WITH AMBER WILDE
OF MEET THE WILDES
Beautiful London comes alive in summer, buzzing with endless fun activities for little ones. Today, Amber of Meet the Wildes takes us to one of her favourite parts of the city – Ebury Street. Follow her adventure with her little ones below.
I have always loved my place of birth. As a child, there were countless school trips to galleries and museums, to plays and the ballet. Every year, my grandparents would take my sister and me to see a pantomime, and when we were a little older, a musical. They lived just far enough away that we would need to take a train in to the City, stuffing our faces with penny sweets as we pressed up against the glass to watch as the suburbs were swallowed by concrete towers and, finally, exclaiming in wonder as the train passed over the deceptively beautiful, glittering Thames and we were there.
On Christmas Eve it was a tradition for us to accompany my father to Covent Garden, clutching paper bags of hot chestnuts that were so sweet they were worth our stinging and blackened fingers. These trips always seemed endless as we trailed in his wake, out small legs making it impossible to keep up, and yet until we had eaten sweet chestnuts in Covent Garden it didn’t feel like Christmas at all. In the summertime, there were the wide expanses of park to explore, beautiful and unexpected green sanctuaries amongst the concrete bustle of the city, with their overpriced ice creams and little boats out onto the water. We would lean dangerously far over the sides of the boat, breaking the clear water with a trailing finger, feigning deafness to the hissed threats as to what they would do to us if we fell in and drowned.
Motherhood has enabled me to rediscover London in a whole new light and to fall in love with our home all over again. We have made little traditions of our own: summer excursions down the Thames on the Clipper to Battersea Zoo, ice cream at the Southbank, babyccinos in Shoreditch after exploring the new wall art. There is always so much to do in London.
On a recent warm afternoon whilst my mother spent the afternoon with my sons, my daughters, my partner and I ventured to one of our favourite parts of London – Ebury Street. Our little girls are on the cusp of their second birthday, and we wanted an afternoon of just them and us, to savour the people they are now and to document them in all of their amusing and endearing toddler glory. A mother-daughter date, if you will.
Home to insta-famous Peggy Porschen, amongst a whole host of other equally instagrammable boutiques, Ebury Street and the surrounding area is an unexpected haven of peace mere footsteps from Victoria Station. In fact, if you just close your ears to the traffic, you can imagine yourself far outside of the city in a quintessential British country village. The shopkeepers always have a smile and a kind word for my young daughters, who entertain themselves climbing up and down the steps whilst we window shop, pressing their small faces against the glass to say hello. There are flowers everywhere; from hanging baskets to window boxes to the florist on Elizabeth Street, whose elaborate and yet tasteful bouquets are a feast to the eye. The little girls love these flowers and have learnt to stroke the petals gently when overcome with the temptation to touch. Their voices are soft with awe when they remark on them, “pretty, flowers”.
Each time we visit, we promise ourselves that this will be the time that we sample Peggy Porschen’s cake, and every time we are daunted by the queue that stretches out around the corner of the shop and the buzz of the people who crowd for their opportunity to snap a photograph in front of the pink doorway. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options for sweet treats in the area. On this occasion, we returned to Victoria for doughnuts at Crosstown; sugar-glazed for the little girls in their fancy frocks and chocolate for their mamas. The sugar perked them up just enough to walk back to the station holding our hands, before tucking up to fall asleep on our laps, on the train ride home. Just like I used to do.
With thanks to Amber X