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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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It’s that time of year where we all start to feel the pressure! There just seems so much to do and sometimes we just run from task to task and begin to forget that one of the most important things is to spend quality time with our families. This festive season I have teamed up with Clas Ohlson to give you my top tips for a merry stress free Christmas. I have never particularly been into home baking (it’s the mess that puts me off!), but I have decided to try my hand at baking gingerbread men from scratch and I have to say it was a really enjoyable experience!

I have put together some tips, that I think might help busy parents at this time of year:

Delegate – ask other members of your family or household to do some of the shopping for you. Remember you don’t need to do everything!

Preparation – try to get as much Christmas Dinner preparation done in the days before. That way you will be able to enjoy the day with your family.

Organise – write a list and check you have everything you need, so that includes all your gifts and everything you need for wrapping presents, the last thing you need to be doing is hitting the shops at the last minute when it is really busy.

Take time out – Make sure you take out some time for yourself to relax and do something you enjoy.

Clas Ohlson have a brilliant range of items for home baking, so I decided to take some time out from my busy schedule to make and decorate some gingerbread men with Amelia.

I used the following items:

Folklore Spatula Set – £4.99

Biscuit Cutters – £1.99

Mixing Bowl Set – £2.99

Measuring Cup & Spoon Set – £5.99

Cake Tins – 2 pack – £4.99

This gingerbread recipe can be found on the BBC Food Website. I found it was perfect to make with children, as it wasn’t too complicated.

Taking time out for this sort of activity was fun and really took me away from the stress of the festive period for an afternoon!

As you can see Amelia was very proud of the finished product!

Clas Ohlson have stores at Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, Kingston, Manchester, Reading, St Albans and Liverpool. Or of course you can shop online, plus they also offer a click and collect service.

At the moment they are offering free delivery (on orders over £10). Just make sure you order by midnight on December 20th for pre-Christmas delivery.

You will find a wide range of products in store and online, including: Christmas lights and decorations, gift wrapping, multimedia, leisure, electrical and even spare parts.

Clas Ohlson – Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre

Disclaimer – This is a paid collaboration with Clas Ohlson, as always all views and opinions 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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Winter Wonderland – Hyde Park 2018

December 10, 2018
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Every year we look forward to our family trip to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. For me it signals the start of Christmas in London! So even if you have been before or this is your first ever trip, let me tell you what you need to know to enjoy your day at this magical festive experience. Every year they seem to add more and more rides and attractions, so I think it really pays to study all the information available on the Winter WonderLand’s website. That way you can have a think about which rides and attractions you would like to visit. I think if you plan your visit instead of just wondering around, you will actually get more from your day out. The nearer to Christmas Day you go in my opinion the more busy it becomes, so I think go sooner if you can or even wait until after Christmas.

When is it open?

Winter Wonderland is open every day (apart from Christmas Day) from 10am to 10pm until the 6th January 2019.

How much does it cost?

It’s completly free to enter, but of course rides and attractions will have charges. A ride token costs £1.00, children’s ride start at £2.00 and adults rides start at £3.00.

You can purchase tickets for all the shows & attractions via the website.

How do I get there?

The best way to get to Hyde Park is via the Underground or rail via the following stations:

Green Park – step free access

Victoria

Paddington

Marble Arch – avoid at peak times

Hyde Park Corner – avoid at peak times

Can I bring my own drinks?

Only if it is an un-opened bottle of water, anything else the security people will not let you bring in.

Any other tips?

Really do watch your bags and belongings. I haven’t seen any evidence of pick pockets, but I have been told they are around, as in any other busy part of London.

This year we started off our visit with a show, Teletubbies Live! The show is on every day at 11:00am and runs for around 45 minutes. To give you an idea the cost for a family ticket is around £ 30.00 to £46.00 depending on if it is peak time or not (Children under 1 year do not require a ticket), a transaction fee will also be added. We enjoyed a snack before the performance then settled into our seats. It is recommended that you arrive 20 minutes prior to the show start time, which I think is a really good idea as you will also need to allow time to walk from which ever entrance you come into. The new family entrance which brings you in via Santa Land is recommended.

