw Road, Addlestone, Nr. Weybridge, Surrey KT15 2BU

When? Selected dates in December, check their website for more details.

Cost? child ticket £16, adult ticket £12 and babies in arms 0-8 months go free.

What to expect? “Our Father Christmas visit is a unique and much loved walking performance through The Wonder Wood (our 30 year old real Christmas Tree Forest.) After writing your Christmas wishes and being entertained by a cast of characters along the way, your group will meet Father Christmas in his Log Cabin. There is a gift for every child and a chance to share your Christmas wishes. Our walking performance lasts for approximately 30 minutes.” (source Crock Bridge Farm Website )

Ham House in Richmond, London

Meet Father Christmas  – Ham House

Where? Ham House, Ham Street, Ham, Richmond, TW10 7RS

When? 15thDecember until 23rdDecember

Cost?£5 to visit the grotto plus the usual admission price to enter Ham House, which for a family is £27.60.

What to expect? “Meet Father Christmas and recieve a special Christmas gift or take part in some of our other family activities in the house and gardens. Such as the Children’s trail (which is £3 extra) or make your own set of antlers. Wear them proudly as you explore Ham House. (source taken from Ham House website)

Amelia with Santa – Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre 2017

 

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