My spotlight series focuses on different areas of London and this week I would like to introduce you to Pitshanger Lane, Ealing. I find it amazing that lots of people I have met who have lived in Ealing for a while have never ventured to this part of Ealing! Pitshanger Lane has a village atmosphere that I don’t think you will find anywhere in Ealing. Previously crowned the winner of The Great British High Street in 2015. There is no shortage of local independent businesses all along the Lane and there really is a community spirit too! So let me take you on a little tour and I will point out a few of my favourite places. I hope this will encourage you to go and visit this lovely part of Ealing! If you would like to get there by bus then you catch either the E2 or E9 from Ealing Broadway.
Where to Shop
If you love to shop then you have come to the right place! Pitshanger Lane has an abundance of independent shops and boutiques to suit every taste. My particular favourites are:
64 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QX
Ladies clothing and accessories boutique. Selling a gorgeous range of smart and casual pieces that you are unlikely to see anyone else wearing! From mainly British and European designers. Owned and run by the lovely Francesca.
141 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1RH
I love a good book shop and the fact that The Pitshanger Book Shop is independent makes it even more attractive to me, as I love to support local businesses. There is an excellent choice of fiction and non-fiction. Plus a wonderful selection of children’s books, toys and art/craft materials and activities. So if you are ever stuck for a child’s birthday present this is definitely the place to go! They also stock greeting cards and gift wrap too.
The shop supports local schools and also holds events for authors to read their own work, so do check out their website for upcoming events.
120 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QP
Mooch has two shops in Ealing, the other one situated on Northfields Avenue. This independent gift shop sells a fabulous range of jewellery, local prints, clothing and some lovely little finds that you will be hard pushed to find anywhere else! A really great range of children and baby gifts, toys , accessories and clothes too! The shop is a real treasure trove and I absolutely love having a browse.
Where to Eat & Drink
There are numerous restaurants, cafes and takeaways on Pitshanger Lane. I am currently working my way through them all! Anyone who knows me, will be aware that one of my favourite pastimes is sipping a cappuccino in a well placed coffee shop!
90 Pitshanger Lane
The cupcakes you see in the picture above are adorned with jelly sweets and are famous in these parts! Local children always ask for them. My Daughter included! This coffee shop is very child friendly and there is plenty of room for buggies. The owner herself even commented that many Mum’s come here because they know it is a relaxed place and won’t feel self-conscious breast feeding.
The other bonus is the secret garden out the back!
60 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QY
If you are looking for a great selection of cheese, wine and other delicious deli treats then you must try Harrison’s. They have tables out the front if you would like to relax with a glass of wine and perhaps a charcuterie platter! The shop was opened in 2010 by Belinda Harrison and has become a firm favourite with locals and visitors to the area.
Pitshanger Lane for Children
This is my favourite part of course, as I love to talk about anything to do with kids! There is plenty going on for children on The Lane, so here are my top picks!
38 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QY
96 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QX
Innovation Dance Studio teaches RAD Ballet syllabus, ISTD Modern and Tap and UDO Street Dance. they also offer open classes for children, which include street dance classes for 4 years and upwards, jazz/musical theatre classes, and baby classes for 9+ months. They also offer adult classes too. Next to the studio there is a boutique shop selling dance wear and other children’s fashion.
113-115 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1RH
Explore Learning provides private Maths and English tuition to children. Their programmes are tailored to each child’s need with expert tutors. They offer preparation with SATs and the 11 Plus. I popped in to have a chat with the teachers and found them to be very friendly and approachable. They offer a free trial, so I have booked my Daughter in to find out more for myself.
Other things going on in and around Pitshanger Lane
On Saturday 10th June St Barnabas Church is hosting Jazz on The Lane. At 10:30am there will be a lively Jazz Mass to celebrate the festival of St Barnabas. Then in the afternoon from 1-6pm there will be Jazz in the Garden. The Headlining act will be Rum Buffalo and a line up of other local bands. It’s free admission and suitable for families.
