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I’m often asked what are the options for independent or private schools in Ealing? With lots of Open Days coming up this Spring, I decided now was a good time to write a blog post about Independent Schools in Ealing. We are very fortunate here in Ealing to have so many great schools. If you are looking for a co-educational school, a boy’s school, a girl’s school or a faith school, then Ealing has many options to choose from.

How do you decided where to send your child with so many choices? In my opinion the best thing to do is to attend an Open Day, that way you will get to see the school in action and even meet some of the pupils who will be happy to tell you about their own experiences of the school.

St Augustine’s Priory

St Augustine’s Priory  is a Catholic Independent Day School for girls aged 3 – 18 years and boys in the Nursery, set in 13 acres of stunning grounds. The school even has it’s own farm and forest school!

Main Points of Entry 

Nursery, Reception, Year 5, Year 7, (11+) and Sixth Form, with entry considered in other year groups subject to availability.

Pupils wishing to enter Nursery through to Prep III (Year 2) will be invited to attend classroom assessments.  Candidates wishing to enter into Lower I – Lower II (Years 3-5) will sit formal written assessments in English, Maths and Verbal Reasoning and will also spend time in the classroom as part of the entry process.

Entry into the Senior School for 11+ takes place on their Selection Day. Candidates will sit exams in English, Maths, Verbal Reasoning and participate in a Creative Task.  Interviews will also take place on Selection Day.

Next Open Day

The next whole school Open Morning is 10am on Saturday 9th March 2019. You can registered your interest to attend via their website. If you can’t make the March open day then there will be another one in October 2019 or alternately you could enquire about a tour at another time.

Contact Details

St Augustine’s Priory
Hillcrest Road
Ealing
London
W5 2JL
020 8997 2022
office@sapriory.com

St Augustine’s Priory – Ealing

Notting Hill and Ealing High School

Notting Hill and Ealing High School is an independent day school for girls aged from 4 until 18 years old. The school won The Sunday Times Independent Preparatory School of the Year in 2018.

Main Points of Entry 

4 + (Reception), 7+ (Year 3), 11 + (Year 7) and 16+ (Sixth Form).  There may sometimes be places available in other year groups.  Entry is selective and via an appropriate test and/or interview at each stage.

Next Open Day

April 2019 – check their website for more details.

Contact Details

NHEHS Junior School
26 St Stephen’s Road
Ealing, London
W13 8HH

(020) 8799 8484
Admissions (020) 8991 2165

juniorenquiries@nhehs.gdst.net

NHEHS Senior School
2 Cleveland Road
Ealing, London
W13 8AX

(020) 8799 8400
Admissions (020) 8991 2165

enquiries@nhehs.gdst.net

Clifton Lodge

Clifton Lodge is a small private Prep School in central Ealing. They take both boys and girls from the age of 3 up to 13 years old. They offer preparation for the 11+ to attain places at some of the best senior schools in the London area. They are part of the Cognita School Group.

Main Points of Entry 

Entry to Nursery (age 3+) and Reception (age 4+). Places are also offered at any time during the school year subject to places being available.

From September 2020 Clifton Lodge will become a sole 11+ prep school, with one exit point in Year 6.

Next Open Day

Saturday 16th March and Saturday 18th May 2019, 10am until 12:00 noon. Contact the Admissions Registrar to book your place or to arrange a private tour.

Contact Details

8 Mattock Lane
Ealing
London

W5 5BG

020 8579 3662

admissions@cliftonlodgeschool.co.uk

 

Clifton Lodge – Ealing

Harvington Prep

Harvington Prep School is a girls school which was founded in 1890. They accept boys in Nursery only and take children from the age of 3 years old up to 11 years. They pride themselves in offering a high standard of education to prepare their girls for the 11+ examination. Many girls have been offered places and academics scholarships at some of London’s top schools.

Main Points of Entry 

Entry is accepted in any year depending on availability.

Next Open Day

Contact the school directly to organise a tour.

Contact Details

Harvington Prep School

20 Castlebar Road

Ealing

W5 2DS        

020 8997 1583

admin@harvingtonschool.com

Harvington Prep School – Ealing

St Benedicts School

St Benedicts School is a co-educated school accepting both boys and girls from Nursery all the way to 18 years. Recent developments include a new Sixth Form Centre and Art Department, which opened in 2016.

