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?
It’s finally starting to feel like Spring! So now is the time to start thinking about updating your children’s wardrobe for the warmer weather which is on the horizon! Spring is my favourite time of year as I love to start dressing Amelia in pretty floral prints and bright colours. Children’s fashion is one of my passions, so I have styled some gorgeous outfits, that are all available to purchase locally at The Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.
I don’t know about you, but I find this time of the year the perfect opportunity to go through my Daughter’s wardrobe. I like to take out any clothes she has grown out of or put away any items that are more suited to colder weather.
For this kids fashion review I have enlisted the help of Ben, who is my friend’s little boy. I wanted to show you some super cute boy’s fashion too!
Ben wears cotton printed short pyjamas £8.00 by Marks & Spencer.
This fun shark dressing gown is £15.00 and great for the mornings that are still a bit chilly!
H&M have some great value kids clothes. Ben wears a polo shirt £7.99 and skinny fit jeans £14.99.
Amelia is loving this pretty look also by H&M, sleeveless lace dress £9.99, demin jacket £14.99 and I think the floral headband at £2.99 finishes the outfit off.
Have you been into Cath Kidston yet in Ealing Broadway? Their range of children’s clothes are gorgeous and I particulary love this look that Ben is modelling! The London print theme and knitwear is so bright and colourful.
Ben wears the knitted tank top £28.00, Billie’s travels long sleeve shirt £20.00.
The London Streets Annual Teddy is in my opinion, a lovely gift for a new baby in 2018 – £12.00.
The matching backpack is again in the Billie’s Travels print priced at £25.00.
I love to dress Amelia in floral prints and this beautiful dress by Cath Kidston is perfect for a Spring walk in the park!
Island Bunch Square Neck Dress – £28.00
Scattered Rose Hair Clips – £4.00
Socks – £4.00
Scattered Rose Mini Rucksack – £18.00 to carry all the things a little girl needs for a day out!
To top it off this traditional ballerina rag doll.
My go to shop every since Amelia was born has always been Marks & Spencer. Amelia wears this pretty floral pure cotton prom dress £24.00, with a co-ordinating cotton frill sleeve cardigan in yellow £12.00 and face cross bar leather shoes £22.00.
This is a collaborative post with Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre. As always all views and opinions are my own.
Yoga is something that I have only tried maybe once before in my life, so I was slightly apprehensive when I arrived for my first class at triyoga in Ealing. However, I need not had been worried because as soon as walked in the friendly reception staff made me feel welcome and gave me a show around. I particularly liked the computer check in system, which made for a speedy and efficient entrance!
I think we all know the immense benefits of practicing yoga for the mind, body and spirit, but for me this was a rare self-care opportunity. I felt almost liberated to put my mobile away in the locker and have a bit of me time for a while. I stepped away from my busy world and it felt great!
The studio is based in Dickens Yard, so is very central and easily accessible. There is on street parking nearby and only a few minutes’ walk from Ealing Broadway Station. triyoga also has studios in: Camden, Chelsea, Covent Garden, Shoreditch and Soho.
As soon as I entered the studio (I’m not sure if it was removing my shoes or the smell of incense), I felt relaxed. What I found with triyoga is that it is not just a yoga studio, but in some ways more a little community of its own.
I loved the fact that there is an on-site boutique selling everything yoga related from mats, to clothing to books. They also offer a range of complimentary therapies and treatments such as: reflexology, reiki, acupuncture, osteopathy, life coaching and cupping to name just a few.
Pregnancy yoga classes are available at the Ealing studio and there is also a Mummy and Me class (Dad’s welcome too) for parents and movement for babies from forty days to crawling.
There is an onsite café CPress serving fresh healthy organic food, coffee and cold pressed juices. The area is a peaceful relaxed place to sit down after your yoga session to enjoy lunch or a snack. Or perhaps meet up with some friends!
I’m not sure if it is standard in many yoga studios, but I absolutely loved the fact that the floor was heated. I went into the ladies changing area and was happy to see there was enough space to get changed comfortably, plenty of lockers, toilets and a shower (this might be well needed if you op for a hot yoga session)! Plus it was very clean too!
