Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Harrods, Knightsbridge

Cosmo upset that I'm taking photos rather than feeding him
According to Harrods website, the store doesn't admit customers "wearing athletic singlets; cycling shorts; flip flops or thong sandals; with a bare midriff or bare feet; or wearing dirty or unkempt clothing". While I'm not up for a bare midriff yet (who'm I kidding? I've never been up for a bare midriff...) I'm pretty sure my vomit-stained yoga pants and hair-so-unwashed-its-matting falls into both the "dirty" and "unkempt" category, (to say nothing of Cosmo's poo-stained attire - my friend calls them 'poonami's when it reaches the neckline...)

Security, however, turned a benevolent blind eye to the dress code and instead of booting us out helpfully opened the door and pointed us the direction of the very well-hidden feeding and changing rooms on the fourth floor.  Complete with Ollie Ella nursing chair (yours for a bargain £1000) and Red Castle changing mats (a snitch at £45), these rooms really are the plushest in London, and a delightful escape from the madding crowds of Knightsbridge.  Just go into one of the two individual rooms (roomy enough for your buggy), shut the door and sink into the plushest nursing chair you'll find. For someone who hates shopping, it's very tempting just to snuggle up and fall asleep.

Infinity mirrors
Big toilet, little toilet!
The staff, as you might expect, are delightfully welcoming of children and made a huge fuss over Cosmo (who wouldn't?) and the temporary Disney Cafe situated in the children's department offers a step-free, buggy-friendly place to grab a cup of tea and a Mickey-Mouse-shaped sandwich.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Science Museum, South Kensington

Science was never my strongest subject but a visit to the Science Museum has left me inspired.  Any museum which has the tenacity to exhibit a mummified cat, ancient condoms, a rocket launcher and a 1950s tractor under the banner of "Science" deserves a visit...

Somewhat less inspiring however, is the "Family Room" situated in the basement. A thumbs up for providing a nappy vending machine, but a thumbs down for the old-school stylee decor including blocked toilet and plastic chairs. If you want a quiet, relaxed spot for feeding you won't find it here. Best head to a remote spot of the museum (such as 'Agriculture') or even better, head to the nursing room at the Natural History Museum next door.

However, if you really want privacy, ask a member of staff. They have a room available for breastfeeding or indeed praying. (I frequently do both at the same time; especially when I have a blocked duct...) These 'private rooms' are an interesting concept. The V&A offers to open up a private room for feeding, likewise Kensington Palace. While it's a lovely gesture, how many mothers would think of asking...?

Cosmo trying not to cry at the sad facilities
A blue chair and a red chair.