Heading South of the river never comes naturally to me. If I am planning to meet friends with children in Central London, we rarely go on a warm day and generally opt for a museum or a cake shop.
Today was hot, hot, hot though so staying indoors was out of the question. We were meeting Reneé and her three, so she suggested meeting up at Copacabana Beach near the Southbank Centre (Waterloo station). Crevette, Jumpy and Beanie came along. We packed sunscreen, buckets and spades, plenty of water and my body weight in snacks.
The sandpit was wide, with a nice view of the river and there was plenty of space for our six little monkeys to have a play in the shade what the mummies were having a good old chat. That was a brilliant start to our play date and catch up session.
Once the little ones had had enough of the sand and eaten their way through a ton of cereal bars, a punnet of strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, houmous, sandwiches and sweet treats, we headed towards the food stalls outside the Southbank Centre Market and wow, the food there was quite something!
Our eyes immediately caught the unique Italian Lambro converted into a bespoke gelato parlour. We were sold! Ilario proudly served generous scoops of his homemade Gelato, made from locally sourced British ingredients. The ice cream and sorbet we went for were out of this world!
I then made a little detour towards award-wining Choux Stopper after hearing from my friend Cé street food pastry chef Simon was selling the most divine salted caramel choux.
These babies looked good and I bought three (thanks Ren for lending me some money!) that I was planning to share with Cé and her Hubby, who have just had a baby girl. If you are after a treat, I highly recommend visiting the street food stall at the Southbank Centre.
The children had a good play in Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms fountain. The popular fountain has jets of water shooting into the air, creating ‘rooms’ that disappear as quickly as they emerge, creating hilarity (or wet, grumpy 3 year olds).
Just before making our way back to Waterloo station, I was quickly losing my patience with my children, until they had some yummy juice from Elephant Juice Bar and turned into three little cherubs.
As we were leaving our friends, Beanie declared: “I just wish their house was right next to our house so we could have sleepovers whenever we want to.” Sounds like a sleepover is overdue!
Me: “Did you have a good day?”
Jumpy: “Yes, but I’m tired. Even my hair is tired!”
After a couple of cancelled trains and a tedious journey in a overcrowded train straight out of the 1960s followed by a quick taxi ride, we got home and I pushed the kids through the door to go and see my bestie Cé and her gorgeous new baby girl in hospital. After lots of hugs, banter, dinner, some serious emotional moments and the phenomenal salted caramel choux from Choux Stopper, we parted company and I drove home. What a day!