I would say the show is suitable for ages 1 up to 5 years, it was perhaps a bit young for my six year old, but I did see her laughing and joining in when audience participation was needed!

Image credit – Glenn Grafton

Our next show was Zippos Circus, which I have to say for me was the highlight of my visit! I love a good circus and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. Show times are daily at 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Again to give you an idea of ticket prices for a family ticket you are looking at around £30.00 to £46:00 depending on if it is off peak or peak times, a transaction fee will also be added. The show lasts for 45 minutes, which we found with a 6 year old was about the right length of time for her to sit through it.

There was a really good mixture of traditional circus acts and take your breath away stunts and tricks. From amazing acrobatics to stunts involving huge rotating wheels, it really was jar dropping stuff!

Image credit – Piet-Hein Out
Image credit – Piet-Hein Out
Image credit – Piet-Hein Out

I would highly recommend a trip to the circus as it is a great show for all ages. The show was produced really professionally and the level of talent of performers was very high too.

Image credit – Piet-Hein Out

Then it was time to relax and have some lunch in the Bavarian Village. Every year we go I can not resist a Bratwurst sausage and a lovely warming cup of mulled wine! The music and atmosphere in the village always gets me in the Christmas Spirit!

Even if you are not into the German style food you will find so many other opitions such as: chicken and flamed grilled salmon, burgers and so may sweet treats to mention just a few!

Our next activity was The Magic Ice Kingdom, The Secret Forest, which is amazing! But make sure you are wearing a hat, scarf and gloves as it is just like stepping in to a freezer, the temperature can be as low as -10 degrees. It really is magical you will see so many beautiful ice sculptures, you can even sit in your very ice throne and there is an ice slide too which children will love!

You can take your time walking through this attraction, but I would allow around 30 minutes. The last admission is at 9:30pm and to give you an idea of the cost a family ticket ranging between £20.00 and £36:00 depending if on if it is classes as off peak or peak time when you visit, a transaction fee is also added. You are able to bring your pushchair all the way round this attraction which is handy.


There are so many rides to choose from this year. They range from traditional childrens fairground type rides to the super frightening roller costers. We tried a few different ones and this year we even braved Ice Mountain that had all of us screaming, not for the faint hearted!

Image credit – IMG Press & Winter Wonderland

A new addition to Winter Wonderland this year is Santa Land, which is really geared up to younger children and there is also the opportunity to meet Santa in his grotto for free! However the queues will be long at busy times and he does take breaks throughout the day. So do check the times in advance and think about getting there early if you don’t want to wait!

This is just a taste of whats’s on offer at Winter Wonderland for 2018. I think I might be going back for another visit, as I have some other things on my list that I didn’t manage to do!

Image credit – IMG Press & Winter Wonderland

Disclaimer – I was invited to the Family Press Day and received complimentary tickets for various rides and atttractions. All views are my own and are an honest reflection of my visit.

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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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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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Mumbai Avenue – Indian Cuisine in Ealing

October 12, 2018
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Here in Ealing we are spoilt for choice when it comes to Indian Restaurants, but when I saw that Mumbai Avenue has opened on The Avenue I had a feeling it would be something a bit different and I was right! It’s a family owned restaurant, which offers a wide range of Indian cuisine in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant has a limited number of tables, so I would recommend reserving one in advance. It’s bring your own bottle and there is no corkage charge for alcoholic drinks which is a bonus! They also offer a takeaway service if you prefer to enjoy your curry at home.

The decor of the restaurant is bright and welcoming. We were immediately made to feel relaxed and I found that for an early evening meal it was the perfect place to take my Daughter! The owner was able to recommend dishes that would be more suited to a child’s taste buds and even managed to rustle up her very own Aam Ki Lassi (which is a combination of yoghurt, mango and vanilla ice cream), which she was delighted with! If you are looking for an alternative to alcohol (Maybe you are doing Go Sober for October) then they also offer a range of “posh pop” including: Karma Cola, Gingerella and Thumbs Up to name but a few.

The menu is extensive and the owners tell me that all their fresh produce is sourced from Borough and Billingsgate Markets. I was particularly pleased to see lots of wonderful seafood on the menu and as you will see there were plenty of vegetarian options too.