Children are welcome at triyoga, my Daughter was over the moon to try one of the classes. Classes are broken down in to the following age groups. Ages 4-6 years, 7-9 years, 10-12 years and teenagers.
While she was in the class, I had a coffee in the café and afterwards she said she couldn’t wait for the next class! Relaxed and chilled out is how I would describe her mood afterwards. I can definitely see the benefits for this sort of class after a busy day at school!
My Top Tips are:
- My main piece of advice for the adult classes would be to do your research on which class you should start off with. If you are not sure perhaps discuss the various options with the staff. I made the mistake of booking myself in for what I am told is one of the most challenging classes Astanga Yoga! I did manage to participate in some of this class, but I did find it differcuilt to keep up at times!
- The other classes I did were: Yoga Level 1 and Yoga Gentle Open. I would recommend these for beginners. Simply before the teachers were understanding and happy for me to go at my own pace.
- I would also say don’t be afraid to ask for help if you can’t get in the right position or find something uncomfortable. I was really pleased to find there are lots of adjustments that can be made for someone like me who has lower back problems. There is always the use of optional belts, blocks or extra blankets to help your positioning.
- Do take a bottle of water, especially if you attending a hot yoga session. There are water fountains available if you need to top up.
- Try not compare yourself to others. I saw people of all abilities, some of those were getting into positions that there is no way at this stage that I could achieve! Don’t forget some people have been practicing yoga for many years.
- Don’t feel like you need to wear fancy yoga clothes. I saw plenty of people in leggings and t-shirts. Maybe invest in some key pieces later down the line.
Overall I found triyoga to be a lovely venue, purpose built for yoga and the staff could not do enough to help me.
I hope to go back soon and try out some other classes. They currently have an offer where you can have 30 days of unlimited yoga, mat pilates and barre for £54. This is for new customers only and terms and conditions apply. Check out the website for more details.
This is a collaborative post. triyoga gifted me a number of free classes in return for a review. However, all opinions are my own and are a honest reflection of how I found the studio.
Featured image is courtesy of triyoga.
This Easter we had the opportunity to try out some treats all the way from Sweden! It’s something a bit different from our usual Easter Eggs. Clas Ohlson has now become a familiar face on the British High Street and we were really pleased when they opened one of their stores in the Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre.
What can you do with the kids on a cold Sunday afternoon? Go and take advantage of some of the great Children’s Theatre currently running at Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford. Last weekend we went to see Jay Foreman’s Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this performance, as I haven’t seen any children’s comedy before. However I was pleasantly surprised!
I didn’t expect to actually find it that funny, but I was laughing along with my Daughter and laughing even louder at some jokes that maybe she didn’t get. My Daughter is almost 6 years old so I would say it is suitable from 5 years and up depending on the child of course.
Jay Foreman has performed four sell out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and by all accounts he has a real talent for entertaining children and adults alike! Some critics have even compared him to the comic genius that was Spike Milligan and I would definitely agree with that. we both found his show absolutely hallarious!
What I particularly enjoyed about his show was the way he engaged with the audience. My Daughter found it particularly funny that Jay asked the audience to replace a round of applause with a loud raspberry!
He mixes rhymes and songs with strange noises, we really liked the following songs: My car runs on caterpillar sick which gives a nod to being more environmentally friendly. Grandma which talks about trying to get you to eat unbranded expired food! Then there is The Sooty Show which really took me back to my childhood!
Since we have been going to the theatre on a more regular basis. I can really see the benefits to all of us as a family. Not only does it give you the opportunity to do something together, but it also means that you and your child are introduced to new topics for discussion.
I actually hadn’t laughed as much as I did last weekend in ages! We both left the theatre in an upbeat mood proving laughter really is the best therapy, especially on a cold dark afternoon!
Watermans have lots more Children’s Theatre and activities coming up over the Easter holidays. So head over to their website and check out their Children’s Family Theatre Spring Brochure for all the listings. If you can book soon, as these performances tend to get booked up well in advance.