Main Points of Entry 

Admission to Nursery (3 +), Pre- Prep 1 (Reception) and a smaller intake of pupils at 7+ for entry to Lower Prep (Year 3). Then for the 11+ for the Senior School. There may be places in other year groups subject to availability.

Next Open Day

The next Senior School Open Morning is Thursday 9th May 2019 and the Nursery/Junior Open Morning is Tuesday 21st May 2019. Contact the school to make further enquires. Private tours can be arranged too.

Contact Details

Senior School
54 Eaton Rise
Ealing
London
W5 2ES
020 8862 2000
Junior School
5 Montpelier Avenue
Ealing
London
W5 2XP
020 8862 2050

 

St Benedicts School – Ealing

Durston House

Durston House is an independent preparatory school for boys aged 4-13. There are various schools in London that have an entrance exam for the 13+ and Durston prepares their boys for this. They have a large sports field near to the school where the boys participate in a variety of activities.

Main Points of Entry 

Entry to Durston House at Reception is non-selective. Admission to Year 1 up to Year 8 is subject to availability of places and an assessment, plus references from the boy’s current school.

Next Open Day

16th, 17th, 18th May 2019. If you are unable to attend one of the Open Days, individual visit can be arranged. Contact the school for more information.

Contact Details

12-14 Castlebar Road
Ealing
London
W5 2DR

020 8991 6530

info@durstonhouse.org

Durston House – Ealing

Avenue House

Avenue House is a small co-educational pre-preparatory and preparatory school, located in West Ealing.

Main Points of Entry 

Any year group depending on availability of places.

Next Open Day

Spring Open Day – Saturday 2nd March 2019, 11am to 1pm.

Contact Details

70 The Avenue,

Ealing,

London

W13 8LS

020 8998 9981

school@avenuehouse.org

Avenue House – Ealing

I hope you have found my guide to independent schools in Ealing useful? Do let me know in the comments.

The details I have included have been sourced from the school’s websites and as far as I am aware the information is correct at time of publishing. If you require any further information, I suggest you contact the schools direct.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid by any of the above schools for this post.

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Half Term is fast approaching, so it’s great to have some ideas for family friendly dining in Ealing. We love to eat out in West London and one of our firm favourites is Carluccio’s Ealing – local Italian Restaurant & Deli. It has been one of our go to places, ever since Amelia was born. Eating out with children can be stressful, as we all know especially if your child is making lots of noise or is not keen to sit at the table. I think as parents we have all been there! However, if you are in an environment that caters for children, then the whole experience is a lot more relaxed for everyone! The Ealing branch of Carluccio’s was refurbished last year and as you will see from my photos it certainly is stylish with a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Carluccio’s Restuarant 5-6 The Green, Ealing, London, W5 5DA

Carluccio’s have recently re-vamped their children’s menu, which I have to say I now actually prefer, because there are more options. For £6.25 your child can have two courses including a drink and for £7.50 you can increase that to three courses. My Daughter is six years old and I would say the portion sizes are more than adequate for her appetite.

Carluccio’s New Kids Menu

Amelia is a budding restaurant critic too and has done a little write up here! She really enjoyed the new kid’s menu as you can see!

One of the choices of starter includes cucumber, carrots and celery sticks with a tomato sauce dip, children also get bread sticks too! A brilliant way to get one of their 5 a day!

The main course, along with the usual pasta options also includes: chicken or fish with vegetables, however Amelia when back to her favorite of pasta with a tomato sauce.

Carluccio’s has all the usual child friendly facilities that you would expect, such as baby changing facilities, highchairs and even child sized cutlery which make eating all that bit easier. Plus there is colouring and crayons to hand to keep them occupied. The other thing I like about this restaurant is that the tables are not too close together, so if you wanted to bring your pram then likelihood is there will be room nearby.

At the rear of the restaurant the tables can be set up for a larger family gathering or party. Just enquire at the restaurant and I’m sure they will be happy to help.

They have a wonderful selections of cakes and sweet treats, so you could also just come in for afternoon tea!

Plus, don’t forget if you are looking for a romantic Valentines Day meal than you better be quick to get booked in! From the 13th until the 16th February they are offering a special Valentine’s set menu three course for £22.95.

Carluccio’s have lovely selection of gifts available from their Deli and in-store shop. You will find ingredients to make your perfect romantic Italian evening at home also!

You can find your local Carluccio’s at: 5-6 The Green, Ealing, London, W5 5DA.

Disclaimer – I was offered a complimentary family meal in return for a review, however as all views are my own and they are an honest reflection of my experience.

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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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