Party in the Park return on Sunday 1st July in Pitshanger Park. It promises to be another wonderful family day out. Many local business have stalls and there is real community vibe. Last year there were fairground rides, a dance show and food stalls too!
I hope you enjoyed reading about this lovely part of Ealing. Maybe it has inspired you to go and have a look at all The Lane has to offer ? Do let me know which are your favourite businesses and shops on Pitshanger Lane?
I was over the moon when itsu arrived in Ealing Broadway! It has been a favourite of mine to go for a healthy lunch when out and about in London. Itsu currently have 60 shops in various locations throughout London and branches in Cambridge, Oxford, Reading, Richmond, Stanstead Airport and Heathrow Airport.
Eat Beautiful, is how itsu describes their menu and I tend to agree with this, because I have always found their food to be presented in a lovely way, plus the ingredients are both fresh and great quality too! So last week I decided to introduce my Daughter to the Itsu experience! I thought it would be the perfect after school meal and I must say she was really happy with the choices available that suited her taste buds!
I absolutely love the decor and the ambience of itsu. It’s the little touches that I like, for example each table had a tea light placed on it. The background music wasn’t loud and I have noticed all table tops are kept very clean and tidy.
As you can see from my photos highchairs are available for little ones and there was a clean toilet in the store with baby changing facilities too.
Another reason I am so keen on itsu is the choice of meals that are available. There is a fine selection of Sushi, but if you are not a fan of this traditional Japanese food, then there are plenty of tasty alternatives. I particularly like the asian salads, with either teriyaki chicken or salmon. There are some great vegetarian options too.
In this cold weather it’s always great to have a hot food opinion too. Itsu serve a variety of dumplings with dipping sauces. Plus there is a wide selection of noodle soups, hot chicken and rice dishes, such as katsu chicken curry or spicy korean pork and rice.
My Daughter decided up:
Starter – Edamame beans
Main – Pandamania – which consists of chargrilled chicken with chives, salmon baby rolls, avocado baby rolls, sushi rice, sesame seeds and Muki beans.
Desert – Coconut Little Choc Pot
Drink – Fresh juice made in store – Raw Fruitfix containing ginger, apple, pineapple, strawberries, banana, and apple juice blended with ice.
She absolutely loved her fresh juice as you can see by the look on her face!
I couldn’t resist a lovely box of sushi! The quality of the sushi was great! (I have tried sushi from many different restaurants and I have also travelled to Japan in the past, so I think I am well qualified to comment). I also decided to have a coffee and a chocolate desert to go with it.
There are plenty more desserts to choose from. You will be spoilt for choice!
Don’t forget istu have a half price sale every evening. So if you are around just before the store closes you can grab your favourite dish for half the price! This also shows Itsu’s commitment to start each day with 100% fresh food.
This is a collaborative post. However all opinions are my own and are an honest reflection of my visit to the store.
Limeyard Resturant is situated in the food quarter of The Ealing Broadway Centre, so it is perfectly placed as a stop off after a busy afternoon’s shopping or for a weekend family meal. The relaxed dinning style means it is a great option when eating out with children. So let yourself be transported into an all day American Kitchen and soak up the Californian lifestyle for a while! Sunglasses are optional of course!
We visited early evening on a Saturday and were welcomed by the friendly staff. This meant that we could also take advantage of the Happy Hour promotion (which currently runs daily between 5-7pm). So you can buy one and get one free on selected cocktails! So I had the Frosé cocktail which is Rosé Wine, vodka, watermelon, strawberry and syrup, while my Hubby had a Mojito!
Limeyard offer a children’s menu. For £6.50 your child will be able to enjoy a two course meal and a drink, which I think is excellent value for money. They also provide an activities and colouring sheet to keep your little ones busy. There were stickers and even a lovely multi-coloured crayon, this went down really well!
I also want to point out that I noticed there was plenty of space for buggies and high chairs were available. The main toilets are upstairs, however baby changing facilities are on the ground floor level.