All views are my own and are an honest reflection of the show I saw. I was given complimentary ticket in return for a review.
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.
There are so many activity classes for babies and toddlers available locally in Ealing, so as a Mum it can be overwhelming at times to decided which one to go for. One of the aims of my blog is to provide honest and useful reviews to help parents decide where they should take their children. This week I was thrilled to be asked along to a Monkey Music class. I was able to find out more about how music can benefit a young child’s development.
I met up with Helly Summerly, who is the Principal Teacher for the Ealing and Acton area. I was able to see for myself what went on in a Monkey Music class. On the day I visited at Ealing Green Church, I watched the Rock ‘N’ Roll class which is aimed at babies from 3 months up to 12 months.
The venue is perfect for this sort of class. The church has plenty of space for buggies and baby changing facilities. Plus the acoustics of the building made Helly’s voice sound even more beautiful! The special thing for me about Monkey Music is that not only are some of the songs original, but the teacher is singing along with the music and interacting with the children.
What really struck me was that Helly the Teacher made sure that every child was included and made a special effort to get them to engage with her. There were so many smiling happy faces both from the babies and the parents. I notice that the children naturally crawled towards Helly and I think that says a lot.
I loved the way Helly used puppets and bubbles to interact with the children and even brought in elements of the seasons. She was teaching the children about Autumn using paper leaves and a squirrel puppet. You could see the children absolutely loved it!
One of my favourite parts of the session was at the very end when Helly sang a goodbye song, it was lovely to see the children relaxing and calming down with their parents.
I can not recommend Monkey Music enough! I watched both children and parents really submerge themselves in to the world of music. I just wish Monkey Music had been around when my Daughter was this age!
Helly, could you tell me a bit about the background to Monkey Music?
The Monkey Music curriculum was written by Guildhall School of Music & Drama graduate Angie Coates, now Monkey Music’s Managing Director. Classes first opened in London in 1993 and Monkey Music’s popularity led to the company being franchised in 1998. More than 50 franchises currently operate in nearly 300 locations across the UK.
Specialist teachers are carefully chosen for their natural ability to communicate with and entertain young children and their carers, gently encouraging social and musical skills within a fun, stimulating and friendly environment.
How does music taught in groups benefit young children?
Early exposure to singing, listening to and playing music can sharpen up a whole range of educational skills. Language and numerical skills flourish through action songs and rhymes; fine motor skills are refined through playing hand held percussion instruments, while an awareness of space and one another is developed through movement. The children’s confidence and self-esteem grows rapidly as their involvement in the group increases.
What classes are available and what age groups are they suitable for?
Rock’n’Roll – from 3 months
Designed specifically for Mums, Dads and very young babies to share together.
During each class the babies and adults are engaged through gentle songs, fascinating sounds and absorbing activities.
Heigh-Ho – from 12 months
Young toddlers love being up on their feet so lots of dancing and moving encourages the children to explore the space around them and express the music they hear.
The children thrive on the ‘steady beat’ and are very enthusiastic young members of the Monkey Music band. Themed classes and bold colourful props captivate the children and encourage everyone to get involved.
Jiggety-Jig – 2 & 3 years
By this stage, children can really express the joy that music brings them. They sing, dance, play, move, tell stories, speak, and listen to music together.
Monkey Music teachers make sure that the children develop their sense of rhythm whilst playing in time to Monkey Music songs and games. Hoops, parachute games and circle dances are always popular Jiggety-Jig activities.
Ding-Dong – 3 & 4 years
Up until now the children have been listening and responding to music they hear. Now that their ears have been ‘finely tuned’ Monkey Music teaches them what music means when they see it written down.
Reading simple traditional musical notation comes easily to Monkey Music children as it is integrated into the final part of our interactive curriculum.
Helly can you tell me more about yourself and why you became involved with Monkey Music?