We decided to go for the samosas and Goan king prawn baza for our starters along with the usual popadoms and some very tasty home made chutneys. Our main courses comprised of a chicken kozhi kuttan, tiger prawns and green mango curry and chicken tikka malai from the grill. We also enjoyed a range of rices and breads.

If you have any room for dessert they also serve ice cream by Ice Cream Union.

We had a lovely evening and even teamed it with a drink first at The Drayton Court Hotel which is across the road and by the way has an amazing garden with a play area, just right for our six year old. I highly recommend Mumbai Avenue and can’t wait to go back and sample some more Indian delights from their menu very soon!

You can find Mumbai Avenue at: 25 The Avenue, Ealing, W5 8JR

They are open Monday to Sunday 5pm – 11pm

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary meal, in return for a review. The above is an honest review of my experience and reflects my own opinions.

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Limeyard Restaurant Review – Ealing

October 5, 2018
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I was recently invited back to Limeyard Restaurant in Ealing to sample their new Autumn menu. Limeyard offers all day American style dinning in their restaurant based at 8 Ealing High Street, W5 5DB. You will find them within the restaurant quarter of Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre. It’s the perfect place to go for a lazy family brunch at the weekend in Ealing or a relaxed family meal in the evening. Their children’s menu is great value at £6.50 your little ones can enjoy a main course, desert and drink. Plus colouring and stickers are available to keep them busy! There is plenty of space for buggies, highchairs are available and a downstairs toilet with baby changing facilities.

Enjoying Limeyard Ealing

Since we last visited Limeyard there are lots of new items on the menu, we particularly like this starter that we could all share! It was the Meze Plate (£6.75) and included avocado hummus, olives, sun-dried tomato, pepper dip, radishes and chargrilled flat bread. They have also added small plates to the menu, great if you are not feeling so hungry or want a smaller portion.

Meze Plate to share!
Vegetables as part of the Meze Plate, great for kids!
Sesame Prawns

We also went with this Sesame Prawn starter (£6.75) which came with pak choi, coriander, spring onion and a sweet chilli dip, delicious!

We were impressed with our mains, we had the super tasty Coca-Cola glazed rack of ribs served with fries and spicy house slaw. As always I we found the staff very helpful and friendly. I even got them to do a cheeky photo for me!

So don’t forget Limetime where you can have 2 for 1 cocktails everyday between 5-7pm!

Enjoy a Cocktail!

For desert I went for the Pavlova (£4.50) and I wasn’t disappointed! It was a homemade meringue with fresh strawberries and cream! You could also try their warm chocolate brownie with macadamia nuts and frozen yoghurt (£5.50).

Pavlova

 

With Christmas now on the horizon, you might be planning your work get together? Limeyard have a lovely spacious area upstairs! Plenty of room for you to enjoy a really fun and relaxed night out.

Upstairs in Limeyard

Once again thank you to Limeyard for inviting us. This is a family friendly restaurant which welcomes children and it’s always somewhere we want to go back to! You willl find Limeyard at the restaurant quarter of Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.

Opening hours are:

Monday to Friday 8am – 11pm

Saturday 9am-11:30pm

Sunday 9am -10:30pm

Limeyard Ealing Broadway

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary meal, in return for a review. The above is an honest review of my experience and reflects my own opinions.

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Escape The City – at Soane’s Kitchen Ealing

August 30, 2018
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Last week, I was invited with my family to sample a new restaurant that opened this Summer in Ealing, within Pitzhanger Manor’s walled garden, Soane’s Kitchen. I was in for a treat, because not only was the food sensational, but the atmosphere really was something special! The inside of the restaurant has a real botanical feel, unlike anything I have seen before! So let me give tell you all about my evening and why Soane’s Kitchen is my new favourite place to take time out in relax in Ealing!

Let’s start with the Menu! It’s all day dinning, so you could come here for brunch, lunch or dinner. I found the restaurant to be family friendly. The staff did all they could to make my Daughter feel welcome. The waitress even provided colouring and encouraged my Daughter to draw a picture that they would put up in the staff office!  The children’s menu has some good healthy options and are the sort of things I think most children would eat.