My Daughter went for the Buttermilk Chicken Fried Nuggets, which came with a healthy side of salad and corn on the cob. She really enjoyed her meal and actually said the nuggets were one of the most tasty she has had! For dessert she decided to choose the Brownie Sundae which wasn’t in the bowl for very long!
For my main meal I couldn’t resist the Limeyard BBQ board this consisted of: coca cola glazed ribs, BBQ mission street wings served with buttermilk onion wings, spicy house slaw and grilled corn. It was a very generous portion, the meat was good quality and overall I think this was one of my favourite main courses that I have had at Limeyard.
There was an excellent range of deserts and I decided upon the slow baked lemon and vanilla cheesecake, which came with a toasted coconut and blueberry compote. It was absolutely delicious I wasn’t disappointed!
I would definitely recommend Limeyard for a family meal. I found the staff to be attentive and very friendly towards us and our Daughter. I think if you are looking for a relaxed restaurant that serves good quality food then you should give it a try! They also serve breakfast too, so we will be giving that a try soon.
Don’t forget to follow Limeyard on social media to stay up to date with all their latest offers.
Disclosure: I was given a complimentory voucher by the restaurant for our meals. The above is an honest review of my experience and reflects my own opinions.
This Half Term we decided to book a family holiday to Center Parcs and this time we picked Woburn Forest as we hadn’t visited this location before. We particularly liked the fact that it takes just over one hour to drive there from Ealing and as our little one tends to suffer with travel sickness, so this really suited us.
So let me walk you through what we got up to this October Half Term and also share with you my top tips for a successful break!
We stayed in an Woodland Lodge and found it was worth spending that bit extra on the accommodation this time. Not only do you get the added bonus of a daily maid service, but generally the decor and furniture was much more modern and fresh. I really loved some of the extras such as a coffee machine and there was even a refrigerated wine cooler! Ok, so Centre Parcs are not cheapest holiday, but you get what you pay for. For me when I go away, I want to stay somewhere that is as good as or nicer than my own home.
Our lodge had a large open plan living and kitchen area, two bedrooms both with en-suite bathrooms. You also have Wi-Fi included, flat screen TV’s in the lounge and both bedrooms, an outside patio area with seating, plus your bed linen and towels are included. We didn’t get to use it, but there is also an open fire place which I’m sure would be so cosy on a Winter’s evening. Over all I was very impressed with the accommodation the rooms were spotless and extras were provided such as toiletries, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets, hairdryer and pods for the coffee machine.
There are so many activities to choose from during your stay. There is something for everyone and we found for our five year old there was plenty to keep her occupied. We tend not to book too much as we want to enjoy all that the park has to offer without rushing around. As went stayed around Halloween there was lots of activities based around this theme.
Our Daughter did pumpkin hunting and also attended a spooky princesses and wizards party which she enjoyed a lot. I noticed that the staff really made an effort and dressed up in costumes, which also added to the Halloween atmosphere!
We also did pony riding, which is a real treat and pottery painting which I absolutely loved, as you can see from the photo I was totally lost in concentration.
What You Can Do For Free?
Yes, there are things to do that are totally free! You can bring your own bikes and then cycle around the forest’s numerous paths. Once everyone has parked their cars it is really safe to cycle and very relaxing too. Or you could get on your scooter and have a whiz around.
Of course the Subtropical Swimming Paradise is included in the price of your stay. You will find that the lockers work with your electronic wrist bands and there are buoyancy aids available free of charge for children. Our little one particularly liked the wave machine and the lazy river.
You could also enjoy a walk or jog in the forest, there are lots of paths and there are also two lovely adventure playgrounds.
There is always soft play, if you can handle the chaos! Available in The Sports Bar and in various restaurants.
We were lucky enough to be there the week before Bonfire night, so got to experience a wonderful free fireworks display down by the lake. It was a great atmosphere with entertainers and open air food stalls too.
Eating & Drinking
We like to eat out in the evenings and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Most of them have children’s play areas, which for us is a real bonus. We can sit and relax while our daughter gets to burn off some energy.