I first discovered Monkey Music when I was looking for music classes to take my own baby daughter to whilst I was on maternity leave. As a musician myself, I was keen to find something that incorporated key musical elements whilst also being enjoyable for my daughter. We went to our first Monkey Music class when she was just a few months old, and I was immediately impressed by the musical content of the classes we attended. And seeing the delight on my daughter’s face each week when we she recognised her favourite Monkey songs quickly made it the highlight of our week!
When the opportunity arose for me to take on my own Monkey Music franchise in Ealing and Acton, I realised I had found the perfect way to combine my passion for music and singing, with my love of babies and interest in the important role that music can play in child development. And it meant I could return to Ealing, where I had spent many happy years, to teach!
I am a trained classical singer, having studied at Oxford University where I held a choral scholarship. I have performed as a soloist with many of London’s leading chamber choirs, and feature on over 20 commercial recordings. I have performed on Radio 3 on several occasions and continue to give regular live performances (when I’m not busy teaching Monkey Music or being a Mum!) Before I had my daughter, I also pursued an International career in Marketing and Innovation, and was on the board of directors of a luxury toiletries company.
When and where are the classes?
Classes take place on Mondays at The Grange Pub and Dining Room, on Tuesdays at Ealing Green Church and on Wednesdays at St Paul’s, Playschool Hall.
The current term will end on the 15th December 2017. Helly is taking bookings now for the next term, which will start on the 8th January 2018. However, you are welcome to join part way through the term if you wish. Your first class is free and is a great way to find out if the class suits you and your child. Go to the Monkey Music Website for more information and timetables.
How can I book?
You can book via the website or you can contact Helly directly (see details below). Or alternatively you can book your first free class via the Hoop App.
Don’t forget to follow Monkey Music on social media and keep up to date with the latest classes and news!
Facebook: @MonkeyMusicEalingAndActon or for the nationwide page @monkeymusic
Helly Summerly can be contacted:
Tel: 020 3715 2634
This is a collaborative post.
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 week, I would like to introduce you to another Ealing Mum who has developed her own business and brand. Glenda Shawley runs a successful company called the Training Pack, where she provides training and consultancy to help other businesses grow. She has also written an insightful book Founded After Forty. The book gives plenty of help and guidance for a new business start up. This strikes a chord with me, as I am over forty! I believe now is the perfect time for me to start my own business!
Glenda strongly believes in the power of networking and is group leader for the Chiswick and Fulham branches of Fabulous Women and Marvellous Men. She also has been supporting Mums who want to re-train in social media marketing (which is something I am passionate about) and recently has been working with a Digital Mums trainee.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to another Mum who wanted to start her own business?
Find something that you are both good at and enjoy. That other people will be prepared to pay sensible money for, because it won’t be easy juggling everything. You’ll need the motivation that comes from happy customers served by a fulfilled business owner.
Which business women do you admire and why?
Bryony Thomas of Watertight Marketing. She has developed a methodology, written a book and built a business around a marketing methodology that is logical and grounded. Plus she walks the talk.
Where do you see your business going in the next 5 years?
I want to be known as a chief encourager for people starting and growing a business after the age of 40. I’ll be offering training and consultancy online and offline with a range of options from short online training modules through to a residential business inspiration ‘retreat’.
Why did you decided to become involved with Digital Mums?
My brand is all about helping people to run a business on their terms so this fit perfectly. One of my objectives this year was to delegate more and I’ve been struggling to work out what I can delegate. So working with a Digital Mum was a perfect project for me to experiment with whilst also helping someone else out.
How long will you be working with your Digital Mum?
The programme is about 6 months but we have the option to make it a commercial deal after the programme.
Is she working on your brand The Training Pack or also Fabulous Women too?
My Digital Mum is working on raising awareness of the Training Pack brand, another Digital Mum is doing the same for Fabulous Women. Both our Mums are in the same peer group,so that they can support each other and benefit from the overlap in the two businesses.
You can follow Glenda on her various on her various social media platforms:
If you or someone you know would like to be featured on my series #MumsWhoWorkIt then please do contact me via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org