I also noticed that highchairs were available and changing facilities were available in the toilets. An added bonus was the oppournity to pop out into the beautiful walled garden between course to explore!

I had a delicious starter – Cornish White Crab Taco with Avocado – £9.50

My main course was something a bit different Tempura Shrimp and Squid Ink Burger, don’t let the colour of the burger bun put you off, as it really was very tasty! – £12.50

And not to forget dessert! Which was a delicate Apple, Ealing Honey and Elderflower Cake – £6.50. The perfect end to a wonderful evening! Plus, I loved the fact that they try to use local ingredients.

So next time you are looking for a child friendly restaurant in Ealing or perhaps somewhere to go for date night give Soane’s Kitchen a try! I’m already thinking about my next visit!

Don’t forget to follow Soane’s Kitchen on social media too, Facebook and Instagram.

Disclaimer – I was offered a complimentary meal in return for a review. As always all my views and opinions are my own.

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Ealing Broadway Shopping – has all you need for Back to School

August 22, 2018
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It’s time to get organised, the Summer Holidays are coming to an end soon! So parents we need to be thinking uniforms, shoes and stationary! I’m not a fan of shopping at the last minute, as for me this adds even more stress to the already high pressure of finding the right sizes and fit. So save yourself the headache of the last minute rush and head on down to Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre where you will find all you need for Back to School 2018!

M&S School have some great quality uniforms and accessories to kit your kids out, for a competitive price. Many of their products feature extra benefits such as easy iron, stay new technology and stain resistant material. As we all know how hard it is to keep kids clothes looking stain and crease free!

Amelia wears:

Dress, benefits include: stain resistant, easy to iron, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £10

Grey Cardigan Stay New, responsibly sourced cotton, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £10

Hair Accessories – Navy pack (includes X2 hair ties, X2 clips and alice band) – £5

They also offer a great range of school shoes too! This cute pair which features little diamonté detail which put a smile on my Daughter’s face! Other features include FreshFeet, which keeps their feet fresher for longer, breathable lining, coated leather and scuff resistance too! – £26

M&S have lots of sports wear available too. Again at very resonable prices.

Cycle shorts, 2 pairs active sport collection, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £10

Polo shirts 2 pack, stain resistant, responsibly sourced cotton, machine wash, tumble dry, PFC free – £9

Cotton rich socks, 5 pairs, Cool & FreshFeet reinforced heals and toes – £7

Smiggle has so many great school bags suitable for all ages, plus a huge variety of colourful stationary too!

Amelia loves this junior bunny backpack  – £26.50, which has the following features:

  • 3 zipped compartments main compartment with double zip
  • Inner compartment fits A4 notebook
  • Dual drink bottle sleeves
  • Padded adjustable shoulder straps
  • Carry handle
  • Internal name label
  • W 25cm x H 36.5cm x D13cm

Don’t forget your stationary and other school essentials. Check out Clas Ohlson range of stationary and pick up some other useful products from Superdrug too.

Sticky Notes Cube £1.99

Sticky notes set – £3.99

X6 Highlighter Pens – £2.99

Triangular Scale Ruler 15cm – £2.99

Casio Calculator- £14.99

A5 lined Planets notebook – £2.99

Plain notebook A5- £2.99

A4 Magazine rack – £5.99

Bic Pen – £4.99

Be ready for any sniffles or colds that they are bound to pick up when back at school, stock up at Superdrug

TLC Chewy vites Calcium & Vitamin D3 – £3.99

Blister Plasters – £3.79

Pocket Tissues 12 pack – £1.50

Paracetamol Caplets – £0.45

Nail Clippers & Scissors set – £2.49

Would you like to WIN this gorgeous backpack from Smiggle? Well, head over to my Instagram, all you have to do is follow me and Ealing Shopping, plus tag a friend and you could be sending your little one off to school with this super cute backpack! Terms and conditions apply, see my Instagram post for full details.

Image by Smiggle

This is post is a collaboration with Ealing Broadway Shopping.

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