This time we tried Strada, Cafe Rouge, Hucks (Hucks has the biggest and best play area) and Las Iguanas. We found the staff to be really friendly and helpful and so geared towards children. There were always colouring activities to keep her busy!
There are other options for lunch and more informal dinning, such as Starbucks, The Sports Cafe and The Pancake House.
The Ealing Mummy’s Top Tips When Staying At Centre Parcs
- Make sure you book all your activities well in advance of your holiday, especially at peak times they will get booked up and you don’t want to be disappointed!
- Try to take your basic food essentials such as: bread, milk, cereals, cooking oil, tea bags. It will save on time and money going to the on site shop.
- Don’t forget your wellies, waterproofs and umbrellas. Some lodges are a fair old walk to the Village Centre or Sub Tropical Swimming Pool.
- You will need to bring towels for use at the swimming pool, as you are not meant to use your accommodation towels for this purpose. You can however hire towels too for a price.
- I would also advice making any restaurant bookings in advance too, because there are limited tables available early evening when everyone with children wants to eat.
- Think about arriving before the official check in time for your lodge (which is 3pm), you can park your car and use all the facilities it make your holiday that bit longer!
Will We Be Going Back?
Yes! most definitely! The thing with Center Parcs is it has so many benefits and what ever the British weather throws at you there is always plenty to keep us occupied. There is so much to do and the activities fit a variety of age ranges, so I can see us going back for many years to come!
The other thing I love is that they really do make an effort to make the forest look magical for Christmas. While we were there I saw staff putting up numerous lights, features, Christmas trees (with artificial snow) and even a wooden grotto. I think a Christmas stay could be on my bucket list!
All comments and opinions are my own and are an honest reflection of our recent stay at Center Parcs. This review is completely independent and I have not been paid by Center Parcs or given anything for free.
I would like to introduce to you to what we think is a real up and coming area of Ealing and that is St Mary’s Road. Over the past year I have noticed more and more local businesses springing up. Some people even call it “St Mary’s Village” and rightly so because I think it really does have that village atmosphere and community spirit to it. So here is my spotlight guide to where to go in this beautiful little part of Ealing.
Looking for your coffee fix?
Well you have a couple of choices here, my favourites are:
The originally named Moon and Maybe has a gorgeous styled interior, friendly helpful staff and best of all a little secret garden at the back. All we need now is the weather to enjoy this beautiful little spot! The coffee served here was spot on and I really enjoyed the toasted panini they serve up here. I must say we didn’t see any children while we were in there, but I see no reason why this venue would not be child friendly.
My next coffee top spot would be Munsons, this has been an Ealing coffee institution for some time now. Excellent coffee, cakes and pastries, plus for the up coming Spring/Summer months it is a great place to sit outside the front and watch the world go by.
On the look out for original gifts?
Well, look no further perhaps you have walked past this place on your way to South Ealing Tube and wondered what this shop is? Made In Venezuela is a boutique shop selling various crafts, arts and clothing all made in Venezuela. I really like the ethos of this shop as the owners are supporting locally people in this third world country, which means that if you buy from this shop you are supporting local people.
Looking for a tasty meal?
The Walpole established in 2001 and said to be Marco Pierre White’s favourite restaurant. It might be open only on Fridays and Saturday nights for Dinner, but is well worth the wait!
Looking for some tasty French food?
Here you can find a little bit of France right here in Ealing! The French Gourmet store opened it’s doors late last year and continues to supply the residents of Ealing with all the best produce direct from France.
Lastly are you looking for a Vegan meal?
Newly open Vegan HQ will have your taste buds watering. With everything Vegan all under one roof, plus they are child and dog friendly too! You will find them serving up fast food, coffee and even sell a selction of groceries also. We are told it is the first organic vegan coffee shop in West London.
You can follow Vegan HQ on Intagram @veganhquk
I hope you enjoyed my little tour around South Ealing’s St Mary’s Road. Look out for another spotlight feature soon!