I don’t know about you but whenever I contemplate a shopping trip with Monkey I am filled with a sense of dread. He’s fine when we go food shopping, he quite likes helping me pick different items for the trolley. But any other type of shopping – uum!! So when we were invited to Westfield in London to sample their shops and restaurants, valet parking (you can imagine how quickly I jumped at that with my parking ability), and kids entertainment, I thought we might be able to strike a happy medium for both of us!
So we went down the M40 bright and early one Wednesday morning, with no worries about parking in my head (that was so nice). The signs for parking at Westfield are really easy to follow as were the Valet Parking signs. We arrived bang on 10am, when the Valet Parking opens during the week, handed my car keys over and off we went. You normally pay £5.00 to park in Westfield for the day (a bargain by London standards) and the Valet Parking costs an extra £10.00.
We had pre-arranged to try the Kids Activity Session at 11am, so we had an hour to explore beforehand.
There are over 300 shops to browse around – from the likes of Marks and Spencer to The Early Learning Centre in the main centre, and for the high-end stores you can visit The Village and you’ll find the likes of De Beers, Gucci and Michael Kors. Luckily for Daddy P’s credit card I was happy to mainly window shop.
If Monkey had been a bit younger/shorter I could have hired a super cute Kiddy Car ….
…. which you can push along with a long reach handle for the day. He would have loved that idea a year ago. These are available to hire on a first come, first served basis and a single car is £5.00 for 4 hours hire.
We needed to buy a birthday present for Monkey’s godmummy and I’d promised him a trip to the Lego Store – so we bought a couple of items, had a drink and a snack in the main Atrium and waited for the Activity Session to start. We had thought we were doing a Cake/Cookie decorating session, but apparently they had been running only on Monday’s during the school holidays, the Wednesday session the week we went was ‘gardening bag decorating’ …….
Monkey really enjoyed himself, the helpers were all lovely and friendly, my only criticism would be that it was a shame the kids didn’t have aprons to wear. Monkey took a liking to the glitter pens and ended up with it all over his top. I didn’t have a change of top for him, so he spent the rest of the day looking a bit worse for wear! Luckily the glitter has come out of his top on washing.
By the time Monkey had finished with his bag decoration we were both feeling a little peckish – lunch was calling. With over 60 different places to eat with the Westfield setting, we were certainly not going to starve!
We headed to the Southern Terrace area with its lovely outside walkway and settled for The Real Greek – I love Greek food and it would be good to introduce Monkey to something different.
We settled down at our table, very child friendly – a glass full of crayons appeared and Monkey’s menu doubled as a colouring pad – I always like restaurants that understand how much nicer the dining experience is for a parent when their child is entertained!
The set menu’s were reasonably priced for both Monkey and myself and the food was lovely.
The lunchtime set meal was £8.95, I had a starter of Greek flatbread with Melitzanosalata and Taramasalata, and Lamb Kefte for my main meal – delicious. The children’s set meal was £6.75 and Monkey had Chicken Skewers with Houmous and Chips (for a treat!), Fresh Apple Juice and Chocolate Ice Cream for pudding. He was a happy little chap.
The staff were very friendly and the service was good. The toilets were clean.
Once we’d stuffed ourselves with our delicious lunch we headed back inside Westfield. I’d promised Monkey he could go back to the Lego Store, and on the way we passed a Flight Simulator – I am definately going to have to surprise Daddy P with a go on that at some point in the future. Monkey had a little playtime in the Westfield Playworld too.
We popped into Debenhams and I found some great cushions in the sales to go with our new Living Room suite which is arriving soon. Happy Mummy. We could have made use of the Westfield Handsfree Shopping – but I knew I wouldn’t be on a big shopping trip, next time though!!
There is also a Westfield Kids Club – sign up and you can get discounts at a number of stores and a little goodie bag for the kids to keep them entertained.
Our day at Westfield showed us that shopping can be an experience rather than a nightmare, and I can certainly see us coming back in the future.
disclaimer: we were given access to free valet parking and lunch for the purpose of review, our comments however, remain our own honest opinions.